Errr… Cut it in half.

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Errr… Cut it in half.

As an avid recreational athlete and obstacle course mud runner I accepted the challenge of running the Pittsburgh Marathon with a few of my fellow Pittsburgh Sports League teammates. But as you all know, life has a way of distracting us. Coupled with the brutal winter, family planning (we’re expecting our first child), and my training hit a snag when I stressed my patellae tendon.  With less than 7 weeks until show time, I had to make a decision to risk injury (something I couldn’t afford, being a new Daddy) or make a smart move and drop down to the Half Marathon.  Luckily, my teammates, who challenged me to the Full, actually registered for the Half – our group would still be able to start together!

Getting some pointers on my knee from Tim with Klean Athlete (see his race day tips here) helped relieve the pain and got me on track for a shortened training regimen – something that I felt comfortable with to reach my goal of a under 2 hour Half.

Running between 10-18 miles a week and using a handful of the Klean Athlete products helped get my body in tune & gave me the confidence I needed to ensure a quality Half Marathon.

Race day brought a whole new experience for me, as it was the first time that I competed on this level, both in distance and number of participants. I geared up on half a bagel with peanut butter, a banana & Klean Isolate.  (A quick trick: mix Klean Isolate with part Gatorade, part water, ratio to your choice for a easy, flavorful boost of protein.)

Once we arrived “Dahn Than” (downtown) for all you Pittsburgher’s out there, I took 2 Klean Electrolytes with 8oz of Gatorade.  I wasn’t uneasy about overloading on electrolytes, for two reasons; 1. I take Klean Multivitamin & Probiotic on a daily basis to establish a healthy gut. And 2. The shorter distance I was running wouldn’t cause any GI issues – it’s the longer exertions that can catch up to you.

The amount of runners at an event like this is nothing short of impressive – you can’t help but get caught up in the adrenalin-pumping environment. I kept telling myself to watch my pace out of the gate. The cool morning air and slight mist of rainfall made it perfect for the run.  Before you know it BOOM – away we go! It wasn’t more than 30 seconds into the run before our team broke apart, I was moving at a steady pace of 08:45 mi.  After the first mile I knew I had to bump my pace up if I were going to be happy with my results. From here out I was able to hold an average mile of 08:35 on the fairly level course.

I believe the key to feeling great even after the finish was staying hydrated and getting a little extra boost at the 45 minute mark from a Clif Shot Gel & 2 more Klean Electrolytes chased by H2O.   I also think maintaining my daily nutrition impacted my performance and overall positive experience at my first half.  Especially with our new addition due any day (literally we’re 3 days late) we really try to eat healthy and clean.  Like I mentioned briefly above, daily, I take the Klean Multi, Cognitive, Omega, & Probiotic products, I also take Pterostilebene (Resveratrol), Ubiquinol (CoQ10).  The combination of solid eating habits and additional support from Klean Athlete supplements helped me build a solid foundation.

Given the training circumstances, and my results, I look forward to competing at a higher level at next years Pittsburgh Marathon. Hopefully this time I’ll be able to go for the full 26.2.

The entire experience was a blast, from meeting all of the athletes who stopped by the Klean Athlete booth during the Expo, running with a great group of people, and seeing the support this city provides. Technically, I didn’t finish the race (remember, I was registered for the full and that transfer fee is at least two cases of diapers) but I finished the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in 1:53 flat.  I’m proud to say I work at Klean Athlete and live here in the City of Champions.

Stay Klean My Friends!

Dennis Criner


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