What is your background and how did you get your start in running?
I’ve always been a runner, whether it was playing on the soccer field or running around the mountains with my siblings, I have alway enjoyed being outside and moving. I ran track in junior high and high school, then continued to run on my own throughout college as a way to stay fit. It wasn’t until I had my first child that I started to train for my first road marathon. After finishing my first marathon, I was hooked with the mental high that I felt when I would finish a race and the discipline it was creating in me. However, after 38 road marathons, I started to feel like I wanted to push myself further. I entered my first trail marathon, and have not raced on the road since. I slowly increased my mileage from 50k's, to 50 milers, and eventually 100 and 200 mile races. The trails are entirely different from being on the road. I love the variety, the climbing, the single track and being in the mountains. I feel a deeper connection and sense of gratitude with everything when I’ve climbed to the top of a mountain or peak with my own 2 feet.
What is the Triple Crown Series and why did you want to complete it?
The Triple Crown Series, organized by Destination Trails, is a series of three 200+ mile ultra-marathon trail races over the course of 3 months. The first being Bigfoot 205 in August. Tahoe 206 in September. And the last, Moab 240 in October.
I completed my first 200 mile race, The Colorado 200, in 2016, and became the first woman to finish this race. The Colorado 200 changed me as a person, mother and athlete. You think you know your breaking point until you are 15 miles away from any help and you find a new breaking point. I compete in these races to find my new limit. If I don't push myself to my breaking point, I won't ever know what that point is. I want my children to see that with hard work, you can accomplish what you put your mind to. I want them to find that same strength in themselves, when they are faced with challenges. I want to be that example for them and for others.
How tough were the races and what does it take to be able to complete one?
Each race had its own vice. Although they were all on trails, the terrain and conditions varied immensely. Bigfoot, there was volcanic rock, river crossings, heat and humidity and enormous fallen trees that had to be scaled for miles and miles. Tahoe, had cold nights, high mountain ski terrain, thunderstorms and terrifying lightning. Moab, was extremely warm during the day, but dropped to 10 degrees at night. The fine red desert sand was near impossible to keep out of your shoes and clothing, causing terrible blisters and chaffing. Enduring the elements, along with the sleep deprivation, day after day and night after night takes an incredible toll on your body and mind. You discover new highs and new lows while you’re out there. I have to push myself mentally, by working my way along the course, aide station to aide station. Aide stations are anywhere from 14-20 miles apart. If I break up the race this way, I can wrap my head around completing each section and ultimately the entire course. Once I hit the halfway mark (roughly 100 miles), then single digits, I start to celebrate the reality of actually being able to finish.
How have you used Progenex products to help you recover before, during, or after runs?
My nutrition is just as important as training my body for these races. Progenex helps my body endure the physical depletion that occurs during these races! Without it, I know that I would be worse for the wear. At each aide station my husband has my shaker ready with 2 scoops of Build mixed with Recovery or More Muscle. I drink this at every stop. I take at least 4 Omega+ pills through out the day, along with 3 packets of Burn. The Omega keeps my joints moving smoothly, along with reducing the inflammation that occurs from the hours and hours of pounding. I can feel an immediate boost from the Build as it restores my glycogen levels to get me another 20 miles to the next aide station. Mixing it with More Muscle or Recovery makes it so my body is in a repair state as I continue to run. It has taken me many years to figure out what works and what my body needs. This has been key to my performance and my ability to endure the miles.
The morning of Tahoe 206, we went out to our truck, only to find that a black bear had broken into our truck shell and raided my nutrition! It was all over the ground, ripped into and sampled. We were shocked and dumbfounded! We gathered what was not destroyed or consumed by the bear, and quickly realized that I would have to ration my Progenex intake. I felt a noticeable difference. Damn bear ;) !! Who knew??!
How does it feel to be the first woman to have completed the Triple Crown Series?
Being the first woman to finish the Triple Crown Series is something that I am truly humbled by. However, I do not feel I have any more talent or grit than any of the other racers that were competing. Finishing is a huge accomplishment. I was surrounded by incredibly talented and incredibly disciplined runners. The difficulty that we all faced is something that we all share. I’m humbled to be part of this elite group.