New Shoes & 4 Weeks to Boston

28 days exactly to Boston! Woot woot!

Also, have my wave/corral assignment. Wave 3 corral 2 which means I get to start just before 11AM. Not as late as I was expecting & a goal to work towards. Need to get under 3:30 in the future to make it into Wave 2.

A bit late as I picked these up a few weeks ago, but new shoes!!! My most recent before this were the Saucony Ride 6 & Asics Gel Cumulus 15, both of which were good. Loved the Asics, but not sure I loved the Sauconys the way I have other shoes in the past (including other Sauconys). They’ve been getting up in miles, meaning that I was better off replacing them in enough time to transition over pre-Boston.

So the new ones!

First, switched out the Sauconys for the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. Light but cushy & good as a speed shoe.

20150317_074035Next, I stayed strong (mostly because of their comfort) with the Asics Gel Cumulus 16. Been a while since I’ve bought back to back pairs like that.

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Haven’t decided yet which pair I’ll wear for the big race. Traditionally I go for the cushier with marathons (so the Asics) and leave the lighter for halfs & shorter. But the runs I’ve been on so far with Mizunos (10 mile tempo for example) have felt pretty great. Both are going with me on the trip, so no rush to decide.

We’ll see post-Boston if I’m racing enough to justify a super lightweight pair just for racing. Not waffles I think, but maybe something like the Saucony Kinvara.

New Year, New Garmin & Boston Training

So much happening. First off, welcome to 2015! It’s a new year & that means less than 4 months to the Boston Marathon.

As a gift to myself for getting in, I bought a new Garmin! The Forerunner 220 & I love it already. Excited to go on runs just so I can use it.
Garmin-Boston
Training for Boston is officially under way. That said, this training will be an adventure due to traveling for work. So I also get to figure out how to properly get workouts in when I’m on the road. First test will be next week at CES (Vegas) and then PAX South (San Antonio) 2 weeks later.

A new year also means new goals. Since I’m in the SF area now, I’ve a few I want to tackle. In no particular order:

  • Find a running group
  • Blog more
  • Explore! Lake Tahoe (skiing) and Yosemite (hiking) are just hours away.
  • Survive Boston training (coworker was a sprinter in college and previously a personal trainer, so she’s been giving tips)
  • Sign up for a couple races in the 5K to half marathon range (I did a 10K last month with some coworkers)

As a side note, the crazily cold weather (it was 28 when I woke up this morning! What?!) has made my adjustment to the up in mileage a little harder than I anticipated. The muscles feel solid, but the lungs haven’t liked the icy air quite as much.

I expect 2015 to be quite the adventure!

The Other New Shoes

So I got these just before Gasparilla as my secondary shoes, but didn’t get enough days of test runs in to post about it too quickly. Besides, I was trying to get my Ragnar recap done.

Anyways, say hello to my newest shoes! These bright things are the Asics Gel Cumulus 15. A friend happened to wander across them for a good deal and let me know. Considering I loved my Cumulus 14s (more than 400 miles on them!), there was no doubt. They also work well as a training shoe and hopefully race shoe (Gasparilla will be the test).

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Just a quick post this time. Be on the lookout for a possible multi-part recap of Gasparilla in the near future.

Say Hello To My Newest Friends – Shoes That Is

It’s that time again. Sadly.

My latest shoes, the Saucony Mirage 3 and Pearl Izumi eMotion Road N2, were fantastic in getting me through the end of marathon training and PRing several races. I’m actually quite sad to feel the amount of strain I’ve done to the soles. I ran a BQ in these shoes and then went on to PR my half and 5K. They had some of my best runs, training and racing, so far. Yet sometimes you just have to let go (totally making my shoes sound like a good friend—because they are!).

So as I start to ease off these two old ones, I’d like to introduce my newest pair. The Saucony Ride 6. In the un-missable color that my friends call highlighter yellow. Ha!

100_4338 These are more of training shoes that the last two. Since I don’t really have any race goals besides finishing in the near future, I’m expecting to just log miles. As such, these should take a little more damage than the two before it. I’ve only gotten a couple runs in them so far, but I’m loving the feel of a new shoe and all the cushion.

I’m a bit undecided if I should go for another pair of trainers or pick up more of a racing shoe for the second pair. Luckily, I appear to have enough time to think on it as I get these new ones into my routine.

Gifts to Feel Accomplished

While this may not be your kind of thing, I feel like it’s totally worth posting. My lovely family always seems to be paying attention to the little things I say (and then usually, promptly forget). As such, one of the items I’d expressed interest in months ago appeared as a Christmas gift.

I think all competing athletes should have one.

display board

Considering how much I run and that the habit is going on 4 years, it appears I don’t actually race that often. But every time I look at this board, I feel damn accomplished.

Shoes: Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N2

On a side note, some of these shoe names are so long. ADD moment over.

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Ignore that other box. You’ll see my thoughts on those shoes later.

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New shoes! One of two pairs I picked up and let me tell you, while I was a bit iffy at first, I LOVE these.

When Joe (awesome runner that he is who part times at one of the local running shops) showed me these, in my mind I was thinking “those don’t really look like running shoes…” Oh how wrong I was. They may not look it, but they definitely feel like it.

Here’s how Pearl Izumi describes them (just to be fair even if it is PR speak) –

Your one-shoe quiver, the Project E:Motion Road N2, is the perfect balance of light and fast with just enough cushioning and durability to provide the maximum confidence you need to go the distance. The Road N2 will be your go-to high mileage neutral trainer.

Moving on…let me be straightforward – this is not an “official” review. I’m giving what I’ve found from running in them and linking to one or more people who did review them (who hopefully can explain what I feel).

What makes this new line by Pearl Izumi so attention grabbing is the focus on the bio-mechanical. Basically, they’re not just modifying the style and material of the shoes, but attempting to construct them in a way to positively influence the structure of how you run. As one review put it, the “most significant advancement lies within the sole of the mid-foot.” (Read the full review over here which includes the easy to understand explanation of the bio-mechanical stuff.)

I totally agree. My arch is kind of funky and considering the bulk of my weight falls from the mid-foot forward (I run mostly on the ball of my foot and toes), having a firmer mid-sole can be felt. From the first run I could actually tell the difference. At first I just thought it was the weird design of the shoes, but after how awesome I felt post run I looked up info (and came across that review). The soreness and strain within the arch and mid-foot for me is actually reduced when I run in these – the change is significant enough for me to notice it. I’d never really considered how a shoe could be made better for different types of running except for adding more or less cushioning. The only thing I really ‘got’ was the more rigid designs meant for motion control (of which I wore for about 2 years). Flattening and firming up the sole in various areas never even occurred to me – which is one of many reasons why I don’t design shoes.

Yes, that's the wall & ceiling. I know I stretch weird.

Yes, that’s the wall & ceiling. I know I stretch weird.

Now the first few runs were just easy and short recoveries – 5 miles at most. But then I did a 9 mile speed workout in them. Talk about feeling my shoes! I know that obviously my old pairs were mad ready to be retired and maybe it’s just the relatively new cushion. But then I took them out for an 18 miler – and still felt awesome during and after the run.

While I admit my intent was for these shoes to be my speed work and racers for anything half-marathon and under, taking them out on that long run has me seriously contemplating them as a marathon race shoe. Maybe it’s just me. And I won’t say to just go out and buy them (remember, this isn’t really a review). But if you’re looking for what appears to be a solid neutral trainer, check them out. Give them a test run. Maybe you’ll find you like that solid mid-sole just as much as I do.

Because I promise you, I cannot wait to take these out and race in them. Thinking that half I intend to PR in November will be the perfect opportunity.

New Shoes

It’s always a sad day to realize your current running shoes are slowly losing their life. They’ve been with you across many long miles, through easy and hard runs, and all kinds of terrain. Running shoes are your constant companion. They go where you go and share the experiences of a great race or a tough workout.

So it’s just a bit sad to know the shoes you PRed the half marathon or ran your first marathon in won’t be joining you in logging the miles much longer.

But an ending is also a beginning! While it may be time to retire old pairs of running shoes that have done well by me, that also means I can welcome new friends. Shoes that have yet to learn the enjoyment of being a runner. Of following miles of trails and eating away at roads. That there is joy to be had in collecting footsteps before dawn.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. – Seneca

I offer a picture of my 2 new pairs of shoes. These ones will get me through the rest of my conditioning and into marathon training. I would hope they make it all the way through 4 months of marathon preparation, but I know it’s a promise I can’t make to them. So welcome the newest additions to my running gear.

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On the left are the Mizuno Wave Creation 14. On the right are the Asics Gel Cumulus 14. Both are neutral running shoes and I look forward to testing them out. Of course, I’ll be posting opinions on them. The Asics have already released a 15, but the Mizunos are the most recent version.

They’ll be replacing my Saucony Kinvara 2 (half PR) and my Asics GT 2170 (1st marathon)—both of which kept me company through physical therapy when I couldn’t run after those 2 races. But they’ve lived a longer life than most running shoes because of it and 400+ miles have done their damage.

Side note: keep an eye out as I’ll be making a tips post in regard to shoes.