Sneaker Fail: Trying to Shop By Myself

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Since I started running two years ago, I’ve been a pick supporter of going to your running store, get fitted, by the sneakers they recommend.

I’ve been religiously doing this for two years, every time I need new runners.

This year the running store (Runner’s Edge) realized I had been placed in the wrong shoe last year. Seems there is a fine line between pro-nation and running slightly pigeon toed!

This year I was placed in Asics Cumulus and then Mizuno Wave Rider. I seemed to have killed the Cumulus in under 5 months! Once I fixed my lacing on the Wave Riders, my feet are extremely happy! But I have been wanting a second pair to alternate runs with.

So, around christmas time I was at the outlet stores. Asics was having an amazing deal – by one pair, get a second 50%.  I was placed in a pair of Asics earlier in the year, so I talked to those at the store about the pair I was placed in, and which other pair would give me the same type as what I had.

Well, that failed miserably. I left the store with two pairs of sneakers, GT-2000s. I loved the look of them, my feet felt secure in them, I was happy.

25 days later I was back at the store returning them.
I bought the wrong type.

I was at the Running Store with a friend (who listened to me and let me take her to get fitted!). I thought I would ask them if the seekers are the reason my ankle has been bothering me again (I was in a boot 5 years ago cause I bought the wrong sneakers).

He agreed with my assessment, the sneakers were the culprit. The GT-2000s were a vastly different type of sneaker then the Cumulus 16.

So for now I shall happily run in my Wave Riders. Hopefully they will last me until April – birthday present time!

Lesson Learned: don’t try to shop without finding out what type of sneaker you need, even if you have to get a list from all the brands!

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NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 7

ACS DetermiNation

After yesterdays freezing cold run, the last thing I wanted to do was get back outside for another run. Alas, the all mighty calendar informed me I had to run 2-3 miles today! The dilemma was do I brave the elements outside or hit the treadmill….

I took to twitter to share my dilemma. I got a response telling me to hit the road, so, when someone on twitter tells you to do something, sometimes you just gotta listen!
Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 1.33.14 PMAfter a bit of mental boosting, I suited up with my under armor winter running gear, my asics head warmer, tied up a pair of my new Asics GT-2000s and hit the road. I figured now was as good at time as any to see how the new sneakers would treat the feet with a short 2-3 mile run (notice I didn’t say quick!).
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Lucky for me, the wind was quite minimal today. Small things do help make a better run. It was a cold 36 degrees out there today, but again, I had to get that run in!

I stuck with my 2:30 run/1:30 walk interval again. I have decided I am going to stick with that interval for another 2-3 weeks before increasing the run again.  I want to give my body a chance to grow stronger at this pace, maybe even increase how far I run per each 4 minute block. Oh the goals I foresee, now to get my body there.

IMAG2455My splits haven’t been that great in the freezing weather. Today I ran 2.82 in 36 minutes! I’m closer to a 12:30-13 minute mile then an 11:30-12 min mile, which is closer to where I was in November!  Here’s hoping running the cold with slower splits will only increase my ability and equal faster splits as the temperature hopefully rises sooner then later!

My legs made it to almost 22 minutes before starting to feel somewhat fatigued. My lungs burned a bit, making breathing slightly harder then usual. Again, I blame the cold weather for all these issues. My hip has been bugging again, but felt decent during the run.

All this really just reinforces for me how much I really do not like cold weather! Fingers crossed that the temps for the race in March hit at least low 50s – 🙂

Merry holidays!  IMAG2453

NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 6

ACS DetermiNation

I appear to be a day late on all my training posts, for that I sincerely apologize.

Yesterday was our first ‘group’ training run. I say group because including the coach, there were three of us.  Apparently this happens during holiday time. I was ok with that. My 12 min mile pace is very nervous about running in a group.
2c0aabce17b7c99511d2e16a189f9c7eI arrived at Bethpage State Park, the location of our group run, about 20 minutes early.  I have never been to this park so I left a bit of extra time to get there. We were meeting at 8am so I just chilled in my car till I saw some other folks.

I met our coach, Kevin.  He is nice and knows his running. The other runner in our group was closer to a 9 min mile, so coach apologized that he would have to run solo as coach was going to run with me for assistance.

It was good to have someone to run with as it was roughly 33 degrees outside! BRRRR.  By far the coldest I’ve ever run in. At one point I believe I lost feeling in my finger tips, toes and my lips were going a bit numb, but running with someone meant I couldn’t wuss out by heading right back to my car.

Per the all mighty calendar Saturday’s run was either 3 miles or 30-40 minutes. We headed out south along the bike path.  While we were running I realized how nice it is to run in a park where the water was no where in site, the trees protected us (even leafless) so the winds were not a factor!

IMAG2452The bike path had a few small rolling hills – something I don’t have when I run around my house. I stuck to my 2:30 run / 1:30 walk interval pace. Coach said this is something I should keep aiming to improve on, there is no shame in doing the walk/run for the half in March – listen best to my body, let that be the determination (yes play on words).

All in all it was a nice run. I got feeling back in my lips, toes and fingers about half way through.  We finished up at 3.11 miles in 39 minutes.  Not my best showing, but considering the cold factor and the hill factor, I was content with it.
As I was already somewhat out east on Long Island, after the run I headed over to the Deer Park Tanger Outlets.  I had to make one return and popped back in to Asics as I had discovered they were having a buy one get one 50% off sale!  So of course I bought two new pairs of sneakers – GT-2000s. One will be for running, to alternate in with my Mizuno Wave Riders. The other pair, ideally, will be for a knock around sneaker so I can finally stop wearing my runners all the time everywhere.
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Question of the day:
How many pairs of running sneakers do you have in play at one time?

NYC Half Marathon DetermiNation Team Training Log: Day 1

ACS DetermiNationAnd so it begins – my official training for the NYC Half Marathon as a member of the American Cancer Society DetermiNation!

Since I started running I knew one day I would run a race as a charity runner and that it would be to benefit cancer.  My father passed away 9.5 years ago from lung/liver cancer.  My aunt passed away 24 years ago from breast cancer.  10 years I got lucky when we found pre-cancerous polyps in my colon. Not everyone gets lucky as we found out 7 months later when my dad was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle 6 months after that.

It’s personal to me, it’s personal to my family and its personal to some of my friends who have battled or have family members who battled cancer. Cancer touches each of us in someway. By running with DetermiNation my hope is to help the amazing oncology doctors and nurses finally erase cancer.

IMAG2418Today was day of 1 training. My training calendar says to run 2-3 miles. I figured I had that no problem, I have been running 2.5-3.1 miles consistently for almost two weeks now. I was very wrong! My trainer cancelled Saturday’s group run, but seeing as I did 3.1 miles on Friday, I’m still on track!

IMAG2424My legs were not happy with me. They felt tights and fatigued quite early on. My lungs were not happy – but I am chalking that up to the cold wind that was coming from all sides.  By the time I got out for my run it was close to 40 degrees, but I still dressed nice and warm with layers – Old Navy Running Jacket over Adidas Tee over Under Armour Long sleeved tech shirt with Under Armour leggings, Asics head warmer, sweaty bands headband and running gloves. Not to be forgotten – Mizuno Wave Rider 18s!

I think part of my problem was I decided to increase my intervals from 2min run/90 sec walk to 2:30min run/90 sec walk. Might have been just a slight bit to much for my body just yet. Another week of the 2/90 interval should help.

IMAG2416My goal was 2.5, but I listened to my body, stopped at 2.3, rolled out my legs, popped some advil and will run again when the calendar says to – Thursday for 2-3 miles or 30 minutes. Whether I want to run or I don’t over the next 30 months, I will do what my training calendar says to do.

I will train properly, I will achieve my race goal, I will raise $1,000 (with your help of course so please donate!).   But most of all, I will make myself and my dad (as he watches over me) proud for finishing.
Its worth it

Happy Feet

IMG_45761498679004I’ve been ‘running’ in my Asics Cumulus 16 since April.  I stuck running in quotes for a reason.  I bought the shoes, had one run and 4 hours days later was at the orthopedist.  I finally gave in, I realized that my hip was more than something two weeks of resting would fix.
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It took nearly 2.5 months until I was running with somewhat regularity. It was very slow going getting back up the milage.  I’m still working on it.  But my feet were happy.  My hip was healing, my feet were good, ankles and knees were in sync.  Things were coming around.

I loved my Asics. I feel they played a huge part in my healing.

But about 3-4 weeks ago, my feet starting bothering me. When I say my feet, I mean the bottoms of my feet, mostly around the ball of my foot, not so much the heel.  To me that knocked out Plantar Fasciits which is “one of the most common causes of heel pain” (as described by the Mayo Clinic).

So that left me with the shoes.  I wasn’t on my feet all that much during the day, but when I was, it mostly was in my sneakers. As I wasn’t yet up to running 3-4 days a week for distance, I was running for time.  I was doing a slow increase of my time based off my run/walk intervals, so I wanted to keep my feet consistent and not change up my sneakers just because I was out running errands instead of running miles.

I went down to my favorite local running store, Runner’s Edge in Farmingdale, NY to get a second opinion.  Because my thoughts may be false.  I thought maybe the shoes were dying.  It had been close to 6 months, with at least 3 months of fairly consistent running of one form or another.

They agreed, the shoe was dying. It wasn’t yet fully dead, but it was time to start thinking of another new pair.  So I got refitted.  This time my foot fell for the new Mizuno Wave Rider 18!  Of course, just like many of my fellow runners who have these new shoes, I bought them in Black/Silver/Florida Keys. I tied them on, my feet felt secure, they felt comfortable. My toes has room in the two box, while my heel felt stable enough to keep me balanced. They were tight enough where I felt my body would stay in alignment, again, anything to keep my knee and hip injuries from flaring again.  I was happily hooked.
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I’ve had the shoes for about a week and half now.  I’ve had two runs in them, one 3.1 mile walk, and numerous errands ran.  My feet are coming around. The bottoms of them hurt less throughout the day. My runs are as consistent as they were in the Asics which makes me happy.  It tells me that on snowy or rainy days I can still use the Asics for runs.  That I can keep them to wear as my errand running sneaker without causing much damage to my feet.

Running Question of the Day:
What shoe makes your feet most happy?

If I Call It Training I’ll Keep Going

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Sometimes you need outside motivation to keep running.  For some it’s staying in shape, other’s it’s the search for the elusive “runner’s high“.  Sometimes it’s an upcoming race.  My motivation is simply training.  I don’t always have a race on the horizon (sometimes because I just can’t decide where I want to race next) but I know if I want to run another race, I need to keep running now.  I’d rather call it training.  Call it my inner athlete. I was the girl who was involved in all types of sports (softball, swimming, gymnastics), thus I was always training for something – the next game, the next level, the next meet, against myself.

So I thought, why not use those same methods that kept me hitting balls against a wall or doing handstands in the house all day long now for running.  Regardless of what I have coming up, I should always be training.

I won’t lie to you, I do have a race coming up.  In a week I am running the NYRR Dash To The Finish Link 5K.  I’ve stated this before, it’s a big deal for me.  I’ve battled a bothersome hip most of 2014, yet to run my second 5K in a months time is a big deal (to me at least).  I have been training, hoping to better my time then my Diva’s 5K time, but really – as long as I come in under 40:00 I’ll be quite happy with the race.

That said, I’ve been training.  I’m aiming to run 3 days a week.  Start getting my ass back to the gym on days I’m not running to hit the rower machine to work on lung capacity as well as some cross training to improve leg strength. I belong to Synergy Gym in Baldwin, NY and I love it!  The people are great, I rarely feel intimidated when I walk in, or try to hit some of the bigger weight machines, and my trainer is wonderful!!  If you’re local, walk in, get a tour, get information (and if you sign up, tell them I sent you!)

I failed a bit this week. I’m not afraid to admit it. I skipped my Wednesday run.  What can I say – there was a thunderstorm all morning, it basically rained/poured all day. I’m ok running the rain, I’m not quite ready for the cold winter rain though, which is what it felt like on Wednesday. I was said about it, very sad about it.  I made a promise to myself that I would run Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I broke it (well, ok, the weather broke it).

But that didn’t deter me to much.  I woke up this morning, got dressed, laced up the Asics Cumulus 16, strapped on the iPod and Garmin (friend me: samtravels20) and hit the road.  I had a goal.  I was finally running 3+ miles so today was the day I would make it to my local park and back.  I mapped out the route that would take me to 3.1 at a minimum and 3.35 at the max (which is the distance I ran on Monday.)

Goal achieved!

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Shell Creek Park, Island Park, NY (October 24, 2014). Doesn’t quite like it did when I was a kid, but still a fun little park!

My entire run took me 3.39 in 42:01.  Mile 1 was under 12:00 at 11:52!  My 5K was 38:30 (a full 21 seconds faster then my Diva’s 5K time).  It was cool, sunny and quite windy – then again, we live surrounded by water, there are channels nearly everywhere I run so wind is expected.

Stats Oct 24 2014

Still, it’s always fun running around your own town.  Getting further then you have gone before.  Seeing how your neighbors change their landscaping per season or decorate for holidays. Some of the houses are still being rebuild from Superstorm Sandy.  One person finally put their anchor back in front of their house (that’s how you are know you live in a town surrounded by water – boats and anchors and nautically themed outside decor!)

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Question of the day:
What keeps you motivated to run year round?

Diva’s Long Island 5K

I know, I know – the Run Like a Diva 5k was LAST Sunday and I am just now getting around to my race recap.  It’s been a busy week helping my sister and brother-in-law unpack in their new house, and helping with the nephew.

That said, all excuses are just excuses, not reasons enough.  But finally I am recapping.

All week leading up to the race I checked the weather.  It was supposed to be mid-high 60s.  To be fair, I think I had last checked on Thursday morning.  A lot can change weather wise in 4 days!  Change it did.

I woke up at 5:30 to leave my house at 6:00.  First think I did was checked the weather app on my phone.  BRRR – as of 7:00am, the temp was supposed to be about 50 degrees, maybe.  By 8:00am it was supposed to be 52.  Coldest temps I had run in since the winter was low 60s, not low 50s!  I didn’t have a tech shirt I could wear.  Don’t own arm warmers (yet) so there was I dressing in my Nike Dri-Run capri’s and Under Armour Superman (Supergirl?) shirt ready to face the chill.

Since this was a local race, my mother came out to cheer me on at the finish line.  This is one of the perks of running a race close to home.  I have run 3 5ks, a 10k and 2 half marathons in the 22 months I have been running.  This is the second race my mother came to cheer me on at.  It’s only the second race I’ve run on Long Island!  The other race was my very first 5k of this running journey – the JFK Runway 5K in April of 2013.

I left her in her car while I fast walked down to the finish line. She was going to hang in the warmth a bit longer before heading over to find a seat on the bleachers to cheer me across the finish.

As I started walking I realized, I should probably find a bathroom.  Perfect, there was a bathroom house right next to the parking lot we ended up in.  Of course, as this is a women’s race, the line for the ladies was long.  Of course, as this is a women’s race, the line for the men’s was non-existent.  So myself and a few other ladies hopped in to the mens for a pre-race pee break.  At this point, many ladies followed.

After the bathroom break, it was time to fast walk down to the start.  It was a little over half a mile walk from my car to the start line.  Took a bit of searching, finally found my friends who were also running the 5K.  We all had a similar goal – sub 40 minute 5K!  However, we were ultimately each running our own race.

We lined up, our wave started, across the start line we went.  I had a goal to finish between 38-40 minutes, really, as close to 38 minutes as I could get.  I was ticking to my 90 run/walk interval pace.  As our start line was the same being used in the half marathon, we started by heading south for about .2 miles, make a u-turn and head north back towards the park entrance.  Before we exited the park, we hooked a left to a running trail.  The trail was quiet twisty, not nearly wide enough for all the runners so there was a bit of dodging between runners while making sure I found the edge during the walk interval.

We encountered a slight incline up towards the War Memorial inside the park looping back down the hill to head around the pond.  Here was encounter more wind.  The sun had risen so the temperatures were slightly better, but inside the park, on the trail, in the shade of the trees, the chill set in again.  Mixed with the wind, my lungs started to yell.

As we finished around the pond, up another hill we went. I got lucky that my walk interval took me half way up the hill before the run time was up.  I jogged up the remainder of the hill to encounter a parking lot with some Diva’s Entourage members directing up so the water stop as well as pointing us in the correct direction.  Grabbed some water, a sip of gatorade, kept running along the path.

Found some spectators with signs cheering on runners.  It was nice to see them on the running path, not just at the start or finish lines.  More dodging between runners, more twists in the path, more trees.  It was a nice run, being in a park, but not much in terms of cheering on the sidelines, or encouragement.  No cameras half way through the 5K as I’ve encountered on my other two 5Ks.

Around the 2.5 mile mark the boa and tiara station was upon us.  This meant the race was almost over.  Having studied the map, and living near the park, I knew we didn’t have much further to go.  However, my legs were already feeling fatigued.  My quads and hamstrings were ready to quit on me.  My lungs were starting to get unhappy.  The tiara made me smile, but the one I grabbed some to small to run with it on my head, so I held it in my hand until I saw the finish line area.  We crossed back over Park Avenue, ran past the admin buildings and down the final path to the finish area.  At this point, I was happy yet tired.

I put the tiara on my head, a smile spread across my face and then I saw my mom standing on the sidelines, phone in hand to take some pictures of me.  I sprinted across the finish line, where finally some cameras were waiting for us 5K runners.

The finish area was congested.  They didn’t leave enough run between the finish line and our goodies which included a 5K finisher medal, a rose, some champagne and some hunky firefighters.  There was a corral to get your finisher picture taken, the line was long yet moving a bit.  The put all the tables in center of the finish area instead of along the sides so navigating was tricky.  A few of us weren’t even sure we were on the line for the finisher photo!

I was thrilled with my finish.  I finished in 38:51 minutes!  I was smack in the middle of the goal and achieved the sub 40.  However, and this is a big HOWEVER, according to my garmin GPS my race was clocked at 3.01 miles NOT 3.10 miles.  I noticed this from the start when I came up on the 1 mile marker and Garmin informed me we were at .89 miles, not 1.00 miles.  Now I wouldn’t be terrible concerned if I was over, as you usually end up being during a race.  But to be .10 UNDER, that causes concern.

I am still happy.  It is the furtherest I have run since hurting my hip back in March.  Even if I did run the full 3.10 I know my time would have been better then my previous 5K time!  I motivated myself, I ran when I was supposed to, walked to regain my lungs and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.

Not the best 5k experience I’ve had, but still I ran.   The expo was small with not many vendors.  The course was nice with trees being in a park, but overall could have been a better experience, more support, maybe some photo ops half way through.

Here’s hoping the half marathon runners had more support and photo ops throughout!

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