May
31
Posted on 31-05-2011
Filed Under (Gear) by Brian
Saucony ProGrid Mirage

The Saucony ProGrid Mirage

When Saucony first told me they were introducing a minimalist stability shoe, I was intrigued, but skeptical. After all, a minimalist stability shoe just seems like an oxymoron. My first pair of running shoes were stability shoes (Adidas Supernova 9) and I made my way up through the Supernova family to the Supernova Sequence II. Then, Saucony sent me the Kinvara and I was hooked.

So, although I had been comfortably running in a neutral minimalist shoe for several months, I still wanted to see what they could do with the stability category. At first, I was a little disappointed. The Mirage seemed stiff and clumpy compared to the Kinvara, but I thought I wasn’t being fair comparing apples (a neutral shoe) to oranges (a stability shoe) so I grabbed the Supernova Sequence from the closet and slipped those on.

The difference was immediately obvious. Compared to the other stability shoe, the Mirage was simply awesome. It was lighter, sleeker and far more comfortable. My mid foot landing felt more natural in the Mirage compared to the Supernova Sequence. Where the Mirage had felt stiff compared to the Kinvara, it was downright flexible compared to the Supernova Sequence.

As time went by, I found myself reaching for the Mirage more and more. It’s my go to shoe for days when I strength train after a run and for the most part, it hits the pavement every other day when I’m not wearing the Kinvara. Though I still think the thought of a minimalist stability shoe is an oxymoron, the Mirage is definitely my favorite stability shoe.

***Disclaimer: The shoes were complimentary, but the opinions are solely mine.***

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May
30
Posted on 30-05-2011
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Over the last month or so, I’ve composed 10 training plans for the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon (and one for the Walt Disney World marathon). None of them have been for me. If the cobbler’s children have no shoes, then I suppose the coach, himself, has no training plan…or something like that.

Since we’re down to 18 weeks left to train for the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon, I thought it was high time to put a plan for myself out there. I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll race it or just pace some of the Digital Running Club team members. So, I’m training as though I’m going to race it. That way if I’m pacing a slower group, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Jack Daniels' VDOT tables based on recent race performance

Jack Daniels' VDOT tables based on recent race performance

I opened up my trusty Jack Daniels VDOT tables and saw that I’m not in as good of shape as I’d like to think. Theoretically, Alice is in better shape than I am right now, but I’ve been running with her a lot and I don’t think that’s true in reality. With only 18 weeks to go, however,  it looks like topping my current PR of 1:29:11 is probably out of the question. I’ll be going in with the goal of 1:33:00, which is better than the 1:36:xx I ran in December.

Most of my speed workouts will be in the form of long threshold pace intervals. My peak weekly mileage will be 50 and my longest run will be 16 miles. This will be my first summer running with a lot of coaching clients, so it’ll be interesting to see how well I stick to the plan given the intricacies of working my running into other people’s schedules. If anyone is interested, here is the plan(pdf).

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May
11
Posted on 11-05-2011
Filed Under (It's all about me) by Brian

The last few days, I’ve been having some pretty vivid dreams. Most of them involve some sort of travel and they seem to reveal some interesting things about what my subconscious thinks about my life right now.

It started early last week. I dreamed I was traveling with two other men. We were dressed in business suits (something I very rarely do) and we were traveling by plane. We were trying to get to Chattanooga, TN but we missed our connecting flight out of Atlanta. We decided to drive to Dalton, GA where we arrived just in time to catch the last flight out to Chattanooga. As the plane took off, I could tell something was wrong. It seemed to be struggling to gain altitude. Sure enough, we crashed in the parking lot of a supermarket. Somehow, I was gently thrown from the plane during the crash and survived without a scratch.

Immediately, I had to tweet about it: “Just walked away from my first plane crash!” Then, I figured that since Dalton, GA is only about 30 miles from Chattanooga, it made more since to just drive it.

The Dream dictionary says that if you dream you’ve missed a connection, you’re feeling somewhat trapped by a situation or feeling disconnected from work, relationship or home life. To dream of a plane crash indicates a loss of power and uncertainty in achieving your goals. Chattanooga is, of course, somewhat significant because it’s the start of the Tennessee Ragnar Relay and I’m about to submit a proposal to company X for a title sponsorship of the Digital Running Club Ragnar Relay teams. Dalton, GA by the way, does not have a commercial airport.

The fun continued over the weekend when I dreamed I was traveling on a plane landing in Atlanta. This time, I thought it was going to crash, but it turned out that the Atlanta airport had grown so big that they just built a multilevel runway and we were “threading the needle” so to speak and landing on the second of four levels of this runway. It was a little scary, but the terminal was all abuzz because some lawyers had just arrived to deal with some sort of dispute in the NHL playoffs. In the terminal, I met up with a guy I knew in high school and haven’t seen for years. In the dream, however, I believed I saw him every time I passed through the Atlanta airport. He explained that he lives in Atlanta and he now travels to a different place every weekend.

To dream of old classmates indicates a past lesson that is applicable somewhere in your life now. To dream that you are a lawyer means that help is available if you ask. I’m not sure what it means when people keep announcing that the lawyers have arrived over the airport PA system. A terminal represents a transitional phase where you are approaching a new direction in life. Travel in dreams represents the path toward your life goals.

On Monday, I dreamed I had traveled to a beach house in the outer banks of North Carolina. It was similar to a house I stayed in with my extended family back in 7th grade. My extended family was all there this time, but we were all our current ages and everybody had their children there. We were trying to figure out where we were going to put everyone. Outside, the sky was dark and the ocean was full of huge waves that crashed on the shore close to the house. Although the sight was a little scary, I was excited about having fun riding the waves.

To see family in a dream represents security, warmth and love. Seeing a house in a dream represents your own soul and self. To see water rising up against the house suggests becoming overwhelmed by your emotions. To dream you’re on a beach looking out toward the ocean indicates unknown and major changes in your life. The sea was forbidding, which is probably a bad sign, but the fact I was excited about that perhaps negates that.

Finally, last night I dreamed we were looking at a new school for Alice and Wendy. The hallways of the school were a maze. For some reason, it became imperative to escape the school and I figured out how, but there were two doors and both had to be open at the same time to get out. There was a man holding one of the doors closed, but we tricked him and got out. He chased us for some time, but I found some wire strippers and cut his leg with them until he bled all over the floor.

A dream that takes place in school is a metaphor for the lessons you’re learning in your waking life. A maze often indicates you’re making a situation harder than it really is. Being inside a locked door indicates harsh lessons that need to be learned. To dream you’re being chased is a metaphor for some form of insecurity in your life. To dream others are bleeding represents an emotional cry for help. To dream you are stabbing someone indicates a fear of betrayal.

So, I guess a lot of this isn’t so surprising for a guy who doing his best to leave a career he spent 12 years getting a Ph.D. in to move toward something else. Moving into the sponsorship sales part is intimidating. Calling people and asking them for stuff has never been my strong suit. Hopefully, the fact that I stabbed that guy who was chasing me means that I’ll overcome that fear. Not sure how the wire strippers play in.

What do you all think? Any bloggers out there wearing a technicolor dreamcoat?

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May
03
Posted on 03-05-2011
Filed Under (Digital Running) by Brian

Well, at over 2 months, this is possibly my longest blogging drought since the very beginnings of this blog. It’s not like I’ve been idle, though. I’ve had more than enough posting action over at digitalrunning.com. On the running front, I’ve been holding my own – averaging about 20-25 miles per week. It seems like the more coaching I’ve been doing, the the less I’ve been running myself. That needs to change, though since I’ve registered for the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon in October. I’m also seriously contemplating running the Goofy race and a half Challenge in Janury (that’s the Walt Disney World half marathon on Saturday and the Walt Disney World marathon on Sunday).

So, here’s the update:

Coaching: Going pretty well. The season is winding down with the Middle School State Championship this Saturday. Alice will be running the 1500 and 3000 along with her 6th grade counterpart, Olivia. John, an 8th grade boy will be running the 1500 as well. Alice and Olivia made it as far as the high school regionals. Olivia nearly broke the school record in the mile, running a 5:37 at the regional championships. Alice got her time down to 5:52. John missed advancing out of the district by 1/100th of a second, running a 4:56 mile at the district championships. They all have bright futures ahead of them.

On the adult front, I’m coaching Richie for the NYC marathon. He’s trying to break 3 hours (again). I think he’ll do it this year. He’s in really good shape. I’ve been giving him some pretty challenging speed workouts and limiting his racing. If he follows the training plan I’m giving him and stays uninjured, he’ll probably go under 2:55.  He’s running the Bay to Breakers in a couple of weeks. That’ll be a good test of his fitness.

Digital Running Club: Things are going well. People seem to like the articles and we’re up over 450 Facebook Fans. We’ve announced our first team experiences: The Disney Wine & Dine Half marathon in October and the Walt Disney World marathon weekend in January. The response of people signing up for the teams has been nice and I’m having fun putting together training plans for all these people. I can’t wait to meet them in person at the races!

We’ll be officially announcing our November Tennessee Ragnar Relay team in the next few weeks and we plan on doing 5 Ragnar Relays in 2012 – del Sol, Napa Valley, NW Passage, Great River and Tennessee.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. What are you all doing?

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