Friday, March 15, 2013

A Show and a Race - The Portland Shamrock Run

Extra! Extra! Read All about It! 
[Running Blogger Slips in a Post to Shamelessly Promote Shoe Co. He Works for as Bloggosphere Frowns.]

In my defense Your Honors, I have stated that I rep for Soft Star shoes (see what I did there? I just created a hyper-link to their website and I'm gonna keep right on doing it too!) before and that I really do love their shoes above and beyond all other shoes when I wear shoes and so I have to take this opportunity to let my legions of followers know that I, Todd W. Mros, am manning a booth for Soft Star at the Portland Shamrock Run Fitness Expo this weekend!

Why should you care? Well, because
   1) These babies are made right here in the good old US of A, by good old US of A'ers
   2) You might learn something interesting.
   b) You never know what kind of shit is gonna fly out of my fingers.
   3) This is a two-parter and you wouldn't want to miss the first part of a two-parter would you?
   ?) I had Taco Bell for lunch and that makes me dangerous and edgy, as evidenced by my unpredictable numbering system!    

Look, I'm gonna level with you all, I've never done something like this before and so I'm a little nervous as well as excited. I mean, to be entrusted with Soft Star's image. To be the face, as it were, of Soft Star to the public is huge as well as humbling. It will be my job to show runners out there why their current shoe choice may in fact lead to total uncoolness and that the only way to regain total coolness (that is, if it's not too late) is to immediately purchase a pair or two of Soft Star shoes.

Sound like oversell? I say nay! I say that all structures are supported by foundations, and that your feet are that foundation and that what you place said "feet" in has a gravitas that is not sufficiently acknowledged in our society. "What evidence do you have to support your audacious claims?" you ask. It is here, in Merriam-Webster's dictionary, where it states:  

GRAVITAS: high seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject) 

See! I'm not making this up. It's right there in 1's and 0's that gravitas has to do with a person's bearing and everyone knows that your feet are the parts what "bear" you along and hence Soft Star, which we all now know is inexhaustible in their concern for all and the health of everyone's bearings i.e., feet. Your Honors, I rest my case and... you're welcome. With all of these hard facts to back me you'd think that I would just breeze in and enjoy the ride...but you'd be wrong for Soft Star has entrusted me to spread the word and, I quote, "Have a good time, we're all proud and excited for you." Really? I can only handle so much pressure and this definitely did not help. How am I supposed to have a good time knowing what I know about feet and shoes and footish things that most people don't even care about. Well, at least not until it's almost too late and they come crawling over for help. OK, no one has actually come crawling yet but I have plush carpet down for when someone does. 

As for the second part to this blog post, well, I'm running this race and that means a race report but, of course, until I actually run........

What I can tell you about is that up until this point I have been in training. I'm loosely following the Pete Pfitzinger training method partially because I like it and partially because anyone who's name has a silent "p" and finishes with the word "zinger" has got to know something good about speed. I will have a full race report following my run to put the "ROCK" in Shamrock and avoid the "Sham in Shamrock" as that would be less than optimal, especially while wearing my official Soft Star representative's guise.

Blogs to you,


Monday, March 11, 2013

Odé to My Garmin Forerunner 305 (My Precious)

I loves my Garmin Forerunner 305 like someone who really loves something would love a thing that was beloved. (Yep, that much) I haven't run without it since I got it two years ago and I don't plan on running without it anytime soon. OK, now is the time where I listen to all the "naked runners" chime in about running free like nature intended, no iPod and no electronics of any kind....Well screw you! Screw you and the horse you rode (naked) in on cause that ain't gonna happen unless of course they leave comments on this blog that convince me otherwise (hint, hint.) or pay me money to run with something else. (HINT, HINT)

Some of you may say that this makes me a hypocrite because I'm all, "Barefoot is best and anyone who runs in shoes is ignoring the way nature intended us to run." Sorry, that's not me. I never said any of that and likely never will. (Uh oh, soapbox time.) I run barefoot and minimalist because I like it better than running in shoes. It works for me and I can run injury-free, at last. It may be better for the rest of you as well but that's not for me to say........just to imply.
You the Reader: "Oh no you di-n't! See, right there, you did just what you said you'd never do. The hypocrite at last reveals himself!"
Me: "Ha, I fooled you because what I wrote is that I would never SAY it and even if I did imply (write) such things, I actually never wrote that I, um, where was I? Oh yeah: you are wrong and I am right because I am a BAREFOOT RUNNER and that means I KNOW IT ALL, now bow before me!!!"
You the Reader: "I can't really follow what this guy is writing but I agree he is a know-it-all?"
Me: "Damn! Hoisted by my own petard!

As you can see, this is a no-win scenario, and so back to my Odé:

   To my Garmin 305,
   I love you so and that's no jive.
   Whether trail run or urban street,
   The icy cold, or searing heat,
   Average pace or speed or climb,
   Oh won't you be my valentine? (Sorry, I know this line is lame but I needed a rhyme here)
   My OCD, you feed and nourish
   By making tenths of miles flourish
   O Garmin 305, please charge
   So tomorrow's run won't seem so large,
   Then home we'll go and upload the data
   Where I can see all things that mattuh
No this is not my arm or Garmin as I don't shave my arms and my
Garmin is way beat-up but this is what they look like.

 And now the serious stuff:
The Garmin Forerunner 305 was introduced in January, 2006, as an upgrade to their 301 model and, though it has some flaws, it is in my opinion the workhorse of the Garmin line. Durable, readable, reliable, with lots of options plus the ability to transition to the bike as well as other sports, according to it's own specs. This watch does so many things that I am including a link here rather than taking up more space and boring myself to death.

Yes, there are more expensive Garmin models, and other brands, but this baby has it all. 

Getting to know my Garmin 305:
  • I've used the lap feature for interval training and once I figured it out I found it useful but as I hate interval training, I stopped. I mean, just looking at it gave me the cold sweats and I'd lose sleep so now I pretend that I'm just going to do some laps and if I feel like running fast I might.....I usually do exactly what my training plan says but having that escape from reality makes all of the difference.
  • I also started heart-rate-based training—well, I half-assed it, like I do a lot of my training. What I mean is, I take bits and pieces of a bunch of different methods and fit them to my reality (which may or may not be based on reality—who's to say?). Anyway, it works for me, and I like the instant feedback and the ability to compare where my heart-rate is while at certain paces because I am a geek.
  • Another thing I love about the Garmin Forerunner 305 is that they are all over Craigslist and cheap, cheap, cheap! I am talking $50 to $100 dollars, mostly thanks to people who are given them as presents and then finally face the reality that they just aren't going to use them and want something else, like a used WII Fit that costs around the same hundred bucks and usually has the same results.......sold on Craigslist a few months later. Who could blame them? If someone got me an un-asked-for exercise device for my birthday or Christmas,  the first thing I'd think is, "Oh, so you think I'm fat, huh? Well, you're no Jane Fonda....(Too old a reference? How about that Austin gal, what's her first name?....the one who has all of those workout videos that people buy and then use for about a week and then put on the shelf until the VHS is an outdated technology and they eventually sell them at their garage sales? Jane Austin? Something like that.) Anyway you get the point, that's where we runner-heads come swoopin' in to buy one and the love affair begins.
  • The battery lasts me usually a week between charges and that's me running around 60 to 70 miles per week. This baby has a lighted display feature that you can set to stay on for predetermined intervals or until you turn it off, which comes in handy in the dark. Sweet! That does use up battery but not nearly at smart phone speed.
  • Last cool Garmin feature that I'll mention is the "retrace your route" display. I've never used this and, to be honest, on the tiny display screen it looks too small to actually be useful but I imagine it could get you home eventually in the event you got yourself good and lost—unless of course you're a guy in which case you'd die of exposure, because the last thing a guy would do is ask someone for directions and after you run with the Garmin it becomes like a person to you. (Kinda like R2D2 but without the annoying whistles, plus you can't wear an R2 unit on your wrist.)
  • Very last cool feature that I never use is (OK, I hear your thoughts, "How many more last cool features is he gonna list?!" Well this is the last one unless I think of another one soon. You see it's because I'm just too tired to edit right now. I ran way too hard yesterday then didn't get enough sleep and then ran way too hard this morning as well. But it's not entirely my fault, I got behind in my training program and then rather than doing what everyone and common sense says and let it go, I just couldn't. I'm way not OCD....except when it comes to running. Not sure why either. I am that guy that has to run the extra 0.01 miles to get the distance an even number. Yeah, alright: I'm the ass that will run the extra .49 miles if I must to get a nice round number. Sad you say? Pathetic you say? "Yes," I say— I am a slave to the Garmin and its instant feedback and multi-display screen with its automatic pause settings and its..........Oh for the love of Christ run! Run far away and pretend that you never read this blog post! Don't end up as I have. The horror, the horror. (I am truly sorry, I'll pull myself together now and get back on topic):  The very last cool feature I want to let you know about is a virtual running partner; it's based on your previous runs along the same route, and in theory sounds really cool but since I've never used it can't tell you if that is indeed the case. Sorry about that but it still doesn't diminish the majesty and the glory of the Garmin Forerunner 305 and I invite you all to bask in the glow of its multi-function-attudedness.
Well, thanks for reading my never-ending diatribe about all things running, when I can stay on topic that is.

(Whatever my sign-off is here, as I've temporarily forgotten.....Tired, so tired),