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Friday, July 31, 2015

Melissa Bishop is Golden!!

A good friend -Kevin once told me, wherever you are today - just take the right next step and you will end up in a better place.  When you see the finishing images of Melissa Bishop winning the Gold medal at the Pan Am games, many would think the year was executed exactly as planned.  As it turns out, it couldn't be further from the truth.  The one constant for the build to Pan Ams and the World Championships in China was that Bish took the right next step, regardless of the situation that was presented.

One of the cool things about working with Melissa is that she is local, through our travels and getting her custom fuel into her hands, we are always up to date on how things are progressing.  The season started out really well - lots of volume and base work that was yielding some impressive results for key benchmark workouts.  Early in 2015 Melissa had to stop running all together while she healed a nagging injury.  Finally when over that, she got some great outdoor work done in Arizona in March - fitness level and form was really coming.  Then it was off to Flagstaff for a key training camp with other elite runners - things are good when you get a note from one of Canada's top Physiologists Trent Stellingwerff: Hello from Flagstaff, AZ – here with 24 runners (Melissa Bishop being one of them Darcy—IMHO she is ready to run a great one BTW!).  So all good right?  That was until Melissa rolled her ankle and was unable to run for much of May, less than a month from June 14th, the deadline to qualify for the Pan Am games.  Remember seeing Melissa at Physio-Fit - David Forrest here in town - she shared the news but remained up beat and said we will do what we can do.  From that point forward she kept taking incremental steps to improve her fitness and sharpen her race pace.  She used a anti-gravity treadmill and was running with 40% weight - this allowed her to get her running legs back and slowly she progressed to full weight bearing running.  Watching all the meets leading up to the Oregon Classic - Melissa ran the races well, but her fitness level was just a hair off, making it difficult to finish strong in the last 200 m.  At the Oregon Classic two days from the deadline to qualify she was able to run 2:00:67 - the second fastest Canadian - whew!  She is going to Pan Ams.

With the continued build for Pan Ams and Worlds she was racing in the UK - by July 14th in Luzern we could see what Trent was seeing - she is in rare form.  Bish ran not only a season best, but a personal best 1:59:52.  Great sign leading into the next big race on home turf at the Pan Am Games.

Melissa Winning Gold at 2015 Pan Ams
Click Link to Watch: Bish Golden
Was at a cottage up in Collingwood with friends watching on the CBC live feed on my Mac - kudos to CBC on providing the coverage and capturing things as they have.  I remember explaining to my friends and wife Bren - a podium would be a victory here - Montano and Almanza both have PB's significantly faster than Melissa.  So if you didn't get a chance to watch - encourage you to take 4 minutes - this was my favourite moment of the games and there many highlights.


Earlier this week I got a chance to connect with Melissa over a coffee to discuss the race and a few product needs/ideas she had.  Right off the bat - she plops the Gold Medal in front of me, wow!  Didn't expect to see it, made it so real and was awesome to see.  Melissa was still on cloud nine but what was incredible was that she was hungrier then I have ever seen.  "This is only the beginning!"  When we talked about the race, she mentioned visualization and journalling she did prior to the race, to be relaxed and controlled on the final stretch, previous recent races she had tightened up at the end, she felt if she could stay relaxed the crowd would bring here home.  She was right!  She had a perfect plan with Coach Fairall and she executed perfectly - conserving valuable energy, tucked behind Montano and Almanza on the back stretch and only vaulting to the lead when it mattered.

Melissa was reflective on the season to date - it obviously played out way different then planned.  But there are some valuable lessons along the way; forced to train definitely and yielding great results it puts some new learnings and tools in her tool box as she continues to elevate her performance.

On Tuesday Melissa was featured on the Running Flat Radio Show with Chris Uszynski, you can hear more about the year and the race by clicking here: Running Flat - Melissa Bishop.

We are proud to be part of Melissa's continued journey.  We look forward to reporting out on how things go at the World Championships in Beijing China at the "Bird Nest" where the 2008 Olympics were.  Melissa will be running her signature event the 800m starting August 27th.

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada

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