Summer Hydration Tips

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It is hot outside.  Really freaking hot outside. Sing along with me (and name that tune!)

Hace calor, mucho calor
Could fry an egg on the cement it’s so caliente
Hace calor, mucho calor
How ’bout this weather it sure is HOT!

This has been making outdoor workouts really tough for a lot of people.  And if you get through the workout, you have to deal with the aftermath.

One of my most popular posts is from back in 2012 where I discuss a weird headache cure I discovered.  Spoiler alert: it’s sodium.  Dietary salt, salt tablets, it has all helped me.

And all of these years later, it still works for me.  Before a really hot race, I add a bit more salt to my diet.  I almost never salt my food before eating (just while cooking) so a few shakes from the salt shaker makes a big difference.  I also still use Salt Stick caps on occasion.

I was also recently introduced to Osmo Nutrition.  They have a product called Preload Hydration that you drink before a workout (and sometimes the night before too).  It is considered a “hyper-hydrator” and it’s definitely salty.  It’s not the most delicious thing, I will be honest, but it definitely helped me get through Challenge Williamsburg.

Another product I like is Clif Bar Shot Bloks in the margarita flavor, as they have three times the sodium of the regular Shot Bloks.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend trying all of these products at once, but this is what has worked for me.

Hydration is so important, so make sure you are taking in plenty of fluids during a hot outdoor workout.  Just be careful to get some electrolytes in with those fluids.  Some people do great with Gatorade or Powerade, but those are both way too sweet for me, and frequently I don’t need the added calories.  This season, I’ve been using Osmo products and mixing them to my preferred taste.  Anne just introduced me to Tailwind, so I’m starting to use that on some of my training runs to see how my body likes it.

And I recommend not trying anything new on race day.  I have friends with stomachs of iron who can drink anything during a race.  I usually can as well, but I’m not going to risk it.  Of course, if you’re cramping terribly and need some sort of an electrolyte drink and the aid stations only have products you’ve never tried and its between trying something new or taking a DNF – give it a shot.



Wednesday Workout Recap

Last week was the last big push before this weekend’s race.  I’m not going to lie.  It hurt.

Monday – Rest Day.  Okay, this one didn’t hurt.

Tuesday – Treadmill hill repeats.  3 one mile hills.  Awesome.  Actually, this workout went better than I expected. I had to knock the speed WAY down, so I would have been beating no one, but I managed to rock it out while still keeping my heart rate down, and for me, that’s the biggest challenge when it comes to hills.

Wednesday – An hour on the bike trainer.  I love trainer workouts and am looking forward to a winter on the trainer.  I can definitely tell that I’m getting stronger.  The puddle of sweat is less than awesome though.

Thursday – Team Fight Swim.  As per usual, I didn’t want to go, went, and had a blast.  We did sprints and I was sore for two days.  Which means that I needed those sprints.  I’m not much of a sprinter, but I can only believe that it makes me faster.

Friday – Rest day.  I’m good at these.

Saturday – Ten freaking miles on the treadmill.  I was exhausted today and wasn’t sure I could make it through all ten miles, so I decided to get on the mill and do what I could.  And I ended up rocking out all ten miles.  They weren’t the prettiest, but I got them done.

Sunday – Went to the Billy Joel concert last night and it was AWESOME.  But I didn’t get home til 2 am.  So getting up at 7 to bike with the group didn’t happen.  But I got on the trainer and put in the 1:40 that Coach wanted me to do.  Then I took a nap.

I’ve been really struggling with my training lately.  I wondered if it was overtraining, but I think it’s just life.  I’m not getting enough sleep through my own fault and I’ve also been dealing with some huge projects at work.  Thankfully, I’m not putting in a significant amount of extra time at the office, but I’ve been going pretty much full speed while I’m there.  I successfully hit three major deadlines, so I’m hoping in the next month or so, things ease up a tiny bit.  We’ve been saying this for the past year, so I don’t have much hope, but a girl can dream.

DeskCycle Review

I received a DeskCycle to try in exchange for this review.  All comments are my own.

Features600Over the past few weeks, I have had the chance to try out the DeskCycle under desk bike. I have toyed with the idea of getting some sort of a cycling product for under my desk, so I jumped at the opportunity to try this out.

I was not disappointed.

IMG_0662.JPGNote: I am never going to argue that the Desk Cycle counts as a workout. It does not. But does it make sitting at your desk all day slightly less unhealthy?  I think so. I am a chronic fidgeter, so for me, this was a different way to add motion to my work day.
IMG_0663.JPG As expected, the Desk Cycle comes packaged in parts so you have to put it together, but the instructions were easy and also pretty obvious. Put base on. Put pedals on. Set up and start pedaling.  It’s also easy to take back apart for ease in moving.  It’s quite sturdy when assembled.  And it’s heavy!  It’s not going anywhere when you pedal.


There is no good way to take a picture of your feet pedaling.

This thing is great.  It uses magnetic resistance, so it’s pretty much silent, which makes it great for using in the office.  The pedal motion is incredibly smooth.  And the resistance is adjustable.  Personally, I like it at a high resistance so I can just pedal slowly.  I joked to a coworker that it’s how I power my brain.  Very slow pedaling to make the cogs in my head turn.   I’m sure you could pedal quickly at a low resistance and high cadence, but that sounds like it would make working a bit more challenging.  Though it could be something to occupy you while you’re on a muted conference call.

One weird thing I noticed is that using this has really improved my posture.  Because of the positioning of the pedals, I can’t slouch while I sit at my desk.

The DeskCycle does come with a display so you can see your speed and calorie burn.  But even the creators of DeskCycle say it’s not quite accurate.  It all depends on what resistance they have the bike set at.  But they have a calculator on the website so you can input your resistance and the data from the display to figure out how many calories you’re burning.

My opinion on that?  Ignore it.  Ignore all of the calorie burn calculations.  Are you burning more calories than you would be just sitting?  Probably.  But to me, if you’re calculating your calorie burn, then you’re treating this as a workout.  This isn’t a workout.  To me, it’s an antidote to the effects of sitting all day.  Think of it the same way you would think of a standing desk. You’re working muscles there too, but you wouldn’t consider it a workout or think about how many calories you’ve earned.


I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t recommend riding with flip flops. I’m a rebel.

What do my coworkers think of the DeskCycle?  Well, at first they thought I was insane.  (But I’m not sure that’s because I have a bike under my desk.   I think that’s just their general opinion.)  But now they’re jealous.  More than once, I’ve come back from a meeting to find someone pedaling away at my desk while they review a document.

The DeskCycle doesn’t have to be used at a desk.  For a while, I had it underneath my dining room table, where I often work.  I also tried it in front of the tv.  (My road bike was on the trainer next to me, mocking me silently.)  It was a littler harder to use on the couch, since my couch is pretty deep, but you could make it work if you wanted to.

So if you’ve considered some sort of under desk bike to add a bit of movement to your workday, I can’t recommend this enough.  The DeskCycle is a great, high quality product.  It’s quiet, won’t distract your coworkers, and lets you get a bit of “exercise” while you work.

This has been a sponsored review by DeskCycle.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Because Tomorrow Needs Her

I just discovered a project by Doctors Without Borders called “Because Tomorrow Needs Her.”  It is an incredible multimedia project about the challenges women face in getting proper medical care in developing countries.

Every day, 800 women around the world die from pregnancy-related causes.  The project uses videos, pictures, and even a journal from one of the doctors to tell the stories of some of these very preventable deaths.

I spent way too much time on this site last night, and recommend that you take the time to check out the project.

Wednesday Workout Recap

This heat is killing me.  It’s so hard to workout in the heat, but I know that it’s good for me, and as my coach pointed out, even the bad workouts are making me stronger.

Monday – Rest day.  Okay, so maybe I didn’t get stronger on this particular day, but rest days are so key to any fitness schedule.

Tuesday – So… I should have gotten up early and done my workout in the morning.  I did not.  Whatever, I raced this weekend.  Instead, I went to the Taylor Swift concert and danced the night away. And it was awesome.

Wednesday – No more excuses.  On the trainer for a speed workout.  This one was really hard.  I don’t know if it was because my legs were tired from the night before or if I was just lazy.  Either way, it was a struggle.

Thursday – Team Fight swim.  I ended up with a total of 2100m in a bit under an hour.  Continuing my trend for the week, I did not want to go, but I was so glad to get the workout in.  I’m noticing just how much my form fades when I get tired.

Friday – Rest day.  Today, I got a massage and ran a bunch of errands and then went to a meal prep place with some friends.  I need to be better about eating healthy, and having meals ready-to-cook in the freezer is a great way for me to do that.

Saturday – Ten miles.  On the treadmill.  There were storms looming, which either meant the risk of getting caught in the storm, or potentially more painful, oppressive humidity.  So I hit the treadmill.  It was a slog.  I didn’t even try for my required paces, which I should have done.  I just focused on getting it done.

Sunday – Hit the old Iron Girl course again, with some mileage tacked on.  I hadn’t been feeling stellar the day before and was probably terribly dehydrated, so Liz and I didn’t quite meet our distance/time goal.  Just a little bit under, but we still got out there and got it done.

Planning for a better week this week.  Every mile counts.