Showing posts with label Turbulence 13. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turbulence 13. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In praise of the NB 505

At the time that I resumed running almost a year ago I only owned a single pair of athletic shoes. Those shoes were New Balance 505's; cushioned cross training/walking shoes that I'd had for years. I started my return to running by walking, covering two or three miles on the treadmill or in the neighborhood a few times a week. Up until then the 505's had served me well as the shoes I wore every weekend for almost any activity except for formal occasions.

Even with four of five years of use they still looked brand new and felt great whenever I wore them. They were perfect walking shoes and despite my assessment that I've put more than 600 miles onto these shoes they still serve me well since I don't use my many pairs of running shoes for anything but running. If my wife says we're going to Target or to the market I still reach for my 505's. 

It wasn't until I began adding some runs within my walks last August that I realized that the cushioning and stiffness of the NB's worked against me. I soon bought my first pair of running shoes (Nike Turbulence 13's) and moved to full time running. The rest, as they say, is history. Funny that when I've tried on NB street running shoes a few times since then I haven't loved the fit. However, my NB 460's are still a great choice for the trails.

I had hoped to hit the trails at least once this weekend but since my weekend schedule was tight I needed to stick close to home both days. Yesterday I covered 3.5 easy miles and this morning I went out early and was ready to move a little faster. It was about 65 degrees with moderate humidity and light winds so I worked a little on my speed and looked for routes with hills or long inclines.

After spending some time within the neighborhood I moved over to the western edge road and then went east to attack the lengthy hill on Jericho Turnpike before I re-entered the neighborhood. I ended up covering 3.7 miles at an 8:54 pace. I thought that was great considering the tougher than normal course. A brisk and challenging Friday run in Central Park and a rigorous run on Sunday book-ended three miles of CFMs on Saturday.  I covered a little less than 12 miles on those three days, a bit shorter than what I've been doing over that span but I'm definitely running harder these days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Me and my running shoes

To many, gear is gear. A pair of running shoes is merely a tool to faciliate the run. In some cases running shoes are a necessary evil, especially for those who would prefer to run barefoot but don't do that for practical reasons. I love running, that's pretty obvious to anyone who reads this blog. But it's not just running that I love, it's all the cool things that come with that: new technologies to enhance the experience and the other gear that you need to maximize performance and comfort.

When I first started running I was relatively indifferent to shoes. I had no idea what was important when I went to Foot Locker for my first pair of running shoes. These would actually be my second pair, having bought some in the early 90's during my earlier running days. I put myself into the hands of the saleswoman who admitted that she didn't run but said that she fits runners all the time and knows what works for most. I don't recall every shoe I tried on that day but the Nike Turbulence 13's that she recommended fitted me the best. I had a great 500+ miles on those shoes but in the end. after inspection, I'd wondered whether their neutral nature played into the upper leg pain I had experienced near the end.

Including those Nikes, I've bought a total of four pairs of shoes since my return to running last summer. I bought a pair of Nike Kutu trail shoes that were inexpensive but never felt right. My last run in them was so negative that I immediately put them away for donation. I replaced those with a pair of New Balance 460 trail shoes. I haven't liked the high-end NB shoes I've tried in stores but these 460's are great. They were inexpensive but they're solid performers with a good feel and nice response on both street and trail. No Gor-Tex or fancy features but they do the job well. I bought my Brooks Adrenalin GTS-9's the day after my 5K in May. These are good shoes, not as responsive as the Nike 13's they replaced but their stability properties have helped my upper leg problems. I'm not sure I'll get the same shoes next time but I'm pleased so far.

The last pair I bought were Asic Gel-1130's that I tried for the first time this morning. These are a few rungs down from Asic's top line but they are far from low end. The fit is nice - more comfort than the Brooks but only by a little. I set out to do a mid length run this morning after icing both quadriceps and I ended up covering 5.13 miles at a 9:19 pace. I thought I might have run a little faster than that but the Garmin doesn't lie (when calibrated correctly). The Asics felt really good and responsive and compared well against the Brooks. I's say the Brooks are probably better overall in terms of feel but not by that much. I will enjoy having the 1130's in the office, ready to take on whatever the streets of New York City can offer.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Getting up to speed (literally)

I was thinking about my upcoming race on June 7, 8K (5 miles) in New Hyde Park, NY. This will be my longest race to date and it will certainly push me to the limit in terms of effort and conditioning. After dedicated focus on running for the past nine months I have reached the point where I can handle the distance but not necessarily at the pace that I'd like to run. I am satisfied with my performance on the 4 miler and the 5K but while I was consistently running below 9 minutes per mile a month or two ago my speed seems to have regressed to the point that I'm still in the 9:00 to 9:10 range on most of my better runs. It's possible that I'm doing better than I think. Since I changed the battery in my Garmin 50 foot pod its distance accuracy has been questionable. The other variable is my shoes. I switched from My Nike Turbulence 13's to the Brooks GTS 9's after the 5K. The Brooks feel great and my hip and leg problems have gone away for the most part. Could it be that I just don't run as fast in them?

I am excited about the race but I'll admit my anticipation is different now that I know more what to expect for the most part. I'm trying to pick up as many miles earlier in the week and taper near the end of the week possibly running a slightly shorter but faster course next Friday.

Yesterday AG and I did our weekly city run down the bike trails along the West Side Highway. We did this run as an end of the week recreational run rather than a business update. We started close to our building and went west about a mile before heading south along the path to the park behind Stuyvesant High School on Chambers Street. In total we covered close to 5 miles and after we returned to the office we Gmapped the route to calculate our pace. It was hard to determine the true pace because I only timed the longer southern route but it appeared as though we ran around 9:30 or so per mile. I kept the pace relatively slow because I wasn't feeling strong enough to work on speed. At one point she turned around to look at something we had just past and ran backward for short time at the same pace I was running forward! I'll blame some of my slowness on the fact that I just run better in the morning. I'm also not feeling all that great this morning and I'm wondering if I was fighting a slight fever. But it's easy to make excuses.

My plan today is to run about 5 miles and I think I may do that later in the day. I also want to work in some speed drills. I'm sure doing that helped me achieve a decent pace in the 5K. Eight days and counting to the 8K. It's coming fast.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Turbulence about running shoes

I've been paying attention to running shoes lately because I know I need to replace my current pair. Despite my attempt to preserve my Nikes by substituting the insoles I've learned (thanks to some helpful advice via the Runner's World Loop) how to assess a shoe's true condition. I've moved past the denial stage and have gone back to my original insoles. Although the Turbulence 13's felt great with the replacement insoles (after I cut them to fit) the difference in heel height made me worry about the possible effect on my knees since I'm a mid/front foot striker. I'm hoping that I can get one more great run out of these shoes at Saturday's race.

With the original insoles intact I did what should be my last run before the 5K. I started at a moderate speed because I still have some upper leg tightness and wanted to warm up before stepping up my pace. I increased the treadmill speed every minute until I reached my target. Overall I covered 2 miles at 8:41, a pace I attained by running the last few minutes at about an 8:00/mile.

I've decided to go somewhat high end for my next pair of running shoes. Adventure Girl and others have advised me to look for shoes at running stores because those places carry better performing shoes than retailers like Foot Locker. My wife found some very good shoes at a Foot Locker as did I with my original Nike purchase. AG also told me that sometimes higher priced shoes cost more because of non-functional design elements. I don't care what my shoes look like but if I can get 5 seconds per mile faster on them I'm happy to pay.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Running shoe anxiety

I have 5 days until my next race and I'm beginning to worry about my shoes. I mentioned yesterday that I've had some issues with my feet that seem to relate to my Nikes. This morning I switched to my New Balance trail shoes for the elliptical and they were much more comfortable. I really don't want to race with trail shoes on pavement but I also don't want to continue pushing my luck with the Turbulence 13's.

I have a busy schedule at work this week so it will not be that easy to get to a store at lunch to look at new running shoes. I want to avoid buying a pair in haste without considering other options just because of Saturday's race deadline. I have been reading reviews and talking to friends and I'm thinking this is the time to invest in a higher end pair. AG told me about a few stores in the city that have treadmills so staff can watch you as you run and help recommend the best shoe choices for your running style. If I'm looking to pay a lot for a pair of running shoes I don't want to buy the wrong thing and be disappointed.

I've looked at the removable soles in my Nikes and, while they look okay, I have no idea how much cushioning and flexibility they've lost in the eight months that I've had them. I'm thinking about trying a pair of cushioned replacement soles to get me through the race on Saturday. If they do the job, great. If not I'll be paying a visit to a running store on Sunday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not so Long Slow Distance

I must have slept through spring because summer is here on Long Island. Actually the temperatures are very summer-like but happily the air is still spring dry. I'm a cold weather person and a morning runner but yesterday was busy and I wasn't able to get out until 5:00 PM when the thermometer read 84 degrees. I ran late afternoon on Friday so this was similar in terms of timing. However, our Central Park run was much cooler.

I made the mistake of not properly wrapping my small toes prior to the Friday run. This is a technique I started over a decade ago when I lived in the city. Those days it wouldn't be unusual for us to walk from Battery Park to the Upper West Side, across town and then home to Murray Hill, all in one day. I used to get tremendous blisters from this and discovered that wrapping a small piece of plastic wrap around my first and second toe would ward off most of the damage. I'm beginning to suffer from this problem with my Nike Turbulence 13's and it's making me think that they're due for replacement after over 400 miles of excellent service. By yesterday morning my feet were hurting pretty good and although I wrapped them for Saturday's and today's runs they are a little raw. Tomorrow I'm planning to elliptical which has far less impact on my feet and I'm hoping they bounce back quickly.

My running over the past three days has been a mixed bag. I thought Friday was a very good run although the numbers don't reflect that. Yesterday's afternoon run was about the same distance (3.2 miles) with a pace just under 9 minutes. This morning, with only 15 hours separating me from yesterday's workout, I took the LSD approach (you can argue whether 3 miles should be considered "long") and my pace reflected it, closer to 9:20. But let me tell you it was hot and, in terms of conditioning, a real workout.

Overall, I covered close to 10 miles between 5:00 PM Friday and 9:00 AM Sunday. The weather reports are encouraging, predicting closer to 60's than 80's for next weekend. I'm pleased that I was able to manage some taxing runs late in the day with some heat and I'm happy that I'm only covering 5K and not 4 miles at Saturday's race. I'm excited about this race because I know more about what to expect. After all, you only experience your second race once!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No field of dreams

Yesterday I decided to try an alternative route starting with a run around the local middle school's field. The ground was still semi frozen and very uncomfortable for running. After about half a mile I peeled off and hit the service road that leads back into the neighborhood. I continued my run on the streets until I came upon the park that connects to the elementary school's grounds. These fields were also very bumpy so I exited back to the street for the remainder of my run.

I had hoped that the additional stiffness of the Kutus would balance the uneven running surface of the athletic fields but it wasn't a comfortable experience and I was concerned about turning an ankle. I was pleased that the Kutus performed well on the street, different from the Turbulence 13s but still good. I ended up covering 2.5 miles at an average pace of 9:09. The Garmin 50 under reported the distance by about 2.8% but I still can't figure out how to correct for that using the calibration feature.

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