Seriously Sharp: The Cabot Fit Team

The Cabot Team looking extra sharp in this  picture that commemorates the event that brought them together in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.Photo Jul 31_edited-1Disclosure: Cabot sponsored my participation in the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, along with travel and accomodations. I was not financially compensated for my time. Opinions are my own. 

Just to eat well does not  guarantee one’s health. Exercise and physical activity are compliments to a good diet and considered necessary regular habits.  Taking it a step further,  research  demonstrates it’s far better to contribute to the common welfare of the community, than to think only of yourself. Food , fitness and living in harmony are all factors in the longevity equation.    This lifestyle philosphy is embraced by the  1200 Cabot dairy farm families throughout New York & New England and it’s the reason the Cabot Fit team was born. This group of individuals is chosen by Cabot to join the dairy farmers in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of wellness through  exercise, nutrition and giving back. You can imagine, I was head over heels when Cabot invited me to be part of their elite wellness team and participate in the TD Beach to Beacon 10 K Road Race .

If you’re a competitive runner, perhaps you’ve heard of the Beach to Beacon, founded by Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson.  It’s Maine’s largest race with over 6000 participants, including many elite runners like Maine native, Ben True.   The event takes place in Cabot’s neighborhood (the Norteast U.S.); it starts at Cresent Beach, in Maine and ends at Portland Head Light, the nation’ s first commissioned lighthouse.  The runners aren’t the only winners in this race. Charity is at the core. This year’s beneficiary is the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger relief organization.

My Cabot Fit trip began last Thursday,  when I meet up in the Portland airport with several members along with  Cabot Dietitian,  Regan Jones (Cabot RD) pictured here.

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Btw, Regan is the reason for these amazing photos today. Aside from being a social media rock star, Regan was also our set of wheels during the trip. I ‘m grateful for her ability to  keep things light and fun and for helping us to hydrate  and fuel correctly proir to the race with delicious foods like this

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Got to know this gal, Kita (aka Pass The Sushi), over our first meal in Portland, Maine perfect for pre-race : flatbread pizzas. #1 Free Range Chicken with Pineapple salsa, mozzarella , parmesan cheese and herbs, finished with wasabi creme fresh #2 Vegetarian Flatbread Pizza with organic zucchini, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella , parmesan cheese and herbs

and this

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Farmer’s Market Salad with fresh arugula, cucumbers, feta cheese ,wild blueberries and a ginger vinaigrette.

and  of course you can’t go to Maine without having this

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Lobster Roll was a popular item with our team!

We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast just steps from the beach, the Higgins Beach Inn. The front porch of the inn became the perfect place to come together (much like our kitchens at home) to share  some  downtime,Photo-Jul-30-5

meet before our outings, and  take more photos like this team photo Regan snapped just  prior to departing for the race.CabotFit-2015-4

Our first full day began bright and early on Friday with a morning walk on the beach.BeachWALK4

Then after a  delicious breakfast of yogurt parfaits,  we  visited Pinelands Farm, where  we were reminded of   the dairy farmers’ commitment to their cows,CabotFit 2015 - 9

the land Pinelands-farm

and their product. Strict quality control ensures freshness, purity and that great taste we all enjoy…

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Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, (of the blog Annetastic food) samples Cabot cheese at the Cabot Shop in Portland, Maine.

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Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD (aka teaspoon of basil) knows how to make food look good! She enjoys an ice-cream cone at a Portland, Maine ice cream parlor.

Saturday was race day and meant rising early, yet another day; we left  the inn about 6:15 a.m. I am not  a competitive runner. So when trying to recap a race, I don’t have much to compare it to. My last race was a virtual race!   Hmm… how will I know what you need to know? I  pondered this on Saturday,  while standing in a crowd of runners  from  Maine and across the world.

photo-310There was one thing that was obvious, these folks were passionate about running and about this race  in particular.

I usually  listen to music when I run (I wore headphones and an iPod trying to keep everything similar to the way I had trained for this event). That is, until the  young woman standing next to me suggested, “listen to the race”.  I unplugged.

That’s when  the real music filled my ears; it was the crowd. They played music. They cheered.  Suddendly I began to connect to this race in a special way. As we crossed the start line  the cheering and music grew louder.  I heard people shouting my name,  or perhaps the other  Diane who was running along side of me? Three times during the race DIANE was cheered on! I felt special, even if it wasn’t for me. (We did have first names on the front of our bibs.) Despite the enormous fan support, I felt I wasn’t  running to my potential.  My legs felt heavy at the start and continued to feel heavy throughout.  The course did have some hills (which is very different from the flat terrain where I train).  I wondered if I would make the goal I had set : run a sub 8 minute mile pace. I continued to move forward, kids splashed water on me as I passed by.   I ran underneath a shower head with the spicket on, hoping to feel the power of a shower!   The crowd was relentless with their support and encouragement. Once I entered Williams State Park, I knew the finish line was near.  I sprinted in, and  managed to  meet my goal, with a time of 49:29 and 7 minute 58 second  pace per mile.

The Cabot team all finished seriously sharp. We had a first time runner, an injured runner, and some setting PRs. It was a proud day. I think these smiles will tell you that they would all do it again. I know I would, in a heart beat.

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