Friday, June 17, 2011

Outrunning Poor Nutrition

Below is Kelly R.A's account of her recent San Diego "Rock and Roll" Half Marathon. Take the time to read it and learn from her experience!

Thanks for sharing, Kelly! Still proud of you, Sherri and V! We always learn more from our "failures" than our "successes".


“You can’t out-train poor nutrition.”

I’ve seen it scrawled on the whiteboard. I’ve heard it from Coach Chris countless times. I’ve worked it, I’ve embraced it, I get it. But last weekend, I finally understood it – completely (and its compadre, “you can’t outrun poor nutrition.”)

I looked forward to the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon since fall: A road trip with my best training buddies, time in amazingly beautiful southern California, and a respite from work and motherhood. A few weeks before, Sherri, Vanessa and I decided we had gotten a bit too squidgy around the middle and made a pact to shed some poundage before we had to drag it around for 13.1 miles. I went right back to what I learned from Chris and Bridging the Wellness Gap - logged daily calories, went to sleep without a full stomach, ate good stuff – and quickly lost 4 pounds. I headed west with my new bright pink Nikes and a great deal of gratitude and excitement.

It started slowly - After a delicious dinner of steamed fish and veggies, I was searching for that sweet treat, and dear Vanessa had no chocolate in her home! Was it because of the time change? Was it because I was finally feeling relaxed and almost carefree? Who knows? All I know is that with each meal, I kept driving the nutrition bandwagon into a ditch. I ate a few snacks here and there. I spent hours of sampling protein bars and shakes and other goodies at the race expo, and followed that with a big dinner and wine. My rock bottom is unfortunately documented on Facebook, where you can see me devouring a huge custard-filled doughnut for Saturday’s breakfast. I rationalized that the 90-minute sweat-fest of Bikram Yoga later that day had washed away my sugary sin, but I know better.

My pre-race dinners are usually fish and veggies and sweet potato, cooked at home while my feet are nestled in compression socks. This time, I still had fish and some veg (potato) but they were slathered in a buttery sauce, and my feet were tuckered from a fun frolic on the beach and boardwalk. We didn’t time our meals very well, either – mostly because we were too busy having fun to care about being off schedule. (Trading in the burpees for burps, I guess)… Of course, no decadent beachfront dinner would be complete without a soft-serve ice cream cone at the Beach Wave hut. Imagine DQ on steroids - that was it. Endless cone and cream down the gullet, less than 12 hours before the race.

The Three Amigo's at the race start

Race day dawned with perfect temperatures, no humidity - glory! But my insides were far from rejoicing. I spent much of my pre-race time intentionally and intestinally challenged due to my food faux pas. By the time corral 28 reached the start, I was worried less about the impending heat than where the porta-johns were located. Everything about this race felt different: At mile 5, I felt my legs tighten the way they usually do at mile 8; my fingers swelled more than usual and I could not keep my head firmly in the game, much less in a pace. I kept telling myself “just run this out, run past this,“… but really I couldn’t – because “this” was me, not something to outrun.

I finished. It was a blast. And I am in the toughest recovery yet from any half marathon I have done. I had a lot of all over pain, I am still not eating well, and my usual umph! is more ugh!

At the race finish - lesson learned and all smiles. A win/win...

I share this not because I am proud and not because I enjoy talking about my personal digestive habits with all of you. I simply want to share a lesson learned, may it benefit someone somewhere. I know that poor nutrition played a big part in my performance and recovery. I guess I needed to test the theory, learn the hard way.

Now, I’m looking forward to Whole30 and Whole9 – perfect timing! Time to make my body feel good and I know I will perform better. I know it won’t be easy to say no to soft serve and other summer treats. But I also know the alternative – and I’m not trying to outrun anything anymore.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Success Story

Below is a testimony from Lori McCoy, who is fast approaching her One Year Anniversary at PR! It's been more than rewarding to help coach Lori over the past 10 months and to watch her transform on the outside as well as the inside. When I first met Lori, she was pretty quiet, a bit on the shy side, and not overly confident in her physical abilities. Yet, following the PR prescription of attending class on a regular basis, working on her skills and devoting time to practice, she is now one of our more experienced athletes. She has truly transformed into an empowered woman who is confident, strong (always one of the top deadlifters in the gym), an ambassador for real fitness and a great role model.

Contact PR Fitness today to learn how PR Fitness can help transform your life and to schedule your Foundations sessions -


“What are you doing?” my friend Anna asked.

“Eating a cookie” I answered. Not that she could see me through the phone. I could have lied, said that I was cleaning or something more acceptable. I put the cookie down and started to listen to Anna’s tale of the new gym she had joined. She told me about this place called “PR Fitness” and a thing called “CrossFit” and how nice everyone was. I stared at the cookie.

“You should check it out” Anna prompted.

“Yeah, I should. I’ve got to do something different. I’m stuck and haven’t lost any weight for the past month.” (As though the cookie I’m mentally undressing has nothing to do with the lack of weight loss.)

And so it began. In the following hours I would have read every single blog post on the PR Fitness site. I traded facebook posts back and forth with Anna about how scary it all looked. *I* couldn’t do those things. *I’m* not one of those types of people. I’m a mom. I walk on the treadmill. My entire athletic career began and ended with the 4th grade track team (I did have a mean standing long jump though). Joining the gym would be selfish due to time and money requirements. And then Anna asked if I wanted to try out a class. And I swear to you in that moment I lost my ever loving mind and I heard “Yes” tumble from my mouth. I was hooked by the images of women dragging tires through a parking lot. And barbells and boxes that people were jumping up on. But the thing I saw shining through in every single image was what I wanted most, self confidence and happiness.

Like many women, I’ve spent my entire teen and adult years hating most of my body. Trying to will it in to a different shape, cursing my big thighs and calves, counting calories, thinking “if I only worked harder/ate less/had better genetics”. I was positive that true happiness and contentment were tied directly to 20 pounds less on the scale. This constant battle had worn me down. I was tired and the direction I had been going wasn’t working. PR Fitness seemed like as much of a turn in the opposite direction as I was going to find.

Lori, sporting one of my all-time favorite shirts. Speaks volumes about who she is :)

That night the trial workout darn near killed me. I can’t even remember everything we did. I just remember part of it was in the parking lot and it was starting to lightly drizzle. People were laughing, the breeze was blowing and it was such hard work but it felt so good. Afterwards, I couldn’t raise my arm high enough to blow dry my hair. I sat on the couch for the entire next day, sore as could be and then in another fit of temporary insanity, I called Richard and scheduled my first Foundations class. I was hooked.

I'm currently in my 10th month at PR. Now I obsess more with the weight on the barbell than the weight on my skeleton. I haven’t been on the scale for months and yet I’ve had to donate four bags of clothes that were too big. For the first time ever, I’m thankful for my hips, thighs and calves, they’re the expansive muscles that drive lifts. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I fall asleep running deadlift and power clean techniques through my head. I’ve found out that I love the physical sensation of lifting. I’m intoxicated by that moment where the barbell settles on you and you feel the drive of weight pinpoint down through your heels, tying you to the earth. I chase that moment every time a max weight session comes up. There’s not a number on the scale that can compete with knowing you can lift really, really heavy stuff and how incredibly alive you feel when you break your old personal record.

I thought I was being selfish by joining. I miss out on family dinner time and we have to budget more carefully to afford the membership. Starting out I felt guilty about doing this for me. Now I see that it’s not selfish at all and I’m not just doing this for me. My daughter makes up her own workouts, she talks about wanting to be stronger and faster, she even practices kipping pull-ups on her swing set. By joining the gym, I’ve become her living example of a healthy lifestyle and she’s happily following my lead. We’ve both benefited and as a mom I couldn’t ask for more. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 months bring.