Skip to main content

Brooks Pure Connect create an "earthing" experience

I was feeling a bit spunky today after church, so I created a tight running combo for a 10-miler at Moses Cone trails, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This time of year, the surface is crushed rock, wash out from flooding, with residual snow and ice.

I cracked out a brand new pair of Brooks Pure Connect minimalist shoes, my new Men's Utopia Thermal tights, and my 1995 Mohican 100 mile wicking top (Brooks product, too).

I felt a bit underdressed off the start, but within a few minutes was into a methodical pace around Bass Lake, then up into the "maze" which eventually comes out at Moses Manor; I then took the descent back to Bass lake around the west side trail and back to my starting point.

The Brooks factory site ( states: "Embrace the ground beneath you with the featherweight feel and pliable flex of the PureConnect 2. This slim and nimble turn-hugger is the perfect fit when you crave less shoe and more freedom. A split toe groove extends toward the midfoot, engaging the natural movement of the foot and letting you feel every nuance of the run. With rad looks, the baby is ready to run, right out of the box."

On this day, I brought several thoughts together regarding the Pure Connect experience:

1) As the definition states, these shoes are ready to go, no break-in required.  They're light and wispy and the dirt comes alive beneath your feet.  Every pebble, every nuance and change of terrain is telegraphed through the Pure Connect's through your body and into your mind. It's more salient running that heavy, cushioned trainers provide.

2) Shoes like Pure Connects bring a freshness to running. This is my 30th year of endurance sport and at times, it's hard to fire the engine.  Today's run, with crisp temps in the low 40's and the lightness of my new running slippers brought me to life.

3) The Pure Connects force forefoot running. There's no option. Minimalist cushioning doesn't allow for a clumpy,foot slapping stride; instead one must use the body to absorb shock and that comes from a delicate impact off the heal.

4) I listen to Ben Greenfield's nutrition and fitness podcasts and have been somewhat enamored with his comments on "earthing."  According to

Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us food and water, a surface to walk, sit, stand, play, and build on, and something you never, ever thought about—an eternal, natural, and gentle energy.  Think of it perhaps as vitamin G—G for ground. What does that mean to you?  Maybe the difference between feeling good and not so good, of having little or a lot of energy, or sleeping well or not so well.  You can’t see the earth's energy but some people can feel it as a warm, tingling, and pleasant sensation when they are out walking barefoot along the water’s edge at the beach or on a stretch of dew-moistened grass. 

I'm not sure if I'm buying on all the way to benefits of earthing...but ponder this: What if the Pure Connects put one closer to the ground, offering more contact with the terrain we traverse?  Are we sucking a bit of vitamin G into our weary bones? Do my tender footstrikes put me into a different place with the nature around me?

I can't be sure, but today's run held a bit of magic.  Old tired master man was back once again, feeling as if he was part of the world around him.  He wasn't an intruder, but rather a welcome guest. I think the ground liked me and on this occasion, invited me back for another connection in the very near future.

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks supported athlete and received Brooks promotional products)


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…