Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day

8:35 AM - Westboro - 5 miles, 36:00.
4 x 15-second strides in the parking lot afterward.

I was able to squeeze in a short run on clear roads before opening the store this morning, my final foray into forward motion to wrap up this week of wacky weather. I have an early date with the spin bike tomorrow morning and my hope is that by Sunday the roads will be runnable once again. I'm happy to have made it through this seven-day stretch with no issues other than a pair of taut calves, which are no doubt a direct result of a serious spike in mileage. 33 for the week, in five days no less. Watch out now!

In other news, I closed the store at 2 o'clock this afternoon and got home early enough to actually cook myself dinner tonight. Translation: Cook myself dinner = I did not use the microwave. This is a rarity in my world and it was kind of fun. I also managed to not burn my house down either, adding to the excitement. And for all you doubters, I've included evidence of the finished product below.

Speaking of product, yesterday Rich and I took a peek at the Brooks footwear line for next fall. As I alluded to yesterday, it was expectedly solid. If I could make one criticism, however, it would be that Brooks just flat out has too much shit in their line. A couple years back they went ahead and created their own support category for crissakes. The bottom line is that the line needs to be dialed down. There, I said it.

As for specifics, there were no big surprises in my eyes other than the axing of the Axiom. Fear not, footwear fiends, Brooks did not - I repeat, did NOT - eliminate a shoe from their line. Oh, no. They just went ahead and created a similar shoe with a nifty new name known as the Ravenna. No split post like its predecessor, but the differences between old and new pretty much end there. This is a light stability shoe, "Guidance" by Brooks standards, and fits somewhere in the support line between a nimble neutral shoe like the Ghost and solid stability shoes such as the Adrenaline and Trance. I won't even bother getting into the Switch, Infiniti or this new neutral pseudo-racing shoe whose name escapes me at the moment. Don't have that kind of time. Actually, I do, but I don't feel like wasting it right now. That said, I like the Ravenna and can't wait to give it a whirl.

Also worth mentioning would be the transformation of the Trance from a low-riding, firm stability shoe to a high-flying plush pillow that tries to be a carbon copy of the Kayano. That said, I'm not sure this strategy is very sound. The fit of Trance 8 isn't quite as dialed in - or consistent as - the Emperor of the Asics kingdom. The new marshmallow-like midsole will mimic the super-soft step in feel of its number one rival in a well-cushioned stability shoes, but the big question is whether or not it will steal some sales from the Kayano or Hurricane. Considering the consistent following shoes in this category tend to develop, my short answer is no.

Last, but not least, would be the awesome array of racers Brooks continues to put out year after year. Nothing revolutionary here, and not many changes to write about, which, as always, is a good thing in my book. As I said in a previous post, if it ain't broke, don't fix, or at least don't mess with it too much. The # 1 cross country spike at PR Running, the Mach, only undergoes a color change for next fall, and it's a pretty sweet change at that. It almosts looks Turbo Phantomish with dueling color schemes on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe. As for road flats, I can't argue much with the T6 and Racer ST. They're proven winners with a fantastic fit and cool cosmetics.

And that's more than enough shoe talk for one night. Time to head out and shovel the driveway. Again.

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