favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when you DNF a race, you are suppose to think of your favorite things, right?

Instead of telling you my all favorite warm fuzzy things (like The Baker, carrot muffins and sleeping for 12 hours) that have made me feel better over the past few days, I am going to tell you about my favorite running related things/products from this year.

In no particular order:

1. Salomon XT Advanced Skin 5 SLAB pack
Bottles? We don't need no stinking bottles. Though I love and adore my gel-bots for ease of fueling and hydrating, my arms don't like carrying bottles. I use to have really good upper body form until I started running with a hand held. But for a long time it was necessity because I could never find a pack I loved. Thankfully, Salomon created one that I love, love, love. It is super light weight and breatheable. It has easy to access pockets and fits me like a glove. It doesn't bounce and it never feels heavy even when full. It is a smart customizable pack.

2. Floradix Iron & Herbs and Floradix Calcium & Magnesium
I have struggled with my iron levels for a very long time and am always concerned about my body health because I am a high mileage female runner. These two Floradix products are the only things that have shown substantial results by the numbers. My iron has stayed out of the anemic range since I started taking it and my bone health is excellent since adding the Cal/Mag as well. Though the taste of the Iron & Herbs is very metallic, the powerful results make it palatable to me. I have taken pretty much everything under the sun for my iron and Floradix simply works. All runners should take these two products.

3. Vespa Ultra-Concentrate
I have long been a fan of Vespa products and use them as part of my training and racing. I can run longer and harder on an optimized fat burning system. Until the Ultra-Concentrate came out, the only problem with taking Vespa's during races was the size. The larger pouches are harder to carry on your person, so you either had to rely on a crew or drop bags for getting them mid-race. The Ultra-Concentrate size is smaller than a gel and as powerful as the regular. Makes it perfect for racing and long adventures!

4. Gu Watermelon Chomps
I get mid-race gel burnout and these Chomps are where I turn. The watermelon taste is tasty and also does not have a gel flavor equivalent, so it stay fresh tasting. It is the closest I get to eating candy and I look forward to when I get to change things up in a race and have some of these.

5. Suunto T6D with mini foot pod
The Suunto T6D is one powerful little tool. It has an altimeter, with the calibrated foot pod, it can track distance, speed and a thousand other bits of information about your run and then syncs up to Movescount. For me the best feature is its size. It is normal watch size. Many GPS watches dwarf my tiny wrists or bruise my wrist after a long run, the Suunto doesn't do that and is comfortable for every day use.

6. Hypoxico Sleep System- altitude training system
The power to sleep high and train low. Having now slept in this tent for 7 months, I can clearly see the training benefit of this. It really works. We initially got it because Nathan needed to adapt to altitude for Hardrock but we have continued to use it since we have seen and felt the benefits to our overall fitness. My resting heart rate is lower, my oxygen capacity has increased, my body fat is lower and I am sure my V02 max has increased as well. Often times we will be running along quite fast and are able to hold a casual conversation and not feel winded at all. This purchase was a huge boon for our supplemental training.

7. Salomon Speedcross 3
I love the Speedcross. They are my favorite shoe. I love how gnarly the grip looks, yet how many surfaces it responds to is amazing (including a treadmill). It has a very smooth ride and can go distances up to 100k (as far as I have tested!). It is the lightest shoe Salomon makes (I believe) and comes in many snazzy colors, which is important of course in such an arbitrary list as this.

8.  Rudy Project Sport Mask Performance
Weighing in at just .88  ounces these sunglasses are an absolute dream while running. The adjustable nose piece keeps them in place while running and they provide superior eye protection from the sun. I put on these sunglasses and just feel fast.

I feel better, don't you?