Monday, April 27, 2009

Yes, it's the shoes...

Following up on my last post, the first pair of Adidas Supernova Cushion 7's that I purchased on ebay arrived on Friday afternoon, and I could not wait to get them on and feel back to normal in my running shoes. Did they make a difference? Oh yes! I intentionally did not look at my watch during the run and in the end was nearly 3-4 minutes faster over my normal 7.5 mile training route than I had been wearing the Adidas Supernova Glide (the supposed successor to the 7's).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trapped in Shoe Purgatory

It's happened again. The shoes that I absolutely love have been "updated" and the newer version is a complete POS. I've been running for the better part of a year in the Adidas Supernova Cushion 6's, then the 7's. I had purchased 2 pair of the 7's back in November and at the beginning of April found out they have been replaced by the Supernova Glide. Replaced? WRONG! I'm not sure how they came up with the name "glide" because these feel more like 2 pieces of plywood with laces for your feet. Luckily I went to ebay and found a couple of pairs of the 7's and purchased them immediately.

I'm not just picking on Adidas here. Over the years, Nike, Asics, Mizuno and probably a few others that I've forgotten about have done the same thing to me. Trust me, you are completey screwed as soon as a shoe is "renamed" or you find out it's been "replaced with the..." (insert POS name here).

Here's a bit of a marketing suggestion for the shoe companies, and forgive me because if this seems like a revelation to you, then you need to work for a shoe company - Ready - Drum Roll - If a shoe is selling well and the majority of the people wearing it are happy, don't change it, don't update it, don't rename it, just leave it alone (can you say "Nike Pegasus" back when it was the biggest selling running shoe of all time and the people at Nike stopped making it for a couple of years???!!!).

In closing, a word of advice to the newer runners - If you find a pair of shoes you LOVE, buy as many pair as you can get your hands on, number them on the heels so you can tell them apart, and keep a mileage chart so that you'll know when to retire them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lone Star Half-Iron

My second triathlon ever (both half-Irons) is now in the books and with very little training this time around due to my work schedule, I am extremely pleased with how I did in the Lone Star Half-Iron (6:05:34 vs. 5:50:20 in my first one). The best part of the day was having my father-in-law there to watch the entire race. He is a very special person in my life, and I'm glad that he was able to be a part of this. As for the race, I'll just give a brief synopsis with some pictures:

Swim: 43:00 - ok, so there are 609 athletes, the water temperature was 67 degrees, and my wife counted 5 people without wetsuits, me being one of them. I'm pretty warm natured, and figured it would not be a big deal. I have to admit that when I first climbed down off the pier into the water, my first thought was "big mistake", but after swimming about 100 yards out to the start and treading water for about 5 minutes waiting for our wave to begin, I felt fine.

T1: 7:37 - No other way to say it but completely awful. Even though I was comfortable in the swim, I didn't take into account how cold my arms and hands would be, and it took me 3 attempts to try to put on my bike jersey. I finally had to ask the guy beside me if he could pull it down for me.

Bike: 3:06:39 - You just gotta love Texas weather. On the outward half, the wind was out of the south-southwest, and basically in our face the entire way. I kid you not, at just about the turnaround point, a cool front came through and the wind switched to the north-northeast, and the wind was in our face all the way back. I'm still happy with my time and averaged 18 mph, which was about .5 mph faster than my Austin time back in October.

T2: 5:25 - Still not a good transition, but I stopped to shake hands and say hello to a buddy who was watching the transition area and then made a potty stop before I exited the transition area, so that probably cost me about 2:30.

Run: 2:03:28 - In a nutshell, the wind was absolutely brutal during the run, and it was a 4 loop course which makes it even more mentally difficult. The wind was literally gusting 30-40 mph off of the water, and it felt like you were running into a brick wall most of the way.

Final Results: I have pretty much determined that I'm a mid-packer in my age group in these events. I finished 21 out of 38 in my age group. Sure, with more training and way better transitions I might have been closer to 16th or 17th place, but there is no way that I'll ever get down into the top 10-20% like I typically do when I'm in top form in marathons.