Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Advantage - Local Running Stores

Training and fitness programs are everywhere. Tonight I went to my local Fleet Feet store and checked out their fun run. Today they had a Nike rep at the store demoing new shoes. I tried out a pair and learned about the cushioning and stability of the shoe and the importance of finding the right shoe for my running needs. It was enlightening to talk with an expert in fit and technology. Although I didn't purchase any shoes tonight, it is nice to know that next time I am in the market for a new pair of kicks the experts are right next door.

If you are new to running, or even if you have been doing it for years, it is best to check out your local running stores for an exact fitting. The great thing about small, local running stores is that they cater to you and your needs. They sponsor and train for local races and employ real runners that know what they are talking about. They can answer your questions and they know the right questions to ask to get you into the right shoe and gear for your runs. Plus, my local Fleet Feet store has weekly fun runs, nutrition sessions, and giveaways! Who doesn't love free stuff?

I also picked up a few training cards advertising running and triathlon training programs. I think my next challenge will be a triathlon. I just have to pick a program and set my mind to achieving success. I'm looking forward to next weeks Tuesday night event. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Momentum Swings

Despite my desire for Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open it was not to be. Minutes blended into hours and from the time the first point began at 12:30am to the last ball struck nearly 6 hours later - this match was nothing short of remarkable. It had dramatic points, net cords, shifts in momentum, and most of all just this incredible drive and desire pouring off the players. The court was dripping with emotions, most of which were channeled into amazing and dramatic points coming from both players racquets. Unfortunately, there could only be one winner and Djokovic was that winner today.

The 6 hour match today gave me time to think. A match like this brought to mind my determination and the momentum shifts in my workout routines. I may start off strong on Monday and then have a rough go of it the rest of the week. Some weeks my workouts seem to be going just as planned and other weeks my motivation is lacking. The important thing to remember is to keep going and never give up. No matter how tough the workout is just keep pushing through. The end result will always be worth it. Pain is only temporary, but victory lasts forever.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nike Blog Feature

Nike did a special feature on my half-marathon run this last weekend with them. You can check it out at the blog on NikeWomen.com. They were kind enough to feature two runners participating in the virtual race and I was one of the lucky ones chosen! Not only did I receive a Nike+ kit, but I also got the chance to share my experience with all of you great ladies who follow Nike Women. 

This half-marathon was great and I hope you all get a chance to participate in one at some point. The feeling of accomplishment when you finish those last few miles just can't be beat. I have been resting some this week, I only went running once, but I have been working a lot on my strength training and stretching. I have also been keeping up with my Nike Training Club workouts that I love so much. If you haven't gotten the app yet you should really check it out! 

I've also been watching a lot of tennis this week with the Australian Open going on so that has cut into my workout time. The final is Saturday and I couldn't be more excited. I'm ready to get my cheering mode on and cheer for Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova. Time to make every move count! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Conquer Your Dreams

Conquer. This is one of my favorite words. It speaks volumes for pushing me to work towards my goals. Conquer your fears, conquer your dreams. Conquer your enemies. There isn't anything in life that shouldn't be conquered with guts and passion. If you want something bad enough you should work hard to learn everything you can about it and apply this knowledge to conquering it.

Those that succeed and conquer their careers have worked hard to become the best. They are experts. Jillian Michaels is an expert at helping morbidly obese people lose weight. Warren Buffet has conquered investing. Steve Jobs mastered the digital world. What do these innovators have in common? They all found their passion and conquered their dreams. They have a passion for what they do and have sought out the knowledge and know how to become experts in their field.

I plan on working hard this year to conquer my dreams. What are you doing to conquer your dreams?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winning Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki is at the top of women's tennis. While some have criticized her for her inability to win a Grand Slam, they have failed to focus on the things that she does well. Wozniacki hits the ball hard, she hits it deep, and she does not make mistakes. She is consistent and she knows her game. She plays a winning game, a great game, and a game that is exciting to watch if you stop criticizing and start appreciating her talent.

On Sunday night she took her game to Jelena Jankovic - winning the match and a spot in the quarterfinals by a score of 6-0, 7-5. She didn't just win this match, she dominated the first set. After a few hiccups in the second set she proved why she is a deserving number one. No one can ignore her passion for the game. Nor can they disregard her desire to win that elusive Grand Slam title. This is her year.

The Australian Open provides the perfect platform for Wozniacki to win this first slam. She made the semi-finals in 2011, is playing a strong game and has a supportive team, complete with new coach, on her side. She is hitting the ball with more passion and more drive than ever before and has made it so far without dropping a set. Has she had some tough moments? Yes. Has she proven that she has the fighting spirit to win this tournament? No doubt. As long as Wozniacki can maintain her current form and keep fighting like a champion she will be hoisting the 2012 Australian Open trophy next Sunday and finally silencing her critics. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nike Fuel Band

Tracking for every move I make and seamless integration with my iPhone to count my calories burned, steps taken and activity for the day is just what I need. Nike never ceases to create a product that I hope to use to enhance my training! This past Thursday they introduced the Nike Fuel Band, when worn on your wrist throughout the day it tracks your calories burned, steps taken and allows you to set goals for the day and then to #makeitcount. I would love to have one.

This year I am training for so many races and working to improve my strength. The fuel band would be beneficial to be able to see my calorie burn every day and track my progress easily online. It may just be a dream for me for a while, but perhaps at some point I will get one and see if it is as great as it looks. I will be sure to keep you posted when I do.

At the Nike launch in New York employees got to test out the band all over town. They even tested it by playing a tennis match in Grand Central station. Tennis in Grand Central station, really? What I wouldn't do to be able to do that.

Only time will tell how effective and accurate the fuel band is, but I have faith and will continue to keep it at the top of my wish list.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Australian Open 2012

The Australian Open has been causing me sleep deprivation all week. Don't get me wrong, I love this tournament. It is my favorite Grand Slam and some day I will make it to Australia to see it. I just can't seem to turn off the TV and go to sleep when there are still matches going on. I'm hooked! Even when I finally convince myself to turn off the TV at midnight California time, I still lay awake wondering about the scores and who will win the match.

I tend to get overly involved in the players successes and failures. Rooting for my favorites to win, come on Federer, number 17 please! Caroline Wozniacki, now is your chance to win your first Grand Slam! I just can't seem to shake the feeling that if I am watching and cheering my favorite players on that they will win the tournament. I know it's just my own hopes, but I think that someday soon Wozniacki will show the world why she has been number one for so long and I see no reason why it can't be at this Australian Open.

I'm a huge tennis fan and I love playing at my local tennis club as well as watching the pros play. I get caught up in the spirit of the matches, the intensity of the players, the shifts in momentum. It all adds up to a recipe for hours of entertainment and this 2012 Australian Open has not ceased to provide drama, upsets and triumphs yet. I've been hooked since day one and I will just have to accept the fact that for one more week I will have to become comfortable with surviving on little sleep. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012-Year of Inspiration

The summer Olympics are coming up in a few short months and I am so excited. The top athletes in the world will come together and battle to be given the ultimate prize, a gold medal and bragging rights for the next 4 years.

This past weekend my favorite runner, Kara Goucher battled for a chance to compete for the USA in the Olympic marathon. She ran an amazing race and is now a member of the 2012 Olympic team. I know that I will be following her training and road to the Olympics from here on out. Not only is she an incredible athlete, but she is a very inspiring person. She spoke at my first marathon - the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco - this past year and inspired me to perform at my very best in everything I do.

All the athletes at the games have the ability to inspire and amaze me every time that they compete. Their passion, drive and determination are unmatched. I only hope that I can apply a similar amount of determination into everything I take on in my life, whether it be fitness, work or my relationships. In 2012 I am going to put all my energy into making every moment count. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Resting Comfortably

This week has been rough on my training so far. I have been coming down with a cold so I haven't been able to get out there and workout as hard as I would like. Sometimes you just need to relax and lay low for a few days to recover so you can get out there and work harder when you're feeling well. 

So instead I have been reading some books on my kindle, resting and sipping hot tea. Trying to recover as quickly as possible does have a few perks. I now have a little time to read The Hunger Games, which I have heard such great things about. I am hooked on this book already, such a great read! Plus, it's nice to get home before 7:30 at night and just take a moment to breathe. 

I don't plan on laying low for too much longer, but I think it is ok to just take a few days off every now and then, especially when you are sick. It does wonders for the body and for your spirits! What do you do when you're feeling under the weather? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Virtual Challenge Complete

This past weekend I finished my first ever Nike+ Virtual Half-Marathon. I wasn't sure what to expect from this race because of the virtual nature, but I loved it. It was great to be able to set my own race start time, pick my own course and run along roads and trails in my own city.

The virtual nature of this event did bring less of a competitive spirit because I wasn't racing against other runners in the same event. This did not lesson the intensity and spirit of the race, it just was something that I observed. Every time I passed another runner on my route I wondered if they were participating in the virtual event as well or if they were simply out for a weekend run.

When I finished the race I was a lot hungrier than I thought I would be, but I guess burning close to 1500 calories can do that. I missed the post-race expo and food that usually comes with these races, but I was only a few minutes from home and making my own delicious carb and protein loaded dinner was quick and easy.

So what's next you might ask? I hope to run in the Eugene, Oregon half-marathon in May, a few 5k races in between, and then finish off my year with the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. I just might accept  a few virtual challenges from the Nike+ community as well. See you on the trails! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekend Plans!

Thanks to Nike I will be running the Nike+ Women's Half-Marathon in style! This Sunday I will be lacing up my Nike Free's, pulling on my hyper warm top and legend pants and running 13.1 miles around Roseville, CA.

I am pretty excited and have started prepping already. Tonight I had a healthy supper highlighted by my favorite veggie-broccoli! Tomorrow I will be carb loading with pasta followed by a good nights sleep! And then Sunday is the day I will challenge myself with my 13.1 mile trek!

Wish me luck and join the challenge of the Nike+ Marathon!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life Is What You Make It

Train like a champion, everyday.
Make Every Move Count.
Reach for the stars.
Don't ever quit.
Give more than you thought possible.
Make your dreams a reality.
Believe in yourself.
Never be afraid to learn.
Make life happen.
Free yourself.

Life is what you make it and only you have the power to change your future. Make every moment count.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Life is what you make it and confidence has much to do with that. Don't waste another day. Have the confidence in yourself to go after your goals and to make every moment count. Don't ever give up and keep yourself pointed towards your goal.

Life is about living every moment to the fullest and it is too short to shrink back into yourself and ignore your dreams. Exude confidence, reach for your goals and never stop living your dreams.

I am putting this into practice every day. I started by having the confidence to start a blog and to pursue my fitness passions and dreams. I have ben pursuing them ever since and I know that one day the confidence I show in myself will be seen by others and will lead me on a path that will allow me to reach my goals. What are you doing to exude confidence and reach your goals? Tell me about it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nike+ Women's-half Marathon

It's coming up this weekend - the Nike+ Women's Half-Marathon. I am getting so excited. I am looking forward to running this marathon in my town and on my terms. There are so many opportunities to make this marathon my own, and it is a Nike event, which makes it that much better in my book. Yes, I am a little bit addicted to Nike! If you haven't signed up yet there is still time to make this weekend count and benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I thought this race couldn't get any better, but then I participated in a question and answer session on why I am running the Nike+ Women's Half-marathon and am featured on the Nike blog! This is so exciting for me and I am looking forward to this weekend so much now!

If you haven't checked out what is happening with Nike lately check them out on Facebook or Nike.com. Nike is an endless amount of inspiration for me and I get inspired every day by their professional athletes and inspirational campaigns. Check them out today!

Monday, January 9, 2012

No Excuses

I woke up this morning so tired. The felling never left me all day. Sometimes it is difficult to even force myself to shut off my alarm and go to work, let alone to think about working out. Even though I wanted to just come home and take a nap after work, I didn't. I stayed true to my workout plan. I did a 45 minute cardio/weight routine at the gym and then hit up Taekwondo class for an hour. I felt better about 15 minutes  into my workout and it became totally worth it.

I have a college basketball career in my arsenal of tricks to pull from. In college there is no excuse for skipping a practice and no matter how tired I was, or how many late nights I had put in, I ALWAYS went to practice. And after every two to three hour evening practice I felt more alive than I did before. There is just nothing that can compare to endorphins to help make me alert. During my workout today I kept reminding myself of those college basketball practices and how they taught me to push through tiredness and pain. Basketball taught me how to push myself and taught me that there are no excuses. When you say you will do something, get it done.

Find your reason to workout and your reason to push yourself. Think back to a time in your life when you pushed yourself to achieve something you never thought you could, or a time when you pushed harder than you thought possible. Use that experience to push yourself every day. There is just no excuse for letting yourself take the easy way out. Set an alarm on your phone, get a workout buddy, or create a consequence for skipping your workout. Tell yourself that you will accept no excuses and stick to your plan. The first step to success is taking that first step. Challenge yourself today to make your dreams come true. No excuses.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Injury and Recovery

I have been putting off one of my goals of training for my second marathon due to a recurrent injury from my last Marathon. It's a hard thing to do, to not go for a run and to not be training for a specific event, but in the end I know it will be worth it. 

I have been having knee trouble and was sent to physical therapy for some reduced mobility issues. This brings me to the topic of stretching and how important it is to your routine. If I had been stretching before every run during training, I most likely would not have developed this injury. Now I have to take a half hour or more out of my day for physical therapy exercises. I can feel myself getting slightly better, but not to the extent that I would want and in the time frame I am pushing for. 

Injuries are tough for anyone for many reasons. I am finding other ways to exercise and learning different exercises that strengthen my muscles without harming them. The important thing to remember when you have an injury is not to dwell on that specific injury. You cannot change what happened, but you can change your exercise routine. Injuries force us to rest and maybe that is really what the body is telling us. 

I know that I will achieve my goals, I am just not sure of the exact time frame at the moment. Hopefully I will be back to running full time very soon. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Performing at Your Best

I am a pretty health conscious foodie most of the time but I do get hit with my sweet tooth every once in a while. I can't seem to cut sugar out all together, however, I have been improving upon my current consumption and slowly starting to eat very few processed foods. What I have noticed is that I feel better and perform better. 

What wouldn't we all give to perform at our peak abilities? I have come to the realization that eating healthy is not as difficult as I make it out to be. Here are my tips for keeping yourself performing at your best without breaking the bank. After all, you wouldn't settle for cheap gas in a Ferrari would you? I know that my body is much more important than any sports car. 

  1. Prepare meals on the Saturday or Sunday before you start your week so that you don't have to think about preparing food when you arrive home tired from work. I know you have probably heard this a million times, but try it, it really does work!
  2. Stick to the perimeter of the store, try not to go down the center aisles. All the fresh, healthy ingredients are on the perimeter so don't even venture to the processed food areas. 
  3. Learn what good substitutes are. A few ideas - use applesauce for oil, flax seed and water instead of eggs, almond milk instead of dairy milk and always cut down on the sugar in recipes (you just don't need that much!)
  4. Veggies should fill about half of your plate.
  5. Preparation is key, just think about your meals for the week before you go to the store, make a list of healthy ingredients to get and DO NOT DEVIATE. 
Healthy eating is the beginning of hitting your target weight or reaching your peak abilities. Try a few things off this list, or all of them and let me know how you feel. Good luck!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Failure Brings Success

Jubilation, determination, motivation, whatever you call it, when you achieve something in sport it is an amazing feeling and something that is hard to repeat. I can't think of many other things that can bring about such heartache and such joy. Having the drive and the discipline to work towards that incredible feeling of accomplishment is a gift in itself.

In my tennis match tonight I kept getting ahead in the game and then giving away crucial, game winning points. It was frustrating and I couldn't figure out why. That's when it struck me that even professional athletes suffer setbacks and heartaches, sometimes by as little as losing a race by 1/100th of a second. But that is what makes them become great, learning from those failures, remembering those failures and using them to push themselves in their next big event. It's those moments of failure that give them the strength they need to find a way to get to those moments of pure joy.

I may fail, I may not always put my best foot forward in a match, but as long as I get out there and keep taking those steps to make myself better and learn from my mistakes, I will get to that moment of pure joy, that moment where I achieve great things. It may not be in front of a large crowd, or any crowd for that matter, but that won't change my achievement or take away any of it's power.

I've learned to embrace failure, to let it become a part of me. Failure seems to breed success and if that is what it takes to become the best that I can be then bring on the failures and frustrations because I have learned how to turn them into success. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Run to Be

This new year has gotten me thinking about what I want to be. How do I want to represent my best self? I think the Nike Women's Marathon I ran last year had it right when they wrote the motto "I Run to Be." It's a simple enough phrase, but it can have a much deeper meaning.

I run to be more fit and to lead a healthier lifestyle, but it's more than that. I run to be a better representation of myself. I run to prove what I can do to myself. Running opens up so many doors that I never thought it could. There is a whole community of runners with stories about how they came back from incredible odds to complete their first marathon or race and how it changed their lives. These stories are inspiring and uplifting and I think almost every runner has had a moment where they realized this was their passion.  This is the reason they run.

Even more amazing is how running seems to affect every aspect of my life. When I push myself to reach running goals I find myself pushing myself in other areas of my life. My work seems to go better and my relationships are stronger. Maybe it's the endorphins or the sense of accomplishment or the discipline it takes to continue to run every day. Whatever it is, running brings out the best in people.

Give it a try to day and let me know how running is changing your life. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Goals!

Happy 2012 everyone! I know it's going to be a great year. This last year was amazing for me. I got married, ran my first marathon, rocked the Nike Training Club app, made some great new friends and motivators via blogging (yogaeatrun) and learned to push my body to the limit. So what will my new year be holding?

Relaxing after my first Nike Women's Marathon 2011!

I want 2012 to top this last year, so we will see how far I can take myself and how strong I can make myself. With my ambition and all my motivating family, friends, and social media guru's (@nikegetfit and @nikewomen) I know I can achieve great things. My goals for this year are as follows:
  • Run a second marathon and beat my previous time
  • Become NASM personal trainer certified
  • Become Nike Training Club certified
  • Get my Blackbelt in Taekwondo

Half way to my blackbelt!

Let me know how you plan to up your training and goals in 2012! Goals always push me to work harder and telling people about my goals keeps me accountable, so let me hear yours! Good luck and I wish you all the best in 2012!