Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships


Just a heads up for anyone interested: Along with the live feed (that I keep missing because I haven't been paying attention to start times), RunnerSpace.com also has videos available of all the races. Here are the links to the women's 10,000, men's 5000, and women's 1500, and anything else can be found using the list on the left hand side of the screen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gear Review: Born to Run

Many runners have a certain running book that they've found stands out for them. It's the book they open when they're looking for inspiration or motivation. For me, that book was Running with the Buffaloes. Once a Runner was a close second, but the story of the University of Colorado's cross-country team just hit a little closer to home and was just a little more powerful for me. Today, many runners have found that "their book" is Christopher McDougall's Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. I initially had no interest in reading that book, having already read a lot of barefoot and minimalist literature a few years prior, and having talked to a few too many people who were convinced that running barefoot would cure everything from overpronation to ovarian cancer. Then a few months ago, I attended the wedding of one of my college teammates. My old assistant coach was there, and one of the things he asked me was whether I had read Born to Run. I told him no and explained why it didn't really interest me. He told me to give it a chance, that it's not 300 pages of "Shoes are evil" rants, and that he had enjoyed it. So, with an open mind and only a couple years late, the review that you've all been waiting for: Born to Run.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Blog: Gear Review: Saucony Grid Type A4

I asked my friend and college teammate Julie to write up a guest review on the Saucony Grid Type A4 racing flat, which has become her trainer of choice. After college, Julie took her running in a completely different direction than I did, returning to the trail running she had done outside of NCAA running, getting involved with ultradistance races, and experimenting with minimalist shoes, including various flats, the Vibram Five Fingers, and running completely barefoot. While I did a review of the Nike Free a little while ago, my review still came from the perspective of a shod road runner. As far as minimalism goes, Julie is the real deal. So, for all you trail runners, ultrarunners, and minimalist fans, this review is for you.

Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, and Other Cross-Obstacle Races

Over the weekend, one of my Facebook friends recently put up a status asking why the sudden proliferation of events like the Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Muddy Buddy, and urban adventure races. It seemed that the comments on this status fell onto one of two sides. The first side declared that such races are a show of false bravado for weekend warriors, a money making scheme that lacks the seriousness of a "real" competition, and an injury risk for "real" athletes. The other side stated that such races are a ton of fun, a great way to get people moving, and an excuse to push one's limits. A similar discussion was posted on LetsRun last week, with similar arguments on both sides (though LetsRun being LetsRun, I'm sure you can guess which side most posters took).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gear Review: Running for the Hansons

 

You don't graduate from Bucknell University without being at least somewhat of a Hansons fan. My first exposure to the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project was in 2003, my freshman year, when I somehow managed to make the travel squad to a cross-country meet in Detroit (I have no idea how that happened...I sucked freshman year!). My coach, Kevin Donner, had previously coached Brian Sell at St. Francis University and took the opportunity to introduce him to our team. Additionally, one of my teammates, a fellow freshman, had run for Sterling Heights High School in Michigan, and had been coached by Kevin Hanson, one of the two founders and coaches of the Hansons team. Then, a few years later, my best friend and college running partner Molly Pritz was accepted to their program (to be fair, she's gotten a lot faster since college, and training with her post-collegiately often involved me getting dropped). At this point, anyone who ran for the Bison kind of becomes a Hansons fan be default. So when I heard that Hansons runner Sage Canaday was putting out a book about his experiences with the team, I ordered myself some reading material.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why Do You Run?

Running is a somewhat odd activity. It's a selfish endeavor, and many of us leave our families for hours every day, plunging ourselves into an activity that benefits no one but ourselves. Sometimes we're helping a team or a running partner, but for the most part, it is something we do to satisfy our own desires. It's a financially draining sport. Sure, I win a little bit of money on the roads now and then, but that money doesn't even cover my shoes, let alone the rest of my gear, my race fees, or my running related medical bills. Even many professional runners aren't making enough to live, and they have to have another part-time job on the side. It's a punishing activity, bringing with it the physical pain of effort and injuries, and the mental anguish of heartbreak. Yet for whatever reason, we all continue to do it. So while you read this post, I'd like you to start thinking about the answer to the question: Why do you run?
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