Monday, August 8, 2011

Drymax Max Protection V4 Initial Test

I had a full day to dedicate to running in Shenandoah National Park. I have run here numerous times and really enjoy the long climbs and mix of rocky trails and old forest roads. The week before I ordered a pair of Drymax Max Protection socks from Running Warehouse. Drymax has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I have been wearing there standard running socks for a year now and love them. This lead me down the path of spending $25 for a single pair of socks. If I was not satisfied I would contact Drymax and take them up on their offer. 

Location: Shenandoah National Park

Weather: 80+ degrees down low and raining off and on all day

Time/Distance: I covered around 38 miles / 9000 feet of ascent and descent. I was away from my truck for a total of 11 hours including refilling water out of streams, talking to people, changing socks, and taking pictures. (Think enjoyable day, not race pace)

Details: My feet were wet all day and the socks worked wonderfully. Around 20 miles in I started to feel a little pain behind my second toe and on my one heal. This is a very normal place for me to get blisters. I ran down 2000+ feet of rocks and sat down to change into a standard pair of dry drymax socks I had in my pack. My feet looked like they had been soaking in water for 2 days, but no visible blisters or damage. The new socks felt great for an hour but then the pain started to come back. I stopped one more time before a 7 mile descent down some very runnable fire roads. I was going to put some body glide on my feet to see if this would help prevent any additional damage. I ended up taking off the standard socks and putting back on the wet and dirty max protection socks. I ran out and the pain did not get worse. The next day once my feet were dry I had very minor hot spots that did not bother me at all. Much, Much better than I would have expected with wet feet all day. I believe if I had a second pair of max protection socks I would have been even better off.

Recommendation: I cannot speak of their durability or long term usage. What I can say is that if I need a goto sock for long distance this is my sock. I highly recommend them to anyone with blister issues. Do not bother spending your hard earned money on them for every day use or the mid week run, but when the big and wet miles are calling break them out. You will not be sorry! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jennifer Pharr Davis AT Speed Record

UPDATE: She Did It! On Sunday July 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM she reached Springer Mountain setting the new AT Speed Record. I recommend taking the time to read through her blog. Her husband Brew Davis did a wonderful job of bringing the adventure to us all. I really enjoyed his writing style (humor) and pictures. Check it out at

A few weeks ago I was reading through Karl Meltzer's Hardrock 100 odds. After the odds I saw a paragraph on Jenn Pharr Davis's speed record attempt on the Appalachian Trail. Pharr Davis already owns the women's record at 57 days 8 hours and 33 minutes (2008). This time she is after Andrew Thompson's record of 47 days 13 hours and 31 minutes (2005). You can look up these records and read about them and others at the Fastest Known Time web site.

She is traveling north to south. At the time of this post she has completed 1257 miles in 28 days. She is somewhere in Shenandoah National Park. This puts her at an average of 45 miles per day. The last few days she has been logging over 50 miles per day. She will need to average around 47 miles per day the rest of the way to break the record.

I remember first hearing about and seeing Jennifer at the pre-race briefing for the Holiday Lake 50k. David Horton introduced her and told us about her planned AT record attempt. She was there to run the race and promote her book "Becoming Odyssa". I remember thinking how great it would be if she could pull it off and one up all the guys out there.

You can follow her progress on her blog. Her support crew is posting daily updates (I believe they are a few days old when posted for safety purposes).  Follow her on Twitter @JenPharrDavisYou can also check out her progress on Type her name in the search box to find the discussion on her attempt. The blog and the discussion boards are great reads and will give you some insight into what goes into such an endeavor.

This ultra runner is pulling for you Jennifer. GODSPEED!