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Ironman Kona Nutrition Lessons Learned

Later today, we are boarding a plane to Italy for the Xterra World Championship. It feels a bit strange to fly to Europe when early October has become synonymous with us heading to Kona, Hawaii. While I'm loving all the Kona spam, I'm really excited for something new and out of my comfort zone. Since our race is on the 1st, this means that on October 6th and 8th, we will be glued to our computers to watch the pros compete at the Ironman World Championship, and to cheer on our 8 athletes who are racing.  Nutrition is one of the most commonly blamed reasons for a bad race and it's also the most worrisome factor that athletes try to tightly control.  A lot of learning lessons have occurred after 9 trips to the Big Island for the Ironman World Championship. If you are racing in your first IM Kona or 10th (or somewhere in between), here are a few nutrition tips to keep your body functioning well over 140.6 miles.  Carbo-loading should not be confused with overeating. Effective g
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Pumpkin Chocolate Energy Balls

  Today is the first day of fall! It also happens to be Karel's birthday (shhh - he doesn't want to make a big deal of it 😉). In our recent weekly newsletter, Joey shared a delicious energy ball recipe with all the right ingredients to warm your belly on a crisp fall day. Enjoy!  Pumpkin Chocolate Energy Balls By Joey Mock, RD, LD, CLT With Fall comes thoughts of crisp mornings, colorful leaves, apple picking, and, if you enjoy pumpkin, getting your seasonal pumpkin fix. These no-bake energy balls make a delicious, quick, and convenient snack while offering the nutrition benefits of pumpkin (like vitamin A, potassium, and fiber) and pumpkin seeds (like magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and fiber). This recipe makes about 20 balls (using a 1 ½ Tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the mixture). Ingredients 2 cups oats ½ cup canned pumpkin puree ¼ cup almond butter ¼ cup flaxseed meal ¼ cup pumpkin seeds 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ cup maple syrup ¼ cup

A tale of two World Championship events

  The picture is from the Kona, Hawaii. On nine separate occassions for almost 2 weeks, between 2007 until 2019, this was our view in early October. The Ironman World Championship has a very special place in our hearts. I have had the privilege of racing 5 times on the Big Island and Karel has raced 4 times. At Ironman Lake Placid this year, we both earned a slot to race in Kona again. Had we accepted, we would have been heading back to the Big Island to participate in the IM World Championship.  This  is a picture   from Molveno, Italy. A place we've never been to before. On Monday, we will be flying (back) to Europe for the  Xterra World Championship . Karel qualifed at the 2021 USA Championship in Ogden, Utah. Originally I was planning to bring my mountain bike and make the trip an epic train-cation while supporting Karel but I unexpectedly received a rolldown slot after participating in the Xterra European Championship in Czech Republic and I accepted the slot for my first Xte

Moving on from a bad workout

  Ever since I started mountain biking (back in December 2021), it never feels like training. Nature feeds my soul. It's been such a fun journey and I find myself improving with every ride. We have very technical terrain where we ride - with a lot of roots, rocks, tight turns, climbs and descends - so I have been forced to learn the hard stuff very early on. But with every struggle there was motivation to continue to improve. My weakness is still cornering as I slow down a lot but it's something I'm determined to continue to work on so that it becomes a strength.  Over the past two weeks, I've really seen my skills improve. I've been able to get up and over obstacles that I've never done before. On Tuesday, Karel took me to Paris Mountain - which has some of the hardest mountain biking trails in our area. I was very scared and intimidated riding on these trails for the first time but Karel helped me ease into it and by the end, I found myself gaining a lot of co

Embracing European Eating Habits

After spending several weeks in Europe, I find it challenging to adjust to the American food culture. When I return, I am quickly reminded of the dysfunctional eating habits of many Americans. Now you may be assuming that I am talking about the oversized portions, heavily processed snacks and convenient fast food that have become normalized in the USA and are commonly contributed to obsesity and health problems. Although the food industry is partly to blame, it's actually the diet industry that I despise. As we accumulated cycling miles and elevation in the French Alps, I spent very little time on social media. When I eventually opened my Facebook app and started scrolling, I was quickly reminded of our nation's unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. After a few posts talking about intermittent fasting and low carb diets, I had to close the app as I became so frustrated to see what I was reading. Certainly, my situation is a bit unique in that Karel's family lives in Cze

Haute Route Alps Stage 7 - The finale!

  STAGE 7  August 27th, 2022 Start: Megeve, France Finish: Megeve, France 62 miles 4:21 riding time 14.2 mph average 7628 feet Climbs: Epine (6.9K), Croix Fry (11.3K), Aravis (4.4K) After 6 days, we didn't think we would make it this far. The final day. All that was between us and becoming an official Haute Route finisher was 62 miles. On any day in Greenville, riding 7600 feet would be a big climbing day but for stage 7, it was a "light" day. Besides the time trial, every stage involed over 10,000 feet of climbing. I was really looking forward to completing this event and I wore my Haute Route jersey (included in our race packet) as a celebration for making it to the last stage.  At breakfast, I looked at the results and I was safely sitting in 2nd place in my age group. Unless something extreme happened (ex. mechanical or crash), I felt like I could remain 2nd in my age group (40-44). I felt like that was a big accomplishment and I brought that motivation to the stage.