Beating Performance with Beet Perfomer

LaurenNutrition

lauren_beet1

With co-owner George Pappas of Beet Performer at BolderBOULDER

I have been including beet juice in my diet since 2013. I originally started eating beets in 2012 just because I liked them and I had never had them growing up. I occasionally would juice beets but to be honest it was too messy and time consuming. In 2013, at Rev3 Knoxville, I met Doug Weiss of Beet Performer at the expo. He explained why beet juice could improve my performance and let me try his product. I was shocked! I was only drinking it at that time because I liked it. Little did I know, if used properly, my racing could benefit from drinking beet juice.

Beet juice contains a large amount of inorganic nitrates. Nitrates are made into Nitric Oxide in our bodies naturally. Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator which increases the size of our blood vessels and allows more oxygen flow.  So in short, consuming more nitrates leads to more nitric oxide which means more more oxygen flowing. More oxygen means gaining a small advantage in racing and training. As a side note, the nitrates in beets are converted to nitrites through the saliva. This does not happen instantly so make sure not to use mouthwash or brush your teeth immediately after consuming.

Since being introduced to beet juice at the expo in Knoxville, I have not only become a firm believer in the product but I also had the opportunity to work closely with Doug and the Beet Performer team in designing a better juice for athletes. Beet Performer is now my juice of choice! It comes in 8oz cans in two options: Beet with B12 and Beet with Passion Fruit Juice. I have 1 can in the morning on all of my hard training days, so about 5 days a week. I also make sure to have Beet Performer leading up to races… the cans make it portable and convenient.

No, beet juice is not going to make you dramatically faster. However, it can give the extra endurance edge we are all looking for in racing and training. Plus, it is full of vitamins and minerals that keep the body healthy and strong.

Beet Performer gave away 6000 cans at last weekend’s BolderBOULDER Expo. Based on how quickly the cans disappeared from the table it appears word is out about the benefits of beet juice! Give it a try.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.39.49 PM

Three IM 70.3s and a win at St. Croix

LaurenRaces

IMG_3239

So far in 2015 I have competed in 3 Ironman 70.3 events. I started off in Monterrey, MX, then to New Orleans, LA, and finally I just got home from St. Croix, VI.

My first race in Monterrey resulted in a very disappointing DNF. I woke up sick with a cold the morning after arriving. I wanted to try and race atleast so I stayed positive and got to the start line. I had a great swim, a very slow T1 and an even slower first lap of the bike. It was clear I shouldn’t be racing so I decided to end my race half way through the bike. This was my first time DNF-ing (besides once when I flatted in an ITU race). I felt like a loser and I was embarrassed. I had high expectations for this race because my training was going so well. This is one reason that triathlon as a profession is stressful. Half the battle is getting to the line healthy. You can be the fittest and most prepared athlete in the world but if you are sick or injured on race day then there goes your opportunity.

The second race was 4 weeks later in New Orleans. My preparation leading up to the race was once again pretty consistent and I was eager to race after being sick in Mexico.  I had a good swim again coming out in the lead with another woman, I led off the bike, and was running in first until mile 9 on the run. I felt pretty terrible getting off of the bike and from T2 I knew it was going to be a death march. I was passed by 3 women in the last 4 miles and ended the day in 4th place. The race was another disappointment. My run is what I consider my strength and I had no idea why I was so bad. I came back to Boulder and immediately consulted with Dave Scott (my coach) and Robert Kunz at First Endurance. Together, they came up with a new nutrition plan for my next race in St. Croix. I also worked with Dave and changed my bike position so that I use my glutes more when cycling.

Last weekend I raced in St. Croix. Upon arrival I decided regardless of the race result the trip was worth it solely because of how beautiful the island is. Drew and I stayed with a woman who had hosted people for over 15 years. It was very interesting hearing about the history of the race and all of the legendary triathletes who had raced there. St. Croix is also a unique race because the entire island shuts down for the event and the people crowd the course cheering. It is AWESOME. I am fortunate enough to train with a lot of athletes who have done the race before. Everyone said to start slow because the heat and humidity really blow up the race on the run. I had another good swim coming out of the water in the lead on the heels of Amanda Stevens. We rode most of the bike together and came into T2 together. The bike course was extremely hot, hilly and windy so I was unsure of how my legs would feel. Check out the hill known as “The Beast”:

“Twenty-one miles into the bike, The Beast is a 600-foot climb in a stretch of highway 7/10 of a mile long with an average grade of 14 percent and a maximum grade of 21percent.  ”

My new bike position felt good and my energy seemed fine with the new nutrition plan so I was hoping to have a steady run. I started off at a pace I knew I could maintain and held that pace throughout the entire 13.1 miles. St. Croix is a race where you are just pacing yourself to get to the line without blowing up. The course is hard and slow. My steady effort on the day got me to the finish line in first place. It was a great relief after having a rough start to the year.

I am fortunate enough to have a great team of people and sponsors surrounding me during the highs and lows of racing. Hopefully the year will continue to be a high from here and I can use the lessons I learned for future races. Next I will be heading to Escape from Alcatraz and I am really looking forward to a shorter race!

Here are some photos, video, and press coverage from IM 70.3 St. Croix!

IMG_3236

IMG_3238

IMG_3235

IMG_3234

Press:

ironman-com-triathlon-news-articles-2015-05-ironman-70-3-st-croix-recap-aspx-1430844264978

First Timers Win Men’s and Women’s Ironman Titles by Susan Ellis, May 4, 2015, St. Croix Source.

Chrabot, Goss Victorious At Ironman 70.3 St. Croix by Liz Hichens, May 3, 2015, Triathlete.

Coloradians Win Top Prizes at St. Croix’s Ironman, Locals Did Not Disappoint, The Virgin Islands Consortium.

Coloradans Sweep Triathlon by Wyndi Ambrose, May 4, 2015, Virgin Island Daily News