Frenetic Fitness

fre·net·ic /frəˈnetɪk/ done very fast and with a lot of energy, often by someone who is in a hurry.

Archive for the tag “running shoes”

Free My Sole

The subject line of the email read “Runner’s World Sweepstakes Finalist!”. I enter a lot of contests and I knew Runner’s World Magazine recently promoted a contest for a year’s worth of shoes.  The person who contacted me sent multiple avenues by which I could determine that she was indeed an employee of Runner’s World and she wasn’t spamming or phishing.  Intrigued, I followed the instructions and waited, impatiently. Soon I received a confirmation that I had indeed won a years worth of shoes, which in a runner’s world, means six pair of shoes. Six. I don’t know about you, but I find running shoes that I like are expensive and I would prefer to replace them only when absolutely necessary. To me, that necessity arises about twice a year. Six pair of shoes is a veritable gold mine! I was informed that the choice of shoes would be determined by the sponsors which I understood to mean “Tell us what size you wear and we’ll see what we have in the pile of stuff they send us to test.”  Within a few days a large box was on my doorstep. I brought it inside and got all giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. Inside the box was a sampling of athletic shoe makers. Right away I noticed the distinctive red and white bag on the Puma shoes, and then discovered I had two pair of Pumas. I continued unpacking: Reebok, Skechers, and Asics. Then I saw a plain white box. Opening it I found a pair of blue Mizuno Wave Prophecy 2. Now, I know that the Prophecy shoe recently released in version 3, but I was intrigued. My current road running shoe corral includes a pair of Mizuno Inspires so I thought I might like what Runner’s World randomly chose for me. It just so happened that I was running a 10K a couple of days after the package arrived and in front of me lay a mound of shoes to test.

 

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I guess now I have lots of shoes to write about and review,  although I admit, if anyone expects a technical review, this is the wrong place to look. I know what I like, I know what feels good, but when I read some shoe reviews I feel like the person writing them is a shoe designer and knows all the vocabulary that I don’t. What the heck is thermoplastic overlay?

Fit and technical components of the shoes played into my decision making process of which shoes to try first. Just kidding, the Mizunos were blue and orange and since I was running with a group of blind/visually impaired runners and guides wearing blue and orange shirts, I chose fashion over function. Don’t judge. In the first mile I knew I  made a good choice. The look of the Mizuno infinity wave sole reminds me of these wedge shoes I had in the early 80’s with a hole in the wedge like an oblong donut. I won’t concern myself with a weird aesthetic such as a sole that makes me think of pastries, because the shoes felt great. I am sometimes a neutral but more typically a stability shoe purchaser. These shoes feel solid, which people who like a truly neutral shoe probably won’t like. The cushion was good, but not overwhelming and the advertised “propulsion” of the wave sole doesn’t seem far off the mark. I was able to run a decent pace without feeling the nagging pain of a recent knee problem. In short, I can’t wait to try the rest of the shoes, but for now the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 2 just went to the front of the running shoe rotation.

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Soaring Wings

The trees are no longer a lush green, the lakes are low and the stream beds are dry, there is dust in the wind. But I have a new pair of running shoes and they must be tested.

I’ve been a big fan of Brooks shoes for years. I have gone through countless incarnations of the Brooks Adrenaline shoes. My trail running shoes have been Cascadias for at least the past 3 years. I’m a loyal customer. I’ve been watching the advertisements for the Pure line for a while now. Honestly I didn’t need new road running shoes. Until Now. This past weekend was tax free weekend so that makes it one of the days when I probably shouldn’t have attempted a trip to the mall. But my friend Erik is in the mall, he works for Gearhead Outfitters. He runs, he knows me, I know him. I know I’ll get good advice from him. I also know he is a fan of Brooks like I am. He brought out a stack of shoes and I tried on at least 5 pair. I tried the Pure Flow and the Pure Cadence. I tried the size I thought I wear and I tried on a half size bigger. I ran around the store and jumped up and down. I found my shoes. A hot pink and I do mean hot pink pair of Pure Cadence.

Pure Cadence Ready for the Pavement

Pure Cadence Ready for the Pavement

Normally one would take a new pair of running shoes out for a test. For testing my new shoes, I chose to go run a 5K at Soaring Wings Ranch near Holland, Arkansas. Soaring Wings is a residential home for kids who need a place to live due to emotional needs or family problems.

The 5K is part of their kick-off and training schedule for the upcoming Soaring Wings Half Marathon in October. I wasn’t expecting the amount of gravel on the course. Basically the entire course was on packed gravel road and I was concerned that my new shoes didn’t have the sole to handle the rocks but they handled it just fine. The course was 2 laps of a 1.5 mile loop around the lake. The lake, like every other body of water in Arkansas right now, was much lower than normal. And the tree lined roads are probably much prettier when there has been plenty of rain but the campus is lovely and I can appreciate how and why kids would find peace in nature here. It made me feel like soaring.

Running gives me “Soaring” Wings

It was 103 at the start. The car temperature gauge still said 103 when we left more than 2 hours later. I know I gave up a good amount of sweat in the 45 minutes we stood around at the start and the 30 minutes I spent running. I’m fairly certain that I did not smell very good by the end either. That did not stop me from convincing J to stop on the way home to try a burger joint we hadn’t been to yet. A juicy burger with grilled onions and a sourdough bun eaten in a cold restaurant while watching the Olympic track and field events on the TV removes some of the memory of the heat. Not all. Some.

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