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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mercy 3 Miler (18:20)

I thought I had written a race recap, but it turns out…it disappeared into space. Usually, I post race recaps on Tuesdays, but since it opened up my blog yesterday with none, it gets delayed a day.  I know, you’re devastated.

So anyway, on Saturday I raced my first shorter distance race since December.  It was a nice low key rust buster.

The morning itself was a disaster.  I went to get cash from my ATM card, and it was denied.  I’m actually not sure why as I do have money in my account, and my pin number was accurate, and the card was not expired, but that is here nor there.  Then the race wasn’t accepting cards for payment.  Luckily, I had a checkbook but it left me with not much time to warm up.

Other reasons to complain were I hadn’t slept well, it was cold and windy, and my legs were sore.  But I was at the race, and I was going to run.  I warmed up a couple of miles, felt meh and made my way to the start line.  At the start, I saw a lot of friends and local runners I hadn’t seen in a few months.  It was motivating, and by the time I knew it, we were off.

As you can see below, I am always talking…you never have to worry about interrupting my “prerace” 

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mercy

During the first mile, I found myself in fourth place, and I stayed there the entire race.  There was a pack of males whom I knew that led the way.  I never felt as though I was “racing” and more as if I was running a workout alone.  There wasn’t really anyone to run with, and it was just a sprint towards the finish.  I hit the first mile in 6:05, but it was deep underneath a couple of jackets, so I only knew my splits after I finished.

The second mile went to an out and back.  I could see the leaders as they turned around and it motivated me.   As I was coming back, I saw my friends, and it was motivating and kept me engaged in the race.  For a lot of the race, I never felt as though I was “racing.”  I hit the second mile in 6:08 and felt fine.  My legs just felt tired and couldn’t turn over any faster.

I just wanted the last mile to be over.  It felt as though I was running a marathon, not a 5k.  We went over train tracks and near a significant amount of ice.  I just took the turn wider and I felt fine.  As approached the finish line, I heard my watch beep.  Oh, exactly 3 miles.  I crossed in 18:20 and with a 6:07 last mile.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mercy

The race was supposed to be a 5k, however, apparently, it was not. It was nice it was at least exactly 3 miles and I can say I ran 3 miles in 18:20 versus 3.06 in whatever.  If I had continued the pace it would have been about an 18:57 5k, which I’m confident I could have done.

Other than that, not much else to say.  I’m happy with my effort, and I felt good despite everything.  I’m just as glad to be back out there and seeing friends too.

Questions for you:

Have you run a short course?

What is the coldest you’ve raced in?

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Why There is No Best Running Shoe

Why There is No Best Running Shoe

The best shoe doesn’t exist. 

It’s not the Nike 4% and it’s not the Brooks Leviviate.

Also, pumpkin spice lattes and unicorn frappucinos are not the best coffee…

But each of those has great marketing.

It’s no secret that every human is different, and thus, we have different feet.  Even your own two feet might be drastically different and that is okay.  Thinking out loud, that is why there are so many different shoes.

Why There is No Best Running Shoe

What works for me, might not work for you, and it certainly won’t work for everyone.  ‘

Some people thrive on minimal shoes, and other’s (like myself) thrive on maximum cushioned shoes.

Some need a lot of stability, and some need none. Stability and pronation is just one factor. A person’s foot shape has a lot to do with shoe selection too.

Each brand and style is cut a little different, and while most brands have both a narrow and wide option (some even double-wide), it’s important to realize you might wear a different size than you think.  I wear anywhere between a 9.5 wide to a size 11 depending on the cut of the actual shoe.

So then: “Why is There No Best Shoe”? 

The best shoe for you, depends on a few factors:

  • Foot shape
  • Personal gait cycle
  • What someone is doing in the shoes and their goals

Every running shoe is the best for someone.  Similarly, every running shoe is the worst for someone. 

A good pair of running shoes will cost you between $100-$120.  The cost isn’t because you are being ripped off, but because companies develop technology that cost that much to create, plus labor costs, etc.  There are plenty of shoes that cost more and even a few shoes that are a little less (for instance the Nike Pegasus).  Costing more does not make them a better shoe.

There are also plenty of ways to find sales on shoes such as older models or discontinued styles.  You might have to sacrifice the shape of the shoe matching your foot or older shoes tend to last less time.

As someone who works in a running store, I also tell people the best way to get a good shoe (for you) is to go get fitted for an appropriate pair.  Most local running stores employ people who run and know running.  The employees also tend to know the local area and can be a great resource.

For instance, on paper, I love a neutral high cushioned shoe.  If I were to shop online, I would think a shoe like the adidas ultra boost or Asics Nimbus would be a great option.  However, with the width of my foot, they never feel that great.  Getting fit for a pair of shoes, the first time I realized just how wide my feet are!

Running shoes are expensive, but it’s the most expensive part of the sport.  Once you find your shoe, you can find out when sales and deals are.  I always recommend signing up for your local running stores emails because they often have the best deals of any place! 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite running shoe?

What are shoes you’ve tried and have not worked?

Saucony Ride 10 Shoe Review

Saucony Ride 10 Shoe Review

I’ve been running in the Saucony Ride 10 for a little while now.  It replaced the Saucony Freedom in my rotation.  A few years ago, I loved the orginal Saucony Triumph ISO.  Personally, it was one of my favorite shoes to come out.  Since then, I haven’t found a Saucony shoe I like as much.  More recent models of the Triumph have been okay but not my favorite.  I am curious to see how the latest model, the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 stacks up though.  I’ve run in several models of Saucony: The Triumph, the Zealot, and the Ride.

Anyway, the Saucony Ride 10 has been a more favorite shoe of mine recently.

Saucony Ride 10 Fit:

The Saucony Ride 10 fits more true to size than previous years.  Typically I wear a size 10-10.5 wide, and I found a 10.5 to be ideal.  The upper is seamless and accommodates those with wider feet or bunions.

saucony ride 10 shoe review.jpg

One thing I’ve noticed about Saucony, which people either love or hate, is that it has a very low back.  It doesn’t fit orthotics/inserts as well as many other neutral shoes.  That has been a deal breaker for many, because they feel like they are slipping.  It’s never bothered me, and I’ve never felt as though I was slipping out, but it does bother a lot of people.

Saucony Ride 10 Ride:

Time to review the ride of the Ride.  It always sounds funny when I say that.  The Saucony Ride 10 is an 8 mm drop and much firmer.  If you are looking for a shoe with firmer forefront cushion, the Ride or most Saucony shoes are an option.

I’ve run anywhere between 5-10 miles in the shoe, and I feel as responsive in the beginning as the end of the shoe.  The cushion is there. One thing I did notice was it slipped more on wet surfaces or in the rain.  It’s a shoe I’m less likely to take out in icy conditions, although I’m more likely to run indoors when it’s icy.

Saucony Ride 10 Conclusions:

The Saucony Ride 10 is one of the most popular shoes in the industry, and I can see why.  It’s a true to size, well-cushioned shoe, that is great for any amount of mileage: from 5ks to marathons.  It holds up well.  Saucony is on model 10 of the shoe, so it’s lasted the test of time for a while now. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the lightweight but still well-cushioned shoe for easy days or regular daily runs.

Current Rotation:

Brooks Glycerin 15 (long runs, easy runs)
Brooks Ghost 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Saucony Ride 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Nike Zoom Fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (races)

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite shoe?
What is your all-time favorite shoe?

Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

Brooks spent a lot of time promoting the brand new shoe: The Brooks Levitate.  They built the social media hype, grabbed people’s attention, and drew people in.  It has been one of the most highly anticipated shoes of 2017.

Brooks Levitate Shoe review

We brought it into my work, and when we first got them, it didn’t wow me.  I tried it on, and it felt good, but not like the greatest shoe ever.  I knew I wanted to purchase a pair at some point but had to work through a couple of other pairs first.

Fit:

Typically I wear between a size 10-10.5 (wide) in running shoes.  I found the size 10 to fit the best, but I would love to see the Levitate come in wide.  Like the Brooks Launch, the regular width fits comfortably, but the wide would fit better.

The upper is seamless, which I’ve mentioned in several shoe reviews.  It allows for those with a wider foot to fit more comfortably, and less irritation all around.  Many running shoes are now designed to fit more like a slipper.  Brooks Levitate Shoe review

Ride:

When I first tried the Brooks Levivate on, I noticed how heavy it is compared to other models of Brooks shoes.  I was not expecting the firm sole or just the overall weight.  If you are usually Brooks fan, you will notice the difference of cushioning.  The Levitate is much firmer than both the Brooks Ghost and Brooks Glycerin.  It’s also much heavier than the Brooks Launch.  For women, it comes in at a dense 9.7 ounces.

Thinking out loud, A big draw to the Brooks Levitate is that it’s an 8 mm drop.  Most Brooks Running shoes are between 10-12 mm, and they haven’t had a good 8 mm shoe.  It’s similar to the Saucony Ride, albeit much heavier.

For me, it took about 5 runs for me to like the shoe.  I bought the shoe, so at $150 my wallet says: “I’ll like it”, but at first it wasn’t my favorite shoe.  A good shoe?  Yes, but I like both the Brooks Ghost and Glycerin better.  After about 5 runs, I grew to like it much more.  It is much more responsive, and I feel the ground more.  It cushions well.

In all, I do like the Brooks Levitate.  It’s not my favorite, nor least favorite shoe but it’s been a solid trainer so far.  I’ve run about 100 miles on the shoe, with my longest being about 10 and it’s held up well.

My Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Saucony Freedom (easy runs, long runs)
Nike Zoom Fly (workouts) Review to come
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (Races)

Questions for you:
Have you tried a brand new shoe recently?
What is your favorite running shoe?

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Recently I decided to try the Asics Nimbus 19.  I’m no stranger to the Nimbus and have run in the Asics Nimbus 17 as well as the lower cushion Asics Cumulus 18 too.  I’ve even run in the Asics FuzeX as well as the max-cushioned Asics Quantum.  Come to think of it, I’ve run in most Asics neutral shoes.

Recently, the Nimbus has been extremely inconsistent. Both the sizing and feel of the shoe is completely different from one model to the next.  Neither “feel” is bad, but it’s hard because if you like a soft feel and the next version is firm, it’s not a shoe you will love.

The Nimbus 19 is a shoe you need to try on before purchasing. A few years ago the Nimbus ran big with plenty of room. However, this year it’s tight.

Sizing is not a concern, and it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.  You also have to keep in mind there have been 19 models of the Nimbus, so Asics must be doing something right.

Fit:

Oh, where to start with the fit.  To start off, it fits tight and narrow. I normally wear a women’s size 10 in running shoes, and in the Asics Nimbus 19, I wear a size 11 wide.  Sizing is not a big deal, but it’s a shoe you need to try on.  Don’t expect to be in the same size “you’ve always worn”.

Compared to the previous versions, the upper of the shoe is screen printed and the weave is tighter.  It doesn’t use the “traditional” mesh of other Asics shoes and is seamless. Once I found the appropriate size, it’s a comfortable shoe.  The seamless upper allows no rubbing at the top, and for me personally nothing rubs.

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Feel:

The new Nimbus 19 now combines both gel and the latest Asics cushioning system: Flytefoam (similar to the FuzeX).

Why does this matter?  Flytefoam makes the shoe significantly lighter and makes the Nimbus a lot firmer.  It no longer feels like a giant soft sponge under your foot.  With the addition of the Flytefoam, it is a drastic difference.  The cushion is still there but it’s a different type and feels softer and lighter.

In summary, I like the shoe.  I’ll run through this version and use them on easy days or recovery days.  I will also say they are a great workout shoe and I tend to do most of my cross training in them too.  This is a shoe that will probably migrate towards my easy running days and cross training shoe because of all of the cushion.

Pros:

  • Lots of cushion
  • Lighter than previous years
  • More durable than many running shoes

Cons:

  • Expensive ($160)
  • Inconsistent sizing and feel of shoe

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin 14 (easy runs, long runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (easy runs, long runs)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Questions for you:

Which shoes are you currently running in?

Do you prefer light weight or heavy shoes?

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Boy is that a long shoe name?

New Balance is one of the few brands I don’t have much experience with running.  I’ve walked around in both the 880 and the 1080 but never run in either. To be honest, the Fresh Foam Zante caught my eye when it came out in Rose Gold. I finally decided to give New Balance a fair shot in my rotation.

New Balance is not paying me, and I purchased these shoes.  Remember what works for me might not work for you.

Related Shoe Posts:
Why Running Shoe Reviews Are Mostly Worthless
Five Secrets to Buying Running Shoes
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
The Importance of Rotating Running Shoes

The Fit:  These days, I have been favoring a size ten wide.  Many people associate New Balance with wider shoes. However, many of their current styles are no wider than other brands.

img_1310

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante fits more narrow than many current New Balance models.  I typically wear a size ten wide, and I found 10.5 to be the best fit.  

The Ride: The Fresh Foam Zante uses the newest material from New Balance…you guessed it, Fresh Foam…

The New Balance Fresh Foam is lightweight but soft.  It’s a softer brand and also a lot less cushion than I’m used too.   The technology in the foam makes this one of the softer shoes I’ve tried.

The sole of the shoe is flat.  This allows the shoe to be useful for speed or racing because you are lower to the ground. Even with more contact, your feet are supported.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review

For me, I’m using the Zante for speed work and shorter runs.  It doesn’t have enough cushion that I would be comfortable doing a long run in.

Summary: I like the shoe, and it’s a great lightweight or racing option.  It’s not a shoe that I would train heavy miles in but it’s ideal for racing or speed work.

Similar Models: Brooks Launch, Saucony Kinvara, Nike Pegasus

My Current Rotation:
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Nike LunarGlide 8
Brooks Launch

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Do you have different shoes for different runs? (You should)

If I Had One Running Outfit…

The other day I was cleaning out my clothing, and I thought…what if I only had one running outfit for each season.

Most of my clothing I chose is similar to the post I wrote a post about my favorite styles for running in “bad weather.”

This post is unsponsored and many pieces are recent but some are from a while back.

I’m always interested in other people’s favorite things. PS: The Holiday season is coming up if you need my address…;)

Base Layers:

Favorite Sports Bra:

Brooks Moving Comfort Uprise: ($48.00)

I have yet to find anything that compares to the brand of Moving Comfort.  Moving Comfort only makes a few pieces of women’s apparel but specializes in sports bras.  There is a reason they are number one in the industry.  I’ve tried many other brands, and for me, these are the best. tim's dad and i

They have removable pads, don’t chafe and fit my broad shoulders (YAY swimming).  Working in running retail, I’ve tried most brands, and I truly believe Moving Comfort makes the best Sports Bras in the industry. They make sports bras for any size.

Socks:

CEP Low Cut Socks ($20.00)

Right now I love my CEP Compression Socks.  After my ankle injury, I wanted socks that promote blood flow to my feet as well.

cep compression capris

I’ve got compression for my compression…

Because my calves and my feet are not proportional, I prefer the calf sleeves and socks (versus just the knee high socks).  CEP is medical grade compression which means that it does promote blood flow more than other brands.  Since my calves do get tight frequently, they are the best for me.

Long sleeve:  This one by Saucony.  It’s thick and warm but it’s also reversible.  That way when I’m getting ready in the dark in the morning, it doesn’t matter if it’s inside out. 😉

Arm Warmers: Oiselle (similar style $38.00)

They no longer sell the arm warmers I currently use.  I like that the Oiselle arm warmers have thumb holes but also that they stay on my arms without falling down.

grilled cheese and tomato soup run

Short Sleeve:

Tank Top: Saucony Dash.  

It’s seamless, light weight and breathable. I have the tank, short sleeve and long sleeve and it’s one of my favorite lines.  I highly recommend any of their tops.

me running 1

Spandex Short: Lululemon What the Sport Short.  I like these because they are longer, having a pocket and dry quickly.  In my luck with rain, this is necessary.

Flying Fish 5k

If you look closely you can see my car key in my pocket

Questions for you:

What are your favorite pieces of running apparel?  (Share links!)

Do you store things in running shorts pockets? 

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