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Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

For the past few versions, the Brooks Glycerin has been one of my favorite shoes.  It’s soft, neutral, and like a sponge underneath your feet.  If you’re looking for daily training with a lot of cushion, then the Glyercin is a great choice.

When the Brooks Glycerin 16 came out, I knew I wanted to try it sooner rather than later. After going through a few pairs of running shoes, I decided it was time to replace mine.  Keep in mind, I’m not associated with Brooks in any way.  I work in a running specialty store and like shoes.  Also what works for me, might not work for you so take every shoe review (including mine) with a grain of salt.

Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

So What Updates are there?

Fit:

As with most running shoes, especially Brooks, most of the upper is now seamless.  It accommodates wider feet, bunions, and just more feet in general.  Seamless toe boxes allow companies to fix as many feet as possible. I wear a 10-11, and the 10.5 regular widths have been excellent for me.

The upper is a double mesh that is both breathable and stretches to adapt to movement.  Your feet don’t feel constricted (not that they ever should in a running shoe).  If your feet tend to overheat quickly, this breathability will allow for more airflow.

Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

The Ride:

More Cushion

Or as I say to customers that come into the running store, more cushion for the pushing.  The biggest update for the new Glycerin is the addition of the DNA Loft Cushion.  What does that mean?  Why does it matter?

DNA Loft Cushion is a combination of the Brooks signature material.  It’s a mix of their signature cushion: DNA foam, as well as air and rubber.  This provides a soft feeling while still responsive and “poppy”. Slightly Different from the Hoka Clifton, that is just soft all the way around.  The ride itself feels smoother.  You won’t feel like you’re clunking around in a high cushioned shoe.

Conclusion:

I liked the Brooks Glycerin 15, and I like the Brooks Glycerin 16 just as much.  I don’t feel “too different” in the shoe, and for the past few years, it’s been a reliable shoe in my rotation.  I typically wear it in daily runs and occasionally for warming up or cooling down at a race too.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Diadora Fly, New Balance 1080, Hoka Clifton 5

Workouts: New Balance 1400, Nike LT Racer

Races: Nike LT Racer, Nike Fly

(as you can see, I have a few reviews to work on, but I always wait until I have at least 100 miles on shoes)

Questions for you:

What is your current favorite shoe?

What is a shoe you’ve had in your rotation?

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Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Last week I jumped into the Irish Festival 5k in Bergen County (just near the George Washington Bridge).  My husband and I were traveling to Connecticut to pick up car parts, and it seemed like a fun race.  It was a different location, and somewhere we had never raced.  In fact, just a couple of miles near the George Washington Bridge is a beautiful part that you can get plenty of miles in.

Anyway, we arrived around 8 am, and it was already scorching hot.  As we looked around, we noticed there was absolutely no shade around.  The park was made up of open fields, water, and multiple soccer fields.  I knew immediately it was going to be very hot.

We warmed up about 3 miles, and I had already sweat through my entire outfit.  Luckily, I packed 5 running outfits for 2 days.  The race started a little late, and we stood in the sun for another few minutes.  Once we started, I found myself in third overall.  I could see the first two women ahead, and I thought I might be able to catch one.

The first mile headed out, and there was a small downhill.  I caught the second place women around mile 1, and we both hit the mile around 6:20.

During the second mile, another woman sailed by me as if I was standing still.  She cruised by me so quickly, I honestly didn’t know if she was in the race and it took the better part of the next mile to figure it out.  I only wondered because at the pace she passed me, she must have either missed the start or started very far in the back, and this wasn’t a big race.

I hit the second mile in 6:40.  I grabbed water which was hot.  I just wanted the race to be done.

The third mile loops around a large open meadow.  You can see the finish from about 2.1, so it doesn’t make the final mile feel any more comfortable.  I was going back and forth with a couple of men.  One passed me, and one did not.  Finally, I hit the last mile in 6:45 and just powered to the finish in 20:25.

It’s my slowest time since last summer, but I’m not disappointed.  It was a hot day on a harder course.  I’m not in the fitness I was 6 months ago, and that is okay!  My husband finished in 18:57 which is good for the training as well.  It was fun and I’m glad we still ran.

Questions for you:

What is the hottest race you’ve done?

This one was one of the hotter, a 10k in Texas, as well as a half marathon in Texas, were both up there.

How do you adjust to the heat?

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Before a few months ago, when I thought of the brand Diadora, I thought of soccer shoes.  Even fashion shoes, but definitely not running.

Diadora is an Italian company that is slowly breaking into the running industry.  If you are local, they are creating their US headquarters in Camden, NJ.  Pretty cool since most running brands are based out of the West Coast or Boston area.

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Ride:

Diadora has designed the midsole with their “Blushield technology”.  What does this mean? The BlueShield technology is designed to provide dynamic stability.  So it’s stable when you need it and not when you don’t. This is especially good if one-foot pronates more than the other or your gait drastically changes at the finish of the run.

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

It’s very soft and cushioned.  I like how light and responsive it is. One thing I appreciated is right out of the box, the shoe felt great. I never felt as though I needed to “adjust to them” or “break them in”.  You shouldn’t feel like that anyway, but I felt good when I added these to my rotation.

There is plenty of cushioning in both the heel and forefront of the shoe to absorb the impact. Even with all of the cushioning, you still maintain a lot of contact with the ground, and they are responsive.

Fit:

As far as running shoes go, these are one of the widest brands out there.  They are cut on an overall more full and straight last.  Typically I wear a women size 10-11 wide, and the regular 10 felt bigger than any other 10 I’ve worn.  I stuck with the 10, and it’s a good fit for me.

The upper has no seems which is great for someone with bunions. It is lightweight and breathable.  I don’t have any complaints.

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I was pleasantly surprised and like the Diadora Fly.  You won’t find a lot of information online about them, because they are newer to the running scene.  In fact, local to me in New Jersey they are available to Philly Runner, Haddonfield RunningCo, Runners High, and Brooklyn Runner.  Diadora is a high-quality brand, and I’m enjoying them.  I hope they continue to stay in the industry.

If you like the Brooks Ghost, Brooks Launch, Saucony Ride, Saucony Kinvara, Mizuno or Wave Rider, New Balance 1400, or Nike Pegasus they might fit nicely into your rotation.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Mach, Saucony Ride ISO, Brooks Glycerin 15

Workouts: Nike Fly, Saucony Type A

Races: Nike Fly, Saucony Type A

Questions for you:

Have you ever worn a smaller brand?

What is your current favorite shoe?

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Benefits of Racing Frequently

My cup of tea is not everyone’s cup of tea.  In fact, trivial to the post I don’t drink tea, just coffee.

It’s no secret I haven’t been training like when I set my half marathon PR in February.  After February, I trained and ran, but I know myself well that I’m good for a couple of PRs (if I’m lucky) a year.

April, May, and now most of June has gone around, and here we are.  I want to consistently run and train again, something I rarely do over the summer.  It’s hot and humid, but I want to spend all of my time outside.

Like when I set my 5k PR over two years ago, I plan to do a lot of 5ks on weekends.  This is what led to my 18:13  a couple of years ago.  I don’t think I was quite there in February but did run 18:29 at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k in March.

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Many people have asked:

Why race so much? Why spend so much money on running road races?

I’ve talked about this before but I don’t have kids, and my husband and I don’t spend a lot of useless junk.  I prefer experiences or good food, versus an expensive piece of clothing or whatever.  In fact, my New Year Resolution was not to buy any new nonrunning clothing.  So far so good.

 Won’t You Get Injured?

I would like to hope not but I take at least 1, sometimes 2 days off per week.  I either cross train (it’s been hiking recently) or don’t do anything.

I also take my easy runs, extremely easy.  I could run 8 minute miles (extremely unlikely) or 12-minute miles, but I keep it easy and by effort.  I mentioned last week I had a Garmin Vivosport which I put in timer mode.  I usually run for X amount of minutes or on a route I already know the distance (then I don’t time it).

It’s Also Important to Remember a Few Things:

You’re not going to progressively get faster:

As I know and have experienced many times with racing frequently, you won’t get faster every single time you race.  You shouldn’t expect too!  Progress is not linear with anything.  Last week I ran a 20:06 5k.  It’s a great base and who knows, next 5k might be slower but I know I’m putting in the effort, miles, and consistency.  A few years ago, I ran a 19:10 5k in one I was hoping to PR.

Remember, at the end of the day, “it’s just running.”  You will be the same person whether you logged a PR or didn’t.

Races are Hard:

If you are like me, you know you can push yourself harder at races.  If I do a workout alone, it usually feels harder and more of a challenge.  Running a race as a workout, allows me to push myself harder than I would alone. I usually have to watch out for mentally burning myself out from overracing.

Racing with Friends:

Since I work at a running store, I do appreciate being able to see friends or people I’ve helped in achieving their goals.  It’s great to run with friends at local races and support a local cause.

Progress is Measurable:

There are many factors with a race, but you are able to see if you are progressing or not.

I like the ability to see that progress.

The Experience of Racing:

I don’t get nervous before big races.  Sure I get the butterflies but I don’t nervous to fail because I know both good and bad races come with the territory.  Not every race will be the best ever, but it’s those not great races that make the good ones feel…good!  I know my family and friends still care about me whether I PR or not.  The experience of toeing the line frequently has taught me that.

Questions for you:

Do you race often?  Do you prefer too?

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

It seems every year, I post about running easy.  I’ve been blogging for 8 years, so it’s about 8 posts saying about the same thing.

Never the less, it’s still an important and relevant topic.

Racing your easy runs won’t get you a PR.

It won’t make you an Instagram hero either.

It will, however, get you burned out, or injured.

Don’t think I haven’t been subjected to this and learned the lesson of injury the hard way.  Long term readers know my first tibial stress fracture (7 years ago now) was caused by overtraining.  In short, I ran my easy runs too fast.  My last burn out wasn’t necessarily caused by running too fast, but more life stress, trying to run high mileage, and just doing too much.

Every week I post a running log and mileage recap.  Every month I do something similar.  Every week on Instagram, I get a few messages about “how fast do you run your easy runs,” and I will always respond the same way: honestly I don’t know or care.  Typically I use my Garmin Vivosport.  It’s not fancy, and that’s why I like it.  It will tell me mile splits if I want but for the most part, I just do timer mode.

I have a few ways I do an easy run

  • I run a route I know to be X amount of miles and don’t time it. I could finish 5 miles in 45 minutes or an hour…I will only have a good idea by the kitchen clock.
  • I just run for an hour and if it’s 6 miles or 10…that’s how it goes.  JK, it would never be anything close to 10.

Both work for me and keep me healthy both mentally and physically.

For training, I usually have a rough outline of the runs and workouts I want to do for the week, but I never have an exact plan.  For instance, last week I planned to take a rest day on Thursday, but my body was hurting on Tuesday…so I rested then too.  Some days I have more time in the morning, and some days I have less.  I ask myself: will I miss this mile next week.  No…I won’t remember.

Does Not Caring about Pace Really Help Me?

I have actually found that it does and it does a lot.  First of all, I’m not obsessed with pace.  I don’t care. I could run 10 miles at 10-minute pace or 10 miles at 8-minute pace.  It’s still 10 base miles.  I’ll run with anyone that wants to run, whether you run a 10 minute or 8-minute mile.  That’s why I rarely post paces online, Instagram, or anywhere.  Because I don’t know and honestly, for training runs…I don’t really care.

As I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t always been that way for me. I used to be obsessed with pace and numbers.  Seven years ago as a new runner, I would run in the same 10-second pace range for every run of the week.  That pace was between 7-7:10.  Do you know what I gave myself?  The glorious gift of a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.

Not to mention, during that period of trying to PR every run, I never got faster for races and was miserable the entire time.   I was so antsy in training if my overall pace was 7:11+ and thought I had lost my all endurance.  It sounds silly now, but that is what the newer runner in me thought.

I Thought: Train fast to go fastRace myself and try and get faster every day.

Here are Some Interesting Stats from that Time in My Training:

During that time of my running career, my 5k PR was 20:10.  I ran about 50 miles a week between 7-7:15 pace.

Now it’s 18:13 (and I had to look LOL).  During that time in training, I was running 60 miles a week with about 50 above 8:30 or even 10-minute pace.

Then my half marathon PR was 1:36.56…now it’s 1:22.03

Now, I’m able to do workouts more efficiently and better.  Running an 88 second 400 doesn’t feel as challenging. My body couldn’t handle that when I was sprinting every training run.  I was also exhausted all of the time.  Even though I was running fewer miles, I was more tired.

But the most crucial piece is I enjoy going out to run without worrying about it.

For me, running is a hobby, and it’s something I want to do lifelong without stress. Not caring about pace has turned into continuing to improve on running.

My point is to relax during your easy runs.  Make your easy runs easy, and work hard during your workouts and races.  Honestly, without being injured or burnout, I don’t think I would have gotten to this phase in my life.  No one wants to be hurt but from injury, I quickly learned my body doesn’t respond well to fast runs every day.

I think I should have renamed my blog CasualLOLZ or something.

Questions for you:

What are your thoughts?

Do you schedule workouts every day or fly by the seat of your pants?

Rest is Best

Rest is Best

Telling someone to rest is a lot easier than doing it yourself.  Telling someone to do ANYTHING is easier said than done.

Throughout my blogging journey, many people have emailed or asked my thoughts on topics including running, life, and you guessed it: rest.  If there is ever a question of should, I give my honest advice to rest and see how you feel.  If you are injured with a bone-related injury, always rest.  If you injured with a muscular related injury, sometime rest will help but sometimes it won’t.  Rest will never hurt you, and missing an individual run or even a week is nothing in the long scheme of things.

running Rest is Best

Anyway, I’m not a coach or doctor, so giving medical or training advice is not what this post is about.  I’m just a woman telling people to rest including myself.

In my training recap on Monday, I talked about my personal needs and why rest was best for me right now.  I’m often out of my house for 12+ hours a day.  That isn’t the whole day, and many people are out of their house longer.  I wish I could squeeze running in, but I would be more tired and more exhausted. Realistically, there wasn’t a point.  It was better for me to take a few days off, get quality sleep, focus on things currently going on, and regroup from there.

So this week, that is precisely what I did.  I definitely feel much better because of it.  I do think I might do a short run tomorrow and see how I feel.

Here are a Few Important Reasons to Rest:

Refocus Goals:

Right now I have no idea what I want to train for. Do I want to train for another marathon? How about a 5k PR? Maybe even try and better my half marathon PR? I have no clue.

Sometimes you just need to take time off regardless of whether you reached your goal or not.  With training, you put your body through a tough period.  It doesn’t matter if your body ends up in a PR or not, you still put yourself through tough training. Taking time off allows you to reflect, and think about what you want in the future.

Emotional Break:

As hard as it can be to admit this, running and training can be exhausting.  For me, running has never been a therapy of any kind.  It is never been my way to “escape the world”.  Training for a goal race can be exhausting.  I need time away from the sport to fall in love with it again, and I think we all do.

While it has only been a few days, I have already felt fonder of the sport again.  Today, Thursday, I want to run.  Last Thursday, I had no interest and even loathed the idea of running.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:

For me, I like to crave running again.  I want to feel like I want to run!  Along the same lines of mental recovery, it’s important to want to run.  If you don’t start running again feeling “refreshed,” you’ll end up in a burn out longer and faster.

Recovery:

If you don’t allow your body time to recover from training stress, you will continue to feel worn down and it will take you longer to recover from runs (I began to feel this).

Injury:

As one of the most injury prone people out there, I’ve learned I do need extra rest and recovery. If you are not able to recover, your body will be more susceptible to injury. It is better to take a few days or week off early, than several months off with a serious injury.  I’m not injured now, but there have been a few times I should have rested to keep a minor injury from becoming serious.

Healing Small Aches and Pains:

Sometimes you have small aches and pains that you don’t realize you have.  An amount of time off, allows your body to heal.  Running every other day or every few days doesn’t let your body to heal as quickly.  By taking time off, your body will use more energy to recover versus recovering from daily runs as well as small aches and pains.

I never regret my running breaks.  This one will be short, but I’m getting to the point my legs and mind feel like they “want to run.”  Plus hopefully next week my schedule is a bit more forgiving to add it into my schedule.

Questions for you:

Do you take a break every year?

What are you currently training for?

Newport 10 Miler (1:03.57)

Newport 10 Miler (1:03.57)

Last weekend I decided to run the Newport 10 Miler.  As many people know, my brother is in the Navy.  Over the last year, he’s gone to various schools around the country.  It’s been awesome because I’ve been able to see him several times including for the Christmas last year and in Phoenix. He leaves to go back to Spain soon, so as one last hurrah my parents drove up to see me, and we drove up to see him.

I heard the Newport 10 miler was a beautiful course, so I decided to run.  I wasn’t all that concerned about pace or my finishing time.  May and June are always dicey months for me where I seem to get niggles I ignore which ultimately turn into an injury.  This May I bebopped around with my training and workouts.  It wasn’t as if I didn’t run, but running wasn’t my priority.  I have no regrets about that.

The race officials sent several emails saying parking was difficult and to get there as early as possible.  Even though the race started at 7:30, they recommended getting there at 5 am.  Dad and I met them halfway and got there at about 6.  Honestly, I’m glad we didn’t get there any later because parking is challenging and there is one 1 lane going in and out, so there is a lot of traffic

The race started at 7:30.  After chatting for a while with a few people who I didn’t know, it was time to go.  I planned to run my own race. I knew I wasn’t in the same shape as Broad Street, so I wasn’t going to be dumb and run it like I was. The over 1-mile walk to/from my car was warm up for me, and I didn’t do anything extra.

The first mile, I ran with a bunch of men.  There were several women in front, but I was tucked into a pack of dudes.  We went up and around and honestly, there were several rolling hills that I wasn’t expecting. I ran the first mile in 6:35 and I thought, eh; I would be happy with the race being at that pace but never judge a race by the first mile…

The next two miles went by quickly.  We turned and ran near the water. It was beautiful.  Both miles I ran at 6:33 and I felt good about it.  By mile 3, I found myself as the 3rd woman.  I could see the first two women running side by side about 30 seconds ahead.

As mile 4 approached, I could tell I was catching one of the females.  I consider myself a somewhat strong “wind runner.”  I don’t get upset when the wind is blasting in your face, I just put my head down and go.  It’s probably because most of my half marathons were in the wind last year.  We hit some headwind, and I just propelled myself forward as best as I could.me running newport 10k

On the downhill around mile 5, I caught one of the women and found myself as second.  I felt good.

My primary goal of this race was to run faster per mile than last month when I ran a 41 minute 10k.  That 10k race left me feeling demotivated and wondering if I was even in good running shape anymore.  Silly but since then I’ve just been in a funk.

I hit the 10k of this 10 miler around 40:30 which was almost 40 seconds faster on a harder course.  I also knew with the headwind we had going out, we would have a tailwind for part of the second half, and we did.

After that, I told myself to just focus on the finish.  I wasn’t tapered, or even really ready for the rolling hills on the course.  Would I say the course was a hard, hilly, course?  No, but I will say the elevation changes a lot, and you aren’t ever really on a flat surface.  My body was not ready for that.

The next 2 miles without any note.  A woman told me I was “so close to catching the first place woman,” but I knew the first woman was gapping.

me running newport 10k

Around mile 9, we entered the Fort and headed to the finish.  When you pass the Fort, you still have about half of a mile to go.  Those finishes are mentally tough because you never feel like the half-mile will end.

Finally, I ran through the Fort gates and saw the finish.  I crossed in 1:03.57 and as second woman overall.  I was pleasantly surprised with my time as well as placing.  Over the last month, I haven’t put as much time and effort into running (which yes, would mean it’s not a priority in my life right now).me running newport 10k

It’s not a PR, but Newport was definitely a fun and challenging course.  I was surprised with the rolling hills.  It’s not a “hilly” course, but there aren’t many sections you are running on a flat surface.  It’s either up or down.  I’m happy with my effort and I’m hoping to get back to running more routinely soon.

Questions for you:

What is the most scenic race you’ve done?

Have you ever been to Newport?

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