I've been waiting to do this blog post because I needed adequate time to try these products and, well, I'm hesitant to share my secret . . . So I'll just whisper it and keep it between you and me, okay? OSMO is the best nutrition brand - and they even have a line formulated just for women! Now I'm going to tell you WHY it's better than the brand you're using right now.
Secret Reason #1 - I always knew the importance of staying hydrated DURING the race, but I was never confident with my hydration BEFORE the race. When I drink the PreLoad, I go into the race with piece of mind. I know that I am starting the race with a certain level of hydration.
Secret Reason #2 - Other sports drinks left a sticky, sugary coating in my mouth (and in my water bottle.) Because of that reason, I always ended up choosing water, which was not hydrating enough to keep my performance at my highest potential. I am pleased to say that the Active Hydration does NOT leave a weird residue in my mouth and I have finished every race with an empty bottle (which I never did before.)
Secret Reason #3 - Lean in close . . . The Acute Recovery doesn't upset my stomach and doesn't make me feel so full that I can't eat for 2 hours after drinking it. I like to mix the Acute Recovery with chocolate milk.
Now that I have experience with the products, I am confident that they have helped me reach my full potential and sustain my pace in the longer Cat 1 races. Shhh! Don't tell! Keep this between you and me!
* Ladies, if you want to keep beating the guys, you better not mention OSMO's men's line of products!
Read more about the genius (Dr. Stacy Sims MSc, PhD) behind these amazing products!
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Step 1: PreLoad
Osmo PreLoad Hydration is a special application "hyper-hydrator" for women that addresses the effects of estrogen and progesterone on athletic perfomance. It was developed to be used before intense efforts, ultra-endurance events or exercise in hot conditions to:
Step 2: Hydrate
Women are not small men™ During our menstrual cycle our internal temperature varies by 0.5°C, while our sodium losses increase and plasma volume drops. Dr. Stacy Sims developed Active Hydration for Women to address these physiological realities to help female athletes:
Step 3: Recover
As women, our recovery physiology is heavily influenced by our menstrual cycle. Recovery is critical for us because progesterone and estrogen inhibit muscle repair and glycogen restoration.
I developed Acute Recovery for Women to address these physiological realities. It helps female athletes like us:
If I was going to California for a second time, I couldn't act like a newbie. That meant I had to channel my inner west coast doppelganger.
“I'm so stoked to shred some gnarly gnar! It's going to be so epic and rad!” #shredthegnarnia #gnar #shred #gnarly #rad #stoked #epic #totally #didisaygnar?
You know what, I think I'll just stick to being a Pennsylvanian . . .
So, this year I had the privilege of attending the biggest cycling festival of the year. . . The Sea Otter Classic! I knew I was up for a big challenge when I saw the roster of girls in the 15-18 Cat 1 category. Not to mention a whopping 3,400 feet of climbing! I was eager to see where I stood among some of the best girls in the country. I put quite a bit of pressure on myself since this was my first big race representing the Whole Athlete / Specialized Team. All of the sponsors were going to be present and I wanted to represent well.
I pre-rode the course and, I have to say, it really exceeded my expectations. Aside from the road and gravel sections, the singletrack was fast and smooth, and the top of the course was truly beautiful. I was jittery with anticipation of getting on the start line!
Fast forward to race day: my pre-race rituals went smoothly and I set out to get a good warm-up. I lined up behind my teammate, Haley, and we formed a peloton as we raced around the Mazda track. We got onto the rolling gravel section and I surged with the top half of the group. A few mini attacks took place and I hung onto a wheel. As we entered the singletrack and made our way to the feed zone (about 12 miles in,) I found myself going a little too hard to stay with this top group. I let off the gas a bit, but I was still in the mix. This is a strategy I have been trying to execute ever since I made the transition from the shorter junior races to the longer Cat 1 courses. Throughout the race, I paid close attention to how my body was feeling and how much gas I had left in the tank. I planned to go hard in the beginning to see what the pace was like and then settle into a rhythm that would leave just enough energy to go full force the last two miles. The front of the pack surged on, but that didn't discourage me. I focused on eating my PROBAR Bolts and drinking my OSMO whenever possible and I mashed up all the short steep climbs. A Bear Dev girl passed me and I latched onto her wheel. I noticed that she was holding a really good pace, so I stayed with her and we took turns drafting the entire race. I was feeling strong and I waited for the perfect opportunity to go on an attack to put some distance between us right before the finish. When I saw that I only had about two miles left, I attacked on the longest gravel climb. Once I crested the top, I carried my momentum into the downhill and tried to expand the gap. Then, the last switchback climb hit me like a brick wall. I had no recollection of this climb. I expended all of my energy on my attack and now my gap was becoming smaller. How could so much climbing be packed into the very last mile of the race!? I gritted my teeth and passed multiple riders walking their bikes up the really steep parts of the climb. I looked back and saw the Bear Dev girl too close for comfort. I put my head down and would not relinquish! She passed me and I had nothing left in the tank. I sprinted across the line, finishing in 8th out of 14 girls. I found out that the girl I was battling with finished less than a minute ahead of me, so I was definitely upset that I timed my attack a little too early. I was also informed that my preride was way too hard and that I had the potential of a top 5 finish if I would have gone into the race fresher. I feel good knowing that I committed to my plan and have even more potential.
I want to thank the entire Whole Athlete crew (coaches, mechanics, and sponsors) for the valuable learning experience that I will implement to improve my racing in the future.