Advertisements

Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

The Brooks Ghost 11 is one of the most common and traditional shoes out there.  Anyone working in run specialty will tell you it’s one, if not the most sold neutral trainers.  It feels comfortable when you try it on and has a full toe box. Plus, it’s made in wide too.

Brooks Ghost 11 shoe review

I’ve worn the Ghost before, and one of my favorite pairs was the Ghost 9.  I had hoped to get a pair of Ghost 11s in the New York City color, but I wasn’t able to order them through running specialty. (I guess they sent too many to bloggers?).

Each year, the Brooks Ghost is a consistent and reliable neutral shoe.  There is plenty of cushion, but it’s still light.

Upper:

Since the Ghost 10, the look and design have been changed the most. It aesthetically looks better than previous years (What is better anymore in the running world?

As mentioned, the major update comes in the upper. It uses new materials but maintains the breathability. Like most of Brooks shoes, there is a double layer of mesh, which keeps air filtering through but also keeps dirt out.

Fit wise, the Brooks Ghost has always been close to size. I wear anything from a women’s 10-11 wide, and I’ve found the 10 wide to fit the best year after year. A few people have complained the toebox is slightly more narrow in the Ghost 11, but that hasn’t been an issue for me.

The most common complaint from the Ghost is the lack of structure at the top.  Your feet are free floating around in the top.  You never want any running shoe toebox to feel tight, but for many, this isn’t comfortable or natural.  Personally, I like it. There are no seams, no overlays, and my feet can just chill without worrying about rubbing or being irritated by seams (technical, I know).

Ride:

The Ghost 11 does feel slightly different.  The Ghost used to have a more chunky, thick layer of DNA foam.  There is now less “DNA” foam and more DNA Loft Foam.

Okay…so?

The Loft foam is softer but also more responsive under the heel. Previously, the shoe was a much softer trainer.  Now it’s transitioned into a shoe that you can do a workout, or easy run.  I’ve done both in the Ghost, and it responds accordingly.

Another thing to note is that the Ghost is my go to, rainy day shoe. The grip is more substantial than many trainers. It’s not a trail or rain shoe, but it has a lot more grip than many other similar shoes.

Conclusion:

The Brooks Ghost 11 is a great shoe. There is plenty of cushion, and it’s one of the cheaper traditional shoes. I’ve run about 300 miles in mine. I’ve run fast runs, slow runs, easy runs, hard runs, I’ve pretty much done everything with no issue.

Current Shoe Rotation (Keep in mind, I haven’t run since NYCM, but it’s what I left with)
Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Brooks Ghost 11, On CloudaceUnderarmour Sonic, Hoka Cavu,
Workouts: Nike Fly, Hoka Cavu, On Cloudrush
Races: Nike Fly, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Fly 4%

Questions for you:
What is your staple shoe?
Do you use a different shoe for rainy days?

Advertisements

Training: Resting

Training: Resting

Another week of training down.  By training, I mean resting. I haven’t run a single step after crossing the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

Not running has been great and I actually do feel like I’ve recovered very well from the race, almost too well.  I’m not sore at all but I know it’s important to take time away both physically and mentally.

I did get outside twice for 2 short and easy strolls.  It felt nice to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  It wasn’t tough, rigorous, or anything faster than a casual stroll.  It was nice to just be out and enjoy the day.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 20 minute walk
Thursday: OFF/Active Release with Dr. Craig
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 30-minute walk
Sunday: 15-minute walk

 

Next week will be the same.  I’ll get outside for more casual strolls but I’m not going to push anything. I could 100% run right now if I wanted.

On Thursday, I got active release with Dr. Craig.  Active release is similar to a massage but a hands-on therapy breaks up adhesions and knots. It helps release muscles.  I’ve been going to the entire team since my second marathon and they originally helped to release muscles in my hamstring and glute that were not getting better.

It feels great to say that I made it through the training cycle strong, and healthy.  Does that mean I could have run the marathon faster? Maybe but maybe not.  I gave it my all for the day.

Anyway, next week will be about the same. I do plan to go for a hike towards the end of the week.

Posts from the Week:

New York City Marathon Race Recap

Collagen: Protein without the Protein Powder

Questions for you:

Do you take time off after a big race?

Is there fall foliage near you?

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Last week was a good week.

Because it was the week of the marathon, which I Pred. I’ll write an entire recap later, for the most part, I’m happy with the week of training and tapering itself.

For the last two weeks, I’ve dealt with a lot of calve tightness.  Nothing injury-wise, but my legs have felt very stiff.  It isn’t something taper “made better”, and they were still stiff before the race. I will say, they felt the best they’ve felt in the last two weeks.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 10 miles
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Easy 30 minutes
Friday: Off
Sat: Easy 20 minutes
Sunday: NYCM 26.2 miles (3:07.15)

Thoughts:

All of my runs were easy and without a watch. It might have been a little overboard to run 10, the Tuesday before New York but it was fun to chat with Skip, and it didn’t feel bad.

After Tuesday, I kept repeating to myself you can only do too much but to be honest, it wasn’t that hard to even cut mileage. Between work and life, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to squeeze running in. Sure I could wake up at 4 am to run more miles, but I would rather sleep and taper more.

My legs seem to loosen up more as the week went on. After the Atlantic City half two weeks ago, I felt great. The few days after, it didn’t feel as though I had even raced a half marathon. Then my calves just felt like they locked up. It was like no amount of stretching could loosen them up.  I wasn’t “worried” because I knew I wasn’t injured, it was just frustrating because I didn’t want to feel stiff.

NYCM: 3:07.15

My last marathon Phoenix was a 3:14.59 and my first marathon, NYCM in 2013 was a 3:17. So it was a PR. I’ve always been more proud of my race at NY, but that is neither here nor there.

On race day, my calves felt better than they had the week before. I didn’t feel great, but I felt as great as I could be. I have a lot of thoughts about my fitness going into NY and I know I’m not in the same fitness as when I ran a 1:22 this winter.

The race itself was amazing. I will probably have my longest race recap yet about it. Essentially, the miles clicked by pretty effortlessly.  I had to stop and tie my shoe (which I did double knot) around mile 9 but other than that I felt good the entire race.

Since I was in the sub-elite corral, I spent about the first half of the race being passed by hundreds of people. It’s kind of funny to just have people consistently whirling by you like you’re standing still but I ran my own race. Starting out too fast is usually not a problem I have in races anymore…my mentality is you do you…I do me…

The first 8 miles were just focused on getting to mile 8. That is where I knew the highest chance of me seeing someone I knew spectating was…but I didn’t see anyone. After that, I just kept trucking along.

Around mile 9, my shoe came untied, so I pulled over to the side and tied it. I’ve always found in those situations if you stress and panic it takes more time. I wasn’t really panicked but it took me nearly 30 seconds. I don’t think it was entirely lost time because I caught a lot of people I was running with.

I hit the halfway point in 1:32.15.

The next goal was to make it to the Queensboro bridge around mile 15-16. In 2013, the Queensboro bridge destroyed me, and I honestly wondered how I would ever run 10 more miles. This year, I was ready, and it became the turning point of the race of when I started passing people.

As we came down, I passed even more people. I still was slowing down, but not as much as many. As I started to pass more people, I became more confident.  The next miles just counted down until the finish. I was smiling, waving, and sidefiving all of my friends. In fact, every photo people caught of me was after mile 20.

The last 10k was difficult, and the hill in Central Park was no joke.  In fact, since I was hurting so bad last time, I don’t even remember it.  I saw my dad around mile 25 and just powered through. I’ve never run a marathon where I’ve been able to raise my arms and wave at mile 25. In fact until yesterday, I don’t like I’ve run a marathon I could wave at mile 18.

me nycm marathon

I crossed in 3:07.15 and felt good. I never felt like I overexerted myself and I finished smiling, happy, and strong. That isn’t something I can say after any other marathon.

Here are all my splits via my Garmin so take it with a grain of salt.

nycm marathon splits

Many people have asked me…now you’ll do lots of marathons and the answer is no. I still like 5ks and half marathons better, but I do like the marathon a little more now. I don’t foresee myself traveling to marathons over halves for a while if ever. I’ll do another marathon again, but I don’t know when.  I also don’t have any plans to do Boston anytime soon, because like NY it’s hard to plan for a race a year out.

I’m proud I started and finished the training cycle and healthy.   My PR was just icing on the cake.  Now I’m taking 2 weeks off. I’ll still be around but my body needs time to recover, and my mind does too.

Posts from the Week:

 October Training

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
What body parts gets the most for you, running wise?

For me, it’s always my calves.

October Training

October Training

Wow. October has been here and gone. Every month is the same story, and it feels like months and years are flying by.  I knew October would be very busy and it didn’t disappoint that between races and overall life busy.  Now I’m here just a few short days before my third marathon.

Anyway,

Miles Run: Around 250
Range of Paces: 6:06-10:35-untimed
Longest Run: 20 miles
Shortest Run: 1 mile 
Workouts: 5
Rest Days: 5
Races: 3
Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:30.03)
Heroes to Hero 5k (19:12)
Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Thoughts:

The month flew by, and it feels like just yesterday I was back home in VA…but it wasn’t it was nearly a month ago. This training cycle has not progressed as I would have liked.

I would have like to be fitter at the end of the month and have logged at least a 1:26 half marathon but that never came. Weather is a factor, but my body just isn’t cooperating with running fast.  My miles were quality miles, and I am happy with my effort level, but like anything, it can be hard not to compare to other years where I’ve run significantly faster by now.

Next month will log a lot of rest days. After NYCM, I don’t know the next time I’ll run again will be. I am taking 2 weeks off, maybe more.  My body will need a good recharge to look towards the next race (I don’t have anything planned). How is that for vague?

In all, I’m happy with my month. You can’t force progression and for me, it’s coming much slower this year.  I’m healthy and that is always my ultimate goal. You can’t progress if you aren’t healthy.

Posts from the Month:

Shoe Reviews:

Nike Pegasus Turbo
Hoka One One Cavu
New Balance 1400 

Running Related:

Are Racing Flats Right For You?
Some Runs are Terrible

Other:

Adding Collegen to Oatmeal
Vital Proteins Gelatin

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

After a big race, how do you recover? 

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

In my quest to find a more cushioned shoe for the marathon I decided to try the On Cloudrush!  Weighing roughly 8.1 ounces, the Cloudrush is a more substantial shoe for workouts and racing than what I’m used too.  As I mentioned during my training, one thing I’ve done to stay healthier is to use shoes with more substance and cushion.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Fit:

On generally run narrow and the Cloudrush is no exception.  Something good (for me anyway), like many racing oriented shoes, is it unisex sizing.   

Fit wise; I’m usually anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide. Since they are unisex, I chose the 9.5 and was fine but width and length.

The Cloudrush is almost all mesh.  It’s lightweight and breathable, but at the same time, it allows moisture into the shoe much quicker.  That being said, most people are racing or doing workouts in the shoe so it’s not as if you’ll go run a 30-mile muddy trail race in them.

The lightweight mesh also allows for the shoe to be much lighter and a lot of breathability. Every part of the upper is thin and lightweight, from the toebox to the laces, to the tongue.  The shoe was made to run fast.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Ride:

The On Cloudrush is both responsive and soft. That is a weird thing to type. If you’ve never run in an On shoe, their technology uses small rubber pods on the bottom of the shoe that each adapt to the needs of a runner.

The Cloudrush has 18 pods. Each pod collapses and compress when the runner strikes the pavement. So if you hit more on the heel, the heel pods will compress to your stride. If you strike the forefront, the forefront will collapse more. The pods make for a much more personalized ride.

On cloudrush shoe review

I like how light the Cloudrush is but that it still provides cushion.  Many true flats have little to no cushion, but I do appreciate the substance of the shoe.  Throughout the last month, I’ve done several runs in the shoe ranging from an easy run to 400s, to a tempo run.  For me, I think they are best suited for a tempo run.  I think I appreciate more cushion for a long race, but I do believe a lot of people would like this the On Cloudrush for either a half or full marathon.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Conclusions

I like the Cloudrush, and I will continue to use it for workouts (at this point after New York).  It’s lightweight and responsive but also well cushioned. For me, it’s an excellent combination for workouts.

It’s definitely a good half to full marathon shoe.

Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: On CloudaceHoka Cavu, Hoka Clifton 5, Brooks Glycerin 16,

Workouts: On Cloudrush, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Fly

Races: Nike Fly

Questions for you:

Marathoners, what is your shoe of choice?

Do you have a favorite shoe? 

Training and Taper

Training and Taper

Last week was fine. It wasn’t a fantastic training week, but it wasn’t bad. It was…meh.

First, it was my first week of taper.  I am not someone who really hates taper.  The rest and relaxation is usually welcomed. This year it most certainly is. I wish I could say I feel “awesome” going into race week but I don’t. The more time and energy, I’ve invested in a marathon training cycle, the more I don’t know if the race distance is for me.

Baring nothing serious (knock on wood), I’ll still toe the line. I’m healthy but I don’t know if my heart is really into marathoning. I wanted to give myself the benefit of the doubt, but a week out from the race I just don’t know.  I can’t put my finger on why I feel this way. It’s almost if I feel like a dull crayon. I can still write, but not as precisely as a sharp one.  I can still run, but not as fast as previous half marathon cycles.

Anyway, my blog is just me and my thoughts.  The closer I get to NYCM, the more I realize it’s here and not going anywhere. I’m excited about the experience, to do the expo, to see friends, but I’m not as excited to run 26.2 miles.

I’m hoping I’m not creeping up on a burnout but I also know after I run 26.2 miles on Sunday…I’m taking a 2 weeks ago or until I want to run.

Anyway:

Monday: Easy 20 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 12 mile run with 6 at
Total:

Thoughts:

Wednesday: 12x400s:

It was hard to get out the door because of how windy it was. Once I did, I felt fine.  I had to remind myself, NYCM is windy and there is no hiding from the wind on those bridges.

Sunday Long Run:

It felt weird “just” doing 12 miles.  I ran 3 miles easy, 6 miles averaging 6:50 pace, then 3 miles easy. As I mentioned on Instagram, I didn’t feel great. Holding that pace for 6 miles while “not feeling great” is a good sign, but the marathon is a few more than 6 miles.

On to Next Week:

I am both excited and not excited to run NY…

I am excited…

Because I have put in hard work to be there.  I know I will have an incredible and unforgettable experience.

I am not excited…

Because right now I feel like garbage.  I know “blah blah blah…taper will make you feel better”, but it’s been mentally difficult to compare myself to the fitness I was in past falls. The past few years I’ve run at least a 1:25 at this point, and it’s been more mentally tough than usual.  My goal has always been to start and finish healthy.

I’m also not excited to go up to the expo on Friday. I live over 90 minutes away from NY, so trains are the best option. I’m not savvy with trains and getting from the train station of NJ to Penn station.

Anyway, not quite the training log I wanted to write.  I’ll probably write another more detailed post about my thoughts of the marathon, as the day looms closer. I know once the gun goes off, I’ll have an incredible time but getting there and feeling good seems both overwhelming and questionable right now.

This coming week, work is busy, and life is busy.  It makes taper come at the perfect time.  For instance, I am going to the expo on Friday, have to be back in NJ Friday night, and then staying in NYC Saturday to Sunday.

Posts from the Week:

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Questions of the day:

What is your favorite race distance? 

What was your best workout this week?

Will you be at NY, let me know! 

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

In summary, the Atlantic City half marathon was a good race. I had hoped to be faster but the wind was unforgiving and I raced for the conditions. It stinks to not have a faster half before the NYCM, but that’s how it goes. I’m proud of my efforts, and I was able to negative split the race.

My alarm at 5 am came early. As I mentioned, the days leading up where chaotic and I found myself on the go and on my feet for almost 48 hours before (except for sleep). I could have used a few more hours of sleep beforehand, but that is okay.

I got to Atlantic City around 7 am.  I met some of my local friends and running groups.  When I went to drop off my bag at bag drop, I dropped my entire bottle of Gatorade and spilled it all over myself.  I was cold and wet at the start of the race…a great combination.

atlantic city half marathon me running

I got to the corral with about 3 minutes to spare and talked to a few friends.  By the time I knew it, it was time to go.  During the first mile, we hit some severe headwind. I thought to myself…it is going to be a long way to go.  I also quickly realized my legs didn’t feel great but I was going to make the best of the situation no matter what.  I hit the first mile in 6:48 and thought, if I could hold this at least I would be faster than other races.

Before the race I thought it was entirely on the boardwalk. I didn’t realize how much was through the neighborhoods and actual Atlantic City.   All of a sudden we ran over an overpass and down through a tunnel.  I thought for sure my watch would lose GPS signal, but it surprisingly didn’t.  The tunnel was peaceful and still because there was no wind. It was nice.  Directly after, we climbed another overpass, and I hit mile 2 around 6:45.

atlantic city half marathon me running

The next mile went on without much note. I hit the 5k around 21 minutes and felt pleased. Away from the boardwalk, the wind wasn’t as bad.  You could still feel the gusts, but it wasn’t the 50 mph gusts that you felt on the boardwalk.

During mile 4, a man passed me listening to music without headphones.  It was blaring. I wasn’t in the mood to listen to his music, and honestly, it’s just poor form. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t use headphones, and it made me so irrationally angry to listen to it. I don’t like to listen to music while racing which is why I don’t. I don’t want or need to listen to someone else’s. Unfortunately, we ended up running near each other for about 4 miles.

During mile 5 and 6, I focused on getting to the halfway point. We went over a few more overpasses and through a couple neighborhoods.  The view was beautiful. I tried to pass the man with his music, but my legs didn’t have the speed.  The volunteers thought it was “so cool” with his music, but it just made me angrier. Looking back, it was dumb to be that mad but at the time.

I hit the halfway point in 44 minutes.  I reevaluated how I was feeling and thought that baring nothing major, I could probably hold that pace and run an even 1:28.  I also knew the last few miles were on the boards and while it would be the windiest, I could probably get some speed there.

I trucked along, and by the time I knew it was mile 7.  The next two miles went by without much note. I finally dropped the man with his loud music, and I was thankful.  We entered the boardwalk between mile 8 and 9.  Entering the boardwalk made me feel like the race was over, but we had 4 miles.

atlantic city half marathon me running

We passed the start/finish line somewhere between mile 9-10.  It’s always mentally challenging to see where you will be done and know you have a long way to go.  By this point, the race was spread out. Even though the half and full marathon were still together, I was alone on the boards.  Alone on the windy boardwalk is not where you want to be.  Since it was a crosswind, you were like a ping pong ball being pushed on either side of the boardwalk.

I ran a 6:40 mile 10 and just kept moving along. Finally, we rounded the turnaround, and we headed back to the finish line.  I just kept telling myself, two miles to go. Mile 11 always seems to be the most challenging mile of a half marathon for me. I passed one of my good friends.

I hit mile 12 in 6:35 and then just told my body haul butt. At the turnaround, I saw I was about 20 seconds back from the next half marathon women. I didn’t have any plans to catch her, but when I saw I was, it gave me the motivation to run faster.  I had déjà vu of when I ran head-on with a pedestrian in April and told myself to pay attention.  Runners for both the half and full were also going the opposite direction, so I wanted to be mindful of that.

12 miles became 12.5, became 12.75 and all of a sudden I was almost caught up to the women.  I passed her around 13 miles.  I could see the finish line in the clock ticking around 1:27.30 and I knew if I wanted to be under 1:28, it would be close.

atlantic city half marathon me running

IDK what I’m doing with my hands. I don’t remember doing that.

I crossed in 1:27.53 and as 6th women overall. I’m happy with my efforts for the conditions.  Like I mentioned in my training log, I was hoping to be faster, but you can’t control the weather.  It wasn’t hot, but the wind is a different battle and just as challenging battle (in my opinion anyway).  I feel like I fraud every half saying I know if the conditions were better I could be faster, but I’ve raced each time for the day, and that is all you can do.

After the race, I spent just under an hour playing the slots at the casino.  I have a limit of $20, and I spent $20 and won $20, so I broke even for the day. So success all around.

Questions for you:

What is the windiest you’ve run in?

Am I overdramatic that someone listening to music without headphones during a race is rude? 

%d bloggers like this: