Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good Time to start Running Barefoot(Almost)

This week I was so close to start running barefoot or that's how it felt. As mentioned earlier my running shoes had enough and while I waited to hear from the sponsorship I was running in all the different shoes I had in the past that had some kilometers left on them. My runs this week have been painful to say the least and I was worried about Sunday's long run with no new shoes.

Before I left for Argentina it became obvious that the sponsorship, which was from K-Swiss shoes was not gonna happen. When the person, who is the area manager don't answer his phone, don't return my calls after I left voice messages and even don't respond to emails you know you did not succeed it getting it. Just need to train and race harder and with better results some sponsor will eventually come up.

I was really pissed off not because I didn't get the sponsor but because the guy didn't phone back or let me know what's happening. Being in the motor trade, it is all about customer service but this guy won't last a day in the motor trade. In one of my voice mails I even said I want to buy the shoes if he can just contact me, no reply.

Eventually I phone the national distributor in South Africa and they gave me the name of a Triathlon store where I can buy K-Swiss shoes from.

Then my next nightmare started. The owner of the store was so frustrated with K-Swiss as he's been waiting for shipment of the shoes for more than two weeks. I kept phoning him daily but no luck.

I then decided stuff K-Swiss, the area manager is useless, the head office can't supply and this from a brand that's just been launched in South Africa. I can tell you now they won't make it and will be one of those companies that will come and go very quickly if they don't get their act together.

You may ask why K-Swiss, well I saw the reviews and thought I'll give it a try. One thing about me I always try new stuff and then use the ones that works for me.

I phoned the store where I bought my Newtons from and wanted them to ship me a pair overnight. Next nightmare, no stock of Newtons in South Africa and they are waiting for their next shipment which they say will arrive within two weeks.

My next option was to go back to Asics but Nimbus are to heavy and I did try DS Trainers before but they don't work for me, I just can't run with them.

I tried one more time and phoned the store to see if they received their shipment and WOW it just arrived. Friday morning early I drove through and bought a pair of K-Swiss shoes. Not want I wanted to do, as in principle I won't support the brand due to the service I received but I had no option.

Friday night I did my easy 40 minute run with then and I could immediately feel the heel support that the Newtons don't have. Amazing how your body and feet can't adapt to a shoe as I've been running with Newtons now for almost a year. The shoe is not bad but it is not the same as what I'm used to.

I will use them in the meantime until the Newton shipment arrive and will get a pair of Newtons which will be my racing shoe for Ironman.

Well their you have it, a long story but my shoe issue is something of the past and I feel better getting it off my chest the way I feel about K-Swiss.

Training this week has been super, amazing that being back into a routine can make such a big difference. I only missed one session which was an easy bike spin on Tuesday night (not a critical session) due to my sister's fiance's birthday. I had a school meeting after work and then we had some coffee and cake with them. We left at 9pm and I could have done the session but I had my long swim session Wednesday morning and didn't want to be tired for that.

The legs are also slowly coming back on the bike. After Sunday's 4 hour bike ride, Monday's 4 hour bike ride, my speed session on Thursday and today's 5h30 bike ride I see some light and some watts at the end of the tunnel.

Today on my bike ride I saw this Donkey cart and the guy was selling Watermelons at the side of the road. You only see people still using this way of transport way out from the city. It was really strange seeing him not far from the Steel Factory, close to town.

Luckily I also had a spare PowerTap bracket set and could fix the head unit bracket before I did my ride today.

I had to start my bike ride before 6am as I had a massage booked today at 12pm. I can feel my leg muscles are getting stiffer by the day and needed a massage desperately. I will have them more often until Ironman. It was so brutal and sore and I could feel that I haven't had one in ages but my legs felt good after it.

Will see how they feel during tomorrow's long run.

The weeks training so far:

Swim: 3h37, 10km

Bike:10h22, 310.2km

Run: 3h00, 34.8km

Gym: 1h43, 2 sessions

Total: 18h44. Will get close to 23 hours for the week after my long run and moderate swim tomorrow.


  1. J, Interesting about K-Swiss. I agree, the area manager is not doing them any favours. Their loss.

    I'm not impressed with K-Swiss clothing. I have a jacket from Clearwater and the zipper is cheap and broke and one of the wrist straps doesn't work. But, I had to buy it anyways, it had the Ironman race logo on it.

    Good luck with the new shoes and getting the Newtons.


  2. You need to get back to reality you are an agegrouper who did 10.58 in Kona. Why would any company want to sponsor you just because you ask. You need to get faster and more profile.
    K-Swiss is in my eyes is one of the only a handful of sponsors who do get behind athletes and events compared to nike reebok adidas etc they have much more money but dont care at all about Ironman/triathlon.
    Keep your day job and focus on your training.

  3. Dear Anonymous
    Maybe I just need to clarify a few things.

    First of all I am a realist and have not and will never loose that perspective, so I don't need to get back to reality.

    Most importantly I didn't ask for a sponsor.
    I enquired about BUYING a pair of K-Swiss shoes and the guy OFFERED to look at sponsoring me if I send him my details. His words were "K-Swiss is new in South Africa and they are looking at sponsoring various athletes to help promote the brand during it's launch period in SA". He also mentioned that they just sponsored a mountain biker?? Haven't seen K-Swiss being involved in Mountain biking lately.
    As mentioned in my blog I am not upset by not being sponsored but because the guy doesn't have the desency to return my messages.

    Secondly if sponsors were only awarded by your finish time at Kona, there will be way less sponsored athletes. If you read my blog post leading up to Kona, my Kona race report, and post Kona posts you will know why I did a 10h58.

    To me sponsoring an athlete is not only because of his/her on the field accomplishments but what they do for their community and how "connected" they are in promoting the brand outside of the once in a while competition day activity. You need to be respected, involved and be well known in your community which I think I am.

    Maybe in the USA I am just an agegrouper but in South Africa I am an above average age grouper.
    This year I've been in the top 4 in the 40+ age division and in the top 20 overall including all age groups and Elites in the last two races I did.

    Some of my previous achievements includes:
    Provincial Time Trial Champion in my age group.

    Chosen to represent my country at World Long Distance Triathlon championships this year.

    National Long course Duathlon champion

    Provincial Duathlon and Triathlon champion in Olympic distance.

    Represented my country at World Duathlon championships.

    O yes and I did qualify(no lottery ticket) to go to Kona at an event with only 30 slots.

    K-Swiss may be a great company in the US but my past experience with them in South Africa was not a good one and it is not only about the sponsorship but by struggeling to buy a pair of shoes from a company that's new and wants to get into the local market??

    O and yes I will never give up my day job. Being one of the directors of a VW franchised dealership is not sometime that just fell into my lap. I had to work very hard to achieve this and I think my financial profile speak for itself.

    I don't need to be sponsored and has never ASKED to be sponsored, but if I get the opportunity to represent a company I will promote them to the maximum of my ability.


    Ps: In future don't be scared and please leave you name/profile then at least I can see if I am talking to an Ironman World champion or an Ironman wannaby

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