By Kim Collings
1. Beast Profiles
2. Seven Pillars
4. Looking Ahead
1. Beast Profiles
Articles and interviews dedicated to reporting on the amazing people and stories of Your Beast Team!
Meet Elise Howlett! Beast Extraordinaire!
What was your first OCR race and what made you decide to try it?
My FIRST ever ocr was Survivor Mud Run on June 6th 2015. I decided in February of that year I was going to run the Spartan Race in Washougal in august but I had never even jumped into something like this before so it was a “test run” so to speak. And let me tell you- completing that course with those amazing ladies was so freeing. They taught me in less than an hour not to be shy, afraid or timid and to let loose and have so much fun!!
How has OCR helped you overcome challenges?
OCR has given me an outlet to discover how badly I want to be an athlete. How winning a gold medal isn’t all there is out there. How STRONG you can be and how no one will judge how you look, they care what’s on the inside. But its also helped me practice the mental strength I needed to make it through some of the biggest challenges of my life so far. So much has happened in my life since first setting foot on that course. And I know for a fact my life wouldn’t be going how it’s going if I hadn’t taken that step.
What do you love most about the OCR Community?
Hands down it’s the team work. I’ve never been “alone” since I started OCR. So many of the relationships I’ve forged on course have melded into my everyday life. I met my best friend at a hotel room before my first spartan and I was just the maid of honor at her wedding back in May. I’m ENGAGED to the love of my life whom I met through OCR, our future wedding officiant is someone I met through OCR. I love the connections I’ve gained. They’re better than any medal I can ever hope to hang on my wall. The community is who I am.
Who inspires you?
This has GOT to be a trick question right? This answer changes all the time and this spot is taken by many. The person who inspires me the most right now is Jodi. She’s been through some pretty wicked stuff and I am honored to know who she truly is. She has so much love, caring and beauty to offer the world despite all of that. She picks up and keeps fighting every chance she gets. She’s persevered through so much to be able to keep racing-physically and mentally-and I just love her.
What is your favorite OCR memory?
Again with the trick questions this can’t be happening. Okay- definitely my favorite memory was racing toward the finish line of the 2016 Hawaii Super with Brandon Chinn- him dropping me off the monkey bars on accident (it’s cool I stole his rope on the slip wall to get back at him)-grabbing more timing chips for us and then sprinting across the start of the sprint LITERALLY right before they shut the course down while we’re still putting our headbands and everything on! WE MADE IT BRANDON!!!
Tell us something about yourself that few people know, whether OCR related or not.
Well I don’t think a lot of people know that my passion prior to Spartan was actually sport kite flying. Like parachute kites and trick kites! Growing up in Northern California we were less than an hour from the coast and we used to pack up our airstream trailer probably once a month at least (more in the summer) and go catch some wind in our sails on the sandy beaches in bodega bay. Wasn’t always warm but there was almost ALWAYS wind. That’s what used to set my soul free before OCR.
What are your goals for 2019?
I decided this is my year of connection. My goals are to be able to relate more. Not on a superficial level, but deeply. To TRULY get to know the people I care about- asking the hard questions and not being afraid to truly be there for someone when they’re struggling. Not offering a “it’ll get better” or “it’s not forever” but actually sitting with them in their feeling and learning how powerful listening and validation can be. And therefore getting to know myself more in the process. If I’ve learned anything the last 5 years of racing it’s that we all have so much love to give each other. I don’t just want or need to get that love anymore. I need to give it-I have too much now! It’s wonderful.
Photo credit: Elise Howlett, Rugged Maniac
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 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 look at Nutrition for athletes. This is a very large topic so we are going to look at an overview from Spartan SGX which outlines the fundamentals of a strong nutritional base. While this may feel basic, if you incorporate these suggestions into your eating slowly you can make lasting changes.
• Balanced nutrition – not too much
• Consume food that is nourishing not damaging. Nutrient density
• Strive for more plants
• Try intermittent fasting –16 hours fast, 24 hour fast
• Realistic goal setting
• Manipulate the environment
• Manage stress
• Mindful eating-no outside distractions (tv, working at computer while eating, etc.) and try to really savor/taste the foods you’re eating
Homework: Select one of the above and work on it a little each day. Research shows that you can change or create a habit after 21 days. After you work on your first habit for 21 days add one more. Don’t do them all at once or it can be overwhelming and cause you to stop. Incorporating new healthy habits slowly will make for lasting change.
3. Beast Nutrition
Rice Fun Facts
-Rice is the oldest known food that is still widely consumed today. Archaeologists can date its consumption back to 5000 BC.
-There are three types of rice grain: short, medium and long.
-April 19th is National Rice Ball Day.
-There are over 40,000 varieties of rice the three favorite are Basmati, Thai Jasmine and Italian Arborio.
-Asia alone both produces and consumes 90% of the world’s rice.
-September is National Rice Month.
-Besides rice wine, vinegar and beer, the distilled plant can produce excellent grappa, and sake.
-When leaving the wedding ceremony, and after the blessing of the bride and groom, it is traditional in all cultures to throw grains of rice over the heads of the newlyweds in order to wish them prosperity and fertility in the future.
-One of the secrets to Chinese architecture under the Chinese Ming dynasty (1300-1600) can be found hidden in limestone. Rice, which adds strength and stability, was used in the walls of the city of Nanjing.1
Photo Credit: https://mobile-cuisine.com/did-you-know/rice-fun-facts/
Rice Bowls and Meal Prep
This is great to do on a Sunday or day off before the work week. Make 5 servings of rice and you can mix different proteins and vegetables to make complete meals for lunch.
1 Serving rice, cook according to package instructions
5-6 oz protein (chicken, pork, beef, beans, fish, tofu, etc.)
2 cups vegetables (bell peppers, greens/spinach, tomatoes and olives, peas, broccoli, whatever you have)
Cook rice according to package instructions. Add in your protein and veggies and warm through. You can stir fry the veggies, steam them, etc. You can even use leftovers from dinner to add to the rice for the next day.
Here are a few mix and match ideas:
- roasted bone-in chicken breast
- grass-fed beef chuck
- pork loin roast
- hard boiled egg
- roasted diced sweet potato
- roasted diced butternut squash
- roasted quartered radishes
- blanched halved brussels sprouts
- blanched cauliflower florets
- blanched broccoli florets
- blanched green beans
- sliced mushrooms
- sliced zucchini
- sliced bell peppers
- cherry or grape tomatoes
- shredded carrot
- sliced baby cucumber
- sliced red onion
- power greens salad mix (spinach, baby chard, baby kale mix)
- black beans
Limiting sauces is a great way to reduce unwanted calories. If you can, use lots of herbs for bold flavors. Here are a few other options you can try:
- Grated lemon peel, garlic, and 1 tsp olive oil
- Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and dill (great with tofu and seafood)
- 1 tsp herb infused olive oil
- Cook a sunny side up egg, place on top, and break the yolk so it runs into the rice bowl.
- 1.5 tsp olive oil, finely diced olives, capers, lemon juice
Photo Credit: https://thenoshery.com/rice-bowl-meal-prep/