#FuelYourPhenomenal – January Runner Box

Just to get some technicalities out of the way – I pay for my Runner Box subscription every other month and this is a totally organic, thoughts-are-my-own, post. I’m a real sucker for subscription boxes. As I prepare for a few travel adventures and home improvement projects this year, I actually had to scale back and cancel a few of them to save some cash (sorry, Birchbox… Ipsy beat you this time). Of course because I’m training for the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon, Runner Box was definitely not on the chopping block. (Side note, use the codeĀ RNRRNB2018 to save $15 on your RNRSD registration!) To break up the monotony of “here’s how I trained this week” or “here’s the stomach pain ruining my life today” posts, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite and not-so-favorite items from the January Box.

Favorites:

  • Alllll the snacks. I am currently living off of a 90% paleo diet (still eat Greek yogurt), so I’ve been very focused on reading every ingredient of everything I purchase. This month’s R Bar was my favorite snack of the bunch. It was peanut butter and jelly flavored – how could I object?? Peanut butter anything (especially with chocolate) is my weakness. R Bar is dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free and non-gm with just three ingredients that make it rock.
  • Vermont Village Vinegar Shot. I used to take apple cider vinegar daily because of its many positive health effects, but as I slowly discover what’s too acidic for my body and thus causes pain, I learned that the beloved ACV is one of the perpetrators. This product, though, is a 1 oz. shot of ACV with blueberries and honey, which helped to cut the acidity and of course make it more delicious. The other night, I was feeling quite sore and inflamed, so I thought this would be a good time to test the shot (man, now that I think of it… I missed an opportunity by not taking it in a shot glass. That’s 34-day Sober Sara talking.) Anyway – the next morning, I definitely felt some of the swelling in my hip go down, but that could also be attributed to foam rolling and an epsom salt bath.
  • Biena Chickpea Snacks – I was on-the-go all weekend and slipped these in my purse, knowing I’d get hangry. They were very filling and a great healthy snack for the movies – though I was jealous of everyone enjoying their wonderfully-smelling buttered popcorn.

Dislikes:

  • RunGum – I used to have a daily routine of a piece of gum on my way to work but when it was suggested that this habit might contribute to my stomach pains, I quickly (but sadly) cut that out as well. It’s another one of those things (like ACV) that I will have every once in a blue moon. So, a piece of gum that provided energy for a six-mile run seemed like a great time to be blue. Wrong. This stuff was terrible! I had a “mint” flavor that was more like a gasoline flavor. The texture was also very rough and never truly squish-ified (solidified felt like the wrong word) for a normal gum experience.
  • Endurance Tap Natural Energy – Okay, I’ll admit, the product gave me a great energy boost, but it was maple-flavored, and I loathe anything maple-flavored. I’d certainly be open to another flavor!

I really do love my Runner Box and especially opening my mail to the motivational quotes included on the box and many of the products. Oh! This month’s box also included a monthly calendar with runner-focused quotes and important race dates. It’s hanging on my wall!

Happy running this weekend, folks! For me, its a quick four miler before I get my first cheat day of the year thanks to the Super Bowl – ahem – “Big Game.” Go JT!

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Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

Well folks, I’m halfway there! I’m still, kind of, recovering from my third half marathon over the weekend. I say kind of, because I’ve yet to take a day off from working out. Please don’t be like me. It’s sick. (Don’t worry, I’m being very wary of injury. Lots of stretching, soaking, stretching more and advil.)

First and foremost, I have to thank Natasha and her family for being such wonderful company over the weekend and allowing me to crash their party. It’s always wonderful to have a few friends by your side to ease the nerves and celebrate the after.

Second, nothing proves how much running gear you have than when you have to pack for an out-of-town race. Proof: here’s everything I packed aside from a Lion King tank top.

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Included in my packing list: GU Energy Gels, Body Glide, wicking socks, rolling stick, Nuun electrolyte tabs, running fanny, Beats Wireless In-Ear Headphones, portable phone charger, Run Disney race waiver, Fitbit, Ibuprofen, sparkly headband, Old Navy compression pants, Nike sports bra, tank and sweater, and of course, the Darth Vader skirt and matching hat… which I ended up not wearing.

One of the running perks that comes with big races is the expo and packet pick-up. Tons of goodies, samples and things to buy. My favorite acquired item? A sparkly headband that says “May the SPARKLE be with you.” If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that there probably is no better headband for me to own.

The bummer news about the race is that I was in corral E. I was most definitely one of the last two hundred people to start the race which meant I started about 30 minutes later than planned. But once across the starting line, I felt bliss – I was finally marking something off my bucket list!

Miles one through five were throughout Disneyland and California Adventures. Most of the time it was exhilarating, but then there were times where I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. Trying to fit 10,000 runners through one entry gate and a back alley into Disneyland is probably the worst idea in the entire world. As I looked down and saw that I was pacing 14 minutes per mile, I could feel all the anxiety running through my body. Knowing that I didn’t want to waste my energy on the petty stuff, I tried to take deep breaths and – oh hey! There’s Chewbacca! Space Mountain! Storm Troopers! Big Thunder! I can’t wait to ride all of these! You see… those first few miles, though aggravating at times, were quickly shoveled aside by the atmosphere. Here I was, Sunday morning at the butt crack of dawn doing one of the things I love most at one of the places I love most. The Castle, Main Street, the Ferris Wheel, Cars Land, oh my!

The rest of the course took us on a tour of Anaheim – did anyone see that giant hotel with all of the giant indoor water slides?? I’m in. When does it open?

I do wish there was more Disney during the race – in the sense that once you’re done with the parks, you kind of forget you’re doing a Disney race. It’s mostly residential, parks and businesses the rest of the way. Too bad Target wasn’t open. I could’ve used a Cliff Bar. But the people of Southern California did a great job of dressing up in Star Wars costumes and planting themselves at random stops along the way. At one point, about mile eight or nine, I was staring at ten Darth Vaders plus a mini Vader. Someone even dressed their car as R2d2. Side note… I don’t think the guy with the Delorean got the memo.

Usually between miles eight and ten are when I start to feel the need to hop in a disgusting port-a-potty but I can humbly say that I, Sara Robbins, successfully made it through a long distance race without the dreaded Runner’s Shits. Seriously. I was soooo looking forward to every part of this race except the though of walking around Disneyland afterwards and having to leave the two hour Space Mountain (errr… Hyperspace Mountain) to barely make it to a toilet. I feel confident that between my pre-run electrolyte stock-up and taking advantage of Powerade at every aid station, I waved a big middle finger to ye’ old trots.

At mile 12, I got my runner’s high. I was ready. Let’s get this last mile done baby – you’re on your way to churro gold. And before I knew it, I was done. Two hours and thirty eight minutes later – I tried not to be too disappointed with my time as I reminded myself of the park cluster and instead gave a big ol’ fist bump to those who finished with me and accepted my medal with style and grace… and a post-race waddle. Half marathon number three was officially in the books.