3 Smoothies and a Juice plus my Revised Marathon Plan

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I won a Blendtec Blender in a giveaway on the Fitfluential blog. Well, it arrived last week and I have been busy creating smoothies and juices since then. Here are a few of my favorite blends.

Three Smoothies and a Juice

Rader Farms Fresh Start Morning Vitality Fusion Smoothie (Fresh Start Vitality Smoothie for short).

I had a chance through Influenster to sample Rader Farms Morning Vitality Fusion frozen fruit and vegetable blend. This Fresh Start blend contained nectarine, mango, sweet potato and carrot,  and is picked and frozen at the height of freshness. I have so say that it is an easy way to get delicious and healthy ingredients into your smoothie (or juice, or whatever you choose). The Morning Vitality Fusion is and excellent source of Vitamin A and C and is loaded with fiber.

Fresh Start Vitality Smoothie

Silk-alicious Smoothie

I recently had a chance to try the new Silk non-dairy Yogurt Alternative. Of course I had to make a smoothie!

Silk alicious Smoothie

Berry Avocado Smoothie

Adding avocado to a smoothie is a great way to add healthy fat to your diet. While I love the taste of avocado, it isn’t my go-to flavor for a smoothie. No worries. You don’t taste the avocado, but you do get a creamy richness in your smoothie.

Berry Avocado Smoothie

And Finally! Ultimate Green Juice

One of the reasons I was excited to win the Blendtec was to make juice. Even though I’m a vegan, I’m not a huge veggie eater (yeah, I know, irony). Juice is a great way to get your vegetables, and when made in a blender you get all the goodness and fiber. This was my first juice, improvised following a couple recipes and adding my own flair (the cilantro and arugula). While I loved it, Alan wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. He thought it had too much celery. Working on it.

Ultimate Green Juice

My Revised Training Schedule

Training Plan 3

When I first put my schedule for the SLO Marathon together, it did it rather quickly (blog deadline, you know). On reflection, I’ve changed it up at bit. I said that I wanted to rock this marathon, so I added a second speed workout during the week. That is the main change. My Monday run will serve as a second longest run, plus a longer, slower speed training day (like half marathon pace, marathon pace, etc.), while Wednesday will be a little higher intensity, long intervals and hills.

Date Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total Mileage
1/5-1/11/15 7.5 miles Rest 5 miles Half Marathon Pace (HMP) Rest Rest 10 miles 3 miles 25.5
1/12-1/18/15 6 miles 4 @ HMP Rest 5 miles ½ mile intervals 3 miles or Rest Rest 4 miles 12 miles 30
1/19-1/26/15 7 miles6 x ½ mile LT intervals with ¼ mile recovery Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 13 miles 5 miles 34
1/27-2/1/15 6 miles Marathon Pace (MP) Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 15 miles 5 miles 35
2/2-2/8/15 7 miles
5 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
½ mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 6 miles PS Half 34.1
2/9-2/15/15 4 miles Recovery Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles 6 miles 35
2/16-2/22/15 7 miles
5 @ HMP
Rest 6 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles 6 miles 38
2/23-3/1/15 8 miles
Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 18 miles 6 miles 41
3/2-3/8/15 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 6 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 6 miles Redlands Half 36.1
3/9-3/15/15 4 miles Recovery Rest 6 miles
4 @ LT Pace
3milesor Rest Rest 20 miles 5 miles 38
3/16-3/22/15 8 miles
Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles Neg Split Run 6 miles 41
3/23-3/29/15 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 20 miles 6 miles 42
3/30-4/5/15 8 miles
1 mile LT intervals w/2 minute rest
Rest 6 miles
4 @ HMP
3 miles or Rest Rest 22 miles 6 miles 45
4/6-4/12/15 8 miles MP Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 15 miles Neg Split Run 5 miles 37
4/13-4/19/25 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
½ mile intervals
Rest Rest 10 miles 5 miles 28
4/20-4/26/15 6 miles Rest 5 miles MP 3 miles Rest 2 miles SLO Marathon 16 + 26.2

This week I ran 25.5 miles. I’m a little behind where I wanted to be on my total mileage, but I’m happy with that. It will be increasing soon! I did not make to yoga at all this week, but I’ve got a class on my schedule for today. I really don’t want to let that go now that I’ve started back. Here’s my recap:

Monday: I ran 7.5 miles on the road. I was making up for missing a longer run the previous Saturday. It was cold, but I didn’t have a client in the morning, so I could start a little later.
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: After a one mile warm up, I ran three miles at half marathon pace. My goal was about 9 minutes miles, but I actually ran 8:53, 8:49, and 8:45, so I was really happy with that. And surprised! I took one break, at the halfway point, just walked for about 30 seconds.
Thursday/Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles on the road. The hardest part, because Alan is a little behind me on his schedule and was only running 8, was to add that extra 2 miles. It was important though, not so much for the extra mileage as for the mental aspect of pushing through.
Sunday: Doggy run (and recovery) day! Two miles with Penny and Johnny, one miles with Lily, Olivia, and Coco.

Not bad. Now that I have my schedule I am getting more excited for the marathon. You still have time to join me if you want! Remember you get a $10 discount with the code WOODAMB.

SLO Marathon

Do you make a lot of smoothies? Do you have a favorite recipe for a smoothie or juice that you’d like share? Link it up if you’d like!

Workouts, Vegan Eats, & Christmas (and Blendtec)!

Yes, I’m jamming it all into one post. To keep the wordiness down, the Christmas recap will be mostly pictures. But, first, a couple announcements and my training recap.

A Blendtec Kind of Holiday

So much exciting stuff going on. First off, if you remember my what I want for Christmas post, I mentioned at the top of my list needing/wanting a new blender. Well, Santa skipped that one, but Fitfluential did not! I actually won a Blendtec Designer 725! Yes, I did! I haven’t received it yet, but here’s the proof:

WinnerYep, that’s me!

Small town, BIG RACE

As you know, Alan and I are training for the SLO Marathon on April 26. Our training program officially starts with the new year, so it’s time to get race plans in place. We’d love to have you join us, so remember that the prices will be going up December 31. You can still save $10 with the code WOODAMB, so hurry up and sign up!

SLO Marathon

As for my own training, I think the term “holiday training” pretty much sums it up. Yes, I ran, a little. Yes, I did practice yoga, twice, once at home, once at the studio. But, all things considered, I’m okay with that. Here are my workouts from last week:

Monday: Since it was looking to be a busy day, I did an at-home yoga class with Yoga 30 (taught by my friend April of Yoga Central) early in the morning, followed by a three mile run (because that’s all I had left).

Yoga 30
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Alan and I planned to run in Huntington Beach while visiting the family, but I ended up with a migraine, so that didn’t happen. Put a damper on the whole day.
Thursday: Christmas day Alan and I took a little three mile trail run. After being sick the day before it felt good just to be out and running.

Christmas Run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: In keeping with the holiday run thing, we ran about 5.5 miles on the trails.

Trail Run
Sunday: Run with the dogs day. Okay, that didn’t happen. Here’s why:


The poor dogs didn’t even get a walk. I did make it to a 90 minute yoga class though.

So, not a whole lot accomplished, but with holidays, shopping, family, travel, not to mention migraines, I’m okay with my training. Back on track in the coming week, though. I’m not quite where I wanted to be by the end of December since official training starts next week, but it is what it is. I’m also thinking about joining the January yoga challenge that Yoga Central is doing this month. That should help me stay on yoga-track (there are prizes!).

Vegan Eats

Of course all of my eats are vegan, but we did get a couple chances to get out to eat. For our second visit to the Tap In Room at Whole Foods, we tried the Artisanal Vegan Cheese plate, and, Oh My God! It was good. It was actually served by the “Cheese Man,” who explained each cheese. We also had the Jackfruit Crab Cakes again, and they were good too. We couldn’t finish it all, so we took home the leftover cheese and I had it for lunch the next day. It was even better, probably because I didn’t have the gustatory distraction of the spicy sauce on the jackfruit cakes. I was happy to find out that they sell it in the store (I’d never even visited the cheese section), and I can’t wait to pick some up.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods 2We also had a chance to introduce some friends to Native Food. I tried a new menu item, the Crispy Chicken and Avocado Club, forgoing my favorites, either the Bistro Steak Sandwich or the Greek Gyro Bowl. It was okay, but I’ll return to my faves on my next visit. Our friends enjoyed their meal too, which always makes me happy. I love when non-vegans learn how delicious cruelty-free can be!

Native FoodsAnd Finally…Christmas

Alan and I actually had three Christmas celebrations, one with each side of the family, then our own on Christmas morning. But, as promised, I won’t get too wordy. Just a lot of pictures (and maybe a little explanation here and there).

MinervaWe took the same friends for their first visit to Minerva Street, the desert’s version of Candy Cane Lane. Even though the youngest “child” was 18, they all loved it! So did I!

DebbieOur very nice neighbors brought us a huge gift basket. Obviously they don’t know us very well (yet), but it was a great bring-along to our family Christmas.

Gift BasketOur first Christmas, in Huntington Beach with Alan’s son and his family. The grandsons scored!


Watkins 2

ElvisWe traveled home on Christmas Eve. My migraine finally cleared enough so that I could at least decorate the tree. We didn’t actually put any presents under it though, what with our little terror, er, terrier, Johnny B. Goode, being such a chewer. At least he didn’t eat the tree. Maybe because it was blessed by Elvis.

Alan_LilyJust because Santa didn’t bring a blender doesn’t mean I didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Now I’ll have to have some fancy adventures on the run that are GoPro-worthy.

Go Pro

NathanMy son Nathan and my beautiful daughter-in-law Sarah. I’d even say she was glowing…

ChristmasMy youngest son David and his girlfriend Melissa. Awake and smiling here but both were recovering a bit from a Christmas Eve celebration the night before.

DavidMy niece Brynne, who was there with her boyfriend Eric and his son Zach.


SarahThere was some fancy underwear.

SamuelI guess Samuel doesn’t quite know what to do with his yet.

Samuel 2I distinctly heard Samuel, son of Paleo parents, say “yum” after he took a bite of the vegan turkey roast. He looks pretty handsome in his new robe, doesn’t he?

So that was my week. Got it done in less than 1,000 words. How was your holiday?

I Mustache You Some Questions

mustache-1024x1024I always love these little blogging surveys. It’s fun to learn a little more about your favorite bloggers. You may be tired of so much ME after yesterday’s post, but I was tagged by Jamie to join in the fun, so what could I do?

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  •  Shnuddy: My husband is a nickname type of guy. This one can vary, from Shnuddy to Shnud, to Shnudder pie.
  • Doobie: Hey, I grew up in the 60s and 70s, what can I say.
  • Blonde Bomber: Actually only once, but it has lived on in my head. Someone was mad at me at work because I wouldn’t let her do something. She made a crack about the Blonde Bomber and her attitude.
  • Mom: My favorite, which may be replaced soon by “Grandma” as soon as we can get Samuel to say it.


Four jobs I have had:

  • Typist: First job ever, at 14 years old.
  • Server: I waited tables for quite a while. It’s a great job when you’re going to school.
  • Activities Director: Yes, I was the one who set up the shuffleboard tournaments, did the crafts, and taught the water exercise.
  • Personal Trainer: More than a job, a lifestyle.


Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  • West Side Story: I still watch this movie every few years (I think I’m about due soon). I have even see the play.
  • The Wizard of Oz: It was a family tradition when I was growing up.
  • Best in Show: The. Best. Movie. Ever.

  • Dirty Dancing: No one puts Baby in a corner.


Four books I’d recommend:

  •  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I was just introduced to the Outlander series last summer, and I’m hooked. I’ve finished the second book (Dragonfly in Amber), and I’m taking a break, though I’ve already purchased number three Voyager.
  • The Department Q Series by Jussi Adler Olsen: I stumbled upon this series last year and quickly read the first four books in the series. Now number five, The Marco Effect is out and I’m devouring it. The series is about the cold case department of the Copenhagen police, called Department Q, and it is written with such wit and style that you forget you’re “just” reading a mystery novel. Be sure to start with the first one, The Keeper of Lost Causes.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I read the book when it first came out and loved it. Talk about twists and turns.
  • Since I’ve already given you 14 books I’m going to stop there. I will tell you that there are some affiliate links in the above recommendations (though I’ve purchased and read every book that I mentioned).


Four places I have lived:

  • San Diego, CA
  • Fallbrook, CA
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • La Quinta, CA

It sounds so boring, but hey, I’m in Southern California.


Four places I have been:

  • Paris, France: And I’ve run the Paris Marathon twice!
  • Florence, Italy: We purchased my wedding ring on the Ponte Vechio!
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Yes, we visited a Coffee Shop (or two).
  • Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii: One of my favorite places on earth.


Four places I’d rather be right now:

  • On a warm beach, listening to the waves as I get a massage.
  • Murrieta, CA: Not flashy, but it’s where Samuel is.
  • Paris, France: Duh.
  • San Francisco, CA: If I had to live in a city, and if it couldn’t be Paris, I would choose San Francisco. I love the vibe, the liberalism, even the hills.


Four things I don’t eat:

  • Meat
  • Dairy Products
  • Eggs
  • Eggplant: Bad vegan, I guess, but I just don’t care for the vegetarian staple.


Four of my favorite foods:

  • Burritos
  • Avocado
  • Pizza
  • Sugar Snap Peas: For some reason, this is my current snacking obsession. Of course I dip it in a little vegan ranch dressing.


Four TV shows that I watch:

  • Dancing with the Stars: I’ve admitted it before and I’ll admit it again. Sorry, I’m not sorry, but I love this show.
  • Big Bang Theory: Even though I can’t usually remember the name (I want to call it Third Rock from the Sun for some reason), I still get a kick out of Sheldon and the gang.
  • NCIS: Mark Harmon. Nuff said.
  • Property Brothers: I’ve really gotten into real estate shows in the last few months, and I enjoy the twin Scott brothers a lot.


Four things I am looking forward to this year:

  • Christmas
  • Samuel’s second birthday
  • My next half marathon
  • Yoga: Because, yes, I really will get back on my mat.


Four things I’m always saying:

  • Three more! I’m a trainer and group ex instructor. That’s my standard reply when someone says, “are you counting?”
  • Quiet! Seven dogs.
  • Keep your eyes up: That, along with Pass her! said to my cross country team.
  • Dinner! I love to cook, and we eat at home almost every night.


Four People I Tag:

Don’t despair if you weren’t tagged. You can still join in the fun! Write a post or pick a few questions to answer in the comments.

On Running: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

The above is called a disclosure and it’s required to let you know about sponsored relationships. Now let me give you another, personal disclosure: I made the switch to the Mizuno Wave Rider several years ago (circa version 15) and I’ve never looked back. I am a true fan. I even recommend them to my cross country runners and clients. So when I had the opportunity to review the new Wave Rider 18 running shoes, I eagerly stepped up to the plate.

Wave Rider 18

Yes, I keep all my retired favorite running shoes. Don’t you?

My running has been a little lackluster lately. It may be autumn for the rest of the country, but here it the desert the highs remain in the 90s and I’m just tired of the heat. The mornings have cooled off a little, but I still feel sluggish and tired. I finally decided that, instead of feeling sorry for myself I need to find a new running goal. I haven’t raced since the Rock and Roll marathon in June, so it’s time to lace up my running shoes and get training again.

Wave Rider 18

That made the timing of the release of the new Mizuno Wave Rider 18 all the more perfect. New race, new goals, new shoes to start training in. I’m not sure what race I will choose, but it will probably be something close to home. The Palm Springs Half Marathon comes to mind. It’s in mid February, and even though that sounds like a long way off, it’s only a little over four months, perfect for someone who has been more busy coaching than doing her own running lately.

Wave Rider 18_4

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

So with that in mind I was excited when I laced up the Wave Riders for their first run. So excited that without thinking I managed to dress to match my shoes! I took them on a short run and I wasn’t disappointed. That same lightweight ride, with just a little bit of support that I appreciate from previous models, the comfortable fit with plenty of room in the toe box, and, let’s face it, the good looks, all contribute to my overall opinion of these shoes.

Wave Rider 18_7

The new Wave Rider 18 incorporates several key Mizuno technologies:

  • U4ic Midsole delivers optimal shock attenuation, resilience, responsiveness, and superior ride that is 30% lighter than AP+
  • Dynamotion Fit relieves the stress that the foot naturally places on footwear eliminating distortion.
  • Mizuno Wave Technology provides runners with a stable ride from landing to toe-off. Features a Double Fan Wave with articled forefoot Wave Plate for the optimal blend of shock attenuation guidance and lightweight flexibility.

It weighs 7.8 ounces (9.2 ounces for men) and has a 12mm drop. The MSRP is $119.

Wave Rider 18_8

Mizuno incorporated the inspirational influence of the Japanese concept of “Hado,” the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. Hado is executed in the Wave Rider’s sleek dynamic design relaying the power and kinetic energy of running, harnessing the transformative possibilities of every run.

To me Hado means that sense that you have when you know without asking or speaking, what is going on around you. You feel the energy of other people, nature, animals, even your home or office.  Hado circulates around us, allowing us to pick up the mood of others, sense impending trouble or relief, even that prickly feeling of possible danger. The Hado of running means becoming one with your body, the ground that you run on, the air around you, and using that energy to transform your running experience.

Wave Rider 18_2

Picking up on the happy, energetic Hado of my dogs (especially Lily).

Now that I have a purpose to go along with my new shoes, I can already feel a difference in my running. It feels more…joyful is a good word. This morning I ran along the local trails just enjoying the lightness of my feet and my soul. I listened to the sound of my breathing and the crunch of my feet on the trail. I’m not very fast anymore, but I felt fast and sleek. Ready to get back to training. Ready to run.

The Wave Rider 18 is a great everyday, all purpose shoe, that can go from the road, to light trail running, to racing.  Which makes them perfect for me, because that is my running life. I plan to use them for my half marathon training (and probably treat myself to a new pair for the race).

If you are looking for a great neutral shoe, that is lightweight, with just a touch of support, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 may just be perfect for you too. It has my stamp approval!

Have you tried the Wave Rider? What do you look for in a running shoe? Light weight? Support? Minimalist? Good looks?

Blogfest: It Starts with the People

It’s Saturday night and I have a date..with my computer. My husband is home patiently taking care of the (pet) family, I am exhausted after three days of exercise classes, sessions, parties (yes, we had those), and just the general feeling of go, go, go that happens during a fitness conference. And a blogging conference too, now that I have experienced one of those.

Blogfest 2

It’s hard to decide where to begin! Between the Blogfest conference, which was loaded with informative blogging information, then IDEAWorld, which of course is the ultimate of fitness conventions, I have had so much fun, learning, and social experiences that it’s really hard to choose where to start.

I think, because I left off last week with who I wanted to meet at the conference, I will start with the people that I did meet. Honestly, this was the best part of the whole experience for me!  Plus, since this was a blogging conference there will be tons of recap posts to choose from, so this one will be more personal to my experience.

First of all, from my list of Six Women (and One Man):

Carla! Yay! I finally  got to meet Carla, if only briefly, at our Team Eleven by Venus meet up at the Expo. My first thought (aside from “wow, that’s a beautiful outfit she’s wearing!”) was, “wow, she’s so little!” As an aside, I noticed a lot of the bloggers that I met for the first time were tiny. Not sure why that is, but all 5’8″ of me seemed to tower above most of them.

Friends 19

Anyway, Carla. She’s beautiful, fun, and I’m just sorry we didn’t have time to spend chatting. I know we’ll have a second chance at it and I can’t wait.

Friends 21

Kelly. Another brief, how do you do kind of meeting. Kelly was a presenter at Blogfest, so when she was finished with her presentation I dashed up, introduced myself, and managed to get a selfie with her. My eyes look a little crazy in this picture, but, since it’s the only one, I guess I have to post it.

Friends 8

Katie. Since she is also a member of Team Eleven, I had a little more time with Katy, but she was busy because she presented two sessions at Blogfest, so we didn’t have much chance to chat. Still, I was happy to have a chance to meet her.

Friends 18

Rita. I almost missed getting a chance to talk to Rita! She also presented, but when she was done, I had to dash off for another meeting, so I didn’t get to meet her. Fortunately, she was at the opening party later in the evening and we had the chance to chat.

Friends 14

Pavement Runner. As the only man on my “want to meet” list, Pavement Runner occupied a special place. I’m happy to say that I did get to meet him, spend a little time both at Blogfest, and at a group dinner on Friday evening. Still haven’t had a chance to run with him though.

Friends 9

There were only two women on my list that I didn’t get to meet. Jody did not make it to the event. She lives fairly close, though, in Southern California, so I know we’ll have a chance someday. And sadly, I never caught up with Gigi, who was at the expo while I was there! I tried for over a half hour, but then I had to go to a session, so we never did hook up. But, she too lives in So. Cal, so hopefully someday…

Now for the women that I wanted to meet again.

I had met a few fabulous women bloggers already, both at the 2013 IDEA World Conference, Ragnar, and other events that I wanted to meet again. And I did!

Friends 5

There was Carrie, Jamie, Jill, and Melissa from my Ragnar team.

Friends 6

Friends 2



And there were my Sweat Pink friends Jamie, Alyse and Becky.

Friends 11

And my fellow Inspired Advisors Tiffany, Kasey, Jamie (she’s on all my lists), and Gina. Oddly enough, even though I spent the most time with Tiffany (she’s my IDEA buddy), I apparently didn’t get a picture of the two of us together. She left me a really nice note though.

Friends 28Tiffany was also the first person I saw when I arrived at the Blogfest conference (along with Melissa, Jill, and soon-to-be new friend, Pam). They look like fierce warriors, don’t they?


And, of course, Kelli, who is responsible for putting most of this together.

Friends 25And one half of the Williams sisters, Alexandra (I did see Kymberly, but somehow didn’t get a photo #bloggerfail).

Friends 24

And finally, there were the women whose blogs that I have followed, who I have felt were my friends, but who I didn’t meet until this weekend.

Pamela. We really hit it off. She was my partner at our boot camp class, and since we both had the same attitude about boot camp, we spent more time taking pictures of each other than actually working out (that’s an exaggeration. Pamela worked hard. I’m the lazy bones).

Friends 16

I also got to meet Jill, who runs really long distances, writes beautifully, is really tiny, and is not a 20-something, which is somewhat unusual for a blogger.

Friends 23

I went out to dinner on Saturday night with Pam, Jill, and Sarah, who I was also happy to meet at Blogfest.

Friends 22I also got to meet Shannon (I love this candid profile shot of her..she’s so pretty).

Friends 15

Friends 3I met Monica at the Sweat Pink Welcome Party.

Friends 13

A group of us went out to dinner on Friday night with Pavement Runner, Tiffany, Alicia, Christiana, Lindsay, Elyse, and Kayla.

Friends 20

Then there are the people that I didn’t really “meet,” but managed to get a photo of.

Monica, along with Julie and Gina, did a presentation at Blogfest.

Friends 26

I met Jarrod (of Subway fame) at the Sweat Pink party.

Friends 10

I finally got to meet Lorna Jane and get a photo with her at the expo.

Friends 4Jillian Michaels was the keynote speaker. More on this later, but I’ll tell you that prior to seeing her speak, I was not a fan. My opinion has undergone a 180 degree change. She was pretty amazing (and she didn’t yell at us!).

Friends 17I also got to see a friend, Coach Jason, who I met years ago at IHRSA and haven’t seen for a while. He taught a session on running drills (which was very helpful). Coach Jason is actually Jason Karp, PhD., who was the Idea Personal Trainer of the Year a few years ago, and a really knowledgeable and interesting speaker.

Friends 27Blogfest was great. The sessions were informative and fun, the classes were challenging, and Jillian was amazing, but I still have to say that the best part of the whole experience was meeting so many of the people that I’ve been reading and communicating with for so long. Thanks to IDEA for adding Blogfest to the program and for inviting me to participate. I’m already looking forward to next year.

In the coming days I’ll be reporting on more of the events that took place during IDEA World and Blogfest and sharing some of the inspiring lessons that I learned.

Were you at Blogfest? If so, what was your favorite part? Did I get a chance to meet you? Is there a blogger that you would really like to meet?

6 Women (and a Man) I Can’t Wait to Meet at Blogfest

Blogfest starts on Thursday and I’m pretty sure I won’t getting any sleep Wednesday night. I am that excited. Just in case you haven’t heard, Blogfest is a health and fitness blogging conference that takes place during the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which also starts Thursday, in Anaheim, California.


This will be my first blogging conference so that is one more reason to be excited. It will take place on Thursday and Friday, then I get to stay on for the last two days of the IDEA convention. Fun (and education, of course) times ahead! With speakers like Kelly Olexa of Fitfluential, and Rita Barry of Blog Genie (who is also my Blog School instructor), workouts led by Chalene Johnson and Tara Stiles, keynote speaker Jillian Michaels, and tons of real time social networking, this will be a blogging and fitness event to remember. You can still get a free pass to the expo here!

This is all well and good, and I am super thrilled about all of the classes, speakers, and workouts, but to be honest with you, what I am looking most forward to is meeting the people. There are so many people that I have “met” over the internet, through our blogs or social media, and now I will finally get a chance to meet them in real life. Here’s the short list of the women (and one man) that I’m looking forward to meeting at Blogfest.

Carla Birnberg. MizfitOnline, Carla’s original blog, was one of the first blogs that I read regularly. I found her funny, human, brilliant, and inspiring. She continues to support other bloggers, create original and interesting content, and set an example on living a balanced life. I’m proud that I am working with Carla as part of Team Eleven by Venus, and I am ecstatic (I’m trying to use various synonyms for excited so I don’t get too repetitive) that I’m finally getting a chance to meet her.

Kelly Olexa. As the founder and CEO of Fitfluential, Kelly has made an impact on my life and my blog. She not only created a company that helps bloggers and brands connect, she leads by example, and inspires those of us who are Ambassadors to step outside of our box and really go after what we deserve. I almost met Kelly about a year and a half ago at another convention, but got stuck in Las Vegas traffic and missed my opportunity. Not this time.

Katy Widrick. Katy is my blogging hero. If I have questions about creating a media kit, disclosure laws, working with sponsors, or basically anything you can think of related to blogging and social media, Katy’s blog is where I check first. Not only does she write all these informational posts, she is also helpful and gracious enough to answer questions and make suggestions. And her daughter makes my heart smile.

Rita Barry. I credit Rita with teaching me about blogging. I was one of the first students at her Blog School , and I learned so much. Her blog is also full of helpful tips and tricks, and she does amazing blog design as well.

Gigi Dubois. Rarely do you find the combination of beautiful and hilariously funny that Gigi embodies and serves up on her blog. Her videos make me laugh, and I love her bright and humorous outlook on life. I look forward to when I can say, “I knew Gigi when…”

Jody Goldenfield. I find Jody inspiring because we are the same age and she works so hard to keep fabulously fit. She is also very kind and it shines through in her blog. I almost forgot to put Jody on this list because I feel like I’ve already met her. I’m still not sure she’s going to make it to the expo, but Jody, if you read this, you must come!

Pavement Runner. This post was going to be about the women that I was looking forward to meeting, then I found out that Pavement Runner was going to be there and I had to change my plan. As an enthusiastic and talented marathoner (and beyond), Pavey (as we call him), inspires thousands of people to get out and run. His Boston Strong Runs went viral as groups around the country formed to run in support of those killed and injured at the 2013 Boston Marathon. I just missed him in June at the Rock and Roll marathon, but this time it’s going to happen.

There are so many other interesting, funny, inspiring bloggers out there that I can’t wait to meet that I’m sure that I missed someone. Plus, I have the opportunity to see and catch up with some of my favorite people that I have already met in real life including:

Kelli Davis: It was Kelli, who, a couple years ago invited me to become an IDEA Inspired Advisor. In her role as Social Media Manager at IDEA, Kelli gathered us together, picked our brains, and basically created Blogfest. I did see Kelli a few months ago as we both were strolling the aisles at the IHRSA Convention trade show and I can’t wait to see her again.


Tiffany, Gina, Alyse, Kasey: A few of my fellow Inspired Advisors, we met at IDEAWorld 2013. I did just see Tiffany in July, but I’m still excited to see her again. Gina will be speaking and Kasey will be leading a Bootcamp on Friday. Alyse, as one of the founders of Fit Approach and Sweat Pink was a driving force behind the planning of Blogfest.


Melissa, Carrie, Jill, Jamie: I think I may be most excited about getting our Ragnar team together again at Blogfest! I met most of them for the first time last April when we occupied the same van (go Van 2!!!) at Ragnar So Cal. Nothing bonds women together like spending 35 sleepless hours or so cheering each other on. Jamie is also an Inspired Advisor and co-founder of Fit Approach, so she was working alongside Alyse to help plan this event.


Kymberly and Alexandra: I first met the Fun and Fit twins last year at IDEA, and then Kymberly and I hung out at IHRSA back in March. We are all “of an age” and they truly live up to their blog name as they represent the Boomer crowd.

Williams Sisters I could keep going on and on until this post was way too long. I know that as soon as I hit publish I’m going to remember yet another person that I’m looking forward to meeting this week. I can hardly wait to meet so many new and old friends!

Will you be at Blogfest? If you could meet another blogger or person who you’ve met through social media, who would it be?