Super mom (or ProMom) Arianne Brown lives in Eagle Mountain, UT and is a new PROBAR Ambassador. Mother of six beautiful children, Ari is also a competitive runner at any distance from 5k to 50 miles, as well as a freelance writer. Arianne reports below on her fueling goals for 2015.
As I look back at the 2014 running year, I am pleased with the way things went. Having given birth to my sixth child in late 2013, and spending much of the year pregnant, 2014 would be my year to see if running/training throughout my entire pregnancy paid off.
And it did.
2014 brought me a new ½ marathon PR of 1:19.08, and a marathon PR of 2:54.04. In June, I was able to complete of my first ever 50K, made possible by many things, including a cherry PROBAR FUEL® bar that I nibbled on while running among the Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Last year also taught me many things that I hope to carry over to the 2015 season, with one of the most important lessons being proper fueling.
In April of last year, I attempted my first 50K at Zion National Park, as part of the Grand Circle Trail Series. Having run many marathons, 32 miles seemed like it would be not much of a change, considering that I was only adding six miles to the distance.
The morning of the race, I remember filling my water pack, and packing a few snacks, but being more concerned with my 6-month old baby, who I was still nursing. I fed him as soon as I woke up, then right before heading to the start line. I wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be hungry while I was gone.
The first 22 miles were great, and I was leading the women. At mile 27, however, that is when I hit a wall, both literally and figuratively. There I stood with sheer cliff faces above and below me, and I was frozen, unable to move another inch, let alone five treacherous miles. My water pack had leaked, and I failed to pack enough fuel for the journey.
Minutes later, another female came running up the trail. “Running?” I thought. “How on earth is this girl running?”
She noticed that I was clearly struggling, and stopped to help. She gave me a drink of water and pulled out from her pack a strawberry-flavored PROBAR, and handed it to me. It might as well have been manna from heaven, because when I ate it, my body awakened, and I felt energy running through my veins.
My mind was gone, however, and all I could think about was getting to my kids, so that I tapped out at about mile 28. It was that moment, though, when I realized the importance of proper fueling. It didn’t matter that I was at peak physical condition, if I didn’t have the proper nutrition to get me through.
Like most mothers, my first concern is always for my kids’ needs. In my daily routine, I am focused on making breakfast and packing lunches, that my own nutritional needs are often tossed to the wayside. I find myself sharing a meal with my 1-year-old, or eating what was left from my 5-year-old’s sandwich and bowl of soup that she failed to finish.
As was illustrated earlier in my story, my neglect to properly fuel myself often carries into my training, making it so that I am exercising on an empty tank; something that is never OK to do.
In 2015, I have the usual busy mom schedule, and plan on running many races this year, specifically those in the Grand Circle Trail Series. And while my focus for both will be on completing the tasks at hand to the best of my ability, I hope that with a more clear focus on nutritional meals for myself (which will include many a PROBAR), I hope to become more efficient, filled with the energy that this busy mom so sorely needs.