Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sixteen Miles of Snow!

Mid-run view from the American Tobacco Trail
Durham was the lucky recipient of a ton of snow courtesy of winter storm Jonas this past weekend. Rations were stockpiled, panic ensued, but the weekend long run still had to happen. And happen it did.

Amazingly, we had one of the biggest groups out together from Bean Traders at 10AM on Sunday morning. Some tried to go earlier, but were waylaid by ice and snow. We started picking our way across an icy parking lot close to 10:30, some equipped with traction devices, some trail shoes, and some brave souls with just regular old running shoes.

While some folks broke off from the pack for 5 or so miles, quite a few of us went for a 10 mile roundtrip back to the cars for a water and snack break. I overdressed, had to change my soaking wet shirt and ditch the fleece jacket, and was almost left behind.

In all honestly, I really struggled through this run. I was slipping a bit, and the slushy patches really got me low (literally, because I was sinking). I kept falling behind the group after mile 7 or so, and the last six mile out and back after our break was brutal. My hip was not keen on slush running, let me tell you.

My wonderful friends turned around to make sure I was still there, and waited for me every so often. That helped my spirits a lot. Close to the finish of the 16 miles I realized that, aside from the 2 measly miles I'd done the day before, this was THE FIRST TIME I'D RUN IN SNOW! Sure, I ran while it was snowing in Michigan two years ago, but there wasn't any accumulation. So, big pat on the back for me.

After our run, the most epic Bean Traders gathering ensued at the Big Table. Sunday, plus slow late start run equals beer! I opted out (long drive home, ice, whatnot), but it was fun seeing the group of us, equipped with water, coffee, bagels, and beer, taking off shoes and socks and talking about the beast of a run we just finished.

This is why we run.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Product Review: Fuel100 Electro-Bites

Sometimes, on a long run, I've wished I could eat something that wasn't sweet. Don't get me wrong, I love gels and chews, but after one or two, another option might be nice. Luckily, such a product exists: Electro-Bites nutrition for athletes.

Fuel100 Electro-Bites: Full Product Line
Electro-Bites, like their gel and chew counter parts, are a calorie and electrolyte replacement product for endurance athletes. They have 100 calories per pack, but differ in a few major ways from the energy replacements I'm used to. Electro-Bites are small and crunchy, and easily dissolve without leaving the sticky residue often left by gels and chews. Even better, the small size and solid consistency lends itself well to eating when you want, instead of all at once.

Electro-Bites: Bite Sized Crunch
I took a bag of Salty Vanilla Electro-Bites on my 11 mile trail run this morning, and broke into them about 6 miles in. Crunchy, salty, hint of vanilla. No water needed, but the bites seemed to dissolve a bit faster if I did wash them down.

My group was strategizing our next move, so we were stopped when I started eating the Electro-Bites. I had finished about half the 100 calorie pack when my friends had finished their gels. However, I just put the bag in my pocket, and continued snacking on the bites as we started into our next mile, and was finished a short time later. For those who don't need the whole 100 calories at once (say, like a 5'2" female runner like myself), having the option to snack as you go is nice. I'm guessing the true endurance crowd, frequently out running for hours at a time, would appreciate this feature more than this casual marathon runner.

While Electro-Bites are salty, they do offer a variety of flavors with both savory and sweet flavors mixed in: Salty Vanilla, Apple Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Spice. For the all-savory crowd: Simply Salty and Salty Vinegar.

Electro-Bites Offer an Alternative to Sweet
One of the coolest things I learned when researching this new alternative fuel: not only can they replace your gels, they can also replace your electrolyte beverage! As a bonus, they are gluten and soy free, deriving calories from organic coconut oil, organic agave nectar and non-GMO potato starch.

It's nice to know that there is a savory alternative to the sweet fuels I usually use, especially one that is easy on the stomach. I'm looking forward to testing the other flavors, and adding them in to the rotation.

Disclaimer: I received Electro-Bites for free from Fuel100 as coordinated by Outdoor PR in consideration for review publication.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Asheville, here I come!

I'm off to Asheville on a much-needed weekend trip with some of the fine ladies of Bull City Track Club! Sure, I'll be getting in my 14 miler while I'm there, but it will be a balmy 60 degrees and sunny! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Baby, it's Cold Outside

For the second time this week, I went running at 6AM in sub-freezing temperatures (and in the dark!). Being a California girl, this is quite a feat for me. I haven't done any serious training in winter since moving to North Carolina, so I am pretty excited to be on a roll not turning my alarm off and staying indoors. Here's to a successful Big Sur Marathon Training Week 3, at least thus far!