What is Dubli?

For the past week or so you’ve seen the Dubli logo asking you to Create a Dubli Account.

So, what is Dubli?

TRAVEL, DESTINATION RACES, saving

Dubli is a funny sounding name you may have never heard of before. Think about Google, Yahoo, Uber or Android. All funny sounding names that you are quite familiar with now.

Dubli is a way for you to purchase items you buy all the time but with a rebate. Book a vacation, make a hotel reservation or plan your destination marathon.

With Dubli you can save:

Up to 9% at major hotels around the world
Up to 8% on car rentals
Up to 10%.on vacation packages

Dubli gives you cash back on top of your credit card cash back program and any specials your hotel, airline or car rental agency is offering. If you have AAA or another program, often you can use that also.

I say “Up to” because all the companies involved offer different rebates, can change them and there are different discounts with different levels of membership.

With a FREE Dubli account you will get 2-3% off at many major hotels. For a free account all you do is sign up with your name and email. That’s all there is to it.

Dubli VIP

Dubli VIP adds 6% to what ever the standard rebate is. If your hotel offers a 2.3% rebate to Dubli members, Dubli VIP members get 8.3% back.

Add in your credit card cash back and you can easily get 9-10% back on your hotel booking. If you travel much the savings add up.

Dubli VIP costs $99.00. Dubli has tools on their web site to show you how much you will save at the different membership levels.

That’s just travel savings

Dubli allows you to shop with over 4,000 retail names that you know and get cash back. You don’t need to buy only certain brands or special products. Buy what you want, where you want and get cash back.

Most of you guys reading this blog are runners. Would you like to save 10% or more and get free shipping from some of the top brands in running shoes and gear?

I’ll write more about the shopping rebates next week.

If you click on the banner at the top of this post you will be directed to Dubli.com. They have a short video and more details.

Set up a free account and start saving today

[ I do receive compensation from Dubli when people sign up and use their service.]

Andy

CoffeeBar

I first met the founders of New Grounds Food at a Meetup in Somerville.

Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari were students at Northeastern University at the time. They told the group about the CoffeeBar they had developed which was organic, vegan, gluten-free and delicious.

They were still deep in the trenches of start-up mode and didn’t have any samples that night. Recently they sent a sample pack for me to try.

CoffeeBar Review

coffeebar, coffee, caffeine

The sample pack contains two Mocha  Latte CoffeeBars. The package is easy to open and durable enough to survive a trip to the gym, office or class in your bag.

The package opens easily and without a lot of noise. This makes it handy for class or to open when you are driving.

When I opened the package I got an immediate earthy, sweet aroma of coffee with complex, subtle hints of spices and chocolate.

Many energy bars look like and taste like a candy bar. CoffeeBar looks more like a chewy brownie that you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.

The main ingredients in Coffee Bars are organic dates and oats. This gives the bar a nice chewy, substantial mouth feel. Coffee Bar also contains chia seeds and cashews so you get some crunch and a nutty flavor.

coffee bar, coffeebar

Ingredients you can recognize

The star ingredient in CoffeeBar is organic coffee. Johnny and Ali first came up with the idea for this product when they had 8AM classes at Northeastern and no time for coffee or breakfast. Coffee can spill and no one wants to hear you drinking it during lectures.

They came up with the idea of incorporating real coffee into a food bar that they could take with them and eat on the way to class or during a lecture.

With caffeine in a food bar they were able to incorporate coffee and breakfast into one convenient item for people on the go.

A great idea takes off

At the 2013 Husky Startup Challenge at Northeastern University, Coffee Bar was awarded “Audience Favorite Winner” and $500.

They pitched their product to the judges at the Entrepreneurs Club as “best way to have your coffee and breakfast all-in-one” without worrying about any spills or crumbs.”

They had a winning idea, but they still needed a way to get it into your hands: packaging.

On September 22nd, 2014 they started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first minimum order of packaging for their CoffeeBars. Within 15 hours they received the full $10,000 that they needed. Over the next 44 days they raised nearly $50,000 from 1,000 backers.

When you see and open a CoffeeBar package, you can tell that the money was well spent. The package is attractive and durable. It is also easy and quiet to open.

How to get CoffeeBars

Currently CoffeeBars are available on line at the New Grounds Food Shop. You can buy a 2 bar sample pack or a 12 bar box. For added convenience Johnny and Ali offer a subscription service. You can get monthly deliveries for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.

My opinion

I love coffee, so I found their idea intriguing. I was concerned that the bar would taste like coffee grounds or just not be that great. There are new food bar products all the time and some are just not that good.

It turns out that the bars do taste good and are easy to eat without a mess. No crumbs and nothing sticks to your fingers either. I could see having a box of these in the office for a morning snack.

For a runner heading out early for a race or a long run, CoffeeBars would be a great way to get your caffeine and breakfast. I need to have some coffee before I race or go out for a long run. It’s part of my routine.

The durable packaging makes it easy to keep a few in your running bag.

For this review I received a sample 2-pack of CoffeeBars to try. All opinions are my own. 

  • Have you ever tried CoffeeBars?
  • Do you need caffeine before you race?

Run well my friends,

Andy

Training Day with Ryan Hall

Yesterday I posted a brief video of Kara Goucher giving some training advice.

Training Day with Ryan Hall

boston marathon training, training day with ryan hall

photo: Steven Senne/AP

Today I have a 15 minute video that follows a March 2011 training day with Ryan Hall.

Ryan was running a 15 mile tempo run in Flagstaff, AZ. He was in Flagstaff training for the 2011 Boston Marathon to gain the benefits of training at high altitude.

We get a good look at his diet and running nutrition, including his famous Cytomax pancakes. The video also covers he pre-run and post run routine, which is pretty impressive.

Here is Ryan’s interview at the 2011 Boston Marathon finish line. A 2:04:58 finish, American marathon record and still only a 4th place finish. His gratitude for a great run even without the win is great to see. No poor sportsmanship here.

Run well my friends.

Andy

Marathon Tips from Kara

Some marathon tips from Kara Goucher

Now that everyone is on the home stretch for the Boston Marathon, I thought I’d post a few videos for inspiration and advice.

Click the title or her picture to see her video.

Most Boston Marathon Runners are nearing the end of a long training program. The longest run is this weekend or next. The real test of your medal is here.

If you’re going to change anything, now is the time to do it. If the shoes don’t feel right anymore, get a new pair this weekend. Wear them on your long run and see how they feel. If you keep them clean, most stores will let you exchange them if they don’t work out.

If you’ve been eyeing a new brand of gel, try it on this weekend’s long run. Start eating your race day breakfast before each long run. Maybe try eating your race day breakfast a few days a week and see how it settles. Gastro issues are pretty easy to manage if you know what works for you and stick with it.

This weekend, load yourself up with everything you plan to run with on Marathon Monday. Make sure you have pockets for all of your gels, water bottles, glide etc. You don’t want any surprises or additional stress in Hopkinton.

Now that the weather is better [ above oº ] try wearing the clothes you plan to wear for Boston. Several times that I have run Boston, it has been in the 50’s. I also ran in 2012 when the high was 85º. You never know what you will get.

If it is possible wear what you plan to wear for Boston on the rest of your long runs.

marathon tips from Kara Goucher, training

 

Sunday I’ll have a video of Ryan Hall and Monday I’ll post some stuff from Meb.

These runners are amazing. Though we may never rise to their level, we can learn a thing or two from them.

This video is only 1:36, so pay attention!

Have a great long run this weekend.

Andy

The March is on!

The March is on for 50 5Ks!

I’m a little behind on the count right now, but with spring and summer running right around the corner I should be able to make it.

My first 5K in March was the Smuttynose Palooza in Salisbury, MA.

March 7th was a cold day with a race time temp of 21° and a real feel temp of 14º. I was bundled up pretty good in anticipation of the conditions, and I had it about right.

I always feel like all of the clothes hold me back. The running tights constrict my movement and the wind pants are bulky and catch the wind. Some people run in shorts in these conditions, but I can’t do that.

Smuttynose Palooza, 5k race, running, the march is onOut of 848 runners I came in 51st with a time of 21:53.9. In the Male 50-59 bracket I came in 8th.

The guy who won our age bracket was 55 and finished 90 seconds ahead of me. The time difference between the #1 guy and the #10 guy in our category was 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

I’m the guy in orange in the back.

My second race in March was the Running of the Leprechauns in Medford, MA.

This was a local race for me and makes up for the 80 mile round-trip to the Smuttynose Palooza race.

The forecast called for rain and possibly snow. Just before race time it was 33º with light rain. It was a little chilly, but we were able to stay inside of the Elks Lodge until just before race time.

For this race I wore tights and running shorts. It was little cool standing around, but worked well during the race.

I lined up about 3 back from the front with my friend Don Keren. Don is training for Boston and had a long run scheduled for Sunday. He didn’t plan to run hard but ended up in 3rd place in our category with a time of 23:49.

5k race, medford 5k, the march is on

Being this close to the front, the start was very fast. We sprinted down Washington Street and took a quick right onto Park Street. On Park Street I could still see the lead runners and the lead car.

I watched as the leaders took the right onto Riverside Ave. Once I got onto Riverside I pushed a little harder, but began to lose sight of the leaders. I passed a few people and then we turned right onto City Hall Mall, passed City Hall and took a left onto Salem Street.

In Medford Square we took a right onto Forrest Street and passed the Post Office. With all of these turns I focused on getting the corners right and avoiding pot holes and puddles. The sand and gravel on the street made the corners a little tricky. If I cut them too close I had to slow down to avoid slipping.

Just after the Post Office we hit mile 1 and I was at 6:40. The thought of a 21 minute 5K crossed my mind.

Unfortunately, the 5K race really begins at mile one. All of the easy energy is used up and fatigue, doubt and questioning set in.

My legs began to feel tired and I wondered if I went out too fast. Could I keep up this pace?

My mouth was dry and I think I had that sticky spit hanging from one corner of my mouth. I was running like a dog!

I had to keep clearing my throat to breath and my lungs felt less than 100%. Nothing hurt, it was just race fatigue setting in.

the march is on, medford 5kBy this point in the race I was with a small group. As we ran down Lawrence Road we began to pick off a  few people. Three or four of us traded the front spot a few times. Then we took a left onto Governors Road.

This section of road had the only significant elevation in the race.We went over a 47 foot “hill.” It was enough for me to solidify my position with the group. By the time we were heading down the hill I was in the lead. At the corner a young female runner slipped past me on the left. She took the corner more efficiently than I did.

Just before we took the left onto High Street we hit mile 2 and my watch said 7:22. I was concerned that I had slowed by 42 seconds. We had negotiated a bunch of turns and run the “hill”, but I was concerned that it set me back that much.

We ran through Medford Square from High Street onto Riverside Ave. I started thinking about how far down this street the next turn was and how close would that turn be to the finish. I had not studied the map in detail, but was generally familiar with the area.

As we ran down Riverside Ave a T bus was now in front of us. I wondered how many stops it would make and how much that would mess with us. We all moved to the left side of the road and the bus just went away.

A guy who passed me earlier dropped his hat and stopped to pick it up. I think I put about 20 seconds between us while he retrieved his hat. A few guys with some gray in their hair passed me and I figured any shot at an age group placing were shot.

I pushed on knowing I had less than a mile to go. Nothing hurt, I was just tired and my lungs were burning. I knew I was pushing myself hard; beyond what I needed to do. But I needed to do it. Nothing hurt, so why let up?

We took a left back onto Park Street. I began to look for the left onto Washington Street. I could see it in the distance but it looked like everyone was running straight. When we got there that’s what we did also!

We ran up to Franklin Street and then took a left for the last quarter-mile of the race. When we hit mile 3 I didn’t look at my watch. I was to busy running my ass off.

I didn’t have much to toss on the fire at this point. My mouth was dry, my lungs were raw and my legs were wobbly. So I pushed harder.

I ran the last 0.08 miles at a 6:15 pace. I have no idea where that came from. Mile three I ran at 7:12, so I was able to recover a little bit from mile two even on depleted legs.

As I approached the finish line I could see 21:33 on the clock. So close to the 21 minute 5K, but a sub 22 minute 5K was within reach. My legs were steady and my form was good. I sprinted as hard as I could the last 100 yards to the finish and managed a 21:40 finish time.

I felt really good about that time and knew that I left it all out there and didn’t give up for a moment. The conditions were pretty good, I was dressed right, properly hydrated and fueled.

It was probably as close to a perfect race as I have ever run. No mistakes and I ran the course efficiently.

I waited for Don to finish and cheered on a few runners. Don was crossing the finish line in no time. We went inside for some food and waited for the awards. Don was pretty sure that he had placed in our age group.

After last week in Salisbury, I wasn’t as confident that my efforts would put me in the top three.

Unfortunately, they only had awards for the top finisher in each age category. Don came in third with a time of 23:49. He was right.

When they got to our age bracket, they called out my name! I was first in the Male 50-59 bracket! I was totally shocked. I’ve placed 2nd twice, but never first.

I got to go up and receive my medal from the Mayor. It was pretty cool. We’ve met several times before and chatted before the race.

Then I got to stick around with the other age group winners for a photo. When I looked up for the photo there must have been a dozen smart phones trained on us. Pretty cool stuff.

Full results at Race Menu.

 The March is On!

I have 5 5ks this month which will help me catch up. One race is 4 miles and another is 5. But they both have a 5K in them, so they count.

Run well my friends,

Andy