Alice Udelhofen Athlete Ambassador
Alice is an American athlete who transitioned into the triathlon world after college (university). She talks to Sundried about Ironman racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always had a passion to be "on the go". Growing up, I participated in cross country and soccer. In college, I played soccer and was the captain of my school's team. After I graduated I started running longer distances and became engulfed in racing and pushing myself. With running came new hobbies of hiking and snowboarding to keep myself busy all year round.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
Being a college soccer player I was surrounded by athletic people. Many of my friends were naturally athletic and that motivated me to work extra hard. Some friends began running half marathons and full marathon towards the end of college, so naturally I followed. That eventually got me intrigued about triathlon and I competed in my first sprint. I rented a wet suit, used an old college mountain bike and had to buy a helmet just for the race. One taste of the triathlon world and I was hooked.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
The New York marathon was the best overall race experience I've had. The energy from the start of the day until crossing the finish line was amazing. The course was challenging but the crowd support itself pushed everyone along. Experiencing such an incredible city on foot is something I will never forget.
And your proudest achievement?
During my 2017 - 2018 training cycle for IM Boulder I joined a triathlon group in Denver, Colorado called HAT House. During this period I pushed myself to new levels and learned so much about triathlon and the science behind each sport. I was proud to have accomplished so much as an athlete and represent a team that had incredible energy and support for one another.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
My last full Ironman (Boulder) turned out to be my toughest race, physically, mentally and emotionally to date. I was fully trained and ready for this race but the weather took a major toll on my body and ultimately the outcome of the day too.
My swim was perfect. The bike was tough but I was close to the time I wanted. The run was horrible. At that point in the race I just wanted to finish, but by mile 13 I hit complete carnage and by mile 18 I was in the medical tent and had pulled myself from the race. It was a heartbreaking decision to make but my body seemed to have already made it up its mind.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Pulling myself from mile 18 of an Ironman race hasn't been my only disappointment or setback. With training we have good days and we have really bad days. It's important not to fixate on the bad but rather look at the process as a whole. If I only thought about my DNF from Ironman, I would have forgotten all the insanely awesome training I did and amazing places I travelled on two wheels or my own two feet. If I fixated on that "one ride" where my legs felt like concrete or I got a flat tire I would miss reflecting and remembering the amazing hills I climb or sections where I was able to execute power properly and feel really great about what I was doing. I truly think it's important to be present in what you are doing, reflect on where you can improve and then keep "moving forward" towards YOUR goals.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Focus on the process! Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was an Ironman! Within this process, "get comfortable being uncomfortable." We never grow when we just stay in our comfort zones.
What are your goals for 2019?
I will be returning to the United States after a year teaching abroad in Brazil. I am SO excited to return to my triathlon community and push myself even more because I know I am very capable of it. This season I have a few shorter distance races planned and will finish with Arizona 70.3. I am planning on returning to the 140.6 distance in 2020.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
There are many people I draw motivation and inspiration from. My triathlon team at HAT House has some of the most positive and supportive people I've met. Training and surrounding yourself with like-minded people makes all the difference. My friends are a big inspiration as well. Whether they are into athletics or not, they support me through my crazy ventures as well as motivate me to be the best I can be.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
We are living in a new world. We are aware of how our own living can really impact the future. I love that Sundried is making a conscience effort to lessen our carbon footprint and promote that through something many of us love, athletics.