Battling ourselves

“Its like a self-defence mechanism that backfires and actually causes us harm.” 

Time to grab the chicken by the neck and move forward friend! Ok – mainly used that because I have a rubber chicken at the desk…and its good for a cover blog image—but shut up and keep reading.

Straight forward, brutally honest stuff from this runningdad today. Its a quick blog spewing about mental health, depression and anxiety. It comes from someone who has always found the mental aspect of running the hardest (made me stop or drop out of races) and from someone who went down to the very dark bottom of the barrel mentally after a divorce, the transition of becoming a dad and just a hard time in my life – I dealt with anxiety, stress, depression (maybe some male post-partum)(still researching) – and I nearly killed myself. So I have been there. So listen up.

I took on my mental health and negative outlook on myself and life and attacked it like a project, a battle – something I needed to win. I was tired of being tired, tired of feeling worthless, negative, pessimistic and without direction.

Take a moment form feeling sorry for yourself and keep reading – admit it, that is what anxiety and depression make us do.

You are battling you

Its like a self-defence mechanism that clicks on when we are stressed and overwhelmed. It is trying to protect us from potential harm, embarrassment, risk—perceived, not necessarily true. It is like our brain is trying to shelter us from the dangers our worry has created for us. Worry because anxiety and when we spiral into a pattern of negative thought that freezes us from action —stuff builds up. We then get more overwhelmed and burrow further into self-pity, inaction and negative thought. We also look for any small tidbit of proof that validates our position. Not moving feels easier and safer than the risk of doing something to crack the thin cage of fear that traps us.

  • We are our worst enemies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low self-confidence
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not getting it right
  • Doubt
  • Stress

All these things can freeze us. Depression and anxiety stop us from moving. It is our brain overthinking, trying to protect us from failure and harm – that in the end causes more damage.

Battling back

One thing you have to realize that for change to happen, you need to change, You need to do something. One step at a time. Start by simply getting out of bed, or sending a message to a friend. Try going for a run to clear your head. DO, don’t think about things people have suggested will help. DO, don’t try. Battle back, You are worth it.

  • Realize what depression and anxiety is
  • Reach out and talk
  • Start a journal
  • Get counselling
  • Talk to a life coach
  • Practice positive thought (it takes practice)
  • Meditate
  • Exercise (it helps)

Remember also that when we think we are worthless, a disappointment to others – it is seldom true. We are the ones who are the hardest on ourselves. We see the weaknesses, the failures or failures to come. Question your perceptions. Has anyone actually said anything to you? Are you simply full of shit and reinforcing your depression’s alibi to keep you hostage?

I have been there friends. I still have low days – but I battle on, I run on and I share here.

Hugs from afar, keep lacing up and reach out anytime.





Greetings from Watopia

“Treadmill running can be  a mind-numbing boring training session – something to make it more interesting is welcome.” – Noel Paine

Guest blog review by Jeremy Whalen (On Instagram: sixrunfeast). Jeremy is an avid runner, home cook and sports fanatic. His new blog highlights a hungry runners life spent balancing kilometers and cravings.



Its called a Zwift Run Pod.

The Zwift website describes it as: “Are you ready to run? Just grab the Zwift RunPod and you’re halfway there. Our new RunPod connects to your device so you can train at home or on a gym treadmill. Experience running with a community and you’ll see treadmill workouts in a new way! And you’ll even get to experience new routes in worlds like New York that are for runners only.”

  • Easily pairs with Zwift via Bluetooth
  • Calibrates within Zwift and is always ready to go
  • Measures and broadcasts speed, cadence and distance
  • Includes a standard CR2032 battery that’s easy to replace
  • Product weight: 13g



  • A treadmill
    A footpod or connected shoe
    Note: The Zwift RunPod is one of the easiest ways to get up and running on Zwift.
  • A device to run Zwift

Zwift also has a Youtube video to help you get setup.



I’d planned to run 30 minutes and give Zwift one last chance to shape my opinion. The time on the screen has just hit 44 minutes, the treadmill under my feet is finally crawling, my Twitter has stopped. Any doubt in my mind about the power of Zwift was gone.

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Just over a month ago when I picked up the Zwift pod from Noel, I was a bit taken aback. The orange box was surprisingly small, sleek and a bit underwhelming. I immediately wonder what was missing. Inside there was a battery, a Zwift RunPod and some setup instructions. I inserted the battery into the pod, ignored the instructions and went looking for a pair of shoes to jump on my treadmill.


After a quick account setup process, I was calibrating the pod and discovering Watopia, Zwift’s private island. As someone who grew up a gamer, the graphics are impressive. My runner is kitted up, and he stands by the road stretching while he waits for me to finish my prep. As I start the treadmill he starts walking, then trotting along with me as we take our first run. The first run is slow, as recommended, while I get used to the user experience and the incredible amount of data being displayed.


As I’m running along, the app pings at me. I’m startled. I almost bite it. I grab the hand rails, gather myself and carry on. My Zwifter hasn’t missed a stride, he’s in mid-turn, another experience I’ll need to quickly adjust to. As we move into the next turn, I look away from the screen, so my brain doesn’t think I need to lean into it, we both carry on without falling.

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Another chime from the system, I’ve gained points. This is exciting! Like so many hours spent in front of the TV in my youth, my Zwifter is levelling up. The only difference now is that I’ve earned it with some serious cardio.

A few runs into my Zwift experience I start to push the software doing workouts, joining in on group runs and trying using the built-in workouts to keep up with my training. Then frustration strikes. A couple runs in a row my runner simply stops. I’m running along at a healthy pace, but my screen reads 0.0mph. I’m ready to give up on Zwift.

I head upstairs frustrated and I’m quickly humbled. I still haven’t read the simple one page instructions and now, blaming Zwift for my problems, I learn that I never set up my pod properly. It’s been tied too low!

I vow to start always reading all the instructions. At least when it comes to new running gear!

After a month of testing Zwift through evening and weekend runs, challenging it on a long run here and a workout there, I can honestly say I’m thrilled. Whether you’re like me and already believe in the power of the treadmill or you need a serious boost to beat that basement run dread, the app really does offer something for everyone.

I love the fact that the points allow you to unlock more outfits, paths and content. Pushing you to reach the next level so you can match your runner to your own personal style or explore a new regions of Watopia. The pursuit of these points has even helped me extend my cooldowns an extra quarter or half kilometre a time or two, something I usually cheat on while running outdoors.

The experience is nice. The bigger the screen you use, the better. An iPad, MacBook or Apple TV are perfect, while the smaller screen of my iPhone had its limitations. Swiping away those mid-run Twitter notifications, setting down my phone a bit too hard and locking your screen and all together closing the app a mile in caused me some early frustrations.

Overall, as this Ontario winter looks like it might never end, running around a volcano in the sun is a great change of pace from Netflix and miles. The guest worlds like New York and London let your mind wander while putting dreams of future marathon pursuits in your head.


Maybe someday I’ll be able to escape these late March snowstorms to run my intervals along a beach or through these international cities. Until then, Zwift has won me over.

The Zwift Run pod retails for $29.99

Connect with Zwift!

Zwift website:

Instagram: GoZwift

Twitter: @GoZwift

Thanks to Jeremy for the amazing guest blog! Run on my running friends!

Being Brutally honest

“Like can be like any long trail run, there are usually ups and downs. That brutal climb usually is followed by a downhill, you may groan, stumble but you swear and carry on. Sometimes you question it all and almost stop.”

The day is dark – its mid-April and its snowing and freezing rain outside and my mood is grey too – seems a good day to reflect on another dark (much darker day).

A tale of my darkest days

“When you are in the darkest hole and the blackness closes in, when depression has its claws in you, you have one choice. To break the hold, to see the light, to clear your mind you have to make a move. You need to raise a foot to kick a hole in the darkness till it bleeds daylight.”

Its me. The Canadian runningdad. Runner, dad and Depression survivor and advocate for healthy, active living and for mental health. I have talked before about my journey in life as a dad and my tough time dealing with a period where I battled depression. I, however, was never brutally honest or detailed about my darkest days. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to share. I am fairly open about my story. It has been quite a while now and I feel so far away from that dark point in my life. Maybe by sharing more it will help others, perhaps by opening up more it may help me.

So here it is.

My marriage had broken up. I was having difficulty transitioning to being a dad (I learned later that maybe this could be called male post-partum depression – but not sure), was now dealing with living in an apartment alone, seeing my daughter every second weekend and working at a job that stressed me out and I had no interest in.

I was becoming more and more depressed. I went through the motions at work and home and tried to keep busy and positive. My joking around at work became more sarcastic and negative – even my running was providing me little joy.

At my apartment, I felt alone and isolated. I had no family nearby (or even in the province) and have no real close friends I live close to or did things with. I would get home from work and it would be quiet and lonely. I felt no sense of purpose or direction, no reason for going from one day to the next. Paying child support, having to move into an apartment and buy a car to pick up my daughter from daycare pushed me financially and stressed me out. Netflix stopped keeping me distracted and conversations on the phone were not enough. Food lost its appeal. Social media kept me connected with people but was not enough.

I knew things were going downhill but did not know what to grab on to, to stop the slide.

After our initial separation, my ex and I got along well enough to sit in a friendly manner and work out a divorce but that was still stressful, tiring and tough.

It just kept getting darker in my mind. I looked for reasons to get up. I took a few mental health days from work.

I loved my daughter but found being a dad hard, tiring and ate into what little time I had to relax/enjoy. Now when I had my daughter I had to do everything by myself, could not find a babysitter even to go to the store…it was tough. People have it tougher – I am simply telling you how I felt.

The darkest day

The memory is blurry – you would think it would be crystal clear as a pivotal point in my life but its not. It was a weekday – I can’t remember if I had taken some time off from work or if I had been in to work the day before. Getting up in the morning had become a battle. The distraction of work and routine no longer —distracted my mind enough.

I can’t remember if the really dark thoughts crept in during the night or early morning. I just know they did. Things went from feeling shitty about life to really questioning why I was around. My mind told me that the world and my daughter were better off without me – that I had no direction, purpose or anything to look forward to. All I could see was a lonely, monotonous, dreary existence where I constantly struggled and got nowhere – working at a job I cared little about and living somewhere I did not want to be – far from friends and family.

I reached a point. I went from thinking about how pointless things were to really thinking about how to end my suffering. I had friends and family but no one close. I rarely saw my parents (once a year if lucky) and most friends were at a distance and seldom met in person. I had made some poor choices, not been honest with myself and although generally tried to be a good person, had my faults, mistakes and regrets. I could see no reason for being around, living. I started thinking about how to end my life. Not just the topic, but how I was going to do it.

I was being a coward. I was running away from my life and problems. I know that and I knew that then – but I wanted out. I thought about all the ways, — sorry this gets dark– hanging myself, jumping off something, carbon monoxide etc. I did not just allow a quick thought to go by – I was really considering the options and weighing out what was possible and what I had the guts to do. I stayed in bed. I did not go to work. It was a very, dark horrible place of self-pity, thoughts of killing myself, despair, listlessness.

Because I am anal retentive and was still just unselfish enough to not want my manager to worry – I emailed and said I needed the day. I had moved. I was up. I was not safe but it had made me think. I did not have a history of mental illness, I did not have anxiety or deal with depression before this – but like in running, the mental aspect was always toughest for me.

I knew I needed help. Besides the likelihood of me being successful with a suicide attempt were slim – which as also depressing at the time. The only thing that saved me was reaching out. It was a simple action – but it was enough. The responses and tiny or big gestures from friends and family and from the social media community —-people will never know how much they did for me.

Reflection and Recovery


You can read on my blog about how I recovered and used friends, family, counselling, meditation, a life coach and everything I could find to fight my way out of my dark place. I got out. I battled hard, really hard and spent time looking at why I had gotten there, who I was and wanted to be and the reality of my life.

Where I am now

I am in a much better place now and have tools to fight off any depression and am so much stronger. For me the dark grip of depression and a mental health battle was a short-lived one. It is not something I struggle with daily. I am lucky.


This blog is not one where I offer tips – check out some other very personal blogs from this skinny runningdad for tips and how I battled. This is simply more detail on a very dark day. Perhaps it will help others realize they are not alone, that talking and taking little steps away from the abyss is all they need to do to keep going.

Keep reaching out friends, defeating depression is about doing something, breaking free of its grasp, moving forward and finding a positive purpose in life. You are never alone.

Find the positive in yourself and life.

Live, love, laugh and carry on.

Run on friends!

The amazing Amazfit

“I love running and love when something simple on my wrist can add to the fun.” 

A Runningdad review of the Amazfit Stratos muli-sport GPS watch

It has been a while since I received this cool watch from Amazfit to test out. Well, I have worn it, have tested it out and now its time for its review. I had not heard of this brand until stumbling across them online and on social media. This is how the watch faired in runningdad testing.

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This was the first really new style of GPS watch I have worn. I had the first Garmin watches and then I have worn, owned and tested a number of Polar watches. All the watches have been decent and Polar is extremely reliable and I really like the VO2max test it uses on the M430. But the watches even though colourful had dull screens and fairly simple readouts. This is the first watch that is flashy, has all the tech and includes a wrist-read heart rate. I was excited to test out.


The Amazfit Stratos watch is one cool looking piece of wrist-wear. It comes in a very nice, solid box and the watch feels just as sturdy. Its all black (solid strap) with large but not enormous watch face and watch case has carbon-fibre look. It has 3 buttons on the hand-facing side and a HR-sensor on the bottom (along with 3 charging anodes). The watch face changes as you have the choice of a number of pretty cool options.


Cost: $229 US


  • Water resistance
  • Alarm
  • Notifications from your phone
  • Amazfit App for phone
  • Measures steps
  • Can play music from your watch to bluetooth earbuds
  • VO2max fitness level analysis
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Transflective always-on color touch display
  • Pretty cool graphs of activity, HR etc on watch and app
  • Scratch-resistant tempered glass
  • Durable silicone watch strap
  • GPS tracking for: running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, mountaineering, trail running, triathlon, tennis, soccer and skiing.
  • Through a partnership with Firstbeat this watch also measures maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), exercise load (TD) and recovery time. All data can be synced and made available in Strava.

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The watch is comfortable and strap sturdy and I had no issues with comfort. I wore for running, walking, snowshoeing, at the gym and for everyday life. I liked the sporty, yet classy look. The watch survived all my sweatiness, the cold up here in Canada (some -30 days) and the sticky fingers of my 3-year old. I liked the ability to change the watch face – you can also even upload your own image if you want!


The watch looks nice, is comfortable and like the wrist HR option. The watch has more colour and I like the readouts and info displays better than other watches I have had. Here are the pros and cons from my perspective:


  • Easy to use
  • Great info from your runs on watch and app
  • Love the ability to play music from watch
  • Super quick to get GPS signal
  • Accurate wrist heart rate
  • Fun with multiple watch faces
  • Uploads automatically to Strava
  • Can get texts, notifications etc from phone


  • Low battery life (with notifications)
  • Charger can be a bit difficult to set watch in

Honestly – had a lot of fun with my watch. For me this was like going from a Blackberry phone to m,y first Android – I did not realize what I was missing! Watch has a super competitive price for what it does, has LOTS of bells and whistles and love playing with. Only downside for me was how quickly all the whizgigs, updates etc. sucked the juice from the battery. You can turn off notifications but still be nice to have a battery where I could get updates and be able to go for really long runs or ultra runs and have battery last.


Great watch for runners, marathoners or fit folk but not for ultra runners and just be aware you will need to charge regularly if using all options and running with GPS every day.

*They also make simple watches and fitness trackers that are worth looking at.

Amazfit website:

Social media:  Twitter @Amazfit FaceBook


World Litter Run

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –  Mahatma Gandhi

WHAT IS #WorldLitterRun?

Stop, drop, dunk and make a difference! Shout out about it after with #WorldLitterRun!

The world is filled with litter and there are more and more people roaming our planet with every second that goes by. One Canadian runner decided to make a change and is now spreading his message around the globe; about his World Litter Run.
Runners are often those who spend more time than others on the roads and sidewalks dodging and running through litter strewn by others. One Canadian runner decided to stop, bend down and make a difference while out on a run.

Luke MacDonald, a runner, dad and part owner of the running store, Aerobics First in Halifax, Nova Scotia had an idea. It was an idea that sprung from the panic and anxiety he felt one day after running by so much litter on his run, usually something he did for stress-relief. The idea was to pick up the garbage along your regular running route. The first run was on Luke’s birthday with friend and they collected 19 bags of garbage on a 5k run! Others found out, liked the idea and before long, a National Litter Run was organized. The idea caught fire and kept burning and spreading.

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Luke is a runner, dad and part owner of the running store, Aerobics First in Halifax, Nova Scotia had an idea. It was an idea that sprung from the panic and anxiety he felt one day after running by so much litter on his run, usually something he did for stress-relief. The idea was to pick up the garbage along your regular running route. The first run was on Luke’s birthday with friend and they collected 19 bags of garbage on a 5k run! Others found out, liked the idea and before long, a National Litter Run was organized. The idea caught fire and kept burning and spreading.

Through word of mouth and social media, a Canadian Litter Run has spread and is now a #WorldLitterRun with people in many countries participating and make their streets and world a bit cleaner with every run. The little litter run in Halifax took on a more global vision.


In addition to World Litter  Run, Luke has been involved with or started other projects such as, Fit-It-Forward, raising money and finding businesses donate shoes for the homeless, Sparks Fly, raising money to place stationary bikes in classrooms to help kids get active and help them learn, helping the local Gambian Association raise money for schools and  community centres and has raised money and awareness about making water barrels that can be pushed available to countries where water is often carried in buckets on their heads.


One small action can often create a chain-reaction. Luke is an example of this. While out running, stop to grab a piece of litter and realize you are helping create change.


#WorldLitterRun is April 30th this year (2019) – but Luke says every day is #WorldLitterRun and that it can be celebrated on every run.

In 2019 – why not help out with the Tim Horton’s sponsored Pitch in Week (April 22-29) where Canadians are encouraged to make a difference and make their world a little greener and cleaner.


Run, pick up litter, take a picture of the difference you are making and use the hashtag #WorldLitterRun.


Luke on Facebook:

Luke on Twitter: @LukeShoeFitter

About World Litter Run: Here!


Listen to Luke on my runningdad podcast where we chatted about #WorldLitterRun!

*Luke is a very humble runner who at age 54 is chasing a 20-minute 5k time. He insisted I not mention he is a former 32-minute 10k runner, so I have not. He is an active member of the Nova Scotia running community and an inspiration to many in his community.


Making a sporty running frame your everyday set of glasses

“Your glasses often define your look and how you are perceived. If you are a runner why not have glasses that reflect that – and can be used for work and play!”

I am a runner, a dad and a communications professional. I am also someone who often hates changing glasses for sunglasses and needs to see (with prescription lenses) when I am trail running. I have funky Rudy Project Zyon frames which I briefly talked about in an earlier blog here. I sometimes wear sunglasses without prescription on really bright days or when I am not concerned about roots and rocks on a trail run – but having my trusty Rudy Project glasses on my face 90% of the time has been an amazing experience. Love them!


What I like

  • They look cool and suites my sport personality
  • They stay on my face when running (grippy adjustable arms and nosepiece)
  • Durable and no paint to chip
  • Better coverage than most glasses
  • Transition lenses make easy to wear as glasses on sunny days


*The Zyon (above) has little wings on the arms that can add extra coverage from wind etc or be taken off. I removed mine and normally wear without.

Why go Rx sunglasses frame

Rudy Project has a number of prescription (Rx) options but I did not want flip ups or clip ins – I wanted something that was just like normal glasses but was funky, sporty, functional and could be used at the office and for running.

Rudy Project RX options.


How to make it happen

  1. Frame: Find a frame on the Rudy website that you like and has the possibility of Rx lenses (not all models). Contact Rudy about any other frames not obviously listed as available for Rx.
  2. Prescription: Get your Rx updated at your optometrist.
  3. PD: Get your Pupil Distance (PD) from your optometrist. It is the distance between the centre of each pupil of your eyes. This can often be difficult to get from an eye exam – at least in Ontario (Canada) – the PD is not a necessary part of your Rx and is usually measured by someone in the dispensary (who sells glasses) (Many optometrists are co-located with eyeglasses stores). Be nice and they may give you – or perhaps go to an optometrist who is not co-located with a store (they want you to use your PD to buy glasses there).
  4. Online: Submit all your information online and pay and wait! In Canada Rudy seems to come via Purolator and if they cannot deliver to a mailbox they will hold or can send to a nearby pick-up location.
  5.  Insurance: Most health insurance plans will cover the cost of the eye exam and then you will have to check whether they will cover cost of frames and lenses. Most plans cover cost of frames bought from an optometry clinic but may not from online – you will need to check this out.

If you need help locating a Rudy dealer, they have a locator to guide patients/athletes to professionals for their RX work. Only Optical Locations can assist patients with multi-focal or Progressive lenses. Optical locations can honor Insurance plans, if necessary
Rudy Project honors a $50 rebate when an RX job is done through an authorized dealer through Rudy Project.

The optical jobs take, on average, 7-10 business days for completion (Canada: Please include additional shipping time, depending on your proximity to Southern California)
We use the lab, ICOAT, based in Santa Fe Springs, to digitally surface our RX lenses.


I love my Zyon frames but have decided to try out another frame – it has been a couple years and have chosen to go even funkier and going with the AirGrip frame in blue! Life is short – why be dull!


A runningdad review of the AirGrip is coming!

Life and running can be unpredictable my friends – grab life, shake it for all its worth and squeeze all the fun out of it that you can. Live, laugh, love and smile out there!

The fastest shoes in the World

“Running is a simple sport and the only real essential gear for most of us are shoes.”

Okay so to make them the fastest shoes in the world someone needs to run a world record in them or some such thing – but they are the lightest.

Get this, the shoe weighs 3.52oz!!!! (To give perspective that about the weight of 3.5 envelopes!)

Let me introduce you to the Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro!

So I heard about this insanely light shoe from Reebok and had to find out more. I inquired and soon enough a box arrived from the friendly folks at Reebok. Little did they know that they would have to wait a few months for this busy runningdad to get the blog review done!



Here are the details of what makes up the shoe and what Reebok recommends you use it for:

  • Materials: Engineered mesh to offer support and breathable flexibility
  • Best for: Racing, intervals, tempo workouts, neutral foot strike
  • Floatride foam sockliner for lightweight comfort
  • EVA sockliner for lightweight comfort
  • Ultra thin high traction outsole for optimal grip
  • Floatride Foam is significantly lighter than traditional EVA foam, for soft, lightweight cushioning
  • Bootie construction for a comfortable sock-like fit
  • 3.52oz. 6mm Drop
  • Best for: racing, intervals, tempo workouts, neutral foot strike
  • Materials: single layer engineered mesh upper and Floatride Foam technology for superior cushioning
  • Product code: CN7006
  • Product colour: White / Solar Yellow / Black



I liked this racing flat. The fit was comfortable and despite being insanely light and with minimal midsole and upper material it felt like a solid shoe and cushioned my foot well.

  • Silly, silly light – like you are not wearing anything
  • Comfortable fit for my feet
  • Decent width at forefoot (I have average foot width)
  • Snug heel but thin heelcup
  • Outsole has just enough material and lugs for road racing or track

Running on it felt better than some other lightweight racing flat I have worn and did not feel like I was standing on the road with nothing underneath and di not feel like I had no cushioning underneath. I was instantly impressed.

I went for a few quick runs and it felt as close to barefoot running but with some cushioning underneath as I have ever felt. I pushed off hard, slowed to 10k pace and still felt good. Impressed.


Its the Floatride foam used in the midsole that really is the thing to focus on here. The foam was actually used by Reebok to design lightweight, cushioned shoes for NASA astronauts (article). Impressive. When the upper is just enough material to provide a little support and be comfortable and then the outsole is just enough material (little bits)—it makes for a ridiculously light shoe —did I mention its light?!


The Floatride racing flat weight 3.52oz…lets compare that to few other racing/light shoes you may know.

  • New Balance 1400                  7.90oz
  • Mizuno Wave Ekidan 11       5.2oz
  • Brooks Hyperion                    6.6oz
  • Brooks Wire 4 Track Spike   3.9oz


Love the fit and comfort and cushioning. I love the lightness and feel on the run (for someone who is lean and relatively light on my feet). Its basically a running/racing shoe that weighs a little less than a light track spike that you can run on the roads with.

I would recommend this shoe for efficient, quicker runners who are looking for an amazingly light racer shoe to squeeze seconds from their times. For $300, its not cheap but definitely worth it. You will see me with this shoe on for some races, workouts and maybe time trials!


Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro

Reebok on Twitter: @ReebokCanada

A Kenyan runner with a dream

“Running is a brutal and emotional sport. It’s also a simple, primal sport. As humans, on a most basic level, we get hungry, we sleep, we yearn for love, we run.” – “Running with the Kenyans” by Adharanand Finn

I have lots of running friends all over the world. One new friend is a lean and insanely fast Kenyan who reached out to me via social media. He is looking to race and race fast. He is currently training in Iten, kenya with some of the fastest runners in the world.

Bernard Chemugo

Bernard is a fast Kenyan runner and knows my friend Justin Lagat (fellow runningdad and writer).  His hometown is Marakwet, Kenya and he dreams of showing his potential and speed on the roads in North America. He is looking to race and race hard. He says his focus is the half-marathon and his goal is sub-60!


5’6″ 56kg (123lbs)

Coach: Joseph Apermoi

Personal Bests

  • 5K           14:57
  • 10K         28:58
  • Half:       62:57 (on a hilly course in Kenya)
Winning the Hastings half marathon


You can connect with Bernard via his Facebook account.

Mental Health Birthday Run

“The strength of two or more is always stronger than going alone.”

My birthday is at the end of the month and I have in the past few years gone on ultra runs to think, celebrate and try and do some good on foot at the same time. This year is no different. Age 40 it was 258km in 2.5 days along the Rideau trail, age 41 was 100km along the Prescott-Russel trail, ripe age of 42 was 42km with my good friend Gesine (who I had honour of helping to run 200km from Montreal to Ottawa in June) one November evening. I am 43 this year.

I intended to run 143km for my 43rd year here. A challenge, a chance to run with friends and to celebrate life, not giving up and raising awareness about mental health and that we are all never alone. Well 143km I will do another day – this year it will be something that others can join me for.

Both myself and Gesine Freund invite you to join us for our 43rd birthday run for mental health in Ottawa. Life is worth living!

How to join me

Join me at the start or anywhere along the route. We will try and run at the pace of whoever joins us. It is a run about never being alone, friendship and life. I will try and post via social media (Twitter @NoelPaine and @Gesinef).

The Run

  • 43-kilometres for 43 years
  • Saturday October 27, 2018
  • 7am start at Michael Budd Park in Blackburn Hamlet (Gloucester)
  • Blackburn Hamlet into Ottawa along paths and city streets
  • Will be teaming up with my good friend Gesine Freund
  • IF we feel crazy once we reach 43k we may go for another 43k – but TBD.


The Route (Ottawa)

  • 7:00   Michael Budd Park to Innes Rd.
  • Tavette St. to Greenbelt pathway
  • Continue on to Ottawa River Pathway
  • Sussex Drive past Rideau Falls
  • Path along Rideau River
  • 9:00   Across Union Street bridge to Stanley Park (17.6km)
  • Rideau River Eastern Pathway
  • Rideau River Pedestrian bridge by Gee Gees field
  • 10:00   Rideau River Nature Trail to Bank St. (25.9km)
  • North on Bank St. to Slater St.
  • Over McKenzie bridge to Stewart St.
  • 10:40   Stewart St. to King Edward (31km)
  • North on King Edward to Rideau St.
  • Up Rideau to North River Rd.
  • North River Rd. to McArthur Ave.
  • Right along Vanier to Donald
  • Donald to Cummings
  • Cummings to Cyrville Rd.
  • Cyrville to Innes Rd.
  • 12:00   Innes Rd. to Rondel (finish) (43km)

*Times in ORANGE are approximate times based on 7min/km pace (intend to run with whoever shows up – so could be bit quicker or slower.

The Cause

It has been another tough year of growth, learning, struggle, love and not giving up. Life is worth living. I have decided to promote an organization I have just recently learned of called Worth Living.



Worth Living (WL) was founded by Keith Anderson who battled back from depression and a breakdown and now talks about how life is now living. Sounds like a perfect fit to me. I am all about sucking the joy and energy from life and sharing and being positive – and promoting others who I think are doing good. Please check out what WL and Keith are doing.

*I hope to be a WL ambassador at a spring marathon where I am aiming for a 42.2km PB.

One step at a time my friends, focus on the positive, control what you can and do what you can with the rest, smile, laugh, love and live life!


Beating the Bonk with Bonk Breaker

“Nothing hurts more mentally and physically than running out of fuel in a race or on a training run – all your plans crumble away.”

Okay – its another Runningdad review! I do this to have fun, share what I find and promote great stuff that enhances the running experience! This blog is about another company that has fuel to help runners perform better, fuel up properly or recover from training.



Bonk Breaker is owned and operated by Jason Winn and Chris Frank. Jason and Chris are both elite level athletes in their own right, Jason a former Division 1 college football quarterback turned triathlete, and Chris a Category 1 Road cyclist. Since Jason and his Mom cooked up the first PB&J in the apartment kitchen, their mission has been to create the “World’s Greatest Nutrition Bars”. By combining great flavors with simple, fresh ingredients they have a lineup that includes 14 unique flavors of Energy and Protein Bars.


Their Philosophy

Bonk Breaker Nutrition products embody a whole foods philosophy of creating simple, high quality, REAL food ingredients into great tasting bars, chews, and hydration products that provide both a delicious snack and a competitive edge to fuel the active lifestyle. Made with 10-12 REAL ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce, all Bonk Breaker® products are Gluten Free.

In my own words (much above peeled from their website) Bonk Breaker is about trying to make tasty, real-food based nutritional bars for active people.




I started with the Nutrition bars (9-12 Ingredients | 4-6g Protein | Gluten Free | GMO Free | Vegetarian Friendly) and tried some delicious flavours (Banana cream and PB&J). The texture for each bar changed a bit but they were all really tasty and easy to eat. They do not taste fake and were easy on my stomach. I ate as a healthy snack during the day and after a few runs. I really liked the PB&J option. Were they the best bars I have ever had? Not sure – but way up on the list! The nutrition bar has a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio  and aim is to provide sustained energy to fuel you through the day. Worked for me.

The protein bars were also a nice tasty post workout fuel. Once again – not amazingly different than other bars I have tried over the years – but natural ingredients and taste would have me leaning to Bonk as opposed to others.

Like all their products – they demonstrate thought behind what is put into their products. The protein bars use a  blend of pasture-raised collagen protein & grass fed whey for an all-natural, low calorie, low carb protein bar.


The strawberry chews with caffeine from Bonk folks were easy to eat, tasty and seem to give a bit of energy (like supposed to) – but did not really notice the caffeine kick (but seldom do). They were good and very similar to other brands of chews in size, shape and texture. Very good but not a lot different than others you may have tried. The natural ingredients might be the difference.


Organic tapioca syrup, organic sugar, organic tapioca syrup solids, pectin, citric acid, potassium citrate, color added (organic black carrot concentrate), white tea caffeine, natural flavor, ascorbic acid, sea salt, organic sunflower oil, carnauba wax.

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Check out all their products.

I loved the taste of everything I tried! In conclusion – being really straight forwared and simple — great guys behind these products, tasty, natural and well thought out and my stomach had no issues with them. Worth buying and testing out!

Listen to my Runningdad podcast chat with Bonk Breaker co-founder Chris Frank.

You can find Bonk Breaker on their website ( and on social media:


Keep on lacing up friends and keep living life to the fullest!


*If you have a story to share or a product you want me to test – give me a shout!