Showing posts with label C9. Show all posts
Showing posts with label C9. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why we spend $100 for running shoes

Run away!
Today's run (street): 4.4 miles

My new reality is long busy work days. I'm not complaining (well maybe a little) but my work schedule did take a bite out of my running this week. I made it into the city on Thursday for an industry meeting and saw my buddy and fellow Runsketeer, KWL, who ran the NYC marathon last weekend. I probably covered 20K steps that day, so at least I burned some calories.

We had to go out east this morning, which required me to get out early for my first run of the week. Even though it's early November, the temperature felt more like late September and the cloudy skies helped keep things cool. I had no particular route in mind when I took off and ended up circumnavigating the middle school before heading to the north end of my neighborhood. There was a little humidity, but otherwise conditions were fall-perfect.

We spent much of the day in eastern Long Island and we stopped at Target before we headed home. While my wife and kids looked for stuff on their lists, I ambled over to the men's section that has the Champion C9 line of athletic clothes. They had some nice, lightweight vests that would be perfect with a long sleeve running shirt on a 30° morning, but the price was higher than I was prepared to pay.

Out of curiosity, I looked in the shoe section, where they sell C9 running shoes for $29.99. Most of the big running shoe brands have entry level models that Dick's and Sports Authority sell for $50-$60. These shoes may not have the advanced technologies and features of their flagship models, but they generally provide a decent fit and feel. I decided to try on a pair of the C9 Drives to experience the difference between them and the ASICS Kayano 20s I was wearing.

Drive this off a cliff
The C9 shoes did not seem junky and I wondered what they'd feel like on my foot. After realizing they ran a half size bigger than most of the shoes in my collection, I found a smaller pair and tried them on. My first impression of the Drives was that they had almost no cushioning. That isn't a show stopper for me, because I like a minimal shoe. But when I stood up and took a few steps, I realized why I typically spend $100 or more for Sauconys, ASICS or Brooks.

The lack of cushioning and a poorly constructed mid-sole resulted in a lumpy, uncomfortable foot bed. I suddenly understood the difference between quality brands and cheap $29.99 knockoffs. I've been fortunate to either receive shoes for testing from the manufacturers, or find great discounted running shoes at places like SA Elite or Famous Footwear. Believe me, paying $60 for a pair of $100 running shoes is a much better deal than paying $30 for "bargain" trainers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BH Fitness elliptical parts are 75 days late!

Waiting for parts, 45 days and counting...
Today's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles (6% - 4% - 2% incline)

I just learned today that the parts to fix our BH Fitness elliptical machine will not be shipped for another 30 days. This is on top of the 45 days that we've waited since our local repair person diagnosed the problem. The X1 had some initial problems, but overall, it has been a good machine. Still, the elliptical wore out fast considering BH Fitness was sold to me as a "premium" brand. Of course the company that sold it to me was Fitness Showrooms, who never stood behind their product. 

We had a busy schedule today, so I did my run indoors on the treadmill. This treadmill, a Sole F63, has also had its share of problems. The belt slip that we'd experienced when we first used it has returned. We'd hoped that replacing the motor and the tread had fixed the problem. Perhaps it's time to think about a more heavy duty machine.

The temperature reached 100° today and, for some reason, I decided that it would be a good idea to run with a 6% incline for 15 minutes before dropping down to 4% for the next five. I decreased the incline and increased my speed intermittently until I finished the workout. We bought a stand up oscillating fan at Target today that I've positioned in front of the treadmill. I wish I had it this morning. Even with central air, the heat and humidity were the worst I've experienced this year.

Really nice and pockets too!
While at Target, I also picked a great pair of C9 running shorts (with two side pockets!) for less than $19. With a 9" inseam they'll be perfect for the trails.

Monday, February 20, 2012

C9 has me seeing (and saving) green

Are you green with envy over my quarter zip?
Today was a rest day and I was happy to skip my morning workout. I'm always the first person to support others when they take days off, but I sometimes feel guilty when I do it myself. That's why I like Mondays. About two years ago I decided that resting one day a week would yield a marginal conditioning benefit. So now I'm able to get through my weekly day of rest without feeling like I'm falling down on my training.

My one running related activity happened this morning during a visit to Target. As usual, I stopped by the menswear section where they sell C9, Champion's line of athletic clothing made exclusively for Target. I've bought a fair amount of C9 running clothes over the years because it's priced well and it performs about as well as the middle tier brands. I have had a few jerseys fall apart after heavy use and multiple washings but the ROI still remains high.

Last year I picked up a long sleeve white quarter zip at the end of the season clearance for $10. It has turned out to be a staple in my cold weather running. Today they had the same shirt on sale and I decided to get one in bright green to help provide some visibility when I run in my neighborhood. This year's version seems to be a little beefier than the previous shirt. Hopefully that means I'll get plenty of  use before it starts to show some wear.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Running in a (pre) winter wonderland

Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the lawn
Today's run (street) 4.2 miles

Yesterday was a long day for us. We were at a friend's family event for most of the day and by 10:00 PM we were ready for bed. I hoped to sleep until 5:30 or 6:00, which would be late for me, but at 4:30 AM I was wide awake. Try as I might, I couldn't fall back to sleep so I got up. I made some coffee and considered my workout.

I know that I'm not at my best right now and I'm beginning to think it's the flu shot that's contributing to my stamina issues. It's obviously not exhaustion since I only managed to stay asleep for six hours last night. I decided I'd go out for a neighborhood run, targeting the same distance than I'd covered over the last two days.

The lawns in my neighborhood were lightly covered with snow, but the roads were clear when I made my way outside. The reported temperature was 35° but with the wind it felt much colder. I wore compression shorts under my C9 running pants and added my Zensah compression sleeves over my calves. On top I wore a C9 half-zip layered with a short sleeve running shirt. I also wore a fleece hat and running gloves. Together it made for a comfortable outfit that kept me warm at the start but didn't overheat me when I got up to speed.

I took it easy in deference to my current situation and ran comfortably around the neighborhood. I was both surprised and annoyed to see more than one house watering their snow-covered lawn. I wondered if they forgot to turn off their sprinkler systems or if they were truly stupid. Aside from that I thought the neighborhood, covered in snow, looked very beautiful.

I planned a route that would cover a little more than three miles, but when I reached the point where I'd turn onto the last road, I decided to keep going straight and added another mile for good measure. I ended up running a little faster than I wanted to, but I'd still call it an easy pace. Considering that I'm not at my best right now, I'm happy with the last two runs I've done.

My next race, the Hope for the Warriors 10K, will happen in two weeks. I'll follow that with the Long Beach 10K Turkey Trot a week later. I hope to be back at full strength by next Saturday so I can break out of my 3-4 mile malaise and prepare for a longer race distance.

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