Friday, August 23, 2013

Elite sale yields bargain Virrata

New running shoe day. Guess which ones are mine.
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

So far so good on the training front. This morning I went out with expectations of matching my recent pace range and I managed to do that. When I first entered time and distance into the pace calculator, I thought I'd missed the mark. I quickly realized I'd entered the time incorrectly, adding in an extra minute. It turned out that I'd actually exceeded my target and ran today's distance four seconds per mile faster than yesterday's.

I assign two factors to these recent gains: a constant focus on pace (via perceived effort, not watching the Garmin's display) and the continued recruitment of fast twitch fibers in my leg muscles. In other words, I'm thinking about running fast and building fitness. Runners come closest to their potential when racing and an active focus on speed while training does the same thing, to a lesser degree. That's why I'm not yet achieving sub-9 training runs, but I'm getting closer.

The family went out for a "Next to the last Friday before school starts" lunch and afterward we swung by the Gallery at Westbury Plaza. I wanted to check out Sports Authority's new SA Elite store that only sells adult size sports apparel and running shoes. I had no intention of buying anything, but they were having a sale, so I checked out the deals.

I've been looking for a lightweight running raincoat for a while. My venerable ASICS rain jacket committed zippercide last year and I've been on a quest to replace it. SA Elite was light on raincoat options, but they had some genuine bargains in their shoe section.

The store was running a sale, and this was no bottom of the barrel clearance. I did a double-take when I saw a pair of Saucony Virratas priced at $79 with a label next to it saying 20% off as marked. The best price I've seen on the web for these shoes has been $78 plus shipping. I asked for a pair in hi-viz yellow, but they only had my size in black. I was disappointed, but I tried them on the treadmill and liked the way they fit.

At the same time, my wife found a pair of ASICS Nimbus-14's that fit her well and were priced amazingly low with the included discount. I've been on her to replace her GEL-2160's that probably have more than 2,000 running miles on them. I'm serious, you should see them.

I'm thinking about doing a long base run this weekend and a shorter speed workout on the other day. I'm pleased with my progress and excited to be runnning in shoes with less than 500 miles on them. I hope the Virratas feel as good on the road as they did on the treadmill today.


  1. Bah. My size 14 feet makes happening upon a great sale like that a near impossibility.

    I need new shoes, and patiently waiting for the budget to have mercy on me.

    Brooks have worked so well for me that I'm a little scared to try anything else as much as each new pair pinches the budget.

    1. Brooks makes great shoes and I love the brand. I used to run in Adrenalins that fit great and lasted forever. These days I have Pure Drifts in my rotation.

      I've also had great experiences with Saucony and New Balance. Both brands provide excellent fit. Stores like SA and Dicks often run clearance sales with deep discounts in order to get rid of older models. It's worth looking for those.

      I was astonished to see my Virratas, a newer and highly rated model, being sold so cheaply.

  2. Well, let's see the soles of those 2000 mile shoes! I passed by that store a few weekends ago and wanted to go in, but figured the prices would be too high. I think I'll stop in next time.

    "Zippercide" - *snort* :)

    1. Believe it or not, the shoes look pretty decent on top, the outsoles are worn but not as bad as you'd think. It's the material inside the collar and lining that's really ripped up.

      Definitely check out SA Elite. They told me the sales are usually held near the end of the month.


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