This weekend marks the 3rd annual Reach The Beach Relay in Massachusetts. Having run the previous two years I’ve made myself a few reminders on what to bring and expect during this 200 Mile journey from Wachusett Mountain to Westport Beach!
1. Plan Your Meals
Get an estimate on when your runs will take place and plan your meals and snacks around them. Each runner has three legs that vary in length over the two day race. It’s important that you fuel properly.
Planning your meals can be a helpful tool to make sure you don’t have any digestion issues. There are 5 other runners in your van and each of them have most likely brought food with them. Resist the temptation to snack on the surplus of food that’s in your van. You want to feel your best during your runs and if you’re eating food that you normally wouldn’t or stuffing yourself on snacks all day long, it can lead to major stomach issues and make your runs very unpleasant. Do your best to plan your meals and stick to your usual schedule.
Go through everything that you may need over the course of the race. If you have three legs then you definitely need three sets of running clothes. It’s also a good idea to bring extra clothing and sweatshirts for when it gets cold at night. Bring a few heavy duty zip lock bags to put your dirty running clothes in. Lastly, any toiletries your may use. Go over your checklist a few times before you pack to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
3. Arrive Early
Plan to be at Wachusett Mountain an hour or so earlier than your start time. There is a lot to go over before your first runner leaves. You have a van safety check, runner orientation and group picture to get through before your heat starts. The last thing you want is to be stressed about getting to the start line on time. Your “official time” starts when your assigned heat starts, so if you are late that extra time is added on.
4. Get Some Sleep
This is the most challenging part of an overnight relay race. Your sleep schedule will be completely altered. When you’re not running try to rest as much as possible. The race can be very exciting and you may want to stay up to see all of your teammates run. You will pay for it during your second and third legs if you don’t get a couple of hours to lay down and sleep. Bring a sleeping bag and tent if you have one to make resting outside of your van easier.
Bring a foam roller, tennis ball and stretching strap. You will have PLENTY of time in between your running legs to partake in these recovery practices. Do everything you can while others are running to recover in an effort to make your next run just as good as the last. Spend time foam rolling, stretching and resting.
Use these 5 guidelines to help make your trip from Wachusett Mountain to Westport Beach as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Last week I went to see The Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels at a speaking engagement called “Maximize Your Life”. After just having read her latest book, I was excited to hear what else she had to say.
The whole two hour lecture was fantastic. The first half focusing on the science of weight-loss and nutrition and the second on her background as well as how to motivate and change your life in small steps. Below are my favorite parts of her talk.
“So you don’t like counting calories……Tough Shit!”
Jillian went on to explain how she hasn’t counted calories in years, however in the beginning of her weight-loss journey she counted everything. Most people underestimate how much food they actually take in. It’s essential to count calories at the start of your program and after a while you’ll be able to eye-ball and know how many calories are in your meals and how much you need.
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
This statement also appears in her book and it’s a very important one. Jillian gives the example of “Non-Fat Butter Spray.” She use to put it on EVERYTHING.
Then one day looking at the label sees “soybean oil” listed as one of the ingredients. This prompted her to call the manufacture, who explains that because one spray is .9 calories they’re legally allowed to “round down”. The actual amount of calories in one bottle is 1,200!!
This phrase was part of the second half of her show. Jillian spoke a lot about life’s stressors and how using food to cope with them can cause serious health issues. One of the ways she deals with stress and/or rejection is to realize that it’s “protection”.
Whether it’s a relationship, friendship or job that didn’t work out. You have to know that it wasn’t meant to be and the reason it didn’t work is really protecting your life’s path. This is a hard one to accept but think about it the next time something doesn’t go the way you want or hoped it would, instead of soothing yourself with food.
“Learn To Say No!”
In this portion of the talk Jillian went over how to stop living your life for other people. It’s a great thing when you can be there for others, but if it’s costing you your happiness it is not worth it. Learn to put yourself first.
If a friend asks you to pick them up at the airport and it’s your only day off to spend with your family or you already had plans, it’s ok to say no! If your friend can’t understand and gets mad at you, then you should be thankful that someone like that won’t be in your life anymore. Then she reminded us that “rejection is protection.”
There were a lot of other great topics covered but these were my favorites from the night. Jillian presented this information in a supportive, inspiring and very funny way. I’m so glad I got the chance to see her talk.
Photo Credit: http://www.dietsinreview.com
Our March Challenge was 1:00 of Jump Rope, as many rotations as possible. This challenge was attempted each week by our members. Jumping rope is an exercise that can be practiced anywhere, and a lot of our members took advantage of that. Our winner was Raylene Roberts. This is Raylene’s second challenge win!
1:00 Jump Rope AMRAP
Challenge Winner: Raylene Roberts
Number Of Rotations: 190
Number Of Attempts: 5
A little more on Raylene…….
Favorite Time of Day to work-out
In the morning.
Biggest fitness accomplishment over the past year
Running my first marathon and breaking 8:00 miles in a 5K and 10K.
If you could have one superpower what would it be
To be able to time travel.
Advice for someone starting a fitness program
Take it slow and one day at a time. Some days you’ll feel discouraged, but if you stick with it, you’ll accomplish what you set out to do.
Favorite Work-out Song
Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia
Future Fitness Goals
To do an unassisted pull-up and complete a triathlon sprint.
Two Honorable Mentions:
Dawn Finnerty 175
Juliette Byrnes 168
Last month our member challenge was 5:00 of BB Front Squats @ 1/2 of your body weight, as many repetitions as possible.
This type of challenge helps to level the playing field for each member. Your results are based on your own power to body weight ratio, instead of going off of the same standard for everyone.
A work-out like this can give you useful information on your personal level of strength and where you should be for your body weight.
Our challenge winner was Erin Kelly. This is Erin’s third monthly challenge win!
5:00 of BB Front Squats @ 1/2 of your body weight
A Little More On Erin……..
Favorite Barbell Lift
The hardest work-out you’ve done in the past few months
Airdyne ride to 10 calories, switch/repeat with someone 10:00 AMRAP
One thing that helps you to get through a tough work-out (breathing, song, quote or saying)
Motivation from the other girls working out, encouragement, and the feeling of how great I will feel when it’s over
Favorite outfit to exercise in
Lulu lemon pants and all my FBD shirts
One lift you’d like to get better at
Favorite work-out song
Right now its the Lumineers Ho Hey
Two Honorable Mentions
Amanda Colella 100 Reps
Lynne Weston 71 Reps
Last month our member challenge was an all out minute on The Airdyne. Our members were amazed at how much this one minute all out effort could effect you for hours after you’ve completed the task! Our winner was Katie Kelly, this is her second monthly challenge win!!
One Minute Airdyne For Max Calories
Challenge Winner: Katie Kelly
Total Calories: 35
Number Of Attempts: 2
A Little More On Katie……..
Favorite Time of Day to Work-Out
“In the morning”
Name something that’s happened over the past month that has motivated you
“Hearing a few stories from the girls at the gym about their fitness struggles and how they’ve achieved them.”
Favorite post work-out snack
One Superpower you would like to have
“Make people skinny (including myself)”
Any advice for other people that are just getting into a fitness program
“The first time you try something new it’s always a challenge. If you can fight through the soreness and the mental struggle at the beginning, it will be so worth it.
Pick one small goal to start, whether it be to do a pull-up or run a mile with-out walking, work at it as often as you can, and the only impossible thing, is NOT achieving it! Working out will always be hard, but in a short time it will actually be fun too!”
Future fitness goal
“Lose 25 pounds”
Real feelings on The Airdyne (Hate it/Love it)
Two Honorable Mentions
Erin Kelly 34 calories
Erin McKorkle 32 calories
For our December member challenge we tested everyone’s strength physically and mentally. Each member held a 35 pound plate overhead for as long as they could with proper form. Our winner was Erin Kelly! This is Erin’s second challenge win!
The Overhead Plate Hold for time with a 35LB Plate
A Little More On Erin…….
Favorite Time of Day to Work-Out
Name something that’s happened over the past month that has motivated you.
“I am planning my wedding and keeping up with my workouts has kept it a stress-free process and having to balance my schedule helps me to continue with my fitness goals and to never give up!”
Favorite post work-out snack
“Chocolate milk or something with peanut butter.”
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
“To be invisible sometimes.”
“Any advice for other people that are just getting into a fitness program.”
“Prepare and plan your workouts ahead of time, start slow, sign up for a race, have fun with your program. Find family or friends to help give you the motivation, inspiration, determination, and conversations you need to stick with it!”
Any future fitness goals?
“I would like to compete in a triathlon and run a marathon!”
Two Honorable Mentions
Dawn Finnerty 17:06
Nancy Johnson 7:40
Last month our member challenge was 100x squats for time. Each repetition had to be done to parallel depth and shoulders remained up and back the whole time. Great work from all who participated in this challenge
100x Squats for time
A little more on Amanda…….
Favorite Time Of Day to work-out
“I love to work out first thing in the morning. It makes me feel great for the entire day and it’s also great mentally to know it’s done.”
Biggest Fitness accomplishment over the past year
“Training for and completing both Reach the Beach and my first half marathon. The training was the toughest part but it was well worth it in the end! Both were amazing experiences that I can’t wait to do again.”
The first word that comes to mind when you hear the word Squat is….
“First SENTENCE would be, “Touch the ball every time.” “
Favorite workout song
“SO many… I love 90s music while running or working out!”
“Completing a full marathon in the next couple of years.”
Favorite Post Work-Out Snack
“Lately it’s been dry roasted almonds… Peanut butter and a banana is another one I like.”
Two Honorable Mentions
Heather Parker: 1:47
Dawn Finnerty 2:05
Our October Challenge was The BB Front Squat. Each member tested and some retested their 1RM for this exercise. In the end Andrea pulled through with a Front Squat of 175! This is Andrea’s second Monthly Challenge Win!
1 RM for BB Front Squat
A little more on Andrea…….
1. Favorite time of day to work out
2. Favorite Olympic Lift
3. Do you have any weight lifting goals? Higher 1 RM on any lift?
Always striving for higher 1RM for whenever I get new 1RM, it give me rush or a high that last a couple days where I feel like I can do anything.
4. Favorite post work-out snack
Peanut butter and banana
5. Any advice for others that are intimidated by working with a barbell?
Focus more on the exercise/lift and less on the weights. Wait til the end to calculate and you will be surprise at just how much you lifted. Not so easy to do when lifting solo, but I find that if I think too much about the weights it create a mental block which causes me to lose focus and form. I guess lifting has mental component to it similar to running.
6. Name something that has happened over the past two months that has motivated you to become a better athlete.
I Didn’t really think of myself as an athlete anymore since I no longer play a sport but I am motivated to workout every day. Main motivation is that it helps to relieve the stress of the day.
Erin Kelly: 165LBS
Stacey Norton: 135LBS
Gwyn Burdell: 135LBS
Last month our member challenge was a 1/4 mile run for time. The participants attempted this run each week. We had some close times and saw improvements across the board. In the end Anna earned the top time of 1:21! This is Anna’s second monthly challenge win. Her first was The December Circuit Challenge last year.
1/4 Mile Run For Time
Challenge Winner: Anna Fomenko
1/4 Mile Time: 1:21
Number of Attempts: 4
A little More On Anna……..
Favorite Place To Run
“In a race”
Favorite Time Of Day To Work-Out
“In the morning before work”
Any advice to other runners that want to improve their times?
“Mix long distance running with sprint workouts and agility training. Don’t forget to stretch before and after running!”
Favorite thing about running
“Running is the best exercise to help me stay in shape. I push myself harder during a running exercise than I would during any other type of cardio routine.”
Favorite post work-out snack
“In the morning: eggs, coffee, and water. In the afternoon: yogurt, trail mix, and lots of water (can’t get enough lately).”
Name something that has motivated you over the past month to be a better athlete.
“Upcoming athletic competitions – challenges, road races, and soccer games! Daniela
and my friends at Fitness by D are my true support though. Everyone works harder when there is someone cheering you on!”
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“The ability to fly scares me! I would want the ability to teleport anywhere at anytime. Eliminating travel time is the way to go! Super strength and super speed are awesome too.”
Raylene Roberts: 1:22
Tania Pisano: 1:28
Last Month I asked Fitness By D Member Stacey Norton to try The Whole 30. Here is a recap of her experience.
When Daniela Bitto, my trainer, asked me if I had ever considered doing the whole 30, I didn’t hesitate to say “No”! What was she thinking?…. I mean 30 days of no dairy, sugar, artificial ingredients; alcohol would be near impossible while still shopping and cooking for my family, wouldn’t it? I don’t even like meat all that much. How would I live off of meat and vegetables with a bit of fruit?
When she explained that she had read the book and thought of me and my struggles with weight loss throughout it, I became intrigued. The book talked about people who have done every diet imaginable, workout intensely and still have trouble losing weight. As I listened to her at some point I really HEARD what she was saying. It was quite possible that my weight wasn’t entirely my fault. That my body was just not working correctly to use my fat as fuel. Okay, now she really had me. Especially when she pointed out that I could do anything for 30 days with the same conviction she had a few years ago when she told me I could run a half marathon even when I couldn’t run 200 yards; which is another story for another time. When I was 95% on board, she sealed the deal by signing me up with the Whole 30 emails. The Sunday before I started, I woke up to the below email:
“If you’ve received the Whole30® Daily as a gift, it means you are loved. Someone cares for you and your health so much they are willing to facilitate your transformation and support you along the way. The Whole30 is sensible, manageable, and most importantly, immediately applicable to your situation, regardless of your age, your health status or your past habits. The person who gave you the Whole30 Daily believes in our methods – but more importantly, they believe in you.”
Uhm….How could I not try this when I read that?
Our Journey began on September 10, 2012. I say “our” because my husband, a long time sugar and Cocoa Puff addict, decided to join me when I emphatically told him there was no way he would ever be able to do this.He amazed me by immediately jumping on board with me and giving up his sugary cereal, his beloved peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, and yes even his Heineken Lights. The first two weeks were probably the toughest.
We both felt tired and probably a little agitated as we were both in carb and sugar withdrawal. I’d say it got easier for him around day 15 and I noticed he had more energy, noticeably looked trimmer and was in a much better mood than I. He wasn’t having a problem eating Sausage and Eggs for breakfast, steaks, prime rib, chicken and vegetables for dinner. He thought it was easy though admitted to having cravings at different times. Weekends were hard as we had social events to attend almost every weekend. We made it through these by eating at home before we went and drinking soda water with limes in place of alcohol. I was finding it a bit more difficult than my husband. The shopping and preparation was difficult as I had to prepare all the meals for us as well as for the rest of the family. It was a lot of work. Though I didn’t feel like food or cravings were that much of an issue, I also didn’t have the burst of energy that everyone spoke of. I also felt like my workouts were tough to get through and I was feeling a bit dizzy and exhausted at times. I added in some additional carbs in the form of fruit and sweet potatoes and this helped with that feeling.
On day 31, I’d call our whole 30 a success. The best part of these 30 days was actually the freedom from dieting. If I was hungry, I ate. I didn’t have to worry about calories, points, tracking carbs, calories expended etc.
Without actually restricting calories I have lost 8.5 lbs, 1.5 inches of my waist, and 1.5 off my hips (the only measurements I took). My skin looks amazing and numerous people have commented on it. Though I have always slept soundly, waking up is much easier for me and I no longer have to hit the snooze button. I do feel like my energy is starting to pick up and that I might have to continue for a bit more time to get the full benefits. I intend to keep as closely to this plan as possible for 99% of the time and never dieting again!
My husband has lost 14lbs, all from his stomach, and looks amazing. He actually wants us to continue on for another few months. We both have physicals scheduled for next week so it will be interesting to see how all our lab results come back.
A special thanks to Daniela, an amazing trainer and friend who gives 110% when it comes to the health and wellness of her clients!
Photo Credit: http://whole9life.com