Author Archives: nmontcalm

Support My Race to the 2016 Rio Olympics!

Hi all! I am almost a month into my 2015/2016 season as I prepare to make the 2016 Olympic team! Some may think training full time can be tough. Let me tell you, the training and competing is the easy/fun part. The challenge lies in funding the dream! As the weather gets colder, I will be forced to train indoors. I am a 400m hurdler and training outdoors is extremely important. But, relocating myself and my coach to warmer climates for extended periods of time is costly. I need YOUR help & support! Please, come be a part of my team, and help me to reach my goals and my dream! If you cannot support me at this time, I ask that you share my story/campaign. Thank you all in advance (and stay tuned on my progress throughout the season)!

DONATENOW

Advertisements

You’re Invited: Let’s Talk Balance!

WHO:   Join me as I team up with ENERGYbits and host my first #teambits Twitter chat!
WHAT:   We’re discussing “Life-Training Balance”.twitter-chat-logo
WHEN:   Wednesday November 12th at 8pmEST
WHERE:   Right on Twitter!
WHY:   This is a great opportunity to connect with others, share your ideas, and get inspired!
HOW:   It’s easy! Log on to Twitter, follow @ENERGYbits and me @noellemontcalm, join the conversation by using #teambits in your response, and learn something new!

In the meantime, head to www.energybits.com to learn more about these little bits of health! And while you’re there, use promo code MONTCALM for a 30% discount!

See you next Wednesday,
Noelle

Where Have I Been!?

I’ve been absent. Many may have thought I just packed it in with how silent I was during the 2014 season. To be honest, I’m superstitious. There were many a time I sat down to fill you all in on the progress of my season, or to divulge my feelings on a race or my training, however quickly saved my progress and failed to upload my thoughts for all of you to read. Why? I felt as though, somehow, my thoughts and feelings towards my season at any given point would alter the course and direction of the rest of my season to come! Aside from short blurbs on Facebook or Twitter, I have not exactly shared and filled you all in on my journey this year, although with this website, that was my intention! So, here’s a short recap, with race videos and some thoughts on my 2014 season..

Out of the cold & into the sun!
March-April training camp in Gainesville, Florida.

IMG_1956

University of South Florida
Florida Relays
Mt Sac Relays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Track League:
Indiana, Virginia, & Atlanta

IMG_2325   IMG_2294   IMG_2334

World Relay Championships!
Pre-competition training camp in Orlando. The fans were loud, the track was fast, and the overall competition was something I will not soon forget.

IMG_2377 IMG_2342   IMG_2362 IMG_2353

Last Chance at the University of Guelph:
At this point, with it being my last opportunity to run standard, and being half a second from that standard, I wasn’t discouraged, but remained confident in my abilities. It was shortly before I began warming up for the race, I was speaking to one of my competitors, about our training, how our seasons were going, and about the upcoming race, and I’m very thankful for this impromptu conversation. Kate said something to me that came at a really important time: She said she planned on just going out, racing, and having fun. She really made me stop and think right in that moment, right before I was about to prepare my mind and body to race, that yes, racing should be fun. Racing IS fun, it always has been to me. But, as athletes, and the need to make standards in order to qualify for certain competitions, we start chasing numbers and build up all this pressure instead of just having fun. I told myself in that moment (well I guess Kate kind of told me), to just go have fun. I ran a season’s best 56.47, and ran the Commonwealth Games standard on the last qualifying day.

GuelphMay31

I was more than relieved when I saw my name listed among the 50 athletes chosen to represent Canada in Glasgow, Scotland later in the season. However, work was not done, and nationals were at the end of the month. However, I raced one last time, in Toronto, as a tune up before the championships.

Nationals:
One of my goals this season was to defend my title of national champion, and what an exciting race it was! I was pleased with my time of 56.67, and pleased with my win!

IMG_2491  IMG_2537

Commonwealth Games: Glasgow, Scotland!
My goal was to race four times around the Hampden Park track, four 400m races in as many days. I usually block all the crowd noise out during a race and am focused solely on my lane and my ten hurdles, however, coming off the final corner (hurdle 8), and onto the homestretch, I started to hear the roar of the crowd and felt their energy, and had a split second to think to myself, “Wow, this is fun!” Anything can happen in the hurdles, and after two disqualifications, I finished fifth! Our relay team also finished fifth to help cap off a very successful Commonwealth Games showing for Canada.

glasgowhurdles  relay

Encore!
Before I headed home to Canada, I took a quick trip to Copenhagen, Denmark for my final race (starts at 2:25) of the season. I went with something completely different from what I had been doing all season, as I had nothing to lose. It sure paid off as I crossed the line in first with a new personal best of 55.81 seconds!

Final note of thanks..
I wouldn’t be able to continue along this journey without the endless support and encouragement I’ve been given. The added generosity I’ve received has allowed me to continue to train at a high level and compete on the international stage while representing my country!

I owe a huge thanks to my coach, for continuing to take me to the next level on and off the track, and my therapy team who continues to ensure I remain healthy throughout my long season.

Thanks also to Infinit Nutrition, ENERGYbits, and CEPCanada who have helped to elevate my training and performance this season.

2014 Indoor Review

Just as the Indoor Season always seems to go, I will make this blog the same: short.

Since my 2013 season was quite the long one, I got off to a late start for the indoor season. When I would normally begin my base training early to mid September, I did not get back in my training shoes until after Thanksgiving! Although later than in past years, I was in need of my time off, as both physically and mentally I was drained from the season I just had. But, as usual, I was ready to get back into things!

The indoor season moved along quite quickly, and before I knew it, the New Year had arrived and I was ready to compete! In January, I ran my first 600m race in Windsor, and was confident with the result and where my fitness was at this point. At the same meet, I also teamed up with three other Lancer Alums (Melissa Bishop, Nicole Sassine, and Heather Kurpe) for a 4x400m relay. It was a lot of fun to run with these girls again! Check out some of my other indoor races.

IMG_1743 IMG_1819 CanAm2014

At the beginning of February, I took a break from indoor training and headed west to Phoenix, Arizona to train in the sun. This was part of a training camp with Athletics Canada and for me it come at a pretty good time as I was in need of a little mental getaway, and winter break. I was so excited to get over some hurdles and ended up having some really great hurdle practices. Although able to do some things indoors, it is difficult to train for the 400m hurdles on a 200m indoor track, so getting outside was a great opportunity.

I came home refreshed and really excited to start the outdoor season. However, I first had a 300m indoor hurdle race as part of my transition from indoors to outdoors. I raced this event last year and found it a lot of fun and a great transition race. Although I ran pretty much the same time as I did last year, I ran the race a lot differently. That is the funny thing with the intermediate hurdles race: you can run a completely different pattern from one race to the next, yet still run a relatively similar time! It’s a crazy beast, the 400m hurdles, and I love the challenge it brings each time I step on the track.

Now that the indoor competitive season is over, and the snow continues to fall in Windsor, I have begun my spring training down in Gainesville, Florida! Stay tuned for my updates from the south, as I ready myself for outdoor competition!

Noelle

ENERGY! ‘Bits’ of Food Straight from Mother Nature

ENERGYbitslogoThis review is far overdue, but I would still like to share my experience and thoughts on this product. When I was first contacted by ENERGYbits®, I was a little bit skeptical, like many others who probably hadn’t/haven’t heard about algae as a benefit to health and athletic performance. Immediately I did some research and read the information I was provided from the company. What I found was pretty new to me, but I was excited to learn more.

— ENERGYbits® are 100% one ingredient: spirulina algae, a nitrogen based algae that opens up blood vessels and provides the brain and muscles with a steady stream of oxygen and nourishment.
— ENERGYbits® are 100% natural, organic, and gluten free.
— ENERGYbits® have the highest concentration of protein (64%) compared to any other source, which is 100% bioavailable. This means the body can instantly digest and absorb 100% of the protein, unlike other protein sources, where only a portion of the protein is actually absorbed by the body.
— ENERGYbits® contain 40 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, omega 3, and electrolytes.

As for my experience using ENERGYbits®

After consuming my samples on two separate occasions before training sessions, I couldn’t really form a conclusive opinion on what the ENERGYbits® were able to provide me. I could say that I felt increased energy, but at that point I didn’t want to form an opinion based on what I was told the benefits are and how I would feel. But I was really interested in trying them again!

Once I started taking my bits before training sessions for a longer period of time, I really started to notice a difference in how I felt. I notice a difference in my energy levels throughout long training sessions, and I also notice that the bits are able to curb my hunger for just a little while longer while I am training and cannot necessarily consume other foods. Additionally, I notice a positive effect when taking a handful of bits after a long working day and heading straight to practice, or any time I feel I need increased energy and mental focus. What I really enjoy is that ENERGYbits® cause no stomach distress, something that is a big concern for me as an athlete. I can take them at any time, before or during practices, with no concern over how my stomach will be affected.

Benefits:

  • What stuck in my mind most was that ENERGYbits® are a FOOD, because they are only one ingredient: 100% algae. Therefore, no banned substances.  ENERGYbitsphoto
  • Improve vitality, mental alertness, and energy levels.
  • Eliminate fatigue.
  • Reduce inflammation and speed recovery.
  • Steady stream of energy.
  • No side effects: no stomach distress.

Pitfalls:

  • Serving size. It is recommended to consume 20-30 bits at a time, and suggested to take even more if desired. Just the sheer number to consume at one time seemed like a lot, but really, they are bits of food, just like nuts!
  • The smell isn’t pleasant. They actually smell like fish food to me, but when swallowed with water, you can’t taste a thing. You can chew them, but I’m not about to try.
  • The cost is a little steep at $115 for a bag containing 1000 bits. Now, if you’re already spending a great deal of money on other vitamins and supplements, then this isn’t too bad considering you won’t need those anymore. And, by using the Promo Code “Montcalm” at checkout, you get a 30% discount!

Final thoughts

Not only can you take ENERGYbits® before a training session or a run: Just feeling tired? Or need a little boost in the afternoon? ENERGYbits® are a great option for increasing energy levels and mental alertness throughout the day. Need something to hold you over before your next meal? Grab a handful of ENERGYbits® for a quick high protein snack. Increase your energy and mental alertness the natural way: with 100% algae and ENERGYbits®. 

If you’d like to give ENERGYbits® a try and fuel your performance naturally, contact me for samples!

Ebitspoweredbybits           IMG_1887[1]

Something New for a New Year

I decided for the New Year I would create a website to showcase my journey and highlight my goals, achievements, and lessons along the way. Initially, I thought, “Who Cares?” Well, I do, and let’s face it, isn’t that all that really matters? Not only am I deciding to do this for myself, but I also want to use it as a way to include in my journey the many people who have been there for me every step of the way and also to connect with people who may be new to my journey.

If you’re new to my journey, and want to hear of my experiences from the beginning, read My Story here.

Let’s Recap 2013

As far as 2013 goes, let’s pick up where the journey really begins:

I had big goals going into the 2013 season, including bettering my time check, winning the National Championshipscheck , achieving standards check, and making three National teams check . It was a whirlwind season and so I’d like to take some time, before looking to the season ahead, to reflect on those moments that have been so valuable to my journey!

1.     ‘Warm’ weather training and season openers in Florida in March /April. This early season camp proved invaluable to the rest of my season, and I was joined by some training partners too!

FloridaCamp  FloridaGators

2.     Won the National Track League race in Toronto. This win really gave me the confidence heading into Nationals and through to the rest of the season. It was awesome to get some cheering support from some friends too!

NTLwin  NTL  NTLfans

3.     Won the National Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, and was named to the World Championships team!

IMG_1689  IMG_0573

4.     Represented my country and wore the Canadian Maple Leaf four times this season! – Penn. Relays, World Universiade (FISU) Games, World Championships, Francophone Games

PennRelaysTeam  FISU  WorldChamps  JDLF

5.     Won SILVER as a member of the 4x400m relay team at the World Universiade (FISU) Games in Kazan, Russia in July.

FISU-Silver   medal

6.     Competed at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia in August. I was fortunate to venture away from competition and see the sights!

IMG_0640  IMG_0707  IMG_0817 IMG_0911 IMG_0922 IMG_0923

7.     Won SILVER at the Francophone Games in Nice, France in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.

JDLFPodium      JDLFRelay

8.     Ranked #45 in the World (improved from #92 in 2012).

9.     Launched my Fundraising Campaign and received incredible support to make my dreams a reality and have my family and coach support me in Moscow! I’d like to take a moment to send out a sincere THANK YOU to all those who donated and helped support my season. Should you be interested and willing to support me along my continued journey through 2014, please head to my Fundraising page!

10.     Teamed up with Infinit Nutrition to fuel my workouts in a customized way, and became an Elite Athlete Ambassador for ENERGYbits #poweredbybits!

ENERGYbits

Looking Toward 2014

So, as I leave 2013 in the past, I look towards 2014 with excitement and determination for what is ahead. I invite you all to join me on my continuing journey as I whole-heartedly believe that it is a team effort, and all the support and encouragement I’ve been fortunate to receive contributes to my success!

Stay tuned for upcoming events and competitions as the 2014 season progresses, photos and videos, random thoughts, and lessons learned along the way!

Yours in Sport,

Noelle