Who Gets Sore During Race Week?

This girl! Seriously.

Race week is supposed to be all about recovery, but nope, this girl was sooooo excited about making a video for Project Neon on lunges, that it couldn’t wait. I honestly, didn’t think I would make myself that sore, but apparently 20min of straight lunging, and no other kind of exercises, can really burn the quads. Funny thing, they didn’t hurt when I was making the video. And therefore, thought nothing of it. But, when I woke up yesterday morning, they hurt. I did my pre-race shake out run of the week anyway, which is mostly easy except for a few race pace intervals, and then woke up today, still sore. #oops I knew that that was going to be the case, but I needed to get that run workout in.

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

I swam and biked today, and legs are starting to feel better. I’m sure a full day of rest tomorrow will make me feel ready to tackle the big event on Saturday, but seriously, I couldn’t believe it. I have been sick during race week, I have felt a tweak here or there, that I have gotten massaged out during race week, but just straight muscle soreness from strength work during race week? Never.

Image

 

Here’s to the most unconventional training plan and race prep week ever! :) All I know is I’m having a blast! And I can’t help but love the feeling of being sore, it makes me feel like I burned fat, and toned everything. haha!

I can’t wait to see soooo many people this weekend at Oceanside! It’s going to be soooo much fun! Love races for this reason. I get to see people who I normally don’t get to see, because they live in other cities or states!

1 Week Til Oceanside 70.3

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already 1 week til my first race of the season. And not just my first race, but a BIG race. This has been the most unconventional training plan I have ever done, mostly due to the fact, that I have been flying by the seat of my pants, and following an “unstructured” training plan. After two ironmans in two months at the end of 2013 (Ironman Wisconsin in September and Ironman Arizona in November), I definitely was ready to not do any long stuff for awhile. But, of course, in my long distance high, I started signing up for other long races, like Oceanside Half Ironman and Ironman Whistler. And now, here I am, trying to have fun, and keep my motivation high, and still complete these two BIG races, before I take a break from long stuff for a bit.

534386_809644239512_379585376_n

At-home strength workout

Last week, was my least ideal week ever. I went to Pittsburgh to help my brother and his family move from their tiny condo into a house in the burbs. I was excited to help, and knew that there would be minimal training. And for some reason, I was OK with that. I want to live my life. And I don’t want anything to control the way I live my life. Triathlon isn’t supposed to disrupt life, it is supposed to enhance my life. :) So…even though I was two weeks out from Oceanside, I flew to Pittsburgh, but I couldn’t not miss the opportunity to spend time with my siblings and see my 22 month old niece.

1977474_809358951232_512964789_n

It’s cooooold in Pittsburgh!

IMG_3337

Teddy and I after our run in the snow. Yes the snow!

I flew out there on Monday (no training), then did a hill repeat running workout on Tuesday, strength workout on Wednesday, treadmill run on Thursday, easy run Friday – and flew back on Friday night. Saturday longish ride, and today longish run. Yup. You saw that right, no swimming. eeeeek! oh well. I know I can swim 1.2 miles, we’ll just see how fast it will be. Probably not very. ha!

969363_809761554412_1046391988_n

London and I making bubbles at the children’s museum.

1533788_809761614292_2122340893_n

Playing with color wheels

1069797_809761664192_56318314_n

My sister’s and my portrait.

1150381_809761639242_2049321649_n

London building a city with blocks.

The weekend before I left for Pittsburgh, I did my first fun run, and had a blast. The truth is, I’m having a blast, not sticking to structure. I’m enjoying the chance of lifestyle, and really enjoying focusing on Project Neon, job hunting for a social media job (cough cough, if you have heard of anything, let me know ;)), as well as hanging out with friends and seeing family.

1959471_809698450872_570518195_n

Hanging out with the kids.

1925266_809526221022_1720028234_n

Teddy is one of the most amazing dogs ever. He doesn’t bark, like ever, and is so loving and playful.

So, here I am, 1 week from Oceanside 70.3, and my first race in the 30-34 age group. (hahaha. yea the 30-34 age group). One of the most competitive women’s age groups. But at the end of the day, it is truly all about having fun, and that is why I do this. Do I want to improve? Yes. Of course, because that’s fun too! So, last time I did this race, was in 2012, and I finished in 5:28:58. I guess, we’ll see how it goes this weekend, but hopefully even with all the fun, I will still beat that time. :)

IMG_2470

Froyo to celebrate the first day of spring, of course!

My First Ever Fun Run

My running journey started, when I finished up my last season as a college soccer player at DePauw University. It was second semester senior year, and I needed a goal to work towards, so I decided to sign up for a marathon. Yup, not a 5k, 10k, half marathon, etc. a full marathon, with no endurance running knowledge at all. So, I followed one of Hal Hilgdon’s free training place online (the novice version), and did the best I could, while also partying my brains out second semester senior year of college.

After graduating college, and after completing my first ever marathon, I really enjoyed all that running had to offer. It kept me fit, it made me feel better, I felt free, happy, and just gave me an extra zest for life. So, I then had a desire to work on my speed, after I had covered a long distance. I started signing up for 5ks and 10ks, but I never actually ran for “fun”. I always had a goal in mind, whether I was competing for a new PR, or training for a longer distance race a few months later.

This past, Saturday, I dressed up in full blown tutu outfits by Lucki Lime. If you have never run in a tutu, or a “fun run” outfit, this company is your go-to place to get your race day outfits. I’m seriously obsessed, and have plans to dress up in another outfit in the near future.

I get to the race, all dressed up in my fun run outfit, and I’m telling you I seriously had more fun, than I have ever had at a race. Letting go of any desire to actually race, and just having fun running and chatting, and sharing in the camaraderie that the day brought.

All dressed up and ready to run!

All dressed up and ready to run!

Fun run tutus

With my friend and the founder of Lucki Lime, Cat, before the start of the race.

As the race got started, and we started running, I enjoyed the light-heartedness all around me. There were beginner runners everywhere, and it was inspiring. I remember lining up for my first race (St. Louis Marathon), and I seriously started tearing up. I was full of so much pride not just from my own training, but I was proud of everyone else who stood there with me. We were in this together. Today, was no different. I was so proud of everyone who came out to have fun and run! Enjoy all that comes with running. :)

Here are some photos as we ran along. Honestly, I have never done a race while carrying my phone, but I had a blast. I loved being able to take photos at the beginning, middle, and end, and instantly share them with friends and family by texting them, or on instagram, twitter, and facebook.

IMG_0539

Cat and I finishing!

IMG_8673

Running around Fiesta Island.

IMG_4331

Just chugging along, smiling, chatting, and HAPPY! :)

IMG_9331

Soooo happy! I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty darn cute too in my tutu. :)

IMG_8875

how awesome are these socks? “Kick butt”

IMG_7993

Cat having a blast!

IMG_6620

With our Pot o’ Gold medals.

As, most of you know, this year, I have had a lot of learnings, and how I really want training/racing/triathlon/running to be all about fun. I do love to race, but I also LOVE having days like these. It is the perfect balance that gives me that fee. I want to be doing this because I love it, and I think it’s fun, and these are the moments, the days, where it gives me just the right balance that I need.

Check out Lucki Lime for your next fun run outfit!

FREE the Orcas

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11943523/?claim=4x7bvqzjtdj”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Nearly a week ago I saw the documentary, Blackfish. I was told it was fantastic and eye-opening, but I wasn’t prepared for how passionate I was going to become about freeing the Orcas.

I remember in 4th grade, I had to do a report on my favorite animal, and my favorite animal at the time was “Killer Whales”. I thought they were beautiful. Majestic. Interesting creatures. I have always loved water animals, and been fascinated by the water. I remember slowly hearing rumors about their ferocity, and their “cruelty” to humans, and without much research, as I was a child, I just changed my favorite animal. And dolphins became my favorite animal. They are playful, happy, beautiful, and peaceful.

orca

Growing up there was something fascinating about these water mammals that felt almost humanlike. I have never been to SeaWorld, and I never had any real desire to go, I always wanted to see these animals out in their natural habitat. That is so much more exciting to me, and who doesn’t want to be in a place where they belong? What they call home? I can’t imagine being happy in my family, and someone just picking me up out of nowhere and placing me in a “home” with a bunch of strangers. It’s horrifying. That feeling of helplessness.

As I watch the opening scene of these fisherman capturing an Orca to take back to the states, it was sickening. I was disgusted. And I was embarrassed by the human race. Who are we to take an Orca baby from it’s mom? He was not in any trouble. We were not helping him, or helping his family, we were ruining it. This is a fact.

As the documentary went on, I got more and more disgusted by our ability to take a beautiful, adventurous, family oriented animal, and use it for our own entertainment. These animals have to perform at will, just to entertain us? That seems ridiculous!

great white

It’s interesting. I was very fortunate back in 2004 to do a month long trip throughout all of California. One of our stops was Monterey Bay to check out the aquarium. At the time, they had the first ever captivated Great White Shark. It was magnificent. Stunning. And I wanted to learn more. The shark was caught off shore and brought in to the aquarium for conservation awareness purposes. You can learn about it here. 4 sharks total have made a visit to the aquarium, and none stayed longer than 4 months. They were then tagged, and put back in the wild, safely, and healthily. The purpose to understand them better, and help educate people about how beautiful these creatures are, and why we should protect them.

If SeaWorld, or anyone can learn something from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it is that they truly are wanting to protect this species. They are not putting it on display for the entertainment of humans.

dolphins

Some of the beautiful Orcas at SeaWorld, have never seen the wild, in fact most of them. They don’t know any better than what they are living, and yet, they still are sad, depressed, and attack other Orcas, usually because these animals are punished if they don’t do what they are told. Seriously? These animals are not made to be captivated, and kept in tight quarters. They swim up to 100 miles a day. Where are they swimming at SeaWorld? If we really want to learn and protect Orcas, then we must learn to let them go, just like we do with White Sharks. We must put them back in their natural habitats, and research them and learn from them from their homes. How can we learn anything useful from them if we are doing all of the breeding, which essentially comes from one Orca – Tillikum – and then we keep them in a water circus which is nothing like their natural habitat.

After watching, BlackFish, my friend, suggested I watch, The Cove. After watching that documentary, I feel the same way about dolphins. These animals are beautiful, they should be protected, and again not used for human entertainment. Yes, they are smaller, but they still swim close to 100 miles a day. Where can they do this at SeaWorld?

I truly believe that the best thing for these beautiful marine animals is to leave them out in the wild where they are happy, free, and belong. If you want to FREE these animals like I do, please sign this petition to free the Orcas at SeaWorld in California. And if you haven’t seen Blackfish or The Cove, watch them. (Blackfish is currently available on Netflix).

orca pod

Finally, please watch this press conference…

Giveaway – The Ultimate New England Active Getaway

As some of you might know, I started a Lifestyle brand called, Project Neon. I would love to share with my KatieHartMorse readers the offer I have going on over on Project Neon!

I’m excited to offer an additional amazing giveaway with this month’s Project Neon Fitness Challenge!

cropped-img_2371.jpeg
In addition to one lucky winner, winning a box of Bonk Breakers, another winner will win a free one night stay at the Riverside Farm in Vermont! Riverside farm is the perfect place for a getaway retreat, and you will be lucky to see all that they have to offer for FREE! The properties feature hundreds of acres and endless locations to hike, do yoga, and experience the Green Mountains. They have a variety of venues that can accommodate everything from a yoga retreat to a large corporate event.

Pittsfield, Vermont is an idyllic small New England town nestled on the edge of the Green Mountains.  The birth place of the Spartan Race, Pittsfield has become a mecca for athletes and health enthusiasts.  On any day you might find groups of visitors and neighbors visiting and exercising on the extensive  Green Mountain Trail system and the epic 1 mile Stone Steps.   Our guests stay in comfortable rooms at one of our local properties – The Amee Farm LodgeThe Trailside Inn or one of our private rental homes.  Local produce from Sweet Georgia P’s CSA at Amee Farm is a staple of many meals. Breathtaking fall foliage, snow covered pines, new growth in spring and a glorious summer…  we are Perfect Vermont.

Some of their programs include:

Hiking and Yoga: Perfect Vermont brings you a new way to enjoy the beauty of Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont. Get unplugged and experience true relaxation during a weekend of hiking, yoga and local organic food.  There is an expert staff who will ensure you leave feeling stronger, healthier and revitalized.

Elite Endurance: Train with Peak Races top athletes including previous Death Race winners, while improving knowledge of endurance training during this high tempo course.  Spend the weekend running, cycling or mountain biking the back country of Vermont’s Green Mountains.  Instructors will lead group discussions, tours and fitness sessions. This intensive course has been developed for dedicated endurance athletes.

Weight Loss: Equip yourself with the knowledge to live a healthier lifestyle.  Instructors will lead informational discussions, tours and fitness sessions.  This course has been designed to assist in planning your healthy weight loss.

Here are some beautiful photos of the land…

The Stonewell Barn.

Here are some beautiful views of the land!

The Red Barn.

525694_10151186152189333_1955001505_n

The White Horse Barn.

774325_10151334514349333_1611218883_o

773621_10151331320039333_1570347446_o

312447_10151331304509333_780164600_n

The photo below shows the Amee Farm Lodge, which is where you would be staying! Absolutely beautiful.

62597_10151542070724333_1515737988_n

Amee Farm Lodge.

Possible activities/dining during your visit:
- 30+ miles of hiking and biking on the Green Mountain Trails,

- yoga classes

- snowshoeing right out our back door

- skiing at Killington and Pico

- Tubing on the Tweed River

- Kayaking and fishing at Kent Pond and Tweed River

- on-site massages

- tours of the Amee Farm with Sweet Georgia P’s

- And of course, just relaxing by the fire or on the porch at the lodge.

Side note: Killington offers great restaurants and nightlife, just 15 minutes up the road. Enjoy wonderful live music
during the winter months.

3070545_orig

The famous stone steps, that climb for 1 mile straight.

7848393_orig

9346062_orig

3315285_orig

The Giveaway includes:

1 night stay at Amee Farm Lodge based on availability.
Deluxe Continental Breakfast.

Submit photos on Instagram and Twitter using #projectneonmarch for a chance to win this amazing giveaway! Or post photos of your cardio workouts on The Project Neon Facebook page.

Examples of photos are….

The Upper Left is of a girl running on the treadmill, upper right is of a girl skiing, bottom left is of a girl running, bottom right is of a girl skiing.

The Upper Left is of a girl running on the treadmill, upper right is of a girl skiing, bottom left is of a girl running, bottom right is of a girl skiing.

Share a photo of you, or of your shoes, your bike, the treadmill, the stairmaster, etc.! I want to see how you get your cardio in!

The winner will be announced Monday, March 31st at 5pm PST.

A Balancing Act

Life this past week was a balancing act. A balance between doing what I should be doing, and doing what I want to be doing. But, truly, why can’t they be the same thing? Shouldn’t we be doing what we want to be doing? If you ask me, the answer is an obvious….YES!

So, I did do, what I wanted to be doing, because it is what I should be doing. :)

The beginning of the week started with some rest, because I was fighting a cold. Then, I hit my workouts hard. Then rested again, because my workouts wore me out. Then my best friend from college came to visit, and I spent every moment, focusing on spending time with her, catching up, and making memories.

I started out by letting my inner child out…

20140310-171709.jpg

I jumped off rocks for fun!

20140310-171729.jpg

Woohoo!

20140310-171749.jpg

There were lots of smiles :)

I got my butt kicked by a Sandstorm

20140310-171814.jpg

But at least I looked cute in my Coeur Team Kit and my Oakley Women’s Immerse sunglasses. :)

I got brunch with one of my old personal training clients from Chicago! I hadn’t seen Nikolina in 2 years, and it was sooooo much fun to catch up. Next time stay longer :)

20140310-171829.jpg

Nikolina and I at Honey’s, one of my fave brunch places.

Then Betsy came to town!!!!

20140310-171900.jpg

We started off with a lagoon loop run! Obviously :)

20140310-171918.jpg

Life really is a balancing act.

20140310-171935.jpg

Post run on the beach

We then hit up my absolute favorite café in all of San Diego….The Naked Café. Betsy and I ate brunch here 7 years ago, when we went on a 6 week road trip all around the U.S.

20140310-171949.jpg

We love this place!

We then made our way to Torrey Pines for some hiking!

20140310-172015.jpg

Besties <3

20140310-172033.jpg

Play time in the water!

20140310-172049.jpg

One of the best views in all of San Diego.

It was then girl’s night out. We met up with my friend Jené and Kelly at Bier Garden for some beers and dinner. And I got to wear out one of my new favorite StitchFix items, this tank. <3

20140310-172112.jpg

Ignore the evil eyes

20140310-172124.jpg

Always acting goofy

Since, Betsy is a foodie, it was time to introduce her to the famous Acai Bowl. So, brunch outside at Swami’s it was.

20140310-172149.jpg

One of the best meals, San Diego has to offer. Refreshing, filling, and delicious!

The last time I went perusing local shops was…????? It was so nice to just window shop, and/or purchase a few fun things. So, we strolled and just enjoyed some time post-brunch looking in stores.

20140310-172203.jpg

I bought this cute frame for my room. So…true!

20140310-172221.jpg

I love this!

And then after some fun strolling…we hit up the beach. Again, last time I just laid out and enjoyed the sun was in the BVI…it was time to do it at home! Enjoy all that San Diego has to offer!

20140310-172240.jpg

I love the beach!

20140310-172302.jpg

Jené joined us, and of course, we had to take the GoPro out for some action shots!

After a day in the sun, it was time to show Betsy our famous San Diegan sunsets, and of course celebrate with a little red wine. :)

20140310-172319.jpg

Sunset and wine. Yes please.

20140310-172330.jpg

Oh…forgot to mention….Miss Seal…she washed up on shore to do some Molting…which is shedding….and because of the latest storm, she somehow ended up being separated from her fellow seals, as they usually all molt together. Poor Seal. :(

Sunday morning, we went to brunch at Honey’s, and I indulged in an artichoke, chicken sausage omelette. YUM!

20140310-172342.jpg

Tasty!

After dropping Betsy off at the airport, I headed back to the beach, to top off the weekend of some fun in the sun! I couldn’t resist. Training was just going to have to wait til Monday.

 

 

20140310-172410.jpg

Although, I did get some beach running in, just a tad. :)

20140310-172426.jpg

In love with my new reversible bikini by Maaji Swimwear.

20140310-172440.jpg

My favorite purchases from the weekend.

20140310-172451.jpg

Last night’s sunset, reminded me of how in love with life I am.

20140310-172505.jpg

And this morning’s quote….was a great way to kick off this week!

20140310-172518.jpg

Cheers to last week, The Balancing Act. Ready to put in a hard week of training to continue my prep for Oceanside 70.3! Hope everyone had a great week!

The Sandstorm Workout

No no no, not a workout to the epic dance song, but I literally worked out in a sandstorm yesterday. On the schedule was a triple brick. 20k TT, 2 mile run, 20k TT, 2 mile run, 20k TT, 2 mile run. Obviously with a warm up and cool down too. This is a typical workout, Beth gives me when prepping for big races. And I love it. I usually head down to Fiesta island, where it’s about 4.1 miles around. There is a paved loop for cyclists and runners, and a lot of people use it for training. 3 loops around equals 20k. It’s perfect. Boring. But perfect. 

Image

The loop I do starts at point 5, and then you just keep going around and around and around.

So, I pack up my car, and drive the 25min down to Fiesta. I hop on my bike and start pedaling, and boom, there is a strong headwind. I thought it would let up at some point, but no, for 3/4 of the loop I had a ridiculous headwind.

Loop 1 – check

Loop 2 – “okay, I guess I’m just going to have to deal with this. This is going to be one mentally tough workout. grrrrr. I hate the wind”

Beginning of 20k TT #1

Loop 1 – “Seriously, I’m going nowhere. I’m pedaling, but not going anywhere.”

Loop 2 – “Wow, I’m really glad I’m not that couple on those beach cruisers, they look like they are about to fall over, they are moving so slow.”

Loop 3 – “Can the sand please stop hitting me? It kinda hurts.”

Beginning of 2 mile run

1st mile into headwind – “Just keep moving, just keeping moving”

2nd mile with tailwind – “I AM FLYING”

2nd 20k TT

Loop 1 – “Why am I doing this?”

Loop 2 – “Seriously, why am I doing this?”

Loop 3 – “I think I have eaten a pound of sand. This sucks. Why am I doing this?”

2nd 2 mile run

1st mile with headwind – “I’m not sure this is really that much fun”

2nd mile with tailwind – “I really don’t want to get on my bike again, and pedal into that f’ing headwind. I should do it. No, it sucks. I should do it. I feel like sh*t. I should do it. OMG, no, no, I’m not going to do it, I’m pretty sure I just saw a sand dune created in the middle of the road.”

And that was the end of the triple brick in a sand storm – that ended up being a double brick. I still was proud that I stuck it out as long as I did. I consulted with my roommate, Keith, who is a pro triathlete who had ridden down to Fiesta to do some efforts too, but after 2 loops, he was like this is ridiculous. He said he has never in all of his fiesta riding experience, EVER had wind like that. And when he was just as pissed off at the wind, if not more, than me, I instantly felt really good about my decision to leave the island, and call it a day after two bricks. :)

I may have bonked, I may have eaten a lb of sand, and I may have been pissed off at the wind, but at least I looked cute in my new Coeur Sports Team Kit and Oakley Women’s Immerse sunglasses ;)

Image

 

The Triathlon Training Guilt Trip

My new attitude towards training, has really changed things for me. And by my attitude, I mean, taking triathlon a bit more lightly, enjoying it for the lifestyle it is, and just having fun. When I miss a workout, or I choose to be active in a different way, I no longer feel that guilt trip that I sometimes carry around with me. For the first time in a long time, I feel free. 100% free. I feel like I am enjoying myself, doing what I love, and having fun. Do I like challenging workouts? Absolutely. I have been doing some pretty hard run and bike workouts, but when a workout goes wrong, or a workout is missed, I do NOT feel guilty. It is a freeing feeling. 

Image

The really sweaty, I had to cut this workout short workout, because it was sucking, and what I thought was allergies, was actually a cold.

I know how many of us out there try to make up for workouts that were missed, whether because life, work, kids, being sick, being injured, etc. got in the way, and we do this because we feel guilty for missing those workouts. But, I tell you right now, do NOT feel guilty. Every day is a day to live. Every day, is a day to prioritize, and re-prioritize, over and over again. Some days that’s a problem at work, that has to be solved, and cannot wait. Some days, that is taking care of a sick kid. Some days, that is nursing an injury. And some days, it’s simply because you wanted to go out and spend time with friends or family, or your significant other. Whatever the reason, this is life. Live it the way you want to. 

Image

My favorite dinner staple, Kale Salad, from Seaside Market.

Personally, I want to live a life full of fun and happiness. Hard work can be fun. But nobody, and I mean nobody, feels good, when they feel guilty. So, let go of the guilt. I can tell you from experience, it feels, oh, so good.

Image

Where it all started. My first triathlon. My first ever open water experience.

I haven’t been happier with my training since I started in endurance sports. I remember finding ways to get workouts in, by including my friends or family, etc. And then some times, it became more about hitting my target HR, or certain paces, and it became more about numbers, than the experience. I am soooo happy to have that feeling of just freedom, and doing this because I love it, not because of hitting numbers, or podiuming, although of course, that is always nice, but the goal, the mission, is all about the journey, and not about the result for me.

Image

Running the Chicago Rock N’ Roll Half with my mom and sister! LOVED this!

With that, 4 weeks til Oceanside 70.3. All I know, is I’m going to be smiling and having a blast the whole race. Because, I’m having fun.

Image

Having a blast, prepping for Oceanside!

The Difference Between Project Neon and KatieHartMorse

I have been asking myself (and you might be wondering too) what is the difference between Project Neon and KatieHartMorse. How are these two blogs different? What is the goal of each of them?And if I can better understand them and differentiate them, then each blog will have an intention, and it will help my readers who might follow both, understand the difference between the two.

First, let’s start with KatieHartMorse, since this is the blog that I’m making this post on. KatieHartMorse is all about my daily life. My triathlon training, my career, my family, my vacations, my trials, my triumphs. It is me sharing my life with all of you. I am working on giving it more structure so that it’s a bit easier for me to differentiate even more between Project Neon and KatieHartMorse, but this is the start.

DCIM120GOPRO

Swimming at the 50m outdoor pool.

 

Hiking with my friend Loran, yesterday at Torrey Pines. :)

Hiking with my friend Loran, yesterday at Torrey Pines. :)

Project Neon on the other hand is all about wanting to help others live a full life, a life full of neon, if you will. I want to give fitness challenges, so that we can all improve our fitness, and feel accomplished at the end of every month. I want to share my style tips, so that people can maybe dress more confidently, and feel good about themselves, and more stylishly. I want to share recipes and the food that I make, to help you make healthy choices, and eat well. I want to share my love/life/relationship advice, in hopes to help you live a more full life.

1010797_10151958127882309_2067287186_n

Both have the intention of hopefully inspiring, motivating, challenging others, but one is more focused on sharing me, and the other is more focused on encouraging and inspiring you.

Project Neon already has structure, and so that you can hopefully follow along, or if you are looking for something in particular, here are the days of the week and what topic will be touched on:

Monday – Fitness

Tuesday – Food/Nutrition/Recipes

Wednesday – Love/Relationships/Life – lessons/advice/inspiration

Thursday – Style

Friday – Fitness

Saturday/Sunday – whatever I feel like :)

Follow one or follow both. But, hopefully this gives us both a little more understanding of what the difference is between the two.

IMG_6685

Happy heart :)

Learn to Love Your Selfie

I LOVE this campaign “Love Your Selfie” The Today Show has going on. It’s all about learning to love ourselves, and sharing who we are. Today is “love your selfie” no make up Monday.

I remember being that girl after about 7th grade, who would never go to school without wearing mascara. Like ever. I didn’t really wear any other kind of make up, but I didn’t feel pretty or confident without mascara. There is nothing, nothing more scary then letting people see the “real” you for the first time. But, being an athlete, really truly helped me build the confidence to love who I am, with or without make up. I’m the same me. I’m pretty with it or without it. I have never been one to fully cake it on, as then I don’t feel like myself at all, I feel totally fake, and that makes me well not feel like me.

But this movement, that we should be confident in who we are, and love ourselves, is fantastic. We all have flaws. None of us are perfect. I remember recently being in the Dominican Republic back in December with someone who I care a lot about, and getting a big fat zit on my chin. Seriously? I was only going to be there 10 days, seriously skin? I instantly felt embarrassed. I tried covering it up, but it pretty much just looked worse, and I had to bear it for what it was. I felt gross, and not pretty. And I remember Arturo saying to me, “who cares, it’s no big deal”. It was anything and everything a girl would want to hear. He thought I was pretty anyway, why didn’t I? Why did I care so much? I’m still me.

I think what we look like right when we hop out of the shower is something to be proud of. We are not perfect, nobody is perfect. Accepting our imperfections is beautiful. So, what if I have light eyelashes, and you can’t see them if I don’t wear mascara, and we can’t help getting zits every once in awhile, we are who we are, and it’s nice knowing that we all have imperfections.

Love who you are and embrace it.

I supposed it has gotten easier, when I swim 3-4x a week, and every time you see people at races in their swim caps, looking silly, and no make up. But, it makes you feel good at the same time. There is something so raw about people seeing you without any make up, and still loving you for who you are, and what you look like. Our culture puts so much emphasis on appearance, that is refreshing to take a step back, and show that it’s okay to be vulnerable and let our flaws and insecurities show. We all have them, and we should all love ourselves and each other anyway.

So, in honor of Love Your Selfie – no make up day. Here is my selfie – au natural – right out of the shower, pretty much. I literally just took these, in the moment, while writing this blog post. :)ImageImage