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Stretch It Out

An important, but unfortunately often overlooked, part of working out and running regularly, is to stretch it out. It doesn’t matter whether you stretch before a weight training session, or stretch after a run, or dedicate a full day to stretching and rolling.

Just do it!

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Graphic ‘Woman Up’ Workout Tee c/o Lucy Activewear

Revolution Run Capri c/o Lucy Activewear

Sneakers – Nike Free 5.0

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Why is it so important?

  • It helps keep you limber
  • Flexibility improves your range of motion for a variety of activities
  • By increasing blood flow it can decrease recovery time post-workout
  • The movements can help to keep your joints healthy

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Being an athlete growing up, stretching was always a part of a our daily routine – For gymnastics, volleyball, and diving. The stretches themselves may have shifted based on the needs of a given sport, but there were daily stretches rain or shine for all three. Usually before and after the training session.

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{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

Not sure where to start? Check out these helpful and informative posts that will give you the basics:

Need some more tips for keeping your muscles loose? Check out my Relaxing & Stress-Reducing Yoga Moves post.

Are YOU a fan of stretching? Do you roll out your muscles regularly?

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Fitness Goals: Splits

Welcome back to my 2016 Fitness Goals series! This is a 4-part series where I’ll be sharing four long-term fitness goals that I’ll be tackling over the course of the year.

In the first installment I talked about my number one goal for the year – Working on my booty. Squats, lunges, and bridges – Oh My!

Next I talked about the LONG TERM goal of staying on top of my personal health by moving every day. Yes – Every single day.

So what’s my third goal to focus on this year? Regaining my left and right splits!

I was a gymnast growing up and have retained a great deal of my flexibility. Toe touches? No problems! Basic yoga moves? Easy peasy Japanesey! But my love affaire with yoga in 2015 reinforced that I had lost some of my flexibility – Namely my forward splits.

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Something like this is NOT a quick & easy goal. It’s not something you can just force. It’s a long-term, work-on-it-every-day kinda thing.

So for this goal, in combination with my previous booty goal, I’ll be adding more stretching & yoga to my routine each week. You can also check out more on my yoga goals in my 30 Day Challenge for August!

Some ways I’ll get there? These great stretches!

Do YOU have a fitness goal for 2016? Tell me what you’re working on!

 

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SF Half Marathon

After loving every minute of the Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile race that I ran in April I immediately signed up for the San Francisco Half Marathon.

And then promptly got side lined by my doctor due to a foot injury.

Pout!

I love running in general. Even more than just being a wonderful form of exercise, it’s absolutely vital for my peace of mind. It’s how I work off stress and frustration, it’s how I take a break from daily life, and it’s how I put a smile on my face!

Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled with being told to sit on the sidelines for nearly two months while we tried some different treatments on my aching feet.

Towards the end of June I gave a short midday run a try, then headed out on my favorite lake-side trail over the fourth of July weekend for my first “real” run. That means I had roughly four weeks to train for the July 31st San Francisco Half Marathon.

Rather than panic or stress myself out with expectations and fears, I decided to just give myself a break. Physically I knew I was capable of the distance, I work out regularly and have excellent cardiovascular health, and if I could keep my injuries in check, I knew that I’d be fine.

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I intentionally started this post before the race so that I could give honest feedback on my mental and physical states going into as well as finishing the race.

Side note for those of you who are new to MCLV – Welcome! Welcome! – I am a perfectionist. I am a Type A, high achieving, pain-in-the-booty. When I tackle something new – I am ALL IN. So going into this race knowing that I might not do as well as I wanted or even, gasp, not be able to finish at all, is a new feeling.

Here I am, writing down these less than inspirational words, on Saturday, the night before my race… So rather than go into it discouraged or with doubt in my mind – I’ve decided to adopt the oft repeated credo of The Ginger Runner {my favorite ultra-marathoning YouTuber}.

My goal is to have fun and to finish. That’s it.

Post-Race Update:

I did SO MUCH better than I thought I would. I was scared that I’d be disappointed by my time, but I was thrilled when I realized that I finished in 2 hours. My back didn’t bother me at all during the run, though my right foot hurt for a few miles and my left foot made itself felt around mile 11.

So, in summary, I had a blast, loved the beautiful, fog-covered course, and can’t wait to sign up for my next race!

Have YOU ever run a half marathon? Do you have a favorite race in Northern California?

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MCLV Style: Lucy Activewear

I’m always on the lookout for great new workout gear, always, and just had a wonderful experience with Lucy Activewear that I’ve got to share!

I may be hooked on Fabletics, but if I see another brand with a good-looking collection, I’ll definitely give one of their pieces a try.

But I’m picky!

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Studio Hatha Capri Leggings c/o Lucy

Workout Racerback Tank c/o Lucy

Sneakers – Nike Free 5.0

Lucy Activewear San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifesytle Blogger Workout Gear Street Style

I want to be comfortable and not spend my workout adjusting or worrying about wardrobe malfunctions. I like my tops fitted, but not tight. i.e. It shouldn’t flip all the way over my head during a handstand.

And I want to feel good!

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{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

Which means flattering pieces that really motivate me to rock my workout.

I hadn’t tried Lucy before, but was pleasantly surprised by both of these pieces. The Studio Hatha Capri Leggings are really soft and thick, and the stripes are subtle, but still eye-catching. And, luckily, the dreaded leg-expanding effect of some printed leggings wasn’t an issue here.

And this racerback tank?

Obsessed.

There’s a Lucy Activewear in the Embarcadero Center near my office and I can’t wait to go in and grab the tank in every color. It fits like a dream and dried super quickly after a sweat-drenching Ritual Hot Yoga session.

I actually jogged straight from this shoot at Yerba Buena to Ritual in SOMA for a much-needed sweaty workout with blogger babe Champagne For Everyday.

Have YOU tried Lucy Activewear? What do YOU look for in your gym gear?

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Tone It Up // 7 Days of Workouts

While preparing for my Costa Rica adventure I wanted to make sure that I was at my best physically so that I could make the most out of my trip. When you’ve got consecutive days of white water rafting, horseback riding, zip lining, and surfing – You want to feel healthy & strong!

So how did I get ready for the trip?

I turned to the ladies of Tone It Up and their great available-online workouts, along with some other trainer’s workouts that I could mix in over the course of the week.

Read on for a breakdown of my workouts for the 7 days leading up to my trip!

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Saturday:

Sunday:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

The first bullet point for each day is my midday workout – Usually around 12pm – And those are traditionally 15-20 minute circuits plus stretching and rolling out. Classes, the second bullet each day, take place after work and are usually 45-60 minutes.

Yes, it is a lot of exercise, but I also didn’t just jump into it. I regularly do two-a-day workouts Monday through Friday and worked my way up to this kind of activity slowly. I also increase my food intake accordingly – Adding more snacks and increasing the caloric density of my meals.

My goal with sharing this list of workouts is to show you that everyone is different. My activity levels are fairly high, but that’s because (1) working out improves my back pain, and (2) I make fitness a huge priority in life. Like I said in my Social Fitness & Workout Dates post, I enjoy meeting friends for workout classes or hikes instead of dinner or cocktails.

I prioritize my health and my body before a lot of social obligations, which isn’t to say that’s the only approach, it is just how I’m doing things at this point.

Note: If you’re a beginner to fitness or are interested in making big changes to your workout regime, be sure to check in with a doctor to make sure you’re being healthy and safe. 

Do YOU like to prepare for vacations? What does a week of workouts look like for YOU?

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