Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gear Review: Balance Bare Nutrition Energy Bar


Energy bars have come a long way since the days when eating an energy bar meant trying to rip apart a sticky, homogenous textured Powerbar (not that there's anything wrong with those bars, and I think they're pretty good, but they're kind of an acquired taste that you eventually learn to love). While early energy bars were meant as a high-sugar (for quick energy) sports supplement, today many people want delicious tasting energy bars as a convenient snack food that requires no preparation and can be easily brought anywhere. Companies have responded with options that are often lower in sugar, higher in protein and healthy fats, and have easier to read ingredient lists. One type of bar that falls into this category is the fruit and nut bar. Today, I'll be reviewing Balance Bar's entry into this nutty snack bar category: Balance Bare Nutrition Energy Bars.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gear Review: Life Outside the Oval Office: The Track Less Traveled by Nick Symmonds


I have been a Nick Symmonds fan for years. I believe that he first appeared on my radar in 2008, when I was living in Colorado without a TV, and was constantly refreshing LetsRun or Flotrack or whatever website I was using looking for results. That year, Nick won the US Olympic Trials and made it to the semifinals at the Beijing Olympics. Since then, Nick has gone on to run a sub-1:43 800m, finish fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games, and become track and field's most outspoken advocate for athlete rights. I was super excited when I heard Nick was penning an autobiography, and now that I have it in my hands, I present to you my review of Life Outside the Oval Office: The Track Less Traveled.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gear Review: Versa Gripps


I'm changing this up a little bit from my regular running gear reviews, because 1) most runners could use some time in the gym to prevent imbalances from forming and to keep themselves from getting skinny-fat, and 2) Versa Gripps are probably the best $55 that I've spent in a while. So I'm sure those of you who have spent time in the gym have seen people using lifting straps (not wrist wraps, but those long straps that get wound around the bar to keep weak grip strength from holding back other muscle groups by transferring some of the weight to the forearms) or lifting hooks (which serve the same purpose, only...they're hooks). Straps and hooks are cool because they're cheap, but they have a couple problems. First, straps take a while to wrap. Second, neither straps nor hooks will release quickly if you need to drop the weight in a hurry. And third, they're not all that comfortable. That's where Versa Gripps come in.

Friday, September 12, 2014

ZonePerfect Well-Being Essentials Kit Winner!



Congratulations to LaTanya for winning a Well-Being Essentials Kit from ZonePerfect! LaTanya, please check your email!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog Forward Challenge 2014 by ZonePerfect #3 and GIVEAWAY!


It's September, and I have no idea where August went. Actually, that's not entirely true, since August was filled with finals, final papers, and studying for National Boards Part II. That's one way to make a month fly by in a chaotic mess of studying, stress, and not much else. Well, studying, stress, food, and working out, because there's always room for food and the gym. So, let's check up on those ZonePerfect Blog Forward New Year's Resolutions, shall we?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gear Review: Ryders Via


Sunglasses are one of those items that make running much more pleasant (because no one likes squinting into the sun, or eye damage for that matter), but tend to cost a lot of money. While everyone tends to recognize big (expensive) names like Oakley, there are also companies that are making high-performance sunglasses at a lower price point, (the previously reviewed Tifosi Slip and Podium XC fall into this category). I've recently discovered another bang-for-your-buck company: Ryders. The Ryders Via is one of their lightweight sport models, and today I'll be reviewing the photochromic version.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spartan Race Free Entry Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Alberto for winning a free entry to a 2014 Spartan Race! Alberto, please check your email!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spartan Race and GIVEAWAY!


One of my more popular posts to date has been an article that I wrote on what I called "cross-obstacle races." Since I wrote that post, a number of similar events that combine running with strength and balance challenging obstacles have cropped up. One such event is the Reebok Spartan Race.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

ZonePerfect Portable Charger giveaway winner!


Congratulations to Arena for winning the ZonePerfect portable charger! Arena, please get in contact with me with your address.

Thanks to everyone for participating, and stay tuned, because I have another giveaway coming up soon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blog Forward Challenge 2014 by ZonePerfect #2 and GIVEAWAY!


Well, that was a bit of a hiccup in blog updates. I am fairly sure that last trimester was the toughest one yet (my last blog post began with "next week begins finals," so we all knew these sparse updates were coming), and then this girl got engaged (congratulations Molly Pritz and Max Stein!), so when break finally came, I was a little preoccupied. So, you may remember earlier this year, I joined the ZonePerfect Blog Forward Challenge and posted up a few New Year's Resolutions for 2014. Well, now it's May, and it's time to do a self-assessment!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gear Review: Correct Toes


First of all, allow me to apologize for my sparse updates lately. Midterms hit, and then Part I of Boards, and next week is finals. Between this trimester's course load and Boards, I can see why they've dubbed fifth tri "hell tri." I also wanted to get some time with this particular product before I got a review up, since it's not one of those products where I'd expect to put them on, and within a week or so have a good opinion of them. Nope, this is something that I wanted to have a little bit more time with, and also get through the majority of this trimester's Postural Assessment course before I went and reviewed. However, I have a short breather before finals, and I've spent a couple months with playing with these now, so here we go...here's the Correct Toes review!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gear Review: Brooks PureProject Jacket

 

Brooks launched the initial line of PureProject shoes back in 2011. This year welcomes the third iteration of the PureConnect, PureFlow, PureCadence, and PureGrit (the PureDrift, which was the most minimal of the group, does not appear to be getting an update and looks to be discontinued, as far as I can tell). However, for 2014, the PureProject name will also extend to an apparel line, described by Brooks as a streetwise collection that marries performance and style, such that it's appropriate "for wherever the run takes you." Today I'll be reviewing the Brooks PureProject Jacket.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 giveaway winner!


Congratulations to Jason, who won a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s! Jason, please get in contact with me with your size and address. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blog Forward Challenge 2014 by ZonePerfect


I have a confession to make: I suck at New Year's resolutions. It's not that I'm against self-improvement, but pinning it all on one day is a lot of pressure. One of my friends and I have this motto that states: "New training plans start on Mondays." It's a lot less pressure if I screw up (and it's inevitable that at some point, I will screw up), but having a definitive start date prevents the whole "I'll start tomorrow" procrastination deal. Now, of course if I mess up on Tuesday, that doesn't mean I throw in the towel for the week, but you get the point. So I was going to go another year of no New Year's resolutions...until ZonePerfect emailed me and told me about their Blog Forward Challenge. Basically, I make some resolutions to better myself, while hopefully inspiring you guys to also better yourselves. And then every so often ZonePerfect sends me ZonePerfect bars (which I already buy whenever they're on sale, so it saves this poor grad student some money), and throughout the year, ZonePerfect says they're going to be hosting giveaways and have coupons for you guys. Sounds good to me! I think I can change my Monday resolutions to New Year's resolutions for that. Plus the extra accountability of having this all online won't hurt. So here we go:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gear Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 17 and GIVEAWAY!


The Mizuno Wave Rider has been a mainstay in the neutral running category for as long as I can remember. Seriously, the first Rider was introduced in 1998, and I didn't start running until '99. And I'd bet there are some young'uns reading this review who are actually younger than the Rider! In an industry that seems to have remarkably high shoe model turnover, for a shoe to last that long without being discontinued or replaced, it must be a fairly successful shoe. This holds especially true for Mizuno, who currently seems to be in the process of hacking down its line, with the Elixir and Precision being consolidated into the Sayonara, the Ronin and Musha being replaced by the Hitogami, and the Nirvana and Alchemy being discontinued in favor of the Paradox. That's not to say the Rider hasn't hit any stumbling blocks, with the original Rider being a bulky nightmare nicknamed the "Kiss boot," and even the relatively recent Rider 14 getting a lot of negative backlash from longtime Rider fans. After the Rider 14 debacle, Mizuno returned to more familiar territory with the Rider 15. Two iterations later, Mizuno hasn't strayed far from that formula, introducing a familiar, yet much lighter, Mizuno Wave Rider 17.
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