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Brooks Cascadia 12 Shoe Review

When going out west on Vacation, I knew I needed a trail shoe.  My husband and I have hiked several times on the east coast, but many people indicated how rocky and rigorous trails could be out west.  Thinking out loud, there have probably been times I could have used a trail shoe while hiking out east too.

brooks cascadia 12 shoe review

The Cascadia seemed like a good option.  I’ve had success with many Brooks Running shoes including both the Ghost 10 and Glycerin 15.  Instead of getting a hiking boot, I opted for the gortex (weatherproof) Brooks Cascadia.

Brooks Cascadia Fit:

The Gortex version makes the shoe stiffer and less breathable but that is precisely what I was looking for.  I wanted a shoe that would protect me from harsher elements.  That being said, it still fits appropriately.  In my running shoes, I’ve worn between 10-11 wide.  I purchased a pair of 10.5 shoes and have been fine.  The upper is constructed from a double mesh material that I found highly flexible, breathable, and provided a durable layer of protection.

brooks cascadia 12 shoe review

Brooks Cascadia Ride:

Personally, I’ve used these more for climbing and hiking versus running on trails.  I’ve used them a couple of times to run, but for the most part, they have been great hiking shoes.

There is a lot of cushion for a trail shoe.  My biggest fear was getting a trail shoe that was firm or rigid.  Since we have done 10+ miles of hiking before, my feet would not be happy with that.  The cushion of the Cascadia is soft like the Ghost but hard enough to grip the ground appropriately.

It doesn’t have the grooves of a rigorous hiking boot, but did have enough for the hikes I was doing.

The Gortex version allowed me to cross several streams without too much of an issue with my feet getting wet.  Something that was ideal.

Final Thoughts:

I like the Brooks Cascadia 12, and I’m so glad I decided to purchase it.  Since purchasing, I’ve done a variety of trails including Zion National Park, Colorado Springs, and even hiking in New Jersey.  It definitely makes a difference when hiking.  I’m glad I finally took the plunge and purchased a pair.

Questions for you:

Do you have a separate pair of trail shoes?

Have you ever used a Gortex or weatherproof product?

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Training: 2 Workouts and No Races

Training: 2 Workouts and No Races

I didn’t race last week but got two high-quality workouts in.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying workouts more than racing.  Partly with my stomach, and partly with the weather.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s with 400 jog recovery
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 90 minutes
Saturday: 2X3 mile with 1 mile jog in between
Sunday: 10ish mile Hike

Thoughts:

Easy runs were just that, easy.   They were boring and uneventful but that is also how I like them.  On Sunday, my husband and I went for a cold, and snowy hike in Ramapo State Forest. It wasn’t the most evelation we have climbed, but due to conditions: wet, cold, icy…it was not the easiest.

Wednesday: 12X400s (with 400 jog in between)

6x400s at 6 min pace
4x400s at 5:56
2x400s at 5:53

Saturday: 2X3 miles

I have always been intimidated to do workouts on the treadmill.  I’m worried I’ll pull, hurt, or break something because the treadmill makes you run faster than sometimes your body wants or needs.  I was happy the workout went well and much better than anticipated.

In all, I’m proud of how the week went.  I do feel like I’m progressing with my fitness and I am excited to race when I’m tapered to see where I’m at.  I believe with rest and on a good day, I could run about 18:30 in a 5k right now.  The stars have to align for that.

 

Posts from the Week:
Hiking through Wharton State Forest
November Training
Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite workout?
Where do you like to do your workouts: road, track, trail, treadmill?

Hiking through Wharton State Forest

My husband and I have hiked a lot.  We’ve been too many states and mountain ranges and we enjoy it.  We might even enjoy hiking more than running.  Something about being out there in the peace is so much fun.  You can read about any our hikes here.

Anyway, you would think we would have already hiked somewhere local and close to home in South Jersey…yet until recently, we had not.  We both had the day off but weren’t in the “mood” to drive 2 hours north to go hiking so we googled a few trails around us.  Someone mentioned the Botana trail in Wharton State Forest so we decided to look into it.

As most people know, south jersey is flat so it wasn’t a mountainous trail.  In fact, it was one of the easier trails we’ve done and we did see a couple of people with pets.  Definitely a much easier trail than last month in Colorado! The trail itself is about 50 miles long and they do host a no frills ultra there.

The Batona Trail itself is about 50 miles longer and wraps itself from the shore to inland.  We hiked about 5 miles and saw a couple of hikers doing the entire trail.  Hiking the entire trail looks like it would be a lot of fun!

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

At the end of our personal hike, there is a water tower you can hike up too.  The day we went, it was closed (and there are security cameras, so I don’t recommend jumping the fence).

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

I know we will be back though.  I think it would be a lot of fun to do the entire 50-mile hike over the course a few days.   Who knows, maybe end at a diner!

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

To be honest, hiking the Batona Trail opened my eyes that there are gorgeous hikes in South Jersey.  I had always stuck up my nose to hiking in Southern New Jersey but I’m glad we did and I know we will be back.

Other NJ Hikes:
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Hiking the Delaware Water Gap
The Time I Saw a Bear While Hiking

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Do you like to hike?
What is something interesting you’ve recently found in your area?

November Training

To get it out of the way, November was not really the month I wanted or hoped.  After getting home from one of the best trips of my life, I got food poisoning.  For the entire month, it’s taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.  The doctor said it could last up to 70 days and while I’m staying positive it won’t, I don’t feel 100% 30 days later.  I’m not violently sick, but I am tired, and my body has struggled to digest certain foods including dairy (something it never has).

me running sunrise

Thinking out loud, my workouts and racing in November were slower than anticipated, but you have to run for the current fitness you’re in.  Something that can be much easier said than done.

Mileage: 212
Range of Pace: 6:00-10:31-untimed
Workouts: 3
2X(6.5 tempo runs)
12X400s

Races:
11/11 Haddonfield Road Race  (19:59)
11/12 Blueberry Challenge 5k (20:01)
11/18 Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57)
11/24 Medford Turkey Trot (19:02)

Thoughts:
I didn’t have a favorite race but did have a favorite workout. None of my races felt especially good.  To be honest, my slowest race, the Blueberry Challenge 5k) was probably the best.

My workouts felt better though. The minute I finished 12×400 at 6:00 min pace, I felt strong.  I haven’t felt that in charge of my running in a while.  Food poisoning has made longer runs a struggle (with the constant of the feeling of vomiting and using the bathroom), but speed and track workouts have been fine because I’m never too far from anything.

December:

The first half of December will be busy for me.  Ironically, tcloser to the Holidays will be less crazy.  I won’t race as much, but that is only due to the limited amount of races in NJ/Philadelphia during the next two months.  I’ll hopefully do more track workouts.

I mentioned on Instagram but my 2018 is to break 18 minutes in the 5k.  I have been in that fitness before but never been able to run the race.  I’ll do more track workouts and see where it takes me.  I’ll definitely do some half marathons in the spring as well, but I do hope 2018 brings a 5k PR.

 

Posts from the month:
Training without a Coach
How to Build Back Mental Confidence

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Shoe Reviews:
Nike Zoom Fly Review
Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

Questions for you:
What are your goals for the last month of the year?
How was your November?

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

Last weekend I ran a local 5k.  As I mentioned in my training log, the morning was a disaster, to say the least, but the problems were mostly my own doing.  I hadn’t done a lot of research about the race and had thought it started at 8:30.  At 7am, I looked up directions and realized it started at 8 am.  I didn’t have time to run home and get to the race, so I had to race with random things in my car: oversized leggings, a spaceman puffer, and an old long sleeve.  Never the less, my race outfit seemed to work out.

I usually like to do 3-4 miles warmup, however, due to being late, I only had time for 1.  During my warmup, I felt awful.  My stomach wasn’t ready to run and to be honest I contemplated why I was even there.  After debating whether I should just donate my race entry fee and leave, I decided to just run.  My goal for the next 2 months are solid workouts, and while my stomach was in knots, I could gut out a good workout.

After chatting with my good friend and fast runner Joe, we were off.  I didn’t feel as bad once we got moving.  My legs were tired. However, my stomach felt as though it would hold out.  I ran with a pack of people for the first mile, and we hit the first mile in 6:08.  I was happy, but also surprised.  I didn’t feel as though as I was moving that quickly.

My goal for the next mile was just to stay with the pack.  The race made several turns around the neighborhood, and I felt like I was sticking with them.  We hit the second mile in 6:03 and I was feeling better.

me running 1

The goal of the last mile of any 5k is to finish.  It never feels good, and this one was no exception.  I was just trying to grit through.  To my (unpleasant) surprise the final part of the race went over grass.  I felt as if I could break 19 again but the grass was not my friend.  Not only that, but the last .2 made 3, right-hand turns.  Not the fastest finish!

I crossed the finish in 19:02 which was exactly the same as the Medford Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving.  I’m happy with my time.  As I mentioned, the next two months are going to be dedicated to more workouts, and I’ll still run 5ks, but I won’t taper for many, if any.   The plan is to get quality workouts in this winter to prepare for Spring races.

Questions for you:

Are you training for anything during the winter?

How much warm-up do you normally do for a race?

Workouts: First Track Session in Months

As many people know from Instagram, I’ve decided to begin training for 5ks.  While I’ll still run longer distances including half marathons, my main goal of 2018 is to break 18 minutes in the 5k.  I’ve been in that fitness before but have never run the race and never produced the results.

me running

Anyway, this week I went back to the track.  I haven’t done track workouts in over 6 months and probably closer to the year.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400 at 6:00 min pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Local 5k: 19:02
Sunday: Tempo

Thoughts:

Easy runs, more than ever, are done extremely easy.  Sometimes I run above a 9 min mile or even higher.  For the most part, I don’t wear a watch or care about pace.

Wednesday: 12X400s at 6:00 min pace

For my first track workout in a while, it went well.  I know 6 min pace won’t get me below 18 minutes in a 5k.  However, my fastest 5k since coming back from my break is 18:41.  6 min miles would run an 18:35 which is still an improvement from where I am.  It would be unwise to start at a pace my body hasn’t run in over a year.  Slowly I will progress towards the fitness I want.

Saturday: Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

This race had a lot of other things going on, including messing up the race start time.  I only had time for a 1-mile warmup, had to race in things found in my car, and my stomach was a mess.  Yes, I blog about running and I like to run…no I am rarely “put together”.  Anyway, after my food poisoning reared it’s ugly head,  I sat in my car and decided what I should do.  Not that I wanted to be a hero and “finish any race”, but I hoped my stomach could hold out for 20 minutes…which it did.  My splits were 6:08, 6:03, and 6:06 so I was pleased.

Plus it finished on a field with 3 hairpin turns.  I don’t miss cross country that much.

Sunday: Long Run 14 miles (6.5 at 7:18):

On Sunday, I was feeling less than motivated but the exciting races at the CIM marathon, as well as RnR San Antonio, got me out there.  Once I got started, I felt good.

In all, I’m happy with the week.  It was awesome to watch so many people reach their goals, PRs, and dreams on Sunday at local races.  The next two weeks will be busy with things outside of running.

Posts of the Week:

Hiking Grey Back Peak Trail in Colorado Springs

Training without a Coach

Nike Zoom Fly Review

Questions for you:

How was your training last week?

Do you prefer track workouts or tempo runs?  Or races?

 

Hiking Grey Back Peak Trail

The final hiking post on vacation was also in Colorado Springs.  The Grey Back Peak Trail is about 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit.  It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse).

It starts here on a somewhat single track trail.  You don’t climb much but just follow the straightforward trail for about 1.5-1.7 miles.

Grey Back Peak Trail

There are plenty of rocks to stand and take photos on, if that is your sort of thing. It’s one of the most scenic hikes we have done thus far because you have a view almost 100% of the time.

Grey Back Peak Trail The final hiking post of vacation was also in Colorado Springs. The Grey Back Peak Trail is about a 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit. It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse there).
Once we made it to the end, we were rewarded with a great view overlooking Colorado Springs. We saw several military planes flying too and from the bases. I joked, we can never truly get away from planes. 😉
Grey Back Peak Trail
On the way back down, I wanted to climb up one of the rocks. Most people know by now how clumsy I am, so it was better thought than done. With a running start, boost from my husband, and several attempts I made it up. It makes me look more bad@$$ than I actually am.

In all, it was a great short hike. We were out for about two hours. If you are looking for something relaxing with a great view, I highly recommend the Grey Trail in Colorado Springs.  It was a short but quiet hike.  With a view the entire time, it was one of my favorites!

Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon
Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Questions for You:
Do you have a favorite trail?
Have you ever been horseback riding?

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