Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cardiff Kook Run Options

Sunday is the Cardiff Kook Run. Of course one of the options for the event is to dress up. Above is one of the easier Kook outfits. Click here for more options.

It's a good life...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Running Shoes #5: Zero Drop and the Cardiff Kook Run Countdown

T minus 7 until you get to Kook it up at the Cardiff Kook Run. 

My test shoes for the weekend. The Zero Drop, Altra The Instinct. Well constructed and a great story. Part of the product story solved. I like the story the best. Just the box was worth the $100 I spent on the shoes. 

It's a good life....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Reward

When you work hard and go hard you have to reward the effort.

It's a good life....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rubber and Road

617 miles with L.A. rush hour traffic in the middle gives a person a great deal of time to think.

1. I set the plans to change 4 different shoes. A new Zoot footwear line.
2. Drew up in my head something new for the footwear world.
3. Most of all I got lost in my youth. My love for loud music played really loud. If you play the song below in your car and turn the volume to as loud as it gets, everything else disappears. The thoughts of shoes, the thoughts of taking risk in business, the fears of failing in business. All of it gone in an instance and your lost in that heavy guitar and heavy bass. Music is a beautiful thing.
It's a good life....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Recovery Shoe

I had lunch with a long time friend yesterday, Howard Jones. Howard and I use to swimbikerun together way before triathlon became this big corporate thing. More recently Howard sold the shoes I helped make with the 3 stripes. He now sells Birkentstocks. He reminded me of something. Before all of these fancy foot rollers, "recovery" shoes and the like we had Birkenstocks. My guess is these sandals will out last all of those other "recovery" footwear techniques. Why, they work and the design is timeless. 

It's a good life....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Running Around #5 A story of Love in Atlanta

Mary at the Great Wall Summer 2011

This is a story about a girl. Her name is Mary. A long time ago at a company we both worked for Mary was notorious. Let's just say any time her name came up it was followed with she's such a bitch. During this time I was selling shoes for a living. Besides working at one of the retail stores I was also on the travel team, traveling to running races all over the country selling. One of the races frequented was the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA. It was July and time for Peactree. The plans were set but there was a late substitution. Mary was coming. Oh Great!
I met Mary for the first time at the airport in San Diego. I said hi but not much else until we got off the plane in Atlanta. We found our hotel and realized we had a few hours before we could set up at the expo. There were 4 or 5 of us on the trip. Mary wanted to go visit a Museum. I wanted to go for a run. The others joined Mary on the Museum tour and of course I went running in the hot afternoon in Atlanta. There was nothing special about the run just that I did it.
Over the next 3 days I got to know Mary. In fact I don't think we stopped talking to each other the entire trip. I got home after the trip and called my sister Cyndi. I told her I met my future wife.
It was almost a year later that we went on our first date. Ever since then we plan our vacations in places where Mary can tour and I can run.

No clue what I'd be doing today if I hadn't gone running in Atlanta.

It's a good life....

What Makes You Happy?

There is brilliance all around us. I found this on the net. Chip Conley on Ted

It's a good life....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Music that makes you think

The other day on the radio Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot was talking about this song Where I Belong. He was asked how he comes up with this stuff. His story and I'm paraphrasing is "What if this is the last song you write. What would you say?" It's something we should all think about from time to time.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PBR at Whole Foods

Regularly I go to Whole Foods to buy my lunch for the day. Always a Salad of course. If you watch what you put in the salad it's rather reasonably priced. It's priced by weight. Today when I walked in I was greeted by this display. My sense of smell went on overdrive. I was rushed back to my teenage years in Peoria, Ill. If the wind was right it didn't matter where in the city you were. But more often then not it was on the regular trips to the park for Soccer practice that the smell of the PBR Brewery was the strongest. As soon as I saw the display today the smell of mass production brewing hit me. And look it's only $8.99 for a 12 pack. Go get some!!

It's a good life....

Do you really want it?

Saturday we went to a Banquet for the Civil Air Patrol. It's something Marco really enjoys. It's teaching him Leadership and so much more. Like this quote from a Navy Captain last night. The quote refers to this. How do I get what I want:

"Sustained Superior Performance"

It's a good life....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Running Shoes #4: First Performance

Yesterday Heather Jackson finished 3rd in the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon in a time of 1:16:10. The time was 3:30 faster than last year. I think that should strike some fear in the 70.3 world. Heather learning to run can't be good for everyone else. Only time will tell but it's looking good. To view a few pictures go click here.

This is the first performance for someone in the new Zoot Ultra Tempo+ 5.0. I sincerely can't wait for these shoes to hit the market. It's been a true effort in patience.

It's a good life....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Still Haven't Read It

Note: I wrote this over a year ago but apparently didn't publish it. It still makes sense to me.

In the current issue of Runner's World, the one with the New 2011 shoe review in it has a two page spread on a new book by Dean Karnazes. According to the article the following quotes are from his new book Run. If the quotes really represent what's in the book, I've read it already. More times than I'd like to admit. But I'll hold judgement because maybe the article was 4 pages long and got edited down to this set of quotes. So in that case it's just bad editing on the magazine's part.. Here are the quotes and a few words about each one:

"Never, under any circumstances, argue with a woman. She is always right." - Seriously women of the world is that what you want?

"Regardless of how distant your dreams may seem, every second counts" - I told you I read that!

"When all else fails, start running" - I think there are too many men in the world with this mentality. Stand up and Be Different!

"Endurance sports either strengthen a relationship or destroy it" - That's the biggest copout in endurance sports. You either strengthen your relationships or you destroy it.

It's a good life....

Why do those things?

The discussion came up of why I continue to "train" the way I do.

1. Because I can still do it at a high level.
2. I like it. No really I like going hard and the feeling of it afterward.
3. I continue to learn something about myself, life and other people every time I'm out there.
4. I like the people. Recently I went back to the pool where I did my first ever Masters swim practice. The Coach is still the same and he's a great guy. Corky is still there, making me laugh every time we swim together.
5. I love the feeling of feeling good. When I'm in "shape" and feeling strong everything around me seems to work. I simply love that feeling.

It's a good life....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Running Around #4: Florida, 9 IVs and a Sub10 Ironman

I've had the pleasure to run a number of times in the great state of Florida and so I have many stories I could tell.
1. Running South Beach where there is little left to the imagination.
2. Running through Disney World.
3. Running along the various water ways of Tampa.

The best story comes from one of the most interesting towns I think we've ever been too, Panama City Beach. The beach is as white and you can imagine a beach to be and the sand is so fine it squeaks when you walk on it. Just across the street from the beach sits many establishments flying the South colors. I think you have to go there to appreciate it's flair. Anyway it was Ironman Florida 2000. Billed as a fast course but with no breaks. Dead flat on the bike and run means you better keep your focus. Anyway I got through the swim and 3/4 of the bike ok. Towards the end of the bike it started to rain hard. Water everywhere. Because I was getting rained on and cooled down I didn't drink. By the time I got to the run the sun was out and the wet roads were steaming. Everything seemed fine on lap #1. I was on my goal pace and all was well with the body. Things started to crumble as I neared the final turn around. I could feel things were not right but my running was still in good shape. As I got close to the finish I ran up along side a guy and urged him to run with me. He did. We both hit the tape in 9:57. A really good day.
Mary was there to meet me at the finish. Her concern as always was that I would die right then and there. I assured her that I was fine but that I needed food and something to drink. When that came around I realized something was wrong. I couldn't drink or better I couldn't swallow. Same on the food. I found the medical tent and told them what was going on. I was shivering by this time and couldn't get warm. The doctor in the tent checked me out and said "you are not that bad off and besides we need these beds for people who will come in with a much worse condition". So I left the tent, found Mary and we headed to the condo. In the condo I sat in a warm bath trying to get warm. Mary tried feeding me potato chips and sprite. Nothing doing I was still cold and could not consume. Finally at 9pm a full 4 hours after finishing I ask Mary to take me to the hospital. There they run test after test and finally come back and tell me this:
"Your body has begun to feed on itself, you are going to need IV and monitoring to make sure it doesn't get worse. Because it's now midnight you will officially be checked in tomorrow. Florida state law requires that you stay over night which means you will be with us for the next two nights"
By the time I woke up the next morning I had gone through 9 IV bags. That's quite a few if you didn't know. For the next day I was bouncing off the wall. I had just gone Sub10, my wife was already back in California and I was 100% recovered (9 IVs will do that) and still in a hospital. Now I was sure my bed could be used for someone in worse condition then me.

The lessons learned:
1. Continue to drink and eat when it's raining.
2. Go as fast as you can, it's fun to push the limits.
3. Don't let the doctor tell you how you feel. 1 IV in that tent and the entire problem would have been solved.

It's a good life....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Over Hill

If you want to be a strong runner you've got to run hills. We may not have Kenya type hills (that's a story for a time later) but we do have Chesterfield. Running this at the end of a long run is no treat. But it sure toughens you up. 

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Running Form on Real Runners

If you got a chance to watch the US Olympic Marathon trials this past Saturday you go a chance to see some phenomenal runners and their beautiful running form. One runner of note I'd like to point out. Not because of her stunning beauty but because of her running form. I've quoted my friend Greg McMillan often in this blog. He talks about running tall rather than worry about foot placement. There is no better example then Kara. She is one tall (as in she runs ver tall) powerful runner. But if you notice in this picture and in any video of her running she lands on her heels. That for sure has got to be sending shock waves through her body making her one slow poke runner. Not! 3rd place and a stamped ticket to London proves otherwise. 

It's a good life....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Running Shoes #3: Was it the shoes?

Sketchers Go Run

Over the weekend the Olympic Marathon Trials were won by Meb Keflezghi. It was a very smart race as Olympic trials go. The boys went out hard to remove any chance of someone taking a flyer. They kept the pace hard to 20 miles to make sure their gap would stick. Then it came down to the four runners and which 3 would be strong enough to finish it off. The winner was the ageless Meb. He was the Silver Medalist in Athens in the Marathon. He won the NYC marathon in 2010 and in 2011 was dropped by Nike. Sketchers stepped in to help Meb out. In November of 2011 Meb went back to NYC and finished 6th running his fastest Marathon ever. Saturday he bettered his time by a few seconds but more importantly he won at the age of 36. He ran in the new Sketchers Go Run. I'm sure there is a party at Sketchers going on today. You believe in an athlete, you work with that athlete, and he delivers with a victory. Fairly crazy that less than a year after Sketchers releases their first ever running shoe, they will have an athlete wearing them in the Olympics. Good for Sketchers and Great for Meb. I'm sure somewhere in the Nike office there is somebody saying "Man, I told you he wasn't finished, he's not too old" 

It's a good life.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Bit Humbling

In Kona this year Shawn and I were interviewed by some journalists from Japan. It was a whirlwind interview. Lot's and lot's of pictures. They shot video of the interview and apparently we made in on something because my friend Kohei in Japan said he saw it. Then this. Tarpan magazine.

It's a good life....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Focused Attention

Recently I wrote about some focused attention I would be placing on my sport. The area's in order that needed the attention were:

1. The bike
2. The Swim
3. Strength

Just an update so far.

Bike: Over the last few years I've seen one measurement slipping. When I was younger, a 3 hour ride always meant 50 or slightly more miles. For me 3 hours is 3 hours away from home, not 3 hours of actually riding. It's my way of telling Mary exactly when I'll be home. Since we moved to Germany and back, this number has slipped. 3 hours was only 45 miles or I've seen as low as 42 miles. If anything I've been consistent. Well finally on Saturday without "trying" I road 51 miles for 3 hours. That doesn't mean I'm back to an old form it just means that my work is paying off. Go figure, ride your bike often and good things can happen.

Swim - Not as dramatic in my mind but a good sign. Last week my 1:35 (per 100m) was overcrowded so I moved over to the 1:30 lane and made the workout. It was really hard but I made it.

So far so good. It just shows that you can focus on areas where you are weak and improve on them. With effort and time good things can happen.

It's a good life....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Running Around Episode 3: The State List

The USA is a study in itself in terms of my running. One day I'll count all the states, there are many. But for now here's my top 5 listing of the states with the most running for me:

1. California
2. Illinois
3. Massachusetts
4. Oregon
5. Washington

It's a good life....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Running Around Episode 2 The Country List

My running around the world has been a special experience. As we go I'll share the many stories from the road but I thought I'd start with a simple ranking. Countries I've where I've run the most: 

1. USA 
2. Germany
3. China
4. Panama or Mexico I'm not sure. 

Running Shoe Episode 2: It's got to be the shoes

Recently Dr. Lieberman produced his study done on Harvard Cross Country Runners over a long period of time. You can read a report on the study here. Obviously it's really cool that the study was done. And the results are plain to see.
1. Runner's get injured. In fact 74% got injured each year.
2. The study suggests that you are less likely to get injured if you run on your forefoot. But as the above article states the study didn't move a runner from heel striking to forefoot striking to measure the results.
3. The study was funded in part by Vibram the makers of 5 fingers. This suggests nothing. I say thanks to Vibram for doing this.
4. The end result is we don't know much more today than we did. Running hurts, your running form may have an effect on your chance of injury but just because you run "Natural" (I'm using the current term, not referring to anything stated in the study) doesn't mean you won't get injured in fact you probably will.
5. Darn it, there must be something I can pull from this to say that's it's the shoes. The shoes are the cause of all our problems. The shoes if made right wouldn't put us in this heel striking running form. If the shoes would let us run naturally we wouldn't get injured. I know maybe we should build a shoe that forces us to run naturally. That will show the world.

I could go on but I won't. Decide for yourself what works and doesn't work for you. Get out there an run.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Running Around - Episode 1 - The Girl and Oreo Cookies

Running Around will take you through all the places in the world I've run or will run in my life. I've been really lucky to be able to do what I do. At age 17 I started running and made a commitment then that I wanted to work for a shoe company. Well here I am many years later still running and working for a shoe company. But it all had to start somewhere and that somewhere is right here. The Lake at Lake of the Woods in Dunlap IL. My brother Bob was a runner and I thought that was rather crazy. But then I met a girl and she was a runner. Not just any runner mind you she was on a team of 3 in Cross Country and track (distance) and she made it to the final in the State Track meet for the 800 as a freshman. Anyway one day she challenged me to a race way off in the future. My soccer season was over and my daily routine was come home from school, have a hand full of Oreo Cookies and watch MTV. Not long after that challenge, I was sitting on the couch with a stack of Oreos by my side when it hit me. I put on my running shoes (a pair of cheap Nike shoes) and started running. My goal was to run to the lake and back. Roughly 3 miles round trip. I was sore for 2 days after that but somehow I did it again, and again, and again. The next week I bought my first pair of real running shoes (New Balance) and just kept going. The relationship with the girl ended, I hate Oreo cookies but the running remains.

It's a good life....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunset, Cardiff by the Sea

I have had the pleasure of running in some absolutely amazing places around the world. There are few better than a sunset run in Cardiff by the Sea. This was the backdrop of my run last night. 
  Picture Courtesy of friend Susie Miller

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cardiff Kook Run, Snot-Rockets, F-Bombs just a week in running

If you are racing the First Annual Cardiff Kook 10K, this is what you are racing for. It's a perpetual trophy that will have your name on it if you win. Really darn cool if you ask me. 
This interview with Desi Davila is inspiring. This is the mindset you have to have if you wan to win. You can't train for a PR you can't train to make the final you have to train to win. There is just no way around that. If you want to win Boston, Ironman or the Olympics you better have this attitude. 

Some favorite Quotes of the week. 

Seriously, why is it I can't do a snot-rocket without hitting myself. Today I cleared the body but what are the odds hit my shoe mid-stride - Mary Beth Ellis

The weird thing is, or maybe it's not so weird, but once I decided to just race bikes next year I started to like running more.  Like running for the sake of running and having nothing to with racing.  Running is fun! - James Walsh

A big thank you to Desi, Mary Beth, James of course the Cardiff Kook for making this first week of 2012 and entertaining running week. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Favorite Picture

 This is by far my favorite picture of 2011. Mary, reading (her favorite thing to do) in a chair fit for a queen. It was taken at the pool at the Marriott, in Beijing. This is one of the reasons I frequent Marriott. To give Mary this opportunity.
The other reasons I hit Marriott. Have you ever been to China? Have you ever tried to run in one of the industrial cities? If not give it a try and then find the Marriott. I've found through all my travels that Marriott offers the best gym. When going outside is not the best option then having a good gym to work out in is essential to keep my life somewhat normal. I also like the pillows Marriott offers better but that's really secondary to the gym. Bottom line is I get to work out and Mary gets pampered from time to time. It's the best of both worlds if you ask me.
I have to throw this picture in because it's what Marco and I do best. We try to make each other laugh often. This too was taken in China but you could hardly tell. The important thing is the smile on his face. Those are priceless.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Marketing It's really simple

Marketing = Product, Price, Market, A way to sell it and a way to promote it.

When all these are in place the product you are building finds it's market. When they are not in place you fail or certainly don't hit your goal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life Episode 1, 2012 - Vega Sport

live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. dow what you love. live as if this is all there is. - mary anne radmacher

 Life always throws in new priorities. Because of one of mine I have a new workout routine. I used to be the guy who woke up, took time to really wake up and then get going. Not any more. Today it was wake up and 25 minutes later I was out the door running. To do this I knew I had to try something different to get me going. I didn't have time to have a snack and a cup of coffee. So I've been trying Vega Sport Pre Workout Energizer. It works. It's a bit expensive but for this I don't care. All I care about is being awake and energized when I'm out there.

Of course that's not my only secret. When I wake up I have a glass of pure clean water. I can generally tell by how fast I drink it, how "dehydrated" I am. Usually not. But once I'm outside and running, my mouth gets really dry and all I can think about is water. So my answer to this is a peace of gum. It works. Today I never noticed that I was thirsty. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Running Shoe Episode 1 - 2012

We call him The Pope. He's by far the best at putting the human body back together with his hands. He's traveled the world working on World Champion athletes. When you spend 90 minutes with The Pope he's working your head as much as your body. After 5 years of stupidness I went to see The Pope.  As always my body and my head came out feeling better.
He couldn't wait to show me these shoes. Shoes that I suggested he try out. What's unique about them is that they have 3500 miles on them.  They must be the most durable shoes in the world right? Not even close, the Pope is almost as unique in his running. He's learned that if you run often, run tall,and  run light on your feet, you can run for a long time. Not really unique at all if you ask me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Get a Move On

"Today is a brand new day, an it's mine to use in a marvelously positive way" Zig Ziglar
 What a beautiful day December 31 2011