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.

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?

What’s Got Next? New Running Goals, New Plans

In yesterday’s post I alluded to feeling dissatisfied with my training recently. Although it happens almost every year, a combination of a long, hot summer, cross country season, where I spend more time coaching than training my own self, and, did I mention hot weather, makes sliding into a running slump pretty easy. My runs have become shorter and slower, my motivation is lower, and I generally fell a kind of running malaise that does not lead to any running achievements.

Wave Rider 18_7

New Running Goals

I decided that, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I need to set some new running goals. The weather has to cool down eventually (please!), and cross country season will be over in a couple weeks, so it is time to devote training time to my own running.

To that end, I’m going to sign up for the Palm Springs Half Marathon, which will be my first race of 2015.

I have a long history with this race. It is the race at which I ran my PR (1:33:11, ages ago). I was also the volunteer coordinator for five years. Alan has been announcing the race for about 12 years. The race director and his family are good friends. And I have run the race many times. Plus, because it’s local, many of my friends will be out there with me, which is always fun. So, my goal is the Palm Springs Half Marathon on February 8, 2015.

PS Half 3

After the 2013 PS Half Marathon (with Marilyn and Elvis in case you didn’t notice).

And because I have a lot of time to train, I know the course, and it is flat and pretty fast, I will again strive for my goal of a sub-2:00 half marathon. Why not? I was only 11 seconds off in the Costume Party Run last year, so I know that with proper training I can do it.

So, I will be working on my training plan and sharing it with you in the next couple weeks. I plan to start training right after our final cross country meet, which will probably be at the CIF semi finals on November 15. In the meantime, I will begin to build my base, beyond the five mile runs and 15 mile weeks that I am currently running. In fact, this morning I was feeling so excited about my new goal that I pushed myself and went for a run after cross country practice (I usually come home, have breakfast, and sit down at my computer). It wasn’t far, but it felt so good!

I’m excited! What are you training for?


Skechers2 300x169 The Ticket: Adventures in Traffic CourtOctober 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!

Blogging Goals 2014. Plus My New Look (I Did it Myself!)

Middle of February? That doesn’t mean I can’t finally write down my blogging goals for 2014, does it? I hope not, because, well, here are my blogging goals for 2014.

2014 Blogging Goals

First a quick review of last year’s goals and successes (and failures).

  • I will continue to increase my readership. Done, though I had a slip in the middle of the year, numbers are up and higher than ever (Thank You!).
  • I will learn more about SEO. Well, kind of. I have a plugin that does most of the work for me.
  • I will improve my social networking skills. I think I’ve improved. I could still be better.
  • I will publish more video. Fail here. While I’ve done a few vlogs and exercise videos, I actually did less than the year before.
  • I will improve my photography skills. Another fail. Still using that “Auto” format on my SLR camera. That is when I use it instead of my phone.

It’s kind of funny. When you look at my goals and my failure to achieve most of them, you’d think that I’d had a bad year. But I didn’t! I increased my readership, wrote some content that I’m really proud of, published frequently, made many new virtual friends, even made a little money. So what if I still can’t figure out how to focus my camera?

So, with that in mind, here are my goals for (the rest of) 2014.

Get a new look/theme for my blog.

A couple reasons for this. While I just changed my theme a year ago, and I really loved it at the time, I began to be annoyed by the waste of space. There were several inches of margin on either side, and I was using two sidebars. That left the section for actual content quite narrow. Plus, I wasn’t that fond of the color options (or maybe I was just tired of them). In any case, I was ready for a change.

I have found the best way to do this, to find a theme that you love, is to check out other blogs and see what you like. I’ve been doing this for a while. Finally, when Carla recently changed her “look,” I fell in love with the theme she used. Fortunately, it was a child theme of Genesis, which I already had.

After I downloaded my new theme, I had a long moment of fear. Even though I had been setting up my own themes (with the exception of the last one, Rita did that) I was afraid that if I did it myself I would mess everything up and eventually have to ask for help anyway. But then, I couldn’t wait. I played around, activated my new theme (Studio Press Beautiful Pro), changed a few things, and ended up being pretty happy with the results. I have a larger easel on which to write, and it is clean and bright. Frankly, I love it. I hope you do too.

So, goal number one is already complete. Score!

Create Awesome Content

I truly believe that the key to success is great writing, interesting topics, mixed with some humor and introspection. I occasionally hit those targets, and I will continue to strive to do so. That may mean that I will post less often, especially during certain times of the year when my “real” job takes over my life.

It’s actually kind of funny, how, when you are trying to build  your blog, get more readers, more pageviews, you feel compelled to post frequently. The problem is that in order to deliver quality day after day, one needs the time and focus to concentrate on writing. Difficult when you’re working 10 hours a day. So my goal is to relax a little, not post every day, or maybe even every other day, and rely on the quality of my writing to see me through.

Make Some Money

I admit it. I enjoy making money from my blog. I don’t make a lot. An occasional sponsored post, where I actually get paid money to write. Brands who will pay to get an honest review. A lot more “free” product in exchange for a review. My advertising (which I try to keep to a minimum) brings in a few dollars.

I promise you, I will only accept money and write about products, in which I believe. I have turned down requests from products that weren’t vegan or didn’t fit in with my lifestyle. I won’t help advertise junk food or candy bars, even if they are all dolled up in some kind of “healthy living” clothing.

That Camera Thing

I have the darned thing. It is high time I learned how to use it correctly. A class, tutorials, other blogs, even a class.  The information and help is out there. This year I will put down my phone camera and learn how to use my real camera to create great photos.

Social Media

Finally, I’d really like to increase my social media following. The only way to do that is to become more involved and savvy.  For me, it truly is a matter of time, so I know that will continue to be a challenge. It’s not like I can sit at work and respond to tweets, share facebook posts, and instagram all day long. I’ll have to find a way around that. Many things can be scheduled, so that a few minutes in the morning will lead to posts all day. Then I’ll still need to devote some time after my “real” work day is over.

To that end, I will ask you to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can’t grow if you can’t ask. Oh, and Bloglovin’ would be nice too!

Well, that’s pretty much it! I think my goals are realistic and attainable, and I have a plan to achieve them. Those are all thing that I suggested in my post about creating and achieving goals this year.

I’m excited about what 2014 hold in store. How about you?

Need a Little Resolution Inspiration? Join the #MNBChallenge

I’m curious. We are nearing the end of the first month of 2014. How are your fitness resolutions/goals going? Have you taken real steps toward achieving them? Did you start off with a bang and then kind of peter out? Could you use a little Resolution Inspiration?

MNB-Blogger-BadgeI’m am joining up with Lorna Jane and Fit Approach to help inspire you to reach your goals.  Take the Move Nourish Believe Challenge and join a community of women who are challenging themselves to get fit, eat right, and motivate each other to stay on track. Oh, and the winner of the challenge receives a $1,000 shopping spree to Lorna Jane! It’s a Win/Win/Win/Win!!!

Here’s how it works: Each day in February there is a new challenge. As you conquer each challenge, post a picture of it on Twitter or Instagram, tagging @LornaJaneActive and @FitApproach and use the hashtags #MNBChallenge, #LornaJane, and #SweatPink. At the end of each week, recap your successes on your blog or Facebook page. (In order to win the $1,000 you must participate in all 21 daily challenges.)

MNB-CalendarThe Move Nourish Believe Challenge incorporates Lorna’s philosophy: Move her body every day, Nourish from the inside out, and Believe in herself and that anything is possible if you work hard enough.

As part of the campaign, Lorna Jane sent me an outfit to look great power me through the challenge. I think it’s beautiful, and perfect for most of my activities.

LornaJane2If you think the Move Nourish Believe Challenge sounds cool, motivational, and fun, click here to join the fun! And keep an eye here as I complete each challenge and post my own updates. I am really excited to get started too!

My own challenge in this coming month will be to get back to my yoga mat. I know that I am a calmer, happier person when I practice yoga regularly (plus it give me awesome arms!), so I am going to try really hard to accomplish this goal. I got an early start this week (no point in waiting, right?).

My new Lorna Jane outfit was perfect. It moved with me, absorbed my sweat, and, well, it looked great!

LornaJane3Disclosure: While the dogs did help me with my yoga, these photos were posed at the end of my workout. Photo credit to my patient husband.

In other fitness news, I continued building my mileage in the base training for my marathon. I got all my workouts in, including a half marathon pace/tempo run, plus I pushed my long run up to 12 miles! Rock and Roll, here I come!

So, are you ready to join the Move, Nourish, Believe Challenge? Click here to find out all the details.

Disclosure: As part of this campaign with Lorna Jane and Fit Approach I was sent the outfit that you see above. All opinions are my own.

Out with the Old…Reviewing 2013 Goals

I actually sat down to write about my goals for 2014, but after a moment’s thought, it seemed appropriate to first take a look back at my goals for 2013, review my success or failure in achieving them, and then move forward. After all, what is the point of making goals/resolutions if you don’t take the steps to accomplish them?

First my Fitness Goals for 2013

Reviewing 2013 goals

1. Get back into real racing shape.

Accomplished! I really trained for and ran two half marathons last year. In my second race, the Costume Party Run, I came within 11 seconds of my 2:00 goal (even in costume!). I also ran two 5ks, taking off almost two minutes from the first to the second.

2. Get back to Yoga.

Um, failure. I started off with great intentions, but for some reason when life interferes yoga is the first thing that gets dropped. I’m pretty sure you will see this on my 2014 list. I love yoga (and everything it does for me), so I’m not giving up.

3. Get back to the Gym.

Another semi-failure. I didn’t stay consistent, though I do still teach my strength classes, so I’m not a total weakling.

My 2013 Blogging Goals

Reviewing 2013 goals

1. Increase my readership.

Mission accomplished. A few ups and downs, but my numbers have pretty much doubled since last January!

2. Learn more about SEO.

Well, kinda, sorta, not really. I try to practice what little I understand. Maybe I’m doing something right though (see #1).

3. Improve my social networking skills.

I have improved. I could still do more.

(You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram if you’d like to see my progress!)

4. Publish more video.

I did this for a while, mostly workouts. Time and space is a factor, and I haven’t done a video for several months. I do feel more comfortable in front of a camera though.

5. Improve my photography skills.

Confession: Most of my pictures are taken with my iphone (and now my Note 3). Though since I received a tripod for Christmas my SLR camera has been set up and ready to go. So, I guess that means I failed at this goal.

So, I was about 50/50 with achieving my goals. I am actually okay with that, but I hope plan to do better this year.

2014 Goal Post coming soon! And I will definitely be following my own advice on creating and achieving my goals for 2014!

Happy New Year! Did you achieve your 2013 goals? Do you have a big goal or resolution for 2014?