SMART Bars and Other Natural Fuel for Athletes

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Detour Bar, but as always, the opinions are my own.

Over the weekend I went on an epic bike ride with California Triathlon. A group of us rode up the Angeles Crest Highway for a beautiful 40 mile ride with over 4,000 feet of elevation. It was tough, but a great opportunity to try out some new fuel. I have been wanting to write a natural fuel post for a long time, and I finally feel like I have enough goodies to share.

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Detour Bar sent me a few boxes of Smart Bars as part of a FitFluential campaign, and I must say I was very pleased with the bars. They sent me apple cinnamon and blueberry, and both flavors are delicious! Plus, each bar has only 130 calories, 10 grams of high quality whey protein, 4 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
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I brought a few of the Smart Bars with me on the epic ride this Saturday to share with some of my Cal Tri friends, and they all love them! My favorite is the blueberry! The 10 grams of protein makes it a perfect snack on a long ride too.

Watermelon Juice – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I absolutely love watermelon juice as a natural drink for long bike rides and runs. Watermelon has electrolytes thanks to all the potassium and aids with muscle recovery. Plus, it tastes pretty incredible! I fill up my aerodrink with watermelon juice for just about every long bike ride.

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Cinnamon Honey Sweet Potato Mash – One of my Cal Tri friends recommended this concoction to me. She swears by it and used it in all of her Ironman races. To make this recipe, simply boil and mash a sweet potato. Then mix it with a little honey and cinnamon. Put it in a small sandwich bag, bite the tip off the bag, and squeeze into your mouth. It may look like baby food, but it’s delicious!

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Dried fruit like figs, cherries, apricots – The perfect natural source of energy. I absolutely love dried figs, and bring a few with me for long runs.

PB&J Squares – When I ran the Ragnar Relay, my friend Jen highly recommended running with a PB&J sandwich. She would cut it up into small squares, and eat a square at mile 6, 12, 18, and 24. I cut off the crust and try not to over-stuff the sandwich with peanut butter!

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Frozen Grapes – You can’t go wrong with frozen grapes! They are like little tiny drops of sunshine. Instead of putting skittles in your bento box, freeze a few grapes! They are amazing!

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Salted Peanut Butter Dates – Dates? Yes Please! Salted Peanut Butter? Can I get a Hell Yes!? Love the combination of sweet dates with salty peanut butter. If you are a salty sweater like I am, you will be thankful for the salted peanut butter.

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 There you have it! All my favorite natural fuel for athletes!

LA Tri Series Triathlon

Happy Monday my friends! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. My weekend was awesome because I completed my second olympic triathlon on Sunday!

IMG_3985_sI am going to start by saying I went into this race with low expectations because I haven’t been training as much as I would like… especially with running. I kind of dislike despise hate tolerate running now. Something happened after the marathon, and I just can’t get back into the groove.

Anyways, this race went better than expected! I finished exactly on my goal time of 3:30:00! Cool beans.

IMG_4058_sThe swim was a little daunting at 1,500 meters because that was the longest I have ever swam open water. For the first half of the swim I couldn’t get into a rhythmic breathing pattern, and I wasn’t kicking my feet… at all. The second half of the swim went really well! There is something about seeing the swim finish banner on shore that kicks your butt into gear. My total swim time was 36:33.

IMG_4116-sBoth of the transitions went very smoothly with only a few minor glitches here and there. Yay for not knocking over expensive bikes!

IMG_4166_crop-sThe bike was a hilly 25 miles with three laps around the lake. I took the first lap nice and easy saving energy for the second two laps.  The Bear told me that I can get a triathlon bike once I can pass all of the mountain bikes during a race. Guess what?! I totally passed them all! While I am not getting a new triathlon bike next week, I am definitely in the market. My total bike time was 1:44:50.

IMG_4343-sThe run was hard… so hard. It was about 90 degrees out when I started the run, so I definitely got my sweat on during this race. I stopped to walk up a few short hills, but overall, maintained a decent pace throughout the run. My total run time was 1:06:05.

IMG_4348-sThe biggest lesson I learned during this race is that I need to train a LOT more before Silverman in October. Hills, hills, and more hills will be the name of the game over the next 5 months!

 

RnR San Diego – Bike Medic Volunteer

Yesterday I was very fortunate to volunteer at the RnR San Diego Half Marathon and Marathon as bike medic support with California Triathlon. It was my first time riding a marathon on a bike and I have to say it was pretty darn cool.
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At the start of the course, about 12 of us Cal Tri members gathered to provide assistant to runners in need. It was really neat to see all the runners jet off at the start of the race line.
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Meb, who won the Boston Marathon this year, led out the 1:30 minute pacers. Meb is in the yellow hat in the center of the photo below.image

My friend Lucy and I ended up riding with the half marathon runners, and we rode the first 8 miles with only one person in need of help. Once we reached mile 9, where the marathoners joined the half marathoners around their mile 20, everyone was hurting.  Lucy and I rode back and forth between mile 20 and 24 handing out water, salt, Gu, and spraying pain relief.

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The funny thing is, before now, I never even noticed bike medics on the course during any of my half marathons or full marathons, but boy, were we out there working our butts off!
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It was a ton of fun volunteering at RnR San Diego, and everyone was very grateful for our support. Such a cool experience!