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.
We're back from Spain & Italy and I definitely missed having my PUR faucet filter readily available and drinking water frequently throughout the day. Because bottles of water were a bit pricey in Europe, I would buy a litre and a half bottle of water and fill up a 16 ounce water bottle and carry it around for the day. This amount of water was way less than what I drink back in the US. It's interesting how you get so accustomed to drinking water continuously throughout the day and never think twice about having it readily available. I certainly appreciated coming home and having the ability to use my PUR faucet filter 24/7!
My husband's most recent home brew was a Classic English Ale and it is by far his best ever! He says it's his favorite beer he's ever made and he attributes it to using PUR water! He currently has a Barolo red wine (the Cabernet of Italy) made with PUR water fermenting and he will be bottling it in a few more weeks. Once bottled, it should be ready to drink within a year! It's been our experience that it's worth the year-long wait and that it makes for some great holiday gifts:-)
I've always wanted to know what the consensus is about walking or running through water stops when you're racing. With marathon season nearly upon us, the water station question seemed like an appropriate one to ask. Do you walk or run through them? Does it depend on the race and the distance? Do you have a pattern that you follow?
I've known people who swear by walking through the water stations at the marathon. They say they can't drink from the cups unless they've slowed down. They've been instructed to do so by a coach or pace leader and then reconvene with the group after stopping for fluids. They say they reached the point in the race where they can't run anymore and walking takes over and it's better to walk the stations and attempt to run after leaving the station to make it to the next station faster where another walking break is waiting.
Then there are others who only run through the stations and run the whole race and sometimes don't even care who they take out in the process. You know these people: the ones who hit you from behind, spill liquid on your feet or steal the cup out of the volunteer's hand that you were going to reach for. Or they know that if they stop to walk there's no way they'll be able to resume running.
As for me? I'm more the in between. At the beginning of a race, if it's a marathon, I'm always running through the stops. I try not to squash people in my wake but I've definitely had a few cups that I've eyed but watched go to another runner. Depending on how I feel, I'll either run through the stations later in the race or walk through. The walk through, at least for me, signifies I've kinda thrown in the towel on the race and I'm just waiting for the finish line--it's a no PR day. Not glamorous but I guess I'm lucky that I'm able to grab the cup, pinch it to form a crease and then funnel the liquid down? That's at least how I felt when an accomplished marathon friend said she never runs through the stops mostly because she gets more water on her than in her mouth. That could work on a hot day but then you could be leaving yourself dehydrated at the same time.
The only time the running method doesn't work so well is when the stations are stocked with plastic cups and not paper ones. I'm still not sure why some of those stations at the California International Marathon used tiny plastic cups to quench the thirst of the runners--the plastic cups crunched on the ground almost posing a running hazard, I definitely spilled liquid down my front when the cup wouldn't give, and what I did get down left me wanting more but having to wait another two-plus miles to get it. I loved the race, but that was the one frustrating part I remembered as I logged those 26.2 miles.
I'm a runner through the water stations with an asterisk for not-so-good race days. What are you?
I'm all about drinking water and staying hydrated when I'm on the go. I always leave for work with a Nalgene or stainless steel bottle in tow. I feel naked without my Camelbak on a morning bike ride. I get mad at myself for stowing a bottle in the trunk when my husband and I are driving somewhere for a weekend getaway. And when the airlines said no liquids until you pass through security, I'd bring an empty water bottle--or dump what liquid was left on the curb before going through security--and then find the water fountain to refill on my way to the gate so I could stay hydrated and not have to buy a drink.
But I never expected that airport step to constantly work against me. And it most recently happened on a return flight from Washington, D.C., where I had gone over Labor Day to run a half marathon with my friends. I did my usual--stop at the water fountain to refill my water bottle before the flight--and made it a point to do so because I was feeling pretty dehydrated still from the long run. Put the water bottle back in my backpack, waited at the gate, boarded the plane and D.C. was history. Now you're probably wondering what could possibly go wrong with something so routine. Well, the water bottle itself coupled with the air pressure--I'm assuming--do not make a good mix. The problem was that when I arrived back in Chicago my backpack was a little damp when I retrieved it from below the seat. The culprit? The water bottle could be the only suspect. Immediately I think "not again" after having a similar problem with a different water bottle when heading to New York in 2007. That time I actually left the sipper a pinch open so the water dribbled out while the bag was down in flight, soaked the bottom of a notebook and not much else inside the bag but drenched my cell phone and killed it. So I learned my lesson then to make sure the cap was on tight and the sipper was down on all future water bottles. But the water bottle struck again, I just didn't know how bad until I got off the plane. I can feel the dampness along the back and bottom of my bag but when I look inside none of my notebooks are wet and I can't figure out where all the water went.
In the end, I think it settled on my computer, nestled in its separate laptop compartment. The computer worked fine when I got home and worked all afternoon. Then by the evening it couldn't hold a battery charge, wouldn't turn on, and I basically had a dead device I was working with. Not good as I was trying to finish up a million and one deadlines and had all of my files saved on the hard drive just waiting to be uploaded to the external drive at the end of the week.
To avoid that from happening again--I can't go through another week like I had when my computer went kuputz or the cell phone debacle--I have yet to come up with a solution. It should just be another water bottle to bring with me on the go but the negative side in me thinks that it'll happen again even if I switch up the bottle, screw it on tight or change storage locations. What I really need to do is remember to stow the bag but remove the bottle and keep it in the pocket behind the seat until we land. Any thoughts?
These past few weeks have been very exciting for me because I have been one of the coaches for the Fort Hood Combatives Team. These soldiers were picked from the Fort Hood tournament to go to Fort Benning and fight for the Army Championship. I was there to help train and condition them for the past few weeks. The days involved training, conditioning, and a small lecture from me daily. I was able to help teach them the importance of a good diet and also proper hydration. During one conditioning drill I put them in the pool. I told them to bring water with them but they laughed and told me that they would not need it. I had them swim laps and do some water aerobics, by the end of the conditioning drill they were dying for water. They never realized how much water could be lost-even when in a large body of water.
The tournament was last week and our team took home 7th place out of 62 teams. I was very proud of them. Over the week they have trickled in to say hello. Each one of them has thanked me personally for teaching them the importance of a proper diet and hydration. Mission completed.
This past weekend was my first 100k bike ride-I attempted to do one last month but my derailer came off at mile 51 and I had t be rescued by the sag wagon. Early that morning my husband and I filled up our water bottles and hit the road to Waco. We were both pretty wired about the event, he was going for 100 miles and I was going to do the 65 mile ride. I would have loved to join him on the longer ride but I have been burning the candle at both ends for the past few races and could tell my body was tired.
The ride was really enjoyable. I actually stopped at the rest stops and stayed pretty social.I was looking for no pr on this ride. I just wanted to have a good ride and enjoy the day. I went through both of my water bottles by mile 30 and refilled them there. I took a quick sip before I hit the road and could taste a difference immediatly. I realized how spoiled I have become from my Pur Water filter at home and in the fridge. The water was not horrible-it just had a different taste to it that I did not care for. I realized that they were filling the coolers from a nearby hose. However, I still drank what they gave me and continued with my ride. Every time I took a drink of water I could taste a difference and realize that this was not from my Pur water filter. Lesson of the weekend: I have become addicted to my water filter...oh and also I can ride a 100k and not kill myself.
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!
The human body is 70% water the brain is 85% water blood is 90% water the human liver, one of our most vital organs is 96% water!
So you can guess that the importance of drinking water is high!
It's a logical assumption that the quality of the water we drink will have a very significant effect on our overall health. So what are the benefits of drinking water obtained through whole house water filters?
We are exposed to far more toxins in our drinking water than ever before. EPA records show that so far over 2100 cancer causing chemicals have been detected in U.S. water supplies. So what happens when we get 10 or 20 or 50 traces of different synthetic chemicals together in the same glass of water.
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.
We'll be traveling to Spain & Italy for a few weeks and months ago I was already wondering what I would do about my daily water intake! After reading Ryan's post, it made think some more about my hydration plan. I'm not keen on having to spend extra money on bottled water on the cruise, or while walking extensively throughout various cities, but I don't want to forgo drinking water throughout the day. It also doesn't help that I'm not a big fan of tap water. I've really appreciated the PUR faucet filter which we've been using on a daily basis. We use it for my tea, my husband's coffee, my cat's water bowl and our recent home brews which will be ready to be tasted in a few weeks after our trip. We're really looking forward to taste testing our his and her beer made with PUR water-)
Last night I participated in the Kaiser 5k Corporate Challenge with the GA Tech team. There were more than 15k runners/walkers. It's great community event where corporations come out and get their employees out for an evening of fun. The GA Tech coordinators had the PUR lunch coolers and coupons layed out at the various tables in our big tent. We had about 150 participants which was a larger group than last year! The PUR lunch coolers and coupons went like hot cakes! There was a photographer onsite, so I hope to be able to get my hands on some of the photos.
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.
I don't know whether anyone was listening to NPR the other day but they had an interesting show taking about the need to value water more. It was brought up that state's were fighting corporations trying to tap into already over-utilized water sources. It was a very interesting conversation that looked at the importance as well as economy of water and things that we can do to help. You can hear it at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6261527
Ok, so back to this Texas heat. Yes, it's hot. I'm sure that everyone knows that. However, I think that I have learned how important water is at my job. I currently teach Modern Army Combatives at Fort Hood-which is pretty much teaching soldiers hand-to-hand combat with the enemy for three minutes of survival. It's a really fun job however our building gets extremely hot. We always brief our soldiers to keep hydrated during the course because of the intense training. A few weeks ago in the wondefully hot July heat we started a new class and began their training....within an hour we had a soldier who was not looking so good-turns out that they were dehydrated from the weekend and did not drink water when we told them to during their break. The soldier wound up having to drop the course and go to the hospital immediatly to get an IV.
This does not happen often but it still does happen at times. Ah, gotta love the Texas weather!
Ah summer time, even though it is technically nearing fall Texas is seeing no relief to the heat. I have been in Texas since the summer of 2007 and I still can't get used to it. However, I will never stop competing just because of the heat. I have learned my lesson on the importance of hydration. Currently I am part of the Army cycling team and we ride on Thursday afternoons at 4 pm. (Thursday is family day which means that all soldiers much be dismissed by 3 pm to go and spend time with their families.) We have continued these rides even when it is 104 degrees outside. I think that we might have a few screws loose but we are out there to train in the heat. There have been times when I have run out of water and have had to go to some of the on post houses to ask friends for extra water. My husband and I decided a month ago to add to our water supply and to add two more water bottles behind our bike seats. We start off with four water bottles and go through all of them in just an hour and a half at times! It's crazy. However, despite the heat, we still train. When the heat index is 110 we try not to train too hard however, we are still out there training!
What's the most popular accessory for carrying your water and sports drinks when you're out and about? I wish I knew the answer, but I'm hoping to rely on athlete input to help answer the question. The options I could think of include:
Camelbakor the likehydration packs: These backpacks with straws (that's what I call it at least) conveniently draped over the shoulder make hydrating on-the-go almost too easy, especially if you don't want to dig in a bag for a water bottle or search for a water fountain. These are really popular while hiking, and I've seen some people sporting them while running and walking. I find it easy to use while cycling, especially on century rides and lately I've spotted triathletes using them during races (and I thought I was one of the few who used it while racing a few years ago, but earlier in the month I must have seen at least five triathletes wearing them on the 56-mile bike).
Water bottles: This is the option I think I spot the most often. We'll buy them as singles or in 24-packs at the grocery store, grab them from volunteers after a race, tote them to the beach or to work. And they're easy to fill with our favorite combination of fluid whether it be straight-up tap water, PUR-filtered water, a sports drink or even watered-down juice.
Fuel Belt or any other brand of belt with bottles: Popular among runners, especially half marathoners and marathoners, these are great for carrying a sports drink for those long miles where you know you need something besides water from the water fountain (that's me and my Lakefront runs) or you're going out in the middle of nowhere and know you won't be getting fuel unless you bring your own.
Aerobottles like the Aerodrink: They take on different names and looks but these are a step up from a traditional water bottle and fit in between the aerobars and a handy way to stay fueled during a triathlon. Fill them with any combination of water, sports drink, energy fuel (like Hammer Nutrition products, Accelerade or Infinit). Then when you're racing you don't have to reach down or behind you to pick up a water bottle, just bend down a pinch and sip from the straws. Another one of my faves.
Hand-held or waist-wrap bottle carriers: I don't know about you, but it's tough to carry a water bottle as is while on the run because it can easily slip out of your grip. These holders make it a lot easier by either strapping the bottle around your hand or slipping into a holder that wraps like a fanny pack around your waist. Not to go back to triathlons again, but I've seen a lot of people sporting these, especially the hand-held ones, on the run leg so they can hydrate before waiting for a water station to pop up. Some companies making these include RoadRunner Sports, Asics, Brooks, Fuel Belt, Ultimate Direction and Nathan.
Hydration stations: OK, this obviously isn't an accessory but at least here in Chicago we're fortunate enough to have a great bunch of volunteers who come out on Saturday mornings at points along the 18 miles of Lakefront Path to set up tables filled with water and Gatorade. It's just like being at a race where you can help yourself and then you don't even have to carry your own fuel.
So with all of these options, how do you stay hydrated?