Posts filed under Exercise

Entering the New Year with a Quiet Bang

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I just completed my first event/half marathon for the year. It was nice, easy and surprisingly strong. Go figure…weight-lifting makes you stronger! During the off-season, I did a lot of weight training, eating and very little running. I took a few days off and when I was ready, I started running again. I didn’t put in a whole lot of miles but enough to keep me moving.

During the Christmas break, I did a handful of workouts with my soccer-playing daughter. She did a lot of strength and power training. My oldest girl, the track-star, worked her butt off and motivated me to do something every day. She woke up ready to run and lift and sprint and GO and and and GO! So, to have that energy in the house definitely helped.

I did SandyFeet’s Resolution Run - Half Marathon. At first, I was thinking about dropping down to the 10K because I didn’t run a ton of mileage before the event. It amazes me that I still get nervous but my daughter encouraged me to run the half marathon anyway. “MOM, just run the half. You’re in shape and at the end of the day, you will finish it., fast or slow.” EYEROLL, she was right. I ran a 7:45-8:00 min/mile pace. I felt strong throughout the entire race and the only time I stopped was at mile 4 cause a Gurl had to GOOOOOO!

The course was nice and flat. There was not a lot of 1/2 marathon participants and the weather was perfect. I was happy with my results. I got 3rd in my age division and 12th overall female. It’s a great start to an awesome year of running, cycling and possibly swimming! Yep, swimming. I am facing my fears this year!

So, Race #1I checked off! Next month_Valentine’s 10K run in Coronado! Hope to see you there.

SANDY FEET EVENTS | FOLLOW ME ON THE GRAM | KOZ EVENTS-Valentine’s 1K, 5K, 10K run

Run and Wine

“Wining” + Running makes for a perfect day!

I have to say I am having a great “end of the year, birthday month”! I was recently invited to pretty cool birthday party hosted by my new friend Carrie from KOZ Events. The party was a day of wine tasting and running. Yes, it’s possible and yes, it was perfect.

I had NO IDEA Ramona had wineries! We ran from Carrie’s place to Kohill Winery, Principe Di Tricase Winery and later to the Cactus Star Home (links listed below).

Even though there were three stops, the “running” tour took most of the day. Each stop was approximately a mile away. Carrie had it all set up. You could run, bike or shuttle to each spot. One person set up the cheese, sweets and crackers at each stop, each person had a wrist band for wine tasting ($1 each spot) and the running route marked and easy to follow.

If you are looking for something cool to do with your running buddies, the Ramona Wineries is it. The area is pretty secluded and if you’re lucky, the weather is perfect. I mean, it’s San Diego, what more could you ask for?


CHECK OUT 4 REASONS to do a RUN AND WINE Event

  1. Learn how wine is created and what to look for in a good wine. The owner’s of each winery love talking about wine, what they are working on and how they created each bottle they sell. Best way to learn and be inspired.

  2. Drink wine with friends. For me, hanging with friends and reminiscing about the season is fantastic. Yes, I am a running nerd. So, hanging with like-minded athletes and sharing next year’s goals is so much fun!

  3. Team building. Another plus about this wine tour, there were a few of us who train together AND we are on the same competitive team. The only time we see each other is on race day. It was nice to sit and have a glass of wine with “the ladies” my team and bond!

  4. End of season celebration. For the serious runners and those serious about running, I am pretty sure your running season is all planned out, right? Why not plan a “end of the season” party/event with a “Running Wine Tour”? It’s all of the above + a celebration you survived another running season.

    FOR MORE INFO ON RAMONA WINERIES, CLICK ON THIS LINKS BELOW!

Kohill Winery | Principe Di Tricase Winery | Cactus Star Home |The Best 10 Wine Tours near Ramona, CA 92065 | SAN DIEGO WINE TOURS AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY | KOZ Events 2019

What now? OFF SEASON Training

@rawpixel

@rawpixel

For me and many other multi-sport athletes, the 2018 duathlon/triathlon season is over, so now what? It’s time for plan B. Did you know the “off-season” is just as important as the season itself? Burn-out and getting the post-race blues are real, so I have listed 5 things that will keep you motivated and excited for the upcoming season.

Here are 5 things you can do during the “OFF-SEASON”

  1. REST. No, wait…S L E E P! If you are serious about your sport then you are serious about your training. As soon as the season ends C H I L L for a bit. If you can stand it, rest for one full week, maybe two. Give your body time to rest, recover and recharge. Sleep is perfect for that. Add a couple of hours a night if you can and let your body like you again.

  2. REFUEL with REAL FOOD. I know when I am in training and preparing for an event, I am watching EVERYTHING I put in my little body. So, when I take a break, I eat what I want, pretty much, when I want. Unless you are under strict orders from your doctor, allow yourself to let go and EAT!

  3. CROSS TRAIN. I know some of you just CAN NOT sit down and chill. I get it! So, cross train. Hit the gym, take up another sport that is not too hard on your body. I have a girlfriend who runs 5Ks each month until tri season starts again. Another takes up yoga and strength training. Me? I follow a strength and flexibility program to help prep me for next season.

  4. WRITE DOWN NEXT SEASONS GOALS. This is a great way to stay motivated and provide a clear path for your upcoming season. Write down the things you want to improve (time, technique and/or overall performance). I believe when you actually write down your goals there is a real connection of what you want and how you’re going to get it. So, start writing and start doing!

  5. STRETCH and “YOGI IT OUT”. Yoga and pilates are a great way to stretch out tight muscles, realign your body and mentally relax. In season, I can bet money many of my fellow-athletes do not stretch enough. How do I know? They are the ones who are always injured or limping. Yoga/stretching increases flexibility, improves athletic performance and prevent injuries.

Take your OFF SEASON seriously. Get the rest your body wants, train smart and enjoy life. Trust me, your body will thank you for it. ~Nicol is NASM and PES Certified

Water Wednesday Fitness Tips: "Keeping Your Water Bottle Loaded"

HYDRATE. 

When pushing through a tough workout hydration is key. Water, in particular, prevents dry mouth, headaches, keeps joints lubricated and muscles oxygenated. Water is the medium for most chemical reactions in the body, especially metabolic reactions involved in energy production. Daily water recommendation for men is 3.3 liters a day (or approximately 13 cups) and for women, 2.2 liters a day (or approximately 9 cups) . If you are active...keep it coming!

If you are not sure you are getting enough water, check the following. Are you experiencing little to no urine, dry mouth, sleepiness, confusion and/or extreme thirst? If so, start filling up that water bottle and keep it by your side all day, every day! 

When exercising for 30 minutes or more, I recommend drinking water every 10 minutes to keep you from over heating and energized. Drink up and have fun! 

Posted on November 27, 2018 and filed under Exercise, Fitness, Fitness Tip, Personal Training.

The End of a Season

I can not believe the San Diego Triathlon/Duathlon season is over. I actually finished over six sprint duathlon events this year. My goal was to complete one event each month and I did it!

If you are following my blog post, the last race of the series was the Mission Bay Triathlon/Duathlon event which was the first triathlon event in San Diego. There were so many awesome competitors out there, old and new. Everyone brought amazing energy to the course.

Remember, when one season ends, another season begins.

Here are 5 things I learned during this amazing Duathlon Season

I CAN DO IT. I always knew I could do a duathlon but I wasn’t sure how competitive my body would allow me to be. In the past, I competed in just one or two duathlons a year, NOT SIX! It was challenging but the training kept me on my toes and wanting more.

I AM STRONGER THAN I THOUGHT. Near the end of the season, I became much stronger. I altered my workouts to assimilate brick workouts. I didn’t have a lot of time to really train like I wanted to so I altered my workout program. It’s not always good to train yourself but I know what muscles needed to be stressed for competition and, let me tell you, I stressed the hell out them!

IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE WIN (kind of). It was nice to win an event or two but if I didn’t, I was AOK with it. Why? I felt like I finished something I started and I learned A LOT about myself at each race. Remember, live, make mistakes, learn and do better next time.

COMPETING IS BETTER THAN A “QUICK FIX” DRUG. While pushing through this competitive season I was also working through a difficult divorce, anxiety and depression. Let me tell you, doctors are quick to prescribe antidepressants and other drugs to numb the pain. Um, no thank you! Did you know that exercise is one of the best ways to fight anxiety and depression? You don’t have to run a marathon just start moving and stress the body. Get your BUTT MOV’N!

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE FILLS UP YOUR SPIRIT. When you surround yourself with other supporting athletes, your spirit is filled with a lot of goodness and positivity. You train together, share goals and encourage each other to KEEP GOING and I have to tell you, when you have people who genuinely like to see you succeed, you can not fail.

All-in-all, I had an amazing FULL duathlon season here in San Diego and I can not WAIT until next year! To all the runners, duathletes, triathletes and training partners…have a great rest of the year and thank you for being in my life.

 
 

Rock The Bay Triathlon | Duathlon Event

Another race down and one more to go before the season ends. Rock The Bay San Diego Triathlon was a nice, challenging race. Loved it! The course was simple and straight-forward. Next year, if you decide to do a KOZ event for the first time (beginner) do the Solana Beach Tri|Du event in late July. If you can not make that event, Rock The Bay would be my second suggestion.

Of course, I participated in the sprint duathlon this weekend. The sprint duathlon consists of a 1 mile run - 10 mile bike - 5K run. For me, it is such a challenge and keeps my mind moving the entire race.

The course for Rock The Bay was pretty easy with a few exceptions. There was only one turn that was a little too tight and part of the road for the bike was SOOOO bumpy and rough, I think I did AT LEAST three “wheelies” just to avoid a flat tire.

There were only 31 participants in this particular event but nearly 900 participants overall.

I love these multi-sporting events because it brings so many people together. Like running, everyone has a reason why they participate and for some, it’s simply to challenge themselves mentally and physically. It’s like going to a rock concert and all the athletes are rock stars because they not only ran, they jumped on a bike or swam in the ocean. It amazes me every time!

After each race I check my time, think about how I felt and ALWAYS try to learn from my mistakes. My first lesson on Sunday was the first transition. It sucked! I thought I was organized but I wasn’t. I spent WAYYYY too much time in transition messing around with my shoes, helmet and hat.

The next lesson came from the bike. As I mentioned before, parts of the road was very rough. My back wheel got caught in a crack in the road, the potholes were so big, bad or packed all wrong I literally lifted my bike over the terrain! It was crazy! I was little scared too. LOL! No, seriously.

The third lesson, I will not doubt myself again. I saw an opportunity to beat someone, a man, who beats me every time. I was too scared to make a move too soon, so I waited. Once I found a little confidence, I gradually picked up the pace and when I was ready, I took off and I got him! LOL! If I would have made the move sooner, I could have shaved off time lost in that first transition. But, it’s all good!

So, there you have it! I have ONE MORE race of the season and I will be ready. What a year it’s been and I am so happy I made duathlons a significant part of 2018! I hope this inspires you to get out there and find something you can do athletically. Remember, being an athlete is anyone who moves and challenges themselves mentally and physically.

RESULTS: 1st place overall female | 1st place age division | 4th overall men and women | 1:02:57

PROUD TEAM MEMBER OF HEREVOLUTIONS 2018

SD TRI SERIES

KOZ EVENTS

San Diego International Triathlon Relay

 
Ondry Leavitt-swim | Martina Maddox-bike | Nicol Hodges-run 1st Place Women 4th OVERALL RELAY TEAM

Ondry Leavitt-swim | Martina Maddox-bike | Nicol Hodges-run 1st Place Women 4th OVERALL RELAY TEAM

 

My duathlon training continues.  This past weekend I participated in my first Triathlon "RELAY". The last time I ran a relay was Big 12 Championships back in 1991? or 1992?. Let's just say, it's been a minute! The distance for this event was a 1K Swim, 30K Bike and 10K Run. I, of course, ran the 10K and I have to say I was a little NERVOUS. There were a total of 12 relay teams and, I THINK, 5 all female teams.

I was nervous about the run because I wasn't sure how long I could hold a fast pace for a full 10K run. I did surprise myself by clocking a 7:34 minute pace and my team won the female category! The ladies and I placed 4th overall! So, that was pretty exciting! 

While running the 10K, I mentally broke the race down mile by mile and chased a lot of ponytails. I felt really strong and I kept telling myself "do NOT slow down"! 

The athletes that did the full event on their own, I have so much respect for. It's not easy to jump on a bike after a 20 minute swim and then switch out of your bike shoes into running shoes and run like the wind after being on the bike. So, the pace is different, the mentality is different and it's challenging in a good way! 

When competing in endurance races, it takes a toll on your body...quickly. Here are a few suggestions that I recommend AND have worked for me.

5 THINGS TO DO POST-EVENT #selfcare 

1. Protein. Your muscles need protein and oxygen to rebuild and recover. Yogurt, smoothie or your favorite protein powder will do the job.

2. Vitamin C. Your immune system breaks down after every endurance event. Vitamin C builds and repairs tissue. Talk to your doctor first but it's a great way to keep you on track and in front of those minor colds after a big race. 

3. Massage. Oh my goodness! Your muscles will L O V E you post race if you can get a massage. This is a great way relax muscle tissue, improve circulation, remove toxins and improve your range of motion.

4. Pedicure. Not only is this a great way to get good looking feet, it also helps improve blood circulation in the feet and calf muscles. Your feet and legs take a beating when competing, say "thank you" with a nice pedicure.

5. Hydrate. Before, during and after an event DRINK WATER. You lose so much water while racing. To prevent muscle fatigue and de-hydration, you need to drink as much water as possible post workout. 8-10 cups a day on average, athletes 10-13+ a day.

Carlsbad Duathlon

Run Bike and Run again...

The Carlsbad Duathlon has come and gone. As always, I had a great time and I am so happy to finish with no injuries or regrets. I am already training for my next event in July.

Check out my lists of what I loved, my "not so much" list and training tips for those considering a multiple sport. Oh and next time, someone gotta let a gurl know...I tried out a new headband that covered my entire head and let me tell you, it did NOT help my overall aesthetics this go-round. Hey, I gotta look CUTE! LOL! Thank the Lord for my team gear.

LOVED

  • The course was fast. 
  • The duathlon contained a small group of people, both men and women.
  • I loved that I ran stronger, after the bike, in this event than I did my last event.
  • I placed 4th overall female. 
  • The weather was perfect. 
  • I love being around other runners, swimmers and cyclist. It was great to see my friends out there competing and cheering each other on!

NOT SO MUCH

  • Not a completely flat course
  • Transition to bike was good but the start of the bike, not good. It was up hill.
  • I need to be faster on the bike. I need more bike training. 
  • The duathlon course was not easy to understand. 
  • I was not happy that the three ladies in front of me were in MY age category! LOL!

TRAINING TIPS

If you want to be good at this event, it's important to be strong. Strength training 2-3 times a week is A MUST.

Brick training is necessary to prepare your body from transitioning from the BIKE to your RUNNING FEET.

Track workouts are beneficial in improving your speed and maintaining your race pace.

Here is your Brain on Exercise

5 Ways Exercise Helps the Brain

When you feel slow, tired and unenergized, check your schedule, did you get a workout in today? 

As an athlete, trainer and worry-wart extraordinaire, I already know exercise is good for the brain! Exercise releases endorphins and hormones that help improve brain function. There are actually 10 hormones that have a direct physiological effect when a person is exercising. Your brain is always at work, so why not exercise so it can work at it's best.

 

Here are 5 ways Exercise can Improve Brain Function

Increases Your Focus

When you exercise on a regular basis and you have a goal in mind, you are disciplining yourself to focus. Focus is bringing attention to one particular thing and that "thing" is YOU! As you see yourself improve, the focus you have created can be harder and harder to shake off and that's good!

www.pexels.com

www.pexels.com

Makes You Happier

I don't know about you but when that workout is over and I have survived, I am very happy! Last week, I did my first real track workout in 20 years! When I saw what I had to do, I almost walked back to my car. I did the workout and I walked away happy. When exercising, endorphins are released from the pituitary gland in the brain and act as a pain killer. 

Increases Resilience To Stress

When you workout on a regular basis and exercise becomes a huge part of your lifestyle, there is no more room for a lot of stress. As mentioned above, you are releasing stress fighting hormones every time you work out. Also, as you see your body change, all you care about it feeling better and being at your best. Exercise builds you UP mentally and stress is reduced significantly.

Improves Your Quality of Sleep

If you have a terrible time falling asleep, workout at medium to high intensity. Sometimes we do "just enough" to say we worked out. I have to tell you as a trainer, if you are not getting proper rest, you need to "up the ante" when working out. Always check with your doctor first but don't cheat yourself. Get  good solid workout in and GET SOME SLEEP!

Lowers Your Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

When you exercise a chemical in your body known as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, stimulates the growth and increases the number of brain cells. The more you exercise the more BDNF you produce which helps with memory function. It's easy to chill and live a sedentary lifestyle because it's easy. Everything you need is right there in the palm of your hand thanks to technology. GO OUTSIDE, be around people and build your BDNF so you won't forgot who you are those who love you! 

WANDERLUST. Run. Yoga. Meditation.

WANDERLUST  is a wellness event that includes Running, Yoga and Meditation.  Click 2 Register

WANDERLUST is a wellness event that includes Running, Yoga and Meditation. Click 2 Register

In the past 2 years, my life has completely changed due to a divorce and one girl off to college. In my head, I understand that change happens but when it's quick, harsh and life changing it can definitely blindside you. For me, it was like ripping a band-aid off an open sore that was too big for the band-aid to begin with. OUCH!

Well, I made it to the other side, so-to-speak, and there were three things that got me through it all...running, yoga and meditation, in that order. When I heard about this Wanderlust event, I signed up right away! This is one triathlon I will definitely participate in! 

I am excited to meet new people, see new faces and learn from each experience. You can register today at WANDERLUST-SanDiego . It's easy and there are various packages you can purchase that fit your budget. Wanderlust is happening on Saturday, April 14th starting at 7:30AM.

Running. I have been running for nearly 30+ years and one thing I know for sure, running is therapy.

  • Running has helped me organize thoughts, ideas and situations in my life.
  • Running has fueled my self-confidence.
  • Running has also kept me from doing or saying things that I would regret later...for the most part.
  • All-in-all, running has kept me in the best shape of my life before, during and after children. 

Yoga. I have been doing yoga off and on for nearly 8 years. For me, yoga always comes around when I really need it.

  • Hot yoga helps me focus on the present. I am so afraid I will not make it through the heat, I am paying close attention to how much my body can tolerate in 90+ degree temperature for more than an hour.
  • Yoga keep me flexible. Yoga moves are the best moves to after a nice long run. Yoga is also know to relief back pain and prevent future injuries if done correctly. 
  • Yoga centers me. Yoga, mentally for me, is like running. Your brain tends to talk to your body and vice versa. Yoga centers my mind, body and soul. Running is very straight forward. Yoga is challenging and helps you embrace the functionality of the human body. 

Meditation. I have been meditating for about a month or so now. Mediation is changing my life.

  • My brother introduced me to meditation. I was skeptical but found an app that I use daily. 10% Happier by Dan Harris. You can do 5 minutes or try 60 minutes of meditation. 
  • Meditation calms the voices and running thoughts in my head. Voices and running thoughts are a consistent in my head. I have so many ideas, things I want to do and plans I am trying to make. Meditation helps me slow things down and find quiet, even for a few minutes.
  • Meditation allows me to approach challenges differently. Now don't get me wrong, I can still get worked up over some things but not as much as I did a few months ago. I can't explain it but I hear something that would trigger a feeling and it's just not there any more. TRY MEDITATING no matter how busy you are.