Running On Sunshine-Or At Least Pavement and Rain

Heading out for a sandy run.

Heading out for a sandy run.

Hello from cool and rainy Florida!  We escaped to visit some family for a few days and despite the fact that it is unseasonably chilly and rainy here, it was a welcome sight.  I will take the rain and 50º F.

We arrived to a massive rain shower and some awful turbulence (neither of us really love flying).  But when I walked outside and saw rain, grass, oh and palm trees I was a happy lady!

After a nice 4:30am wake up with some flights and short layovers we finally arrived.  Not long after settling in, I took my husband for a nice 8 mile run along the beach to show him all the sights I grew up visiting every spring break as a young girl.  It was pretty fun because I haven’t been here in over 10 years and it is always interesting to see what has changed and what stays the same.

After our run I got to try out a new product that I picked up at REI a few days ago.  Coco Hydro is a plant based electrolyte powdered drink mix.  I have mentioned before that I am not usually a fan of Gatorade because it actually makes me even more thirsty and is pretty sugary, but I do know the importance of replacing those necessary electrolytes.

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I wanted to try this because I have been reading about how great coconut water can be for you, but both my husband and I have tried it and basically gagged.  I thought getting the benefit of electrolytes after a run and coconut would be a great one two-punch.  I tried the pineapple flavor and the verdict was that it was pretty tasty.

This powder mix is supposed to go into 12 ounces of water, I used it in my 32 ounce Nalgene because I was a bit nervous that I would hate the taste.  It was diluted but still pretty delicious.  I even tried it on my husband who hates coconut water and said that he would definitely drink this again.  I will try it again soon with the recommended serving and see how it goes, but we both think it will be just fine.

I was really hoping this would work out because I wanted to find a healthy recovery drink that would have some health benefits.  This has only 80 calories, tastes great and has lots of vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, potassium and calcium.  I also tend to come home from a run dehydrated and abuse the fridge with mistaken hunger instead of quenching my thirst.  Something like Coco Hydro will help hydrate and get some nutrients into me while filling my belly with something that also tastes good.

At just $1.75 a package Coco Hydro has all the nutrients of 2 full coconuts and is gluten and soy free.  This is a pretty health conscious product.  I wouldn’t use this for my short or medium runs but would definitely try this again when I start marathon training and long mileage combined with hot summer heat starts sapping my body of those needed salts.  Definitely check this product out.

Happy running!

Finally A Water Bottle That Actually Works On Runs

SImple Hydration

A few weeks ago I posted about a new hydration system from Salomon that I got for my husband as a gift.  In my post I discussed how we both have tried just about every hydration system there is out there and have found most of them to be really annoying.  Hydration belts are bulky and carrying water, even with the hand attachments, is just plain frustrating.  I got a really nice message from Brian Hock, founder and creator of Simple Hydration.  He read my post and asked me to check out his website www.simplehydration.com.  He also offered to let me try out one of the nifty water bottles he had created.  Brian is a runner and triathlete and put his own experience into this thoughtful product.

Earlier this week I received my new Simple Hydration water bottle and yesterday when the weather finally hit 40º I thought it was the perfect time to give this new accessory a test drive.  To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of hope for this water bottle.  It is pretty simple and looks rather unassuming.  I figured it would turn out to be a lot like all of the other water bottles out there.  Au contraire!

The bottle is designed to slip either inside the drawstring of running shorts or pants or inside your SPIbelt.  Since I was wearing running tights I opted for the Spibelt option.  I slid the bottle into the back of my belt and found that it sat nicely up against my lower back.  While I noticed its presence at the beginning of my run, I soon forgot it was there.  That was my first pleasant surprise.

I was a bit concerned that it would either bounce around or fall out because it has just a small hook built into the bottle.  Well I ran it through one heck of a test drive yesterday.  You see, on Monday Chicago got another 6 inches of snow, because we just didn’t have enough yet.  Then yesterday there was a heat wave.  So not only did I have to jump over piles of snow but I also had to run through stretches of slush (thanks to everyone who chooses not to shovel their sidewalks) and I jumped over a ton of puddles.  There were so many puddles to contend with that for the last half of my run I decided to screw working on my hurdling technique and I just started running right through them (my apologies to my husband who was running behind me).  I am pretty thrilled to say that the water bottle not only stayed where it was supposed to but I also never even felt it budge.

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That’s what we are dealing with!

About 4 miles into the run I decided to test out using the bottle.  This was a tricky one for me because I normally never carry water on a run.  The bottle fit perfectly and very comfortably in my hand.  It has a nice flat grip to make this easy to deal with.  I was also surprised to find that I easily managed to put the bottle back into the belt while running.  I was worried that might be frustrating to contend with.

My other reason for testing the bottle out was that I was concerned with how it felt on my back as it emptied.  I have tried running with a water bottle in my hand before and I found that the sloshing of the water was incredibly annoying.  The Simple Hydration bottle however, didn’t seem to feel any different as water was consumed.  The way that it fits flat up against your back likely aids in making the water sloshing less noticeable.

For the final 2 miles of my run I passed the bottle off to my husband.  He tried it in his running belt but found that it didn’t work as well.  He bought a different brand while we were in Aruba and when we stopped to compare belts his waist band was not as sturdy as the SPIbelt and it sagged with the weight of the bottle.  So he slipped it in the waist band of his pants and he too was surprised to find that it worked way better than expected.

I am happy to report that the Simple Hydration bottle was a huge success.  As I said before, I hadn’t even heard of this bottle and because it looks so simple I would have likely have passed by it without giving it a second thought.  However, I really think it is the easiest and most well thought out system around.  I have been toying with signing up for the Chicago Marathon and had been wondering how I would deal with doing those long training runs during the heat of the summer.  During my run yesterday I realized that this would be a great solution for hydration on those long runs and will likely be my system of choice in the summer.

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Fits perfectly in your hand and that nice small hook is all it takes to keep it stowed during your run.

Fits perfectly in your hand and that nice small hook is all it takes to keep it stowed during your run.

The Simple Hydration bottle holds 13 ounces of water and was designed with a wider mouth, making it easier to use and clean.  It is also BPA free which is a big one for me.  I just can’t tolerate going for a run to improve my health, only to consume water from something leaching carcinogens into my water.  It is also dishwasher safe and made in the U.S.A.  All of those, in my opinion, are bonuses for this product.  At $19.99 for each bottle it is affordable for any budget.

I have to offer a huge congrats to Brian Hock for creating such a thoughtful product.  He really did a great job with this system and he also really cares about his handiwork.  I really appreciate using a product that someone genuinely takes pride in.

I am happy to recommend this product without reservations.  I will be hanging onto my bottle and using it as the weather warms up and will probably order a few more to keep me hydrated during training.  Check out their website for more information!

The new water bottle was definitely my highlight of the day.  I was running a little slower yesterday due to an unfortunate accident the night before involving laundry.  I have mentioned before that I suffer from a serious lack of coordination (yes I know that’s a shocker from a former professional figure skater).  It seems that I am still very uncoordinated.  Our apartment building has laundry in the basement.  As I put my foot on the first step I didn’t realize it was all ice and I began to slide.  I just assumed I would stop when I hit the next step, but apparently every step was covered in ice.  Now it would have been logical to let go of the laundry basket and try to brace myself.  But along with suffering from a lack of coordination I apparently lack logical reasoning as well.  At the time I was worried the basket would fall and my dirty laundry would get dirty….before I put it in the wash.  See my note on lack of logic.  I am happy to report that I made it out safely but my lower back and tush are singing a different story right now!

The scene of the crime!

The scene of the crime!

Simple Hydration Solution

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Today’s post comes with a thank you to Laura who often leaves great comments on my daily posts.  Yesterday she mentioned wanting to find a hydration solution and it reminded me that I never posted about the perfect stocking stuffer I found for my husband this winter.

Last March my husband and I started our marathon training.  We were 16 miles into an 18 mile long run when we were both really dehydrated and spotted a water fountain.  As if we were lost in the desert and seeing delusions of an oasis, my husband pressed down on the fountain only to find that it was turned off.  It had been a very chilly winter in NYC and the water fountains stayed turned off until mid April!  There is nothing more frustrating to a runner than spending mile after mile miserable with dehydration and being turned down just when you think you have found some water.  It felt like every time we passed a water fountain last spring it was laughing at us and mocking.

That being said, we have tried several hydration systems and none of them really work for us.  Neither of us were interested in wearing belts with the strapped in water bottles around the waist.  I looked into the wrist straps that hold a refillable water bottle but the added weight is just annoying.  No one wants to go for a 20 mile long run hanging onto an empty plastic bottle.  I even tried buying a 12 ounce water bottle from a vendor and running with it but it was frustrating to deal with the added weight and as I consumed the water, the leftovers were driving me nuts to carry as they sloshed around.

Bottom line, when it comes to hydration on the go, less is definitely more.

While at my local running store looking for small gifts I came across the Salomon 8 ounce soft flask.  This is exactly what we have been looking for.  This little flask is made of a soft material that is both PVC and BPA free.  It will fill up with 8 ounces of water and conforms to your hand.  Once it is empty you can roll it up and slide it in a pocket.  It is small enough to fit inside a running pack without even noticing the extra bulk or weight.  Drink up when you are thirsty and then easily stow it until you get to a sink or fountain for a refill.

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There is also an optional thin elastic strap that you can buy and slide on your hand like a wrist warmer.  The bottle then slides in and conforms to your hand so that you won’t feel like you are carrying a bulky water bottle around.  The back side of the strap is made of terry cloth so that you can wipe your forehead if you get too sweaty.  It is also machine washable.

I did not purchase the wrist strap for my husband so I can not give you a good review of it.  However, the hydrapack flask itself fills easily, is comfortable in your hands, and fits perfectly in a SPIbelt without taking up all of the room inside.  I also really love that Salomon took the time to make a product that is chemical free.  If I am out trying to stay fit and healthy during my runs, it is reassuring the know that the water I am drinking isn’t doing me any harm.  The flasks also come in smaller and larger sizes.  The 8 ounce option should be enough to get you through about 30 minutes during your long runs before you need to get a refill.

Hopefully, like me you will find this to be the perfect solution to your long run hydration problems.

Happy running!