Nuun Review + Giveaway

Nuun recently sent me a generous sampling of their electrolyte replacement tabs to try out. Unfortunately the product is not readily available in stores around here, but I did find a few locations in Toronto.

I’ve been reading about Nuun all over the blogosphere for a while now, so I was excited to try it out.

What’s to love about Nuun?

Nuun comes in the form of convenient tablets (easily transported in resilient, water resistant tubes), which are dissolved in water to create a complex electrolyte drink that recharges salts lost during exercise.

Nuun is specially formulated to provide optimal hydration.

Nuun is sugar-free.

Nuun is available in several unique flavors, including:

citrus fruit
kona kola
orange ginger
lemon + lime
banananuun
tri-berry

Learn more about Nuun!

I’ve had the opportunity to sample almost every flavor that I received (my favorite so far is tri-berry) on various short runs, mid-distance runs and a long run. My overall impression is: Awesome! It tastes great, goes down easy (no tummy troubles) and seems to do the job.

For some crazy reason, hubby thought it would be a good idea to pop a kona kola tablet directly in his mouth. Ummm…. yeah. Have you seen the way the tabs fizz when you drop them in your water bottle? This was pretty entertaining, but I do not recommend it!

The best part is, Nuun sent me plenty of extra samples you know what that means: GIVEAWAY TIME! To enter:

Leave a comment and let me know which is your favorite flavor (or one you’d like to try). Giveaway closes on Friday.

***

I’m ecstatic to report that my 25K (actually, 25.6K = 16mi) long run went great yesterday. The cool temperature, cloudy sky and fall-back distance had me flying. In fact, my entire pace group was running way faster than we usually do on a long run – by 15-20 seconds per kilometre! It was an incredible run and I finished strong. Average pace – 5:56/KM = 9:33/mi. Nice!

We followed it up with a delicious post-run brunch. This group knows how to eat! We indulged in all kinds of sweet and savoury goodies. I also took a dip in the pool, even though it was only about 15C/59F. The water felt great, although I was freezing when I got out!

Yesterday wrapped up another weekly mileage PR of 77K/48mi. I’m aiming for 50 miles this week!

Have a great day!

(P.S. Last chance to enter Tall Mom’s Pearl Izumi Giveaway. Contest closes at 200 comments and she already has 180+!)

Toronto Women’s 5K – Race Report + Photos

I decided to participate in this event to (A) support women’s races in Toronto, (B) get my hands on the Lululemon tech shirt and (C) pace my friend “L” for (hopefully) her first sub-30:00 5K.

This race was held at the same location as the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon, Sunnybrook Park. Once again, the event was well-organized, well-executed and well-supported.

We arrived on-site early and had plenty of time to mill about and catch up with some friends who were also there. It was great chatting with happy go lucky alex (whom I met for the first time last weekend at the 30K) before and after the race. I also got to meet MacNic for the first time after chatting back and forth via blogs and twitter for several months. And, of course, my BFF Sarah who walked the 5K just 2.5 weeks post partum!

L caught me after a quick last-minute pit stop.

Soon it was time to line up. Check out the green race shirts! Awesome.

I have to say, it was really nice lining up for a race without any nerves. I was relaxed and ready to have fun (and see how hard I could push L).

And we were off! I don’t know why, but I really love this pic.

We followed the paved park trails and stayed right on pace. L was doing great! She had debated a 10&1 run to walk ratio, but we ended up running almost the entire way.

The famous firefighter’s water station came around the 3K marker. The guys were wearing volunteer t-shirts this year (they were shirtless at the half), so L decided it wasn’t worth slowing down or stopping. Heh.

L was starting to struggle, but I urged her on and kept reminding her that we were more than half way there. I tried not to yap too much because when I’m exhausted I usually don’t want anybody talking to me. :) She held on really well and only took a teeny tiny walk break after the last hill.

Once we passed the 4K marker, she picked it up. I knew we were right on target for her sub-30, but L had started swearing at this point (it was pretty amusing). She thought she was going to puke, but I told her she could puke at the finish line. Finally, we saw it and she sprinted all the way home. In the end, our final kilometre was the fastest.

Here we are on the home stretch. Don’t mind the white dot where L’s head should be = she’s pretty private. :) Check out my usual inefficient lean-back finish line form. Ugh. (L was in better shape than the lady in front of us!)

Chip time – 29:41

My first time as a personal pace bunny was a success!

She did it! When I saw the clock I was absolutely ecstatic! I eased back to snap a photo of L crossing the line. It’s blurry, but you can see the clock. Official time was sub-30:00 as well. Way to go, L!

The awesome Emily aka AddictedToEndorphons was at the finish line so I had to snap a photo! Thanks for volunteering, Em!

We got some water and grub (pitas, bananas, dried apples, tortilla chips and chocolate) and snapped a few photos.

It was a great morning!

***

Tomorrow’s long run is a fall-back to 25K/15.5mi. (Why does that seem so short?) After the run we’re having our third brunch and a pool party! Sounds like my kind of Sunday.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

(Don’t forget to enter Tall Mom on the Run’s awesome giveaway for her 200th post.)

"Race pace"

Happy Friday!

I’ve had a few comments lately asking ‘What is your goal marathon race pace’? The truth is, I’m still trying to figure it out.

I’m training with the 4:00 marathon group (5:40/KM or 9:07/mi pace), so most of my runs are geared towards this. When we do speed work, I’m running at paces targeting a 4:00 marathon (sometimes faster). My long runs are 10-20% slower than the 4:00 marathon pace.

And yet, I am not confident that I am capable of a 4:00 marathon. I had planned to use Saturday’s race to gauge my fitness level, but we all know how that went. I realize that there were several factors which contributed to the crummy run and it probably wasn’t a good measure of my fitness level. Still, it’s hard not to let it get inside my head.

So with 4 weeks and 2 days until the marathon, I still don’t know what my goals are. I’d like to think I can improve significantly over last year. I will likely go into the race with a large window in mind, start somewhat conservatively and see what happens. If it’s a good day, I think I can probably run ~4:15. And if it’s not… well, I just hope I can run faster than 4:42:04.

Speaking of marathon race pace, we had a 14K MRP run on the schedule last night. It was a pleasantly cool evening and I felt great. I ended up running 16.5K (10+ miles!) faster than marathon pace. Why can’t every run be like that?

Other tidbits:

• Tall Mom on the Run is having an awesome giveaway for her 200th post. Check it out! (You could also be super awesome and drop my name in the comments so I get a bonus entry! Thx!)

• The folks at Halo were so stoked about your response to my post that they’re sending me a couple headbands to giveaway. Watch for that SOON.

• Tomorrow is the Toronto Women’s 5K. I’m running 100% for fun with a friend who hopes to break 30 minutes for the first time. I’m there for the company, firefighters and chocolate.

Happy Weekend!

Awesome weather + TiaRT

For the next week, it doesn’t look like it will be getting warmer than 20C/68F. A-maz-ing. I love this weather! It’s still pleasantly warm during the day but cools off nicely at night so there’s a chill in the air for morning/evening runs. I love it. If we don’t see any more 30C/86F+ days, I will be one happy runner.

Yesterday evening I met a friend (the one who took me skiing that fateful day) for a short run and dinner. I knew I had to squeeze in some extra miles for the day, so I headed out at lunch as well. (I’m getting good at these post-lunch-run sponge baths.)

I had run 15K/9mi on Tuesday and it felt fantastic. I ran the same combined distance yesterday and found myself completely exhausted. It definitely seems to work the body differently to run twice in one day, even if the overall distance is not very high.

Tonight we have a 14K marathon pace run with clinic (+2K warm-up), the one that we missed last week due to tornado warnings.

***

It’s time for Take it and Run Thursday c/o Runners’ Lounge and this week Jill Will Run wants to know:


It’s the morning of your weekly long run… what do you eat and why?


I’ve done oatmeal (too hot for summer) and bagels (too heavy), but my latest go-to is an english muffin with peanut butter and/or nutella. It’s delicious, it keeps me going and it sits well in my tummy.

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!!!

Drop by Chic Runner for your chance to win an ifitness sport belt and chasing the kenyans for some GU goodies.

For those who sweat

I admit that I sweat… a lot! And you know what I hate? When the sweat gets in my EYES! Especially if I’m wearing sunscreen, because then it stings! Enter:

Halo’s Sweat Block Technology keeps sweat and sunscreen out of your eyes while training, working out, racing, or just working hard. Every Halo Headband includes the patented water-tight seal which redirects sweat away from your face. It may sound too good to be true, so I put it to the test.

Halo sent me their most popular model, the Halo Headband II Pullover.

Here’s what the sweat-blocker looks like on the inside of the headband. It also acts as a grip to hold it in place, but don’t worry – no unsightly red marks!

The Halo Headband did the trick! I tested it out on a 15K/9mi run tonight. It was a slightly cooler evening, but I was still sweating like a you-know-what. With the Halo in place, I wasn’t constantly wiping sweat off my face and out of my eyes like I usually would be. Plus, it was totally comfortable and I couldn’t even feel it on.

The headbands are available in a variety of styles and colours, so check out the website to see what might work for you.

I’m definitely going to have to try the Anti-Freeze Pullover once the colder weather is here.

Tall Mom on the Run recently reviewed Halo Headband as well, so check out what she had to say here.

***

My run tonight went really well. I felt strong and steady throughout, hopefully setting the scene for a great week. I only have two more big weeks of training before taper. Only 32 days to go!