Fit Friday #3: Essential Running Gear

As a long-time runner, I’ve been through my fair share of gear. There are some items that I love for a little awhile, and some that I can’t live without – that’s the list I’m sharing with you!

Five Favorite Running Items:

    • Visor. Beyond being practical (the visor holds my headlamp — see #2 — and also prevents sun-in-the-eyes if I run during the day), I don’t feel complete unless I have something on my head. A hat can almost be too much happening on my head, so a visor is perfect. I also sport a thermal headband in the winter months.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 9.31.43 AM

    • Safety gear. My current jam is pre-sunrise running. I love running first thing in the morning. Safety is definitely a huge concern, since it’s pitch black. I wear a headlight as well as a reflective vest.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 9.15.51 AM

    • Post-run hydration.  I’m a huge NUUN fan. #teamnuun I’ll usually start with plain water first, and then on my second round of hydration, I’ll pop a nuun tab into 16 oz. of water. My favorite is the lemon-lime favorite, but I also love orange and strawberry lemonade. There are so many great flavors! I love these because they not only hydrate, they replenish those essential electrolytes that the body uses during a workout.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 9.34.27 AM

    • Nike running sneaks. I’ve tried lots of different types of sneaks  – mizuno, new balance, asics, adidas, and I always come back to Nike. I specifically love the Nike free and the Nike flex. I love a good lightweight build; I don’t like the way a heavier shoe feels.
    • Running socks. Okay, I have a few favorites, depending on the season. I’m a huge feetures sock fan, they have padding in the right places and feel so great during long runs when it’s cold. During the warmer months, my feet sport bombas, which are lightweight. Both of these socks do not fall down. This is so huge as a runner — the last thing you want to do is stop a run to pull up your socks. My running buddy Melissa also gifted me a pair of smart wool socks which have been amazeballs on those sub-30 degree running mornings.

While you’re getting super excited about running gear, let’s chat about spring races! Are you planning on running any races this spring? I have a great suggestion — ZOOMA on June 3, in Annapolis. This is hands down my favorite race course and favorite race organization of all time. The atmosphere is electric, you’re supporting female runners, and it’s probably the most scenic course ever. This year, I’m running the half marathon and would love to see your pretty face there too!

There are options: a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon (and even some virtual options).

EVEN BETTER, I have a fancy 10% discount code if you sign-up — AUNDRA2017. Here’s the link to register.

Do you have any running gear that you cannot live without? Please share!

Posted in Fit Friday, Running, Training | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #40

It’s Tuesday! Time to grab that cup of coffee and get cozy for a chat.

IMG_7488

I actually won something! Freeeee coffeeee weeee!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m sore. But, oh, it’s a gooood kind of sore, know what I mean? Sometimes, being sore after a tough workout is the worst, but today’s sore feels oh-so-good. I did all the squats and lunges for Week 9 BBG legs yesterday. It was brutal, but I feel strong and happily sore today.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I am BEYOND ready to break out my spring clothes. I’m a little done with dark colors and ready to embrace all the pastels. We’ve had such a tease of spring weather and I just want to live in it!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my first race of 2017 is on Sunday! I’m running a 10K for the puppies. Actually, for all the pets – it’s the Get Pumped for Pets race on Kent Island. This is the second time I’m participating in this race, and race number THIRTY-THREE overall in my running career. I think that’s right, I have a feeling I might’ve missed one or two in my crazy 2012-2013 race seasons. There was a point in my life where running was everything and I had to sign up for ALL the races. Now, I sign up for races that sound appealing (and definitely cannot miss my ZOOMA Race, super excited to do a half marathon this time — which will be half marathon #6!) and running is more like a sweet old friend than a must-do-the-things activity.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m hosting FREE fitness classes next week! I call it “March Madness” and it’s partly because of March and partly because of madness. I’ve worked so hard to teach the most economical classes in Kent County, and in 8 years of teaching I have not once raised my class prices, even when my costs have raised. I try to offer lots of free options throughout the years, as well as class deals. I like the idea of making these awesome workouts accessible to as many people as I can. This is a great time of year to look back at those goals created in January and get moving. Come enjoy some free classes!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we also have a March into Fitness CHALLENGE happening now — today we have 10 reps of 5 killer moves – cross jacks, squat to lunge, double upper cuts, zig zags, and beast to kick through. I loooove these moves and am excited to share them with you every day for 10 days! Join the fun.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m putting the final touches on planning the Friday night Street Party for Chestertown — the kickoff for our annual Tea Party Festival! The event has evolved into a free admission, food & drink for purchase soiree by the water. It’s so much fun! We’ll have LIVE music this year, and a special children’s activity. I’m super excited to coordinate this event for the fourth year.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we’re celebrating Miss Phoebe’s gotcha day this week — can you believe she’s only been part of our family for one year?! Feels like she’s always been there and we absolutely cannot imagine our family without her. I think we will celebrate with some salmon!

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 9.54.47 AM

My cuddlebug — always has to be ON me or touching me.

That’s all I’ve got this week — see you next week!

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday, Online Challenge | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fit Friday #2: March into Fitness Challenge

5 moves. 10 days. It’s time to re-focus, re-center, and get back to those 2017 goals! Here are some of my favorite moves from our Beachbody Live classes. I’ve placed them in a sequence that will help get you on a path to build strength and endurance. Let’s go!

Join the event on facebook for accountability buddies!

MarchintoFitnessSocial

Here are the moves:

cross jacks
squat to lunge (both sides)
double upper cuts (punches)
Zig Zags
Beast to kick-through (both sides)

Starting March 6, do 5 reps of each move, and increase by 5 each day:

March 6 – 5 reps each
March 7 – 10 reps each
March 8 – 15 reps each
March 9 – 20 reps each
March 10 – 25 reps each
March 11 – 30 reps each
March 12 – 35 reps each
March 13 – 40 reps each
March 14 – 45 reps each
March 15 – 50 reps each

marchintofitness

 

This challenge is meant to complement your current fitness program OR to help you get back on track. Please make sure to add some warm-up moves and some cool-down stretches. Stretching is key to prevent muscle soreness and it will help aid recovery.

If at any time you feel SUPER sore the next day, guess what? It’s ok to skip a day or do fewer reps of a movement, decrease the range of motion, or slow it down. This is YOUR workout. If you have questions about this, please let me know!

 

Posted in Fit Friday, Online Challenge | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #39

Welcome to the weekly chat filled with coffee, wishes, stories, and dreams. Grab your cup!

FullSizeRender (5)

Coffee tastes great with a blueberry smoothie!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m back! We made it back from California. I’ve visited Cali several times before, since I used to recruit students from the west coast, but I had never visited the desert! It was pretty neat to see the ocean, mountains, and desert in the span of a day. Palm Springs is pretty!

While in Cali (actually on the airplane), Johnny and I sat down and recorded a list of ALL the hikes we’ve completed together. It’s quite the list! Most recently, we visited Joshua Tree National Park and did the Ryan Mountain hike – best views of the park! We climbed 1,000 feet for the views. Stay tuned for a post! I’m thinking about trying to post about all of our hikes… while planning the next one!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I got to have a real, in-person coffee date with Carly this weekend. I’m so glad — I love our chats over delish Evergrain drinks and treats. I’m so excited for her upcoming adventures to Ecuador!!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that this week is crushing me already — it’s amazing what just one week away from a crazy run/teach/workout routine will do. I plan like crazy (meal prep saves my liiiiife) but the actual running to and from activities is nuts. People often tell me they don’t know how I do it all, and I’m starting to think the same thing (having a supportive spouse who will literally do anything for you is key). Like today, when he delivered sushi to my office because he’s the best. Cookies and coffee help, too.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we’ve had some changes at work. My boss is stepping down, so we’re once again in transition mode (which is basically how we spent the past year). An Enrollment VP is often called the ‘hottest seat on campus’ because of the nature of the job plus the crazy demands, and it certainly has been a hot seat at WAC the past couple of years. This will be my fourth new boss, which always means change, and I’m glad to be situated in a new role this time.

There’s always so much to chat about, but let’s cut it off there today. What’s up in your neck’o’the woods? Happy Mardi Gras!

 

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fit Friday #1: Fears in Group Fitness

I’ve been teaching group fitness classes for nearly 8 years. In all of my time as an instructor, I’ve heard every. single. excuse. for people not getting to classes and enjoying the fabulous environment of a group exercise class.

I thought it would be fun to put all of them into one space, because — let’s be real: if one person makes an excuse (which I’m calling ‘fears’ today), someone else has the same fear/excuse. As someone who is super introverted, I had ALL of these fears before I shyly entered a Zumba Fitness class more than 10 years ago (and immediately walked to the back corner, away from the instructor).

Do any of these resonate?

  • I don’t want to do the wrong thing. Oh my, I hear this one ALL the time! First, who cares? I have never taught a fitness class where everyone was on the same beat, doing the same thing, at the same time. Even ME! Maybe you go left when others go right, maybe you spend more time on a move than others, maybe you try a fun variation of a move. This is about YOU. Everyone who comes to a group fitness class is way more concerned about themselves than what you’re doing, trust me.
  • I can’t ________. Fill in the blank — can’t dance, can’t jump, can’t do a push-up. Guess what? All people who come to classes are NEW at one point, and many of them “can’t” do these things at first, either. As a group fitness instructor, it is my job to help you make the workout your own. I love showing variations of moves, and I’ll even help you with a different move (very common during insanity classes) that works for you, if you find that the move we’re doing isn’t the best for you. Can’t is not in our vocabulary! We’ll find something together that you can do.
  • I don’t have time. This is one of my favorites. I’m also guilty of proclaiming this. I’m training myself to instead say “that’s not a priority to me” and if I feel awful about that admission, I know that it’s not time I don’t have, it’s a confusion of priorities. Working out takes like 4% of your day if you spend an hour doing it. Looking at it this way, it’s miniscule in comparison to the rest of your day. Also, group fitness classes are offered at all times of the day. And the latest trend is maximizing the workout in a shorter amount of time (think HIIT workouts like insanity). So, 30 minutes and you can be done for the day. Thirty minutes! (check out the various class times I offer on the shore!)
  • I’m way too tired. This is a tough one, at first. However, working out/engaging in exercise actually helps BOOST energy. And, the flow in a group fitness class practically doubles that energy. There’s nothing more awesome than a group of people killing it on the floor together. You’ll leave feeling challenged, refreshed, and ready to conquer the rest of your morning/day/evening.
  • I’m not ‘fit enough’ to do that. Everyone starts at the beginning. As my yoga instructor reminded us recently, we are all beginners. Every day. How will you improve your fitness if you avoid the thing that will help you get there? I really believe that a group fitness/exercise atmosphere is the least intimidating way to get started. Everyone there wants to improve, and as I’ve found, everyone wants everyone else to rock the workout, too. And, even better, I’ve seen participants push each other, in a really healthy and encouraging way.

I’m here to help you find success with your workouts. Please, feel free to reach out if any of these ‘fears’ sound like you, and I’m happy to help encourage you!

Posted in Fit Friday, Fitness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #38

Welcome to the weekly chat filled with coffee, wishes, stories, and dreams. Grab your cup!

IMG_7305

Hello from Sunny SoCal! I’m enjoying coffee on the porch before a busy conference day.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d say heyyyy from the west coast! And it would maybe be a virtual coffee date? I’m stoked to be in California for the week with Converge Consulting 2017. I’m here to learn ALL the things about higher ed marketing and plan to soak up all the strategy, interactive ideas, and solutions I can. And sunshine. It’s so sunny and lovely here, y’all. Also, the conference setting is amazing!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we got a chance to hike at Joshua Tree National Park on President’s Day! I was suuuuper excited to learn that a National Park was close to my conference. After a 13-hour travel day (east coast to west coast travel is no joke), my legs were itching for some climbing and walking. I’ve never been to the desert before this trip, so I was very excited for the scenery. We saw a coyote and a small lizard, in addition to all the Joshua trees, PLUS we killed our quads and glutes with all the intense uphill walking. All around, a win!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that my time away from home does not mean time away from my #BBG workouts! I’ve already completed one resistance and one cardio workout, and my planner has me scheduled for ALL the workouts until we leave on Friday.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m totally missing my workout crew, and can’t wait to get back on the floor with all of you! But California is pretty nice, guys… I’m posting some killer workouts on facebook, would LOVE for you to play along!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’ll be making a cameo appearance at Birthday Ball later this week. I wasn’t planning on going, but have been asked to help with a fun project! This will be (GULP) Bday Ball #13 for me…

What’s going on in your world this week?

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #37

Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. Looooove edition.

IMG_7181

flowers from the husband, my favorite coffee, and sweet Valentine cards from colleagues! #CATS

Happy Love Day! However you feel about the holiday today, let’s just all agree to love at least ONE person a little more. How about…yourself? #LoveYourself

I’m all about the self-lovin’ lately. I’ve started a fun habit of treating myself (#TreatYoSelf) to an iced coffee several times a week, AND a couple of weeks ago, I started a fun new tradition of taking myself out to lunch on Fridays – somewhere local. It gets me away from my desk, lets me splurge a little, and it’s a date I cannot miss. I’m lovin’ it!

If we were having coffee today (I like mine medium, iced, ONE shot of hazelnut, and ONE cream please), I’d tell you that this time next week, I’ll be reporting from CALIFORNIA WEEEEE! I’m so stoked to head to the west coast with the husband. And, as I’m prepping for my conference, I’m really excited about all the topics and networking with other creative higher ed types. As a new ‘office of one’ in communications, I’m lacking in like-minded support, so conferences really help with this.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the past two weeks of BBG workouts have been killer. And I Love it. Why did I start doing the Sweat with Kayla Bikini Body Guide workouts? I wanted something for me, an unbreakable date to have with myself. I’m so glad I chose this workout series — not only is it easy to follow (um, not the moves, those are delightfully challenging), but it’s been SO good at reminding me to add rehabilitation to my week. As I type this, I’m actually rolling my feet with a water bottle. lol. But really, it’s the best thing ever. Her cool downs and rehabilitation sections are much longer than I’d ever do on my own, but I think it’s been helping my body recover faster.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I had a really great, deep conversation with myself this weekend (don’t be alarmed, not like out loud, but just some quiet time where I reflected) and came to a pretty scary/awesome conclusion about a next step I’ve been stalling to take. Not ready to share just yet, but I promise you’ll get the full scoop soon. It’s exciting.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m working extra hard to accomplish things at work since I won’t be here. My to-do list needs a nap for sure. Send coffee! Or cookies! Mmm cookies.

Happy Love Day once again! I’m very excited for Cafe Sado tonight – husband is getting takeout and we’re going to delight in sweet, simple indulgence. And green curry chicken. Oh myyyyy!

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #36

Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee!

FullSizeRender (30)

Large iced coffee and blueberry/spinach/banana/protein smoothie – it’s Tuesday yo.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m one busy bee. The next couple of weeks will be filled with lots of daily to-dos. My job, working in communications, keeps me on my toes — there’s always some form of communication to send to one of our audiences and this time of year is just extra busy. I love it — creating a to do list, and then crossing that shizz off the list. Makes me so giddy.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that we’re at 12 days until we leave for Cali! I’m going for a conference (Converge Consulting, in case you’re a communications nerd??), and Johnny is coming with me! The conference is in Palm Springs. We’re flying to LA and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite west coast places with my love!

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that we had SUCH a blast this past Saturday at the Dance with the Stars Gala! This was my fourth year participating in this awesome fundraiser event, and possibly one of my favorite groups of dancers/dances?! We, as a group, raised more money than EVER before (in the entire span of the event). And it was sweet icing on the cake to take home the Judge’s Award for our dance! We worked so hard and I had such a fun time creating the choreography for our song “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody/All We Got.” Did you see our crazy trick at the end?! #HardWork Here’s the live version and one of our dress rehearsal versions.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m rolling right through the BBG/Bikini Body Guide workouts. I’m officially on week 5 and the workouts keep getting more challenging, which is a great thing. The resistance workouts are divided into three categories: arms/abs, legs, and full body. I usually do legs early in the week, then arms, then full body. I’ve done them three days in a row before, but I prefer to have a day in between each resistance workout. I loooove feeling sore after a workout (not every workout, it’s nice to have some rehabilitation and recovery worked into this program) and I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I’m at the point where I’m noticing changes in my body – feeling stronger, tighter, and less ‘fluffy’ and can’t wait to see where I am in the coming weeks.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you about my latest guilty pleasure. I’m a huuuuge PBS/Masterpiece fan and there was a mini-series that I got really into recently: The Secrets of the Six Wives. I love this stuff! This followed the six marriages of Henry VIII. You can watch the episodes for free on PBS! The host is probably one of my favorite hosts ever — she’s super cute and SUPER into this stuff. (Um, while you’re there, check out Victoria, my other new guilty pleasure.)

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m still rockin’ through teaching 10 classes a week. How do I do it (I literally get asked this question every day)? I’m working on a fun post, but basically: PLANNING AHEAD is my best friend. I don’t know where I’d be without my bullet journal, meal prepping, and my latest trick: bringing my entire week’s worth of workout clothes to my office (I have a pretty awesome closet in my office). I just grab and go.

That’s what’s up this week! What is going on in your world?

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #35

Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee!

FullSizeRender (30)

Because Tuesdays should include an iced coffee AND a green monster/blueberry smoothie!

If we were having coffee this week, I’d tell you that this is THE WEEK!!! Dance with the Stars gala is on SATURDAY. Our months and months of practice will culminate in the ultimate performance this weekend. We’re doing our own dress rehearsal on Thursday, practicing at the space on Friday, and then it’s showtime. But guess what? There is still time to VOTE — $1 = 1 vote. Please vote for Team David & Aundra! Check out our latest practice video.

If we were having coffee this week, I’d tell you that it’s the first week of the full spring schedule, for teaching classes! We had just a few classes last week. Today is Triple Tuesday — I teach THREE beachbody live class formats on Tuesdays — Insanity Live, TurboKick Live, and PiYo Live. Woosh! Wednesday is also a triple day — Zumba, TurboKick Live, and Insanity Live. Here’s the full schedule! 

If we were having coffee this week, I’d tell you that I had jury duty last Thursday. The struggle, yo. The case was criminal, and was set for 15 days. 15!! I’m very glad I was not chosen (yes, yes, I know it’s a ‘privilege’ to serve), but even just spending the full day stuck in a courtroom was an experience. I’ve never served jury duty prior to this. I mostly sat in the courtroom for the selection process (which took the full day – 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). While the judge is present, you can’t be reading, distracted, or talking. This is crazy in today’s world where we’re always connected to something. I remember thinking I would LOVE to have 16 and 17 year-olds experience this — it would certainly cause a scene!

If we were having coffee this week, I’d tell you that one of my go-to blogs for inspiration has been dead ON this week. I love Seth’s Blog – have you read it? He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. I get it delivered to my inbox daily and it’s one of the first things I read each day. Many days, I find myself nodding my head vigorously in agreement. I’ve had that experience twice already this week – first with Make believe problems and then again with Missed it by that much. I definitely have created some ‘make believe problems’ in my time (my mom called me imaginative because moms are nice like that) and it’s a good reminder to stop that business. And I’m in LOVE with the ‘Missed it by that much’ post because it’s a great reminder to march to the beat of your own drum. I’ve worked through a lot of it, but spent a lot of my early adult development in constant comparison of where I was vs. other ‘people like me.’ Bad, bad, bad. Everything happens at a different pace for each person, it’s easy to forget this but SO important to know.

Those are the updates this week! What’s happening in your world on this lovely Tuesday?

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Talk Tuesday #34

Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee!

FullSizeRender (29)

Decided to get fancy for this week’s post. Eight-angled pose is the first balance I ‘nailed’ when I started my yoga practice.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m pumped for the start of classes in a NEW-to-me location. On Wednesday nights, I’ll lead back-to-back TurboKick Live and Insanity Live classes. This is cray, but I’m excited to see how this will change and build my teaching landscape.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’ve already booked THREE private fitness events this spring, and I’m stoked to entertain more requests. I looooove customizing fitness classes to suit your needs, and working with you to create a fun fitness atmosphere. Interested in putting together something for your co-workers, squad, family, friends, bridal party? Email me at fitwithaundra@gmail.com.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m loving/killing/slaying the BBG workout by Kayla Itsines. I loooove having this handy app on my phone. I’m only using it for the Resistance and Rehabilitation workouts (I log my running as the cardio workout) but it’s so nice to have a plan to follow for ME, especially since I devote most of my fitness time to serving others through classes!

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that the countdown is ON for the Dance with the Stars gala. We rock the stage February 4 and would LOVE your support. Come see it LIVE (tickets here) or at the very least, share your support in the form of a donation. ANY amount helps support the Horizons program. We worked on a majorly awesome move this week/weekend, and I’ll tell you that my left pectoral muscle is SUPER sore. Dancing is harrrrrrdddd work, y’all. My muscles would LOVE your support.

Speaking of which, if you’re in the Chestertown area on Sunday, January 29, a few Zumba instructor friends are gathering to teach a 90-minute Zumbathon together, in support of Horizons! 100% of proceeds will benefit this awesome organization. More details here.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that the countdown is also ON for my trip to California! I’m so stoked to go for the Converge Conference in February. California, here we cooommmmeeeee!

Hope you’re having a splendid week as well!!

Posted in Coffee Talk Tuesday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment