Confessions…

Since I’m finally back at work, I thought I should probably pop in and write a blog post or something :P

It’s weird to think it’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted on a regular basis. I certainly didn’t plan for this to happen, but sometimes life happens. By life I mean taking a two week vacation, coming back to an extremely time sensitive work project, moving by oneself and then returning to “normal” life. Whatever the heck normal even is.

So, since I’m back (I hope!) I thought I should pop in for some Hump Day Confessions.

Vodka and Soda
 
 
I haven’t read a blog since June.
Normally I’m all about the blog reading, but being off a normal schedule means I haven’t been staring at my computer screen for 8+ hours a day and that turned into not reading blogs.
Sometimes I’d try to read them in bed, but I’ve conditioned myself to fall asleep within 20 minutes of crawling into bed. This means it takes me for-freaking-ever to read a book since I’ll read 10 pages and start falling asleep.
 
I’ve ran twice in July
One of those times was a 3.5km run and a 3.5km walk back to my car because I felt like garbage. 
Oh yeah, and Seawheeze is in a month, so that’ll be interesting.
Whoops.
 
I bought myself a present
Since I spent a bazillion dollars on new furniture, I wasn’t planning on spending any more money, but as I was walking through the mall at lunch today (bad idea, Ange) a certain purse stopped me dead in my tracks.
No joke. I straight up stopped, turned around, looked at it again and went into the store.
She’s my new best friend. I may have to sleep with her tonight :) 
 

Moving sucks
I know, I know, you’re all rolling your eyes at that. I get it. I do. I just thought I should state the obvious here. Moving sucks at the best of times. I ended up with too few boxes and did the dump and repack method which is obviously highly inefficient.
I’m heading back today for my wine (whee!) and will deal with my storage unit on Sunday and the be DONE. I also decided to hire people to clean the place because no. Just. No.

What do you have to confess today?

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Cowgirl Returns

Ummmmm.

Hi?

Did you miss me?

Wait, maybe I don’t want you to answer that ;)

I’m officially back from my wonderful two week vacation. If you followed along I’m sure you saw numerous pictures of beaches and maybe one or two of the wineries.

Although I’m back from vacation, I feel like I’ve been thrown into a bit of a tornado for the next 10 or so days. My original plan was to have a relatively easy week back, but I’ve now been put on a very interesting (and very busy) special project at work for the next week or so. I’m also planning on packing my crap belongings this week so I can start moving all non-furniture items over the weekend and my furniture on Monday.

So.

If I’m slightly MIA over the next week or so, please forgive me. It’s not that I don’t love this space. I do. I truly, truly do.

It’s just that I need to make sure my life (you know, that silly off-line one) is in order before I can focus on my on-line life.

…..if that makes sense…….

While my return may be temporarily sporadic (kind of like my current blog host) never fear, I shall return with stories and pictures of my move and vacation.

Until then, enjoy this wonderful picture of Maverick and Merlin watching the birds while at my dad’s place.

Morning lookout #dailymerlin #dailymaverick #catsofinstagram

 

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Warm up for runners

Good happy Friday morning!

As this goes live I’m starting my 7 hour drive from Kelowna back to Calgary. It’ll be a bit of a rushed day as I have concert tickets for 7:30 at Stampede and I can’t freaking wait!

I have to say these two weeks have been absolutely wonderful. Sometimes it’s so nice to relax and unplug and just be.

I haven’t been running much on my vacation, but once I start up, I’m definitely going to be incorporating these exercised from Suz to help keep myself injury free!

Have a fabulous weekend and I’ll be back early next week :)

***

Well, hello, there! I am Susie, also known as Suz, and I typically wreak havoc on the world at Suzlyfe.com, but for some reason Ange doesn’t like you and asked me to take over for the day. Which I am more than just a bit excited about. For the uninitiated, I am a runner, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, former competitive equestrienne, yogi, foodie, and ice-cream-eater extraordinaire. For more about me, please come over here and visit!

 lake front selfie ed

I think that we can all agree that running might be one of the most infuriating activities that we, as fitness enthusiasts, can engage in. For some, running is effortless–some people can run for years with bad form, no cross-training, and shoes that are completely wrong for them, and with no recourse. For others (cough), we have to fight for our right to abuse ourselves and the pavement/trails.

Say we fall into the latter category (again, cough)–what can we do? How can we be proactive in our fight against injury and time out of our trainers? Proper nutrition and learning to listen to our bodies is key, as is proper training progression, good shoes, proper form, and cross training. These are all great, and invaluable, components of solid training. But you will learn the hard way that they alone will not keep you of the DL.

Talk to a running coach and you will hear, time and again, that many of the most prevalent running-related injuries can be tied back to a weak core and improper glute activation. Unfortunately, though, hitting the weights on your non-running days will only get you so far–you may still suffer from ITB injury, strained hamstrings, and overtaxed achilles if you are unable to get your (strong!) booty activated and working for you, not just sitting and looking pretty. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is a proper warm-up routine that gets your body prepped and activated for the work ahead.

So, here is a sample Runner’s Warm Up routine that aims to stretch, activate, and begin to engage your booty, hips, calves and ankles (for more ankle activation tips, please feel free to contact me!).

You will need: a therapy band, foam roller/lacrosse ball, and open area to lay down on.

Be forewarned–the lacrosse ball, though cheaper than the foam roller, is much more acute, both with regards to the area that it works on as well as the amount of pressure. If you have never done any SMR work before, start with a dense-foam roller, then progress to a Trigger Point. With the ball, start with a tennis ball, then move to a lacrosse ball. The lacrosse ball is a great option for travel, as well as for those with either very large/dense musculature or with muscles in need of release that are very deep. When I am just starting to get loose, I gradually increase the pressure and decrease the amount that I move around on the roller/ball, thereby increasing the overall intensity. When I get to the point of just pressing without moving, I start to flex/extend my knee (when pressure is on my quad/ITB) or my foot (when I am putting pressure on my peronneal tendon or calf)

Time needed: At least 15 minutes. Speed is not the objective here–focus on proper form, engagement, and mobility.

Notes: I do the first 2 phases without shoes, and the third portion with my shoes on.

3 Phases: 1) Self Myofascial Release     2) Engagement and Mobility     3) Dynamic Stretching/Activation

1) Self Myofascial Release (Visit here for more information)

I honestly like to do this while I’m catching up on my blog work–laptop on lap, ball under leg, coffee + bagel to the side. I start with my calf, then my hamstring. Then I roll out my ITB and quad with the roller.

Next, I release my back (this facilitates glute activation. Further, we all know that we sit a lot, we care stress in our lower backs, and if we don’t have sufficient core strength, our backs suffer. Plus, it hurts so goooood).

Lay down, ball underneath your lower lats (if your spine was a hot dog, the pillowy bun-like muscles on either side. Gentle at first, then increase intensity and pressure. Then I move the ball to my glutes, and focus on the areas that are the most tight and tender, but don’t force things to the point that there is real, honest to god pain. You want the muscle to release (autogenic inhibition), so give it at least 30 seconds to do so! I finish out with knee to chest, hug, then gentle supine twist (repeat each side, generally I will get a pop or two from my lower back as I turn).

2) Engagement/Mobility

Still with me? Great! Now it is time for the preventative therapy + active engagement and mobility portion. This will strengthen your supportive muscles, help to engage your glutes, flexor/extensor muscles, and open your range of motion. These can be done with or without a therapy band (I popped mine, SO BEEFY and I still do them sans band)

Clams (2-3×10)

Reverse Clams (2-3×10)

clams reverse suzlyfe

90/90/90 Hip Mobility (10x for each movement)

hip 90 90 90 suzlyfe

Therapy Band Ankle Mobility (10x each direction)

ankle mobility grid suzlyfe

3) Dynamic Stretch and Activation (shoes on, before I head out the door)

Low lunge, press back to standing half split, return to low lunge, kneeling warrior, kneeling warrior with hip flexor extension and gentle rotation (both sides, 15-30 s in each pose)

Golf Ball Pick Ups (3 directions, 10x)

Golf ball pick ups grid suzlyfe

RDLS (Romanian Dead Lifts) (10x)

rdl add squat suzlyfe grid

Adductor Squat (10x)

Ankle rotations, Standing quad and calf stretches

Out the door and on to my run!

Sure, I may seem like a lot, and I will admit, it is. But if you wake up stiff, have poor glute activation, and little time during the rest of your day to focus on your preventative therapy, it is a great option! The time investment is worth it, folks. It is fair cheaper to be proactive and preventative than to be injured.

Additional resources:

10 Self Myofascial Release Exercises for Runners

This is a great post on ways to stretch out your feet–yes, your feet! I personally have very stiff arches, so you better believe I roll my foot around on the lacrosse ball!

I am a Certified Personal Trainer but am not a Physical Therapist. Please check with your own physical/therapist before taking this or any other advice. Focus on proper form and always heed your body’s personal warning signals.

Thank you so much for listening, and I hope that you found this helpful! You can find me  at http://suzlyfe.com on twitter @Suzlyfe Instagram @the_suzlyfe Pinterest @suzlyfe and via email suzlyfe (at) gmail (dot) com.

What does your warm up look like? Do you have a system? What do you do to prevent injury?

 

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Run Streaks – Yay? or Nay?

I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce ya’ll to Salt (or, Lauren, as her birth certificate reads) as my next guest blogger. She recently killed her first marathon and even got a tattoo to commemorate it. I’m a bit obsessed with tattoos as I’ve wanted one for ages but have been far too chicken (so far) to pull the trigger on it.


Hiya Cowgirl fans! I’m Salt and I’m so honored to be posting in Ange’s absence while she takes a well deserved vacation that I’m totally jealous of. As I’m writing this post, I’ve already been trying to get my toddler to go to bed for over an hour…please help me.

When she asked me if I would like to fill in on her blog for a day I was so excited, but also so nervous. What was I going to talk about on here? I’m a runner who has logged a fair amount of miles, but I’m certainly not ultramarathoner status like Ange is. The mileage she had to put in during her training probably dwarfs my best efforts.

[Ed. note: isn't is amazing how to see things in different lights?! I wasn't certain Salt would guest post since my bloggity is teeny tiny compared to hers! I may have run an ultra, but I'm not age group placing like she is! All this to say, we really need to move away with comparing ourselves to others!!]

Unless you count this past Christmas where I went temporarily insane and decided I was going to do one of those Runner’s World Streaks.

Yes that’s the kind of streaking I was talking about. Not the naked kind. I’m sorry if anyone is disappointed.

I’ve only been running since April 2013 and when I heard about the Holiday Run Streak at the end of last year I was all starry-eyed and naive about it. I had yet to deal with any kind of injury and the thought of what might happen to my body if I seriously committed to running for days and days and days without stopping never really crossed my mind. The Streak was supposed to start on Thanksgiving and go through New Year’s Day 2014. Overachiever that I am, I started on November 24th because I had a race that Sunday and then the New Year came and went and still I kept on running.

I ended up running for 61 days straight. During those two months I logged hundreds and hundreds of miles, raced quite a few races, and occasionally even ran in my street clothes just to get a mile in to keep the Streak alive. In hindsight, it became an obsession; like the time I ran in a fancy outfit before one of my holiday parties since that was the only time I could get it in. Leopard print pants on the treadmill at the gym. People looked at me like I was crazy and now I full on believe they were right.

streakgear

The thought of stopping made me feel depressed even though the day count was just this arbitrary number that meant nothing. As the days piled up it got harder and harder to think about stopping. When I pitched the idea of this post to Ange, she said that she had never successfully completed a Run Streak and that made me wonder what the hell a successful run streak completion even is. I ran for 2 months straight, but I stopped so I guess that’s not really a success or else I’d still be doing it. And 61 days is just a drop in a bucket to some other streakers. I read stories from people online who are quickly closing in on 1000 days of running. ONE THOUSAND DAYS with no rest. I just can’t wrap my brain around that.

I don’t know whether I consider those people to be successful, stupid, lucky, or all of the above.

The thing that signaled the end of the Streak for me was a nagging pain in my ankle. I was already suffering from overall general soreness, but this pain was sharper and new. A few weeks later it snowballed into full-blown peroneal tendonitis and I couldn’t run at all for over a month, which was really awesome considering that I was already signed up for a spring marathon and ended up missing out on a big chunk of training time. I was able to throw together something that resembled a training plan for the last month and a half before the race, but given the chance to do it all over again that is definitely not the path I would choose.

Now…I’m not trying to totally badmouth Streaking and say that no one should ever do it. Runner’s World goes at it from the angle of staying on top of your fitness during a time when we might throw our health by the wayside in favor of stuffing our face with cookies (ie the Holiday season) and I can appreciate that. I also think that if you can run every day with no pain then go on with your bad self! But I also think it’s the kind of thing that can get completely out of hand, resulting in tons of undue stress on your body and possible injury when people just don’t know when to say when. I know quite a few people who are doing the summer streak right now – which I believe lasts from Memorial Day until the 4th of July – and more than one of those people are currently running through pain. I kind of want to shake them and tell them to sit the hell down and relax.

The only thing I can really thank the Streak for (besides affording me a nice calorie deficit to fill in with lots of yummy Christmas treats) was the hard lesson I got about the importance of resting when something is not quite right. Listening to your body is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than racking up junk miles.

How do you feel about run streaks? Have you ever done one? If so, how long did you go and did you learn any lessons from your experience?

Thanks again to Ange for inviting me over to play at her house! I hope you’re having a great vacay, girl! Drink some wine on the beach for me! xo


I can relate to so much of what Lauren talked about! I’ve tried to start run streaks and yoga streaks and for me it’s become so all-consuming that I know it’s not mentally healthy for me. Physically healthy? So long as I don’t get injured, then yes. Mentally? Nopers! Not for me.

If you want to keep in touch with Lauren, check her out her Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Treat Yourself – Lindsay Style

Greetings and happy Tuesday!

I’m doing double duty today – guest posting over at Piece of Cait – and having a guest post over here!

As this goes live I’m heading down to the US to visit Trader Joe’s and treat myself. In the meantime, I have my friend and fellow ultra marathoner, Lindsay, guest posting, Treat Yourself Tuesday style.

You better believe I’ll be sharing my treats with you soon, but for now, I’ll let Lindsay take it away! :)


I’m so excited to join Ang for a Treat Yourself Tuesday! I’m not going to lie, ever since agreeing to write this post I’ve been using blogging as an excuse to treat myself. I may have gone overboard!

A good friend I grew up with is getting married next month so we decided to celebrate with a girls weekend in Scottsdale. What a perfect opportunity for treats.

The best part about working for a hotel is that I have the opportunity to stay in beautiful places. The girls and I decided to splurge a little a stay at a resort property. The Hyatt Gainey Ranch was luxurious and their 2.5 acre water playground was heavenly in 40 degrees.

 Hyatt_scottsdale_pool 

A trip to the states wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the outlet malls! I’m sorry Canada but your version of outlets is not the same.

I bought a pair of tan Nine West wedges for $35. Let me tell you, I danced in these shoes all night long and my feet felt fabulous.

Shoes  

The Columbia outlet store is amazing. I felt like a kid in a candy store and ended up with way too many purchases for my carry-on size luggage.

columbia_dress

columbia_tank

  • a couple more shirts and pants.

My “big” purchase was a Michael Kors watch! I wasn’t planning on this one but as soon as I put it on, I knew. It’s casual and pretty.

watch

Ed note: I met Lindsay for a beer before I left town and noticed her watch but didn’t mention it. It looks fabulous in person – I’m a HUGE fan of MK watches! :)

I heard from a couple co-workers who had visited Hyatt Gainy Ranch that the spa was beautiful and well worth the hefty price tag. I’ve been stalking their Facebook page and day dreaming about their mineral pool! I enjoyed a facial complete with orgasmic scalp massage and spent a couple hours lounging in their mineral pool.

 spa_lindsay

There is a huge difference between getting a treatment from a “spa” (place where you go into a treatment room, get a treatment and leave) and getting a spa experience (change into a fluffy robe, sip infused water, swim in a mineral pool, get a treatment and leave completely relaxed).

Spending quality time with friends that I’ve known since elementary school was a treat in itself!

What have you treated yourself to lately?

 ***

Lindsay will be competing in a 70.3 (aka – Half Ironman !!!!!!!) triathlon in a few weeks, so if you’d like to follow along you can check out her blog, Twitter and Instagram! :)

cowgirl-runs-treat-yourself-tuesday

 

Don’t forget to head on over to Becky’s to see how other bloggers have treated themselves lately.

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

FYI Friday: Sports Supplements

First things first…..I’m fully aware today is Thursday and not Friday, but I also know Friday is a holiday for a lot of people, so I thtought it best to introduce Jen to you a day early, on Thursday, so you can enjoy her fabulous post on sports supplements before partaking in the 4th of July celebrations! :)


Hello Cowgirl Runs readers, I was honoured when Ange asked me to guest blog as I am a loyal reader and fellow Calgarian. My name is Jen and I write a blog called Pretty Little Grub. I am a Registered Dietitian & professional makeup artist. I obviously have huge passion for nutrition & makeup, but my passions also extend into fitness. I am currently training to complete my first marathon, the New York City Marathon. Go big or go home, right!

Ange has featured me in a few of her Saturday Link Loves. Although I post on a variety of topics, every time, Ange has chosen my FYI Friday posts which are about hot nutrition topics. Since that seems to be her favourite topic, I decided to carry that theme over here and share a hot topic with you.

sport supplements

If you’re into any type of sports, you have likely heard of sports supplements. Now, I am not going to discuss the basic ones such as Gatorade, gels, protein bars, etc. If you want you can read my post on running nutrition here. Instead, I am going to discuss some of the more specialized performance enhancing supplements such as creatine, branched chain amino acids and beta-alanine, and how they specifically relate to distance running. What does a Registered Dietitian think of these supplements and are they worth your money?

Creatine:

Creatine is the number one used sports supplement on the market. There is a reason for that, it works. Your body uses creatine to create energy during high intensity short interval exercises. Supplementing with creatine ensures that it is available for your body during these exercise bouts. This leads to increased exercise capacity and subsequent improvements in performance and strength.

Does it work for running?

There is not currently any evidence to support the use of creatine for distance runners. In fact, some runners may have negative effects due to the weight gain associated with taking creatine (mostly water retention).

While creatine does not directly impact endurance performance it may indirectly have positive effects. Creatine could be used during strength or interval training. The increased strength gains may lead to overall improvement in speed. However, these gains on a recreational runner may be negligible.

Beta-Alanine:

When engaging in intense exercise our body must supply energy to our muscles. During this process, we create a by-product called lactic acid which negatively affects performance. Beta-alanine works by buffering the acid and delaying the onset of fatigue.

Does it work for running?

During distance running the body mostly uses aerobic methods of energy production and therefore less lactic acid is built up compared to anaerobic activities such as weight lifting or sprinting. Beta-Alanine has evidence to support its effectiveness in high intensity and resistance training exercises. However, there is lack of supporting evidence for its use in delaying fatigue for endurance activity.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s):

BCAA’s can act as a source of fuel to muscles when carbohydrates are low. During endurance activity, carbohydrate stores are most often depleted. Additionally, low levels of BCAAs are linked to fatigue.

Does it work for running?

While BCAA’s can provide a source of fuel, if intake of carbohydrate is adequate, they are not needed. Therefore, fuelling with carbohydrates during a run is just as effective. There is not currently any evidence to support the delay of fatigue by use of BCAAs.

My opinion:

Sports supplements may give a competitive edge. However, it’s important to think about goals. For a recreational runner hoping to just finish a marathon, supplements likely are not necessary. For someone working on a specific goal or trying to Boston Qualify, the use of a supplement could make all the difference.

Nutrition research is ever-evolving, just because there isn’t evidence to support a supplement at this time does not mean that won’t change in a month or two. The above mentioned supplements have limited side effects if taken in appropriate doses. Therefore, my opinion is that it’s a personal choice if you wish to take them.

Purchasing Supplements:

  • Decide what’s right for you. Consider cost, potential benefit and potential side effects.
  • Ensure you do not exceed the recommended dosage.
  • Look at labels for a NPN (natural product number) or DIN (Drug Identification Number) which shows that the product has been approved by Health Canada.
  • Try one thing at a time so you can monitor for potential benefits and/or side effects

Do you take any sport supplements? What’s most important to you when choosing a supplement?

 ***

Thanks so much, Jen!

I was super excited when she suggested posting about sports supplements as I’m always interested in learning something new about how to help my body to perform better, and who better to write about it than a RD?

I hope all my wonderful American friends enjoy their long weekend!

 

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Everything is Marvellous :)

I’m just popping in quickly from my iPad.

I’m currently sitting in the backyard at my dad’s enjoying a delicious tequila infused drink.

This is after spending all day relaxing at the beach and maybe, possibly getting a tiny bit of a sunburn :)

I’ve always been a sporadic blogger while on vacation, and these two weeks likely won’t be any different. However, I’ve planned ahead and have some of my favouritest bloggers popping in for a few guest posts.

Yay!!

Since I’m here, and I’m typing, how about a brief recap of my trip thus far? :)

Friday I ducked out of work at 3pm, grabbed the last few items from home and hit the road, with Merlin, of course.

After only one brief scare when Merlin broke out of his carrier, we arrived safe and sound at my dads at 10pm. Instead of heading to bed, I stayed up and drank wine. It is vacation, after all :)

Saturday dawned far too early, as I was awake before 7am. I enjoyed a cup of coffee before hitting the trails with my dad (stay tuned for a Ramblen review!) (of note, I can get my dad to agree to nearly anything, by saying it’s for Ramblen. #sorrynotsorry). We did 12km and it took me 2 hours.

Can you say struggle bus?!

There were three HUGE hills (each way, of course) with grades between 18%-24%. So yeah. It was tough.

20140630-185019-67819696.jpg

The rest of Saturday was spent napping, reading and sitting outside.

Sunday we took things a bit easier and went for a 12km walk (Ramblen review here too!) before resting at home and enjoying a ridiculously good roast dinner.

Outside, of course.

My sister arrived just after 9pm and we had a quick visit before I retired to bed. Just because I’m on vacation, doesn’t mean I won’t give up my grandma bedtime.

Which brings us to today.

I went for a 10km run which was followed by waffles, a trip to the mall (and a new hat courtesy of my sister) with the rest of the day on the beach.

20140630-184714-67634363.jpg

Only 3 days in and my vacation has certainly been marvellous.

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Link Love: 6/29

My original plan for this weekend was to wake up bright and early on Saturday and drive 7 hours to my dad’s to start my vacation. On Thursday I had an “eff this” moment and decided I wanted to start my vacation on Friday. Sure, it meant driving 7 hours in the evening after work, but to gain an extra day of relaxation?!

Worth it!!

And then I forgot to publish on Saturday. Oh well – here it is on Sunday!

Having to line up a new place to live took away from my vacation budget a tad, but I’m determined to truly enjoy my 10 days away and the few days celebrating Stampede with Lexie.

I plan on filling my days with casual runs and time spent on the sand – a must for any vacation!!

Images

Popular This Week

32 Things That Make Me Happy

Flexible

One Year Ago…

Link Love

Exactly How Confident Are You ‘Allowed’ To Be? via yesandyes <– this post really got me thinking. I do describe myself as awesome….is that off putting? Should I tone it down? I try to own who I am (good and bad), but….am I doing it wrong?

Personally, I’d make the argument that confidence can be soft-spoken, subtle, respectful of its audience and disarming in its expression.

Tips for Getting and Nailing an Interview: Writing a Cover Letter via Venus Trapped in Mars 

Resume and Interview Tips (part two) via Venus Trapped in Mars 

Bulky Shoes Save the Day via Fueled by Lolz <– I love Hollie’s approach to training and how real she is. I don’t think I’ll even run 60-70 mile weeks, but taking care of my body with food, rest and proper footwear (and regular massages!) is pretty important to me as well!

10 Types of Friends: Good and Bad via Two-Thirds Hazel <– I’m pretty sure we can all relate to a few of these :) sough number 8 cough

Things I’ve Learned via Snack Therapy <– love this girl. That is all. xo

But Seriously, Stop Being Such a Jerk to Yourself via Nicole Less BS <– sometimes I like the story I tell myself; sometimes I don’t. The truth is, the story we tell ourselves becomes our reality. The awesome part of it is we can change our story. <3

Why I’ll Never Eat Another Quest Bar via The Blonder Side of Life <– I’ve never eaten a Quest bar. I don’t plan on ever eating a Quest bar. I wouldn’t call myself the healthiest person around, but when it comes to food, if I want junk I’m going to eat the real thing. A cinnamon bun, not some chemical bar made to kind of resemble a cinnamon bun.

. why I won’t be working for a bikini body this summer . via Running with Spoons <– WHY do we feel we NEED to workout to be acceptable to be seen in a bathing suit. Just, why?! So thank you, Amanda, this is awesome. I, too, have put on a few pounds over the winter. I’m heading to the beach as soon as humanly possible (since I’m driving that way right now) so what I’m going to do is slather on some sunscreen, put on my bathing suit and go to the beach. The. Freaking. End.

Overreaching is not Overtraining via The Gluten Free Treadmill <– some great info on training and how we feel.

Stupid Weightloss Tips via Snack Therapy <– I’m selfishly so glad my girl Carly is done with school so she can blog more and thus entertain me with her awesomeness!

5 Nutrition Myths that Grind My Gears via Pretty Little Grub

18 Truths About Modern Dating That We Just Have to Deal With via Thought Catalog

 

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

32 Things That Make Me Happy

I’ve come across this post on a few of the blogs that I follow. While I may not have the same following as they do, and I’m pretty sure they have no idea my little corner exists, I’m not one to pass up an opportunity to put some happy into the world.

stqJIuZ

Feel free to grab this image and play along! 

All the credit goes to Erin and Sarah for coming up this with awesome idea.

1. Running. While not all runs are perfect, I’m happier with it than without it.

2. Merlin. He might be a pain in the butt sometimes, but all is forgiven with snuggles and purrs.

3. Wine. (Oh, you knew it was coming). I’ve now signed up for two wine clubs. Oh yeah :)

4. My gal pals. From a ridiculous number of daily emails, to setting fire to a wedding dress, my gals are the bestest. <3

5. Getting mail. I’m not talking about bills, but awesome mail. Even if it’s something I’ve paid for myself online, it’s still awesome! 

6. Massages. Especially when they’re from my favourite massage therapist, Kelsey.

7. New running gear. Few things motivate me to get my butt out the door like a shiny new pair of shoes.

photo (82)

8. Coffee. The best part about waking up is an amazing cup of coffee.

9. Sleep-in days. These don’t happen very often with training, so I enjoy them when I can.

10. The Good Wife. Best. Show. Ever.

11. Sleeping. This may sound similar to sleeping in, but it’s not. I love sleep every day. I really do.

12. Gelato. All of the gelato.

13. Summer. I’m praying it acutally appears this year. Right now I’m craving sun!

14. Reading. I love losing myself in a good book for hours at a time.

15. The smell of BBQ in the summer.

16. The smell of freshly cut grass.

17. The beach. Hot sun. Sand between my toes.

18. Naps. Bonus point for naps at the beach!

19.  Road trips to the mountains.

20. Laughing until my stomach hurts.

21. New goodies from Sephora :)

22. Tea. Easpecially tea from David’s Tea!

23. A perfectly cooked steak with a glass of wine.

24. An evening in with me, Merlin and my DVR.

25. Planning trips to explore new places.

26. My collection of Starbucks mugs.

27. My car. It might be materialistic, but I bought it myself and I freaking love it!

28. Long weekends. An extra day to sleep, rest and hang out with friends is pretty much the best.

29. Brunch.

30. Summer thunderstorms (provided I’m safely indoors!)

31. Spending an hour or two at the shooting range <– betcha never would have guessed that one :P

32. YOU!. Yup, each and every one of you who visit and leave comments. Y’all make me so happy.

What makes YOU happy?

thinking-out-loud-cowgirl-runs

 

I’m linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud.

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs

Because I’m happy…

Two years ago if you had asked me if I was happy, I don’t think I’d have been able to answer “yes” convincingly.

Probably because I wasn’t.

Now?

Without a doubt I’ll tell you that I am happy.

I’ve done a lot of work learning what it means to be happy and how to be happy in my life even when things don’t go my way (I tend to prefer it when things go my way……).

10477043_10154305878955182_4531955332994896283_n

Like most things in life these days there’s an app for that. 

Enter: Happify.

Happify is an app that uses the science of psychology to help improve your mental outlook to make you happier.

I’ve been using the Happify app since May and have completed a few “tracks” and my happiness score has increased over that time.

photo (22)

Based upon responses to the questions Happify will set up a track to follow. I took a screen shot of the tracks suggested for myself as an example.

photo (23)

Every two weeks you can answer a set up questions to determine your happiness score. 

Obviously life events might affect how you respond to those questions on any given day (I’m sure my score would have been pretty low if I had responded on the day I found out I needed to move) but checking in every two weeks you should begin to see a trend in your score.

photo (24) photo (25) photo (26)

 

Learning how to change my thinking to be happier has really improved my outlook on life.

Sure, I cried and was frustrated when I found out I needed to move. It wasn’t what I expected and it wasn’t what I wanted, but at the end of the day, even though the situation wasn’t what I wanted, I was still happy.

It’s been a bumpy road to get to this type of thinking, and I’m hopeful my journey might have been somewhat less bumpy if I had Happify at my fingertips a few years ago.

Disclaimer: I was provided access to a Happify account as part of my involvement with I’m Fit Possible. All opinions are my own. If I thought it sucked, you know I’d tell you.

Are you happy in your life?

More Cowgirl:
Twitter -> @cowgirlruns
Pinterest -> Cowgirl Runs
Instagram – > Cowgirl Runs
Facebook – > Cowgirl Runs
Bloglovin’ -> Cowgirl Runs
Page 1 of 3312345...102030...Last »