Sunday, September 16, 2012

Around the Earth, in Brooks!

This is a very special milestone: I had already covered the whole length of the Equator in my running log (see my January 2011 post, Around the world: once!) but this time, I passed the 24,902-mile mark today (40,077 km) which is the horizontal circumference of our planet (the vertical one, passing by the poles is 42 miles shorter by the way). All these miles in Brooks shoes!
What a journey it has been so far with this brand since I was recommended my first pair of Trance in a running store in Cupertino, MetroSport, which has closed since. This was in April 1999 when I was preparing for my first marathon, the San Francisco Marathon in July. After 21 marathons, 38 10Ks, 25 half marathons, 76 ultra marathons and 204 races overall, I'm grateful to Brooks for its focused mission on running shoes, mixing innovation and tradition. Indeed, speaking of tradition, it's a little known fact that Brooks started in 1914, quite a milestone approaching for the company (almost as old as... IBM, which celebrated its centennial in 2011 ;-). Yet, Brooks is at the leading edge when it comes to new and recyclable fabrics, sustainable manufacturing techniques, balancing the currently diverging trends of minimalism versus increasing cushioning, and an appealing spectrum of colors too!

I got three new pairs of Brooks in the mail this week, 2 PureConnect and 1 PureGrit. I took one of the pairs of PureConnect out for my long run on Saturday, these brilliant blue ones.
28 flat miles up to the Palo Alto Baylands from Cupertino, running the whole Stevens Creek Trail from the new bridge which opened this year (85 over pass from Heatherstone Way in Sunnyvale). I was able to sustain a reasonable 7:10 min/mile pace which got me a 3:08 marathon time. I was reading about the new Boston and New York marathon qualifying rules this morning and realized that I still don't have a qualifier (my 2:47 World Masters in July 2011 is too "old" for Boston). I know I'm taking a risk with the stricter qualifying times but I'll wait for next year to get a reference time and see what I'm up for when I turn 50.

I went for another run this morning and ran a half marathon at 7:08 pace. The shoulder is still improving and getting better (June fracture) but I need to get back to the track to regain more leg speed in particular.

Back to my "journey" around the Earth in Brooks, here are some stats:
  1. 2,076 entries out of 2,580 in my log
  2. An average of 12 (11.99...) miles per run
  3. 40 different pairs used
  4. 623 miles average / pair, with a max of 1,574 miles in my 2nd pair of Trance and 1,320 miles in my first pair of Burn
And here is a spread across the 9 model families:
Of course this is a static view and doesn't show the trend. I'm not running in Trance anymore. I used 10 pairs overall, from the original ones to the Trance 8. This is still an amazing shoe but I don't need as much cushioning now. I loved the Burn but they don't exist anymore. I replaced them by a blend of Launch and Racer ST. I was used to do most of my trail runs in Cascadia but I keep them for technical trails only now, while using running flats in ultra races. I love the cushioning of the Green Silence for my recovery runs. And I'm a new addict of the minimalist Pure "movement" or PureProject.
This has certainly been great and very productive 13 years of running so I'm not sure how long it will take me to circle the Earth a second time (19,461 miles to go ;-), that is, at my current 62 miles/week average, assuming I can maintain this pace, "just" 6 more years...). The biggest lesson out of this long injury-free experiment is that I rotate through 3 or 4 different models every week. Along with a variety of running courses and terrains, I'm sure this is a key element of sustainable running and the ability to Run many miles, ... Happy! So, you all, Run Happy too... around the world!


MMV said...

Congratulations Jean! The next challenge will be go to the moon!

Dagmar said...

Félicitations! Vous êtes une inspiration pour nous, les débutants! Merci!

Mikey Jimenez said...

Pure line is for me the best hybrid of cushion and minimal drop plus light weight. I'm in love with my Connects and Grits.