Amelia Boone Is Human


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When Amelia Boone entered the World’s Toughest Mudder in December of 2011, she was an unknown 27-year-old attorney living in Chicago. A few of her buddies thought it might be cool to try out this crazy, overnight version of an obstacle racing event called The Tough Mudder. 24 plus hour later, she was the 2nd placed female. It turns out only a handful of all participants (men or women) could endure the freezing temperatures and water submersions.

By the end of 2015, Amelia would appear on 35 obstacle racing podiums. Many sponsors jumped on board along with several mainstream media articles, one dubbing her “The Queen of Pain”. Some of her best performances would be in the longest and most difficult events in the obstacle racing space. She won both the World’s Toughest Mudder and multi-day Spartan Death Race 3 times each. She even entered a local 30K trail race in December and won that too.

In February of 2016, Amelia continued to excel as a remarkable endurance athlete. She finished 2nd in the Sean O’Brien 100K and earned a Golden Ticket at The Western States 100-mile race. A Western States entry is one of the most sought-after prizes in ultra-running. A couple of months later, her huge high became a pride crushing disappointment as Amelia fractured her femur and had to postpone her Western States debut.

The following two years became a series of injuries and “semi – comebacks”.  Amelia struggled, as she would race, get injured, rehab, race, get injured, and then repeat the cycle. Rumors swirled about Amelia as people watched her rise and fall with injuries. People quietly judged and wondered why she was frequently breaking bones. Sadly, as with any woman in the public eye, their looks and bodies are scrutinized. You’re either too thin, or too fat, or too much makeup or not enough.

One month ago, Amelia wrote about her lifelong struggles with anorexia, which she had never spoken or written about publicly. Here is an excerpt.

“I had spent the past 20 years starving. Literally: not just physically, but emotionally. I was tired of fighting and so fucking tired of being hungry.”

On this episode of the podcast, Amelia Boone talks about:

  • What led her to check herself into treatment at Opal Food and Body.
  • How and why she does gratitude lists every morning.
  • What NOT to say to someone who struggles with an eating disorder.
  • The backlash to being in the spotlight.
  • Why “Spartan Up” isn’t necessarily a good solution to a problem.
  • Her plan to be at World’s Toughest Mudder at 2019 for one last time?

Show Notes:

All things Amelia Boone

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OCR Athlete Nicole Mericle Backed by Sur AltRed for 2018

Press Release

OCR fan favorite and OCR Worlds Champion, Nicole Mericle packs a new sponsor in her run belt: Sur AltRed, a Beetroot supplement reputed to improve recovery time after muscle training and fatigue. Sur is not saying that AltRed will make you an OCRWC champion, but they’re also not not saying it either…

Sur PhytoPerformance™, creator of AltRed™, a groundbreaking phytonutrient supplement that unleashes the unique athletic performance and recovery benefits of betalain phytonutrients, has partnered with the Timex Multisport Team as well as professional ultrarunner Cat Bradley and professional Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) competitor Nicole Mericle for the 2018 season.  Sur will support the esteemed athletes throughout the year and will provide them with AltRed for all of their training, racing and recovery needs.

Launched in July 2017, AltRed came to the market as a new paradigm in plant-based performance and recovery supplementation. Betalain, a phytonutrient naturally found in beets, is the active ingredient in AltRed. It has been scientifically proven in studies conducted by the Sports Performance Laboratory at the University of California Davis to improve oxygen delivery, mitigate lactic acid, and protect muscles from damage during activity. Sur’s commitment to athletes extends beyond the efficacy of performance, having AltRed third-party certified through both Informed-Choice Trusted by Sport™ and NSF™.

The Timex Multisport Team consists of 50 triathletes ranging in backgrounds and abilities from full-time, professional athletes to elite age groupers and influential triathlon figures. In 2018, the team will be racing at nearly 500 races worldwide across triathlon disciplines, with the season culminating at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. As a part of the sponsorship, Sur will supply team members with AltRed for their triathlon pursuits and the Timex Multisport Team will be prominently displaying the Sur and AltRed logos on their racing kits.

“We are really excited to be working with Sur PhytoPerformance this year,” said Tristan Brown, Timex Multisport Team Manager. “It is our mission to find partners that provide our athletes not only with beneficial product and equipment but with event support as well. Their presence at triathlon races across the country provides an extra level of encouragement when it is needed most for our athletes.”

Cat Bradley, a professional trail and ultra runner of Boulder, Colorado, has become an emerging young force after a breakthrough year of victories and podium finishes. In late 2016 she set the course record at the Rio Del Lago 100 Miler, and in 2017 took wins at the Canyons Endurance Run 100K and the Western States 100 Endurance Run. She also set the Fastest Known Time for the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim.

“I am excited to add another tool to my training and racing toolbox this season,” added Bradley. “AltRed has been really beneficial to my performance and recovery and I am happy to represent the product and the Sur brand this year.”

Nicole Mericle, residing in Boulder, Colorado, began her athletic career as an NCAA D1 runner at Rice University. After college, she started competing at OCR and has risen to the top of the sport as a multiple event World Champion. She closed out the 2017 season with multiple podium finishes on the Spartan World Championship Series, first place at the Tough Mudder World Championships as well as first place finishes in both the 3K and 15K races at the OCR World Championships.

“Adding AltRed to my daily routine has made a noticeable difference in my training and racing,” shared Mericle. “I appreciate the brand’s commitment to clean sport, passion to excel, and willingness to encourage and uplift others. These values align well with my own and I look forward to sharing AltRed with the trail running and obstacle course racing communities this season.”

“We are honored to be able to help support the Timex Multisport Team, Cat and Nicole this year,” shared Travis Johnson, Sur’s Product Manager. “We are privileged to power each and every one of these athletes who push and exceed their limits and that are all true role models for sport.”

This group of elite and professional athletes joins the AltRed PhytoRebel ambassador community of over 100 athletes who share the core principles of training and competing with plant-based supplements that are scientifically proven to improve athletic performance. The AltRed team will be hitting the road in their Airstream trailer starting this winter and will be activating at endurance events across the country throughout the year. AltRed is available for purchase at Sur.co and is sold in 30 capsule bottles for $50.00.

 ABOUT SUR  

Sur PhytoPerformance creates clean, powerful plant-based supplements that improve athletic performance. Sur is built on the experience of seven generations of farmers who have grown with the food, organic food, and dietary supplement industry. AltRed, a groundbreaking phytonutrient supplement that unleashes the athletic performance and recovery benefits of betalains, is the first product released by Sur. To learn more visit Sur.co.

 

ABOUT THE TIMEX MULTISPORT TEAM

Established in 2001, the Timex Multisport Team helped shape what the modern-day triathlon team looks like. Focused on supporting a range of athletes from full-time professionals, to elite age groupers, and consumer influencers, the Timex Multisport Team provides specific tools and management so athletes achieve the Team’s performance and marketing goals. Now in it’s 17th year, the Timex Multisport Team is the longest running triathlon program in the world. Learn more at timexteam.com

‘MAF’in It’

I’ve been running for about 10 years. With zero athletic background prior to that, the beginning of my running was pretty sad. Mostly, I was just walking as I graduated to baby jogging and then a walk/jog combo, over several years, before actually running. I have only identified myself as a ‘runner’ for the last five years.

Melanie Blenis Article MAF

As a runner, the last several years have been challenging. I badly sprained one ankle and just as it was in full service again, I sprained the other. Those literally affected my run for two years! Sigh. Many runners can relate to being sidelined by an injury. Admittedly, I did not take the time off that I should have. In the midst of that, I did the Spartan Vermont Beast – twice! I also had two crazy ‘flus’ that took me out for several months. But, the biggest thing that has affected my running has been Crossfit.

Initially, I began Crossfit as a way to get stronger and be a better runner. Pulling back on the running, due to the sprains and sickness, meant that I was self limiting, without really thinking about it, my daily activity load. For the past 6 months, I have been perfectly well and injury free. So, I have been going full throttle, doing two a days and loving it until this summer – meaning, running 6-10 miles most every day and doing CrossFit WODs. I began to break.

I began to notice that my running times were stagnating and that my weigh lifting was going nowhere. I was battling frustration. I was considering quitting CrossFit. And, I was pushing hard running, with most runs at 80%. In hind site, it is all so clear. But, of course! Here’s the deal: I love doing all of it. I want to do all of it. It is fun!

barbell orm

But the reality is…I cannot do it all, at least not every day and certainly not well. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. I was just living in the moment.

To make a correction, I now have a running coach. In just a short time, about two months, I can see a difference. I have actually set three PR’s with a strong dose of tough love and through pulling back on everything some. This means looking a the CrossFit WOD ahead of time and skipping METCON days in favor of running programming. It means letting go of the need to focus on things at CrossFit that are not necessary for my goals, like double-unders. It means that strength training takes priority over extra cardio. Also, it means that as a runner first, I may not be able to kill it at CrossFit and that’s okay. I also must understand that, as an endurance athlete, the norms of weightlifting may not necessarily apply to me. Standard one rep max charts may not work for me. I may have muscular imbalances that need addressed. One day off per week is now mandatory.

Most importantly, coaching has brought more variety and specificity to my run training. This means not just going through the motions of a daily, moderate-intensity run. Sometimes, I run as fast as I can, but I’ve also been coached to do a lot more easy runs – both recovery runs and “MAF” runs.  Essentially, MAF runs are heart rate based runs designed to develop the aerobic system. The formula is 180 minus your age and then plus or minus 5-10 beats based on certain personal variables. You can figure out your heart rate zone here. This is slow running!

heartrate orm

MAF may be boring at times, but I credit MAF runs with my ability to set new PR’s at forty-seven. I had no idea what MAF running was a few months ago… and, boy did I detest it. After my first MAF run, I was nearly in tears as I slammed the car door after I had finished. Running slow enough to reap the benefits of easy running requires a big ego check. It took a month of diligently attempting MAF until I actually settled into it – just another mental exercise in discipline. Now, I understand that MAF running is like making deposits that allow the ‘fast’ days to happen.

Thanks to these MAF “deposits”, I’ve gotten to experience the thrill of running faster than ever before (for me)! I have spent years running at 80%. Running faster is crazy addictive, but I would never have experienced it if not for MAF. The daily grind of running at 80% eventually leads to chronic fatigue and performance plateaus, but a balance of easy days and faster days leads to continuous progression. MAF is a forced easy day. For me, MAF means watching my heart rate monitor and not letting it over 140.  It takes practice and patience to begin running faster within your heart rate zone. MAF training incurs many benefits, but at the end of the day, you have to run fast to run fast. This is why tempo work and high-intensity workouts are still extremely important! I was simply going too hard too often.

slow1

Lastly, as a way to counter over training, I understand that a day off, at least one per week, is essential. This is, perhaps, the hardest aspect of being coachable, for me. Just knowing that on my off days, I am ‘allowed’ to take a walk makes it palatable. couch1While I am no elite athlete, I still face similar challenges just on a different scale. Accepting that and slowing down, just a tad, is making a huge difference in my life and in my performance.

And…my lessons in running and taking on more than I should apply to life because who we are in one area reflects who we are. There is nothing wrong with working hard, every day, and pushing personal limits – those are great qualities. It is, however, important to be mindful that we don’t have super powers – unfortunately!