Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twenty Tri Bikes Reviewed - Yes, 20 Tri Bikes Reviewed!

Just in time for your summer races, Triathlete Magazine reviews 20 new 2013 models of triathlon bikes.

Check it out right here.

Open up that wallet...they're not cheap.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Best Running Song for April - Spacehog - In the Meantime

What a great song. There's something about a Spacehog song...no matter where or when you hear one of their songs, it only takes about five seconds to identify it as Spacehog. They just have a great, unique sound.

This, of course, is their huge hit from 1995, In the Meantime.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that lead singer Royston Langdon actually was married to Liv Tyler. That's called "marrying above your station" for old Royston. I mean, marrying Arwen?!? Come on! Plus their son, Milo, has to be pretty well set-up, gene-wise, for singing stardom, with both Spacehog and Aerosmith genes awash in him!

One more great Spacehog song for your listening and running pleasure here: Mungo City. I first heard this song back in the day from grabbing a Spacehog CD, having no idea who they were, probably from a "12 for a Penny!" deal from Columbia House. Just a great album.

Rock that Run!

Past Best Running Songs: March: Youngblood Hawke / "We Come Running" February: Yolanda Be Cool / "We No Speak Americano" January: The Naked and Famous / "Young Blood" December: Of Monsters and Men / "Little Talks" November: The Black Keys / "Little Black Submarines" October: Cold War Kids / "Hospital Beds" September: Bloc Party / "Octopus" August: Matt and Kim / "Let's Go" July: Gemini / "Blue" June: Joe Jackson / "Got the Time" May: Tiesto vs. Diplo / "C'mon!" April: Grouplove / "Tongue Tied" March: Foxy Shazam / "I Like It" February: Foster the People / "Don't Stop" January: Hot Hot Heat / "Bandages" December: Camp Lo / "Luchini aka This Is It" November: Wolfmother / "Joker and the Thief" October: Phoenix / "1901" September: Matt and Kim / "Daylight" August: Collie Buddz / "Holiday" July: Pretenders / "Tattooed Love Boys" June: The Wombats / "Moving to New York" May: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros / "40 Day Dream" April: Foxy Shazam / "Unstoppable" March: Pharrell / "Fun Fun Fun" February: Puff Daddy / "Come With Me" January: We Are Scientists / "The Great Escape" December: Cee Lo Green / "F**k You" November: Tokyo Police Club / "Breakneck Speed" October: Two Door Cinema Club / "Something Good Can Work" September: Stone Temple Pilots / "Cinnamon" August: Louis XIV / "Guilt by Association" July: Devo / "Fresh" June: Saliva / "Your Disease" May: Metric / "Gold Guns Girls" April: OK Go / "This Too Shall Pass" March: The Hours / "Ali In The Jungle" February: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs / "El Matador" January: White Rabbits / "Percussion Gun" December: Deftones / "Knife Prty" November: The Kooks / "Always Where I Need To Be" October: At the Drive In / "One Armed Scissor" September: Silversun Pickups / "Lazy Eye" August: Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros / "Johnny Appleseed" July: Deathray / "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)" June: Raconteurs / "Salute Your Solution" May: Tea Party / "Save Me" April: Bloc Party / "Like Eating Glass" Ever: The English Beat / "I Confess"

Friday, April 26, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - May 2013

Sort of a slow week here, as Memorial Day Weekend isn't viewed as a running holiday like many of the other big holiday weekends. Still, there's nothing stopping you from racing one of the fine races below while also remembering the men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our country.

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


May 23rd / Pigtails Challenge Trail Run 200m / Renton, WA

May 24th / Pigtails Challenge Trail Run 150m / Renton, WA

May 25th / Pigtails Challenge Trail Run 100m / Renton, WA

May 25th / Ridgeline Ramble Trail Run 20k and 10k / Eugene, OR

May 25th / Soaring River Trail 50k, Marathon, 15k and 8k / Sammamish, WA

May 25th / High Desert Trail Run Half Marathon and 10k / Kuna, ID

May 25th / Happy Girls Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Bend, OR

May 25th / Hero Half Marathon / Sweet Home, OR

May 25th / Race Against Child Abuse Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / St. Helens, OR

May 25th / Redfish Lake Lodge Memorial Run Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Stanley, ID

May 26th / Coeur d'Alene Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k / Coeur d'Alene, ID

May 26th / Calgary Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Calgary, AB

May 26th / Run for Water Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Abbotsford, BC

May 25th / Cascade Duathlon Olympic and Sprint / Boise, ID

May 25th / SCHEELS Red, White and Blue Duathlon Sprint / Great Falls, MT

May 26th / Bigfork Whitewater Triathlon Sprint / Bigfork, MT

May 26th / Onion Man Triathlon Olympic / Walla Walla, WA

May 25th / Portland's Free Them 5k / Tualatin, OR

May 25th / Run for the Son 5k / Liberty Lake, WA

May 25th / Spring Festival 10k and 5k / Moses Lake, WA

May 25th / Mazama 10k and 5k / Winthrop, WA

May 25th / Leap 5k / Redmond, WA

May 25th / Memorial Day Weekend Run 15k, 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

May 25th / Riverfest 10k and 5k / Maupin, OR

May 25th / DASH Race for the Kids 5k / Prosser, WA

May 25th / Flippers, Fins and Feathers 5k / Newport, OR

May 25th / Memorial Day 6k / Klamath Falls, OR

May 25th / Retreat to Weippe 10k and 5k / Weippe, ID

May 25th / SCHEELS Red, White and Blue 5k / Great Falls, MT

May 26th / Run to Africa 10k and 5k / Lebanon, OR

May 26th / Good Karma 5k / Seattle, WA

May 26th / Rum Run 10k and 5k / Tualatin, OR

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Putting the Hansons Marathon Method to the Test - A Review

I've finally decided on my Fall marathon for 2013 - the Skagit Flats Marathon, back in my old stomping grounds of Burlington, WA.

Why the Skagit Flats? Well...it's flat. I mean, it's right there in the name. And in the first week of September, it's also at a great time to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon. And it's just slightly more than 20 weeks out, so timing-wise, it's perfect.

Plus, it's apparently where Corvallis dudes go to run fast! See the results here: specifically finishers in 9th and 12th places! Who am I to argue with that?!?

So starting on May 6th, I'll be diving headfirst into the Hansons Marathon Method training plan. Yes, I have the book. Yes, I think it sounds very intriguing. Yes, I like the idea that the long runs never get over 16 miles long. And yes, I know there are critics of the 16-mile long run thing, but there's more to it, as I'll explain below.

So the Hansons, and the book's author Luke Humphrey (marathon PR: 2:14) are big into a few theories. First, you shouldn't be doing more than 25% of your week's total mileage on the long run. So if you're doing 50+ mile weeks, a 20 or 22 mile long run is really too much. If you're running 100 mile weeks, fine...but then if you're running 100 mile weeks, you probably aren't hunting for a new training plan anyway. Second, you shouldn't be out there running for more than 2.5 to 3 hours on your long run. Again, for normal humans, running at LR pace, not race pace, a 22 mile long run can take a looooong time. At 9 minute pace, a 22-miler takes nearly 3.5 hours. And then your chance of injury goes up. Finally, they preach training while fatigued. So the 16 mile run on its own might not be that long, but it comes directly after three other days of runs of 6-10 miles long. And the plan doesn't have a rest day on the day after the long run either, with the only rest day coming on Wednesday. Through this method, the Hansons hope the 16 mile run, on tired legs, will mimic the last 16 miles of a marathon, not the first 16 miles.

It's an intriguing theory and we'll discuss it more as I progress through the 18 week plan.

So stay tuned! Hansons Marathon Method starts in 10 days!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Suzy Favor Hamilton - Three Time Olympian and Call-Girl

Just where you'd expect to find good writing on the sport of running and athletics...Elle magazine has a great story just out on Suzy Favor Hamilton.

If you're not aware, the superstar runner was recently "outed" as a high-priced escort, apparently for a number of years after her retirement from the track. And all while still married and with a young daughter. The husband apparently knew of the escorting and "didn't approve." Yeah, that's putting it mildly.

It's an odd story to be sure, but the writer, Louisa Kamps, does a nice job comparing Hamilton's troubles in retirement to other elite athletes' restlessness and strange antics when they suddenly leave the spotlight. And I'm not making excuses for her, but I do find it sad that while Hamilton was in her prime, she was beaten consistently on the track by a clearly doped-up Regina Jacobs.

And no offense to Suzy, but if I'm paying her $600 an hour for anything, it would be running coaching. I mean, is that the going rate for decent escorts these days? Seems sort of steep to me.

Stay safe out there.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook - A Novel

You know...a book. Not a movie. Yes, I realize there is a movie, but we're going to talk about the book (but to show that I am a guy and am not completely unaware of the movie's charms, I will post a few photos of Jennifer Lawrence as well.)

OK, now that you've got that out of your system, let's talk about the book. I realize some of you may not even realize Silver Linings Playbook is a book. The movie got a lot of pub and won a lot of awards, plus the book is five years old now.

So just let me say this, whether you've seen the movie or not, please pick up this fantastic book immediately.

Matthew Quick has penned an amazing tale of people, and mental illness, and loss, and people, and sports, and family, and people, and the EAGLES! If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about..."AHHHHHHHHHHHHH..."

The main characters here: Pat and Tiffany, are about as odd a couple as you'll ever find in literature and yet they both seem very real. Very, very flawed and real. Throw in Pat's Dad, who will be familiar to anyone that has grown up in a family obsessed with sport, Pat's Mom, his family and friends, his therapist...and Kenny G (the evil Kenny G) and you've got quite a cast of characters.

Silver Linings Playbook is one of those rare, wonderful books in which the very act of reading through the pages makes you want to be a better person. It makes you want to stand up for other people - people that are like you, and unlike you. Through Pat's eyes, you see the world in a different way, and want to treat those in it differently.

It's just wonderful.

Check out Matthew Quick's very 90's-looking website here. And read up on his young-adult novels, which have all won quite a bit of acclaim as well.

Please head over to Amazon, or your local library and grab this novel right now. Tell them Hank Baskett sent you.

(And yes, I know the movie comes out on dvd in like a week - read the book first!)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - May 2013

Just when you read your 14th article about how the Half Marathon is the most popular race in the country or the latest blog post about how triathlon is taking over the endurance world, you get a week like this: 39 5k races in one week.

Yes, 39.

My friends, the 5k is not going away anytime soon. Embrace it.

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


May 18th / Carson to Stevenson Ridge Trail Run 16k / Carson, WA

May 18th / Havoc at the Hideout Trail 10k / North Plains, OR

May 18th / Watershed Preserve Trail Run 12hr / Redmond, WA

May 18th / A Step Ahead Trail Run 5k / Astoria, OR

May 19th / Sun Mountain Trail Races 50m, 50k and 25k / Winthrop, WA

May 18th / Sage Rat Run Half Marathon, 12k and 5k / Prosser, WA

May 18th / Tommy Vaughn's Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Blackfoot, ID

May 18th / Famous Idaho Potato Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Boise, ID

May 18th / Queen of the High Road Half Marathon / Wilsonville, OR

May 18th / Race Through Hell's Canyon Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Oxbow, OR

May 19th / Keizer Iris Half Marathon and 10k / Keizer, OR

May 19th / Rock n Roll Half Marathon / Portland, OR

May 19th / Windermere Marathon and Half Marathon / Spokane, WA

May 19th / Capital City Marathon, Half Marathon and 5m / Olympia, WA

May 18th / Oregon Trail Triathlon Sprint / North Powder, OR

May 18th / The PEAK Triathlon Sprint / Missoula, MT

May 18th / Troika Tri Half Iron / Medical Lake, WA

May 18th / Stayton Triathlon Sprint / Stayton, OR

May 19th / Duck Bill Thrill Triathlon Olympic / Fall Creek Reservoir, OR

May 15th / IRC Mother's Day 5k / Auburn, WA (Wednesday Night Run!)

May 18th / Younglife's Doughnut Dash 10k and 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 18th / Banks Linear Trail Brave Run 10k and 5k / Banks, OR

May 18th / Barnes Community 5k / Beaverton, OR

May 18th / Stomp Out Abuse ARMS 5k / Hillsboro, OR

May 18th / Keizer Iris Run 5k / Keizer, OR

May 18th / Run Girlfriend Run 10k and 5k / Sandy, OR

May 18th / The Friar Trot 10k and 5k / Sherwood, OR

May 18th / Eagle Wings Walk and Roll Run 10k and 5k / Arlington, WA

May 18th / Girls on the Run 5k / Seattle, WA

May 18th / CES Color Splash 10k and 5k / Coupeville, WA

May 18th / Wild Goose Chase 3.5m / Wilbur, WA

May 18th / Student Stride for Education 5k / Washougal, WA

May 18th / West Valley School Spring Run Off 12k and 5k / Kalispell, MT

May 18th / Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5k / Spokane, WA

May 18th / Seattle's Best 15k and Best Dressed 10k / Seattle, WA

May 18th / MAX MUSCLE Parade Run 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 18th / Dirty Girl Mud Run 5k / Seattle, WA

May 18th / Glow Run 5k / Richland, WA

May 18th / To the Sound of Zebra Hooves 5k / Richland, WA

May 18th / YMCA Bridge to Bridge 5k / Kennewick, WA

May 18th / Relay for Hope Child Abuse Prevention 10k and 5k / Richland, WA

May 18th / Komen Race for the Cure 5k / Helena, MT

May 18th / Bay View Women's Run 10k / Burlington, WA

May 18th / Viking Fest Road Run 5m / Poulsbo, WA

May 18th / K9 9k / Bozeman, MT

May 18th / Run for Their Lives 5k / Corvallis, OR

May 18th / Girls on the Run Spring 5k / Wenatchee, WA

May 18th / Rhody Run 10k and 5k / Florence, OR

May 18th / Fly Day 5k / Everett, WA

May 18th / Hope Run 5k / Coeur d'Alene, ID

May 18th / Petpalooza Dog Trot 5k / Auburn, WA

May 18th / Run for the Hill of It 8m / Lewiston, ID

May 19th / Beat the Bridge 8k / Seattle, WA

May 19th / Haulin' Axe 5k / Bellingham, WA

May 19th / Barnes Community 5k / Beaverton, OR

May 19th / Portland Parks $5 5k / Portland, OR

May 19th / West Seattle 5k / West Seattle, WA

May 19th / Born to Run Challenge 15k and 5k / Eugene, OR

May 19th / Whitefish WAG Race 15k and 4m / Whitefish, MT

May 19th / Rhody Run 12k / Port Townsend, WA

May 19th / Bark in the Park 5k / Eugene, OR

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Corvallis Half Marathon Race Review and Results 2013

The leaders at 2.5 miles in...all by themselves already.

All righty, then!

If you're just looking for the results for the Corvallis Half, here they are.

And if you need a race review, well hey, I've got one of those too.

So waking up this morning, and seeing that it was 38 stinking degrees! did not make me that happy, especially since it was raining as well. It had all the makings of a cold, wet day. Eek.

So I headed to OSU for the start and wandered over to my office to prepare in the indoor warmth. Advantage: me. I thought about wearing my new Mizuno running shoes for the race, but my longest run in them so far was about 4 miles and I just couldn't pull the trigger. So I ended up wearing my old Nike Pegasus Trail shoes - a shoe that I've never been super happy with, but one that I've used on 13+ mile runs.

I stayed in the warmth of my office and just ran up and down the hall a few times to warm up. At about 15 minutes before the start, I headed out and jogged over to the start line - about a 100 yards from my office. Nice.

With very little preamble, we had a 3-2-1 countdown and were off. The weather actually wasn't too bad at that point; no rain and cold, but not horrible. I wore a long sleeve tech shirt and gloves (the gloves as much to wipe my nose as anything else...hayfever).

I hit the first two miles at:
-7:59 / mile one
-7:52 / mile two

That's me in the backwards OSU hat, keeping the non-existent sunshine off my easily-burned head.

When I ran the Corvallis Half last year, and set my PR, I was running about a 7:50 pace. This year, however, I'm about 10 pounds heavier (I'm working on it) and knew I didn't have much of a chance of a PR. Which is probably OK, since I didn't go out too fast like I usually do...and didn't suffer at the end of the race like I usually do.

At the water stop at 2.5 miles in, I said "hi" to Carson and her Girls on the Run buds.

The next three miles were a touch up and down as we ran through the Bald Hill area and my splits looked like this:
-8:00 / mile three
-8:15 / mile four
-8:21 / mile five

I was actually feeling pretty good. I wasn't trying to push it at all - I didn't think I had the fitness for that - just keeping within myself and trying to stay steady.

We hit a nice downhill on the next couple miles as we came out of the park and onto Oak Creek:
-8:04 / mile six
-8:02 / mile seven

Then the uphill as we turned onto 53rd to head to Walnut. Definitely the toughest section of the course. Not too steep, but a fairly long, steady climb. Takes some concentration here to keep pace. My slowest mile:
-8:35 / mile eight

Then the nice downhill right afterward:
-7:58 / mile nine
-8:04 / mile ten

I was starting to wear down a little bit here, but still felt pretty good. Of course, then a woman that had to be five or six months pregnant went by me pretty easily. That's not good for the old ego.
-8:18 / mile eleven
-8:26 / mile twelve

You can always tell the first timers on the course right about here. Reser Stadium is right there in front of you and you can see a few people speed up, thinking they're coming in for a landing. Sorry, but then they turn you back away from Reser for a mile+ trip around the campus for a bit. I saw at least two guys stop and walk as soon as we turned away from the Stadium.

Strangely, I was starting to get cold here again, after warming up during the middle miles of the race. I guess I should have been running faster.

I speeded up just a touch as I started to smell the barn:
-8:17 / mile thirteen
-7:30 / last tenth

The finish in Reser is always fun, although I'm not sure how those football players run so fast on that turf. It's not that easy to run on.

So I came with a 1:46:54, about four minutes slower than my PR. Considering the shape I'm in, or not in, at the moment, I'm happy enough with that. That got me 272nd place out of 1487 overall, and 17th out of 67th in my age group. And 2nd, apparently, in the grouping of me and pregnant women. Well, I hope 2nd...it could be worse than that, I guess.

The shirt is actually better looking than the first two years and the finisher's medal was nicer-looking as well. Way to go, Tyler!

Now I need to figure out what races I'm doing for the rest of the year!

Corvallis Half Marathon - Done!


Results and race review in a bit.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - May 2013

Lots of indoor triathlons sneaking onto the schedule now. Be sure to watch out for ringers! As none other than Tri Pro Matt Lieto showed up at the Beaver Freezer last week and took a close battle with OSU star Blair Bronson. Come on, pros...give us little guys a break!

Here's a photo of Matt being super-fast at the Freezer.

Hella bunch of trail races as well.  Nice.

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


May 11th / Mud Mountain Melee Trail Run 8k / Enumclaw, WA

May 11th / Don't Fence Me In Trail Run 30k, 12k and 5k / Helena, MT

May 11th / McDonald Forest Trail Run 50k / Corvallis, OR

May 11th / Tough as Nails Mountain Run 10m and 5k / Medford, OR

May 11th / Liberty Lake Trail Run 8m / Liberty Lake, WA

May 11th / SCOTT Cougar Mountain Trail Run 10m and 5m / Newcastle, WA

May 11th / Lost Lake Trail Run 50k / Bellingham, WA

May 11th / Horse Lake Trail Run 10m and 5m / Wenatchee, WA

May 11th / Sunflower Trail Run Marathon / Winthrop, WA

May 12th / Saddle Mountain Summit Challenge Trail Run 5m / Seaside, OR

May 11th / Hippie Chick Half and Quarter Marathon / Hillsboro, OR

May 11th / That Damn Run! Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Grand Coulee, WA

May 12th / Kirkland Half Marathon and 5k / Kirkland, WA

May 11th / Oregon Dunes Triathlon and Duathlon Olympic and Sprint / Dunes City, OR

May 11th / Canby Gator Grinder Triathlon Sprint / Canby, OR

May 11th / Lebanon Triathlon Sprint / Lebanon, OR

May 11th / Fiasco in Pasco Duathlon Sprint / Pasco, WA

May 11th / CARDV Mother's Day Run for Safe Families 5k / Corvallis, OR

May 11th / Casa RE/Max Champions for Children Run 6k / Eugene, OR

May 11th / Lake Run 10k and 5k / Lake Oswego, OR

May 11th / Troutdale Trot 6.7m / Troutdale, OR

May 11th / Inspiring Hope Run 10k and 5k / Mukilteo, WA

May 11th / UW Bothell 5k / Seattle, WA

May 11th / A Reason to Run 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 11th / Free Them 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

May 11th / Miles for Memories 5k / Richland, WA

May 11th / Mother's Day 5k / Coleville, WA

May 11th / Run for Race 10k and 5k / Prosser, WA

May 11th / Run for Your Mum 5k / Burlington, WA

May 11th / Spring Frolic 5k / Seattle, WA

May 11th / West Valley Fun Run 5k / Yakima, WA

May 11th / The Rad Run 5k / Junction City, OR

May 11th / Spartan Race 5k / Bigfork, MT

May 11th / Mad Hatter Run 5k / Salem, OR

May 11th / Silverton Health Fun Run 5k / Silverton, OR

May 11th / Doggie Dash 3k / Portland, OR

May 11th / East Oregonian Butte Challenge 10k and 5k / Hermiston, OR

May 11th / Montana Women's Run 5m / Billings, MT

May 11th / Run for Nurses 5k / Wenatchee, WA

May 11th / Run Like a Girl 5k / University Place, WA

May 11th / Komen Race for the Cure 5k / Boise, ID

May 11th / The Dam Race 10k and 5k / Rupert, ID

May 12th / Jane Higdon and O Heroes Fun Run 5k / Eugene, OR

May 12th / The Color Run 5k / Seattle, WA

May 12th / Run Mama Run 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 12th / Run Like a Mother 5k / Hillsboro, OR

May 12th / Run Like a Mother 5k / Seattle, WA

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Will You Die During a Triathlon Swim?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: if you're going to die during a triathlon, yeah, it will probably be during the swim.

Why? Well, that isn't really known at this time.

In 2011, 12 athletes died during USAT triathlon events, and 9 of those deaths occurred in the swim leg. Of course, there were nearly 500,000 total athletes participating in those events, so the total chance of such a thing happening is pretty low.

Here's a quick look at the numbers, and lack of conclusive evidence on the blame end, from Inside Triathlon.

Here's Scientific American's look at the subject.

And the Washington Post takes a cut at figuring it out as well.

And finally, Slowtwitch looks at the problem.

In my own, completely uninformed, opinion, too many triathletes blow off proper swim training, usually because it's the least favorite leg for most racers. I think if more people took their swim preparation as seriously as they do the prep for the bike and run, there would be significantly fewer deaths during the swim.

Swim on, mighty Triheads!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nike Trims Running Shoe Line Down to One Model

Well, not really, but it sure seems like it.

Trust me here, I'm no Nike-basher; I've worn Nike shoes pretty much my entire life and have never run in anything else. But Nike seems to be going down a very unfortunate path. One that seems to have only one clear objective: profit. To achieve this, every Nike running shoe is starting to incorporate the same features. Why? Well, I'd guess because then the shoes are easier and cheaper to manufacture. Believe me, Wall Street loves that kind of stuff.

In the past, you'd have a shoe like the Structure, which had a big, obvious insert in the insole. If you were a serious pronator, this was the shoe for you.

Now, the Structure has a nearly identical insole to every other Nike running shoe.

Surely, Nike wouldn't take away the one thing that made the Structure the Structure (the medial post), would they? Well, let's hear what the Running Shoe Guru has to say about it. Apparently, yes...yes, they would.

Then there's the Pegasus. A shoe that has been well-loved for decades by runners, including by the R's. That love was not enough. Nike changed up the insole and upper, making it nearly identical to all of its Lunar shoes. Note the similarities.

Here's the old one, with the nice heel insert of different density rubber. And an upper that could actually handle some hard miles.

And here's the new Pegasus. Hmmm, looks like every other stinking Nike shoe lately.

And if you can tell the difference between the new Vomero and the new Pegasus, you must have cat-like senses. Here's the Vomero.

It's damn near identical to the Pegasus.

And then there's the LunarGlide, the LunarElite, and the LunarSwift. Apparently, they have differences. I'd say most people, if blindfolded, couldn't tell the difference. They are all put together the same way with nearly the exact same components. And of course, they look a whole lot like the newer Pegasus, Vomero and Structure as well.

So what's the upshot of all this. Well, I can no longer stick up for Nike against all the "real" runners that say Nike doesn't make shoes for runners. I am now forced to admit that I agree. Nike makes one running shoe now, and if you don't like it, sorry.

I don't like it. So now I'm desperately trying to find a replacement.

First up, the Mizuno Wave Precision.

I just got them yesterday. I'll put some miles in them and return with a more detailed review later.

Adios, Nike. It's been quite a ride.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Half Marathon Training Plan - Week Nine

Well, this is the week. The Corvallis Half Marathon is on Sunday. My predictions for the race? Well...

-I looked at my running journal from last year and I'm about 10 pounds heavier than I was for the Corvallis Half in 2012. Not a great sign. I've been slowly losing weight after a tough winter healing my ankle, but the old body just doesn't shape up as quickly as it used to.

-Shoes! Argghhhh! Since Nike went and ruined the Pegasus, I just CANNOT find a shoe that I'm happy with. I've gone through a number of shoes and brands lately and can't seem to come up with something that makes my feet happy.

-Weather forecast for Sunday looks maybe OK, maybe damp. Shouldn't be too hot, for sure. Let's hope for clouds and no rain.

So...I don't have super-high expectations. But maybe that's good, really. I'll go into it not expecting a PR, I'll just run easy, and take it as it comes. There's always another race coming up soon, right?

Here's what I have to look forward to this week (with the proviso that on the last week before a longish race, I always try to judge how my body is feeling toward the end of the week and back off if needed - I want to feel fresh and not at all sore when lining up on the start line):




--1m warmup
--6 x .25m at 7:45 pace
--1m cool down


--3m at 7:50 pace


--1m warmup
--.25m at 7:45 pacs
--.25m at 7:45 pace
--.15m at 7:30 pace
--.15m at 7:30 pace
--1m cooldown




--3m easy


--Corvallis Half Marathon

Friday, April 5, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar - May 2013

And we're coming up to the Big Daddy of all Northwest races: Bloomsday. This is the biggest race in the NW, by far, and one of the biggest in the US, with over 48,000 runners in 2012.

Ready to try your hand (feet?) in the biggest running crowd in the NW? Sign up now!

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


May 4th / Willamette Mission Trail Challenge 10k and 5k / Salem, OR

May 4th / Grand Ridge Trail Run 50k, Marathon, Half Marathon, 5m / Issaquah, WA

May 4th / Victory Lap 4 Victory Home Trail Run 10k and 5k / Twin Falls, ID

May 5th / Little Mountain 25k and 10k / Mount Vernon, WA

May 4th / Lake Lowell Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Nampa, ID

May 5th / Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 5th / Salmon Run Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Bend, OR

May 5th / BMO Vancouver Marathon, Half Marathon and 8k / Vancouver, BC

May 5th / Tacoma City Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k / Tacoma, WA

May 5th / Run2Educate Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Auburn, WA

May 4th / Canby Fun Run 5k / Canby, OR

May 4th / Garden Spot Run 10k and 5k / Canby, OR

May 4th / OSU Pet Day 5k / Corvallis, OR

May 4th / Cinco de Mayo 5 Run 5m and 5k / Eugene, OR

May 4th / SARVA 5k / Seattle, WA

May 4th / Cheadle Lake 5k / Lebanon, OR

May 4th / We've Got Your Back 5k / Coos Bay, OR

May 4th / Muddy Mama Mud Run 5k / Spokane, WA

May 4th / Have a Heart Run 10k and 5k / Mount Vernon, WA

May 4th / YMCA Spring Family Fun Run 10k / Olympia, WA

May 4th / Running Water 5k / Sherwood, OR

May 4th / GlobeMed at the UW 5k / Seattle, WA

May 4th / Rain Run 5k / Molalla, OR

May 4th / Apple Blossom Run 10k and 5k / Wenatchee, WA

May 4th / Fiesta 5k Ole! / Seattle, WA

May 4th / Newberg High School Grad Night May Day 5k / Newberg, OR

May 4th / Loyalty Days Run 2m / Newport, OR

May 4th / Haggen to Haggen 5k / Bellingham, WA

May 4th / Dirty Girl Mud Run 5k / Boise, ID

May 4th / Rimrock Rover Ramble 5k / Roundup, MT

May 4th / Fins to the Finish 5k / Poulsbo, WA

May 4th / Run for the Animals 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 4th / Law Day Run 10k and 5k / Pocatello, ID

May 4th / ORRC Hagg Lake Runs 10.5m and 10k / Hagg Lake, OR

May 5th / Bloomsday 12k / Spokane, WA

May 5th / Boys and Girls Club Sammamish 10k and 5k / Sammamish, WA

May 5th / Hustle for Health 5m and 5k / Albany, OR

May 5th / Garden Gnome Run 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

May 5th / Peace Run 5k / Eugene, OR

Heart of the Valley Triathlon 2013 - Now in April!

Be aware - the Heart of the Valley Triathlon has moved up by a full month!

In the past, the HOTV Tri was always held on Memorial Day weekend. Maybe thinking they'd attract more racers by moving it off the holiday, the 2013 edition will be held on Sunday, April 21st.

Hopefully, it will increase the number of racers, because it is a bit of a risky move. The last weekend in May is hardly guaranteed for good weather, but it sure has a better shot of it than the middle of April. And moving it up that far puts it just two weeks after another Corvallis triathlon, the Beaver Freezer.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar - April 2013

One of the Big Boys is on the schedule this week - the Eugene Marathon. That's right, Eugene, home of Pre, Nike and Ducks of all kinds. But personally, it's the Krusteaz Pancake that gets me going. A year's supply of pancakes if you beat him in the 5k! Don't think it's easy...he's not slow. Here's a video of him in action last year - he really moves!

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


April 27th / Weiser River Trail 50k / Council, ID

April 27th / Hills for Humanity Trail Run 4m / Portland, OR

April 27th / Smith Rock Ascent 15m / Terrebonne, OR

April 27th / Lost Creek Trail Runs 30k and 5k / Trail, OR

April 27th / XTERRA Soaring Eagle Park Trail Run 50k, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10m and 5m / Sammamish, WA

April 27th / Capitol Peak Trail Run 50m and 55k / Olympia, WA

April 27th / 5:26 Spring Run Half Marathon / Snohomish, WA

April 28th / Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon / Eugene, OR

April 28th / Heroes Half Marathon and 10k / Everett, WA

April 28th / Cove 2 Clover Snakezilla Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Burien, WA

April 28th / Sisters Half Marathon and 8k / Sisters, OR

April 26th / Bengal Triathlon Sprint / Pocatello, ID (Friday night swim, Saturday bike and run)

April 27th / Western Oregon University Triathlon Sprint / Monmouth, OR

April 28th / Mount Rainier Duathlon Olympic and Sprint / Enumclaw, WA

April 27th / Run Your Paws Off 5k / Pendleton, OR

April 27th / Sean's Run from Autism 2013 / Portland, OR

April 27th / Footsteps for Families 10k and 5k / Tigard, OR

April 27th / Can Do 10k and 5k / Bothell, WA

April 27th / Save the Frogs Day 5k / Seattle, WA

April 27th / Eagle Run 5k / Oak Harbor, WA

April 27th / Eugene Marathon 5k / Eugene, OR

April 27th / Fund the Future 5k / Richland, WA

April 27th / Healthy Earth, Healthy You 5k / Tukwila, WA

April 27th / Race 2 Place 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

April 27th / Stillaguamish Run for Good 10k and 5k / Arlington, WA

April 27th / Run to Win America 5k / Tacoma, WA

April 27th / Rendezvous Run 5k / Eureka, MT

April 27th / Cancer Crushers 10k and 5k / Montesano, WA

April 27th / Mosquito March 5k / Sherwood, OR

April 27th / Round Up Run 10k and 5k / Three Forks, MT

April 27th / Rolling Hills Run 10k and 5k / Heppner, OR

April 27th / Heart and Sole of Rigby 10k and 5k / Rigby, ID

April 27th / Jayden DeLuca Race for Hearts 5k / Eagle, ID

April 27th / Run for Autism Awareness 5k / Boise, ID

April 27th / Early Bird Run 5m / Helena, MT

April 27th / Montana Made 10k and 5k / Missoula, MT

April 28th / Run with Abe 5k / Seattle, WA

April 28th / CHASE Strides for SNAP 5k / Spokane, WA

April 28th / Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5k / Seattle, WA

April 28th / See Spot Run 5k / Yakima, WA

April 28th / Bellevue 10k and 5k / Bellevue, WA

April 28th / The Rad 80's Run 3m / Portland, OR

April 28th / Ice Breaker Road Race 5m and 3m / Great Falls, MT

April 28th / Times Colonist 10k / Victoria, BC

Monday, April 1, 2013

Half Marathon Training Plan - Week Eight

Only two weeks until the Corvallis Half now. Last full week of workouts this week, then a slight taper next week heading into the race on Sunday morning.

Here's what I have to look forward to this week:




--1m warmup
--.75m at 7:30 pace
--.75m at 7:30 pace
--6 x .15m at 7:30 pace
--.75m at 7:30 pace
--.75m at 7:30 pace
--1m cool down


--1m warmup
--3m at 7:45 pace
--1m cooldown


--7m at 8:15 pace




--6m at 8:00 pace
--6 x 100m strides


--10m at 9:00 pace