Saturday, July 31, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway Winner!

Lots of products to choose from! A free $20.00 gift certificate, what's not to like? We had 21 comments, many from new followers (Welcome new followers!) and selected as the winner, comment 17.

Comment 17 was left by Stephanie, who wrote "I want the circus tent for my son...who's 2nd b-day is circus themed!" Congratulations Stephanie! Please send me your email address so that CSN Stores can get you the promo code.

Companies, do you have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Friday, July 30, 2010

Midwest Trail: Danada Forest Preserve

Danada Forest Preserve 10-04-09 on Twitpic

Danada Forest Preserve, which links to the Herrick Lake County Forest Preserve, is a multi-function area not too far from where I live and a really good training destination. Apart from the Equestrian Center, which we've never used (though the kids love to watch the horses), there are about 3 miles of crushed gravel trails suitable for running and cycling, if you don't ride ultra skinny race tires. The trails connect to the Herrick Lake trails, which then connects to the Illinois Prairie Path, so runs or rides of almost any distance can be accommodated.

From the website:

"Danada has a rich history as the former home of Daniel and Ada Rice, and Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair. Today, the preserve is the home of Danada Equestrian Center, which is surrounded by 783 acres of rolling terrain that encompass wetlands, woodlands and prairies.

A large wetland complex interspersed with fields is located in the area west of Naperville Road. Although the natural prairie is gone, a 35-acre region has been the target of intensive restoration efforts that have yielded a healthy, restored prairie. This ecosystem complex attracts a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, grassland birds, and a heron rookery.

The DuPage Forest Preserve District's headquarters building, which was designed to blend in with the natural surroundings, is located within the Danada Forest Preserve on the west side of Naperville Road.

View Larger Map

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Changing Movement Patterns: Running Gait

There is a really good article in the most recent Runner's World (August 2010), called Desperate Measures. Author Todd Balf, after many years sidelined from running by injuries, catches the bug again and decides to follow as far as possible the slim chance that he may be able to run again, pain-free. After visiting various doctors, he ends up in a lab, where runners are taught to change their gair in order to  run more efficiently and correctly. One thing thatresonated with me was that he his a heavy runner and a possible solution to his problems would be to run lightly. After reading the article, I went out for my long run and, to the extent possible, I focused on running lightly - this increased my cadence, made me run more upright, made me tighten glutes and abs, all good things!


Four labs where you can get your gait assessed:

The University of Delaware's Running Analysis Clinic (Newark, Delaware) A 90-minute evaluation ($290) assesses your injury history, running alignment, shoe wear patterns, and gait; and includes videotaping from three perspectives. (then click on PT Clinical Services)

The Running Injury Clinic (Calgary, Alberta) A two-hour analysis ($385) includes a 3-D analysis of your biomechanics, measurements of your strength and flexibility, and videotaping with an eight-camera system.

UW Health Sports Medicine Runners Clinic (Madison, Wisconsin) A 60-minute performance-oriented evaluation ($250) includes video analysis, a musculoskeletal exam, and footwear recommendations. The clinic also offers services ($120-480) for injured runners.

UF Sports Performance Center (Gainesville, Florida) A 60-to 90-minute gait analysis (starting at $200) uses a 14-camera system, examines your joint mechanics, and includes a DVD of your test.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Multisport Subculture

Patrick and I recently traded emails and a phone call (strange nervousness, like a first date, one thing to email and comment on a post, quite another to actually talk to a blogging friend). Part of the conversation was about the subculture that exists in the multisport world of Doing It Yourself (DIY).  We both came out of the punk rock movement in the 80's, Patrick in Boston and me in SoCal. Everyone we knew was in a band, putting on shows, publishing a fanzine, or just thumbing their noses at society's conventions. You know what? Punk's not dead, or at least it's philosophy.

Triathlon, which many people first think of when thinking of multisport, was born of DIY thinking - some of us are swimmers, some cyclists, some runners. Who's the best athlete? Let's create a race with all the disciplines! Oh yeah, but what is the toughest of the three sports? "At that time Hawaii hosted The Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), The Oahu Bike Race (112 miles) and The Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). Originally events in themselves, they were rolled into one to become the ‘Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.’ (Kelly Ehritz)" Pretty seat of their pants, completely DIY. No one was waiting for a race to be organized, they just created one for themselves.

What's my contribution? Nothing yet. What I'd love to start is an organization that organized kids' races/events and also sold kids endurance gear. With experience, it could/would be expanded to adults as well. My ultimate dream would be to go nationwide or even outside of the USA (hello Canada, Caribbean and Mexico!).

One other comparison I see quite clearly is the rapidly coming commodification of multisport, much like the mainstream accepted and co-opted punk. Walmart now sponsors an urban youth triathlon team, Lance Armstrong has everyone aTwitter with the possibility that he will race Kona in 2011, and even Runner's World is urging its readers to give triathlon a try. None of this in itself is wrong, just like punk's sellout wasn't wrong, it's just the way our culture works. My concern is the people who believe you've only done an "Ironman" if you've participated in a World Triathlon Corporation race. Do you know that K226 lists literally thousands of 70.3 and 140.6 races?

Go read Patrick's post, where, along with his take on DIY and the endurance world, he also asserts that he, not Al Gore, would have invented the Internet if only a pretty girl had not spurned his advances. Maybe I'm misreading it, but in my defense, I was distracted by his stylish track jacket photo.

Patrick with Endurance Athlete Project or Ron at Punk Rock Racing are obvious examples of the DIY mentality. Do you see DIY in the multisports world? How will you contribute?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anti Monkey Butt Powder Product Review

(Image taken from product website)

Many moons ago, I was given the opportunity to review a fantastic product, Anti Monkey Butt Powder. I've never had Monkey Butt, not from running, nor cycling, nor motorcycle riding. What I have had is soreness and numbness, which are no less bothersome than the aforementioned monkey butt (well, in my mind at least).

First, the scent. When you open the package the scent, much like Proust's madeleines, brings to mind a very distinct image, of soft baby bottoms and the powder that keeps them dry. It's a clean, fresh scent that is definitely a plus. Sprinkling the powder onto my cycling bib chamois, I envisioned a comfortable, dry bottom ride. As soon as the powder touches skin, a cool feeling envelops the nether regions, setting the stage for contact with the saddle.

You may be asking yourself, what does Anti Monkey Butt Powder actually do? Well, according to the website"Anti Monkey Butt Powder is specially formulated to absorb excess sweat and reduce frictional skin irritation. It is Ideal for butt busting activities such as truck driving, motorcycling, bicycling, horse back riding, and extreme sports. May also be applied inside footwear, under sports pads, and other areas prone to chafing. Indoors or outdoors, work or play, or on occasions when you sit on your butt all day, don’t let your buns get red, use Anti Monkey Butt Powder instead!"

And does it ever! Not that my buns ever get red, but using this product really allowed me to extend my long rides, going from approximately 45 minutes before to almost an hour 20 minutes on Sunday. I felt more comfortable, less sore, and definitely less numb than before trying Anti Monkey Butt Powder. I highly recommend getting ahold of this product, pronto!

Kind of a funny  aside. Since I ride a cut-out saddle, the powder
works its way through my bib and then trickles down my seatpost.

For your viewing pleasure:

Besides checking out their website, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. I know I do! Stay tuned for a giveaway of this fantastic product, entry details to come Monday.

Companies, are you looking to get your product reviewed? Contact me at

Monday, July 26, 2010

CSN Stores Review and Giveaway

I was recently contacted by CSN Stores to do a review and giveaway for an item from one of their multitude of stores (200+), including Bedroom Furniture Sets, Toys and Games, and many more. I've been looking on the fitness site and have almost decided to either get a dvd to work my core (and heavens knows I need it!) or a home chin-up bar (which you may think I don't need, but I do - it's all smoke and mirrors).

One of you amazing followers will win a $20.00 gift certificate to spend on your own item, so start looking now (it's going to take awhile). Just remember that they only ship to the United States and Canada. How to enter:
  1. Be a follower or play one on TV.
  2. If you are able to choose, let me know on what you would spend your $20.00.
  3. Retweet, FB this, link on your blog, proclaim it from the rooftops!
  4. Follow CSN Stores on Facebook and Twitter.
Contest will run through Friday, July 30th, 2010, winner chosen using, and then posted Saturday, July 31st.

Companies, do you have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hornet Juice Giveaway Winner!

The winner for the Hornet Juice giveaway was Christine (of Stickyprints fame), as her comment was chosen via the magic powers that reside at

Christine will be receiving a supply of Hornet Juice to increase her endurance during her runs, which she'll need as she hasn't run much in the last 3 weeks. :)

I'm going to add my blog to Giveaway Scout, who compile and promote giveaways in the blogging world. Giveaway Scout is a giveaway search engine- their users subscribe to receive updates on the latest giveaways on the web. Add your blog and your giveaways will be exposed to our large network or users. Sounds good to me.

Companies, do you have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Friday, July 23, 2010

MidwestMultisportLife. com

So yesterday I took the plunge and purchased my own domain name, This morning I worked on setting it up and did something very wrong, because, after multiple attempts with many error messages, that url will not load at all. Patrick will try to help me unravel my mess, so hopefully the new website will be up sometime today. Apparently Patrick has nothing better to do than help me out (by nothing I mean his job, his blog, or his new company).

Does this seem like a filler post to you? It is. I had nothing this morning and Patrick called me out on it. I've started working on my AMBP review, a CSN Stores giveaway, an early running memory post, but none of it is ready. If you're still reading, I'll leave you with a quote from John Lydon (Johhny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), talking at the end of their (very brief) show at the Winterland:

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Illinois 3 Feet to Pass Law

(Image taken from

Recently, Illinois joined 10 other states and France in passing a law directing motorists to leave space when passing a cyclist (or pedestrian). Illinois law states: "When passing a bicyclist or pedestrian who is riding or walking on the road or shoulder of the roadway, you must keep a minimum of three feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist or pedestrian."

If your state is not listed above, do you care? Will you do something about it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MOX Multisport: A Chicago Multisport Store

A few days ago, I headed over to MOX Multisport to get fitted for some Somnio running shoes (see earlier post). Troy took good care of me and I wanted to let others know about this off-the-beaten track multisport store located in the West Loop of Chicago. The name MOX apparently comes from a combination of moxie and M.O.X. (Mixed Oxide), resulting in MOX, the "pure tenacity, passion, ambition, drive, will-power, fire, spark, skill, sportsmanship and vigor that lives within a true triathlete."

While nominally a multisport store, carrying apparel and wetsuits (2XU, Sidi, Zoot, blueseventy, etc.), MOX really shines as a bike shop, carrying a plethora of bike-porn worthy examples of great brands (Felt, Pinarello, Look, etc.).

Aside from the Somnio fittings, MOX also offers bike fittings by techs who have the knowledge and certification (F.I.S.T., The Fit Kit, etc.) to get you riding comfortably and more powerfully.

MOX also gives back to the community, organizing cyclo-cross Wednesdays, fun runs, and trunk shows to showcase their products.

View Larger Map

MOX Multisport can be found at 738 West Randolph Street in Chicago, on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Somnio Running Shoes

Somnio Running was founded on a very basic principle, that shoes should be made to fit the individual, not the individual to the shoe. How do they do that? They start with a neutral shoe as a blank slate (they have 6 models for both men and women). Using a 5-Step Fitting Process, they have the individual stand on their patented Line-Up device (photo below). The fitter adjusts the varus until the knee is aligned and then uses the arch ball to select the correct footbed. Using a chart, the correct Ind-X inserts are selected, and the shoes are ready for the individual to try.

I headed over to Mox Multisport to get a fitting. Even though the AC wasn't working and the phone rang nearly non-stop, Troy gave me his undivided attention as he patiently put me through the fitting process. Using the above 5-Step Fitting Process, he discovered that, while my feet both track pretty well and have a neutral arch, there is still room for some improvement. Thus, a slight wedge will be placed to further align my gait. Troy also spent some time showing me similar products used for correcting imbalances in cycling shoes. Interesting items, but I think Somnio is on to something with the blank template with adjustable inserts for complete customization. Perhaps a cycling shoe company will follow suit.

To complete the process, Troy wrote up a prescription for me. As you can see, only a slight adjustment is needed to correct my stride. He suggested the Pacemaker, as it is a light, neutral shoe. 5 Miles Past Empty already reviewed the Pacemakers, so I'm more interested in reviewing the Westridge, which is Somnio's trail shoe (since I try to split my time between road and trail).

Follow Somnio on Facebook, Twitter, or on their blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hornet Juice Giveaway

Several weeks ago I received a supply of Hornet Juice to try out, and if you remember my review, I was an instant fan. Drinking Hornet Juice before training, I felt stronger and that my endurance was increased.

Now Hornet Juice will be giving a supply of their product to one lucky reader of this blog. To win, enter by doing the following:
  1. Become a Follower or let me know that you are.
  2. Like Hornet Juice on Facebook.
  3. Follow Hornet Juice on Twitter.
  4. Link to your blog, tweet this contest, post on FB and leave a comment for each.
Contest will run through Friday, July 23rd, with a winner posted on Saturday, July 24th, using

CEP Compression Giveaway Winner!

112 comments and some new followers, welcome and I hope you'll stick around, if not for my scintillating writing, then for more giveaways (another one today!).

Using, a number was generated (see above) and the winning comment belongs to Julie. of running with julie. Please send me your address and which product you would like (I have you down for a women's sock, pink, size III, but please confirm).

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Beginnings: What a Week!

What a week! So many new beginnings, with three taking center stage. The big news, of course, was the addition of Aleksas to our family, beautiful healthy baby boy who was active in the womb and continues now every day. Our blogging friend Patrick from The Road started a new business with Big Daddy Riley, the Endurance Athlete Project. And last, but not least, I found new motivation and trained every day this week! (Nor quite so great on the eating front, but I'm working on it)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Endurance Athlete Project

Hold on to your running hats, because this is going to be BIG! Many of us are avid readers of Patrick's blog, The Road [A Multi-Sport Blog]. Today marks the launch of the Endurance Athlete Project, a new business venture/community building effort he is collaborating on with Big Daddy Riley, who he interviewed on his blog not long ago. Endurance Athlete Project will initially be an endurance sports apparel company and, while they do not pretend to know everything there is to know about endurance sports, they do know how to make apparel. Their plan is to grow with their customers by delivering high-quality products asked for. One interesting thing is that they will sponsor a team of athletes that will successfully represent both the company and everything that we age-groupers are working for. By using non-elite competitors, it will defy all normal conventions typically associated with endorsements. With your comments and feedback, Endurance Athlete Project will mature beyond apparel to encompass all aspects of the endurance sports world. Head over to their website, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and strart communicating - this is a golden opportunity for us all to be on the inside of a company that will give us what we want!

The Endurance Athlete Project
 - This one's for us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Van of Death

(Images taken from Toyota Sienna Photo Gallery)

When I was younger, up until about a month ago, the minivan represented to me the death of pretty much everything. Death of my youth, of impractical cars, of urban living. I had always sworn that I would never get a minivan - over the years, as I drove one for one reason or another (rental, hauling items, etc.), my impressions were not good. Bulky, boxy, decidedly unsexy, and, while utilitarian, not cool. My wife and I both swore, if we ever needed a large car, we'd get a Suburban: room enough for the kids, the dogs, and all the paraphernalia needed even for a simple weekend away from home. It was not to be.

Several weeks ago, my wife's uncle decided to pitch in on the purchase of a new vehicle. While we pushed the Suburban idea, he had different ideas. So, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, my wife went Sienna shopping, the car of choice for her uncle (he's a Toyota guy). They returned home with a 2011 XLE model, with many (but not all) the bells and whistles: sun/moon roof, widescreen rear seat dvd (wireless headphones!), seating for 8 (in a pinch), leather seats (heated in the front!), automatic doors, multi-zone climate controls; you get the picture.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined doing a product review on a minivan, but here are my impressions.

Pros: Great storage, all the above-mentioned luxuries, new car smell, lower entry for our aging dogs, decent handling, good gas mileage, sleek/aggressive design as far as minivans go

Cons: Bizarre floor-based drink holder/barrier when second row is converted to captain chairs, hallucinogenic rearview camera, not-intuitive dvd audio controls

Not having driven many other minivans, I can't tell you how this compares to others, but it's not as bad as it seems. And, while facing up to my middle-aged suburban lifestyle is uncomfortable, it's also necessary. I don't drive a sportscar or ride a motorcycle or hit the bars anymore. I do drive a minivan now, and got my wife's XTerra as a hand-me-down, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Product Review: Hornet Juice

I recently was sent a supply of the Performance Enhancing Hornet Juice Training and Competition Formula, courtesy of Hornet Juice (follow Hornet Juice on Facebook and Twitter). Simple to use, just mixed one of the 15g packet of the Hornet Juice powder with 250 ml / 8.5 fl.oz of water, juice, or favorite electrolyte/sports drink. Instructions are to drink the mixed Hornet Juice anywhere between 0 and 45 minutes before the start of training or competition.

From the website:

"What is Hornet Juice?

A powdered sports drink containing 17 amino acids that you mix with water or your favorite electrolyte drink, which you take before, during and after exercise, to give you increased energy, endurance and improved recovery time.

Hornet Juice works as a trigger for the oxidation of fat, which provides you with an abundant and long lasting source of energy.

What’s in it?
17 Amino Acids including; Proline, Glycine, Lysine, Threonine, Leucine, Tyrosine, Valine, Isoleucine, Alanine, Arginine, Phenylalanine, Glutamic Acid, Tryptophan, Histidine, Methionine, Serine, Aspartic Acid.

This unique combination of amino acids combine to trigger the burning of fat for energy, thereby increasing your athletic endurance.

Hornet Juice replicates a mixture secreted by the hornet larvae, which the adult hornet ingests to provide them with the energy they need for their incredible flights of endurance."

A Snippet from the National Geographic documentary, "Hornets From Hell:"

First impressions are that this is a somewhat chalky drink and it doesn't have a sugary, artificial flavor (which was great for me). Now I'm a texture guy, so didn't mind the chalky feel, but some might find it odd and be turned off. I hope they don't, because this product really works! It's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kind of obvious thing, like a sugar or caffeine rush. In fact,  I couldn't even FEEL that I  had ingested any sort of supplement. However, I definitely felt stronger and felt better, even towards the tail end of the training. I used it for long rides, intervals, tempo runs, and each and every time I didn't feel tired and always wanted to extend my workout(now that's powerful!). Their one caveat? Don't use it with a high-protein drink or bar, as it could dilute the effectiveness. I used it on a training ride while also using the Shamrock Farms Rockin' Refuel (see review here), and didn't notice any ill effects. Hornet Juice also recommends to use this supplement on an  empty stomach - as I try to work out as soon as I get up (and after walking the dogs), this is easy for me. One thing I really like about them is that they do not try to sell this as more than it is: "Hornet Juice is not a replacement for your existing sports nutrition (carbohydrate) and hydration replacement programs, but should be used in conjunction with them." Will I burn more fat by using this product? Don't know, but the feeling of more endurance is enough for me.

I definitely recommend Hornet Juice as a supplement for training!

Hornet Juice will also be sponsoring a giveaway on this blog, stay tuned for entry details on Monday, July 19th!

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Hornet Juice. I did not pay for the item, receive payment, or agree to give it a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Monday, July 12, 2010

...and in 4th, just off the podium...

On Saturday, July 10th, we welcomed Aleksandras Paulius Palubinskas to our family. Mother and baby are healthy and happy, while siblings and I are amazed at this tiny newcomer to our family. He came out hooting and hollering and, except for brief naps, has been moving like a wildman, much as he did in the womb. The perfect reason to interrupt my training (and alas, better eating), he adds yet more impetus to be a healthier, more active, long-lived dad for all 4 of my children.

Friday, July 9, 2010

CEP Compression socks giveaway (ENDED)!

(These products will change your endurance training + recovery!)

A week or so ago, I posted a review of 2 awesome items of gear, CEP Compression Running Socks and CEP Compression Sleeves. Happily, I am getting to share the bounty with one follower, who will receive a pair of running socks or compression sleeves, courtesy of Medi-USA. To enter:
  1. Become a Follower or let me know that you are.
  2. Tell me whether you would want the socks or sleeves and in which color + size.
  3. Link to your blog, tweet this contest, post on FB and leave a comment for each.
Contest will run through Sunday, July 18th, with a winner chosen on Monday, July 19th, using

Thursday, July 8, 2010

GoLite Up Your Day Giveaway

If you haven't seen this yet, this is a great contest put on by a fabulous company. The GoLite “GoLite Up Your Day Giveaway” Contest is designed to encourage eligible participants to interact with the GoLite brand as a email subscriber, and to compete for the chance to win one of 93 daily prizes. No purchase is necessary to enter this Contest. Easy to enter - just go to the webpage and sign up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Product Review: Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Refuel™ Chocolate Recovery Drink (He said - He said)

Thanks to Shamrock Farms and Adam Belmont of Current PR, I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Refuel™ Chocolate Recovery Drink. I received 2 bottles, which are 354 ml each. Street value is about $1.39 per bottle.

Patrick: Hi everyone, it's Patrick from The Road. Since I also received 2 bottles of Rockin' Refuel, I asked Kovas if we could jointly review the product. I figured it might be easier for you guys not have to read two product reviews. Kovas was kind enough to oblige, so you'll see my thoughts and comments peppered in amongst Kovas'.

According to the information that came with the product:

Recent scientific findings show that chocolate milk is the original protein drink ideal for post-exercise refueling. In response, Shamrock Farms has developed a first-of-its-kind optimal sports recovery beverage – Rockin’ Refuel™ protein-fortified chocolate milk.This low-fat, 100 percent milk provides the same great taste and essential nutrients as milk, plus 20 grams of protein to refuel athletes. With 20 grams of protein and naturally-occurring electrolytes, Rockin’ Refuel™ is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, phosphorous and Vitamin D. It is formulated without the use of high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

This past weekend, I used the first bottle after my relatively long run of 33 minutes (recovery week after the Bigfoot Triathlon) and then during and after my one hour bike ride.

First off, if you like chocolate milk, you are going to LOVE this product! It is so rich, so thick, and so chocolate that it feels more like a decadent dessert than a recovery drink. I would hazard the guess that most people would not have a problem with using this as a recovery drink, based on taste and texture alone.

Patrick: Agreed. It's tasty to the point where your taste buds are going to send an emergency message to your brain warning that you've just taken a hard fall off the diet train. It is truly delicious...

Comparison: I typically drink Silk Soymilk Light Chocolate when I want a chocolate milk fix, so it’s natural for me to compare the two. First, the Rockin’ Refuel™ is MUCH thicker, richer, and more chocolatey. However, in a head-to-head comparison, this has 300 calories versus 133 for the soymilk, 44 grams of sugar versus 21, and 20 grams of protein versus 4 ½. So, while you get nearly 5 times the protein, you also imbibe more than twice the calories and sugar. For Ironman athletes like Jeff (Dangle The Carrot), that’s a bonus. For someone like me, not so much.

Patrick: Again I agree. There are too many calories, and I think one would be better served from getting them from somewhere else. I'd be concerned that the calories in Rockin' refuel tend to be on the "empty" side. I think this applies to everyone regardless of how much their caloric intake needs to be on a daily basis. Have a piece of wheat bread with almond butter on it or something - it's about the same calories along with additional nutritional benefit.

Did it work? Not sure on this one. I felt good both Saturday and Sunday after using the product, but it was also a long holiday weekend and all I had planned was time by the pool and hanging out with the family. Product or happenstance? I think it might take more than 2 tries to really see its effect. If I were to use this again, I’d probably mix it with the soymilk to benefit from each product’s benefits.

Patrick: I used it Sunday and Monday. Sunday I was at the gym for 45 minutes and then ran for an hour. My overall nutrition for the day was good. I'm not sure I felt any further benefit(s) over my normal recovery drink. But yesterday I did a pretty high intensity 40 miles on the bike on too little food. I came home and crashed. I practically crawled to the fridge and grabbed the other bottle. I might have muttered "Help me Rockin' Refuel, you are my only hope...", I was that out of it. I drank it and then collapsed next to the dog bowls. But a few minutes later I felt much better. I definitely got a nice kick of energy and that got me off the floor and into some proper food.

Buy: If you love chocolate milk and feel the additional protein is a bonus.

Patrick: As an emergency and/or quick energy boost, or use it on days when you know your activity will be way off the charts.

Don’t Buy: If you are counting calories – this is a lot of calories and sugar for someone who might not realize it as it goes down easily.

Patrick: Agreed. This stuff could be dangerous caloric wise.

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Shamrock Farms and Current PR. I did not pay for the item, receive payment, or agree to give it a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Motivating Music

Yesterday, I wrote about reads that keep me motivated. It got me thinking about music that really gets me going - my power song, as it were. It turns out I have more than one. When I was younger (high school and college), I was a music geek, played in bands, went to many shows, deejayed at my college radio station, the works. When I started running, I had my Discman (younger people can look it up in Wikipedia), then moved on to MP3 players and the like. At some point, I realized that I preferred running without music. However, I do occasionally grab my Touch or Nano or Shuffle and throw on some headphones. Nike+ (which is one way I currently track my runs), allows you to identify a single song, which will motivate you at a low point of your run. I usually alternate between 2:

"Hyper Enough As It Is," by Superchunk;

and "New Day Rising," by Hüsker Dü.

Also, if you haven't yet, check out blogger extraordinare Patrick's music over at his blog, The Road. Weldon's Apple is comprised of 8 songs played, sung, recorded, and produced all on his own and they are really good - plus, the price is right (free). My favorite by far, and definitely included as one of my motivating songs is "Home." This is a song I can easily imagine being played on the radio, but truth be told, I don't ever listen to the radio, so maybe not.

What is your Motivating Song?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Motivating Reads

To stay motivated, to become an educated athlete, to drool over new gear, I read lots of training books and subscribe to a variety of multisport-specific magazines (as well as others). Currently on my monthly list are: Bicycling, Road Bike Action, Runner's World, Inside Triathlon, and Triathlete. Anyone know of a good swimming magazine?

What are your motivating reads?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

On this July 4th, as always, I celebrate those who fought to gain our freedom and those who continue to fight so that we can enjoy our freedoms. Thanks to all the men and women who stand ready.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Funny (not fit for kids!): What is 100%?

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

H-A -R -D-W-O -R -K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


K -N -O -W-L -E-D-G-E
= 96%

But ,

A-T -T -I -T -U -D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%


B -U -L -L -S -H-I-T
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S -S -K -I -S-S -I -N-G
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7= 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

(I got this in an email this week and thought I'd share. Sorry if any of you read this blog with your kids!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gear Review: CEP Compression Socks + Sleeves

(Image from the CEP website - these would match my GoLite Mesh Cap!)

Are you wearing compression socks? Why not? I have to admit, I thought that they looked somewhat kooky and smacked of the senior citizens' home. As the old saying goes, though, you shouldn't knock it til you've tried it. I'm a believer.

CEP sent me two pairs of socks to try. Why 2, you may ask? My calves are 2 different sizes, each falling into a separate sock size - Men's III and IV. Also, I said that my wife, who would fit into the Men's Size III, would help me out by giving me her opinion on the socks.

Here's what she said:

"I only wore the compression socks for a couple of hours to try out, (not during or post work-out - will try again after running). They were comfortable, provided support, weren't itchy and didn't cut off circulation.

Easy enough to pull on and off (even for 9 month pregnant woman).

I would have preferred a different color- white, black or even pink."

(Check these out - these are NOT your grandfather's compression socks!)

First, the socks are created as a right and left footed socks (with a helpful L and R on the sole of each). I have had these for several weeks and have really tried them in every way I could imagine. The day after I received them, I wore them ALL day watching the World Cup, mowing the lawn, and just hanging out. I've also run in both pairs, to compare them and see how they felt. THEY FELT AWESOME! I really felt like my running was improved by wearing these; they really support my legs and removed any creaks from the old joints. I definitely felt more comfortable running in these (of course, I run at 4:00 am in the dark, so you might feel like everyone is staring at your bright green legs if you run in the daytime). This past weekend, I dominated participated in the Bigfoot Triathlon and wore the socks home on my nearly 2 hour drive and my legs and feet felt fabulous when I got home - not a whisper of a complaint.

The 2 sizes - even though the size III was a bit smaller, I felt comfortable in both pairs. What I ended up doing is using the III as a running sock and the IV as a recovery sock.

CEP also sent me a pair of sleeves to try out, which are every bit as comfortable as the socks. One benefit of the sleeves vs. socks is that you can wear the socks of your choice with the sleeves or go sockless! Since my feet get so warm, I think the sleeves will be a better choice during the warmer months here in Chicagoland.

(Mine were actually the black version and they made me look cool
and run fast, like a professional triathlete, at least in my mind)

(From the website) TOP 5 REASONS to wear CEP:

CEP is made with over 50 years of experience by a WORLD LEADER in medical compression products, medi, with "medi Ultimate Compression Technology. Medically tuned compression designed specifically for the athlete to improve performance, recovery and overall quality of life. Clinically proven to increase performance by 5%. Prevent shin splints, calf cramps, achilles issues and other lower leg indication Graduated medically tuned compression to help prevent blood clots and swelling during travel.

Need assistance getting your compression socks on?

CEP is actually owned by Medi; one of the worlds leading medical compression companies. Every brand claims to have "Graduated" compression; most products on the market can say this without backing it up because they're not tight enough to be medical grade. Anything below medical grade, 20mmHg, is considered over the counter and not regulated.

In order to penetrate your deep veins and target the arteries you need a specific amount of compression. One sign to look for is when a product goes by shoe size. How does the athlete know they're getting the right amount of compression? Shoe size doesn't tell the circumference of ones leg which will determine the size range to get targeted compression.

I heartily recommend getting a pair of compression socks, sleeves, heck, an entire suit! This product definitely works the way CEP claims it does, at least it does for me. I'll work on getting a pair to give away, because at least one of my faithful followers should be allowed to feel the bliss I have enjoyed.

What I covet: the Compression Tri Suit! (CEP, I'd be happy to review one for you!)

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Medi-USA. I did not pay for the item, receive payment, or agree to give it a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

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