Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shoe Review - Asics GT-2160 / Update on

      By: Brent

Like father, like son....

As I entered the running lifestyle, the first REAL pair of shoes I bought were the Asics GT-2140. I had had other "running shoes". The gimmicky Adidas and Nike, and even a couple random generic Asics. This was a real running shoe though. I slipped this on and angels sung, everything seemed brighter and I was know in understanding of what a good running shoe was. You slid into the GT-2140 and it fit like a glove. You felt the gel. The support was seamless and you didn't feel it pushing on you, and you never had any pain, so you knew it worked. It wasn't the lightest shoe you have read about, but I wasn't entering the next Olympics or even high school meet so it was going to be fine for my training. The shoe was going to function for many miles and not need to be replaced in 200 miles.

Sadly, even the finest shoe will wear down and break down over time. 210 pounds of constant pounding. 100...200...300...400 miles getting tacked on, you start noticing the end is near.

Starting back into running, one perk is getting new shoes and I made my attempt with Mizuno. It didn't go well and you can read about it here. Not that it was a bad shoe, but it wasn't for my foot.

I filled out my exchange paperwork and information to The easiest part was that both shoes were the same price so I did not have to get into the whole charging the card again process. In about 5 days I had a brand new, different, and what would turn out to be better shoe for my liking.

The Asics GT-2160. This years version compared to the well used GT-2140 was very similar. design was perhaps a bit nicer. I can't begin to tell you the difference in the technology. I'm sure it involves letters like "X arc" and "HI Flow this and that" and "ZX Q Form" and more crap that means "We didn't know when to stop with the fancy talk but you'll be fine." The one thing that I seem to read every year on Runner World is "...they added more memory foam...." Well when I put on the new GT-2160, I thought, hmm, "must have added too much memory foam!?!"

The GT-2140 hooked onto your foot, especially in the heel section. The GT-2160 sat up against your foot. I took off for my mileage in the 2160 and after my warm up walk and started into my jogging motion I never again thought about the heel section and the feeling of not being snugged into the shoe. Even after all the extra mileage to date, I don't feel that instant "love" feeling I did with the 2140, but it doesn't stop me from putting them on and heading out for a run.

All in all, I like the GT-2160 but I do like his dad a bit better. After 2 miles it is the same shoe as its dad. Same weight, same build and the same feeling of durability. The son is a little more finicky. Sonny might be a little more worried about the tech than the functionality of itself but all in all, he's a good kid.

As for, I will continue to send them my business. I have now bought 5 pairs of shoes, shorts and some random gear, all flawlessly. Now having just dealt with my first exchange of a shoe I had no issues and I have had a clothing return in the past that also went without a headline, I dare you to find another source that has the selection, pricing, and customer service that can offer you. Did I mention free 2nd day shipping and every shipment already comes with a prepaid return label? Good luck beating that.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

De Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Belgian Roger De Vlaeminck climbing the Koppen...Image via WikipediaBy Jeff:  

Here at Pursuit of Fit we have not blogged about professional cycling.  It's not that we have not wanted to, but it has not really fit into our mission of covering our goals of becoming healthy and fit individuals.  That being said there is nothing like a good bike race to get you motivated to put more miles on your bike!!!!  Last year I began watching a couple of cycling road races, and after watching the Tour Of Flanders I was hooked.  It is because of this race that I now watch and follow professional cycling.  The Tour of Flanders combines short steep hills with stretches of cobblestone paths.  The race is considered one of the great spring classics, and for good reason.  It covers 262.3 km, has 15 named hills and is just brutal.  I have always been in awe of people that take on epic challenges.  These professionals take a little over 6 hours to complete this race.  First of all '6 HOURS ON A BIKE'!!!!! Then combine the hills and being beaten up by the cobblestones, it is cold, think if it rained (which it has on occasion). Finally really look at that 6 hour ride time, that works out to an average speed of 40.799 km/h, AMAZING!!!!  Some of those hills have a max gradient of 20%, holy gravity!!!! I would be rolling backwards.  40.799km/h works out to 25.339 mph.  So the next time your on a flat, nice smooth road, and averaging 18mph, just imagine 15 hills, bumpy pave, and an extra 8mph worth of effort, ouch!!  So the great thing is that I just found out that Versus is covering the race again this year (I'm sure probably just the highlights), but at least I will get to see some of it.  So do yourself a favor, if you have never watch professional cycling before, turn on Versus this Sunday April 3 at 4pm est, and watch De Ronde Van Vlaanderen! ...... Click on the link below for last years highlights:
Cancellara wins Tour of Flanders - Versus
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The things we can say "Yes!" to....

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park comes ...Image via Wikipedia
By: Brent

So I was talking with my good friend and co-worker Trevor, and he says to me, "Hey, wanna try a 50 miler!?!" My swift response, "NO!!!!" yet the more he talks about it, the more interesting it becomes. It is a trail race at Winona Lake on the mountain bike trails. The biggest kicker is that you can enter into relays so Trevor and I have entered in with 3 others so all we have to run is 10 miles apiece. Mind you, I have only run one time since my 5k on the snowy golf course, but still, It's not like is could snow in April in Indiana..... I think. So we get our 5 guys that all say YES to this hair brained idea. Then Trevor says to me, "You run at night a lot, how well does your headlight work?" I respond curiously, assuming that he is planning on starting to run after hours and he says "Oh no. the race doesn't start until 2:30 p.m., so by the time the fifth guy starts, it could be 10 o'clock at night and the runner are responsible for their lighting." AWESOME!!!!! For some reason, NOW I am more than interested. I requested the last leg of the race, with no argument from the team.

So today Trevor officially signed us up. Last year there was 66 "groupings". There is multiple ways to enter this trail race. 50 mile solo, 3, 4 or 5 man groups or they offer a 30 and 10 mile option also. As of our sign up there are 77 entered, with our team being the only 50 mile 5 man. I have no idea what to expect. My understanding is that you run on the mountain bike trail that follows a days worth of mountain bike races. If that is the case, there should be pretty good clearings and watching the roots in the ground should be the only major issues. My understanding is that Winona Lake does a very good job hosting races that are run and ridden so I have a lot of faith this will be another great new experience.

As of today I have 19 days to get a bit of running endurance built back up. I know you can't turn into a real trail runner in 19 days, but I figure if this is at midnight, I shall start working on my list of excuses as to why it took me so long to finish my leg of the race.

1) I got chased off the trail by Big Foot

2) I made a wrong turn and ended up in Illinois, then turned back and ran back

3) My headlight batteries went out a mile in and I ran the rest in the darkness

4) I was in the line at the port-o-potty at mile XX (find port-o-potty)

5) Mexican sample platter dinner was a bad idea

6) I found a portal that led to a mystical land

7) In all the excitement, I must have gone around twice

8) I may have dozed off

9) I waited at the wrong checkpoint for so long

10) I thought this was a preview of the course so I walked and took notes. I am ready now though.

This year has been interesting for me and fitness. I am so focused on riding right now I can't seem to get all worked up about running. Yet, I have done a trail/snow 5k run, this 50 mile trail relay, I am signed up (yet NOT training) for a road half marathon, and I want to do the 10k Steve's Run that is half trail and half road. I have a handful of biking events I want to do also and I would like to find a couple sprint triathlons this summer so very different from the last 2 years that I have run 14 road races and one of them being trail.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outside Finally - First Group Ride of the Year

group rides are funImage by neotint via FlickrBy: Jeff

This is just a real quick post to mention that the weather has finally warmed up enough in northern Indiana to ride outside!!!  Last night four of us from the bike shop went out for the Wednesday night group ride.  It was a blast!!! I/we are so ready for spring to be here, and to be outside.  Here is the data from Brent's garmin, from last nights ride:

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Have Bike, Will Travel - Trempealeau County Wisconsin

Map of Wisconsin highlighting Trempealeau CountyImage via WikipediaBy: Jeff

Brent and I have been planning for some time now to take an extended weekend biking trip.  Last year we talked about taking such a trip, but just ran out of time.  Then Bicycling Magazine ran this article on Trempealeau County Wisconsin.  As we read and re-read the article, it became more clear to us that this might be a great area for us to try our first cycling trip. We acquired brochures in the mail, which is mandatory for any traveling excursions, plus as much as I love technology, there is nothing like a good travel brochure!!!

Here is what the Tempealeau County Bike Club has to say about the cycling in their county, "Breathtaking scenery, rolling hills, narrow ridge tops, and broad valleys with rural farm settings are part of the seventeen (17) carefully planned loops within the Trempealeau County Bicycle Loop.  There are loops for all occasions and all types of bicyclists.  The paved back roads with little traffic and willing folks to help you along the loops add personality to a beautiful rural setting along Western Wisconsin's Mississippi River Valley."  Sounds intriguing right?  The review from Bicycling Magazine also favored it in a positive light, "It's pretty, sure enough. For the past hour, we pedaled through a patriotic anthem's worth of scenic cliches— spacious blue skies, amber waves of grain, even a fruited plain or two—and from this vista there is lots more of the same, bathed in late-afternoon sunlight."

I for one am very excited and ready to try it out.  Who knows it might just be a really good marketing job.  Either way we will be cycling for the weekend, in a place that is not Indiana.  We have our trip scheduled for mid- July.  That gives us exactly four and a half months to train properly for this outing.  So here are the trip preliminary plans:

  • We will be doing six of the seventeen available loops
  • Trip will be 4 days
  • Cycling will cover approximately 196 miles
  • Cycling will include climbing of approximately 13,070 feet
It is time to start training.  The hotel is booked, plans are underway.  We have plans for blogging about our trip preparation, live blogs from the trip, photos, and obviously a thorough review of our trip.
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