Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eugene Marathon - 3:04:00

Yes, I Boston Qualified with a 3:04:00! Lots more details later.

But now? Laying around on my ass and drinking beer!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Eugene Marathon Race Preview

"Celebration" after scoring
a goal.
I’m a goal  person. Growing up, my mom made my siblings and I create and track to “goal charts”. While some of her teachings didn’t take (I run all the time with scissors! Take that, MOM!) the goals one certainly did.  Whether it is to run 2500 miles in a year, a race every month, or Boston Qualify by the time I’m 70, I love to set running goals.  The Eugene marathon is no different.

Setting goals and a race plan is highly dependent on race training and your expectations of race experience.  I’ve wrote about it before, but your pacing will vary if you want to have a great race and high five all of the spectators vs if you want to run a world record.  For both, you still have to put one foot in front of the other, but you can guarantee that the last 4 miles are going to be hell in a personal best setting attempt.

Fortunately for me, there is only one “major” hill at Eugene around mile 4.5 and the weather is supposed to be nearly ideal – 45 at the start and no wind.  So, course or environment shouldn’t slow me down too much.  I’ll run easy 7:30s for the first few miles (my long run pace) and then drop the hammer to 7:00 after the hill. Piece of cake!  I’ve started to wear my heart rate monitor and I’ll actually try to keep an eye on it.  I’ve found that “normal” running is around 170 and hard running is around 190.  I can only hold it that high for 10 or so miles (TWSS), so I’ll try to stay lower than that until mile 20.


So, here are my goals for this race.  Just like ALWAYS I like to have multiple levels of “success”.  My philosophy is that true goals should not be easy to obtain. You should fail 50% of the time – otherwise you’re not stretching yourself or pushing yourself hard enough.  My A goal is the Unicorn orgasming rainbows, the C goal is the last possible time that I’d get and still be happy, and the B goal is somewhere in-between.

Jamoosh over at Last Mile Lounge gave me a bit of grief for setting the goals too aggressive last time at Rock and Roll Arizona and not giving myself a fall back option once nearly all hope was lost. He made very valid points about the day-of conditions swinging race times by 10s of minutes. I took his advice under very careful consideration but realized that I would be lying to myself if I didn’t set them how I feel.  If I don’t hit my C goal below, I will be VERY disappointed.  I could throw a gimmie goal up there, but even if I hit that I’d still be crushed....so what is the point of sandbagging?

A Goal: Sub 3:09:59 (7:15 pace)
B Goal: Sub 3:14:59 (7:27 pace)
C Goal: Sub 3:19:40 (PR)
Bonus goal: Have NO 8:00+ miles

The surprising thing about the last bonus goal is that I have yet to run a marathon, including my 3:19, that was all 7:59 pace or below.  Inevitably I’ll have to pee or I’ll have to walk and one of the miles will be 8:45 or 9:00....or 11:00 or 12:00.  This has actually been a goal of mine for the last handful of races but for some reason I haven’t been able to pull it out. (That’s what she said.)

Did you notice something? No BQ goal??  Based on my age (old enough to date your mom but young enough that she’d still be a cougar) I still need a 3:04:59 to qualify for Boston.  I honestly think that on the right day I might be able to pull it out.  But, I’m not QUITE there yet to actually say that I’m going for it.  Not yet anyway.  Soon.

Wish me luck!  Not running luck, but pooping luck. The running is all due to training.  The pooping? Yeah, I’ll take anything I can get there.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: Your eCards

Not a TON of time today as I'm in Eugene getting ready for the race so here are a few of the better Your eCards that I've seen over the past few weeks.  Happy Friday!








Thursday, April 26, 2012

The real cost of the marathon


Like I said earlier in the year, this fall my main races are the New York city marathon and the St George marathon.  Unfortunately, you can't just saunder up to the expo and pay your way in. Oh no, for these races you must promise to name your first born "Gu" and get Gatorade tattooed on your forehead either qualify with speed or enter a lottery and get randomly picked.  Well, the NYC lottery was yesterday and I didn't get in. Shit.

As I complained about it on twitter, I said that instead of using my $250 for the race entry, I was going to use it secret service style - Colombian Hookers.  Of course, I was only kidding (duh, they are cheaper in Vegas PLUS I could see Hoover Dam - make it a real educational vacation) but I was serious about how I am glad that I can use that money for something else.  I did however get more than one person say that $250 was waaayyy too much to spend on a marathon. I agree in some respects, but in others I don't.  Let me explain.......

The New York City marathon is POPULAR. Each year tens of thousands of people enter and the race organizers have to select only the most beautiful to run the it (which is obvs why I did not get in). If they really wanted to be jerks, they could raise the price to the point at which the lottery is no longer needed. $1000? More? This is sort of what they did this year as last year was approx $160. The fact that it is still selling out tells me that the demand is there. Capitalism! While slightly different due to the length of the course (40-60 miles of road support), ironman is sort of doing this. Right now an entry to one of those is $600. Yikes. Yet, people shave off all of their body hair and wait in line to get the opportunity to pay and race.

Furthermore, if I look at the total cost of the race weekend, the entry itself is rather insignificant:
Race entry: $250
Flight me & wife: $700
Hotel:, $200 @ 5 nights: $1000
Transportation: $100
Colombian Hooker: Negotiable, as long as I am not Secret Service
Food, $50 @ 5 days: $250

If you add ALL of that up it is $2500 - and i really dont think my estimate is that far off. (granted, if I were to go I'd spend a few days before/after) So, the race is only 10% of the entire experience. Looking at it that way doesn't make it seem so bad.

However, the devils advocate in me says Vegas!! "come on man! Just because it is only 10% of the trip doesn't mean that it is cheap!! A corvette is only 25% the cost of a Bentley, going to go buy one of those soon!? I know of dozens of races that have $60 entry fees!!". But, to that I would say that you do get what you pay for.  The Rock and Roll marathons are a great example of this at $100.  Tons of port a potties? $$. Organized corals? $$. Police support at every road? (no, they are NOT volunteers) $$. Big awesome finisher medal? $$. Tech TShirt you'll actually wear? $$. Add 5 bucks to each race entry for all of those and you get the idea.  

I actually don't mind paying a bit more for a few more perks of a big race. I don't have any other hobbies WXCEPT DRINKING so I can justify spending a bit on a race entry. BUT, I know that is not what everyone else thinks. So, what DO you think?  Is $250 too much for the NYC marathon?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

OnlineShoes.com New Balance Giveaway Winner!!

Because I'm taking a few days off for the Eugene marathon (where my house will be protected by a 24/7 security alarm, lions that I haven't fed, and several outlets without baby covers) things have been BUSY trying to get everything closed out with work and life.  I've put in a few 12-13 hour days all the while getting in the last few miles.

Probably the most important run of the week was a 7 mile race simulation run.  Simply put, run 7 miles like I was starting out the race. Easy!  The goal was to run 3 or 4 miles at 7:30 pace and then drop it to 7:00 for the last 4.  Well, I basically did that, but just like the rest of the taper, I probably ran it just a BIT too fast.  I started out running 7:15s and ran a handful of 6:50s.  If I could just do that 3 more times, I swear to you that I'd strip naked and do cartwheels down the finishers chute.

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Overall, there were 424 entries in the OnlineShoes.com New Balance giveaway***!!  I'm too lazy busy to look, but I'm pretty sure that was a record for most entries! But, just like is the case with Snookie, hundreds entered, but only one will win.

So, without further rambling, the winner is......#144. Yo Momma Runs!  Well, not YOUR Momma, but 4 little someone's Momma.  Here she is celebrating her birthday at probably one of my favorite steakhouses: Texas Roadhouse. Congrats Yo! (Momma?)

If you win one of my contests, I will find the most embarrassing picture of you and post it
You know, uhhh, for your moment in the spotlight!

I want to thank everyone for entering and OnlineShoes.com / New Balance for supplying the shoes.  Yo Momma, shoot me an email TheBoringRunner / Gmail and I'll get you some shoes!!!!



***Side note, the next time I do one of these giveaways, I need to figure out an acronym or something.  I feel a bit like a NASCAR driver trying to spit that out every time.... "Yeah, the New Balance 890s were really humming.  I thought that I threw a rod and blew out my o-ring, but the Body Glide and Zensah socks really did the trick to clean up the mess on the backstretch....."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Pat's Run 4.2m Race Report!

I always feel like
Somebody's watching me!
Over the past year or so, I've transitioned from wanting to run EVERY race possible and instead focusing on a few very specific races.  I figure that if the elite runners wax their bikini area, I should too run only run 2 or maybe 3 key marathons hard in a year, they probably do it for a reason. Now, that doesn't mean that I haven't done some killer smaller races....but about a month before a major marathon I get pretty hyper focused on that race.

So, sometimes a race sort of gets overshadowed.  This is exactly what happened to Pat's Run.  It is a local 4.2 mile race that I've done the last three years 2010 here 2011 here, but have never actually ran it.  This year was no exception.  The goal was to walk with my wife and son, soak up some Arizona sun, and try not to pee on the racecourse like I did in 2010.

For me, the day actually started hours before and 13 miles away.  In keeping with my Eugene Marathon obsession, I decided to get my long run in before the race.  So, I drove to a  point that was 13 miles from the start and got to running.  Now, I'm not sure if it was the fact that I had to get up at 3:50am, the fact that I had a bunch of coffee before I left the house, or because of the steak dinner I had the night before....but I had ISSUES during the run.  Note to self: If you pass a McDonalds and have "that" feeling, for everything that is holy, STOP.  The feeling will not go away and you WILL end up duckwalking through an intersection to the local 7-11.

Anywhoo, once I finished pooping, closed out a pretty rough run, and got to the starting line, I found Jeff and Suzanne hanging out waiting the HOUR that it took us to get to the starting line.  I had received some txt messages from Jeff saying that he was in the last corral "right behind the dead people".  It was actually good to meet up with some runners and talk all things running.  I'm coaching Jeff towards a sub 2 half marathon in Pasadena as long as we can get his crotch muscles to cooperate so between his race and my race coming up we were like two old ladies around a quilt.

I don't care what he thinks, Jeff doesn't look a day over 80 years old - let alone dead

Pat's Run is actually the single biggest running event in Arizona.  With 28,000 runners it beats the Rock and Roll AZ Full or Half (if you treat them as separate events).  This race is BIG.  So big that it brings out serious runners and crazy people alike.

Which of these "red" people is not like the other?
It's like a creepy where's Waldo

One interesting thing that I've found about races with over 10,000 participants is that they've reached critical mass to have more than a few crazies.  Fortunately, I was able to get my picture with one.  Hopefully he either has an "escape hatch" or didn't drink as much coffee as I did before my 13 mile run.

We're both smiling.  Umm, trust me?

I'm all for doing things for your animals, but booties?  For a 4 mile WALK?  Ohhhh kayyyy

The race itself was rather uneventful.  I chatted up a work buddy of mine and power walked my ass all the way to the finish.  It was nearly 85 degrees at the finish, but the race coordination was top notch and lack of water wasn't an issue in the slightest.


Family picture!  Not sure why I am leading with my pelvis?
It looks like I'm a zombie like in "Weekend at Burnies 2"

Like I said in my previous post, Pat Tillman was a true American hero and my (slightly inflated) $45 entry fee will go to help kids who couldn't otherwise afford it goto college.  Now, where were we?  Oh right, back to non-stopped Eugene Marathon coverage!


GlitzBandz Winners!

Few things are better than announcing winners for the giveaways that I host.  I imagine this is what the people from Publisher's Clearinghouse feel like when they deliver those big checks to the old ladies in curlers. 

There were 69 (hehe) entries to the Glitz Bandz giveaway and the three winners are:

Two if you will get whichever band you want and the other will get my red one!  Send me an email TheBoringRunner/Gmail and I'll put you in contact with Giltz Bandz!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: Runner's High Comic & CPR Instructions

First, don't forget about my TWO Giveaways! One ends on Sunday, one on Monday. Either way, check it out!



This week has been a bit (a lot) hectic at work but I can see the light at the end of the Friday happy hour tunnel.  I'm running 13 miles and also walking 4.2 with my wife and some friends as part of the Pat Tillman memorial race.  If you're not familiar with Pat Tillman and his story he is a true American Hero GI Joe style who gave up millions to serve the United States.  Also, he had wicked awesome hair.  So, there was that.

Because I'm short on time, I have just two quick funny foto friday's to get you fired up for the weekend.  The first is by professional artist, runner, amateur body builder, and resident funny man Colin Hayes.  (If I didn't know any better, I would have thought I had a bit of a man crush.)  He recently said that he is considering developing a running/athletic related comic strip.  Something tells me that if he does, it'll do VERY well.

Click to enlarge, laugh your butt off, check out Colin's website

Obviously this artist used Colin as one of his main influences!
The nipple step is IMPORTANT. Don't mess around people, lives depend on it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Taper madness v2 & GlitzBandz Review/Giveaway!


Taper madness has set in quite nicely.  Just like no two colds are alike (I don’t remember THAT itching last time I had a headcold...) it seems that no two tapers are alike.  This time, I’ve been running my easy runs too fast and worrying about how much food I’m eating.  Basically, taper has turned me into a caffeinated middle school girl.  Well, even more than normal I suppose


Two cases in point wrapped into one: This morning, I had 5 easy miles on the schedule.  The night before I went out with work people, had a few beers (read: too many) and ate a lot of greasy food (deep fried okra? WTF is okra? Whatever, doesn’t matter...gimmie.)  The run started out ROUGH. Well, the trip to the toilet before the run was rough, and then the run was also rough.  I felt tired, old, and even in spite of the 10 minutes in the bathroom - bloated.  


So, while the first mile was tough, I sort of got used to that level of “hard”.  So, when I sweated out all of the booze by mile two, the level of hard (TWSS) stayed the same but my pace became faster and faster.  Before I knew it I had ran 5 miles in 36 minutes. 7:15 pace.  Oppsies.


I always tell the people I coach that slow, short runs have their place.  Use them for recovery, use them to keep your legs fresh, but DON’T blast through them because they’re shorter than you’re used to.  It seems that the cobbler’s son always does go without shoes.........Do as I say, not as I do!

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Recently, I was contacted by Emily from Glitz Bandz.  She wanted me to do a review and giveaway of her sparkly, no slip headbands.  WHY would I do a review on headbands when I have less hair than a Chiwawa at a barbershop convention?  I figured that since I haven’t been contacted to review any man-jocks or nut cups (yet) I might as well hop on the female-only running accessory bandwagon. Next stop, pictures of me in running sports bras.  Well that, and I’ve met Emily in real life and she is pretty cool.  Win/win.

Turns out, a lot of girls have a lot of hair on their heads.  (Ok, ok....so do college guys and older guys going through mid life crises.) When it gets hot, having hair up and out of your face is a good thing.  I’m nearly positive that I read a scientific study that said that having hair out of your face makes you 60% faster – at least**.

Don't I look faster? Maybe?


Glitz Bandz are custom fit and don’t slip off of your head no matter how sweaty you get or what activity you are performing.  Case in point: I was practicing some of my sweet ninja-king-of-the-world moves and it stayed put no matter how much I shook my head!  No word on the sound my brain made rattling around inside of my skull.....

Unfortunately though, my son was much less happy to play along during this test:


If you'd instead like to see a few reviews with a bit more estrogen in them, check out these three.  All had good things to say:

http://lifeisarun.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/all-about-the-ladies/
http://girlruns42k.blogspot.com/2012/01/glitzbandz-review-giveaway.html
http://www.runnermaybe.com/2012/03/glitzbandz-review-giveaway.html


In all seriousness, you have TWO super easy ways that you can enter for a chance at one of THREE GlitzBandz (Two from GlitzBandz, one from ME! I’m going to give up the one that I received as well – turns out I don’t have any hair):



Easy contest, quick turnaround. I’ll announce the winners on Sunday at noon Pacific!

FCC Stuff: I got the glitzband for free.  If you’d stop reading this disclaimer and enter you could too! I wasn’t asked for a positive review.  Seriously, are you still reading? You should be entering by leaving a comment!

**I might have made that up

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The People’s Olympics and Taper Madness


The Boston Marathon was yesterday.  This year the marathon was hot, times were slower, and no major records were set.  (How’s that for a headline!? I should be a writer) In fact, because of the heat there was a bit of controversy. The marathon organizers let anyone who wanted defer their (speed) qualified entry until next year.  Not a huge deal, but every single available spot in the "People's Olympics" is very precious.

The race is  known as the “People’s Olympics” because it is as close as nearly everyone will get to participating in an elite race.  That is, unless you strip naked, paint the word “Track Baton” on your chest with an arrow pointing down, and run on the track in London.

Whenever I talk about the Boston Marathon on this blog or with people in person it seems that there are a few types of responses that I receive:

  • OMG, I would sell a kidney to be able to run THAT race
  • What do I care? Unless I raise $100,000 for a charity I don’t care about I’m never going to be able to run
  • Seriously, TAKE MY KIDNEY, I’ll meet you at the Citgo Sign!  


Unfortunately for me, I’m in the first category.  But, turns out, because of a steady diet of wine and breakfast cereal my kidneys aren’t worth much on the black market. So, I continue to train.  I don’t talk about it much here, but essentially I’ve been working towards Boston qualifying marathon for the last two years. I’ve become increasingly serious over that time to the point where I have started to allow myself to daydream about what running a 3:04 marathon would feel like.  In short: it would hurt somethin’ fierce.

While I was running this weekend, I was trying to decide if it is more frustrating to be as close as I am now to qualifying (call it 5-10 minutes away) or more frustrating when I was 30 minutes away.  I have to think that it is a lot like people who only match 5 numbers on the lottery and not 6.  Sure, you still win $250,000 with 5, but it you didn’t win the full $540 million.  Both are more amazing than any other day, but.....one is just a BIT more special.  For the last two years, I’ve been missing the "Powerball".

In two weeks, (10 days?) I’m running the Eugene marathon.  No matter what Dr Phil-ism you use (I like “the hay is in the barn”) I’m now in taper mode and nothing I can do will affect my fitness on that race day.  The goal now is to get to the race with a clear mind, refreshed legs, and an empty colon. I don’t have a goal of running a Boston Qualifying race in Eugene.  But then again who knows? Someone HAS to win the lottery once in a while, right?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Funny Foto Friday: Texts From My Dog

First, a quick update on my running. This week hasn't gone 100%.  I've been battling a bit of a knee issue that has me a bit (a lot) freaked out and frustrated. I'm 2 weeks away from the Eugene marathon and I'm being extra cautious and doubling down on anything that I think will help fix it.  


So, I bailed on a 11 mile tempo run after 5 miles, and I cut the makeup tempo run from 15 miles to 12 (which, turned out to be pretty solid - last 6 @ 6:30 pace), but I still had knee discomfort, looseness, and itching as I ran 8 recovery today.  I'm going to  run 20 easy tomorrow but then am going to cut my miles WAY back to try to take care of it before the race.  Fingers crossed!

I recently ran across a GREAT website http://textfromdog.tumblr.com/ that posts screenshots of text message conversations between a dude and his dog. I am not sure why I think these are so funny - but for some reason I could totally see a dog typing these out while he is hanging out at the house waiting for his owner to get home. Hilarious.  Happy Friday!




Bonus #1!
When I was younger (years ago), I liked everything nice and organized (my wife will CERTAINLY disagree with that - but let's pretend).  One of my random "things" was that I liked a clean refrigerator - nothing on the front.  No particular reason, but I did.  ANYWAY, as I was getting ready this morning I realized something......... I think I TOTALLY won this argument. Standing STRONG!!!  **Rockfist**


Bonus #2!!
Finally, I saw this Nike commercial / video on twitter and had to share. A little cute, a little reverse sexist, but still pretty funny. Although, I have to admit that as I watched it I thought to myself "So the dude looks like me....sweat, out of breath, death, etc.  But the chick?? All that running and not a hair out of place? And is she wearing foundation!?"  Turns out, when I watch YouTube videos, I turn into a snarky girl. Happy Friday!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Bad Runner Fashion


I’ve been called a number of things throughout my 6 or so years of running.  Fashionista is NOT one of them. (Skinny jerkface, maybe)  My running wardrobe consists of clothing that fits into a few very select categories:

  • Race shirts
  • Naked
  • Random “gym” clothes that I’ve collected over the years
  • Working in the yard clothes that I’ve had since high school
  • A very select few pairs of “real” running shorts with the fake underwear that make me feel all naked and free (wiggle wiggle wiggle!)


As an example, here is me before my most recent 15 miler on Tuesday.  I tweeted something to the effect of: “Basketball shorts, a 4 year old Chicago marathon shirt that is two sizes too big, & a grimmace? Time for 15 miles!!

Behold the sexy


Shoes? I have. Lots of shoes
For the record, I ran the 15 miles in 1:51 – a 7:30 pace.  So, I suppose you could say that my horrible fashion doesn’t slow me down too much.  Or, quite possibly, I’d be running in the Olympics if I would throw on a pair of shorty shorts and a singlet.  But, that is not something that I’m willing to commit to.

There are many reasons why I don’t necessarily care what I wear when I run.  First and foremost is that I don’t run with other people and I almost always run in the dark.  Second is that I am horribly practical and would rather spend my running allowance budget on race entries and new shoes.  Lastly though, even though I have the newest gadgets, the cool shoes, and whatever – I still like to believe that I’m a bit of an old school runner.  You know, those guys in the 70s with huge mustaches, shorts that go ALL the way up and body hair. Lots and lots of body hair.

Although, I could just  be channeling my inner celebrity.  For some reason those guys can get away with wearing just about anything.  I mean, check out Miley Cyrus “Jogging”.  I’m not sure if she is going for a run or getting to a shoot of girls gone wild.


To be fair, I have a lot of sweet matching Brooks and Pearl Izumi running outfits that I wear to races.  But day to day?  Bring on the 2008 Chicago marathon XL shirt.  Sexy and I know it.

Am I alone? Is there anyone else that runs in basketball shorts and random tshirts?



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Online Shoes New Balance 890 Review / Giveaway!


Ok, I know that in my previous post I said that I was reducing the number of reviews I do, but something tells me that everyone will love back to back reviews as long as one of them includes a sweet giveaway.....

A few days ago, I  was contacted by Online Shoes.com. (I’ve bought a number of pairs of shoes from them.)    For the record, when someone from an online shoe store contacts you, it is always good news. Kind of like a bank error in your favor. They said that New Balance was trying to get the word out on one of their newer neutral trainers: the New Balance 890. They’d like to send me a pair and would like me to host a giveaway.  Hopefully I didn’t sound TOO desperate when I emailed back within 45 seconds.

The New Balance 890 is a nice compromise between a minimalist shoe and a supportive trainer.  Coming in at just over 9oz (for the mens) it is one of the lightest trainers on the market that still provides loads of great features.  It’s sort of like a Porsche with like 12 cup holders and a rear DVD entertainment center for the kids.  New Balance running shoes, specifically the 890, are able to get the weight down while still providing good cushioning by putting lots of focus on creating new materials.  Sort of like NASA, but for your feet.

Anyway, when picking out my New Balance shoes to review, the thing that struck me most was how many great colors Online Shoes had in stock.  They had everything from bright red, to bright yellow, to the boring normal colors.  I run in a lot of shoes but these were some of the best colors that I’d seen yet.  So, since I like to wear my shoes like I write my blog.....colorful.... I decided to go with the bright red ones:


Test #1: New Shoe Smell – Passed!
Obviously, that is the first thing everyone does, right?  They get their shoes out of the box and smell them?  I usually like to think to myself “Wow, the smell only goes downhill from here

Note the light treading to provide just enough grip


Test #2: Tactile Response – Passed!
Since I’m going to be spending more time with these shoes than my family, I need to make sure that they hold up to getting snuggled.


Test #3: Make my son look CUTER – Passed!
I feel like everything I own must in some way make him look better


Test #4: Actually running in them – Passed!
I’ve taken them out for a handful of runs and have really liked them.  I can tell that they are a lighter weight shoe, but not so light that they trash my feet.  In fact, they were surprisingly supportive for as light as they are.  To be clear, these aren’t shoes that I’d want to take out on the trail because of the light tread, but they work great out on the roads.

Another thing that is almost a requirement that the 890s had was a large toebox.  My little piggies don’t like to be mushed together like sausages.  Mix that together with the fact that they’re brighter than the top of the Chrysler building and I am sold on these as part of the normal rotation.  I’ll use them for recovery runs at first but will likely work them in as my tempo run shoe due to their lighter weight.

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Being the ever diligent blog reviewer that I am, I did some digging on OnlineShoes.com and found that they actually have LOADS of New Balance shoes.  New Balance Shoes for Men (yay! Goooo men!) New Balance Shoes for Women (yay! I also loooove the ladies!), hell if running isn’t your style they have New Balance walking shoes and New Balance sneakers.  (Is shoes vs sneakers a soda vs pop type of a thing?)

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: Stop to blabbin and start to giving away!  Ok, here goes.  Like most contests, there will be a million ways to enter. You can pick from any of the mens New Balance or the womens New Balance shoes.  Unfortunately, you DO have to be in the USA.  The contest starts now and goes until 4/23.  PLEASE leave a comment for each time you enter.  I promise that I’m not going to the work to separate them all out so it’ll only count for one.

  • Follow my blog and leave a comment letting me know you do
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Follow OnlineShoes.com on Twitter
  • Send out a Tweet mentioning me and the contest:  "I’m not boring, but just entered @TheBoringRunner New Balance giveaway hosted by @OnlineShoes_com http://www.TheBoringRunner.com/ "
  • Repost on your blog or Facebook, whatever.



FCC Stuff: I got a pair of shoes for free.  If you’d stop reading this disclaimer and enter you could too! I wasn’t asked for a positive review.  Seriously, are you still reading? You should be entering by leaving a comment!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Try it Tuesday: Clean Bottle


A few weeks back I received an email asking if I would review a handheld water bottle from Clean Bottle.  I’ve honestly tried to pare down the reviews that I do to only those that I would buy normally, things that I think everyone ELSE would buy, or free underwear. Why is it that girls get free underwear all the time but I get NONE?! Anyway.....paring down the reviews is honestly an effort to not make the blog weighed down by lots of random reviews for snake oils that promise to replace Viagra (does NOT work).  Fortunately, from the start the Clean Bottle caught my attention.

The company was a cycling water bottle company at the start. You might have seen them on ABC's Shark Tank where the founder dressed up in a massive water bottle suit.  Can you believe that I didn't get one of THOSE to review?!  Their primary premise of their products is that not only does the top of their water bottle come off, but so does the bottom!  This is so you can actually get into the bottle to clean it – and hopefully avoid it smelling like a foot. (Or, catching some sort of mouth fungus)

Look, it’s a tube!
Not sure what that look on my face is...whats that? Its just my face? Damn.

Just recently, they decided to branch into running water bottles.  Of course, since we runners don’t have any fancy bikes to put our water in, they slapped on a handle and made a pouch for an iPhone / iPod / phone / gel / etc.  They made the bottle flexible enough to squeeze and the mouth tip (hehe) soft enough (hehe) so that it doesn’t hurt your teeth when you’re opening it with your mouth.  This is especially important because I have bigger teeth than your average beaver.

I’ve taken the bottle out on 100+ miles worth of runs and I LOVE it. The bottle fits into my hand nicely, I can open it with my mouth alone, and I can switch it from hand to hand with minimal issues. For that matter, I’ve never ran with access to my phone (no one ever bothers to kidnap nor care if a 30 year old man gets lost - so I would have no one to call) and I have to admit it is rather addictive. You see, there is this new thing that all of the kids are talking about called “Pandora”.  It’s like the radio, but on your PHONE!  They have an a capella radio station that plays lots of good tunes.  Also? Turns out I don’t like Adel – I think I’m the only person in the world.

Also it has a pocket on the back of the phone for money and two straps to put gels.  That means that as long as it was the right weather (read: not balls hot), I could take this thing out for 15+ mile runs and be just fine.


Finally, I’m not sure if it is dishwasher safe or not, but I put it on the top rack and it hasn’t melted yet – so I’ll take that as a win.

Pros:

  • The bottom comes off so that the germies die
  • Carrying my phone is now super easy so I can text all of my peeps and hit my boys up on twitter while running listen to Pandora streaming radio while running
  • The bottle is super squeezy (like me) so drinking mid run is a snap


Cons:

  • The screw on bottom and slightly larger size does add a bit of weight.  But, just like I imagine it is after having “chest implants”, you get used to the extra weight pretty quick
  • The bottle is VERY well secured with the hand strap, but that means that it is a bit of a chore to get on. Hopefully it will loosen up after a while


Overall I really love the handheld.  In fact, it's replaced my Nathan handheld water bottle as the day to day way that I lug around water while running.  So, for that alone, it gets my seal of approval! You can pick the water bottles up at REI, Amazon, etc etc.