Get PHIT #America , The PHIT Act

I usually never discuss politics on my Athletic Forums. Let’s face it,  politics and everyone’s personal view could bring out some strong feelings. There is nothing wrong with owning your opinion but sometimes folks go over board and an ugly side could come out.

But, this time I’m happy to talk about Politics. Why, because of the PHIT Act. What? You haven’t heard about the PHIT Act, The Personal Health Investment Today Act (H.R. 956). Look, I’m not going to get into Health Care wars or who should pay for what.  I am going to discuss Health and Wellness and the fact that we as citizens need to take pro active steps towards a Healthy Life Style for ourselves, our kids and fellow Americans.


First some background Information:

The PHIT Act (H.R. 956), currently pending legislation in Congress, was introduced in 2009 by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and currently has bi-partisan support. The PHIT Act is legislation that would allow for reimbursement of Physical activity expenses using pre-tax dollars.  In essence, the PHIT Act expands the definition of a medical expense to include qualified physical activities as a form of prevention.  Your contributions to existing pre-tax Medical, Flexible Spending, and reimbursement accounts could be used to pay for physical activity expenses.  Contributions would not increase existing caps on pre tax accounts and contributions are limited to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families annually.

So What does PHIT Cover:

  • Youth Camp and Physical activity fees
  • Membership and dues in a health club
  • Exercise/fitness classes or instruction (personal trainers)
  • Sport league fees (Adult and Youth)
  • Marathon/Triathlon registration fees
  • Sports and Fitness equipment used exclusively for participation in physical exercise/activities

Now, we all hear the excuses Triathlons and Marathon entries are so expensive. Gym Memberships and fitness equipment are expensive. Well guess What..with the PHIT Act YOU now have a chance to stop making excuses and start taking steps towards a healthy life style.

America, Get off the couch, drop the dumb excuses and get PHIT! Reach out to your local leaders and have them help pass the PHIT Act.

To our leaders in Washington, What are you doing to help America get PHIT?


Surrender #Confessionsofanathlete


This gallery contains 1 photo.

Moments after crossing the finish line I realized I had failed. You work, and work and work. You put in a 100% and you still can’t get the results you want. To get through that next level..You need to go … Continue reading

It is Show Time…It is Examination Time.. Confessions of a Runner

“What is the Point of Being Alive if You Don’t at Least Try to Do Something Remarkable?”

by Mario Novak

Video credit Heart Required

Health and Wellness: National Run @ Work Day


Via Road Runners Club of America:

On September 20, 2013 the Road Runners Club of America will promote the 8th Annual RUN@WORK Day and the 2nd Annual RUN@School Day, nationwide fitness efforts.

The goal of RUN@WORKDay and RUN@School Day is to encourage adults and children to get 30-minutes of exercise each day, in accordance with the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, either before work/school, during lunch, or immediately following work/school. RUN@WORK Day also encourages companies to help employees schedule time for physical activity.

Incorporating exercise into one’s daily routine can markedly improve one’s overall physical health. As a Human Resource professional, athlete and health advocate I encourage you to lace them up. Take care of your body, mind and spirit and your body will reward you tenfold.

What are you doing to improve your health?

Run at Work/School Day Planning Kits

National Run at Work Day Fact Sheet

#f3 #fitness #furtherfasterforever #runemz #iamikuna #themermaidclub #youngtri #runaholics #runchat #runnerds #hr #wellness #health #itsourturn #repost #badassbananas

Possibilities are endless…Just Do It!!!

Summer is coming to an end and soon the Chicago Marathon will be upon us.  You have been putting in the time, the miles and the hard work. Sometimes you want to give up, but when you feel the urge..ask yourself: Are you capable of a little more? Can you go a little faster? Are you a little stronger then your last run? When you look back at all your sacrifices and realize how far you have come…well then we realize Possibilities… are endless?


Video and credit goes to Nike

Road ID takes safety to the next level..Road ID App


This gallery contains 12 photos.

Attention all athletes, Road ID has launched its new Road ID Application which allows your friends and family to track your running, cycling, hiking, walking and basically any outdoor adventures in real time. The Road ID App has some amazing … Continue reading

Summer Vacation and Some Soul Searching


This gallery contains 13 photos.

Hi everyone…I’m back from my social media vacation… 🙂 Social Media Vacation? Yes, yes I took a break from a few social media platforms. I was burnt out from blogging, vlogging and everyday life. I just needed a break and … Continue reading

C4 Athletics Spotlight Athlete: Caroline Gaynor

What do you think of when you hear the words Iron Man, Triathlon, Marathoner, Endurance Athlete?

What do you think of when you hear the word guide?

What do you think of when you hear these words- an Iron Man, Triathlon, Marathon, Endurance Athlete Guide-together? Well let me introduce you to an extraordinary athlete Caroline Gaynor a multifaceted athlete who not only excels on and off the race course but has also worked very hard to promote, mentor and connect Veterans and civilians through her work at Team Red, White and Blue.

Me on the bike - Panama 70.3 2013

Caroline Gaynor is Triathlon Director for Team Red, White & Blue. Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting veterans to their community through physical and social activity. Caroline is responsible for the development of the triathlon team, including recruiting new members and initiating and maintaining relationships with the team’s sponsors. Caroline has been competing in triathlons since 2001 and is passionate about racing as a guide for visually impaired triathletes. She has guided 3 Ironman triathlons and became a Race Across America finisher in 2012 as a member of Team RWB’s 4-man team. To learn more about Team RWB, please visit their website:

1. Number of Triathlons and/or Ironman races you have done?

I have been racing since I was 17 years old (I’m 29 now), so I have done quite a few races. I believe I have completed well over 55 triathlons ranging from sprint to Ironman distance. I was a collegiate rower and have been competing in cycling events for a few years, both of which have reduced the number of tris in which I have participated.

2. Favorite Tri/Ironman or course?

I don’t think I’m in a position to say which Ironman (or full distance) race is my favorite because I haven’t done enough of them. However, this will be my tenth consecutive year competing in the New York City Triathlon. It is definitely my favorite race. The fact that the race accommodates 7000+ athletes in such a densely populated city amazes me.

Also, the race director promotes para-triathlon and encourages all para-athletes to participate, which I think is incredibly important. And who doesn’t love finishing a triathlon in the middle of Central Park? It’s a thrilling race.  I never get tired of it!

3. Most memorable race? Why?

My most memorable race would have to be Ironman Lake Placid in 2010. A friend emailed me five weeks before the race and informed me that there was a blind female triathlete who was trying to become the first blind female to complete an Ironman triathlon with a female guide. Unfortunately, the guide with whom the blind athlete (Patricia Walsh) had been training all year long fractured her wrist in a bike crash during training and couldn’t compete.

Through a serendipitous email chain, my friend, Brian Gatens (who had no personal connection to Patricia), found out that a blind woman needed a female guide for Ironman Lake Placid. Brian knew that I had guided visually impaired athletes in a number of races, so he reached out to me.

I emailed Patricia within minutes of receiving Brian’s message and committed to race with Patricia during our first conversation. I must preface this with the fact that I had only done one full distance triathlon, and that was in 2005. I was in good cycling shape and felt totally comfortable on a tandem, but I wasn’t training for triathlons at that time.  My focus was bike racing during the spring of 2010, so I had put in very few running miles and zero time in the pool. But I felt confident enough in my fitness to know that I could guide an Ironman.

Patricia flew to NYC from Seattle the week before the race- we met when she arrived at my apartment after coming straight from the airport! Our practice race was the NYC Triathlon. Though we were not pushing ourselves to the limit, Patricia still won the open para race. Just one week later, I found myself in Mirror Lake, guiding Patricia through a pack of 2000 triathletes in the two-loop IMLP swim. Patricia’s swim was a little rough because it felt like the crowd of swimmers never thinned out!

The bike leg took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I had no idea how much climbing there was on the IMLP bike course! The last ten miles of each loop were straight uphill. Tandems aren’t the fastest bikes on the uphill, but they FLY on descents. So, after eight hours on the bike, we finally hit the run. I hadn’t run longer than two hours in five years and Patricia was an accomplished marathoner, so I was beyond nervous. Somehow, we pulled out a 4:30 marathon on a pretty challenging run course. Though our time wasn’t blazing fast (Patricia broke twelve hours at IM TX the following year with two Kona-qualified female guides), we accomplished her goal of becoming the first blind female athlete/female guide team to complete an Ironman.

4. What are your PR’s?

My fastest Olympic distance Tri was just over 2:21. But that was at the NYC Tri, which has a notoriously fast swim, so I consider my true PR to be 2:28. My fastest half IM was 5:05, but again, that race had a pretty fast swim, so let’s call my PR 5:11. I went 5:11 in Timberman in 2007. I was proud of my performance in that race.

5. The only Running shoes, Bike, Wheels, Gear for me is/are?

My road bike and Tri bike are Cervélos, and they’ve never let me down. I also love swimming in my XTerra wetsuit. Right now, I’m racing in New Balance racing flats and I think they’re fantastic. In road cycling races, I only ride Stan’s NoTubes wheels with Hutchinson tires. The wheels are amazing.

My race belt of choice is iFitness, hands down. I have tried almost every race belt on the market and nothing compares to iFitness. The belts are made of Neoprene, so they’re water resistant. I hold most of my nutrition in my race belt and when I’m running, it doesn’t ride up like most race belts. As far as nutrition goes, I love Amrita Health Foods.  Amrita’s products harness the inherent and incredible power of plants to heal your body, repair your health, and provide the strength, mental focus needed to perform at your best. All of their products use raw, vegan, high-alkaline protein made from sprouted brown rice, peas, cranberries, and hemp.

I also just helped launch a new startup called EnduroPacks. EnduroPacks is offers a convenient, monthly subscription that provides endurance athletes with the vitamins and nutrients that are essential for peak performance.  Our mission is to provide a service that simplifies this vital aspect of the complicated life of today’s endurance athlete. Each monthly pack contains products that cover the major building blocks of a complete sports nutrition regimen: Amino Acids, Electrolytes, Glutamine and Multivitamins. All of our products are FDA approved, gluten-free and contain NO GMO ingredients. We are offering a discount for people who sign up on our website.

Here is an exclusive 20% discount for the readers of the C4 Athletics blog: C4TWENTY. Our product just launched. You can order your subscription at today! If you want to hear more about our products and read our training trips, check out our Facebook page ( or follow us on Twitter @EnduroPacks.

6. Are you a hot or cold weather athlete?

I blow up in the heat. I am definitely a cold weather athlete. Heat is my kryptonite. This is yet another reason why I am excited about EnduroPacks. An electrolyte imbalance can severely impair performance- particularly in the heat. EnduroPacks’ electrolyte salt comes in a concentrated liquid spray. You simply add a few drops to your bottle of water and you’re good to go. This is the most efficient, convenient way to absorb the electrolytes your body demands as an endurance athlete.

7. When do you prefer to workout? Morning, afternoon or evening?

I am NOT a morning person. I’d rather workout at 11PM than at 6AM. I wish I were a morning person. One of my goals is to become one, but for now, I can’t seem to fight the fact that I prefer nighttime 🙂

8. Have you ever DNF (Did Not Finish)?

I DNFed at Ironman Arizona in 2011. I raced Ironman Arizona as a guide for a visually impaired athlete. Her goal was to break 14 hours. I just wanted to make sure that I did not let her down. The athlete, Tina Ament, is a good friend of mine, and I was looking forward to racing with her. We were both hypothermic after the swim. The volunteers almost made us go to the medical tent. After warming up during a long transition, we made it out onto the bike and started off very strong. The first loop of the bike was right at Tina’s target pace. It was a three-loop course, and after the first loop the wind kicked up. We stayed strong and finish the bike around 6:45. When we started the run I felt okay, but early in the going, I noticed that my legs were cramping. This had never happened to me in a race before. I was petrified that I would slow Tina down and hurt her chances at racing a fourteen-hour Ironman.

Chances for Children 1 Mile RunChances for Children 1 Mile Run

Thankfully, because Tina is such a good friend, she was very understanding and did not make me feel guilty about the fact that I had to take frequent walking breaks. Around mile twelve or thirteen, I started worrying about Tina’s safety. The race was in November, so it was already dark. My legs were cramping so badly I was worried that I would trip and fall, taking Tina down with me. As it happens, Tina belongs to an amazing triathlon team in Washington DC (Team Z), and we were fortunate that the team had a dozen members racing that day. In addition, they had even more spectators who were also athletes. At the point where I began to worry about Tina’s safety, I knew that I had to find a substitute guide. Obviously, that was easier said than done.

I was devastated by the idea of having to not only DNF, but also to abandon a good friend in the middle of the most important race of her life. At the crucial moment, one of her teammates ran by. We explained the situation and he offered to guide her for a while. Tina’s pace was faster than her teammate’s, So Team Z’s spectators quickly found another guide to run the rest of the race with Tina. I walked another mile or two, sobbing like a baby. For a moment, I considered finishing the race on my own. I knew that I could walk the rest of the marathon and finish in well under 17 hours.  But when I reached the Team Z tent, I remembered that this was not my race. I had nothing to prove. I was there to support Tina, in any way that I could. So I waited with her teammates as she continued to crush the Ironman course. Her coach suggested that I run across the finish line with her. I am glad that I was able to share the moment with her.

Me and Tina finishing Ironman U.S. Championship 2012

Making the decision to drop out of the race was probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my entire triathlon career. But Tina finished the race in 14 hours! I witnessed the camaraderie and selflessness that exists in the sport. Were it not for Jackie McCarthy, who ran the final nine miles with Tina, we would have finished the race together. But we would not have finished strong. Tina achieved her goal that day, and I learned many great lessons. I was so proud of her performance, and so grateful to her teammates, that there was no way I could dwell on the negative feelings I had surrounding my performance in the race. For me, one of the greatest challenges of guiding is in remembering that I am human. I think of myself as a piece of equipment. Equipment can break. It can malfunction and be unreliable; as can human beings. I was physically unable to keep up with Tina during the marathon. I had to DNF the race. But it was still one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

9. What race would you like to forget? Why?

I have never done a race that I would like to forget. No matter how bad a race is, I learn from every experience. In fact, the most difficult and frustrating races are often the ones that teach us the most about who we are as athletes.

10. Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites, coaches)?

I have heard very good things about the beginner triathlete forum. Unfortunately I don’t have many resources to share because I tend to just absorb as much information as I can. Nowadays there are so many different websites, coaches, and books that it can be overwhelming. I think it is important to listen to others’ opinions, and then form your own from your experience as racing. There is no one right way to train for a race.

11. Have you experienced a breakthrough, and if so, what led to it?

I am still waiting for my breakthrough!

12. What was the best advice you were ever given?

A friend recently told me, Do not always believe what you think. This is wonderful advice because most athletes are very hard on themselves. I am certainly no exception. Having confidence in your abilities is crucial as an endurance athlete.

13. Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

I don’t have a saying or motto that I live by, but there are certain things that I believe are very important. I do not believe in regret. I think it is important to learn from every mistake you make, and even if you repeat the same mistake multiple times it’s never too late to get it right.

14. What tips would you give a group of athletes preparing for their first tri/Ironman?

The most important thing is to approach the race as though it is something fun.   The fact that we are able to race is a privilege. Of course, it is important to have a structured training plan, to get enough rest, and to focus on your nutrition plan, especially for longer races. But the most important thing of all is to approach each workout and race with gratitude for having the physical ability to complete a triathlon.

15. What’s your next goal?

My next goal is to guide Rachel Weeks at Ironman Texas in May. My goal is to be as good a guide as I can possibly be and to get her across the finish line with smiles on both our faces. I am excited to race with Rachel because she is such a positive and motivational person. We raced the Chicago Triathlon together and I carried an American Flag for 5 miles of the 10K run in order to promote Team Red, White & Blue. The enthusiastic response we received from spectators and other racers was incredible. I can’t wait to rock the RWB Eagle at Ironman TX this May!

Me and Rachel finishing Chicago Tri 2012

Please feel free to follow Caroline through her Twitter, Blog and Tumblr accounts.

-C4 Athletics

TOUGHER THAN 6.2..It’s Our Turn

Dear Athletes:

I wanted to take a moment and share the following event with you. The Tougher than 6.2 fun Run/Fundraising event is being organized by two amazing Chicagoland Elite Athletes (Molly Akers and Samantha Kirkham). The following is a description of the event and why you should considering lacing them up this Saturday.

“On Monday, April 15, 2013 the world witnessed lives forever being changed as a result of the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon Finish Line. Martin Richard, 8 years old, was at the finish line that day with his father, mother and sister cheering the runners as the explosions went off taking his life and gravely injuring his mother and sister.   We need to help them and let them know we are their Crowd Support!  Cheering them on to keep  going exactly the same way The Martin Family was doing for #Runnerds at the Boston Marathon.

As a symbol of our support, we created “Tougher Than 6.2” fun run/fundraiser inviting individuals of all abilities to join us and clock-in some miles for The Richard Family on Saturday, April 27th at The Prairie Path in Elmhurst, IL (where it intersects at Spring Rd.) at 7:30AM. In addition, 100% of the funds raised will go directly to The Richard’s Family Fund, a fund created by the Richard’s Family representatives to help with medical expenses.


Why 6.2? Well, no matter how well we’ve trained, the last 6.2 miles of the marathon is the toughest. It’s the point where our bodies fatigue and runners have to tap into a different part of our mind in order to find a way to keep going and find a way to finish. The last 6.2 miles of a marathon is also where the marathon crowds double and triple and people cheer on the runners to keep them going.  This amazing collection of crowd support and an absolutely vital element of the marathon is not only awe striking but symbolic of how working together towards a common goal can make the difference in obtaining our Finish Line Glory.

Please RSVP with number attending to run on Saturday, April 27th on our Face Book Group Page or contact the Tougher Than 6.2 Organizers: Ms. Molly Akers: or Ms. Samantha Kirkham: .

This event is open to all athletes regardless of your abilities. Kids are welcomed to attend. Please make sure to inform the event organizers so they can properly accommodate you with snacks and water.

Lace up and spread the word and always run from the heart.”

Three Run Two Crew Mix Vol 1

The sun is shinning and runners are hitting the roads more resilient then ever.

The Three Run Two Crew along with DJ Intel have come out with Volume 1 of the “Three Run Two Crew Mix.  Three Run Two is a running collective based out of Chicago, IL. Everyone contributed to this mix. Download the mix, enjoy and Keeping on Running.