Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Top 10 Things That Annoy Me About Running

Well, it's been a few weeks since I last blogged.  I hope everyone's training is going well and everyone is dealing with the heat okay!  To be honest, not much new on my homefront.  I decided to skip the Goofy Challenge this year and stick with the 5K and the full marathon.  I don't think I'm quite ready for the Goofy in 2013 (at least, with my own personal goals), so we'll see how the next year of running goes.

I'm still trying to decide if I want to do a run/walk for the marathon or to try and run the whole darn thing.  I change my mind pretty much every day in regards to this.  The reason why I'm considering the run/walk is that I set my personal best in the half marathon distance using a 4-min. run/2-min. walk ratio.  And that was my first ever half!  Since than, I've tried various ratios and even ran the whole way (with walks through the water stations) and I've never approached my PR for the half.  The closest I got was about 3 minutes at the Frederick Half last month.  We'll see...  I'll probably keep changing my mind up until the longer runs ramp up this fall!

But anyway, now on to the title of my topic.  Ten things that annoy me about running (this is mainly about training runs and not the races)...

10)  My ear buds won't stay in!  The more I sweat (and I sweat a lot) the looser they become.  I do have the wraparounds, so it's not like they're completely falling out of my ears.

9)  Being able to smell EVERYTHING in my house upon returning from a long week-end run.  This includes the cat litter and the laundry.

8)  Forgetting my nipple guards on the long runs.  Can make for a painful shower and a long day.

7)  When approaching a driveway and seeing the driver preparing to back down.  No matter how far away I am - I can be 100 feet or 10 feet away - the driver will ALWAYS wait until I'm right at his driveway to start backing down.

6)  When I wave or say "hi" to a fellow jogger and get completely ignored.  This one really grinds at me.  At least give me a head nod or something.  Running snobs...

5)  I can smell cigarette smoke from a hundred yards away (no offense, smokers.)

4)  People who only make a half-hearted effort - and in lots of cases NO effort - to contain and/or control their dogs when they chase after me.

3)  The dirty looks I get from the people in #4 who - for some reason - think it's MY fault that their dogs chase after me.

2)  The motorists who make a point of driving as close to you as possible.

1)  Dodging the piles of dog poop that - for some reason - people don't pick up ON THE SIDEWALKS.  Not the grass, which I can understand maybe a little bit, but on the SIDEWALK.  Probably the same people mentioned in #'s 3 and 4.

In closing, my Tip of the Day:  Don't be a hero in the hot weather.  I used to not take water with me on runs of 8 miles or less.  I took an 8-mile run (or attempted to) a couple week-ends ago, and was totally regretting not taking water with me about 4 miles into the run.  And I paid dearly for it.  Again, don't be a hero.  Better safe than studly.

Until next time...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Let's Talk Shoes!

Well, the running writers of this blog got together and came up with the idea of talking about the stuff that helps us with our running.  This is the Part I of a series of group posts, where we discuss what we use and why we use them.  Today's topic...SHOES!  This is an often-debated and little-understood yet vitally-important piece of running equipment.   

Feel free to comment with your own ideas or ask questions in the comments section!

With that, here we go:


Shoe: Brooks Pure Flow

I have used Asics Gel Cumulus for the past 4 years. The shoes were durable but my feet began to feel heavy as if they were dragging behind me. I've experimented with Vibram Five Finger KSO's during training cycles and enjoy the freedom of having feel that feel lightweight. I visited my second home which is known as Inside Track and began trying on shoes that were closer to something on the minimalist s Le. I was looking for lightweight, flexible yet sturdy with very little heel to toe drop. My last shoe had a significant drop, I wanted less. I stumbled across the Brooks Pure Flow and was sold! The Brooks Pure series is geared more towards the minimalist movement. I found a sturdy shoe with a nice wide toe box and very little heel to toe drop. The shoes provide strong support. The upside is that the shoes are ridiculously bright green and yellow. The downside is that I only get 300 miles to a pair versus 500 with the old Asics.


Shoe: Asics Gel Foundation 10 and 2160s

Being a new runner, I had no idea where to start with shoes.  I went to the local shoe store  Often Running), where they watched my step and recommended a strong support shoe (the Evolution).  It was a little too overcorrecting, so we went with a little less support (the Foundation).  The 2160s were my idea after a year of running to go with moderate support but weighing a little less.  I go with 4Es on the width, and the Asics fit really well, so I'll stick with them!  Since I still weigh more than an average-sized grizzly bear, the support on the shoes tend to go out after 150-175 miles, though I hope my weight-loss will help with this cause.


Shoe: Saucony Omni 10
Buying shoes for me is a real pain in the neck. Here in Mexico you can get all brands of running shoes, Brooks, Saucony, Asics, Nike of all sizes but..... you can only find one width size, Standard. So for people like me with very wide feet it's impossible to get a proper pair of running shoes.

I have to cross the US border to get a decent pair of shoes. And don't think that just crossing the border solves the problem. the closest US cities are McAllen or Laredo texas and they don´t have specialized stores for runners. If you want to go to a decent runners store you have to go all the way to San Antonio Tx (Thats a six our trip by car). That has given me lots of trouble regarding running shoes. I got a pair of Asics GT-2140 a couple of years ago and they worked great, the best thing is I could find this type of shoe in Academy or Sports Authority stores, they have those stores at McAllen and Laredo so no need to get to San Antonio. The bad thing came when Asics changed the GT-2140 to the GT-2150. when I bought the 2150 after a couple of months I began feeling pain on my left foot, later I learned it was Plantar Fascitis.

Since I didn't have any other pair of running shoes and at time I couldn't travel to the US I stick to them. Then Asics changed the model to the GT-2160, I got them and the pain increased.

So after deciding that my plantar fascitis was due to the change of models Asics did I decided to get a pair of Saucony Omni10. The bad thing is that Saucony widest shoes are not wide enough so whenever I ran more than 13 miles I get blisters at my left foot arch.

So right now I'm on the search of a new pair of shoes. i've been doing some research and it seems like the Brooks Beasts are going to be my next pair of shoes. It seems they are great for, overweight runner, low arch, over pronator, with current foot injuries and for long running sessions.
Being so difficult finding the right shoe I think I will need to buy them online and pay the high custom rates the governemnt charges. I will let you know how it goes.


Shoe:  Mizuno Enigma

I got these shoes back in late January - just in time to break them in for the Disney Half Marathon.  So far, this has been my favorite pair of shoes.  I was wearing the Mizuno Wave Inspires (which I also really liked), but the big difference with the Enigmas is that - for me - it's a little wider in the front.  What this means for me is that I no longer get the blisters on the sides of my big toes!  Lots of room and good padding.  Plus they're predominantly black so they look bad-ass!  I'll more than likely get another pair of Enigmas when my current pair runs out.