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By Harold L. Shaw Posted in Running

Swiftwick Socks Review

Swiftwick Logo

I purposely don’t get overly excited about a product when I first see or use it whether I buy it or it comes as a media sample, because I have learned the hard way that how a product feels, looks and works when they are new are sometimes vastly different after a little bit of time goes by.

Perhaps with all the running gear that I have bought or tried over the years, I have become slightly jaded or skeptical, about manufacturer’s claims of greatness or maybe I just getting to be a crotchety old guy. Winking smile

Swiftwick_0681During the Runner’s World Half Festival, in the swag bag there were a pair of Swiftwick Aspire Socks, when I first saw them I thought to myself – just what I need another pair of socks and put them off to the side.

A little later I decided to take a closer look at them and went to the website and did a little looking around. What I saw intrigued me. I like products made in the USA (old-fashioned), a company that supports athletes and the claim that they would not stink – well if that was true, TheWife would appreciate that, because my feet and socks do STINK after running.

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Back to Running Again-Well Maybe 10/24/12

The Runner’s World Half Festival is over and the memories while great are just that memories. Now it is time to get back in my normal running routine again, so today, I went out to do an easy 5.0 mile run. Unfortunately, my hamstrings are not ready for running that far yet and I cut it a mile short.

The hammies were barking at me pretty good by the I got done running. Then this afternoon I rototilled the garden, probably didn’t help them, but it had to be done. I used The Stick to roll them out and that seemed to help a lot. I probably actually need to take a few days off and let them rest/heal up. See how they are tomorrow.

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#RWHalf Festival Final Reflection and Recap

runners-world-half-logoWow!!! is all I can say about the Runner’s World Half Festival and the amazing extended weekend that I had!!!!

I needed a day to recover, recuperate and take a little break from the immersion in running, blogging and driving down and back (9 hours each way). I have had a long drive back and a day to think about and reflect on what happened and the people that I met during the Festival

To be honest, the Runner’s World Half Festival was probably the highlight of my running career. From the people that I met (other FitFluential Ambassadors, Runner’s World Staff, Race Sponsors and other runners), to the races themselves and the support that the City of Bethlehem provided, everyone was simply amazing.

Here are my previous posts on the Festival:

While running in the Runner’s World Festival inaugural races and setting a this year PR in the 5K and running my first “official” half marathon were really cool, the most important and best part of the Festival were the people that I met!

I am trying to use photos, that I haven’t used before Smile. I only took over 1,000 photos during the event, so there are a few to choose from.

The people are what made this event so special!

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Central Maine Striders – Resurrection

Central Maine Striders’ Facebook page

The Central Maine Striders have a long and great tradition of being a big part of the running community in Central Maine, but the same as many other organizations and clubs in today’s world, membership and interest levels have waned and it has fallen on difficult times.

Last night I attended my first Central Maine Striders Running Club meeting, which was the first one that they have had since I became a member in February. While the club still is active and does a few races, it has become in the words of one long-time club member a Newsletter club, instead of the vibrant running club it once was.

This is really unfortunate and not the reason that I wanted to join. I joined because I wanted to meet other runners, develop friendships that go beyond running and give back to the local running community.

During the meeting we discussed ideas and strategies to resurrect the club and bring it back to being more than a Newsletter club. I enjoyed listening to the long-time club members talk about how it used to be and thought about how great it would be for it to be that way again. It will take a lot of work, to be sure, but I believe that it is something that would be so great for the Central Maine Running Community.

We decided that the first step would be to start group runs again and use the new Central Maine Striders’ Facebook page, to help Central Maine Runners connect with one another!

Our first Group run is scheduled for:

  • DATE: Sunday, October 28th

  • Time: 9:00 A.M.

  • Where: Colby’s Lower Parking Lot

  • Distance/Pace: TBD

We will figure the routes and paces that morning. Personally, I really hope that this group run idea is successful, that other runners from Central Maine start to show up and have some fun running with other local runners. We plan to keep up this group run schedule for the foreseeable future.

Do you have any ideas or other days that would be more convenient or better for running a group run? Please let us know or comment below.

Also do you have any memories or great stories about the Central Maine Striders that you would like to share. Eventually, we  are looking at setting up a Central Maine Striders’ blog and website and would love to include positive or funny stories about the club there.

I would love to meet some new runners or some veteran runnahs on Sunday to re-start the Central Maine Striders’ Group run :-).

See you Sunday Morning!!!

AVR – Week In Review #RWHalf the Main Story 10/21/12

This has been one of those weeks that I will remember for the rest of my life!!!

I got to go to the Runner’s World inaugural Half Event as a FitFluential Blogger. It was simply amazing all the great people who I got to meet (both at Runner’s World and other FitFluential Ambassadors). We were treated fantastically and it was worth driving down from Maine to attend the Event!!! Continue reading

#RWHalf Rave Run Through Bethlehem – 10/19/12

WOW!!! It is 9:30 P.M. and I having my first opportunity to sit down and do my RUNLOG blog!!!! I’ve been slightly on screech all day! However, it has all been worth it!!!

When I looked out the window this is what I saw

This morning we got to go running around Bethlehem to see parts of the race course with Bart Yasso, Golden Harper, some other of the Altra Running Staff and of course the FitFluential Ambassadors

 

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Runner’s World Meet and Greet BBQ

Tonight was a meet and greet BBQ at The Runner’s World Offices. Usually these kind of things are something you gotta do as part of work, but tonight I was excited about going! Being a runner this is one of those places that I have dreamed about going to and having the  opportunity to meet so many of the Runner’s World Staff and also my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors in an atmosphere conducive to mingling in a relaxed atmosphere.

The ride over was noisy, with everyone introducing themselves, getting to know one another (beyond our Twitter handles or Blog Names).

Then when we got to Runner’s World we were met by Bart Yasso and David Willey Continue reading

Looking at the #RWHalf Courses

I just got back from looking at the Runner’s World Half, 10K and 5K courses, which I will be running 2 of this weekend. I had been hearing rumors and innuendo about how hilly the courses are, it worried me a little. I don’t mind running hills and live in Maine so hills are just a part of living and running there, but I wanted to see how much these hills would be slowing me down.

Driving the course is not just as simple as following the map, there are different one-way streets that we will be running in the opposite direction. So I had to drive around, plus not knowing the area made it even more interesting. I am sure that they thought I was some crazy tourist from Maine – well…we don’t need to go there 🙂

Go to the Runner’s World Website for the Course Maps and a video featuring Bart Yasso.

Here are some photos that I took while driving around:

 

Looking down E 1st Street – flat and fast

 

 

Looking up towards Webster Street the first hill.

 

The Fahy Bridge

There are some hills out towards Moravian College which will get your attention, but I didn’t get a picture of, but one is in the Runner’s World video.

This is the little rise towards the end after coming off Founders Way.

Overall – they look like GREAT courses, they will challenge you, but there are a lot of flat and downhill areas, none of the hills are mountains, but they will slow you down a little bit.

It has the potential to be a challenging, but faster course than I first thought when I looked at the course descriptions. I guess that it depends upon where you are coming from geographically. If you are coming from a fairly flat area, it is going seem pretty hilly and if you are coming from an area with lots of hills, it won’t seem too bad.

I will be participating in the inaugural Runners World Half Marathon as a FitFluential Ambassador. My race registration will be provided by Runners World. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Feeling Ready After Todays Runs 10-18-12

This morning has been very hectic, trying to do things remotely that need to get done, and try to temper my excitement about the Runner’s World Half and 5K, this weekend.

Finally, it got to the point where I just needed to go for a run to burn off some excess energy and give the old brain a break.

So I ran the same 3.1 mile course. Only this time I didn’t start my running application, just my stopwatch. I purposely slowed myself down at a couple of different points of the run because I was going faster than I wanted to.

I had a good strong run and really like my new Zensa Calf Sleeves (which I purchased yesterday) – which will become something that I wear a lot when running. They are snug, not super tight and are very comfortable.  Continue reading