Running with the Hayneses

Tri Talk Tuesday: Support Crews

 

It’s time for Tri Talk Tuesday! This week CourtneyMiranda, and Cynthia have decided to talk about support crews!

Tri-Talk-Tuesday

I personally am a FIRM believer in having a good support crew! Seriously, it can often make or break your race. They are especially helpful in ultra marathons, because they can actually give you aid along the course, but they are still vital in a triathlon-especially a long-course triathlon!

My constant support crew is my family, specifically my husband and my parents. Ever since my husband and I started dating, he has been at EVERY SINGLE RACE of mine! It didn’t matter the race, the distance, the time, or the location; he has always been there. He has spent many a Saturday or Sunday getting up WAY before the sun, and many a long day driving me to the race site, helping me with my gear, giving me last minute advice, taking pictures of me, cheering me on through the race by walking/biking/driving to different spots to see me, scraping me off the ground at the finish line, helping me check out my gear, and driving me home at the end of the day. Seriously, I couldn’t do the races I do without him!

John and I before the start!

My parents are also a BIG part of my support crew. They aren’t always able to be at every race, but they have been at MANY of my races, and ALL of the important races I’ve ever done. They’ve traveled hours just to spend the day watching me race, cheering me on and congratulating me at the finish. Even the races that my parents haven’t been able to come to, they always support me from afar! They check in with me before and after my race, and have John send them updates while I’m on the course. They are seriously invested in every race I’ve ever done!

My dad and I at the finish of Syracuse 70.3.

In the marathons and ultra-marathons I’ve done, they’ve supplied all the race food, worked to re-fill my hydration pack at aid stations, brought changes of shoes/clothes for me, pieced me back together after bad races, and even spent much of their valuable vacation time at races.

My parents even took on the subway system of Boston to cheer us on at several points during the Boston marathon!

Last year, I was undertaking my biggest challenge yet–my 140.6 Rev3 Triathlon. My husband obviously went with me, but my parents and BOTH my sisters also traveled 10+ hours literally just to watch me race! They knew they wouldn’t get to spend much time with me, and the time they did have with me was before the race when I was nervous and stressed or after the race when I was just dead. But they still came! They also knew they wouldn’t get to help me during the race at all. But they still came. AND even though they couldn’t physically help me after the starting gun went off, their cheering helped IMMENSELY. Until you do a long-distance race, it’s hard to imagine how much seeing people you know cheering for you can lift your spirits and encourage you to press on!

My crew wearing their "Team Hannah" shirts to support me!

So, since I have the PERFECT support crew, I’ll list my top 5 “musts” in selecting a support crew:

1) They should have knowledge in the sport you are racing. (Example: If you are running a marathon, it’s helpful to have people on your crew who are also runners.)

2) They need to be legitimately INTERESTED in what you are doing! Seriously, there’s nothing worse than a bored support crew. I imagine they wouldn’t be very supportive. :)

3) Family members are best. They usually know you and what you need better than anyone else.

4) They should be prepared to map our their route themselves. Meaning they do their own research about the race route and find out what places they will be able to see you.

5) They should be prepared to do/see some unpleasant things. The very first race I did after John and I started dating was a 50k. I threw up at the finish line. He still helped me after the race, AND he didn’t get scared away! :) We’d only been dating 2 months at that point, but I think he figured out quickly what he was getting into. :)

Do you have a support crew for your races?

Crewing and Pacing at the VT100

 

When Jaime decided several months ago to do the Vermont 100 again for a second time, I was not the least bit surprised. Last year she ran the VT100 for the first time and then just 3 months later ran a second 100-miler, so I knew at that point that this distance wasn’t just something to check off her bucket list–instead it looked like it would probably be a staple on her racing schedule from here on out. Having seen first-hand the suffering that goes on during a race of this length, I have to admit that I don’t have the slightest clue why anyone would ever do a 100 more than once, but if that’s what Jaime wants to do, you can bet I’m going to be right there beside her supporting her in any way I can!

Crewing and pacing for a 100-mile runner is a pretty unique (and ideal) experience because you get to have a small taste of an epic race without having to endure the endless agony of running it for yourself. :) Here’s a look at what it’s all about:

Jaime’s race started at 4:00 in the morning, but the first crew-access station where we would be able to meet her was at mile 30, so we planned to show up there at 10:00. Peter, Lucky and I left our house at about 8, stopped by Jaime’s house to pick up all her gear and then drove to the race start to register our vehicle. Each runner is allowed one crew, and there are 9 stations along the race course where their crew is allowed to meet them and give them whatever aid they might need (fuel, blister care, change of socks/shoes/clothes, ect.). There are lots of other stations along the way where the runners can get food and water, but having a crew to help with things the aid stations don’t provide is a huge plus during a race this long.

DSC02903

Stage Rd. station at mile 30

We saw Jaime for the first time during the race at the Stage Rd. station. She was already 30 miles in and was feeling great! She had given us a schedule of when to expect her at each station based on the pace that she thought she’d be able to run, and she was already half an hour ahead of schedule at this point! She didn’t need much from us here, so we just helped her re-stock her pack with food and water, and then she was on her way!

We had a long break between this aid station and the next one when we’d be able to see her, so we stopped at a farmer’s market to pass the time. Got some tasty jams and honey!

DSC02908

Then we met up with my parents to have lunch at the Red Barn Cafe!

DSC02905

I got a fresh mozzarella sandwich with tomato, mixed greens and pesto on a basil focaccia roll. Delicious!

DSC02904

After lunch we drove to the next aid station (Camp 10 Bear) and set up our goods. Jaime had a whole stockpile of stuff for us to have ready for her at each station: gels, energy bars, Perpetuem (carb/protein powder mixed with water), capsules to prevent fatigue, electrolytes, Body Glide, sunscreen, bug spray, ice, coffee, extra shoes, socks, shirts, a muscle roller, Tums, Tylenol and a blister kit. We didn’t use all of it every time, but we had it on hand so that we were ready for anything she might need.

DSC02906

Camp 10 Bear station at Mile 47

We only waited for half an hour before Jaime came through. She was still feeling good and was about an hour ahead of schedule!

Next we went to the Seven Sees station where she would come through at mile 58. We had another long-ish wait here, so we made ourselves some popcorn on Peter’s camp stove and started to play a card game. We didn’t get very far into the game though before we started seeing runners that we recognized from the previous stations and knew that Jaime would be coming in soon, so we put the game away and walked down the road to look for her.

DSC02909

She came through about an hour and 45 mins. ahead of schedule! Still no complaints and not having any trouble keeping up a good pace!

DSC02910

Seven Sees station at mile 58

She didn’t have much of an appetite to eat anymore, but we offered her a hot dog that Peter had cooked on the stove, and she said that sounded good, so she took it with her to eat on the way.

DSC02911

Jaime leaving the aid station after changing her shirt and stocking up on some fuel. 

DSC02912

The view from the aid station–the whole course has beautiful scenery like this!

Next we went back to Camp 10 Bear where we would meet Jaime at mile 70. We had about a two hour wait, so Peter and Lucky went for a run while I set up Jaime’s stuff. This is the point where I was allowed to start pacing her (running with her to help her through the night), so I got all my stuff ready, too, so that I’d be ready to go when she got there.

DSC02913

Camp 10 Bear station at mile 70

Jaime came through around 6:40 p.m., which was 3 hours ahead of schedule!!!! She was still keeping up a great pace at this point, but was starting to hurt–mainly a pain on the top of her right foot and a tight/painful IT band on her right leg.

DSC02914

As Jaime and I left the aid station together, we were immediately confronted with this killer hill that went on FOREVER! Jaime was still able to run a lot at this point, but we walked up all the hills and sometimes down the really steep ones.

We got to run for a couple hours in the daylight, which was really nice cause last year when I started pacing her it was already after dark! 

DSC02917

This was a scenic spot along the way where we enjoyed just soaking up the beauty. 

pine forest

Another pretty area that I was really happy to be able to see this time around!

Lucky and Peter continued to crew during the night while I ran with Jaime. The next time they were able to see us was at the Spirit of 76 aid station at mile 76. I’d been running with Jaime for 6 miles, and she was still doing more running than walking, so overall she was in pretty good condition all things considered. :)

DSC02919

The Spirit of 76 station at mile 76

I didn’t take anymore pictures after this point because we ran the rest of the way in the dark. From Spirit of 76 we had a long stretch of 8 miles until the next aid station (not one where Peter and Lucky could meet us), and it took us about 2 hours to cover that distance, so I was STARVING by the time we got there! I grabbed four squares of grilled cheese, a banana and a chia bar to eat as we went, and the whole time I was selecting my food the lady behind the table was just staring at me. I was thinking to myself, “Haven’t you ever seen a runner eat before?!” It made me laugh. :) Unfortunately, my stomach never really recovered from being depleted, and I sort of sick for the rest of the night.

From there we had 4 more miles until we’d get to Bill’s where we’d see Peter and Lucky again. Jaime was walking more often at this point, but she has a killer power walk (I had to do a slow jog just to keep up with her), and we were still averaging about 4 miles an hour. Thankfully most of this section is on dirt roads, and she was able to maintain a much faster pace than on the trails.

We got to Bill’s around midnight, and at this point I had Peter take over pacing Jaime so that I could rest for a bit. My feet were sore, and my achilles were tight, so I just wanted to be careful not to overdo it. Lucky and I drove to Polly’s where we were able to lay down and rest for about an hour before Jaime came through. Jaime only had 5 miles to go at this point, and she didn’t even stop at the station because she was so desperate to just get to the finish. I was caught a little by surprise and had to run to catch up to her after throwing on my pack and quickly tying my shoes!

Jaime told me right off that she couldn’t run at all anymore and hadn’t been able to for several miles. She just wanted me to walk in front of her so that she could watch my feet and follow my footsteps. Those last 5 miles were ROUGH. Jaime was in agony and just wanted to finish as quickly as possible, but a lot of this section was on trails, and it was so difficult for her to walk on the steep hills and uneven terrain that we felt like we were barely moving.

It took an hour and a half to walk those 5 miles, but Jaime made it to the finish line at 3:30 a.m. with a time of 23 hrs. and 33 mins.! Even after all those slow miles at the end, this was still more than an hour better than what she projected she would do, and 3+ hours better than her time last year!!

DSC02921

I’m still not any closer to understanding what compels her to do races like this, but that doesn’t stop me from being super proud of her accomplishment and grateful for the chance to join her for part of the journey. Congratulations, Jaime, you killed that race!

Weekly Training Recap: 07/20/14

 

This was a busy week for me as I went back to work, had lots of stuff to catch up on at home after vacation and prepared for our big weekend at the Vermont 100. I managed to do a fair amount of running and biking, but mainly I was trying to take it easy on my body in hopes that it would thank me by allowing me to run LONG on Saturday night! Here’s what my “easy” week looked like:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Bike Commute (8 Miles) + Run (7.5 Miles)

I biked to work, but then afterward Peter picked me up so that we could go to the bike shop to pick up my new bike!!!

DSC02899

As you can see, I’ve already converted it into a commuter bike. :)

I wanted to ride it home, but we were short on time and needed to go straight home so that we’d have time for a run with Lucky that evening.

Tuesday: Bike Commute (22 Miles) + Run (3.5 Miles)

After work I went to Jaime’s house to go over details for crewing and pacing her this weekend at her 100-mile race! Then we did a short run together in the park.

Wednesday: Run (6 Miles)

Rainy day = no bike commute. :/ We did get in a nice run with Lucky that evening though!

Thursday: Bike Commute (16 Miles)

I meant to run Thursday, but had a lot to do at home and in the garden to prepare for being gone all weekend, so I didn’t end up having the time. :/ 

Friday: Bike Commute (16 Miles) + Run (3 Miles)

We packed for the VT100, ate dinner, did a quick 3 miles with Lucky and then promptly went to bed. :)

DSC02901

Saturday: Pace Jaime @ VT100 (23 Miles)

I followed my plan to run from mile 70-88 with Jaime, then rest for a bit while Peter took over, and then join her again for the last 5 miles. Jaime ended up finishing in 23 hrs. and 33 mins., which was 3+ hours better than her time last year!!!

DSC02921

Training Totals:

I biked 62 miles and ran 43 miles this week, plus did tons of PT exercises for my hips, feet and achilles. I think all the PT is helping, but I’m a little frustrated with the slow progress. I don’t have any serious problems at the moment, but I am constantly battling little things that prevent me from doing the kind of mileage I’d like to be doing. Our next big adventure is a 30-mile self-supported run in the White Mountains next month, so I’m hoping to be running strong and injury-free by then!

 

Five Things Friday: 5 Things I Did This Week

 

This week was a little different for me since it’s a recovery week (first one in a LONG time!). So here’s 5 things I did this week that aren’t typical events.

1. Spent 5 hours weeding my gardens!!

Among this, I also discovered that what I thought was summer squash as ACTUALLY butternut squash! John and I planted our garden in the spring and thought for sure we planted summer squash seeds. Even the plants appeared to look like summer squash, but what is coming out of the plants sure resembles butternut squash! Oh well, now we’ll have a garden vegetable in the fall! Never ending saga of first time gardeners…..we are learning though!

IMG_12161-1024x768

2. Made a new edging border for our mailbox “garden”. 

IMG_12171-1024x768

3. Made Cucumber kimchi! 

If you’ve tried cabbage kimchi and hate it, I recommend you try cucumber kimchi. It’s sooooo good! Spicy, but doesn’t have the fermented taste that cabbage kimchi has. I made a batch on Tuesday night and we ate it up so quickly that I had to make another batch last night!

IMG_12181-1024x768

4. Worked a high school pole vault camp

As I’ve mentioned, I have summers “off” work, but occasionally I’ll pick up a sports camp to earn a little extra money. Since I don’t have much training to do this week, I figured it would be good to work a camp so that I’m not bored! This one has been pretty easy-7 hour days, and I only have to take care of 9 kids. Not too bad!

IMG_12191-1024x768

5. Reminisced about crewing for the Vermont 100 race last year!

This may sound lame, but I spent a lot of my free time this week thinking about this time last year when we were prepping to crew for my brothers in-law and my friend Jaime as they ran their first 100 mile race. This was my first time ever crewing for runners and being on the “other side” of a race, but it was SO MUCH FUN! This year, my friend Jaime is doing it again, and my sister, her husband, and my brother will be crewing for her. I’m sad we can’t be there, but I’m excited to hear all about it come Sunday morning!

57905_823516994594_1105911515_n (2)

So that was my week!

What fun things did you do this week?

Preparing for the Vermont100!

 

This weekend is the long-awaited Vermont 100, so I’ve been spending the last few days going over details with Jaime and getting everything ready to crew and pace for her during the race! This will be my second time pacing her at this race, and her third time running 100 miles, so we are getting to the point where we kind of know what we’re doing now. :) And by that I mean that we know enough to know that in races this long, you can’t predict anything.

946289_823506879864_179549165_n

That said, we are both hoping for a better experience this time around. Jaime ran a great race last year, but she spent a good portion of it struggling with various physical ailments, and I was not feeling much better even though I was “just” pacing.  (You can read Jaime’s race report here and my pacing story here.) Last year at this time I was recovering from an injury and hadn’t been able to do any significant mileage prior to the race. Sound familiar? Yeah, I’m pretty much in the same boat this year. :/ I do have an 18-miler under my belt, but it left me with sore achilles tendons that have continued to nag me ever since. And this is not a course that is compatible with achilles injuries. :/

course map

The best case scenario for this weekend would be that my body would somehow hold itself together long enough for me to do the entire last 30 miles with Jaime, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. My more realistic, tentative plan is to run 18 miles with her, take a break while Peter steps in to pace her for the next 8 miles, and then join her again for the last 4 miles to the finish.

970114_823513686224_1300764856_n

My dad and I crossing the finish line with Peter last year!

The good news is that since I’ve done this once before, I have a much better idea of what pacing is all about. Last year I went into it thinking that it was essentially going to be like any other 30-mile run, but at a slower pace. Wrong.

I didn’t think to account for the fact that the extra time on my feet would take it’s toll. Or the fact that it would take us a lot  longer to get from one aid station to the next. Or the fact that it would be difficult to tend to my own needs at the aid stations because Jaime would need help. A little tip for anyone who is interested in pacing another runner: carry your own aid in your pack so that you have plenty to eat and drink and don’t have to restock at the aid stations as often. Also carry any other essentials that you might need like extra batteries for your headlamp, body glide, electrolyte tablets, ect. so that you can take care of yourself while you’re on the move.

Either way, whether I am able to do 30 miles or have to settle for less, I’m super excited to be a part of Jaime’s race again this year! I had a ton of fun last year both crewing and pacing, and it was an amazingly inspiring and rewarding experience to be able to come alongside her during such an epic journey. We’ve only got two days to go now until we do it all over again, so I’m off to prepare everything I need to be prepared for anything! :)

1000227_10151460775621199_420644189_n

Homemade Yogurt and Granola

 

We ate a lot of yogurt and granola over vacation because it’s my sister Sarah’s favorite snack. I got into the habit of eating it every day and decided that I wanted this healthy and delicious trend to continue, but that, as with most things, I’d prefer to make my own. So over the weekend I embarked on The Great Yogurt-Making Adventure of 2014!

It turns out yogurt is about the easiest thing in the world to make. All you need to start is milk and yogurt.

DSC02869

I’ve read that whole milk works best for thicker yogurt, but I used skim milk (what we had on hand), and it worked just fine. As for the yogurt, it’s generally recommended that you use a high-quality brand, specifically one with as many varieties of live cultures as you can find (the brand I used has six). Keep in mind that your yogurt’s taste is determined by the cultures in it, so use a yogurt that tastes good to you to start your own batch.

To start with heat up half a gallon (8 cups) of milk in a Dutch oven, stirring occasionally to prevent it from scorching on the bottom or forming a skin on the top. You want it to hit around 200 degrees, but it doesn’t have to be precise. If you don’t have a thermometer, wait until it is just about to boil.

DSC02871

Then, let the milk cool to about 110 degrees, stirring occasionally to keep it from forming a skin. You can speed this process by putting the Dutch oven on ice, and if you don’t have a thermometer, just test the temperature with your finger–it should feel just a little warmer than room temperature.

Once the milk has cooled, scoop out about a cup of it and mix that with half a cup of your starter yogurt. Then, slowly stir that back into your milk.

At this point all you have to do is sit back and wait while your yogurt incubates. The optimal temperature for incubation is right around 110 degrees, so the simplest way to do this is to pop the yogurt into the oven and leave the light on to generate that little bit of heat.

DSC02870

You can let your yogurt incubate for anywhere from 5-15+ hours. The longer you leave it the thicker and tarter it will be, so it might take some experimentation to find your sweet spot. I let mine incubate for 9 hours, and it came out just slightly thinner than the starter yogurt with a nice, mild taste. I love it!

DSC02897

I made the granola from a very simple recipe that Sarah gave me. Start with 4 cups of old-fashioned oats. Stir in enough maple syrup to lightly coat the oats, then spread on a cookie sheet and bake it at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until browned. Stir it occasionally and watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. When it’s done, you can add your choice of nuts, seeds and dried fruit OR if you’d like these to be lightly toasted as well, pop them into the oven for a few minutes while your granola is cooking. The result is a crunchy, slightly sweet granola that makes the perfect topping for a bowl of fresh yogurt! :)

Tri Talk Tuesday: Race Day Nutrition

 

It’s time for Tri Talk Tuesday! This week CourtneyMiranda, and Cynthia have selected the theme: Race Day Nutrition. I’m excited about this topic, because I love to talk about race nutrition! Also, I’m a little weak on the pre-race nutrition, so I’ll tell you what I eat, but I need some pointers on that because I don’t feel like it’s been working the last couple of races!

Some of you know, I just raced a 70.3 this past Saturday, so race day nutrition is fresh in my mind! I’m going to tell you what I do, what works for me, and what doesn’t. Then it’s your job to figure out what works for you! Also, keep in mind that not only is each person different, but each race is different. You won’t need the same fueling for a full Ironman as you would for a sprint. The fueling I am going to talk about here is for an Olympic distance race or above since that is what I typically race.

Disclaimer: You’ll notice in this post that I talk about using Hammer Nutrition fuels. I am sponsored by them, and thus use their fuels. However, I applied for sponsorship through them BECAUSE I love their nutrition! I would exclusively use their products regardless of whether they sponsored me or not because they work well for me. I don’t get any digestive issues from their gels like I used to with other gel brands. Also, their sport drinks aren’t pumped with sugars like a lot of other sport drinks are. Again, this company works for me–you need to experiment and find out what works for you!

Pre-Race: As I mentioned, I need some help with this one. Ever since starting triathlons, I’ve had the same pre-race meal the morning of my race. Up until the last two 70.3 races, it has worked perfectly for me. However, the last two races, I’ve been hungry before even making it out of the swim, so I know I need to eat more before the race! Here’s what I eat: One serving of oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter, and a chopped up banana in it. I eat this about 2-2.5 hours from the start of my race. It fills me up, but like I said-then I get hungry while swimming. I’m thinking I’ll add a Hammer Nutrition energy bar in about 1 hour prior to the race. Thoughts?

Swim: Obviously I don’t eat or drink anything while on the swim, but 15 minutes prior to my swim wave start, I eat one Hammer gel and drink water. I find having a gel right before the swim gives me a good burst of energy and keeps me from getting tired before I get to T1.

Bike: As soon as I am on the bike, I consume one serving of Hammer gel. I put my gels for the bike into a handy flask which holds up to 5 servings in it! I take one serving of gel every 45 minutes on the bike. 

Along with gels on the bike, I also have two water bottles on my bike. One is an aero bar water bottle which I have a drink called Perpetuem in it. This is a calorie sports drink that contains protein and carbs. I sip it every 15 minutes. In my larger “reservoir” bottle, I have my main source of hydration. In that is water with Endurolytes Fizz added to it. The Fizz caps are just dis-solvable tabs that have electrolytes in them. If you’ve heard of Nuun, that’s exactly what these are. I’ve tried both, but I like Fizz better as they don’t have a sweet taste to them. Lastly, on the bike, I also take one Anti-Fatigue cap every hour. This also has electrolytes in it, and I find it helps me keep my energy up as well.

Run: On the run, I have found it to be quite helpful to carry a hand-held bottle with me.

image (30)

I just started this year, but it seems to work better than just relying on the aid station fuel. As I mentioned, I prefer to use only Hammer nutrition products because they don’t make my stomach upset. So, in my hand-held bottle, I have Perpetuem which I take sips from every mile. Then at the aid stations, I have water. I also usually have coke 2-3 times in the second half of the run if it is a 70.3 or 140.6 race. If you haven’t tried this, you need to! By the second half of the run, my stomach is usually starting to feel funny. That happens when you’ve been racing that many hours with no solid food. :) Anyway, the coke settles my stomach pretty well. My hand-held bottle also has a lovely pocket on it, so I keep 2 gels, and 2 anti-fatigue caps in there. I have one gel as soon as I begin the run, then I have the second one at the half-way point. Same goes for the anti-fatigue caps. For my next race, I’m thinking of adding a third gel to the pocket. In my last race, I felt like I needed a few more calories in the run. Perhaps it was from starting the race hungry, but I’ll bring that third one as a backup just in case!

Post-race: If you plan on walking the next day, there is fueling to take place post race as well! I try to immediately have my Hammer Recoverite after the race. This is basically a protein/electrolyte drink. It helps keep my muscle soreness at bay. :) Then, I have the post-race meal. I try and have protein and carbs mostly. Also, again to settle my stomach so that I CAN eat, I drink a coke again. (By the way, I NEVER drink any kind of soda during my regular life, only on race day! For some reason, it works!)

So that’s what my race day nutrition looks like! If you have any questions about your fueling, feel free to let me know! I encourage you to practice your race day nutrition during your training so that you can figure out what products do and don’t work for you BEFORE you get to your race!

Any fueling advice for me?

What does your pre-race breakfast look like?

Switch to our mobile site