Friday, 29 July 2011 13:41

Endurance Athlete Meetup

[caption id="attachment_3317" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Products from GU, Recharge and Marathon Bars"]GUEnergy_Recharge_MarathonBars_Meeting[/caption] When I was at the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colorado back in June one item that I learned that really piqued my interest was to host a meetup of friends, family and other athletes from the area to test products out and try to put together a review for the companies.  Of course, in order to make this happen you have to check the schedule of those you want to invite, check your schedule for training, and make sure that your wife is ok with having strangers come over (but not necessarily in that order.) After getting approval from Karen I emailed a few of the companies that I have had direct contact with along with two PR firms (Jen and Julia of Fresh Ideas Group and Scott of Outside PR) to see if they had companies that were willing to send me products to hand out and have people comment on.  Every company was more than happy to send me items and from the moment I got my final response the UPS / FedEx guy and I became pals.  Almost daily another package showed up at my doorstep and it was amazing.  I never imagined this many boxes in my house where I wasn't moving (still haven't sold house by the way) or trying to pack away Christmas decorations. I am going to do my best to recap everything for you, but let me just say that it was a great time hanging out with like minded folks who took a real interest in all the products and items that were on the table for them to test and take home. The lineup of products included the following:
Throughout the day we sampled each of the protein bars, tortilla chips and My Fit Foods (I did not eat this but it smelled great) and washed it all down with Recharge, HoneyMilk and Herbalife smoothies.  The conversation was great and the company was better.
My review of a few of the products that I had never used before:
Salba Seed: This is a terrific product.  Straight from their website is the following: Salba is the richest whole food source of Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber found in nature. Gram for gram, Salba provides eight times more Omega 3s than salmon, four times more fiber than flax, six times more calcium than whole milk, 30 percent more antioxidants than blueberries, and muchmore. Salba is all-natural, has no trans-fats, very few carbohydrates, and is certified Non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher, and Gluten-Free for those who suffer from celiac disease. Learn More
The tortilla chip were incredible and come in three varieties (Organic Yellow, White or Blue Corn.)  I thought I might get a different taste because of the salba but there is nary a hint of the seed in the taste although you can see it clearly.  I was enamored by them and so was the 7 year old son of my boss and I'm not sure his hand came out of the bowl but we were losing chips out of the bowl.
Here is the crazy thing about Salba and the products we received:  The salsas were better than the tortilla chips and each salsa was better than the last.  We were able to sample Mild, Medium and Hot.  I love my food spicy but wanted to see what they thought was mild.  I tested it out and it was bland for my taste buds but it was good. There were chunks of tomato in there and this time you could actually taste the salba seeds.  The medium seemed to reflect the same taste as the mild with no discernible difference.  Then I got to the hot and while it did not make my eyes water or nose run it was the best of the three.  I would say the hot is more of a medium salsa but the flavors all melded together nicely. I cannot wait to make a jar of overnight oats and put salba seeds instead of chia seeds to see if there is any difference in taste and texture.  After that we will be putting salba seeds on my daily nut butter and jelly sandwich to get that little bit of extra texture. My recommendation is that you click [HERE] and [HERE] to find out where you can buy Salba Seeds and products and add it to your diet. [caption id="attachment_3319" align="alignright" width="300" caption="RoadID, HydraPak, Ryders Eyewear"]RoadID_Hydrapak_Ryders_Eyewear[/caption] Recharge: This is an all natural and organic juice drink made by the R.W. Knudsen Family Company.  Let me just say that they are generous as I received 5 boxes of their product.  I was able to handout all of their flavors which include: grape, green apple, lemon, mixed berry, orange, organic lemon, tropical while sampling the grape and orange.  Karen has been drinking the tropical. My first action was to look at the nutrition facts because it is labeled as hydration for all out performance.  To me that means that it has all the calories and electrolytes I need to get me through a bike stage in a Half-Ironman or Ironman race.  This product falls short there as there are only 70 calories, 18g of Carbohydrates and 25mg of Sodium in the drink, but where it does excel is in the flavor department and all natural ingredients. I was immediately taken back to my childhood when I tasted the grape and orange.  The flavors were in fact that of a juice drink and the ingredients prove it: Ingredients: Filtered Water, White Grape and Apple Juice Concentrates, Herbal Tea (Water, Hibiscus Tea), Natural Flavors, Natural Orange Extract, Sea Salt. I would not use this product to replace the Prolong or EFS Liquid Shot but if you are a Gatorade G2 drinker then I would drink Recharge instead as it has the same calorie count and similar carbs but this is natural where G2 is not. My Fit Foods: I cannot make any claims to the taste of the food but I can tell you that my kitchen smelled as if I just cooked (laugh with me here!)  In all honesty the food was consumed by the bowl full and after every time somebody put a fork in their mouth they exclaimed how tasty it was.  I have been to My Fit Foods before I became a vegetarian and I can say that there food is excellent.  It is prepared that day in a designated kitchen and in a container that you just pick out of the refrigerated container and heat up when you get home. There are a couple of items sold at My Fit Foods that had the pleasure of sampling while at the CapTexTri Expo.  The products were the Perfect Fit Cookie and the Boundless Nutrition Energy Bars.  You can find more information on both [HERE] but I can say that the cookies never stood a chance and the bars are moist and tasty. [caption id="attachment_3323" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Karen of Team Marathon Bar and Shannon of Team Aquaphor showcasing products"]Team_Marathon_Bar_Aquaphor[/caption] I still have not had the chance to try the HydraPak gear as of yet, but will do a review of the product line as I use each item.  I don't think you need a review of HoneyMilk from me as my love of the product is evident in my tweets, posts on Facebook and pictures and words on this blog.  There was almost a riot over the Road ID jerseys and Ryders eyewear but I think everybody came away unscathed.  There were two varieties of the sunglasses and both looked really cool and Karen looks great in one of the pair that we delivered to us.  The GU Energy gels and electrolyte tabs do not need a review but the flavor of the chocolate raspberry was outstanding as a new flavor for me.  The ladies loved the Bondi Bands and if I had hair I probably would too.  As for Tri-Clips I had a hard time giving their items away but I already own the clips, the seat cover and have a transition mat so I painfully let them go and each person that received one of the items was very happy. [caption id="attachment_3320" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Each person walked out with a gift bag and much more"]Gift_Bags_Giveaway_Reviews[/caption] The Marathon bars that we had to share were very good and reminded me quite a bit of the PowerBar Harvest Bars I had been using.  If you use PowerBar then try to switch it up and use the Marathon bars and determine for yourself which you like better.  As for Herbalife, you all know my feelings about their products.

I would like to thank all the companies that mailed me products to test out along with sending thanks to all those that attended.  I had a great time, hope you did to and I look forward to hosting another event in the near future.

Have you hosted an event and what were your thoughts about the process?

If you owned a company would you want to showcase your products in ths type of setting?

Published in Product Reviews
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 17:00

Practice Safety.....Please!

[caption id="attachment_3104" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Peace Could Be Achieved By Sharing The Road?"]Share-The-Road-Cycling[/caption] In light of the recent events at the Tour De France this year my heightened fear of safety on the bike has reached an all time high.  This year's Tour has featured crash after crash and not just within the peloton at high speeds, but what seemingly could be described as standing still.  The other day there was an accident that truly made me take stock of my cycling plans. This accident was caused by a car trying to get around the cyclists and quickly noticing a tree and swerving to avoid that tree.  As they swerve to avoid that tree they hit one of the riders and cause him to go down and setting off a chain reaction of flying cyclists.  One of the cyclists was launched over what was originally described as a fence.  This turned out not to be a fence but instead barbed wire.  The barbed wire tore the riders racing kit as well as leaving him with cuts and scratches up and down his leg. When I saw the video of the accident my immediate reaction was how can I trust a single driver when in the most popular cycling event in the world the drivers don't share the road.  Shortly thereafter I was reminded of the fact that I just recently had a conversation regarding riding in the dark as I had just been shopping for lamp for my bike.  After seeing this accident my rule for not riding before daybreak was cemented.  I refuse to get on the road prior to 630am in the summer because I worry that the drivers will not see me even if I am wearing a neon sign that says I AM A CYCLIST...PLEASE SHARE THE ROAD! Please allow me to also say that wearing a helmet is not a choice.  This is a must.  From the moment you make the decision to go riding your next step should be to find your helmet.  Step after that?  Actually putting it on.  On Sunday I rode for 2.5 hours followed by 25 minutes of running.  I saw only two other riders on the route I was on and they both had their helmets on.  When I started to run I was passed by a cyclist on a Specialized Allez going at a decent speed.  I noticed that his head was nice and shiny and I noticed this because I know he is bald and that his helmet was on his handlebars.  Now I understand that the bike is very nice and cost quite a bit of money but protecting the handlebars in case of an accident instead of your head just seemed backwards to me.  How this person decided that his bike should be protected or that it was too hot out to wear a helmet is beside me. [caption id="attachment_3105" align="alignright" width="261" caption="3 Feet Is The Law....But How Many People Follow It?"]3-Feet-Its-The-Law-Be-Safe[/caption] In addition to protecting my head with a helmet and riding when the drivers can see me I also make sure that every ride is accompanied by a sandwich bag that has my phone, my ID, and a credit card.  This gives me peace of mind that should something happen that there is a way to get in touch with family and friends.  My buddy Juan had an accident where he broke his shoulder and caused massive bruised to his thighs.  He had his helmet on but did not have an ID or anything on his person for them to notify his wife.  He was rushed to the hospital ER and only after being checked out was he able to contact her to inform her of the situation.  I do not want Karen to be in that predicament worrying wear I am and then getting a call that I am in the ER.  Better off calling her while I am on the way to the ER so that she can be there with me. By now you should know where this next paragraph is headed.  I am going to talk about RoadID.  This simple bracelet can be a life saver.  For a whopping $15.99 you can go online and order a thin Road ID that will have your name, two phone numbers, list your allergies and provide you some words of encouragement or more medical information.  Here is the information on the Road ID I just ordered:
the Wrist ID Slim  Original Medium Black
JASON BAHAMUNDI / 1973
KAREN 214-XXX-XXXX WIFE
GREG LARSEN 801-XXX-XXXX
NO KNOWN ALLERGIES
IRONMAN WAITS FOR NO ONE
1 $15.99 $15.99
Show Detailed Shipping Information     SHIPPING OPTION: USPS First Class Mail $1.49
How much is your life worth?  Can you not afford to pay $17.50 to make sure that you are safe?  What about $17.50 to give your family peace of mind? If that isn't enough for you then check out the offer I received today from Active.com:
Offer brought to you by Active.com - Get 10% Off - Enter Coupon Code: pcTanline7
Having Trouble reading this email? Click here. Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe instantly
THE WRIST ID SLIM: How to spot a Road ID Wearer: Just look for the tan line! ROAD ID: Road ID: It's Who I Am.
Get 10% OFF All Road ID Products Now!
Active folks are serious about wearing their Road IDs. In the summer months, if you do catch a Road ID wearer without their Road ID, you can bet they're rockin' a tan line in its spot. In an accident, Road ID will be your lifeline to proper medical treatment and immediate contact of family. It's sleek, durable, comfortable and lightweight—it could even save your life. The new Wrist ID Slim is the slimmest ID in our lineup. Get 10% OFF all of them and all of our products at www.RoadID.com. Use code pcTanline7 (Expires July 31, 2011)
JULY GIVEAWAY:Enter our JULY GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a Trek Madone 6.7 SSL with Shimano Dura-Ace or a Livestrong Fitness Package! Click to enter.
With 10% off can you afford to do it now?  And really the question should be can you afford not to? I am sorry that I have written this post the way that I have but I am passionate about this topic and I want to make sure that you are all safe out there.  I enjoy interacting with you all and getting emails and tweets from my readers and if I were to find out that somebody was injured I would be devastated.  I consider each of you a part of my extended family and I want to make sure you are all safe. Here is the video and picture from the accident at the Tour De France. [caption id="attachment_3102" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Yes it could have been worse but it could have been avoided as well"]Tour-De-France-Cycling-Car-Accident[/caption]
Published in Train
Monday, 28 February 2011 13:33

The Cupcake Marathon Spring 2011

[caption id="attachment_997" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="It's Like A Marathon But With A Cherry On Top"][/caption] Christel (Silly Girl Running) and I had a Facebook conversation after she posted a comment regarding running for cupcakes.  It was a comical conversation that has led to this announcement.  For about 1 month now Christel and I have been working on creating a virtual race that fits into the training season for Spring Marathons.  We wanted to create a race that would incorporate runners and walkers, marathoners and half-marathoners.  In other words an all-inclusive race focused on getting people moving in 2011. All of these conversations wound up with us creating the first Cupcake Marathon. The rules will be simple and laid out in a bit but know that whether you finish in 2 hours and 50 minutes or 6 hours that you have a chance to win prizes from some of our sponsors.  We are still working with some sponsors to finalize details and will keep adding as we move along which only means that there are more chances for you to win some fabulous prizes. Now you are asking yourself where do the cupcakes come in.  I am hear to tell you that if you enter the race you will be sent three recipes for cupcakes from a cookbook that I have purchased and actually made all three recipes so I know how good they taste.  We are still trying to find a cupcake sponsor to actually send you cupcakes if you win, but in the event that we don't find one and you don't win you will still be running for cupcakes. To date our sponsors include cases of HoneyMilk (US Only), 3 Bondi Bands, a Road ID, a GU Sampler Pack and a Hydrapack Gel Bot for those participating in the United States and Canada.  The European winners will be able to win coupons for cupcakes, 3 Sweaty Bands and Silly Girl Running fridge magnets. That is a lot of prizes to be handed out and we will continue to add more prizes as we work with various sponsors. The Cupcake Sponsors 2011

UPDATE:

Since this post went live we have been able to land a cupcake sponsor.  What does that mean to you?  It means that if you win via random.org you will actually have cupcakes shipped to your house (in the US only.)  Who was kind enough to become the cupcake sponsor.....Sugared Bakery is who. Who is Sugared Bakery you are asking.  Well it is a small bakery run by Elisabeth and she started her own company after reading a blog post about owning your dreams (sound familiar?)  She has been up and running for a couple of months now and is the official Cupcake Break sponsor of Fitbloggin 2011. Elisabeth was kind enough to donate the following:
  • 2 doz to the winner of the Marathon distance
  • 1 doz to the winner of the Half-Marathon distance
  • 1 doz Glitter Puff Cookies to the Marathon distance
  • 1 doz Glitter Puff Cookies to the Half-Marathon distance
Remember that Random.org will choose the winners so you don't have to worry about speed here. Want to know your choice of flavors: 1) Vanilla cupcake with vanilla/chocolate buttercream 2) Chocolate cupcake with chocolate/vanilla buttercream 3) Marble cupcake with chocolate/vanilla buttercream ***these 3 flavors can also be filled with an array of flavors (peanut butter, Nutella, dulce de leche, etc.)--if desired, the winner can tell me their filling of choice, and I'll make it happen. 4) Orange cupcake with orange cream filling & icing, with an orange fruit slice on top 5) Chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling, whipped chocolate buttercream 6) Chocolate cupcake with strawberry filling, peanut butter buttercream 7) Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese buttercream 8) Chocolate cupcake filled with caramel, with dulce de leche frosting, and crushed toffee & cocao nibs on top And for me the best part is you can order these VEGAN or standard.  Check out Sugared Bakery on Facebook and 'LIKE' them.
[caption id="attachment_1127" align="aligncenter" width="180" caption="Sugared Bakery"][/caption]
Can't wait to see if you are a winner in the Cupcake Marathon well no need to worry.  Sugared Bakery has kindly offered a $5 off coupon for their cupcakes using the code CTER5OFF.  Just go to their Facebook page order form place your order and then in the checkout process put in the CTER5OFF coupon code. So now you want to know the rules and here they are:

Event Dates: March 14th through March 26th (you do not have to complete the mileage on ONE run but over the course of the two weeks)

Event Distances: 1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) and Marathon (26.2 miles).....you will need to select a distance when you submit your registration Registration: Submit your name, distance, and location through the Contact Me form. Proof of participation: We will require pictures of your Garmin, Polar, Nike+, Treadmill, etc showing the miles and the time.  We will also require that you submit a spreadsheet calculating your times (you will be emailed the spreadsheet after you submit your entry form) Prize Determination: Will be based on random.org.  You cannot win more than one item.  Read post to determine what you are eligible for. Pictures: We will require you to submit a photo with your bib that you can print by clicking on the picture below.   This is meant to be a fun way to get you active and moving in time for the spring racing season.  Depending on the success of this event there will be another Cupcake Marathon in the Fall. Happy racing and if you have any questions please use the Contact Me form to submit your questions.  

It's Like A Marathon But With A Cherry On Top

  [caption id="attachment_1114" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Got all the ingredients ready to start baking"][/caption]       [caption id="attachment_1115" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Into the oven they go....(my head needs some icing)"][/caption]         [caption id="attachment_1116" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Set the temp and the time"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1117" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Can I have one please?"][/caption]           [caption id="attachment_1111" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="Finished Product"][/caption]
Published in Race