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Cushioning from Cadence Insoles

“Those insoles that come with your running shoes only last so long – then you need to decide what to replace them with.”

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As a long time runner I am always keeping my eyes open for new and interesting products that will add to the running experience. I recently got shipped a pair of Cadence Insoles to test out. This is my runningdad review.

Insoles

ABOUT THE INSOLES

With 30-years of running experience, having used many insoles and orthotics over the years and having some time and experience in the Pedorthics world I figure I am not a bad person to review a running insole.

So lets talk about Cadence Insoles:

  • Durable-looking anti-microbial cloth top cover
  • Decently thick shock absorbing material under top cover
  • Semi-rigid plastic support underneath with moderate arch support

Look and feel comfortable standing on (on floor), no glue smell from fabrication and look like quality insoles with thicker cushioning than most and decent arch support. They are made in the US and were thought up and designed by a Physical therapist (John Hinds) who wanted something affordable that provided good cushioning and good support.

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WHAT I THOUGHT

Cadence claims that, “…when you experience Cadence® insoles you will discover that no other insole replacement or custom orthotic offers the combination of support, comfort, durability, and value than Cadence® insoles.” With my experience and knowledge I would debate their claim – only in that is a bit too broad.

I thought the Cadence Insoles for the price were some of the most durable and supportive (non-custom orthotics) insoles I have tried. The cushioning is nice and not too soft or hard. The top cover is comfortable. The heel cup is perfect and the raised arch area would provide support for someone who overpronates or who’s arch collapses a moderate amount.

The only real complaint I had after testing the insole is that because there is a solid amount of cushioning (more than some others) it can raise you up higher in your shoes (heel, arch and forefoot are) than the footbed that originally comes with your shoe – and depending on the volume of the shoe —can create rubbing/friction.

So a very well cushioned, supportive insole that could be all you need – but is not a custom-made orthotic. Everyone’s feet are different – find out what works for you.

If in the US I would recommend taking in your running shoes to a location that sells the insole and trying on before purchasing. (Find a retailer)

Cadence offers two insole options, one for $25 and one for $45 – very reasonable prices.

Find Cadence insoles on their website or on Twitter @CadenceInsoles

 

Running like life is an adventure friends – keep lacing up and exploring!

 

 

 

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Staying on your feet and training

“Staying injury free can be as important and your training plan.”

This is a short and simple product review for something I have used and loved for a number of years now and have become an ambassador for. When I was younger  – on icy winter days I had to hold my breath going across sheets of frozen road or asphalt and avoid any sudden movements – then start breathing again after I made across fall-free.

A few years back I came across, tested and loved a simple product that took the worry out of slippery footing runs and made winter training easier (especially here in Canada).

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Icespike

What are they? Icespike is a simple black sheet metal like screws (with deeper grooves) that can be screwed into running shoes or hiking boots to provide grip on slippery surfaces. There is a simple tool that can be purchased (screwdriver) that makes things easy. Plan out where you want the screws and screw in. The screws are just long enough to grip the outersole/midsole of a shoe but not be felt.

Leave them in and simply unscrew as they start to get worn and put in some new ones.

I have friends say they love them – others say they don’t need as have never fallen – I say ‘yet’! Rather feel confident and know I have something to stop me from falling other than hope.

Thoughts/advice

Great product, simple and in expensive (bag of screws = $20, $30 with screwdriver).

If you can screw into a secondary pair of running shoes you can pull out for slippery days. can also be used on trails during the non-snowy season for extra grip. The screws do not destroy the shoe but do leave small holes.

When you place the screws on shoes, try and avoid putting right under the ball of the foot or big toe. Oh and remember not to wear on hardwood floors!!

For me, the cost and benefit just make it worth trying these spikes out! They are less cumbersome and annoying than the contraptions you have to slip over your shoes and feel more natural when running.

*If in Ottawa (Canada) you can find Icespike at Sports4 downtown.

 

Find Icespike via their website, Twitter @Ice_spike or on Facebook.

Keep lacing up running friends!

Starting to take a bite out of things

                               Banana bread, chin-ups, love, 42k, running and a new path.

Brace yourself fellow running monkeys – its another installment of tales of a middle-aged runningdad. So its been a few weeks. The posts seem to be getting a bit more upbeat (bad for those hoping for more drama –sorry) and this is a continuation of that. I am starting to take a bite outta things.

Depression

I think I have finally crawled away from that black beast and now just deal with the occasional blues – and those gremlins I seem to be able to slay. I try and take at least 5-minutes a day to stop and rest my brain or meditate, I have been seeing a counselor (had to stop as funds have run out) and still get some help from my life coach (Jonathon Zinck).

I continue to focus on loving myself, learning more about myself (good and bad), practicing positive thought and getting out as often as I can with friends. I may not be able to improve on every weakness or fault I have but I want to work on my strengths and grow to be a more positive and happy person who does not continue to make the same mistakes.

I have three areas of focus – dad-life, love-life and career.

Advice for others:

  • No matter how crappy you feel, how much you hate talking or are embarrassed to talk to a counselor/psychologist – do it. Just hearing your own thoughts can help.
  • Keep a journal for your thoughts
  • Love Yourself (read this short book)
  • Stop and try meditating for at least 5-minutes a day (download something)
  • Remember thinking positive takes practice, catch yourself and try and look on positive side of things
  • Keep running – it helps clear the mind and keeps your body feeling good

This past Tuesday I ran 42-kilometers with a friend to mark our 42nd birthdays and to help raise money to fight cancer. Spending a few hours chatting and talking about life reminded me how much I want to stick around. Stick in there with me.

You are not alone.

Dadhood

As my mind has become healthier and I have had the time to work on myself – I have been able to shut down thoughts and enjoy the time I have with my daughter. She is also at a super cute age and I do not want to miss it. I know I am a bit selfish and love to run and may not be completely fulfilled by just being a parent – but I love my daughter and want to be the best dad I can be.

Advice for others:

  • Run when you can – as its a stress outlet and something you enjoy but shut off worries about your run or training when with your child (turn it off completely)
  • Realize we are all different and some more natural parents than others.
  • Be okay with the fact that not all aspects of being a parent are going to be fun for you (poop-filled diapers, tantrums, lack of sleep, 5-hours of Dora etc.).
  • Laugh, smile, have fun with your daughter and show her a happy, active parent – be a role model.
  • Slow down – try making banana bread with your daughter (gets those ole black things out of the freezer).

New path and jobs

Okay so relationships and career path in same paragraph? I can do what I want – my blog (evil laugh). After a lot of thought and reflection and help from others – I know I really like helping others and always have. I love running and promoting healthy, active living. So I am looking for a change of job at least in the short term to get a fresh start and then aim to move slowly towards something on the side, perhaps part-time, maybe even a full-time something where I combine a passion for running, helping people and promoting a healthy lifestyle. I have offered my services as a coach (they have not started pounding the door down yet) and hope to learn and prepare to be a life coach.

So relationships? Well its now over a year since I became separated and on my own. I wanted to spend some time getting to know me and to be okay on my own. I want to be mentally healthy, be okay with being a dad and find time to run.

But I am no hermit and know I would like someone in my life (not always my outlook at the start)(hermitage sounded fine for a while). I now have someone in my life who makes me smile, I love to see and talk with and adds something positive to a day and my life. I am not sure where it will go and am taking one step at a time. We are both on journeys, healing and are trying to be open and honest with each other – its nice.

Running

I am still lacing up and chasing after goals and times. I think the chase is often more important than catching the prey. I am working at getting stronger and continuing to challenge myself. I even have a chin-up bar in the apartment and have challenged myself to avoid the old-dad-arms!

Whether retirement, an end to running, or the grave – I intend to go kicking with a smile and most likely a pair of running shoes on!

 

Never give up friends and keep lacing up!

Light and Fast!

“Running at times can be hard enough a task – having a shoe that cushions my, feels good and I don’t have to think about is amazing.”

I am now four decades old – my brain, body and feet have changed over time. My feet went from weak and attached to a rapidly growing teenage body (requiring orthotics) to feet that got strong enough to wear any cushioned shoe without support. I still no longer orthotics but my feet have become cranky and less flexible than their younger counterparts.

My feet now dictate what shoe and what brand they like and it can change from day to day and from one workout to another. Sometimes tired, sometimes the first joint on my right foot is stiff, other days the toes on my left foot get sore. Old age is delightful lol!

This week I am reviewing some new shoes from HOKA ONE ONE. These shoes are not even available to buy yet – they are due out in spring 2018.

HOKA ONE ONE Mach

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Wearing the Mach for the 2017 Army Run in Ottawa
  • Weight: 8.20z/231g
  • Heel to toe drop: 5mm
  • Dual density midsole
  • Open-knit upper

Its a well-cushioned light weight trainer that has decent width in the toe box and decent depth. Shoe seems to fit true to size and is responsive enough for workouts.

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WHAT I THOUGHT

The shoe fits great with a snug but thin heel cup and moderate width forefoot. The upper is breathable and there is no pinching from the fabric upon flexing. the shoe slips on nicely and felt good for my foot right away.

The cushioning underfoot is not as beefy as the Clayton (my review) or Clifton but is not really meant to be. There is enough light cushion be feel protected. It provides a cushioned feel without being mushy soft or too hard. Meant to replace the Clayton (last year’s responsive lighter weight trainer for HOKA) – I found the Mach to be more responsive and you roll off the toe easier. The Mach feels less chunky than some of the normal HOKA trainers.

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High-fiving the Govenor General at the Army Run half-marathon in my HOKA ONE ONE Machs.

I took the shoe out for easy runs, fast-paced training runs and longer runningdad jaunts and loved it. I like shoes that are light but still cushioned. I can go fast in the Mach and can still slip on for a longer run and feel like I am still protected.

If you liked the Clayton – think you will like this better. If you have not tried a HOKA shoe and are looking for a cushioned light-weight trainer – try this one.

*I also noticed that HOKA now has some running apparel on their website – so if you like the shoes and want to show the brand on a shirt etc – check it out!

HOKA ONE ONE on:

Their website: https://www.hokaoneone.com/

Twitter: @HOKAONEONE

Instagram: @Hokaoneone

Lace up and get out there my running friends!

So far so good

“Heard that one about the guy falling from the 5-storey building? On the way down he kept yelling as he passed every window – so far, so good!”

Whether I am falling or flying – I am on my way to somewhere different. So far so good.

Yep – its time for another runningdad update from this skinny 42-year old runner. To boil things down for those who will not make it past this first paragraph: I think I have pulled the sharp, bloody claws of depression out. Not that I am completely sitting in the light of mental health, away from the shadow of depression, but I am definitely on the path to a happier and healthier me.

The Running Me

After blowing out a hamstring and glute after a stupendously fast training run, my race season and plans for a marathon came to a halt this year. I ran a 16:14 5k at 10pm one evening when I just needed to burn off some steam and just felt fast. But paid for it. Sometimes when you feel good – you just have to go.

So now I am healed up after some rest, rolling, stretching and easing back into things. I am aiming for some fun on the track this winter – where I will try and run a PB for the 1500m (the first real race distance I competed at).

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I may not reach my goal but will give me a project and something to chase after.

To kick off the season I will be running the Casselman Course de Noel (December 3rd) – where everyone is dressed as Santa. I am an ambassador and money raised goes to local hospital programs to help those battling mental health issues.

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I have made some other positive changes in my run life – I still write about running here but have also joined the team at iRun magazine. My first article came out in the last issue (page 12). I have also decided to help other runners and offer my services as a running coach and am trying to incorporate a need to help others and promote healthy, active living by aiming to be a life coach (on the side to start).

Rundad

The Mental Me

I have been working with a counselor and a life coach (Jonathon Zinck) to work on myself and work on a plan to a healthier and happier me. I have learned that I am still dealing with things from my childhood – where I sort of missed some social skills early on and suffered from bullying, standing out and often just doing things on my own. I have gained confidence over the years and grown but it still affects me. With awareness I am working to not let it negatively affect me and to work through feelings of poor self-image, anxiety and not being good enough.

When alone in  my apartment – this is now when depression may be at bay but loneliness still lurks. I do not have family I can visit and no friends I can easily visit. It can be quiet. I am not looking forward to Christmas where due to just the way things are I cannot travel home to family, my daughter will be with her mother and friends have their own family. I am working on a positive plan of attack to get through the season.

I am working to think more positively each day. I get out for runs and meditate almost daily. I have come from a -10 situation where I nearly took my life to a +7 with a lot of hard work.

I will not give in.

Runningdad Me

Being a dad to a 2-year old with character and a lot of imagination is still tough but I am adjusting more and more each day. I find the days long on weekends with my daughter where it is non-stop daughter time and no contact with anyone who speaks adult-language. But it can be fun at times. I realize I may not be the best dad, but I will do my best and I love my daughter.

Running, focusing on the positive and trying to relieve some stress in many places and making some changes are helping.

Run on my friends – take care of the physical and mental you and go kick ass!

No frills running?

“Running is simple, but having the right gear can make it much more comfortable and easy to do.”
I recently stumbled across a Canadian runner (and fellow runningdad) on social media who has started an online running store. Just another online shop? No this runner is selling gear not so much to make money but to help those who find it tough to find affordable run gear.
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Things have changed quite a bit since when I started running back in the 80s. I had running shoes my parents bought me – but other than that it was whatever I could find to run in – jogging pants, wind breaker etc. Things have changed. There are now so many brands and options – but many can be expensive.
Meet the man behind an online shop called Run Healthy.
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The affordable online shop
The online running store has mens and womens gear along with some accessories. The prices are very reasonable, especially when you take into account that there is free shipping to the US, UK, Australia and Canada (Prices in Cdn dollars). There are not hundreds of options but you can everything you need to run from socks, tights, tops and jackets.
What the owner and creator of RunHealthy had to say.
“I grew up in South Africa. Huge running culture with Comrades (ultramarathon) and two oceans ( have you run either ) every weekend there at least 2 major races within driving distance. Have noticed a big increase in running culture in Canada in the last 19 years I have had the privilege of living here but prices for new runners are so expensive at retail stores.”
“I am trying to make running more affordable for the everyday runner. Sort of no frills of running.”
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What I thought
I like this initiative and that it is from another Canadian runningdad. The prices seem very reasonable and love the free shipping. This seems like something I would do. I have an online shop myself with mugs etc. that I sell at basically the lowest price the cafepress shop allows me. If you are on a budget and still need to lace up and get out there – check this out!
To get an even better deal use my discount code RUNNINGDAD10 at checkout for 10% off!
I am hoping to update this blog piece with a review of a few items from the online store soon.

 

Run Healthy Store website
Twitter: @RunHealthycan
RunHealthy blog with tips and blog posts
Keep lacing up and getting out there running friends!

Your Brain – Mental Health and Balance

This is a talk I to Grade 10 and 11 students given on October 18, 2017.

This was a talk about mental health, balance and how to achieve your best. I am not an expert but have studied Psychology and Neuroscience. I have run for 30-years, have run marathons and ultramarathons. I was passing along advice, tips and my personal experiences to help students relax and be at their best.

“To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.” – Confucius (Confucius was a Chinese teacher and philosopher)

What the talk is about

I was once a high school student and was in the military – so very familiar with attending events and doing things I have been ordered to. You are here I believe because you have to be, some may be interested – others maybe not. That’s ok.

Take away from this what you want. If I reach only one person today – help them, thats worth it to me.

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I want to give you information and tips on how to be more balanced, mentally healthy and set yourself up to be your best in school, sport or whatever you want to do. To achieve your best, you have to be at your best.

There are shows about tweeking and playing around with cars to get them to go faster, perform better. There are videos and TV shows about how to get fitter, leaner, a 6-pack – others about how to renovate homes.

We will spend hours researching something we have a passion for – what are hidden secrets for a new online/video game, spend hours watching youtube videos – maybe even studying something for an exam or test.

BUT – we seldom really talk or focus on tweeking, or taking care of that thing that controls every aspect of our lives – our brain. This will be part of what I talk about.

Brain

The Brain

“We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.”Stephen Hawking

Like the internet and many programs now – we have an ability to adapt.
The brain adapts to three basic types of change. Essentially, it: (I) strengthens current behaviors; (II) expands or modifies existing behavior patterns; and (III) accommodates completely new behaviors.

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We want to take this plasticity, this ability for the brain to adapt – to strengthen good thought processes, teach it new ways to work and reinforce them – and give them good input to help us.

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Balance

Life can be like driving a car if you can imagine this. You all have brand new models with the most up to date gadgets and Bluetooth gadgets and air conditioning. I have the 1990s model with a cassette deck and roll-down windows.

You are all learning to drive and everything is new. I have been driving for a while and have some more experience. My car needs more maintenance but still gets me from A to B.

So whats the balance part?

You can drive your car fast, you can push it to see how well it will perform, but you also need to do maintenance, let it rest and fuel it up to keep going and performing well.

Another example is for athletes. You cannot continually push your body as hard as it can go every day to be at your best for a competition or to peak for a race. Great athletes know that the body needs time to rest, that recovering and down time as important as pushing boundaries, sweating and building muscle.

Sometimes at the start line of a race, with two athletes who may equally, trained, equally fit – the one who is mentally prepared, more relaxed and has a clear mind will cross the finish line first.

Video of Usain Bolt running 

(Watch how relaxed, how positive and confident he appears before he starts.)

In 2015 I turned 40-years old—yes ancient compared to you guys. I wanted to mark the milestone with something. I like to run, I like challenges. I decided to run from Kingston to Ottawa during my birthday weekend. 258-kilometres in 2.5 days.

I ran with a friend and we covered 100km each day. The physical feat was one thing but you quickly find that it is your mind that drives you along. Without being in the right frame of mind, relaxed and having help I would never have made it to the end.

A video about balance in life (5:56)

 

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Experiencing life

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”Einstein

The talk of crazy running adventures brings me to the point of experiencing life. My point here is that studying and learning will get you good marks and probably into university or further learning –but it is your experiences;

What you see

Who you meet

Life itself that will give you ideas, take you beyond those words in books or online.

Sometimes stepping out of yourself comfort zone is a way to learn about yourself.

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A run across the Grand Canyon, going to a new city, having fun with friends, dong something new – experiencing life can be as important as good marks.

A video (The Rock – depression, learning from life experiences and thinking positive)

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.”Hillary Clinton

 

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Mental health

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”Michelle Obama

I am not a doctor or psychologist but have studied psychology and how the brain works. I have also battled depression and like many people been in stressful situations that made me anxious and were not a lot of fun.

I made it through military basic training where they yell and push all your buttons when you are already struggling with new tasks in a new environment.

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I have gone through air traffic control training where I was pushed to learn more and more every day – where I had to memorize what to say to live aircraft – know every word, where the commas were – and know it could mean life or death in real life.

I learned to relax at the end of a day, that I could only study for so long and that getting sleep was important as cramming. I learned that I could only control so much and worrying did not help me.

  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Many of us deal with a variety of these – our brain gets stressed out and sometimes it gets into a habit of thinking, it gets caught in a loop.

If something is affecting your life, your school work or worries you – that’s important.
This is where you need to stop and talk with someone you can turn to – parents, teachers, and counselors.

Your brain is not a magical thing – it is a big mass of neurons and mushy stuff in your head. Its affected by your mood, things around you and your physical health.

 

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Recognition

“Knowing yourself is one the greatest skills you can attain.” – Noel Paine

This is not as simple as it sounds.

  • But get to know yourself.
  • We usually listen when our body says it is hungry
  • We usually get sleep when we are tired
  • We will ask our parents for money when we want something

BUT – most of us have a hard time knowing when to take it easy on our brains. Realize that like our bodies, our brains work better when they get breaks and are rested.

 

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Performance

Stress and not being relaxed and rested for any event in your life affects your performance.

How to tweek the engine inside your skull?

This is where knowing your brain is part of your body is important – it needs rest too

This is where remembering to keep things balanced comes into play

This is where allowing your brain to experience new things can spark new thoughts and ideas

  • This is where making sure your brain/engine is running properly
  • This is where knowing when to ask for help – comes into play
  • Do these things to have that brain that is ready to go for anything you throw at it.

 

So what do I do?

Remember:

  • Keep Balance in your life
  • Remember mental health is as important and physical health
  • Recognize when you don’t feel well or stressed out
  • Know that you need to be ready mentally and physically to be your best
  • Never hesitate to ask for help

Things you can do:

Plan ahead and prepare to avoid getting into situations where you have to cram or are pressed for time

Avoid worry – its normal but you have two choices, do something about the worry or realize you cannot control everything

  • Find a way to relax or give your brain a break
  • Go for a walk
  • Go for a run
  • Make sure its gets sleep
  • Laugh and smile – it helps
  • Think positive

Doesn’t sound hard? In a sense it is not. But when we get stressed or find ourselves panicking we revert to what we usually do – the pattern we have created in our brain – the DEFAULT behavior.

Create a healthy, helpful brain pattern, and treat your brain well to perform at your best.
SOME REFERENCES AND RESOURCES

Research article PA: Simple psychological interventions can reduce stress and improve academic performance: http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2011/09/academic-stress.aspx

Brain plasticity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

3 Types of Change Your Brain Adapts: Reinforcing Behaviors: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationships/2011/08/three-ways-your-brain-adapts-to-change-1-of-3/

10 Relaxation techniques: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot#3

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

The Mental Health Helpline (Ontario) 1-866-531-2600

Teen Health and Wellness telephone hotlines

 

 

Running to fight a rare disease

“The human mind can drive the body to amazing places and feats of running.”

The big goal? Dave plans to break a long-standing Canadian record by taking only 66-days to run across Canada (7200km) in 2018. Holy crap? Yep.

In the meantime Dave is building his body and mind up to withstand the mental and physical strain that such a monstrous task will require. In early September Dave ran to get to the Lost Souls 100Miler…a mild 170km warmup for the race the following day (which he won in course record time). Bonkers. Read his blog for all the details.

This weekend, Dave is running over 100km to a 50k ultramarathon (Grizzly 50k).  Madness – and I like it!

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So who is this Dave and what is this all about?

His name is Dave Proctor and he lives in Okotoks Alberta just 15 minutes south of Calgary. He is married and has 3 children Julia 11, Sam 8, and Adele 6. Sam, Dave’s 8-year old was diagnosed with a rare disease called RECA. Dave is also an amazing runner. This is where running and doing good on foot come together.

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With a son battling a rare disease – Dave came into contact with the Rare Disease Foundation and Dave planned up a way to raise money and awareness to not only help his son but others who suffer or who friends and family who have rare diseases. Dave thinks big. Like mentioned at the start of the blog – Dave plans to set a record for a run across Canada. The record belongs to Arthur “Al” Howie (September 16, 1945 – June 21, 2016) who won more than fifty marathons, ultramarathons, and multiday races in over  including the 1991 Trans Canada Highway run (7295 kilometers) in the record time of 72 days and 10 hours. A brass plaque on Victoria’s Mile Zero marker commemorates this athletic event for which he raised $750,000 for a fund for children with special needs.

Dave’s running records

He is the Canadian 24 hour record holder (257.093kms), the former Guinness world record holder for furthest distance run on a treadmill in 24 hours (260.4kms), holds course records at Sinister 7 and Lost Soul 100mile and has won the Confederation 150km race this year in Calgary (12hrs18min).

Personal Bests
24 hour:257.093kms
100 mile 13hrs 40min
150km 12hr18min
100km 7hr37min

I will be following Dave’s progress and race over the weekend (when my 2-year old permits) and hope to do a Q&A with Dave after his race.

Post race question and answer session:

Dave

How did lining up to the Grizzly 50k after your 90k warmup run feel on the weekend?
How did the race go?

“Racing yesterday was tougher then expected. Saturdays run was 90kms of stiff headwind. My core and hip flexors were very angry Saturday night but mentally was the largest challenge.”

“I knew from the start the race wasn’t gonna be a banner result. My core was still shaken from the day prior. The first half was reasonable, mostly catching up with friends but when the trails got more technical in the back half the wheels started falling of starting in my hip flexors. I have to admit I was pretty happy when the race ended. I finished in 4hrs39min in 8th place.”

How do you prepare yourself mentally for so many miles in only a couple days?

“Mentally I remind myself that I am more then capable of this task. I also continue telling myself that if my son Sam could run like his father can he would never stop. I stop cuz I’m tired. That’s just unacceptable.”

What does your training and racing look like as you prepare for your cross Canada run in 2018?

“My next challenge and training opportunity is at the Across The Years 6 day race in AZ in late December. I plan on running 22 hours a day for6 days straight around a one mile loop. I’m hoping to break the Canadian 6 day record of 850kms. I hope to flirt with 1000!”

What do you hope to accomplish with teaming up with the Rare Disease Foundation and what does it mean for you?

“RDF hits very close to home as my son Sam has a Rare Disease called RECA. This is an Ataxia disorder waking gross and fine motor skills challenging. It took a long six years to receive a diagnosis. This is because Rare Disease, even though it affects 1/12 Canadians remains significantly underfunded and under researched. I aim to shine a light on the needs the Rare Disease community share.”

Keep running Dave and many of us will be following your adventures.

Find Dave on his blog or on Twitter at @runproctor

Connect with the Rare Disease Foundation on their site or on Twitter @xcanada4rare

Run on my friends and go Dave!

Never too old to try a new shoe

“The foot is the most complex bony structure in the body – worth trying shoes to find one that works best for you.”

I have been running for pretty darn close now to 30 years (starting when I was 12). Over the years I have run in almost every brand of shoe. My feet have changed over the years. At one point (for a number of years) I wore orthotics and the way a shoe felt and fit was completely different to now (do not wear orthotics). Plus my almost 42-year old feet seem to have gotten a little cranky over the years!

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Brooks

Seeing a speedy running friend of mine wearing Brooks (David Freake) I realized I had not worn or tried anything from that brand in a LONG time. I reached out and Brooks Canada was gracious enough to send me out their Brooks Glycerin and Brooks Hyperion to try out and review.

Brooks Sports, Inc. was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1914 by Morris Goldenberg. The name Brooks was selected by Morris Goldenberg as an Anglicized substitute for his wife’s maiden name of Bruchs, which in turn comes from the Hebrew word baruch (ברוך) meaning ‘blessed’.

Brooks originally produced bathing shoes in 1917 before moving into sports in the 1930s. Brooks now makes a wide selection of running shoes and when I worked in the running shoe biz at Aerobics First in Halifax (Nova Scotia) – the Brooks Beast was the toughest, badass motion-control shoe we sold.

So back to the review.

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Brooks Glycerin

So this is the blue Brooks shoe I have on in the photos. The Glycerin is a solid, well-cushioned, neutral running shoe. The cushioning is soft but not marshmallowy and really protects you from the road. The shoe fits true to size, medium width and has a responsive feel for such a cushioned shoe. Usually wearing slightly lighter shoes I was expecting it to feel sluggish but felt great. The heel cup collar has a thick cushioned rim that keeps the heel locked in and the upper is breathable with no creases or points that rubbed my foot. The only real beef I had with the shoe was its over-abundance of shoelace – have to double knot most times to avoid stepping on.

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I wore this shoe for a few quick runs, some daddy and daughter stroller runs and some easy runs. Liked this shoe. Solid and dependable cushioned trainer.

Here are the specs from the Brooks website:

MIDSOLE DROP         10mm
WEIGHT                      10.6oz / 300.5g
ARCH                           Medium, High
Updates from previous model
-Lighter weight
-Improved flexibility
-Softer feel with updated midsole design
-New plush transition zone for a smoother ride
-Improved fit from next-generation 3D Stretch Print saddle

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Brooks Hyperion

This is truly a racing shoe. To me this feels like a slimmed down NB 1400. The New Balance racing flat I can wear as a training shoe for fast runs and some even longer runs. The Brooks Hyperion feels more race than run for me. The upper is super light and thin, the midsole feels cushioned but with just enough to get through a race or really fast short run. It has a medium to narrow fit, comfortable upper, thin heel cup and really light super responsive – almost barefoot feel.

Specs:

MIDSOLE DROP           10mm
WEIGHT                        6.4oz / 181.4g
ARCH                             Medium, High

I liked this shoe and will have on for races or very fast training runs – but may not be suited for everyone. If you are a bigger runner or used to some substantial cushion in your race shoe – this is not it. If you are looking for an uber-light, just enough, go-like-hell shoe. this is it.

So in the end, impressed by both Brooks shoes and recommend others to see what they have. Life is short and there are lots of running shoes out there to try!

Live long and run hard friends!

 

A view from a running dad retreat

“The inner journey we all go on throughout life is often one unseen by others and tougher than any marathon.”

This is a quick snapshot of a running dad retreat I recently organized for myself. A vision quest, a self-discovery session and a chance to help me gather some thoughts on where I intend to go.

I am hoping those struggling with issues in their life, whether a lack of direction, depression, a mid-life crisis or simply want to stop and look within – can see what I did.

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The plan

I have taken time form work to battle my depression, to get over almost ending my life and to focus on getting my shit sorted out. I have talked with a counselor and have a life coach who is also supporting my journey (Jonathon Zinck).

I am trying to do everything on a timeline and its tough. The pressure and stress to get better sometimes makes it even harder to get better. My counselor suggested going to a retreat or something to kick-start things. Then he went on vacation. Great.

Not having a budget or ability to go off to Nepal and meditate for a week – I looked at other options nearby or within decent travel distance. Everything seemed too expensive, too far away, not anytime soon or was simply aimed at relaxation and yoga/meditation. I wanted more and more aimed at my needs. I decided to organize my own. After research, talking with others and thinking I realized it was not about where but what I did.

The retreat

I wanted a weekend (with daddy duties this was about as long as I could get away) to push myself to look inward, ask myself questions, meditate in a quiet environment and – look for some information to start a plan for way I need to go. Where I need to go in life, to be happy and get mentally healthy.

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Amazing almost hobbit like chalet near the water.

I started researching, talking with my life coach and others and set to thinking outside the box. I started my weekend schedule and then found somewhere that looked perfect just outside Ottawa (Chalet Mystique). I wanted somewhere simple, quiet and next to the water. I wanted to unplug and be able to concentrate on me without distraction.

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Quiet few minutes of meditation on the first day.

I had a journal and pen, running gear and some food. The first day was about loving myself (inspired by book given to me by Chi Running guru and friend Eric Collard) (Love yourself – your life depends on it), being grateful and just relaxing and letting loose a bit. It also started with a jump in the cold September waters of the lake.

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Fire by the water to reflect on a busy day.

The second day was a 3-hour guided meditation session (meditation teacher from the Ottawa Shambhala centre), a quiet walk, a life-coach session with vision quest questions, journal writing and a massage by my spiritual massage therapist Danny Rugenius. It was then supper, quiet and reflection in front of a small fire by the lake.

If interested this is Vision Quest schedule I had for myself.

It turned out to be perfect fall weather and Caroline Elson (the meditation teacher)-who I had never met, was amazing, a friend joined me for part of the day (also needing some soul-searching time and to relax), Danny gave a massage and provided his usual intuitive advice (big hug Danny).

I do not now have the answers. I am however even more calm, relaxed and armed with insight into what makes me happy, what I want and where I think I need to go. Now its time to put together a plan – one that I hope will include helping others and maybe organizing a few retreats for others.

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Marshmallows were only to help in reflecting upon the weekend – and were yummy on cold evening.

*If you are in the Ottawa/Gatineau area or willing to travel here – and would like to experience what I did – give me a shout – thinking of putting on a small retreat for runners who need to take a moment to listen to themselves.

Keep lacing up running friends. Keep the body and mind loose and run hard.