Fueling for Long Runs + St Jude

Ok, this is my last post on the St Jude yoga fundraiser, I SWEAR! And it’s only to talk about how much of a success it was! I’ve never organized or put on an event like this before, so I had no idea what to expect. The amount of people that came out and donated totally blew me away – 36 people showed up, and over $400 was donated to St Jude!! 

St Jude yoga fundraiser Land Grant

We all squeezed into the brewery, and I led a 45 minute vinyasa flow. People that had never done yoga before showed up and did amazing! And the support from my friends.. no words.. The entire event just filled my heart up. This was such an important event to me, and I could not have done it without the support of strangers, friends, New friends, & family.

Yoga St Jude Yoga Fundraiser

So thank you, thank you, to everyone who has supported St Jude… These children need all the help they can get after being diagnosed with cancer, and your donations help make the journey to recovery much less stressful.

If you would still like to donate, you still have time – a few days left to raise the last $600. And did I mention I’ll be matching every single donation that comes in?? So really, only $300 more!  Every dollar is appreciated!

You can donate to St Jude here 🙂

Ok. So just to give everyone a recap of what’s been happening in my life:
– New part time job (in addition to my full time AND teaching yoga) – and I don’t even really consider it a job, because it’s fun!
– Planning/packing for my NYC & Florida trip in 2 weeks!
– Teaching an arm balance workshop next Sunday
-I’ve cut my runs down to spare the tendinitis in my foot. So 3 runs a week instead of 4, and doing acupuncture 1x week, cryotherapy after my long runs, Rolfing, and Active Release Therapy. (let’s just say i’m taking a hiatus from running after this half marathon for awhile…) But, so far, so good! I am going for a 14 mile run on Saturday before I begin to taper… the race is 2 weeks away!!

Old woman running

Sometimes I feel like an old woman with my running injuries

I’ve been experimenting with fuel for my long runs, and I think I’ve figured out exactly what I need:

  • Oatmeal + banana + protein bar 2 hours before run
  • 1 gu w/caffeine 5 minutes before run
  • jelly beans/sports chews every few miles
  • 1 Gu + 1/2 banana at mile 5/6 AND mile 9/10 (I mix together beforehand & put in ziplock bags or reusable food pouches)
  • Taking sips of electrolyte water from my 12 oz handheld water bottle  every once in awhile (I grab plain water along the route when I eat my gus).. BTW – just bought this, and I don’t know how I lived without it before!!!

My metabolism is fast and I burn through food really, really quickly. I joke that I need to run with a burrito in my back pocket to eat halfway through my runs.

hamster burrito

Yes, this is a hamster eating a tiny burrito

Side note – I found out about Enduropacks online and it has been AMAZING for electrolyte replacement during my long runs. I struggle with that anytime I workout, so about 5-10 sprays in my water helps keep my levels balanced (the spray lasts a long time!). And no, I didn’t get paid or get anything free to write this… just another runner sharing tips that have helped me! 🙂

So what does everyone else take with them on long runs? Any tips on what to drink, eat, do, or NOT do?? 

Have you ever ran a race for charity? If so, what charity did you support & why? I’d love to hear your experience!

Arm Balance Workshop


As promised, I have been working on putting on more inversion workshops for all you wonderful Yogis!

Sunday, March 13th @ 1pm – Learn the basics of Crow & Arm Balances!

Columbus Yoga Arm Balance Workshop

This workshop is perfect for anyone, whether you can do an arm balance or not. It’s all about breaking down the poses so they are easier (and less scary!) to get into 🙂

Check out the schedule & sign up here: Melt Hot Yoga Fitness in Westerville
Or the mind-body app on your phone

If arm balances aren’t your thing, don’t worry – I teach 2 different classes on Sunday mornings:

8 am: Melt Hot Power Vinyasa
This class brings together the strength challenge of holding postures for 5 breaths with the cardio challenge of flowing in between asanas. Practitioners should have a basic understanding of fundamental yoga postures, vinyasa style yoga and the unique style of Melt Hot Yoga.

9:30 am: Melt Hot Vinyasa Yoga 1
This is a great place to Learn the fundamentals of yoga postures and flowing in a vinyasa style, one breath, one movement.Taught to super chill tunes in a room heated to 99 degrees and 50 % humidity.  This class is great for both beginners and advanced students wishing to deepen their understanding of vinyasa style yoga and to grow their understanding of the various asanas( poses) as well as learn the unique style of Melt Hot Yoga.

 Remember, first timers can take their first yoga or fitness class for free!

See you all at Melt <3

Yoga for St Jude


With 1 month away from my half marathon in NYC, I have been working hard on putting together an event to raise money for St Jude. So far, I am only about halfway to my first goal of raising $1500 for the children of St Jude ($2500 being my stretch goal!).

Luckily, Land Grant Brewing in Columbus, Ohio has joined forces with me to help! For those of you in Columbus, Ohio – mark Saturday, February 27th on your calendars! I will be teaching a 45 minute donation-based yoga class at the brewery beginning at 11 am. Following the class, $1 from every beer purchased will be donated to St Jude!

You can sign up on the Facebook page here – please arrive at 10:30 to fill out a waiver & secure a good spot to practice in the brewery!

For anyone not in Columbus, please consider donating to the children of St Jude. They are cheated of their childhood by having to battle cancer, and every child deserves to be stress free!  St Jude takes care of every expense for the child AND their family, including treatment, lodging, flights, etc. St Jude is such an amazing organization, not just for taking care of children with cancer, but also researching/finding cures for cancers.

You can learn more about St Jude here!
You can donate to St Jude here – even if it’s $1, every penny counts!!

Thank you all for your support <3

Yoga For St Jude Nina Elise Yoga

Weekend Update: Aerial Yoga, Acupuncture, Cryotherapy & More!

It’s been a while since I last posted, and a LOT has happened! After coming back from California, I had a sinus infection that lasted over 2 weeks! Between being sick and taking the last 2 weeks off from running (WHAT?!), I found other ways to fill my time that were less stressful (I can’t NOT be productive, it’s just not in my blood to be ;)).

So to start off – I have peroneal tenonitis. I don’t know how, and the only thing I can think that could have caused this is 1) my shoes, and 2) upping my mileage too quickly. I ran 9 miles the weekend I got back from San Francisco, and the next day I my foot started to bother me while teaching 2 yoga classes in the morning, and a 2-hour handstand workshop in the afternoon. By the end of the day, I couldn’t even put weight on my foot. It literally came out of nowhere! So, with less than 1.5 months before my half marathon, I couldn’t walk, and had no idea why. Cue panic.


Take me back to running in Sunny SF!

So what did I do? Research like crazy, begin LOTS of stretching and rehabilitation, and stopped running immediately. The peroneals are actually these skinny tendons that run up the outside of your calf. The tendons connect to a bone on the outside of your foot, which is exactly where I had my pain. Most people have pain around their ankles, but mine was closer to where the tendon attaches. [Tendonitis generally occurs due to weak/tight calf muscles, running too many miles too soon, running a lot of hills/uneven terrain, or bad tennis shoes.]

Thinking I wasn’t going to be able to run in the NYC Half marathon, I tried several different methods to try to heal up my foot as quickly as possible:

  1. Stop running & stretch the peroneals, using a lacross ball to loosen up the calf/legs (so.painful.)
  2. Do Cryotherapy (Basically standing in a freezer that’s NEGATIVE 170 degrees for 3 minutes). Some of the benefits of cold therapy are increased muscle recovery, increased energy, and reducing inflammation.

ohio cryotherapy (2)

After stripping down to my underwear and putting on 2 pairs of gloves & socks, I got to hang out in a freezer for 3 minutes. Definitely not the most enjoyable experience, but a ton of athletes use it, so I was down to try anything to help my foot!

ohio cryotherapy gahanna

Freezing my buns off

3. Acupuncture: I’ve done this before, but with no results. However, I found someone who does more of dry-needling – a liiiitle more intense, where the needle goes deeper into the muscle to release myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues. Definitely painful. Definitely worth it. After just 2 sessions, I’ve noticed relief in the tightness of my tendon, IT band pain on my left knee gone, AND increased energy (bonus!). I go for my 3rd session tomorrow morning, and I’ll be continuing this a few times a month (or at least until my race is over!). Thanks to Jess who blogged about her acupuncture… so glad I gave it another try!

4. Rolfing: Treatment is described as a “holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organize(s) the whole body in gravity.” (Wiki) I did this about 1 year ago – you can read about it here and here and here – but decided I needed a refresher. My hips have been super tight and out of whack since august, and no amount of stretching or chiropractic adjustments have been able to help. My first appointment consisted of working on the feet & lower legs – breaking up scar tissue & working with the soft tissue. Def not a pleasant experience, but I’m really hoping that these sessions will be able to bring relief for this tendinitis, as well as help my hips/lower back. More to come on this!

5. Sports Doctor – I had x-rays done, just to be sure nothing was broken. My dr gave me a brace & an anti-inflammatory, and said to just continue with cross training. I also didn’t need physical therapy, and I should be fine (my foot was starting to feel better after ~ 1 week). So Good News!!

In my time off, I did cross training like cycling & surreal stride to keep up with leg strength & cardio. I also decided to try Aerial Yoga – this requires a bit of thinking, as you have to figure out what part of your body is in the hanging silks when you are moving around… but it was a lot of fun!

Nina Elise aerial yoga

Upon walking into the room, there are special-cut yoga mats on the ground with silks hanging from the ceiling.

Yoga on high ariel yoga

The best part was Savasana – the instructor gave you a little swing – wrapped up in your silk – and it felt like you were hanging over a lake in the mountains. It was so peaceful!

nina elise yoga on high aeriel yoga

So after all this madness, and after all these different treatments for my tendinitis, I finally began running again – 2 miles this past Saturday, and 3 on Monday. I only had a bit of uncomfortable feeling the first mile or so, but after that, my foot felt fine. So fingers crossed I can finish training & run the half marathon in NYC!

Regardless, the main reason for doing this race is to raise money for St Jude – so I will still be making the trip out there, and plan on hitting my goal of raising $1,500! (You can donate here :)) Also – I’m putting on a Yoga charity event – I’ll be posting more details soon, but you can sign up here! It’s a donation-based yoga class at a brewery.. can’t go wrong with that 😉

What has everyone else been up to? Have you ever tried acupuncture, rolfing, or cryotherapy?

Flotation Therapy + Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind – between running 17+ miles for my half marathon training, I picked up another yoga class to teach on Sunday, booked my flights for March (Florida & NYC!!!), had a long-overdue christmas party at my apt with my family, tried flotation therapy, and became a wine & cheese expert. Don’t worry, I got some sleep in there!

First off – Family came over to celebrate a late Christmas since my Sister and her husband were in town. Insert: pizza, lots of wine, more wine, presents, drunk baking and opening presents! It’s always fun when my mom and all of my siblings get together – we are all goofballs.


Saturday I ran 5 miles with my MIT group – and met a few new friends in the 9:15 pace group. I am seriously loving training so far! Slowing down my pace while training has made running so.much.more.enjoyable. I don’t mind running the miles, and the speedwork on Wednesday’s is so much fun! Big shout out to Nikki for inspiring me to join 🙂


Early Afternoon run in the rain!

(Side note – if you would like to support my run by donating to St Jude, you can find my fund page here. Every cent helps, and your support is so much appreciated!!)

After my run, I went home and showered before heading to Whole Foods with my cousin. She had some amazing blueberry wine, and we decided to build a cheese board and make an afternoon out of it!

Cheese and wine

After chatting with the Whole Foods cheese dept, we bought a bunch of different cheeses and curated an amazing cheese board to go with the wine – I was in a food coma for basically the rest of the night!

Cheese Plate

Yes, that is all amazing cheese-that slice in the middle that looks like cake? Yep -baked lemon ricotta cheese that is literally life changing.

After going to bed at 9:30 Saturday (I am such a grandma on the weekends these days!), I taught my first back-to-back yoga class Sunday morning – and can you believe it, my 8 am class was still BOOKED (over 40 people!), while the added 9:30 class only had about 20 people. (Personally, I would have slept in for an extra 1.5 hours ;))

I loved teaching both classes – the energy is so different based on the size – bigger is more fun, more laughs, and much, much less space. A smaller class is a little less loud, but I can give more one-on-one attention, which I love! Teaching yoga has been such a (wonderful) surprise for me – I never in a million years thought I would teach again (I taught gymnastics in college, but that’s very, very different!). It’s taught me to face a lot of fears, and while I still get nervous teaching my classes, it has helped me grow, be more creative, and get out of my comfort zone 🙂

After my second class, I rushed over to try Flotation Therapy – which is basically floating in a salt-water filled tank in complete darkness & silence for an hour. I know what you are thinking… WHY?! For a few reasons – It’s a form of meditation, for one. It’s great for relaxation & reducing stress, and increases healing time for any type of injury (seriously wish I knew about this post-ACL surgery!)… I also bought a groupon, which means it was half the cost of a normal session. You can read more about the benefits here.

Float Therapy2

Hallway to the Float rooms

Float Therapy 1

Post-Float area with hair dryers, lotion, etc.

You need to arrive 30 minutes before the appointment to sign a waiver, watch a short video, then are given a tour of the treatment area.

Float Spa

After showering, you put in ear plugs and enter the tank. It’s a really weird feeling, because you are literally floating on water without being held up by anything (in 10 inches of water). BTW – that pod is actually HUGE in person – There was room for 2-3 of me!

Float Therapy 2

After my 1-hour session, I felt a little off-kilter once I stepped out of the pod to shower – kind of like stepping off of an elevator, but it lasted for 5-10 minutes. After that, I felt fine and relaxed. Followed up with 15 minutes of oxygen therapy & tea, I felt like I could nap for hours!

It’s actually pretty pricey – $80/session – or $300 for 3-6 months, or something like that. I kind of wish groupon offered a package deal of 3-6 sessions, as you are supposed to notice the difference after 3+ floats. I am going to see how I feel in the next few days, and MAYBE go again (If I win the lottery and have a ton of extra money to spend on floating in salt water ;)).

So that’s been my past week – this week, I need to begin packing for my weekend in San  Francisco! Packing for 2 days of nothing but yoga workshops at the Yoga Journal Event, plus 3+ days to explore the city.

So what’s everyone else been up to? What’s your favorite cheese/wine pairing? And have you ever tried flotation therapy?



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