Monday, February 24, 2014

Skora Fit initial impression

Skora Fit
About 5 days ago, I got a long blue thin box delivered to my apartment.  I knew exactly what it was, was expected it, but even so, I couldn’t wait to rip open the packaging and see what had arrived.  When I first heard about the Skora Fit’s, what drew me in to them was their obvious look.  They just looked amazing.  Bright orange, you cant beat that (except for my bright yellow Skora Base).  I have been hearing about The Fit’s for a few months because of my association with Skora, but all I was told is “they are coming, relax”.  So when they finally came, I couldn’t relax.
I have been wearing them for a few days now and, my initial impression of the Skora Fit’s are as follows:

Riley will eventually be old enough to wear them
1)  They are sleek, sexy, cool, and awesome.  Even the female colors are cool that I would wear them. The colors range from Orange, Pink, Yellow, Grey with Blue,  to name a few colors.  But they aren’t obnoxiously loud.  They are the right amount of bright but with some subtleties in them.  I love bright shoes, and these definitely fit the bill.  But the toned down colors are very sleek looking and just look fast.

2) They feel absolutely amazing.  I slipped my foot in and it literally feels like I am wearing a slipper.  This is no joke, no overstatement at all.  The Fit's were the most comfortable shoe I have ever put on.  I don't like to wear my running shoes for anything other than running, but so far I have not been able to take them off.

3) On the run, there is no shoe that is more comfortable. For those who don't like a "minimal" feel, you don't have to worry about this.  There is (in my opinion) more cushioning than any other Skora that I own, but still less than most shoes on the market.  What this does is allow for more ground feel but you don't get that "tired foot" feeling after putting so many miles on your feet with the added cushioning. I can make somewhat of a comparison to the Saucony Kinvara.  However, with less cushioning, more ground feel, more responsiveness, and an overall better ride. I ran in the Kinvara's for 3 years so I was a fan of them.  But in my opinion, the Skora Fit blows them away. 

All ready to get outside and run
I've had the Fit's for 5 days now and I have put about 50 plus miles on them already.  There was a mix of workouts from a 14 mile run, 7 mile tempo run, hill workout, and even a treadmill run.  The Fit's were comfortable on all of my runs and my legs didn't feel as tired as they normally do. 

The only concern I have right now is there seems to be a lack of ventilation in them.  On 2 of my runs, I felt my feet get hotter than normal, and this is including wearing them in colder temperatures here in the North East.  What was weird is I didn't notice it during my last run in the warmest day, but I did on the colder days.  I wore the same socks so I know it was that.  I'll continue to monitor this part though.

Even Thunder wants in on the action

My initial impression of these shoes are they are as close to perfect as you can get in a shoe.  There are a few things that I might like in other shoes (no laces in the Base and ability to wear them sockless during Triathlons), but as an overall shoe, this one is at the top of my list in just the first 5 days. 

I'll update after I put a couple hundred miles on them, but the way things are going, that wont take long.  This is my go to shoe right now because of how absolutely comfortable they are.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

95th Birthday Celebration

This past weekend, my entire family went down to Florida to celebrate my grandfathers 95th birthday.  My grandfather lives down in Florida with his "lady friend" and is totally with it.  He still drives, goes to dinner, drinks, is active, and has the best memory of anyone I know.  So my family including my parents, sister, the wife, Riley and I joined my 2 aunts, 2 cousins, and their children to have one big celebration for him.

The entire celebratory crew
It was also nice to get out of the nasty snowy North East.  Temperatures above 25 degrees with no snow was more than welcomed. 

During the weekend, we had one big lunch for everyone and a few dinners if people wanted to attend.  For the most part it was a tale of a few different vacations.  First, we went to see my grandfather.  It is was only the 2nd time he got to meet Riley so this was nice for them to spend some time together.  The wife and I went down a few days early since the flights were cheaper and it also gave us some time without the entire posse there.  So we got to see some friends that we haven't seen in a while. 

The other part of the vacation was a typical vacation with the family. I mentioned this when we went to Maine in August last year. Everyone says they want to help out and give the wife and I a break, but it turns out that is only true when it is convenient for them.  It was so frustrating.  Riley is also in a "the only person I want to spend time with is Daddy" stage so no matter who was with him, he would cry and reach out to me.  This meant that everyone else got a nice vacation and could enjoy their meals peacefully and I was the one standing outside the restaurant with him when he was cranky, or I was the who couldn't relax since he would always want to be around me.  For the most part, I love when he's like this.  But every so often its nice to have a break. No such luck this past weekend. 

The before doughnut bite

The after licking his lips to get all the sugar he can

This also marked the first time Riley went on an airplane.  He did pretty well.  We planned the flight times around his usual nap time thinking this would give us an advantage.  Yeah, we struck out.  The flight going down to Florida, Riley was his normal playful self and then he fell asleep the last 20 minutes of the flight. No huge complaints here. The flight back, well, it was a nightmare.  He was so cranky and whiny and of course wouldn't go to mommy.  So I was that parent who had the crying baby on the plane.  Just about 20,000 feet on the decline Riley woke up from his short little nap and was wailing.  There was nothing we could do.  I kept apologizing to everyone I saw, but for 15-20 minutes the screeching that came out of him was intolerable.  But he calmed down and was good after that.  All in all, I would give Riley a B+ on the plane.  I would give the wife a big fat F though.  She said she would help but all she did was play cards with a random 8 year old girl on the plane, then read her book and magazines while I was playing with Riley. Even when I asked for her to help and get me something, she had an attitude and looked at me like I had 3 eyes or something.  I'm definitely owed for that one.

The one thing that I really took out of this past weekend was how appreciative my grandfather was of everything. It's not every day that you turn 95 and that we got to celebrate with him.  It was really nice to see 4 generations of family there.

4 generations of the men in the family

He can't wait to get in the pool

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why are we so competitive

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who just got the Wahoo Kickr.  Since him and I spoke a few months ago when I got mine, it was natural for the 2 of us to talk about his new purchase.  As time went on we found out we are both using the program TrainerRoad for our workouts.  For those of you who don't know what TrainerRoad is, it basically controls your Kickr (or other resistance trainer) for you.  You just pick the course you want to ride, and based on where you are at during a given ride, TrainerRoad will communicate with the Kickr to either add or decrease resistance.  I have to say, its an awesome program and I can feel how much stronger I am getting.

Anyway, back to the story.  As we went back and forth we started speaking about our FTP, power outputs, courses we ride, how long we can sustain rides, and stuff like that.  It was great to hear how both of us were using the programs and getting the benefits.  The problem was, as we kept talking it was like we were trying to one-up each other. I actually couldn't care less about one-upping him since we are 2 totally different riders.  He rides for fun on a road bike, while I train on my Tri bike.  He is definitely a stronger cyclist than I am.  He loves to ride, where I love to run.  He weighs about 50 pounds more than me so of course his natural wattages will be higher than mine.  But it just seems like the more we spoke, the more we were comparing ourselves to each other.

He asked for my TrainerRoad ID so he can check my rides, which is really cool, as I got his and have been looking at his.  Which got me thinking.  Why do I care what other people are doing?  I have no idea, but now I keep trying to out do him and his weekly rides.  I want to have a higher TSS, IF, and better rides than him.  I want my NP to be so much more than him, but I weight 50 pounds lighter.  He should have a higher NP than me naturally.  But for what reason do I care so much?  We are 2 totally different people and not competing with each other.  So why do I care what he's doing?

I guess it's just naturally ingrained in us to be competitive.  I am randomly getting emails from him showing me a certain workout he did, and I thus feel compelled to share with him mine.  Every one of us is competitive.  Its just a question of how large or small.  The wife is competitive with her friends, but obviously to a different degree.  She wants to have a better party than her friends, have Riley walk, talk, or do something faster/better than his friends, have a better SoulCycle class than her friends, go on a better vacation, etc.  It makes no sense.  Her being competitive with her friends has no relevance on our lives.  We have a great life and we both know it. Yet, if one of her friends does something, she gets so mad and has to out do them. 

I understand why we are competitive when training or racing, but I just don't understand why we are so competitive in our daily lives.  It's just something we all do, but for no good reason.