Tag Archives | Fitness

Kaiser Half Marathon

I was excited to kick of 2017 on a healthy note by running the Kaiser Half Marathon on February 5th.

After getting the bug last year, I ended up running four races in 2016: The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Run, The San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10, and the Golden Gate Half Marathon.

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Read on to see what I thought of this one and how it compared to last year’s races!

  • Course: I haven’t had a chance to do much running in Golden Gate Park {other than crossing the San Francisco Half Marathon’s finish line}, so it was really fun to get a change of scenery for this race. The first half of the course was around the park and then there was a stretch on the Great Highway with really breathtaking views. And – Bonus – This was without a doubt the flattest course I’ve ever run!
  • Organization: Very well run – No pun intended. Tons of staff to answer questions and hand out water cups and cheer for runners. And, I have to say, this is the first finisher shirt that I’m actually keeping. Usually the sleeves or the torso are too short, but this long-sleeved tee is perfect!
  • Race Day Vibes: It was a big crowd and everyone was packed in to hear the introduction and watch the 5K runners take off. The Half Marathon started with lots of excitement and the course was great since it offered a chance to see the leaders head back towards the finish line. It kept me going to see the top runners push themselves and getting cheered forward!
  • Personal Performance: Between the Golden Gate Half Marathon and this race, I moved from Telegraph Hill to South Beach. Which means that I started running exclusively on flat roads – Virtually no hills or trails. I was very curious to see how (or if) that would impact my race time. Luckily, there was only a little elevation for this race, so I was able to take nearly 10 minutes off my time.

Side note: I didn’t do extensive training to shave time off, I was just feeling the race day vibes at the start and kept pushing myself. When you’re running you need to be sure that you’re listening to your body and not pushing beyond your capabilities. Your body can take a lot of punishment, but you don’t want to cause injuries.

What’s YOUR first goal for 2017? What’s on the calendar for you this year?

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MCLV Style: Warriors Pride | Culk

I love getting a chance to support Bay Area companies AND I’m a big fan of the Warriors – So I jumped at the chance to work with San Francisco based company Culk.

Their products are designed and created here in San Francisco by graphic designer and screen printer Sam Culkins, and they’ve produced some great designs. From t-shirts and tank tops to sweatshirts and accessories – They’ve got something for everyone – Women, men & kids.

Golden State Warriors Culk Sam Culkins Athleisure Basketball Game Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Warrior’s Muscle Tee c/o Culk

Black Capri Length Pants – Banana Republic Factory

Black Blazer c/o Tobi

Striped Pumps – Seychelles {And here’s the open-toed version}

Golden State Warriors Culk Sam Culkins Athleisure Basketball Game Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

Golden State Warriors Culk Sam Culkins Athleisure Basketball Game Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

I originally thought this Warriors tank would be the perfect top for the gym, but when it arrived it was such a pretty shade of blue that I decided I wanted to dress it up a bit.

This is my version of fashionista-goes-to-a-basketball-game style! Cute but comfortable, and totally functional. I’ve worn a variation of this look to many a football and basketball game over the years. It’s basically my game day uniform.

Do YOU like to shop local?

{Disclaimer: While this t-shirt was a gift from Culk, all opinions – Of which I have many – Are my own}

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Therapeutic Massage & Recovery

A massage can be relaxing. It can be luxurious. It can be indulgent.

And while I like to show myself some love with body treatments, these days I’ve been turning to massage for restorative purposes. Massage is a wonderful way to promote recovery – It loosens your muscles, increases blood flow, and when integrated properly, it can reduce soreness so that you can put in more time training.

When I’m training for a race – Like the Kaiser Half Marathon earlier this month – Massage becomes an important part of my training regime.

I’m excited to be partnering up with massage therapist Deidre Corda to chat about how massage can be used to improve recovery.

MCLV: Can you tell everyone a bit about your company, what you offer, and your specialties?

Deidre: The short answer is: I offer in-home massages that are 100% personalized. Because every session is personalized and includes a variety of techniques, I only charge based on the length of the session, not based on which techniques I use. Charging more for a deep tissue or sports massage versus a Swedish is ridiculous!

Right now my client base is pretty equally divided among athletes, frequent travelers and moms! It’s a pretty diverse group which keeps it interesting. The travelers are particularly interesting to me at the moment. I’ve been studying up on the best ways to regain and maintain balance despite the negative effects that travel has on the body (muscle fatigue, sickness, anxiety, digestive issues, etc).

A good example of a session with me (here comes the long answer!) is my “traveler’s massage. It varies from client to client, day-to-day, but usually it consists of deep tissue and stretching to combat muscle fatigue from things like extra walking, weird beds or cramped travel situations. Lymphatic drainage massage is used to stimulate the lymph to ensure the immune system has a properly flowing waste removal system. The drainage also works wonders for sinus pressure! I balance all of that out with Swedish massage and restorative energy work to make sure my clients can sink deeply into relaxation and calm any anxieties they might have. That’s all in one session by the way!

MCLV: I’ve always appreciated the restorative effects of massage – Can you walk us through how massage can be used as a tool to aid in muscle recovery?

Deidre: Sure! But let’s get something out-of-the-way first, our bodies have every intention of healing themselves and correcting imbalances, but sometimes they need a little reminding.

The most important task of a massage therapist is to get the client to fully relax and surrender. This relaxation state is known as the parasympathetic nervous system which is the opposite of what we have turned on for 90% of our waking hours (“fight or flight”). All you need to do is breath and focus on letting go.

Once the client has dropped into the parasympathetic, we can literally feel the muscles melting as we sink deeper to find adhesions, tension, scar tissue, muscles that are firing even when they aren’t being used, etc. We use different techniques to release and bring attention to these areas of discomfort. It’s really all about awareness and being present with your body in order to heal.

Therapeutic Massage Recovery Training Running Runner FitLife San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Tea Relax Destress


MCLV: How often would you recommend getting massages during an intense training program? How often for someone who works out regularly but isn’t necessarily pushing their body to the limits regularly?

Deidre: Our bodies need consistency in order to integrate massage and not bounce back to their previous state in a day or 2. This is why frequency with massage is so important. It doesn’t really matter how intense your workouts are, if you aren’t getting massage regularly, you will need to start with at least bi-weekly or weekly sessions until you start to feel that the effects of the massage don’t just disappear after a few days.

Once your body is integrating the bodywork, you can alter your schedule based on your work out routine. If it is an intense program, you will benefit from keeping up with at least 2 massages per month. Otherwise, monthly would be the minimum.

One note on working out and deep tissue massage: do not request deep tissue when you are sore (I mean really sore, not just a little muscle fatigue). A lot of clients think they need deep tissue massages right after an intense workout, but because of the micro-tears in their muscles from the work out, deep tissue massage will have a negative effect. It will only cause more harm to the muscle fibers and potentially increase inflammation and prolong the soreness.

MCLV: In your experience, what’s the best way to integrate massage into a healthy life? Would you recommend anything before or after to improve the results? (water, stretching, food etc)

Deidre: Integration is the key! Like I said previously, frequency is the first step. Getting a massage once in a blue moon expecting it to “fix” your discomfort is like eating a salad once and thinking you’re going to suddenly have your dream body. That’s not how bodies work.

Water is always the #1 recommendation after a massage. Not because it flushes out toxins or lactic acid, those claims are unfounded, but simply because your body and your muscles need water in order to function. If they can’t function, they definitely won’t be able to heal.

Another key is taking time to relax before and after your massage. This is one of the main reasons I offer in-home massages! You are already relaxed in your own home and after the session you don’t have to switch over to high alert mode to battle traffic or take public transportation. Unfortunately, this sudden change can sometimes undo the work on the table.

As for stretching, that depends largely on what issues you have and what your body is up to. I always talk to my clients about home care and ways to prolong the benefits of each session. That might be stretching, heat, ice, movement, more/less frequent sessions, shorter sessions, longer sessions etc.

I really loved hearing her answers – Especially about frequency and developing a routine. I’m also thrilled to share that Deidre has a referral program! If you refer a friend, you both get $25 off a massage! You can reach out to her at massage@deidrecorda.com.

What do YOU think – Would you turn to a massage therapist to help with recovery?

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2017 Fitness Adventures: Love Story Yoga

After starting an ambitious new project last year called 2016 Fitness Adventures with fellow Bay Area healthy living blogger Jill from Champagne for Everyday, I’m thrilled to say that we’re back at it!

Welcome to the first post of our 2017 Fitness Adventures!

Today I’m here to share my thoughts on the new Love Story Yoga studio in the Mission. The studio was co-founded by Lululemon Global Yoga Ambassador Stephanie Snyder and is more than just a yoga studio – It’s a hub for San Francisco’s yoga community with classes, teacher training, events, and workshops.

Love Story Yoga 2017 Fitness Adventures Champagne for Everyday San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger FitLife Yoga Pose

The Low Down:

I headed over to the studio on a Sunday morning – It’s on Valencia and 16th, a block from the 16th Street Mission BART station, and a ~30 minute fast walk from my new South Beach pad.

The studio itself is really spacious {especially for San Francisco!} with two floors of bright, loft-like space and a warm, welcoming seating area when you enter.

There’s also a changing area with lockers and showers downstairs for getting ready for class or cleaning up afterwards.


I took the Vinyasa Flow Level 1/2 and it was just what I needed – Restorative and uplifting. The studio is heated just enough for a good sweat without being overpowering, and the instructor was sweet, helpful, and easy to follow. They offer various level classes, as well as teacher training, so you can find the one that’s a good fit for you.

I was two weeks out from a race and sore from running and cross training – The class offered the perfect amount of stretching and relaxing. I felt empowered and ready to tackle the day when I finished!

Love Story Yoga 2017 Fitness Adventures Champagne for Everyday San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger FitLife Yoga Pose


While I haven’t given all the classes a try yet, I found the Level 1/2 Vinyasa Flow to be exactly what I needed. It was restorative for my body and the perfect mental escape to start off the day. The studio is easy to get to and welcoming, and you can rent mats and towels if you don’t feel like bringing anything with you or if you’re popping in after work.

Definitely a Must Try if you’re a Bay Area yoga lover!

Miss out on our 2016 Adventures? Check them out below:

What’s YOUR favorite Bay Area yoga studio? Any classes I should try?

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MCLV Style: Valentine’s Day Style

While I’m not a huge fan or devoted celebrator of Valentine’s Day – I am a HUGE fan of dressing up. And I’ll take any excuse I can get.

Valentine's Day Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Faux Leather Leggings – BCBGMAXAZRIA

Red Mixed Media Crewneck Tunic – Two by Vince Camuto

Faux Leather Sleeved Coat – Aqua by Bloomingdale’s {Similar styles here & here}

Black Patent Leather Pumps – Giuseppe Zanotti

Striped Tote Bag – Kate Spade New York

Valentine's Day Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

Valentine's Day Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Since I have no pink in my wardrobe, which I realized when getting ready for the Bay Area Women’s March, I went a splash of red when I put together my Valentine’s Day look.

I was drawn to the idea of adding some edge to my look to keep it from being too saccharine. I know Valentine’s Day can call to mind hearts and ruffles and ultra feminine pieces, but I decided to juxtapose the red tunic against black faux leather.

You could easily make this more casual by switching out the killer patent leather pumps for booties or a cute pair of red flats.

And, truth be told, this doesn’t have to be a date night look. I for one have spent a few of my most memorable Valentine’s Days with my girlfriends. 🙂

So, whether you’re aiming for date night slink or girls night out glam – Have a blast!

What are YOU wearing for Valentine’s Day? Do you have a favorite nighttime look this time of year?

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