"Disclaimer: I received a supply of Gatorade Endurance formula and 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!"
As I write this review, I am a week out from my first ultramarathon. Over the course of my training, I have been experimenting with various supplements, gels, powders and just fueling in general to get me through this race. That’s why when I received the opportunity to review the brand new Gatorade Endurance formula flavors, I jumped at the chance.
As part of my training, I decided to run a marathon. For that race, I was using a “superstarch” type of product for fuel. I also used some really thick gels that I picked up at the expo. Well, I got pretty tired of both of them during the race. Once the liquid was warm, it was disgusting since it was a little on the thicker side. And the gels? That felt like a commitment to open one of those thick packets and work on getting it down.
Even though the new endurance formula is specially formulated for well…endurance events…I tried it out for the first time on a shorter run here in AZ. It was very warm out and I was glad that I had it with me. The watermelon flavor honestly tastes JUST like fresh watermelon, maybe with a hint of salt. Really light flavor, but enough electrolytes to carry you through! It has 2x the sodium and 3x the potassium of regular Gatorade.
Ok so now I needed to put it through more of a test. I took it on my last “long” training run – 12 miles. Again, it was a super warm morning and I knew I would need an extra boost to get me through. I brought 2 gels with me – the new Mango flavor. I had been keeping them in the refrigerator ever since they had arrived. I filled two flasks – one scoop each and added water.
I had also ran 12 miles the previous Sunday..I don’t know if it was definitely due to the Gatorade endurance, but I cut out a good 20 minutes from my overall time from week to week. I ended up just using one gel instead of two – didn’t need it. I did not feel the urge to take all the walking breaks that I did before, and I had basically the exact same weather conditions. I would consider that a win for Gatorade Endurance!
Halfway into my 12 miler, I tried a gel. This gel was the polar opposite of what I tried at my last marathon. Really light – actually tasted like mango – and it didn’t have that fake gel flavor or texture. Yesss!
Each serving of Gatorade Endurance formula Thirst Quencher Powder has:
- 22 g carbohydrates
- 0 fat
- 140 g potassium
- 300 mg sodium
- 13 g sugar
Available flavors: orange, lemon lime, watermelon and cherry
Compared to the other product I was using, this has more potassium and more sodium – all good things – but also more sugar. The new formulation contains no artificial sweetener or flavors and has a lighter flavor designed for athletes training/racing for prolonged periods of time. In addition, Gatorade Endurance Formula now offers a multi-carbohydrate blend to help endurance athletes maintain performance and lower the risk of stomach discomfort during a hard training session or race.
Each serving of Gatorade Endurance gel has:
- 20 g carbohydrates
- 0 fat
- 90 mg sodium
- 6 g sugar
Available flavors: mango, apple pear, blackberry and vanilla
A 21 pack sells for $29.99
This was only a 2 week test, but it was enough to convince me to use it in my ultra, and for my long runs in the future. I will definitely be buying more when this runs out! It truly is #FormulatedForFarther!
"Disclaimer: I received an assortment of KT Tape products 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 seems like no one thinks much about getting blisters…until they get one. I have been caught off guard on more than one occasion – with new shoes, new socks or just bad luck! And I have regretted not taking a more proactive approach. For my last marathon, I had a certain pair of shoes that was rubbing my heel in a not nice way, so I threw a band aid on it. Sometimes they stay on, sometimes they don’t. If you sweat, odds are good it will come off.
Enter KT Tape blister prevention tape! The same brand that provides awesome support using kinesiology tape (which I tried and reviewed earlier this year), now makes blister prevention tape AND blister treatment patches!
The prevention tape comes in a roll, pre cut into 30 strips, with an adhesive backing that comes off easily. For my long run last weekend, I put a strip on the back of my troublesome heel and was immediately struck by the incredible stickiness of the tape strip. It wasn’t going ANYWHERE. Love that. It didn’t feel like a bandage, it felt like tape. I ran 12 miles in 90 degree temps and am happy to report it stayed put!
I have also heard of other uses for this magic tape – not just for blisters but basically for anywhere you may get chafing. I definitely get it under my sports bra. That seems like a good spot to try it. Another tip from my fellow BibRave pro Corey is to wear it on your hands when you are lifting weights. It’s a lot less bulk than gloves. I plan on giving this a try in next week’s body pump class.
The other product I was sent to try was the blister treatment patch. How invaluable is this? Without even trying it yet, I already know that BOTH of these products need to be in my race-cation travel kit as well as a must for long runs. I didn’t have any blisters in the few weeks I had to try this product out (because I was using the prevention strips!!!) - but having this on hand is a must.
The patches sell in a box of 6 for $9.99 (but we have a discount below!!!) Here are the product features:
KT Tape is offering a special discount for you BIBRAVE30 - for 30% off! I am going to stock up on some of these essentials for sure! I have my first – and possibly only – ultramarathon in 2 weeks and this is coming with me, ON my person during the race. If anything comes up while I am trapesing through the woods for 5-6 hours, I will be READY!
Last summer, I shared a personal story on my blog about how a lifesaving blood donation helped my dad, who was suffering from Multiple Myeloma, on my wedding day. You can read more about thathere.
Since then, I made a commitment to start donating blood. I made an appointment at my local center and was surprised at how easy it was and how little time it took to make such a difference. I even received a text message a few days after one of my donations that totally made my day.
Blood donation helps so many people. Did you know that:
I hope you join me in making a difference!
II thought after 10 full marathons that I was officially in “marathon retirement”. I transitioned to half marathons and Ragnar relays and was happy as a clam. In the back of my mind I had considered doing a 50k someday, but wasn’t sure that would ever happen.
As I watched one of my running besties easily make the leap, I thought “ok, maybe this is a possibility”. Then I realized It would be a cool tie in for me to run my 50k the year I turned 50. As I planned out my training, I thought I should probably cover the marathon distance as part of my training. The Marathons2Beach marathon in Ventura, CA fit the timing and was the easiest for me to get to. So I went to sign up, and it was sold out with a waitlist. I decided to join the waitlist. Less than 2 weeks later, I got an email saying I had gotten in off the waitlist but would have to confirm my very expensive spot within 48 hours or so. I took it as a sign that this was meant to be.
Another reason I chose this race is because it has a net downhill. I needed all the help I could get from gravity! A month or two later, my friend Connie saw me wavering on making this trip by myself and agreed to do the half and join me on the road trip.
We made the 6 ½ hour drive to Ventura on Saturday morning. It was long. We headed straight to packet pickup at the fairgrounds. Small expo. No gear check bags! Say what? We were told you can get them at the start line. After that we walked around, had lunch and checked out the boardwalk and beach.
Because I registered so late, all the later shuttles had been taken, so I was stuck with a 4am shuttle to the start in Ojai. This caused me much stress. Worrying about getting downtown, and finding parking in time for the shuttle. We decided to uber which was great. The alarm was set for 230 am (yikes!) and after heading to dinner, I actually got a decent night of sleep! As I was fairly quiet the night before and lost in my own thoughts, Connie noted “you’re so much different than during a Ragnar”. Well duh! Ragnars are all about fun and no stress. Marathons are serious business, whether it is “just a training run" or not.
We caught our shuttles in plenty of time. Ojai is a very pretty, laid-back town. The temps were low 50’s at the start and would warm up to low 60’s. I ended up with almost 2 hours to kill at the start, but was happy to meet up with my fellow BibRave Pro James for a nice chat
Then it was finally time, after finding real coffee and a real bathroom (yay!), to head to the start. I ditched my throwaway jacket and felt ready.
The first 6-7 miles were a loop around Ojai before heading down the mountain. Very scenic and easy running. First few miles were fast. For the first hour, the 4:10 pacer was behind me. It gave me an unrealistic sense of confidence. I’m like “maybe I could actually PR!” Finally around Mile 10 or so we started heading downhill. For about 5 miles we were on a shaded trail which was great. Around the half way point I felt very fatigued. I clocked the first half at 2:06, but every mile was taking progressively longer.
I alternated between sport beans, my honeystinger waffle, some Ucan, and a gel. During the second half I stopped at every single water stop and took in both water and electrolytes. The breeze was amazing. Plenty of shady parts. It became harder to push forward during the straightaways and I longed for more downhill. I ended up not using music and kind of regret that decision – I could have used the inspiration.
I was taking more and more walking breaks, and that 4:10 pacer long since passed me by. My running turned into an awful shuffle that came in around 11 minute miles. I had a lot of conversations with myself along the way and each mile passed was one mile closer to the beach and finish line. After a long section on roads, we were back on a trail again, but this time fully exposed and through a more industrial area. The last 2-3 miles were through downtown Ventura full-on into the sun and it felt like a death march. I stopped caring about my time.
I rolled in at 4:39, and felt strong at the finish. Connie was there to high five me.
Finish line food was not good. We had some local post race beers that I had pre-purchased, and the breeze from the ocean was great. We ubered back and headed to lunch, then hopped in the car for our 6.5 hour drive home. Ugh.
While I’m glad I got the miles in by doing this race, I’m quite nervous about the 50k in 5 weeks. I won’t have the benefit of a downhill course to help me. I’m happy to have finished with absolutely NO knee pain whatsoever, and happy to know that I can still do this, even at the ripe old age of 50!
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rydon performance glasses from Rudy Project NA 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!"
I have reviewed Rudy Project sunglasses in the past and was eager to try another style. If you are not familiar with Rudy Project, they make incredible eyewear and cycling gear. Top quality. The Rydon model is my first experience with photocromic lenses – basically “transition” lenses that can adjust with the light. They came clear, but as soon as I step outside they are brown. Cool!
The legendary Rydon performance sunglass is Rudy Project’s all-time bestselling sunglasses model. Incredibly lightweight, stylish and completely adjustable via a flexible nosepiece and temple tips, the Rydon sunglasses can be configured in thousands of ways and customized for any face shape. They were comfortable enough for a 17 miler!
As with other models from Rudy Project, These sunglasses also utilize an interchangeable lens system, an optics solution for managing various weather and light conditions, and are available with durable ImpactX-2 lenses. With rapid activation, increased photochromic range, and the ability to automatically lighten and darken from a semitransparent tone to a specific color (Red, Black or Brown) according to light conditions, these are some of the most revolutionary lenses on the market. The Rydon sunglasses come in a variety of colors, and can accommodate prescriptions.
They come with a hard impact case as well as a soft case which doubles as a lens cleaner. Rudy also offers a 2 year warranty. You can save 30% off with the code GODSPEED, which is the name of the inspiring cycling documentary they were featured in.
"Disclaimer: I am promoting the Missoula Marathon 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!"
A perfect summer race
Who wouldn’t want to come to Montana in July? Cool, starry nights – picturesque sunny days? I personally visited Montana many summers ago, and can’t wait to go back! I was blown away by its natural beauty. If you are looking for a great “racecation”, look no further! And if you’re on the hunt to run all 50 states, this is the biggest race you’ll find in Montana. This year’s race weekend will take place July 13-15.
The Missoula Marathon is one of Missoula’s premier events. It has twice been named as the Best Marathon In The U.S. – in 2010 by the readers of Runner’s World Magazine and in 2017 by The BibRave 100. Runner’s World has also named the Missoula Marathon as a Top Marathon For Back-Of-The-Packers (2017) and a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon (2018).
A distance for everyone
There is a 5k, kids marathon, a half marathon, full marathon, and a wheelchair half & full. Also a free beer run on Friday night. Now that sounds fun! It’s a 3 mile social run, all along the river! Entry is free, but beer is available for purchase at the finish.
Register now and Save!
Use code BibRave18 for $5 off your entry! Visit http://www.missoulamarathon.org/ to register today.
"Disclaimer: I received a private screening of the documentary Godspeed: The Race Across America 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!"
The inspiration to overcome is the backbone of “GODSPEED” as it chronicles a first-time race team – Jerry Schemmel, noted author, speaker and sportscaster for the Colorado Rockies and Brad Cooper, a eleven-time Ironman triathlete – as they compete 24 hours a day for seven days covering 3,000 miles of deserts, mountains and plains overcoming physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and extreme mental anguish competing in the world’s most difficult cycling race – The Race Across America.
The duo Cycled 168 hours non-stop across 12 states coast to coast, on the journey of a lifetime - a race that would provide an extreme test of physical endurance and dependence on faith, all for the greater purpose and personal calling to raise money for the orphans of Haiti.
I will admit, it is kind of cool to be one of the FIRST people to see something. I received a link to watch the documentary, and wow the time flew by.
I’m not a cyclist, but I can appreciate the amount of sheer determination/insanity/heart that went into making this a reality.
The documentary Godspeed: The Race Across America showcases the journey of two athletes with inspiring and tragic stories who come together to compete on a 2-person cycling team to bike 3,000 miles from California to Maryland. Nonstop.
It is a faith-based movie, which the title eludes to. The duo and their dedicated crew do rely on their faith to get them through the hardest part of the journey. The documentary chronicles two men, who both have had their own tragedies in their lives. They relied on each other with strength and grit to pedal 168 hours nonstop across 12 states from the west coast to the east coast. All in an effort to raise money for orphans of Haiti.
This documentary will appeal to your competitive side, but also provide endless inspiration for when times get tough. Godspeed: The Race Across America is in theatres for ONE DAY ONLY – May 22. Visitfathomevents.com to find a theatre near you and pre-purchase your tickets! Below is a trailer for the movie, check it out!
"Disclaimer: I received an Amphipod Purerun minimalist vest 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!"
I recently started ultramarathon and marathon training and I live in Arizona. These things are not a great combination, so when I got the chance to review the Amphipod purerun minimalist vest, I jumped at it! I am still experimenting with hydration solutions to get me through the longer distance in the hot weather.
When I received the pack, I was first struck at how lightweight it was ( less than 8 oz when empty), and the second thing that I was impressed with was the incredible amount of pockets and functional storage areas that it has.
Product specs (from amphipod.com)
• Ultralight and Minimalist
• Cooling free-flow Air Mesh™ construction
• Versatile storage pockets provide easy-access to hydration, nutrition and essentials
• A secure custom body fit with CinchFit™ design
• Lateral stabilization system™ provides bounce-free stability and custom fit
• Patented Hydraform flasks - ergonomically engineered (includes two 12oz. bottles)
• Ergonomic soft-contoured construction with stand-up bottle utility & Jett-Squeeze™ caps
• 2L Bladder compatible roomy storage pack
Ok now it was time to put it to the test! I took it out for a 9 miler at 90 degrees in Phoenix. It provides a pretty snug fit in terms of no bouncing – but I think I need to play around with the fit a little more across my chest. It felt pretty light, which I liked. It felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. I also liked having the flexibility of using just the bottles or the bottles PLUS a hydration bladder. That way I can put an electrolyte or energy drink in the bottles and not get the bladder sticky or dirty.
I set out on my first longer run with 2 bottles, my phone, an energy gel, and car keys. Everything had its place. It is small, but mighty.
I did experience a few things that I didn’t love: the mesh rubbed my neck and caused chafing. The bungee loops were kind of in the way and would catch on my hands when I was swinging them occasionally. I found that if I cinched the straps as tight as possible, I experienced less chafing.
When it came time to run a 17 miler, I wasn’t sure that my bladder would fit inside. Holding the bladder up to it, the area just looked too small – but there expanders there, and it really can accommodate one!!! It's a pretty snug fit, but it works.
On my 18 mile run, I had the following in my pack:
- 2 full bottles with generation ucan
- car key
-glukos energy gel
- honey stinger waffle
This product retails for $100.00. I totally recommend this! It’s great for longer distances and I can bring everything I need to be out for a long time.. It comes in two sizes and I opted for the smaller size. I recommend giving this a try!
Writing this post from the back of the van on the drive home from Cali. I’m reflecting on yet another amazing Ragnar weekend, this time at Ragnar So Cal in sunny California.
It was my first time doing So Cal. I knew going into this race that it was going to be fun. The team was made up of members from my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I’ve seen other teams that they had put together and had so much FOMO. I was stoked to be included in this group. Our team name was Wish They Could All Be Arizona Girls.
My buddy Tricia and I flew out to San Diego while the rest of our team drove out with the vans from AZ. We had a series of planes, trains and automobile mishaps trying to get there. Maintenance delay, missed train, then uber ride to meet our teammates. We rented 2 houses located just 1 block from the beach in Carlsbad. Um, yes please!
I was in van 2. Our team started at 5:15am from Huntington Beach. We took beach pics and lingered over coffee and then headed out to meet our team at the first major exchange.
Van 2 lineup:
Runner 1 - Foley
Runner 2 – Laura
Runner 3 – ME
Runner 4- Brecka (Captain)
Runner 5 – Tricia
Runner 6 - Jen
It was warming up as the handoff time approached. It wasn’t even noon yet and we were getting sunburned just waiting for the team to arrive.
Then right as we were leaving I found my friend Erica who was on another team.
Our first legs were hot and sunny. My first one was 3.1 miles and plenty of downhill (yay!). However, there were several stoplights along the way that we had to wait at. Not cool. I somehow managed 13 kills during this time, not sure how that happened!
Some of my teammates had brutal long runs during this time. We were happy when we wrapped up earlier than projected. We went back to our house in Carlsbad to freshen up and actually cooked a pasta dinner with garlic bread. Cooking at Ragnar – who knew that was possible! We laid down for a bit and then it was time to roll out again for our night legs.
My night leg would be my longest and most challenging run. It had over 700 ft of elevation gain over 5.3 miles. Some of the hills were so steep that it was more like hiking. Really tough. At least it was nice out!
I got to take my turn driving the van - a tattered 15 passenger van with a whole host of issues affectionately known as Bertha. After our night legs were over, I drove us back to the house again for a few more hours of sleep in an actual bed. It was unbelievable how many people opted to sleep outside at the exchange on the concrete. No thank you.
We continued to pull ahead of our projected finish time, so we had to hurry and make it to the exchange Saturday morning to finish our last legs. The exchange was at Torrey Pines, so the scenery was pretty epic.
Was fun meeting up with 2 more friends – my fellow BibRavePro Mai and a guy we both follow on Twitter (@touchted), who was running an ULTRA!
Most of our last legs were near the water (yay). My last run would be 3.8 miles through La Jolla. I enjoyed most of it – again except for dealing with stoplights and all the city blocks of downtown. I was happy to run along the beach, even for just a few minutes.
We went out and cheered on Tricia during her very long 9 miler by the beach. We had fun exhibiting a lot of girl power and helping to direct runners on the course)
We met our last runner at the finish line – right down by the water by the San Diego Convention Center. It was very congested. Parking was nuts. But finish line activities were buzzing with excitement. We only had to wait for a few minutes for Jen to come in – then we all ran across the finish together in our matching team outfits. We finished 2.5 hours earlier than expected!
The Hawaiian themed beer garden was fun and the dj guy was so impressed with our outfits that he came and took our pics, and gave me an extra beer ticket because I had done so many Ragnars. In fact, I earned another bonus medal for doing 3 so far in 2018.
I was glad for many things –
Top sayings from the weekend – (sorry these are mostly inside jokes)
Thanks again to this great group of strong, confident and chill women! Until next time! xoxo
It’s the Monday after Ragnar Tennessee, and the #ragnover is in full effect! I’m reflecting on yet another amazing Ragnar weekend.
Going into this race, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, I’ve done a ton of these now – but I only knew one person on the team, and the weather forecast was looking sketchy at best (t-storms).
The team was made up of Michiganders and former Michiganders (like me!). They drove the vans down from the Detroit area to the start in Chattanooga. I was assigned to van 1 (#van1forlife), but the ladies of van 2 were gracious enough to pick me up at the airport in Nashville and we made the 2 hour ride over to Chattanooga.
We had a 730am start time, and had a projected finish time of 6:30pm which is super late. More on that later.
Here was our Van 1 lineup:
Runner 1 - Stephie (Captain)
Runner 2 – Anne
Runner 3 – Shawn
Runner 4- Thad
Runner 5 – ME
Runner 6 - Mike
And here are the lovely ladies of van 2:
Ragnar has some of the prettiest start line locations! The start area was really cool, down at the Tennessee River in Chattanooga. It looked awesome at night and as the sun was coming up. I was runner #5, so it would still be a little bit until I got to run my first leg.
It was chilly at the start, but we were happy that the sun was out and there was no rain in sight. My first leg was 3.2 miles, and had over 200 ft of elevation gain. I was super tempted to stop and walk on the way up that darn hill, but I persisted and ended up with a great pace – 9:26 per mile. My leg started at the end of the Ragnar leg, which was a really pretty spot.
We wrapped up and handed off to van 2 and headed out to lunch. We found a cute old diner in the middle of nowhere. Then stopped at a waterfall nearby after.
Before we knew it, it was time to run again. It wasn’t dark out yet, and was only lightly misting. My 2nd leg was 4.3 miles. Luckily, it was somewhat in civilization and not totally in the boonies. I ran through some country neighborhoods, but felt safe. The temp was great, around 55 and still light mist. I was thankful it didn’t start pouring. I tend to run a little slower on the night leg because I’m more careful about where I’m stepping. Still ended with a decent pace – 9:40.
After a late night Mickey D drivethrough, we headed to the next major exchange and went inside to sleep in the gym. Unfortunately, I only brought a blanket, so that gym floor was hard as a rock. I was able to sleep in the van as we started back up at 4:20am. Miraculously, it was not raining, just overcast.
My 3rd leg would be my longest one – 6.7 miles. This one felt like it went on forever. It was more scenic, going past sprawling ranches. I knew my friend Carrie was going to meet me towards the end of this leg to cheer me on - this is what she looked like:
I knew she owned a dinosaur costume, but didn’t think she packed it with her from Arizona! I was so darn excited to be finished, I had 8 kills on this leg, which is pretty awesome for me. Another 338 ft of elevation gain and good pace – 9:33.
After we handed off to van 2 for the last time, we headed out for brunch near our hotel, got showered and even slept. Awesome. We were ahead of schedule this entire time, which was wonderful. We headed over to the finish area and waited for our runner, 2 hours early! Finish area was fun – whiskey tastings and local craft beer and good team bonding. Our final runner was injured but she did an amazing job. We went to dinner, all 12 of us in downtown Nashville. Good times!
I was glad for many things –
oh, and I earned a special bonus medal for doing 2 Ragnars so far in 2018! Looking forward to my next one in less than 2 weeks in So Cal!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!