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March 2014 – Glad it is OVER

The cold, long winter finally got to me during the middle of of March.

4:00 PM Bennie walk on 3-12-14

4:00 PM Bennie walk on 3-12-14

Yeah – me that guy that loves to run, had to force myself to go outside to run. I had “run” directly into the dreaded winter running funk.

The cold, nasty weather just sucked the will to run, you know that mojo thing, right out of me. Even though I sort of kept running, finally I resorted to retail therapy to snap myself out of the funk that I was in. There is something about researching, shopping, then getting a new pair of running shoes that motivates me to run more and which in turn hauled my ass out of the funk that I was getting in.

IMG_20140325_111223_460

So I am back to normal – whatever that is, all I know is that I am back to running more and enjoying it again, instead forcing myself to go run and being consistently inconsistent about it.

Newton Energy

Newton Energy after their first run

I also finished the following books about running:

  • “Running Naturally by Danny Abshire (Newton Running founder)
  • “Eat and Run” by Scott Jurek
  • “Once a Runner” by John L. Parker

and re-read

  • “Running by Feel” by Matt Fitzgerald

Running

I have gone over 500 miles for 2014, which after this winter’s suckiness, I believe is quite an accomplishment for me.

My March runs:

 

RA - Monthly Run Summary

RA – Monthly Run Summary

Here is my start page summary for March:

RA - March 2014 Summary

RA – March 2014 Summary

Almost 175 miles for March, even though I had to fight to get my runs in for a few weeks, I was able to get ‘er done. Hopefully, as the weather conditions start to improve, that it is not quite as much of a struggle to keep running and I can get out and run with a lot less effort to open the door or not have to resort to using the treadmill quite as much.

Injuries

Nothing much is changing in this area, which is probably a good thing, Achilles still starts to bother at about 8 miles, right knee barks a little now and then. I am finally being forced to admit that I just take longer to recover from really high intensity training or long runs. That old quick bounce-back I used to take for granted, well I cannot take it for granted as much as I want to and if I try to do too much too soon, I pay for it.

Running Gear

Online Running Log: I use RunningAhead as my primary running log. Of all the online running logs I have tried, it is the one that works the best for how I want to use one.

GPS Watch: I got a TomTom GPS watch in February and I like how it works as a GPS watch. It picks up the satellite signal quickly and seems to be accurate. However, it does have some quirks and has some features that are not quite ready for prime time. The treadmill mode is nice, but not very accurate the way that I use it, but I can calibrate the mileage to match the treadmill totals at the end of the run – so it works good enough.

The biggest thing I dislike about the watch is how the module doesn’t stay in the watch band when I take the watch off – it just falls out. Which means that the module falls on the ground (tar, cement, rocks, etc.) , becomes a cat toy or finds its way into bottom of the easy chair, side of the bed or bathroom floor – not good things.

See my review post here.

TomTom Watch Band/GPS Module

TomTom Watch Band/GPS Module

Based on my experiences with the TomTom so far, I am not sure that I would purchase it again – not because it is not a quality GPS watch – it is, but because of the design of how the module falls out of the watch band when I take it off. It is annoying and eventually will probably drop one time too many and no longer work. If TomTom comes up with a better retaining system for keeping the module in the band until I want to take it out, I would change my mind.

Running Shoes

I have a 3 shoe rotation of Pearl Izumi running shoes and a new to me pair of Newton Energy’s.

EM/N1 Trails – 50 Mile Review and 200 Mile Review. I have no doubts that these are one of the best running shoes I have ever run in (trail or road). However, mine have a fatal flaw, that if it is a design issue with all the N1 Trails will more than likely stop me from purchasing another pair, when these need to be replaced.

Yes that is my finger sticking out of the side of the tongue upper and when the shoe is flexed there is quite a gap between the two, which allows crap inside the shoe

Yes that is my finger sticking out of the side of the tongue upper. You can do this with almost any shoe, but the tongue on my N1 Trails only overlaps by about a 1/4 inch and when the shoe is flexed there is quite a gap between the tongue and the upper.

At the bottom of the tongue when the shoe flexes it creates a gap between the tongue and the upper, which allows sand and other crap into the shoe a lot more than other shoes I have worn over the past few years. All shoes let in a small amount of sand and stuff, so that is just the way it is where I run, but my experience with how much the N1 Trails let in is beyond what I consider acceptable and sucks big time, considering how much I like these shoes otherwise.

Pearl Izumi could quickly and easily fix this issue by gusseting the tongue, which would add a little weight, but not enough to be all that noticeable. I would trade the slight weight gain, to keep a little sand out of my shoes any day.

Pearl Izumi N1 Trails - Right side view

Pearl Izumi N1 Trails – Right side view

EM/N2 Road Size 9.050 Mile review post. I have used them for my long treadmill runs and have been running outside in them on days when it is clear. So far I really like them and they do not share the problems that the N1 Trails have with tongue/upper gap.

EM/N2 Road Size 8.5 – These are shorter-faster treadmill run shoes and I will probably use them as 5K-10K race shoes. They are just a little too small and begin to bother my Tailor’s Bunionette if go over 8.0 or so miles in them.

Newton Energy (woman’s size 10)See my initial impressions post. I got these off the consignment rack and yes they are a woman’s size 10. Sometimes woman’s shoes with a narrower heel and if the toe box is wide enough fit better than the men’s models.

The Pearl Izumi EM line just seems to let me run comfortably (even though they are a firmer shoe than I usually like) and I have had less problems with them than any other shoes that I have run in in a long time. Between Pearl Izumi, Skechers and possibly Newton’s (they need a lot more miles on them before I go singing their praises too much), I feel that I have a very nice line-up of running shoes that actually work for me at all the distance and terrains that I run.

Racing

No races in March. I could have gone to a couple, but to be honest, I am not all that into the racing scene for now and am enjoying just running without the added pressure of performing on race day.

The reality is that

I am ready for winter to be over and the rains that we have had over the past couple of days is helping to diminish the amount of snow around, but I am ready for shorts and t-shirt weather.

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2 Comments »

  1. These past couple of weeks have allowed me to test my ‘running mojo’ – last week we had days in the 40s and a morning where it was 0F. I found that my mojo was like a light switch – I would suck it up and slog on the cold days and joyously run the warmer days. This winter has definitely beat the crap out of me in terms of how many sub-zero days I have endured!

    • Yeah, I am noticing the same thing – definitely, but the good news was – today hit 50 degrees during a run in shorts/l.s. tech shirt, feeling better and spring is coming – I can see the driveway again 🙂

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