Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 REFLECTIONS: The Successes and Failures of the Year

Happy New Year, Friends! This is the time of year that I like to reflect back on the year gone by and start to think about the things I want to achieve in the new year. We don't need to wait for a new year, a new week or a new day to start going after our goals, but since the New Year is quickly approaching, there is no time like now to start making plans.

I was almost afraid to look at my new year resolution post from 2017 because going by memory alone, I could only think of one thing that I followed through with for the whole year. Like most of the rest of the human race, I stopped thinking about my goals in terms of resolutions by February. 

In retrospect, my first mistake was simply having too many goals at once. At best, I should have broken these down by month and focused on certain goals during specific times of the year. Note to self as I write my 2018 goals. 

Before I write my goals for 2018 I like to spend a little time looking at what went right and what went wrong from my previous year's goals so I can learn from my successes and mistakes. 

Thanks for indulging me. 


2017 Goal 1: Develop and grow income streams from writing, blogging and training

This is the first thing I will put on my new goals list for 2018. I did increase my income but the truth is it was only higher than usual because of a paid ambassadorship in 2017 (which the contract has now ended). I didn't take a lot of action to pursue additional income and accepted just what came my way. The lesson l learned is to be more specific with my goals and more proactive with my actions to achieve them.

2017 Goal 2: Lose five pounds of fat and strength train 2-3 times a week

Yes, I lost the five pounds but I was consistently inconsistent with training. I went through periods of regular training followed by periods of rest, but in all honesty, it is just the way I work best. For the new year I will consider this when writing my new goals. A cycle of strength-focused workouts, followed by a cycle of running-focused workouts and a rest cycle will probably be a realistic plan that works with my lifestyle.

2017 Goal 3: Run the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas half marathon with a two year PR

I didn't run any half marathons in 2017! I had a shoulder injury which prevented me from running long distances. It isn't completed healed, but it doesn't cause me pain when I run anymore. I have at least three half marathons planned for 2018. I shouldn't have planned goals of losing fat, strength training and running a PR all in the same time frame. Too many conflicting goals at once makes it hard to achieve any of them.

2017 Goal 4: Save money 

Vague much? Despite not having a specific number in mind, we did pretty well here. Sure, we spent money too (remodeling, central heat and air and hubby bought a car), but we really socked a lot away in savings this year. I will work to continue the savings streak into 2018, despite going part-time at my job and living on less regular income.

2017 Goal 5: Blog more consistently on Running with Ollie

I write three blog posts a week on Lea Genders Fitness but have been less consistent here on this blog. I wrote as many posts in December 2017 as I did in January 2017 but much less the rest of the year. I'd like to commit to two blog posts a week on Running with Ollie for 2018, which for the record is more than I did on average in 2017, so I will take that into consideration when writing my new goal.

2017 Goal 6: Finish my Precision Nutrition Certification

Yay! I achieved this goal. Check out my nutrition coaching services. Learning is going to be a big part of my 2018 goals. I have some ideas about areas of focus for different time blocks of the year.

2017 Goal 7: Get up at 5:30 am consistently, even on the weekends

Not even close. We did this consistently for a few weeks in the summer. I don't know what happened. It became less of a priority.

2017 Goal 8: 10K steps a day

This has become so much of a part of my lifestyle it isn't a goal anymore, it's just something I do. I rarely miss getting 10K steps a day. I may have missed a day or two (like when I got LASIK eye surgery and couldn't see) but if I miss it is always for a valid reason, like I'm sick or injured. I can take this one off my goals for 2018 because it's something I do every day anyway. Besides, Ollie has gotten quite spoiled, if he doesn't get his two walks a day, he gets very upset. I am brainstorming ways I can improve upon or advance this for the new year.

2017 Goal 9: Give up alcohol for a year

Oh my gosh, we did it (Well, in five more days I can say we did it.) Honestly, it wasn't that hard. It felt challenging the first three weekends in January and it was smooth sailing for the rest of the year.

I didn't lose all my friends.
I wasn't bored and miserable.
I didn't turn into a fun-hater.
No one cared.

All the things I thought were going to be hard, weren't even an issue.

After three or four months I stopped even thinking of it at all. When someone offered me a drink I never explained it, I just simply said, "No, Thank you" and that was the end of it. I will have a drink again in 2018 but we're in no hurry. I'm sure in a few weeks (or months) when it comes up naturally in a social situation I'll have my first drink in 2018. 

I don't always like to think of goals in terms of things I have to give up, but given the success of this goal, I'd like to challenge myself in a new way for 2018.

2017 Goal 10: No eating out

One thing that I did not include in my official resolution post but something hubby and I did together in 2017 is that we chose not to eat out at restaurants except for required work or special social occasions. This meant that we never went out to eat because we didn't feel like cooking or for no reason on a Tuesday or Saturday night. It went so well, I think we will continue this into 2018. I didn't miss it at all, we ate all kinds of delicious foods at home, we saved so much money, and so many empty calories. We made a few exceptions when it made sense, but I call this resolution a success because it changed our lifestyle for the better.

What I learned in 2017

I learned that the goals I was most successful with were the ones that hubby and I worked on together. It just proves that having support helps us achieve our goals. When I work on new goals that don't include hubby, I know I have to make it a priority to find support from people on a similar path with similar goals.

In the end, I'd say I achieved five out of my 10 goals for 2017. This just teaches me that I spread myself too thin. 10 goals is too many for one time. I'll remember this when writing my 2018 goals and focus on the priorities for the year.

Good and bad, successes and failures, I can learn a lot from the year gone by. I'm in a better position now to write meaningful, realistic goals for 2018. Stay tuned...

The future's so bright, we gotta wear shades...

Keep Running,

Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature: 10 Running (and Life) Lessons Learned From Our Dogs

Hi, friends! Welcome to the final edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature for 2017! It has been a great year of running with dogs! Whether you like to run with your dog or you just love to look at their furry faces, I'm grateful you followed along this year.

One of the questions I ask all my Furry Features is:

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

I thought it would be fun to recap the answers from our features this year and revisit some of our favorite four-legged runners. If you click on the link for each dog you can view their original furry feature post to see more pictures and links to follow them.

First up is Calypso the wonder mutt from Black Dog Runs Disney

"Who cares about form, time, PRs, or latest running fashions? Just run and chase squirrels!"

Next up is Trixie from Running on Happy.

"To always have fun! If running isn't fun, what's the point?"

Sorcha and Anam from Fueled by Carrots

"Life is too short to be serious all the time and not do the things that we love... take time to smell the roses."

"Unconditional love! As cheesy as it may seem, this sweet pup came into my life at a time when I needed her most. Dogs make life a lot sweeter!"

"My doodles are my heart and soul. They will run their heart out for you in rain, sleet, hot or cold. They teach loyalty and perseverance. Most importantly they always have a smile on their face."

"There is so much I take from my dogs every single day. First, you never say no to a good time with family! It doesn't matter the time of day, I say 'let's go run" and they are so excited! Second, they never worry about "what do I need to do next!" As a busy mom, I'm always worried about school, kids, my job, etc. and my brain runs faster than my body can keep up. Dogs focus on the now, what can I sniff at, where are the lizards? Finally, when they just gotta let out their frustration, they let go, kick up grass and keep going!"

"Slow down when we're tired and stop for water! Moose always lets me know when he needs a little break."


"Enjoy life and to spend as much time as you can with your loved ones. Have fun and do things together."

Scuttle and Scout

"Life is short, make the most out of every day. Let the people you care about know it."

Then, of course, we have Ollie. If I had to ask Ollie for a life lesson he would say the joy is in the chase...and because he is feisty... don't take any shit. (Which is precisely why I had to add a photo of a Santa hat on his picture, you think he would have sat for that? No way!)

Here are all the Life Lessons learned from Ollie in this blog post. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hope you had a great 2017 and are looking forward to prosperous, vigorous and healthy growth in 2018!

Want to be featured with your dog in 2018? Fill out this form to be considered!

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Ninth Annual Year in Pictures: 2017 Edition

The first post I ever wrote on this blog was a review in pictures of 2008. This is the ninth year that I've kept up the tradition. It's a fun way to look back on the year and share my memories with you.

When I first reflected back on 2017 I thought that maybe I didn't have as much to share as I had in the past, but as I scrolled through the pictures from the year I was reminded of some pretty cool memories. Here are the highlights of my year.

My 2017 in pictures!

In January my best friend got married in San Antonio and I was the matron of honor.

So here's my obligatory Alamo pic.

In March I ran the Rock 'n Roll 5K with my running buddies from California.

In April I got my Precision Nutrition coach certification (and here's the worst picture of me to prove it). You can learn more about my nutrition coaching services on my Lea Genders Fitness blog.

Here's a better picture because Ollie is in it. 

In June I went to Pittsburgh to visit my family.

We bought a giant blow up swimming pool to cool off for the summer and promptly popped it at summer's end.

In July I went to Vegas for Blogfest and the IDEA World fitness convention and visited my sister who lives there.

We took our second annual BlogFest Charlie's Angel pose picture.

In August Russ and I celebrated our 12 year wedding anniversary and our 19 year together-iversary, but who's counting? (oh yeah, I am.)

In September I celebrated my 43rd birthday and finally went stand up paddle boarding! Despite my face, it was really fun!

In October I got LASIK surgery and now I can mostly see (argh).

In November we ran a Thanksgiving Day 5K on the only day it was cold in November.

And I set up a booth at the North Texas Ladies of Real Estate holiday sip & shop event to promote my personal training and running coach services.

In December Ollie looked cool in his shades.

That's it! Thanks for taking the time to share in the highlights of my year. I wish you a merry Christmas and a successful new year!

I am looking forward to some exciting changes and plans coming in 2018! How about you?

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Runner's Fit & Fueled Course

Disclosure: I have been granted access to the Runner's Fit & Fueled course for free in exchange for promotion. I make a small commission for any sales made using my discount code.

“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. ”
When you start thinking about your new Year resolutions, it's a good idea to reflect back on what has worked for you in the past and what has not. I love the above quote from Tony Robbins because a lot of times we keep trying the same old things and are surprised we get the same old results.

Sometimes we need to shake things up. Learn something new. Try something new. That is why I am taking part of the Runner's Fit and Fueled course from my blogging buddy Mommy Runs Fast. It's a month long course where you will learn how to fuel for optimal running performance.

If you want to be a better runner, learning about proper nutrition for runners is a key component.

There's a difference between nutrition for fat loss, nutrition for muscle building and nutrition for running performance. If you want to learn how to get the most of your nutrition to feel and perform your best, this course promises the answers.

I'll be following along in January because as a running coach, nutrition coach and runner I eat this stuff up (pun intended). I am excited to see what this course has to offer.

Want to join me? Use discount code LEAG at checkout for $5 off the course cost which is only $39.00 until December 15th. All the fun begins on January 2nd. See you there!

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature! Scuttle & Scout

Welcome to the latest edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature when I introduce you to the furriest four-legged runners on the internet (and their human). This week I am thrilled for you to meet Gwen and her four-pawed pacers from Fargo, ND, Scuttle & Scout. Sounds like the latest dance craze.

Hi, Gwen. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partners? 

Scuttle is a a four year old lab Rott mix. He is a rescue dog and has been running with me for about two years. Scout is a two year old German Shepherd mix. He has been running with me for about a year he too is a rescue

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch? 

We like to run the paths along the river.

Have you ever raced with your dog?

Scuttle has done several races with me including the Sandy's Donut Run and the Furgo. Scout has only done one 5k with me.

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

I've been a pacer for several years. It makes me so happy to get people across the finish line in their goal time. It is so great to see someone finish their first half...especially when they didn't think they could. 

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

Life is short, make the most out of every day. Let the people you care about know it.

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

Having a dog means you always have a training partner. It's super important to keep an eye on their paws and to make sure they aren't overheating. Dogs will follow you until they are sick or hurt. You need to take care of them.

Thanks Gwen for sharing your running fur babies with us!

You can follow Gwen, Scuttle and Scout on Instagram

A post shared by Gwen Mars (@marsgwen) on

Do you run with your dog? I'd love to feature you and your running partner in a future post! Fill out your answers to the questions here and follow the instructions to submit your images!

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017


One of my pet peeves is the #ladyboss #bossbabe #girlboss trend. I love when women start and run their own businesses, there is just something about the label that makes me cringe. I think it is because of the strong women I know who are actually bosses in successful companies and corporations would never hashtag #girlboss on the outside of their office. It seems to be a term used by wanna-be girl bosses on the internet. Actual successful bosses who happen to also be women are less concerned about labels and hashtags and more concerned about getting shit stuff done. Besides have you ever seen the hashtag #boyboss? I'd rather look up to a woman entrepreneur than a girl boss. Is it just me?

I love meeting kick-ass women entrepreneurs. I get so much inspiration from meeting ladies who run their own businesses on their own terms. Whether they run a part-time business to pay off debt, to make some extra spending money or a full-time business to support a family of six, I always want to learn from the people who are following their dreams, taking risks and making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.

I had the opportunity this week from a connection with an old friend to set up a booth at the NTX ladies of Real Estate Holiday Sip & Shop to promote my personal training and running coaching services. It was a fun experience, a great opportunity to meet other local business owners and get my business name out there.

I had a great time and I wanted to introduce you to some of the amazing women entrepreneurs I met while I was there. There were ladies who ran network marketing businesses, creative businesses, product-based businesses and service businesses. No matter how you choose to inspire the world through your small business, I want to support you. If you don't live near Keller, TX and couldn't attend the event, most of these ladies have websites, Etsy shops and Facebook pages so I invite you to do a little small business shopping online.

Welcome to the North Texas Ladies of Real Estate Sip & Shop Event.

Perfect. Thanks for letting me know.

I set up a little booth to promote my training business. One thing to note is that people don't buy personal training on a whim. Usually by the time someone comes around to hiring a coach or a trainer they likely put a lot of thought and research into it. It's not the kind of thing where you see a booth at a fair and sign up. My presence there was more about meeting people and getting my name out there.

I printed out copies of my Eight Minute No-Excuses No-Equipment Holiday Hustle workout for people to take and try at home. I also had fun fitness questions where people could test their fitness knowledge and win a small prize for correct answers. I gave out some #sweatpink shoe laces and had a great time.

I will say that some people seemed hesitant to even make eye contact with me once they saw what my booth was promoting. Maybe they've seen too many episodes of the Biggest Loser with Jillian Michaels' in-your-face style training. I think next time I need to hang a sign that promises I won't yell at you, send you on a guilt trip or try to convince you to do anything you are not inclined to do. Hah.

I'm here to help and answer questions. My goals is to always meet people where they are and help in whatever way I can. Maybe I can answer a question about health or nutrition or you can subscribe to my fitness blog for free. Nothing scary about that. Right? I promise, no forced burpees.

my "nice lady" face.

I'll start with Leslie and Lisa from Pickled Picasso in Keller, TX. They host painting events where you can get together with friends and actually paint something that doesn't look like your three-year-old did it, even with no prior painting skills. My favorite thing they offer is a paint your pet event the last Sunday of every month from 4-6PM. Who thinks I need to paint Ollie? When I told hubs about the paint your pet event, he thought for a second I meant, paint ON your pet. That wouldn't go over so well with Ollie. Hah.

Lisa is the manager of Pickled Picasso in Keller, TX

Next I met Mary who is the Mother of three boys and looks way too well-put-together for someone with three young boys. I have one boy husband and one boy dog and it is overwhelming. She sells those wildly popular and oh-so-soft leggings (and tons of other clothing) from LuLaRoe.

Leggings for Days!

From a purely observational standpoint, I think Jessica's "The Front Door" booth of creative custom Christmas wreaths was the biggest hit of the night. I didn't get a chance to talk to her much because she was so busy. She is not in the picture because she was in the hallway glueing legs on wreaths and fulfilling orders.

So cute. Right?

I was standing across from Sheila all night as she sold her makeup and skincare lines from Senegence. This girl can sell. She's a beautiful walking billboard with smooth skin to prove it.

My booth neighbors were Jennifer and Melissa. As far as neighbors go, they were top notch! They didn't have loud parties or blow their leaves in my yard.

Jennifer has a cute Minnesota accent and she makes this awesome organic face cleanser and moisturizer. I loved learning a little about her story. You can check it out in her Etsy shop Little Bits for You Shop

Melissa is the designer and artist from Upgraded Life Handmade and has super-human creative talents. 
Yes, please. 

My other booth neighbor was Amber from Pure Romance. She's your go-to-gal for all your sexy and good-smelly (that's a word, right?) holiday gifts. 

I wish I would have had more time to talk to Kristi the jewelry designer behind Kris Cross. Her jewelry was beautiful and would make a great holiday gift. (hint hint to my friends and family)

Andrea from Monat was selling hair care with natural-based ingredients. Due to my current obsession with hair products, I am pretty sure she should be my new best friend. 

We finish off with beautiful pottery and clay art by local artist Kashmira Mistry!

A big thank you to my friend Dee Dee Fletcher Taylor who was the host of the event with NTX Ladies of Real Estate. We worked together at two separate apparel companies in Dallas throughout the years (and both managed to escape). I even adopted her dog many moons ago when she had to find him a new home. We go waaay back. Thanks, DeeDee for the opportunity to meet all these fantastic #girlbosses #womenentrepreneurs.

Thanks to the event's sponsors

Corin Insurance - Katie Sanford along with Amanda Beat
Bayshore Mortgage - Cynthia Cortopassi Porter
Freedom Title - Amy Hamilton and Tiffany Williams Thompson
Berkshire Hathaway Worldwide - DeeDee Fletcher Taylor

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