Jul 23

Races

Boulder Peak 5150 & Kansas 5150

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The past two weekends I competed in two events- the Boulder Peak 5150 (3rd) and the Kansas 5150 (2nd). The Boulder Peak race was only 3 miles away from my house and I felt very prepared for it. I was coming off one of my best races in Syracuse and training was going well. Unfortunately, I ended up having one of my worst races and it was a very humbling day. Endurance sports are complicated to figure out. When you think you have found the winning formula you really haven’t.

The training the week leading up to the race, nutrition during the race, equipment, health, motivation, weather, confidence are all things that can easily be altered from race to race. I am finding that I really have to listen to my body and sometimes go against what the norm is or what I typically think is the right thing to do.

I rested more than normal for Boulder Peak in order to be fresh. On race day I felt sluggish and flat. Typically, tapering is the norm and what most athletes do leading up to races. My training volume has increased a lot this year and my body can handle more stress. Therefore, maybe too much resting really hurt me in the end.

Kansas was the next weekend so we treated Boulder as a “workout” and kept the training high through the week until I left to travel. On Thursday morning, I woke up with a bad cold and had to stop training so that I could make it to the starting line on Sunday. I ended up racing and having a fair swim/bike but my best 10km run of the year.

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Every race, whether it is good or bad, is a learning experience. From the past two races, I learned a lot about the types of sessions my body responds best to during race week, how to cure a cold in two days, and how to handle low points mentally. I also got to see a bunch of friends on the race course in Boulder and enjoy a lovely homestay in Kansas.

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The best moment was seeing my boyfriend, Drew, get a podium finish after taking 4 months off of running due to injury.

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The season is about half way finished now. My next race will be HyVee Championships on Aug 31 (with a possible 70.3 prior). I have a little less than 6 weeks to prepare the best I can.

Tips for Curing a Cold…Quickly:

  • Lots of fluids- water, beet juice, orange juice
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Probiotics
  • BioAstin Astaxanthin
  • Limit Dairy
  • Maintain electrolytes
  • 1 clove of raw garlic before bed- chop and wash down with one of the liquids listed above
  • light exercise, keep heart rate low

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Jun 23

Races

Very memorable win at IM 70.3 Syracuse

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The race this past weekend at IM 70.3 Syracuse will be a very memorable one for a while. I am very pleased to come home with the win, but more importantly I am happy to finally execute a race plan from start to finish without any hiccups. So far this season I raced two longer distance races; Ironman 70.3 Florida and Rev3 Knoxville. In both races I had terrible runs and ended up dizzy/blacking out very early on in the race.  I sat down with my coach, Dave Scott, and we reviewed my nutrition in these races. After a few long meetings, we decided to reduce the amount of calories I was taking, add some salt, and decrease my fluid intake.

Florida 70.3 Syracuse 70.3
Swim 100 cal Liquid Shot
24oz of water + 90cal EFS
100 cal Liquid Shot
1 salt tab
Bike 600 cal of Liquid Shot
48oz of water
24 oz of water + 90 cal of EFS
200 cal of Liquid Shot
24oz of water +200 cal of EFS
32 oz of water
2 salt tabs
Run 300 cal of Liquid Shot
Water/coke at aid stations
100 cal of Liquid Shot
Powerbar Perform at aid stations
2 salt tabs
~1180 cals ~700 cals

My goal for the race was to stay controlled and let the race unfold. I knew I was finally prepared to take on this distance so I trusted my training and went for it. On the swim I am usually kind of spastic with quick sloppy arm turnover. I really thought about hand entry, my catch, and finishing my stroke. For once, my transitions were smooth. This sounds silly, but usually I look like I am running around with my head cut off in there. I was able to get my wetsuit off easily (Drew advised I put my timing chip under my wetsuit and it helped).

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On the bike I had a power number I wanted to achieve so I just did whatever I needed to in order to lock in there. Usually I am a little scared to have the power meter out on race day because I don’t want to get frustrated if it drops. This time I knew I had trained to be able to do what I wanted to do so I went for it. I fell 1 watt short! Until next time.

Dave and I planned a very detailed nutrition plan for this race. We planned every twenty minutes what I would be eating and drinking to the ounce. It actually made the ride go by quicker because I was pretty much doing calorie intervals. I came off the bike feeling strong but a little nervous because of the runs earlier in the year in longer races.

I once again had a very controlled and smooth T2 and headed out on the run. I started out slowly because I knew the run course was very challenging from past participants and from doing course recon. The course had a one mile run up a hill in grass onto a main road that was rolling and then a one mile steep climb to the turn around and back the exact same route to T2 to start the second lap. That climb was brutal and I didn’t want to blow up on the 2nd lap. I stayed controlled for the run, took my nutrition as planned, and focused on using my glutes on the hills.

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It was so nice to finish a race feeling good and also to have my mom at the finish line awaiting my first 70.3 win. My dad is a huge fan of triathlon and he has always wanted the finisher tape from a race I won. Thankfully, the race organizers gave me the tape and now my dad will have to find somewhere to put it!

Thank you so much to Trek Bikes, TYR sport, Biotta Juices, First Endurance, 110% compression, Altra running, Smith Optics, ISM saddles, SRM, Garmin and to Rev3 for the continued support this year. I have the best team surrounding me during the wins and the losses.  I will now go on a little escape to the mountains with Drew and then I will be preparing for the local showdown at Boulder Peak 5150.

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Thumbs-up with Jimmy Seear

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Jun 10

Races

A win on the challenging terrain of Mont Tremblant

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Mont Tremblant now offers three races on the Ironman circuit- a 5150 (Olympic), a 70.3 (Half) and a full Ironman. If you have not competed in one of these events, I highly recommend doing so. The race was extremely well organized and professionally run. Mont Tremblant is a beautiful place with challenging terrain and full of locals who support the endurance events in the community.

I traveled to MT 5150 with Rudy Von Berg who also trains in Boulder.  I will say the greatest achievement of the weekend was getting from the Ottawa Airport to our homestay in the country of Mount Tremblant without GPS/iPhone. We were fortunate enough to stay with a couple that lives directly on Tremblant Lake (the swim venue). Since we arrived on Thursday, Rudy and I had the opportunity to swim/ bike/ and run on the course and familiarize ourselves with the challenging hills.  The few days leading up to the race were perfect- home cooked meals, good company, and the best open water swimming I have ever experienced.

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Race day also was pretty low stress. We had a cushy start time and got to sleep in until 5:30AM (late for race morning). I had my normal beet juice, oatmeal, coffee, and First Endurance EFS in the morning and then headed out to the start. The swim start was a run in start from the beach. I usually favor this style of starting, but this time I fell on my face when running in the water (oops!) and I had to get back up and continue moving forward. I came out of the water in 2nd about 40seconds down from the lead woman. The bike course was 2 hilly loops of 20km. The sprint race started before the PRO race so it was a little difficult to navigate through the other racers. I was able to move into the lead at 20km on the bike. The short, punchy hills definitely stung in my legs and I could tell I was building a lot of lactate. I probably pushed too hard on the hills instead of maintaining a steady effort equally over the entire course.

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Off the bike I pushed hard for the first 5km and then saw at the turn around that I had a solid lead. Even though I slowed down quite a bit I did not really feel any better. I am not sure if my legs were tired from the race, I was tired from training, or I am just not yet in top run shape. The run course was very challenging as well (can’t imagine how one does an Ironman there!) There are so many variables in triathlon and that is why I love it. It keeps you honest and always questioning how to improve. I have a lot of things I need to improve on but I am taking it 1 step at a time. Maybe next race I will try not to fall on my face at the swim start :) My next event is Syracuse 70.3 on June 22.

Thank you to all my sponsors, family, and friends for once again getting me to a finish line.

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May 1

News

Blood

As athletes, it is important that we keep our bodies in the best condition possible. During high training blocks it is normal to feel a bit fatigued. In order to make sure the body is recovering properly and you are training and racing with the healthiest engine possible it is crucial that you monitor your blood values. I recently saw Garrett Rock at 51Speedshop. Most of my levels were normal thankfully. Surprisingly, the only supplements I take are First Endurance MultiV (3 a day) and OptygenHP (4 a day). The important things I immediately focused on were the potassium + sodium+ magnesium [electrolytes to avoid cramping, race/training breakdowns in hot weather], Iron + Ferratin [to monitor any anemia], Cortisol[to monitor how well i am handling the stress of training], Vitamin D [to lower risk of stress fractures, muscle injuries, or weak immune system], and B12 [nervous system regulation].

The BUN/Creatinine is high most likely from dehydration. The CK level is high and that is normal in athletes with a high workload.

 My magnesium could be a little higher so I will add magnesium upon Garret’s suggestion.

 

“I typically like to see magnesium a bit higher if you have races this season in hot, humid environments. Such conditions deplete magnesium and as the level drops, it pulls potassium with it. It is a very slow micronutrient to replete, so once levels dip, it takes a while to get them back. In the long haul of a season, this can produce problems. One of my theories behind some of the major Kona breakdowns that have been deemed problems with potassium is that potassium is really a symptom, not the problem. That an athlete’s magnesium levels dropped through the season, then see a rapid drop in the hot, humid Kona climate, resulting in potassium dropping secondary to magnesium. Research following big efforts in hot, humid environments show it can take 4-6 months to get levels back up. I would supplement magnesium if you have races in hot, humid environments this year. Do a week of a higher dose (600-800 depending on how you tolerate it) of magnesium aspartate, then take 400mg/day during the season”- Garret Rock 

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Apr 15

Races

70.3 Florida–Ouch!

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I went into this race probably a bit too confident and underestimating the effect of the heat and the 70.3 distance.  Since signing on with Dave Scott in December, I have done so much volume in training. I really thought the 70.3 distance would be a breeze considering the hours I have logged during the past 3 months. Welp, I was WRONG! The race on Sunday literally killed me. I would say individually my swim, bike and run are competitive for 70.3 races. However, I have some more work to do when it comes to stringing them all together to have a solid race all around. The swim was wetsuit legal in a balmy 74.2 degree lake with temps outside in the high 80s. I love my TYR Freak of Nature wetsuit, but probably not enough to wear it in the heat. I am used to the wetsuit temperature cut off being 68 degrees; however in IRONMAN events it is 76. This pretty much set the stage for the day. In retrospect I probably should have chugged some fluids in T1 before getting on the bike. However, sometimes in races I tend to rush and kind of spazz out a little instead of just breathing and taking my time to make the right decisions. The bike ride actually felt quite comfortable. I was careful to hold back and pretty much stare at my SRM PC7 so that I stayed within the wattage range I had trained for. The one thing I fear is bonking, so I made sure to carefully pace the 56miles. I ran out of fluids around mile 40 and I had to stop and grab a bottle at the aid station at mile 45. When I was an age grouper I crashed pretty hard at one of these stops so I am very cautious AKA I suck at these.  Unfortunately, I was dropped from the leaders during this pitstop and then I lost a little bit of time. I figured it would be okay because the run was my strength and I would make up some time there. Well, I was wrong again. I got off the bike in 3rd position about 1 min down to 1st place. I knew Caitlin Snow would probably get the win because she is a very fast runner but maybe I could catch up to 2nd place.  I had my First Endurance gel flask in hand and started the 87min death march. The run course in FL 70.3 is 3 loops with about 2miles of each loop uphill. It is so challenging-so hard and so hot and you have to do that hill 3 times! After the first loop I had gained 2 seconds on second place but I knew the day was going to be about survival. By mile 8 I was dizzy, had the chills, and my vision was getting blurry. If it wasn’t for my parents and friends out on the course I do not think I would have survived. Somehow I stumbled across the line and maintained 3rd place. I do no think I have my nutrition dialed in exactly right for this distance. Sometimes I think I am invincible and can get away with just taking some gels and drinking EFS/water like I do in an Olympic distance race. Florida 70.3 kicked my butt and made it clear that I need to go back to the drawing board and have a firm plan for my next one. I am so thankful that I will have the help of Robert Kunz at First Endurance to perfect my nutrition plan. It is back to training for me for the next 4 weeks. Next up is Rev3 Knoxville-my favorite race!

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