Monday, August 26, 2013

Motivation from Tiara Folkes!

I had the privilege of meeting Tiara when we trained and ran the Nike Women's Marathon together last year with Nike Women. Tiara was training in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and I was training in Roseville, CA. Tiara is an incredibly inspiring person. As we got to know each other more I realized we have a lot in common. We were both collegiate athletes and love a challenge, both love the same Nike gear and love to run. If only we were in the same country! 

Tiara is fast. She started out running four years ago and is constantly improving. She is already a sub-4 hour marathoner! One of her goals is to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I know she will do it! I wanted to share Tiara's awesome running story here with you so you can be inspired and motivated to follow your dreams as well. Nothing is out of reach.

How did you get into running?
In 2009 I was extremely overweight. After I stopped swimming first year university I started gaining a ton of weight and I began to yo-yo with my body weight, this started a huge horrible cycle of eating disorders. In 2009 I was my heaviest and I hated that feeling!! Instead of feeling sorry for myself and falling back into the cycle of eating disorders I bought a pair of running shoes and an ipod nano with the Nike running capabilities. Back in 2010 I ran my first 10km race and I always said I would run no further then 10km's in May 2012 Nike Women contact me about running the Nike Women's Marathon and gave me the option between the half and the full and I have always had the frame of mind that if I am going to jump I should jump head first. In October 2012 I finished my first ever Marathon.  

How do you train? Are you a part of a running group? Do you prefer running with a group or alone? 
Currently I am running with Team in Training, we raise money for Leukemia, Lymphoma and Melanoma. I am usually a solo runner but I love starting off with a group of ladies and finishing with them. We encourage each other on the way offering a high five here and a pat on the back there. Running with a group has helped me be more compassionate as we all run at different levels and some even walk but it shows me that each and every person has their own strength and their own quiet determination. 

What is your favorite memory from running? 
My favorite memory is crossing the finish line at Nike Women's. It was my very first marathon and the very first time I pushed my body that far, I learned that no matter what I had the strength and determination to push myself through anything. As long as I put my mind to it I could face any challenge put in front of me.  

Nike Women's Marathon 2012

What race(s) is your favorite? Why? 
Nike Women's will always be my favorite race! It is my first marathon and I met amazing friends along the way. 

What advice do you have for new runners? 
Never give up! Everyone has bad runs and everyone has good runs, but on bad run days don't give up! Keep pushing forward. It was on my bad run days that I found myself, I found out how resilient I am and how far 

How do you use your blog/social media to influence your running?
I love talking about running, I love tweeting about running and my life is running. I love engaging my social media followers about running. It makes my day and also gives me motivation when I am lacking it. 

How do you fit running in with your daily schedule, work, etc…? 
I always run on my lunch hour! Lunch hour runs break up my day and make me feel like I can tackle my afternoon no matter what is thrown at me. I love early morning runs, hitting the pavement before anyone else is out there, when it is just me and the open road. 

Do you have any favorite running gear our readers should know about (shoes, tights, etc)?
I wear only Nike, my all time favorite shoes are the Nike Lunarglides, they make me feel like I am running on a cloud and I love the style of them. Just because I am running doesn't mean I don't like to look good. Nike has an amazing line of fitness apparel that is fashionable and yet practical. 

Elizabeth, Me and Tiara at NWM 2012

Tiara is one of the most inspiring and motivated people I know. If you need some extra motivation be sure to follow her on her blog, Ignite-Perspire-Inspire,  Twitter and Instagram accounts: @TiaraBeth. She is currently training for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 20, 2013. We'll both be there, so if you see us, say hi!    

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet Running Superstar - Robin Arzon!

Sometimes people come into your life for a reason. I met Robin Arzon last year at the 2012 Nike Women's Marathon. I was an ambassador for the race for Nike Women and Robin was my stylist extraordinaire. I was a bit in awe of her right away, it didn't hurt that she was a runner and all around awesome person! She spent hours with myself and the five other ambassadors during the weekend helping us look our best and trying to coax a "fierce face" out of me during our photo shoots. I definitely need to work on my modeling skills! Thanks Robin for being so sweet the whole time!

Photo Credit: Joe Ferrucci

Robin is from New York, NY and is a reformed lawyer turned ultramarathoner, running coach, and journalist. Seriously, this girl found her passion and went after it. I am working on having the courage to do that this year. I have stepped out of my comfort zone a lot and it is paying off, little by little. I have to give some of the credit to Robin. 

After the marathon, I started following her blog on Tumblr,, and just became amazed at what she has done, in life and in running. She's a tiny firecracker taking on the world in style! I hope you learn a little something about running, life and following your dreams from my interview with her.

Years Running: 7

How did you get into running? Can you share your running history?
During law school, I picked up a 10K flyer at the bank. I had no idea how far that was in miles and showed up at the start. It was a struggle to finish and I vowed to get better. A few miles here and there and I became a runner. Fast forward 7 years and I'm an ultramarathoner. You can create yourself. 

How do you train? Are you a part of a running group? Do you prefer running with a group or alone?
The global running crew community is my family. We are part of a rich running world high on sweat. We do life together, not just train together. Social media keeps us connected from New York to Paris to London to San Francisco and the list goes on. So, no, I don't usually run alone. I run with BridgeRunners and UNDO-ORDINARY in NYC and my entire run crew fam. 

I train hard. My weekly mileage changes depending on whether I am training for a marathon or for an ultra. Weekly: one speed session a week on the track, one tempo, one long run. Those are my cornerstones. 

What is your favorite memory from running? 
Crossing the finish of MS Run the US - 5 marathons in 5 days was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was deliriously tired. But I ran for my mom and she was waiting at the finish. And then I drank champagne from the bottle listening to Jay Z. All was right in the world.  

What race is your favorite? Why?
The New York City Marathon. You cannot beat the energy of NYC. The city shows up to cheer you on every mile. You push the pulse of this place with your feet. I leave a piece of my heart on the course every year. 

What advice do you have for new runners? 
I find it's best for beginning or returning runners to focus on time on their feet rather than miles. For example, go out for 20-30 minutes and don't worry about how fast or slow. Just clock your time. Then, once you feel good jogging 30 minutes, you push it to 35, 40, 45! Incremental progress is key. People get so psyched about running once they start to get into it (I understand!), but it's SO important to build mileage and speed slowly to avoid injury. Generally, they say no more than 10% of your mileage should be added per week. And make sure you have good shoes suitable for running. Get a gait analysis at your local running store and they will watch you run and recommend a pair. Above all-have fun! Mind of miles.

How do you use your blog/social media to influence your running?
SHUTUPANDRUN, my Tumblr, was the jumping off point for me. The year I left law I found myself blogging at the Olympics. It all happened because I took a risk and immersed myself knee deep in social media. The power of the online health and wellness community motivates me every day. There's real connectivity to a life lived in sweat.

How do you fit running in with your daily schedule, work, etc…? 
Running is my life. I left law to pursue my passion- redefining what's possible and widening the aperture of WHO is an athlete. Going for a run is a non-negotiable appointment with myself. Schedule it. Make it happen. 

Do you have any favorite running gear our readers should know about?
Sweating with swagger is paramount to how I identify as an athlete. I believe if you look good, you'll feel good, and perform great. I love Black Milk leggings and Nike Flyknits. I customize my own sports bras. I'm obsessed with lycra so much that I'm rolling out my own limited edition leggings line this fall. Stay tuned! 

Do you run for a cause? How does this influence how you approach training?
I've ran hundreds of miles for MS research and I won't stop until there's a cure. 

Check Out Robin's Journey Running for MS

Robin Believes:
I believe booty shakes are good for the soul and laughter is the true way to a six-pack. 

Want to hear more from Robin? Follow along with her as she changes the world and redefines the athlete on Twitter and Instagram: @RobinNYC

I am so happy to have met Robin. She is a genuine influencer and believer in the power to make your dreams a reality. Follow her journey, get inspired and live the life you have imagined. Hopefully, if you are like Robin and I, that adventure involves running.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Unbelievable Joy

Life can be surprising, exciting, sad, exhilarating or just plain unbelievable. I can't complain about anything this year. I thought that I had a lot to complain about in January when my husband got a job transfer and we had to move from a place where I had just established myself. I didn't want to move, I still don't particularly like the location we are living, but all in all, things have worked out for the best this year and I have no regrets.

After the move, my current employer found a way to allow me to work remotely from my new location so I still have a job (even though it's not with Nike, I'm working on that)! I have the best boss in the world. I have found a running group that I really do enjoy training with. I get to go back to Roseville every few weeks to reconnect with friends, stop by work and fulfill my responsibilities as the Athleta Roseville sponsored athlete. I have flexibility in my schedule and I have had many unexpected opportunities this year.

Today it was announced that I WON the espnW #98DaysToShine contest! Can you guess what the prize was? It's perfect for me and my husband. We are headed to the US Open! All summer long I have been entering the contest daily by submitting a photo for the corresponding day. I read the rules, I set an alert in my phone so I would never miss a day, and I left the rest up to espnW and my fellow competitors. I really embraced the competition, I encouraged my friends to join and honestly, I did not expect to win. I was overjoyed when I won! I came home with a perma-grin on my face and I haven't stopped smiling since. Thankful. Blessed. Lucky. I have so many feelings right now, but the overwhelming one is joy. I am blissfully happy! Not just because I won, but because this prize is the manifestation of all the hard work I have been putting in this year and it means the world to me. I owe a lot to espnW and I want to express my thanks to them for providing this opportunity.

Winning this contest made me think seriously about how I am approaching my goals. I'm choosing to believe that my life is headed in the direction I want it to go. I have always loved fitness and sharing that love with others. This year has reinforced my belief in my ability to do this. If I can't motivate people in person it may be through my blog, Twitter or Instagram account. However it happens, I can be a voice for women in sports and women who want to achieve great things. 

Some of my friends and even strangers have asked how I am so lucky. I don't honestly think that I am a lucky person. I wish I could just say there was some magic pill you could take and you could be lucky too. It doesn't work like that. In my case, I have put in a lot of work and I have applied for a lot of jobs and opportunities and been told no. I've been told no hundreds of times, not received responses to emails, been told I'm not good enough and should have just settled for a more stable job, a more reliable job where you are guaranteed a good salary right out of college. Why wasn't I a doctor or a nurse? My response has been and will always be that I would not be happy in a job like that. That is not the life I chose and I am walking a path that I have no regrets taking. Right now I am working a job to pay the bills, but in all my spare time, I am working towards my dream career in sports. 

I do research daily. It's not a secret that I want to work for Nike. I scour their job postings and look at the requirements for becoming an employee. I have taken jobs for gaining experience in areas I think will make me a better candidate. I reach out to as many people as I can that have reached the goal I have in mind or are on the same path. I ask questions, I put myself out there and I am not afraid to fail. Have I made it to my dream career yet? No, but I am so much closer. 

My resume now shows the work I have done for the Sacramento Capitals World Team Tennis League managing all of their social media. I have had the privilege of an ambassadorship with Nike Women in 2012 and have maintained connections with influencers I have met. I have spoken with recruiters and shared my passion via social media. I have connected with women across the globe and motivated them. So tell me, do you think I'm wasting my time? I don't. I see every minute I spend working towards my dreams as time well spent. I have learned so much through the last few years and perhaps, when I do get my dream job, what I have learned now, as a consumer and brand ambassador on the outside, will serve me in ways I can't even imagine. 

If there is one thing I have learned, life is never what you expect it to be. I have had a blessed year. I am blessed with a job that I enjoy, friends that support me, a family that I can share my dreams and passions with and I can run and train without injuries. I have been lucky enough to be chosen as an ambassador for Nike, Nuun and Athleta. I won the trip of a lifetime to the US Open. I put myself out there and succeeded. 

Life was meant to be lived and I am going to live it the way I want to. I have always been one to make a goal and not stop until I reach it. Maybe I'm stubborn, or maybe I've just found out how we were meant to live. I can't give up on my dreams or passions because they are what make me who I am. I can't live your life for you any more than you can live mine. But if you can take anything from this, I want you to make a choice in your life. Don't give up on your passion, don't let anyone else define you and don't ever give up. 

You can't wait for opportunities to knock on your door. Put yourself in a place where you are vulnerable, where you have the opportunity to get to a better place. Will you fail? I almost guarantee it. But when you succeed, you will know how truly lucky you are. Amazing awaits.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Inspiration from BeccaFit4Life!

I met Becca via social media, specifically Twitter (@becca_fit4life). To be honest, I can't remember the actual day or reason that I began following her on Twitter. I'm sure it had to do with her awesomely inspiring posts or maybe our shared love of Nike and all things fitness and running. Regardless of the reason, I could not be more excited to call her a friend and finally be able to race with her at the Nike Women's Marathon this year! Becca is from Los Angeles, CA and is incredibly involved in the running culture and Nike culture in the area. 

I can't wait for you to get to learn more about this inspiring fitness superstar! She is currently a Group Trainer for Camp Gladiator and is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Consultant. Her and I share the same goal of one day becoming officially certified to teach Nike Training Club classes. She attends live sessions weekly in LA and I attend the classes that just began in San Francisco when I can make the two hour trip. Trust me, they are no joke! 

Becca has been a featured trainer in Audrey Magazine!

I asked Becca to share her running journey with me. She has been very inspiring and I know we could all benefit from more inspiration. It was such a struggle for me to get out the door to go on my fifteen mile run this weekend, but when I thought of all the girls I am training with, I got enough motivation to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement! It's time for you to meet the amazing runner - BeccaFit4Life!

Years Running
I didn't really start running regularly until college but the most I ran in one run was 5K. My running journey began in 2012. So in a way, I'm a newbie :)

How did you get into running? Can you share your running history?
Running started out as a part of my fitness routine. I was not an active kid growing up. I wanted to play sports when I was younger. However, growing up in a family, whose value was more about academic, my focus was all about school (Asian parents! Lol). My earliest memory of running was back in 4th grade. We had to do a run test for PE and I had to finish first for some reason. That is when I realized I can be very competitive.

My "real" running journey started in Feb. 2012 with Redondo Beach Superbowl 10K. This race was my first step of transitioning my passion for fitness into career. Running/fitness was not just something for myself anymore. It became a platform to challenge myself, to connect with others, to inspire & to motivate others into living a healthy active life. To do so, I had to start with myself.

So, after running a 10K race, I decided to step up to a half marathon. Rock 'n Roll Los Angeles 2012 was my very first half marathon. A month before running my first half, I did a 15K race. However, this one was just a "training" long run even though I was awarded with a finisher's medal. I love races that give out a finisher's medal, such a rewarding moment for all the hard work! And I like to show off my race bling ;)

My most recent race to date was the Rock 'n Roll San Diego 2013 half marathon. I shaved 5 minutes off from the LA one & achieved a new PR. In addition, I will be running my first full marathon this year at the 10th Anniversary Nike Women's Marathon 2013. I am excited to train and to run this one. I've been waiting for this since last year. Plus, I will run my 2nd Rock 'n Roll Los Angeles half marathon a week after the Nike Women's Marathon. October will be one busy running month for me. Lol. Oh yeah, I enjoy doing obstacles races too; such as, Warrior Dash, Mud Factor, Beach Dash, and The Happiest 5K on Earth, aka The Color Run

I like to challenge myself in any way I can. Training myself to run in the regular and obstacle races give me insights into what it would take to train for different races and how to improve my own time. In return, I can share my knowledge and experiences with others. 

How do you train? Are you a part of a running group? Do you prefer running with a group or alone?
For the Rock 'n Roll San Diego half marathon, I followed Achieve A New PR (Half) training schedule created by Coach Steve Magness from Nike Running. As for the upcoming Nike Women's Marathon, I'm following the Finish The Race created by Nike Elite Master Trainer, Marie Purvis. In addition to running, I add Nike Training Club workout (the NTC app & the free live classes provided by NikeLA), an hour of my own strength training session (including Camp Gladiator when I'm not teaching), and a hike or any other outdoor activities on the weekend. I recently have added yoga into my training routine but I need to do this more often. It is so important to cross train. Runners need to build strong muscles and increase flexibility to power our running legs for the distance and to prevent injuries.

For the most part, I run on my own and occasionally run with the Nike Running club. However, I started running with the Nike-affiliated She Runs LA crew in January of 2013. I run with the girls (and guys) at least once or twice a week. I also started to run with the Dog Haus Running Club of Pasadena. 

Honestly, I enjoy running on my own and running with a group. Each of these has its own advantages. Here are the reasons I like running on my own: I run on my own time, my "me time," and it is easier to focus on a specific running pace I'm aiming for during that particular run. It's also a good practice to listen to your own body. I've been focusing more on this. As for running with a group: I have someone to pace myself after (especially when I want to pick up the pace), a "race-start-like" experience (you don't start the race on your own), the motivation you get from other runners, and the camaraderie of having common interests. 

I love being active. Thus, any chance I get to be outdoors or be active, I will take it! :)

What is your favorite memory from running?
There are so many memorable moments. If I had to narrow down to one, I'd say finishing my very first half marathon. Crossing that finish line gave me such a sense of accomplishment. I couldn't believe that I actually ran 13.1 miles when the most I ran two months before then was a 10K. In addition, I got to share this first experience with one of my very good friends. We started a few minutes apart but it was nice to see a familiar face on the path. We high-fived, cheered each other on and reconnected at the finish line. More memories will be in the making since I get to run my first full marathon with a few inspirational running buddies I've connected with (near and far) via social media and running clubs.

What race(s) is your favorite? Why?
Besides the first half marathon I did, I'd probably say my first Warrior Dash. This one was different since it was a 5K obstacle course. This race challenged me in endurance and in strength. I'm just glad that I don't have a fear of heights. There were so many climbing obstacles on this race. Of course, the mud bath at the end topped it off for me. Exfoliate while beasting! Lol. Nevertheless, I look forward to running the 10th Anniversary Nike Women's Marathon. I've heard nothing but positive feedback about this race. I already know that it'll be one of my favorite races in history!

What advice do you have for new runners? 
Running is a different game in comparison to any other form of fitness. It requires a lot of discipline and perseverance. I do believe that anyone can run. However, you do need to get in shape if you were to run distance, especially anything over three miles. Take it slow and easy at first and then start to push yourself further as you go. Don't be discourage or get fixated on the number of miles. Take it one mile at a time. And definitely invest in the recovery period. Spend a good 20 minutes recovering for every hour you've ran. Don't be afraid to ask other veteran runners or do your research if you didn't know something or want improvement. And ALWAYS remember to SMILE. It's an instant mood booster :)

How do you use your blog/social media to influence your running?
I love sharing my progress and training on social media. It's my way to communicate, to motivate and to inspire others. It's great to be able to connect with runners/fitness people from all over the world. Plus, it always makes me smile knowing that my posts have motivated/inspired someone that day. "Seek to Inspire," one of the many mottos I live by.

How do you fit running in with your daily schedule, work, etc…?
I try to do most of my runs in the early morning before work but there are times I have to run at night. When I'm training for a race, I follow the training plan. When I'm not training, I'd run 3-6 mi/day at least 3x/week on my own, in addition to the run with the running crew/club. Sometimes it is hard to fit a run in, but I have to remind myself that I run this for me. 

All her training paid off with a PR at her second half marathon - RnR San Diego!

Do you have any favorite running gear our readers should know about (shoes, tights, etc)?
Personally I love the Flyknit line in Nike running shoes. I've been training in the Flyknit Lunar1+. They're medium support. They're great for anything around 10 miles or below. As for the longer distance, I like the Nike Lunarglide shoes. These have more stability for the longer distance. I admit that I am a Nike fanatic so the majority of my running clothes are Nike. Lol.

Do you run for a cause? How does this influence how you approach training?
Currently, I'm not running with any charity/cause. However, that is something I'm looking into. There are so many great ones to get involved with but I want to find something that I can relate to or have a personal connection with. Some of the races I've done are partnered with certain charity organizations. In addition, I do what I can to support my friends who do run for a cause. I volunteer at local races on the weekends when I can. Nevertheless, I think about those who can't run or aren't fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do what I do, and I run for them in spirit. The Boston marathon incident hit me hard. I got teary eyes while out running after that. All my runs were very emotional for a long time. Even now, I still think about it while out running.

Extra Credit Question - Becca shares her awesome NTC abilities!
***Besides running, I really do enjoy the live NTC sessions provided by NikeLA. Most recently I was one of the chosen top 40 females to compete in the 1st Nike Training Club Summer Throwdown. It definitely was one of the best experiences I've had this summer by far. If I had to describe it, I'd say it was "NTC on crack." Lol. It was nonstop HIIT. You can read more about it on my tumblr blog. In addition, I got to meet my fitness idol, Marie Purvis, Nike Elite Master Trainer. She's someone whom I've admired for a long time & look up to. Personally, I love everything about Nike and all the projects/events they do. I've been fortunate enough to take part at some of their Los Angeles events; such as, the pre-launch of Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ with Ellie Goulding, a series of Nike Training Club, Nike Running club, etc. One of my career goals is to work with Nike, especially be a Nike Master Trainer in the future. Wish me luck! :)

Becca and Marie Purvis her (and my) fitness idol!

Becca is truly an inspiration and I wish her all the best with her future fitness goals. I know she will soon become an NTC trainer and reach her dream of working with Nike. At some point we both will and we will be friends, training buddies and co-workers for a company we both admire, respect and believe in. Becca is changing lives everyday with her fun attitude and training philosophy. If you are in LA, be sure to hit up her Camp Gladiator class or meet her for a Nike NTC session or Run Club. For more daily doses of awesomeness from Becca, follow her on her social sites. 

Follow Becca on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram!

Twitter: becca_fit4life
Instagram: beccafit4life

Did I mention she is super adventurous and always up for a challenge? Yes, that is her bungee jumping at Bungee America. I'm pretty sure she laughs in the face of fear and is always up for a challenge. Watch out San Francisco, this girl is coming to crush her first marathon!

Becca testing her limits! I don't think she has found any yet!

If you have any questions or comments for Becca, leave them below! Until next week, happy training!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's Time to Get Fly!

Getting faster is something that I am always striving for. I have to admit that lately, I haven't been as focused on it as I should be. I have become satisfied with running at a comfortable pace and not challenging myself. I have finally decided that I have had enough! This month Nike has put out a program to follow to help you get faster. I jumped on the chance to challenge myself and I wanted to share this opportunity with you. 

Nike launched their Get Fly program for the month of August. I began the program on Wednesday, timing my fastest mile at a 6:39. The goal over the month of August is to train with their daily workouts and beat your previous fastest time. My goal is a 6 minute mile by August 31st. Combined with marathon training and Hood to Coast over August 23 & 24, I may have to alternate a few workouts. I will be doing my best to follow the plan. Check it out below and let me know what you think. I'd love to have you join me in speed training! Today is my rest day so I am enjoying some much needed R&R after my 15 mile long run yesterday.

August Get Fly Training Program

The Get Fly program was launched with the release of the Nike Free Flyknit shoe. I have a pair of Nike Free's from last year, but their new design is tempting! The fit is more like a sock than a shoe and is made to conform to your foot. Check out the video review below from Nike's Creative Director of Running for more information on the innovative technology in this shoe.

Need more information? Check out these facts on the Free Flyknit from Nike and get ready to feel a whole new style of running. 
The revolution of Flyknit continues in the Nike Free Flyknit+ Women's Running Shoe, combining the second-skin fit of Flyknit construction and ultimate flexibility of Nike Free.
The revolutionary Nike Flyknit upper delivers a compressive, second-skin fit that secures your foot over the Nike Free midsole. Made entirely of polyester yarn, the one-piece upper seamlessly integrates areas of high breathability, stretch and support where you need it most.
The upper, midsole and outsole work together to create a more natural ride. For ultimate flexibility, the shoe's Nike Free 5.0 midsole features flex grooves to promote natural motion and help increase stability and foot strength.
Ultra-light Flywire cables are woven into the Flyknit upper and connect to the laces, offering a dynamic, supportive fit that adapts to your foot's movements.
To construct the upper, polyester yarn is fed into a proprietary knitting machine, creating little to no waste and minimizing weight so the shoe's incredibly efficient to produce.
Nike Flyknit was inspired by feedback from runners requesting a shoe with the snug (and virtually unnoticed) fit of a sock. Nike embarked on a four-year mission with teams of programmers, engineers and designers to create the technology needed to make the knit upper with static properties for structure and durability. Then the precise placement of support, flexibility and breathability-all in one layer-was refined. The result was a featherweight, form-fitting and virtually seamless upper.
After learning that Stanford athletes had been training barefoot on the university's golf course, three of Nike's most innovative and creative employees set out to develop a shoe that felt natural and weightless, similar to bare feet. In 2002, they examined a group of men and women with pressure measuring insoles taped to their feet, using high-speed cameras to capture images of each foot in motion.
The team spent eight years studying the biomechanics of shoeless running. The results yielded a profound understanding of the foot's natural landing angle, pressure and toe position, allowing Nike designers to build an unconventional and flexible running shoe from the inside out.

Allyson Felix Testing Out the Free Flyknit!

Nike is focusing their product launch with a movement to help everyday athletes get stronger. If you are in a city with a NikeTown store, be sure to stop by and check out their free Run Clubs and Nike Training Club sessions. If you're lucky enough to live in New York you may even be able to score a trip to the Nike Running training sessions in Montauk! If you want to check out this amazing program search the #MontaukProject on Twitter and Instagram and follow @nikenyc on Twitter for details. 

If you're like me and the closest Nike store is a two hour drive or more, be sure to interact with them on Twitter and Facebook for running encouragement and training plans. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Spartan Partners with NBC and a Giveaway!

On October 26, I will be running the Spartan Beast Race in Sacramento, CA. This race happens just six (6) days after my third marathon, the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. At some moments I think I must be crazy and then during others I feel like training for both will help me better accomplish them. Luckily, I convinced a friend to come run with me. Strength in numbers! Now I can't not show up, I have something to prove!

Sometimes when I am training for a long distance event I tend to slack off on my cross training. Since I have both a long distance event and a tough 12 mile obstacle course, I can't afford to slack off. To keep me on track I will be sharing my training journey with you. If you're training for a Spartan Race or a marathon I would love to have you join me and share your training tips with me. So far I am using the daily emails from the Spartan race and trusting that they know what they're talking about.

The Spartan Race series is growing quickly and they just announced that they are partnering with NBC Sports Network to broadcast the World Championship and showcase the sport of obstacle racing. This event will take place September 21-22, 2013, in scenic central Vermont. While it is an event that will showcase elite competitors, ANYONE can enter! Now is your chance to race amongst elite athletes and become the ultimate Spartan Warrior!

"Tens of thousands of obstacle racing competitors and enthusiasts from around the world will converge on New England, where $250,000 in cash and prizes will be on the line. At the World Championship, top-ranked Reebok Spartan Race athletes, Olympians, and amateur athletes alike will compete side-by-side, assuming they have the brawn, guts and intestinal fortitude.
Spartan Race has partnered with NBC Sports Group to chronicle the amazing people and stories behind the race series and the World Championship, culminating in a 90-minute TV special that will air on the NBC Sports Network on October 19, 2013."

Sound amazing yet? Spartan Race will be filming 8 professional athletes and 4 everyday Spartans at the World Championship. Share your story about how Reebok Spartan Race has changed your life, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Spartan on camera at the World Championship Race in Vermont! If I could go to this event I would totally be sharing my story! Maybe next year...

By now you must be dying for the chance to challenge yourself to a new goal and race. Luckily for you I have a free race entry to give away to any Spartan Race in the continental US in 2013-2014! Just enter my giveaway below! Too excited to wait to see if you have won? Get 15% off your registration with this link:

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 5, 2013

Meet Inspiring Runner Arie Rich!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone's weekend was great! I had the chance to do The Color Run with some friends and had an absolute blast. I highly recommend doing this race with a group as that makes throwing color on each other that much more fun!

I have been so busy this past weekend and today that I almost had to post my Monday runner feature on Tuesday. Alas, I must admit that I procrastinated a bit. The weekend was filled with so much running, bouldering and fun that I just didn't have time to sit in front of my computer and write. I do not want you to miss out on this VERY inspiring runner! 

Today I would like to introduce you to Ariette, or as I know her, Arie Rich. Arie lives in New York, NY and is an administrative assistant. She is very active and a new runner! I have had the privilege of getting to know her through social media this past year and knew I had to share her story with my readers. Her blog is pretty awesome too, check it out: kmpblog. Without further adieu, meet Arie Rich! 

How Many Years Have You Been Running: Less than a year. About 7 months.

How did you get into running? Can you share your running history?
I used to hate running, not sure how I got into it... All I know is that on my birthday this year,  January 22, 2013, I was motivated to give running a try.  It all started when I registered for the Nike Virtual 10K race, and then the rest was or is history... To date I've  done: one 5K, one 5 miler, three 10k and one half marathon. In the coming months I will be doing: one 4 miler, one 10 miler, 2 half marathons and one full marathon. 
Before you couldn't get me to run past 2 miles, I still can't believe I'll be running my first marathon this Fall.

How do you train? Are you a part of a running group? Do you prefer running with a group or alone?
Ever since I started running I've been using the Nike Race Coach for all my trainings (10K, Half and Full). It has worked very well and it is easy to follow and stick to. I’m not part of a run club or group yet. Although, I’ve been tempted and have been asked to join Nike Run Club several times, at the moment I haven’t find the time to fit it into my running/training schedule, as their run days are different than my train days and it would throw me off. I also find that I don’t mind running alone. I like to go at my own pace and not feel like I’m competing or trying to keep up with someone else’s pace.

What is your favorite memory from running?
My favorite memory from running was when I was training for my first 10K. The time when I broke past two miles, ran 6 miles and felt unstoppable. Also, during my training I’ve noticed that my pace was getting better, so I would get emotional when my Nike Running app would give me a summary of my run and say how I ran my fastest mile or 5K, that made me realize that I can do this.

What race(s) is your favorite? Why?
Being a new runner, I can’t say I have a favorite race yet, but based off the ones that I’ve done so far in NYC, I found the 5 Boro Series are fun. The Brooklyn Half was great because you got to see a lot of places in Brooklyn and finish the race at Coney Island and enjoy a large beer after. I also enjoyed the Queens 10K at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, because the park has amazing landmarks and statues, and lots to take in. It is a great run, to take amazing pictures with really awesome backgrounds.

What advice do you have for new runners?
Good question. Running is not easy and it does take a lot of motivation. Like I mentioned before I hated running, you can ask my friends that have been running for years, I just thought running was hard and it hurt. LOL. I never understood why anyone would run for an hour. I laugh at all this now because it is funny and when I think about it, now all I want to do is run for hours, anything shorter would be torture.

What got me into running was the fact that I was doing it to achieve a goal. My goal was to train and do a 10K. I didn’t do it for weight loss, or for “fun.” Below are a few tips for new runners:

  1. Set a goal and stick to it.
  2. Don’t run past 5 or 6 miles on the treadmill. It’s not fun. I believe long runs should be done outside, on an early morning, down a long path. You’ll see what I mean.
  3. Get fitted for running shoes. Don’t get caught up with the brand, but go to a running store that will do a gait analysis and try on several different shoes. What’s good for me, might not be good for you.
  4. Don’t give up. Stick to your plan, if today’s run says to do 5 miles, do your 5 miles, don’t stop. If you get tired, slow down. Always finish your run! That is so important.
  5. Don’t push yourself too hard. Don’t worry so much about your pace or try to beat your personal best. Enjoy the run, it’ll get easier.

How do you use your blog/social media to influence your running?
I have been blogging since 2008. In my blog I would share tips and info that I would find useful. Ever since I started running I’ve been sharing my running stories with my readers, and I’ve noticed that people are interested in this stuff. I get emails and messages via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from friends/followers that are inspired by my active lifestyle and want to learn more. I love that by me being active and doing something I’m currently enjoying, I can be inspiring to others.

How do you fit running in with your daily schedule, work, etc…?
Now that I’m training for a marathon, everything I do kind of revolves around my marathon training schedule. Except for work. Monday through Friday I run and/or weight train after work. On the weekends I either rest or wake up early and do my long runs.

Do you have any favorite running gear our readers should know about (shoes, tights, etc)?
Ha! Running is great because it gives me a reason to buy tons of running tights and new workout outfits. Yes, I believe you should look good during your runs or workouts. The days of long baggy t-shirts and sweatpants or basketball shorts are long gone. If you look good, you’ll feel good and you’ll have a great run. I like to get Nike tights, they are comfortable, colorful, different. I own quite a few pairs of Nike tights. Also, a few compression shorts are really great for the summer. I like compression shorts because they don’t rise up when you’re running. Last but not least, sneakers. I own several pairs of sneakers, mostly Nikes because they seem to work well for me. I’ve tried other brands and they cause painful blisters by my ankles, maybe the sizing is different. I also own Vibram FiveFingers shoes, these are great for training and barefoot running. Eventually my goal is to be able to run long distance in barefoot shoes.

Advice From Arie!
A few things to remember:

  1. Don’t think too much about running or when you will start running. Just do it!
  2. Read up on running books. Some of my favorite books so far are: ChiRunning, Eat & Run, and Born to Run.
  3. Find what type of running works for you. Are you a short distance or a long distance runner? Running fast or far might not be for everyone.
  4. Don’t be afraid to sign up for a marathon. If you’ve ran 3-4 half marathons, you can definitively do a full marathon. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

I would like to give a shout out to Arie for being my featured runner! I'm sure after reading Arie's great advice and learning about her running journey you are as inspired as I am by her! I can't wait to officially meet her at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco this coming October. Until then, I'll be following her journey on social media and training virtually with her for 26.2 miles of glory! Why don't you join me?

Follow Arie:

If you have any questions for Arie or myself please leave a message in the comments below and we'll get back to you! Happy Running!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Race Training and Getting Out of a Rut!

My race season officially begins the weekend of August 23-24, when I will tackle Hood to Coast with my wonderful Nuun Hydration teammates on Team Lemonade! To say that I'm excited would be an understatement. I even tried to start packing today, until I realized I'm going to need all my running clothes before I leave. Have you ever been this excited about a race? I have to say that the Nike Women's Marathon last year was pretty close. I may have been even more excited because of all the buildup from Nike Women for that women's only event.

Time to add to my race bib collection!

Hood to Coast is an event that I have always wanted to take part in. In fact, this last year I applied in the lottery. I wrote a check, sent in my registration and was rejected. I was so disappointed! I grew up in Oregon and I know how special this event is. Even through I couldn't see it at the time, I was turned down for a reason and that reason was that now I have a chance to run the race with amazing women bloggers, have fun, network and party all weekend long! Thank you team Nuun! Can't wait to run with you this month!

My Hood to Coast training has really just been part of my current marathon training plan for the Nike Women's Marathon in October. I feel pretty strong, but it is getting very hard to get out and go for my long runs! Since I moved, I have not found a place I like to run at yet. I loved my old town and now I feel a little bit lost on my runs. It's getting tough and I don't know what I will do on my first 20 miler! If you have any tips for spicing up a run in a new area I would love to hear them!

I also have a Spartan Race coming up the week after my marathon, so I am trying to incorporate a lot of strength training in with my marathon training. I'm hoping they work together and make me strong in each race. Have you ever trained for two different events at the same time? How did you feel you juggled both forms of training?

One of the recent quotes that I have been trying to incorporate into my training strategy is "Train insane or remain the same." I feel like sometimes when I train by myself I don't push myself as hard as I can and I have really been suffering from this lately! I recently did a fitness assessment and took a few bootcamp classes to mix up my routine. I am definitely not where I want to be (I want to be back to my fit college basketball days) but I am still doing very well. The classes kicked my butt and the trainer made me do advanced moves, so I guess I'm not that bad off, I just have been feeling a little out of my rhythm since the move. Adjusting to a new place and gym takes time and I am probably just being impatient! I am hoping you can all keep me accountable! I am going to focus on giving 100% in all my workouts and getting back on track in August.

Thanks for all your support and I wish you all the best in your training! Have any tips for me? Leave them in the comments below!