The Minimus shoes are remarkably lighter than the already light H Streets.
Exercise, Journal, Running

New Balance Minimus HI-REZ Shoes

For the past several years, my running shoes of choice have been the Puma H Streets. These are a favorite of the POSE running crowd, although they were never meant to be used as running shoes. Today, they are harder to find in my size (women’s size 10, since I can’t seem to find the men’s version anymore). So, when I finally decided that the holes in the shoes were getting too big (check out the photo below), I started looking for a new pair and brand of running shoes.

Felix was telling me that a few of his friends were using New Balance Minimus shoes, so I went over the NB site to check them out. The Minimus is actually a series of lightweight, minimalist running shoes, and the one that struck my eye was the Minimus HI-REZ. The specs show it to be lighter than the H Streets, 3.7 ounces versus 5.8 ounces. Judging solely from the photos, I liked the thicker sole in the front; one drawback on the H Streets was that the bottoms wore out so quickly. I tend to strike the ground on the outside front part of my foot, and that’s where all the holes formed.

The shoe is not inexpensive at nearly $100/pair. While the HI-REZ in black looks better, the green was cheaper. Found a $10/off coupon on the Internet and a few days later, they were in my hands. At first glance, the shoes were as light as advertised, and I can see where New Balance was able to shave the ounces from the shoes. The tread does not cover the entire bottom of the shoe. Rather, there was little hexagonal EVA pieces glued onto the bottom. The shoe seems to be constructed out of one piece of fabric and wraps around your foot almost like a slipper.

I went for my first run this morning in the shoes, and I could easily feel the weight difference. This was surprising to me since the H Streets already felt like I was running barefoot (and with those holes in the soles, that’s not too far from the truth!). I went at a moderate pace and was pleased to see that I finished my typical 3.1 mile around the block at an 8:07 pace with a fast mile of 7:57.

As far as wear goes, it’s too soon to tell, but I did notice the outer part of the sole was already starting to wear. The little rubber nubs under each foam piece were almost flat on that part of the sole. This happened to me with the Puma’s as well, so I’m not too worried yet. I’ll keep monitoring it to see how quickly the foam pads go from full height to zero.

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Exercise, Journal, Running

Running in Fort Collins with Felix

Running with the Fort Collins Running Club

Following the completion of my work with Jared, I drove up with Rae to Fort Collins to meet up with our friend Felix Wong. He’s been living in Fort Collins for the past three years. After resting from the long drive (about an hour from Boulder), we headed out to the Old Town to eat some Ethiopian food. Felix told us about a race that he participates in with the Fort Collins Running Club called the Tortoise and Hare. With our great dinner, we hoped to have the speed of those great Ethiopian runners!

The race was a 5 mile (4.78, according to one runner’s GPS) out and back course in Edora Park. Rae and I were going to take it easy on the run and told Nick the organizer that we would be running a 10 minute mile. The race was neat in that it featured a staggered start. The slow people (tortoises) would go first, followed by the fast ones (hares).

I felt pretty good as we were running, so at the halfway point, I told Rae that I was going to go ahead. I increased my pace and felt for the first time what it was like to lead a race. Of course, my finishing time was slower than many others, but because of the staggered start, I completed the course first! My overall time was 40:51. Rae’s finishing time was around 45:41; if she ran the same pace for both the beginning and end, she ran roughly a 9:35 mile. By my calculations, then, I was running roughly a 7:35 pace on the way back! I don’t think that I could have kept up that pace for the entire 5 miles, but I’m still proud of my performance!

Click on the link below to see the photos!

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Exercise, High School, Running

Half-Marathon

Nineteen years ago, when I was just 14 years old, I ran the San Dieguito Half-Marathon in a time of 1:43, which translates to a 7:51/mile. I remember the weather was rainy and cold… I fell shivering into my Dad’s arms at the end of the race! Until yesterday, that was the first and last half-marathon.

On Sunday morning, inspired by all of these fantastic Olympic performances we’ve been watching in Beijing, Rae and I completed our own self-supported half-marathon. We ran our normal neighborhood route, to Wolfe Road in Cupertino, back to the house, and again our neighborhood route. Going at a fairly leisurely pace in perfect running weather, we completed the run in 2:04, or just under 10 minutes per mile. We stopped twice at the house to resupply our water bottles and were delayed at stop lights just a few times, bringing our total time out running to about 2:12.

I’m pretty happy with our performance, seeing that our longest run to-date this year has been 6-7 miles. Normally, we just do our 3-mile neighborhood run, so it was definitely a stretch to go 13.1 miles. The actual run went by a lot more quickly than I remember, but that’s probably because I had someone to talk to. That said, my legs today are a bit sore, so I won’t be running consecutive half-marathons any time soon!

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AllThingsD, Journal, Running

Craplets at D5

Craplets at D5

As a surprise for Walt, the D5 staff all wore these great Mossberg Craplets t-shirts from Mule Design. Kara posted her thoughts on the surprise, along with a video of the proceedings.

I’m putting the finishing touches on some updates to the allthingsd.com site before the conference begins. I didn’t get to see much of the beautiful weather outside today, sadly enough. Perhaps tomorrow, I will have a little time to go out for a nice POSE run. One good thing about having Puma H-Street shoes is that I can fit them in my suitcase very easily. Typical running shoes are really bulky and take up so much luggage space. H-Streets are the complete opposite: light, flexible, and easy to pack.

The Four Seasons is a very impressive hotel; it reminds me of the time Rae, her family, and I spent on the Constellation during our Northern Europe cruise. The constant pampering from the hotel staff is a little bit awkward, but that’s par for the course at a five-star hotel. The service is definitely a step-up from a Best Western!

Some photos of the Craplets t-shirt surprise for Walt below!

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Exercise, Journal, Running

Strike a POSE

POSE Running with Puma H Streets

I used to run competitively in high school, and I even completed a half-marathon when I was thirteen! Then, the freshman fifteen — pounds, not miles — came around, followed by post-graduation ballooning. The long winter months of the past several years have forced my body into a lengthy hibernation from which my summer exercise routines have not been able to overcome. As a result, I’m many pounds over my preferred fighting weight. One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007 is to get into better shape.

The easiest way to lose weight, aside from a week of solo backpacking, is to run. Even during high school when I was decently good, running has always been a painful sport. I’m well acquainted with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and other running-related ailments. In 2002, I got fitted with a pair of custom orthotics, which made walking long distances and running more comfortable. This year, I’m trying out two new techniques designed to make running more comfortable and easier: POSE and ChiRunning.

Both POSE and ChiRunning avoid heel-striking and favor either forefoot or mid-foot landing during each stride. Both techniques also tell you to pull or kick up your legs instead of pushing off the ground. From the videos that I’ve seen, you can use any running shoe with ChiRunning. Proponents of the POSE method prefer light-weight, thin-soled shoes like Puma H Streets. I bought a pair of H Streets a few days ago, and I learned that Felix is also replacing his running shoes with them too!

The H Streets are really light at 5.8 ounces, and running on them approaches the feel of barefoot running. One interesting thing I’ve found is that I can run in these shoes without my orthotics, and I feel fine. If I were to run in my normal running shoes without my orthotics, I would soon be experiencing pain along the bottom of my foot and shins. I guess typical shoes encase the foot in such a way that it can’t move naturally. Learning a new running technique takes time, and although I feel like I’m more efficient, there’s no doubt plenty of room for improvement. Such improvement will lead to the fulfillment of my ultimate goal to lose substantial poundage!

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