4 Bridges Half Recap Addendum

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The following story was supposed to be included in my 4 Bridges Half Marathon recap, found here, but I completely forgot to include it.  I guess I was tired last night.

4 Bridges Medal

4 Bridges Medal

So after the race, my stretching, getting my time, and some refueling, Susan and I started to head towards her car which was parked approximately a mile away, maybe a little further.  Parking is a travesty in Chattanooga.  There probably is one parking space for every 30 residents downtown.  There are a few parking garages, all of which have had at least one rape in them in the last three years according to my sister-in-law.  There is a one way street with angled parking spots for cars coming in the opposite direction!  So, needless to say I thought it was very fortunate that Susan found a spot this close.  So as we were approaching her car, a Buick Enclave (this is important in a second), three fellow race participants approached us.

It was a male and two females, and they proceeded to tell me that they were lost and looking for the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  The Choo Choo was one of the shuttle locations, but no directions were given on how the shuttle was going to return patrons to their cars post race!  So these three individuals had been wondering around, trying to find the shuttle location or the Choo Choo.  I told them that I was from Memphis and had no clue had to get there, but that Susan and I would help them if we could.  We decided that since we all had iPhones that we could find the directions so we head towards Susan’s car for the minor detour.  I throw my race stuff in the back hatch and we determine that it is about a two and half mile straight shot up the road we are on.  As we drive off we talk about how the race went and what brought us to it this year and so on.  They were all students of Lee University in nearby Cleveland, TN, and the guy is considering running his first full marathon at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville in April.  It was at this point that he noticed that our back hatch was still open!  Yep, five people, including the driver, had gone half a mile without noticing that the entire rear of the car was wide open!  Of course, once we noticed this we were in heavy traffic on a bridge, so there was no pulling to the shoulder to shut it.  We had to continue a little further until we could pull over.  Oddly, not a single passing car honked, pointed to the open hatch, or tried to communicate anything to us about the hatch being open.  When we able to pull over, I noticed the problem, my water bottle had rolled down into the clasp, so every time the hatch came down, it could not lock, and would open back up.  Luckily, none of our stuff that was in the back hatch flew out on the road, I guess that was the good karma of helping out some fellow runners!

Sadly, we didn’t think of getting a picture with our additional passengers until after we parted ways, but we all still have this random story.

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Blisters, Blisters, Blisters

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Blister – noun: a small bubble on the skin filled with serum and caused by friction, burning, or other damages

I have been having some issues with blisters on the outside of my big toes, especially on my right foot.  I have had some issues in the past, but the current issue is directly correlated with one pair of shoes, my Saucony Triumph 10’s.  I at first thought that the issue was because I was trying to break in the shoes, but I now have over 100 miles in the shoes, so they should be sufficiently broken in.  When I wear my Brooks Glycerin 11’s, I have no issues.  The problem arises after roughly four miles of running, and progressively gets worse from there. The issue has gotten so bad at this point that I do not have a blister on my right big toe, but rather a callus.

Callus – noun: a thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, especially in an area that has been subjected to friction

My first inclination for the cause of the friction was the type of socks that I was wearing.  I have some cotton socks that I wear on occasion, but that is very rare, and honestly, I probably wear them more often with my Brooks.  I have completely eliminated that over the past few weeks, and the problem has not subsided.

I have also tried covering up my hotspot with a band-aid, which helped delay the issue, not solve it.  I have also started to apply Run Guard to my foot, the inside of the sock, outside of the sock, and interior of my shoe to help eliminate the issue.  This has provided some relief, but not much.

Side view

Side view

I talked to some of the experts over at Kindrunner and they relayed to me that they have received some similar complaints from other customers.  They seem to believe that there is a piece of fabric in the toe box that causes the extra friction.  After inspecting the shoes further, that seems highly plausible.  I was also recommended to try a sock from Feetures, which I will be purchasing sometime this week.

Also, I wear a size 10.5 in my normal shoes, but in running shoes I wear an 11.5.  If I continue wearing shoes in the Triumph line, I will probably bump my size up to 12 or go with a wide variety since they are tighter on my foot than the Brooks.  This also might be contributing to my issues.  I am a supinator, and the selection of shoes available for me is slim.  Add in the fact that I am a heavier runner than most, finding a reliable and durable shoe is quite a chore.  Hopefully I can work out the issues with the Saucony Triumph.  Or maybe this issue will be rectified in the next shoe update.

How do you deal with blisters?  Have any certain shoes caused more blisters than others?

Make a Quick Ten Bucks

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Be A KindRunner

Be A Kindrunner

As you all know, I am an ambassador for Kindrunner.com.  Yesterday I received an email that was sent to all registered users from them that I thought you might be interested in.  They are currently offering $10 in Kindness Cash for anyone that registers or updates their information on their site.  There is no purchase necessary and it will take about a minute to complete.  Simply follow this link, and enter the required information.  If you already have a Kindrunner account, just log in prior to submitting this form.  If not, simply register for the site and enter the requested information.  And then, boom, ten dollars deposited into your account, good to use on any item on their site.  It could not be simpler.  The deadline for this deal is Friday, August 23, 2013, at 8:00 pm EST.  The information that Kindrunner is looking for is your current running shoe, days a week that you run, your favorite race, and your favorite place to run.  Very quick and painless.  Once again, that link is here.

Full disclosure here, I am a Kindrunner Ambassador, but this is not a paid position, and I am not being compensated for this post.  I just wanted to share this opportunity with my readers because we all could use an extra $10 towards our running addiction.

Kindrunner 48 Hour Deal

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Kindrunner just announced a special deal that they are going to do on their site from now until they leave the office on Friday evening at 7 pm (EST).  Basically, they are giving away $10 in Kindness Rewards Cash to any and everyone that registers on their site!  No purchase is necessary, just register for the site, and you will be $10 closer to a new pair of shoes or some much needed running gear!  Kindrunner’s announce reads as follows:

Kindrunner.com announces “48 Hours of Paying Forward the Kindness!”

We are so confident that anyone who experiences our website and learns our mission will want to take part that we are willing, for the first time ever, to pay the Kindness forward. We have now been in existence for just over a month, and want to share our mission with as many runners as possible.

From now until we leave the office on Friday (7pm EST) anyone who registers for www.kindrunner.com will receive a $10 Kindness Cash Rewards Credit towards a future purchase of ANY brand and ANY item! Simply register on our site, treat your feet when the time comes, and remember to re-purpose your old shoes so we can get them on the feet of someone who can put them to good use! https://www.kindrunner.com/customer/account/create/

All the best running gear at the click of a mouse, from the worlds only socially responsible running website! Give your feet the gift of cushioning, help someone in need, and help reduce the running communities carbon footprint… only at www.Kindrunner.com!
http://www.kindrunner.com/kindness-cash-rewards

Be A KindRunner

Be A KindRunner

That is a great excuse to try out their site!

Mid-Week Review

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Back in March, I did a post about the Alter Ego line of clothing from Under Armour.  You can have a refresher here, or the Cliff Notes version is the line is workout clothing inspired by superheroes.  The nerd in me was very excited about these shirts, but being of the larger persuasion and these shirts being base layer compression shirts, it did not look like I was going to get one.  Well, a random trip to the local Dick’s Sporting Goods changed that for me.  I was shopping with Susan and Dick’s was next door so I hopped in for a second.  And as I walked in, I noticed the Alter Ego display.  I stopped to look for a second and noticed two things.  One was that the compression shirts are tiny.  I seriously though I was in the children’s section!  Also, I saw a Batman shirt that said that said “loose fit” on it!  This could not be right, and I had to double check the tag.  Yep, “loose fit” just like my other Under Amour shirts!  I decided to try the shirt on, just in case, and it was a perfect fit!  So I now own a Batman Under Armour shirt!  I am such a nerd.  Maybe they will release the other superheroes in the “loose fit” as well.

Batman Under Armour

Batman Under Armour

Last week I bought my first pair of shoes from Kindrunner and the experience was very simple.  Today I am returning a pair of old shoes that will become $10 in Kindness Cash.  It is kind of a bittersweet moment since the shoes that I am returning are the ones I ran my first half marathon in.  But I cannot wear the shoes anymore and someone needs to get some use out of them, so sending them to Soles 4 Souls in a positive outcome for these shoes.  It is ironic that these shoes that I randomly bought with no knowledge of my gait, running mechanics, or shoe life held up for over a year and 700 plus miles without incident.  And now that I know this stuff, I have had some injury issues with shoes closely fitted for my feet with very strict mile management.  It is funny how that happens.

Kindrunner donation

Kindrunner donation

And speaking of my new shoes from Kindrunner, I made a rookie mistake over the weekend.  I was so eager to wear my new shoes that I did not properly break them in before taking them out for a long run.  I ran ten plus miles on the Greenline last Sunday and this run resulted in blisters on both of my big toes!  Thankfully these blisters were not a lingering issue this week.

I am also going to be trying something new with my runs and workouts over the next few weeks.  I almost exclusively listen to music on my runs, so I am exploring some podcasts to listen to, as well as an audiobook to utilize during my runs.  I will also try to watch some Braves games on the treadmill at the gym when the opportunity presents itself.  Last night was my first run listening to a podcast and it went well.  I had no problems staying motivated on the run, and it provided the distraction that I sometimes need on my runs.  I am still browsing audiobooks and honestly did not realize how expensive that they are.  I read several non-fiction books, and I am a little wary of running to an audiobook of a non-fiction book.  We shall see.

Today is the longest sports day of the year since it is the only day of the year that there are no activities from any of the major four American sports leagues.  What sets today apart from the past two days is that Monday has the Home Run Derby and Tuesday has the MLB All Star Game.  Even worse for Atlanta Braves fans is the fact that the team is also off tomorrow, so there is a four day sports void for us.  ESPN puts their annual sports awards show, The ESPY Awards, on Wednesday to help fill the void, but no one really cares about that.  The USA and Costa Rica game that was played last night would have been perfect in prime time tonight.

Update: I just read an article on Deadspin talking about the ESPYs, the hatred for the event, and the colossal waste of money the awards show really is.  You can read the article for yourself here.

Kindrunner: The Experience

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As I have stated on a couple of occasions prior, specifically here and here, I am an ambassador for Kindrunner.  And since I have previously blogged about what Kindrunner actually is, I will spare you most of the details by giving you the Cliff Notes version to launch this post.  Kindrunner is an online market place to buy running shoes as well as other running essentials.  Whenever you buy shoes from them, you are given the option to send back your old and worn out shoes that are then donated to one of two charities.  In exchange for your old shoes, you get $10 in store credit called Kindness Cash.  It is that simple.  And since I was in the need for a new pair, or two, of running shoes, I thought I would visit Kindrunner as a neophyte and try the process from start to finish.

Be A KindRunner

Be A KindRunner

Kindrunner has a feature called the Custom Fit Process.  Now anyone that has bought a pair of shoes in a specialty shop has certainly experienced the salesman have you go through some rigorous combination of running and walking through the store and on a treadmill, asked numerous questions, and had your try on several pairs of shoes to find the correct pair for yourself.  This is a fantastic process to go through, and is vital for new runners.  The issue is that several of these stores have limited inventory and finding time to go through this process can be tricky at times.  Well, Kindrunner has found a way to bring this process into your living room, or office, or even your car!  Just search for the Custom Fit Process tab on their site and begin to enter the required information.  You are asked about your current shoes, training pace, weekly mileage, pros and cons of you current shoes, your weight, and so on to get a nice base of information.  You also include a picture of the bottom of each (left and right) of your current running shoe along with any pictures of our shoe that you might feel is helpful in assessing your running shoe needs.  I kind of threw them an unintentional curveball because I listed my two current pairs of shoes, but uploaded photos from a retired pair. The reason for this was that my retired pair of Nike Vomeros had such a distinct wear pattern that I felt I would get a more accurate shoe assessment from them.  You also select a day and time in which one of their experts can contact you and discuss the information that you have submitted.

This was on my porch this evening!

This was on my porch this evening!

My phone call was with Kindrunner Patrick and lasted just under fifteen minutes.  We discussed my two current shoes, Nike Lunarglide 4 and Saucony Progrid Cohesion 6.  We also discussed what led to my injury back in March and the wear pattern on my old Nike Vomeros.  Patrick also pointed out that my Lunarglides were not ideal for supinators.  Of course, this was news to me because those were the shoes that I was steered towards a few months ago due to my supination by someone who I will no longer listen to.  Patrick advised me to be wary of the Lunarglides since it will add pressure to my peroneal tendons and could lead to some IT band issues in the future.  These shoes have been since retired.  Patrick also pointed out that my wear pattern was much greater on my right shoe than my left shoe, which honestly is something that I should have noticed, but never did.  I guess that is why I have had blistering problems only on the big toe of my right foot.  This is probably why my right foot was the victim of peroneal tendonitis.  We also discussed how it would be wise to continue rotating through two or three pairs of shoes why training for multiple reasons.  One is that it allows the rubber in the shoes to recover from the pounding of my runs and another is by having two different shoes, I will work different muscle groups with each shoe.  This rotation will also help prolong the life of each pair of shoes.  Patrick also confirmed that I should keep buying my running shoes a size larger than my everyday shoes due to the amount your foot swells during runs, especially in the heat of the summer.  I was happy to hear that I was doing some things right!

We discussed several pairs of potential shoes, including Saucony Triumph, Brooks Ghost and Glycerin, and Mizuno Wave Rider.  I had previously tried the Triumph at a Saucony event at the local Fleet Feet and the projected mileage on it was the greatest of the shoes that we discussed.  For these reasons, I chose the Triumph for my next pair of running shoes.  I will probably chose one of the others in the near future to replace my Cohesions since they are fading fast.  I know this was kind of a boring choice, but with my mileage rapidly increasing, so I needed the safe bet.

Soles 4 Souls

Soles 4 Souls

I ordered the shoes on Monday afternoon and they were delivered on Wednesday, free of charge.  It is hard to argue with that kind of turnaround!  As soon as my order was shipped, I was sent two shipping notifications.  One was for my shoes that were being delivered.  And the second was for the return label of my retired shoes to Soles 4 Souls.

This is always a great sight!

This is always a great sight!

When I opened my package today, I was greeted with an unexpected surprise.  I thought the promotion had ended, but I had received some free socks for life!  Yep, the first 500 customers of Kindrunner qualify for a free pair of running sock each time that they order shoes from the site!  It is just another incentive for me to keep being a Kindrunner!  So of course, when I take my new shoes on their maiden voyage tomorrow, I will use the new socks as well.

Free socks for life!

Free socks for life!

Top of the shoes

Top of the shoes

Side view

Side view

Back of shoe

Back of shoe

The bottom of the shoes

The bottom of the shoes

These may not be as bright as my Lunarglides, but they still are sharp and will catch the eye.  My first run cannot come quick enough in these!  I will also be adding Lock Laces to them soon as well.

Kindrunner Has Officially Launched!

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Today is the day!  I am an ambassador for KindRunner and today you can finally see what KindRunner is all about!  KindRunner is a new and exciting shoe buying experience.  If you are like me, you probably do extensive research on the shoes you want to purchase, visit multiple stores, and end up buying them online at a discounted rate.  Now, you do not have to do all of that work!  KindRunner will have the expert analysis, reviews, and top-notch selection for you shoe selection needs at a reasonable and competitive cost.  You will get these benefits while also significantly reducing your carbon footprint by recycling your old shoes!  The shipping of your returned shoes, as well as your purchased shoes is always free!  In addition, there are several features at KindRunner that you will not find anywhere else.  Let’s explore some of the KindRunner features.

Be A KindRunner

Be A KindRunner

Free 3 Way Shipping: This is a very simple concept.  You get free shipping on all purchases, you get free shipping on any return for any reason, and you get free shipping on any shoe that you donate to KindRunner.  Your donated shoes will then be re-purposed to Soles 4 Souls or The More Foundation Group.  This is a win, win, win, win situation!

Soles 4 Souls

Soles 4 Souls

Confident Runner Pricing: This will be an option at checkout for those of us that are confident that we know what product that we want.  In this option you will waive your free return shipping (because you know the product that you need and will not be making a return) and in turn, you get a discounted price on your item.  Your shipping is still free, as is your donated shoes shipping, but by saving KindRunner the postage for return shipping that would not be used, you get your shoes below retail price!

Is this your closet?

Is this your closet?

Kindness Cash Rewards Program (KCR):  This is the program in which you get paid to donate your old shoes, thus eliminating them from landfills and the 90-100 year wait for them to begin to decompose.  Credit that is earned in this program can be applied to anything on the website, so if you have all the shoes you need for now, you can buy a watch or another accessory with the credit.  KCR are available to anyone that purchases shoes at KindRunner.  Once you receive your new shoes, you have the option to place your old and worn out shoes in the box and affix the pre-paid return label.  Once your old shoes are received at KindRunner, your label will be scanned and the KCR will be placed into your KindRunner account.  Each return label, regardless of the amount of shoes within (1 minimum obviously) is worth $10 per purchased shoe!  So if you buy five pairs of shoes and return one pair of old shoes, you would get $50 KCR!  KCR is goof for any item on the site and will never expire!

1 year on feet, 99 underground

1 year on feet, 99 underground

Expert Product Reviews:  There have been a few floating around the KindRunner YouTube page, but everything sold on the site will come with an expert product review video on the same page in which the product is listed.  This will be very beneficial when trying to decide between two pairs of shoes or it a watch is worth the purchase price.  Reviews are conducted by various individuals that have worked in the running industry for numerous years as shoe reps, store owners, or expert shoe fitters at one of the oldest shoe stores in America.  This knowledge and expertise helps bring you the feel and knowledge of you local specialty shop to your home computer (or smartphone or any other web enabled device)!

The More Foundation Group

The More Foundation Group

Easy 365 Returns:  If you buy it at KindRunner, you are guaranteed 365 days to return the product provided that it is in its original packaging and in its original condition.  If you get injured and cannot use the shoe, return it with zero cost and hassle.  Or if your doctor wants you to use a different shoe, return it with no issue.

Facebook:  Like KindRunner on Facebook here, and for every 500 likes, they will give away a pair of running shoes to one lucky winner and a running partner of their choice, provided that said partner is also a fan of the site!

Donate your shoes & help those in need

Donate your shoes & help those in need

Early Adopters:  As an added bonus for the first 500 customers of KindRunner will be entitled to “Free Socks for Life!”  Each time one of the first 500 return to the site and purchase a new pair a shoes, they will be allowed to choose a free pair of socks that will be shipped with their new shoes!  As long as you keep running, you will keep getting socks, and reducing you shoes’ carbon footprint!

If I left anything out of this post, you can check my earlier blog entry about KindRunner here.