5 Things I eat on the run

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I think many runners rely on the same tried and true fuel, until for some reason it’s no longer working for them. I love trying new things, and I am almost constantly trying out new foods on the run when I’m running long.

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Just one of my fuels — I like variety!

Honeystinger Chews
Honeystinger is tried and true for me. I started out with Honeystinger, took a break while I explored other options, but Honeystinger chews (buy them here) and waffles (I prefer the gluten free waffles here) are almost always along for the ride when I’m running long. Which is exactly why I became a Honeystinger Ambassador.

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Mmmm, balls

Date Balls
There are a million recipes for date nut balls out there. Dates are a great source of natural sugar and carbs, but I find that I don’t really like to just chow down on dates on the run. Add in some nuts and other fixins’, though — yup, I almost always have some form of home made date balls with me on long runs too.

A few recipes to get you started:

Shortbread
A running friend recommended Lorna Doones to me one day. Which is not something I’d ever considered. I was having a hard time, though, because I was training in winter for a Southern half. Unfortunately you could break a tooth on my Honeystinger chews — I needed another source of fuel.

I never got Lorna Doones, but I did try out a different brand of shortbread cookies training for and running my last half (read about it here).

They weren’t my sole source of fuel — since it was a warm day I was using my Honeystinger chews as I normally do, but the truth is you never know what will appeal to you at the end of a long run (or during!), so I like to bring a variety of things to eat with me, and I do love shortbread.

The race went relatively well, so I guess it worked for me.

Chocolate covered ginger
Are you like me and struggle to continue to take in fuel as you run long? It’s about the only time I’m not hungry. My stomach is pretty strong, knock on wood, but I do find it hard to get in the fuel I know I need towards the end.

Ginger is very good for upset stomachs. Crystallized ginger is also sweetened, which makes it a good energy source — but to me it’s not annoyingly sweet. Of course I go for dark chocolate covered ginger, but you don’t have to. I usually like to take in a few pieces a few times during a longer race.

Banana Chips
Banana Chips were one of my latest discoveries. I used them in one of the date ball recipes I used for training, and just plain before and during the run/race.

What’s missing?
Gels. I do not take in any gels at all. Ever. It’s not even that I don’t like gels — I do, actually. It’s because as I’ve written about a lot, I prefer to take in a little bit every mile rather than a lot every 45 minutes or so.

It’s not about stomach woes for me; I used gels for quite some time when I first started to run. If you are a person who finds their stomach rebelling, though, it may be because you take in a large amount of sugar and carbs all at once, and getting in a little bit more often might work for you.

Another option is to get gel flasks and dilute your gel with water — that way you actually can take in just a little bit of gel more frequently. I tried that for a while. My problem with that was I really couldn’t tell how much I was taking in and whether or not it was enough. Gel flasks can get a little messy too.

The other thing that’s missing: Nuun. I love Nuun, too, which is why I became an ambassador for them as well. In fact, it’s a similar story: I started out using Nuun, dropped it, then started again a few years back.

I drink it before and after long runs, hot runs, and races — I don’t really want something sweet to drink on the run, but drinking it before and after has really helped reduce the foot cramping I was experiencing.

  • What do you use for fuel on the run?
  • Are you tempted to try some new, real foods now?
  • Do you stick with tried & true or like to experiment?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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5 Things that got me through . . .

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. . .  My first trail race

I love you free spirits who just go out and run. I’m a girl scout; I believe in preparation! Maybe that’s why I’m not usually super nervous before a race. I was a little nervous before this past half (read the recap here), but chatting with Skirtsisters before the start took my mind off of it.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing five things that helped me run a successful first trail half.

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Still gushing over the hydration pack

Hydration Pack
This is obviously beating a dead horse, since I devoted last week’s Friday Five (read it here) to the subject. Most runners didn’t seem to be carrying water at all. And yes, it was a very chilly day. I need my hydration and I just love my hydration pack and am glad I finally tried one! And then another . . .

A similar one from Amazon (affiliate link) here.

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They were so cute before they got all muddy!

Dirty Girl Gaiters
Do you need gaiters to run a trail race? Of course not. Will they help? Obviously, I think they do.

Where I ran in training had several very sandy patches — like running in the unpacked sand on a beach. I would get home and empty what felt like the entire trail from my shoes. My feet would be dirty despite my socks.

The first time I ran with gaiters only a tiny trickle of sand needed to be drained from my shoes. I was immediately sold.

Gaiters cover the bottom of your legs and part of your shoes, and their purpose is to keep all that trail debris out of your shoes. Unfortunately, since I had to return my trail shoes, I now have to dig out the velcro (wherever that might be) to attach gaiters to my new trail shoes (when I buy them).

The good news is that they since they send along more than enough, I don’t have to buy new velcro — assuming I can find the leftovers.

You can buy your Dirty Girl Gaiters (not an affiliate link, although they are available on Amazon) here.

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Love these compression socks!

Mudgear Compression Socks
I think I may have found the perfect cold weather compression socks. One of the reasons I run in compression sleeves instead of compression socks is I hate that tightness around my toes — it feels like they’re being squished together — and the fact that there’s so little padding.

Mudgear targets the OCR and Tough Mudder crowds. It’s mildly compressive around your lower legs, but the feet are regular socks and nicely padded. I bought a medium, but I will say that they actually felt a bit too loose around my toes. I wonder if the small might be a better fit for me?

They got wet . . . again, and again, and again . . . yet they would dry out between dunkings and I didn’t get blisters.

Get your Mudgear Compression socks from Amazon (affiliate link) here

Rocktape
No, of course, this is not something you need for a trail race. If I hadn’t taped both knees, though, there might have been a lot more pain, a lot more walking, and it might even have derailed my UT half. Rocktape rocks; no joke!

You can buy Rocktape (Amazon Affiliate link) here.

Honeystinger Waffles
My race started at 9 am. We left at 7:30 because it’s a half hour drive and we knew parking would be limited (we could have left a little later). I ate my normal prerace breakfast of overnight oats at my usual time, around 6 am.

I know lots of runners run half marathons on very little fuel. What can I say, I like to eat, and I know that with 3 hours between breakfast and the start of the race, I needed a little somthin’ somethin’ — Honeystinger Waffle to the rescue!

You can buy them here (I’m a Honeystinger Ambassador, but I don’t make any money off of your purchase — just sharing the love here).

So let me know in the comments:

Do you need a prerace snack if breakfast was several hours prior?

Have you ever attempted a race that pushed you outside your comfort zone — if yes, which one and why?

Would you try a tough mudder or OCR race (me: no thank you! The trail race was enough tough mud for me!)?

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for both Skirtsports and Honeystinger. I make no money from the links in this post, and I was not provided any items for free. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

5 Spring Things I’m Loving 2017

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We seem to have skipped spring and gone right to summer — which is not unusual for the northeast. We moved into this house in April — it was hotter that day than it was back home in TX (which is obviously no longer home).

I’m not quite sure I can really say that spring has sprung here yet — the bulbs aren’t blooming in our neighborhood yet and there’s no leaves on the trees, either. But between a few warm days here and there and my vacation in NOLA (read about that here and here), I’ve already tried out some of the new Skirtsports spring/summer line. And they’ve seriously knocked it out of the park this year!

Don’t forget to use code SPRINGCPT20 for 20% off most items.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 spring things I’m loving.

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Need my pockets!

Pocketopia Capris
Three pockets on my capris? Yes please! One on each leg and a zippered pocket in the back. I need all the pockets. They’re just compressive enough while being extremely comfortable at the same time.

You can buy your Pocketopia Capris here.

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Touring NOLA looking chic in Sorceress

Sorceress Skirt
I did not run in this skirt, but I walked all over NOLA in it and it was extremely comfortable — and cute! It really felt as though it would be comfortable enough to run in, too.

There are the normal Skirtsports pockets on both legs and two small, open pockets on the front waistband (although I never did use them — they weren’t big enough for a room key, but I imagine car keys would fit in there).

Inside those pockets are drawstrings. And you can use those drawstrings to shorten the front of the skirt, making it easier to run it. It’s the ultimate skirt to “run” errands in and it looks chic, too. I only wish it came in more colors!

You can buy your Sorceress Skirt here.

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Wonder Girl Tank
I wore this tank for my short, easy run in NOLA and it was so comfortable that I went ahead and wore it for my half, too, even though I had never worn it on a long run. And it was so comfortable — with no chafing, although of course I used anti chafing cream, too.

The tank dries quickly — as evidenced by my rinsing it out one day and wearing it a couple of days later. It’s slightly form fitted without making you feel like a sausage.

Speaking of pockets, it sports Skirtsports’ genious cleavage alley pocket — that’s right, there’s a pocket right there between the girls. I used it for my room key and a credit card and a little cash on that short run. Perfectly comfortable, but remember, I’m not well endowed.

There’s a shelf bra, but no padding — it’s probably roomy enough for a bra underneath for a small chested gal like me, but the beauty of it to me was that I didn’t have to wear a bra, too. So sorry about the headlights.

Get your Wonder Girl Tank here

Again, this needs to happen in more colors!

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Racecation Tank
With its higher neckline but light material, side slits, and loose fit, the Racecation Tank is perfect for touring around town and on the run. It also has a shelf bra, again with no padding. What you can’t see in the photo is the curved back straps that make it so cute.

Alas, the Racecation Tank also only comes in two colors: the light blue pictured and a black one with white on top. I ordered the black one when I came home — it will go with anything and really be versatile on a vacation.

You can buy your Racecation Tank here.

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Fueling my runs

And a shoutout to Honeystinger, too!
I am a member of the Hive now, but as I’ve mentioned, Honeystinger actually saved my very first half — when I started to get somewhat light headed around mile 10 (it was also my first night race), a Honeystinger waffle (buy them here) came to my rescue.

I’ve been eating them ever since. Not usually during a race, because I don’t like sweet things during a race, but I often have them as a snack before a race if it’s been too long between breakfast and the race. There are some new flavors I’m dying to try — like the Gluten Free Chocolate Mint (sadly out of stock right now). I usually just go with the Gluten Free Cinnamon Waffle, but they’re all good.

I have also gone back to using the Honeystinger chews on a pretty regular basis, too. They have been fueling a lot of my runs lately, and will be a real Godsend this weekend when I can’t rely on my normal baked goods due to Passover.

I often bring a mixture of my own baked goods and some chews on a long run anyway. I use the caffeinated energy chews (buy them here), as I respond well to caffeine.

So let me know in the comments:

What are you loving this spring?

Do you care about the headlights?

What was your favorite racecation?

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for both Skirtsports and Honeystinger. I make no money from the links in this post, and I was not provided any items for free. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.