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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?

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Training: 800s and a Half Marathon

Training: 800s and a Half Marathon

Last week was my last “big” week of training.  It’s all taper from here.  It was a decent week, and while I would have liked a faster half marathon, the wind was tough. To be fair, I didn’t feel the greatest during the race either and had two hectic days (both work and not) .  The Friday and Saturday before went by in a blink of an eye and kept me on my feet for two days straight.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800s (averaging 6:15)/800 jog in between (warmup/cooldown 10 miles
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes with Alexis
Friday: Easy 20 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Atlantic City Half (1:27.53) total miles 15

Thoughts:

I hoped to be around 1:26 for a half at some point during the training cycle. I knew I had a few half marathons to do it, but it never happened. Between the wind and the heat and training, it didn’t happen.  It’s hard to compare myself to fitness of last year or even the year before when I had run 1:25s at the Runners World half after running the 5k the day before.

That being said, different year, different situation.  I’ve repeated that to myself more times than I can count.  You can’t compare yourself to anyone and even yourself.

Wednesday: 6X800s 6:15 pace with 800 jog in between

The workout itself didn’t feel bad. It was the first cold day we had, and while windy, I felt good running.  I don’t have a lot to say about the workout. It was neither the best nor the worst and fell somewhere in between.

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

As I mentioned, I was on my feet a lot the two days prior.  The week itself was tiresome, and not a week the week you really feel: gun ho to go race.  That being said, I made the best of the situation. I had a great time with friends at the starting line and saw a lot of people I knew.  The day was extremely windy, and the predicted Gail force winds with gusts of 50 mph.

It was definitely windy.  I made the best of the situation, and I got on the boardwalk with not much cover to block the winds of the beach. I was proud I negative split the race. Around the halfway point, I saw if I didn’t crash, I would run about a 1:28. I made it my goal to run under 1:28. The last few miles averaged low 6:40s and a few 6:30s to haul to get under there. I don’t know why 1:27.X just made me feel better. I passed one woman around mile 13 and ended up as 6th female.

I’m happy with the effort for the race, but I do wish I had time that reflected the work I’ve put in this training cycle.  (1:27 is a great time, but I do believe I’m fitter in the half distance than that).

Next week starts my taper. I will race one of my favorite races next weekend (maybe this year it won’t be exactly 3 miles…yet claim it’s a 5k).

I’m looking forward to the next two weeks and what taper brings.  It’s going to be extremely busy for me anyway, so it couldn’t come at a better time.

Posts from the Week:

Are Racing Flats Right for You?
Heros to Hero 5k (19:12) 

Questions for you:
What is your least favorite condition to run in?
Heat? Torrential Downpour? Wind? White Out Snow? 50 Degrees and Sunny?
What was your best workout last week?

On Cloudace Shoe Review

On Cloudace Shoe Review

The Cloudace is a brand new, highly cushioned shoe from ON.  As most readers and followers know by now, I prefer a well-cushioned shoe for training.  The more cushion, the better.  When On created the On Cloudace, I knew it would be a shoe I would eventually try.

If you are someone who is injury prone or likes a well-cushioned shoe, the On Cloudace is going to be a good fit for you.

If you have never run in ON before, they will feel different.  I’ve run in the ON Cloudflow and the ON Cloud Surfer before. On claims it’s cushioning that doesn’t change or break your stride but supports you how you need it.

On Cloudace shoe review

The “Clouds” at the bottom of any of their shoes are adaptable and cushion both horizontal and vertical forces.  This means it will feel soft but also responsive. When you strike, the Cloud technology lock and form a supportive foundation.  For the most part, I’ve always felt that in each model I’ve run in.

Watching videos of this visibly happening is cool. I actually appreciate brands you can see their technology.

Fit:

Like many running shoes, there are no seams in the upper.  Usually, in women’s sizes, I wear between 10-11 wide.

On doesn’t make wides at this point, so I chose a 10.5.  It fits well, but given the option, I would have preferred a 10.5 wide.  Other than that, it fits fine, and I haven’t had any issues with needing a different size.

If you have bunions or extremely wide forefront, your feet might not fit well into On.

On Cloudace shoe review

Ride:

To date, the Cloudace is one of the stiffest shoes I’ve tried.  You can feel it’s that it’s maximum cushioned shoe without feeling weighed down.  Like mentioned, it’s supported where I personally need it.

The Cloudace itself is stable and responsive. With the weight, that is rare for shoes.  When I tried it on, I wasn’t sure how responsive it would actually be.  Would my foot melt into the cushion?  Would I be able to run “fast” in the shoe?

I’ve done a few short workouts in it, and I have run about the same pace.  I’ve also done a few easy runs in it and felt good.  For me, it will fit in nicely as a recovery run shoe.  I can run fast, but I prefer other shoes to run fast in.  Having such a wide range for a shoe is rare. If you’ve never worn On before, you’ll notice the “Clouds” at the bottom of the shoe.

On Cloudace shoe review

If you have ever run in Newton or adidas, you might appreciate On, because they do feel fairly similar. (I ran through 17 pairs of 4 lug Newton Gravities many years ago).

The only, drawback of the Cloudace is the price point.  While most shoes that are of similar cushioning level are between $140-$160, the On Cloudace comes in at $200.  It’s definitely one of my most expensive running shoes but I’m hoping it will be more durable than many others.  So far I’ve put about 100 miles on the shoe and it could easily be mistaken as brand new.

Current Shoes I’m running in:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080

Recovery Runs: Hoka One One Clifton 5, On Cloudace

Workouts/Races: Nike Fly, Nike LT Racer, New Balance 1400

Questions for you:

Have you tried On?

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Last week was all about recovering from the Boothbay Half Marathon, getting in miles, and building back fitness.  I contemplated running a race, but I didn’t feel like running a 5k in the pouring rain and after a late night.

I still managed to get workouts in and good workouts at that.

Monday: 4-5 Mile Hike through Wells State Park (Mass)
Tuesday: 60-minute easy run
Wednesday: 12X400 (averaging 6:00 min pace)/400 jog between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60-minute easy run
Saturday: 60-minute easy run
Sunday: 17 miles with 8 at 6:58 pace

Thoughts:

As most people know, my easy runs are just that, easy.  Boring but an essential part of training.  I don’t typically bring a watch, and I could run 12-minute miles for all I know.

Since my tibia fracture in 2011, I’ve never really had the issue of going “too fast” for easy days.  Running easy doesn’t bother me.

I’ve actually recovered well from the Boothbay half last weekend.  Some races seem to take forever to recover, but for whatever reason, I’ve recovered well from Boothbay.  I think partially because while I tried my hardest for the day, under different circumstances, my legs could have run faster, so they feel like they did a workout not my fastest half marathon ever.

Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6-minute pace with 400 jog in between

This is my favorite workout, and that’s why I like to do it.  Right now, if I feel up to getting a workout in, it is typically this one.  It’s one I can set in my GPS watch, and it will beep when it’s time to run fast or run easy.  I do it on the roads because that is typically where I race. I won’t do the workout on back to back weeks, but I haven’t been doing a workout every week either.

On to the workout itself, it was extremely hot that day, and I was shocked at how fast I went.  I was not expecting to average 6 min miles in 80+ degrees.  I felt good about that.

Sunday:  17 mile with 8 at 6:58 pace

I wanted to get a good tempo/long run in. Lately, I’ve been enjoying my long runs and running a workout in them.   The weather last Sunday was balmy. It was low 60s and pouring rain the entire time. I started off easy but as I continued to run, I felt better and my last mile was 6:46. I’ll take that weather over the 80 degrees for running (not for anything else ha ha).  I’m proud of the run and I couldn’t have asked for a better workout.

Next Week:

The upcoming week is busy preparing for my husband’s deployment.  It’s sad but it’s part of the life. Then next Weekend I’m off to Dayton, OH to run the Air Force half marathon. I ran it last year and I enjoyed myself.  (My husband competed for the MAJCOM challenge for the Air Force…this year he is not and probably going to run the race with his dad).  My goal for the race is to be a little faster than Boothbay depending on the weather.

Posts for the Week:

August Training

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon Recap (1:29.50)

Why Collagen Post Run?

Questions for you:

How was the weather where you are?

What is your favorite type of weather to race in? 

Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

There are so many small factors that play a role in how a shoe fits or the appropriate shoe for your feet.  No matter who you are, finding the right shoe can be tough and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a sizing issue, stability issue, or you’re constantly injured.  There are many factors that people don’t realize play a role when determining a shoe.

Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes

As someone who works in a running specialty shoe store, I highly recommend going to your local store and getting fitted.  Sure, you can ask the internet for advice, but they aren’t staring at your feet and visually watching you.  Bloggers might tell you it’s the “best shoe ever,” but they probably got it for free.  I have yet to see a sponsored post for the number one selling shoe in the industry.

Think of it this way, everyone has a favorite “different color,” and everyone has an opinion of the “best shoe.”  But in case you wondered, there is no best-running shoe.

So What are a Few Factors that Could Mean You’re in the Wrong Shoes?

Continuous Ankle Sprains: 

If you constantly have ankle pain or sprain your ankle, you might need a different shoe.  Maybe you need stability, or maybe the shoe has too much stability.  Too much support can lead to an injury just like not enough support.  Make no mistake, support and cushion are two very different features of a shoe.

Toes Going Numb: 

If your feet go numb, you’re not in the right in the right shoe size.  Maybe the shoe is too small, too narrow, or not the right shape.  Or maybe there isn’t enough padding in the forefront for you.  If you’re feet fall asleep while running, you aren’t in the right shoe.

The toebox plays one of the greatest roles in brands.  Not only is it best to find the shoe with the right support, but it’s also best to find the shoe that is best fitted for your foot shape.  If you have long narrow toes, short toes, or even a full toe box all determine how a shoe fits.  Some brands are naturally wider while others have a more pointy top to them.

This goes for examining your toes too.  If your second toe is longer than your first toe, you’re more likely to develop bunions or hammer toes.

If you get blisters on the tops of your toes or your toes go numb, the shoe is either too narrow or too short for you.

And no, you should not lose toenails while running.  It’s not a runners “badge of honor” it means your shoes are too short.

Your Feet Get Bigger, and No One Cares:  

As you age, your feet will get longer or wider.  This happens even if you didn’t put on weight, have children, or do anything different.  Women: this almost always happens after you have children.  What ultimately happens is your aches slowly begin to flatten which can create longer or wider toes.  If you’ve “always been a size 7” it will probably change.  And guess what…How many people do you actually ask their shoe size?  How many people’s shoe size do you actually care about?

Ladies: Stilettos  and Narrow Shoes Cause Bunions:

Look, I’m no stranger to stilettos, in fact, mine are more expensive than any running shoe I’ve ever worn.  But cramming your feet into stilettos and pointy pumps causes bunions.  I try to at least alternate between peep toes and pointy so my toes can breathe somewhat.  You don’t have the “worst feet ever”, you just have bunions.  Women’s shoes go up to double-wide to accommodate this now.

There are More Ways to Lace a Running Shoe than there are Actual Running Shoes:

I won’t pretend to know every trick and tip, but there are plenty of articles depending on your issue.  There is the runner’s knot that can secure your heal more into place.  Skipping certain eyelets in the shoe can alleviate stress for people with high arches.  How you lace your shoes makes a huge difference on how the shoe fits.  Heck, I’ve run in shoes 1-2 sizes too big by manipulating the laces.

I will always tell people to get fit and to shop local.  As someone who works in specialty, there are so many advantages of getting fitted versus buying online.   The store associates know brand shapes, sizes, and structures of shoes.  It might take you hours of research when it takes us 5 seconds to determine the most appropriate shoes. Plus, running stores help keep the running community thriving.  Anyway, these are just a few factors that play a role in your shoes. Having the most appropriate shoe for your foot is the best piece of advice.

There is no perfect shoe, just a perfect shoe for you.

Questions for you:

Have you been fitted for running shoes?

What are your favorite shoes? 

June Training

June Training

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July!

Training wise, usually June is a tough month for me.  It was an “easier” month because I did run but it was in the bottom of how months have gone.  It’s hot, humid, and I’m not adjusting to the weather well.  To be honest, I like the heat far more than the cold, I’m just not adjusting to the weather well.

Anyway, I did put down some races but none were anything to say: “the best race ever”.  I had fun at each though.  The Newport 10 miler being my favorite as I got to see my family.

Miles Run:
Range of Paces: 6:07-12:03-untimed.
Rest Days:
Races:
Newport 10 Miler (1:03.57)
Fathers Day 5k (20:06)
Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Thoughts:

Looking back I ran nearly all of these races at the same pace.  Running a 5k and 10 miler at the same pace is probably not the indicative of fitness but the weather, course, and training all played into account.  There isn’t a whole heck of a lot to say right now.  June was a busy month and I think July will be as busy.  While yes, running is fun and I enjoy it, it’s not the only thing I like.

The summer, for me, isn’t about grinding away at PRs, it’s about having fun.  I don’t want to train hard because I would rather do that when I’m less busy.  I like to be outdoors hiking or just relaxing as much as I like to be outdoors running.  

View this post on Instagram

Making the most of the longest day of the year. 😎🌞

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Plans for the Rest of July:

We are already 5 days into July! Anyway, my plans are the same as June.  I will run when I can and enjoy the process along the way.

Posts from the Month:
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

Running:
Rest is Best
Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy
Benefits of Racing Frequently
Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Other:
Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen
Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Questions for you:
How was your fourth of July?
How was the month of June?

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Last week was a blur.  I actually had a hard time remembering what I even ran last week!  Some weeks I’m on top of writing a training log, other weeks I’m not.  Thank goodness for looking back at Instagram I guess.

me running

Monday: 60 minutes easy
Tuesday: 8-mile hike at Hartshorne Park
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60 minutes easy
Saturday: Cape May 10k (41:07)
Sunday: 13 mile easy run

All of my easy runs were just that, easy.  To be honest, I felt good in the beginning of the week and then by Friday I felt like Broad Street hit me!  There wasn’t enough time to do any workouts between Broad Street and the Cape May 10k, so I didn’t.

Cape May 10k: 41:07

I’ll have a full recap of the race, but it wasn’t my day.  My legs were tired, it was windy, and to add to my list of issues, I accidentally ran in old trainers.  Around mile 5, my feet started burning.  Not in a broken bone way, but in a “something is weird way”.  After the race, I realized I never changed into my racing shoes and was wearing old trainers.  These were trainers I retired from running altogether but decided they could still be ok for walking around.  No wonder my feet hurt, I was basically running a 10k on concrete.

I ran the April Fools half marathon 10k split as well as Broad Street in low 38, so racing a 10k in 41 isn’t a great time for me right now.  A 41 minute 10k is fantastic for many people, but it’s not awesome for me right now. Not a big deal, and I still had a lot of fun down the shore.  Do bad races stink? Of course, we all do but I’m already over it.

On Sunday, I had planned to run about 10 but literally ran into a few friends during my run.  I ended up running about 5 miles with them, which caused me to be out longer than I anticipated.  I’m glad I decided to run with my friends, and I can’t remember the last time I ran 13 miles straight through at a relaxed, comfortable pace.  It was nice to change it up.

Thoughts from the Week:

In all, I had a good week. The 10k didn’t go as I had hoped (My “C” goal was to break 40), but running is funny like that.  You’ll never feel good at every race.  If you do, you are probably going to test positive for something…

My plan for the remainder of May is just to have fun.  I have a lot going on the next few weeks, and I’ll still run, but I’m not going crazy.  My races might slower than the Spring, but it’s okay.

Posts from the Week:

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Exploring Cattus Island Park in Toms River

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Questions for you:

Do you have any 10k wisdom?

How was your week of training?

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