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Robust Trail Shoes for the Minimalist-Minded, 2015 edition

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  • Sunday, March 15 2015 @ 09:52 AM EDT
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I have been looking for a more robust trail shoe to handle a 40- or 50-mile Ultra over rugged terrain (think Mohican 50 in Ohio or Highlands Sky 40 in West Virginia or maybe Pine Mountain 40 in GA). I am hoping for more protection from rocks underneath and from kicking roots with my toes. My NB Minimus MT00 are great shoes but some terrain wants a little more shoe.

I am not considering shoes with elevated heels and prefer to stick with zero drop shoes only. Elevated heels lead me to knee pain so I just stay away from them.

A friend gave me a used pair of The Lone Peak 1.5 shoes (the bright red ones). Of the three versions of The Lone Peak, I think I like the 1.5 best. It falls into the pile of Altra shoes that have a firm cushion rather than a soft pillowy ride. The Lone Peak 1.5 is no longer in production, so it does not make the list of shoes I could buy today (although I do still see them on ebay from time to time). I also tried the Altra Lone Peak 2.0 and it definitely feels more comfortable than the original Lone Peak but it didn't feel amazing so I sent it back.



There are some other shoes I tried that won't work.

I have the Altra Olympus maximal cushion shoes but after some trial runs would never choose it for a technical trail race or on anything rugged due to traction issues and stack height.

I ruled out the Merrell Bare Access Trail because it felt just too constricted on my foot. I was a little sad because it really looked like a great shoe on paper and I have had good luck with other Merrells. I haven't seen any buzz about this shoe and there are only a few reviews online. For people whose feet fit well into Merrell's "bare" or "glove" lines, the Bare Access Trail *would* definitely be worth a look.

The New Balance Minimus v2 looked like a possibility with its bigger lugs but the photos and reviews online ruled that one out due to the terrible tight toebox. I really have no idea what New Balance was thinking with the Minimus v2.

As mentioned in Pre-run Review of the inov-8 Trailroc 150 Minimalist Trail Shoes, there are possibly trail options from Vivobarefoot but no shoe that I have tried from that company has fit me correctly... the low cut around the ankle makes them impossible for me to secure to my foot. I am not sure if the latest models still have this issue but I haven't really even considered Vivobarefoot in recent months.

Above are the shoes that didn't make my list.

Here are my Top Three Robust Trail Shoes for the Minimalist-Minded, 2015 Edition:



Keep reading for more details...


Getting Started with Perl 6

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  • Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 08:07 PM EDT
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The goal of this blog post is to document the steps needed to install and run Rakudo Perl, which is a "useful and usable distribution" of Perl 6 

The #perl6 IRC channel on freenode has been very active the few times I popped in with questions and I was able to get them answered very quickly. Larry Wall announced that he wants to release Perl 6 by Christmas 2015 ( http://http://blogs.perl.org/users/shadowcat_mdk/2015/02/fosdem-2015-its-christmas.html ) and at this point it seems like the Perl 6 community is moving along on its merry way towards that goal.  The Perl 6 design documents are interesting ( http://design.perl6.org/ ), especially the Apocolypse docs which talk about the various aspects compared to Perl 5 and nice tidbits such as "Larry's First Law of Language Redesign."

Perl 6 even has its own logo:

Ubuntu and Debian already contain Perl 6 in their repositories. The 'rakudo' package description on Ubuntu 14.04 is "Perl 6 implementation on top of Parrot virtual machine".  I did not test this but it should be easily installable via:

Review - SKINS A200 Compression Tights

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  • Saturday, February 21 2015 @ 08:37 PM EST
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Running and Fitness

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I usually do at least 1 or 2 runs per week in the morning before the sun comes up. This winter has been on the cold side so I bought a set of SKINS A200 compression tights and shorts (combo pack) from The Clymb at steep discount. As I was taking a picture of the garments, my wife commented "nobody wants to read about your underwear." I generally agree with this statement. However, people *might* wish to read about my experiences with the A200 compression tights.



David Laney advises "wear pants" if the temps are under 50 degrees (http://davidlaneyrunning.com/tag/elite-marathon/) and I tend to follow this advice unless I am racing.

And some days are just meant for purple shorts and a sock monkey hat:



The photo above shows the "shorts over tights" mode of attire, which is either completely appropriate or a fashion faux pas, depending on whom you ask. When making this decision for yourself you should be aware that compression tights are definitely more revealing than standard running tights. Running tights (the kind that tend to come with a pocket in the back for gels and zippers at the bottom by the feet openings) tend to be a little thicker and not quite as revealing in the crotch area. The first time my wife noticed me in my compression tights she laughed and then asked "Did you wear those in public?"

Yes. Yes, I did. But I did try to research the "proper" way to wear them first. Apparently men in tights are offensive to some people. So basically, just dress however you feel comfortable.



Now, to cover the specifics of the A200 Compression tights I will quote from my own training log (a 9 mile run):

Two websites for HTTP responses and status codes

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  • Saturday, February 21 2015 @ 06:40 PM EST
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I found two useful websites the other day while cleaning up some code that deals with various HTTP responses and status codes.

The first web site is HTTP Status Codes, which as you might be able to guess provides documentation about the various HTTP status codes:

http://httpstatus.es/

Screenshots:






The second site is the HTTP Client Testing Service, or httpbin. The httpbin site provides endpoints that return all of the various HTTP status codes as well as particular content type responses.

http://httpbin.org/

Screenshots:





Both websites have an accompanying github repository (you can find links on the sites themselves) if you would like to contribute or see the source code.

Export entries from dailymile with my export tool

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  • Saturday, February 21 2015 @ 08:43 AM EST
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I have been using dailymile as my fitness training log since 2010. I have now logged over 1500 entries and 6600 miles total. I don't want to lose that information. I would like to be able to do more advanced anlalytics on my personal fitness data than the dailymile web app provides.

The built-in dailymile.com export feature is abysmal. The file generated includes only a small number of fields (date, activity_type, distance, time, felt, elevation_gain).  Seriously, they include elevation gain but do not include the name of the workout or the description?

Because of these limitations, I contacted dailymile support. The response was something along the lines of "you could always write your own tool using the API." So I did.

Announcing v1.1 of my dailymile export tool. The current version is written in Python.  The software archive can be downloaded from:

https://github.com/danstoner/dailymile_export/releases

The github repo for the project is located:

https://github.com/danstoner/dailymile_export

Here is the basic usage info:

$ python dailymile_export_to_tsv.py -h
usage: dailymile_export_to_tsv.py [-h] [-d] [-g] username

Script to download entries from the dailymile API for a particular user into a
tab-delimited file.

positional arguments:
  username     The dailymile.com username of the account to export.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help   show this help message and exit
  -d, --debug  Enable debug level logging.
  -g, --gear   Retrieve gear data also.

 

Here is some sample output of the running script and the generated output file:

 

Leo Manzano and Hoka One One

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  • Sunday, February 15 2015 @ 06:40 PM EST
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Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano is sponsored by maximalist cushion shoe maker Hoka One One. Leo wore some pretty slick looking racing flats or spikes for the 2015 Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games:



I wonder if Hoka will be releasing these for sale anytime soon and how they rationalize these kinds of racing shoes against their core philosophy.

Leo finished the mile in 3:56.05 which unfortunately didn't put him into contention for the win. Holy smokes it was a good race, though, with a stacked field including Centrowitz, Willis, Casey, Lagat, Jager, Lalang, Cheserek, ...

Full video:

http://www.usatf.tv/gprofile.php?mgro..._id=133688


edit: There are better photos on the Hoka One One Facebook page...
https://www.facebook.com/HOKAONEONE/p...310264493/
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thatlinuxbox.com is the home of Dan Stoner's Personal Blog, Photos, and More (opinions, rants, techno-babble, and possibly a few useful tidbits of knowledge).

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