Oh Hi There, Incredible Running Path Near My New California Home!

My first run on the Los Gatos Creek Trail in sunny California! It was too warm for this vest, but I need the extra pockets. in the vest, so I
My first run on the Los Gatos Creek Trail in sunny California! It was too warm for this vest, but I needed the extra pockets.

The best thing about moving to California so far has been the discovery of the most amazing running path half a mile from my apartment. I can drop into the Los Gatos Creek Trail near its 7 mile point (it’s 10 miles end to end) and then connect to a couple of others, creating a long out-and-back route that I can’t wait to tackle!

Yesterday I went for my very first run on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. It wasn’t exactly pretty (I’m talking about the way my body felt—darn butt acted up thirty minutes in; the appearance of the path itself was quite lovely), but there is so much potential here I practically cart wheeled back to my place. I’m really looking forward to getting stronger, building up the miles, and gaining speed on this trail!

California, you and I are going to be great friends!

Have you discovered any new paths lately? What’s your favorite running route?

Is Anyone Else Feeling Hot And Bothered?

There’s a chunk missing because I accidentally dropped my Gold Bond Friction Defense on the floor, but I still love this slippery stuff!

Humidity is not my friend. It zaps my energy and turns me into a sweaty mess. Case in point: Saturday morning’s 16-mile long run that ended up being an 8.32-mile mental whine fest. My entire body was wet, my sports bra was chaffing, and it felt like I was trying to breathe through a hot, damp t-shirt.

I have to take some of the blame for the irritated skin. Lately, I’ve been applying Gold Bond Friction Defense before getting dressed, but I was still half asleep that morning and it totally slipped my mind. Have you tried this anti-chaffing rock star? I slick it on around my waist, ribcage, and over my shoulders to prevent waistbands and bra straps from rubbing me the wrong way. It’s not sticky, and doesn’t leave oily marks on my clothes—the way some petrolatum-based skin lubes can.

So yeah, that humid run left a red mark in the middle of my chest and put me in a funk. I get really down on myself when I give in to feeling uncomfortable and cut a long run short. I start thinking that I’m not tough enough, that I’m not really cut out for running, and that I should just give up my marathon goal this year.

A cold shower, an icy glass of Coke, and a couple of hours sitting next to an air conditioner later, I was looking up different routes to try out on Sunday’s run. What a difference the temperature makes!

What do you do when humidity makes running outside miserable? How do you cool off?

GU’s Peanut Butter is the Best Thing Since Peanut Butter!

Left behind after a long run: Sneakers, sweaty clothes and an empty GU Peanut Butter packet.

Seriously, the new (to me) Peanut Butter flavored GU is delicious. I discovered it at a mini-race expo in Tupper Lake, NY, and since then I’ve been looking forward to carrying it with me on all of my long runs. It tastes almost as good as the stuff it’s trying to pretend to be. Halfway through a 12-miler, when I start feeling tired and slow, I pop some of this peanut buttery goodness into my mouth and I’m instantly a new runner.

I love peanut butter so much, that if I could suck down a glob of the real stuff I would. But, sadly, it’s not the right kind of fuel to take in during a run.

When you run for more than 60 minutes (90 minutes if your body happens to have an extra efficient storage system), your body uses up the glycogen stored in its muscles and then goes for the sugar in your circulatory system and liver to continue to power your legs. When that fuel source runs out, your muscles become slow to respond and have the potential to cramp. GU and other sports gels and drinks are specially formulated to offer quick burning carbs (sugars) and electrolytes that hit your bloodstream minutes after reaching your tummy.

Peanut butter has carbs, but it’s also high in protein, making it slow to digest—so the energy you get from it doesn’t reach your legs in time for it to be used in that workout. Which means during a long run, GU’s Peanut Butter is better than actual peanut butter. (I know, I can’t believe I just said that either. Peanut butter, I love you! I do!)

I’m not going to start spreading this stuff on toast, but it just might edge out GU’s Chocolate Outrage for the top spot in my fuel favorites.

Which gels are your favorites? Have you tried GU’s new (to me) Peanut Butter flavor?