Shoe Review (and an Ode’ to Nike): Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32

By Adam Waldum

Rogue Family,

I write to you today because I am worried about you. Worried that you might be scared to try something. I am deeply concerned you are missing out on much better running. But sit down and listen here because I am about to dish out some knowledge for your running brains.

Throughout my 4 years at Rogue, I have tried hundreds of shoes, felt all of the new technology, and heard multiple sales pitches from companies in the industry. I always joke that this is the only job I’ve ever had, and I’ve been running since I was 7. There are a lot of miles on these legs and knowledge in this brain, so hear me out!

A lot of times I’ll have a customer come in the store and pose the question, “So what shoe do you run in?” or “What brand of shoes do you think is best?” Now as a person who is trying to help you and always act in your best interest, I do my best to hold back my bias on this question. What’s right or best for me might not be best for you. But if I gave my honest answer every time, it would be simple: Nike.

The original running brand.

I know that Nike doesn’t always have the best reputation. A lot of people have an image of Nike as “the man”, cheap, poorly built, style-obsessed, money-obsessed, evil, or against their religion. For such people, we will take a bit of a history lesson.

Nike: A Brief History

The enormous sporting goods company we call Nike, (and if you say “Nike” like “bike”, get outta here!) was first introduced to the world in the 60’s under the name Blue Ribbon Sports. After initial success selling a Japanese running shoe called the Tiger (still with us in the form of a little company called ASICS), a team fronted by co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman (world famous coach of the world’s most famous runner, Steve Prefontaine), created the Nike name and “Swoosh” logo in 1971. Since then, Nike has been on a non-stop ride to the top, and the Swoosh is easily the most recognized logo in athletic wear.

tiger

Photo courtesy of pixgood.com.

A marketing powerhouse. Futuristic ideal and design. A passion for helping the everyday athlete have access to the same gear the best athletes in the world have. (Nike is by far the biggest sponsor of professional runners in the US.) And yet there is still this notion that Nike doesn’t make quality running shoes. Good grief!

Long before Air Jordans were a thing, they started this monstrosity of a company by EXCLUSIVELY carrying running shoes.

“But the Nikes I had fell apart and hurt my foot like really badly!”

Fair argument…maybe. Tell me the model and how much you paid for those bad boys, and we might find that you bought those bottom-of-the-ladder “fitness” shoes off a rack at a big box store. Sure, they might say “running” on the box, but are they a part of the top-tier running line that Nike carries? Nope.

Nike shoes are available nearly everywhere, and there are a lot of crap shoes with a “swoosh” slapped on the side. I’m not arguing for those. I’m talking about those brand new, fresh off the block, cover your eyes because they’re badder than bad, Nike running shoes.

I have run in Nike shoes for the majority of my running “career” but it wasn’t until recently that I really committed to going all in with the brand. Working at Rogue gives me the ability to try many shoes and get an inside look at many brands. Now as I progress and really see myself running faster, I always look for the most competitive shoe. And hands down, any pair of Nike shoes that I have run in have been more durable and always on top of the latest and greatest technology.

Okay Adam get to the point.

Alright alright alright.

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32

Everybody on the Rogue Running staff knows how much I love Nike, and specifically our primary Nike offering, the Pegasus. First released in 1983, this rock star has been around an unprecedented 32 years! Throughout that time, the “Peg’s” combination of cushion, durability, responsiveness, and value have made it a top seller. With the release of version 32 on June 1st, I see the Peg continuing to dominate in Nike’s original market: run specialty.

peg

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 in all of their glory. Look at that sexy upper.

Features

The Pegasus 32 keeps the springiness and lighter weight of the 31, but brings in a newly designed upper that features Nike’s righteous mesh wrapped with the always sexy Flywire…oh yeah. With a 10mm drop, the Peg won’t please those peeps that crave a barefoot run, but hot damn this midsole is responsive. It gives you enough cushion for your longest runs and some spring for those faster days. You can kiss those clunky-looking trainers goodbye because the Peg is a very cushioned shoe with that sleek look of a lightweight trainer. Oh and did I mention the durability?? The rubber on this thing is outstanding. I’m not sure why the other companies in the running industry give us shoes with rubber that crumbles on the roads, but the Pegasus is always on point with the “waffle” outsole.

Look for the 32nd generation of this shoe to dominate the roads with this great update that will surely feature a rainbow of color options. I’m more than excited to try out this piece of art, and I invite you to come in the store to try a pair on. Trust me, give them a shot and you will want to come over to “The Darkside”, or as I prefer, “Team Swoosh”. See you soon, Rogue family!

Adam out.


10256887_233174246874543_7249739925526575397_nAdam Waldum is a student, lifelong runner, and a member of the Rogue Cedar Park retail team since the store opened in 2011. He primarily focuses on distances from 1500 meters to 10K, but he tried his hand at the long stuff this year and ended up 5th overall at the Austin Marathon (wearing Nike, of course). He’s a major sports fan with California roots (Dodgers, 49ers, Lakers), and his life goals are to travel and end up in your GQ magazine. When he’s not at work or school, you can find him pounding the trails at Brushy Creek. ALWAYS CHASING THE ZEN.

A Native’s Defense of the Dallas Marathon

By: Robyn Rogers

I am proud.  I am Dallas.
I wear mascara and jewelry to run my marathons.
I am proud.  I am Dallas.
And my Daddy helped me write my paper.

robyn and dad 2

My dad and me

I realize that there’s been a recent name change to “Metro PCS Dallas Marathon”, but to us natives, Dallas’s premiere race will always be the “White Rock Marathon”.  Born and raised in the heart of Dallas just minutes from White Rock Lake, my first memories of the Dallas Marathon are from the early 1990’s, watching my Dad run it.

Since the race is always in the first part of December, my family had a tradition:  as soon as my dad got home from the marathon, my parents, my brother and I would all go out and buy a Christmas tree. (You didn’t use your ARMS running a marathon, did you?

And why SIT after 26.2 when we could be making the house merry and bright??)
And for most of my childhood, that was it. I played soccer and ran some short distance track events back then, but I was just never interested in running long distances. I was fully content with my spectator/decorator role! I really didn’t even know anyone that ran for fun, except my dad.

Then, I married a marathoner. Suddenly I was completely surrounded by distance runners. In the spirit of family togetherness, I increased my mileage and got some half marathons under my belt. Even then, it wasn’t until 2012 that I committed to Dallas as my first marathon.

It was muggy and warm and humid the whole way. There were first-marathon jitters, an upset tummy, and a lot of walking. It’s hard knowing your Dad finished an hour and a half ago when you’re still drinking lukewarm Dixie-cup water on the curb of Swiss Avenue. Still, with friends and family on my hometown course, I managed to finish!
Getting that first marathon behind me was big – and I signed up for the 2013 race the day registration opened.

And then Ice-Apocalypse-2013 happened. Marathon cancelled.  At the hour I was supposed to be doing a little shake-out run, my mom was helping my 3-year-old slide down the icy hill at mile 18 in a turkey roasting pan. Cue minor detour to Houston.

I returned to Dallas in 2014 with much more confidence and better results. Still muggy, but no major issues! The Dallas Marathon is on my list for 2015 once again.
With its awesome downtown “Big D” starting line (complete with a huge video board countdown to race time), helicopters overhead for live TV coverage, and cheering crowds to get the blood pumping, the Dallas Marathon has all the excitement, atmosphere and weekend activities of a big city “destination” marathon.

Also, the course is beautiful. With a downtown start and finish, it goes through the Deep Ellum and Greenville areas and then winds through the pretty and historic neighborhoods of Highland Park and Lakewood. There’s lots of front yard watching parties and stages with bands.

Robyn Rogers Running - dallas 14

Running Dallas 2014!

I have heard folks describe the course as “hilly”, but since I’ve trained in Austin with Rogue for 10 years, I feel as if I have a few things to teach my Dallas friends when it comes to “hills”.

Of course, the big draw for me is that this is all in my hometown and only a 3-hour drive from Austin! I’m lucky that my mom can zip my kids around the neighborhood to watch me run at different points.  My brother walks a block or two to cheer and take photos and mile 6.  I smile when I pass the lakeside parks where I take my kids to play. At mile 12, I tip my hat to the building where my Momo’s real estate office used to be. Mile 16 passes right by my college housemate’s residence, where her 3 boys sit in lawn chairs with super-soakers.

The Dallas course is comforting to me – and I like that I’m done with the big work before Christmas.  You know, so I can go get my Christmas tree and be merry and bright. (But now I give myself a day or two to recover.)

robyn and james

James and I with our tree

Ready to tack the Dallas Marathon? Join us to train for this amazing Texas race or any other December races. Texas Marathon and Half Marathon training begins on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015. You can check out all the details for the marathon training program here or the half marathon training program here.

————————————————————————————————-

robyn at finish2Robyn Rogers runs and coaches out of our Cedar Park store, where she is well known for being the nicest person on staff and for bringing some serious pain to our training members at Core and FIT to Run. Prior to Rogue, Robyn was a high school teacher/coach and a group exercise instructor. She and husband James (himself an original Team Rogue CP member) have two kids that they are teaching to be die-hard Aggies like themselves.

POINT COUNTER-POINT: Drinking the Night before a Race

POINT: HAVE A DRINK THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE!

By Mandy Dean

Everyone functions a little differently under pressure. (Which is why a lie detector is part of the CIA hiring process. (FYI, if you want to be a CIA agent, get a library degree. True story….Think about that next time you’re late with a book.))

We all know people in our groups who are normally the picture of outgoing and confident and we all know people in our groups that regularly in the running for “Rogue Complete Headcase of the Year” (the trophy ceremony for this is very nice.) However, before races, pretty much EVERYONE gets the jitters. As a quite wise man (my father) once told me, “if you don’t have butterflies before a game, you should find something else to do.” (…granted this is also the man who introduced the “pull my finger” trick to my brother, so…)
However, the point remains that the however you react, normally the stress of what-may-come PLUS the stress of not-running-as-much-during-a-taper generally weighs down the last day before a race. I find that my teammates and I can’t really find anything to discuss EXCEPT the upcoming race. A lot of conversation is generally spent going back over and over the same stuff we’ve already discussed, (conditions, course quirks, schedule and logistics). A lot of my internal conversation is spent going back over and over my race plan, my bedtime/wake up, and ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WILL BE INTERNET WATCHING ME (there’s nothing you can do about it. Your friends at Rogue will find your bib number and live-blog your splits.) I also spend a lot of time vacillating between feeling like nothing important will happen the next day, and then totally panicking about pain at mile 22 (WELP I’LL PROBABLY DIE.)

All this mental expenditure HAS to have a physiological effect. (that IS the whole point of Yoga, correct? The mind/body connection? …I read things on the interwebs!! ) Why else would my knee start twinging, when it’s NEVER twinged before!!!???

WINTER HAVEN, FL - MARCH 1986:  Wade Boggs #26 of the Boston Red Sox posing during spring training in March 1986 in Winter Haven, Florida.  (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

Exhibit A: Mr Wade Boggs  (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

And it is generally accepted (so accepted I have no need to cite any research article to prove it.) that alcohol relaxes blood vessels, which helps relax your muscles, which can either lead to falling over or falling asleep (in my experience, at least). THEREFORE:
Have a drink with dinner before your race!! (btw, don’t like…have a shot of vodka, or like a margarita. That’s not what I’m advocating.) It is a great way to relax and help yourself fall asleep early while the sun is still out (6pm)!! You should totally do it, no matter what my esteemed 25-year-old-fresh-out-of-grad-school colleague, Sir Austin Steeples Bussing says. I don’t care that he’s been running and racing his WHOLE LIFE, I am completely correct. His counterpoint argument is likely just filled with vile lies and junk science.

“And it is generally accepted (so accepted I have no need to cite any research article to prove it.) that alcohol relaxes blood vessels, which helps relax your muscles, which can either lead to falling over or falling asleep (in my experience, at least). THEREFORE:
Have a drink with dinner before your race!!”

ALSO, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs is totally on my side about this.

So have a glass of wine with your pre-race dinner!!!! Just don’t also have pasta, that stuff is terrible.

Counter-point: Do NOT have a drink the night before a big race

By Austin Bussing

Hello, fellow Rogues! I relish the opportunity to, in this very public forum, not only defend my character, which has been brought under shameful assault by Mandy Deen, but also to ensure that you are not led astray by Mandy’s baseless and asinine assertions and- I shudder at the term- ‘advice.’ I will do so with no references to “junk science,” and certainly without resorting to “vile lies.” I resent the implication- nay, the straight up accusation- that I would debase myself to such a level.

ernest-hemingway

Lets be honest, when you look like that, you can do whateverthehell you want.

To embark on my counterpoint, I want to take you all back to middle school English class. Remember Ernest Hemingway and his archetypal ‘code hero’? In case a refresher is needed, the following synopsis should suffice for the purposes of my argument: Protagonists in Hemingway’s works are often subjected to the seemingly arbitrary, senseless, and at times cruel nature of circumstance. Acknowledging that they have no semblance of control over these circumstances, and thus their destinies, these code heroes nonetheless maintain their dignity by exhibiting grace under pressure, and unshakeable courage in the face of their fate.

I will be the first to admit that referencing Hemingway in an argument against drinking is a rather unorthodox, if not entirely hypocritical, rhetorical strategy- but please hear me out. Just like bullfighting, the Spanish Civil War, and deep-sea fishing, a distance race can subject its participants to immense pain and senseless mortal struggle. Our knowledge of this reality produces the pre-race jitters to which Mandy refers. And here is where my point is made- if even the thought of a race makes you seek the safe confines of alcohol-induced comfort, this does not bode well for the pivotal moment of truth within the actual race when you must decide to nut up or shut up. In that moment, there is no equivalent of a beer or shot to calm the nerves. You must face your fate, sober and alone, and reconcile yourself with the fact that it’s going to hurt like hell if it’s going to yield the outcome you want.

“And here is where my point is made- if even the thought of a race makes you seek the safe confines of alcohol-induced comfort, this does not bode well for the pivotal moment of truth within the actual race when you must decide to nut up or shut up.”

Pre-race nervousness, in many ways, can be distilled down to some form self-doubt. This doubt, while it can be partially and temporarily obfuscated by a drink the night before a race, will certainly be exposed in the middle of the race when the going gets tough. Better to confront this doubt head-on, fearlessly, than to bury it with a Shiner and wait for it to wreak havoc mid-race.

My advice: drink after the race, when you actually have something to celebrate, rather than before the race, when you’re only cowering from your own crushing sense of inadequacy.

————————————————————————————————-

10690182_10101168397204455_2128072217741974298_n10347632_727937613950013_411822252089035013_nAustin Bussing and Mandy Dean regularly contribute to the Run Down. Both clearly master debaters, you can expect more point counter-point from these two in the future. Here or in the onion. 

Let us know what your pre-race ritual looks like in the comments section below or on Facebook. (Editor’s note: One may also drink during. Just saying.) 

REPOST: Everything you need to know about November and December Races in Texas

Editor’s Note: This is a repost of a blog from about a year ago. Lazy? Nope Pertinent? Hell yes!   We are one month from the start of one of the most popular training programs here at Rogue: Texas Half Marathon and Texas Marathon.  Why the name? Virtually all the best marathons and halves in Texas fall into the same two week window and if you want to train for one of these, then you do it here….for Texas Marathon and Half. We’ve analyzed the courses, broken down the pro’s and con’s and much more.  So saddle up with us and lets run these wild west favorites!

Texas Half Marathon and Texas Marathon both begin on July 14th or 15th in Cedar Park, North Austin, South Austin and Down Town. 


THE LONE STARS: A TEXAS MARATHON GUIDE

by Allison Macsas

Here in Texas, we don’t offer much in the way of fall marathons, largely because “fall” typically begins somewhere around mid-November and ends a few days later.

However, we do have plenty of winter racing options and although “winter” can mean many different things, it’s widely considered the time to toe your local starting line.

So, what to choose, and where to start? There are many top-notch Texas events throughout the winter months, but in this guide I want to focus on 2014 races only – the ones that are done before the holidays, and that present the opportunity to end the year with a shiny new PR and extra reasons to celebrate.

So, read on and pick your race. Rogue is going big for Texas races this year – new training groups, awesome custom t-shirts (designed by yours truly) and ENERGY. Be part of it!

622x350THE ROCK N ROLL SAN ANTONIO MARATHON & HALF / DECEMBER 6, 2015

I won’t lie. San Antonio hasn’t exactly gotten rave reviews over the past few years, and I know many a runner who has sworn it off for good. But, nearly all of the negativity surrounding this event has been due to the weather – sweaty, suffocating, blazingly hot weather. No matter that the week leading up is chilly, and that the day after the race brings sleet; for whatever reason, the San Antonio race weekend is always. so. hot.

Well, I’m here with good news. That’s when the race was in November! And now they’ve moved to December! So although winter weather is never a guarantee, as every self-respecting Texan knows knows, there is a much better chance of cool, clear, perfect race conditions and some big PRs on what is actually a pretty fast course. (Editor’s Note: The move to December definitely helped weather-wise is 2014)

Screen shot 2014-05-03 at 9.56.40 AMDespite what looks like a 120 ft. brick wall at mile 5, overall this is FLAT terrain with a quite a bit of gradual downhill to help get the wheels turning. As this is a Rock n Roll Series event, there are bands galore, which fills in some of the quieter spectator areas and keeps energy levels high. The full and half runners take off together and keep each other company for a good ten miles, which results in some amazing crowd energy.

And, best of all, it’s in San Antonio which means that you can feasibly drive down morning-of, and be safely back in Austin in time for happy hour! No flights, no long drives, no waiting at restaurants the night before and no hotel expenses. Though it may be preferred to stay the night before to avoid any race-morning hiccups, this is one of the most budget-friendly out-of-town race choices that an Austinite can make, and one with lots of capitol city representation.

I was lucky enough to run the half marathon in 2010, a rare cool-weather year, and it was a fantastic PR-setting experience for me. With a new December race date, I’m hopeful that San Antonio will regain a spot on the favorites list this year!

website_dallasraceTHE METRO PCS DALLAS MARATHON & HALF  /  DECEMBER 13, 2015

Dallas is another race that has gotten a bad rap over the past few years, again due to everyone’s favorite scapegoat – the weather! In 2011, it rained. Cold, cold rain. It actually led to some big PRs, but also a lot of chafing and miserable spectators. In 2012, it was HOT. San Antonio-style hot. And HUMID. It’s gone down in the history books for many runners that I coach as the worst marathon experience ever. Then, in 2013, there was ICE! So much ice that the race was cancelled! All of that training, all of those race-week nerves, all of those entry fees, down the drain.* Who would possibly want to give this race a fourth chance?

My first marathon - a great Dallas experience!

My first marathon – a great Dallas experience!

Well, I would. Historically, the Dallas Marathon (formerly the White Rock Marathon) has had perfect weather. Like, 40 degrees and sunny-perfect. I grew up in the area, and began running the half marathon at age 14. I ran it every year until I left for college, and then flew back home four days before I graduated to run my first full marathon there (it was also my first ever run over 16 miles, but that’s another story). Every single time, the weather was perfect, the crowds were excited and the experience was top-notch.

The course rolls a bit, but is overall very flat, very fast. It hits a huge variety of neighborhoods and offers a great tour of the city, which makes it very easy to divide the race into sections for a strong race-day strategy. You get city, you get ritzy neighborhoods, you get the lake. It’s far enough away to feel like a “destination race,” yet close enough that you don’t have to take any time off of work. The toughest part of the whole thing is the drive up I35 to get there!

So, yes. I would give Dallas another chance, and you should give Dallas another chance. For an accessible big-city race with PR potential, this is the one.

*Except for those who took a chance on BCS. Details below.

1461471_600650926667129_1745573852_nTHE BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION (BCS) MARATHON & HALF / DECEMBER 13, 2015

Most Austinites had never heard of BCS until December 6, 2013, the day that the Dallas race organizers called off their event in the midst of an ice storm. Some people got angry and some people threw their hands up in despair, but other people immediately looked for another race.

Enter BCS! Held on the same day, in the same state, but far enough south to escape the worst of the ice, this was the golden ticket. Except for one thing – it had long been sold out, full of runners who knew what a secret gem this small event was.

However, the organizers of this race are fantastic human beings. In between setting up for the event, providing excellent communication via social media and fielding emails from desperate Dallas orphans, they went to the trouble of contacting all of the registrants to offer refunds to anyone who wasn’t going to make it to the starting line, and then opened up all of those spots to would-be Dallas runners, even offering a discounted no-race shirt or medal option to allow for more entries.

So, a number of Rogues ended up at BCS, and they ran FAST. You’ll get more on that story and that race later, but I can’t recommend this event enough. Yes, it’s a small town race and the spectator side of things is pretty quiet, but it’s flat, it’s fast, it’s affordable, it’s impeccably organized and it benefits an important cause. Plus, you can park right at the starting line, no hassles or lines or leaving the hotel two hours early. Roll out of bed and run!

Screen shot 2014-05-04 at 5.04.39 PMDECKER CHALLENGE December 6th, 2015

This long-standing Austin favorite offers only a half marathon these days, but 13.1 miles is plenty on that course! Decker has hills on top of hills, and everyone who runs this race earns some serious bragging rights.

This is a true Austin staple, a key component of the Austin Distance Challenge and an event where you’ll see all of your friends and are sure to make new ones. If the half marathon is your distance of choice and you want to keep it local and enjoy your own bed the night before, Decker is for you.

————-

So, what’s it going to be? All of these races will have huge Rogue representation, but as you well know it takes work to get to that finish line. We kick off training for Texas Half Marathon an Texas Marathon on July 14th, 2015. Commit, then let’s go conquer!

————-

562699_10100101789924218_815994431_nAllison Macsas wears many hats at Rogue Running; she is a coach, an elite athlete, the graphic designer, the blog manager, the head of Rogue Expeditions and the boss of an extremely important whiteboard calendar.

Shoe Review: New Balance Zante (Part 2)

By Austin “Buss” Bussing 

(Editor’s Note: This shoe is so darn hot, its garnered two reviews. If you want to check out Rogue Cedar Park’s Chris Macleod’s review, you can find that here.) 

There certainly is a whole bunch of hype surrounding the New Balance Zante. It took home Competitor Magazine’s 2015 Road Shoe of the Year, and it seems like you can’t flip through any fitness-oriented magazine without being assaulted by full page ads for the Zante and/or it’s stockier Fresh Foam cousin, the Boracay. Is the hype well-deserved? Once the catchy ad campaigns have run their course and the limelight has dimmed, what are we left with?

unnamed

Zante (left) and Boracay

The answer, unequivocally, is a darn good shoe. It’s fast, comfortable, smooth, sleek, and sexy. How’s that for effusive hype? Before I lay it on too thick, let’s cut through some of the purple prose and talk about the specifics of the shoe.

Similar to the adidas Boston Boost, the beauty of this shoe is in its versatility. With an aggressive toe spring, a sock-like upper, and a generous slab of Fresh Foam cushioning underfoot, the Zante is built for speed AND comfort. It has a smooth, consistent feel from the initial footstrike through the toe-off, thanks to the one-piece midsole (the foam stuff) and its geometrically-inspired design (more on this later). These features, combined with the shoe’s 6 millimeter drop (heel-to-toe differential) place the Zante within the “natural running” footwear paradigm, making it a good option for the runner who is looking to go a bit more minimal without taking the plunge straight into Vibram Five-Finger territory.

The Zante’s upper is arguably its most divisive quality. Some runners will revel in the sock-like upper, while others will bemoan the lack of support provided by the seamless, stretchy toe-box. It would seem that the New Balance designers, in their attempt to achieve a sock-like feel, completely eliminated anything that might make the upper “shoe-like.” While the midfoot portion of the upper hugs your arch (perhaps too tightly for runners with wider feet) the toe-box really opens up. This design feature is in line with the fashionable school of thought dictating ample room for toe-splay upon impact with the ground, but it may leave some runners wishing for a bit more support.

One slightly geeky factor that contributes to the Zante’s notably smooth ride is its aforementioned geometrically-inspired design- primarily the use of the hexagonal shape and concave/convex support structure throughout the midsole. The portion of the midsole that runs beneath your foot’s inside arch and back through the heel is comprised of convex hexagons (proprietary mumbo-jumbo), which provide subtle support and, dare I say, stability, for the impact portion of your gait phase. The entire lateral side (or outside) of the midsole, as well as the forefoot portion of the medial side (or inside), is comprised of concave hexagons (like the other but opposite), which compress a bit under pressure, and thus provide a soft transition through the toe-off phase.

The Zante’s aggressive toe-spring, and the fact that it is quite light (6.5 ounces for women, 7.5 ounces for men), make it a great shoe for uptempo running. While some runners may find it a little soft for a true racing flat, most would probably agree that it is light and responsive enough for a tempo/longer threshold workout shoe. The shoe is also endowed with just enough Fresh Foam cushioning to make it serviceable as an everyday trainer for the runner who prefers a lighter training shoe (think Saucony Kinvara, Brooks Launch 2, etc.). For New Balance, the shoe fills a void between the Fresh Foam 980 (or newly-updated Boracay) and the 1400, with the cushioning and minimal drop of the 980/Boracay (Boracay is a 4 millimeter drop, Zante is a 6 millimeter drop) in combination with the lightweight and responsive nature of the 1400. Retailing at $100, the Zante is also very reasonably priced, considering the quality of the product.

In short, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante is a lightweight training/road racing shoe with comfortable cushioning, a smooth and responsive ride, and a sock-like upper. Runners with a wider foot, or who prefer a more supportive upper, may be advised to look elsewhere, as the shoe does run a bit narrow through the midfoot, and the upper leaves some support to be desired in the forefoot. Paradoxically, the things that make this shoe wrong for some runners are the same attributes that make it so very right for others. The tight-fitting midfoot does a good job of locking in the arch, and also helps to accentuate the arch support underfoot, while the stretchy upper in the toe box allows substantial room for toe-splay. The Zante is not necessarily built for every foot out there, but I think it can be a good fit for many runners. It’s certainly worth coming to try the shoe on at Rogue Running!

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Specs:

Weight: 6.5 ounces (Women); 7.5 ounces (Men)

Drop: 6 mm

Price: $100

—————————————————————————————————

10690182_10101168397204455_2128072217741974298_nAustin Bussing is a runner, writer, reader and all around renaissance man. You can find him on the shoe floor at Rogue Downtown or leading a Couch to 5k group in Rogue Cedar Park.  He also likes large boxes of carbohydrates.

The Top Four Hydration Tips to Survive Running in the Austin Summer (i.e., make it to the bar on Saturday nights after a long run)

By Mandy Deen

For those of you that know me, you know I regularly like to go on about things I don’t actually know anything about, but I also employ a quite condescending manner that ensures others don’t ask follow up questions that expose the shallowness or flat-out-wrongness of my assertions. (Grad School 101)

Please stand by:

Summer is here! You might not have noticed because of all the rain that has been happening!(http://isthelakefullyet.com/) But trust me, as an experienced weather-obsessive: (http://dogeweather.com/) I have conducted several episodic tests, and concluded that between the humidity and the warmth, it is in fact SUMMER-LIKE OUTSIDE.

10982610_881662001891889_867851507087592548_n

#SweatAngel #AustinThing #BodsbyDodds

This prompts me to relate several common-sense things you have all probably heard through the years of running in Texas:

#1 You should probably carry a handheld waterbottle on your runs. All the cool kids do it………

^^you see what I did there? I’ll pause for everyone’s appreciation.

FullSizeRender

Unapproved product placement: A sampling of all the lovely hydration options at Rogue Running (Love ya, girl!)

No seriously, even carrying one of the small handheld water bottles on a 7 mile run at 4PM in August (lol, what?) a few years ago wasn’t enough. I stopped to do a few hill drills at the end of my run (what a good little runclub member I am!!!), but I had to pack it in and go home early when my gums started sticking to my cheek. Let this be a lesson to you, when your gums and cheek start sticking together, YOU ARE PRETTY OUT OF WATER. To this end, one el coach-o nemesis Jeff created his very own #SCIENCE sweat-spreadsheet. A sweat-sheet if you like (Sweat Rate Calculator)

Here you can in put various variables from the temperature and length of run to your weight and it will calculate your very own SWEAT RATE. Which you can then update all your on-line dating profiles with. (be up front!)

But basically unless you’re Roger Federer, just be ok with getting one of the bigger handhelds. Ive never been in the middle of a triple-degree run and been frustrated by having too much water available for drinking.

#2 Know your dehydrations signs. When I first joined Rogue I was quite intimidated by all the SRS RNNRS and in addition to knowing nothing about how to properly hydrate (something that might still be true in practice, sadly) I was also afraid to either admit to feeling off my game, or to cut anything short (this is no longer true, sadly. (Sorry coach Amy!)). This led to some terrible terrible terrible runtimes, and I remember the feeling during a longrun of discomfort in my chest that I have since labeled my “you are totally out of water, girl!” signal. Running is weird and incorporates so many different factors, but if you are able to single out your signals, you’ll know when you’re being a total idiot and you’re close to the red line. Try to conduct these tests when you’re surrounded by people who will notice if you fall over. <– Pro Tip.

#3 Drink more than just water. TURNS OUT that when you sweat you lose more than just water and salt. The Google tells me this is one of the reasons sweat stings your eyeballs but tears don’t. (I think. I’m pretty sure. I mean it would make sense, wouldn’t it!?? Perhaps #SCIENCE-el-Jefe would care to weigh in here…..?) [Jeff’s Reply: “Weakness stings eyeballs”. Good Reply.). So the good news is you can’t ONLY drink water! But the bad news is that you can’t replace it with Whiskey. You should either eat a lot of those fruits and vegetables with the Potassium and Magnesium and Calcium and such, OR you can cheat by using Nuun or Skratch or some other electrolyte drink before/during/after really sweaty runs. Also jellybeans at waterstops on longruns. those are probably electrolyte-ish. I mean why else would I feel compelled to eat 20 of them in one stop? It’s probably #SCIENCE.

11188485_10152985591008666_6365681033033908431_n

Skratch. LPT: Does not mix well with whiskey but it is good the morning after consuming copious volumes of whiskey.

#4 Constantly hydrate. As Mr. Jeff also once said: “you don’t have to replace 100% of the water you lost, you have to replace 150% of the water you lost.” So essentially it’s not enough to run 18 miles on a Saturday, go bike another 25, drink what you would normally drink after a 10 miler, take a nap and go to the bar.

Of course I don’t have direct knowledge of this event, but #SCIENCE tells me it did NOT end well, and I barely missed a visit to http://hydrateaustin.com/ (be sure to bookmark this for later).

If you happen to have a pretty high sweat rate (in many cultures this is considered as a indicator of a long and happy life), you are just going to have to commit to both a lengthy re-hydration period after a hard OR long workout in the heat OR humidity, AND constantly hydrating throughout your day. Pretend you live in a Gatorade commercial.

…..I hear that’s what some people do.


10347632_727937613950013_411822252089035013_nMandy Deen is a writer, reader, blogger and runner. She likes to spend her Tuesday and Thursday afternoons running with Team Rogue PM. If you want to see more of Mandy’s work, we suggestthis, this and DEFINITELY this.  And if you don’t think thats funny then move back to LA.  XOXO

More Bullshit

by Austin Bussing

I’m sitting on the end of a massage table, legs dangling over the edge, head down, intentionally slumped in horrible posture. I dorsiflex my foot and ankle on one leg, trying to bring my toes close to my shin. From here, I kick my leg up, straightening it out and locking my knee. This extension causes a tightness and slight pain in my hamstring, and then the discomfort is immediately dispelled as I lift my head and look straight ahead. I repeat this strange series of movements 20 times before switching to the other leg. “Kicking your head off” is the tongue-in-cheek name for this exercise in the physical therapy community. Other aliases include “nerve glides” and “nerve flossing.” Truth be told, I rarely floss my teeth (although I consistently feel the need to lie to my dentist about this), and here I am, “flossing” my nerves in both hamstrings through this bizarre and tedious routine- twice a day, every day.

This exercise is followed by a number of others, each as mind-numbingly monotonous as the last. These tasks all demand intense focus and attention, as they are designed to isolate and activate typically dormant or under-utilized muscles, thereby slowly correcting detrimental muscle imbalances. My particular imbalance is between my glutes and hamstrings- basically, my butt doesn’t do nearly the amount of work it should while I’m running, and my poor hamstrings are left to pick up the slack. Over the course of tens of thousands of miles, this imbalance can (and certainly has) put quite a beating on my hamstrings – especially when I try to run fast. Since running fast is pretty essential to what I’m trying to do with my life (read: run fast), it’s pertinent that I get this little problem under control.

In addition to observing these strange rituals daily, I can be found doing a number of other small tasks throughout each week, including repeatedly rolling my legs on a foam cylinder, running 150 meter sprints on the Austin High Track, and balancing, one-legged, on a poorly inflated rubber oval while throwing a small medicine ball back and forth to a teammate. In isolation, each of these activities seems not only slightly absurd, but also pretty far removed from my ultimate goal – to run a fast 3000-meter steeplechase. However, considered holistically, these individual tasks are part of a larger process, through which my goals become achievable. Compared to the time I spend actually racing the steeplechase, or doing steeplechase-specific workouts, I spend an astronomical amount of time on these (seemingly) tangentially related tasks. It’s not that glamorous, and it’s certainly not that “cool.”

What does it look like to be a good runner? Does it look like a Gatorade commercial, complete with inspiring music and shots of ripped, good-looking athletes doing a series of explosive and impressive exercises, and then just standing there sweating colorful sweat and looking determined? Well, that’s some of it. But a lot of it is sitting on massage tables, performing weird movement patterns to activate neglected muscle groups, and doing all of the other “little things” that are so very necessary to achieve consistent success at a high level.

An episode of the highly acclaimed HBO series, The Wire, recently drove this point home for me. For those unfamiliar with the show, it provides a nuanced and gritty look into crime in a city that is now sadly back in America’s media spotlight: Baltimore, Maryland. The beauty of the show is its multifaceted approach, and its exploration of the theme of moral ambiguity in contemporary politics, law enforcement, and organized crime. I could talk about it forever. But I won’t do that, because even bringing up The Wire in a running blog is inherently tangential, and I’m really in no position to start stacking tangents here. Bear with me though – I do believe there is a point to be made, and a connection to be drawn.

the wire%02

In this specific episode of The Wire, a special unit of the Baltimore Police Department has finally succeeded in tapping the phones of members of the Barksdale Crew – a group of drug dealers with a number of suspected murders on their hands. This episode comes about halfway through the first season, and the prior episodes devote a substantial portion of time chronicling the administrative, legal, and bureaucratic hurdles the police unit has had to clear before using the wiretap. The frustration of the detectives is made inescapably palpable to the viewer, as it seems that time and time again the “bad guys” are able to “get away with it” all because the police have failed to meet some tiny procedural requirement (quotes are used in reference to the aforementioned moral ambiguity at play in the show).

In the scene that really hit home for me, Lester Freamon (the show’s archetypal wise old detective) is explaining to some of the members of his unit that they are only allowed to listen to wiretapped conversations when they have received visual confirmation that a real suspect is using the phone. What this means in practice is that a team of cops must be in a position to actually see a specific member of the Barksdale Crew on the phone, and report back in real time to another team of cops back at the office who have access to the wiretap. Big surprise, right? More procedural hurdles to clear. Or, as one of the younger detectives in the room puts it, “More bullshit.”

Freamon takes a bit of umbrage to this comment, whirling around in his chair to face the young detective (Herc) before exclaiming, “Detective, this right here, this is the job! Now, when you came downtown to CID (Criminal Investigation Department) what kind of work were you expecting?”

Now, sometimes in running, we’re all guilty of thinking like Herc. I know I have been. When we came to Austin to run for Rogue Athletic Club, what kind of work were we expecting? Surely we were expecting to crush PRs set in college, we were expecting to make World teams, we were expecting to win- and win big. We were expecting the glory.

However, in our best moments, we’re able to step back and think like Freamon. We’re able to realize that there’s no glory – there never has been and there never will be – without a bunch of “bullshit.” There will be Saturday nights when you don’t race as well as you had hoped, but you’d better believe you’re getting up early Sunday morning for a long run, followed by at least 20 reps of some weird “clam” exercise where you lie on your side and try to lift one of your legs up and hold it at a 45 degree angle for 10 seconds at a time – only using your glutes – because that right there, that is the job. It’s not always pretty – in fact it rarely is – but in those rare moments when it is pretty, damn is it beautiful.


10690182_10101168397204455_2128072217741974298_nAustin Bussing is a member of Rogue’s Olympic-development, professional running team, Rogue Athletic Club. Founded in 2009, Rogue AC’s mission is to further the sport of running in the U.S. Austin spent time as Jay Hawk before making the wise decision to finish his collegiate career at the University of Texas (Love you Buss ;)  He specializes in the steeplechase and recently ran a personal best in the 1500m race.