Monday, August 27, 2012

Nike Keeps Designing and I Keep Dreaming - My Updated Wish List

Once again I am bringing you my Nike wish list! Just a few products I am loving recently:

This training shoe has built in technology to track your workouts and provides you with workouts from pro athletes directly on your iPhone. You can compete with your top score or any of the other Nike community members using the app and shoes! Revolutionary. They are out of my size at the moment, which is probably a good thing because they are some of the most expensive shoes on the market. But totally worth the cost. Just think of them as your own personal trainer and motivator. 

With a limited waste design, these shoes are knit together to reduce the carbon footprint. They are also super light and made for running and training. These shoes just might be a nod to the future of fitness. I definitely need a pair of these on my feet. Maybe I'll treat myself to a pair after I complete the Nike Women's Marathon in October. If only Christmas came early this year...

I may already have a black fuelband, but one that is built on the concept of ice and allows me to see through the outer case, genius! I wouldn't mind having one of these on my wrist to track my daily movements. 

Adjustable mock neck and sweat wicking fabric are just a few of the great benefits of this shirt. It also comes in great colors and keeps you warm and dry during cold weather workouts. Plus, it is long enough to not hike up during long runs. It also has a brushed interior that makes it sooo soft on your skin. 

These are some of the most comfortable capris you will ever own and come in fun winter colors to spice up your workout. The back zipper pocket is perfect for stashing your keys or a snack on your long run.

Super cute shorts with bonded seams for comfort and a mesh outer layer for breathability. Perfect for training and running. They allow for a full range of motion so you can worry about performance and not fit. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Taking a Leap of Faith!

This weekend was a weekend of firsts for me. I had my first 20 mile long run and my second mid term for black belt testing. Like the picture above shows, my life over the past few months has been a result of a decision I have made to not be satisfied with where I am in my life. I have decided to work for my first marathon PR and get my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

My journey to becoming a black belt has been a long one over the last two years. I have gone through many life changes throughout that time. It is an interesting timeline to see. In a span of two years I have gone from living in Oregon to becoming a Californian (which I am still not totally ok with) how I miss you Oregon..., I have gone from being single to married, had two different jobs, become a Nike training ambassador and really expanded my world and reach through this blog. 

My favorite Nike Lunarglide shoes and my Tae Kwon Do testing spirit!

As far as my running goals and ambassadorship, I am incredibly excited to have been given this chance. Training with Nike has given me a new outlook on life and what is possible. For the first time in my life I am seriously considering following my dreams and working towards my goals. 
I have never run over 100 miles in a month. I looked at the Nike+ running site to track my progress and over the last 30 days I have run 151 miles! That is such a great accomplishment for me. It is just proof of the work that has gone into my training and what taking that leap of faith can do. 

I dare you to take a leap of faith and pursue your goals. You never know what might happen when you open yourself up to the possibility of something new. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aerial Yoga

Today was my second aerial yoga class. I have come to really enjoy this class. It is a mix of TRX and yoga. Today focused a lot on core work and strength training. I had a blast working on balancing in the hammocks and hanging upside down while suspended from the ceiling. The instructor was extremely knowledgeable and made the class simple to get the hang of. 

Training for the Nike Women's Marathon and running anywhere from 40-50 miles a week has caused me to seek out new ways to help my body stretch out and relax after tough workouts. Aerial yoga is just the thing. It is challenging, yet relaxing at the same time. Being suspended in the air allows me to get deeper into poses than I normally would. If you have the opportunity to try out one of these classes do not pass it up. I can hardly wait to go back next week; especially after my 20 mile run on Saturday.

I have been training extremely hard these past few months and with less than two months to go I plan on doing everything I can to keep my body healthy, happy and performing at it's best. Right now aerial yoga is just what I need. Are there any untraditional classes that you have tried out recently to keep your body guessing and add an extra challenge to your daily workouts? Let me know!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Becoming Untouchable

I want to make myself untouchable at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 14, 2012. Becoming untouchable does not mean that I will win the race, it does not mean that I will even finish in the top 10. Being untouchable to me means that I will have trained harder than I ever thought possible, fought through the moments when I wanted to give in to the pain or my tiredness, and I will be ready when my moment comes. I want to crush my previous marathon time and set my own sub four hour marathon PR.

I have had moments throughout the last few months of training where I questioned what I was doing and why I was putting my body through this rigorous training. Luckily, I have always had another voice in my head that wins out, this one telling me to never stop, that it will all be worth it. Sometimes this voice comes from the girls on the Nike Women Team - Lydia, Nicole and Marie - through a phone call, email, brand new box of Nike gear or tweet. Other times I get support and the fuel to push forward though Elizabeth, Tiara, Nerissa and Jenae - my fellow Sisters In Nike. When I am feeling like sleeping in I just have to look at my Facebook or Twitter feed to see my friends training and working hard and I know that I want to do this with them. I want to become my best self. I want to be untouchable. I don't want to ever feel like I could have given more than I gave.

The Nike Women's Marathon is only two months away and my training time is quickly flying by. I am enjoying the experience immensely and couldn't imagine a better way to live my life. I know that this experience and the opportunity that Nike Women have given me is immeasurable. I have decided to pursue my dream of becoming a personal trainer as soon as the marathon is over, and maybe even someday reach my ultimate dream of working for Nike Women, the very people who gave me the chance to push myself and reach my potential. I have never felt more alive than when I am training and chasing after a goal. I never want to lose track of this feeling. I am in my element when I am training and know that this is my true calling. I have only been sitting at my desk job for two years, but I am beginning to realize how much I have missed my calling.

When Leah Kim wrote her book "From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven," she could not have been speaking to anyone more than me. I could relate to everything she said in her book, and I mean EVERYTHING. I went to business school, and like her find myself hating my desk job. I LOVE working out and yoga and would enjoy sharing this with everyone. My dream job would be to work with Nike, and she received an email from them out of the blue that led to her Global Yoga Ambassadorship. I also received an email from Nike, asking me to be their Nike Women's Marathon Training Ambassador for the Nike Women's Marathon 2012. I enjoy writing like Leah and would one day love to write a book like she did. The only difference I see right now is that I have, until this point, not been brave enough to quit my current job and pursue my dreams.

2012 has been full of surprises and new opportunities. It has been a year where I have learned more about myself and my career passions than I ever learned in college. I am realizing the truth that when you follow your passion and dreams things really do start to fall into place. I can hardly wait to see what the future holds for me. At this point in my life it seems that with hard work and belief in my passions anything is possible.

I need to say a huge thanks to Nike Women, Leah Kim, Marie, Lydia, Nicole, Tiara, Elizabeth, Nerissa, and Jenae for showing me the way to follow my dreams, for inspiring me to never give up, for giving me the support I need to push myself daily and for lighting a fire in my life to begin to pursue my passion and not wait for things to happen. This year I am going to make myself untouchable. I will find my greatness. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My First Trail Run

Today was my first experience with trail running. One of my relatively new running buddies had signed up with her friend to run the "Run on the Sly" 12k race. Her friend got injured about a month before the race and had to give up her entry. I was asked to run the race and I couldn't say no to the chance to test out how my running would be on a trail run.

We drove an hour to get to the scenic race in the hills of Tahoe. The race began at 3,500 ft and rose to 4,400 ft throughout the race. There were two huge hills, one at the very beginning of the race and one that led to the halfway point. My legs were tired before I started the race from my 17 mile training run the day before, so I started a bit slow, but picked up my pace as the race went on. With trail running, the pace is much slower than a road race due to the unsteady nature of the trails. There are rocks, sticks and other obstacles you have to watch out for. I was very careful during this race to watch where I stepped to keep myself free of injury.

I finished the race at 1:22:48 and was pretty happy with my time considering the nature of the race, my tired legs and the crowd of people I was following. The second half of the race I ran much faster than the first half. Once I warmed up I was able to push myself and run strong to the end. If you haven't done a trail run before I would recommend that you give it a try.

Some of the positives are of trail running are:
  • Soft trail to run on 
  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Challenging
This weekend was a challenging one. My 17 mile run the day before was difficult. I had a very hard time getting started and pushing myself. I need to find a new running route because I tend to find it hard to run the same route every week. My task this week will be to research a new place to run that will challenge me.

What did you do to stay active this weekend? Do you prefer trail runs or road runs? 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Track Day

My track workout today was tough. I was supposed to do it yesterday but my two running partners couldn't run until Thursday. I woke up to a beautiful, cool morning and drove to the local track. Today I had a track workout of 4x800 and 4x400. I have never done 800m sprints before and was a bit nervous about such a big distance.

800 Sprint Times:

400 Sprint Times:

My times were better than I expected and I was able to work hard during each one. I kept telling myself to keep pushing myself forward and to not stop. I had to push myself hard during the last few laps and tell myself to keep going. During the last thirty minutes of my sprints the high school marching band came out to practice and that was a fun extra addition to my run. 

I always surprise myself with running, some days are good and others I just have to push through and put in my miles. Today was one of the good days and one that I will remember for a long time. Running has become more real to me over the past few months with my training picking up and my goals of getting faster finally becoming a reality. I went running with a group of nine other ladies and was singled out as "the fastest" one. It felt so good to be considered fast. I had just met a few of them and they told me "oh, we've heard about you, you're the fast, marathon girl." I've never been told that before, but it felt great! Now I just hope I can live up to their expectations.

Tomorrow is another short 7 mile run and then Saturday I have 17 miles! I'm nervous and excited to see how I do. I'm feeling stronger and looking forward to seeing if that pays off during my long run, but first I'm going to treat my sore muscles to a massage tomorrow! It's time to give my muscles some TLC, they've been working hard and deserve it!

What are your weekend plans?

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Day to Find Greatness

My Best Nike Fuel Day!

This past weekend I was able to participate in Nike's "Find Greatness" day and am proud to say that I was able to make this day my most active day yet. I pushed myself by running 15 miles on a very hilly course, doing NTC workouts, boxing drills and generally anything I could think of to stay active. I did not allow myself to stop during the entire day. When Nike gives me a challenge I accept wholeheartedly! All my activity paid off when I achieved my 12,000 NikeFuel goal and earned the "find greatness" badge. I'm going to display that with pride! 

Running along the water and running the Swoosh!

My day started out with a 15 mile run that went through town and then hit a picturesque trail with a few ponds and waterfalls. They were a gorgeous sight to my eyes and I enjoyed running past the cool water. Once I found a turtle along this path. I always enjoy seeing wildlife out on my runs, it makes me feel like I am in nature instead of the middle of a big city. I also attempted to run the "swoosh." Needless to say from the above picture, my running/spelling skills need some work. With two more months of Marathon training I will have many more opportunities to master my art.

 The personalized badge I received from Nike Running after I synced my 15 miler!

I have been working on my running form lately and found this great video from the Born to Run coach Eric Orton. He explains proper running mechanics and ways to make your running an experience that is fluid and injury free. I am going to put some of these drills into practice on my next run. Some of his rules are basic but so important. For me, the focus he puts on striking toe to heel is huge, I'm a total heel striker and am ready to give this a try and see how it feels.

Video: Running with Eric

And just because I really want this and totally don't need it, don't you think this is a great tennis/running outfit? I want it! I'm a sucker for grey tennis skirts and long sleeved running tops. Oh well, maybe some day. Until then, goodnight!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Training for Greatness

This week has been one for the record books. I have put in a lot of time running, training, and working on finding out the right mix of food to properly fuel my workouts. I am just finishing up week six of Nike Women's Marathon training and have 9 more weeks to go. I haven't missed a workout yet and I hope to keep up that consistency.

This week was a hard one, Monday I had to do my workout on the treadmill, 7 miles, and they were tough to grind out. Luckily, the Olympics were on TV while I was running and was able to push myself harder in my workout while watching track athletes dominating their events.

Tuesday was NTC and then Wednesday I had to do hill repeats 6 times. I slept through my alarm and had to run the sprints after work. It was 100 degrees outside and I had to run them anyway. I almost skipped them or pushed them to a later day, but when I thought about the Olympic athletes that train every day, my #SistersInNike and the Nike Women team, I knew I had no choice but to push through the heat and do those hill sprints! They were incredibly hard and I was sweating instantly, but I am proud of not letting myself skip. It's this kind of attitude that will get me through the Nike Women's Marathon at my goal pace of four hours.

After learning from my mistake Wednesday, I woke up Thursday morning and went for an early five mile run before the day heated back up to 105F! Today I did taekwondo and Leah Kim's Yoga Routine. I feel so much better after stretching out my muscles and relaxing my body. I got to try out my new yoga mat, a thicker one than I had before, and absolutely love it. It is so much easier on my body, especially my knees.

Saturday is my rest day and then Sunday I plan on tackling 15 miles! This will be my longest training run yet and I hope to run it well. I'm aiming for 2:10. It is also Nike's day to "Find Greatness." I am pledging to make it my most active Nike Fuel day yet and have a goal of 12,000 Nike Fuel.
How will you "Find Greatness" on August 12? Run, bike swim, skip, jump, box? Any movement counts. Get out there and help us make this the most active day ever! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why You Should Read Leah Kim's Yoga Book

I first learned about Leah Kim in her yoga videos featured on the Nike Women website. I was fascinated with her grace and amazing ability to twist her body into yoga poses that my 5' 11" frame could only dream of. My first yoga experience was in my apartment at college, laptop streaming Leah Kim's yoga routine and brand new yoga mat, still curled into it's rolled up shape, huffing and puffing through the poses Leah so effortlessly demonstrated. I fell in love with the idea of yoga, but I never thought that I would become a "Yogi."

After I graduated from college I took an office job and have been somewhat miserable since. I have always been active and sitting behind a desk all day has been driving me crazy. This past year I began to practice yoga more frequently and have started to really feel the benefits of consistent yoga practice. I am looking for a way to make my daily routine involve running and yoga and have seriously been considering a career change. After working out with Leah Kim's yoga skills on the Nike Training Club app and interacting with her on Twitter I have really started to see a bright spot in my future. Just this last week Leah Kim came out with a book chronicling her yoga journey and she gave me the opportunity to be one of the first people to read it. Here is what this book has taught me and why it can change your life.

Ambition, drive and passion. Leah Kim displays these characteristics in her yoga practice and now has shared her secrets for success in her new book "From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven - Jumpstart Your Career As A Yoga Instructor." If you have ever wondered where you are going and how to take a step in the direction of your dream job Leah Kim's bravery and heartfelt story will inspire you to stop thinking about making a change and teach you how to take that first step.

Leah Kim writes from the heart and shows how the power of belief, hard work, bravery and a little bit of luck can truly make your dreams become a reality. Leah gives you examples from her yoga journey and steps that you can take to find your path in the yoga world. Not interested in becoming a yoga instructor? No problem, Leah's story can be applied to any goal you have. The importance of hard work, practice and continual learning are concepts that she explains and puts into perspective with style. Leah is a yoga instructor, writer, ambassador and inspiring athlete with a passion for sharing yoga with the world. She has given me a lot to consider in my quest for a rewarding job. Stay tuned for more updates on how I am applying Leah's philosophy to my everyday yoga practice and my quest to become a yoga instructor.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic Inspiration

The Olympics have inspired me this week to train my hardest in everything I do. I may never make it to the Olympics, even as a spectator, but I can train like an Olympian. I can do everything in my power to eat right, work hard and make sacrifices so that I can reach my goals. The Olympic dream is about reaching your full potential, about representing your country's strengths. Setting my personal goals at a high level and training to achieve success is just one way that I can live my own Olympic dream. I don't need a medal or a podium to know when I have achieved my goals. I just need to know in my heart that I have done everything in my power to reach my full potential.

Saturday, with my 5k Color Run, 13 mile training run, NTC and just general activeness I was able to finally reach 10,000 NikeFuel! I am so excited to reach this milestone. It shows how much training can do and is representative of all my hard work. I ran 16 miles and burned over 3000 calories. Saturday was a big day. Luckily today was my rest day. I went to the gym and lifted weights to work on arm strength, but I did not work out my legs. They got to rest all day!

Sunday marks the beginning of a new week of training and the end to my weekend. I am entering week six of Nike Women's Marathon training and the miles just keep getting longer. Last week I was running a lot and Sunday could not come soon enough. I needed today to rest and prepare. This next week I have four runs, hill repeats, NTC, Yoga and the final Saturday 15 miler. It is going to be a busy week, but I am ready.

Bring on the challenges! Now is my time to train like an Olympian.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Color Bliss!

This weekend I had the opportunity to participate in The Color Run Sacramento! This race is based around turning your plain white clothes into a rainbow of color. You run through color stations and have a color party at the end. I wasn't sure what to expect at first. I was just excited to participate. I had a blast running with a group of friends from work and stopping for various photo opportunities and color throws throughout the race!

"Race" might be a loose turn for this run. It was more a leisurely stroll through color. It's one of those runs that is more about the all around race experience than it is about finishing with a PR. We stopped for multiple photo opps along they way. With 15,000 people running it was more like an obstacle course than a straight shot to the finish line.

I was covered in color by the end and it took a few showers to finally rid myself of the color. I may still find shades of green, blue and yellow in my hair throughout the next week. If you get the chance to run this race, do it! You won't regret it and will have a blast just letting loose and getting colored from head to toe. 

After the race I still had to do my 13 mile run for marathon training. I ended up doing all 13 miles on the treadmill which was not ideal, but I had to get it done. I was able to watch the 10,000 Meter final while I ran and was amazed and motivated to run faster by the top athletes in the world. I ran my fastest half marathon distance ever and am really excited about that result. In total I ran 16 miles today and I am definitely ready for a long nap. 

How is your weekend going so far? Have you gotten any good training in? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Running and NTC Have Taught Me

Nike made this great picture to congratulate me on my hard work!

Running has taught me many things. Running has taught me to believe in myself, to trust my training, and that there is nothing in life that I cannot achieve. Winning is easy, rising after failure is hard. It has taught me to trust my friends and not make enemies, that life is too short to not enjoy each moment. My dreams are reachable through training, belief and assistance from my friends. I have an increased sense of confidence in my abilities and I am more connected to others that share my passion. I am a better person, daughter, wife and friend because of running. It takes discipline, strength and perseverance to become great. Goals aren't easy to achieve, dreams can only become reality if you take the steps to make them come true and when you take that first step it will start you on a journey that you never thought possible and you hope will never end. Running has taught me to follow my passion, to live in the moment and to never take a single step for granted.

Nike Training Club has given me the strength to step quicker, reach farther and test my limits in the gym. It's a different test of my strengths than running, it makes me a well rounded person and a better runner. Nike Women have taught me the importance of believing in others and taking a chance on someone, even if they are 500 miles away. Sometimes, sharing a passion is more important than keeping it to yourself. Anything is possible. A six pack, a sub 7 minute mile, the chance to work with Nike, whatever you can dream, you can achieve.

Marie Purvis, aka @NikeGetFit, is a top notch trainer and truly cares about my success. She lives her passion everyday and helps make fitness a reality for top athletes, high school athletes and everyday gym goers like me. Ask her a question and she'll answer, follow her on Twitter or around the world while training at Live NTC sessions and you will never be more proud of your body and fitness achievements. She'll push you, motivate you, and challenge you to be better than you were yesterday.

Movement is a gift, change is necessary to improvement and in order to make that change you need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Hope matters, dreams matter, days matter. Don't waste a single moment. Find your passion. Find your greatness.