I tried bandanas to see if they’d keep me cooler in these hot and humid temperatures. I also sampled chewable coffee. I didn’t listen to much music but caught up on podcasts.
Clothing & Gear
Bandanas. Double Layer Cooling Towel. Two weeks ago, I tried this cooling bandana that I got through a Stridebox. I wrapped it around my forehead during a long run in 80 degree heat but I can’t say I felt any cooler with it on.
Mission Cooling Bandana. A few days later, I wore a different bandana that I received. Again, I didn’t really feel the difference. I started seeing commercials for this product on the television and thought maybe I wasn’t snapping it hard enough to activate the fabric technology… I’ve worn it a few times now and I think it’s a good bandana but haven’t experienced any special properties.
Handheld water bottles. Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Ergo-Lite – 16 oz. I picked up my 16 ounce Amphipod one day and it felt oddly heavy. I looked inside and it was half full of mold! I guess the last time I used it, I had something other than water in it and didn’t wash it out. It was so gross that I tossed it and bought another one.
Therapy gear. Trigger Point MB1 Massage Ball. I got this with massage ball in my July RunnerBox and used it during my first week of marathon training when I had a lot of soreness in my calf and hip. It didn’t feel much different than a tennis ball – maybe a little softer.
Nutrition & Hydration
Gels. Honey Stinger Gold. I took this on my first long run of this training cycle. It tasted like honey but with a weird after-taste that I couldn’t place. After reading the ingredients, I think it must have been the electrolytes. It was a bit too sweet for my taste. It’s 100 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrate.
Go Cubes Chewable Coffee. I think my sample from Stridebox was mocha flavor and the first time I tried it, I thought they were too strong! But, I definitely felt the caffeine kick. A serving – two cubes – is 100mg of caffeine.
Nutrition. Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice. With “tart” in the name, I braced myself for a pretty sharp taste and drank water between sips but it wasn’t bad. But after reading about tart cherry juice, it seemed like I would need to drink a lot of it to get the benefits.
Trails. One of the cool things about running in Washington, D.C. is that I can drive a short distance and find myself running in a slightly different environment. My mind was feeling a little uninspired so I drove south and ran a different section of the Mount Vernon Trail.
Construction. It’s been 10 months since I started tracking the construction project on Army-Navy Drive. It’s moving along but I hope I’m not posting about this project when I’m training for the 2018 New York City Marathon.
Sights. The weekend, I traveled to Austin, Texas. Surprisingly, it hasn’t felt that much hotter than Washington, D.C. For the past two days, I’ve been running along the river. On the north side, the trail is mostly packed dirt and river views. On the south side, there’s some concrete decking where runners get a beautiful view of the city.
Media & Motivation
Music. “Smooth Criminal” and “Rhythm Nation“. In the last two weeks, I haven’t been listening to music that much. But, I had a moment during a run last week when Rhythm Nation played after Smooth Criminal on shuffle.
(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)
Podcasts. “Dismantling Your Fears for Empowered Running – Boston Marathon Champion Jack Fultz,” from RunnersConnect. I listened to this cast while running on the treadmill. It was interesting hearing him talk about the Washington, D.C. running scene from the ’70s. The Washington’s Birthday Marathon is still around! I also liked the expression, “Being smart first, and tough second.”
“A Good Walk Spoiled,” by Revisionist History. A friend recommended this podcast since he knew I liked This American Life. I finally got a chance to listen to it and the shows are very similar. This episode was about golf courses in Los Angeles.
“Say Anything,” from This American Life. This was a heart-breaking episode. Listening to the hopelessness of a young person who was suicidal left me feeling helpless and resigned. Despite seeing the flaws in some of his arguments for wanting to die, how do you convince someone that life is worth living?
Movies. “The Last Mile“. I purchased this movie a while ago, but finally watched it on my flight from Washington, DC to Austin, TX. The film included insightful and inspiring stories about why some people are so passionate about running.
Motivation. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King
For this training cycle, I want to focus on the process of becoming a better marathoner. I think I need more threshold and marathon-pace runs in my training. But mentally, I know it’s going to be hard pushing myself to execute those workouts.