sports

Peanut Butter? YES, PLEASE!

I’ve spent the past 3 months staging a comeback from my initial IT injury, while safely trying to build a solid base for my impeding 50k training. The savvy bookworm that I am, I’ve also spent this time researching the types of supplements I want to use, GU Energy gels being one of them.

I never write a review on a product that I haven’t used consistently and in differing situations, which is why I don’t churn these suckers out like a vending machine. I’ve used GU energy gels for several months now on EVERY medium to long-distance run (6-13 miles) and can confidently add my 2 cents.

GU: The Ben & Jerry of Energy Gels

Peanut butter, Espresso, Chocolate, Peppermint…with 12 flavors to choose from, it’s hard not to find AT LEAST 1 flavor that you wouldn’t like. My personal favorites are mint chocolate, jet blackberry, and mandarin orange. …and out of the 12 flavors, I’ve tried 8 of them and LOVED them all! I personal prefer the caffeinated ones over the ones with no caffeine because of the extra kick. Sometimes I just can’t have a cup of joe before a run OR I don’t have time for that cup of joe to work…if you know what I mean. :P So I make sure to shove several Jet Blackberry gels into my pack before heading out. They give me that extra “oomph” that I crave at 6:30 in the morning.

Like frosting or melted peanut butter (but thicker), they go down smooth and easy, nothing sticky or runny about it. It dissolves instantly and washed down easily with no left behind residue. I personally love this because I never have to worry about getting squirted in the face on a run, which happened to me once when I tried the Powerbar gels. Nothing like a sticky face decorated with splotches of gnats.

Their latest flavor is peanut butter, which I wasn’t quite sure about. I mean, I love peanut butter sandwiches, but could GU actually make a peanut butter, flavored gel taste good? Skeptical, I tried it out, and I was NOT disappointed! It DEFINITELY tastes like peanut butter! So for you peanut butter lovers, you gotta give it a try!

Does it work?

YES! It DEFINITELY gives you the energy you need to get through those challenging or long haul workouts. A mixture of complex and simple carbs means your body is better able to absorb the energy it needs without diverting as much blood away from your muscles to help in digestion. You’ll get a nice, steady drip of energy much like an IV, meaning you won’t crash and burn from an instant sugar rush. That being said, I’ve never timed it to see how fast it works, but I would say along the lines of 5-10 minutes.

GU recommends taking it 15 minutes before you begin your workout. Personally, I ONLY do this when I haven’t had a chance to have a pre-run snack before my evening run, missed my morning meeting with Joe, or prior to a long run. The rest of the time, I like to take it every 5-6 miles. So on a 6 mile run, I’d take one at mile 3-4 just to have that extra boost. A normal 12 mile run equals 2 gels. For races, I take them more frequently. For instance, at the Country Music Half, I popped a GU at the 5k, 10k, and 10 mile mark. The heat was on that day, and the sun gave me a SUPER NICE runner’s tan. Won’t I look hot in a bikini this year? :P

Everyone is different. You’ll have to experiment to find out what works for you.  I have running buddies who will easily go 8-10 miles before they even consider taking a gel.

***Make sure to chug some water (not just a sip, be generous) after you take one. It assists in absorption. Some have commented that they end up with cramps when they didn’t take it with water. I’ve never had that happen. Then again, I’ve always drank water with it as well. ***

Ease of Use

For the most part, I have little difficulty using gels. Think of yourself as a lion or as a lioness for my gals out there. Forget about daintily trying to tear the tip off with your fingers. Put on your big girl panties and rip into it your teeth! That’s pretty much the best way I’ve found to do it, especially when your fingers are like a sweaty slip n’ slide.

***Please be considerate of the environment and consider stowing your empty gels in a pocket or pack instead of on the ground.***

If you’re looking for a reliable source of energy that’s easy to stomach, tastes great, and works fairly quickly, check out GU’s selection of energy gels. Start with a few to see if you like it. I’m sure you will, so after that, check out their online store OR head over to runningwarehouse.com. Both sites will offer special pricing at various times.

They also have a Roctane line meant for high-intensity workouts and long-distance runners. I haven’t tried those yet but am looking into it for my 50k training come July. I’ll make sure to post a review of those AFTER I’ve tried them out myself. Nothing like letting someone else be the guinea pig! J

For more detailed information about GU gels, their recommended usage, and key components click HERE.

As always,

Run Happy!

 

 

My views are independent of GU Energy. I am not an affiliate. Nor do I receive compensation for my review. I am solely a member of the Pro program.
Categories: 2012, Brooks ID, education, exercise, family, fitness, health, jogging, running, sports, training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Runners have to Stick Together

Sportsmanship. I’ve been chewing on this topic for a week now but didn’t have the opportunity to churn it into something tangible. We’ve had company in town the past week, and this girl has been enjoying some quality family time and YUMBLY meals! Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected my running. :P

A few weeks back, I ran with a fellow mom. Over 8 miles, we discussed everything from genealogy and makeup to our kids and what we love about running. A statement she made stuck in my head. I can’t remember her exact words, but they were something along the lines of “Runners understand each other. We don’t just sympathize. We empathize and help each other because we’ve been there before. That’s the great thing about runners. We stick together!”

When people think of sportsmanship, they often think of acting positively towards your competitor, but it’s so much more. It’s not just in WHAT you DO. It has much more to do with how you FEEL and THINK just as it applies not only to competitors but also to anyone participating in the activity.

Per Wikipedia, “Sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence,[3] and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control if dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents.”

Like in any sport/activity, there are always bad apples that leave a bad taste in your mouth and give the whole group a bad name. I’ve only come across this less than a handful of times. Yet, it saddens me to see fellow runners behaving as if we were children on a playground.

We runners have to and need to stick together! Whether on the road or on the trail, we are all bound by one thing and that is our LOVE for running. Brands, pace, body size, religion, sexual orientation, etc. are nonexistent. We’re brought together by our passion for running, our goofy, endorphin-tilting smiles and the twinkle in our eyes, as we leap lightly as gazelles. …okay, so we don’t all leap like gazelles. I’m sure I don’t…and if I tried, I’d probably end up bouncing like a bunny on steroids.

What does it matter if someone runs faster or slower than you? Does it matter if you come in first or last in a race, as long as you gave it 110% percent, your best shot? I certainly never harbor hard feelings against anyone who runs faster or further than me. I admire them and am proud of their hard work and the training they’ve put in.

To me, being a “good sport” is about respecting the efforts of others, persisting in the face of impeding challenges, and being honest with yourself. Treating others with GENUINE kindness. Offering support and encouragement to EVERYONE. …almost sounds like my presidential State of the Union address. :P

Fast, slow. Tall, short. Cuddly as a teddy bear, lean as a bean. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you not only exhibit good sportsmanship but that you inherently believe in it and model your life and behavior to show it.

 

Categories: 2012, Brooks ID, exercise, fitness, health, jogging, motivation, running, sports | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

CLOSED: Join the Bondi Band Giveaway!

You’ve read my Bondi Band review, and thought to yourself, “Ooooo, I’d LOVE to get my hands on one of those!” Well, here’s your chance! Courtesy of Kelly at Bondi Bond LLC, they’ve given me a Bondi Band headband to giveaway for FREE! You’re going to LOVE this one!

No more stinging eyes and fountains of salt running down your forehead! Not only is this headband functional, but it’s stylish too!

Entering is easy! AND you have multiple opportunities to earn entries as well! To be fair to everyone, I am using the RandomPicker to determine the winner AND will check each entry to ensure that it meets the requirements.

Notes: In order for entries to count, you must comment separately for each entry AND include your FB name or Twitter handle as stated OR you may make 1 comment and include all the required and optional entries in it, but you MUST include your Twitter handle, Facebook name, and blog link. For an example, scroll down to see my example OR see Gail’s post in the comments section. She rolled all of them into one comment.  :) Entries that do not meet the requirements (i.e. missing Twitter handle, Facebook name, or blog info (the last one, if applicable) set forth will not be counted. You MUST be 18+ years old AND live within the United States OR Canada. The winner will be notified via my blog announcement and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected at random. Afterwards, I will get with the winner to get shipping information. :)

Required Entries (for example comments scroll down to the end)

1) Become a Bondi Band fan on Facebook by liking their page. Let them know that Isabel sent you! Then come back to this post, and leave a comment letting me know you did. Make sure to leave your Facebook name in the comment. (2 entries)

2) Become a Bondi Band follower on Twitter, and let them know Isabel sent you! :) Come back to this post, and leave a comment letting me know. Don’t forget to tell me your twitter handle! :) (2 entries)

3) Like The Running Teacher on Facebook. Come back here, and leave a comment with your Facebook name. (2 entries) …Getting the hang of this, aren’t you? This is how majority of my giveaways will work. :)

4) Follow my blog, and leave a comment here!. :) (2 entries)

Optional Entries

5) Follow me on Twitter (@therunningteach). Leave a comment here with your Twitter handle. (2 entries)

6) Post the following Tweet on Twitter: “Can’t wait to #run in my #BondiBand #headband with @bondiband, @therunningteach!” Leave a comment letting me know using your Twitter handle. (2 entries)

7) Go to BondiBand’s website, and look through their products for one that calls to you! Leave a comment on this post telling me which one it is and why you just GOTTA HAVE IT! (3 entries)

8) Announce this giveaway on YOUR own blog for 3 MORE ENTRIES! Make sure to leave a comment here telling me about it, AND leave a link to your blog in the comment. (+3 entries)

9) Update your status on Facebook, letting others know about this giveaway. Leave a comment here, and leave your Facebook name too! :) (+2 entries)

The giveaway will go through Wednesday, April 4th  @ 7 p.m. EST. The winner will be announced on my blog on Friday, April 6th by 7 p.m. EST.

I would like to express my thanks and gratitude at Bondi Bond for giving me the opportunity to review their product and for making this giveaway possible. I would also like send a shout out to Gina at the Slow is the New Fast for giving me guidance in this endeavor and for sharing her knowledge and expertise with a fellow mami blogger. :) Thank you both! :) *hugs*

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Example Entry:

I liked Bondi Band on FB. I liked the Running Teacher on FB. I updated my status with your giveaway on FB. My FB name is ___________.
I follow Bondi Band on Twitter. I follow you on Twitter! I tweeted the update! My Twitter handle name is __________.

(The same can be done with the other entries as well.)

——————————————-

I thoroughly enjoy reviewing products and offering my 2 cents to active individuals! If you’d like for me to review a particular product and/or sponsor a giveaway (or know of someone who does),  contact me at therunningteacher@yahoo.com. 

Categories: 2012, Brooks, Brooks ID, exercise, fitness, jogging, running, running apparel, running reviews, sports | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Giveaway! Shamrock Running shirt!

made by Cute Running Shirts

Alright, sorry guys, this is for the gals. My friend Gina has a rockin’ giveaway going on for a shamrock shirt! It’s label free so no itching! Made by Cute Running Shirts to fit a woman’s, curvy body and not the blocky cutout of a guy (sorry guys)! AND you won’t be lifting your arms to check yourself because thanks to the antimicrobial odor fighting material! :D *sniff, sniff* Smell that? Mmmm, powder fresh! :)

Click HERE for more details about how to enter and WIN! Good luck to you all, and let me know if you win! :D

Categories: motivation, running, running apparel, sports | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cuties Luckie 5k Offer!

Check out my latest post on the Back on My Feet Atlanta blog by clicking HERE for SPECIAL SAVINGS into the Cuties Luckie 5k!

Categories: 2012, exercise, family, fitness, Georgia, running, sports | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Everyday Runner

The other day, as I was coming home from a trail run, I saw a runner alongside the road in a pair of ordinary grey sweatpants, sneakers, a navy blue sweatshirt, and a knit beanie. I paused a second, and a smile spread across my face.

It got me to thinking about the races and runs I go to, where brands emblazoned across technical shirts, shorts made of moisture-transfer material with pockets to hold gels/keys, and shoes designed with your gait and arch in mind complete with breathability are a dime a dozen.

Yet here was this runner alongside the road. There was nothing technical or outstanding about his gear. I can’t count the number of times, I’ve heard friends and strangers say they would like to get back into running or get back to exercising but that they don’t have any clothing.

“Really?” I say. “Do you have sweatpants and a T-shirt?”

“Well ya, but I don’t have exercise/running clothes.”

My reply is always the same. You don’t NEED special clothing to start exercising or to start running, which is why that runner brought a smile to my face. He just put on what was in his closet, laced up his sneakers, and went for a run.

That’s the beauty of running! Running doesn’t ask you to wear brand-name clothing. Running doesn’t ask you to make sure that you have technical, brightly colored fabrics that dry quickly. Running actually doesn’t ask much of anything from you, except that you run.

I don’t know who this gentleman was, but I’ve seen him out for a run on these cold, wintry days twice now, and each time I smile.

the everyday runner

Categories: Brooks, exercise, fitness, Georgia, jogging, motivation, running, running apparel, sports | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your IT band whispering sweet nothings in your ear?

The Adventure Runners @Cheatham Hill

It’s not as sexy or sensual as it sounds, as anyone with ITBS or IT band pain knows. Lucky for you, IT pain can be avoided. If you already have it, it’s not the end all be all, although the road to recover can be long and torturous. Check out my newest creation at the Georgia Publix Marathon’s blog by clicking here! While you’re there, show your support by pressing “Like” or tweet it, Google+ it…share it to spread the hippy love! :)

And if you’re looking for more information about how to handle IT band pain, check out Denise’s tips to speed things up further!

As always,

Run Happy!

Categories: 2012, Brooks, exercise, fitness, health, jogging, running, sports, training | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

One of my favorite Brooks shorts :)

When racing, you want and need a short that allows for freedom of movement with no constraints whatsoever. That’s what I love about the Brooks Infiniti Short 2. I love these shorts, whether it’s for a race or just out for a run, especially speedwork sessions. The side splits allows for plenty of movement, allowing you to run as fast as you want to run! When I first saw these shorts, I was worried about how much coverage these shorts would provide. Even after trying them on, I was a bit concerned; however, after the first run, I was sold! The shorts stayed put with the liner completely hidden, not a bit of flapping at all! You won’t have to worry about overexposure in these lightweight shorts!

Infiniti Short II

I love the drawstring as well. Yes, the band is elastic, but sometimes you just need a more customized fit. The drawstring allows you tighten the waist just a wee bit for a more secure fit. Runners will appreciate the material too! On one particular run, we were caught in a sudden downpour, which completely drenched us. I was amazed at how quickly the shorts dried afterwards, both the liner and outside material! I’ve worn these shorts to every single one of my runs with confidence. I don’t worry about needing to change clothing afterwards because I know the shorts will dry before I know it. Even wet, I experienced no chafing, and movement from clingy material.

I’m also a sucker for the coloring, as I really the black/yellow combination because it’s like BAM! They’re sure to get attention, which is important if you’re running in high traffic areas. There’s also a hidden, internal pocket on the front of the shorts, which is definitely WIDE enough to hold a long key (i.e. car keys) or perhaps a GU. It has a generous flap to ensure that objects won’t fall out. I mean, have you ever seen that one person in a race or running on a trail, who had to go back in an attempt to find his/her keys? I’ve come across this scenario twice, once on a wooded trail and once during a training run for an upcoming race. I’ve never once had to worry about this.

Whether you’re out for short run, or in it for the long haul, these shorts won’t let you down or hold you back! They’re a personal fav of mine, and are sure to become one yours too!

As always,

Happy Running!

Categories: Brooks, exercise, fitness, jogging, running, running apparel, running reviews, sports | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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