How You Like Dem’ {Big Slice} Apples? ++ Giveaway

Do you like apples? I love apples.

Well. My tastebuds LOVE apples, my stomach and digestive tract, don’t. It stinks. It’s like loving that delicious man who always makes you cry. Why, why, why?

Since I was a child, I have luckily also loved applesauce. My best friend was Evan when I was growing up in Vermont, and his parents raised Evan and his sister Claire in a very healthy manner. It’s the lifestyle that I hope to one day adopt for my future family. Evan’s Mom knew healthy balance, and it was something that I came to know as well, as I enjoyed probably thousands of breakfasts, lunches and dinners at their house.

One of her sides, which I have never been able to get out of my mind, is her homemade applesauce. Oh it was just heavenly! Ever since tasting her homemade applesauce, I have had a love affair with applesauce, so when I was selected to be on Big Slice’s campaign for their on-the-go pouches of slowly cooked slices of apples,  I got way too excited.

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I love warmed-up apples and I love applesauce, so a combination of the two, in decadent and fun flavors, ahhh!!!

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16 flavors, 3 product lines. Big Slice are made of wholesome ingredients, made with USA apples ONLY, non-GMO product verified, are gluten-free, and include whole pieces of fruit.

7 different flavor pouches make up their Pure Line, in which each recipe is made with pure fruit and spices gently blended together.

{Orange Ginger, Apricot, Blueberry Pomegranate, Natural, Lemon Berry, Chai & Cherry Vanilla}.

Big-Slice-ApplesThe Cherry Vanilla was amazing, and little cherries were a welcomed surprise in the mix!

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Their Fit Line is comprised of four different varieties promoting energy, power, balance, and beauty. {Banana Mango & Hemp Seed, Peach Green Tea & Aloe, Pineapple Passion Fruit & Fiber, and Raspberry Hibiscus & Green Coffee Extract}.
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And lastly, their Luxe Line are made for indulging in those rich flavors that won’t leave you feeling guilty. {Peach Bellini, Cinnamon Candy, Boysenberry Chocolate, Caramel, and Cinnamon French Toast}.

Big-Slice-ApplesThese are great before a workout, as a mid-morning snack, after dinner when you just want a little bit of something to cure your sweet tooth, or really any dang time that you please!

Now here’s where Big Slice is sharing the love. One lucky Running on Peanut Butter reader will win a gift pack that includes 12 assorted Big Slice pouches as seen above, a tumbler, and a spork (for digging in with). Simply enter below through the Rafflecopter giveaway. The giveaway will run until Friday 12/18 11:59 pm, and I will announce the winner on Monday, 12/21!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

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I am extremely excited for today’s post! I was recently accepted to be on the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 campaign through FitFluential. Not only is it an extremely big honor for Mizuno to have wanted me to promote their new shoe, but I was excited to be able to try a new brand of running shoe and broaden my horizons.

I’m all about risks and stepping out of my comfort zones this year both personally and physically, from signing up for my first half marathon, to honing in on my nutrition, so deciding to try a new brand was actually big for me!

Truth: I’m glad I did!

When I opened the lid of the shoe box, a beautiful grey & bright blue pair of Mizunos were looking me right in the eyes. It was love at first sight. I la-la-loved the look of the shoe, from the design to the colors. That’s big for me, especially because I’m not a “bright colors on shoe” girl, so I was nervous if I would like the shoe sent to me. Check, I did!

Mizuno_waveEnigma5Fun facts on the redesigned shoe:

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I instantly slipped my feet into the shoes and what I noticed right away was that they fit differently than any other running shoe in my past has. I go for a pretty minimal shoe, so the extra cushion wasn’t something that I was used to, but, the shoe was comfy and fit like a glove, so I was extremely excited to test run them!

My first run in the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5’s was a quick and short 2 mile HIIT run. I didn’t want to test a new shoe on a long run and be stuck on the road with a shoe that might give me issues, so keeping my first run short and inside at the gym was ideal.

Mizuno_waveEnigma5The first few minutes of my run I noticed that my feet didn’t feel as light as they typically do on a run. No worries, it’s just getting acclimated to a new shoe. Within minutes, I no longer noticed it and actually felt super light on my feet! The HIIT workout consisted of a 5 minute warm-up walk, a 5 minute warm-up jog, and then sprints for the next 15 minutes, followed by a 5 minute cool-down run. I finished my workout with a killer shoulder and chest workout, which I had no issues completing in the shoes.

Finishing my run made me extremely excited to continue testing the Wave Enigma 5 in other running environments.

I ultimately wanted to try them for long runs to determine if they’d be a good half marathon training shoe, so I gradually broke the shoe in to test it out. I started with 3 mile runs, and worked my distance up before taking them for 5+ miles.

Love. True love!

Mizuno_waveEnigma5All in all, I am so happy to be running in this shoe. Not only is it a great shoe and improving my runs, but Mizuno is a solid company that I can proudly stand behind!

What is your favorite running shoe?

What are top qualities that you look for in a running shoe?

Training in the ASICS GEL-Fit Sana

There are few things that I love more than new shoes. I can easily pass on a new pair of heels or boots, but give me a pair of training shoes, and that’s all I need in my life. So when I was selected to be part of FitFluential’s campaign with ASICS for their new GEL-Fit Sana, I was thrilled! Even more so that ASICS gave us the option to select the color we preferred, allowing me to come home to a pair of black, grey and white GEL-Fit Sanas!

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When I first opened the package, I was immediately intrigued by the design of the shoe. I had never seen a training shoe designed in this manner, and I absolutely loved the look. One of my favorite aspects is that the shoe features a Flexible Fit system with flexible support bands {see below} from the heel to the forefoot, which provides adaptable support to certain areas.

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The shoe has a stretchable mesh upper with a MONO-SOCK upper construction, giving the shoe a sock-like fit. This feature gives it a secured and comfortable fit, making it not completely necessary to wear socks.

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I personally prefer to wear socks with my shoes, but for those that like the option, well options you have!

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One of my personal favorite design aspects of the GEL-Fit Sana is that they are lightweight and have a barefoot-like sensation. One of my top requirements when buying both training and running shoes are that they be light, so this was a winning shoe immediately. They are incredibly comfortable both in the gym and out and about running errands around town.

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When I wore these at the gym, I never once felt uncomfortable or unstable when working out. I did everything from overhead squats, backward & forward lunges, kettlebell swings, dumbbell work and abs.

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Have you tried the GEL-Fit Sana yet?

What do you look for in a training shoe? 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.

FitGirl, CrossFit & WIN

It’s a new week, which I am certainly thankful for. I just wanted to thank all of you for your kind words last week on my little Jakester. I appreciated you all being there for me. It helped me carry through the rest of the week and weekend.

This weekend was our first working event for FitGirl Clothing, which meant that Friday night was spent getting things all set and packed, and then a lazy night of HGTV in bed. I am just SO addicted to that channel. There is something so relaxing and addicting about home makeover shows. It gives me unrealistic expectations about what I want in a house one day haha.

Saturday

Jenn and I packed up early, I’m talking a 5 am wake-up call, and headed down to Waltham, MA to be a vendor at CrossFit Newton’s Mass Mayhem competition.

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It was a team RX and scaled competition, and 2 teams from White Mountain CrossFit, which is where my cousin coaches, represented us as Team FitGirl!

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Around 2:30/3ish, we packed up and headed home. I had high hopes of getting a run in, but I was just so exhausted that I chose to be lazy and get ahead on some blog posts. Watching competitions is almost as hard as competing. I kid, but seriously, they made me so tired!

I wish I could say that my evening was exciting, but since I had another early morning lined up on Sunday, I knew another lazy movie night was necessary, especially after a tiring week. I even had to pass up a Gavin DeGraw concert and a meet & greet. SO SAD!!!

Sunday

I knew that Sunday’s FitGirl event would be longer and a lot busier than Saturday’s, and wouldn’t want to workout once I got home, so I got up around 5:30 to get a workout in.

Around 8:30, we headed back down to Mass, but to Lowell, for the NPGL Grid Event. This event was a lot better for FitGirl, as there was a solid group of vendors, meaning more of a crowd shopping around.

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Once the event started at 2, we packed up and headed inside, as the NPGL were super nice and gave the vendors free tickets to the event. It was a lot of fun to watch, and honestly, it was more crowd friendly than the CrossFit Games. 2 teams competed against each other, and it was really interesting to see how they all worked together in each event.

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After getting home, I really didn’t want to do much except crash. I cleaned up a little bit and did some laundry, which I haven’t really minded doing lately. {Side note: I air dry workout pants, tanks and bras — because I shrink clothes}.

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I received 2 bottles of WIN Detergent as part of a FitFluential campaign, and I have to say that I am truly impressed by their detergent. WIN is a sports detergent that is geared towards athletes of all kinds, and is specially formulated to rid the sweaty smells from synthetic workout clothes.

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One of the things I liked the most about WIN, was that after a wash, my clothes smell absolutely amazing. So fresh, and for once, I feel like my workout clothes are clean. With the amount of CrossFit and running I do, my hamper gets full pretty quickly, so I find myself doing laundry quite often. Regular detergents never rid the stench from my workout tops and pants, but WIN does. WIN is carried in select stores (Dick’s & local running/speciality stores, and are available for order online, if a store near you does not carry the product.

All in all, it was a really great weekend! CrossFit, running, 2 days with my cousin, a lot of lessons learned for FitGirl, and lovely smelling laundry… can’t beat it!

Best part of your weekend?

Do you use speciality athletic-based laundry detergent, or regular detergent?

*Disclaimer: I received 2 bottles of WIN Detergent free of charge for FitFluential. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4 Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

When it comes to fashion and having style, well, it just doesn’t exist. It doesn’t matter if I’m working out, or out for the day, it just isn’t there. When it comes to shoes, on the other hand, I’m all for fashion. I’m addicted to athletic shoes, and I feel that there is no such thing as too many pairs.

Just as picky as I am when it comes to men and peanut butter, I’m also pretty picky about shoes. Reebok did an awesome job of sending me a pretty bad ass pair of Nano 3’s when they sent me to the North East Regionals, so when I found out that I was on the Nano 4 campaign, I was crossing my fingers they’d send me a shoe that I was obsessed with.  Reebok sent me THE shoe that I have been drooling and pinning over for months.

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Oh, they are just so beautiful. The bright orange pairs beautifully with the maroon, making a shoe that screams fall.

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In comparison to the Nano 3, the Nano 4 is considerably lighter. The mesh under the duracage is more breathable, which allows for better air flow during workouts, and the duracage itself is lighter and more flexible.

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With the new duracage, it allows for great movement in the toe box area, which I found helped me tremendously on any movements that I needed to move quickly or jump, such as sprints, double unders, and box jumps.

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And for a few fun specs to see all of the new features of the beautiful Nano 4:

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When it comes down to it, if you are an avid CrossFitter, and 1) are in need of a new shoe, and/or 2) want a shoe that will allow you to move better, then you need to get the Nano 4. It really is as simple as that.

Do you own the Nano 4’s? What is your favorite thing about the shoe?

ProCakes Pancakes Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of ProCakes.

Alright, so I have been really blessed to have my first few FitFluential reviews with some pretty great companies. First with Reebok, and now with ProCakes, a high-protein pancake mix that is gluten-free and still tastes amazing!

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One of the very hard things about Paleo is not being able to enjoy my protein pancakes, which are unfortunately made with ground oats. When I heard about ProCakes, I knew I had to get on a new way of enjoying pancakes that didn’t upset my stomach.

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Now I do enjoy Paleo pancakes from time to time, but the density of those just aren’t always appealing to me. ProCakes tastes decadent, and like a real pancake. Founder Caren Magill, who is also a personal trainer, wanted to “provide real food solutions for people who care about what they eat and how that translates into the quality of life they live.”

ProCakes GlutenFreeProCakes comes in flour form, and is lightly sweetened with Xylitol, a sugar derived from fruits and veggies. The great thing about this, is that it’s absorbed more slowly in the blood stream, meaning that it’s not a sugar that spikes your blood sugar!

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Another perk to ProCakes, is that you only have to measure out the amount for your serving size, and then simply add in an egg and milk (or substitute of choice). You don’t have to pull out your blender, and blend oatmeal until it’s a flour, etc, etc, etc. Before Caren even finalized the ingredient list for ProCakes, she tested out using egg powder over a real egg, and decided that since the pancakes tasted better with fresh, real ingredients, she has the pancake maker add them in on their end.

IMG_9695 IMG_9700I highly recommend ProCakes to all your pancake lovers, and I am already excited to purchase my first bag once I return home from Dallas!

 

I’m Stressed. I Shot a Gun. Nano 4’s!

I am the most annoyed person around town the past few days. Our Kickstarter was supposed to launch the other day(s), but we’ve have issues with the backend of Kickstarter, and now we are still waiting. And I am still as annoyed as I was on my worst PMS ever.

This week has just been crappy and weird. I have been addicted to my phone at night. I’m talking, in bed, book in one hand, phone in the other. I have been crapping around on it until at least 11 each night, which means Tuesday and Wednesday were rough days. So rough that I didn’t attend the morning CrossFit classes due to lack of sleep. Instead, I’ve had to get creative with my workouts on my lunch hour in the late afternoon. Yesterday I was ultra exhausted, so I stuck to walking for 35 minutes and then some upper body work with 15 lb dumbbells.

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Oh, and THESE beautiful Reebok Nano 4’s, the latest CrossFit shoe was sent to me from Reebok. I am reviewing this shoe as part of a FitFluential campaign, and I am SO excited. If you recall, Reebok gave me the red Nano 3’s in the above picture in June when I attended the CrossFit NorthEast Regionals as part of a different FitFluential campaign.Reebok_Nano_4sExhaustion meant that I was in bed at 6:30 on Tuesday night, and to keep from shitting around on my phone, I made sure it was charged and then left it on silent on my desk for the night.

With an early bedtime, I finally got to CrossFit for a morning workout with Sara. 12 minutes (:30 on, :30 rest) of double under work. These new Nano’s got me my best double under work yet! Then 4 sets of 500m rows. BARF! But yay to good double under progress! I’m now at single-double-single-double (for those that CrossFit). That flexible toe box = a good jump!

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And to relieve a lot of stress from this week, I went to the shooting range and was taught how to shoot 2 shotguns and a rifle by the cutest country boy I know. It was scary and fun, and my goggles totally fogged up on me and I was such a mess, but it was fun.

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Tell me how to destress even more because running, shooting guns and reading hasn’t done a thing!

CrossFit North East Regionals with Reebok

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to head to Reebok Headquarters as a FitFluential Ambassador.

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I had received notice on Wednesday that I was selected, and Reebok was pretty amazing and overnighted me a complete outfit to wear to the North East Regionals. Reebok really outdid themselves. A new “Fran-time” shirt, all red Nano 3’s, and a straight leg CrossFit pant (which are the comfiest pair of pants I own). This entire outfit, it’s like they knew me to a t. While I’m obsessed with how soft, perfectly fitting and comfy the pants are, the Nano 3’s are pretty boomsauce. I can’t take them off. Literally, I am so obsessed with them that I wear them when lounging in my house after work, on the way to CrossFit, at CrossFit, to bed (just kidding).

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There were 4 other bloggers selected to spend the day at Reebok {Jill of BakedFit, Joanna of Baby Gators Den, Sarah of Ingredients of a Fit Chick, and Sarah of Rad-Living (unpictured)}.

The 4 of us wandered around after arriving, and when we spotted the NANO 4, we immediately made a bee line for the shoe.

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After posing with the NANO 4, we grabbed seats to watch the team event, which included finding your 1-rep max for a hang squat snatch, and then max handstand walk. Those handstand walks, pretty remarkable, let me tell ya!

IMG_8462Once the team events concluded for the day, the Men came out for their first event, which included the same, 1-rep max hang squat snatch and max handstand walk.

DSC_0558DSC_0562Around 12, we had to meet up with our Reebok host Danielle, where she told us that we were going to go meet someone. We had originally planned on interviewing Chris Froio, V.P of Training at Reebok, but because he was unavailable, they had other plans for us. You know, just meeting and talking with Christmas Abbott, arguably one of the best female CrossFit athletes. Every girl wants to be her, and every guy wants her. Who are we kidding, I want her too.

Christmas has a clothing line with Reebok, so before meeting her, Reebok brought us in to their store to buy us one of her tank tops to wear when meeting her, and then bought us another item from the store. Too nice!

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I went with a casual tank top, which I am in absolute love with (I wore it to Saturday’s games). I have another Reebok tank top in the style of Christmas Abbott’s, and it’s my favorite to work out in. The casual tank top I can’t get out of either!

IMG_8529Christmas sat down with us for about 15 minutes and told us her story and how she found and got into CrossFit. It was truly inspirational, and just spending that time with Christmas fueled more drive for me in the sport.
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One of my favorite take-aways from Christmas was that she said, “each day you have the decision to make a good decision or a bad decision. It’s as simple and easy as that.” In case you’re wondering, she is even sweeter and nicer than possible!

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After meeting Christmas, we met up with Santi of 94.5, one of the hottest radio stations in Boston, and he joined us for lunch and to head over to Reebok’s CrossFit ONE box to meet one of Reebok’s athletes and the CrossFit ONE head coach, Austin Malleolo. {Yes, my coach happily pointed out that I accidentally tagged him as Austin Mahone on Instagram. Now the entire world knows I follow an 18-ish year old pop star}.

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Austin was great, and was just so welcoming and nice to us. We met him in between his events, so the fact that he gladly took some time out of his recovery period to spend with us was really cool.

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Yes, those are the new, unreleased NANO 4’s he’s rocking!

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And he even let us get up close and personal to check out the shoe and take pictures. The shoe is absolutely beautiful, and I am SO extremely excited for these to hit the stands in July.

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After talking with Austin, we spent a little time exploring the CrossFit ONE box, which is gorgeous and looks to be an amazing place to train.

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After meeting Christmas Abbott and Austin Malleolo, the 4 of us headed back to the bleachers to watch the last event of the day. Sadly, our interviews made us miss all of the females compete in the first event. {Taste the Nano 3 rainbow}.

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The 3rd event included 3 RFT of 50 one-legged squats, 7 muscle ups, and 10 hang power cleans.

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IMG_8509This was arguably one of the best days of my life and one of the top greatest opportunities I have had. It amazes me that over a year ago, I didn’t want to try CrossFit at all, but now, it’s more so become my life. The new friends I made from Friday and being around a bigger CrossFit community was incredible. A big thank you to both Reebok & FitFluential for such an amazing day and opportunity!

A Weekend of Greatness at the CrossFit NE Regionals

What a glorious, unexpected long weekend! I totally forgot to tell you guys months ago that I was accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador. For those unfamiliar with what that is,

FitFluential Ambassadors are social media influencers who work with FitFluential’s brand partners. FitFluential’s goal is to successfully connect brands in the fitness space with influential fitness enthusiasts. An ideal match is one where the FitFluential Ambassador (and their audience) matches with the brand’s target market. Our Ambassadors have a strong presence on their social media channels, high quality content with a definitive voice and a passion for fitness-related topics.

I found out on Wednesday afternoon that I was accepted on Reebok’s campaign to promote the CrossFit North East Regionals at Reebok’s Headquarters in Canton, MA. I was pretty much stoked, not only for a 3 day work week, but also to be able to work with Reebok and get an inside look into the event.

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I will touch more upon Friday’s day at the Regionals tomorrow! After Regionals on Friday, I met up with a friend in the area for a drink and appetizers. I hadn’t seen him since last fall, so it was nice to catch up with him. Before we knew it, 3 hours had passed, and it was time for both of us to head out. I didn’t get home until 10 Friday night, and was beyond exhausted.

Saturday

When I woke up, I actually didn’t plan on going to day 2 of the North East Regionals, but I just really wanted to be there. My cousin Jenn and some of my box mates were there, so off I went!

I was only able to stay for one of the events, but I was at least able to watch both the men and women compete for the 4ish hours that I was there.

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Not sure if anyone is like me, but when I’m at an event like this, I love finding an athlete or 2 to watch and root for throughout the games. I met Reebok’s sponsored athlete Austin Malleolo on Friday, and he was just so awesome, so he was one of the ones I was rooting for, and the other was Ryan Hughes, mainly because he looks like my dream guy (did you expect any less?)

In between the women and men’s events, I wandered around the vendors to look at apparel and get a feel for how other vendors work at these events (FitGirl’s goal is to be a vendor next year!). While wandering, I randomly spotted the love of my life Ryan Hughes talking to some guys from his box near a vendor booth, and the creep I am, just so happened to run into my assistant coach Sue, and made her take my picture with him. Yup, I definitely creeped my future husband out, but that’s okay, I have no shame and know we will get over this hurdle. 😛 {Side note: If you know anyone who looks like this and is single, please send him my way.}

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Here is my dream man doing rope climbs (which my awesome cousin sent me because I had to leave early for a dress fitting :()

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The rest of my Saturday included getting my dress fitted for my brother’s wedding (which is 20 days away!), and then hitting the gym for a little sweat sesh.

Sunday

For the first time in probably a month, I was able to sleep in. Yesterday was really more of a catch up day. I worked on some blog posts for this week, before heading out for a run/walk a little before noon. I wanted to enjoy the 70 degree weather, but also didn’t want to destroy my legs for a heavy CrossFit week, so I enjoyed a leisurely run that totaled about 2.3 miles, with probably a mile of walking thrown in there.

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After the run, I set up outside to watch some of the men’s heat in event 6. IMG_8571

Really just a low key and relaxing day, one that I needed!

What was the best part of your weekend?