Good Klean Fun

All Posts

Good Klean Fun

By Susan Kelley, Klean Team USA Ambassador – Sponsored Athlete

For me, The Pittsburgh Triathlon was Saturday, August 2, because I did the Sprint Distance race. For some of my colleagues and fellow racers, the big day was Sunday, August 3 and the International Distance. That’s what made writing this race report a bit more difficult than I would have liked it to be. Allow me to digress a bit and explain:

Pittsburgh’s beautiful Allegheny River is a mighty beast that cascades through Pennsylvania from the North, reaching a confluence in Pittsburgh where it meets with the Monongahela River, and forms the Ohio. In this region, Pittsburgh has a combined sewerage system which means that when it rains hard enough to overwhelm the storm drains, the combined systems overflow into the rivers, thus contaminating the Allegheny with raw sewage. As you might suspect, this can create quite a problem for those of us who are keen on swimming in the rivers.

The Allegheny is normally a beautiful place to swim. I’d get in it nearly every day. Just look at that happy duck.

While Saturday, my race day, was lovely, Sunday was a bit of a disaster for racers and race staff alike. There was a huge overnight storm, a resultant overflow, and a swirl of controversy around the race. During the race itself, many competitors were still in the field as a second dangerous storm approached over the three rivers, making for dangerous conditions and a treacherous race. I was glad to have safe shelter with my colleagues from the Pittsburgh Triathlon Club, and I was happy to be resting from my successful event the day before.

As someone who is highly committed to the multisport lifestyle, and also to super-healthy living, the controversy that followed the International race has haunted me, and made me reluctant to put my reflections in writing. In fact, as Secretary for the Pittsburgh Tri Club, much of my emotional energy in the days that followed was spent considering the best path for our club to take and working closely with the other club officers to determine the best ways to serve our members and our sport.

I strive to be an ambassador for a strong, healthy way of life and this put me under a lot of stress. I am happy to say that I am back on track, feeling well and rested – and that being a Klean Athlete is a great part of what got me there.

Let me share that day with you. The race, for now, is the important thing. The rest – the water quality debate and the politics and administration will have to wait. For now, I want to reflect on the hard work and the execution of a good race.

August 2 was a beautiful, sunny morning, and I was 100% race-ready. My normal training day consisted of an early wake-up and a Greek yogurt smoothie with a handful of berries, spinach, and two scoops of Klean Isolate.

One of my favorite things about using Klean Isolate is that I can blend it in to any other flavor and it is smooth and consistent. I start almost every day this way, but especially a day with a long run or swim ahead of me.

So on race day, nothing changes. I scooped my protein into the blender and this time I added a little peanut butter just to get that smooth boost I love on race day. There is something about peanut butter that tells my body we are ready to go.

My bag was packed from the night before, so it was just a matter of checking the list, and checking it again. I made sure there were two pairs of goggles, extra shoes, my Klean visor AND my lucky hat (you can never have too many of these things), all of the necessities for a strong day. By 5:30 I was in the car, loaded up and on my way, just as the moon was settling down over the horizon – one of my favorite times of the day. Night is just saying goodbye. My Race # was on – 312! And I was ready to go. I was more relaxed this year because I was more ready. My training plan was coming together, thanks to my Coach, Chris Rotelli.

The first time I competed in the Pittsburgh Triathlon, 4 years ago, I lacked all confidence in the swim, and it showed. While I had trained hard, I was not traditionally “ready.” I wasn’t mentally prepared, and I hadn’t built the muscle I had now. I also didn’t have Klean Athlete on my side. This time around, I have prepped with Klean Electrolytes every day, I knew I’d have Klean Endurance with me on the bike, and Klean Probiotic is part of my daily regimen. This plan has revamped how I live, not just how I train. I brought a Klean plan with me to this race.

This year, I nailed the swim. It felt great. It felt fast, because it was fast. It was my fastest swim yet.

It felt doubly good because my friend Sarah, who has really helped me boost my confidence in open water swimming, was the volunteer at the Swim Out for Saturday’s race. So anyone who tells you that volunteers are anything other than amazing is just plain wrong. Volunteers are the glue and the guts of any triathlon. (Thanks, Sarah!)

With a great big smile on my face, I ran up the curving concrete path to T1. I had the assistance of someone more organized than me, who had placed a bright pink balloon near her bike, so it was easy to spot my own. I love when people do that kind of stuff. I sped out of T1 confidently and ready to take on the long, slow hill that is Pittsburgh’s notorious HOV lane that serves as the bike course. The first half of it is largely an uphill slog, but it’s fun anyway. Not terribly scenic, but that ride sure teaches the quads a thing or two!

The fun part is that after climbing that hill, the ride back down means winding out the bike and watching the speed on the Garmin climb, feeling the air rush by and knowing that the city, and T2 are just moments away.

Sure enough – T2 yields and before long, the last leg unfolds itself, and along the beautiful river there are 3.1 miles of gorgeous trail to run. And run fast.
Remarkably, and with much thanks to Klean Endurance, my 5K time for the Triathlon was only about 5 minutes slower than my typical 5K time. Think about that for a minute – I did 3.1 miles only about 5 minutes slower AFTER swimming half a mile and biking 12.5 miles than I do when I just do the run. To me, that means that the combination of careful training, planning and nutrition paid off in a big, big way.

If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.  My body takes care of me because Klean takes care of my body. When I first applied to be a part of the Klean Team, I made a simple claim. I explained that I am very unlikely to be first across the finish line, but I will always cross the finish line. I promised that I will finish strong and I will finish happy. I promised that I will take care of myself by eating carefully, listening to my body, following a strong training plan, and working with Klean Athlete to support my body and my sport.

I followed through, and Klean Athlete did, too. My nutrition for this race was spot-on thanks to my sponsors. Incredible. And look – here’s an athlete who finishes with a strong, happy smile!

Live Klean. Train Klean. Race Klean. Love Klean.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

* Required