Hoka Clifton 4’s – Are They Worth The Money?

I haven’t posted much about running lately because I’ve been injured. It started when I was going all out on the track and over did it to the point that I sprained my knee. It didn’t hurt at all during the workout, but a few days later I couldn’t run and the healing process was slow. Today is the first day that I can say that I ran without pain in my knee and it’s been about 6 weeks.

Altra Instinct 4.0

My running shoes have been the brand Altra for about 3 years. They were wide in front and I didn’t have a problem with blisters which was a recurring problem throughout my life. Altra solved all that. That is until I bought the Instinct 4 and ran the Tex Mex 5k this year. The shoes causes these huge blood blisters on my feet that put me out a week or two because they squeezed my feet together too much. It could have been that my time was so fast that there was so much heat on the shoes…you be the judge. I tried to go back to the Instinct 2.5 or the Torrin 2.0 which I had previously, but was only matched with a pair that wasn’t an exact match from the internet. I can’t explain how this happened but the other Torrin pair I tried was too tight in front and caused my toes to jam against the front and thus creating a blood blister under my toe nail.

All that behind me, I decided to go with a Sam recommendation and try the Hoka brand. In my life I’ve ran with Nike, Asics, Saucony, Brookes, and Mizuno and never found one that I thought was worth sticking to, so I’m open to any new shoe. The Clifton 4’s were $130 and seemed like they offered a lot of protection over a light, speed shoe. I’m not trying to win any races so that’s fine for me.

I took them to the treadmill today, with brand new Feetures socks, and completed 40 minutes of the Rolling Hills workout at 8.2 and 8.3 (7:15 minute miles). The shoes were burning up at various times, but never to the point where I was feeling it blister into soft skin. I’m especially pleased as shoes tend to loosen up a little bit as they get broken in. I’ll obviously have a better review after I put more miles on them, but all in all, I was happy with the result and would say that if you are looking for a new shoe to try, the money is the money.

If you’ve got this far and watched the Sixers game, what on Earth was Jerryd Bayless doing not getting a shot off on their last possession?

By |2017-10-25T22:13:47-04:00October 25th, 2017|Running|2 Comments

Tex Mex 5k 2017

What did you think about the race?
It was good. The 2nd mile sucked. – Dave Gildea

I’m going to start this post writing that I know I plan on posting this to the Facebook page of the Tex Mex 5k with the hopes that random people read this experience.

Tex Mex 5k

8th place, 17:08

First things first, I don’t do a lot of races and I know what I like about the ones I do. This is my 3rd or 4th year running the Tex Mex and I’m always pleased with the preparation and organization that goes into this one. It’s not easy getting 1,300 runners all in one place and making it run (nice pun) smoothly.

This is my blog so you have to read about my experience. I understand if you pass on. I ate a bagel and coffee for breakfast and ate a Jewish hoagie for lunch. I came home and drank a coco-water and ate some pineapple before the race. I sat in over an hour of traffic from Philly to get to the race which I was prepared for. I parked in the Merck lot and jogged over to take a whiz and get my bib. I did so no problem and warmed up a bit before the race.

Coming into this race I was encouraged after a nice 40 minute workout on Friday but had taken it easy since then. I wasn’t sure what to expect time wise. Last year I finished in 10th place with a 17:15. This year, my ankle was bothering me and I’ve been training every other day so I wouldn’t sideline myself permanently. My expectations were tempered but I was hopeful.

The Race

2017 Tex Mex 5k Start


I started near the front and got out relatively quickly. I was packed up at about the 10 spot early on and was moderately surprised that they didn’t pull away faster. I hit the first mile in 5:13 and saw that Sam, my brother, was only a few seconds ahead. I wasn’t breathing heavy and felt good on the uphill following the 1st mile. No one was passing me so I was feeling pretty confident crossing the 2 mile mark. After finishing the next uphill, I knew I had only the downhill left. Unfortunately I was gassed and didn’t have much kick coming in. A guy who I’d been running with for the race put about 10 meters on me and I was pleased no one out kicked me towards the end. I finished with a 17:08 and in 8th place.

Click for full results

Further congrats go to Sam for finishing in 5th with a 16:17. Dave Gildea was in the low 21’s which I believe was satisfactory towards his goal of lower times. CK4 set a PR with a 23:23 time that I’m sure he’ll remember for quite some time. Nikkii was in the 27’s and the rest of the Softerware team finished strong. I guess Sam will indeed be shaving his head. Click here for full results.


  • C’Mon!

    I like the promptness of the race starting on time

  • The after-party is well done. Free beer and food is enjoyed by all. I wasn’t a huge fan of what was actually being served, but it seemed healthy and well placed for runners.
  • Cash bar is fine but charging $8 for the Blood Money pint is overkill. We just ran a 5k and instead of $6, it’s $8.00. People notice.
  • Results came in quick and timely. Prizes distributed quickly
  • The t-shirt is not one I’d ever wear. I don’t wear shirts that have maps on them. Think style in terms of getting your name out there. I don’t mind wearing a logo, but I have to pass on an entire map.
  • The band is a cool feature.

I only do about 3 or 4 races a year and I’m happy to make this one of them.

Do not read further.


If you’ve read further. This is the blood blister I got on my foot after the race and the aftermath.

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By |2017-06-22T07:50:14-04:00June 21st, 2017|Running|4 Comments

Let’s Applaud Jordan Hasay?

Sam would write a better post than me on this topic but since I’m pure like the Garden of Eden, and not tainted the Nike Oregon Project, I should be able to give a clean perspective.

Yesterday was the Boston Marathon and 2 members of the Nike Oregon Project put on dominating performances for Americans. Jordan Hasay finished her first marathon ever in 2:23 which was good for 3rd place. It was the fastest debut by an American female ever. The fastest time ever by a woman in a marathon is Paula Radcliffe with a 2:15.25. The fastest time by an American is 2:19.36 by Deena Kastor. The 2.23 flat time posted by Hasay is good for the 180th fastest marathon by a woman ever (I heard that Boston isn’t a legal course for whatever that is worth).

As I was watching the coverage yesterday, I was really impressed with Hasay. I remember watching her a bit in college for Oregon and she was top talent, but not finishing 3rd in Boston so whatever she’s been up to is either intense work or PED’s. Considering Rupp got 2nd and is partaking in the same training, they are up to shenanigans.

Why shenanigans? Once again, I’m not an expert on this subject but here’s what I’ve read. Nike’s Oregon Project is a group created by Nike to promote American Long Distance Running. They are using elite coaching, revolutionary training and the use of air thinning technology. The group of athletes on the squad is no joke. Centrowitz, Farah, and Rupp, are all Olympic medalists. Suguru Osako just got 3rd in Boston yesterday. It’s pretty clear that whatever these athletes are doing is working.

Now here is where the questions start building around head coach Alberto Salazar. “In June 2015, Salazar was named in a joint BBC Panorama and ProPublica investigation into doping allegations. This involved testimonies from various athletes and people associated with Salazar about alleged microdosing of testosterone and prednisone at the Nike Oregon Project. Salazar declined to be interviewed for the programme, but denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement that the “allegations your sources are making are based upon false assumptions and half-truths in an attempt to further their personal agendas”

So when you see an American hottie like Jordan Hasay competing with women from countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, who are renowned for their past efforts, there is a bit of suspicion. It’s sad that we have to draw these conclusions when people of our country perform feats of this nature, but out of the ordinary circumstances cause out of the ordinary questions like, “how did this happen?”

I visited the Let’s Run Forums and found some great comments regarding her race:

On the course

How is Boston a major marathon? How many of the world’s best marathoners were in that race? Boston is a hobby jogger’s race with some overpaid Americans thrown in so the hobby jogger set don’t complain too much about all the Africans winning everything.

On the probability of doping

Probably about 7% (Rupp), and 2% (Hasay). Seems like NOP bends the rules all day long, but maybe doesn’t break them severely. Also, Nike has the money to dope and not get caught (e.g., Lance Armstrong)

On why people like Hasay and not Rupp

She is relatively outgoing and articulate and seems comfortable expressing her relationship to the outside world. Rupp is probably a bit introverted, maybe a bit on the autistic spectrum. He seems mostly comfortable expressing support for those closest to him, his family and Salazar. He doesn’t seem collegial with fellow competitors. One could just call that arrogant I suppose, but it could also just be an introverted personality. He isn’t easy to root for compared with Hasay, and certainly Meb or Abdi or Ritzenhein.

So there you have it. Jordan Hasay is probably legit and will hopefully represent USA without any implications. All that being said, why are the hot ones always the most talented? I think it’s great for the sport to have a role model like Hasay compete in these world class settings. Maybe she’s not the cream of the crop yet, but I enjoyed watching the race and was happy to support her. It’s hard not to like her style and running. Sam, anything to add?

By |2017-04-18T10:27:37-04:00April 18th, 2017|Running|1 Comment

Pushing Past the Limit

Pain is temporary, Pride is forever. This was the cheesy cross country quote that Mr. Ames used for our XC team in the late 90’s. He tried to sell this motto hard and no one cared.

I was on the treadmill yesterday, after a needed day off (I ran 4 days in a row which is pushing it for me), and set the workout for the Mountain Peaks at 8.6 mph. Mountain Peaks is the hardest programmed course that the treadmill has. It starts at 0.0 incline and reaches 9.0 with various levels in between going on for 1-2 minutes at a time. My goal is usually 40 minutes and 8.6 is 6:58 miles. I’ve completed this workout at 8.5…and failed at 8.6. My running log if anyone was interested.

I felt really good yesterday and had to stop at the 2nd minute of the final 7.0 incline. I completed 35 of the minutes of the 40 minute workout, I was spent. It’s not often where I feel good and have to force myself to stop. Usually I can power my way through but I’ve reached my physical max and pushing past will mean I have to seriously dig deep.


The thing with running is that even Ian McGrath was good at it. Anyone can be if they try hard enough. To some people it’s easy, and other’s have to work. At 33, I’m not looking to win races but just to push myself physically. The next step past 8.6 on Mountain Peaks will be 8.7 and that will be extremely challenging. I’ve reached my limit and I’m not sure I want to push through or I’ll suffer a torn Achilles.

By |2017-03-30T14:08:12-04:00March 30th, 2017|Running|3 Comments

Frostbite 5 Miler – 2017 – Better With Age

This is the 18th year the Frostbite 5 Miler has been held and it runs like a well oiled machine. The race is run flawlessly (well the National Anthem mics were a bit shaky) and this year’s weather was perfect. The race starts exactly at 9am with minimal pre-race speech, and this is what runners hope for. The attention to the race itself, and not the amenities, is one of the core reasons why this race draws so many fast runners from the area. Special thanks to my mom for the cool featured image above.

This is my blog so you are going to have to suffer through my race story. I woke up at 6am and ate 2 sunny side up eggs and had a coffee. The coffee, although not the best hydrating drink, is used to make me poop. Every runner who’s raced should know that you want as little waste in your system as possible.

I got to the race and parking was well organized by volunteers and I had no trouble. I got my race bib which was a seamless process and ran 800 meters on the track. I stretched by the starting line and met my mom so she could hold on to my clothes. I was good to go.

Free Nolan Paint advertising. They use our scrapers.

The day was beautiful and you can’t ask for better conditions. The race went off and I started within myself which was the way to go because I wasn’t staying with the lead pack one way or another. I apologize for not getting any of my mile splits as this was the one detail I missed for better accuracy on the race description.

I settled in to a nice pace where I was behind the main pack and stayed with some stragglers. I wasn’t getting passed and at mile 2 there is a nice sized uphill that was wearing me down. Fortunately I trained on some hill workouts on the treadmill and even though I was huffing and puffing as I got to the top, I recovered quickly on the downhill. I had a runner or 2 pass me but it was wasn’t overwhelming so I knew I was in a good spot.

At mile 3, I was wondering to myself how much longer could I hold the pace as my legs were feeling the lactic acid. Once you slow down and start getting passed, you’re toast. When I made the turn to the street around mile 4, I knew I was going to make it even though I had no watch and no clue what my time was. My biggest fear came when there was a girl who was on my tail.

What a view.

I didn’t know if I was going to finish at 28, or 29 minutes so a girl being near me was trouble. When I made the 2nd to last right hand turn, I could hear some people saying, “there’s the #1 girl.” Great. I had a little bit of speed left in my legs and knew I could kick it in if I had to so unless she had a Usain Bolt kick, I was going to be fine. I made my final surge and gave a fist pump because I saw the time and it was 28 minutes low. The exact time was 28:07, 24th place, and about a 30 second PR over last year.

At 33, I’m pretty happy I can still improve year over year. I attribute it to a healthier lifestyle and working harder on the treadmill in the winter. All in all, I was pleased with the outcome and want to thank the entire Ambler Area Running Club for their hard work hosting such an anticipated, long established, race.

Results link here.

By |2017-02-18T11:32:07-05:00February 18th, 2017|Running|1 Comment

Who Doesn’t Want To Read About the Tex Mex 5K?

Tex Mex 5k Logo

This is a dumb logo and I would never wear the free shirt with a tree on it.

Tex Mex 5k

Sam’s write up on his 3rd place finish at the Tex Mex 5k is worth reading if you love 5k’s. My only comment is that when you get older you don’t have as much time on hand, so training harder by putting less mileage is one of the only options to stay in shape. Good to see it worked in your favor.

My experience running the Tex Mex 5k was satisfactory as well on that hot June 22nd day. I got to the course about an hour early so I had plenty of time to warm up (lol). I was awarded the honorable bib number 1337 which I didn’t even realize until Sam’s eyes widened when he pointed out that I was LEET. I’ve been throwing in runs between 40-60 minutes along with some shorter runs about 4 times a week so I figured I was in decent shape. My time 2 years ago was 17:29 which is pretty much where I expect to be.

The Race

This has nothing to with the race.

This has nothing to do with the race.

I was in the front of the race and got boxed in immediately by slower people. I scooted to the outside to get up with a group of about 10 guys behind the lead group of about 10 guys. My mouth immediately went dry but I felt fine physically so it wasn’t a big deal. I came through the first mile at 5:30 and my legs still felt strong. I was 11:03 at mile 2 so I knew I was keeping pace which led me to believe that I would still run a good time. The first part of the last mile is up hill and I knew from my run 2 years ago that the rest was downhill. My turnover wasn’t great up the hill but I got there without too much issue. I got passed by an old man (47) going down the hill towards the end and then outkicked by a stringbean. The final stretch is straight and I could see the timer as I got closer. About 100 yards away I could make out that the time was in the 16’s and I knew that the 17:30 mark would be eclipsed which was quite inspirational mind you. I finished at 17:17 which is my best 5k time in probably a decade. Also being able to do 3 miles at 5:34 pace makes me pretty confident I can run a good mile time which I promise I’ll do soon. Full results Tex Mex 5k results.

By |2016-06-23T09:20:13-04:00June 23rd, 2016|Running|0 Comments

How Have I Never Seen This Before?

Pres take on the video because he does it so much better than me.

I wish I had a video of the facial expression I made when that crab lady came storming down the finish line at the 40 second mark. At first I thought that’s just how she ran. Just chewing up terrain like a motherfucker. Like get out of the way tired bitch because Crab Running Lady is coming the fuck through. Turns out she was in the process of dying as well. I’ve never seen that before. Is that how it works with running? Before you totally collapse you turn into some sort of superhuman crab running machine for a couple minutes? I mean she would have finished with no problem if the other chick didn’t trip her. She had that crab running style on lockdown

By |2016-10-28T15:37:41-04:00April 18th, 2016|Running|2 Comments

Frostbite 5 Miler – 2016

Today could not have been any better planned.

FB-Site-Header-LeftI’m by no means a great runner. Today was one of those times I would say I ran as good a race as I could. At my age you are not running to win the race. You set a personal goal and try to achieve it. As Sam would say, “I’m a lifetime 17:30 5k” and that’s what I strive to be.

I’m a fair weather runner and when the weather gets cold, I head to the treadmill. Sam said he was doing the Frostbite 5 miler and I said I would too. This gave me a purpose. I would go to the gym and run exactly 5 miles on the treadmill. The goal for me was always 6 minute miles. Some days I would be under it by about 30 seconds and others I’d struggle to hit it on the nose. This past week I hit the 29 minute mark and I knew I was ready to race.

Not this year's.

Not this year’s.

My pre race routine is standard to me but I have no idea how others act. I googled “what to eat before a race” and got results to avoid coffee, don’t eat too much in a sitting, and random specifics on what works for that person. I said fuck it and ordered Domino’s Cali Ranch Pizza. I ate 4 slices and went to sleep at 12am after watching Butterfly Effect.

I woke up at 6am in a weird state and realized I was running today. I shit and showered. I then went to Dunkin Donuts and got a medium coffee and a sesame seed bagel with cream cheese. I ate the bagel (except for the middle because they spread too much cream cheese there) and drank the coffee slowly. I arrived 27 minutes later to my parents house and had to take another poop. Perfect. I lightened my load and talked with Sam before having to poop yet again. Even better.

FS-FBAny runner knows you poop out as much waste as possible to run good times. I took a water bottle and drove to the race. I met up with some people I know and then went for a pre-race jog. I did 800 meters on the track which to me is more than I want to do. My legs only have so much mileage and I don’t want to waste it warming up.

I met Sam and the eventual race winner at the starting line and was happy how warm it was. The race started and Sam and I were together. He said people were going out too fast and made a nice call that that bro with headphones and hair would fall. The 1 mile split was 5:20 and the 2 mile 10:50. Sam left me at this point. I’ve been in this place in previous years. The drawn out hill at the 2 mile mark was an awakening that I trained on a treadmill. Huffing and puffing, I made it up to subtle downhill. I didn’t get a clock on mile 3 or 4 but I had a feeling I hadn’t dropped off pace that much. At 4 I got a side stitch and that was fairly severe. On the treadmill I never pushed myself past the point of exhaustion. Fortunately I had speed in my legs and didn’t let the cramp knock me back to bad. I even, barely, kicked it in for a time of  28:39 and good for 19th place. Sam was 12th.


At 32, it’s still fun to race. I like challenging myself and realizing that age is only a number, not an excuse. With a greater effort I could probably get to 28:00 minutes but what’s the difference? I trained about 20 miles a week and ran a time that was faster than I did at 28. As Sam would say, “I’m a one trick pony.” I’m ok with that.


By |2016-10-28T15:36:28-04:00February 20th, 2016|Running|3 Comments

Fighting Back to Shape

After finally working my way of running 8+ miles at a solid pace, I hurt myself.

View from the Camden side of Philly.

View from the Camden side of Philly.

I had been leading up to longer runs for about 2 weeks straight and then on a run I tried to max out a half mile about 6 miles into a workout.  I ran a 2:33 but I could tell that my lower Achilles felt off.  I slow jogged home and by that night I knew I was going to need some time off.

I didn’t run for the next week and now I’m sitting here two weeks later trying to get back to where I was.  I’m not quite there but getting close.  My theory is that after 1 week of taking off from running, you lose 2 weeks of training (I’m sure I picked this up from somewhere but we’ll just call it my theory).   I notice that I feel slower, fatter, and my endurance is noticeably worse as I breath heavier running slower.  So it goes.


They look like this.

I ended up purchasing a new pair of shoes called the Altra Torin 2.0.  I went out for a run today over the Ben Franklin bridge and decided to time trial myself across. If the bridge is 1.5 miles long, I ran it today in 8:08 which was about 5.23 pace.  It’s obviously not an exact time but I’m getting back to where I was.

It sucks having to come back from injury because you always start weaker and slower.  It’s a slow trudge back but always worth it in the end.



By |2015-08-18T19:35:34-04:00August 18th, 2015|Running|4 Comments

Phil’s Tavern Quarter Marathon

just-run-fasterOn Friday night I took it easy drinking a total of 2 beers the entire night. I hung out with Evan, Adam, Baker, Jkash, and Amber while we visited a bar or two and it wasn’t that hard not drinking. I left at around 10:45pm to JKash telling me that if I didn’t get top 5 in the race, don’t bother talking to him again. He also gave me the good advice to “just run faster”.

I slept at my parents house which is only a few minutes away from the race. I woke up at 6:30 am, drank a quarter cup of coffee which was the perfect amount to cause a stir in my system and eliminate all waste. I showered after that and felt pretty good. I didn’t eat anything which I am still undecided on how smart that was.

I did some minor warm up but I’m not a big proponent of doing much running prior to running as fast as you can in a race type atmosphere. There were 400+ participants and I lined up near the front. The race got off and I started slow. At the first mile I pushed myself into 3rd place with 1 and 2 being younger high school kids who I had no chance of beating. At the 2nd mile a guy overtook me for 3rd and me and this other bro were running together. We got to mile 5 when another guy came up from behind and pressed forward. I was in 5th with 600 yards to go and felt pretty strong as I kept accelerating. It wasn’t meant to be though as I got nipped at the line. After I finished I immediately puked which I can’t think of ever doing before. It was white acid but it had to be done. Sorry Jkash.


My only cameo is at 1:19.  The quarter marathon distance is also pretty dumb but more on that for another time.

AARC presents: Phils Tavern Quarter Marathon from Brett Rogowski on Vimeo.

The only other highlights from the weekend came from beating Sam in mini-golf in dramatic fashion on the last ball rotation. Here’s the scorecard.
Umbria Golf Scorecard

Valley Forge CasinoI also won $600 dollars from a slot machine which is virtually unheard of. I was down $200 from playing Pai-Gow and Craps (thanks to the Shee for teaching me how to play) and decided to put 5 bucks into a machine for 1 spin because why the hell not. The first $5 turned into $40 which should have been enough to quit but Shee said, “you got a hot machine.” I max spun about 5 more times and hit a jackpot for $600 which put me up $300+ for the trip. The Valley Forge pool isn’t too bad for what it’s worth.

By |2016-06-29T15:35:02-04:00July 13th, 2015|Running|1 Comment

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