It’s Our Holiday! {National Running Day!}

Happy National Running Day, everyone!

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…for my sanity. For my daughter. For myself. Running has completely changed me for the better and I’m so thankful for it, even if I did find it a little later on in life than most people.

How would YOU answer that question? And whatever your running plans are for today, how are you planning to fuel after that run?

If everything pans out, by the time you’re reading this post I should have logged 4 miles and then Charm City Run has a 2 mile fun run event planned for 6pm that I will be attending. And after all that I can tell you exactly how I will be fueling because it will be the same way I’ve been fueling for the past two days.

It’s DELICIOUS. 

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Introducing Post GN–that stands for Grape-Nuts–Fit Cranberry Vanilla granola and I hardly got it out of the shipper before having to taste it. I couldn’t even be bothered to take a decent package shot first before tearing in. What can I say? Vanilla is my favorite.

This granola is my FAVORITE. 

Some nutrition information can be found HERE. This protein-packed, whole grain yumminess tastes like dessert without an overload of sugar. I guess I could have put it in yogurt or something, but Betty and I opted to enjoy it straight out of the bag. Including seconds and thirds.

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I’m sure you can tell by her face that she was loving every bite. The only thing I wasn’t loving was how much granola that she dropped on the floor in the process, but hey…if she’s eating something healthy I can let things like that slide.

I’ve been an original Grape-Nuts fan ever since I was a little kid and my mom used to buy it, so I’m thrilled to see them branching out to include granola in their product lineup and focus on making their mark in the fitness market. Grape-Nuts kindly provided me with some helpful fitness tips; all of them so important to keep in mind on National Running Day or just on any running day in general!

Grape-Nuts Fitness Tips

Whether you’re a light runner or a tri-athlete, it’s important to mix up your workouts. Cross training, weight training, yoga and Pilates are great ways to add variety, work different muscles, and will make you stronger overall.

Don’t forget to refuel. After a long run, your muscles fibers begin to breakdown. In order to repair them properly, they need to be replenished. Grape-Nuts Fit offers a healthy combination of carbs, fiber and protein to give your muscles the nutrients they need to recharge.

After your run, always remember to stretch your muscles, especially your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves, to prevent injury and increase flexibility.

Be sure to stay hydrated. Water helps balance fluids and prevents feelings of hunger between meals. Carrying a reusable bottle makes it easy to refill often, aiming for 3 liters a day.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is just as important as exercise and eating healthy. To allow for extra sleep time, plan ahead by meal prepping for the next day and putting out your workout gear the night before.

I know for me personally, the sleep thing is my biggest challenge. As is the meal prep thing. I think I have some work to do.

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Are you a granola fan? Have you tried Grape-Nuts Fit? How will YOU be celebrating National Running Day today??

xo,

Salt

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Running on Cloud 9. {Hoka One One Clifton Review}

First of all…HAPPY MARATHON MONDAY!!!!!

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And good luck to all the wonderful people running today. I’ll be thinking of you and following some of you online! (AMBER! TANTRA!)

Now it’s time to talk about shoes again.

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Please meet my new Hoka One One (pronounced o-nay o-nay just in case you all were saying it like the number…which I did for a very long time).

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They are the Clifton model. I’ll be honest…when I found out I was going to be reviewing this shoe, I was hoping I would receive this color. Aren’t they awesome?

This is not my first go around with Hoka. I purchased my first pair of Clifton awhile back after posting on an online running message board asking for opinions. I had heard that they are a great neutral shoe for runners with various aches and pains and if you’ve been around my blog for awhile you’ll know that I’ve got the market cornered on aches and pains.

First let’s look at the stats.

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  • Ultra-Lightweight No Sew SpeedFrame Construction
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
  • Full Length HIP CMEVA Midsole
  • Full Ground Contact Design
  • Strategic Hi-Abrasion Rubber Zones

Source: HokaOneOne.com

The Clifton has a heel/toe drop of 5mm (28mm heel/23mm forefoot) and weighs in a whopping 6.6 oz. I was completely astounded the first time I picked one up. At a glance, the midsole, which is up to 2.5x the volume of a standard running shoe – they call it “maximalist” rather than “minimalist” – makes the Clifton appear to be heavy as a brick. Instead the lightweight, greater-rebounding foam makes you feel like you’re running on a cloud. For a runner with wonky legs, the extra shock absorption is a welcomed thing.

The little arrows on the shoe illustration up there refer to the signature meta-rocker geometry. One of the things that the Hoka One One design is known for is transitioning a runner away from a heel strike. I am not a heel striker so right out of the box running in them feels pretty natural for me although getting used to having so much shoe under my foot was a bit of a learning curve. See also: this post from the other day when I talk about falling down. There was a little bit of a break-in period with the Clifton as well, but that’s because the more I wore them the more my foot formed into the cushiony midsole. That is one of my favorite features of this shoe; it almost feels as if they are made specifically for your feet. I didn’t realize how worn out my old Hoka were until I put on the new ones.

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I think this progressive run is a pretty great illustration of how versatile the Clifton can be.

Due to all that aforementioned cushioning, the Clifton has quickly become my long run shoe of choice. Interestingly enough though, because they are also so lightweight, I have also done intervals in them (after getting  used to the size of the midsole of course…that would NOT have been hilarious to take a spill on the treadmill during one of my repeats). Since I’ve been dealing with my lower back injury and subsequently keeping my fingers crossed for some kind of miracle recovery before this weekend, I’ve been wearing the Clifton a lot because they are the most comfortable shoes in my closet.

One other thing to consider…I’ve found that for me personally, the Clifton runs large. I typically wear an 8.5 in running shoes and after sliding around in my first pair of of Hoka for a couple days I realized that an 8 would be the perfect fit for me. (And they were nice enough to let me exchange them.)

I think I’m a Hoka One One fan for life. They even look good with dress pants.

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The Clifton retails for $130 on www.HokaOneOne.com.

 Have you tried Hoka? What do you think of them? Are you following the marathon today??

xo,

Salt

Runner’s World provided me a pair of Hoka One One Clifton for review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. These shoes are fabulous!

Tangled. {Not Disney related…a Cordskinz review & giveaway!}

I am a music runner. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t have anything to listen to while I’m out there (except for maybe if it were a really, really long run), but I definitely prefer it. Music motivates me and can quiet my mind if I’m in a tough spot. I run with my phone and a pair of Yurbuds which are much better than the old pair of iPhone ear buds that I used to use that never wanted to stay in my ears.

Aside from the whole staying put in my head factor, another feature of Yurbuds is that the cords are supposedly anti-tangle. This was a huge selling point for me because I am known to carelessly toss everything into my gym bag when I’m running out of the house and would then end up wasting a good 10 minutes trying to untangle the iPhone ear bud wires. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Yurbuds and I think they are great, but although the are definitely more tangle-free than my old headphones, I occasionally have issues with them.

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They were hopelessly tangled when I was trying to get all geared up for my long run on the trail the other weekend and I got so frustrated that I threw them across my car and then had to waste even more time trying to dig them out from under the seat. Then I remembered…rather than go through all this again, why not put the CordSkinz that were so generously sent to me to try out to good use?

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Honestly I felt a little Intimidated by them at first. Because CordSkinz are custom fit, they come with a stripping tool that you use to fit the skin around your headphone wire. The package says “simple to use”, but I was still skeptical. As crafty as I can be sometimes I am generally terrible at using tools, putting things together or following instructions and expected that this would end up as some kind of disaster.

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This ended up not being the case. Installing my CordSkinz was a breeze. I had both sides fitted and trimmed within a few minutes. But would these really make a difference?

Actually yeah they do. I rolled my wires up the way I usually do which always causes them to become  knotted up in my gym bag. I could shake them out with one hand. No tangles! Pretty cool!

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The other concern I had was that these would add an extra, unpleasant amount of weight on to my headphones. I really couldn’t tell a difference and then after wearing them on the elliptical at the gym (because that’s what I’m doing during Week 15 of marathon training instead of running…AWESOME) I’ve decided I’m a fan because it keeps the wires from bouncing obnoxiously around.

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I’m happy with my CordSkinz. I would also be happy to give one of you a pair.

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ENTER HERE!! >>>  CordSkinz Giveaway!

This giveaway runs from right now until next Tuesday at midnight. Good luck to everyone that enters!

Do you run with music? What kind of headphones do you have?

xo,

Salt

I was provided with a set of CordSkinz to review and one to give away. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.