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Amanda's Blog

May 8, 2012

Knoxville Rev3 Recap

Welcome to Tennessee

Welcome to Tennessee, the land of the Volunteers. Life is Orange and White!

I graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1995. Going to a SEC school, I feel a lot of pride, especially since I was a varsity athlete. Since REV3 started putting on a race in Knoxville, I have been fortunate enough to go back to my Alma Mater for the past three years. This year was exceptionally special however, because I was able to meet the Long Family, from Nashville (3hours away). I have been deeply inspired by these little boys since seeing their ESPN interview. You can check it out here:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7208128

One rainy, snowy day in Boulder this past winter I was putting off my workouts. I was cruising the internet when I came across their story. Like I have done so many other times, I “tweeted” their video. After I tweeted it, it was re-tweeted..again and again by several of my followers. After a few days, Steven Harad from Kestrel contacted Michael and me asking what we thought we could do for this family. I honestly didn’t think we could do anything…until I looked at my race calendar. The light bulb went off! I knew that I would be racing in Knoxville May 6th. And I knew that the Long’s lived about 3 hours away. My goal became to give them a PRO experience at the REV3 Knoxville Race. I contacted every single one…

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April 23, 2012

New Orleans 70.3. Post race thoughts.

New Orleans

This past weekend Michael and I traveled to New Orleans for the 70.3 Half Ironman. This race was not originally on our race calendar, but after missing California a few weeks back, we thought this would be a good race for us. We have friends in New Orleans and we have always wanted to do this race. We thought this year would be the perfect opportunity.

Race day weather conditions brought high winds gusting up to 40mph which changed the triathlon into a duathlon. The new format was a 2 mile run, 51 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. We kept getting race updates from the race director prior to race day, so this was no surprise to us. Michael and I talked about a new race plan the night before which we both agreed on. Since we usually get out of the water 90 sec to 3′ down from the lead swimmers, we now had the opportunity to start the bike with more than one or two people. We were both so excited about this.

The 2 mile run went off without a hitch. It felt effortless. I think everyone had the same thoughts as to not go crazy. In fact, most of the girls ran together in a nice little group. We all came into transition together and I was actually first out of T! Now that is a FIRST!!! I jumped on my bike and was off!…

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March 23, 2012

Celebrating Life

Young Frisk

Today we are celebrating the life of Frisco Gillam. Frisco has been my beloved companion for the past 15 years…which is longer than I have known ML.  We first met on a farm in North Baltimore. He was the fattest and sweetest kitten of the bunch. Frisco was a fierce hunter and killer of birds, bunnies, squirrels, or anything else that got in his way. He also enjoyed the company of my dogs, occasionally attacking my whippet, Blue…which we strongly discouraged.

He loved to entice people to rub his tummy. And he loved to chew on my hand. More than anything, he loved to curl up on my lap and enjoy gentle pets.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Big Frisk:

Frisk in his younger years.

Michael and Frisco

…sunning himself on the deck

Frisco at the Vet.

Caught in the act…

The whole gang.

Stretch!

Check out Mr. Frisc’s big blue bow after his bath

Lovin’

Our friend John with Frisco this past December.

Frisco and Blue

Frisky and Luna’s Pig…Pig Domination.

Sunning himself…

Dealing with losing Frisco this week has been the most difficult thing that I could have imagined. I have spent my days crying, not sleeping, and making myself sick. I have not trained. And I have been emotional and sad. I knew that his day would eventually…

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March 20, 2012

Puerto Rico 70.3 Race Recap

Race morning started at 4am Sunday.

I had my normal breakfast of rice cereal and watered down coffee. I felt well rested. I felt nervous. I felt ready to race! I had a plan. And I intended to follow it!

Michael and I took our easy walk to the swim start from the Caribe Hilton. I had a energy bar, topping off my glycogen levels. My nutrition for this race was perfect. I was topped off and ready to go.

I had a nice little swim warm up. I was SO NERVOUS! I picked the perfect start spot for the swim. I was not going to be left behind this time. The gun went off…I had the PERFECT start position…and the perfect start! . I didn’t feel great, but I felt ok. I lost a group after a few minutes…but then someone from my right passed me. I thought to myself that this was a GIFT from God. I tried to jump on her feet, but I had nothing. While my arms were working well, I had no kick. That sometimes happens to me in a non wetsuit swim. I seem have “lazy” legs. I tried to kick, but it made me feel numb. I ended up swimming with my Brazilian friend Ariane for the remainder of the swim. Swimming with her felt effortless. I tried to go ahead of her a few times, but the ease and effort of…

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February 23, 2012

Winter Training.

Big Frisc

Deciding to stay in Boulder was a no brainer this year. Despite cold temperatures and wind that Boulder can encounter, we felt like the best decision for us was to stay in Boulder this winter. There are lots of reason that we decided to NOT pack up and head south for the winter. But our primary reasons are our Senior cat, Frisco and Senior Dog, Blue. Senior pets are tough at times, emotionally. At 14 years old, Blue is in good health, however, he is has his senior days…which means he has days that he isn’t quite himself. Last year while in Austin, he did not do well. He had a lot more bad days than good days. Finding a vet there was a bit traumatic for all of us. We have had some bad health scares concerning our 15 year old cat that usually stays in Boulder with a house sitter while we are away for our 5 month stints. While he is feeling much better now after a few surgeries, it didn’t feel “right” to pack up and leave again.  I would have never forgiven myself if he passed on to kitty heaven while we were away.

We Lovato’s have been very lucky by picking this year as the year to stay put. Boulder has been blessed with a rather mild winter. December only saw a few coldish days with some snow around Christmas time. If you…

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February 3, 2012

Product review! The Brooks Utopia Hoodie

Brooks Utopia Hoodie

I just received a small shipment of Brooks apparel and have fallen in LOVE with the Utopia Thermal Hoodie!

This is my favorite piece of running gear yet!

Not only does it look great, but it is extremely functional.  On the way to the REZ for a speed workout this week, Michael and I watched the temperature drop and drop and drop…all the way down to 23 degrees.  It was a bit windy, It was 6:30 in the morning, and we were convinced that we (I) was underdressed.

With only a light undershirt, this Thermal Utopia Hoodie kept me quite comfy during my run session. This hoodie is awesome! This piece is absolutely perfect for speed workouts, casual running, and even hanging out at the coffee shop afterwards! It feels great, looks great, and fits perfectly! In fact I am ordering another one!

You can check it out here:

http://www.brooksrunning.com/Utopia-Thermal-Hoodie/220304617%2e030,default,pd.html

Thanks Brooks for helping stay warm during this Boulder winter!

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February 1, 2012

My First Endurance RACE Nutrition Plan

Robert from First Endurance asked some of his athletes to share their race day nutrition plans. Through a lot of trial and mostly error, I have developed my nutrition plan. Here is my “typical” day before and race day plan.
My First Endurance Nutrition Plan:
70.3 Racing.

Two days prior to racing, I tend to stay light on meat. I try not to eat wheat, dairy, or gluten. I have had a long history of having GI related problems, especially while racing. And I have tried NUMEROUS nutrition plans. However, I find that if I stick to a very simple plan, close to 3000 calories per day, two days out, I feel the best and preform my best.

Here is my typical “Day Before The Race” diet plan:

Breakfast: .5c Hot Rice Cereal
Agave Syrup or honey
1c of coconut milk
Blueberries

Snack:      4-6 rice Cakes with Justin’s Nut Butter
Blueberries, raspberries, or melon

Lunch:      Turkey Sandwich with mustard on Gluten free bread or an Udi’s bagel. Avocado, lettuce, sprouts, etc.

Snack:    Cappacino Ultragen Smoothie (2 scoops) with Cherries, 1.5cups of vanilla coconut milk, and ice.

Dinner: 2-3 cups of Rice Pasta with Marinara sauce
An Udi’s bagel

Throughout the day, I sip on Lemon Lime EFS. While exercising, I sip on Vanilla Liquid Shot and Lemon- Lime EFS.

Race Morning:

Breakfast: 1 Udi’s Bagel, 1 packet of Vanilla Almond Butter by Justin’s.

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January 20, 2012

Pucon 70.3~Race Day. The Volcano. Part 3 of our Race-Cation.

Body Marking

Race morning didn’t start off like any of my other race mornings. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. And when I say I didn’t sleep, I mean it. I woke ML up at 5am. I tried to eat some breakfast. I couldn’t eat. My stomach was in turmoil. I didn’t feel sick, but I did feel nausea. I attributed it to nerves and decided to not fight it. I figured that when I felt hungry, I would eat. That was my first mistake race morning. I believe that I had about 50-100 calories for breakfast.

ML and I scampered down to transition, which was only 2 minutes away. I met up with my Perro. It was good to see my fuzzy black friend. The lines into transition were long. Officials were checking bracelets and helmets. No big deal though…

Check out my hot new Betty designed Splish Suit! Thanks Kristin and Ira for putting all of my ideas into place. I love it! xx

Michael’s sweet ride and his Brooks Pure Connect shoes!

More body Marking. And yes, ML is taking the pictures. He loves this sort of stuff… :)

Here is my sweet ride. I love my Kestrel 4000!!!

ML and I went our separate ways. As I left Transition, a security guard stopped me and said something in Spanish. My response: No Hablo Español. Instead of trying to communicate in English or…

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January 19, 2012

Our Race-Cation in Pucón-Part 2

Amanda and Priscilla

One of my absolute highlights of our trip was my morning run with my black Perro. It didn’t matter what time I decided to go for a run, my black, furry dog was always waiting for me outside of the hotel. Luna would have been SO jealous. This particular dog was very young, probably homeless, but well taken care of. I always felt so guilty going back to the hotel and leaving my perro behind after our run together. He knew that he wasn’t allowed in the hotel..and more than once, one of the staff member’s chased him off. :(

One of the things that I love about Pucón is that all of the homeless dogs are well cared for by the locals. From what I saw, there were not any starving dogs hanging around. I really liked that.

Friday brought a little more swimming and biking. ML and I could tell that we were feeling better and better with each passing day from the jet lag.

We did some press/media stuff which was pretty cool. ML spoke Spanish. I spoke English.

I met a young, Argentinian fan in the grocery Store, named Priscilla. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Priscilla was getting ready for the kids race on Saturday. She is 11 years old. We became great friends by Sunday evening. :)

On Friday, ML and I had the PRO press conference and the Pasta Party which was loads of fun.…

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January 19, 2012

Our Race-cation in Pucón! (Part1)

Puerto Sagua

Michael and I have traveled the world, especially in our years of being triathletes. We have been to some pretty extraordinary places, Pucón being one of them. When we were offered the opportunity to return this year, we could not refuse.

Our travel started early  Tuesday morning at 4am, January 10th. Our first stop was Miami. Since it was early in our adventure, our excitement was high, and we had a 6-hour layover, we decided to find some good Cuban food in South Beach. ML and I love Latin foods. I especially love green plantains.

It felt great to eat a healthy meal before our flight to Santiago.

Our flight to Santiago was uneventful. We tried to sleep as much as possible, but it really didn’t happen. One of the lessons that I learned is always try to sleep on a flight/trip lasting this long. I really wish I had brought some ear plugs and a Tylenol PM…or 2! Waking up and trying to function as a normal human being was absolutely BRUTAL.

We arrived in Santiago 9 hours later and 1hr 30 before our flight departed for Temuco. It wasn’t enough time…With customs and immigration, we narrowly missed our flight which resulted in us standing in line for another hour to switch flights. One thing that I am extremely grateful for is that ML speaks Spanish beautifully. He always manages to get out of a pickle.…

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