Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Feelin' Speedy

I had a GREAT track run yesterday. Yup. It was so good I decided to write a post about it. It actually started off rather rough. My legs felt tired, my left hip twinged a little. I walked a bit after the first mile and considered bagging the rest of my run. I felt like I was going faster than my Nike+ app said I was..wait a second! I checked my app and since my phone has just had an update the Nike+ app (for the first time ever) decided to restore the calibration back to the factory settings! No wonder I felt like I was going faster than I was-the app thought I was a 150lb man!

Sheesh. It only took 2 miles for me to figure that out-lol. After re-setting my app I was off again, this time feeling more more in-line with what the app was reporting. I quickly clocked off some great mile times-for me (9:32, 9:28, then 9:24). My legs felt better the hip thing was gone and I left the track with a nice runner's high about my run. What it taught me was not to bag the run because of a little soreness and frustrating times, stop, reevaluate how I'm feeling, if anything is hurting specifically, if something I'm wearing is affecting me/chaffing etc. and try to fix it. In the past I might have just called it a day after the first 2 frustrating miles, but then I would have missed running some decent mile splits for the last 3 miles. Sometimes just taking a second to take stock of how you feel at a given moment can make all the difference..and checking the app you're using doesn't hurt either! ;-)

Friday, December 6, 2013

My "Stay Consistent through the Holidays" Personal Running Challenge

First off; I still love my new running shoes. Really. On every run with them I have a moment of "Oh my god-why didn't I buy TWO pairs of these because they are THAT awesome?!" Alas, Black Friday is only one day and my psychic powers weren't totally in tune at that moment. Boo.

On the plus side I have no running-shoe-related reason not to run as much as I can during the next month. Traditionally, for me, December has been a month of running that slowly reduces in frequency to me struggling to get out the door of two or three 5ks a week. THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT darn it! Then there are the holiday parties where extended family always ask "Are you still running?" and I have to say yeaah..and feel guilty about not running as much as I normally do. So this year I was proactive and printed off a schedule, put it on my fridge and have been dutifully ticking off my runs to stay consistent. So good. I'm still averaging between 50-60 kms total per week, although my long runs have been only about 15kms. This weekend though, all of the programs my daughter attends have started their winter shutdown until January so I have actual time to run..for hours(!!) on Saturday or Sunday :-) Just this weekend though. Next weekend I'll be trying to fit in a run while my husband's whole family appears on our doorstep for a few days (thankfully my husband has talked them out of taking their large dog with them..5 adults, 3 kids under 10, one puppy already residing in the 3 bedroom house = no room for anything else). But fitting in runs around family holiday gatherings is what all runners try and do this time of year. I'll be as flexible as I can but I'm sure I'll have to break out the headlamp on a few early morning runs.

My husband on the other hand, has said he'll be taking some time off from running during the holidays-I tried to explain how hard it is to get back on the running horse once you get off..but I don't think he's quite as dedicated (crazy/committed-whatever) as I am about running. He does appear to be dedicated to his calorie counting app, so I'm hopeful all the hard work he's done over the past 4 weeks won't be ruined. Fingers crossed.

If you think about it, runners really should strive (ha) to be consistent through December, with all of the holidays (no matter what religion you come from) come numerous family visits, parties, food and lets not forget the hours spent buying gifts, a runner needs to stay sane and of course running is the best advice for natural stress reduction that I can give. Now if I could only find a gift for my mom!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Shoe Review! New Balance Ionix 3090 v3

Santa came early this year and I took advantage of a Black Friday sale to pick up a pair of the newest version (version 3) of the NB Ionix 3090 running shoe (at $59.95!!). I didn't go to the store with the updated version of the shoes I already own in mind, but once I tried these on and was able to get them in a slightly wider width (D width) I was SOLD.

So how does the version 3 compare to the version 2? I said to my husband, they fixed the small issues I had with the version 2. For starters the version 3 has much less inside-seam overlap/extra fabric that would cause me to get the odd hotspot on the inside of one arch in the version 2s. The ankle support in the version 3 is more cushioned without being restrictive, so it hugs my ankle nicely. The ankle is also higher than the version 2 (which is a good thing) and I found the tiny crushed gravel rocks stayed out of my shoe when I took these babies on the trail. The toe area is covered more with a plastic that should be helpful for keeping water out of my shoes once the snow and slush hits.

Other than that, it's the same shoe. The construction of the sole is virtually the same so I found the same excellent lateral support and zero heel drop I've enjoyed with the version 2. The fit through the top and side of the shoe is the same-although I did buy a wider version, my toes have even more space to splay when I hit the ground. There is no rock plate of any kind-which for some might be a pitfall, but I don't mind, it forces me to be more aware of my surroundings when I run and I like to have some kind of ground feel. My last pair lasted about 500 miles-and probably should have been replaced at the 400 mile mark based on the amount of creasing along the sides. We'll see how long these puppies last!

For a daily road/trail running shoe this is one of my all-time favorites. I even like the color better with this version, check it out:

Pretty new kicks :-)

Sole view ;-)

So far these shoes have had three runs. The first was a road and trail 5 mile combo. On the road they responded well, but I find its the trail where these shoes really shine. Without a rock plate in the sole these shoes give you excellent ground feedback on soft trail surfaces. When I transitioned to sprints these gripped the ground and responded great. The odd puddle didn't seep into these shoes, keeping my feet dry and toasty warm on a blustery day. The second run was a groggy 5 mile sidewalk run in the early morning. Again, the shoes performed great and I had no hotspots or any other issues. On the way home I cross a wooden footbridge that can be really slick this time of year. The Ionix sole pattern works great for this as I felt stable and secure (no slipping or sliding) across the whole tilted bridge (about 800 meters long). The third run was a 6 miler on an indoor track surface; here I was looking to see how they perform on tight turns since the indoor track is only about 225 meters. I had no issues at all, they responded fine to the turns and my feet stayed in the shoe securely, no slipping to the side or hotspots either.

All in all I'm quite happy with my NB Ionix 3090 v3's. I'll give them a rare 5 out of 5 stars for fit, responsiveness, and style.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I was accused of "jogging" my OWN child!

It was warmer than the previous day's run when it was the puppy's turn to head out for a run with me, sporting a bone-printed winter coat (he IS part chihuahua after all). Today I had somehow agreed (really, I'm not entirely sure why or how my daughter got me to say yes) to push her in her old jogging stroller for my 5 miler. We had just started the run when she looked up at me and said, "Ugh. You're jogging." I explained, that unlike her, I didn't start my runs by sprinting right from the beginning, that to avoid pulling anything I prefer to walk and then run slowly (NOT jog) before I get settled into my pace. Still though..I picked it up a bit after she threw out the J-word.
I don't really know why the term jogging bothers runners en mass. Maybe it is the half-ass'd meaning it gives to what we're doing, like we could but are choosing not to push harder. In this case, yes, I was jogging but when I first started running that pace would have been my average running speed. I realized then that "jogging" isn't a set pace, it changes as we improve as runners. I still decided to pop a wheelie with the stroller (to which she squealed and giggled) when we were on the trail..jogging my a$$!