Sacrifice

20 Aug

Did you watch the Spartan race last night? I was inspired by the tenacity, perseverance and relentlessness of the athletes as they climbed the hills. One athlete talked about how important mental strength is. When your body is tired, the only thing that gets you through an intense challenge is desire. The female winner in last night’s race was Amelia Boone. She is known for her amazing capacity to endure. In one of her blogs she said that she may not be the fastest or the strongest, but she is really good at suffering. She is so good that she has been called the Michael Jordan of obstacle racing. The female runner up got mangled in the barbwire, but she didn’t stop to see if she was hurt. What good would it have done to stop and look at her cuts, scrapes and blood. It could have cost her a place. The most successful people endure temporary pain to achieve their goals. What do you sacrifice to achieve your goals? The life of your dreams will most definitely require sacrifice.

Email me at madeline@madfitness.com or comment here as to what you will sacrifice to achieve your goal. The most inspiring answer will receive a shipment of KIND bars. I look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to register for your chance to win a cruise at Spartan Cruise
Check out the the 2014 Spartan Race World Championship Race in Killington Vermont on September 20th at http://www.spartanrace.com

In Health and Happiness.

Madeline Dolente

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Obstacle Race on NBC Sports & Cruise Giveaway

19 Aug

It’s hard to conceptualize an obstacle race unless you’ve done one or seen in action because my first experience was completely different from what I expected.  I did my first obstacle race 4 years ago when obstacle racing was still very new. A month before a bunch of my friends did the Warrior Dash. The pictures made it look like a 5K party on the trails where everyone wore fun costumes. I thought a 5K would be too easy for me so I signed up for the 15K.

I got a costume that made me feel like one of the characters on the The Incredibles, the Disney movie from 2004.  I had the cape, long dress, arm gear, and the eye mask. I remember putting it all on and stepping into my elevator at 2pm that Sunday and the guy in the elevator looking at me as if I was on crack. Even worse, he was hot and I tried to explain to him that I was running a race. A race on a Sunday afternoon in a costume that came to be know as Flash. When I got to the race, I was the only one in a costume. I remember really feeling like an idiot, but everyone was super cool and gave me props on my costume. On a side note, I looked up the website and there were awards for costumes, but at 3pm it was 95 degrees and I think everyone decided against it for the longer distance.

I get to my first obstacle which was a really high barrel of hay. I start running and leap onto the barrel and fall completely off. It took three tries before I realized that I wasn’t a superhero and that I needed to figure out a new technique. The rest was history. I had never learned how to do any of the obstacles but somehow I just did them. It’s like life. You don’t know what life will throw your way, but you have to be prepared. It’s how you respond to the challenges that dictate how your life will turn out.

Obstacle races are much different today. Rather than read about it, watch it in action, TONIGHT on NBC Sports. Below is the schedule and don’t forget to register to win a trip for 2 on the Spartan Cruise in the Bahamas. Airfare included and US Residents only. Here is the link http://bit.ly/spartancruisegiveaway

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline DolenteNBC Sports

The 411 on Obstacle Course Racing

18 Aug

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Obstacle Course Races are growing faster than any other sport. According to the Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report 2014, there was a 30 percent increase in registration for obstacle races over the past 3 years, with 2.21 million racers in 2013. Racers include every nationality, every body type and people of all ages. You can find a race any given weekend in cities throughout the US. In fact, the most popular obstacle course races known as the Spartan race, signed a deal with NBC Sports. If you thought American Ninja Warrior was hot, you’ll definitely want to watch the Spartan races on NBC Sports.

Many of you have probably heard about mud runs, warrior dashes, Tough Mudder, Spartan race, or the zombie runs from a friend or the Internet. Each race differs but mud, running, and obstacles is often the common theme in each of these races. The races vary in length. Some races are as short as a 5k while other races go as long as 26 miles. Some races are now beginning to offer cash awards which has attracted competitors from all over the world!

For beginners, I recommend starting with a Spartan Sprint which can be anywhere from 3-5 miles with 15-20 obstacles. For every obstacle you can’t successfully complete, you have to do 30 burpees so it’s smart to practice and train before doing a race. If you’ve completed a Sprint or several obstacle races, a Spartan Super is a great option. The difficulty depends on the location. The races that are on ski slopes are often more challenging than those in stadiums.

So you’ve probably heard about the controversial electric shock therapy and this is unique to the Tough Mudder races so you won’t see this in other obstacles races. Some obstacle races may also have water which may require some swimming skills. If you are not a swimmer, check the website for the race to see if swimming will be part of the race. There are also tons of obstacle racing groups on Facebook that serve as a good resource on information for each race.

Training for races can make you much more successful and this week’s blog will include several resources in your area and online. So make sure to check back tomorrow. In the meantime, I have some fun stuff to announce:

Every day this week, one person will be awarded a prize! The prizes include KIND bars, an obstacle training workout, a fitness DVD, a fitness CD, nutritional counseling, one free Spartan race, and even more exciting,

ONE of my readers can win a getaway Spartan Race Cruise for 2 out of Miami to the Bahamas and free airfare by entering at
Spartan cruise

So what are you waiting for, go ahead and enter to win your trip for 2 including airfare and a cruise out of Miami! If you win and need someone to join you, just send me an email. My bags are packed and ready!

And because you are all winners, sign up to do a Spartan with my discount code: SPARTANBLOGGER

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente
Www.Madfitness.com

Core Power

29 Jul

This weekend my team and I ran the Washington DC Spartan race in Maryland. There were two things that kept me from falling in the mud, my Reebok OCR shoes and a strong core. One less fall in the mud meant one less injury and one less scratch.

Here is a picture of the shoes and a link to my favorite core exercise. If you do any trail running or racing, you can get the shoes at http://www.reebok.com/madfitness and if you want to be a better athlete or prevent yourself from falling, watch this video and do the option most suitable for you. There are 3 options. Option 3 is definitely the hardest and try not to let your feet touch the floor.

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

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What Makes You Happy?

15 Jul

This morning I woke up to read an article listing the top 20 habits that happy people have but never talk about. It was so motivating that I posted it on Facebook. I am a big fan about creating your own happiness now, rather than waiting for someone or something to happen. The 20th habit mentioned in this article was that happy people live a life they actually want to live. Rather than letting the world dictate what you should be doing or how you should live, think about what makes you happy.

Today I’ll talk about the things that make me happy.

I wake up every day and thank God for the wonderful people in my life and everything I have. Gratitude is a big part of my life. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and achieving, but if you can step back and look at all of the wonderful things you have in your life, you will realize you are truly blessed. When I write down the things I am thankful for, I realize I have an awesome life and some pretty amazing opportunities.

Recently I had the opportunity to become an Ambassador for ReebokONE and not only was I excited about having the coolest fitness clothes ever, but I was honored to meet such an amazing group of people. These Reebok Ambassadors were all passionate about fitness and making a difference in people’s lives. It’s the people who your surround yourself with that affect how you view your life. Spend your time with successful people who care about others and you will too!

Recharge. Recently I went to South Beach to spend some time with a friend of mine, relax on the beach and eat good food and dance. We spend so much time doing for others, that we must take time for ourselves. It reminded me that I need to take short trips more often.

Get excited! Growing up my Mom always made a big deal about birthdays, holidays, and anything she could celebrate so I tend to do the same. I love to celebrate people and events, why not? I had a boyfriend once who hid notes and cards for my marathons and always made me feel special. Doesn’t everyone want to feel special to someone?

Make time for the relationships and things that are important to you. Call or spend time with a friend, significant other or family member each week. We are all busy but spending time with loved ones will make your heart happy. Let someone know you are thinking about them.

If you’d like to read the article I mentioned above, here is the link
http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/07/13/20-habits-happy-people-have-but-never-talk-about/#more-763

Reebok summit happy

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
http://www.Madfitness.com

A Mother Who Inspired Me, Sandi Toth

11 May

I met her after the Nike San Francisco marathon. We were both trying to find our way back to the Team In Training tent to let them know we made it. We had successfully finished our races, yet we had to walk another mile to the tent to check in. Sandi and I bumped into each other and started talking. We instantly became friends.

I looked over at the Nike booth and was upset that I didn’t have my credit card with me. Sandi treated me to a few things from Nike, and I offered to repay her with a check. Afterwards, we walked back toward the buses. It was during that long walk that I learned so much about this amazing woman. It was at that time that it really made me proud to have raise $3000 and run 26.2 miles for lymphoma and leukemia. It made this marathon so much more special to me. I would have run just for her so please let me tell you her story.

Sandi’s journey with Team in Training began with a post card in the mail. She thought she received it because she was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s disease. Her body was very weak following radiation and an emergency appendectomy. She could barely get up the stairs. She felt like she was barely holding onto dear life.
After she called the number on the postcard, she realized that it was a fundraising organization. How on earth would she raise $2900 when she could barely get up the stairs?

She attended the informational meeting at REI and knew at that point there was no looking back. From the inspirational video to the testimonials of others to discussion of fundraising for a cure – it was all just too much for Sandi to take in. Then, a mentor stood up and shared her story. Sandi and others began to cry for this mentor, Beth Knorr, gave her hope. Sandi realized that she belonged with this group of capable, healthy, strong individuals choosing to exercise and fundraise for a cause, her cause – these were individuals she needed in her life.

Shortly after her training began, her cancer returned. Chemotherapy was her next step. Sandi scheduled her weekly infusions on Wednesdays so the side effects would be over by Saturday and she could be ready to work out with the team. She didn’t miss a single practice that first season. Many, many days she cried on the trails because she didn’t think she had the energy to make it for even a 40 minute walk, she cried because of the uncertainty of her future, and she cried out of guilt that she was able to be here walking while others struggled with their disease. But, the team gave Sandi the strength to press on. Her new mantra of hope has become “Let’s Outrun Cancer.”

Little did Sandi know that she was my inspiration throughout my marathon training this winter. How could I complain about the snow and ice, when she was running in ten below freezing temperatures in Alaska and dealing with cancer? Every Sunday morning at 5 when I felt like going back to bed, I thought about Sandi and the strength she gave to fight cancer and fight the cold.

When Sandi came to Washington, DC to run the Nike Half marathon, I had the opportunity to meet her for brunch and it was lovely. She is a beautiful woman inside and out and I wanted to dedicate this blog to her. Happy Mother’s Day Sandi! You are amazing!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
Www.Madfitness.com

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Motivating Your Loved Ones

4 May

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dentist. I had doctors and lawyers in my family, so becoming a dentist seemed like a natural fit. That was my plan until I looked into my dentist’s glasses one morning as she was looking into my mouth. I remember thinking as a little kid that I would never want to look into gross people’s mouths. What turned me off more was that every time I went to my dentist, she lectured me. I was smart enough to know the importance of brushing my teeth and I got lectured enough at home, so I didn’t need it from her. I started missing appointments because I didn’t feel like being ridiculed.

Years later when I was in highschool, my dentist was out on maternity leave and a male dentist took her place. Every time I came in, he’d look at my hand to see what club I had went to and ask about it. At that point I started to enjoy my visits because I enjoyed talking with him.

The reason I bring this up is because I recently have had conversations with clients and friends about their loved ones being lazy and gaining weight. My clients care so much about their loved ones’ health that they wind up lecturing them and get overly frustrated with their lack of enthusiasm for working out.

I understand their frustrations because laziness is irritating but getting frustrated with a loved one will not not motivate them. It will do the opposite. Instead, think of a way to make physical activity fun. My running buddy recently got her son to do treadmill challenges while she and her daughter did different workouts in the living room. She then posted it on Facebook to inspire others. If your loved ones or friends are being lazy, make it fun instead of lecturing them. Reward them for their performance and when they slack off, be slow to lash out on them.

If you make experiences enjoyable, your friends and family will be more likely to join you. Isn’t that the goal after all? Let me know how you make it fun! Below are 10 ideas to get your loved ones active.

1. Invite them to a class you think they will be successful at. Perhaps they have tried it before or have wanted to try it.

2. Let them experience the activity on their own unless they ask you for advice. Don’t be the nervous Nelly that corrects their every move. If you are worried about their form, talk to the instructor before class.

3. Go to a class with fun music and a fun instructor. You can invite your friends to any of my classes. Just send me an email at Madeline@madfitness.com

4. Prepare them. Tell them what kind of clothes to wear and what they will need. If you are taking them to a cycling class, tell them to wear capris or tight fitting shorts. Make sure they have a bottle of water.

5. Plan something fun for afterwards. My friends and I often get healthy salads or a healthy cocktail afterwards. There is always a reason to celebrate.

6. Do not compare yourself to them. Chances are you have probably been doing the activity for a longer period of time and if they are new, they may not be as good as you. Focus on their effort not their performance.

7. Boost their confidence by complimenting what they did successfully. What may be easy for you, may be challenging for another person, so focus on their effort.

8. Make it a regular date. My friend and I planned to lift three times a week together so we can motivate each other. My other girlfriend an I meet up for bikram yoga once a week. I run with other friends.

9. If they fail, motivate them with encouragement and don’t show them that you are disappointed.

10. You can only control yourself so encourage your loved ones with soothing words and positive reinforcement.

We all have a duty to inspire others in our life to live a healthy lifestyle. The only way to ensure they do that is to make it fun. I love fitness and some people think I’m crazy but if I can inspire others to have fun while they work out, I know I am fulfilling my purpose. Go ahead inspire someone to workout and have fun and email me at madeline@madfitness.com to let me know what you did or if you need more ideas….

Heading out for a run to listen to some new jams!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
Www.Madfitness.com

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Lighten Up

17 Apr

Many of my clients attributed their weight gain to the insane weather we had this winter. Most of the doctors I work with also thought that the weather may be the reason so many if their patients have gained weight. It was a brutal winter, but there were a lot of people who got in better shape so what was different for them? Desire, focus and perserverence.

Personally when I look at client’s habits, I don’t care what the excuses are. There will always be excuses. There will never be enough time. What matters to me is what someone is willing to do about where they are now. Think about it, if you gained 40 pounds this winter, you are no longer a slim trim fighting machine. You probably feel tired, your clothes are probably tight, and everything takes a little more effort. It is what it is, but what are you going to do about it? Rather than lay on the couch feeling frustrated, I have outlined 10 ideas that will help you lighten your load mentally and physically.

Spring will be here and then it will be bathing suit season. Even if you don’t care about how you look in a thong bikini or speedo, why not look and feel your best. Why not live every day feeling like a Rockstar?

1. Drink water. Your skin looks better, you’ll have less headaches and you’ll be less likely to overeat. If you are not a fan of water, add Crystal Lite or slices of fruit. A lemon in warm water is great for alkalizing the body.

2. Sleep. Your body recovers and your muscles repair during rest. People function better with a good night’s rest and also tend to eat less.

3. Eat a salad a day and make it colorful. There are so many vegetables like cucumber, peppers, celery, romaine, arugula, carrots. You can add as many veggies as you would like and top with 1/2 an avocado and protein. Yummy!

4. Make your own dressing and it will be less calories, less preservatives and taste so much better. Try squeezing a lemon over the salad and add a little balsamic vinegar, with extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of marine salt.

5. Have 3-5 ounces of protein at every meal. I love to put tuna or chicken in my salads. It helps me get fuller quicker and helps me to maintain my lean muscle mass, so my body is firmer.

6. Let go of the negativity and the things you can’t control. Negativity is toxic and eventually your thoughts dictate your actions. Instead of saying to yourself that you feel fat and tired, look in the mirror and tell yourself that today you are on your way to achieving great things.

7. Adopt a mantra. When things get tough, have a saying that gets you through. Whenever I started to feel tired or thirsty during the Barcelona marathon, I repeated to myself, “this is what you came for.” Some other ones I’ve used are listed below.
“You are a Superstar!”
“This is My time to shine!”
“Go hard or go home.”
“Get after it!”
“You only got one shot.”
“I am so lucky to be here!”
“This makes me better.”
“Get uncomfortable.”

8. Find the fun! Life is too short to be miserable. Even when a task or challenge seems impossible, there is always a way you can make it enjoyable! I like to invite friends to train with me, join me for a cleanse, or meet afterwards so my workouts are motivating and I can socialize with friends.

9. Expand your horizons. We become creatures of habit and tend to do the same thing every day. This is safe, but it gets boring after awhile. Change it up this Spring. Pick up a new hobby, try a new fitness class, try a new tea or visit a new city. You grow through experiences outside of your comfort zone and it builds confidence.

10. Let go of the excess baggage. You live one life and letting go is the only way to lighten the load. You and your actions are the only things standing in the way of your happiness. If something makes you sad, let it go. Something better will come your way.

Let me know how you lightened your load by commenting to this blog.

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
Www.Madfitness.com

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Olympian Mindset

26 Feb

In spirit of the winter olympics, I’d like to talk about the olympian mindset and what makes these athletes the best of the best. Some people like to think that olympians are genetically gifted. Perhaps some of them do have a perfect genetic makeup for their sport, but what separates one olympian from another?  These athletes are the best of the best, there isn’t much difference among them, especially the top 3 in each sport. When the top 3 show up to compete, the athlete that wins by a tenth of a tenth of a second proves that the mindset is even more important.

These principles are from books and interviews with the world’s best olympians. These are principles you can use to be your best self. Even one change can bring you closer to creating the life of your dreams.

1. Build habits for success. Michael Phelp’s swimming coach has him swim without goggles on occasion so that if they got knocked off in a race, he would be fine. When you are in a tough decision, how do you respond? At 3:00 when you get hungry, do you eat unhealthy snacks from the vending machine? If so, change that habit and bring a stick of cheese and apple and stay away from the vending machine.

2. Eat to fuel your workout and keep it consistent. In my studies of many olympians diets, you will see many more vegetables than sweets, but you won’t see many named diets like Zone, Atkins, gluten-free, etc. Every meal is about giving them energy to perform at their top level. They choose foods that keep them mentally and physically strong. Often times they eat the same thing at the same time each day, even when they travel. How does your food fuel your performance? Do you eat at the same time each day? Are you aware of what you eat? Trying keeping a 3 day food log, then review it and determine whether your foods are fueling your performance.

3. Do 1 more. A friend of mine who was a basketball coach told me he had a nickname for one of his players that he brought to the olympics. He called him “mr. one more” because whenever the coach asked him to do a drill, he always gave him one more. Instead of doing 10 four hundreds, he did 11. The next time you are planning to do 20 minutes of cardio, why not do 21? If we all put a little more effort in, imagine how much faster we’d achieve our goals?

4. Don’t let injuries keep you down. Last winter Lindsey Vonn ran into trouble that culminated with a painful crash at the world championships in Austria. While landing a jump in the super-G event there, Vonn blew out her knee, requiring reconstructive surgery. She worked really hard to rehabilitate her knee and is focusing on competing again. What do you do when you are injured? Do you give up or focus on getting yourself stronger?

5. Surround yourself with people who are better than you or at your level. Many olympians train together and they use their peers to motivate them and challenge them to be better. It’s always interesting to me when I see two friends competing against each other in the olympics. Think about the people you surround yourself with. Do they inspire you to be better or do they slow you down?

6. Hire an expert to create a plan. Every olympian has a coach that creates a training plan for their athlete to ensure they are competition ready. Having run 20 marathons, I achieve my best times when I have a running coach and a 3-4 month plan to follow. Hire a trainer, swim coach, tri coach, or other expert to help you create a plan to achieve your goals.

7. Don’t get distracted. Olympians stay focused on the goal and to be the best, there is no other option. There will always be distractions, but you cannot let them impede your progress. I’ve had to spend less time with my party friends at certain times because I know a night of partying would prevent me from performing well the next day. Losing one long run in a marathon season can derail all of your efforts. 

8. Build a support system. Many olympians are married or in partnerships with other athletes or care takers because they understand and accept the lifestyle. This is a really important concept. If your spouse or partner doesn’t support your hours in the gym, eating habits, or sleep schedule, it becomes a challenge. I hear this complaint from many of my clients and it will create a lot of stress that will affect your results.

9. Be good to yourself. Olympians train like beasts but they also sleep 8 hours a night, get massages, take ice baths and treat their bodies well. It’s about balance and if you are training a lot, your body needs sleep and massages. Try to incorporate an additional 30 minutes of rest, join a monthly massage program, or spend some time on the roller each night. This part of the process is just as important as the training.

10. Stay positive. Shalene Flanagan is one of the most accomplished American runners in history and absolutely adorable in person. She had an absolutely horrific race where she just felt like walking off the course, but she didn’t. She didn’t place in the top 3 in that race, but she did win the next marathon she did. You’re not going to feel like a rockstar every day, so instead of letting the obstacles get you down, use them to make you stronger.

Your mind is your strongest muscle and the key to your success. I hope you can create a mindset that will help you succeed at whatever you choose to do. You have one life so go ahead, get started!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

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Technology & Your Health, Apple’s New IWatch

5 Feb

It all started with Polar back in the 90’s and every serious Spinner wore a heart rate monitor and tracked their zones while pedaling furiously to the beat of the music. Next was Garmin who created clunky watches to help runners monitor their speed and distance. Then of course there became smaller devices for blood glucosse monitoring, making it less painful for patients who prick their fingers on a daily basis.

 I am amazed at how many new tools there are to analyze data. Some of my favorite are Garmin watches, Polar heart rate monitors, and the Lose It app. There are so many different sources to track different types of data, but what if there was one tool to track everything? As competition and technology made these gadgets more accurate and more user friendly over the years, Apple has created a new gadget and platform to make health monitoring easy and comprehensive. has provided us with so many ways to track our health and fitness. Is the new Apple Iwatch the solution?

Read the following links from the Business Insider and the Guardian;

http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-health-care-opportunity-2014-2

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/04/apple-iwatch-health-data-smartwatch

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Would you buy one?

Let me know what you think.

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

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