Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Dawgs are fine but the Dog was smoked

Friday marked the last official day of leave for me; the easy going days of being able to eat right, run when I want and chilling in the pool during the afternoons are going the way of the Dodo bird come Monday, and yes I understand there are little tiny violins playing everywhere right now.  It was fun while it lasted.

I'm quite sure that the challenge meter is going to effectively peg here in the next several weeks.  I'm very likely to have one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" moments very soon after I "discover" that trying to learn an entirely new alphabet/language and train for a marathon simultaneously (while trying to remain sane) is, you know, like hard and stuff.  For those that know me though, this type of behavior is largely status quo.  I have a tendency to get immersed (read: obsessed) in the hobbies that strike my interest.  Some stay for the long haul (golf, poker) and some silently fade away (hockey, bowhunting, shotgunning).  I don't know why that is, but I kind of like my hyper-focused hobbying.  After a few weeks, I feel like I really know something about my current interest.  I'm also pretty sure my wife wishes that she didn't know half as much about things like building poker tables.  Turnabout is fair play though I suppose; after all, I've been to the Longaberger Homestead.

In any event, I managed to get 32.5 miles underneath me this week wearing not-a-whole-helluva-lot on my feet.  For five of the six days I was wearing my trusty Zoom Waffle's:
Not much to these, to be sure, but they get the job done and I never really feel like I need much more support given how I'm running now.  I can however feel a touch of tendinitis around my right ankle so I'm considering giving these a shot:

Now listen, I can hear what you're saying already so chill.  

"All this talk about barefoot running and running minimally and you want to go buy yourself a pair of marshmallow shoes again."

It's not really like that.

The Kinvara, though it looks like a regular running shoe, actually only has about 4 mm of "rise" in the heel, meaning that the base of your heel only sits about 4 mm in elevation above your forefoot.  That's pretty darn good (although many folks are now "zero dropping" their shoes by hand or cobbler such that they are dead flat) for a stock shoe.

My intent here is to get a shoe in the rotation that will give me a chance to get some long runs in without destroying my legs or feet when my form goes to crap.  Essentially, running with less on your feet means that you really need to make a conscious effort to run correctly; plant your feet correctly, pull up rather than push off, etc.  When you get tired, your form naturally takes a long walk off a short pier and if you aren't careful, you can do quite a bit of damage.  My long run last Sunday of 9.2 miles showed me that my focus really takes a nose dive past the 7th mile.  I'm fairly confident that I can get that concentration where it needs to be in time, but during that process I need to push my legs a bit.  I need a little more room for error than my Nike's can give me right now.  There are a few other technical concerns I have with the shoe, but that's going to make this entry look even more like an article in Consumer Reports so I'll just move on.

Today I took this:

On a run with these:

Anyone care to guess the price of this Showcase Showdown?

Well the dog was free (at least ostensibly, until you start counting flip flops eaten, etc).

And the shoes were a whopping six bucks at Wal-Mart.

Sweet.  Three mile recovery run here I come.

I have to say, they give the Vibrams some stiff competition.  There really isn't much to these shoes and that's pretty much the point. I'm telling you, once you square away your form, you can truck around in pretty much anything.  Had Jeff (the aforementioned flip flop devourer) not been absolutely sand bagging it due to the humidity I could have easily knocked out a 8 min/mile pace despite the route being rolling hills.  If there was a drawback, it was that they kept rubbing my achilles.  Not to the point that it was blistering, but more like the feeling of a blade of grass tickling the back of your leg.

Overall, they got the job done and they'll stay in the rotation for these Saturday recovery runs.

Not sure if Jeff will hang quite as tough :-)

By Marcus with 1 comment


I'm a Newton shoe guy. I wouldn't even consider another brand. Golf? Dude, I just spent the weekend in Palm Springs playing golf. I live less than 5 miles from Torrey Pines and have played it over 50 times. It's cheap for city residents. I hope you keep blogging while you're away.

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