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Fitness Challenge 2013: Meet Annette

Harmonixers are joining the Dance Central fitness campaign to work alongside you in using DC and Kinect to reach personal goals. In this series of personal blog posts from Harmonix, we're sharing what our goals are and how we plan on using Dance Central to accomplish them!

Name: Annette

Profile: Runner-In-Training

I’ve been the Dance Central Community Overlord over at Harmonix since August 2011. Thanks to hours upon hours of gameplay for both demos and for fun (I’m fairly sure I’ve put more play time into the franchise than any other person on the planet at this point), I have boosted my fitness to levels that have given me the confidence to pursue other athletic activities. Which brings me to…


Even though we’ve kicked off our official DC fitness campaign this month, I’ve fortunately managed to stay on top of my dance game since our DC fitness campaign last January. I’ve traveled all around the world for demos over the past year and spent the majority of my time playing Dance Central 2 & Dance Central 3 on show floors, which has kept me in great shape! As part of our 8-week fitness campaign this year, I’m training for a half-marathon that takes place on February 24th. My goal is to not just run the 13.1 miles, but also run them comfortably. I want to avoid looking like death in my finishing photo!


Last year I spent a lot of time and energy focusing on weight loss, and realized more and more that keeping an eye on the scale was the quickest way to discourage myself from continuing with any sort of fitness or diet program. Once I realized how wildly my weight fluctuates week after week, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of weighing my success on a scale, I decided to measure my success by tracking performance over time – running was an easy way to start. Two years ago I hardly made it through a mile. Now I'm feeling confident I'll make it through the half-marathon. With my current training schedule I’m going to keep tacking on the miles until I can comfortably run 13.1 at the end of next month.

To keep me motivated well beyond the February event, I’ve signed up for a number of athletic events over the course of the year to help me stick to a training schedule. I’m running across a mud-laden obstacle course for the Spartan Race later this summer to keep me on my game. If this half-marathon goes well, I’ll likely register for one or two more as well later in the year. BEAST MODE.


The countless running resources that I’ve looked into have suggested taking up some sort of cross training program to complement running. Back in December, I started taking CrossFit classes twice a week (I currently attend three times a week well before the sun rises). When I’m not running or tossing barbells around, I’m playing through Dance Central 3 playlists on Hard for about an hour every session. I like incorporating DC for a good mobility and cardio workout. Dancing helps give my limbs a good stretch (especially songs choreographed by Frenchy)!


I like to keep my workouts varied to avoid getting bored and CrossFit has been excellent for that since each class offers something new. Running outside even in the winter months is also a fantastic way to zone out and unwind after a tough week (I especially can’t wait for the weather to improve so I can get out more often!). To help with my performance, I’ve completely changed my diet and cut out alcohol to keep energy levels up without having to drink several cups of coffee a day (I’m cutting down on that). I’ve been cooking my own meals and have eliminated junk food, and I actually don’t miss it! Okay, I miss it a little. A lot. I'm powering through and actually feel much better without it.


The most challenging aspect of training for a half-marathon in the middle of winter is not being able to run outside unless the weather feels like cooperating. I’ve done the best I can to consistently run various charity races all winter long to help keep my endurance up. Thermal gear has definitely helped, but sometimes it's just a bit tooooo cold. I hate treadmills, but it's going to get incorporated whether I like it or not!


Make a commitment to be more active this year! This could be something as simple as always taking the stairs or going on more walks.

If you want to really step your game up with DC fitness, set fitness goals in Dance Central 3 and crush them week after week (check out the fitness menu in Dance Central 3 for options that work best for you).

If you always play on Easy try bumping it up a couple difficulties and see how you do. Never be afraid to challenge yourself.

Most importantly, have fun with your fitness. The quickest way to drop a fitness program is boredom and fatigue. Keep refreshing those playlists with new songs and try new difficulties!

Stick with us over the next few weeks and share your stories with us on Twitter (use #DC3Fit hashtag), Facebook, and on the forums! Let’s all keep each other motivated all year long!