Top 3 Ironman 2012 Items

Training for an Ironman is no joke. During our training and on race day there are 3 things that I loved and could not have lived without.  My Optic Nerve sunglasses, my CamelBak running belt and Endurox Excel.

1. Sunglasses. These are a must....running, riding, driving, I always wear sunglasses and have been wearing the same pair, literally, for 10 years. I loved them, yup past tense. At Outdoor Retailer last summer I won a pair of Optic Nerve sunglasses. After talking to the owner Bill Cotton about my lifestyle and athletic adventures he gave me a pair of the NeuroToxin PM's (MSRP $79). I immediately fell in love with them. I feel a little bad about the other ones. I mean a decade is a long time to be in a relationship with an accessory and now they are gathering dust as my back up pair.  The NeuroToxins are super comfortable, as in I forget that I am wearing them as I look for them before I head out the door kind of comfortable. The photochromatic lenses get lighter or darker automatically depending on the light conditions. This is especially helpful when on the bike or running out on the trails and you often go in and out of sunny and shady conditions. So you aren't taking them on and off.  I'm looking forward to this new long term relationship. The other great thing about these glasses is they are affordable. Great quality product at a reasonable price. Brilliant.

2. Hydration - When going out for long runs hydration is critical especially in the summer. Everyone has a personal preference as to how they carry their hydration: backpack, bottle in hand, run belt and for each of these options their are numerous companies offering a variety of products. CamelBak is synonymous with hydration. They are the leader in backpacks with bladders and drinking tubes for all kinds of sports and activities and have a great line of bottles too. I was lucky enough to get to test the Arc 2 Podium Run belt (MSRP $45) which will be in stores in 2013. This was hands down the most comfortable and easy to use run belt I have trained and raced with. There was no bounce, even with full 10oz bottles, and getting them in and out of the cages was as simple as click out/click in. The velcro closure on the front made it super easy to get on and off and elastic in the waist belt made it feel like a custom fit the first time you put it on. The wide mouth opening on the bottles make it super easy to put your preferred sports drink in them and the podium series cap allow you to keep the top open with no spilling or splashing. And they have a small pocket to keep your essentials. Let's just say my husband and training partner was a bit jealous. If you are a runner....keep your eye out for this product!

3. Nutrition/Recovery: We have always been good about our recovery drinks and trying to fuel properly, but this time round I decided to add in a daily training vitamin supplement from Pacific Health Labs, Endurox Excel (MSRP $17.99). My testimonial is this, I was never really sore even after race days. In the past long training workouts and races would leave me barely able to walk the next day. This time round, especially after Boulder 70.3 and IM Florida, I woke up the next morning astonished by how good I felt. Walking around, taking the stairs instead of elevators. God knows I am not getting younger, and I used the same training program as last time, so the only thing I can attribute the faster recovery to is the Endurox Excel. I am excited to keep using it as we train for our Mt. Whitney climb and to see if helps with the recovery from our long hikes and climbing adventures.