The Elite Eight

  

Last year, I featured The Sweet Sixteen. This year, I’m featuring The Elite Eight – and all eight bars are vegan!

Here are the matchups, as shown above:

First Round

Raw Revolution vs. Clif – Clif Bars are cheap and easy. Not only that, they are filled with carbs. That’s a good thing. However, they are a little on the dry side, and they simply can’t compete with the delicious flavors that Raw Revolution has to offer.

Go Macro vs. ProBar – Full disclosure: I’ve never had a Go Macro bar. However, I have had ProBars – lots of them! They are delicious and I find they really hit the spot post-workout.

UGo vs. Bearded Brothers – Full disclosure: I have yet to sample a UGo Bar – but I’m planning on trying one soon. Bearded Brothers are solid. They offer up some funky flavors that are definitely unique! However, the bars are a little on the pricey side. I’m taking a leap of faith in Round One – UGo!

Lara vs. Picky – Lara Bars are awesome. So are Picky Bars. These are actually two of my faves, which makes this a tough first-round matchup. Lara takes the win because they are simple, non-GMO and relatively cheap!

Second Round

Raw Revolution vs. ProBar – These are two of my favorite post-workout bars. With that being said, some of the ProBars have a bit of an overprocessed taste to them. You won’t run into that issue with Raw Revolution!

UGo vs. Lara – Like I said, I have yet to try a UGo Bar. Since it is unknown, I can’t give it the win over a powerhouse like Lara. With that being said, check back soon for my review of the UGo bar!

Third Round

Raw Revolution vs. Lara – Raw Revolution has a slight edge on texture and flavor. Lara has a slight edge on price. If I’m trapped on a desert island and I can only have one of them for the rest of my life, I want…

The Champion

Raw Revolution

What’s your favorite bar?

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It’s True: Creepy Dudes Are Everywhere

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I can’t imagine being a woman, because women always have to deal with creepy dudes. Creepy dudes are everywhere! Let’s rewind.

On Tuesday, I was out for my run. I was running a nice steady pace. I approached a guy from behind and passed him. Apparently, this caused the little fella to see red, because he chased after me like a crazed spider monkey that just put away a couple of Four Lokos. The guy actually cut in front of me… and then slowed down. Oh, dear.

So I passed him again – keep in mind that my pace never changed this entire time. The guy takes off again. At this point, I’m pretty sure his heart rate is approaching 200. He looked like Kanye West every time Beyonce doesn’t get an award. He looked like Ted Cruz when he meets someone on food stamps. He looked like Christian after Anastasia suggested they try the missionary position. This guy was pissed!

Anyhow, I slowed down. No need to poke the [crazy] bear. I went on with my run and I got off that road as soon as I could. Don’t worry – the fun isn’t over yet!

A couple of miles later, King Creepy showed up again. Keeping to his creepy ways, he sped by me… and then slowed down again. He even gave me a look over his shoulder. It was clear that he didn’t want to strike up a conversation (about all the little animals he has killed and kept in his freezer) – he wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to pass him.

At this point, I turned around. I read the news – I know how this story ends if I pass him back.

A woman would never be this creepy on a run. I sincerely hope that most guys wouldn’t be this creepy on a run. I can’t believe women have to put up with this stuff every day – I don’t know how you do it. Seriously, how do you do it?!

Don’t believe me? It’s true. Creepy dudes are everywhere:

As always, I will shamelessly promote pepper spray.

Keep running!

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It’s Official…

 

I signed up for a 100. 100 miles. 101.6 to be exact. Originally, I wanted to do the Virgil Crest 100 because it was a UTMB qualifier. Sadly, it is no longer. ITRA has eliminated “loop” courses, which includes Virgil Crest. Honestly, this soured my view of UTMB. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.

Now, back to Virgil Crest. I decided to run Virgil because it will be my first 100 and I wanted an easy course. Kidding! This thing is a monster. Only four people have broken 20 hours – and only one of them (Denis Mikhaylove) did it on the new course.

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I decided to run it because it’s local and I’ve already done the 50, so I know the course. Also, I like Ian’s races (he’s the RD). They are extremely challenging and well organized.

Finally, it’s not until September, so it fits well with my other races.

Anyhow, we’ll see what happens!

Keep running!

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The North Face Ultra Cardiac Review

   

The Ultra Cardiac is the latest trail shoe offering from The North Face. The company describes it as an everyday trail running shoe. I tend to agree with The North Face – I think this shoe is best-suited to be a trainer as opposed to a racer. With that being said, I’m sure some North Face aficionados will use it for racing longer distances.

  

The shoe fits similarly to other North Face trail shoes. It has a snug overall fit – while I like the way it wraps the foot, I do not enjoy the narrow toe box. I think it might be a bit narrow even for someone with an average foot. In addition, I thought it was a little shy on length. I sized up a half-size, and I recommend that you do the same.

The size 10.5 weighed in at 10.5 ounces on my scale. The shoe has a 22mm heel and a 14mm forefoot – an 8mm drop.

  

The shoe has an awesome Vibram sole. The lug pattern is very similar to that found on Montrail shoes (specifically, I think the outsole is similar to the Bajada series). It is simple, yet highly effective. I think too many companies are trying to do too much with outsoles – credit to The North Face for keeping it simple.

The shoe has a firm sole. For me, it would be too firm for longer distances (anything over 20 miles), but this is probably more of a personal preference.

My favorite feature of the shoe is the laces/eyelets. The combo of laces/eyelets prevented any slippage. In fact, it was so effective that it was almost a challenge to adjust the shoes mid-run.

 

Pros:

– great sole – simple and highly effective
– laces/eyelets – no slippage
– awesome colors

Cons:

– too narrow
– too firm
– a light trainer or a heavy racer?

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Not-So-Fun Fact: It Still Feels Like Winter

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The Syracuse Half Marathon

The Syracuse Half Marathon was yesterday. It’s a relatively new race, but it’s growing quickly. This was the third year of the race (I participated in the inaugural event in 2013) and there were nearly 3,000 finishers.

The weather was cold – I don’t have exact numbers, but the temperature was in the teens and the wind chill was in the single digits. There was some snow the morning of the race, as you can tell from the picture above, but the roads were generally clear.

Jared Burdick was the top male (1:09:34) and Kate Hails (1:23:16) was the top female. The Strong Hearts Run Club put in some impressive performances, as did the Syracuse Track Club. Full results of the race are available here.

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My Training

I skipped my run on Wednesday because of a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy, little tweak in my right ankle area. I gave it a little thought, and I decided that my shoes (one of the pairs in my rotation) were probably shot. Sure enough, I started a new pair on Thursday and the pain faded away. Woo hoo! I managed 45 miles over the last 4 days and I still hit my mileage goal for the week. I’m still about 7% ahead of last year’s pace, and the quality of my workouts is also much improved.

The Weather

I promise I won’t turn this into a never-ending rant about the weather, BUT… come on! This is ridiculous. It’s the end of March and the ground is still covered in snow. The wind chill has been near zero and there is no end in sight. WTF?! My first road race of the year is about four weeks away and it better be warmer than it is right now!!

In Other News…

Kenenisa Bekele will not be running the London Marathon due to injury.

Interested in a treadmill world record? Read this.

Looking for an entertaining podcast? Jen Benna was a guest on Ultra Runner Podcast and she is hilarious!

According to iRunFar, Gina Lucrezi is the first female ultrarunner to snag a beer sponsorship. Here’s a list of some other hoppy folks.

That’s about all I’ve got at the moment. Keep running!

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The Snow Is Melting!



The snow is melting – finally! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not melting fast. In fact, I shouldn’t even be writing this because I might jinx it!

As the snow melts, it reveals lots of things hidden underneath. Below, I’ve included a list of the top 6 things that I found and the top 6 things I did not find.

Top 6 Things I Did Find

1. Poop. There is poop everywhere! Gross! I don’t have a dog so I don’t know exactly how this works – but is there a rule prohibiting removal of dog poop during the winter?

2. Gloves. There are gloves everywhere – mostly singles. Are gloves like socks? Can you lose two singles and then make a new pair? Do you just go with a single glove? One glove and one hand in a pocket?

3. Garbage. I know it can get a bit windy in winter, but come on! There is garbage everywhere. Gross!

4. Mud. Syracuse has a great summer, but early Spring and late Fall are not the prettiest. There is mud everywhere.

5. Potholes. OMG, the potholes this year are insane. I did a little research and found that bad potholes are almost everywhere. In fact, some of the worst roads in the country are in California. What do you think Californians, is this true?

6. People acting stupid. What is it about warmer weather? The temperature is barely hitting 30 degrees and people are already acting stupid. I love a lot of things about summer, but people are not one of them.

Top 6 Things I Did Not Find

1. A good Pitbull song. I don’t get it. He keeps putting out songs. The radio keeps putting them on. He’s basically the Nickelback of pop music. Who likes this guy? Fess up. Come clean. I know you’re out there.

2. Climate change policy. I get it. It was a cold winter in parts of the U.S. BUT – did you know the Earth had its warmest winter on record?

3. A Kardashian with a real job. It must be hard being famous… for being famous.

4. An Aziz Ansari joke I didn’t like. OMG, this guy is hilarious. He’s got some new stuff out and LOVE. Love, love, love.

5. The Yankees offense. Full disclosure: I am a Yankees fan. I’m nervous about this season. The pitching is… questionable. The hitting is… questionable (at best). I think it might be a long year. Do you like baseball? Who’s your team?

6. A Facebook post from a human being. Do you remember back in the day when people posted things on Facebook? Once upon a time, it was actually useful for keeping up with your friends. Now, it’s all about the ads. It’s all about the corporations. It’s all about the benjamins. And if you’re lucky, you can find out what your third cousin (that you’ve never met) had for dinner last Friday.

Peace! Have a great weekend – keep running!

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The Pacific Crest Trail

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Today’s post is about the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail was recently made more famous by the movie Wild. The trail was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1968, although it was not officially completed until 1993. It is 2,663 miles long and has over 400,000 feeet of elevation change.

Parts of the trail are used for several races – at least for now. The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is lobbying and advising the Forest Service to ban recreational events on the trail. If they succeed, no new trail running events, nor growth of existing events, will be allowed on the trail.

Candice Burt, who is a race director for several events including the Big Foot 200 and Tahoe 200, has created a petition on Change.org. There are already over 3,000 signatures, but the goal is to get many more! Please take one minute to sign the petition – it doesn’t require anything else from you. Who knows – maybe someday you will want to race on the Pacific Crest Trail!

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You can listen to a short podcast (19 minutes) on the issue here.

Thanks! Have a great run!

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