Monday, June 13, 2011

Gear I Use
Kate's energy bars

Kate's Grizzly BarAs part of my 50 for 50 campaign—for those of you coming onboard late, 50 for 50 is all about me training and running in the White River 50 Mile Endurance Run in celebration of turning 50 years old all while raising $10,000 for the Washington Trails Association. If you haven’t “sponsored me” yet, please consider a donation in any amount. If you donate $20 or more, I’ll give you a Green Trails Special Series Map. And if you donate $40 or more you get the map and a Washington Trails Association membership.
Okay-where was I? Yes, as part of my training to run 50 miles (which I have never done before) I have been experimenting with new gear and food. I never was a big fan of sports bars and gels. After all I am Italian and I prefer real food, not products that taste like sawdust or have the consistency of Vaseline. But when you run long distance you have to take in plenty of calories and nutrients. And I don’t have an iron gut, I need substances that I can easily digest when putting in miles up steep hills.
I recently became aware of Kate’s Bars; and after putting them to the test on several endurance runs including the Lost Lake Ultra which consists of 34 miles and 8,000 vertical feet of elevation; let me tell you how happy I am about these bars. First of all Kate’s refers to these bars as Real Food, Real Energy. And she’s not kidding about it either. It is real food. The company only uses all-natural, organic ingredients making it taste like real food—not  sawdust or petroleum jelly.
The company offers several different bars all with catchy names that play on the word bar. Originating from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the story goes that Kate wanted to maximize her time skiing and not wasting time stopping for lunch—so she came up with something nutritious and energizing (and tasty) to munch on the tram—hence the name of her first bar,  the Tram Bar. Among its ingredients are rolled oats, honey, peanut butter and milk chocolate.
The company has added several bars since, including the Handle Bar, Caz Bar, and Stash Bar. My favorite is the Grizzly Bar which consists of all the goodies in the Tram Bar except with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. And these bars are packed with energy. The grizzly bar contains 360 calories (130 from fat) which means you will get the boost. And since this is real food, during my runs I actually get to nurse these bars, nibbling on them over some distance—helping to keep my stomach growling at a minimum as I slowly refuel
Kate’s Bars aren’t cheap—but neither are their ingredients. And in comparison to a light meal, which these bars can certainly replace when out hiking, running, and biking, they are a good deal. And like I said before, it’s real food! I plan on packing a few of these bars in my pack when I run White River next month. Check ‘em out—you may not go back to the sawdust bars you are currently wrangling with!

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