New running shoes?

It seems like I am going to need new running shoes soon, especially before taking on a three half marathon summer that is planned.  Although based on time and mileage, I shouldn’t NEED new shoes yet, but I think I do, which is why I’m opening this up to suggestions from other people.  What do you wear? What do you like? What would you recommend?

My first pair of fitted running shoes were a pair of Brooks GTS Adrenaline 12′s. (My first pair of running shoes were an off the shelf pair of Saucony’s).  These shoes were awesome, as if they were made just for me.  I felt great running in them and (until Disney) didn’t have any knee problems or injuries.  I put over 500 miles on those shoes including 3 half marathons.  When they were ready to be replaced I went back and got the exact same style, just the newer model, the GTS Adrenaline 13.  At first they were great, but pretty quickly I started to notice things such as them not fitting as well, not feeling as good and a spot on my right foot that’s been rubbed to a massive blister during my last two long races.  I’ve put less than 300 miles on them and the right toe is split open and coming apart, my last couple long runs/races I’ve been plagued by cramps, soreness and knee pain, not all of which can be blamed on/attributed to the shoes, but that’s never a good sign.  I don’t think these shoes are going to last much longer and certainly not for another 150 miles of training and three races.

Lisa is also running in a pair of Brooks that she likes but doesn’t love.  She’s thinking about switching back to her Asics that she was wearing before, or maybe even try something different altogether.  I love Brooks as a company, they do a lot of good things with health awareness, race sponsorship, charity work etc but maybe the shoes just aren’t for us.

I loved my first pair of Saucony’s but I don’t believe they make a support shoe that fits me.  So what would you guys recommend?

Here’s the caveat – I wear a 13 Wide.  Not all shoes come in 13, not all shoes come in wide.  I have flat feet and therefore have a huge pronation.  I need support shoes.  I ran in neutral’s before I knew what I really needed and thankfully did not cause any damage/injury.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

Pre-race and New Gear

I had a pretty good race related adventure this afternoon.  First I went to Fleet Feet Sports to pick up my packet and shirt for tomorrow’s race, the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Memorial 5K.  Some of the numbers went up into the 700s so looks like it might be a good crowd tomorrow morning.  The shirt is a standard tshirt, not a tech shirt, so I won’t wear it for the race, but it’s a nice shirt.  The back of the shirt memorializes a list of officers killed in the line of duty in Forsyth County dating back to 1895.  Thankfully it is a short list, only 24 officers over the span of 117 years.

Since I was at Fleet Feet already, I wanted to look around since I had earned a 25$ reward credit and I was looking for a hat.  I found exactly what I was looking for in a Nike Dri Fit hat for 20$ and bought a couple packs of Gu (that I dont really need right now, but they are good for like 4 years) to bring it up to 24 and some change.  I’m not too worried about the 70 cents I didn’t use.

As you can see from the picture, after hitting up Fleet Feet I went to Omega Sports to get my Member Tech shirt for joining the Twin City Track Club, and this shirt was free! It’s a very nice shirt and I look forward to wearing it for some of the group events (you don’t have to, but I probably will).

So the best part of all of my new gear is it didn’t cost me anything!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my race recap, which will be fairly picture heavy since I will be carrying my camera on the course with me to blog this race for the WorldWide WordPress 5K.

Hiking in Willis Virginia

The original plan for this weekend was to do some trail running, but after some consideration of both of our virgin status as trail running we decided a nice slow hike would be much better suited (and it suited the terrain better as well). I brought my Garmin and HRM strap to track our distance, my calorie burn and also to track our path.  I wasn’t logging my food or anything this weekend, but was just curious.

The view out of the front of the cabin.  Sadly pictures can never do it justice.

We headed out the back of the cabin and immediately began climbing up.  We followed an old logging road until we got to gate into the pastures.  We had been up here before to go shooting once before.  At one point I realized there were cows in the pasture, and we were inside the fence, but they left us alone and we just went along out merry way.

Gray and I at the top of the first hill.

Our new friends the cows.. thankfully they left us alone.  And we gladly left them alone.

We headed up a little further up the hill and found an old barn which we were looking at and managed to see two wild turkeys before Gray’s dog Matty took chase and they buggered out as quick as they could.  I managed to catch a picture of one before they flew off.

Wild turkeys about to fly off.

At this point we decided to take a break and eat lunch.  We had grabbed some deli sandwiches at the grocery store and carried them up with us.  Mine was an Italian sub with salami, ham and pepperoni and provolone cheese, it was very good.

After lunch, we got back onto the logging road and followed it across the ridge to another pasture and then we came out upon a old family cemetery that Gray said he hadn’t been to in a long time.  The oldest stones dated back to the 1890′s, the most recent one was from 1961.  After that we cut across a different pasture and then came to a ridge top at the edge of some woods.

View of Buffalo Mountain from the ridge.  Absolutely stunning up there.

At this point we started heading down the hill through the woods and winding out way down to the bottom of the valley to follow the creek back to the cabin.

If a tree pose falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it still Om?

The story with the gratuitous yoga shot, is my friends in Alabama always post pictures of themselves doing random yoga poses either mid- or after morning training runs.  So I had to have one of myself.  Tree pose seemed quite appropriate.

After this we followed the creek back up to the cabin for some post hike refreshment.

When I got home I was very excited to plug my Garmin in and see what the stats from the hike were.  We went very slowly and we were not trying to break any land speed records, but we hiked 3.31 miles in 2 hours and 52 minutes.  According to my heart rate strap, my max heart rate was 157 BPM, and it was in the last lap (which was a steep hill climb back up to the cabin) and my average heart rate was 107.  I burned 695 calories over the course of our hike, which actually compares to a spinning class or a weekend long run.  So even though it was long and slow it had the same effect.  Garmin also gave me an option to place my path onto Google Earth and this is where things get interesting.  Garmin tracks changes in elevation, and Google Earth gives me the true elevation, so I can compare the two.  The elevation at the cabin is about 2700 feet.  Our highest elevation was up on the ridge top where we at lunch at about 2900 feet.  Our lowest elevation was down at the creek in the bottom of the valley, at 2599 feet.  So a total elevation change of about 300 feet.  200 above the cabin and about 100 below.  Get this though, from the Garmin our total ascent was 4,449 feet and our total descent was 2,430 feet.  That’s a lot of up and down to cover 300 feet, and most of it was up! Totally crazy.

Here is the path of our hike from Google Earth.  The cabin is about in the “7 oclock” position in the mid-lower left.  The very bottom is the ridge we at lunch at and the rest of the path we followed up and around counter-clockwise back to the cabin.

2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon – New Orleans LA

The day had finally arrived.  My first half marathon.  On Thursday I drove down to Montgomery Alabama to my friends house, the McQueen family, who were also running in New Orleans.  I went out with Amanda and ran 2 miles (while she ran 4 in about the same amount of time) which was my last training run before the race.  Hung out in Montgomery for the night and then Friday morning hit the road for New Orleans.

Saturday was the expo and so I went to pick up my gear.  The gear pack came with my bib, a gear bag and a nice Brooks technical T-shirt.  I requested a single XL for the shirt, which is a little tight at the moment but hopefully will fit soon.

Sunday morning came bright and early and I suited up and headed out to the starting area.  Managed to find the Alabama gang in the huge crowd which was a bit of a surprise.  But that was good since I managed to get some pictures.

Me pre-race.

Me and Amanda pre-race.

I walked around the block what seemed like 2 miles to get to my corral, and then waited for the start.  The first corral went off right at 7, and they sent corrals off every 2 minutes or so, so it was about a 40 minute wait for those of us way back in corral 23. So I waited and waited and waited and then finally it was my turn to go.

I felt pretty good starting out, and I jogged all of the first 3 miles, up to the 5K point, which was about 40 minutes in.  I decided at that point to take my first Gu, so I slowed to a walk and took my Gu and some water and then I noticed that my thighs/hips were kinda hurting as I was walking so I started jogging again and then realized that I needed to keep jogging because it felt worse to walk.  I saw Amanda along St Charles avenue where the course doubled back on itself, but I didn’t see anyone else from our crew.  I didn’t carry my camera with me along the race course, so I don’t have any pictures from along the route, but there were the live bands as promised and the water stations and aid stations were well located.  All in all I thought the race was very well orchestrated.  I don’t have another race yet to compare it to, but for my first one at least it wasn’t a disaster.  The course was well marked, I didn’t get lost or anything like that.  I was feeling pretty good until somewhere between mile 10 and mile 11 when I pretty much hit the wall.  I had to really struggle to the finish, but I managed to finish in 3 hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds.  Here were my split times.  12:40, 13:10, 12:31, 13:54, 13:47, 14:03, 14:44, 14:25, 14:40, 15:22, 15:04, 16:45, 17:37, 14:31 (0.2).  You can see where I hit the wall in the 12th mile.  I managed to pick up the pace a little bit with a jog to the finish.

I was hurting pretty bad by the time I finished, so I didn’t have that overwhelming since of joy and accomplishment that I expected, I was glad to be done and walked through the finish portion pretty much in a daze, grabbed a bagel a banana and a Gatorade, ate that and chugged down the Gatorade, hung around for about 5 minutes of the after party and then caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel for a much needed shower and lunch.  By the time I finished the rest of the Alabama crew was long gone since they had finished well before me.

This is what I got for my troubles, and very nice (and heavy) medal.

Up next, some much needed rest and the the St Leo’s 10K in two weeks.

Tire Rotation (New Kicks!)

It was time to get a new pair of running shoes and have enough time to break them in before the half marathon.  I was able to do this with some early birthday money from my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!) and so I went to the local running store, Fleet Feet and got fitted for shoes.  I had pulled my previous shoes off the shelf at a sporting goods store, tried them on, walked around, liked them and bought them.  They were very nice, and have done good by me, but I recently found out (from one of the nice staff at Fleet Feet) that since I have flat feet I need some shoes with some extra support (known as “stability”) so I had been wearing the wrong shoes! My previous shoes were what’s known as a “neutral”, or just a normal level of support.  So I tried on 4 pairs of shoes, the lady at the store watched me walk in them, a couple I went out for a quick jog around the parking lot and after trying on pairs of Asics, New Balances, Sauconys and Brooks I am the proud owner of a nice shiny new pair of…….. *drumroll*

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 !

I liked the Brooks the best out of the four I tried on.  I was disappointed in the Sauconys since I thought I would like them since I was already wearing a pair, but it felt like there was a bump in the inside right behind the big toe and it was uncomfortable.  And if it doesn’t feel right standing there or walking slowly it’s gonna feel really not right when you’re running.  So I quickly scratched them.  The Asics were very nice, but the Brooks edged them out slightly.

Here’s a shot of the other side, the dark gray foam under the arch is much firmer than the white foam around the rest of the shoe and that gives you the extra support.

I took the shoes out for a quick little 2 mile trot this afternoon, and they did make my feet hurt a little bit which would be expected from brand new shoes, so I am actually gonna run my 5K tomorrow in my old Sauconys before I retire them from running and delegate them to “mall-walker” status.  The good news is that while the Sauconys have lost the cushioning for high impact running after 200+ miles, they still have plenty of life left in them for “around town” shoes, so I will still get plenty of use from them and get my money’s worth out of them for sure.

Winter Flight 8K – Salisbury, NC

This morning I ran in the Winter Flight 8K in Salisbury NC.  This was my first race longer than 5K distance.  Thankfully I’ve done more than 5 miles in my half marathon training, so the distance was not that daunting.

First, my only complaint for the race, the weather, cold and drizzly rain.  Ugh.  I was a drowned rat by the time I got home.  But now on to the good part.

Ok, so it’s not elite runner status, but my first “low” number. LOL

I was a little worried when we started, the Start line was an orange cone and a faintly spray painted line on the pavement, but those worries were quickly pushed away when I realized the course itself was in fact very well marked.  We were running on roads that were still open to traffic, which can be nerve wracking but there was a line of cones separating our lane from the traffic lane and plenty of police at the intersections directing traffic.

The horn goes and the crowd rushes forward and we are off and I felt like I was actually going too fast and so tried to dial it back a little bit so I didn’t kill myself in the first half mile.  I still ended up running my fastest mile yet, at 12:08, besting my time from New Years of 12:14.  The first two miles had some nice downhill stretches which helped, then a loooooong uphill just past 2 miles with the water station at the top right around halfway.  Somewhere between the water stop and mile 3 it started raining pretty good and rained the rest of the way.  The finishing part with a lap around the stadium track was really cool, and although the “huge crowd” of 10 people was all there was, they did call out my name as I was rounding the bend and hitting the last 50 yards or so till the finish.  They handed me a card that said #264 which I then gave to the ladies tallying the results, so I assume that’s my finishing position, but out of how many I have no clue.  There weren’t too many people behind me that I could see but I wasn’t dead last.

Outside view of the finishing stadium from the parking lot.

I’m surprised that I was able to keep a steady pace the whole race, usually my average will look good and then my splits are all over the place, but this time I held it pretty steady.  My splits were 12:08, 12:48, 12:48, 12:32, 12:34.  Ironically the 12:34 for mile 5 was also my average pace for the whole run.

I also would have set a 5K PR for this race if it had stopped at 3.1.  I don’t remember the exact time, but 37:45 at three miles, and 38-something at 3.11 would be a PR by several minutes and also a sub-40 minute 5K!!

Overall a good race besides the weather.  And as always, my first race at that distance is an automatic PR! And with such an odd distance, will likely be my only 8K for a while.

Week 6 Half Marathon Training Recap – Halfway Point!

Well, we’ve reached the halfway point in two ways.  I’ve finished week 6, and I have 6 weeks left to go.  Also, my long run this week of 6 miles is just under half the distance of a half marathon.  (Next weeks long run of 7 will be just over half of a half).  It’s hard to fathom in a month and a half I will be attempting to run my first half marathon.  Also this week I registered for another race between now and the half and it will be my first race longer than a 5K.  It’s the Winter Flight 8K in Salisbury NC.  I was hoping for a 10K but there just wasn’t one on the schedule.  8K is 5 miles, so I’ve got a general idea from my training how long it will take, and I do know I can finish it, but it won’t be easy.  Here’s a look at this weeks numbers.

Starting weight – 283.3
Running (4,4,6) – 14 miles
Cycling – 5.5 miles
Yoga – 60 minutes
Total mileage – 19.5 miles.
Ending weight – 282.2 (1.1 pounds lost – same 1.1 I gained last week)

So back to losing weight which was good, hopefully that will continue.  The mileage keep increasing.  Next week is 4.5, 4.5, 7 so that is 16 miles total.  I’m going to likely need a new pair of shoes soon and get them in time to break them in before the half.   I’m pushing 150 miles on my Saucony’s and I wore them a long while before I started tracking that on DailyMile so surely they are closer to 200-250.  They will still be great for wearing around the house, so I won’t throw them out, but once the cushioning starts to go and the soles start to wear I’ll have to “retire” them from running.

And now we wait…..

One bad thing about running a race that starts at midnight is you have all day to prepare and then wait.  Unlike a 8AM race, where you prep the night before, wake up, have breakfast, get there before the race and go run.  I just picked up my shirt, my number and my timing chip and I have all my clothes laid out, and now I have about another 7 hours before the race starts.

It’s not going to be too terrible cold tonight, but I’ve been getting cold on my runs lately, so I have all my cold weather gear laid out.  My underarmour leggings, shorts, long sleeve tech tee, skull cap and gloves.  They gave us a nice shirt for the race, but I will wear my red tech shirt, it’s a little thicker.  Here is my stuff laid out.

I’m running this race tonight with two newly met fitness buddies: Kim, who I met on MyFitnessPal and actually talked her into running with me for her first race, and Jennifer who I met on DailyMile.  Can’t wait.  Should be an exciting way to ring in the New Year.

And now we wait….

Week 2 Half Marathon Training Recap

Week 2 is  now in the books.  This becomes like a Christmas paper chain countdown now.  As each week rolls along the race gets closer and closer and closer.  10 more weeks until race day.  I got in my full mileage this week, no more cutting runs short.  Also got in a test run with my new Garmin, although the cold really took it out of me, slow pace 4 miles in just under an hour.  Here’s how this week shaped up.

Starting weight – 286 pounds
Running – (3, 3, 4) – 10 miles total
Biking – Crosstraining – 5.5 miles
Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Miles – 15.5
Ending weight  – 285.2 (0.8 pounds lost)

The Garmin worked perfectly, and the nice thing is you can set up the watch to automatically take “laps” at 1 mile intervals, which in reality is not a “Lap” but gives you a mile split time.  I could tell how bad I slowed down, as I walked most of the second half of my 4 mile run, freezing cold and pushing into a hard headwind.  My splits were 13:04, 13:48, 14:58, and 15:18.  4 miles in 57 minutes, Average pace 14:30.  Not awful, but on the treadmill I’m pretty consistently in the 13:20 range.  I will certainly need all my cold weather gear for my midnight New Years run on Sunday morning.

Merry Christmas to me!

I’m very excited! My parents got me exactly what I asked for for Christmas and it’s a training tool! I wasn’t sure if I would get it or not since they are kind of expensive, but I know they support my fitness goals and weight loss so I was hoping a would.  I present to you my newest toy!

A Garmin 305 Forerunner GPS fitness watch with Heart Rate Monitor chest strap! No more trying to track distances, no more trying to remember what time I started and subtract back running time, this will track all of that for me! And it will follow my every movement with the GPS so if I get lost in the park again, or off a selected track it will know where I am and follow me.  In fact, I won’t even have to plan out routes in advance anymore, just get to where I’m going, press start and go RUN!

Thank you so much Mom and Dad! My running and training just got a million times easier and so now I have NO EXCUSES! Thank you for the push and motivation. It will get used and used often!

I hope everyone else has a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season and spend lots of time with your families and don’t worry about what you eat, at least for the next couple days.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.


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