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Happy Tuesday Newsletter Readers!

We are back again with another fun-filled sports-tech newsletter! Lots has been buzzing since the last one, and there is a lot still to come over the next few days and weeks! Ray is buzzing around with many new gadgets to come, this spring is already jam packed, so let’s get to it!

If you’re new to this newsletter feed, welcome! If you have some extra reading time, you can always check out the Newsletter Archives and catch up on what stories have been told in the past! As well, I’m going to continue to shamelessly plug the Quarantine Corner, where you (optimistically) get about 2 episodes a month of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the DCR world, Ray chatting openly about stuff that didn’t make the in-depth review, and of course the bloopers. To access all that goodness, go ahead and sign up to be a DCR Supporter!

So, what’s to come with today’s newsletter? As always, I’ll give you the latest update of what’s been happening on the website and YouTube, then, below the fold are the In-Depth Thoughts from The Girl section.

The Website

Hot off the press, the much awaited Garmin Edge 840 In-Depth Review. This post literally posted as I was finishing up the last paragraphs of the In-Depth Thoughts of the Girl below. I’ll keep it simple, after years of Ray giving the nod to the Edge 510/520/530/etc series, he now seems to be giving the new Edge 840 the preferred preference for tech investment!  

Then, we have Ray making everyone not living on a Mediterranean island wildly jealous of his work travel. Last week Ray and I headed down to Mallorca, Spain for a work trip. While I was there for 2.5 days, Ray stayed through the week and made tourism videos for Spain. I mean… Sorry… Ray stayed through the week for numerous in-depth product testing, professional sweat testing, and leveling up is rock-throwing accuracies. You gotta see for yourself in the post.

Next, we have a more tech-focused post, notable for Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix watch owners. Garmin released a pretty substantial list of Beta features, as well as fixing up some bugs and what-not causing issues up until now. Maybe my little Fenix 7S will stop burning battery like a campfire now...

If you’re a cyclist looking for a near-car detection system, Ray has released his Bryton Gardia R300 Cycling Radar In-Depth Review. In this review, you’ll find what one might call a “nudge” to maybe not buy this product. Sounds like they still have a few bugs to work out.

And that’s if for today, there are so many big posts coming up, so stay tuned for the latest!  


The YouTube channel has been a little bit quieter lately, partly due to travel and working on an exciting spring lineup of videos! So don’t fret, next newsletter the list is going to be long!

Huge thank you to all of you supporters who have hit the like button on a YouTube video, or subscribed to our YouTube channel! If you haven’t done so, every “Like” and new Subscriber really makes a difference to content creators’ successes, so please, if there is anyone on YouTube that you find yourself going back to time and time again, go ahead and give them that thumbs up!

·       Garmin Edge 540 & Edge 840 Compared: In Just 6 Minutes!

·       Garmin Edge 840 Series In-Depth Review: 21+ Things to Know!

·       Bryton Gardia R300 Review: Sacrificing Safety for Savings?

·       Garmin Forerunner 265/265S: Beginners Guide (start Here)

·       Apple Watch New Beta Running-Focused Changes

image Garmin Edge 840 Cycling GPS In-Depth Review
image A Week of Sunshine Swim/Bike/Run/Hike in Mallorca
image Garmin Adds New Beta Features to Fenix 7/Epix Product Family
image Previously Disqualified Zwift Cheater Tries MyWhoosh, Gets Promptly Disqualified
image Bryton Gardia R300 Cycling Radar In-Depth Review

In-Depth Thoughts from The Girl

Alright, welcome down here to my little slice of the world!

As I have told you in the past, I’ve struggled with continuous running injuries. Two years’ worth of ups and downs, physiotherapy, and just wondering if it’s time I transitioned to cribbage or lawn bowling instead.

Then at the end of 2022, I reconnected with my friend who used to work at All4Running here in Amsterdam, and now has moved on to work with Brooks Running. We were chatting about life and running, and he ever so nicely asked “at this point, do you maybe think it might not be you, and maybe it’s your shoes?”.

If you’ve been reading along over the last couple months, you know that part of the story already. So now I’m skipping ahead as promised. My friend Tim from Brooks challenged me to take a break from my Asics DS-Gel Trainers, and just go with something, ANYTHING, (not even pressuring me to buy Brooks) with more support. Since at this point, I was staring down the barrel at the symptoms of my recurring metatarsalgia, I had nothing to lose, except for maybe the icepack I was carrying with me 24-7.

So, I went with him on this idea. At this point over the past 2 years, I have spent so much money on a sport podiatrist, Superfeet, custom made insoles, physical therapy for a ruptured Tibialis posterior, and pints upon pints of Ben & Jerry’s (emotional support, duh), what was one more expense of a new model of shoes?

Tim knew that I was probably walking a fine line on emotional stability here, and was really good about explaining to me the in-depth workings of running shoes, and all the shoe “tech” that has changed over the past 10+ years. So, while the Asics DS Gel trainers ARE still a good shoe, they just don’t fit the needs for my current running goals, and certainly not checking the boxes for supporting my body anymore. So being super reserved on the shoe adjustment, he suggested simply moving to the Asics Gel-Cumulus. Still a very neutral shoe, but offers way more cushion and support to help with the forefoot impact, and also has a slight heel drop to help support my previous calf injury. He said he felt there were still going to be better shoe options out there for me, but since I am a loyal Asics runner, and still a little skeptical of changing shoes, he felt these shoes at the very least could help alleviate the Metatarsalgia.

To give you some perspective on timelines here, this plan for new sneakers happened let’s say December 1st, 2022. At this point I was days away from calling my friend and bowing out of the Bermuda Triangle Running Challenge (a race weekend of, 1 mile, 10km, and ½ Marathon races in one weekend – January 15th weekend).

Get to the point already no? Are you ready for this? That same day I went a grabbed a pair of Asics Cumulus and I $h!t you not, I ran one time in those sneakers and the foot pain was GONE. Gone, Gone. Gone to the point I thought this was a prank of some sort. Gone to the point that I continued my mileage build-up to the Bermuda race weekend, and ran all three races without a hitch. Gone to the point that it was almost embarrassing that the shoe change was all it took.

So after the races in January, I caught up with Tim again and we agreed to meet up at the running store to do a REAL shoe fitting and stride assessment to see if we can even take this shoe upgrade to another level. I had promised to have this newsletter out right after the shoe fitting, but I felt I needed to really log some bigger miles in the shoes before getting too excited and reporting back.

We headed into All4Running, and even managed to drag Ray with us too. He of course was also wearing Asics DC Gel Trainers for the past 10-12 years because… well that’s what I bought him! Ray was actually really interested in the shoe fitting because he and the manager of All4Running were going to have a morning of testing out and understanding the pressure plates the store has for professional running shoe fittings. That’s a post on this Ray has coming down the pipes for another day, and YES Ray is now in different running shoes than what he’s been wearing.

Anyways, I think this is where the importance of a quality running store comes into play. The guys at the running store knew more about the inner workings of all of the shoe brands and models than I could have fathomed. More importantly, they knew how to take your running goals, your running stride, past/present running injuries, and create an equation for what type of shoe you needed. At that point, that usually leaves you with a handful of shoes to try on, and get a feel for which ones fit your foot and comfort best.

For me, I have a mid-to-heel strike running stride (pending on fatigue). I’ve had injuries in both the calf muscles AND forefoot areas. I’m a neutral – not overly pronating or supinating. And I’m running in mid-to-long distance running races. This all translated to me needing a shoe without too drastic of a heel drop height (this is a bit of an oxymoron term, as “heel drop” is actually the added height to the heel- think about it as the height of your high heels!). As well I needed a shoe with good support and cushion for those long runs. And as well, a good foam that allows for help with leg recovery after all that banging around on your legs.

After many many runs back and forth through the shop and up and down their built-in track and pressure plate system, we had our first lineup of shoes. If memory serves me correct, we had the Brooks Glycerin 20, Asics NovaBlast 3, Saucony Endorphin Shift 3, and Saucony Ride 15s. Later we tossed in some HOKA running shoes into the mix. My first impression on all of these shoes was simply they felt like running in moon-shoes or bouncing on a trampoline. A stark contrast to the lack of foam present in my Asic DS Gel Trainers. But most notably, in some of the brands like Saucony and HOKA, I just felt there was a complete lack of structure in the shoe. So with all the newfound “bounce” of my stride combined with a lack of (what I can only describe as shoe structure) structure, I was instantly concerned that long term I’d end up with injuries from those brands. The Brooks Glycerin 20, I really wanted to like. They had great bounce, support, and I honestly just liked the way they looked as well… but the shoe was too wide for my little feet.

In the end, I sided with the Asics NovaBlast 3. To be really transparent, I was still a little hesitant leaving the store with the shoes. I can’t describe how bouncy the shoe felt, and I was just thinking the whole time, this can’t be good for the stride long term- surely this trampoline underneath my feet will cause some sort of instability? The great thing about this running store (and you should check out what your own local running store might offer), is that since I spent the time to do the shoe testing, stride analysis, and put my trust in their expertise, if I ended up not liking the shoes in a couple of weeks, I could just walk back in and trade them for a different pair. That’s how much they believe in their process to get the customer in the right shoe. I have to say, it was worth the time to go to the store and really trust their process. Knock on wood, I really really love these sneakers. It took a couple of runs to really relax in the new shoe, but they have been great, I’ve had zero whisperings from my forefoot injury, and my calf muscle is like new. Even more notably, I can’t believe the increased recovery time after long, hard runs. I’m really impressed, and my legs are happy again.

The last thing I will say, as some of you might be wondering, is that I’m also still running in the Cumulus sneakers as well. I toss that pair in the mix once a week if I have a shorter run just to mix things up. As well, I have two pairs of the NovaBlasts now as well. With the new shoes and the absence of running injuries, I was confident enough to retire my custom orthotics (which the sport podiatrist said was the end goal – not to become reliant on them). But, one thing I have done to keep the feet flexible and not used to just one shoe for all runs, is I did keep a pair of my SuperFeet insoles. One pair of the NovaBlasts has the SuperFeet insoles, one NovaBlast without, and the Cumulus are as well just regular insoles that come with the shoe. So that is officially now my new shoe lineup, and I am just really really hoping this is the last I have to talk about shoes and injuries!

The last 4.5 months has been really exciting and encouraging to keep knocking down training cycles and long runs. There is something to be said for running happy!

So that’s it. I hope my running shoe journey maybe helps someone else. I’m not saying a shopping spree is going to change your running times, but if you have been doing alllll of the other things “right” and something else is just constantly going wrong in your running life, maybe take a trip to your local running store. Figure out who their crazed shoe guru is, and see if you can’t benefit from a change up too.

I promise to be back in your inbox around the end of this month. I have my first real race of the season coming up, and I’m excited to toe the line again… 12 years later. IYKYK!

Until then, safe and happy training days to you. And as always, thanks for reading and supporting DC Rainmaker.

(The Girl)

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