Yummy Canadian bars now in bite-sized fun


“Life is too short and twisting not to eat good food.”

This post is about some great tasting food that I stumbled across soon after I started blogging. I was training hard for the Ottawa marathon and found out about a Canadian bar called Tho’z barz made out west.

The bars are soft-baked and really delicious. They are not specifically for athletes and runners but are perfect. I think anyone who likes a tasty, healthy bar and who walks, hikes or runs will like these. The oat based treats have (oats of course), honey, hemp seed, dried mango (in mango one) chocolate chips and what is called a vegan spread (palm fruit oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower lecithin and lactic acid).

Tho’z bitz


The bitz are bite-sized versions of the bars that come in a shiny bag and are great to have at work or carry with you on the trail. The bitz like the bars come in a variety of flavours (raisin/chocolate chip/coconut, blueberry/coconut, apple/cranberry, mango/chocolate chip)

The bitz are easy to eat, chewy and soft and love the flavours (all). If I had a favourite it would be the mango/chocolate chip.

Tho’z Bitz are available in 10 or 25-bitz packs, from 60 up to 300 Bitz. You can order a mix of flavours when you order your bitz too.


Started as something the founder (Darlene) made for her commute to work – went to farmers markets and now has gone beyond.

Thanks Darlene for letting me try the bitz!

Run on friends.


Tho’z barz website.


Rested, fat and getting old


“Life seems to fly by like an 800m race-no time stop, breathing hard and painful at times.”

So its October (my god where did the summer go) and I am sitting at my laptop and tapping away as I munch on Tho’z Barz bite sized snacks (review coming). I have slacked on my blogs as my time has recently been committed to my family (recently added to with a drooling 4-month old). I have been on vacation for the last 5-weeks and been sending out some tweets but have not blogged in a while.



Yep – us Quebec dads get 5-weeks of paternity leave. Packed up the suitcases and visited family with my wife and little one. A vacation but with bottles, pampers and mid-night feedings. Not much racing happened as planned but did manage to get out and run at Maritime Race weekend just outside Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Managed to run with an old running teammate I had not run with in years.



Okay – so may have eaten too many Mrs. Dunsters doughnuts while down home —evil little whole wheat sugar coated things (that I cannot eat just one).I also had to crank but the marathon training plan during my weeks off to one run a day. Eventually the marathon was cancelled. But the “fat” subtitle is because with more eating than running and resting – well I now feel like a greasy out-of-shape monkey. Did a 10k the other evening with my daughter stuffed into the stroller and felt fine but felt the run the day after more than I should have. Uggghh.

With marathon canceled (Picton marathon in Ontario) – I did however do a 42.2k run along the beautiful trails in Nova Scotia (Atlantic View, Salt Marsh and Shearwater trails just outside downtown Halifax). Took my time, listened to some CBC and took a few pictures and jogged back to our beach-side place (Lawrencetown beach) in around 31/2 hours.

Anyone looking for a great place by the beach to stay in Nova Scotia should check out the place we stayed! Moonlight Beach Suites

IMAG1294 IMAG1298

Getting old

Yep. Turn 40 at the end of October. So not old but older than I was! I had a plan to take what fitness I have left and do a crazy run on my 40th – my idea was to take a crack at running the Rideau Trail (Ottawa to Kingston)(300k) and going after the record. New plan now – more logistics and planning required than first thought. Or at least for now…maybe I will think different in a few days.

Want to mark this checkpoint in my life with something interesting, no something significant.

Okay – enough from me. Get out there and get a run in!

Stay positive, keep putting one foot in front of the other friends and see you out there.

Run on.


Power mix your sports drink with Promixx


“Protein powder or post-run sports drink powder not mix well in bottle after run?”

Been running for way too long and only edging up on 40 – and have mixed sports drink powders and protein powders with water and milk – and sometimes not a great result. Shake, shake and sometimes good – other times lumps etc.

Okay – time for another running-related product review.



What would make a sports drink bottle different? You have your sports/protein powder and a bottle – good to go right?

I thought about the same – then Promixx sent me a product sample. Took parts out of box and hmmmm, bottle with a part you attach on bottom that takes a couple of batteries and odd-shaped plastic blender like bit inside.


Great combination – used Promixx with MuscleMilk, Cytomx and then would pour sports drink into Orange mud bottle for long run. Great finding cool products that work!

The difference is – blunt blade (blender bit) creates vortex-like motion in any liquid you pour in and is turned by powerful little engine piece you easily twist onto bottom of bottle. Top with pouring spout twists on snugly and no leaks.


Then I tried it out. Pour in liquid of choice and then your powder on top. Attach motor on bottom, press button. Quiet hum and amazing mixing action. Was impressed.


Review and recommendations

I have used my Promixx at home and now have at work and have used with Cytomax sports drink and Muscle Milk protein powders. Worked really well and MUCH better than blender or simple shaking.

Easy to use – not the price of a blender and works really well. No brainer for me and think all athletes including runners will like.

Cost in Canadian dollars is $30-50.

You can also catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine

See you on the roads!


New Balance Vazee Pace – No Number again?


“If you can’t be fast anymore, at least have fun looking like you are.”

This blog is a review of the new New Balance shoe – the Vazee Pace, yep another shoe from NB with no number (still trying to deal with it). I have and have reviewed the NB Zante and that was my first introduction to no number, maybe they will add number to name of shoe with update each year. My Zante was bright neon yellow, the Pace is bright orange. Love it.

So lets get to the review.

Vazee Pace

I got the pace and was pumped with bright (fast looking) orange. Slipped on and fit nice and snug but not tight with good toe room (more than Zante it felt and much more than 1400). Wore to work to soften up and got out for short, long and a few workouts in.

The Pace in my opinion is a mid-weight neutral cushioned shoe for tempo runs and quicker runs. I run in and have done reviews of both the New Balance 1400 and the Zante – and this shoe sort of sits between the two although the Pace weighs the same amount as the Zante (214grams)(1400 is 185grams).

The 1400 is super light and a race shoe for most. The Zante has more cushion but not a lot of structure and is quite flexible. The Pace feels more solid and less responsive but still light with a stiffer feeling midsole.



  • 6 mm drop (same as Zante, 1400 has 10mm)
  • Bootie construction
  • Deconstructed heel counter
  • No-sew material application
  • Blown rubber outsole
  • REVlite midsole foam

Glad I have this shoe in running arsenal but for me works best if I take out insole that comes with it and stick in gel insole to take away hard feel to it. I like for quicker runs and workouts and enjoy less for longer runs.

See you out on the roads – there is a shoe for every foot!


An update from a new running dad

View event: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19738/

“Apparently you can function without sleep.” – running dad.

So since May I have been a dad and have been figuring out how to balance running, a baby, work and all the fun things that make up a busy life. Has been interesting.

Running dad life

My little baby girl is amazing and cute and has drastically changed how I train! I now run not so much when I want to but when I can. Lunch time runs and running home from work are now when I cram in workouts etc. – no matter how tired I am. My amazing wife is also very understanding and lets me get out on the weekend after we coordinate who is covering what nights etc.

A few weeks ago managed to get out for a 5k race (first since little one arrived) and managed 17:28 on tired legs. Felt good to get out but lots of work to do before my planned October marathon in Picton, Ontario.

Somehow after zero miles on week after birth of child I have managed to get miles in and completed a base before my marathon plan….I have actually crept up to around 115-135km a week. This past week has been first week of marathon plan and trying to get workouts in. Don’t feel fast yet but feeling stronger. My Polar M400 actually gave me a V02max result of 80! (I am normally some where around 64-68). I laughed and it made my day but blame on fact my heart rate must have dropped like a stone when I actually found time to rest and do the test (and almost fell asleep).

Running product reviews

Have a great cook book from professional triathlete Pip Taylor to finish a review on, a review of a battery-powered sports drink mixer (Promixx) that works great and I have at work and a review of the new New Balance Vazee Pace (my new bright orange running shoes).

You can check out all my running gear reviews here.

Okay – gotta get back to dad duties and see if I can find time for a quick easy run today!

See you out there running friends!

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Sally who? No Salming — a running shoe!


“There is a shoe for every foot, every terrain and for all types of runners now.”

This running dad is squeezing in miles when he can at work and on way home from office (actually averaging 115-130km over last few weeks). Not getting usual number of hours of sleep and finding it hard to find time to stretch and do other things between pampers and bottles —- but surviving.

This week’s blog is a shoe review and short update.

Salming Distance

Salming Distance

Salming running shoes

Never heard of them. Nope neither had I until a little while ago. Got a hold of 2 pairs and got out on the road to test them out. A Swedish brand.

Salming have a range of shoes that go from trail, distance, speed and shoes to get out and explore with. I got to test the distance and racing ones.


Lets go for the feel and impression of each shoe before getting into shoe details. The Distance shoe I got was yellow, black and had some red (attractive) and looked plenty big for my size 12 (US) feet. When I slipped the shoe on it felt roomy and comfortable (good toe box and room at end and no rubbing anywhere). The shoe feels solidly built and has firm heel cup, stabilizing plastic bit underneath midfoot and is definitely not a minimal shoe or spaghetti soft.

On the run the shoe feels solid but not chunky and roomy but not sloppy. There is no huge heel drop and shoe does feels relatively flat. The cushion is there but not spongy soft. I am reminded of a New Balance Shoe I sued to run in (1023) it too had not so soft cushioning but lasted for miles. Good ride but not exciting.


Salming Speed.

Salming Speed.

The speed shoe has a slightly slimmer fit than Distance but still roomy and has same solid construction. Midsole cushioning feels the same but with less. Out on a run it did not feel fast but did feel light. Some other shoes categorized as race shoes I can do some training in and feel comfortable – not sure I would do that with this one. Short runs or speed work – if not using for racing. Once again, no issues with chafing or rubbing and comfortable.



  • Weight App. 240g (Size UK 8)
  • Blown and carbon rubber outsole
  • 5mm drop


  • 210g (Size UK 8)
  • Blown rubber outsole

Other tech aspects of shoes are better explained on their website – but alot of thought seems to have gone into the shoes and how they should work.


My thoughts and recommendation

This shoe brand is different but does not feel like a big departure from what is already out there but claim to have put alot of thought into the structure, heel-toe drop and how you should run and what a running shoe should do (shoes feel like thought has been put into them). Solidly constructed, quality shoes with good width and length. Good selection for runners but don’t think you will be jumping around feeling pumped when you wear – BUT could be a solid shoe that works if not excites you.

A shoe that will grunt and get the work done.

Look forward to more runs in my Salming shoes and to see what this company continues to turn out.

Worth checking out if you can find them. At worst – check their website.

See you out on the roads folks!

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A Canadian hands-free massage?


“Running is a great way to get out and free the mind and body  – but sometimes you need to rest and take care of the abuse you have had your body endure.”

This blog is a review of a new Canadian product out on the market for runners or those who need to massage their tired or sore body.


A hands free massage. I mean who does not like the sound of that? A new Canadian company has come up with something that frees up the hands and allows you to roll/massage spots on your tired body. I saw the product and was intrigued, so I reached out to my fellow Canucks to find out more. They sent me one. Its called SoloRolo.

eZM8nIZ1_400x400 solorolo_illustration-4-149x300

It is described as an easy myosfascial massage tool that can replace the tennis or lacrosse ball you may be using (your crazy running masochists) to treat your sore, knotted running muscles. This is what many use to really target specific spots (when foam rollers and others devices can often not get to).


A ball like a magic 8 ball sits in black base and is smooth and rolls easily. A set of straps wrapped around base (tuck away easily) allow you to hang behind, infront etc and place where you can lean or roll against.

I unboxed and tried out. (Plenty of old sore muscles to try on)

I had some questions about the solorolo and some feedback and John from the company had some answers for me:

How hard solorolo ball is: Thanks for your honest feedback. Just to address a few of the issues you have found, it is true the ball is very hard but what we have found is that people who go from a tennis ball to a lacrosse ball are then again looking for something harder in the end, but to roll a pool ball or something on your wall wouldn’t be the smartest thing for your wall or your toes. But it is understandably the case that it will possibly be too hard for some people.

Solorolo ball not same as a hard ball: As for having the ball stick out a little more is something to consider for sure we understand totally what you mean by that, but what we also have found is that with proper placement of the Solorolo you will not be rubbing the side areas of the tool especially on a leaner body, there is a slight learning curve to using the tool properly and always paying attention to  being directly on top of the ball not so much on the side, it is quiet important to being perfectly perpendicular to the top of the ball for best use.

Hanging solorolo on wall as opposed to using straps: As for there being a hole on the back of the device so you can hang it or even a suction type backing that we had considered, I kind of disagree I feel that you having to turn around and reposition the device constantly would prove a nuisance and the fact that it is made to concentrate on smaller areas for massage and then move it as you go with the aid of the strap seems easier to me, but those are just my thoughts on it. I think if you find yourself doing squats with it to run up and down your entire back it is somewhat of a misuse, but to each his own. It definitely takes a few goes at it to perfect how you use it and there is no right or wrong way as long as it is providing you with some form of relief. Now of these days I don’t even use the strap I simply trap it between myself and a the wall and use enough body pressure to keep it in place, but again that is for myself and the amount of pressure I use hands free may very well be too much for someone else.

Thoughts and recommendations

I have used foam roller, balls and even have something that uses roller blade wheels to make my sore running legs into putty. I found the Solorolo a very neat idea and like that straps can be used to place it where you want (and not need to have someone else help).

This may not be my go-to self massage tool, but neat to have in my #running bag of tools – and I think one needs to really play around with and experiment with this tool, say more than a few others.

For the price of around $40 Canadian -worth checking out.

Run on my friends!

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