Where to Find High-Quality, Affordable Workout Gear

If you’re anything like me, you’re always drooling over the Lululemon and Athleta catalogs that turn up in the mail, eyeing all the yogis’ adorable printed leggings on Instagram, and comparing your workout ensemble to everyone else’s on the trail. I know, I know, working out is not about looking cute, but you’ve got to admit: working out is a lot more enjoyable when you feel good about yourself. And there’s no better motivation to get your butt to yoga than having a brand new polka-dotted pair of leggings to show off. Am I right?

Here’s the problem. Motivational or not, a new pair of leggings for a cool $100+ or a fun, bright top for $50+ is just not in my budget, especially when I’m already investing in expensive yoga memberships, race entries, and new Asics twice a year so I don’t end up with club feet and my dad’s knock knees (sorry, dad).

Salar leggings

Ladies, problem solved: FABLETICS. Fabletics is Kate Hudson’s athletic apparel line/monthly membership program. It’s similar to Birch Box, Nature Box (another obsession of mine), etc. in that you sign up as a VIP member and receive monthly benefits. Continue reading

Find Your Perfect Race Training Plan

So you’ve decided to train for a race. You’ve done all the volleying back and forth (do I have enough time? can my body handle it? do I really want to give up my weekend mornings for the next 8-16 weeks?) and settled on YES (which, fortunately, is the best answer 🙂 ). You’ve picked out the perfect race based on your calendar, travel plans, and of course, a preview of the finisher’s medal (that’s why we all run races anyway, isn’t it?). Now, it’s time to pick a training plan.

Here’s where I save you hours of grueling internet research and temporary cross-eye from scanning a million tiny charts of numbers, squinting to determine what sets them all apart. Who has the best running training plans? Hal Higdon.

Hal Higdon is a trainer and former Runner’s World contributor who’s created a fantastic selection of training plans for anything from 5Ks to marathons. Finding one that works for you is like finding something you like on The Cheesecake Factory’s menu: with so many options, there’s got to be something perfect. Continue reading

Why YOU Can Call Yourself a Runner 

It takes a lot for people to qualify themselves as runners. Why, I don’t really know…It’s like the term runner only applies to the elusive human wonders who can run 2-hour marathons. At 5 am. Every day. With ease. And six pack abs.

I, however, have finally allowed myself to be considered a runner. What qualifies me? I run. Simple as that. Not always consistently. Not always long distances. Definitely not always with ease or grace [have you seen Phoebe from Friends run? ]. But I make time for running and use it to set goals and help myself progress in my mental and physical health. So yes, I am a runner. 

I first committed to my running journey in April of 2013, after I had a horribly embarrassing first game on my new social kickball league. Sparknotes version: on my way to first base, I spun to avoid being tagged out and ended up skidding through the dirt, facing the opposite direction I had intended. Lucky ol’ me then got to spend post-kickball social hour at the bar with scrapes up my back and pants chock-full of mulch. Let’s just say this was the final “Jackie, you’re never going to be cut out for team sports” straw. And that night, I signed up for my first half marathon.

While yes, running is a solo event and it doesn’t require hand-eye coordination or team communication, it certainly comes with its own struggles. However, I’ve managed to tackle them and go from a girl who only runs a mile for the state test in gym class (and at a glacial pace, at that), to a girl who runs for *gasp* fun and adventure and well-being. I’ve worked up from 1 mile to 26.2 (actually 27.2 according to my running app, but who’s counting), squashing self-doubt and impressing myself every step of the way. And now, yes, I proudly call myself a runner. And if I can be a runner, so can you.

I’d love to hear your stories! What made you decide to become a runner? Post your stories & motivation in the comments below.  🙂