The wheels are spinning…

You know I’m busy when I only have time to post a single picture…

But isn’t a picture worth a 1000 words?

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Remember: Running Shoe Turnover

Did you know:

  • You should swap out shoes at least every 500miles? Sometimes, depending on the shoes, it’s more frequent than that. Lighter weight shoes typically don’t last as long.
    • For example, I tally mileage on my Saucony Hurricanes. When I hit 350miles, I order a new pair (because I’ll probably get to 500 in the next week or two)
    • My Fastwitch 3s are my designated intensity-workout-only shoe. I try to minimize the mileage on these babies, and swap them out after ~4wks of training and 2-3 races. That’s about 150miles.
    • I try to race on fresher shoes that have been slightly broken in. 2-5 runs usually gets them there (just when the laces fit nice)
  • Not every shoe is right for you?
    • Some people need support. Some people don’t. To run in the wrong shoe can lead to injury. Visit your local running store and find out what shoe is best for you.
  • It’s important to let your shoes ‘refresh’ after a run?
    • The soles of your running shoes are likely made out of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) which provides cushioning. It’s an elastomeric polymer, and it is typically happy to return to its original shape after being loaded. However, over time, EVA “packs out” because the little microscopic EVA foam gets compressed together to a point where it isn’t so happy to return to its original shape. If you let your shoes recover after a run, you give them more time to return to their original shape for your next run. It’s still not a good idea to try and get more than 500miles out of them, but the shoes hopefully won’t feel so dead when you’re out on your second run for the day if you’re in a different, “refreshed” pair. If you plan on doing 2-a-days, grab a second pair of shoes to rotate between.
  • you should store your shoes in a cool, dry, dark place?
    • UV can break down the EVA and suck the life out of your shoes. Keep them out of the sun (put them in a box or in a shaded area) and keep them cool (try not to keep them right by the heat vent for a long period of time) and you have a better chance of feeling good in the shoes through 3-400 miles.

I just ordered a new pair of racers for the Salt Lake City Marathon next month, the Saucony ProGrid Guides. They are a little lighter than the Hurricanes, but have more support than my lightweight trainers, the Fastwitch 3s. I am hesitant to use the FT3s for the full distance, open marathon. Last fall at the Columbus Marathon, I wore the Brooks ST3s and – although I went mega-fast – I fell apart biomechanically in the last five miles. I figure I need some more support, at least for now, to get me through the longer distance race.

I also ordered a replacement pair of the Saucony Hurricanes. I recently bought some of the ProGrid Omni 8s, and they just don’t do it for me. I feel sluggish and heavy… but that could be because I have been using them mostly for Ingot repeats. I think they allow my feet to pronate too much without being lightweight like my trainers. Nothing like trying them all, eh?

Come see how good I look

City Light crew sock. One of four pairs of socks I own that I am not allowed to use for running (under my own discretion).

Zoolander is probably one of my favorite movies. Ok, it’s a little dumb. And it might be one of two movies that I find Ben Stiller entertaining and annoying at the same time. But dumb is good. It’s a movie where I don’t have to think, I can just laugh and cling on to the catchy phrases for weeks to come.

So, “what’s the dealio, yo?” Well, yesterday, when I got a boatload of new-clothes goodies in the mail, I decided to play “Come see how good I look!”. I will admit that spending several hundred dollars on new clothes is probably not in the best interest of a grad student. But, when you live several hundred miles away from a mall and the only shopping you do is for groceries and the occasional bike part, a splurge every once in a while probably balances out (I can honestly say that I haven’t been in the door of a Macy’s in over four years). After my ride yesterday afternoon, and a quick shower, I tried on everything outta the box (as any girl should when delivery of new clothes occurs). Since I was in such desperate need of some nice, casual clothes, I didn’t feel so bad about making room in my drawer by pulling out ratty old race shirts. I have  committed to donating approximately three thousand pounds of race shirts, sweaters and jeans from high school, and shirts that I have and have never worn (except to try on) to Goodwill when Baberaham and I move out of our apartment. So, as soon as the 2010 Spring/Summer line came out at Icebreaker, I was all over it. Good news, the clothes (all eight items) came in a box the size of a shoebox. Way to be environmentally conscious, IB!

It’s that damn Icebreaker, and it’s so hot right now! Icebreaker.

Amazon Scoop, Butterfly Line (Superfine 150 Print)

Along with throwing another GT item in my training-clothes drawer (I got the GT Dash long sleeve, in thistle; absolutely gorgeous color), I also decided I needed some jazzy short sleeve casual shirts.  I really like the feel of the Superfine 150 tops, and I am now actually afraid that I won’t be able to wear a “normal” cotton shirt again. The tops fit through the waist, and are even a little on the long side. The Amazon Scoop neck is a little wider (more like a boatneck) than deep (no cleavage here!). It might fit differently for more (ahem) well-endowed-in-the-chest women.

Tech Tee Lite, Sunrise (Superfine 150 Print)

The Tech Tee Lite is more like an athletic fit, and it has a really rad pattern across the back. I really like the tight-fitting of the sleeves. I don’t have to worry about raising my arm and my armpits showing (I loathe cap-sleeves), nor do I have to worry about readjusting the shirt because the sleeves are too tight. I wouldn’t put myself in the scrawny-arm category, so I am quite satisfied with the fit of these sleeves.

Next thing, after trying it all on, was to go to Icebreaker.com to see where my new wears came from. Such a sweet feature! Practically all the Icebreaker gear come with a tag on the inside with a “BAACode”- where you can plug in the code online and see where the wool that made your apparel came from.

My Amazon scoop top came from one of three sheep stations on the South Island.

Abbie is an ambiturner.

She looked left!

Abbie approved, and she couldn’t help but snuggle up next to me in my new shirt (and show me her Zoolander skills). For those of you who have never met Abs, you should know that she is not the most social of butterflies and usually avoids sitting near me at any cost (but for some reason she really enjoys the company of Baberaham who takes pleasure in making her life miserable). Nonetheless, having her approach me in my new soft shirt must have been a seal of approval.

Lastly, I got my first long-sleeve dress shirt, merino wool Meridian in Fiesta. The color is quite pink, and it matches the colors online. In fact, all the tops are practically the same shade as that online. No disappointing “Well I thought it was more pink than that!”- Not that I really want more pink (I’m not so much a pink-girl). But I really like the color. It’s earthy and the top fits nearly perfect. Again, its long through the waist. The sleeves are long and the edges and seams are very delicate. The top is a little see-through, so I will definitely have to throw a camisole under it.

The longsleeve Meridian in Fiesta makes for a nice, professional v-neck top.

I'm really worried that merino wool undies will spoil me ...

I also got my first pair of merino wool undies, the Nature bikini. It came in a box with a really awesome photo of New Zealand. Man, I miss that place.

Here’s to having a little piece of New Zealand with me every day. On my feet, my bum, or my torso. Woohoo! Seriously, there has to be more to life than looking really, really, ridiculously good looking.

New kicks and training tricks

Flashy (and glittery) ProGrid Omni 8s

I’ll admit it; I fell behind a bit in training. I lost motivation to get out and cross country ski. I have been staying up late (well, until 11pm or so) and waking up late (7am), and haven’t been hitting the gym like I want to. My hours are lower than I want them to be because of that, and because of the whole bout of lung irritation I have been dealing with for over two weeks.

But this week, I got back in the game. I did some threshold repeats with my buddy, Erik (although I didn’t do them too aggressively, thanks to the aforementioned asthma). I got in the pool. More than once. And I will even matched my planned training volume (well, so long as I make sure to get a long run in tomorrow).

I credit getting back on track with something that lit the fire: a new pair of shoes. Lucky for me (because maybe I needed a bigger flame under my butt), I got two pairs. I bought a pair of Saucony ProGrid Omni 8’s and a flashy pair of racing flats, last year’s Saucony Fastwitch 3’s.

There's supposed to be two holes, but this was an easy problem to fix, thanks to Baberaham's toolbox!

Both shoes are sweet. The Omni’s have glitter on them (bonus) and are a comfortable, stabilizing, and responsive pair of shoes. The only downside: the pair I got was missing one of the lace holes, but that was an easy remedy with a spade bit. So far, the shoes are so good.

Look fast, think fast. Fastwitch 3s

I’m really geeked about the awesome deal I got on the Fastwitch 3s on Saucony‘s online store. The new Fastwitch (the Fastwitch 4) shoes have been released, so the old Fastwitchers that are still in stock are on closeout for $64. Since I was ordering the Omnis anyway, I got free shipping on my order to boot (free shipping on orders over $75 bucks). Talk about a steal.Nothing could get better for a poor graduate student like me.

check out the mesh liner on the inside of the shoe. No sopping wet shoes for me this year!

the soles of the Fastwitch 3s

I’m super excited to race triathlon in these racers. The Fastwitch 4s are the perfect color, too (Trakkers green, anyone?!). Underneath the shoe insert, a water-drainage system of bright yellow mesh lays between my foot and the sole. The lining of the shoe is smooth and frictionless. Plus, the shoe has a roll post to prevent my foot from overpronating. All wrapped up in 6.2 ounces. Awesome. What’s more awesome? The Fastwitch 4s are even lighter and have an even smoother and softer fabric upper. I think I found my new speedwork shoe.

And my new training tricks are rolling out. This week, I’m starting Motivation Mornings, which means I go to bed early so I can get up early and get my butt to the SDC. I think that if I can get through one week of 6am arrivals at the gym, I can easily continue to do so for the rest of the spring (routines are awesome).

I’m also planning a Swim Week (although not nearly as badass as Charisa‘s) to get me grooving into swim-shape. More tricks for swim training? Using TriSwim makes swimming completely manageable. I think part of my hatred of chlorine-ridden pool time was the way I smelled for the rest of the day. Now that I have a supply of TriSwim, I think my hair will actually be in better shape than it was before I started spending so much time in the pool. Plus, it removes the stinky stench of pool that would otherwise ruin my day. Trust me, chlori-melon is not a scent-of-the-week at Bath and Body Works. I’m also geeked about getting a new swimsuit or two, because nothing says “get yer ass in the pool” like a new suit. 🙂