Archive for August, 2010

Product Review – 110%. Recover. Play Harder.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 22, 2010 by Kel

  

I RARELY will post a product review as I am very particular and I have to LOVE the product for me to “brag” about it! Besides lululemon which I wear 24×7 I found my equal love in the recovery world, 110%! This product integrates ice and compression to allow for faster recovery with its unique pocket architecture. I have spent a nice amount of $ trying to find a compression garment that actually works and I hate ice baths with a passion (but TOTALLY understand the importance)!  

You can SEE the frost on the calf from the ice packs!

As I was training for Ultraman Canada I wound up on crutches due to massive inflammation of the hip and from the sheer amount of training hours my hamstrings and lower back were really feeling fatigued making training difficult. I spent a pretty penny on compression tights that did not have any compression and I was making a mess trying to ice as I refused to get in an ice bath. A few weeks prior to the race a new company surfaced and I was lucky enough to be able to quickly get a pair of Double-Life Shin/Calf Sleeves and LOVED them. I could feel the compression and put the ice packs in immediately after a run and recovery was simple and effective!   

I immediately purchased the Juggler Knickers which assisted with the recovery of my lower back and hamstrings as well as my knees and quads as there are pockets for the ice packs in each area. Again, solid compression and quicker recovery. 

But how would the compression work as it relates to fatiguing during the race? I literally ran one 21 miler, 15 miler and a few 13 milers over 4 months leading up to day 3 of my race that consisted of a 52.4 run with 2,500 feet of elevation gain which was after 260 miles of biking the previous two days. I pulled off an 8 hr 40 min run which was the 3rd fastest female run time in the history of Ultraman Canada and I did not fatigue until the last 10 miles or so! I wore the knickers on the long plane ride home  and continued during my recover and began training for my next race (100 mile trail run) 3-4 days earlier than expected. SOLID PRODUCT!   

Sporting the 110% shin/calf sleeves on day 3 of Ultraman

For a better understanding of the benefits of 110% check out the SCIENCE behind the technology.   The 110% mantra is 110% accurate in my mind: Simple, mobile, effective, and dedicated to awesome.

The Struggle, the Sacrifice, the Friendship, the Inspiration

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2010 by Kel

Friendship is a strong and habitual inclination in two persons to promote the good and happiness of one another. * Eustace Budgell  

Click on image to see Jason's message

 I remember so clearly how my unique friendship began with someone who has helped me grow emotionally, feel the joy of giving, paying it forward and using my gifts to inspire. I ran into gentlemen at Ironman Louisville and as we chatted for a bit on the run he told me he was using the Ironman to train for a Ultraman. I had no idea what this was but pretended I did and when I got home I immediately put it into a search engine and thought WOW!  

As I did some research I was struck by this one man who did Ultraman and inspired me through his positive energy and optimism. I reached out via email to explain to him how his story had inspired me to take the leap into the ultra endurance world and put Ultraman on my shortlist. He replied and the friendship began.  

One year and 8 months ago Jason Lester and I first spoke as he was willing to talk to me about his experiences of his Ultraman journey. We would talk about his goal of the Never Stop Foundation, the sacrifices he has and continues to make to see it come to fruition and his mission to inspire globally through his story. But with the sacrifices comes many dark moments and I returned the friendship by being the person he could talk to, the person that would just listen. Our friendship grew into a vision and it all came down to the simplest of points, to inspire each other to continue to reach for our goals no matter how difficult the sacrifices.  

I remember talking to Jason and he was in the process of naming an event that he was putting on and he said, “The one thing the name has to have in it is the word EPIC!” He goes on to say it will be 5 iron distance races over 5 consecutive days on 5 Hawaiian Islands. I simply said, “5” and from that EPIC5 was born. Teamwork! We have spent countless hours just hearing each other out, getting through those dark moments, helping each other to take those leaps forward and continue to inspire.  

Jason completed EPIC5 and I completed Ultraman Canada – the POWER of an inspirational friendship. Jason is about to embark on a whirlwind tour for the release of his book RUNNING ON FAITH. I could not be more proud of his perseverance to inspire globally and never giving up! 

You can pre-order RUNNING ON FAITH on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Paying It Forward – Jenni and Katelyn

Posted in Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 by Kel

Thanks to a very special and inspirational person that touches lives daily I had the opportunity to win a signed copy of “Running On Faith” and a Zoot SpeedZoot. Jason Lester posted a contest on Facebook to write and inspirational story and I had some amazing family and friends vote for my post and I won. I am  excited to pass these gifts forward to two people who have touched my life in the past few months.

Jenni and I connected through Facebook via the documentary ATHLETE and I learned that she has had chronic pain since she was training for Boston in ’09 and to this day it has not been diagnosed. She did not let this stop her and she is currently training for Ironman Wisconsin. I also learned that she lost her Dad not too many years ago and within a day or so of finding out about her Dad’s health issue her husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s (in remission now!!). As we were writing back and forth right before Ultraman Canada only a few weeks ago I found out her Mom had passed. She was her best friend and a beautiful woman. Jenni continues to stay strong through her pain and will use Ironman Wisconsin as a way to connect with her parents and use them as her “wings”.  I would like to gift “Running On Faith” to Jenni. I hope this inspires her to keep moving forward and continue to smile her beautiful smile.

Oh, my little hero Katelyn! Her Mom and Dad ran Angie’s Half Crazy! Half Marathon and enjoyed the pasta dinner the night before and heard me speak. Although I did not get the pleasure of meeting them we hook up via, you guessed it, Facebook! I started to learn more about her amazing children and Katelyn and I hit it off. Katelyn is a straight A student, just started getting into triathlon and has already done 2 and she is doing her 3rd this weekend! She is very respectful and the one thing I have been learning more about is Autism and found out that she walks her brother to lunch at school every day and was even seen giving him a kiss before she left him. Her brother has Autism and as I learn more and more about him I have a special place in my heart for him as well. What a beautiful family and a wonderful young girl that has a bright future ahead of her. Thanks for being my hero, Katelyn! Many hugs to you and your pretty smile and braids 🙂 I hope you like the SpeedZoot!

Thanks Jason for allowing me to pass this gift forward and always inspiring!

Ultraman Canada – The Journey – The Ohana

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 by Kel

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” ~ Karen Ravn

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

Through the journey of life there are some moments that help define you as a person and make you look deep into yourself and learn more about the person you are and the person you want to be. Ultraman Canada was a  defining moment in my journey and I was fortunate enough to share it with my Dad and two sisters, Carrie and Heather, as well as the amazing people who put on this special event, the volunteers and the 38 other athletes and their crew. Memorable is an understatement. Etched in my memory, heart and soul for a lifetime best describes it.

The calm before the storm: The nice thing about Penticton, BC is the absolute beauty of the land. The four of us soaked in the stunning wine country that we were surrounded by. Oh, we also talked a lot about crew duties and went over the 350 questions Carrie accumulated! The most memorable moment was when they presented me with a book that had letters and words of encouragement from my family and friends. I cried a lot. It was simply perfect and those of you who took the time to write, your words stuck with me through the 3 days. I also received a letter from Chrissie Wellington (thanks T! GOTRIbal!).

Day 1 – 10K swim and 90 mile bike: Words can’t explain how lucky I was to be paired with the most amazing swim escort, Lynn Redmond, who was familiar with the course, how to navigate it and pretty much told me she was not going off course so to stay right by her side. Lynn gave me all the confidence in the world and I started day one enjoying every moment, soaking in the stunning landscape and calm water and just eased into the water by her side and swam for 3hr 46 min. Every time I would breath to my right I would see Lynn so calm and confident I never once doubted myself. I did stop at 3 hours and tell he I felt like my arms were going to fall off 🙂  She just yelled at me, “You are almost there! Keep swimming!”  And so I did.

My sisters rocked the transition as Heather greeted Lynn to grab my garbage and ran to get my bike to the mount line and Carrie had to listen to my delirious self ask for my peanut butter and banana sandwich 10 times as she was trying to get me dressed for the bike. Sorry Carrie! The 90 mile bike was the hardest of all the stages as I was dehydrated, getting into the aero position was difficult after 10K of swimming, there was 4,000 ft of climbing and I felt bad for my crew as it is not an easy task and day 1 is the day of learning. But, they pulled through and got me out of some moments where I just needed to stop and regroup. I would have never made it without them.

Day 2 – 170 mile bike: This was the day I thought would challenge me the most. 170 miles, 5,300 feet of climbing, the images of “The Wall” that was the most difficult climb of the day and my favorite, headwind. Thanks to the amazing work of my crew the time flew by, I just kept my legs spinning, stayed hydrated, eased my way up the inclines (walked the tough part of “The Wall” :)), kept it smooth and steady into the 80 miles of headwind and only had one moment that I really needed my crew to get me out of the “dark place” and that was at mile 150 after 18 miles of the hardest false flats I had experienced. Earlier on they surprised me with M&Ms which I am forever grateful. Between the sweet snack, Carrie dancing in the street singing, “Tell Heather what you want what you really, really want,”  Heather giving me what I wanted and my Dad telling me that if I did not have to stop so many times to pee I would have a better time…I just smiled and cruised the last 20 miles in and it felt good to cross that finish line!

Day 3 – 52.4 mile run: This was the day I was waiting for. The day I would have my sisters by my side running with me and getting me to the finish. I got to watch my Dad drive the mini-van by me like a bat out of he!! just to stop every half mile to see if I needed anything. Thanks Dad and sorry I had to pee 9 more times :).  Heather and Carrie took turns pacing me every 10 miles starting at mile 5. They both participate in endurance events so they knew what was going through my head. They knew that when I did not reply I was focused and they just played the role of the silent partner. They ensured I had what I needed at every stop and told me to look down with my eyes when they knew the hard climbs were ahead. When we were at 3K+ elevation and I could not breathe they listened to my wispers and tried to translate so I got what I needed. Time: 08:40:20; Distance: 52.70 mi, Elevation Gain: 2,442 ft. I ran into the finishing shoot holding hands with my Dad, Carrie and Heather and I broke down in tears. We did it. We did it as a family. We accomplished our goal. We are closer because of it.

The Awards Banquet:  In my speech I spoke of the importance of Family and the journey we took together. Without my support structure I am nothing. It was a team event and we worked together to reach a goal that may seem on the outside to be the goal of the Athlete but in reality to succeed the crew had to want it just as bad. Each year they give an “Ohona” award. Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family. It emphasizes that family are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another. There were some amazing Athletes and crews out there but I was so proud when then announced, “Team Smirnoff!”  Dad, Carrie and Heather…I love you.