Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Gear

Nothing makes running fun like new gear.  Okay well maybe a trail or running partner or race.  Okay, new gear makes running fun.  I went back to The North Face and used my gift card to get a new hat and new socks.  My old hat is two years old and I wear it all the time.  It is beginning to look a bit beat up.  This better than naked hat is super light and fits well.  I have heard about smartwool and how great it is.  The guys at TNF educated me as to how polyester moves moisture but doesn't remove it like smartwool does.  It made me feel as if my dumbsocks were not good enough.  Of course after getting these things I needed to go for a run to test it, Duh!  The socks were amazing! I thought I left the house with out a hat until I looked up and realized I was wearing a hat.  It was a very humid day and my feet had no hot spots after 6 miles.  Gear CHECK!

     This was not the only gear I bought today.  Online I found a great deal on a hydration system.  I was planning on buying a Nathan Quick Draw to match the one I have, so I have two for my training and race.  I got an offer for 10$ off at MooseJaw and saw they had CamelBak FlashFlo.  I was able to get it for 30$ and change.  With the 15$ I was going to spend on the Nathan and the $15 I got for fathers day I figured this was a good upgrade.

      I also made the decision on what kind of shoes I would like.  When the budget allows it I hope to score a pair of Montrail FluidBalance or Montrail Mountain Masochist ii.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Trail Shoes

     I may be in the market for a new pair of shoes.  My trainers have 130 and 100 miles on them.  I have a pair of zero drops with 30 miles on them, but they are rarely used because I need something with more support.  I figure about 500-600 more training miles and that is 380-430 miles on my shoes on race day.  I feel like that is getting up there in miles for a race, plus I have a marathon three weeks after that.
     After dinner I went to The North Face to see what kind of shoes they have.  Tried on some shoes that felt like five pound bricks and others that my feet spilled over too much.  There was one pair that fit okay except for a small pinching feeling across the top of the toe box.  Maybe it is tight there for my foot, maybe it is my brain.  These shoes were made for trail OR road.  And it got me thinking.  Do I even need trail shoes.  I currently run on trails in my old Brooks Vapor 10.  In the past I ran on my older shoes since the trail made up for the loss of cushioning.
     So I am currently accessing if I need a pair of trail shoes to run in or just another pair of shoes to help me ease some of the miles.  When I ran some of the course it was packed dirt and sandy, with some small (baseball sized or smaller) rocky decents.  I figure this shoe would run me 65-70$ after gift card and sale price.  I am going to create a short list and see what my best options are.  Any ideas?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rock N Sole 5K?

Let me first start off by saying that this was a great day overall.  It was wonderful to run at 99% effort.  There is always that 1% I can do better at.  It was great to cheer on and encourage others to their finish.  Going into this race I did not have the best attitude.  I felt as if the 5k race was an after thought to the longer race distances.  While I am happy to have anyone compete to challenge themselves and enter a 5k event, I do not like it when walkers line up 4-5 rows from the front of a self seeded corral.  I am sorry if that is rude of me, it is one of my pet peeves of running.  I dislike when I am going to run 7's and someone is set on walking 20's in front of me.  I don't want to toe the front line because I know I cant run 5's.  I am happy others are there to better themselves.  I will even cheer you on and encourage you in your endeavor.  I did this after I finished, I ran back up the course to cheer others on, but only got dirty looks.  I ran back to the start area when runners  doing the longer distances were coming down off the bridge.  I noticed a friend of mine running the wrong way, so I chased her down to see if everything was alright.  A young girl that was running with her needed medical attention.  What an amazing thing to do during a race that is "for you"  I think that just shows who she really is, someone who cares greatly for others.  I did some extra cool down miles with her on course then headed over to mile 11 of the half marathon to cheer on runners.  Everyone there was surprised to see someone that was not a runner.  No dirty looks,  just looks of grit and determination mixed with a few grimaces and wry grins.
  I woke up at 4:30 am to the sound of thunder.  Oh crap,  I told myself as I wiped the gunk from my eyes to check my glaring bright smartphone.  The radar screen confirmed my nightmares, rain! Rain on race day means good luck right, or is that a wedding?  I jumped in the shower to loosen up my muscles, something I do every race day.  Eating breakfast of organic honey grahams I checked the weather, still rain, and twitter, then the weather, still rain.  My mind races as I attempt to figure out what to wear.
    The drive downtown was free of traffic and I was able to find a parking spot 3 blocks from the start for free.  I was amazed and impressed at the police presence before the event.  I waited in the car a few minutes debating how far to warm up.  Threw on my gray shell aka jacket and braved the rain.  I ran out a mile and turned around.  Saw a near by hill so I threw in a surge to near race pace.  Back to the car for a quick uniform change and off to the start line.
 As the "gun" goes off for the start I dodge and weave other runners before I can get into a groove.  I felt great but checked my watch and noticed I should slow down to save some for the end.  The course goes up a freeway overpass and back down, a few turns and your done.  Half way up the "hill" or bridge my watch was showing mid to low 8's.  I didn't think I was struggling too much but I was also staying with the pack of runners.  In past runs if you are the leader of a pack you can slow your pace by a few seconds and the majority of the pack will slow down with you if you back off slow enough.  I might have been taken by this, or the Garmin was reading as if I was running at level ground not on the incline plane up the bridge.   As we approached the turn around I began to count runners, something I do every time there is an event.  I like to know where I stand in relation to the front.  I counted somewhere in the 40's before I hit the turn.  Coming down the hill I just let my legs carry me.  I didn't push it, I just focused on hitting even footfalls and good cadence.  I saw my pace hit sub 7's.  At the end of the bridge there are two quick right turns and a left.  When racing I like to surge on turns to give those around you a sense that they cannot catch you.  A turn and run through the summerfest ground was flat and I was able to stay fast near 7:15-7:30.  A small man made hill I charged up a veer to the left and right I was almost home.   Just two more turns remained, two right hand turns.  Somewhere after 1.7 I started calculating what my finish time should be.  I can break 25 was still in my mind.  2 miles down I figured I could maybe break 24.  Three quarters of a mile left I knew 24's were in reach and with half a mile to go I thought breaking 24 was a reality.  I made one last turn and the end was in sight. Clock above the finish line read 22:03.  Checked my watch and it read 2.97 miles.  What?  I was .13 miles short.  At first I was upset by this.  Maybe my Garmin was off, but when someone else had the same distance I had to wonder.  Regard less of measurement of the course I had a great time.