Posts filed under Fitness

The "Beast-Mode" Syndrome

photo by pexels.com

photo by pexels.com

Beast Mode Syndrome is a real thing. Really. Just “read me out”.

This past weekend was an active one. On Saturday, I hosted a 30 mile bike ride and Sunday I participated in a 15K run. Not too bad, right? Yeah, right. My legs LOVED me by Sunday afternoon…that’s not 100% true. None the less, I had a great time hanging with the San Diego Chapter-Black Girls Do Bike and running with all the crazy St. Patrick’s Day runners in Temecula. It was a GORGEOUS weekend.

I have to admit, I was surprised at how good I felt after my 15K run. Granted, I was a little tired and hungry but it wasn’t until I headed back to my car, I was waiting for traffic to die down and it hit me. It hit me hard! I suddenly felt like a BEAST! I felt strong, unstoppable, hard core and kind of amazing all at the same time! I could not believe I survived such a high impact weekend! OH YEAH, I had all the symptoms of BEAST MODE SYNDROME.

Have you ever had a time in your life when there was A LOT going on and you had NO IDEA how you were going to get through it but you did? You made it to the other side and accomplished more than you expected. It could have been a project at home, work or some kind of physical activity. Take the time to pat yourself of the freak’n back, be proud of yourself and tell somebody “I got that BEAST MODE SYNDROME going on!” and keep pushing forward.

It’s OK, bask in it, baby!

Posted on March 19, 2019 and filed under Women, Women's Fitness, Fitness, Cycling.

MANTRA RUNNING

Two years ago, I was having a really hard time getting back into “running shape”. My body felt like a square brick and I was falling A LOT! At first, I thought aging had finally caught up to me or maybe I wasn’t eating the right foods, non-the-less, I didn’t have the mojo to move properly. I tried everything but nothing seemed to help. I finally went to the doctor and my therapist to find out, “What the heck, man?!?”.

Later, I learned I was suffering mentally and physically from post traumatic stress disorder. Yep, PTSD. At first, I thought my therapist was pulling my leg but after chewing a few layers from that onion, she was spot on. See, a year prior, I physically fell apart because my life was falling apart. My body literally could not take the stress and it completely broke down. I couldn’t eat, sleep or workout. It was pretty rough.

My therapist told me I needed to change my way of thinking and focus in order to move forward. I started with meditation and cognitive therapy (taking negative thoughts/ideas and replacing them with positive ones). Both were helpful but not enough to get back into running. Helloooo! I’m a runner here! I gotta movvve.

Again, I tried everything from yoga to plain old walking and I have to say, I was bored OUT OF MY MIND! I had to find a way to start running again so I did a little more research on my own. Through my attempts with meditation, I learned about mantras, the idea of taking a a statement or slogan and repeating it over and over again. I found it fascinating that just a few repeated words could actually reprogram the way you think of yourself.

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It wasn’t until I saw an interview with 50 cent, the rapper, discussing mantras. 50 cent was given his own, special mantra from Deepak Chopra and it changed his life. Changed his life? Really? 50 cent? OK, I have to try this. I don’t know why the idea of 50 cent chanting a mantra intrigued me but it did and I figured, why not give it a shot.

I was not going to sit in a room alone and OHMMM my way through a yoga class, so I decided to try chanting my own mantra while running. I picked three words that described my future-self, locked it into my memory bank and headed out for a run. I started to chant the following phrase, “I am powerful, strong and blessed”. At first, I found it funny because I felt ridiculous running and chanting at the same time, but I kept going. Once I hit a rhythm, I started to focus on the words, my pace and my breathing. Next thing I know, the run is over and I successfully completed 3 miles. My mind was clear. I actually felt powerful, strong and blessed. I finished my run without falling or feeling exhausted. I used this method over a period of a month and it literally turned my training around.

I am not the first person to discover mantra running. Running is a very mental sport and many elite runners use mantras to get through some of their toughest races. For me, mantra running has evolved in the few years. At first, I was simply trying to change my focus but now, I use mantras when competing or when heading out for a tough, long run. Mantras are powerful and extremely effective. It’s a true testament on how your mind, body and spirit work together.

If you would like to learn more about mantras, shoot me an email. Let’s find out what words would work for you and try them on your next run. Good luck and happy running!

IT'S COLD but you GOTTA KEEP IT MOV'N!

Photo credits ACE Fitness

Photo credits ACE Fitness

It’s that time of the year and it’s CoLD outside. In the morning, the bed feels so warm, it’s hard to get up and get out. Well, training must go on and I love using Mel Robbins FIVE SECOND rule to push myself out of bed. What do you do?

Now, I know I am in San Diego and not in the middle of a winter vortex but I am VERY familiar with chilly winter mornings and biting-cold nights. I am a Missouri girl born and raised. So, I am very familiar with sprinting from the house to the car trying to avoid the cold. It never really worked.

This MIGHT motivate you to keep going. Last week, it rained every day in San Diego and it was cold. I got up every morning, grabbed my gear and headed out for my morning run or gym workout…IN THE RAIN. I had a half marathon coming up, I was not going to let the rain slow me down. It was amazing!

5 things to Beat the Cold and Keep it Moving_No Excuses

  1. PREP THE GEAR near the BED. In short of wearing your gear to bed, I prep my gear near the bed. I make sure all my gear is ready to go so I can get up, do a quick change and be ready to hit the front door before I really wake up and change my mind.

  2. COVER UP TRIGGER BODY PARTS. Did you know if you do not cover your head in cold weather, you could lose up to 50% of your body heat according to Harvard Health? A cold head can also trigger blood vessel constriction under certain weather conditions. For me, my ears, neck, hands and feet HaTE the cold weather. Cold body parts make for an uncomfortable workout, so COVER UP. Plus, you don’t want to get sick.

  3. YOUR GOALS SHOULD BE VISIBLE. If you want to lose weight, get stronger, compete stronger or run faster, skipping training days will not get you there. Make sure the goals you set for yourself are visible before you go to bed and when you wake up. So, when the alarm goes off and you are laying there thinking “WHYYYY?”, your goals will remind you.

  4. TRAIN WITH A PARTNER. If you are not training with someone already or using a personal trainer, find one. The best thing about training with someone, you hold each other accountable. If you’re a good human being, you will not leave them waiting for you in the cold and yes, I typed “if you’re a good human being”. Can you tell i’ve been left before? LOL!

  5. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. When you actually push yourself through the cold, it’s only going to benefit you and it’s going to feel gooood! You will feel like a BADA$$ after fighting the cold air, finishing a great workout and prepping for the next big thing of the day!

Did you know that training in the cold builds character and strength? Training your body through uncomfortable conditions makes you stronger mentally and physically. You will be better prepared when training or competing under perfect conditions.

Be happy and stay fit!

Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule | Harvard Health

Holiday Break | Off Season Training | Goal Setting

I am one of the lucky ones. I have a little time off before the New Year. I have to admit, I am enjoying my time off. During the first couple of days, I forgot I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to workout. It was nice to sleep in, casually get up, head to the gym and/or run a few miles before starting my day. I immediately decided not to beat myself up if I didn’t follow a specific training plan. I have plenty of time to train in 2019. Right now, it’s all about eating a lot, maintaining a good-healthy weight and just being happy.

The first weekend before Christmas, I wanted to run 8 miles. After 5 miles, I was bored out of my mind (screaming this out loud as I type)! Yes, the “running addict” herself_the f i t n e s s freak goddess_was bored with running AND working out! Instead of beating myself up about it, I celebrated that I finished 5 miles, headed home, ate several pancakes, hung out with my girls and enjoyed the rest of my day. That run pretty much set the tone for the rest of my holiday break and it couldn’t have been any sweeter.

I have a half marathon coming up in about 10 days and I am mentally ready for it because I know I can complete it. Will there be any SeeNicRun record breaking time that day? Uh-no, I think not but what a great way to start the year off with a nice and easy 1/2 marathon! Uh-huh.

My goal for 2019? “BUILD”. I want to build a solid foundation for myself with my own talent, strength and ability_professionally and personally. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish in the next few years and 2019 is going to get me there. What word describes how you see 2019? What are your goals? Share your thoughts and let’s kick 2019 in the “BOOTAH”!

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.

FUN FITNESS FACTS

Photo provided by  Ace Fitness

Photo provided by Ace Fitness

Did you know a good workout can…

  • make you happier

  • improve your sex life

  • slow down the aging process

  • make you feel stronger

Would you go to the gym for those reasons? Would you workout more often because you know that exercise can improve other areas of your life and not just decrease your waistline?

Well, I know for some, working out can be a burden but for me everything listed above holds true. Also, working out sets the tone for the day and gets me ready for any challenges I might face. Check out more fun facts below!


Fun facts that will make you see fitness in a different way and get you moving!

Turn that frown upside DOWN.  Regular exercise can enhance mood and overall well-being. When you increase your heart rate, challenge your body and get out of your comfort zone. . .not only did you complete a workout, you have proved to yourself that you CAN do anything that you put your mind to.  That alone can make you feel really good inside and prepare you for your next challenge!

You don't have to run ALL THE TIME to lose weight.  Wait. What? Yes, you read it correctly. Did you know that when you run long distances frequently you can actually prevent fat loss because your body will start to burn muscle and not fat.  Studies have shown that when you consistently strength train and add possibly less cardio, you will burn more calories for a longer period time than just running or doing cardio exercise.  So, make sure that you don't confuse more cardio to lose more weight.

Visualization can improve your workout.  Like anything else, if you visualize completely your workout, not only will you finish the workout, you will improve the way you worked out. Knowing what's ahead, understanding why you are doing what you are doing and focus on the end results will get you through a workout much more effectively vs. not knowing what you plan on doing once you hit the gym. So plan, prepare and complete!

Now that you have these fun little tips, let's get MOVING.

Peace -Nic

That Last Minute Decision

HOW MIND OVER MATTER WORKS…

Well, the craziness continues and if you’ve been following me, it’s no secret that I am enjoying the craziness. The latest challenge, the Temecula Half Marathon. The struggle is real! LOL! I just started my endurance training 2 weeks ago! #craziness

A month ago, I was up to 7 or 8 miles and I was in duathlon shape but not really “half marathon” shape. I knew the Temecula Half was coming up and I was an entry winner from a previous run. All I had to do was sign up, but October 21st arrived sooner than expected. Dang it!

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Well, two weeks ago, a good friend of mine convinced me to join her for her Sunday morning 10 miler training runs. TEN! She didn’t have to twist my arm because I was ready for the challenge and MAN I felt it. 2 weekends in a row.

I finally signed up for the Temecula half last Thursday and started praying and thinking_A LOT.

I wanted to finish the race in 1 hour and 40 “something’ minutes. I refused to completely stop. If I stopped running I better be walking at a fast pace. I knew I would be good for AT LEAST 10 miles. Well, 11 miles into it, I was AOK! Miles 12 and 13? Those two miles were another story but I ran/walk the last hill and sprinted to the finish because a couple of women decided to race me to the finish. UGH! I got’em. LOL!

SANDY FEET EVENTS did a great job with this half marathon. In the past, the route has been very hilly and we ran on an uneven dirt road. This year, the route was pretty straight forward. The road was paved and the only challenge was an 800 feet elevation between mile 3 and 7. No complaints AT ALL. I think “real races” should be challenging and this one delivered. The wine and beer garden was amazing but they needed more taco trucks! So, great job TEMECULA HALF and to the crazy, hardworking ladies of SANDY FEET EVENTS_”thank you” for a great time.

 
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What I want to share with you…how MIND over MATTER really does work and this is how it worked for me.

  1. Stop doubting yourself. If you put the work in, have a grasp of what’s going on and you love what you do_leave doubt at the door.

  2. Visualize. For three days I visualized myself running each mile. I knew how I would feel and I could see myself running a particular pace, even if I had to walk, I knew how that would look and applied it to my Sunday’s race.

  3. Be realistic. At one point in my half marathon running life, I could pace at a 7:30-7:35 minute mile. I KNEW I was not prepared for that, so I figured if I could pace at an 8:30 mile, I would be good. 8:19 was my average pace.

  4. Stay strong mentally, physically and spiritually. I kept a positive mind, took care of my body and stayed positive. The day before the race, someone shared their negative/doubtful thoughts towards my race goal. It took me by surprise but I didn’t let it bother me. Right then and there, I knew I was ready for this race and would be successful.

  5. Learn from your experience. Each race I participate in, I learn more and more about who I am. No matter where I am in life. This race taught me, “mind over matter” is powerful and I need to start applying this theory to my real life. It’s happening and my life will be awesome and I am excited for the future!

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.