expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saucony Triumph ISO Review

WHOA! WHOA! Call the coroner there's been a murder Saucony killed the Triumph.  And plans on assassinating the competition with the new ISO Fit Series.

The #ISOFITSOFINE.  I owed two pairs of the Triumph 10's a few years back and used them to log my LSR.  And while I didn't own the 11's it doesn't matter because the ISOFit Triumph is a totally different shoe.

Revolutionary Upper Meets Luxurioulsy Plush Platform

I usually see a minor tweaks from one version to the next, but the Triumph received a complete overhaul-retaining only the name.  This is certainly a victory for the brand and runners making it a win-win situation.  

The low profile cushioned feeling underfoot coupled with the premium materials attracted me to the Triumph 10 when I was in the market for daily trainer and the new revitalized Triumph continues the tradition.

20% More Cushion and increased stack height.

During the autopsy of the Triumph 11 Saucony figured out what worked and didn't  throughout the baby with the bath water.  So rest assured when you slip on the new ISO Triumph you won't be disappointed.  Saucony resolved the heel slippage issue that some runners found annoying. 

The new Triumph still offers an 8mm off set but it now sits on a beefier platform with 20% more cushioning than its predecessor.  

Saucony Yanked the Shank and replaced it with Foam Carbon Rubber Pods

Saucony is still using their IBR Technology and PowerGrid in the undercarriage, but they've yanked the shank, replacing it with foam carbon rubber pods and additional flex grooves.

No worries, the absence of the shank didn't negatively impact the stability of the shoe.  During my runs the ISO adapted to my feet and offered a comfy ride.

Elevated Fit with a Sock Like feel

The most notable changes to the Triumph were made to the upper.  Saucony ditched their Sauc-Fit upper for the new improved ISO Fit Sock liner with its Floating Support Carriage that craddles your foot.

The ISO Fit Triumph is one of 5 shoes that I took with me on vacation and was by far the most cushioned. 

Floating Support Carriage Cradles The Foot

I'm glad Saucony resisted the temptation to venture into "maxi-movement" as they tried to do with the Kinvara 5 making it a sub par update IMO, which moved the shoe away from its core.  

With the Triumph they demonstrated restraint tempering the stack heights and cushion but not skimping on quality.

New Beefy Profile without extra fatty Cushioning

The ISO Fit Triumph is decked out with premium material offering a plush luxurious ride and superior comfort.  My runs in the ISO Fit have been pleasant and forgiving on my joints.

With a revolutionary upper luxuriously plush platform optimized geometry and material, the ISO Fit works with your stride to help maintain a fluid transition.

Additional Flex Grooves For an Enhanced Ride

The ISO Fit will certainly make its way into my line up for mid and LSR.  Weighing in at 9.0oz for women and 10.3oz for men, the Triumph ISO is suited for a neutral runner looking for an incredibly cushioned ride. View You Tube video for details on the ISO Fit Triumph.

The ISO is probably the best shoe update of 2014.  Saucony is calling it their most cushioned trainer ever, with a fit that adjust dynamically to your foot.

Superior Comfort That Moves in Harmony with the Foot

The ISO is a solid update, the only I didn't care for was extra cushioning in the heel counter, is it a deal breaker? No, its just so much of it, I guess that's the price you pay for luxury.  For more on ISO FIT Series including the Triumph and Zealot swing by: Sam's Running People Places and Things. 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wave Rider 18 Shoe Review

I've been rocking with Mizuno since their 15th Anniversary of the Wave Rider and experienced the ebbs and flows with the brand.  Through each iteration there were design tweaks I liked and some, ahh, not so much-I loved the snug upper fit of the 15's and its responsive ride.  

The yellow/imperial 16's with the blue/Anthracite running bird was a hot color scheme for me.  And then there was the 17's with the introduction of U4Ric Sole that showed promise, but with the changes in the upper I lost interest in the Wave Riders series-and only picked up one pair instead of doubling up like I did with 16's and 3 pairs of 15's. 

Inspired by Hado

When the WR 18's Dropped I had some reservations and wasn't anxious to ride the wave, however after talking with Jeff a Mizuno rep and trying it on in my LRS, I considered giving the WR 18 another look.  "Rider 18 is going to knock it out the park", Jeff said-who was a main wear tester for the WR 18 and was already on his 4th pair.  Ok Jeff may be bias I thought, after all what's he going to say: "the shoe is going to suck".  Even with Jeff's ravings of the WR 18 I picked up the Sayo 2 instead and then a week later caved in and got the WR 18.  Jeff was right Mizuno hit a home run with the updates in the Wave Rider 18  

Experience the transformative power of the WR 18

That's one "rad shoe" with an ombré color treatment, while Mizuno wasn't first to market with graduated color, in my opinion they killed it!  I was glad see Mizuno return to a traditional breathable  mesh upper and symmetrical sewn on running bird to aid in securing your midfoot.  

The stunning design was inspired by the word Hado which is gaining popularity these days, people use it to express the vibration of person or place.  Hado represents the life force that exist in all of us and had the power to create powerful transformations.  

Make a Powerful Statement during your runs

So what is Hado? According to Mizuno: "The intrinsic vibration energy that exist in all matter which can create powerful transformations.  The new WR 18 is designed to maximize and balance forward momentum, which can result in positive change both internally and in the world we run in".  

Immediately after trying on a pair of WR 18 I noticed the departure from the WR 17's in the sockliner midfoot and heel, once both shoes were laced and I stood up it felt like the base of the shoe was wider than its predecessor.

U4RiC Sole and X10 

The undercarriage was overhauled in the WR 18 which improved the ride of the shoe in my opinion.  I took the WR 18 with me on vacation and it performed well on the narrow roads in Barbados with its varied terrain. 

Red Dot Running Bird Pops off the rear of the WR18

The WR 18 weighs in at 9.2 oz in a men's version and 7.8 oz for women, its lighter than the Saycony Ride7, Brooks  Ghost 7 and Asics Cumulus 16.  But it still offers cushioned support and a quick toe off.  

Members of the WR tribe will be pleased with the updates to their favorite shoe, I found the WR 18 to be firm and cushioned, a happy marriage that allowed me to relax at a slower pace and not worry about support when I picked up speed heading down hill.

Mizuno Killed with the Ombré design 

The changes to the WR puts it in the Top 5 Shoe Updates of 2014.  The modifications to the upper should resolve the issues some runners experienced with the WR 17's.

Mizuno continues to produce a solid daily trainer that can double as a race day shoe for distances ranging from a 5k to the marathon.

One of the Top 5 Updates of 2014

If your looking to transform your training runs and make a powerful statement on race day consider lacing up a pair of WR 18's.  

Little details compliment an impressive design

Final note on the WR 18 relates to the sizing.  I was able to comfortably fit into a 11.5 in the WR 17, with a thumbs width in the toe box, but had to go up to 12.5 to get the same fit in the WR 18-something to consider if you're making an online purchase.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Salming Speed Review

If shoes were capable of having sibling rivalries in your closet the Distance and Speed would fight for your attention at night for an opportunity to run during the day-since that's impossible you have to decide which shoe you want to rock.  Deciding is my current dilemma-Distance or Speed?

Shortly after receiving the Distance from Salming to review, I purchased the Speed at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo and while the names of the shoes aren't original Salming's fit and comfortable feel are surprisingly unique.  Check out the review of the Salming Distance.

That's one "Sharp Looking High Performing Shoe"

The Speed is the lighter and more flexible little sister of the Distance and she's a BEAST on the road.  One of the five  shoes I decided to road test while vacationing in Barbados, I was lost on an 8mile run literally and didn't give much thought to my feet-I just enjoyed the run. 

It heats up pretty quick in Barbados once the sunrises but my feet stayed cool sitting inside the 3 Layer Honeycomb Mesh Construction.  The Speed's design is similar to the Distance with the exception of the stabilizing feature in the front of the shoe-the two stripes are removed and replaced with the Salming logo.  

Salming seemed a bit more generous with the laces in the Speed compared to the Distance
The Speed has a seamless upper with ample room in the toe box. The men's version comes in a mild neon green trimmed with hints of pastel blue and black patent leather like material that makes the shoe really pop.  The woman's Speed comes in a bright lime trimmed in purple with a white sole. Check out the pretty Speed on Salming's site.

The Salming Speed is a lightweight fast snappy shoe
Enough obsessing on the looks and colors.  The Speed features a 5mm drop weighing in at a mere 5.9oz in a women's size 7 and 7.4oz in a men's size 9.  Built for speed, the Speed is a minimalistic shoe with a surprisingly comfortable feel underfoot for such a thin midsole.  While pounding the pavement the Speed allowed me to sense the road without feeling like it was bottoming out. 

The Speed is flexible and offers a comfortable supportive ride

According to Salming the distance from the heel to the ball of the foot represents 62% of the shoe and their shoes are designed with extra stability, which end in the so-called "ballet" line. The remainder of the shoe is equipped with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot's natural movements.  The Speed and Distance fall into the  neutral running shoes category.

High Abrasion EVA is strategically placed to offer comfort and extend the life of the shoe
The "Torsion Efficiency Unit" featured in the Distance is absent in the Speed but doesn't hinder the performance of the shoe.  

The Speed offers a quick smooth transition
Salming's RunLite midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA that's strategically placed to create an awesome feel for the ground while extending the life of the shoe. Visit Salming's site for "Geektails" on the Speed.

No Nonsense Running 
After logging several miles in the Speed I'm extremely happy with its performance on a variety of surfaces.  In my opinion the Speed is ideal for speed work tempo runs and a races ranging from 5k to the marathon.

3 Layer Constructed Uppers comfortable locks your feet in place while you kick back the miles
If your a fan of the Adios, Kinvara or the Skecher's Speed your feet will feel right at home in the Speed.  With the Manchester Road Race schedule next week the kicks in my closet will have a Battle Royal to determine who will have the luxury of carrying me across the finish line.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Salming Distance Shoe Review

While cruising RnR Philly Expo I came across the Salming Booth, their bright illuminating colors screamed for my attention, so I heeded the call and tried on a few of their kicks.  I was impressed with the feel of their shoes, "No Nonsense" approach to running and was eager to discover more about the company.  

After the RnR Philly Half I contacted Salming to learn more about the brand and an opportunity to review the Distance and share my findings with you and they agreed-the receipt of the shoes came without any strings and did not influence my review. 

Salming "No Nonsense" Shoes for "No Nonsense Runners"
Introducing the Salming Distance a bright sleek elegant looking shoe that feels great underfoot and up top.  The Distance features a 3 Layer Construction, the first mesh layer adds comfort, while the middle stabilizes lateral movement and reduces pressure on the foot.  The final translucent mesh layer wraps the remainder of the shoe.  Instead of traditional eyelets the Distance utilizes a tab hooped lacing system and a adequate mesh tongue to lock your foot in place.

Salming Distance 5mm Drop

Salming uses a standard 5mm drop in all their shoes that set up a natural running posture, allowing a correct forward lean.  After logging several miles in the Distance  I didn't experience any bunching slipping or blistering.

Salming's Torsion Efficiency Unit

The 8.4oz Distance in a Men's size 9 is responsive without being overly supportive-the Torsion Efficent Unit offers sturdiness to the shoe in the latter miles of a marathon with a semi-transparent TPU similar to the Adidas Adios Boost 2.  

Salming's RunLite Midsole features a High Abrasion Injection EVA

Salming RunLite Midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA that has an awesome responsive feeling while you're kicking up asphalt during your training or race day.  While vacationing in Barbados I was able to put Salming's lightweight sticky blown rubber compound sole to the test on their varied terrain in the middle of the rainy season and the Distance hugged the road at every turn.

Salming "No Nonsense" Distance is Seriously Sharp looking Shoe

According to Salming their heel cup is specifically designed to add minimal weight and creates a transformative, adaptive fit.  If you really want to "geek out" on a shoe visit Salming Running to discover more about the Distance specs, natural running RunLab and much more.

Best Shoe Honor  by Runner's World

Salming recently received the Best Shoe Debut Honor from Runner's World Magazine.  Salming is certainly creating a buzz since its entry into a saturated US shoe market-it's boutique pricing may initially deter some from trying the brand. But like other brands such as Hoka and Newton that entered the market on the high end of the spectrum and then subsequently introduced shoes with a more appealing price point for the masses, perhaps Salming will follow their strategy and reap similar success like Hoka and Newton did with the introduction of the Clifton and Fate-(See Runblogger's Review of the Fate) 

Salming Distance was a head tuner in Barbados blended nicely with the pastel homes

In my opinion the Salming Distance is a solid daily trainer or race day shoe, that provides a secure fast responsive ride.  The Distance is a flexible lightweight "No Nonsense" shoe.

Salming Distance Bright Fast Light and Responsive
I enjoyed the Distance so much that I picked up the Speed at the Marine Corps Marathon in October check out the Speed Review here.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

UCAN Be MEBNIFICENT!!! Panel Discussion Recap with Meb Keflezighi andGreg McMillian at Yale!!!

A few weeks back I went on a semi rant about how absolutely phenomenal I thought my LRS was, Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford Rocks!!!  I was amped because I won an Adidas visor and shared a pic on my social network pages-and that's an inanimate object.  Imagine the reading on my  excitement barometer when I received an invite to meet with Meb and Greg at Yale, it was off the "Richter Scale"!  Yes I was a little giddy because I'm a fan of GREATNESS!!!  After pulling off a huge victory in Boston and then to turn around and place 4th in NYC Marathon ahead of Mutai I think he's qualified to talk about running and I was all ears.

Meb and Greg watching Jonah's Story...
As he entered the auditorium and made his way to the stage I couldn't help but think, wow television adds weight and in Meb's case height.  Watching him on TV with his chest out head up mammoth legs with an effortless stride shades beanie and fist pumping invigorating the crowd drawing energy with every step makes him seem like a giant of a man-and he is!  The auditorium erupts and he receives a standing ovation.  But, before the panel discussion started he snapped a selfie!!!

Meb with a few of his closest friends for the night at Yale

What a classy fan like move, it was clear that he was just as excited to be with us as we were to spend the evening with this living legend.  The evening started with a video about Jonah the original Generation UCAN.

Getting ready to cut the cakes... 
Its ironic because after the video there was a cake cutting ceremony and Jonah wouldn't be able to partake.  UCAN presented the Feldman family with the proceeds from the sales at  the NYC Marathon Expo. 

UCAN Be Mebnicicent Cake 
UCAN is a Connecticut based company that uses Super Starch as a key ingredient to help burn fat and regulate blood sugar levels and is the go to fuel product used by Meb.  Click here to learn more about UCAN Fuel.  I took a few notes during the panel discussion on my phone-(the people around probably thought I was goofing off tweeting texting checking email or on Facebook).  Okay I may have peaked at my feed once maybe twice.  Lol!!!

Below are a few key takeaways from Meb and Greg's Panel Discussion:

Anything can happen at the start of race with that understanding you gotta have alternate goals: go for the Win, Personal Best or Top 3.  Given the weather Sunday and how Meb felt he adjusted his tactics accordingly tapered a little after leading and then fading from the pack.  He regained his focused and then attacked passing several runners along the way including the favorite Mutai..

Greg talked about dealing with ups and downs change in plans in the training process and related it to the lessons we learn in life and the need to exercise patience tactics and most importantly remain flexible.  "Train a little less than you feel you can capable of accomplishing about 80% capacity, many people are guilty of  breaking the rule of 2's,  2 often 2 soon 2 much.. Be patient train a little less than you can do and you'll set yourself up for success long term".   Greg said the most often questions he gets asked are about shoes and fuel.  After having stomach cramps during my last two marathons I became interested in finding a fueling option that would be easy on my stomach, UCAN may just be what Dr Run ordered.

Final quote "Hard work will beat talent everyday".  In life we may be faced with set backs failures etc. What ever!!  As long as we're still here we have an opportunity to write our own story. What will you write in the next chapter of your life?


Monday, November 3, 2014

Keitany and Kipsang Pull off Theatrical Finishes to Win The 2014 NYC Marathon

Sunday morning I jumped up glanced at the clock and rushed out of the house thinking I would be late for the start of this years NYC Marathon as if I was racing.  It wasn't until I reached Starbucks that I realized I had an hour to spare because I didn't set set my clock back.  Even though my marathon season is over I still rise early in preparation for my long run.

I was amped at the thought of being able to watch the entire coverage of this years marathon and not just the highlight reel like I did for Boston, Chicago and Berlin.  As the coverage progressed I could feel the anticipation and electricity through my Mac.  

Talk of tackling Dennis Kimetto's world record swirled in the air the week of the marathon but, as weather reports started to roll in the likelihood of that happening today flew out the window.  Windy, Gusty Cold and head winds were just a few of the conditions the runners had to deal with at the start of the race as they headed over the Varrazano-Narrows Bridge.  

Kara Bundles up at the start... Photo credit Photo Run
The elite women lined up first to battle the cold cross winds as they headed from Staten Island to Brooklyn.  The wind can rock a 3000 lb+ car crossing the bridge so I know they had their work cut out for them heading to Brooklyn.

The Elite Women prepare to head over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge... Photo credit: Photo Run
Running in the pack in hopes of shielding some of the wind must have been on every one's mind but, it's a race and someone has to lead.  Most people feel the race doesn't start in a marathon until you reach the 20 mile marker-when I first heard that I laughed, "then what are they doing the first 20 miles"?  Conserving their energy for the long haul.  

Tuck in ladies and enjoy the ride... Photo credit: Photo Run
The women's elite field was filled with some heavy hitters and everyone has their favorites Kara, Deena, Desi, Jemima, Sara and Mary- who is your favorite?  I have tremendous respect for the women in the sport who give birth and then come back and still are able compete on an elite level-it blows my mind!! That's BEASTMODE!!!

Stay hydrated ladies... Photo Credit Photo Run:
While the weather was wreaking havoc on the runners it was taking its toll on the transmission feed also-so I missed the women picking up their water bottles and saw them drinking out of cups like the rest of the mere mortals that run marathons-and thought that was a little sexist.  I came in from off the FaceBook ledge once I realized that wasn't the case at the next water station. Lol.

The Elite Men Storm the Bridge... Photo Credit: Photo Run
Before you know they were announcing the starting 5 elite men's field and they trotted to the starting line and the build up was reminiscent of championship Basket Ball game.  As the thundering heard stormed over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge one thing was clear to me and that was Adidas Adios  Boost V2 dominated the field.  

Adidas Adios leading the field... Photo Credit: Photo Run
No doubt coming over the bridge was brutal reaching the crest must have been a welcomed reprieve as they galloped into Brooklyn.

Team Adidas taking flight coming off the bridge... Photo Credit: Photo Run
Kipsang and Mutai were one and two coming off the bridge and Mutai must have started warming up because he tossed the blue beanie.  

Meb came prepared to work... Photo Credit: Photo Run

Meb was still rocking his Skechers Beanie looking strong and was leading the pack for a few miles.  I was pissed when he missed his water bottle and he wasn't the only one who had fueling challenges, there were teammates who coordinated to share a bottle because there was some confusion on the course.  That's teamwork!!!

Desi Linden... US Women's winner 2:28:11  
The switching between the elite women and men was nerve racking.  As the women continued to make there way through the 5 Boroughs the pack thinned out and then we flashed back to the men we had someone make a move to the front.  Run Nick!!! Run!!!

Nick separated from the pack early finished 10th overall 2:15:39... Photo Credit: Photo Run

Wait when did this happen??  

It's any one's race at this point

Masato Imani finished 2:14:36... Photo Credit: Photo Run 
Imani made a move to the front and in the pics the gap looks huge and he looks strong.  But as I took a sip of my coffee would fade to black. 

Jemima and Mary would break away from the rest of the pack and battled for the lead as they headed to the finish line in Central Park.  Running hip to hip at one point, Jimima was in the lead as she glanced over her shoulder to get a gauge as to how far behind Mary was, Mary had already passed her and was on her way to the  finish line.  Omg!!! what an edge of the seat nail biting experience.  Beastmode!!

Mary Keitany Photo Credit: Photo Run
Mary crossed the finish line in victory hands clapsed in prayer!! Photo Credit: Photo run
The battle for 1st place began as the headed into Columbus Circle Photo Credit: Photo Run

You've just been "Kipsang'ed.. Photo Credit: Photo Run
The announcers comments were calmly hilarious in the plumb English tone "Desisa is an untidy runner in comparison to Kipsang who's so symmetrical and fluid" Wow he went there.  It was truly a theatrical pleasure to watch these runners battle it out in Central Park if your missed it check out the video finish here

Kipsang Starts to pull away Desisa... Photo Credit: Photo Run

Wilson Kipsang Pulls off a victory in his NYC debut winning worlds major records in the process... Photo Credit: Photo Run

As the made the final turn headed to the finish they were shoulder to shoulder, scrapping almost for every inch.  Kipsang glances over at Desisa and the look on his was classic,  as if to say "are you kidding me, is that all you got and then kicked it into 6th gear and it was over.  When asked by a reporter if he was thinking about winning the majors bonus Kipsang replied: “Yes, of course I was thinking,” he said. “The only chance for me to win the jackpot was to win this race. That’s why I was feeling very strong and I was trying to apply all the tactics to make sure that I win.”  Kipsang closed out the race and year in grand fashion winning 3 world majors.  Congrats!!!