Asking for a friend: Double or Single Knots?

A recent Facebook poll on my favorite Running group asked if we preferred double, or single knots on our running shoes. The results are a mixed bag, with a few write-ins for Velcro (I’m not sure if they are serious), Lace-locks, and bungees.

I’m a little torn b/c I’m an in-between kinda guy, maybe not in the Velcro. Okay, I realize that was joke, but still. Allow me to explain- it all boils down to the shoe laces.

**SCIENCE ALERT! What follows is a highly scientific and comprehensive review, I am a professional, do not try this at home, results will vary!**

My Brooks Launch 4’s laces are perfect for a single knot, they are semi-round /oval, soft with reinforced ridged edges. The laces don’t stretch or flex very much, but there’s enough give that they hold a knot very well. When tied correctly, a single knot will suffice for all activities.

Using my extensive and highly scientific methods of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 5/16″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace. This is not sponsored or endorsed by Lowes.

My Hoka Bondi 4’s laces are complete garbage (sorry Hoka) I would double knot those bad boys only to have them fall apart – even when tied correctly! I gave up on those solid ridged laces and replaced them with iBungee laces. The bungee laces have treated me very well and I actually feel like my feet breath a little better.

No stretch test- it’s bungee folks. Don’t get carried away.

My Merrell Agility’s are a double knot kinda of shoe. The laces are flat with no hard ridges, single knots seem to slip up too easily because they stretch a fair amount while running. Plus, when it comes to trail running, I’ll take the added assurance of a double knot.

Again, utilizing extensive and highly scientific methods of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 13/16″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace.

My Mizuno Wave Rider’s laces are round, super soft, super stretchy, and yet hold a perfect knot. I have these tied in a lace lock fashion, so I’m sure that is an added bonus.

Using my extensive method of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 1-3/8″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace.

My New Balance 880’s have a flat shoelace with a center reinforced stitch. These laces hold a single knot extremely well, and have very little to no stretch. No stretch has its drawbacks especially if you tie them too tight.

Finally, using my highly scientific method of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 1/4″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace.

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In addition to my love for running, I also love food and eating the right kinds of foods to fuel my passion for hitting the road or trails. I’d love to know your story, and I’d love to be able to share your success with our Podcast audience.

We all have our running story. What’s yours? 

After my weight loss transformation, I re-discovered my love for running and being active.  After overcoming weight issues and lack of self-confidence, I laced up and never looked back.

Now it’s your chance – come run with us on our podcasting adventure, share your triumphs (or even your failures) and join our online community of like-minded individuals!

 

Running for Charity

Let me clear the air for those of you looking for the nitty-gritty details.  Here it is: Download the Charity Miles App – record your miles and raise money for charity or your choice.  Seems pretty easy, right?

For me, not so much. A few months ago I was getting frustrated with always having to run with a cell phone or iPod for my music.  I dabbled in fancy headphones and running belts to try to suit my needs, but just found myself wasting time trying to make it all work.  So I ditched the phone, the belt, and the headphones and run with no music or distractions.  I’m forced to listen to myself breathe and hear nothing but my feet hitting the ground beneath me.

Needless to say, I downloaded this app months ago and never logged in.  After guilt getting the better of me, I decided to open the app, sign-in, and start raising funds.  The interface is simple to use, and you can select between indoor or outdoor walking or running, as well as outdoor biking.  While I’m not 100% sure how comfortable I feel running with my phone again, I have been logging in almost daily to record my morning and afternoon walks – and knowing that I’m helping raise funds for a charity of my choice is pretty rewarding.

Question: What are some of your favorite running apps?

All About the Food! Plant-based!

Physical fitness is a mental and physical game – but let’s not neglect nutrition! After all, it’s all about the food! This week I’m sharing the past three top Plant-based meals we’ve had that I just can’t get enough! Let’s balance this out with my weekly new favorite Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Let’s kick it off with Breakfast! My favorite recent plant-based breakfast has to be: Banana Bread Pancakes These bad boys were filling and so delicious, especially topped with the crumbled nuts and maple syrup!  We paired our pancakes with fresh fruits and some savory peppery potatoes!

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Lunchtime doesn’t have to be heavy, so soups are a classic go-to for us.  This Lentil Soup recipe we tried was hearty and downright awesome!  Paired with some freshly baked bread, this meal is sure to satisfy and will fill you up but not weigh you down.

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Dinner time calls for all the carbs!  That’s why we love this Cauliflower Bolognese and matching salad!  Nothing rounds the day out like some whole grain pasta, covered with bolognese.

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Make sure you check out Beyond 24 Days for the most up to date recipes and meal ideas!

Podcast Episode 21 – Return of the Cheese

It’s all about the food! Seriously, food is life so we talk about it all the time.  Join us in Episode 21 of the Beyond 24 Days Podcast – Cheese is back and ruined EVERYTHING! Okay not everything, but you get the picture.

Join us in catching up from the last 3 months of being away from podcasting. We talk about how easy it is to fall off the wagon, dining smart while traveling, and of course (my favorite) running and race recaps!

Race Recap: Ragnar Relay, Pennsylvania

Where should I start? Let’s rewind to January 2018, my friend asked me if I wanted to join him and his Ragnar Relay team – I scoped out the website, saw I had a couple hundred days to train and said, “why not?” After which I was promptly added to the team roster.  I came up with a fairly reasonable training plan and figured I had plenty of time to work out the details.

My friend hosted a couple of meetings, where we all got together and chose our “legs” based on runner number and also met to discuss logistics. For those of you that are new to Ragnar, it can be broken down like this:

The Ragnar Relay is a 200-ish mile race from one city to another.  The relay race is made up of teams.  Each team is comprised of up to 12 runners.  The 200-ish miles are divided into “legs”, ranging from 3 – to 9 miles each.  Each runner is assigned predetermined legs.  The first 6 runners are assigned to “Van 1” and the remaining 6 runners are assigned to “Van 2”.  Each runner runs 3 legs over the course of the entire race.

The race started from Lancaster area and ran all the way up to the Poconos.  Our team of 12 looked at each runner number and predetermined legs to find one that suited our running best.  Since this was my first relay, I chose one of the runner positions that had around 18 miles total – about the middle of the pack compared to the other available slots.  Anyway, not to bore you with the details, but due to some scheduling conflicts and last minute trades, I ended up in the Runner 4 position (totaling 16 miles).

My legs were: Leg 4 (4.6 miles), Leg 16 (3.45 miles), and Leg 28 (8 miles).

Enough talk here are some photos I took (enjoy!):

Gear Prep: I had packed 3 sets of running clothes, 3 pairs of shoes (2 to run, 1 pair to relax), various hats and bandannas, Feetures! and Mojo Socks, Running belt, headphones, safety gear, and a CamelBack waterpak.

Not shown, electronic prep included a portable battery pack (which was stolen or lost on race day) phone charging cables, iPad, iPhone, Garmin Charger, Garmin Forerunner 225, and two GoPro cameras and batteries.

At exchange 12-13, our van was looking pretty awesome.

In hindsight, we brought too much food. Everyone on the team thought it was great to bring trail mix, nuts, water, and snacks. I also thought it would be awesome to supply everyone with HoneyStinger products. Needless to say, no one was leaving or going hungry.  We had some much leftover food it’s not even funny – and despite grazing on snacks the entire time I constantly felt like I could just eat a nasty juicy burger.

Here I am at exchange 3-4 about to head out on a nice 4.6 mile run not too far from home (top) and coming in hot to hand off at the next exchange (bottom):

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It was awesome and exhausting. Our driver had backed out so our Team Captain and I took over driving and navigating responsibilities. Not ideal, but it really made this a hands-on adventure and added to my experience. Since I had roughly 12 hours between my legs, I was willing to tackle the job. I should also mention, we decided as a team to split up the driving for the ride home, so I was more than happy to pass out!

I snagged a few pics from my GoPro from my second leg. It was a nice 3.45 miles around a park along the water and ended up at a Church parking lot.  We were on time crunch, so I literally arrived and jumped right into the Van.

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After this things got blurry for me. We had about 6-7 hours of downtime which would have been ideal for rest, but being short on a driver required our Team Captain and me to stay awake and navigate to the overnight exchange. I will say, it was worth it- there is so much to take it we hung around a little too long at the second Van 1 – Van 2 exchange. This put us back a smidge and we got a late start to the overnight point.  We skipped going out to dinner or even stopped for fast food, we just had a laser focus on getting to the next exchange.

Sleep was (is) optional if you can sneak in a few Zzz’s I’d recommend it! All-in-all I got 3 hours of restless sleep, and that’s rounding up a little.  When I did sleep, it was one of those wild and crazy “I’m past the point of tired” dreams.  I dreamt that a girl named  Megan joined our team and was out to sabotage us, which became the running joke the following morning.

The next morning I was slated to run at 6:30 am and since we were running about 40 minutes ahead as fast as I could get ready, I was off!  I got to take in some truly beautiful scenery and since my portable power supply was gone, I didn’t get a chance to charge up my GoPros. This hill (above) lead to some amazing sights, my teammates captured some of the beauty.  The course ran along many dirt roads, the further north we traveled.  You could just feel how remote we were running along these winding roadways in the middle of the countryside with not a house in sight.

Our van by this point was looking pretty rough as well, but all in good fun.  I had added a few more tick marks to our miles and a few more sayings along the way.  Despite having backup cameras, we still couldn’t land the perfect parking job when reversing into spots.

Our final meeting was at a drive-in theater. We were all exhausted and over it, but still amped up for the finish.  Once we finished our legs, I drew Larry Enticer on the side of the window of our van, encouraging Van 2 to just send it to the finish line.

Drive-in pics:

All-in-all this post isn’t doing my experience justice. It was hands down awesome and I’d do it all again.  I knew 2 people on the team when I joined, and that’s being generous – when I left I never felt more comfortable with a group of new-found friends than I have before.  You wouldn’t think you’d go through so many emotions in such a short time, but we all laughed at the good times and shared in the pain when the running (and hills) got tough.  I walked away from this experience amazed at what the body is capable is doing despite fatigue, and feel an added boost of confidence in myself.

Here’s to the next one!

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Confessions of a Sock Aficionado

Hold up, before you go any further, this post is not sponsored, endorsed, or paid by Feetures!  This review is my own experience purchasing and using these wonderfully awesome socks.  Also, I know I’m getting older when the thought of a brand new pair of socks excites me, and these bad boys take the cake! Psst, Feetures! Call me, let’s get hooked up.

When it comes to socks, I have an obsession. I’m a stickler for comfort, and will destroy a laundry basket of perfectly clean wash in search for my go-to pairs. I become a sock archaeologist and will remove layer after layer in search of perfect pair. And when I discover my match, a sigh of relief from my feets and cry of joy from my heart.

You may all know of my love for Mojo Compression socks (and I still hold them in high regard), but I found out quickly that while they were great for recovery and road running activities, trail running proved to be a different beast.  Keep in mind, I used and swear by the Mojo Coolmax socks for recovery and for extended runs.  They are light, breathable, and offer full support, but this isn’t about Mojo socks.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk Feetures!  I was getting discouraged after being introduced to trail running when my Merrell shoes were giving me blisters after about 5 miles of activity.  I tried various socks, and combinations of socks, to no avail – I was starting to think I struck out and picked a bum trail running shoe.  I even doubled-up on socks and found they kind of helped, but my feet were still a little sore afterward – and who wants to have to double-up on socks? It just feels like a waste.

I was in my favorite local running store grabbing some supplies, when I spotted a wall of Feetures! socks and noticed they boasted a money-back-satisfaction-guarantee.  Insert my face, with a dark smirk, I knew the perfect test.  Enter the 7 miles of trails with my local running club aka HELL on shoes and socks, a true battleground for proving equipment claims and effectiveness.

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I grabbed the first pair of socks, sized to my foot (L), and decided it was on.  The next morning I woke up excited to hit the trails and slipped on my Feetures! socks.  It’s crazy to think that something like socks can be a game-changer, but you’d be surprised.  The trails were wet and flooded out following a recent rainfall, so I knew this would be a true test of quality.  After the first 3 miles, I was feeling good, and the socks were holding up well.  I was doing my best to avoid the puddles, when after hopping over a log lead me to a full on mud bath splash down.  I was soaked and started to get worried that maybe this wasn’t the proper way to break-in a fresh pair of socks – but I pressed onward.

By the end of the 7 miles, I was re-charged, I spent so much time focusing on where I was landing that I completely forgot about my feet and my socks.  In fact, it wasn’t until I got home and took off my socks did I realize there wasn’t a blister or soreness to complain about.  Feetures! YOU ROCK!

Since purchasing these bad boys, I’ve logged about 20+ miles on them and have no complaints – these are my go to brand now for all distance running activities.