On Cloudswift

On Cloudswift

The On Cloudswift is a brand new shoe from On. For those not familiar with On, it was created in 2010 and based in Switzerland. It’s lightweight but well cushioned.

The On Cloudswift uses a slightly different material called Helion. Compared to other models from On, the Helion provides more energy return as well as durability. Helion is extremely light but provides a big energy return.  As a brand, On is light yet responsive.  Helion is also more durable to temperature changes and On claims it to be a “superfoam”.

The On Cloudswift has a slightly different shape to the Clouds. They are more diagonal than horizontal. You probably don’t notice much of a difference.

On cloudswift shoe review

Fit:

On Running shoes are narrow. This has typically been a problem for me, and I find myself more comfortable in a men’s shoe (because they don’t make wides). I’m usually between a women’s 10-11 wide.  This is the first On shoe that a woman 10.5 fits well, and I wouldn’t need to go into a wide.

Of any of the On models, it has the widest toe box.

On cloudswift shoe review

The white elephant in the room is how stylish the brand looks. It’s a great option for someone who wants a “stylish running shoe” for walking around and living day to day life. Do I think you need a stylish shoe for running? No. But if you want a shoe with a lot of cushion that doesn’t “look” like a running shoe, this is one for you.

Ride:

The brand, On, is light by nature.  The cushioning system uses empty pods, “clouds” that compress where you need them.  Obviously, a hollow pod doesn’t weigh a lot.  The On Cloudswift has minimum rubber which can also weight a shoe down.

The downside is the less rubber, the less durability.  Even with the lack of rubber, I’ve found it to grip the ground well enough to run on rainy days.

On cloudswift shoe review

Even though there is plenty of cushioning, it’s still light and responsive.  Both the firm plastic, speedboard, allow for a smooth and responsive transition. For me, it’s best as a workout shoe. I prefer it for shorter intervals.

I appreciate the versatility of the shoe, and if I needed a shoe in a pinch, I wouldn’t be afraid to take it on an hour run (there are plenty of racing flats I would not).

Summary:

In all, I like the On Cloudswift. For me, it’s a great workout shoe.  If you have a wider foot, it’s one of the first options I would recommend.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: Hoka Mach 2, Brooks Glycerin 17, New Balance 1080v9

Long Runs/Tempo Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Workouts: Nike Fly, On Cloudswift, Nike LT Streak LT 4

Races: Nike Fly

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:
Have you tried On?
Do you like white shoes? 

Phillies 5k (20:08)

Phillies 5k (20:08)

I haven’t been that disappointed with a race in a while. The Shamrock half didn’t go well but I wasn’t that upset. Last weekend, I raced the Phillies 5k and it just wasn’t my day. This year I ran a 20:08. My slowest time by over a minute. I’ve won 3 years in a row, and this year I got third.

Truthfully, I knew I didn’t feel 100% leading up to the race. I didn’t feel great all week and even with extra rest, I felt like garbage. My legs just felt stale and lacking, the “run fast” they needed for the day. I woke up the morning of and just felt meh. My thought process was: “how fast can I get this done with”. Not a great racing thought process but that’s where I was.

As I warmed up, I felt stale. I’ve started consistently racing again which means I’m in the part of the training that I question “Why the am f I’m doing it.” My body isn’t used to the mileage or the speed (one reason I’ve added 2 rest days a week right now).

With that, I lined up at the start. I was happy my husband was able to run this year. The race went off and we headed out. The first mile was extremely windy and I found myself as the third woman where I stayed the entire race. We went around a couple of turns and I got boxed in and almost took a nasty fall. My husband said: “come with me” and I couldn’t. He ultimately ran about 18:20 and there was no way I was keeping up with that.

I hit the first mile in 6:35. Slower than most miles at the 7-mile race I did recently. It’s windy I thought. I also knew my legs just didn’t feel good.

The second mile went down around the Navy Yard. I’ve run a few races that way and I always appreciate it. It doesn’t make it any easier when it’s windy. There was military handing out water and high fiving which I appreciate. I hit the second mile in 6:35.

We headed back towards the start for the final mile. During the final mile, you pass racers going the other way.  It’s always motivating. I could see the second place woman picking it up and I couldn’t match her. The long straight away and stadium in the distance, makes it feel like it’s not getting any closer. We turned right and faced the last .25 towards the finish. I could see the stadium but not the finish line. I realized at about 3 miles the wind had knocked the usual banner down. I hit the third mile in 6:20 and powered to the finish.

I crossed in 20:08. It’s my slowest time by a minute. Yes, it was windy but it’s been windy years prior. I’m not in the same fitness I’ve been every other year and this was a humbling reality check.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

How do you get over a disappointing race?

Are you a baseball fan?

Training: Recovery and a Bad Race

Training: Recovery and a Bad Race

Last weeks training was somewhat of a cutdown week. I skipped my midweek workout to recover from both the Adrenaline 5k and Shamrock 13.1. I got Active Release done, and I tried to focus on sleeping.  I recovered moderately well but didn’t feel great at the Phillies 5k.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes in VA
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes in NJ
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 60 minutes in NJ/core
Saturday: Phillies 5k (20:08)/core
Sunday: Long Run

Thoughts:

My easy runs were just that, easy. As I’ve increased my speed (with races) during the last few weeks, and I’ve opted to take two rest days a week versus 1. I know it’s kept me healthier coming back. While I might not be as “fast” coming back, I’m not injured.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had some slight pain in my metatarsals. It hasn’t been anything to alter my stride or anything too serious, but enough that I’ve been more cautious. With Active Release, Dr. Craig at Dr. Kemonosh’s office has helped flush it out. I don’t like to take any chances with metatarsal pain because not much at the top of the foot except bone.

I’ve been keeping up with core more. I know core and strength is something I often skip so I’ve been adding it in.  I’ve just been doing the same exercises as usual.

Phillies 5k: (20:08)

I didn’t feel good at the Phillies 5k from the get-go. It’s hard to go to a race you’ve won and got third, but even if I felt good, I’m not in the shape that would have won anyway. As I warmed up, my legs still felt tired.  I think it was a combination of the previous weekends races as well as getting a lot of Active Release done to keep me healthy. Short term, it stunk. Long term, it’s just another workout to reach me to bigger goals.

Anyway, my splits themselves were 6:35, 6:35, 6:20. (The last mile had tailwind). It was windy the first two miles around the water, and then we had a tailwind the last mile. I couldn’t get my turnover any faster.  It was nice to see so many friends and locals racing.

Long Run: 14 miles averaging 8:03 pace with the last four around 7:10

This was a great long run. I started easy and slowly progressed into a faster run. The second half of the run was faster, and I just felt good all around.  It felt good to have a strong long run.

Posts from the Week:

 Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Adrenaline 5k (19:26)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you had a bad race recently?

Are you a Phillies fan?

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

This was my 8th year running Shamrock. Many long term readers know but I grew up in the greater VA Beach area. 1:29.52 is neither my fastest nor my slowest Shamrock. It’s on the slower side, but that’s okay.

Last year I had an incredible experience that would be hard to beat and ran a 1:23. This year the goal was just to finish healthy. My training over the winter was nothing to write home about, and I’ve come to terms that this Spring might be a rebuilding season for me (something I personally seem to need after every marathon?).

Anyway, I arrived at the start around 6 am. The weather was ideal. It was low 40s, some wind but not much. Most importantly, it wasn’t raining. Two years ago,it poured rain and was low 30s.

Before the race, I met up with my good friend Jen. We haven’t seen each other since we both lived in NYS. We’ve both since moved, but it was nice to catch up. She ultimately ran a 1:18 and placed 3rd.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

After that, I tooled around and got to the start about 5 minutes early. I talked with rabbit teammate, Nick, and by the time I knew it, we were off.

Since the half and full start together now, it was crowded. Right off the bat, I felt decent. Plus unlike the day prior, I remembered to start my watch. I plugged along and cruised the first mile in 6:44. I felt good and realized a sub 90 minute half was doable if I continued to feel okay through the race — a great goal to make a mile 1.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

At mile 2, I saw my dad’s friend and waved. I started getting into a rhythm.  The next three miles were relatively boring. I logged 6:44, 6:44, 6:40 (mile 4 on the gradual uphill was my fastest), 6:44. At mile 5, I was feeling good. I thought wow, this is much faster than I anticipated (I didn’t have a goal prerace, but didn’t anticipate being that fast either).

Then we entered Fort Story, and it all changed. Fort Story is a lonely part of the race. Unless you have a military ID, spectators can’t get on the base. It’s right along the water so extremely windy. In fact, one year there was a layer of sand across the entire course.

Miles 7-9 broke me both mentally and physically. I didn’t feel good, and I was running alone. There was some wind but nothing terrible. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good because I had raced the day before, I just mentally felt disconnected and my legs felt stale. I told myself, make it to mile 10, and you’ll be heading directly home. I ran a 6:55, 6:59, 6:50, and kept it barely under 7 minutes.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I knew the 90-minute pace group was probably catching me soon.  Around mile 10, a man started talking to me about “my form”.  I wasn’t feeling the greatest and not in the mood to chat. We kept plugging along.

Mile 11 went down with nothing major. I ran a 6:55 and we had some wind at our backs. At mile 12, the 90-minute/3 hour marathon pace group engulfed me. I thought, wow I really did slow down. I also felt my shoe beginning to come untied, and it just felt like the wheels had come off.

The group engulfed and went around me and it stung. I hit mile 12 just over 1:22 and I knew I was still at 1:30 pace. Now I was just much closer than the start of the race. It made me feel a little better the group was ahead of their goal pace.

The last mile goes to directly into the wind. When you’re close to a time goal, running into the wind the last mile is the last thing you want to do.  You can see the tent and King Neptune and it just never feels like it’s getting closer.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Then at mile 13, I saw it click 1:29:10.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I tried to sprint as hard as I could to the finish. I didn’t have much gas left but it was enough to get right under 1:30.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Thoughts:

I’m pleased with the race but know I have a long way to go fitness wise. In all, another good Shamrock. It’s one of my favorite races of the year and I always enjoy seeing local friends as well as others that come from far.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach

Chilling on the beach with Nick

Questions for you:

Have you run a race for several years in a row?

What is your favorite race? 

 

Adrenaline 5k (19:26)

On Saturday I ran the Adrenaline Run 5k. The Adrenaline Run is one of the most competitive 5ks in the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area. It sells out every year and the typically the first 150 finishers all run under 20 minutes. This year I ran 19:26 and was around 130th place.

I’m biased by RunningCo. Always does a great job putting the race together and it’s always a lot of fun. Anyway, after an exhausting and busy week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wouldn’t be running 18:29 like last year, but I was hoping to be faster than the last 5k I ran.

I warmed up a few miles and got to the start line around 10 minutes early. Since I knew quite a few people there, (I would think about 1/3rd), I talked and caught up with several people. Before I knew it, we were off.

The start is jam-packed. Since I knew I would be nowhere near the front, I didn’t line up in the front. As we began running, I realized around .5 I had forgotten to start my watch. In a 5k, I thought it seemed silly to start it then, so I just didn’t. I’ve run races with GPS before, and while it’s nice to know your splits, your legs still move without a watch. I could have run 22 minutes or 18 minutes, and I would have had no clue.

The first mile was crowded. It was hard to get any rhythm. We ran straight into a headwind. It was one of the windier days and so we were just running into a headwind down Kings Highway. I saw my co-workers and friends in front of the store which is always motivating.

We rounded the corner near Saxbys and went straight into the neighborhoods. It’s a long flat, windy stretch. If it wasn’t windy, it’s easy to build speed there.

Just after mile 1, we turned the corner, went down a small downhill and hit the water stop. It was nice not to be in the wind anymore. We went up a few inclines. My husband, who hasn’t been running much, passed me around mile 2. I was happy for him and just focused on the last mile.

The last mile went straight back Kings Highway and headed towards the finish. It’s flat and fast, and this year with the tailwind it was even faster. (A perk of the headwind going out). If I were to guess, my bet is my last mile was somewhere around 6:0X because of the tailwind. With the long stretch, you can see the finish line for over a half mile away.

me running adrenaline run

I saw the clock go over 19 and I knew somewhere where I was speed wise. I had no clue until that point. I powered as much as I could and crossed in 19:26. I’m happy with my effort for where I am, fitness wise. It’s always tough not to compare yourself to a faster year, but it’s my fastest 5k in several months so I can’t complain about that.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite 5k?

Have you ever raced without a watch? I’ve done many. At my first marathon, NYCM, my watch stopped working at the start (and it never worked again).

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