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June 2016

Duathlon National Championships - June 25, 2016

Duathlon National Championships - Bend, Oregon. Tested the limits big-time. Beautiful city, challenging course, great competition, wonderful time meeting up with old friends and making new ones, and an absolutely fantastic job by USAT, Tim Yount, and the Duathlon Team putting on a top-notch event. If you can run and ride a bike - make this your goal for 2017. Go to Bend. Test yourself. It will be worth it! Sunday morning, waiting for my flight home, I met a girl (Kirby Heindel Adlam) whose 2nd duathlon EVER was the world championships in Spain. Now THAT is incredibly inspiring. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The opportunity is yours for the taking - why not seize it with both hands!?!?!
I am thankful beyond words for my husband, Jeffery M Sass (most of you know as Elvis), who is my constant support and cheered tirelessly all day for everyone out there competing; for my family who watched the children so we could pursue this adventure; my awesome coach (Suzanne Atkinson) who has put up with multiple texts and questions and always has the right answer; to Raceday Transport ( who got my bike from Spain to Bend so all I had to do was show up at the event and my bike was ready to ride (I cannot even begin to say what a fantastic job they do, definitely worth checking out!); Bobby McGee - what I learned from him in running was all that got me through that second race (whew!); UCAN nutrition also saved me for that second race, Lynn Greer for the awesome new race suit/helmet/shoes/all my biking needs; to John Lines for all the support and encouragement; and to ALL of you who cheered from near and far - you keep me going!!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

‪#‎USATDU‬ ‪#‎steelcityendurance‬ ‪#‎UCAN‬ ‪#‎kask‬ ‪#‎fizik‬ ‪#‎racedaytransport‬ ‪#‎testyourlimits‬ ‪#‎Elvis‬ ‪#‎ilovemybike‬ ‪#‎hills‬ ‪#‎lifeisgood‬


My Pillars of Support . . .

 Below is a list of the products and companies I am proud to be an ambassador for.  I use them - and I believe in them.  Check them out - and try them out, they are some of the best available!

Feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding any of them - I will be more than happy to share my experiences with you!


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This product has revolutionized my nutrition.  It is my go-to before any race I do, and has saved me in my longer afternoon training sessions.  It is amazing for any distance, but especially the longer races when nutrition becomes more and more important - and if you don't like to bonk.  

So, I hate traveling with my bike unless I am driving.  Taking it apart, packing it up, paying airline baggage fees, worrying about who is unpacking and repacking it in security, who is throwing it around, whether it will make it to my destination (and in what condition), hoping it goes back together correctly... the list goes on.  Enter Raceday Transport.  These guys do an amazing job.  They took care of getting my bike to Spain for the ITU Duathlon World Championships (2016) - and all I had to do was pick it up, go for a ride and make sure all was good, then hand it off to them after the race!  To seal the deal they then transported said bike from Spain to Bend, Oregon for Duathlon Nationals which was just a couple weeks later - and it was back on my doorstep (fully assembled) a few short days after the race.  I am a HUGE fan.  


I have been fortunate to have ridden a number of different bikes over the years.  In spring of 2016 I started riding the Merckx San Remo 76 road bike - and haven't looked back since!  I could tell an immediate difference in the handling - especially on corners and descents.  For someone who has a solid background in triathlon, the extra confidence in handling curves/corners (think - crits) is more than welcome!  I also started riding the Lugano68 triathlon bike, and I have to say, it corners almost as well as the road bike, and much better than my previous bikes.  Suffice it to say - I am planning to ride Merckx bikes for a long time.


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I'm not even sure where to start in trying to describe Gran Fondo Cycles out of Nashville, TN.  The owner, Lynn Greer, has been incredible to me beyond words.  Starting back one day in spring of 2007 when I walked into his store and begged him to let me race for the Gran Fondo team - to shortly after that when he put me on his own bike to finish up the Edgar Soto Stage Memorial Stage Race (he didn't approve of my aluminum Schwinn with a broken spoke and shifting that was hesitant at best for some reason) - he has been by my side through all kinds of adventures.  He carries top of the line products, has bike fitting down to a fine art, and designs some of the coolest kits available.  Clayton and the bike service department go above and beyond - and keep my bikes (and me) very happy!  If you are ever in the Nashville area, definitely go check them out!




These guys know socks.  And - I am slightly biased, but the TN socks just rock.  Period. 





Fastest wetsuit on the market.  Enough said. 



Predict your race performance.  Create the perfect power plan.  Hit your best bike split ever.  Sound good?  These guys can help make that happen.  Pretty freaking awesome.




My coach (Suzanne Atkinson) is the mastermind behind Steel City Endurance.  A great, supportive group of athletes and coaches.  I am not good at a highly structured training schedule - there are too many little things that happen daily - between work, kids/family, racing/recovery;  basically life.  Suzanne has been wonderful in keeping things flexible - sometimes we take it one day at a time (sometimes just half a day at a time), and she keeps the training FUN which is just priceless.  I know it's going to be interesting when she asks me if I feel like "something spicy" . . . 


This is a swimming technique that teaches efficiency, which translates into faster swimming with less effort; leaving more energy for the bike and run.  They have weekend workshops, triathlon specific workshops, and (my personal favorite) open water workshops.  My father, sister, and I did an open water workshop in Maho Bay, St. John (a bucket-list trip) which was just amazing beyond words - one of my favorite memories and one of the best things I have ever done to help my swimming.