Steve

Steve is a Division Director at Robert Half Technology in Madison, WI with a business degree in Information Systems and E-Commerce from the University of Toledo. Steve loves spending his time away from work; running, gaming, watching movies, checking out new social networking tools/sites/start-ups and blogging.

The Sprinter vs. the Marathoner

 Posted by on January 15, 2014  1 Response »
Jan 152014
 
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While perusing the internet over the weekend, I stumbled upon a YouTube video explaining the differences between the sprinter and the marathoner.  The video shared the differences between fast and slow twitch muscles while also explaining the way these differences affect your physical appearance and performance. As soon as the video came to an end, my head went straight to the most recent Summer Olympics where athletes of all shapes and sizes competed.  The immediate faces that came to mind were those of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah of Jamaica and London, respectively.  Even though both individuals participated in track and field races, they have very different physical appearances. Continue reading »

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Run To The Sales

 Posted by on November 28, 2013  No Responses »
Nov 282013
 
black-friday-survival

It’s that time of year again and the sales are back on everything from TVs to turkeys.  For all of you who are getting ready to run out at 8PM on Thanksgiving night or if you are going to pick up some of the sweet deals before Christmas, be sure to check out this list.  We will be updating this from now to Christmas to keep everyone up to date regarding upcoming sales on running related items.  If you know of a sale not listed here please mention it in the comments so we can update it.

Skora Running

25% off site wide from Monday, November 25th until Sunday, December 1st – Use “save25″ at checkout

Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Doorbuster Coupon - 11/28/2013 8PM until 11/29/2013 2PM

  • $15 off a pair of athletic footwear
  • $15 off Nike, Adidas, or Reebok Athletic Apparel purchase of $59.99

Black Friday Deals

  • 50% off Reebok fleece & cold weather apparel
  • 25% off Nike Pro Combat gear
  • $75 for a pair of Women’s Nike Free 4.0 only in the Pink Force color way

Additional Savings – Black Friday Bonus – Earn $20 off your next purchase of $100 or more with any purchase made on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday

SPORTS Authority

Doorbuster Deal – Thursday & Friday while supplies last - BOGO 50% off Adidas or Under Armour performance socks

  • 25% off Nike Pro Cold-Weather Apparel and Men’s Nike Element run tops
  • 25% off New Balance and Adidas apparel
  • 25% off Under Armour  socks

The Clymb

Up to 70% off and free shipping on KEEN, MER­RELL, PRANA, CAMEL­BAK, SALOMON, SANUK, SOG, SIERRA DESIGNS, SUGOI, and more.

REI

While REI has yet to announce its exciting Black Friday deals, there are up to 40% discounted deals up for grabs as a part of pre-holiday deals from Nov 15-24. - Will update when the actual black friday ad comes in. 

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The Day After the Marathon

 Posted by on October 11, 2013  4 Responses »
Oct 112013
 
Day After The Marathon

We did it!  Meagan and I both completed our first marathons this past Sunday, and since then, we’ve been trying to heal up by staying off our feet, rolling out the sore spots with a foam roller and The Stick, and wearing our recovery socks as much as possible.  For anyone who has completed a marathon (or other particularly difficult race/run), or for those minimalist runners out there who have experienced “calfocalypse” after going for their first big run in minimalist shoes, you can easily relate to the pain and discomfort that can accompany just general walking (or even just moving from sitting to standing and vice versa).

I felt that after Meagan’s recent post about marathon thoughts (which was posted two days before the big event), we should share a video that exhibits the “after thoughts”.  This one is actually an ad from April 2007 by the health food company Flora, who was the lead sponsor of the London Marathon that year. Continue reading »

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Altra 2014 Line-up

 Posted by on October 4, 2013  8 Responses »
Oct 042013
 
Altra 1

About two years ago, this site was launched with little intention of having anyone outside of our family and close friends read it.  Little did we know that our little site would manage to pick up so much steam, giving us the ability to review products from so many different amazing companies.  Aside from our own growth, we’ve been able to watch several companies go from a garage to an office, and from bankrupt to highly profitable, plus we’ve seen restructures, re-namings, and complete re-brandings.  One of the first companies we had the pleasure to work with was Altra.  Altra went from small potatoes to one of the leaders in minimalist shoes, and, furthermore, they coined nearly every single phrase minimalist runners use today to describe their footwear (wide toe box, zero drop, foot-shaped design).  With that said, over the last year, Altra has received little love from us, and not for any real reason.  To be honest, we’ve been focused on so many new brands that we haven’t been able to go back and pay homage to one of the first companies to ever send us shoes to review, until now. Altra has continued to grow and improve their line, and are adding some amazing new or updated shoes this fall and coming spring.

So, without further ado I’d like to introduce the 2014 line-up from Altra Running. Continue reading »

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Color Me Pleasantly Surprised

 Posted by on September 13, 2013  No Responses »
Sep 132013
 
Color Me Rad3

If you would have asked me just 2 years ago what the “fad” in foot races was going to be in 2013, I never would have guessed that Color/Zombie/Electric/Pumpkin/Santa Clause/Naked/Turkey/*fill in the blank* runs would be the answer.  That said, when Meagan and I first saw the “The Color Run 5k”, we went berserk.  The idea of running through paint sounded (and looked) like a ton of fun.  To top it off, the marketing is pure genius, just watch the marketing video below and you can tell why so many people sign-up to get blasted in the face by colored cornstarch.

Our interest was at an even higher level because we had just watched Outsourced (the movie, not the awful TV Show) prior to hearing about The Color Run, so we were familiar with the origins of the event.  For those who don’t know, The Color Run got its concept from India’s Holi Festival, which is celebrated every year, around the world, the day after the full moon in March.

Our excitement peaked when we learned The Color Run would be coming to Wisconsin around the same time the training for our first 10k would be reaching the 5k mark.  Unfortunately, the race was in Milwaukee (not Madison), and it was spoiled due to conflicting plans, so we put our color run dreams on the back burner for a while.  We ended up waiting almost 2 years to finally sign up for our first color run, which took place just a couple of weeks ago when Color Me Rad, The Color Run’s biggest competitor, came to Madison.  On that note, I wanted to point out that, unlike many rookie runners, Meagan and I didn’t become avid runners after or for the purpose of doing a franchised local 5K, a route into running that is becoming more common as these types of “races” gain popularity.  Our motivation was provided by our love of minimalist shoes, wanting to get in shape for our wedding/honeymoon, running the 10K Haunted Hustle (not franchised, it just happens to involve a costume contest), and you, our Technically Running readers.  That’s not to say that a high-budget franchised run isn’t a great way to get into running, but I recognize that our experience at the Color Me Rad run is likely different than it would be for someone who is new to running and/or new to racing.

Color Me Rad1By the time we finally got to the day of the event, I have to admit that we had almost lost interest (we even considered skipping it).  Keep in mind that, at this point, it had been 2 years since these events became popular, so the excitement about their existence had basically worn off. Added to that, we’re in the final weeks of our marathon training, so a 5k fun run seems a bit trivial.  Anyway, after dragging our butts out of bed, we decided to stop complaining and and not waste the $90 ($45 a piece) we’d spent on this race.  We hopped in the car and drove over.  Once we parked, we hustled over to the packet pick-up section to get our goody bags.  One of the huge plusses for these themed runs is that they come with all kinds of SWAG, which adds to the fun.  This particular goody bag included our bibs, our t-shirts, plastic sunglasses,  and RAD tattoos (which I still can’t get off of the back of my leg).  Of course, as soon as you’re done grabbing the gear included in your registration fee, you are immediately greeted by a table full of other branded stuff (junk?) for sale.  The stuff on sale included Color Me Rad-branded running tutus, knee socks, bracelets, water bottles, and fanny packs, but the most annoying item for sale was the white t-shirts. That’s right, the race shirt included in your SWAG bag isn’t white, so you have to either purchase a new shirt for the run, or bring your own white shirt to get tie-dyed up, which wouldn’t be a problem if this wasn’t the most expensive 5K I’ve ever run in.

Once you are finished throwing your money at them, you make your way through the crowds of people to the corral and wait for your race to start, or you can hang out with the DJ and Ronald McDonald (some of the proceeds goto the Ronald McDonald House), while he screams about how awesome color packets are and showers the crowd with a colored powder-filled fire extinguisher.  At this point my emotions were still on the fence, I was impressed by the free stuff, annoyed by the pay-for stuff, and unsure about the DJ-, Ronald McDonald-, color shower-, rave scene.  But, I still had Meagan there, so we were able to enjoy some quality people-watching as we got elbow to elbow with some strangers and waited for the crazy DJ man to tell us to start running.

Once the run started, I quickly got annoyed again (I know I sound like a bit of a curmudgeon, but I have little patience) because we had a hard time separating from the pack due to the large number of children losing their parents, and not paying attention to the two 6 foot giants about to crush them.  To add to my frustration, the terrain in the first stretch was through the front lawn of the Alliant Energy Center, which is very pitted and difficult to run on. This was especially concerning because it would have been really easy to roll an ankle on that terrain, and, since we are so far into our marathon training, my fear of injury is at an all-time high.

Alright, so after all of that complaining, I know what you’re thinking, “When does this become fun?”  Well, less than 5 minutes into the run, we hit the first color station.  The station was manned by 10 volunteers, each equipped with boxes full of the colored cornstarch, who were busy making a mess of the scene as runners lined up to get a splash of purple.  As soon as the first color station was complete, I couldn’t wait to get to the next one.  The 5k course included two water stations and five color stations, which represented the full range of the color spectrum (purple, green, pink, blue, and red) and included multiple different methods for coloring your once white shirt (color hose, color blaster, color packets, color cannons etc.).

If the five color stations during the run didn’t get you colorful enough, then the “Color Bomb” after the finish line should do the trick.  As we left the finish line, we walked over to the crowd gathering near the designated color bomb area.  This is where the aforementioned rave was going on, and is where my feelings about this event officially crossed over to excited, happy, and surprised.  The DJ was still chock full of energy and was excited to spread his wealth of color packets to the crowd.  Once most of the party had a color packet in their hands (we were handed a couple during the last few hundred feet of our run), he began to count down from ten, with the intent to cover the crowd in color.  What ensued was a color explosion, hence the name, Color Bomb.  To say the least, the experience was so entertaining that we stuck around long enough to get a second Color Bomb.

Color Me Rad4

After we left the run and I had some time to think about the experience, I came up with the following opinions:

  1. Any organization that’s sole purpose is to motivate our fat American bodies to get off the couch and go for a run is a good organization in my eyes.  The fact that some of the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House is just the icing on the rainbow-colored (confetti) cake.
  2. Themed runs provide a different type of motivation for people during a run.  Rather than being focused on finishing, runners are focused on reaching the next obstacle, station, zombie, etc. as a form of entertainment.  This, in turn, keeps their mind off the run and focuses it on a more exciting goal, while still encouraging people to be healthy.
  3. Big business still gets its taste on these.  I’m not opposed to making a sale when it seems right.  I’m all for having a pre-race event for local sponsors and stores to sell their products to the masses but when you spend $45 for a 5k, you’d expect that the shirt that comes with the goody bag to be the shirt you use for the run.  Having to spend another $20 to buy a Color Me Rad branded white shirt is just plain silly.  I’m not sure how the other themed races treat things like this, but I would be willing to bet there are some serious rip-offs that go along with the electric and zombie runs, too.
  4. For anyone considering an event like this, make sure you look at the course prior to the event.  Running in uneven, pockmarked grass a month before your first marathon was a bit terrifying and if you have to do it in your race, you may want to practice beforehand because running in grass is a very different experience than on pavement.
  5. Themed runs are what you make of them.  You can go in with a poor attitude and be pleasantly surprised (like I did), you can go with huge expectations and be drastically underwhelmed, or you can go in expecting nothing and form your own opinion.  If you don’t do well with big crowds and don’t like acting foolish in front of other people, then a themed run is not the place for you.

To sum things up, I would say a theme run is a great place for a beginner.  It gives them an easy first time experience of training for a race, picking up a race packet, standing in a corral, wearing a bib, and following a course.  The biggest difference when switching over is that many of the themed runs don’t actually time you, so, in a real race, expect to be ranked against other runners.  A seasoned runner may be completely unimpressed with the difficulty, given the short distance and the fact that we walked through many of the color stations. Will I ever sign up for another event like this again?  Maybe, but probably not of my own accord.  I would be willing to bet the next time I do a themed run will be via invite by a friend looking to start running.  If you’re looking to help a friend try running, or if you’re trying to get yourself back into it, then a themed run is a great option just make sure you pick the right one.

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Soft Star Moc3 RunAmoc Review

 Posted by on August 29, 2013  No Responses »
Aug 292013
 
adult-moc3-runamoc-blue

Sandals, socks, and toe shoes are just some of the types of footwear I never thought I would go running in prior to our introduction to minimalist shoes (not to mention going completely barefoot).  Just two years later and I’m going out for runs in all of the above, and now I can add 2 mm thick running moccasins (Soft Star Moc3s to be exact) to the list.  Soft Star may look familiar to those of you who are long time Technically Running readers, since Meagan did a review of the RunAmoc Dash about a year and a half ago, but the Moc3, which is one of their newest models, has little in common with the Dash.  In fact, both models are so different that they could almost be confused as being made my different companies!  Point being, while moccasins might bring to mind some of the simplest shoes ever made, Soft Star does a remarkable job at making a wide variety of moccasin styles for many different uses!

Brand: Soft Star

Name: Moc3 RunAmoc

Color Options: Black, Red, White, Blue

Weight: 5oz

Drop: 0mm

Other: 2mm stack height

Price: $94


Continue reading »

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Lems Primal 2 Review

 Posted by on July 24, 2013  No Responses »
Jul 242013
 
Lems Primal2 - 02

Terminator 2, Aliens, X-Men 2, Evil Dead 2, and The Dark Knight. All films that are arguably better than their predecessors.  And yet, as most movie fans know, it is rare that the sequel lives up to (or exceeds) the hype of the original. Apparently this is not the case in the shoe world. This year has already seen the introduction of many solid (or improved) sequels from companies like Merrell (the Trail Glove 2/Road Glove 2) and Brooks (the Pure Flow 2/Pure Connect 2).  With this review, I’m happy to announce that Lems (AKA Stems/Lemings), has also come out with a sequel shoe, the Primal 2, that allows them to retain their title of King of the minimalist casual/easy hiking shoe arena.

Brand: Lems

Name: Primal 2

Color Options: Men’s – Black/Slate/Brown, Women’s – Black/Sky/Brown/Frost

Weight: 6.9oz

Drop: 0mm

Stack Height: 8mm

Price: $95


Continue reading »

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