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Springtime, kind of.

Spring is here! Except for the inevitable 10 more days of snow that we will get in April and May.  But other than that… it is awesome. 

Tam and I have been heading down to Fruita regularly, we both have races in the next 4 weeks.  We have had a productive and overly-busy winter.  Both of us have been working with coaches, she is working with Josiah Middaugh and I have been with Alan Christie.  And it makes a difference.  Tam and I both coach lots of athletes, know almost every workout that these guys give us, but simply don’t get them done if we schedule it ourselves. 

These guys also take out the emotion that can screw up so many athlete’s seasons.  I mean, “I feel really good today, so I am going to do another 20 miles”.  Or, “I am really struggling, but I need to push harder in order to compensate”.  Lastly, “I am tired and sore, I will just take the day off”.

These are very common thoughts that we ALL have.  Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, when these show up, we often listen to them.  When we do that, we can unravel our training block and not have the right build or recovery block. 

The most important thing to me is that it makes you accountable to something.  Even if it is just to your computer screen as you check off the workouts.  Before Jan 1, I maybe worked out twice a week.  I knew I should start, but there was always something else to do.  Since then, it has been a very consistent 8-12 hours a week.  It has been a huge change and I don’t wonder if you should work out, I figure out how to fit in what my coach has put on my schedule. 

Hope everyone is getting outside, it has been awesome.  Here is the first ride that we enjoyed on Saturday:  http://tpks.ws/KpsS


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Busy. Busy. Busy.

Isn’t it amazing how busy you can get when the weather is nice and you realize that summer is only about 4 months long where you live?

We are officially into Autumn here, which means that the Valley slows down, and you start to have time to do things for your self.  We finished up our Mountain Bike racing for the season.  I finished with the 24 Hours in the Sage, stopping 18 hours into it.  Tam finished with a Cat 1 win at the MSC Race in Sol Vista.  Before that we were in the North East for 2 great Xterra races, both of which Tam was the top female.  I did the bike portion, teaming up with my dad and Bro-in-law.  We were first 1 race and dead last the other.  The one we came in last was after a week’s worth of bingeing on my mom’s baking.

Tamara Donelson on her Ellsworth Enlightenment 29Now Tam is gearing up for Xterra US Nationals.  They are up in Ogden, UT.  And we just found out that Lance (yes, the Lance) is going to race.  Doesn’t he know super skinny guys don’t float very well?  This is always a cool race in a beautiful part of Utah.

After that is a couple of weeks until we go to Maui for Xterra World Championships.  And then after that, Tam gets to have some down time.  I have been having it, and it is very nice.  This has been a perfect opportunity for me to set some goals for next season and over the winter.  I tell everyone of my clients to set goals.  And I rarely do.  But what is amazing, is that if you listen to what you are saying to other people, and implement them into your own life, it works out well.

So for the next week or two, as I watch some of the best endurance athletes in the world compete.  Goals are on my mind and good goals, SMART goals.  I would highly recommend it.


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Yvonne Writes Better

Here is a post from Yvonne Schwartz, one of the amazing teachers that helps with the Youth Foundation’s Girl PowHer group and the Ells Angels.

Please check this out. Although these are teenagers, it is all applicable to all of us. If you don’t have a regular class, find one. Period.

You can find Yvonne’s link at the bottom of the post to stay up-to-date on the Vail Valley’s Yoga.

Yvonne’s Post


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Laziness and the Number.

OK, so someone that I really care about and think highly of told me to get off of my butt and start posting things again. So, here we go. After the nutrition challenge I had dropped about 8 pounds and was feeling pretty god about myself. But I also felt like I didn’t want to be “restricted” anymore. What a joke? There is a difference between taking the “restrictions off” and going to one of the 5 pizza joints within .5 miles of my house and downing a large pizza, soda, and cookies by myself.
What is it that makes me/us think that when we get around a food we like, that it is going “to run out”. SOme of us may not have that feeling, but I know a lo of us do. What is this scarcity idea that we trick ourselves into believing? Does it come from greed? Does it come from our parents setting limits on us when we are kids? I think that is why I have a hard time with eating well. I am afraid that if I start eating well, I can’t have the foods i “like” anymore. What a dumb idea. And I am putting it out there because it is dumb. Here is my next challenge. It is a short one, but I am going to think that I can have pizza ANYTIME that I want. I can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. And it will not run out. I will know that no matter how much I eat now, I can always have some later.
Also, I used to have a goal weight written on my bathroom mirror. I had it for the challenge. And it worked. Then mine got wiped away and Tam has kept hers. Tam has come close to meeting her 15 week goal in 7 weeks. Needless to say, my number is now back up on the mirror and reminds me every morning when I get up that hopefully I will not go aimlessly through my day eating whatever “I want”.


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Day 35 – Rule 6. Who is with me?

OK, who out there had a successful sweet-free week?  Cort, did you come up with another rule if that one wasn’t going to happen?  I had a pretty successful week.  I had a soda today, and something yesterday, which I can’t remember, but other than that, it as pretty good.  Ok, here is rule #6, plan out what you will eat for the following day.  This is hard, REALLY REALLY hard.  We all have long days, we are all tired, we all stay up too late.  But we all want to eat better, lose weight, go faster, be healthier, etc.  And this is one great way to do it.  So, if you plan out your day, and you were not able to follow it, I want you to post on here why, and what you ate and when.  Was it a decent choice?  Is it always the same time of day? and did you eat something because of stress, boredom, or a good reason like you were actually hungry?  That is all fine, but we should be aware of why we are eating.  Make sense?  We are in our last week.  And I have to say, in the last 2 weeks, especially since cutting sugar, I have lost about 4 pounds.  I also had a headache when when I had the sugar and Maple Syrup.  That was it.  Whole wheat oatmeal pancakes yesterday, but with Maple syrup.  I immediately had an upset stomach and headache.  I am blaming it on the sugar :)  So let me know if you are out there and following this.

Here are some pictures of a wellness program that we have started with the Youth Foundation.  I have mentioned this before in other posts.  Tam also has mentioned the Ells Angels, well that group will come out of this one.  MUCH more to come on that.  Stay Tuned.  Thanks and have a very planned week. :)

The GirlPowHer Girls doing Yoga.

The GirlPowHer Girls doing Yoga.


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Day 10 – Going strongish.

Well some other things in life may have fallen off of the wagon a little, but not my salads and water!!  It is tough to get it in, sometimes I chug it right before bed, not the best soution.  But it is the challenge, and hopefully in 4 more weeks as I do this I will learn to get it in earlier.  Like today, I have been up for 2 hours and haven’t had any.  Again, HOPEFULLY I will learn.  It is about -3 degrees here today and I am looking out at our Master’s swimmers swimming with a thick cloud of steam coming off of the pool.  Their kickboards are all frozen to the pool deck, and they are all very hesitiant to get out of the 85 deg water to run inside.

How is everyone else doing on their challenge?  Cort, I am psyched the kids are doing it, even if they do get a little sick of the salads.  Is your husband participating too?

On another note, our new women’s wellness program with the Youth Foundation, Girl Powher just started their yoga classes on the 3rd.  They are such cool women and have really been doing great.  Keep checking back as we update what this group will be doing in the future.  It will be exciting.  Here is a pic from that Monday.

Girl Powher Group


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Day 4 – A close call.

Well the day that should have been the easiest turns out to be the hardest.  Even though Tam made it for me, I am sitting here at 9PM and I am about to eat the salad.  I was just on a schedule where I kept saying “I will have it next meal”. Well when I got to those meals I made something else, so here I am.  Luckily I just played a soccer game so that I am at least hungry.  Let me know how everyone else is doing.  Again, this is not hard.  I just didn’t make it a priority, which it should be.  Anyways, I have eaten 4 more salads this week than I did in about 4 weeks during the holiday season.  And OF COURSE, Tam has had one everyday.  I feel like this may not be much of a challenge for her.  Well, I am at least 1 day ahead of her on the bike.  And thank goodness there is no competitive spirit in this household…

And we are going to post more, but I am very proud, I just wanted to show off this photo that we just got.  It is from Trail Runner Magazine, and I think it is rad. David Clifford took it.  Check out his link, he is amazing.  Here it is:

tamara-donelson-running-in-the-river


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Day 2 and 3 – Success

It is even easy to eat a salad when you are on time.  After a full 12 hour day of clients and meetings, it is easy to eat a salad whether you have time for it or not.  I had spinach, a little hummus, sweet potatoes, some blueberries, tomatoes, etc.  I have to admit, Roasted red Pepper hummus and blueberries is not a combination i will ever put out for a dinner party.

So I am meeting my nutrition challenge, only I just heard of this “amazing cleanse” that everyone is doing and is working wonders for them.  And I wonder, “well maybe if I do that things will work and happen faster.”  But…  I am going to just continue on making these small challenges, and maybe that will be weeks 6-10 after this is done.

The absolute best part about this challenge:  Tam has already made tomorrow’s salad for me.


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Day 1 – Success

Well, that was easy.  I mean really easy.  It is amazing what you can do if you plan.  For example, Tam and I both missed our alarms, and woke up 20 minutes before we needed to see our first client.  It is a 12 minute drive to work and get to the gym.  We obviously had to get out of bed and contrary to popular belief, we do not live/eat/sleep in workout clothes.  So we had to put those on too.  So… this all goes to show that it takes MUCH LESS than 5 minutes to make a salad as long as it is your priority.  It is also amazing how many other things you become aware of when you start to make a small change like this.  Like an emphasis on working out, eating healthier foods during your other times of day, water intake, etc.  So here comes day two. If there is anyone out there doing this with me, let me know, so the 2 or 3 of us can chat together :)


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The First 3 Rules

So, if you are going to partake in this challenge, we are going to get started tomorrow.  Again, this is a 6 week challenge with a new “rule” each week.  Here are my rules:

Week 1 – Have a salad each day.  (Also, 4-5 serves of fruit and Vegetables a day, and yes, your salad counts in that 4-5).

Now – a salad is not 2 pieces of lettuce and a ton of ranch dressing.  A salad is a healthy salad.  We all know what goes into that.  Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, avocado, chicken, fish, tuna, etc.  And a little bit of dressing.  If you are going to follow this challenge, let’s do it right and not call a huge ceaser from one of our many American “family restaurants” a salad.  Clear?  If not, post it below and we will answer your questions.  If you have a great salad, then you only need a 2 pieces of fruit a day. Easy.

Week 2 – Pee Clear.

And the salads.  These glasses of water are not shot glasses.  Real glasses of water.  The size of our sodas at McDonald’s.  The Mediums, not the super-sized one. Clear?  If you are not peeing clear then you are dehydrated.  Studies show that a slightly dehydrated person will burn 3-5% less fat than when they are hydrated.  I personally live in an extremely dry climate.  This is hard to do, but have a water bottle with you and get after it.  Again, Pee Clear.

Week 3 – Protein for Breakfast.

Protein as an energy source gives us a longer lasting energy and can help fight off sweet and junk food cravings later in the day.  So have some eggs, a protein shake, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, etc.  Now each of those can open up a whole can of worms.  Too much of any of those is not a good thing.  There are some terrible protein powders out there and some good ones.  I am not going to go into endorsing everyone, but I have had success with a rice protein, whey protein, and also just walking into a GNC and asking for help.

If we hit week 4 together and we are still rocking, I will tell you about week 4-6 when we get closer.   If you want to do this in the best way possible, and you want to track things like we talked about.  Fill out our client questionnaire and I will get you into the software that we use for free.  Then once you are in there, click on the help button in the upper right corner.  There are help videos that will show you what you need to know.  And of course, you can ask us for help if you get confused.  Talk soon.