Saturday, May 5, 2012

I've moved!!!

In an effort to simplify my life and drive traffic to my new website, I am kind of decommissioning this blog. Or at least putting it on hold until I see what happens with this business. Anyway, for all things Run Break, you can now go here:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Race Report: River to River Relay 2012

If some of you follow my twitter life you would have known I was running in the 25th annual River to River Relay this past weekend in Southern Illinois. Its a very popular race down there that spans the entire state from the Mississippi to the Ohio River. It is 80 miles in distance, and a team of 8 are challenged to tackle it. The course is broken up in to 24 sections and each runner runs the equivalent of about three 5k's throughout the day. So, not all of your miles are ran in a row. Your typically have about 2 hours of rest in between your legs of the race.
80 miles of Fun
This was my second time running this race. Last year the race taught me a few things. The two most important were 1) I was faster than I thought I & 2) that you need to be part crazy to enjoy downhills and subsequently, I am part crazy. We also placed 3rd in the Corp Handicap division last year. So we had an automatic bid into this years race.

So, putting the info I had gathered from last year, I signed up for Leg 1. Leg 1's 3 sections total 10.4 miles and most of the time you are running, its on gravel. Section 1 is 3.6 miles of downhill adventure on a road through Shawnee National Forest.

Section 9 is 3.4 miles of rolling gravel dirt road & cows.
 Section 3 is unadulterated 2 lane rural highway for about 3.3 miles.

So, this year I came into the race more prepared than I had been last year. I have been doing speed work for the last 6 weeks and actually training for the run. Hindsight, I should have done more hills, but I digress... This year my training paid off and I was able to average a 6:53 pace over all 3 legs. It was a hug accomplishment, because I thought I was going to be a 7 min/mile guy. It was a great day for me.

Now, as mentioned before this is a relay. So its not all about my numbers and how I did. It was a team effort and our team "Driving in a Van Down by the River" completely smoked the course this year. We finished the course in 9hrs 12min 40sec (something like a 6:45 pace over the entire 80 miles). With our handicap, our time was dropped by 54 minutes to 8hrs 17min which gave us First Place in our division. Fast times not withstanding it was such a blast. Even though our team all works at the same place, we really don't cross paths much in our work lives. So, its was really great getting together in a big white van with 7 other people, telling stories, and laughing at each other's expense. The bonding power sweat and funk have with human beings is incredibly strong and should be bottled up and sold. Its amazing.

Anyway, that was it. We'll probably be back at it next year and I hope we can put together another winner.

Monday, March 12, 2012


After looking at the viewing history of this blog, I noticed that my most popular article has been on the SCOTT T2C LTDs. While I thought you would care to read more about me and how I started running, that is not the case. In fact over 10% of the hits on my site are for this one review. So, being the provider of knowledge that I am, I thought I would add on a few thoughts from that previous article and request some help from the running public.

The shoes have grown on me in the last month or so. I don't know why, but they have. So much in fact that with my next race (River to River Relay), I am torn as to which shoes I am going to wear, my SCOTT's or my Altras. When I run in them my legs just want to move and they want to move fast. I made a note to check myself the last time I ran in them and my stride & foot-landing position wasn't any different than normal.

The only difference that I can think of is that the SCOTTs have less miles on them and might be a bit more responsive. I will be doing some more testing in the next few weeks leading up to River to River to see which I feel better in, and which I can flat out run faster in. Should be fun.

Question for you shoe nerds like me... How do you decide what to wear in a race?

Friday, March 9, 2012

You can't run naked

Well I guess you can, but I don't want to see it.

Anyway, now that I have your attention I wanted to pass along some info. Earlier this week I got approved by the nice folks over at Salomon to sell not only their shoes, but their apparel as well. (See, how I tied that in with the title?) While you probably don't know me all that well through this blog, I can assure that I am almost as much of a clothing junkie as I am a shoe junkie. So, rest assured that I will be wearing this stuff and providing reviews on them.

Anyway I am beyond excited to bring them on and expand my footprint across the shoe peddling halls I walk. If you aren't familiar with them, they have an excellent history of providing durable shoes and clothing to completely awesome people, just like you.

So, if you are in the market for some new shoes OR clothes, I am your man.

Here's some pretty pics:
Salomon XR Mission
XT Wings S LAB 4

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Castlewood Cup 15k: Race Report

It seems like it has been awhile since I wrote a race report. So this might be terrible. Not that you have come to expect literary greatness from my writing, but don't judge me.

So it has officially been 1 year since I started running on trails. I signed up for the 2011 Castlewood Cup not having run on a trail before. Sure I had run on some gravelly type stuff, but not single track, rocky, rooty, stumpy, stuff. It was an eye opening experience and a complete blast. Last year, I didn't own a pair of trail shoes. Now I own 3. I used to be worried about water crossings. This year I passed a guy in a creek. Its been a great year looking back from what I have done from 2011 until now. Oh and I just checked my time for last year's race:

Castlewood Cup 2011 Results
Time: 1:24:33
Pace: 9:05/mile
Overall Finish: 99th

The day started out cold. Not necessarily when you looked at the temp (32F), but there was a 10 - 15mph wind that really sucked. It was clear and sunny though. So I had some trouble figuring out my attire. The goofy part about this race was the starting time, 10am. Its kind of wonky to have the start that late because I completely second guessed myself as to what I was putting in my body. Especially since I have had some recent exercise induced bathroom issues. However, the weird start time allowed me to get there with plenty of time for a Daily Mile meet up before the race. I should write a post on Daily Mile and the benefits of it, but for now I will just leave it stating that its great to have a social network of runner people. You can always bounce ideas off of them and it gives you a great baseline to start a friendship. No more sappy stuff.

I hadn't trained as much as I would have liked for this but kids, family, life, motivation, have all gotten in the way. I was shooting for a top 50 and to beat an 8:30 pace. So I went into the race not expecting either since its kind of a hilly bastard in the first 5 miles and I tend to go out fast and try to hold on at the end of races.

A thing of beauty isn't it?

Ok race time... This year they did a wave start in an effort to control the flow and get the faster people out front and eliminate some of the clogging on the trails. I think it seemed to work better this year. I was in the 2nd wave and I was happy with that. As usual with my race starts, I went out fast. Too fast? Not sure. However, I never ever want to look back on a race and say that I could have gone harder at some point. So, we started out on some flat grass for about a mile and then get saddled with 1 of 3 significant hills on the course. I backed off on the pace just before I got to the hill so my HR wasn't sky high going up it. It worked out and I hit the hill with minimal problems going up it. I followed this strategy when I was approaching all the other "major" hills on the course (which are all in the first 5 miles or so). I went into these hills with the thought of just keeping an eye on my HR and paying attention to my body. This strategy worked well. I did however walk for about 20-30 seconds about half-way up the last major hill. Whatever the break, I was able to pretty much take off at the top of the hill and get past some people. So now, I was past the hardest part of the race. There were just some minor roller coaster type hills left. I checked my watch and saw I was doing pretty decent on time and was trying to calculate my finish time. DUMB!!! As I am day dreaming about my finish, it hit me. "It" being the ground. I wasn't paying attention and I was heading down on to the rocky trail. I have never fallen running before. Ever. I was able to somehow barrel roll out of the fall leaving only my right knee and left forearm a little achy but felt like an idiot.

I knew the next 10 min would probably make or break me in the race. I was constantly evaluating the injuries and reminding myself to pick up my feet so my dumb arse didn't fall again. Knowing I would be in some pain at the end of the race, I decided to suck it up and go. There was less than a 5K left and I had to make it off the hill anyway. Soon, the pain subsided and I was back to running down the hill like an idiot. I popped out of the woods with less than 2 miles to go and knew there was only one more obstacle in my way, the dreaded creek crossing. Last year I had a revelation while crossing the thing: "There's no way you are going to stay dry, so F it and go." I carried this same mentality with me this year and blew through the water. Some guy in front of me was tip-toeing over the rocks and I passed him while going through the creek. I probably splashed the crap out of him and pissed him off , but oh well I didn't see him again.

For the last mile or so, I could tell I had some hot spots on my feet and they were much more prevalent after the creek. So I tried to kick in as much as I had for the remainder. I swear the last 3 tenths of a mile of this race seems like an eternity. You have to run by the finish area (which was serving pulled pork and I love me some pork). My aches and pains all started to feel much worse and I just wanted to be done. Then I saw the finish... So I sacked up whatever I had left and bolted. Done....
At the finish line: Sweet Jesus am I really this ugly?
While I didn't realize how hideous I looked, I was really happy with the finish. I blew out my time from the previous year by almost 7 minutes and my pace was under 8:30 like I had wanted. Top 50 was not in the cards this year but oh well.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to stay around and taste the pork or beer because I had a pretty busy Saturday planned, but Big River Running knows how to cater an event. So I am sure it was awesome.

Here's some fun crap that I get joy out of analyzing:

complements of 
 Other stuff per my Garmin

Avg Pace

Moving Time:1:17:22
Elapsed Time:1:17:57
Avg Pace:8:20 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:8:16 min/mi
Best Pace:5:49 min/mi
Elevation Gain:677 ft
Elevation Loss:676 ft
MinElevation:407 ft
MaxElevation:640 ft
Heart Rate
Avg HR:165 bpm
Max HR:197 bpm

Friday, February 10, 2012

SCOTT Shoes for 2012

I know most of you are familiar with the Nike, Brooks, & New Balances of the world. They are very good/large shoe companies that provide shoes for everyone. They have yearly marketing budgets that are more than I will probably make in my lifetime. From my experience with them (minus Nike as I haven't used them as a running shoe) they provide quality products for the masses. But I don't want to sell their shoes.

Since about August/September 2011 time-frame I started this little business venture for two reasons: 1) I wanted a shoe that was hard to get in my area and 2) I wanted to provide shoes that were hard to get in my area. So far so good.

With that, I thought I would announce that I have no idea of any other SCOTT Running shoe dealer in the United States. There isn't much buzz on the social media feeds and in the mid-west, I just don't see a lot of advertising for them. Also if you try to find how much a shoe cost, good luck. Its tough. Which is great for me & you. Here's why. I basically run a shoe store out of my house. So, no rent, overhead, etc. I have a "real" job that pays the bills. This running thing is just a way to supplement my running and keep my wife from yelling at me when I buy another pair of shoes.

With that, I want to buy some new shoes. SCOTT has just came out with some new models and they look 10x better than last years. From a design perspective, they are really picking it up. So, like always, if you are interested, let me know.
SCOTT Race Rockers (super pumped about these)
SCOTT eRide Grips
SCOTT Aztec 3

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Congrats to Altra!

I figure I would do a really quick post about Altra Zero Drop being named "Best Debut" 2012 by Runner's World Magazine in the March Issue. You can read a blog post by Altra about it here.

I have blogged previously about these shoes and they are still my go-to shoe for running. They are incredibly light and comfortable. They have brought my running up to a completely new level. You should buy some... From me...

Also I wanted to point out that If you live in the Mid-West, I am just about the only place you can find these awesome shoes.

See that dot in St. Louis? That's my house/shoe store
Anyway, congrats to Altra. You deserve it!