Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The one about shoes and buffaloes
Well, I was on track to run 1500 miles for the year. I've run all of 4 times since I've last posted. I've been sick with a bad cold / weak flu. I don't get colds often and when I do they never last long, usually 3 - 5 days at most. I'm coming up on 2 weeks now with symptoms that haven't changed: Snotty and scratchy. It's the worst cold that I've had in about 15 years. I remember living in England in 1994 and getting a flu shot (haven't gotten one since) and being sick for 3 weeks before going in to the doctor for antibiotics. With this cold dragging on I'll be picking up those antibiotics tonight on the way home from work.
So my monthly stats for October ended up looking like this:
Time: 18h 9m
Barefoot miles: 6
That and the 2.5 slow miles I ran on the treadmill at lunch yesterday put me at 1230 miles for the year so far.
I'm still sick so I probably shouldn't have run today but I've been going stir crazy missing all the exercise I've grown used to. The upside of being sick is that I don't have much of an appetite lately so I shouldn't be too shocked when I step on the scale again in the near future.
The other thing that's been gnawing at me since getting sick are the two new pair of shoes that I got for my birthday last month. My sister was feeling quite generous and gave me a substantial Amazon.com gift card that I used to buy two pair of shoes, several books on running and nutrition (nerd!) and a Nathan bladder system.
The shoes I bought are the New Balance MT101 and the Brooks Launch:
I've been following the hype on the newly released MT101 shoes and reading reviews online. I've never cared much for New Balance shoes so I was a little skeptical. I ran in them twice before I got sick and other than rubbing against a rough spot on one of my pinky toes they felt pretty good. They're much less built up and have lower mid-foot and heel cushion than any other shoes I've run in. I can't wait to get out on some proper trails for a longer run to really check them out. They weigh probably half of what my Brooks Cascadias do and it's quite noticeable. I'm hopeful that these will really work well for me.
I just ran in the Launches yesterday at lunch on "The Machine" for a paltry 2.5 miles at 9min pace. They're one level of cushion and support less than the Defyance, the last pair of Brooks road shoes that I've been running in. I've had really good luck with Brooks lately (except as a shoe tester where they have no love for people who wear larger sizes) even if I have to pay for them myself. I tried on the Launch a few months ago at a running store I like in Seattle but wasn't ready to buy them yet. Now that I'm not a heel striker any more I hope that I'll be able to move down to the lighter / less cushioned shoes. The color combination (Cardinal / Orange) is really bright but I kind of like it. The MT101s come in a dark green color scheme that was out of stock to my disappointment.
The Nathan bladder system was something that I bought in reaction to my results at Baker Lake a few weeks ago when I was massively dehydrated and cramping up. The Bladder is on the back of a loose vest and is very popular among ultra runners. It holds 2 liters, so using that along with a bottle or two should work well for me on runs with a long distance between aid stations. I've never liked running with a bladder on my back in the past but I see so many other people with them at races that I hope it's something I can get used to. Bombing a race because of poor hydration is a pretty dumb mistake to make.
So, to sum up: I'm still sick, I miss running dearly, and I've been reading an excellent book lately called "Running With The Buffaloes" by Chris Lear. It's presented as a series of journal entries written by someone following the Univ. of Colorado Cross Country team over one season. The level of competition and the training that these kids put in is incredible. It might not be a great read for everyone but as a running geek I can't put it down. It just fascinates me and reaffirms my love of running. Let me know if you want to borrow it when I'm done.