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!