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October 7, 2014

Life Meets #Lumia: Monica Olivas

Monica Olivas was about 18 when she started walking to shed some extra weight. Then she got bored and started running.

She took to the endurance sport like a duck to water, and over the years, the Southern California resident lost 20 pounds and completed dozens of marathons and half-marathons.

Monica also began chronicling her races, healthy recipes and more with her blog, RunEatRepeat … and her fun and personable posts gradually gained a dedicated audience. She now has more than 21,500 followers on Twitter, about 14,500 on Pinterest, and more than 8,000 on Facebook.

Now a full-time blogger and certified running coach, 30-year-old Monica uses her Lumia 1020 to help share her running adventures, motivational tips and meals (and the occasional celebratory dessert) with her audience.

Photos and Social Media

The Lumia 1020’s 41-megapixel camera sensor with ZEISS optics and optical image stabilization is absolutely essential, she said. Monica loves that she can just point and shoot to create clear and captivating images for her blog and social-media pages.


“Blogging is such a visual medium,” Monica said. “I am not a good photographer at all, so I just use ‘auto’.

“Before, I’d have to have a DSLR camera to take these kinds of pictures. Now, I just use my phone.”

If she wants to edit her photos before sharing them, she turns most often to PicsArt, a free Windows Phone 8 image-editing app.

Another app she relies on is OneNote. When you’re a distance runner like Monica, you have time on those 15-mile runs to ruminate about everything from that morning’s breakfast to a work project’s looming deadline.


So when an idea or thought strikes her that she doesn’t want to forget, Monica momentarily pauses and fires up OneNote to record it.

“I’m not the most organized person, so I love OneNote,” she said. “I don’t use a ton of other tools because it’s so easy.”

One of Monica’s running goals is to qualify for the Boston Marathon (she has to run a marathon faster than 3 hours and 30 minutes), so the Lumia will definitely come in handy as she records and shares her progress!

Have you ever considered running a marathon? Do you want to start running to get in better shape?

Here are Monica’s top three tips for newbie runners to put their best feet forward:

1. Start slowly. You don’t have to be a jack rabbit and sprint. You’ll get exhausted quickly and likely injure yourself. If you’re just getting started, slowly jog a mile. Or intersperse walking with slow running.

“A lot of people go out too fast. We think of running like we did when we were kids and just take off,” Monica says. “Go slowly and jog it.”

2. Get the right shoes. Get thee to a running-gear store to get properly fitted for running shoes. The salespeople there are often experienced runners, and they’ll analyze your running gait to get you shoes that fit you best.

Otherwise, your feet may get blisters, hot spots … or worse. “If you’re injury prone at all,” Monica warns, “you want to prevent that.”

3. Read running blogs to keep you motivated. Distance running can be a lonely sport. But the running community is actually huge, so keep in touch by reading and commenting on running blogs and running sites such as Runner’s World.