July 7, 2012
Sorry Mizuno I’m a Brooks Man Now

You know, I was really in love with my Mizuno Wave Ronin 2’s. I got more complements wearing those things than any other thing. Then I bought the Ronin 3’s, and while they weren’t as cool as the 2’s, they were all black. A color that’s really cool (but not temperature cool, which is a real concern right now).

Then I started my StumpJump training in the Cabraken 3’s, and I got blisters. No sweat I though. That’s just part of trail running. You gotta toughen up! And while the blisters healed, and while I completed my race without blisters (but cramps galore!), I just didn’t want to wear them anymore as they where pretty stiff in the heel, and kinda tight fitting. I was bummed.

Somewhere in my subconscious quest to read everything on the internet related to running, I stumbled upon the fact that Scott Jurek had helped design a trail shoe for Brooks! Cool! I like Scott! I bought ‘em! And they felt like a glove on my feet! I even completed what I thought was a pretty cool solo run up Mt. San Jacinto, one of the three tallest mountains in Southern California. Here’s a pic:

And here’s a pic of my Brooks PureGrit’s with crampons:

Anyway, one other interesting fact. Since February of this year, I’ve been running in the Brooks PureFlow’s (the green ones, which are kinda… too green) which I don’t think can get any better (except for the color). They JUST. WORK! And then I wrecked my back doing some stupid stuff (rounded back deadlifts with extreme back stretching), and I had to stop my serious training to PR in the Mile and 400m. I took a trip to NY to visit my daughter and also give a talk… all in the span of a few days, and since my back sucked I decided not to take any running gear with me. That proved a curse and a blessing…

On my day of travel, lo and behold Scott Jurek tweeted that he was in NY and asked the whole internet to join him for an ultra run around Manhattan Island. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I CAN’T MISS THAT!! I hadn’t run any distance further than 10 miles, and that was a few months ago, but so what! My back hurt, but so what! I didn’t have a stitch of running gear, but so what! Actually I did bring a grey technical tee to sleep in.

So what did I do? I conceived a plan that when I landed I would drop off my luggage at the hotel and proceed directly to the closest running store. What did I buy? The coolest pair of blue Brooks PureFlows ever! And a pair of socks! And a pair of Brooks shorts.

The run was epic, but while I didn’t make it around the whole island with Scott Jurek and friends (including Peter Sarsgaard, an excellently cool actor), I did make it 16 miles until the cramps hit, but no blisters!

So I’m Hooked On Brooks! Yes, you can have that incredibly marketable phrase if you like. But maybe you can show me some love and throw some running gear my way. I will be running a pretty popular race this fall… and I’m pretty tall… you know… a walking billboard. 

October 8, 2011
Distribution of finishing times for the tenth annual Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k trail race. Winning time was 3:49:52 by Dave Riddle, a stunning 25 minutes under the course record. My time was 7:19:17, less than the mean of 7:00:40, but hey it was my first ultra! Another interesting point was Rob Apple’s time of 8:24:51, his 600th ultra! 

Distribution of finishing times for the tenth annual Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k trail race. Winning time was 3:49:52 by Dave Riddle, a stunning 25 minutes under the course record. My time was 7:19:17, less than the mean of 7:00:40, but hey it was my first ultra! Another interesting point was Rob Apple’s time of 8:24:51, his 600th ultra!