Sunday, April 7, 2013

double feature: 'fast shoes' & 'undertrained'

ladies and gentlemen - I present to you a special weekend double feature!

'the fast shoes'

When I was a kid we would run all over the place, light and fast like little kids are, in canvas sneakers with a thin rubber sole, or even barefoot. (There was the one time with my two boy cousins - this was after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when we all watched the UK's Linford Christie and US' Gail Devers win the men's and women's 100m - when we had sprint races around the estate and I ran till I nearly puked. I beat one of them, though.)

At home we walk around barefoot ('what, shoes in the house? that's just barbaric'). And to this day I can't stand having anything on my feet - not even the coldest of New England winters could induce me to ever sleep with socks on.

Which is why I also like to feel the ground when I run. So I really like my pink New Balance Minimus trail shoes - I got them in July or August 2012 and I think they're the original Minimus Zero Trail. They don't have much of a difference between heel and toe, they're super lightweight and have very sticky soles. (The difference between the heel height and the toe height is called the heel drop - just like a platform heel can be 4 inches at the heel and 1 at the toe.)

I definitely remember getting these last year and immediately going out gleefully to run quite a lot of the local trails in them. Like 16km worth of trail. (Don't try this at home, kids.) I've not been injured doing this, but if you're anyone else I strongly recommend starting slow!

If you look closely I am wearing the Minimus during the Green Corridor Run. That is probably how the rips happened...

These days I think of the pink shoes as my 'fast' shoes, even though the tread has completely worn off and I am not fast. There is a 1.5-inch rip in the little-toe side of each shoe, just from wear and tear. I might be replacing these sometime this year.

So that's three pairs of shoes in my current rotation: a normal 'cushiony' kind, the Nike Lunarglide 3; a lower-drop kind, the Saucony Fastwitch 5 (review's very firm but still bulky/ hefty enough that I don't feel fast, and I don't like it as much as either of my other pairs...but they were on sale at the local running store); and my go-to trail shoes, the Minimus Trail Zero.

As a talentless, genetically challenged, non-elite mere mortal who has never won anything in her life, not even an age-group plaque, never mind hundreds of dollars worth of shoes, I can't afford/ don't deserve to have more pairs than that! (I wonder what other people do when they come to the realisation that they'll never win anything in their entire lives. Do you get fed up and stop running? Do you keep running, like I do, because it's really for your sanity and mental health? If I ever did run fast enough to place I would probably die of shock.)

'undertrained' - a run350 race report 

This morning I wore the 'fast shoes' to run the Run350 10K. The weather was incredible (for running - if you had wanted to go to the beach, different story), the route was wide open and well marked, the volunteers were both helpful and plentiful...

My so-called 'race strategy' was to paint my nails purple and try to stick with my faster friend Hilary! I got as far as the purple nails. While threading my way through the crowd (late) I got stuck behind a clump of people and then the starting horn went off, so I never did find Hilary. Which is a good thing because she finished in a very healthy 49:45. This is at least six minutes faster than I can run a 10K.

I spent the first 2km of the run still weaving through people. Saw Coach Rosie and Coach Hollie coming the other way from a turnaround in quick succession. Had exactly enough breath and time to yell GO ROSIE and before I could take another breath to yell GO HOLLIE they had vanished. (They eventually made it to the top 4, finishing in something ridiculous like 40 minutes.)  Picked another rabbit, lost her too, picked another rabbit, overtook her eventually (thanks, lady in the blue tank top), and spent the rest of the thing wondering nervously if she was trying to chase me down as well. (Does anyone else do this misattribution of mental states to fellow runners thing, or am I the only loony on the block?)

Finally I saw the 1-hour pacers just ahead of me, going through the finishing chute (pacers! how cute! there were 3 pace groups: 1:00, 1:10, and 1:20! this was ADORABLE), and I sprinted through. I honestly have no clue what time I ran, because the 1-hour pacers started right with the starting gun and I...definitely did not. I never did start my watch or my phone, and it was fabulous.

Afterwards I went off to look for Holly the one-woman cheer squad, found her cheering the half-marathoners in, ran another very scenic couple of km along the river, ran out of water (I DISLIKE being out of water), and took a bus home.

Still, I'm a little disappointed in myself because I haven't really been training terribly hard. I've missed three weekends' worth of long runs (BAD! VERY BAD!) for all sorts of reasons, and it's a miracle if I manage to run thrice a week. (To any coaches reading: I may be determined but unless I quit my job and suddenly have scads of free time, I am at ZERO risk of me on this.)

Anyway - off to run more next week. The next time I post will probably be from Hong Kong...

update! my eventual time for the run350 10K was 58:04, which is all right for an undertrained, slightly disappointing race.

obligatory running photo. thanks Running Shots! 

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