Jul 07

FitBloggin’ Conference – In All Honesty


In all honesty…

It shouldn’t have been so damn hard to get to the fitness/blog conference (FitBloggin’) in Savannah from Connecticut, but it was.  After hoping a puddle jumper to DC, I sat there, delayed for an hour before getting on another puddle jumper, where we were told the following:

What the pilot said:  “This aircraft is restricted to flying with the landing gear down so we’re waiting on a new flight plan.”

What I heard: “This plane has malfunctioning landing gear, is old, crappy and we may not make it to Savannah alive.”

There were several additional issues with the plane (obviously since it’s not safe for flight!) and two hours later we were in a different terminal, on another plane, and finally arrived in Savannah about 9 hours after I left CT.  Did I mention how much I hate to fly?  This was not a good start.

The actual text messages I was sending to my husband who was trying to talk me off the ledge...

The actual text messages I was sending to my husband who was trying to talk me off the ledge… This is pretty much the only one I can post without A. being reported for foul language and          B. Sounding more like a complete lunatic.


In all honesty…

I couldn’t have been more excited to see my blog friends and do shots:



Ok, so they were not shots but samples of fruity, slushy drinks we were trying out.  It was still so much fun to see Nellie (Brooklyn Active Mama), Cassandra (Losing It In The City), and Kimberly (Manifest Yourself) even though they had to walk me home early so I could get plenty of sleep before my 5am wake-up call for Boot Camp!

In all honesty…

Erin’s (Dig Deep Play Hard) Boot Camp was the best class I went to at the conference. It was everything I love in a workout – challenging, disgustingly sweaty, outdoors, original and moving every muscle.  Huge props to Erin, who had her husband helping out while also watching her infant daughter, who she brought to the conference.  Can you say “SHERO?” Yep.


I know it looks like we’re in a ghetto, but it was actually a gorgeous park right down the street from the host hotel. PHOTO CREDIT: Carrie D. Photography


Of course we became fast friends (pun intended) and went for a sweaty, sweltering run the following afternoon. It was great.


In all honesty…

I would not have made it through the conference without Melissa Burton from the ValentineRD.  She was my marketing manager, calmer of fears, planner of meals and point person for the who-is-who of fitness conferencing.  Melissa, you know I love you and I could not have made it through the conference or my Ignite speech without you.  I also wouldn’t have gotten so much loot and eaten so well.  You are an angel from heaven…or um, Brooklyn. I cannot wait to see you again!

Me and my girl. If I look nauseous, it's because this was taken moments before my Ignite speech. Yikes!

Me and my girl. If I look nauseous, it’s because this was taken moments before my Ignite speech. Yikes!


Get 'em while they're hot!  VEGA bars!  Fuel is delicious and nutritious.

Get ’em while they’re hot! VEGA bars! Fuel is delicious and nutritious.


My favorite things - food and much deserved adult beverages.  Ahhhh.

My favorite things – food and much deserved adult beverages. Ahhhh.


In all honesty…

I was scared shitless to give my Ignite speech about my journey from small town duathlon race, to Spain for the World Championship.  Alcohol, lots of rehearsing and the sheer support from all the attendees at the conference, led me to actually being calm during my delivery and excited to share my story.  It was awesome. I’m hoping to have an the whole thing on good quality video at some point (I know you’re all just dying to see the whole thing) but right now, this is all I got.  You know who to thank too – Melissa!


In all honesty…

I loved meeting celebrities at FitBloggin’.  When I found out that Arian Foster was going to be there, I freaked!  For those of you who don’t know, he’s an all-pro running back for the Houston Texans.  I did not mention I am a Green Bay fan.  That would have just been rude.  Instead I took a selfie with him.  And so did everyone else there.  Seriously.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carrie D. Photography

PHOTO CREDIT: Carrie D. Photography

Why was he there? Good question.  He’s invested in an amazingly delicious company called Health Warrior who make (among other things) Chia Bars. Love.  A lot more about them in upcoming posts…

And then this guy showed up for a morning run on Sunday…

Jeff Galloway. The man. The myth. The walker through water station God of running.

Jeff Galloway. The man. The myth. The walker through water station God of running.

I can (in all honesty) say that Jeff and his wife were two of the nicest people ever.  If he’s tired of meeting and energizing new runners, he didn’t seem it.  Also, in case you’re interested, he had black coffee, eggs and lots of fruit for breakfast.  If I were you, I would have what he’s having.

In all honesty…

You must read these blogs.  After meeting these women in person, I couldn’t wait to read what they wrote on their blogs and how they inspired their readers. I wasn’t disappointed.  If you haven’t checked them out – just do it!

Jesica – rUnladylike  (She runs for Brooks and we don’t. ’nuff said.)

Sarah –  RunFarGirl  (you won’t believe what happened to her at the conference!)

Melissa – MelissaRunningIt (she showed me how to take a better selfie…and where the milk for my coffee was. Genius!)

Danielle – T Rex Runner (You know you want to know why she calls herself that.  I dare you not to find out!)

Lauren – Breathe Deeply and Smile  (I only met her briefly, but it was on a 6 miler.  She had already done 6 alone before it.  READ!)

Selfie with Jes of rUnladylike - on a HUGE bridge, for a 6 miler on our last day in Savannah.

Selfie with Jes of rUnladylike – on a HUGE bridge, for a 6 miler on our last day in Savannah.

Action shot! Coming down the home stretch from that 6 miler.

Action shot! Coming down the home stretch from that 6 miler. From left – Jesica, Me, Lauren and Sarah.                                  PHOTO CREDIT: Carrie D. Photography


In all honesty…

I could go on and on and on about the conference but I think this is enough for one day.  I’m completely aware that I didn’t even touch on the classes and presenters.  I’m saving it (like a decedent piece of dark chocolate) for another post.  I will say that the conference had me spinning.  This was my very first blogging event and it ran the gamut from amazingly engaging and interesting, to completely and utterly overwhelming and unexpected.

On my last day, I was able to find some quiet time for a leisurely stroll down a perfectly named street:



And I’m happy to report that I had a very uneventful trip home and, upon arrival, I was tackled with hugs and kisses. It’s always good to come home…

Finish my sentence – In all honesty…

Have you been to a work conference lately? What takeaways did you have?

Have you ever been to Savannah?  What was your favorite food?



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  1. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    Looks like you had a blast! And you should have called me while you were waiting in DC!!! Now you know that if you say DC and you were here and didn’t get in touch, I will be pissed 🙂 And I love Health Warrior Chia bars! I have a ton of them in my pantry! One of my on the go, go-to snacks!!

    1. vita88

      Ha ha – love that! If I got stuck there, you would have been the FIRST person I called. I could’ve used a good run right about then! Thanks Sue 🙂

  2. Tara Newman

    In all honestly, I need to go next year!!! Everyone had such a great time and I saw exactly what happened to Sarah! Amazeballs x 10!
    Tara Newman recently posted…What Missing A Goal Has Taught MeMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You must! Denver here we come!!
      So cool about Sarah, right? Couldn’t have happened to a sweeter person.

  3. Crabby McSlacker

    That “what I heard” bit about the airplane totally cracked me up, because I’m exactly the same way! I am always sure whenever there’s a bump or a strange noise that I’m the only one in the plane who realizes we’re all about to plunge from the sky in a giant fireball.

    It was great getting to meet you at Fitbloggin, as you are so awesome and inspiring!
    Crabby McSlacker recently posted…Does Watching TV Give You Cancer?My Profile

    1. vita88

      So glad to see you here!! And thank you for making me feel a little less crazy. I will make a note that we should probably never fly together!! :-))

  4. emma @ be mom strong

    So glad you had fun! Would love to go one day! Unfortunately, I have taken a “don’t feel like keeping up a blog” hiatus at the moment (I blame the pregnancy). So, we will see how long that lasts!
    emma @ be mom strong recently posted…Full-length Cardio Video LeakMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I’ve noticed and I miss you, but I totally get it. The great thing about FitBloggin’ is that everyone is welcome – no matter your level of fitness, where you are in your journey and not even when you did your last blog post. It’s worth it just for the fun and food alone 🙂

  5. thedoseofreality

    LOVED the text exchange with Mike…that is some seriously awesome supportiveness right there…now it can land anywhere! LOVE it. Am so proud of you for not only getting yourself there but then ROCKING your speech!! Truly, Allie, you are an inspiration!! :)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…Comment on Would You Rather: Give Up TV Or Books? by vitatrain4lifeMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Ashley!! I think my husband was just so glad he wasn’t on that plane with me 🙂 He is great about talking me down though. Thank God he was available!!!

  6. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    In all honesty…I’m bummed I missed it all! Looks so fun. And Sarah…so awesome what her hubby did!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Target® C9 Activewear ReviewMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Me too!! We need to meet (and run together) one of these days!!

  7. Alison

    I’m glad that your first blogging conference was so awesome!
    In all honesty, I can’t wait to give birth to these kids already. They’re fighting in my womb, not even kidding.
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #27: MessMy Profile

    1. vita88

      If anyone knows what that feels like, it’s me. Hang in there. It’s ALL worth it…even when they start fighting outside the womb 🙂

  8. Tina Muir

    I would say that was worth the 9 hour delay? You had a fantastic weekend, and got to meet some great bloggers, I am very jealous! 🙂 Hopefully someday our paths can cross at one of these events! You made it, and had some experiences you will remember for life….oh, and a plane will always seem much quieter after that experience now 🙂

    In all honesty…..I hope I can find a job soon!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Meatless Monday: Strawberries and Cream Protein BarsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Tina! I truly hope to meet you someday – that would be amazing.
      I’m sure you will find a great job. Any company would be LUCKY to have you!

  9. Janine Huldie

    Aww, yay to the fact that you made it there after the plane troubles at the beginning, for the shots, for the rocking speech and just for an overall awesome experience!! 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…In My Life – 4th of July & 90th Birthday Celebration, Too!My Profile

    1. vita88

      It really was so great. Not to mention staying in a hotel, alone, for four days. It was like a constant yoga class 🙂

  10. Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama

    oh man I still can’t believe that man had the patience to take a selfie (which is a super personal thing) with like 200 fitbloggers! That is commitment!! You rocked your ignite speech so hard—what nerves? And as expected everyone was super impressed and wanted to be your friend and I’m all like I knew her first she’s mine! Okay okay that was my inner only child talking, but I knew once those folks saw all of your amazing they would be on you like white on rice, and deservedly so! Can’t wait for your other recaps, mine are long and intense because I had to get it out of my brain!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…July 4th BBQ, First Experience with Chucky Cheese & 10K TrainingMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I am laughing!!! You are all kinds of awesomeness and I feel the same fierce want-you-all-to-myself about YOU. It was so great having you in the crowd, knowing you were one of my biggest supporters and loudest cheerleaders! Honestly, it was so fun hanging out and seeing you everyday for four days. Love, love, love!

  11. Amanda - RunToTheFinish

    awww this was sweet…well terrifying at first, but then sweet. i’m still sad my schedule didn’t end up working out I would loved to have met you.

    In all honesty…I need to stop complaining about living in florida. Yup that’s my big heart to heart talk with myself today!
    Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted…How to pick a marathon training planMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I was upset not to see you there too – I was definitely looking forward to meeting you! Oh well, at some point I’m sure our paths will cross. And, I kind of don’t blame you for complaining…at least in the summer. I did a run in 75 degrees with like 70% humidity this morning and wanted to throw-up. I don’t know how you ladies do it but I’m in awe!!!

  12. Carly @ Fine Fit Day

    I’m going next year!!! So sad I missed all this amazing fun. Also, I love Jesica’s blog – so cool you got to meet her! And Jeff Galloway, OMG. So amazing.
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…Running Tips – Using Walk Breaks to Run FasterMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Of course you already know of Jesica – you’re awesome like that. Meeting Jeff was really very cool. I never thought I would have an opportunity like that and I tried not to geek out, but I think I failed. 🙂

    2. Jesica @rUnladylike

      Awe, thanks for the super sweet words Carly! Hope to meet and run with you some day! xoxo
      Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted…2014 Mid-Year Goal Check-InMy Profile

  13. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Awesome! I was hoping you’d have a video of your ignite speech- that was one of my favorite parts from Fitbloggin two years ago!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…A shoulder workout + non maternity clothes I’ve used in pregnancyMy Profile

    1. vita88

      All the Ignite speeches were awesome and I will be talking about them more in future posts. I can see why it would be your favorite part. I hope you think about going back someday…next year it’s in Denver 🙂

  14. Yum Yucky

    Damn, girl. Your shoulders a like, PADDOWWW!!!!!
    My owns shoulders want to be yours went they grow up.
    Yum Yucky recently posted…Yum Yucky Style FilesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Come to FitBloggin’ next year and we will get ON IT!!!

  15. Kimberly {Manifest Yourself}

    In all honesty… I am so grateful for getting to spend more time with you and getting to hear you ROCK the ignite… because I hired a coach to help me start my bikini comp journey! Ahhhhh! You got me so pumped, so now its like really really official! I can’t even believe it. My goal is to have shoulders like yours so we can take a lean n mean selfie together next time I see you. xo
    Kimberly {Manifest Yourself} recently posted…WIN 25K for your cause with TurbanaMy Profile

    1. vita88

      DEAL!!! You know how I feel about you and I couldn’t be more exited for your next big goal!!! Congrats on hiring a coach – that is a VERY smart move. You GO!

  16. Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat

    Looks like a fabulous conference! I love Savannah! When we went, we ate at Paula Deen’s restaurant, and the okra & tomatoes, oh, I will never forget those 🙂

  17. Britt@MyOwnBalance

    I’m so glad you had a great time at the conference! I really wish I could have gone! I’m so glad your Ignite Speech went well! I’m sure everyone enjoyed it! Melissa is always so calm and I can imagine she is the perfect person for organizing things! I had no idea Savannah was so hard to get to! Flying is the worst!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Joyful JulyMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I so wish you could have been there – it would have made the experience complete 🙂
      Flying is absolutely the worst. When are they inventing teleportation?

  18. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?!

    Love your recap about the experience! I am really interested in going sometime – couldn’t swing it this year but it would be great sometime in the future!
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! recently posted…Apera Bag Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      It’s really a great event. Next year is in Denver :-)!!!

  19. Melissa Burton

    My beautiful soul sistah, you flatter me beyond belief. It was so good to spend time together at FitBloggin’. Also thrilled that even more people have gotten to discover the gem that is YOU!

    I wish we lived closer to one another so that we could hang out more often bit this blogger thing works pretty well. Thank you for continuing to inspire me, make me laugh my ass off, feel things more deeply, dual quake at the thought of getting on a plane and not be afraid to show my parenting foibles.

    I look forward to future of our friendship and can’t wait to see what you choose to tackle next because going along the ride with you is going to be a blast!

    Melissa Burton recently posted…A Life Changing 10K With Jeff GallowayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You continue to amaze me with your words my friend! Yes, this blogging friendship is working out just fine, and the one thing we should NEVER do is get on a plane together!!! 🙂

  20. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    This may be something I try to get to next time they have it… it would be worth it just to meet other bloggers!
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Family Fun TimesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      100% yes! If nothing else, I met so many great ones. Next year it’s in Denver…

  21. Tamara

    Well you know I was at BlogU recently! It totally had me spinning.
    And I’ve been to Savannah but only once. It was a 5:00 stopover on a trip to Key West and it was magical. I’ll never forget it. It was January too, so quite different from what you experienced.
    Loved hearing your familiar voice in your speech!
    Tamara recently posted…One Small Voice.My Profile

    1. vita88

      Aw Tamara that is so sweet! I can only imagine how you could capture Savannah on film – and in January no less. We’ll have to compare stories when we get together next 🙂 xoxo

  22. Sarah @RunFarGirl

    I had no idea that happened to you on the way to FitBloggin?! I flew out of Boston and we were delayed for two hours leavening. It’s the worst feeling when you set everyone up at home and then head on your merry little way only to have your travel plans all messed up! And thanks so much for the mention! So sweet of you:) It was really great to meet you and I really hope we can connect at a race sometime soon!
    Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted…Peanut Butter and Jelly Popsicles–Summer Fun with StonyfieldMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Air travel is very frustrating these days! I’m just happy none of that happened when we had the whole family traveling to Europe and back.
      It was so great meeting you and I’m sure we’ll connect at a race someday… 🙂

  23. Kim

    I’ve been wondering how your presentation and time at Fitbloggin’ was – so glad to hear about part of it. I’m sad that I couldn’t go and meet you and others – one day!!!
    Kim recently posted…Is it Possible to go from Loving Heat to Being Heat Intolerant?My Profile

    1. vita88

      Next June it’s in Denver, Kim! Maybe you can pencil it in? 🙂

  24. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    Can I just say how I love hearing your voice? Isn’t it funny how you can make-up a voice in your head for your favorite bloggers and so nice to hear the real thing!! I would have been terrified on the plane too! But glad that you made it there safely and had such a wonderful time. Hopefully next year!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Ask a Yogini: What is Drishti?My Profile

    1. vita88

      That’s so sweet Christine and YES, I totally get that. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard yours!? There should be a vlog in your future!

  25. Carla

    Ugh! Planes! Although they don’t bother me as much as they do you. The only thing that bothers me is when larger people think they can spill over into my seat since I don’t take up my entire seat. Sorry, no I paid for that and I worked my rear off to make sure the seat was nice and roomy for me.

    Anywho…I can’t wait to hear more about everything. I’m checking out your suggestions. And I hope you go to Denver next year. I almost have the hubs talked into it. We’ll see what happens three months out though.
    Carla recently posted…Sauteed Shrimp and ZoodlesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go next year either but it would be GREAT to meet you!!

  26. jill conyers

    I should have been there to meet you! Next year my friend 🙂

    The plane thing would have freaked me out too.
    jill conyers recently posted…Make the Most of This One DayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Next year for sure!! Thanks Jill 🙂

  27. Bari

    I LOVED your Ignite talk! Whatever you had working for you to make you calm, keep doing it. 🙂

    I hate planes too and ended up stuck in Chicago for 30 min on the tarmack waiting to take off for Savannah because of weather (in an area that WASN’T Chicago which is even more annoying). I’m so glad it wasn’t worse cuz I was already flipping out.
    Bari recently posted…Training Tuesday: Detroit Marathon week 7My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
      Flights are the worst. It seems the older I get, the worse it is!

  28. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

    I have been to Savannah and I loved it there. I wish I could have heard you speak!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Farmer’s Market Delight: Garlic Scape, Basil and Almond PestoMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I do too!! It would have been so great to have you there. Someday…

  29. Danielle

    It was SO wonderful to meet you! I love your energy and spunk, and your Ignite presentation rocked! I’m so glad I stayed to see it. I love reading about your racing adventures and I can’t wait to follow along and see you again next year in DENVER!
    Danielle recently posted…My Strange Running PhobiasMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Right back at ya!! I cannot believe you got engaged like the next day after I met you! So crazy. CONGRATS! And thank you so much for staying for my speech. I love when you said you if I had a total meltdown, you wanted to witness it – HA!!!

  30. Jesica @rUnladylike

    I LOVED reading this recap and reliving the fun moments from the weekend. In all honesty …. one of the highlights for me was meeting you 🙂 It was awesome to do squat high fives and run with you in Savannah, full sweat and all 🙂 Thanks for including me in your list of bloggers! You are the best and I’m already looking forward to our next meet up! Let me know when you’re ready to run your next marathon and I’ll try to run in your dust! xoxoxoxoxo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted…2014 Mid-Year Goal Check-InMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I so wish I was running Chicago with you this year!!! Maybe we can find a Spring marathon to race?? That would be THE BEST! Thanks so much Jesica – it was truly great meeting you.

  31. Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady

    Enjoyed reading this! Felt like I should have spent a tad bit more time with you. What an event! Super happy to have been in the room to cheer you on for your speech. It was amazing, as is all your hard core fitness endeavors and accounts of them on this blog. So awesome seeing you!
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted…Go Where the Fire is, NOT Where You Wish it Would BeMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Oh Joi, I absolutely LOVED having the chance to meet you and I so wish we had spent more time together. That’s just being greedy but whatever. Maybe next year you can do a Body Combat session??? Now THAT would be something to write about!!

  32. Lauren

    Just saw your post tweet and read it and literally squealed when I saw you gave me a shoutout! I definitely would love to get to know you better and then we can hang out in Denver! I loved your Ignite talk and thought you did a great job! Good recap-it’s hard to squeeze everything into one post or even collect all your thoughts about the weekend.

    1. vita88

      You are the sweetest!! I’m so glad. I really love reading your blog and it was great meeting you for a few minutes after that run 🙂
      It’s SOOO hard to do these recaps since so much happened! I could write an entire post about just being in my room alone, watching the cargo ships go by! It was a great trip…

  33. Stephanie Sullivan

    Hello Vita! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m on a quest to lose 160 pounds, and being able to read everyone’s recaps of FitBloggin ’14 has been SO inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

    1. vita88

      I’m so glad! You should consider going (if you can) next year. It’s a perfect conference for someone trying to lose weight – tons of support there!!

  34. Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness

    First I want to thank you for being my guest post today! About the plane, not even an extra Xanax could have calmed my nerves! Kudos for continuing on your journey! This post only fuels my excitement to go next year. Thanks for the recap!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Fitness Do’s & Don’ts – Guest PostMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Absolutely!!! I really hope we both make it next year so we can finally meet!!

  35. Holly

    AH, I loved watching your video! Also I used to run with Lauren (she was in my running group) in baltimore when I used to live there. SO COOL that you all met! It looks like you had a lot of fun, maybe i’ll have to look into attending one of these next year 🙂
    Holly recently posted…11 weeks until Marine Corps MarathonMy Profile

    1. vita88

      OMG that is so cool! I only met Lauren on the last day for the last run and I wish I had met her sooner. You should definitely look into going to a conference. This one will be in Denver in June in 2015!

      1. Holly

        The conference looked like a lot of fun and after reading a lot of reviews from various bloggers it was a really cool experience. I’m going to keep my eye out for the exact June dates in Denver it would be cool to meet you or maybe I’ll find a race up north before then 🙂
        Holly recently posted…11 weeks until Marine Corps MarathonMy Profile

        1. vita88

          It would be GREAT! I would especially love to do a race with you. Keep searching!!

  1. In all honesty... - Manifest Yourself

    […] title and theme of this post was snatched from my new blogger/IRL bff, Allie from Vita Train For Life. After reading her recap of the FitBloggin Conference, this seemed like the perfect way to talk […]

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