Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making a Band: The Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Race Series

I seriously love being a rock 'n' blogger for the rock 'n' roll marathon series. It is such an honor to run their fun races, share my experiences and offer my friends and readers (same thing, right?) a discount code on half marathon and marathon distances in the 2016 series. You can use code LEAGENDERS to save $15 off most marathon and half marathon distances in 2016. Vegas, anyone? They pay for my races, but all opinions are my own and my opinion is that they totally rock.

guitar solo virtual run. #betterwithfriends #rocknrollvirtualrun

The rock 'n' roll marathon is having a really fun virtual race series with medals going on this summer! If you don't live in any of their race cities or if you are looking for an affordable way to run a race, the virtual race series Making a Band, is perfect for you!

A virtual run is a run that you complete in your own town and on your own terms while connecting with others online. It can be done on the streets in your neighborhood, on a track, on the trails, on a treadmill or anywhere else you can dream up. You just put in the miles.

It's a great way to stay motivated throughout the summer. You can download a race bib and even earn medals. Use the hashtag #rnrvirtualrun to connect with the other runners!

There are three rock 'n' roll virtual races happening this summer:

Guitar Solo - June 26th through July 20th
Drum Solo - July 21st - August 14th
Lead Singer - August 15th-September 5th

The races are $29 each and you get an awesome medal for each one and a bonus medal if you complete all three.

The first virtual race of the summer was the Guitar Solo and I was excited to run it to earn the guitar solo medal. Up next is the drum solo medal and this one has a special place in my heart because my husband is a rock drummer!

I was traveling to Los Angeles last week for BlogFest and the IDEA World fitness convention when I realized I had only a few more day to get in my virtual "guitar solo" run. Good thing my fellow rock 'n' bloggers Mat.Miles.Medals and Train with Bain were there too! We decided to run the virtual race on the treadmill at the hotel together! How fun is that? We each put in 3.1 miles at our own pace and the most fun part was filming our air guitar solo at the end.

It's pretty apparent from the video that I have never ever played a guitar, held a guitar or probably even watched a guitar player in action, because....what the heck am I doing with my hand holding the neck? lol. Clearly, that is not how it's done. However, it's all about the fun and we definitely had some laughs while running and filming the video.

You can sign up too to run a virtual race and earn the awesome rock 'n' roll bling!

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Don't Make this Mistake When Attending a Blog Conference (My #1 Takeaway from BlogFest)

I am writing this on my iPad on the plane flying home to Dallas/Fort Worth from an amazing weekend of fun, friendship and fitness in Los Angeles. Want to know what I learned at BlogFest with Sweat Pink? One thing was to write a blog post title that peaks curiosity so people will click on it. You clicked. (Thank you! I love you for that.) But that is not my #1 takeaway from BlogFest...

The lesson is if you can be Charlie's Angles, you be Charlie's Angels. Yoga pose of the day with Mat.Miles.Medals and Train with Bain
If I said it once, I said it once...and it bears repeating now (a Jack White reference for my White Stripes friends). Blog conferences are all about the connections. The magic is in the networking parties, the group workouts, the runs and the impromptu dinners. Sure, the seminar sessions are great, usually fun and informative, but I am more interested in the stories behind the presenters. Want to give me tips on how to use SnapChat to grow my blog? (Snapchat? Isn't that for 12 year olds? Apparently not.) Great, but I want to know more about the work and passion behind the blogger.

Playing at the IDEA World Expo.
For me, attending BlogFest with Sweat Pink in LA at the IDEA World fitness convention was not about the blogging education at all. I've been blogging for a long time (6 years is a life time in the blogging world) and there is not much I haven't heard, read, studied or researched. Not to say that I know everything about blogging, but I know everything about blogging. Just kidding. I just don't walk into blog conferences expecting to be blown away with new blogging knowledge. Of course I pick up new information and tips, but that's not the point. The people are the point. The chance to connect, learn from and motivate each other at a social level is the point. 

The Rock 'n' Blogger Girls! Another supportive community of runners! We are all part of the rock 'n' roll marathon's rock 'n' blog program. 
The funny thing for me is that I am not an overly social person. (That was the understatement of 2016.) But these are my people. I am sitting in a room of 150 gals (and a guy or two, Sweat Pink doesn't discriminate) who are all fitness bloggers and a majority are fitness professionals too. These are people who have similar dreams and goals as me. These are the people that get me. At home I have lovely friends and an amazingly supportive husband. They love me, they support me and cheer me on in all my dreams, but they don't share my love and passion for blogging and fitness. Going to BlogFest gives me the unique opportunity to surround myself with people who do. 

Pre-conference shake out run at the Marriott. I'm behind the camera. 

This was my second year at Blogfest so I got to see some old friends and make some new ones. Right before I left for the conference this year I was looking at a picture that was taken in 2015 at a pre-conference run. When that photo was snapped less than 24 hours after getting off the plane, I barely knew another person. One year later as I was looking at the photo while packing for my 2016 trip, I realized that I had formed meaningful connections with about half of the large group of people in the photo. After meeting at the conference last year we became Facebook friends, so I spent the last 365 days keeping up with their lives, their achievements, their families and their blogs. Those people on that run became my friends, my real friends, not just some faces on social media, but people that I followed and cared about. So when I saw them again this year at the conference, it wasn't just seeing the bloggers I had met once a year ago, it was reconnecting with friends. I hope to forge some of those same connections with the people I met this year. 

The sweet and lovely Christiana from Spilling Coffee and Dropping Things

I finally got to meet my long time blogging friend Tri-ing To Be Athletic. Only click on her blog if you feel like laughing your butt off. She's awesome and hysterical.
I had the chance to connect with the A-mazing Lindsay from ItSurf on Instagram and Fit and Awesome. I won the FitBit I am wearing from her last year, so definitely follow - she has good giveaways! 

My biggest takeaway from BlogFest? The social interactions are the most important part. This is huge coming from the self-proclaimed introvert. If attending BlogFest or any blog convention, don't be tempted to skip the run, the dinners, the workouts or the social parties because they may not be on the official schedule and seem like fluff. They are the most meaningful part of the weekend. Sure, attend the sessions, learn about SEO, how to grow your mailing list, how to take better food photography and be inspired by the celebrity speakers (Jenna Wolfe was awesome), but forging those connections is the biggest win.

Jenna Wolfe of Today Show Fame! Just being BFFs
Jason Karp of Revo2lution Running. I read his book, the Inner Runner, on the plane to LA. It was really good. I knew this running thing was good for my brain too. 
Melissa Hartwig, the creator of Whole 30.
Find your people. Lift them up. Help them. Share with them. Give to them. Receive from them. Be open to them. Surround yourself with people who get you. These are the people who help make you great. BlogFest brings together all the supportive uplifting motivating woman to do that. What's not to love about that?

At the BlogFest Sweat Pink networking event.
Alena of Living Life 365 and Alyse of Fit Approach
The whole crew with Jorge Cruise!

Can't wait to see my sweat pink sisters again next year (In Vegas, baby!). Will I see you there next year? 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Secret to Fitness Success

I discovered an amazing fitness fact that pretty much changed my whole life. Ready? Consistency is key. We know that right? The missing piece for me was the realization that 15-20 minutes a day of being consistent was better than a planned one hour workout that I missed a couple times a week.

Can I really reach my goals in only 15-20 minutes a day? A resounding YES! Not to say that I don't ever work out longer, but once I forced myself to work on the consistency part by doing at least 15-20 minutes a day, the results came pouring in. I could never do full (on my toe) pushups. I committed to working on it three times a week, every single week and after three short weeks I could get my chest closer to that floor than I could even believe. That was after three weeks, image the progress after three months or three years. I've been doing knee pushups for ten years with little progress.

You see for the last ten years or so, I planned my weight training schedule according to the Body For Life plan alternating between one hour upper body workouts and lower body workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This plan is great if you are consistent. If you are not consistent, this training schedule can leave you with working your muscle groups once a week or less. Not great for progress.

By committing to just to pushups, rows and planks for upper body/abs and deadlifts, squats and Kettle bell swings for lower body/abs for only 15-20 minutes a day, my progress and strength went through the roof.

Turns out being consistent with just 15-20 minutes a day is much better than being inconsistent with planned one hour workouts. Who knew? (The whole world, I know.)

Consistent action is the secret to fitness success. But that's no secret, right? It's all in the execution.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mid-Year Check In & July Resolutions

Happy July. Can you believe that 2016 is half way over already? Unbelievable, really. I'm heading to Blogfest and the IDEA World fitness convention in Los Angeles on Wednesday and I know that I am going to come home with new ideas, excitement and passion reignited!

I didn't write a new year's resolution post this January. I had some goals in my mind, but I wasn't sure where the year would take me and I was focusing on being happy in the present. I can get overwhelmed when I focus too much on where I want to be, rather than just enjoying where I am. Things were great and progressing nicely, there was no need to put any undue pressure on myself by announcing lofty goals on the internet.

Instead of making a whole life overhaul on January 1st, because I already know from 41 years experience that never works, I made a few small achievable lifestyle changes, named a few goals and made some plans to get me there. ResoGoalPlans, you heard it here first, folks.


I am happy with how this year is going so far (politics and social issues aside). In April I started as a bootcamp instructor and running coach over at ComCardio in Hurst. It's really fun and I am enjoying it every step of the way. I am hoping to come home from IDEA World with some new ideas for my class.

I hosted a bootcamp for Premier Protein in June as part of my ambassadorship, which was a blast!


One of my ongoing goals is to grow my Lea Genders Fitness Strength & Running blog and my plan to achieve that goal was to post consistently, three times a week. I started writing all three posts over the weekend and scheduling them out for the week. It takes up most of one of my weekend days to write, edit, take pictures and create graphics. I found once I got into a groove I could easily pump out several posts in one sitting, faster than I could by starting and stopping several times during the week. Now that I am working over at ComCardio a few times a week, I have even less free time in the evenings. It's been working well. I really love writing about health and fitness, so it has been a wonderful creative outlet. I started off kind of slow but I am happy to report that over the last few months, since I have been posting several times a week, I have noticed a small uptick in traffic, so it seems like my efforts are already paying off.

In the beginning of the year I started taking an online Photoshop class to improve my skill set and ultimately, my blog, but with the weekend blogging schedule, I fell off the wagon. I want to find a way to fit it all in, especially since I am paying the monthly fee for the online access to Adobe Photoshop.


One of my small lifestyle change goals was to walk (or run) at least 10k steps a day recorded on my FitBit. I am thrilled to report that six months in, I have never missed a day. Most days it wasn't too challenging to achieve, but I did have a few grumpy miles on the treadmill at 9pm because I wasn't quite at my goal yet. My husband is a huge supporter and would often walk with me after dinner to make sure I got in my daily steps. He made it a lot easier to achieve my goal because he was willing to do it it with me. Ollie, of course, would never pass up a chance to walk or run, so his enthusiasm helped as well.

Ollie's enthusiasm for running

Another lifestyle change was to cut out alcohol for awhile. I didn't drink any alcohol from January through June (I had wine for the first time in 2016 while in California for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll half marathon). I generally find it is easier to maintain my weight, I feel better and have more energy when I cut out alcohol. Even though it is nice to relax with a glass of wine, most of the time the negatives outweigh the benefits for me. Treating alcohol as an occasional treat works well for me and my lifestyle. I realized during my five months without alcohol that I didn't miss it.

I also planned to cut out screen time and social media scrolling/checking, but have failed miserably on that front, so I am planning to reevaluate and reset those goals for my mid-year resolutions.


I wanted to think and write about my mid year resolutions before I went to IDEA World fitness convention, because I know I will come home with big goals, so I wanted to make sure I was covering the basics before I filled my head with new goals and dreams.


On the weekdays after I get home from work, I usually work out (or teach my class), eat dinner, clean up after dinner and by that time it is usually 8:30 PM. My habit is to sit on the couch (with my husband) in front of the TV while scrolling social media on my iPad before I go to bed. Besides the wasted time, there are potential negative effects on my sleep patterns from staring at a screen right before bed.

I am not suggesting that every minute of my day needs to be hyper-productive, sometimes down time is exactly what I need, but I can definitely use that time more productively in the evenings. I have a stack of health, fitness and self-improvement books that are unread, plus I am perpetually behind on my Run-Fit certification. My lifestyle change goal for the end of the year is to turn off electronics by 9:00PM and spend that last hour of my evening reading or relaxing doing something that does not involve electronics.


My goal is to learn Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. My plan to reach my goal is to start up my online Photoshop classes again. I used to take the online class with my best friend once a week for an hour. Over time we both got busy and it fell off our radar. I will also use Photoshop more in order to practice. I tend to revert to Canva or PicMonkey for blog graphics because it is easier for me and I can pump out graphics a little faster. By using these other programs I don't give myself the opportunity to learn-by-doing in Photoshop.

I also want to spend more time learning my DSLR camera. I figured out the basics, but I want to improve my photography and photo editing skills. I signed up for Skillshare last year and never took a single online class.


My goal is to remain consistent with my strength training. I have discovered that committing to just 15-20 minutes a day of strength training has pushed my progress and results through the roof. Turns out being consistent with just 15-20 minutes a day is much better than being inconsistent with planned one hour workouts. Who knew? (The whole world, I know.) I have been thrilled with my progress so I plan keep the momentum going for the rest of the year.

What about you? How is your year going? Do you make mid-year resolutions or re-evaluate your goals through out the year?

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Monday, July 4, 2016


Happy Independence Day, friends. I am enjoying a relaxing long weekend and I hope you are able to do the same. In celebration of the fourth of July, I made a delicious and beautiful (if I do say so myself) layered star spangled protein smoothie!

I'll be the first to admit that my cooking and crafting skills have a lot to be desired. It has to do with patience (or lack there of). I just want things to be done, so if there are a lot of tedious steps that require time and careful attention (or crafting scissors), I'm probably not going to be great at it. I realize that a smoothie is neither crafting or cooking, but making a layered smoothie is about as close as I am ever going to get.

So you can imagine my surprise when I pretty much nailed this layered star spangled smoothie recipe that I found on Pinterest.

I changed the ingredients a bit to use what I already had in my fridge. I used a vanilla Premier Protein shake instead of milk, because I am a Premier Protein ambassador and like to add protein to everything to make the most of my strength training.

All the red, white and blue smoothie ingredients. The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

1 large banana
1/2 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
1 vanilla Premier Protein shake

Red Layer: 
Blend 1/3 of the banana, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt and the strawberries. Add a little of the Premier Protein if you need it to blend. Pour the red blend in the bottom of a glass and put in the freezer while you make the other layers. Clean out the blender and blades between layers. (I used my Nutri-bullet.)

White Layer:
Blend 1/3 of the banana, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup of the Premier Protein vanilla shake. Pour in a separate cup and place in the freezer. Clean out the blender and blades again.

Blue Layer:
Blend 1/3 of the banana, the blueberries and a bit of the Premier Protein shake for blending.

Let the layers sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes until they are firm enough to combine. Add the white layer on top of the red and then the blue on top.

Star Spangled Smoothie

Maybe it came out a little more pink, white and purple than red, white and blue but trust me, this baby was delicious! Happy 4th of July!

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Furry Friday Feature: Stella & The Healthy Fit Foodie

Happy Friday, Friends! Welcome to another edition of Furry Friday Feature! Once a month I introduce you to the furriest runners on the internet (and their favorite humans)!

This month I am thrilled for you to meet Lara from the Healthy Fit Foodie and her favorite four-legged running partner Stella! 


Hi, Lara. Tell us about your favorite running partner.

Stella is a year old Lab Collie Mix I rescued back in March of last year. She loves to spend her time napping on the couch, playing with the kitties, or chasing after birds, squirrels and lizards. 

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

Stella loves a change of scenery or it may just be me hahaha. Some of our favorite places to run are the dog beach and the the north and south causeway bridges.

Life's a Beach! 

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

I just ran my first time 5k with my best friend this past Sunday and we signed up for the Disney half marathon in January. I’m so excited!

Stella wants to run the Disney half too! No Fair!

What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?

Try to see the fun in every day things and not to take things too seriously/not care what other people think. Stella can come up to me covered in dirt and with the most ridiculous look on her face and she’s the happiest pup in the world.

Just being me. 

Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?

I’m training for my first half marathon this January and Stella has been my training partner. She’s always there to push me when I want to stop and listens to me rant when I’ve had a bad day at work.

The best running partners never complain and are great listeners!

Thank you so much to Lara for sharing Stella with us!

Lara and Stella

You can follow Lara and Stella on her blog The Healthy Fit Foodie, on Twitter @healthyffblog or Instagram

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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