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

Happy National Running Day, everyone!

556863d337877.image

…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. 

IMG_6896

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.

IMG_6911

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.

IMG_9151 4x6 small

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

xo,

Salt

Advertisements

Great things come to those who hydrate! {SoftFlask review & giveaway!}

One of the most important things to keep in mind while you’re running, cycling, yoga-ing, or taking part any other type of physical activity is how you’re hydrating. Thank you, Captain Obvious. But seriously not hydrating properly can seriously affect your performance and cause all sorts of terrible things to happen.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that up to this point I was not running with water. During races, I utilize the stations as I need them, but on my solo runs all I’ve been carrying is GU and the occasional sports bean and nothing else. I knew as soon as my marathon training kicked into higher gear – like right around NOW if my leg would please cooperate – I was going to need to invest in a hydration belt or find some other way to carry water on me. Then as luck would have it, I was conveniently contacted with some information on a  cool product that I had never heard of before…probably because it was just released in January! It’s called the SoftFlask by Hydrapak.

2011_Hydrapak_Logo

Check this out. It’s a water bottle…

hydrabottles

…that collapses down to super compact smallness once the liquid is removed.

bottlecollapse

I used to have this awesome plastic camping cup as a kid that you could flatten and pack away. This kind of reminded me of the sporty adult version of that idea, so color me intrigued.

These RF welded polyurethane SoftFlasks are made of the same kind of material that Hydrapak uses in their hydration packs which means they are very durable. They are also very flexible which allows them to be compressed as you drink your water and conveniently stowed in the smallest of spaces; even in your pocket! The SoftFlask is BPA-Free – which was the first thing I looked for on the label because when I became a mom I also became psychotic about BPA content – and they come in 3 different sizes: 12 oz, 17 oz and 25 oz. My 1980’s plastic camping cup only came in one size and I bet it was bursting with BPAs.

I was sent a 12 and 17 oz version to try out and I was all set to take one out for a test run. Then about 5 seconds later, I landed myself on the disabled list. Great.

So instead for the past couple weeks this bottle has become my best friend at hot yoga class. It has also joined me at the gym to log many, many, many bike miles. Everymove told me I biked more than 100 miles last week, which I think is pretty beast mode. I must have been really well hydrated.

pak

Here is my SoftFlask full of water, ready to hydrate me as I spend 90 minutes on the mat.

And here’s what happens as I drink! Neat!

collapsed

One thing I really like about this bottle is that you can twist the cap to shut off the flow of water, even if the bottle is squeezed. Which means I can throw it in my bag and not have to worry about it leaking all over my stuff, which has happened quite a few times with traditional water bottles. My MOST FAVORITE THING OF ALL, however, is the bite valve.

The bite valve is amazing because all you need to do to drink your water is bite and squeeze. Not that I recommend anyone drink water while in an inversion, but I tried it standing on my head and it was pretty awesome.* It’s also great for a quick drink right in the middle of a bike ride. I imagine it’s even more awesome right in the middle of a run. Not that I’d know for sure right now.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a tiny violin playing the world’s saddest song.

LeBron-James-Smallest-Violin-Gif

Anyway, as if the fact that I’m really hydrated now wasn’t good enough news, here’s some more: I’m giving one of these away!

hydra500

I present to you this lovely mid-sized SoftFlask that will be coming to hydrate one of you to your heart’s content. And for the first time ever, my giveaway has a second prize! The second person drawn is going to win a little grab bag of my fuel of choice…GU!

GU

GU Brew, and Roctane, and Chomps. Oh my.

Gosh I love giveaways! It makes me feel a little like Santa except not nearly as large or beardy. (As of Saturday we will be nearly the same age though.)

Here’s what you need to do:

Mandatory Entry: Leave me a comment telling me what you would put in your SoftFlask. I’m strongly considering drinking wine out of mine at some point. Because hello? Bite valve.

Additional Entries:

And of course here’s a Rafflecopter because that’s how I roll over here:

Great things come to those who hydrate! SoftFlasks rock!

This giveaway will run until midnight EST next Tuesday and the winners will be announced on that day! Good luck, everyone!

~ Salt

* I will gladly have someone snap a photo of me standing on my head drinking out of my SoftFlask upon request.

All opinions about the Hydrapak SoftFlask expressed in this blog post are my own. I was provided with products for review, but this in no way influenced the outcome. My experience was stellar and I hope yours is too!