Sally who? No Salming — a running shoe!

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“There is a shoe for every foot, every terrain and for all types of runners now.”

This running dad is squeezing in miles when he can at work and on way home from office (actually averaging 115-130km over last few weeks). Not getting usual number of hours of sleep and finding it hard to find time to stretch and do other things between pampers and bottles —- but surviving.

This week’s blog is a shoe review and short update.

Salming Distance

Salming Distance

Salming running shoes

Never heard of them. Nope neither had I until a little while ago. Got a hold of 2 pairs and got out on the road to test them out. A Swedish brand.

Salming have a range of shoes that go from trail, distance, speed and shoes to get out and explore with. I got to test the distance and racing ones.

Distance

Lets go for the feel and impression of each shoe before getting into shoe details. The Distance shoe I got was yellow, black and had some red (attractive) and looked plenty big for my size 12 (US) feet. When I slipped the shoe on it felt roomy and comfortable (good toe box and room at end and no rubbing anywhere). The shoe feels solidly built and has firm heel cup, stabilizing plastic bit underneath midfoot and is definitely not a minimal shoe or spaghetti soft.

On the run the shoe feels solid but not chunky and roomy but not sloppy. There is no huge heel drop and shoe does feels relatively flat. The cushion is there but not spongy soft. I am reminded of a New Balance Shoe I sued to run in (1023) it too had not so soft cushioning but lasted for miles. Good ride but not exciting.

Speed

Salming Speed.

Salming Speed.

The speed shoe has a slightly slimmer fit than Distance but still roomy and has same solid construction. Midsole cushioning feels the same but with less. Out on a run it did not feel fast but did feel light. Some other shoes categorized as race shoes I can do some training in and feel comfortable – not sure I would do that with this one. Short runs or speed work – if not using for racing. Once again, no issues with chafing or rubbing and comfortable.

Tech/Details

Distance:

  • Weight App. 240g (Size UK 8)
  • Blown and carbon rubber outsole
  • 5mm drop

Speed:

  • 210g (Size UK 8)
  • Blown rubber outsole

Other tech aspects of shoes are better explained on their website – but alot of thought seems to have gone into the shoes and how they should work.

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My thoughts and recommendation

This shoe brand is different but does not feel like a big departure from what is already out there but claim to have put alot of thought into the structure, heel-toe drop and how you should run and what a running shoe should do (shoes feel like thought has been put into them). Solidly constructed, quality shoes with good width and length. Good selection for runners but don’t think you will be jumping around feeling pumped when you wear – BUT could be a solid shoe that works if not excites you.

A shoe that will grunt and get the work done.

Look forward to more runs in my Salming shoes and to see what this company continues to turn out.

Worth checking out if you can find them. At worst – check their website.

See you out on the roads folks!

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A Canadian hands-free massage?

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“Running is a great way to get out and free the mind and body  – but sometimes you need to rest and take care of the abuse you have had your body endure.”

This blog is a review of a new Canadian product out on the market for runners or those who need to massage their tired or sore body.

SoloRolo

A hands free massage. I mean who does not like the sound of that? A new Canadian company has come up with something that frees up the hands and allows you to roll/massage spots on your tired body. I saw the product and was intrigued, so I reached out to my fellow Canucks to find out more. They sent me one. Its called SoloRolo.

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It is described as an easy myosfascial massage tool that can replace the tennis or lacrosse ball you may be using (your crazy running masochists) to treat your sore, knotted running muscles. This is what many use to really target specific spots (when foam rollers and others devices can often not get to).

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A ball like a magic 8 ball sits in black base and is smooth and rolls easily. A set of straps wrapped around base (tuck away easily) allow you to hang behind, infront etc and place where you can lean or roll against.

I unboxed and tried out. (Plenty of old sore muscles to try on)

I had some questions about the solorolo and some feedback and John from the company had some answers for me:

How hard solorolo ball is: Thanks for your honest feedback. Just to address a few of the issues you have found, it is true the ball is very hard but what we have found is that people who go from a tennis ball to a lacrosse ball are then again looking for something harder in the end, but to roll a pool ball or something on your wall wouldn’t be the smartest thing for your wall or your toes. But it is understandably the case that it will possibly be too hard for some people.

Solorolo ball not same as a hard ball: As for having the ball stick out a little more is something to consider for sure we understand totally what you mean by that, but what we also have found is that with proper placement of the Solorolo you will not be rubbing the side areas of the tool especially on a leaner body, there is a slight learning curve to using the tool properly and always paying attention to  being directly on top of the ball not so much on the side, it is quiet important to being perfectly perpendicular to the top of the ball for best use.

Hanging solorolo on wall as opposed to using straps: As for there being a hole on the back of the device so you can hang it or even a suction type backing that we had considered, I kind of disagree I feel that you having to turn around and reposition the device constantly would prove a nuisance and the fact that it is made to concentrate on smaller areas for massage and then move it as you go with the aid of the strap seems easier to me, but those are just my thoughts on it. I think if you find yourself doing squats with it to run up and down your entire back it is somewhat of a misuse, but to each his own. It definitely takes a few goes at it to perfect how you use it and there is no right or wrong way as long as it is providing you with some form of relief. Now of these days I don’t even use the strap I simply trap it between myself and a the wall and use enough body pressure to keep it in place, but again that is for myself and the amount of pressure I use hands free may very well be too much for someone else.

Thoughts and recommendations

I have used foam roller, balls and even have something that uses roller blade wheels to make my sore running legs into putty. I found the Solorolo a very neat idea and like that straps can be used to place it where you want (and not need to have someone else help).

This may not be my go-to self massage tool, but neat to have in my #running bag of tools – and I think one needs to really play around with and experiment with this tool, say more than a few others.

For the price of around $40 Canadian -worth checking out.

Run on my friends!

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Apples and Oranges of running packs

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“Running gear that works well and has thought put into it can really enhance the running experience.”

Today I review a running pack made for runners by runners – Orange Mud, yep thats the name of the company.

I have been running for almost 28-years and in the past few years when I started commuting on foot to work and doing more trail runs and ultras —started using backpacks and bags. I also learned quickly what I liked and what I did not (see my blog on running bags).

In a nutshell I like something that carries enough gear/stuff for the length of run I am doing and is snug and doesn’t take away from the run – it enhances it.

The pack I recently had the chance to try out and reviewing stands out like an orange amongst a pile of apples.

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Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest pack 1

I liked this pack from the start. Feels like strapping on a running bra with a quiver filled with fuel – with lots of pockets. Put bottle (like the spout on bottle) and fill with whatever you like (I use Cytomax) and fill front, back and shoulder pouches with whatever you need (cell, gels, mp3, money, debit card, small map etc.), snug up the straps and good to go.

I don’t just take stuff out of gear and look over – I am a silly runner and love opportunity to find gear that augments my running experience. I test (on foot).

I took the vest out for a few road runs and then out for a few long trail runs. I jossled, ran slow, ran hard and on pavement and smooth and uneven trail.

The orange among apples (why it stands out)

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-Food/accessory pockets on the shoulders for quick access.
-Front chest pockets for access to nutrition on the fly.
-Bottle based hydration for easy fill, easy clean-up.
-Medical grade mesh for maximum breathability.
-25oz BPA free bottle included.
-Glove like design for a comfy fit.
-Weight 8.7oz/230grams, with bottle 10.7oz/300 grams.
-Fit for minimum chest circumference is 27″. Max is 52″. Measured at or just below your armpits depending on body type.

Website says price is $119.

This pack stood out for me because it is different than anything I have used before, had plenty of storage and hardly moved creating a running experience where I almost forgot it was there.

THOUGHTS/RECOMMENDATIONS

This is a great running vest for runs that require only 1 water bottle of fuel (unless you can re-fuel along the way. If you just need the minimals and want something comfortable this is it. Its called a quiver because its like reaching back for an arrow from a quiver (like action of scratching your neck).

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One of my trail runs where I took the Orange Mud vest along.

Loved how all pockets velco’d or snugged up to keep things from flying out and was easy to adjust straps. Easy to grab and replace bottle and pockets in front make grabbing gel, cell for a photo or

Have only one thing to pass along to Orange Mud folks – tiny request – to add some small elastic loops on front closure so you can keep loose strap ends from being annoying on run (you can just slide under vest etc).

Check out their website – there is a vest with 2 bottles and more – I am intrigued to check out more Orange Mud gear!

See you out there running friends – find your own adventure and never stop challenging yourself.

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Putting some fun into fueling

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Running and training – even when we do it for fun can sometimes be tough. Put a little fun into the food side of fueling your body.

When I started running there were not that many running fuel options other than eating a normal healthy diet (which is always the best way). But back 25-years ago+ when i was starting to lace up there were glass bottles of orange Gatorade and those stick-to-your-teeth Canadian-made Powerbars (that turned to rock when cold).

Here are a few quick ways to have some fun!

Electrolyte Jello

  • Jello packet
  • Scoop of Cytomax powder
  • Water

Make jello as you would normally make but dissolve in sport drink and refrigerate. Then before or after have some fun re-fueling!

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Electrolyte popsicles

  • Cytomax powder
  • Water
  • Popsicle or icecube tray
  • Popsicle sticks

Mix your sports drink, pour into trays and add sticks. Pop out after a hot run and enjoy.

Electrolyte slushies

Simply mix your Cytomax or MuscleMlk drink and pop in freezer – you will simply need to check on to see how long it takes to become slushy and not completely frozen ….then you have your time to wait for great runner’s slush!

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Protein pancakes

  • Pre-mixed or ingredients for pancakes (I like easy version)
  • Water for premix version
  • Scoop Vanilla MuscleMlk protein powder
  • Berries or banana as you wish

Mix all together, not too much protein powder as will affect way pancakes cook. Add yogurt and syrup

Protein brownies

  • Brownie mix
  • MuscleMlk protein powder (Chocolate)

Same principle as pancakes – add protein to brownie mix and pop in oven. Fun protein filled chocolate mix!

Smoothie tips

Throw some protein powder or Cytomax powder into a smoothie and add as you like:

  • Banana (for potassium)
  • orange juice (vit C)
  • kiwi (vit c)
  • Frozen fruit and berries-frozen makes drink cold
  • Yogurt
  • Juice concentrate flavours for added taste*

*Have fun with this – some juice concentrates like lime, lemonade or even cranberry can make cold refreshing summer post runs drinks!

Run on friends!

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Fall Marathon Plans in Picton, Ontario

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The fall always seems a time to run long for me. The summer heat has dissipated and the cool fall and colours of the trees seem to beckon to keep going.

I am back to running after the birth of my first child and at week 5 after she arrived (cute little monkey) I managed to squeeze in 130-kilometres. Training and the amount of sleep has changed and I am now running when time and baby permits ….but still planning to run a fall marathon.

Here is a little about my planned race, one of the folks behind it and my training plan.

The race I have chosen is the Picton marathon in Ontario (Canada). Its is a quiet, beautiful course that finishes in a quaint Ontario town. I have some unfinished business there (my second marathon (3:14)). I was ready for 2:40-2:45 after running an unplanned marathon in Nova Scotia (2:54) that had started as a training run – and went through the half on pace before the piano fell and I struggled the last 21.1km. Time to return and better that time.

NOEL

My first Picton marathon in 2010.

Information about Picton, Ontario (website).

I decided to profile the race and talk to the people behind it.

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The Picton Marathon

The marathon is in its 12th year started by the parents of parents of Kailey the current race coordinator I got hold of. She said that Race Director Mark Henry and her mother Lynne Ellis (a Board Chair) started things and both are long time runners. Kailey also gives thanks to Peter Pimm and Peter Donato who have supported Mark and Lynne.

The dream was to create a local marathon race that would be a Boston Marathon qualifier and would be flat and fast.

Kailey Ellis-Chapman

Kailey is a humble life-time runner who says she has been running since grade school. She says she has really been involved since the beginning because of her mom and always seemed to have a volunteer role if she wasn’t running. Kailey has run all the events available on race weekend, the Full, Half-marathon and the Team Challenge but last year was her first year taking on a new role.

“Last year was my first official year as Race Manager and Acting Coordinator – this continues to be my role and I am truly enjoying it! It works really well for me as I have two young children, a background in Project Management, and therefore am able to work from home and Coordinate this fantastic event!”

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I asked Kailey a few questions about her race.

What draws runners to race the Picton marathon? I would say it’s a number of things,; a few of the biggest being our relatively flat and fast course, how it falls in the ‘marathon schedule’, as it is a great half race for those training, as well, it is a great first time race (this draws in a lot of people), and finally the feel our runners get running through our picturesque County – from the beautiful lakeside views, the small town and village charm and the support from our greater community. However, our socks have also always been a favorite amongst our running crowd!”

What is a successful marathon for you?

“Number one: a safe race, in other words – a race with out any safety glitches (which we have never had, knock on wood). Number two: a race with few complaints (which every race receives, of course) but again, we receive far more notes of gratitude, excitement and pleasure than the alternative. Which is in part Number three: Happy Runners! :) Runners who feel like they have been truly respected, supported and really, have been able to show up, run and recover with out having to worry or put extra energy into anything else! Number four: happy volunteers – they are the fuel that keeps this race running, so it is very important for us as a Race Committee to ensure our volunteers (mostly returning) feel supported and important!”

“Finally, the comments, cheers and smiles of pure exhaustion and enjoyment at the finish line and weeks following our race truly are what keep us as a Committee striving for excellence and excited to carry on. This race is a huge provider to our local community (financially) and too, so it is equally gratifying to know we have positively contributed to our local community in this way while also supporting new growth and achievement I the greater running community.”

My Picton Relay plan and team

My plan for this October is to train as hard as a new dad can, with the time I have available and aim for 2:35 to 2:40 shape and see what happens. I will be heading to Picton with some friends who plan on running the relay. I challenged them to try and beat me…..and came up with our team logo.

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Okay – thats enough about me! Come join me in Picton, send me your comments or stories or see you on the roads or in the blogosphere!

If you have questions for Kailey or just want information about the race:

kailey@thecountymarathon.ca

http://www.thecountymarathon.ca/

Toll free: 1-866-4PECRUN

 

Until the next blog my running friends!

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Inspiring running dad

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Dads can be wonderful things. As youngsters they are our entire world and shape who and what we become.

I became a dad for the first time in May and it seems appropriate to have another blog from me on a related topic. And this week its easier because someone wrote me and basically gave me the words for a great story! Thats a good thing too as I am functioning at 65% and on reduced sleep!

Wild Bill and Christy

Christy DeWeese is a 40 year-old US runner from Louisville, Kentucky who lives down the street from her dad who she calls ‘Wild Bill”. Christy did her first 5k back in 2006 and did it with her running dad. Then in 2007 we did the 5k and a 10k. Dad and daughter continued to get out for runs together but life got busy for both and races became fewer and the goal became more just to stay in shape. Both Christy and her dad start most of their runs from the end of her dad’s driveway and out along various loops they have created.

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Christy’s dad’s name is William Hoover (“Wild Bill”) and he is now 63 years old, an auto accessories specialist, seat repair specialist who owns his owns his own company….and he is a runner.

In 2014 Christy decided she needed a new challenge and wanted to finish the local Derby Festival Half-Marathon; a race her dad had run numerous times in the 80s. Her text oozes with admiration as she describes her dad. But she also wanted to finish with her dad.

Dad agreed and training got underway. The April race day arrived and despite a sore knee and feeling slow Christy ran her fist half-marathon; with her dad at her side. “I kept telling Dad that he should go ahead and finish, that I would be fine.  But he never even considered it – he stayed right with me and we finished together, with many tears – of happiness and of pain.”

finish line big sur

Despite the race being tough, Christy was hooked on the longer distance and A few weeks later asked her dad if he would train again with her again for another half. The two of them made a vacation out of it and shaved 20-minutes of their time at the Big Sur Half-Marathon in California finishing hand in hand.

Christy: “My dad would do anything for me and has coached me and encouraged me and just been there with me to see me accomplish such a large goal.  I love him dearly. I know that I never could have done it without my awesome Running Dad.  “Wild Bill” is the best Running Dad in the world!”

Life is short. Family is precious and its great when a passion and family can come together. Great story Christy – thanks for sharing!

Run on Wild Bill and Christy!

See you on the roads my running friends.

Noel

Twitter youtube Cdnrunning

If you are going to run hard might as well look cool and protect your eyes!

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“Sometimes the mind is stronger than the body. Sometimes the right mind-set can greatly affect your training and your races.”

Your outlook, your confidence and how you handle stress etc. can affect how well you run. Hence cool running sunglasses can be more than just sunglasses. Running sunglasses that not only do the job but also make you look and feel cool and like a serious runner – can affect your run.

While in social media I kept seeing an Ottawa running friend with some nice running sunglasses and was intrigued enough to ask her about them. Sundogs she said (Sundog eyewear) – I went and got hold of them and asked them about their products. I was initially looking for prescription running sunglasses with second option being regular sunglasses with good optics.

Sundog Bolts with my running gear ready to go.

Sundog Bolts with my running gear ready to go.

Sundogs

A box arrived and in it were 3 glasses from Sundog eyewear. There were 2 running sunglasses and then a more sporty but casual pair (all with cloth bags and including a 1 protective case). The 2 running glasses were the Bolt and Mach and the casual one (with a cool green colour on the inside) was called Default.

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BOLT

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MACH

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DEFAULT

REVIEW/RECOMMENDATIONS

Because I wear a prescription I need something (without prescription) that allows clear vision and because I hate anything jangling or moving on a run – a good fit and comfortable. Both running glasses (Bolt and Mach were very comfortable). The Mach felt like it had more coverage on the side and I liked the breath-ability and colour of the Bolt frame. Both running frames did not move and fit the wide bridge of my nose with their adjustable nose-piece. I took both glasses for road and trail runs and had on my face, pushed up on my sweaty bald head and liked performance.

Out for a run with Sundog Bolts.

Out for a run with Sundog Bolts.

Both running frames seemed of good quality though the small red piece on arm of mach did fall off when I first put on (I glued back on).

The casual default frame – although not something i might pick for myself – fit, felt (no adjustable nose piece) and worked well and my wife said it looked good.

LENS

All the glasses had what the company called TRUE BLUE lenses – which they say incorporate both melanin and ocular lens pigment, to provide ultimate eye protection and vision performance. Their site says the human body naturally produces melanin and ocular lens pigment; together these substances are nature’s way of defending the eye from invisible and visible light. The lenses worked for me (even without prescription) with no squinting and adjusted to light levels well.

For the price ($40-$70 range) these glasses are a good buy and I liked the optics and look. Sunndog has also said they are looking into frames that could work with prescription lenses.

UPDATE

Sundog sent me out another pair to try!

Opened the box and out jumped a pair of white and green Attack frames. This frame at first looked very close to the Bolts I tried (see comments above) but have a slightly different look and fit.

Attack

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The frame feels slightly larger and the arms tuck down so one can also wear easier with a running hat. The lens are vented and the nose piece adjustable. When I tried on the Bolt and Attack my wife said the Bolt made me look more friendly and the Attack was more serious -looking. (Think they will be my race-day glasses. The lenses (TrueBlue) are good and I can wear without prescription.

So why not try a couple (with decent prices)…..a fun training pair and a pair to scare the competition.

*Be sure to follow and check out Sundog eyewear Ambassadors Leanne Richardson @RLeannne and elite Canadian runner Erin Burrett @Track_Star1500.

**Watch soon for profiles of some Sundog running elites!

See you out on the roads my running friends!

Noel

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