Review : Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel

Photo from Tailwind

Photo from Tailwind

This review is long overdue, but better late than never!

For a long time, when I started training more and long distances, I had trouble with my stomach. I felt that I don’t really know what to use for fuel on my runs when nothing felt too good. My first Ultra went a bit under, as my stomach just did not want to cooperate. So after that I wanted to find a solution to this all.

I had heard a lot of good things about Tailwind Nutrition, started by a long distance runner who had had a lot of stomach issues. So with that in mind, I decided that I really wanted to try it out.

I contacted their HQ in USA and got a tip that I should contact their Scandinavian/European person, Alex. Which I did and he was so nice that he sent me a lot of them to try out! Huge thank you for that! 🙂

One of the reasons I wanted to try Tailwind was that on my long runs, I tend to drink too little and through that feel a bit funny in the end. So if the fuel and calories would be in my water then I would get all that I need, because if I wouldn’t drink I wouldn’t get my calories. Also on long runs or races, eating becomes a bit yucky after certain period of time.

One thing that I was really interested about was how the powder that Tailwind is, will dissolve to the water and not feel too much while you drink it, you know that feeling of thick sports drinks, that’s the one I mean. But it actually dissolved so great that it’s just water, tastes something if you choose to use the ones with a flavor.

First I tried the drink only as a normal glass of water, just to see how it tastes and how my belly takes it, all good. So the next step was a long run but still a shorter, all good and then for a long run with only Tailwind to fuel me, still all more than good. I felt pretty confident that I can use only Tailwind on my next Ultra with no extra trouble.

And my June Ultra in Island of Samsoe in Denmark, went so great! It was my strongest race ever, won the women’s race in my distance 57,8km. No belly issues whatsoever, only fuelled with Tailwind. After that I am more than sure that I won’t be using anything else to fuel myself. F65E9EBB-D0BC-460C-B182-57A2ABB63143

My favorite thing about Tailwind is that it keeps you fuelled and hydrated in balanced way and all the time, there’s no dips like with gels and similar stuff. Which makes running a strong race very easy. Basically the best thing you could wish from a race fuel, right!

I also have to add and admit that I’ve used Tailwind as a fuel when I’ve been working long days, get those calories in when been busy, and also in a very bad hangover… Believe me, it works like magic! 😀

IMG_2160

Photo from Tailwind

I used mostly the Lemon flavor and absolutely loved it! I tried all the flavors and have to be honest, none of them are bad, which is pretty rare. They all taste pretty “clear”, not too artificial. They also have a unflavored one which is great if you’re not into any extra flavoring, or need a change on your long races. You can get Tailwind in either small one time packs that are super easy to bring with you, or in a bigger bag that gives you 30 servings.I can only recommend Tailwind and will definitely keep using it myself in the future! They have various flavors and also a caffeinated version.

Check them out here if you live in USA and here if you’re in Scandinavia/Europe.

Thank you Alex from Tailwind Sweden for being so kind and letting me try out the products! My order will be coming in soon :).IMG_2161

 

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One Week In, So How Does It Feel Now?

IMG_7910Less than two weeks of this new life, and I’m slowly realizing how good I’m truly feeling. Time feels like it’s just flying by and then you notice that it’s only been little over a week…

The fact how at home I feel is almost freaking me out a bit, but at the same time making me feel like “oh this is how you are supposed to feel…”. Or are we? I don’t know. But I am thoroughly enjoying this calm, peaceful feeling inside of me.

At times I feel like I want to freak out and panic a bit, mostly because I haven’t felt this happy and calm in so long, or maybe ever. What is happening to me?! And I think it would be so familiar to panic, yes yes of course I have those moments. But I also am able to calm down crazy fast from them. And to be honest, if I wouldn’t be weirded out at all about what’s going on and how much is going on, wouldn’t that be more worrying?

But seriously, how do we know that is the place I am supposed to be? I have no idea, but there has to be something in this all. I don’t know how many know what I mean with that peace and calm inside of me. If you know, then you understand how huge it is to have. The world is crazy around me and there’s so much happening, and I’m calm. That is big!

Less than a year ago when I was here last time, trying to make a home and a life, I was in such a different place with myself. The person I was then and who I am now, wow! And I think I am starting to really notice the difference here. With the help of a friend who was there for me last year and is there for me now. We were talking last week and he said something I feel too, but didn’t know how to put it in to words. Last year our relationship was more like big brother/little sister, now we are equal. That shows the change in me pretty well.

I have been thinking why is it that I am who I am these days, what happened in the past 9 months?

Because I’ve lost so much, gone through so much, and had so much pain to deal with on top of all else what life has. So why am I so loving and calm now. Why I’m not even close to the person I was before. What happened that I truly gave myself a chance to be who I probably have always been but haven’t given that me any chance?

Do we really have to lose so much to wake up and give life the chance?

I lost my Grandma, one of the most important people in my life. A relationship I thought was meant to be ended. I moved back to Finland which I really didn’t want to do, but it ended up healing me.  For the first time, even through all the pain, I was okay. I felt like this is my time to be there for others, something I haven’t been able to do before, because I wasn’t good with myself and the love for myself wasn’t truly there yet.

So that’s what really changed. Love, for myself and for others. And gratitude for all, not just the good moments, mostly actually for the bad and ugly ones. And the fact that I’m able to be happy. It’s not always easy, but I’ve given myself the okay to just be happy. For the first time in my life. Baby steps, but still.

If you would ask what I changed in what I did or how this all happened, I have no idea and no answer to you. I’ll tell that when I’ve figured it out.

But what I do know is this, a quote from a dear friend Robin Arzon, “I know that I’m not here to waste my days.”

I’m too old for letting my life just pass me by and not do anything about it. So if this place feels like home, for the first time ever in any place, I will give it all the changes. If I have that calm and peaceful feeling inside of me that I’m doing the right thing, I will push on even if I’m super scared of it all at times. And if it feels right to love as much as I do these days, oh I will do just that! Basically I am giving myself THE chance for the first time.

I’m letting go of the old, while learning what it has taught me, but being open and patient with my future. Trusting what it has to offer. Less control and planning, more of that jump to unknown stuff. This all sounds crazy, but it’s so right. I know I’m doing things all backwards and “wrong” in the sense of how we are supposed to do, but that never worked for me before, so why would it now?

So while I’m casually working this new life of mine here, I am also training for my next Ultra in 19 days. So no biggie. Little things are making me who I am. And I could not be happier with who I am now. I want nothing to change. Nothing.

Lovers gonna love, that’s all.

PMA ❤IMG_7942

Life Changing After Race Lows And Realizations

No one really talks about the lows that can come after a big race. Or at least I’ve never really read about this mess that has been in my head for the past week… 10 hours alone on the road is a lot harder on your head than your body.

We all approach races in very different way, for some it’s to get a new PB, some just get it done, some to run away from something that they don’t want to deal or like me, running to let go of all that I’ve been carrying for the past two years.

But whatever the reason is, no one really talks about what happens after that super high. And that low really got me so off guard, I didn’t realize that something that huge would be waiting for me. I’ve heard about a low after a race when you don’t have another one to wait for, but this was something completely else. My mind, or actually my brain, had never been that tired and in need of rest and recovery just like my body.

Maybe I was so calm before the race, because I had already answered to this huge question that had burned my mind for the past six months, Where am I supposed to go next? What will be the country I will move next? And I had an answer to that straight after landing to Copenhagen, I felt so strongly that I’ve just come home and that this is where I belong. Not that I had too much time to marvel in that, but I knew and finally that uncomfortable weight was lifted and I didn’t feel lost anymore.

During the race, I basically went through everything that had happened in the past two years. I let go off all that I had carried. All the pressure, sadness, pain, old me, that devil that calls me to give up, all the scars and wounds. And when I touched that last lighthouse for the sign of me finishing, I closed the book of my old life and opened a new and fresh one.

But now, after knowing exactly what I want to do and where to go, I got caught of doing something I seem to always do. I get really freaked out. My whole being knows exactly what is right and I just fight it because me being happy and go to a direction I know is right, is scary as hell and all unknown and confusing!

For a really long time I’ve been denying the fact of how unhappy I’ve been in Finland. I am so insanely lonely here. This time here has been exactly what I needed but it also has sucked me dry so badly that my mindset has been on way too much of a test and lately I’ve really been fighting hard to not to grumble. I haven’t and I won’t but the battle has been here. Though I’m still on the winning side of it.

I’m really great at being alone, with my life and my time, just happy to be on my own. But that all has started to change too, the more I understand who I am and what I want and why I react to certain things like I do, it has made me yearn for actual company of others around me. And this doesn’t mean that I don’t have any friends here, the few that I have and who I keep close, are the best people anyone could find in this world. I am so humbled by the support and love that they give me. I would not be able to be this strong now if I wouldn’t have them around. ❤

But I have goals in my life, to grow as a writer and as a trailrunner. And without something happening and challenging me in my life, that’s impossible. And I truly truly yearn to be surrounded by like minded people, and I know that I have them in Copenhagen. The fact that I do have them there, is a challenge on it’s own as I’m super good to push people away, not completely but just enough to get myself back in that solitude that is too easy for me. And I’m just tired of feeling alone, and that’s what I am here, this place is rough to be and especially if you are a bit different.

This past weekend I realized couple of things that really I had known for quite some time but after the Ultra they really became real, in a whole new way. On Friday night I was telling about the race to a old family friend whose known me for almost my whole life, not knowing all that’s been going on but a want to know. And when I was telling her that without running I would not be here, really truly not be alive, I just started crying as it is so huge and the realization of the fact all of sudden hit me in such a new and profound way. I’ve said so many times how running has saved my life, but before that race, I didn’t probably understand how much running has given me. And all of sudden I did. The gratitude I have for running is so big that I just don’t have the words.

Another moment was when I was spending a evening with one of my closest friends, and was going on and on about things that should not even bother me at the moment, and he said that there’s two questions that I should ask and answer and keep doing that to keep myself in check. They were “Who am I?” and ” What do I want?”. In a way they are very simple questions, but the point is to answer them honestly to yourself, not to anyone else. And that is a bit harder. It also puts things in to a new perspective. And the truth is that I’ve worked so hard the past couple of years, so damn hard. I don’t see it for some reason, I don’t see how brave I am and how open to new jumps and risks to take. Ready to just go and see what happens. I don’t see myself as an inspiration or a hero, I see myself as someone who just wishes to find her happy and strength and if by doing that I am able to help someone, I feel like I’ve won all the lotteries in the world.

But what that Ultra also did was, was that it peeled all the layers from me that I had been holding. Running has a way of peeling us like a onion, but running an Ultra with the right mindset peels us so raw that you are like a open wound after it, or wound is a wrong as it sounds super negative. It opens you in a way you have never been before. And all of sudden you’re ready for so many new things that it’s pretty insane. You are able to let people come a lot closer than before, which can also mean that you get hurt easier, but in the end it’s worth it.

When you run an Ultra, you should race for yourself, for that personal victory. There might not be a medal waiting in the finish line and maybe that’s better. Then maybe the reason to enter a race is personal, not to get more bling. Because everything that happens during one, is because and up to you. And you are the one who has to own it. And look at yourself, really look, and admit the things that you might have been denying. For me running trails and Ultras now, is so personal part of my journey, the part where I’m finding a way to be me with all I have. I’m not by any means the fastest or the strongest, but I sure am the gutsiest! Or my strength is in my mind. I am able to keep going when things get really dark, as I’m not afraid of that place, it’s the place that I’m really familiar with.

The people I find to be the most inspirational in Ultra running, are the ones who have gone through a lot, suffered and still gone forward. They might not be the fastest either but they are true and honest, willing to take the bad with the good.

When I had about 30km left in the race, I remember how I was thinking that that’s nothing, I can do that easy. That was a moment for me when I knew that this is what I’m meant to do.

Through running, I’ve opened up so much. I’ve learned how to love myself, for the first time ever. I’ve forgiven myself, time and time again, and learned how I don’t need to punish myself all the time. My openness and my willing to feel it all, whether it’s bad or good, my ability to love so hard that it might hurt me in the end, those are things that I wish I never loose. When I say that I will be there for someone, you better believe it.  I’m willing to take a risk, even when it scares the shit out of me, because I owe it to myself. Without all the risks I would not be here now, planning my next move, to a another country, again.

So, it’s normal to feel really down and mentally tired after something this big. It’s not the easiest thing to take but it sure is worth it. All the doubts and fears, all of it. Because in the end, if you listen to your inner self, you’ll be so much happier than before. I promise you.

PMA ❤