Monday, February 25, 2008

Turn out the lights

Yep it's over. Yesterday Feb 24th was the final installment of the Footzone Winter Race Series. Thank you to all who came out and ran with us over what has been a pretty solid winter here in Bend. Yesterday's race was host to the best conditions we have had and some festive head wear sported by Billy Barnett. You could actually see the ground and there were only a few patches of ice.

Despite the favorable conditions there was some drama to be had during the race. Before the race the the men's overall series standings and race for shoes had Ryan Shaffer and Mike Olson separated by a mere two points. The women's race was in the bag for Jenny Sventek as long as she finished (enjoy the shoes Jenny). Ryan and Mike ran together with JJ Howard for the first two laps. They looked like they were running comfortably exchanging their favorite recipes and being way to sociable. Somewhere on the last lap Mike threw hammer down and put a gap on Ryan with JJ hanging tough just behind him. This meant that Mike had made up the two point deficit resulting in a tie. So both Ryan and Mike get a free pair of running shoes to see them through the rest of winter and into spring.

I hope everybody had fun staying or getting in shape at these races. I am allready planning the fall version with thoughts of cross country style runs through the woods and parks of Central Oregon.
Peace out,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Remodel is on!

The remodel got off to a strong start on Sunday night. All the FootZoners were here. We closed at 5pm and had it all cleared to showcase our soccer skills by 7pm. The floors will completed by Tuesday night and we'll gently start putting it back together on Wednesday. If all goes well, we'll be back selling goods on Friday. Change is good but always a little daunting. Gone is the John Hillmer mural that doned our back wall for eight years. I see John occasionally and he now lives in Mexico or Southern California or some such place. Anyway, a good guy and we loved having his work on our wall for all these years. I suppose it's still there but harder to see under those layers of plaster. Our cash counter is headed across town to a new business in the old all star gymnastics facility. We sold it on Craig's list and the woman who bought it has a boy in the same preschool class as my little boy. Small world or big world or something. cheers-Teague

Monday, February 11, 2008

Runner's Knee and Swimming

Felt like spring today, didn't it? I'll take that little taste, no matter how brief. I'm dealing with a bit of runner's knee and opted to take the past meltdown week off of running. Last year, Steve Leary gave me some excercises to regain some balance when I was dealing with the same thing. They worked then, and they're working now. If you haven't used the Tuesday night "ask the expert" series, I highly recommend it. It's the 1st thru 4th Tuesday's of the month and an amazing resource. The other thing Steve talked me into was to start swimming to encourage some rotation in my hips. Certainly, I'd been encouraged to swim before but Steve's argument was especially compelling and for whatever reason, it stuck. Now, a year later, I'm a very mediocre but pretty consistent twice a week swimmer. While heading to Juniper will never inspire me like a jaunt on the trails, swimming has won me over. In the simplest terms: it makes my body feel good and my running feel better. It sounds corny, but I even think my running is a little more fluid now. When I'm running more it helps with recovery and when I'm running less I can keep some fitness and sanity. I'm a firm believer that all activity is pretty good and love nordic skiing and biking and even play basketball in the winter (5'7" and not afraid to shoot). But for now, I'll say that swimming is the most directly complimentary activity that I have found for running. I remember when Priscilla Welch did a clinic at the FootZone a couple years ago and she talked about how she thought swimming can work like massage for runners. It doesn't feel that good, but it's worth checking out. Cheers-Teague

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Winter Race Series 3

First off let me just take a moment to say that everyone who ran todays Winter Race Series 10k is tougher than tough. Parts of the course where plowed but most was fresh snow over more snow. It was soft, deep, and uneven. Despite some really slow going 30 hearty folks managed to show up and as my friend Justin says, giver'. Speaking of putting down the hammer, check out the video of Andy Martin, Jeff Caba and Bill Barnett making it look way to easy. Keep in mind these guys are chatting at around 6:30 pace through the snow.

With Three races down for the series it looks like Jenny Sventek will take the win for the women while there is only two point separating Ryan Schaffer and Mike Olson. Tune in on the 24th to see how it plays out.

Peace out,


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Trail Shoes and Outdoor Retailer

I spent three days last week in Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Show. I still get a kick out of the few great products and the abundance of overdone marketing. Luckily, I've learned to avoid much of the latter and find myself walking the aisles, going to appointment after appointment, engaging with the people who love footwear and work to make it better. I also find myself in many conversations because we sell more trail running shoes than any running store in the Northwest. These can occasionally be awkward since the trail running "market" has little to do with what shoes work for real people. I'm primarily interested in what runners like to use on the trails thus I've frustrated many a product manager while I dismantle their shoes and tell them why I, in my humble opinion, don't think their trail running shoes are really running shoes. They don't always appreciate it but they ask and I figure I should be honest. Realistically, it doesn't matter because they'll still do tons of advertising, Outside magazine will write it up as the greatest gizmo ever, and they'll sell a bunch at REI.

So what was interesting at the show in the world of trail running shoes? I've already talked up the Brooks Cascadia in the newsletter and it continues to impress. Saucony has a shoe coming in June called the Xodus. The fit and ride initially feel great and should provide another neutral option for the dirt. The platform is broad without cutaways providing that grounded, stable platform that feels substantial while still lightweight and very runable.

Inov-8 is an appointment I always look forward to at the show. Wayne is the main guy and he is a shoe nut. He's every bit as into footwear as any shoe geek I've ever met yet he comes at it from an entirely different angle. His point of reference is the Euro fell runner and he creates the antithesis of the heavy, over-done trail running shoe. Inov-8 thrives in that minimalist, low to the ground, nimble footwear. I was skeptical at first but have proven to myself in the past couple years that I can run as comfortably and possibly less susceptible to injury in the Terroc 330 than any shoe I own. I wore it on several 3+ hour runs last summer and in the Cle Elum 50k on a fairly challenging course. Going forward, Inov-8 introduces shoes with more midsole and cushion underfoot but none of them have really impressed me, until now. The new Roclite 295 will be out in a couple months and boasts the great fit of the Terroc 330 with more cushioning and their Roclite tread pattern. I'll certainly have a pair and hope they can broaden the appeal of Inov-8. Those are the highlights. I hope everyone is enjoying another serious snow day. Off to the next round of shoveling. Cheers-Teague