Running for the Thrill of it

My friend Rob Denault (admitting that Rob is a friend – wow that’s a first) wrote a blog recently that I really liked (oh boy – two shocking statements in one sentence, this post is off to a WILD start). Jokes aside, Rob wrote about his motivation for being an elite athlete (click here to read) and summed it up by saying his goal is to “empty the tank.” His blog prompted me to reflect on my own answer to the question:

“Why am I doing this running thing?

This question has been on my mind a lot lately. Especially early in the track season when I haven’t found my racing legs and don’t have any results to show for months of training, I have doubts and occasionally worry that I’m wasting my time.


As a results-driven person, it’s difficult to focus and work really hard on something without concrete feedback that you’re making the right decisions. I like feeling accomplished and knowing where I stand. School gives you grades, work gives you projects/deals, and running gives you races. “Gives” might be too generous a word, but whether these are accurate measures of achievement or not, they’re established metrics that I’m used to.

1064403222I’m also used to working hard and succeeding. Running scares me because I don’t have any guarantees that I’m going to succeed. I know, I know, you can never truly have guarantees – but when you’re getting marks back/feedback on projects, outcomes seem more predicable then when you’re standing on the start line and have no idea what the next few moments will bring.

Similar to Rob’s “empty the tank” mantra I feel like I need to follow through on what I’m passionate about. It’s remarkably rare to find something that you’re genuinely excited about. Something you’re so invested in that you don’t have to try to find motivation to care about it because you just do.When you find something that makes you give a crap you should stick it out.

It could be a job, school, activity, or person – it could be anything. I love Mike Manson’s article (click to read) about how people are obsessed with searching for their passions, but real passion doesn’t need to be hunted for because you’re already doing it. He argues that the things you’re passionate about are what already fill your thoughts and hours, they don’t seem like chores, and you might not even notice you’re skilled at it them because it’s your second nature.


I want running to be that thing I am so good at. While I don’t know if I’ll ever make the Olympics, or run a two-minute 800m, or be a Senior National Champion, I do know that I love to imagine it. I know I want to do it everyday and I know I need to follow that feeling. Saying it’s your goal to make the Olympics is respected/”understood” by people – which seems weird because so few people can actually relate to that. But it’s more relatable than saying “I’m really passionate about running two laps on a rubberized surface”. Additionally, running creates the opportunity for me to travel to new places and spend time with some pretty awesome people. So why not keep running?

It’s rare that something grabs your attention and holds on, making you feel alive and giving you purpose. I might be changing my tune when I have more responsibilities… But for now I intend to make the most of every authentic interest I find already have.

xoxo Devan

PS Thanks for reading!



The Energy Bar Bachelorette: FINALE!

And the winner is…

I’ve found love and I want to tell you all about it. Similar to every contestant on the Bachelor I did have some last minute anxiety over picking the right partner. Choosing one bar to rule them all is a BIG DEAL and I take my commitments very seriously. But I couldn’t let my devoted readers (you) down so I had to make up my mind and listen to my heart (and stomach).

The Elimination of ONE Bar


The first step was taking the final three down to the final two. This is when I realized what I already knew: ONE Bar isn’t the one for me.

It’s expensive, American, and artificial. While their vast array of dessert flavours are enticing, they aren’t catering to an athletic lifestyle and I don’t think we’re a great match.

It’s not them… it’s me? (JK it’s them).

The Final Two: Simply and SoLo

On paper Simply has it all. The bars are all natural, have 15g of protein, and come in a variety of flavours. Simply is also a Canadian brand and was recommended by my nutritionist. Eating a Simply bar felt like being set up on a blind date with someone who “checks all the boxes” but for whatever reason there’s no spark.

product-fan-whey-500The thing about love (in my wizened 24 year-old opinion), is that you can’t fit it in a neat nutritional information box. Love changes what you think you need and can’t be defined by what you thought were “dealbreakers.”

I wanted to feel excited about Simply, but I just wasn’t craving them. After eating it I wasn’t satisfied – I was left wanting something more….

SoLo Bar: Changing my plans

I need a bar that sustains and brings me happiness. I LOVE snacking – my boyfriend calls me Chomper for a reason –  and I need a bar that when I remember it’s in my bag I get a flash of pure unadulterated JOY.

I think I’ve found this with SoLo Bar.

When I started this blog series I wanted to find a single protein bar that met all of my (perceived) nutritional needs. I was looking for a bar to eat after track workouts that had 15g of protein, that was low calorie and low sugar. While polyamory did cross my mind (different bars for different kinds of training), I knew my snack experience would be more meaningful if it was with one brand only.


I was so set on finding a bar for post workout that I had blinded myself to my other protein needs: snacking and pre-workout. In fact, I realized I should make more of an effort to eat a meal right after working out – instead of eating a protein bar in addition to a meal an hour or so later. I was also set on the idea that low sugar was the way to go, but now I understand the benefits of natural sugar as a quick source of easily digested energy.

Mother knows best

I introduced my mom to SoLo and she was ready to commit before me. Despite being an elite runner in University, my mom had never had a protein bar before I started my quest for the “perfect” one. When we were hiking in New Zealand I gave her a Kirkland bar to power her up a hike and she was less than impressed. While she said the energy was exactly what she needed, it was a chore to chew and felt like she was eating out of necessity vs. enjoyment.


Mother/daughter snack team

I suggested she take SoLo on a snowshoe with her and that sealed the deal. She likes the “peanut power” but her favourite flavour is “lemon lift”. She’s off to Iceland in a couple months for another hiking expedition and she’s bringing an army of SoLo bars with her.

What’s Next for me and SoLo?

do-you-love-me-or-notI’ll be chomping on SoLo bars before races, when I need a snack, and to tide me over after practice if I don’t have time to eat dinner within the hour.

I reached out to SoLo to find out if they could love me back… Stay tuned for details on a potential partnership?!