Training for an Ironman can be one of the hardest things you can ever do. It takes years of dedication, countless hours of hard work and self-motivation to accomplish. When I set out to compete in triathlons, I immediately knew that qualifying for and racing in the Ironman World Championships had become one of my life goals. In November 2012 I accomplished the first part of my goal by qualifying for Kona at Ironman Florida 2012.
I had spent the past year training for the biggest race of my life-not only the biggest and best triathlon ever, but the most intense. Throughout the year I had trouble with training and recovering correctly after long training days and races. Things like these can set you back tremendously if you are not prepared to take on the physical beating of Ironman training.
In the beginning a friend and fellow triathlete, Cory Trestke, introduced me to a company called Garden of Life. He was a sponsored athlete and used their products in both his recovery and everyday use to balance his digestive system. He gave me some samples and I began to use them during training. After a couple of months of using the products, I began to see a huge difference in the way my body reacted and the way I recovered.
In the past I would ride 100 miles then run 20 miles directly afterwards without using Garden of Life products before and after my workout. I would be so fatigued that I would not be able to make a recovery run most Sundays due to the soreness in my legs. My digestive system would also be very unsteady due to the amount of calories I had burned during such a rigorous training day. The combination of my muscle soreness and digestive issues made for a tremendous set back in preparing for the next weeks training.
This all changed the moment I started using all natural and organic supplements from Garden of Life. Everything from RAW Protein, Raw Meal, Perfect Food Raw Wheatgrass and Raw Organics Flax Seeds have helped my training and reaching my goals every step of the way. After using these products daily for recovery immediately after long workouts, I started to see a dramatic difference in my recovery time and how I felt.
A great example of how fast I recovered with these products is after a 12 hour endurance race in mid-July in Hilton Head, SC. I ended up winning this race after swimming 5.5 miles, biking 100 and running 28 miles. After a day like that most people-including myself-would not be able to walk the next day much less do any activity. Despite the intensity of this workout, I was able to recover quickly with 2 doses of my favorite Wobenzym, two full shakes with four scoops of RAW MEAL, a scoop of flax seed, chia seed and wheatgrass. The next day my friends and I went out boating all day-I was even wakeboarding without a care in the world! I thought to myself, “This stuff is amazing!”
Leading up to the big race in Kona on October 12, 2013 I kept my regimen all the same. I dialed in the perfect amount of Wobenzym, Raw Meal and wheatgrass shots every day and could not have felt better!
The day of the race came and I was determined to take away a top slot in my age group-breaking 9 hours and 30 minutes on the world’s toughest and most grueling course. In triathlons we have a saying that every triathlete always has lots of goals-this way when we don’t win or do as well as we wanted, we have something to blame it on!
The race and experience was amazing. I had the time of my life rubbing shoulders with the best triathletes on the planet, but at the end of the day I did not have the race I set out for. It was one of those days. The lava fields got the best of me. After an amazing swim and coming off the bike at around 6 hours, I felt great but fell apart on the run. I went from having the fastest race of my life to the possibility of not finishing! My body overheated when I still had 21 miles left to run. This wasn’t about how I did or what I had planned, but about what I came to do. I overheated, walked most of the course and jogged my way in at 11:03:39. I was upset but some days in triathlons, it is just out of your hands.
Now while most people would be out having beers and unable to walk, I knew where my head was and what I had just put my body through. I went back to my house on the island and immediately made 2 shakes and stuffed down some Wobenzym for the inflammation in my muscles and joints. I was fatigued to the max, and after that day all I could do was make it to my bed and fall asleep.
The next day I woke up, rolled out of bed and stood up without falling down (those of you who race this distance understand that this is amazing). I was BARELY sore the next day! I immediately went to make another shake, took more Wobenzym and began to wonder, “WHAT is in this stuff?!”
A few hours later I walked-yes WALKED-to town to do some souvenir shopping and all I could see was what looked like tall, skinny zombies with neon compression socks hobbling around the town hanging on their families as they stepped down off of the sidewalk to the street. Everyone was so sore, they could not walk! This is when I realized they have not heard of Garden of Life and need to!
I cannot thank Garden of Life enough for everything they have done for me and for helping me reach my life goal! I have big plans to race USAT Olympic distance Nationals in Milwaukee, WI in August 2014 and hopefully qualify for the Worlds in 2015 with Garden of Life products!
On Saturday November 16 you can watch the Ironman Kona Championships at 4:30pm EST on NBC.