This past weekend started off with a signing at the ZIPP booth on Saturday. Zipp has been a favorite sponsor of Team Lovato for 2 years! We feel so lucky to have them be a part of our race arsenal! Michael and I really enjoyed signing ZIPP posters for our fans. In fact our 1hour slotted time quickly became almost 2hours! Michael and I were very surprised to have so many folks wanting to meet us and wanting posters of us!  We also enjoyed giving away Team Lovato visors, and giving out free liquid shot flasks and water bottles from First Endurance. One of the most frequent questions Michael and I receive is about nutrition while racing. We had several questions concerning the First Endurance line. And Michael and I love sharing our knowledge! I was extremely pleased to see a few of our Team Lovato visors out on the race course on Sunday! Michael and I were definitely feeling the love!

Boulder 70.3

Race day morning started off a bit like it has all season long. The biggest difference for me, however, this past race weekend was that I was able to sleep in my own bed (I love my T3 King size mattress!) and eat breakfast in my own kitchen. I admit, it was a relief to not travel. I woke up 3 hours before race start. I had my normal breakfast of hot rice cereal with blueberry syrup and a cup of coconut yogurt. I took my First Endurance Optygen Vitamins and my Multi-V also by First Endurance. Lastly, I made sure that I hydrated, consuming more than 50 oz of water. I knew that it was going to be a hot race day and I wanted to make sure that my hydration and energy stores were topped off before arriving at the start.

Michael and I arrived at the race start at 5:20am, which was about 1hr15 before start time. I love arriving to a race without feeling the pressure of running out of time or feeling rushed. This is what I call “Gillam Time”. I felt very relaxed and I felt at ease seeing all of my friends at my home town race. I did my normal race routine , which included setting up my transition, doing my routine warm-up, sipping on EFS, taking my final hit of gel, and finally putting on my TYR Hurricane wetsuit.

The race started off without a hitch. We were off and swimming right at 6:33, three minutes after the pro men.  I was very surprised at how rough the start of the swim was. I was dunked, kicked in the head, body slammed…not once, but on two separate occasions within the first 25 yards! Before I knew it, a tightly formed group was 15 yards ahead of me. I looked to the right of me and saw a few girls that I knew should not be with. Thanks to Monica’s swim program that she put together for Michael (and for me by default), I have been extremely confident in my swimming the past few weeks. I did not panic or get down on myself. Instead I put my head down and swam hard. The only time that my head came out of the water was to take a breath. The hard work paid off. Within 15 minutes, I caught that compact group and positioned myself somewhere in the middle. I relaxed, preparing myself for the bike.

Focused on the swim

I transitioned onto the bike leg on my 700c Kestrel 4000.  (I constantly get questions about which bike (650c vs 700c) I prefer). While I prefer my 650c bike, I really love the 808 Firecrest Zipp wheel. I have never had the opportunity to ride it because it does not fit a 650 bike. I took that opportunity to ride it on Sunday and it did not disappoint! I love the 808/disc set up!

Michael gave me a specific plan for both loops of the bike. The first loop went off without any issues. The bike felt fluid and easy. I especially love that I know this course like the back of my hand. I knew every crack in the road, every incline/decline. I did not however, anticipate the amount of age groupers on my second loop of the course. Barry Siff had warned us in the pro meeting to be careful and that the course would be very full on the second lap, but I didn’t really grasp it until I was in it! All I can say is WOW! It’s tough to compete with overly excited age group men who are only 10 miles into the bike course. It’s safe to say that I was a bit frustrated by the end of the ride and felt excited to get off the bike.

amanda bike 2

My First Endurance Nutrition on the Bike: 60 oz of water mixed with 3 scoops of Grape EFS (150 calories) Liquid Shot (400 calories). I take in sips of the shot every 30′ of the bike.

I started the run in third place, about 8 minutes behind Angela and 2:30 behind Kelly. Again, Michael laid out a plan for me on the run. I followed it precisely. After the first mile which felt “awkward”, my next few miles felt easy. I was floating. I kept hearing go Amanda!!!  I was really feeling the love! My only problem was that at around mile 6 my stomach did not feel “right”. The thought of taking in gel, gatorade, coke, etc made me nervous. I didn’t want to crap myself or vomit, especially in my glitter bikini! I have “gotten away” with not eating on the run in previous races and I decided to make a tactical decision of only drinking water. Since I had done a great job on the bike with my intake of calories, I felt confident that this was the right decision. However, with about 2.5 miles to go, I started to cramp a bit and see some black spots. My final 2 miles were 20-30 sec slower than my slowest pace during the entire run. The girls behind me put 90 sec-2:00 into me that final few miles. Thankfully, I had enough of a cushion to hold them off. Having the home town advantage has it’s perks! The energy from my friends on the course kept me going especially without those much needed calories and deathening heat!

Amanda Lovato Amanda Lovato

After the race, Michael showered me with kisses and encouragement. I really am a lucky girl to have such a wonderful and supportive husband. Michael decided to not race Boulder for a few reasons…however his number one reason and his number one goal was to support me. Best husband ever!

It’s taken me a year and a half to get back on the podium and it feels AWESOME! A big thank you to my sponsors: TRAKKERS/REV3, TYR, Kestrel, First Endurance (MILD grape EFS!!) Zipp Wheels (Love the 808/Disc combo!), ISM Saddles (I can wear a bikini with that awesome saddle!), AVIA, Splish (can you say glitter-kini?!? LOVE IT!!!!), Kristin at Betty designs (butterflies!), Vision, Recovery Pump (Pump it Up! Legs felt amazing!), Jack and Adams, Louis Garneau (My Vorttice was the talk of the race…all the girls love it), & Cycleops (I love my Joule and used it to dial in my bike race ride). It was especially an honor for me to represent one of my longest standing sponsors who are right here in Boulder, Boulder Running Company.  BRC and Splish were my first EVER sponsors. I have been with them since beginning my professional career in 2003. I consider these guys family!  I plan on being with them until the end of my career!  Lastly, thank you Boulder. Boulder is my home, my family, my friends. It is especially special for me to share my podium finish with you!

Next race: Muskoka 70.3!