Fueling with Hammer Nutrition – A game changer

Hammer Nutrition came into my life over the last year. As a sponsored athlete, I am honored to be part of their team. Hammer has allowed me to feel confident in my fueling and helped with multiple stomach issues I’ve had since I started running. I have been running and racing for the last 4 years. Have completed 10 marathons, 23 half marathons, multiple 5K’s & 10K’s as well as Ironman Triathlete. At every long distance race I run with a horrible upset stomach, finish with a dreadful tummy ache, or even worse… I don’t finish like Ironman Arizona due to severe stomach cramping. Being vegan, it is hard to find fuel and nutrition that works for me during training and racing – without sacrificing. Hammer has been that game changer. 

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Hammer Nutrition offers a variety of products from Recovery, Fuels & Energy, Essential Supplements, and Diet Enhancement. For me, I like to use as little as possible and have found a few “must-have” items I cannot live or race without. 

Going the distance (Marathon and beyond):

– Race Day Boost Powder 

– Hammer Gel 

– Perpetuem Solids

– Perpetuem Powder

– Endurolytes Fizz

– Vegan Recovery Bars

– Vegan Protein Powder

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RACE DAY BOOST: 

I take this 4x a day for exactly 4 days before a long distance race! Gluten free and vegan friendly, boost in glycogen storage, better endurance, and increased performance at anaerobic threshold. 

To use: 

Take 2 level teaspoons of Race Day Boost 4 times per day, for 4 days prior to competition. We suggest mixing each 2-teaspoon serving in 6-8 ounces of warm/hot water. After the powder dissolves consume immediately. 4-6 ounces of fruit juice and/or ice can be added if desired. Do not take Race Day Boost the day of the event. (www.hammernutrition.com)

I love this because I honestly felt a difference at Ironman Oceanside 70.3. I never once felt fatigued along my 70.3 journey. I never “hit the wall”. It was my first time using Race Day Boost, and I am definitely putting this on my non-negotiable Race Day list! Just remember, this is a pre-race energy boost – DO NOT USE ON RACE DAY! 🙂

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HAMMER GEL:

How do I even begin with Hammer Gel?? Hammer Gel is my lifesaver, and you can literally never have too many of these! I keep a stack in my cabinets all year round! A wide range of flavors – apple cinnamon is my favorite as it tastes like apple pie or apple and cinnamon oatmeal. Just delicious and the treat you need while putting in hard effort! Gluten free & vegan friendly, made with real fruit and wholesome ingredients, provides rock solid energy. 

To Use:

Use as a primary source of calories during exercise and competition lasting up to two hours. (www.hammernutrition.com)

I use Gel at multiple times during performance. I use 1 gel right before the 1.2 mile swim, for 2 gels before 2.4 mile swim. Along the bike for every hour of activity I have 1 Gel every hour, while chasing it down with water. Hammer Gel has been by my side the last year for long training runs and rides and on race day. It sits easy on the stomach, provides immediate energy without the crashing effects. Since using Hammer Gel with other Hammer products, I have NEVER hit the wall. 

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PERPETUEM SOLIDS:

I found Perpetuem Solids when I started training for Ironman Oceanside, a little after Ironman Arizona. These solids come in an easy consumable tablet which provides LONG lasting and stable energy. I love the Caffe Latte flavor as it has added caffeine for that extra boost during long endurance events. Each tablet contains 100 calories, providing the calories you need to perform longer without going  into cannibalization. 

To Use:

A solid source of calories designed to augment your use of Hammer Nutrition fuels, helping you reach your ideal hourly intake during exercise/competition lasting more than two hours. On occasion, Perpetuem Solids may be used as a sole source of calories if desired. (www.hammernutrition.com

I utilize perpetuem in different ways for Ironman events:

1) Take HALF a tablet every 60-90 minutes

2) 1 FULL tablet in transition before jumping on my bike – to regain calories after a long swim

3) 1 FULL tablet before the run in transition after my bike

I utilize perpetuem in different ways for training:

1) 1 FULL tablet for training up to 2 hours

For Perpetuem it is best to pair the Perpetuem Powder for long lasting stable energy. I use both for Ironman events and marathons to keep my nutrition leveled out – no crashing, no fatigue, no tired legs. 

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PERPETUEM:

I loveeeee Perpetuem. I found Perpetuem along my 263 mile bike/run throughout Ohio. It saved my life. Easy to digest, gluten free & vegan friendly, and provides stable energy. Same product as the Perpetuem Solids, only in a powder substance. One scoop of powder = 135 calories. (Perpetuem Solids: 1 tablet = 100 calories)

To Use:

Use as a primary source of calories during exercise/competition lasting more than two hours. (www.hammernutrition.com)

I use Perpetuem on race day in Ironman events and half marathon to marathon distances. I am also using this in my 50K training. Granted I run a half in less than 2 hours, but I like using a product that keeps me fueled all the way to the finish. 

Ironman Events (70.3 & 140.6)

2 bottles with Perpetuem – 8 scoops in each bottle (this would last me up to 4.5 hours with EACH bottle). I nurse the bottles sipping every 15-20 minutes, which Hammer Nutrition recommends. I learned this tip by Pro Triathlete – Meredith Kessler. 2 bottles should last you up to 8 hours on the bike. I keep an extra Perpetuem single serving at the transition, and refill my bottle to fuel me along the run. 

Training:

I use a Perpetuem bottle for long runs and long rides. Remember each scoop is 135 calories that can fuel around half an hour of activity. Each body type if different. My body requires 2 scoops per hour. 

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ENDUROLYTES FIZZ:

Endurolytes replace ectrolytes during performance. They are not to be used as a source of nutrition for caloric intake – as they are very low calorie. Endurolytes Fizz tablets are refreshing, quick dissolving, prevent cramps during performance, gluten free & vegan friendly, and have no added sugars or artificial flavors. 

To Use:

Use prior to, during, and after workouts to satisfy the body’s electrolyte requirements with maximum precision.

Use as needed, but primarily when:

  1. Exercise lasts for more than two hours, regardless of temperature or humidity.
  2. Exercise lasts less than two hours and:
  • Temperature is above 80 degrees and/or 70% humidity or
  • Temperature and humidity is ten degrees or more above what you are accustomed to. (www.hammernutrition.com)

 

Fizz Mixing Instructions
Add one or more Endurolytes Fizz tablets to your water or fuel bottle(s), allow tablets to dissolve completely, and consume as needed to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte levels.

I use Endurolytes Fizz as a source of electrolytes. I drop 3-4 Fizz tablets into my Speed Fill container that sits on my aero bars. I place the remaining capsules in my tri top or on my case on my bike. These tablets help restore any electrolytes lost during activity. I sip this container every 15-20 minutes. 

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VEGAN RECOVERY BARS:

Vegan recovery bars are my staple to recovery after any training session or race. No matter the distance I use this as a quick recovery tool. They are easy to chew, gluten free, have 14-15g of immediate protein, healthy fats, and of course – vegan friendly! 

To Use:

Eat immediately after prolonged activity to recover and refuel. Consume up to 30 minutes after activity. 

When in a bind I always carry this bar with me. I consume in the event I cannot find a meal or I need immediate protein in the day. 

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VEGAN PROTEIN:

I have been struggling to find a vegan protein powder that I could easily consume. The idea of a perfect vegan protein seemed impossible. I would try to hide the chalky substance in smoothies, oatmeal, and other dishes – but it never tasted right. I found Hammer’s Vegan Protein mix in vanilla and was instantly changed. I always have this around my house. Gluten free and soy free, rich source of amino acids, vegan friendly, and tastes delicious! 

To Use:

Mix 1 scoop of Hammer Vegan Protein in 6 ounces or more of cold water. Hammer Vegan Protein is ideal for use after exercise or anytime throughout the day to bolster your daily protein intake.

I use this immediately after a training workout. I make smoothies, vegan ice cream, pour into a bowl of oatmeal, etc.

My favorite YET simple snack is below:

1 grapefruit cut in half

Take 1 half of grapefruit – sprinkle Hammer Vegan Protein mix to cover the grapefruit

1 teaspoon of honey 

ENJOY a sweet and satisfying snack! 🙂 

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Overall, my experience with Hammer has been life changing. My GI tract is on point during performance – no more worries about the next bathroom stop. I can feel confident in my performance – without the crashing or hitting the wall feeling. Hammer has allowed me to hammer on until the very end. No fatigue, no exhaustion – just the ability to focus on the finish line. No added sugars or artificial flavors, easily digestible products, and majority of them are gluten free and vegan friendly!

For any athlete wanting to step up their game with Hammer, check out their website www.hammernutrition.com for more information. They also have a customer service line you can call to get a consultation based on your performance needs. 1-800-336-1977. 

 

Look forward to seeing you on the race course! HAMMER ON!

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*For any athlete looking to start up a new workout routine, please consult a doctor first. Also, partner with a nutritionist for effective performance results. All posts here are from my own personal experience, and do not come from Hammer Nutrition, unless quoted as such.  

 

Road to Ironman – Ironman Oceanside 70.3

On March 29th 2014 – I obtained my Ironman (70.3) title. I was beyond EXCITED.  As I crossed the finish line along the strand in the beautiful city of Oceanside – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 miles behind me… I started to cry. A moment I had been waiting for – for years, had finally happened. Mike Reilly ( world renowned Ironman voice) called me an Ironman. An accomplished feeling took over my body and I quickly looked for my mom, who was standing right by the finish… grasping her with the biggest hug over the barriers. I had finally done it. “I did it” I yelled… “You did it!”my mom whispered as we hugged tighter. This is my story on the journey to this moment… 

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The word “IRONMAN” means more to me than some people will ever know. Just hearing that word, seeing that word… gives me chills. When I heard of Ironman triathlon – I was intrigued. 140.6 miles in one day? That just seemed crazy. But deep down I knew I wanted to look into it. My uncle had been an ironman for years, but never truly understood what it took to go that distance. After a year of research, reading blogs and books… In 2011, finally went to Ironman St George to watch my Uncle and cousin go the distance. 

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As I stood at the finish line – I knew I had to get more involved with the sport. I stood there crying watching all types of athletes cross the finish. From the most elite athletes, to challenged athletes, to athletes who collapsed at the finish. They all had a story and they all had one thing in common – they were officially Ironman triathletes. And I wanted to be in that crowd. 

In 2012, I had the amazing opportunity to run with Nike endurance athlete Jason Lester – along his cross country Journey for a Better World. He was an Ironman Triathlete, Ultraman athlete, author of “Running on Faith”, and founder of EPIC 5. I knew I had to learn from the best in order to make my Ironman dream a reality. 

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Jason had an inspiring story to tell – and I soaked it all in. Met some incredible people along the journey, whom I still keep in contact with today. They have helped me reach my athletic goals, keep me motivated and inspired, and understand the grind it takes to achieve a dream. While on the Journey I ran in North & South Carolina, Palm Springs, Citadel, all over LA, and up to Stanford to San Francisco. This journey gave me the confidence to start training and make my athletic goals a reality. 

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In 2012, I was sitting in my living room with my mom – now living in Northern California after moving from LA for a promotion with Nike. I had told my mom about Ironman and she was on board to help make this dream a reality. Conducting strenuous research on which race is best for beginners – IMAZ was on my radar. Ironman Arizona sells out VERY quickly – so I knew I had to have a plan. My mom and I sat in my living room with a computer and an iPad waiting for registration to open. As soon as registration went live – I grabbed my spot! i couldn’t believe it! the race sold out in 8 minutes – but I had grabbed my slot for Ironman Arizona!! No excuses, it was time to make this dream come true!

For the next 9 months I trained – by myself, with mentors, and offsite coaches. Working full-time definitely had a huge impact on my training – but would not let that be an excuse. While training I went on a 263 mile bike/run across Ohio in a few days to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s. With my dad and family/friends/supporters by my side we made a difference! And put in some killer miles a few months before Ironman AZ!

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On November 17, 2013 – it was the day to tackle Ironman Arizona. My mom, grandma, and grandpa cheering me along the course – and my friends and family all over sending me pre-race luck. I was nervous, anxious, and unsure of what to expect. I had my transition gear checked, my bike in transition, and conquered the swim practice the day before. There was nothing else to do, but give it my all…. 

 

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As I stood at the swim start, anxiously fixing my swim cap – I felt terrified, nervous, and out of my league. I did not feel confident, and carried that with me throughout the race. I placed the googles on my face and put my swim cap over my head with a note I hid underneath my swim cap saying “you are your own worst enemy”. Words I lived by. It was my time. My time to grab this Ironman title. As I looked out at Tempe Town Lake – triathletes jumping off the ledge and swimming to the start line. It was a mass swim start where we had to tred water until the gun went off. I took 10 seconds and a few deep breaths, then jumped into the lake. It was time.

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10 minutes later, the gun went off and “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones played throughout Tempe. I took off swimming trying to find my stride without being kicked in the face. Shoved under the water multiple times, swallowing mouthfuls of water, kicked in the face only twice.. I was finally swimming past the turnaround buoys. I was halfway done! Damn that went fast I thought. I looked at my GPS Ironman TIMEX watch – 40 minutes for 1.2 mile swim, not bad. As I turned past the last turnaround buoy – BAM! got clocked right in the neck by an older man. I could not find my stroke, and had severe pain in my neck. Evolving immediately I found a very awkward stroke to propel me forward without pain. 3,000 people stroking ferociously throughout the lake, it was bound to happen. With the song “Just keep swimming” going on in my head, I finally made it to the end. 2.4 mile swim, DONE. I made my way to the swim chute where volunteers helped lift me out of the water. 2 volunteers started banging and slapping my legs with their hands. Getting sensation and feeling back to my legs. “OK GO!” they yelled as they shoved me out to the transition chute. Feeling weary and dizzy, 2 other volunteers grabbed my wetsuit, threw me done on my butt, removed my wetsuit, pulled me back up, and pushed me towards the changing area. WHEW! what a whirlwind. No time to even think, recognize the spectators, or take a minute to regroup. The next thing I knew I was fully dressed and grabbing my bike – setting off the on the 112 mile ride. 

As I jumped on my bike, feeling started coming back into my legs. I felt tired and fatigued from the swim and knew I needed water. By mile 10-12 I found a water station and grabbed 2 waters, which I drank quickly. I ate Gu’s, chomps, and bars. Way too quick. By mile 50 i started cramping. For multiple reasons. 1) dealing with endometriosis and severe cramps were not on my side that day. 2) my nutrition was not figured out. I could barely propel forward – severe sharp pains in my side. Riding aero was not an option, sitting was almost intolerable, and I was more nauseas than ever. I pulled into an aid station where medics and volunteers helped me off my bike and placed me on the ground. Throwing up and shaking they gave me medicine and fluids. I looked up and everything was a blur – watching medics scramble around saying I was out of the race. That got my blood boiling and I jumped up yelling “I’m fine, I’m fine!” I jumped on my bike and rode off.

I got to mile 68, where I could barely even stay on my bike. Swerving, severe stomach cramps, nauseas, headache, and trembling. At that point I knew if I continued I wouldn’t make the cut off time, I would hurt myself, or I would hurt someone else. I knew my body – and something wasn’t right. As I rode down to mile 70 a group of Police Officers could tell something was wrong – they ran out to me and held my bike up, and another helped me off. I collapsed to the ground in severe pain. I was pissed, mad, disappointed as I knew endometriosis had caused so many problems throughout my life, and I was not about to let it take my Ironman title. But it did. I was picked up by a van that took me directly to the medic tent. My mom met me there. I felt defeated, discouraged, and like a failure.

 The defeat of Ironman Arizona hung over me – I knew I could let it affect me, or I could do something about it. I knew what worked and what didn’t. I knew my nutrition had a HUGE play in not finishing. I also knew I had to get healthy. A visit to the doctor is just what I needed. Realizing gluten had a major factor into endometriosis. I decided to cut out glutens before races and focusing on fueling more healthy and clean. Sweet potatoes, lentils, beans, and veggies & fruits and tofu to fuel me. I also had the opportunity to work with Hammer Nutrition as a sponsored athlete for their products. Talk about game changer. 

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I registered for Ironman Oceanside 70.3 in California. I kept it a secret to most friends and family. I wasn’t doing this for anyone else, but myself. Training with Hammer Nutrition was the BEST decision I have ever made. No added sugars, added flavors, no gluten, and no dairy – this was the perfect piece of the puzzle that had been missing all along. 

The week before Ironman Oceanside I started using Race Day Supreme 4x a day – this gave me calories and added carbs to fuel me longer on race day. The morning of Oceanside – I was nervous but I pictured myself at the finish. It was going to happen. My mom waiting for me along the course – no excuses. 

At 7:24am I embarked on the swim – with goggles that leaked the entire time. Once again, I had to evolve immediately during the swim and focus on a new stroke to get me forward along the 1.2 miles. The first half of the swim was amazing – so beautiful along the harbor of Oceanside. Circling back on the second half I was literally blinded by the sun. I put my head down and grinded out the last half of the swim. At a grueling cold water temperature of 58 degrees – when I exited the swim I was trembling. Shivering and unable to dress myself. A volunteer came over to help me – giving me the shirt off of his back to wear. I maneuvered my bike out to the Bike Out area, could barely feel my legs. I took 2 cups of water from volunteers and hopped on my bike, shivering. As you burn more calories when you are cold, it is easy to get dehydrated. I knew I had to stay hydrated. 

A new technique I learned from Pro Triathlete Meredith Kessler, I sipped water/electrolytes or ate food every 15-20 minutes. Not in large amounts, but small doses. I believe this is the secret sauce to Ironman Training. I had Hammer Nutrition Fizz electrolytes in aero container and 2 bottles of Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem – a high caloric drink to be used every 1-2 hours of activity. By mile 10 I was finally feeling good and warming up. At mile 12, a lady lost control on her bike and clipped my side. She hit my front fork in just the right way which flew backward my head hitting the concrete and my bike landing on top of me. My right leg still clipped – coming unclipped like my leg was a rubber band. I laid in the middle of the bike path with people zooming past me. I jumped up – a sharp pain down the back of my right leg. Moving my bike to the side of the path a volunteer called a medic and the bike tech to come out. After waiting for a large chunk of time – finally getting cleared to move forward. That’s exactly what I did. Digging deep and pushing forward along the hilly bike course. As I made my way to the Bike In i saw my my along the path cheering for me, just what I needed for that next leg, the run. As I pulled into the transition area “Guns n’ Roses – Paradise City” started playing. This was my power song. I knew in my heart there was nothing to stop me from finishing. It was happening. 

I took off on the run along the strand of Oceanside – Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem chewables and gels in my tri top. I knew there was a certain cutoff point and had to make it to mile 7 by a certain time. I knew I had to keep a certain pace – so I really dug deep and continued to hammer on. Around mile 5 I bumped into my Ironman Angel – Myra. We knew we had a few miles left to the finish, and quitting was not an option. We pushed one another, cheered for one another, and motivated one another – to just keep going. My leg hurt from my bike crash, but I kept going not allowing the pain to surface. 11 miles later, I knew I was only a few short miles until my Ironman dream. So many amazing volunteers and supporters along the course that day. They lifted my spirits and kept me going. Mile 13 rapidly approached and I got chills – it was finally happening. As I crossed the finish – I have never been so fulfilled. Setting your mind to a goal and making it happen. I was determined, motivated, and inspired to make it happen. Hammer Nutrition played a huge part in this accomplishment. As well as, my mom – my biggest supporter. 

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November 16, 2014 – I will tackled Ironman Arizona. I am back for revenge. 140.6 I am coming for you!

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Let’s Rock and Roll through Ohio

July 1, marked the first day along my 250 mile adventure along Ohio to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. This is close to my heart because my grandma, Ruby Allen, suffered with ALZ the last years of her life. When she passed away in 2012, I knew I had to do something in her honor. The 250 mile adventure was created.

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The original plan was to leave on July 4 ((my grandma’s favorite holiday)) but due to weather and thunderstorms heavier in the week, decided to get a jump start. Moving it early meant I would be riding by myself most of the way, with not a lot of support. Luckily, my dad was able to get time off work to bike with me. He’s such a big cyclist and was excited to bike across Ohio with him, 250 miles in 4 days…..

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We kicked off our ride in Cleveland making our way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. By this time we had been hanging out in the car wondering when the rain would pass. We knew we had a long road ahead of us and needed some musical inspiration! The wait out the rain we decided to check out the museum.

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By the time we were done the storm had passed, still dark and overcast we knew we had to get on the road. My mom, such a navigator and our biggest support was happy to help us in any way possible. We ate our CLIF bars filled out water bottles and headed off on the adventure hoping for the best!

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For majority of the ride it was overcast and cloudy, with some rain in between. Biking through Northern Ohio offered some amazing sites that I never knew existed.

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Biking through Ohio was gorgeous, minus the dark clouds that loomed over. For the most part I felt pretty good, but had been battling a stomach ache all day which didn’t want to pass. The ride was wet and muddy. By the time we stopped my entire backside was caked in mud and molded to my body. Riding mostly on limestone along the Towpath trail made for a difficult ride slowing down our pace. Riding along the Cuyahoga River made for some flooding along the way, but we powered through!

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We finished around Massillon knowing we have a LONG day ahead of us! Praying for paved trails and no limestone would be ideal! Kicking off the morning with a run then hoping on the bikes! Overall, day 1 was good with a lot of obstacles out way. I never once thought that we couldn’t get through this! Rain or shine, we have to make this happen!

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This biggest thing fueling me through this is the support from my amazing friends, family, Nike family, and Trisports team! You are all amazing! Your words of encouragement fuel me, and I look to them for inspiration. You can all support by visiting my website: http://act.alz.org/site/TR?pxfid=85048&pg=fund&fr_id=1060

Also, follow me on instagram @raerunlove

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Run San Francisco

SF Wipro Marathon & Half Marathon

SF Wipro Marathon & Half Marathon

It was officially RACE DAY!!! One of my favorite days, even better than Christmas because you can have that giddy feeling whenever you want! However, this morning felt a lot different than other mornings. I woke up not feeling ready and very anxious. The stresses of work and every day were catching up to me.. I felt mentally and physically exhausted. The realization that my event is coming up in 3 weeks was making me anxious. ((My event = running/biking 250 miles across Ohio in 4 days to raise awareness from Alzheimer’s in honor of my Grandma, Ruby)) I had been planning this event, and I was starting to second guess myself. On July 7th, my last leg of the adventure across Ohio, I am organizing a 13.1 mile run.. I knew I had to put in the miles today for that run.

13.1

13.1

It took a lot for me to get in the car that morning and drive to San Francisco. The entire drive I kept asking myself “what IS wrong with you? You LOVE this” Driving there I felt anxious and unsure.. A feeling I rarely have. Another reason why I felt so uneasy was because it was exactly a year ago where I injured and fractured my left leg and tore my calf muscle. Long story short: I was overtraining and running with a stress fracture and not listening to my body. I had felt discomfort for a few weeks but kept going because stopping was not an option. A year later I was getting ready to face my demon and run in a same path of my injury. A part of me was uneasy, nervous, and terrified. I had been training smart listening to my body, resting and recovering, and eating right. Most importantly I learned that rest days are training days so I could let my body heal and regroup.

Once I got to SF it took me forever to find parking. Parking a mile away I was nervous I wouldn’t get to the runners shuttle in time. Finally making it to the intersection of Howard and Spear, very close to the finish line, I found my runner fam. This was my first time running this race, and I knew I had to get to the finish. The race is designed as a full marathon, first course half marathon –which is the first 13.1 miles of the marathon ending in golden gate park or the second half marathon — which is the last 13.1 miles starting at Golden Gate Park and ending at the marathon finish on the Embarcadero. I was running the second half marathon course, taking a bus to the start line. The bus was full of amazing energy, just what I needed. Talking to the runners on the bus, cheering and chanting the entire way there. Once we got close to Golden Gate Park our driver got lost on one way streets and had to let us off 1.4 miles from the start. By this time the 2nd half had already started and my entire bus was on a mad dash to the start. Great warmup but killed my legs, as we are in SF and running up a hill to get to GG park. Once we got close to the start the announcer was yelling for us to head to the start line. He gave us exactly 2 minutes to catch our breath, then cheered us across the start. There was no turning back now.

Running over the start line and starting my nike+ GPS sportwatch I knew I wanted to go slow and steady today. Wanted to stay between 9:30-11 to get in the same pace for my 13.1 miles event in July. I knew there were hills to come and wanted to save myself. I also wanted to enjoy the experience, running through the streets of SF. To be honest, I didn’t even look at the course map but knew it would be a great way to explore the different neighborhoods.

SF Marathon & Half Marathon Course Map

SF Marathon & Half Marathon Course Map

I kept running through Golden Gate and by mile 3 my head was getting clear and I felt good. Eventually making it to Haight Ashbury where I played Jimi Hendrix “purple haze” while running by Jimi’s old house. Averaging 9:45 minute pace I felt good and was so thankful to get in this experience.

Running through the Mission we were around mile 8 coming down a hill at an intersection where 5 ambulances were running through. All the runners were at a dead stop. Coming off a hill isn’t exactly easy to just stop abruptly. The police had us waiting for 3-5 minutes. It was a scary situation, considering what had just happened at Boston. By this time there was a large group of us all waiting to continue the run. The sun was starting to come out and sweat was dripping down a lot of confused and distraught faces. People asking what was going on. You could hear beeping of Garmins and GPS watches being stopped and the sounds of sirens in the distance. Within a few minutes we were free to continue our run, unsure of what just happened.

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Positivity can change your life. Find the things that motivate you.. keep going.

Continuing the run my heart was racing.. no idea why we were all completely stopped. It was a scary thought, and then I started thinking about Boston and those who had been stopped after running 20+ miles. I coulnd’t even imagine the thoughts going on in their head, the energy, and the pain. I continued along the course and passed buildings that had names of my friends and family on them. Dan’s bar made me think of my dad and Father’s Day, how I hate being so far from home. Victoria Theater made me think of my best friend who lives in London, wishing we could be closer. Ilana’s cafe made me think of my first roommate in LA and wondering what she is doing now. Each step was reflecting back on a different memory and made me think of everything I had done to get me to this point. I had been so scared about reinjuring myself and I was letting fear take over. There was no pain… Every step I had no pain. I was ok. I had a mental check getting rid of the negative thoughts and realized I am going to make this race happen.

Nike Lunarglide 4+ kept me going! Love the volt color..

Nike Lunarglide 4+ kept me going! Love the volt color..

Around mile 12 we started running around AT&T park. It was beautiful and I kept thinking how I wished someone was waiting for me at the finish. I have been on my own the last 7 years, so independent, but I’m starting to feel lonely. Being so far from my family in Ohio, my friends in LA, my best friend in London… I just felt lonely. At that point I felt my grandma with me… It sounds silly but she was there. Pushing me and guiding me to the finish. I knew all my concerns and questions about my 250 mile event were answered. I was going to be fine. I’ve put in the miles, and when I get tired I will have my grandma with me along the way. After all, the event is for her. #ENDALZ

This is for you Grandma

This is for you Grandma

As I got closer to the finish on the Embarcadero… everything started to look familiar. And reality set in. I was not going to let my past injury define me … I was going to push through. I was nervous reaching the point of my past injury, but I am a strong woman and I was determined to get to that finish – even if I had to crawl. I ran by the sidewalk I stood on for 45 minutes unable to move my leg as I felt like it was bolted to the ground. I ran by the parking space where a construction crew placed me in their truck and called a cab for me. I ran by the intersection where a taxi driver, William Buttter, helped get me in the backseat to head to the hospital. I could feel the pain, the agony, and the hurt I was in. It kept me going. I saw the finish line ahead of me and a tear started coming grown my face. I had faced my demons and I was ready to move on to greater endurance events. I was ready for my event in July.

FEAR IS A LIAR. I faced my fears and conquered my demons today. #Neverstop

FEAR IS A LIAR. I faced my fears and conquered my demons today. #Neverstop

I crossed the finishline… Grabbed my medal and took my finishers picture. I headed straight to be LA/SF challenge booth. If you run the LA marathon and SF marathon back to back you are eligible to receive a challengers medal. I ran the LA marathon (my 4th la marathon) this past year and was ready to grab this medal. I had earned it.

LA/SF Challenge

LA/SF Challenge

 

13.1 done!

13.1 done!

I walked over by the water standing on the Embarcadero by Pier 39 staring into the ocean. I had done it. Even though I was running the 13.1 miles I could feel the support team behind me … My Nike family, Further Faster Forever family, my Trisports team, my family and friends in Ohio, my friends all over the world, my LA family, Never Stop fam, … and my grandma, Ruby. Today made me realize – it is ALL mental. No matter the goal or dream you will always face challenges if you put up that mental roadblock. Tear that roadblock down. YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY. No matter how great you are, if you are facing a mental challenge it will never happen. Stay positive. Stay focused. Stay determined. Never let fear stand in the way of your dreams. Keep going.

The only limits in your life, are the ones you create with your mind. Keep going. #nolimits

The only limits in your life, are the ones you create with your mind. Keep going. #nolimits

Discipline, determination, sacrifice, and motivation.

Discipline, determination, sacrifice, and motivation.

 

Overall, the course was great. Water and electrolytes along the way. I would recommend this race to anyone who wants to train for Nike Women’s Marathon, and a great half to come off of after the LA Marathon in March. Next year, I am definitely going to run the full course! Very organized, and over 20,000+ runners. Would recommend this race!

 

SF Wipro Half Marathon Bib and finishers medal. LA/SF Challenge Medal.

SF Wipro Half Marathon Bib and finishers medal. LA/SF Challenge Medal.

 

IRONMAN TRAINING

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironman training is in FULL EFFECT! I recently moved up to Northern California from Los Angeles, and have been in hunt for a new bike for my Ironman training. A part of me was a little nervous as I am not the best cyclist and not bike Savvy. I am a runner and grew up swimming, not to mention people think I am joking every time I walk into a bike store. My spirits always seem to be a little squashed. Until one day, I stumbled across Chain Reaction in Los Altos. I was a little hesitant to walk in, but knew it had to be done in order to accomplish my dream of an Ironman. I walked in and was immediately greeted by this nice employee, and i told him what I was looking for. My eyes were immediately drawn to a Tri bike hanging from the ceiling. The employee removed the bike from the ceiling, and my heart skipped a beat. It was love at first sight, and I knew I had to take the bike home with me. Trek Speed Concept (last years model which meant better deal) Bontrager Race Lite Aero Bars, Bontrager wheels, SRAM Apex components. This baby was mine.Image

 

This is a photo of my new beauty… still have yet to find a name! Thank you Chain Reaction for helping me with my ambitious goal: IRONMAN ARIZONA!

Ironman has been on my mind for a few years. Why you may ask? It is on my bucket list. Something like accomplishing an Ironman, will allow me to believe anything is possible with the right mindset. The blood, sweat, tears, and dedication it takes to finish one of these races is absolutely amazing. Pushing your body for 140.6 miles in ONE day seems absolutely crazy… but to me it is astonishing and something I am striving to become. 

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I anticipate the day when I finally claim my Ironman name, but for now I have A LOT of training to do. For me, I love training and I can stay motivated on my own. The main issue I have is time and the everyday occurrences and situations called ‘Life”. I’ve learned if you have a goal or a dream, the best thing to do is surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand what it is you are working towards. If someone doesn’t understand or agree, chances are they NEVER will. Get that negative force out of your life, and focus on the positive ones. 

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Sacrifice is a MAJOR part of Ironman training… or any kind of training to be exact. Whether you are training for a Marathon, 10K, or even committing yourself to a new job — it takes sacrifice to where you want to go. With Ironman I have sacrificed my social life and creation relationships. I do not drink alcohol, I stay away from foods that might hinder my performance, and I stay away from negative influences and forces. That’s why it is KEY to surround yourself with the ones to support your steps and know what it will take to get there. I am so gracious to have a supportive family, who are helping me get to that Ironman finish line. They are the ones that keep me going — my inspiration. 

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Finding your inspiration and motivation is another key to training. If you aren’t inspired or motivated.. chances are your training will completely flatline. Now that is NOT ok. My family inspires me, my friends inspire me, and know what I want to accomplish keeps me motivated. What motivates you? What keeps you moving? 

I have my eyes on the Ironman finish. I know what it must take to make this happen. It will not be an easy road, but I have created my training plan and race calendar in order to make it happen. I will train smart, eat healthy, rest, and surround myself with positive people. I stay inspired by knowing what others are training and working towards. What are you training for? What is your goal you are sacrificing for?