Do you fast? How many hours of sleep do you get every night? What's your post-workout recovery routine? Santa Barbara is full of athletes, trainers, and coaches, and we've reached out to learn more about what enhances their performance, fitness, and overall health. We'll be sharing their answers with you in a weekly series devoted to local athletes. Join us in this pursuit of knowledge each Friday; hopefully, we'll all learn a thing or two, about each other and ourselves, that will make us better at being humans.
A lifelong runner, Monica DeVreese has spent nearly two decades in the running business, gaining experience in every facet of the industry. Together with her husband Joe, Monica co-founded Santa Barbara Running in 2003. In her time at the store, Monica came to realize that she was not the only person disappointed with the current state of running apparel. Partnering with another runner who shared her frustration, Monica co-founded rabbit in 2016 with Jill Deering. Reflecting the founders’ dedication to building a sustainable company, all of rabbit’s apparel is manufactured in the U.S. Today, rabbit’s stylish, functional line-up of running apparel for men and women can be found in fine running specialty shops across the country and also online. Monica lives in Santa Barbara with Joe and their two sons. When she is not busy with work or family, you can find her running on the trails with friends.
Q&A with Monica DeVreese
- What supplements do you take and why? When/how do you take them? (i.e., morning/night, with/without food)
I take a daily Vitamin D and B-12. When I am in peak training I take carbo pro amino acids. I take them at night and during my long trail runs. I take 3 at night and during the long runs I take 2 every hour.
- How would you characterize your diet? Keto, vegan, or vegetarian, Paleo, Mediterranean, restricted eating, or ‘I do my own damn thing?’ Elaborate, if needed.
I have been plant-based for 2 years.
- Do you fast? If so, what kind of fast? 5-day? Intermittent? How long and how often?
NEVER! I would die.
- Do you drink coffee? If so, how much and what do you put in it? (Cream, half and half, butter, MCT oil, sugar or artificial sweetener?)
Hell yeah. Every single day. I use SO Delicious coconut vanilla creamer. My coffee is usually a medium brown (I’m sure I put too much creamer in my coffee).
- Do you have a morning ritual? What do you do the first hour you are awake?
I don’t use an alarm (my kids are my alarm unless I am getting up early for a workout). I get up, make the coffee and then make my kids breakfast, make their lunch and get them out the door for school…and then I do my run or cross train. On Saturdays, I try to go to the Santa Barbara Running and Racing training group. I would then wake up at 5:30, have coffee, stretch a little and be ready to roll at group at 6:30.
- Do you train on your own or with a coach/trainer?
I use Mike Swan to write my schedules. I just need somebody to tell me what to do each week and hold me accountable. Also, Mike is a genius in knowing what I need to run to perform well.
- Describe your weekly training regimen. (Lift weights, run trails, track, cycle trails or road?) How often? How far/long?
I just got a peloton and I love it! I have made the commitment that I must start cross training if I want to keep running in my older years. I run 5 days a week. There is a track day in there and long run/tempo day. There are a couple easy days and a longer trail run or two (depending on what I am training for and time of year). My normal running week is about 45-50 miles a week. Once I start ultra-training it will bump to upper 50/60 mile weeks. I try to do 10-minute arm workouts at least two times a week and 10-minute core exercises 2-3 times a week. I will also sometimes peloton on my hard days as a second workout to flush out my legs.
- What do you do for recovery after training? Stretch, roll/smash, ice, cryo, compression, eat a glazed donut with those little pink sprinkles? Nothing?
I tell myself every day I must get better at this. Bottom line is I’m terrible. The reality is after working out, having a long day and coming home to family life this falls by the waste side. When I do try to recover, I use the Roll Recovery R8 (lazy man’s foam rollers). I also just got the hyperice hypervolt…it’s amazing. I also own a pair of Normatech boots. And I just try to do basic stretches and try to incorporate bands to work on my quads and hips.
- How many rest/recovery days do you take per week?
- Athletes hate injuries. What do you do that helps you avoid getting hurt?
I have been lucky with not having injuries. I think the biggest thing I do is EAT. A LOT. And on my easy days I take it VERY VERY easy.
- Do you meditate? If so, do you attend classes, use an app like Headspace?
No, but I need to.
- Do you practice yoga? If so, what kind of yoga?
I have not been great at going recently, but I was trying to go once a week. I enjoy hot yoga.
- Do you have a nighttime shut-down routine? If so, what’s that look like?
After I get the kids down around 8 I try to read, but I can’t ever stay up past 9 PM. I try to stay off the screen as much as possible right before bed, but sometimes it is hard because I own my own business and the reality is work still must be done.
- 3 books you wish everyone would read about fitness or health?
I honestly don’t have any. My reading is pitiful these days.
- What’s your favorite sports movie of all time?
- Health/fitness advice you wish someone had given you when you were 21 years old?
I was fortunate to start a job when I was 21 at a running store in Kansas City and this is when I first saw the positive impact the sport had on community. I understood the sport well as a competitor, but this was when I began to see the benefits running could have on my life outside of being just a competitor. I was connected to amazing people and began a life-long career in the running industry.
- Do you wear a heart rate monitor during cardio exercise? If you don’t, why?
No, I just go by feel.
- How often do you get your blood/urine/saliva work done?
I try once a year.
- What’s still on your bucket list of fitness goals?
Western States 100
- Who inspires you the most?
This will sound cheesy, but my husband. He is 52 and so damn fit.
- In the world of sports and fitness, who is your hero, guru, or mentor?
I respect Magdalena Boulet tremendously.
- Top 3 favorite health or fitness podcasts?
Rich Roll, Ultrarunner podcast, Finding Mastery
- Favorite Santa Barbara trail for running and/or mountain biking?
Probably Tunnel Powerlines because I can run up to them from my front door.
- On average, how may hours do you sleep each night?
- Who’s your favorite fictional superhero and why?
Of course, Wonder Woman. I love bracelets. And she is badass.
- You compete. Or used to. What drives you? Or drove you back in the day? If “Because I love it and I’m good at it” is your answer, great! But if there’s more to it, and you’re willing to divulge, we’d love to know.
I started running in high school to stay in shape for soccer (typical distance runner story)….I found out I was good at it and won a few State Championship titles along the way. For whatever reason, there is a fire that lives in me and I love to compete. It is tough to be competitive and get old at the same time – HA! But I have found a love in trail running that satiates my hunger these days. I am no longer getting faster each year or setting PRs anymore, but on the trails, I am constantly finding new challenges, mentally and physically, that keep me satisfied (and exhausted).