My Journey Back To Me with Gatorade Endurance – Finale

“Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance products 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!”

Here we are. We have come to the end of my Journey Back to Me with Gatorade Endurance. It has been a roller coaster the last three plus months trying to get back on the road regularly and when it comes down to it I am on the upside of things. What lead to this was having the right mindset about what I needed to accomplish and how much time I needed to give myself. What I needed to help me get through the physical part of this were good decisions when it came to my workout schedule and my diet, which both included what Gatorade Endurance products to use and when.

Back in August Gatorade Endurance provided me with a tub of lemon-lime Endurance Thirst Quench Powder, a variety of single-serving packets of Endurance Thirst Quench Powder and a bundle full of Endurance Energy Gel.

Lets start with the lemon-lime Endurance Thirst Quench Powder. I lived on this stuff. A big part of my routine when I am running and working out is drinking a ton of fluids, even on days I am not working out. When I am injured this routine falls by the wayside, which is not good because I should still be giving my body the same amount of fluids. This isn’t just for physical benefits but, for me, for the mental ones as well. Keeping this as a part of my routine when I am not training helps to remind me about what a healthy routine looks like. It is also a reminder to get my tail out the door and get running.  About half an hour before every run I would mix a scoop and a half with 12 oz of cold water so that I could split half of it before and half of it after my run. My reasoning behind this is that my workouts were no longer than 30 minutes (at most) so I didn’t feel like I needed the full amount of carbs in that serving (22g) to fuel my workout. This also had to do with my use of  the Endurance Energy Gel before each workout. I will discuss that in a bit.

Staying properly hydrated and fueled on my running days really helped me get back to staying hydrated on my non-running days, which kept me feeling healthier and therefore more motivated. All of things things are interconnected for me so it was very vital I get back on track with my hydration routine. The flavor, unsurprisingly, was just like that of traditional Gatorade lemon-lime, which I have fond memories of all the way back to my childhood, so I always looked forward to drinking it.

Gatorade Endurance Sodium

However, the Endurance Thirst Quenching Powder is even better at keeping you hydrated with far more potassium and sodium than traditional Gatorade. Because I live in Texas and it has been fairly warm/hot during most of my road back I really needed this. I took many of my runs on my lunch breaks and the heat was not fun for me. I am not normally a mid-day runner and the heat generally deters me from running at this time of day. I never once experienced cramping or any sort of dehydration on my workout days. On especially warm or humid days I could double the amount of powder and water and keep the same flavor thanks to the mixing instructions provided on the tub. This is the same stuff that is used at aid stations at lots of events (Ironman U.S. Series, Boston, Chicago and New York Marathons as well as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series) and after using it I can see why. It is easy to drink and keeps you hydrated and fueled for shorter and longer distances alike.

In the same vein of the lemon-lime Thirst Quenching Powder the single serving packets of the Endurance formula worked equally well. The cherry and watermelon flavors provided a break from the lemon-lime and were a great substitute when I had to travel twice during the last few months and didn’t want to pack the whole tub of lemon-lime. The single servings are formulated the same as the tub so they worked just as well and tasted great. I am a sucker for cherry flavor anything so that was my favorite. It is important to note that all of the Endurance Thirst Quench Powder flavors are made without artificial flavors. On the product page for the single-serve it notes that it is also made with a multi-carbohydrate blend to help endurance athletes maintain performance and lower the risk of stomach discomfort during a hard training session or race. I don’t know about anyone else but I have avoided major lower stomach discomfort during a race and I would like to keep it that way.

Speaking of digestive system discomfort. Once of the biggest culprits, in my experience and when speaking to other runners, for this is energy gels. I can happily report that I experience absolutely zero stomach discomfort while using the Endurance Energy Gel. I have a finicky stomach so I am very careful about what I put in it and I am slow to forgive anything that disrupts my digestive system. Now, having something not make you sick, is a basic expectation when using a fueling product so I will move on to the better parts of the Endurance Energy Gel (20 grams of carbohydrates, 100mgs of sodium and 80 calories per serving). Firstly, the flavor options here are great. They offer four different flavors: Apple Pear, Blackberry, Mango and Vanilla. I enjoyed every single one of these, which caught me off guard a little. I am not typically big on mango flavored anything or mangoes in general but it was actually my second favorite flavor after the Blackberry.

Gatorade Endurance recommends that these be used for prolonged periods of activity (2.5+ hours) when fluid and electrolyte loss is significant. I knew that during my road back to a more regular training cycle I was never going to get to this point. However, I wanted to put these to the test the best way I knew how. Since most of my runs during this training cycle took place during the middle of the day I would consume the gel about 20 minutes before my workout with the Endurance Thirst Quench Powder to give myself the best chance at not cramping or dehydrating myself. It is recommended that the gel be consumed with water to decrease risk of GI distress so I wasn’t going to risk it anyway.

I was already battling against being out of shape and I didn’t want to compound this by making hydration and fueling mistakes. It is warm here in the DFW metroplex for much of the year so I thought even my 30+ minutes of activity in the heat would give me a good sense of how the Endurance Energy Gel would work. Pair that with me doing these activities on my lunch breaks and having to continue working afterward and I think I did, in fact get good data to judge this on. I never felt drained during or after my run and I experienced no cramping, which hasn’t always been the case for me when it is warm.

I ended this three plus month period behind where I wanted to be from a mileage standpoint but from a feeling healthy perspective I am feeling really great. I struggled with motivation at times but right now I am feeling very good about myself. All of the Gatorade Endurance products that I tested spoke for themselves as for what they can provide for endurance athletes. I will be happily using the refill I got from Gatorade Endurance while I continue to build myself back up. I will also be switching to them for half marathon and marathon training and races when I get back to that point. What really stood out to me, on top of how well the products worked was the team behind it and their belief in me. They chose me to test out their products because they believed I could do what I set out to do. Even when there was a little bit of doubt in my mind they stuck with me. I am very grateful to them for this opportunity.

Find out more about Gatorade Endurance and how they can Fuel Your Journey HERE

Shop Gatorade Endurance

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IG: @gatoradeendurance

My Journey Back To Me with Gatorade Endurance – Part 2

“Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance products 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!”

There has been quite a bit of radio silence from me since my last post about My Journey Back and I want to be very open with you about why. Getting back to a routine of running while getting healthy and rehabbing my Achilles has been far more difficult than I thought it would be before I got things started.

Mentally there have been a lot of ups and downs for me over the last 6-8 weeks and they have been compounded by my Achilles acting up outside of any physical activity. I have gotten in far fewer runs that I would have liked and there isn’t a discernible routine when it comes to my workouts either.  I will say that this has kept me from running but it hasn’t deterred me from my goal of getting back into a healthy routine of injury-free running. What has helped me tremendously is on the days I have felt healthy enough to run I have had Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel to give me a little pep. My distances are still on the lower side but I have had to squeeze in a a lot of my runs unexpectedly so having the Endurance Energy Gel (20g carbs per serving) on short notice (15-20 minutes) before a run really gets me through it.

I am far from being at peak running condition and would consider myself still out of shape, which is why I have needed the extra carbs from not just the Endurance Energy Gel but the Endurance Thirst Quench Powder (23g carbs per serving) as well. It isn’t just using these items that has helped get me out the door and actually on my runs. Just seeing these things when I open my pantry is a reminder of not just the goals I have but that someone else out there (a whole team of people!) believes I can do what I set out to do.

My Journey Back to Me with Gatorade endurance will be wrapping up soon and I hope you’ll be pleased with my progress.

Find out more about Gatorade Endurance and how they can Fuel Your Journey HERE

Follow Gatorade Endurance on Social Media

IG: @gatoradeendurance

YOLO! The Runderwear Paris Marathon Sweepstakes

Disclaimer: I received Runderwear 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!”

It goes without saying that free stuff is kind of cool. There is the free small ice cream cone kind of cool and then there is this. Thanks to Runderwear you have the chance to win a whole lot of swag including flights, hotel stays in Paris and London a ton of Runderwear gear and two (2) entries into the Paris Marathon. There is also so much, much more…

Runderwear Paris Marathon.png

Trips to Europe for a lot of people are a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing and for some they are but dreams. This prize package falls into the once-in-a-lifetime category and if I were you I wouldn’t take this opportunity for granted.

There will be ONLY two (2) winners for this incredible trip and swag so check out the details and ENTER NOW  (RIGHT NOW!) at bit.ly/bibraveparis

 

If you need any extra motivation to click on the link and enter check out some of the scenery you can experience while running through the streets of Paris!

 

Banks of the Seine

Running the banks of the river Seine is almost a rite of passage. Many sections of the riverfront have been made into pedestrian only areas and offer a wide thoroughfare, meaning you can amble along the river taking in the sights with plenty of space. One of the best things about running the Seine is that you can run down one bank, then cross a bridge and run back along the other. On the most popular stretch of the Seine you’ll take in Notre Dame, as well as the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries and the Eiffel Tower.

Runderwear Banks of Seine

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Tucked away in the 19th arrondissement, this leafy park is home to around 5km of trails and pathways. It’s the hilliest park in Paris so as well as gaining some wonderful views across the city, it’s a prime location for getting some hill repeats in.

Runderwear Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont

Canal St-Martin

You’ll recognise this dreamy little slice of Paris from films like Amélie. Starting by the Bastille, you run up the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir until you begin running alongside the canal which surfaces at Rue du Fouberg du Temple. You can make this run as long or as short as you like, crossing bridges and heading back to some of the iconic bistros and cafes that line the southern end of the canal. If you want to push for a long run, the Canal St-Martin runs into the Bassin de la Villette, which goes on for around 100km into the northern suburbs.

Runderwear Canal St. Martin

Bois de Boulogne

This is Paris’ second largest park and one of the most popular places for locals to run. Located in the 16th arrondissement, it spans for more than 2090 acres and is home to around 35 miles of trails. A 5km loop circles two lakes (Lac Inferieur & Lac Superieur) but there is also a 10km Tour de Longeur that is signposted on the maps found in the park. To extend this run, you can start at the Arc de Triomphe and do a round trip before continuing down the Champs-Élysée.

Runderwear Bois De Boulogne

 

Follow Runderwear  on Social Media:
Facebook: RunderwearOfficial
Twitter: Runderwear
IG: teamrunderwear

My Journey Back To Me with Gatorade Endurance

“Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance products 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!”

GEndurance Photo 1

My journey back to a better version of myself starts now. Running doesn’t make me the best version of myself but it is an incredibly helpful item in the toolbox I need to get there. The problem with that tool is that for the last 5 months it has gone unused due to injury. My Achilles injury has been well documented at this point and I am sick of letting it get in my way. I am finally healthy enough to give it a go again. Before I came to that conclusion I had to make sure that I had everything I needed for a healthy training cycle.

That is where Gatorade Endurance comes in. I am blessed to say that they are going to Fuel My Journey back to healthy consistent running. I have partnered with Gatorade Endurance this fall and they are going to give me all of the fuel I need over the next three months including a tub of lemon-lime Endurance Thirst Quench Powder, a variety of single-serving packets of Endurance Thirst Quench Powder and all of the Endurance Energy Gel I could ever need. Gatorade Endurance is giving me the fuel. All I need to do is get out there and put my feet to the pavement. It will be a challenging journey and I would love you all to come on it with me. I need all the support and encouragement I can get.

-Log

Find out more about Gatorade Endurance and how they can Fuel Your Journey HERE

Follow Gatorade Endurance on Social Media

IG: @gatoradeendurance

 

A Solo Runner’s Best Partner – My Sabre Safety Products Review

“Disclaimer: I received Sabre Safety Runner Series Products 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!”

As a solo runner I am my only running buddy for most of my runs. I will occasionally take Ollie, my 100+ lbs St. Bernard puppy for a run but she is loud regardless of what she is doing so taking her out in the morning before everyone is awake is a chance I won’t take and when the sun is up this time of year she overheats very quickly. I will take the kids in the stroller when I go for a walk but these do not account for the majority of my runs.

So when I was offered the opportunity to make new friends with Sabre Red safety products designed for runners I didn’t have to think twice. My wife worries about my safety each time I go out in the dark and I can’t really blame her. There are so many dangers out on the road in the daytime and these are amplified when the sun isn’t even up yet. Drivers are less prepared to see runners for one but it is the time of day when one might be more susceptible to an attack. This isn’t something I like to think about but when I am running in the quiet of the morning it will hit me when a car passes me from behind that I didn’t hear coming or I hear a car door slam nearby.

Full disclosure is that before I tested out these products I had only ever run with handheld lights for visibility and safety. I had hesitated to ever carry more due to it seeming cumbersome to due so and not wanting to chance injuring myself in the process of defending myself.  The Runner Pepper Gel Spray takes away that worry with several features. Firstly, it has a hand strap which means it takes zero effort to hold while running so I don’t have to worry about trying to not lose my grip of it and it would be in the right position to discharge if need be. Secondly, there is a safety locking top that keeps it secure and prevents accidental discharge. The final safety feature involves the spray itself. It is made of a gel, which “virtually eliminates wind blowback and only affects what it contacts”.

This bad boy pictured above may be the crown jewel of the entire set. This personal alarm straps perfectly onto the wrist and is activated by pulling the pin at the bottom. The pin is secure enough that it is very unlikely to get jostled out of place on a run unless it is pulled out. Let me warn you that if you plan on testing this personal alarm out  then you should do so away from people as much as possible. It has a loud as heck alarm, which tops the meters at 130 dB and this can be heard from a whopping 1,000 feet away. This is more than enough to scare off a would-be attacker and bring attention to your emergency.

If you like the idea of a personal alarm like that one but don’t think you’ll need that much kick or would like to make sure you can be spotted in the dark, well Sabre has you covered there as well.

Sabre Light with Clip

This personal alarm with an LED light and a clip is a fantastic tool. The light has settings that allow you to choose between a solid or flashing (two speeds) light. TI he clip is strong enough to be attached to an arm strap with a phone or a piece of clothing. It is lightweight and the alarm still packs quite the punch. It registers at 120 dB, which is still good for a 600 ft range. It might seem redundant to carry both alarms but I am a fan of taking extra precautions. It requires no effort to bring them along with you and with one having a light and the other having a higher range then you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using them both. You can see in my photo below that I am using all three products and it couldn’t have been easier to do.

Now that I have used these products on both walks and runs by myself and with my family I won’t ever feel alone on a run. Sure, I won’t be able to strike up a conversation with them but they will provide me with a sense of safety and security, which is something a running buddy provides. If you’ll take another look at my first photo you’ll see that Sabre provided me with a second personal alarm/LED light and pepper gel spray. They did this so I could provide them to a running buddy of my choosing. Even though my wife doesn’t run she does frequently take walks and hikes with the kids. She can’t always bring the dog because three kids and a dog is a lot to handle. For the peace of mind that having these items with provide to her and I, I am very grateful. I’m glad my wife and I will get to #RunTogether with Sabre.

Right now you can enter code ‘SABRERUN’ for 20% off

Follow Sabre on Social Media

IG: @sabresafety

Twitter: @SabreRed
See what my fellow BibRave Pros thought about their

Mai

Meridith

Taushah

Fallon

Lisa

Janell

Shannon

Samantha

Hydration with Great Flavor! – My Ultima Replenisher Review

Disclaimer: I received Ultima Replenisher 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!”

Hydration is one of those things that we all need to worry about this time of year whether we are training for something or not. If you are active then there is a good chance you are sweating and if you are sweating you are losing water that your body will need back.

Not only will you need the water back but if you sweat a lot, whether through intense physical activity, just the heat or a combination of the two then you are also losing essential minerals too. That salt on your hat or on your clothes are important and you want to take that into account when rehydrating. Ultima Replenisher includes support minerals and all 6 electrolytes. These ingredients are essential to properly hydrating and rehydration.

 

POTASSIUM

Naturally chelated potassium aspartate. Potassium is a key electrolyte. We also use potassium phosphate, salts of potassium and phosphorus ions. 

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium citrate and magnesium aspartate. We use two very absorbable forms of magnesium as it is a vital electrolyte to prevent cramps and fatigue.

CHLORIDE

Chloride as sodium chloride. Chloride is an essential electrolyte critically needed for the overall balance of body fluids.

CALCIUM

We use calcium citrate and calcium ascorbate which are very absorbable forms of calcium. Calcium is a key electrolyte necessary for the bones and body function.

ZINC

Zinc is a vital trace mineral. It is an electrolyte that most formulas leave out due to cost. It is critical for cell health and body function and a “go-to” for many to fight a common cold.

PHOSPHORUS

Phosphorus as potassium phosphate. As the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium, phosphorus is good for the bones and teeth and present in every muscle cell as well as the body’s fluids.

SODIUM

Sodium chloride. Many sports drinks contain a great deal of sodium and use it as a preservative. Our formulation is similar to real food like oranges and bananas.

MANGANESE

Manganese as manganese citrate. Manganese is a trace mineral needed for bone, skin and cartilage.

Being in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex I am experiencing warm temperatures regardless of the time of day. Even predawn the humidity keeps it warm enough to make me sweat before I really get going. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the temperatures warm enough that I can bust out my tank tops or run shirtless but there is no doubt that it is summer.

I’ve noted before that I am prone to sweating if I even look at the sun from inside for too long. I lose a lot of water and minerals through my sweat. I was excited to get to test Ultima because I am not a fan of relying on hydration drinks with artificial sweeteners or too much sugar. It upsets my stomach and isn’t worth the amount of electrolytes I might be getting back.

Ultima doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. That’s already a win for me. I was already familiar with Ultima a little as my wife used it for her post workout hydration needs. I had tasted the raspberry and was a fan. I was intrigued to try the cherry pomegranate, lemon, orange and grape that Ultima offers as well. They sent me a tub of raspberry, a tub of lemonade and three sample packs with all of the flavors I listed. I couldn’t have been more pleased by the flavors. A few of my fellow Bib Rave Pros loved the grape and I have to say it is a good flavor. The orange and cherry pomegranate were great but my favorite was the lemonade and a combination of the raspberry and lemonade. Once I discovered that combination I went back to it several times.

I not only tested this to hydrate prior to and after exercise myself but had my son test it out during his Field Day at school. He likes hydration drinks a lot and asks for them any time he works up a sweat. I am happy to be able to offer him one without so much sugar in it that he enjoys the taste of.

An upside of Ultima Replenisher is that it dissolves quite easily in only 16 oz. of water. It requires very little shaking and you don’t need an actual shaker bottle either. Might not seem like a big deal to most but if you are in a hurry or don’t have a shaker then it is a nice perk.

See what my fellow BRP’s think to and I hope you’ll try some for yourself. Right now you can use code “ULBRAVE19” for 10% off the amazon.com/shops/ultimareplenisher storefront.

Andrea Pt. 1

Andrea Pt. 2

Andrea Pt. 3

Jenna 

Erica

Thanh

Lissa

Alastair

Ben W.

Follow Ultima Replenisher on social media:

IG: @goultima

Twitter: @GoUltima

Experience That Chafe-Free Guarantee – My Runderwear Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Runderwear boxer briefs 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!”

At some point or another as runners we have all probably either experienced or worried about chafing. That not so fun experience that irritates skin in the absolute worst of places. Chafing is bad enough when you start to experience it at the end of a run. Well, if you experience it not that long into a long run then you know there will be nothing but suffering until you are done and after. Chafe free underwear for runners seems like a novel concept but it isn’t something I have personally seen before learning about Runderwear.

Before I tell you too much about my experience with them I do want to explain how they work because Runderwear have nailed it. They are so confident in their product, as they should be, that they offer a chafe-free guarantee: “Runderwear’s whole ethos is about creating chafe-free performance clothing. Runderwear clothing has no side seams and is label-free to prevent irritation and rubbing. Runderwear technical fabric is extremely soft, breathable and highly effectively at wicking sweat away from the body, ensuring you remain chafe-free in ultimate comfort, no matter how many miles you run.” How do they do this? They explain the process for ensuring this “mesh panels containing micro perforations to increase breathability and sweat removal from your skin, ensuring your core temperature is optimised.”.

Lets address the portion of the chafe-free guarantee that talks about comfort no matter how long you run. My first test run in these was at the DC Wonderwoman 10K race series in Arlington. It was not only humid and a little warm that morning but it was a race so I was pushing myself. This meant extra sweat and higher stride turnover so my legs were rubbing together way more often. Well, the Runderwear held up. They are moisture wicking so the sweat was not a problem and on top of that the fabric is breathable so there was actually a little bit of air flow, which meant I was running cooler than normal. I experienced absolutely no chafing whatsoever after that 10k. It was marvelous!

One big culprit for chafing are seams, especially seams that move around over the skin ask you are moving. Runderwear has taken care of that by eliminating the seams from their underwear. It is amazing how different underwear feels without seams. It feels like a piece of performance wear but better. It is hard to describe just exactly what the difference feels like but it is noticeable. An extra perk of the seamless design is that the underwear moves with you and stays in place, regardless of pace, unless you adjust it with your hands. Knowing that they wouldn’t bunch or ride up I decided to give them a shot on a run sans shorts. You can see by the photo above that they don’t look all that different from compression shorts so I didn’t feel so awkward about doing so. I felt like this was the best way to truly test them. Wearing shorts, whether with or without a liner, might affect how they work. Turns out it didn’t matter whether I wore them with shorts or without. They never moved, I never chafed and I loved wearing them.

If you are not a fan of the boxer brief style, they do have standard briefs too and I would expect that the seamless design and same breathable fabric will offer the same results I experienced. If you have ever dealt with chafing from your underwear or even if you prefer to run commando, and I know there are lots of you out there who do, I would give these a shot. Since I rarely buy myself any of my running gear I will be asking for these from my wife, who is responsible for all of my underwear purchasing.

From now until the end of the May you can get 20% off your order with code “BIBRAVE20” at https://www.runderwear.com/ .

Follow Runderwear on social media:

IG: @teamunderwear

Twitter: @runderwear

Facebook: @RunderwearOfficial

If you would like to learn what some of my fellow BibRave Pros thought of Runderwear then check out their reviews below.

Ken

Janell

Jenn

Mai

Joe G

Scott