Shoe Review: Scott T2C and Support2

Scott Support2

Retail $104.95

This past spring I logged my daily miles in two different pair of Scott running shoes. My initial reaction when asked to test these babies out was, “Scott makes running shoes? I thought they made skis.” Apparently, the company does more than manufacture ski poles, covering such sports as wintersports, cycling, motorsports, and yes, running.

Both shoes I tested possess eRide technology, meaning there is the slightest bit of rocking motion from heel to toe which allows for a smoother transition through each stride. The eRide Support2 is a lightweight shoe suited for the moderate pronator. Weighing in at 8.11 ounces (size 8.5, women’s) the Support2 offered comfort and durability on my runs.

What stands out first and foremost on these shoes is the asymmetrical lacing which you do not even notice on the run. I’m not sure if any other women out there are sick of the pink or blue shoes that most shoe companies continue to tell us “it’s what women want”, I am totally digging the fact that this shoe has just the right amount of black, purple and white with a little femininity thrown in there with nicely designed, technical-looking flowers on the outside front of the shoes.

I find this shoe better suited for longer training runs and even races from half marathon distance and above. This shoe runs a little small so order a half size up. The only negative feedback for this shoe is that the shoe laces are a bit long.

NOTE: Size up one half size as this model runs a little small.

ScottT2C
Scott T2C
Retail $110

The second Scott shoe which I tested out is the T2C [pictured above]. This shoe falls in the performance category and could easily become your next favorite racing shoe for 5k to 10k distances. More often than not, I found myself reaching for this shoe over the course of the past two months.

There are so many features that I love about this shoe, beginning with the neon blue and citron contrasting colors. Thank you, Scott, for recognizing that women are growing tired of pink! (At least this woman is.) Very lightweight, a mere 7.05 ounces (size 8, women’s), and built for the neutral runner in mind, this is the shoe you want to run in if you are currently a minimalist runner or looking to move in that direction. It has a 11mm heel lift and that eRide rocker technology I talked about, but you are far more apt to land on your midfoot in this shoe than in the Support2. In fact, as I make my transition to more minimalist running I found these shoes were a perfect transition to more natural running.

T2CtongueSomething we don’t typically discuss in shoe review are the tongue. This one stands at attention; made of an extremely soft, brushed suede-like fabric with extra padding exactly where you want it above the cuneiform bone which can be a problematic area of the foot for some. This sueded fabric clings to both your sock and your skin so there is no tongue movement while you are running.

T2CdrainholesThis shoe is even extremely comfortable to run in sans sock which I have actually done. One more feature I am LOVING on the T2C is the drain holes, there are six of them. Ingenious! Three drain holes in the back, two in front, and one on the front sole. I’m told this is one feature which will be incorporated into most of their shoes and trail shoes.

The T2C runs true to size, the laces are of perfect length, and the upper is constructed of a highly breathable fabric similar to what you will find on the Saucony Kinvara but with a honeycomb design woven into it to offer more structure and less foot movement.

You can learn more about these shoes and others on the Scott website.

Review: Icy Feet

It’s about time someone came up with this idea!

IcyFeet-topviewI’ve been using frozen bags of corn and peas to ice those hard-to-get spots on my ankles and feet; someone has finally created a great foot-specific ice pack for us runners! Enter, Craig Snyder.

Craig had suffered from plantar fasciitis for far too long. Tired of messy substitutes he thought there must be a better way. He set about designing and manufacturing a product specific to feet to help relieve foot-related pains such as tendinitis, heel spurs, muscle strains, cramping, and of course, plantar fasciitis.

Icy Feet is now sold to 750 distributors nation-wide and it’s easy to see how this nifty foot-designed ice pack can catch on, especially for runners. I’ve been testing this product out thanks to Craig, and I would highly recommend you giving Icy Feet a try, especially if you suffer from any of the above mentioned ailments.

I can also foresee this product as an extremely useful recovery tool for anyone who has finished a marathon, or especially an ultra-marathon. It’s well-known that ultra-runners suffer from post-race foot swelling and this product could be an excellent solution for quieting down those screaming feet!

IcyFeet-freezer

Preparing the Icy Feet cooling pack is very easy. Simply place it in the freezer, top-side down, for several hours until fully frozen.

IcyFeet-icingfootThere are two velcro straps which help secure this to your foot. It’s important to wear socks while icing your foot, failure to do so could cause frost-bitten feet and toes and you certainly wouldn’t want that, would you?

Concurrent with the R.I.C.E. method , prop your foot up on some pillows and ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Cautions: Consult with a doctor prior to cryotherapy treatments. Do not walk or stand while Icy Feet is attached to your foot.

Icy Feet is sold individually, right or left foot.

Retail Price: $34.95 for 1 left or right foot ice pack; $59.95 for two

Visit www.icyfeet.com for more information or to order.

Icy Feet are also available for purchase at The Finish Line Running Store and Aardvark Sports Shop.

Review: The Perfect Runner

Last week I anxiously grabbed the small package from my mailbox, ripped it open and popped the shiny, new DVD into the DVD player with the same enthusiasm as a runner who was just delivered a new pair of running shoes. This was the brand new documentary on human’s reliance on running as a survival measure, as an evolutionary necessity. The movie: The Perfect Runner.

Back in March I contacted Niobe Thompson, the anthropologist who has been studying human evolution  and running, and then posted a brief article and link to the broadcast of the film on Canadian television. Unfortunately for me, I have hundreds of TV channel options, none of which are direct Canadian broadcasts. Of course, as a runner and someone who holds a degree in Anthropology, this film was one that I decided I must own.

Delivery was nothing but prompt, the film was in my hands by week’s end.

Thompson’s film takes the viewer around the world as he studies modern day nomadic peoples who continue to live much as they did for thousands of years. Most of our hunter-gatherer societies have given up their nomadic ways for many reasons, the biggest reason being modern society and it’s consistent growth and expansion. There really is no need for many of the cultures to hunt for their food out of necessity. Well, not all have given up their ways.

The film covers early human evolution and adaptation, the specific changes that occurred in the human body to enable us to survive and go from being hunted to becoming the hunter.

The movie takes us from the Great Rift Valley, the birthplace of humans, to the far reaches of Siberia, far away from the modernities that you and I enjoy. The nomadic people who live in this frozen desert rely on their herds of reindeer in order to survive. They also rely on their ability to cover long distances on foot.

Dr. Daniel Lieberman is interviewed in the film, discussing how short toes, our foot’s arch, the achilles tendon and the gluteus maximus muscle are all human adaptations enabling us to stand upright, and specifically, to run. The arch acts as a springboard to propel us up and forward. The achilles tendon – the largest spring in our body – acts like a huge rubber band which releases 35% of the body’s energy when we push off with each stride. That is free energy according to Lieberman.

Lieberman also notes that when we run with a relaxed body we are more stable and run more efficiently.

Thompson then visits Ethiopia to discover why so many great endurance runners originate from that region. He learns that the best runners all have a similar background: they are poor and come from farms. The have been raised often without shoes so they have trained their feet from birth to adapt to fluctuations in ground surfaces, thus strengthening their feet. The must travel far distances, even as children, to fetch the daily water the family needs. These simple facts of existence have helped to create the runners that they will later become.

Finally, the sport of ultra running is examined. The Canadian Death Race, a 125 kilometer rugged trail race which takes place in the Canadian Rockies. Thompson says in the dubbing, “these are today’s persistence hunters”. And so they are.

Overall, this was an excellent film. The film cost $25 (includes shipping from Canada) and is a welcome addition to my collection of running books and films.

You can visit The Perfect Runner website to learn more and to purchase the DVD.

www.theperfectrunner.com

 

 

CEP Compression Socks

Up until August I had been a nonbeliever when it came to compression socks. For me, the only purpose they served was to protect my shins from grasses which cut up my legs when out on the trails. Trust me when I tell you that I had given them a fair shake.

Over the past two years I tried several brands and used them for their prescribed purpose. I wore them after my tough speed sessions and long runs to help speed recovery and never noticed whether they actually worked or not. I wore them during my long runs and noticed nothing.

I gave up on thinking compression wear actually worked and decided that all of those runners who were jumping on the bandwagon, wearing their knee-highs in marathons, half marathons and 5ks were all just doing so because it was the new trend.

In July I was contacted by Erin Curley, a sales representative for an agency which reps for CEP. She offered to send me some CEP compression socks and leg sleeves to test out. There was something she said in her email which caught my eye.

I’m sure you are aware of compression, however did you know that not all compression socks are created equal?

The nonbeliever that I had become raised an eyebrow. Really? I had pretty much written them off, but I’ll give them a try.

CEP Compression Sock

To begin with, CEP socks are fitted by calf size, not foot size. There is also a specific process to putting the socks on. When you first open the package and pull them out they look pretty tiny. You need to first find either the Right sock or the Left sock, then pull them inside out, stick your foot in first, and then gradually pull the sock over your calf in sections. I know that sounds confusing but it really isn’t that hard. There is a nifty video to show you how to do this.

As soon as I put them on my legs felt incredible. The socks hugged my calves tighter than all of the other compression brands I had tried up until this point. I couldn’t wait to give these things a try on a run and for post-run recovery.

The idea behind compression socks is that they help expand the diameter of your arteries, resulting in better blood flow. According to CEP, “approximately 30% while at rest and by approximately 40% under physical strain.” The benefits would be a quicker and easier run, and improved post-run recovery.

Back in July and August my short runs lasted around an hour and my long runs were upwards of 3-5 hours long. I wore the CEP compression socks, as well as the CEP compression leg sleeves, on all of those long runs. After those runs I always felt great. Sure, a four hour run can tire you out and I’m not saying I wasn’t tired, but my legs never felt horrible. I was always ready the next day to head out for more. In fact, there were several times when I would head out for a 2-3 hour run the very next day.

Now, my ability to bounce back could very well have been due to my training, but I am not about to dismiss the idea behind compression wear and say that they had nothing to do with my recovery. They very well could have played a part in my ability to head back out the door the next day feeling good. In fact, I believe that it was a combination of training, nutrition, and recovery using my compression socks that enabled me to sustain such a demanding training schedule.

CEP Compression Sleeve

Have I become a compression sock convert? Absolutely.

Will I continue to use my compression socks to aid in recovery either by wearing them on my long runs or post-run? Indeed, I will.

Do I believe that all compression socks are created equal? Without a doubt, my answer is No!

But I do believe in CEP Compression Socks and Leg Sleeves. The dent it puts on my wallet (mind you, it’s not that bad) is certainly worth it in my mind. In fact, I will admit that the only reason why I never tried them prior to this was because of the cost. The eternal thrifty shopper that I am, all of the compression socks that I had tried previously were under $30. That could be why they never worked, it’s hard to say. However, after putting the CEP brand to the test, the quality and effectiveness of these socks is well worth the cost.

 

 

 

 

Chia Charger

ChiaCharger-original

Ch-ch-ch-chia!

We all know the commercials, the ones that sell grassy renditions of sheep, cows and dogs … even US Presidents! I bet you even grew one on the window sill as a kid. But who knew the seeds were not only edible, but high in Omega-3, anti-oxidants, fiber and protein?

The chia craze has hit the running community hard. Made popular by Chris McDougall’s book Born To Run in which he touts the benefits of chia seeds which he was wisened to when running with the Tarahumara in Mexico. Chia seeds come from the Salvia Hispanica plant, a member of the mint family, that grows in Mexico and South America.

I bought a bag of chia seeds, and they sat in my cupboard for months as I had no idea what to do with them. Then I discovered Chia Charger at the St. Luke’s Half Marathon expo this past spring. Heralded as a “superfood energy bite”, Chia Chargers are soft, molded cookie-like clusters made from peanut butter, nuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, oats, agave nectar, and what else? Chia seeds.

They come packaged three per bag and are available in original or spicy flavors. The original flavor is delicious and in my opinion would taste pretty bland if it weren’t for the addition of cranberries which really give your taste buds a slight punch. The spicy flavor kicks things up a notch, giving your mouth a little something to remember as you continue on with your run.

I have taken these nibbles along with me on my long trail runs over the past few weeks and they have come in handy. First of all, you don’t have to worry about crushing or breaking them when you pack them into your pocket, pouch or hydration pack. Think of a soft cookie and you’ll have a good idea of how durable they are when packed tightly against your other items.

They are a perfect size, about an inch and a half in diameter and about ¾ inches thick. This is good enough for three or four small bites and enough to quell any little hunger pains you experience while out on your long runs.

Chia Charger contains 16 grams of carbohydrates (3 g of fiber, 8 g of sugars) and 3 grams of protein. Out of curiousity, I took a look in my running cabinet and found a Honey Stinger protein bar, PowerBar Gel  and Accel Gel to compare with the Chia Charger.

Serving Size Calories Protein Carbs Sodium Potassium Fat
Chia Charger 28g 120 3g 16g 0mg ? 5g
Honey Stinger Protein Bar 42g 200 10g 18g 27mg 98mg 10g
Power Bar Gel 41g 110 0g 27g 200mg 20mg 0g
Accel Gel 37g 90 4g 16g 90mg 70mg 0g

 

It looks as if Chia Charger ranks somewhere in the middle of similar products on the market these days, but the selling point for me is that it is all natural. As I move away from processed foods to natural food sources, especially during training runs, I like the idea of relying on natural ingredients for energy. Granted, this product may not be for everyone, especially those that are really into the numbers and worry about getting all of that protein, sodium and potassium into their bodies. However, take a look at the serving sizes. You get a pretty good punch with less product when you eat a Chia Charger. The overall difference between Chia Charger and Honey Stinger bars is less than 1/2 a calorie per gram of product.

I’ll also mention that selecting the right sports drink can even out what you may be missing out on in regards to sodium, potassium, etc. Take for instance, ZYM sports drink which I highlighted earlier this year. 16 oz of lemon-lime Zym provides you with 250mg Sodium and 50mg Potassium as well as other key ingredients.

It all boils down to figuring out the best formula for your refueling needs, just as your running is individual to you. However, Chia Charger can fit into any diet regardless of whether you use it on a run or throughout the day … it’s a healthy snack no matter what.

http://chiacharger.com/
Available for $11.99 for 6 packs, $22.99 for 12 packs and $31.50 for 18 packs through the Chia Charger website.

Saucony ProGrid Outlaw

ProGrid Outlaw

Recently, I have been testing out a new trail shoe for Trail Runner Magazine’s fall trail shoe review. This fall Saucony will unleash something new to the market, the ProGrid Outlaw. It’s a low profile shoe whose uniqueness lies in the fact that it is a 3/4 cut shoe and the company’s first lace-up high top. (Last year Saucony introduced the ProGrid Razor, a high top of sorts with soft shell waterproof eVent gator that zips up to a three-quarter cut.)  At first glance it reminds me of those aerobic shoes that hit the scene back in the 80’s.

The ProGrid Outlaw was designed for rugged mountainous terrain or muddy plains, but I have found that it works great on the more low-key trails here in eastern PA, which offer some pretty rugged terrain if you look for it. The low profile shoe offers protection from the elements in a lightweight—11.5 oz. men’s; 10.1 oz. women’s—package. While it’s certainly not the prettiest shoe on the market (they’ll never touch my Brooks Cascadias) there is definitely potential there. After figuring out how to lace up the shoe so that it didn’t feel strange on the front of my ankle (worked this out quickly enough) I was on my way for a test run at Trexler Nature Preserve.

Two hours later = love!

Key Features

High top – It’s tough to ignore this feature since it’s the entire foundation for this shoe. The shoe is designed to extend up and cover the front and sides of your ankle in order to lock out debris from entering your shoe. At the back of the ankle is a soft, snug extension which protects your achilles.

View of hightop from side and rear

Tongue EVA pads on the shoe’s tongue sit directly under where the laces cross, helping to dampen the effect of lace bite. Lace bite refers to the pressure on your foot where the laces cross and seems to be a big issue for ice hockey players. As a runner I have never experienced it but I think this is a nice touch to the shoe.

View of lace bite protector

Fit – Out of the box they were a perfect match for my feet. They were extremely comfortable and I put in a good two hours in these babies on my first run in them. Absolutely no rubbing or issues with my feet afterwards.

Traction – I think these lugs could do some damage. Strong and deep, they grab  the ground extremely well going in both directions: uphill and downhill. Once I realized how well they grabbed the ground my confidence was elevated and I was very comfortable pushing a bit harder without worrying about falling.

Check out these lugs! 6mm deep compared to Brooks Cascadia at 3mm

Debris – For the very first time since I’ve picked up trail running I finished a run with absolutely no debris in my shoes; a major plus! Enough said.

Rockplate – Yes, this shoe has it and protects the bottom of your feet from tough rocks on the trails.

Breathability – Crossing streams and creeks, the shoes drained extremely well. Combine that with a breathable sock (check out triathlon specific socks) and you’ll be ready to rock the trails!

My opinion: Two Thumbs Up!

Due out Fall 2011
Suggested Retail Price: $110
Colors: Men’s – black/yellow, orange/black, citron/black; Women’s – black/green, pink/black

Book Review: Run Your Butt Off!

Hey runners! Has your spouse or significant other been hinting at wanting to start a fitness routine but doesn’t know how to start? Well, have I got the perfect item for them! Do him or her a favor and pick up Sarah Lorge Butler’s book, Run Your Butt Off! Co-written with Budd Coates and Leslie Bonci, Run Your Butt Off! is a primer on how to lose weight and gain fitness the old fashioned way: exercising and eating right. Go figure.

The training program begins with walks in the first week and gradually adds running into the mix as the weeks progress. Before you know it, you are no longer using the walk/run approach (walk 4 minutes, run 1 minute) but running much more than you walk. By the end of the program, which is twelve weeks long, you will be running a total of 30 minutes straight with a short warmup and cooldown walk. You are reminded that if you are not comfortable moving up to the next week’s schedule it is okay to repeat a week, or two, or three. The training program is gentle enough for anyone to start, with a doctor’s blessing of course, and the combination of nutrition tips and information helps create a complete health & fitness routine.

Using proven nutrition strategies such as making good food choices and developing proper eating habits, budding runners learn that food and exercise go hand in hand. Running does not give you a license to eat uncontrollably, or to eat whatever you want. Runners must be as mindful about what they put into their body as they are about their training regimens. Readers are encouraged to keep a food log to track their eating habits, even if for only a day or two. Doing so will help them get a better idea of what their current eating habits really look like.

Sarah keeps it real. Reading this book is just like sitting down and having a normal conversation with the author in her home. She shares her own issues with running such as etching out a place for it in her busy life, as well as finding motivation from time to time. As she states early on in the book, not all runners are fast, skinny people. Runners come in all shapes and sizes, and run for a variety of reasons.

Scattered throughout the book are photos and stories of actual runners who used the program outlined in the book to start running. The test panel results are nothing short of motivational: confidence gained, weight and/or inches lost, and goals achieved. They share their struggles, their triumphs and tips on how they held themselves accountable.

Even though I am not a beginning runner I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and felt that it very much resembled the way I started running using the run/walk method and tracking my food. One great feature in the book are the Asides scattered throughout with tips and advice from Leslie Bonci, sports nutritionist and registered dietitian, and Budd Coates, exercise physiologist and senior director of the health and fitness center at Rodale, Inc. I also thought that the running and food logs in the appendix were a great touch and perfect tool for beginning runners to keep track of their progress.

You can purchase Run Your Butt Off! through Rodale, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

Check out the RYBO Facebook page, too!

Film Review: The Athlete

Last night I viewed a screening of The Athlete at the Southside Film Festival in Bethlehem. The Athlete is a film about Abebe Bikila, the greatest marathoner in history according to Amby Burfoot, whom opened the show with a brief introduction about Bikila and the film’s lead actor, Rasselas Lakew. Lakew also co-wrote and co-directed the film. The film journals Bikila’s life, centering mostly on his athletic achievements at the Olympics, a car accident that left him a paraplegic, and later his feats in the Paralympics. Bikila died at the age of 41 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

As with most great films, it takes me a couple of days to digest the entire story. Bikila’s story is a complex one. He is a quiet man, somber and serious, which in effect creates an even deeper story as one begins to understand Bikila’s level of passion for not only running, but competition and for pushing through all odds to achieve something nearly impossible for most. This passion, this drive, is one that all types of athletes possess, not just runners.

The film makers create the story by weaving together his past using actual footage of Bikila in the Rome (1960) and Tokyo (1964) Olympics, with the story of his childhood and his life post-Olympics as a paraplegic. This method of jumping back and forth through time really helps to create a more complete picture of Bikila’s story and life. From gorgeous landscape shots of Ethiopia to close up shots of the man as he overcame his injuries, to rise again to the status of an Olympian in the Paralympics as a dog sledder, an incredible story unfolds before your eyes.

Bikila is probably most famous for his first Olympic victory at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. Until that time, no black man had ever won a long distance running event. Bikila would be the first to show the world that yes, a black man could conquer not only short sprint distances, but endurance distances as well. A relative unknown in the marathon world, on this day Bikila would become the first black man to win an Olympic marathon, bring home the first Olympic gold medal to Ethiopia, break a world marathon record, and do so running barefoot. Four years later, at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, he broke the world record again, this time he had a mile on his competition. A mile!

Not much information is available about Bikila’s Paralympic successes which is included in this film, making this a wonderful and complete biographical picture of the man who became a hero to thousands of Ethiopians in the 1960’s. In fact, the film’s opening scene is a shot of him at his first Paralympic dog sledding competition,  which he won. The film ends with the end of a showing of a documentary of him called The Ethiopian, created by Bud Greenspan. After the film, Ethiopia’s Emperor, Haile Selassie, approached Bikila and shook his hand. In the years before his car accident which caused him to become a paraplegic, Bikila had served in the Emperor’s Imperial Guard.

Rasselas Lakew, himself an Ethiopian by birth, proclaims Bikila’s story the “greatest gladiator story” of all time. Bikila, who was born on the same day as 1932 Los Angelas Olympic Marathon, would become a marathoner himself, one day, as well as an Olympian. Perhaps his life was fated to be. This film is a great contribution to Bikila’s life and to Ethiopia’s history.

Rasselas Lakew, lead actor, co-writer and co-director of The Athlete.

The Athlete will show again on Saturday, June 18 at 5:00 pm. The screening will take place at Broughal Middle School, 114 Morton Street, Bethlehem. Tickets are $10 each.

Yurbuds

Yurbuds

In the past, I’ve mentioned the fact that I do not listen to music when I am running. The main reasons for this are: 1) it decreases my enjoyment of running, especially during workouts, and, 2) it impedes my concentration on my surroundings. I prefer to be able to hear cars coming up behind me or potential muggers who are lying in wait in nearby bushes at 5:00 am. Okay, well the mugger thing might be going a bit too far, but as a woman you can never be too safe when it comes to that kind of thing.

I may have failed to mention the third main reason why I don’t listen to music while running, and actually this is the top reason why I don’t listen to my iPod at all – those darn earbuds do not fit in my ears. They continually fall out, especially in the midst of a sweaty workout, and it is almost impossible to find the old school headphones that were the only thing available back when all we had to listen to was the Sony Walkman. (Man, we’ve come far!)

As luck would have it, I stopped by Aardvark Sports Shop last month and discovered they were selling Yurbuds, a product I had only heard about in passing but had pretty much ignored because I’ve never had any luck with earbuds, what made this product so special?

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have been disappointed with earbuds. Yurbud founders Seth Burgett and Richard Daniels, both accomplished athletes (Burgett is an active triathlete and Daniels has run 24 marathons) felt that earbuds were painful and often fell out of their ears while training. They developed this “ergonomically designed earbud enhancer” which fits over your current earbuds and can be personalized by size, depending on the size of your ear canal. Sizes range from 5 (smallest) to 10 (largest.)

FIT – Yurbuds are made of a medical grade silicon which slips easily over your current earbuds. They fit into your ear canal and once in place, you twist the headphone cord forward toward your chin to lock them in place. Size 5 fit my (freakishly small) ears perfectly.

COMFORT – This factor was huge for me. Would the Yurbuds be comfortable and stay in place throughout a sweaty workout? The answer: YES! To my surprise, they did the job, and well, at that. I have never had such luck with earbuds – I may start listening to my iPod more regularly now.

SOUND – I quickly discovered that I had to turn down the volume level on both my iPod and my phone. Sound quality was increased by the Yurbuds and kept external noises from disrupting phone conversations and musical enjoyment.

PRICE – $19.95 for Yurbuds; $29.99 for Complete Kit (Yurbuds, earbud headphones, zippered carrying case)

You can purchase Yurbuds at Aardvark Sports Shop.

OVERALL SATISFACTION – Two thumbs up! I love this product and have been completely happy being able to listen to my music again, as well as not dropping any more calls on my Droid from my ear accidentally hitting the “end call” button on the phone’s screen.

* This review is for the Blue Personalized Performance Enhancement Yurbuds. There is another model available, the Yurbuds Ironman Series, retailing for $49.95 and including 2 sets of silicone yurbuds, earbuds and carrying case.

http://www.yurbuds.com

ZYM Sport Drink Tablets

Making my way past all of the vendors at the Endurance Sports Expo last weekend, this one caught my eye. I stopped to chat with Brian Koff, president and founder of ZYM. After trying all three flavors of this drink, my first thought was, “why haven’t I heard of this before?” This is a fantastic sports drink, and extremely convenient since it is compressed into a handy little tablet which you drop into your water bottle. The tablet dissolves into your water and voila!

For me, seeing is believing, or in this case, tasting is everything. I have tried a lot of products out on the market. Such is my nature, much to my husband’s chagrin. At home I am constantly bringing home a new product to try, unable to stick to the tried and true brands as he would prefer. If there is something new on the market, I HAVE to try it. I cannot resist.

Since orange-flavor is my favorite, I went for that one first when tasting the ZYM drinks. Too much flavoring would be overpowering, too little would be disappointing. But like Goldilocks when testing out the Three Bears’ porridge, the middle road would be just right. How would ZYM fare? To my surprise, they nailed it! The flavor was JUST RIGHT. To any of you out there who buy the powdered drink mixes, you know what I’m talking about.

Second up was the berry-flavor. I haven’t been a big fan of berry drinks in the past. They never quite seem to do it for me, but this one … perfect! Just the right flavor, not heavy and not too light. It was just enough flavor to satisfy but not overpowering. Plus, this one is packed with 100 MG of caffeine for a little extra kick when you need it.

The final flavor is one I generally avoid, lemon-lime. Given a choice between lemon-lime sports drink and water, I’ll choose water, or anything else for that matter. This was THE test. Depending on how this flavor tasted would affect my opinion overall. As I swallowed this final flavor my eyes lit up. Could it be that someone has finally gotten it right? Could this be the best lemon-lime sports drink I have ever tasted? Absolutely, without a doubt, the answer is a resounding, YES.

Then I became excited. How could I help Brian Koff get this product noticed? I need to help him because those little drink tablets, packed with electrolytes and Vitamin B+ are convenient, delicious and should not go unnoticed by my fellow athletes. First things first – head over to the ZYM website and get yourself a sample. You’ll need to submit $3 for shipping and handling and in return you will receive: 3 Endurance Lemon Lime tabs, 1 Catapult Berry tab, stickers and a brochure. That’s the first step. Then, try them out and place an order. Poke around the website and learn more about ZYM products. Their tablets contain no sugar except for the lemon-lime tabs, but they only have 1 gram of sugar so I think you can deal with that.

http://gozym.com/