Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sluggish Barracuda

The first thing I'll say about my tough time on today's run at Stillwell is that it's not the fault of my shoes. Yesterday I bought a pair of Adidas Response 15's at the Adidas outlet store for a mere $33, thanks both to a discounted price and an additional 20% discount coupon we had. I tried some other Adidas shoes while I was there and was very impressed with the AdiStar Ride which I would have scooped up for $71 with discounts were I looking to replace my Brooks at this time. I was very unimpressed with the Mega Bounce which may have been the worst feeling high end shoe I've tried in a long time. The Response 15's fit me very well. I love my NB 460 trail shoes but they are 1/2 size too small which only becomes a problem on runs longer than 5 miles (Like Sunday's 10K) when they encroached too far onto the tops of my toes. I was excited to try the Response's today and they felt good the entire run.

I began my run with an experiment - my goody bag from Sunday's race contained a sample of Max Muscle Barracuda energy drink whose website describes it as a "uniquely formulated energy supplement designed for an extreme energy rush."

I'm not sure if that's true, I guess I felt some heightened energy at the beginning of my run but I'll attribute that as much to having new trail shoes as anything else. I made my way into the woods and followed the trails northeast, cutting over to a very narrow path with plant growth that barely provided room for a single runner. It was here, about eight minutes into the run, that I noticed that I was already feeling tired and I hadn't even taken on the toughest parts of the trail. When I did reach the first abrupt incline I looked for an alternate path that was less steep because I didn't feel I had the energy to take on a 10% grade. Left with no choice I made my way up and determined that the Adidas's were no match for the Helly Hansen Trail Lizards that would have (and in fact had) dispatched this hill without a problem. The Response 15's did fine but I could sense a lack of support on the tougher climbs.
Overall I thought the Response 15's felt great and very comfortable. I think they would have been perfect for the Dirty Sock race course that was primarily flat.

I headed back after completing 3.4 miles at a 9:51 pace. It wasn't the best run I've done at Stillwell but it was a workout. I'll continue to run with the new Adidas shoes on trails but I'll probably switch off with the Helly's at Stillwell from time to time. I'm thinking of keeping the NB's in my office for occasional runs on the bridle trail in Central Park. I guess I've already assembled a fairly large collection of running shoes but for $33 how could I resist buying something that Runner's World called a "best buy"?

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