Getting out from behind the keyboard

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“Running is just a great excuse to see amazing places and to meet some great people.”

My Nova Scotia Adventure

I was born and raised in Nova Scotia (Canada) and it was a pleasure to get home! I was invited by Run Our Shore (A race weekend with 5,10 and 1/2 marathon) race Director Steve Burns to run and to talk at the kick-off race for the Run Nova Scotia race series. I usually support and contribute to the running community at large from behind my keyboard (when not running) — this would be a change. At one point in elementary school – I was terrified of public speaking.

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But this was a talk about my passion. Sure it would go fine.

The race was this past Saturday (April 30th) in a small, quaint town called Liverpool almost 2-hours outside of Halifax (the capital).

I got a drive with family and tried to shake out my tired legs (marathon training beat up). I had my race shoes but planned for more of a training run and to have fun and had my PowerPoint presentation ready.

The day turned out to be perfect and was sunny and just a wee bit cool. Not bad for running!

I had signed up for the 10k. I strapped on my favourite New Balance 1400s and pinned on my number. I wanted to run at a decent pace but the legs flet tired. Having caught a bad cold that took me out for 4-weeks, I am on the 6-week Noel Paine marathon plan (get strong and survive) for the Ottawa marathon on May 29th.

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Joggler Michael Bergeron. Photo credit: Tim Chestnut.

The Run

Okay – its not a PB course but race director Steve Burns planned out a nice rolling route that was quiet and fun. You scream down a final hill and roll back to the finish line. Good fun. I went out a bit too quick and eased back and picked up the guy behind me who seemed to want to run around 4-minute kilometre pace (perfect training pace). The pace made me work but was comfortable and felt good to help someone else. I eased the throttle forward a bit at the end.

Atlantic Chip Timing did a great job with results, Mark Stein as usual was an amazing emcee and everyone seemed to come across the line with a smile – even east coast(speedy) joggler Michael Bergeron!

I crossed the finish line and stayed to give high-fives to finishers before the cool wind sent me trotting to find warm clothes to put on.

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A great big thanks to Tim Chestnut for the race photos! Check out Tim’s event – Epic Dartmouth.

The talk

Awards were given out (I managed to win the 10k and get my first masters award)(turned 40 in late 2015). I was left to the last but most folks stuck around.

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I tried to keep things light and became a more animated version of myself. I talked about some of my running adventures and emphasized how everyone has a story to tell. I think it was well received – no one boo’d. I said some goodbyes to folks like Luke MacDonald – a major supporter and member of the running community and also from Aerobics First – a running shop I used to work at in Halifax.

 

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The day after the race I had a great trip down to a spectacular trail that leads to a place called Cape Split. They hiked and I ran the trail twice – racking up around 30k.

Beautiful run, great weekend. Ended with comfortable flight home. Would recommend folks not from the maritimes – grab a Porter flight and come on down next year – good fun.

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A great big thanks to Porter Airlines for getting me down to Nova Scotia for this adventure. Great and friendly service from this airline company as usual! A few hugs as well to New Balance Canada, EC3D Compression and the Ottawa marathon for helping out with some great prizes for the the Run Our Shore race weekend!

 

Run on everyone!

Catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine or on Instagram @runningwriter

Gathering support for a fellow Canuck

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Born in London, Ontario in 1983 – the year of Flashdance and when the A-team hit the television screen – Rob is one of Canada’s top marathoners. He is set to run the London marathon this weekend. He is coming off some solid performances at the Cardiff Half-marathon World Championshionships (1:06:15) and the Great Edinburgh Run (2nd in 52:32).

This is a quick blog to remind folks this great, friendly and fast Canadian will be running after the Canadian Olympic standard of 2:12:50 on the streets of London this weekend.

Listen to the Rob Watson show and other folks wishing Rob well!

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Rob’s Achievements and titles
World finals 2013 World Championships in Athletics (Marathon) 20th
2014 Canadian Marathon Championships: 2nd
2012 Canadian 10k Championships: 2nd
2010 Canadian 10k Championships: 2nd
2010 Canadian Track and Field Championships: 3000m Steeplechase; 2nd
2009 Canadian Track and Field Championships: 3000m Steeplechase; 1st
2008 Canadian Track and Field Championships: 3000m Steeplechase; 1st
2008 Canadian Cross Country Championships: 10k; 2nd
Personal bests 
100m: 13.58
5k: 14:45.00
8k: 24:02.00
10k: 30:03.00
Half Marathon: 1:03:22.00
Marathon: 2:13:29.00
1500m: 3:49.20
Mile: 4:07.26
3000m: 8:11.12
5000m: 14:06.84
3000m Steeplechase: 8:32.87

Read about Rob’s signature marathon workout in Canadian Running magazine article. You can also read some blogs Rob has written on his Le Blog du Rob for Canadian Running magazine (though nothing recent).

Live streaming of the London marathon (Sunday April 24th).

RUN HARD ROB!

Retweet this blog or send some support to Rob on Twitter!

Rob on Twitter @robbiedxc

Lights, camera – action!

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“Loving shining a light on new products – especially when they have a light and might brighten up a dark run!”

Okay this is a blog about a product I have not even tried out or tested yet – so shorter than others! But the product sounds very cool and helping my social media, good-idea friends and promoting the launch of their running product.

Their Kickstarter page went live on Monday (April 4th)

There is early bird pricing for the Convertible HDL: $149 (very limited quantities), $179 (limited quantities), and $199 (no limit). Retail is going to be $299, so these are all great prices.

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What is it?

The Convertible HDL is a headband that converts to a skull cap, the device also carries a high definition camera and an LED headlamp that can illuminate even the darkest of runs. The headband also has reflective trim, the camera is voice activated . Cool.

“Anyone who runs has stories to share,” Mike says (founder). “About the sun setting at an incredible angle and lighting up the sky, about a breathtakingly beautiful trail far off the beaten path, or about some crazy occurrence that is beyond simple explanation. Our vision was to create a device that could capture all of these moments and more.”

Benefits of (Benefits of Convertible.docx)

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The folks behind the hat

372de53PRracer is based in Portland, Oregon. The guy behind the company and ideas is Mike Haedrich, an avid runner for over 20 years. Mike regularly races in running events and shares his passion for running through PRracer. He believes in offering unique, quality products that enhance the running experience. Having run in some pretty cool locations in the U.S. and around the world.

I am really looking forward to seeing the final product and hopefully testing out! I think trail and ultra runners may really like this!

Check out PRRacer and their products on their website and on Twitter @PRRacerOfficial

Stay positive and keep running friends!

Find me on Twitter @NoelPaine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shoes shaped like our feet – who’d thought!

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“Funny how we have shoes that are not shaped like our feet – and no one questions this.

I have been on this funny planet called earth for just over 40-years and have been running for almost 30 of those years. The shoes I have known and run in are all shaped like shoes have been for years—-not like our feet! Odd. In the middle ages shoes and boots were both the same, no differentiation between right and left. This thankfully has changed but shoes are still not really shaped like our feet.

This blog is about a running shoe brand that makes shoes shaped like the average foot.

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Altra Running Shoes

Two shoes showed up like Christmas presents, the Lone Peak 2.5 and The One 2.5 from Altra Running shoes. I have heard about this shoe brand and was intrigued and quite content they sent me out two pair to test. The shoes are known for being zero drop (small or no change from heel to toe) and are shaped like people’s feet I thought this a cool idea)(My bunion also liked the idea).

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Altra Running Youtube channel

Their story

Their website says the shoes were thought up in the back room of a Wasatch Mountain running store. The four founders, elite athletes and running store managers, wanted a shoe that let you run the way you were born to. They noticed that the design of most running shoes was hurting runners more than helping them. Elevated heels promote high-impact landing and narrow toe boxes squeeze the toes out of their natural position. Cool.

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Fit and shoe details

First of all both shoes fit about a half-size small (I got 12,5s for my size 12 feet and they had a wee bit extra room but fit well.

  • Nice cushion in both shoes – soft but not marshmallowy and not too hard
  • Great toe box that fits foot and lots of room for toes and bunions!
  • Snug but not tight fit and you can do lace lock at heels at necessary
  • Zero drop but did not really feel flat
  • Lone Peak more solid than Zero and great tread and toe bumper
  • Zero is nice responsive, light shoe with more flex than Lone Peak

LONE PEAK (169.99)

  • Weight: 10.6 oz.
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Ideal Uses: Trail Running, Hiking, Fastpacking, Trail Racing
  • Designed To Improve: Wet & Hot Feet, Toe Splay, Traction, Stability, Comfort Running Form, Speed
  • Platform: FootShape Toe Box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop Platform
  • Stack Height: 25 mm
  • Midsole: Dual Layer EVA with A-Bound Top Layer
  • Outsole: Sticky-Rubber TrailClaw
  • Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
  • Upper: Quick-Dry Trail Mesh
  • Other Features: StoneGuard Rock Protection, Trail Rudder, Gaiter Trap Attachment

One 2.5 ($139.99)

  • Weight: 6.3 oz.
  • Cushioning: Light
  • Ideal Uses: Running, Racing, Speed Work, Training, Walking
  • Designed to Improve: Running Form, Toe Splay, Stability, Comfort
  • Platform: Fully Cushioned Zero Drop Platform, FootShape Toe Box
  • Stack Height: 23 mm
  • Midsole: Dual Layer EVA with A-Bound Top Layer, InnerFlex Technology
  • Outsole: FootPod Technology
  • Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
  • Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh

Shoe box comes with great little booklet explaining fit and reasons behind why shoes are the way they are. Also has tips on form, cadence etc. – love this. This goes along with info their website about technique and things like how to transition to their shoes.

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Great little booklet with good information and tips

What I thought

My feet and bunion really like both Altra running shoes. I felt no pressure or squeezing on foot and the cushioning was nice in both. The One 2.5 was fun to do some quick and a long run in. I felt more natural on my feet. The Peak had great grip for a few snowy, icy runs and also was uber comfortable (almost wanted a a pair just for walking around!).

*Would like to test out more cushioned version like the Paradigm or Torin to test out an Altra with more cushion – they sort of look like a foot shaped HOKA shoe.

Get the right running shoe for your feet, the terrain you run and your specific needs!

See ya out there – catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine

Things to add to your running experience

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“Sometimes just a little something fun can really enhance a run.”

So I have been sick for almost three weeks. I brought home some cold bug and gave it to my little girl – and then she gave me it back. It knocked me off my feet (running) for a bit and off my blog schedule. Now I am catching back up.

Here are some products that will really help you capture a memory of a good run and help you have a blister-free one!

2Toms Sport Sheild (Roll-on or single packet)

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If you have had a blister it sucks. In the end it often leads to pins, pus, bandaids and a mess. Why not try and prevent them. There are sticky and waxy options out there and sometimes different things work for different folks. A few weeks ago I got a package with a roll-on solution and single (wet-wipe like) packets to stop chafing.

The stuff is called 2Toms and is named after the two Toms that founded the company and who were hikers who hated blisters.

WHATS THE DEAL

SportShield® is a silicone-based anti-chafe product. It is said not to staining, is non-toxic, non-greasy and won’t rub off but can be washed off with just soap and water. About $13 US online.

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WHAT I THOUGHT

I don’t often get blisters but I have used some products when commuting and dealing with rubbing straps and when preparing for ultra runs. Sometimes it works.I never got a really good opportunity to give 2Toms a tough test but liked when I tried for walking and normal runs. The roll-on rolls easily and it almost feels like you are not applying anything. The wipes are easy to use, aren’t overly wet and would be easy to stuff in a running pack.

This product is definitely worth a try. Check out Medi-Dyne Sport Sheilds!

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XSHOT Sport Pole

This is the fun part. Ever taken your cell along with you and taken a few selfie run pics? Well how about a sturdy, sport extendable selfie stick that can hold your cell phone or attach to a camera.

The Xshot is easy to extend once you get the hang of it (twist-locking) and has a clip for a cell phone and a screw in attachment for GoPro cameras. It is light, waterproof and has a strap for when you are on the move.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

I took the pole out for a run and it felt light enough not to worry about carrying but could more foresee it being stuffed into a trail running backpack and pulled out for cool still or video shots. I don’t have a GoPro so tested with cell phone – it worked until I broke inards of the contraption that holds cell under tension. Grrrr. But was working fine until then!

Solid selfie pole for sports enthusiasts but take it easy on cell attachment! XShot GoPro Pole is $54.99 online.

Have fun out there running friends!

Catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine

 

Put yourself in reverse and check this out!

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Something a little different from me this week. Been doing a lot of gear reviews and home sick today….so changing things up. Find it hard to run sometimes? Moving forward not always as easy as planned? How about running backwards.

Meet my runner profile.

Sandra Corcuera

Sandra Corcuera is a 43 years old runner from Olesa de Montserrat (Barcelona). Married with 6 cats, Sandra works at an association that helps abandoned animals (ACAIMA). She also likes to collect beer caps from all over the world and is a fan of the heavy metal band Manowar.

Sandra is also a retrorunner. A what?

Sandra is someone who likes  run backwards or retro run. And there also retro running world records, and they are quick! The men’s kilometre record is 3:18!

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Sandra started running in the forward direction and has run and finished over 500 races from 50m to 100km races. She has medaled at over 300 of them.

Accomplishments and medals (Running Forward)

  • Bronze Medal at Catalonia Championship of Marathon
  • Gold Medal at Catalonia Championship of Marathon W35
  • Bronze Medal at Girona Cup Cross

Accomplishments and medals (Retro running)

4 Times World Champion of Retrorunning

  • 2012 – 5000m
  • 2014 – 5000m 3000m and 4x400m

I found Sandra as a Twitter running friend and was intrigued by her and her retro running. I got hold of the runner who says she can hold a  4:30-6:30 pace when she runs in reverse.

How did you start retro running and why?

“I collect races and mark the cities of Catalonia I have run on a map I mark with pins. In 2007 I enrolled in a race that had the name “Retrorunning” but without knowing that I was going to actually be running backwards. When I arrived I was told that I had to run backwards. It was hard but I did it. It was 1500m cross country.”

“Back at At home, I looked up retrorunning and read that some athletes in USA used it to recover and prevent injury. I was doing long runs and began to include 10-15 minutes of retrorunning and I improved my workouts.”

“In 2011 I learned that there were global in Retrorunning and the next was in the summer of 2012, I prepared well and won my first world championship.

What is the hardest thing about retro running?

“The hardest are the workouts as they are to do in track or in closed and you have to give a lot of laps at the same site. Also, if you do long distances, the muscles suffer a lot.”

What are your goals for 2016 and the future?

“This 2016, I go to the VI World Retrorunning in Essen (Germany) and want to win the Championship Half Marathon, and in 2017 I want to run a marathon and try to beat the world record in women’s marathon in retrorunning.”

What advice would you have for someone trying to start retro-running?

“First place: Running  on the track or closed circuits and unhindered. Then start combining five minutes walking backwards, 5 minutes running backwards, and gradually increase the time gradually. It is also recommended to increase the workouts in the gym.”

Thanks for the chance to learn more about you and running retro Sandra!

Life is an adventure, whether its running backwards, ultramarathons, setting a 100m potato sack world record or juggling a whole marathon – have fun and live life my running friends!

Run on!

You can also catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine

Pedestrianism – a book for runners!

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“Reading is something I love almost as much as running.”

There are some books I like reading, some are amusing, others are some work to get through. I thoroughly enjoyed the one I am about to present to you. The book was unique, was on a subject I had heard a bit about but had much I had no idea about – and kept me turning the pages.

Come on, I will share a bit.

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Pedestrianism – When Watching People walk was America’s favourite spectator sport

Author: Mathew Algeo

262-page hard cover book

The book starts off where this interesting sport of pedestrianism started –in Boston with someone by the name of Edward Payson Weston. Just under 500miles and 10 days later, something had started. A craze for walking! Yep! Hard to think of in this modern age and perhaps just the thought of reading about walkers is not pumping you up to read about it. But walking called pedestrianism, competitive walking with big money, bets and insane stories of luck, losers, winners and multi-day events with thousands of spectators happened. It was all in the day before baseball, before television. Its all in the book.

What I thought of the book

Like in my introduction – liked alot. There was an amazing amount of detail but the read was not dry. There enough drawing and images to punch up the book a bit and aid in imagining scenes from the past. The book focuses on a couple of runners who really became stars of the great epoch of walking (pedestrianism). This book is worth buying, borrowing or getting from a library that might have it – whether you are a walker, racewalker or runner.

Here is one walking record from the day to try and get your head around –Between 26 November and 1 December 1888, George Littlewood of Sheffield, England, set a 6-day world record of 623 miles 1,320 yards—a record world that would stand for 96 years!  In 1984 Yiannis Kouros ran over 635 miles to set a new world record.

*Online reading about subject of “pedestriamism”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrianism

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/03/297327865/in-the-1870s-and-80s-being-a-pedestrian-was-anything-but

Thanks to Mathew Algeo for letting me review his book – place of honour in my running book library. You can find the book online here.

**Check out my other running book reviews here.

See you out on the roads my friends or here on my blog!

Me on Twitter @NoelPaine