First things first, drum roll please! The winner of the Ghirardelli chocolate giveaway is…
Congratulations, Krisi! Just send me an email with your address so we can get your goodies in the mail
Moving right along, this weekend was such a fun-filled, extremely busy weekend that I’m going to break it up into sections. So let’s travel back in time to Friday, shall we? I woke up bright and early with my bag already packed and ready to go, then carried it up to work. Let me tell you, taking a packed suitcase through the metro system is not fun at all. Especially in rush hour when everyone’s trying to get to work. Some people are just plain grumpy. No bueno.
But I got to work, knocked stuff off of my to-do list left and right, then boarded my direct flight from JFK. I made sure to have the essentials ready to go:
A book, magazine and Ghirardelli chocolate. Yum. Unfortunately, we ended up on the plane for an hour before we actually took off, so I finished my book, half of my magazine and a quarter of my chocolate (it wasn’t full when I got on the plane) before we even got in the air. Good thing I had backup material.
My iPod ended up being great entertainment and I read through the latest issue of FITNESS, Self and Runner’s World by the time we touched down in San Francisco. Phew. I tried my hardest to stay awake the whole flight so that I would sleep well and suffer less jet lag. Mission accomplished. I got to our hotel, ate some food and promptly passed out in my comfy bed.
The next morning I woke up to this beautiful sight:
You just don’t get that in New York! Maybe it’s childish, but I always get giddy whenever I see palm trees. It just screams vacation to me.
Jenna and I spent most of the morning and early afternoon wandering around Union Square, either exploring the area or working. We bought some goodies at Niketown and headed over to the expo.
There was a lot of cool stuff going on throughout the expo, including Run the Runway and Neutrogena makeup consultations. It was very clear that this race was for women. After picking up some stuff, Jenna and I discovered the best thing going on in the whole tent.
Spin for a smoothie! Hop on the bike, spin away and you power the blender to create your own smoothie. Yum!
At least I can say I’ve technically spun in jeans and boots now. But I think I’ll stick to workout clothes. Heh.
Some more fun at the expo…
Jenna and I walked around the city some more and ended up spotting a bright patch of grass in the distance. Like a moth to a flame, Jenna and I rushed over to see what it was. We rarely get to see nature living in the city, so we were hoping to find something good.
We ended up finding Yerba Buena Gardens!
It was so pretty! Everyone was just lounging around, enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. It reminded me of our parks back home, but a bit on the smaller side. Small is never a bad thing!
There was a waterfall that ended up being the perfect spot for us to relax and have some cool water sprinkle us.
Finally, we went back to the expo because we had some work to do. And by work, I mean interview running phenoms Kara Goucher and Joan Benoit Samuelson! They were both super cool and very down-to-earth. I loved getting to know them a little bit more and hanging out for a few minutes.
The rest of the night entailed a pre-race dinner filled with typical carbo-loading and then an early night. Until next time…
The other day Libby and I exercised our rule to test out a new restaurant per week. We’ve been really good about following our respective budgets, and we haven’t even been dining out every week like we originally set our limits at. But after some time at the farmer’s market, our tummies started rumbling and we decided to check out a new-to-us Mexican restaurant with some friends.
Welcome to El Cantinero near Union Square, my friends.
We got a table in their garden rooftop, which was nice and breezy on the warm summer day we were having. I love all of the decorations and I love that it was in a garden, as opposed to another plain ole’ rooftop. This one had some spunk and I liked it
I also liked the company I had with me.
Shh…Libby says she loves making appearances on my blog. I keep telling her to start one herself so we can show her some love too!
We also had some of Libby’s really good friends, Jane and Darly, join us.
We kicked off the meal by ordering a pitcher of sangria to share. I love sangria simply because I love eating the fruit after my glass is empty. Am I the only one?
Either way, we all thought the sangria was delicious. We each had two glasses and left fully content.
Our food was good too! It wasn’t the best Mexican food I’ve had in my entire life, but it satisfied my cravings and the price was just right.
I ordered a beef taco with rice and black beans. The meal originally came with refried beans, but I swapped those out. I tried to switch my cheesy rice out for brown rice, but for some reason they wouldn’t let me. That’s my only real complaint. But I gobbled up the rice anyway. Love me some rice.
The other girls also ordered tacos and enjoyed their meals just as much. The waiter was really accommodating for Libby’s diet restrictions (no dairy) and she got exactly what she wanted too. We’ll be back!
In other news, I got to spin with two of my favorite Biggest Loser girls again tonight, with one of my all-time-favorite instructors, Jenny!
The FITNESS staff took a little field trip to SoulCycle to spin with our September cover girls. We were able to bring along some readers too, and I finally got to meet Theodora, Margo and Jess in person! Unfortunately, I didn’t snag a photo. Bad blogger. Next time, I promise! But the class was still awesome. Jenny knows what beats to play and she won my heart when she played a Backstreet Boys throwback to tackle a hill. Holla at my boy bands!
Anyone else love boy bands? I still can’t get enough of the Backstreet Boys, and am not ashamed to admit I still listen to N*SYNC and NKOTB now and again.
I love the weekends simply because I’m free to roam about the city and get things done without any pressure. I had planned on going for a long run this morning, but Taboo and friends kept me up until 2 a.m., so when my alarm clock sounded off, I rolled over and hit the snooze button. So instead, I immediately embraced my leisurely weekend attitude and decided to switch things up.
First up: Friends and I headed down to Union Square to hit up the farmer’s market. I LOVE the farmer’s market. The produce is so much better and oftentimes much cheaper. I’m sticking to a tight budget though, so I just picked up some cucumbers to enjoy with hummus, feta cheese and chickpeas for lunch all next week
Although there were these pretty pepper trees that tempted me.
Too bad I don’t have a green thumb and would kill it in less than a week.
We found a truck that was giving out free iced tea and iced coffee too. It was some company that was trying to get people to sign up for an HP product. I don’t get the correlation, but I got a free iced tea without signing up for anything. Win!
It was exactly the refresher I needed.
My tummy started grumbling at the sight of all the food in the market, so I quickly realized my budget was not too tight for a 16 Handles trip. After all, we were only about six blocks away from the delicious treat and I soon found out that Jake and Victoria had never experienced this fro-yo. Say no more!
They were fans.
I had a mix of red velvet, peanut butter and birthday cake, with a myriad of toppings. Blueberries, strawberries, brownie bits and Reese’s pieces. Yum.
Here’s a question: how do you pronounce Reese’s pieces? I’ve heard people pronounce it REE-SEE-’S PEE-SEES, and others say it just like you would say Reese’s peanut butter cup. I catch myself switching between the two all of the time.
This has nothing to do with pronunciation, but I always loved this Reese’s commercial. Did you have a favorite?
Now I’m off to do some Bikram yoga…I’m a newbie, so this will be interesting. Especially because it’s so hot today. But I’ve been drinking water all day (excuse me as I chug some more) in preparation, so hopefully it will be a pleasant experience. I’ll be sure to report back later!
I’ve also been cooking up an awesome new workout playlist. A mix of new hits and oldies but goodies. After all, you always need the best of both worlds, right?
How’s your Saturday going? What do you think of Bikram yoga?
Happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like kickin’ off the week with a fantastic workout.
That’s exactly what I did this morning when I trekked down to Union Square for an 8 a.m. spin class at SoulCycle.
I met up with my friend Jenna bright and early to get our sweat on. She loves SoulCycle and I enjoyed it when I went for a class last summer, so I figured I’d pair up with her for my next few sessions. I got some gift certificates for the studio, so I’m putting them to good use! Plus, I need to get as many free workouts as I can…I simply can’t afford a gym membership right now.
Anyway, it felt great to do something other than running! I’ve always loved spinning, but haven’t been able to take a class since I graduated from college back in May. I love that SoulCycle turns off the lights and the whole class is lighted only by candle light. My instructor, Clare, had the perfect amount of intensity, encouragement and mental grit pulsating through the room and I really pushed myself to the limit.
Everything about this class was great. The upper body exercises we incorporated into a few songs, the music itself, the energy in the room and the level to which I pushed myself. It was all phenomenal. I felt like I was letting go of all of the stress I had been dealing with and just focused on the burn in my muscles, the sweat dripping down my face and the force of my legs pushing the wheel round and round. It was cathartic.
Whoever thinks spinning is just a workout is crazy.
Or maybe I am. I’m not sure which one is right, but I’m going to say the former.
Regardless, I felt amazing after the workout. I forgot to take a picture, but I’ll be sure to include some sweaty goodness for you tomorrow.
However, I did remember to take a picture after I was dressed for work. I get ready so much faster when I don’t have my computer distracting me.
This is new dress numero uno! I’m in love with it and got it at H&M for only $34.95!
How was your Monday? How do you feel about spinning?