The Perfect Recovery Beverage: Monkey Shake

One big key to recovery is replacing calories within an hour of exercise. In fact, new research suggests that the window is closer to 30 minutes. It’s this research that has allowed chocolate milk to get a legitimate foothold in the sports drink marketplace and for good reason: chocolate milk has a nice balance of protein and carbs and is easy to get down. If you’re like me, however, and can’t do dairy, chocolate milk post-workout can make you downright miserable. In trying to find something similarly easy but easier on my stomach, the Monkey Shake was born. It keeps the drinkability of chocolate milk but boasts more carbs and protein plus a healthy dose of potassium to replete electrolytes.

Ingredients are simple:

  • Frozen Banana (buy a bunch on sale, peel and throw in the freezer)
  • 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk
  • 1 scoop of Vanilla ON Gold Standard Whey**

Blend until mixed. The frozen banana gives it a great texture without having to add ice.

Makes two full glasses when you blend it for 30 seconds. Delicious!

Makes two full glasses when you blend it for 30 seconds. Delicious!

Lowfat chocolate milk is similar but has some fewer carbs and a lot less protein.

Lowfat chocolate milk is similar but has some fewer carbs and a lot less protein.

**Whey protein does have some dairy in it, so if you are allergic to milk protein, use a different source. For me, a serving of whey protein doesn’t bother my stomach. I use ON Gold Standard Whey because I can pronounce all of the ingredients on the side of the tub and because it’s one of the few powders that is guaranteed to be free of banned substances.

Costco sized bag is the best price, for what it's worth.

Costco sized bag is the best price, for what it’s worth.

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? What’s your go to recovery food/drink?

Team Nuun 2015!

If you follow me on Twitter or watch this blog really, creepily closely, you already know the following: I will be running for Team Nuun in 2015! As you know, I tried Nuun last year and it got me through a very hot, humid summer of high mileage. I’m looking forward to using it year round, especially as I head into the crazy clinical months and to sharing new products with you on a regular basis as Nuun expands its offerings. Also to driving my team crazy with my trucker hat.

Nuun Badge

A few months ago, Will, Joe (my running shoe guru and manager-type) and I decided that it was time for me to begin pursuing some sponsorships to help support my running and Nuun is the first company to announce it’s 2015 plans. I know many readers have never done the sponsorship thing, and I’m hopeful this won’t be my last announcement for 2015, so I thought I’d give a little education on the process, the commitment and my commitment to you to be transparent about products.

As you’ll see around the internet in the coming weeks, many companies are announcing their sponsorships. Just yesterday at practice, Wylie found out he’ll be on Giant’s pro team and Eric got picked up by Rossignol for the season. For those of us who spend our athletic lives somewhere between weekend warrior and elite, these sponsorships allow us to continue to compete at a high level when we don’t make more than a few thousand a year from races. Most semi-elites look for support with shoes, apparel and nutrition/hydration. In picking up Nuun, I’ve covered the hydration component of my training.

Applications for sponsorship are a lot like a mini job application; you send in your performance information, your social media contacts and answer a few questions on why you like the company, what unique qualities you bring and usually, how you’ll make sure to create an inclusive running (or active) community. It’s this last piece that really attracts me to the sponsors I’ve reached out to this year. I carefully selected companies with products that I currently use that also have demonstrated that they care about every runner, from the winner to the last person to cross the line. That philosophy is important to me as a coach and as a runner, and I want to be paired with companies who feel the same way.

So what’s the commitment? Basically, I talk about Nuun in the context of how I use it in training and racing. I’m required to wear a Nuun logo while racing (I’ll probably do an arm tattoo, unless it’s an IAAF race then…I’ll figure it out) and to help out at events where Nuun is involved. Since they have great Trucker Caps, I’ll plan to wear that when I go up on the podium to accept awards.

One of my biggest concerns in blogging is transparency. I’m not one for many sponsored posts or affiliate links and nothing makes me unfollow a blog faster than when I get the sense that someone is just shilling a product just to shill. There are actually very strict rules about what bloggers have to say when a post is sponsored or a product is provided but these rules aren’t always followed. Here’s what you can expect from me with the Nuun sponsorship and any other sponsorships/affiliate relationships going forward:

  • Clear announcement (just like this one). When the email came in yesterday, I did a little jump and squeak in the kitchen because this is really, really, really exciting for me. I work so hard at running and something like this helps me out enormously. In announcements, you can expect information on why I went after that company, what I like about them and what my commitment to them is.
  • Disclosures, always. I will be getting product to test out over the coming year and as always, I will let you know who paid for it and tell the honest truth, even if it’s not positive.

Anyone else hear on sponsorships this week? New Team Nuun-ers checking out the blog?

USATF NE Grand Prix 2015

The USATF NE Grand Prix was announced on Monday, which may not seem like headline news to most. For me, it will help finalize my calendar for 2015. The biggest item is that the marathon was moved to be Vermont City. I didn’t plan to do a spring marathon this year (because I am focusing on a fall OTQ attempt) but VCM being the USATF marathon changes a lot for me.

USATF NE Schedule

Have you done the USATF Grand Prix races before? Anyone racing as soon as February 22nd?

Week in Review: 12.8.14 to 12.14.14

Whelp. It was almost a great week of running! The week started with some good runs and we even managed to run outside throughout the entire three day storm that socked Burlington and I was looking forward to a weekend of great runs. And ran exactly 0 miles on Saturday and Sunday. Goodbye Streak. On Saturday, I coached our first nordic race of the season at Craftsbury and my ankle BLEW up on the first lap. I think it’s fine but just wasn’t used to the amount of pushing off I was asking of it. When I got home, I decided it was silly to run a mile for a Streak and risk an injury and figured I’d just make it up with a slightly longer long run on Sunday. On Saturday night, a friend had a medical emergency and I spent the night with him in the Emergency Room. Everyone was wiped by 6 am and I slept for a few hours, losing the precious time I cut out of studying for running.

Life goes on. Ultimately, I’m still in my relative rest period until the new year and there are things far more important than hitting arbitrary mileage. I’m starting to get used to my new studying routine and hopeful that the new running routine that I’ve built around it will continue to help me get a solid run in each day. I’m also excited for the New England Grand Prix to get announced this week so that I can solidify my race schedule!

Monday: Freezing cold 5 mile extended campus loop with Will.

Tuesday: Snuck in 7.2 slippery miles before the storm really set in.

Wednesday: 5.3 miles in the midst of the snowstorm. Lifted arms in the basement.

Having a gym in our basement is a game changer. Still looking for a treadmill and our collection will be complete.

Having a gym in our basement is a game changer. Still looking for a treadmill and our collection will be complete.

Thursday: 3.5 miles in the slush/ice/snow. Ankle starting to bug me from so much stabilization. Core in the basement.

Friday: 6 mile loop through Winooski. Finally starting to get cleared, but still rocking Icebugs.

Saturday: Skiing at Craftsbury for 6 hours.

Sun trying to come out on Saturday. Awesome early snow made for great skiing.

Sun trying to come out on Saturday. Awesome early snow made for great skiing.

Sunday: Lots of hours in my desk chair.

Total Miles: 27

How To Run Through a Snowstorm

Our most recent storm has been more like March than December, featuring heavy wet snow and periodic showers of “ice pellets.” In short, it’s nasty out. The right gear makes all the difference, though, and we had a mostly enjoyable run through the snow and ice. The only thing I was missing was a pair of clear shade; the ice pellets were painful when they hit eyes!

Accurate facial expression for the weather.

Accurate facial expression for the weather.

My must-haves for snowstorm runs:

Skida Headband: Absolutely the best active headbands on the market. Vermont-made and worth checking out.

Brooks Nightlife II: Make sure plows see you!

Nathan Poptop Gloves with fully reflective top: Warm, water resistant and more visibility.

Saucony Omni Tight: The best winter tight I’ve ever owned; perfect for a single layer to 10 degrees.

Icebugs: If you live in snow country, invest in these. I ran outdoors throughout all of Ice-pocalyse last year without a single issue.

A Followup on the Runner’s Body

I’ve written about this issue before, but every so often a fellow runner/blogger writes a post so great, it’s worth sharing with everyone. Muir, with special guest Lauren Kleppin, talks about how it’s unrealistic to expect to be in top form year round and about accepting weight fluctuations in the off season as part of the cycle. I am so encouraged that in the last year, more and more runners (and really fast runners) have spoken out against the body “ideal” and injected some truth into the conversation about weight and running. For a long time, the casual observer (or runner) was led to believe that elites were in perfect shape year round and it’s nice to see honesty about this especially as we enter the winter when so many people get discouraged with their weight and fitness.

What do you think about Tina and Lauren’s post? How do you mentally deal with off-season weight changes?

Don’t follow Tina’s blog? You should. Good food, solid writing and a lot of introspection into the life of an elite who isn’t afraid to be honest about the shitty days.

Week in Review: 12.1.14 to 12.7.14

I’m struggling to believe we’ve made it to the last month of 2014 when I feel like it just began. To help me get oriented, Mother Nature is in full winter effect. Precipitation yesterday plus plummeting temperatures turned Burlington into the set of Frozen and I spent much of my long run today tiptoeing across sheets of ice. On Tuesday into Wednesday, we’re looking at a bomber of a storm, with 2 inches of snow an hour.

Iced over driveway this morning. Didn't get much better throughout the day.

Iced over driveway this morning. Didn’t get much better throughout the day.

I ended November with 154 miles, including a full week of off days, some of my lowest miles since surgery. It’s been fun going out for 2 to 3 mile runs.

Monday: 4 mile run with nordic team, 5 minutes of tuck drills, 200 crunches and 100 pushups.

Tuesday: 6.4 mile run. Stomach felt horrible.

Wednesday: Easy 4 mile run with the team.

Thursday: 2.5 mile run. Stomach bug in full effect.

Friday: 5 mile run followed by 2 mile run with hill bounding in between at practice. 200 crunches/100 pushups.

Saturday: 3.5 mile run in the slush and ice. Scary.

Sunday: 10 mile long run in feels like 4 temps and ice with Laurel. Did an hour outside then went indoors to finish up because we were freezing. Lifted arms afterward.

Total Miles: 37.4

Slowly getting back into it. I’d hoped for 40 miles this week but didn’t quite get there. I’m struggling to balance boards studying with school, running and coaching but starting to figure out a schedule. Aiming for 42 miles this coming week (10%), but will have to be flexible with the forecast. Looks like I have to get out Tuesday morning if I’m running that day!

Who’s still streaking? How’s the weather where you are?