Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's February!?

Can you believe it's already the second month of the year? Time needs to seriously slow down because I'm not getting nearly enough done in life.

A few of you have left questions for me on previous blog posts, so I'm going to take a moment to address them. Yes, I do read each and every comment (and thanks for them!), and if I haven't written you back or returned a comment on your blog, it's because I had no contact information for you. My apologies if you felt left out.

If you have any more questions, please fire them my way!

On January 14, Me and Jorge - Amber asked if was doing the Kaiser half in Golden Gate Park on February 6, and then asked for some advice on running in adverse weather since apparently I'm a pro in it. :)
Yes, I am running the half on Sunday. I originally signed up while registration prices were low, solely in case I didn't make my sub-1:50 goal in L.A and felt the need to try again while my training was up. I've been having some lingering pains in my left heel, so I'm going to simply treat this run as a training run for Big Sur, and hope to not push it too hard this weekend. Of course, we all know what races do to our adrenaline...

As for the weather, I think we're going to be set on Sunday. Right now I see low of 50F, high of 65F, party sunny. It should be a great morning for a run. If it does rain, or if it's a little cold and foggy, embrace it! I think running in the rain can be fun, and it always makes me run faster. If you've never done it before, my main piece of advice is to avoid cotton. It's going to get really wet and heavy -- and cold. Stick to light, technical materials that will more or less deflect the rain, rather than absorb it. This material will also keep your body heat in, so there's not a huge need to layer up.

It's probably not going to feel that cold in the park Sunday morning (and if it is while you are waiting around, you'll warm up once you get moving), but it might be a good idea to wear a layer of clothing you won't mind ditching a mile or two into the race. Even a long-sleeve shirt and mittens will do the trick. Just don't wear anything that will upset you if you never see it again.

I see it's your first half marathon, Me and Jorge - Amber -- best of luck and HAVE FUN! Perhaps I'll see you out there! :)

On January 28, Laura asked me where I got this shirt.
I am a sucker for good deals and I found this shirt at a small consignment shop in Minneapolis -- 50 cents for that sweet little babe! It had a hole from where the retail tag was, and it couldn't be sold at retail price. I snatched that sucker up and fixed the hole myself. It was originally printed by dELiA*s.

On January 28, Denise kinda-sorta hinted at not knowing what nuun was. Here's a better explanation. nuun is a straight-up electrolyte tablet (~500mgs) that you drop into 16 oz.-20 oz. of water. It has no sugars, no carbs, and very few calories (unlike most sports drinks), so it's not really damaging to sip all day long either. It has sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium (plus vitamins C and B2), and I find that it works better at hydrating me than plain water, especially when I'm out on a run. Plus, who doesn't like turning fountain water into a tasty beverage?!

The active hydration tabs are meant for more intense activities (cycling, running, mountaineering) and they come in 6 flavors: lemon+lime, tri-berry, citris fruit, orange ginger, banana, and Kona cola.

nuun will be introducing 5 new flavors that'll be available to the public starting April of 2011: strawberry lemonade, lemon tea, fruit punch, tropical, and grape.

The U-hydration tabs are for less-intense activities (walking, hiking, yoga) and they come in 4 flavors: lemon chai, tangerine ginger, goji berry green tea, and cucumber mint.

nuun is also completely vegan-friendly, which is rad.

On January 31, AJH asked me to explain more about my Brooks sponsorship. Here goes.
Last year I was accepted into the Brooks ID program. It was more-or-less an ambassadorship where we were promoting Brooks by wearing the apparel at races and in everyday training to evangelize the brand. We recieved a race kit, discounts on clothing and shoes, and had options to win prizes and participate in a racing contest among other ID members. However, the Brooks ID program outgrew itself last year, and Brooks had to change the way the program was run. This year, they split all the existing members into three teams: Bluestreak, P.A.C.E (Performance and Coaching Elite), and the Fanatics. I don't know the exact details of Bluestreak or P.A.C.E, but I believe they get race kits and consistent discounts from Brooks' website. The Fanatics get a t-shirt and some monthly discounts. It's a nice acknowledgment to still be honored by Brooks, and I'm glad everyone still got a spot on one team or another.

Waaaaaay back last November, Alma F. asked me about my hydrating and nutrition strategy for running long. While I e-mailed her back, she pushed me to post my response. Here's what I personally do, and of course it's a matter of finding out what works best for you.

During runs of more than 10 miles, I take some sort of nutrition in 30-minute increments. I used to eat Sports Beans and I still sometimes do, but lately I've been trying to bring along PowerBar Gels because they fit in my pockets easier. And sometimes gels just don't sound nearly as appealing as eating candy on the run. :) I always carry a gel or Sports Beans with me on shorter runs just in case my blood sugar crashes (it's happened), but I definitely try to read my body's needs while I'm out there.

When I was training for my marathons last year, I found that I needed a little bit more than just Sports Beans to fuel me through 26+ miles. I used to take a tortilla wrap and roll some peanut butter and jelly inside it, cut it into quarters, and eat those sections along with Sports Beans. The sugars + carbs + protein seemed to work well for me.

Before I won a year's supply of nuun, I used to always carry a Amphipod handheld of water. I would drink one bottle of water for every bottle of water + nuun, mostly because I was trying to be efficient with the limited number of tabs I had. Now, I pretty much just drink nuun. The exception to this is when I'm doing shorter runs (less than 5 miles) and I know I won't be drinking more than 20 ounces of liquid. Then I stick to plain water.

Alma also had some questions on handhelds vs. Fuel Belts. For more on hydrating, see here. :)

And for all of you asking when I'm going to take the "average" part out of my blog title...

The answer is until I start hitting consistent 6-minute miles during long-distance races (aka never). :)

Happy February!


  1. i never knew what nuun was! i always hear people talking about it, and always wonder what it is, but never bothered to look into it. now i know...thank you!

  2. Haha, cool post! And for what it's worth, I like the Average. Combined with the A that is. It's kinda like an oxymoron :)

    I love running in the rain, and find it really helps with my pace as it keeps my temperature down. Plus it feels hardcore slash like being a kid again. On longer runs though I would also recommend BodyGlide or something similar. Been there without it, not pretty..

  3. thanks for the nuun info!! definitely checking it out!

  4. So InformATIVE Ms. A!
    You are the farthest damn thing from Average. I love it! (P.S. Louie to has asked for that shirt..dont worry his bday is not until Oct)

  5. Running in the rain is fun. I sweat a lot so a bit more water does not bother me. :)
    Have fun this weekend and happy February to you too.

  6. I LOVE Nuun! Such great stuff! Besides running its great for hangovers! lol

    Have a great time this weekend! Kaiser is my 1/2 PR :)

  7. Thanks so much for the write-up on the Brooks ID program! I love finding out that these awesome things exist to reward the average runner who is an enthusiast for particular products. That kind of grassroots advertising is so important to having what are/were smaller products become thriving and well-followed brands.

    Hope you're having a great weekend.