More on the Stinger

I mentioned loving my new Spira Stinger flats at the end of the race report, but wanted to add a bit more about this amazing shoe. No, I do not work for the company, but I can't get over how great this shoe felt during the race. It's super lightweight but very cushioned, unlike other lightweight flats like the Nike Katana racer that I have tried on, which while light have zero cushioning in comparison. The way the Stinger is constructed it pushes you up on your toes when you are running fast, kind of like a track spike for the roads if that makes sense. I will wear these again when I race 10K on November 11 and it will be interesting to see how these shoes hold up at twice the distance. I'm pretty confident they will do fine as plenty of people have worn them in marathons, including the top 5 finishers at this year's Detroit Marathon.



I ran a masters 5K PR of 17:22 this morning at the Great Pumpkin Run in Lakewood, Ohio. It's a flat, fast, out and back course in a nice tree-lined neighborhood, which starts and ends at Lakewood Park. The same course is used for three or four other races throughout the year. In fact, I ran my previous best of 17:41 on this course in May 2006. The weather was perfect today. It was about 50 degrees and though there was a pretty strong headwind in the first half of the race, once we turned around it was all on our backs. I went out pretty conservative in 5:50 -- the effort felt harder but the wind was pretty strong at this point so I trusted my effort. I felt like I was accelerating nicely at this point and once I hit the turnaround, I really started flying with the wind at my back. My 2 mile split was 11:26 and I still felt great so I went for it and started running as hard as I could, running down some guys who went out too hard early on. As I approached the finish line area, I buckled down and ran as hard as I could. It was a great feeling to see the clock ahead of me and know that I was going to PR!

I ended up 5th overall and was the first master. Team Good River's Jason Ream was the overall winner in 16:21.

I got a pair of Spira Stingers this week and I wore them in the race and I have to say they are the best racing flat I have ever worn. They're featherlight but very cushioned, which is perfect for an old guy like me!


One Minute Marathon Training

I do not know who Merv is, but I found this tidbit below by a poster named Oscar the Grouch on a website called Merv Running. While it addresses marathon training, the same principles apply to anyone training for 5K and up. I need to pay more attention to #3!

One Minute Marathon Training

Posted By: Jon
Date: 10/17/99

Originally posted Oscar the Grouch on 10/14/98.

1. Heal your injuries before embarking on your quest - use total rest if necessary.

2. Aim for 3 good workouts per week (long run, long tempo run at MP, speedwork session.) Fill in with rest or "just running" on the other days.

3. Cut back every 3rd week to about 66-75% volume intensity.

4. Race (10km to half marathon) every 3 weeks.

That should do it


Training Update: October 8 - 21

My training has been going really well. I've reduced my overall volume a little bit as I had been feeling kind of beat up after the 10K race in Minster, but right now I'm feeling great. Two weeks ago I had a solid 14 mile trail run and a nice session of 3 x 2 mile with 2:00 rest breaks and last week I did 4 x mile midweek and a nice very tough 11 mile trail run in Michigan with my BMLC teammates Tom and Stephen. The three of us are entered in the team competition for 10K race at the Ann Arbor, Michigan Turkey Trot on November 11. Looking forward to a really good race there. I'm going to enter a low key 5K on Saturday to get in a good tune up.


Defy The Ban 10K video

Footage of Hillary Kimaiyo's 26:01 at the Defy The Ban 10K. 1400 feet elevation drop. Man, I want to do this race next year! Kimaiyo wore a pair of the 'controversial' Spira Stinger racing flats (see blog entry below).


Unfair advantage?

Rock 'n' Roll Runner is all about fighting the man so when a little shoe company starts making some noise in the corporate running world, you know it's gonna get my attention! The Spira Stinger racing flat has made some big waves this year. Based in El Paso, Texas, Spira has been banned by the governing bodies of the sport for employing 'unfair technology. '

According to a recent article in the El Paso Times, "The shoes, which contain Spira's patented WaveSpring technology, ran afoul of USA Track and Field Rule 143, which specifically bans spring technology in footwear for competition. The shoes may also violate IAAF rule 143, which bans any technology that provides an 'unfair advantage.' Spira submitted its shoes to the IAAF for review and approval in September of 2006, but the worldwide governing body for Track and Field has been unable to provide Spira with an answer. Spira recently initiated a lawsuit in Federal District Court in El Paso, Texas, against both the USATF and IAAF alleging that their rules which bans spring technology constitutes a restraint of trade in violation of Sherman Anti-Trust Act."

The company, which is run by Andy Krafsur, who I knew a little bit from Michigan running circles back when I was a kid (his brother David ran for Southfield Lathrup High school and was an All-American at Tennessee) , made waves this year when two runners wearing Spira shoes led for most of the Boston Marathon before fading off the pace. Later this year, Kenyan David Cheruiyot wore a pair when he won the Ottawa Marathon in a PR of 2:10:35, a two minute PR. Today, Kenyan Hillary Kimaiyo broke the world 10K road race record in a pair of Stingers in a race sponsored by Spira, appropriately called the Defy The Ban 10K , running an amazing 26:01 on a certified downhill course. Because of the huge elevation drop, the time won't count for official world record purposes, but it certainly will garner some PR for Spira.

Too good to be true? Who knows? I might have to give them a try. I checked out the website and the Stingers and their lightweight trainer look pretty intriguing.


Sisters of Mercy - Dominion

A classic from 'Floodland'...


Sisters of Mercy Box Set

Released by Rhino Records UK, 'Merciful Release' is a box set of the Sisters of Mercy's three releases for Warner Brothers Records, plus a bunch of bonus tracks. Each CD is a digipack, which includes a booklet with detailed liner notes. A much better presentation than the recent Jesus and Mary Chain reissues. For those note in the know, the Sisters of Mercy were the premiere Goth rock band. The group was formed in 1980 in Leeds, England by vocalist Andrew Eldritch and within a few years the original lineup gained quite a buzz on the indie scene with their mesmerizing dark yet melodic rock sound, which was inspired quite a bit by The Stooges -- at times Eldritch sounds a lot like Iggy Pop. After releasing five excellent EPs, which are compiled on the 'Some Girls Wander By Mistake' CD, the group signed to Warner and released their astounding debut proper 'First and Last and Always.' Remastered for the box set, this album sounds even more potent than it did when I first heard it back in 1985. Tracks like "Black Planet," "Nine While Nine," and "Walk Away" define the goth rock sound. Sadly after the album was released guitarist Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams would leave to form the more commercial sounding Mission U.K. who ended up having great success in England for many years. Eldritch was forced to start all over again and 1987's masterful 'Floodland' could almost be described as a solo effort, though bass player Patricia Morrison (ex Gun Club) does contribute quite a bit. More bombastic than 'First and Last and Always,' 'Floodland' contains three epic dance rock gems, "Dominion/Mother Russia," "Lucretia," and "This Corrosion" that are probably the group's best known recordings. As with 'First and Last and Always,' the remastered recording of 'Floodland' sounds phenomenal. The Sisters of Mercy's third album 'Vision Thing' is merely good in comparison. Much more conventional sounding than anything released previous, a good benchmark would be Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Automatic.' While Eldritch still plays live shows with different lineups, Sisters of Mercy haven't released anything since 1991. That said I still think that a new Sisters of Mercy album will see the light of day before the next Guns 'n' Roses or My Bloody Valentine!


Race Report: Oktoberfest Classic 10K

Just got back from the booming metropolis of Minster, Ohio where I ran in the Oktoberfest Classic 10K, one of the more competitive Ohio races due to a lot of prize money for the top guys. The weather here was definitely on par with Chicago, which makes me really glad it was only a 10K!

I ran really well in probably the worst conditions I've ever raced in. The race didn't start until close to 10:00am because the organizers didn't have it together. It was supposed to start at 9:30, which is way too late anyway, but they were letting people sign up too late and they waited for the sole wheelchair entrant who called and said she was running late to show up! It reached a high of 92 in the afternoon and was probably over 80 and super humid when we raced. On top of that, there was no shade whatsoever. Just wide open country roads and blaring sun. Anyway, I ran 37:47 (6:03 pace?) and was first in 40-44 and 37th overall. I knew a PR was way out of the question so I just ran smart and conservative and did my best to hang on. My splits were 6:06, 6:06 (12:12), 5:59 (18:11), 6:01 (24:12), 6:02 (30:14) and 7:33 for the last 1.25 so probably another 6:02.

My initial plan was to try and blast the last 2 miles in 11:30 or so, but by the halfway mark it was a death march. My legs were feeling like rubber and I really had to gut it out to hold pace. A couple of guys ahead of me just stopped and started walking. One guy ran to someone's lawn on the side of the road and just laid down in it! Another guy pulled over to the side of the road and passed out! In any case, I'm really happy with the race. I know I can run much faster for 10K. I think in perfect conditions 10 seconds per mile faster wouldn't have been out of the question. In any case, after the first few minutes no one passed me and I probably passed over 50 people or more in the course of the race.

This was the first time I've won an age group title in an Ohio Grand Prix race. I won a nice medal and a pair of shoes as well! The local sporting goods store kind of sucked but they did have a pair of the Nike 30/40's, which are named after Pre's famous workout so I opted for those. They feel a bit like the Elites as far as lightweight trainers go. My wife took some good pictures so I'll update this report in a day or too!

More photos and a detailed description of our weekend visit can be found on my wife's blog at:


Gouchers make Liz Smith's column

American distance running couple, Kara and Adam Goucher, were mentioned in Liz Smith's NY Post gossip column. According to Smith:

SPORTS AFICIONADOS love Kara Goucher, a runner who is so charismatic, whose smile is so dazzling, that she is often compared to a movie star like Julia Roberts. Her husband is Adam Goucher, also a world-class runner. They are the "It" couple of that world.

They could - and maybe will - give the fading Beckhams a dash for the gold of media fame. They already have an online show "Keeping Up With the Gouchers."


Training Update: Sept. 23-30

Last week I ran 56 miles with two key workouts. Wednesday I did 12 miles on the metro park bike paths broken down into a 2 mile warm up, 2 miles @ half-marathon race effort; 60 seconds rest followed by 5 x 4:00 @ 8K/10K effort with 60 seconds between each rep and a 4 mile cool down. Those reps got to be pretty tough towards the end as some of the rolling hills in the metro park will get to you with such short rest breaks. Saturday I did 14 miles on dirt trails in Mastick Woods. I'm feeling very strong, but also pretty sore so I'll lower the volume and intensity a little this week and hopefully be sharp for my 10K race on Sunday.


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