I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I ran a Turkey Trot- the Flying Feather Four Miler, in Dublin, Ohio. It was great, the weather was a cool but not too cold, and we got some great swag. I also had a PR, being that this was only the second 4 mile race I ever did, this same race 3 years ago. It gave me a good excuse to indulge in my Thanksgiving meal. I also spent some time on my thanksgiving weekend doing some shopping at my favorite store, Costco. I took my mom shopping, who doesn't have a membership, so we pretty much looked at everything (I typically get the same things over and over, ignoring whole sections of the store), and was so pleased to see that they had PUR faucet mounts with filter packs for sale! I am not sure how long they have been there, but I had been hoping they would show up there. Even happier was I today when I opened my mail and noticed that there was a hefty coupon in my Costco mailer for the faucet mount with filters or just the filters. We have sure been loving our faucet mount, and I am glad to know that I can stock up on filters for it this way.
This past week I did a blind taste test with some members of my team and customers at our store, PUR filtered water vs tap water vs an expensive machine processed water filter ( a sales rep happened to come to the store that day so I put him to the test!) Taste-wise, tap water was on the bottom of the list, PUR and the processed water were both smoother to drink and easier to swallow of course!
My bosses son has switched to filtered water now and feels like his stomach issues are much better and have given up sodas!
I gave my neighbors some coolers and talked to them about the benefits of Hydration and switching from sodas to PUR water ( yes they now have a filter pitcher in their fridge!) and have reported back having lost 3 pounds in 3 weeks and feeling great!
Meanwhile I continue to use/re-use my Sigg bottle every day, sometimes with some iced green tea as my pre-workout drink, love the idea of not dragging a case of water inside twice a week!
I am really excited to have the opportunity of coaching a Girls on the Run team through my city. This is an excellent program for young girls ages 8-13. Throughout the program, they will learn about self esteem, nutrition, and values, all while training to complete a 5K race. I think this will be a great opportunity for me to grow as well as help them get started in running. While I was a gymnast from a very early age, I did not run until I was in college. I am glad that I have my involvement with PUR, because I will need to stress the importance of hydration to them, especially when they start doing their longer timed runs. GOTR has provided them each with a reusable water bottle, which they are to bring filled with water prior to each practice, and I am to ensure that there is extra water for them on their longer runs by creating aid stations on the track, so this will be an interesting challenge for me to provide them filtered water, but I believe I am up to it. I am sure my PUR pitcher will be getting a lot of use over these next weeks so that I can provide clean good tasting water to the girls on their long runs.
For the past 2 weeks I traveled around the amazing country of Ecuador. This was my first time out of the United States since camping on a random beach just south of Tijuana, Mexico in 2004. Ecuador, like most countries to our south, does not have a safe tap water system for foreign tourists. So what this meant for us was 2 weeks of buying bottled water to quench our thirst and what an amazing amount of plastic and money we spent on it!
Before traveling to Ecuador I tried to wrack my brain for the last time I purchased a bottle of water and I failed to remember. Have no fear, I will not forget about how many bottles of water I purchased in Ecuador for a long time to come. This experience was eye-opening for me since so many American's purchase 1,2 and sometimes 3 bottles of water on a daily basis. The amount of plastic going into our landfills from these bottles must be enormous. The benefits of a PUR water filter really hit home as well, not only for the great taste, but the savings on both hard earned $$$ and plastic going into our landfills. Speaking of taste, I was blown away at the poor quality in taste of a lot of the bottled water we purchased in Ecuador. When I arrived back at my house on Monday night I opened the fridge and poured myself a tall glass of ice cold PUR water and what a relief that was.
So the next time I travel abroad, I'll probably still be buying bottled water for safety reasons, but for those that buy bottled water daily, just think for a second on how much you could be saving yourself and the planet by using a PUR filter. Maybe my next post will be some geeky financial information on the savings from using a PUR water filter in your home or office.
Last week was a huge week for me in terms of racing. I had my second Triathlon EVER on Wednesday night. It was the final of a series of races at Island Lake State park, and the first in the series was my first ever tri. I was super excited about it, and since it was an evening race, I spent a lot of the day preparing for it. You cannot believe my HORROR when I got about halfway to the race site and realized I had left both of my water bottles that I had prepared with water from my PUR faucet in the refrigerator. I had planned to use these bottles for hydration on the bike. Yikes! Fortunately, I had been hydrating all day, and had an aluminum reusable bottle of water with me that I prepared with flavored PUR water, but it did not have a sport top for biking. Luckily, I had enough friends at the race and was able to borrow a bottle with a sport top for the ride. Since I made sure to go through all the trouble to have water on the bike, I made sure to drink it (which I sometimes forget to do while biking), and it made a huge difference. I am sure some of it was my training, but I was able to take 7 minutes off my 800m swim time, 4 minutes off my 12 mile bike, and 3 minutes off my 3.1 run from my first tri ever, for a total of over 13 minutes improvement in my overall time (my transitions were longer, unfortunately). While I did not place in this race, my finish time had me more in the middle of the pack for my age group instead of being almost last like before.
Then, just a few days later, on Saturday, I competed in the Maybury Time Trial, an approximately 10 mile cross country mountain bike race. I had been looking forward to this race for a long time, and had purchased a new bike at the beginning of the season with this race in mind, so I really wanted to do well. Peer pressure had gotten the best of me this week, as far as doing the tri, because I would have not planned another race so close to this one which was so important to me. My husband started first, and my 3 year old daughter had her first race EVER, and I started last! We were there pretty much all day, and hydration was very important. We brought TONS of water bottles from home filled with PUR filtered water to keep us hydrated througout the day, and used our camelbacks on our races. My husband and I both finished 3rd in our respective age groups and classes, and my daughter finished her .1 mile ride on her tiny bike! Being a time trial, everyone had their own start time. I was first in my class to start, based on the alphabet. I had to make sure to just go as fast as physically possible, because I did not have any other riders near me to judge how I was doing, except for being passed by the two ladies that finished ahead of me. Fortunately, my time held up and the only two ladies faster than me were those I saw. It was a great day.
My faucet mounted PUR filter came today, and it was SUPER easy and fast to install. I letting the water run for 5 minutes to activate the filter took longer than the actual installation process. It is very attractive and easy to switch between filtered and unfiltered water. It is perfect for someone like me who was always "the bad roommate" in college and always forgot to refil the pitcher, even though that is super easy to do as well.
Also, this past weekend, I went on a brief trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan. When we arrived, there was a sign at the ranger station warning us that the dune hike was extremely strenuous, and would take 3-4 hours to reach Lake Michigan and back, and that adequate hydration and sunscreen were a must. Since we had 2 small children with us, we opted to not go all the way to the lake, just far enough to see it. I was so glad that I had packed my PUR reusable water bottle full of fresh clean water for myself, and sippies for both kids. It was so refreshing on such a warm sunny day. The views of the lake were amazing.
I am having trouble uploading images directly to the blog, so I have attached a couple in the file section to check out. I am sorry the photo quality isn't the greatest, they were taken on my cell phone. I managed to pack all the water, but failed to grab the camera! Oops. That just means I have to go back!
Last weekend was a great weekend. It was the weekend of the Tree Farm Relay, in Novi, MI, at Lakeshore Park. We had a bit more water than we wanted- we had more coming from the sky that neccessary for mountain biking, but overall we had a great time. The day started with lots of rain, and it dried out nicely for the start of the sport category, although the trail was quite messy for the start and end of the race. I had a team of 4 women and my husband had a team of 4 men. We had a great turnout from our family and friends. I started the race with a LeMans style start. My team was the Tu N Tu Bella's, and it was formed of 3 former Team Stayput members and my college roommate. Wearing tutus was a tradition my girlfriends started doing Dances With Dirt, a 50 mile trail running relay, and we wanted to keep it alive with the mountain bike relay. We spent the whole day outside, so being well hydrated was extremely important. I was glad we had a tent for our team complete with cooler of fluids.
I was also really excited to receive my welcome kit from PUR. I love having the pitcher in our refrigerator to have fresh, cold, purified water for myself and my family. It is great to give to my children in their sippy cups, put in my camelback, and to take with me everywhere. I enjoy being able to use resusable water containers for myself and my family, and this has really enabled me to have much better, cleaner water with me.
So last weekend I completed my longest ever bike ride. I headed out from downtown Denver with a couple friends for what we here in the Mile High city call "Super Evans." Evans refers to Mt. Evans which sits at the lofty height of 14,264 feet above most beaches. This was my last big training ride before competing at the Leadville 100 on August 15th. We set out not to break records on this ride, but to finish the ride and still have energy.
On a journey that consisted of 129 miles and 15,500 feet of vertical climbing the 2 biggest factors for completion aka survival would be hydration and nutrition. I left my house with 2 bottles filled to the brim with PUR filtered water and potpouri of energy bars and gels. I ended up refilling my bottles a total of 6 times each for 14 bottles in total. That may seem like a lot of fluid, but hydration should always be on your mind whether your out doing a cruise around town or on a monster bike ride. Here in Colorado that dry climate also plays a big factor for depleting water in your body so I'm always sippin' water whether I'm on the bike or cubing it up at work.
So just remember to keep those fluids up and you'll be amazed what your body can do when properly hydrated!
As an athlete, I always try to stay in the know about how important hydration is. I know not to leave the house without a Camelbak when I take my bike out on the Lakefront. I have my run routes mapped around the water fountains. And my workout is never a good one if I somehow manage to forget my water bottle at home and I have to keep jumping off the machine and rehydrating.
I know to stay hydrating but sometimes it's hard to keep drinking water and I'm craving of something, anything, else. I try adding lemon juice or even a little Gatorade powder to sweeten my drink, but the tedious process sometimes has more foregoing that drink because I don't want to mix the concoction. So I was super excited when a package from PUR arrived with a pitcher and water filter that also contained a flavor package to mix up the taste of the water. I already liked the water straight from the pitcher because now I finally didn't have to deal with semi-warm water straight from the tap and I had the option of adding flavor with a few quick taps of a button. I'm liking it already and know I'm staying more fueled in the process. And with a race coming up, I know it's even more important.
Stay tuned to hear more. I'm sure I'll have some hydration thoughts after the race. Last time I suspected I was dehydrated because I felt like a camel the following day, guzzling water and never seeming to get enough.