• 5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Chia


    When I mention chia seeds to the non savvy consumer, their first reaction is, "wait, like the chia pet?" Yes ladies and gents - EXACTLY like the chia pet. What you don't know though is that chia seeds have been alive and kicking since far, far before the 90s and they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

    They are naturally gluten and grain free, have more than a glass of milk's worth of calcium, oodles of Omega-3s (more than salmon), and more antioxidants than, wait for it, blueberries. Sounds pretty amazing right? I'd like to introduce you all to the world's next (even though it's been around for hundreds of years) superfood.

    Now they're being used for a bunch of things these days but some items on that laundry list include: aiding nutritional and medicinal healing, aiding regularity, increasing endurance for athletes, suppressing your appetite, for weight loss, and leveling blood sugar.

    Now that you know about these chia nutritional benefits, you want to know what to do with them eh? Allow me to enlighten you.

    1. Make your soup thicker by adding a few tablespoons of chia seeds instead of cornstarch or another thickener.

    2. To thicken meatballs - instead of using bread crumbs - just add a few tablespoons and you'll be good to go!. Make your own sprouts- you know when you were a kid and you had to grow plants? Kick it old school and do it again. Simple pour some water over your seeds and in a few days you'll have home grown sprouts for your salads and sandwiches.

    3. Make your own sprouts- you know when you were a kid and you had to grow plants? Kick it old school and do it again. Simple pour some water over your seeds and in a few days you’ll have home grown sprouts for your salads and sandwiches.

    4. Start your day right with a few spoonfuls washed down with some coffee - if you're hard core. Otherwise just add them to smoothies, yogurt,whole grain toast with avocado, you name it. You'll notice the energy for hours.

    5. During your workout, pack one chia surge gel, the first whole seed chia gel to market

    and notice 2 hours of sustained energy.  You can buy our chia seed gel at any of our retailers, including REI or on the Vitalyte website.

    Want to know more about Chia gel and chia seed concoctions? Stay tuned. There's plenty more where this came from.

  • 3 Drinks You Should NEVER Drink... and one you should. #YOLO

    1. Squeezits:


    I know these take you back to yesteryear but let's be smart about this. Remember that sticky/tangy feeling on your tongue afteryou popped the top off one of these? Well - there's a reason for it.

    Ingredients: Contains 11% of Fruit Juice, Cherry(ies) Chucklin Juice (What on earth is this?):, Water, Corn Syrup High Fructose (note the re arranged to fool the simple-minded consumer), Pear(s) Juice From Concentrate, Malic Acid (yum), Citric Acid (yum), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative) , Red 40 (how fun- they put red in here- what color was it before), Flavor(s) Artificial (what are we speaking Spanish with the adjective after the noun?), Berry B. Wild Juice :, Water, Corn Syrup High Fructose (again), Pear(s) Juice From Concentrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative) , Flavor(s) Artificial, Blue 1 (well thank god it wasn't blue 2).


    2. Kool-aid - Ohh Yeaaaaa-

    Now I know the big Koolaid guy is awesome and provided some solid entertainment for we kids of the 90s buttake a look at... well, whatever the hell is in it.


    3. Tang:

    In my flagrant attempt to find the ingredients of tang, I received entirely too much information and made the executive decision to NOTunknown-1enlighten you all with the boring details. The important point is this: if you don't know what it is, it has a number on the end of it, if it takes more than 1 minute to list the ingredients.... it's probably not great for you.

    To support this theory, here are just a few of the Tang ingredients: Yellow 5, Yellow 6 (no I'm not kidding), Artificial Color, Natural Flavor, Orange Juice Solids, and Calcium Phosphate (which prevents caking).

    Everyone, yourselves a favor and remember that wonderful but slightly altered quote by Mark Twain:

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did drink than by the ones you did. So throw out the tang. Sail away from the Kool-Aid. Catch the trade winds while sipping your Vitalyte. Explore. Dream. Discover.

    Or in the words of the modern renaissance man/woman: #YOLO... Drink Vitalyte.

  • Harmony

    Your alarm rudely awakens you at 5:30 am with the audacious blare of Adele’s “Rollin’ in the Deep” that your twelve year old downloaded for you while you were busy cooking dinner, helping your fourth grader diagram sentences, and taking two phone calls from your hysterical mother who can’t find her Shih Tzu for the fifth time today. You are fatigued. You are tired. You are exhausted. Any you have every right to be. You are balancing the dynamics that many modern women struggle with: Work, family, the in’s and out’s of daily life. There isn’t much left in your day for you. When there is, you are just too tired to make it to the gym or out the door for that run you keep telling yourself you will get to. Well it is time that your Nike’s don’t look like you just took them out of the box even though they are five months old. They are crying for some TLC and would do just about anything for some scuff marks or even a ripped shoelace. Something to show them you care. But no matter how many pep talks you have with yourself, how many times you say “I will get to it just as soon as I finish...,” or how many motivational reruns of Dr. Phil you watch, you just can not seem to gather the energy to get out the door. Well I am going to offer you a few ways, that during the new year, you can decrease fatigue and increase your endurance and help to bring some much needed energy as we start 2012.

    Remember in my last blog we discussed setting realistic goals. Now that you have determined that your goal is to decrease fatigue so you can have some energy for your own workouts, how do you go about getting to your goal. These are three steps that I have utilized throughout my career to help me refocus on goals I have set. First, I always de-clutter my environment once I have set a goal. I determine the factors that are keeping me from achieving my goal and if there is anything in my immediate surroundings that I can remove, I do so immediately. For instance, you have determined that one of the reasons you are so tired is because you are not getting to bed early enough. Determine the factors that are keeping you up late. Then, make the adjustments necessary so you can get into bed on time. Sometimes you have to be creative. For example, I turn off my phone and do not answer calls past 9:00pm. My mind needs to wind down and it is time to go into rest mode. Whatever it is can wait until the morning when I am better suited to deal with it. I also clear space in other aspects of my life once I have my eyes focused on a goal. I make sure my closets are in order, paperwork filed and gone through and everything organized. The clear space in my physical surroundings makes it easier for me to go from A to B to C through out my work day. Being organized means I spend less time looking for things and more time training. Hey I have even put boyfriends out with the recycling because the relationship was too distracting and not adding the support and encouragement I needed during the times I was working towards a goal. Now I am not saying that your kids, husband, pet fish and dog should be waiting out on the curb at the next trash day. But instead, anything that you can determine that is actually not healthy for you needs to be re-evaluated.

    Ok, you have cataloged, codified and classified. The shelves are standardized and everything is accounted for. What to do next? Once I have created more space for myself, I immediately feel my stress levels decrease. With increased breathing room I can finally carefully choose what I want to add back to my life. At this point, you should be focused on reintroducing those aspects that add value to your life. Let’s say you have set the goal to have more energy so you can finally start working out. You have tailored everything accordingly in your life and you are ready to start your workout regime. Something that would be of value to your goal would be to add a training session per week with a personal trainer. This will help you reach your target faster.

    You have harmonized your life and added those things that bring increased worth. One final step left. Add the extras that make a difference. Now you are finally at the place where you have the energy and time to add the “extras” to your life. For instance, taking the time to make a healthy breakfast before work will definitely give you more energy than your old 10:30am habit of two jelly-filled donuts at the office break room. Having your water bottle that sits on your desk at work filled with Vitalyte instead of triple-caff, extra-bold, quadruple pressed coffee, is a much better hydration solution. Slipping on your Nike’s and heading out for a walk or a run instead of putting on your slippers and heading to the couch for a few hours of TV when you get home is a much healthier option. It is true that one positive change leads to another and even though there are times when you would really like to leave the kids outside next to the Hefty Cinch Saks, now that you are less stressed, less fatigued and more energized, when those moments do happen, you are better equipped to handle them. Happy harmonizing and look for my next blog about what to cook for that healthy breakfast.

  • Reason #2 - Motivation, Pain and the Great Oreo Cookie Caper

    Reason #2 – Motivation, Pain and the Great Oreo Cookie Caper

    We have all heard the “No Pain, No Gain” theory and to a certain extent this is true, but pain can also be the fastest way to demotivate someone to continue a New Year’s Resolution Workout Plan.

    Let’s go back to talking about Bob. Now that bob has calculated his Basal Metabolic Rate and his Harris Benedict magic number, Bob is ready to hit the gym and start shedding that 10 pounds, or 35,000 calories.

    Day 1 – Knowing that afternoons are hectic and his chances of getting to the gym after work are slim to nil, Bob sets the alarm for an hour earlier than normal so he can work out and still be back home in time to help the kids get off to school. Bob rolls out of bed at 5:30 and pulls on his workout clothes which he got as a very supportive gift from the kids for Christmas. Bob is at the gym by 5:45, right on schedule to meet the other hundreds of people who decided that this was the morning to begin their New Year’s resolutions of getting back in shape. A spot on the treadmill opens up and Bob hurries to claim his place before anyone else can get there. In a frantic rush to make sure that he can get a workout in, Bob forgets to stretch.

    Bob selects a program from the onboard treadmill computer and within a couple minutes is jogging at a good clip. 10 minutes goes by and Bob thinks “This is not half bad.” Another ten minutes goes by and now Bob is starting to feel the burn. His underused muscles aren’t use to this kind of pace. By 29 minutes Bob is in pure agony. His lungs are screaming at him to stop and his heart is ready to beat out of his chest. But Bob is determined to finish his thirty minutes of cardio and burn that 310 calories.

    The clock reaches 30 minutes and Bob pounds the stop button on the treadmill. Even though his legs are on fire and he thinks his heart rate is somewhere north of 2 million beats a minute, a small smile appears on his face. Day 1 in the bag. I can do this Bob thinks to himself.

    Bob heads home, cleans up and gets ready for his work day. He kisses his wife and kids goodbye and heads to the office where he sits in his cubicle till lunch. Bob even decides to have a salad for lunch as further proof of his motivation to get back in shape. However, after lunch Bob comes back to the office where one of his colleagues has left a tray of holiday cookies out in the conference room. Bob, recognizing that he has really worked out for the first time in years, decides he has earned a couple of cookies. The white chocolate dipped Oreos are his favorite so he grabs 5 of those and heads back to his desk. A couple hours later Bob has to use the copy machine strategically located right next to the conference room. After making his copies, Bob, in his most Ninja like manner, sneaks back into the conference room and grabs another handful of those delicious Oreo Cookies.

    Bob gets home at his usual time, hangs out with the family, takes the dog on a walk and orders up pizza for family movie night. The family crowds around the TV with pizza and a movie and Bob enjoys his couple large slices of pepperoni with a couple beers. Since Bob’s body isn’t use to getting up that early, he falls asleep shortly after the movie starts.

    At some point the kids get angry with Bob’s snoring and send him off to bed where he sets his alarm for the same time before drifting back off to sleep.

    The alarm’s obnoxious wailing wakes Bob from a dead sleep. He turns off the alarm, swings his legs out of bed, stands up and cries out in pain. Almost every muscle in his body is in agony. Bob instantly decides he can’t work out again and falls back into bed, glad for the extra hour of sleep. Right before he drifts back to sleep, he whispers out loud to none in particular. “I’ll go tomorrow.”

    Bob’s story might sound a little dramatic but is really the commonplace for most people looking to get back into shape. Tips we can learn from Bob: 1- Stretch. Gyms are crowded in the morning and it can be tough to get on a machine but afford yourself the extra 10 minutes to warm up and cool down. Your body will thank you the next day. 2- Snacks. Part of getting back in shape is training your body to always expect food. Now that you are working out, you will have more of an appetite. Oreo cookies, however are not the best way to reach your goals. Stock your desk with high fiber low sugar snacks like rice cakes or carrots. Diet Tips come tomorrow. 3- Hydration is Key. If you are working out you are sweating and losing electrolytes. Make sure to replace them with Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement Solution. Make sure to drink more water throughout the day. Not only does it make a world of difference in keeping your body healthy, but it also fills you up and will help keep you away from the cookie plate. 4- Recovery is key. Vitalyte’s Complete Recovery will help buffer lactic acid, reduce inflammation, and synthesize protein to make sure that you don’t wake up the next day feeling like you were in a car wreck. 5- 3 Days a week to start. If you set the expectation that you will be at the gym 5 days a week right out of the gate, you will be sorely disappointed. Commit to getting there 3 days a week in the beginning and build. Your body will thank you and it will be a whole lot easier to maintain that kind of schedule.

  • Moving Day

    Have you ever sat in the middle of your room, everything in total disarray but yet you feel at total calm and peace with where you are? That is exactly how I spent my New Year’s day. I wasn’t suffering from a horrible sunburn and completely dehydrated. I wasn’t frantically flipping through photos on my iPhone trying to piece together the lost memories of what happened the night before. And I definitely was not trying to figure out why I got a tattoo. No, there was no personal reenactment of “The Hangover.” Instead I was turning through the memories in my mind of where I was at this point last year in my life and how I got to where I am now. I remember I spent last New Year’s Day hobbling in a walking boot through the San Diego car show. Not exactly the Jimmy Choo’s I had hoped to still be wearing the day after New Year’s eve but the stress fracture in my shin (and my orthopedic) would allow for nothing else. So I spent four more weeks in the non-designer boot and five more months of no running. During that time I managed to move in with my dear friend Kurt and ten year old Maggie the Golden Retriever. The Spanish Colonial revival home that over-looked the San Diego Harbor is where I spent many nights drinking Merlot on the patio, watching 747’s land at Lindberg Field and writing articles for Kevin’s triathlon website I learned a tremendous amount during the six months I spent with Kurt and Maggie. I learned that it is okay to ask for someone’s help. I reaffirmed to myself that my journey is better and easier if I surround myself with people who support and love me unconditionally. I accepted that it is ok to be who I am and to accept people unconditionally for who they are. I also began working for Vitalyte Sports Nutrition in the early spring of 2011. I spent an incredible two weeks with VSN at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA where I met some of the world’s finest tennis players, and where I learned that a hot desert spring day and margaritas on an empty stomach lead to quick and rapid intoxication. That is how I discovered that Orange Vitalyte is the best cure for an unintentional hangover. On July 1, 2011 Kurt and I had to part ways as roommates as he moved east into University Heights and I headed west towards the surf of Pacific Beach. Today I unpacked the vanilla candle and crystal little dog that looks like my Basset Hound, Mala. They were both gifts from Kurt and I keep them as a reminder of our friendship. Now they site in my bathroom in the new house I just moved into last week. It’s North in Carlsbad and I am roommates with my sister’s best friend, Madeline. I have known Maddy for sixteen years so it is nice to be sharing a place with someone I know so well.

    This morning I went for a great five mile run up coast highway. The surf was pretty mellow and the sky was so clear. Last year at this time I wasn’t even running so I feel happy with the progress I have made in the last 365 days. Now I am training for my first race back in seven years and I am really looking forward to racing the streets of Hollywood. Yes a lot has happened in a year...I moved three times, suffered a stress fracture, healed a stress fracture, got a new job, broke up with a boyfriend, became at peace with myself and my relationship with my father, put on my big girl boots and finally took the adult role in my own life instead of playing the adult role in my family’s life. And you know I like it a lot. 2012 is going to be a great year and it felt great to start it out by going through the pictures in my mind and not the ones you find on your iPhone.

  • Dancing With Myself


    I’ve decided that I want my own nightclub in my next home. A place where Billy Idol can be blasted at 3:00 pm or 3:00 am and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” rules the sound system. A place where I can dance in my pink LuLuLemon “No Limit” Tank, white Victoria’s Secret boy shorts and have my own 2011 rendition of Risky Business. A place where there is no closing time and I am free to make my own decisions. Until I can afford that space I guess my living room will have to do. Well technically it’s not my living room but Ryan is kind enough to let me share his apartment until I can find a place.

    I have two dogs that I inherited from the non-committal 42 year old ex-boyfriend who preferred to give his Ferrari more respect than me. So I left, dogs and all. Until I can find a space I can call my own, the dogs are roaming “on the farm” in Fallbrook with my mom’s two Great Danes. It’s hard to find a place near my work and training area where I can have two dogs. So in the mean time I am staying with whatever friend has room at the time.

    I prefer stability. I prefer a space to call my own. I prefer consistency. But this is what I have right now and I am going to make the best of it. What I have learned is the value of true friends. People who have stood by me and opened their hearts and doors to me. I am grateful. Everyone knew I could do better and I deserved to be treated better but I guess it took me longer to see it because I was trying to create my ideal in an environment that could not sustain my desires. But I think it was really more than that. I think I truly felt it was OK to be mistreated. I mean seriously why would a man want to respect and care for a woman. Why would a woman feel a man actually deserved love let alone need to be loved. This was something I looked at deeply. The explanation was pretty clear as my parents obscure empty co-existence flashed through my mind. I took inventory of the relationships in my life. None of them what I wanted but rather what was deemed okay for me. I mean after all I was a serious athlete and there were certain things I just didn’t “waste my time doing.” I was told it was a bad distraction. I was told I didn’t have time for it. I was told there was no room for it given my serious training regime. I was such an obedient,conditioned athlete that I listened. So I was left with a relationship role model that only depicted lack of respect and disdain. Well fortunately for me there was a deep sense inside myself that said there was more for me. I deserved more. I deserved better. I deserved love. So I left. I left with my sense of self. I left with my respect. I left for good.

    It’s been quite some time since I’ve been in the passenger seat of the red Ferrari. Do I miss it? I miss that feeling you get driving along at 120mph, the wind blending the salty scent of the Pacific with the burning scent of exhaust. But that feeling wasn’t a free feeling. I was someone’s passenger. Someone who wanted to take me along for the ride, have me sit and enjoy and do as I was told and then they could drop me off at my house when they were tired of me. That wasn’t so free. I wasn’t smiling very much during those times. So much was missing and I felt like I was faking my way through life. Pretending everything was OK. Pretending I was happy. Pretending I could make do. I guess I was so used to persevering through intense two hour trainings and holding a 5:45 mile pace for 26.2 miles that I MUST be able to persevere through a relationship and get to the end. But the end of what. This was my life, not a race. So at that point I learned to separate Milena the woman and her needs from Milena the athlete and those needs. That is when I started to explore parts of my self that had been badly neglected. That is when I learned who I really was. That is when I learned what happiness is.

    Running has never been better. In fact, life has never been better. My running is truly an extension of my inner state of balance or imbalance. This inner state functions much better when I speak my truth and value myself not just as the athlete, but as the incredible woman I am. I am embracing this part of my life with passionate enthusiasm and I feel like I have been introduced to a new person. Someone I like a lot. Someone that deserves the best. Someone who is happy. It’s funny how it often takes a difficult circumstance to reveal the best in us. I guess that’s why we have triathlons, marathons and the Three Day Walk. I will let my perseverance rule supreme in those events, but when it comes to my next relationship, I am going to let love, respect and happiness be the center of attention but for now I will continue “Dancing With Myself” in the living room.

  • What I'm Thankful For

    As I’m standing in front of the mirror brushing my hair in “my bathroom” at my mom’s house, I’m having flashbacks to my middle school days of the late 80’s when I was sporting the permed long curls that I took the liberty of highlighting myself with a couple of bottles of Sun-In, and long summer days spent running carefree at the beaches in Carlsbad.

    In “those days” the drive from Fallbrook to the stairs at Tamarack Beach seemed like an eternity.  The twenty mile one-way trip was always filled with anticipation and excitement as I couldn’t wait to grab my boogie board out of my parent’s Ford Bronco and dive into the waves.  My sister was the surfer and would go out and shred with the boys but she was too cool to drive with us.  She would pull up in her red Pontiac Fiero with her board strapped to the top, secured with Thule racks.  She sported the Uggs back then too just like today on Thanksgiving.  She’s always been cool like that.  As I comb through my long blond hair, not much has changed over the last nineteen years, but things have definitely evolved-for the better.  I am the one that surfs now and my sister has temporarily put the waves on hold while she is caring for her two month old little boy.  I still have long blond hair but thank God it no longer has any trace of the chemically induced curls, and the color, well I have upgraded from the bleach in a bottle to the perfect highlights Lisa at Model Call Salon in La Jolla gives my hair.  Yep, she grew up in Fallbrook too and we have a ton of fun chatting and laughing about the days at Bonsall Elementary, the underground newspaper her brother started and oh my gosh did you here that Dominick’s Deli opened up a second location in town.  You know, all the vital details.

    I still run but now instead of running into the waves with my boogie board, I run marathons.  Boston Marathon, New York Marathon...I’ve run them both.  Placed eighth and ninth respectively.  Not bad for a girl who got her start in a small town.  But you know I wouldn’t have had my childhood be any other way.  When I come back to Fallbrook for the holiday so many good experiences come back to life.  I run up Mission Road from my mom’s house and turn onto Stagecoach Road and run right past the high school where I spent four very focused years.  In those four years I won twelve San Diego CIF section titles and five California State titles.  I have an easy time retracing my steps on the high school track as I recall the 10x400 meter repeats Coach Hauck would have us do every year on the first day of track practice.  Our track isn’t dirt anymore.  Nope, it’s been replaced with a state-of-the-art all-weather red eight lane track.  Mr.  Hauck would’ve been proud.  He passed-on a few years ago. Collapsed right at the track he had devoted so much time to.  I run up Stagecoach to Ranchwood Lane.  A quiet, anonymous street with a handmade wooden sign stating its name.  I make a right turn and immediately remember all the runs with the “boys.” Donny and Ian Forsyth, Tim Heck, Brian Purcell.  Mr. Hauck knew I was too fast to run with the girls and that the boys didn’t dare allow themselves to be beaten by a 4’11” 75 pound girl, so I ran many runs on Ranchwood Lane listening to boys be boys while I hurried to keep pace. Now instead I’m listening to a mix of Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Usher and Kings of Leon on my iPhone 4S.  I’m laughing to myself because the only cell phones back in 1991 looked like a big grey brick and weighed about the same.  Now I have one strapped to my arm and I can order a pizza with my Urbanspoon app or check my account balance with my Bank of America app.  Like I said not much has changed, but a lot has evolved.

    As I make the turn off Reche Road and head south on Stagecoach Lane to retrace my steps, the smell of sagebrush mixed with a late fall crisp, but warm morning totally awakens my senses and I remember the trips we would take in my dad’s red 1991 Jeep Wrangler up to Fresno, CA each year for the California High School Cross-Country State Meet.  It has always been held the weekend of Thanksgiving.  Yep we would pile in the Jeep, turkey-cranberry sandwiches tucked away in the back and I would play my Gameboy and listen to Oingo Boingo on my Sony Personal CD player during the five hour trip north.  My mom has the 1991 Red Jeep Wrangler now.  It’s had a few rebuilt engines put in it by Eric at Peter’s Automotive, but it still runs great and everyone in town still knows my mom by her car.  In fact, I saw Mr. Hutcherson at the gym in town this week and he asked how the car was running.  He sold my parents the Jeep back in 1991.  As I make the turn off Mission Road up towards my mom’s house I remember the thousands of times I have made this turn before.  Sometimes exhausted after a two hour training run, sometimes soaking wet after being relentlessly pelted with rain during an early spring run, sometimes numb after trying to process the change in my life that I didn’t like, but this time secure, content and happy.  You see, I am not just the girl that runs really fast and can beat the boys anymore.  I am a woman who has a career, is fit, intelligent and back doing exactly what she loves to carefree.  Not a lot has changed, but a lot has evolved.  And for that, I am very thankful.

    Follow Milena on as she blogs about sports nutrition, healthy sports drinks, being a woman and a modern athlete, as well as her personal life.

  • Baroness of Blunder

    Sometimes we learn the most on how to do something when we do it wrong a few times.  Yep I am definitely the diva of that divine saying and although I have managed to get myself into a lot of trouble, some good and some bad, by making a royal mess out of things, I can honestly say that I have always learned more when I embrace my mistakes.  I take that princess crown studded with errors, proudly put on for the day and take command of my kingdom that is in disarray.  And somehow, through the chaos, dust and confusion, my insight emerges with renewed perspective and passion for the project at hand.

    My personal life, running career and relationships have all taken their walk down the aisle in the castle of chaos but the invaluable rewards I have learned from the mishaps, well I wouldn’t trade them for all the gold in the land.  And the biggest gem in this collection of hiccups is the age of 36 I now allow myself to make mistakes.  It is kind of like allowing yourself to have some dessert.  If you deny yourself for too long then pretty soon one day that Entenmann’s Butter Pound Cake and Oreo Cookie Double Stuffs look like a match made in heaven that need to be a part of your universe sooner than later.  A little dessert and little room for error on a rather consistent basis will keep your cravings away, help you learn a lot and most definitely make you a much saner royal ruler.

    My name is Milena Glusac and I am a world-class athlete, coach, account executive for Vitalyte and their line of sports nutrition products and part-time baroness of blunder.  I am a busy woman that sometimes doesn’t have it all together.  I know what it is like to try to balance work, training, dating, deadlines, timelines, biological clocks and dogs that act like kids.  I know you are busy ladies out there too trying to be it while while serving your noble court with a smile.  Well my series of blogs and women’s forum is intended to give you a place to land when you just don’t feel like you can find the time, strength or energy to make it all perfect all the time.  Join me by putting on your imperial tiaras of imperfection and take some time for yourself to be you. This is a terra firma that doesn’t judge, criticize or hold resentment.  This is a safe haven of rest from the world of expectations.  This is a bastion of respite where you are free to learn about the healthy lifestyle you want to create and get to know more about making time for you.  So as you read my series of blogs I encourage you to join the forum and take your seat with the other high priestesses of aberration because after all, this is about you.

    I don’t know about you but my iPhone 4GS alarm serenades me with the strumming noise of a guitar, encouraging me to wake up while it is still dark.  Every morning I go through the same cascade of questions as if I am trying to uncover the secret workings of the universe: It can’t be normal to be awake in the morning while it is dark?  How can it be that the drive through line at Starbucks is so crowded?  Will I get my Skinny Vanilla Latte quicker if I brave the frigid 61 degree 6:00 am San Diego weather and walk in?  So many questions race through my mind at this early in the morning.  The one thing I do know is that I need to meet my trainer Michael at 6:30 because that is my time.  Yep the space I have set aside for me and only me in my day.  I know I will more than likely misjudge a few things and make a few errors during my day but the one thing I won’t do is miss my early morning workout.  There is a reserved sign on this table for one and their isn’t any amount of caffeine deprived SUV drivers that are going to crowd me out of being on time for my date with me.  I have a horrible habit of being five minutes late everywhere.  I know it stems from my over flowing schedule and trying to fit twenty five hours of living into twenty four hours of space, but I am working on this because I have learned that I actually will get just as much done with a lot less stress if I learn to say no.  Yikes that small two letter word that for years just seemed to require more frickin guts, gumption and grit to blurt out than I thought was polite.  But I am past the “polite” phase in my life and am in the phase of being good to myself.  And if being good to me means stepping down from a few of my “responsibilities,” than I welcome my capricious antics with a big party and a few bottles of champagne, adorn my crown with a few new jewels of disregard, and cut some rug with the court jester.  Now this feels good!

    I am sure many of you have felt this way in your life at some point.  But how do you come to that space inside where you are taking care of yourself without being selfish and while still caring for the things that really matter in your life.  I feel, at least for myself as woman, that I wanted to make everything right, have everyone be happy and be looked upon as the good girl.  On the outside it appeared as if everything was perfect in my life.  I was the polite daughter that listened attentively to everything her parents expected, I was the perfect student who never caused a disturbance and the compliant friend that listened and smiled.  Whether it was my dislike for chaos or confrontation in my surroundings or just the dislike for having to defend my opinions that were contrary to those around me, this continual compliance eventually erupted in my physical being.

    At the height of 5’6” and 80 pounds I just learned to be quiet about everything and literally wither away from the loudness that surrounded me.  Now eighteen years later I have dealt with those issues that drove me to retreat and disappear from the continual fighting and maturely face something and say, “this is not the right situation for me” and lead my life the way I choose.  Crazy how we never actually can get away from something we don’t face.  Now I just know how to face it straight on with my head held confidently high and running shoes laced tightly.  Instead of running from the uncomfortable situation first, I address it with poise and tact, then I go for my run and enjoy the time to clear my mind and take rejoice in my royal title of duchess of dominion in the land of controversy.  Yes dealing with issues as they arise and then proceeding with my life without staying off course for too long has allowed me to make sure I am still “taking care” of things as they need to be but assuring I will be there for myself when it is all over.  I no longer get lost in the clutter created by situations.  Instead, I take a seat high in my throne and take a deep breath because I know that I will always represent myself with dignity and have a fabulous time doing it.  After all we must remember what the role of court jester teaches us.  He was meant to help those lost in a world of burden  lighten their sense of “duty” by introducing actions of joy and laughter.  It is through mistakes and folly that we actually gain a greater perspective.  Follow me in this series of blogs, position your princess tiara perfectly (or imperfectly) on your head and let’s re-engage ourselves as empowered woman who want to live an active, fit and healthy lifestyle while still addressing all those early AM alarm clocks and long lines just to get a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino (should I end it here or add this last sentence...) It’s going to be a great journey fueled with a little caffeine, some sarcasm, a few stories of my personal struggles and experiences, and great tips on training and nutrition.

  • Journey Through My Closet- Milena Glusac

    My closet looks like the fatal hunting grounds where the couture of my past have come to fight their last battle.  Labels from all eras of my life are represented-Pink, Juicy Couture, True Religion, the $5 leggings from the inexpensive little shop off Grand Avenue around the corner from my condo.  They have all fought and served valiantly.  The KSwiss gear fared many miles with me during intense training and the electric blue chiffon club dress...yep we had many memorable cab rides.  And how could I forget the gold platform heels?  We stole the show at that epic outing Derek, Jill, Billy and I had last fall in Del Mar.  I think I can still make out the scent of chocolate martinis embedded in the leather.  So much has happened in my life in such a short amount of time I sometimes wonder how I have landed where I am.  And not just landed, but landed on my feet.  Yes I have suffered some bruises.  Usually a result of mixing stilettos, wine and great friends.  Definitely incurred some bumps too during my escapades.  The latest has stayed a year, the result of stress fracture the cracked right to the marrow of my bone.  Painful yes, permanent maybe.  As I sit amidst this melange of cotton, cashmere, lycra and linen, I am trying to decide what stays and what goes.  What staple pieces will I need to take with me to my new house.  Yes I am moving again for the sixth time in the last year and half!  What should I just toss out and never look at again.  I will leave those uncomfortable too tight and itchy items behind just like I left in the past the brutal scars of the eating disorder that almost cost me my life.  Finally, what do I want and need to add to my repertoire?  Maybe some new racing shoes for the Hollywood Half Marathon I will be running in April.  You know what I think I really need?  A black pencil skirt and some kick ass black heels.  Something I can wear to the Vitalyte office so I actually look the part of the account executive.  That’s what my title on my business card says “Milena Glusac-Account Executive, Vitalyte Sports Nutrition.”  Yes that is actually what I need to buy.

    That’s where I am in my life now.

    My name is Milena Glusac and I am going to tell you how I went from being the top high school distance runner in the nation to a seven-time NCAA All-American at the University of Oregon to a top ten world ranked professional distance runner and now to the account executive for Vitalyte Sports Nutrition who is making her comeback to the stage of professional athletics.  But the journey you are going to read about is circuitous at the very least.  There has been a lot of drama, a lot of pain, a lot of loss and a re-birth.  I am going to tell you all about that stuff.  It is part of what has brought me to where I am now in my life, I am not ashamed of it and I think many of you can even relate to my story.  Just let me try to find my favorite Victoria’s Secret Angel Sleep Tee and Seamless Little Thong in this monumental pile and then I will be comfy and ready to tell you more.

    To know me and look at me you might think, “Wow she’s full of energy, runs everyday, is up from 5:30am to 11pm, work work work non-stop go girl. She has it all together- the typical tan, fit California blonde with the constant French manicure." My life, however, for an extended period of time, represented a more melancholic menagerie of tumultuous events that shaped the landscape of my entire being for a decade and a half and I wasn’t the happy, up for an adventure, full-of-energy girl I am now.

    I graduated from Fallbrook High School in 1993 as the top high school female distance runner in the nation.  I had full-ride athletic scholarships being thrown at me from distinguished universities across the country: Stanford, UCLA, Villanova, Berkley, University of Arizona, Providence, Syracuse, University of Texas, University of Florida, Clemson...the list goes on.  I chose to attend the University of Oregon.  After all, it was the mecca for track and field. I remember I was sitting in my senior science class when I made the decision.  The choice just came over me and in my daze I said to myself, “I’m going to the University of Oregon.”  I didn’t really know why other than that is where I was going to go.  Later on the choice would become dangerously serendipitous.  At the University of Oregon I became a seven-time NCAA All-American and I also competed for the Ducks at the PAC-10 Championships in tennis.  I was a busy student-athlete.  I was taking sixteen units or more each quarter, competing in cross-country, indoor track, outdoor track and tennis.  I went on the graduate with a double-major in psychology and Spanish in three and half years and then completed my Master’s Degree in psychology in the next year and half while I finished my eligibility in track and tennis.  I had been forced to red-shirt a season because of bilateral femoral stress fractures.  Later on I would find out that the twelve stress fractures I amassed during my career had been a result of a genetic bone issue that eventually kept me bed ridden for several years.  I knew my five year stop at Oregon had a purpose in my life for reasons I could not even explain.  It wasn’t like me to trade the sun and surf of Southern California for the constant rain and cold of the Northwest, but something I couldn’t explain was pulling me there.  I spent nights crying and begging my dad to help me transfer to a warmer climate and someplace closer to home, but he insisted I stick it out because I would lose too much eligibility if I transferred.  So I persevered, as I was accustomed to during my races.  Just push through, get it done, drive, go, surge, kick, finish.  I did just that.

    But my unhappiness unveiled itself in my 5’6” 85, 83, 82, 80 pound frame.  I confidently assured everyone, from my coaches to friends to family that I was just fine.  Yep, didn’t need help, didn’t want it.  You know I’m a distance runner, I’m “supposed” to be small.  Well small and close to death are two different identities and I really DID want help.  What I really really really wanted was a female I could relate to.  Someone who didn’t treat me as an athlete, but treated me more like a daughter who could reveal her true emotions, passions and desires.  All those “feeling” were just to be put aside though so I could just push through, get it done, drive, go, surge, kick, and win.


    That is when I met Karen Nelson, counselor at the University of Oregon.  Truly a divine intervention.  I remember her perfectly manicured french nails, soft soothing voice and compassion that was a constant with every meeting.  That was all I needed.  Not a lot.  Just someone to talk to the person, not the athlete. So I left the University of Oregon and at graduation my parents finally revealed something to me.  I had been conceived in Eugene, Oregon when my parents were there exploring a job option for my father twenty-one years prior.  Ironic, so ironic.  I traveled back to my starting point so I could find my self, the non-athlete self, while the athlete excelled.

    The next few years I spent regaining my health and I eventually clawed my way back to the top in distance running.  This time at the world stage.  A few new pieces would be added to the melancholic menagerie and a few old ones would re-enter:  The eating disorder would resurge as I entrenched myself in the world of running and a family environment that was crumbling due to infidelity and financial decline.  I would see my father’s clothes slowly disappear from the closet, one garmet at a time until I uncovered the new closet they were being transferred to.  It was hard confronting your childhood best friend and hero but once again I just pushed through, got it done, drove, went, kicked, and finished.  That was one of the few times I didn’t feel I had won anything at the end of a race.  But, I got it done.  And so I put my head down, toed the line at my debut marathon at New York City that year in 2001, smoke still swirling up from the destruction of the Twin Towers a few months prior, and I ran through Central Park to the finish line at Tavern on the Green.  Thirteenth place. That year I would win three national championships and continue into 2002 as a top ten world ranked road racer.  But as the demands at home weighed heavier and I took on a parent role, running didn’t feel so good.

    I would suffer multiple stress fractures as a result of my genetic bone disorder and be bed ridden for many years due to the chronic bone inflammation.  I constructed a plan in 2007 to move from Fallbrook to the beaches of Del Mar, CA.  Deep down there was something pulling me towards the ocean.  I knew I needed out and needed to build my own life away from the drama of the family.  I did just that.  I had a business venture that failed and I lost a lot financially but during those years I was able to do something I hadn’t been able to do since those conversations with Karen Nelson at the University of Oregon.  I could reveal my true emotions, passions, and desires.  No judgment, no finish tape, no getting it done or surging.  Just being me.  Not the parent or the athlete.  Just Milena.


    And that’s when I came alive.  Running became a joy again and a lot less painful.  The melancholic menagiery, well I threw it out and replaced it with amazing friends, a few surfboards, a snowboard, convertible red beetle, two basset hounds and an amazing job as the account executive for Vitalyte Sports Nutrition.  There is still drama in my life but it usual involves trying to balance full-time training, work, weekend expos, writing and coaching jobs and of course a few chocolate martinis and platform heels.  Now I can happily say I am one true Southern California girl who happens to be able to run pretty damn fast, loves shopping at Victoria’s Secret and will always be sporting the French manicure while driving my Beetle.  Oh and for the couture left on my closet floor...I got rid of everything that no longer fit and I can’t wait for you to find out what I bought for last Sunday’s San Diego Track Club’s award dinner that I hosted.  It was quite a night...

  • Vitalyte and You

    Vitalyte and You

    What Vitalyte are You? It sounds like an odd question, or at least one that comes from someone not fully understanding the English language, but that odd little question is at the heart of what we do at Vitalyte Sports Nutrition. What Vitalyte are You represents our understanding that all natural electrolyte replacement drinks are not just for high performance athletes, but for everyone.  We all need to stay hydrated and what better way to do than with a great tasting glucose based sports drink not weighed down by artificial colors or flavors, and with the correct ratio of electrolytes for the fastest absorption possible.

    Vitalyte Sports Nutrition was started in the late 1960’s when Bill Gookin, a marathon runner and biochemist, got sick at the Olympic Trials on Gatorade.  As a biochemist and athlete, Bill went back to the drawing board to create a product that he could drink during competition to replace electrolytes and stay hydrated. What started out as one man’s attempt to gain a competitive edge, turned into a sports nutrition revolution.

    More than 40 years later, Vitalyte Sports Nutrition is still an industry leader in sports and lifestyle nutrition. We design our products to promote a healthy active lifestyle and whether you are a world class marathon runner or triathlete like Vitlyte Athlete Milena Glusac, or someone who has just begun an exercise program, we have the sports nutrition products to help you achieve your fitness goals.

    So the real question becomes; What Vitalyte are you?

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