Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LOOK what I got.....

I have been on a crazy odyssey over the past several months, trying to find a good running shoe. I was perfectly happy with my Asics Gel Kayano 17, but the company has this charming habit of changing their model every other year or so. The last pair that were gifted to me were perfect- the correct model and current size in pink and white (oh so girly!) BUT after completing the MORE half I realized they were too small- I needed to g o up at least ½ size in my running shoes.

That’s when I realized they Asics I loved were no longer available – anywhere! Even in my new gigantor size! I went to some chi-chi running store in Columbus Circle for a gait analysis- and as my luck would have it I had the worst salesperson ever…it took me almost 90 minutes (eternity for me, please believe) to get what I thought might be a decent sneaker…enter the Brooks Ghost

They felt very different from the Asics but also lighter. And ½ size larger. After breaking them in, the first test was the Brooklyn Half. Yes, it was a terrible race for me- but NOT from any undue foot discomfort. OK, so score. But that also meant that I have one pair of running shoes- and finding another pair was crazy.

Skip forward a few months and go to another running store on Long Island. Get another gait analysis. Try on a bunch of sneax. Get a pair of Adidas Supernovas that felt like two buses on my feet (why did I walk out the store with them? They were clodhoppers!)

Two weeks later returned them, looking for the New Balance that I had also tried on….but I didn’t remember the model. Neither did the sales clerk(so much more delightful than the first jerkaholic that didn’t help me) but she suggested I try on these super ugly sneakers. I did- and they felt weird but cool. She explained the whole Newton forefoot strike thing to me- which I am familiar with but never paid any attention to. OK, semi sold. She mentioned that they had a 30 day return policy- very generous IMO. That helped too- oh, and they were on SALE, so it would be an even exchange with the sneakers I was returning ..hmmm, ok. What really sealed the deal was the sales clerk telling me how much faster she ran in them right off the bat- SOLD! Sad, isn’t it?

So far I am happy. I haven’t raced or done any serious distance in them and they are soooo ugly and big (size 11. I feel like Ronald McDonald) and I don’t really see and faster splits, but since superstorm Sandy I haven’t done much running. They do feel great on my feet however and they are sooooo light! My next race is a 15k that I am woefully undertrained for, but I will be wearing my clown shoes on the course!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It’s November and I haven’t blogged in months and months. In the past this would mean that I hadn’t done much to talk about – virtual cowering in shame due to my inertia. HA. That is hardly this case this time around- I am a little sorry that I have not been regularly documenting a lot of what I have done. In the race world it is small beans but in my own private Idaho, this has been a banner season.

First of all, every race you see on the left has been completed. Including the Danskin Tri, which was so much freaking fun it’s ridiculous. It was a lot like my first tri- I was so happy to be done with the swim that everything else was gravy. Since I haven’t talked about anything since Brooklyn ( painful, awful, wonderful Brooklyn Half) I will bullet highlights since then:
  •  NYRR Mini 10K – I remember feeling like crap. First race I wore a skirt in, and I didn’t look too bad. Chub rub wasn’t too bad either, but I wasn’t pleased with my performance. One day I will conquer all of Central Parks’ hills and not feel like dying afterwards.

  • Queens 10K – the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR. It was SO damn hot; I was surprised they didn’t cancel the race. Heat advisories everywhere. I already said to myself I would be glad to finish and not pass the hell out. Flushing Meadows Park is a wonderful flat course and very pretty but not one tree in sight- like racing on tarmac. Water stations sucked; misting stations didn’t work. Wore a skirt again.

  • Percy Sutton 5K- In August, in Harlem. Smaller race but very friendly neighborhood feel. Which helped, because it was HILLS FROM HELL. Good thing it was only a 5k. I also PR’ed at this race too, which was odd because I walked a few times – must have been the pickup on the downhills. Or maybe their time was off – I dunno, but I’m taking it as a sign that I am FINALLY getting a little faster.

  • Danskin Womens Triathlon- HA! Managed to find an instructor to take me and a few other ladies out to learn open water swimming. It was tough but I had a ball. Each class was fun except for the last one which was a jelly fish forest. Running – no problem, I do that regularly. I only managed to get back on my trusty steed Elphaba twice prior to the race.
Which was lovely. Travel there and setup was very smooth; and aside from some prerace jitters (thank God for plentiful portajohns) once I was in the water I was fine. Yes, I am slow. And; my sighting sucks. But I was able to correct my trajectory each time and get a smooth stroke on. No wetsuit either. I ran the ¼ mile to the bike and hammered it (well, hammering for me.) I managed to have a 10 min mile for the run which is faster than my first 5k time and amazing as I felt like I was shuffling and that I might burst into flame at any moment. Seriously, the worst part of the entire race was the run course with all that winding back and forth. But I finished feeling great!
  • BGR! Drive to End Hunger 10K- my first out of state race (I am not counting Danskin) and this was in Atlanta. Black Girls Run!, my running group, had its first national conference ONE WEEK after I completed the Danskin tri. I flew out on Friday, partied it up; did the race (which was sold out at 3,000 participants) and collected another nifty medal. Hilly ass course, and I am not used to running on courses with virtually NO spectators/cheering. Overall however it was a VERY fun experience, I am so glad I went. OH - I wore a skirt again!

  • Divas Womens Half Marathon- I could have trained more; but decided I would dress up (I wore a tutu and looked fab thank you very much! LOL) and show up. After the MORE Half and my terrible Brooklyn performance, I thought I would hammer the hell out of this race to make up for how I didn’t do previously. Well, I didn’t do spectacularly but I DID shave 12 minutes off my best time!!!!! Yesssss, I PR’ed at this Half. And I had a great time doing it. Every picture I have of myself on the course, I have a smile on my face. I am a little nuts, as often when I am racing I just start smiling- usually because I just can’t believe I am doing what I am doing.
That’s the quick and dirty. Only one more scheduled race coming up in December. All this running means that I have qualified for the 2013 NYC Marathon- completing 9 New York Road Runner races and volunteering for one. Yay, me!