San Francisco

Thanksgiving Traditions and Weekend Recap!

I love Holidays and especially Thanksgiving! Being from Norway and Thanksgiving being an American holiday, I have only celebrated it for the last few years, but I already love it. I know it has a lot of history and there is a lot more to it than a nice family dinner, but to me, it’s all about appreciation, friends, family and giving thanks. I also love how it pushes Christmas back to actually being in December. My friends back home complain about Christmas decorations and food coming into stores in September. That’s way to early! Summer is not even fully over yet. But, I digress.

We decided not to go anywhere this year and just stayed in San Francisco. To be honest, I kind of like it when the city simmers down and everybody just takes a breather. A couple of years ago, I ordered the turkey from Honeybaked Ham and cooked a complete Thanksgiving meal at home with every side dish you can ever imagine. I don’t know if I forgot that it was just the two of us or what, but we had turkey, stuffing, mac & cheese, gravy, cornbread and mashed potatoes for weeks! It was nice, but until we’re a big family I kind of feel like I have been there, done that! So this year, we decided to just relax and go out for a nice dinner instead. I loved it!

San Francisco Streets

Thanksgiving dinner dateOn my way home from work the day before Thanksgiving, I stopped by Banana Republic and that combined with the rain we have been having lately, it really got me into PJ’s all day lounge around mood! I wanted all the leggings, tanks, cashmere cardigans, cozy socks and infinity scarfs! And its already added to my wish list.

Banana Republic store layout, thanksgiving weekendThursday basically consisted of us just relaxing, watching movies and me baking my first ever homemade American Apple Pie! I got the recipe from Joy the Baker. Whenever I visit her site, my mouth waters and I want to bake all things everything! The result of the pie? Ta-da!

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Apple PieI also needed to get all my Christmas shopping done so the gifts would make it to Norway in time for Christmas. After putting it off for too long, I knew it was time, but to be honest, Black Friday scares me. Last year we went to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving and I figured I would visit one of the outlet malls for Black Friday. Worst idea ever! After being stuck at the parking lot for about an hour, trying to park further away and realizing I was in the deep ghetto, combined with the fear of accidentally becoming the center of attention in one of those Black Friday news headlines, I drove off.

So this year, I took a different approach and got almost everything online with either pick up in store or 2 day free shipping! Amazing! After lounging around in my PJ’s watching movies, and eating apple pie all day long, I did a quick pickup in store at a few places and finished off the night by watching the annual Christmas tree lighting at Union Square. Another holiday tradition favorite! Didn’t get a good picture of the tree at the event with all those people, so here one from yesterday, in all its glory!

San Francisco Christmas Tree

And even though we didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we made a fake smaller one with chicken on Sunday! The sides are what really matters right? :)

Thanksgiving weekend recap, turkey and stuffing

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Until Next Time, Hadet på Badet!

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Motivation to Work Out with Classpass!

After finishing my first half marathon this summer, I have been struggling with motivation in the exercise department. Running a half marathon burns enough calories for the entire year right? That’s how it feels when you’re done! Since then, I have just been so tired of doing the same thing over and over so I ended up taking a pretty long break from the whole thing. Which by the way usually consists of 30 min strengths with free weights + 30 min jog/run 3 times a week and one longer run on the weekend during race training. Needless to say, after the break my muscle mass is severely decreased and I feel like I am starting all over again, from scratch. I tend to do this, get really fit in a really intense fast way, get bored, get lazy and then start all over again. Why you ask? Isn’t that how we all do it? It would be a lot easier if I just kept going, but for some reason I haven’t cracked that code yet. Maybe that should be a resolution for 2015.

motivation-to-work-out-with-30-day-classpass-reviewPicture from the classpass website.

One day, my coworker told me about Classpass. The first month is only $1 and you can pretty much try an unlimited amount of various types of classes! I was intrigued! I had been waiting wanting to try something new and this would be perfect! I signed up right away and even through it took me a week to get started, I tried a few different classes over the course of October. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and ended up trying Krav Maga 1, Krav Bag, Barry’s Bootcamp, Power Yoga, Total Body Burn, Vinyasa Yoga, and Pop Physique. I also  signed up for Surfset, Beginners Boxing, and Pilates Pro, but you know how life goes sometimes. Stuff comes up and you’re just too busy lazy and would rather not :) I’ll give you a more detailed review of each class next time!

motivation-to-work-out-with-30-day-classpass-reviewPicture from the classpass website.

The good and the bad? The good is that you get to try a variety of classes and see what you like/don’t like. I know I discovered some new talents. You can do each studio three times during the course of a month and there are tons of studios! Most fitness classes are between $ 15-30 so if you do more than 3-6 classes a month, it ends up saving you money (Regular price after your first month is $99). The bad? It’s a good idea to read the fine print because there is a whole lot of it. Most important there is a 24 hour cancellation policy and if you don’t cancel within that and don’t attend the class, you’ll be charged $20. So basically you have to go! Good and bad if you ask me. If you decide to cancel a month and sign up again, there is a $75 activation fee, every time. Or you can freeze your membership for $19 a month. Oh and if you want to cancel, remember to do it 15 days before the next billing cycle!

motivation-to-work-out-with-30-day-classpass-reviewPicture from the classpass website.

So there you have it, Classpass. It was fun to try something new! I am still not back on top, but at least I am back at it :)

How do you stay motivated? Have you ever tried Classpass? If you want to try it out, its available in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago and Seattle so far. Follow their Instagram for new locations.

Until next time, Hadet på Badet!

Repolished.com

I completed my first Half Marathon! Does that mean I am a runner?

San Francisco Half MarathonIf someone had told me a few years ago that I would run a half marathon, I would have just laughed! I honestly never though that was something I would be able to do, but on July 27th, 2014 I did! I ran my first half marathon, 13.1 miles or 22 kilometers!

When I was a kid, I was very active and participated in almost any sport genre you can think of. My days were usually spent climbing high and low on my way home from school and straight into playing soccer or some kind of hide and seek game with the neighborhood kids. I have always been a tall drink of water but, when I was eleven my body grew to fast for its own good and I ended up having major back surgery. Even though I am very grateful that this happened early on, it was a scary thing at only eleven years old. I could not do any sports or bend my back for six months. After my recovery, I was as good as new and should have been able to do the same things as any other eleven year old, but I was scared. Worried that I would do something to break it back up, I became a lot more careful and didn’t do the same activities as before. Throughout my teens and early 20’s I was perfectly happy not doing any kind of exercise. It wasn’t until 2011 when I was a little heavier set, I realized that maybe it would be a good idea to keep my body in shape somehow. I started going to the gym and could maybe run 2 minutes on 5.5 mph at a time on the treadmill. I did not think in any way that it would improve from that point, because I was not a runner.

I unintentionally started running for real back in 2012 when I did my first Color Run. You can read all about my first “race” here.  Coming home that saturday I couldn’t help but thinking maybe I could be a runner after all? If I could jog a 5K, maybe I could actually run? I started doing intervals on the treadmill and eventually started jogging outside. Even though I ran pretty often, I never seemed to get any further than 3-4 miles. I figured that was my limit and slowly lost the motivation to push any further. If I could do 3 miles, maybe that was enough. After all, its not like I could ever do a half marathon or anything so what was the point? I just wanted to stay in shape.

For the past year I feel like everyone from my best friends grandmother to my next door neighbor ran a half marathon. Was this just something people did now? Just casually run a half marathon on the weekends? I still didn’t think that I could, but I would always ponder the though when I saw all those glorious race photos on Facebook. The competitor in me wanted to go for it and I talked about it, but I never truly meant it. For Christmas this year, I got a fitness diary/calendar from my friend and filled with the “New Years Resolution” spirit, I started jotting down my fitness goals for the upcoming year. I put down, “Run a 10K” and I didn’t know how I would, but at least now it was written down on paper. I stared at it for a long time and even though I never really though I would do it, there was a glimpse of maybe. Just maybe I could. The day before New Years Eve, I went out for a routine 3 mile run and ended up running 6.2 miles, also known as 10K! I have no idea where I got the strength or stamina to do that, but I did. I don’t know if it was because the goal was now in my head or what happened, but something clicked. Did this mean I was a runner? It’s not like I would do a half marathon or anything, but I mean 10K was something. It was more than my usual 3 miler. I had pushed myself to do more.

After a few weeks, I picked it back up and started running on a regular basis again. Still just 3 miles, 3 times a week but I was preparing for something bigger because now I knew I could do more. In March I signed up for what would be my first half marathon! And on July 27th 2014, I finished it! I didn’t have the best preparation and I didn’t finish with the best time, but I finished! I completed my first half marathon.

During the race all I could think was, why would anybody do this to themselves? Why would I pay to do this? This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever done and I will never do it again! As soon as I saw that finish line I was thinking to myself, oh this wasn’t really that bad. I am kind of enjoying this! I am actually loving this! I will definitely do this again! Is that what they call the runners high? Was I in a state of delusion or does this just mean that I am a runner now?

Yes I am a runner! In fact, I have been a runner since the first time I stepped on that treadmill, but this is the first time I will admit it if someone asks!

You can read all about my actual race experience here.

I ran my first Half Marathon!

San Francisco Half MarathonOn the last weekend of July, I ran my first half marathon! 13.1 miles, 22 kilometers. I know a lot of people run half marathons these days, but to me this has been and still is a big deal! I signed up back in March and at that time I was in really good shape. It turns out after months of vacation, pollen allergy, starting a new job and lack of motivation, not so much! You can read more about my last weeks of training here. After a three day conference, stomping around on concrete floors with flat sandals, with limited sleep and some extra wine I set my alarm to 4.30AM on a sunday morning to run my race.

Before the race, I had run 10 miles at the most and even though I was confident I would finish, I was still nervous! Once you start telling people you’re doing something like this, they feel compelled to tell you all the horror stories! Why is that? I have heard stories of people getting injured, having the “runners run” both before, during and right after the race (Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is!) and many more disturbing scenarios. I was actually more worried about anything weird like this happening, than actually running 13.1 miles!

So back to my race morning, I got up at 4.30AM (why would anyone do that?) and after gobbling down an egg, I walked down to meet my friend Jenny at the starting area. We thought we would be running together but turned out we were in different waves, major bummer! I got lined up in my wave and took a look around me. It was 6AM and the sunrise was beautiful! I tried to just take a moment to really appreciate what I was about to do even though I was filled with butterflies. The start gun went off, and I started running.

San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco Marathon

The one thing everyone has told me was to go slow in the beginning. Go slow and steady, that’s how you win the race. So, I tried not to be discourraged by people passing me and held a steady pace.  Mile 1-3 was pretty easy, flat and comfortable. Then at mile 3, my knees started to ache. What was this? They hadn’t really done that during training. Probably those concrete conference floors…Not being able to do anything about it, I just kept going and tried to change up my stride once in a while. Mile 4-5 was pretty good and I felt like I had found my stride. The first hill was in front of me and I powered through it. The change in incline was actually doing my knees some good.

San Francisco Marathon

After mile 5, I started the steepest incline up to the bridge and decided to walk fast during the steepest uphill instead of jogging. I actually think I was able to keep the same pace as the rest of the people because I am 5.9, with long ass legs. Win! I had imagined in advance that running over the Golden Gate Bridge would be somewhat magical, and it was the first time it did it for training, but during the race it was a little different. They blocked off three lanes on the right side of the bridge for us to run both going there and coming back. In other words it was kind of crowded and so far down from the sidewalk edge that you couldn’t really see anything…

San Francisco Marathon

After the bridge I knew we were at 10 miles+ and it was just for me to finish! That’s really when the big portion of the uphills really start (insert face palm) Although, there is one long downhill in the middle there! People told me to go slow on the downhill so I wouldn’t hurt my knees, but I figured I was hurting anyways and I just wanted to finish, so I killed that downhill! This is when I started to realize that I was almost done! I had ran 12 miles all by myself!

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That’s San Francisco for you…

San Francisco Half Marathon

I had my Fitbit tracking my distance as I was running, but I knew it was a little off so when it hit 13.1, I still had a little to go. In my mind though I thought I had a lot longer than I did, so when I saw that finish line, I felt a huge relief! I was done! I had completed 13.1 Miles, a half marathon! And then all of a sudden I didn’t feel as tired anymore! Weird huh?

San Francisco Half Marathon

Key take-aways?

– It’s all mental!

– Unforeseen things might happen!

– Testing out the entire course in advance (in pieces) was the best thing I ever did in training!

 Have you ever done a half marathon? How was it?