Running the Zion 100 Mile Ultramarathon — My First 100 Miler

Running the Zion 100 Mile Ultramarathon — My First 100 Miler

Why would you want to run that?

The first step to any adventure is even knowing that the adventure exists. I first intersected this world of endurance running while I was hiking Handies Peak in July 2007 with my parents and fiancé. There were little flags along the trail that said Hardrock 100. I probably thought it was a bike race, but then we met a grey hair and his son as they came "running" up the other side of the summit. The man explained that he would be running Hardrock, that his son was pacing him, and he would be on the trail for about 48 hours. At the time, even the concept of adults running for enjoyment was foreign to me. That encounter planted a seed, but it wasn't until moving to Huntsville that the idea began to grow.

The runners of Huntsville opened a whole new world of potential adventures. I saw that real people (Ex: Rob Youngren) participate in amazing events, all kinds of people. You don't have to be fast, eat the perfect diet, or live in the mountains. You just have to want it. It doesn't matter why you want it, just that you want it so much that success is the only option.

After unexpectedly gaining entrance from the wait list and having a great run at the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile race in December 2012, I decided it was time to commit to the Zion 100. When I finished Lookout Mountain, my feet were shredded, my quads were dead, and I was on the verge of crying tears of exhaustion. A week after that, I committed to running the Zion 100.

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Daddy & Daughter Project—Xero Shoes FTW!

Daddy & Daughter Project—Xero Shoes FTW!

Want a fun, hour-long activity to do with your daughter (or son) that will leave them with their own custom, super-functional and healthy footwear? All you need is a kid's sized Xero Shoes huaraches kit, some colorful beads, and a little DIY huaraches step-by-step assistance.

A few weeks back on Father's Day, I let my oldest daughter pick out a sole (had a pair each of Xero's blue or pink soles) and her choice of lace colors to start and we got right to making her new pair of huaraches (she's outgrown her last pair).

Holes punched and initial lacing complete, Avi got right to the most fun part of the project. Picking the right beads!

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Topo Athletic "Two-Toed" Shoes Launched!

Topo Athletic "Two-Toed" Shoes Launched!

If you haven't heard, Tony Post's new company—Topo Athletic—has started selling their tabi-inspired footwear "two-toed" shoes at retailers everywhere.

We've already done a first look at the Topo M-RR and a review is forthcoming. But if you just can't wait and want to know first-foot about Topos, CitySports has them for sale and is offering readers Free Ground Shipping with promotion/coupon code BIRTHDAY.

Topo Athletic shoes come in three varietals — the M-RT ($100, thickest soles with a total stack height of 15mm, heaviest), the M-RX ($110, has extra strap over middle for snugger fit, lighter than RT, 13mm stack height), and the M-RR ($130 gets you the fancy BOA lacing system, the lightest Topo, and a 12mm stack height sole). All of them are zero-drop. More on the three (and some sole photos) here.

Anyone out there itching to go full-ninja?

Skora Core & Phase Minimalist Running Shoes Review

Skora Core & Phase Minimalist Running Shoes Review

It’s been over a year since I got my hands on Skora’s first entries in the minimalist market, the Base and Form. In that time the Portland based company has been hard at work updating and revising their lineup and has come out with the new Core and Phase models. (Core in the grey and Phase in the black) A lot has stayed the same, but a lot has been updated as well. Read on to see what’s new and how these more minimalist shoes perform.

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Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. Minimalist Golf Shoes Review

Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. Minimalist Golf Shoes Review

More and more companies are releasing barefoot style shoes, and it should come as no surprise to see more being offered to golfers. We've previously reviewed barefoot golf shoes by TRUE linkswear and Vivobarefoot. Another option in this minimal golf category is called Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. designed by owner Jeremy Berbert. According to their website, they've "created the world's most comfortable golf shoe." Do they stand up to that praise? Read on for the full review.

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Alitza FiveFingers give Toe Shoes Pizazz

Alitza FiveFingers give Toe Shoes Pizazz
Carole shows off her Alitza FiveFingers.

While the FiveFingers Alitza and Entrada have been out for some time, I haven't gotten a ton of feedback on them to date and since they are women's sizes, well, I couldn't very well review them either.

Thus, I was excited to get this note from Carole, a figure skater who prefers toe shoes to all other forms of footwear so long as she can help it. Check it out!

I WANT A PAIR IN EVERY COLOR!!!!!!!!!!

I have been wearing Vibram FiveFingers for nearly three years, and am totally sold on their “wonderfulness.” I started out wearing them at the suggestion of a physical therapist, who was trying to help my forefoot and toes unwind and lay flat after toe ligament repair surgery. Therapy just was not doing it. I bought a pair of Sprints and within weeks owned two more pairs of VFF.

Although I have always found the VFF to be very flattering on my feet, I am over the moon about these two new styles—the Alitza and Entrada. They really rock! They’re just as comfortable, if not more so, as the Classic and Sprint, with so much more pizazz!

I should note that I do not wear these for running. FiveFingers, however, are my footwear of choice for all but dressy wear. I have them in a rainbow of colors, and they are so eye-catching I consider them better than Match.com for meeting new people! I feel like a one-woman Vibram ambassador wherever I go. Since I have started wearing these two new styles, it is difficult for me to walk from Point A to Point B efficiently, as I keep getting stopped by total strangers wanting to know more about my footwear!

I wear all my VFF for intense exercise: strength and agility training and all kinds of off-ice training (figure skating is my primary sport). I particularly love to wear my Performa and Performa Janes for Dance, Salsa and Pilates. I am so bummed that these are no longer in the Vibram line.

Enough said! These shoes are what God would have wanted us to be born with if civilization had started with cement and glass under our feet!

Thanks for sharing, Carole!

Anyone else a big fan of the Alitza or Entrada FiveFingers? What FiveFingers styles from the recent Spring release have you been wearing most?

Let's hear it in the comments!