Friday, May 19, 2017

SO HOT: 4 Tips to Stay Cool and Race Faster in the Heat

"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd past-time upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team, chances are you will find meaning in another absurd past-time: LIFE"

Mile 2.5 #SOHOT

TOP 3 ladies battling it out


I raced the first of 5 races I will compete in over the next 6 weeks this past Thursday. One of my FAVORITE local races which attracts over 6000 runners to benefit the Payson Cancer Center: THE ROCK 'N RACE.  I have won the race 3 times with a best time of 17:31 over the hilly 5K course and had some epic battles with some super fast ladies.  This year we were all in for a battle as Mother Nature delivered us a 95 degrees day. A huge swing in temperatures as it snowed just 3 days earlier...(!)  There was absolutely no chance to acclimate with a swing that large.

My Thursdays ALWAYS start with a swim at 6:15am, strength work to activate the core and hips and then anywhere between a 2 -5 hour bike ride. This particular Thursday I had my HR up since 6 in the morning and then was outside on my bike in 95 degree weather. Needless to say I was extremely warmed up for the 6pm race. NOT ideal for fast racing.

Here are some self cooling tips from the latest research I used to get to the start line as cool as a cucumber.

1.) COLD SHOWER/ICE BATH. After my swim, strength and bike training I immediately took a cold shower and drank a COLD smoothie in an effort to drop my core temperature a bit.

2.) After the shower, I stretched and then rested with my feet up with ice packs on my stomach and neck.

3.) I sipped on ICE cold Infinit hydration + water

4.) I decided on a short 1/2 mile run to the start line. NO need for a long, extended warm up in hot weather as it takes less to get the HR up and blood pumping.  The warm up goal in 95 degree weather is to get loose and not overheat.   I jogged 1/2 mile with a frozen towel around my neck, holding onto ice cubes and had ice down my bra and shorts and was munching on some ice cubes.  I looked like a special superwomen with a frozen cape but I was cool cold and didn't give one fig.

 A special shout out to 2 of my friends and HUGE sources of inspiration:  The dream team and racing machines Tom Raffio of Delta Dental and Ellen Raffio.  Together the 2 will literally race HUNDREDS of times this year. #BeLikeTom+Ellen






Monday, April 24, 2017

Believe that the Fairy Tale is True

Each day I wake up with a few goals:

1. Be present 
2. Strive to see the beauty in the beasts
3. Tackle the crap out of my goals
4. And believe that the fairy tale is true

I woke up everyday after Ironman Cozumel with these 4 things in mind.  I had a successful training camp in Tuscon in March and noticed the fitness piling up. More importantly I was really loving the work. Twenty plus hours of swim, bike, run on top of a regular 35+ hour work week is hard but I was thriving and I was PRESENT. 

 









Ironman Texas was looming which meant my excitement was building. My love for racing is strong. A love that has been deepened by time and strengthened by both successes and hardships.  I love the thrill of race day and the people I meet along the way.  

First and foremost I was more than excited to go back and visit my Homestay from 2014: The Lee's. They are a wonderful, fantastic family and I am forever grateful to them for feeding my hungry self and making me laugh throughout the weekend.

The build up to the race was perfect save one small snafu with TSA squashing my Enve race wheel.  The triathlon community came through and before I knew it I was rocking a mis-matched but pretty awesome HED/ENVE set up.  I shrugged off the broken wheel because it just deepened my respect for the endurance community. I SAW THE BEAUTY IN THE BEAST. 

Always breaking rule #95


I was feeling so energized and ready to tackle 140.6 miles.  Nothing could stop me now. TIME TO TACKLE THE CRAP OUT OF MY GOALS.

The race started fast (it was the North American Champhipships after all) but I really made an effort to NOT race like a Donkey. New Hampshire had a tough winter so I had limited outdoor ride time and didn't want to burn any bike matches because I truly believed in my run.

I truly believed in my run until I didn't. At mile 1.5 I suffered the worst leg cramps and was forced to walk/shuffle/run/cramp/walk/shuffle.  This was mind boggling as I have done 18 Ironman and my nutrition/race build up/training was at its BEST for #19.

 
The Boss Man cheering me on. 

Moments before attack of the hamstring cramps
Eighteen full Ironman races under my belt and #19 really showed me who was the boss.  I guess that is why we both love and hate the fickleness of an ultra long race like this. You can train like an animal and be mentally psyched and yet there are never any guarantees.  Similar to life.

During the time I spent shuffling/walking/jogging on the run course I SAW THE BEAUTY IN THE BEAST. Almost every athlete that passed me gave me a pat on the back and asked if I needed anything. How amazing is that?  One exceptionally nice Australian triathlete even offered me his Vegemite - haha!  I laughed, I shuffled, I hobbled and I cried.

I have put my body through the most intense training and racing over the past 6 years. 18 full Ironman and 35 half Ironman in 6 years. It was absolutely soul crushing at the time to not finish but my motto is Be Brave. And at this particular time that meant BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO BREAK MY OWN HEART.  And with that I pulled myself off the course.


But I believe in the fairy tale and the beauty of my dreams. The heartbreak will eventually make us stronger...

A gigantic hug my sponsors: (DELTA DENTAL, TOM RAFFIO, VELOCIO, RUDY PROJECT, INFINIT NUTRITION, BEETPERFORMER, MC CYCLE AND SPORT), The Lee's and the triathlon community.




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Snowshoe your way to a PR Season



I raced at the 10th annual Snowshoe World Championships last weekend.

And the struggle was real.

I had a fierce back and force battle with Brandy Erholtz (multiple US Mountain Team member, and winner of Mount Washington and Pikes Peak Accent). I thought for sure my heart was going to explode. It didn't. I came out stronger and here is why:

Snowshoeing is a great training tool for running because of the similarities in the movement pattern. The added weight from the snowshoes on your feet coupled with the low impact terrain makes for a fantastic way to develop strength-endurance.  I would argue that 1 mile of snowshoe running = 3 miles on the road (Kurt Perham, et all 2017).  Also, you may be going slower on the snow but you are indeed breathing harder.

One important goal of training is to extend our ability to use a high proportion of our strength over a longer period of time.  Snowshoe running recruits more muscle fibers as compared to flat ground running as well as enhances our balance and proprioception.

Racing!

Hurdling a log on snowshoes. Did not end well.

#optoutside
Sample snowshoe workout to replace a winter long run:

30 min easy run on the roads.  Stop and do dynamic mobility/stretching and put on the snowshoes.

45 min snowshoe run. Watch the intensity but have fun.

30 min easy cool down run on the roads.  Completing a cool down is an easy way to get performance gains because you are already in a pre-fatigued state so any work you do gets supercharged. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

A letter to my Future Self

The 2017 season is here and before it gets too crazy I wanted to take a moment to put pen to paper and make sure I give Thanks to those that deserve it and write a little letter to my future self - a way to preserve and protect what is important to me.

Dear Future Self,

Wassup!? Life has been crazy the past 3 years.  Despite all the changes, you managed to wear a smile everyday and that seems like a victory.  Everything that has happened has led you to this moment. Don't change a thing.

And don't ever forget when some kick ass sponsors and an awesome coach believed in you and your dreams. Kurt Perham Delta Dental Velocio Rudy Project BeetPerformer Infinit Nutrition MC Cycle and Sport. You owe much gratitude to these people.  Make sure you spend lots of time helping other athletes reach their goals.

Go hug your friends. They train by your side and make you belly laugh.  When you are done racing around the world remember that you LOVED racing but maybe what you loved and cherished even more was meeting friends around the globe.

Continue to push your limits in athletics. Be Brave. Life is hard for a reason.  Remember the tragedy of the bike crash, but how it led you to finding some deep inner strength?

As you continue to age you'll continue to ripen (aka: get more awesome). Remember, the goal is to peak when you are 104. So relax and take a deep breath. You've got time. Are you still licking the sugar off of your fingers after dessert? Good. Go high-five that inner child. She's the tenacious, outdoor loving, obsessed runner that refuses to give up.  Never let her go.




Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 Race Schedule

Well hello! I know it's been a while, but I have been busy training! I am excited to say my 2017 season is scheduled and I am so excited to get back and race!


2017 Schedule: 
March 3-14: PBM Coaching camp 
April 22:  IRONMAN Texas
May 18: Rock n Race 5k
May 21: Chattanooga 70.3
May 27-29: Killington stage race
June 17: Delta Dental Mount Washington road race
June 25: Mont Tremblant 70.3
July 2: Austria IRONMAN
August 20: Mont Tremblant IRONMAN