GU Energy Gel:

IMG_1229GU Energy Gel is a digestible gel that you can use during high intensity workouts, races or activities.  It contains electrolytes, carbs, amino acids and caffeine.  The first time I used GU Energy Gel was back in 2009 for my first half marathon.  I didn’t swallow enough and since it was my first half, I didn’t focus too much on the effect it had on me.  Something that I DON’T like about this product is that it is a little hard to swallow, especially during a run.  It is like swallowing a gob of honey.  You don’t have to swallow large amounts of it at once but it is definitely the last thing I want to eat while running.  I would suggest picking a flavor that you normally like or a somewhat “safe” flavor to start out with.  My favorite “neutral” flavor is vanilla because the flavor isn’t too strong.  Something that I DO like about this product is that it actually does work! During my first marathon, I used it right around mile 18/19 when the delusion starts setting in.  It not only helped push me through the last bit, but I did feel a little more energized. I’ve used it for various activities and it does prolong your energy during the day.  I’ve used it for Mountain Biking, Snowboarding and Hiking as well.

Saucony Running Shoes:

IMG_1235I have used Saucony as my running shoe choice since about 2003/2004.  Although I have tried other running shoes, these have been the best fit for my running style and foot type.  I discovered this through Boulder Running Company’s video gait analysis and Saucony has been great to my feet! The particular style of Saucony that I use is the Women’s Cohesion/Pro Grid Cohesion.  What I like about this particular shoe is that it has enough support around my ankle and heel and because I have narrow feet, the cushion provides enough support.  Something that I don’t like about this shoe is that I feel it’s durability decreasing quicker as I am training for longer races.  Although this is standard for any shoe over time, I’ve noticed it more over the years.  I have also noticed that the quality/style has changed a little bit over the years.  The Saucony logo on each sides of the shoe use to be raised, now it is  only raised on the outside.  Although this is minor compared to the overall performance of the shoe, the look of your kicks is important if you are a runner and I can’t help but notice this change or question if the quality has changed.  Overall, Saucony has been my shoe of choice for years and I would highly recommend it.

Handful Sports Bras:

IMG_1231I recently discovered this company and I love it! Handful is a company run by women that creates sports bras and tank tops.  Their mission is “to support women, no matter what life throws their way.”  Started by Jennifer Ferguson, this company has designed “the perfect sports bra” for  female athletes.  I have the adjustable bra in Freshly Squeezed Orange.  What I love about this bra is not only the fun colors, but the size and shape as well.  This bra is shaped to flatter you, not flatten you.  It has removable pads and you don’t feel super bulky when wearing it.  When i run, I hate the way most sports bras flatten me out, however handful does the opposite. It gives me shape and I can wear it with or without athletic wear.  The only thing that I don’t like about this product is the price.  Its pretty expensive for one bra, however it is worth the money because it is so durable.

SPIBELT:

IMG_1228The SPIbelt is one of many athletic holsters/accessories.  I am not a huge fan of carrying things on my body while I run, however the SPIbelt is great.  This is an adjustable belt that goes around your waist.  It comes in fun color combinations and patterns and kinda looks like an updated fanny pack (if you are into that).  I used it during my third marathon and I couldn’t even tell that it was around my waist.  I have the original SPIbelt.  What I like about this belt is that it stretches to hold your cell phone, keys, chap-stick and anything else you might need to carry during a long run.  Also, it doesn’t bounce around like you expect it to during movement.  It stays put and you can loosen it or make it tighter.  Something that I don’t like about this product is that after a long run like a marathon, I did start to feel it’s weight towards the end and my hips were sore. This is probably because of the amount of time I wore it and I can imagine that any product would cause this.  However, I would recommend trying this out if you need a place to put your phone or need to carry some extra items during physical activities.

*CAMELBAK: *

IMG_1232We all know what CamelBaks are.  I own a small 50 oz pack and a .75L water bottle.  I’ve used the pack for hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding and running and I use the water bottle for everyday use.  I really like the pack because it is small enough to carry around during sports, so it isn’t too bulky or heavy.  Running with it is difficult because I feel like I have to change my running style a little bit with it on and as it empties, it moves around quite a bit.  It’s perfect to use on the mountain while snowboarding so that you can make sure you are staying hydrated without having to stop at the lodge between runs.  I love using it during mountain biking because it has a couple of pockets big enough to fit an extra tire tube and snacks in.  The water bottle is great too, however I don’t find that it is better than any other water bottle.  The straw is pretty durable and I find that it keeps my water cold for a long time.  I would definitely recommend trying out both products, especially the packs because it makes it easier to carry the things you need and makes hydration convenient.