Meeting another running writer

“Movies are great but nothing will replace the written word – that allows your mind to add colour and character to the story.”

Recently while at a local running shop (Sports4 – College Square location) – I came across a book written by a local runner – about running. I was automatically interested to check it out and find out more about the author. Like some sort of weird bloodhound on the scent of another running writer!


The book

Unspoken, Or the Unrefined Art of Communicating at the Top of Your Lungs and Through the Bottom of Your Feet
By Larry McCloskey
176 Pages • ISBN: 978-0995336008 – by Dog-Eared Books

Available on Amazon in Kindle or paperback

The novel is written by fellow running dad and Ottawa native Larry McCloskey. The book was printed by the independent publisher, Dog-Eared Books, which McCloskey co-founded.

The book is about a dad, his daughter, running, romance and life (which is always changing and challenging us). I am not a fan of the long version of the title but like ‘Unspoken’. The two main characters are a talented local single running dad who excels at racing but not so much in communicating, and his daughter who loves her dad but is dealing with a complex world around her. I sense that there is a lot of Larry and his experiences in this book. I won’t give away too much of the story for that is for you (the reader of this review) to go find out.

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The writer and runner

So I sniffed out the author of the book (Larry) and we coordinated a meeting to talk about him, his running and his writing. I liked the idea of meeting someone else who shared the same passions – and he was also a running dad too!

We met in Larry’s corner office (with a great view) at Carleton university and I automatically knew I had met another real runner and writer – who’s passion for both equaled my own – different but very similar. Oh and he was wearing a shirt! Larry swears he does occasionally wear a shirt while running but said (while laughing) that the ones he found – well he is shirtless. The photos of him in his youth and in his 60s both show a very fit individual).


Writer: Coming from an Irish family, with an English Lit degree – Larry works as Director of the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities. His writing like my own is something he does on the side. He has written a few other books (all for children/youth) including, The Dog Who Cried Snake and Tom Thomson’s Last Paddle – but this is his first where running is the main topic.

Runner: Lacing up for the first time to get fit and stop smoking Larry found a love and not just something to do. Larry was more than a ‘jogger’ as well. Running turned to racing and in the 1980s, training hard but not the 100-mile weeks that were popular at the time (for almost everyone) – Larry got fast! At the famous Around The Bay race (30K) (oldest race in North America) he was 2nd in 1986 (1:40.17) and in 1988 was 3rd (1:40.13). he however was not a youngster and started running a bit later than most – in his 40s he was still running hard and fast. In his 40s Larry blistered a 1:07 half-marathon at the World Masters World marathon championships (a time/performance he was actually disappointed with).

  • Half marathon: 1:07
  • 10K: 30:20

We chatted about writing, running, being dads and liking to help people. I liked Larry – we grabbed a sandwich and then parted ways. I had a book to read.

Book review (my thoughts)

Larry and I share many things in common (running, writing, dads, like helping) and I can almost see myself writing a book similar to this. I liked it because of who I am and because I can relate. I think a young reader who has a dad who runs will really relate to this – and kids who grow up in single parent families and deal with the complexities of life in general – will get this book. It is about running but not at the same time.

This is a book written with heart and experience and worth a read. Run and write on Larry!

“Life like running is something that must be done one step at a time, it has ups and downs, curves and often unexpected challenges – each of us have a different journey/race to run.”


Larry still runs, but now more to stay in shape and lives in Ottawa with his wife and three daughters.

Connect with Larry on his website and find his book online.


Think I know where I am – direction

“Life should have a road map but unfortunately it does not – so we all look for our own direction.” – Running dad.

Holy smothered dairy cows, its another bleeding update from the skinny runningdad?! Yep – sharing whether you want it or not. Strap in for the ride or avert your eyes and carry on.

Hope this helps anyone struggling with life, depression or just direction in this cavernous existence – if I even reach one person its worth it.

Depression or not

I cannot even qualify to be part of a study on depression! I have escaped the jaws of the beast of negative thought and at best have a mild mood disorder and annoying remnants of depressive moments. Its a good thing. I have used all the resources I could find and had access to – to get here (EAP, counselor, life coach, meditation, journal, running, blogging and research etc.). It has been hard and still is but I feel I am on the road out to somewhere positive.

It is still a bit of struggle to always be positive (who can do that?) but I try and look at getting to know myself better, learn from my past and become a stronger, more self-confident, more positive person.


Very soon I will officially be divorced and its an odd feeling and where I am now in my life I would never have imagined — its weird, but it is what it is. I am alone with my daughter every second weekend and on a search for a more fulfilling job and a way to incorporate my passion for healthy, active living and a need to help people into my life.

Have I found my direction? – no not completely but I think I know where I am and need to go. I will be focusing on three areas of my life and looking to take small steps towards these goals.

  • BEING HAPPY – we all create our our world by how we think and the decisions we make. I am hoping to look inward and focus on being positive and move towards a more positive me – I think this will help my other two goals. Life is short and I hope to try and explore as much of it as I can while being a good dad and role model for my daughter.
    • Why a black coat when I can wear a fun, cool orange one
    • Why just another marathon in some city when I can run up mountains, explore new countries or push myself?
    • Why not try something, why not have fun, why not try?
  • RELATIONSHIP HAPPINESS – I believe being positive and making good choices will attract similar people in my life and perhaps will lead to finding someone to share my life with. I want to learn from my past and move forward. I want to be honest and open. I believe in not trying too hard, am a bit of a romantic and believe real love only comes along so often. I want to be strong alone but life is hard alone and would like someone in my life.
    • I fell in love last year unexpectedly but life can be complicated and I may be in the worst love story ever (throwing shoe at TV worthy). Will it work out? I don’t know – but few things in life are certain. I remain positive, I run, I hope, I move forward.
  • JOB HAPPIENESS – this one is as tough as the other ones. I could not go back to my old job and needed a change and a fresh start. I needed to explore trying to combine passion and skill-set – to see if I could help people and maybe make a living from it. I think I would be sad later if life to think I had never tried.

Had enough? Head on table, sleeping in a pool of your own drool? I understand. A few more words and I will let you go.

If anyone out there wants to share or reach out please do so – love to hear from you!


Keep lacing up friends and see you out there – with a smile!

Carrying just what you need!

“Running gear designed by runners and with thought makes all the difference.”

Yep – its another gear review and this time a cool piece of kit from Orange Mud. What is Orange Mud? Its a company that I stumbled a cross a few years ago that makes some really unique and well thought out gear from runners and trail runners.

I have and use their 1 and 2-bottle Hydra quiver vest, their gear quiver (love) and was shipped out their new Phone, Flask vest to try and review.

HydraQuiver_VP1_-_Gray_-Back_Angle_3 gear_quiver_black_back_1697bf6d-3f7b-47e3-af89-bd19c69cb685

The Phone, Flask Vest

So this is a vest you slip over your head, pull a strap under your arm and clip on. It holds a cell phone, has a small collapsible flask for fuel w whatever you want to drink on the run, two small shoulder pockets for gels or chews etc. and one extra pocket for maybe keys or a bank card. And this is just in front. On the back is another pocket big enough for a bag of chews or a wallet – and this has a drawstring system over it where you could strap on a jacket or small piece of gear. Wow eh?!


It fits snug and does not move during a run. I tested out on small runs on trail and road and also did some snowshoe running with.


What I thought

For $100 this is a super well-though out piece of kit. It was comfortable, maybe a bit tough to figure out how to get on at first but super cool. It has enough pockets and fuel on board for a short to medium run and you can bring along your phone for safety or selfies! Its perfect for trail running or some urban adventures and as long as you find a way to insulate your phone in winter (wrap in piece of emergency blanket) it works in winter.

As a thin, male runner I do not think about breast issues and did have one female social media follower ask about fit and how it goes across the chest. There are a few images of female runners on the Orange mud website and it seems to fit ok.

So big thumbs up from me – and if this does not meet your needs – you should really go and check out what else they have cooked up for runners.

Find Orange Mud on Twitter @OrangeMud and now some of their gear is on Amazon!


Keep lacing up my friends! Find me on Twitter at @NoelPaine


Stumbling along but not falling

“Life is like a marathon, sometimes its not as planned but you grit your teeth, keep the end goal in mind, try and stay positive and keep moving forward.” – Noel Paine

Its 2018 and has been a while since this skinny ole runningdad has provided an update – to those who read this. For those who have just stumbled across this – its a short – almost journal like entry from a single running dad, runner, lost soul and depression warrior – sharing his travels in life. My writing is for myself but also to share with others – to help, to show you are not alone – who knows.

Runningdad progress

Slowly realizing that although I may relax more and enjoy more my time with my daughter (whom I love) – that I may not enjoy being a dad as much as others. I am ok with that. I had a conversation with a friend recently and he seem perplexed that being a dad was not completely fulfilling. Made me feel like shit and guilty. But I am only who I am. I intend to try and be a good dad and love my daughter – and this journey is not over.

So 2017 was a hard year for me as a dad and have adjusted to being alone – seeing my daughter every other weekend – but it has gotten better. 2018 is here, I will soon be officially divorced and lucky that my daughter’s mother is a good person and we work together and get along despite our relationship ending. Our goal is to show our daughter she is loved.

I am not a perfect dad, nor will probably ever be but plan to be an active, quirky role model for my daughter and be there for her.

Finding happiness

This one is a hard one – for happiness is not a pill or something you are prescribed. It seems to be something you create for yourself and something hard to define. I am working towards finding a way to incorporate my need to help people, a desire to promote healthy, active living and passion for running more into something I do for work. I want to feel more fulfilled with what I do to earn a living. Right now just paying bills – and working as a shoe geek at a running store (fun but pays shite lol) to just get out of the house, make some grocery money and talk to people – while I look for work.

I continue to try and meditate and write in my journal and here – and talk with a psychologist to try and get to know myself better. I have discovered I am someone who wants recognition, often feel I have something to prove, love helping people and have a desire to be loved. I am a bit of a loner and need to make an effort to connect more with real people – I can get lonely despite being busy and having many social media friends.

The end of 2017 was tough as spend Christmas and New Years alone but made an effort to make them positive and get through. I made myself a real Christmas dinner and went for a snow shoe midnight adventure to cross from 2017 to 2018 on foot. Life is what you make it right?

I have recently had some fun creating running logos, caricatures for a few other runners – this makes me happy too.

I am trying to think positive, realize I will not solve everything in a day and continue to run and do positive things – use all my tools to stay away from grip of depression and on the path to a healthy, happy me.

And love life – is that the right word – well thats the paragraph below.

Heart pounding

So I fell for someone – our hearts do not always choose wisely and you often have no control. It was nice to have someone in my life to chat with, to see and who was interested in me. It put a positive spark in the tail end of 2017.

Alarm bells rang for a number of reasons but I continued on, blinded by what many of us experience. I had been scared to open up, to make myself vulnerable again but figured it was better to feel something, to risk than not take a chance. The other person was struggling, I tried to help and be there – but this was their battle. Things did not end as I would have hoped but life is unpredictable. There were some amazing moments and I am happy I met the person – the door is not completely closed but the ball is in their court.

I realize how much I felt for them because of the tremendous struggle I have to let them go – despite knowing it is the right decision.

In the end, I do not need someone – but would like someone in my life. Someone who is positive, or wants to be, may have their own battles but wants to get better and who can return my love openly.


I continue to lace up and try and unwind a hamstring that now seems permanently tight after almost peeling it form the bone with a late 2017 5k training run PB (16:14). Running or strapping on the snowshoes really helps clear my mind and make me feel better about myself. It is not a cure but I think will always be part of my life. I am currently thinking up plans for the 2018 year – races and adventures — but also remembering to be flexible and have fun.

Ok enough out of me – have a good one!

Keep lacing up friends, keep climbing out of bed and see you out on the roads!




Run Therapy?

“Running has always been therapy for me – it just took me years to realize it.” – Noel Paine
In my travels on social media I am always bumping into other runners and finding great stories to share – often too many for me to tackle. Here is one about a Canadian runner, psychologist and someone who has combined normal talk therapy with lacing up the shoes for a run or walk.

Using running as part of therapy

Meet Kristy McConnel. She is the founder of Off the Beaten Path.  She is a registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists helps those dealing with mental health issues in Calgary and Airdrie, Alberta (Canada). She is also a runner and mom.

Off the Beaten Path introduces unique mental health treatment methods that utilizes movement by walking or running together during the therapy session. I have always found there is a link between body and mind and running has helped this runningdad dig himself out of depression – so I was interested to talk to Kristy.


I asked Kristy about herself and her unique way of helping people.

“I started my career as a special education teacher a long time ago. I loved working with the tough kids, but sometimes I didn’t feel prepared to work with the grief that many of my parents experienced on a regular basis. I went on to earn my Masters of Counselling Psychology. Currently I am a psychologist who is interested in using movement through running and walking as a catalyst for the work that we do within the therapeutic relationship.”

I then asked Kristy about her running.

“I remember going for runs with my Dad as early as grade 3. Eventually, he would ride his bike beside me and challenge me to sprint to the next light post. I never really liked that. I’m definitely built for long runs, not sprinting. I joke on my website that the only top finish I have in the record books is once in grade 7 on the beep test. It’s true. I’ll never forget that. Kicked the soccer player’s arses. There have been times that I’ve stepped away from running, but I’ve always come back to it. In high-school I used to run the same 5km loop after school a few times a week to cope with… well… being in high-school.

After having my third child, I started doing half marathons. Running was something that felt like it was just for me, while at the same time carrying the added benefit of helping me be a better wife, mother, friend, and psychologist. Soon enough, I was itching to do a full marathon, but knew that I’d need training. About 5 years ago, I was at a week-long professional development conference on trauma and addiction. Every morning they had facilitated runs with a running coach.

That’s where I met Charles Miron of Solo Sports Systems. That August, with his help, I completed my first full marathon: the Edmonton Marathon. I’ve since completed 2 more and intend to do my 4th this May at the Blue Nose Marathon in Nova Scotia (my great-great-great uncle was George Rhuland who built the first Bluenose). Personal best marathon- Vancouver 2016- 4:15. PB half marathon- Okanagan half marathon 1:53. Charles is still my coach and won the Fire and Ice 250km Ultra Marathon in Iceland last year, so in my mind, he’s kind of a big deal.


Then I asked Kristy about her unique approach to helping those with mental health by incorporating running and walking into your therapy.

“So often we hear about the positive benefits of exercise on our mental health. In fact, doctors have started to prescribe physical activity on their scripts. If you’ve been anxious or depressed, you know that sometimes writing it down on a piece of paper isn’t enough. I’ve often joked with my running coach that I wish my employee benefits would allow me to claim his support, because after all, I feel good during and after running. That’s sort of the genesis of where Off the Beaten Path came from. I then started to research whether or not anyone else out there was doing it. Sure enough, I found a few: Run Walk Talk in California and Dynamic Running Therapy Britain. I connected with Sepideh of Run Walk Talk, and continue to consult with her today. Although California’s climate is much more conducive to running therapy, I knew that Calgarians would be up for it despite our climate.

Seeking help for anxiety, depression, relationship issues, can be hugely intimidating. Sometimes, sitting across from someone in a stuffy office is just too much. Walking or running alongside someone is far less abrasive. There is less pressure. In running, we can be mindful. Mindful of the mind-body connection and how the two works together. Then we can also be curious about how the mind and body work together in other settings: with our partners, kids, and colleagues. If the client comes out running at a full Greyhound speed, what does that say about their tendencies in life? Do they give too much of themselves too quickly? Are they quick to dismiss the cues their body is signaling because they don’t want to disappoint? Running therapy is about getting off of the proverbial coach and using running as a catalyst and metaphor within the work that needs to be done in the client’s life.

I think if I was in the Calgary area I would head out for a run with Kristy. I like her approach and it certainly strikes home – to what I have learned about myself and how running has helped me.
When not running and being a psychologist, Kristy loves being with her family, being active (mountain biking, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing), has recently discovered of paddle boarding and has a love for music.

Off the Beaten Path website:
Kristy on Twitter: @obpwellness
Remember you are never alone running friends and never give in. Run happy.

Functional and Flashy – Xx2i sunglasses

“Perception can become reality and how you look can change how you feel.”

So what am I talking about today? Sunglasses for running. Its another runningdad review. I have been wearing and testing out XX2i sunglasses for a while now and they deserve a solid review.

Testing out the France2 on a fall training run.

Sunglasses can change how you look and feel (the whole quote at the top). A pair of flashy, mirrored sport sunglasses and not only are your eyes protected but you look more competitive, you feel suited up to race or run. If you feel cool and good about yourself your run or race will go better. When the all things are equal – the runner with the better mind set will win.

Oh and fellow Ottawa area runner and runningmom Nina will be helping me out on this blog review. More on her and her thoughts below.

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Even my daughter is a fan – and boy does she look cool!

Xx2i sunglasses

On their website the US company simply states: “We support people that make a difference every day. People who are committed to a healthy, athletic lifestyle and being good citizens. People who appreciate quality, innovation and no BS marketing. We are committed to producing the best possible eyewear for outdoor enthusiasts and stand behind each product we produce with integrity and pride to ensure that you’re completely satisfied no matter what.” I love that.


Model: Austrailia1 ($124)

Frame is White/Black with Polar Grey lenses. Equipped with the tools for a variety of adventures, the Australia1 is XX2i’s only sunglass featuring an interchangeable temple arm / strap system for intense activities. It also incorporates a removable padded insert for extra protection against the elements, and a sturdy frame with a unique wraparound style for enhanced peripheral vision.

I have huge bridge of my nose and these glasses perch a little high but have great optics and look great. I like the padded insert for cycling or for now when its cold and it blocks a bit of wind and cold. I took these out for a run and quite liked.


Model: France2 ($59.99)

Ok I liked the polarized lenses but I do like a bit of flash. As I get older and slower its nice to look fast – even if I’m not lol! The frame on the France2 is less solid and feels lighter but still offers good optics during a run (for sun or glare off snow). This one comes with  interchangeable lenses (only came with one set though), adjustable temple tips and adjustable nose pads. They look cool and work for me. A less expensive flashy option compared to Australia1.


Model: USA1 ($99.99)

Now the guest review by friend, fellow depression warrior, mom and all-around amazing person Nina Asha.

Nina tested out the USA1 frames with interchangeable lenses, adjustable noisepiece and I found to kind of be right between the Austraila1 and France2 in price and options.

“Thanks so much for the opportunity to try out these sunglasses! I tested them on my runs and was quite pleased. Not only do they look very sleek and stylish, but they were practical too. I like how the grippy material on the nosepiece and temple ends helps keep them secure on my face, as well as being able to adjust the nosepiece to better fit over the bridge of my nose. I found they didn’t bounce around or get fogged up while I was running.

The interchangeable pieces were a great feature too – though I did find the screws on the nosepiece a bit fiddly. I was able to coordinate the colours on the glasses to my running outfit of the day, which was fun! Most importantly was the ability to switch out the lenses! My favourite set were the amber lenses, which eliminated the harsh glare of the sun while still keeping brightness and maintaining contrasts to provide excellent depth perception. All very important features when out for a run and moving quickly!

I am definitely pleased with this unique way to own a pair of sunglasses, with many customizable features that you can adjust on the go to suit your specific needs that day! All of which fits neatly into the case, easily making these my new go-to pair of sunglasses while I’m out and about!” – Nina

Nina has her own blog and you can read about her, her running and things like her first marathon and you can also find her on Twitter @NinaAsha.


Both Nina and I really liked the Xx2i sunglasses and the options and adjustability of them. They are good quality, not super expensive and worked during running (our sport). A good option if you run, cycle or are just active outside.

*All the sunglasses come in a semi-rigid glasses case with screwdriver and extra parts plus a bag and sports strap.

Find Xx2i and their products on their website:

On Twitter: @Xx2i

Instagram: @Xx2i

Run on my running friends and let know if you have cool stuff I should review or you have a running story to share! Run on!


Depression – Breaking the loop

“Your thoughts shape your actions n your actions affect your emotions which flavour your thinking.” – Noel Paine

I have a neuroscience degree, have battled depression and currently keep an eye out for its stealthy approach and have done my research and talk with a psychologist (as one of my mental health tools) – but I am no expert.

We are all different, different brain chemistry, different lives and problems and different experiences and coping skills. I deal with depression tied to where I am in life, the hurdles I face and is not something that I have had all my life – nor does it attack at random. I know this is not the case for everyone.

But this is my quick blog with some advice I have gathered as I struggle on and also try and help some friends who are in the grips of the black dog that is depression.


The Loop

How we think (our brain)(that controls everything) affects our actions, behaviours, mood – everything. Humans and our brains also like patterns, familiarity and dislike change. Once we start thinking negatively it can affect how we see the world, ourselves and the future. The longer we think this way – the brain gets used to it, it becomes familiar and after a while it can be hard to change. We get caught – in the loop.


Cracking the nut (loop)

This is just one way to help fight off depression – by tackling your thoughts and thinking and how it affects your life. Some people may need medication or a therapist to guide them but I think may things can add up and and many of the things I show in the diagram above may feel hard to do – or depression is telling you its not worth it…it can help. A negative loop of thinking starts breaking down to be replaced by something more healthy and positive. Each positive thought or experience builds on the other.

  • Run to feel good and clear your head
  • Get out with friends to laugh and feel a part of something
  • Learn to love yourself (check out this book)
  • Meditate (find something on Youtube) if only for 5-minutes a day
  • Talk to a therapist
  • Hug and talk to family and loved ones
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal
  • When negative thoughts pop up try changing to a positive one
  • Do something
  • Tell depression to F%#$*K off

You may have issues or problems that you still need to tackle – but getting your mind in a positive space gives you the strength and mental health to start moving ahead.

Loop after

Your new path

When you start cracking the loop, one aspect or another then the continuous loop of negative thought starts to weaken. More positive thinking starts to affect all aspects of our lives and thought. With a more positive outlook and positive way of thinking – planning for the future or tackling what scares you is easier. You are mentally stronger, you have friends and support.

To move forward you need to know where to go. Depression keeps you in one spot and does not let you think of anything.

Analogy: Like preparing to make a meal – you will never get to the meal if you can’t even stop to think about what ingredients you need, or cannot get to making a grocery shopping list. Once your mind is in the right place and you are positive, you can think, you can plan and complete a task (like a meal).



Running is just another tool to help. It gets you out in the fresh air, it shows you that you can do something, it makes you feel good. Along with mediating (even for 5-minutes a day), talking, meeting friends etc. – it can all work together.  A runner knows that if they follow a training plan it will pay off – even if it is hard at first or seems daunting. Use that philosophy – start slow, small steps but keep moving forward.

I write this at a point where I an stronger and have some tools to fend off depression and am throwing all I have at getting even stronger and moving forward to a positive place in my life. But with Christmas creeping up I know I will be tested. I will be without my daughter, no family around, no parties or dinners to attend and someone I love unable to be with me. But I will survive.

What I have written about above is from research, my experiences, talking to a psychologist and the overall loop based on the Beck theory of depression (just one of many).

*If you ever feel suicidal call someone or a helpline.

**If you feel depressed, talk to someone, ask about employee programs at work (like EAP in the Canadian Federal Government) or look up a psychologist.


Keep lacing up friends and never give in – know you are never alone!


Always doing good on foot – Nick Brindisi

“Running always seems to bring out the good in people and often people do good by running.” – Noel Paine

As far back as I can remember I knew running was connected to not just seeing who was the fastest but also doing good. I was a young kid when Terry Fox ran across Canada with one prosthetic leg to raise money to help fight cancer. Now there are charity runs for lots of causes and people challenging themselves for personal causes (I have done this). If more people are doing them – does it take away from these runs? I don’t think so.

This is a profile of a running friend and fellow runningdad. This is my friend Nick – who runs for himself but also does a lot of good on foot and in the running community.

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Photos above: Nick and I during our 258km 2.5day Rideau Trail run.

Nick Brindisi

Nick is a 55-year-old father of 2 boys aged 25 and 21 and husband to Susan (all whom I have met) and lives in Collingwood, Ontario (Canada). Nick is my height and weight and another endurance runner – also liking to partake in the occasional very long trail ultra.

We are both very similar as well as started running middle distance on the track and then did our best marathons (to date) in our 30s. I started running in grade seven and Nick in middle school.

Nick is the President of the Georgian Triangle Running Club, race director for a Collingwood half-marathon held in the fall and coach teens with depression under the Team Unbreakable program of Cameron Helps.

Nick and I met through a mutual friend when I was looking for someone foolish enough to join me for a very long 40th birthday run in 2015. We ran for 2.5 days together over 258-kilometres of road, trail, path and bike path (the Rideau Trail) after only a few minutes of introduction. We became friends over those few days.

Nick’s running

• 10 KM – 41:30
• Half Marathon – 1:25
• Marathon – 3:15
• 50K with 10,000 feet vertical climb -­‐ 5:03
• 75 KM hilly charity road run for hospital -8:16
• 80 km with 12,000 feet vertical climb- 10:44
• 100 KM hilly road charity run for hospital- 10:48
• 100 miles  (Sinister 7) 27:29

“I run because it’s who I am not just a sport. I have found my place in the universe and it is a metaphor for other endeavours in life that keeps me on pace, on target, and the happiness it generates is a beautiful thing. It’s calming, it’s physical benefits are many and it helps me be an ambassador for so many programs and people.” – Nick

Nick is an ambasador for 2XU – a brand of compression and sportswear.

Running Good

Ok so hold onto your running tights friends – in addition to all the running and stuff above – Nick does more.

Nick is also a partner in Aspire Sports Kenya which helps athletes pursue their dreams, and coaches 5 athletes in Kapsabet Kenya – all 2:11 to 2:15 marathoners. This running man also imports handmade products from Nepal to aid in earthquake relief. To mark his 55th birthday my friend Nick ran 55-kilometres on a cold November day to raise money to help a local women’s shelter. This is one cool guy.

Nick’s plan and projects include a run to to Everest base camp in the Himalayas, solo Kilimanjaro, create an ultra trail race around Mount Kenya, return to Sinister 7 (Ultra) to better his time, UTMB,  return to Kenya to coach orphans and street kids.

I am hoping to try and catch up with Nick for at least one adventure – I can’t keep up!

You can find Nick on his website or on Twitter @NickBrindisi


Happy holidays running friends and keep lacing up – and doing good!


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.”


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.



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.




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!





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).



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.


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!