I Hope This Post Doesn’t Annoy You

Hi! I’m leaving for vacation TODAY! I’ve got a non-running post for ya, but I’ll be back tomorrow with regular running/life posts! :)

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a month than you probably know I LOVE animals! Of course I love Cecil THE MOST but I have plenty of room in my heart for all animals :). I support several nonprofit organizations like Big Cat Rescue and have written before about the dangers of cub petting.

I was recently scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and clicked on an article about animal testing practices by large cosmetic companies. It was totally sickening. Even though I’ve known these practices exist I’ve been blissfully ignorant to them.

When talking with my best friend who is vegan, Barbara, I learned that Beagles are actually the most tested on animal when it comes to cosmetics. They make for “good” test subjects because they are docile, a reasonable size and don’t eat much.


The Beagle Freedom Project is dedicated to rescuing beagles from laboratories and can be a great resource if you’re interested in learning more.

I’m not here today to tell you that you should stop using your favorite brands, I won’t share heartbreaking images that will shock you or even publish sad stats and information about the cruel tests that are sometimes performed.

I don’t like when that kind of stuff is thrown in my face when I least expect it and I’m guessing you probably don’t either. Instead I want to share what I think is useful information that isn’t designed to shock or disgust you.

I was hesitant to publish this post because, well quite frankly I am not vegetarian or vegan. I thought it might come off as “fake” because I’m only taking this one, small, easy step when I could commit to a vegan lifestyle. When I spoke to Barbara about it she said she thought it was better to take one small step than no steps at all. I hope that other vegans out there won’t hate on me too much. I’m fully aware there is more that I could do.

Okay, let’s jump into it!

Inexpensive, Cruelty-Free Brands:

First I want to share a few lists of brands that are cruelty (and some that aren’t). Maybe just seeing these lists will encourage you to make a simple switch to a different brand. You may be hesitant to make the switch thinking cruelty-free brands are expensive, but that’s not the case at all. Like all cosmetic brands and products, cruelty-free brands vary in price points. 

For example, Drugstore.com has an easy sorting function that allows you to see all of their cruelty-free brands and products very easily. You could order from them or make a list for your next shopping trip. You can also find a list of inexpensive brands and products HERE and HERE.

Brands That Test in China:

Most of you know that I’m a big fan of Bath & Body Works but I recently learned they conduct animal testing in certain regions that require it by law (aka China). L’Oreal, Kiehl’s, Maybelline, Lancome, Clarins, Clinique, L’Occitane and others also pay for tests in China although they don’t test here in the USA. I currently own products from several of these brands. After I finish up what I have I will stop purchasing from them until policies change.

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(You can find an extensive list of companies that pay for or run animal testing in China HERE.)

Cruelty-Free Brands by Type:

I’ve found several recently updated lists of brands that do not conduct any animal testing. You can see a large list of makeup brands broken down by type (high end, drugstore, natural, independent) HERE.

Some of the cruelty-free makeup brands include:

  • Hourglass, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Tarte, NARS, Anastasia and By Terry
  • Milani, NYX, Physicians Formula, Barry M, ELF, Jane
  • Au Naturale, Alima, BH Cosmetics, Christopher Drummond

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When it comes to skin and body there are also plenty of cruelty-free options:

  • Lush
  • Supergoop!
  • Trader Joe’s brand
  • Yes To
  • Aesop
  • The Body Shop
  • Pacifica
  • Burt’s Bees

More cruelty-free drugstore brands can be found HERE.

Haircare brands that are cruelty-free:

  • Drybar
  • Giovanni
  • John Masters
  • Moroccanoil
  • Oribe
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Wen

More cruelty-free haircare brands can be found HERE.

Nailcare brands that are cruelty-free:

  • Butter London
  • Deborah Lippman
  • China Glaze
  • Julep
  • Zoya

I’m glad to see several brands I’m already supporting on these lists including NYX, Yes To, Lush, Oribe and Zoya. I can already highly recommend those brands as great ones! The rest I’ll have to try out to see what I like best.

Back to running posts on Monday! :)

Do you use any of these cruelty-free brands? Would love your recommendations! 

Currently #03

I’m getting pretty good at this running late thing! Last night I didn’t head out until 7:40ish and it didn’t feel weird. It sucks eating dinner at 9pm but other than that I’m in an oddly satisfying groove. I do hope to pull back a bit and start running around 7pm again when we get back from vacation though!

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Since my run was pretty uneventful I thought I would write a CURRENTLY post. My blog dashboard just told me this is the third time I’ve hijacked Megan’s “currently” series (thanks Megan!).

Current Book:

NONE! I actually need to download an audio book for the long plane ride ahead of me tomorrow so I desperately need your recommendations! I’m looking for a good fiction book!

Current Music: 

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I’ve been listening to a playlist from the 90s which includes hits like Two Princes, Gettin Jiggy Wit It, Gangsta’s Paradise and Baby One More Time! :) I LOVE IT!

Current Guilty Pleasure: 

Cadbury milk chocolate bar with hazelnuts imported from the UK!

Current Need: 

Someone to come do my laundry and pack my suitcase! It’s actually my plan to do a load of laundry tonight that includes only the things I want to take on vacation. I shall take the items out of the dryer and place them directly into my suitcase!

Literally me:

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Current Wish List: 

That we could bring Cecil on vacation with us! Don’t worry he has a babysitter who will spoil him rotten all day and night but I’m going to miss him!

Current Most Annoying Celebrity: 

Kylie Jenner. I don’t mind Kim, Khloe or Kourtney (mostly I don’t think about them at all) but there’s something about Kylie that annoys me!

Current Indulgence: 

EVERYTHING I recently bought specifically for vacation :)

Current TV Show: 

Do the NBA playoffs count? Also Mr. Robot!

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Current Food: 

Eggs. I know it’s weird but I love a good egg.

Current Drink: 

Okay, I don’t know why but the water coming out of our fridge tastes really weird! The water filter light is green so I don’t know what’s wrong but it tastes very metallic like!

Current Thing I Am Thankful For: 

Getting to go on an awesome vacation with my favorite travel partner in the whole world!

Current Excitement: 

48 hours from now I’ll be waking up in Barcelona!

What is your favorite throwback song from the 90s?
PLEASE recommend a really good book I can download to listen to on the plane! :) Thanks in advance! 

Running Experts?

Why is it that I always think I know better than the experts?

On Sunday I decided that I wanted to run a little bit faster than my Hansons prescribed easy/long run pace. Even though I tell everyone who will listen “The Hansons say injury comes from too much intensity not too many miles” I apparently think I am too good to listen to this advice myself!

Guess what? Monday morning I woke up and my left knee was a little bit inflamed. Not enough to really bother me but enough to notice something was off. Monday is my rest day from running anyway so it really wasn’t a big deal, but it will teach me to not stray from the plan in the future! Lesson learned. By the end of the night I felt fine so no biggie!

Since yesterday was a non-run day and Friday likely will be as well due to travel arrangements/jet lag I wanted to get in some cross training yesterday. Thirty-five minutes on the elliptical while watching the Heat game. We lost, again, but I know my guys will get a big W at home on Wednesday!

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I guess Cecil is ready to start pumping some major iron because he jumped up into the highest cabinets where Adam keeps his workout stuff (protein, pre-workout, Gatorade powder, etc.)! I can’t reach those cabinets so the only things up there are A’s things… and my son.

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I finally wore my new cat watch yesterday! :)

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I’m now one day closer to vacation. SOOOOO much left to do before I’ll feel ready or excited, but just knowing it’s around the corner feels good!

Can you believe April is almost over already? Wasn’t it just April Fools?!

Chill Weekend + NEW RUNNING GEAR!

Happy Monday! Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend, especially all of you who ran the London Marathon! I loved flicking through all the pics on Instagram this weekend because I really, really, really want to run London one year (soon)!

Adam and I had a pretty chill weekend since we’re leaving for vacation on THURSDAY! Aside from running, I didn’t really do anything else! :) I got in six miles on Saturday and 8 miles on Sunday for a total of 14 for the weekend.

I also got in a killer upper body weight lifting session on Saturday. I don’t know what it was, but I was just feeling great! On Sunday, however, my legs told me they were starting to feel the affects of running higher mileage. I made it through the run just fine but afterwards I all I wanted to do was sit!

On Friday I tried out a pair of Newton Fate for the first time!

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A couple of weeks ago Criteek reached out to see if I would wanted to participate in their Newton campaign by trying out and creating a video review of my experience with the shoes. Of course I said yes because I’m not the type to turn down free running shoes :). I asked for a pair of the Fate and a beautiful blue pair arrived on my doorstep Friday afternoon!

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They’re pretty comparable to the Brooks Glycerin, which are my current go-to shoe… with one exception. The Fate have a 4.5mm drop and the Glycerine are 10mm. This actually makes a pretty big difference in how the ride feels as there is what I perceive to be a significant rocking motion added to each stride.

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My initial impression is that I like the feeling of the 4.5mm drop although I haven’t yet tried the shoes on a very long distance run or a workout run to know for sure. I’ll keep you updated!

Last week I purchased a new running visor to replace one I had to throw out (it wouldn’t stop smelling, hahahah). I’m sad because it’s now almost impossible to find the UA Shadow Visor anywhere which is my absolute favorite but I’m giving the UA Fly Fast visor a try.

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It’s not quite the same, but it’ll do :).

I guess you could say this was a weekend full of new items because I also purchased a new backpack to use as a carryon for the trip! My requirements were: faux leather, big enough to fit my laptop and in black with gold trim. It actually took a few tries, but I eventually found one that meets all the reqs and it was only $36 from Amazon!

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I haven’t worn a backpack in forever and had forgotten how nice it is for the weight of your purse to be evenly distributed across your back!

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(I’m still LOVING this ^ iPhone case with palm trees case so much!)

I’m looking forward to loading up the backpack for all of the adventures ahead of me later this week!

Anyway, before I sign off today I wanted to take a minute to share something I recently learned.  I’ve been reading the Tales from the Back of the Pack blog for a long time now and I’m currently loving her Earth Day series on how to reduce waste in everyday life.

One simple thing that all of us can do as athletes is to recycle our Gu packets! All you have to do is sign up for a free account with Terracycle and opt-in to the Gu recycling program. Then save up all of your used Gu packets in a box and when you’re ready, print out a free shipping label through Terracycle and send off your waste to be recycled! Easy squeezy.

You’ll collect points which you can use to make a donation to charity or earn cool upcycled products!

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Terracycle is also working with Larabar, Clif Bar and other products that you probably use every day. I’m excited to participate and start recycling the Gu packets I normally just toss in the bin!

Wow, this ended up being a long Monday post! Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!

How did your running go this weekend?!
Any Newton shoe lovers out there? Which is your go-to pair? 

* Criteek sent me the pair of Newton Fate. Everything else in this post I purchased with my own dolla dolla bills. 

Connecting the Dots: Sleeping, Running, Eating

I’m a little late with my post today because I fell asleep on the couch after the Miami Heat game and went to bed at 11pm. That’s really early for me!

I know we’re supposed to try and get 8 hours of sleep a night but either I’m really bad at time management or it’s an impossibility! Here’s my typical weekday:

7am: Wake Up, Shower, Blow dry hair

7:45am: Eat breakfast, read the news, read a blog or two

8:15am: Makeup and say goodbye to Cecil (this is a process)

8:30am: Leave the house and stop for coffee (Keurig is making weird tasting coffee at home)

9:30am: Arrive at work

6:00pm: Leave work

7:00pm: Get home from work

7:15pm: Go running

8:15-8:30: Shower and make dinner

9:00pm: Watch TV and generally spend time with Adam

12:30am: Go to bed

(You can watch my latest Day in the Life video here if you’re interested!)

I don’t always fall asleep as soon as I get into bed. Usually I need to read for a few minutes, so let’s say I get to sleep somewhere around 12:45 and 1:15am. That’s not good, is it?

I was just telling Ali the other day that I’m trying really hard to connect the dots between running, sleeping and eating. Obviously I know all three are related, but that doesn’t always lead me to taking action in any of the three areas to make improvements.

It’s easy to read something in a book and go, “ah, that makes sense,” but actually implementing changes into my daily routine isn’t easy. You know I’ve tried several times to become a morning runner and have always failed. Although it’s not surprising that I failed considering I didn’t start going to bed any earlier and trying to get up and run on about four hours of sleep just isn’t healthy or right. My body fought me every day and after maybe two consecutive days I was back to sleeping in until 7am.

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I’m not trying to do the morning runner thing anymore. Truthfully I just like running after work because it gives me time to change from work Kristina to home Kristina. Like when Clark Kent changes into Superman. Same thing.

I am trying to take some baby steps to link running, sleeping and eating to convince myself to make improvements.

My training log has always been the place that I log: miles run, pace, temperature and notes about how I felt during the run. Now I’m also adding WHY I think I felt that way.

For example, last night I went for my tempo run at 7:15pm and didn’t feel that great during it. I think that might have had something to do with going to bed extra late several times this week along with not having eaten since lunch (12:30pm). Hopefully writing all of this down in my notes will remind me next week to at least have a snack in the afternoon or during my drive home to give me more energy before I do my tempo.

I know all of this stuff is super basic stuff that many people managed to get under control in the early 20s (or even earlier) but I’m getting there! Maybe when I turn 30 later this year I’ll finally be an adult ;).

What sort of things do you track in your training log?