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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?

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?

Training without a Coach

Training without a Coach

I’ve run off and on since 2011.  Throughout that time I’ve run in college with a coach, out of college without a coach, as well as out of college with a coach.

During each time period, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I do believe personalized coaching is beneficial for many people.  It takes finding the right coach, both someone who works well for your running style, as well as someone who you socially connect with it.

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to write about self-coaching and how I liked that.  Thinking out loud, all of my PRs have been set from self-coaching.  Good or bad, it’s just a fact.  I haven’t had a negative experience with any of my coaches. However, my schedule changes often, and I have found self-coaching to work well for me.

I’ve Learned a Few Things:

Self Coaching is Free:

First, I have a firm stance coaching should cost money.  You are getting a service, that you don’t already have.  To be honest, I’m less likely to even follow “free coaching” because I could do my own thing either way and not feel guilty.

You Know your Strengths and Weaknesses the Best:

First, running is a learning process. Your strengths and weaknesses change.  When I lived in the Adirondacks, I was much better at running hills.  Now living in a flatter area, hills are no longer my strength.  If you ever are next to me in the last .1 of race, know that finishing kicks are also not my strength.

You are More Internally Motivated:

My goals, and wanting to run are for me.  I don’t have to report to anyone, and I don’t have to “fear”, telling a bad workout, race, or anything else.

So How Do You Determine Workouts and Paces?

This is different for every single person.  

Personally, I use a few different methods.  In college, we used the McMillian calculator and could find appropriate paces for workouts from that.

When building mileage from a break (whether injury or just a break), I usually start with whatever feels good.  My first run back is never more than a mile.  From there, I add minutes to my run (not miles).  It’s important not to stress the pace when increasing mileage but just the time on your feet.

I also think looking back at your history with the sport is essential.  For me, I ran my fastest 5k and half marathon on “traditional training.”  I went to the track and did workouts like 400s as well as tempo runs.  That isn’t the case for everyone!

Many athletes run very low mileage with more core and strength.  If that is how you thrive, that is how you thrive!

Running is different for each and every person.  Many people thrive on a coach.  Many people enjoyed more of a laid-back approach.  As someone who spent years of high-intensity swimming, I no longer thrive on it both mentally and physically.

Related Running Posts:

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
How to Build Back Mental Confidence
Care Free Training
Who Cares Where You Run?

Questions for you:
Are you self-coached?
What are you currently training for?

Nike Zoom Fly Review

When Nike created the “breaking 2 project”, they created two shoes: the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4%.  The Nike Zoom Fly retails at $150, while the Zoom Fly 4% comes in at $250.  That is, if you can find a pair of Zoom Vapor fly 4% in your size.

The Zoom fly is a bit heavier and made for the everyday runner (or any runner not trying to break 2 hours in the marathon).

It’s made more for training.  When we first brought them into work, I wanted to try them because “everyone was”, however, I had plenty of shoes in my rotation.  Waiting enough time also gave me the option to buy a flashy red colorway too.

Nike Voom fly red

Fit:

The Zoom Fly is more narrow than many of Nikes training shoes including the Pegasus and Vomero.  The upper is seamless so it’s able to fit wider feet.  They don’t make either in a “wide”.  I bought a women’s size 10 which is fine, but I do believe a 10 wide would be a slightly better fit.

Nike Voom fly red

Ride:

The shoe weighs about 8.75 ounces for men and 6.5 for ladies.  While it’s not the lightest, it’s definitely a lighter shoe.

The Zoom Fly has  10 mm heel-toe drop so it isn’t minimal either.  The focus of the shoe is for “everyday” training.  It’s not the shoe meant to run sub 2 hours in a marathon but the shoe to keep you healthy during training.  Nike is in the process of changing many of their running shoes to the new technology you see in the Zoom Fly and Zoom Vapor Fly.

I’ve run just over 100 miles on it and I like the fit and feel a lot.  It’s soft and cushioned but not too squishy.  It’s responsive enough that I like to do workouts in it without my feet feeling too beat up.  I was doing workouts in either the Saucony Type A or the Altra Escalante but have found the extra cushion to be nice and better to recover faster.

One thing I will say is, similar to the Nike Lunarglide, there isn’t a whole lot of traction at the bottom.  On a rainy day or mud, be prepared to not feel as much contact with the ground.

Nike Voom fly red

Finally, something I shouldn’t comment on but I will is these are a good looking pair of shoes.  It’s always fun to run in a shoe that you’re like…wow these are sharp.

Personally, I see the Nike Zoom Fly as a tempo, speed, or racing shoe.  While I know many people who do the bulk of their mileage in the Zoom Fly, I personally need more cushion.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Glycerin (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Levitate (easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (daily runs, easy runs)
Nike Zoom fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony type A/Endorphin (racing)

Questions for you:
Did you watch the Nike Sub 2 hours documentary?
What is your current favorite running shoe?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (19:02)

On Thanksgiving, I ran a local turkey trot.  It’s one of my favorite races, and despite not feeling great, I still wanted to run.  This year my calves were extremely tight, and my food poisoning was not making my motivation any better.  During my warm-up, I had to stop 3 times for 3 miles to use the bathroom.

At the start, I just hoped I could make it from the start to the finish without stopping.  Not something I had much success with it at the Philadelphia half.

My local running club was wearing turkey tutus, so I decided to join in too. We all lined up, and by the time we knew it, we were off.  My friend, Erin and I had planned to run together and see how it went.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

The first mile is crowded, and we were surrounded by a ton of people including many high schoolers.  One high schooler elbowed me around a turn, and when I didn’t take it, he cursed me out.  I laughed out loud and just passed him and never looks back.  We hit the first mile in 6:07.  I can’t say I was overly thrilled with it, but you have to race where you are.

The second mile began to spread out and Erin and I were passing a bunch of people feeling decent.  She had also raced the Philadelphia half so wasn’t feeling the best either.  We could see the first and second woman just 10 seconds ahead.  We crossed a few roads and hit the second mile in 6:17.

The third mile became gritty.  Both Erin and I were struggling but just pushed forward.  We passed two younger kids.  The last mile takes several turns and goes around the school.  We both kicked as hard as possible.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

Not my most glamourous angle but that’s the pain of a 5k

I crossed the finish line in 19:02 and as third woman overall and Erin crossed in 19:03.  It’s great to have someone to run with.  Erin has beaten me in several races, and we are in about the same fitness.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

The awards are always handcrafted from the area which is fun

It’s not my fastest time on the course (last year I ran 18:30), but it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.  I know once my food poisoning passes out and the fatigue runs it’s course I’ll be back to feeling good and racing where I was in October.

Photos via Matthew Renk Photography 

Questions for you:
Do you have someone to race with?
Did you run on Thanksgiving?

Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57)

I wrote about 1000 words recapping the Philadelphia Half Marathon.  Then I forgot to save it…not the first time this has happened.

Most people know, but food poisoning prevented me from having the “race of my life”.   I raced with how I felt for the day, and that is all I can ask from myself.  I’m not disappointed, in fact, I’m thankful I finished injury free.

I should rewind.  For the last two weeks, I’ve been suffering from food poisoning.  I’m not violently vomiting, however, I’m often tired and I never feel “great” or like myself.  Occasionally at night, I’ll feel extremely sick.

I contracted it coming home from vacation.  The first night home, I spent violently getting sick.  It was bad enough, we thought maybe my appendix had burst.  After getting some tests done, I found out I had food poisoning.  As I mentioned, it isn’t the typical “24-hour bug” but can stay in your system for about 70 days.  Not violently vomiting for 70 days but more tired, just not feeling great.

The doctor told me I could run, but I might feel sick.  From that day until the Philadelphia half marathon, I had 13 days.  During that time period, I ran 2 5ks and a few runs.  I never puked during any runs, but I did feel like I was in a “funk.”

The problem was, I ran most of my mileage untimed and easy.  That’s not necessarily a problem, except running easy miles is very different than running a fast half marathon.  My stomach showed me that very quickly.

I didn’t have a goal at Philadelphia.  I’ve never run particularly well, in fact, my fastest time was from the only other time I’ve had food poisoning (a completely different strain). Then last year I felt like garbage.  I live about 10 miles from Center City, and while I can’t say I even “love” the race, I seem to just keep signing up.

And so here we are year 3 of running the Philadelphia half.

Like many race days, I slept in later than anticipated.  It wasn’t an issue, and my husband and I arrived to Philadelphia, parked, and stood in line at security around 6:30.  The security to get into the race is lengthy, and we waited about 40 minutes.  It left us with 20 minutes to drop off bags and use the bathroom.  It was probably not enough time, and we made into the corral at 7:28.  My good friend, Erin, thought I decided to DNS considering we basically had to beg security to reopen the corral.

The race went off, and Erin, my husband, and I started together.  Erin and I ran the Atlantic City half, and we had discussed possibly running Philly together.  The first mile went out fast. I chatted with Erin and my husband, and we hit the first mile around 6:45.  I felt decent, but I also wasn’t sure how I would feel later on.

The first few miles of the race are the fastest and easiest.  We ran mile 2 in 6:17 and 3 in 6:27.  The pace didn’t feel uncomfortable, and I was able to mumble a few words.

Around the 5k, I noticed my husband getting a bit antsy.  I knew he was going to drop me.  I also knew we would still be married either way at the finish line and I was happy he was feeling good.  He hasn’t raced a lot of half marathons since his 1:20 PR, so it was motivating to see him pick it up.  I had no energy to keep up though.

At mile 4, I ran into Alana who is gearing up for the CIM.  We ultimately ran a good portion of the race together with Erin.  I ran mile 5 in 6:37 and 6 in 6:43.  Around the halfway point, my stomach started to hurt.  Not like use the bathroom hurt, but like I might puke hurt.  I thought it might have been not interacting well the Gatorade (I’ve never had an issue before) but realized the doctor was right.

I began scanning the course for a restroom to vomit.  Then, of course, I saw no less than 5 of my good friends or people who have come into work.  I gave a wincing smile, while also not trying to puke on them.

Somewhere between mile 9-10, I found a bathroom and vomited.  It wasn’t a huge vomit, but breakfast and Gatorade came up.  For about 10 seconds I thought, should I just stop?  I stood straight and didn’t feel awful, so I quickly exited the bathroom.  I think the situation lasted all of 30 seconds to a minute.  I still saw Alana and everyone else ahead, so I knew I had not gotten that far.

I told myself if you need to stop…you need to stop.  No one cares if you cross the finish line.  No one cares about your pace, time, or speed.  We climbed a few hills and I didn’t feel as bad.  As weird as it sounds, after that stop I felt as though I was finding my groove.

Around mile 11, I saw Philadelphia in the distance.  I told myself 2 miles.  20 minutes and you’ll be chillin’ (a real thought I had).  Due to delusion and downhill, I crushed mile 11 in 6:25.  Somehow I found myself running entirely alone for the final mile.  I saw both Alana and Erin within the minute ahead, and I was just…alone.  I seem to always find the pocket of running by myself in big races.

I crossed the finish in 1:27.57 and I was shocked.  A week ago, I wasn’t sure I would run.  In the early parts of the race, I believed a 1:30 might be doable.  (I told Erin it was my goal).  While I know I’m in much better fitness than a 1:28, you must race for how you feel for the day.  Whether that is good or bad.  I’m happy I finished and even finished strong, though I know it was probably not my smartest move.

tim and I philadelphia half

That was my last planned half marathon for the year.  I’m looking forward to shorter things while my food poisoning clears up.  As I mentioned in my training log, it could last up to 70 days (I’m on 17 now?).

Questions for you:
Have you had food poisoning before?
Have you stopped during a race before?
Postive Question: How was your Thanksgiving?

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