Brooks Pure Project Fashion Show

I recently had the privilege to get a preview of the Brooks PureProject apparel and see the new Transcend which hit shelves this weekend (seriously crazy shoe!). Potomac River Running hosted one of Brooks‘ fashion shows to introduce the product to the staff and running community. They went all out with goodie bags, food, wine and models.  [There was supposed to be a DJ but he never showed.]

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The goodie bags were filled with premium glass water bottles, a travel case for toiletries and some Brooks soap-on-a-rope (sorry no photos of the goodies inside!)

Next up, Brooks catered the event with delicious food and wine from Whole Foods.  Seriously, the toppings on the toasted french bread were to.die.for.  I didn’t snap any photos of the food directly, but my goodness they were tasty.

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Next up was the main event — the clothes!  Brooks brought in models to wear the new PureProject apparel clothing, which is advertised to be functional for daily life and working out.

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I have to say that for the most part, I love the apparel.  The shorts are adorable and come in some fun patterns (Tribunal, Checkered) and the Seamless Capris are so cute and the material feels soooo nice.

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There are a couple cute tops as well (I really love this LS and this tank) though I do have to admit, I’m a little baffled by the women’s PureProject Jacket.  Love the pattern, love the fabric, but I’m not sold on the fit.  The top half of the jacket looks like it just hangs there, and I don’t think it would be that flattering on someone who is well endowed or a little bigger and un-model like.  I definitely think the jacket could have been designed to be a little more flattering for all body types.

Now, the men’s PureProject Jacket?!  That is a completely different store.  Swoonbait – I wish they had a women’s version of this.  Simple and clean.

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Also, for the men I loved this SS top (It also comes in LS).  Especially in the yellow.  Its a workout shirt without looking like a workout shirt.  And the fabric is so soft and comfortable.  I could definitely see lots of men wearing this to the gym and around town.  And I kind of want one of my own, either for myself or for the boyfriend so that I can steal it…

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All in all, I was impressed with the simplicity and functionality of the Brooks PureProject apparel line, something that I was unaware of until recently.  I love the versatility of the clothing — you can definitely wear it for just hanging out or for working out — as well as the feel of the fabric and the definite quality you can see in the apparel.

I’m definitely excited to see this line evolve, especially as the Moving Comfort clothing line is being phased out (DON’T WORRY MOVING BRA AFICIONADOS LIKE MYSELF – THE BRAS ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!!) as I loved a lot of the MC clothing line, and think that Brooks will have great success with this line in the future.

I was excited to be a part of this fun evening, and love that I was able to get a closer look at the products as well as learn about them and discuss future plans with the Brooks Sales Rep for the region as well as some of the higher-ups from Brooks in Seattle.  Definitely a great company with some wonderful people creating great products for runners.

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Brooks Models in PureProject Line.

[Although I was able to attend the fashion show through my affiliation with PRR as a sales team member and assistant coach, it was also open to the public and about 70-75 individuals attended the event.  I received no compensation for this post nor any products, and as always all opinions are my own.]

Running Through Winter

So it’s been a while… Two months to be exact, and I’m not quite sure where to start, so I will start back where we left off with December 2013 and do a little catching up on how I have been running through winter (often times feeling my head has been chopped off).

December 2013

December was on of the craziest and busiest months of my life. It was three weeks of finals for my first semester of law school. It was also the month where my co authors and I presented a white paper at a round table in the middle of finals (that I finished my portion of at 2am the morning of a final – that one hurt). It was also winter vacation back I the frozen tundra and the time I PRed without really being prepared in the half marathon.

So law school exams. They were intense, stressful, and three weeks long. Yes I had about five to seven days between my exams, but when they are law school exams, you need like two weeks between each exam and even that may not be enough. I was mostly happy with my performances on my exams and grades but know there is room for improvement this semester so I am definitely putting the plow in the ground and hitting the books hard.

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Then there was that paper we presented. I had given presentations on research proposals before but had never had a written paper, that professors, scholars and experts in the field had read, thought was interesting and gave feedback on. It was intense but so exciting! And although my co authors and I have a lot of work ahead of us, I know we will have a great paper when we are finished.

I was lucky enough to go home for about ten days after finals. I hadn’t really been in the frozen tundra (MN) since last Xmas, and it was great to have the whole family together. I got to spend time with my parents, siblings and niece all while freezing my buns off. What more could I have asked for?! Oh right, to have had Xmas at my sister’s in Florida where it was 70 not -10. But all in all we had a great time… In our #xmasjammies (oh yes that happened).

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Then there was the winter running. Lots of it happened. And while most of it (admittedly) happened on a TM I did manage a few good runs outside.

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First I ran Run With Santa 5k, and while there were no PRs (it was cold, snowy and slippery) I had a ton of fun with a bunch of my coworkers at the running store. And then I ran a half marathon very last minute. So last minute the name is escaping me, but it was an out and back on a muddy and icy trail…but I still got a PR! 1:44:06! It was by no means my best race (I fell completely apart in the last two miles, but I know that my goals for 2014 are in reach!

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So lots of running happened and life was looking pretty good. And then came January 2014…

January 2014

And life got even better. Didn’t think it was possible, but it did.

I gained a super cute study buddy (no, he is not mine, but sometimes I pretend) and my grades came back mostly positive. So here’s to a good outlooks for semester 2!

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And while I have had a minor foot injury that has set me back in terms of marathoning this spring, I am taking it in stride, and instead focusing on Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and hopefully a spring half marathon back in sunny Santa Cruz after finals are over in May! You know what I’m talking about… The fabulous Capitola Half Marathon!

Also, today I discovered I was one of four featured bloggers on Active Life DC for a panel on how to get out of a fitness rut. Check it out for some great Dc blogs and tips on how myself and the other bloggers keep exercising interesting and fun…and how awkward I can be. It’s so incredibly awkward it’s awesome.

So that’s a little update on my life. I have been very busy but am planning a few posts to come in the next few weeks, and I promise it won’t be another two months.

How has 2014 been treating you so far? Set any fitness or running goals?
Mine is to be as uninsured as possible, hopefully be healthy enough to complete a marathon and to get back into triathlons! Already looking at a few in late August/early September!

Powered By Bits {Product Review & Giveaway}

Earlier this year, ENERGYbits sent me a sample of their bits to try out for fueling options.  My friend, and fellow 2013 SFM Ambassador Chris, had introduced me to the idea via twitter and at a race expo, and so I reached out to the brand for a sample to try {and review}.  Well, life got in the way (qualifying for PhD candidacy, a trip to Peru, moving cross country and starting law school), and I never got around to reviewing the bits…until now!

photo(1){While ENERGYbits provided me with the sample, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post}

What are EnergyBits?

According to the EnergyBits website, they are “[m]ade from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab.”  Basically, they’re little tiny pill sized tabs of compressed spirulina algae.

Why spirulina alage?

“Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.”

~EnergyBits website

Antioxidant ChartIn additional to the antioxidant benefits, ENERGYbits can be used for:

  • Increasing Energy
  • Increasing Endurance
  • Increasing Mental Vitality
  • High Protein Snack
  • Curbing Hunger
  • Meal Replacement
  • Balancing Blood Sugar
  • Lowering Blood Pressure
  • Reducing Fatigue

I mean let’s be honest — those all sound good to me, right?!  While I’m not sure of the majority of the effects, as I probably didn’t take them long enough or frequently enough, I did definitely experience increased energy, curbing of hunger and reduced fatigue – at least while running.  (Wait, you don’t normally get ridiculously hungry in the middle of a run normally and start planning your next mean?  Huh.  Maybe that’s just me…)

So what were they like?

While I will admit they do not sound like the most appetizing source of energy in the world, they were surprisingly fairly tasteless (you just swallow them with water).  And they went down easy and were definitely easy on the stomach (something very important to me as the woman with the weakest stomach in the world).  I also feel like there was a definite boost in energy when taken pre-run/race.  Whether it was a placebo effect of my mind knowing the intended effects or the ENERGYbits working, I am definitely on the hook, and have plans to incorporate them into my training and fueling for my next endurance event (a marathon in March).  I mean at the very least they definitely aren’t hurting me, and as I go for a new PR, I’m taking all the help I can get!

My one gripe with the ENERGYbits?  They’re expensive!  And as a law student/PhD student, they’re not really budget-friendly.  However, there ambassadors out there who can hook you up with a discount which makes the price a little bit easier to handle.

Additionally, ENERGYbits claims that “one of the additional benefits is that once you’re taking bits daily (or most days) it can replace just about all other vitamins due to the wide nutritional profile, so it can even reduce some other costs!”  So that is something I am definitely considering and looking into…maybe spending more money in one place can save money over all?  The economist in me is dying to find out…

ENERGYbits are only available at ENERGYbits.com, and Jonathan (their Brand Manager) has shared with me that he’d be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits – you can email him at jlevitt@energybits.com.

But before you have to decide to buy…first you can enter to win a tin to try!

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a prize pack that includes a tin of ENERGYbits to try them out for yourself!

In order to enter you must leave a comment on this post answering how do you normally fuel while you run??

Additional entries for

(1) liking ENERGYBits on Facebook
(2) following ENERGYbits on Twitter
(3) liking PhDStrides on Facebook
(4) following PhDStrides on Twitter
(5) Tweeting about the giveaway with “Enter to win a free sample of @EnergyBits from @PhDStrides http://wp.me/pVOD1-1os #poweredbybits”.

***Just leave an additional comment for each additional entry (stating which one it is).***

Giveaway ends 10/6/2013 at 11:59 PST and winner will be randomly selected and announced on 10/7/2013.  ENERGYbits will then send out the prize pack.  Limited to USA addresses only (sorry if you’re abroad!).

{UPDATE: Winner of the ENERGYbits giveaway is Comment 11: Theresa M! – email me phdstrides{at}gmail{dot}com with your name and address and I will forward it to ENERGYbits so you can get your prize pack!}