Running SOS? Try SIS!

Disclaimer: I received Science in Sport (SIS) energy gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

If you are anything like me, you’ve struggled to find an energy gel that you can actually stomach. For the first 4 years of my running journey I tried various energy gels and chews, hoping I’d find one that didn’t have the viscosity of sludge and taste like salty cough syrup. That was until I was wandering through the Rock n’ Roll Vegas expo two years ago and happened upon the Science in Sport (SIS) booth. The passionate representative began telling me the benefits of their gel and immediately had my attention when she mentioned it had a more water-like consistency. While I was leery, I gladly accepted a sample and decided to give it a try on my half marathon the next day.

Fast-forward a day, I was in the start corral and cautiously opened the top, squeezing a small amount out as a test. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the consistency was indeed much thinner and the apple flavor was bright and wasn’t overpowered in a sea of salt. I didn’t hit the proverbial wall during my race, my body seemed able to effectively use the extra energy boost which was a really nice change. Let’s just say I was immediately hooked on SIS and have been using them during my long training runs and races since then.

Recently I was provided with three different SIS products to test out: Go Energy + Caffeine (75mg)- Orange, Go Isotonic Energy Gel- Pineapple, and Go Energy + Electrolyte- Raspberry. Each gel was tested out during one of my longer runs (7-13.1 miles) and I definitely felt the quick energy boost. All of the flavors were tasty, however I’d have to say I enjoyed the pineapple gel the best as it had a nice, mild flavor which for me is important as I become sensitive to taste/smell during runs (weird, I know!).

So what did I accomplish with these gels over the course of a couple weeks? 60 miles of running and 130 minutes of elliptical, I’d say I put the gels to the test and they passed!

Let’s talk flavors! While I have not had a chance to try all of the various flavors, I’ve been able to test out a few over the years. While preferences differ, my favorites so far are Apple, Pineapple, and Espresso…yum! Some of their other fun flavors include Raspberry, Orange, Cola, Tropical, and Tutti-Frutti (I HAVE to try that one soon!!). What are you favorites???

What magic makes the SIS gels so effective at providing quick, easily digestible energy? I’m glad you asked! SIS has three different formulas that are designed to provide athletes with the boost they need to improve their performance. However, the common denominator in these formulas is the isotonic solution which allows not only for quicker absorption (aka energy faster!) but also less tummy troubles by not the stomach not having to bring additional fluid in to dilute the gel.

I’ve provided a high-level overview of the formulas below.

Go Isotonic Gels– This is the go-to gel for most endurance workouts, providing 22g of carbohydrates with under 1g of sugar per tube. For maximum effect it, is recommended to take one gel every 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
*Flavors include: Watermelon, Pineapple, Cherry, Tutti-Frutti, Vanilla, and two variety packs.

Go Energy Gels + Caffeine (75mg)- Using the same base formula as the Go Isotonic, this gel kicks it up with 75mg of caffeine to help athletes increase focus and alertness. Endurance or sprint-based exercise most benefit from this gel and results are optimized when taken about 30 minutes into a 90 minute workout. For activities under 90 minutes, SIS recommends using this gel 15-30 minutes before you begin or halfway through the exercise. *Bonus note: if there is going to be a really tough part of your workout, SIS recommends taking this gel 15-30 minutes before you hit that point.
*Flavors include: Orange, Citrus, Cola, Berry, and a variety pack.

Go Energy Gels + Caffeine (150 mg)- This caffeine gel further amplifies the energy kick with 150 mg of caffeine. This gel should be used for exercise lasting over 90 minutes and should be consumed one hour before the end of your exercise. Given the higher concentration of caffeine, SIS recommends only using this gel when a mental boost is needed.
*Flavors include: Espresso

Go Energy Gels + Electrolyte- This formula is similar to the Go Isotonic Energy Gel, but with a hydration boost of 300mg of key electrolytes. Athletes performing exercise in higher temperatures benefit from this gel by assisting the body in absorbing and retaining fluid. It is recommended to use 1-2 gels during a heavy sweat session or when exercising in hot weather.
*Flavors include: Lemon & Mint, Raspberry, and Salted Strawberry.

Want to give your workout a boost? Use code “BIBRAVE20GEL” for 20% off (not applicable to already discounted products or special offers.) https://www.scienceinsport.com/us/

But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out what my fellow BibRave Pro’s had to say:

Steph – https://bluegrassbamr.wordpress.com/2020/09/12/get-a-little-kick-with-science-in-sport-caffeineenergy-gels/
Sarah B – https://runningforbeers.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/4-reasons-to-take-science-in-sport-sis-energy-gels-on-your-next-long-run/
Kimberly H-https://kimrunsonthefly.blogspot.com/2020/09/all-fueled-up-with-sis.html
Amanda C. https://retrorunningmom.com/2020/09/22/make-the-perfect-fuel-plan-with-science-in-sport-gels-sis/
Scott S. – https://www.beastcoasttrailrunning.com/2020/09/science-in-sport-isotonic-gel-review-i.html
Shannon – http://girlsgotsole.com/blog/product-review-sis-gels/
Ken B. – https://runningwithken.rocks/2020/09/26/product-review-science-in-sport-gels/

Fargo from Afar


Disclaimer: I received a race entry for the Sanford Fargo Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Welcome to 2020, aka the year of the virtual race. I am sure I am not alone in feeling a wave of disappointment as each of my 12 originally scheduled races for the year were postponed to 2021. However, just as we’ve all adjusted to a “new norm”, race organizers have been working hard to figure out an alternative to keep us running and collecting that coveted bling.

When I was presented the opportunity to run the Sanford Fargo (half) Marathon virtually I immediately said “Yes, yes, yes!”. I registered on August 3rd, which meant I only had 3 1/2 weeks to get in race shape again. Although I’ve been averaging 168 miles per month this summer, I was far from being conditioned for running 13.1 miles in a race capacity. I jumped right into training mode, focusing on a combination of shorter, fast runs and longer, slow runs. I was fortune to have another half marathon the week prior to the Fargo Marathon to dust off the cobwebs, however this was going to be my first virtual half.

After a few short weeks of training, race day had arrived. It was early on a Saturday morning and while I was bummed I wasn’t stretching and doing a warm up jog alongside fellow runners at the start line, I was excited to race again. I did a quick warm up in my driveway and it was off to the races, literally! The first 7 miles were pretty smooth as it was early enough it was not too hot yet. However, the second half was a bit of a struggle. I was definitely missing water and aid stations but the most noticeable missing piece was the encouragement from perfect strangers. The boost of adrenaline from their support- clapping, ringing cowbells, shouting “You’ve got this!” or “Good job!”- is something that can’t be replaced. That being said, I think the virtual race option is an awesome motivator for runners to keep their training on point during this uncertain time.

A toasty 1:56:55 later, I crossed my virtual finish line. While there was no one at the end announcing my name or cheering me to victory, I was just as proud of myself. With every stride, breath, and sweat droplet, I earned my awesome finisher medal and swag! Check it out below!

I am hopeful that I’ll be running the Sanford Fargo Marathon in person next year, zooming past the Fargodome and alongside the beautiful Red River while listening to the live music each mile. Topped off with watching myself finish on the awesome jumbotron at the Fargodome. #2021goals!

You’re a Runner F#*%ING Superstar

We’ve all been guilty of having negative self-talk regarding our running journey. There have been many times where I’ve told myself “Really, only 6 miles today?? You should have ran at least 8 miles” or “Wow, you are so slow! How can you let your pace increase by 10 seconds per mile”. Maybe it’s the pressure of social media or it could just be our own self-applied pressure. Regardless, when we find ourselves in this head space it is important to stop and reflect back to why we starting running in the first place.

What is your “why”? What get’s you out of the bed in the morning or off of the couch in the evening to lace up your shoes and go for a run? Whether it is to improve your health, battle the demons in your head, challenge yourself, or just to feel or look better it is important to circle back to that North Star. For me, it started as a way to improve my health and self-image. Were those first few runs painful and did I want to just give up? Hell yeah I did! But I didn’t let the self-doubt and pain deter me from persevering forward and increasing from 1 to 2 to 5 to 8 to 13 to 20 to 26.2 miles.

I frequently have new or returning runners reach out to me for advice on where to start and the biggest piece of advice I can give is to never compare yourself to other runners. Instead, start slow and aim to compete against and better YOURSELF. Will I ever finish first place in a half marathon or be the fastest female in the race? No, but that’s OKAY! I am proud of every run that I complete because I took the effort to get up and get going. It is disappointing when I hear a runner discount their run by saying “Bad run today…” or “I only ran x miles”.

The truth is no matter how much you run, you are still logging more miles than most people. While it is true that almost anyone can run, we are part of a small family that DO run. Everyone’s running and fitness journey differs, however the thing we all have in common is a desire to continue improving not only ourselves but our fellow runners through inspiring and motivating each other. The running community shares a bond that is truly special.

So next time you are doubting yourself or your journey, remember to point back to your North Star. Oh and also, you are a RUNNER F#*%ING SUPERSTAR!!!

Let’s get to know each other, shall we???

A peek into my life 😊

This may surprise you, but I only started my running journey 6 years ago. Prior to that I couldn’t run a 1/4 mile without getting winded! What inspired me to start running, you ask? It’s pretty simple honestly, I started going to the gym in college for a credit requirement and began working out on the elliptical. From there I progressed to the treadmill and in a moment of insanity, signed up for my first half marathon in 2014. The rest as they say, is history! Since then I’ve completed over 40 half marathons and 3 full marathons. Running is everything to me and I love being able to connect with others to help motivate and share advice, which is what I hope I can do for you!

Aside from running, I’m from the beautiful PNW and have a side hustle (okay, full-time career) as a Program Manager. I am a cat mom to little Floki, my one-eyed viking warrior 😻 and part-time dog mom to Hunter, one of my running buddies 🐶. I have an amazing boyfriend, Cody, who I drag along on my runs and in return he drags me along to play disc golf…fun, but my game is lacking!!!

I’m also an avid tattoo collector (aka walking art exhibit) and metalhead 🤘🏻 Much more to come as we get to know each other better, but I think this is a good start, don’t you?