Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Favorites... Podcast Edition

As we roll into a new year, I thought I'd throw some of my favorite things out there, just in case you're looking for something new to take with you into 2017. 

I am completely a Podcast junkie. I'm currently subscribed to 12. Some I listen to faithfully, some I check in on only occasionally. Here are my top choices:

My Current Favorites:

Endurance Planet Hosted by Tawnee Prazak Gibson, MS, CSCS, this podcast focuses on training, racing, nutrition, and generally living a healthy lifestyle. Tawnee herself has experience and education in endurance sports. The podcast features "Ask the Coaches" episodes where she and Tim “Lucho” Waggoner chat about their own training and lives as well as answer listener questions. This is a great podcast for marathoners, ultra-marathoners, and triathletes who are truly interested in improving performance through scientifically proven training and nutrition. 

Marathon Training Academy Hosted by the husband and wife team of Angie and Trevor, the MTA podcast features interviews from runners with a variety of backgrounds-- professionals like Dean Karnazes and everyday people like members of the "Academy." Angie is an RN and a USATF and RRCA certified running coach, who is a "Marathon Maniac" and has completed more marathons than I can count. Trevor is newer to running and has completed fewer races. I love listening to Trevor and Angie talk about their running and their family. Angie offers advice for beginners to advanced runners and both share their own training, racing, and life experience. 

Obstacle Racing Media Podcast Matt B. Davis began this as a personal podcast to document the rise of obstacle course racing. This originally began as a one-man-show and has developed into one of the best sources of information and news from the obstacle racing world. The archives of the ORM podcast are a Who's Who of the obstacle racing world, and serves as the Wikipedia of all things OCR. Matt interviews a variety of guests including race directors, course designers, trainers, and elite racers.  

The Paleo Women Podcast As the name indicates, this podcast takes an in-depth look at healthy eating for women. Noelle and Stefani discuss hormones, nutrition, and mental health, tackling tough issues such as eating disorders, self-love, thyroid and gut health. As I'm aging, I'm realizing the importance that hormones play in good mental and physical health, and that caring about what I eat is more than just being concerned about calories. 

The Dave Ramsey Show Switching gears from physical health to fiscal health. This is the podcast "where debt is dumb, and cash is king." Giving the best advice on money, Dave walks callers through "The Baby Steps," helping his listeners pay off debt and use a budget to organize their lives and money. 

Other Good Ones: 

Obstacle Dominator For training and racing OCR. Hunter McIntyre provides comic relief to Ben Greenfield's analytic brain. Rose Wetzel joins and provides a woman's perspective. 

The Fat-Burning Man Abel James interviews a variety of guests with a focus on healthy, natural living. 

Walk in the Word One of my favorite pastors, James MacDonald, provides uplifting and encouraging messages. It's the perfect balance of truth and humor-- and upbeat enough that I can listen on the run.

Honestly, there are about 10 more that I check in with often. I'm not going to list them all here, but would be happy to geek out with anyone who wants to chat about podcasts!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Healthy Holidays

Bacon cheeseburger and sweet potato fries
Well, here it is. Time once again for gathering with family and friends and... food. Lots and lots of food. So, what's there to do? Wave the white flag and surrender to the delightfully delicious desserts? Stand resolute and rally your willpower and abstain from all holiday treats? I think the answer is somewhere in between diving eyeballs deep into sugar and completely avoiding all caloric temptations. As I often say, have a plan... or failing to plan is planning to fail. 

The key to having a healthy holiday season is keeping the same mentality as you do the remainder of the year. Hopefully it's something like this: Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Or: Everything in moderation. The former actually comes from the Bible, and I like it-- basically "I can do whatever I want. But not all that I want is good for me."

Stay Focused. What are your ultimate goals? Maintain a healthy weight? Run a marathon? Live a long life? Keep your eyes on the prize, not on the pecan pie. Eat or drink what you want at that holiday gathering, but then step away from the table. Don't throw up your hands after falling off the clean eating wagon and spend the rest of the holiday bingeing.

5k in a Santa costume, anyone?
Find a New Goal. I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions for the sake of setting a New Year's Resolution. But I'm a huge fan of setting a goal to make you a better you. Decide now on a new goal-- don't wait for January 1. Figure out some way that you want to make you better and begin taking baby steps toward that goal now. If your goal is to clean up your diet, lose X lbs., or run a marathon, is it going to get you closer or further away from your goal if you gain an extra 5 or 10 lbs over the holiday?

Love Yourself. That's all. Once you truly find a love of an appreciation for yourself, then you can turn that outward and into the lives of the people around you. If you're not happy with yourself there's no one in the world who can make you happy. There's nothing in the world that will bring you peace until you make peace with yourself. I wish I could provide a quick and easy 3 steps to doing this. For me it begins with a relationship with God. He is love. The more connected that I am with Him, the more connected I am to myself and then to others.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What's New for Spartan Race... and Win!

Here's the thing... this is the first year since Spartan Race's beginning in 2010 that I haven't done a Spartan Race. And I thought I'd be fine with that. The races that came close to me this year just didn't fit into my schedule. In thinking of missing them at the time I shrugged my shoulders, thinking no big deal. 

But I've really missed it. I can't say that I'm a diehard Spartan-- I've never once yelled "AROO!" at a race. Never done a trifecta. Never gone to Vermont. Never done a hurricane heat.

However, that first Spartan Super in Miami was the gateway into obstacle course racing, and really into functional fitness. I discovered a true love for training. My training shifted from sitting on machine and isolating muscles to running, climbing monkey bars and ropes, swinging kettlebells, and doing burpees (lots of burpees). Training for that first Spartan taught me to appreciate what my body can do.

My first Spartan Race was absolutely exhilarating. I ran through trails, swam, jumped, crawled and climbed walls. I was transformed into a living, breathing human being and transported to my childhood days of running through my grandma's acres of woods. The finish line was beginning of my growth into becoming an athlete as an adult. And as they said in the early days at Spartan Race, You'll know at the finish line.

Flash forward to today... Spartan has some BIG things happening:
Race passes... 
The Trifecta pass, which offers 3 codes good for Spartan Races... (ideally for the trifecta, but you can choose to register for any 3 events).

The 2017 (Open or Elite) Season Pass will gain you unlimited entries into 2017 races, a free spectator pass, free bag check, multi-lap discounts and all kinds of Spartan goodness. Check out the Spartan Race website for complete details.

New Medals

Because, let's be real. We want an amazing race experience, but we want some really amazing bling because it's the tangible reminder of our race.

New Obstacles
The Spartan Race team has proven a high level of ingenuity in creating some brand new obstacles, like the one seen here and in the video series. There has been a dramatic increase in the innovation of the obstacles from 2010 to 2017. The races aren't just about crawling through mud and climbing walls any more. These obstacles required both skill and strength.

The 2016 Reebok Spartan World Championship on NBC

Enter to win a free race:

a Rafflecopter giveaway