Archive | September, 2011

Product Review: Nuun Electrolyte Tablets

27 Sep

Now that I’ve been running longer and longer distances, I’ve found that just drinking water on my long runs isn’t quite cutting it. Here’s my problem – I really like water and I really dislike sugary drinks. I don’t drink a ton of soda or juice. And I REALLY don’t like Gatorade. By itself it’s tolerable, but when I’m running, it just makes me want to throw up. I’ve never really used it during training at all. I accidentally tried it during the PCRF 1/2 Marathon with disastrous results.

But I felt like I needed something extra during this season’s training. I was running more in the heat and it felt like I was drinking obscene amounts of water that didn’t seem to help at all. So I figured I’d give Gatorade another try. Maybe if I cut with a lot of water, I’d like it more. Nope. I went all the way down to 1/4 Gatorade and 3/4 water and I felt like I was gagging every time I drank it. It left a syrupy taste in my mouth that I just couldn’t get rid of. But I did notice that having SOMETHING did seem to help my runs a little (although it’s definitely possible it was all in my head). Enter nuun.

Hello, Lover

I had heard about nuun all over the internets [I follow a bunch of the ladies on their Hood to Coast team among other things]. I loved the idea that nuun doesn’t contain sugar. I also loved that I could carry them in the little pouch of my water bottle – that meant that I could drink regular water, a nuun-filled bottle, and then more regular water. Excellent.

Still, though, I am very poor. Being very poor, I refuse to buy anything that is not on sale. While shopping at REI with a friend the other day, I came across a sale on nuun. How awesome! I grabbed 2 packages – Strawberry Lemonade and Tangerine Ginger. I tried the Strawberry Lemonade flavor after my 5k on Sunday (I really wanted to try it out and I was too excited to wait until an actual run). It had a very, very light taste to it. I was worried that because it had no sugar, the nuun would have that diet soda flavor to it. Luckily, it didn’t at all. It tasted really light. I was a happy, happy girl.

The real test came when I tried it out on my last long run. It was great! I know I don’t drink enough water when I run (largely because I’m afraid if I stop running to refill my water bottle, I’ll just stop). During my last few long runs, I’ve noticed that my fingers have gotten pretty swollen. I was hoping that by adding electrolytes, I could avoid that. Well, mission accomplished! I started with a bottle of nuun, switched to regular water and then finished up with a bottle of nuun. 15 miles later, no swelling. Success!

Overall, the nuun was fabulous! I’m seriously thinking about carrying it with me on race day. How do you hydrate on long runs?

And don’t forget to vote for our Ragnar team name!

Advertisements

Name Our Team!

27 Sep

All of your amazing suggestions have been compiled and we’ve thrown the Top 10 into a super awesome poll. Head over to Sarah’s blog and vote!

Our lives [ish] are in your hands!

Aren't we fabulous?

Running with Friends

14 Sep

Confession: I’ve never successfully gone running with someone else.

I’ve got a lot of running insecurities. One of them is that I’m freakishly slow. Another of them is that I will collapse after mile 1 and not be able to finish. Because of these things, I’ve always shied away from running with other people – what if they want to run faster or farther and I just can’t keep up?

All of these scary things where swirling through my head last night when I met up with my friend Kim to run 5 miles. Kim just ran the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon and she’s more than a little fast. She promised we could go “as slow as I needed to” but I knew I’d be horribly embarrassed if she started to pull away and I couldn’t keep up. I was also petrified of trying to run & talk at the same time. Isn’t it enough that I run and don’t fall down?!?! I kept trying to temper her expectations – I hadn’t run much last week because of my move, my legs were still oddly tired from the 5k on Sunday, I haven’t been sleeping well et cetera et cetera et cetera (said in the King and I voice [we can be best friends if you get that reference]). She kept telling me it was fine, but I wasn’t buying it.

We decided to meet at one of our favorite restaurants, run 2.5 miles out and back and then have delicious, delicious pasta {seriously, if you’re ever in Santa Monica, check out Fritto Misto on Colorado – cheap and delicious!}. Right away, I had a problem – I had to pee. Could we find somewhere to stop, or would that be a dealbreaker? Kim promised it was fine, we’d swing by her office, there was a Starbucks in the lobby. As we started to run, Kim completely let me set the pace. After a brief pitstop at Starbucks we were off and running. And you know what? It was great! Seriously. I’d never been really convinced that running with someone else made running easier, but it really is true! The miles flew by as we talked about everything under the sun. Before I knew it we were back at the restaurant and enjoying pasta and Blue Moon and even more awesome conversations.

I’m so happy that I have a brand new running friend! The run really made me wish I had more training partners. I really enjoy running by myself, but sometimes running for hours at a time can get kind of lonely. Nobody wants to be alone with my thoughts for 4 hours. I think next training cycle, I’ll look into more group training opportunities.

Any tips for running with other people?

What’s in a name?

14 Sep

Have you checked out my new page “Where I’m Running”? It’s awesome, right?

You may have noticed that I’ve added a bunch of upcoming race – a 5 miler in NYC, another Tunnel to Towers 5k, Long Beach (obvi) and …

Maybe I'm Crazy

I may or may not be out of my mind ...

Yep. Because I’m crazy. This lady convinced a group of us to run for 24 hours and 200+ miles all while riding in a van full of our stinky, sweaty glorious selves. It’s going to be pretty awesome.

We’re going to have 2 teams – the Ultra of 6 (don’t worry, I’m not on it) and the 12 Woman Team of Awesome (aka my team). But here’s where you come in. “Team of Awesome” doesn’t quite cut it. So we need YOU (our faithful readers – hi, Sister!) to come up with some kickass names for our kickass teams!

So leave your suggestions in the comments. We’ll be compiling our list of favorites and posting a top 10 poll on all of our blogs. The top 2 finishers will have the mega-super-stellar honor of naming our relay teams! AND because we’re living in a material world (and I am a material girl), you’ll win a sweet PRIZE full of all sort of running swag! Because everyone loves winning stuff!

So get brainstorming! And check out my awesome new teammates!!

Ultra Team

SkinnyRunner

Chacha

Margot

Sarah 

Pam

HauteRunningMama

12 Woman Team

Heather

Becka

Rose

PrettyFittie

Kate & Ang

Monica

BrokeRunner

Madison

Elisabeth

Danica

And me!!

New York State of Mind

12 Sep

Life update alert!

Remember that fancy schmancy, practically perfect super exciting job I told you about? Well, its so fancy that I need security clearance for it (aka they need to make sure I’m not a crazy person or a criminal). That means that it’s going to take a couple of weeks before I get to start actually working. I spent a while trying to decide what I should do with this time. Continue funemployment [which actually stops being fun when you run out of money]? Try to find a part time job? Join a traveling circus?

It just so happened that all if this coincided with the end of my lease. I had originally decided if I couldn’t find a job by the end of my lease I was going to head back to good ol’ NYC, camp out on my parents’ couch and figure out what to do next. But now, I HAVE a job – just no money and no start date. As much as I really like LA and I’m really excited that I’m going to be working here, I still really wanted to go home for a little. I haven’t been back to NY since March which seems like forever ago.

So that’s what I’m doing! I packed up my apt last week, moved everything into my friend’s garage and myself onto her couch. On Friday, I’m leaving on a jet plane and heading back to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. How long am I staying? Not quite sure. Some time between a week and Long Beach, depending on when my clearance comes through. While I’m there I’ll be running, reading, eating, sleeping and enjoying actual seasons – we don’t really get “fall” here.

And there you have my very exciting life update! Anyone in NY wanna play while I’m on the East Coast? Any awesome running routes I need to try?

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

11 Sep

To say that life has been hectic lately is a bit of an understatement. I interviewed for and was offered an amazing, awesome, made for me job – that’s unpaid. After frantically trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it, I discovered that my school will offer me a small stipend. Not quite enough to live on but enough to let me take the position. Now all I need to do is get my security clearance and then I’ll officially be part of the workforce again! Woohoo! Add to that moving and couch surfing and it’s been emotionally & physically exhausting.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my life would be different if I had made some different choices. But I never really think about the things I didn’t do – the things I had no say in. My father is a 30 year veteran of the FDNY. He was at the World Trade Center 10 years ago. He came home that day, but 343 of his brothers didn’t. Whenever I am tired or stressed, nervous or excited, happy or miserable, I call my Dad. I cannot imagine what my world would be like without him and I am thankful today and every day that he came home that day.

In honor of today, I participated in the LA County Tunnel to Towers 5k out in Pomona today. I haven’t run a 5k in 4 years and to be honest I wasn’t sure I knew how. I always start my runs slow because I live in constant fear of burning out halfway through a run [seriously, constant]. Obviously,that’s not how you run a 5k. I figured I’d shoot for a 10 min./mile, since I’ve been doing my long runs at a 10:30/11ish pace.

Well. I spent a solid chunk of the first mile weaving in and out of slower runners/walkers. It was a fairly small group and I probably ended up starting a little too far back but I didn’t want to be one of “those” people the speedy Gonzaleses (s’?) complain about. I hit the first mile at 10:04 and thought, “I can go faster.” So I did.

Moral of the story: Every mile was faster than the one before, there was a hill around mile 2.5 that I powered through like a champ [if I do say so myself] and I finished in 29:11. I’m super pleased with it. I was completely drained last night and very seriously contemplated not running. I called my Dad and he persuaded me it might be exactly what I needed to clear my head and refocus my energy.

So I ran. I ran because my Dad told me to and I ran because he’s still here to tell me to.