Blog Archives March, 2012

What To Do & What NOT To Do a Week Out From Your Race

screen-shot-2012-03-26-at-95815-pmOkay so it is a week out from your big race.  You’ve trained.  You’ve woken up at God awful hours to meet your running group for the Sunday long run.  You have sweated in places you didn’t even think had sweat glands!  You have put in your dues and now it is time to cash in.

So make sure all that hard work pays off and you make the most of your training and race day.

I had a friend who once taught me something invaluable.  She would always say, “First, do no harm.”  That is the stance you need to take the week before a race.  It is NOT time to try that new supercharged, extra cushioned, gel-infused running shoe. It is NOT time to try that new Thai restaurant down the street where every dish on the menu has five out of five chili’s next to it to indicate it’s heat level.  And it is definitely NOT time to tell your sister you’d love nothing more than to take her six year old twins to Disneyland for the day.  No, no and definitely no.

Ok, so what CAN you do the week before your big race?  Here are my top five.

  1. Taper- Your mileage should be decreased by 25% of your average weekly mileage the week before a race.  You still need to run, but make your runs easy.  The goal is to get out, get the blood pumping and stay loose.  So no racing in your workouts.  Go light and enjoy.
  2. 4852159395_no_beer_answer_1_xlargeHydrate-Let me emphasize this.  Hydrate with a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated source of liquid.  Vitalyte is my beverage of choice (duh).  Not only does it have the perfect balance of electrolytes to make sure my body gets the right minerals, but it also uses glucose as it’s carbohydrate source.  The glucose actually is the carrier that allows the body to absorb the electrolytes.  Glucose works, hops and barley do not. Embroider that on a pillow.
  3. Eat-Believe it or not people forget to eat when it gets near race day or they get nervous so they don’t eat as much as usual.  I’m not saying go to the nearest Schezuan Buffet and become intimate with the Kung Pao Chicken.  I am saying though stick to easily digestible and nourishing foods that will sustain you.  Things like oatmeal with berries for breakfast or a protein smoothie a few hours before your run will keep you super charged for your weekend race.  Also, don’t forget your Tri Phase.  I couldn’t dream about running without it.
  4. Relax-Yep, the hay is in the barn so to speak.  All your work has been done so enjoy this time and take a moment to reward yourself.  Get a light massage or a facial.  Take some time to read a book or whatever relaxes you.  Make sure to get plenty of rest and let those around you know that you need some extra down-time.  Ask your family for their support in creating a restful environment.
  5. screen-shot-2012-03-26-at-95914-pmCelebrate-After the race!  Make sure to spend some time in the beer garden or getting together with your friends (cheers to the hops!).  After all, running is something to enjoy and celebrated with your friends and family.  Take the time to celebrate your hard work!

Good luck to you all (and myself…) and hope to see you all at the Hollywood Half Marathon next weekend!

Complete Recovery and the LA Marathon

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By Milena Glusac

It is 2:30 am and the first of my three alarms that I set goes blaring off.  I want to make sure I am up in time.  Then my official “wake up” call from the front desk comes in.  Media credentials, check.  Hat, check. Strong, strong coffee, check.  My call time to be in position for the five live hours of air time is 4:15 am.  I still have to take a cab to the shuttle stop, then it is a 25 minute bus ride from the Santa Monica Civic Center to the starting line at Dodger Stadium.

Yes welcome to the LA Marathon and I will be live on course to bring all the action live to over 200,000 listeners.  I will be reporting on the women’s elite race.  Lending my personal professional experience as a professional distance runner and filling the listener in on all that is transpiring during the 26.2 miles.

I know what the professionals will go through.
How they will feel physically.
What they will endure mentally.
How they will cope emotionally.

The scene at the start line at Dodger Stadium is nothing less than exuberayting.  Tens of thousands of runners scurrying around in disposable ponchos (there is a chance of rain) all vying for position in line for the port-o-potties.  The wheelchair athletes are preparing their aerodynamic race chairs for competition.  The line for bagels and bananas is getting longer as everyone is reaching for some last minute carbo fuel.  As I get in the lead vehicle from which I will give live updates over the airwaves of KLAC AM570 Fox Sports LA, I know one commonality all these athletes will experience at the end of this 26.2.  All encompassing muscle soreness.  Soreness that runs so deep that the smallest step down one stair will seem monumental.  Yes the hotel lobby at the Fairmont will be scattered with hundreds of athletes just too sore to walk the hundred feet to the elevators.  And towards the end of this Sunday day, those athletes that have managed to make it up to their room and shower and return downstairs in an attempt to head out and get something to eat and perhaps a few Heineken’s to help ease the pain, will be reaching for that closest bottle of anti-inflammatories.  It is no doubt that a marathon will stretch you physically to your limit.

It was a perfect day for running.  No wind, clear skies and 60 degrees.  The women’s race was spectacular with the young 20 year Ethiopian, Fatuma Sado, taking the tape in  a brilliant 2:25:39.  I finish my report live in-studio after being on course for two and a half hours.  After wrapping up our post-broadcast checklist, I head upstairs to take a nap.  It’s 11:00 am and my sense of time is totally skewed by the lack of sleep.  After a couple hours of great sleep I head my way downstairs to asses “the damage.”  Yep just as I thought.  Hundreds of people limping around trying to get into an ice bath as soon as possible.  Nothing highlights the need for recovery more than the aftermath visuals of a marathon.  This is the exact application that Vitalyte Complete Recovery was created for.  The perfect blend of amino acids to repair muscles, glucosamine to sooth joint pain and of course the amazing anti-oxidant powers of S.O.D (short for superoxidedismutase).  Oh my, I want to broadcast this over the air waves for all the runners to hear so that instead of hobbling around helpless for the next week or two, they can be back to their active selves sooner than later.  Yep recovery is key.  It helps you reap greater benefit from the hard work you put in.  Plus, the better you feel, the more likely you are going to enjoy what you are doing.  After all, isn’t that the reason you started running in the first place…because it made you feel good?  Well Vitalyte wants to help you enjoy your activities by getting you back out there faster by brining you the ultimate in sports nutrition.  So next time you are hobbling around after a 13.1 or 26.2 or even after a 2:30 am call time, don’t forget the Complete Recovery along with those anti-inflammatories.

Interested? You should be. Buy Complete Recovery

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The Things I Can’t Run Without

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There are a few things I absolutely love in life and it I thought I should share them with you. Some are definitely running related. Some, you might argue, are not. But to me they all play an important role in my life. Running is an important piece that makes a beautiful life for me. So here are a few things that help make my training life beautiful as I prepare for the Hollywood Half Marathon this April. Enjoy and let me know what makes your life beautiful.

i Heart Radio-Music brings rhythm to life and tells a story and there is no better website to deliver it than i Heart Radio. Hearts are my favorite symbol of all time and this site definitely lives up to the red life-giving insignia it bears. Not only can you create play stations that match your mood or lifestyle, you can download the app and bring mobile melody everywhere you go. I am especially a fan of the 80’s Station and anything Bon Jovi. First thing I do after I open my blinds in the morning and walk upstairs, is to put on my i Heart Radio. Makes my day more beautiful.

Jaybird Headphones-When I met Craig Hansen at the Surf City Marathon and he introduced me to these AMAZING (did I say amazing) headphones, I wanted to dub him a God to athletic music enthusiasts everywhere. Craig showed me how the bluetooth wireless headphones stay in place during even the most intense workouts. And guess what? They are sweat proof. I don’t know about you, but I was tired of making trip after trip to the Apple Store for another pair of the flimsy white headphones that short out after a few long runs. Craig you are a saint, and the fact that these wireless headphones come with a lifetime warranty, you are now exalted to Emperor Supreme of all that is musical and electronical. So get a pair. That is all I can say.

My iPhone-Ok so you are probably sick of hearing me mention my iPhone in so many of my blogs, but honestly this pocket computer is my lifeline. It is genius. Even if I drop a call (I actually blame AT&T for shoddy service), I still love this phone with my entire being. It’s more reliable than the boyfriend that forgets every anniversary and much more comprehensive than any “match” you will find on a dating site. Yes I am in love with my iPhone. My apps-Facebook, eBay, Talking Larry…the list goes on and on. I will put a heart shaped emoticon on this one to book mark it for you!

Dagoba Roseberry Dark Chocolate-Chocoholics known and unknown step aside and take notice. This is elixir of the Cocoa Gods in its purest form. Not only does Dagoba utilize organic ingredients, but as their self-proclaimed title of “The Art of Chocolate Alchemy” infers, they do it with the utmost prestige and perfection. Plus the company is on a mission to benefit people and the planet. So to that I saw, take another square and indulge. You deserve it.

Amusant Pink Moscato-Ok I have been known to pour a glass or three of this California pink bubbly after a workout around 1:00 in the afternoon. A cold crystal glass-full is heaven on earth for me. The handcrafted bubbly is by far my favorite and paired with a few squares of the Dagoba mentioned above…well that’s my idea of a perfect date!

Vitalyte-Ok you knew I wasn’t going to write a blog about things that bring beauty to my training without talking about Vitalyte. We all know that our electrolyte replacement is by far the best in the business. But did you know that our revolutionary Chia Surge Endurance Gel just hit the market in a big way. Yep, running junkies and endurance gurus, your answers to the all dreaded bonk, crash and depletion are over thanks to our amazing research and development teams at Vitalyte Sports Nutrition. I need to bring these guys some Dagoba Roseberry Chocolate and Amusant Pink Moscato to thank them for brining my blood sugar out of the depths of extinction. How they do it, only the endurance God’s know. But they do it with only the highest quality ingredients and attention to detail. So thanks guys for fueling me through 13.1. The party is on its way.

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Nature’s Secret: Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are tiny black and white seeds that used to be a staple food in Aztec and Mayan times. They are now experiencing a surge in popularity due to their wonderful health benefits.  I recently read up on them to find out what all this hype was about.  I found out they are tiny miracles of nutrition in a micro-seed!  Now every time I take a Chia Surge Gel made by Vitalyte, I think about how they’re benefitting my body and mind! Chia Seeds.

Chia seeds are indeed a superfood!  Just to list a few of the comparisons, they have:

  • 2x the amount of protein of any grains
  • 3x the amount of antioxidants of blueberries
  • 5x more calcium than milk
  • 2x the amount of potassium in a banana
  • 3x the iron of spinach

Chia seeds are also loaded with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and have trace amounts of boron, which is an essential mineral to help transfer calcium to the bones.  Now I don’t think I’d be able to eat ALL of that on a run!  So it’s pretty cool to be able to get all that nutrition at once from some little chia seeds in an Energy Gel! Actually, that is my favorite quality of CHIA Surge; it doesn’t upset my stomach or cause any gastro-intestinal distress!  Most anything eaten during exercise will give me stomach cramps, however Chia surge is absorbed so quickly that I don’t feel any stomach discomfort ever!!! It’s such a relief!  Just pure energy and high quality nutrition on the run.  I’m so happy to finally have such a wonderful solution for my running energy needs!

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The Countdown Begins to the 2012 Hollywood Half Marathon

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In exactly 27 days I will make my competitive return to running after eight years of leaving the racing flats in a dusty box in the closet.  The Hollywood Half Marathon is a welcome event highlighted and marked with a star on my calendar.  Why am I looking forward to it with such raw enthusiasm?  Pretty simple…I feel I have unfinished business.

I was forced to walk away from the sport that I loved because of a mix of personal family issues and severe health challenges that would keep me housebound for years.  During these past eight years there has been a slow burn deep inside that over the last year has intensified to a smoldering.  I so desire to experience that personal satisfaction that comes with finishing a race where you have left all of your sweat and soul on a 13.1 mile stretch of hard pavement.  I so desire to run with a body that is now strong, resilient and fueled by the best sports nutrition products on the planet.  Last time I raced I think I weighed about 92 pounds and my soul felt like it carried the weight of the world.

Now I’m proud to toe the line at 110 pounds of muscle and carrying nothing but the personal triumph that comes with creating the life that I desire.  So this race, I can easily say, is a tribute to myself.  Not just Milena the athlete. But to Milena the whole person.  I’m just like a lot of you-balancing work, training, horrible friday night dates and awesome Sunday afternoon cocktails with my best girl friends.  I feel so blessed in my life because my full-time “real” job is based in an industry that I love.  Vitalyte Sports Nutrition is not only my employer but my greatest champion.  The products they have created for endurance athletes have allowed me, at the age of 36, to work full-time, train full-time and finish this chapter in my life that I feel has been unwritten for almost the last decade.

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Last Saturday night I was at the Endurance Live Awards.  Competitor Magazine celebrated the greatest endurance athletes on the planet during this awards ceremony.  As I walked onto the stage during the “Parade of Athletes” I felt like a completely different person that I did ten years ago when I walked onto the stage during this same ceremony.  I walked with a confidence that only comes from experiencing both the depths of turmoil and the peak of success.  I truly feel the fact that I have not just experienced, but lived both extremes and the entire spectrum of intensity that comes with being plummeted from the pinnacle of victory to the trenches of vicious conquest, is the reason I can walk into any situation knowing I can not be intimidated, bludgeoned or scared.  No, I know I will own that line because the Milena that is running now is in charge of herself.

My stress fracture is still there.  It’s not getting worse, but not much better.  You know, I can run three days a week and the other days I am in the gym cross-training.  I like the fact that I am making the most of what my body is able to do right now.  I am being resourceful, smart and determined to be there on April 7th.

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