Thirteen miles is not very far, especially when you're training to run more than 30. And so you try not to glance at the Garmin, try not to indulge in constant debates about whether this thing is on, or am I really going that slow? (It is, and you are.) But it's dark, and there are roots, and rocks, and mud, and you're awkwardly dancing around the trail in your neat little rubber soled flats, telling yourself that you're working stabilizer muscles, and visualizing that Running Times video about Geoff Roes slogging around the Alaskan wilderness at Grandma pace.
But you keep going, because running more is probably the best cure for hobbyjoggeritis (a sudden inflammation of one's innate slowness). Also, your car is that way, and so is a bathroom, and food.
This is an unsolicited review, or endorsement, which is probably good. Reputable companies would probably not send me things if I rambled about my muddy stumbling as the appetizer to discussing their fine product. Which leads me back to the run, and back to the car which waited patiently at the trailhead. In it, there was food, because I never carry anything on my runs (not so much a purist as lazy).
Larabars make good post-run eating. They're tasty, portable, and satisfy whatever food related neurosis you choose to indulge in. Dairy free! Soy free! Vegan! Gluten free! And the ingredients are all, well, food. Just food. You wonder how it all rolls up in to such a convenient little rectangle, and how it ends up tasting like something other than a dry wad of neo-hippy health food.
Larabar has a line of chocolate infused bars, called Jocolat. There is an accent mark over the "o", which I can't replicate, so you'll just have to pronounce it like you would normally. As with their other products, the lead ingredient is dates, followed by some nut pastes. This gives you a healthy infusion of fiber, monounsaturated fat, and a little kick of protein. The dates also provide a bonk-breaking 21 grams of ohgodwherehaveyoubeenallofmylife sugar.
This one adds coffee beans to the mix, and it's killer. It's satisfyingly unsweet, the cocoa allowed to shine in all its deep, complex glory, with whole beans adding both crunch and flavor. It's tempting to say the bar is like eating a mocha, except it's really nothing like that. This is cocoa, not Hershey's syrup, with not a gram of added sweetener beyond the aforementioned dates. And you don't have to drink a bucket of milk to get the benefit.
While I tend to leave it as a post-run treat, the applications are myriad. It's a healthy candy bar substitute, for your inner child/fat chick; and you could certainly do worse for a rushing out the door breakfast. And there are antioxidants, which is cool. I'm very against oxidants these days. They are so over. File this one under "things I like".