Thursday, September 13, 2012

Newton

I'm officially in my 12th year of running!  Crazy to think that.  Actually, crazy to think and God forbid, say anything like that, dating myself.  I'm realizing this a lot lately, mostly as I'm looking for a new job and reviewing my resume and finding myself looking over my history and experience and realizing I'm no young pup anymore… I didn't just graduate college (even tho I'm still paying for the stupid thing), and I continually get looked over instead of getting carded anymore :(

Not that I'm feeling old or anything lately.  I mean, I'm officially going to enter into my racing age group here in a few months, and realize that turning 35 means I'm getting just that much closer to another decade.

Shit.

Back to my point.  RUNNING!  I really really do have a love hate relationship with it.  I've always loved it, even back when I was first starting and did all my runs on the treadmill.  Even after years of injury resulting in a comeback pace of 11 min miles.  EVEN after thousands of dollars spent on Physical Therapy, ART and a gazillion running assessments, insoles and custom orthotics.  Yup, I still freaking love it.  I love sweating my ass off, breathing hard, chatting with my friends, my husband while running the same loops over and over.  I love running with my dogs.  Watching their ears flap against the wind, and their tongues hanging out the side.  The smiles when we stop and they collapse on the tile to cool down.

I love that I have found lululemon and I've never in my life been so comfortable in running clothes.  Perfect support, no chafing and cute enough to wear anywhere.  My wallet doesn't so much love this, but at least I look cute!

Over the years I've tried just about every stability and neutral shoe made.  Nike, Saucony, Adidas, Brooks, Asics… Yup, tried them all.  No insert, custom insert.  Every time I think I've found the perfect match, the shoe changes and then it all goes to shit.  I get massive blisters or something just feels off.  Last year when I was doing a lot of running/fall racing, I went for yet another shoe/running evaluation and went a little bit out of my comfort zone and purchased a light weight race/trainer.  Not one of the fancy slip on/no sock type shoe, but a big step (for me) in that direction.  I did a lot of races in those shoes and thought it was such a big step for me to finally be able to wear a real RACE shoe!  My IT bands seemed to be doing fine with them, so I was sold.

When I joined Team Newton/Athletes for a Cure for Ironman Canada, part of our sponsorship included 2 pairs of Newton shoes.  I have to admit I didn't really care much about this, I just sorta had this mindset that those were for real runners.  The ones who don't get injured and don't need support.  That or the stupid ones who just buy them cause they are light and look cool.
I went online and picked out the one that was described as stability, the Motus/Motion.  It was bright orange and way retro looking.  When I got the package in the mail and I was instantly in love with the goofy look and then I tried them on and decided even if running in them didn't work out I was still going to be happy!  They felt like a soft, weightless slipper!

I slowly started to build into them.  Running 3 miles here and there.  It took a few runs to get use to the sole having such an extended base (probably more so because I am a klutz and rarely pick up my feet). I started really liking how I felt in the shoes and grabbing them more often, especially for my transition runs.  They just felt GOOD.  

Just before my half ironman in July I tried them out for a 7mile race pace transition run.  It was a hard run, but I felt fantastic and had absolutely no pain in my feet/hips or IT bands.  I decided to wear them for the race.  The run course had so much slanted road running, like so slanted we were actually running next to the curb.  I was totally freaked out, but I finished the run with a new Half IM PR, no blisters and most importantly absolutely NO IT band pain…

My next long run before Ironman Canada was a 22 miler.  I was scared for the distance, but since I was going to unknown territory anyway, decided why not try the Newtons out for the long run too?  

Guess what?  Awesome run, no blisters and again NO IT band pain.  I was sold.  I made the decision to wear them for the marathon and am so freaking happy I did.  Not only did I have a personal best IM marathon split by 35mins, I also PR'd my stand alone marathon time by 13mins on a much harder course.  I never had any pain, ended the race with just a small blister where I always get it.  My feet weren't sore, my hips felt better than they did before the race.

Science and genetic make-up and studies and all that information that consumer goods products throw at us is totally overwhelming.  I'm definitely a try and see kinda person, and as far as I can see Newton shoes are an amazing product!  I'm super excited to keep running in them, and maybe some day I'll be confident enough to try on of their racing shoes.  

As a side note, one of my biggest issues I've had over the years with my running shoes has been the durability.  My shoes last 200-250miles MAX before I start to feel pain in my knees, back, and IT bands.  Add that up and you are spending a lot of money.  I recently talked with the Newton team at IMCA and found out that their shoes typically last about 400+miles and up to 900 on the really experienced runners.  Even though the shoe (that I wear) is pricey at $175, I figured even if they last me 300-350 miles I'm still saving money.  

Right now they are offering a 60day money back guarantee program.  If you have ever thought about trying them, why not do it now?  Shane's next to give them a go.  He's been a Asics runner for about 6 years now…. 

p.s.  no, i'm not sponsored by them, I just love to share when I find something I really really love!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Post Ironman thoughts and activities…or lack there of

It's been just over 2 weeks since Ironman Canada, and after a weekend of laying around on the couch and stuffing my face with (more) chocolate and (more) wine, I'm feeling so much better!  Now, instead of worrying about some nagging pain, soreness or post IM injury I just keep thinking how fat I'm going to get cause I haven't stopped freaking eating!!

Rather than bore you with my last 14 days of activities or lack there of,  think one of my A.D.D. bullet point posts will suffice.


  • I still can't get over my race.  No matter how many times I'm asked about the day, or my highs and lows, my answer is still the same.  It was a PERFECT day.  I still pinch myself thinking about how amazing I felt the entire time.
  • I'm still shocked that I'm an 11hr Ironman finisher.  And, not an 11hr IMAZ, or IMFL or another flatter, faster type course, but the infamous IM Canada.  
  • Instead of back pedaling and thinking "woulda, shoulda, coulda" done this or that differently, I find myself in unfamiliar territory thinking "Can I really….. do XXX or X?"  It's a scary and exciting place to be.
  • This is the first time after an Ironman that I have no nagging pain, or injury.  Am I finally becoming more durable?
  • My friends tricked me after a couple of glasses of wine into saying I would do another marathon and try to BQ.  Those bitches are mean and older than me and don't have to run as fast and forget that I've retired from stand alone marathons (twice).  Somehow I still love them (the friends, not the marathon).
  • I can't stop eating (or drinking) sugary stuff.  I'm beginning to wonder if my body is having power gel and gu withdrawls, thus forcing me to go after the chocolate (dipped in PB), open another bottle of wine or have a nice cold blue moon with an orange slice on pretty much a daily basis.  
  • I'm desperately trying to at least have natural alternatives to my dove dark chocolate (dipped in PB), by stocking up on as many fruits as possible.
  • I ate an entire mini watermelon yesterday.  I tasted like heaven.  Much like it did when my body refused to take any more forced gels in at about mile 20 in Canada so I switched to watermelon.  
  • Every time I've done an ironman I've ended up having something different "save me" during the run.  The first year it was pretzels, I believe.  The second time chicken broth, 3rd & 4th oranges WITH cola and this time, watermelon and lots of water.  Weird.
  • Speaking of peanut butter (always on my mind), when I went back to Costco last week I found that my beloved Kirkland natural peanut butter has been replaced (again).  Can't they just leave it alone.  The verdict on the new one is still out.
  • Just like the thought of living without peanut butter, I'm not sure what I would do without my super magic seaweed pills, e21.  I've been using this product for about 18 months now and find myself feeling stronger and stronger during my longer workouts.  Today, I actually had some twinges of cramping in the pool (NEVER happens to me), then when I followed it up with a Kinesis class one of my quads started to cramp right away.  I popped two pills and immediately felt relief.
  • Yah, I went back to Kinesis today.  If my crazy ass friends think I'm going to run a marathon then I have to get my glutes and inner thigh muscles stable for all that stupid running.
  • I really do love running.  I just fear injury.  I'm so not going to be able to walk normal tomorrow after that class. 
  • I've already been getting the random snarky comments about not resting enough, or recovering or wtf am I doing out on the group ride Saturday already…
  • It's amazing how people think after ending an epic race you should totally just stop being active and get fat and be a drunk.
  • I think I'm handling my recovery and bender quite well thankyouverymuch.
  • Don't worry, I don't take these comments too seriously, I've been on that end of passing my judgement on others too - it's hard to not be a hypocrite about this stuff I think.  I'm slowly learning.
  • I may have pushed the effort a bit too hard on Saturday, but I counter acted that by sitting on my ass the rest of the day, as well as all day Sunday watching movies.  
  • God Bless Netflix and my love for indie films that don't really make it big, thus end up on netflix.
  • I do think that I'm starting to enjoy racing more and more and I think it really helps with the mental aspect of really RACING, not just participating.
  • That said, I'm racing in 2 weeks at our local club championships.  It's a sprint.  I don't think I have any sprint muscles in me, but it will be a lot more fun that racing for 2.5hours in 100degrees so I'll have to find a fast twitch muscle somewhere.
  • I also am pretty sure I'm going to do the race that every year I say sucks and I don't want to do it, but yet I've found myself signed up for it four times.  The first time I DNS - I had IT band surgery.  The second time was my very first half IM, it was epic.  My third I DNF - sick as all get out and was coughing so hard I was puking on my bike at mile 8.  4th was a hot hot day, last year.  PR but not a pretty race.  So, this will be my 5th time racing Soma half IM.  5th was the charm in the IM distance, maybe I could have that for this race too?
  • Really the training is just an excuse to keep fitting into my clothes since I'm losing my job at the end of the year and haven't found a new one yet to replace my income and let me go buy any fat clothes so really isn't that motivation enough?
Nuf said'