Category Archives: Nuun

An All New Nuun

Say that 10 times fast…

Nuun announced a change in formula this week AND a new flavor. My order of Mango Orange Energy hasn’t arrived yet but I’m excited to try it and will report back. In terms of the change in formula, I’m excited to see that they have swapped to plant based sweeteners (it was previously a sugar alcohol) and that they are certified gluten-free, dairy free, soy free and most importantly, clean sport certified. In a time when too many athletes are claiming that they didn’t know what they were putting in their body, it’s important for companies to provide this information and for us to take full responsibility for what we ingest. It’s also nicer on our stomachs to digest plant-based sweeteners rather than sugar alcohols.

Finally, Nuun is clearing out some retiring flavors on sale including cherry limeade, Kona Cola and lemon tea. None of these are my true loves (although I like lemon tea) but if you live for them, stock up now before they are gone forever.

Race Report: Craft Brew 5K Stowe 2015

Short Version: It was hot and I ran just fast enough to call it a workout and win a stein.

Long Version

Mike asked me to run this race earlier in the week as part of the brewery team for Frost Brew Works, where he moonlights when he’s not running the Catamount Outdoor Family Center. Races are always a great way to get a good effort in and there’s little I like more than a beer festival, so I happily signed up. I did not anticipate quite as much heat and humidity as we encountered with a noon start time, however.

We didn't realize HOW appropriate our team singlets would be for the day.

We didn’t realize HOW appropriate our team singlets would be for the day.

We arrived a little after 11 and managed to get the second to last reasonable parking space. Seth and I found our way to the crazy registration line then did our warmup, a bit of a misnomer since we were overheated already. My legs felt horrible on the warmup but I wasn’t expecting much at 86 degrees and 98% humidity plus a week of nights. The race start was a little delayed because they were having some parking issues (1 road in created a problem) but the organizers did a good job of communicating and we were off a little after noon.

And we're off...

And we’re off…

I had no goals for the day except to get a workout effort in and win the giant Stein if I could, while helping my team to a team win. I planned to go out in no faster than 6:20 for the first mile and in hindsight, I wish I’d stuck to that plan. Much like the Champlain Classic, I looked down a bit into the race and saw 5:40 something and had to put the brakes on. I went through the mile in 6:11, which felt totally fine at the time, but was probably the nail in my coffin.

Mile 2 was BAKING hot. We turned onto the bike path at some point and I distinctly remember thinking they’d moved the marker because it seemed so long. Other people started to come back to me during this mile, which was the only consolation. Somewhere in this mile, I stopped checking my watch because it was just so depressing. I resolved to focus on good form and tempo effort and just grind it out. My watch beeped long after the marker at 6:32.

By the third mile, I just wanted to be done. We were on the uphill section of the bikepath, there was no respite from the sun and to make things more miserable, someone was blowing dust to clean out a parking lot, creating a chokingly horrible few meters. Mile 3 was 6:51.

We finally turned onto the final stretch and I just did my best to keep it together to finish, which was about 6:12 pace. 20:30 has to be one of my slowest 5Ks ever, but when I looked around at the other finishers, it was clear that everyone had a similarly exhausting experience. After a few seconds of kneeling and taking an assessment of just how overheated I was, I found Mike, Seth and Will and we headed out on the cooldown. By the end of the cooldown (and 3 full water bottles of Nuun later), I was feeling back to my springy self and much better about the run.

I was first woman overall, but not by nearly as much as I thought, so I’m happy that I didn’t phone it in more than I did! We also won Biggest Team and Fastest Team, which meant that there were plenty of steins to go around.

My stein had yet to appear, so I went with an awkward pose instead. I was wearing shorts, by the way.

My stein had yet to appear, so I went with an awkward pose instead. I was wearing shorts, by the way.

Am I thrilled with this race? No. Am I worrying about it? Not one bit. It was hot and miserable and I just plugged along and got it done. I felt amazing by Saturday afternoon and ready to attack another week of training.

A note on the race series: Craft Brew Races is a relatively new race series that brilliantly pairs running and a brewfest in a reasonably priced ($55) package. I don’t usually do events like this because they are chaotic and not generally aimed at creating a good race environment but I was really pleasantly surprised with this production and am guessing that the creators are actually runners first. The course was well thought out (great loop), well marked and had professional timing, which meant that results were accurate and fast. The brewfest was great too; unlimited samples, which meant that you could dump out beers that you just didn’t like and a reasonable sized crowd so you weren’t waiting forever in line. They had a nice combination of local breweries (including some that we had never even heard of) and some better known breweries from Vermont and New England. I didn’t sample any of the food trucks but there were plenty of those too. Two thumbs up from me!

 

Week in Review: 4/20/15 to 4/26/15

An alternate title for this week in review could have been don’t burn the candle at both ends. What started last Sunday followed me through a truly miserable week of illness and fatigue that I just couldn’t shake. My time in Lewiston and Rotation 1 is almost done and besides the enormous amount of clinical learning, I’m also learning to accept this new normal of running for me.

Monday: Inspired by the Boston Marathon, I put 7.25 in through pouring rain and wind plus striders. Right hip pretty darn tight. Stomach feeling better but starting to get a wicked cold.

Tuesday: No run, thanks to the cold from hell. Couldn’t breathe or hear.

Wednesday: Spent all day in bed and was so restless by 5 that I went for an easy 4.3. Really dizzy but otherwise ok.

Thursday: Still dizzy and sick but went for my workout, figuring that effort above jogging still counted as a stimulus. 3 by 800 (2:59, 2:59, 2:55…woof) and 8 by 200. Total of 10 miles. Legs after.

Friday: Had a relatively quiet night shift on Thursday and got a few hours of sleep, so I drove home to surprise Will and the doggies for the weekend!! Glorious 5 miler around the golf course with my favorite running buddies. Arms after.

Saturday: Still feeling horrible. Dizzy, weak and couldn’t breathe so Coach Will took over and made me rest. Just a walk in the woods with the family.

Sunday: Workout 2 for the week. Paces still slow but starting to feel really smooth when moving fast(er). 2oo at R pace, 2 by 1000 (3:39, 3:42), 2 by 400 (81,82), 2 by 200 at R pace. 9.5 miles total. Legs after.

Total Miles: 36

I’m working on adjusting my attitude towards running and being grateful when I can get runs in and trying to let go of times when I can’t. I have one week left in Lewiston, which means that I’ll be back in Burlington in no time where I can run safely almost any time of day. I have the Champlain Classic next weekend and am looking forward to another opportunity to race.

A couple of articles from the week…

Really excited to try this new Nuun product when it comes out; could make Nuun the only thing I need for a marathon!

I’m not a parent so maybe I don’t get it, but I don’t see this move as inspiring and selfless like most people seem to; I’m in the obnoxious camp…

Similarly, I wish we’d get tougher on life after drug bans, both to send a message to young athletes that it’s unacceptable and to keep the playing field fair for those of us who don’t INTENTIONALLY INJECT EPO FOR ADVANTAGE. Sorry for the caps, but Hunter-Galvan didn’t even pretend to call it a mistake, she fully admitted that she doped to hang on to her competitiveness. Given that we still don’t know whether the benefits of doping continue for years, I feel horribly for the master’s women at Boston who were displaced from significant prize money.

How I Use Nuun and Discounts for Everyone!

Discount Code at the bottom!

As many of you know, I became a member of Team Nuun at the beginning of the year. Since then, I’ve been furiously working to test out as many of the Nuun products as I can so that I could do another product review for everyone and share how I’ve incorporated all the Nuun products into my running (and studying) life. Prior to being sponsored, I’d only used the Active as it was available in my local running store. Now that I have run of the farm, however, I’ve tried Natural, Energy and All Day.

Typical order in our house.

Typical order in our house.

Not as many people know why hydration is so critical for me personally. I have a heart…feature (hate the word condition) where even moderate dehydration can cause a significant rise in my heart rate, colloquially known as “holiday heart.” It is among the worst feelings in the world. For me, my heart hammers against my chest wall, I struggle to breathe and I can’t even hold my head up. I struggled with it a lot at the end of college when I was coaching sailing on Lake George (sun + long hours = disaster) but really hadn’t had a problem with it again until second year when my schedule got crazy and my hydration stopped being a major focus. During the fall, including one race, I had six runs where my heart went nuts and I had to pray I’d make it home. It’s always terrifying because I’m never totally sure whether it’s the inevitable time when it goes from tachycardia to arrhythmia. Because I’ve struggled with it recently, one of my quiet New Years Resolutions was to refocus on always being as hydrated as possible. With the exception of one or two skipped beats, I’ve been doing really well. So here’s how I use Nuun to support my running, prevent my holiday heart** and generally keep my life on track.

First Thing in the Morning

Nuun All Day: 95% of the time, I start the day with an All Day tab in my regular water bottle. It tastes great but doesn’t have the salt of the Active tabs so it’s an easy way to get 20 ounces of water down before you can even open your eyes.

Flavors: Blueberry Pomegranate and Tangerine Lime are my favorites, Grape Raspberry is good (and I usually never like Grape flavor), and Grapefruit Orange doesn’t work for me. I was bummed to find out that I don’t like the Grapefruit because I generally love that flavor.

Recommendation: Buy the Mixed 4 Pack first (60 tabs) to see what you like the best.

Lunch Time

Natural Hydration: This product appears to be missing right now from the Shop (I’ll ask about it), but this is the clear favorite in our house. In fact, now that I know it’s sold out, I just hid the last tube from Will. Tangerine Ginger is my flavor of choice and it is DELICIOUS. It’s made with Stevia so is a little sweeter, perfect to go with lunch and (try) to avoid diet soda with my sandwich.

3 PM Slump

Energy: This is where Nuun really started to shine for me. I started replacing my 3 pm cup of coffee with a Nuun energy instead and used this exclusively when I took Step 1 because it helped to quench my thirst AND keep me awake without the diuretic effect of coffee. The myth about coffee dehydrating you has been debunked (here and here, for example) but I still prefer to avoid the jitters that happen after a few cups or lay awake all night. One tablet contains 40 mg of caffeine, about half a cup of coffee and for me, it’s enough to get me through 3 pm with 20 ounces of fluid instead of 8.

Flavors: I love the Wild Berry, which also appears to be sold out right now. Lemon Lime is pretty good and I couldn’t do the Cherry Limeade; tasted like baby aspirin to me.

Recommendation: Buy the sampler pack and find out what you like, then try to sub out a cup of coffee for a bottle of Nuun. I haven’t been doing long enough runs to need hydration recently, but I’m also looking forward to using the Energy during long runs and races in lieu of caffeinated gels and to mixing it into Sarah-ade.

Post Workout

Active: The original and the one with lots of flavor choices! I have a Nuun Active after every run and sometimes two after hard workouts or between workouts. When you break down the electrolytes, it is isotonic with sweat (fancy word for same) so it satisfies the cardinal rule of fluid management: replace what you lost.

Flavors: I LOVE Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade, like Lemon Lime and Orange, tolerated Fruit Punch and BLECH NEVER AGAIN to Kona Cola. That being said, Will almost exclusively drinks Kona Cola, so I’d recommend trying it if you can because it seems to be polarizing. I cannot wait until Lemon Tea and Watermelon are back in season, because I suspect I’ll love both.

Recommendation: Pick a flavor you typically like and order one to try. The only one I’ve hated was Kona Cola, the rest were fine even if I didn’t love them. Flavors are introduced fairly regularly too, so keep an eye on the site for new ones.

Bonus

Nuun also has some cute gear, my favorite item of which is the Trucker Hat. My original one disappeared only to end up on my brother-in-laws head, so I had to buy a second one. Fits great, great color and perfect for wearing to the gym or up on the Podium after a race.

Discount for Everyone!

Finally, the only reason you read all these words, is that from now until March 26th, everyone who shops with Nuun and uses the code “LuckyNuunFriends” gets 20% off almost all the products on the site! This is a great way to try out Nuun for the first time or stock back up before the temps climb again. If you shop between now and March 17th, you also get a free St. Patrick’s day pint glass. Your call on whether you use it for beer or Nuun…

**Although I am halfway to being a Doctor, this is not intended to be medical advice nor should it be interpreted as such. If you have a similar or any medical condition, please seek the care of your physician.