Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

2012 was a year that I was extremely thankful for. I became a better runner, met many new friends, excelled at my job and was able to push myself daily towards my goals. My top 5 things I'm thankful for are:

  1. My health and the ability to push myself every day.
  2. My huge Twitter and online social community that motivates and inspires me in my fitness and life goals.
  3. The opportunity to be a Nike Women's Marathon Ambassador for the 2012 Nike Women's Marathon and the incredible opportunity I had there to meet with old friends and make new ones.  One step closer to my goal of eventually working for Nike.
  4. A job with incredible co-workers, boss and friends.
  5. My family and friends. They are always here to support me in everything that I do and I am thankful for them every day. 
Did I forget anything? What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm a FitFluential Ambassador!

Today I found out that I was accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador! I'm excited about this opportunity because it is just another step in the right direction for my fitness career and a way to inspire even more people to work on their fitness and life goals. The email alerting me to my acceptance was a bit unexpected, but so exciting! I had applied months ago, right before my Nike Women ambassadorship took over.  Running the Nike Women's Marathon was one of the best experiences of my life and I can only hope that we will all meet up again for another race soon. 

"FitFluential is fitness found." It is an amazing online community of bloggers, ambassadors, enthusiasts and brands. It merges the online and the physical world into one amazing FitFluential community. With motivation and events across the country, it is a great place to connect with others who share my fitness passion. As I try to merge my love of fitness with my skills in social media, the FitFluential family will be key to my success. 

With so many new goals and challenges for 2013, the FitFluential community is just one area of my fitness journey that I hope will bring me closer to my goals. I also plan on becoming a personal trainer and running coach and expand my online presence. 

What are your goals for 2013 and for your fitness journey?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Winter Training Blues No More!

Winter can be detrimental to my training schedule. With the days getting shorter and the temperatures dropping, it suddenly gets easier to justify hitting the snooze button at 6 AM and missing my early morning run. This year I decided that will not happen. I am going to stick to a training schedule and work hard towards reaching my goals and keeping my base fitness level strong during the winter months so I can race strong come spring.

Here are my tips for running strong all winter long.
  • Join a running group that meets weekly or reach out to a running buddy and plan days each week you will run together. Knowing someone is counting on you will keep you accountable. It's easier to get out of bed in the morning or run through the winter rains, wind and snow when you know someone else is there with you. I have one girl I run with at 6 AM on Wednesday and Friday mornings and another girl I run with each Sunday. This ensures that even if I skip my runs by myself, I will at least get in three great great training runs.
  • Sign up for a winter race or holiday fun run. There are a lot of Turkey Trot runs on Thanksgiving and holiday themed runs over Christmas break that are great for keeping you on track with training through the winter months. I am running the California International Marathon Relay on December 2 and knowing that I have this race coming up has kept me on track with training. 
  • Buy yourself the correct gear for winter training. Gear can make all the difference in your comfort level during your run. One rule to follow is to dress for 20 degrees warmer than it is so that you won't get too hot when you get into your run. The majority of heat escapes from your head and feet, so proper gear is essential. I often go for a running headband to keep my ears warm on runs around 40 degrees. Anything lower and I wear a hat to keep me warm. Gloves are also my other essential. Keeping my hands warm can make all the difference for me.

  • Shoes are also key for a great run. Finding a shoe that is waterproof and breathable is essential so that you are prepared for any weather the winter may throw at you. I love the new Nike Shield shoes for keeping my feet warm and dry. Right now I only have trainers, but I may have to invest in some Nike Shield Lunar Glide 4's soon. With weatherized mesh and reflective elements, this shoe is perfect for keeping out the rain and offering reflectivity in low light. 

Winter running is never easy, but it makes me a stronger, faster runner and keeps me feeling strong all year long. Do you have any tips that make winter running easier? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Amazing 2012

2012 has been an amazing year. I can't even begin to describe all of the amazing things that Nike has done for me to help me become a better athlete, reach for me dreams and set high goals for myself that I never thought possible. It may be a little early for a 2012 recap with new years still over a month away but I wanted to share how much I have grown this year and how thankful I am for all that my friends, family, and the team at Nike has done for me to make this year spectacular.

January was a big month for me and as I started a new job and started focusing more on my fitness and my blog. I had big goals for the year and shared them with you here on this blog. My four goals are listed below.

  • Run a second marathon and beat my previous time
  • Become NASM personal trainer certified
  • Become Nike Training Club certified
  • Get my Blackbelt in Taekwondo

Over the year I was able to meet two of my goals. On October 6, 2012 I became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and the following week, on October 14, I beat my marathon PR by 18 minutes with a time of 4:29. Nike was an integral part of my achievement of this goal as they picked me as an ambassador for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco and I was able to enjoy the marathon through the eyes of Nike. I participated in photo shoots and spent time with many Nike employees that just served to make me more intrigued by the company as a whole and how they do business. Nike gave me an insight into how they interact with consumers and work for their target market and are involving everyday people into their campaigns. It was such a valuable experience.

As for the goals I have yet to meet, the personal trainer certification has not gone as planned. I was having a hard time deciding which certification to take and recently changed my mind and am leaning towards the American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification. I plan to complete my personal trainer certification by January or February of 2013. As for the Nike Training Club Certification, Nike only picks certain trainers to teach their classes, but I am going to continue to pursue this option and look for opportunities to become a part of this amazing team.

Looking ahead, I don't know where my path may lead but I am going to continue spreading my fitness and running journey with you all here. I have also started a new twitter account @sistersinnike to continue sharing my journey and the journeys of each woman who shares this passion. Check it our and hit me up with your ideas for what you want to see highlighted. Personal interviews, photos, gear guides? Tell me what you want to see!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nike+ Kinect Training Review

I purchased Nike+ Kinect Training on October 31st. I told my husband it was my Halloween present. I have been anticipating this game coming out for months, ever since Nike announced its creation this summer. I wanted to put it on my Christmas wish list, but that only lasted a day before I caved and made a late night trip to Target to pick up the game! I love improving my fitness and am always looking for new ways to challenge my body and keep me fired up to improve my speed, strength and overall fitness level. This Kinect game is more like using a personal trainer, than an actual game, but it really keeps me accountable for showing up to workout and making sure I have the correct form during the drills. 

The first think I noticed about the game was how easy it is to set up and link with your Nike+ account so you can track your progress everyday. You do a custom fitness assessment before the Nike Trainer of your choice (Marie Purvis or Alex Molden) sets a program for you to reach your fitness goals. I chose Marie as my trainer and the Get Strong program and I have been doing tons of squats, lunges, pushups, weights and drills to help me reach my goals. I just completed my first week Friday and am on to the second week of my four week program. The program grows with you and gets more intense as your fitness improves. 

My first day with Kinect Training. Got my Fuel Print!

The great thing about Nike products is how well they integrate with the other fitness devices that Nike promotes. I have a Fuelband that tracks my daily activity and earns me Fuel points throughout the day. Along with this same idea, I earn Fuel points with each Kinect workout I complete. Depending how long and how hard I workout with the program I earn Fuel points to track my progress. My progress is automatically downloaded to the Nike+ website where I can see my progress in a timeline. There is also  a Nike+ Kinect Training app that you can check any time throughout the day. I also get reminders sent directly to my phone to alert me that I have an upcoming Kinect Training workout. 

All of my Nike+ devices track my daily activity and show it in one place!

You might be thinking that this is a great game, but what if I want to challenge my friends or see how I rank against others? The challenge section of the game allows you to train live with friends around the globe and challenge them for the top spot on weekly challenges. You can also complete in global challenges that happen every two minutes and see how you rank amongst everyone competing in that same challenge! It's a great way to get your competitive juices flowing! This week I am in the top spot in the Leg Matrix Challenge and I hope I can stay there! 

Top spot in the weekend challenge! 

If you've been looking for a way to up your game and challenge your body, this game is for you. It's also great for these short winter days when you don't want to go outside or when you get snowed in. No excuses for not completing your workout! If you want to challenge me just add me to your friends list, gamer tag: superwomankw. 

Happy Training! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Winter Wish List

It's time again for another Nike wish list! As the temperatures get colder and it becomes easier to stay inside and run on the treadmill or not at all, these products will get you up and out the door while keeping you warm on your long run of holiday race!

I love hoodies and this one is perfect for keeping you warm and dry. The wool keeps you warm even while you sweat and the longer length keeps this top in place while you move and go for that personal best race time! 

I have 3 pairs of these running capri's and I love every one of them. They are the perfect length, are reflective for early morning or evening runs and feature a side zip pocket to keep your house key or phone safe. 

This jacket is so warm and the interior is butter soft. With reflective elements and hand warmers this jacket will keep you running in style. It has bonded zipper pockets and is a bit longer so that it doesn't ride up while you are running. It is the perfect winter must have!

These shoes allow your feet to run naturally. I like them for shorter distances when I want to make my feet work hard and get stronger. They are treated to keep water out and your feet dry so you can take on the elements and finish your run without your feet sloshing around in your shoe. 

The perfect gift for the holidays. This came out just in time to match the snow that you will be running through. I have had a Fuelband since April and I love how much it pushes me to stay active throughout the day. I compete with friends and my previous personal best, as well as interact with the Nike Fuelband team on Twitter! This band is one of the best workout motivators you can get. It's like having a personal trainer telling you to work harder every minute of every day. I have countless friends and coworkers ask me about it and I just can't stop spreading the Fuelband love! The White Ice is top on my wish list. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hope for Hood to Coast & My Trainer Certification

Today I got my official "decline" letter from Hood to Coast, the "Mother of all Relay's" starting at Mount Hood Oregon and ending on the coast at Seaside. I wanted to do this relay so badly! Maybe in 2014 I will get to go. I did see that if you were able to raise $20,000 for the American Cancer Society you get automatic entry into the 2013 and 2014 races. I have been trying to figure out how to do this all day long. I don't have too much experience on the fund raising front and that is a daunting task. I may just have to keep trying for the lottery and hope for the best! I refuse to give up hope and if anyone knows of a team that is looking for another runner, I'd love to join! If you know how to fundraise hit me up with your ideas as well!

In other news, I am CPR certified yet again after my class tonight. That means all that is left standing in my way of becoming a personal trainer is deciding on the course I want to take and studying hard. I think I am going to go with NASM certification and keep looking around for a school where I can get a second degree in exercise physiology. I am also looking at becoming a certified running coach with the Road Runners Club of America. Fitness is my passion and I can't keep putting off my dreams with excuses. I want to be a trainer and that is where I am going to put my energy this next year. Living my dreams and my passion and turning them into a career will be a rewarding experience and I can't wait to  begin the journey. 

Coaching basketball this year has really opened my eyes to the joy of teaching others and watching them grow and learn new things. I love challenging myself and seeing progress, but seeing others challenge themselves, grow and succeed through my coaching is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. I can't wait to see how the girls progress this season.

What are some of your goals, both fitness related and professionally? What is holding you back from achieving them? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Fun-day!

Monday is always a tough day for me because it marks the end of my weekend and the beginning of a new week of work. I enjoy how much activity I get to do on the weekends and I do not look forward to going back to my desk job. Today was a very good Monday. First, the Nike Training Club app came out with new workouts and rewards from top athletes. I have been looking for a way to up my training and this came at the perfect time. I can't wait to do all the new workouts, especially Alex Morgan's new "Explosive Power Workout." 

Today also involved running basketball tryouts for the high school girls team I coach and seeing what they can do on the court. I enjoy seeing their constant improvement and helping them learn new things and grow as players. It's great to be around their energy and to share my love of the sport with a new generation.

I also found out today that I will be leading a running group in the near future. I'll be sure to keep you posted when I know more of the details, but it is going to be a lot of fun! Stay tuned! 

My next race is December 2 and I will be racing on a relay team in the California International Marathon. I am excited for this race because the energy level is always so high and the course in scenic and quick. I have gotten a little out of my training schedule but I will be back at it this week and training hard to be fast on course. 

How was your Monday?