Monthly Archives: September 2013

fitness and health social media conference: the workouts

Greetings from a jet plane!
As I’m writing up this blog post I’m sitting on a Southwest flight home digesting all of the information I’ve learned in the past three days at FitSocial 2013. I’ve met so many great people, learned a lot about SEO and of course my favorite part of the conference- the workouts.
I’d been looking forward to some kickass group sweat sessions since the day I signed up to join everyone in Boulder and Denver. I loved the idea of meeting a community of like-minded people in the fittest state in the country so when I heard about a blogging conference nearish to where I hoped I’d be living now, I jumped at the chance to sign up. More on that later.
Sessions were held at the Millenium Hotel in Boulder and the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado in Aurora where they’re currently filming ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Season 4.

anschutz1 conference1The conference actually started on Thursday but the only thing scheduled was a canceled then rescheduled hike. I was a little bummed to be missing it, but chose to fly in on Friday instead. For my purposes then, Friday will be Day 1, k?

Day 1
I’d connected with Christina from on Facebook and we met near baggage claim to carpool to Boulder for the first session of the day, a Vinyasa yoga class.
You all know how I feel about yoga. Feel great afterwards but hate it during? Yeah. I’ve been working hard at my Nashville Half Marathon training plan all week and was tons of sore. I hoped yoga would work out all those kinks for me on a scheduled rest day.
Even though I knew we were cutting it close getting into Denver about an hour before the AM class I crossed my fingers and brought a yoga mat through security hoping to save some time.southwest1Sadly, we didn’t make it. Boo.
I also didn’t get a picture with Christina the entire conference. Double boo.
We headed to breakfast instead and I had one of many cups of coffee flavored with Nestle Natural Bliss Vanilla Liquid Creamer. They provided the coffee for the conference and also had pumpkin spice and sweet cream flavors that PSL lovers seemed to enjoy. I’m not a fan of pumpkin spiced things but I loved the vanilla!
Anyway, since I missed yoga I told myself I couldn’t pass up Chris Freytag’s PM HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. I’ve run sprints before and figured the class would be similar to that. Working at high intensity with periods of rest and that sort of thing (sort of like CrossFit).This was way harder than I thought it would be and I finished the class looking like I’d gone for a swim. Not cute but effective.hiit1Chris made us sweat with a combination of plyometric exercises, cardio and body resistance strength training. No equipment. Tabata-style. There were eight sets of three exercises at a time done for four minutes each. Twenty seconds on and 10 seconds off.
I’ve seen Tabata offered at gyms before, but had never experienced it myself. Now I know why everyone says it’s so brutal! But it gets the job done. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, squat jumps. You name it we did it.hiit2I left the class feeling strong and ready for dinner. It really didn’t seem like an hour because of the breaks. This was definitely something I would incorporate into my cross-training in the future.

Day 2
Saturday we were given the choice of three sessions: Tabata Cycle, Zumba and Barre Conditioning. I chose Barre because we only had 15 minutes to change for dinner after class and I sweat like a man.cobarre1 cobarre2I’ve taken Barre before here and here so the class was just as hard as I expected. The little pulses and micro movements get you just like in Pilates. It’s intense.
I heard Tabata Cycle was pretty fun too. Their instructor had them do similar HIIT to what we did the night before but on a spin bike.

Day 3
This morning we all got to demo Pound. I’d spent the night chatting it up with Angel (@brownawell) the night before in the hotel lobby (wedding planning is still fascinating even after my hurricane disaster vows) and went to bed pretty late. I made myself sleep in my gym clothes to make sure I’d get up in the morning but man, was it a rough start.
But that’s what coffee is for.
Once caffeinated I was ready to go!pound2Melissa, an instructor from New Jersey led us in the relatively new class.pound3pound4Pound started in LA and combines cardio, strength training and drumming in an “easy to follow workout”. Melissa’s class had a heavy emphasis on squats and lunges while standing and leg lifts while on the mat.
The quarter-pound plastic drumsticks (called Ripstix) are all you really need but we used a mat for our floor exercises as well.pound1Overall it was a great workout and would be fun when you’re looking for something different to do for cross-training. It did feel a little gimmicky so I don’t know how that will play out? Right now Pound is available in some major cities but I haven’t found any information about existing classes in the Nashville area. New Yorkers and those of you from Jersey, D.C., Miami and LA, give it a shot!
pound6Last night we stayed at the SpringHill Suites Denver and they had a pretty decent hotel gym. springhill1I didn’t get to use it since we were so active this weekend but it’s one of the reasons I would book there in the future. Kudos, Marriott!

Did you try anything new this weekend? What workouts did you all do? I came home with all of this so I think a giveaway is in your near future. :)

what to pack for a blog conference

I’m so incredibly excited to be on my way to Colorado for FitSocial 2013.
I’ve been looking forward to this conference for months and the day is finally HERE!
I’m packed and ready to head out the door but I thought I’d share some tips on what you should take to a blogging conference. Whether it’s fitness, food or social media related, these things should ensure you’re prepared to learn and ready to soak it all in.FITSOCIALPACK


Besides your clothing and toiletries you’re going to want to pack some conference specific items. Here are some of the things you might forget.

1. THE RIGHT CLOTHES, INCLUDING A “FANCY” OUTFIT OR TWO Since I’m heading to a fitness-oriented conference my wardrobe choices are going to be pretty casual, mostly workout clothes. I will however, be bringing a few outfits to change into while hopefully exploring Boulder and Denver and a fancy-ish outfit for Friday night’s dinner.

2. BUSINESS CARDS If I had to pick one essential item to make sure you do not leave your home without that would be your business cards, folks. Don’t have any? Make some. Running low? Make some more. You’ll be meeting a ton of new people, both bloggers and potential sponsors, so you’ll want to have a way to get them your contact information quickly and professionally. Also, bring something to keep all the cards you’ll be receiving safe. I like a hole punch and a binder clip because they take up less space that way but you can use a designated business card holder or a small bag.

3. ELECTRONIC DEVICES (LAPTOP/IPAD/TABLET) I don’t plan on live-blogging this conference so I’m leaving the laptop at home because I won’t need the photo-editing software on it. If this is something you plan to do then by all means bring it along. I’m sticking to my iPad because it takes up less space in my bag. I don’t mind waiting to edit and upload pictures on my laptop when I get home.

4. CAMERA AND/OR SMARTPHONE Whether or not you choose to bring a nicer camera (DSLR) to the conference is a toughie. A smartphone is quick, portable and it makes it easy to Instagram and Tweet it up. There will most likely be a professional photographer documenting the day and you will get free reign of all pictures taken to share digitally.
If however, you’d still like your own pictures I’d bring the “good” camera (and I am) just make sure it’s charged. At the last blogging conference I attended I brought the camera and no battery. I’ve also brought the “good” camera without a memory card to other places which brings me to my next point:

5. CHARGERS! PACK THEM. If you think you’ve packed them check again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kicked myself for forgetting a charger or battery at home. You’ll want to be especially sure you’ve packed your cellphone charger but making sure you’ve packed ALL THE CHARGERS should have you covered.

6. POWER STRIP FOR YOUR HOTEL ROOM OR CONFERENCE ROOMS Self-explanatory. Most outlets will have two spaces for charging but you’ll need to guard those outlets with your life or share. A power strip makes it easier to share and make a new friend in the process!

Breakfast may be covered at the hotel and lunch and dinner will usually be covered by the conference but what will hold you over if you don’t like what’s on the plate? Snacks. I keep it clean with almonds, Larabars, paleo coconut balls that sort of thing because no one like a hungry Margarita. I get pretty mean. You can ask J about that one.

Conferences tend to have a lot of sponsors and sponsors like to give you freebies to test out. Better to have an extra bag that isn’t needed than too much good stuff to pack into your suitcase on the way home. I like my Vera Bradley large duffel because it rolls up and doesn’t take up too much room.

Anything I’m forgetting? What are your must have conference items? I’m off to make my plane. I <3 Southwest.

fall is here and what to pack for a color race

3 mile run (27:45, 9:15 pace)

Mile 1 8:53
Mile 2 9:34
Mile 3 9:18

I did mile repeats this morning and I’m going to have to credit these awesome times to the weather. FALL is here!! Yay! First sub-9-minute mile outdoors since J pushed me to run an 8:32 sometime last fall/winter. I’m stunned. If this is what running in the cold is going to do for me here then I’m definitely ready for the cooler temps.

I’m still on that color-filled high from the Color Me Rad 5K in Nashville on Saturday and have the purple snot to prove it (don’t judge, you totally do it too). With the race still fresh in my mind I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips for your first color race.3TIPS

So here we go.

1. Costumes. Get one. If you’re anything like me every race is a tutu-worthy race but if there’s ever a race to rock a tutu at this is it. Go crazy. The more colorful the better, but make sure to wear a white shirt so the color thrown at you will show. I’ve seen white tuxes, elastic suits, clown wigs, you name it. Get creative. See my tutorial here.

2. Have fun. Don’t worry about your time. This is definitely not the time to worry about race pace. Sure, you could easily schedule this as a 5K pace run but you’ll be disappointed. Most color races are untimed and as family friendly events cater to new runners and plenty of walkers. Because of this you’ll have more fun if you just take it all in! Most people will walk/jog/run next to each other with no idea of anything going on around them. Weaving in and out does not equal a good 5K time so don’t be surprised if a PR just isn’t in the cards.

3. Pack a dark-colored change of clothing (jeans and a dark tee work well), baby wipes, a trash bag, and old towels to cover your car seats. You’re going to get dirty and if you care for your seats at all be prepared. I’ve kind of got this color/mud run/foam thing down to a science now. Wrap a towel around yourself or have someone hold it up and strip in the parking lot. Trust me. Runners have no shame (I’ve seen other runners take a poo on the side of the road). Change your clothes (darker colors are less likely to stain) and stick everything with color on it in the trash bag. Wipe your face and arms with baby wipes and line the seats with towels. Voila! All better. Now go get some lunch!

Anything I forgot? What are your best tips for color runners?