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30 June 2006

through the later stages of the gait cycle

for the best part of the past 20 years, i've been rocking either carolina ten inch leather side zipper field boots with lug outsoles or converse chuck taylor canvas high tops. while nothing can top the boots for pure trampling [please note: that word is 'trampling', not 'tramping'] power and the chucks incorporate 11 features which make it america's no. 1 shoe for america's no. 1 sport [source: charlie's chuck page], i knew neither would be suitable for the upcoming marathon. for the first time in years it was time to get scientific with my footwear. enter the saucony grid trigon 4.

grid. trigon. one. two. three. 4.

and they're white. i think i can count on one hand the number of people outside of my immediate family who have seen me in white shoes.

talk about high technology. i had to refer to the shoe science section on saucony's website to translate some of the features built into the grid trigon 4's.

first, the name... and _what_ a name. the grid trigon 4. i found 'grid' on the saucony website.

grid: 'saucony's patented technology. a woven configuration of hytrel™ filaments which provide superior cushioning and stability by centering the heel on impact.' see that? hytrel. er, i mean hytrel™. _my shoes_ have freaking hytrel™ filaments in them.

i'm not sure what 'trigon' refers to... three of something. dictionary.com defines the -gon suffix as 'a figure having a specified kind or number of angles'. apparently these shoes have three... angles?

grid trigon 4 features:

01. hrc strobel board: 'a responsive cushioning material used in the construction of the shoe that increases cushioning and comfort over conventional materials.' what the hell is a 'strobel'? i couldn't find 'strobel' in the glossary section of the website, but i did find 'hrc'.

hrc (high rebound compound): 'responsive eva/rubber compound which provides cushioning through the later stages of the gait cycle.' fortunately, 'eva' was also in the glossary.

eva midsole (ethylene vinyl acetate): 'a diverse midsole material which is durable, lightweight, and provides responsive cushioning.' hytrel™ _AND_ ethylene vinyl acetate!

02. forefoot hrc xtra cushioning: 'expanded forefoot cushioning system for a smooth, responsive toe-off.' nice. a smooth, responsive toe-off.

03. src impact zone: 'provides shock attenuation and sets up the foot for a smooth transition.' what the hell is 'src'? unfortunately, it wasn't defined in the glossary. support something or other?

04. compression molded eva: back to the strobel board? '(ethylene vinyl acetate): a diverse midsole material which is durable, lightweight, and provides responsive cushioning.'

so there you have it. the saucony grid trigon 4 shoes. i've been pounding the allston pavement with this technology for the past two and a half weeks. training has been going well. i wasn't able to run three miles without some significant walking breaks for the first few times out... now i can. the last half mile of each run is definitely tough... moreso due to a lack of overall conditioning, i believe, than leg muscle fatigue. next saturday will be the first step up in distance from three to six miles. i'm actually looking forward to it. i keep reminding myself that kai and i hiked 22.5 miles with heavy backpacks on one hot march day in new zealand.

i've yet to cut my beard since the motorcycle trip... i've been getting a few strange looks from randoms. i've upgraded my footwear, but have yet to upgrade the other components of my training rig and have been running in white t-shirts and cargo shorts and white tube socks. i tried out the falke tk2 hikingshoe coolmax® performance socks with the saucony grid trigon 4's and they don't really... uh... work well together... what do you think? ha! right. running socks will be my next purchase. as for the beard, i'm hoping randoms will find more similarities between forrest and me than between osama and me. speaking of forrest... check out the landscape behind him. look familiar? if you were following globalrecon.org last month, you might recognize the amazing monument valley scenery from this shot i took in utah; i rode for.great.justice down this road in may. at the time i had no idea i was riding in the footsteps of gump. [screenshots from forrest gump (1994); paramount pictures. amazing movie; check it.]

ah... for.great.justice. she sits idle in the driveway while i await some parts, still suffering from the battery charging problem which i first encountered in pennsylvania and which resulted in this tow on i-84 in new york.

back to the marathon... two random things: 01. eyebrows serve a real purpose. they keep sweat from dripping into the eyes. 02. nutrition. i went to the supermarket yesterday and bought a whole load of 'real' groceries. EAT YOUR HEART OUT NEW ZEALAND! it's time i started eating and drinking like an athlete. i've been upgrading my gatorade intake over the past two weeks. who knew gatorade came in a gallon jug?

they tried to break us.
looks like they'll try again.
: wild boys, duran duran

posted by paul on Fri 30 Jun 2006 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


So Paul, Ya think that you may be more aerodynamic if you cut the beard? I mean it may help, you might not feel like "God, I wish I could get this sweaty hair out of my face" at your 20th mile. You may even cut the time of your run a few seconds.
Good luck.

posted by Kelly on Sat 01 Jul 2006 at 06:13:00 est (-05:00)

leave the beard and shave your head for the marathon!!!

posted by james on Sat 01 Jul 2006 at 21:30:56 est (-05:00)

mrs. barger: i think perhaps i shall comb my beard to the sides to form two aerodynamic wings which will wisk me to the finish.

james: hmmm... definitely an idea.

posted by paul recon on Sun 02 Jul 2006 at 15:46:50 est (-05:00)

A bearded runner in the Allston area shouldn't
be too strange. If you make it to Wellesley , it
might be wise to take your passport.

posted by Bob on Wed 05 Jul 2006 at 09:18:32 est (-05:00)

For Paul's Mom - After nagging Mr.Recon for several weeks about the nutritional needs of the marathon runner, you will be happy to know that he is up to about a turkey sandwich per mile run. He does, however, still sport a monsterous amount of face rug.

To Paul - Trigon: A triangular indentation occurring as a growth mark on diamond octahedron faces. The sides of the trigon are reversed with respect to the face on which it occurs. I have seen your shoes. They sport trigons.

ALSO - In the Teen Titans, Trigon is a large, red, four-eyed demon with antlers. He is the father of Raven of the Teen Titans. Whatever, at least I don't watch The Next Generation...

Finally - See, I am so reading this stuff

posted by Sarah on Thu 06 Jul 2006 at 21:36:19 est (-05:00)

SWEET!! Wings, WOW! I'll be coming back to the east coast for that!

posted by Kelly on Fri 21 Jul 2006 at 01:21:42 est (-05:00)

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