Our clients work hard. They focus on their day to day nutrition. They trust us to help them fuel for whatever life throws their way and whatever #bigscarygoals they choose to commit to. They share their goals, struggles, and successes with us. They are open to new ideas and forever being the "guinea pig" whether it's trialing new sports nutrition products, timing or strategies.
We can tell you all about the Self-Support Nutrition program or we can let those that have been supported by us tell you in their own words.
"I have been an endurance athlete for almost 15 years. The first 13 years were full of constant struggles due to my nutrition choices. I have a very sensitive stomach, and when I would eat things like sports gels or Gatorade, which is what my nutrition consisted of for those 13 years, I would spend a good majority of my race and even my training heaving in the bushes!
I met Dawn at a women’s bike clinic in 2022 and her nutritional planning made my racing and training experience so much better. Not only did it change the way I look at what I eat while out on my bike, but also what I eat before a ride and after, to help improve my overall self.
I have finished the Marji 50 miler 4 times, hoping to make it a 5th in 2024. My first two years were struggles. It was hard to eat, so I just didn’t, and by the time I did eat and hydrate, it was too late, and I spent some time on the side of the trail heaving.
My 2023 Marji was my overall best experience because I really dialed in what and when I put things into my mouth. I ate carbs on the appropriate day prior, ate the right breakfast, and made sure to either eat or drink my high calorie drink every 30ish minutes, which is exactly what Dawn told me to do, and low and behold, I felt great, or as great as you can in the event, the whole race. I never felt like I was going to vomit, I never bonked or ran out of energy. Dawn’s nutritional program changed how I can race now and made it a much more positive experience. I cannot recommend her program enough!"
Allecia pictured with Dawn at the Because Trail Clinic in 2022.
"The Marji Gesick mountain bike race in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is everything it is advertised to be.
I am not new to ultra endurance bike events having completed The Crusher EX-225 in July of 2022 as well as multiple double century rides, both on and off road.
I started working with Dawn after Marji Camp in June. Our goal over the coming months was to get me consuming 90 grams of carbohydrates an hour. I have been using Infinit Nutrition up until this point and when they launched their 90 and 120 gram of carbohydrate blends…we gave it a try.
The 90 gram formula worked well on shorter (sub-4 hour) rides. However, the true test was going to be Ride Across Wisconsin, 234 miles from LaCrosse to Milwaukee on Saturday, August 19th. Since this wasn’t my “A” event for the year, this was the place to try it.
At Mile 201, I pulled the plug on finishing due to not being able to eat or drink anything since mile 165. I didn’t want to hinder my recovery and jeopardize upcoming workouts for my Marji preparation. It’s always better to live to fight another day.
Bottom line…that formulation was just too much sugar consumed in short window that my stomach revolted.
After R.A.W. I came across an Infinit Nutrition podcast where they were taking about their 90 and 120 gram carbohydrate formulas. The bottom line was, these might not work for everybody. I believe I fall into that category
Dawn and I talked about what happened and we both agreed to go back to what had worked in the past, my custom blend Infinit Nutrition drink formulas along with solid food choices such as Spring Energy Wolf Packs, their Awesome Sauce gels along with some Cliff Bars and Precision Fuel chews while riding. At aid stations where I was planning to meet my wife (who by the way absolutely crushed the support!!!!) I’d consume other solid foods such as rice, gnocchi, crackers and soda (the only time I DO drink it).
There was absolutely no threat of me snatching a podium spot, but truly my only goal was to finish the race…I just about needed all 25 hours of the 25 hour mindset finishing in 24:14:12.
This completes the 906 Triple Crown for me and I couldn’t be happier about that."
Steve at the start and finish of the Marji Gesick 100 in 2023.
"Morning of the race my plan was my normal protein shake and oatmeal with a hardboiled egg. I got the protein shake down then got dressed went back for the rest of my breakfast and just stared at it.... I couldn't bring myself to eat a single bite. Another rider in our crew was having similar issues. He said hey why not toss the oatmeal in a bag just in case. Wow what a great idea. Plain oatmeal in a ziplock bag, looks pretty gross but that hit the spot when I started getting hungry.
During training what I struggled with most was speed of eating anything trailside. I transitioned to almost all liquid fuel.
Early in the race I was able to get one pack of chews down by ripping the top off and sticking it in my sports bra where I could keep pedaling and just reach in and grab one at a time. [Skratch] Super fuel definitely saved me. It was really the only thing I could keep getting down at a consistent rate. I had it in a pouch on my arm strap as well as in my bottle. I had premixed two bottles of 7 scoops with added hydration of either honeystinger or the skratch clear hydration. When I got to JP1 (Jackson Park 1) I had almost finished my first 7 scoop mixture, with that and the chews, honey stinger and awesome sauce I was doing ok with my target carbs per hour.
I couldn't eat anything at JP1 food still didn't sound good. I refilled my two bottles with the concentrated mixer and topped them off with water to dilute them. Next grabbed my stop 1 ziplock of fuel and jammed it in my pouches. I left the chews in my drop bag since I still had leftover from the start.
Next section I started stopping at the angels on the trail for pickles and pickle juice. I wasn't cramping but I definitely needed something not sweet. I finally finished my oatmeal with a pouch of embark maple syrup which I tried to eat while walking and ended up dripping all over my pouch and nameplate oops. Somewhere in this section I also got a [Spring Energy] wolf pack down which was amazing.
Back to JP2 (Jackson Park 2) and I still had too much super fuel I debated what to do since this was last time I'd see my drop bag. I finally decided to fill up my bottles with the super concentrated mixture anyway. Just little sips then big sips of water it would be ok. I forced myself to eat a 1/2 PB&J...that's all I could muster. Topped off my hydration pack and got back out there.
Trail angels kept handing me food, a peanut butter bar here 1 chocolate pretzel there...more pickle juice. Finally tried the pickle juice coke combo and when I asked for it the happy duck looked at me "in the same cup??" Me yes please. Man was that oddly delicious!!! So doing that again. Got to the lake oasis and one of the ladies there forced me to eat some peanut butter pretzels...it was tough but I got a handful down and refilled my hydration pack again.
Found some cheer squad in the woods with pretzels I grapped 4 and tried to eat them but they stuck to my mouth good thing it's dark as I pushed my bike for a mile while trying to finish those darn 4 pretzels. More super fuel after those and I kept plotting a long.
After the last checkpoint I told my husband I've never been so hungry and so not hungry at the same time.
Overall I never bonked or cramped which is wildly amazing given we were out there for 16.5 hours. I know I didn't follow my planned consumption as I had a ton of super fuel left at the end but all the coke and snacks on trail must have been just enough.
Without Dawn's advice and dialing in my plan for Marji after the Crusher where I bonked about 9 hours in I'd probably be lost in the woods. She also said pack for 24 hours as you don't know. I over packed as she suggested and even though it was more weight I'm glad I did.
Having options was also great for me. As someone said my fuel was a smorgasbord. It indeed was. I was worried about not being able to eat. Between the super fuel, honey stinger, awesome sauce, wolf pack, and maple syrup. It's all stuff I can gulp down. I knew I didn't want to stop to eat. I wanted to keep moving forward. These things helped me do that.
Finally around 2am back at the Airbnb I forced myself to eat some leftovers from our pre ride dinner.
I have learned so much but I also know I have more to learn and apply. Thanks for all the help Dawn, your guidance helped both me and my husband finish this ridiculous adventure!!!!"
Caitlin pictured with husband Brenton at the finish of the Marji Gesick 50 in 2023.
We'd love to support your #bigscarygoals in the upcoming year. We are keeping early bird pricing is available for one more day (through Tuesday October 17, 2023). Let us fuel your #greendots with the support of Self-Support Nutrition. You can find more information & the link to sign up here.
All words and images were shared with the permission of our clients. Restore Ease Dietetics honors the confidentiality of our clients and would never share without their permission.