Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Tag: experiment

The January 2019 “Alberta Clipper”

Central Illinois isn’t the worst place to spend the winter as there are colder and snowier places in North America. This week an Alberta Clipper has made it’s way to our area, and without a doubt, it’s cold!

screenshot from 2019-01-30 07-32-54

The wind is painful on exposed skin, so I leave very little exposed while I’m out there. My gear did its job and protected me from the brutal weather. I did have a new first for me, my longest lash-cicles! Of course, I could see the ice hanging off the eyelashes, I just didn’t know how big they actually were so once I arrived home, I grabbed a phone to catch a selfie before they melted.


I kept my run confined within the residential areas to gain as many wind-blocks as possible. The route below is a bit more twisted, with several overlapping streets than my regular field-runs, but I am so grateful to be able to get out there and run!

screenshot from 2019-01-30 08-21-23

A few other notable things: Yes, my water bottle froze pretty quickly, my iPod Shuffle, which was in an inside pocket in my coat was covered in frost when I pulled it out at home. Apparently, the condensation was freezing inside the first layer of my coat. One of the clasps on my running belt snapped off. They are plastic, and I’ve had this belt for 5+ years. Still, it’s interesting how things deal (or not) with the cold.

I had 4-layers beneath the coat today. The outer layer was an old navy zip-collared v-neck sweatshirt. These are relatively thick and also had frost accumulations on it under my jacket when I got home. Below that was a 100% polyester short-sleeve. This layer was a moisture barrier from the condensation externally and the sweat internally. Layer three was just a cotton t-shirt and at the bottom was a sleeveless t-shirt.

I had my Clava over the head and face, then my IceArmor (by Thinsulate) mittens over my hands. I always add a scarf around the neck for additional warmth and ventilation control, plus as an emergency device in the event of some other equipment failure like a tear or seam split. Of course, the hood was on, holding in heat and blocking the wind.

In the end, I was glad to see I had around 8 1/4 miles in when I got home, an acceptable run, especially on such a cold day!

Food and Drink on the Run

I carry a 20oz water bottle on my running belt (similar model) for hydration. I rarely need it during the cooler parts of the year, but I always carry it. As I mentioned in a different post, I use water to curb hunger pangs if they occur on a 10-mile run or less. During the hot summer months, I can easily drink most of it during my normal 8-9 mile runs.

Why water? When I first was able to actually run more than 2 miles, I read about electrolytes, sugars, and other nutrient deficits that can occur while running so I tried a few “sport” drinks in my bottle.

  • First, they really didn’t seem to help revitalize or refresh while running.
  • Next, the bottle can get sticky and can leave stains (on everything).
  • And the waste was glaringly evident. If you don’t drink it all, how long would you leave it in the bottle? Is it still consumable after being in high summer temps mixed with your sweaty lips and saliva? Eww…

Anyway, I found that sticking with water not only provided the refreshment needed, but it was also easier to deal with. Plus, on those long runs, it’s easier to find replacement water from a park or gas station than dealing with the time and hassle of money to buy something.

What about food?

Most of the time I don’t need it, but on those crazy days when I’m going for a run greater than 10 miles, I put some Medjool dates in a cheap baggie and drop them in my pocket.

About the 7 mile mark, I’ll eat a date with a drink of water, then repeat every other mile. I have found this is sufficient nutrition to maintain a run without feeling poorly during or after. My longest run at this point is a little over 15 miles, and this worked well.

I have tried other foods as well – energy bars, granola bars, nuts, etc. However, for me, those are harder to consume while running. It is very easy to choke on anything that can break apart when you’re chewing because you’re also breathing more while in motion. The dates are softer, chewy, can easily sit under your tongue while getting an extra breath, and are packed with natural goodness.

My Organifi Journey


I have been hearing about Organifi Green Juice for well over a year from some of my favorite sources and podcasts. I finally decided to give it a try.

My goal is to see if this product potentially provides some missing nutrients. While I eat and exercise well, I still struggle with thought clarity, alertness, and energy to keep up with the desired outcome.

I ordered a single month supply using a coupon for around $60, as you’ll notice, there are lower costs if you purchase larger quantities. The order arrived in about two days, and I was anxious to get started.

One of the things I decided on this experiment was not to make any other changes in diet or exercise. The only lifestyle change is the addition of Organifi.

Days 1-3

The order arrived on a Saturday while I was home. I immediately opened the box, the lid, and the safety seal to find the container exactly as expected, about 2/3 full with a scoop included. I was glad they mentioned the container would not be full to the top as part of the purchasing process.

Day 1
I filled a 16 oz glass about 2/3 full of tap water and stirred in a level scoop of Organifi. I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture. It was very easy to consume and left me wanting more. Win #1!

Day 2
Consumed my Organifi drink first thing after getting out of bed instead of the plain tap water I would normally drink. As I went about my morning exercise routine, I was cautious or suspicious of what this stuff was going to do to my digestive tract during exercise as I’ve had some protein powders leave me unsettled. No issues = Win #2!

Day 3
Organifi first thing, exercise, all good. This morning I noticed a little more alertness and energy. This being a Monday with a load of work ahead, I was impressed, but it could be I had a decent sleep, and the humidity and temperature were lower. My morning run was good, and overall I felt good. Still a little groggy driving to work.

The afternoon was as usual… dragging, tired, foggy.

Day 4
Woke up to the alarm, probably went to bed about an hour too late. It was a good morning, but not overly ambitious or energetic. The exercise routine was good, yet not as good as yesterday. The humidity is up which could be weighing me down a bit.

It’s been a groggy day!

Day 5
Nothing too exciting to report. Slept ok, got up normal, exercise ok, groggy drive into work. We’ll see how today unfolds.

  • Thinking is clear, this is a plus.
  • Sleepy after lunch, not so clear thinking.
  • The evening was low energy with little accomplished.

Day 6
I woke up before the alarm, but with little desire to enter the day. I know some of the challenges that lie ahead in the day, and I am not really motivated for them.

Attitude, discouragement, depression, tough life situations, all play with our emotional well being. These can quickly feel like a weight too heavy to carry.

After starting my exercise routine and being up for a little while, my attitude and outlook improved. The morning run in the high humidity was a challenge but overall felt good.

One note – I have noticed some GI tract changes which are not bad, just different. I know… TMI… but elimination is an important part of health.

Days 7-9

Day 7
Yucky day! Woke up too early (30 minutes before alarm), tired all day, low energy, went to bed as early as I could that night.

Day 8
Slept in, felt decent, not a lot of energy, but acceptable. Got a few things done. A fairly relaxing day.

Day 9
More extreme humidity! 97% @ 76 degrees @ 6am
Casual day, felt ok, napped a little, worked around the house. Nothing unusual or special about the health and wellness items.

Day 10
It’s Monday, and I feel good, motivated, ready to tackle the day. A few new ideas came to mind for tracking progress at work.

Finally, the humidity and temperature have broken their sauna grip on the area. The run today was much more enjoyable being able to breathe and all that.

The drive to work was uneventful, which is a good thing! But the groggies hit around 9am…

Fairly clear thought processes today, but still hit the sleepy-slump from 1:00-3:00 in the afternoon. The evening was fine and did some yard work.

Day 11
Went to bed too late making the morning a little tough to get motivated. Physically feel fine which is always a blessing.

One thing I thought of this morning is that I’ve had fewer leg cramps and charlie horses in the past few weeks, I’ll have to make a note of this as this alone would be a great relief if Organifi reduces or eliminates them.

Sleepy in the late morning and early afternoon thought processes acceptable, yet too tired to accomplish more.

Day 12
Went to bed after 10 again, which is too late for a 4 am rise. Restless night, lots of stirring, awake too many times.

Notably – the humidity is back on the rise. While the temperature was in the upper 60’s, the humidity was in the low 90’s. Could this affect my sleep? Many studies investigate the impact of atmospheric pressure on the human body.

The morning run was a little slower with the moisture, but not terrible. The drive in was groggy. There definitely hasn’t been any improvement in my alertness. However, I think some of the brain fog is reduced.

Considering a B12 supplement for alertness.

The afternoon was sleepy, the evening was short and not really productive.

Day 13
A better night, slept until the alarm. The humidity is high making the run difficult, but overall things feel fine as usual. At 13 days in I’m not seeing great benefit from Organifi. While I like the taste and knowing the nutritional benefits, it doesn’t seem to have met any major needs for me. The reduced leg cramps and digestive regularity seem to be the most notable benefits at this point. We will continue the trial until the product is gone or other benefits are discovered.

The day was the usual bouts of sleepiness.

Day 14…
Rough night of tossing and turning, even while getting to bed before 10 pm.

The temperature and humidity are reasonable today, so the run was a little easier.

Nothing different to report… I will post an update on the last day of this test unless something significant occurs.

End of the canister 1…

I’m about to complete the first canister of Organify. While I haven’t had any great revelation from taking it daily, I really like it!

I like the taste, I’ve discovered not everyone does, that’s alright, I do. I ordered 3 more canisters of Organifi and plan to enjoy it for the next few months.

Why did it not have a major impact? One reason may be because I already eat a lot of natural foods (fruits, veggies/greens, grains, nuts). Perhaps the impact is greater if the individual has a poor diet from the beginning? I also exercise daily, perhaps people who start with Organifi also start an exercise routine?

What do I like besides the taste? I like the fact that I’m getting a lot of nutrients to start the day. I believe it has made my GI Tract more stable and clean.

For now, the trial continues!


Just a quick note to say I still enjoy Organifi and am well into my second canister.

One note of contention is the over spamming (in email). I just queried my Gmail for Organifi and found 89 email in a month and a half. About 10 of these are valid notes dealing with my purchases. Be prepared for some email when you sign up. Not all of them are ads, there is some free tools, documents, and information that can be useful.

The notes come from fitlife.tv, Drew, The Juiceman, Organifi, Gut Health Guru, The Anti-Aging Man, The Smoothie King, and maybe a few others. You can unsubscribe and be sure to let them know you get too much email from them.

I’m still sharing Organifi with others.

Random update: 10/18/17 about 14 weeks since starting.

I used the Organifi product for 3 months and really did enjoy it. With the exception of the cost, I have found this type of superfood supplement a worthy and easy endeavor.

This month I decided to try a different superfood powder I found at Walmart (of all places). I’ll post a product link.

The one big item for me is how I’ve not had a significant muscle cramp since I’ve been steady on these superfood powders. This is amazing as I could get some real crippling leg cramps. So far so good!

Here is that Super-Food product Walmart carries.

My B12 experiment

I regularly check myself for how things are working. Below is the journal from an experiment using a vitamin B12 supplement.

My Goal

The goal is to find out if a B12 supplement will provide my body the missing elements that affect alertness. While I am not a complete Vegan, I do prefer a mainly vegetarian diet. B12 is not plant-based and can be found in seafood, poultry, and red meats. I do eat these foods, but not as a regular part of my diet.

Day 1 (Aug 1, 2017)
It arrived yesterday, so the first consumption was today. Of course, nothing to report other than I’m giving this a try.  The sleepiness hit hard after lunch, which is sadly usual.

Day 3 (8/3/17)
I’ve taken the B12 each morning after my run. As expected, no noticeable changes in my body. Daytime tiredness as usual.

One oddity I will note is the presence of what is similar to sinus drainage after a cold or allergy issue. While there is no sinus blockage, pressure, or mucus presence, there is a persistent “feeling” of throat congestion at the base of the sinus. It may not be related to this experiment, but worth noting.

Day 17 (8/17/17)

I have stopped taking the B12, yesterday (8/16) was the last time. I need to see if this issue in my throat/sinus area is deriving from the B12. I’ll give it a week or two and report any variances.

There really hasn’t been any improvement in alertness or thought enhancements either. I do have a good diet with a wide array of foods, so perhaps I am still getting enough B12.


I did not experience any benefit from the B12 supplement and found it to be an irritant to the olfactory system.


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