Supplements that I take before a race & better than finding money in your pocket.

Yorks are another underappreciated candy.  

They always remind me of my mom because when we go on road trips together she always gets the silver wrapped candy.  

I put on my jacket to head to the gym this morning and found these.  Better than finding $, unless you find the money in your pocket while you are in a grocery store and you can spend it on your favorite candy right away.  

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This week is all about easier paces and recovery from the race last Saturday.  I have one Fartlek run on the schedule but other than that it is just some cruising mileage.

10 miles @ 8:08 average pace today. 

I actually spent a good amount of time stretching right after my run while Brooke went down that pink slide 4000 times.  

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We had a challenging game of hide and seek when we got home.  

If I can’t see you, you can’t see me.  

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The usual sweet potato topped with a turkey burger, an avocado and bbq sauce for lunch.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.   It sounds good to me every single day at lunchtime.

These also made an appearance.  Not a lot better than eating pomegranate seeds without having to do any of the work.  

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And I feel like I just discovered something great…  I have perfect bananas for banana bread and mini pb cups ready to be eaten.  This combination is going to be ridiculously good.

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Let’s talk about what I like to take before a race.  My normal fuel before a race includes a bagel, a Honey Stinger waffle or banana and some type of sports drink.  At about 30 minutes before a race I either take:

-SportLegs and caffeine

or

-Beta-alanine and caffeine

The caffeine is a constant.  I love the energy boost.  

Remember, I am just sharing what I do, I am not recommending or telling you what to do;)

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Beta-Alanine– “Beta-Alanine has been clinically shown to increase muscle carnosine levels. Carnosine is a functionally active peptide that has antioxidant properties and is a critical muscle fatigue-controlling factor.”  

I have been taking this for about 4 years now.  I usually only use it for races or when I am doing a 20 miler.  Some people take it daily but I like to save it for when I really need it.  The bottle warns that you make experience ‘tingling and flushing sensations’ but I have never experienced that.  I don’t know if it is just the placebo effect but I always notice a huge difference when I take Beta-Alanine before a run.  I feel like my legs last longer and that they don’t feel fatigued until much later in the race.  There are a million different factors that could go into my legs lasting longer during a race—>  i.e. the taper or adrenaline from being in a race.  BUT Beta-Alanine seems to work really well for me so I keep taking it.  

SportsLegs– “SportLegs provides lactate, your body’s natural muscle fuel, to support optimal lactate energy system function.  With calcium to build and maintain good health***.”  (***this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease).

I started using SportsLegs because a lot of runners recommended it to me.  I do not experience any negative side effects from it and I do feel like it also helps me to feel fresh for longer.   I haven’t used it that many times but when I do I feel a little bit of a difference in energy etc.

Speaking of races, my friend Caisa sent this to me today and I LOVE IT.  

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Do you take any type of supplements?  What about tylenol, advil or ibuprofen before a race?

What was your run today?  Inside or outside?  Recovery week?  Build-up week?  Taper week? Normal week?  

Favorite TREAT from Trader Joe’s?

Last fruit that you had?

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87 comments

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I take Excedrin for pain otherwise all natural for me. I had raspberries for breakfast this morning and a butternut squash banana muffin (the banana counts as fruit too right?) and my favorite TREAT from TJ’s is the cookie butter and shaved brussels sprouts. I know brussels sprouts are technically not a treat, but they sure are to me.

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I haven’t tried the shaved brussels sprouts yet… how do you prepare them!? Also, I need one of those muffins asap!

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I saute mine in a pan then top with eggs. It’s delicious! Muffin recipe is here: http://skinnyfitalicious.com/butternut-squash-chocolate-chip-muffins/

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Oh my goodness. That looks amazing!! Thank you so much Megan!

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beta alanine requires saturation in your body, which means daily ingestion otherwise its all placebo. you need to take at least 3.2g daily.

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another supplement worth looking into is peak 02 – which is a patented form of adaptogens (primarily cordyceps militaris) that will increase o2 output. there have been clinical studies proving this however like BA, you need to take it daily.

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I have a serious girl crush on Lauren Fleshman. She’s awesome.

I love Vivarin! I used to take it all the time, then I started taking it too much and had to stop. I haven’t had it in almost two years (on May 20 – yes I know the date that I took it last). I actually just told my husband I really wanted a Vivarin today.

I had cherries on my oatmeal this morning, they were great!

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BAHAHAH I love that you know the exact date of the last time you took it ha! I need to try cherries on oatmeal.. that sounds really good! Have an awesome day Sarah!

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No supplements for me, and, the only time I ever took ibuprofen before a race I had massive stomach issues, so, never again! I also can’t have caffeine before I run, my stomach is really sensitive. This morning was a 5 mile treadmill run and I’m hoping that will be my last indoor run, I really can’t stand the treadmill!

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I have never been inside of a Trader Joe’s but I think we are finally getting one later this year!

This is a reset/recovery week for me before I hop into a 5K training cycle and then I’ll start getting ready for Chicago this fall! :)

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I go all – natural for races because I get more anxious about them making me feel sick than them helping me. I like the caffeine idea though, that could be a keeper!

6 easy miles on the lovely treadmill this morning. Is it summer yet? Parenthood saves me.

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I don’t take any running/racing specific supplements. I considered taking ibuprofen before my marathon in October and ended up going natural! Looking back, I definitely don’t think I needed any painkillers, except for mile 22 when I hit the wall :) But I guess nothing’s really gonna save you at that point! I definitely took some tylenol after though!

My run today was 5 miles on the treadmill. -19 is just too cold for me to bring myself to run outside!

Favorite Trader Joe’s treat… There are SO many… Recently I’ve been loving the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt caramels… those are seriously addicting.

Last fruit was an apple with pb this morning!

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I don’t take a running supplements, but j will take Tylenol before a race if something is bothering me.
10 miles of speed work on the track. It’s a build week.
Last fruit: strawberries on my lunch salad!

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Way to go on your speed work! Ummm the brown sugar banana bread that you just posted on your blog has me drooling!

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Thanks so much!!!

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Today I ran 3.1 miles at a faster pace than normal, trying to increase my running speed in general.

I LOVE the cookie butter from Trader Joe’s. It’s best to sit down with a spoon and eat it in big scoops.

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Way to go on your run Morgan… that is awesome! Yep, that cookie butter is the absolute best!

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I take something called Amino Energy before early morning runs. I’ll take a second serving if I have a long run commute home so that I don’t turn into a zombie at 6.

I ran almost 7 miles this morning and have another 4 after work + managed a really short bike ride on lunch. Last weekend, I had an intense trail race which left me with some sore quads but I’m building up to the peak of my training for an ultra next month so no rest for the wicked!

An avocado! I had the most delicious Asian salad with tons of it …. nom nom nom

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Hmmmm I want to know more about this Amino Energy… I will have to look into it. Thanks for sharing Angela! Great job on your workouts so far today and enjoy your 4 miles later on. You are going to rock your ultra!

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I don’t take a lot of supplements…just the normal multi vitamin as well as calcium supplement. I don’t think I would take IBP before a race just because if I was injured…ect how would you know? I might be a little overcautious.

I used to drink coffee before races but had issues with that so stopped.

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How much of each of these supplements do you take before a race? Are they found at health food stores? how about the caffeine?

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Beta–> 4
SportsLegs–> 3
(The serving sizes)

Caffeine–> 1 (equivalent to 1 cup of coffee)

I get mine at GNC and our local running store has the SportsLegs! I also linked to them on Amazon in the post. I hope you have a great day!

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Do you drink coffee as well as take caffeinated supplements? Coffee is a MUST for me, so I don’t want to overdo it with extra caffeine. The only supplement I have ever tried is the Vega Pre-Workout Energizer, and I always feel, well, way more energized!

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I don’t drink coffee so that is why I definitely need a caffeine tablet:) That vega energizer sounds awesome! I will have to look into it. I hope you are having a great day Emma!

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That’s a great quote!! I don’t take anything beforehand but sometimes take ibuprofen after if I’m really sore. Last fruit I had – a plum straight from the orchard! Yum!

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I took Imodium before my first marathon *awkward face*. The few days leading up to my marathon I was having weird stomach issues. I was paranoid that “something” would happen during my race so I took it even though my stomach was feeling better. It worked!

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I know tons of marathoners and ultra-marathoners that take Imodium before races and they say it works!

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My favorite TJ treats are their pb cups, s’mores chocolates, chocolate covered pb filled pretzels, and cat cookies…couldn’t pick just one. :)

I love your blog so much, you’re such an inspiration! Could you maybe do a “what I ate in a day” and/or “day in the life post”? I’m just super interested in others’ daily eats/routines, hope that doesn’t sound strange :) Thanks and I hope you and Brooke have a great evening!

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Four Tylenol before race, 2 half way (I’m older, lots of creaks and pains:) and caffeine at mile 20 for a marathon and mile 7 for a half marathon.

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I take Imodium before races as a precaution, but no painkillers before or after. I always have coffee before runs but not yet before a race. I’m tempted to try coffee before a race!
The last fruit I had was clementines on a car trip home today. The perfect snack!

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Thanks for sharing what you take before a race. I am running my first half marathon in a couple months, and this was really interesting for me! I also loved reading everyone’s comments! I don’t think I will take any supplements, but this did give me a few ideas to think about.

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My favorite thing from TJs right now are the dark chocolate peanut butter cups. So good!

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My left knee is feeling slightly funny and i wonder if it’s because when I land from a jump, my Knee slightly twists inward…should I rest it and skip cardio for a few days? It sure breaks my heart to do that. Or should U champion through it and hope it disappears and shake it out because it could potentially be nothing(as it has been before)?

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I don’t take any supplements but I do drink a cup of caffeine (aka coffee) and eat a Honey Stinger before my races. I’ll also down a scoop of peanut butter if I’m doing a longer race.

Today I had a run-date with a friend. It was one of those runs where we did not worry about pace and were able to catch up on life. Love those. :)

Favorite treat from TJ’s is definitely the cookie butter ice cream. Ridiculous. I also like their chocolate covered caramels!

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I don’t take any supplements.. I’ve been thinking about it though.. hmmm.. I’m used to running on an empty stomach, so I have to always remind myself to eat before important runs. lol

My las run was this morning and it was a recovery after an injury of 6slooww miles. It was nice to get out there even though it was slow. :)

Brooke is a champ at hide and seek.! ha

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This morning’s run was inside and just part of a normal week. Nothing special!

Last night I had some rockmelon after dinner. YUM!

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Hmmm … I used to take glucosamine between weight-lifting sessions for recovery. As far as refueling, I like plain protein shakes after a workout. I haven’t ever tried any pre workout beverages and imagine I wouldn’t like the taste. Also, favorite fruit for me will always be the banana, but I’ve been making smoothies with mangoes lately too!

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I usually don’t take any supplements, but I do take tylenol before a run if there are any little pains bothering me.

Favorite TJs treat? DEF yogurt covered pretzels. I can’t even buy them anymore.

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I love Trader Joe’s PB cups– both the tiny ones and the mini dark chocolate ones :)

And I tried their dark chocolate sea salt almonds recently that a friend bought– SO GOOD!

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I’ve taken Beta Alanine ever since I read about it on your blog years ago. I think it helps tremendously (or maybe it’s the placebo effect). I use it only before marathons and sometimes before a 20-miler as well. My ears and toes tingle when I take it. It’s so weird!

Caffeine is also a must for me but in the form of coffee.

Your mom is a smart woman – york peppermint patties are one of my faves!!

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I love her little floral pants!

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I will take a pain killer before a race if I am experiencing any type of pain, otherwise all I take are Salt pills. I discovered these when training for my first marathon (12/14/14) and they were my lifesaver! Never will do another marathon without them. I will take them on longer runs as well.

Today I ran 17 miles on the treadmill. Yeah, you read that right, 17 miles! :/ Ice storm here in TX with all 4 kids home from school, what’s a girl to do but hit the TM for me long run.

Last fruit I ate was watermelon and it was so yummy. Never had a good watermelon in February until now.

All time favorite treat from TJs is their Jalapeño Greek yogurt dip. I could literally eat this stuff with a spoon. So yummy. Chocolate covered sunflower seeds are also good but don’t buy them often.

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watch our for those caffeine pills, you don’t want to turn into Jessie Spano. “I’m so excited, I’m so …. scared.” ;)

I basically just drink coffee but have been thinking of trying beta alanine!

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Your Jessie comment made me laugh so hard. Thank you for reminding me of that episode!

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I had a banana just acouple of hours ago.
I love trader joes dark chocolate covered raisins or those frozen lemon bars. Mmmmmmmmm.
York patties are my favorite. Just don’t put one in your jeans pocket and sit down. It melts and next thing ya know it looks like you pooped your pants. Trust me. I know. Lol.
I didn’t run today. But I had my first MRI.
I took advil for three days leading up to my last marathon. I had a great race but ended up injured right after. So in my mind i feel like it was connected. I won’t take advil anymore before a race.

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No supplements. No caffeine boosts. All natural. Took an advil once after a race. I’m 44 and want to hear and feel everything my body says and take care of nutrtionAlly with whole foods

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I had some SERIOUS fatigue going on in my last hard effort marathon…I think I may need to try some supplements. Thanks for sharing what you use!

I might just hop on the next plane to Utah to be able to try that banana bread fresh out of the oven. :)

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Caffeine usually makes me feel way too jittery, but I don’t mind it mid-run when my body is needing an energy jolt! Ibuprofen makes me feel so strong before a workout though, it’s my favorite

Today I have just 4 miles, and I’ll be doing it on a treadmill. I’m in the process of building for a half-marathon training plan!

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Cups…. yummmmmm. They don’t have TJ in Hawaii and I’m stationed in here for another couple of months–can’t wait to get to shop there when I move back to the mainland :)

I had a Fiji apple with lunch today!

Brooke’s leggings are adorable, I’d totally wear them if I could find adult size :P

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I haven’t taken anything before a race before but I wonder if it would help me at all. I try and stay away from things like that bc of my sordid addiction past, but I am glad that they help you out!

My favorite things from TJs right now are their chocolate covered cherries and almond laceys. They are dangerous and if I buy them I will eat them all. True story.

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I love the dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s, and their dark chocolate pb cups – I haven’t had either of those in such a long time!

The last fruit I ate was frozen peach slices in the smoothie I drank with my lunch :)

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I’ve never taken supplements. But a lot of my friends who run have and recommend them (can’t remember which ones they take though).

The last fruit I had was pineapple :) It’s my favorite fruit

I’ve never been to Trader Joes :(

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I don’t like taking supplements because my system is very delicate. I prefer using food to fuel my body properly whenever possible but I do occasionally take a multi-vitamin.

Also, I never, ever take pain relievers before or during a race anymore. After a minor case of rhabdomyolysis, I learned the hard way. I was lucky that I had no long term damage but I could have had some serious kidney issues. For anyone who takes them, please be careful with nsaids and pain relievers when you exercise. Please.

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I love pomegranates but definitely don’t love the work involved!! York mint patties are pretty much my favorite candy. They remind me of Christmas, and make me feel all warm and cozy inside :)

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45 minute run. Still just getting a base back.

Pink lady Apple.

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I take at least 2000 IU of D3 after reading a TOSH study about it reducing leg pain after a hard workout. I also take calcium and magnesium to help with muscle cramps. I read that one should not take acetaminophen or ibuprofen within three hours of running so I usually wait until after the race is over.

Love York Peppermint Patties too! I received a box for Valentine’s Day and it beats the boxes of fancy chocolates hands down.

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I don’t really take any supplements, though I am curious about them!

Just finished up a recovery week, I’m 4 weeks out from my next half! Run today was 4.32 miles on the treadmill.

Chocolate anything from TJs. Love it.

Grapes are probably the last fruit I had.

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Ahh I love peppermint patties!! I always always take pepto before a race (like 3 of them).. But that’s self-explanatory. :D My favorite TJ’s treat is chocolate covered blueberries YUM!

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Love York peppermint patties! I live in York, PA and when I was a kid, the factory was right next door to the cable company. My brother & I would have to go with my mom while she paid the cable bill. We would always stop after that and you’d get a paper bag filled with the peppermint patties! I wish I could remember how much it cost. The factory is now gone — up to Hershey! Great memories!!!

4 miles on the mill — too dark by the time I got home, worried I would slip on the ice & I can’t leave my 8 yr old daughter home alone. Once it gets nice, she will ride her bike with me.

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I ran a little over 5 miles this morning on the treadmill while watching Downton Abbey. I just did an easy run and it felt great :) I love the pizza dough from Trader Joes, but I would LOVE try to the cookie butter! The last fruit that I had was a fruit blend with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and watermelon and it was so good!!!

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Current fave from Trader Joes is the Fireworks bar. Have you tried it yet? Dark chocolate with chili and pop rocks. Sounds weird but amazing!

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I don’t normally take medicine for my legs… unless it’s that time of the month and my legs just ache. Do you ever get that?!

I don’t make it up to Trader Joe’s enough to know what is good – but I have tried the cookie butter and have LOVED that! YUM!

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I really liked the cliff shot gels for my marathon. No caffeine for me in them makes my heart race no good. But I drink coffee before. I also drink vega sport protein shake after and I discovered Kidz Superfood chocolate powder I take along with my protein. It has blend of fruits and veggies but after no way before a race. I also take a blend of aminos if I’m training for a marathon. Every other day fish oil and vit D and multi.
Today was a rest day.

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I don’t take any supplements and don’t eat anything before a race! I know it’s kind of foolish but I had many years of race-anxiety and I would throw up as soon as I saw the finish line. So weird, I know. Getting nervous at the end when you’re almost there doesn’t make sense but that was my burden to bear! I think I’m finally over that stage in life but still don’t eat anything just in case.

However, the last 10-miler race I did there was a group fm people handing out Oreos and beer and mile 7 and I can’t resist an Oreo!

I love the trader jones pizza dough. I use it for pizza (in the oven and grilled outside!), for calzones, for quick cinnamon rolls, for “pretzel dogs”, and rolled and cut up skinny for breadsticks! The dough freezes easily and you can just put it in the fridge overnight to defrost.

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I have taken Advil for pain, not necessarily before a race…

I love the dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s. YUM

Last fruit (s) was kiwi, apples and pears for a snack today! :)

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Week 4 of my half marathon training and it looks like I will be running indoors for the foreseeable future. -26 windchill this morning meant 6 miles at the gym: 3 on the track and 3 on the treadmill. Last fruit was the rest of a banana this evening for snack.

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I love TJ’s dark chocolate sea salt caramels. So rich, so good!

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I always take 2 excedrin! But I am going to take a look at the sport legs! Thank you!

And oh TJ’s Sea salt turbinado sugar chocolate covered almonds-life changing.

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Do you take any type of supplements? What about tylenol, advil or ibuprofen before a race?
-Not yet…but I’m going to try some of your suggestions! This is a super helpful post!

What was your run today? Inside or outside? Recovery week? Build-up week? Taper week? Normal week?
-I haven’t started my training for my next race, so I’m currently just building endurance. I haven’t decided if I’ll be in or out yet. I just got a pair of Yaktrax and they make me love running out in the snow and ice!

Favorite TREAT from Trader Joe’s?
-Ahhh I love EVERYTHING from TJ’s! Yesterday for dinner, I made homemade pizza with their pizza dough, some arugula, pesto, manchego cheese and garlic. It was AMAZING!!

Last fruit that you had?
-An apple for a snack yesterday :)

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I take L-glutamine after long races (it is considered a conditionally essential amino acid). Seems to help BIG TIME with recovery. I have not taken anything prior to a race – other than ibuprofen once when I had a headache.

I had an apple this morning and have a banana sitting with me at work right now for a morning snack.

We do not have a TJ close to our house — wish we did.

Ran last night on the treadmill at the gym – growing very tired of not being able to get out !

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No run today, just kickboxing! It’s my new fav!

I love TJ’s! I really like the dark chocolate pb cups and the coconut salted caramel dark chocolate!

Fruit I last ate: red raspberries!

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I have started using L-glutamine after a super long run/race, but other than that I try to get what I need from my diet!
Yesterday’s run was my very first speed session! I was encouraged to learn that I can step out of my comfort pace, be fairly speedy, and not die from it! It was a great time :)
I LOVE TJ’s cookie butter. Thankfully, TJ is about 45 minutes from our house so it doesn’t happen often. I also like their olive oil popcorn.
I had a banana last night. It was yummy.

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Have you had the cookie butter cups from Trader Joe’s? Those are like crack, I swear! Lol!

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I take L-carnitine, high potency vitamin B, and a fiber supplement. I take advil whenever I need to depending on pain.

I have an inside workout today because it is negative temps in Illinois.

At Trader Joe’s, I love the Chicago Mix popcorn (because I am from Chicago), the vanilla and chocolate macarons, the sweet & spicy pecans, AND you will love: the sea salt caramel gelato!

I always have strawberries every day!

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I’m still haunted by my first (and only) experience of opening up a Pomegranate. I can’t. :\

I ran five easy this morning. I’m still working on a base, but I’ll (very) soon be including tempo and speedwork in my training. Like *next week* (very) soon.

I am LITERALLY eating a banana RIGHT NOW!<3

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I LOVE pomegranate seeds! So delicious!

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bananas. every darn day. i take Aleve, for everything: pre-race, pre-bed, Saturday mornings, post-hard race…always the blue pill.

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I don’t take anything before a race. Before my Ironman I drank a bottle of beet juice every day for a week. I really think it helped.
My husband takes a 5-hour energy before each race or really long run. I’m not opposed to taking something, just haven’t really come up with something that doesn’t seem like a gateway heroin ;)

Today is indoor run. Every day is basically indoor run day lately :(

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I reaaally need to get those pomegranate seed containers from Costco! I always purchase pomegranates and almost always end up eventually throwing them away because I’m too lazy to peel/clean them myself…so messy and time-consuming!

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This was so interesting! For a long time now my pre-race routine has included a small cup of black coffee, but lately I’ve been fighting a lot of nausea and I’m wondering if the coffee was to blame… I should totally try a caffeine pill instead of a coffee and see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the tip :)

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We used Sport Legs on a cycling trip last year in the French Alps when we were doing 5-7 hours a day in the saddle with loaded bikes. Certainly could have been placebo effect but I felt like it really made a difference. Or maybe it was the croissants…

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I’m allergic to caffeine and also celiac so I have to be careful what I take. I have taken two Advil before a run but I don’t make it a habit. Do I insist on being all natural? Not necessarily but I want to make sure I’m safe and clean. I don’t want a lot of unhealthy chemicals in my body. I’m screwed up enough. :)

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I tried Beta Alanine a few times and then I had to just throw it away… the tingling sensation was unbearable and it would make me sweat so much… so bummed it didn’t work for me.

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I use Beta…not on the regular but for harder runs etc…if I take 2 capsules I get the tingly feeling if the workout doesn’t last through it…it is like pins and needles that won’t go away!!!
I had a cutie for morning snack today! I love them they are the perfect little treat.
Today I have a 5 mile run…its finally in the 20’s so I might be able to run outside for a change!!!!

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Chocolate/candy covered sunflower seeds from TJ’s are so good! My kids will eat them over M&M’s!!

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Chocolate and mint…not much better than that!! :))

Normal week of training…and Wednesdays are my rest day. :)

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Pre-separated pomegranate seeds?! I must have them!

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Mmm, yes love the mini pb cups!!

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