Life is busy. Between work, home, responsibilities, family, exercising and “other,” it’s amazing that any of us getting any sleep or even find time to “enjoy.” Often finishing in last place on the long list of “to do” items is your relationship with your spouse or significant other.
For many of us, scheduling a “date night” becomes critical. If not, time together will fall through the cracks. For most of us, a date night of dinner and a movie, dancing, etc. is sufficient. For other’s it is not.
For my boyfriend and I, we take OTF classes together, we go on long walks with the dog, or bike rides alone. We start runs together. We cook together, eat together and watch specific shows together. We try to keep our time together focused and enjoyable.
For this NYC couple, they made their “date night” all about exercising. And it works for them – as it has gotten them back in shape and brought back the passion.
I returned from Israel just a couple of days ago and I am just coming up for air! The jet lag combined with time spent catching up on work, sleep, family/friends and my puppy has kept me pretty busy…and honestly SLEEP has dominated everything else (sorry!).
So I truly apologize for the lack of posting here on the site. I planned to post throughout the games as I travelled through Israel with Team USA but the schedule (between travel and training) was rough!
The best I can do is catch you up here on the last three weeks! And then I’ll gradually share snippets in the coming weeks and months! So read on…and let me know if there are specifics that you want me to follow-up on! I learned a lot, I saw a lot and I’ve definitely got a lot to share!
I went in with hopes and plans to run sub 1:29 for the half marathon. I trained for that and was confident I could do it. That was until we arrived in Jerusalem and I saw the Jerusalem terrain and specifically the Half Marathon course. It was HILLY – and when I say HILLY I mean MOUNTAINOUS. (So hilly, in fact, that I ran on the treadmill the week leading up the race in an effort to keep my confidence up and avoid as many hills outside the hotel we were staying in that I could!)
Coming from Florida, anything with hills is probably a little outside my comfort zone. But I try to be pretty relaxed when it comes to racing these days and figured ‘hey, all competitors will be facing the same course’ and moved on.
The race started at just before 9:00pm Israel time and I went in with the following strategy: Go out conservative, stay relaxed, stay aerobic (per Doug) and don’t let those hills kill your legs too early on. From walking the Jerusalem hills the week prior, I knew what they could do to my legs pretty quickly…and I promised myself I would take it easy and not allow the lactic acid to build up too early on. (I wanted this to be an enjoyable race…and not unnecessarily painful.)
Mile one was just over 7 minutes (7:03 to be exact). The first 800 meters was up hill and I took it easy. I’d say 70% of the field probably passed me at this point…but I kept reminding myself: ‘this is a 13.1 mile race’ and I’ll catch them later. Same for mile two (7:07). I think it was mile three that I started to feel my rhythm, get comfortable and develop my race plan .
Stay relaxed on the hills and get up them with small rapid steps. Allow the body to lean in and move up easily. Do not let the body go anaerobic or let the lactic acid build up in the legs.
Attack the down hills (which I personally love) and let the body go, the stride expand and the arms / upper body relax. Boy did I love those down hills (except where it got super windy).
And on the few areas of flat ground (honestly – probably adding up to two miles total), pick up the speed!
The race was two loops that repeated so the constant up hill, down hill, flat, up hill, down hill, flat course became the norm and made the race go by super fast. I was spending so much time looking forward to the down hill and flat areas, that before I knew it we were at 10miles in.
I pretty much ran alone or just behind a few Israeli guys – who chatted with me every so often (where was I from, what was my race goal, etc.). While I tried to keep the chatter to a minimum, one of those guys ended up being a life saver later on – giving me the heads up in the last 3.1 miles on upcoming hills, sharp turns, and more. (Thanks David! David had run this course many times prior.)
The last three miles was where I really wanted to pick up the pace and be aggressive with catching up to some of the leaders ahead of me. I felt great at this point…but I also had a tough 3.1 miles ahead of me. Lots of up hills, lots of tight turns and a 1k through the Old City (on slippery cobblestone, etc.). My total time for that last 5k was just under 22 minutes, which was solid, but not enough to catch me up.
With under 1k left in the race, as we ran down the final Old City hill and onto the Mamilla straightaway, I remember looking to my left over the city of Jerusalem – and thinking this is truly beautiful, and this experience has been amazing. I then finished up my last 800 or so meters wishing the end was closer (as always), and focusing on my form so I could finish strong.
My final finish: 1:33 and change and a third place in Maccabiah Open competition (fourth place overall – including a Master’s woman). But most importantly, I ran proud, strong, and happy. Another Maccabiah, another amazing experience.
Thank you to my teammates who were out there with me; Doug and Coach Rothman for the advice; Leah for the training plan; my family for cheering me on on the course – I LOVE having you out there just like my high school days; Lauren for the extra support and goo/water on hand; and Mark for the “strong” statements and goo at halfway mark!
Love this concept!!! Running & therapy! I could totally go for this!
There are so many times that I personally use running and listening to music as my own personal therapy and mental release…but there are just as many times that I go running with a friend just to talk, listen and once again…get that mental release.
The idea of meeting my therapist for a run (or walk) seems so simple…yet brilliant. What do you think?
“Run Walk Talk”: Running with the therapist while discussing life’s problems
By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — The psychotherapist was in running gear: black tank top, black leggings and black shoes. Her hair was pulled back. She carried only her phone.
Leaving her office in Redondo Beach, Sepideh Saremi crossed a couple of streets, walked down a sloping path to the beach, then began to run north, toward the pier.
Had I been her patient, that’s when our session would have begun.
As we ran along the edge of the ocean, Saremi periodically asked me if I was OK, if the pace was good, if I was comfortable. I had a feeling that she was also reminding me that we were not pals, which struck me as entirely appropriate.
Earlier this month I mentioned that my BlueIvy Communications client Stephen Walker (of the West Palm Beach law firm Critton, Luttier & Coleman) would be featured in The Palm Beach Post’s monthly “Healthy Living” magazine in honor of men’s health month. He was recognized as the pinnacle of men’s health: excelling at his career, in family life and with fitness/health. Well, the feature article came out this past Tuesday, and here it is. Be sure to read up on Steve’s schedule and his tips for others seeking the ideal balance of fitness, family and career!
You see it all too often: healthy, active, fit man graduates from school, starts career and family, hits 35, then becomes sedentary, tired, out-of-shape professional.
But not 37-year-old Jupiter resident Stephen Walker!
Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker performing a deadlift.
Walker is a partner with the West Palm Beach-based Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman (www.lawclc.com) where he focuses his practice on high-end marital and family law and complex commercial and construction litigation. He has been with the firm since 2012. “It’s a sedentary job,” Walker explained. “During a trial or deposition, you could literally be sitting for hours. And standing up to stretch out is usually not an option.”
When Walker isn’t at the office (where he typically spends around 60 hours a week), he’s focused on keeping a healthy work-life balance.
During the workweek, Walker wakes up at 5 a.m., kisses his wife Robyn and their two daughters — Madelyn, 5; Lillian, 1 – goodbye and heads to CrossFit Palm Beach (crossfitpalmbeach.com) for the daily 6 a.m. Workout of the Day (WOD). He leaves the gym and goes directly to the office, where he showers and gets dressed before a full day of work. On the weekends, he’s back at the gym for an early morning workout — Saturday and Sunday.
His consistency at the gym is impeccable. According to CrossFit Palm Beach co-owner Tony Frezza, “Steve may have better attendance than most of our instructors. Heck, even me!” Walker also admits having to call the gym on the rare occasion he is traveling and can’t make it in. “So they don’t worry,” Walker joked.
Walker works out seven days a week — always in the morning. Most workouts include strength training and a high-intensity workout that, in total, usually lasts less than an hour. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).
“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Walker explains. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”
Moreover, Walker said, any soreness or fatigue he feels is far outweighed by the emotional benefits of increased energy, stress management, and overall happiness. His wife, Robyn, a psychologist and Pilates instructor would agree. “She always recommends exercise for stress management for her patients, so she thinks getting some form of exercise every day is a great thing for me,” Walker said.
Walker’s diet is just as impressive – consisting mainly of meat, veggies, fruit and other forms of protein. He doesn’t have specifically planned “cheat days” but won’t refuse some of his favorites: chocolate chip cookies, French fries and potato chips. He drinks alcohol and eats dairy and peanuts but won’t eat bread or pasta. And he’s found that changing his diet was a big part of his success in the gym.
Walker says he’s been pretty healthy and active since his college days. But when he entered his 30s, he noticed his metabolism started to slow; he immediately adjusted his workout schedule and diet. “It sort of became a constant experiment for me,” Walker said. “Work out seven days a week and see what happens; clean up my diet by removing starches and breads; add cardio; and so on.” Walker saw the results immediately – after six weeks straight of everyday workouts back in 2012, he had gained seven pounds of muscle and lost an inch on his waist. He said he hasn’t looked back since.
Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker doing pull-ups.
And it’s the results that keep him motivated every day. “It comes down to making the time and prioritizing your health,” Walker said. “My job is mentally intensive and sedentary, so it helps to balance that, manage stress and keep me focused.”
Walker’s colleagues at Critton, Luttier & Coleman have noticed. Partner Robert D. Critton Jr, who also works out with Walker at CrossFit Palm Beach, said: “Steve is a great role model for attorneys and everyone who claims that they have no time to exercise.”
And Walker has no plans to slow down — ever: “My plan is to exercise and stay active every day for the rest of my life.”
STEVE WALKER’S TIPS FOR A FIT LIFESTYLE
Keep your alarm clock on the other side of the room so that you have to get up to turn it off.
Shower at the gym or your place of work.
Morning workouts are key! It means you are not giving up family dinners, networking opportunities or spontaneous nights out.
Make nutrition convenient. I keep a 5-pound tub of protein powder in my office, which means whenever I’m hungry or feeling lethargic, I can get an energy boost quickly.
Be flexible. Indulge in your favorite foods in moderation every so often.
I was recently charged with the task of writing an article on a Palm Beach County resident who represented the ideal of “men’s health.” Well it wasn’t a difficult assignment to meet. I knew exactly who I would profile for the feature – my client, attorney Steve Walker from the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman, LLP. I knew Steve as a great, successful attorney in the areas of complex family & divorce law as well as complex commercial & construction litigation. I also knew him as a loving husband and father of two girls. And thanks to jokes and ribbing around the office, I heard of his consistent workout and training schedule. What I didn’t know what how consistent and intense his workout actually was.
I won’t ruin the entire article that was written up and which will be featured in the June 2015 issue of Health Living Magazine, distributed by The Palm Beach Post. But I will share with you a few fun tidbits that Steve shared with me. (Stay tuned for the full article next month!)
“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Steve said. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”
Steve Walker’s Typical Day
5am: Wake up, get dressed, and gather my things (I drink a protein shake and take my vitamins).
6am: Workout of the Day (WOD) at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).
7am: Head to the office; during drive, drink a protein shake, have an apple or banana, and green tea; at the office, shower and get ready.
8am: At desk or getting ready for Court or a deposition; if I’m at my desk, I try to stand as much as possible while working.
10am: If I can, I drink a protein shake.
12pm: Go to lunch; working in downtown WPB, we pretty much eat out every day. Trying to make smart choices from the menus on Clematis is a workout in and of itself.
1-6 or 7pm: Still working…I try to get a high-protein snack or shake around 3pm.
7-7:30pm: Try to get home before the girls go to bed, bath and story time, eat dinner and relax (or stretch) in front of the TV and/or get some more work done.
9-9:30pm: Bedtime; if I ate relatively early, I will drink a protein shake with slow-digesting protein so that I don’t wake up hungry at 3 or 4am.
I have a great relationship with a Palm Beach Post reporter that allows me to write for the paper and its supplemental magazine “Healthy Living” every so often. Here is my most recent feauture story on a wonderful couple that I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and photographing. Enjoy! Read it on the Palm Beach Post’s website here.
Healthy Living Magazine
Palm Beach Post
February 15, 2015
Debbie and Ron Schwartz have been happily married for 47 years. So what do they attribute their success as a couple to? Well working out, together of course. Debbie, age 68, and Ron, 71, workout together at the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center (Levis JCC) in Boca Raton three days a week for 60 minutes…sometimes more. They typically begin each session with legs and lower body and end with biceps; Debbie adds on between 15 and 30 minutes of cardio after her weights; Ron skips the cardio trying not to slim down too much.
According to Debbie, the couple has always worked out together. “It motivates you,” she says. “On days I don’t feel like working out, Ron pushes me. And vice versa. It makes you really enjoy working out and being together. It’s our time. We can share it and be together with no distractions.”
Ron, who is also Debbie’s personal trainer, adds: “Debbie never complains. I’m truly amazed at what she can do. She is absolutely my favorite student.”
Ron, who has been working out since age 15, first taught Debbie his healthy lifestyle ways when the two got married. Since then the two have taken up the “get healthy cause” together and share it with everyone they come in contact with – from their social circle to other Levis JCC gym members to their two young grandsons. “Our focus is on staying healthy and hopefully living a little longer,” says Ron. “Appearance and health motivate us; working out and eating healthy are what get us there. Hopefully we can share our message with those around us.”
Debbie adds that nutrition and eating healthy have been a huge component of the healthy lifestyle for her. Just three years ago she lost the extra thirty pounds she had been carrying around thanks to Ron’s training schedule and a focus on cleaning up her diet. “For me, I had to start watching what I was eating more,” Debbie says. “Just working out was no longer enough. We now eat salads every night and lots of vegetables, fish and turkey burgers. We’re not perfect but try to eat well about 95% of the time.”
Pull Quote: “It is a lifestyle. We are not suffering. We love working out and we love eating healthy because we know it is good for us.” – Debbie Schwartz.
Debbie Schwartz: Age 68, Lives in West Boca Raton, Works full-time as an insurance agent at Century Risk Advisors.
Ron Schwartz: Age 71, Lives in West Boca Raton; Retired from IBM and Office Depot where he worked for more than 40 years total as an IT Systems Analyst.
Health Living Tips from Ron and Debbie Schwartz:
Visit your doctor to get medically checked before starting any physical exercise or nutritional program.
Join a gym (like the Levis JCC in Boca Raton)!
Get a trainer and/or find a partner. If you don’t have a partner, working out is much harder and definitely not as much fun. Plus a partner/trainer gives you accountability, motivation and guilt – all the emotions that will keep you going back!
Educate yourself: Learn how to work out before you even step out onto the gym floor or pick up a weight. Understand the process first and then start. Otherwise you risk injury.
Eat healthy. It is not a diet, but rather a way of life. We recommend more vegetable and lean proteins!
About the Levis JCC Sports & Wellness Program
The Levis JCC Fitness Center is an affordable way to incorporate health and wellness into your life. With a variety of membership options, members can make working out fit both their budget and schedule.
Membership includes brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center (bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills, Stairmasters, strength training equipment and free weights. Fitness staff, trainers on-site. Unlimited group exercise classes (Zumba, Body Pump, Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga) in new studio; Spinning in new, neon room with top instructors; six tennis courts and two full indoor basketball courts. Locker rooms with sauna, steam room and showers. Learn more at http://www.levisjcc.org/sports-and-wellness/fitness-membership/.
Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center
9801 Donna Klein Boulevard | Boca Raton, Florida 33428 561-852-3200 |firstname.lastname@example.org
And the official countdown can being. I leave for New York July 9; Israel July 10th; and then race on July 23rd in Tel Aviv! It is starting to feel a little realer to me! Not in the super super prep and excited mode quite yet but I am sure that will come when July arrives. Maccabiah USA has also starte to send information, details and uniforms! Here is what I have so far:
ARRIVALS (July 10, 2013): The 1100 plus USA athletes will arrive in Israel and start meeting one another. Besides Coach Rothman (who is coaching the Junior Track team) and Rob Fellman (Track Chair and athlete), I do not know anyone! I don’t even know anyone from the half marathon team – so this should be quite exciting!
ISRAEL CONNECT (July 11-16, 2013): We get to see Israel and all it offers – well not all – but a lot! Including: Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Masada, Bedouin tent dinner, Yad Vashem, and much more!
TRAVEL TO TEL AVIV WITH HALF MARATHON TEAM AND OTHER OPEN SPORTS TEAMS (July 17, 2013): This is where the two weeks of competition period beings. (I won’t be running until July 23 so I will have lots of time to see Israel
visit with family, meet the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s partners in the region, and do some work for BlueIvy Communications!
HALF-MARATHON RACE (July 23, 2013): The race will take place in the evening at 8:00pm, when it could potentially cool to around 90 degrees and 90% humidity! Luckily I am from Florida so am sorta used to it! Picture of the course included below.
TEL-AVIV TO NEWARK TO FLORIDA (August 1, 2013)
I will share pictures in the coming weeks – and of course during the games you can follow me on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/melissaperlman). Not a friend? Just request me!
More details provided to me on the Maccabiah Games:
We represent the USA’s best Jewish athletes. Since the Games started 80 years ago, only 6,000 USA athletes have participated, many former, current or past Olympians. Our track and field teams over the years are fewer than only 500 participants- (many are blind copied on this email.) You are in the company of: Dwight Stones (announcer and US Olympian), Ken Flax (current NCAA record holder, US Olympian), Deena Kastor (current USA marathon record holder and USA Olympian), Irv Mondschein (USA Olympian). Jews are a small minority in the world (.25%) yet we make up of over 3% of Olympic medals. As per Adam Sandler, “not too shabby.”
The other day I was in my robe, relaxing and preparing for an enjoyable (yet probably painful) facial when the esthetician came in and asked me if I was ready. I responded yes. Her next question: “Wow, you’ve been in the sun a lot!” I immediately sank down into the table wondering what my poor young 31-year-old skin must look like for her to say that. I immediately responded: “Is it that bad?” Which she quickly answered with: “Your tan lines? They are pretty funny.” Phew…I thought inside my head. She was referring to my swimsuit and sports bra tan lines as signs I had been in the sun, and not the skin on my face!
While at that moment I was out of the clear, it’s important to pay attention to your skin – especially if you are an athlete spending a lot of time exercising, running, biking and/or swimming in the sun. Here is a good article from Runner’s World that talks about how to not only protect your skin but your feet from calluses; your inner thighs from chafing; your face from acne; and more! When you are talking about skin, there’s a lot to keep up on! Please read on!
Runner’s World: Save Your Skin
Running is both your skin’s best friend (that rosy sheen) and its worst enemy (sun damage, sweat-induced acne). And need we even mention a runner’s camera-unready feet, with unsightly calluses and lurking fungi? Since you’re not going to hang up your running shoes as a skin-saving strategy, take these steps to keep your epidermis—from tender toes to the tips of your ears—safe, healthy, and well cared for. This includes:
This is a must read article for all athletes, and especially girls and women. It is courtesy of RunnersConnect.net, a team of expert coaches and fellow runners dedicated to improving one’s training and racing through community motivation, social engagement, unparalleled knowledge, and proven training plans. (The founder/creator was a fellow Brown University cross country and track athlete!) Basically this is a BLOG / website that everyone should have in their back pocket…especially runners!!!!
My friend Pamela Higgins is a health coach and writes a column for the Examiner. She’s had some great tips recently that I wanted to share. Enjoy and feel free to reach out to her directly at http://www.totalhealthcounseling.com.
Top 10 Tips to a Healthier You
Do you want to eat healthier but think it’s too complicated or means only eating salads? There are so many simple steps you can take to enhance your health. It starts by taking action today and jumping in for the challenge! You are worth it and wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel great and look fabulous, and have a healthy?
Add creamy avocado slices to your burgers and sandwiches instead of mayo or fancy aioli (i.e. mayo) spreads.
Skip the deep-fried french fries and order baked sweet potato instead or grilled veggies.
Start the day with a big glass of water and squeeze a whole lemon or lime in the glass, this will hydrate and alkalize your body instantly! You’ll hydrate and get a boost of energy first thing in the morning!
Who doesn’t love a good homemade chocolate chip cookie? I <3 cookies but my body is so sensitive that I can’t eat the classic version made with butter and white flour. Good thing there are other ingredients that can make a cookie that’s just as divine without the belly ache. These have a good amount of protein from the chickpeas, I imagine you can use any bean you have on hand. Pinto beans would make a pretty pink shaded cookie. This makes a small batch. This is my version of Donielle’s Gluten Free, Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie.