Archive for November, 2010

Asics 2150

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 17, 2010 by brianestover

The Asics 2150 is a shoe you can bring home to momma. It’s just about everything a running shoe should be plus it only gets better with time. Right out of the box these shoes are a little stiff. Give them a few runs to break in. It seems it takes 20 miles or so before they lose that stiffness. After 40 miles they have that comfortable feel good goodness to them. There is a reason why theses shoes are the category leader, for at least the last 10 years or so. I’ve been a big fan of their 20xx and 21xx line up as you can see from the family portrait I took of my last three pairs of this shoe family.

What’s good about these shoes? They hold up well, they run well and more importantly they run well over a wide variety of terrain from rocky trails to crushed dirt and gravel paths to concrete. They fit well, although people with high arched, high volume feet may find they have to play with the lacing system some. Moderate pronators will be happy with the double density midsole for control. You can get a lot of miles out of these shoes. I probably average just north of 400 miles per pair before I demote them to grocery store/dog walking shoes.

What’s not to like about these shoes? The long answer is not much. If I could change anything, and this seems to be a theme on all of my Asics running shoes of late, it would be the laces. I’d make them a bit longer and I’d make them so they stayed tied. If you have high volume feet, like I do, you will find out there isn’t much left over to tie your shoes with. You might also find out, as I do for about a third of my runs, that one or both of my shoes come untied. It is annoying to have to stop at some point that doesn’t involve one of the two traffic lights I encounter on my usual run. It’s not a deal breaker to me. Year after year, the 2100 line gets it’s annual update, the 2160 is the latest model, and year after year it’s a damn fine running shoe that will meet a lot of runners needs and wants.

Smashing Silverman

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , on November 10, 2010 by brianestover

Billy smashed Silverman, coming in third in the M45-49 AG and finishing 18th overall! He crossed the line in 11:48:53. Then instead of texting me right away how he finished like I asked him to, he went to the medical tent for an IV. Unbelievable.

What more can you say about an awesome performance like that? How about things like three or four years ago when I took over his training, he wouldn’t have gone this fast on an flat, easy ironman course. How’s that for improvement? He threw down a negative split on the run. He turned in the eighth fastest bike split of the day. He had the fastest T1 out of the top 30 finishers. At age 46 he is faster then when he was 36, across all distances. This is the second Ironman in a row he has turned in an excellent race.

No matter what you say, it’s an awesome way to end the season!

Painful Bliss

Posted in Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , on November 9, 2010 by brianestover

I went to the track tonight, for the first time in over five years. Not any track though. This isn’t your standard run of the mill high school track. It’s a half mile loop. It’s a cinder like track, dirt, crushed rock, a bit of sand. It was wet in parts from where they watered the grass that it runs through. Your feet make a unique sound as they push off on this track. The coolness of the night, the darkness mixed with the lights.

There is a group here in town, The Workout Group, that meets twice a week. I forgot how much fun intervals can be when you’ve got a group your running in. The occasional elbow bump, the changes in breathing as the interval goes on or the pace picks up. The sound your feet make on the dirt as you charge through the turns multiplied by four. It was pure bliss, even in it’s agony.

I know why I’ve forsaken the track over the years but I’m going back. Heading to the dark side, going back to my running roots. At least once a week until it gets too hot, I’m going back for the joy of it, for the pain it brings and for the fun I found in it. Who knows, maybe I’ll recapture some of that lost speed as well.

Wham Bam

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by brianestover

As the dust settled today at the Casa Grande Traithlon, not one, but two Accelerate 3 athletes stood atop the Overall Podiums. Sarah crushed the womens field by over seven minutes. Not only did she chick all but three guys on the bike, she chicked all but four men, grabbing fifth overall today. Hahaha you guys got chicked! (NP-213, AP-203).

Several people commented, most after being passed by her I might add, on her awesome riding of late. She now has won two of her last three races and finished third overall in the other.

I erased my :23 deficit after the swim riding 1:20 faster than anyone else to move clear of everyone. Today was one of those days where you just know you are on. It’s my second win in a row, not a shabby way to end the season. (NP-251, AP-246)

If my math skills are correct, that is between seven and nine overall wins spread across five athletes and about 20-25 podium placings spread across nine athletes. Not shabby at all.

The only thing left this year is to put the race wheels away and await the results of tomorrow’s Silverman Ironman Triathlon where there are a few Accelerate 3 Athletes racing.

K-Swiss Blade Light Run

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by brianestover

I really liked the K-Swiss Blade Light shoes from the moment I tried them on. When I say really like, I mean as in let’s date like. Running shoes are something I view as a long term commitment. When you find a pair you like, clean out the store’s inventory and run in them. But never buy multiple pairs before you try. Always give them a few whirls around the block.

The K-Swiss blade lights felt fantastic when you put them on. Slipper like, very comfortable. Smooth insides, seams were where they should be and not were they shouldn’t be, same with the uppers. They ran so well out of the box, it was like a dream. Firm heel cushioning, great cushioning under the foot without being bulky or clunky. They run light, they feel quick, they feel good. I can remember thinking I’ve found a new shoe, time to go grab a few more pair. Some shoes run better after you put 20 or so miles on them, these shoes run great straight out of the box.

But in many relationships, as time goes on, you start to see some cracks at the seams. At first it becomes a shoe for your shorter runs, then you notice you are avoiding that shoe when it comes up in the daily shoe rotation. Maybe you even shun it once in a bit. That’s what I found happening as I got more and more miles on it. Trisports University reviewed the shoe and gave it pretty good marks. I’d be willing to bet that the testers had under 50 miles on the shoes when they wrote the review. As I accumulated more and more miles, I noticed that the shoe broke down pretty fast. Especially compared to some of the other shoes in the rotation. Especially the foot I tend to pronate on. In fact it’s only the foot that pronates that feels like and looks like it’s broken down. Within 50 miles it was noticeable and now after having over 100 miles on the shoes, the breakdown under the ball of my pronating foot is very severe. Severe enough that these shoes are going in the junk pile. I’m sorry K-Swiss Blade Lights but it’s not going to work out. It’s you not me.

There were two other minor complaints I had with this shoe. The first is the sole collects pebbles. If you want to be a pebble hound this is your shoe. The second complaint is it didn’t run well on uneven surfaces like grass and packed trails.

The final complaint I have with this shoe isn’t with the shoe per se, it’s the market the shoe is designed for. My problem is with triathletes who think they need special gimmicks in their training shoes. This shoe has tiny holes to allow water to drain out. I’ve been running for a few years now, have about 10-15000 miles in my legs, a couple of those in the rain or in races where I’ve gotten water in my shoes. It’s rare when I wished my shoes would drain better. The industry joke about triathletes is stick any dog product on the market and put the word triathlon on it. It’ll become a best seller. Sad but true. Triathletes buy more gimmicks then any three runners or cyclist combined.

It’s a shame about this shoe. K-Swiss has dumped a ton of money into R&D and a ton more into sponsorship of some of the world’s top triathletes. Unfortunately until K-Swiss can make up some ground on this shoe compared to the front runners it’s not going to capture significant market share. I was able to listen to Mike Rouse, one of the K-Swiss product managers, speak about the process of designing and building these shoes. He talked about the development that has gone into the shoe and what they are trying to accomplish. They have a lot going right with this shoe, especially with the fit, feel and how blissful it runs right out of the box. If they could improve the durability of this shoe and change the bottoms a bit, they might find themselves latching onto the pack ahead of them.