This Maple Fanatic is a mom, coach, nutritionist, and yoga instructor among other things, so it’s safe to say Debbie uses her time wisely to fit in the training to prepare for a hundred mile race. Her recent victory is all the more impressive as she calls Connecticut home, where as of this writing, there is a high temperature of 18 degrees tomorrow!
UnTapped: Congratulations! Winning and taking home a top ten overall is an incredible result. What were your expectations going into the HURT 100?
Debbie: I did not get into HURT until about 7 weeks out from the race as I was #55 on the waitlist, but because of COVID challenges and an option to defer to 2023 they blew through the waitlist pretty quickly. I stay fit year round and have been wanting to get into HURT for years so it was just a matter of ramping up my miles and getting in more specific training which involved: running to and from work 1-2X per week, getting on the StepMill, choosing rocky and rooty trails, as well as long hill repeats for hours. I have always thought HURT would play to my strengths which is running on challenging terrain, especially downhill and running in the heat.
UnTapped: Winter in New England is a far cry from the heat and humidity of race day. What did your preparation look like? Did you have any tricks to help with adaptation?
DL: As I stated, I do well in the heat most likely due to my small stature but I also stay on top of my hydration. I wanted to get to the YMCA to spend some time in the sauna leading into arriving in Hawaii but it just did not work out. Instead, we arrived 4 days ahead and went right to the beach!
UnTapped: Ha, whatever works! Having studied nutrition extensively as well as being a running coach and athlete, you get to straddle the line of knowing what theoretically works and then testing those theories in the field. What did your nutrition look like in training and the race itself?
DL: I eat whole foods and I am plant based. I focus on using real foods and enjoy cooking and baking for my family. My son embraces our family choices. My daughter is a bit more of a rebel, but this summer she was lecturing grandpa on not eating enough veggies! I also know that I have a slight gluten intolerance so I cut it out of my diet 2-3 weeks ahead of race day. When it comes to racing I also prefer real food energy. I brought and used UnTapped packets for HURT. They are easy to carry and use while on the trail. The original Maple is my favorite. I also ate savory items that were offered in the aid stations such as miso soup, boiled potatoes and rice balls. Watermelon and grapes were refreshing when it heated up.
UnTapped: This is a successful way to start off the year. Are there other events on your 2022 calendar?
DL: Yes, it was a great way to start 2022 and it was only 6 days after my 47th birthday so it was a great birthday present too! I also got into Hardrock 100 for the 2nd time. I ran it 5 years ago. Now I get to go the opposite direction. I am signed up for Mt. Tammany 10! (10 hour race in Delaware Water Gap) and Traprock 50k in CT leading into Hardrock. And one more like Survival of the Shawnagunks multi sport race in New Paltz, NY.
UnTapped: A trip to practically the other side of the globe is no small undertaking. Did you sip from a coconut or bask on the beach before jetting home?
DL: For sure! We brought our kids (Shepard and Dahlia) along and visited a beach on every side of Oahu, took a tour of the Battleship Missouri at Pearl Harbor and hiked Mt. Olamana for a 360 degree view of Oahu! We love to immerse ourselves in the culture of the place I race.
UnTapped: Congratulations again and a belated happy birthday!
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