Note: As a BibRave Pro, I was sent a bunch of samples of Nuun to try (thanks guys!!) and review. Other than the samples, I was not compensated in any way to review these items. All opinions are my own!
I've heard a lot about Nuun through social media. A lot of the runners I follow often tag things with #NuunLife and promote the product, but I've never tried it. I do most of my hydration through straight water, Gatorade, and Hoist. But I'm always up for something new, and Nuun "turns water into a refreshing sports hydration drink without sugar." Nuun comes in these cute little tubes. You pop one tablet into 16 ounces of water and let it fizzle for a few minutes. In about two minutes, you're ready to drink!
I tried all the flavors, but I'll focus this review on the Nuun Energy since it was the only thing I used in conjunction with a run. I really like the rest of the flavors (Strawberry Lemonade is my favorite!) and they kept me from feeling thirsty all day. Since I haven't been running, I can't vouch for the hydrating effects if you're actually working out and sweating.
As for the energy one, it definitely works! I felt terrible one day, but knew I needed to log some miles in my new shoes. Each tablet has 40 mg of caffeine, so since it was later in the day, I only took half a tablet. Usually if I have caffeine anytime after 1:00 p.m. I'm bouncing off the walls when it's time for bed.
The mixed berry flavor is pretty good. Your water tastes fizzy and fruity. I noticed the effects of the Nuun within about 20 minutes. Not only did it power me through my run, but I felt like I got my runner's high a lot faster. Of course, I was still a little hyper at the end of the night when I just wanted to sleep, but that's to be expected with the caffeine.
I used the other half of the tablet during my last long run. While I felt hyper and strong the entire time, I'm not sure if it was from the caffeine or the fact that I was excited over my last long run. Still, a little caffeine before your workout can be just the boost you need. I definitely recommend trying out Nuun - it's a tasty and easy way to rehydrate!
After spending the past week + in pain, I’ve been forced to make a really difficult decision.
I am deferring my race entry for this year’s NYC Marathon.
So, what happened? This is my own fault, but I don’t think the result would have been much different if I had changed things. After the Marine Corps Half, I rewarded myself with a trip to the movies. I got up, and my left knee was basically locked. It was so tight that I could barely walk from the theater to my car. As I put more weight on it, it started to feel better. I chalked it up to a tendinitis flair up in my left knee (I’ve suffered from this in my right), even though it didn’t feel anything like tendinitis. I took Sunday off to rest, and I felt 100% better, so I decided to go through with “Peak Week,” which was the last hard running week of my marathon training. When I ran on Monday (the 6th), I felt a slight twinge, but it went away. Tuesday’s (the 7th) run started with pain, and it went away after ½ mile. Wednesday the pain developed after ½ mile, and I stopped and walked back. On Thursday I picked up new shoes, an upgraded version of my Saucony Rides. I ran 4.5 miles with them on Thursday night, and other than the slightest twinge (I’d rate it a 1 on the pain scale), I felt great. There was no pain when I was walking around, so I figured the shoes had made the difference. I did spin on Friday and rested on Saturday, excited/nervous for my last long run – a planned 20-22 miler.
Why was I still running through my obvious injury? For one, I was in denial over getting hurt. But the other reason is because with my right knee, whenever I stop running, the tendinitis flairs up. I don't know if it's because I'm suddenly really stiff, but any time I've taken an extended break from running, the right knee aches.
During my last long run (and last run in general), my left knee tightened up right at the 14 mile mark. I tried to force myself to run more, then gave up and walked to a safe area and called my mom, crying, to come get me. My knee throbbed for about 2 days. I tried everything. Everything. KT tape, foam rolling, Trigger Point Therapy, changing my shoes back to the old ones to walk with, icing, compression sleeves, IT band wraps, stretching, hip flexor exercises, resting, sleeping extra, taking anti-inflammatories. I went to a physical therapist, who showed me a lot of exercises to loosen my IT band. She massaged my quads/IT band and it did absolutely nothing to touch the pain. As each day went by, I realized NY was probably not going to happen.
Finally on Friday of last week, I scheduled an appointment to meet with an orthopedist. I was pretty sure I had ITBS, but since I was still in pain (and my IT band was bruised, likely from the massage treatment), I went in yesterday. I actually got to meet with a knee specialist who had worked with knee issues for more than 35 years. He told me he ran his first marathon in a pair of Converse, and I was surprised when he said he was only in pain for a week after.
After a bunch of tests, he 100% diagnosed me with a really bad flair up of ITBS. Oddly enough, my right knee (the one that has always given me problems) is 100% A-OK. I got a cortisone shot, and he gave me a prescription for anti-inflammatories. The shot still hasn’t really kicked in yet, so I’m still sitting here in pain.
I have zero doubt that this is the best decision for me, even though it’s still an absolute heartbreaker. Even if/when the shot kicks in, I’m absolutely terrified to run. The doctor said I should be able to go out for a few miles next week. A few – not 26.2. I feel terrible for letting not only myself down, but all the people who donated. I raised nearly $3,100 this year, and a lot of that came from complete strangers who were touched by my story. Fred’s Team has given me the option of deferring, with all the funds raised going to my total for next year.
I’m more okay with this decision than I was originally. Last week I would break out in tears at any mention of NY, and still think to myself, "well, maybe I could gut it out." I definitely went through the stages of grief, but I can’t wallow on what could have been. I still proved to myself that I can train for a marathon - I hit a 20 miler and felt great! I think I peaked too soon, and my lack of foam rolling, stretching, and glute strength training didn’t help. NYC will still be my first marathon, but next year. While there is a small chance I could have gotten through the race without blowing out my knee, I don’t feel confident about it at all. I don’t want to run NYC in fear of my knee hurting, or holding back, or in a lot of pain. A big part of my desire to run NYC comes from wanting to experience the crowds, the bridges, the sights. If I’m running in misery, what’s the point? I have too much respect for this race, myself, and the running community to halfass it "just to finish." As much as it’s going to suck to train through another summer of 95 degree temperatures, it’s better than the alternative.
My goal right now is to heal up enough to get back out the door. I haven’t been able to run since the 12th, and I’ve done basically nothing as far as working out. The arc trainer hurts, I can’t swim, and the only spin class I’ve gone to since has been with an irritating instructor who drove me so crazy I had to leave halfway through the class. I know it’ll take more than 8 days to lose a summer’s worth of training, but I feel so lazy and miserable. When I can get back to running at my JRC groups, I’ll feel a lot better.
Till then, I’ll be sitting back with an ice pack.
Note: As a BibRave Pro, I received a free pair of the Jabra Sport headphones to test out. While I got them for free, I was not compensated in any other way to review this product. All opinions are my own.
The Jabra Sport+ headphones are wireless headphones that connect to your phone through Bluetooth. When they’re set up, you can listen to the radio, a playlist, stream audio, and even talk on the phone! I’m not really “in the know” when it comes to headphones, but my friend was really excited that I got to test these out. He said Jabra is one of the top electronics brands. So, how did they rank?
-The wireless feature is outstanding. I’m used to dealing with wires when I run with music, and it was really awesome to not have to untangle my headphones after every mile or so.
-I like being able to switch from my iPhone to the radio with one button
-Despite having a heck of a time getting them in my ears (see Cons below...), they stayed put. I was pleasantly surprised, because when I first got them in my ears I thought they were going to fall out after a few steps. The longest I went with them was 4 miles, but they didn’t even come loose, so I would assume they’d last for longer runs.
-Even though I don’t use it, the ability to talk to someone on the phone during your run is a big plus. If you’re someone always on the go, this could be a valuable feature. For me, I never answer my phone anywayJ
-Once I figured out how to set them up (see Cons...), getting them ready for a run is literally as easy as hitting a button on the headphones and a button on your phone.
-Your purchase of these headphones comes with a free 3 month membership to Endomondo, which lets you track workouts and connect to other runners/bikers/whatever. After reading the little booklet, I thought you had to sign up for this service, which I really didn’t want to do. It’s not mandatory, but the option is there for you, which is really generous of Jabra. I’ve never logged into Endomondo, so I can’t rate it.
-The price tag is a big one. I’ve always used/worn a pair of $14 headphones from Target, and they last me forever. Spending $50+ on headphones is a little too much of a splurge for me, even though they did have some great features.
-Setting them up can be tricky if you’re tech-dumb like I am. Since I’ve never used a Bluetooth with my iPhone, I had no idea where to go to connect them. Jabra has a helpful little guide on their site, and after a few tries, I finally got it.
-Though the headphones come with quite a few options for earpieces, not one of them fit me correctly. I never wear ear buds for exactly this reason. The best fitting covers still didn’t fit in my ear very well, so the audio quality of my music was a bit off. This may have been a good thing, since the music wasn’t blasting into my eardrum.
So, are they worth it? Probably. My biggest issue is that unlike 99% of the population, ear buds do not fit into my ears. I tried every single cover, and none of them were as comfortable as I’d like. If you can fit buds into your ear, then I definitely recommend these headphones. The wireless feature alone is a huge perk for any athlete, whether you run or bike! Just make sure to keep your volume low and pay attention to your surroundings :)
I woke up this morning still in some pain after yesterday. This had me crying for a few hours, mostly from fear about having to drop out of NYC. Finally, I sucked it up and called a physical therapist. I'm going in on Wednesday. I'm 99% sure that I have ITBS, since I fit all of the symptoms. This sucks but compared to what could be wrong, I'll take it 20 times over.
How am I treating the pain till Wednesday? No running, obviously. But I also stayed out of the gym, because I don't know if the elliptical or bike will cause any further damage. I'm not blowing my dream of running NYC to ride a stationary bike for 10 minutes.
I picked up this bad boy at Target tonight, and it feels amazing on my IT band. In addition to massaging my leg I'm...
I do feel remarkably better from yesterday. Here's hoping tomorrow is also an improvement.
When I first signed up for the NYC Marathon, my goal was to finish. I knew that I'd have to put in a lot of miles over the summer, cross train, and stay strong.
For 5 months, I did just that. I've logged nearly 400 miles, been to dozens of spin classes, started taking yoga, and occasionally wore my compression sleeve to bed to combat any random tendinitis in my right knee. I've dealt with that issue, in my right knee, for a few years. Sometimes it needs extra ice and compression, but it's A-OK 95% of the time.
After the Marine Corps Half last Saturday, I decided to treat myself to a movie. I went to see Gone Girl (a great book adaptation, but not as exciting when you already know the plot twist going in). When the movie was over, I got up to leave, and my left knee was extremely stiff. I had to limp out, and the pain got a little better as I walked more. When I got home, I iced and compressed, and took the next day off. This was was my planned "Peak Week" before I start my taper. Monday I felt better and ran a few miles. Tuesday I was in pain at the start, but it went away as I ran. Wednesday I had to stop after 3/4 of a mile because of the pain. With my shoes reaching 350+ miles, I knew I needed to upgrade and picked up a new pair on Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday night, I decided to run and test them out. I got through 4.5 miles without any pain. Friday was spin class, Saturday was a rest day, and I decided to move forward with today's 22-miler.
Why 22 when training programs usually max out at 22? I follow a run/walk program on my long runs, and I thought it would be a great confidence boost. I've already done a 20 and felt fine, so I figured a 22 would be the perfect way to cap off training.
I brought along 2 Salted Caramel GUs, and 2 Root Beer GUs. I really like the Root Beer flavor - it went down really smoothly and was pretty tasty.
I switched up my route and made it to UNF at Mile 9. To be honest, I was feeling awesome. I had a little bit of knee pain at Mile 7 or so, but it went away pretty quickly, so I pressed on. Knowing I had just a half left felt great, and I followed my usual route. My Garmin flashed Mile 14, and then I felt it.
The twinge returned to my knee out of nowhere, with a vengeance. It was sore and my leg stiffened up. I tried to keep running, but I couldn't. Oddly, it didn't hurt to walk. After about a mile and a half of shuffling/walking to a safer spot, I gave up and called my mom in tears to come get me. I've been on the couch all day, icing and compressing my knee, and breaking to foam roll every so often. I picked up some K tape and my knee is wrapped in it.
I overtrained, plain and simple. I've been so scared of blowing it in New York that I'm at risk of not even making it. I'll be taking a few days off from training, and then cross training whatever way doesn't hurt. I've pretty much been crying all day at the thought of having to drop out. Right now, I have no plan to do that. With 2 days off from running, I was able to get through 14. NYC is still 3 weeks away, and there is plenty of time to heal up. I'm not shooting for a world record - I just want to finish. I'd rather get to the start line with a little less endurance than not be able to move.
I'm Jenn! I'm a baker, blogger, sorta-runner, and writer living in Jacksonville, Florida!