The last week of our triathlon training programs, we host a mock triathlon for our athletes so they can practice putting all 3 sports together to get ready for their upcoming race. Last year, as we were finishing up a mock triathlon for our She Tris training group, one of the ladies in the group came across the finish line and said, “Thank you for cheering for me! No one ever cheers for me!” Her statement caused me to pause and I didn’t know what to say right away. She had shared that she had a rough year going through a divorce and was finally doing something for herself. Then I thought maybe she never put herself in situations where people could cheer for her? But could that be right? Don’t we do things almost every day where you could use an “atta girl” or “go girl” to push onward? That just shouldn’t be that a person never gets cheered on.
A few months later a friend that I met through Tri it for Life was taking on her first full Ironman distance race and shared with me that she was really perplexed by those who questioned her ability to do the distance and questioned why she was doing this race. And again I thought, “Why? Why do we do this to each other?”
Even this weekend while I was running the Charlie Post 15K race, there was a volunteer that I saw at 4 different points. The race got really spread out and at some points I couldn’t see anyone in front of me or anyone behind me. This woman just watched me run by all 4 times without saying a word. I thought, why wouldn’t you cheer someone on? Perhaps she didn’t feel like it? Perhaps she thought I didn’t need it? Oh, but I did. The infamous Peggy Klimecki cheers carry me far every time she’s out there. And Coach Chris Bailey, even though I’m not one of his runners, always cheers for me and yells, “Eyes up!” And he’s so right! And it helps! I so need those cheers. We all do.
As we head into another Tri if for Life season, an incredible organization that is a big part of my “why”, it is filled with women that cheer non-stop for one another for 16 weeks and beyond. I encourage everyone to cheer anyway – even if you don’t think she needs it, even if you don’t feel like it. Make yourself do it. Cheer anyway. We all need it.
So much has happened this past year. In our Blue Sky newsletters we've covered a LOT of topics. A lot of great information is out there at your fingertips to make you a better athlete and I might add a better person.. well maybe. Topics covered include how to set goals, proper ways to train for the swim/bike/run, nutrition, recovery, and what to do in the off-season. In case you have missed any of the newsletters by say deleting them before reading them--totally by accident I know-- you can visit our website to review them all, simply click here for hours of happiness.
As the new year approaches however, we don't want to spend our time looking in the rear view mirror at the year that has passed. It's time to start looking ahead. Our partner coach, Rick Kattouf, has some words of wisdom on:
"Stretchin' the Comfort Zone"
Ahhh, the New Year is upon us; always an exciting time for setting new goals. It is very easy to get stuck into a routine, glued to old habits (many of which need an overhaul) and feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Let’s make 2018 the year to try something(s) new. It’s time to stretch that comfort zone, embrace the new & uncomfortable, and go for it. Maybe you want to get to the gym and start strength training. Maybe you want to compete in a Duathlon (run-bike-run). Maybe you want to set that road bike aside and purchase a Triathlon bike, get comfortable in those aero bars and take your multisport training and racing to a new level. Whatever the ‘new’ is for you in 2018, let’s grab that lunch pail, roll up those sleeves, put on that hard hat and let’s get to work!
What can you do? Try something new! There are several new races in the area, most notably the Swim/Run at the Blue Sky Endurance Fest on April 22nd. It will be a full day of challenging athletic competition, food, and fun. With no other event in the Lowcountry like it, Blue Sky Endurance Fest offers a unique and challenging combination of races.
Race Format: Swim, run, repeat (optional). Swim a one-mile loop and directly follow it with a one mile off road running loop. Racers doing the Double Dip will repeat this format twice (Swim-Run-Swim-Run) for a total of 2 miles of swimming and two miles of running. Racers completing the Third Times a Charm will repeat this format three times (Swim-Run-Swim-Run-Swim-Run) for a total of three miles swimming and three miles running. How cool is that?!
Time to take the plunge, not the polar plunge, this plunge involves no pucker factor. Try the local Swim//Run! Try a triathlon. Do a duathlon. Stretch your comfort zone! Sign up now!
-- Coach Siobhan Maize
The Topo difference...lightweight, roomy to box, low drop, and Award Winner: Best Debut on Runner's World Magazine. Perfect for any runner looking for extra room.
Read why athlete Sonja Randall loves her new Topo Ultryfly's!
"FINALLY...Topo review: When Blue Sky Endurance began carrying Topo's, I was dying to try them since they boast being a wide toebox shoe. I have wide feet plus a bunion, so overlays or any type of structure, often aggravate me if not in the right "place" especially on long runs. Lately even my "wide sneakers" were giving me issues, so I was definitely on the look out to try something new. I went into the store for nutrition and Elliot casually asked if I had tried them, I said I had not but wanted to and 25 min later walked out with a pair of Ultrafly's! From the moment I put them on, my feet were happy. I have since put some mileage on them and I am in love with these shoes! Wide toe box, overlays do NOT irritate. They are very responsive as I go along and the cushioning is PLENTY for both long and short runs! These are absolutely my new running shoe of choice! I would highly recommend going to see my friends at Blue Sky and testing them out!! Thanks BSE!!"
- Sonja Randall
We agree Sonja, we love them too!
May the 4th be with you--the 4th discipline of triathlon
We're continuing our discussion about triathlon as peak triathlon season continues. Over the past 3 months we've covered the basics of swim, bike, in triathlon. This month we're going to focus on the 4th discipline--but what is that?? Here at Blue Sky we discovered -- after a heated discussion, perhaps with the fists flying-- that maybe people have different ideas about what that 4th discipline is. Is it nutrition? Is is recovery? or is it transition? In the spirit of democracy we'll cover all three over the next three months. However, because I write the newsletter I WIN..achem I mean, we randomly decided to cover nutrition first.....
NUTRITION: Often referred to as the 4th aspect of a triathlon. As your race gets longer and longer, nutrition plays a bigger and bigger role in your quest to become a triathlete, but without proper nutrition in your training and racing for any distance race, you won't be able to get out of bed in the morning or make it across the finish line of a race. Efficient athletes have proper nutrition at the right time.
What should you do? The two most important "WH--" questions when thinking about nutrition are What and When?
What do you need?
1. Hydration (meaning what you should drink, but I love to use buzz words, see below in our product spotlight. I'm fancy like that. Plus it makes me feel smart). Think about Goldilocks when you're planning out your nutrition-- the key is not too much or too little. Depending on your size you need to drink as little as 16-18 ounces or up to 20-25 ounces an hour. For distances that take longer than an hour, make sure you're drinking an electrolyte drink as well (Heed, Tailwind, E-Fuel, not gatorade please, yuck).
2. Calories (meaning food, yes another fancy word from me). When exercising it's important to eat food that your body can easily disget - complex carbs such as gels, sport beans, etc - and stay away from solid food that can sit in your stomach like a gut-bomb. How many calories do you need? Again, it depends, if a race is under 90 minutes you don't need to eat any calories during the race as long as you properly fueled before the race. For races longer than 90 minutes, here again it depends on the length of the race, but in general you will need 150-200 or so calories an hour. This can be in the form of sport gels and your electrolyte drink. Overall don't forget the cardinal rule DON'T TRY SOMETHING NEW ON RACE DAY!
When do you need to worry about nutrition?
This falls in to 2 categories- pre-workout/race and post workout/race
1. Pre-Race: The week leading up to your big race, don't change your eating. Eat as you normally would eat, but taking extra care to make sure that you are hydrated going in to the race. If you are racing an Ironman or Ultra marathon you can reduce the amount of fiber a few days before the race, but otherwise don't change-- we like you just the way you are--. The night before the race eat a NORMAL sized meal-- pasta, chicken with rice or potato, pizza- whatever it is, make sure it's NORMAL size, not biggie size. We've been tricked into thinking we need to 'carbo load' the night before the race and that's not the case. Sorry to burst your bubble. Morning of the race top off your nutrition eating 2 -3 hours before the race if you have time, or something light (that you've practiced during training)--training is the time to test out foods
2. Post-Workout/Race: THIS is when your body 'carb loads'-- your body is recovering from the intense training and racing. You need to replenish what is lost so your body can rebuild. The sweet spot is within 30-60 minutes post workout/race. At this point you want to eat something that is a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. For example: almond butter/banana sandwich, oatmeal with fruits, greek yogurt with berries, avocado toast or a handy recovery fuel provided by Hammer Nutrition or any number of sports nutrition companies. Remember training causes physical stress and depletion, recovery allows for recovery from that stress.
Whoa that got serious for a second there. Overall don't forget to consider nutrition as an important part of your training and racing. Proper nutrition will help you fly by your competitors with enough energy to smile:)
By Coach Siobhan Maize
“You should write a blog. You should write a blog. You should write a blog.” People have been telling me this for some time now and I always pause and think to myself, “like, when?” Do they say it because I have 5 kids and they think this chick must have some crazy sh** to reveal? If I did write a blog, I always thought it would be titled, “Things That I Can’t Believe I Just Said”. Things like, “How did blood get all over this wall?” and “Who put this booger here?” But since it’s the 1 year anniversary of my Big Jump named Blue Sky Endurance, I thought it would be fitting to finally write a blog. I can’t say when I’ll write another one, but here goes. I’d like to title this one, “Descending”.
The idea of owning something of my own someday had been bouncing around in my head for a long time and wouldn’t leave me alone. Then a series of big life moments and that YouTube video of Steve Harvey asking people for once in their life to “just jump”. I think I watched that video at least 20 times. Mr. Harvey articulated exactly where I was, standing on the edge of the cliff watching others soar. He cautioned that my parachute wouldn’t open right away after I jumped. That I’d get cuts and bruises on the way down, but that eventually my parachute would open, that God wasn’t going to let me fall. I’ve definitely jumped and I’m descending, some days rapidly, some days almost like a feather floating down, but definitely descending. No, my parachute hasn’t opened yet and yes, I’ve gotten some cuts and bruises, just like he predicted, but to quote Oprah, “I know this much is true”:
Before the Big Jump, this was something I didn’t realize I had so little of -- Confidence. You see this word everywhere and it’s used so nonchalantly, as if it should come naturally, as if you should be able to summon it upon demand, just like that. *snap* There it is. You go girl! Believe in yourself! But alas, it’s not there. You scrape and search for a shred to blaze forward as you swan dive off that cliff. But should it really be there just because they say so? If I wear this t-shirt that says so or put on this make up will it happen? Or is it something that is earned, like most things in life?
I have found that authentic confidence comes through the willingness to just try. It comes through getting yourself to take action even when you don’t believe in yourself. And as you push yourself to try, then the belief starts to come and you start to see what might be possible, that God really isn’t going to let you fall. And as you start to believe, that is when the confidence sets in. This past year, I have pushed myself so hard to just try that now I believe I can figure out almost anything that comes my way. To me, that is authentic Confidence.
I see it every day in the men and women that walk into the result of my Big Leap, Blue Sky. Some own their confidence, some pretend to own it and most are searching for it -- that authentic confidence. And I get it. I look up and I see the ones still standing on the edge of the cliff and looking down or standing a safe distance back, coasting safely in cruise control through life.
As I continue to push myself, I also look up at the cliff and I encourage people to just try. Push yourself to try whatever that thing is in your life that won’t leave your brain. It’s bouncing around up there for a reason. It wants you to at least try it. It is okay if you don’t believe right away, eventually you will, but you have to at least tri ;)