Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

This past Saturday morning I woke my cousin @JustSavyMama around 500 and we got ready to drive to Ragged Mountain Resort so i could take part in the 3rd race in this season’s WinterWild Series. Two weeks ago i ran in the second race, and that was such a blast I thought I’d have a go at this one.

Having some military experience, one would expect that i would do some RECON of the event site before i plopped down my cold hard cash typed in my debit card information. But I didn’t. I DID look at the trail map online, and thought, well, up, then down. One lap this time? Sweet.

After having driven nearly an hour, I blew right past the access road to the resort. I was looking for a sign on MY side of the road. It was on the OTHER side of the road. After we turned around, though, it WAS on my side… We parked and went to the lodge where registration was well under way. An empty table with cubbbies was right there, too, so we sat down and I began my pre-race ritual of pinning on my number (after i folded it, of course), making sure my layers were appropriate, chatting with others, cluing in my cousin on what was going on etc. Then I heard, “ALL RACERS BE ON THE SNOW IN FIIIIIIVE MINUTES!!!”

CRAAAAAAAAP. I didn’t even have my sneakers on yet!!!! Quick swig of water, shoes on, mini gaiters on, hugs, a quick pose or two for the camera, and outside we went.DSCN1985

BOOOOOM! COLD! oh, boy. cold cold cold cold…..My frozen cousin stood around and took a few pictures before the start, but then the batteries pretty much froze, too, then died, so there aren’t any of me crossing the finish line. Just some start shots..

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The course took us up the main lift line, or FACE, as it is often called. If you are following along on the map, the first part was basically (for me!) a fast jog up Lower Exhibition, followed by a fast hike through the Six Pack and into Upper Exhibition. Raggedy Ann kicked my raggedy Azz, and I had to stop for a bit on that final push to the summit. The air was so cold that it hurt my lungs to breathe in as heavily as I needed to just to sustain life. I cursed myself several times for not having brought my inhaler, but i didn’t need it anyway. Phew!

The wind at the top was strong, and the view looking back toward the base lodge was fantastic. The sun was just hitting most of the peaks, and they were bathed in a wonderful purple. Maybe. That might have been from the broken blood vessels in my eyeballs. Who really knows? The course went around the top of the lift then down a gentle trail called Blueberry Patch. Gaining momentum and beginning to pass other runners, I began to wish that I had pushed myself a bit harder earlier in the race. At Suicide Six, I’d skied down many, many times, so pretty much knew what to expect and could budget my energy expenditure a bit better than I was able to here at Ragged Mountain. All part of the learning process, I suppose.

Short left onto Upper Chute, then a slight left onto Raggedy Andy. BIG patch of ice there, just as I was passing a snow-shoe-r. I really didn’t want to fall and take us both out, so i trusted my spikes and stepped heavily so that they could get a good bite. YIKES!!! Other runners had broken through the ice…CRUD! I stayed on the uphill side and stepped a bit lighter and faster as I negotiated the ice. OK! Back to the downhill sprint.

Nearing the base lodge I was picking off people as fast as I could, and then noticed a runner ahead of me waving her arms and slowing down. Turns out there was a photographer near where Main Street and Village Green come together. Maybe a bit closer to the bottom. Anyway, as you can see here, I took the opportunity to NOT get chicked…

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I finished 15th in my AG, but there were only 17 in the group. Wow. I thought I’d done alright, but the field was FAST. In the series standings, however, I am 9th out of 42(?) in my AG which I a very happy with! Next race is this coming weekend at Whale Back. This race is practically in my back yard as well, so you bet I’ll be there! I’ve already typed in my debit card information, so there’s no backing out!

Big shout out to @BitsOfHealth and @EnergyBits for helping to fuel my run. I’m a customer and big fan of their bits!

Next time, though, I think I’ll wear running pants that fit me a bit better…holy rag-a-muffin…

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Then you need to try @EnergyBits! Seriously. I was fortunate enough to be able to try a sample of their Energy Bits (they also have RecoverySkinny, and Vitality Bits).

Made with ONE INGREDIENT (hello, Clean Eating!), they really packed a punch. I took the recommended amount (20 bits), and sat back to wait.jekyllandhyde Kinda like Dr. Jekyll, I was excited and apprehensive at the same time…ok, not really, but can you imagine? wow. anyway…it was an interesting half hour or so before I began to feel any changes…

The first thing I noticed was that I had a bit more pep. I was at work, and typically I need an extra cup of coffee or two in the afternoon to perk me up. The bits were fantastic, and the energy lasted MUCH LONGER than coffee.

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The second time I tried them, it was before I went out for a medium distance (10k) run. I had NO belly issues, and no dip in energy levels during the run or for quite a while afterward (my wife was happy about this, as I used that energy to finish some projects around the yard!).

The sample came in a nice little tin. When you buy a full order (which I highly recommend that you do!), you will get a refillable travel tin like this one to take with you for those unplanned pick me ups.

 Curious about what you get out of these little gems? Here is the nutritional information for the EnergyBits.

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As you may know, I am a big fan of companies or “brands” who engage with customers online. EnergyBits has a great Twitter presence, actively participating in weekly #runchat, #ultrachat, and my favourite, #wellnesschat.

Based in Boston, MA, they are a young, energetic, active company with a great new product that is actually useful. They are made in the USA, contain NO chemicals, additives, preservatives…just ALGAE. That’s right. I’m no scientist, so I’ll leave the technical jargon to the experts. Check out their website at www.energybits.com and see what you think~!

As a special thank you, readers can use the code BIGZIGFITNESS when checking out to receive 15% off of your order!!!

HOLY COW, 15 percent off!!!!!

In disclosure, I am an official Brand Ambassador for EnergyBits. Purchasing bits using my code of BIGZIGFITNESS not only nets you a nice discount, i get a little somethin’ somethin’ too.

What are you waiting for??? Get yer credit cards out! Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!!!!!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win some samples of @DesignerWhey’s Protein2GO. I have really enjoyed the product, so I thought I’d share my thoughts and experience with you.

From their website:

PROTEIN 2GO®designerwhey2go
It’s a marvel that these pocket-sized packs of Designer Whey Protein 2GO® carry so much lip smacking taste. Small enough to enjoy anytime, anywhere and powerful enough to transform ordinary water into an explosion of citrus and vitamins, each serving delivers everything you want and exactly what you need. Take them to the office for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or to the gym for an energy boost. It’s good, to go.

 

You would be correct if you guessed that the lemonade is my favourite flavour. Orange would be my second choice. I am not a big fan of berries anyway, so that one is last. Sorry. The other thing that I wasn’t keen on with the mixed berry is that i found it a bit sweeter than the others.

The mix uses stevia as a sweetener, and this is the first product I have tried that has stevia in it. While I can detect an after taste, it isn’t as strong as some other sweeteners, and doesn’t give me a headache like nutrasweet or that stuff in the yellow bags that people put in their coffee, etc.

The DesignerWhey Protein2Go is a great way to add a little boost to your nutrition, either after a workout or just as an alternative to plain water. I had no problems mixing it with water in my shaker bottle; it also mixes well in smoothies!  Next time you are shopping around for something different for your workout bag, give strong consideration to DesignerWhey Protein2Go!

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Saturday (yesterday) I ran in my first race of 2013. It was a last minute decision (thanks to @organicrunmom) to enter this race that was held at a ski area where I grew up skiing. I’d spent many a Saturday racing friends down the slopes and tossing back hot cocoa in the lodge while trying to impress the rich girls staying at the nearby Woodstock Inn. I won some races, but never met any girls. Such is life.

I didn’t win anything from the race (well…that’s not true. They hold a raffle after the race during which you have 10 seconds to choose something from the table of goodies. I chose a dozen eggs from Pete & Gerry’s. DEEEE-Lish. I placed 38th out of 73 overall (mid-pack-ish) and 5th in my age group. Out of 10. My highest finish as an adult, and still mi-pack. BOOM.

Rather than write and write and write, I thought that a little video would be a fun way to do my report. Just be thankful I didn’t decide on interpretive dance…

Make it a GREAT WEEK!!!

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Recently I was able to get outside during the day and enjoy a few sunny miles of snowmobile trail running. I’ve been eyeing a trail that runs below a power line near my house for a while, but never took the time to explore it during the non snow month(s). Today I took the time to do it, and I was not disappointed!

I accessed it from a closed road that goes to the reservoir up behind Annalise North, a road that I have run on several times including this past Christmas Day. Instead of continuing up and around the lake, I took a right and headed south along the well packed trail. Up, up, up it went, then down a little. Then back up. Level, then up again. Not really ALL that steep, except in one spot, so it was runnable. I continued south until the trail ended in someone’s backyard. It may have gone farther (further?) than that, but I’d gone just over 1.5 miles, and that was far enough for today.

The weather was perfect, and my clothing choice was spot on. I had long socks, my Sugoi lightweight tights, a pair of shorts over them (modesty and wind protection? CHECK!), long sleeve tech shirt, bright yellow Brooks running jacket, light weight beanie, and light weight gloves. I will admit that I was a bit chilled at the beginning of the run, but less than 15 minutes in I was doing just right. Any more layers would have been too much. I ran without gloves for the last half mile or so (REBEL!). OH! hahaha…yes. Brooks Cascadia 7’s, Outdoor Research short gaiters, and katoola micro-spikes. They worked splendidly, as I expected.2013-01-10_14-04-40_701

I’m very glad I went out today. I’ve been sitting around here way too much lately, and that really needs to change. Thing is, I am the only person who can make that happen. Happy that I did. Here’s to many more!