Monday, December 31, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Movember

Yes folks, I am attempting to grow the stache for Movember. If you know me, you will understand that I completely lack the ability to grow facial hair. I started a week ago because I need a head start.







Before you ask, YES that is hair on my lip and not dirt.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Excuse me whilst I strut

Please excuse me while I blow my own horn.

Today's lunch run started like any other.  About 75 degrees but overcast and very humid and pretty windy.  I was just planning to go out for 4miles at my normal easy pace which these days is 8:30 or so.

My garmin was fluky early in the first mile and didn't really grab the right distances but settled out by about a 1/2 mile in.

For the first mile I was just running.  Started out creaky as I do every day but somewhere along the way I realized I was flying and it was easy.  Like I was coasting.  When my watch beeped at one mile I just kept it up enjoying the feeling. 

Mile one to two:  Still feeling good with only a little effort.  My pace was hovering around 7min/mile plus or minus and I couldn't believe it.  Along the way, I started to wonder what would happen if I pushed it for a mile.  The watch beeped at the mile 2 split and I glanced down and my split was 7:02.  WTF?  That was by far the fastest mile I've ever run.

Mile two to three:  I still felt damn good so I decided to drop the hammer as much as I could.  I was working pretty hard and definitely was not at a conversational pace.  My form, however, still felt pretty neutral and free wheeling.  At the mile 3 beep I looked down and almost fell over.  6:34 minutes!!!!!

Where the hell did that come from? I gave myself a well earned cool down and headed in with a giant smile on my face.

End of horn tooting.

Cheers! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Merrell Mix Master 2 Trail Shoe


When I was running my first Ultra at the Pineland 50K, my feet took a beating.  I wore my Trail Gloves (review here) and they performed spectacularly with one small exception.  My issue was that I had been running daily for about 105 days straight at that point (Part of the 120 day streak) and had developed a little bit of a sensitive bruise on my right foot.  The last 5 miles of that 50K were up and down long hills and the downhills were really punishing because every step was pain.  I was really wishing for a bit more protection.

Enter the Merrell Mix Master 2 generously provided by the good folks at Merrell.  Shown here with the Barefoot Train Flux Glove Sport (review coming soon).


Here are the nitty gritty details from the Merrell.com website

Made for transitioning through multiple adventures, our minimalist Mix Master multi-sport shoe lets you experience your BareForm™ while offering lightweight cushioning. With a 4mm heel to toe drop, its thinner, lighter midsole cushions while getting you closer to the ground for better control. The lightweight air mesh upper with bellows tongue fits snugly to keep out debris.
UPPER / LINING
• Strobel construction offers flexibility and comfort
• Synthetic leather and air mesh upper
• 2 mm EVA insole for comfort and shock absorption
• TPU overlay provides a secure fit
• Bellows tongue keeps debris out
• Reflective elements on the heel and forefoot for added visibility
• EVA anatomical footbed treated with Aegis® antimicrobial solution

MIDSOLE / OUTSOLE
• Low profile midsole 9 mm heel / 5 mm ball = 4m Drop
• Merrell Float™ midsole is 10% thinner and 25% lighter to provide more feel and ground control
• Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
• Forefoot shock absorption pad provides metatarsel protection
• 3 5 mm lugs for more street to trail feel
• Merrell Mix Sole / Sticky Rubber

Men’s Weight: 8.1 ozs (1/2 Pair)
What all of this really sums up to is a pretty darn good trail shoe that provides way more protection than Merrell's Barefoot line but still gives you some of the benefits of a barefoot shoe.

My Personal Experience:

I was a little hesitant about these shoes before getting them for two reasons.  The first is that they have a 4mm drop or heel-toe differential.  For most of the past 2 years, I have not worn a heel on any shoe and my knees have never felt better.  I was really worried about reintroducing that heel and the possibibility of knee pain.  I'm happy to report that I never noticed a difference with the heel on the trails.  I haven't used these on flat roads so I don't know if it would make a difference there.  The second concern was that the Mix Master 2 is constructed from a different last than the Merrell Barefoot line.  What this means in English is that the Mix Master 2 has a little more of a traditional shoe shape with a narrower forefoot.  In this regard, I am happy to report that the shoes fit me fine and I have never had anything approaching a blister though I do wear socks with these bad boys since they DO NOT have a sockless liner.  

Lest you think I wear rose colored glasses for Merrell and only see puppies and rainbows in their shoes, I will tell you about my one problem.  

The lacing was a bear to get right for me.  For my first few runs, I couldn't get it tight enough to keep my toes from jamming into the front on the downhills despite squeezing my foot to death.  This was really bumming me out because I was loving having the wonderful foam and rock plate on the rocky descents.  If only these shoes had the super awesome bestest Omni-Fit lacing system like the Trail Gloves, all would be right with the world.  Please Merrell, Please!
Merrell Trail Gloves with Omni-Fit Lacing

I was pondering this on a trail run when I thought about the lacing tricks that hikers do to get the hiking boot fit just right.  I came home and found a site on lace locking and my problems were solved.  In effect, the lace locking creates a localized Omni-Fit area.  


I can now get the tightness just right to keep my foot held back and not crush my entire foot in the process.  I highly recommend lace locking and have been experimenting with it on my other shoes as well.


Conclusion:  
I've logged about 100 or so trail miles on these shoes. My longest run was an 18 miler with a few 13 milers thrown in there too.  I've run some rugged rocky technical trails, some flat fire roads, and some steep hills.  The shoes did great under all conditions.  They allowed me to really dig into the uphills in spots where my Trail Gloves just didn't have the grip.  The foam and rock plate have allowed me to open up on the downhills and push to the edge of my control which is freaking amazingly fun and scary.  They are like a bullet proof vest for your feet.  And they go great with a Sport Kilt (click here for a review).
Pros:
  • Rock plate and foam.  As my Altra wearing cousin tells me, "Embrace the foam side."
  • Lightweight upper makes them a fairly cool wearing shoe.
  • The bright green (Parrot) of my pair just looks fast.
  • 4mm drop was not noticeable on the trails.  YMMV
Cons:
  • Not the Merrell Barefoot last.
  • Tough to get the lacing tightened correctly without lace locking.
Cheers!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Running Naked on Sharp Pointy Stuff: Another Zaps FREE SHIRT Giveaway!!

Krista did our Team Squirrel Wipe shirts for Pineland 50K.  Get some.

Running Naked on Sharp Pointy Stuff: Another Zaps FREE SHIRT Giveaway!!: You wanna free shirt? Today is the day!   I've been saving up every penny of every commission earned from every sale of every shirt so...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: Sport Kilt Hiking Kilt

To jump right to the punch line, my hiking kilt is absolutely my favorite piece of clothing that I've worn this summer.
Technical Details:
The Sport Kilt Hiking Kilt is unique in the Sport Kilt line in that the material is microfiber. What that means is that it is extremely light weight and breathable which has proven to be great during the hot New England summer. It is so lightweight that you might need to wear underwear on a windy day so take that into account if you are running in a family oriented race. Aside from that, it comes standard with a few features which add to the comfort and wearability. There's an elastic waistband which does a wonderful job of holding the kilt in place while still allowing you the breathe. There is a hidden pocket in the Velcro closing waistband that does a great job at holding my car keys. The Hiking Kilt also comes standard with sewn down pleats which means that the top 4 inches are sewn down. The result is a very slim fit over your hips. I know that sounded a little too Project Runway but I think it makes a hugely positive difference in the way it hangs. You can also get optional hidden poskets though my particular kilt doesn't have them. The rest of the construction is all kilt. An apron up front and pleats around the sides and back. I've washed the kilt about 3 times in the 1.5 months I've had it and it still looks great. A simple cold machine wash and air dry is all it takes. If the pleats lose their crispness, you can snap them back with a cool iron. Just be careful not to get the iron too hot since microfiber will melt.

Wearing experience:
For the most part, I've worn this kilt for bumming around the house after work. 100000% the most comfortable article of clothing imaginable. Go #TeamNoPants! I'd estimate that 4 of 7 nights per week are spent lounging in this kilt. I wear it so much that my wife and kids are actually no longer phased by it and consider it a normal quirk of mine. progress! I've also worn the kilt around town on a few occasions to go grocery shopping or run a quick errand. I spent about an hour at the grocery store one Sunday morning with a huge stupid grin on my face because I was walking around basically naked and nobody could tell. It also makes a brilliant changing garment after a run. You can change right out in the open.

Running Experience:
I'll be honest here. It is been so freaking hot here this summer that I have not run in much of anything but my short shorts. Go #TeamBI3! On the few occasions that I've run in my kilt, I have been really pleased. It flows absolutely perfectly. Nothing binds or pulls. If you have ever imagined running naked, running in a Sport Kilt Hiking Kilt (in full on traditional style) is pretty close but you won't get arrested. The one minor drawback is that the waistband can get a little hot and sweaty since it's almost 2 inches wide.

Conclusion: If you are comfortable with your manhood, give a Sport Kilt a try. I promise you will enjoy the Freedom! Note: Sport Kilt also makes kilts for women. Women in kilts are HOT! They make kilts for kids too but I couldn't really figure out how to include that in the prior statement without sounding creepy.
Disclosure: my Hiking Kilt and also an Original Kilt were provided free of charge by Sport Kilt but I will definitely buy one in the future! Look for a review of the Original as soon as the weather cools down enough to wear it.
- Cheers!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The summer of Shoes!

Summer of 2012 shall now be know as the Durtyfeets summer of shoes. In just the last week, three pairs of shoes have been delivered to my house for me. I will soon need to seek out local runners with Men12 feet looking to transition to minimal so that I can keep the collection manageable.

So far this summer, I've gotten:



Merrell Road Gloves. I did a prelim review on a pair I got from Jason but these are new. These have so far been my high mileage shoe.




New Balance Minimus Road Zero. Didn't like these at first but I've given them a few extra miles to break in and they have earned a spot in my rotation. Review coming soon.





Merrell Flux Glove Sport in blue and Merrell MixMaster2 in funky green. These just arrived last Thursday right before my vacation and I took both pair as my only running shoes without ever having run in them. I'm that comfortable with Merrell Barefoot shoe fit. I put about 20 miles on the Flux Glove and 6 miles on the MixMaster2 so far. I am impressed as usual and I know these will be in heavy rotation in my collection. Besides, that look freaking awesome. Review coming soon.




And last but not least, Original Luna Sandals with ATS laces were waiting for me when I got home today. I haven't run in them yet but I'm hoping to get some time in this week. Review is definitely coming.

My inner shoe geek is very excited. The shoe that would really cap off a great summer would be the Merrell Vapor Glove. That would be icing on the cake.

Now I just need to knuckle down and write some reviews.

- Cheers!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Barefoot Heresy

Today was a perfect day for a barefoot run at lunch. It was cloudy and 71 deg and the road in the office park was freshly paved. Absolutely PERFECT conditions to run barefoot. It was nice to take the shoes off and get out there but it was different. I was coming off a rest day and I had fresh legs and they wanted to fly. My form just does not permit fast while barefoot. Instead of punishing myself and getting a hot spot from pushing too hard, I just plugged along enjoying myself and lost in thought. Along the way, I realized something about myself.
 
I'm not a barefoot runner anymore. I've been running barefoot on and off since July 2010. I've done a few races including a barefoot half marathon so I have the experience. However......
 
I love to run more than I love to barefoot run.
 
I run because I enjoy running. I enjoy running on trails. I enjoy running long distances. I enjoy running fast (for me) when I feel like it or I'm running with my speedy friends. Barefoot hinders all of those.
 
Were I to try any of the above with no shoes on, I would enjoy it less. Period. I like the error margin that my minimal shoes give me. I know I can slow down on trails if I'm barefoot but that wouldn't be as fun. I know I can build up my endurance to run long while barefoot but I don't really want to put in that effort. I know I can work on that last little bit of my form to get faster barefoot but again, I'm just not that passionate about it.
 
Lots of people in my circles talk about using the least amount of shoe for a given terrain or circumstance. In other words, barefoot is the default and shoes are tools. I completely agree with this but I think at this point in my life, I tend to prefer a shoe so that my overall enjoyment is maximized. Of course, my shoes are all as minimal as possible.
 
Please don't kick me out of the Barefoot Runner's Society. I'll still run barefoot sometimes. :-)


 
Cheers,
Durtyfeets

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

120 days of running- a wrap up?




This is me roughly at the start of the 120 day challenge back in Feb. I'm not certian but I weighed somewhere between 205-210 lbs. I was in decent shape logging about 12-15 miles per week and felt pretty good about it.

Since then, I have run every day for 120 days straight.




This is a picture of me from my 120th run today.

From a numbers perspective, here's the breakdown.
Days running:120
Total miles logged: 482
Average distance per day: approx 4miles
Longest single day: 50Km (31 miles) Ultra-marathon
Weight at the start: 205 to be conservative
Weight after 120 days (today): 176 lbs.
Total weight loss: 29 lbs and I have found 4 out of my 6pack.

I have benefitted hugely from the challenge in a number of ways that are not quantifiable. I've discussed some of this in my midway post. but here are a few new ones.

- Rather than sour me to running, this challenge has only deepened my passion. I can't image stopping any time soon. Sure I might take a day of eventually, but I really hope that running and specifically trail and ultra running is a part of my life for a long time.

- I'm waaaaayyy more conscious about what I eat in an unconscious way. The weird part was that this happened naturally. As I started to build endurance and fitness, my food cravings changed. I just realized that I basically eat a quasi-Paleo diet now without even thinking about it. It just happens to be the food that is appealing to me now. I can't even fathom eating a bowl of pasta at this point and would rather eat a giant salad.

- I have come to the conclusion that I really want to see others realize some of the benefits I've seen. This is the pay it forward stuff. This is happening both actively and passively. I am actively trying to get kids into running in my community through the 100 mile club (100mileclub.com) and I'm taking every opportunity to help folks run with better form. In a passive sense, there are a lot of my family and friends who are either getting into running, returning to running, or amping up their workouts. I'd like to think that my journey and my incessant Facebook posts have had a small something to do with that. One place where I'm 100% sure I am a major influence is with my 6 yr old son. This spring he has completed his first 5K and his first trail race. I'm so proud of him and I hope that some day he can pace me when my wife lets me do a 100 miler.

Bottom line is that I am not even remotely an athlete or a superhero. Anyone who can put one foot in front of the other can do this.

Try it out. It doesn't have to be 120 days. Give it a try for 30 days. I bet you get hooked!
- Cheers!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A birthday run in your birthday suit - sorta

 

So it's your 41st birthday. You've had a pretty good day. The family had a small cake for you and now the kids are in bed. It is 50 degrees. It is drizzling like a Scottish moor and it is dark out.

What are you to do? <<Cue the Al Green music>>. Alright, yeah there is that but I am also on Day 119 of 120 days of consecutive running. There's a streak to maintain damnit. I've got to run at least a mile.

It's my birthday so I feel the need to go just slightly over the top.

So what do you do when it's rainy and cold and it's your birthday? Run in your birthday suit.... With a kilt on!

I
My Stillwater Thrifty Kilt is just a tad too big now that I've lost some weight so I had to wear a belt for insurance. It stayed up like a champ. Thank God because I forgot to wear anything underneath. :-)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes folks!

- Cheers!


 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival Race Report - Part 1. The short races

My family and I arrived in Freeport, ME on Friday night for a weekend of running. My two kids are 6 and 2 and both love to run. My wife wants to love to run and really tries to like it because she loves me. My college buddy Jabbar had come up from Virginia to run with me in the 50K ultra. It would be a first for both of us.

Saturday was really hot and humid at Pineland for the shorter distance races. We got there early and went to say Hi to Jason and Shelly Robillard who were in town to run and help out Merrell. The races Saturday were a 5K, Barefoot 5K, 10K and the 5K Canicross where you run 3.1 miles attached to your dog. The Canicross is absolutely hysterical and chaos ensues immediately. Apparently, dogs too have nervous bladders during races.



My wife and 6 yr old son ran the 5K which started at 11AM. I'm very proud of them both as this was their first trail race.


My daughter and I were doing the barefoot 5K that started at 11:10. My daughter is 2 so she rode in the jog stroller.


Our plan was to run our races and I would catch up to Pam and M at some point and run in out with them. The barefoot 5K was listed as a premier barefoot event in Runners World and it didn't disappoint. The course is fairly barefoot friendly and whatever barefoot hazards are there are easy to spot. Unless you are pushing a jog stroller. The addition of the jog stroller amped up the difficulty considerably. The uphills were not runnable due to footing. The downhills were killer because I had to brake the stroller. The stroller also hampered my ability to see the hazards to some extent. All that said, it was a blast and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


Photo Credit: Maine Running Photos

We ended up finding M and Pam at the aid station but A and I continued since she was getting a bit antsy. Somewhere along the way, she fell asleep and slept through our 36:30 finish which is pretty good considering the difficulty added by the stroller. This barefoot experience just adds to my esteem for my friend Adam who ran the 50K barefoot in less than 6 hours the next day. He is badass. But I digress, Pam and M crossed the line looking strong shortly after us.


Photo Credit: Maine Running Photos

We stuck around for beer and food and enjoyed the party that is Pineland. The Pineland grove (start finish area) is a giant old timey BBQ party. It is awesome. For an addicted runner such as myself, this place was like an opium den. Race Directors Erik and Ian put on one hell of a show. M even got to show all the grown ups his good running form during Jason Robillard's Bareform clinic.


My wife was finally able to drag me out of there and we went back to the motel to clean up before venturing into Freeport with Jabbar for dinner and LLBean.


How else would LLBean celebrate their 90th anniversary but with a giant BootMobile.

Unfortunately, my wife developed a touch of food poisoning and spent most of the evening sick. I was concerned for her and called Jabbar to tell him it was likely I wouldn't be racing in the morning.


Since this is titled Part 1, I'm sure I've blown the cliffhanger aspect. Spoiler Alert: I got to run in the 50K

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival.

- Cheers!

Location:Pineland Farms - New Gloucester, ME

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Done: 120 Days into the 120 days of running: the minutia

DONE!:  120 days into this thing and now I'm an Ultra Runner.  Sheesh.  Details below.

OK, so I've recently gotten in with the wrong crowd. They are very persuasive and ninja masters of psychological manipulation.
My first evidence of the ninja power came when I signed up for my first Ultramarathon at Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival with the help of this group.
Now, the Facebook crowd has spawned the 120 Days of Running Challenge which is basically to run every day for 120 days. The minimum is actually 1 mile and you can even walk it in a pinch. 
So, what the hell...  I'm in.
I'll use this post as a journal of my running starting today and update it as I go.  I'll also be participating in the Facebook group to share in all the dumbassery that ensues.
120 day challenge started for me on 7Feb2012 and ends on 6Jun2012 which is the 68th anniversary of D-Day. It also spans the Ultra so the 1 mile run after 32 miles should be fantastic.
________________________________________________

  1. 7 Feb 2012 - 4.8 miles at lunch with Scott. Wearing my Road Gloves.
  2. 8 Feb 2012 - 3.0 miles at home. Wearing my Road Gloves
  3. 9 Feb 2012 - 3.8 miles at home. Wearing my Road Gloves
  4. 10 Feb 2012 - 6 miles at lunch. Wearing my Road Gloves.  Form was beginning to suffer towards the end.
  5. 11 Feb 2012 - 1 mile total.  Rest day.  1/2 mile to the dentist in my Vivobarefoot Off Road Hi boots and a last minute 1/2 mile before bed barefoot on the treadmill to preserve the streak.
  6. 12 Feb 2012 - 8 cold miles in the woods wearing my virgin second pair of Trail Gloves.
  7. 13 Feb 2012 - 3.4 miles in my Invisible Shoes
  8. 14 Feb 2012 - 1 mile on the treadmill barefoot
  9. 15 Feb 2012 - 2.9 miles a t home. Wearing my Road Glove
  10. 16 Feb 2012 - 5 miles at lunch. Wearing my Road Glove
  11. 17 Feb 2012 - 3.8 miles at lunch.  Rocking my Evo IIs.
  12. 18 Feb 2012 - 2 mile hike with the family.  A little running due to kid chasing
  13. 19 Feb 2012 - 11.5 miles on trails with Trisha and Heather.
  14. 20 Feb 2012 - 2.8 miles of trail hill repeats wearing the Road Gloves.
  15. 21 Feb 2012 - 4.8 miles at lunch.  115 to go.
  16. 22 Feb 2012 - 4.0 miles in my huaraches.
  17. 23 Feb 2012 - 3.8 miles at lunch.
  18. 24 Feb 2012 - 1 miles on the dreadmill.  Rest day
  19. 25 Feb 2012 - 6 quick miles on the trails
  20. 26 Feb 2012 - 5.5 quick miles on the same trails.
  21. 27 Feb 2012 - 4.0 miles at lunch
  22. 28 Feb 2012 - 2.9 miles at lunch.
  23. 29 Feb 2012 - 4.0 miles at lunch.  Snow was falling.
  24. 1 Mar 12 - 2 miles on the treadmill for rest day
  25. 2 Mar 12 - 4.8 quick miles on snowy sidewalks.  Fun.
  26. 3 Mar 12 - 2.9 miles racing to beat sundown
  27. 4 Mar 12 - 5 miles flying on the road
  28. 5 Mar 12 - 5 miles at lunch with Scott.
  29. 6 Mar 12 - 1 recovery mile
  30. 7 Mar 12 - 5 fast miles on a beautiful spring day.
  31. 8 Mar 12 - 4 miles at lunch.  So warm, I had to loose the shirt.
  32. 9 Mar 12 - 1 mile  
  33. 10 Mar 12 - 1 mile
  34. 11 Mar 12 - 10.5 miles on the trails
  35. 12 Mar 12 - 3 miles at lunch.  Barefoot baby!
  36. 13 Mar 12 - 4 miles at lunch.
  37. 14 Mar 12 - Ran 3.7 miles which is a little greater than Pi.
  38. 15 Mar 12 - Ran 3.0 miles barefoot at 42degrees and cloudy
  39. 16 Mar 12 - Ran 1 mile barefoot in the treadmill 
  40. 17 Mar 12 - Ran 2.5 miles with Pam on the trails 
  41. 18 Mar 12 - Ran 1 mile total.  1/2 mile with Amanda 
  42. 19 Mar 12 - Ran 3.0 miles barefoot 
  43. 20 Mar 12 - Ran 5.0 miles 
  44. 21 Mar 12 - Ran 2.9 miles barefoot  Running total is 152.3 miles 
  45. 22 Mar 12 - 2 miles at track night with intervals.  Ouch
  46. 23 Mar 12 - 4 miles on a beautiful afternoon.  Still sore from track night.
  47. 24 Mar 12 - 1 mile
  48. 25 Mar 12 - 1 mile
  49. 26 Mar 12 - 4 miles on the road
  50. 27 Mar 12 - 1 mile
  51. 28 Mar 12 - 5.2 miles at lunch in the rain.
  52. 29 Mar 12 - 2.5 miles coaching at the track
  53. 30 Mar 12 - 5.2 miles top taper for 15K tomorrow
  54. 31 Mar 12 - 9.3 Mile PR in the TVFR 15K
  55. 1 Apr 12 - 9.5 miles on the trails for recovery.
  56. 2 Apr 12 - 1 mile in the 'mill
  57. 3 Apr 12 - 4 miles at lunch
  58. 4 Apr 12 - 5.1 miles at lunch
  59. 5 Apr 12 - 2.25 miles at track night
  60. 6 Apr 12 - 4 miles at lunch.  213.3 miles total so far.
  61. 7 Apr 12 - 12.5 trail miles at dawn
  62. 8 Apr 12 - 1 treadmill mile
  63. 9 Apr 12 - 5.2 miles at lunch
  64. 10 Apr 12 - 2.9 barefoot miles.
  65. 11 Apr 12 - 2.9 miles dawn patrol
  66. 12 Apr 12 - 1.5 miles at lunch.  freezing 40 deg, Thunder, Hail, Downpour.  Bailed out when co-worker offered me a ride home.  Redeemed myself with 3.5 miles in interval training later
  67. 13 Apr 12 - 3 miles barefoot
  68. 14 Apr 12 - 7.5 miles on the trails
  69. 15 Apr 12 - 3.1 miles barefoot at Boston Barefoot Running Festival 5K
  70. 16 Apr 12 - 2.9 hot freaking miles at 98deg in the sun after working Hydration at the marathon
  71. 17 Apr 12 - 4 miles at lunch
  72. 18 Apr 12 - 2.1 rest miles.
  73. 19 Apr 12 - 5 miles at lunch
  74. 20 Apr 12 - 3 miles barefoot.  Got yelled at.
  75. 21 Apr 12 - 7.5 miles of trail.  
  76. 22 Apr 12 -1 mile on the treadmill
  77. 23 Apr 12 - 4 miles at lunch
  78. 24 Apr 12 - 2.9 miles at lunch
  79. 25 Apr 12 - 5 miles at lunch
  80. 26 Apr 12 - 4 miles at lunch
  81. 27 Apr 12 - 1.5 miles at lunch
  82. 28 Apr 12 - 1 mile
  83. 29 Apr 12 - 26.25 miles on a trail 6hr.  Woohoo!
  84. 30 Apr 12 - 3 miles at lunch for recovery.  329.45 miles so far.
  85. 1 May 12 - 3 miles
  86. 2 May 12 - 3 miles
  87. 3 May 12 - 1.4 miles
  88. 4 May 12 - 3.75 miles
  89. 5 May 12 - 1 miles
  90. 6 May 12 - 3.2 miles
  91. 7 May 12 - 5.1 miles
  92. 8 May 12 - 3.75 miles
  93. 9 May 12 - 3.7 miles
  94. 10 May 12 - 3.75 miles
  95. 11 May 12 - 3.75 miles
  96. 12 May 12 - 5.8 miles
  97. 13 May 12 - 3.9 miles.   374.55 miles so far.
  98. 14 May 12 - 2.9 miles
  99. 15 May 12 - 4.0 miles
  100. 16 May 12 - 3.0 miles
  101. 17 May 12 - 4.0 miles
  102. 18 May 12 - 4.0 miles
  103. 19 May 12 - 5.0 miles
  104. 20 May 12 - 6.0 miles
  105. 21 May 12 - 1.0 miles
  106. 22 May 12 - 1.0 miles
  107. 23 May 12 - 3.75 miles
  108. 24 May 12 - 4 miles
  109. 25 May 12 - 3 miles
  110. 26 May 12 - Barefoot 5K at Pineland with my favorite little girl in the jog stroller.
  111. 27 May 12 - 50K at Pineland farms Trail Festival (31.5 miles) - My first Ultra!
  112. 28 May 12 - 1.5 mile recovery run
  113. 29 may 12 - 3 miles
  114. 30 May 12 - 4 miles
  115. 31 May 12 - 3 miles
  116. 1 Jun 12 - 3.0 miles 
  117. 2 Jun 12 - 2.9 miles
  118. 3 Jun 12 - 3.72 miles
  119. 4 Jun 12 - 3.1 miles
  120. 5 Jun 12 - 7.25 miles on Goat hill to wrap this thing up.






Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Liquidation Sale at Running Warehouse: wicked deals and awesome service

I'm a huge fan of runningwarehouse.com. They have pretty good prices and run some really good sales. Everything you order arrives with free 2 day shipping and they pay for the return shipping. Bonus if you are unsure of the shoes you are buying.
I recently ordered a new Garmin and some clothes times from their liquidation sale. I scored some short shorts (BI3s) for $19. As always I used my trusty runblogger.com coupon code (runblog10, thanks Pete) so I actually got them for about 17 bucks.
Running Warehouse posted a 20% off link on their Facebook page today on liquidation items. That would mean Brooks Infinity III shorts for just over $16 which is a steal for the fashion trend of the year. Go buy them now! Also, there are some 20% of minimal shoes on clearance too.
Double Your Savings! We've got two big sales this week: 20% off a wide selection of light and fast shoes, and an extra 20% off liquidation apparel. Hurry, sale ends Saturday, May 19 and is limited to stock on hand. Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.
Women's Sale Shoes: http://bit.ly/Jw1U6f
Men's Sale Shoes: http://bit.ly/JMQqYV
Women's Liquidation Apparel: http://bit.ly/JH3M9D
Men's Liquidation Apparel: http://bit.ly/JrCWDj



Anywho, I lamented on their Facebook post that I had ordered my stuff too early and missed out on a great deal since I had just received my order on Monday. Within 20 minutes, I had an email with a nice note saying that they were refunding my credit card an additional 10% to match the discount announced today.
That is some great customer service! cheers to you runningwarehouse.com

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running naked in the rain

It's 58 degrees and pouring and 8PM. I'm on day 93 of 120 days running challenge. I have to log a mile at least and I have a nice dry treadmill in my basement. I post on Facebook that I'm not looking to going out there. It doesn't take long before my crazy friend, whose opinions I value highly by the way, start saying "go out there!", "Running in the rain is awesome.", etc.

So, what's a crazy guy to do. Go run outside of course. Screw the treadmill.

Knowing that I was going to get wet, I went as naked as the conditions and the law would allow.

Short shorts, wind breaker, and sockless Trail Gloves.

I've run in the rain before but never at night in such heavy rain.


What a freaking blast! The rain on my legs, the soaked feet, and the sound of the rain amplified in the darkness.

Wet tshirt contest at the Durtyfeets house.

Go out there and run in the rain people!

 

 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grassroots "Active-ism"

 

Last Sunday, we had a 5K in town run by the PTA. I had the honor of helping to organize it.




I had such a blast on Sunday pacing Matthew in his first 5K (He's only 6 yrs old) and just as much fun running with all the kids. I ran it barefoot and even made the local paper. What a rockstar, right? :-)



If you looks at the pictures of me taken at the kid's race in thedailynorthbridge.com, you can tell that I was really enjoying myself.

You can also see the joy in many of the kids' faces. Running doesn't have to be about "no pain-no gain." For me, there is a little bit of that childlike joy every time I run. I would love to get others to experience that joy. Please excuse me if that sounds cultish because I don't mean it to be.



Since starting with the PTA 5K thing, I've been looking for a way to stay involved in the town and encourage everyone to be active. I think if we can make running fun and give all the kids a mutual goal, they will eat it up. If the kids get excited, maybe they will get their parents more active too.



Today, I contacted an organization out of California called the 100 Mile Club (100mileclub.com) after reading about it on Pat Sweeney's facebook page.

Essentially, kids sign up to run 100 miles during the school year and they track their progress either in the classroom or associated with an extracurricular activity. The woman who created it, Kara, was a teacher and developed it in her classroom. They now have hundreds of "coaches" running programs all over the country. It seems like a really great program and I would love to see this in Northbridge. I contacted them through their web page today just to see if they do anything out here in the east. Kara called me back within 2 hours and was extremely nice and energetic about the program. Long story short, I have an info packet on the way.



I intend to present this idea to the PTA and School and see who salutes.



-Here's to an active town! Cheers!



Photo credits to Deb Gauthier of The Daily Northbridge and to my wife.




 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

120 days of Running: Lessons learned so far

Way back in Feb 2012, some crazy people on Facebook started talking about running every day for a month as a fitness goal. Of course, the absurdity levels can never be predicted when it comes to my friends on Facebook. 30 days was quickly raised to 120 days. I got tagged in a message about it. I'm way too easy and buckle under the slightest peer pressure so of course I joined.

 

I wasn't sure what would happen but I told myself that I'd try it until it became not fun. Well here I am in Mid- April at Day 75 and I've learned quite a few things about myself.

 

  • Running every day is a mental and not a physical challenge: First let me say I'm lucky to be still healthy this far into the challenge. There are a ton of folks that got injured that had much higher fitness base than I at the start. I'm really taking the time to listen to my body and I'll stop if needed. The hardest thing about this challenge is knocking out the mile for the day when you just want to go to bed.
  • You don't have to be a superhero to do this: I've run 2 half marathons in my life and logged a high mileage run of 18.5. I don't have super powers. Or at least I didn't before the challenge.
  • Running every day is awesome for speed and endurance even if you are not training for either: I never would have imagined I could PR a 15K on Saturday and run 9 "recovery" miles the next day. As of today, I've run 13 straight days without taking a "rest day" of one mile. This was not intentional. It just felt right. When I started, I would need to rest every third day.
  • Running every day is transformative on many different levels: first off, I've lost 20 lbs during this challenge. I have never been in better shape in my entire life. My diet has changed though not really consciously. I've been eating a ton of fresh veggies and healthy food because that it what tastes good to me at the moment. I think my body is craving the healthy food in order to fuel the machine.
  • I'm 100% certifiably nuts about running: call it runners high, insanity, whatever. I can honestly say that I have not had a bad run in the last 75 days. There have been tough runs but they were still fun in their own way.
  • Good Form Running and minimal shoes have allowed me to do this: I'm convinced that changing my running style from heal striking to light and easy midfoot has enabled my habit. Physically, my body is not taking the pounding that it used to take and my feet are crazy strong. Mentally, running is fun in a way that I cannot even explain. Let's put it this way, if you gave me a choice between 2 beers and running 5 miles, I think I'd pick the running. I don't quite get it myself.
Lots more little lessons to think about but I have a beer and campfire to enjoy at the moment.

I look forward to learning a lot more about myself and having a ton of fun in this next 45 days.

 

Cheers!

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

We're not in Kenya so put some shoes on!

I run barefoot quite often when the conditions allow.  I'm not a barefoot zealot and quite frankly, I enjoy that little bit of protection that I get from my Road Gloves or huaraches.  That said, I love the feeling of running without shoes too, obviously.  

Barefoot running creates many different responses from folks as you run by with a smile on your face.  I've encountered 3 types of responses as of today.

Accepting or Awed:
I work in an industrial park and there are a few active people year round.  They all know me and have long since stopped whispering under their breath.  These people will generally smile and answer my always happy greeting. I'm sure they still think I'm nuts but they have written me off as that wacky shoeless dude.

Flippant or Snide Comments:
Typically these are the heal stompers at races or the construction worker along the road.  "Where's your shoes?"  "Watch out for the glass!"  "That guys is nuts."  "Why are you shorts so damn short?"  Many of you know this drill.

or Outright hostile:
For the first time today, I was "confronted" by hostility.  Don't get me wrong, this guy was not all up in my grill.  I had run by a landscaping crew and was about 100yds away when one of them unleashed this diatribe to his coworkers that was deliberately loud enough so I could clearly hear it:
Roughly quoted by fat dude who I'm assuming did not put on running shoes when he got done holding the mulch hose:  "They do that shit over there in India and Kenya.  They got dirt paths and desert that allows you to go without shoes.  We can't do that shit around here cause we got roads.  Put some shoes on!"

I was in way too much of a good mood to confront this guy it so I just glanced over my shoulder and waved.

The world is full of tools who think they know what's good for you. Screw em!

Cheers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bourbon Feet: Skechers GO Run Review and Giveaway.

Bourbon Feet: Skechers GO Run Review and Giveaway.: Skechers GO Run Before I get the review here's a little story of how I got to this point My History  Three years ago before the  t...

Monday, January 23, 2012

What the hell am I getting myself into? Running an Ultra

This weekend, my friend Trisha (barefootmonologues.wordpress.com) posted a small status update on Facebook wondering whether she had the chops for a 50Km Ultra.  She tagged all of our mutual FB friends who were either already Ultra runners or aspiring Ultra runners. Clearly this was a passive aggressive (probably the wrong term) way to get people to push her into signing up.

I was tagged as part of this and promptly started in with everyone else trying to get Trisha to take the leap.  I've personally been toying with trying an Ultra as well so somehow I managed to commit to running this thing too.  
The race we signed up for is the Pineland Farms Trail Festival 50Km.  Yes, that's right, I willingly signed up to run 31miles through the woods of Maine. My family thinks I'm batshit crazy but how crazy could I really be if as of this writing I know of at least 10 people who are or are planning to sign up for this.  If everyone around me is doing it, we can't all be crazy, right?
I have absolutely no plan for training at this point.   My only plans are to have fun, party, hang with a bunch of cool people, and drink some beers.  Smuttynose Brewing is a sponsor and will be giving free beer to all runners.  Who's crazy now? ha!



Oh, and the finisher medal is a cowbell and you always need more cowbell!
 Cheers!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Merrell Road Gloves: First Impressions

Way back in December, Jason Robillard, barefoot running nomad and all around great dude, posted a picture of a bunch of shoes on Facebook. I jokingly stated that I'd be happy to take some of them off his hands since he and I are the same shoe size.  It turns out that Jason was in fact looking to lighten his load of review shoes. His philosophy is to pay it forward to others to keep the message going so I enter a "shoe draft" with 3 other dudes who are lucky enough to be Jason's shoe size. In my draft slots, I chose the 4mm Invisible Shoe huaraches and the Merrell Road Glove which is the new minimal road shoe from Merrell. 

Several bloggers have posted reviews on the Road Gloves and I will also review them more thoroughly after a few more miles. 

Links to Merrell Road Glove reviews here
The painful wait for the mailman and the eventual unboxing
Today, the mailman finally delivered a package that I've been eagerly awaiting since Christmas time. 

Upon opening the box from Jason, I found the shoes and some Barefoot Running University stickers which you can bet will make it onto my car. The Road Gloves are Dark Cheddar which is pretty much orange. They are very much in your face which is how I like my running shoes since I'm an attention whore. 
Unfortunately, my floor makes them look even more cheddary but at least the flash brings out the reflecty thingie for you to appreciate. 
I've been running in Merrell Trail Gloves for a year (see my review here) and the feel of the Road Glove was very similar. They are built on the same last and have very much a similar fit. The Road Glove has a traditional lacing system as opposed to the Omni-Fit™ system used on the Trail Glove.  The shoe is very flexible as I would expect from a Merrell Barefoot shoe. The big difference is obviously the sole. Where the Trail Glove has a sticky feeling Vibram sole with fairly aggressive tread, the Road Glove seems to employ a harder Vibram compound with a less aggressive tread tailored for roads.  The upper is the same microfiber sockless liner from the Trail Glove though I tend to wear socks if for nothing else but to put up a stink barrier between my feet and the shoe.  The upper is a very light breathable mesh.
Reconstructed unboxing since I couldn't wait to run in them.pardon the dog hair.
The Maiden Voyage
It was crappy and slushy here in New England today but I needed to get these things out for a run.  I've been pining over these shoes since the fall.  The lack of the Omni-Fit™ lacing is the first negative I noticed when lacing up.  I really love the fit you can achieve with Trail Gloves and I attribute that mostly to the lacing system.  It's not as important on a road shoe but I like the custom fit that the Trail Glove gives me. The second thing that I noticed was a pressure on my right medial arch.  That's a shoe geek way of saying the inside of your arch. This is a widely reported issue with the Merrell last and I have experienced it with all of my Merrell shoes to date.  Fortunately, for me this pressure subsides after I've used the shoes for 20 miles or so as it forms to my foot.  
My footing was exceptionally sure today despite puddles and slush at every step. The shoe performed really well in the slush from a grip perspective.  My feet, unfortunately, did not stay dry as the Road Glove is about as breathable a shoe as you can find this side of a pair of huaraches.  I'm cool with that though because my feet stayed warm from running and I was not expecting the shoes to keep me dry at all. After 3 miles, I know these will be in heavy rotation as my road shoe for the foreseeable future. They will probably also be a casual shoe too so I can keep the attention whoring going outside of running. 
Thanks again to Jason for the shoes!
 Cheers!

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