Join the Aplenglow Mountain Festival, Wednesday June 26, at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City, as Dr. Andy Pasternak of Silver Sage Center for Medicine and Sports Performance and current Medical Director for the Tahoe Rim Endurance Trail Runs presents on demystifying proper hydration. Dr. Pasternak has a wealth of professional knowledge, cutting-edge research and hands on experience to share and help runners of all levels cut through the confusion and employ science-based strategies.
The following launches a weekly blog post from Neda Iranpour, with Reno’s CBS station KTVN. I have the fortunate pleasure to train and coach Neda over the next several months in preparation for her first Edible Pedal 100 mile century. Enjoy her journey…
Before you read my blog, let me explain why I signed up for the Edible Pedal 100. I covered the EP100 scholarships for KTVN Channel 2 News where I report and anchor the morning show every weekday from 430-7am. We always say certain stories leave a lifelong impact and this was one of them. I met a couple Reno High students who were among 8 across Northern Nevada to receive an EP100 scholarship. It was immediately clear that the EP100 organizers created this event not only to provide a healthy outlet for athletes (or wannabes like me!) but they also wanted to give students a chance to showcase their locally grown and raised foods — which will be served during the race. The more people sign up for the 10, 50, or 100 mile race the more money goes right back to student scholarships so… here we go!
I walked into the bike shop with my Lululemons and my beat up Brooks running shoes and said, “I’m riding 100 miles in September, I need a bike.” They looked at me with a sweet smile and seemed to speed off to the bike rack, as if there was not even a second to spare. I tried out a couple bikes at one shop and a couple more at another shop. My baby felt just right. I hopped onto a black and green Trek and even though I know nothing about the inner workings of my bike, I know that it felt good to ride… I mean, real good.
Julie Young, Director of Silver Sage Sports Performance Center and a world champion cyclist has so kindly offered to be my coach! I will learn to ride a bike properly (from hopping on and clicking in to conquering a mountain — oh boy!). The winner of the Tour de L’ Aude (the woman’s version of the Tour de France) will train me for the grueling, yet amazing EP100. A century ride that takes cyclists up Kingsbury Grade is no joke, so they say. But, I’m sure there will be plenty of jokes along the way. I’ll gladly blog about the mishaps, the nerves, the butt soreness, and the rush of the ride! LET’S DO THIS!
I got my bike — thats a good start, right? Now what?!
Well, Julie Young (have I mentioned she is a world champion cyclist and my new coach?) she wants to meet with me to do some sort of analysis.
I am kind of nervous to meet her, she’s a PRO for crying out loud! I went to her office at Silver Sage Sports Performance Center in South Reno where I quickly learn that Julie is very detailed in checking every bone, joint and muscle to make sure I am as safe and efficient as possible on the bike. Who knew my flexibility and ankle strength mattered. Don’t you just sit and pedal?
Julie explained that when you train as much as I am about to, then it’s all about making every move as easy as possible. So the goal is “ease and efficiency” — sounds good to me!
Julie got images of me pedaling on my stationary bike. Then she pulled out what looked like a giant protractor and measured the angle of my knees. Apparently I was in a danger zone. So she adjusted my seat and my handles until all my angles were good for her. My back was straighter, my core was tighter and each rotation allowed me to use my glutes and leg muscles. My arms used to be like straight logs which would’ve killed my neck and shoulders. So Julie taught me to bend my elbows and relax. Relax I did… until I got home.
After all her adjustments I was looking forward to hopping on but guess what? I couldn’t get on!
Let me back track a sec. I raced last year in a 68 miler called Ride Ataxia in Davis, CA. So you would think clicking into those pedals would be a cinch. But the problem is… every time I had to click in or out of the bike I would get a knot in my stomach and a wave of fear would rush over me. Stop lights were my biggest fear because I would relive my many moments of falling. Do you ever worry that you could topple over and a car might run right over your head? Ok sorry for the graphic and scary thought, but this is what goes on in my twisted head. I work for the news, we see and hear it all!
But I put the fear aside because I got a giant race ahead of me and this time I think I would’ve been able to click in, if only my short legs could get over the seat. I tried over and over again but I really couldn’t reach… short people problems.
So I called Julie in a panic because I didn’t want to miss a day of training. She said to not to worry and try a seat that would allow me to sit further back and a bit lower. I went to Reno Cycling and Fitness and they got me a great demo seat. Julie said she never remembers not being able to get ON the bike so like a good coach, she wanted to see what the heck I was doing wrong so she could show me what NOT do. I hope that by the next post I will be on the bike. If not, these blog updates may be a bit… repetitive. Wish me luck!
The relay went really well. We were the second female team to finish and 14th overall (out of 120 teams). We finished in 9:03, which is about 7:30 per mile average.
I am very impressed by the dedication and mental toughness of our team. Very smart racers! Other teams had nicknames for some of our runners — like the Terminator! It is a tough course, but no one let up. Despite the heat, we had lots of fun running, cheering and just enjoying the beauty of Tahoe! It was an awesome day! Thanks again for your sponsorship!
The Folsom Sprint Triathlon proved a HUGE difference from the Tri For Real Olympic Distance race last weekend. After suffering from dehydration and low energy last weekend, I definitely learned my lesson for today. I drank copious amounts of water and “carbo” loaded (pizza and spaghetti) the last two days prior to the event. What a difference! I felt great in warm-ups; strong and energetic. In the swim, I wanted to follow my two basic rules: relaxed recovery and forceful expulsion of air under water. The most common mistake I make is to not expel my air after breathing, causing oxygen deprivation after a couple of minutes. It proved a little difficult to weed through previous waves, but I ended up with the fastest swim split overall by about 1:50. More importantly, I felt fast and in control, knowing I was having a great swim. After a quick transition to the bike (1:05, 3rd fastest) I wanted to make sure to build into the bike and focus on keeping a high cadence for the first 5-7 miles of “uphillish” riding to conserve power. I knew I was going well with good, fast, race pace breathing, but great energy. I ended up with the second fastest bike split overall and again, more importantly, knew I had a good bike leg based on my cadence and perceived power. I posted the second fasted T2 at :44 seconds and immediately got into my rhythm on the run. I wanted to make sure I stayed powerful and focused on the run. I ended up with the 7th fastest run split, but was happy with the effort and focus. I ended up as the fasted overall amateur behind a young, pro triathlete by 1:56. While the final ranking feels great, I am most pleased with the fact that I raced hard and executed on the race goals and preparation.
Todd Heinzen, o2fitness Athlete
Who doesn’t want to be able to just put on their running shoes and go for a fun, mind-clearing run and enjoy it?
That was my dream…
I asked Julie to help making me a runner. (Tall order!) My initial goal was to be able to run 3 miles on the trails without hating it – I know, lofty goal but want to give an idea of where I started.
We started with 1 minute easy run and 4 minute walk for an hour – that was the first week in March 2013. I committed to 5 workout days per week of which some was trail running, some mountain biking and some hiking. After a couple of days of no running I was so hungry for running and when there was a break from biking I was hungry for that! So Yes, Julie kept me wanting more!
It wasn’t always easy. Dealing with the weather (going out in the snow, rain and crazy desert winds) took some discipline but the mental challenge was what surprised me most. Interesting how physical training makes us dig deep within ourselves. Two days I won’t forget:
During the first month I remember having to do sets in the hills (hill runs) after which I emailed Julie, “ …if I had the energy left to cry I would’ve. I felt like the one in the back of the pack on NBC’s The Biggest Looser shuffling up the hill”. (3 months later I’m no longer shuffling!)
The other tough day was a couple of months later running sets of 75% speed drills. My note on the workout said we want to keep the carrot in front of me. Being hot and tired out on the trail I remember asking myself “why am I doing this again?” and “I don’t even want the stupid carrot”.
Thanks to Julie’s coaching on mental engagement I pushed through. I also find that concentrating on my technique while working out is a healthy way to stay focused.
During month 2 of my journey I was invited to be on a RTO (Reno Tahoe Odyssey) team which was great ,giving me a clear and definitive goal to work towards. Even going out of town twice I was able to keep up with my training going for early morning runs in Death Valley, enjoying Red Rock State Park running the trails before meeting up with my family hiking and taking to treadmills in hotels.
After 3 short months of working with Julie I can now go out for a 90 minute run in the hills behind my house covering 7+ miles and loving every minute of it! I also just ran in the RTO which was a blast and so rewarding to enjoy the pay-off of my training. It was interesting thinking of different training days while running and using what I’ve learned. My teammates, all experienced runners, really encouraged me to keep at it and I definitely will!
Thank you Julie Young, for the training, for the encouragement and sympathy at the right times and for calling me out on being a drama queen at the right times! I am looking forward to training with you again in the near future!
O2fitness athlete, Henthe Heinze