How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

Maintaining your fitness and wellness habits can be challenging, especially when life gets
busy. However, developing simple and effective strategies will help you stay on track and
keep your health a priority. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to
staying fit and healthy, complete with tips and techniques that you can implement in your
daily routine.

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6 Tips For Quality Run Training

6 Tips For Quality Run Training

Tips for Quality Run Training Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices...

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Sarasota Half Marathon – Running Recap

Sarasota Half Marathon – Running Recap

The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon was 3 weeks ago.  I completed this last year and ended up with a Personal Record(PR).   Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the same this year, BUT….I had a great time and that is all that matters in the long run.  (“long run”…pardon my punny sense of humor)

Last year the race was crowded, but it didn’t sell out till the last minute, this year it sold out a lot earlier, but thanks to a blogger friend of mine, Denise (deniseisrundmt.com), I ran this race for free.  I just love my run blogging buddies.

This year the corral was so packed we couldn’t even move through the sea of runners to get to the section assigned to my pace.  Luckily, I had Beth (Discombobulatedrunning.com) and Caitlyn (livesweatsleeprepeat.com) to share the chaos with.

Sarasota Bloggers

It was great to hear a familiar voice over the loudspeaker this year, as it is the same voice I hear at every Ironman event I have been to.  I am not sure, but I think his name is Mike Reilly.  If I am wrong please leave me a comment and correct me.

I did make a mistake this year which cost me.  I went out with Beth thinking

FW HM

that I would just have a nice aerobic run and then things changed.

I got caught up in the beautiful views off the bridge and the architecture downtown, which didn’t hold well even though I was comfortable at that point.he energy.

We were about 4 miles in when she says to me, “You can go if you want to.”

” Nah, I would rather just stick with you and do this nice and easy” I replied.

Because our pace was faster than we were planning, she then exclaimed, “It sure looks like you want to.”

Something about that sentence tugged at me a bit, so I told her “ok” and took off.

I should have been a little bit concerned when the next four miles were a consistent 7:50 pace and I still ended up with 9:09 mile after waiting to go to the restroom at mile 8.

Of course at mile 9, things started to get heavy.  I knew I wasn’t in-shape to run that fast, but I did it anyway and it cost me.

What was really embarrassing is getting chicked after mile 11 when I saw the multi-color Lululemon shorts of Beth pass me.

Really?  Seriously?  Did I really slow down that much?

I yelled to her and didn’t receive an answer, which she later told me she decided to negative splits.

I came across at 1:50:39, exhausted.  It was a respectable performance, but not great.  I did keep my average of being in the upper 50% of my competitive age division.bethandI

Lesson re-learned – know thy pace, stay consistent, only commit to negative splits with 5k to go stick to the plan.

It was great to see my buddies Nick & Ben take First Overall in the Relay.

Actually Nick passed on the first bridge as we were going out and he was finishing his leg.  He looked really strong.

relaywinners and me

Have you ever had a race where you made mistakes, even though you consciously knew better ?

Let me know in the comments below.

Carpe Vitam!

~IronGoof

Ironman Florida – Race Recap

Ironman Florida – Race Recap

For a long time, it has been called the Granddaddy of all endurance events, the Ironman triathlon. A 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run done consecutively in the same day. Of course, nowadays, double, triple, and even deca Ironman distance triathlons are becoming more and more popular, as well as 24, 48 and even 72-hour mud and obstacle run challenges. If you are calling me crazy for doing my second Ironman, I can introduce you to at least a few people who do challenges that make Ironman look like a game of hopscotch. (Yes, Matt “UltraIronBeast” Dolitsky, you are one of those.)

This competition for me was a learning experience in overcoming obstacles, most of them mental. I did not PR, or even come close, but I now understand completely the quote, “The mind will quite 100 times before the body does.”

Pre-Race

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Pete Amedure, Kari Eichen, Kat Ward, Jamie Breibart and myself all decided to drive up Wednesday morning in order to get acclimated to the environment and eliminate and reasons for not being prepared for Saturday’s race.  Pete, Kari and I were in my car and had a great time on the way up.  Of course, there was a stop at the Huddle House in Perry Florida where we ate and laughed to a point where I spaced out and left my phone, and didn’t realize it until we were half-an-hour from Panama City Beach.  It didn’t help that I was in the middle of contracts and had all my recruiters contacting me about interviews and new opportunities.   (I ended up remedying this by sending FedEx to the restaurant and delivering it to our hotel.  In the meantime, Google Voice was a tremendous help.)

We arrived at the Laketown Wharf complex where we stayed in a luxurious three bedroom, three bath condominium, with a beautiful view of the gulf.  I give this hotel/condo complex four stars.  It had everything needed including a nightly water and light show that rivals the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  Well, not really, but it was a fun amenity.  The condos all have a full kitchen, with dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans, coffee maker, and a full-size refrigerator.  Everything needed for the athlete, and spectathletes, to remove all those pressures of nutrition, and early morning breakfasts.  The area also has plenty of great restaurants for good eating as well.

Afterward, we walked the quarter mile to athlete check-in to receive our chip, bibs, bags, and swag.  I was a little disappointed in the swag this year.  Last year they gave out beautiful TYR transition backpacks, but this year it was a very inferior white backpack that looks like it will fall apart.  Jamie’s actually did, so they gave her a replacement immediately.  The expo was about twice the size that it was last year, with a host of new vendors.  Verizon was displaying their goods, as they were the tracking sponsor this year, along with Newton, Fit2Run, a local bike shop and a bunch of the regulars.  Refuel was there, talking about Chocolate Milk, so I did create a video with them talking about the benefits of it.  I will share that link on Twitter when I receive it.  It should be good for a couple of laughs.

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After that, we spent the next couple of days, taking in the aura of Ironman, preparing and eating.  Eating was a non-stop event for us.  I knew from experience that immense calories were going to be needed in order to be comfortable on the course, so I encouraged our team to keep eating as I did myself.

_MG_2276Thursday night was the athlete welcome dinner, and I was almost embarrassed.  My recollection of the 2011 athlete dinner was so wonderful, that I really talked it up and encouraged Pete, Jamie, and Kari to come.  Jamie decided not to go, but I was so excited for Pete and Kari to be there I couldn’t contain my emotions.  Unfortunately, I was sort of let down.  It seemed unorganized and hurried.  Yes, my favorite pro-triathlete and world champion Mirinda Carfrae was interviewed on stage, so that was great, but the rest of it was about charities and a couple of athletes overcoming their own obstacles.  There were video presentations about a woman who was competing for her husband who died the year earlier while training, and a quadriplegic who was competing to show the world that anyone could do anything if they just challenged themselves.

1394432_10102251072868771_978366175_nYes, their stories were inspiring but I just felt like it was too much and way too long.  In 2011 the presentations were balanced between the negative and the positive inspiring stories and we even had an athlete briefing by the race director all in the span of 90 minutes.  It held the attention of every athlete to a point where the announcer almost didn’t need the microphone.  This time, a good portion of the athletes conversed right through all the presentations to a point where it was hard to hear the MC with a microphone.  I felt like I let my friend Pete down to a point where I was apologizing so much on the walk back I became annoying.  Sorry, Pete and Kari.

_MG_2265Friday, the anxiety hit like a ton of bricks.  You couldn’t cut the tension in the condo with a Ginsu, serrated edge knife.  We ate breakfast and then headed down to the beach to get in the water with our wetsuits.  The waves sets were barreling to the shore with such force that the red, “no-swimming”, flag was flown, but we knew we needed to at least get in the water for a few minutes just to test out our goggles and our wetsuits.  Surprising enough, even with the force of the waves, I thought I became a little more confident.  I was able to stay on the surface of the water, and I practiced duck diving through the waves instead of trying to swim over them.  I really thought I may have a chance of being faster out of the water than I thought.

Afterward, we talked through our transition plans to double check our gear, 1383330801836checked to make sure our bikes were ready to go and proceeded to transition to check-in everything.  We had decided to try and wait out the rain, but unfortunately, I had a phone interview which had the chance of exceeding beyond the time check-in would close, so we walked down in the rain.  The line was so long, I was going to be cutting it very close, so afterward, I ran back to the hotel.  On the way back, I dropped my phone and cracked the screen.  Yes, I had the phone back in my hands all of two hours and I dropped it.  I have never broken a phone before,  ever,  and here I had two phone interviews and I cracked the screen.  I was lucky enough that the phone still worked with voice recognition and a little effort, so the two interviews scheduled went off without any problems and I confirmed them both for second interviews as well.

That night we had a good dinner at the Wicked Wheel and we were all in bed around 9 pm ready to take on the Ironman.

Race Day

As predicted, the night before was restless but I did end up sleeping a good 4-5 hours before the alarm went off.  As planned we dressed in sweats, grabbed our “Special Needs” bags,  nutrition for the bike, and headed to transition around 4:30 am.  We were body marked, checked our bikes, dropped our bags, and then headed back to try and leisurely eat breakfast, and dress for the race.  Kari cooked eggs and turkey bacon, I cooked oatmeal and we all hung out for a while and tried to prepare ourselves with our loved ones.  It was kind of surreal.  I remembered these moments from the first time I competed in this race, but it still seemed like it was all new again.

We dressed, pulled on our wetsuits halfway, hugged and headed for the start line.  We walked 1393113_10202369776593562_1301605987_nwith Kari, Kim, and Danny down to the start, but athletes had to enter separately than spectators, so when we finally hit the beach we couldn’t find them.  I really wanted to see them all before the start, but I knew I would be ok if I didn’t, but Kari had Pete’s goggles in her bag, so now it became imperative that we find them.  We walked over trying to find them, so when it came to a point where we had no time left, we dropped our stuff and proceeded to button up our wetsuits and prepare to go under the arch.  It was at that moment, our party found us.  Talk about cutting it close.  We hugged, gut our well wishes, wished each other luck and headed into the mass of athletes preparing for the start.

This year was a little different as signs were being held up with expected times for the swim.  It could be compared to pace groups commonly found in road races except instead of going deep from a start line this went wide along the shore with the idea that if the slower swimmers would be the widest from the buoys and would fall in behind the faster ones.   This was thought to bring down the chaos of a mass swim start, but for me, it was worse.   I have been in comparable rough water,  hit, kicked and swam over before and I always kept on swimming no matter what, but this time I was kicked so many times with the last time throwing my goggles from my face.  It took me a few minutes to find them floating away from me, but I was able to put them back without too much trouble.

When I finished my first loop, the clock said 1:11 which was very slow.  I thought I should be able to make up at least three minutes on the second loop, so I shouldn’t be in any danger of not making the 2:20 cutoff.  I found a rhythm and just kept swimming, but I veered to the left of buoys and to keep correcting my course.  When I made the turn for the straightaway to the swim finish,  I glanced at my wrist to check my Garmin to see how much time I had left, and it was gone.  Not only could I not find out what I needed to cross the swim finish, I wasn’t going to know how fast I would bike, or run.  I wouldn’t know when to take my nutrition or even what time it was.

0477_16758Three buoys from the end I ended up with a paddle boarder on the left of me and jet ski on the right.  The paddleboarder kept yelling the time I had left.  “You have 8 minutes. You got this just keep going.”  I have to admit, the idea of a DNF crossed my mind and it did not scare me.  I thought to myself “would it really be the end o the world.”  I would be able to support Pete, Jamie, and Kat and I wouldn’t have to worry about biking 112 miles, chafing, nutrition, none of it.  Of course, I wouldn’t get to cross that finish line and I would feel like a failure and that is what really scared me.  It wasn’t the disappointment of my friends or even my family, it was the disappointment I would have in myself.  That never-ending coulda, woulda, shoulda would really haunt me, so I sped up and went as hard as I could.  The waves after the sandbar helped and even though I got caught up in the rope tied to one of the lifeguard’s flotation device I was able to hit the beach at exactly 2:20 getting me over the timing mat at 2:20:08.

I don’t mind stating that I was exhausted.  I have stated it time and time again, that I am not even a good swimmer, but this really put it in perspective.

I ran into transition and the volunteers stated I had eight minutes to cross the bike mat, so they hurried me into my bib and jersey I was using for the bike, put on my helmet and shoes and rushed me out into transition to grab my bike.  I crossed and headed out on my 112-mile journey.

My lungs were screaming and my stomach was churning, but I just kept going.  I0477_15604 passed the mile 10 marker and about, what I estimate was around the 12-13 mile mark, nausea started.  I pulled over to the side of the road and vomited sea water over the guardrail.  Unfortunately, I have what is called a vasovagal response to vomiting, which basically means I pass out cold.  I woke up, splayed out on the side of the road with the sun shining in my eyes.  It took a while to get my wits and balance in order to get back on my bike.  I continued slowly with the thoughts of turning around and just ending it.  Who would blame me?  I became sick on the bike, no one would care.  With my stomach still churning and my head spinning I decided I would go to the twenty-mile marker and if I didn’t feel better I would turn around.  The earlier thoughts I had of a DNF plagued me again and when I saw the 20-mile sign, I was still feeling sick, but better than I did.  I took in some of the Isagenix mix I had in my bottles and decided to go on to the next marker, but it wasn’t more than a mile later I realized that if I turned around at the 30 mile mark, I would have biked 60 miles by the time I got back to the start.  That’s when I knew I had it in me.  It no longer was about time now it was about finishing.

From that point on the bike ended up being uneventful.  Sure, there were minor challenges.  For instance, the wind picked up quite a bit, and of course, I still had no perception of time, except for when I asked, but I just put my head down and kept going.

Here is a little lesson learned while I was on the bike.  As I mentioned the wind became a challenge during the bike, but I decided to wear an aero helmet and while I was in aero position and looked down, the wind became a little less a factor.  I found myself being able to pick up a higher cadence.  The minute I looked straight I could not only hear the wind, but I felt like someone had hit the breaks on my bike.  Every article and person always said, one way and the cheapest way to become more aero was a helmet.  They were right.

Being the last one out of the water did have one advantage.  I wasn’t going to get passed.  I was doing all the passing, and with each rider I passed, I felt a little bit of mental boost which helped a great deal.  I rolled into transition in a little over 7 hours, which, in my estimation, had me on the side of the road for a little over 30 minutes.  All-in-all it wasn’t actually that bad.

A volunteer grabbed my bike, I snatched my run gear bag and was greeted in the changing room by my friend, and client, Hugo Scavino.  He helped me rid myself of the bib and bike jersey and don my shoes and hat.  After a huge hug, I headed off onto the run course.  I stopped briefly for words of encouragement, hugs and kisses from Kim, Kari, Maria and Anne, and off onto the course I went.  I walked for about a quarter mile before I started running.  I was kind of amazed.  I felt like I was able to transition to my running legs a little easier than the Augusta 70.3 I competed in six weeks earlier.  I hit the first aid station in about 1.5 miles and I was feeling pretty good.  I formulated my plan of running from aid station to aid station and just walking while I was getting water and nutrition.  This worked for the first loop.

0477_16910Pete and Jaime passed me at my mile 3 and their mile 10 and we shook hands and I motivated Pete with warning him I should not be able to catch him.  Of course in the back of my mind, I was questioning if I could somehow make up 7 miles on him.  Dave Nardoski caught up with me on his second loop, so I walked and chatted with him for a few minutes before I picked up the pace again.  At mile 6 I saw Kat looking really strong and I yelled some encouragement to her as I passed.  The halfway point for the first loop is in a park and I was feeling pretty good.  I started doing the math in my head for what it would take to catch up to Pete and Jamie.  The idea of the three of crossing together seemed surreal but possibly realistic.  At mile 10 I saw Jamie and she had picked up the pace from Pete, and she looked really good.  Obviously, the three of us crossing was most likely not going to happen unless I could really pick up some speed and Pete and I could catch her.  A little while later I saw Pete again walking.  We stopped for a minute and he told me that everything hurt.  I gave him some encouragement and we parted.  Just prior to the turnaround I found myself running next to Lew Hollander.  Lew, is an 83-year-old, twenty-time Kona qualifier and finisher.  He is extremely inspiring and is the epitome of the idea that age doesn’t have to be an excuse.  We chatted briefly, he gave me some motivation, I congratulated him, he ran into the finisher chute and I made the turn.  Kim and Danny were on the other side of the turn, so I was able to see them and get some love and hugs from Kim.  She actually ran a little bit with me before I headed off.

I was hurting now.  At mile 14 I slowed to a walk.  My feet were screaming in agony, my hips, quads, hamstrings and IT bands were in a lot of pain and I started getting a twinge in my back.  I didn’t want to walk, but my legs were not letting me run either.  I decided I would walk to the aid station of after mile 15 and continue from there.  It didn’t happen the way I wanted.   I ended up doing a series of run/walk intervals all the way to mile 18 where Pete and I crossed for the last time.  We high-fived each other and continued on.  Not too far ahead I stopped to use a portlet, but when I exited I became turned around and stupidly started running in the wrong direction.  I caught myself about a half mile before I realized what I was doing and quickly did a one-eighty.  I guess I was meant to run even more than a marathon this time.

I did meet Susan, a member of the Sarasota Storm Tri Club, which I have participated in races and training with.  We chatted and played cat and mouse for a while.  Susan had a very steady pace, so I would catch her and then when I would walk she would pass me.  This happened about 3 or 4 times throughout the marathon portion.  After getting completing the out-and-back in the park to head to the finish I started to feel like I just was about done with this whole thing.  I was walking more than running, I was in pain and I was just ready for this experience to end.  When I saw mile 20, I thought I only have a 10k left.  I could do a 10k in my sleep.  I started to pick up the pace just a bit.  I walked through the aid station in between 20 and 21 and started talking to myself.  “C’mon legs.  Just one more training run.  I need ya.  Relax.  Use gravity as momentum.  We can do this.”

Ahead was mile marker 21, and it was then when I decided, there will be no more stops at aid stations, there will be no more walking.  It was time to get this done.  I picked up the pace and never looked back.  I caught up with Susan at mile 22 and I told her to come with me.  This was just a 5k with a one-mile warm-up.  She said something that really motivated me.  “You are really strong, Brad.”  Who was she trying to kid?  It wasn’t 12 hours ago I had thoughts of quitting.  I didn’t quit though and here I was 4 miles from the finish of my second Ironman.  I picked up the pace even more to a point where I was running at a sub 8:30 pace for a bit.  I was in a lot of pain, but it was going to be worse if I stopped.  Every time I passed another athlete or spectator they would say “Good job” and that just fueled me.  A couple of the spectators would yell, “Awesome pace keep it up!”  I ran through the Tri Club village at 25 when someone yelled “Go Goof GO!”, so I even picked up the pace even more.  When I finally reached the chute there were two people running together in front of me and I didn’t know whether to let them go ahead or pass them.  I passed them and sped up even more in order to make sure I was alone at the finish line.

I saw the finish line and didn’t even look at the clock.  After all, I hadn’t known what time it was up to that point, so what did it matter now.  The announcer bellowed, “Brad Minus from Tampa Bay, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”  Oh, how sweet that sounded.  Especially after being kicked, and hit in the water, losing my goggles and Garmin, vomiting and blacking out on the side of the road, and running through all that pain.  I finally reached the finish.

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A volunteer escorted me to Yvonne Van Vlerken, the women’s first-place finisher, who placed the medal around my neck.  We congratulated each other and she gave me a hug, and then I continued with my handler to get a shiny warming sheath, and a finish photo before she handed me off to Kim, Maria, Jamie and the Dannys.  I saw Pete sitting down and we just looked at each other with pain on our faces but pride in our eyes.

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The rest of the night consisted of pizza and hard cider and regaling stories of the race.  PB&J had accomplished what we set out to do a year earlier.

578495_10102260791193171_715325386_nJamie was the heroine of the night.  When she decided to run she end up fast enough to finish with a 13:50.  I am still so proud of her.  Pete ended up a little under 15 and I ended up with a 15:09.  I am not happy with it.  It is significantly longer than 2011, but I finished and everything considered, I did have fun.  That is what matters most.

Thank you to all who tracked and reported on Facebook, for all the prayers, thoughts, motivation and kudos, Anne, Kari, Maria, Hugo and all the other voluneteers, Kim for supporting me and especially to Pete, Jamie, & Kat for being my training buddies through this journey.

Carpe Viam!

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Goof Review – Jaybird Sportsband Bluetooth Headset

Goof Review – Jaybird Sportsband Bluetooth Headset

When I am not running in a group, or during a race when I know the course is not the most scenic, I do enjoy running with my iPod.  There is something pretty cool about zoning out and just letting the beat take over my feet.

The problem I face, is comfort in headphones.  I have tried just about every headphone out there and my personal preference is not ear buds that are placed inside he canal.  I keep going back to the earphones I received with my iPod, that just fit above the lobe where the speaker sits on the concha and faces the canal.  Of course, they do not last, and the sound quality has a little to be desired.  Not to mention, the inconvenience of those wires.

JB1

Enter Jaybird with their Sportsband Bluetooth Headset.  Jaybird was nice enough to send me this model, which looks like the older headphones that fit over the head instead of around the back of the neck or just sitting in the ear.  They are extremely light, which does not cause any neck pain or strain and due to the fact they are Bluetooth they are wireless.  I ran the entire Sarasota Half Marathon without them sliding off my ears, or hear any hesitation or disconnect from my iPod.

 

The controls are located on the right ear and have nice size buttons that are easy to access and allow you to skip forward or back, pause and control the volume.

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The sound quality is probably the best I have heard in a Bluetooth headset.  The sound is rich, clear and responds well to the sound controls on my iPod.  Needless to say I really enjoyed wearing this headset during the race.  JB6-1

 

As, I was looking at the pics…well…the profile is pretty low, but they do look kinda goofy if your looking for them.  It figures, look who is wearing them.

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I did test them with two different phones as well.  The Droid Razor Maxx and the Samsung Galaxy Note II and they responded quick and as expected to Pandora, Spotify, the built-in music apps and the phone.

A friend of mine, that didn’t know she was a part of this review, stated she thought I was using my handset.  Most of the time she could tell, when I had a headset on, because the sound quality was usually pretty poor, but with the Jaybird Sportsband this was not the case at all.  The sound was clear without static or hesitation.

The Jaybird Sportsband comes in two models, the original the S2 which includes the uSport universal Bluetooth adapter.  Both models are compatible with any A2DP Bluetooth device to include iPhone, iPad, iPod(7th Gen), Android, windows devices, PC and Mac.  Options include the iSport and universal Bluetooth adapters on the original and S2 models.

The company just so happened to send me apple red, but there are also a wide range of colors available.JB5-1

I really enjoy running with this headset.  It fits over my ear and not inside, which is more comfortable for and it still allows me to hear ambient noise around me which makes my music motivating not distracting.

I give this device 5 out of 5 Goofs.

 

Carpe Viam!!

Goof Review: Hoka Biondi S2 Running Shoes

Goof Review: Hoka Biondi S2 Running Shoes

Hoka One One Biondi S2

Have you ever even heard of these shoes before?  I didn’t before I met Chet “The Jet” whom was a double Ironman athlete I hosted in my home a few weeks ago.  Chet is from Hawaii and he nonchalantly mentioned these shoes as he was telling the tale of his son whom was running across the country.  He was even went on to mention that he sent a pair to a point in Alabama where he knew he son could pick them up, and the response, nothing but sure gratitude for the gift.  That was the point I had to give them a try.

Hoka One One is not well known here on the east coast, but in the community of ultra runners they have been known since their inception in 2010.  Obviously this is a relatively young company which falls under the Deckers Outdoor Corporation umbrella whom also houses brands like UGG, and Teva.  With the increased popularity of Ultra and Marathon running, I believe these will take off to even higher levels in the very near future.  Why?  Well let me tell you.

When I looked at these shoes for the first time, I reacted negatively.  The huge sole, was a Bondi_Speed_Red2problem for me, due to my belief in a more of a minimal running form, but I for the readers and for my clients I wanted to give them a try, especially after the rave reviews from Chet and his son.  I decided to take them out first for a three-mile run, and then give them a full test drive at the Sarasota Half-Marathon this past Sunday.  I was completely overwhelmed at how comfortable and responsive these shoes are.  At first glance they look really heavy  don’t they?  They weigh in at slightly under 10 ounces(9.8), which is the exact weight of my Brooks Pure Flow 2s that I love so much.  My Brooks Pure Cadence 2s, I was just sent are actually almost 0.4 ounces heavier.  (Just a disclaimer, I weighed these myself, I did not take these stats from the website.)

What also surprised me was the structure looks like a normal running shoe, like any Asics Nimbus, or Brooks Ghost which has a 12mm heel drop.  They say looks can be deceiving, and with these shoes they are.  They also have the same heel drop as the Brooks Pure Project line as well.  The flexibility in the forefoot is probably the only disadvantage of this shoe versus my own running shoes and even that is minimal, and I believe probably after running in them for a little longer even that would become pliable enough to create more flexion.

Capture1bThe sole not only provides superior cushioning upon impact, it also is slightly wider which increased the stability as well.  It seriously was like running on a cloud.  I always preach good running form, and if you have naturally good form, impact is not usually an issue due to a proper lean, raised knee, and high cadence.  I found myself not having to think about my posture and position, because the rocker-ed sole of the shoe did not inhibit, but encouraged a good strike and lean.  Just for the fact a few of my clients are still trying to get into the habit of good form, I decided to jump rope, and do some box jumps in order simulate the impact.  I barely felt anything, and I had full control of my feet.  i really thought I would end up kicking the rope especially doing double-unders, but I had complete control and I barely felt the impact doing the box jumps.  I could totally understand why these shoes are so popular with the marathoners and ultra-runners on the other coast.  The more people start wearing them here, I believe they will gain popularity pretty quickly.

The retail price of the Hoka One One Biondi S2s are $170.00 which seems even high for a running shoe, but like the Newtons, they have a much higher mileage output.  In my research I have found these shoes have been averaging over 700 miles without any degradation of the sole or cushioning.  An ultra runner friend of mine said he had 3 pair of these he was switching out, and his current count is at 3048 miles and he has no intention of getting new ones yet.  Most running shoes will get up to 350 miles, and my favorite Pure Project line rates there own shoes at 250 miles and cost around $100 retail.

They do take some getting used to.  They do feel bigger, but not heavier.  I do like that I was 5’11’ with them on, instead of 5’8″ and change.  Personally, I do not think I would use them for a half marathon or below.  I like the feel of the road a little too much, but you better believe I will be running the Chicago Marathon in them.

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I give the Hoka One One Biondi Speed 2s, 4 out 5 Goofs.

Hoka One One has several other versions of shoes, for different fits, and surfaces.  More information can be found on their web site.

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Sarasota Half Marathon – Race Recap

Sarasota Half Marathon – Race Recap

I am a little behind on posts, and now need to add three more due to being sent and then utilizing three new products during the race; the Hoka One One Biondi S2 running shoes, the Jaybird Sport Strap bluetooth headset, and Wrightsock Stride running socks.  I will do my best to get those reviews completed as soon as possible, but for now let me tell you about my experience with the US Road Races Sarasota Half Marathon.

I learned a lesson first thing because I ended up running a tad bit late in the morning. The drive time to Sarasota usually is 45 minutes and I thought I was going to be fine until two miles from the race start.  The traffic came to a dead stop.  I drive a Mini Cooper Clubman, so while maneuverability is not an issue going over things like medians become either not possible, or the consequences may turn out to be expensive.  I was stuck behind a tractor-trailer semi trick with my right lane blocked and a huge median to my left.  No way out.  After a while, of being a little stressed of missing the start, I noticed the median curb height had changed to regular curb height so I took the chance and allowed my little car to climb over it. Luckily I found an alternate route, and parking pretty fast, but a ways from the start, so involuntarily I sprinted a quick warm-up mile prior to the gun.

I could hear the National Anthem being sung as I was running to the start, which told me it was going to be tight making it, and of course there were close to 5000 runners, so I ended up starting in the 13 minute/mile corral.  At first I was a little disappointed, but it gave me a little time to stretch and calm myself down.  I usually start up near the front of the pack, and end up getting passed throughout the race, however this time it was me who was doing the passing.

Miles one and two ran along Tamiami Trail and over a bridge which wasn’t very steep, although it felt long, but it did allow for some recovery on the other side.  Some coaches worry about their runners as they run downhill, but the form I teach really allows the ease of just letting the legs do what they will allowing for a nice recovery. Of course I also coach a way on the uphill that makes the effort feel a lot less as well, but that is for another time.

The 5k split ended up in a circle downtown and according to my split time, it wasn’t bad.  23:24, less than an 8 minute mile for the first three miles, I’ll take that.  Miles four and five were back over the bridge and past the start/finish line.  Unfortunately, my sock started slipping in the circle, so after mile 5 I actually had to stop, and take off my shoes so I could re-position my sock.  I couldn’t believe it.  Because I was product testing my shoes I did not put lock laces on, so I even had to untie and re-tie the laces.  I think it was 3 minutes wasted.  It wasn’t a huge amount of time, but it still irked me.  I will talk more in my review of the socks.

After that it was just a lot of fun.  I caught up with some friends along the way, Holly Tripp, Teresa Gadient, a couple of others and chatted and then continued on my way.  It was a beautiful course that ran inside a nice residential area and then back to the finish.  The view was not anything spectacular, but a decently scenic throughout the course.  The weather held to mid 60’s throughout the morning, which is perfect for me.

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Nick Z, Ben Mena and the Goof

The last couple of miles were back down Tamiami Trail and then turned back into the community center and into the finish shoot.  I picked up the pace on the last couple of miles and actually had enough for a little sprint kick at the end, which I haven’t had in a while.  I wish I could figure out what I did, that made that difference.  It could have been the steel-cut oats I had that morning, or even a new natural supplement I started a month ago, but I definitely had a little more than I thought.  This would have been a nice PR race, but my strategy was negative splits, and very conservative.   Next half I’ll do it.

There is one thing to be said about starting in the back and passing people up versus getting passed.  Positive/Negative reinforcement.  It shouldn’t feel that way, but I believe I also had some energy build from passing everyone except for three whom passed me.  Positive conditioning.  Starting in the front and getting passed no matter what I tell myself, still has a negative effect on my semi-fragile ego.  Do not get me wrong, I know my place.  I have always preached strength before speed.  I have stated over and over again I am not fast…yet, but I am a strong runner and at a comfortable pace I can run forever.  Unfortunately, that pace is pretty slow right now.

sarasota half medal

I met up with Ben Mena, Nick Zivolich and some other athletes and, Beth(B.o.B) joined us a bit later after finishing herself.  I will say the medal is huge and beautiful and athletes running in the other US Road Race Half Marathon series, receive an extra medal with the number of races they ran in the series.  If the athlete competed in 2 of the series they received a 2 inch number 2, for 3 races a 3 inch and so on.  I like the concept and those medals were gorgeous too.  It may be something to ponder trying to complete next  year.

That was the glorious morning of my St. Patrick’s Day.  I cannot think of a better way I would’ve spent it.

How was your St. Patrick’s Day?

Carpe Viam!!