How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

Maintaining your fitness and wellness habits can be challenging, especially when life gets
busy. However, developing simple and effective strategies will help you stay on track and
keep your health a priority. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to
staying fit and healthy, complete with tips and techniques that you can implement in your
daily routine.

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6 Tips For Quality Run Training

6 Tips For Quality Run Training

Tips for Quality Run Training Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices...

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Goof Race Recap – Climb for Air

Goof Race Recap – Climb for Air

What a weekend!  I raced with Team Foley Saturday during the Fight For Air Stair Climb in Tampa at the Bank of America building, then I did my first triathlon of the season at the HITS Ocala Olympic Triathlon.  Needless to say come Monday morning I was a little stiff, but full of rigor because of what I accomplished.

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Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5:30am which actually was about 45 minutes later than during the week.  (WOO HOO!  I got to sleep in.)  I had no trouble jumping up, taking a quick shower to wake up, and heading into downtown Tampa for the Fight for Air Stair Climb.  These stair climbs are sponsored by the American Lung Association and are held all over the country.  The Tampa event consists of a team event, an individual event and a firefighter event.  The Team Event, incorporates an undetermined amount of members on the team, and is scored with the top 3, lowest times.  The members of teams, and athletes not members of teams, are entered into the individual event which incorporates the common age groups and is scored based on the individual’s performance.   The firefighter event, is strictly for active firefighters sporting their full protective gear.  Boots, pants, coat, helmet, tank and mask, while then racing up the 42 flights.  It is an incredible site.

I have been a member of Team Foley under the leadership of Captain Lisa Jamison for the last couple of years.

Lisa, Our Fearless Leader

Fearless Leader
Lisa Jamison

John Foley was a good friend of hers whom passed due to lung cancer, so our team has always dedicated our performance to him.  The last two years we finished first and won the team competition, but unfortunately a team named “7 Minutes of Pain” ended up winning, but we finished a close second.

The event starts with the normal registration and announcements outside the building and then the teams are brought in by their predetermined time, to the stairwell.   The bibs we are given have timing chips built in and a couple of steps before the first set of stairs is a start mat with the finish mat at the top to capture the times.  We arranged ourselves from fast to slow, so their would be very little passing that would cause a delay in any team member’s time or interrupted strategy.  I was positioned right behind Eric Scola, a CrossFit instructor and friend who was in obvious excellent shape.  He took off as I waited required 10 second gap in-between athletes before I started my journey to the top.

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First Flight

For such a short race, it feels like forever.  There are different strategies to running the stairs.  Last year I blasted up 15 flights, before my lungs decided they had enough and I had to slow down.  This year I decided to take the same pace all the way up.  I found a rhythm of pulling on the rails and double stepping almost the entire way.   I did take a few single steps about 4 times during the duration of the race, but I mainly stuck with the double.  It ended up working for me with a time of 7:22 which was just about the same as I did last year, but I felt better and recovered faster.  In 2012, my lungs started really burning around floor 30 and it was very difficult to continue and it lasted almost 30 minutes after I completed the climb, but this year I ended up at the top feeling pretty good.  That is, until I sat down.  The burning sensation caught up with me as I was recovering in a small room at the top with a bottle of water.  It was very uncomfortable.  Thankfully they did not allow us to stay as long as we did in the past and shooed us back downstairs.  With the fresh air, I ended up recovering in about 5 minutes from the moment I exited the building.

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Finish

There is no ventilation in the stairwells or humidity for that matter and I believe after using maximum effort without regards to heart rate or respiration rate, it leads to that burning sensation for me.

After recovering an drinking some more water I found myself feeling really good.  It is the longest 7 minutes of my year, and I am so happy I have the ability to fund raise and compete in this race for Lisa and Team Foley.

 

Do you want to join us next year?

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Carpe Viam!!

Goof Review: Elf The Musical

The Tampa Bay Bloggers had an opportunity to see Elf the Musical on opening night and as a new member I was thrilled at the chance to take part.  Now as I am a new member I am not sure of the background of my fellow bloggers, but I do have a modest amount of training and experience in theater (www.bradminus.com), so I may be just a tad more specific especially on the acting, but nevertheless I hope my review will be informative enough to help you decide whether to see it or not.  Just a little foreshadowing….go see it.

Elf the Musical is based on the 2003 holiday movie Elf starring Will Farrell about a human baby who found his way into Santa’s bag during his Christmas visit to a local orphanage.  Since the boy was already an orphan, Santa and his elves decided to raise the child at the north pole just as they would any elf child.  The problem was Buddy, the human boy, grew to be over six feet tall.  After a small slip of the tongue by one of the other elves, Buddy learns that he is indeed human and asks Santa about his parents.  It is then that Buddy decides to go and find his father in the big city of New York.

NETwork Presentations LLC’s production of this family Christmas musical was alive with high energy musical numbers, colorful set pieces and smooth transitions from scene to scene.  In the past decade or two, Broadway and national tours have started to move toward high tech sets and stage work which include hgh intensive set changes, creative light and sound effects, and even some pyrotechnics.  Very recently I have noticed a small shift back to a more classical route where the set pieces are simple but painted well, the lighting is simple and the music and sound are achieved by a live orchestra instead of musical tracks.  This musical is a perfect example.  This simpler style has shifted the responsibility of the quality of productions back to the performers and less to the designers of sets, sound and lighting.  In my opinion it makes for a better show, but I may be a little biased.

The play opens up with Santa (Gordon Gray) sitting in his living room fighting with his television set.  He opens the fourth wall and greets the audience as if we were sitting on the floor right in his living room.  After subtly turning off his cell phone, he opens a book and prepares to tell us the story of Buddy the Elf.  At the point the living room is whisked away to Santa’s workshop where the elves are preparing for Christmas.   Gordon’s depiction of Santa throughout the play is wonderful.  His energy and boastfulness helped me to get lost in the show and actually believe I was at the north pole.

Matt Kopec’s characterization of Buddy is spot on as his high energy, child like characterization makes the audience believe this six-foot boy really does believe he is an elf and is horrified when he finds out he is actually human.  Matt’s singing voice is pure musical theater and was a joy to hear every time he opened his mouth.  I found myself waiting impatiently for his next number.

The real treat came from the character of Jovie (Kae Hennies), who captures Buddy’s heart the moment he sees her in the office of his biological father, Walter Hobbs (Drew Culver).  Jovie has to be coaxed in to singing during the number “A Christmas Song”, but when she finally decides to sing out, her voice beautifully resonates throughout the theatre and when paired with Buddy’s the duo create pure musical brilliance for any ear.

Other notable performances were by Michael, Buddy’s half brother played by Connor Barth who even as a young actor, had a mature voice for his age.  He tended to get a little pitchy in the upper registers, but because of his characterization was easily missed and forgivable.  Julia Louise Hosack played Emily Hobbs, Buddy’s step mother, also had a fantastic musical voice and she was able to lead Michael into musical duets that gave me the “warm fuzzies”.  The connection and chemistry between these two well trained actors allowed me to believe they were really mother and son.

The only drawback of this production that tugged me out of my holiday nirvana, was the voice of Drew Pulver whom played Walter Hobbs, Buddy’s father.  His performance was not inferior, it just did not mix well the rest of the ensemble in my humble opinion.  It was obvious to the audience that most of the ensemble were trained in contemporary music or musical theater   When Walter sang it was clearly operatic, to a point where the words were garbled and I couldn’t make out the lyrics.  Unfortunately, every time he sang it was distracting and his voice did not meld with the rest of the ensemble.

This show is classical musical theatre with simply painted sets, wonderful acting, and is sure to bring a smile to you and your family should you decide to see it.  It is a true Holiday treat.

Elf the Musical is playing at
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, Florida 33602
November 20-25
Wed. 7:30 p.m.
Fri. 2 and 8 p.m.
Sat. 2 and 8 p.m.
Sun. 1 and 6:30 p.m.

 

Fantastic Friday – Race Weekend

Revolution 3 Florida 70.3 is on Sunday, and today is the day a touch of anxiety fills my senses.  I have done all of this before and not too long ago, but there is a certain security to my anxiety.  If I don’t feel it then there is something wrong.  I expect it to build as certain events happen this weekend; athlete check-in, dropping my bike in transition, prepping my transition bag, body marking, setting up my transition and finally waiting for my heat time.  Anxiety has a negative tendency to it due to all the drugs out there we have to control it, but there is a certain excitement built in as well.

Here is my typical routine for race weekend.

Friday – this is my rest day.  I will not work out. I will just roll and stretch.  If I am staying at the race I will try and check-in but in the weekend’s case I will be checking in on Saturday.  I try to take in a little extra hydration today to start allowing my muscles to saturate with water so they are efficient on Sunday.  This is the last night I’ll have salad or fiber until Sunday.  I don’t want any surprises while I am on the bike or the run that will cause me to stop.  I try to stay off my feet most of the day and get as much sleep as possible because I know I will not sleep much tomorrow night.

Saturday – I do try to sleep in, well, sleep in for me which means anything after 6 am.  I hopefully will sleep until at least 7 am and then grab a snack and head out for a 15/15/15 workout.  15 minute Swim/Bike/Run just to get some blood to the muscles.  After a hearty breakfast with plenty of water, I tend to want to get Athlete check-in completed and my bike safely placed into transition giving me the rest of the day to relax and take my mind off the race.  Dinner will usually consist of lean meat or fish, a sweet potato, and possibly a vegetable like green beans, or squash, something lower in fiber.  In Augusta, I had a couple glasses of wine around 5 pm and I did well because I slept a little more.  I may try that again this time.  After dinner, I will start putting my gear together.  I will lay out everything on the floor, check to make sure I have everything by running through the race in my head.  After that, I have a crazy tradition of putting a collage together with what I plan on wearing, my race bib, shoes, glasses, hat helmet and whatever and taking a picture and posting it.  That is like my final step in accepting that the race is tomorrow and that I am ready for it.  At that point, I make sure I have an extra bottle of water and make my way to bed to relax.  I usually won’t be able to sleep until midnight or so.  Even in Augusta I think it was 11:30 before the wine finally hit may and I fell asleep.  In the race recap, I also mentioned the alarm didn’t go off and I overslept, so this time I am double checking my alarm and having my phone’s alarm set for 5 minutes later.

Sunday – I usually get up and shower in order to wake myself up.  I also have this crazy psychosis that the productive day doesn’t start until I have a shower, so this also puts in my mind it is time to start the day.  I will then probably have a good breakfast which until recently was oatmeal, but this Sunday it will be eggs and a sweet potato.  I’ll put coffee in a travel mug, grab my gear and head to transition.  Sunday it will be a little earlier to get started since I will have a 45-minute drive to get to the race, but I’ll enjoy the solitude of my car to go over my race strategy.  I’ll park, set up my transition and head to the water.  Hopefully, I’ll find the rest of the A-train and some other buddies to socialize with prior to the race which always seems to calm me down a bit.

Those are my plans for the weekend and my pre-race routine.  It usually works for me and maybe it will help someone else out there who is starting in this awesome sport.

Carpe Viam!!
Tampa Treasure Thursday – Jet City Espresso

Tampa Treasure Thursday – Jet City Espresso

There is a secret getaway we have here in Tampa, and it is very famous among Tampa runners and triathletes. Especially if you are a regular runner of the Four Green Fields Tuesday run, the McDinton’s Pub Tuesday Run, and the Yard of Ale Thursday run.  As a result, if you want the finest coffee and espresso drinks, the wildest and most nutritious smoothies and unbelievably delicious homemade scones and baked goods, you need to visit Jet City Espresso.

The Heart of Jet City Espresso

Jet City is owned and operated by Jessica Glover who brings a world of restaurant experience and tastes to her establishment.  She is committed to producing good coffee and freshly baked goods. She converted the sunroom of her house into the shop.  Do you want homemade baked goods?  Well, Jet City is the place to go.  Her scones are as delicious as they are fresh and natural.  Jessica is a fan of the most organic, natural and fresh ingredients possible.  Are you on a gluten-free diet?  No worries. She has gluten-free scones, rice crispy treats, and muffins.  Do you practice a Paleo lifestyle?  No problem there either. She provides Paleo Brownies and scones too.  Your mouth is watering now. Isn’t it?

Speaking of Paleo, what about her espresso drinks?  Do you require Coconut or Almond milk to make your latte or cappuccino? Not only will she make it with your favorite milk, but if you ask her nicely she might even sweeten it with coconut sugar or organic honey.

The Environment

I can continue to go on and on about Jessica’s delicious goods and coffee, but what makes this little secret so special is her rare positive energy that will not allow you to feel anything but happy during your visit. Because of the aura of positivity that the patrons of this magical coffee house also help to continue to create an atmosphere of, well, “home.”  Walk into this place once, and you are on your way to becoming one of the family and before you know it Jessica and the other patrons are calling you by name and you are receiving hugs and kisses on the cheek whenever you enter or leave.  Well, at least that what happens to me.

Most noteworthy, the walls are covered in with paintings of local musicians that were created by Jessica herself.  There are stands with guitars, mandolins, and banjos each of which can be picked up at any time and played with perfection by Jessica Glover herself.  When the conversation is not taken over by stories of races, or upcoming athletic events you might be lucky to find a couple of musicians jamming out.  Maybe you will hear, original tunes, contemporary covers, classic hits, or Jessica’s favorite, Irish Folk music.

You Won’t be Disappointed

In a society where almost all of the coffee shops are commercial, the coffee is burnt, the baked goods and food are shipped frozen and microwaved, Jet City brings you back when coffee was made to perfection, the baked goods were fresh and the environment was positive and friendly.  Beware, walking into Jet City one time guarantees you will constantly be aching to return.

318 S Edison Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
M-F 7a-2p, Sat-Sun 11a-1p
You might remember this woman from Tribute Tuesday #1
Virginia (Maya’s Mom), Elena (Maya’s Aunt), and Maya
Susan and Maya