Friday, November 5, 2010

The Power of Good Measure Meals, TM, By Todd Ortowski, BS

If you struggle with your diet (and who doesn't) then I have news for you!   Like many others, I know what to do with my diet but even when I eat well and exercise the weight just doesn't seem to come off very fast. For the past 10 months I have been using Good Measure Meals, TM on and off. I will typically go on the meals for about 2 - 4 weeks then come off for about 2 - 4 weeks. Every time I am on the meals is when I lose the most amount of weight while my exercise stays the same.

There are three primary components to diet: what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat, When you are looking to drop body fat the most important part is how much you eat.  Like most others I hate tracking calories. This is where Good Measure Meals, TM comes in. They have dietitians on staff to make sure what you eat is appropriate and the meals are all calorie controlled so you know how many calories you are getting with out counting. What ever calorie plan I choose, all I have to do is eat it and I know I'm getting that amount of calories. Plus there is no cooking or shopping involved so I save time.

Since January 2010 I have dropped 26 pounds and trust me I have had anything but a stellar diet when I am not on Good Measure Meals, TM. I have many of my clients that have used and seen results with Good Measure Meals as well. I say, do what works best for you and Good Measure Meals, TM works the best for me to control my diet.

Todd Ortowski, BS

Member Advisor

FormWell Personal Fitness Training

7840 Roswell Rd, Suite 475

Sandy Springs, GA 30350 (confidential email)

(770) 804-1898 x20 (24 hour voice mail)

(770) 722-9315 (Cell)

(770) 804-0330 (Fax)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Latest Journey Begins.......

The Journey of a 1000 steps (or in this case 100,000) begins with a single step.............

11/1/10 - Today I begin (or, more accurately, continue) my training program for my first 50 mile trail run, scheduled for 3/5/2011.  The seed for this goal began about 2 years ago when I ran my first trail marathon and I realized there were longer distances than the traditional goal of 26.2 in this sport - of course they intrigued me!  I have slowly worked my way up to running a 40 mile race (not really sure if you could call it "running") last year and decided I wanted to complete a 50 mile race before I turned 50 (still 2 years away but better safe than sorry in case I don't finish this one :-)!  Also, it is an unwritten agreement in the Ultrarunning community that the "real" ultramarathons begin at 50 miles, basically the first distance you begin to hallucinate during the race :-)

This may not seem like much a leap after completing 40 miles but trust me, every mile after 26.2 gets longer and longer and tougher and tougher.  For illustration, I ran my first trail marathon in 4hours 50 minutes.  My first 50k took me 6hours 39 minutes (almost 2 hours more to run 6 miles longer, although it is hard to compare as the 50k course was much tougher) and 8hours 55 minutes to run 40 miles (another 2.5 hours to run 9 miles)!  At this pacing, I will be very happy to finish 50 miles in under 12 hours!  That is right, this goal will have me running dirt trails in North Georgia from 6am till 6pm!

The training program:

After my trail marathon on 10/10/10 I decided, or more accurately, my body decided for me, that I needed some time off before I began my next training cycle.  At the time, I figured a week would do it but somehow, this week became 3!  3 weeks of no running, minimal training, eating whatever I wanted, drinking...well, whatever I for a bit but got pretty old by the time Halloween showed up.   Lesson here, be very careful taking time off after a brutal event where you almost quit many, many times - it is not easy to get back into the habit of running daily!  Anyway, I put together an 18 week training program that progressively adds miles during the week and slowly increases the back to back long runs you do every weekend.  It goes hard for 3 weeks and they there is a recovery week, 4 cycles of that and the race is here!   No problem!

Diet and wt loss:

My goal is to drop about 10 pounds for this race, more would be better but I am not sure how my body will react to the increase in training (I will work up to running 6 days per week and get to the point where i will run 5-6 hours on Saturday and then 2-3 hours on Sunday in one weekend!) so I am not too concerned about cutting calories too much to achieve this weight loss.


As always, my first and most important goal is to obtain personal and spiritual lessons from this journey and to count my blessings daily that I have the ability, time and desire to complete something like this.  After that, I would, of course, like to finish.  If I am blessed to finish, I would like to finish feeling strong (or as strong as you can feel after 50 miles).  If I am blessed to finish strong, I would like to finish in under 12 hours.

Stay tuned, I will be checking in as the training picks up.......



The Power of Silence, Solitude and Suffering (or……..”The Mystery of why I signed up for the Mystery Mountain Marathon after swearing last year I would never do that race again”)

by Rami F. Odeh

I awoke at 4:30am on Sunday, 10/10/10 with some trepidation and nervousness, something I had not experienced in a while. Due to the economy and the fact that I do not enjoy competing in the summer, I have not "raced" since February of this year and this trail marathon would be only my 2nd race in 2010, I am sure this is a record since 1992 of the least amount of competitions done in a year.
In 2008 I did the 12 mile option of this race and swore I would NEVER, EVER do the marathon distance. It is a brutal course, mostly up and down and along the side of a mountain near the Tennessee border in Georgia. I was sore for a week after the 12 mile option! Of course, I signed up for the marathon the next year, mostly because I was training for my first 40 mile race and this looked like amazing training for it! Last year I finished the race in 5 hours and 42 minutes and swore I would NEVER, EVER do this marathon again. It has 15,000 feet of elevation change, most of it occurring between miles 18 and 22 (I conveniently forgot about this), is very, very rocky and has some of the steepest downhill’s I have ever run. Last year my quads were so sore I had to walk down stairs sideways for a week after the race. NEVER, EVER AGAIN.
Of course, I signed up for it again this year. My reasoning this time was it was a great time of year to race (I forgot I had to train for 12 weeks in the summer BEFORE the race) and that, again, it would be good training to finish the year and kick off my training for my first 50 miler in March of 2011. 9 years of college, 4 of them in Graduate school.....I am really not very smart.
Anyway, back to the spiritual lessons of the day: Silence, Suffering and Solitude -
Silence: I ran the first 11 miles with a good friend, his first trail race - went very easy, actually had to drop him at mile 8 because the pace was too slow and I knew it would be getting hot this day, felt completely awesome. Amazing how 12 miles feels so short when you know you are doing 26.2. After I left him, I put on my Ipod to enjoy 4 more hours of music and trails, and, it DIED! Now, this might not seem like a big deal, but I do all my running with music and there were not many people to talk to during this race, so this kind of freaked me out! I tried everything to fix it - it just was not in God's plan for me to listen to music on this day. Actually, the silence and the sounds of nature were very nice, it changed the experience, not for the better, just different.
Suffering: First of all, it was hot. Last year it was freezing and the race was still, by far, the hardest trail I had ever run. This year I was in shorts and a short sleeved shirt and I was sweating within a 1/2 mile! It actually warmed up to over 85 degrees, not good running weather for Rami (remember, I was pouring cold water over my head in the Pine Mountain 40 miler when the temp was in the 30's)! 2nd of all, I was in fantastic aerobic shape having done plenty of long runs, however, I was NOT in hill shape! I did a lot of running, but really nothing can prepare you for this course unless you go up and train on it! I felt completely fine until mile 18.5, the guy at the aid station said: you only have 7.5 miles left..........those 7.5 miles took me almost 2
Mystery Mountain Marathon - October 10, 2010
hours to complete! It really was miserable and it is a shame, because the 4 mile uphill (really, it is almost completely uphill for 4 miles straight) is very beautiful. I couldn’t enjoy a bit of it as I was just suffering, suffering suffering and wanting the day to be over. I came as close as I ever have to dropping out of a race at mile 22. At that point I just calculated that if I walked the whole rest of the way I could still finish in under the 8 hour time cut off. I used this time to try to connect to the lord, reaching out for help from him, reaching out to focus on the blessing that I am able to do this (staring at a bracelet I have that is in honor of a 13 year old in our school that has brain cancer) focusing on how wonderful I would feel at the end if I could finish, etc. God stayed with me but it was very, very hard. I cannot explain how emotionally low you get in these races, especially me when I get overheated.
Solitude: Because of the extreme nature of this race, there were only about 80 people in the marathon so there were many, many times when I spent a ton of time alone. Interestingly enough, the lesson here was this: I really enjoy solitude when I am training and feeling good but when I feel like crap - it really helps to have someone to be around, to talk to, suffer with, even just walk next too. I was walking with a guy that I probably would have absolutely nothing in common with outside of this 4 mile climb and it really helped to have another human near me. Although there did come a point when I was very, very low and I could tell he was feeling good that I was ready to throw him off the side of the trail :-) Luckily that feeling passed!
Somehow, I finished the race, 6 Hours and 4 minutes (amazingly, 28th overall), 22 minutes slower than last year. Felt absolutely exhausted, burnt out, miserable. Had a cold coke, jumped into a freezing lake and felt wonderful within 5 minutes....amazing how your mood can change instantly when one of these things are over.
- I weigh about 20 lbs less
- I do some serious hill training beforehand
- I completely forget the 4 mile uphill section!