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  • Santa To The Sea

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    I raced a 5K in Oxnard, CA yesterday "Santa to the Sea" and killed myself trying to win (but got second place). I ran an 18:19 - which is a better time than expected since I've been focusing more on long distance rather than speed lately.

    Thought you all might enjoy a few shots from the event so take a look and Happy Holidays!

    Laura Conley

    Brand Ambassador

  • My San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon

    By Laura Conley
    The day before the race I felt that little scratch on the back of my throat and knew that meant I was getting sick ... then I couldn't sleep at all Saturday night because my throat hurt so bad and I had a fever!  So I woke up 4am, rolled out of bed, drank my Tri-phase and went to race!
    I felt so crappy I barely did any warm-up and just jumped into corral 1 for starting position.  I began a little to fast at 6:20 pace (goal was to maintain 6:30pace) so then after about mile 2/3 I began feeling run-down fatigue of being sick.  I did my best to keep it together and push through but more and more people started passing me which made me feel even worse!
    So then around mile 7 I took a Chia Surge and by mile 8 my legs and attitude improved slightly.  I realized I was probably calorie deficient so I took another one at that point...
    Well, by mile 9 I was a different person!  I started thinking about my pace and running faster.  At mile 10 I decided "I am going all-out for this last 5K of the race" and took off full-speed ahead!!  I must have passed 80% of everyone who passed me earlier and boy were they shocked!  I heard "Wow", "What the #$#*^$&", and "Nice Kick!" I think I made up for my mid-race slump by sprinting in those last 3 miles to finish in 1:27:15.
    Now I know take the Chia surge earlier in the race or before warming up for that much needed energy! :)
  • I Am A Trail Blazer...

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    By Erica Davis

    This year, my college is starting the first ever "Young Alumnist of the Year" award and I am very honored to be very first recipient. They are honoring me because I never gave up and kept both competing and doing my best to inspire people after my injury. I'm also proud to report that I am the 1st female in a wheelchair to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as many regular first place finishes in a multitude of different sports including triathlons, handcycling or in running events with my racing chair.

    I graduated with my B.S. in Exercise Science in 2004 and got my teaching credentials in 2005. Then my injury took place at the end of that year, which was caused what is called Cavernous Hemangioma. This paralyzed me from the chest down. Even though I am not teaching right now, I am mentoring other girls through the Challenged Athlete Foundation who are in wheelchairs and also do volunteer work at a food kitchen weekly.

    This weekend I am heading up to the Pacific Union College campus in Angwin, CA. A few days before the awards, I will be teaching the WSI (water-safety instructor) class to PE majors to show them how to teach someone with challenges like mine or others how important it is for them to learn the different ways we have to adapt. After all, haha, we all have to learn how to swim in a straight line!

    I am so excited to both be going back up to my alma mater and teaching these PE majors so that maybe one day if they have a student or see someone with another physical challenge, they could say, "hey, I can teach you how to swim if you'd like" instead of looking the other way. I'm also, of course, so honored to receive this award and am proud to be the trail blazer I strive to be.

  • The Advantages of Group Training

    By Jenna Novotny, Brand Ambassador

    It seems like common knowledge that training, typically for any athletic endeavor, is easier and more effective in groups. I mean, that’s why so many triathlon clubs, running clubs, cycling clubs, masters swimming groups and the like now exist and continue to pop up, right? But I recently realized that I wasn’t the only person who claimed and believed, “I train better solo.” Up until about three months ago I was a “solo trainer” and I had a whole list of reasons of why I thought ditching the pack was more effective for me.

    - I’m limited on time so I fit workouts in when I can, which means they are usually spur of the moment. - I don’t want to have to plan my day that far out in advance. Do I want to do a 50 mile bike ride at 7am a week from Wednesday? I don’t know!!?? - I hate wasting the time commuting to the group meeting point. - I don’t like talking while I work out. - What if people are slower than me and bring down my pace rather than up.

    And I’m sure on some level (OK I’ll admit it on a definite level) I was intimidated. I was especially nervous joining in on group rides due to my lack of experience on the road. Until recently, most of my bike training was on a trainer and the HUGE herds of seemingly professional bikers on HWY 101 scared the $@#% out of me! I just knew I was going to fall or crash, cut someone off, or make a fool of myself. Fortunately, a friend wouldn’t give up on me and bugged me until I joined him on group track session.

    After some speed work that left me feeling like a snail, I realized my limited solo training was lacking in more areas than one. Before I delve into my solo training shortcomings, let me say that I officially joined that training team, Breakaway Training, and now train with them about four days a week. I have become such good friends with many of the athletes in this group that we often end up hanging out outside of training. In addition to meeting some great new friends with common interests, I highly recommend getting over the group fear and joining a training team because:

    - No matter how many Bostons, Tours, or Konas you’ve run or won you will never know EVERYTHING about your sport. Hearing the mistakes or successes other athletes have made will help you make fewer mistakes and discover great training secrets earlier. - You can discover new products and tools and learn which ones on the market are best. Which GPS watch should you buy? Best running shoes? Ask around in your group. - Training with a group of fellow athletes can be close to having a doctor, therapist, and coach video-tapping you all in one. They get to know your pace and progress and can provide positive reinforcement—or on some days can tell that you’re dragging and check in with you, asking “Hey you’re looking a little drained, what’s going on?” - You can discover new routes. I have found so many great new running and biking routes from joining others in my training group. - SAVE MONEY! Now that I am in the running group, when I pick an out of town race I usually have someone else doing the same race. Can you say “travel buddy?” Carpool to the event + share a hotel room = spending less money! - No one likes being alone on race day! I hate those early morning races when you don’t have a race buddy to help ease any pre-race nerves. And what’s even better than having someone with you before the race…having someone there at the finish line with you!

    Oh and in case you were wondering, I have had a few close calls on my first bike rides on the road that I’m sure drew some attention, but I haven’t eaten pavement yet!

    Jenna

  • My Story Back to Good Health... by Bill Lightner

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    After leaving our Desert home temporarily in 1997 due to poor economy/work, spending 4 years in Missouri (misery, no disrespect to Missourians, just a city boy in the country) and 2 years in So. Florida, we finally made it back to our Desert home where we belong. While away and during the first 3-1/2 years back home, I had been doing a lot of traveling, sitting in a plane or car, entertaining clients, eating out a lot and just generally “porking it up”!! The tennis a couple times a week with my wife just wasn’t cutting it for enough exercise!

    Of course I was in denial about my weight gain……….."No honey, I’m just retaining some water! It’ll go away”, LOL!!! Then I started going to the Doctor for physicals……. I was told that while I wasn't terribly overweight and could stand to lose a few pounds, my cholesterol and triglycerides were dangerously off the charts!!! Although I don’t like taking medication, I was placed on cholesterol reduction medicine. When I asked what I needed to do to avoid being on medication for the rest of my life, the Doctor told me to lose about 10lbs, start exercising more and to change my diet. I thought, “Gosh, what do I do? Work is so demanding and I love to eat……!”

    My sister-in-law and her husband are personal fitness trainers and are into cycling big time. With their encouragement I thought I’d get back on my 20 year old Schwinn and see how it goes. Well, after nine months of riding by myself and building up the mileage on the bike, I went out a purchased a new, 'real', light weight, carbon fiber bike. I finally felt that I could attempt riding with the local Bicycle Club without embarrassing myself. Wow, what a RUSH that was!! I started out slowly and in the back of the pack until I learned what I was doing and slowly got used to riding in a large group. I quickly found that it was GREAT!! I had been bitten by the “cycling bug”!

    Now, almost 5 years later, I continue to ride 4 times a week, booking 150 to 175 miles a week (other than my long distance challenges….blog to come), play tennis with my beautiful wife (though while I’m moving way better on court, she’s still kicking my butt!) and walk 1.5 to 4 miles 5 to 6 nights a week.

    I’m reaching the ½ century mark this month (turning 50 years old) and I’m proud to say that I’m 35 to 40 pounds lighter. I have reduced my medication to every-other day (in the process of things, I found out that the cholesterol thing is also hereditary. That means the best I can hope for on the medication is every-other day), my cholesterol and triglycerides are well within the proper range, and my resting heart rate is down to about 50bpm! The Doctor said if my heart rate went down anymore, I’d be dead, LOL! I also altered my diet a bit without hurting my love to eat and I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel. It’s truly an AWESOME feeling!!! I feel like I’m finally ready for the second half of life!! Who wants to join me?? It’ll be a great ride, I promise!!

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