Go Farther with Gatorade Endurance

Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance formula and energy gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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If you’ve been following my Instagram feed and/or Twitter feed recently, you’ll know I’ve been using Gatorade Endurance formula and energy gels in my training runs. Gatorade Endurance are releasing new flavors and I received some samples (via BibRave) to review on my blog.

The timing of this review couldn’t be better. We’ve had some really unseasonably hot weather here in North Carolina. Morning runs have been in mid-eighties with high humidity, and evening runs have been close to one hundred degrees.

The Gatorade Endurance line of products are not like the normal Gatorade you buy in the store. Gatorade Endurance is designed for endurance athletes and adds extra sodium and potassium to take you farther.

Continue reading “Go Farther with Gatorade Endurance”

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Be Brilliant, This Time in Green

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective strips to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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Be Brilliant — It sounds like a Bill and Ted mantra. “Be Brilliant to each other!” In this post we’re going to look at how we can be brilliant, from a visibility and brightness perspective.

By the way, where did the male crop top go to?

I have reviewed Brilliant Reflective’s stick-on reflective strips before and guess what, those strips are still stuck tight. None of the edges have lifted either. I can’t tell you how many washes those items of clothing have had.

So why review again? Well, Brilliant Reflective are launching two new colors – Gold and Green!

Iron On

I’m quite fussy about which color of strips I apply to which color of clothing. I happen to think green goes really well with the color Orange, aaaand I just happen to have an Orange shirt, courtesy of BibRave. So, I got out the iron board and laid out my shirt to plan where I’d put the strips.

I decided to go with 2 strips on the back, and one on the front.

Since I did not use the iron-on strips for my original review, I carefully read the instructions a few times. They are conveniently printed inside of the packaging. It’s not complicated at all. Once I figured out how to turn on the iron all was good.

Top Tip: Be careful if your shirt has existing print on it. Doh! Even though I used kitchen paper as suggested, I made the mistake of holding the iron over the BibRave print on the back. The paper ended up sticking to the print a little but I managed to get it off without any noticeable damage.

Stick On

Earlier in the week I also give one of my running hats the Brilliant Reflective treatment and posted the steps in my Instagram story — I’ll keep it on my profile as a highlight for a while if you want to check it out.

I cut the strips to fit neatly on both sides of the bill. The strips are blue, so work with well with the hat color, and then glow white when the light shines on them. It truly is an excellent way to keep me more visible on the road.

The hat has been through it’s first wash yesterday and the strips are stuck tight – good as new.

What Will You Use It For?

The applications for this product are vast. You could use on kid’s bicycles, strollers, helmets, adult bicycles, school bags, skateboards, phones, coats, shoes, mail boxes, water bottles, etc.

Brilliant Reflective makes it easy to enhance your safety when outside in the dark. Nobody likes scary surprises, especially drivers in cars swerving around runners on the road (happens too often). So be brilliant to each other, in both senses of the word, and help others to see you in good time.

Why not take part in Brilliant Reflective’s fun creativity contest. Post your creative uses of the strips to Instagram and tag @brilliantreflective.

 

Race Recap: 2018 Running Of The Bulls 8K

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One of my favorite races of the year, is the Running Of The Bulls 8K in Durham, NC. It’s a really great course with a few challenging hills and a finish on the track at the old Durham Bulls stadium. It always coincides with the Food Truck Rodeo in Durham which is a fun reason to hang out after the race and enjoy some food!

I knew this year would be a bit slower for me. We have been experiencing very humid weather and higher temperatures than normal for this time of year, so that was bound to affect my performance.

In the end it didn’t turn out too bad when the official results came back. In 2017, I completed the course in 39:56. This year I officially completed the course in 40:40 (although Strava has 41:46!).

You may remember I ran this race last year with my son, Noah. He was also signed up to run this year but came down sick and wasn’t well enough to run. Fortunately my friend Niles was there and we ended up running the majority of the race together.

The medal this year was a functioning cowbell again. I’m only going to have so much room on my medal rack for these things. 😉

There is one thing I’ve noticed about Bull City Running Co. races. They like to take you close to finish line when you still have 1-2 miles to run. It one way it’s great to see all the runners coming back toward you to finish, in another way it’s just plain agonizing to know you still have 15-20 minutes left. Race Across Durham also employed this feature.

Immediately after the race there was plenty of Nuun, Fullsteam beer, fruit, granola bars, etc. but it can get a little crowded in there. Niles and I stayed for a little while before leaving for home. She said she’d run it again. I know I will.

Running on Keto, Maybe

I’ve lost a bit of weight running the last couple of years, around 30lbs, and feel much fitter because of it. Recently I’ve joined my local Y to work on my core which I’d been neglecting for the longest time.

However, even with all the running, I feel like I’ve hit a plateau and I’m still carrying a bit of excess weight that I need to shed.

I just completed my last race on Saturday past until mid *October when I’ll be running the Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon.

During this non-racing season I plan to vary my training a little. I’m going to add some trail running, strength training and try some experimental changes to my diet.

At the moment I’m considering the seemingly controversial Keto diet. This would mean transitioning my body over from burning glucose as a fuel source to burning fat instead. It’s essentially starving your body of carbs and forcing it to generate energy from fat — in turn accelerating weight loss

I’ve read about runners, whose bodies are in full ketosis, having the ability to run long distances without needing to fuel along the way (with gel packs, etc.). This is because our bodies will deplete our glucose stores in under 2 hours, but our fat stores (mine in particular😜) will continue to generate energy for much longer.

Apparently the first couple of weeks of transition can be tough, and runners in particular find their energy and endurance plummet for a short time. This is why I’ve waited until all my races are over for a while.

So, we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be blogging about my experience and I’m open to any guidance or advice YOU might have. Comment below!

*I have the right to change this at any time, no notice required. 😜

Race Recap: NCRC Classic Half Marathon

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This was not a race I’d been planning to run or was preparing for. A friend of mine had registered and unfortunately she was unable to run it. Thankfully the race directors allowed her to transfer the bib to me at short notice.

This was my third half marathon, and the most challenging to date. I knew it was going to be difficult as I had ran sections of the course before. However, now it was a race. Knowing how hilly the out and back course was, I had accepted it was not going to be a PR run for me, and I was fine with that.

I convinced Zach (and he convinced his training buddy, Courtney) to sign up on the morning of the race. It’s much more fun racing with friends.

Access to, and parking at the race was great. There wasn’t much traffic and there was plenty of places to park (at surrounding businesses). From the parking lot, the race start was across the road, just outside of Umstead State Park.

The half marathon start time was 7.00am. There was also a 10K which started at 7.20am. I estimate maybe 300 runners for the half — so quite a small local race. It was an open course too, so there was no stopping other runners or cyclists from using the trails with us (and there were quite a few doing just that).

The whistle blew, and off we went. The aim was to stay slightly ahead of the 2:00 pacing group as we wanted to finish under 2. I arrived at this target scientifically of course.

Back in March, I completed my first half marathon in 1:49:00. In April I completed my second half marathon, with hills (h), and a stop to poop (p), in 1:57:00.  So it stands to reason that few extra hills (h) minus a poop (p) would result in 1:59:00.

Mathematically speaking: (h*2)-p = 1:59:00

The first few miles felt really good. We were easily keeping a nice gap between us and the pacing group. The hills were slowing us down a bit but we were still tracking at a decent pace.

It wasn’t long after the turnaround, maybe a mile or two, that I had to let the pacing group pass me and come to a realization that there was TOO MANY FREAKING HILLS on this course to complete it in under 2 hours.

2018-05-25 15_56_51-NCRC Classic Half Marathon _ Run _ Strava

At mile 9 (why is it always mile 9!?) I couldn’t keep going on long incline. Zach kept going strong but I had to stop running and walk and watch him disappear into the distance.

The humidity was getting to me. At every water station I was drinking at least 2 cups of water/Gatorade, which I’ve never had to do before. My clothes were drenched in sweat – even my socks were drenched.

It rocked my confidence a little to be honest. I couldn’t help thinking how unprepared I was for this race, and how unprepared I would be for a full marathon, and why would I ever want to run that distance!

After some one-on-one time with God, questioning life in general, the course started to flatten out around mile 10. I was now running again. The next mile and a half was downhill which helped, even though my legs felt like lead at this stage.

There was one more brutal hill at the 12.6 mile mark all the way to the finish. As I started the final ascent, I was surprised to see Zach ahead — not far at all. I made a valiant attempt to catch him, but ran out of steam quickly. He turned around and waved, and then put in a little extra effort to cross the line.

I found out later he considered waiting for me so we could cross the finish line together, but he feared I would run past him. And yes, I would have done exactly that. So he made the right call to run for the finish.

I crossed the line about 20 seconds after — happy to be done.

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There were plenty of snacks after the race, but no beer. I mean, come on. I could have murdered one or two cold beers after that race — easily. I did manage to pick up a nice race shirt though (which is modeled below) which somewhat makes up for it.

Someone asked me if I would run it again. Yes, probably. I wasn’t happy with that performance at all. It beat me, told me I sucked, so I want a chance at redemption. I’ll be back sometime, NCRC Classic Half Marathon. You wait and see.

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Added: NCRC Classic Half Marathon

2018-05-17 16_42_57-Umstead Half Marathon - 21km Running Route near Cary (ID_ 613619)

I’m running another Half Marathon this weekend — my third HM race this year. This coming race wasn’t planned, but a friend is unable to run and transferred her bib to me.

The NCRC Classic Half Marathon is a fairly hilly route through Umstead State Park in Raleigh, NC. The terrain is mixed road and hard-packed gravel, much like the Tobacco Road Marathon back in March.

This may be the hilliest half I’ve ran, with an elevation gain of over 700ft. Despite that, I’d still love to complete it around the 2 hour mark. They have pacing groups available, so I’ll try to run between the 1:50 and 2:00 pacing groups.

I was hoping some friends would sign up to run with me, but as of today the Half Marathon is actually sold out.

Click here for an interactive map of the route.

 

Music To Run With: Cloud Nine by Kygo

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I discovered Kygo a few months back and really enjoy his music and artist collaborations. Cloud Nine is his debut album and I’ve always thought the first track, Intro, would make a great backing track for a kick-ass trail running video.

Hear me out (listen above).

  • 0s: Far out view (drone footage) of a solo runner on a trail.
  • 45s: Close up footage, feet, dirt, grit, sweat, stream crossings.
  • 1m:24s: Other runners join as they run the last section of the trail to the summit.
  • 1m:45s: They reach the summit, exhausted, arms spread wide taking in the 360 degree views.

I think that would be magic.

Aside from that, the whole album suits very well as a running accompaniment – except for the John Legend Happy Birthday track. Great song, but seems a little out of place on this album.