Saturday, January 7, 2012

Full Disclosures... Big Waves, Running in January Heat, and Zipp Fizz

On Friday morning(ish) I decided to go run at the beach. There's been some big surf due to the latest southern swell (10-20 foot waves), and I thought it'd be a good distraction while I did a 4 - 5 mile run.

Full Disclosure - It was really closer to 11am by the time I got to the beach, so it almost doesn't count as a morning run.

The other reason that I went to the beach is that about a month or so ago, I got some samples of Zipfizz with a request to review the product. I don't do many product review for several reasons including, 1) I don't get asked to; and 2) even when I do get asked to, I don't blog with enough regularity to feel comfortable agreeing to do a review in any timely fashion.

When Zipp Fizz contacted me the first time, I was busy (remember November? Me either) and didn't answer the email, but when they contacted me a second time, I said sure...send me your stuff and I'll try it out.

For those of you who don't know, Zipfizz is an Energy Drink powder that you add to water. It makes the water a little fizzy and is supposed to give you 4 to 6 hours of energy. It comes in a groovy little tube that makes transporting it convenient. It does give water a little bit of a fizz, but not as much as a soda. If you want gobs more info about what's in Zipfizz, you should go here.

Full Disclosure - I'd used Zipfizz prior to being asked to review the product. In fact, it was one of the reasons I agreed to use it. That beings said, Zipfizz did send me some product to review.

Generally, I use Zipfizz in the afternoon when I'm feeling especially tired instead of drinking coffee. Even though (according to their their website) it has some caffeine (about 1/4 the amount in a Starbucks Tall Coffee), it doesn't seem to affect me like an afternoon cup of joe does. I find that if I drink coffee after 2pm, it's guaranteed that I'll never fall asleep before 1am, but Zipfizz didn't seem to have that effect on me. 

But I'd never used it as an energy drink or electrolyte replacement beverage during or after running. The San Diego Track Club uses a product called Vitalyte at its aid stations, and I've gotten rather used to using that. Vitalyte reminds me of  how Gatorade used to be when I was a kid. Not very sweet...and I like that. 

In any event, I decided to give Zipfizz a try during a run on Friday. 
Here's how it came packaged for me... I think it was supposed to be like a holiday gift.
I'll be honest...I'm really excited about the BP free bottle. I needed one of those (for work...for water with Zipfizz) 
They also sent me a flash drive...along with five different flavors of  "the fizz." I think there was grape, lemonade, orange, citrus, something called orange cream and some others. 
I decided to use the citrus flavored, thinking it would be the least sweet. Because my hand-held running water bottle holds 12 oz, and the directions say that one tube of Zipfizz is enough for 16 to 20 oz of water, and because I know from experience, the stuff can be pretty strong, I used less that 1/2 the tube.
If you use this, be does fizz up, so if you put it in bottled water, make sure the water bottle isn't 100% full, or you'll have fizz all over the place.
And I was off...first I ran south, toward South Mission Beach. Although it wasn't as warm as Thursday (it hit about 80F at the beaches on Thursday...crazy January weather here...who says there's no Global Warming?), the sun was in my face, but still running at the beach always makes me happy.

It's about 1/2 mile to the Jetty at South Mission, so I stopped to take some photos.
The important thing to know about this photo is that those waves are breaking in an area that is between two jettys (A jetty is built to protect a beach from violent waves.
There are two jettys in this that protects Ocean Beach (in the photo) and one that protects Mission Beach (which I'm standing on). There's about a 1/2 mile area between the two where the San Diego River dumps into the ocean.) For the most part, waves don't generally break between the two jettys unless they're pretty big and really strong...which was the case on Friday. 
Not like this they don't
Full Disclosure: I stopped to take photos for several minutes. Do you blame me? 

As I headed North, back toward Mission and then Pacific Beach, the sun was at my back, and you would think that would be fine, but I was also running with the wind, which made it HOT. I started sipping from my water bottle, and was pleasantly surprised that, even though the Zipfizz made the water a little fizzy, I didn't immediately burp it up.

However, it was still pretty sweet. When I got to Mission Beach, I stopped at a water fountain and filled  it to the top with more water (I'd drank about 4 oz at that point), which made it about perfect strength wise, but because it was in a hand held water bottle, and probably because it was getting warm outside, the water/Zipfizz mixture also got warm, and I'll be honest here, it wasn't very pleasant.

By the time I got to Pacific Beach (I'd run about 3 miles), I decided to turn around and head back to the car. It was hot. I was tired of running. Maybe it was the heat, but the Zipfizz wasn't settling so well. I filled up my water bottle with more water (it was down to about 10% Zipfizz at this point) and headed back. Running back into the wind made me feel much better.
Full disclosure: I stopped one more time to take some more photos...I mean you blame me?
As I finished running, I let out a HUGE BURP.

Full disclosure: I do this after every run. Ask Betty or Walter. I can make the walls shake with my burps, so I can't really blame that on the Zipfizz.

After the burp, I felt much better, and I walked back to the car, grabbed some dry shorts, shirt, and bathing suit top, went to the restroom to change, then grabbed a beach chair and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the beach, watching the waves and the crazy tourists in the ocean (water temp wasn't nearly as cold as I thought it would be), and was mostly entertained by a mother who let her kids run into the waves, but who hadn't brought any towels or dry clothes with her. ((shakes head))... Rookie mistake.
So...some notes on running with Zipfizz
  • It's super sweet...too sweet for me to use full-strength while running. If I'm going to use it, I will dilute it to only about 30% of the suggested strength.
  • I like it better when it's cold which makes me think that I should try it when cycling. On my bike I use a Camelback insulated water bottle, which should help it stay cold.
  • I don't like it much when it's not cold. 
  • The packaging in the tubes is really convenient, which is why I want it to work! On long runs when I have to carry my own water, I'd like to be able to carry an electrolyte replacement with me as well.
  • I will continue to use it as an occasional afternoon energy drink when I go back to work....and I LOVE the water bottle Zipfizz sent me.
As for the rest of the afternoon at the beach?
Let's just say, it wasn't painful 
But that water...was still cold! For all of you, I went into the water so that I could get a better shot of the waves (the tide was a negative tide and the waves were breaking pretty far from the beach)...the things I do...
Full disclosure: The cold ocean water was sort of like an ice-cold whirlpool bath for a twitchy tendon that has been begging for me to pay more attention to it.

Later that day, Walter, Turbo and I went back out to the beach to see the sun set at Sunset Cliffs (south of where I was earlier in the day)
My boys
In the background is south side of the Ocean Beach jetty, and the Ocean Beach Pier... Waves, typically, do not reach the bottom of the pier when they are breaking. 
Full disclosure: It wasn't high tide yet, which made the size of the surf that much more surprising. 
It really was quite beautiful


  1. That looks like a very nice beach. In one sense, I'm glad that right now the weather is nice in Calgary. Nice as in T shirt warm, and it's not even light yet. Because if it was cold and windy, you'd be having a lunch time guest to take to that beach. As it is, I'm looking forward to a shorts and shirt run, then bbq rack of lamb later.

  2. Sounds like an ideal Friday in America's Finest City. I don't think I've ever seen ZipFizz in stores. Might have to check it out since I need a little something to get me through the mid-day low.

  3. Sucks to live in Socal. I'm about to head out for some trail running afraid that it's going to be too hot! Say what?

    I heard they closed the OB pier Friday morning because the waves were smacking the bottom of the pier.

  4. I miss running in that neck of the woods. There is beach running here, but it isn't the same.

    I love my Zip Fizz. I drink it in the early morning before my runs. It is too sweet to run during a run, but it really gets me going in the morning.

  5. Great photos & beach commentary - wish I'd been running instead of working! Gotta love a la Nina year!

  6. I really loved your review! It was funny! I will have to give this a try. I don't do well with energy replacement anything, so this might be worthwhile.

    Full disclosure: It was awesome to see you tonight. I was sorry we didn't get to chat more, but we have plenty of time for that as the season goes on.

    I'll see you Saturday!