Weekly Rundown

Well, I completely ignored that pesky 25% rule. You know, the one that says you shouldn’t increase your mileage by more than 25 % per week to prevent injury or muscle stress.

I wanted to run 2 miles on Tuesday, but I had some time issues–as usual–and only managed one. Then I thought, I could do a reverse pyramid: one more mile every day. And I did ­čÖé

I would like to say, for me, blowing the 25% rule worked. Not suggesting it for everyone. But I felt fine during my first run the following week, which makes me think I really have been slacking and I am in shape to do more than I had been. I pretty much leapt from 7-9 mile weeks to a 15 mile week and my body didn’t argue with me. Guess I better keep it up!

Monday: off

Tuesday: AM run, but somehow getting out of bed did not seem that attractive. By the time I got down to the treadmill, I only had time to do 1 mile. And quickly at that: 7-7.7 MPH for a brisk pace. I used #1 incline to make it a just a little harder for me. I hit the dang safety after .2 mile and had to start over, I did run a full mile after replacing.

Wednesday: AM run again, 2 miles this time to keep with the plan of adding on a mile each day. Love it when a plan comes together. I did some PM yoga when I got home from work. Only 14 minutes, but it was mostly strength poses that made me feel good ­čÖé

Thursday: I took the day off from running, and did my resistance training on the Alpha Ball in the evening. I did 1×15 of the B set, plus 4 exercises from A. B is very core intensive, I can always feel my tummy the next day. I pushed my knee too much during my yoga stretches, and it was quite stiff as I went up to make dinner. Fortunately it bounces back pretty well these days, and felt fine the next morning.

Friday: I decided to take my running outside–my first 5K is next week! So I did my personal 5K, that I haven’t done since last fall. Um, it SUCKED. First were the hills. Either the treadmill inclines are not enough, or I am not doing enough of them. Personally, I am going with no treadmill can prepare you for real hills, especially when there are seven of varying steepness and length in the course. Then there was the wind. On the way back I was coming up a hill with the wind being channeled down by trees and for a moment I wondered if I was actually making progress! I knew I was picking my feet up and down, didn’t feel like I was going anywhere. And as I passed the blueberry fields the wind blew each exhalation back down my throat. I still hadn’t quite figured out my sneakers and my feet got uncomfortable after 2.5 miles. Not hurting, just uncomfortable. But, on the bright side, I did it! 3.36 miles outside. And it was sunny–frigid, but sunny. I regained my breath with a 6 minute yoga stretch after, then called it a day.

Saturday: I had exchanged my sneakers–again– the previous day when we went to town, getting Brooks Glycerin 19s. I had tried on the Glycerin 20s and didn’t like them but the 19s seemed better so I brought them home. I did a test run on the treadmill–I can exchange them as long as I don’t get them dirty, so no outdoor runs til I want to keep them! I did 4 miles (there was my extra mile). The run itself felt ok, considering I hadn’t run that far in forever, but 4 miles on a treadmill is, well, 4 miles on a treadmill! I chose to do it a a solid 6 mph to work the sneakers in. This pair lasted longer, but my feet were feeling uncomfortable by the end. I took Daisy out to walk beforehand to warm up, we did 2.04 mile in 34 min. We jogged a bit up the hill on the way back, which is what made me decide to get on treadmill as soon as we got back instead of later.

Put the bigger beasties out back so they could run a bit too

Sunday: did my first 5 miles of year. The run felt good, a bit euphoric emotionally since it went so well. But the Glycerins gave me a blister. No running shoe has ever made me blister–in fact, none of my previous shoes ever really had a “break in” period, they were pretty much plug and play. So those sneakers are going back! Walked Daisy again, but I held her back to 1.36 miles so she won’t overdo. She would walk for miles, but I am concerned about her muscles not feeling so good the next day until we get her in shape.

Weekly Rundown

Halfway through February and how am I doing?

Well, I made the mistake of checking my weekly milage since the new year. I am a little depressed, I was below 10 miles for most weeks. And the Ghost 11 sneakers I had bought (because it was hard to find Ghost 10s) just weren’t working out.

I have to say, I love Brooks. I started with the Glycerin and have been through 3 pairs of Ghost 10s. They did not make the 11s the same. I hate it when they change things. I run with a mid/fore strike, and the 11s did fine for about 2 miles, then my feet started feeling numb. The drop didn’t change, and the BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning were the same, but somehow my foot was not liking it.

I took into account that maybe my feet needed some TLC after too much footwork, and I spent some time attacking them with lotion and using a foot massager in between my runs. Didn’t seem to make a difference. So I spent Friday morning researching good sneakers for a mid strike. And then I went shopping.

Monday: off

Tuesday: It was a long day at work, so I just did 21 minutes of “free” yoga when I got home. Free basically means I just flow into whatever pose feels good until my day is gone and I can go make dinner.

Wednesday: My husband went snowmobiling up north, leaving me with more free time than normal on a weekday. I did an AM run (1 mile at 7-7.4 MPH) before saying good bye to him and heading off to work. I decided to do a PM run as well since I was home alone. However, my attempt to pair my headphones with the TV ran into a snag and the app I wanted to watch was very low volume, so I substituted a walk instead. I did a brisk walk at 3 MPH, carrying 1lb weights and inclines 3 and 7 for 17 min.

Thursday: another free evening, so I slept in a few minutes in the morning and had another PM run. This time I ran 2 miles in 16 :50, it felt like it took forever but I made it! I finished up with 9 min of yoga to stretch. Great thing about being home alone–I had salad both nights so I didn’t have to cook!

Friday: My weekly 35 minute run on the treadmill. Since I am trying to go slower occasionally, I set it at 6.0 MPH and did exactly 3.5 miles.

Saturday: a busy day! My husband wanted to go to Portland to a boat salvage, so I figured out everything I’d like to do in the city. We hit Trader Joes, the salvage and a music store–for him. I have no ability beyond enjoying music. Which I do, greatly. Because I knew we wouldn’t be home early (and I had company coming that night) I did my treadmill program workout first thing in the morning. I spontaneously picked #10, which had max speed of 6.8 @ #4 incline alternated with 4.9 and 5.3 speeds with max of #8 incline. Needless to say, I felt well exercised when I was done! The last stop we made before coming home was to shop for sneakers. I tried on several, finally settling on Ghost 12s as they felt more like my 10s. I got them at Dicks, which is great because if I run in them (and keep them clean), I can still return them.

Sunday: my testing sneakers run! I simply planned on 20 minutes, but then they felt ok, so I added another 5 minutes. At that point I was at 2.8 miles, so I figured, hey, lets just do a 5k. Later in the day Daisy and I went for a walk with Jerb and Lelah. Lelah is a friend of mine, and Jerb is a retired greyhound that is a friend of Daisy. Amazingly, her little legs go so fast and his long steps are pretty languid, they really walk very well together and we did a slow 2.26 miles in 49 minutes. The sun was out and there was some melting puddles, but overall, a good time was had by all.

And Some Milestones……

This is my 100th post. Shall we celebrate?

 

And another waypoint: I finally hit the 500 mile marker and my shoes were feeling it. I had noticed that I was feeling stones more through my toe area. But it was when I got on the treadmill that I knew. I do a mid-foot strike when I run, and immediately noticed the lack of padding.

Some sneakers last 150-300 miles, some 500ish. I really don’t know what category mine fell into. When I bought them last year, it wasn’t something I looked at. ┬áLast year I was looking at fit and price. The year before that I knew even less! Of course, as I learn more, the cost of the shoes goes up. But so does my running ability.

This year I expanded my research. First, am I showing my naivety by calling them sneakers? The technical term is, of course, running shoes. In actuality, my running shoes are my running shoes. I don’t do anything else in them, not even walk Daisy. The previous running shoes become the walking sneakers.

So the first thing I did was research. Mizuno, Hoka, New Balance. I am not a brand junkie. If it fits and works, I am happy. My last issue of Fitness had a wonderful article on running shoes. I have been running long enough now that I know what I need, but not always how to translate that to my shoes. So many dang terms! Zero drop, overpronation,  stability, toe box, the list goes on. What does it all mean?

Zero drop means exactly what it says–no height difference between the heel and toe. Most sneakers have a 6mm to 8mm difference with the heel being higher. There has been quite a bit of discussion about whether a zero drop is important or not. It does make you run differently, more like running barefoot with different stressors on feet and leg muscles.

Proponents suggest zero-drop shoes are a safer and more practical way to emulate barefoot-style running.┬áStill, medical experts and running form gurus recommend runners take time to transition to shoes with lower ramp angles than what they’ve been running in, and Harper and Beckstead agree. Even if you’ve been running and racing for years, if you don’t conscientiously work on form and strength along with minimalist running, you could wind up with sore calf muscles, strained Achilles tendons, aching feet or more serious injuries, Dicharry says. Other factors, including a runner’s weight, body composition, past injury patterns, level of fitness and running goals should be considered before making a drastic change in footwear styles*

I did consider zero drop shoes. However, I have high arches and, frankly, running barefoot is not very comfortable for me. I know a lot of runners do run races barefoot and do very well. But they have been running that way for years. I think at this point in my life, barefoot would be hard for me to get used too. No zero drop for me.

Pronation, under or over, is running with your foot rolling towards the outside. This is where stability comes in.

[stability is important for] runners who experience mild to moderate overpronation. This means that they have moderately low arches. Overpronation can cause a lot of strain on the feet since the impact is distributed heavily across the area that pronates. When the foot pushes off from the surface, the ankle and lower leg all experience strain. This situation can even lead to various running injuries. **

Most running shoes are considered either neutral or stable. While individual brands rate their shoes somewhat differently, there are some correlations across the board. The neutral shoes add no additional stability, allowing the foot to fall into its natural placement. There may be a couple of levels of neutral shoes within a brand. Then they move up to the stability shoes, which have several different  stability features built into the shoe to prevent overpronation.  Generally speaking, there are several different levels of stability features within brands as well.

When you think about a running shoe, think about how you feel on a long run–whatever that may be for you. I have wide feet with moderately high arches. If the toe box is too narrow, my toes tend to fall asleep around mile 4. ┬áBecause of my mid-foot strike when running, metatarsal cushioning is more important (and harder to find) than heel cushioning to me.

The next step is to find a store with knowledgable staff. I am going to give props here to Dick’s Sporting Goods. I went to my local store; more just to look, having been advised to try a store in Brunswick but not having time to get there yet. When I got to Dick’s I had the good fortune to find a salesperson who knew his running shoes inside and out. I told him what my running needs were and he helped me try on a dozen shoes (like jeans, be prepared to try on many pairs).

It came down to two pairs of Brooks. Dick’s has an excellent return policy: 30 days to return, even if you ran in them every day before deciding they didn’t work. So I took one of them home. They were a narrow fit, but they were comfortable. Until my feet swelled the next day when I was running on the treadmill. ┬áBack I went and picked up the other pair. They are light and lovely to run in. My toes feel much better after mile 4 ­čÖé So what did I end up with? Brooks Glycerin 12, neutral. And I am ready for the next 500 miles.

 

*runnersworld

**runningshoeswizard