Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review: Umara Z-Trail by Xero Shoes

The day I went for my first run since September last year I got an email from Steven Sashen. You may remember him from such memorable posts as “Almost Nearly Barefoot” and “Review: Invisible Shoes (aka Commercially Made Hippy Shoes).”

What? More hippy shoes?
You might also remember Sashen from his 2013 appearance on the reality TV show “Shark Tank” where he turned down a $400,000 investment offer for his company Xero Shoes and has since seen sales climb to an expected $3 million this year, according to a March 5 article by Forbes. That’s a far cry from the rubber and string huaraches I reviewed four and half years ago.

Sashen’s email was offering me a free pair of his latest sports sandal, the trail-friendly Umara Z-Trail. It was early February, and I had literally just come back from my first run in months. I was feeling that wonderful optimism you get when make a plan and actually stick to it.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Flashback Friday: I'M BACK (No I'm Not)

What? Where am I? What year is this? Who has awoken me from my peaceful cryogenic sleep? Someone get me a fucking drink.

Hello, my name is Viper. It has been two years, two months and a day since my last post. Let's first dispel the idea that I'm returning. No. I am not. But let me tell you something, there will be one more post after this one. And it's going to be a crummy commercial.

I guess it's fitting that this post arrives while you're all recovering from your St. Patrick's Day hangovers. While you had kegs and eggs, I ate a green cookie for breakfast on my way to work.

This post is just to see if anyone still remembers me. You see, I still run another blog that you wouldn't stop midway through your routine three-miler to deposit two shits into that nasty portable toilet along the side of the running path to acknowledge the existence of this said other blog. Yet every time I log into the Blogger dashboard, two things bother me.

One is that my total posts to the Booze Hounds Inc. Running Team sits at 1,098. Two entries shy of a nice round 1,100. Make that ONE shy, now.

Second, you idiots still visit this long dormant site. As of this writing, there were 414 pageviews here last month. Dude, did you not realize it's been like 789 days since I last wrote anything about running or drinking? Come on! You're better than this.

There are other bloggers out there still producing what I assume is quality content. I wouldn't know because contrary to what I promised in my last post and because as you would totally expect I have not been keeping up with any of my old running blogger comrades. But still, just take a look at the handy list of overrated bloggers I've compiled down and to the right of the page. Those people just wrote something. I have not, except for this. And one other thing coming soon. But that's it. Find your blogging content elsewhere.

What's coming soon is an obligatory review of a product I just got for free because my clout as a blogger is still way bigger than yours even when I haven't written jackshit in forever. The last time I ran it was to catch up to my two-year-old during a walk around the block (testing said product in the process). Yeah, remember when the Viper family had a baby? He's a crazy toddler now. Time flies and makes you feel old as shit.

The only time I ever go for a proper run is when I have to travel for work. I thought things were really turning around last month when I managed three runs (two of which were when I was in Houston for a conference) and logged eight whole miles. I even started up a 2016 running log to track all my stats. I was averaging a tepid 12:37 per mile. I thought this is it. I'm back.

Yeah. No. Haven't run since February 11. Maybe I'll run more now that time has sprung ahead and there's more daylight after I get off work. You should probably hold your breath until that happens. Ready? Go!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Flashback Friday: Final Flashback

If this post was the Alpha, then the one you're reading now is the Omega.

It's been seven years that I've been writing as your fearless leader of the Booze Hounds Inc. Running Team, and a lot has changed in that time. From hungover race reports to sprawling epics of virtual events, from blogger duels to terrible haikus, and from slaying my white whale to marriage-adjusted PRs — you've followed me through my drunken bachelor days, to marrying the love of my life and finally to becoming a dad.

There just isn't anything else to say, and so I'm following the path that others have blazed before me. I'm joining the ranks of Ian, Razz, Sun Runner, Xenia, Barefoot Josh and sometimes Nitmos in the great blogging hereafter before my posts succumb to further obnoxiousness.

Like all of my forebloggers, this site will not be taken down in its dormancy. I'll still read those bloggers I've been following for years, as I can't deny the draw of the online running community we've created. Perhaps, I'll post again when I have something interesting to say.

I believe this leaves Jess as the lone blogger whose site I followed from the beginning and who is still active. Her streak remains unparalleled.

There are several reasons why I made the decision to go on an indefinite hiatus. I'm no longer the booze hound I once was, nor am I the runner I once was. My priorities have changed such that the things in my life that I would normally share in this space are no longer commonplace enough to warrant the level of navel-gazing that a good blog requires. My posts have lacked the excitement and humor that make for an enjoyable writing experience, and by extension a good read for you. My focus just isn't here anymore.

This isn't goodbye so much as it's an announcement of my semi-retirement. Thank you all for reading about my adventures over the years, and for lending your support and derision in equal measure. Good luck in all that you do. Happy Hour is approaching. Remember, alcohol reduces pain and increases confidence. Run well and drink well. Cheers, forever more!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cold, Sickness Recalibration

The hardest workout during last week's freezing and coughing spell turned out to be pushing my car for about 15 feet. My goal of running twice went unfulfilled. No matter, I'll try to run twice this week.

This morning, I got up early enough to complete my body-weight exercise routine (pull-ups, push-ups, squats, walking lunges and planks). I felt a bit lightheaded in the middle of it. I think I was dehydrated. I took a break to drink some cold water and felt better.

This week, Mrs. Viper's work schedule may require me to run in the morning, my least favorite time. Hopefully, getting up earlier today will help me do so tomorrow or Wednesday for a run.

This is the new me, trying not to beat myself up over not running when I say I want to. Finding time to exercise remains the biggest challenge as a new parent.

This year, I hope to learn to better manage my time so I can take care of my responsibilities and still have time for the things I want to do, like running, playing music and reading.