#RunChatHunt – I Need A Gnome!

Besides the great prizes*, why should you do a running scavenger hunt? The RunChat scavenger hunt, sponsored by Energy Bits, is a prompt to look a little differently (and more thoroughly) at the world around us as we run. That was certainly the case for me with the original hunt as well as the 2013 Holiday Hunt.

Here’s the list for this hunt (ends July 5, 2014). You earn one entry an image from each of the ten categories (must be tweeted with the hashtag #runchathunt):

Trail path (or evidence of running on a trail). Here’s mine:

The Plantation at St. George Island

The Plantation at St. George Island

Funny road/store/church sign. Mine isn’t that funny, I know, but it puts my mind on “beach mode” which makes me happy so we’ll go with it!

Parrotdise? Yeah, I'll run for that!

Parrotdise? Yeah, I’ll run for that!

Dog (yours or someone else running with one). I encountered this guy when the hunt had first started:

Canine Company on an early run...

Canine Company on an early run…

Someone fishing. This is actually not the one I originally submitted to RunChat but I love this pic of my brother-in-law fishing so here it is!

2014-06-20 18.42.32

St. George Island, June 2014

Sunrise or sunset. Here’s mine!

Sunrises make these morning runs worth the effort.

Sunrises make these morning runs worth the effort.

Farm equipment. I’m sure a lot of people found farm equipment, but I wonder if anyone else got a farm equipment mailbox. Thank you, North Florida!

runchathunt farm equipment

Road kill.

I think I may be on the RunChat “exclude” list after lobbying so hard for this one. But honestly, aren’t we runners candid with each other about every part of running, from bloody nipples to other issues that would normally be private? Thanks RunChat (and voters!) for including this. I’m done.

(In case you’re squeamish, I am not showing the image directly. If you have a tough constitution, here’s the link to the image.)

A great local dive bar. Another souvenir of our week at St. George Island:

A perfect place to hydrate after a run!

A perfect place to hydrate after a run!

Pay phone. Definitely the next-to-hardest thing to find! I finally located one:

1-800-FOR-ARUN

1-800-FOR-ARUN

Gnome.

Ah, the elusive gnome. I have a friend who owns a gnome so I may have to schedule a run on her side of town but I keep hoping to find one by chance. If you’re in Tallahassee and have any suggestions, send ’em my way!

I probably won’t be lucky enough to find one this entertaining but check it out:

Source: Artistic-garden.com

Source: Artistic-garden.com

You can also get an entry by submitting a Vine or Instagram video incorporating two of the #RunChatHunt items. I shot one yesterday but I’m not happy with it so tick tock I have to get on it!

Lastly, you can get an entry for a blog post (like this!).

The contest lasts through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 5, 2014. That’s plenty of time to hunt down a pay phone, take in a sunrise, or track down some farm equipment. Might as well … you’ll be running anyhow, right?

runchat logo

*Prizes include an Energy Bits prize pack, Altra shoes, Hylands Leg Cramps Products, a HeadSweats gift card, a 4-pack of KT Tape, a pair of socks or sleeves from Pro Compression, and a Road ID gift card.

 

Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many.

Speaking of Spirulina

There is a torrent of information available on social media related to fitness. If you want an opinon on how to exercise, eat, sleep, or cogitate, social media is your place, as long as you don’t believe everything you see.

Recently, spirulina has come to my attention. It started when Energy Bits was tweeting about their product, during a #runchat. One thing led to another and I found myself holding a cute round tin full of 100% spirulina algae tablets.

Had I not been educated by the EnergyBits representative and other research I conducted, I would probably still be calling spirulina a supplement, but it is a food. Spirulina is grown in water (it takes a month to grow), harvested, dried, and packaged.

The claims made by fans of spirulina lead a consumer to believe that consuming this protein packed, nutrient rich algae may lead to:

  • increased energy level
  • increased endurance
  • increased alertness
  • reduced blood pressure
  • weight loss
  • reduced hunger
  • reduced fatigue
  • healthier skin and hair

Who wouldn’t want all that, especially if the way to get it involves simply swallowing a handful of tablets a few minutes before a workout (or before any task that requires focus)?

I agreed to try a sample of Energy Bits. (I should have read the admonition to “swallow” rather than “chew” as a beginner because that first tablet definitely had an “under the sea” taste to it!) On two mornings, I swallowed 30 tablets five minutes before my scheduled interval workouts.

The first outing, my cumulative time for an interval workout was 5 seconds faster than the previous identical workout.

The second outing, my cumulative time for an interval workout was 2 seconds faster than the previous identical workout.

This was not a scientific study — my faster times could have been a function of my improved conditioning, a morning temperature that was slightly cooler than before, or legs that were at a different stage of “tired.” But all runners want to be faster so I’ll take it and I’ll give the Energy Bits credit in these cases!

I also noticed on each of the days, especially the first day, that my appetite seemed to have less of an edge and my energy level felt steadier than typical as the day progressed. Summer days that start with 5 a.m. workouts don’t always bode well for a “drag-free” work day so I can use all the help I can get there.

For another perspective on Energy Bits, check out Shannon Colavecchio’s review here. I agree with Shannon that the price point of $115 for a month’s supply (1000 tabs) presents a challenge to some (including me right now).

To add to my “spirulina experiment,” I also consumed energy bars containing the algae on three mornings last week. The first was “Spirulina Ballerina” from Barre Bar.

Spirulina Ballerina contains: Dates, walnuts, pecans, agave nectar, hemp seed, hemp protein, rolled oats, ground flax seed, dried coconut flakes, brown rice protein, spirulina, vanilla, sea salt, peanuts.

I kept the spirulina sequence going Saturday morning with a “Spirulina Dream” bar from Raw Revolution.

Here are the ingredients:  Organic Cashews, Organic Dates, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Almonds, Organic Spirulina Powder, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed (They contain tree nuts and are peanut free.)

In the case of both Spirulina Bars, at the risk of stating the obvious, I will tell you that each one was a shade of green that was a very vivid thing to wake up to! When I showed one boot camp friend the picture of one, she said “it looks like a shingle.” It may be difficult to turn an algae bar into a beauty queen among food bars, but the nutritious qualities (especially the appetite reduction) make up for the cosmetic challenges. Spirulina is, to me, still an acquired taste. But it is one that I could get used to and I think if I were more in the habit of eating vegan, it may not seem so drastically different from the breakfast foods I typically consume.

Back to my verdict about spirulina.

I am pretty skeptical about sales pitches. For that reason, I dig around for source documents.

This ifood.tv post provides a good overview of spirulina’s characteristics.

I found the original document that provides the background behind the role spirulina algae plays for NASA (a big part of the pitch for spirulina).

The parent company of Energy Bits talks extensively about the use of algae by Olympic athletes in this press release.

One of the claims about algae that I particularly love, since I have an interest in the fate of food-impoverished people all over the world (don’t we all?) is that The World Bank and the United Nations have (according to Energy Bits) “declared algae to be the answer to the world’s food shortage.”  The Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition, (IIMSAM), a permanent observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, has declared spirulina “as one of the most efficient tools through which the malice of malnutrition can be successfully tackled worldwide.” Wow.

Spirulina – it starts as this:

Source: http://www.ifood.tv/blog/spirulina_a_wonder_food

And has the potential to do so much……….

Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many.