Thursday, January 23, 2014


David Naelon

I feel suckpunched. My heart is heavy and saddened at the very tragic news
 that my teammate and friend, David passed away yesterday. 
The world has truly lost one of the good ones.

Last year, I spent a couple hours getting lost running with him and our teammate, Kate on the Mesa Trail and Chautauqua Park when we were at our Team Summit meeting in Colorado.

 I was in awe of how he talked of his beautiful wife, Ashley. I could just see just how much he loved her by the way he spoke of her and the stories he told us. I remember assuming they were newlyweds...and they were not! They had been together for many, many years. It was just simply a beautiful thing to see this kind of love for another emanate from him. 

I have been blessed to get to know Ashley and I can see how these two were drawn to each other. Both such kind, generous and GENUINE people. 

My heart breaks for Ashley. I know that her strong Faith in God will help her through this very difficult time. 

from the Rev3 archives, a bit about my friend, David. 
We were blessed to have you with us, even if God took you home too soon, for us.

As the Rev 3 Triathlon quickly approaches, we continue to be floored by the enthusiasm, dedication, and physical abilities of our registered athletes—and humbled by their willingness to share their inspirational stories.
This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with David Naelon, a self- described “triathlon addict” who lives with his wife and fellow athlete, Ashley, in Davidson, North Carolina. As a cancer survivor, David was drawn to the charitable objectives of the Rev 3 event. This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with David about his motivations and goals. We think you’ll find his story to be a rich source of positivity and motivation.
REV3: What made you decide to sign up for the charity challenge?
DAVID: I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1990—the day before I was supposed to leave to go to college. I was ultimately very fortunate. I had an amazing oncologist who brought the best medicines to my treatment. I went through chemotherapy for 11 months. My “victory party” celebrating the end of my treatments was on my birthday—I couldn’t think of a better present! During a recent sermon by my pastor, I realized I needed to share my story and get more involved to assist others who were suffering. That night, I came across an advertisement for REV3. When I saw it was also a fundraiser for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research, I felt a calling to get involved.
REV3: Why did you choose the REV3 event over other cancer-related charity events?

DAVID: I love triathlons and I love college basketball. I’ve been a fan of Jimmy V’s since the national title at North Carolina State in ’83. It all just seemed to fit. A number of my family members and friends have been impacted by cancer. I view this opportunity to assist in raising money and awareness as a blessing from God to answer His call to action.
REV3: How do you plan to train for the event?
DAVID: Each year, my wife and I will compete in 8-10 triathlons of various lengths. This race fits into my training schedule very well, which made the decision to assist in fundraising and competing that much easier! Basically, my training will consist of swim -> bike -> run -> rinse -> repeat.
REV3: How did you manage to meet your fundraising goal in such a short amount of time?
DAVID: I have very generous family and friends. I reached out to everyone and anyone I knew, and encouraged them to send the request to others. Plus, many of my friends are Wachovia employees, and the Wachovia Foundation matches charitable contributions of $25.00 and more on behalf of their employees. I also encouraged all of my employed donors to check with their employers to see if they offer a similar benefit.
REV3: How long have you been competing?
DAVID: I became addicted to triathlons in 2005 after my first race in Clemson, South Carolina.
REV3: What is your favorite sport or physical activity?
DAVID: I love to cycle. Right now, I’m still basking in the glow of a wonderful ride down A1A in Broward and Palm Beach County, Florida, where I grew up. A day in the saddle is better than a day just about anywhere else!
REV3: Do you have any special dietary restrictions or eating plans to help keep you in shape?
DAVID: I just try to be smart. I’m not a competitive triathlete—I’m a middle-of-the-pack age grouper who just loves to race. I was very fortunate to meet some experienced coaches early on in my training career who helped me learn about nutrition. Basically, I just believe in “calories in, calories out.” When I get heavy, I know I ate more than I burned and it’s time for some discipline. I do stay away from fast foods. Creating healthy, tasty meals for my wife and I is something I really enjoy.
REV3: What are your long-term fitness goals?
DAVID: In addition to my cancer history, I have a family history of heart disease and diabetes. These factors really guide my goals all year long. I want to stay fit and healthy to spend as many days with my wife as possible.
REV3: What advice would you give to someone who is considering entering a competitive event?
DAVID: Just sign up! Nothing motivates more than a date on the calendar. Find others who are competing in similar events and train with them. Most people are just out there to enjoy the day and have fun. Don’t take your times too seriously. Reap the health benefits and make some new friends!
REV3: What is the most rewarding aspect of competing?
DAVID: At a race in Georgia last year, I was having a miserable run, so I talked to everyone. Ultimately, I ended up walking/running with a young guy who was very overweight and struggling to get to the finish line. He and I prayed together on the course. So I’d say the rewards are the people you meet and influence, and who influence you. It’s having a passion that allows you to share your faith and help others.
REV3: What is the most challenging aspect?
DAVID: Getting up at 4:30 AM and getting on the trainer when you can’t ride outside because it’s 30 degrees and raining.
“I came across an advertisement for REV3. When I saw it was also a fundraiser for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research, I felt a calling to get involved.”
-David Naelon (self-described “triathlon addict” and cancer survivor)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Challenge

Last week I started a little challenge with a friend (as you will read from the copy of my journal entry below) that has actually started a pretty big ripple effect.

Post Cedar Point, I took some time off from training--and eating as clean as I normally do--and I put on some weight. I got softer. I lost endurance. I think I also lost some of my Mojo. I am a fitness professional and teach anywhere from 10-12 classes per week and on top of training clients, coaching athletes and everything else, I felt like MY training and nutrition took a back seat for a while.
I have been so undecided on what to race this year, going 140.6 or focus on some speed at shorter distances and really nail the half distance. Of course tackle Quassy...again.

This challenge has giving me new motivation, new direction and new goals. now, to let the story unfold.


1/12/14 Sunday Night, 6pm

I am undertaking a challenge, a experiment if you will. Starting tomorrow.

You see, this experiment actually goes back many, many months-nearly a year. All kinds of people in my area starting using this “nutritional system” and it caused quite a stir at the fitness facility where I work. A couple trainers--including myself--were taken aback by this program and the “cleanse” that was part of the plan.

I am a firm believer in eating clean foods and I have NEVER been a supporter of cleanses, fasting or meal replacements. When I hear the word cleanse, I am automatically brought to the thought of some sort of GI cleanse. Eew!  Plus, I was sick of people asking me about this plan or that plan. My answer is simple. Just eat real food. Don’t starve yourself. Drink water. Exercise. Find something that works for your LIFESTYLE...not just a few weeks or months.
That is the miracle diet. That is the solution. End of story.

I got into a friendly debate with a friend regarding this program and she asked me to keep an open mind. She was having great success with weight loss, her energy was amazing and she was very happy...then she asked me to look at some of the supplements they offered. She asked if I had even looked at the ingredients before condemning the line. I admitted my ignorance to the specifics of the plan or the products. And, yes, I supplement my own diet with protein bars and protein powders. So I did look and the ingredients were very clean. No chemicals. Quality proteins and no fake sugars. I even tried one of the bars and it was delish!!

I was still not on board with this whole “cleanse” idea (liquids only for a day, vitamin supplements) and the friend and I continued to agree to disagree and left it at that. She left the door open if I had questions or wanted to try anything.

It’s now been a year since this program hit my local area and gym --the friend is still going strong with her program and has had great results. She feels good and she is always positive, full of energy. She is passionate about her message of being non-toxic and clean. I have since had several other athlete friends get on board with this nutritional program and I am still sitting firmly where I did a year ago.

I support my friend in her choice because I do believe that there is more than one way to achieve your goals. This is working for her and for that, I am happy.

So she is so sure that I will feel good trying this program, that she presented me with a challenge. TRY IT.

We have gone back and forth for weeks now and I finally decided to give it a try. I am just about to head into my training for the 2014 season and this is a time where I can play with my nutrition without killing my workouts.

I am going into this experiment with an open mind and will follow the plan exactly as written.
I have even agreed to give up caffeine (oh no!!). I spent this past week tapering off of my typical Starbucks rotation (2 cups at home in the morning and a refill of my Starbucks travel mug mid-morning). I will stick to 100% clean eating and will supplement with their protein powder and bars. The plan calls for 6 meals per day so I am certainly down with that. I already eat well but this will just tighten things up.  I will even try a cleanse day on my rest day.

I will weight myself tomorrow, take my measurements and take my BF% just to see if there is any impact there. I have put on some weight post Cedar Point so that would be a welcomed side effect.  I plan on journaling daily about the experience and we will see how I feel in two weeks time.

Bring on Day One!

1/13/14 Monday Morning, 8am

I survived the morning with no Starbucks. I instead had the ionic drink, 20 oz of water and then a cup of green tea with lemon & ginger. It was a rough morning to start my break from coffee since it was a very rough night of sleep.

My breakfast was a vanilla shake with frozen berries-shake was tasty. Not far different from my vega powder in taste and consistency. I taught my classes (5am bootcamp and 6am cycyling) and felt just fine--normal ME energy wise. My legs were sore on the bike but that is just from the weekend of training. :)

I spent some times between classes looking up info on the plan with endurance athletes. My personal refueling regime DOES include protein and I supplement with protein regularly. I also add fruit for carbs (bananas and honey being a favorite) as well as berries and spinach for it’s nutritive qualities.

Endurance Athletes (Swimmer, Runner, Cyclist, etc.)
The goals of endurance athletes are different than that of bodybuilders or high-intensity athletes. Cyclists and marathon runners, for example, expect to improve performance by increasing stamina. Traditionally, endurance athletes have not placed the same degree of emphasis on protein intake and timing as other types of athletes, because of their concern that too much muscle will be gained causing them to be heavier and less efficient at their sport. Unfortunately, this view has been harmful to endurance athletes of the past because protein does so much more than just stimulate muscle growth. Repetitive movements and long strenuous training sessions are hard on the bodies of endurance athletes. By ingesting optimal amounts of protein and strategically using the concept of protein timing to enhance performance, endurance athletes can benefit from faster and more efficient repair of muscles allowing them to have more frequent and higher quality training sessions.
Unlike bodybuilders and high intensity athletes, endurance athletes rely on carbohydrate timing as a strategy for delaying fatigue and improving performance. Endurance athletes use both carbohydrate and fat to fuel their activity, but since they are often moving for hours at a time without a break, their glycogen stores will eventually become depleted.
To increase the amount of glycogen stored in their muscle, endurance athletes often do something called “carbohydrate loading.” Carbohydrate loading involves trying to maximize glycogen stores by eating a large amount of carbohydrate in the days leading up to an endurance race, and by also taking advantage of the 30 minute-post workout window to rebuild lost glycogen.
Another advantage of consuming carbohydrate during and after training is that the stress hormone cortisol will be reduced, which helps prevent excessive suppression of the immune system that can occur as a result of prolonged and strenuous exercise (4,5). IsaLean Shake makes for a great meal replacement for endurance athletes. But instead of the two scoops as typically recommended, endurance athletes should use three scoops for about 36 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbohydrate. In addition, they should supplement with antioxidants to manage oxidative stress and support the immune system.

I also looked at the “Athlete” meal plan and it’s very easy to adjust your caloric intake and macros around a training schedule up to IM distance training.

My first day following the plan I felt great--even amounts of energy, I was not hungry since I was fueling my body every 2-3 hours and keeping my food clean. I drank lots of water.

Day One was a success! I taught 4 classes and participated in all of them. Two of them were cycling and I had lots of miles put down. I also got in some lifting and core work.

...and I did not miss Starbucks.

1/14/14 Tuesday Night, 7pm

I am feeling really, really good! I missed how I can really FEEL it when I keep my eating super clean. No sugar, no caffeine, lots of rest and tons of veggies! This is totally an eating regmine I can stick with and the lemon bars are TO DIE FOR delish!!

1/15/14 Wednesday, 5am

Today I try the cleanse day….let’s see how this goes. This has been the thing that kept me from considering this program for so long…I will report back in full detail!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Motivational Monday

I came across this article and just had to share because they are so true! So here is 12 Most Fundamental Habits of the Super Fit By Heather Frey. How many can YOU relate to??


The super fit. What makes “them” different? They really are no different. They have jobs, kids, mortgages, school, pressure, but one thing does set them apart. Mindset. This mindset is what leads them to create solid habits, a solid mind, that lead to keeping their body “solid.” 

1. They don’t think of their fitness as work, but rather a way of life

It’s kind of like taking a shower, sure you can go without one, but you just don’t feel right the rest of the day.

2. They don’t skip workouts

They take training days as seriously as a Dr.’s appointment.
Appointments and meetings get scheduled around their workout time, not the other way around.

3. They take their rest as seriously as their workouts

They know that in order to perform at their best and to get the most out of their body, they have to give it a rest. Rest days and sleep are as essential as the workouts themselves.

4. They eat to fuel their goals

Everything they eat serves a purpose. Protein for muscles, carbs for energy, and produce for vitamins,minerals and antioxidants. Treats are done, but never over-done.

5. They tune everything out when they work out

Focus. They know that anything you give your undivided attention to works out better. Being in tune with your body allows them to make tweaks, and know which tweaks to make.

6. They push through frustration

If you think it’s easy for the super fit to get fit, and stay fit, you’re wrong. They’re highly competitive and always striving to hit new goals. They struggle like everyone else with busy lives, stress, plateaus, fatigue, and frustration. But there isn’t a thought of giving up, it’s just a matter of finding their answer.

7. They prepare their food in advance and don’t leave hunger to chance

They know what they’ll be eating the whole day. If they don’t bring their food, they know what they can order off menus and what they can find at a grocery store. Drive-throughs don’t exist in their world.

8. They use their flaws as motivators, not a reason to give up

They see their flaws (even if you don’t) and despise them like everyone else. But rather than letting their flaws bring them down, they use them to motivate them UP.

9. They envision the win-goal-finish line every day

The goal is crystal clear in their mind. The thought of the sculpted body, or winning the race always keeps them motivated. Regardless of life’s pressures they race towards the winner’s tape.

10. Persistence, persistence, persistence

Yes…they are persistent!

11. There are no excuses

They learned early that excuses are time-suckers and don’t get you anywhere near your goal. Better to get it done then whine about why you didn’t.

12. There is no giving up

Enough said.
What are some of your best fitness habits?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ready Set GO!

2014 is already flying by quicker than I hoped and I have not even had a chance to finish my recap on 2013--which was a year of adventure, accomplishment, firsts and growth!

While I continue to paw through 2013 and try to get my thoughts on the year down on "paper", I'll catch you up on things that are going on NOW.

January 8 2014.

In just a few short weeks, I will be hopping on a jet plane and flying to the left coast--
Los Angeles CALIFORNIA! What was supposed to be a bucket list race, The Surf City Marathon has been downgraded to the Surf City HALF Marathon (so I guess this leaves the race on "the list").
I spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years battling a pretty stubborn case of bronchitis and I am finally NOW just coming back to "my normal". The training wasn't happening. While I did not fear the ability to finish 26.2 miles under-trained, I feared the reality that this could set me up for some sort of injury. Something I DO NOT WANT heading into 2014. I just do not have the miles on my body just a few weeks out to risk it. It's not a gamble I am willing to take.

So I will still got to California.
I will still run.
I will still get to see people I love like Angela, who is making this awesome movie called From Fat to Finish Line (yeah, shameless plug! ha), also my teammate and AD from Breaking Bad Nina, Tough Chik Shannon and my GOTRIbals gals Tanya and Marison. Pretty much hanging out with REALLY.AWESOME.PEOPLE.

Speaking of FFtFL, here is a 3 min teaser Angela released on our "anniversary" of crossing the finish line in Key West, a year ago Sunday. Enjoy!!