Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tri Friend: Lisa McCombs

 Meet our newest tri-friend, Lisa McCombs!  Who else is chipping away to punching their ticket to Kona through the Legacy Program?

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into triathlon
I'm Lisa McCombs! After 7 years in the Army, I picked up running as a way to stay healthy. Friends in the running community invited me to swim and soon a sprint triathlon was underway. I knew immediately I wanted more. I had never been athletic or good at sports growing up so the thrill of completing the 3 sports together was empowering. It's been a crazy train since then! I've completed 6 full Ironman distance races, 5 half Ironman distance, and many shorter distance races. I work at a running and tri shop, I'm a run and tri coach, and I'm a dedicated Ironman working my way to the World Championship in Kona. I live and breathe triathlon. It's my job, my hobby, my PASSION. 
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2. Top reason why you love triathlon: the community of athletes and camaraderie, the energy, the sense of accomplishment at that finish line, the healthy benefits and the discipline it instills in athletes

3. Share with us your favorite workout and why it is your go-to: I love all 3 sports but the run would have to be my favorite. I love being one on one with the pavement. My race, my pace... I get lost in a run.
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4. What is your A-Race next year? : I have an awesome line-up for 2015. Next up is Rock n' Roll marathon, Puerto Rico 70.3, New Orleans 70.3, Ironman Texas, and Ironman Barcelona. I'd say my A-Race is Ironman Texas in May. I want to break 13 hours so yeah, I'm going to train my booty off! incorporating speed work, hitting my workouts, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.
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its actually 6 time but i liked this pic of Lisa
Follow Lisa at:


Monday, December 1, 2014

Challenge Family Triathlon Coupon Code

So excited to be an ambassador for Challenge Family Americas. As a reader of my blog, I am able to share the love with a 10% coupon code for the following races (any distance)  in 2015!
NKTRI15
Knoxville, Atlantic City, Quassy, RUSH, Williamsburg, Maine, & Cedar Point. 

Email me at nicolekesten  (at)  gmail.com 
for the code and happy to answer any questions you might have.  If I don't know them, I will connect you with someone that does!



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

7 Day Marathon Recovery Plan by Nathan Figg



As marathon season is coming to an end.. here a great article from Nathan Figg at Styka Fitness
He is just getting his website up and running but has been an endurance coach for over 7 years!
(Non-sponsored post).   Also, check back for a black Friday giveaway soon! 

Congratulations! Completing a marathon or half marathon is a huge accomplishment that took you months of hard work and training but it paid off! Now its time for you to rest, relax, recover and reflect from your race.
 Single leg hamstring stretch
This marathon recovery plan will guide you on how to successfully recover from your marathon.
Day 1 – Rest, relax and get a massage if you can. Resting after your marathon is very important and make sure you get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night over the next week. Also taking naps over the next few days is not a bad idea if you are able to. Remember listen to your body if you need to rest do it!  
Day 2 - Relaxing after completing your full or half marathon maybe hard for some people but do not jump into your training 100% yet. Now that it has been 24 hours, if you feel ok you can start training. Start with an easy run, bike or swim keeping your heart rate in Zone 1 - 65-75% heart rate max. This workout should be kept to 20 – 30 minutes. After completing this workout make sure to spend time foam rolling and stretching.
Day 3 – Your body should be feeling a little better by now continue to rest and relax.  Today is a good day to do some yoga and active stretches. Start with some active stretches, 10-minute easy cardio and then yoga.
Day 4 – Today increase your cardio to 30 – 45 minutes still keeping your heart rate in Zone 1 – 65-75% heart rate max. After completing this workout make sure to foam roll and stretch.
Day 5 - Today start an easy strength training routine. Your strength training should be done with light weight where you able to complete 20 + repetitions.  I recommend doing a total body workout completing two sets of 12 – 15 reps with a 1-minute recovery between each exercise. Your workout routine could be:
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Forward Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Step ups
  • Lat Pull-down
  • Plank hold
  • Single leg crunch
Day 6 – Rest, relax and get another massage today. Continue to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep over the weekend and even take a nap during the day. You can lay in front of the TV and foam roll and stretch. Enjoy the day off!
Day 7 - Today increase your cardio to 40 – 50 minutes still keeping your heart rate in Zone 1 – 65-75% heart rate max. After completing your cardio do 1 set of your today body workout listed above on Day 5. After your cardio and strength workout take time to foam roll and stretch.

Marathon recovery week
Continue to hydrate drinking half your body weight in ounces’ of water; eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks when needed. Listen to your body and if you are hungry have a snack like almonds, walnuts, smoothie, juice or a bar. I like Vega or Kind bars for a snack if you haven’t tried they are really good. Lastly during this week it is good to reflect on your race. Write down three things you were really happy with like your fueling or pace. Then write down three things you may want to improve on like going to bed earlier or eating more food the few days before the race. I hope this recovery plan helps and congratulations again on completing the marathon!


About the Author:  

Nathan Figg, CPT, PES Nathan, originally from Palm Harbor Florida, started playing sports at a very young age. After September 11, 2001 he joined the Army. His experience in the Army and playing sports has given him a unique approach to training. Nathan brings this experience, knowledge, and passion to every training session. He has trained a wide range of athletes from triathletes, marathon runners, soccer and basketball players, to helping people lose weight and come back from injuries. He loves motivating people to accomplish their personal goals whether it's completing a triathlon or taking their first steps in a weight-loss journey. Nathan believes everyone can be athletic and health; all it takes is balancing life's challenges.



Experience
Overall Training experience: 7 years +
New York Sports Club: Master Trainer 6 years +
Chelsea Piers: Assistant Triathlon Coach 1+ year
Served in the Army for 6 years
Combat Veteran in Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom

Education
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
USAT Triathlon Coach
RRCA Road Runners Club of America Running Coach
NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist
NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Chek Holistic Lifestyle

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The best sports sunglasses: are multiple lenses worth the money? By Tim Hallworth

Wanted to share an article about some insights on sunglasses and lens selections.  I met Tim and his wife through the blog and loved his knowledge about sunglasses and what we really need as triathletes. He is the founder of AMO Sunglasses and has a true passion for optical technology (NON SPONSORED POST)

Here is a recent article he wrote about  

The best sports sunglasses: are multiple lenses worth the money?

Not every sports sunglasses lens handles every light condition, and multi-sports athletes will often own a variety of pairs of sports sunglasses. Why? What do athletes need from their lenses in the best sports sunglasses?
Not every sports sunglasses lens handles every light condition, and multi-sports athletes will often own a variety of pairs of sports sunglasses. Why? What do athletes need from their lenses in the best sports sunglasses?Not every sports sunglasses lens handles every light condition, and multi-sport athletes will often own a variety of pairs of sports sunglasses so that they are prepared for whatever the day brings. Some athletes opt for a few pairs of sports sunglasses with different lenses and others opt for one pair of sports sunglasses with multiple lens options.
I have often questioned the popularity of the multiple lens sports sunglasses as I own a few pairs of these. One pair, I have never changed the lens on, others, I can’t find the alternate lenses. I often thought the alternate lenses were a cheap lens and overall a multiple lens offer was more of a sales gimmick.
Then I started talking to people in the industry. It turns out I am not in the majority. Multiple lens arrays are very popular and can be the leading sales performer for many notable sports sunglasses brands.
So I went on a quest and examined the multiple lens ranges of the best sports sunglasses brands (checking to ensure that the quality of the alternate lens is as good as the base product). And I learnt a great deal about multiple lens products...
For price, they are worth it. When you do the math, three pairs of performance sports sunglasses will set you back more than one pair of sports sunglasses and two different lenses.
For performance, they are worth it. Most of the brands that are offering multi-array lens sunglasses offer good alternative lenses, and you can often pick and choose from a wide range. Just do your research and make sure the lenses are a good polycarbonate or even NXT (see my recent article on polycarbonate and NXT lens materials).
All AMO sports sunglasses are offered with multiple lens types, as standardAll AMO sports sunglasses are offered with multiple lens types, as standard
For comfort, they are worth it. If your sports sunglasses are uber comfortable and you’ve ‘worn them in’ to a point where you can’t even feel them on your face, why change sports sunglasses if you have the option to change lens?
For space, they are worth it. It’s smaller to carry around one pair of sports sunglasses with a pouch of alternate lenses, than many pairs of sports sunglasses.
For design, they are worth it. They’re just as stylish as other sports sunglasses on the market and there is no bulk or difference to the frame to allow for the interchangeable lens. You could even argue they will match more of your kit as you can change the colour of your lens to suit what you’re wearing. If you’re so fashionably inclined!
For ease, it’s an each way bet. Yes, it’s easier to slip one pair of sports sunglasses off and put another on rather than taking the time to remove existing lenses and put in a new pair and clean the fingerprints off. But, once you get the hang of it, it’s quick to make the switch. Either way, if you’re in a race, you’re probably not going to stop and muck around changing sunglasses.
For convenience, it’s an each way bet. I think it depends on whether you’re a ‘putter’ or a ‘leaver’ i.e. you put things away in the same place, or you just leave things around. In saying this, it’s just as easy to misplace a pair of sunglasses as it is to lose a pair of lenses.
For durability, it’s worth it. There is no increased danger in being able to break any part of the frame or lens just because it’s interchangeable. And, if you do break a lens, you will be able to buy a replacement very easily. It’s not as easy on stand-alone pairs.
In short, if you want to be prepared for any lighting condition a pair of multi-array lens sports sunglasses is definitely an option worth consideration. 
---------------
AMO sports sunglasses, depending on the model selected, come with a mirror finish medium dark lens and a low light lens as standard - and some models have an additional medium lens. AMO also provides a variety of lens upgrade options: NXT, photochromic, polarized, revo colour and a variety of low light, medium, medium dark and dark.

Also, a little about the author-
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1. Tell us a little about yourself and your tri history
image2.JPGsee http://www.amosunglasses.com/about-amo/amo-s-story http://www.amosunglasses.com/featured-athlete/item/63-featured-athlete

2. What do you have on your schedule for the remainder of 2014 and 2015?

This year I did 2 MSIG ultra races 50km, 2 70.3 ironman races in Philipines and Taiwan, 2 Olympic tris in Hong Kong. In 2015 I will focus on a full ironman in either Japan or Canada.

image1.JPG 3. Favorite triathlon and why?
Hard to say. All different. Ironman South Africa in 2001 as it was my first and I was on my honeymoon. Ironman Hawaii Kona in 2005 as it was Kona. Ironman NZ as it was my fastest.

4. Favorite brick workout.
100km fast ride followed by 8km fast run if I have time but more often 45 min gym bike and 30 min run on a running machine





FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Tim and AMO at
and you can find all his blog posts here:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Challenge AC- Only $199

For a limited time.. you can sign up for the innagural Challenge AC Half for $199!
I plan to be there and may or may not ask aid stations if they have fries or maybe a slice of Manco Manco pizza :)  Who is joining me!?!

Here are some of my personal Jersey vacation tips for those traveling there!

Here are a few questions Challenge answered to those wondering about changes.
1. Yes, we are offering a HALF distance to run simultaneously with the Full.
2. Yes, there will be relay and AB options for the HALF as well as the Full.
3. Yes, we tweaked the Swim, Bike, and Run courses to make them awesome'er than 2014.
4. Yes, this is the ONLY Full World Class Triathlon in the state of New Jersey...and the only race in the US with over 65,000 spectators/shoobies on the run course.
5. Yes, there will be Boardwalk Fries at the Finish.

I took this pic and sent it to my husband this summer... i.love.boardwalk.fries..... too much my waistline tells me :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Spartan Race Giveaway


*Not Sponsored*
 

As I start the blog up again (now that the off season approaches for many of us), I am excited to start it off with a giveaway.  Spartan Race was kind enough to offer 1 free entry to one of our readers!   
(Code will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US) 

Although not a triathlon, this challenging series offers 3 different distances that push you to the limits!

Sprint {3ish Miles - 15 obstacles}
Super {8ish Miles - 20 obstacles}
Beast  {12ish Miles - 25 obstacles}

There are many events left for 2014 (California, Milwaukee, Carolinas, Ohio, Dallas, Mississippi & Boston).  Also if you don't win but still want to become a Spartan, you can use SPARTANBLOGGER for 10% any remaining 2014 entry!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Blogs...

Summer and race season goes so fast...

Here are some new blogs for you to check out! I am a bit delayed posting these!  Will be back on a more usual posting schedule soon!

Guillaume Hermile (England)  - Blogging about his quest to Ironman
http://wetsuitbiketrainers.wordpress.com/

Gabi Torres (Alexandria, VA) - Runner. Triathlete. Ironman Louisville 2014!
http://www.leangreenislandgirl.com/
https://twitter.com/LeanGreenGabi

http://www.besttriathlongear.com/  - Review site for all things tri

Megan Thackrey (Chicago)  - Chicago-based Triathlon Newbie
theaccidentathlete.blogspot.com

Jeremy (East) - Altoona PA, New to tri.
www.fattotriathlete.com
https://twitter.com/FatToTriathlete

Colin Hackett (Edmonton, AB, Canada)- 7-time Ironman finisher. My goal is to get to Kona through the Legacy Lottery by completing 12 races. I started out training at 324 lbs and am down to 250 lbs
trifattytri.blogspot.ca
https://twitter.com/trifattytri

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Breaking News! Rev3+Challenge = Awesome US Race Series (plus 1 in mexico!)

Challenge Family and REV3 announce partnership
4 SEPTEMBER 2014 – Challenge Family and Rev3 today announced a partnership that redefines long distance triathlon in North America.
The two series are merging and, beginning in 2015, Rev3 races will be incorporated into the Challenge Family global triathlon series and branded as Challenge events. This combination will result in a stronger North American race series focused on delivering world-class quality events.
Roth 600x388 Challenge Family and REV3 announce partnership
Charlie Patten, CEO of Rev3, said the partnership with Challenge Family was a natural fit, with the two organisations echoing each other’s core values.
“From day one, Rev3 has been about providing athletes with an opportunity to follow their passion in an inclusive environment,” he said. “We have always encouraged athletes to include their friends and families in their journey. The Challenge Family embodies all of what Rev3 has believed over the past six years and this new partnership allows us to only expand upon that. We are more excited then we have ever been and look forward to serving our customers as part of the Challenge Family.”
Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik, echoed Patten’s comments, adding it was an honour to partner with such a highly respected organisation in the USA.
“This strategic partnership of two amazing brands is simply a natural fit. We share the same values and are working towards the same objectives with endless passion for a healthy sport of triathlon along with our team, our partners, communities and races,” he said. “We are extremely proud being able to change the face of triathlon, reflecting the real values of this wonderful sport and respecting the legacy of triathlon. Together, nothing less than a quality leadership is our focus, delivering excellent experiences for athletes.”
159547322HJ00035 Challenge  600x400 Challenge Family and REV3 announce partnership
The partnership sees the addition of the following races to the Challenge Family USA race calendar in 2015 – Challenge Knoxville, Challenge Quassy, Challenge Williamsburg, Challenge OOB Maine, Challenge Cedar Point, Challenge Pocono Mountains, Challenge Anderson, Challenge Venice and Challenge Ixtapa in Mexico. They will join the existing races of Challenge Atlantic City, Challenge New Albany and Challenge Rancho Cordova.
Online entries are open now at www.challenge-familyusa.com, where full details of the new race schedule can also be found.
All remaining Rev3 races for 2014 will continue to run as Rev3 events, with support from Challenge Family, to honour the commitment made to athletes already entered into these events. All existing Rev3 Rush events will continue to run under the Rev3 brand in 2015.
For further information, visit www.challenge-familyusa.com.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Swim Clinic with Pro: Sara McLarty at Chicago Triathlon.



Wanted to pass along this info for anyone in Chicago and interested in a swim clinic with pro, Sara McLarty
 
 
Are you ready for the Chicago Triathlon?!?!?
Well Jet Set Performance has something special just for you. Co-Founder of Swim Like A Pro, Triathlete Magazine (swimming) Writer and Professional Triathlete Sara McLarty will be joining us for an open water session Saturday August 23, 2014.

This is your opportunity to meet and learn directly from a Pro for only $50 per person. This is an unparalleled experience that offers you one-on-one time for a special pre-race swimming clinic downtown Chicago Saturday the 23rd from 1pm-2pm.

Jet Set Performance specializes in bringing you VIP experiences where the memories will last a lifetime. Just think how cool it will be jumping in the water with the picturesque skyline of downtown Chicago surrounding you and learning tips and tricks from Sara herself!

Come and Join us as we make the journey together in the open water preparing you for not only the Chicago Triathlon but improving your swimming skills for a better you in the water. Contact James Balcer as space if filling up and we don’t want you to miss this amazing opportunity. Email James@trijetset.com to sign up or go directly to http://www.trijetset.com/destination-packages/

Hope to see you there and we look forward to treating you to our signature Red Carpet Experience with Jet Set Ambassador Sara McLarty. See you on the Beach!!!!

The Jet Set Team


Photo: Ok Party People Here We Gooooo! 

Are you ready to Swim-Like-A-Pro?!?!? Are you ready for the Chicago Triathlon?!?!? 

Well Jet Set Performance has something special just for you. Co-Founder of Swim Like A Pro, Triathlete Magazine (swimming) Writer and Bad@$$ Professional Triathlete Sara McLarty will be joining us for an open water session Saturday August 23, 2014. 

This is your opportunity to meet and learn directly from a Pro for only $50 per person. This is an unparalleled experience that offers you one-on-one time for a special pre-race swimming clinic downtown Chicago Saturday the 23rd from 1pm-2pm. 

Jet Set Performance specializes in bringing you VIP experiences where the memories will last a lifetime. Just think how cool it will be jumping in the water with the picturesque skyline of downtown Chicago surrounding you and learning tips and tricks from Sara herself! 

Come and Join us as we make the journey together in the open water preparing you for not only the Chicago Triathlon but improving your swimming skills for a better you in the water.  Contact James Balcer as space if filling up and we don’t want you to miss this amazing opportunity. Email James@trijetset.com to sign up or go directly to http://www.trijetset.com/destination-packages/

Hope to see you there and we look forward to treating you to our signature Red Carpet Experience with Jet Set Ambassador Sara McLarty. See you on the Beach!!!! 

The Jet Set Team

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Norseman Triathlon Race Report by Maggie Rusch

My friend posted that she was racing Norseman a few months ago.. i didn't know much about the race until i saw this preview. It was the first time i was terrified of a race.  Seeing all those people freaking out at the end was intense!   
Excited to share her race report of the event and congrats to her 2nd place finish!  

She also shared with me that there were black and which finisher shirts.  Black: first 160 people to base checkpoint get to summit Mt. Gaustatoppen 
White: finish 26.2 on road

She rocked her black finishers shirt!  
Congrats Maggie!!! 
You can follow her at http://maggierusch.com/blog/



Norseman: the short & sweet version of a long & cruel course

By Maggie Rusch 
Yes, I went into Norseman with the ambitious goal of winning the women’s race and fell one podium spot short. Do I consider it a failure? Far from it.




photo by Mikkel Beisner
photo by Mikkel Beisner
In my thirteen and a half hours on the course, I learned the hard way that Norseman is a cruel, cruel beast that can chew you up and spit you out if your day doesn’t go any less than perfect. There is no other course like it: from the 20,000ft+ of climbing across the bike and the run to the grueling climbs to Dyranut, to Geilo, to Imingfjell that sap the energy from your legs, all the way to the infamous Zombie Hill that’s only a precursor to the final death blow that is Gaustatoppen.
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Going into the race, I would not go as far as to say I underestimated this course – because I certainly put in the work required on similar terrain with my training in North Carolina – but I learned that there is no way to completely prepare oneself for the challenge that is Norseman without actually going there and competing — not physically, not emotionally. In my pre-race notes to Hillary, I wrote that I expected a “long, long day with lots of troubleshooting involved” and while my predictions could not have been more appropriate, it was even harder than imagined.
From racing the course sight-unseen, dealing with exhaustion and sleep deprivation to the point of literally falling asleep on the bike at one point, a somewhat poorly-planned and frenetic day with the support crew and major stomach troubles on a completely porta-potty-less course, my ability to roll with the punches and troubleshoot was the saving grace of the day.
As I’ve mentioned, this race is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced — or likely will experience for quite some time. Notably, this was one of the most electric and competitive races I have ever participated in: a hard-fought battle with countless passes and repasses among the women’s top five, a story that so far has been absent in articles published about this year’s race. While I have a longer story to tell, and likely will get around to it in the coming days, I wanted to share some highlights while the aching legs of never-ending Imingfjell, the pains of attempting to run Zombie and the glassy-eyed, noodle-legged scramble up Gaustatoppen are still fresh in my memory.
To start such an epic day, it only seemed appropriate that we leapt from a ferry into darkness. For me, the nervous energy as the ferry steamed to the start and the realization of the long day ahead were actually more terrifying than the jump itself. The water was clear and crisp and the swim a little bit lonely; it was hard to stay focused on the task at hand and not pause for a longer look at the serene snow-capped mountains drifting past with each breath.
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On the bike, I struggled to find my legs early on, was passed and dropped as low as fifth or sixth place. As we started the series of five climbs, the most brutal and never-ending being Imingfjell, I started to feel myself come around, repass and work my way up to second. With each climb, I was more and more thankful about my switch to riding my new Blue Triad in the weeks leading up to Norseman. I love this bike and the Di2 was a godsend for the amount of time I was climbing, shifting gears and trying to do work on this epic bike course. Despite only a few weeks of us together, the Blue performed brilliantly and I see a really good future between the two of us :)
Despite my rally on the series of hills and extending my lead of some of the girls behind me, the eventual winner Line Foss passed me shortly before the last and most brutal of the climbs, Imingfjell, never to be seen again as I cursed each switchback and each false peak on the crazy climb.
About halfway through the bike I ran out of my sports drink mix—forced to a much diluted version due to poor planning on my part. As my support crew, mixing and handing off the bottles, my parents were horrified but I did my best to shrug it off and let them know that the mostly-water was more than fine. I told you, “troubleshooting” was the theme of the day.
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We rode across an open plain into a headwind as it started to pour, gusts pushing my Blue across the road, headwinds pushing me back as I tried to avoid getting blown into the support cars that raced by, trying to catch up to their athletes. Here’s a sample of the headwind we were facing - I know, right? The course elevation profile had promised nothing but downhill after the 2,000ft ascent of Imingfjell (tucked in nicely from miles 85-95, some of the roughest in Ironman) and the climbs and headwind seemed like a cruel fate to face after I had given the previous climb all of the energy reserves I had in anticipation of the final descent.
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Even crueler, perhaps, my jet lag and sheer exhaustion caught up to me when we finally did start to make the twisting descent back to T2 — one that would be terrifying in crystal clear weather, not to mention in gusty, raining, even hailing conditions. At one point I fell asleep in the aerobars, an arm slipped off the pads, I caught myself. I would spend the next 20 miles of the course pinching myself, squinting my eyes and trying to sing to keep myself from falling asleep again.
I survived the terrifying return to T2, only to find my support crew noticeably absent; I would spend six horrifying minutes pacing T2 wrapped in a blanket, hollow eyes, wondering whether my race was ruined as my support crew found themselves stuck in the backed-up traffic.

Six or seven miles into the run, jogging along and trying to get the stomach to settle, I passed my parents during one of my short walk breaks to refuel, telling them, dejected, “I’m just trying to finish. I don’t think I can chase the podium without the risk of throwing away a finish on Gaustatoppen.” Last year’s collapse in Kona loomed heavily on my mind and I had no idea what this cocktail of narcolepsy on the bike and a total stomach shut-down really meant as the hours waned on. There was also an, um, “incident” in a ditch/behind a bush thanks to a donated hankie from my dad, my stomach started to settle some and I started picking off both men and closing on the women ahead.
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I summited Zombie Hill, finding my legs again as I passed the girl in third, walking, and continued my charge forward after hearing that my 9-minute deficit behind second was steadily dropping with each mile. I was determined to get up Zombie as quickly as possible, mostly to put an end to the torture of the 10% incline and the resulting pain in my lower back. It was impossible to run without being reduced to a complete shuffle so I alternated running and walking: twenty steps each, sometimes ten and then on the steepest portions, humbled myself with my best attempts a power-walking. I befriended a crew of four jogging the last “flat” part of the course after zombie and made my final pass of the day. I was in second now but still running—well, hiking—scared.




Photo by Mikkel Beisner
Photo by Mikkel Beisner
The base to Gaustatoppen felt like a mini finish and I breathed easily as the medical crew gave me the okay to continue. From there, it was just one foot ahead of the other to get up the rocky face. I kept telling myself to take it easy after a few close calls with tipsy rocks, threatening a rolled or even broken ankle with only weeks to go to Kona. Well over an hour into the hike, the dense fog, paired with the maddening feedback from hikers descending from the top (first it was “only 15 minutes to go”, then five minutes later, it was 30; there didn’t seem to be a consensus on how far we had left to go) only intensified the feelings that this was a summit-less mountain.
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The cheering got closer, then we were crawling hands and knees up the crumbling scree, starting mini-avalanches and sliding back down a bit at times, until finally the rocks gave way to stairs, then, finally, the finish line.  I crossed with minimal fanfare, staggered a few steps to the right and then curled in the fetal position against the rocky ledge in the blistering cold wind as a race official draped a blanked over my shell-shocked body. Norseman took everything I had; a complete going-to-the-well experience.

At the end of the day, I was spent. There was little celebration. The whole way up the mountain, my dad just kept repeating, “you had a phenomenal race, Maggie. Just phenomenal.” But at the end of the day, I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed by pain, so happy to just be still and not moving, that I just sat there in the little hut at the top of the mountain, depleted and numb and ready to go get myself off of Gaustatoppen and into bed.

While I did not execute on my original race plan — that was thrown out very early on — I learned that a race is not truly over until the finish line. That you can be nearly ten minutes down, in fourth place and on the verge of settling to “just finish”, only to claw your way back up to second.
I’m proud of the day I had in order to excel on such a brutal course and amazed at the experience, but this lesson—the one of perseverance in the face of adversity—is the thing I’ll treasure most from this experience and something I’ll always have in my back pocket for future races: that deep down, this resilience, this ability to bounce back regardless of the punishing circumstances, is something that no one can ever take or ever challenge.

“Men as fit as you, when your everyday strength is gone, can draw on a mysterious reservoir of power far greater. Then it is that you can reach for the stars. That is the way champions are made.” – George Yeoman Pocock
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Tri Club (with a twist) --> sheJAMS

Through my Rev3 connection, recently heard about sheJAMS from Portland, Maine.  Loved learning more about this group of ladies how they are connecting female triathletes in New England.  I would describe them as a tri-club with a twist.. learn more!


1. What was your inspiration in starting sheJAMS.
sheJAMs was started by 3 friends. Julie Andrea Melissa (that is how we got JAM). We were all hooked on Triathlons and wanted to hook other women just like us. We were all USAT Certified Coaches and wanted to find a way to use our knowledge – so we decided to do an all women’s Triathlon training program. Coreen joined us soon after the inception.

It was a natural for us because Julie is the founder of the Maine Cancer Foundation Tri for a Cure – which is an all women’s sprint triathlon to benefit cancer research, patient support and education for the Maine Cancer Foundation. This race started in 2008 and since then has raised over 7 million for the foundation. We get newbies every year – lots of them and we want to help them have the best race experience ever. It has been wonderful. This year we had over 85 women in the Tri training program. We swim on Monday’s, Run on Tuesday and Bike on Saturday’s. We provide a coach for each discipline and also provide them with a training program to do when they are not with us! It is great to see the women change over time. Many have gone on to do Half and Full distance triathlons!

We have pretty much year round training programs – Swim, Run, Spin, Boot Camp & Yoga. All great fun in a non competitive atmosphere!

2. Who is your targeted audience for this and how is your experience different?
sheJAMs joined with REV 3 in 2012. This is our third year with the “Race within a Race” concept. We limit the experience to 100 women and we really support them from coming to pick up their race packets to cheering them out on the course!! This is for the woman who wants to try an Olympic Triathlon in an all women’s atmosphere.

The race is a way to give back to women in our community. Each participant must raise $100 for Women Work & Community. This foundation helps women recognize strengths, overcome barriers, find resources, develop a plan, take action towards their goals... We believe the mission of both sheJAMs and Women Work and Community are the same in many ways!

You don’t have to be a sheJAMs member to do the REV3 sheJAMs Triathlon.....you just need to want to have fun with a bunch of women and raise a little money for a GREAT cause....

3. What upcoming events do you have planned for this yr?
REV3 sheJAMs Triathlon is our last Triathlon planned for the season, after this we will be paddle boarding and doing running races and taking a little time off before off season training starts.

*although i am a rev3 team member, i have no affiliation with sheJAMS and it is not a sponsored post*