Monday, November 24, 2014

Product Review: Runner's Tea, Citrus Mint

Back in September I gave a review of the Ginger Berry Runner's Tea that I had been using on my long runs in training for my second go at TNF ECS WI Trail Marathon.  Later that same week, I cruised to a 10 minute 4 second PR over the prior year.  The Runner's Tea was my fluid of choice, worked well for me, and continues to even as I enter into an early winter training period.  Now having had the chance to try out the company's other flavor, citrus mint, a few thoughts.

Again, as with the ginger berry, (Product Review: Runner's Tea, Ginger Berry), the citrus mint Runner's Tea is a loose leaf tea, meaning that you need to brew it using a tea infuser, French press, or, in my case, an English Brown Betty, an example of which you can find here: 2 Cup English Brown Betty.  The citrus mint tea also has the interesting sage green color right out of the bag but when brewed, as opposed to the ginger berry which comes out more reddish/maroon, this tea stays green like in the packet.

Also, in contrast to the ginger berry, the citrus mint is less sweet, and almost has a slight kick.  (I'm guessing this comes from the combination of ingredients, including ginger root and cayenne pepper.  I like it!)  It smells of a refreshing lemony-minty blend as you'd expect.  However, the mint aroma smells of true actual mint as opposed to fake mint flavoring found in many drinks at this time of the year.  This led to another realization that was key for me and even my wife noticed it...this mint actually did what it was suppose to do, settle well upon my stomach and keep it calm.  Lots of times, if I have something mint flavored, I will actually end up with a slight case of heartburn.  That does not happen with citrus mint Runner's Tea and again points to the fact that they use high quality ingredients instead of cheap substitutes.  

Even at this time of the year I still brew it the night before my long run so that I can take it with me to increase my endurance and keep my stomach calm during the run.  (Last week this actually resulted in a citrus mint Runner's Tea slushie as my bottle froze during my two hour run!  Yummy, but a little hard to get out while running in such cold weather!  Some of it ended up in my winter beard I think!)  
Again, another awesome product, smells great getting prepped, and tastes great going down.  Settles well and works good whether you drink it before or during the run.  The full list of ingredients: matcha green tea powder, ginger root, orange peel, peppermint leaf, lemongrass, lemon balm, ginseng, natural orange oil, and cayenne pepper.  All organic and gluten-free.

As a disclaimer, I am a Runner's Tea ambassador, but also, as a benefit, being an ambassador means I can give you a 10% discount.  Let me know if you are interested and I can DM or e-mail it to you. 

Check out the Runner's Tea at

Make sure to also check out these posts about the tea:

Drink up, enjoy, and go run!!! :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Athlete Interview: Kimberly Haines

Kimberly Haines is a local Iowa runner and as I have gotten to know her this year via social media, I have discovered we actually raced together this past Spring at the Zumbro 17 Miler.  Both of us are planning on going back again for 2015 and hopefully we can connect there at this awesome Midwest race in Minnesota.  Kimberly also recently ran another well known race in Minnesota and set a new PR for herself.  As we exchanged DM's and e-mails, she told me about it and below I share this interview with you regarding this awesome race experience she had recently.

Kim Haines at the 2014 Surf the Murph 50 Miler October 25, 2014.
Brad Zinnecker/Trail Running Faith:  Hey Kim!  First, tell us a bit about yourself and your running background.

Kimberly Haines:  I'm a 56 yr old married grandma of five! :)  I have ran most of my life and have loved running as long as I can remember.  I ran track in school but back then I was a sprinter. Now I like to run long & slow.  I started running marathons in 1996 and my first was at Grandma's Marathon and I still run it every year.  I fell in love with trail running by doing the Living History Farm's Race and ended up doing my first ultra in 2012.

Brad:  That's the same year I did my first ultra after having never raced anything over a half-marathon!  Pretty cool!  Now recently you had a huge PR at another race, which one was it and why did you do it?

Kim:  I recently ran a PR at Surf the Murph 50 Mile in Minnesota.  I chose this race because of the awesome course and volunteers at the well stocked aid stations.  They are the best.

Brad:  Had you run this race in previous years?

Kim:  Yes I have ran this course two other times, both the 50 mile and 50 kilometer events.

Brad:  How was your training going into it and what were your goals?

Kim:  I ran Grandma's toward the end of June and took a week off from running.  Then I started training for my 50 mile race.  I started the 1st of July and ran the race on October 25th.  I did back to back long runs on Friday and Saturday mornings, getting up some days at 3:30 AM to run.  My goal was to beat my first 50 miler by 25 minutes, and that was just a hope!   I really thought I might be slower then my that first 50 miler, especially since I was running the first 34 miles alone.

Brad:  What was the result?  Why do you think things went so well?  How did it all come together?

Kim:  The result was a PR by 42 minutes.  I think I did so well for a couple of reasons. The weather was awesome and I could run in shorts & short sleeves.  It was my 3rd time on the course so I knew what parts I could push a bit harder.  Also my hubby ran the last loop. (The course is 3 times around a 17 mile loop.)  I think he pushed me a bit more then I would have running alone.

Brad:  That's incredible Kim---almost a minute per mile faster!  Crazy!  What struggles did you have to overcome?  What did you learn during the race?  Were there any near disasters averted? 

Kim:  I had to overcome the fear of not finishing.  All my friends & family knew I was running it so I didn't want to quit.  I learned your mind is a very powerful thing.  I averted disaster with my legs locking up going downhill the last 3 miles.  I could still run up small hills but had to walk gently down the hills.  I also fell with less then 2 miles to go.

Kim leading a group down a hill during the Surf the Murph 50 Mile event and on her way to setting a 42 minute PR!
Brad:  So this was no easy walk in the park then, you had to fight for it both mentally and physically. That makes it even more rewarding in the end, truly awesome!  When did you know it was going to be such a huge PR?

Kim:  I had the feeling I was going to PR with about 4 miles left.  I really tried to push a bit harder.  I was willing my legs to go faster. After I got past the last big hill, Pikes Peak, I really started to get excited!

Brad:  What kind of emotions hit you then?  I can imagine all types of things!

Kim:  I got so excited the closer I got to the finish!  When I saw my time I got a new burst of energy.  I was all smiles!

Brad:  Reflecting on all this, and on your past running experience, and even life, do you think that suffering and joy are linked in life?

Kim:  I'm not sure but I think if you don't have any lows your highs are not as high.  I think it's best to feel both emotions then rather coast thru life in the middle.

Brad:  Well put, and I agree.  Locking up with 3 miles to go, falling with 2 miles to go, but then seeing the finishing line with that huge PR written across it---wow!  That's not living life in the middle and just coasting through, you were giving it your all that day.  Again, well done!  Okay, one last bonus question.  We both did the Zumbro 17 Mile race last year.  How does this race course compare to Zumbro?

Kim:  Well when it comes to comparing this to Zumbro, I feel Zumbro is harder. I don't know if it's because of the muddy course the last couple years or not.  But I do think Zumbro is a harder course. It also might be more scenic too.

Brad:  Not having run Surf the Murph yet, it's hard for me to know.  But I hope to see Kim and many others back at Zumbro next year, even with its 3100f+ of elevation gain per loop.   Perhaps I will also have to consider Surf the Murph too!  Thanks Kim!

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