Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay

July 1, 2013

For years and years, there has always been one place on my travel list that I have wanted to visit. It didn’t matter to me whether is was winter or summer, I just wanted to get there.

Well Lake Tahoe, the time has finally come! Marcus and I arrived on Saturday, and we haven’t stopped since! We had a bright and early 4am wake up call in Tampa to catch our 6:30 flight. We wanted to get to Tahoe as early as possible to have plenty of time to explore. I LOVE spending time outdoors on vacation, and this is the perfect spot.

We ended up finding a place on Airbnb (more on that another day) that is located directly on the lake in South Lake Tahoe. The views are absolutely stunning – it is so strange to have the mix of both beach and mountain. I think we may have found the perfect combination!

Lake Tahoe

We will be gone until Saturday, spending the first half of the week in Lake Tahoe, and then heading over to San Francisco for the second half. We are going to get in as much fresh air and mountain time as possible, and I think we are making a pretty good dent. I started off my day yesterday with a nice and chilly 4 mile run.

Tahoe Run.jpg

The altitude is quite humbling – I’m not sure which is worse, running in the hot hot heat, or at more than a mile above sea level. I was huffing and puffing without a doubt, but it was so worth it. I was up before the rest of the town (hello still being on east coast time!), and really enjoyed the exploration. As soon as I got back to our condo, I showered up, ate some breakfast, and we were off for the rest of the day. Our first stop – Emerald Bay.

Lake Tahoe

It is located in the southwest corner of the lake, and is absolutely stunning. We parked on the top, and hiked our way to the bottom. It wasn’t a strenuous hike, so I highly recommend it if you have kids that can’t make it all that far. It was about 2 miles roundtrip, so it was very doable. There are plenty of trails when you get down to Emerald Bay, so we took advantage of exploring the area while it was still quiet.

Lake Tahoe - Emerald Bay

(Hint: get there before 10am. We were still on east coast time, so we were up bright and early. We got there a bit before 9am, and had no issues parking or with heavy foot traffic. I can’t say the same for people when we left though.)

Since we were in such a beautiful spot at the lake, we decided to rent a couple of kayaks and get in some other activity! Since we can do this in Florida, we decided to rent them for an hour. We have been many times before, but we just wanted to take advantage of another view of the lake. I am so glad we did!


Lake Tahoe Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

After kayaking, Marcus went for a quick swim. There was no way I was getting all the way into the water – it is so cold! He is way braver than I am. Spoiler: he didn’t stay in too long. Even he thought it was a bit too chilly to spend much time in.

Lake Tahoe Marcus

We explored a bit more, and then headed a bit further north to Tahoe City to check it out. It was a super cute little town with lots of restaurants and things to do. I think we will be headed back there later this trip, and I’ll try to actually remember to take a few photos!

Today we are looking forward to some mountain biking, more hiking, and just soaking up as much mountain fresh air as possible! Who said vacations are for relaxation!? Bring on the adventure!

Have you ever been to Lake Tahoe? Any suggestions for must do’s or must eats?

Favorite Running Gear (That Isn’t Shoes!)

June 26, 2013

Pretty much every runner raves about the shoe they wear – it’s kind of an important part of running. But what about everything else? Here are a few of my favorite running items that have nothing to do with footwear.

iPod Shuffle

I’ve been using the iPod shuffle for as long as I can remember. I actually had the frist generation one – USB stick and all! I love how I can fit plenty of music, and it isn’t big and bulky. I slide it right over my waist band, and I am good to go. I never have to fuss with it while I’m running, and it has a pretty great battery life too.

iPod shuffle

Nike Running Hat

I am super picky when it comes to hats – they have to fit perfectly! I found my perfect hat 7 years ago, and have worn it in every race since! My Nike running hat from Gasparilla back in 2006 fits my head like a glove. It doesn’t itch or get bunched up in weird places. It’s like it was meant for my head!

nike Running hat

Lululemon Running Skirts

I absolutely love running skirts from Lululemon! Yes, they are a bit pricier than others, but they fit so amazing! The shorts underneath have anti-slip tabs to make sure they don’t ride up. The best part – they actually work! I never have any sort of chaffing with the running skirt, and its even super functional. All of their skirts have a pocket located for easy access, so I can store my Gu Chomps, a credit card, and usually some chapstick. I wear them in just about every race!

Lululemon Run skirt

Balega Running Socks

These are my latest and greatest obsession. For years, I ran in cotton socks. Little did I know, they are not the ideal sock to run in. Instead of wicking away moisture and bacteria, they actually hold it around your feet. Our shoes are all made up of synthetic material, so wouldn’t we want our socks made of the same thing? They cut down significantly on blisters and chafing too – a win-win in my book!

Balega Running Sock

Under Armour Tank Top

About 6 weeks ago, Under Armour sent me a few items to try. My favorite, hands down, was this crazy light and airy tank top! Usually, I tend to stick to tops that are a little more form-fitting. This is the first one I wore that wasn’t, and I must say, I’m hooked! For these hot summer months, wearing a tank that isn’t hugging every curve is quite refreshing. My body is able to breathe so much more, and I feel like it keeps me quite a bit cooler. I highly recommend this tank!

under armour

Nathan Waterbottle

I know I have mentioned this a few times since it is summer and everyone needs hydration, but I fully endorse the Nathan Quickdraw water bottle. It holds plenty of fluids and has a nice pocket that is perfect to put a few Nuun tablets in to fill up along the run!

Nathan Waterbottle 009

ProCompression Socks

I haven’t been using them as much lately since my long runs are currently non-existent, but I swear by compression socks! I use them in every long run, as well as in every race that is longer than 3 miles. I truly believe in the benefits of compression and recovery. I can feel the difference right after running, and especially the next day when my legs are significantly less sore.

Pro Compression Socks

What is your favorite gear to run in?

My Best Friend’s Wedding

June 25, 2013

I have a confession to make – the past 4 days have included very limited running. I had to throw it to the wayside (other than 2 runs that were 3 miles each) because my best friend got married!

Last summer, around this same time, we witnessed them get engaged. I helped scheme with the groom on how he was going to be able to surprise his bride. Chris and Allison chose Marcus and myself (along with our other friend Mary) to be their Best Man and Matron of Honor. I was so thrilled to have such an important part in the wedding, and thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk down the aisle with my husband again :)

Congrats to the newlyweds! Here is a quick photo montage  of the weekend! Thanks to Ashley for letting me use some of her photos :)

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding 1

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding 2

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Welter Wedding

Congrats Allison and Chris! I wish you both nothing but the best!

How to Survive Summer Running

June 21, 2013
Nathan Waterbottle 010

When people say two these two words, summer running, in the same sentence, I can’t help but cringe. Of course, I absolutely love running and feel blessed to be able to be able to do it day after day, but summer running is very challenging for me. Here are a few ways that I survive running in the summer.

Cut yourself some slack

So many of us are slaves to our Garmins. We watch our pace at every mile, and can become quickly discouraged if we don’t see the ideal pace on the screen. Here is a tip – don’t worry about your pace. Your body will be operating at a slower pace during the summer. The heat causes muscle fatigue much quicker, which in turn, slows down your running considerably. Give yourself a break, and just get out for a run, with no goal pace. Just running is a big accomplishment in the summer heat, regardless of how fast you are going.

Garmin 11 mile run

Get out before the sun

Waking up early and starting your run before the temperatures are at their peak is key. Unfortunately, for those of us that live in Florida, its already 80 degrees before the sun comes up. But even so, 80 degrees is much more tolerable than 90+, with pavement that has been being baked all day. Just the heat radiating from the ground can make a huge difference in how long you are able to last.

Marcus triathlon sunrise

Bring hydration

I was never one to bring water with me on the run – that is, until I trained for the Chicago Marathon in the summer. I found my performance was drastically different on the days I had my Nuun with me, versus the days I did not. I found the Nathan water bottle is best for me, but there are tons of options out there if you don’t like this one. Don’t forget – not only should you bring hydration with you on the run, but also when you are just hanging around. Your body loses a lot of water in the summer trying to keep you cool, running or not.

Nathan Waterbottle 010

Wear loose fitting clothes

I still tend to see people running in heavy cotton tees and gym shorts, and it boggles my mind. If you invest in a few technical workout tops, and some running shorts, you will be shocked how much cooler it keeps you. Cotton keeps in moisture – synthetic fibers wick it away. I am in love with my Under Armour top for running in the heat. It doesn’t stick to my skin, and I really feel a difference when I wear it compared to my tight tank tops. The same goes for your socks. Invest in a few pair of thin running socks. It will keep your feet so much cooler, and in turn, help you to get in a few more miles.

under armour

Dabble in other sports

There will be days when you just do not have the motivation to get out and pound the pavement. Guess what?? That is OK! Don’t run that day. Mental rest is just as important as physical rest from running. Biking and swimming are wonderful summer exercising alternatives, and they actually help your running. Every once in a while, hang up your running shoes for a pair of cycling shoes or a bathing suit. Your body will thank you!

How do you survive running in the summer?

National Guard Soldier of Steel™ Workouts

June 19, 2013

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel™.

As I mentioned last week, we are all looking to vary up our exercise routines. You just can not do the same exercises, day after day, and continue to get good results. Luckily, National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ workout plan is the perfect remedy for those needing some workout inspiration.

Physical fitness is an essential trait for every Soldier. National Guard Soldiers are trained to be ready for anything. Just as Clark Kent transforms into the MAN OF STEEL™ (now playing in theaters) when needed, National Guard CitizenSoldiers transform when their communities call. Mark Twight, Hollywood fitness trainer pushed cast and Soldiers with a unique workout plan, helping them to transform for their respective roles.

Motivated to begin your transformation and train like a Soldier of Steel™? Go to SOLDIEROFSTEEL where you can:

    • Download a one-month training routine developed by celebrity trainer Mark Twight
    • Learn how Mark transformed Henry Cavill into the MAN OF STEEL™
    • Watch fitness training webisodes
    • Receive training tutorials on 23 different exercises

Being a personal trainer, I love having access to fun and different workouts. My favorite aspect of the National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ workout plan is there is plenty of explanation as to how to do each exercise. You don’t just read what you are doing – you get to see it. This is extremely helpful for those just starting a new routine, or even those who are looking to just refine their form.

Fitness Training Soldier of Steel


I had never heard of Mark Twight before looking more into the National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ workout plan. The more I have learned about him, the more I am extremely impressed (and really want to do his workouts!) Here is a quick bio on him:

Mark Twight is the founder of Gym Jones, a strength and conditioning facility where he and his wife, Lisa, train fighters, football players and endurance athletes. Gym Jones is noted for its work training the cast and stunt crew of the movie “300” (2007), “Repo Men” (2010), “MAN OF STEEL™” (2013) and “300: Rise of an Empire” (2013).

One of America’s leading alpinists at the turn of the 21st century, Twight was the first to solo the “Czech Route” on Peak Communism and the fastest to climb “Slipstream,” a three thousand-foot-high waterfall in the Canadian Rockies (in two hours and four minutes; most parties take twelve hours).

Twight aided in the development of the Protective Combat Uniform (PCU) cold weather clothing system, which is currently issued to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) personnel. He teaches climbing, nutrition and fitness to SOCOM operators.

If you are interested to learn more, or  if you have a fitness question for Mark Twight, then you can join the Twitter chat on Thursday, June 20th.  Mark Twight will answer fan questions on the @NationalGuard Twitter handle. Follow the conversation from 3PM EST – 4PM EST at #TwightTakeover.

Have you ever done a military style workout?

I’ve done multiple bootcamps, but that’s really the extent of it for me!