Thursday, September 27, 2012

Huge Announcement! Race Across America 2013!

Dani and Kacie are Racing in
Race Across America to Support Camp Twin Lakes June 2013!

Race Across America (RAAM) is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well. RAAM has a rich and storied history. In 1982 four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Teams were added in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. The 2013 race will be the 32nd edition of RAAM. There is no other race in the world like RAAM. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it - racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and fun! There is no race that matches the distance, terrain and weather, no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end.
RAAMis a race! But unlike the three great Europeon Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, similar to a time trial. Once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. RAAMis about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour.More importantly, RAAM is not limited to professional cyclists. RAAM is open to professional and amateur athletes alike. While solo racers must qualify to compete, anyone may organize a team and race. Racersmust traverse 3000miles across 12 states and climb over 170,000 vertical feet.
Team racers have a maximum of nine days and most finish in about seven and a half
days. Teams will ride 350-500 miles a day, racing non-stop.

Dani and Kacie will race as a two person relay team for 3000 continuous miles. The clock will start when they leave from Oceanside, California, and it will not stop until the arrive in Annapolis, Maryland.

In 2005 Dani Grabol went to her doctor for a routine physical and was told "if you don't do something about your weight, you will be dead by the time you are 40." Haunted by those words, Dani went home and committed herself to a complete overhaul of her lifestyle. After losing 70 pounds Dani competed in her first triathlon in 2006. On November 1st, 2006 while on a training ride in Florida, Dani was struck by a drunk driver, crushing her left tibia and fibula. Doctors were skeptical that Dani would ever run or be able to compete again. After months of intensive therapy Dani returned to multi-sport, completing her first Ironman in 2008.

In December 2011 Dani became the first woman to ride solo across the state of Florida, setting a record for 422 miles in 27 hours and 58 minutes. Most recently she competed in a double Iron distance triathon that consisted of a 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike and 52.4 mile run. Dani was the 4th overall and 2nd female finisher.

Dani works in an independent retirement facility with older adults. Through her work with the senior population, Dani strives to show older adults how to commit to a healthy lifestyle. When Dani isn't on her bike she can be found in the kitchen inventing new recipes, reading autobiographies, or spending time with her two dogs.

A native of north Georgia, Kacie began competing in endurance events in 2008 while training for a duathlon with her husband, George. Since completing the first race, Kacie has fallen in love with endurance sports Despite her late start, she has become an accomplished triathlete, having now completed four Ironman triathlons. Most recently, Kacie placed third in the women’s division and fifth overall at the Florida Double Iron Distance Triathlon by swimming 4.8 miles, cycling 224 miles, and running 52.4 miles in under twenty-nine hours. Kacie has also raced some long distance swimming and won a 50k trail race. Kacie completed RAAM as part of an 8-person team in 2011 and loved every minute of it! After her team completed the event Kacie immediately began planning her participation as a two-person female team.

Kacie is a member of Team Rev 3, and the blog that she writes about her racing and training experiences has been nationally recognized. Kacie is a middle school science teacher at High Meadows Middle School, where she enjoys sharing her inspirational stories and passion for living life to the fullest with her students. When she isn't training Kacie enjoys reading, spending time with family, and cheering on her husband, George, in his endurance races.

Power, Pedals, and Ponytails is the name of team! At 29 and 31 respectivley, Kacie and Dani will be the first 2-person woman team from Georgia to cross the RAAM finish line. In the 31 year history of the race, only 2 two-person women teams have completed the event in the allotted time of 12 days. They wil be the youngest 2-person woman team to ever complete RAAM. Kacie and Dani will be using their participation in RAAM to promote Camp Twin Lakes.

RAAM is an outstanding platform for raising money for charitable causes. Racers annually raise collectively in excess of $2 million for a wide range of charitable causes.

Dani and Kacie are racing to support and promote the work and mission of Camp Twin Lakes.
Camp Twin Lakes is a network of camps providing life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges each year. We collaborate with over 50 different organizations (our Camp Partners), each serving a different population, to create customized programs that teach our campers to overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence and capabilities. Camp Twin Lakes is thrilled to provide programs at various state-of-the-art locations throughout the state of Georgia, including camps in Rutledge, Winder, Warm Springs, children's hospitals, and more. Prior to Camp Twin Lakes' opening in 1993, special needs groups in Georgia lacked adequate facilities to hold their camp programs. Today, Camp Twin Lakes partners with these organizations to provide high quality, fully-accessible recreational activities in a medically supportive environment. Camp programs are customized for each group of campers.
Since its opening, Camp Twin Lakes has welcomed more than 50,000 children and volunteers. Each year, thousands of campers and volunteers head to CTL-Rutledge and CTL- Will-A-Way fo weeklong summer sessions and year-round weekend retreats.
As our Director of Camping Services Dan Mathews puts it, “CTL campers constantly comment on how powerful it is to feel normal, to be one of the group, and not to stand out because of their various illnesses or challenges. Kids build camaraderie and friendships that will last a lifetime, not to mention support systems that will see them through their hard times back at home, which often entail doctor’s appointments, hospital visits and ongoing treatments.”

Donate to the Cause!

This is a HUGE undertaking, and we appreciate all of your support!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Burnout....

Burnout happens to everyone.

Sometimes, you are just tired of doing whatever it is you are doing. Sports, work, life, food, anything.

Last week, I got burned out on riding my bike. Not really good for someone who has a HUGE bike goal in November (200 mile race), and a gigantic one next year (to be announced soon!).

I wrote my coach and said that I really just didn't want to ride my bike. It's that simple. I just didn't want to do it.

I asked if I need to just do this:

Or if something else was wrong. I felt so disappointed in myself. I HAVE to want to ride my bike. I usually love it. I look forward to it. Sometimes I get tired, but in general, I LIKE what I do.

And I have really entered into the world of ultra cycling, and I better like my bike.

I started to doubt myself and my abilities. And that is just a downward spiral going no where good.

He told me, "the difference in a rut and a ditch is the depth." I was in a rut, but he wanted to keep me out of the ditch! He told me that the poor metal place comes with a raised heart rate, and then comes illness or injury! Yikes! I don't want any of that!  Get me out of this!

So it was time for solutions. He told me to go "have fun on the bike" or don't ride at all. Fun or nothing.

So I did an easy ride with Anne by the river Tuesday. We talked and laughed a lot. I didn't get up super early the rest of the week. I rode with Anne and Laura wednesday, and we laughed and talked a lot. I slept 8-9 hours a night for 3 nights in a row. I kicked back, I painted my nails, and I ate vegan cookies. I went swimming and running.

By saturday (which was my birthday!), I did the Beautiful Backroads century, and I rode really well! I hung onto George's super fast wheel for 60 miles. I pushed myself and I really rode well. I got some serious speed and some confidence back.

I had a great dinner at Cafe Sunflower Saturday and Sunday I spent with my family celebrating birthdays!

I rode again Sunday, but easier, and I had a blast.

Even "falling apart" I still had a 16 hour training week in my worst week in months.  Not bad. It is clearly time for a reality check!

Coach and I adjusted my schedule to include some more cross training in the next couple of week. We also made room in my schedule for massage, chiropractor, and yoga. We also talked about life, balance, work, and training. Right now, if I miss the occasional workout, it's ok. The world will not end, and I will still be strong and fit.

I'm not Wonderwoman.

Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I need a break. Sometimes, I just want to do other things.

I am just Kacie. I am a girl who has big goals and dreams. I work really hard, but somtimes I can't keep it togehter. Sometimes, I just want to spend time with my family (those are my awesome siblings!), get some sleep, and be a regular person.

And that is ok. I am still going to reach all of my goals. It is going to be ok, and I'll be just fine. Sometimes I just need to step back and look at the big picture, and accept it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vegan Week Extended

So last week went well as a vegan.

I was calling it "vegan week," and one of my friends said it was like "Shark Week,"

 except the opposite.

I've been cracking up about that for a week now.

After trying it out for a week, I realized that I would need to think it through a little more.

I really like eating all plants. I love not eating eggs and dairy.  I still eat honey. Because, really, I believe in bees and the importance of bees, and I want to support bee farmers!

I have been experimenting this week with Vega protein, which is great, but expensive. Replacing whey protein has been one of my big experiments!

I tried out a variety of flavors so I can pick one that I really like to buy a bigger package. Right now, I like chocolate of this, which has a whopping 25 grams of protein:

And Vanilla Almond of this, which only has 10 grams of protein, but is SO delicious:

Maybe I will buy both!

I have also been trying out different types of yogurt. I have tried coconut and soy. Not sure how I feel about them yet. Maybe I will just cut out yogurt and eat something different! But I still have a couple of different brands in my fridge to try out.

Cutting out a whey-based recovery drink meant that I didn't bounce back as fast this week. By that, I mean that I wasn't drinking ANY recovery drink. This week, I bought a few of these, and I loved them!

I have decided that I am going to take a break from vegan for one day to celebrate my birthday with real cake and ice cream. Then I am going to try to keep it up after that! I will keep you updated on my findings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vegan Experiment

I have been a vegetarian of some kind for well over 10 years.

I have experimented with adding fish, eating more eggs, cutting fish out, using protein powders, etc. etc. I have never put regular meat back into my diet though.

Sometimes when I train, I get very protein heavy (or it feels that way for me). I am kind of exhausted with that kind of diet, and I want to mix it up and try something new.

I decided (somewhat impulsively) Sunday to be a vegan for a little while. If you see above though, it's not really THAT big of a leap for me.

Not a long while, and not 100%. I am going to have cake and ice cream on my birthday in two weeks. I just am.
I did just finish reading this book, which I loved! Maybe I was feeling inspired:

I just love what he does and his deep commitment to health and plant based living.

While I am still base training, I am going to give it a shot.

I decided that after a little bit, I want to asses:

1. How do I feel? Am I too hungry?

2. How is my training going?

3. How lean do I feel?

After a decent try, I will look back on these goals, and see what I want to do from there.