Thursday, January 28, 2010

Newton's Going Off-Roading!

Newton Running announced today that it is releasing a new trail running shoe in July 2010--the Newton Momentum.  We will finally have an off-road shoe with all of the aspects we've come to love about Newtons!  I can't wait to get my hands on a pair and head down to the Texas hill country for a weekend.  Or perhaps a summer trip to Boulder to really test them out right!

Here's what the Newtonians have to say about their latest creation:
The Momentum is an off-road guidance trainer designed for runners committed to a more efficient natural running style. It provides intelligent control for all foot types on all types of terrain, from groomed bridle paths to technical mountain trails.

My only concern right now is that I won't be able to get my hands on a pair until mid-summer! 

I'll get a review up as soon as possible.  In the meantime, you can read more about the Momentum here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet

I had two main projects to complete during those two weeks of Christmas and New Year's where there's not a lot going on at work, and the training is a little on the light side.  Two things.  My wife wanted me to clean up "my" area of the closet.  And I wanted to do my annual cleaning/reorganization of the bike shop.  Guess which one I got done?

Of course, it was the closet.  Gotta keep the CFO happy, or I won't have a bike shop at all!!

Cleaning out the closet reminded me of the ridiculously difficult time I had finding a pair of running shoes that worked well for me.  By "worked well" I mean a pair of shoes that I felt confident in and that I could run in worry and injury free.

Consequently, I spent years switching from one brand and model to another.  Below is a pile of shoes that was hiding at the bottom of my closet from 2008.  I tended to switch them out before I really needed to because I was never happy with them after a month or so of running.  But I also never got rid of them because I was afraid I might want to try them again if they were "better" than whatever I tried next.

In February 2009, I ran the Austin marathon in one of the blue Brooks shoes pictured above.  In March, I started running in Newtons.  And I haven't looked back.  I have never run more consistently and more injury free since college (i.e., before I started listening to the "pros" in the running stores tell me what shoe I "needed.").

Consequently, below are the only three pairs of shoes that I have run in since February 2009. 

The pair on the left were my first pair.  The yellow pair were for racing and some interval training.  And the pair on the right are my current training shoes.  The most shocking part to me is that I only had two pairs of training shoes in 2009.  Two.

Last January, Tory at Newton told me that she couldn't promise that I would be faster, but she did promise that I would recover faster.  That's really what convinced me to give them a try.  And I am happy to say that I ran COMPLETELY injury free in 2009.  I have also been running much more often and more consistent than I ever have in my life (including college).  Oh yeah, and I'm faster than I was last year. 
Gone are the days of stressing about what shoe to try next.  Thank you Newton Running!  After years of foot problems, you have drastically changed my running life.  And for that, I am forever grateful.

Cleaning out the closet will be a lot easier in 2010!  Now, if I could just convince the Newtonians to come help me clean out the bike shop!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Five Dollar Shake

Vince:  "Did you just order a five dollar shake?"
Mia:  "Ummhh."
Vince:  "It's a shake.  That's milk and ice cream."
Mia:  "Last I heard."
Vince:  "That's five dollars?  You don't put bourbon in it or nothin'?"
Mia:  "No."
Vince:  "Just checking."
I just signed up for my first race of 2010.  The Dallas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on March 14.  The entry fee was $100.  Upon seeing the price, I immediately thought of the above scene from Pulp Fiction (the second best movie ever made), which takes place just after Mrs. Mia Wallace orders the "Five Dollar Shake" at Jack Rabbit Slim's.  Vincent Vega cannot believe that anyone would pay $5 for a milkshake.  And I cannot believe that anyone would pay $100 for an event that lasts less than 90 minutes.  But I did.  And I'm sure I will again.  And it will cost me approximately $1.15 a minute.  Hopefully my response after running in what I am now calling the "Hundred Dollar Half" will be similar to Vince's after he tried the "Five Dollar Shake."  (Look it up.  I'm not posting it because I was censored the last time I went above a G rating!).

The plan for the first part of this year was to spend time in the water.  I owe AC (i.e., New Coach--AC are his initials)  a 12 week swimming block, and we'll get to that.  But first things first, I need a solid qualifying time from a half marathon in order to get into a good starting coral for the Chicago Marathon this Fall.  I planned on just taking it fairly easy and going under 1:35 to make sure I'm at least in Coral B.  I have no worries that I can do that without missing a beat in my training.  To get into Coral A, however, I need to go under 1:25:59, which will require significantly more effort without moving me up that much further to the starting line in Chicago.  When I explained this to AC, he responded with:

"If you're going to race, then let's RACE!"

That sounds fun!  And a little scary, since I haven't done any really hard work for him yet.  And I've been complaining about how easy he's making me run and ride.  I've been warned that my time is coming.  And I'm guessing my days of complaining about easy workouts are quickly coming to an end.  Oh boy?!

In the meantime, today marks the halfway point for the 30 Runs in 30 Days challenge.  So far it has been easier than I thought it would be.  Leading into this, the most days in a row that I had ever run was probably five, and that would have been in college.  In the past few years I haven't even run a lot of back-to-back days, much less 30 of them in a row!  This had me a little apprehensive about how my body would hold up.  But once the first week was out of the way, I felt a lot more at ease with these runs.  Rather than getting more difficult as the month goes on, I'm finding that the runs are actually getting easier.  I feel like just 15 days of consistency has already made me more resilient.  Probably because I wasn't allowed to run hard, thus injuring myself. 

Thanks, AC.  I'll try to save my complaining for the whip instead of the leash.

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