Philly Tri Rock Recap and Ultima Giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Ultima. This is a sponsored post. I received product samples from the company to share with clients. All opinions stated are my own.

Happy fitness Friday everyone! Happy 4th of July weekend, too 🙂

Last weekend I finally competed in a sprint triathlon after a couple of year hiatus due and I had a blast. This past year I acted as the sports nutrition advisor for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Fit to Lead group. They have a few fabulous and fit leaders itself who put together a program each year to show women how being active can improve not only their health but also their careers. The Philly Tri Rock sprint is the goal for the group but, they aren’t only given a training plan, they are also coached on leadership, sports psychology, and nutrition. Since I was doing their sports nutrition webinars and providing tips, I thought I might as well make my triathlon comeback with them, too!

The Race

If you didn’t already know, I was a competitive swimmer and swam for the University of Connecticut’s DI team so, while everyone else dreads the swim, that is the easiest part for me! In 2015, the swim was cancelled due to weather/river conditions. Not only did that make me nervous for this year (what swimmer wants to have to run twice instead?!) but, it also made me nervous about how clean that river would be! This girl grew up in clear pools seeing everything below her. Lucky for me, we had a gorgeous day! This is unlike the cloudy, rainy, cold weather for the Newport 10 Miler I completed with friends 3 weeks earlier! It was still the most beautiful course I have ever raced, I have to add. Anyway, for the tri, it was sunny and low 60’s at the start of the race, the river water was 80 degrees and according to what they told us, as clean as can be. While it wasn’t moving much to push us downstream and make the swim easier, I was totally OK with it feeling like a pool! I wound up being the 14th overall female finisher for the swim (out of over 800) which was exciting since I only hopped in the pool 3 times to train all year before this!

IMG_4576

Transition went well and I hopped on the bike. I felt like I was really moving. Key word felt! I hadn’t biked outside all year other than a total 20 mile casual bike in Nantucket that Tim and I did to Siasconset and the Cisco brewery. I won’t make this mistake again!! Looking at the results, this was the weakest part for me and I know training outside would have made a big difference.

The transition from bike to run was speedy. The run felt as expected – harder in the beginning and easier as it went on as my legs were accustomed to not being on the bike anymore. I have to say though, when I saw the 1 mile marker I was thinking “how the &%^&* did I only run one mile?!”. As I said, it got better after that.

IMG_4582

I had an amazing time doing this. I really enjoy the tri’s much more than long running races and will be competing in an Olympic distance in early September. I know I can’t slack on training like I did for this one so, once I return from our family vacation after next week, I am going to have to stick to my plan.

The Fuel

Yes, it is only a sprint but for me that “sprint” took an hour an 45 minutes – for most people in the Fit to Lead group, much longer! So, thinking about fuel is important. You may have followed along on instagram but, I did a one meal carbo-load with some delicious Zavino whole wheat pizza on Friday after the race expo and packet pick up. I had some brussel sprouts on the side too with Tim – gotta get those veggies!

For race morning, I had to get up at 4:45, be out of transition set up by 6:45, and my wave wouldn’t start until almost 8:15. Friday night I threw together some overnight oats in a pyrex container (1/2 C quick oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon, maca, vanilla extract, 1 tbsp almond butter and 6 ounces of almond milk). In the morning it was ready to grab from the fridge and I ate it once I got to Philly with a banana around 6:00. This left me plenty of time to digest, get energy into my blood stream, but keep me from getting hungry while racing. [Sorry, no picture!]

At the first transition, I had Energy Bits with water and hopped on the bike. I had 2 water bottles on the bike – one was mixed with 2 packets of lemon Ultima, my go-to electrolyte drink for intense exercise ever since Expo East last fall (see below to get some for free). FullSizeRender (23)

By the end of the bike I needed a boost for the run and the salted dates I’d packed were perfect. I couldn’t eat too much so I just grabbed one, swigged some water back with it and off I went!

Fueling went perfectly for me and I felt energized the entire race without ever feeling hungry or having an upset stomach or cramps. I have a sensitive GI tract and can feel bloated really easily so, I practice what I preach, and never have anything new within 48 hours of a race.

Now the post-race food was for sure something to write about. I have never completed a race and seen food like this. Typically you’re looking at bagels and unripe fruit or worse, just donuts and bars. Winnie’s LeBus killed it. In addition to the amazingly fluffy yet hearty whole grain roll, quinoa/arugula salad, and hard boiled eggs you see on the plate, I also got a cup of delicious berries with a touch of granola – and a banana that I couldn’t finish (eyes bigger than my stomach). They also had a veggie-full pasta salad, marinara foccacia, and yogurt available. It was so perfect we didn’t even think about going to brunch after. The chocolate chip blondie was amazing too!

The Ultima Review and Giveaway

I had spent several years trying to convince teenage and college athletes that they would love coconut water (with a dash of salt) for their practices and competitions but some of them will just never like the flavor. Thankfully, I saw that Ultima provides a natural alternative to sports drinks, with a great blend of 6 electrolytes, that wasn’t adding tons of added sugar. It also is gluten-free (if you need it) and vegan, which is fabulous!As I mentioned above, I found Ultima for the first time at Natural Products Expo East and right away had an interest. I am still surprised it took me that long to find them since the product has been around since the 90’s and aligns with my values!

IMG_3828

At almost every sports nutrition talk I give to a team, an athlete will raise their hand before I mention hydration and ask “Do I have to drink Gatorade? It hurts my stomach!”. Nothing you eat or drink should bother your stomach or, any other part of you for that matter! Having concentrated sources of added sugar can cause GI discomfort in some people as the sugar is being absorbed. The lower level of carbohydrate in a serving of Ultima, only 4 grams, is just enough to keep your blood sugar normal without giving your intestines that stress. Of course, if you are training for two hours or more, you will absolutely need more carbohydrate than that. Most athletes are eating something in between events or at half time and often runners prefer gel products to get their carbs in during long races. Cyclists often just eat actual food! So, Ultima is a great compliment to that intake of dietary carbs as it provides not only electrolytes but a {natural} flavor to enhance thirst and ensure adequate fluid intake.

While I still do like coconut water, sometimes I really don’t need the amount of carbohydrate in it and Ultima has done a great job keeping me from feeling sluggish at the end of a workout. I also never finish a whole container of coconut water and then it spoils. Ultima, is a shelf stable powder that I really like in the sticks versus the tub because I can take it anywhere. It also gives me just enough carbs to prevent me from feeling overly hungry when I am done exercising! I started to use Ultima during intense workouts that were over an hour. I first used it for a race when I did the Newport 10 Miler that I mentioned above. For that race, I drank some before and a little after because I couldn’t add the packet to anything on the race course. I also gave a packet to each of my friends that was racing and got their stamp of approval. The Tri-Rock was the first race that I had the Ultima during and it worked out great just like it had in training.

IMG_3171

My favorite flavors are the lemonade and tart cherry but, when I brought samples to an event in Atlantic City with some NFL players on Monday, raspberry seemed to be the preferred flavor! They are still getting their “rest” in before training camp and in this case I told them to try it on the spot since i found out they were out a little late the night before and could use some extra hydration!

So, if you’re an athlete or active individual who wants to maintain hydration and energy during workouts and races, and who wants to prevent excessive thirst and hunger after a workout, Ultima is sponsoring a giveaway! Between the flavors I mentioned plus the grape and orange, there is something for everyone.

Head to my Instagram or Twitter pages for details on how to enter to win a free tub of Ultima in your flavor of choice to fuel your training or active lifestyle this summer! The last day to enter is Thursday, July 7 and a winner will be announced next Friday, July 8!

Even if you don’t end up being the winner, you can sign up for their newsletter and receive 15% off your first order at ultimareplenisher.com.

What’s your favorite way to fuel your exercise, whether it be pre-workout or during?

4 thoughts on “Philly Tri Rock Recap and Ultima Giveaway

  1. Kelly,
    Wonderful job on your race ! You are officially a triathlete !! Thank you for sharing your recap of how you prepared yourself mentally and physically for the triathlon, I enjoyed reading how you mixed food and the Ultima to boost your energy,I never thought to eat something salty ? You looked amazing when we spoke at the finish line! You finished strong which is a results of eating and training well !!!

  2. Pingback: 30 Minute Travel Exercise Circuit | Eat Real Live Well

  3. Pingback: This Is How You Do Pizza (with Nomad Review) | Eat Real Live Well

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s