+ Name/ Location/ Sport
Libby Caldwell/Fairfax, CA/ Cycling
+ Can you tell us what drew you to your sport in the first place, and what drew you to this level of performance?
In short- it was an injury.
It was thanks to a student in my sophomore year PE class who decided to convince a girl on crutches to join the high school mountain bike team. Yeah, I couldn’t fully bend my knee, but I'd spent the previous summer riding my mothers 1985 Guerciotti on a trainer to rebuild strength and mobility after knee surgery. Sure I hadn’t ridden a bike that actually…ya know…moved since middle school, but I had 3 months to figure it out till our first race! A totally practical amount of time to learn a new sport!
10 years of soccer hadn’t prepared me for an endurance sport, or a sport that required real coordination. I may have been lacking velocity in those first couple months on a bike, but I definitely was not lacking in motivation or drive, which I never could fully tap when playing soccer. What soccer gifted me with was a torn ACL and a vacant meniscus in my right knee.
I ended soccer with nothing, bound to crutches with no physical endurance or strength. But in turn, cycling gave me physical fitness, drive, and friendships I still have to this day.
Growing up in Fairfax, the birthplace of the mountain bike, meant mountain bike culture ran deep in my town. As the cyclists flew down my street from the Deer Park trail head, the loud ticking of their freewheels woke me most mornings. Chris King and his buzz was my mortal enemy. Despite my sheer disgust with the cyclists who disrupted my slow wave zzzzzs, I soon became one of those freewheels tearing down the street.
I went 0-60 with cycling those first months in the lead up to my first season of high school racing - and the hard work I put in paid off. I ended my first year with third overall in sophomore girls.
After high school I was introduced to road racing, and it was in this new discipline that I thought I could truly make the leap to the professional ranks.
+ When you’re not _______, what’s your second favorite form of muuvment?
Well other than the motion of moving a donut from plate to mouth…I LOVE to hike and run on the trails that are illegal for bikes! Some of the best trips I've taken have been without bikes. There’s something magical about throwing on a pair of shoes and just GOING. No helmet, no heart rate monitor, no worries. Hiking and running for me are the perfect way to recharge the batteries when I start to feel a little rundown from cycling.
+ You Just finished a killer workout, what’s the first thing you’re grabbing from your fridge?
I try to get a good source of protein right after I ride! I'm a huge believer in Dr. Stacy Sims research in female specific exercise physiology - she says to get 30grams of protein within 30 mins of exercise.
It’s too dangerous for me to have ice cream in the house, or I'd always use that as my recovery! Unfortunately, there’s an amazing organic ice cream place I have to pass on my way home that usually tempts me into its doors.
If I can make it past the ice cream shop, I usually make a protein powder drink with some ice and maybe some left over drip coffee from the morning!
If it was a particularly hard workout, I’ve also been incorporating the new IKOR Labs tart cherry recovery shot. It’s a mix of tart cherry, turmeric, hemp, and other plant extracts to help fight the inflammation of hard exercise.
+ Early Bird or Afternuun Owl? Are you most likely to plan your workout in the morning or evening? Walk us through a day in your life.
EARLY BIRD FER SURE! I like getting everything that requires a decent amount of self-motivation done in the morning. After you’ve spent a day at work or running errands it’s so difficult to get workouts or second sessions done. It's so satisfying to roll in at 9 or 10 am having already accomplished the hardest thing of the day!
I did NOT used to be a morning person-but I’ve learned to utilize the early morning hours in order to balance training and a full-time job.
The morning is extraordinary- you get to have roads or trails almost all to yourself. You see these beautiful places free of what warmer temperatures and a couple more hours of sleep bring—car congestion or groups of selfie stick clad tourists. In the morning, for the most part, kamikaze nature (ie deer, rabbits, squirrels) is the only thing I have to worry about!
+ Do you have any heroes/ idols/ mentors in your sport of choice?
I am so unbelievably fortunate to have a group of strong, inspiring women living locally. Tayler Wiles and Olivia Dillon share a hill with me. That power couple can truly kick my butt on road or dirt any day of the week!
I was lucky to race in high school with Kate Courtney and in college with Katie Hall. And those hitters live just a couple hours south and are always fun to visit! It’s special to have your friends be your idols, and to be able to inspire and teach one another. I am a very grateful recipient of their wisdom.
+What’s your favorite flavor & way to consume Nuun?
OKAY, new all-time fav thing to do when I roll in sweaty and thirsty from a hot summer training ride—NUUN ICE CUBES!! SO GREAT! I just use a couple tablets of Nuun-have them fizz out, pop them into an ice cube tray, and into the freezer. They'll be ready for consumption when I’m back from training! like a tasty ice pop with electrolytes!
And I have quite a few fav flavors ;) I think blueberry Nuun Immunity is my all-time favorite flavor. It's tangy, sweet and downright delicious. My favorite Sport flavor is the lemon lime. Anytime I reach down for my bottle and I’ve got lemon lime fizzing in there, gah! makes my heart smile! probably because it reminds me of old country lemonade haha.
+ Race Wise: What are you most looking forward to this year?
I'm so looking forward to getting back on the dirt! It’s been a journey, having spent almost 6 years racing on the road and I’m finally coming home. I’m trying to keep my ambition and expectations in check this year, as it’ll be a year of growing and learning to get dirt-y again.
I'm really looking forward to some of the late summer gravel events! like the old growth classic, Grinduro, gravel worlds, some of the smaller gravel/mtb events in Norcal.
+Anything else you want to say?
I am so unbelievably honored to be a part of the Nuun tribe! I can’t wait to see what this year brings, but I can only imagine with the help of Nuun it'll bring great things!