Issue 16
March 2019

By Kim Collings


1. Beast Profiles

2. Seven Pillars

3. Nutrition

4. Looking Ahead

1. Beast Profiles

Articles and interviews dedicated to reporting on the amazing people and stories of Your Beast Team!

Meet one of your new 2019 Ambassadors…..Candice Thornton Day!

What was your first OCR race and what made you decide to try it?

My first race was the Seattle Super 2016. After years of motherhood and grad school I was fat. Someone close to me showed me the tough mudder video and I got really excited I had always wanted to try military style obstacles. They commented that they didn’t think I was “tough” enough. Challenge accepted! I trained for 2 months with my trainer at L.A. Fitness, Anita, and then I was just about to go when I found out race prices had gone up. I was introduced to a fellow Beast OCR named Kim and she shared the volunteer option. Training completed, volunteer shift signed up, gear purchased, there was no stopping me from finishing that race! I tore my calf but I still finished. My toughness has since never been questioned!

How has OCR helped you overcome challenges? 

When I first started I couldn’t fathom how to complete the monkey bars. After years of training and hands on experience on how to tackle this obstacle it has really taught me that anything is possible. It has gone from my nemesis to my favorite one (as long as it is not wet!). My career life has been riddled with obstacles that I have to approach with the same attitude of problem solving by asking the same questions 1) what training do I need for this obstacle and 2) what experiences do I need to apply this knowledge in order to become proficient. 

What do you love most about the OCR Community?

Every race restores my faith in humanity. Watching strangers help each other over walls and seeing people push themselves to a new level they never thought possible is truly inspiring. Our team has given me the camaraderie I have missed since the days when I was in another high intensity sport, boxing. 

Who inspires you?

I assume you mean OCR only. I am inspired by a lot of people based on the topic.  Locally, several members of our team, Nicole, Ty, Adam, Nic, Jessica, Julie, Kacey just to name a few. Nationally, Alyssa Hawley and Ryan Woods.

What is your favorite OCR memory?

That is probably the toughest question yet! There are so many! My best memories come from moments where people were helping each other either me or someone else or I was helping them, moments of achieving goals or seeing others hit their goals and times where my friends and family shared in this sport, especially seeing my kids race. I think one of the best moments was earning my 2x Trifecta or maybe arriving at the Women’s Only race in Dubai and instantly making a lifelong friend. But this all stems from one of my favorite memories, the day Miriam McCormick completed her first Trifecta ever. I was at the Beast tent I want to say it was the Seattle Beast. She had just returned to the tent and put all her medals together. She was kneeling on her knees holding the medals in her hands like a fragile crystal, happy tears streaming down her face. That was the moment I was inspired to earn my Trifecta. After that I signed up for one more race to do so and started down a whole new path.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know, whether OCR related or not.

I am such an open book, this is tough! I feel people know everything about me! Just follow my social media! I think with relation to this group probably that I was 2004 state regional champion in semi-pro boxing in Montana and Pacific Northwest region. 

What are your goals for 2019?

This year is about variety of race, venue and reaching a new level of competition. This year I will run nearly all OCR races competitively. I will take on Spartan Vegas, Alabama, Montana, Portland and run in the Terrain Race, Green Beret Challenge with the other Ambassadors. I have my fingers crossed for running in the Seattle races but a lot will depend on childcare. If things work out as planned I will also be going to Washington D.C. for my first ever Bone Frog. As a newly appointed Ambassador for the Beasts OCR team I am pushing myself even further to diversify and connect with other communities. My goals in this role include expanding our team in Montana and increasing engagement between our team events and the surrounding communities, in addition to connecting our team nationwide and globally so any one of use can go run in another state or country and have a team to connect with. 

Photo Credit: Candice Thornton Day, Spartan Race

2. Seven Pillars

Endurance   Strength   Athleticism   Recovery   Nutrition   Mind   Code

We work hard to improve our physical selves which is important in racing and a healthy life. I wanted to also focus on other aspects that can help make us be well rounded in our racing and personal lives. Each month I’d like to choose a topic from the Spartan Seven Pillars above and then offer a challenge to you. You have an entire month to work on it. Research shows that lasting changes often occur when you take things slow and do one step at a time.

This month we are going to select Endurance.

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” – William Barclay

Endurance may be long and challenging for the body, as well as the mind, but we can turn it into glory with a different way of training than the standard full on efforts we use in sprints, shorter runs, and HIIT workouts.

The two running systems we use most are aerobic and anaerobic. The anaerobic system is used when we are running a faster pace. A 5k race or a one mile time trial would use an anaerobic pace. Longer endurance races would use an aerobic system. This is accomplished by running at a relatively slow pace (zone 2) which keeps your heart rate lower and allows you to travel farther. Slowly build up your volume by no more than 10% per week. It’s even better if you can extend that to 10% every two weeks. This helps adapt solidly and lessen the chance of injury. Consistency is key. To determine the desired heart rate range, you can google heart rate training zone calculator or try this link:

Endurance of the mind is just as important. We may not even start a run if we let it psyche us out. A long run can be overwhelming at times. If you are feeling this way there are a few things you can try.

First, just go out the door and figure you will go at least one mile. Once you start you will tend to continue.

Next, put yourself in situations that test your patience and resilience (start on shorter runs). If you are on a road or trail run and you have a fork in the road with one direction being more difficult, chose the more difficult option. Maybe it’s going up hill or a cut off to a sandy beach. You will build up your mental grit and your regular runs will feel easier over time. You will also challenge your body in a different way than it is used to.

These are just a couple of ideas, but use them as a starting point to brainstorm other ways you can build your mental grit so when you need to draw upon them, your resources are already in place to pull from.

Homework: Write a list of ways you can build your mental grit, starting with these samples. Continue adding as you think of new methods and review your list once a week, optimally a day or two before your long runs.

1. Just go out the door and begin with 1 mile being initial goal (it will most likely turn into the longer run you planned)
2. Use shorter runs as a way to build mental grit by choosing the difficult route (or adding difficulty like carrying rocks)
3. If you don’t have time for a planned long run, up the intensity by doing hill sprints for a shorter amount of time

3. Beast Nutrition


Salmon Fun Facts:

-Salmon can reach 20 inches to 5 feet in length and 4 to 110 pounds of weight, depending on the species.

-Cherry salmon is the smallest and Chinook salmon the largest species of salmon.

-Salmon can be blue, red or silver in color. Some species are covered with black spots and red stripes.

-Color of the body depends on the age and type of habitat. Salmon change the color of the body on their way from the ocean to the freshwater habitats during the mating season.

-Salmon have soft fin rays and short dorsal fin. Males and females can be distinguished by the shape of head and jaws. Females have streamlined head, while males develop hook-like structure (called kype) in their jaws before spawning.

-Young salmon eat different types of insects, invertebrates and plankton while adult salmons eat small types of fish, squids and shrimps.

-Salmon have a lot of natural enemies. They are often targeted by large fish, whales, sea lions and bears.

-Salmon is an important part of the human diet because it contains a lot of proteins, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

-Salmon travels thousands of miles and climbs 7.000 feet upstream until it reaches spawning areas.

-Salmon rely on the sense of smell, ocean currents and moon to find waters where they were born.

-Most salmon will die as a result of exhaustion after spawning. Small percent of survived salmon will spawn a few more time in their lifetime.

-Female prepares nest (called redd) in the gravel using her tail. She lays around 5000 eggs per nest. Once eggs are covered with sperm, female closes the nest with gravel and moves to another location to repeat the process. Female produces up to 7 redds during spawning.

-Newly hatched salmon are called alevin or sac fry. They stay in fresh water from 6 months to 3 years, until they become strong enough to swim to the ocean.

-Young salmon live in beaver ponds which provide shelter against predators.

-Salmon’s age can be determined by the number of rings on the otolith (structure in the ear).

-Salmon can survive 3 to 8 years in the wild, depending on the species.
Photo Credit:


Maple Soy Glazed Salmon

Related image

This is one of my go to salmon recipes. It can be cooked on the grill, the smoker (my favorite way), or in the oven. It comes out so moist and the flavors are amazing:

-4-5 oz Skinless boneless salmon pieces (quantity determined by amount of servings needed)
-1 large clove garlic, minced
-1/2 C to 1 C Dark syrup – used to be called Grade B syrup. It is less processed (you can find at Trader Joe’s and most health food stores….please don’t use pancake syrup)
-1/2 C to 1 C soy sauce

Use enough soy sauce and syrup to cover salmon pieces in a baggie. Put all ingredients in baggie and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Don’t marinate too long or it doesn’t taste as good. I flip the baggie over half ways through so both sides are marinated. Heat grill, smoker, or oven to 400 degrees. Remove fish from marinade and let liquid drip off. Grill for about 8 minutes and check doneness. You want them to be slightly undercooked as they will continue to cook when removed from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

Photo Credit:

4. Looking Ahead

The Beast Report: March 2019
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