PictureMust. Cross. Finish. Line.
Have you ever looked through the photos from a race and thought "Those are all the best pictures I've ever seen!"? No? Me either. Race photos usually suck! Well if you are me, that is, they usually suck. You can see what I'm talking about here

Recently The Hubbo and I traveled to California and ran the Ventura Half Marathon. You can read my recap here. One of the cool things about this race is that all the race photos are free! But! (There is always a but.) Not all race photos are created equal. I've been lucky to get a couple good ones and then I've been unlucky and got a bunch of weird ones. 

I'm glad these were free because some of them were so awkward and bad, there is no way I would pay $20-$40 or more for these! But since they were free, and I'm always happy to make fun of myself, I thought I'd share them with you. 

I tried to be all cool and take a photo of me rocking my BibRave tat, but it just turned out awkward so it didn't make the original post. 
But since I'm always willing to make fun of myself for a good laugh, here you go! #YoureWelcome
I look like a have some weird farmers tan going on but really, Gingers don't tan! 

I look like I'm about to throw a right hook at George! I don't know why my arms are all weird and defensive looking. I guess I'm just ready to knock-a-sucker-out at any moment during the run! Run boxing...Is that a thing?

No punches were thrown at this race!

This one isn't the worst. If you want to see the worst race photo I've ever had, click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.
But don't say I didn't warn you!

I look like I am drooling over the finish line being so close! Truth be told, I probably was. I was glad to be done. 

And why is my head cocked back like that? Am I trying to run like a gangster?
No. Just no.

Leave a comment! Are your race photos good, bad, or just ugly?

Every Saturday morning, the Hubbo and I get up freakishly early for our long training run with our group. We are currently training for the Honolulu Marathon in December so I guess it's all worth it. Just kidding! It totally is!  This weekend on my long run I was thinking about my morning routine and realized I've never blogged about it. So here we are. Here's my rundown (ha!) of my Friday/Saturday routine for our long training run. 

Friday Night

My long run preparation really starts on Friday night. As soon as I get home from work I start a load of laundry (boring!) of all our running gear we might want to wear the next day.
Then I start laying out all of the gear that doesn't need to be washed into a pile so it will all be in one place and easy to find. You know, because at 4:45 in the morning you resemble drunken zombie more-so than peppy runner! 

Here's a run down of everything I do Friday night:
Lay out the right pair of running shoes. 
Put my Garmin on the charger. If you didn't record your run with your Garmin, it doesn't count!
Find my running belt because I clearly haven't seen it in a week and there is no telling where that thing ended up. Behind the TV? Oh perfect place for it! 
Stuff  said running belt with my fuel, ENERGYbits, and my car key. 
Once the load of laundry is done, get all running clothes out of the dryer, throw them into a pile on the floor next to my shoes. (So adult of me, I know!) 
Spend 10 minutes trying to find a pair of matching running socks because the dryer likes to play tricks on you and they are never easy to find.
Foam roll while checking the Social Medias.
Eat dinner and try to be in bed by 10:00.
10:30 tell Hubbo we should go to bed.
11:00 finally in bed trying to sleep.

Saturday Morning

4:45 AM - Alarm Goes Off. Hit Snooze.
5:00 AM - Force Myself Out of Bed.
5:01 AM - Zombie-like Stagger to Kitchen
Make oatmeal. While oatmeal is cooking, eat a banana. 
5:07 Bathroom - Brush Teeth and put my hair up. 
5:12 Eat cooled off oatmeal and post to twitter it's time for a training run. 
5:15 - While eating oatmeal, tape feet, get dressed and put on shoes. (Remember this step. It's important for later.) 
5:30 - Wonder why it took you so long to get dressed and start to hurry with the rest of the routine.
5:31 - Foam Roll legs, calf muscles, and trigger point roll feet.
5:45 - Put shoes back on because I am dumb in the morning and put them on before I rolled my feet out. 
5:50 - Grab all my gear, water, and take my first serving of ENERGYbits, and I get in the car. 
5:50 - 6:00 The Hubbo drives to the store where we meet up with our group and I try to stay awake. 
6:00 - 6:15 Time for one more quick bathroom break, talk to half asleep runners, and try not to fall asleep myself. 
6:15 - Run! Also - promise myself that as soon as I get home, I'll take a nap.
Later that day- No naps taken. 

Leave a Comment! What's your routine like? How early do you get up  before your run?

This weekend the Hubbo and I took a trip half way across the US and ran the Ventura Half Marathon in California. This was my 10th half and the Hubbo's first visit to Cali! Even though the trip was really quick we had a great time and got to meet new people and see some friends!
We started our trip by getting up way to early for a vacation day (4:30am) to catch our flight out of Tulsa. We landed in LA around lunch time on Saturday, rented a car, and drove on the 405 towards Ventura in the middle of the day! I was more excited about it than the Hubbo was which was weird because I was driving! For a girl from a small town with one stop light, that's a pretty big deal! The race was on Sunday and then we got up on Monday and made the trip back home. Here's how it all went down.

The Medal

Picture2014 Ventura Half Marathon Medal
You guys know from reading my previous race recaps that I always start with the medal. One, because it's my favorite part and two, if you don't read any further I want you to check out this bling! The 2014 Ventura Half Marathon medal was voted on by the runners a few months ago. I'm super excited because this is the one I voted for! If you look closly at the left hand side, you can see that they added a bottle opener. I love it and it looks really good on my medal hanger. 

The Course

If you are looking for a PR for the Full or Half Marathon, this is the race for you! The course is flat as a pancake! In one of the emails I received from the race, they listed facts about the finishers from last year. In 2013, 21% of the full marathon finishers qualified for Boston
I'll just let that soak in for a bit....
Here's the elevation map for those of you who would like to verify for yourself that it was, indeed, flat. The course is basically an out-and-back for the full and for the half. It's not too scenic though. I thought we would be running right on the ocean side, but I understand that this is the better option for a safe race and I like to keep living sooo...

The Expo/Beach Party/Swag

This was the first race that I've been to that had an outdoor expo and I loved it! The beach party was in full swing on Saturday when we arrived to pick up our packets and was a little different than I was expecting. They had vendors at the expo, a live band, beer for sale, and of course, packet pick up. Picking up our packets was super easy, we just had to look up our bib numbers ahead of time and get in the right line. They emailed us a link to look up our bib numbers in the days leading up to the race. The expo was small but super convenient being as it was right by the starting line and right by the hotel we stayed at. If you do this race next year, definitely stay at the Crown Plaza right by the pier. It's perfect! 
According to the race the race photos are free but they haven't been released yet. That is an amazing perk for a race since the photos are usually super expensive! 

The People

PictureGeorge, Me, Hubbo, Clarinda, Katie
You guys! This was the best part of the whole weekend! We got to meet up with our friends from Twitter that we first met up with at the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon this April in Las Vegas! 
Here is a fabulous picture of all of us that George managed to get. You all might remember George since he was the RunGingerRun Buddy of the month of August.
Also in the picture is Clarinda from Enjoyingthecourse.com who manged to get a PR in the half this weekend! Congrats!
Katie is the one rocking the cute outfit with the lei and super fun skirt that she made herself! She always has the best running costumes and makes her own skirts! You can see some of her other skirts here. Oh and Katie got a PR too! 

PictureShane + Sarah = Race Twins!
I also got to meet a new Twitter buddy, Shane, who was running the half. It turns out he's running the Honolulu Marathon in December too! It's like we are race twins! Can you see the resemblance? 

Shane is awesome because he just celebrated his birthday this week and ran 41 miles in honor of turning 41! Just days after the Ventura Half! 

Happy Birthday! 

I also got to meet an Instagram buddy, Mr. Eddie, who lives in Ventura! He said he can practically see the finish line from his house! How cool is that?

I don't know what's going on with my eye in this picture. I promise I'm not trying to be a member of KISS and no, Mr. Eddie didn't punch me in the eye either. 

My Stats/The Weather

PictureMid-Race Selfies are the best!
Going into this race I knew I wasn't in PR shape. I only had 9 weeks to prepare and I ended up missing almost 3 of those weeks. I definitely don't mind running a race just for fun. You can see that George and I managed to have a little fun on the course! 

Time: 2:21:26
87th out of 172 in my Age Group
Average Pace: 10:48/mile
Overall Place: 513
Total Women: 1048
Total Men: 606

I was doing pretty good until mile 11. The sun was really shining and there was very little shade. We all know I'm not a hot weather runner so between the heat and lack of shade, I started to get goose bumps which is a bad sign. So between the bathroom break at mile 3 and walking a little in the last two miles, I'm still really happy with my results! My goal going into this race was to be under 2:30 and I did it and had fun! Boom! Done!

After The Race

After we were done visiting with everyone at the finish line, we went back to our room rested for a bit and showered. Then the Hubbo and I set off on our adventure to explore the beach and downtown Ventura! After lunch we went to the beach and took some pictures then decided to head into downtown which wasn't far from our hotel and we stumbled upon a local shop called Very Ventura. I chatted with Angela who owns the shop with her husband. They were really nice and gave us recommendations for a good place to eat for dinner. I bought a cute tank top that was printed by a local artist and the Hubbo bought a wooden decorative piece that spelled Ocean or Beach depending on which side you are looking at, which were also done by a local artist. We found so many cute things and if we had checked luggage instead of just carry-ons, we would have come home with a lot more stuff!

50 States Map

The Hubbo and I have a very relaxed goal of eventually running a race (half or full marathon) in each state. Here is a map of what we have accomplished since we started running in 2012.
This year alone we will have ran in 4 new states,
Kansas, Nevada, California, and Hawaii!  

Question! What race is next for you? How many states have you raced in?

Take a good look at the picture on the left. There's something wrong with it. Can you see it? Before I explain what's wrong, let me tell you a little about this picture. Even though it's not perfect, it's my favorite race photo! 

This photo was taken by a local race photographer Dr. Chris Barnes at the Jenks Half Marathon in November 2013. I barely remember seeing him around mile 4 of the race but flashed this quick smile and wave and kept going. Later this photo popped up on the media and I fell in love with it! (That sounds so vain but it's hard to get a good race photo!) I use this photo for all of my AVIs for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. So if it looks so familiar to you, that's why. 

Okay, let's talk about the problem with it. Look at my fuel belt. Can you see next to the 6 on my bib that I wear an iPod Shuffle? Better yet, can you tell that my ear bud cord runs up my shirt (don't get weird), out the top of my shirt, and into my right ear? Of course you can. Ugh! Talk about ruining my favorite photo!

I always have music playing for my long runs and all my races. It helps me get through those miles that are really tough. But all my race photos have that silly white cord hanging around in them. Am I the only one that has this problem? Or that thinks it looks silly?

This problem is about to change. As part of the perks of being an Ambassador for Bibrave.com or as we like to call ourselves, BibRavePros, I was sent a pair of the Jabra Rox wireless ear buds to try out and review and they sound amazing! I can't wait to get on the plane this weekend and fly out to California for the Ventura Half Marathon because I'll be taking these with me to listen to my music on the plane to help the time go by.

Here's what I like about these:
1. They are wireless! Hello new race photo!
2. They are small and travel easily. Look at the photo below. 
3. They sound amazing! It's easy to get lost in your  music when you run if you have good sound and then the miles will just tick by! At least for me, that's how it usually works and that's why I love running with music.  
4. Rox Wireless has power-saving magnets - when you’re not using the ear buds, simply clip them together around your neck and the magnets will activate the power-saving mode.
5. Battery Power For Days! Literally! And it tells you via a verbal cue when it's time to recharge the battery. 
  • Talk Time: Up to 5.5 hours
    Talk Time is the maximum time you can talk before a device runs out of power
  • Standby Time: Up to 432 hours
    Standby Time is the maximum time a device can remain powered on
  • Music Play Time: 6 hour
    Music Play Time is the maximum time you can play music before a device runs out of power

6. I love not being tethered to my phone/iPod. I typically wear my iPod on my fuel belt and that can be tricky when you are trying to take it off to hit up a quick bathroom break during a race but your wires are laced through your shirt! Now that problem is solved. I can take off my belt, not be tangled, and hit the bathroom and go. 

If you are interested in buying your own pair, click here
They sell for $129.99 which really isn't bad considering how many other running items we buy that don't last long or we only wear for a few months. My example is the custom orthotics I had made for my feet to help with my plantar fasciitis. They cost over $100 + the cost of a Dr's visit and I wore them for two weeks and quit.   
The website says they offer free shipping to orders over $99 and orders ship within 1 business day. 
Still need more info? Check out Jeremy's review of the Jabra Rox Wireless Ear Buds here and you can read Angie's review here

Tips for Using Your Jabra Rox Wireless Earbuds

1. Since you'll be using your phone you probably are worried about your phone battery life playing music and using the Bluetooth feature, right?
Don't worry! Just turn your phone to Airplane mode, then connect via Bluetooth and you can still use your Jabra Rox ear buds and your phone battery won't drain as fast! I do it all the time with other Bluetooth devices and it's great! And it's not like you need to be sending emails in the middle of your run anyways. 

2. I always have my phone with me and my iPod Shuffle. Now I only need one. The Bluetooth set up is super easy. When you turn on your ear buds there is a voice that walks you through the process or you can just read the directions. 

3. Since the good people at Jabra know that all ears are not created equal, they offer three different sizes of buds and three sizes of the little wings to help you get the fit just right. So the first time you open up your new wireless ear buds, give yourself plenty of time to play with the fit to get them to stay in. It takes a little time to get the hang of getting the fit since you may need to try a few different combinations of buds and wings until you get the custom fit you need. 
Also - watch the video below for help.

If you are looking for a new pair of ear buds or looking to go wireless, I suggest these! 

Questions! Do you listen to music when you run or workout? What do you do on the plane to pass the time?

Alternate title for this blog post... 
The 5K That Went Too Far!

On Saturday The Hubbo and I, along with a group of our friends, ran the Purple Stride 5K here in Tulsa. This race may sound familiar to you if you've followed this blog for a while being as I ran it last October. For some reason, this year the race was moved up to August and moved to a slightly different location.  

This race is special to me because it is VERY special to a dear friend of mine. This 5k is a fund raising race that benefits PanCAN or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. My friend lost a loved one to Pancreatic Cancer so she raises money and awareness each year. The statistics associated with this disease are alarming and more people need to be aware that there is only a 6% survival rate which only means more research needs to take place so that we can Know It. Fight ItEnd It.

I'm very proud to say that the team I was a part of raised over $5,000 for PanCAN! Thank you to all who donated, bought tickets, ate at Chili's, and ran the 5k with us to raise money for this organization! 
Also, as a whole, Oklahoma raised over $99,000! Our team was excited to hear that we were the 4th place team in terms of money raised. 

By the way, this is the post I had originally planned to publish on Monday but with the ordeal about Turkey Mountain, it had to wait. You can read about the issue Turkey Mountain is facing HERE and you can still sign the petition HERE if you feel so inclined. BTW - I hope you feel so inclined :) and soon I'll post an update to the Turkey Mountain saga. Stay tuned! 

The Race

Saturday was a rough day for me running wise. The Hubbo and I got up at 4:30am and we were supposed to run 10 miles before the 5K to stay on track with our training plan. Key words: supposed to. It didn't happen. I took some medicine the night before the race to help with an ailment that popped up and it didn't sit well with me. When we left the house to go run our 10 miles on our own, we had to immediately turn around and go back home. By the time the 5k rolled around at 8:30, I was feeling better so we decided to go. 

We got to the race and parked no problem and met up with our team. Hello Laurie's Purple Warriors! Then we got lined up in the corral and started the race. My original goal was to finish the race in under 33 minutes. I'm not a hot weather runner and hadn't been feeling that great that morning. After the race started and we finished the first mile, I was surprised to look down at my Garmin and see that I was running in the 8:45-9:00 range! (That's fast for me) I was breathing hard but it didn't feel impossible. That is when it struck me. This is a timed 5k and I could possibly PR! Thank you speed work! Then we got to a water stop at 1.45 miles and I said to my two friends I was running with that I was going to make it to the turn around and then grab water on the way back. Well... that was a good theory.

We passed the water stop and kept running, and running, and running some more. I remember thinking to myself as we came up to the water stop that this must be what running towards the front of the pack feels like because we didn't see anyone already running back towards the finish while we were still heading out! It was too good to be true. Turns out, there wasn't a labeled turn around!  Then, finally, the guys at the front of the pack finally turned around and told us the turn around wasn't marked and to just turn go ahead and around. We finally did, but we had already ran close to 1.70 miles out, which means we had about 1.70 miles to get back. So much for my PR! Also I was sorta towards the front of the pack and after the turn around found myself at the back of the pack because the lead guys had told everyone about the lack of a labeled turn around. So around mile 2.8 I started to get really really hot and decided to stop pushing myself and had to run/walk it back in. 

Overall I still met my race goal and the time on the clock showed just under 33 minutes but it wasn't my best 5k or 3.4 mile race, whatever. I still love this race because it benefits PanCAN and I'll definitely be back next year! 

You can read my BibRave.com recap here

Question! Have you ever missed a turn in a race or ran too far? 

Today I had planned on publishing a totally different blog but something came up that simply can't wait another day. 
There's something I need to bring awareness to and I need to ask for your help! Here in Tulsa we have a wonderful Urban Wilderness Area called Turkey Mountain. It's a wonderful park/dirt trail system in Tulsa where there are miles and miles of trails for running, hiking, taking the kids for a picnic, riding your horse, mountain biking, taking amazing photographs of the skyline of Tulsa and so much more. This amazing little gem is in jeopardy. Last week it was announced that some private property adjacent to Turkey Mountain was sold to a development company, which plans to place a large high-end outlet mall in the area that will close some of the trails.
I know what you are probably thinking, "It was private property, what's the big deal?". The big deal is that the area they bought has miles of trails on it that the previous land owner had been wonderfully gracious enough to let the patrons of Turkey Mountain use even though they weren't in the care of the Tulsa River Parks Authority. And in return, the patrons of Turkey Mountain would care for and maintain the trails. The last volunteer day was in mid July and hundreds of people showed up to maintain the land and trails. It was truly a win-win situation for everyone. 

Here is a map of the area affected. The red box is where the new outlet mall will go. You can see that there are trails leading right into that area and that's the problem. 
Let's be clear, I'm not opposed to the outlet mall at all. I'm opposed to the location of the proposed outlet mall, especially when there is plenty of land nearby that isn't part of Turkey Mountain. 
I'm opposed to the increased traffic hazards that may come when runners/bikers mix with cars. We all know who wins and who loses in the scenario. 
I'm opposed to the domino effect that may take place which could lead to the entire area around Turkey Mountain being developed and reducing the amount of space we have left to enjoy. Here's what I mean by that...

According to a local news reporter, HALF of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is actually private property and could be sold! 
This map shows you the land that could be sold if further development of the area were to take place. It would clearly reduce the land dedicated to trails significantly, meaning the current 45 miles of trails could be reduced to just 15 miles! 

Here is where you come in. A petition has been started. I signed it already and I'm asking all of my running buddies to sign it. I know you may not live in the Tulsa area or you may have never stepped foot on Turkey Mountain, but there will come a day when this could happen to an area you love and you will want all the support you can get. Please sign the petition by clicking here.
The Hubbo and I have spent a lot of time up there on those trails and would hate to see it change to a parking lot for an outlet mall. Let's move the mall further south and leave Turkey Mountain alone. 
I think Country Crows says it best with this song...

Question! Has this ever happened to your favorite park? What did your city do?

Hi Running Buddies!

How has your week been so far? Got any big plans this weekend? I'm running the Oklahoma Purple Stide 5K . But first, let me tell you a fun little story about how my week started...

We had a little scare early Tuesday morning. Look at the picture to the left and that pretty much sums up this blog post in one dog shaming photo! 

That is my dog, Zoey. She's a 12 year old chihuahua who evidently decided we needed more excitement in our life on Tuesday morning. We typically keep her in the bathroom where she can't get into anything and she has room to move around, eat, and hang out in her dog bed. Tuesday when I left for work, I did my usual routine and put Zoey away, and then drove to the office. Around 8:30 I got a text from The Hubbo that the alarm had been tripped and he was going to check it out. I, being the paranoid person that I am, immediately assumed that there were at least 6 robbers breaking into our house again. (Yes, again!) So I left work, and met him at the house. I got there first but wasn't brave enough to go inside alone. When he got there, he had his bat and was ready to "crack some skulls". When we got inside we noticed the alarm had been tripped but it said it was from a motion sensor. Not an entry sensor. Weird. We originally thought maybe something fell over. Oklahoma has been having a TON of earthquakes lately. No joke! As we are walking through our living room looking for signs of something that was out of place, all of a sudden the couch moved and barked! 
And that's when we knew...
Yes, our 5lb dog had somehow let herself out of the bathroom (She's magic) and jumped up on our couch and set off the alarm! So the alarm dispatch company called The Hubbo who tried to give the password but they rejected it and the cops were called and had to come check everything out! Luckily the officer was nice and just checked The Hubbo's ID and we were back on our way to work.

Leave A Comment! Has anything silly/exciting happened to you this week?

PictureSpeed Work + August Heat = 1 Tired Ginger!
Hi Running Buddies!

How has your summer been? Or really, where did the summer go? It's hard to believe that it's already mid August and I'm already starting week 7 of my marathon training program today. It's been a while since I've posted a training update and last week was a really good week so I wanted to share it with you.

Monday - 30 Minute Boot Camp Class + 5 Mile Run
Tuesday - 30 Minute Boot Camp Class + 4 Mile Run
Wednesday - 30 Minute Boot Camp Class 
Thursday - 3.5 Mile Run - Hills
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - 12.3 Mile Run @Base Pace
Sunday - Rest Day

Summary: I ran about 25 miles and was able to cross train 3 times last week and have 2 full rest days. You all know how I feel about rest days! :) If you don't, you can read it here.

Goals for this week: Be better about foam rolling and trigger point ball massage/rolling for my feet, calf muscles, as well as my IT band and start breaking in my next pair of running shoes. 
I'm really focusing hard on not going back to the chiropractor unless I just absolutely have to!
I'd rather save my cash to spend when we are in Hawaii for the Honolulu Marathon!

Thanks to my pals at Bibrave.com you can save some cash (save 15%) on an entry fee to the Honolulu Marathon to by using this code: Bibrave15
I just added 4 more discount codes on my discount page on my blog, check it out!

Question! How many days a week do your cross train? How many days a week do you run?

You may have noticed a few weeks ago that a new badge showed up on my blog sidebar. Well now it's time to let you all in on my next big announcement! I decided to become an ENERGYbits Ambassador! 

In June, I wrote an open and honest review of ENERGYbits. It's a review that has been several months in the making and probably the most honest and detailed review I've ever written. The review I wrote got a pretty big and positive response so that is when I new it was time to join the team! Everyone seems so curious about these little green tablets. 
Over the past year I've interacted with ENERGYbits on Twitter and not only grew fond of their product, but the people behind the company as well. They are always so positive and encouraging, it's hard not to like them! 

Here's What's in it For You

The best part about being an ENERGYbits Ambassador is that I get to save other people money. Everyone knows that running can be expensive! Race fees, new shoes, nutrition, gear, and traveling, all that adds up. Being an ENERGYbits Ambassador means I'm eligible to have and share a discount code with everyone. That just means it's more cash you can spend on your next race entry fee.  You're Welcome!
But really, if I can help you save money on a product that has been so beneficial to me and helped me see so many new PRs over the last year, I'm all for it. Just let me know when you get your first PR while using your bits!! ::Insert Winky Face Emoticon Here::

Just for clarity's sake, I don't make money from being part of their ambassador program. I save money on their products and you save money on their products so it's a win-win all the way around. Also when people reach out to me and ask what nutrition I love, I'll have some good info to share with them as well. 

You can save 30% off of ENERGYbits with my code: RGR30 

Below I've included most my (updated) review on ENERGYbits so you can read in-depth as to why I love them so much. 

RunGingerRun's Review of ENERGYbits

What are they and how do you take ENERGYbits?
I take a single serving of bits before all my longs runs. I swallow 30 bits (one serving) about 15 minutes prior to the start of my run. ENERGYbits are food in tablet form made from 100% organically grown, Non GMO spirulina algae and have 40 nutrients. Each tablet is only 1 calorie but has a high protein content (64%) in each tablet. You take 30 at a time for energy the same way you would eat a handful of almonds or nuts for energy and not just one at a time.

Do they work?
For me, yes! Last fall when I finished my juice fast I needed race day nutrition that wasn't loaded with carbs and sugars. I remembered trying my sample of ENERGYbits and wanted to give them another shot. I bought an entire bag (1000 tablets) in August and started using them right away. I was very impressed that even though I was eating a low carb diet, I didn't crash on my long runs like I always did in the past. I just felt like I could keep going and better yet, I could keep going at the pace that I started out instead of slowing down or hitting the wall.

I also noticed that when I was done running I wasn't starving or craving sugar! It was such a nice change for me! Also I didn't get that blood sugar spike and then crash because they are mostly protein, which is what I need. 

Since I started taking ENERGYbits I was able to PR in every distance I ran over the last 9 months. I PR'd twice in the Half Marathon, PR'd twice in the 15K, PR'd once in the 5K, and PR'd once in the 10K.

The Hubbo has even taken them before a few races as well and managed to take several minutes off his half marathon PR for his first sub 2 hour half!

Since last fall, I've purchased 2 full bags of 1000 bits. Since I only use them for my long runs, races, or when I haven't been able to eat much before a run, they have lasted me a long time. Some people take them for every run, you can do that too or just the long ones. Totally up to you.

Where do I Buy ENERGYbits?
You can buy them online here. Since you get 1000 tabs and you only take 30 at a time, you are really buying your nutrition in bulk. They will ship them right to your door and then you just pop them in the refrigerator for safe keeping. 
Be sure to save money and use my discount code: RGR30

Are they hard on your stomach?
Not for me. Because they are made from a super food, spirulina algae, and not sugar, carbs, gluten, chemicals, or caffeine, I haven't had any tummy issues using them. 

Not Ready To Buy A Full Bag?
I totally understand that. I have samples for sale.
Each sample bag has 30 bits, or 1 serving, and will only cost $3 plus shipping. (Only in the lower 48 of the US) To buy some sample bits just send me an email to Sarah@RunGingerRunBlog.com and tell me how many you want and I'll send you my PayPal information. 
Or you can fill out my contact form on the upper right side of my blog. Or just click here. 

Question! What is your go-to race day nutrition plan?

Recently, I had to take 2 weeks off from running which you can read about here. But it gave me time to think about how I handled my forced break from running. I read other runner's blogs, a lot of them actually and I've noticed a common theme among runners and run bloggers. Everyone seems to be hating on their rest days lately. It's like some runners think if they can't train for 24 hours their world will end. I'm pretty sure it won't. 

Then I felt guilty. I felt like I wasn't a real runner. I, of course, wanted to run during my time off, but I knew that I shouldn't. (Doctor's Orders) So I didn't. I felt guilty because all these runners on the media are constantly talking about how they can't take a rest day without being stressed or feeling like they are going to fall apart and here I am just hanging out on the couch watching my shows! I was more worried about my fitness level declining and having to start back up after my break. I was only 2 weeks into my marathon training plan. 

I know some people say they need to run to relieve stress. I think that's great! You found a productive way to handle it. But, if you are that stressed that you can't focus on something else for 24 hours to give your body time to recover, you're doing life wrong. You need to check yo-self before you wreck yo-self!

So with my recent break from running I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not that kind of runner. 

I'm not that kind of runner that hates the idea of taking a rest day. Rest days are the best days in my opinion. I don't know about you, but training for a marathon takes up a lot of my time. I also have laundry, grocery shopping, bills to pay, a house, a yard to mow, a full time job, spending time with friends and family, and my favorite reality show, Big Brother, to keep me busy too. Plus lets not forget that I also cross train 2-4 days a week as well. A rest day, or two, is exactly what I need to catch up on all those things each week.

I'm not that kind of runner that goes on a rampage about how I had to sit out for a couple weeks. Sure, I wrote a blog about my recent MIA status from the blog and from running, but it was more an explanation as to why I've been so silent lately. Turns out that when I don't run as much, I have less to say on the blog. 

That being said, being injured totally sucks, I 100% get that. But you know what else sucks? Injuring yourself from skipping rest days. That kind of injury is 100% avoidable. 

I'm not that kind of runner that freaks out about the taper. If anything, I'm relieved when it is taper time. My body takes a beating during marathon training and I look forward to the lower mileage weeks to allow my body to recover so I'll be ready to go on race day. 

Here's the gist of this blog summed up into two memes.
Some runners are all like....
And I'm just over here like...

Question! What are you thoughts on rest days?