Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Nike Studio Wrap Impresses

I know I just recently posted a photo of these shoes on my blog, but I recently found this video, and it is amazing! I have always known the importance of having individualized shoes for a sport. In high school I had different shoes for basketball, volleyball and tennis and they all served different purposes. Volleyball shoes keep you low to the ground, support side to side movement and have a sturdy sole. Basketball shoes support your ankles while allowing all around motion, and running shoes are created to stabilize the forward motion of your stride. Each shoe serves a different purpose and is as important to your training as performing drills over and over again. Check out Nike Master Trainer, Marie Purvis, post on the importance of sport specific shoes over at her blog.

Now, thanks to Nike, yoga has a shoe of its own. This shoe is sure to impress. It allows stability, freedom of motion, grip and it is visually appealing. It can also be worn straight from the street to the gym, with the handy two in one design.

This video is absolutely amazing! I really think that every girl needs these shoes. Yoga class is essential to keeping me limber, agile and more pain free. The Nike Studio Wrap shown in this film will really revolutionize my yoga practice. I, for one, am always sliding around my mat, and not only are these shoes cute, they are so useful!

I know what I will be saving for in February when these shoes come out! I'll be sure to let you know what I think when I actually get to put these babies on my feet and test them out during an NTC yoga workout. Thanks Nike Women for taking my yoga practice to the next level. You truly have the best designers and talented individuals working to improve sport performance everyday.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Facebook, Zuck, Passion and Purpose

I enjoy social media. My Facebook and Twitter account are ways for me to interact and share my life, passions and goals with family, friends and even potential employers. Social media has allowed me to build a personal brand and interact with individuals I never would have dreamed of meeting without these channels. I am always looking for ways to enhance my personal brand and share my passions through business. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading the book, Think Like Zuck, by Ekaterina Walter - a social innovator at Intel. As someone who is aspiring to get into a career involving social media, this book was a great read and gave in inside look at Mark Zuckerberg's journey to success, among other entrepreneurs, and how to apply that to my own life.

Mark Zuckerberg is an amazing business man and entrepreneur. He has linked millions of people through the creation of Facebook. The inspiring thing about Zuckerberg is that he has not done any of this for money, in fact, that is what makes his business so successful. He is in constant pursuit of a better way to interact with the world. He believes in what he is doing and is not satisfied with mediocre.  Mark had been criticized and has failed, but he has always believed in his passion. In her book, Ekaterina writes:

"he doesn’t seek approval, he has his passion and his vision, and he is willing to sacrifice to execute on that vision. Interesting thing, passion. When one does what one loves, she can move mountains. Studies and experience show that following your passions leads to great success." 

Mark has a passion to look for constant improvement. He inspires his employees to do the same, to take risks and innovate.

I have dreams and goals in the fitness world, and while I have acted on some, I have not poured my heart and soul into them yet. I have an opportunity to do that now and I will take this chance, I will share my passion. As Walter says, "Passion + Action = Results." Take your passion, make a plan and work tirelessly to achieve that goal. Will you fail? It is definitely a possibility, but without risk there is no reward.

Blake Mycoskie is another great entrepreneur discussed in this book, the founder of TOMS shoes, Blake's passion was finding a way to help children without shoes all over the world. He made a plan and worked through adversity to create a brand that has helped millions around the world have new shoes to wear.

Along with passion, according to Walter, comes purpose. People want to believe in a cause, they want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves and having a clearly defined purpose can create acceptance and belief by others. "Great companies don't just create great products, they create movements." I can see how this works in my life. I connect on a personal level with the Nike brand, they have done an incredible job of creating value and products that I can believe in. I believe in them and want to share their products because I have connected with their movement. They have created a fitness phenomenon that I NEED to be a part of.

So how do they do this? With their human capital. Hiring the right people with the same vision is integral to success. The mantra Walter recommends is "one team, one dream."Hiring the best people is integral to success. The best employees don't need to be managed, they need to be empowered. This leads to success. Great companies, such as Facebook, hire people for their attitude. Skills can be learned and taught, but attitude and passion cannot. 

Thinking like Zuck can have a positive impact on your endeavors. No one can see their future, but having a clearly defined purpose, faith, passion, vision, the right people and great partnerships can surely get you there faster. This book gives great examples, case studies and ideas that can be implemented in new endeavors and current business models. If you want to make your business better, start a new business, or just excel in the workplace at your current job, this book is a great read!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nike Takes to the Studio

This past week has been very busy. With running, basketball, and watching the Australian Open tennis tournament every evening, I have been extremely busy! Sorry that I have been neglecting the blog, but here's a quick post to catch you up to date!

This past week I have experimented with becoming vegan, and so far so good. I really haven't struggled much, except when a huge pizza was sitting on the counter - covered in cheese, but I held strong. I must say I have felt a bit better and my skin seems to be clearer. I am enjoying the challenge and can't wait to see what this does for my running ability. I have found a lot of great recipes to try, so I am looking forward to giving them a shot soon.

I just found these crazy shoes on the Nike Pinterest page. The Nike Studio Wrap looks like such a great idea. I love doing barefoot classes at the gym, such as kickboxing, taekwondo and yoga. These shoes would offer great traction and be a unique sight at the gym. I can't wait to try them out in February when Nike releases them online and in stores. What do you think?

How has your training been going? I know some of my friends have been crushing their mileage recently and are beginning to train for upcoming races. I have hit 70 miles for this month and am hoping to be close to 100 my January 30. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lookout Triathlon World, I'm Coming!

Meredith Atwood is a lawyer, mom, author of the blog Swim. Bike. Mom., and author of the book Triathlon for the Every Woman,  an incredible read for anyone wanting to get out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves and try something new. If you are already a seasoned triathlete, this book will provide new information about training, gear guides and an entertaining story to captivate and inspire. If you are new to triathlon, this book will inspire you to challenge yourself and sign up for your first triathlon!

If you would have asked me a year ago if I would do a triathlon I would have thought you were crazy! But not any more. I have been thinking about training for my first race over the last few months and after reading this book, I know that it is possible! Meredith Atwood is an amazing writer and athlete and her book shows the importance of triathlon in my life. Yes, MY LIFE. I will be a triathlete and that will happen this summer. 

I have always been afraid of the biking aspect of triathlon. I have done two marathons and was a lifeguard and swim instructor in college, so I know that I can do well in these two events, but road biking gives me a scare. Meredith Atwood shares the same fear and hesitancy towards biking, yet she has completed many triathlons and the half-ironman distance. After reading her candid story, I know that anything is possible and facing my fear is important to my growth. 

In the book, Meredith not only provides examples and lessons learned from her triathlon experience, but she also gives step by step guides, links and ideas for succeeding in your first race. She provides links to popular triathlon sites, gear guides and recommendations, and advice from her personal coaches and others in the sport. 

I have chosen a sprint triathlon in September for my first race so I should have plenty of time to prepare. With Meredith's book as a guide, I don't think I can go wrong. Have you done a triathlon? If so, share your stories, tips and tricks in the comments below. Or, just give me a motivational shout-out. Let me know if you read Triathlon for the Every Woman and how it helps your prepare for your first race. 

Even if you aren't looking to run a triathlon, this book is inspiring and motivating. You might surprise yourself with how your goals change after reading her story. I know my life has changed and come September 2013, I will be a triathlete. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Can I Run for a Cause?

Be Heroic, join Team in Training and run for a cause. But can I do it? This decision should be easy for me, I've always been a little obsessed with superheroes and their amazing ability to succeed against all odds. I love to run, so why wouldn't I want to run for a cause greater than myself and my personal fitness goals? To be honest, it's scary, extremely scary to put myself out there and ask others for money. It shouldn't be that frightening and it should be easy. I want to run the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon on Washington DC on my birthday and running for a cause would make it special. It's only $3200 that I have to raise and friends, family and businesses are always looking to help out people and causes they believe in. Still, making this decision was hard. But I am going to do it, I am going to put myself out there and ask for donations for a cause that I believe in. 

Who hasn't been touched by cancer? It is a brutal disease that sucks the life out of children and adults alike and running with a team with one motive and one cause is a way I can be part of the journey to better treatment and hopefully a cure. If you haven't attended one of the national Team in Training info sessions you should, I think it will give you a new perspective on running for a cause. 

This week I also was able to try PocketFuel for the first time on my long run. I first heard about PocketFuel from one of my friends on Twitter and was intrigued. When she sent me a sample I was excited to try it out. It did not disappoint! Basically it is a pouch of almond butter mixed with other ingredients to fuel you naturally during your workouts with added ingredients such as fruit, honey and chia seeds! It's all natural and delicious. I didn't have any problems fueling up with it on the run! I hate gels and was worried it would be like these, but I was wrong. This is a natural, delicious way to fuel on the go. I highly recommend you give them a try! Plus, the company is from Hood River, Oregon, which just happens to be a few hours from where I grew up. Way to make me proud Oregon! 

As far as running, this month has been a bit off for me. I have only run 36 miles this month, which is a bit off from my 100 mile goal. Hopefully, I will crush the next few weeks of runs and get close. I ran a seven miler last night and three miles today so I feel like I am back on track. With the Australian Open going on right now it's tough to run at night because I don't want to miss out on the blockbuster tennis matches! I do have two run clubs to lead this weekend, so that should help up my mileage. I begin training one of my friends for a half marathon on March 17 and that will help keep me on track as well. I can't wait for all the fun races that are coming up this spring and summer and I want to get my mileage up now!

Do you have any tips for fundraising, fueling for races or running? Leave a comment on my blog and let me know!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crossfit, New Tunes and Running!

It's been a while since my last post. This week has been so busy, I apologize for the delay! The basketball team that I coach had three games this week, of which we won two, so it was a pretty good week for them. With work, coaching and keeping up with my own fitness time just seems to fly by.

This week I tried my first Crossfit class on Wednesday and my second on Saturday. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I was excited. The workouts were tough and I did so many squats! The Workout of the Day (WOD) changes each time, but it is always challenging. It's kind of like intense circuit training. We did a short 800 meter sprint followed by 21 squats, 12 pull-ups, a 400 meter sprint, 50 burpees, 75 push presses and 100 squats with weight. We repeated this sequence twice and ended with a 1000 meter sprint. My quads have been so sore all week. Running on Friday and Sunday I could really feel my legs. I do think this is a great workout and the instructors at this gym really challenged me to push my limits. If you have a chance to give it a try, do it! Often there are great deals on Groupon!

Also this week, I found an interesting article about workout mixes. Did you know that you can get workouts on iTunes that are guided by athletes such as Kara Goucher and Serena Williams? Read the review here and then head over to iTunes to check them out. They were made in 2009 so the songs are older, but having Kara and Serena talk me through a workout is pretty exciting!

During my running this week I was very happy to be able to do a few runs in sub-8 minute miles. I'm focusing on speed this year so this is positive news. I'm hoping to push the pace this next week and see what happens! Any tips for speed work? Leave me a comment with your advice or encouragement!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Spring Season Race Gear!

The new season is here and my running wardrobe is ready for a change. Here are some of my top picks for race season this spring! 

This women's running jacket looks so comfortable. I love the sphere technology and how warm it keeps me on cold runs. The thumb holes and extra pockets with technology to keep your iPod in place while running are excellent extras that make this hoodie top notch. With a hood to keep out the elements, this jacket has it all, and it comes in three gorgeous colors!

I love running in skirts, but sometimes I want to keep my legs a little warmer. These capri's with an attached over skirt are perfect for chilly morning and evening runs. With side slant pockets and a back zipper, this skirt is perfect for long runs during marathon training to store those extra snacks and fuel. 

This top was created with seamless technology to keep chafing at bay during tough workouts and long runs. It is a great knit fabric that is light enough to give you freedom of movement, but still perform well. Once again, it has thumb holes to keep this shirt in place while your pushing your pace! 

These shoes offer a glove like fit for training and NTC workouts. With plush cushioning and dynamic support, these shoes are perfect for lateral movements during your cross training work. These shoes are extremely flexible and Nike+ Ready.

This yoga mat is very unique and the ridges and dimples provide excellent traction. The colors are so fun and relaxing. I could see myself getting great use out of this mat after my long runs when I need a good stretch. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas in January!

I just got the best hoodie yesterday. It was on my Christmas wish list and while it arrived a bit late, I am still excited to test it out. It is so warm. I love the thermal fabric and the hem is extra long so it is great for my long torso. I tested it out in Pilates class, which was one of the coldest fitness rooms I have been in recently. It kept me toasty warm, and the high, slouchy neck was perfect. Great design Nike Women!  You can check it out here, and guess what ladies, it's on sale! 

I just got my digital trophy from the Anywhere5K I ran. Check it out! This is going to have to go up on my vision board for future goals! I would love to start getting faster and challenge others at races. Can you tell that I'm a bit competitive? Watch out 2013!

Also, today, I picked up a tube of Nuun hydration tabs at Fleet Feet, our local running store. I first discovered Nuun hydration tabs at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. They used them throughout the race at all the water stations. They have a great flavor and really kept me hydrated. They are electrolytes without the added sugar of Gatorade and other sports drinks and that is what I love about them. Also, you can throw the bottle in your purse and add them to water anywhere, they are so convenient! One of my Twitter friends recently suggested the Tri-berry flavor and I must say it is delicious! Definitely a must try! Let me know what you think when you test them out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Yes, I'm Obsessed with Nike, I Admit It

I can't think of anything that I would rather be doing on my birthday then running the Nike Women's  Half-Marathon in Washington DC! Seriously, I want to run this race so badly. So yes, that is a poem I wrote about my obsession with Nike and my desire to run this race, and all Nike races in the future! Why do I want to run this race? Here are my top 10 reasons to run DC:

10. I have never been to Washington DC and can't think of a better way to experience it.

9. Nike races are my favorite events and the atmosphere is amazing.

8. Tiffany's Necklace (yes, I love the two I have from SF and I want more!)

7. My desire to do a year of blog posts on my Nike race experiences (Yes, more Nike posts, I'm excited to share them with you).

6. To get a PR and sub 1:45 hour half-marathon

5. Experience Nike around the US.

4. I'm addicted to running and training and I always seem to train better for Nike races.

3. To meet more amazing women on race weekend and make new #SistersInNike

2. To meet the girls of the Nike Sportswear SF and Runway Crew

1. This race is on my birthday and there is no better present!

So yes, I know it's bordering on obsessive, but this event looks amazing and I want to be a part of it in the worst way. I was not accepted into the lottery with my wonderful team of ladies, but I refuse to give up and am hoping that I can run this race. I will find a way. Training for this race starts now. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Training for 2013

2013 is my year for racing. I will be racing all different distances. I will be running anything from the 5k distance, to 13.1 and 26.2 and I will also be doing my first triathlon in September at the Women's Triathlon Festival in Sacramento. Some training plans that I have found effective for running events are the Nike Running Race Coach plans for 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon distances. You can check them out on the Nike Running Facebook page.

The great thing about Nike Running's race training plans is that you can choose your plan based on distance and your goal. Whether you are a beginner, want to get a PR or want to lead the pack, there is a plan for everyone. You can download a pdf or add the plan directly from their page to your calendar, that way you never have an excuse to skip your workout. I did a personalized training plan from Marie Purvis last year and I loved it. I got my first marathon PR and the plan was great for keeping me on track, constantly improving and injury free.

This year my number one goal is to conquer the marathon in under 4 hours. To achieve this I will need to stay focused and stick with my training plan. I will rely on my training partners in town, my running club, and most importantly my #SistersInNike Crew for support. Since triathlon is completely new for me, I will be searching for training tips and sharing with you what does and doesn't work for me. Do you have any tips for training? Let me know what they are, I'd love to learn from you all!