Trackwork and Shoe Questions

It was pouring rain when I woke up yesterday so I decided to switch up my workouts and do an easy 3 and strength training yesterday and save the track work for this morning. (It’s funny I don’t mind running on the road in the rain, but I find the track gets a little too slick).

Well it was absolutely beautiful this morning and I couldn’t wait to get to the track. I was surprised at just how many people were already there when I pulled into the parking lot! I’m very lucky that our local high school has a high quality track, and people were definitely taking advantage of it this morning. This was my first run in the Saucony Kinvaras I won from SUAR‘s giveaway a couple of weeks ago – I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to hold up so I also brought along the Mirages I’ve been running in regularly, just in case.

On tap today, 3 x 1600s with 800 jogs with a target pace of 10:15.  After warming up, I hit the first interval right on target at 10:14. I felt really good so I decided to see if I could do each of the next two a little faster. I did the 2nd interval in 10:04 and the 3rd in 9:54 – mission accomplished!

I liked running in the Kinvara, though I think for now I will use them only for speedwork. My calves and feet still need to get stronger before I start putting more miles in them – perhaps sometime in the fall I’ll try them on some easy, recovery runs. For now I’m happy to continue to use the Mirage for most of my runs. I had been alternating between the Brooks Adrenalines and the Mirages, using the Adrenalines for my longer runs. But of late I was feeling a little discomfort in my left knee towards in the latter half of my runs, so just out of curiosity I started using the Mirage for all my runs and have had no problems. I’m now running exclusively in the Mirage and plan on using them for the race.

So I’m wondering if the difference in the heal-to-toe ratio between the two shoes was causing the discomfort? What do you think? Do you use different shoes depending on the workout?

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Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

  • So far the shift to early morning workouts is working. The alarm’s been going off at 5:20 and I’m usually moving 15 mins later. Despite not being what I would ever consider a morning person, I’ve been reminded this week of how much I enjoy starting my day with a run. It’s like a morning meditation in motion.
  • Speaking of meditation, I signed for another 21-day Meditation Challenge sponsored by the Chopra Center. I did a similar challenge during the winter and stuck with meditating for weeks afterwards. But of late I’ve let it slip so this challenge came at a good time. I find I’m definitely more focused and even-keeled when I’m meditating.
  •  My love affair with my Saucony Mirage continues – I’ve been doing all of my short runs in them while using my Brooks for the long runs. I’ve got another 10 on the plan for tomorrow and I’m tempted to try the Sauconys instead. My calves are really tight after yesterday’s tempo run so I’ll have to see how I feel in the morning.

Do you rotate shoes or stick to a one pair at a time?

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A move towards minamalism…..baby steps

Last Saturday, I was invited to attend a minimalist shoe clinic sponsored by Saucony. It was a great chance to see their full line, including a shoe that won’t be available until the summer. I appreciate their philosophy that minimalism doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. As the Saucony rep spoke repeatedly about exploring what works for you as an individual, and gradually integrating a minimalist shoe into your training.

I was particularly interested in learning more about the Mirage, their intro-to-minimalism shoe that features the lower heal-to-toe ratio of a minimalist shoe combined with a bit more arch support. I figured that given where I am in my training and my slight over-pronation, this would be a good place to start vs. taking the bigger leap  with the Kinvara. Luckily the Saucony rep had brought a bunch of shoes for us to try and I loved the feel of the Mirage. So yes, as you have probably guessed, I ordered a pair (the 15% discount sealed the deal!). I plan to use them on my easy runs first, while continuing in my Brooks Adrenaline for my long runs.

My hope is that as I strengthen some of the under-developed muscles in my legs and feet, I can make the transition to a more minimalist shoe as the year goes on. And, this combined with my ChiRunning efforts will hopefully improve my mechanics and help keep me injury-free!

Speaking of ChiRunning, I’ve got a private workshop scheduled for Sunday with Certified ChiRunning Instructor Ryan Miller. I’m really looking forward to spending time with Ryan – I’ve got lots of questions!! I’ll be posting a full report when we’re done.

Happy Running!

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My New Fave – Brooks Adrenaline Review

Make room on the bandwagon….
      ….cause I am in love with my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11!!

While it was love at first run, I didn’t think you could give a proper review of a shoe until you’ve logged a few miles in them. Well I’ve had a month plus of running in them now and I can clearly see why there’s so much praise out there for this shoe!

First off let me say to my fellow “new” runners, if you have not yet gone to a good local running store to be properly fitted for a pair of running shoes, then please do yourself a  HUGE favor and go get fitted!

While I had always figured it was a safe bet that I needed a shoe that provided motion control and support, as I began to increase my mileage last year I started to wonder if my Nike Triax 13’s were providing all that I needed. So instead of trying to self-diagnose through online descriptions, I headed to a great local running store for a fitting. After being measured, having my gait analyzed and generally talking about my running, aches &; pains and goals, I walked out with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11.

Brooks Women's Adrenaline Gts 11 Running Shoe,White/Obsidian/Silver/Black,9.5 B USNamed “Best Update” in the Runner’s World December issue (the GTS 10 also received the same award the previous year), the Adrenaline provides good arch support and pronation control, while being flexible and light-weight (a whole 9.4 oz.). They feature the Brooks DNA cushioning material, which (according to the Brooks website) will provide a “customized ride for runners of all shapes and speeds.” For me, they provide the right amount of cushioning without being mushy (is that a technical term?)  I will be curious to see how the cushioning holds up, but only time will tell. The shoes offer a snug, narrow heal and a roomy toe box; though I would definitely recommend sizing up a half size.

 As Runner’s World states it’s “the perfect storm of a great fit and a great ride” — I couldn’t agree more!

**Disclaimer:  The review given here is solely my opinion. There was no payment nor product provided for this review.

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Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 things)

My November miles took a serious nosedive — a combination of a motivation vacation and being hijacked by my to-do list! I’m feeling pretty confident that with the Hyannis 10k on the horizon, this case of mileage shrinkage will correct itself.

Brooks Women's Adrenaline Gts 11 Running Shoe,White/Obsidian/Silver/Black,9.5 B USI went to a great local running store today to get fitted for new a pair of shoes! After being measured, having my gait analyzed and generally talking about my running, aches & pains and goals, I walked out with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11!

I love the feel of these shoes and can’t wait to run in them tomorrow! (Product review to come!)

Got a chance to create a training plan for my hubs J to help him get ready for his first 10k. So I’ve introduced him to Smart Coach and Daily Mile and we’re now learning the juggling act needed to incorporate two running schedules into our very hectic family life!

Happy Thursday!

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