Trail Running

Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year (a few days late)… I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to tackle this new year!! After a roller coaster of a year in 2014, I am excited for a new year, new goals and new adventures!!

So… here are my goals/plans for 2015 broken down by areas of my life:

Work:

  • Be successful.
  • Prioritize daily.
  • Succeed in achieving my goals.
  • Host successful events.
  • Outreach within the community.
  • Grow and learn.

Personal:

  • Be present.
  • Walk my dog every day.
  • Love more.
  • Tell people how I feel about them.
  • Appreciate those in my life.
  • Practice kindness.
  • Read more.  (I just joined an online book club, stay tuned for monthly book reviews!)
  • Smile and laugh every day.
  • Make someone else smile every day.
  • Offer assistance where I can.
  • Volunteer.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Respect my time, emotions, and needs.
  • Cook and bake more.
  • Spend more time with friends and loved ones.
  • Organize my life/schedule.
  • De-clutter my home.

Health:

  • Eat healthy 80% of the time.
  • Start flossing more.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Cook more meals.
  • Plan my weekly meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Walk 10, 000 steps minimum a day.

Fitness:

  • Create a plan with my trainer that challenges me, yet one I can commit to maintaining.
  • Try new things.
  • Join a yoga studio.
  • Swim more.
  • Bike more.
  • Run more.
  • Complete two sprint triathlons.
  • PR in a half marathon.
  • Don’t let the Philly Half win this year.
  • Become stronger.
  • Build more muscle.
  • Improve my hill running.
  • Be consistent in all my fitness.

Blog/Social Media:

  • Write more.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Share my knowledge of essential oils.
  • Post more recipes.
  • Be more interactive.
  • Bring you more reviews and information on great products.

Essential Oils:

  • Expand my knowledge.
  • Earn certifications.
  • Share with others both the knowledge, benefits and opportunity with essential oils.

It may seem like a lot, but broken down into life areas… not so difficult at all to manage. To start, I ordered a planner/journal from plumpaper.com and began working with my trainer to create some workout plans/goals for the year. I have worked with my trainer for specific fitness goals, and while some of the goals listed here seem broad, the detailed SMART goals are written!! Now for this cold to go away so I can get to my running and dog walking goals.

What are your 2015 goals and plans? I’d love to hear them!!

 

Lifestyle Accountability Podcast

Hello everyone and welcome to 2014! I was fortunate to be interviewed for a Lifestyle Accountability Podcast, and the interview is now live! Check out my show as well as some other great athletes!!

Podcast

2013 Year In Review

Well… they always say things don’t turn out as you planned, and 2013 definitely reminded me of that. Not just a moment in the year, but the entire year. This year has definitely been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’ve had more laughter than I could have hoped for, treasured friendships that started or grew stronger, found a physical strength and mental determination I never knew I had, dealt with chronic medical issues, and experienced the most painful loss of my life.  (sorry this blog post is a long one…)

In December 2012 I announced I would be running 13 half marathons in 2013. It was 2013, 13.1 miles, I was turning 39 (3×13)… a whole cute concept. I worked out my race schedule. I spent more money than I would like to admit. I know now, I don’t ever need to set that goal again, but I am grateful I was able to accomplish this goal. It was a true life changer for me. For many reasons outside of running, it was an exhausting year. At times I had no interest in going for a run, of training. I just wanted to run to run… I was starting to miss that, and some moments, it felt more like work. Overall, a good, solid running year. Here’s how the races went…

January’s race I woke with an occurrence of the chronic eye issue I have. I was in pain, my vision was blurry and I was frustrated. It was 20 degrees that morning. All of that, showed on the course. From the moment I crossed the start line I just wanted it to be over, and I couldn’t shake that feeling. I couldn’t get warm or find my groove.

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Running From An Angel Half Marathon

February was actually a great race for me, my time was back on point, I felt great, the race was at the beach in CA, truly, a great race. I was able to hang out with a great friend and make some new ones. I wish every race could be like that event.

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Charlene and I at Surf City Half Marathon

March… my husband had been sick for 2 weeks before this race. I woke up race morning with a sore throat. By the time I hit the start line, I was nauseous, achy, it hurt to breathe. I told myself it was a little cold, to get over it and run. I ran, and ran slow. It hurt to breathe when I was running, the body aches were brutal. My stomach was so queasy taking fueling was a challenge. But, I knew this course, and when to take it easy and when to push. I finished, albeit slower than normal. Turns out, I had bronchitis and severe respiratory infection. I was out of commission for a couple weeks.

Six Tunnels Half Marathon

Then, April came. I was excited for April, even though I hadn’t trained it was a shot at redemption, great race, great people, in Hollywood… my running BFF and I had great plans. Then, the start of that week, my world as I knew it forever changed. My grandfather passed away. I lost a part of my heart and soul that day. I made it back to town and felt in my heart I needed to run to try to heal. Maybe for the distraction, I don’t know. I went to the race. Until that race started I wasn’t sure if I would actually run it. Right before the starting gun I decided to start and to finish. Nothing more. To just let the race happen. I did just that. Overall, it was a good race, my pace was solid, and I noticed around mile 9-10 that if I stuck with it, I could PR on a half. When I realized that, I felt nothing, no sudden surge of energy, no intense motivation. I took that as a sign. I decided to just enjoy the last 3 miles, encourage others and enjoy the run. At that moment I felt such a strong presence with me it took me back, I literally stopped on the course to catch my breath. In my heart, I knew it was pappy guiding me. He led me to exactly the race I was meant to have. At mile 11 I came across a limping runner. It was her first half, she had hurt her quad but wanted to finish. She had that frustrated, annoyed, heartbroken yet determined look on her face. I asked if I could walk with her a bit, asked if she was okay. We started talking and I ended up walking with her to the finish, encouraged her as she jogged across the finish line, made sure she got to medical and that was that. That race gave me a brief sense of peace.

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Hollywood Half Marathon!

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Medal and pappy charm

May brought along the second race in the Beach Cities Challenge… OC! I knew from the get-go this would not be an amazing race. I am the Race Chair for the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and our event was the day before. So, on a handful of hours of sleep, a long drive from Las Vegas to CA, and an exhausted body… I dealt with the poor race organization and finished this race. Actually, better than anticipated, but honestly I don’t remember much of the course. I was in a daze I think for most of that race and later, when I saw video, thought, I ran there?! Five down…

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Charlene and I after OC Half Marathon

In June not only was I running a half, I was conquering one of my biggest fears: bridges. I have always been terrified of bridges, the Wipro San Francisco Half Marathon I was running ran over and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. Hey, if you are going to conquer a fear, do it big! So… I flew out to SF and stayed with my younger brother. We celebrated his now fiance’s birthday and had an enjoyable weekend. On race morning he chose to run the race with me. This meant SO much to me, and having him by my side for 13.1 miles, including that bridge, a priceless moment in time. He was great at keeping me distracted while on the bridge and keeping me moving on those San Fran hills!!

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San Francisco Half Marathon medals from 2012, 2013, and Half It All Challenge

July brought me to Bryce Canyon, Utah! We planned a lovely girls weekend, rented a house near the finish line and took off for a getaway. The scenery was beautiful! The race was fun. This course was mostly downhill, so that was an interesting challenge. After, we relaxed, ate, relaxed. We went for a hot but amazingly beautiful hike the following day.

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Kristin and I after Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

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Hiking in Bryce Canyon

August… I did my first ever midnight race: the infamous ET Race in Rachel, NV. This was so much fun… it was dark except for runner head lamps, quiet and serene, which made the 7 mile incline at the start of the race less annoying. You could see the beautiful full moon and hear the cattle. If you ever are in the Las Vegas area in August, I suggest running this event. It is totally worth the lack of sleep.

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ET Half Marathon shirt, medal and race bib

September was my double-up month! I did my first ever trail half marathon at the Henderson Trail Classic, and that was truly a challenge, but so glad I did this. It renewed my love of running in a lot of ways… new challenges, new outlook, new workout. I got to spend some great time with my running BFF before and after, a truly great experience. I also ran a satellite Running Troops half marathon with my running BFF Charlene. This was bittersweet… getting to run side by side with her was wonderful, but this was her last run pre-injury and she was out of commission until right before Christmas. 12 long weeks. This brought me to 10 completed races!!!

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Henderson Trail Classic Half Marathon

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Running Troops swag half marathon

October I brought on a new challenge to myself as well as my 11th half marathon. I ran the final race for the Beach Cities Challenge in Long Beach, CA, where I PR’d for the year and got to hang out with some amazing running friends!! I loved this race, everything about it. I was just a little sad that my running BFF couldn’t run it with me as planned. Next up for my crazy October… a sprint triathlon, the Iron Girl. I was looking for a way to change up my training and reignite my desire to complete this goal. This was such an amazing challenge. The training, the event, the challenge of swimming and cycling… just amazing. I loved it so much, I am planning on 2 for next year.

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Hanging with friends post Long Beach Half Marathon

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My Beach Cities Medals and Challenge MEDAL!!!!

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I AM AN IRONGIRL!

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Coming in to the finish!

November brought me to Philadelphia, which has become a running family tradition. I met up with a couple cousins again this year for this event. I returned to PA for 1 ½ weeks prior to the race to spend time with friends, and ended up catching a cold. My goal to hit a sub 2:20 faded on race day with that cold, but, I was proudly able to finish at my regular pace, keeping me on track. At this point, some personal stuff was going strong, and I was struggling with that, so the running and training kept me distracted.

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Philadelphia Half Marathon

December… this is it, the final month, the final race. Due to changes with race schedules, I ended up selecting a satellite location for the Operation Jack Half Marathon on Dec. 28th. Unfortunately, I hurt my hip 2 weeks before, so trained less and had to run slower than normal… but I did accomplish something pretty amazing that day. For the first time in a half, I ran the first 10 miles non-stop. At that point took a 30 sec walk/stretching break and carried on. I took about 2 more over the last 3 miles, for a total of 1 ½ minutes of walk breaks. That to me was amazing compared to the 4/1 or 3/:30 intervals I have been using. I finished this race with a smile on my face, and a few tears. I dedicated a mile to those that over the past year have really made an impact on my life. My running BFF, very fittingly, was at the finish with a huge sign, a huge hug, some tears… and a cupcake. Is there any better way to finish a race? I don’t think so. I was also lucky enough to have a great friend pace me for this, to make sure I didn’t go too fast!

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Operation Jack Half Marathon

So, all in all, a fun racing year. Exhausting, at times overwhelming, but fun racing year. I am grateful I was able to accomplish this and thank everyone for their support. But an extra special, personal thank you to those who truly made a difference in my life the past 12 months; they offered support, love, encouragement and strength. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So thank you to: RG, JH, MK, CR, CW, FA, WV, KZ, JD, KB, Pappy, and my family. Love you all more than I can put into words.

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My year in bling!!

Here is to an AMAZING 2014!! Stay tuned for the goals I have in store for next year!!

Spartan Race Championships and Giveaway!

Hello Spartan Warriors!!!! I am sure you already know, but here to remind you of something BIG in Spartan Land happening THIS SATURDAY!!!

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NBC Sports will be airing the World Champion Spartan Race for all to watch in awe as the warriors conquer the obstacles and course on December 7th, from 4:00-5:00 PM. Stay tuned to watch the warriors at their finest moments. Experience the strength, joy and commitment these warriors have!

As an added bonus, I have another Spartan Race giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, as always, a 15% discount code for any upcoming Spartan Race in the Continental U.S. I’ll be at the Vegas one this April… who is going to join me??

Click HERE for the 15% off!

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Iron Girl August Recap

I must apologize for being quiet in the Iron Girl training reports through August. Have no fear… the training has been going down!

First, with the help of Franklin at iBodyFit, I have been working on building my strength. He gives me great workouts that are never the same and work my body. I haven’t felt so many sore muscles in forever. It feels great!! We are really focusing on my core and upper body and it shows. Muscles are getting defined and the weight and body fat are dropping.

I’ve added swim/bike brick workouts once a week and bike/run brick workouts as well. I will be adding in another biking day, finally getting a bike to train outdoors on and will be attending an open water swim workout on the 15th!!

I have been a busy bee getting myself in Iron Girl shape and getting excited for this event!!

But… before I become an official triathlete, I will be completing 2, yes 2 half marathons between now and then along with a rowing event.

A huge success for me: I was able to swim 500 meters non-stop in the pool. I know I will not excel at the swimming portion, but am feeling better and better about it as the weeks go on.

I also just completed my first trail half marathon… that report will be coming tomorrow. A true challenge and a humbling experience, but I loved it.

I also met to fellow Iron Girls this weekend which was exciting. I am actually meeting them for the open water swim, did I mention the swim is 2 hours before I need to be at the airport? Nothing says crazy dedicated like heading for a swim, changing in a casino bathroom and heading to the airport for a business trip.

This next week will be a bit more low-key on the training, but, staying focused!!

I am an Iron Girl!! You can be too! Info on how to join me, or find a race near you HERE!

 

KindRunner Custom Fit Process

Have you checked out KindRunner.com yet? If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! They are an amazing online running store with an experience like no other.

One of their many great concepts: Custom Fit Process. As most of you know, if you go into a running store, they will look at your current sneakers and help you find a good sneaker based on your stride and form. Well, KindRunner.com does this as well, online and with a phone call.

I absolutely LOVE my sneakers Brooks Pure Connect, I’ve had some great results in them and they fit wonderfully. I wanted to try out the Custom Fit Process to 1: make sure they were the right shoe for me, 2: experience the process itself, as a KindRunner ambassador it is good knowledge to have and 3: discuss trail shoe options. Going through the custom fit process is one of the best decisions I’ve made for my running.

The first steps are to fill out an online questionnaire that asks about your running habits, current shoes, issues, injuries, etc. Then, you attach pictures of the soles of your running shoes so they can examine your wear pattern for stride, pronation, supination, etc. Next step: schedule a time for the phone call.

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I didn’t write on my application, and they didn’t tell Mike when he was given my info and photos, that I am a KindRunner Ambassador. I wanted to experience this as any customer would. Mike called me right at my scheduled time (I LOVE punctuality!), and we got right down to business. He discussed what was on my info sheet and then stated that based on the wear pattern I am pretty much as neutral as they come in runners. I hit midsole on the 4th to 5th metatarsal and turn in to the center, just like one should. That basically, it shows I work on my form. So, yes, FORM IS IMPORTANT!! Overall, I was right, this is a great shoe for me. For running efficiency in this shoe, I am a 9 out of 10. He did discuss with me the Brooks Pure Cadence, as it has more arch support but the same heel drop. He asked why I preferred the low heel drop and when I told him it helps me keep my form by letting me know when I heel strike, he laughed and said, yep, form is important to you. (it is, knocking on wood, I have never had a running injury).

So… with the determination that my street and racing shoes were a good fit and options for me if I wanted more arch support, I asked him about trail shoe options. As I increase my trail running, it is beyond evident that my Connects are not good on the trail. Mike reviewed four different shoes with me and gave me great information as far as weight of the shoe, heel drop, what terrain each is better for and how they fit (snug, narrow, etc). He gave me his thoughts on which ones would be best for the trails I would be running.

Then, he started to tell me about KindRunner and how he started the business. At this point, I let him know I was an Ambassador, he was excited to hear how much I enjoy the company and commented how no one told him that before he called. I am glad… it was nice to learn that they treat all customers the same.

So… now the decision is which trail shoes do I get??

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I went with Inov8 and they had a unisex version so I didn’t have to wear pink.

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All in all, I couldn’t be happier with my experience. I have been to several local running stores and definitely feel that I received more in depth information, more dedicated time as the customer, and great feedback on my shoe/running concerns with KindRunner than I ever got in a store.

Well… now it’s your turn. Go check them out, sign up for the Custom Fit Process and experience it yourself. I want to hear how it goes.

Remember… they also offer Confident Runner Pricing if you know which shoes you want and won’t need to worry about exchanging/returning them, Kindness Cash: where you receive $10 for every old pair of shoes you send back for them to re-purpose, and free shipping.

Iron Girl Training Week 1

Iron Girl Training 7/20-7/27

Well… it wasn’t officially the start of Iron Girl training, but, I got a head start on it all. I must say, I loved week 1 of training! I cannot believe how much stronger I am feeling compared to last year. So… let’s get down to it. What did I accomplish and learn? Well, quite a lot

Saturday: 7/20: Completed a 7 mile trail run with friends. Not the fastest pace, it was super humid in the desert, but the cloud cover kept the sun from becoming an issue. While out there, I chatted with my friend about triathlons. She competes in them regularly, so had some great tips as far as practicing laps, starting early and light with brick workouts, outfits, etc. She is an invaluable resource!!  I tripped over a rock on this run about 4 miles in, scraped up my knee and shin/calf, but was able to finish. It looked worse than it felt. Every time I hit the trails, I love them more. It is such an amazing full body workout

Sunday: 7/21: Not much of anything… ran some errands and enjoyed the day.

Monday: 7/22: An iBodyFit strength workout for 1 hour, a nice combination of upper body and core. Every time I complete my workouts from them, I am AMAZED at my strength!

Tuesday: 7/23: My first time hopping in the pool to swim!! I was nervous, as I cannot remember the last time I swam laps, and know my form isn’t amazing, but, was excited to see where I was at with this training. I decided to swim for 30 minutes. I managed to complete 5 laps (250 meters) without taking a break. Overall, in 30 minutes I completed 15 laps for a total of 750 meters! Tuesdays will be my swim day so the next jump in the pool I will see how many laps I can do without stopping, then practice stroke. I didn’t have goggles for the swim, and that did not feel good in the eyes, so made sure to pick up some goggles!!

Wednesday: 7/24: My favorite SPIN CLASS!! I absolutely love the class (my friend I run with that runs tris, yeah, she teaches this class). Anyway, a great class with hills, sprints, etc. I love that she tries to create the class around how her street rides are. It’s helpful to create that scenario.

Thursday: 7/25: A short 3 mile run in the neighborhood to work on form and breathing. I did my normal 3 mile loop and overall, this was uneventful. A good run and working on my form and breathing was good. Also completed my second iBodyFit strength workout of the week: Bis, Tris and Core. Ow… but a good workout!

Friday: 7/26: My official REST DAY!! I had a great evening with my husband and dogs and even enjoyed some pizza!

Saturday: 7/27: Well, this was supposed to be a long run with my friend, but late Friday night we realized my one dog wasn’t walking right and was in pain. I canceled on the run (and moved it to Sunday) to get my dog to the vet first thing in the morning (he’s okay, slipped a disc in his back) and later in the evening did a short yoga routine to calm my anxiety and get some sleep.

Overall, a pretty solid week of training. I loved EVERY moment of it and look forward to week 2!!

Want to join me? You can… and here is a discount option for you!

Registration
Event Website
Registration Site
Discount for readers: $10 off registration only:  Coupon Code: SOLESISTER
Remember to put my name in the referred by section (Angela Wozniak)