Runblogger https://runblogger.com Running Shoes, Gear Reviews, and Posts on the Science of the Sport Mon, 06 Sep 2021 22:59:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.18 Adidas Terrex Speed Pro Shoe Review: A Racing Flat for the Trails https://runblogger.com/2021/09/adidas-terrex-speed-pro-shoe-review-a-racing-flat-for-the-trails.html https://runblogger.com/2021/09/adidas-terrex-speed-pro-shoe-review-a-racing-flat-for-the-trails.html#comments Mon, 06 Sep 2021 22:17:19 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2188005

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Considering it has been a very long time since the last time I wrote a shoe review, I figured I’d make a return for a shoe that has gained a special place in my running life. Over the past few years I have been coaching indoor and outdoor track at my school, but this Fall my daughter made a switch from soccer to cross country, and I have now become a volunteer coach with the XC team as well. Coaching has been a great experience, and one of the benefits of coaching cross country is that I get to run with the team every day after school.

I’m fortunate in that my school, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, has a storied history when it comes to success for our cross country teams. We are almost always in the running to win the state championship (both our boys and girls won XC and outdoor track states last year), our boys XC team was nationally ranked last year, and we have a wonderful set of trails right on our campus. I have found my niche in helping train the Freshmen and newer upperclassmen, and have managed to string together several 25 mile weeks since the season began. Life is pretty good!

At the beginning of the season, my daughter needed a new pair of running shoes, and since we run most of our XC miles on rooty, rocky trails and some single-track, I decided to get her a trail shoe (for some reason most of our athletes run trails in road shoes). Her favorite shoe for track training and road running is the adidas Adios Boost line, and she is partial to adidas as a brand, so I decided to check out what they had to offer for trail shoes. I’ve always thought of adidas trail shoes as clunky and heavy, but saw on their website that they had a couple newer models in their trail lineup that looked pretty intriguing. She prefers a bit more cushion, so I ordered her a pair of the Terrex Speed Ultra shoes, which have Boost under the heel. Still a shoe geek, I couldn’t resist the pull to order a pair for myself (I was going to be running a lot of trails after all!), but I opted for the sleeker Terrex Speed Pro, which are essentially a racing flat for the rails. I’m quite glad I did, as I have come to love these shoes!

Some readers might not get the reference I’m about to make, but if you do, you probably don’t really need to read much more of this review as the comparison tells you pretty much all you need to know. Back in 2011, adidas produced a racing flat called the Hagio. It was a great shoe – firm, fast, and with a highly breathable upper. The adidas Terrex Speed Pro is essentially the Hagio built for the trail.

My decision to opt for a trail flat was due to an experience running trails in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 over the summer. The stack height of that shoe plus the soft cushioning led me to nearly roll my ankle several times on that run. I needed something firmer and closer to the ground to be able to handle the roots and rocks without injuring myself. The other thing that appealed to me about the Speed Pro (aside from the fact that it’s a fine looking shoe…) was that it has an incredibly porous upper. With the rain we’ve had this summer, running through shin deep puddles and crossing streams has become commonplace, and I needed something that would not hold water.

I’ve now put probably 30-40 miles on the Speed Pros, and it is truly a fantastic shoe. The stats are typical of a racing flat: 23mm heel height, 19mm forefoot for a 4mm drop. The 190 written on the side of the forefoot refers to the weight in grams, though that scales with size. Mine are soaked right now, but I’d guess they are under 8 ounces, with most of the mass coming from the Continental rubber outsole.

In terms of fit, I feel like they run a tiny bit large. I have a 10.5, but if I was using them to race, I’d probably prefer a 10 just to snug up the space in front of my toes. The forefoot is surprisingly roomy for a racing shoe, and they are super comfortable on the run. Interestingly, the Speed Pro’s do not come with an insole/sockliner, and I found that by adding one from another pair of adidas shoes the fit improved significantly. I suspect in a half size down I would not need the added sockliner.

The Speed Pro’s feel firm on hard ground, as you would expect from a racing flat, but the Lightstrike midsole does have a little give under the heel (this is one way it deviates from the Hagio, which had a firm midsole throughout). Running at pace on the trail they feel amazing, and the protection afforded by the outsole and what appears to be a nearly full length rock plate is excellent (you can see what I think is a rock plate in yellow in the sole cutouts in the photo below, not sure what it is made of). These shoes are built to run fast on trails, and they do that job exceptionally well.

As I mentioned previously, one of my motivations for getting this shoe is that I wanted something that drains really well. I long ago learned that trying to prevent water from getting into a shoe on trails is pretty futile, so it’s far better to have a shoe that lets the water out so that you are not running with a heavy, sloshy mess on your feet. The Terrex Speed Pro’s are a near ideal shoe for running straight through streams and deep puddles and not worrying about it. Much of the upper is completely open mesh, and any water that gets in comes out just as easily. It’s fun running straight through water while watching our young runners pick their way around puddles or over rocks to cross streams on training runs!

This review has already gotten way to long, but I guess that has always been my style… I’ll finish by saying that I like these shoes so much that I bought another pair for my daughter after her first XC race. She opted to wear spikes during that race, and realized quickly that metal spikes on rocks make for a not very comfortable run, and she wanted something that was still light and grippy, but that would offer a bit more comfortable ride on our trails. Given her fondness for the Terrex Speed Ultras, getting a pair of the Pro’s was a no-brainer. Just hoping they arrive before her race next week!

The adidas Terrex Speed Pros are available at adidas.com in the US and Amazon, and at Running Warehouse EU across the pond. Enjoy!

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Running With My Daughter – A Bit of an Update to My Favorite Blog Post https://runblogger.com/2021/07/running-with-my-daughter-a-bit-of-an-update-to-my-favorite-blog-post.html https://runblogger.com/2021/07/running-with-my-daughter-a-bit-of-an-update-to-my-favorite-blog-post.html#comments Fri, 02 Jul 2021 15:08:42 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2187849

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Pete and Emma LarsonAbout seven years ago I wrote what I still consider to be my most personally meaningful blog post. It was about my (then 8 year old) daughter, Emma, and how she had just run the cross country race of her life. Emma was never the fastest runner as a kid, in fact she quit cross country shortly into her first season in elementary school, but she had more heart than anyone, and she is exceptionally competitive.

It’s now 2021, and Emma is a teenager heading into her junior year of high school. I have been both her teacher, and her coach for track and field, and I’m quite happy to say that she is now quite a bit faster than me. When we run together, she pretty much leaves me in the dust within a half mile, a function of her increased ability, and my corresponding decline.

Emma started track her Freshman year during indoor season doing short sprints and throwing shot put. Though she enjoyed the former, she’d be the first to admit that shot was not her event. Then COVID happened, which resulted in the cancellation of Spring track during Spring 2020. During the pandemic summer Emma discovered distance running and cycling, and spent a lot of time training on her own leading into her Sophomore year. She played soccer in the Fall, but unfortunately our indoor track competitive season got cancelled. However, another coach and I decided to run workouts throughout the winter leading up to Spring track. It was during this time that Emma learned that she really loves distance running. She went on to compete in the 800-1600-3200 this past Spring, and just recently made the very difficult decision to give up soccer and switch to Cross Country in the Fall.

Emma and I are exceptionally close, and I’d be proud of her no matter what path she chooses, but for selfish reasons I can’t help but be a little excited that she is doing XC in the Fall. I think the reason I decided to write this is because we have been taking my oldest son on college tours over the past few months (he’s being recruited for track and field, but that’s a story for another time), and this week Emma accompanied us for the first time on a few campus tours. It made me realize that she will be in college in just two short years. It’s quite hard to come to terms with that!

The other day I told Emma that the reason I am most excited that she is doing XC is that it means we can run together for the next two years. I volunteer on occasion with our school XC team, but if she is there it means I can join them more frequently (soccer meant driving all over the place to games since both my son and Emma played). And we are training together this summer, though by “together” it means me just trying to keep her visible in the distance ahead of me…

One of the things I have realized as a parent is that as I have gotten older, my personal goals have often become secondary to supporting the goals of my kids. I haven’t run a marathon in years, and I barely run during track season as I am so busy carrying out my coaching duties that I have little time or energy left to run for myself. But this coming year is shaping up to be a bit different, as helping my daughter achieve her goals means that I might need to start developing some new ones for myself. I’m looking forward to what the coming year will bring!

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I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel good or bad about all of this… https://runblogger.com/2020/04/im-not-sure-if-im-supposed-to-feel-good-or-bad-about-all-of-this.html https://runblogger.com/2020/04/im-not-sure-if-im-supposed-to-feel-good-or-bad-about-all-of-this.html#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2020 22:00:53 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2186961

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Spring is typically an exceptionally busy time of year for me. Between teaching and coaching (track and field, soccer), it’s rare that I get much time to myself. For obvious reasons, this year has been a bit different. Lockdowns associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have brought life to a halt for almost all of us, and have rearranged lives in ways that none of us could have predicted just a few short months ago.

As a high school teacher, the rearrangement of my life has been dramatic. My school was shut down in mid-March, and we managed to transition to remote teaching over a period of about 48 hours. The process has not been without its challenges. As a 4th year teacher, my classes are pretty well prepped and set to go, but they were not set to be delivered remotely. This has necessitated a monumental amount of effort to convert nearly everything that I do into a format that can be delivered online. My workdays are now longer than they would have been had I still been in the classroom, and the process of transitioning to online teaching has been grueling. That being said, my students have kept me going. They have risen to this challenge in a way that I find truly inspiring – almost every single one of them (80+ students) has continued doing their work diligently, on-time, and well. We are making the best of the situation, and I could be more proud of these kids (especially the seniors, who have seen their final sports seasons and prom eliminated, and a graduation ceremony still uncertain).

Transitioning to remote teaching has been hard, but the bigger change has perhaps been what happens outside of school. Everything else has disappeared. No track practice, no track meets, no soccer games all over New England on the weekends. I’ve had 4-5 straight weekends entirely at home – I can’t remember the last time that happened! Daily walks with my wife have become the routine, and runs to blow off stress at the end of the day have increased my weekly mileage way above where it would typically be at this time of year. And it’s not just me – my wife, and all three of my kids have been running regularly as well. It’s almost become a form of therapy for all of us, including my 10-year old son. Heck, my older son (age 16), who claimed to hate running before all this began, told me he wanted to set a mileage PR and came home the other day having run 8 miles. He’s a sprinter and jumper in track – I was dumbfounded! And my daughter (age 14) has gotten to the point where her daily run is something she looks forward to as an escape from online homework.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this other than to say times are weird, and I needed to write something down. I’m conflicted in that I miss my students so much, I miss coaching, and it hurts deeply that we lost the Spring track season. But on the other hand I have cherished the time with my family, I have loved watching Spring begin to overtake my neighborhood, and I have loved the feeling of regular physical activity. I feel so fortunate that I have a job that continues to pay me during all of this, and I feel guilty about that at the same time since I know others are struggling. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel good or bad about all of this.

I’m going to stop right there because the moment I typed that last line, I realized that that is what I’m trying to articulate. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about all of this. I’ll let you know if I figure it out…

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2019 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Running Gear Deals https://runblogger.com/2019/11/2019-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-running-gear-deals.html https://runblogger.com/2019/11/2019-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-running-gear-deals.html#respond Thu, 28 Nov 2019 20:18:57 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2186638

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Black FridayEach year around this time I put up a post containing a collection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale links. Basically what I do is spend some time scouring the web for running-related holiday sales, and aggregate them all into a single post – kind of a one-stop shop for runners looking for discounted shoes and gear. The post is typically very popular, and it benefits me in that I earn a small commission from affiliate referral sales at many of the online retailers listed below. You save money, and I get a kickback for alerting you to the sale – it’s a nice win-win, and it helps me to be able to keep paying for hosting fees to keep my post archive online (sadly time for active blogging has largely disappeared due to my return to teaching and family commitments – if I’m not in my high school classroom, I’m usually on a soccer field either as a spectator or coach for my three kids).

What follows is a list of deals that I was able to come up with. If you know of any others that I missed, feel free to share links in the comments, we can all benefit! Some are not active until Cyber Monday, and dates are noted where necessary.

On to the deals!


Amazon.com

Amazon has a variety of sales running for Black Friday and Cyber Monday – all Black Friday deals at Amazon can be found here.

View Amazon’s selection of sports and fitness Black Friday sale items here.

View Amazon’s selection of women’s Black Friday sale athletic shoes here.

Or click on the banner below:

Amazon Black Friday


Running Warehouse

The Running Warehouse Black Friday sales are live and can be viewed here!

Running Warehouse Black Friday

In addition to these holiday sales, Running Warehouse always has a wide variety of sale footwear. As always, code RUNBLOG2019 will work for 10% off of these sale/clearance items (and new items from select brands that allow it).

Running Warehouse Runblogger Sidebar


Zappos

Zappos has a Black Friday sale this year that includes a lot of popular running shoes – Click here or on the image below to view selection.


Shoes.com

Shop our biggest sale of the year! Take an additional 30% off + Free Shipping with code BLACKFRIDAY

Shop our biggest sale of the year! Take an additional 30% off + Free Shipping with code CYBERMONDAY


Hoka One One

Save on select running and fitness shoes up to 20% off. Holiday offer, limited time only.


Sierra Trading Post

Sierra Trading Post has a wide variety of running shoes on sale at considerable discounts – click here to view selection.


Adidas.com

Adidas has a variety of items on sale for Black Friday – view here.


New Balance.com

Links for New Balance sales will be active Friday and Monday:


Soccer Gear

If, like me, you are a soccer parent (3 players in my family…), Soccer.com and WeGotSoccer.com (25% Off Sitewide) are both running sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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The Mysterious Sleeping Injury https://runblogger.com/2019/07/the-mysterious-sleeping-injury.html https://runblogger.com/2019/07/the-mysterious-sleeping-injury.html#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2019 14:06:29 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2186335

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Sleeping JackThere’s no doubt that as I have gotten older, my body has changed. Coming back to running a bunch this summer, I’ve noticed that I tend to be stiffer on the days after a hard workout, and I pay the price if I don’t take days off. I’ve had fairly regular lower back issues, though (knock-on-wood) all has been well in that area since last summer. And I seem more prone to muscle strains – for example, I somehow managed to strain a rib muscle while pumping up the tire of my riding mower – that made it pretty painful to even breathe for the rest of the day.

One issue that cropped up a bit over a week ago still has me a bit perplexed. I woke up one morning with a sharp pain in my hip. The pain wasn’t there the day before, and to be honest I’d never even felt tightness in my hip region. But it hurt, and it made it difficult to run up any kind of incline/hill for the next week.

The logical answer is that I probably slept on it weird in order to compensate for a lingering shoulder injury suffered when trying to make a diving save in my son’s soccer practice (stupid move for an older guy…). But to just wake up with a pain so bad that even the slightest incline causes trouble? Is this an old guy thing, or do younger people have these issues as well?

Just writing this post has made me realize a theme for the past year or so – I get injured more easily. Part of it must be age, part of it must be that I am less fit than I used to be. In any case, be careful out there, sleeping can be pretty dangerous…

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Running Shoe Review: adidas Adizero Prime Parley https://runblogger.com/2019/07/running-shoe-review-adidas-adizero-prime-parley.html https://runblogger.com/2019/07/running-shoe-review-adidas-adizero-prime-parley.html#comments Sat, 20 Jul 2019 15:24:17 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2186306

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adidas Adizero Prime ParleyThere was time when shipments of shoes would arrive at my house from various brands on a weekly basis. Some I had requested, some were shoes that brands were pushing because they were the latest and greatest thing and they wanted to spread the word. That’s how the blogging/review/influencer business works. It’s also part of the reason why I couldn’t make it as a full-time blogger. I always felt vaguely like I was a shill hawking products for big companies. Yes, I did my best to be honest, and not every review was positive, but there was always an underlying fear of being too critical for fear of upsetting someone, whether it be an advertiser or source of material/products to write about. Being an “influencer” kinda sucks, and it’s really hard to be authentic. I really just want to be helpful, and to write about things I like. I don’t really want to write long posts full of shoe specs – those are easy enough to find on product pages. So I thought I might try a different approach while writing my first review in a long, long time. Here goes.

adidas Adizero Prime Parley

The Adidas Adizero Prime Parley is a great shoe, maybe one of my all-time favorites. It wasn’t sent to me by a brand or marketing agency – in fact the model I have is old and has been updated. I don’t have the update, but it looks to be pretty similar. I found this shoe totally by chance – it was on clearance for like $25 at a local Burlington Coat Factory (which along with Marshall’s and TJ Maxx has become a favorite store for footwear “treasure hunting” – this shoe had an MSRP of $200). I saw it on the rack and recognized the paired Boost midsole and Continental rubber outsole as being quite familiar – it’s basically that of the Adidas Adios, another of my favorite shoes, and the one my oldest son wore for most of his track season last year. But the sole was paired with a one-piece, knit upper – very intriguing given that Nike Free Flyknits are my preferred shoe to wear during the day at work. They were size 11, but I tried them on anyway and they fit well. For $25, why not give them a try?

adidas Adizero Prime Parley

I’ve run nearly all of my miles in these shoes this summer, and they have proven to be one of the best treasures I have found at a discount store. If you’ve run in the Adidas Adios you already know what they feel like underfoot – the Boost midsole is bouncy but seems to firm up at higher speeds, and I’ve used them on the track and the road. I also ran my first race in a long time in them earlier this month. The upper is ridiculously comfortable – I love a knit upper that I can slip on and off easily without ever needing to untie, and they hug the foot without any slop while running. I didn’t realize until recently that the upper of the Parley model I have is made from recycled ocean plastic – another plus in my book. Parley is an organization dedicated to ocean conservation, and they have collaborated with a number of companies to use recycled ocean plastic in products.

adidas Adizero Prime Parley

In an effort to keep things short and to the point, I’ll finish by commenting on sizing. The pair I have are size 11, which is atypical for me, but they fit well when I tried them on (and they didn’t have any other sizes on the rack at Burlington). I wear a 10.5 in most shoes, and just yesterday I was at Marshall’s and they had a bunch of the adizero Prime on display. I tried on the 10.5 and it felt tight around the forefoot – I would definitely recommend at least a half size up. I would have bought another pair at Marshall’s for myself if they’d had an 11, but alas no such luck (my son, who has the same shoe size as me, also wanted one – we share similar tastes in footwear, though he is more into soccer cleats).

adidas Adizero Prime Parley

So, if you happen to be at a discount store and see the Prime Parley, I’d highly recommend giving them a try (they seem to be making the rounds of these clearance stores right now). It’s a great shoe, and highly versatile. The newer model looks like it has the same sole with a different upper, and even these can be had on clearance right now at Running Warehouse. If you have tried the newer version, leave a comment about the upper – I’m curious if it’s mostly similar to the model I have. Finally, for another take check out the Prime Parley review on Believe in the Run.

adidas Adizero Prime Parley

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The Ghost of Races Past: Reconciling an Older, Less Fit Body With Expectations Based on Prior Performances https://runblogger.com/2019/07/the-ghost-of-races-past-reconciling-an-older-less-fit-body-with-expectations-based-on-prior-performances.html https://runblogger.com/2019/07/the-ghost-of-races-past-reconciling-an-older-less-fit-body-with-expectations-based-on-prior-performances.html#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2019 18:38:26 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2186290

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Bridgton 4 on 4thOn July 4th I ran my first timed race in probably five years, and I’m pretty sure it was the first race I’ve run since I turned 40. I’ve done a few Ragnar relays with friends in the interim, but nothing where it was just me against the clock. The race was held in Bridgton, Maine, and it is a race I have run many times. In fact, it was the first race I ever ran, way back in 2007.

The reasons why I haven’t raced in several years are many – employment change, growing kids with busy lives, new interests, etc. – but primary among them is that I’m older (now 44), and just not as fit as I used to be. Though life has taken me in new and different directions, all of which have been exceedingly positive, the one regret I have is that I have let my fitness go. However, fitness here is a relative thing. I’m not sedentary, and I never really stopped running – I just run a lot less, and as a result have gained some weight back that I shed when I was putting in 30-40 miles per week on a regular basis. As a result, I’m in no condition to even come close to past race performances right now.

Knowing that I can’t compete with my old self has caused me to avoid even trying. A race would only lead to disappointment, and confirmation that I’ve lost much of what I gained through years of regular training. Deep inside I know that this was dumb, and that what I’ve lost can be gained back, but I think I also knew that gaining it back wasn’t realistic in the near-term. Life had just gotten too busy to make running a priority.

Fortunately, my perspective began to change during the last school year. My first two years teaching high school were hard – developing curriculum took an immense amount of time, and I had little free time for anything other than preparing to make it through each day. Last year, however, things changed, in large part due to the fact that my oldest son was a Freshman at my school. He was involved in soccer in the Fall, so I would often run while he was at practice. Then he decided to do indoor track, and I volunteered as an assistant coach. Indoor track at a school without an indoor track means running outside through the dead of a New Hampshire winter, and I got to run a lot with the team. Indoor was followed by outdoor track, but running was less frequent for me since I was often busy helping out the coaches doing timing, working with injured kids, etc. My competitive spark reemerged (watching the boys outdoor track team win states helped!), and I went into this summer with a goal to start training more regularly, and to maybe run a race or two. My son competes in jumps and has been doing the USATF Junior Olympics circuit this summer, so we’ve gone to the track several times and I get some speed work in while he warms up. I try to run most days, sometimes fast, sometimes (mostly?) slow, and it has felt (mostly?) great.

Choosing to race in Maine was a joint decision with my wife, and our ulterior motive was to get my son to run it with us. Though he loves long, triple, and high jump, he hasn’t quite found the love of running that we have, and he has struggled a bit with grit when the going gets tough on the track. Somewhat surprisingly, he agreed to do it, as did my daughter (who will be a Freshman this coming year) – there was no turning back.

I knew going into the race not to expect a PR, or anything close to that. My best time on the 4-mile course was a bit under 26 minutes, and with age has come the wisdom to know that if I even tried to run one mile at sub-7:00 pace I would crash and burn hard. I refocused my goal to beating my time when I ran the race the first time – 30:41. And my secondary goal was to try to beat my son – he’s way fitter than me, but he’d never run a road race before, and 4 miles would be the longest he’d ever run in one stretch. I failed on both accounts.

I will admit to being a little disappointed that I couldn’t beat my old race time. However, I came within 30 seconds of my tertiary goal (32:00), and with carrying some extra body weight on a hot day that’s not too bad. I also know that regaining fitness is a long process, and that there are no quick fixes – just a lot of hard work to get back to where I want to be. I’ve come to think of my race history as just that – history. I have my 30’s PRs, and now it’s time to work on my 40’s PRs. I don’t know that I’ll ever beat any of my old times, but that’s OK. I’ve been away from racing for long enough that the gap has cleaned the slate a bit. It’s time to move forward.

On a final note, I have to say that the best part of finally racing again is that I did it with my family. I honestly can’t remember the last time my wife ran a race, but she completed it respectably as well. My son, who has struggled with cramping when trying to run distance, had a no-cramp day and smashed his expectations (and his old-man’s time) by going just under 30 minutes. He was quite shocked by his performance, though I’m still not sure I’ve hooked him on running yet. And my daughter, who I wrote about a long time ago in one of my personal favorite posts, finished her first road race (and longest ever run) well under her goal of 40 minutes. My pride as a parent and husband made it far easier to swallow any individual hurt pride that I might have had.

I’ll end with a piece of advice – if you haven’t raced in a long time because you are scared of not living up to past performances, sign up for a race now. Give yourself a realistic goal and go for it, and talk someone into running it with you if you can. I’m glad I did.

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2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Running Shoe and Gear Deals https://runblogger.com/2018/11/2017-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-running-shoe-and-gear-deals.html https://runblogger.com/2018/11/2017-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-running-shoe-and-gear-deals.html#comments Thu, 22 Nov 2018 18:32:19 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2185212

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Black FridayEach year around this time I put up a post containing a collection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale links. Basically what I do is spend some time scouring the web for running-related holiday sales, and aggregate them all into a single post – kind of a one-stop shop for runners looking for discounted shoes and gear. The post is typically very popular, and it benefits me in that I earn a small commission from affiliate referral sales at many of the online retailers listed below. You save money, and I get a kickback for alerting you to the sale – it’s a nice win-win, and it helps me to be able to keep paying for hosting fees to keep my post archive online (sadly time for active blogging has largely disappeared due to my return to teaching and family commitments – if I’m not in my high school classroom, I’m usually on a soccer field either as a spectator or coach for my three kids).

What follows is a list of deals that I was able to come up with. If you know of any others that I missed, feel free to share links in the comments, we can all benefit! Some are not active until Cyber Monday, and dates are noted where necessary.

On to the deals!


Amazon.com

Amazon has a variety of sales running for Black Friday and Cyber Monday – all for apparel and footwear can be found here.

View Amazon’s selection of men’s Black Friday sale running shoes here.

View Amazon’s selection of women’s Black Friday sale athletic shoes here.

Or click on the banner below:

Amazon Black Friday


Running Warehouse

The Running Warehouse Cyber Monday sales are live and can be viewed here!

In addition to these holiday sales, Running Warehouse always has a wide variety of sale footwear. As always, code RUNBLOG10 will work for 10% off of these sale/clearance items (and new items from select brands that allow it).

Running Warehouse Runblogger Sidebar


Zappos

This is the first year I can recall that Zappos has had a specific Black Friday sale – Click here or on the image below to view selection.


Hoka One One

Hoka has a variety of shoes on sale for Thanksgiving week.

Hoka One


 Shoes.com

Shoes.com BF


6pm.com

6pm.com is running a Black Friday sale on New Balance running shoes – some good deals here!

6pm currently has sales on a variety of men’s running shoes and women’s running shoes.

 


Road Runner Sports

For 11/22/2018:

Pre-Black Friday Sale 600 x 300

For 11/23/2018:

Black Friday Sale 600 x 300

For 11/24/2018-11/25/2018:

Cyber Weekend Sale 600 x 300

For 11/26/2018:

Cyber Monday Sale 600 x 300


Adidas.com

Adidas has a variety of items on sale for Black Friday – view here.


New Balance.com

New Balance Athletic Shoe

The banners below will be active Friday and Monday:
New Balance Athletic Shoe

New Balance Athletic Shoe


Merrell

Black Friday Sale! Shop Doorbusters up to 60% Off, Plus Take An Extra 30% Off All Sale Styles.

Cyber Monday Sale! Shop Doorbusters up to 60% Off, Plus Take An Extra 30% Off All Sale Styles.


Backcountry.com


Save up to 50% Off Select Gear & Apparel This Black Friday at Backcountry.com


 Soccer Gear

If, like me, you are a soccer parent (3 players in my family…), Soccer.com and WeGotSoccer.com (25% Off Sitewide) are both running sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Where Have I Been? https://runblogger.com/2018/11/where-have-i-been.html https://runblogger.com/2018/11/where-have-i-been.html#comments Thu, 22 Nov 2018 18:31:31 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2185790

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Peter Larson RunbloggerI was just updating my annual Black Friday post and a couple of comments had asked where I have been. Obviously from the recent post history here on Runblogger, this site is not a place I have been much for the past few years. The reason for this is pretty straightforward – in the Fall of 2016 I returned to teaching full time, this time around as a high school science teacher at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood, NH. If you’ve ever been a teacher, particularly at the elementary or high school level, you will know that it’s a demanding job without a lot of down time. In contrast, when I was a college professor teaching only a class or two a day, I had lots of time to pursue other interests in addition to my professional work. Needless to say, free time for blogging largely dried up when I started teaching again, and I made the decision to prioritize work and family over my online writing projects.

Though I enjoyed writing this site as a full-time job for a bit, I quickly realized that although it was financially rewarding for a time (now I mostly make enough from the post archive to just cover hosting and maintenance costs), it was not a career I wanted to sustain over the long term, and returning to teaching was a very positive move for me. I’m happy to say that I love my job, even if it is more demanding than just about anything else I have done professionally in my life. Currently, I am teaching Honors Biology, AP Biology, and College Prep Zoology. I’m fortunate to work at a great school with a supportive administration, wonderful colleagues, and some really awesome kids (hard to believe, but my oldest son is now one of them!).

I have not bee running nearly as much as I used to, but my aforementioned son is doing indoor track this winter (he’s a Freshman), and I’m hoping to join in as many workouts as I can since I’m his ride home and I have to stick around anyway (no excuses!). He seems to have inherited my love of shoes, but in his case it’s mainly soccer cleats (his favorite sport). Regarding soccer, my obsession with running has shifted to that sport, and when I’m not in school, I can usually be found on a soccer field as a coach or spectator. Over the past year and a half I’ve been coaching U10 boys (school and club), and actually got the chance to travel to England in April so that my oldest son could train with his club team (Seacoast Express United) at the Brighton and Hove Albion club training facilities. I’ve become a huge fan of professional soccer, and even got to attend two games while I was in England (Watford vs. Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road, and Arsenal vs. West Ham at Emirates Stadium). It’s looking like I may be able to go again in 2019 – can’t wait!

So, in summary, life has taken me in new and different directions over the past few years, but the change has been good I’ve wound up in a very good place. At some point I may start writing again, or maybe have my son take on a few track spike reviews. I have a little bug in my brain that I’d like to try out a masters track meet some time, but just need to re-find the discipline to train.

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Getting the Stink Out of Running Clothes: A Review of 4 Laundry Products https://runblogger.com/2017/11/getting-the-stink-out-of-running-clothes-a-review-of-4-laundry-products.html https://runblogger.com/2017/11/getting-the-stink-out-of-running-clothes-a-review-of-4-laundry-products.html#comments Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:13:44 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2185187

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written by Erin Larson

Everyone talks about how the tween and teenage periods (basically from 11 to 18) can be a trying time for parents due to the puberty-triggered wild mood swings of their progeny. But, because it’s so thoroughly discussed, I felt ready to tackle the unpredictability of my two tweenagers. And, so far, we are riding the wave fairly smoothly. However, one side effect of all these bodily changes that doesn’t get enough press, and thus for which I was woefully unprepared, is the smell! Yowza! Pheromones must be going through a trial run at this phase, because man, the human race should have died out a long time ago if attraction to the opposite sex is based on THAT smell! The feet, the armpits, the extra body hair, the constant sweating…ICK!!!

So, where am I going with all of this? Laundry. We are a very active family: Pete and I both run; I hike a lot and practice yoga; and the kids are all involved in sports (and are going through puberty…see above). We have a lot of tech-wicking athletic apparel, which, I’m sure any runner knows, gets pretty funky smelling even after washing. The odors emanating from our laundry basket were so awful, that I would routinely have to rewash whole loads due to the horrible, residual stench. But even that didn’t work. Nothing was getting rid of the smell! Knowing I could not go on like this for another decade (my littlest is only 7), I made it my mission to find a detergent that works. I tested four detergents and/or detergent additives and have shared my opinions on them below. Hope it helps!

Product 1: FEBREZE IN-WASH ODOR ELIMINATOR

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Febreze In-wash Odor Eliminator was the first thing I tried, and with fairly good results. You add this product to the detergent well along with your regular detergent, adjusting the amount depending on how stinky your clothes are. I assure you; I always used the maximum amount!

Pros: It did the trick maybe 85% of the time and didn’t leave an overly perfumey smell on the clothes.

Cons: There were still some clothes that had a lingering odor, at least some of the time. Also, unless I ordered it on-line (which, I didn’t like doing because of the impacts of shipping large, heavy things…my own issues, I admit), I had to buy it at Wal-Mart. I really, really dislike Wal-Mart, so every time I went, I would buy the store’s whole supply. I felt kind of silly with eight bottles of Odor Eliminator at check out! Plus, it’s not cheap ($8.84/50oz at Wal-Mart), especially since you have to buy it in addition to your regular detergent.

Overall Rating: B

Product 2:  IN-WASH SCENT BOOSTERS

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In-Wash Scent Boosters are added directly to the washing drum with your laundry, again in the amount you deem necessary. There are numerous products like this on the market now, with each major brand having its own version in a variety of scents. I tried Downy UnStopables Fresh Scent.

Pros: These products are readily available at all major big box stores and supermarkets. And, if you like strong, flowery smelling laundry, this is the product for you. It definitely masked the nasty smells.

Cons: My biggest dislike about this product is the strong, artificial smell it left on my clothes. I’m kind of a toxic chemical freak, who believes that if you can smell your clothes from half way across the room, there are probably some synthetic, not-necessarily-good-for-you particles free floating in your environment**. Again, I may have some irrational issues with this kind of thing, so if this doesn’t bother you, go for it!

Downy Unstopables is available for purchase at Amazon.com.

**Meyer’s has an environmentally friendly version of this product that I have not had a chance to try yet.

Overall Rating: C

Product 3: WIN: HIGH PERFORMANCE SPORTS DETERGENT

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WIN and WIN GREEN High Performance Sports Detergents are used in place of your regular detergent.

Pros: It really did the trick. I used this product exclusively on our laundry until the bottles ran out, and it left even our stinkiest clothes smelling normal, without any obnoxious, over-powering flowery smell. I also really like that it came in a Fragrance & Dye-Free version.

Cons: You can only buy it on-line and it’s not cheap. On Amazon, it’s $10.95/ 32 ounces, which works out to about 34 cents an ounce. If you compare this to a major brand like Tide, where you pay around 11 cents an ounce at WalMart, it’s pretty pricey, especially if you have a large family that creates a lot of laundry.

Another down side, though it may seem silly, is the cap. There are two caps on the bottle, a white one that keeps it closed, and a bigger, colored one for dispensing the liquid. Most detergent bottles have a dispensing cap system (a lip and well on both the cap and the bottle) that is designed to catch any remaining residual liquid back into the bottle with very little mess. Not so with this product. The cap is just a cap, slightly bigger than the neck of the bottle, so that when you go to put the cap back on after pouring the detergent into your machine, the remaining liquid pours out all over your hand and the bottle. For some reason, this really bugged me.

WIN Sports Detergent is available at Amazon.com.

Overall Rating: A-

Product 4: SWEATX SPORT

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SweatX Sport was my favorite of the four products tested. Like the WIN above, this product replaces your regular detergent.

Pros: SweatX really got the smells out and left a fresher scent than the WIN without being artificial or overbearing. I started using this product in the summer, when we not only had to deal with sweaty clothes, but constantly damp ones due to continual use of our in ground pool. Kids, for some reason, are incapable of hanging wet clothes to dry, thus by the time I found suits and towels, they had been festering in damp heaps for who knows how long. The SweatX detergent was even good at tackling the resulting nasty mildewy smells in these loads.

Cons: The real drawback to this product is the price! It was, by far, the most expensive of the four. I bought mine at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $22.99 for a 45 oz. bottle. Yikes! That’s over 50 cents an ounce. You can get it slightly cheaper at Amazon, but not much.

And, regarding the cap (clearly an issue for me), it wasn’t bad. It doesn’t have a well like most major brands, but at least there isn’t a double cap system that makes no sense. Plus, the liquid in this product is much thinner than the WIN, so it pours back into the bottle a lot easier if any detergent is left over.

One last con, there is no dye/fragrance free version that I am aware of.

Overall Rating: A-

So, there you have it. Admittedly, I only tried four products, but feel I got a good sense of what was out there: products added with your detergent, products added directly in with the clothes, and detergent replacements. Unfortunately, the products that cost the most were the ones that did the best job. This is one area, however, at least for my family, where I feel like the money is worth it. I needed to rewash whole loads of clothes with my regular detergent, which wasted money, energy, and time. While I feel I need to use the odor-eliminating products on every load, you could make the bottles last longer if you only use it on select loads, like sweaty sports clothes.

A side note on liquid fabric softener:  I read somewhere that liquid fabric softener retains odors on clothes, especially synthetic wicking fabrics. This seemed counter-intuitive to me, since my fabric softener has a really nice lavender scent, but I decided to test run a few loads without it.  I have noticed the laundry odor is not as strong since I’ve stopped using it, even if I don’t use any special odor-eliminating products.

wool dryer balls

As an alternative to ward off static, I’ve started using wool dryer balls, which seems to do the trick. And, as an added bonus, you can add your favorite essential oils directly to the balls to further improve your laundry’s potential! The balls are re-useable, all-natural and chemical-free…win-win-win!  You can find them at Amazon.com.

 

If there are any effective odor-eliminating products I’ve missed, or you have any other suggestions for improving laundry odors, please leave a comment. Thanks!

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Nike Zoom Elite 9 Shoe Review https://runblogger.com/2017/08/nike-zoom-elite-9-shoe-review.html https://runblogger.com/2017/08/nike-zoom-elite-9-shoe-review.html#comments Thu, 10 Aug 2017 17:48:09 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2185168

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how my running suffered with my return to teaching. I didn’t put in many miles during the school year, but my goal for the summer was to get myself back into some semblance of running shape. I’m happy to say that I have made considerable progress on that front – though I’m nowhere near the shape I was in back when I was running marathons regularly, I’ve already complete runs of 9 and 8 miles this week, which gives me a shot at my first 30+ mile week in over a year (and school starts next week!).

The shoe I have used for most of my running this summer has been the Nike Zoom Elite 9, and I have to say that I’ve fallen in love with this one. Now that I’m not routinely getting boxes of review sample shoes anymore, I’ve had to be a bit more judicious about my shoe purchases. My primary criteria in picking a shoe when I made the purchase were: comfortable, light, softish sole, and price <$100. The Nike Zoom Elite 9 meets all of those criteria except for the last one (MSRP is $120). However, Running Warehouse was clearing out some older colorways, so I was able to get a pair for just under $95. (I also bought a pair of the Nike Flyknit Streak on sale, but they went back. One of the worst fitting shoes I have tried – my heel kept sliding off the inside of the sole.)

Nike Zoom Elite 9

Let’s start with the specs per Running Warehouse:

Weight: 8.2 oz (men’s size 9)
Heel Stack: 25 mm
Forefoot Stack: 17 mm

What I love most about the Zoom Elite 9 is that it’s a shoe that can handle just about anything you throw at it. I’ve done up to 9 miles on the road (and would not hesitate to use them for longer), and intervals on the track in these shoes. For where my running is right now, they are just about perfect as an all-purpose shoe.

Nike Zoom Elite 9

Upper and Fit

The Zoom Elite 9 is an extremely comfortable shoe. The upper is breathable and simple, and the internal lining is incredibly soft. There are no overlays on the outside, and the foot is locked-down by Flywire strands that loop around laces. There is a small heel counter, and the relatively thin tongue is padded in just the right spots.

This is by no means a wide-fitting shoe, but it suits my average width foot just fine with no constriction or discomfort with prolonged wear. I did not have to size up.

Nike Zoom Elite 9

Sole

The sole is what makes this shoe work so well for me. Though I’m not in the shape I was a few years ago, my preferences for shoes have not changed much. I like a shoe with a softish heel and a responsive forefoot, and the Zoom Elite 9 fits that description perfectly. The heel feels downright cushy for a performance shoe (similar to the NB 1400, Asics Hyperspeed, etc. – in fact, if you like those, you will like the Zoom Elite), but the forefoot is responsive enough to handle faster paces.

The outsole on the Zoom Elite 9 has a waffle-like pattern of little pentagonal nubs. These offer good grip on the road, but I have noticed relatively rapid wear on the outer portion of the heel. I’m not sure of my total mileage in them, but it’s less than 100 and the nubs in that area are basically gone at this point. I don’t expect that will compromise the performance of the shoe, but clearly the rubber here is not as durable as the crystal rubber on the Saucony Freedom ISO (my previous shoe review).

Conclusion

If you are looking for a versatile, do-it-all shoe that can be had for under $100, the Nike Zoom Elite 9 would be an excellent option. It can handle both distance and speed, and it offers a surprisingly cushy ride in a fairly lightweight package. As mentioned above, if you favor shoes like the NB 1400 or the Asics Hyperspeed, the Zoom Elite would be an excellent addition to your stable.

The Nike Zoom Elite 9 is available for purchase at Running Warehouse for $120, with some colorways on clearance for under $100.

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Saucony Freedom ISO Review: A Durable Workhorse of a Shoe https://runblogger.com/2017/07/saucony-freedom-iso-review-a-durable-workhorse-of-a-shoe.html https://runblogger.com/2017/07/saucony-freedom-iso-review-a-durable-workhorse-of-a-shoe.html#comments Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:27:32 +0000 https://runblogger.com/?p=2185165

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Saucony Freedom ISO blueAs I wrote in my previous post, I didn’t run much during the school year. I also didn’t write much – this will be my first shoe review in about a year, and the first since I returned to teaching (a very positive move for me!). Although my mileage was low, and my speed was slow, I did manage to run as time allowed, and the majority of the miles I ran from January-June were in the Saucony Freedom ISO. It was also the shoe I wore to cover 20+ miles at the Rock Lobster Relay in June. For the runner I am right now (a bit heavier, a bit slower than a few years ago), it has served me very well.

Saucony Freedom ISO Specs (per Running Warehouse): 9.1 oz (men’s 9), 23mm heel, 19mm forefoot.

Saucony Freedom ISO lateral

I’d describe the Freedom ISO as a workhorse of a shoe. I probably have over 100 miles on them total, and they have shown relatively minimal wear. The crystal rubber on the sole seems to hold up very well, with only minor abrasion at the heel, and the full-length EVERUN midsole still has plenty of spring. EVERUN is Saucony’s answer to adidas’ BOOST material, and it seems to be a worthy competitor. The midsole, along with the EVERUN topsole, provides plenty of cushion, which is appreciated since I am about 20 pounds above my peak racing weight (though working on getting that back down this summer!).

Saucony Freedom ISO sole

Crystal rubber outsole looks cool, and seems quite durable

One of the things I like best about the Freedom ISO is the fit. It has a very roomy forefoot, and the upper is fantastic. It’s among those shoes that disappears on my feet – never any abrasion, hot spots, etc. No discomfort of any kind. I like that the shoe lacks a true heel counter – the heel is supported only by a plastic band that wraps around the back, and the ISOFIT upper wraps the foot nicely. They’re so comfortable that I seriously considered buying a pair in black that I could wear to work, but the $160 price tag held me back.

Saucony Freedom ISO top

Note the wide forefoot

The ride provided by the Freedom ISO is one of comfort rather than speed. This is a shoe I’d use to eat up long runs at a slower pace, but not for fast-paced racing or speedwork. Although it specs out at 9.1 oz in men’s size 9, the weight seems disproportionately distributed in the sole, and this removes a sense of speed from the ride. My max distance run in the shoe was about 9 miles a few weeks ago, and they handled that well, but I would not choose the Freedom as a race shoe for most distances (maybe a marathon in my current condition, but if I was in better shape I’d prefer something a bit speedier).

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EVERUN topsole under the insole

The question I struggle with for a shoe like the Freedom ISO is whether or not it is worth the $160 price tag. I still favor shoes at the lower end of the price spectrum (>$110 these days seems about right), but the Freedom does feel like a premium shoe with a very durable sole – it shows far less wear with more miles on it than other shoes I own. I’d be curious to hear experiences from others with regard to durability – is 500+ miles realistic on these? 

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Saucony Freedom ISO – sole wear after 100+ miles is only on the lateral heel

At the end of the day, I’d recommend the Saucony Freedom ISO to runners looking for a comfortable shoe with a spacious forefoot that can be used to eat up long, slow miles. For speed I would recommend looking elsewhere (perhaps the shoe I’m running in right now…review hopefully coming).

The Saucony Freedom ISO is available for purchase at Running Warehouse.

Disclosure: these shoes were provided free of charge by Saucony for review purposes.

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