Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First run with the Karhu Fast 2's plus a Stillwell holiday run

Yesterday's run (street): 3.5 miles
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 6.1 miles

Apparently today is some sort of holiday because Stillwell Woods was pretty empty this morning when I arrived for my run. Just a little seasonal humor folks. Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and for those of us who don't, enjoy this relaxing day because tomorrow we'll all be shoveling snow.

I've been off work since Thursday afternoon and have been enjoying the time off with my family. Yesterday morning I went out for my first run with the Karhu Fast 2's. Based upon wearing them around the house, I had certain expectations for these shoes. The "Fulcrum" technology is supposed to guide a runner's landing to a spot behind the arch to facilitate forward propulsion. After lacing up the Fast 2's for my run I noticed a big difference in the feel between the front and back. I assumed that was an effect of the fulcrum and I held judgment until I took off.

My immediate reaction was to compare the shoes to the Kinvaras. While the Kinvaras are light and very flexible on toe-off, the Fast 2's are very stiff at the front. Far stiffer than any other shoe I own and I own a lot of running shoes. I tried to stay open minded about this difference and moved along fairly well until I reached a slight downhill section and noticed that the lack of flexibility was causing some misalignment in my stride. As I ran further I felt an unusual amount of strain on the ankle area at the top of my right foot. It was making my leg tired and I had barely covered a mile.

I reached a point in my route where I would run straight for a while so I picked up the pace to see how they felt in a full on run. Despite the Fast 2's promise as a speed and racing shoe I found myself missing the Kinvaras and the Adrenalins, both of which provide a more muscular response to quick turnovers. I plan to take the Fast 2's out a few more times and try them under different conditions before I judge them too harshly. They are high quality shoes and are probably ideal for runners that prefer a stiffer ride.

It seemed like a good idea to run the trails at Stillwell this morning and it turned out great. Despite 25 degree weather it all felt good. I wore my Brooks GTS 10's that I've neglected lately in favor of the Kinvaras. Even though the Adrenalins aren't trail shoes they work well on hard packed, non-technical trails like the ones I ran today. Compared to the Karhu's, the Brooks felt far more natural. I followed a course I knew well, a loop that weaves through numerous sections of the western end of the Woods. Each loop measures about two miles so I ran it three times. I only encountered a couple of mountain bikers today but I did see a surprising number of hikers and a few other runners. I felt great throughout the run and appreciated the short but steamy shower that followed. I hope that everyone is enjoying this holiday as much as I am today.

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