Monday, July 15, 2019

Science in Sport Review - Fuel for the long run

Disclaimer: I received my Science In Sport Energy + Electrolye and Isotonic gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I am pretty religious about taking in fuel for my long runs every half hour. I have learned the hard way that I completely bonk if I fall behind in my fueling strategy. Essentially for a half marathon or longer I make sure that I follow that strategy to a T! I have it down to a science and when I tried out Sports In Science I'd say that so do they!

I was super excited to get to try out the Science In Sport Energy Gels.

I kinda wish I had started trying out SIS before I ran the Black Mountain Monster! I feel like the double espresso might have bumped me up in place lol!!

I had the opportunity to try out the GO Isotonic Energy Gel : Apple, GO Energy + Electrolyte: Salted Strawberry and Lemon Mint and the GO Energy Double Caffeine: Double Espresso. They have a slew of other flavors so be sure to check them all out!! 

In testing out these products I have also done some extra research on electrolyte and fueling and interestingly enough I have listened to several podcasts lately that all were discussing fueling for the long run. I love it when the universe aligns like this! Many nutritional experts also recommend following my same strategy for fueling, in taking 100 calories every 30 minutes for long runs. The thing that I have learned that I didn't realize is that the fuel is not processed the same way food is when you are eating a normal meal for example. The product, rather than being digested, is absorbed to provide you with the quick energy response you need for your endurance activity. Makes sense!! So the easier the product is on your stomach the better! 

The product is different that a traditional gel. It's hard for me to call SIS a gel. The product is not thick and gel like really at all. The consistency is thinner and more drinkable than a gel. Gels that you typically pick up at your local sporting good store are thick and require more of an active swallow to get them down whereas the SIS product goes down a bit more smoothly like a liquid. 

I was a little worried on the flavor options I had to try because I always select the chocolate/vanilla type flavors over the fruit flavors of gels. I will for sure be ordering those flavors to give them a try! I was however pleasantly surprised. The flavor of the products was great!! I of course had a couple of favorites so here is my personal preference in flavor in order:

GO Energy + Electrolyte: Salted Strawberry - SOOOOOOOO Good!!! Kind of like a strawberry margarita!!! Without the alcohol of course lol!! I'm some what of a saltaholic, which I know one day will get me, but still this one was my absolute favorite!! Salty and Sweet and hit the spot oh so perfectly!!

GO Energy Double Caffeine: Double Espresso: I also love coffee so this one I was sure would be a favorite! The package says to take 30 minutes before activity. I was worried I may have too much caffeine with my normal pre-run coffee so I waited and took this along for the run! I definitely knew when it kicked in!

GO Energy + Electrolyte: Lemon Mint : Super light and refreshing! 

GO Isotonic Energy Gel, Apple: Tasted like a non sour jolly rancher lol!! I am not a huge apple flavored things person, although I love apples, it's weird I know. It's the same way I love chocolate and cookies but not chocolate chip cookies lol!

With all of the energy products I felt that they were a great solution for meeting my fueling needs. When I shared that I was trying them I received lots of feedback from other runners that this is the product they use and love too!! 
I had absolutely no GI issues with the product and while the packets are larger than other gels they still fit perfectly in my hydration vest, handheld and skirt pockets!
If you are in search of a product that is easy on the tummy, packed with everything you need to fuel your next big endurance activity I suggest giving Science in Sport a try! Use code ‘TRYSIS25’ for 25% off!

Check out my Instagram Contest too for a chance to win one of two great giveaways!!

And if you want to learn more and see what others are saying about this product check out these reviews from some of my fellow BibRave Pros:

Monday, July 8, 2019

Charlotte Firecracker 5K – Race Recap - July 3, 2019

Pushing a jogging stroller is HARD! I give major props to all you momma’s running with your babies!! 

Elizabeth and I signed up to run the Charlotte Firecracker 5K again this year. 

We ran it in 2016 and 2017

This year would be different though, we’d have a cute little firecracker with us and a jogging stroller. 

I told Elizabeth that I would push the stroller. 

Whew, that was harder than I expected!

We love this 5K, it is the perfect way to start our Independence Day celebrations. We typically do this race for fun and so we dress up in red white and blue and enjoy seeing everyone else dressed up too!

The course takes you through a quaint neighborhood and so many residents come out to spectate. 

Many will have sprinklers at the street for you to run through, some write words of encouragement and patriotism in sidewalk chalk on the streets, kids fill up water guns and squirt them at the runners as they jolt by, all of them cheer!! It is great!! 

July evenings can get pretty hot in NC so all the water fun along the course is welcomed by the runners! 

There are ample water stations too!

The race concludes with a great big pool party at the neighborhood pool with pizza and beer and tons of vendors set up with other fun goodies. 

All participants get a race shirt and finisher medal and they are always super cute!

If you are in or around Charlotte for the 4th of July I strongly recommend this super fun race! 

Come on out and join us here next year!

Monday, July 1, 2019

How to pack for an Ultra Run: My 12 Hour Ultra Packing List

When I finally came to realization that I had indeed signed up for another ultra marathon, I think I had actually been in denial for a while, I decided I needed to do some more research so that I could equip myself with all the tools I would possibly need for the event. 

I had signed up for the Black Mountain Monster 12 Hour Endurance Run, after two failed attempts at a local 50K, in my third and possibly final attempt to get the 50K under my belt! 

For the past two attempts I kind of went in to the race as if it was a marathon. Ultra-running is different than a marathon... 

This race was a looped course of 3.125 miles. I grilled my friend Kim all about last year’s race. She and I had both signed up to run it last year but last minute they had to delay the race due to the weather and so I had to defer to this year. She did the 6 Hr. race and knew the course and could give me the inside scoop specific to that event. Since I deferred I switched my race to the 12 Hour to be sure I had all the time I would need to get to 50K. 

I also started to read all the blog posts I could find about endurance events and looped courses. I came across several versions of packing lists but I could not find one that was all inclusive so I made my own! 

Truth is I packed way more than I actually needed but I am so glad I did. At any time I could have needed any number of the things I packed. Having all of my gear there gave me a sense of security and as I shared in my race recap I absolutely loved being on a looped course!

The first thing I packed was several changes of clothes. I wasn't sure if I'd get supper sweaty and need a fresh change or if I would get cold and need something to keep me warm. I wasn't sure if I'd get hot in tall over the calf compression socks or would they get soaked in the rain and feel heavy? If I just got wet would I want to change, would I want a rain jacket if it poured the rain? If my shoes got muddy I might want to change into another pair, or if my feet got tired I'd want to change. I felt sure I would want to change after the race into something dry. In addition to what I had planned to wear for the race I packed a pair of running capris, a long sleeved shirt, a pull over hoodie, a running rain jacket, two other Skirt Sports Skirts, another tank top, second sports bra, a t-shirt, another pair of my running shoes, two changes of Crazy Compression Socks, one tall one short, two Buffs, a pair of gloves (??? not sure what I was thinking lol!!!) and my Oofos. I also packed two small beach towels. I rolled everything up and packed it all into my dry bag that I use for Kayaking. The one thing I needed and forgot was to pack a few plastic disposable grocery bags to put any wet clothes in. 

Something I found to be extremely efficient when packing for a race, to help ensure I don't forget something, in addition to having a list, is to lay out the outfit you are packing (if you do a flat me pic you are doing this anyway), then place all the items in one stack and roll the outfit up together and tada, you are ready to go! 

These pics are from the Asheville Marathon (I refused to do a flat me for this race.... Superstitious!!) 

For the rest of my gear I used the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers. My husband used to work for Rubbermaid so we have an abundance of these and they were PERFECT. Clear so I can easily see which one I need and gasketed to keep them water tight! The torrential down pour that was this event really put them to the test! 

For Hydration I took a case of bottled water, I knew they would also have water but I wanted to be able to fill up my bottles and mix with my Nuun. I took two handheld bottles and kept them full with half Nuun Sport with Caffeine and half just regular Nuun Sport. I also took several cans of coke. I had all my electrolytes in one container. My waters and cokes I took in our big Yeti Hopper. I didn't take ice. I was carrying everything myself to the start so I was trying my best to keep the weight down. I also don't usually drink things super cold so I didn’t really need the ice. Kim and John had ice in there cooler if needed. I listed my hydration vest on the list but did not take it after all. The handhelds were perfect for the looped course. I just switched them out every other lap and used the water on the course to re-fill in between as needed. The Coke was nice around lunch time and supper time. I liked the fizz honestly. My belly did get a little upset a time or two and the bubbles from the coke helped me burp and then I felt a bit better. 

For Fuel I took enough grub with me in case I got somehow stranded in tent city for weeks lol! Truth is though I didn't know how my belly was going to do so I wanted to make sure I had something for however I was feeling. I took ten GU Gels, ten Honey Stinger Waffles, four packs of Sport Beans, Oatmeal Pies, Pay Days, Salt Stick tabs, and my all-time favorite Tortillas with Nutella!! I spread Nutella on the tortilla and then roll them up and slice into small pinwheels and keep in a zip lock. I put Bananas on the list but didn't take them. I also had a small container of peppermint candies in case my tummy got a little upset. My stomach did get upset and I felt crampy for a couple of loops and it was pretty bad by around mile 13. Kim had some dōTERRA Digest Zen and I took that once when my stomach was really cramping. It was miraculous how well that worked! I am buying some of that stuff for sure! It was like within and instant my stomach cramps were gone! They never came back either the rest of the night. 

At the race I had a GU to start, after each two laps I would come back to our tent, eat something, I alternated between the Honey Stinger Waffle and my Nutella Tortillas, and I'd grab a GU to have on the go for the next lap. I repeated this process the entire race. At lunch time I had a small Cheese Quesadilla from the race aid station and at dinner time I had a slice of Pizza that my friend Nikki's husband brought. 

I would not change a thing about how I fueled and hydrated. I essentially got in 100 calories of fuel every 45 minutes along with about 12 oz. of fluids Nuun Mix and a little regular water. 

I made my own first aid containers too. I took A&D Ointment, Aleve, Anti Monkey Butt (I haven't really used this much so I'm not sure I'd take this again), Band-Aids, Bio-Freeze, Blister Pack, Body Glide, Bug Spray, Contacts, Deodorant, Duct Tape, Emergency Blanket, Foam Roller (left it in my car), Foot Roller, Hand Sanitizer, Ibuprofen, Imodium, KT Tape, Lip Balm, Moleskin, Pepto, Safety Pins, Squirrels Nut Butter, Sunscreen, Tampons, Toilet Paper, and Tums. 

Of all of these first aid things I took I only used the Bug Spray, Lip Balm and Squirrels Nut Butter. Better safe than sorry!! 

At about mile 20 I started to feel some chaffing under my sports bra so I re-applied the squirrels nut butter to all my chaffey parts. I ended up with one chaffed line around my rib cage from my sports bra. This is typical for me so I expected it. It wasn't as bad as it is in other races so I was pretty happy.  

I had another container for my lights. It would get dark in the 12 Hours so I took Knuckle Lights, my Nathan Luna Fire Chest Light, a small lantern for at the table, a head lamp, matches (I mean you just never know lol) and extra batteries. I used my Nathan Luna Fire and it was incredible! Perfect for this race! 

I also packed my Aftershokz, a battery backup for my phone, Sunglasses, Go Pro, and extra zip lock bags, none of which I used. It rained so much I kept my phone off and in a baggie in my pocket. There were so many people to chat with I never needed my music and it sure wasn't sunny lol! Again I am glad I had all this with me just in case. 

Better to have everything you may need and not use than need everything you don't have!  

I packed all my containers and stuff into my Patagonia Black Hole Back Pack. This pack is also weather proof and held all my containers perfectly! 

Luckily Kim and John took the tent, pop up tent, camp table and cooler with ice. Had I gone solo I would have also needed those things. I did take a camp chair but I never sat down after I started running. It was good though for when my daughter and husband came. 

The one thing I would do differently is have a dedicated container for my car key. After my 12 hours of running I was so out of sorts I could not recall where in the world I put my key!! I found it but it took my digging several times through all my things in the dark to FINALLY remember I had put it in my rain jacket pocket so I wouldn’t forget (palm face plant lol). 

My packing list I'm sure will be tweaked throughout the years as I do more and more of these type events but I really felt like I had everything I could have possibly needed. 

It really was a HUGE help to me being this organized for the race! I hope it is as helpful for you in your next big event!

Best wishes on your upcoming adventure!!
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