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Runkeeper for iPad – The Next Revolution in Running
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said…
Love this picture tweeted out earlier today by @darrenrovell
I remember when the hardest part of being a marathoner was running 26.2. Today the hardest part is getting thru the marathon entry process.
As another follow-up to my post where I mentioned incorporating a more cushioned trainer for long runs once I return to running….I just saw a new blog post on RunningWarehouse.com regarding the upcoming Saucony Ride 6…
Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I’m a HUGE Saucony fan. Though I’ve never tried the Ride before, most Saucony shoes seem to fit me really well (Kinvara, Hattori, Peregrine).
In addition to looking pretty awesome, and being the perfect color, the Ride 6 is supposed to have even more heel cushioning than the 5, and is quite a bit cheaper than the Adidas Energy Boost that I also mentioned in a previous post.
I mentioned in an earlier post about my plan for a change in shoe strategy once I come back from the stress fracture. Since the beginning of 2012 I’ve used the Saucony Kinvara for all training runs, regardless of the distance. While I LOVE the Kinvara, I’m worried that it just doesn’t provide enough cushioning for my stride and foot strike on longer runs.
To that end, I plan to utilize a shoe with maximum cushioning for runs 10-miles or greater, and I am greatly intrigued by the new Adidas Energy Boost trainers that debuted last month.
Adidas has put a lot of marketing dollars behind this shoe, which has generated a lot of hype regarding their new mid-sole “Boost” material. Instead of using traditional EVA foam, their “Boost” technology utilizes TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) that is comprised of 2,500 little plastic pebbles fused together with steam and pressure. Adidas claims this material provides “industry-leading energy return,” maximum cushioning, and increased durability that will not be compromised in extreme cold or hot conditions like EVA foam.
My first reaction was to think this was little more than a marketing gimmick, but many of the early reviews are pushing me toward giving this shoe a shot. Runner’s World named it the “Best Debut” in their 2013 Spring Shoe Guide, and their shoe lab noted that the midsole had the most energy return of any shoe they had ever tested. They also rated the heel cushioning at 99 out of 100, and forefoot cushioning at 82 out of 100, yet the shoe still weighs less than 10 oz. Here is part of the report from their lab:
Adidas made lofty claims about the midsole material in its new Energy Boost shoe, including that it has “industry-leading energy return,” is resistant to temperature changes, and is more durable. But how did it fare when we put it to the test in the RW Shoe Lab? In terms of “energy return,” we can measure how much a shoe springs back–that is, how much of the energy put into the shoe on footstrike is returned on the rebound. Here, the Energy Boost truly is the industry leader: It performed better than any of the almost 800 other shoes we’d tested. Likewise, the claim about temperature resistance checked out. Typical EVA foam gets harder in cold weather and softer in hot conditions, affecting how much cushioning you experience. We tested the Energy Boost’s thermoplastic polyurethane against standard and lightweight EVA foams at 20°F and 120°F, and found it far less affected by the swings in temperature. Lab tests also indicate the foam appears to be more durable. With repetitive footstrikes, midsole material gets compacted as cell walls break down. Much of this happens early in the life of the shoe. Our tests indicated that the Energy Boost experienced half the loss of cushioning performance compared with other shoes with EVA midsoles, when mechanically loaded to simulate the first 10 miles of running.
It also doesn’t hurt that I comes in my two favorite colors….Red & Yellow!
Too bad it retails for $150! Anybody have experience with this shoe?
As part of my obsession with qualifying for Boston, I became convinced that moving my weekly mileage from the 40 to 50 mile range into the 60+ range was required to have any shot at a BQ. I began the process of increasing my mileage in mid-2011, and cranked this up even more in mid-2012 after my 3:12 finish in New Orleans. I doubt it is a big coincidence that this also marked the beginning of the stress fracture cycle I’m currently battling.
With this in mind, I have begun the process of re-evaluating my training plan, schedule, and equipment by looking back at my running and equipment logs from the past several years. There were several things that immediately jumped out at me, and I have decided on at least three changes I plan to make for the remainder of 2013 once I am back from the injury:
- Run no more than 3 consecutive days without taking a full day of rest, and no more than 5 total days in a single week. Since mid-2011, my typical pattern has been to run 6 consecutive days each week, and only take Sunday as a rest day from running. While I wish that my body could handle 6 straight days, I’m thinking that adding one extra rest day per week would greatly reduce my risk of developing another stress fracture. I know that bones need time to recover from repeated impact, and I have not been putting enough emphasis on rest days in my schedule.
- Aim for no more than 1,500 to 1,750 total miles in 2013. Implementing item #1 above should automatically take care of my total yearly mileage, but I want to make sure and keep an eye on it anyway. Back when I was running an average of 4 marathons per year, without injury, my yearly mileage was in this range. It has only been since jumping up to 2000+ miles per year that the injury cycle has started. Maybe someday I can get back to 2000+ miles per year, but right now I need to be smarter about how much my body can handle.
- Utilize shoes with maximum cushioning for training runs of 10 miles or greater. My shoe of choice for almost any type of run has been the Saucony Kinvara. However, prior to 2012, I would almost always use the very cushy Nike Vomero for my Saturday long runs. I transitioned to using the less-cushioned Kinvara for all training runs in January 2012, and again 2012 was when the injury cycle got started. I don’t really want to go back to the Vomero, but am greatly intrigued by the new Adidas Energy Boost, which has an incredible amount of cushioning in a fairly light-weight shoe.
I’m sure there will be other changes to make, but I feel pretty good about this as a start. I just can’t wait to get back out there on the road and start working toward a great rest of 2013.
I got the work in, but oh how I hate aqua jogging! I started out with just over an hour on the elliptical before hitting the pool for just under an hour. So glad that my orthopedist is allowing me to do elliptical.
Also, thankfully today I only had to compete with water aerobics for about 10 minutes, which was nice. Those ladies absolutely own the pool.
Right now I’m enjoying an awesome ham & cheese omelet at Noshville Delicatessen, sitting at the counter next to country singer Vince Gill in his overalls. Typical day in Music City!
It’s only been one official day on the bench from running, but I can already tell that this time is going to be harder than my last stress fracture recovery. When the last one occurred I just chalked it up as a freak thing from pushing too hard in the final stages of my prep for the Milwaukee Marathon last year. Even though I was not able to run, I still had grand plans for 2013.
With this one, the circumstances are different, and my running future much more uncertain in my mind. I know that before I go back to setting goals and signing up for races, I’ve got to do some serious evaluation regarding my training. All of this has left me less than motivated to get out the door and cross train to maintain fitness.
However, my plan tomorrow is to do just that, and I’m thankful that this time around I’m not limited to things in the pool, but can incorporate elliptical, bike, and walking from the start. Also, even though this is disappointing, it is such a small thing in grand scheme of things. I’m so incredibly blessed, that I really have NOTHING to complain about.
I hope everyone that is still out there running will have a great weekend of training and racing. Keep “Beast Mode” going!
In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing…
I suspected it strongly on Tuesday after my morning run in St Louis, and just received the official diagnosis from my Orthopedist of another femoral shaft stress injury. This one is in the opposite leg, but is nevertheless my second in 7 months. Best case scenario is that this is a “stress reaction,” which would mean 4 to 6 weeks of no running. Worst case scenario is a full-blown stress fracture, which would be the typical 6 to 8 weeks like before. Since it does not yet show up on an x-ray, we’ll just have to wait for my four-week follow-up to know which one it is.
While this is obviously frustrating, it is also forcing me to re-evaluate everything with regard to running. As part of this re-evaluation, I have made the decision that I am no longer going to allow the B.A.A. and their outrageous and inequitable qualifying standards to rob me of my ability to run and enjoy other great races.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to run Boston, and I’m still going to strive to excel in running, but at this point pushing myself past my physical limitations for the sake of a 3:10 marathon just doesn’t make any sense. I love to run and I love to race, and right now I’m not able to do either. There are WAY too many other great races out there for me to sacrifice all of them in the hopes of running a BQ.
With this injury I’m going to take a step back and re-assess everything. This includes my goals, my training plan, my mileage, my schedule, my shoes….everything. I simply want to be able to (1) Run/train with my friends, (2) Stay in phenomenal shape, and (3) Participate in great races across the country.
As for next steps, I’m going to hit the pool again for some glorious aqua jogging (and other allowed cross training activities), focus on getting healthy, forget about all races until this fall, and do what I can to ensure a successful race in New York in November.
Beast Mode…On Hold!
The last time I posted about running, it was actually about not being able to run due to a sinus infection and bronchitis. I ended up taking 11 days off because of the illness, but started feeling better on Wednesday.
Thursday – Track Workout
My return was last Thursday night at track with the JSRC. I was feeling decent (though with some definite fatigue), but then right when the workout started, the rain began to pour! Not exactly the best conditions when trying to come back from an upper respiratory illness. The workout was pretty simple, with:
- 3-mile easy warmup
- 6 x 100m stride outs
- 2 x 800m fresh (300m / 400m recovery)
- 2 x 400m good (200m / 400m recovery)
- 2 x 800m fresh (400m / 400m recovery)
- .4-mile cool down
My times were a little off from normal pace, but I think that was to be expected with the illness, the rain, and still being on Augmentin and Prednisone. I was happy with the consistency of my 800m splits, which were 3:07, 3:07, 3:07, & 3:07!
Friday – Shakeout Run
This was a super-easy 4ish mile shakeout run, in my Saucony Hattori shoes, through the streets of Bellevue. My legs felt surprisingly good after track the night before. Nice to get the kinks worked out on an easy run.
Saturday – Long Run
On Saturday Paxton and I drove across town to meet up with Dan, Dawn, Sally, Bob, Kelly, and Judy from our group for the Nashville Strider’s 20-miler on the Stones River Greenway.
I didn’t especially need a 20-mile run, but I knew it would be a comfortable pace, with good friends, and I do want to keep my mileage up since I’m pacing the Country Music Marathon again this year. This is also one of my favorite routes in Nashville, though it is very challenging with over 2,700 ft of cumulative elevation gain…
The temperatures at the start were in the mid 60s, which is a little higher than normal, with fairly high humidity. Thankfully the humidity burned off after an hour or so.
I felt pretty crummy during the first 5-miles, but then things started to settle down and I got into a nice, comfortable rhythm with the group. The hills in the last 3 miles were a bear, but I kept feeling pretty good until Paxton and I finished mile 19 after breaking off from the rest of the group a mile or so earlier.
By far the best thing about Saturday morning was seeing Paxton look really strong, especially at the end. It’s great to see him running so well again after taking a lot of time off last year.
This week we are in St Louis with the kids for Spring Break, so I’m hoping to get in a few good runs at Forest Park before heading home on Wednesday.
runningmyownrace replied to your photo: Sara & Olivia inside the “Electrostatic Generator”…
That’s where I’m originally from! Stop by Ted Drewes for some frozen custard and get some pasta on The Hill! Oh, they also have a fantastic zoo. Enjoy!
Awesome city! You are definitely right on about getting pasta on The Hill. Charlie Gitto’s tonight was crazy good. We’re planning on heading out to Ted Drewe’s tomorrow, and then the Zoo on Tuesday if it will stop raining! Thanks for the recommendations!
Also hoping to get in some miles this week in Forest Park!
We gather to worship the glory of God, and we scatter to reflect the
glory of God.
Billy Joel lets Vanderbilt Student Play Piano with Him
This is AWESOME! Billy Joel is one of my top 5 favorite musicians / entertainers on the planet (if not my #1 favorite!). I have been to see him in concert 4 times in 3 different cities, and Olivia and I had two of his songs in our wedding back in 1997.
Well, back in January of this year, Billy had an event titled An Evening of Questions and Answers and a Little Bit of Music at Vanderbilt University here in Nashville. During the Q&A session, freshman student Michael Pollack stood up and said that Joel’s New York State of Mind was a favorite song of his…
“I was wondering if I could play it with you. I would accompany you, that is,” he said.
After this, Joel invited him up to play, and the kid absolutely Nailed It, even getting some major props from Billy at the end. Really cool to watch. Pollack later discussed the moment in an interview with InsideVandy.com.
Pay attention for a little Sinatra imitation by Joel during the song.