Say Hello to Fruitive

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“My goal is to be a blessing to the community”

This statement is mentioned to all potential employees of Fruitive by their owner Gregg Rozeboom. I recently sat down with Bruce who is the co-founder/Gregg’s brother of Virginia Beach’s first juice bar. Since I walked through Fruitive’s doors thanks to seeing it pop up in Facebook and Instagram photos (#fruitive) a few months ago I wanted to have a better understanding of how it landed in our community…

The basic explanation for their juice bar is a meatless – plant based menu,  serving up everything from kale chips, to a salad bar, and juices/smoothies. Their philosophy is simple- to encourage and support healthy lifestyles while sustaining the world around them.

The roots of Fruitive’s beginnings can be traced to Bruce’s health a few years ago. He was the King of leftovers which started to take a toll on him. After severe kidney pains landed Bruce in a hospital bed on New Year’s eve, he knew something needed to change. After researching a plant based diet he decided to convert his leftovers for fruits and vegetables. What started out a lifestyle change quickly became so much more.

 A friend in the fitness world told him Virginia Beach needed a health minded restaurant and Bruce jumped at the opportunity to investigate more. Bruce and his wife landed in NYC and they tried 28 different restaurants in 2 days. This became a stepping stone for Bruce- he knew they could bring their vision back home. A business plan followed and his case to bring a new healthy alterative to the beach gained even more power when Gregg bought into the idea. After the brothers jet set across the U.S. (hello Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, and Seattle) they gained an even better understanding of what it would take to open their own place. From their research they gathered a solid line-ups of healthy juices, salads, and wraps to serve up. This menu certainly has staying power-in a blind taste test their juices ranked at the top among other juices produced from other bars throughout the country.

As they researched the juices across the U.S. they also paid close attention to the design of the restaurants. The first time I opened the door to their restaurant I was amazed at the uniqueness. Hundreds of books and art line the walls, which turned the restaurant into a very warm and cozy feel. Everything in their space is eco-friendly, even down to the tables. One table in particular is from a large tree that fell during a hurricane.

Their vision gained momentum when Bruce and Gregg met with a Realtor who showed them a few places in the Hill Top area of Virginia Beach. For the locals reading this, they even looked at the old Taste location. Something about the current location caught Bruce’s eye and he knew it was the right fit. Within a week of seeing the space they were signing a contract in order lock in the location.

Since inking the deal with the Realtor and opening on Memorial Day weekend 2012, here are a few interesting facts about the business:

The Fruitive name just clicked for them, literally. After Google searching fruit + vegetables, the search returned “Did you mean Fruitive?” Fru-t-tiv means to produce enjoyment. What better way to sum up their brand!

Gregg and Bruce’s dreams and goals are coming true:

Fruitive is continuing to expand into the local community. A new kitchen will be opening in Norfolk, VA and the Fruitive team has an even larger vision for more locations. They try their best to use local vendors, from their olive oil to hummus-with more partnerships in the works. As their business continues to expand so does their menu- Fruitive fans are in store for hot teas and streamers (their take on soup) this winter.

A statement that defines Bruce’s way of thinking:

“True success is having an admiral goal and going after it.” At one point in his life Bruce believed that a single person couldn’t change the world. The Fruitive experience has now changed his thinking. He hopes that Fruitive can continue be a healthy alterative while being a blessing in the community.

Recommend items: Fruit ‘N Greens salad and Carrot Kick juice.

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Zensah is compression

Zensah compression leg sleeves have become a staple at races. I recently had the chance to test out Zensah’s seamless compression shorts and now understand why the leg sleeves are so popular. These shorts are considered a base layer and are my go to undergarment this winter.

I’ve reviewed other compression products that tend to constrict the leg’s movement. However, Zensah compression allows for full range of motion in my stride. While staying in place so you can rock them during a workout, race or post workout. The material almost seems like spandex allowing them to be extremely comfortable.  The compression shorts add a nice comfortable layer while having the compression benefits if you wear them under long running pants. Zensah’s shorts are created from a wicking seamless material which allows them not to be drenched in sweat after runs.  This is particular of interest with the cold winter days.The seamless technology allows for absolutely no chafing. Other compression gear in the past has given me some chafing during the marathon. Granted, I have not done long runs in their compression yet, but I’m confident in Zensah’s gear so far.

The only downside to these shorts are their length. The shorts come down to almost my knee cap despite having the correct sizing.  Come summer races, I would like them to be a little shorter when I wear them under racing shorts. You can pick up Zensah’s compression shorts for only $34 bucks.  Most compression shorts tend to be more expensive so these are a steal! The best testament to how much I dig these?….I’ve been wearing them during all my speed workouts!

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Motivation Over The Cold

My good friend and college roommate Justin Fritzius is not only is a gifted runner, but works harder than most others in the sport. His PRs and dedication for running (see picture below) speak for themselves. As the winter months grip us in freezing temps and the Weather Channels tells of another pending storm I am trying to find motivation to start up my running since the JFK 50. Fritz always was there for me with good advice so I thought a little insight wouldn’t hurt. Hopefully, you enjoy his thoughts on winter training and check out his blog.

 

Each runner encounters their own individual trials during training; including injury, life changes, illness, or just lack of motivation. But each year we collectively confront one hurdle that impedes us all; Winter weather. After a slew of turkey themed races and fall marathons the cold weather sets in and we as runners have to choose whether we want to gain some “winter fur” or are we willing to push through the wind, snow, and freezing temperatures.

With an absence of area road races and numerous reasons not to step out that front door, it’s always easy to stay in bed a little longer or brew up a cup of your favorite hot beverage. However is it worth the relaxation and comfort of a cold winter day to sacrifice spring PR’s? We all know that in the spring there are an endless number of races and that is the time when we all realize how lazy or proactive we’ve been in the winter. With marathons like Boston and the National Marathon (D.C.) does anyone really need motivation? Ok I understand everyone is not running major marathons this spring, how about your big local 10k or Half Marathon? Each runner has their own scenario, but the underlying theme is that you/we need to just look to the near future for motivation.

Once that motivation is achieved its simple. Make sure you have the proper gear depending on your region of training. For me, I use anything and everything to make a run comfortable. My winter attire usually includes long thermal tights, lightweight training gloves, arm warmers, smart wool socks, my favorite Brooks running jacket, and depending on the time of day either a nice winter cap, or ski mask. Everyone has his or her own preference, for myself I like to be as warm as possible without feeling bulky.

Now that you are properly equipped my best suggestion is to assemble a crew of friendly local runners, so that you don’t have to do this alone. If you’re like me and you don’t have that luxury your favorite iPod will do the trick. However, if you choose your iPod please choose positive and “pace-perfect” music. On my long runs I enjoy very calm/relaxed artists, whereas for tempo runs and track workouts, I prefer up-tempo/high-rhythm music.

Beyond all these suggestions I suggest everyone take running one day at a time. No runner skipped straight from beginner to their lifetime PR, and each journey is traveled one step at a time. One of the great things about running is that without training there are no short cuts (unless you actually cut a race course, at which time you should be stoned by the running community). So as you roll out of bed looking at sub freezing temperatures, Gail force winds, and a sore [insert your own body part] there are enough reasons to force yourself out on that run. Whether its that big spring road race, fitting into a wedding dress you bought 2 sizes too small, or achieving the New Year’s Resolution everyone said you couldn’t achieve there is always a horde of things that can motivate you. 

All I ask is that no runner let old man winter get in the way of your goals. Even if you reside in a remote location where it is deemed impossible to run outdoors, at least go find a treadmill or some means of cross training. Because at the end of the season there is only one person to blame…

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The Lukas Verzbicas Interview

As we close out 2010,  Lukas Verzbicas took the high school cross country landscape by storm.

Lukas’ running resume highlights now include Nike Cross National champ (NXN), 2x Foot Locker National champ, 2x Illinois state 3A champ. This Illinois champ won by  22 seconds in a near-record 13:54 for 3 miles while the NXN and Foot Locker wins were on back to back weekends. All these Ws come from someone who is only 17 and plans to graduate from high school early. Hopefully, this interviews sheds some light on Lukas’ mindset, who is being hailed as the next superstar for America in running and even a gold medal hopeful in the triathlon.

Ryan: Running Times described you as having a fierce competitiveness and tireless work ethic. Give us some insight into your training.

Lukas: In terms of training, this season was different from any others I had in the past. Following the Adidas Dream Mile back in June, I concentrated mainly on triathlon. I concentrated very much on improving my swim and bike for the World Junior Championships in September. Few weeks before he race I tweaked my back muscle and had to sort of miss a week of good training being only able to do workouts easy on the body, without pushing myself as much as needed. On race day in Budapest, Hungary my swim was a little off and I ended up in the chasing pack on the bike. During the run I ran down 42 athletes ahead of me only to learn I had to stop right before the finish line and serve a 15 second penalty for misplacement of my wetsuit in the first transition area. So I ended up jogging in with a 4th place finish. It was a race I took a lot of experience from.

Once I was back home I went straight to running with my cross country team. Most of the running was done on trails with crazy hills. Some of the hardest workouts were fartleks because hitting hills that were at a 120-degree angle in the middle of the workout feels like the hardest thing ever. Since most of my base work was done with the triathlon, I did not do many long runs. Typical workouts were a tempo run one day, easy the next, interval training the following day, and once again easy the next day. It was this sort of cycle that was repeated through out the entire 2 months leading up to December, I averaged about 60 miles a week. I most always rest on Sundays. My five-week stretch of regionals and nationals four out of the five weekends was where I had to be careful. I needed to take it easy during the training so that I’m as fresh as can be for each race. The last few weeks of the season was total tapering, making sure I was super sharp. The mileage got down to as little as 25-30 miles by the last two weeks of the championship season.

During this time my social life really suffered I can say. I never mean it in a bad way, because all of my friends understand how committed I must be to have continued success. All of it paid off after the two nationals where for one week I rested up and enjoyed a life without any worry about having to complete a workout or watch very little bite of what I eat. It felt pretty fun the first few days, but by the end of the week I understood that I couldn’t really fit into that sort of lifestyle. I feel that I must always pursue some sort of big goal and put all my attention to it. It will be interesting what I pursue after I’m done with my running career.

Ryan: Can you describe your 2010 cross country season in one word?

Lukas: One word with which I can describe my 2010 cross country season is accomplished. If I could use two words than I would call it almost accomplished. That is because I did not achieve my dream of taking down the famous IL high school state cross country course record held by famed Craig Virgin. You have no idea how mad I was at myself. Now that I look back on it, I feel this was because I peaked for the
national championships, and who knows, maybe that is better than owning a state record and maybe not being a two time national champion.

Ryan: Can you give any hints on what color singlet you might be wearing next season? You’re also very good at the triathlon so will this have any affect on turning pro and looking forward to the Olympics in that sport?

Lukas: As of right now I am still in the recruiting stage. My top 5 choices are: University of Oregon, University of Colorado, Oklahoma State University, University of Portland, and Stanford. All these schools have their advantages and all of them are at the highest level of both running and academics so the decision is very difficult to make. I will be taking my time deciding so that my family and me make sure we make the best possible decision. These are the schools I’m choosing for running, there is another option. Next season I will either be a full time triathlete or runner, I cannot play around and switch from one to another. If I choose to be a full time triathlete than I will not be able to run in the NCAA, I will only be going to one of the schools mentioned previously with a USA Triathlon Federation scholarship and train to be selected for a championship team in the future. This will be a difficult decision, and once again,
my family and I will take our time deciding. Also, this year I am concentrating on indoor track to see just how good of a track runner I can be. This will also play a big part in the decision-making.

Ryan: What message (quote/music lyrics/advice) defines your running style?

Lukas: Well I do not know a quote I can give you from my father, who is also my coach. I do whatever he tells me and depend on his training program to get me to that highest level. I do enjoy listening to music a lot though. My favorite artist is rapper Eminem. Listening to his lyrics brings out a sense of how powerful his music is and whenever I need motivation, I look to him. There are endless quotes which tremendously admire, but my favorites I think come from the song Lose Yourself. The entire song is about going out and taking a shot at something to succeed, just the way I do in sports. Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“I’ve got to formulate a plot or end up in jail or shot. Success is my only ************ option, failure’s not”

“So here I go it’s my shot. Feet fail me not ’cause this may be the only opportunity that I got”

“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”

“You can do anything you set your mind to, man”

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BragStats

With all the social networking sites out there the local website, BragStats based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia is starting to get a lot of press. BragStats launched their social networking site targeted at the active lifestyle over the past year and has seen solid member growth as we head into 2011.

Co-Founder John Cunningham  sums up the site best, “Our goal is to build the premier sports-focused social networking platform for any athlete – from 7 years old to adult/weekend warrior athletes.”

In 2010 I discovered the Dailymile and now see BragStats as a new tool to connect with other athletes while sharing my race results with my family. Cunningham stated, “quite simple athletes and their fans/family can have meaningful conversations and share sports-related pictures, videos and results.”Just like many other sites out there, BragStats allows for integration with Facebook and Twitter which is always a plus.

Active user Judi provides an excellent prospective of BragStats’ network. “Both my young children are at an age that they are experiencing all sorts of new things in sports.  I love to share this with my family that is spread from Seattle to Virginia.  I love the fact they can have their own page and as their skills increase and they settle on the sports they really excel or enjoy, the site allows them to brag.”

Bragstats has  recently set itself a part from other site stat trackers such as Athlinks. BragStats is unique in that they have created a platform for ALL athletes – from parents of young kids to weekend warriors and everything in between.  For example Cunningham said, “I am an active runner but I also have a son who is 7-years old and plays soccer.”

“In addition, BragStats is about building communities and having a little fun.  Although athletes can keep track of all of their personal bests, event results, etc. we are also creating a forum to interact with their peer group.  It gives an adult athlete the ability “to brag” about their prior weekend’s accomplishments and interact with like-minded athletes,” stated Cunningham.

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H20 Audio: Swimming with Kayne West & Kings of Leon

With the JFK 50 Mile now completed and my 2011 athletic goals on the horizon it’s time for me to set my plans into action. The extended time off of running has been a blessing, but my body is certainly ready to get back into the groove of workouts. I’ve started a lifting program and the swimming is about to pick up full time after the New Year.  Every time I start a new training cycle I find it easy to stick to the running, lifting and now biking in 2011. However, the swimming portion of my workouts always lack the same dedication. With my goal of an Ironman 70.3 in 2011 my lack luster feelings towards swimming needs to change. Thankfully, I discovered H20 Audio!

I recently have gone swimming with Kanye West and Kings of Leon thanks to H20 Audio’s waterproof Interval 3G that a 3rd generation Ipod Shuffle.  I always have trouble sticking to my planned workout in the pool because I simply get bored with the up and down motion of the lane.  The Interval completely eliminated this feeling from the first time I jumped back into the pool.  There are three keys that sold me on H20 Audio’s products and now make me a firm believer that this is the go to Christmas gift for any swimmer or triathlete in your life.  The three areas that I care about the most are as follows (in order)…

Comfort/Fit Please:

Plain and simple, if the product doesn’t fit correctly, I would not wear it. This however, is not the case with the Interval. The product stayed in place while not feeling like it was weighing my head down. The Interval weighs in at only 1.9 ounces which feels like nothing as you glide through the water. I also favor the Interval design over other options because it’s on your head (attached to the goggles) verses an arm or belt clip which would involve cords. To me, cords and the swimming motion just don’t mix. The Interval cords are very short and allow for perfect placement into your ears. The multiple ear bud options are also a great deal because they allow for a proper fit.

Music clarity:
After doing research on H20 Audio’s products some one or two reviewers questioned the product’s music clarity. I was sold on the music clarity after my first swim.  There was not a hint of muffled sound during the workout. The Interval is also very convenient when it comes to switching something such as volume. Once in the water the push buttons are very easy to operate.

Is the Interval really Waterproof? YES. Thanks for asking:
With any electrical device that is meant to be in the water I alway question if it’s really waterproof. I certainly don’t want to drop 100 bucks on an Ipod only to get it damaged. H20 Audio products are definitely waterproof and will help you survive all those swim workouts in the months to come. There is no question that it’s worth the $99 $79 investment. Right now H20 Audio is running a great special on the Interval so ask Santa for this new toy for 2011 tri season now!

 

 

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Sugoi Arm Warmers

Sugoi has done it again. I’ve become very brand loyal to Sugoi after wearing their compression socks and compression shorts. As I geared up for the JFK 50 Mile it made sense that I would turn to Sugoi to keep warm for my trek through the mountains. With starting time temps hovering in the upper 30s/lower 40s and a day time temp in the mid 50s I wanted a set of arm warmers to provide the extra warmth without the layers. Sugoi’s Icon arm warmers not only surpassed my expectations for race day gear, but now will be my go for chilly morning runs as we head into the winter months.

The fit, warmth, and breathability were the key elements I was looking for as I opened up the package. I bought a cheap pair of arm warmer last year and was pretty bummed out when half way through a race my sweat had collected on the material. Which left them a cold mess. I knew Sugoi makes quality products so I was hoping my inital experience with another company wouldn’t factor into my decision.

Sure enough from the first time I slipped them on I noticed a considerable difference. Sugoi’s brand provided complete arm coverage and a full stretch wicking layer which automatically dismissed my fear of the warmers becoming chilly with sweat. The wicking material is not the only layer as Sugoi was creative when adding in a fleeced lined layer. The wicking layer allowed the sweat to be swept away while the fleece layer kept my arms insulated as I covered the 50 miles.  The arm warmers were so warm and comfortable that I actually considered wearing them during the whole  race. I can’t really recall the mile range when I decided to pull them off, but I can certainly vouch for how lightweight they were during the race.

One of the other components I was focused on for Sugoi’s arm warmers was the fit towards the top of the warmer (near the arm pit). I’ve heard time and time again of other brands literally sliding down as runners pounded out the miles. The Sugoi warmers not only stated in place, but feature a signature arm grip which helps them stay snug to your skin.

The Sugoi Icon arm warmer’s are also very bold and stylish for those folks who like to look good on the course or in those always entertaining race photos. The Icon arm warmers can be picked up here for $40.  I’ve been a Sugoi believer since I started wearing their compression, but their arm warmers have taken my brand loyalty to a new level.

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