What’s Your Favorite Piece of Vintage Activewear?

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness | 9 Comments

When you are a fitness enthusiast, you amass a lot of activewear.  Maybe you’re even like me and buy more activewear than any other type of clothing (even if you aren’t a fitness instructor).   With all the different kinds of fitness activities available, the clothing options available are plentiful (and some are even reasonably priced) but we all have our favorites, the pieces of activewear that we keep no matter what.  Even if we don’t use them, we have sentimental favorite pieces of activewear and today, I’m going to share mine but I’d really like to know about the one (or two) pieces of activewear that you’ve had the longest and why.


My two vintage pieces of activewear are my IronGirl cap and my Hind Leggings.  Both of these items are over 15 years old.  They were integral to training and completing my first and only 26.2 in 1999 (as you can see below) and I can’t bear to part with them.


Rock n Roll Marathon, Iron Girl, Hind, #oldestpieceofactivewear

Iron Girl hat, Hind Leggings, Iron Girl hat day of the San Diego RnR Marathon 1999 and the medal that reminds me of all the hard work.


I remember buying that Iron Girl hat and feeling like I was finally a runner.  Iron Girl was not the brand it is now but just seeing the name “Iron Girl” made me feel powerful.  Training for a marathon was hard work.  I did it as a bucket list item and rationalized that running a race for charity was a good way to get myself in shape.  My heart was in the right place but my head was not.  I did not love running or training but I was determined to finish what I had started – even if it was 26.2 miles (and all the miles beforehand during training).  I keep my Iron Girl hat to remind myself of the time, energy and effort I put into that marathon.  You really do give up a part of your life when you train for a marathon.  That hat is also a symbol of how far I’ve come not only as runner but as a person.
The Hind leggings were a gift and they were more expensive than I ever would have spent on my 29 year old self.  My very thoughtful friend, however, knew I was training during the winter and she always knew how to buy gifts for the people she loved most.  These cold weather leggings don’t get much use in Los Angeles but they stay in my activewear drawer because they remind me of that very special friend and our friendship.
Like the word “vintage”, the quality of these pieces of activewear have gone beyond their intended lifespan.  Maybe it’s bizarre to allow these pieces of vintage activewear to take up room in my overcrowded drawer but even after a cross-country move (and current clothing purge), they are not going into storage or anywhere else.  I’ll continue to buy more clothes for my #fitnesscloset (PavementRunner did a link-up last year about What’s In Your Fitness Closet and it inspired this post) but these vintage pieces will always have a special place in my heart.


I’d really love to know what your favorite piece of vintage activewear is and why.  Please either let me know in the comments or write a post and maybe I’ll start a link up.



5 Mini Motivational Strategies To Maintain The Mojo

Posted on by Melissa Burton in #14in2014, Fitness | 18 Comments

Oh motivation, why are you so damn fleeting?!

When the conference ends, the race is over, the group workout is finished and/or your phone or computer battery is dead, do you ever feel like your personal cheering section has abandoned you?  When real life sets in with all of the every day obligations, commitments and responsibilities that adults need to master every day, finding motivation to reach a goal is not an easy task.




Keeping consistent motivation has always been difficult for me.  Earlier this year, I came up with my own #optimistflip philosophy about working hard to take the every day negatives and attempting to turn them into positives.   To ensure a departure from the “glass half empty” view of the world, I went as far as to use the lyric from Bastille song “Pompeii” of “How am I going to be an optimist about this?” as my 2014 mantra.  Living in LA, you listen to the radio a lot so it wasn’t unusual to hear my mantra 10 times a day at least.  Lately, however, the mantra lyrics aren’t the one’s that have hit home.  Instead it’s been:


But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?


And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?


The answers were yes and yes.  Being consistently inconsistent was not going to get me to my #14in2014 goals.  The vortex of fear and paralysis is a strong one. Finding ways to motivate oneself are not easy but I’m giving these 5 mini motivators a shot because I don’t want it to be December 31st and have it feel like “nothing changed at all”:


1.  Feed The A.D.D.

I have both professional and fitness A.D.D.  It’s easy to get distracted from work tasks by going down the social media rabbit hole and from fitness by letting the bed (or the NetFlix) win sometimes.  Instead of fighting the A.D.D., I’m feeding it.  I’m planning breaks in my workdays (even if it means writing down what I need to do hour by hour some days).  Fitness-wise, I’m filling my runs with Galloway intervals and trying classes that are tailor made for my short attention span like the Cycle and Shred (25 minutes of Cycling and 25 minutes of Megaformer) at Studio Metamorphosis in Pasadena and the Interval Class (Treadmill and Weights AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) at Sweat Garage in West Hollywood.

Sweat Garage, WeHo, AMRAP

SweatGarage with Jennifer@RealMomofSFV and the amazing Derek Ringold of Sweat Garage.

I’m getting small things done consistently.  The fitness is definitely more successful with this tactic than the professional but it’s a start.


2.  Listen To Your Body

Which voice is louder in your head, the negative or the positive?  Getting sleep, eating healthy and hearing what your body tells you isn’t easy but it’s imperative.  Working through lunch, getting to bed late or pushing too hard in a workout may feel like a victory but the bottom line is that the body suffers.  Especially if you have a chronically injured body.


Twice last week, I had to back off from my workout because my back was aching.  Pushing harder was what my mind wanted to do but my body was talking loud and clear.  I knew if I didn’t listen, I’d be benched for a lot longer than a day or two and the repercussions would be in both the fitness and professional realms.


3.  Reward Yourself

I hate the expression “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog”.  IMHO,  if a green tea latte, a prepared salad or even a fabulous piece of chocolate can make you feel good about your accomplishments, go for it!  Small rewards that help reinforce daily healthy behaviors are powerful.  Food nourishes more than just our bodies sometimes.

Brooks Running, Brooks Adrenaline, runner

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Brooks Adrenaline Running Shoes.

I’m rewarding myself weekly:  I bought a new pair of running shoes (way overdue) last week and a Duran Duran tank top this week.  Tangible reminders of positive progress can’t be bad.


4.  Check In With Your Motivators

If you’re lucky, you have a constant support system or friends you can call when you feel the motivation start to wane.  If you’re not so lucky, we all have social media motivators that are only a click away.  There’s a reason that memes are so popular, it’s because they resonate with people!  There are so many people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and throughout the blogosphere who can right the day’s wrongs with their words, images, stories, recipes, workout photos, motivational sayings or movie quotes who have no idea how much impact they have on others.  Some of my favorite motivators include – Alan@Sweating_It_Off on Instagram, Kimberly@ManifestYourself, Allie@VitaTrainForLife, Elizabeth@FlourishInProgress, Danielle@TRexRunner, Ali@AliOnTheRun, Melissa@MelissaRunningIt and Chris@WhatIRunInto but there are so many!


5.  Chunk Your Goals

The Big Fat Hairy Goal is scary and often intimidating.  Having more than one of these BFHG’s at a time makes someone like me freeze into a panic.  Just identifying a few mini goals or chunking out a path to meet a larger goal has reduced some of the Big Fat Hairiness for now.  A few small victories can start a stream of positive reinforcement for the long haul.

Professionally, the goals are the more intimidating.  This may need to be the week to write those suckers down baby step by baby step.  Summer break (and clearing out 75 boxes from the NYC apartment) is hectic but those goals still need to be clear even if they don’t get checked off the list as quickly as I’d like.

In fitness, despite my achy back and my lousy half marathon history,  the 13.1 taunts me like a most delicious Vosges Black Pearl Truffle (if you have never had one, I can’t say enough good things) so I’m working toward getting the strength and stamina to get me closer.  I did a 4 mile relay race last week, the Awesome 80′s 5K coming up and of course, there’s the 2nd Annual Duran Duran Appreciation Day 10K in the very near future.  Building strength and stamina are of the utmost importance right now to ensure long-term fitness.

marathon, 26.2, Rock n Roll

15 years ago, a marathon was my goal. Who knows what the future will bring?

Here’s hoping that the BFHG will soon seem small and crushable!

What or who keeps you motivated? 

A Life Changing 10K With Jeff Galloway

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness | 28 Comments

It’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with running.  I still feel like a fraud because I’m so damned inconsistent with my running.  It’s been hard to get back in the groove since Ragnar and Live Ultimate with Wild Boy but wow, did the run the run that ended FitBloggin2014 change my world.


Every FitBloggin’ ends with a run – a 1 miler, a 5K or a 10K.  Last year, I met one of my favorite people, Carrie@FamilyFitnessFoodduring the 5K.  We were both taking it a little slow and wound up chatting most of the way so in my mind, it was a successful run.  I planned on running the 5K this year until it was announced that the 10K route was going to be over the Savannah Bridge (I love me some bridges) and was going to be paced by Jeff Galloway!


Yeah, that Jeff Galloway, the Olympian, official Training Consultant for the runDisney race series, Runner’s World columnist and developer of the Run-Walk-Run method.  Jeff gave a pep talk to all the runners before we set out to do our runs and took pictures with everyone who asked.

Jeff Galloway, FitBloggin', 10K, Savannah Bridge, runDisney

Jeff Galloway and me in my Ragnar shirt for motivation


Leading up to the run, I was nervous.  I tried to get Shannyn@FrugalBeautiful to join me on the 10K but she chose the 5K instead.  I did get her and the lovely Kelly@NoThanksToCake to take a quick selfie with me before we all went on our separate runs though.

FitBloggin, run, 10K

Pre-Run gathering and selfies with Kelly@NoThanksToCake and Shannyn@FrugalBeautiful


The 10K started with a large group but those quick ladies like Allie@VitaTrain4Life, Sarah@RunFarGirl and Jesica@rUnladylike left a small group that got to actually run (well, Run-Walk-Run) with Jeff and his lovely wife Barb for an entire 10K distance.


Stephanie@FoodFitness4Real and I were absolutely geeked out at our good fortune to actually cover a distance with the Galloways.  I had never purposefully done the Run-Walk-Run method (vs. the run and then take walk breaks when I can’t keep up the pace) and I’ll admit that I was a bit hesitant to try it.  Running has always fueled a “don’t stop” attitude in me that makes me feel bad when I need to walk.  However, when Jeff told me that he has been using Run-Walk-Run without injury for over 30 years, I figured there must be something to it (especially with as many times as I’ve been injured).


Our Run-Walk-Run intervals were for 15 seconds each.  I was surprised that the short bursts of power alternated with periods of light recovery allowed for what felt like greater sustained effort for a longer period of time.  The sustained effort certainly came in extra handy when the Savannah Bridge offered this course:


Savannah Bridge, 10K, run, Jeff Galloway

Check out the ascend of the Savannah Bridge as Ashley@FierceForwardForLife and Jeff Galloway approach.


I’ve done my fair share of bridge runs but this one was definitely steep.  I felt the intimidation creep in when I saw that the top of the bridge was touching clouds (look at the photo again)!  It certainly didn’t help matters that it was ridiculously warm and swampy humid at 7:30 in the morning.


I kept at the Run-Walk-Run pace and at one time I was running in step with Jeff and asked him for his advice about running up hills.  He said to try to almost not have your feet touch the ground, to glide a little.  We chatted and ran and chatted and ran.  As we ran, I heard Kate Bush singing in my head “be running up that road, be running up that hill“.


Kate Bush, 10K, Savannah Bridge

That’s me in the orange leggings “Running Up That Hill”.


Savannah’s a beautiful city and I’m so glad that I got the chance to see some of these amazing views while running up the bridge (why I didn’t take any coming down, I’ll never know).


Savannah Bridge, running, 10K, Jeff Galloway


I ran a good portion of the way back with Jeff’s wife, Barb,  and we talked about running, our children and about the research about how regular exercise (including running) has proven positive effects on the brain.  I don’t often get the chance to run with someone and I forgot how much different it is to run and have a meaningful conversation with another person (I talk plenty to myself while I run).


Before I knew it, we were back at the hotel just about 6.2 miles later.  When I looked at how much time elapsed, I noticed the time was slower than my normal 10K – but not by much.  What was different though was the way that I felt.  I felt great!  My back was a tiny bit achy but that was it!  It sounds ridiculous but a tiny ache was nothing compared to my recent after run feelings (crap would sum those feelings up nicely).


RunDisney, Jeff Galloway, 10K

Happy FitBloggin’ Run-Walk-Run 10K faces


I got back inside the hotel for breakfast and I couldn’t contain myself.  I was overwhelmed with how good I felt.  Maybe it’s a little too self-congratulatory, but I was ridiculously proud of myself for not only completing this unexpected 10K (in the crazy heat and humidity – thank goodness for cloud cover) but for finishing it strong!  I was a jumble of emotions that I actually had to go to the bathroom and cry a little bit.  I‘ve been known to cry on my runs but not necessarily after them.


This 10K has changed me.  I went on a modified Run-Walk-Run 5 miler after FitBloggin’ and I felt great!  For a long time I’ve been battling some running demons and maybe adopting a Run-Walk-Run style will be the shift I need –  both physically and emotionally.

Post 5 miler post FitBloggin'

My post FitBloggin’ 5 miler after photo


There’s a half marathon out there waiting for me.  I’ve trained for 4 half marathons in as many years and injury has given me a DNS for all of them.  Maybe 2014 will be my half marathon year, you never know.


What’s your running ritual that keeps you motivated?

Getting Nourished at FitBloggin’

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness | 34 Comments

Ever feel hungover from a vacation?  After a two week trip which included a long stay in Chicago with friends and the FitBloggin’ 2014 Conference in Savannah, Georgia, I was happy to get home.  Being away for so long can sometimes be depressing but when I sat down to write today this lyric from Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” popped into my head:


FitBloggin', health, fitness, conference, blogging, Train, Drops of Jupiter


The past 2 weeks were most definitely a soul vacation.  Chicago and Savannah were nourishing.  Good friends always fill your heart and soul but few people can say that a conference can have a similar effect.


FitBloggin' 2014, health, wellness, fitness, blogging

FitBloggin’ 2014 Attendees: Image: Carrie D Photography


Last year FitBloggin’ was life changing and this year FitBloggin 2014 was soul nourishing.  When you get the chance to spend a weekend with a bunch of people who share a passion for community, health, wellness, fitness and blogging, you can’t help but feel refreshed and invigorated.  Nourished isn’t a word that normally doesn’t apply to conferences but FitBloggin’ is different and here’s why:


N – New (and old) friends

If you’ve ever thought that maybe the social media friends you have aren’t really your friends, here’s where you’ll find out.FitBloggin’ is the place where you’ll get to see if you can crossover from virtual friend to IRL friend…and likely, you will.  It certainly happened to me!


My SoCal Ragnar team was born at this conference last year - Amy@It’sAllAboutTheJourney, Jill@TreeFitness, Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood, Jamie@FitApproach (who got married this past weekend!) and Kia@BodhiBear (who was not only my ride to and from Atlanta but she was very visible during the conference).


Ragnar So Cal 2014

Ragnar So Cal 2014


I met the amazing Kimberly@ManifestYourself and Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama at FitBloggin’ last year.  Kimberly and Nellie teamed up with Cassandre@LosingInTheCity in May for A Healthy U Conference.  I never would have been invited to speak at their conference if I hadn’t met these ladies through FitBloggin’.,,

Kimberly, Cassandre and Nellie

Even though the conference runs from Thursday night to Sunday morning, I still did not get enough time with many friends including Kelly@NoThanksToCake, Melissa@MelissaRunningIt, Erin@DigDeepPlayHard, Aliah@TheGetFitDiva, Alyssa@DoubleChinDiaryTammy@GingerMantraDanielle@TheTRexRunnerShannyn@FrugalBeautiful, Erica@EricaDHouse and Kat@KatrinaElle just to name a few.

Although we didn’t meet at FitBloggin’, it was also a time to reunite with my good buddy Allie@VitaTrain4Life

Allie, VitaTrain4Life

Me with Allie@VitaTrain4Life


There were also so many fabulous new people that I met as well – Stephanie@FoodandFitness4Real, Ashley@FierceForwardForLife, Shannon@BadAssFitness, Allison Carter (girl, I don’t even know your blog), Jesica@rUnladylike, Sarah@RunFarGirl and I finally got the chance to hug and hang out with the wonderful Alan@SweatingUntilHappy!


Leopold's, Savannah, FitBloggin'

Alan@SweatingUntilHappy in a Melissa sandwich with me and Melissa@MelissaRunningIt – a great ending (with delicious ice cream) to a first night of FitBloggin’.


O – OMG! Moments

So, it rains a lot in Savannah.  Unexpectedly, so there were a lot of OMG moments including:

  • Got to meet and take a selfie with the vegan athlete, Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.  I’ll admit that not only did I not know who Arian was, I didn’t even know that there was an NFL team called the Houston Texans.  I’m certain with a son that has embraced sports this is the type of stuff that I’ll get to know soon.
Arian Foster, Health Warrior, Chia Bar

Me mugging with Health Warrior’s Chia Bar and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.

  • 80′s Zumba - I’ve taken one Zumba class before but there was no way that I was going to miss this one.  Sadly, no Duran Duran was played during the class.


U – Unexpectedly Good Eats

Who knew that an old fashioned town like Savannah had such modern restaurants?  The restaurants I went to in Savannah rivaled many of the establishments in both NYC and LA in both food and feel!

The Coffee Fox, Ampersand, The Bee's Knees, Augusta, Savannah, Metter, grits, sweet tea, breakfast tapas

Deliciousness in Georgia


Normally, I’d classify myself as not a fan of southern food but I believe I’ve been converted. Here were some of my favorite things – the Horchata Latte at The Coffee Fox, Fried Green Tomatoes at Bohemian House’s Rocks on the RiverGouda Grits and Athena Cocktails at Ampersand, the Turkey Burger, beer and Oreo Pie at The Crystal Beer Parlor (none pictured but the place is absolutely worth mentioning) and the sweet tea and breakfast tapas at the Bee’s Knees in Augusta (a stop made on the way to the Atlanta airport).


R  - RunDisney 10K Savannah Bridge Run with Jeff Galloway

I still can’t believe that not only did I run an unexpected 10K over the massive (and scenic) Savannah Bridge but that I did it with Olympian and run coach extraordinaire Jeff Galloway (and his lovely wife).  I’m a sucker for bridges so it was almost a gimme when I found out that the bridge was only included in the 10K (vs the 5K or the 1 miler) at the end of FitBloggin’. The fact that Jeff Galloway was running the 10K made it an even quicker yes.


RunDisney, Jeff Galloway, 10K

#EpicSelfie fom top left corner: Jeff Galloway, Ashley@FierceForwardLife, two people I don’t know, Margarita@CupcakeCardio, Me, Stephanie@FoodFitness4Real and Barb Galloway.


This run was so unbelievably life changing for me that it will get it’s own separate post in the near future.  All I can say is that Jeff and Barb Galloway may have altered my running life forever and I’m thrilled to have taken this #epicselfie to prove the awesomeness.


I – Ignite Presentations

Ignite is the Key Note of FitBloggin’ and it allows multiple speakers to each present on their topic of choice for 5 minutes with 20 slides to help tell their story.  Presentations vary from the funny like Sarah@LosingWeightandHavingFun’s – How To Make A Proper Cuppa Tea or Andre@MissionMeltdown’s rap to the inspiring from Allie@VitaTrain4Life, Alan@SweatingUntilHappy or KrisOlsen.  Every single speaker did a great job!

Ignite Fitness

Ignite makes everyone at FitBloggin’ friends whether they meet each other or not.  Being in a room when people share some of their innermost thoughts and feelings to a crowd is something that has an impact.


S – Sessions

Conference sessions at FitBloggin’ come in 3 varieties – educational, emotional or exercise.  Here’s my take:

  • Education: I wasn’t particularly interested in most of the talks this year.  Some seemed to repeat from last year and 2 were about podcasting.  I was particularly disappointed with 2 of the sessions I attended but I did love the presentations by Katy@KatyWidrick about Media Kits and with Shannyn@FrugalBeautiful about Blog PlugIns and found them both very interesting and helpful!  The How To Survive Your First Triathlon discussion session could (and likely should) have been made into a presentation.


  • Emotional: Last year I found myself in quite a few small discussion groups and it was both wonderful and draining.
  • Blogging Over 40 with Gail@GoGoGail was very eye opening.  It reminded me of how much age-ism there is in the fitness/health culture and that I am part of an untapped group of smart, savvy females that need to convince PR people what we’re worth!  #noelderbloggers
  • Maintaining Your Mojo with Kat@KatrinaElle and Dubya@DubyaWife impressed me with how prepared both moderators were and how the attendees really spoke up and supported one another.
  • Blogging Without Losing Yourself had 4 moderators – Kimberly@ManifestYourself, Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama, Maddie@FoodFitnessandFamily and Presley@RunPretty (which seemed a bit excessive) but perhaps it was the sheer number of moderators that gave a wider perspective of the subject matter.  This is a topic that could have been discussed for a very, very long time.


  • Exercise:  Cards on the table, the trampoline class from last year was sorely missed BUT having Erin@DigDeepPlayHard reprise her outdoor bootcamp (along with her husband and infant daughter to help motivate the group) was amazing!  I’m a fan of hot vinyasa yoga and I can say that I’ve never sweat so much in my life.  Erin is a powerhouse that makes exercise accessible, fun and challenging which is a quite a feat!
DigDeepPlayHard, FitBloggin'

Brave Bootcampers after a 6am class.


  • I also found the 80′s Zumba class a ton of fun.  Even though it was light hearted, I was sweating and sort of emotional.  Kia’s yoga class was not the yoga I typically like but after lack of sleep, a slow stretchy almost restorative class was what my body needed even if my head disagreed.


Zumba, FitBloggin'

80′s Zumba


  • I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to attend more of the exercise sessions but they clashed with some of the other discussion groups or presentations.  I wish that there was another afternoon exercise session at a different time because I’m especially sad that I missed PiYo/Insanity.


H – Hell Yes! Attitude

After two weeks away and some soul vacation, the fire of inspiration for blogging, my business and for fitness was reignited.  Ever since I went to my first blogging conference (Bloggy Bootcamp by the SITS Girls), I’ve loved the quote, ” If the answer isn’t a ‘Hell Yes!’ then it’s a ‘No!’” but it never resonated with me until I got home from this conference.

We all want to be healthy and happy human beings but sometimes we do our best to stand in our own way.  It’s not easy to say no or choose the path that would better suit us but it may be the only way each individual can really thrive.

I went for a 5 mile run Monday (which is long for me – especially after running 6.2 miles the previous day) and it was glorious.   My mind was clear, my body felt strong (even though I barely slept and was jet lagged) and my soul felt nourished.  I”m looking forward to the latter half of 2014.  You never know what might happen….


Post 5 miler post FitBloggin'

Post 5 miler post FitBloggin’


What nourishes you and who’s with me for FitBloggin’ Denver in 2015?

The Making of a Runner – Live Ultimate Run Los Angeles 5K

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness | 10 Comments

I’m not a born athlete.  It takes a TON of motivation to get me to be active and despite how long I’ve been running, we still have a love/hate relationship.  My child (aka Wild Boy) is nothing like me and craves athletic activity – it’s good to be fearless and seven years old.

When Live Ultimate Run Los Angeles offered me two registrations for their 5K race over Memorial Day Weekend, Wild Boy said he wanted to run his first 5K with me.  As a parent and an advocate for healthy living, I was thrilled that physical activity was important to my son at such an early age.  I didn’t do my first 5K until I was in my late twenties.  I still have trouble calling myself a runner but today, in celebration of #NationalRunningDay,  I’m sharing what it was like to watch a child (my child!) become a runner.

Live Ultimate,

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