5 Spring Running Tips

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When you think about difficult running weather, what comes to mind? Apparently for me it’s Winter and Summer. I’ve written several posts on that subject. What I’ve never written about? Spring running tips! Spring may be lovely, but it roars in with its own set of challenges.

I know, I know — we’re almost in summer. But some of you are still dealing with cooler temps — I hope you find something to help you here.

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Yup, this was Spring!

Wardrobe Amnesia
I still sort of consider myself a new runner, and I’ve been running for 10 years. You would think I have dressing down pat, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong! Winter and Summer can have their own challenges when it comes to dressing, but for most of us it will either be warm or cold.

Spring can have all four seasons in one day.

What’s a weather weary runner to do? It’s all about the layers! Windbreakers, arm warmers, jackets or tops that zip and unzip — they’re all your friend. You’ll probably be freezing before you run, but you’ll warm up quickly and either need to unzip, tie something around your waist, or shed a layer if that’s a possibility.

Also remember you need to look at way more than the temperature. I see this again and again: but it’s 55F out! Is it cloudy? Is it windy? Is it humid? What’s the dew point? 55 can feel an awful lot like 45 — or 60!

Try to keep your core, your head, and your hands & feet warm — doing so will make you feel warmer overall.

Different runners have different tolerances for cold and heat. You need to know what’s comfortable for you, and don’t worry about those runners in the shorts over there (or the ones in sweatshirts).

April Showers
In almost 8 years of running half marathons, I have only run one in April. April can be nice, but there’s a reason they talk about April Showers. My half was called Mud & Chocolate, was outside of Seattle, and totally lived up to its name — but I knew that going in.

If you choose in the middle of Winter to sign up for an April race, don’t be surprised if it’s not warm. Obviously its location can make all the difference, but everywhere except the south the weather can be very dicey in April (and even in the South!).

If you do get caught in a rainy race or training run, a baseball cap with a long brim (or at the very least a baseball cap with a brim!) just might be your new best friend. Raincoats have a tendency to not actually be very breathable, causing you to feel like you’re running in a sauna — or be too breathable, not keeping you dry. Ponchos (or the ever popular garbage bag) may be better option.

And do not forget the lube! Friction + wet = a recipe for pain

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This was an April race. There was snow on the ground just a couple of days before. On this one I would have been better off without the vest, though (always so hard to decide)

Even Worse: Snow Showers!
Yup, Spring Blizzards are a real thing. Heck, three years ago I did a half in Maine on a May Saturday. It was unseasonably warm. As we drove home through New Hampshire & Vermont, there was snow.

Never, ever, ever trust the forecast. Two days before my half the high on race day was predicted to be 50F. The race started in the 60s with lots of sun. I had only brought one race outfit and I totally regretted that decision.

Blown Away
Spring has a tendency to be windy. If possible, plan your route so that you’re running with the wind on your way back, when you’re more likely to feel tired. Accept that you may (and probably should) run slower, because it’s tiring running into wind. Even better, deliberately slow your pace a little.

Don’t wear baggy clothes. You know those crazy Crossfit people who run with a parachute on their backs? Yeah, you don’t want your clothes to create a parachute (a parachute’s job is to slow you down, after all!).

Finally, the wind will make it seem colder than it actually is. Especially if you work up a sweat. Dress warmer than you might if it weren’t a windy day (and make sure that your layers aren’t baggy again!).

Hello Sunscreen, My Old Friend
After the gazillion layers of Winter, it’s easy to forget that you need to put on sunscreen again. Just one sunburn will probably remind you quickly. Do yourself a favor and put it on before you get dressed — this allows you to get at areas underneath your clothes without getting the sunscreen on your clothes.

Doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy. You can get burned on a cloudy day. Don’t forget the sunnies (sunglasses) either — again, even on a cloudy day. Sunglasses do more than just keep the sun out of your eyes; they help to protect them from foreign objects and just protect your vision in general. You will rarely find me without sunglasses on, no matter what the season is.

  • Is it still Spring-like in your neck of the woods?
  • Which season is the most challenging for you to dress for?
  • Do you actually wear sunscreen and/or sunglesses year round?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Strength in numbers

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Today’s topic is are you a solo or group runner? The quick answer for me is both. I believe both have their pros and cons.

Tackling cold together makes it more fun

The Group Run
Nothing will get you out the door quicker for a run than knowing you are meeting other people.

It always feels easier to run with other people (unless, of course, you’re running with a much faster person — like I was last week!). I believe that is part of why it’s easier to run at a faster pace in a race.

You are more likely to stick to the training plan if there are other people along for the run. Unless, of course, those other people tend to cut runs short.

Misery loves company, right? Running with a group in adverse conditions feels a lot less difficult than running alone in the same conditions. Running in a Nor’easter with a group definitely made it more fun!

But sometimes I need my alone time to think through things, too

The Solo Run
You have more flexibility of where and when to run.

Despite the built in group that comes with racing, you’ll be on your own during the race (unless you’re really lucky). I believe in the specificity rule: do in training what you’re going to do in your race. If you’re running a trail race, run mostly on trails. Try out your race day outfit and fueling before the big day. Sometimes tackling those hard runs by yourself are the true confidence builders.

While running with friends can make the run go by quicker — sometimes literally — it’s also so easy to run at a pace that just isn’t right for you. A pace that could potentially lead to injury.

Sometimes we can work through things on our own easier than if we’re in a group — sometimes it’s just the opposite, of course, but there can be real peace in a solo run.

Final answer?
I started out as a completely solo runner, mainly because we were new to the area and I didn’t know anyone. I joined a local running club, but never found my BRFs there. Then I joined a summer running group, and made running friends I still run with sometimes (I’d run with them more often if our schedules synched up more often!).

I actually do love to run in a group, but finding the right group — people you actually can run with — it’s not always easy.  There are also times I truly just need to be out there by myself.

  • Which type of running is your jam?
  • Or are you like me, having a foot in both camps?
  • Have you found your BRFs (best running friends)?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

What to eat when you just can’t eat

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Hopefully this is the blog post you will never need, but if you do, I hope it’s helpful to you. Having stomach problems is never fun. You can either help or hinder your healing with the right foods.

The BRAT Diet
I got really familiar with this one last week — luckily I already knew about it. BRAT stands for:

  • Bananas
  • Rice (preferably white)
  • Applesauce
  • Toast

These are foods that are easy to digest and good for an upset stomach.

Usually I’m all about the brown rice, much to Mr. Judy’s chagrin, but when your stomach is upset, white rice is your friend. It’s just easier to digest. I won’t say Mr. Judy was actually happy I was sick, but he was happy he didn’t have to eat the dreaded brown rice. Soon, honey, soon.

Eggs
Unless you have a sensitivity or an allergy, eggs are generally an easily digestible protein. You’re probably less active, so you won’t need as much protein as usual, but if you don’t get any, your body is going to turn to your muscles for its protein.

You don’t want to lose your muscles, right?

A little immunity boost + much needed digestible protein

Bone Broth
I almost always have bone broth around. I don’t actually enjoy drinking it on its own; usually I use it as a base for soups. However, I drank a whole lotta bone broth while sick and while recovering. It’s another easily digestible source of protein, but if you believe the hype, it will cure anything that ails you.

Probably not, but it is soothing to the stomach in addition to an easy source of protein.

Potatoes
Rice is a little easier to digest than potatoes, but potatoes aren’t far behind. White or sweet, it’s all good.

Whipped topping + juice flavored gelatin for more soothing protein

Jello or Gelatin?
Jello got its reputation for stomach soothing sort of the same way bone broth did — it’s the gelatin. The problem with actual Jello is that it’s usually full of additives and sugar. It may soothe your stomach but it’s not doing a whole lot for your health.

Making home made? That’s a different story, and it’s really not that hard. There will still be a fair amount of sugar, but there will also be easily digestible protein — again. And let’s face it, unless you’re a vegetarian, jello is a nice sweet treat. I started craving sweets, no doubt because for a week I wasn’t eating a whole lot at all. Home made jello will soothe your stomach, provide you with easily digestible protein, and curb your cravings for sweets.

I used Vital Proteins Unflavored Beef Gelatin (Amazon Affiliate link here) — make sure you don’t buy the Collagen Peptides, as that won’t gel — although you can use that in cold or hot drinks for the same benefits, minus the sugar. Great Lakes is another commonly recommended brand.

Chocolate: for Medicinal Purposes Only
I’m not kidding! Okay, so chocolate isn’t necessarily good for an upset stomach — it’s high in both fat and sugar. Ginger, on the other hand, is a known tummy soother (as is peppermint — I drank a lot of ginger tea!). I prefer to get mine in the form of dark chocolate covered crystalized ginger. I have that on hand because I also like to use some for long runs & races.

I ate it several times a day while my stomach was still upset, and it did not upset it further. You can, of course, stick to the teas or use ginger candies or plain crystalized ginger or grind up ginger root in your smoothies.

Bland, easily digestible food for when you’re feeling better

When you’re feeling better
It’s time to start adding in some actual lean protein: chicken and fish are usually good choices.

Raw vegetables, unfortunately, are hard to digest when you’re not feeling good. I’m used to a lot of veggies and a high fiber diet, but I went pretty much a week with nary a vegetable.

When you’re feeling better, adding in some green smoothies is a great way to reintroduce veggies. Blending the veggies helps make them much easier to digest. I have a smoothie board on Pinterest here, and I added several smoothies that are good for upset stomachs and foods to eat for an upset stomach to it (some day maybe I’ll make that two boards).

  • What’s your go-to “cure” for an upset stomach?
  • What foods do you find to be easily digestible?
  • Have you had a green smoothie recently?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Fabulous Last Minute Shopping

 From Fabletics

While you know how much I love my Skirtsports, I understand: not everyone can afford them (although you should totally check them out during a sale, and I will try to alert you when there are sales!).

I joined Fabletics many years ago. And for a while, I was pretty obsessed, I’ll admit. Each month you have the chance to skip the month within the first five days, but if you forget, you’re charged $49.95 (which you can apply to an order). You accrue reward points for your orders and for reviewing your orders, and that can be applied to free stuff; in fact, I bought the Augustina Tank with reward points.

Over time, though, I rarely ordered anymore. Most months I remember to skip (they actually do send you a reminder email), but occasionally I got caught and had to order something.

I checked them out on Cyber Monday and they were running a really good sale. I ordered all the items below then, and I must say, that they have really upped their game. Unfortunately, they have upped their prices, as well, but they are still cheaper than many activewear lines and usually a good value for the price.

I always read the comments, though, because fit can really vary and you only have a short window to return items. One other quibble: the damn tags. They’re really, really long and always bothersome. I cut them out. I kept the photos large on this post because let’s face it, I may love fashion but I’m not the greatest fashion photographer and I wanted you to be able to see the clothes.

If you’re still shopping for that hard-to-shop-for fitness enthusiast, you might consider a subscription (or gift certificate) to Fabletics (or Skirtsports, just sayin’).


Colleen Tregging & Zaylee Pullover
The Colleen Tregging is a nice weight for cold days — I wore it on a day when the temps barely reached 20F, and that was without factoring in the wind chill. It has two deep side pockets and two smaller zipper pockets, too.

I’m not a super fan of light colors, and I kind of felt like I ought to be sitting on a horse in them, but they’re very comfortable and I love the pockets. They also come in black. Black doesn’t fare well in this house with the furkids.

The Zaylee Pullover is also a heavier weight, and as you can see, it features thumbholes. Love me some thumbholes! The mock neck is a bit awkward on a petite person like me — too short to fold, almost comes up over my mouth standing up, but most of you aren’t 5’1″, either. It’s got a kangaroo pocket and a zippered pocket. It will be great for walking the dogs.


Augustina Tank
I’m trying to show you the side pockets on the leggings above. While I won’t be wearing the Augustina Tank anytime soon, I love the fact that it will be great to workout in and can be worn when not working out. It doesn’t have a shelf bra but does have double layering at the top.


High Waisted Mesh Powerhold Legging & Liane Pullover
These leggings aren’t quite as heavy a material as the Colleen Treggings, but they’re not lightweight, either. They have mesh on the sides to cool you off as you heat up. They also have a pocket on each leg that’s quite deep.

The Liane Pullover is velour, has thumbholes, and also sports a kangaroo pocket. It will also be a great item to throw on after a workout so I don’t get chilled. Love the below hip length on both this pullover and the Zaylee Pullover. Unfortunately it seems the Liane top has sold out — I’d really love to see this in other colors (umm, teal? Pretty please?).


Ciara Tank
This is another super cute tank that I won’t be wearing for many months. There’s no shelf bra or double layering (as you might notice). On a side note, my belly looks flatter due to the higher waist of the leggings! It will be interesting to see how this stands up in the wash. One downside is that the opening for your head is very small, and I have a small head!

It’s been a long time since I loved my Fabletics order
This much, anyway. I pretty much live in activewear, since I don’t work. Especially in the winter! If I have to change clothes to work out, it probably won’t happen. But if I’ve already got leggings and a tank on, and all I have to do is take off a sweatshirt or sweater, I’ll get it done.

And with Fabletics, I’ll look cute getting it done, too.

I make nothing from Fabletics and I do not represent them. Just a happy customer and thought someone out there might still be looking for gift ideas.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Have you ordered from Fabletics recently? What did you think?

Favorite less expensive activewear line?

Do you look for pockets as much as I do?

Instant Pot: What Can You Do With It?

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Now you’ve decided you want an Instant Pot (buy the 6 qt Duo Plus from Amazon here — Affiliate link), you’ve bought it, it’s sitting there on your counter . . . what will you do with it?

This is the inner pot; the food goes in here
This is what it looks like while it’s coming to pressure


First Things First
First, per the instructions, you do the steam test.

The silver disk is up like this once the Instant Pot is pressurized; it goes back down when you vent the pressure


It’s just a matter of putting in some water and creating steam. You do that to make sure your Instant Pot pressurizes properly.

You put the dial on sealing while cooking with pressure; if you want to quick vent, you push it to Venting (making sure not to be over the dial, as it will vent hot steam


Our First Meal
Was a vegan meal. Think an Instant Pot is only for meat eaters? Think again. I made a black bean quinoa dish as our first meal. Mainly because it was a recipe from a food blogger that I’ve followed a long time and trust.
Mr. Judy, who is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, was not real enthusiastic, but honestly, that had zero to do with the Instant Pot. He’s just not a fan of quinoa or beans, but I believe it’s good for him to have the occasional veggie meal, especially after all the Thanksgiving indulgences.

Cooking under pressure for 4 minutes


I’m not sure that the quinoa was completely cooked through — it seemed just a tad crunchy — but I enjoyed the meal and then had multiple lunches out of it. You can find that recipe on my Pinterest Instant Pot board here.

If I’d planned to write a post on the Instant Pot, I would have taken a lot more photos! I had no plans, but once I saw how many people were interested, I thought I’d share.

Frozen fish
Next up was fish that was frozen. I’m forever forgetting to take stuff out to thaw, it seems. Granted, you can also cook frozen fish in the oven, and I have, but it takes longer. Much longer.

It came out a little dry, but I actually increased the cooking time by one minute because I thought I was making more fish than the recipe called for — I made both salmon and cod, as Mr. Judy is also not a fan of salmon.

This is where that steep learning curve comes in. With some experimentation, I’m pretty sure I’ll get tender, flaky fish from frozen in much less time than it would take in the oven. This will probably also be a great time to explore the pot in pot method — once I have an appropriate pot — for a “one” pot meal (or at least the whole meal cooked in the Instant Pot.

Brisket without cooking for hours and hours


Brisket
I have made brisket in a slow cooker a few times. It’s definitely not TX BBQ, but I do throw Mr. Judy a bone, so to speak, every once in a while.

At first I was thinking of just doing a steak, but then the light bulb went off. Basically the whole thing (2 briskets) was done in about 2 hours, including prep (let sit with dry rub on for 30 minutes, sear) and cooking and depressurizing.

The pieces with a lot of fat on them were tender; the pieces with less fat were a little dry. That may just need an adjustment in cooking time. More? Less? I’m still confused about that one. Still far better (and quicker) than my attempts with a slow cooker.

My perfect hard boiled eggs were green tinged the next day — because I didn’t peel them?


Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
Typically, my attempts at hard boiled eggs have ended in green tinged hard boiled eggs. So I just buy them. Except sometimes I don’t eat 6 hard boiled eggs before they go bad.

4 eggs. 15 minutes start to finish (including 5 minutes in an ice bath) and voila! Indeed, perfect hard boiled eggs. And only 4, which is probably just perfect for us.

Notice that there’s a little slot in the handles that the top can rest in


Brown Rice
We have a rice cooker; one of the best things we ever bought, by the way. You can also cook quinoa in it. It takes a lot longer than the Instant Pot does. Technically it cooks rice in 4 minutes, but then there’s the whole pesky pressure/depressure thing. It’s still far quicker than my rice cooker.

We used to make rice in a pot on the stove, by the way — but for whatever reason, it always boiled over on our stove in this house (never used to be a problem). After seeing how much my SIL loved her rice cooker, we bought one.

Brown rice in 30 minutes


The brown rice probably came out perfect, except we like our brown rice sticky, not fluffy. I never actually liked rice until Mr. Judy made “sticky rice”. It will again just take some experimentation to find out the right settings for us. I am almost out of quinoa, so that is probably next up. I like to make some to always have some on hand (same with rice). I also plan to be cooking up some dried beans — my first time ever! I’m looking forward (I hope) to saying goodbye to canned beans. Forever.

Instant Pot Resources:

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

What’s your favorite Instant Pot recipe?

Would you like to see more Instant Pot posts as I continue to experiment?

Would you be happy if Santa brought you an Instant Pot?

Instant Pot: What You Need to Know . . .

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. . . before you make your decision to buy

I am not an Instant Pot expert. Heck, I’ve had the thing less than a week. But since I got a lot of comments on it in my Weekly Wrap post (read it here), I thought I’d share what I do know about it. So far.

Of course, the very first question is do runners need an Instant Pot? Seriously, no one needs anything. But I think most runners who actually cook for themselves could definitely benefit from the time saving abilities of an Instant Pot. And for the meal preppers, this is an awesome tool.

Be aware, though, that there’s a relatively steep learning curve for it and you need to be willing to experiment. Although I think that’s part of the fun.

As I mentioned, I bought Duo 6 quart Plus Instant Pot on Amazon here (Amazon Affiliate link). It was a Cyber Monday deal and a lot cheaper. Be patient and I’m sure there will be more good deals soon.

Not as scary as you think


What is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a programmable pressure cooker, but it’s also a lot more:

  • Slow Cooker
  • Rice Maker
  • Steamer
  • Pot you can saute in
  • Yogurt Maker

Cooking food under pressure allows it to cook much quicker than conventional methods.

Yes, sometimes I wonder if there’s something it doesn’t do, but of course there is: despite the saute function, if you want a nice crisped turkey you’re going to have to finish it off in the oven. But it will cook that turkey way faster than roasting it in the oven.

Quick venting steam; use a wooden spoon for safety


Is it scary like my grandma’s pressure cooker?
Yes and no. Apparently most people get it and leave it on their counters for a while because they’re scared of the thing. I got mine and used it the very same day it came, which doesn’t mean I wasn’t a tad scared of it.

Unlike old pressure cookers, though, you are very unlikely to blow yourself up with it; there are far more safety measures. In fact, I had one of the huge, older pressure cookers that I used to can with (and in fact, an Instant Pot isn’t a canner, although I’ll bet there’s a hack for that).

You do have to be careful opening it and moving the steam vent. Yes, it’s possibly to burn yourself, but if you take the proper precautions — don’t lean over it when opening the lid or moving the vent from sealed to venting, tilt the lid away from yourself when opening it, use a wooden spoon to turn the knob from sealing to venting, you’ll be just fine.

It doesn’t make a lot of noise and it doesn’t move around.

Will it really save me time?
Yes, but it’s not “instant” — it’s a catchy name, but definitely not true. Instant Pot recipe cooking times don’t include the time it takes to come to pressure and release that pressure when your food is done cooking.

Typically it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure (about the time it takes to boil water). Releasing the pressure when your food is done cooking can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

There are various ways to release pressure. You can let it release naturally, which takes the longest time. You can let it release naturally for a while then open the steam vent. Or you can open the steam vent to quickly release pressure.

I haven’t had it long enough to figure out which method is best for what I’m cooking, so I just follow the recipe’s directions.

Lest you think “well, what’s the big deal then?”, last night I cooked brown rice in my Instant Pot. Full disclosure, I have a rice cooker that I love and use frequently. It took me about 30 minutes to cook the rice (including the pressurization & depressurization time). It would have taken at least three times that long to cook the rice in my rice cooker.

Yes, it will save you time, and once it’s sealed and pressurizing, you can sit back and relax. And of course it uses far less energy than your stove, and since it takes far less time, too, you’re saving on electricity.

I have a crockpot. Why do I need something new?
Of course you don’t need something new. But an Instant Pot is a crockpot, too. One review I read said the crockpot function didn’t work on their particular model, but I don’t remember what model that was. I haven’t yet tested out that function on mine, but I plan to this week.

There are many accessories you can buy for your Instant Pot, and apparently a crock is one of them. Be aware that my model (and most, I think) do not come with a glass lid, but it’s an accessory you can buy (useful if you’re using your Instant Pot as a crockpot). I’ve read that if you can find a glass lid from a pot that fits it, you can just use that — that’s my plan. Pretty sure I have a 6 quart glass lid but we’ll see.

The same capacity Instant Pot vs Crockpot


How big an Instant Pot do I need?
I thought I wanted the 8 quart version because I already have a 6 quart crockpot and I know that occasionally it’s too small for the job at hand. Tuns out the same crockpot and Instant Pot are different sizes, as you can see above.

A crockpot is a simpler gadget but doesn’t do as much as an Instant Pot. Pay close attention to the dimensions when you’re looking!

I’m also intrigued by the smaller 3 quart Instant Pot. It seems the perfect size for things like rice, oatmeal, quinoa.

Can I cook multiple things at once?
Why, yes, yes you can. You can actually make one pot meals — but you do need a pot that goes inside your Instant Pot, which they sell, of course. I do not have one so I have not tried this yet.

Supposedly if you can find a pot that fits, you can go with that — but apparently if something happens to your Instant Pot, that could potentially void your warranty.

How hard is it to clean?
Easy peasy. Wash with soap and water or wash in the dishwasher. Like a crockpot, of course, the inner pot does take up a fair amount of space. I’ve been washing mine by hand.

The inner pot is also far lighter than a crockpot, by the way.

I’m going to try to put together another post for tomorrow with more photos and talking more about what I’ve made so far and the results I got, as well as links to more resources.

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

What’s your favorite Instant Pot recipe?

Would it surprise you to hear you can make popcorn in the Instant Pot (and no, I haven’t tried to . . . yet)?

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget that makes life easier?

5 Foods fueling my runs

I have done a lot of experimenting with alternative, home made fuel this training cycle.

5foods

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk share with you five of my favorites — and three of the books I got them from.

Date Almond Bars
An oldie but a goodie, from Nutrition for Runners (not an affiliate link). These don’t even require cooking. You pulse together some oats, almonds, dates, cinnamon and salt until they hold together. Press into a pan and refrigerate.

I like to cut them into small pieces and roll them into little balls. They stand up surprisingly well to a long run.

briceballs
Didn’t stick together enough for on the run

Rice Balls
I’m pretty sure I won’t be fueling with the rice balls from Feedzone Portables (Amazon Affiliate link) in my half, but I’m also pretty sure that I’ll be taking some along for snacks.

Essentially oats and sushi rice cooked together; you add some sea salt, some cinnamon, some coconut sugar and some chocolate chips. Roll them into little balls. Very easy to digest, very light.

My only problem when I tried them out on the run? Too messy. I do like them as a nice dessert for a meal where I want to stay generally low carb but still include a little carbs.

Salty Balls
These were kind of a bust. Not because I didn’t like them; oh no, quite the contrary, maybe I liked them a little too much. Essentially equal parts brown rice syrup, nut butter, and protein powder microwaved together until they bubble. Add a little salt.

They’re kind of like malted balls. But they’re sticky, and they have a tendency to stick together on the run.

I really like these post run — so much that I found myself indulging in them too much. These came from ROAR (Amazon Affiliate link).

bfigcrumble
They pack a caloric whallop, but I love these bars!

Fig Crumble Bars
I am so in love with these bars from Rocket Fuel (Amazon Affiliate link) I can’t even tell you. Like the Salty Balls above, though, rather high in calories. Which is fine while you’re running many miles, but maybe a bit too tempting when you’re not.

Plus, crumble. Although using my Amphipod SnapPod (Amazon Affliaite link), they actually stood up fairly well. I did the same thing with these as I did with the Date bars: cut them into little pieces and rolled them into balls. And while that worked, it was hard to cut them into really small balls.

You can try Fig Newtons, too.

bcccookies
Simple, light, not too sweet — we have a winner!

Chocoloate Chip Cookies
These little nuggets from Feedzone Portables (Amazon Affiliate link) were a surprising winner. Now, before you go drooling over toll house cookies on the run, these aren’t those. Which is good — because I don’t actually like overly sweet stuff on the run.

The first time I made these cookies, I didn’t have the potato flour called for in the recipe. After some research I subbed in quinoa flour. I think I actually prefer them that way — I finally found potato flour (not the same as potato starch, btw), and made another batch with it after I ate up the first batch.

These really are quite plain, but they work for me.

So let me know in the comments:

Have you ever tried anything other than sport drinks, chews, or gels?

Have a favorite recipe/book to share with us?

How do you carry your fuel with you during a race?