A few days with Alicia Kaye

Starting in 2013 and under the guidance of coach Joel Filliol, Alicia Kaye left the ITU short course circuit behind and dominated the world of U.S. Olympic-distance non-drafting racing. After winning the Life Time Fitness series and most of those races two years in a row, she was ready for a new chapter this season.

With the end of the Life Time Fitness series and the rich purse at Hy-Vee, she decided to go long and take on 70.3 races for 2015. While winning three familiar Olympic distance non-drafting races in the midst of this transition, she made gradual improvement at the 70.3s – taking 6th at Dubai, 4th at Oceanside, 5th at St. George, and then hit her stride with a win at Boulder, 3rd at Mt. Tremblant, and another win at Calgary.

We spent a few days photographing Alicia as she was in recovery mode at her home in Boulder after a stretch of four races in six weeks.

All photographs © Timothy Carlson

Alicia rides her Ventum on rural roads near Gun Barrel. “It’s fast,” she said. “That should be the number one reason an athlete rides a bike.”

Alicia checks her smartphone before setting out on an easy recovery run after her win at Calgary 70.3.

Striding down a shady section of Twin Lakes reservoir.

Stretching her hamstrings, “a post-run ritual every time I untie my shoes.”

Mixing up a hearty post-run breakfast of her sponsor’s Bungalow Munch granola with strawberries and yogurt.

Alicia processes a retail order for Endurance Shield, a company she and husband 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker formed to sell a high-performance sunscreen and moisturizer for athletes.

Alicia is an increasingly adept bike mechanic, a trait she inherited from her dad and polished with patient instruction from Ventum's Jimmy Seear.

Alicia has been a strong swimmer since grammar school.

Talking over a swim set with training partners Mark Bowstead and Patrick McKeon.

Swimming workout at the North Boulder Recreation Center.

Concentrating during a swim kick set.

Talking with Jimmy Seear’s roommate Mark Bowstead, after grabbing a healthy post-swim snack of an apple, turkey sandwich, some pesto on crackers, chocolate and a coffee.

Giving her Ventum a thorough cleaning after the Calgary trip.

Kaye gives fellow Canadian Paula Findlay a hug before her friend departed for the Rio test event.

Getting a treatment by Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) expert Matthew James Bernier.
“I see a MAT practitioner to prevent compensation patterns from becoming injuries,” said Kaye.

Kaye saw sports medicine chiropractor Dr. Kevin Reichlin, who was just back from the Tour de France, “to keep my body in line, and for his use of a neuro-adaptive laser technique to reinforce the MAT treatment I got earlier in the week.”

Later in the week, Alicia gets treatment from Integrative Healing & Wellness practitioner Todd Plymale-Mallory. “This treatment is a lot more about energy work than body work,” said Kaye. “I find that acupuncture is the best way for Todd and I to connect on that level and get some healing done for my mind.”

Alicia runs on the Cottonwood Trail in Boulder.

Riding the Ventum in the cloudy twilight. “I just received the production model and it’s lighter than the prototype but still stiff. I don’t know how they made such a responsive bike ride so smooth, but they have.”

Happy to be done with the photo shoot, Alicia’s sunny smile matches the Boulder sunset.