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I have always been an athlete. From the time I was playing teeball and peewee hockey with the boys, till I was swimming for state high school records, I had to compete. This love for competition and all things athletic continued into my 20's when I took up running and paddling marathon distances and also turned strict vegetarian. Marathons were challenges that pushed my endurance limits and kept me training and thus, happy. I was winning many canoeing races and finishing strong in my marathons. I never considered myself a true runner, but love to train. Then disaster struck. In 2003 I herniated L4-L5 and had to have a back operation to remove the rupture. I had resultant foot drop, and nerve damage in my left leg that severely affected my gait. My surgeon told me to find some new hobbies because I wouldn't run and paddling for long periods would be painful. I listened...for the first two years. In 2005 I decided to get back in the boat and try some short races. I was using my new road bike to get my lungs and legs back, and doing a lot of strength training to get my shoulders and back to come around again. When I took second in the 90-miler canoe race that year, I had hope that I could come back and be stronger than I was before my injury. I continued to ride and paddle and eventually worked some trail running into my training and in 2007 I decided to try an ultra distance trail run. I knew I could hike the distance (50K) and maybe run/walk it. When I came across the finish line for my first Ultra, no other woman had beat me to it. I won the race and overall female. More hope. In 2008 I decided to try my first 12-hour adventure race consisting of trail running, mountain biking and paddling. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was certainly game. My team completed our first race respectfully for a bunch of newbies and I was hooked. I competed in another 12-hour race that summer and decided to continue training to race. That winter I took up Nordic ski racing and competed in my first Kort Loppet (25K). I won 3rd in my age group and had a phenomenal winter of training and racing. I joined another adventure racing team and we did a winter race in which we took second. I did my first 24-hour race last year and we took 3rd. In all of this training and racing, I still managed to gain 8 pounds last year. My friends said, "Oh it's muscle weight." or "Oh you're just getting older and your metabolism is slowing down." I had a gut feeling they were wrong, but I also knew something was wrong with how I was training and eating.

In December of 2009 I found Thrive. I began the Thrive Nutrition Diet plan on January 19, 2010 with a 6 week period in mind for a race. It is March 2nd and my race is now 4 days away. I have lost 10 pounds, found unbelieveable endurance and energy and feel like I am not training enough because I am not always exhausted.

I feel better than I ever did before my injury and my training is smart and calculated. I listen to my body more than ever and have confidence in my training and where it will take me. Brendan's nutrition plan has helped me to achieve more than the physical aspect of what I want, but the psychological aspect as well. Thanks Brendan!

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Comment by Vega Kelly on March 2, 2010 at 6:45pm
Thank you for sharing your story! Sounds like you are in an amazing place for your race this weekend. Good luck!
Comment by Michelle Novak on March 2, 2010 at 5:27pm
wow! way to go! a very inspiring story. Good luck on your race!

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