An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two days in a row...

It's been a while since I ran two days in a row. Not necessarily by design, but I've been trading off running and riding (MTB single speed) for a while. Today, the others begged off the ride, and when I went outside at lunch time, it wasn't raining, so I decided to run outside... Well, by the time I got out there, it was raining again, but I was committed, so off I went.

Today's focus was on form, relaxing, and not pushing the pace at all. But the run turned out to be 4 plus miles at just under 8:00 pace anyway (seems my pace doesn't vary much from that at all). I wore the old Nike Zoom... whatever they are... and they felt "okay", but not "good". I was concentrating on not pushing off with my toes so as to not bend them much.

After I got home I did some upper body weight work... Pullups, standing flyes Been a while for that.

Tomorrow will be another run, but I'll take that one easier (yeah -- it'll probably still be 8:00 pace).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seattle Marathon day

Got up early this morning to cheer on the BegginerTriathlete members and BuDu Racing RD's in the Seattle Marathon today (most doing the half). Saw a couple of them at the start, and saw one come in at the finish (and met up with the BuDu folks after their finish as well). 3 PR's for the day that I know of so far.

Was a cold morning, especially for standing around. Don't know how it would have been for running (I prefer warmer, but that's just me).

Would I want to do it next year? Not really. Just too cold/wet, and being RIGHT after Thanksgiving... I think I'll stick with something more "in season" if I decide to do a half. I think I'll leave that decision for later, in the spring.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Le Brrrr....

Yeah, that's French for "it's cold". That was the joke last night. It actually did snow a bit, at least where we were at the time. Temps were in the upper 2o's, and the lower 20's this morning.

Thankful... I could start listing, but then I'd leave something off the list that shouldn't be, and if there's any one reading this drivel besides me, I don't want any one to feel like I'm NOT thankful for them just because it didn't enter my mind at the moment I'm typing. But I'm thankful for my life as it is, the people in it, and that I've made it this far relatively healthy.

Today is travel day again, losing 2 hours. Jet lag? If it does happen, at least I'll have a couple days to recover before going back to work. It'll be nice to sleep in my own bed again. We'll see just how much the dog misses us. The cats? Probably couldn't care less. So it's off to the airport in about 45 minutes, check in a couple bags, and then wait to board. A 4 hour flight, then a drive home. Looking forward to being back in a land with hills and evergreens, temperate weather, and my own bed (did I mention I'm missing my own bed?).

And being able to do "more" in the way of running and other exercise modes. I'm seeing a need to get back into a weight routine. Set the bike up on the trainer so I can do a little more riding than 2 days offroad during the week. And some more yoga as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving in a different part of the country

Spending the week in Chicago (okay, actually the small towns west of Chicago), and it's been a weather roller coaster. On Sunday, I ran in shorts and a T-shirt, and it was in the 60's. Yesterday, it was clear and cold, and I ran/walked with Lisa before going out on my own. Windy and in the low 30's... I had to go in the house for a few minutes before I could go back out and run myself (which kept me a little warmer). I'm getting very comfortable with the 4-4.5 mile runs, so maybe it's time to start extending them, or even adding to the frequency. We'll see.

It's different here in the plains farm country. (1) Hills are a totally different concept. As in they don't exist. 2% gradient is "steep". It's interesting to come around a corner (one street to another) and see elevation gain, but then have to remind myself that it's spread over a half-mile or more (usually more), because that's how far you can see. Which leads me to the next point: (2) Sight distance... Wow. I've driven through the deserts of Utah, and it's kind of like that -- seeing a road arrow-straight to the horizon. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily. You can see cars long before they get to you, and they can see you long before then as well and have a lot of time to take aim... Not really. I don't know what the speed limit is on these unmarked back country roads, but I'm sure the locals are exceeding it liberally. Which is about the only "liberal" thing out here. And (3) the wind... I've been to the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington, and it's ALWAYS blown there. But here? It's howling. Horizontal rain. Hopefully that clears up for tomorrow's scheduled run.

The shoes? The Kinvara's are doing great. Starting to see some wear already, not excessive, just noticeable. The relacing was the ticket to make these shoes near perfect.

With the Merrel's barefoots, New Balance Minimus', Alta's, and GoLites (which I know are already out), next spring looks to be a good time to add to the shoe stable. If I can swing the cash.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three runs of about the same distance in the Kinvara's, and everything is going well. I redid the lacing, so that the lowest two "eyelets" are loose, and only the top two cinch up. Gave my toes a little more breathing room. I am already seeing what will be the wear pattern on these shoes -- no wear at all in the heel area, and the outside edge along the 5th metatarsal will take 90% of the wear.

I'm seeing a lot of good press on the coming New Balance Minimus shoes, so those will be given a serious look when they finally make it to market (I'm not well-enough connected to score the free pre-market shoes for testing). Given the sole configuration on these, and the wear pattern that I'm seeing already on the Kinvara's, I think they'll be even better-suited to my particular running gait.

Saturday we fly to Chicago for a week, to spend time with my girlfriend's family. Will definitely take running gear with me... Will most likely be running all on pavement there.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Okay, so Thursday turned out to be the day... New shoes. SHOOOOOOOZ! After spending much of the day on my feet (Seattle Pacific Science Center and the Harry Potter Exhibition), went to the Renton Landing, where The Balanced Athlete resides. They had the Saucony Kinvara and the Hoka... Well, my impressions of the Hoka weren't good at all. Sure, they were soft and stiff (felt like wearing the Boot, almost), but too tall (felt like I was unstable) and the rocker in the toe area made it feel like the group was falling away from me at toe off. So back to the Kinvara's... Ran in them, and there wasn't the crowding feeling at the little toe. At least nowhere near as much as my Air Max's.

I ran in them yesterday for the first time. Did my "usual" 4.5 mile route, and they felt fine. Pace was right on target, didn't feel like my toes were giving me any problems, and I think they're (more) stiff enough that I shouldn't have problems with the Frieberg's.

Saw a post on Runblogger this morning on the new Minimus Road shoe from New Balance. Looks promising to me, though I wonder about the forefoot flexibility. Would love to see a comparison between that one, the Altra road and the GoLite.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

13.1? Maybe...

Lisa dropped a bomb on me last night... She asked what I'd think if she registered for an event. And then said the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon is on June 30th next year... I raised my eyebrows, and she quickly added "I'd only do the half."

Still... But she seems serious about wanting to do something significant around her birthday. I said I'd run with her.

My feet today were complaining a lot. Met heads feeling beat up. I think it was from trying on shoes last night -- raised heels putting me up on the balls of my feet. My run today went well, relaxed but not fast by any means.

I found some other possible shoes recommended by The Balanced Athlete in Renton -- Hoka... Never heard of that company before. French, I think. Look kind of like what you'd get if you took moon boots and made running shoes out of them. We'll see. At least they have the Kinvara in stock...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shoe search

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.

After doing a lot of research on Runblogger, Science of running, the Born To Run site (and accompanying forum), various online blogs, stores, manufactureres... And touring all the local shoe stores, I've come to the conclusion they're all clueless.

The latest was South Sound Running, which I visited this afternoon. Not one low-drop shoe in the place, and the guy that helped me (a "biomechanics graduate") basically had me try on a lot of shoes and didn't listen at all to the low-drop and forefoot strike, though he did listen to the need for cushioning and a stiffer forefoot (due to past injuries).

Looks like the ones that might be best for me (assuming they fit) are the Newtons (ouch on the price -- no way I'm paying full retail on those) or the GoLite Flash Lite (or Amp Lite). I may be stuck ordering online and then returning if they don't fit. Still have a couple more places I can try somewhat locally -- Super Jock and Jill in Seattle, and Balanced Athlete in Kent.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I ran one more time in the Air Max's... They're officially retired now. Never to be run in again. By the time I was finished with the short run, my shins were hurting, my toes were cramped, and I couldn't wait to take them off. So now the search begins for another pair of shoes. I have the two pair of Zooms, and I have one each at work and home. They work pretty well, but I get some metatarsal pain from them -- too flexible? not enough padding?

So I'm looking for some of the shoes that are reviewed on Runblogger as having low heel drop, and I'm not finding them anywhere around Puke-it-up. About my only chances of having them to try on are to go into Seattle to Super Jock 'n Jill, or maybe South Sound Running in Tacoma. That or try to find them online and take my chances if they'll fit.