Friday, March 22, 2013

Steve Holman

Running history is very poorly documented so I am going to try and preserve some of Minnesota's running history one piece at a time.  I am sure all of this information and more can be found in obscure personal libraries and the minds of the people who  were alive and observant at the time but it is hard for people of my age and younger to learn some of this stuff.

Credit: Victah at Run Photo Run

This profile is of Steve Holman.  He is the best mid distance runner of all-time from the state of Minnesota.  Steve ran for Richfield, graduating in 1988.  He ran 4:09.26 for the full mile or 4:07.62 for 1600m which ranks 5th all-time as well as 1:50.56 which ranks 4th all-time and had been a state record for 8 years.  After high school, Steve attending Georgetown University in Washington DC.  There he was a NCAA champion in the 1992 indoor 1500 and was an all-american in distances up to 5000.  He made his first and only Olympic team the summer after graduating in the 1992 1500.  Sadly Steve wasn't known as a championship racer and while having solid PRs of 1:44.98, 3:31.52, 3:50.40, and 7:43.20, he often faltered at bigger races.  At the time, Steve was third on the all-time American list for 1500m.

Olympic Profile

Here is a year by year list of Steve's accomplishments compiled by USATF:

2000: Placed 5th at Olympic Trials (3:37.36)...ranked 5th of 3:33.59 August 11 in Zurich (fastest by an American in 2000).
1999: Won 1500 at USA Outdoors (3:39.21)... 9th at World Champs (3:34.32)...2nd in 3,000 at USA Indoors... 6th at World Indoors... 6th in GP Final (3:36.08)...bests of 1:48.50, 2:16.68 (1,000), 3:32.73, 3:55.13 (Mile).
1998: 4th at USA Outdoors (3:39.46)... 3rd in USA Indoor mile (3:59.27)...3rd at Edwardsville GP (3:54.74)...ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FN... bests of 3:33.60 and 3:52.73.
1997: Disqualified from final at USA Outdoors (2nd, 3:46.01)...placed on World Champs team because he had made the qualifying time, and only one other had...7th in semis at World Champs (3:39.97)...ranked #10 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN; ranked #8 in U.S. at 800... bests of 3:31.52.
1996: Won USA Indoor mile (3:57.72)...13th in Olympic Trials (3:47.44)...ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FN... bests of 3:34.55 and 3:50.60, also 7:42.49 (3K).
1995: 5th in USA Outdoors (3:45.10)...clocked six PRs during the summer season...4th in USA Indoor 3000 (7:56.76)...ranked #4 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN; ranked #5 in U.S. at 800... bests of 3:32.01 and 3:50.76, also 1:44.98 (800).
1994: 6th in heat (3:42.00) at USA Outdoors, hampered by a virus...9th in GP Final (3:43.47)...ranked #5 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN... bests of 3:34.96 and 3:50.91.
1993: 3rd (top U.S.) in USA Indoor mile (3:55.41)...4th in World Indoor (3:45.59)...a tibia fracture canceled most of his outdoor season...ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FN... bests of 3:35.29 and 3:55.41, also 2:19.96 (1K).
1992: 2nd in Olympic Trials (3:36.48)...9th in semi at Olympic Games ...won NCAA 1500 (3:38.39)...4th in NCAA Indoor 5000 (13:47.63); anchored runner-up 4 x 800 (1:48.8 for 7:20.04)...46th in USA XC Outdoors...ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FN... bests of 3:34.95 and 3:52.73.
1991: 5th in USA Outdoors (3:41.51)...6th in NCAA Indoor mile (4:01.13); led-off winning 4 x 800 (1:51.5 for 7:19.86)...7th in NCAA (3:41.51)... 10th in NCAA XC...ranked #4 in U.S. by T&FN... bests of 3:38.37 and 4:01.13.
1990: 5th in USA Outdoors... ran third leg on 4th-place 4 x 800 at NCAA Indoor (1:49.6 for 7:20.97)...8th in NCAA...3rd in Olympic Festival...78th in NCAA XC...ranked #7 in U.S. by T&FN... bests of 3:39.60 and 4:03.74.
Ran third leg on 4th-place 4 x 800 at NCAA Indoor (1:49.4 for 7:20.96)...3rd in USA Juniors... bests of 3:45.41 and 4:06.31.
1988: Set an 800m state record of 1:50.5 that wasn't broken until 1996...won Minnesota HS state titles at 800 and 1600...bests of 3:52.8 and 4:09.26.
1987: Bests of 4:14.6 (1600)...won Minnesota HS state title at 1600.
1986: Bests of 4:21 (1600).
1985: Best of 10:08 (3200m).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sport Beans Review

Today, I am going to review Jelly Belly's Sport Beans. I am doing an ultra next month so I am testing out different energy bars, gels, beans, etc.

Packaging: I really don't like the packaging on these.  It is hard to get the beans out of the package and that is without closing and re-opening the package like you are able to do.

Taste: The ones with caffeine have a strong and almost bitter side taste to them.  All the regular flavors taste like  jelly beans with a little extra salt in them.  I was fond of the lemon-lime and fruit punch flavors.

Stomach: These never seem to sit well with me.  I always have some kind of issue that is similar to feelings I have if I run after eating candy or drinking too much sports drink.  It seems like this is an attempt by a candy company to get into sports nutrition while relying more on their name than on science.

Energy: These usually upset my stomach enough to have to stop.  I wonder if they might have a crash and burn effect if I ever felt good enough to get there.  Maybe we will see someday.  I might be willing to use these if out for a hike when I am less likely to be sick to the stomach (as compared to running) and when the packaging might not be as big of a hassle.

As far as I'm concerned, I would have just as good of results if I was using regular jelly beans or fruit snacks for this purpose as a lower price.  With all things energy related I recommend trying as many options as you can.  Everybody is different! Sport beans didn't work well for me but they might work well for you.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 18th-24th Training Recap

March 18th- My left IT band is sore on the outside of my knee today.  My favorite remedy for that is to foam roll the outside of the thigh to loosen it up and relieve the pressure and inflamation below.  That combined with a bit of ice and anti-inflammatory usually does the trick for me.  It is also nearly as windy as it was yesterday.  I ended up taking the day off, my knee gradually got better but it was windy and cold and I didn't feel like running.

March 19th- I was super tired today.  I thought it was just a general lack of motivation but my legs really didn't want to move.  I ran home from work then changed and ran to War Memorial Stadium for some stadium stairs workout.  I was inspired by reading Lydiard's 'To the Top'.  I don't really have hamstring issues but Lydiard says that hills and stair strengthen hamstrings and prevent these types of injuries.  It was extremely windy again and I am getting tired of it!  7 miles on the day and week!

March 20th- Got a decent 5 in today.  The legs still felt tired but not nearly as bad as yesterday.  12 on the week.

March 21st- Got 6 in before work.  Still kind of tired and the outside of my foot hurt.  Will wear a different pair of shoes this afternoon and hopefully it goes better.  Go Jacks!

PM- Well the Jacks lost but I did get in another 5 after work.  The foot and energy levels both felt better this time around.  It was oppressively windy, again.  Weekly mileage up to 23.

March 22nd + 23rd-  I decided to take these days off.  I was feeling very tired and unmotivated.  It was also very cold and windy.

March 24th- Despite the cold, I made it out for 10 miles in the 0 degree weather.  We got back on the trails east of town which are nice and offer great views of Laramie from above.  Despite the fact that I didn't meet my goals this week, I am satisfied.  I may have bit off more than I could chew with my 20 miler last weekend if I wanted to train strong this week.  I think that I might also be getting sluggish from lack of activity at work.  That isn't completely my fault but I'm sure I can do better than I am right now.  I also need to get back on the full myrtle every day train.  I think that strong hip flexors will go a long way in an ultra.  I am mentally refreshed and ready for another decent week of training.  Either this week or next weekend will be my last super long run before the ultra. 

Weekly mileage: 23

Wear Testing is a Great Thing

Do you want free gear?  Then wear testing might be the thing for you.  Minimal work is required and if you are like me and like to think that your opinion is going to influence a future product, then that is just an added bonus.

How do you become a wear tester?  Go onto one of the shoe company's websites and apply.

New Balance Wear Test
Brooks Wear Test
Mizuno Wear Test

Nike has one too that is somewhat hard to find and also harder to get into.  I have wear tested for New Balance a few times and have friends who have tested for Brooks and Nike.

If you like to run, like to try new things, like free stuff (may or may not get to keep it), and like to help develop a product then wear testing is for you.

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Balance 1080 V3 Review

I had the pleasure of wear testing these shoes last summer.  Now they are out and I wanted to express my feelings toward this shoe and towards the new image that New Balance is projecting.  New Balance was always a company that was lurking on the edge.  They seemed to be mostly worn by older men and that image wasn't helped by the fact that they produce all white walking shoes.  The big N logo was always bulky and unimaginative.  Despite the potential quality of the shoes, no young person including myself was ever going to try those shoes out.  That may sound rather shallow but why have just functionality when you can have that as well as a good looking shoe?

I was rather surprised when I opened the box to these shoes for a couple reasons.  First, they are marketed as lightweight and neutral.  They are fairly neutral but they aren't very light and their appearance makes them look even heavier than they really are.  The next reason I was surprised was that these shoes were flashy.  Red and lime green combined with silver accents and a new sleeker looking N logo made me excited about trying these shoes on.

My initial thoughts on the feel of these shoes was mixed.  I have slightly wide feet but never wide enough to request a wide shoe for any other brand.  These shoes were tight, slightly uncomfortable near the ball of the foot.  Everywhere else they felt great and even that tightness wore off as my feet stretched out the shoes both over the course of the run and over the course of the time I wore the shoes.  The shoes aren't very flexible which is more of a preference thing for me as I wear Nike Free, Puma Faas 250, and racing flats to train in quite often.  The overall 'ride' of the shoe was very nice.  When going into the wear test, I was dealing with a little plantar fascitis.  It wasn't super bad but it was there.  I can't attribute the healing of that completely to these shoes but I can make note that my condition did improve while wearing these shoes.

For those familiar with wear testing, you might not get to keep the shoes as long as you would like.  I only had these shoes for just over a month and when you're not running 100+ miles per week it is hard to test the durability of shoes in that short of a period.  I can say that the shoes had some wear on the tread as should be expected but the mid-sole had minimal compression and the uppers were immaculate with the exception of a little dirt from running trails.  These shoes would last, at minimun, the 400 or so miles that is usually recommended.

Overall, these shoes are decent.  I think I would be scared away by the higher price tag (115 MSRP) if I ever had to pay for them.  I really enjoyed them as wear test shoes but with so many quality options out there you can always find a comparable shoe at a lower price point.  If money isn't an option and you are looking for a quality, cushioned, mid-weight, neutral trainer, then this shoe might be for you.  I always recommend that you try on a shoe before you buy it so head out to your local running shop and try one on!

This is the colorway I had, courtesy of Finish Line