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Category: Product Review

Tuesday Topics: My favorite running books

I love to read!  It makes me sad to see my students struggle with reading.  Many read very slow and then many times have no idea what they just read.  We have independent reading time every single day and I hope this does not make them dislike reading.

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This week’s Tuesday Topic: What are you favorite running books?  You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

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Here are a few great books I’ve read:

Born to Run:  I loved reading about the Tarahumara Indians and their barefoot running.  They’re amazing natural ultramarathoners!  I remember learning about chia seeds.  🙂

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Run Less, Run Faster:  If you “only” have time to run 3 days a week, then this book/plan is for you.  I am pretty positive I used their plan for one of my races.  There is also an app where you add the race distance, date, and calculated 5k and you will get your 3 runs and paces for each week leading up to the race.

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Hansons Marathon Method:  I have the books for the marathon and half marathon.  The plans are intense but doable.  For the 2016 Chicago Marathon I trained using this method.  I was aiming to finish under 5 hours, but I didn’t.  I did get a PR so that counts, right?  You can read what I wrote about it HERE.

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Boston Bound:  It is an easy to read book that details Elizabeth Clor’s struggles as she attempts to get a BQ.  She tried for 7 years and finally qualified in October of 2014.  She ran the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul – Running for Good:  I read about this book in Wendy’s blog.  Immediately I ordered it from Amazon.  I could not put it down.  The book is full of wonderful stories of runners talking about their struggles, goals, and accomplishments.  I loved that each story began with a motivational quote.

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Living with a Seal: Another book from Wendy’s blog.  This book is HILARIOUS!  Jesse invites a Navy Seal to come live with him and to train him to get in shape.  His only condition is that Jessie does everything he tells him to do.  I don’t think I would last a day with him.

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I am currently reading “Meb for Mortals.  I bought this book last year before the Chicago Marathon.  I know, I know, that was a year ago.  I should have finished it by now.  

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Any other good running books I should read?

Tuesday Topics

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NuGo Egg White Protein Bars Review

Disclaimer:  I received NuGo Egg White Protein Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews. 

Thanks to BibRave I was afforded the opportunity to try out a new to me product – NuGo Egg White Protein Bars.  I had never heard of this product till a few months ago.  I received a mixed box with 12 bars in 4 flavors: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Pecan, Blueberry, and Peanut Butter.

When I first received my box, I couldn’t decide on a flavor and finally picked Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.  It was delicious!  I shared with my sister and she also agreed that it was good.

So what’s so great about these protein bars?  
• They’re made with real fruits and nuts.
• They’re non-GMO and 180-200 calories.
• They’re certified gluten-free and OU Kosher Pareve.
• Each bar has 12-14g of protein with no soy or dairy!

I don’t exactly have the healthiest eating habits but whenever I can, I try to not always eat junk food.  I actually felt good eating these protein bars because I knew this was better than eating a hamburger, pizza, or a hot dog.  Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I do eat hamburgers, pizza, and hot dogs but I am trying to cut down.  🙂 

Each bar is chewy like a candy bar.  I would enjoy one with a cup of coffee.  They’re tasty and easy on my stomach.  They’re also perfect for post-workout needs as it is a great protein option for fueling your body. 

I am not a big fan of Blueberry nor Peanut Butter and surprised that these were also very good.

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My favorite one is definitely the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.  I like that this was just what I need to satisfy my chocolate craving.

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If you’d like to try NuGo Egg White Protein Bars use code: “BIBRAVE” for 15% OFF at www.nugonutrition.com.  You can choose a single flavor, or try the variety pack.  This discount is good until August 3rd.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

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Friday Five 2.0-Yes to Athlinks!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I’ve been running for over 10 years.  Thanks to Athlinks, I have a record of every race (159 races) that I’ve done.  

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I also have a record of my PRs in all race distances.

Athlinks-2.jpgWhat is Athlinks?  It is a database that houses results for all athletes.  These include pretty much all timed endurance sports (running, swimming, and triathlon).

I don’t know how long I’ve had my account.  It is a FREE account so if you haven’t set one up yet, do so right now.  You can sign up with an email address, Facebook, or Google Account.

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With Athlinks:
1. See your most recent race results and your upcoming races.  This is in the Overview tab.
2. You can check your race results.  All of these races are listed in chronological order so the latest one is on top.  This is in the Results tab.
3. Search and be friends with other runners.  This is in the Following tab. 
4. See how you did compared to your friends that also ran the same race.  This will be shown by either a “Win” or a “Loss”.  This is in the Rivals tab.

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5. Find all of your personal records.  This is in the Statistics tab.

I use Athlinks mostly to keep track of my races and my PRs.  Maybe once in a while I’ll also check out how many wins or losses I have compared to my friends.  In my case, I have more losses than wins.  🙂  I also like filtering by race distance or a specific race and compare how I did.

Here are my results from the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle beginning in 2006.

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There is also an Athlinks App you can download to your phone.  

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I am pleased with my experience with Athlinks.  It has been a positive one since the beginning.  It is FREE and EASY.  <<Nothing to lose.  If you don’t have an account, set one up right now.  Don’t forget to follow me on Athlinks.

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Detach Coconut+ Review

Disclaimer:  I received Detach Coconut Water to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I’m in week 11 of training for the Illinois Marathon.  This will be my 9th marathon and I am excited but at the same time also nervous.  Over the years while training for various races, I’ve tried various energy gels and hydration drinks.  Everyone is different so what works for one person may or may not work for others.

While running I always make sure to drink water.   I will admit that there are days in which all I’ve had to drink is coffee.  I know, not good.  I do love coffee though.  I was excited and looking forward to try Detach Coconut+.  I had never heard of it and am glad I tried it.

Detach-2Detach Coconut+ was founded with the need for an all-natural drink that helped the creators stay hydrated, focused and supported their training.  They also donate and support initiatives that share their core values, through a portion of the profits, such as Alzheimers Association, World Bicycle Relief, and Sonoma Pride.

Detach Coconut+ is a coconut water-based drink with only a subtle coconut flavor, improved electrolyte balance, low glycemic energy and a micro-protein blend (Beta-alanine, Citrulline and Theanine).  These are vital for the following reasons:

• Beta-alanine – commonly found in trace amounts of legumes and seaweed, has been shown to improve the muscles energy production at intensity and in some studies improving 800m times by ~10s for 1 time use and ~15s after cumulative use.

• Citrulline – commonly found in melons is a known vasodilator, improving Nitric Oxide levels in the body.  This opens up your blood vessels and improves blood flow.

• Theanine – commonly found in many teas especially white and green teas. Theanine is also known as a neurotropic as it impacts feelings of positivity and focus.

In addition each bottle only has 60 calories and NO “fake” sweeteners which leave a nasty aftertaste.

It is recommended to take 1 bottle 30 minutes before a workout and 1 bottle during exercise.  I drank one bottle while on a long run (90 minutes).  It was a cold day but had no trouble finishing my run.  I enjoyed the citrus flavor and couldn’t really taste the coconut.  Actually I could only taste the lemon flavor which I liked.

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I also used it to make a smoothie to rehydrate and have some protein and carbs.  I used Detach, Orgain Protein Powder, and a banana.  I realized later that I should have added hemp or chia seeds for additional protein.

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In conclusion, Detach Coconut+ tastes great and provides an organic and alternative way to stay hydrated.  In addition, it is gluten free and certified paleo.

Would you like to try Detach Coconut+?  You can order it from Amazon or from the Detach Coconut+ website.  In addition, you can sign up for their newsletter to get information on coupons, promotions and giveaway opportunities.

Health Warrior Chia Bars Review

Disclaimer:  I received Health Warrior Chia Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I like to eat.  However, I can be lazy and rarely cook.  I make pasta, quinoa, eggs, pancakes, etc.  It has to be easy with very few ingredients.  I told you I was lazy.  I also like to snack.  I know it isn’t healthy but many times I crave something salty and spicy.  My favorite is potato chips with hot sauce.  No wonder I cannot lose weight!!  Sometimes I also crave something sweet.

It was during this summer that I first heard about Health Warrior Chia Bars.  I believe it was before my trip to Alaska.  I didn’t think about it anymore and then just completely forgot about them till about sometime in October when the opportunity arose to try them out.  Sign me up!

Health Warrior makes Chia Bars, Pumpkin Seed Bars, and Chia Protein Bars.  I received two different flavors of the Chia Bars – Apple Cinnamon and Dark Chocolate.  What makes these so great and healthy?  They’re gluten free, soy free, dairy free, 100% vegan, and non-GMO.  Plus they’re only 110 calories, have 4-5 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 1100 mg of Omega-3.

I first tried the dark chocolate.  I liked that it wasn’t too sweet but yet it was enough to satisfy me.  I finished it in 3 bites.

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Next I tried the Apple Cinnamon and also liked that one too.  This one had pieces of apples.  Again, 3 bites later and it was gone.

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I realize that they’re meant to be eaten as a snack but I think these should be a bit bigger.  🙂  Also, I know chia seeds tend to get stuck in your teeth (dislike it when that happens).  However, I found that that was not the case with these bars.

I enjoy eating one or two of these after school.  I eat lunch at 11:30 am and am done with school at 3:00 pm.  You bet that afterwards I am hungry.  Depending on the day I either have a meeting, stay late to grade papers, or have Math Club on Thursday.

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Something else I received with the Chia Bars is a Marathon Training Coloring Book.  I like to color but don’t always make the time for it.  I laughed when I checked out each page because I could relate to many of the pictures in the book.  

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The Chia Bars come in 9 flavors:  Acai Berry, Apple Cinnamon, Banana Nut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut, Dark Chocolate Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Almond, and Mango.  The Health Warrior Chia Bars are $15.99 for 15 bars (one time purchase) or $12.79 when you subscribe and save 20% off your order.  The company offers free shipping for orders over $25, hassle free returns, and a rewards program. 

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You can also try a sampler box of 3 bars for $4.99 and FREE shipping.  I ordered the Pumpkin Seed Bars in Cinnamon Spice, Dark Chocolate, and Honey Cracked Pepper with Turmeric.  You can also get the free coloring book with your order by going here:  http://healthwarrior.link/colorbookbr.

Have you tried these bars?  Thoughts?  If you haven’t, which one would you like to try?