Join Momentum Jewelry and #beYOUtiful

It’s your time to shine. You are amazing. You are capable. And you are #beYOUtiful.

Momentum Jewelry’s #beYOUtiful campaign is inspiring people all over the world to change the conversations in our heads. To put an end to the negative voices and to be kinder to ourselves. The campaign page asks, why is it so easy to compliment others, yet so difficult to say the same things about ourselves? When I first read that question, I quickly realized how real it was for me.

I am my own worst critic, especially when it comes to running. And I had no idea how much I was holding myself back.

Going into last weekend, Momentum Jewelry sent me a ‘BELIEVE IN YOURSELF’ wrap as we geared up to launch this #beYOUtiful campaign. And of course, I had to wear it right away for my half marathon that weekend. At the start of the race, I hoped for a PR but I strongly doubted my ability to achieve one. During the race, I often found myself wanting to give up but as I looked down at my wrist, I was reminded to believe in myself. It sounds a little corny but it was just the extra confidence boost that I needed. Despite all of my doubts, I managed to come away with a 6 minute PR.

Following the half marathon, I chose the “I am FEARLESS” sign for the launch of the campaign. I had learned to change the negative words in my head to result in a stronger race. Then flash forward a week to this past weekend. I ran a 5k confidently and I surprised myself with a huge new PR, beating the old PR that I set back in high school (I never thought that I would ever be able to beat it). Going into the race, I knew that I would be running with some of my fastest friends. But instead of thinking about how fast they are and holding myself back, I focused on me. I focused on my ability to finish strong regardless of what place I came in. I finished in 6th place for gender, last among my speedy friends but I am perfectly happy with the outcome.

Now, it’s your turn. You turn to unleash your potential. Practice self-love and work towards the best version of yourself.

Find out how to join in on the fun at MomentumJewelry.com.

Biked To Work For A Month In San Francisco: Here’s What I Learned

There are a few things in my life that I admit to being terrified of – spiders, heights and riding a bicycle. Though spiders and heights have always been fears of mine, I actually used to love riding a bicycle as a kid. I was that kid who was constantly falling off her bike because I was so determined to learn by myself and I loved it. Yet as I got older, the idea of biking became more and more terrifying to me. Maybe it was because there would always be a cycling accident reported in the local news. Or just the simple fact that cyclists have to share the road with cars. Whatever weird reason it was that made me terrified of riding a bike, the idea just never seemed appealing to me, especially in San Francisco.

Then I visited Copenhagen and Malmö – where bicycle culture flourishes. Riding a bicycle to explore two unfamiliar countries was exhilarating and it gave me the confidence that I needed to even consider biking in San Francisco. So long story short, I started researching my options once I returned from vacation. I knew that I didn’t want to risk having my own bicycle stolen (which seems to happen more often than not in the city) so I had two options; JUMP Bikes (electric) and Ford GoBike (regular and electric). Most people that I talked to recommended JUMP over Ford GoBike based on the ease of ride but I chose Ford GoBike based on the convenience of the stations and bike availability.

So as a non-experienced cyclist, here is what I learned after my first month of riding a bike to and from work in San Francisco.

Plan and test out different routes.

Some roads are much better for cyclists than others in San Francisco – check out the San Francisco Bike Network Map from SFMTA. I have my route planned so that I mostly go straight without having to make many turns. Part of the route is not as well paved but I’d rather have a slightly bumpy ride than have to cut across traffic on a busy road.

A whole new world.

From someone who loves to workout every day, I loved adding another activity to my day. Despite it still being slightly terrifying, I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get once I’m done with my bike ride to and from work.

Drake said it best, no new friends.

If you are expecting some sort of cyclist comradery in the city, prepare to be disappointed. If another cyclist ever acknowledges me, it is usually because I try to stay out of the way so that they can go faster and still be in the bike lane. I still try to smile at all of the other cyclists, wave at polite drivers, etc., maybe one day I’ll get a smile or wave back!

No one follows the laws.

But you still need to. I saw a cyclist get a warning from a police officer last week and it brought me a slight sense of gratification (hehe sorry).

Why people, why?!

Depending on the day, sometimes I feel like cyclists are mean, drivers are meaner and pedestrians are the worst. Other days, I get through my happy ride without a problem. From aggressive city drivers to oblivious pedestrians on their cell phones, navigating San Francisco roads presents a new adventure every time I ride. In the past month, I have been almost hit by a car once (she didn’t look before merging into oncoming traffic), honked at for stopping at a stop sign (I thought drivers get mad when cyclists DON’T follow the laws, guess you just can’t win here..) and cut off in the middle of the road by pedestrians who aren’t paying attention (good thing I was). But honestly, my first month of biking in San Francisco could have been a lot worse so I’ll take it.

eBikes are actually pretty awesome.

Although I was not initially sold on riding electric bikes, I finally tried one the other day. My initial feelings were mixed. The power of the bike was a little scary and I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t feel like I was getting a workout. Yet weirdly enough, I can’t wait until I have another opportunity to try one.

In conclusion, I’m one month in and still loving my new commute to work. While it does present some challenges, it is completely do-able provided that you stay alert and ride defensively.

Best Running Routes in Copenhagen, Denmark

If you are looking for some good running routes to explore Copenhagen, then look no further! These routes are very safe but keep an eye out for bicyclists.

Nyhavn-Amalienborg-Little Mermaid

As you can tell from all of the pictures below, this route was one of my favorites because it shows you several landmarks throughout the city – Amalienborg, Nyhavn, Kastellet, the Little Mermaid, Frederik’s Church and more! I started at the Copenhagen Island Hotel and ran about six miles but this run can be easily adjusted based on where you are staying.

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The Lakes – The Søerne

If you’re near the Copenhagen Lakes, follow the path around the three lakes and see why this is one of the most popular routes in the city. This will be about 4 miles!

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Amager Faelled

Here’s a route for when you want to get out of the city. I received this recommendation from a fellow runner on Instagram and loved it! I ran about 4 miles but there are a ton of trails so you can make this run longer. Pro tip: don’t stop too many times to take pictures because you will get bitten by bugs (oops!).

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Hope you’re able to check out these routes during your time in Copenhagen, good luck! Stay tuned for some great running routes in Sweden.

Flying Pig Marathon Mental Race Prep

It is race week and I am starting to feel pre-race nerves sneak up on me. I will be running my fourth marathon on Sunday in Cincinnati at The Flying Pig and there is a lot going through my mind.

Expectations

Throughout my training process, I decided to go in with little to no expectations. I was sidelined with an injury for the first three months of the year and found myself nowhere close to where I wanted to be in my training. And despite all of that, I now find myself ready to run. As the saying goes, “the comeback is always stronger than the setback”.

Inspiration

For starters, did we all watch Desiree Linden win the Boston Marathon?! If you didn’t, please catch up from Runner’s World and get ready to be inspired from her displays of sportsmanship to courage and pure grit. The Boston Marathon this past year was a tough one and I was so inspired by every runner and volunteer out there on the course. My course on Sunday will be hilly but I am ready to embrace and overcome the challenge presented to me.

Friends

I received a very comforting reminder this morning from my friend, Randy. I’m doing this with people who bring out the best in me. Our group of five will be running together as Randy chases his goal of a sub 4 hour marathon and I am so excited to be a part of it.

Wanderlust 108 San Francisco Recap

Last month, I was able to attend Wanderlust Oahu while visiting family in Hawaii. This month, Wanderlust came to my city so I definitely had to go! The San Francisco event was a Wanderlust 108 meaning that it is a half day event featuring a running session, a yoga session and a mediation session.

“1 = Unity  0 = Wholeness  8 = Infinite Love” – Wanderlust

Run

The run was a 5k (3.1 miles) on narrow dirt paths through Golden Gate Park. I would definitely note that the run was more of a fun run than a race.

Yoga

After finishing the run portion, participants had a lot of time to wander around the various vendors before settling down for some yoga.

Meditation

If you’re like me, I hate sitting still. It’s funny, I always dread meditation but always end up loving it (especially when you just get to lie down in the sun).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I can’t say that the 108 event was my favorite but it is perfect for someone that wants a small sample of experiencing a Wanderlust event!

Interested in giving Wanderlust a try? Take a look at the Wanderlust Events List to find an adventure closer to you!

Momentum Jewelry #sharetheSPARK

We all sometimes need that extra motivation, inspiration or mantra that gets us through the day or that one challenging workout. Momentum Jewelry is just that. From April 16-30th, Momentum Jewelry’s #sharetheSPARK campaign is about sharing that extra piece of inspiration around the world.

Momentum Jewelry offers four amazing mantras for their #sharetheSPARK collection: Keep Moving Forward, You’re SO Worth It, You Got This! and Never Give Up.

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This year I decided to share the spark with my ambassador fam for The San Francisco Marathon. As we inspire and encourage others to run TSFM, I thought we could all use a little piece of inspiration for ourselves. And as you can see below, we loved them!

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Some of our other favorite mantras include ‘Run More, Worry Less’, ‘BeYOUtiful’ and ‘Adventure Awaits’. Find out how you can join the movement or shop their other AMAZING mantras!

Long Hill Repeats: What the HILL?!

Hill training is a runner’s best ally and worst foe. It is difficult and easy to neglect but it is also crucial when it comes to building strength in your legs. The resistance that comes with running uphill pushes you to work harder than you would running on flat surfaces. To put it simply, hill training will help you to become a better runner.

Today, we will focus on long hill repeats. Long hill repeats help to improve endurance over a moderately hard effort. For this workout, the hill will ideally be about a quarter to a half mile long and not overly steep.

Workout

  • Warm-up 10-20 minutes of running (easy effort)
  • 4-6 repeats uphill at a moderately hard effort (5k race effort), with an easy jog back down after each repeat
  • Cool down 10 minutes of running (easy effort)

Tips

  • Avoid starting out too fast.
  • Use short strides for efficiency.
  • Remember to look up at the hill, and not down at your feet.

3 Reasons To Run The San Francisco Marathon

You might recall my review of TSFM 2017 here or on the Represent Running blog. The San Francisco Marathon is one of my favorite races and here are the top three reasons why you will love it too!

Landmarks

The landmarks are breathtaking and worth the early race start. After starting at the Ferry Building, runners race through Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Marina, across the Golden Gate Bridge, back down through Golden Gate Park and finish near AT&T Park. Runners get to experience the whole city in one race regardless of the distance that they choose to run.

Weather

Of course, I have to mention the California weather. Last year was perfect running weather with clear skies and mid-50’s at the start. Be sure to watch for Karl the Fog as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge!Discount Code

Discounts

Need another reason to sign up for this race? Use code AMBASSADORKELLI10 to save $10 when registering for the 5k, half marathon or full marathon distances.

Creating Your Ritual: 10 Days of Hot Yoga

It mostly sucks but there are definitely perks to being an injured runner – one of these perks is having the time to do other things that are not running. I love hot yoga but I had not had the chance to find a new studio after moving to San Francisco. Luckily, I found a studio offering a new student package that I decided to try – Ritual Hot Yoga. I definitely recommend giving them a try if you’re local – and psst, leave a comment if you are interested in a new student special!

Anyway, 10 days of hot yoga – what were my takeaways? Mind, body, and soul. Duh!

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Mind

It is surreal for me to think about but in those 10 days, I lost my aunt, my friend and my dog. Talk about the worst 10 days ever, right? But honestly, yoga helped me through it. Each day, I set an intention for my practice and brought awareness into each moment and every thought. Finding that peace within myself allowed me to release a lot of the stress that I was holding in.

Body

I immediately felt the impact of hot yoga on my body. I was more flexible and I was even able to improve some poses throughout the 10 days. I was still going to the gym but the extra yoga session each day did not leave me feeling tired. In fact, I felt refreshed each day.

Soul

Are you familiar with the feeling of pure bliss or calmness? I left every yoga class feeling more “whole” and focused than when I started class. Though I wouldn’t consider myself to be a spiritual person, 10 days of hot yoga made me feel more connected to my mind, body and soul.

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To summarize, hot yoga did not give me abs… but I am able to work on my headstands and forearm stands now. I also fell in love with the studio and signed up for a membership – come try it out with me!