Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dog Run (or walk)

Please join members of SEHRC for a Dog Run or Walk on January 17, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

The Dog Run will start at Questhaven Park, located at the corner of Hollowbrook Court and Questhaven Road in San Marcos.  We will travel by the Garden Trail to the Copper Creek trail and make our way to the San Elijo Hills dog park.  Once there, the dogs can be let off leash, play with one another and drink water.  After a bit, we will make our way back to the start.  Total distance, 2-3 miles.

This is a great run for beginning runners and we welcome runners with or without dogs.  Leashes are required.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice 20 miler

The run today was a preview of a portion of the course of the San Diego 50, which Chris, Travis and Vince are running.  I'm a big believer in running courses prior to racing, so we took a field trip.

There's not much to say about a run like today, besides it was awesome.  We started with eight, three went about 15, the other five went 20. The temperature was 48 at the start and it slowly warmed up.

The trails are nice and moist from the recent rains and the conditions were perfect.  This was also the first time we had a club run with our new jerseys, making it extra special.

It's fun to be friends with a bunch of guys who can go out and run for three hours and pass mountain bikers along the way.  I leave you with a photo essay of today's run - thanks to Charlie Sunshine for bringing his phone.

SEHRC Shirt Fest 2014 @ Stumblefoot

Shirtfest 2014 was the first club event that did not involve running.  Instead, we handed out club shirts and hats, drank beer and ate from the New Orleans food truck.

Stumblefoot Brewery, one of the club's sponsors, was kind enough to give club members a buy one beer, get one beer free special.  If you haven't been to Stumblefoot, check it out.  It's got a mellow, laid back vibe, great beer and I road my mountain bike right into the tasting room.

As usual, we talked about running and running shoes to run in.  Along the same lines, we are in the process of developing a pilot for a new panel discussion television show, called "Runners on Running."  Should be exciting stuff . . .

The out of control shirtfesters moshing in the pit

Professional shoe model, Travis, flew in from Milan to showcase
the new Hoka Challenger ATR

We like food!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Denk RunRide 2014


Memory is a funny thing.  It's not always clear and frequently confused.  To wit, Denk RunRide.  Did I come up with the idea, or did Erik Dekold?  I know I came up with the name, but whose concept was it?  I can't recall, which by the way is an excellent deposition answer.  I think Erik and I both had an idea of putting on an event with runners and mountain bike riders and when we started talking about it, we collectively created it.  But Erik can call bullshit on that if he wishes.

Some of the fastest people on Earth
 From Conception to Execution

It's one thing to have an idea, it's another thing to execute.  That's what I do for a living.  I don't consider myself an attorney per se, I'm more like a problem solver, a fixer, a mechanic.  Many attorneys don't seem interested in crafting a solution, more like lemmings proceeding over the cliff of litigation.  I take the rock out of your shoe [wink at Kamran].  I make the problem go away.  I bury it in the Meadowlands.

Podium Spots - Coed Division
It's great to have ideas.  It's another to get it done.  Erik gets it done.  Erik sends me messages.  Erik emails me.  Erik motivates me.  He's quite good at it.  Once the RunRide was conceived, it had to be executed, I had no choice.  Erik may think I pushed it along, but having him in the background makes me push it along.  Chicken or the egg?  Yin or yang? 

At the same time as the idea was coalescing in our collective brains, Stumblefoot decided to become a SEHRC sponsor and offer up some beer.  The plan, and you know I can never say it enough, was beginning to come together.  (See

Continuing on with my overreliance on euphemisms, I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. Fresh off Erik's Turkey Hump and Dax's Peaksgiving, it was time to utilize the synergy and gain some traction (no pun intended, purely business speak puke).  Erik would rope in the riders, me the runners. 

Podium Spots - Overall + Sadist Solo Class
The Devil is in the details

First, we needed a course.  I had never designed a course before.  I knew I wanted one completely on trail that included a climb and limited riders and runners coming at one another.  The dump and Denk Mountain offered that opportunity.  With the exception of about 400 meters, the participants had no chance to cross paths with one another.  Box checked - it was time to pick a date. 

I knew we had to get it done before Christmas (can I say that anymore, or should I say December 25th?) or it wouldn't happen.

First Crush
The big issue was time of the start.  Apparently mountain bikers don't like to get up as early as runners.  But it had to be 7:00 a.m.  I had two futsal games to coach, incidentally the team won both with a collective score of 25-10, so anything later was no bueno (three years of Spanish for you).

To Facebook, Batman.  For the last 18 months, the club has been on Strava.  I resisted Facebook.  Erik suggested, I relented.  In one day we had 30 members.  In one week we had 50.  Okay, maybe I was wrong.  Strava, Blogger, Facebook and Instragram.  I'm still resisting Twittter, I just don't see the point - but check back in a year.  It's a lot of work to man four social media sites.  I need a Communications Officer, anyone as hot as Nyota Uhura, please apply, you will get the job.  Notice she's left-handed, that means she's smarter than you right-handers.

After a few days, we had four teams.  Great!  Enough to run the event.  Erik kept recruiting, and the teams kept coming.  On race day, 10 teams.  Awesome, this was a real event.

One last thing.  The afternoon before the race, I road down to the course with some high visibility tape and began to mark the course.  This was again a first.  I knew the course, as I had designed it.  But what of the person who had never run/ridden out here before?  I wanted their experience to be good, so I marked the crap out of the course.  It was a peaceful experience knotting tape to trees and poles as the sun set, out in the middle of the woods.  Call me Robert Frost.

But to run a real event, you need at least one volunteer aka timekeeper.  Lucky for me, bad for him, Greg Fall was that volunteer.  Injured, he was not participating.  This was also good, as he would've kicked my ass.  Greg took to the task with gusto and was Mr. Timekeeper.  Thanks Greg!

Greg working it
Before I knew it.  Race day was here.  When I got to the start, riders and runners were already assembling.  Wow, this is happening.  We even received two pairs of socks from the Sock Guy.  The race then started and soon enough it finished.  It went off without a hitch and smiles were all around.

Rather than give the prizes to the top finishers, Erik and I decided to award tickets based on finish, e.g. 10 tickets to first place, 9 tickets to second place, etc.  We then placed those tickets in a hat and drew out the winners, so everyone had a chance to win.  One crazy dude decided to run the course and then ride it by himself - we automatically gave him a prize - how could you not?

Big winners:  IPA
Winners of the much coveted socks
Beer please!
Winner, Solo Sadist Class
The SEHRC crew
The best part of the day for me was when Erik, Greg, Ibex and a few others volunteered to go back out on the course and clean up the course markings.  Awesome.

Oh yeah, Erik and I won.  That was awesome too.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Denk RunRide Stumblefoot Beer

The Stumblefoot beer has been received from the brewery and is safely tucked away in my refrigerator. Looking forward to Denk RunRide next weekend.   Big shout out to SEHRC sponsor STUMBLEFOOT!!  Thanks for the beer. 

Stumblefoot is located at the base of San Elijo Hills in La Costa Meadows. Check it out. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hoka Stinson ATR Shoe Review

I’d like to start off this review with a confession. I used to mock people that wore Hokas. “Look at those dorks wearing those clown shoes” was something I thought to myself more than once. I was a road runner having competed in numerous half marathons, 10k’s, and marathons dating back to 1994. I’ve logged my fair share of miles in traditional running shoes made by Brooks, Nike, Saucony, and New Balance. I was happy in those shoes, they worked well on the mostly flat roads that I trained and raced on.

Then something happened.  I moved to San Elijo Hills in San Marcos, Ca and started running the trails where it is virtually impossible to get a run in without either going up or down a hill. There are very few flat sections. At first I hated it. My feet hurt from the sharp rocks on the trails and my Achilles tendons were miserable from running uphill all the time. Then I developed a case of plantar fasciitis for the first time in 20 years of running. Running downhill made me want to cry. I experimented with different trail shoes. First was the Brooks Cascadia. The rock plate in them reduced the pain of running over rocks but that same rock plate made the shoe very stiff which I didn’t like because my PF always flared up in them. Next up was the Nike Wildhorse which was better but still not the answer. I liked the low toe to heel drop (4mm) and I felt nimble in them, but running over rocks in them was not fun. I could feel them poking into my tender feet, especially in the second half of my long runs. Plus they were not durable.

So eventually, I decided to give the Hoka Stinson a try after a local runner whom I respected raved about them. The Hokas proved to be a game changer. They have a 4mm heel to toe drop which I like and the oversized mid-sole and the extra cushioning felt like the running equivalent of a Cadillac. While stiff because of the mid-sole that has 2.5 times the cushioning of a traditional road shoe, I could run over the rocks without feeling them poking into my tender feet. The stiffness of the midsole is countered by a meta- rocker that helps move the foot through its natural motion.  The extra cushioning lessened the pain from my plantar fasciitis. In fact, my PF went away  while I was wearing the Hoks training for a 50k. This was a period where I was increasing my mileage! Now I could not only enjoy the scenery of trail running, but I could do it without my feet being in pain most of the time.

 My only quibble about them is the uppers. They tend to run narrow and I went through a period of getting blisters in them on my long runs. My feet are pretty calloused now and I've lost a few toenails, but now I don’t get the blisters. Sure my feet look more hideous than ever but it is worth it to me. I buy them in a half size larger than most my road running shoes and this helps overcome the narrow toe box. The other thing that is a huge selling point is that they are extremely durable. I have a pair that currently has 750 miles on them and they still feel pretty good. I am starting to be able to feel the ground a bit, but they work great on non-technical trails. I wouldn’t be surprised if I get another couple hundred miles out of them. I rarely run more than 400 miles in a pair of shoes.  All in all, the Hoka Stinson ATR is well worth the $160 price tag. A great value when you take into account the durability. I have three pairs that I bought on a clearance sale still in their boxes waiting to be worn when these are retired. That’s how much I like them. While not a shoe I chose when I want to run fast, they are my go to shoes for my training runs on the trails. Especially long runs on rugged trails.

reviewed by Chris Bryan