Welcome 2015: Running and Fitness Goals

It’s kind of funny, talking about running and fitness goals. I’ve been at it for so long, I’ve achieved all the PRs that I’m ever going to achieve (unless I start a new sport, I guess), and I’m already pretty happy with where I am now, that it seems sort of like, “been there, done that” to be writing about it all over again.

2015 Running Goals

That being said, I am a writer, so I will not only write this post about my 2015 goals, over the next week or so I will be telling you how I’m going to do it, how I’ll keep this 57 year old body going, and what motivates me to attempt my 37th marathon at SLO Marathon on April 26. Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Running Goals

  1. It’s not like it’s been a secret, but my number one running goal for 2015 is to run my 37th marathon in San Luis Obispo this spring.
  2. I don’t want to just run the SLO Marathon, I want to rock it! That means serious training, more mileage, more speedwork, more running. Based on my most recent half marathon time, my previous running experience, and my age, I should be able to run a 4:15 marathon. Of course, that’s not taking my exercise induced asthma into account, which can pop up its ugly head at any moment and blow all plans to hell. But, all other things being equal, assuming I follow the plan that I create (which I’ll share on Wednesday), I can do that.
  3. Staying healthy and uninjured will be very important. I’ll be taxing my body in multiple ways, so I need to be smart and take care of myself, paying attention to minor aches and pains so that they don’t become real injuries.
  4. I want to run at least three half marathons in 2015. The Palm Springs Half Marathon is in February, and the Run Through Redlands is in March, so they will fit pretty well into my marathon training. I’d also like to run the Malibu Half Marathon, which is in November, for the first time. They are all races that Alan announces, so I’ll always get that boost at the finish line when he calls me in. A little inspiration for my final kick.
  5. I would love to do another Ragnar Relay. Even though I was kind of dragged into my first one, I had the time of my life. Now if only my #DirrtyDozen teammates could just agree on which one we should do!
  6. I’d really like to keep my running base throughout the year.

Fitness Goals

  1. Yoga
  2. Yoga
  3. Yoga
  4. No, seriously, yoga. I’ve made a good start getting back on my mat and I want to stay there. I have a lot of options to keep me there, including my friend April’s studio, Yoga Central, and her online classes from Yoga 30. Plus I always have several audio classes with me, right on my phone, from YogaDownload.com, that I can do anywhere at any time.
  5. Now that I have access to a Pilates studio at work, I’d like to take advantage and continue both to do Pilates and to learn more about teaching it.
  6. Okay, I guess I should get back to the gym. While I’m happy with the strength and flexibility I get from yoga, I think a little traditional strength training is a good thing. Plus, Alan and I go together, so I know that if I go…

Well, those are my goals, simple as they are. In the coming days I’ll share more about how I’ll get it all done. By the way, I am an Ambassador for the SLO Marathon and this post contains affiliate links. If you’d like to join me in San Luis Obispo this April, use the code WOODAMB when you register to save $10 on either the full or the half marathon.

What is your fitness goal for 2015? Remember, if it includes running your first 5k (or getting faster at your second or third 5k), be sure to check out my 12 Week 5k Training Program.

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.

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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?

Life at the Gym: Asics Gel-Fit Sana Review

I am one of those lucky people who get to spend more than half of their life at the gym. I work there. I work out there. I teach classes, I go to classes, I…well, you get the idea. I’m at the gym a lot, and I’m on my feet a lot.

Asics Gel Sana 6For years I wore my retired running shoes. Yes, I admit it. My old Kayanos took me a long way on the road, then a quick wash and they were off to work with me. I finally figured out though, that as much as I love them, old running shoes probably weren’t ideal for teaching classes, working out, and standing on my feet all day.

When I learned about the Asics Gel-Fit Sana I was happy to try out a shoe from a company that I have trusted for years to take care of my feet. The Gel-Fit Sana is designed to be light and flexible, and has an inner lining that supports the foot from heel to forefoot. And they are very good looking too.

Asics Gel Sana 1So good looking in fact that I’ve pretty much had them on my feet since the first day. From teaching a fitness class, to training clients at work, then off to lunch or to the market, they are fashionable and comfortable.

When I first slid my feet into the Asics Gel-Fit Sana I let out an audible sigh. Yes, they are that comfortable. Thanks to the inner lining, they fit like a glove. So light and flexible that you can almost forget you’re wearing shoes. Like barefoot with benefits.

Asics Gel Sana 7Because I spend so much time on my feet, I really need a shoe that will cushion and support my feet, and the Gel-Fit Sana does that. At the end of the day, instead of needing to rip off my shoes as soon as I get home, I’ve actually been keeping them on, just because my feet feel so good. And that is quite an accomplishment.

While comfortable is great, since I am using the Gel-Fit Sana while teaching group exercise classes, it is really important that I have a shoe that will keep my feet healthy and cool while I’m working hard. I don’t teach high impact classes, but I can still feel how the cushioning in the heel helps absorb the shock, and the mesh upper is breathable, so my feet don’t get sweaty and overheat.

Asics Gel Sana 2The sizing seems accurate, or at least what I wear in my running shoes. And Asics realizes that women’s feet don’t stop growing in half sizes once we get over size 10 (size 11.5 and proud here!). While they have a glove-like fit, my feet don’t feel constricted in anyway, and instead feel supported and secure.

The MSRP is $80 and the Asics Gel-Fit Sana is available in a variety of pretty colors.

Asics Gel Sana 14Hmm, I’m trying to pick my next pair! It’s difficult.

I really like the Asics Gel-Fit Sana. It is the perfect shoe for me.

Do you wear one type of shoe to do everything? Or do you have specific shoes for each sport or activity? What color of Gel-Fit Sana to you like best?

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.

Turning the Corner: Starting My New Job

Well, after three months and six days of unemployment, I officially started my new job on Tuesday. I’ll be working as a personal trainer at a country club in Palm Desert. Actually I’ve already seen a client a couple times, but Tuesday was my training day, as I’ll be working a few desk hours a week until I get my training scheduled filled.

Ironwood4

I’m excited to get back to actual training again. In my old job, I had a client or two, but there just wasn’t time to do much training and manage correctly. In addition to personal training, I’ll also get a chance to use some of the Pilates reformer training that I took a couple years ago. I’m nowhere near certified, but I can take a client here and there and work with what I know. I may decide to continue with my Pilates education too.

Ironwood5

I’m excited to be working with the fitness director again. She was the one who hired me years ago to be her assistant, so I know that we work well together. She has high expectations, but is very fair and easy to talk to, so I know I’ll enjoy working there. I like the way that she has me working the desk, which is great for meeting people, but that if I have a client during that time, it is no problem. It’s all about building up my clientele, with a little guaranteed income while I’m doing it.

IronwoodI’m feeling really good about this. I am going to try to make this my solo location. It is hard to build a personal training business, and many times a lot of travel from gym to gym is required. It would be ideal to get busy enough, quickly enough to make this club my home base. I already have three clients (though I haven’t met two of them yet!)! November is when “the season” really gets underway, so it won’t be long until the snowbirds are back. Great for business, not so great for traffic, but you have to take the bad with the good.

Ironwood2

It felt good to put in a day’s work. Even if my training day was only five hours, I followed that up with cross country practice (and some fun at Lorna Jane that I will tell you about tomorrow), and ended up with close to a 10 hour day. I slept pretty good that night, I can tell you!

I want to thank everyone for your support over these last few months. For those of you who read my original post after I was fired (now pulled down for various reasons), I appreciate your indignation on my behalf. You all made me feel so special and loved. Thank you.

 

 


 Whats Got Next? New Running Goals, New PlansOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am proud to be working with Skechers and promoting their line of Awareness products. They are working with the American Cancer Society and donating a portion of their proceeds of these products to fight breast cancer. Learn more here.

Have you entered the giveaway for a 16-pack of LÄRABARs plus RENOLA yet? Enter here. And don’t forget National Take a Hike Day on November 17!

5 Reasons You Need to Go to BlogFest 2015

I am so excited to announce that BlogFest 2015 with Sweat Pink is ON!!

blogFestBody

BlogFest, which is held in conjunction with the IDEA World Fitness Convention, is scheduled July 16-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  If you are a health and fitness blogger, or a blogger who is interested in health and fitness, you need to add BlogFest to your blogging and fitness education calendar, and sign up early because registration will be limited this year.

Need more convincing? Here are 5 reasons you need to go to BlogFest 2015

1. Get your blogging and fitness education all in one great place. Not only will you get blogging information that will help you grow your audience, increase your revenue, and give you tips for writing and marketing your blog, you will get the latest in fitness news as well. Whether you’re a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, or fitness enthusiast, the IDEA World Fitness Convention will give you up-to-date information, challenging workouts, great speakers, and, for the fitness pros, continuing education credits. This is all included with your BlogFest registration. July 16 and 17 is BlogFest, then you will have full access to the IDEA Convention on Saturday and Sunday.

2. Even more for bloggers than 2014! Yes, it’s true. In 2015, in addition to the blogging education, there will also be a major focus on specific tactics for social media platforms!

3. The People. BlogFest 2014 had speakers like Jillian Michaels, Cassey Ho, and Lorna Jane, exercise leaders Chalene Johnson and Tara Stiles, sessions led by Katy Widrick, and panel discussions with Kelly Olexa, Gina Harney, Monica Olivas, and Julie Fagan. While the names haven’t been released for 2015, you can expect more well-known names from the fitness and blogging industries to be there. Not only will you be learning from the best, you will be hanging out with your favorite blogging friends (some of whom you’ll finally get to meet for the first time!).

4. Southern California in July. I don’t need to add a lot to that statement. Seriously. Just a few miles from some of the best beaches on the Pacific Ocean, close to Hollywood, Disneyland, and all the other attractions that make California a great vacation destination.

5. Save Money! Not only will you save money by signing up early (and there is limited space so you don’t want to wait too long!), 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.

If you need one more reason, check out the happy (and probably familiar) faces of the bloggers who attended last year.

20140814 IDEA Anaheim Copyright 2014 Len  Spoden Photography.

I had an amazing time at BlogFest 2014. I know that BlogFest 2015 will be even bigger and better (maybe because you will be there?!).   I am an IDEA Inspired Advisor, so I will be there (with bells on). I hope you will be there too!

Blogfest Register 2015

So, have you added BlogFest to your 2015 calendar?


 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am proud to be working with Skechers and promoting their line of Awareness products. They are working with the American Cancer Society and donating a portion of their proceeds of these products to fight breast cancer. Learn more here.

My Life on Instagram and Other Updates

I have been very prolific on Instagram this week. Between cross country, Whole Foods, dog running, and Huntington Beach (and a new job…yay!), I’ve been uploading a lot of photographs. I thought it would be fun to update my life from Instagram from this week. (Do you follow me?)

Let’s start off with the best. I was in Huntington Beach this week with the cross country team (more on that below). After our meet, we headed to the beach, where the waves were, as Alan would say, pretty gnarly. In fact, I was so nervous watching the kids with no lifeguard on duty that I didn’t take my eyes off the water and was relieved when most of them chose to go grab some food after about a half hour.

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Some pretty gnarly waves, as my husband would say. At Huntington Beach yesterday.

View on Instagram

Whole Foods

The week started off with a visit to Whole Foods. After attending the pre-opening party last week I had some coupons that were set to expire, so I went there to stock up on some vegan essentials. Note: You know you’re in line behind a blogger when she does this to her grocery items on the belt:
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There were a few things I didn’t buy while I was at Whole Foods, including vegan doughnuts, vegan sushi, and vegan chick’n salad (sense a theme here?).

Whole Foods 2

Whole Foods 5

Whole Foods 4

I don’t even know if these are vegan, but they reminded me of my friends Alexandra and Kymberly, the Boom Chicka Boomers.

Whole Foods 3

Truth be told, I’ve already been to Whole Foods three times, twice since the grand opening. The third time was just to pick up some lunch. Unbelievably, it didn’t make it to Instagram.

Whole Foods

New Job

The reason I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch was because I started a new job!! As I mentioned in my jobless update post, I will be working as a personal trainer at a country club in Palm Desert. Even though I won’t really start until November, I had orientation on Wednesday

, plus met with my first client! I’m really excited. I already know some of my co-workers (and my boss), the fitness center is beautiful, and I’ll get a chance to really work with clients again. To prepare for my first day I did this:

Instagram 2Because a mani and pedi is just what I needed to feel confident and ready to go. Also to prep for my new job (and to make sure I get paid for my cross country coaching) I renewed my CPR/AED certification. I’ve done it for so many years (I actually used to teach CPR for the Red Cross), but I love that things are always changing because of research into what works the best. My class was held at the Weil Institute of Critical Care, whose founder, Dr. Max Weil was instrumental in the research and development of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices.

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Team Eleven by Venus

As you know, I am an Ambassador for Eleven by Venus. Always known for her fashion flair on the courts, Venus Williams now makes her unique style available to all of us. EleVen by Venus goes beyond clothing and encompasses a healthy, fit, and confident lifestyle. This week our Ambassador pages went up! Here’s mine (check out all the other amazing Ambassadors):

Team Eleven

 Dogs and Sunglasses

You know I like to post pictures of my dogs on Instagram. I can’t help it, they’re just so cute! Even if they are just sleeping to recharge their batteries so that they Johnny can destroy another pair of sunglasses (this week alone, besides the sunglasses, two of Alan’s Giant’s hats, my only pair of “interview” shoes, my favorite running skirt (he ate the crotch out! So embarassing!)). This in spite of our trying to put things out of reach and behind closed doors when we leave. Good thing we love him.

Instagram 8Sunday is run day with all the dogs, but Lily and Olivia were the only ones that got their pictures taken.

Lily OliviaHow can you not love that face? He seems to be blind in his left eye, which makes him all the more endearing.

JohnnyFortunately, the $16 sunglasses are easy to replace at Target.

Sunglasses

 

This skirt!

 

RnR18Speaking of Running

Did you participate in Lorna Jane Active Nation Day? It has come and gone (can’t wait until next year!), but the one thing that was missing arrived this week. I just love the Lorna Jane bracelet, with the little active living heart.

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I was sent these Airia Running shoes to try out and review. They are specifically designed to make you run faster. The jury is still out (I’ve just had a couple runs in them and it’s been so hot, it’s hard to be fast no matter what shoes you’re wearing), but they look cool and the concept is very original.

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Just another day out on the beautiful trails near my home in La Quinta!

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Cross Country

This week our invitational meet was in Huntington Beach. My girls did great, finishing fourth in our division. It was very hot, about 90 degrees at race time, and a lot more humid than we’re used to in the desert. Still, they ran well even though we were missing our number five runner, who was sick. Here they do some positive visualization before their race.

Cross CountryThis was the boys junior varsity race.

Cross Country 2Seen at the park. I just don’t get it. As my cousin said on Facebook, people should know the difference between their dogs and their dolls.

Instagram 13Even though it was late when we finished, we let the kids have a little time at the beach. As I said above, the waves were pretty huge for So. Cal., but they still had a good time.

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HB 2We left just as the sun was setting, meaning we didn’t get home until after 9:00. A long day, but fun and satisfying.

HB

Food of Instagram

Of course I shared a few photos of my food of the week, starting off with dinner at Chipotle. I love their vegan Sofritas, but please, please, please Chipotle, can’t you separate your onion and green pepper veggie mixture? I love onions, hate green peppers. Fortunately, our server was really efficient at giving us mostly onions!

InstagramYum, shawarma!

Instagram 3After my shopping trip to Whole Foods I enjoyed trying out some of my bounty. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage, Earth Balance mac and cheese, and, topping my salad, Follow Your Heart blue cheese dressing. All vegan of course. And delicious!

Instagram 10And for desert…So Delicious Almond Milk Minis, mocha almond fudge. They were, well, so delicious.

Instagram 6How was your week? Any fun events, competitions, or new jobs? If you posted a favorite Instagram picture, go ahead and share it in the comments. And follow me!