Three Easy Ways to Boost 5k Time

This week, I received an email asking for advice on how to drop the 5k time. Since I haven't posted in awhile, I figured I would share my response. These are a few simple tips for the beginner 5k runners who just want to shave some time. Of course, it's not limited to just beginners. These tips will benefit runners of every kind.

1. Gradually increase the length of your run. Work up to about 6 miles and 3 miles will seem like a piece of cake. You will build your endurance and aerobic capacity. 6 miles may not be an option right now, but even 4-5 miles will boost your speed when you run 3.

2. Do some speed work. You can go to a track for this, or map out your own little 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile route. Warm up for about 10 minutes, then run 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile fast (race pace). Then run 1/4 to 1/2 mile recovery (nice easy pace). Repeat this until you've run about 3 miles. Don't forget a cool down jog. As you get stronger, you can increase the interval. Instead of a 1/2 mile, you can do mile repeats, etc. Speed work hurts...not gonna lie...but it really does work. You will be faster.

4. Add in some strength work. On the days you're not running, do some push-ups, squats, lunges, etc. Choose strength exercises that will work core and leg muscles. This will prevent injury and make you an  overall stronger runner. 

~Coach Genie 

Pictures From San Diego Trip

I promised some pictures from my trip to San Diego and here are just a few. We had a wonderful time! We started the week off by having our rental car upgraded (FOR FREE) to a soft top Jeep Wrangler. It was great to be able to drive around sunny California with the top down. 

Two days into our trip, I ran a Navy four-mile race across the Coronado Bay Bridge with my brother. The views were amazing, but the race itself was very crowded. Still, I finished 20th in my age group (30-35) of about 800 females. I'll take it ;)

The rest of the week included sea kayaking in La Jolla, San Diego Zoo, a very authentic Zumba class (thanks to my sister-in-law) and then two relaxing days in Palm Springs. (Oh, and lots and lots of Mexican food!) We stayed at the Colony Palms Hotel and I would recommend it to anybody. The rooms were excellent and the grounds were gorgeous. But just my luck, they were hosting a swimsuit model shoot right at the pool. (I just can't compete with that) I'm sure my husband enjoyed it!

We ended the week with a trip to the gun range and dinner out in Coronado with my brother and his wife. I really fell in love with San much so that the hubs and I are planning on relocating the family there next summer. I'm very excited for that...I can't wait to run some of those hills!!

I shot a gun!!

Me and my Bro before running across the Coronado Bay Bridge

Sea kayaking in La Jolla, CA

Palm Springs!!!

Sea Lions in La Jolla
San Clemente, CA

90 Second Ab Video

I'm always looking for new exercise ideas and today I came across this video. You have to check it out. If you're looking for quick moves that will tone & sculpt, these will do the trick. The instructions are to do each move for 30 seconds back to back, for a total of 90 seconds. Then, rest 90 seconds and repeat it three to four times.

25.59" Anti-Burst Gym Ball

I will be trying it later ;) If you try it, let me know what you think...Enjoy!


Upcoming Runs & Random Thoughts

So happy for Spring!
It's been a few weeks since I've that time, I've been busy training clients, trying to fill my own training log, and starting another business as an Independent Biltmore Inspirations Consultant. I'm really excited about that! I've also registered for the Philly Marathon again...can't wait for November, 2012!

I was thinking how running seems to go in cycles, kind of like life. For instance, two weeks ago, I felt great, had great runs everyday, even did a 13 miler out of the blue with some friends. This week? I can't be bothered! I haven't run since Saturday...well that's not true. I did try to run this morning and couldn't get past 2 miles. I walked this week instead and guess what? It felt really good. I haven't felt that runner's guilt this week like I normally do. I was perfectly content with walking! I also added in my weight training a few days this week. The thing is, I know that next week I'll be back to normal, so I'm not stressing about it too much (It may also be that time of the month...I usually have no energy the week before).

I'm in love with my new compression socks!

More exciting month, I'll be on my way to San Diego for a whole week to visit my brother. During that time, we will run a Navy four-miler across the Coronado Bay Bridge. I'm really excited to be able to run with my brother, whom I haven't seen in a very long time. He has also asked me to lead a PT session for himself & the guys on his ship! How exciting! He says they need a running coach :) I will definitely be posting with pictures!!

My goal this week: Do an actual pull-up (at least a full, complete pull-up :) Wish me luck!

Guest Article: Avoid Running (or Exercising) Yourself Into Stress Fractures

By Michelle Zehr

Zehr is a contributing writer with Running Shoe Guru, your source for great running shoe reviews!

Overuse or overtraining injuries are common in runners along with tennis players, basketball players, gymnasts and dancers. This is because repetitive striking motions of the lower extremities with the ground can lead to trauma. When you train too much without rest, your body starts to break down and your bones start to crack; this can lead to a stress fracture. A stress fracture is an injury no athlete wants to endure.

Stress fractures are commonly seen in professional sports. Think basketball star Yao Ming, who suffered from a foot stress fracture for years or marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, who fought with a stubborn stress fracture in her femur. However you don’t have to be a professional athlete to develop a stress fracture, individuals of all activity levels may develop stress fractures.

Unlike a fracture that occurs as the result of sudden trauma, a stress fracture develops overtime when a bone is no longer able to support the repetitive stress each takes during each and every workout. Repeated stress weakens your bones and osteoclast cells (cells that remove damaged bone tissues) create a small fracture on the surface of your bone. While the crack may be small, it can be very painful.  The pain is especially noticeable when participating in weight bearing activities.

When visiting a doctor, a stress fracture is often not visible on a plan x-ray and your doctor will likely order an MRI or bone scan. Your medical history as well as your athletic history can also help a doctor to diagnose a stress fracture.

Stress fractures can leave you sidelined from your favorite activities for anywhere from 6 week to 12 weeks. Keep in mind stress fractures heal easier is you are healthy and are not a smoker.

To avoid stress fractures all together, there are a number of actions you can take. For starters, avoid overtraining and increasing the intensity of your workout too quickly. Increase your activity gradually; by 10 percent each week. This allows your bones time to adjust to the amount of stress you are putting on them. Additionally, make sure you are getting enough vitamin D and calcium to help keep your bones strong and healthy.

Another thing to remember is a great pair of running shoes! Running shoes that are well-fitted can help to protect your feet from the ailments.

As a general rule of thumb, if something does not feel right have it checked out. If you experience persistent pain in your pelvis, shins, feet, thigh or hips, visit with your physician. 

Is It Really That Hard To Wave?

This past week we had beautiful weather, so naturally there were many more runners out than usual. My pet peeve is when a runner passing by doesn't wave! I can't stand it! Maybe I'm just a geek who likes to wave to everyone, but I feel that if you are out running and you see another runner, it's rude if you don't wave. I don't know what's wrong with the people who live around me, but more often than not, they don't wave. Not only do they not wave, but they don't even acknowledge that I'm running on the same road.

 Is anyone else bothered by this?  I guess I think of the wave as a little acknowledgment, like, "Hey, you're a runner...I'm a runner too. Have a good run."  Okay, I sound a little crazy, I guess. It's just a wave.  What do all you other runners think? Do you wave at other runners on the road?  Maybe you're the type of runner I'm complaining about?

Here's last week's training log:
 I slowly eased back into my workout schedule and I'm feeling much better after that nasty sinus infection.
Mon -5 mile easy run outdoors in am, 5min butt workout (yes, it was five minutes, but intense!), 20min walk
Tues - 20min elliptical, Walk 1 mile on treadmill, 30min weights-upper body
Wed -5 mile hard run outdoors
Thurs -3 mile interval run on treadmill. Half mile speed intervals.
Fri - 30 min weights -upper body, 10 min core strength
Sat -Easy 60 min run outside.
Sun -Rest

I ordered a pair of compression socks last week. I can't wait to try them out. I've used compression sleeves in the past, but never the full sock. I'll report back on how I like them.

~Coach Genie

Photo Credit:

Taking It Easy

"In my dreams I am a Kenyan"
It's been quite awhile since my last post. I have been sick over the past two weeks. I had a sinus infection, got antibiotics, felt better & all the while, pushed through with the workouts. I should have been resting because about 1 week later, I was running a 102 fever. As I was lying in bed, shivering with the fever, I said to myself, "That's it! You need to start listening to your body!" So, now I'm on antibiotics again and feeling better.

 I really have been trying to be a little less harsh on myself. I couldn't run last week and instead of feeling guilty or upset about it, I actually enjoyed the variety of some different workouts. My week looked like this:

Mon - 30min walk, 30min strength -legs
Tues - 30min strength-upper body, playing w/my kids outdoors (yea, I count that too!)
Wed - 30min elliptical, strength -core, house cleaning (It all counts!)
Thurs -30min walk/run (outside of Walmart, while waiting for my script to be filled :)
Fri -    40min strength-upper body
Sat -   5 mile run with a friend
Sun -  Rest

This morning I had a great 5 mile run before the sun came up. It's finally warming up enough that I don't freeze to death. I love Spring! This week, I'll try to run again Wed., Thurs., and Sat. I'm also going to try a "Brazilian Butt" workout from Fitness Magazine later today. I'll let you know how it goes. (The last time I did a leg workout, I couldn't sit down for a week!)

Have a fit week!


Diets Overwhelming??

Do you find all the hype for different diets nowadays a bit overwhelming? I know I do. Just type "diets" into Google and about a million different things will come up. Vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, beer diet (no, seriously, that really was in the results from Google!), etc. So, what should the everyday, average person, wanting to lose weight or just eat healthier do? Here are my thoughts/suggestions:

1. Research your different options. If you want to try eating vegan (or any other kind of diet), then go for it! See how it makes you feel. Determine if it's something you could stick with.

2. Steer clear of fads. Stick to what's tried & true (more fruits & veggies, lean meats, whole grains) because they are just that: tried & true.

3. Don't "diet". Just make changes that will work for you; things that you know you can stick with. For example, skip the mayo on your sandwich or start drinking your coffee without sugar. After awhile you won't even like it with sugar! Use sliced strawberries in place of jelly on pb&j's. I know, I did it. All the little changes add up!

4. Check out the Super Tracker for more tools. Create a profile, keep track of the foods you eat and log your workouts. I think it's a great site!

What little choices do you make each day to be healthier? I'd love to hear some other ideas!

Photo Credit:

A Runner's Neurosis

For the past three weeks, or so, I have been fighting a cold and feeling sick for awhile. I've still been working out and running everyday, pushing through. This week, it got the best of me. I came down with a horrible sinus infection that kept me from my workouts for about five days (I've since gotten antibiotics and now I'm feeling better).

 This is is what I noticed while I was sick: The first few days of missing workouts, I felt guilty. Sort of like I was going to instantly become fat (Does anyone else experience this kind of self-punishment? Or am I just messed up?) In addition to this, I wanted to eat constantly. Maybe that was my body's way of trying to fight the infection. I don't know. By the last few days, I didn't feel guilty about missing the workouts anymore. It was almost like I had gotten past those feelings and just didn't care. By last night I was feeling much better and couldn't wait to start fresh. This morning, I went for a run, felt great, and everything in the world is right to me again :)

I never really feel guilty when I eat some ice cream or french fries, but I do feel like I punish myself when I miss a workout. I'm sure in addition to eating disorders, there are exercise disorders. I'm not to any extreme, but I realize in a world with so much pressure about body image, I have to keep myself in check. Not only for myself, but to set an example for my daughter.

Do you have any mental battles with yourself? How do you handle it?


You Might Be a Runner If:

The other day, my toenail on my big toe completely came off ( I know, really gross).The one on the other foot is soon to follow. But, they had been completely black since the Marine Corps Marathon back in October and I knew it was coming. Why am I telling you all this gross stuff about my feet? Because it got me thinking about other things that runners accept as completely normal. Losing toenails is one of them. What else? Oh, things like using the bathroom in the woods, throwing up after a great race, being able to eat while running, feeling naked without a sports watch...the list can go on and on. Check out the site below for a list of more, #'s 4 and 8 are definitely me!

You Might Be A Runner If..

Please comment! You might be a runner if...

That's not my toe! I have no nail! You didn't think I'd take a pic of my own ugly toe, did you?
Photo Credit:

New Shoes!!!

Aren't they beautiful?
Yesterday, I got new running shoes! You fellow runners know that it felt like Christmas. I couldn't wait to get home and take them for a spin. I bought the Asics Gel Kayano 18. I've been wearing the Kayanos for years and I love them. Sometimes I think about trying a different shoe, but then I'm too chicken. I went to Sports Authority because I had a coupon and they ended up costing only $120. Normally, however, I find the best deals at RNJ Sports. They offer free shipping on orders over $65. In honor of my new shoes, I've researched the prices of some of Runner's World Magazine's top shoe picks for this season. Please comment and let me know what you run in.

Runner's World Editor's Choice
Brooks Trance 11

RNJ Sports - $139.99

Zappos -$140.00

Road Runner Sports -$139.95

Running Warehouse -N/A

Runner's World "Best Update"
Asics Gel Kayano 18

         RNJ Sports -$123.90

         Zappos -$150.00

         Road Runner Sports -$149.95

         Running Warehouse -$150.00


Runner's World Editor's Choice
Saucony Progrid 5

RNJ Sports -$87.90

Zappos -$89.00

Road Runner Sports -N/A

Running Warehouse -$100.00

Runner's World "Best Buy"
Brooks Pure Flow

RNJ Sports -$89.99

Zappos -$90.00

Road Runner Sports -$89.95

Running Warehouse -N/A

Sketchers GoRun
(Most of the running sites didn't carry these)

Zappos -$85.00

Finish Line -$79.99

Runner's World "Best Debut"
Altra, The Intuition

   Running Warehouse -$100.00

Heart Health Month

Today I picked my son up from preschool and he showed me this:
It was a packet his class worked on, in honor of February being heart health month. Inside the packet were different pages with a fact about the human heart. The last page read,
 "I can keep my heart healthy by eating ________". My son wrote "apples, bacon, & corn!" Hmm...bacon? He must have gotten that from his dad!

This got me thinking. If our kids are learning about taking care of their hearts in preschool, shouldn't we (the grown-ups) be thinking more about taking care of our own hearts? Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. So, in honor of this special month, below are some tips on how to keep the heart strong. I challenge everyone to do just one thing this week that is good for the heart.

Heart Health Tips:

-Exercise 30 minutes/ day. This can be as simple as going for a walk.
-Maintain a healthy weight.
-Quit smoking.
-Make healthy food choices.  Choose a diet low in fat, cholesterol and salt and include more fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
-Get regular check-ups. Get regular screenings of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and possibly a diabetes screening.

Check out these sources for more healthy tips and resources:

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

Bringing my blog into 2012!!

Here's the little guy
If you have seen this blog before, then you will notice all of the changes I've been making. I finally have a header...yay!! It took me a couple hours, with my preschooler wanting something every two minutes, but I did it! (I'm very proud of myself right now :) I've also got Facebook and Twitter buttons now. (I didn't even know how to use twitter) This is all thanks to my dear friend Bay, of Queen Mother blog. Yesterday, I took my four year-old son to her house to play with her little girl and I got a ton of advice on blogging. I am not the most tech savvy person, so this is a lot for me. I also created a Facebook page for my business. Check it out at and Like it for me!
Eventually, my goal is to add more pages with workouts, including videos and pics, training plans, and whatever else I can think of!

Guest Article: Fitness and Cancer, By Liz Davies

Special thanks to Liz for her contribution to this blog.

Fitness and Cancer

A diagnosis of cancer often results in a significant decline in physical activity, according to epidemiological studies.  The stress of preparing for treatments and telling family and friends about the diagnosis is overwhelming enough to make many people put exercise on the back burner.  The type of treatment can reduce exercise regularity even further, as patients experiencing the fatigue and nausea of chemotherapy and the pain of recovery from an operation are less likely to push themselves.  Instead of leaving exercise as an afterthought, more and more doctors are urging their patients to engage in physical activity, and their reasons may come as a surprise.

The Role of Fitness in Reducing Symptoms

Whether the cancer is rare and terminal or a treatable, hormone-based cancer, exercise offers some definite benefits. Fatigue is one of the leading complaints. Beginning with the stress of a diagnosis, many patients experience fatigue that can last years after successful treatment. Exercise combats this, causing the body to balance hormones and promote healthy body composition. Toned muscles and strong circulation are important to keeping a steady metabolism, which is the body's energy management system.

Regular movement is also helpful for treating digestive problems that routinely appear as nausea, loss of appetite, constipation and diarrhea.  Exercise stimulates the body's need for nutrition and promotes regularity in bowel movements.  Additionally, the hormones produced during exercise can relieve pain caused by treatments and the cancer itself.

Fitness and Survival

Though researchers have been unable to separately verify whether exercise is beneficial to treatment regimens, it does promote quality of life.  Exercise during treatment for certain types of cancer has been shown to increase survival.  This may be due to the direct effect of the body better able to metabolize and distribute medicine, or it could simply be the indirect effect of having a better quality of life.

It is well known that exercise prevents many forms of cancer, and survivor programs are increasingly turning to physical therapists to reduce recurrence.  One of the major benefits of maintaining a program during treatment is that is can be continued after treatment. 

The type of fitness program is less important than keeping to a regular schedule.  Most experts agree that any form of aerobic exercise engaged in regularly will show benefits, but it is important to consult with a doctor and fitness expert during cancer treatment.  Sometimes certain types of exercises will be recommended.  For example, mesothelioma and lung cancer causes doctors to often advocate cardio exercises while breast cancer patients will be urged to focus on flexibility.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness.  She wants to make a difference in people's lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world.  Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

The Comeback

Have you been on a running hiatus this winter? Here is an article by Jeff Galloway with easy tips on how to ease back into your training plan.

Runner's World Article

Is Lack of Sleep Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals?

            When people think about weight loss and fitness goals, the first thing that usually comes to mind is diet and exercise.  But, have you ever considered that the hours you sleep each night play a major role in a diet and exercise regime?

            With all the things we have going on in our lives in this day and age; it’s understandable that most adults do not sleep eight hours each night. Of course, every person’s sleep needs are different, but in general, six hours should be the minimum. A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who slept seven or more hours a night were less likely to put on weight than those who didn’t. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and higher BMI’s as well. This is because Leptin, an important brain hormone that regulates appetite, isn’t secreted in adequate quantities when one sleeps less than six hours a night.

            When it comes to exercise recovery, sleep is just as important as eating and drinking.  Lack of sleep interferes with the metabolism of glucose, which muscles depend on for energy. If your muscles have no energy, you will not be getting the most out of your workouts.

            Do you feel like you’re always fighting frequent colds? This could be attributed to lack of sleep as well. Sleep less than six hours a night and you will have a compromised immune system. Studies have shown that those who sleep less than six hours have 50% less immunity protection than those who sleep eight hours per night. In addition to all this, lack of sleep causes moodiness, anxiety and irritability.

            So, in addition to a healthy diet and exercise, focus on getting the quality sleep your body needs. 

By Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach/Fitness Trainer

House Cleaning Exercises

Think you don't have time to exercise? Every little bit counts and there are ways to sneak it in. One great way I "sneak" in exercise, is while I'm house cleaning. If you're like me, and you do the majority of the cleaning, why not try it? House cleaning requires physical movement anyway, so why not add a little more?

- Do alternating lunges with the vacuum. As you push the vacuum forward, lunge with one leg. Then step back, pulling the vacuum back with you. (This can also be done with a mop)

-Clean the floor in plank position. Instead of cleaning the floor on your hands and knees, try cleaning it on your hands and feet in a plank position. Use your core to stabilize yourself and alternate which arm you use to scrub. For example, 10 seconds with the right arm, 10 seconds with the left. Stay in plank as you move across the floor. You will really feel this one!

-Take push-up breaks. Take periodic breaks from cleaning, drop to the floor and do 10 push-ups. Want to add more? Include some crunches too.

-Cleaning squats. -Are you cleaning something you would normally have to bend over for? Why not squat instead? For example, instead of bending over or kneeling as you clean the toilet, try holding a squat in front of it as you clean. Pretend there is a chair that you are sitting on and hold that position. 

There are so many ways to get in some sort of exercise throughout your day. If you have other ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

Tips on Beating Treadmill Boredom

1. Music / TV

2. Listening to audiobooks. There are many audiobooks that can be downloaded right to ipods.

3. Speed Intervals: Increasing the speed for certain intervals, such as a half mile or the length of a song can boost performance and break up monotony. 

4. Adding Hills: Increasing the incline for a few minutes here and there is another way to challenge oneself and take the mind off of the treadmill. Remember, there is no down hill on the treadmill so after the run, do 20 lunges with each leg.

Is There Such a Thing as "Fake Running"?

I don't know if the winter cold is bothering me more as I get older, or if I'm just getting wimpier (is that even a word?). What I do know, is that I just can't be bothered to get my butt outside at 5:30 am on a bitter cold day to get a run in. When I think about the darkness, the cold air, etc., I just head right to the treadmill. I hate using the treadmill, I am so bored on that's like a form of mental torture after awhile. However, my alternative is darkness, icy roads, and blustery winds. Maybe if I had a running partner I would get out there, but as a woman, I don't always feel so safe by myself in the dark. Unfortunately, my schedule doesn't allow for me to run after the sun has come up, except for weekends. On weekends, I'll do a longer run outdoors.

 I used to think that the treadmill wasn't like real running. Obviously it's wind resistance, changes in elevation, etc. But what was it?  Fake running? I still get a really good workout. I still log the miles each week. I'm beginning to realize I was a running snob (or snobby runner?)! You know who I'm talking about.  The runners who run outside everyday, rain, snow, darkness, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. and who turn their noses up at treadmill runners... they wouldn't be caught dead on one. (For example, If I don't want to run outside in the pouring rain, then I'm not a REAL runner.) I give those runners all the credit in the world. Good for them for being outside every day, no matter what. But I have decided that I am no less of a die-hard runner than these people, and yes, I use a treadmill.

I once ran a 10 mile training run on a treadmill because I had no one to watch my kids so I could go outdoors. And guess what? It was still 10 miles and it took more dedication and mental discipline to make myself complete 10 miles on a treadmill than it would have outdoors. My point is, no matter where you run, as long as you run, you are a runner.

This week I'll be posting some tips on beating treadmill boredom. Please email me if you have suggestions. I'd like to hear how other people cope...

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

Exercise "Must Haves"

Happy New Year!! I don't know about you, but my holidays went by in a blur. As I get back to normal life and begin a new year, I think about new resolutions just like everyone else. I think the most common resolution people make is to get back into shape, stay in shape, and live a healthier life. I am a person who is intrinsically motivated to exercise...meaning, I love working out. I enjoy my muscles aching from a good run or strength training session. (My husband thinks I'm slightly insane, and I just may be) So, this kind of New Year's resolution comes more naturally to me than it might to other people.

What I've really been thinking about lately are my exercise "must haves". These are the moves I just have to do every day whether I have a workout planned or not. These moves are just as important to me as my coffee in the morning (coffee is part of the reason I get up in the morning). I thought I'd share them just to show that a healthy lifestyle can be started with just a few moves everyday. Try them and let me know what you think. If you have any exercise "must haves" of your own, I'd love to hear them!

Genie's Exercise "Must Haves"

I've said it before, but these are a staple!! I do close grip, wide grip, and regular. Do as many as you can until you can't perform another with good form. Each day, try and add one or two more. You'll be amazed at how your body adapts!

Leg Raises:
I swear by these for a strong lower abdomen and hip flexors. Lie face up on the floor with the legs straight and arms perpendicular to body on the ground. Keep the legs together and knees straight and use the lower abs to raise the legs straight into the air. Lower the legs back down until legs are about an inch off the floor, but don't touch the floor. Repeat. Try starting with 10 reps and increase a little everyday. When you've mastered these, try turning the legs so that both knees are facing the right or left. Then lift as you normally would for an awesome burn in the obliques.

Front Plank:
Get into plank position on forearms and feet. Hold the body in a straight line. Keep the head neutral. Concentrate on keeping the abs tight. Start by holding for as many seconds as you can while maintaining good form. Each day hold for a little longer until you can hold for at least 60 seconds. When you've mastered this, try adding in some leg lifts. While holding the plank, slowly lift one leg, lower and then lift the other. Focus on squeezing the glutes as you lift.

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach