5 Essentials To Pack For Your Long Run

As much as I would want to, I do not get the opportunity to run very high mileage on the regular. I simply do not have the time to do that, so when I get the chance I make sure I am prepared. This past summer, I naively believed that I did not need to bring much with me on a 20 mile run. I thought my five or six 20+ milers (don’t in good, cooler weather conditions) were proof that I did not need to be prepared with sustenance on a long run.

Well, I was wrong.

After one bad experience (that I am glad I had), I now take more interest in giving my body what it needs while I am running, even if it’s not 30 miles or more (I actually never run that in training).

During my first 50K, I took things with my in my pack, but I also utilized the aid stations to the max. I found that I enjoyed drinking calories more than eating them, so I took in a lot of Tailwind and also ate a Clif Bar and some dried mango. This was counter intuitive (I am someone who would rather EAT than drink food) but it worked.

When I go out by myself when I am home, I not only bring food, but also other things that make the experience more enjoyable. I think that adding extras like tissues or a couple dollars do not add much weight (ounces!) and they make a world of difference.

The following list is what I put in my long run pack, which is a Scott Jurek Ultimate Direction racing vest which I purchased from the Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Company.

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1.) Food/Drink

After I bonked a few weeks back, I realized the importance of water. Nutrition is a key component to being able to hit the roads for a long time. Some of what I bring for my long runs are:

Dates/Dried Figs

Almond/Peanut Butter Packets…like Barney Butter

Mini Clifbars

Pizza Sauce Packets

I also usually drink water, but have also used Tailwind and Gatorade

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2.) Money

You never know what you might need/crave during your run. If you’re running by a coffee shop and the thought of caffeine just sounds like an elixir, I’d say go for it. You also might fall/bonk and need a cab ride home. No shame, be prepared and do it!

3.) Mace

Whether you’re on the trail or running the streets alone, you need to protect yourself. There was recently a shooting and death in my city. Small, hippie Ithaca, NY had a shooting! If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. Be smart and bring some pepper spray. Honestly, I’d use it on a human before an animal, but untrained dogs can get the best of you too. Don’t go insane with that, just be mindful.

4.) Cell Phone

Again, need a ride home or directions, a cell phone is useful. I turn off all my notifications because I don’t want to be distracted, but I bring my phone just in case an emergency were to happen. If I’d had my phone when I bonked, I wouldn’t have had to run the final three miles home and maybe saved my ankle some soreness. You never know.

5.) Tissues/Toilet Paper

There will come a time when you will have to poop in the woods. Embrace it and be ready. It’s a rite of passage and other runners understand. Bring something to clean up your parts and get on with your run. Just try to hide from the main road.

What do you carry during your long run? I bring @barneybutter @tailwindnutrition and TISSUES! #runchat #longrun #ultrarunning Click To Tweet

Get out there and be safe!

Mendon Ponds 50K 2016 Race Recap

As always, I must give a huge thank you to Red Newt Racing and Strong Hearts Vegan Power for all the support and love. I would not be where I am without my teams running behind me. 

If listening to Christmas music on the drive to your race is somehow a good luck charm, I’m totally doing it for every future competition! That’s what happened on my drive to Mendon Ponds Park this past Saturday to race the Mendon Ponds 50K.

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Thankfully, although I think I sang “Let It Snow” twice during the drive, the weather was perfect for racing and I did not have to worry.

Mendon Ponds Park is located in Rochester, NY, is part of the Trails Roc racing series and was put on by Rochester Orienteering. Directions to the race and parking were very straight forward and easy. Everything began and ended at Stewart Lodge which made logistics, something I stress over, a breeze.

In addition to the 50K, there is a 10K, 20K and 30K going on at the same time. The 50K started at 8:00AM and the other races began an hour later. This was nice actually, because I got about 1.5 laps in when the other race began and did not have to worry about trying to pass or get passed by too many people immediately.

The 50K was 5 loops of the 10K course. I quite enjoyed this set up because, being a relatively newbie on trails, I could figure the course out in the first loop and then get faster with each loop remembering what spots were difficult and where I should race faster.

I saw fellow SHVP teammate Jason at the start and since he had run 100 miles a few weeks ago I had some crazy idea that I could stay with him. Nope. He took off like a cheetah and I ran next to a few people before the race thinned out. The first loop I just got my bearings. I ran with a guy named Tom for the first three loops, which was really nice because talking and making friendships is what I like about trail running. The first three loops were nothing really special. I focused on not falling and on taking in a lot of Tailwind at each aid station.

Last race, I took in a cup of Tailwind at each aid station, but this one I managed two each time. This is a big win because I can get faster later (as you’ll see) in the race and avoid bonking.

After the third loop, Tom told me not to wait for him as that distance (about 18 miles) was the farthest he’s ran in 1.5 years (!!!). I ran the fourth and fifth loops solo, but also not solo when I passed the 10, 20 and 30Kers on their own loops.

The fourth loop was probably the hardest mentally at the beginning. I knew I still had two loops to go, but had already run so long already. Also, the bigger climbs were at the beginning of each loop, so I felt it in my legs during miles 20-24. However, after that, I felt really strong, especially in the final loop.

A combination of the nutrition from the aid stations and then just feeling confident to run fast on the downhills and maintain my effort on the uphills worked in my favor. I felt like I was moving!

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I finished in around 4:16 or so (I don’t have official results yet), first female, 6th overall and set the course record by more than 20 minutes. To say I was thrilled would be a complete understatement. What I enjoyed most was feeling really strong on the last loop and pushing myself then. I think I can go faster if I ever do it again.

My legs are trashed today, so I think that’s a signal I ran downhill hard 🙂

Oh yea, and I forgot to mention:

Jason won. Of course he did.

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes with Almond Butter Glaze

Easy, raw vegan donuts are perfect for fall. Easy to make, only 7 ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Enjoy one or three of these with a mug of coffee or hot cider today! 

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One food I used to eat a lot of growing up, but don’t so much anymore was a donut. Any time my family got in the car, an obligatory stop at Dunkin’ Donuts was the first thing on the list. I always thought my dad was just spoiling us, but really, he needed to feed his coffee addiction.

Like father, like daughter right?

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I was a big fan of the strawberry frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles, but really, any donut with a glaze would satisfy me. Bonus if sprinkles were available.

Today, I only am able to find vegan donuts at a few select places, so that makes having one even more special. After looking at so many recipes online, I finally decided to craft my own…with a special twist.

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You all know I’m a but nut butter fan and was recently made an athlete ambassador for Barney Butter. What a better way to eat almond butter than on a donut? Seriously why aren’t there almond butter donuts?

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This recipe uses almond butter to glaze the outside of these donut holes and gives them that almost dessert quality, almost too decadent for breakfast.

Almost.

Raw #Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes with @barneybutter almond butter glaze!! Perfect for on the go, or Sunday #breakfast #veganrecipehour Click To Tweet

Just, save it for the weekend 😉

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Donut Holes with Almond Butter Glaze

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 10-12Total:

You'll Need...

  • Donut Holes:
  • 3/4 cup cashews soaked for 30 minutes in warm water, then drained
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (I used Barney Butter Bare Smooth)
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients for the donut holes into a food processor or blender.
  2. Process the ingredients until a moist dough is formed.
  3. Roll into bite sized balls and put in the fridge for 3 hours or the freezer for 25 minutes.
  4. While the donuts are hardening, melt the coconut oil in a small sauce pan over low heat.
  5. Add in the almond butter and maple syrup stirring continuously until a glaze syrup is achieved.
  6. After the donuts have solidified, roll them in the glaze or pour the glaze over them, it works both ways.
  7. Put the back in the freezer or fridge to harden.

What is your favorite donut?

Plant Fusion Protein Powder

I’m not going to lie, I like adding protein powder to things. For me, it adds texture, flavor and something I like to call “Oomph”.

Oomph is what I need to feel when I ran 15 miles in the morning and then have an 8 hour shift at work.

Oomph is going hiking in the afternoon after a morning workout.

Oomph is chasing your cat around the apartment because he threw up on the floor and MAMA DONT STAND FO DAT!

I honestly don’t worry about getting enough protein, but I do like the assurance that I’m getting enough calories. These calories also need to be of a high quality. I used to go by the phrase “if the engine is hot enough, anything will burn.” And that is true to an extent. However, that does not mean it burns clean.

The only problem I have run into with vegan protein powders is that some of them are gritty and lack taste. I like my protein powders sweetened, naturally so and delicious tasting. I like being able to tell that the powder is there or I wouldn’t put it in my food to begin with!

Plant Fusion was kind enough to send me a box of goodies after I reached out to them thanking them for the wonderful products they make which fuel my training. Their products help me recover so I always have that Oomph.

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Plant Fusion is a completely raw vegan protein supplement used to support active lifestyles. It is dairy free, soy free, gluten free and ANIMAL HARM free (most important!). Additionally, their products score a perfect 1.0 on the PDCAAS (protein digestibility amino acid score) based off their unique blend of nutrients. Enhanced with BCAAs and easy to digest, this product is comparable to whey protein powder, without the gross stomach upsets and ANIMAL HARM.

I’ve tried a lot of different plant based proteins and this is one of the best tasting one that I’ve tried. It is easily the most convenient one to mix in and the flavors they have are To die for…erm, to live for!

Take a look at these yummy breakfast ideas using @plantfusion protein powder! #vegan Click To Tweet

I have tried the chocolate raspberry, chocolate caramel, vanilla chai and regular vanilla flavors and they all pass the taste test. My favorite is probably the vanilla chai because I usually mix cinnamon into the plain vanilla anyway, so I know it’s what I like. The most unique was the chocolate raspberry, which tasted great and I could see myself making a shake out of it. It had that milkshake feel you know?

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[Carrot Cake Protein Bowl]

-mashed banana, vanilla chai protein powder, cinnamon, carrot shreds-

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[Chocolate Coconut]

-mashed banana, chocolate protein flavor, coconut butter, chocolate shavings-

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[Vanilla walnut]

-mashed banana, vanilla protein powder, walnuts and peanut butter-

What flavor would you like to try?

What is your favorite high protein breakfast?