Friday, August 5, 2011

The Long, Slow Taper & two shoe reviews





World's is just about 1 month away! It's crazy to look back at the last 17 weeks since 100k Nationals and see the myriad changes that have occurred: fatigue, strength, sickness, various races that have either worried me or exactly the opposite. It's all gone by so quickly, yet so much has happened. Here is a look at the progression of mileage and some races I've done to prepare for the biggest race of my life....

Week 1: 18 miles
Week 2: 40
Week 3: 32
Week 4: 55 (Lost Lake 50k, 1st place)
Week 5: 62 (Capital City Marathon, 11th place)
Week 6: 52.5
Week 7: 77.5
Week 8: 101.5
Week 9: 92
Week 10: 81
Week 11: 98
Week 12: 110
Week 13: 103 (Four on the 4th four miler, 3rd place 19:54)
Week 14: 133 (3 X 8K @ 28:30 pace)
Week 15: 114
Week 16: 94 (White River 50 Mile, 4th place 7:15)
Week 17: 90

The increase in mileage was slow, but I think this was the best possible course of action I could have taken. Although I've raced far less this year than last, I think that has really paid huge dividends in health and recovery. At the end of last year I was so fatigued every day that I could barely run 3-4 miles without stopping to walk or double over. I had been overtraining and lacking in important recovery areas such as sleep, nutrition, and hydration. This year has been far different and I am 100% on track to meet and possibly even exceed my goals for worlds. That being said, I'd like to reveal a bit about what I had in mind.

Since the 100k National Championship I have had an idea that I could potentially put down a very serious time at Worlds. The course has everything a person is looking for in order to run a fast time. From what I'm told, this is one of the few places where the 100k world event is taken very seriously, and the event is done extremely well. The course is also extremely fast and below sea level. The last American Record was broken here (6:30:11) and I intend to make an attempt to better that record. Its a bold statement, but one must have goals in order to reach their full potential. I think the competition in this race will help me achieve this goal, since there are quite a few guys out there that have already run much faster this year. I can only hope that the weather will be kind, and I can avoid completely wasting myself in the first half of the race.

There are still a few workouts I need to do before the race and I will update very soon on my progress towards the World 100K.

In other news, I have received two pairs of shoes from Montrail as well as some pretty gnarly gear from Mountain Hardwear to test for the Spring 2012 line.

Montrail Badwater - This is by far the best shoe I have placed on my foot from Montrail. I think the company is headed in a much better direction with the Spring 2012 line! So to give a full review I'll split the shoe into 3 parts: the upper, midsole, and outsole.
Upper - The upper material wraps the foot extremely well. Montrail has taken great care in cleaning up the stitching on the upper and has instead used mostly welded overlays to create structure in the upper. This means it has a nice, smooth feeling on the inside of the shoe and less irritation where stitching can sometimes create hotspots. Although a bit rigid at first, the upper material gives after about 20 miles and to a certain extent creates a custom fit for the person's foot. Combined with a subtle appearance I was pretty happy about the aesthetics and comfort of this shoe's upper.

Midsole - The midsole of this shoe is fairly simple. Since it is a hybrid road/trail shoe (thus the name "badwater") they have added certain elements to make the ride a bit smoother than a normal trail shoe. The foam is a bit softer than the average trail shoe, which makes it extremely comfortable from the moment you slide your foot it. However, they have used a unique styling of the midsole to create something that transitions smoothly but still performs well when moving laterally. It is extremely difficult to get the best of both worlds, but with Montrail's geometric design on the midsole, they have gotten about as close as one could get to creating a true road/trail hybrid.

Outsole - The outsole of the Badwater is about the only area where I would make complaints, and that is only because I am a true shoe nerd. The medial side of the shoe is beautifully done, and the micro-lug design is another feat of engineering that make this shoe responsive on the roads, and rugged on the trails. The one complaint I have for the shoe is that the heel area is not decoupled enough and the lateral side of the heel actually built about 1 to 2 millimeters higher than the medial side. This is something that is common in most shoe companies (to name a few, Adidas, New Balance, Saucony) and it doesn't necessarily hinder the shoe too much it just creates a bit stiffer ride. If the rubber outsole could be decoupled just a bit more on the lateral side I think this shoe could be mechanically sound for just about anyone who placed in on their foot.

Montrail Rogue Fly - All I have for this one is an iPhone photograph!

For those of you who have seen or worn the Rogue Racer, this is the exact same tooling (outsole and midsole) as the Rogue Racer. The only thing that has changed on the shoe is the upper. In my opinion it is a much better fit and it actually feels like a competitive shoe. Coming in at a scant 7.5 ounces, it knocked off about 1.3 ounces just in the upper material! I think this shoe is going to be able to rival any other minimal trail racing flat out there once again due to the 3-point microlug system that allows for smooth transition on the road (felt great at the 100K) but also for great grip on rugged terrain (felt even better at White River). This is, without a doubt, going to be my shoe for the World 100K!!!

5 comments:

  1. What color is the ladies Fly?? Please tell me pink :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Shelley.... it's not pink, it's a pinkish red... but hopefully you'll like it. Cool shoe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Andy just told me that you replied to my question...Pinkish red sounds awesome to me!! I can't wait to see it and run in it!! I live in my Rogue Racers :) If you ever need a guide in the KC/Lawrence area, let me know! I'm pretty well connected.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on a great race, Andy!

    ReplyDelete
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