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Milena Glusac

  • Changing Lives One Athlete At A Time - The CAF Motto

    If you head down to the La Jolla Cove the third weekend in October, you'll witness an athletic event that will change your life. Simply watch, listen, and learn.

    Experience the start of the swim at La Jolla Shores beach, set against a Pacific backdrop on a chilly fall morning. A few hundred athletes will stand at the edge of the ocean while others wait patiently in wheel chairs. Some have legs. Some don’t. Some have arms. Some don’t. All have determination, courage and the will to complete the task at hand. This is what The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is all about.

    The passion and drive to make lives better for athletes who have been challenged by life’s circumstances is unparalleled in these talented warriors. If you aren't already familiar, CAF raises money for challenged athletes who still need to be in the game, but may not be able to afford the expensive prosthetics that allow them to run, jump and swim. Beyond that, CAF provides a support system and athletic arena for military men and women who have returned from serving our country and are in need of rehabilitation.

    It was important to me that the company I work for, Vitalyte, became a supporter of CAF. Everyone deserves to be able to move with freedom. We all know that children who participate in sports have higher self esteems than those children who do not. At Vitalyte, we proudly support an active, healthy lifestyle - it is our mission to inspire this mantra as everyone deserves it. When we decided to donate a portion of our proceeds to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, I knew that we were directly contributing to a life-changing experience for many athletes. I knew that we were helping the amazing people at CAF change lives “one athlete at a time,” as they say.

    One athlete can now complete a triathlon as a result of the proper fitting prosthetic. One child who, although his parents did not have insurance, can now play during recess with his friends. One war veteran can now compete in a 10k race and cross the finish line with pride. CAF helps one athlete at at time to be able to return to the starting line and playing field. In essence, we want to help CAF bring back the sport of life.

    So if you have time, come to the La Jolla Cove on October 21st. Watch what sports can do. Watch what giving can do. Watch what competition is really about and help change a life “one athlete at a time.”

    During the time leading up to the event, Vitalyte will proudly donate $1 for EVERY jar purchased so please, hydrate, inspire, and support CAF. SHOP NOW

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #5 Cool Off

    Cool Offbasset_hound_cooling_off-1

    Being continually sore or nursing a slight injury can create a lot of stress and can sometimes cause you to want to take a sabbatical.

    Avoid the misery that comes when you aren’t recovered by taking these precautions. Keep the muscle inflammation down by taking an ice bath after your hard workouts or long runs. Fill the bath tub 1/2 full with cold water, throw in a few handfuls of ice and in you go. Soak for 10-15 minutes. Your muscles will thank you.

    Also, add Vitalyte’s Complete Recovery to your post-workout regime. The powerful S.O.D is a super potent anti-oxidant that aids in reducing muscle inflammation. Plus the glucosamine in there is great for your joints (and for all of those of you with shellfish allergies, good news. It’s a non-shellfish source of glucosamine). So when you are feeling a little burdened by the bumps and bruises of training, cool off and bring down that inflammation so you can be motivated to get out there the next day.

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #4 Pick A Destination

    Pick a Destinationbermuda-destination-wedding

    There are so many fantastic road races now to choose from.

    Pick a road race in a city or country that you want to visit and take a “racecation” as I call it. You get to pair an adventurous trip with a great race. That’s pretty cool to look forward to.

    Doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #2: Change Your Pace

    #2: Change Your Pace

    Your body needs variety in it’s training pace just as much as it needs variety in the type of cardiovascular training you do. Therefore, changing the speed at which you run is important.

    One or two days a week don’t forget to throw some speed work into your training. That means running varied distances at faster than your normal steady run pace.

    The Swedes coined the phrase “Fartlek.” That translates to “speed play.” So let’s say you are out for a four mile run. Instead of running the entire run at one steady pace, mix up your pace. You don’t even need a watch.

    Legendary runner Jim Ryun used to run fast from one telephone pole to another along the straight stretches of road in Kansas. When he got to the next pole, he would jog slowly until he reached the next one and then he would pick up the pace again.

    Mix it up. Run fast for thirty seconds, and then easy for two minutes and then moderate for three minutes. You get the idea.

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #1

    In my last blog I discussed the best ways to train for your first 5k. Well, now that you have conquered that race and are settled into yourchester-cheetahtraining program, what do you, as a beginner runner, do to stay motivated?

    You asked for it, so here it is...Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated.

    In the nature of keeping you on your toes, I thought I'd start with number 1. Stay tuned for the 4 to follow.

    Don’t run as much!

    No you are not still hung over from the beer garden at yesterday’s 5k. Read it again. Don’t run as much. That’s right. The number one reason people lose interest in something is because they have become burned out by doing it too much. Is this a scientific fact? I don’t know, but trust me I know what I am talking about.

    Think of it this way. Remember the time when you were a kid and you over-indulged on Cheetos (or any food...and yes I am speaking from experience)? Tell me if you can even look at Chester the Cheetah the same way. I am right. Anything we over-indulge in eventually makes us sick and we never can stomach it the same way. Running is the same.

    So what’s the best compromise? Here’s a little secret...take mini breaks. I’m not saying you have to take a month off from training. Instead, here and there take a weekend off. Or do what I do. I run three to four days a week and the other days I cross-train. And mix that up too. Spin on the bike, jump into the pool for a few laps or grab your tennis racquet and play a few sets. I guarantee you will actually look forward to your runs when you don’t run everyday.

    Avoid the running trap of “more is better.” That way Chester gets to remain that undoubtedly cool cat in your mind instead of a little orange gremlin who loves to ruin your seventh birthday.

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Training for Your First 5k

    You’ve done it. You are committed. Your race entry has been confirmed. You have your new pair of running shoes and you’re ready to sport your entire LuLu Lemon ensemble on the running trail. But what you really need to know is where do you begin when you are a beginner runner and you are training for your first 5k. Well, here are my Top 5 things to do when you are looking to get fit for that first race. With some preparation and a logical approach, you will be fast on your way to that starting line. So here goes...

    My top tip for running your first race by far is...

    1. Train steady and slow - The build up is key.  You are new to running so you need to take time to acclimate to the sport and give your body time to adapt to its new training.  My rule of thumb is to allow yourself twelve weeks to train for your first 5k.  There are a lot of great resources to help you with your journey.  Try joining a local track club or visit a local running store for information on training groups.  Make sure they know you are a beginner.  Ideally, your running at first should consist of both running and walking and be sure to lace up those shoes 3-4 days a week.

    2. Meet but don’t compete - I highly encourage that you join a running club or group in the initial stages of your running.  You can ask the coach a lot of questions and get great information from more experienced runners.  Plus, it's a great way to meet training buddies.  Take note though, my big rule here is: “Meet but DON’T compete.”  You are there to meet new people and learn about running.  You are not there to compete.  Be careful not to be pulled into how much someone else is running or how fast.  No comparisons.  Remember, this is about your goals and there is only one of you so respect where you are in your fitness and know that eventually, with some steady training, you will be running with the pack.

    3. Hydration and nutrition are key - If you forget these two elements, your training is for not.  Yep, I know you have heard this a thousand times over, but keeping properly hydrated and following a healthy, balanced diet, are critical components to keeping you healthy while you train.  A healthy body can train and tow the line.  An injured body usually stays at home and tries to rationalize that the potato portion in the chocolate covered potato chip counts as one of the five fruit and vegetable servings per day.  Open that bag of decadent treats at the end of your first race to celebrate, not while you are depressed on the couch, nursing an achilles strain.  So, you ask, how do you hydrate?  Make sure to consume enough electrolytes to power yourself through your training.  In terms of nutrition, keep it simple and real.  That means, reduce sugar and high fat foods.  Replace the white flour with nutrient-rich grains such as brown rice, quinoa and amaranth.  Keep the gluten to a minimum to help reduce inflammation.  Make sure your diet contains lots of veggies and a moderate amount of fruit.  Buy local and organic whenever possible to make sure the nutrient yield of the food you are consuming is as rich as can be.  Protein should be lean and be about 35% of your total caloric intake.  Basically that means, about a third of your plate should be protein.  Ummm, and no it doesn’t count if two-thirds of your plate includes an apple pie and the remaining section is a grilled chicken breast.

    4. Don’t be intimidated - This is meant to be fun and empowering.  I know whenever you are learning something new it can be overwhelming and a bit intimidating.  All those pro-looking runners at the Monday evening run, clad in the latest “minima” shoes and wrists adorned with GPS units galore, yes even they were beginners at some point and had to learn.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It's the only way you learn.

    5. Give yourself some credit - A lot of people forget to stop and tell themselves “good job” when they are picking up something new.  Whether it's a new job, relationship or skill, we tend to be overly critical instead of supportive of ourselves.  Realize you're doing this because you want to life a healthy life.  Yes- this is a lifestyle choice, so be happy that you are giving yourself that gift.  The rewards will flow over into all aspects of your life.  I guarantee it.

    Good luck with your first 5k and look for my next blog in this series for beginner runners.

  • For the Love of the Sport

    image3Ah what we won’t do for love.  Men have constructed monuments to show their undying devotion to the queen of their heart.  Wars have been launched to fight for the beauty at the center of the strife.  Thrones have been forsaken in order to be with the one that was not of royal blood.  I am sure you all have been at the place in your life where you could relate to the pure amore that was strong enough to build the Taj Mahal, launch a war in the name of Aphrodite or give up the Royal Crown. Yes what love can do, and what we won’t do for just a slice of it.  So as a runner at heart, I at the age of 36, was re-introduced to the love of my life, and it took the most serendipitous of events to bring me back to this love affair.

    Last Saturday was the Hollywood Half Marathon.  Vitalyte was the official on-course beverage of this inaugural event.  I was scheduled to race the 13.1 miles and it was going to be my official “comeback race” after having a seven year hiatus from competing.  I hadn’t been feeling very well the two weeks leading up to the event.  I was really troubled by a neck injury I had incurred in a car accident a while back.  Still undecided the day before the race, I was working at the expo and happened to meet Sean Astin.  He was trying to find the packet pick up so he could get his bib number.  I pointed him in the right direction and we started talking running.  Turns out he is a huge running fan and has multiple marathons to his credit.  We immediately became buds and I offered to pace him through the race.  He accepted.  So at the crack of dawn, the  next morning, I met Sean at the starting line for the 6 am start.  We had our game plan, and as his “coach,” it was my job to make sure he made it to the finish line despite a recent achilles injury.  I charted out our plan and told him he had to stick to the pace I set.  So as we headed out of Universal Studios City Walk and onto the streets of Hollywood, “Rudy” himself was skeptical of the easy pace I was setting.  “It’s ok Sean.  Running a race is like money in the bank.  Every mile upfront that you go out steady, buy not too hard, pays you interest that you get to spend towards the end.”  He loved the analogy and took my advice.  As we ran down Sunset Boulevard, I told Sean that this was the most fun I had ever had in a race.  We were snapping photos of us eating our Chia Surge Endurance Gel, waving at people in the crowd who were shouting “Rudy,” and singing happy birthday to the people like Loraine who were running in the race and had a neon green printed sign pinned to the back of her running singlet that said “It’s My Birthday.”  I had never had this perspective of a race before.  The middle of the pack. The place where the runner’s high never dies.

    As Sean and I made the turn up the big hill right off Highland Avenue and downed one more cup of Vitalyte, he made a quick surge and said to me “I’m putting on my headphones for this one.”  At that point we had two miles to go and I knew he was home free.  My brave student had headed my advice and now it was time to enjoy the homestretch.  I learned just as much from running with Sean as he learned running from me.  I learned about his “Run 3rd” organization.  He runs first for himself, second for his wife and children and third for you or whoever needs a little inspirational support.  You simply tweet a dedication to hash tag #run3rd.  What a cool concept.  I learned that the race is not always about the “race.” And I definitely learned that Goonies Never Say Die.

    We ran a great race and Sean ran exactly the time he was hoping for.  As we walked back to the awards area he turned to me and said, “I could definitely go for a chocolate crepe.  What are the odds of getting one of those?”  Well I am not only a great coach, but a really good observer and I noticed that there was a crepe place in the Universal City Walk.  So as Evan, our CEO, Sean and myself sat and ate our post race crepes (only after we drank our Complete Recovery), I confessed to them that this was the best “race” I ever ran.  They seemed surprised and wanted to know why.  “Because,” I said, “we all ran for the love of the sport and I had an amazing slice of it.”

  • 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

  • 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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