TEAM Success!

Platt River Half

Strong Finish in Platte River Half Marathon

Life Time Fitness… I LOVE YOU!

I am a runner, no Kenyan mind you, but I am a runner. Completed my 4th marathon (26.2 miles) last June and finished strong in a half marathon (13.1 miles) on April 10th. The number of half marathons I have run are too numerous to count. The Platte River Half Marathon, in Denver, 2 weeks ago, was by far, the most memorable race I have run over the years. It wasn’t the course, the volunteers, the spectators or the beer at the end that made it special. On that April Sunday, I got a Personal Record (PR), by cutting 15 minutes off of my fastest half marathon! I finished the Platte River Half Marathon in 2:29:02 in a head wind!

How did I accomplish this you ask?! Easy, I am almost 8 weeks into TEAM Weight Loss at Life Time Fitness. I have lost 15 pounds and 3 pant sizes since I started!!!! Which improved my running. WOOT!!! DO THE DANCE OF JOY!!!! It is NOT a diet, but a lifestyle change. There is no more soda at lunch, no more french fries by the handful,  I am just making better food choices over all. With the help of Mandy, my personal trainer and nutritionist, I now successfully read food labels, track my food, have healthier alternatives and work out 6 days a week.

I have tried to lose weight on my own, without results. It just took the right tools and knowledge to get it correct. Life Time Fitness was able to provide me with those tools to help me reach my goals.  The tools for me were:

  • Polar RS400 Heart Rate Monitor
  • CardioPoint test (to find my heart rate zones to make workouts more efficient)
  • Regular workouts (not just running on Wednesdays and Saturdays)
  • Nutrition knowledge
  • Accountability
  • TEAM Weight Loss
  • Run Club (became Run Club Lead)

All of the above helped me get to where I am today. I am a new person and feel FANTASTIC! As I ran the Platte River Half, I kept looking at my watch in amazement. First, I hit 5 miles in under an hour and when I hit 10 miles in under 2 hours I thought to myself, “WOW I think I am going to get a PR today!” Mile 10 had the worst of the head winds for the day, making me feel like I could walk faster than trying to run in it. The break in the race was mile 12, after climbing the steepest hill of the route, we turned a corner and FINALLY got a tailwind! I could see the finish line and could feel myself filling with emotion. This was it! I was accomplishing one of my long time goals – to run faster. As I crossed the finish line, I yelled out “I love you Life Time Fitness AND Thank-you!”

My journey is not finished yet. There are 4 weeks left in TEAM Weight Loss and I also joined the 90-Day Challenge, so I will continue to improve in all areas with a smile on my face!

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TEAM Weight LossLife Time Fitness is more than “just a gym”, it is a community and family. I have loved every visit since I joined in 2009.

March 7, 2011 I started TEAM Weight Loss, which has been one of my best decisions since becoming a member. T.E.A.M. stands for Training-Education-Accountability-Motivation.

T.E.A.M. Weight Loss is a 12-week, small-group weight loss program that meets three times weekly with a Nutrition Coach/Registered Dietitian and a certified Personal Trainer. The program provides nutritional guidance and support while offering the full benefits of working out with 9-18 of your peers who are determined to achieve the same goal-weight loss!

My goal is to lose 20 pounds in order to become healthier and a better runner. It is not a “diet”, but a “Lifestyle Change”. This is the start of week 4 and I truly already feel better. There have been some sore days following a workout, but it is always a good sore. Since normally, all I do is run, my soreness comes from the upper body workouts – using the muscles I normally do not use.

We meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from 5pm-6pm. In addition to those workouts, I also have racquetball on Tuesday nights, Run Club on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. I LOVE IT ALL! My body is already changing, it is toning in new areas. Our trainer told us she does not weigh us in again until the mid-point, for she does not want anyone to get discouraged. The pounds may not come off at first, but we will notice changes in inches – this is what I am experiencing.

Eat more protein, include it in every meal – this is very important. It has been fun to clean out the cupboard and start fresh with healthy choices. Snacking is big for me, so finding better foods has been a challenge, but not impossible.

I hope to become a lean mean running machine! Stay tuned for updates as the weeks go on…

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Life Time Fitness Run Club

LifeTime Run Club

When I lived in Seattle, I was part of a large running group, Chuckit, and I absolutely loved it! You become a family, and spend many training hours together. In 2007 I moved to Colorado and was hoping to find this same family to train with in the Rocky Mountains. It was hard, most clubs were quite a distance from where I lived, so I trained alone…

In 2009, I joined Life Time Fitness, when the club in Westminster, CO first opened. Started first with the treadmills, then the upper body machines and finally to the lower body machines. One day I found a flyer about the Run Club at Life Time Fitness. Found out it was FREE with my membership! So I signed up at the Activities desk and started getting emails.

One Saturday in January of 2009, I decided to run with the Run Club. It was freezing outside, so I dressed in my usual outdoor layers. A couple runners showed up, then a Life Time Fitness trainer. I asked her if she was with the Run Club, and she said “no, I’m Brent and am teaching the CardiO2 training upstairs” and I was welcome to join them on the treadmills. So I changed into shorts and joined them. It completely changed my running! I was exhilarated and wanted more!

Polar RS400

Polar RS400 Heart Rate Monitor

Talked with Brent all about the program, and got signed up for the next 8 week session. In the mean time, I purchased a Polar RS400 Heart Rate Monitor and took the CardioPoint test.

Identify the optimal heart rate zones where your workouts are most effective. Ideal for everyone from beginner to performance athlete. Measure key cardiovascular training markers, including anaerobic threshold, aerobic base and VO2. Know how many calories you burn during exercise. Develop a customized cardio plan.

The test consists of you wearing a mask, that measures your oxygen, while you run on a treadmill. You look funny, and I felt like Hannibal Lecter. The results are what make your training effective. Now, knowing the where my “zones” are is what changed my running for the better.

The CardiO2 Training was phenomenal. I got to know and train with some really great people, two of which worked for Life Time Fitness. I used what I learned from this training and applied it to my everyday workouts.

In December of 2009, I still had not run with the Life Time Fitness Run Club, instead I trained on my own. I had started my Rock n Roll Seattle Marathon training. Spent countless hours running inside on the treadmill due to snowy weather. My longest run on the treadmill was 15 miles – yes, brutal!

After a few months of training on my own, I went to Roadrunner Sports to get some new shoes. There I met Nate, and within a few weeks we started a running group with the store. I created a Google Groups site that the group used to communicate and it took off from there. I did all of my long runs with the group and got great support.

My marathon came and went and I continued to train with Roadrunner Sports. That is where Emily from Life Time Fitness found me. She saw what I had done with the group and asked if I would like to help the Westminster Life Time Fitness Run Club improve. I of course said “YES!” We met and talked about different ideas. I paced a runner for 10 miles at the Life Time Fitness Leadville 100 Trail Run, helped out at the Life Time Fitness UDO Race, ran with the group, and helped Emily out however she needed me to.

In November 2010, I moved from Erie to Denver, now the Westminster Life Time Fitness would be too far of a commute. Opening in December, only 15 minutes from my new place, was the new Centennial Life Time Fitness! I was ECSTATIC!!! I could stay with Life Time Fitness – OH HAPPY DAYS!!! Emily contacted Justin, Centennial’s Run Club Coordinator, and Meredith, Centennial’s Group Fitness Manager, and told then all about me. I met Justin at the Open House and kept in close contact.

Justin and I worked well together in those first few weeks of the gym opening. He and Meredith decided to bring me on as a Run Club Lead. I felt like a little kid on Christmas when I got the news!!! WOW! I was actually going to get paid to do something I love! All of my years of training, running and organizing had finally paid off.

RunnersOur group is already planning on some group events.

This is just the beginning. Our group is growing everyday. Currently we run on Wednesday nights at 6pm, on the treadmills until the weather gets nicer, and Saturday mornings at 8am outside for longer runs. This will expand as time goes on. One night we had 16 people on the treadmills with the group!

I am so fortunate to be part of such a great gym along with a fantastic group of people.

Run Happy!

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