happy trails, roads and sidewalks

I like going on long runs.  I’m doing the Fort Worth Marathon in a couple weeks and I’ve been adding two miles to my long weekend run every week.  The last 4 weeks I’ve done 17, 19, 21 and 23 mile runs.

View Larger Map

“You ran the whole way there?” – this route ended at the Katy Trail Ice House

You might think that training and running a marathon is 100% physical challenge, but I’d say it’s 40% training, 40% psychological and 20% physical.  I think any one can run one.  Three hours of running yesterday gave me a lot of time to think about this and I considered that a big psychological hurdle in the training plan is where to run for three hours.  Here are my thoughts on what goes into turning your 5 mile run into a 10 – 20 mile run.  Hopefully with this you can come up with a good route that will turn a 3 hours of drudge into something you anticipate and enjoy.

Continue reading happy trails, roads and sidewalks

New Shoe Old Shoe

I bought a running shoe online.  I usually go to the special running shoe store and go through the whole production of having them look at how my old shoe was worn and trying on a bunch of different ones and jogging around the store.  I’ve been pretty busy lately and I was happy with my current shoe, Saucony Progrid Ride 3, but they change models every year.  So I figured if I could just get the exact same shoe I’d be happy.  Also I have a marathon one month away and now’s not the time to start a shoe experiment.

I’m not usually able to do this because if you get one running shoe every year there’s different models.  I went online and found the exact same shoe and size.  I’ve never had an exact replacement so it was interesting to put them side by side and examine the wear.

Left shoe: 300 miles, Right Shoe: 0 miles

I use a Garmin and SportTracks to track mileage so the old shoe had exactly 287 miles on it (I only wear them for running).  In my experience I start to have random pains after 300 miles on a shoe.  I’m sure a lighter runner doesn’t wear out shoes as fast, but I think 185 pounds is more than average.

I put one new one and one old one and jogged around the room a little and on the old shoe it felt like my foot was sinking in quick sand because the cushion had lost so much firmness.

Outside base of midfoot worn through the tread and into the foam

After reading Born To Run and following the barefoot running fad I changed from a heal strike to a mid foot strike running style.  The heals show very little wear, you can still read the “XT 900”, whatever that means, on the heals.  Up in the midfootular region I’d worn through the tread and the outside by the base of the pinky toe was running on foam.


Also the toe was getting pretty bald from kicking off.  I knew the shoes were getting old, but having a brand new one to compare showed me just how much the tread had worn down.  Pretty interesting.

Supreme 90 Wrap Up

This morning I saw the infomercial for Supreme 90 and it reminded me that I still needed to do the wrap up post so that all of my review series is in one place.


Name Time Equipment Rating vs P90X
Warm Up and Cool Down  4:19
 none 5/4  P90X
Chest & Back  22:15 Dumbbells, Ball  3  P90X
Core Dynamics  18:07 Dumbbells  8  S90
Total Body  23:18 Dumbbells  5  P90X
Chest Shoulders Tri  34:53 Dumbbells, Ball  7  P90X
Tabata Inferno  37:47 Dumbbells  6  S90
Back & Bi  46:24 Dumbbells, Ball  7  P90X
Legs  22:53 Dumbbells, Ball  6  P90X
Cardio Challenge  31:07  Dumbbells
(mat, optional)
 9  S90
Ultimate Ball  30:34 Ball  7  S90

Note: there is also an ab workout for a mail in extra fee, which I didn’t purchase.  I’d love to borrow someone’s copy and add it to the review.

Do Supreme 90 if:

  • You only have $20
  • You’ve already done P90X and have memorized all of Tony’s jokes
  • You like squats
  • You have 30-60 minutes a day
  • You want a series of workouts that are good by themselves without strictly following the program

Don’t do Supreme 90 if:

  • Your workout needs to be crazy intense 6 days a week
  • You want a cohesive program with complementary work outs and a useful nutrition plan
  • You want to use heavy weights (greater than 25 lbs)
  • You like pull ups
  • You have 60-90 minutes a day

Bottom Line:

Supreme 90 is a good value for $20, but P90X is a good value at $120 also.
Thanks for reading.
~Steven Gangstead

Supreme 90 Ultimate Ball

I’m reviewing Supreme 90, this is the last in the series.

Warm up and cool down are common on all Supreme 90 workouts and were reviewed separately.

Work out: Ultimate Ball

Length: 30:34

Diameter : 32 inches

Color: Blue

Ennuendo: Aplenty

Equipment: Ball (Ultimate preferred, Penultimate will do in a pinch)


30 second ball exercises with 30 seconds rest


I’ll try to get my ball puns out of the way first.  Prepare to get your balls sweaty. Hold your ball with a grip that’s gentle, yet firm, or else you risk popping it.  The demonstrators balls were gray (and looked old), but mine was blue.  Now that’s out of the way, let’s roll along…

Ultimate Ball wasn’t all that challenging.  The exercises were either static plank-type or very slow reps.  Each one used the ball in some way.  The pace was sluggish.  Core exercises aren’t the kind of things that leave you gasping for breath like workouts with weights so you end up just standing around between moves because you don’t need to catch your breath.  It would be easy to supplement this workout with some push ups or squats instead of 30 seconds off.  You could almost take Cardio Challenge and start it at the same time and do 30 seconds core, 30 seconds weighted cardio.  Now that would be an awesome workout.  There was only one totally useless exercise: side crunch.  The demonstrators didn’t know how to do it and neither did I.  What the demonstrators ended up doing was an awkward crunch next to a ball.

Tip: make sure your ball has lots of air in it.  I thought mine was fine, but it was deforming a lot more under weight than the demonstrators’ balls.  A flat ball wants to shoot out from you on some moves.

Score (out of 10): 7

Compared to P90X:

S90 scores another win here as I can’t think of any equivalent P90X routine.  There is P90X Core Synergistics, but that is a bad comparison because you are actually tired afterwards.  Ultimate Ball is almost relaxing because the pace is so slow.


That’s it!  No more exercises to review.  I’ll put a wrap up post with links to all the reviews soon.  Hope you’ve enjoyed.

-Steven Gangstead