The North Face Ultra MT Shoe Review

NF1

North Face has a new trail shoe, and to be honest, I’m a little underwhelmed. First, the shoe is quite narrow. In fact, it is one of the narrowest trail shoes that I’ve tried (I’ve also found that Montrail shoes run narrow). Second, the sole is pretty firm. This would be fine for sloppy conditions, but I think it would mix poorly with a harder trail.

NF2

Now, let’s talk about positives. The shoe has a nice Vibram sole with fantastic lugs. Like I said above, this would be more than adequate for sloppy conditions. In addition, the shoe has a hard, rubber toecap. This would suit you well with rocky/rooty terrain.

NF

The shoe has a flat (yet cushioned) tongue with a “lace locker” – these are both nice features.

The colors are bold, but I didn’t mind them.

NF3

The size 10 weighed in at 10.4 ounces. The shoe ran a little long; however, I think the size 9.5 would not have been long enough.

The shoe has a 23mm heel and a 15mm forefoot – an 8mm drop. For a shoe with an 8mm drop, it feels very low to the ground. I race in the Inov-8 282 GTX, which is 25mm/16mm, and it has a similar feel in that regard.

The shoe sells for $130 at Running Warehouse.

NF4

Pros:

– nice sole
– solid toe cap
– flat tongue
– decent weight

Cons:

– too narrow
– too firm

Here is another review of these shoes courtesy of Ian Corless.

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Best. Running. Shirts. Ever.

photo credit: Slow & Co.

photo credit: Slow & Co.

This post is a piggyback on the Ultra Runner Podcast post from yesterday. Eric, at URP, highlighted some pretty cool designs at Slow & Co. Some, if not all, of the designs are done by ultra runner Chad Trumbo. Chad is a speedy guy – we haven’t crossed paths too often – but he did manage to whoop me by 26 minutes at Cayuga Trails this year. Curse him and his mustache.

photo credit: Slow & Co.

photo credit: Slow & Co.

Anyhow, these shirts are pretty affordable. Ultra Runner Podcast is doing a giveaway (you still have a couple of hours to enter), and hopefully, I’ll be able to do one in the future.

photo credit: Slow & Co.

photo credit: Slow & Co.

For more fantastic designs, check out the website here.

Which one is your favorite?

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Wish Me Luck!

Jim

I’m not a big believer in cross-training. I think that in order to perform your best, your training should be specific to what you are competing in. With that being said, I’m going to attempt to bike to/from work several days per week.

It’s not a long distance, and I think it will be just as quick as driving since I have to park several blocks from my building. In addition, my bike is a beater, so there’s only a .01% chance it will get stolen during the day.

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Aside from the cross-training, it’s the “green” thing to do – as you can see above, Syracuse hammered this idea home with some fancy, shmancy, green bike lanes.

So that’s that. Meanwhile, I’ve been re-incorporating speed workouts into my routine. Last Wednesday, I ran half-mile repeats. On Sunday, I attempted a three-mile tempo ran. Sadly, I withered in the heat and it turned into a 1.5 mile tempo run and several 400m repeats. This week, I’m going to make another attempt at a three-mile tempo run.

Slow_and_Steady_Funny_Meme

Do you ever bike to work?

Do you do speed workouts? If so, what is your favorite one?

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Must Love Jogs: The Celebrity Edition III

Everyone, CALM DOWN! The wait is over. I am back with the third edition of celebrities jogging. I will admit, there are a few joggers back from previous editions. However, there are also some fantastic new additions. Enjoy!

Pippa Middleton Jogs

Pippa Middleton Jogs

Pippa Middleton is a repeat offender. She definitely likes to stay in shape! Earlier this month, she completed the Safaricom Marathon in Kenya. It takes place at 5,500+ feet and the temperature soared into the mid-80s. That did not stop Pippa – she finished in an impressive 3:56.

Naomi Watts Jogs

Naomi Watts Jogs

Naomi Watts jogs. Also, she was in The Ring, my favorite horror movie.

Liev Schreiber Jogs

Liev Schreiber Jogs

Liev Schreiber jogs – with a heart rate monitor!

Vanessa Hudgens Jogs

Vanessa Hudgens Jogs

There are a million pictures online of Vanessa Hudgens working out. I do not know much about this girl, but I know she likes to break a sweat!

Taylor Swift Thinks About Jogging

Taylor Swift Thinks About Jogging

Taylor Swift is totally thinking about jogging. Try it, Taylor! I wonder what she is listening to… hmm… Beastie Boys?

Reese Witherspoon Jogs

Reese Witherspoon Jogs

Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum Jog

Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum Jog

I can only imagine what they are talking about.

Kate Hudson Runs

Kate Hudson Runs

Kate Hudson wins a gold star. She is not jogging – she is running! Great form, Kate! Keep it up!

Julianne Hough Jogs

Julianne Hough Jogs

Harry Styles Jogs

Harry Styles Jogs

Harry Styles jogs and he speaks out against Sea World. That makes him okay in my book.

Ellie Goulding Jogs

Ellie Goulding Jogs

As far as celebrities go, Ellie is a prolific racer, which is awesome! Her tunes for her most recent half: Missy Elliott

Christy Turlington Jogs

Christy Turlington Jogs

Christy Turlington Jogs – and she does it for charity! Check out Every Mother Counts – good stuff.

Chris Martin Jogs

Chris Martin Jogs

Chris Martin is back! I wonder if he wrote Clocks while he was jogging.

Nicholas Sparks Jogs

Nicholas Sparks Jogs

And last but not least, Nicholas Sparks. Nicholas was a track star back in the day – he went to Notre Dame on a scholarship and he still holds a school record in the 4 x 800m. He has had a few surgeries over the years, but he is still running about twenty miles a week. I couldn’t find a picture of Nicholas running, so I used a picture of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams making out. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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WIRW: What I Ran Wednesday.

w630_white%20stopwatch

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve raced, and it’s been nearly four weeks since I’ve finished a race, so I decided it was time for a decent speed workout.

My legs have just felt okay lately, so I was a little apprehensive. With that being said, there’s always an excuse, so I decided to just go for it.

The workout I planned was:

– 2-mile warm-up
half mile hard (2:40)
– quarter mile easy (2:15)
half mile hard (2:38)
– half mile easy (4:30)
half mile hard (2:36)
– quarter mile easy (2:15)
half mile hard (2:34)
– 2-mile cool-down

I like half-mile repeats because you can run them hard and you can recover quickly. Once you get up to mile repeats (or longer), you will start having issues with form. Practicing bad form is not a good idea.

Basically, the workout gave me two miles of hard running with a moderate amount of rest. I nailed all of the splits and I feel pretty good about it today. My legs/hips/back are still a little wonky, but I think things will get better with time. I gained a few pounds after Cayuga Trails in May, and I blame that for some of my issues. The rest can definitely by attributed to the mudfest two weeks ago.

I will probably try another speed workout on Sunday.

How was your Wednesday run?

Posted in Workouts | 14 Comments

I’ve Been Thinking…

untitled

Lately, I’ve been trying to decide which races to run the rest of this year (and next year). I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about it. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about shoes… and music… and running headphones…

To put it in perspective, I’ve put together this helpful list. The list shows how much time I put into each respective activity.

Selecting a race outfit: 2 hours

Work: 2 to 4 hours per day

Buying a car: 3 hours

Finding the best deal on a hotel: 3 hours

Listening to a baseball game: 3 hours

Researching/Purchasing running headphones: 6 hours

Buying a house: 12 hours

Planning a vacation: 24 hours

Putting together a music playlist: 24 hours

Selecting a race: 1 week

Trying/Selecting running shoes: 4+ weeks

Having anxiety about the race I selected: 6+ weeks

Are you good at making decisions?

What is something that you spend too much time thinking about?

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Starlight Blogger Award.

SBA

I’ve been nominated for a Starlight Blogger Award. Yay. Thanks for nominating me, Consume With Love. Be sure to follow Consume With Love – it’s an awesome new blog that combines plant-based eating and ethical fashion!

The Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award.
2. Answer the questions sent to you and create your own set of questions for your nominees.
3. Nominate other bloggers.

The Questions:

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

2. Who is your best friend and why?

3. Where is your dream vacation?

4. What’s your spirit animal and why?

5. What’s your everyday anthem (the song that gets you motivated or inspired to face the day?)

6. What is the most memorable gift you have given or received?

The Answers:

1. I like reading about other people’s running experiences. It helps open my eyes to different training techniques, nutrition, races, etc.

2. Norah, she can always make me smile!

3. Banff. The first time I saw pictures, I couldn’t believe it was real.

4. I’ve answered this one before and I’m sticking with my answer – Irish Wolfhound!

5. I always enjoy some Regina Spektor, Carly Rae Jepsen, Britney…

6. Yankees playoff tickets!! Because the Yankees are awesome, duh!

The Nominees:

1. Dixie Runs

2. Veggie Running Momma

3. Runner Bean Kate

4. Veg Ultra

5. How To Eat, R.D.

Questions For The Nominees:

1. What is your middle name?

2. If cost was not an issue, what car would you get?

3. Who is your celebrity crush?

4. Would you rather be a pop star or a pro athlete? Why?

5. What is your favorite piece of clothing?

6. What is your current running shoe?

7. What is at the top of your bucket list?

8. What is your favorite pro sports team?

9. What is your favorite workout?

10. What is your favorite food?

Woo hoo – thanks for following along!

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