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  • My first official race back to competitive running...

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    By Milena Glusac

    Decision is made! My first official race back to competitive running will be the Hollywood Half Marathon on April the 7th. Yep at 6am I will tow the line with thousands of other runners to run with the stars in the city of cinematic legend. I am so excited! I have waited seven years to be able to make my return to racing and with the help of Vitalyte, the official drink sponsor of the race, I have been able to train and get my body healthy. The next nine months is going to be fun, hectic and be filled with many busy days as I juggle training, working and coaching.

    You can follow my progress up to the race and even join me in my training for this inaugural event. I will be posting my workouts and give training tips so feel free to message me with any questions.

    Training thus far is going great and I know this time around my racing is going to be much more enjoyable because now running is just a beautiful piece in a wonderful life-it’s not the entire picture.

  • RAISING A GLASS...I MEAN VITALYTE WATER BOTTLE, TO THE PRE-RACE ROUTINE

    By Jenna Novotny, Brand Ambassador

    So here I am, Friday morning, two days out from race day. I will be racing in the San Diego International Triathlon -and it's on Sunday. The miles have been logged, the ice baths endured, the neapolitan tan fashionably sported (neapolitan tan is what happens when you wear 2-3 different length bike shorts on separate rides and wind up with a progressive tan up your thigh- hot) and now it’s time to think about my pre-race routine. Every athlete takes a different approach to the pre-race routine; and some can take years refining what works best for them. And just as I tell every friend venturing into their first competitive race, I will once again emphasize that what “works best” is different for everyone. I have a good friend who literally eats a pint of Hagen Daz the night before her longer distance races. Now me personally, even if I wasn’t lactose intolerant, that much dairy pre-race would probably have me spending more time in the porta potty than on the road. But I digress...

    My pre-race routine typically starts two days before a race. I start to taper my workout routine and spend some extra time using my foam roller and stick to working out my tight muscles. I personally do not like to work out the day before a race aside from some active stretching; and I will do a short, easy run and bike two days out.

    For nutrition I start making sure I’m drinking more fluids than usual two days out. When I first started racing, I wasn’t very good at monitoring how much I was drinking.  I would count out how many 12oz water bottles I wanted to drink throughout the day and take them to work with me to make sure I drank them all. Now that I’ve gotten better, I can be greener and continually fill up my water bottle at work and add my only electrolyte replacement drink, Vitalyte, which is conveniently stored in my drawer. After competing in a good amount of half marathons and triathlons I noticed two post-race symptoms that I consistently experience. I either get a splitting headache (alluding to dehydration) or my stomach would get the gurgles and I would be running to the bathroom the rest of the day (meaning I didn’t have enough sodium to retain the water I was drinking, and instead the water was flushing out of me). I have practiced Bikram yoga for 4 years, so I sweat A LOT while exercising. So I need to remember that because I sweat more, I need to replenish more. You don’t just lose water when you sweat, so why would you only replenish with water? Drinking Vitalyte before a race has really helped me in two ways – 1) It tastes great so it’s easier to drink my goal amount of fluids, and 2) it provides the perfect amount of minerals and sodium so I’m not suffering after a race.

    And with that (raising my Fruit Punch Vitalyte filled water bottle) here is to race day; I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Jenna

  • 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.

  • Milena Glusac signed by Vitalyte.

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    Milena Glusac, California native and recent inductee to the CIF Top 50 athletes of all time Hall of Fame, has been hired to manage sales and promotional events for the Southern California region. In addition, Milena will also be a large part of Vitalyte’s social media campaign with her weekly blogs about her road back to competitive running. “We are truly excited to Milena as part of the Vitalyte family. Her passion for sports and commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle make her a perfect fit. We look forward to being a part of journey back to competitive running” says Evan DeMarco, CEO of Vitalyte

  • Fishy Business

    When it comes to healthy eating, fish is always at the top of my list. Oily fish like two of my faves, salmon and tuna, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids—which have been known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce coronary heart disease. Although fish-heavy diets risk mercury exposure, the FDA recommends that people consume no more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from food daily. And fish are a low-fat source of protein, which is essential for weight loss.

    So sounds like fish are a go, right? Except for one thing: many popular fish are endangered. Vita Girl to the rescue! Read the following list for your best picks for fish to get your omega-3s.

    10 endangered fish:

    1. Albacore Tuna 2. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 3. Atlantic Cod 4. Atlantic Salmon 5. Chilean Sea Bass 6. Eel 7. Imported Shrimp 8. Japanese Yellowtail 9. Red Grouper 10. Orange Roughy

    Swap those 10 endangered:

    1. Alaskan Sablefish 2. Alaskan Wild Salmon 3. American Lobster 4. Pacific Cod 5. “Pole and Troll” Tuna 6. U.S.-farmed Barramundi 7. U.S.-farmed Shrimp 8. U.S.-farmed Tilapia 9. U.S.-Yellowtail Snapper 10. Wahoo

  • Give Meatless Monday a Try

    Vita Girl here! Since it’s Monday, I thought I would make a healthy living suggestion that I have already adopted: Meatless Mondays. Relax, I’m not asking you to give up meat entirely (I am not a vegetarian myself), but cutting down on your meat consumption by just one day a week can lower the amount of sodium and saturated fat you consume—especially if you eat cold cuts.

    I like a turkey sandwich as much as the next girl, but there’s no denying that processed or cured meats contain nitrates, chemical preservatives, sodium and saturated fat. I always look for organic or whole cuts of meat for my sandwiches and try to eat meat-free a few days a week. To ease yourself into eating less meat, maybe try just one day a week, like Meatless Monday!

    Some of my favorite meatless lunches include a regular old PB&J on wheat bread; a healthy burrito made from grilled zucchini, black beans and low-fat cheese; and an egg white frittata with broccoli (made in the micro!). Paired with some fruit or baked pita chips and washed down with mineral water and I am completely satisfied!

  • Harnessing That Childlike Energy

    As a guest blogger for Vitalyte, I have to level with you. I am not a huge endurance sports person anymore. Although I used to be. When I was a kid, I was a gymnast for nearly 10 years. I went to practice four times a week for four hours, and during competition season, I was competing in meets almost every Saturday for hours on end. Coupled with those 16 hours of practice a week, I also had dance lessons for another two hours a week. On top of all that, I am proud to say, I was a straight-A student.

    Boy, if only we had the energy now that we had when we were kids. Think of everything we could get accomplished. I want to channel the inner child in me and harness that energy once again. I challenge you to do the same.

    To start with, I am going to make myself healthier. When I was a kid, I was always on my feet, whether that be at gymnastics practice or outside playing with my friends. I kept the blood flowing through my veins and I enjoyed it. Now it seems, getting me up and working out is such a task. There is always something else on my mind that I am thinking about or I simply just don’t enjoy working out. I’ve come up with a couple solutions to this.

    One, I am going to consciously allot myself a certain amount of leisure time a day, where I am able to put my worries aside, and focus only on the moment I am in.

    Second, I am going to harness the inner kid inside of me and start doing activities that I enjoy. Running is off the list. I never have nor ever will enjoy it. Maybe I’ll look into taking some dance classes, going swimming, rollerblading, bike riding – the stuff I used to love when I was a kid.

    The point is to figure out what made me so happy when I was younger, because when I am happy, I feel healthier. And when I feel healthier, I feel like I can take on the world. I urge you to join me on this mission this year to take back your inner child. Have fun, get healthy!

  • Post Marathon Recovery Advice

    Hello Vitalyte fans! How was the La Jolla Half? I bet many of you are still feeling the burn. And perhaps I should have posted this sooner. But anyways, here are some great tips for post-marathon recovery (provided by the lovely Active.com). Listen up and get your body back on track.

    Step 1 – Recovery actually should start the minute you finish the race. As soon as you’re done, slowly wind your body down. After all, depending on if it was a half or a full, you just ran between 13 to nearly 27 miles. What you really need to do is keep walking for at least 10 minutes after you cross the finish line. Doing so will allow your heart rate and blood flow to return to their normal states. It also reduces the possibility of blood pooling in your legs, which causes fainting. For the remainder of the day you should ideally get up and walk around for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.

    Step 2 – Refuel that empty tank of yours! As soon as possible after the run, eat a healthy meal that includes carbohydrates, protein and sodium. It’s said that essential nutrients are most efficiently absorbed in the first 30 to 60 minutes after the race has ended. That being said, get a good PB & J sammie and drink up that Vitalyte!

    Step 3 – After a few hours have passed since the race, it’s time to soak your muscles in cool water. San Diegans, head down to the beach for a refreshing dip in the ocean. Those of you near a lake, take advantage of its cool waters. If you can’t get to either, draw a lukewarm bath at home and then add ice. Anyway you go, you’ll want to soak for about five minutes to help decrease inflammation and help speed the recovery process. Definitely avoid hot tubs or hot baths! As tempting as they may be, the heat can be a roadblock to recovery.

    Step 4 – Hydrate to the max. Um hello, you just ran a marathon. Drink drink drink to replace those lost electrolytes. Water is key, but sports drinks like – do I really have to hint anymore here? – Vitalyte, will help bring your electrolytes fast. Also, eat small meals frequently throughout the rest of the day.

    Step 5 – Massage out the pain. Schedule a massage no sooner than two hours after the race. If you get one too soon they can create added soreness. But, when you get one a little later on, they have a great impact on post-marathon recovery. Plus, they just feel great and are relaxing.

    Step 6 – For the next 7 to 10 days following the race refrain from running and stick to lower impact activities like swimming, cycling and yoga. If you run too soon after a big race, you are just asking for an injury.

    Step 7 – When you do start running again, don’t go full-speed ahead right away. Slowly work your longer and harder runs back into your routine.

    Hope these handy tips help some of you!

  • Run Your Heart Out! Sunday's La Jolla Half Marathon

    Picturesque vistas of turquoise water and golden sands, the feel of the wind blowing through my hair, the warm sun on my face…. These are a few of my favorite things. Sunday’s La Jolla Half Marathon is coming up and it’s going to be stellar. Ok, ok, I’m not actually slated to run in the race but I for sure may cruise out there to watch everyone and support Vitalyte. But for those of you hard-core marathoners out there who are running, you’re in for a fantastic time.

    Here are some motivational thoughts and race-day tips to get you physically and mentally prepared for Sunday (or any half marathon you may run):

    Just Show Up. You may find that come race-day morning you are tired, stressed-out or just not mentally prepared for the challenge ahead of you. Yes, 7:30AM is pretty early. But the crucial thing is to get there and just do it. Stop over-thinking or if you are going to think about anything, think about how great it will feel to be out running next to the ocean. Even if you get there, start the race and can’t get to the finish line, the important thing is that you were there.

    Take It All In. Now that you’re up and going, enjoy every minute of it. Enjoy the fact that you have two legs that can carry you all those miles. Enjoy the way you feel at mile 1, when you’re fresh and full of energy. Enjoy how you feel at mile 10, even if you are beyond drained (as I would be) and think you can’t go any farther.

    Slow and Steady Wins the Race Well, I don’t know about winning the race, but you will at least be able to finish so long as you don’t overdo it, especially at the beginning. Pace yourself and bring your pace down a bit in the beginning. Then, kick it up a notch or two for the last few miles.

    Have Fun. See all those people on the sidelines? (I will be one of them.) They are there for you. They’ll be cheering you on so don’t forget to have fun and cheer back. High-five the kids on the sidelines. Wave to the crowd. Feeling like you want to give up? Find a fellow racer and start up a friendly conversation. It’s amazing how your pain magically goes away when you focus on outside things.

    Last but not least, Sport Your Finisher’s Medal. Wear it everywhere. Take it to the bar with you. Take it to dinner. You made it though the race. You deserve to have a little self-serving glory. So go ahead and be proud. You did it.

    Good luck on Sunday everyone! We will be rooting for you!

  • Mother Knew Best - Eating Like a Kid Again

    Happy Monday Vitalyte friends! I did some thinking over the weekend and I came to realize that, frankly, I eat terribly. As a 26 year old, who’s on the go all the time, occasionally living paycheck to paycheck and who, to be quite honest, fears her own cooking, my eating habits are not the best. In fact I usually expect a weekly lecture from my mother asking me if I’m eating well and reminding me to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday. But what can I say? I don’t have the time nor the desire to grocery shop or cook. Usually I grab a granola bar for breakfast or skip it altogether, I eat out almost every lunch and my dinners usually consist of cheese and crackers or a frozen pizza.

    Let’s compare this to when I was 10. At that age, my mom cooked for me. She always made sure I had three complete meals a day – healthy, balanced meals – and that I had snacks in between. I always got enough protein, fruits and vegetables. I never overdosed on sugar. Never touched alcohol. And certainly never went near coffee. No wonder I had so much energy.

    So why have I let myself succumb to the vices I am a prisoner of now? Convenience, laziness, heck, maybe even a tinge of rebellion have caused me to change my eating habits so drastically from when I was a kid. Well I say, the bunk stops here. No more excuses. I am going to start changing my consumption habits not for any dietary, weight-loss reasons, but simply because I want to feel better. They say you are what you eat, so I have got to stop putting garbage into my body. My mother never let me do it when I was a kid; she knew better, And now I know better too. I am going to make a conscious effort to grocery shop for healthy foods, not just what is convenient. I am going to conquer my fear of cooking and try new recipes. And I am going to try to kick my caffeine habit (this last one may be the hardest). There are so many other healthy energy drinks that I can try for energy instead.... hmmm like Vitalyte maybe?

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