All About Food

Hey remember when I used to post up some of my favorite meals? Well, guess what? We’re back with this latest edition and of “All About Food”.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with awesome nutrients, and even better for you when you eat the skin! Topping the list this week is this hearty quinoa stuffed sweet potato!

Bonus bite: Add a little hot sauce to this potato and take the flavor to the next level.

Recipe: Beyond 24 Days

Pressed for time? A quick and easy meal you can throw together is this fried cauliflower rice recipe. Honestly, you can mix and match to make your own, but this is perfect for a little Chinese fakeout.

Bonus bite: this makes for an awesome side dish when you out together meal prep for the week and can be easily divided into cups to add with other dishes.

Recipe: Beyond 24 Days

Okay, okay. It’s the start of the week, maybe you’ve had a rough day, or perhaps it’s a polar vortex and you’re looking for a little comfort food. Look no further than this amazing vegan dumpling soup. Not only are we talking hearty and healthy, but we’re looking at simple ingredients packed full of flavor and tasty comfort goodness!

Bonus bite: add your favor hot sauce to give it a kick!

Recipe: Rabbit and Wolves

Last but not least is breakfast. There is some debate, before a long run, to fuel up before or after you hit the ground running? I’m a “before the run” type of guy that likes his fats, grains, and proteins! Check out this avocado toast with egg and tomato!

Bonus bite: mix some spinach (or greens) into your eggs for an added bonus of calcium and fiber! However, take it easy before a super long run… you know why.

Recipe: Make it up! It’s Breakfast!

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Race Recap: The Frozen Snot

Holy s*** that was intense! Honestly I’m completely at a loss for words, that was by far the most intense race I have ever run. I should preface this by saying I’m not a hardcore trail runner, I’m mediocre at best, this was my first time in the big leagues.

Despite all of the heartache, the views were out of this world.

Edit: If you don’t know what the Frozen Snot is, it is the toughest race, mile for mile in the WORLD. Source and image: Frozen Snot

Race prep included several layers to deal with the cold. Layers that could be easily shed to help cool down. Several gloves, three pairs of socks, two buffs, goggles (which fogged up and became useless), hydration pack, shoes, Kahtoola microspikes, race fuel… and my sanity.

The race starts off with an easy 1 mile run along a nice paved road, a mere tease for things to come.

After warming up with a nice jog, you slip on your spikes and pretty much say goodbye to any thoughts of comfort and ease.

Photo: Dave Seasholtz

The trail takes start with an immediate climb, and just when you think you’ve reached the top- you’re wrong, you enter a boulder field, and surprise, you have to climb again.

The downhill sections in the beginning are “forgiving” and let you come down the mountain with ease. After almost an hour of trail-time you hear the hooting and hollering of the next checkpoint. Throw in another climb to break your spirits, and welcome to the first 2 miles.

The fire was nice and warm, but honestly it’s there for the volunteers benefit. Dilly-dally for too long and you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

After this point I ran down one of the longest and smoothest downhill sections of the race. At one point I paused because I was convinced I was lost and running the wrong way along the course. After seeing fellow Snotters in the distance, I regained my quest to continue onward.

After a nice downhill it all became a blur. I don’t know if I went up or down the hill, but we kept on trekking. There was a bacon aid station on the way and my good friend Roxanne snapped this picture of me in all my glory afterward. Full of whiskey, and salty bacon, we continued on.

The last hill was by far the worst climb ever. I honestly felt like it was never going to end. I stared at my feet and just kept focusing on my breath and taking one step at a time. One foot in front of the other just moving forward.

Once you get to the top of the hill you have a brief moment of solace. You see the beauty of the mountains and all their glory, and yet at the same time your legs are thrashed. And that’s when you see it, the rocky downhill climb.

And it gets worse. To add insult to injury you have a climb down the backside of the mountain you’ve just climbed, with thrashed legs and some of the worst conditions possible. It’s not pretty. The Kahtoola microspikes were essential in making or breaking your experience. I’m glad I made that purchase, those spikes saved my a** more than a handful of times.

Miraculously, I made it. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t ugly, it was okay. For my first time becoming a Snotter, I feel I did alright. Albeit my finish being mediocre, and the course being pretty dangerous, it was a good time. Unofficial results was finishing one loop in 4:59:15. I’ll see ya in 2020 and I’m looking forward to those souls crushing hills again (almost 4,000 ft of elevation gains), no race will compare for the rest of the year.

Major THANKS to everyone that made this race possible!

Feeling up for the challenge? Check the Snot’s Website and Facebook to keep up to date! Want to see more of my race reviews? Check out BibRave.com, the link to this review can be found Here!

Race Registration: Freedom’s Run Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Freedom’s Run Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Well, I’m super excited to announce, that come this October I’ll be running in the Freedom’s Run Half Marathon! 2019 is going to be a great year for running, and my race calendar is slowly filling up.

We love Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown, WV! I can’t wait share this adventure with everyone, so stay tuned! I’ll be updating the blog with a Half-Marathon training plan and meal ideas for when you are on the go!

You can save $5 off your race registration by using the discount code “BIBRAVE5WV” on checkout.

Zwift Run, Let’s get Virtual!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Run Pod to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s here, WINTER WEATHER, and if you live in the NorthEast of the good old USA like me: it’s dark and cold when you wake up, and chances are it’s dark and cold when you return home from work. I’m not a huge fan of running in the dark, so my running shoes typically see a lot of treadmill time during the cold winter months.

As a runner who flat-out hates treadmills, this time of the year is when my training suffers the most. Enter the Zwift Run Pod! The Zwift Run Pod is an amazingly simple device you attach to your shoe, that allows you to run in a virtual world using your smart device and a treadmill. If you dread indoor running like me, the Zwift Run Pod is a game changer!

When the pod arrived and I couldn’t wait to tear into the package and get running.  The pod is shipped in a small box, that includes the Zwift Run Pod, Battery, and Quick-Start Users manual. Now, I was pretty impatient so I downloaded the app well before receiving my pod, so you’ll need to download the App to your smart device and create an account before diving right in.

Once you unbox your pod the rest is pretty easy. Installing the battery is an easy job, with a coin or other flat object, just a quick twist on the bottom of the pod will remove the cover.  Insert the battery and simply tighten the cover back into place.

Connecting your Run Pod to your shoes is super simple. Just twist the pod off its base to expose the “mounting plate”, slip the plate under your laces matching the location in the user’s manual, and then twist the pod back on to secure it in place. It should make an audible “click” to let you know it’s secured.

Easy right?! That’s all you need to be up and running… so speaking of which:
LET’S GET RUNNING!

Zwift offers various training plans to get you up and moving toward your goals. The starting program is Zwift 101, where you are introduced to the app, it runs through the various functions and displays to help you get the most from your run.  From there you can work on running your fastest mile, training for a 5K, and even marathon training, the choice is up to you.  You can also fire up the app to run with a group, run with friends, or just log some miles without a predetermined time or finish. The possibilities Zwift has to offer means you’ll never have to settle for another plain old boring treadmill run again!

I found the interface of the app very intuitive and easy to use. I’m running Zwift off my iPhone X which is a little smaller than I would like, so I imagine using a Tablet or Computer will help you “see” a little better. However, the iPhone still gets the job done and the overall experience is still a lot of fun when you can virtually log miles in all the different places Zwift has to offer.

*GASP* Did I just read what I wrote: Running on the treadmill can be fun? Yes, I said it, running on the treadmill is FUN… with Zwift.

When I first saw the Run Pod in use, I was sold… literally, I bought one! The simplicity of the design, the ease of use, and the awesome user interface immediately caught my attention. Anything to brighten those dreary treadmill miles is a game changer in my book. I really enjoy my Run Pod… and you will too, use the discount code “BIBRAVE15” and save 15% off your very own Zwift Run Pod!

Be Sure to Follow me on Instagram for more awesome running content @kenstandsonthings

Just Announced: BibRave Pro

Guys I’m super stoked to share that I’ve partnered up with BibRave as an ambassador for 2019! I can’t wait to dive in and really put my talents to work.

I’ve got a lot of plans for 2019, and I’m really hoping to kick things off on the right foot! What you can expect to see from me in the near future:

  • Race Reviews and Promo Codes
  • Product and gear Reviews
  • Interactive Runs
  • Podcast updates
  • And much more!

To all my friends and family: Thank you all for your support! And to all my runner friends and fellow BibRavePros here’s to a successful and wonderful year ahead! Also, if anyone wants to collaborate and join in the podcast, the more the merrier!

My BibRave Reviews

Trail Running the Conestoga

As the Frozen Snot lingers in the distance, my good friend and I headed out for some much needed training with an 8-mile point-to-point trail run. Our initial plan was to hit up a familiar trail, but decided to work on better elevation challenges with a more difficult trail (as suggested by his wife and fellow runner). We dropped off my friend’s brown truck at the finish and made the drive to the start.

Difficult is a bit of an understatement. The fact that we couldn’t find the trail start should have been a sign of things to come. After driving around for a bit and doubling back a time or two, we located the trail head.

The weather was cold with rain in the forecast. At 40°F I decided to wear shorts, along with a tech shirt and light running jacket. The plan was to cover 8-miles of fairly difficult terrain with lots and lots of hills. I decided to tote my Ultimate Direction running vest, with a hydration pack full of Tailwind nutrition.

Since the weather was cold, gloves were a must. However I must say, in the end it didn’t matter, it was cold, it was wet, we finished soaked to the bone and freezing. But, I digress.

Mile 1 was quick and easy, and it was swiftly followed by 2 miles of the complete opposite; slowly climbing and punishing terrain. The climbing must have jostled my hydration pack, because (I don’t know how) the top came loose and I ended up dumping half its contents all down my back. Sweet sweet Tailwind Nutrition, just wasted. I cried. I cried inside. It was painful and bitterly cold.

I nursed what little Tailwind I had for the remainder of the run. Thankfully, I had a Honey Stinger gel in my front vest pocket, which came in clutch later on.

The creek crossings in the beginning felt refreshing and were a welcome treat. Given the weather was a steady light rain, everything was wet and slippery so I felt very much in-tune to what and how I was navigating the trails. By mile 4, I was relishing in the fact that we were half-way done and felt strong.

At some point I remember mile 5 having a decent downhill cruise, which was somewhat pleasant. Pleasant as you can be while watching your footing and avoiding slipping on leaf covered dangers.

At mile 6, we stopped for a quick break. We were soaked to the bone, creek crossings were less enjoyable and I mentioned 2 miles was all I had left in me. Everything was wet, and my phone managed to call home 15 times within 15 minutes. My wife left me a lovely voicemail. We were having fun.

Mile 8 came and went and we realized we were no where close to our finish as the brown truck was no where to be seen. We called and got some much needed guidance on how to get back to the truck, a “short” trip down a lone service road was all we needed. I got to thinking we weren’t too far off, but as we rounded corner after corner, the brown truck was no where in sight. Either we were wrong, or just not listening, but that darn truck wasn’t even close. The truck was another 2 miles from where we were.

Miles 9 and 10 were brutal and angry miles. I don’t remember much, the sight of the brown truck was an instant relief. I never thought I’d be see happy to see that truck in all my life, but there it was just beckoning us with its dry interior.

All-in-all, it was 10 miles of perfect training. The weather was garbage, the terrain was tough and technical, but in the end we made it and learned a little bit more along the way.