Tag Archives: health

Product Review: Betty Lou’s Foods

Next up is kind of an unconventional review for me, it’s one of a food product. Betty Lou’s, Inc. BL_Logo2010Betty Lou’s, Inc is the maker of a full line of products that will appeal to the health conscious consumers out there. I have been provided a sampling of their products and have had a hell of a good time working my way through their box of goodness. I’ll give you an overview of the company themselves, a listing of what I was provided and spotlight/highlight my favorites.

Ok, so first things first, I want to touch on the company itself. Betty Lou’s is a 32 year old company, based out of the Pacific Northwest that specializes in healthy food products. The focus is on creating foods that are made of (as their tagline reads) “Just Great Stuff… and Plenty of it!”. The various offerings can appeal to a host of different restrictive dietary requirements, such as Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Dairy-Free, Low-Fat, Low (or No) Cholesterol, High Protein, Vegan…you get the idea. Whatever your nutrition focus, odds are they have something that will appeal and be applicable to you. And just as importantly as all the healthy benefits, there is also a focus on keeping things TASTING GOOD. I can be eating the healthiest thing in the world, but if it tastes like cardboard, I’m not going to keep eating it. Plain and simple. They succeed on all points. Allow me to elaborate on that below:

I was provided a pretty comprehensive sampling of nearly all of their offerings. I was provided one of each of the following:

Protein Shakes: (Orange Cream, Vanilla, Chocolate)

These are pre-packaged, Low Glycemic protein shakes that you mix with water to create a great post-workout recovery drink. I tried the Orange Cream and Chocolate as is, and then “doctored up” the vanilla one.The Orange Cream was pretty good, it actually took me way back and reminded me of the Orange Creamsicle popsicles I ate all the time growing up. The chocolate tasted very similar to powdered chocolate milk mix once it’s mixed up, and then for the vanilla, I threw it in the blender along with some milk (to replace the water), ice, a banana, and some of the Betty Lou’s Powdered Peanut Butter.(see the review for the powdered peanut butter below. -spoiler: I freaking LOVE that stuff) What resulted was a frosty creamy ridiculously good smoothie. A great treat after my weekly long run.

**note- I had to look it up, because I had heard of the glycemic index, but was not exactly sure what a low glycemic rating indicated as opposed to a high one. In VERY high level terms, the glcemic index is looking at sugars and how they are processed by your body. Foods that are highly processed (and subsequently not nearly as good for you) such as white bread, white rice, etc are high glycemic foods. Generally speaking, these are the ones that should be avoided and replaced with the healthier, low glycemic foods. These are much more easily processed by your body and will pay dividends by taking longer to process, having less of harsh impact on your blood sugars and generally making you feel full longer. So if you are looking for a good pre-packaged post-run shake, this is where you want to be. Ok, nerdy food dissertation over.

Nut Butter Balls (High Protein Almond, Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Cashew Pecan, Coconut Macadamia, & Spirulina Ginseng)

As the name would imply, these are balls made of nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter -which is peanut butter made with almonds and not peanuts for those who may have heard the term but never quite knew exactly what it was-, etc) and then rolled in more nuts and spices to make a very dense, filling snack. You need to really like nuts to appreciate these. I liked them all, but was not over the moon with any of them. I can really see the value and appeal of these going to the hiking and granola set of people out there, who need something that is small, easy to pack and stow away, but will fill you up and provided a good punch of protein and energy. Good, earthy, natural, and healthy tasting. My favorite was the Cashew Pecan Ball. Very good.

Just Great Stuff Bars (Organic Acai Superberry, Organic Veggie and Fruit, Organic Chocolate Dream Greens, Organic Cacao Acai)

These are a series of bars that look and taste like your standard issue candy or energy bars, but very sneakily squeeze in massive amounts of healthy goodness so you don’t quite realize it. They are sweet, chewy, and overall very good. (Especially the Chocolate Dream Greens one, you would literally never know you are eating anything other than a good chocolate bar). Really good, and I can see these being very useful for the health conscious: whether that is trying to sneak veggies into your kids without them realizing, sneak veggies into those kid’s finicky parents without THEM realizing either, or willing eating it yourself.

Gluten Free Fruit Bars (Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Cherry)

These bars were hands down my favorite “food item” I was provided. They are just completely bangin’. Freaking delicious. I want to eat more. Now. (so yes, I liked them) They very closely resemble a square piece of cobbler, with a really great biscuit-like crust on the top and bottom, and then sandwiched in between is this thick fruit filling that just tastes fantastic. They were small enough to still be a snack, but still substantial enough to not want to eat 2 or 3 in one sitting because you’re not full yet after the first. And at 180 calories per, they don’t eat up much of your daily calorie allotment, if you are into tracking such things like I am. This is the first of the offerings I would actually go out my way to go and purchase. (And if you would like to do just that, you can use the Store Locator tool on their website to find the closest store to you). These Fruit Bars are damn good, and I am now a superfan. Go get one. You’ll be glad you did.

Powdered Peanut Butter (Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter)

…and I saved the best (in my opinion) for last. The Powdered Peanut Butter. Dude, this was the game changer for me. I love peanut butter, but its so damn high in calories I have had to cut back on it dramatically. Betty Lou’s makes powdered peanut butter that comes in at just a fraction of the calories, but is really, really freaking good. Think of it as peanut butter powder. Not exactly sure how, but they turn peanuts into this fine ground powder that can be used as-is or mixed into drinks There are limitless possibilities for this, and I have use it both in making smoothies as well as mixing it with water to reconstitute it and make peanut butter again. It comes in both regular and a chocolate peanut butter variety (yes, you read that right. Chocolate. Peanut. Butter. Booyaa) I used the Regular in the blender along with some honey, yogurt, and frozen bananas (resulting in an amazing smoothie), and the Chocolate I mixed with water to turn it back into a spreadable Peanut Butter and it has now become part of my go-to training/ long run breakfast (see below).

If you want a “real life example” of my hands down favorite thus far, please see my new go-to usage for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Powdered Peanut Butter.

(This is 430 cal of carb loading, protein filled, Pre-Run breakfast goodness)

-Manhattan Bagel Pumpernickel Bagel- 240 cal
-1 Banana- 110 cal
-4 Tbsp of Betty Lou’s Chocolate Peanut Butter (mixed w/water)-80 cal
-Large Black Coffee- 0 cal

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Looking at everything overall: On the positive side, there is no question that if you are going to snack (and let’s face it, odds are you’re going to snack…and that’s not a bad thing!) turning to Betty Lou’s is one of the best ways to get healthy, lower calorie, good for you food to do it with. They taste damn good and help keep you feeling full till the next meal. (which is exactly what I need them to do) Looking for a negative, I can only say that they are not as much of an “find them in every supermarket” type of product. They can be found online, as well as locally in specialty health food stores and select supermarkets. But you do have to put forth a little effort to get your hands on them. I do believe that effort is worth it, however.

So there you have it, my review of the Betty Lou’s line of food products. I know everybody’s tastes are different, but I like being in the position to be able to try out new things and point you in the right direction. I would urge you to try them out for yourself and see what you think.

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I am approaching this review from my standard viewpoint of what I believe the core interest of this blog really gets at: that is to say I am presenting my review by looking at this product from the perspective of a person who is relatively new to the running world, has some weight to lose and wants go about losing the weight by starting to incorporate a more active lifestyle and want to know how sift through the volumes of available gear/ equipment out there.

One of the great benefits to running a blog like this one is that it puts me in a position from time to time to receive various products to use and review for you. Oftentimes, these items are provided to me free of charge. This is the only type of compensation I have ever received, and my acceptance of these items in no way constitutes any obligation to provide an unwarranted positive review. My opinions on the products are unfiltered and 100% my own.

**This product was provided to me free of charge, but again, this does not influence my review or views on the product in any way**

Also please note that these are the personal opinions and experiences of one individual (me) on my personal blog, and intended to be taken as such. I personally, and The Running My Ass Off Blog do not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.

**Sorry, just have to cover my ass here. These are unbiased reviews, intended only to help. I’m not going to try and sell you anything, nor do I want you to take my opinions as the final word on any product. Let me help you figure out what you should check out, and then check the stuff out for yourself to see if you like it.**

Newton Motion Running Shoes Review

My next review on deck is the Motion stability trainers by Newton running. Newton is a well-established and well-respected name in the running world, and I cannot be more excited about presenting this to you today. (I also have a review on Newton’s new introductory shoes, the Energy. You can check that review out HERE)

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Also, it is not by coincidence that I start to use these new trainers exactly the same time I’m planning on getting back on the road after my big 10 mile race at the Broad Street Run. The shoes did arrive to several weeks ago, but since using them lends itself to altering your running form (At least my poor running form, heel striking at all) I held off on trying them out until after I completed my training.

I say that using these shoes lends itself to altering your form, but it’s important to draw the distinction that the shoes do not claim to be a form correction tool, nor do they claim to help you correct your running form. What they do however, by virtue of their design is promote what they like to call “Natural running”. The following info is verbatim from the company PR rep:

“There are two distinguishing features with Newton Running shoes that you’ll probably notice first off; 1. A more level platform. Our shoes have a 7 mm or less drop from heel to toe, which places you in a more natural running posture and makes it easier to adapt a shorter stride. If you’re accustomed to shoes with a 20 mm + drop, then you’ll notice some calf soreness when you first start using them. Secondly, as you may know, Newton Running shoes have lugs under the forefoot; this is our Action/Reaction technology, our “dynamic” cushioning system. It’s comprised of four lugs that, when you step down, depress onto a highly resilient membrane. When you lift your foot, the membrane rebounds, which helps propel you forward.

Please note that we don’t claim that Newton Running shoes improve your form, rather, they are designed to make it easier for you to modify your running form to a style that is more natural (ie, lower impact). “

So in layman’s terms, these shoes are specifically designed to give you positive feedback and reward you with an added spring to your step when you are “doing it right”. So although they are not officially shoes that improve your form, they are specifically designed to very easily show you the difference between good form and otherwise. It is this aspect of the shoes that has me drawn to them and so interested.

On a personal note, I am dedicating my efforts this summer to taking all the steps to become a better, stronger, more efficient, and less injury prone runner. (yup, I’m back to talking about my bum knee again) I believe that if these Newtons live up to their billing, they will be playing an integral part in all of this.

As always, I have done a lot of homework on these shoes to see what exactly they are doing to live up to their tagline “Hello Better”. After considerable amounts of time the most prevalent features that I have found are: Lightweight, Minimal Drop, and far and away the feature that makes the Newtons unique, the forefoot “Lugs” on the sole of the shoe that is the key to their “Action/Reaction Technology”.

Lightweight- -These shoes are super light, literally just a matter of ounces. There has been careful attention paid to all aspects of the shoe, including materials used to ensure that there is nothing extra or unnecessary to add needless weight. The idea behind this is to provide a cushioned shoe that behaves like a barefoot or minimal shoe. This way you are inclined to not feel them on your feet once you get moving, so your focus can be applied to running and your form, without the distractions of the shoe on your feet.

Minimal Drop- -Minimal Drop. What “drop” refers to in running shoes is the difference in height between the heel and the toes of the shoe. A lot of shoes have a much higher built up heel, since that is where the majority of runners hit first. Makes sense to put the bulk of the cushioning there, right? There is a large school of thought out there that hitting with your heel first, or “heel striking” is where a lot of the impact comes from when running, and by becoming more a “midfoot striker” reduces the stress on your body (and even more specifically, your knees- which is why I am so interested in this) and help distribute the impact throughout your muscles and entire leg/body. This midfoot striking is also commonly referred to as “natural running”. The very small drop in these shoes makes it easy to hit on the middle of your foot as opposed to the heel, thus promoting Natural Running.

The “Lugs”- -On the bottom of the shoe, directly under your forefoot (right under the balls of your feet) there are 4 pronounced “lugs”, or raised rectangular pieces of rubber. These lugs sit on top of a very elastic/ responsive layer and then have recessed openings below that. The way these lugs do their thing is that while you are running and your foot comes down onto the ground (ideally on midfoot so the lugs are hitting first), and your body weight compresses the lugs into their corresponding “holes” in the sole of the shoe, and as you push off, the elastic layer pushes them back out, giving you an added spring in your step. This is the fundamental idea behind what Newton calls their “Action/Reaction Technology” Of course, they explain it a lot better than I can on their website, but that gives you the basic idea. It also bears mentioning that the website is AWESOME. Tons of information and videos regarding everything about the various available shoes, shoe construction, info on proper form, basically everything you could need to know about the Newton shoes and the natural running they help promote.

So basically all this technical sounding jargon boils down to some basic information that may make sense to my core audience here. These shoes, by virtue of design and positive feedback are going to help you develop a proper running form. Developing good form is relevant to you for 2 reasons. (3 really) 1. It can help prevent injury. As I mentioned before, when you are heel striking during your runs it sends considerably more impact to your joints. More impact= More potential for injury. And Let me tell you, while all injuries are different, they pretty much all involve one common aspect in the recovery process, and that is rest. There is not much more frustrating than having to sit on a day that you actually want to be out there moving. Simply maddening. 2. Proper form is more efficient. Efficiency = speed= more endurance= better results for the effort you are going to be putting out. If I am going to be busting my ass out there, I want to see the best possible results from it. No Brainer. And 3*. (Yes, with an asterisk) This is less an aspect of the good form itself but is still somewhat related and bears mentioning anyway: When you first start out, you can run any way you want to and you are in the position to develop good habits right from the start. This is important because if you make the same (foolish) mistake that I did and develop poor form, It’s going to be that much more challenging to first break the existing bad habits and then rebuild them correctly. Which is what I am dealing with right now. I’d rather skip the pain the ass process and just do it right from the start. Learn from my stupid mistakes. Please.

Speaking of which, to reinforce this fact, I often get asked questions like “if you could go back and change one thing you did when you started running” or “What is one lesson you’ve learned during this process”, I always find myself using this as one of my go-to answers. Proper form. It’s worth the extra time to look into it and even if you are not completely hardcore about it, at least keep it in mind while you are starting out. God knows it was challenging enough just getting myself active again, but I wish I paid more attention to that. Possibly I might not be dealing with as severe a situation of a crappy knee issues if I did. (but then again, maybe I would…you never really know)

I have worn these shoes around the house while cross training (doing my stretch and strength exercises) and for one run totaling exactly one mile thus far, so I have no real basis to provide any performance reviews yet. Like I mentioned in the very beginning of this review, when these shoes arrived I was in the thick of my training for an upcoming race and the mileage was starting to add up, so I did not want to mess around with trying to alter my running form at that time. Now that the race is done and I am looking at getting back on the road again, it’s literally the perfect time to give these shoes the time and attention they deserve. Giving them time is important, since there is a transition period when moving into using these shoes regularly. Since the running form is different, different muscles are being utilized and you have to ease into it. The entire process is advised to take up to 2 or more weeks, so rather than doing too much too fast, and coming back here and tell you that I am in pain from using these shoes, I’m taking my time and doing it the recommended way. So this initial post will be the background info and my initial thoughts, I’ll come back and update on the transition process, and then follow-up with a final review once I have substantially more miles on them. So stay tuned for a few periodic updates, but once it’s all said and done, I think it will show a pretty comprehensive look at these Newton Motion running shoes.

Random Initial Thoughts:
Badass Appearance: Damn, I could not love the look of these more. They are just 100% awesome. Orange shoes with red trim and yellow soles. These are not for the meek and mild or those who just want to blend in. Newton as a company has all of their shoes manufactured in these badass-in your face bright colors. Think yellow, bright blue, red, neon green. YES. (yes, with these orange/red/yellow colors my wife calls them my Ronald McDonald shoes, but for those who aren’t afraid to rock some bright colors they could not be more awesome)
Comfortable: These are insanely comfortable as well, at least kicking around in my house and for my one quick run, I just want some more. The upper material is SUPER ventilated and soft. They have a decent amount of cushioning and are also very light. The last thing I really like is that the toe box inside the shoe is nice and roomy, nothing feels crammed and between the ample room and the super ventilation, they are just comfy.
Fast: Yes, this is an insanely limited sample size (one run, one mile) but I set a PR on that one mile and ran it in the fastest time ever (for me). Is this coincidence? Possibly, but it’s significant enough to make me mention it. All the reviews and information I have found about these say that these shoes are fast/ help you run faster, but I will reserve full judgement until I have some real experience in these bad boys. Initial impressions however: damn I like them.
“real” runner shoes/ take things seriously: Like I mentioned before, Newton is a very well known and highly respected brand in the running world. I have always looked at them (and the runners who wear them) with a little bit of awe and some substantial respect, because these are “real deal running shoes”, worn by runners who take this sport of ours seriously. The thought that I am now in the position to at least look at these and decide if they are for me kind of puts me into that category, and that is AWESOME. I am grateful to be in the position to try these out, not only for myself, but also for the chance to check them out and share my opinions with all of you. This way I can help myself and hopefully give you a look at things at the same time.

Transition period starts today: I am officially on the clock and in approx 2 weeks I will be back to let you know how things are going. I’m looking forward to this and I am expecting big things. There is a big reputation to live up to and if they deliver, it can be a key tool to keeping me running longer and stronger. “Hello Better”, indeed.

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Newton Update #1 : Early June 2013

So I have been going through the “transition period” with my newtons over the past few weeks. I really like them, and there was not nearly as much pain/discomfort/rough going as I anticipated. I’m not saying that I am now a natural running form expert, but I do think there has been some improvement and I feel like if I keep working at it, I’ll get to where I want to be.

I have spent a substantial amount of time on Newton’s Website and on YouTube educating  myself on all types of information regarding natural running, proper form, the transition process to running in their shoes, and the Newton’s running technique of: Land / Lever /  Lift

The deal with Land Lever Lift is pretty simply their way to explain the process to get yourself to run with a moreNatural Running Midfoot Strike (or to say it another way- to mimic the way you run barefoot). The three aspects in a little more detail is:

Land when your foot hits the ground, emphasis is on coming down with the midfoot, or balls of your feet come down first. This forces you to come down much more level and parallel to the ground. This also, not coincidentally is where the lugs are located specifically on the bottom of the shoes to provide feedback that you are doing it right.

Lever this is referring to the process of once your foot comes down level, the leaning or levering of your body forward to promote the running motion and forward progress. This is not leaning forward at the waist, this is more of. Total body forward lean. It’s almost a feeling like you are falling forward. (But not quite)

Lift the third and most obvious of the steps. The final action of picking that foot back up and continuing to move forward.

Check out the video explaining it much better than I can here: http://youtu.be/ogZr8MjX4Mc

Some thoughts on the shoes now that I have gotten to take them out a handful of times and have been through most of the transition process:

-These shoes really are fast and light. When you are wearing/ running them, they give me the sensation of being  light, responsive, and they just feel fast.

-They are insanely comfortable. Nice and snug, while roomy in the toe box. Super ventilated and good cushioning., I don’t even notice the lugs anymore really. I want to wear these shoes all the time, just based on how comfy they are.

-Even though they are so low profile and streamlined, the cushioning is good.

**Full disclosure: The very first time I wore them for a transition run it felt like I was running on rocks, but that is more of an adjustment to a brand new shoe and in the Newtons defense, the deck was stacked against them. I tried them after my regular weekly run (which I ran in my current shoes- the Hoka One One Stinson Tarmac) there is approx as much midsole cushioning in the Hokas than there is total shoe top to bottom in the Newtons, so it’s not a fair comparison. I decided to use the Newtons first from that point on and this alleviated the issue, and go on Newton-only runs as soon as I got myself up to a little longer distance in them. The morale to this story is give them a chance and bear in mind that if they are dramatically different than your current shoes, an adjustment curve may be present.

I am going to continue to use these shoes throughout the summer, and once I have some substantial miles on them (upwards of 100 miles) I’ll come back and weigh in with a final update on how the shoes (and my form, running experience, and body) have held up.

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This first pic is a great one of the lugs on the bottom of the shoes. Please excuse the Tinkerbell movie in the background. My daughter and I were hanging out/ playing at the time and I would estimate that Tink is on the TV 90% of the time in our house. Seriously…she’s reached rockstar status in our house lately…
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I am approaching this review from my standard viewpoint of what I believe the core interest of this blog really gets at: that is to say I am presenting my review by looking at this product from the perspective of a person who is relatively new to the running world, has some weight to lose and wants go about losing the weight by starting to incorporate a more active lifestyle and want to know how sift through the volumes of available gear/ equipment out there.

One of the great benefits to running a blog like this one is that it puts me in a position from time to time to receive various products to use and review for you. Oftentimes, these items are provided to me free of charge. This is the only type of compensation I have ever received, and my acceptance of these items in no way constitutes any obligation to provide an unwarranted positive review. My opinions on the products are unfiltered and 100% my own.

**This product was provided to me free of charge, but again, this does not influence my review or views on the product in any way**

Also please note that these are the personal opinions and experiences of one individual (me) on my personal blog, and intended to be taken as such. I personally, and The Running My Ass Off Blog do not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.

**Sorry, just have to cover my ass here. These are unbiased reviews, intended only to help. I’m not going to try and sell you anything, nor do I want you to take my opinions as the final word on any product. Let me help you figure out what you should check out, and then check the stuff out for yourself to see if you like it.**

Breaking Off From MFP A Little More / Intro & Training for Broad Street / Reviews On The Horizon

Pretty quick post today, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air from my recent exceptionally long-winded posts.

Weight is still good. Nothing new on this front and no news really is good news since I am maintaining. All steady and feeling good. Seriously contemplating knocking off another day from logging and seeing how I do with that, time to continue weaning myself off of the MyFitnessPal a little more. I would anticipate the same continued success but don’t want to be cocky or overconfident, so only way to find out is to just jump in and find out. I’ll let you know.

Workouts. Oh Hell Yes. I am back in the saddle and running my ass off again. Loving it. I am just getting into week #3 of my training plan for Broad Street and feeling good about it. I am happy to report that I had my first step up in the Long run dept. (only 3 miles up to 4 miles, so we’re not talking massive miles here yet…) but that being said it was great and I’m really looking forward to working my way back up to the decent distances again. It was a great 4 mile run and I felt awesome as I did it. Yes, It was on the treadmill because it was frickin freezing outside (low 20’s and windy), but I’ll take a victory however I can get it. I have a full training plan set to carry me from now straight through to my big run of the year, The Broad Street Run. It’s a 10 miler (one of the biggest 10 mile races in the country, I’m told) that hosts 40,000+ runners and runs straight through the heart of Philadelphia in May. Broad Street is the central road that cuts through the center of the city and hosts the entirety of the race, hence the name. This is one of those truly “Philadelphia” races, and the last of my original goals from last year that I wanted to accomplish but simply was unable to do last year. Plain and simple, last May I was nowhere close to being able to run for 10 miles straight. At that point I was still trying to chase down the elusive 10K. (which I would not be able to hit until a full month after the Broad Street was run. And that was just 6 miles vs.a  10 mile race). All that said, I’m there now, and really excited to hit it and hit it hard. My very aggressive and borderline unattainable goal is to try and run it in an hour and a half. Not sure if I can string together 10 consecutive 9 min miles but I’m going to try. If I miss it, no worries, I can’t wait to experience this race. It’s supposed to be one of the most fun races you will ever run. But I always need an aggressive goal to hit, and 90 min will be the stretch goal for this one.

On a side note, looking back to my stepped up treadmill training run: along with feeling great, it was also my first run (pretty much ever, I believe) without music. Really came down to the fact that I was rushing to get out the door to get on the way to the gym and forgot to grab the ipod I had set out. It was not as horrible as I thought it would have been. Granted, I missed the extra distraction and motivation and would prefer to not run without my music again, but it is reassuring to know that I can pull it off if push comes to shove. My mind does tend to wander and I don’t even know how many odd tangents I went off on while running in my non-music run, but hey, whatever.

I’m happy to say that I will have 2 more product reviews coming up shortly. I have been provided a pair of Pro Compression brand compression socks to use and review, as well as a hydration backpack from Hydrapak. I have used the socks already and had a great experience with them, but want to try them out on some longer runs and varied conditions before I write the review, and same thing with the Hydrapak. I’ve filled it up and tried it on, but really want to put it to the test before I give an official review. It will definitely be an adjustment to be running with a backpack full of water, but then again, so was strapping a water bottle holding 24 oz of water to my hand, so I’ll try it out and see which I prefer. I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up to the longer runs. I’ll be back to let you know the deal. Both coming soon, however.

Lastly, one more heads up. I wrote about this last year and it’s getting to be about that time again so fair warning it’s coming. Every year my family puts together a team for a local charity fundraiser 5K for the UCP Orginazation (United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia). We have some close ties to them as my cousin Madison has CP and has benefited from their programs/ activism /resources and as such, there is now a desire to give back and help out however we can. My next post is going to be the “upcoming races and goals” post, and a large portion of this is going to be dedicated to the UCP run.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be looking ahead and gearing up to get deep into my training plans and chasing down some running related goals again. Here we go again, 2013 I’m coming after you.

I hope this post finds everyone well, and as always: until next time, take it easy.

Andy