Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Well-Read Runner: SHOES!

Week 9 of training for the Mystic Half Marathon is done...only 3 weeks to go!

Total distance for the week: 27.94 miles

An exciting week for running apparel around here!

First, my Mother's Day gift from my husband and the kiddos came early.  Not one, but TWO new pairs of running shoes!:

WOOHOO!  The first pair of running shoes I got fitted for at Fleet Feet (last year) was the Nike Lunar Eclipse 3.  It was one of the only shoes I tried on that did not make the bunion on my right foot (super sexy, I know) hurt like crazy, because the shoe has a super wide toe box.  I went to buy a new pair at the end of last year, and of course, Nike stopped making the 3, so I switched to the almost-identical Lunar Eclipse 4.

Well now...of course, they've stopped making the 4, and moved on to the Lunar Eclipse 5.  I really like my 4's though, and saw that a few retailers were still selling them here and there, so my husband offered to nab me two pairs before they sold out.  Huzzah!  My current pair of shoes only has about 220 miles so far, but it would be nice to be able to rotate shoes rather than wearing 1 pair down until they've got nothing left.  I'm quite excited about being able to do that in time for race day!  :)

In other news, my mother-in-law sent me a $50 Amazon gift card, which I used to buy myself a much-coveted FlipBelt, as well as a new pair of Under Armour running shorts:

They should be here this week.  The FlipBelt will hopefully replace my dreaded iPhone armband, and the shorts will replace my black Adidas running shorts that I've had since 2007 and are about to fall to pieces.  :)

Anyway, on to my workouts!

Monday: Rest.  Well-deserved after last week's race!

Tuesday: 5 miles, easy pace.  This run went okay, but it was SO HUMID!!  Kind of unusual for Rochester at this time of year (especially at 5am).  I suppose this is good practice for race day though...Mystic, though not necessarily warmer than Rochester, is almost always more humid, given its coastal location.  I went out on the run with stick-straight hair, and came home with some serious volume:

One thing about this run--I started to get a slightly-sore twinge in my left knee for most of it.  I've had knee issues when I run on shoes that are past their retirement date, but otherwise have not had problems.  After the run, I ran the problem (pun!) past a few of my running friends, and after ruling out shoes/insoles as a problem, I think it's likely related to the fact that I've been almost exclusively running on the left side of roads throughout this training.  And, as most roads tend to do, they have a slant in the shoulder that goes down to the left, putting my left foot at a weird angle much of the time.  More on this in a minute.

Wednesday: 9 x 400 intervals.
  Knocked this one out of the park.  Managed not to walk between any of the intervals (only jogged).  I only have 1 interval workout left before the race (10 x 400), I can't believe it!  I remember when I did my first one and never thought I'd be able to hang in there for 9 or 10 in a row.  (And, side note, no knee twinge today...I was on the treadmill.)

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace.  This run went great.  I used one of my new pairs of shoes, which felt wonderful, and I had no knee pain (though I did try to run in the road, rather than in the shoulder, for much of it--something that is easier to do on an early-morning run with no traffic).

Friday: Rest.  And I got to spend it chaperoning Small Fry's field trip to the farm.  Good times!!

Saturday: 11 mile long run.  This was supposed to be Sunday's workout, but I moved it up a day because 1) they were calling for possible Sunday morning thunderstorms, and 2) I wanted to do it before Mother's Day, because long runs make me crazy tired and I didn't want to be sleepy all day long on my BIG holiday.  :)

I got up early for this one (5am, with the intention of leaving at 6am), and I almost wish I got up earlier.  We are having an insane heat wave in Rochester right now (it was 91 on Friday, a record-breaker), and it was already 71 degrees by the time I started out.  Luckily, the sun was at my back for a lot of it, but this run definitely reminded me of what the summer will feel like soon!  Thank goodness for my Nathan hydration pack, I took in a LOT of water today.

Overall, this was a great run.  I started off feeling strong, though I did start to get my knee twinge again at mile 2.  I started paying more attention to how my left foot was hitting the pavement, because when I looked down, I noticed that I kept hitting hard on the outer edge of my left foot even on flat surfaces, almost as if I was expecting the left-side slope at all times.  When I made a better effort to flatten my foot falls, the knee twinge went away almost immediately.  For the rest of training, I really need to stay conscious of this, because I don't want an injury before race day.

I only had 1 Gu left at home, so I decided to take it around the halfway point.  I stopped for a quick bathroom break at mile 6, then took the Gu as soon as I started running again.  This was a non-caffeinated Gu (all the others I tried were caffeinated), and I had ZERO stomach cramps/problems after eating it.  Not a single one.  This is a miracle for me and my sensitive stomach!!  I immediately went out to Fleet Feet after the run and bought a huge supply of these.  They will definitely be my race-day fuel of choice.

I flagged a little in the last mile, but overall I did great.  Average 9:59 pace that stayed fairly consistent throughout.  Feeling ready to do this thing!!

Sunday: 5 miles @ race pace.  Oh man, was I dreading this run.  Reason 1: running at race pace the day after a long run sounded way painful.  Reason 2: I got ridiculously, unashamedly drunk on Saturday night, thanks to my lovely husband who made me an AWESOME steak dinner after the kids went to bed, and then split a bottle of wine with me.  The steak and the wine (and the peanut butter pie for dessert) were to die for, but given that I have had very little alcohol during this training cycle, that half-bottle of wine was trouble.

I didn't even bother setting an alarm for Sunday, because I knew when I stumbled into bed that there was no 5am run in my future.  Sure enough, I woke up Sunday with a hangover and a very sour stomach.  Luckily, throughout the day the situation did improve, and it was nice to have the day to get pampered by my boys and hang out with them at Ontario Beach Park:

However, this all just put off my run until after my kiddos went to bed (roughly 7:30pm).  It had been a hot day (mid-80's) and while the sun was going down at this point, it was still outrageously humid.  But I put on my big girl panties and got out there anyway.

Not gonna lie, the first two miles were a struggle.  My stomach was still not entirely happy, and it felt like I was trying to breathe underwater in that humidity.  However, by mile 3 I felt like I was hitting a groove.  And I actually did a great job keeping race pace (9:38 average overall, 9:45 was the goal).  One thing I did notice is that when I hit a hill, I get nervous that I'm going to fall too far behind pace, so I tend to overcompensate and go way too hard up the hill (usually around 9:00-9:10).  This is something I will have to be careful of on race day, because I don't want to lose all my steam on those hills.

In the end, it was a bit of a struggle, but 5 miles were done, and well-paced to boot!  I did look like I had taken a shower when I finished though.  Did I mention it was humid?

I am linking up again with Tara's Weekend Update at Running 'N Reading (a fantastic blog for runners and readers alike!!).  Check it out!

How was your running week, friends?

Anyone else primarily a road runner?  How do you deal with those sloping shoulders wreaking havoc on your knees?

Pick your poison: if you had to run in either 20 degree snow, or 80 degree humidity, for the rest of your days, what would you choose?  (Honestly, I think I'd have to go with the snow, but I could be biased because I'm still sweating.)


  1. I had a problem also with sloping shoulders hurting my knees. I run where there is not too much traffic so try to make an effort to run in the middle of the road, or run against traffic rather than with it. Anything to add variety and not run constantly on a sloping road.
    I think I would pick snow... you can dress for cold weather but its very tough to dress for humidity...

    1. Re:the humidity, exactly! I can always put on another layer in the snow, but I could be naked in the humidity and still uncomfortable...haha. Though the first 5 minutes of any cold run is always hard to push through.

  2. BTW, buying 2 pairs of sneakers is brilliant ! I get so worried every time the manufacturers change the model.

    1. Yes, I was so happy he did this! I know the Lunar 5's are probably not all that different, but when you KNOW something works for you, it's hard to change.

  3. Kelly, I'm so glad that the non-caffeinated GU seemed to make a difference and that you were able to have it with no stomach problems; that's great! TWO new pairs of running shoes?!? I'm so jealous! That is awesome! I love my FlipBelt; I just recommended it to Sarah (at Sarah's Book Shelves) because she's had a hard time trying to find an armband that she likes. I gave up and just got the FlipBelt - ha! Um, sadly, I try to get away with running down the middle of the street as much as possible...yikes! We have some highly-cambered streets around town, especially downtown, which I try to avoid as much as I can. It's a pain - literally! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog, Kelly; hope your Monday is going well!

    1. I haven't been brave enough to try the middle of the road yet, but I've found that even a little bit over the white line into the traffic lane makes a world of difference!

  4. Great training recap! I am impressed you ran after your 'festive' Saturday evening - well done! I really need to focus on the speed work, those distance repeats. You've inspired me.

    And I'm very jealous of the new shoes. I feel like I need another pair so I can rotate. And I'm interested to hear what you think of the FlipBelt. I have a SPIBelt that I like, but sometimes I just want to carry MORE!

    1. Not sure if you saw my post from this past Sunday, but the FlipBelt was a no go! Rode up on me pretty quickly. Such a bummer since I'd heard the opposite from so many runners. Ah to find another option!

  5. Thanks so you and Tara for solving my iPhone armband problem! I got an iPhone 6 recently and hate the new armband I got...especially when wearing it sleeveless. Going to try out the flip belt.
    Congrats on on a great week of training and a fun Saturday night :)

    1. I can't wait to hear how the Flipbelt works for you, since it was kind of a dud for me. I hope it does help you out, because I TOTALLY understand how annoying the armbands can be!

  6. How wonderful to receive two pairs of shoes! I've been wanting a lime green flip belt! There is not much traffic where I run so I switch sides of the road so that one side is not always taking the slope. It is so humid where I live. I don't run well in it but some people seem unaffected. And, I'm always amazed by that. Good luck with your half marathon!

    1. I suppose if you're in it all the time, it gets a little easier with time...maybe?? :) I've run twice in Florida on different occasions, and both of those runs were just miserable for me!

  7. Don't you hate that you can't overindulge anymore? Drives my husband crazy....

    1. Haha, YES! I'm a serious lightweight right now!!

  8. I think we are kindred spirits. I have bunions too and the wide toe box is a necessity! I don't run in Nikes though. Only because I haven't tried them. I have grown pretty partial to Mizuno!

    1. That's good to know! I don't mind my Nikes right now, but I would love to have other options in the future. It's just been so hard to find something that works.

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