Posts filed under Fitness

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.

 
 

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

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!

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.

GLOBAL SPORTS BRA DAY...JUNE 24TH

 
 

TOMORROW is GLOBAL SPORTS BRA DAY and it's still CHILLY in San Diego! SDIT is also happening and I am a part of a TRI-RELAY team with TEAM HERevolution. Of course, I am going to be the runner in this mix and I have to say, I am nervous! Running 6 miles isn't the problem but running a good time is what I am worried about. So, I will be doing some praying, meditating and some positive thinking for tomorrow's race. What do you do when you get nervous before a race? What's funny about me being nervous, I haven't been this nervous in years...BUT...I am ready! So, bring it on SDIT relay teams! LOL!

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.

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.