BACK in the Saddle Again…

(Who else is humming along to Aerosmith right now?)

I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say 2020 has been a rather, um, challenging year.

Mine started out on the wrong foot (pardon the pun!) when I was benched from running due to a nagging back/hip problem. Then of course, Covid hit in March.

Over the next few months, we experienced two deaths in the family, and had to re-home our puppy when I turned out to be allergic.

And now, of course, we’re trying to navigate this crazy school year with kids in three different schools. Plus, this election… need I say more?

We all know the havoc that stress can wreck on our bodies and minds, so I’m incredibly grateful to be running again after several months of physical therapy.

I’ve been working slowly and steadily to increase my time, and I’m finally back to running 3 miles several times a week.

On the one hand, it seems rather pitiful to be excited about being able to run the distance that used to be my bare minimum, but I’ll take it. It feels SO good to be back in the saddle again, and never have I needed a physical outlet and a healthy way to release stress and anxiety than I do right now.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my running gear, so when Nordstrom reached out about partnering on a few posts with Zella, I was all in.

Zella is a Nordstrom-made lifestyle brand made with movement in mind. You already know how much I love their joggers, but they also have tons of great loungewear, comfortable workout outfits, and stylish outerwear.

I, of course, went right to their running section. I’ve been needing another good base layer for chilly days, so I picked up one of their long sleeve performance t-shirts.

This top is moisture-wicking and quick-drying, and I love the easy, relaxed fit.

On milder days, I will wear it alone, but on cooler days, I like to layer a jacket on top. This lightweight lounge jacket is the perfect topper on days when there’s a slight nip in the air.

It’s soft and stretchy with a ribbed-inset collar, and I appreciate that there are no strings flying around to slap you in the face (yes, that happens with hoodies that have drawstrings!)

If you’re not a runner, this is also a great jacket for hiking or walking, or just lounging around the house when you want to be cute but cozy.

Both the t-shirt and jacket run true to size; I have my usual small.

My leggings are the high waist studio lite ankle leggings in a bold graphic print. They have smooth flatlock seaming designed to eliminate rubbing and irritation, and they’re super lightweight. I also love the high rise fit.

They run true to size, or you can size up if in between. I usually wear medium in Zella leggings, but I ordered a small this time since that’s what I wear in their joggers, and they fit great.

Sometimes, wearing leggings too big causes them to slide down, so I try to buy the smallest size that comfortably fits.

I usually run in Sauconys, but I wanted to try Brooks, so I ordered the Brooks Ghost 13 running shoe. I chose the black/pearl/hushed violet because the black keeps them neutral, but the hint of blush is a nice, feminine detail.

These shoes are more of a neutral shoe than I’m used to, but with my custom orthotics, they offer plenty of support. They’re also very soft and cushiony. I’m definitely a fan!

When I placed my order, I also threw in a 3-pack of the Zella low training socks and this Ava t-shirt. I already have it in the orange, and I love it for gym workouts, so I added the blue to my workout wardrobe.

What to Wear for Fall Outdoor Workouts

I also added in this cali fleece hooded sweatshirt at the last minute because it goes so well with these leggings. But, ohmyword, you guys. It is sooooo soft and cozy. I did not want to take it off after our photo shoot.

It’s not something I’d run in, but it’s perfect for throwing over your t-shirt or tank top after a yoga class or gym workout, and it makes great loungewear. You could also wear it with jeans and sneakers for a sporty, casual look.

Oh, and Zella also makes my favorite fleece running gloves. These would make a nice gift — perfect for a stocking stuffer — for the runner in your life.

In fact, any of the items in this post would make nice gifts for your active friends and family members.

What are you doing to stay active and relieve stress these days?

If you need to refresh your activewear to keep you outside this fall, be sure to check out the entire Zella line at Nordstrom.

And don’t forget, Nordstrom offers free shipping and returns, BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store), and contactless curbside pickup options.

Plus, when you become a member of The Nordy Club, you can earn points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop, and enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers and events.

What to Wear for Fall Outdoor Workouts

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What to Wear for Fall Outdoor Workouts

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photos: Alison Cornell

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19 Responses

  1. Welcome home!  Driving through NYC does not sound fun at all.  What a pretty outfit for your outdoors exercise.  I can say that, thanks to your introduction, I also love the Zella brand.  While I don’t have the leggings, the pieces I do have are so comfy.  I am going to look into something warm that I can wear to our bonfires so that I don’t have to wear my hunting clothes.  ETA has left our area, the sun is back, along with cooler temps, for the time being.  Have a fabulous Friday!

  2. Hi, love the outfits (too bad it’s too warm to wear in S. FL #sorryNotSorry). I’m curious as to what happened to you re your hip/lower back & how you got better bc I’ve been dealing w/SI joint/hip/lower back issues since August & I’ve not been able to hit the gym & well w/menopause🔥 deciding to start during quarantine 🤦🏻‍♀️, I don’t feel my best!! I’m new to your blog and I’ve really enjoyed reading it! 

    1. Hey Maria, ugh, back pain is the worst. I went to PT for quite a few months, and since then i’ve been seeing a chiropractor periodically to keep it all in check. He does active release, and it’s very effective.

  3. I’m so glad that you are able to run again! I loved all of these outfits and the shoes. I have a random question: Do you use a waterproof spray on your Franco Sarto booties? I bought the tan pair from the N Sale and am afraid to spray them. Have a great weekend!

  4. My routine has been to workout right after school drop off in the morning and then shower and do a few hours of work before the kids get home from school and my “real” day starts. Ha!  I usually run or ride my Peloton or do a Peloton app workout. The Peloton had been life changing for me this year. I tend to dress in my workout clothes when I get up so that I have no excuses. Lately, when I shower, I find myself thinking that I need to put on my “comfy clothes” after showering. I’m not sure what could be comfier than leggings – maybe pj’s and no bra?  This just shows how far I seem to have fallen in 2020!  I used to wear suits and heels every day!

    1. Ha! So true. I can’t believe how many days I wear joggers… and today I never changed out of my running clothes. (I didn’t get around to running either, which bums me out b/c I’ve got a photo shoot tomorrow.) Oh well. Sunday, it is!

  5. I know the drive well, Jo-Lynne. I’ve been driving between Delaware and New England for 40 years. It can be a little harrowing at times.

    I’ve never worn patterned leggings but I LOVE the ones you’re wearing, Jo-Lynne. I have several Zella items purchased from the Nordy sale over the last 2 years and I’ve been very pleased with the quality, fit, and durability. How heavy is the hoodie? I love a cozy hoodie but I often find them too bulky and heavy.

    As for what I’m doing to stay active, I’m learning to lap swim and am loving it. I could always swim well enough to save myself (grew up on a farm where I learned to swim in a pond) but as I’ve gotten older and begun to have physical ailments, I decided I needed something other than my old gym workouts. Learning to swim the strokes has been challenging, but I’m also enjoying the sense of accomplishment. Our YMCA has been doing an amazing job with social distance precautions and I feel very safe. I was also just introduced to pickleball and am LOVING it. And I can play outside and socially distant!

  6. I also switched from Saucony running shoes a few months ago and have the exact same pair—love them! Since I have postponed my gym membership since March, I am doing a 3-month weight trading session with Deb Atkinson at Flipping 50. It’s been a great addition to long walks/hikes and occasional tennis. The program is very safe; there are beginners and others like myself who have done some weight training in the past. It’s geared for women 50 and over and is very educational. 

  7. I was a gym rat before COVID, took to walking outside, YouTube workouts, and yoga while the gym was shut down. Went back to the gym when it opened, then got the breast cancer diagnosis. I had surgery in August, recuperated about 3 weeks, then started walking and yoga again. I started chemo September 1st, and my family doctor told me to just keep on walking, even if I couldn’t go very far or fast. The funny thing is, I have been able to continue at my fast pace, and have done surprisingly well through chemo, with only one more treatment to go—-yay!  Yesterday morning the temp was only 30 degrees, and my bottom half froze, so I just ordered a longer down coat to walk in. If not for walking, I know my mental and physical health would have taken a beating. I do have some Zella leggings, and the quality is great. I think I need to try the Brooks shoes. Brooks are my favorite, but I have never tried the Ghost. Don’t know how it will work for walking, but when I get back to the gym eventually, they should be great for the treadmill. 

  8. I’ve been wearing the Brooks Ghosts for over 5 years. Used to run, but now I walk 6-7 miles every day. Best walking or running shoe on the market.

  9. Is the running jacket blue or black?  In your picture it looks blue and on the website it only has black.  Thanks, I love the outfit.

  10. I’ve never worn zella but will have to check it out!  Also I’m curious to hear how you like brooks!  I have “finicky feet” too and am struggling to find tennis shoes with enough support but also cushioning.  And most of all not too clunky or ugly!  Lol

  11. Love the look of the camo leggings and they appear very flattering. I would love to see you style some leather leggings which appear to be really in right now and also some UGG’s, not for running but just comfy wear. Those items are really big out here in California which appears to have its own style trends. Thank you for keeping me trendy!

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