Monday, April 21, 2014

Meb Keflezighi, Boston Strong!!!

I was extraordinarily lucky in January to meet Meb Keflezghi at the Houston Marathon Expo, and to hear his heartfelt and inspirational personal story in overcoming unbelievable adversity.  A naturalized U.S. Citizen originally born in Eritrea he rewarded his adopted homeland by earning an Olympic Medal and winning the New York Marathon.  His sincerity and gratitude to the United States, his family, the community and to God touched me deeply.

As a long-time Boston Marathon fan, shocked in 2013 by the senseless acts on Boylston Street, I was delighted during this year's Boston Marathon to see Meb personify the "Boston Strong" spirit.  He courageously ran strongly from the beginning of the race, and never faltered.  By doing so he clinched for the United States the Boston Marathon win for the first time in over 30 years, and simultaneously rejuvenated the city's and the country's spirit.

With incredible gratitude we wish Meb our full and hearty congratulations!
Meb, crossing the finish line, just ten seconds ahead of the charging second place finisher!

Meb, tearing up during the award ceremony
Boston Strong!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Texas Independence Relay Race Report

For my sixth consecutive year I was again honored to run with team DOGs (Disciples of the Order of the Garmin) as we ran the 200 mile Texas Independence Relay.

We lined-up, as usual, in the historic small town of Gonzales, and were excited to be blessed with absolutely fantastic weather.

Along the way, we were treated with some beautiful sights. The bluebonnets, Texas' State Flower, were in full bloom and gorgeous.
The rural scenery was breathtaking (photo credit to Jamoosh.)

The DOGs got along fantastically. Our team of twelve had four substitutions in the preceding months resulting from injury or relocations, but the new DOGs fit in perfectly. Upon reaching the San Jacinto Monument finish, a short 29 hours and 27 minutes after we began, I was sorry to see the relay race end.  While we were happy to learn that we had finished second in the Mixed Masters' Division, 68th out of 149 teams, the real reward was running a fantastic weekend together. 

During the TIR I learned again that the human body is truly a mysterious and miraculous thing, as I ran the prologue one mile convinced that may very likely be my only mile based on the discomfort I was feeling in my calves which had become aggravated in the preceding few months.  To relax and to set realistic expectations I applied a bit of my talented sports massage therapist Connie's sage advice by cautioning my teammates of my condition.  They uniformly reassured me that I should only do what I could, and they'd pick-up the slack.  With faint hope I proceeded to extensively apply Tiger Balm, repeatedly self-massaging my calves with with "The Stick", and stretching preceding and after each run.  Miraculously, each of my succeeding four legs (8, 26, 32, and 38)  became easier, and afterward my calves had seemingly become rejuvenated as they felt fantastic - both immediately, and in the week afterward.

Newton Motion III Review (2014 Edition)

Newton Motions have always been my favorite all-around training and racing running shoe.  I've worn them in their prior two incarnations, and, as always, Newton’s Action/Reaction forefoot technology provides springy responsiveness owing to their unique lugs that line the bottom of the sole as shown on my recently arrived Newton Motion III's.

The big change in the Motion III's, and my favorite, is the added fifth lug.  This, combined with the Extended Medial Bridge (E.M.B) helps the sole of the shoe better align with the foot’s five metatarsal bones, and delivers more cushioning, greater responsiveness and a broader and more stable base.  Combined, the added lug and E.M.B. allows for a more balanced and efficient running gait. 

Newton's Motion III's also provides a new micro-suede overlay on the upper and 360-degree reflectivity for added safety.  Unchanged are the Motion III's 3mm drop from heel to toe, as the shoe's near-level platform encourages a more balanced and natural posture, an essential component to efficient running.

I found the transition to the new Motion III's versus my prior Motion II's to be seamless.  I just tried them on, and they felt great.  As a result of my confidence in Newton I wore them with essentially no transition (from my previously running in Motion II's) both on last weekend's Texas Independence Relay (~20 miles in four legs) and yesterday's 4 the Park 4 mile race, and they felt comfortable, stable and responsive.

Needless to say, I highly recommend these shoes, and encourage runners new to Newton to try them on at a specialty running store which allows you to get them on the road where they truly shine.