Say Goodbye to Live from La Quinta. Hello Coach Debbie Runs

The time is finally here! This is my last post on Live from La Quinta! I’m sure you noticed that I got a head start last month. I changed my logo, all of my social accounts, started the process of getting it all ready for the big change…changing my URL to Coach Debbie Runs!

Coach Debbie Runs Logo

A huge thank you to Rita Barry of Blog Genie. While I did a lot of work to get the process started (I couldn’t tell you how I did it, but I managed to duplicate my files, add a new database, and a whole lot of other things I doubt I could do again), Rita will be the one to make sure that nothing gets lost, that all my old posts will be in place, and that if someone clicks an old link they will magically click through to Coach Debbie Runs.

Friends 14I’ve worked with Rita before and I love her work. I was a student in the very first Blog School (now I’m an affiliate too), and she did my very first Genesis install. I also got to meet her at Blogfest, so we’re real life friends too.

So sometime tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon, the change will go through. Probably, hopefully, you won’t notice a difference. If you follow me on Bloglovin’ or through other readers, there may be a delay, as I will have a bit on my plate over the weekend updating everything that needs to be updated.

Here are all my social media links, though if you followed me before it all should have updated automatically.

Twitter: CoachDebbieRuns
Instagram: CoachDebbieRuns
Pinterest: CoachDebbieRuns
Tumblr: CoachDebbie Runs
Facebook: (They let me change my Facebook URL, but I had to request the name change, so this link will take you there, but the name still says Live from La Quinta.)

Google+ and YouTube all stay the same for now.

So! Exciting times! I’ll see you later on Coach Debbie Runs!

Have you ever changed your URL or rebranded your blog? I’d appreciate any tips or suggestions that you may have (knowing of course that your comments will probably be lost after the transfer since I already did the database switch thing).

The Scoop: Blogfest and IDEAWorld. Gabby, Jillian, Beto and more!

blogFestBody

The powers that be at IDEA have finally released the speaker list and schedule for Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which is July 16-19, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center! Pay attention because you will want to be there after you read this.

Blogfest

You may have heard that Gabrielle Reece will be the keynote speaker for Blogfest 2015, but did you know that she will also be leading a workout? That’s right, Gabby will be teaching the fitness workout she created – HighX!

Laird Hamilton

I never met Gabby Reece, but I did have a chance to meet her hubby Laird Hamilton at a fitness convention a couple years ago.

In addition to High-X, there are several other options for getting your sweat on at Blogfest. Dancer Ian Waite will be teaching his class Dance Yourself Fit. On Friday you can wake up to Kaia Fit with creator Nikki Warren. And while it’s not a workout, you will get a chance to get Up Close and Personal with Zumba creator Beto Perez.

Ian Waite 2

And if that’s not enough fitness for you, on Saturday and Sunday you will have exclusive access to all of the IDEA World Fitness Convention sessions, including the workouts, which include the Hollywood Trainer Ultimate Mash-up with celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, Bodyshred with Jillian Michaels, Zumba, taught by it’s creator Beto Perez, plus many workshops that will include lectures and workouts. And that’s just Saturday!

Jillian and others

Of course you come to blogging and fitness conventions for more than just workouts. You won’t be disappointed. Blogfest sessions include topics such as: How to Increase Readership and Market Your Message to the Masses; Mindblowing Blog Tips; Busting the Top 5 Nutrition Myths; Build a Following on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (three separate sessions); Make a Career Out of Blogging; The Future of Blogging; and SEO Tips and Tricks. Speakers include Katy Widrick, Melissa Burton, RD, Kasey Arena, Amanda Vogel, and many more. Check here for the complete schedule.

Friends 18

I was fortunate to meet Katy Widrick at Blogfest 2014.

Along with your access to all of the sessions, workouts, and speakers at IDEA World on Saturday and Sunday, all Blogfest attendees also are invited to the opening ceremonies on July 16, which include keynote speaker New York Times best selling author Brendon Burchard, 2015 IDEA Jack LaLanne award recipient Jenna Wolfe, and 2015 IDEA Fitness Inspiration Award winner Anthony Robles. And you won’t want to miss the IDEA World party!

And don’t forget that the IDEA World Fitness and Nutrition Expo runs July 16-18, 11:30 to 6:30. It is one of the largest fitness expos in the world, so come prepared to network, chat, shop, and eat your way through the LA Convention Center expo hall.

Perhaps the best part of Blogfest, and one of the main reasons I will be back, is the opportunity to meet so many of the people whose blogs you have been reading for years. To finally put a voice and a face (beyond a photograph) to these women and men is priceless, and it really is what makes Blogfest such an important event to add to your schedule.

http://i2.wp.com/livefromlaquinta.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IDEA-2014-Anaheim-Portraits-58.jpg

I have a special code that will save you $100 on your registration! Just click here to sign up and use the code BLOG100 at checkout. There are a limited amount of openings, so don’t delay.

Blogfest Register 2015 new

I’ll be there! Will you? What blogger would you especially like to meet?

A DIY Blogger: Welcome to Coach Debbie Runs

Coach Debbie Runs LogoYou may have noticed some changes around here! Welcome to Coach Debbie Runs! One of my big goals for 2015 was to re-brand my blog. When I started Live from La Quinta six years ago, I didn’t have a clue about blogging or what I was going to write about. It just sounded like fun. I live in La Quinta, and I thought the name had a nice ring to it.

Over the course of time, Live from La Quinta has evolved into a healthy living and running blog, with a side dish of vegan cooking and family life. While I still write a little about La Quinta, the title itself just didn’t “say” health and fitness. Heck, half the country can’t even pronounce “Quinta!” (It’s Keenta by the way, not Kwinta.)

Even though I am not “techy,” I am a DIY Blogger. Everything you see on my blog, for better or worse, is my own work. I installed the theme, designed the layout, even created my new logo. And while I am re-branding, I am doing it a step at a time. You may notice that the URL is still livefromlaquinta.com. That’s mostly because, even as a do-it-yourself blogger, I’m scared to death of making that change on my own. I think it will be time for a little professional help, just so everything changes over smoothly (and I don’t lose six years of hard work).

So, my next step, in addition to changing my URL, is going through the process of changing my social media handles. I’ve done that once before (way back when I first joined Twitter and Instagram I was Shnuddy, a nickname that my husband bestowed upon me. I’m still stuck with it on some accounts, like YouTube, which doesn’t let you change your name.), so I imagine it will go smoothly.

While all this sounds like a big change, and it is, you probably won’t notice any difference in my content. I write about what I know: running, fitness, a plant-based lifestyle, dogs, and life. I have no plans to change that. I just want to spruce up the old blog, maybe get some new readers, and keep things fresh.

Finally, for the first time since I put my blogging goals down in writing, I feel like I’m working toward my word of the year.

BraveSo, what do you think? Do you like the new look? Do you have a suggestion about who could help me switch my URL? I have a couple ideas, but I’m open to suggestions. Finally, thank you all for reading. I’m always amazed that people actually want to read what I have to say, and I love you for it.

A Day in the Life: Wife, Vegan, Dog-Mom, Runner, Trainer

Day 2_10

Today I’m linking with Katie and many other bloggers (see below for the link up) for a “Day in the Life” post!”  I love these posts. It’s like taking a little peek into the lives of the bloggers that I follow. I’ve done this before, but there have been some major changes in my life since then (like a job change for one).

I’ve been sick for ever a few days, and my days have revolved around sleeping, coughing, sitting in bed trying to make the time go by, well, you get the idea. I know you don’t want to hear more about that!  So I picked a day from last week when I was going about my regular business.

3:30 am The alarm goes off. Alan hops out of bed because he leaves to swim by 5:00. I hit the snooze button a couple times, but I’m up by 4:00.

4:00-4:30 am Coffee! Alan and I chat a bit, then I check email, read a few blogs, answer a couple comments.

Day 2_2

4:30-5:00 am Pet feeding time! With seven dogs and two indoor cats, this takes a while. We also try to fit in a short walk before Alan leaves to swim.

Day 2_5

5:00-5:30 am I get dressed and ready to run. It’s finally warmed up a bit, so I’m not dreading getting out before the sun. Still, I bundle up with tights, gloves, and headband, not to mention breaking out the Halobelt and Knuckle Lights. Then, while waiting for the sky to lighten just a little, I go back to reading blogs.

Day 2_1

5:30-6:30 am I get my run done in an hour today. It’s six miles with the middle four at my half marathon pace. Done!

6:30-7:30 am Shower, dress, eat. Then I make my morning smoothie to take with me to work. This is my new habit, now that I have my new Blendtec.

Day 2_7

7:30-8:00 am Drive to work. I keep my mind occupied by listening to an audiobook. Currently I’m listening to Voyager, the third book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

8:00-10:00 am I work with two personal training clients. My schedule is not full yet, since I’ve just been working for a couple months, but it’s getting there. My second client is only 45 minutes, so I have time to drink that smoothie that I brought with me.

10:00-11:00 am I have an hour break between clients, so I go to the yoga class at my gym. It’s a pretty easy class, but sometimes that’s just what I need.

11:00-12:00 pm I have one more client, then I’m done for the day! On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I also work some desk hours, but on Monday and Wednesday I’m done after my last client.

Day 2_4

12:00-12:30 pm I swing by Whole Foods to pick up some essentials. I don’t do all my shopping there because it’s pretty expensive, but they have a great variety of vegan and organic food, so I make a point to shop on my way home from work once a week or so.

12:30-1:00 pm The drive home, still listening to Voyager.

1:00-3:00 pm I get home, greet Alan and the dogs, which takes a while (if you have dogs, you understand). Then I grab a snack, since lunch is usually late. Then I’ll sit down and work on my blog post for a while. This week I have a couple of sponsored posts that are due and mostly written, so it’s a matter of proofreading and re-reading what I’ve written. One requires a draft, so I send that off.

3:00-4:00 pm Alan and I go to lunch together. Today (as most days), we go to Subway/Starbucks. He grabs the sandwiches, I grab the coffees, and we eat at Starbucks. After eating, I check my social media, comments, etc., until it’s time to head home.

Day 2_8

4:00-5:00 pm I take some time to sit, relax, talk to my husband, watch a little television, and try to keep my hands off my computer/iPad/phone.

5:00-6:00 pm I give into temptation and check out my social media and blog comments. I also check on my analytics a bit, so I know where I stand for the day. It doesn’t sound like much, but an hour just slips away.

6:00-7:00 pm I start dinner. Tonight I’m making one of my favorites, Risi Salad. As I cook, I enjoy a glass of wine, and turn on HGTV and watch my favorite real estate shows (that’s what’s left over from our “going to be real estate agents” phase).

Day 2_6

7:00-7:30 pm Dinner time.

7:30-9:00 pm This varies. If I have a post that I need to get published, I spend some time fine-tuning it, checking links and proofreading (again). I generally publish around 8:30 pm. If I don’t have a post, I’ll either edit some pictures, spend time on social media, or, sometimes, I might just plop myself in front of the television for the last hour or so of my day.

9:00 pm Bedtime. I usually read a little before lights out, but not for long, because I’m always pooped by the end of the day. And I need my rest if I’m going to get up and do this all over again tomorrow!

Day 2_9

Join the link up and let’s hear about your day! Be sure to visit a few other blogs to share the love!



2015 Blogging Goals and my Word for the Year

Well, one thing hasn’t changed in the last two years. It still takes me a few weeks to sit down and write down my blogging goals for the coming year. In 2014 I posted on February 10. In 2013 it was February 6. So I guess I’m heading in the right direction.

Of course first I need to take a look back at my goals for last year. There is no point in going forward without taking a look back. My 2014 blogging goals were:

1. Get a new look/theme for my blog. That was kind of a cheater goal, because by the time I wrote it, it was already done. I did it all myself, and it is still a work in progress, but for the most part I’m really happy with my theme and the look of my blog.

2. Create awesome content. I guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. I do try. I don’t usually post just to post. I try to have something to say.

3. Make some money. Well, I made more in 2014 than the year before. While I love making money, I want to strike a balance between sponsored posts, advertising, and my own (see above) awesome content.

4. That camera thing. I call it that because for the last several years I’ve promised that I would take a photography class and get to know my DSL camera. Nope, I haven’t done it yet. Adding it to the 2015 goal list. Seriously, though, I always have my phone with me, so even if I finally take a class, I’ll still bet that most of my photos will be uploaded from my telephone.

5. Increase social media following. I have a slow but sure increase in my social media, especially Twitter (about 4,200) and Instagram (finally over 1,000!!!).

Overall I am pleased with my blogging over the last year. That doesn’t mean I don’t have plans for the coming year though!

2015 Blogging Goals

2015 Blogging Goals

Let’s start right off with the BHAG why don’t we? I want to rebrand and change my URL this year. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but to be honest, it scares me. I’ve always been a DIY blogger, but this is a big step and I should probably get some help. So many things to think about!

Why do I want to change? When I started Live from La Quinta in 2009 (yes, my first post was almost exactly six years ago!), I had no idea what I was doing. I had a friend who had a blog and I thought it sounded like fun. I picked my name and URL pretty randomly. I wrote about my training, family, etc. And it was good.

Over the years, Live from La Quinta has evolved into more of a fitness and running blog, with a side of personal. I have a good following, but I think with a name that is more, I don’t know, fitness and running sounding, I can grow even more.

Because this has been on my mind for a while, I’ve become a collector of URLs. While I would love to rebrand under my own name, DebbieWoodruff.com is not available (dang, I should have been thinking of this years ago!). Since my focus wanders from time to time, all my collected URLs are a little random too. They are:

VeggieRunnerGirl.com. From my very vegan phase. I’m still very vegan, but I’m not sure I want my blog name to reflect it. Plus “girl.” Not sure about that one either.

DebWoodruff.com. No one really calls me Deb except a friend or two, but I do kind of like this one. But it still doesn’t have that running flair that I’m looking for.

I also purchased MediaFitCoach.com, during my social media blogger phase. While that is still in use on my WordPress.com blog, I haven’t done much with it. It does have the word coach in it though.

My most recent purchase is CoachDebbieRuns.com. I think I like this one the best, though if you ask me tomorrow I might change my mind.

What do you think? Any other ideas? Tell me in the comments and I’ll hurry over and buy it before anybody else can!

I’d like to make a few tweaks to my theme and overall look, timed to go with the rebrand. I love the Beautiful Pro Genesis theme, so I won’t be changing that out, but I want to create a new header, a logo, and generally clean it up. Sidebars can get messy over time, so it’s time to cull a few things out. I recently purchased Genesis Design Pallet Pro, which promises that I can make advanced theme edits without any coding knowledge. We’ll see. It’s guaranteed!

Blogging and Fitness Conferences. I want to go back to Blogfest this year, which includes the last two days of IDEAWorld. It was a great experience, especially meeting so many blogging friends, and I can’t wait to go back. I will also be attending the IHRSA Convention, as a member of the media, so I’m excited about that.

I want to post less often. I tend to get caught up in the “I need to post daily” maelstrom, but it’s just too difficult to post that often and still keep quality content. I want to cut back (as I pretty much have in the last few months) to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. That being said, I do like to put sponsored posts on Tuesday and/or Thursday, so that they don’t take away from my regular content. I don’t have that many sponsored posts, so that should work pretty well.

I want to be a better Blogging Friend. Believe it or not, blogging takes a lot of time. Between the writing itself, thinking out a plan for my posts, research if necessary, I can spend two or three hours (or more) on a post. Add a job to that, plus, you know, a personal life, time seems to always be at a premium. Unfortunately, the things that get left out are important, both as a human being, and as a blogger. I want to be better at responding to comments, on my blog and social media, reading other blogs and sharing and commenting there, and generally giving back to the bloggers and readers who support me.

Finally, I want to expand into more freelance writing. To do that I will have to step outside my comfort zone and really start to sell myself as a writer. It’s scary, but I know if I want to make a career (or a half career) out of writing, I need to do it.

That brings me to my word for the year. Many bloggers choose just one word, instead of a page full of goals, to express their intentions for the coming year. I’m doing both, because I like to write out my goals, and because the word I’m choosing is so appropriate to my 2015 blogging goals. My word is

BraveBrave, because I’m not. Brave so that I can step outside my comfort zone and not be afraid to approach strangers, not fear the word “no.” Brave because that is how you grow. Brave because I need to fight my shyness and reserve with all that I have if I want to succeed with what I want to do.

Brave

 

Did you set goals or choose a word for the year? What URL do you think I should choose? Do you know a designer that I should hire to do this for me? Do you struggle to step outside of your comfort zone?

2014: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly. The Year in Review

Giveaways are always a good thing. The winner of my last giveaway of 2014, a $100 Visa gift card that can be used to help her community, is Lisa B., who wrote: Haruko Sato would be my favorite story; she braved surgery to help to lessen the effects of her condition and keeps a very positive attitude. I give to my local food bank regularly and donate to charities that care for the elderly in hospices in our area and would use the card accordingly. (The winning comment was generated using Random.org. The giveaway was sponsored by Medtronic.)

2014 was an interesting year. The title of this post came to me because I’ve had so many good and bad things happen this year (and only one ugly, fortunately). I always find it useful to review the previous year before setting goals for the upcoming one. It gives me a chance to see where I am now, and make the plans that will get me where I want to be a year from now. So here is my year in review.

Year in Review

Running

The Good:

Ragnar So Cal was really the highlight of my running year. I was dragged talked into doing it by Melissa, but I am so happy that I said yes when she asked me to take her place due to an injury. And while the run itself was great, the best part was meeting 11 women who will be my friends for life.

Ragnarian

My Recaps:

I’m a Ragnarian!
The Culture of a Ragnar Relay
5 Essentials for Ragnar (and my Complete Packing List)

My return to the marathon, while having moments of both bad and ugly, was overall a great experience. Alan and I were both undertrained, which we really felt from about the halfway point on, but, who cares? Our return to the Rock and Roll Marathon (we both did the original, back in 1998) was definitely a good.

RnR1

My Recap:

Rock and Roll Marathon San Diego Recap

Blogging

The Good

I updated to a new theme for the blog back in March. I really love it, and I plan to tweak it a little in the coming months (2015 goal alert!).

I wrote a couple posts for the Fitfluential blog, which is also something I want to expand in the new year.

My Posts:

The Importance of Youth Sports: A Coaches Perspective
Training for Your 2nd 5k

I attended my first blogging conference, Blogfest, and it was amazing. I not only learned a lot about blogging as a business and a passion, I met so many of my favorite bloggers. I’ll be back, in Los Angeles, next July!

Blogfest

My Recaps:

Blogfest: It Starts with the People
5 Reasons You Need to Go to Blogfest 2015

The Bad

I always want to expand my readership, which was happening early in 2014. However, once summer hit my numbers took a hit too. They seem to be climbing again, but I’d really like to keep them going in one direction (and that would be up).

I feel like I’ve been a bad blog-friend during the second half of the year. Time challenged to be sure, but I did manage to keep posting regularly. What has suffered was my replying to commenters, reading other blogs and commenting there, and general blogging best practices. Again, something that I’ll be working on. Really, there is no excuse for bad manners.

Favorite Posts

Every now and then I write something that I’m very proud of. Here are a few from 2014.

Risi Salad

Favorite Recipe Post: Herbed Risi Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing
Favorite Workout Post: 3 Hill Workouts to Get Faster and Stronger
Favorite Running Post: Running Notes: 7 Key Points for Coaching Girls
Favorite Sponsored Post: Fit Fall Fashion: Fun at Lorna Jane
Favorite “General” Post: So You Want Me to Hire You: 5 Tips to Help You Get That Interview

Most Popular Posts

Stop the Negative Self Talk! 5 Tips to Turn it Around and Improve Performance
10 Questions Never to Ask a Runner This is my fifth all-time most popular post!
12 Running Myths You May Still Believe
From the Coach: 10 Life Lessons from Running

Notice a trend? Boy I sure do. All of my most popular posts this year are about running. You may just be seeing more of those in 2015.

Career

The Good

I started working in a new country club in November. I am really excited to be back to more personal training. I love what I’m doing, I’m working for the woman who hired me once before and we have a really good working relationship, my co-workers are nice, and I’m starting to fill up my training schedule.

I was fortunate to attend two fitness conferences in 2014. As part of Blogfest, I was able to attend the last two days of the IDEA World Fitness Convention last August. I also attended the IHRSA convention in March. I am so lucky that both of these respected conferences were held in Southern California! And that both will be in Los Angeles in 2015!

Sinek

photo credit IHRSA.org

My Recaps:

Fitness Education: What I Learned at IHRSA 2014
Inspired: Using the Lessons from IDEA World in the Real World

The Bad

I spent a lot of time unemployed in 2014, which in one way was wonderful since it was during the summer and I got to spend a lot of time with my husband. But being on unemployment is bad, mostly because they have no respect for the people to whom the money is vital. It is impossible to reach them by phone, they are late with payments, and overall, it just sucks.

The Ugly

The only ugly of 2014 happened when I was fired from my job of nine years with no notice, no severance, no nothing. Even uglier, you can’t read about it because I was encouraged to take down the post to avoid potential legal action. But, it did feel good to write about it, and if you happen to follow me on Bloglovin’ or Feedly, you might still have a chance to check out my post.

While the ugly almost overwhelmed the good stuff this year, I’m a pretty positive person, so I can even find the good side of losing my job. I wasn’t happy and it was time to move on. Getting back to the “real” part of personal training instead of managing has been wonderful.

With all that good stuff, there is still room for improvement (there always is!), so I am working on my 2015 goals for running, fitness, career, and blogging. Coming soon!

What would you say was your best accomplishment in 2014?