Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Training Begins for the Runners' World Half and EnergyBits Review

It's safe to say I was chomping at the bit these past few weeks to start running again.  I wanted to rest my legs as soon as I felt a hint of that tendinitis/tibial pain, but it's hard for me to rest altogether.  So although I spent the last 5 weeks swimming, biking, lifting, doing core and HIIT work, and walking, I couldn't wait to be reunited with my one true love - vegan soft serve - no, no, no - RUNNING! 

Last week I officially started up my 8 week training plan for the Runner's World Half Marathon.  After battling some injuries last year, and some new aches (a bit of medial knee pain, which unfortunately is starting to resurface a bit - I believe it is this) during training for the Nike Women's Half in April, I was hoping for some smoother sailing leading up to this race.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I haven't been able to pin down the cause of some of my recurrent injuries so I continue to do my own research and in the meantime attend to them the best I can, while still preparing for the races I have planned.  I heard and read about the difficulty of the RW Half (lots of hills!) so going into this race, I didn't plan for a PR, and at this point realize I will be doing it more for the experience. 

To say I am excited for this race is a complete understatement!  First, it is taking place near Rodale headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania which also happens to be MY hometown!  I can't wait to run the streets where I literally grew up.  Runner's World also has an incredible lineup for the expo, which will include speaking engagements with the race director of the Boston Marathon and Olympic athletes.  Not to mention all the high profile athletes who will be running the race as well.  As if all this wasn't enough, I've seen the lineup of bloggers who will be attending, and I think I'm excited about this the most.  To actually have the chance to meet some bloggers that I have been following for months/years IN REAL LIFE is going to be like meeting legit celebrities! Hahaha  You can find the full list of bloggers who will be attending here.

So here's what my first week of training looked like last week:

Sunday - Out of town/Returned late night from ATL; 75 pushups
Monday - Rest; 80 pushups (I spent most of this day cleaning since I was out of town - that counts as a workout right?!)
Tuesday - 3 mi run
Wednesday - At-home HIIT workout; 80 pushups
Thursday - 3 mi run; 85 pushups
Friday - At-home HIIT workout; 85 pushups
Saturday - 5 mi run
Sunday - Lap swimming for 1 hour; 90 pushups

At the same time last week, I was testing out a sample of EnergyBits I had received while I was gone.  You've probably seen the buzz about this company and product on social media lately.  I connected with the company on Twitter and they were nice enough to send me some samples to try out:

What intrigued me about EnergyBits was that they are actually little bits of green food (spirulina algae) and not supplements.  I had read about spirulina in the past and had always thought about supplementing with it as it is considered a 'superfood', but just never did.  I take a daily multivitamin and a few other supplements, which admittedly are manufactured in a lab.  I like that spirulina is a food that naturally contains these nutrients because I know it's ideally better to get nutrition from food than from supplements.

A few other points about EnergyBits:

- made of organically grown, non GMO algae
- contain no caffeine, sugar, soy or gluten
- 1 calorie per tablet
- are naturally composed of 64% protein plus over 40 other vitamins and minerals

So, how did my first week back go?  Well Tuesday's run felt GOOD - really good.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder right? I just kept thinking "Oh, how I've missed you" throughout the entire run! This was also the first day I tried the EnergyBits.  It's recommended you swallow 30 tablets prior to a workout.  I was conservative and started with 15... and I chewed them. Oh yes, I had to go there.  Um, I would not recommend chewing.  The literature from the company says algae is an "acquired taste" and they recommend you swallow the tablets, but I thought oh they can't be talking to me.  They tasted like a mixture between grass and fish food (not that I have ever tried either).  So, if you get your own sample, I recommend following the enclosed instructions :)

I don't know if my great first run was due to my own elation or to the EnergyBits but everything came together for me.  My legs also felt pretty good (minus the knee issue).  I am also trying out a new pair of insoles in my shoes and I want to give them a few more tries before I review them, but after three test runs, I can feel a difference in my lower legs, so here's to hoping!

Saturday was my first long run back - 5 miles - so I doubled the dosage of Bits and took the recommended 30.  I struggled toward the end of this run.  Up until mile 4 I felt good, but the last mile was hot, heavy and just bleh.  I checked my MapMyRun workout log and the last time I ran 5 miles was in June so that's probably why. 

Tonight, I used the last of my sample Bits (I had 14 left) and ran a naked 5k and felt GREAT!  Something about running 'au naturel' if you will, without music or GPS, lets me reconnect with my body better and reminds me why I love running. 

Since EnergyBits are mostly protein, I didn't get the sudden rush of energy that I do when I take a swig of Gatorade, gels, or other carbs during a run, but in terms of nutrition, I don't think their vitamin, antioxidant and mineral profile can be beat.  I think in the long term, they would be a great dietary addition and would probably eliminate the need for other forms of man-made supplements.

Week 1 down, 7 to go.  This training schedule is admittedly a bit more abbreviated than I would like but I'm just hoping to stay somewhat conservative and keep any lingering issues at bay.  I've been icing the sore spot on the inside of my knee nightly so I'm hoping that calms down as well.  I trained for and ran Nike with this issue (and an elastic knee sleeve) and did ok, so we'll see what happens.

Questions for you tonight:

Are you training for any Fall races?

Anyone doing the Runner's World Half and want to meet up?!!

Have you tried EnergyBits?  If you are interested, you can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter and request a free sample.

*Disclosure:  I was given a free sample of EnergyBits, but I was not compensated in any way.  The opinions expressed here are entirely my own :)


  1. I'm doing a Disney 10 miler in October

  2. Oh Michelle that sounds awesome! Running in Disney is on my bucket list! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

  3. I hope your leg/knee issues don't act up too much during your training and for the race!

  4. Those energy tabs sound great! Think that's just what I need to keep up with Max!

    1. Hey Deb! You should connect with them on FB and request a sample. And immediately after that, sign up for the 5K during the Runner's World Half weekend so that I can cheer you on :)