Monday, August 12, 2013

Stride Box - August 2013

That I receive my Stride Box in the first week of each month was really a godsend this August.  While many states don't go back to school until after Labor Day, we've already had our first week here in Arizona (schools that follow the modified year-round schedule have been back even longer).  Regardless of how long I've been teaching, the first week is always stressful.  Glitches happen.  Hiccups happen.  Students and parents get confused/frustrated/angry at you because of various and sundry incidents.  Rarely has a first week of school gone by when I did NOT question my choice of profession.
This week was no different (I even got yelled at by a parent who thought one of my assignments was a waste of time, even though the assignment, which was intended for the students to show how well they knew they word processing software, proved that the student didn't know how to use her word processing software, soooooooo.......).  One of the bright spots was being able to tear into my August Stride Box to see all of this:

This month's contents:

  • 2nd Surge Ultra Energy Gel (double expresso) - After gagging on Gu a few times, I'm just not sure I'm up to this, especially because the non-fruit flavors make me a little sick just thinking about them.  But now that I'm in training again (more on that later), I'm glad that I have some samples in my arsenal to try out now in case I find something that works for me.
  • Gatorade Endurance Energy Chews (fruit punch and orange) - I'm not really a fan of either flavor or of the Gatorade ingredient list, but I confess that I ate both packages this week, although I hadn't run (I figured it was better than ice cream for stress eating?), and they were both pretty tasty.  I like gummy chews, so these could be something I'd consider using on a run, or if they were offered during a race, I'd certainly grab a handout.
  • Gatorade Endurance Formula (lemon-lime) - OK, so fun fact: the lemon-lime was always the ONLY flavor of Gatorade that I liked.  I don't like fruit punch at all, and the orange is just too... blech.  Anyway, when I was pregnant, I had to go through the gestational diabetes test twice (they didn't tell me to fast before the first one - the yogurt I had sent my test results into orbit).  For the first test, when I I had to choose the flavor of the solution, which I describe like if Karo syrup and Gatorade had a baby, I chose orange (options were fruit punch or orange).  The second time, all they had to offer was fruit punch.  Gag.  I remember being so thankful that pregnancy hadn't ruined lemon-lime for me.  And THEN I had my colonoscopy.  And what did I choose for my prep flavor?  Yep.  Lemon-lime.  Two 32-ounce bottles of lemon-lime Gatorade later, and I was OVER the one flavor I had liked.  So imagine the look of horror on my face when I saw this.  Sure, it's been a few years since I had the procedure, and I've definitely been able to have some citrus-flavored items (among the Gu that I can handle, the lemon-lime flavor is one of my favorites), but I still kind of shudder at the thought.  I want to clarify that this is NOT Gatorade's fault.  But I'm just not sure I'm ready to have flashbacks quite yet.
  • KIND maple-glazed pecan and sea salt bar - I love KIND bars.  Love them.  And maple? That's my JAM.  I knew this guy would be sacrificed quickly, and I actually ate it during a stress eating moment, too.  No regrets.  I'd buy these by the boxful.
  • Health Warrior chia bar (coconut) - Another stress eating victim - this little guy was a great nibble when I was hungry and angry and hangry but wasn't able to make anything.  It was pretty filling, too!  I could definitely see this as a post-run snack.  If it had managed to stick around that long.  I'd kind of like to taste their acai flavor, too.
  • Island Boost Fuel (passion fruit) - Like I mentioned with 2nd Surge, I'm a little leery of gels on my belly, but I like the idea of having a fruit flavor, so this one may be used before the other.
  • Stride Cool post-run cooling towel - this is something every runner in Arizona (or other hot places) needs.  I've been making makeshift ones from rags when we go on runs - I prep one for me and another for Zooey before we head out (I put Zooey's on her chest when we get back - this way the blood pumping to and from her heart get cool faster, thus cooling the rest of her body faster as well), but now I'm all fancy with an ACTUAL towel made for ACTUAL cooling.  Zooey still gets a rag, but she doesn't care.  She usually doesn't want to have anything to do with it anyway.
As I've become a more dedicated runner, I've started paying more and more attention to what I put in my mouth, and part of that is what I consume before or during a run.  There are so many items out there on the market right now, and while some of the samples that Stride Box sends aren't going to be my cup of tea, whether because I just didn't like them or because I have concerns about ingredients, I'm excited to have the option to try just one before I go out and order a whole bunch of things that intrigue me while I'm wasting time on the interwebs.
What's your favorite Stride Box item?  What would you like to see come to your door?

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