Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Update: Watch that Water

This picture was taken Friday afternoon at the San Dieguito Academy Cross Country Team Time Trial. It's a 5K race on the home course for the CC Team as well as parents, teachers and coaches. Last year after 5 days of rest from Ironman Lake Tahoe, I did this race and was the first adult. This year after being canceled out of Iornman 70.3 Lake Tahoe because of fires in the area, I decided to give this event another try.

I was disappointed after not being able to race in Tahoe but I was also ok with it. Last Monday I hiked for 90 minutes in Mill Valley, CA. Tuesday I ran with my buddy Paul. He wanted to run 1 hour with 30 minutes of Tempo. It felt really easy to me. Wednesday after driving home from San Francisco Tuesday night, I ran with my friend Andrew for an easy 40 minutes. My body felt great, all things were feeling good.

Thursday after a 2 hour meeting I rushed to the beach. I had about an hour before I had to start on dinner. I stopped at a familiar beach, grabbed my paddle board and headed out into the water. The water is still so nice that it was just awesome to be in the water. Once I started heading out I noticed the waves were quite strong with lots of water behind them. I'm never scared of surf so instead of minding the waves I started paddling out. As I got to the break point of the surf I noticed a sizeable wave heading my way. (later reports the Surf was head high). I hesitated and that was the mistake of the week. The wave picked me up turned me around and in doing so through my paddle directly into the back of my head. Then the wave flipped me over the falls. I tumbled for a bit, shooting pain in my head and then it became calm. My head was on fire. I decided to head in to check to see if I was bleeding. I sat on the beach for a bit then headed home. The rest of the night and the first part of Friday I was dizzy and sick to my stomach. Not throwing up or anything just felt sick.

Friday at 2pm I decided why not and headed to the Time Trial. The start is always fast and a bit chaotic. It's downhill on grass with low hanging trees. The start is everyone kids and adults together. I decided to start at the back behind the kids and ease into the run. That was perfect. Two adults charged ahead and I just sat and watch our son at the front of the pack. After 1 mile I had eased pass the two adults and was feeling ok. I was tentative on my foot plants but to this point the run was mostly up hill. As soon as we hit the big screaming downhill things changed. I was getting dizzy and my lower back was killing me. I carried on. At the bottom we turned to go back up and it all seemed ok again. The finish is down the big hill one more time and then a hard right up hill on grass for 300 meters. As I got to the bottom of the hill one of the men passed me. I thought no problem I've been going easy I can take him on the way up. And then my legs stopped working. I felt really awkward as I started pushing. You can tell in the picture that there is no lean in my running. I should be leaning into that hill. The guy finished 10 feet in front of me. Bummed but no issues.

Saturday I woke up and couldn't move without searing pain in my back and in my head. I called for a massage and it seemed to work but the low back pain was still there on Sunday. Marco and I went to the pool to work on his stroke and I was again really dizzy in the water.

Monday I went to the back doctor. Told him my story. He said let me look at your eyes. A 1 minute later he said, You had a concussion. Your left eye is still jumping.

I wouldn't change the trip to the ocean or the 5K for anything. Maybe I would have checked the surf and chosen and easier reef entry rather than a beach entry but other than that I loved this experience. It will all correct itself soon enough and I'll be back to playing hard again.

It's a good life....

Monday, September 15, 2014


Some interesting things on the way through life:

  1. My wife and I have done well raising our son so far. He ha  his moments of rebellion but for 90% of his life he has his life together. 
  2. Meditation on a board a few 100 yards off the coast at sunset might be the most peaceful thing on earth.
  3. Having a Chocolate Lab follow me around the house a  I work is extra special. 
  4. Our son the runner asked me to take him swimming this week. On day 1 he swam 400 yards and struggled. On day 2 we adjusted his stroke and he swam 600 yards. On day 3 we worked on his kick and his pull. He swam 1400 yards and is beginning to understand the mechanics. 
  5. I set up three interviews last week. 
It's a good life....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday: Five Promises

From Quote Guru:" When Love is not madness, it is not love"....Pedro  Calderon de la Baraca

I'll admit I've spent most of my life avoiding the madness. There are reasons for it and I'm slowly figuring it all out through self discovery. Maybe one day I'll get the nerve to write it all down. But until then I promise these 5 things:

  1. I will make running a better experience for everyone. Be prepared for a big announcement soon.
  2. Bob Babbitt gave me the name Super Dave. It's not because he likes me it's because of what I did at RRS. I take the name for granted often but no longer. It's a badge that I cherish and I will work hard to maintain.
  3. I will continue my work at being a Man. It's a worthy goal and one that needs to be worked on every day. We need good men in this world.
  4. I will laugh often. It's the best medicine in the world and those who make a living at making us laugh are truly gifted people. I wish that was enough to keep Robin Williams going because he was best when he was making us laugh.
  5. I will love hard. There will be madness and that's what I want it to be.

It's a good life.....


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

If You Were a Running Shoe, What Kind Would You Be?

I've gotten some great feedback recently from the athletes I worked with at Zoot. The general theme was trust. They trusted me to take care of there needs on a day to day running and racing standpoint. They enjoyed the trust and so did I.

My lifelong work goal is to improve the running experience for everyone.

I have chosen running shoes as my vehicle to do this and this is where the warning comes. If you think there are too many running shoes on the market today you haven't seen anything yet. In 2015 my estimation is that the total shoe count (shoes available for your feet) will almost double. The Big brands are attacking the new niches. The small brands are racing to the middle. By that I say that to get into a business you have to come in from the extremes. In running shoes that was minimalism/natural running and more recently maximalism. These companies are racing to the middle of the market and are doing so by adding new models.

Back to the running experience. I don't know your running style or your running goals. With that I can surely narrow the total selection down. But what I do know is that every runner should be looking for roughly the same feel. This is where I start: What Kind of Running Shoe Would you be?

You would be a shoe that allows your runner to feel the road. Too much feeling the road and the road bites back. To little and your runner would lose one of the beauties of running, Feel.

Every person in running has different flex needs. The best I can tell you is that you would feel natural to your running. If the flex is true flex or it's done with a rocker it doesn't matter what matters is that it feels natural. Shoes that don't feel natural in the forefoot feel terrible in running.

Heavy shoes suck. So you would feel light to your runner. You shouldn't scream your weight, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that you feel light.

Oh my this is the trouble spot for most shoe companies, but it's actually really easy for you and your runner.
Heel Fit - Your runner should be able to run in the shoe without lacing it, with no heel slip.
Midfoot - It should fit natural. Your runner has an instep and you should cover that instep naturally and let the laces do the rest. If you are too shallow the laces with cut and if you are too high the laces with pinch.
Forefoot - Your runner should be able to wiggle those toes.

If you are a track spike or a racing flat forget all the above except the heel fit. If you are an Ultra Running shoe good luck because you are dealing with a really rare breed of runner and their only loyalty is if you worked on the last 12 hour run.

The great thing about all the running shoes is that you are bound to find one you like. I highly suggest you find a couple. The other thing about being a running shoe, you will disappoint many who liked you before but don't like you now or really wanted to like you but for some reason couldn't.

It's a good life....

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ironman Sherpa Riding

116 miles
10,800 feet of climbing
104 degrees in parts
70+% humidity
12 bottles of fluids that's a bottle every 10 miles
2 flats not mine his
One faulty back break 60 miles in - his

One step closer to Kona for my partner - the Kona bike ride will not be this hard and that's the point of the ride.

Big congrats to James at he got engaged over the weekend. Two Ultra Running, Dog loving people.

Also huge congrats to Javier Gomez on his 70.3 World Championship victory. I am lucky enough to visit Javi in his home in Spain, his Spring training grounds in the Canary Islands and was there when he took Silver in London. He is obviously highly talented but he is also very gracious. He respects those who have come before him.

It's a good life.....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday: About Me

I've been sending my Resume and doing interviews. Answering the same questions. I thought maybe I'd share most none of it. Those questions and interviews are about my expertise in the running shoe industry from retail, to design, development, go to market to  sell through.

These are the things they don't ask in an interview:

  1. Where are you from: In California specifically people ask this question all the time. I'm not from Ohio is usually what I say. When probed I tell the story of being born in Bogota Colombia, moving to the states and then back to Brazil. Moving to California the day I graduated from Southern Illinois University. My truck was packed and ready to go.
  2. Music - I'm a fan of all music. I love the intricacies of voices and instruments. I can listen to most music and play the main riff on my guitar instantly.
  3. A day late in July 1998 was the scariest and best day of my life. Our son Marco was born nine weeks early and I held him in the palm of my hand. This past Friday I cried while he was running a time trial mile. His focus, his determination and his unbelievably beautiful form brought tears to my eyes.
  4. I love to ride my bike, I really enjoy swimming in the pool and the ocean but running brings peace to me. I can manage my mind while running. Slow and easy if I want to think and solve problems hard and nasty if I want to forget it all.
  5. My mother-in-law pestered me about her daughter. One day I was on yet another trip to work at a race with her and she didn't show up. This young woman showed up. She introduced herself Mary Rodkin the daughter and I know I tried to run away. We spent the next three days working an expo in Atlanta and when I got home I told my sister Cyndi that I met my future wife.  
It's a good life....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

That First Pair of Running Shoes

I love Pandora - Songs I've never heard before hit me.

My first pair of running shoes: After a few weeks of running in my beat up Nike shoes I bought my first pair of real running shoes, a pair of New Balance. Those shoes became a part of me. I ran in them every day and I wore them to school every day as a badge. Yes, I'm a runner. There is a  picture in my senior year yearbook of me in my Izod shirt, jeans and my running shoes (those running shoes). I ran in those shoes until the sole was worn off. They had cost me so much  that there was no way I could really afford another pair.

Last night was the Fall Sports meeting for parents at the School. Sign in, pay the donation and then listen to the AD and the CC Coach talk about the life of a student athlete at SDA. I talked to the parents I knew. The Dad of the #1 runner on the team. He's not a runner, and he's so excited to watch his boy run. We have that bond of talking about what if's for the season. By the CIF meet he and I will probably be holding hands in nervousness for our boys. That meet determines who moves on to the State Meet and both boys are aiming for State. Getting to the State Meet in this huge state is quite an accomplishment for a runner.

I met a father on Friday at the team Time Trial. He had never seen his son run and wanted to watch his son run the mile. He had these questions:

  1.  What's a good time for the mile
  2. How many boys make the Varsity Team
  3. Wow your son looks like a runner, how long did that take
I told him the mile time doesn't matter. What matters right now is that he finishes, feels good about himself and has fun. The Varsity boys are a select group but they are an inclusive group. If your son accepts running and shows he really wants to learn, the Varsity boys will encourage him and include him, When my son was a freshmen a Senior Varsity runner took him under his wing and showed him the way. It's how this team operates.

Last night I asked this Father how his son felt about his mile on Friday. His answer:

"We went out Saturday and bought a real pair of running shoes"

It's a good life....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Running Form: Feet or Head and More Ironman Training

This past weekend Alistar Brownlee ran away at the Edmonton Grand Final Triathlon. It was great to watch him run the entire 10K. As I watched the running form debate raged in my head. If you broke his gate into two parts and watch his feet and then his upper body there is absolutely no reason for him to run so fast. His feet twist as they mange through to toe off. His upper body looks as though he's trying to sit down. It's weird to watch. But the other things are working.

  1. His body is still - There is no bounce in his step.
  2. His cadence is high. I didn't count but he's running 90+ cadence.
  3. His arms are relaxed and driving.
  4. His head is perfectly aligned over his body.

So the question is fix his flaws or let them be. I'm confident that if we put him in slightly forward lean he would slow down. His form, his natural form works for him. The video below is from last year. It's a better video to show his running form then the video from the weekend. He's a great athlete to watch run. He shouldn't be fast, he should be injured all the time and yet he is fast and his only injuries are from pushing his body too hard.

Did another long one with my friend training for Kona. We road 80 miles on Saturday and were done by 11:00am. It was great to get out early and get it done. Not once did I step out of comfort. I kept the entire ride in front of me and made it fun. He and our partner were upset that I called Super Bikes for the ride. He does not understand just yet how long he will be sitting in Aero position in October. I forced him into aero often on Saturday. He'll thank me.
It's a good life....