Beating the heat.

The heat index is over 100 today in my neck of the woods, so it is the time to start talking about safely training in the heat. Many people, understandably, will resort to treadmill, indoor track, or indoor crosstraining like swimming or rowing… But those stubborn folks who continue to run and ride outside need to take special precautions. Running early in the morning or late at night might help a little, but it is still pretty miserable (and dangerous) then.

There are lots of graphics that talk about how much to slow the pace based on temperature and heat index, so I won’t even go into that. Instead, I will talk about a few ways that I try to train as safely as possible. Since I have autoimmune, I really have to be careful and listen to my body. My heating and cooling systems are just not as efficient. Also, if I am in the sun for any length of time, I get horrible itchy sun blisters. (Lupus is just the gift that keeps on giving).


First, we all know hydration is key. For track workouts, we fill a giant insulated jug with ice and water, and try to keep it in a shady spot. (Bowie has evening track practices twice a week – so I am sure to make sure he always has water available). For runs and rides, I fill up all my insulated bottles as well as my hydration vest. (Shameless pitch for Orange Mud here because they are just the best!)

If you will have an extended workout, you might consider something a bit more than just plain water. I like to use Nuun Hydration tabs. One bottle of Nuun, another bottle of cold water, and I am good to go. (They even make a new “performance” product that can be used for nutrition /fuel.)

Next, apply sunscreen before you even go outside, and be vigilant about re-applying once you are on the go. Make sure you apply under the edges of your clothes. (I recently reminded myself of this after I got a super-bad burn from where my shorts slid up while sitting in a lawn chair. I had a 4” bright red band around my thighs were supposed to be.) Be sure to hit the backs of your ears and back of your neck! There are a billion sunscreens out there, and everyone has a favorite… but as someone with lupus, I need one with Zinc.

For clothes, I like light, breezy layers. I like to feel like my skin is breathing and the sweat is being wicked away from me. Wrestling my way out of a tight, sweaty top isn’t much fun. Right now, I am liking Rabbit Race-her Back and Bunny Hop tops with Hopper and Catch Me If You Can shorts.

(I just joined their running team, but I am not selling anything! I swear!) And like, all the Body Glide I can possibly apply on my thighs and armpits to fend off sweaty-chafing issues.


I do like to wear a visor to keep my hair out of my face and sun out of my eyes. (I find a hat holds in the heat too much). I really like my Orange Mud visor. I just received a BOCO visor, so I will give some feedback on that once I have a chance to test it out.

I am sort of hit and miss on wearing sunglasses. My prescription sunglasses broke, but I do have several pairs of regular sunglasses. Sometimes I have issues with glasses pinching behind my ears, so I end up stuffing them down the front of my sports bra. (Which makes for really gross glasses when I am back in my car!) I actually just received a pair of polarized sunglasses from XX2i. I will be taking them for a test “run” this weekend , but so far, for everyday use, I really like them (now that I am getting used the the “polarized” lenses). Review on that coming once I have really had a chance to train in them.

Finally… a sort of girly topic. Hair. I have long hair, so I am always trying to keep my hair off my neck and out of my face. Putting hair in a ponytail all the time can cause breakage. (If you only put it up for training, you might be OK). I have been working on managing my hair without the ponytail pulling. Lately I have been twisting my hair up into a bun and securing it in place with a couple bobby pins. (And it actually stays put!) If I am feeling fancy, I even braid a little section before pulling it up. If I am feeling frisky, two little baby buns are kind of fun. I have done braids a few times, and that is actually easier to fit a visor or hat over. Just throwing that out there since my hair becomes a nasty curly rats nest if I don’t keep it under control in humid weather!

Notice: I am an ambassador for Nuun, Rabbit, and Orange Mud but I was not provided any free products or paid for my opinion. All opinions are my own!

OM Endurance Pack Review + Discount

I recently received the Orange Mud Endurance Pack that I ordered and wanted to share my experience now that I have used it on both runs and rides!

I ordered the orange pack, but is also comes in gray and a really cool lime green. (I almost ordered the green!) There is also an option to upgrade the pack with shock cords to hold trekking poles.


I don’t know why I am staring off into the distance.

The first thing I noticed was high light the pack was. It is made of a breathable mesh, so that probably helps. It weighs less than 10 oz. That said, it has a crazy amount of storage room for something so small.



A family of 5 could live in these pockets.


There is a bladder compartment. (The bladder holds 70 ounces.). A main cargo compartment. A zippered elastic pocket with a key clip. PLUS!!! Two storage compartments on the chest. AND!!! Shoulder pockets!


Chest pocket for easy fueling

Now… these front compartments are what made me fall in love. While I don’t mind putting my phone and keys in a pocket on my back, there are some things I like to have handy and not have to take off my pack and rummage around for. I like to have a small fuel snack available (ziplock of honey stingers or GU) and I like having my pepperspray easily accessible.


Chest pocket for easy access to “mace in yo’ face”

I mentioned on my paved trail run, I was nervous about running through under-highway tunnels at 10:00 at night. It gave me some added comfort in having my pepperspray strapped to my hand. I had been carrying it in my front pocket and it was just a quick grab to have it in my hand.


Shoulder pockets!

I also like to practice eating on the go, so having my snacks within reach means I don’t have to stop and dig for my fuel. Grab and go!

The bladder was a different style than I was used to with my previous bladder packs…. But it turns out, I really like it! It was so easy to open the bag up and dump tons of ice into it. (It fits right over the ice dispenser at the gas station!! I think it would also make adding Tailwind mix easy as well. (I haven’t used Tailwind in my bag yet). The bladder is also easy to remove and clean, so I didn’t notice any funky taste or smell with my water.

I also have noticed some runners have put an extra water bottle in the front pocket. That would be so handy if I wanted to have a separate bottle for Nuun or Tail Wind. I will try it and report back on that!

When I received my pack, I worked to find a nice fit. The straps are made so that the pack will be fully adjustable. You can tighten them up, you can criss-cross the straps. I know as a woman, I have issues with some packs that don’t take my chest into consideration. I have a smaller frame but have a, uh, gifted chest, shall we say? (Borrowing that phrase from Oiselle bras! Haha!)

I was able to tighten the straps under my arm pits and around my ribs to keep the pack from bouncing around. With the separate straps, my chest didn’t get smooshed or chafed.

I cut the tube down a bit for running, but wanted to try a ride before I did anything too crazy. It turns out my tube was still a bit long for biking, so I ended up cutting the tube so it hit right at the bottom of the pack.


All in all, I am really happy with my Endurance Pack and will continue to use it on my long runs and rides. Shorter runs, I am still happy with a handheld… but man, is it nice having the extra pockets for my phone and keys!

Because I love the pack so much, I wanted everyone to be able to get one! I asked Orange Mud what they could do for my friends, and they gave me a code for 10% off, Plus a free water bottle with purchase!! The code is good for the next 2 weeks so get a move on! EP-SARAH will get you hooked up here!.

Who else loves Orange Mud?? I would love to hear what OM gear you have and how you are liking it!


Cool weather still requires hydration!

This summer was really hot and humid, which made it really easy to remember to bring your hydration along. I made the mistake of thinking I didn’t need water for a 6 mile training run, and halfway through I realized that was a bad decision.

Now that cooler weather is rolling in, I think I forget I need something to drink! I was on a ride last night and didn’t bring bottles… at the end of the ride I couldn’t get a drink fast enough! Bad plan, Stan. I read 75% of people are dehydrated. That is scary! I have also read that many people are so dehydrated, they don’t recognize the queue to drink anymore – and instead mistake it for hunger. I have been pretty diligent about keeping a giant water bottle at my desk so I can refill it a couple times a day. (Hey, all those potty breaks give me an excuse to get away from my desk, too! Haha)

Flint Hills long rides mean bring hydration and nutrition - there are no convenience stores!

Flint Hills long rides mean bring hydration and nutrition – there are no convenience stores!

For my bike, I have 2 water bottle cages. If I am doing a really long ride, I might also grab my hydration vest as well. (It is nice to be able to get a drink without having to reach down and fumble for bottles). I did have an aero bottle that was attached to the aero bars on my tri-bike, but I didn’t really like it.

I did learn to adjust my vest up higher on my shoulders after this picture was taken!

I did learn to adjust my vest up higher on my shoulders after this picture was taken! No more chafe issues!

For running, I have various handhelds and vests. My favorite is the Orange Mud vest with 2 water bottles. I like being able to have my bottles refilled more easily than a vest, and I like all the little compartments for my cell phone, keys, Honey Stingers.. and my highly important ziplock bag of baby wipes.

I took my handheld for Flint Hills Marathon since my Camelbak made me chafe at the marathon before.

I took my handheld for Flint Hills Marathon since my Camelbak made me chafe at the marathon before.

For hydration, I know a lot of people like drinks like Gatorade, but even watered down, it tastes too sweet to me. I always pick water at aid stations. (For short races, like 5 or 10K, I don’t bring a handheld and just rely on the aid stations.) For half marathons, I like to bring a small handheld. For marathon and longer, I use my vest.

Free State Mud.. .errr. Trail Marathon.

Free State Mud.. .errr. Trail Marathon.

Since I have two cages on my bike, and 2 bottles in my vest, that lets me bring a couple options. I like to do one bottle of water and one of Nuun. I started drinking Nuun for training and racing a few years ago. (I have gotten many a friend hooked on Nuun by bringing tubes to relay races). My very favorite flavor is watermelon (which recently became available year-round), but I also love strawberry lemonade.

I like that it isn’t sugary like sports drinks, and the tabs are really convenient. I can throw a few in my vest and I am good to go.   Since there are so few calories in Nuun, I don’t feel all bloaty or full from drinking it. (And I can get my calories from real food!)

That said… If you have not already tried Nuun, now is your chance! And if you already love Nuun, you can add to your stockpile. Nuun will be giving one lucky reader a Nuun water bottle and a tube of both Lemon Line and Tri Betty, as pictured below.

Sweet Nuun Prize Pack!

Sweet Nuun Prize Pack!

Simply enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of United States.  I will announce the random winner on 11/13/15. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law. Product provided by Nuun Hydration. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Nuun Ambassador Badge

You may notice there are some changes to the blog! First, I have been including posts on running and triathlons.  These are marked by the category “run + bike + swim,” so if you are not into ready those, you can easily pass those over.

Home posts are still go! I am working on a update to the Boys’ bathroom – and it…. Is…. AWESOME! So please stay tuned for that.

I am struggling with finding a way to feature both kinds of posts, and am hoping that b categorizing them differently, readers are able to sift through and find what they would like to read. I thought about creating a separate blog, but I just don’t have the time / energy / resources for that! So bear with me…

Another change you might notice are some Ambassador badges on the sidebar.  I mentioned that I made “Team Betty” for Betty Designs earlier…. But I haven’t talked about Nuun and Skora Running yet. Let’s save Skora for next time and talk about Nuun now…

I am totally not selling anything and clicking the Nuun link only takes you to their website.  (There are no cookies or tracking or commission or anything).  Just trying to share the love.  Nuun Hydration are little electrolyte drinks tablets you pop into water. I became a big fan of them and like that I can just toss one in my water bottle and not have to rely on sugary sports drinks at aid stations.  (I also like to sip on them at work instead of soda).  So far my favorites are strawberry lemonade and lemonade… but I just scored a box of watermelon and really like those, too!

So again… not trying to sell you anything at all.  I promise!