Tag Archives: Deb’s Nutrition

Humpdayathon 2013

Humpdayathon (Wednesday) started with a crisp climb up Mailbox (4100 elevation gain in less than 3 miles; more like 2.5 miles) and followed by a few more mountain peaks and hours of slogging in the snow. The planned peaks: Mailbox, Teneriffe, Mt. Si, Little Si, Rattlesnake traverse & Tiger Mountain. The mileage options: 50km, 100km, and 100 mile. ALM and I set out to do a 55 mile loop with roughly 18,000 feet of elevation gain from my house. Tim & Angel picked us up near my house in North Bend and drove us the three miles to the start; we contemplated running to the start but opted to catch a ride and have an extra hour of sleep.
As predicted lots of snow & very slow going. We lucked out with a ‘blue bird day’ and spectacular views.
The view from the top of Mailbox.
The crew on Mailbox Peak
Teneriffe – a total slog to the top. We hiked up the Kamikaze Falls Trail and continued to the summit. The hike is about 4 miles w/3750 feet elevation gain. (On a normal day this is a tough, steep climb but with the recent snow storm it made it a total slog).
Teneriffe summit – Stunning views!
After crawling up Teneriffe we took the snow filled service road to Talus Loop. The snow was so deep on the service road it took us hours to go 4 or 5 miles. At this point, most of us our discussing stopping at 50km because the snow is so slow going and Rattlesnake traverse will be a nightmare w/this much snow. In addition, some runners did not bring enough food for this section b/c it wasn’t supposed to take all day.
We connected to Talus Loop and then to the main Mt. Si trail. We hiked up to the summit and then ran down the Old Mt. Si trail. We ran up/down Little Si and met the aid crew at the parking lot of Little Si. The aid station crew spent their day volunteering and were amazing! The aid stations were stocked just like a race with delish goodies including butternut soup, pizza, meat and avocado wraps and comfy chairs, warm down jackets and sleeping bags. The volunteers were awesome.
The 100km runners bailed at Little Si and called it a day after 32 + miles, 13 hours and 13,858 elevation gain and the 100 mile runners decided to shuttle over to Cougar/Squak Mountain for another 50km.
All in all, a super fun and stunning day climbing up and down the mountains with some really cool people.


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Wasatch Front 100 Miles

September 7th @ 5am, I toed the line for Wasatch 100, one of the toughest ultra runs in America. Wasatch Front started in Kaysville, Utah and finished in Midway, Utah covering 100 miles of the most beautiful scenery in the Wasatch Mountains.  Wasatch Front’s reputation as one of the toughest ultras comes from the technical terrain, heat and altitude; there was a cumulative elevation gain of approximately 26,882 feet. The majority of the race was between 6000 feet and 10,000 feet with lots of steep and rocky decents.

My goal was slow and steady; with the mentality the race doesn’t start until mile 75.  Around mile 4, I chatted with a racer in front of me; he had finished Wasatch 18 times all under 32ish hours; I decided to stay on his heels for the first 14 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing. The pace was super slow but I figured he was experienced and he knew this mountain range, I was glad I did, it paid off later in the day when the heat was unbearable.  The first 53 miles of the course was open and exposed; the sun was beating down and there was nowhere to hide. Around 5pm I was begging for the sun to go down, for a Seattleite, the sun was blazing.

5am start –Picture by Lori Burlisons

Before the race, I created a pacing chart in hopes it would help me achieve my goals: my first goal was to finish under 36 hours, my second goal was to finish between 30-32 hours and my ultimate goal was to finish under 30 hours. Numerous times during the race I wanted to push harder, especially early on, but kept to my pacing chart knowing the last 25 miles were brutal. My pacer, Michelle, was awesome; she kept us steady even though at times I wanted to go faster or times I wanted to go slower. I was in and out of most aid stations relatively quick with the exceptions of Lamb’s Canyon (15 minutes; mile 53.13) where I changed my shoes and socks and Millcreek (17 minutes; mile 61.68) where I ate spaghetti and changed into warm clothes. Millcreek was a dangerous aid station at this point in the race it was dark and cold and there were heaters, cots and blankets; not to mention a ton of yummy food.

I trekked from Millcreek to Desolation Lake to Scotts Pass to Brighton. I was in and out of Brighton (mile 75.61) in 7 minutes after I weighed in, grabbed hash browns and brushed my teeth. I was on pace, within minutes of my pacing chart,  until mile 83, Pole Line Pass! I was three minutes off the last possible time for a sub-30. I struggled from Pole Line Pass (mile 83) to Pot Bottom (mile 93) on the climbs. My lungs were packed full of dust I had difficulty breathing. I’m humbled by athletes who struggle with asthma; I don’t know how they do it. Wheezing and constantly trying to catch my breath was scary. I was able to run most of the down hills and shuffle some of the flats, my legs and feet were in good condition, but climbing even the slightest uphill I struggled. I was moving slowly during this section; it was one of the longest 10 miles I had experienced. It was frustrating because I wanted to push harder mentally and physically (feet/legs) but my lungs were shot. The dust and altitude (Pole Line Pass 9,000 feet and up to Rock Springs 9,445) definitely took its toll. At the time, I didn’t know I was at 9,000 + feet – Pole Line Pass to Rock Springs; I think mentally it would have helped if I had known.

I arrived at Pot Bottom aid station (altitude 7380; mile 93), I was in and out of the aid station in four minutes and continued to walk the uphill sections and run all the downhills. The finish line was 7 miles away. I knew once I hit the paved road, I had only a couple of miles to the finish, it was actually .7 miles to the finish.

When I arrived at the finish line my friends (Steve, Ted, Baron, Jen, Hunter, and Nick) held a big sign for me, took pictures, and cheered me on – so thankful to have such amazing friends who were so thoughtful to come out and spend their Saturday cheering me on. In addition, I’m incredibly thankful for my pacer, Michelle, who was my brain during the run, filled my water bladder, made sure I had plenty of food, kept me company, and most importantly kept me safe and on pace; having Michelle out there definitely made Wasatch a more memorable experience.

I was hoping for a sub-30 but will take 30 hours and 11 minutes. Overall, beside a significant bloody nose between miles 28-30 and difficulty breathing between 83-93; I felt great with no major signs or symptoms of stomach issues, heat exhaustion, leg cramps, debilitating blisters, and no major bonking. My nutrition was perfect, I was never hungry, never bonked, and ate mostly whole food (noodles, broth, mac and cheese) I ate very few bars (maybe two), no gu shots but a significant amount of Clif Shot Bloks. I have no idea how many I ate during the race (that is why I brushed my teeth at Brighton) but they prevented me from bonking, kept me going, and were easy to stomach after 20+ hours of racing.

My Fans!

Here are pictures from a July training -this is the most beautiful part of the course and you run through it at night.

 Desolation Lake – Mile 66.93

Scotts Pass – Mile 72.14

Brighton Lodge -Moose Mile 75.61

Baby Moose!

Lake Martha – Mile 77.13

Sunset Peak – 10,648 (the course heads down Great Western before Sunset Peak summit)

Great Western – Mile 80 -ish

 Wasatch Front was truly a great experience. The race organizers (especially Claude Grant), the volunteers, and the aid station crews were top-notch. The folks at the aid stations were incredibly nice, helpful, and encouraging! The course was well-marked. Wasatch 100 is a catered run (popsicles, pancakes, eggs, hash browns, mac and cheese, spaghetti, soup, broth) through one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in America.

The Finish – 100 Miles!

30 hours 11 minutes; 17th Female; 100th Overall

289 starters / 77 DNF’s


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How to keep your stress levels under control!


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Gluten is a protein found in wheat, spelt, kamut, barley and rye. Due to cross-contamination it is usually found in oats, too. Why is gluten so problematic? Individuals who are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease (genetic condition) the body doesn’t recognize gluten and considers it an invader. Therefore the invader “gluten” causes the immune cells in the intestines to activate, which then releases chemicals that can lead to the destruction of the villi of the intestines. The intestinal villi is responsible for absorption therefore if they are damaged your body cannot properly absorb the important nutrients from foods. (big problem)

Kenneth Fine, a renowned gastroenterologist, believes 1 in 3 people experience sensitivity to gluten. The most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity are chronic diarrhea, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel disease, and arthritis.  Other symptoms include: gas, acid reflux, fatigue, bone and joint pain, unexplained anemia, osteoporosis, muscle cramps, and recurring abdominal bloating and pain.

Gluten is hidden in many foods! Again, gluten is a protein found in wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye, and sometimes oats and it can be hiding in baking powder, soy sauce, pasta, cottage cheese, beer, breads, candy, caramel color, cereals, citric acid, non-dairy products, flour, miso, meat, seasonings, malt vinegar, packaged dessert mixes, brown rice syrup, flavorings, soups and soup mixes. For example, some flavored coffee uses wheat as a flavor carrier, brown rice syrup sometimes uses barley,  some yogurt and cottage cheese contains modified food starch, most beer and ale contains wheat and barley and most processed meats (sausages, luncheon meats, hot dogs) use fillers that may contain gluten.

Two ways to find out if you are sensitive to gluten are an elimination diet and a test panel. As a certified nutritionist, I can help you with the elimination diet (insurance accepted) and the second way is to do a Test Panel B: Gluten/Antigenic Food Sensitivity Stool/Gene Panel; you can purchase this panel from Enterolab.  https://www.enterolab.com/Default.aspx

For more information contact Deb – deb@debsholisticnutrition.com www.debsholisticnutrition.com

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Preexercise Nutrition

Preexercise Nutrition

Importance: Pre-exercise snack is beneficial to prevent bonking during a workout, to prevent low blood sugar, to satisfy hunger, to restock glycogen stores, to prevent dehydration, to help balance out hormone levels and ultimately to optimize performance.

Pre-exercise meal should be consumed 4-6 hours prior to exercise. Therefore, if you exercise at noon, breakfast should be your focus. If you exercise in the evening, lunch should be your focus. If you exercise in the morning…dinner the night before should be your focus.  “Focus” refers to a balanced meal.

If you exercise early in the morning it is important to top off your muscle glycogen stores because you are coming off a fast. After 8 hours of sleep, liver glycogen can be depleted by 80%; therefore, it is important to have a small snack and hydrate (20 ounces of water) before your 6 a.m. or 7a.m. CrossFit workout.

A snack should be consumed between 30-60 minutes prior to your workout. Everyone is different; some can digest food quickly while others have a difficult time. Play around with different portion sizes and different foods until you figure out what works for your body. Remember the closer to the workout the less food you should eat, you don’t want your body spending precious energy on digesting your food; you want that energy for your workout.

Snack Suggestions:

Turkey breast with melon + a small amount of nuts.

Blend low fiber fruit w/water or fruit juice and 3 tablespoons protein powder.

Lean meat with ½ orange + nuts (3 almonds)

Applesauce mixed with protein powder

Sprouted bread/gluten free bread with nut butter

Peach (fruit) or wild berries with handful of nuts

Raw veggies with hummus

Celery & nut butter

Jerky & dried fruit

Lean meat, avocado, veggies

Egg w/fruit (banana, peaches, melons)

Hydrate is just as important as eating.

Pre-work snack depends on who you are, what your goals are, and what kind of workout.  The idea is to pair a small amount of each: carb, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates: sliced veggies (carrots, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers), half a piece of fruit (banana, melons, pear, orange), something green and leafy. Pre-workout carbohydrates should be low on the glycemic index. Protein: high quality antibiotic and hormone free meat, grilled chicken breast, eggs. Fat: small amount of avocado, nuts, or coconut.

Questions or more information contact Deb. deb@debsholisticnutrition.com www.debsholisticnutrition.com

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