Find Your Strong-Saucony Review

Although I used to be a 100 percent Asics girl, over the past few years, I’ve become a little more brand agnostic

I branched out and tried some Brooks Adrenalines (which weren’t my favorite) and then moved on to some Nikes to train for the San Francisco Marathon last year-

The Nikes even worked well in the portapotty line.

They worked like a dream….then I (or rather my legs) broke down.

After returning to running earlier this year, I decided to come back to Asics and tried the Gel Blur 33, which were a great all around (and very bright) shoe.

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Then earlier this year, I started seeing a lot of buzz about the Saucony Kinvara 4, so I decided to try it out.

And I’m SO happy I did.

FindYourStrong

After months of feeling so-so about running and doing nothing more than three or so miles, I feel like I have found my strong. Okay, the longest run I’ve done is five miles, but that feels like a marathon at this point :)

So you must be wondering what makes these shoes so special aside from the fact that they’re BRIGHT purple.

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Here are a few of the many amazing features that make the Kinvara 4 so amazing:

  •  The booty-No, not that booty. The interior of the Kinvara 4 is constructed so that it has a nice sock-like fit and a HydraMax collar keeps your foot sweat free.
  • Light as a Feather-The Kinvara 4 is made of EVA foam, which is lighter than rubber and helps the shoe clock in at just under 7 ounces.
  • Flex It-The upper of the shoe is constructed of FlexFilm, a strong material that adapts to your foot with fewer layers.

I could go on and on about how much I love my Saucony Kinvara 4s, but we’d be here for days an no one wants that. For more info, click on the image below to check out the official Runner’s World video review-

Check out the review here

Check out the review here

I was not compensated for this review-all opinions are my own!

 

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! This holiday has always been one of my favorites…maybe even better than Christmas. I just love celebrating this fair nation.

'Murca. (This shorts have gotten far too much wear in the past month)

‘Murca 2k12.

I’m off to spend the holiday weekend in Phoenix (yes, I’m unprepared for the heat) with my best friend Kristen!

We’ve been friends since 7th grade (cue the embarassing photos)-

8th grade graduation-glad we're past that stage...and still friends.

8th grade graduation-glad we’re past that stage…and still friends.

 

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High school graduation

and even through multiple moves and being thousands of miles apart, we’ve stayed friends and have pretty much always celebrated the 4th of July together. I had some great pictures of us on the Fourth of July from years past (think American flag manicures, fireworks and ice cream sundaes) but my computer is broken, so this picture of us jumping on the beach in Mexico will have to do-

Still friends in 2013!

Wait a second, you didn’t think I would let you get away without a patriotic workout did you?! It’s a quick one you can do before you set out for your Fourth of July activities.

Fourth of July Workout (1)

Yes, it spells out Fourth of July and yes, I did take a few liberties with the exercise names.

I used 15 pounds for all of the weighted exercises, except for the Y-raise, which required a 10 pounder.

Also, I know there are a few exercises that might be a bit unfamiliar, so here are some how-tos:

Have a FABULOUS Fourth!!

 

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Memorial Day Weekend Wrap-Up

Who else is sad the three day weekend is over?

They always seem to fly by and then it’s back to the grind. In my case it’s only a two day work week since I’m headed back to the east coast on Wednesday afternoon.

Since next week will be filled with Princeton 5th reunion fun, we took it easy this weekend.

The three day weekend started early (yay for a 3 p.m. office close) and I was able to nap before getting an upper body beating at CrossFit. I also found out that evil wheels are indeed evil. HATE them.

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Upper body strength is not my thing.

On Saturday, I dragged my boyfriend to Santa Rosa…for the NorCal Crossfit Regionals!

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Oh hey Annie!

It was so much fun to see some hardcore Crossfitters in action and definitely made me love my new found activity that much more.

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My favorite event was the team event, which my boyfriend and I made a little more entertaining by placing friendly bets on which team would win. My teams won in both cases, so Pat spent time listening to my music on the drive back and will be watching a lot of House Hunters in the coming weeks.

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I just know how to pick the winners :)

Sunday we ventured to Oakland for brunch with a friend at a cool gastropub called Portal, which had a great brunch (I LOVE brunch) menu and a lovely outdoor patio.

Can’t be a Sunday brunch with a view like that! (source)

Then we hit the (mini) links.

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Pitch and putt was not my forte. Let’s say I do not have a future in the LPGA. It was fun to whale on some golf balls though!

To round out a very low key three day weekend, I woke up at 11:22 a.m. (zzzQuil is no joke) on Monday and ventured back to Oakland to run around Lake Merritt with Rosie while we waited for Pat to finish a hockey lesson. I did Sarah Dussault’s 10-20-30 HIIT run along Lake Merritt’s gorgeous running paths. Lake Merritt is an East Bay gem and will always hold a special place in my heart since I lived there for my first few months in California.

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After my run, I had a chance to work on my pet portraiture-

Vogue, betch.

Vogue, betch.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching House Hunters (marathon? yes please!), enjoying burgers indoors (it’s the beginning of the cold SF summers) and  feverishly knitting a baby blanket I’m supposed to send to a friend by the end of the week.

Hope everyone had a GREAT Memorial Day weekend!

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New Abs Circuit

Thursday…so close to the weekend, which will be even better since a) I don’t have to work and more importantly b) it’s supposed to be really warm the rest of this week-

Sunday, why you gotta ruin the party?

Sunday, why you gotta ruin the party?

Anyway, since I spent a fair amount of time getting my ACSM certification, I thought I should use it! I’m going to try to post at least one homemade workout every week, so here’s the first.

Since summer is right around the corner (unless you live in San Francisco and it’s about to get really cold-don’t get me started on summer in San Francisco), I created the following circuit to give your abs a little pick me up.

Quick n Cool AbsMost of the moves are pretty routine except for the fun star, which I learned at my first CrossFit class. “Fun” is not the word I’d use to describe this exercise three rounds in, but it sure works.

So here’s how you do it.

Lie on your back with your hands above your head, feet together and toes pointed.

Contract your abs and make sure your back is firmly pressed into the ground (there should be no space below your lower back).

Squeeze your glutes, lift your right arm and left leg and press off your left forearm to push yourself up to touch your right arm to your left ankle.

 

Yes, my pants are blue.

Yes, my pants are blue and yes my eyes are rolled back in my head.

Return to start.

Complete all reps on the other side and then switch sides.

 

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Working Weekends, Wall Balls and Weekly Eats

Hello! Hope everyone had a great weekend! I feel like working all day Saturday threw me way off, so apologies for the lack of post! At least I got to look at Bill Rancic for a few minutes (one…step…closer to Guiliana) and my friend Caitlin even got to hang out with him for a hot second.

Intuit

Since Saturday was centered on either working or celebrating (a little too much) with work friends, I spent most of Sunday morning like this–

Apparently we slept like this for hours. We like to party hard.

Apparently we slept like this for hours. We like to party hard.

and then spent the rest of the day enjoying the incredibly beautiful SF weather, which left me with no time or desire to prepare meals for the week…so I just did it last night! I wanted to use up the rest of my produce before more arrives tomorrow night, so I made a carrot soup, sweet potatoes, steamed artichokes and oatmeal.

The oatmeal was not photogenic.

The oatmeal was not photogenic.

Meals for days!

Before I got cookin’, I attended my second CrossFit class where I learned some press techniques and then did a mini WOD-

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Don’t let the seemingly low number of eight fool you folks-those eight rounds left me sweaty and spent.  Even though I hit myself in the face with a 14 pound medicine ball (I kind of felt hardcore), I can’t wait to attend my final on-boarding session and start real classes! So there you go, a little bit of this and a little bit of that…just how I like it!

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Upper Body Blast

Good morning!

This morning I’m on the go, so I created a quick workout that would target my arms and also get in some cardio. There’s also a fun lower body blast at the end just for good measure.

Behold the Upper Body Blast.

Upper Body Blast (2)

You can perform it pretty much anywhere using a resistance band or light weights if you have them on hand!

It definitely got me sweaty (I’m sweating all over my computer as I type, but I’ll save you the sweaty selfie) and my arms burning! Also, check out the new “Workouts” tab on the home page for more quick fitness routines (I’m building it out, so bear with me!).

Happy Hump Day!

 

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Slim for Life (and popchips for a month!)

If you’ve ever been here before you know that Jillian Michaels is at the top of my fitness idols list. From her podcasts, to her workouts to her epic return to the Biggest Loser, I love everything about her.

That’s why I was over the moon when popchips asked me if I would take a look at Jillian’s new book, Slim for Life. They obviously didn’t know who they were dealing with.

As if I weren't enough of a stalker already.

There was a lot of Jillian in my life this month-as if I weren’t enough of a stalker already.

The book is a compendium of fitness, nutrition, weight loss and general lifestyle tips that Jillian has accumulated throughout her career and is intended for people with all levels of fitness knowledge-there were a ton of tips that I had never even heard before! Each tip comes with a point value-three points indicates a tip that is worth picking up, two points is for tips that are nice to adopt and one is take it or leave it. At the end of the book, you add up your points to determine how to fine tune your “slim strategy” and set yourself up for success. Some of my favorite tips:

  • Shout it from the Mountaintops (3 pts.)-If you’re about to eat something you know you’ll regret later,like a huge bag of chips, before you mindlessly down it, stop and say out loud: “I’m eating this entire bag of chips because I’m bored, sad, mad, [insert emotion here], and I’m not even hungry.” Chances are if you do this you’ll think better of your decision. Sometimes when you bring things out into the open…it takes you to a place of reason and logic.
  • Pick Your Battles (2 pts.)-Find a group of restaurants you like, and make them your go-to spots. This way you build an arsenal of places where you know there’ll be healthy things to eat.
  • Get Your Back (3 pts.)-Be your own best friend…Put yourself in the best position to succeed…Look at all the things you do for your parents, kids, significant other or best friend…Now I want you to make a conscious effort to treat yourself in the exact same loving and giving ways.

What I really like about the book offers an array of tips and is structured to so that everyone can pick out and use the tips that work best for their lifestyle. I also like that the book is definitely written in Jillian’s no B.S. voice.

The icing on top of the cake?

I GOT A SIGNED COPY OF JILLIAN’S BOOK.

The icing on top of the icing on top of the cake?

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You get a chance to win one too! PLUS a month’s supply of popchips.

I must say, I’m quite jealous.

Here’s what you have to do to win. Click this link and do one (or all) of the following:

  • Mandatory: Leave a comment sharing one of your personal tips that helps keep you healthy and happy.
  • For +1 entry, tweet: “Love @popchips & @jillianmichaels? Win @popchips & her book from @daniellewolfe! Enter here http://wp.me/p37JN1-PkPEj”
  • For +1 entry, follow me (@daniellewolfe) on Twitter.

The contest is open until next Wednesday, March 27th. Good luck!

 

 

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Tuesday Twofer

Someday I’m going to run out of witty, alliterative titles.

But today is not that day.

First off in the present package is yesterday’s workout.

I only had about an hour at home before I had to head out to dinner with my dad, so who to rely on but my main girl Jillian Michaels. This workout is from Health Magazine’s latest issue (Miss Jillian graces the cover) and she does not disappoint.

Jillian’s workout is circuit based and consists of seven exercises that get your muscles moving and your heart pumping if done one after the other. The article suggests doing each exercise for thirty seconds, repeating the circuit twice, but being the overachiever that I am, I did the circuit four times, which provided a more than sufficient sweat session.

Get the full workout here (source)

Get the full workout here (source)

Then I followed it up with a Tone It Up’s “Love Your Abs” circuit just to feel a little extra burn.

The beach is coming all too soon (source)

So there’s one present (or two if you count each workout), and here’s another.

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Justin’s back (source)

Justin Timberlake’s new album. Yes folks, iTunes is streaming it free and I’m jamming along as I type. Even though it took me a while to get used to “Suit and Tie”, it’s now on my running playlist, so you can guess how I feel about it now. While the album shows off a mellower and softer JT (he is a married man now) and it will probably never occupy the spot forever reserved in my heart for “Future/Sex Love/Sounds”, there are a few songs that I liked at first listen (Strawberry Bubblegum and That Girl). I’ll definitely have take a few more listens to get used to the new tracks (a la the aforementioned Suit & Tie), but I could see myself just pressing play on this album and getting in the long haul cardio zone…or the “Hey boy, I’m lookin’ at you” zone. Either way, you can consider me a music critic now.

Oh and by the way, stay tuned for a third (maybe Thursday?) present. Hint: My main girl Jills will play an integral role :) Yes, I am now permanently referring to her as my main girl Jills.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Tuesday Tunes

I recently decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to Spotify premium (welcome to 2013 Dani!) and so far I’m extremely pleased!

I upgraded mainly because I’m constantly changing my playlists and having new songs at my disposal (along with some standby jams) keeps my workouts fresh and my song spending in check. Since I now have all of my favorite songs at my beck and call, I thought the least I could do is share the playlist I used for a recent run, which also includes one of my new favorites, which wouldn’t load to the online list (I’m still figuring out the swing of things).

Anyway, take a listen by clicking the image below!

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Listen here!

What can I say, I like the top 40. Pop songs always get me moving.

What’s on your workout playlist?

 

 

 

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Fantastic February

First off, how is it Friday already?!

Second, it’s already March?!

2013 seems to be speeding by!

Tina always does monthly round ups of her favorite moments from the past month, which is something I’ve always admired and wanted to do but the first of the month always seems to sneak by. Not this time my friends…not this time.

 

So here’s a look back at some of my favorite February posts.

 

It’s Christmas in February…an AMRAP holiday workout that you can do any time of the year.

12 Days of Christmas WOD

 

What I’ve been up to lately…and why the posts were a little spotty in February.

 

February was the month for hopping on…falling off….and hopping back on the Daily Burn Challenge wagon.

That's Anja asking me to push harder (source)

And I’m back in the daily burn game! (source) 

Of course the past month was full of recipes of all kinds-desserts, dinners and everything in between.

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Plus I got to try out a new gadget (update coming soon!)

Fuelband

Hope your February was fabulous (had to!) and your March is even better!

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