Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shifting Gears

Over the past year, in an effort to lose a few pounds and not die too early of a heart attack, I took up the exercise of running. Running is a good way for me to clear my head and think about the day ahead of me. When I was in the regular running routine I was always thinking clearly and at my creative best. Some of my best ideas and blog posts were composed while I was running.

In the year 2011 I have already logged in 233.2 miles of running. Some where around mile 190 I started to get bored. Running no longer was appealing to me and I found myself hitting a plateau mentally and physically. Instead of pushing myself physically I just clocked miles. I was no longer thinking clearly on my runs but rather getting lost in thought. To fix this boredom I got a bike. Not only would the bike fix my exercise boredom but it would also save me time and money. I decided by riding my bike to and from work, 6.25 miles each way, I would save the time because I was multi-tasking using the bike as exercise and transportation but I would also be saving money when gas is close to four bucks a gallon.

I cannot exercise with food in my stomach. My running routine was basic, wake up, have a cup of coffee, get dressed and then hit the pavement. When I would return I would have a solid breakfast, like eggs and bacon with toast, and then start my normal daily routine. Now that I am riding I need to plan my work-outs.  I need to prep my bike and other gear,  pack a change of clothes for the day, take breakfast, which now was a cereal bar or some granola (easy to pack in my bag) and lunch with me to work. One of the problems I run into is that after riding to work, I am so hungry I find myself eating both breakfast and lunch right way. Tuna fish sandwiches for breakfast is just, well, not really breakfasty enough for me.

The Granola bars and other types of snack type bars do not do the trick. I would still eat my lunch before 10AM. This leaves me little fuel for the ride home. Two weeks ago ProMax Energy Bars asked if I would be interested in trying their line of lower sugar bars. They said they would send me free Energy Bars for me to review on the blog.  I was having a problem they were offering a possible solution. Not only that, they said they would pay me for my honest opinion.

I am not a fan of meal replacement bars or other proteins snacks because I always feel like they are trying too hard to taste like a candy bar. Or they are trying too hard to mask something with super sweet chocolate. I think meal replacement bars should taste more like the gum Violet chews in Willy Wonka.

Let me just say that these Promax Lower Sugar Energy Bars taste pretty good, not great, but they do not seem like they are masking something. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give the flavor a 7.  I had the Double Fudge and the Peanut Butter. I liked the double fudge better. They work great for what I need when it comes to filling my belly. The serving size is a bit more than a snack but not quite a breakfast or lunch. The only thing I don't like is that the chocolate coating or peanut butter coating on the bar comes off in the wrapper. It is bit messy to open. Not a very good thing in a bar that is supposed to be used for travel. The little flecks of chocolate that end up on my desk are difficult to suck up by mouth once they are stuck to purchase order documents.
The price per Promax Energy Bar is about $1.50 each if you buy them by the dozen which isn't too bad for a breakfast. It is cheaper and healthier and less calories than an Egg Mc Muffin. Now only if they would make an energy bar that tasted like a Mc Muffin, or even better a Bacon Energy Bar. Wait a minute I may be on to something. I am having  a "Feed Tuna Mayonnaise." moment. You see that? Biking is already clearing my head.

Promax is holding a contest called the Next Doer . Promax's tagline is "Life is Go" so Go enter their contest for a chance to win a trip to Hawaii.

So far I have logged in 53 miles on the bike. After some quick math I have figured I have saved about $12.00 in gas so far. I am still trying to get the hang of the whole biking thing. Some days I feel like I am playing Frogger and some days I feel like I should be doing a paper route on my way to work. Wait a minute, hold the phone, I think I just had another idea.

I have a $10.00 I-Tunes gift card to give away to someone who leaves me a comment suggesting some decent music for me to listen to on my bike rides to work. I will choose one random comment in the next few days to win the $10.00 I-Tunes gift card. Please make sure you leave a valid way for me to contact you.

Disclaimer - I have been compensated for my time by Promax for sharing my opinion of their product with the readers of this blog.  However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards the Promax Products. The I-tunes Gift card giveaway  is not sponsored by Promax and was totally my idea to solicit comments.


James (SeattleDad) said...

Have you listened to the Seattle band 'The Head and the Heart'? Good mello stuff for a bike ride.

Melissa A. said...

Listen to Katy Perry's "Peacock". It's fun and ridiculous. I've been running since January and I'm always bored, so I use the treadmill and netflix instant watch. Running my first 5k on July 4th, music just doesn't entertain me enough unless i'm outside and even then its a crapshoot.

Josh said...

Every day, you should be listening to "Bicycle Race" by Queen. Even if you don't take this suggestion, I defy you to get on your bike next time and not start singing this song in your head (and possibly cursing me for it)

Pete Juvinall said...


Stuff I've been listening to lately:

- Mumford and Son's 'Sigh no More' - best lyrically I've ever heard and they are coming out with a new CD next year.

- The XX 'The XX' - *great* biking music.

- Owl City 'All things bright and beautiful' - newest from them. As a child of the 80's, it's revamped syth pop (aka new wave).

- The Echoing Green 'In Scarlet and Vile' - great biking music again.

As a biker/runner, all of this is stuff I've done both to and enjoy :).


Esther said...

"All Summer Long" by Kid Rock. Good for riding in the summer!

Elaine said...

Anything by Devo. Totally.

MIchelle said...

While working out I've taken to listening to audio books. I thought there was no way I'd be able to actually pay attention to the story being told but it ended up being really easy to stick to it.

If you're looking for actual music to listen to, I'm not the person to suggest anything. The only album that I actually have in it's entirety on my ipod is Appetite for Destruction, which I'm sure is in most people's ipods already. Happy riding!

NMSpeedy said...

Trampled by Turtles' (I know it's an out-there name) Palomino album. Great summer get-up-an-go music. It's hard to ride slow when you're listening to speed-bluegrass!

Idaho Dad said...

Check out The Holloways on iTunes. Their album No Smoke, No Mirrors, is a jaunty collection of Britpop. Includes a song telling you to get off the computer and go outside (something us bloggers need from time to time).

inklenaomi said...

Tim Hawkins-laughter set to music
David Francey
PFR - the early stuff
John Gorka
Greg Brown

Michelle said...

Dropkick Murphys! The Housemartins! Me First and the Gimme Gimmes!

Bogart said...

How about "Airborn Toxic Event" or Alexi Murdoch? Do you need pick me up music? If so, I would go with Justin will sing and have a good ol' time. How about Cake? I love Cake...yes, eating it, but also bring you back to your younger days listening to them.

Meegs said...

When I want to pump myself up to do my workout harder or faster, I definitely listen to Rob Zombie (specifically anything on Hellbilly Deluxe). It gets you going.

Anonymous said...

Fat Bottomed Girls by queen.
"Get on your bikes and ride"

Anonymous said...

When are you going to get back to being a man and give away a bottle of Jack Daniels?

Do I have to wait through another Joann Fabrics gift card?

Anonymous said...

The Beach Boys.....surfin' tunes...great for surfin' through the neighborhoods....guess who this could be????

Ricky said...

I do alot of biking. I don't listen to headphones while I bike because I get lost in train of thought anyway and with headphones on I would never notice or hear cars coming and I would surely get hit. It's in my karma. BUT I will say for long rides, Butt'r cream and GU and constants in my bike bag! Happy Riding!

Shadefarm said...

How about a little Classic Rock... AC/DC's Ride On!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you can learn some Frogger tips from this (scary) video of an intersection in NY.

for a different kind of girl said...

I've started listening to books and podcasts. My favorite podcast right now, because I'm a huge fan of Michael Ian Black, is 'Mike and Tom Eat Snacks,' which is slightly depraved, often hilarious, and a nice good way to blow off 35 minutes.