2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials TV Coverage

So excited for this! For the first time ever, NBC is going to do a live broadcast of the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials!

Coverage will start this Saturday at 1pm EST (11am MST). See complete details here.

I am so happy to hear they are giving this event the coverage it deserves. These athletes are some of the hardest working, most talented athletes I’ve ever met. I trained with Meb, Abdi and Deena in San Diego back when I was competing. They are genuine, welcoming, down to earth and so positive.

Can’t wait to tune in. I’m so excited to cheer them on and wish them the very, very best on Saturday! Do not miss this!

Kit & Ace Black Friday Sale Picks and Reviews 2015-2016

After scoping out the Kit & Ace Black Friday sale back in December, I put my Lululemon obsession on the back burner for a bit. Kit & Ace added a ton of stuff to their ‘The Last of It’ (sale) section at incredibly discounted prices on Black Friday – and they’ve continued to add new products to it each week, and well into January so far.

I have repeatedly taken advantage of these deals, ordering quite a few new items to try and coming back for more.

If you’re new to Kit and Ace, you’re in for a treat. They specialize in ‘technical cashmere’ – cashmere fabrics or cashmere blends that are washable, incredibly soft and super high quality.

At their sale prices, these pieces are a complete STEAL. Considering how much I loved my items when they arrived, I almost can’t believe I got them at such a low price point. I can genuinely say I’m obsessed.

After over a month of trying everything out, here are my picks and recommendations of ‘what to get’ from the sale:

EMORY BRUSHED DRESS

$98 (Regularly $188)

Kit and Ace Emory Brushed Dress in Black ShineAthletic.com

This gorgeous little number is flattering, super soft and is versatile enough to work for so many different occasions. Dress it up or down. Heels, flip flops or athletic flats, this dress will take you from date night, to casual Saturdays, to the beach, and back again.

It comes in Black and Heathered Grey.

HURON LONG SLEEVE

$38 (Regularly $98)

Kit and Ace Huron Long Sleeve in Heathered Grey ShineAthletic.com

My favorite. It is SO soft. Light, stretchy and oh so comfy. It is the first top I’ve found that really does cover your bum (front and back), but is still form fitting and sexy. I am in love with the ruching along the sides.

I started with one, just to make sure I had the correct size. I was immediately in love and ordered a few more. I ordered the same size I wear in Lulu Swiftlies and it fit perfect. Some people did say they went down a size. I think you could get away with sizing down on this one, but I preferred to stay true to size.

I like this top way more than my previous fav, the Lululemon Devotion Long Sleeve Tee, which has been discontinued anyway. Since Lulu hasn’t really come out with a soft, fitted, Vitasea long sleeve top to replace the Devotion LS, I often wear their LS Swiftlies casually. Although I do like the Swiftly for running, when it comes to casual wear, the Huron Long Sleeve takes the cake. Easily.

I had a couple Swiftlies that I hadn’t worn yet and I headed straight back to the store to return them. (I already had a few that I use as running tops, and had only purchased these colors for casual wear). At $28 and $38 on sale, Hurons and Veras (see below) are nearly 1/3 the price of a Swiftly, and I like them SO much more. Who wouldn’t want to have 2 or 3 Veras or Hurons as opposed to just one Swiftly. 🙂 Sign me up for that!

VERA LONG SLEEVE

$28 (Regularly $98)

Kit and Ace Vera Long Sleeve Tee Black ShineAthletic.com

Just like the Huron Long Sleeve, but with a deeper scoop neck. This one definitely runs true to size (runs ever so slightly smaller than the Huron). Ditto to everything else I said above. It’s amazing.

These also come in more colors than the Huron, and I see more colors being added at the sale price weekly.

CLAIRE TANK

$48 (Regularly $118)

Kit and Ace Claire Tank in White ShineAthletic.com

Adorable. This tank is a beautiful wool, silk and cashmere blend top. Pair it with leggings or jeans on a warm, breezy day. It can even double as a cooler weather beach cover up. One of our favorite Kit and Ace designs to date. It comes in White, Heather Grey and Black.

GRACE TEE

$48 (Regularly $88)

Kit and Ace Grace Tee in Fog ShineAthletic.com

The same, amazing cashmere blend fabric as the Huron and Vera Tees, but in a darling, low scoop back, elbow length tee. At it’s current sale price, it’s not quite as stellar of a deal as some of the other products, but it was definitely our favorite design of the regular-waist-length tees.

FLORES TANK

$18 (Regularly $58)

Kit and Ace Flores Tank Chambray Melange ShineAthletic.com

This one is also oh so soft, but has a bit more of a substantial feel to it. Still stretchy and springy, this one feels so soft and cottony against your skin.

I ordered the Chambray Melange color and am in love. It also comes in Heathered Grey. I would definitely order your true to size and not size down.

At $18, I will buy this again and again. Feels amazing for both casual wear and the gym.

MARA TANK

$18 (Regularly $48)

Kit and Ace Mara Tank in Spectra ShineAthletic.com

Same material as the Huron, Vera and Grace Tees, but in a soft, light tank. This style offers a little more coverage on the shoulder line than a traditional tank, making it a chic piece to wear out and about and not just at the gym. Again, at $18, for a luxe, washable, cashmere blend top, I almost feel guilty I’m not paying more. Almost.

Overall, Kit and Ace’s sale has been a gold mine. I’ve definitely found a new obsession, albeit only at their sale prices. I don’t think I could get myself to pay full price just yet. I will keep you posted. 🙂

Did any of you get anything from the sale?

Today was a little stressful. I was wanting to get all the final prices on all of the potential wedding venues today so that we could make a final decision, but we didn’t really make as much progress as I hoped. I still feel so up in the air on all of that stuff. I just want to have the date and location figured out.

I was feeling bummed out, but then I talked to J and he just made me feel like a million dollars. He is so good at calming me and making me feel better. He treats me the way I’ve always wanted to be treated.

Wedding Venue Search in San Diego

Day 1

We took off on Wednesday at about 10am. Jason came by to pick me up and had picked up french toast from Kneaders for breakfast for me! One of my favorites.

We drove all the way down to San Diego, hardly even listening to any music and only taking a couple very quick stops. It flew by. We talked and just hung out. I can’t believe how fast it all went.

We tried to solve the riddle for that treasure hidden in the mountains north of Santa Fe. I started looking things up online and looking at Google Earth for clues. 🙂

Once we got to San Diego, we stopped by quite a few places before it was too late in the evening.

Day 2

We saw SO many places today! The Navy Lodge, The Dana, etc.

Day 3

We saw more places today.

Day 4

Iceland: Northern Lights Tour

“This guy is a viking! A straight up Viking!”

“This is really good!
Huh?
The soup, it is really good.
Thank you.
What do you call it?
Huh?
What do you call this soup?
Juss ‘chicken soup’.”

“Ahhhh yes, Lief the Lucky!”

“And that is the day the last of the little Yule Lads goes back to his home.”

Goodbye North Carolina

Flew to NC on Sunday, came home Saturday.

Best workout trip since I’ve been dating Jason. Worked out every day, super hard. Felt so good! I’m going to kind of miss the Special Forces gym.

Jason: “Where do you want to eat? There’s Texas Roadhouse, Thai Food, Fazoli’s, Jersey Mike’s, and…”
Me: “Hmmm I don’t know… are you feeling like any of those?”
Jason: “Hmmm I don’t know…”
“Oh, there’s PDQ. They have fresh tenders and sandwiches”
Me: “Fresh tenders? Like fresh chicken tenders?”
Jason: “Ya”
Me: “Done.”
Jason: “Done.”
Me: “Yayyyy… fresh tenders”

Never in my life have I had such delish chicken fingers. We ate there once a day for the rest of the trip.

Oh, and PDQ cookies: !!!

PDQ, please come to whatever city I decide to live in next.

Start Again

I’ll be kind, if you’ll be faithful
You be sweet and I’ll be grateful
Cover me with kisses dear
Lighten up the atmosphere
Keep me warm inside our bed
I got dreams of you all through my head
Fortune teller said I’d be free
And that’s the day you came to me
Came to me

Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
I’ll take you back where you belong
And this will be our favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I’ll love you more so don’t be scared
And when we’re old and near the end
We’ll go home and start again

I caught you burnin’ photographs
Like that could save you from your past
History is like gravity
It holds you down away from me
You and me, we’ve both got sins
And I don’t care about where you’ve been
Don’t be sad and don’t explain
This is where we start again
Start again

Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
I’ll take you back where you belong
And this will be our favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I’ll love you more so don’t be scared
And when we’re old and near the end
We’ll go home and start again
Start again

Today’s the day I’ll make you mine
So get me to the church on time
Take my hand in this empty room
You’re my girl, and I’m your groom

Come to me my sweetest friend
This is where we start again,
Again

Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
I’ll take you back where you belong
And this will be our favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I’ll love you more so don’t be scared
When we’re old and near the end
We’ll go home and start again
Start again

Goo Goo Dolls – Come to Me

Diamonds

“Everybody wants to be a diamond, but very few are willing to get cut.”
Unknown

The goal in life is not to win, it’s to use every ounce of our beings to become as much like God as possible. Rising above our challenges and becoming as highly developed and refined as possible.

“Challenges can bring you closer to God, and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision as to which road you take.”

– Elder Busche

Mine Would be You

What’s your all time high, your good as it gets?
Your hands down best ever make-up sex?
What’s your guilty pleasure, your old go to?
Well if you asked me, mine would be you

What’s your worst hangover, your best night yet?
Your 90 proof, your Marlboro Red?
The best damn thing you lucked in to
That’s easy girl, mine would be you

Mine would be you
Sun keeps shinin’, back road flyin’
Singing like crazy fools
Makin’ up our own words
Laughin’ ’til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you

What’s your double dare, your go all in?
The craziest thing you ever did?
Plain as your name in this tattoo
Look on my arm, mine would be you

Mine would be you
Sun keeps shinin’, back road flyin’
Singing like crazy fools
Makin’ up our own words
Laughin’ ’til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you

What’s the greatest chapter in your book?
Are there pages where it hurts to look?
What’s the one regret you can’t work through?
You got it baby, mine would be you
Yeah you got it baby, mine would be you

Mine would be you
Taillights fadin’
Daylight breakin’
Standin’ there like a fool
When I should’ve been runnin’
Yellin’ out somethin’
To make you wanna hold onto
The best love ever
Girl, can you tell me
The one thing you’d rather die than lose?
Cause mine would be you
Mine would be you

How to Interact with Introverts

I definitely have both an extroverted and introverted side to me. When it comes to the introverted side, I can definitely relate to this infographic. It made me laugh. I hope it makes you laugh too… or at least helps you understand the introverts in your life a little better. 🙂

How to Interact with Introverts ShineAthletic.com

Cowboys and Angels

There’s a want and there’s a need
There’s a history between
Girls like her and guys like me
Cowboys and angels

I’ve got boots and she’s got wings
I’m hell on wheels and she’s heavenly
I’d die for her and she lives for me
Cowboys and angels

We ride side by side
A cloud of dust, a ray of light
My touch is her temptation
Her kiss is my salvation
She’s sweet, I’m wild, we’re dangerous
Cowboys and angels

I’m not sure why her path crossed mine
Accident or grand design
Maybe God just kinda likes
Cowboys and angels

Acoustic version:

Original version:

All the Crazy in My Dreams, Both My Broken Wings

I’m a long-gone Waylon song on vinyl,
I’m a back row sinner at a tent revival,
But she believes in me like she believes her Bible,
And loves me like Jesus does.

I’m a lead foot leaning on a souped-up Chevy,
I’m a good old boy, drinking whiskey and rye on the levee,
But she carries me when my sins make me heavy,
And loves me like Jesus does.

All the crazy in my dreams,
Both my broken wings,
Every single piece of everything I am,
Yeah, she knows the man I ain’t,
She forgives me when I can’t,
The devil, man, no, he don’t stand a chance,
‘Cause she loves me like Jesus does.

I always thought she’d give up on me one day,
Wash her hands of me, leave me staring down some runway,
But I thank God each night, and twice on Sunday,
That she loves me like Jesus does.

Hank

To a boy who looks just like his mother,
Who’s a sister to her brother
Who sings this song to that boy from far away

I am young but you are younger
And til you speak more words than mumble,
You’ll have to lend an ear to everything i say

So be kind and love your mother and your father
Though sometimes they seem to bother
Come my age and you’ll know

There the ones who’ll always love you and support you,
They prayed for you before you
Stepped foot into this world
That’s one thing that I’ve learned

I remember you were walking
In a month I’ll hear you talking
There’s a million things I’d love to say to you

And though your parents, they are wiser
And will be better advisers,
Maybe hearing these things twice will get them through

So go and find a girl for whom your love is selfless
Someone who makes you helpless
To change the way you feel
But stay away from girls who always look so pretty,
But who’s hearts just aren’t fitting
For the man in you I see

Would you remember that for me?

When you find yourself alone
In times of trouble
Reach inside you and above you
There’s nothing He can’t heal

And if it is you do not end up with a brother
Just call your older uncle
I would always lend an ear

Would you remember that for me?

All These Things That I’ve Done

“When there’s no where else to run…”

All These Things I’ve Done, by the Killers is at the top of our workout playlist right now. It’s especially motivating if you’ve seen this Nike Commercial featuring the song:

This commercial aired during the 2008 Summer Olympics and is considered by many to be one of the greatest Nike ads of all time.

“Everything You Need is Already Inside”

Stay updated on our latest playlists to help give you inspiration during your next gym sesh.

I’ve Been Trying

I’ve been trying to do it right
I’ve been living a lonely life

I’ve been sleeping here instead
I’ve been sleeping in my bed

So show me family
And all the blood that I would bleed

I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong

Where the Ocean Meets the Land

Well I’ve been hanging round this place
I’ve been looking through your space
I’ve been waiting for you

All the places that you go
All the people that you know
I’ve been looking for you

And all these pretty people up on El Cerrito Place
They all got something in their pockets,
All got something on their face
They roll down to La Brea where it meets the boulevard
Singing hallelujah while they dance over the stars
They all say they’re going far

Me, I’ve been looking for you baby…

Someone said they might have seen you where the ocean meets the land
So I’ve been out here all night looking for your footprints in the sand
Did you hear the ocean singing
And baby did you sing along
While you danced out in the water to some old forgotten song
Or were you even here at all?

Somehow I wound up in the desert
Just after daylight
Where the Joshua trees grow
That little place you always liked
These pioneer town people ain’t got too much to say
And if you ever were here baby they ain’t giving you away
And now it’s been two days

Think I’ll go back to the city
Back to El Cerrito Place
That’s the last time that I saw that pretty smile upon your face

Joey Turns Three

I was oh so excited to send Joe this little gift. I called Pete and he said lately Joe has really liked coloring and stickers, so I got him a little Elmo coloring and activity book, some Sesame Street and Cars stickers and three little boxes of crayons. They each had special colors – Dinosaur, Sports and Pirate themed colors.

Joey is the cutest little guy – I just love him so much. He has the cutest little flirty personality – I can’t even stand how cute he is. 🙂

picture 1

Here’s a picture Jess sent me of Joey coloring and eating his m&m’s. 🙂

picture 2

Trip to Michigan with Mom

Mom and I decided to go to Michigan to visit Pete and Jess and the boys. So much fun! Pete, Mom and I went to a Michigan basketball game.

It was also Dan’s birthday coming up and so Mom took him to choose some shoes and get a treat. (She does this with each grandchild for their birthday.) Usually, she’ll take them to a bakery or a little cafe and they’ll get to pick out a doughnut or a cupcake or something. When she asked Dan which treat he wanted, he pointed to a big cake hahahah. Mom said “are you sure you don’t want something smaller like this cupcake or something?” and he said “No, I want that one!” Hhahaha. So cute. Dan wasn’t choosing that cake to be greedy – he picked it because he wanted to bring it home and share it with his brothers. Melt my heart. I love that little Dan.

I also planned a special Valentine’s treasure hunt for the boys. I got some red yarn and strung it ALL around their house. And then back around the house. About three times. 🙂 It went upstairs and down to the basement and around the main floor, and then upstairs again, etc. The strings crossed and were hidden behind drawers and furniture in some spots (I was trying to make it extra tricky), so they had to follow it very closely to avoid getting on the wrong section of string. I hid the final treats in the piano bench – candy buttons, brownie mix and .

We also went to the Children’s Museum in Boston. So cool! The kids loved it – almost as much as me. 🙂

In the top section, there was a room full of red foam bricks. I built a castle around John:

And then Dan (you can see him, barely, through that little window).

Joey was also learning how to count (very high) and was excited about it.

Text from Today :)

Life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens fora reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. God never said life would be easy, He just promised it would be worth it.

All About Abs: Everything You Need to Know About Abdominal Exercises & Workouts

Getting perfect abs is nothing short of an obsession for many people. Tons of programs, products and gimmicks promise “six pack abs” by confusing and misleading consumers. The right ab workouts can help, but in the end, there is only one way to get the abs you want! You need a consistent, effective workout program that will help you burn fat and tone your abs. When it comes to abdominal workouts, here are the most essential things to know:

TARGET ALL FOUR ABDOMINAL MUSCLE GROUPS

One mistake many people make is to only work one or two sections of their abdominal muscles. There are FOUR layers of muscles in your abs! You need to work each layer/muscle group to effectively tone your abs.

Abdominal Exercises
  • Rectus Abdominis – This is the “six pack” muscle. This paired muscle runs from the front of your ribs down to your pelvis. This the muscle referred to when people say “upper abs” or “lower abs”, but it is actually one big muscle – of which different areas can be targeted. Typical “ab workouts” usually focus on this muscle.
  • External Oblique – The external obliques are the muscles that run along the sides of your ribcage, on each side of the rectus abdominis. The external oblique muscles allow the trunk to twist – contracting one of your external obliques twists your body to the opposite side. For example, contracting the right external oblique will turn the body to the left.
  • Internal Oblique – Your internal obliques are located just inside your hip bones – just below the external obliques. They work in the exact opposite way as the external oblique muscles. When you do a twisting motion, one external oblique contracts while the opposite side’s internal oblique contracts. For example, twisting or crunching the trunk to the left requires the left internal oblique and the right external oblique to contract together.
  • Transverse Abdominis – The transverse abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle layer. The muscle reaches from each side of your lower abdomen towards the middle. It is primarily responsible for stabilizing your trunk and maintaining internal abdominal pressure. This muscle is especially worked when you do stabilization exercises like planks or other similar ab exercises.
Abdominal Exercises

VARY YOUR AB ROUTINE

In addition to working all four layers of your abs, you also need to change up your ab routine so that your muscles are continually being challenged. If you do the exact same ab exercises for weeks on end, your muscles will adapt and plateau – and you will miss out on some of the benefits of your training program.

QUALITY VS. QUANTITY

Have you ever heard someone brag about how they do 800 crunches/situps every day? You do not need to do anywhere near hundreds of reps! You will actually see better results by doing fewer repetitions of the right exercises with correct form.

When it comes to number of reps when weight training, the same rules apply to ab workouts. For longer, leaner muscle, you should do more reps (we’re talking sets of 12, 20, or sets of 30 seconds… not sets of 800!), and for building size (and deeper cuts), you should do fewer reps with more weight resistance (ie: sets of 5 or 8). An exception to this rule is for stability exercises, such as planks, where you will hold a single position for anywhere from 20 seconds to a couple of minutes.

And, just like other muscle groups, you shouldn’t train your abdominal muscles every day – which brings me to my next point:

TAKE TIME TO RECOVER

Your ab muscles are just like any other muscle – they need to be worked hard, and then given adequate time to rebuild and recover before then next workout. Depending on how hard your muscles are worked – as well as whether you are focusing on strength or endurance – you will need anywhere from 36 hours to 2 or 3 days recovery time between workouts.

And finally, (but most importantly)…

BURN FAT!

Most people focus only on doing tons of crunches and other abdominal exercises in an effort to get flat, defined abs. What many people don’t realize is that no matter how many crunches, situps or other ab exercises you do, you will never see improved definition unless you can minimize the layer of fat that covers your abdominal muscles. The muscles are already there – the key is getting to the point where you can see them! Yes, ab exercises can help improve muscle strength and tone, but burning fat is more effective BY FAR when it comes to overall improvement in the look of your midsection.

When it comes to burning fat, remember that there is no such thing as spot reduction! There just isn’t! This isn’t what most people want to hear, but it’s simply a fact. No product, ab workout or ab exercise alone will make you lose inches solely from your waist – so when someone tries to convince you otherwise, don’t fall for it! The bottom line is that in order to gain greater definition in your abs, you need to have a fitness program that will help you burn overall body fat. In order to burn fat most effectively, your fitness program needs to include regular cardiovascular exercise AND strength training – stay tuned for our next post, which will explain why both are so important! Pair that with healthy, well-balanced eating habits, and you are well on your way to effectively burning fat – and getting flatter, tighter abs.

SO…
Following these tips will help you to get the best results possible. In addition to great looking abs, you’ll enjoy other benefits as well. Stronger abs can make a huge difference in your posture and overall core strength, and can also improve your form and effectiveness during other weight training exercises. Minimizing excessive body fat will not only make a huge difference in your abs, but will also improve the rest of your body. Training your body the right way will allow you to get the abs you want and improve your overall health.