Monthly Archives: October 2015

Conquering the Beach to Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

Post by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.

When October 17th rolled around, the Rex Garner B2B team was ready to tackle the fitness challenge of their lives and we could not have asked for better weather.  Temperatures were in the low 50’s at race start and winds were relatively low.  We already knew from Friday’s pre-race dinner that there would be a very strong tide which meant we were in for a fast swim and we were ecstatic about that.

While we waited for the swim start, butterflies and all, we were able to calm our nerves a bit by cheering for the full iron distance athletes as they swam by.  They always start 30 minutes before the 70.3 group and start a mile or so up channel from our starting point.  We could tell by watching the swimmers go by that the tide really was fast so we were anxious to get started.  Rex Members Liz Jackson and Jason Pannkuk were in that group so that added to our excitement.

102815_Rodney6Shortly after the 140.6 group went by, it was our turn.  Unlike the 140.6 group that had a mass start, the 70.3 group start would be in waves by gender and age.  Our first team member to go was Trey Jolly, and we all cheered at the top of our lungs for him.  Next was Mary Miller, Kristey Evans, Jenny Beazley, Theresa Pearce and me.  Last was Tina Manning, Lu White and Angie Caporiccio.  At the end of the day, I discovered that we all had the same swim experience.  There was certainly a strong tide but the water was extremely choppy and you really had to struggle to raise your head above the water to breathe above the waves.  We all managed to get through the swim, ran to T1 (swim to bicycle transition area) and were off on our 56 mile bike ride.

During our bike ride, we had low winds, which was extremely helpful.  That meant we were in for a fast bike ride and our legs would be in pretty good shape for the run.  I was fortunate to see Mary and Kristey on the bike course and caught glimpses of everyone else during the 13.1 mile run.  Seeing the team during the run was a huge relief because I was assured that everyone survived the bike course without a crash or flat tire.

102815_Rodney1One thing that I came to admire about this group of athletes was their undying commitment to their training.  There was absolutely no quitting in this group; even before the race started, I knew they were all destined to be 70.3 Iron Distance Athletes.  During the course of training, you always experience some doubt in your abilities, but at some point during our 22 weeks of training, they overcame those negative thoughts.

As I watched each of them cross the finish line, I met them with a hug and the words, “Welcome to the Club!”  When we were all done, we huddled together to share laughter, stories and tears.  What a wonderful moment in time that was for all of us.  They did it and I am so proud of each and every one of them.  What a privilege it was for me and Angie to share this journey with them.  Great job Team!  Great Job!


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Dispelling 5 Myths of Learning CPR


North Carolina Heart & Vascular and UNC REX Healthcare are sponsoring a booth at the North Carolina State Fair this year to offer free CPR training. Over 130 instructors will come together to volunteer more than 500 hours and train as many people as possible.

It’s easy, quick and can help you save a life, but every year we find people reluctant to stop and get trained. We asked why, and here are our Top 5 CPR Training Myths dispelled. If you think of any other reasons you may be reluctant to stop by, reply and let us know.

  1. Myth: I will look silly

    Fact: Everyone at our booth will be doing the same thing, so even if it does look silly, you won’t be the only one. If you are, our instructors will do the compressions with you, so you’re not alone.

  2. Myth: I will have to do mouth to mouth breathing on a dummy.

    Fact: We teach “Hands-Only” CPR, which is just chest compressions, not mouth to mouth breathing.

  3. Myth: Hands-only CPR is ineffective, so why learn it?

    Fact: By simply recognizing cardiac arrest, calling 9-1-1 and starting chest compressions, a loved one’s odds of survival can be doubled or even tripled.

  4. Myth: It will take too much time

    Fact: In about the same amount of time it takes to spin our prize wheel and get your prize, you can learn CPR. It takes 2 – 3 minutes to learn, and it’s time well spent.

  5. Myth: It will be difficult.

    Fact: Our great instructors take you through everything step by step, and show you just how easy it can be. Check out the simple CPR steps before you stop by.

Stop by and see us in the Education Building, booth 37-38, this week at the Fair. Spin the prize wheel, and find out how quick and easy it can be to learn how to save a life!


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Training for Beach to Battleship

Post by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.

Twenty-two weeks ago, a group of ten Rex Wellness of Garner members took on one of the toughest physical fitness challenges of their lives. They decided to train for a 70.3 mile Half-Iron Distance Triathlon. Some were new to the sport of triathlon and others were simply ready to move past the sprint triathlon distance.

What exactly is a Half-Iron distance triathlon? You start with a 1.2 mile swim, you then transition to a 56 mile bicycle ride and end with a 13.1 mile run. The event that I chose for our group to participate in is Beach to Battleship, which will be held on Saturday, October 17 in Wilmington, NC. Triathlete Magazine named it as one of the top 5 Iron Distance races in the world. There is a full Iron Distance race (140.6) as well.

 Competitors in the swim portion of the 2013 Beach to Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

Competitors in the swim portion of the 2013 Beach to Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

There were many factors in choosing this race for our team:

  • My wife and I have completed the full Iron Distance event twice so I am very familiar with the course
  • Wilmington is only a few hours away making it easier for family members to see their loved ones compete
  • The swim is in the Intracoastal Waterway, which has its advantages: it is always wetsuit mandatory, there is the added buoyancy of a salt water swim and it generally has a tide. All three of those factors add up to a potentially fast swim. Although the swim is the shortest part of the event, it generally caused the most stress especially for newbies.

For our training program, I chose Be Iron Fit by Don Fink. My wife Angie and I have used it successfully for Beach to Battleship and Ironman Chattanooga. It is designed for the time-crunched athlete and has three training programs so every team member could choose a program to fit their work and family schedule:

  1. The “just-finish”
  2. intermediate
  3. competitive

As we progressed through our first few weeks of training, it quickly became clear to the team why so few people in the entire world are Iron Distance Triathletes. We work out 6 days per week and train for two of the events (swim, bike, run) on those training days. Fatigue and hunger are our constant companions. Self-doubt can be an annoying companion as well but having a team to share those concerns has really paid off.

We created a Facebook page that has really streamlined our ability to communicate with and support one another. We always share our challenges, concerns and success stories as well. After all, when you spend 4 hours of your Saturday on a bike, hop off to run for an hour then follow that up with a similar Sunday workout, you need all the support you can get.

Tina Manning, Lu White, Keith Manning, Kristey Evans, Angie Caporiccio, Rodney Jenkins, Theresa Pearce

Tina Manning, Lu White, Keith Manning, Kristey Evans, Angie Caporiccio, Rodney Jenkins, Theresa Pearce

Lastly, I have to give a big shout-out to our support team. Our Facebook page members include not only our 70.3 competitors but other Rex members too. They are swimmers, cyclist, runners, trainers, our dietician and fellow Ironmen who have donated their time and advice and we could not have made it this far without their help.

By the end of the day on Saturday, October 17, we will welcome several new members to the 70.3 Iron Distance Club and I can’t wait!

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Breast Cancer Misconceptions

092815_Dr. Dull Photo White BackgroundBarbara Z. Dull, M.D., is a breast surgeon at Rex Breast Care Specialists. Dr. Dull earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Piscataway, N.J. She completed her general surgery residency and served as a post-doctorate research fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Most recently, she completed a Breast Surgery Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to dispel some common misconceptions about breast cancer.

  1. 092815_breast_cancer2You’re only at risk of getting breast cancer if you have a family history of it. I see many patients in my office diagnosed with breast cancer who are shocked at the diagnosis because they have no family history of the disease.  In fact, only 10-15 percent of breast cancers are due to a genetic mutation running in a family, the other 85 percent occur sporadically.  For women with no family history of breast cancer we recommend starting screening mammography at the age of 40.
  2. I found a lump in my breast so I must have breast cancer. Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be breast cancer.  Even though most breast lumps will turn out to be normal breast tissue or benign (non-cancerous) masses, they should never be ignored.  Any patient feeling a breast lump should notify their doctor so that the appropriate work-up can be performed.
  3. Breast pain is a sign of breast cancer. Breast pain is a common symptom for many women, but rarely is a sign of breast cancer.  More than 60 percent of women will have breast pain in their lifetime and this is usually related to hormonal changes or benign masses.  Of all women evaluated for breast pain, less than 1 percent are found to have breast cancer.
  4. I heard that ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is not really breast cancer. DCIS is non-invasive form of breast cancer that started in the milk ducts and has not spread to surrounding tissue so it is considered stage 0 breast cancer.  DCIS can develop into an invasive breast cancer and so it is treated similarly.  We currently can’t predict which patients with DCIS will develop invasive breast cancers and which will not, but research is ongoing to help answer that question.  The goal would be to identify patients at high risk of developing invasive breast cancer and target treatment appropriately.
  5. If I have a mastectomy I won’t need chemotherapy. If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer many times they have two surgical options to treat the breast cancer in the breast, a mastectomy or a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy).  Chemotherapy is a systemic (whole body) treatment, treating any breast cancer cells that cannot be treated via surgery or radiation.   The decision on whether or not a patient needs chemotherapy depends on the size of the breast cancer, whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body, and which tumor markers it has and is not impacted by which type of surgery is done on the breast.

092815_breast_cancerEarly detection provides the best defense against breast cancer. For this reason, mammograms are only one part of the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer. In addition to yearly mammograms, women 40 and older should also get a breast exam by a healthcare professional every year (women in their 20s and 30s should have a breast exam at least every 3 years).

Along with these recommended exams, women need to be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to their doctor right away.

If you are interested in having your mammogram at the Rex Breast Care Center, please call 919-784-3419 for more information or schedule your mammogram online today.


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