Jason Allen Brehm, GFF 2013 Athlete of the year

| June 25, 2014
Name:  Jason Allen Brehm City:  Gibsonia State:  PA

Name: Jason Allen Brehm
City: Gibsonia
State: PA

What activities do you participate in? (swim, bike, run, hike, etc.)
• Triathlon (Olympic, 70.3 & Ironman), Running (5k thru Marathon), Cycling

What is your occupation?
• Project Manager at Westinghouse

What was your favorite race in 2013?
• This is a tough one.  I have had a lot of racing this past year that has been really special to me, due to setting PRs.  I have a hard time picking just one, but to narrow it to two races, I’d pick the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ironman Florida.

 Pikes Peak is such a unique race/experience.  It is a true “bucket list” race, plus I was able to experience the race with Lynn and a wonderful group of friends.  It’s not every day that you start a marathon at 6,800 ft elev., only to reach the midway point at 14,115 ft elev and have to turnaround to run back down the mountain.  Running at that point is relative – it’s more like a controlled fall – for some like me, you actually do fall (I hit the deck 3 times on the way down)!

Ironman Florida was the culmination of 12-months of training into a single day.   Once again, I could not have done this without the World’s Greatest Iron-Sherpa (my wife – Thanks Lynn) and the support of a great group of friends/teammates that traveled to cheer me on (Thanks Kenny and Sarg)!  Even with the waves, I had a great swim (for me) and was able to put together a fantastic bike (almost got taken out by a squirrely competitor at mile 15).  The run was awesome up to mile 23… where I was humbled by mistakes in my nutrition on the bike – I should have taken more salt.  I really can’t complain though about walk/running the last 3.2 miles and still almost breaking the 10 hour mark.  I can say that I have never dug that deep before, in any other race – I left it all out on the course.  I was praying really hard as I shuffled through the finishers chute that I would not hit the deck before crossing the mat.  I would not have been able to get back up, I would’ve had to crawl.

What keeps you motivated as an endurance athlete?
• I like to see what I can accomplish and what my body is capable of doing.  My wife (Lynn) and I started racing triathlon in 2003.  I was hooked the second I crossed my first finish line.  I worked my way up to Ironman distance and have since been working on improving myself each year.  About a year or so ago, I decided that I wanted to run a marathon in all 50 States before I turn 50 yrs old (it’s my 50×50)!  What a great way to see our great Country and come away with some great memories!

I am motivated each time I see an improvement or experience that euphoric feeling that you get during an effortless, fast bike or run!  Although I was a high school athlete, I really had not experienced that feeling before.  I keep chasing the feeling that I had when I crossed that finish line at my first triathlon. Plus, I love to eat.  When I started training for my first race, I weighed about 50lbs more than I do now.  I am motivated to train just so I can keep my weight in check.

What is the one food you can’t live without?
• It’s no surprise that I love to eat and my favorite thing to eat is Beef!   I do eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (and hummus for almost every dinner), but I would not be a good vegetarian…  I enjoy grilling steaks and burgers any chance I get.  Winter is upon us and snow may be falling, but there is always a path cleared to my grill on the back deck!
What is your favorite race day nutrition supplement and why?
• AcidsPre – it really primes my system and gets me ready for competition, YEEAAAHHH!!
What is your favorite post workout food or drink?
• Protein Shakes – If I have time, I really like adding fresh fruit to my Protein Shakes and making them into a smoothy.  It gives me a great mix of Carbs and Protein for recovery, plus they help cool me down and are really tasty.

What was your greatest accomplishment from this past year in terms of training and racing?
• This has been my best year of racing (to-date)!  I came on-board with Joella and Get Fit Families in Nov-2012.  I made the determination that I needed a coach to meet my racing objectives, and I’m not getting any younger.  So when I first met with Joella, I gave her three specific goals that I wanted trained to meet:

1. Run a sub-3hr marathon,
2. Race a sub-5hr half-Ironman
3. Race a sub-11hr full Ironman

If these were not challenging enough for her, I also added a bunch of marathons and races that I wanted to run (i.e. Pikes Peak Marathon, etc.) and were not built into her original plan (Sorry, Joella) for me.  She did a masterful job of planning around these things and I was able to run 2:58:47 at the Myrtle Beach Marathon, race 4:48:49 at the Eagleman 70.3 Triathlon and finish Ironman Florida in 10:01:03!  Sprinkled in amongst these race were other fun things for me like being a 3:30 Pacer at the Pittsburgh Marathon, completing the Pikes Peak Marathon, winning my first 10k (Mars Band on the Run) – after Joella had me ride my trainer for 3.5 hrs before the race, and crashing my bike during the Mighty Moraine Man triathlon but still being able to manage 3rd Overall in the Olympic distance.
This really has been a great year of racing for me and I could not have do it without the help and support I received from everyone!

What did you learn from racing this past year?
• I am learning to distinguish between “good” pain and “bad” pain as well as the need for proper recovery.  I had a few minor injuries that I worked through this past year.  I believe I caused a few of them by over training or not stopping when I initially felt a muscle twinge that was not right.  Just because we are capable of pushing our bodies to the limit doesn’t mean we should every day!  Plus, you can’t race every race, some days are only meant for training – stick to the plan.

What are your goals for 2014?
• I would like to improve in my time and/or standings at a marathon and/or Ironman race while staying healthy throughout the year.  I turn 40 in May, so I am looking forward to moving up an age group and racing in the Masters category.  I already have a decently full race schedule for 2014.  I’m kicking it off with the New Orleans Rock N Roll Marathon in February.  In April, I am going to do the Boston-to-Big Sur (B2B) Challenge where I’ll run the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day and six days later run the Big Sur Marathon in California.  It’s two marathons on two coasts in six days.  If that isn’t stupid enough, a week after Big Sur, I plan to be a Pacer for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  This will give me three marathons in thirteen days – This should be neat experience.

I’ve already entered in the Muscleman Half-Iron distance triathlon in July as a prep race for Ironman Wisconsin in September. As part of my 50×50 goal, I am working my way through the different Ironman’s in the U.S., counting the marathon at the end as my marathon for that particular state.  In October, I am going to try to run two back-to-back marathons in one weekend in Hartford, CT and Atlantic City, NJ – finishing off the year with the Rehoboth Marathon.  This should help me knock six more States off of my list.

If you could pick one athlete to talk to or workout with, who would it be and why?
• Steve Prefontaine – Obviously this is impossible, but it would have been neat to experience the intensity of which he trained and raced.  I believe he left it on the track at every race.
What is the one race you want to compete in more than anything?
• Kona – The Ironman World Championships!

How has Get Fit Families and the Dawn Crackers helped you this past year?
• As I noted above, I joined on with Joella in Nov-2013 with specific goals. The improvement that I have experienced following the training plan that she has set for me has been remarkable.  The data tells the story.

In addition, I have met some great people as part of the Dawn Crackers and have been privileged to train, race and hang out with them.

Category: About Members, Athlete of the Month, GFF Team

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