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

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

There is no such thing as too much Chocolate!

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate Dallas 15K 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!”

February of last year I was lucky enough to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas and I had a great time. I signed up on sort of a whim because I heard it was a really fun atmosphere and was very well organized. This turned out to be 100% the case!

It was the first 15K I had ever done and if it had been any other race series I might not have thought about doing another afterward. The swag consisted of a very nice 3/4 zip up pullover, which I used very frequently while training this past winter. The awesome pullover has returned this year and they’ve added a hood!

The goodie bag is not the end of the great stuff this race provides. The post race chocolate treat bowl is the kicker to an awesome race experience. There is even chocolate along the course of you get a mid-race craving!

The medals are unique, fun and make for great photos once you’ve conquered this course. The course itself last year was a good mix of challenging with some hills and steady with plenty of flat straightaways. There is support along the way with locals and volunteers cheering you along and the volunteers handing out the goodies after the race are really enthusiastic and dedicated to make sure you are taken care of.

If you aren’t convinced yet you can sign up using promo code ‘BRHCDallas’ at checkout and receive a free armband for your phone!

You still have time to sign up but don’t wait too long. This is a big event and I wouldn’t want you to miss you chance at some free chocolate and a fun race!

You can follow the Hot Chocolate Racing Series on social media at the links below.

Also, check out their website and register today:

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com

Facebook: @hotchocolate15K

TW: @hotchocolate15K, #hc15K

IG: hotchocolate15k

Clean Look and Total UV Protection – My Shady Rays Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays sunglasses 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!”

Sunglasses are one of those things that I buy so very rarely for a couple of reasons. One is that I have kids and I take them everywhere so the chances they will be lost or destroyed are quite high. The biggest reason though is that I don’t think I look very good in them. I have a pair for everyday wear that are really beat up and one of the lenses falls out frequently because the frame is really weak from being bent so much. I also have a pair for running but they are wrap arounds and don’t fit my head well at all. The reason I have those is because they were cheap and they were polarized. The work in that they stay on my head when I am active but the way they sit on my face isn’t comfortable and they can pinch behind my ears if they are on long enough.

Needless to say, finding the right sunglasses is a struggle for me. That is, until I got a pair of the sweetest looking sunglasses I have ever owned. That really is just the beginning for these sunglasses though. The Infrared Ice Polarized that Shady Rays provided me with are one of a multitude (and I mean multitude!) of different styles on their website. It was surprising how well the polarized lenses cut down the brightness considering how lightly colored my lenses were. I think that says a lot about the quality of the lenses themselves. One thing I don’t like about other polarized lenses is that they can get so dark that it slightly impairs my vision. The Shady Rays allowed for 100% UV protection with light lenses and I actually felt incredibly stylish wearing them. Which is a very new feeling for me.

The frames themselves are durable as heck. I know this because I can be clumsy and these were dropped several times. They neither broke nor appeared to be scratched or blemished at all. Though these are not wrap around style sunglasses they do not suffer when it comes to stability. These stayed firmly fixed to my face regardless of my speed, bounce or sweat level. The fact that they didn’t pinch my face or head while staying in place is a major victory in my eyes (see what I did there?). I don’t have a small head so I expect nearly any pair I buy that stays put to pinch a little.

Overall consensus is that these are a premier product and I will be buying a pair for myself and my wife. She is the first one to tell me when sunglasses don’t fit my face well and she loves these. She’s already picked out a pair for herself. I will grab another pair in the same style for myself, which is very reasonable for $45. My wife’s taste is a little more expensive but thankfully I have a solution for that. Promo code “BIBRAVE” is good for 50% off 2+ pairs: https://bit.ly/2rk7Hor

If that weren’t enough of an incentive Shady Rays offers a Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Free Replacements if Lost or Broken* (max 2). They also secure 11 meals to fight hunger through Feeding America with every order placed.

You can follow Shady Rays on social media using the links below.

Twitter: @shadyrays

Instagram: @shadyrays

Shop Shady Rays

 

The Wonders of Athlinks!!

 

Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks 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!

My Athlinks adventure started in October of 2017 in a way I imagine isn’t that much different than that of others. Before I was talked into running an obstacle course race by my sister and her fiance I decided to do my research what I was getting myself into. I am one who relies very heavily on calendars, planning and organization. Without those things I am doomed to fail. The first thing I did after researching what type of obstacles I would need to prepare for was search for race results. Admittedly I was a novice when it came to keeping track of my own race results and past registrations so I didn’t know where to start.  The only thing I could think to do was to reach out to someone I knew had run multiple Spartan races about how they did. When I finally got around to picking my friend’s brain about his past races it had been a while since his last Sprint distance so he wasn’t sure what his exact time was. Having used Athlinks previously to claim his results he suggested I go there and search for his name. I acted as thought I knew what Athlinks was so I headed to the site, created an account, searched for my friend’s account (which was easy to find), followed him and searched through his results. It was very easy to find his results.

 

Athlinks Results Juan

 

It turns out a lot of people knew what Athlinks was and I was in the minority! I went down the rabbit hole of looking through my friends contacts, following them and looking at their results too. I’m not ashamed to say I spent the better part of a Saturday afternoon exploring the Athlinks website and all of the features it had to offer.

One if those features was Start Lists, which is my favorite feature. Once you decide on a race, whether you are registered or not, you can search for the even in the Athlinks database and add yourself to the start list. Adding yourself to the start list allows you to be visible to others, whether friends or rivals, when they are considering adding themselves to the start list of a race as well.

 

Athlinks Start List

 

The portion of this feature that I enjoy most about this is being able to add goal times for yourself for each race. Athlinks will also track your PR for each race distance that you have claimed results for (we’ll touch on that later) and your average time at that distance as well. If you happen to be running a race with people that you follow then you can see this same data for them as well. How cool is that?? Not only can you see what you and others end up achieving for the race you’ve just tun but Athlinks has the results for prior years that this even was held. On your own profile page every race that you have added yourself to will appear under upcoming events. Note: this isn’t linked to any race registration. You can add yourself to or remove yourself from races at your own discretion.

 

Athlinks Upcoming Events

 

Lets get back to claiming results. What is that and how do you do it? Most events nowadays upload your race results very quickly to either their own website or Athlinks (or both) almost immediately after a race. As as example, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas on February 3rd of this year and within about 6 hours of the race I searched for my results on Athlinks by entering my full name in the search field at the top of the page. My results from the race appear on the page below instantaneously and all I had to do was click on the ‘Claim’ button to the right of the race results. As long as you are signed in these results now live on your profile.

 

Athlinks UnclaimedAthlinks Results Log

 

Claiming results allows you to bypass having to go to the results portion of the website of every race you have run in the past and navigating through hundreds (sometimes thousands) of names. Some time after you’ve claimed results you’ll receive an email confirmation from Athlinks giving you the details of what race you’ve claimed the results for. Athlinks also provides you with a link back to your profile along with encouragement to share your results. If you are proud of yourself (and you always should be!) you should share these results with your friends on Facebook.

Athlinks email

 

Remember the tracking PR’s that I mentioned earlier? Well, Athlinks will notify you via email that a result you have claimed has resulted in a PR. Another very cool feature. Athlinks saves you the time of having to go through all of your won results. I got this the day after I received my results claimed email.

Athlinks PR

If you’re like me then you’ve already discovered the joys of being part of a community as open and supportive as the running community. How do they factor into anything I’ve talked about? Easy! The search function on the Athlinks website allows you to search for fellow athletes by name. Much like the unclaimed results search function, athletes will appear on  the page below the search box as you type in the name and you can add them as someone you follow from that page. When someone goes through this process and adds you then you get an email alert from Athlinks that you have a new friend! Once I found all of my running friends I started getting ‘new friends’ emails with a lot of names in them and it was quite exciting!

On your own profile page just underneath where your own upcoming races live you can see what your friends are up to. I have found that this helps you wish them luck when they are running a race because Athlinks shows races friends are running in chronological order.

Athlinks Friends Upcoming

My favorite part of the running community is the support and encouragement that can be found around every corner. Athlinks celebrates this with this feature by reminding you that your friends have been working toward something and they could use some encouragement too! I love giving back to my running friends in this way because I know how far a few words can go when someone needs to hear them. Please feel free to add me (Logan Heinsch) on Athlinks and find out just how awesome this platform really is. I look forward to cheering you on in the future!