Sep 3

Races

Hy-Vee 5150 Championship Race Report

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This was my second year racing in the famous Hy-Vee triathlon. I was really looking forward to returning to Des Moines and seeing what I could put together on race day and also to see some close friends who were doing the Age Group Championship.

The days leading up to the race were pretty easy. My new Scicon triathlon bag arrived the day before I left for the race so packing and unpacking my Speed Concept was simple- all I had to do was take the wheels off and bubble wrap the frame. My mom also was able to come up for the race from Charleston. I love it when she is there because it calms me down a bit. I guess that is a mom thing. Also, my two close friends from Clermont, FL were doing the Age Group race as well so it was really nice to catch up with them and watch them dominate.

My last few races I have felt really flat after a good week of tapering. Therefore, Dave and I decided we would train hard up until the Thursday before the race and then slow down but still keep some intensity on Friday and Saturday. The days before the race I felt pretty achy like I do during hard training. However, race morning I felt pretty peppy and was ready to go.

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The race itself was a mixed day for me. The swim was fast and I found myself on the tail end of the front group through 800m and then I fell off the pace. I am upset with myself because I know I am capable of being in the lead group. I stayed positive though and led the second group into transition about :30 back. I went as hard as I could to catch the first group on lap 1 of the 4 lap bike. I am happy that I was successful at moving into 4th position by the start of the 3rd lap. I usually have a hard time getting warmed up on the bike so it was a small victory to overcome that mental struggle of going out hard. I came into T2 in 4th about 1:50 down and that is where I stayed.

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Overall, I am happy with getting 4th place in a race of this caliber. I look at the women on the starting line and was amazed at some of the results they have had. It was an honor to be competing with them and hopefully one day I will have some of those top results of my own. My training is going very well here in the Boulder bubble under Dave Scott. I feel like the season is just getting started. I have 3 more 70.3s to go!

Thank you to my family, friends, fans, sponsors, manager and coach for making this result possible. I have a great team around me and I hope to finish the season strong.

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Aug 15

News

What are you drinking?

I choose to train and race with First Endurance EFS (firstendurance.com). Why?

Two weeks ago I was out watching the Boulder Ironman racers out on the run course. It was very hot, but regardless of heat, too many athletes looked like they were doing a death march along the Boulder Creek Path. I am sure that everyone toed the start line fully confident and with the appropriate miles banked. However, a huge mistake athletes make (including myself earlier this year) is improperly replacing electrolytes. The primary minerals lost during exercise are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Sodium, potassium, and chloride are key to the conduction of electrical impulses, and are involved in transportation of nutrients into cells and wastes out of cells. Soluble calcium in body fluid is also necessary for neuromuscular conduction, muscular contraction, inter- and intracellular messaging, and plays a key regulatory role in glycogen metabolism. Magnesium is important for proper transmission of nerve impulses, muscular contraction, and energy production.

Avg Mineral Loss in Exercise Extracellular (mmol/L) Sweat (mmol/L) Intracellular (mmol/L)
Sodium 137-144 20-80 10
Potassium 3.5-4.9 4.0-8.0 148
Calcium 4.4-5.2 3.0-4.0 0-2.0
Magnesium 1.5-2.1 1.0-4.0 30-40
Chloride 100-108 30-70 2

Table from Maughan and Shirreffs, 1998. Fluid and electrolyte loss and replacement in exercise. In Oxford textbook of sports medicine, 2nd Edition. Edited by Harris, Williams, Stanish, and Micheli. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 97-113

Below is a comparison of EFS compared to other popular fluid replacement drinks.

Enlarge image OR download PDF

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A new trend in sports nutrition are low calorie hydration drinks. Many athletes have inquired about how EFS compares to low calories hydration drinks such as Skratch Labs or Osmo. If you want a low calorie option then simply use a ½ scoop of EFS in 12oz of water. In the comparison below you can clearly see that Osmo and Skratch are simply very expensive ‘hydration’ drinks that ultimately still offer up LESS than a 1/2 serving of EFS.

Enlarge Image OR download PDF

Hydration-drink-comparison

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First Endurance recently compared EFS to popular low calorie drinks OSMO and Skratch

http://firstendurance.com/2014/08/11/efs-vs-skratch-labs-vs-osmo-an-electrolyte-hydration-drink-comparison/

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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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