Things I’m loving lately

It’s Thursday… but it feels like Friday! Don’t you love those days?

Actually, between the weather and the prospect of seeing my family this weekend, the whole week has felt like vacation. I started the day bright and early yesterday, with a bike ride. I actually had an alarm malfunction (I forgot to turn the sound on), but woke up on my own at 5:15, and was out the door by 5:30. I’m clearly getting in the habit of the early morning wake up. I met up with the BHCC riders and we headed to Quincy Shore Drive… I made it all of four miles with them before I got dropped. I knew the route (mostly), and had 29 miles under my belt when I got home at 7:30.

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This morning I headed to Walden to meet Katy for a swim. The water is finally warm enough that wet suits aren’t necessary, so we just hopped right in and took off. We went once around the pond, and then did a little more… according to the swim map it was about 2,500 yards. The pond was so pretty this morning, it was kind of hard to leave.

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It occurred to me recently that I learned about some of my favorite products and places through other blogs, so I thought I’d share a few quick things I’ve been loving lately (tri training edition):

1. Dry Pak: I originally bought this to keep my phone safe when kayaking. However, when I discovered that I could take underwater photos with it, I started bringing it on swims too. Not only is it totally waterproof, it also floats, and had a lanyard and a clip so you can attach the bag to your lifejacket/wetsuit. I wear it around my neck and then tuck it into my wetsuit when I take off on a swim. Pretty great.

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2. Strava: Despite the founders coming out to November Project last year, I was a bit slow to jump on the Strava bandwagon. I generally use Map My Run because I like the interface better, and many of my friends use it. But when I started biking more, I found Strava was sort of the industry-standard. BHCC members all use it, and there are a ton of public routes you can peruse. Because my rides are so much longer than my runs, the segmentation that Strava does makes more sense. I also like that I can create “privacy zones” around my work and home, so people who see my ride don’t automatically know where I live. I’ll still use Map My Run for running, but I’ll be on Strava when I’m on the bike.

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typical Strava map

3. Salted Caramel Gu: Energy gels can be pretty disgusting, so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the salted caramel flavor during the Ashland Tri and liked it. I’ve long been a fan of Gu’s Orange gels, but some of the flavors (and brands) have left me grossed out. The salted caramel has a nice balance of sweet and salty, and contains 20 mg of caffeine.

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4. Yogurtland: Boston has been inundated with fro-yo places over the past year, but Yogurtland is by far my favorite (I might like it a bit too much, given that the people who work there now know me). It’s self-serve, so you can make a treat the way you like it and they have incredible flavors- from the standard tart to graham cracker to guava. I’m a huge fan of matcha green tea, which is hard to find in these parts. but Yogurtland has it pretty reliably. Coconut and taro are also delicious. I’ve long been skeptical of taro (it’s a potato after all), but taro fro-yo is amazing. I don’t know how I lived so long without it. I’m not huge on toppings, but Yogurtland has a bunch- from Capt’n Crunch cereal to mango popping boba. It’s where fro-yo dreams come true.

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5. Trader Joe’s Lavender scrub. I’m sort of famous for ending my bike rides with an ugly bike grease mark on the inside of my right calf. Anyone who’s dealt with bike chains knows that grease is pretty stubborn and regular soap won’t take it off. But this affordable ($5.99 at TJs) and nicely scented salt scrub does the trick, leaving my skin soft and mark free. I used the grapefruit scrub for years and haven’t been able to find it lately. Give me a shout if you see it near you, please.

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Got something you’re loving lately? Leave a comment!

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