Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Balance MT110 Long Term Update

400 Miles and counting.
Since the New Balance MT110 has just started being released I thought it might be relevant to write up a quick update on how mine are holding up.  You can read my original review HERE.  I have used many pairs of shoes this year, but I still managed to put on over 400 miles on this pair that was given to me by New Balance in August.

Before I get to far into this post, let me say again how much I love these shoes.  Until this shoe I have never run 100 miles without significant blisters.  The NB ML1 last which these shoes (and the entire Minimus line) are built upon fit me like a glove.  I wore these shoes for the first 70 miles of the Leadville 100 in August and then the first 50 miles of the Bartram 100 in December (which was my first 100 mile win).  If they had a little more cushioning I would have worn them the entire way.  I'm going to resist gushing about these shoes, rather just show pictures of how they are holding up.  What I will say is that my enthusiasm for this shoe has not waned from my original review.  

And now for the best part.  They are holding up incredibly well.  For a shoe that is almost as light as a racing flat and less than $100 they are an incredible value.  I think that a lot of us have found that lightweight usually equals less durable.  This has not been the case with the MT110's.  I have used them on every type of terrain imaginable.  From the rocky Leadville Trails to New England mud, they have handled everything I've thrown at them.

Side view.  No tears, rips or holes in either shoe.

View of Sole. 
Rubber on bottom shows much less wear than I would expect from a trail shoe with 400 miles on it.
Exposed EVA (blue) shows wear, but doesn't effect performance. 
Heel wear.  Similar to forefoot.
Inside of shoe is in remarkable shape.  For such a lightweight shoe it is amazing that the inside has no rips or tears.
Another inside view
The only area showing any wear.  This is a tiny spot that showed up a while ago and has not got worse.
Honestly, I'm amazed at this shoe.  MSRP is $84.99 as seen on the NB Website. I have paid close to that for an off road racing flat that after 100 miles was destroyed.  I think this shoe presents one of the best values of a lightweight trail shoe available on the market.  For any of you on the fence about this shoe because of concerns of reliability, I hope this helps. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Obligatory "Year in Review" for 2011

You know what?  I've started to write about what happened in 2011 many times now.  The reality is that, who cares?  I've written about all of it throughout the year here on my blog, so why bother recap it?  If I did bother to write one up, it would all boil down to this:

2011 was awesome.

I ran 3500 miles.  I won a 100 mile race. I spent more time with Amy and the kids.  National Powersports had a great year, blah blah blah.

The reality is that I feel like every day is New Years day.  Every single day that I wake up I spend a few minutes thinking about how fortunate I am and how much I love being alive. And then I think hard about what I want to happen today and what I will do to make sure that it does. I don't make New Years resolutions because every single day we have the opportunity to change the direction of our lives.

I truly believe that every single person alive has the ability to lead whatever type of life they want.   I'm proof.  Many think that there are people who live "charmed" lives.  You know the old saying, "you could fall into a bucket of shit and come out smelling like roses".  I am guessing that many people that know me think I might be that guy.  But that's not always how it has been.  Like it or not, the life that we are living today is a result of the thoughts and choices we made yesterday. I'm not charmed, I'm living my life concisely.

When I worked for my father I might have been the most miserable person on the face of the earth. The amount of stress that I felt was unbearable.  It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  Anxiety to the point of panic was normal.  The worst part was that I thought that I had no options.  I felt completely trapped in a situation that I had no control over.  Helpless is the best word that describes how I felt.

But eventually I left.  I walked away from my family's business that I was supposedly supposed to inherit. I left with nothing.  No pension, not much money in the bank and a family to support.  The frustration of the situation had finally outweighed the terror of stepping outside of it.  And you know what?  I didn't die.  The world didn't collapse.  As a matter of fact things started to get better once I took control over my life.  I am not a helpless spectator in what happens to me and what I get out of life.  And neither is anybody else, but most of us just don't know it yet.

So where am I going with this?  I think that a better topic for my first post of the New Year is to share how I did it and hope that somebody reading this who is unhappy might start to move in the same direction.  It all starts with an open mind and a willingness to re-consider many of the things we were taught growing up.  Here's the secret.  Your thoughts control everything you do and everything you get out of this life.  Most of us don't think of reality that way.  Our thoughts ebb and flow like the tides, and most of us think of ourselves as passengers along for a ride.  Its not true.  But it takes a phenomenal amount of practice and work to take control over them. 

I am still working hard to understand it all, but the more I practice the better I'm getting.  For those of you still with me here, yes, I am referring to what most call the Law of Attraction.  I'm not going to try to explain it all here.  I'm not an expert, nor would I position myself as a teacher.  What I will do, for those who are interested, is post some of the books I am studying and have found influential.

1. If you have never heard about the Law of Attraction (LOA) I would suggest "The Secret", by Rhonda Byrne.  Warning: This is the hokiest, over-commercialized, bastardized explanation of the LOA.  BUT, it will open you to the concept, which seems over the top unbelievable.  The best and most inspirational parts are the stories of people who have overcome incredible odds to achieve great things with their lives.  It will most likely raise more questions and a lot of skepticism. Again, keep an open mind to the idea, not the method in which the message is being delivered.  There is also a movie, which is even more goofy.

2. A book that will absolutely change your life (If your open to it) is "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.  If you study the CEO's of a TON of successful businesses you will find this book referenced to over and over again.  This book was written in the 1920's and the message and lessons are timeless and have been proven over and over.

3.  If you read "The Secret" and want to understand the LOA in much better detail read "The Master Key System" by Charles Haanel.  I am still working on it, but have found answers to many of my questions.  It was originally meant to be a weekly study course, so you work through the book chapter at a time.  It is the most comprehensive explanation of how the LOA (and many other laws of nature) work.

I don't discuss the LOA with many people.  Frankly, I'm a bit hesitant to even publish this post.  But this is the direction I have gone with my thoughts and beliefs.  It has given me the vision to create National Powersports, it has allowed me to achieve physical achievements that I never would have thought possible, it has allowed me to be financially comfortable.  Most of all, I don't worry much anymore.  It has allowed me to eliminate a huge amount of stress in my life.  It has allowed me to have light where there used to be dark.

My hope for everybody for 2012 is to have an incredible year full of light and happiness.