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Becoming an “IRONMAN”

We all have different reasons for working toward fitness goals. Whether it’s to lose weight, get into better shape, or become a tried-and-true “weekend warrior”, we all strive to achieve a goal. And although those goals may differ, the end result is the same. Becoming the best we can be.

Pro Blend is proud to not only provide quality fitness fuels and supplements but also help power our own athletes in realizing their competitive dreams. In this multi-part series, discover how Team Pro Blend member, Cassy Prechel transformed herself from a casual cyclist and runner into an IRONMAN triathlete.

Finding Fitness

“I wasn’t interested in sports growing up. I played a little volleyball and basketball but never ran or was serious about sports. I was more of a couch potato until I met my future husband in 2004. He’s the person who got me into golfing, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. When we got married, we moved to Rochester, Minnesota. There, I started cycling the five-mile distance to my job at Mayo Clinic so I wouldn’t have to ride the bus.

We later moved to Hillsboro, Wisconsin and I started biking eight miles each way to work in Wonewoc. From there, the miles kept building. I would ride about 3,200 miles during the summer until I became pregnant.

After my children were born, I found running to be the exercise that best fit my lifestyle. Until that time, I had run in a few 5k events but never had any real desire for the sport.

In 2013, I ran a 5k in my hometown and watched people finish a 20k smiling and excited. I thought it was crazy, how can someone run that far and be that happy and energized.

That following spring I decided I wanted to run that distance and found running as my “me time”. I completed my first 10k in June 2014.  My first half-marathon took place in July (2014), and I ran my first full marathon in that September. (an impossible and something I had never thought of before July 2014.)

Since then, I have completed four 20K events, 16 half marathons, 8 full marathons (including qualifying for the Boston Marathon during Whistle Stop in 2016 and the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in 2017), and 3 ultra marathons at the Goosebumps 6 & 24-hour walk/run n La Crosse, Wisconsin (achieving 50 miles in 2015, 78.4 miles in 2016 and 55 miles in 2017). All of these events were the appetizer to an ultra-challenging main course. A full IRONMAN triathlon.”

Fueling the Competitive Fire

1st marathon time 2014: 3hr 55m vs 2016: 3hr 36m

“I began using Pro Blend a couple years ago, purely for the protein. I am not a big meat or protein eater and knew I needed more to help me reach my fitness goals. Although I’ve tried other shakes and whey protein powders, Pro Blend tastes good and it leaves me without any gastrointestinal issues, post-consumption. I like it either as a quick shake or blended with water, either a banana or grapes, as well as peanut butter. It’s perfect as a  treat or full meal replacement.

As I’ve turned into a runner and triathlete, I quickly realized how important recovery is to my overall competitive plan. With a good recovery, you can bounce back sooner and keep improving. I demand a lot out of my body during training, whether it’s running or a multisport day, and I need the fastest recovery route in order to do it day after day.

Nutrition is crucial in both life and fitness. You can train as much as you want, but if you don’t eat well, you can’t race or perform to your full potential. Pro Blend helps me recover, repair and refuel for my next challenge. I have participated in races where at that’s offered at the end of the event are water, soda, beer, or “snacky” foods. After completing a marathon, I want something healthy and full of protein, not junk.

While training for my IRONMAN, I had one-to-two scoops daily, depending on how intense my workouts would be.”

Transforming Into an IRONMAN Competitor

“I had seen IRONMAN events on TV and always thought that my involvement in one would be impossible. In June of 2016, I was given the idea to try an upcoming half IRONMAN…one month later. I started swimming again and training for the competition. Before that time, the only swimming I had ever done was during my childhood.

When it came time to compete at the 2016 IRONMAN Racine, I was devastated to learn a portion of the biking segment and the entire swimming segment had been canceled. That said, I still enjoyed the running portion and made the most of my opportunity.

“Never stop.Never quit.Never give up.”

I completed Liberty Long 70.3 at Lake Rebecca, Minnesota in June even though the run was cut to a 10k due to the heat, and planned to complete the 2017 IRONMAN Racine 70.3 in July, however, cold waters and “small hazard” beach warnings forced the cancellation of the swimming portion. Even with that disappointment, I very much enjoyed the biking and running events in Racine. I finally completed a full 70.3 at Toughman Chicago Lakes end of July 2017 and loved it.

 

Swimming and biking were my weaknesses and I worked on them as much as possible. I did a 100-mile, “century” bike ride in Chippewa Falls, WI over Memorial Day Weekend and took on as many hills as I could to prepare for the hard, hill-filled course.

I swam open water as much as possible as well, participating in a few aquathlons (0.6-mile swim and 5k run) to help me prepare for swimming with other competitors. There were many 4 am wake-up calls to answer two, but it was worth the sacrifice.

My training lasted for more than a year. Going into this challenge, I had no idea how time would be consumed and effort would be required. Ultimately, it was a price worth paying, as I wanted to show my twins that anything is possible.”

With the Right Tools and Training, Anything is Possible.

“An IRONMAN triathlon has 4 parts; swimming, biking, running, and nutrition. You can be trained and ready in the first three, but if your nutrition is lacking, it can put you behind before you even start the race. You need to spend as much time preparing nutritionally as you do the other three.

I love using Pro Blend in my fitness routine and enjoy it every morning, either for breakfast or as a treat after a long training session. I also use it to make protein balls and other portable snacks for refueling on the go. Your body is the most important thing you will ever own so I try to take care of it the best way I can.

An IRONMAN is the hardest single-day event you can do,  and. Nutrition really is the 4 discipline (swim 2.4, bike 112, run 26.2) you need to eat healthy, clean and have a good plan. Not only for your race but days, weeks and months to follow while recovering. After my IRONMAN I double scooped for 2 weeks and I felt better and recovered pretty quick.

I enjoyed a shake before I started my 55-miler last weekend, one for breakfast and one right after I finished. 55 miles running/walking in 94-degree heat is brutal on a body but with the shakes, I wasn’t too sore and gas a quick recovery.

If you train well you can always improve and if you take care of your body you can improve that much faster and better. You only get one body so take care of it.”

Fueling Workouts and Crushing Goals

We’re excited to be a part of Cassy’s training regimen as she works towards her next competitive goal, competing in the 2018 Boston Marathon. If you’re up for taking on new challenges, discover how Pro Blend can help fuel your fitness and workout goals.

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