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  • 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.”

  • Vita Girl Says: Get Running!

    Vita Girl here, and today I am going to state my case for why you should start running.

    1. It’s easy! Before you scoff, just think about it: running doesn’t require much more than a pair of running shoes—and maybe a muscle cramp relief drink. While it may be hard to master yoga poses or get into the groove in Zumba class, everyone knows how to run!

    2. Running may not require learning a new skill or purchasing any new equipment, but it is hard. Running burns tons of calories while giving your heart a workout.

    3. Running gets a bad rap for being hard on your joints, but running helps reduce body weight, which is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis). In addition to weight loss, running strengthens the ligaments around your joints and also boosts your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins.

    4. I don’t know about you, but I always feel less stressed after I run. Running has been proven to help combat depression. Try it and feel your stress melt away.

    5. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many kinds of cancer, and runners also increase protection against stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Running has been shown to raise good cholesterol, lower blood pressure and boost immunity.

    6. A surprising study conducted by a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine looked at 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984-2005. The subjects (all over the age of 50) were asked to measure simple tasks, like opening a milk carton, each year. The disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners—and the researchers concluded that regular exercise could reduce disability and the risk of death by lowering inflammation, improving response to vaccination, improving thinking, learning and memory functions and increasing cardio fitness and bone mass. Need I say more?

  • Ice Baths & Cheeseburgers by Milena Glusac

    By Milena Glusac

    I saw the return of irritable Milena today. I used to know her well. Usually she only appeared after a hard day of training back in the day when she was running 90 miles a week ice_bath2_smpreparing for a marathon. I used to deal with her by having her take an ice bath to cool off the burning muscles, eat and then crash in bed for a few hours. Usually that did the trick.

    Well this time irritable Milena is working and has other responsibilities so time isn’t as bountiful as it used to be. Ten years ago the old trick might have worked but it is dated and irrelevant to the life I lead today.

    Yep, today instead of relying on the archaic methods of 2001, I centered myself by taking my dogs, Parker and Mala, for a walk in the beautiful summer weather, rocked out to Rhianna in my car and then thoroughly enjoyed a cheeseburger that was strategically followed with a slice of cheesecake. Let me just say I am enjoying Milena of 2011 and I am enjoying my training a lot more.

  • I'm Milena Glusac & I'm Back in Action

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    In about an hour I will head out for my run. Simple, average maybe even boring statement...until you know the backstory. See it’s been five months since I have been able to run and prior to that it’s been a decade of illness, personal strife and clawing myself back into the light. Between the several years of spending most of my days bedridden due to a genetic disease, financial hardship due to my health condition, a failed business and the demise of my family unit, life was challenging to say the least. Ironically, it was my belief that one day I would get healthy and be able to return to competitive athletics that kept me from wallowing in a well of depression and self-pity that I could have easily fallen victim to. I had once been one of the top-ranked distance runners in the world and I was determined to step back on the podium again!

    So here I am and yep my BFF has been the eliptical trainer at World Gym in Pacific Beach, CA. We’ve had our ups and downs just as any relationship does. You know how it goes, “I’m so dedicated to you I will be here faithfully,” and of course the explanations “Well it was a holiday weekend so I had to take a little time away,” and who can leave out the “A little time apart will do us some good.” But all in all I spent an average of four days a week with my cross-training partner. Just 30 minutes a time to maintain my fitness (ummm....really my sanity because honestly who the hell can stand looking at those little flashing lights 27:12, 27:11, 27:10 for more than a half hour at a time before cocktail hour can’t come fast enough and you are using all your strength to prevent yourself from bludgeoning the guy next to you who insists on blurting out loud every word to Lady GaGa’s Born This Way!)

    Yes I am VERY happy to be back on the roads!

    I was, to say the least, a little sore the day after my first run. Yep walking down stairs was amusing but I thought things would be a little more trying than they were. I attribute my mini-victory to two things...

    1) I used the five months to gather myself in all aspects of my life-emotional, physical, mental, financial...yep I cleaned house and over-hauled. Anything that wasn’t serving my higher good went out the window and I made room for the good things that were already in my life but were being suffocated by the lack of space.

    2) Vitalyte-I faithfully used my electrolytes replacement drink, Tri-Phase endurance before my workouts and during and when it came time to hit the ground running again I had maintained my fitness and my body had a chance to recover. Honestly, those first few days back would’ve been a nightmare of epic proportion if it hadn’t been for Tri-Phase...I wasn’t crying or up pacing in the night due to lactic acid overload and muscle fatigue.

    So as I get ready to head out down Harbor Drive for a little 40 minute run I think about how far I have come, in just a week and a half I am up to a 5.5 mile run. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this recovery thing after all. My mind, body and emotional self are less attached to what I can do physically and my priority lies on my entire self. It’s a lifestyle.

    Follow my journey back to competitive running and join me in creating a healthy lifestyle. It’s what Vitalyte is all about, it’s what I’m all about and it’s about what’s best for you.

  • Runners Are Insane, Can I be One?

    First off I should explain that this is my first blog ever, so bear with me. Next, I guess I should point out that this blog is about me running, something I have never done before, so again please bear with me.

    I’m going to be completely honest and say what I have thought about runners for a very long time. Bottom Line – they are insane. I can appreciate that our ancestors found it necessary to be good runners. I think the old saying is “you don’t have to be the fastest guy, you just don’t want to be the slowest,” which seems especially poignant when you are being chased by a saber tooth tiger. The better runners were less likely to wind up as dinner. However, it seemed that with our evolution as a species, and our rise to the top of the food chain, the need to be great runners became an outdated fashion, much like tight rolling jeans or Devo.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for staying in shape but I would watch footage of some of our athletes running marathons and it didn’t look like they were having fun. I live in San Diego and at the right time of day 26 miles can be painful with 350 horsepower doing all of the heavy lifting. Why on Earth would someone choose to run that? How on Earth can someone run that?

    Well, as the human species evolved and we stopped running to stay alive and started running to stay in shape, I too evolved in my thinking about this concept of running. One of two things happened. Either I began to see running in a different light or ultimately some seed of insanity took root in the nether regions of my brain and I figured “what the heck, I’ll buy some running shoes and start jogging.”

    So here I am, 43 years old and the extent of my running has been chasing the UPS driver down across the parking lot to ensure a Vitalyte customer gets their order. But I digress. Now I am committed to training for a 5k, then a 10k and assuming I don’t suffer some debilitating shin splints along the way, eventually the half marathon.

    So between now and the end of December when I compete in my first 5k, I will be posting to this blog a couple times a week sharing with the rest of the active community that makes up the core group of Vitalyte enthusiasts, my running story. So this message goes out to that select group of insane people. Please forgive me in my misguided judgment of your mental competence. I humbly beg your forgiveness and ask permission to join your wacky ranks as a runner.

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