Saturday, March 10, 2012

Adventures at Coon Hollow

This past week, my fiance, Danielle, and I were road-tripping out to Laramie, WY.  After contacting local trail master, Mike Krsnak, we decided to go for a run on the Coon Hollow Trails just outside Rapid City, SD.  I had run at Coon Hollow this past summer so I figured I knew the trail well enough to navigate it's 4 or 5 mile loop with ease.  The run begins well and we climb a few hundred feet above the trailhead.  All looks familiar for about 3.5 miles and I begin anticipating the final, loose-rock covered hill that descends to the trailhead, signifying the end of the run.  Well, it doesn't come.  I keep running.  First, because I am enjoying the trail.  Trails like this don't come along too often in Eastern South Dakota.  Second, because I hate to be wrong and turning around would mean admitting defeat.  However, I do know how to give up when I am ahead.  The breaking point came when I reached a fork in the road and a sign telling me of both destinations informed me that I had no idea where I was.  I stopped for a quick bathroom break and gathered my thoughts.  Not only did we take the wrong trail, I didn't know how to get to the right one.  I would later discover that I had missed a turn which would have ended the loop in about a half mile.  Instead, I ended up on the Flume Trail, headed towards Sheridan Lake.  After the bathroom break, I ran back to find Danielle.  She had only wanted to run the 4 or 5 mile loop so she started walking after that.  The hills were taking a toll on her calf and Achilles that she is just getting over.  I find her and explain the situation.  She is much more patient then I would have been in her position so I thank her for that.  We decided to walk on a path that we had seen a mountain biker travel.  We walk for about a half mile and see a building far down a steep hill.  We decide to travel down the hill and see where it takes us.  We end up at a camp that she had attended in junior high.  We had seen the sign near our trailhead that let us know that the camp was 1.7 miles away.  1.7 miles doesn't seem like much but these were no ordinary 1.7 miles.  First, it is melting season and the road was a red-clay mess.  It was wet and sloppy and our shoes were soaked and dyed red in no time.  And second, it was all uphill and we were already tired from running the hilly trail at altitude.  After a half hour, we arrived at our car and continued our 5 hour travel to Laramie.

Black Hills National Forest Map

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Day in Track History- March 10th

2000- Shawn Crawford of Clemson edges out John Capel of Florida for the American Indoor Record over 200 meters.  The men ran exactly the same time of 20.26 at the NCAA Indoor Championships but Crawford was declared the winner.  Only Wallace Spearmon has run faster as an American.

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Nike Free Run +3 and Free 3.0 V4

The Free Run + 3 and Free 3.0 V4 are set for release on May 1st but you can get yours early!  Go on Nike ID and create your own.  You will have to pay 30 extra dollars but you can get them weeks earlier than they will hit shelves and I think these shoes are going to be awesome!  I had to opportunity to try both of them on and they are both lighter, more comfortable and have a lower heel drop than their predecessors.  Get yours now!  Possibly best of all, you can mix and match a 3.0 bottom with a 5.0 top or vice versa if you wish!

Nike Store

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fantasy Track and Field

NCAA Indoor Track and Field is coming up and that means only one thing for Track and Field nerds everywhere... Fantasy Track and Field!

Here's how it works:
You get $100,000 to spend on your team.  The list below is how much an athlete will cost you.  The rankings are based on those found at TFRRS.  Remember, just because an athlete has qualified in an event doesn't mean that they will run it.  Make sure you check entry lists found Here!

1st- $10,000
2nd- $8,000
3rd- $6,000
4th- $5,000
5th- $4,000
6th- $3,000
7th- $2,000
8th- $1,000
9th and Lower- $500

If you draft an athlete you have to specify the event.  Therefore you don't get an athlete for all events, just the one you draft them for.  You can also draft relay teams.

Scoring: Add up the points that your drafted players score at the NCAA meet.  The winner is the person that has the most points.

Example format for entries:
4th- Cam Levins (Southern Utah)- 3000

How to enter:  E-mail me your teams @ and I will not post them on here until after entries are due so nobody can steal your team.  I already have my own so I won't steal yours either.

Prizes: It is probably frowned upon by the NCAA so bragging rights and pride are the prizes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Barefoot Vs Shoes

Runner's World recently came out with another article.  It was complete brilliance.  OK, maybe I am being sarcastic.  But all of these barefoot vs running shoes debates are kind of stupid.  In this one they test a bunch of different runners to see where they are most efficient.  They find that the people who run in shoes with no added weight are more efficient than those who run barefoot with no added weight.  It's a great discovery and all except I think they forget one thing... Every single person they tested probably is your average runner who run's in Asics Kayanos or Brooks Adrenalines, pretty typical trainers.  Now, if they performed the same study on a practiced barefoot runner or one who ran in Vibram Five Fingers or New Balance Minimus I think the results would show that each runner is most efficient in what they use most often.  I recently read "Natural Running" by Danny Abshire, the founder of Newton Running and he said that runners in traditional trainers have become efficient at running inefficiently.  I think that this is a poor study but I can't think of a better one myself.  However, I do have an idea; let every runner find what works best for them.  Every runner can't do the barefoot thing and I can't run in Nike Structures or Asics Kayanos.  I have found that somewhere in between is the best for me.  I do relatively high intensity and high volume on somewhat minimal shoes and it works great.  Somehow, every time I start talking about running it comes back to talking about how every runner is different. Anyway, Happy Runnings, experiment and find what works for you!

Article Here

This Day In Running- March 7th

1982- Jarmila Kratochvilova of Czechoslovakia sets the indoor world record in the 400 meter run with a clocking of 49.59.  Jarmila set world records in the outdoor 400 and 800 in the span of 10 days the next summer at the age of 32.

1997- Wilson Kipketer, a resident of Denmark, of Kenyan descent, sets world indoor record over 800 meters.  Wilson would go on to beat this record just two days later.  Wilson was a remarkable athlete having run under 1:44 in the 800 for 10 straight years.  He also had the world record outdoors until the recent exploits of David Rudisha.

Kipketer, 233

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This Day In Track- March 6th

1994- Colin Jackson of the UK set the indoor 60m hurdles world record in Sindelfingen, Germany with a time of 7.30 seconds.  Colin won three world championships and took home one silver at the Olympics in three tries.  Around the time of his record, 1993 to 1995, Jackson went 44 races without losing.  During this period he also won a Euro championships in the 60m with a record 6.49 seconds.

Colin Jackson

2011- Teddy Tamgho set the indoor triple jump world record.  He also set the second best indoor jump ever.  He set the record of 17.92 meters on his 2nd and 4th jumps of the 2011 European Championships.  Teddy is only 22 years old and already has a world championship.

File:Teddy Tamgho Doha 2010.jpg
Winning the Worlds

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring Break? Go Watch Some Track

NCAA T&F Championships

I know many people are going on spring break right now.  Some have elaborate trips planned to far away places and some just want to relax.  Others are hanging out at home and may start to get bored by the end of next week.  I have a solution if you are a track fan!  Head to the Bud Myers Fieldhouse at Minnesota State Mankato and watch the Division 2 National Indoor Track Meet!  The meet is held next weekend, March 9th and 10th.  Down the Backstretch outlines some local performances to keep an eye on.  If I were going, and I might, I would keep an eye on Adams State's distance squad: Their 6th best miler is ranked 16th in D2 and is under 4:10.  These guys are amazing for being D2.  All of their guys could be D1 for sure.

Meet Info

Down the Backstretch's Article

This Day In Running... March 4th

1995- Michael Johnson of the United States set the world record in the indoor 400 meters in Atlanta.  Michael's time was 44.63.  That time still ranks second all-time behind Kerron Clement, also of the United States, who beat Michael's record as a collegian in 2005.  Michael went on to win two gold medals and set two world records in the 200 and 400 at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.  His 400 record still stands and his 200 is #3 all time behind Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake of Jamaica.

1989- Javier Sotomayor of Cuba broke the indoor high jump world record set just one year earlier by one centimeter.  Javier's jump was 2.43 meters or 7'11 3/4".  Javier's career spanned 15 years from his World Junior Record in 1985 to his Olympic Silver in 2000.  He was among the best in the world for those years.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nike Zoom Elite + Review

Nike Zoom Elite 5+ - Men's

Nike created the Air Zoom Elite for 4 years before deciding to move the shoe to the Lunar Series.  They created the Lunar Elite + and + 2.  Those shoes were said to be the same but they don't look or feel very much like each other at all.  The same can be said for their transition back to the Nike Zoom Elite +.  That doesn't mean that the Zoom Elite + isn't a good shoe.  And I'm not sure why they dropped the "Air" out of the shoe name seeing as the shoe has an air pocket in the forefoot.  Anyway, I'll get on to the reviewing here.

Retail Price: It jumped $5 as most of Nike's shoes did recently to $105
Weight: Considered a Lightweight Trainer at 10.6 oz
Heel Drop: Slightly less than a traditional shoe at 9mm

Feel: I have mixed feelings about this shoe.  I really like the Air pocket in the forefoot.  I feel that it gives a nice energy return when pushing off.  I also really like the feel of the upper.  The mesh is soft and secure and I like Nike's new lockdown system that they have shown on other 2012 models such as the Lunareclipse +2.  The heel cup is perfect in terms of height and firmness.  The tongue is also soft but not too thick.  Like I said before, these are classified as a lightweight trainer.  Many have scoffed at that due to their 10+ ounce weight but on the feet they feel much lighter than that.  They are light and responsive.

Looks:  Again, my feelings are mixed on this topic.  I like the color choice.  It is vibrant and will stand out well.  I also like shoes that have decent amounts of black and these ones do.  I do think that the colors or design lead these shoes to appear cheaply constructed.

Durability: I think that the main issue with durability is going to be the upper forefoot and the sole itself.  I expect a lot out of my trainers but if you only hope to get 400-500 miles on your shoes then these should last that long.  The materials used in this shoe look cheaper than in other models.  It may just be the look or colors used but I'm not sure.  It will be interesting to see how well they hold up.

Uses: The Elite is fairly lightweight and that Air pocket gives you a good boost of the ground so the Elite would probably be good for quicker training runs and maybe longer tempos.  I prefer to wear flats for faster workouts so I wouldn't wear these.  I think these shoes also have the cushion for the long haul and can be worn for runs of about any distance.

Overall, I would recommend trying these shoes on before you buy them.  Every runner is different and so are their feet and preferences.  One runner may love them and another may hate them.