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23 June 2017 - 6:00am

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FUDs

First of all I need to apologize for lack of content on the site lately. I have been nursing an injury and have been missing my endorphins. Now I am back on the trail thanks to the excellent help of hinteractive physio and am slowly building back up to where I was. (and I feel like writing again)
Now that is said I think it is time to review another product.

F.U.Ds
The whiz biz, fud (female urination device ) and friend of adventurous women.
While I haven't had the opportunity to use it out on the trail I have been able to test it out. You can pee standing up! No need to squat in the bushes and risk pricking your exposed tush on sticks and bushes.
I have had one for a while but only really thought about reviewing it today when at a childs birthday party and the public toilets were a little bit unclean, and it was then that I wished I could have brought more then my phone.
This may sounds a little TMI (too much information) but it is often one of those unspoken but wanted to know questions.
How do I rate it?  8 Out of 10. While it is handy it can be a little bit bulky but it will catch all the drips and then repel them (hydrophobic). It works well and I would recommend it for those wanting to stand up to pee or those enjoying long runs/hikes from civilization. These can be purchased directly from their website or one of their stockists.

GoGirl Product

The go-girl is another FUD which I have had the opportunity to trial. While the purpose is the same as the whiz biz it’s flexibility makes it somewhat different. The go-girl is quite a bit softer then the whiz biz and doesn’t have the same amount of coverage either but it still does the job and, if used properly, with no leakage either. The best bit about it that it comes with it’s own little storage tube, a plastic bag to put it in after use and a little bit of loo paper. This one comes with a variety of carry tubes

How do I rate it? 7 out of 10. I like the softness of the silicone but this also deters me from using it as I am worried about leakage when I use this product. It is about $10 cheaper then the whizbiz which makes it more appropriate for the budget conscious. It can be bought from good hiking shops and the go-girl Australia site,

Sport Supplements

As we all know, there is a 101 and more different sports supplements, electrolyte replacements and energy foods on the market. All designed to help us perform better, have longer last energy and get through our next marathon experience. So, which one do we choose and how do we know it is the right one for us? What else is out there? Are there natural alternatives?

I know I can’t give any definitive answers to these questions, but I can hope to provide reviews on the products I have found, and my personal preference heads towards the more natural the better. Among some of my favourites is coconut water, but that is a hard one to obtain and then have ready to drink on hand, especially if you don’t want the sweetened, flavoured and already bottled sort. So, I am always on the search for an alternative, where I can read the ingredient list and know what each item is (and it isn’t a number).

Some of those newly found supplements I have found include – Elete electrolyte, and Sharkies

Photo_E1C1D5F6-F954-4F9D-165A-691D77C6607AElete Electrolytes

This stuff can be added to water and you can’t taste it. It is just pure electrolytes obtained from sea minerals. One small bottle (25ml) can make up at least 10L of electrolytes and from the various reviews I have read, this stuff works pretty well.

I had the opportunity to test it, but not in a sporting capacity (injured and unable to run right now), and I was surprised. I had spent the day out helping man checkpoints and I hadn’t drunk much thanks to the checkpoint being in the middle of the bush and no toilets around, so I was a little dehydrated upon arriving home. Usually when I get dehydrated it will take a while for my water levels to get back to a normal level but I had a bottle of water made up and ready to go. Not only did I feel better quickly but it was easy to take down, and I didn’t feel bloated at all.

Because this stuff has no taste (no after-taste noticed either), apparently doesn’t leave any residue, and can be mixed with any liquids, it makes the perfect accompaniment for your sporting endeavours. If you mix it according to instructions, you would only need 2.5ml per litre of water, at full strength, so a small 25ml bottle will not only save you money but will go a long way also. It makes carting your sports drinks around even easier.

So, from me, this gets a big thumbs up and shall be a constant in my sporting nutrition

 

Photo_836622A9-F9F2-48FC-AAFC-EF6E83517529  Sharkies for Kids

Sugary sweet and a wonderful treat, though for what you get in a packet, they aren’t that family friendly. On the weekend we joined in a fundraising walk and decided to try out the Sharkies – Kids sports chews. I personally didn’t notice any difference in performance upon having my one and I am not sure that my kids did either, but they tasted great, were great motivation, and I could have easily sat down and eaten the whole packets. (Yes I like my lollies). What was good about these sweets was the actual low sugar content, Vitamin C, and natural, if not organic, ingredients. They were also gluten and wheat free, and fructose free.

At the price of $3.50 per packet, I am not sure I would buy them again from an actual shop, as there were only 12 little sharks in the packet, and with 4 kids, they wouldn’t last very long at all. I am yet to trial the adult version, and I have heard good reviews on these, but if these perform better, and are better value for money, I may consider buying these online (approx $2.75 per packet this way) otherwise I may just skip over these as a regular energy source and trial gels. (Or bananas if they ever come down in price)

Supporting the Team

Photo_ACEF4249-72B5-90F0-69D4-22E88DD0CC75The past two weekends I have supported teams out on the trail. First the Kokoda Challenge down the Gold Coast last weekend, and secondly the trail runners doing the Flinders Tour today.

Both are great events and are well run, though the Flinders Tour is a bit smaller then the Gold Coast event.

The Kokoda Challenge saw a team of 4 people (which I was crewing for) traverse over 96km in the Gold Coast Hinterland. it was wet, muddy and very, very slippery. While one team member did have to pull out due to injury, she still managed to complete a very impressive 64km. Unfortunately I missed the beginning which I was told, was pretty amazing. A large oval was filled to overflowing with competitors. The first checkpoint was almost as busy as it contained both competitors and their crew and their vehicles (along with the obligatory mud and drizzly rain). I came in when it was time to go and stake out the meeting point and await our time to visit the 2nd major checkpoint, Polly’s Kitchen.

The team still looked good, the mud wasn’t too bad (until it was time to leave) and the crew did the quickest unpack and setup on the whole trip (we ended up having a long wait though). This stop was pretty uneventful with everyone still laughing and looking well. No injuries at this stage either. After a quick feed, changing into night clothes, along with reflective gear and headlights (which did work) we sent them on, enjoyed a snack ourselves and packed up before heading off on a long trek to the next stop.

Numinbah Hall was a big one, as we got there early enough so that we could enjoy a break, some dinner and a quick snooze for those who had been up since 3.30am. This stop we waited until about 1am which was when the team came in. We were getting a little worried as the timeline they set themselves was starting to slip away. At this checkpoint we diverted them away from the roaring fires, wrapped them up in blankets and warm jackets, fed them piping hot food, that was sold on site, and filled them with coffee or hot tea. It was at this checkpoint we saw the weariness start to kick in. Mini power naps happened as I pulled off their mud encrusted shoes and socks. Kicking them out of camp at about 1.45am-2am we packed up again and headed to our next rest stop (rest was had).

Once the sun had risen it was off to the next stop to provide a quick refresher for the team (didn’t bother unpacking everything at this stage) before heading to the final major checkpoint, which included a snooze and a decent wait. The end was in site, the birds were chirping and the toilets were disgusting and out of toilet paper.

Once we got the team through this checkpoint, we parted ways and while the rest of the crew headed back to the finish line I headed on home. I had family to get back to and I didn’t get home until early evening, 5hrs past the expected finish time.

Despite my late start and early finish, I had a great time and would crew again, knowing more then I did at the beginning. It was interesting to watch the teams as they succeeded, fell apart and quit. So many overcome the obstacles put in front of them and won. This wasn’t a race about coming first (though the winning team came in, in just over 10hrs) but about pushing past barriers and about being a team. It was hard, and people got hurt and had to pull out, but they still won. They had the courage to start this at the beginning.

Well done to all who participated.

(P.S. The picture above was the only picture I could get before my phone battery decided to almost die on me, and, of course, I left my charger at home!)

Flinders Tour – Well, it was an excellent run and I had fun being able to help out at the checkpoints. Reading numbers, writing times and filling water bottles.

Can’t wait till the next event!

Make Your Own

jalie2796What does Make-Your-Own have to do with running?

Mum’s who run, do more then just run and be a mum. From the mum’s I know personally, who run, there are artists, home sewers, article writers, make up artists, etc. We are more then just mum’s and runners, and that is why I thought I would share this pattern review with you.

Not too long ago I went searching for patterns, as I was fed up with the high prices for buying my own ready made running skirt. I found this pattern – Jalie 2796 – and started looking around at various reviews of the pattern. The only problem with it, that I could find, was that the waistband really needed extra support and by adding elastic to the waistband the problem was solved. An easy fix!

This pattern comes in a variety of sizes, starting right down at a girls size 2, and climbing all the way up to a ladies size 22. Extra bonus! I could use this single pattern to make all of my 4 girls a running skirt! Including myself.

The pattern does all the usual stuff, it tells you which materials are best (I found spandex/swimsuit lycras the best), how to choose your size and clear concise instructions to follow (including pictures of how it all goes together). It even gave you tips on how to sew it without a serger/overlocker. You also have a few different alternatives, those being a skirt on it’s own, boy leg pants, compression shorts or the combination of the different pants with the skirt.

Having used this pattern now, a few times, I find it easy to follow, sew up and cut out. I also would recommend it to anyone who wants to make their own running skirt. The pockets are also deep enough to carry your mobile phone in while you run.

If you are handy with a sewing machine and want to give it a go, or know someone who could make it for you, you can purchase the pattern here

Here are some of the skirts I have made so far. The first I just lengthened the legs and it was my trial skirt, to work out what it needed. The second has matching compression shorts beneath it, as do the rest of them. My girls love their skirts.

2011-06-05 running skort 0032011-06-15 miranda skort 0012011-06-18 skorts 0022011-06-18 skorts 005

Ziplock Bags

Why ziplock bags? Well, they are the poor man’s (or whoever wants to use them) alternative to the pricey waterproof bags you can buy to stick your phone in while running. They are cheap enough that when they wear out you can just ‘borrow’ another of the kids’ lunch bags and keep on running.

Provided you have a good quality (these can still be quite cheap) bag, there should be no leakage into the bag. In order to minimise the chance of my bag opening at anytime I like to expel as much air, out of the bag, as possible, before hand.

They also come in a variety of sizes, double ziplock, single ziplock, with characters on the packet and in blue, green or red. There is no need to order from a specialty shop and pay for delivery, as you can simply pick up a box of 50, 75, or 150 from the local supermarket. Just don’t use the ones you get from the bank, because they have tiny holes in them.

Having said this, and recommending them, I wouldn’t attempt to take them swimming or drop them in a puddle and see how long it takes to become waterlogged, but I would just use them, in my bum bag to protect my phone from the cold winter rain as I run the paths.

Note: I had the perfect opportunity to try one out last week when I was out running and it started to rain. I was soaked from head to toe within 5 minutes. Upon getting home my phone, inside it’s ziplock bag, was still as dry as when I first put it in there. If I had needed to contact anyone, and it was raining, I would have been able to send a sms without take the phone from it’s bag. And, the rain was cold.

Ultima Replenisher

20110418_ultima_grapeUltima replenisher is one of the many sports supplements/hydration drinks out there. What is different about this one is that not only does it not contain cane sugar but it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners either, but it still manages to taste sweet. It does this by using stevia, an alternative to traditional sweeteners. What makes this special is the fact that the sweeteners in this product (stevia) can be consumed by those sensitive to artificial sweeteners and diabetics.

Not only does it have this natural benefit but it sticks to what it advertises on the packet – no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. And it provides all you need in a sports drink to help rehydrate yourself. It doesn’t provide carbohydrates however, and is only available in America so far.

I wanted to trial this product before committing to a large order, or even searching around for others so we could put in a joint order, so I bought a sample pack which contains 10 sachets or the various flavours available for this drink. The flavours available include – grape, lemonade, orange and wild raspberry. So far I have only tried the grape.

The instructions on the packet say to mix the sachet contents with 8-12oz of water, which when converted to Australian measurements, equals about 300ml of water. I did this, and while it was refreshing and tasted a lot like grape hubba bubba with a slight liquorice after taste (which I like), I thought it was a little strongly flavoured. I would be tempted to water it down a little more in the future, but this is just my personal preference, and I am yet to try the other flavours so i can compare.

I give this drink a big thumbs up as it now is easier for those wishing to avoid sugar in their sports drink, to be able to rehydrate with great flavours, but a thumbs down for accessibility and shipping costs. (3 sample packs were going to cost $25 in shipping but I received cheap shipping after long email conversations with the manager)

Corporate Challenge Fun Run

Today i didn't run. Today i supported my 12yr old in her run and became a photographer's gopher
Today i watched the people who ran the race and saw that it just wasn't the slender, fit and muscly who ran but the overweight, cellulite showing and bouncing bosoms who ran. It was ordinary, everyday people. I didn't feel so alone in my running, just slow.
There were women bigger then me, running quicker then me and i saw the elation on their faces as they crossed the line. I saw the struggle in their beet red faces, exhausted, but continuing on. They did something others just don't do. They got out there, gave it a go and just didn't quit. They obviously get out there, despite the criticism and general public opinion. They succeed, they don't give up. They are inspiration for ordinary folk, the ones who are scared and body conscious. They are the type who give me a reason to keep going (apart from the two ladies who drag me out of bed before the sun rises to go training)
And this fun run today? I didn't do it but my 12 yr old did. She struggled as she was getting over her flu/cold and didn't do well. But today this post isn't about the runners but the inspiration you can get from watching, taking notice and seeing that you aren't alone. You never know, someone just like you, might be watching you, getting inspiration from you. So keep it up, you just never know.

Dirt Fest

The dirt fest weekend long event was a good one, looked forward to by young and old alike.

This year hubby did the short triathlon course (350m swim, 10km mountain bike ride, 4km run), I did the 2km fun/trail run as did my second oldest daughter, while the younger two did the mud rats run. My eldest babysat our spot (read most of the day) and did enjoy the atmosphere despite what she would tell you.

There was mud this year, and lots of it. You could not avoid it, but this was just part of the fun and every athlete who came in, from the mud rats to the veterans, were splattered with it. No one cared though as it made the course more challenging and interesting.

Throughout the event there were people who were worth taking notice of, and they weren’t just the winners. There were those who were doing their first triathlon, those who came from interstate, from the dusty dry outback, those who laughed, those who got lost on the course and those who finished despite the personal challenges they faced. It was inspirational, the atmosphere was great and no one was made to feel like a looser.

Some of those worth mentioning are

- The guy who was on the short triathlon course and he broke something on his bike during the first circuit of the mountain bike leg so he could not peddle it. He finished the first round using his bike as a scooter and when he was informed that if he couldn’t fix his bike himself, with his own gear (triathlon rules) he could either pull out or just keep on going. He kept on going, doing the next 5km circuit on his bike as best he could. Then he went on to finish with the 4km run and eventually ending up on the podium receiving a place.

- There was the girl (about 10yrs) who took the wrong turn on the bike leg of her mini triathlon and ended up completing the 5km adult track instead of the easy 3km kids track. She came in dead last, almost in tears but because she continued, and did not just quit she proved to be a winner that day. Everyone applauded her effort and she was even given a competitors medal and shirt instead of the usual lolly reward for this free event. Hopefully she will continue in her chosen sport.

- The little kids who respected the unspoken rules and played well together, staying out of the way of competitors

 

My part of the weekend was was spent mostly waiting for things to happen.

The actual race itself was a good one and supposed to be only 2km (ended up being close to 3km). There were seven of us at the beginning and when it came time for the medals there were 8! Not sure how that happened.

The track itself was muddy, had lots of exposed tree roots to jump over, and a stinky muddy puddle to wade through while trying not to loose my shoes. Sometimes it felt like you were running up and down stairs, like you were in the middle of nowhere (no people sounds to be heard), and completely lost. I was uncertain on this track and took off too quickly (in order to put on a good show before disappearing into the bush), and wore myself out a little too early on in the race. At one stage during the run I thought I had gotten myself lost because I should be almost finished but then just a couple of hundred meters down the track there was a marshal pointing me in the right direction and i was back on track again. I came in to the cheers of my family, who were waving their ‘go mum’ sign, and despite my slow run was awarded with second place in my age category.

From this weekend I bring back a renewed vigour for wanting to increase my performance so I am not so slow behind everyone else. So I can compete instead of just finish. I don’t plan on being the person who brings home the medal, even though it is nice, but just be able to do, feel strong, and happy with the run. I was not happy with this run and something in me wants to go back and do it again, but I must now wait a year before I can. How much more can I achieve in the next year? A lot more I hope. At least pick up a little speed and endurance anyhow.

Kokoda Challenge Track

Today we tackled part of the Kokoda Challenge track, at the Gold Coast, in the hinterland.

Man, was it a challenge! People run this!

I only did a small section of the track and I am stuffed! And I only walked it!

I won’t say it was enjoyable, and I think that is the idea of it, but it was rewarding.

After climbing the valley/hill sides and reaching the ridge line, the view was beautiful and you could turn every which way and not see another living soul. It as breathtaking (in a good way).

Then we went down hill. Down steep, slippery and muddy hills. A few of us slid, falling down into the mud. That was funny.

At the bottom of one such decline we were rewarded with a crystal clear, and ice cold, creek among a rainforest setting. It was a bubbling brook of sorts, eventually leading to a waterfall.

After this it was all uphill, again.

A lot of the time you would look ahead and not be able to see the path as the grass was long and it hide the path, and you wouldn’t be able to see the path until you were upon it. At one stage we even wandered off the path for about 30m until we realised it was the wrong way so we had to backtrack

I handled it ok. I finished still able to stand but those uphills were killers and I could feel my blood pumping as I struggled up those hills.

The best part of the day was the company. Without them and their comradeship it would have been harder and I just wouldn’t have been able to finish.

Thanks for a rewarding day out Smile

Runaway Bay's Sport Super Centre Fun Run Series

2011-02-20 SSC Fun Run GC 026 333What a mouthful that is, and what a good morning it was.

This run was the graduation for the “Secret Seven” kids group. A group of kids I have been running with most mornings and going through the couch to 5k with. This group of kids ranged in ages from 9, through to 13 with varying running abilities and speeds. Each one sped through the high heat and humidity to finish strong with none stopping for a walk break. Congratulations “Secret Seven” you did a wonderful job.

The day itself was an early start as we left home way before the sun decided to rise,  and arrived at the track/run by 6am in order to register. The sky was clear and it promised to be a hot day with no promise of cooling rains in the near future. The runners swelled to over 700 participants, most of which did the 5km run, and the remaining being the under 12’s which did the junior dart runs. It was a well organised event with lots of prizes and random draw prizes.

For more details, and results from the day, head over to the Corporate Challenge site.