It’s not always about winning.

Hey guys, so I had a new experience this past weekend running in the competitive wave for the Fort Campbell Spartan Sprint. I have always ran in the elite heat for Spartan races in the past, but thought I would give the competitive heat a try this time since it became an option this year. There are not much differences between the two waves- the competitive just allows you to use discount codes, etc. where the elite wave does not accept many discount codes. Both waves are filmed so that you get disqualified if you do not abide by the rules.

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image taken from quotesgram.com

 

Thought #1- I like that the elite heats are separated by gender (yes I am saying this as a feminist, just hear me out). Most of us as athletes are always competing against those in our own gender category. They still tally up the overall results where you can see where you “chicked” all the guys in the end with the timing chip, if you are extremely fast. I love the feeling of being in the starting corral with all of these strong, fierce, badass women right before the race. In the competitive wave I had guys that I knew were going to be slow try to keep getting in front of me, as if I was not going to beat them. That just gave me incentive to run harder and smile when they miserably looked at me when I passed them up!

Thought #2- I did place third OVERALL (!!!!) female for the competitive wave, but I still felt like I was missing something. Even though I have never had an overall podium at a Spartan event, I have placed in my age group, which shows me that with more training I could be in the top percentile of these events. Even though I know I may not place in age group, as in the Asheville race, I feel accomplished that I am out there with extremely difficult competition and keeping up. It forces me to push my limits so that I can grow as an athlete. In the competitive wave, there were some girls that were “complaining” about the height of the walls and the difficulty of the course. You never hear whining and complaining in the elite heat! It is just a different mind set between the two options.

Thought #3- Even though I may say to myself that I am just going to show up and run “for fun”, I know deep down that I am competitive. So back to thought 2, I want to push my self in every way possible so that I can get better and start placing. That being said, I am totally looking to just buy an annual race pass next year so I can get better in this rapidly growing sport!

Cocoa-Matcha-Energy Bars

Ingredients: 

1 cup of dried dates (Make sure they are pitted)

1 cup of dried figs

1 cup of shelled pistachios (unsalted)

1 cup of unsweetened coconut

3-4 tablespoons of matcha powder

3-4 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder

2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

3 tablespoons of hemp seeds

Directions: 

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor (Mine is a Ninja) and blend until smooth-ish. If it looks too dry add a few extra dates or coconut oil to moisten. You can either roll the mixture in to ball shapes or throw in a baking dish and cut into squares later. I put mine in a 9×9 baking dish and covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can then cut into squares to be eaten later.

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So how’s life been?

So for those of you that follow me on Facebook, it is pretty obvious from my pictures and posts lately that I am officially in the throes of my end of summer race season. I haven’t posted in a few weeks due to life being extremely busy, but I have several updates.

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What has life been like post whole 30?

So Whole 30 was great for my body and I needed the reset, however it takes a lot of time and money to prepare meals ahead of time and eat 100% clean for 30 days. I am still eating a mostly primal diet (I am saying primal rather than “paleo” because I am eating organic cheeses, yogurt, milk etc.- which is not allowed with paleo). One thing that I added back in was dairy because it is a great affordable source of protein, but I make sure to buy organic and without a lot of sugar. I am also eating some gluten free oatmeal and cereal for some extra carbs now that my mileage is back in the double digits. Also… Peanut butter. I am sorry, but this is my number one vice. Things that haven’t worked out well so far are breads and Mexican food for some reason- I tried this last week at a training and was sick for 2 days. Not sure if it was just the restaurant that catered or the fact that I had not had tortilla chips, beans, or those seasonings in over two months.

What have I been doing?

So in the past month I have done a lot of running and racing! 3 weeks ago I ran the new trail ways at Norris Dam with friends and then did Mt. Leconte the following day- so a total of 20 miles for Sat./Sun. Then the next week I competed in the Xterra Panther Creek ½ marathon and placed 1st in age group!!!! Then… Last weekend I did my first Spartan in a year and a ½ and ran the Asheville Super Spartan. I ran the Spartan for fun, but realized that I do need to improve grip strength and stamina on the hills. I am hoping to do much better when I do the Carolinas Beast in October, with new training ideas. I placed 23 in age group which was okay considering the competition that was there in the women’s elite heat.

August is a busy month for some reason- it is for sure the hottest here in the south, so I am pretty sure that race directors are just sadistic and want to put on a race every weekend to torture us! This weekend I am doing Haw Ridge Trail Race and the following weekend is the Tennessee Spartan Sprint. Both of these races will be shorter distances- I am hoping to do well, but realize that you can’t realistically perform your complete best with little to no rest. This month is about pushing my mental limitations and amping up my training for the winter.

I have been continuing to do cross fit mixed in with my runs. My body is finally adapting and I am not left so sore that I can’t move after the workouts now. I can tell my grip strength is improving (something that is important for OCR) and I am so determined to get some strict pullups again. We are currently doing “summer of deadlifts” and I am now at 135 pounds this week. We will work up to a one rep max and build from there. I am noticing a huge difference in core strength and my speed is improving on hill workouts, due to all of the glute and hamstring work with deadlifts and squats.

What’s coming up for Me?

So I officially lost my mind and I have signed up for the Georgia Death Race (68-ish miles) for next April. To prepare, I will be doing a couple of 12/24 hour endurance events, 50K, and 50 Mile (Lookout Mountain Chattanooga) in December. I just want to finish these races since I consider myself new to ultra-running and haven’t done a 50K since November 2014.

What does a typical day of training look like?

With having two simultaneous careers going currently, I have to be creative with planning my workouts. When I am doing personal training- I get some mobility and core work in with my clients that are advanced- jumping in on some parts of their workouts also pushes them to test their own limits.

Tuesdays/Thursdays are dedicated to running. I will do a hill workout and a speed workout on either day. On my day off is a long run, usually on trails. If I am not too sore I will add in an extra day in the week to do an easy 3-5 mile run.

M, W, F- are usually cross fit days. I try to do some other cardio for cross training as well such as the stair climber or rower. Sometimes due to my workout schedule I have to combine days and will do my run then do cross fit or vice versa. I try not to do that as it ends up being a two hour workout on those days and I am depleted for work the next day.

I also try to do Yoga at least once a week- usually Sunday or Monday.