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TEAM #UNFINISHERS: THE 18TH MILE

WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Everyone has unfinished business. We’ve teamed up with four incredible athletes who refuse to let anything – including muscle cramps – keep them from reaching their goals.  Team Unfinisher’s Abigail trains between 15-18 hours a week, thinking about her unfinished business with the 18th mile marker:

What was your motivation to start exercising?

Abigail: I wanted to quit dance when I was 12, had to show my parents I was good at other things, I never looked back! I love to run and now I love to TRI especially long course, the longer the better!  I am a 42-year-old mother of three girls, wife to my high school sweetheart (who is also a runner and triathlete) and a high school culinary arts teacher.  My days are super busy, my alarm goes off at 4:25 every morning and even though I cringe I still get up.  It actually is one of the best parts of my day.  I run or ride on the bike trainer or I head to the YMCA pool but it’s my time, no one needs me for anything and I can just BE.  I wish more people saw the value in that!

Do you consider yourself a fitness enthusiast or a high-intensity athlete?

Abigail:  I think I am somewhere in between, I have been running for over 30 years, done many marathons, races and bowling course triathlons.  I work full time and have 3 daughters, if I had more time I could be a very competitive age grouper.  I do ok!

Have muscle cramps ever kept you from finishing a race?

Abigail: No, but they have slowed me down to a crawl… I was stressed and worried about it the entire 112 mile ride during Ironman and when the cramping started I prayed I would finish… I have not had a situation where muscle cramping has caused me to stop an event, however I have had them greatly change the outcome of a race.  During the Boston marathon I was really doing well, averaging 8-minute miles which is what I had hoped for.  Around mile 18 I hit “the wall”, not mentally but physically.  I experienced a lot of cramping in my quads and hamstrings, then my calves joined in too…I was at a point where I actually was wishing for up-hills because going downhill made me feel like my legs were going to snap! My pace slowed to around 12-minute miles which meant I was not going to hit my goal finish time, not even close!  It was frustrating and this happened back before a lot of these endurance products came out.  

When did you hear about HOTSHOT?

Abigail: I first tried HOTSHOT during Ragnar Trail New England which is an overnight distance relay. HOTSHOT was a sponsor and was giving out free samples so I figured ‘why not?’  I like cinnamon and I had no idea how my muscles were going to react to intense trail running with only a few hours to recover between each leg.  I actually liked it, it felt like taking a quick shot of something fun.  The heat of the cinnamon was warming and it didn’t seem to bother my stomach.  As far as cramping was concerned it seemed to help.  No matter what I think there will always be muscle soreness but at no point did I feel intense cramping.  It seemed like a good product.

What inspires you to keep going?

Abigail: To prove to myself and others that ‘I am enough.’ I compete because I can, many people can’t, I like to run for them.

 

Click here for more on Team Unfinishers or to share your “unfinished business.” 

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