Time to start a new year of running with a better attitude. After my last race on September 23, I have only run a total of 17 times!!! Pathetic!!! I have been sick the last two weeks (just a very bad cold), which has really made me appreciate my capacity to run. I’ve reflected on how little I ran after my last race when I was perfectly healthy to do so. I suppose this reflection comes at a good time, being the last day of the year.
As some of my readers might remember, I have been running for a couple of years now, but only really pushing myself and actually training as of March 2012. I run a total of 548 miles / 882 km. I am going to aim for 1000 miles next year (1609 km). I finished two 10 km races last year, and I will probably do the same this year, but definitely will be breaking that 1 hour barrier… no doubt about it. Then in 2014, I will be ready to train for a half marathon.
I watched a documentary last night called The Spirit of the Marathon. It followed six people during their preparation for the 2005 Chicago marathon. It was very interesting and inspiring. It followed two elite athletes, two couples who had done marathons before (one young couple and one elderly couple) and two women who had never ran a marathon. It made me feel like jumping into half-marathon training this year so I could be closer to eventually completing a marathon. After a good night’s sleep, I decided to stick with my 1-more-year of 10k training.
New Year New Shoes
Last year, I bought my running shoes from a local sports’ store. The salesperson didn’t seem very inclined to help me select shoes. I ended up with a pair of Asics GT-2160’s. They are stabilizing shoes that help correct feet from rolling (over/under pronation). I immediately found that the outer parts of my feet went to sleep after the first mile of running. I also found that the heel felt chunkier (technical term!) than my old Nike Lunarglides and my heels kept catching the treadmill, making me learn to pick up my feet more than I was used to. I eventually broke them in and completely fell in love with them.
After last year’s experience of being handled by someone who didn’t appear to want to help me, I went to the local running store. They did a proper shoe fitting, complete with video gait analysis. Turns out I actually don’t pronate while I run! I have been wearing the wrong shoes for the past few years! They also explained why my last pair of shoes made the edge of my feet go to sleep… the stability shoes forced my feet to the side so they wouldn’t roll in when they didn’t need to be forced to the side. It was determined I am a “neutral” runner. They had me try three different pairs of shoes… some Saucony‘s, Etonic’s, and some Zoot’s. I liked the Saucony’s best, followed by the Zoot’s then the Etonic’s.
The Saucony Powergrid 9’s are lovely. After running with them a couple of times, they just make running so pleasant! Not to sound cliché, but it feels like running on clouds. They are certainly a lot lighter than the Asics. The Saucony’s are only half an ounce lighter, but it makes a difference! The other difference is the heel to midfoot drop. I didn’t really know much about this statistic until I read up on my new shoes. Turns out that Saucony make a big change in 2011 to a few of their shoe models and dropped their heel to midfoot distance to 8mm. You can learn about it here: http://youtu.be/BehpU8DguG0.
This new geometry puts every runner in a more balanced, comfortable and powerful position without reducing cushioning or stability. Also, runners can more easily adjust their stride to a midfoot strike, aligning the lower body to absorb impact.
All I can say is that they are a comfortable shoe!
Last Words: Watch out for Zombies
The other new running novelty I’ve picked is the Zombies, Run game. Currently, I’m only using it on the treadmill and can see how much more fun it would be once outdoors. By the second run I was hooked! It plays a bit of story, then one of your playlist songs, then goes back into some more story. I actually found myself wanting to run longer to get further into the story and reach the base (apparently, I was almost there!). I would definitely recommend it while not training!