Posts filed under Training

I Need Motivation...4 Things that will keep you GOING!

FOUR THINGS TO HELP YOU STAY MOTIVATED

What’s the theme of the month for a lot of my friends?..."I just don't feel like it...I am not motivated to do anything". What's funny about hearing this...I feel the same way too and I am the person who motivates others!! YIKES!

Look, I get it. The year is coming to a close A L R E A D Y and we have that last leg of the year to finish. Thanksgiving, Christmas and you know it’s true…FAMILY…URGGGG! So, starting a workout is probably the last thing on your mind. Well, I put together 4 things that MIGHT motivate you to keep going and start your day off on the right foot! Just like the quote above, “Awe SH!T, they’re UP!”…get up, piss off the negative people, spread some good around the world (we need it) and let’s finish this year strong.

1. Surround yourself with positive people. Sometimes it is hard to be positive when the people around you are not so positive. You may think you are helping by listening to all of their problems but you’re not…it’s just bringing you down. That's not healthy. Stay away and change it up, even if you have to "go it alone" for a little while. #selfcare

2. Post pictures and quotes that really make your heart JuMp! It’s time to be “Being Mary Jane” and add a few post-its to your mirrors and doors. There are so many inspirational quotes and motivational sayings out there. Grab about 5 of them and post them, share them on social media and really soak in all those positive words and phrases.

3. Sign up for a local, small event. Wait? I haven’t started training yet, Nicol! Relax, it’s OK. Find an event you enjoy doing that is small and local. You don’t have to fully participate but being around others who are doing what you love might spark a little motivation to get back into the game! That’s what happened to me this year. I was surrounded by so many duathletes, runners and triathletes, their energy was so infectious, I started training consistently and preparing for a new event every month!

4. Meditate and Pray. I truly believe in prayer and meditation. Why? It's my quiet time to relax, recharge and get ready for a new day. Take 10-15 minutes to pray, breathe and be thankful for the things you have RIGHT NOW. If you start to think about the good things that are happening in your life (no matter how big or small), you will forget about the bad stuff and start to put things in perspective.

Alright...let's get out there and do this!

San Diego's Trail Running Series

If you are looking for your next challenging run why not try a few trail runs? Trail running is a great way to increase leg strength and build endurance. Every trail is different because of the hills, rocky terrain and unbalanced trails.

SEASICK SPORTS has an awesome series of trail runs right here in the San Diego area. If you are new to trail running start with one of their 5K trail runs and work your way up to a half marathon. What makes each run unique is that each run has it’s own challenges. Don’t worry, the race crew does a great job of directing the runners and helping everyone have a successful event.

Check out the upcoming races below. For more information, click on the photos and sign up with raceroster.com OR come out to registration, sign up and say “HI” to me and the volunteer crew! We would love to see you out there.

SEPTEMBER 19TH. Welcome to San Diego's only trail race through beautiful Gonzales Canyon Open Space and Torrey Highlands Community Park.

Participants at the 4th annual Carmel Valley trail race, regards of distance, will experience one of the hillier courses you will find without heading to the mountains. Elevation gains are only between 300'-700" depending on the course, ans some of the hils you may encounter are short, but steep. raceroster.com

DECEMBER 9TH. Welcome to the 4th Annual Del Dios Trail Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k at beautiful Lake Hodges in Escondido, Ca.

Join us for San Diego's fastest growing trail race. Take in the picturesque views of one of San Diego's most beautiful lakes, as all courses will feature dirt service roads or single track trails, with elevation gains between 100'-500'. When hills are present they are short but steep. raceroster.com

MARCH 9TH. Welcome to the 4th Annual Coast to Crest 10K and 5K trail race in Del Mar, Ca.

This very flat, very fast trail is considered a SPRINT COURSE by most, and if you are a runner looking for a new PR, then look no further. Both the 10K and 5K courses feature spectacular views of the lagoon, and a DOWN HILL finish. The trail is beautifully groomed and 100% dirt trail. raceroster.com

NOVEMBER 24TH. Welcome to The 2nd Annual Black Mountain Trail Half Marathon, 10K and 5K (new distance)!  The most technical race on the ERS" Sunshine Series schedule. 

Join us and burn off all that Thanksgiving food, as we race up to Black Mountain Peak in the beautiful Rancho Penesquitos area of San Diego County. 

The race location has moved over to Black Mountain Park, to give the event a more relaxed and spacious feel, but don't worry runners... you are still going to hit the top of Black Mountain. 

The courses are both 100% double wide trail, with a small mix of single track. Half Marathon elevation gains will be around 2100'. raceroster.com

FEBRUARY 16TH. Welcome to the 2nd Annual San Pasqual Valley Half Marathon and 10K, this race is as scenic as it gets in San Diego County. Regardless of which distance you choose, runners will be treated to epic views as they race along the vineyards and orange groves of San Pasqual Valley. 

The 10K is considered to be a relatively flat course, while the Half Marathon will summit the mountain, not once but TWICE, in this out and back course.  There is a chance this race will make you hate running, but fall in love at the same time. The views are definitely worth the effort, and are second to none once you reach the top. 

Wine at the finish line!! That's right... You read that correctly! We have partnered up with Old Survey Vineyards, to do a FREE wine tasting at the finish line. Each runner over the age of 21, will receive a custom branded wine glass at the finish line. raceroster.com

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

Chula Vista Challenge 2018

DUATHLON. The Chula Vista Challenge duathlon was the MOST “challenging” event_for me this year. It was hot, humid and just freak’n CHALLENGING! 

I wasn’t familiar with the course but my first running mile? No problem. The start of the bike? My first turn on the course, I fell. The next mile? A bus comes out of no where (even with cops and volunteers directing traffic) and nearly hits me a few other cyclists.  

Next, my second run. It was so HOTTT and sticky I had to stop and walk a couple of times (this part is also true but also a bit dramatic on my part).  I had no idea what place I was in until “the girl” (my main competition) past me with about 40 meters to go! 

I was shocked but I had nothing left in the tank and sometimes it 🐝 that way! 

 

You know what? It’s OK. My competition deserved to win. She didn't give up and I learned something that day...STOP FALLING, STOPPING and train harder for the next race! LOL!

Also, I don’t claim to be the best but I do claim to have the best time. One thing I know for sure, just like in life, you will fall, crash, people will pass you and sometimes you will even stop. You will win and lose some but what’s important is that you do not give up.

Love yourself, surround yourself with good people and stay strong & focused. As long as you are doing what’s right, do not apologize for who you are and what you want out of your life. Just like a race, put one foot in front of the other, learn from each step and start building your best “self”, your best life one step, pedal or stroke at a time.

SOLANA BEACH TRI | DU EVENT

My duathlon racing continues. I had a another great weekend hanging with some amazing athletes. Solana Beach Triathlon/Duathlon is by far my favorite event of all time and I've run A LOT of races. The athletes are amazing, the spectators are super supportive and Solana Beach is beautiful. The ONLY thing I didn't like was the humidity but you can't fight with Mother Nature, so you push through it!

The first mile run felt pretty good. I had no problem getting out and making my mark. The first transition was quick, I didn't mess around and shaved 6 seconds off my transition time. The bike is usually my handicap but I refused to let the bike get the best of me. I pedaled and pushed all 9 miles. I have to say, when you train on a bike, you get comfortable on a bike, and you ride better on a bike...GENIUS...WHO KNEW?! Guess what, I shaved 8 minutes off my bike time! Second transition went well AND THEN THERE WAS THE 5K RUN. AHHHH!

OH MY GOODNESSSSSS! This time it wasn't my legs, I mean, they felt like jello but I was able to handle that...it was my darn breathing. With the thick air and being an asthmatic, it was a little difficult. I literally stopped, got my mind right, got over myself, put one foot in front of the other and pushed through it. 

So, I am VERY happy with my results. I received 4th overall and won my age division. No complaints when your competitors are 10-20 years younger than you. Happy Running!

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy:  manual manipulation of soft body tissue (muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person's health and well being.

Athlete: a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise. . .that's you!

If you are an athlete, how often do you get massages? Once a week, month or once every 3 months? Well, I am here to tell you that you should get a massage as often as you can and add it to your fitness routine. If you workout 3-6 times a week, you need to make sure that someone is massaging those muscles once every two weeks OR at least once a month!

Massage therapy has been used by elite athletes for many years.  So much so, massage therapists are a specifically hired to be a part of their athletic staff. Even some of your favorite rock stars that live on the road, working concert to concert have their own personal massage therapist to keep their muscles in mobile and prevent future injuries while performing.

Whether you are a runner, multi-sport athlete or a rock star, getting a massage will keep you moving and performing at your best.

Benefits of Massage Therapy:

  • Relaxes the muscles
  • Provides a better range of motion
  • Relaxes clenched muscles
  • Helps to prevent future injuries
  • Reduces the intensity of DOMS-Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Increase the number of white blood cells that help fight off infection
  • Decreases the "stress hormone", cortisol
  • Increases the balance of your body

Massage therapy should be a part of your regular fitness routine.  I would suggest booking an appointment after one of your harder workouts or big event (marathon, 5K or athletic competition). If you can afford a massage every week or two, that is fantastic! I highly recommend that you get a massage 2-4 times a month.  It's a great way to get your body moving in it's full range of motion and familiarize yourself with what your body can/can not do! 

Please note if you have chronic back pain or imbalances in your body, seek professional help first.  Talk to your doctor, physical therapist or personal trainer.  They can direct you to a massage therapist that can work for you!

Raising Female Student-Athletes

First of all, raising a kid is a challenge. From being an infant to the terrible 2s AND 3s (!), elementary school to hormonal teenagers! Yep, parenting is a challenge but SO WORTH IT. B U T when you add in athletics and extra curricular activities, life gets really busy really FAST! My girls started their athletic careers in ballet and tap classes once a week (oh, the good old days), now it's soccer, soccer and SOCCER and lots of running and track strategies to discuss.

Remember when you were a kid and you could try out for your favorite sport at the local high school? Everything was right there, with very little travel unless you won the conference title. Now, there is a club for every sport imaginable and clubs require dedication, time and money. 

For me, raising young female student-athletes was a requirement. If they wanted to do theatre or music, no problem, but in the meantime I wanted a sport to keep them physically challenged. 

All American 800m/Ivy-League Champion | Regional Soccer Champion/National Runner-up Surf Soccer

All American 800m/Ivy-League Champion | Regional Soccer Champion/National Runner-up Surf Soccer

Even though there's a 1 in 3600 chance of becoming a "professional" female athlete (in basketball alone), the benefits of being a female athlete are awesome.

BELOW I HAVE LISTED 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN RAISING FEMALE ATHLETES:

  1. Find a sport that your daughter loves to participate in. When your female athlete loves her sport, she will perform better, learn new techniques faster and will constantly search for ways to improve.
  2. Be supportive. This is always a hard one for parents (even myself at times). Whether your girl wins or loses, she has to know you still support her. As a parent, we will do anything to protect our girls but when they under-perform, parents can display disappointment quickly. Let it go and love them anyway.
  3. Wins are AWESOME, loses are learning opportunities. My girls LOVE to win and HATE to lose. That's normal. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, I have them write down what went right and what can they do different next time. It holds them accountable and helps shape what they want out of the sport.
  4. Allow rest, recovery and "girl-hood". When your girl finally gets a break, LET HER TAKE IT or in my case, MAKE HER TAKE IT. Between school, sports, peer-pressure and parents...it takes a toll on our girls. When they get a day off, let them sleep in, hang out with their girlfriends and do things they love to do. This will prevent burn-out, injuries and melt downs.
  5. Stick to the plan, schedule and goals. This goes back to being supportive. This is also where a lot of sacrifice happens with both parents and the student-athlete. Your student-athlete should have a clear plan, schedule and goal they want to reach. It's up to the parents and the student-athlete to stick to all three and if something doesn't benefit them, then do not allow "whatever it is" in their life. 

Remember, being a student-athlete is hard but extremely beneficial. Student-athletes learn time management, a solid work ethics, team work, physical endurance and responsibility. These are all great aspects they will carry with them in their future, real-life settings. 

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.

Hot Chocolate and a 1st Place Medal

#HappyRunningConfessions

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This morning I received a surprise in the mail from the San Diego Hot Chocolate 5K/15K running event. One thing I remember after I finished running, when you crossed the finish line of the 5K, there were no medals! I was shocked and a little heart broken. I watched several of the other runners cross the line after me and NOPE, no medals. So, I hung out for a while, took a few selfies with my daughter and headed out for breakfast.

Well, this morning I GOT MY MEDAL! I have to say, it couldn't have come at a better time. Just when I thought the universe was not paying attention, a little chocolate enters my life and puts a smile on my face.

This is one event I will not forget and NOT because of my first prize medal (I love typing that) but because I was able to run a 5K after I ran a 5K the day before! I also remember, the weather being a bit cold and the route was hillier than expected. My daughter was there to cheer me on and after we enjoyed the music, the people and hot chocolate after the run.

Next time, I will stay just a bit longer to see my results. But I have to tell you, HANGRY always beats WAITING for a medal in my book! LOL! I'll work on it!