Sweet Success

Sweet Success

A health and fitness blog by Sara Giboney.

The new and improved Sweet Success!!

As I’ve mentioned before, Sweet Success is getting a new look!

It’s been months in the making, but the blog redesign is finally done! I wanted Sweet Success to be easier to navigate and to have a more modern, pretty design.

You’ll notice my Instagram and Twitter feeds on the right side of the new blog, which allows you to stay up to date on my workouts and healthy eats.

Also, you can now leave comments! I would love to hear your thoughts on my posts, so please tell me what you’re thinking!

Eventually, my archive will be on the new blog so you can look back at past posts. I also hope to create a recipe index eventually.

Since I’m no longer using Tumblr as my platform, I have a new URL! Find the new blog at http://sweetsuccess.es. Super easy! Save the new URL in your Favorites!

I’ll still post links to new posts on Facebook and Twitter, so no change there!

I hope you like it!

Week of Workouts {May 3-9}

After running the Lincoln Half-Marathon on Sunday, I took it easy this week. I did lots of yoga and some toning workouts.

I ended up running on Thursday, and it felt pretty decent. My hamstrings were still a bit tight from the half-marathon, but I did yoga later and felt better.

Here’s what I did this week…

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Saturday, May 3 - quick yoga to stretch out for the half-marathon

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Celebrate the new Sweet Success with the May Plank Challenge

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Not only will Sweet Success be getting a major upgrade soon, but I’m launching a fitness challenge!

I know I mentioned it forever ago, but Sweet Success is undergoing a complete redesign. It’s almost done, and you will get to see the finished product soon! Sweet Success will have a new URL, so I’ll give you all the details ASAP!

To celebrate the new look and to celebrate the blog’s third birthday (I know, so much to celebrate!), I’m launching the Sweet Success May Plank Challenge!

In just three weeks you will strengthen your core, and feel lean and toned just in time for summer!

A lot of plank challenges have participants hold a regular plank every day for increasing amounts of time. But I wanted to create something that was more challenging.

I’ve incorporated many plank variations in this challenge to strengthen your core and work your entire body.

Why planks? Planks are one of the best exercises for flat, toned abs because they work every muscle in your core, including the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips and back, according to Shape Magazine. Strengthening your entire core helps to sculpt a flat stomach.

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Each day’s challenge will only take you 5-10 minutes (so there’s no excuse not to fit it in!). But it’s important that you also complete your regular cardio sessions and strength training, toning or yoga. 

I also want to stress the importance of a healthy diet. If you’re doing planks everyday and eating junk, you’re not going to see a huge difference. Abs are made in the kitchen! Stick to whole foods during the plank challenge and you will see changes! 

So what’s the first step? Take a photo of yourself…sans shirt. I know, I know. You don’t have to share the photo with me or anyone else. It’s just for yourself. Photos are really the best way to track progress, especially when you’re goal is to get muscle definition or just tone up. You’re not going to see that progress on the scale. 

Check Sweet Success Monday morning to find out your plank schedule!

Grocery Haul + Weekly meal Plan

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After all the pre- and post-race carbs I consumed for the Lincoln Half-Marathon on Sunday, I definitely feel like I need a little carb break.

Don’t worry, I won’t go crazy with a cleanse or anything. But my body is craving greens and fresh fruit.

So I stopped by Hy-Vee Monday after work to stock up on produce.

I bought golden beets, carrot chips, cauliflower, purple cabbage, cucumber, lemon, raspberries, mint, an avocado and bananas. I already had kale, spinach, mixed greens, a red pepper, strawberries and blueberries in my fridge.

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Weekend Recap - Weekend eats + shopping finds {May 2-4}

I know that I already posted a recap of the Lincoln Half-Marathon, which took place over the weekend, but I wanted to tell you about the rest of my weekend!

I ate some delish food and found some fun fitness apparel and healthy kitchen tools on a couple of shopping trips.

Here’s how my weekend went…

Friday, May 2

I took Friday off of work to have a relaxing birthday celebration day and to get ready for the half-marathon. Read about my 31st Birthday celebration here.

My day started with homemade Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts from Joy the Baker. Since I didn’t have actual cake on my birthday, I thought these would be perfect and they were.

Although I planned to spend most of the morning relaxing, I got sucked into organizing things and doing laundry while I was packing for the weekend. But I did lounge on the couch watching Good Morning America while I ate my doughnuts and sipped on some coffee!

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Lincoln Half-Marathon Recap

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The BF and I completed the Lincoln Half-Marathon on Sunday!

It was my sixth time running the race and my seventh half-marathon!

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We arrived in Lincoln on Saturday afternoon and drove directly to the Cornhusker Hotel to pick up our packets. Packet pick-up has been at the Embassy Suites since I started running the race, but it was easier than ever at the new location! They had the expo and the packet pick-up in two separate places within the hotel and it totally helped lessen the congestion. 

We always stay at the Chase Suite Hotel because they have full kitchens and two bedrooms (my parents always come with us to cheer us on from the sidelines). We like to prepare our own dinner the night before the race so that we don’t have to eat out and worry about stomach issues the day of the race. 

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We made Soba Noodles with Chicken and Peanut Sauce from the Runner’s World Cookbook for dinner. We’ve made it before during our training, so we knew it would be a good pre-race dinner. We also had mixed greens with Trader Joe’s Cranberry, Walnut and Gorgonzola Dressing and some veggies.

Before we headed to bed, my parents mapped out the places on the race route that they would be at cheering for us and taking photos. The BF and I took a short walk around the hotel grounds and I did a little yoga to get stretched out.

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The morning of the race, we woke up around 5 a.m. and had English muffins topped with almond butter and banana slices, and coffee.

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My thoughts on tomorrow’s half-marathon + tips on long distance running

The Lincoln Half-Marathon is tomorrow!

I can’t believe it’s already here. I’m excited and nervous just like I have been with every race I’ve done. This will be my seventh half-marathon! It still feels weird for me to write that. It feels like I’m talking about someone else.

I’m definitely not a natural athlete, and running is still hard for me. Most training runs are challenging, and I have to dig deep for some inner strength to get me through them. But that is what I love about running.

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The first time I crossed the finish line of a half-marathon, I thought, ‘If I can do this, I can do anything.’ There’s something powerful about pushing your body past physical pain and having mental strength take over. 

My training for this half-marathon has been less than stellar. For most of the training, I was teaching five fitness classes a week. Getting in my short weekday training runs was hard. I got in all of my long weekend training runs, but those short runs are just as important. 

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Week of Workouts {April 26 - May 2}

This is my last week of workouts before the Lincoln Half-Marathon!! I tapered my runs, toned down my other workouts and spent lots of time stretching and foam rolling to prepare for the half-marathon.

I’m incorporating Tone It Up workouts into my schedule because I’m following the Bikini Series Challenge. It started Monday. Time to tone up for summer!

I also started the FitFluential Namaste in May Challenge on May 1. I’m doing yoga every day in May!

I know, I know. I’m doing two fitness challenges. It may seem like a little much, but since I won’t be running as much I need some new workouts that I’m committed to!

Saturday, April 26 - 8 mile run

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31st Birthday Recap

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Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday!

It truly was a fantastic day. I felt very special and very loved.

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I started the day with some yoga - a few sun salutations, a good morning yoga sequence and a hip opening yoga sequence.

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For breakfast, I had beautiful protein pancakes topped with a quick homemade raspberry jam (fresh raspberries + pure maple syrup). 

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Happy Birthday to me!

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Today is my 31st birthday! 

I love birthdays because it’s a good time of year to take stock of your accomplishments over the last year, set some goals for the upcoming year and take some time to celebrate yourself!

I am an advocate of celebrating a birthday month or, at the very least, a birthday week. We all deserve to have a week or a month to feel pampered, taken care of and to feel special!

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(All dressed up at dinner on my 29th birthday)

The key to making your birthday celebration last longer than just one day is taking control! Don’t put all the pressure on your family and friends to make your birthday month special. That’s too much responsibility for people, and it’s asking a bit too much of others. So take the pampering and gifting into your own hands!

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