Another week in the books, with one more to go before taper.
I mixed stuff up a bit this week. Normally my hard run days are Tuesday (intervals), Friday (tempo), and Sunday (long run). This weekend I had the final "4-3-2-1" workout on tap, which I had to do on Saturday due to the Marine Corps Marathon being on Sunday. This raised the question of where to fit in the tempo workout. The only real option was to do it on Thursday, but I really prefer to have at least 2 days between track workouts, since they're fairly hard on my body (the constant turns annoy my hips and ankles). After talking to my coach, we decided just to skip the tempo altogether this week - it just made sense since the tempo for this week was a fairly minimal cruise intervals - not that important a workout. And I think I'm better off for having only two hard workouts this week - it's not about packing in as many workouts as possible, but about hitting the proper balance of stress and recovery.
The other thing I mixed up were my shoes. My quest for the perfect shoe is quite the saga. By way of background, I ran very happily in the Kinvara for several years, including my first marathon. Until Saucony changed the shoe on me, so that it no longer fit my foot well. (Why do companies change good shoes?)
The was the start of a long quest for the perfect shoe. Or several perfect shoes (I don't ever want to get dependent on one shoe again - damn you Saucony). After a long cycle of injury, and test driving many shoes, and many consultations with podiatrists, PTs, etc, we determined that many of my injuries were caused by ankle instability. This ankle instability is accentuated by shoes that are soft and cushioned, allowing my foot to sink and wiggle with each strike. (I also supinate slightly, so despite my instability issues, "stability shoes" that correct pronation just give me peroneal tendonitis.)
So, I swapped to firm, light neutral shoes, and they've worked very well for me. The Mizuno Hitogami was instrumental in getting me healthy again, and the Adidas Adios Boost has been a good shoe for me too.
|My current rotation, if you're interested. From left to right - |
Mizuno Hitogami, Mizuno Sayonara 2, Adidas Adios Boost,
Adidas Adios Boost 2, Adidas Boston Boost 5
The problem is that neither of those shoes seems to be quite enough cushioning for me for the marathon (I know others have raced marathons well in them, but we're all unique). I don't feel I can race longer than 10 miles in the Hitogami; I had been planning on wearing the Adidas Adios Boost for my marathon, but my forefeet have been getting pretty sore during my long runs. Plus, it feels like the Adios is just a bit stiff for me.
So...went back to Road Runner, and picked up a pair of the Adias Boston Boost 5. On paper it seems like just what I wanted - very similar to the Adios, but slightly more cushioning in the forefoot, and also a lot more flexible. I took them for two test runs this week - an easy run on Thursday, and my "4-3-2-1" workout on Saturday. And....yay. They're not perfect - my forefeet were still slightly sore at the end of Saturday's run. But my ankles and heels were also slightly achy - indicating that I definitely don't want to go any heavier on the cushioning. These seem to strike the best balance. For me.
But the really good news was how ridiculously fast both runs were. I usually do my runs by effort - on easy runs I don't check pace at all, just heart rate. On my marathon pace runs, I do check pace, but I still stick to marathon pace effort, even if that means that my actual pace is slower or faster than goal MP. For both Thursday and Saturday's runs, my perceived effort was completely out of whack with the times I ran. In a good way - about 15 seconds faster per mile than perceived effort. These shoes are just a really good mate for my stride, I guess - running slow or fast felt easy and fun in them.
So, I'm going to run in these shoes 2-3 more times, including my last 20-22 miler this Sunday. Then I'll marathon in them. Hopefully they'll continue to work their magic.
I just wish they weren't hot pink.