10k Training Week 8: Feeling Good

Last week was my eighth week of 10k training, which means I’ve 2/3 of the way there!  I’ve been away from the blog for a while; here’s what I’ve been up to exercise-wise:

10k Training Plan Weeks 5-8

I only have a month left until my 10k, which seems really soon and really far away at the same time.  I’ve done really well with my running and am quite proud of myself.  I’ve followed my running plan (haven’t skipped any runs!), and my pace has been consistent with an upward trend.  I’ve had a few bad runs, but the overwhelming majority have left me feeling fantastic.

Samantha or Sam Post-5 Mile Run
Post-5 Mile Run Exhaustion/Bliss

With four weeks to go until my race I’m getting slightly nervous.  I think I may have overdone the how many weeks I needed to train – eight weeks probably would have been enough.  That being said, running is a huge mental game for me.  My legs are a lot stronger than I ever expected – I just need to make sure I remember that!

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training:  Week 8 Overview

10k Training Week 4: Push it Good

Looking back, I can’t believe four weeks have already gone by since I started training for my 10k race!  I’ve accomplished a lot in that time period, and I still have two thirds of my plan left.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to rock the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis 10k.

Run 1:  3 miles @ 11:21 min/mi pace

My first run of the week was great!  My Saturday rest day combined with an easy walk on Sunday made my legs feel really fresh, so I decided to push myself to see what I could do.  I ended up running 1.5 miles, walking for a few minutes, and running the remaining 1+ mile.  Three miles in 34:04!  That turned out to be an average 11:21 min/mi pace, my fastest pace to date!  It was a great run, and I felt extremely accomplished.

Run 2:  3.01 miles @ 11:25 min/mi pace

After my stellar performance on Monday I decided to try and push my endurance a little bit more on Wednesday.  I went a little  slower and ran two continuous miles!  I walked for a few minutes, then finished out my three miles strong.  Another great run, another great feeling!  Running two miles was a little tougher for me, so I definitely had to play some mind games with myself.  I told myself I would run for a mile, then another five minutes.  Since I was almost to two miles I needed to go for it, I told myself.  Sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Run 3:  4.01 miles @ 11:03 min/mi pace

My long run of the week was incredible.  The theme of the week seemed to be endurance, and I couldn’t let myself down on my last run.  I ran all four miles without any walk breaks and averaged my fastest time yet!  What an amazing feeling – I’ve never run four miles straight without any walk breaks.  I know I’m going to reach my goal of running my entire 10k in two months, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue my training!


I continued with my yoga practice this week as well.  Tuesday was all about stretching out running muscles, while Thursday was full of deep stretches.  It was just what I needed.  I can definitely tell that yoga has helped the performance of my muscles, and I intend on keeping it up.  I’ve been trying to incorporate more yoga into my weekly routine but haven’t been too successful so far.  Four weeks of running and yoga has been great to me.

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training Week 4 Progress
Pace is on the left, while run number is on the bottom

Here’s a cool little graph I’ve been keeping with my min/mi pace.  I’ve normalized the times so they don’t include any warm up or cool down walks.  My Friday runs are consistently my fastest runs, while I seem to take things easier on Wednesdays.  While it seems silly, seeing this information laid out makes me that much more excited about running!  My progress has been better than I imagined after only a month.

I’m very proud of myself.

August 2015 Fabletics Obsession… *ahem* Review

Fabletics had a lot of great outfits for August, and it was hard to choose which outfits to get.  Since I wasn’t able to purchase the limited edition Stash graffiti print I decided to go all out with this month’s wavy print!

The first outfit I chose, the Fairfax, is for running.  It includes the Wade Top and Adrian Short.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Review: Fabletics Fairfax Outfit - Front
Just hanging around
Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Review: Fabletics Fairfax Outfit - Back - Chair Pose
Chair posin’ ain’t easy

The Wade Top is comfortable, stylish, and surprising modest considering the top quarter of the front and top third of the back are mesh.  It’s a nice weight and is more form fitting than the other tops I’ve purchased.  I’ve worn it for running and yoga so far, and I can already tell it’s going to get a lot of wear.

The Adrian Short is great for running in the heat, but it is very short!  It has a two inch inseam, so beware – I definitely won’t take these to my work gym!  Although they have the same inseam length, I like these better than the Suva Run II Short.  The sides of the Adrian Short aren’t sew together, so they give you more room to move in when you run.  This also means the fabric doesn’t flip at the bottom, something that happens with the Suva Run II Short, which is a pet peeve of mine.

I loved the Fairfax outfit and have already added both pieces to my rotation.

My second outfit purchase was the Gennessee, purchased with yoga in mind.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Fabletics Gennessee - Kenyon Tank and Salar Crop - Dancer Pose
Graceful like a dancer

The Gennessee outfit is comprised of the Kenyon Tank paired with the Salar Crop.  The Kenyon Tank is the perfect tank top for yoga; it has a lightly padded built in bra, fabric made for moving, and enough length in the front and back so that it doesn’t ride up.  Plus the back is has unique cutouts, but isn’t too sexy for the gym.  This is a great top, whether you go with the wavy print or solid black.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Fabletics Gennessee - Kenyon Tank and Salar Crop - Front
Camel toe is an instant no go
Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Fabletics Gennessee - Kenyon Tank and Salar Crop - Back
Good back, bad bum

The Salar Crop, unfortunately, didn’t wow me like the first half of the outfit did.  The crop is a great length and is made of nice thick fabric (the same as the Salar Legging and Salar Capri).  Unfortunately, there’s a major design flaw here.  The seam in the front gives the appearance of semi-permanent camel toe, which is something no girl wants.  I was also not a fan of how my bum looked in the Crop.  Too bad, because I love the Legging and Capri.

The Gennessee oufit was a tie.  The Kenyon Tank is another new favorite, but the Salar Crop had to go back.

I also purchased four additional pieces for myself: the Windhaven Pullover, the Salar Capri in wavy print, the Joliet High-Impact Sports Bra, and the Cope Sports Bra.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Windhaven Pullover and Salar Capri
Stylish and comfortable

The Windhaven Pullover is a great, if unusual, top.  It’s part sweatshirt material and part windbreaker material, which I wasn’t expecting.  Here I have it paired with the Salar Capri, but I can’t wait to rock it with some dark skinny jeans when the weather gets cooler.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Joliet High-Impact Bra and Salar Capri - Tree Pose - Back
Growing my branches

I’ve read a lot of rave reviews about the Salar Capri, and I get it.  These pants are incredibly comfortable.  I practiced yoga in them today and didn’t want to take these bad boys off.  This month’s wavy print is killer, too.  These are going to be go-to workout and athleisure wear for me as the weather transitions into fall.

I picked up two sports bras this month as a(n extra) treat to myself.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Joliet High-Impact Bra and Salar Capri - Front
Not my best technique, but you can see the front of the bra fairly well here

The Joliet High-Impact Bra is impressive.  I can actually run in it without worrying about the girls!  It’s a little confusing with the colored band inside the bra, but once you’ve figure it out you’re gold.  I’ve seen some mixed reviews with the Joliet Bra, but I liked it enough to buy a second one in a different color.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Cope Bra and Adrian Short - Front
Getting my om on

The Cope Bra is a medium impact bra.  I was actually able to do a little jog in it while wearing the Wade Top, which I mentioned was more fitted.  I certainly wouldn’t run in it regularly, but ladies with smaller busts could probably get away with it.  The back of this bra is a cool and strappy and definitely steals the show.  I have no complaints about the Cope Bra.

Samantha or Sam Aug 2015 Fabletics Review - Cope Bra and Adrian Short - Back
Runner’s tan is a real problem

Sizing note:  I’m 5’5″ and 127 lbs.  My stats are 35-25.5-37, and I wear a 32DD bra.  I wear an XS top, S bra and S bottom in Fabletics clothing.  In normal athletic clothing I wear a S top, M bra, and S bottom.  I hope this can help others when figuring out Fabletics sizing, as the size chart isn’t 100% accurate.

I do not work for nor am I affiliated with Fabletics in any way.  However, this post does contain referral links that can fuel my Fabletics habit.  ;)

Not sure what Fabletics is?  Click here to get the scoop.

10k Training Week 3: Throw Your Schedule Out the Window

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training Recap Week 3

A few weeks ago I began my 10k journey.  I created my own 10k training plan using Jeff Galloway and Jenny Hadfield 10k guides as my inspiration.  It’s been three weeks of training now and I haven’t managed to follow my own plan for even one week yet!  I could give all the excuses, but it comes down to two things:

  1. It’s too hot to run outside
  2. I’m lazy

Since I can’t seem to get four runs in during the week, I’m going to tweak my training plan.  I’m only going to require three runs per week, with my Sunday run optional.  If I don’t run on Sunday I’ll still have to do at least 30 minutes of cardio, but I’m tired of beating myself up over not getting all my runs in.  I’ll be shifting most of my long runs to Friday, which is my favorite day to hang out in the gym.

My runs this week all felt really good.  My 4 mile run on Friday was awesome!  After my warmup I ran one mile/walked five minutes three times, hitting the four mile mark.  I was disgustingly sweaty after I was finished, but I felt great.  I’m not worried about my 10k at all.  I’ve got two more months of training; I’m going to kick ass!

Week 3 Training Breakdown

10k Training Recap Week 3

Samantha or Sam's 10k Training Plan Version 2

Running Meets Yoga: The Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag Review

My gym bag held my clothes and running shoes.  My yoga mat bag held my yoga mat.  My work bag held my lunch bag, purse, and miscellaneous work items.  I was tired off lugging multiple bags to work every day.

It was time for a new gym bag.

There were two things I wanted my in my new bag:  a shoe garage and a place for my yoga mat.  Size was negotiable, but I needed to be able to fit my gym clothes, running shoes, yoga mat, and shower things in at the time without issue.  A place to separate my clean clothes from everything else would be a plus.  This wouldn’t be too difficult to find, right?

I searched the internet for days trying to find an affordable gym bag that met all my specifications, but it was tough.  Eventually I had a few contenders, notably the Haiku Sprint Duffle, the Haiku Weekender Duffle, and the Haiku Gym Weekender Duffle.  Notice a trend here?  There were a few others that had potential, but the Haiku brand seems to have cornered the market on Things Sam Needs in her Gym Bag.

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Front View (Full) with Yoga Mat

To be honest, I had never heard of Haiku before.  I did some research and they seemed like a decent enough company, so I decided to buy one of their bags.  The bags themselves were priced between $80 and $120 on Amazon (the cheapest place to buy them), so price wasn’t a deciding factor.  While they all had shoe compartments, the Gym Weekender’s shoe compartment wasn’t ventilated!  It thought that was a little odd considering it was the specific “gym” bag, but I crossed it off my list.  The Sprint and the Weekender were pretty even contenders for me.  The Weekender was larger, but I liked the placement of the yoga mat better on the Sprint.  Decisions, decisions.

I waffled back and forth and eventually ended up purchasing the Haiku Weekender Duffle.  Since the Weekender had more space I could theoretically fit my lunch box and purse in it, making my bag lady status disappear!  With high hopes I made my purchase and waited eagerly for it to arrive.

The Haiku Weekender comes in a few different colors, but I chose black since I would be using it as a work bag as well.  The entire top of the bag zips shut.  In addition to the main compartment, the interior of the bag hosts a small pocket and two large elastic pockets on the sides of the bag.  The inside liner is some kind of wipe-to-clean material.

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Inside View – Gym Clothes in Left Pocket, Accessories in Right Pocket, Purse, Lunch Box, Cardigan, Running Shoes, Yoga Mat

On the exterior of the bag there a small pocket on the front of the yoga mat sling, the shoe garage on the side of the bag, and a “pocket” on the back with a zipper at the bottom so that it can go through your rolling suitcase’s handle and sit on the suitcase when you’re in the airport/traveling.  The exterior of the bag is made of a soft, thick, canvas.  In the month or so that I’ve had this bag I’ve managed to spill iced coffee on it twice, but it was a breeze to clean with a damp, lightly soaped cloth.

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Top View (Full) with Yoga Mat

I wouldn’t recommend using the zippered pocket on the back, as the zipper comes undone fairly easily.  There’s so much room inside the bag I’ve never needed to use it for anything.  I thought the front pocket would be superfluous, but I really love it for my work badge, keys, and cell phone.  The small pocket on the inside is where I keep my bluetooth headphones (and their charger), regular headphones, running watch and charger, and fitbit charger.  Yeah, all of that fits in this tiny little pocket!

My running shoes aren’t extra small or extra bulky; there’s a lot of space left in the shoe compartment to accommodate larger shoes.  It does take up some of the room inside the main compartment, but the bag is spacious enough that I’ve never had issues with it.  I like to keep my gym clothes in one elastic pocket.  The other pocket holds shower shoes, a pouch with shower accessories and makeup, and sun screen (full size).  My umbrella and water bottle live in the main compartment.  I keep my lunch box (full of large tupperware) on the size of the bag opposite the shoe compartment; my purse goes in next, followed by an ever-present cardigan on top.  Finally, I can easily fit my standard size yoga mat through the front and I’m good to go!

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Shoe Garage (Inside)

When I’m at the gym I can fit my bag into a locker, but I do have to squish it a little bit.  I don’t keep my purse or lunch bag in it (it’s a work gym), so it’s just my shoes in the elastic pocket where I keep my gym clothes, my regular clothes in the main compartment, and my accessories in the other pocket.  If it’s a yoga day my running shoes are in the shoe garage as well.  Our lockers are standard size I don’t usually have a problem getting them closed and clocked without issue.

Shoe Garage (Outside)
Shoe Garage (Outside)

While this bag fits everything I require, it does get heavy.  It weighs about three pounds by itself.  When I started using it I was slightly disappointed because of the weight.  When I removed the crossover strap, something I never used, it did lighten some.  A month later and I honestly don’t notice the weight now.  The Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag is perfect for my running, yoga, and work needs.  If I had a work laptop things might be a little different, but I don’t think it would be too much of an issue to keep it in a sleeve in the main compartment.  If you’re looking for an affordable, stylish (but not too girly) gym bag with a vented shoe compartment, place for your yoga mat, and multiple pockets I can’t recommend this bag enough!


I do not work for nor am I affiliated with Haiku or Amazon in any way.  I was not paid for my review in any way.  I simply love my gym bag and want other runners and yogis to be aware there is a gym bag that can fit all their needs.