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A weird run brought to you by NASA technology

After work today I came in to my house to come home to a very nice surprise. On the bench by the doorway lay a pair of new LunarSwift 2’s that I had ordered a week or so ago. I had originally planned to run anyways and, of course, excited by the arrival of my new shoes, I decided to take them for a spin. 

Straight off they looked kind of big. It might have been the color, red; they reminded me sort of like clown shoes but much more stylish. I slide them on and tightened the laces as I do with all my running shoes- not too tight and not too loose. Weird, they felt like the heel were slipping but the toe room was similar to all my shoes. I tightened them more before I went out for a run. 

First impressions for the first few steps. Stiff but responsive. This is my first venture into Lunar technology and I realize they are mainly more supportive. I come from more neutral cushioning shoes/minimalist shoes. I ran on and hit a patch of gravel that had uneven terrain. I thought great, stiff shoe! It’s gonna be a hard ride in there. Ran through it with a more flexible than expected ride. Flexible, but supportive.

When I hit about the mile point I noticed my feet started aching. New technology or poor lacing? Initially, I noticed that the lacing pattern of this shoe was pretty simplistic. I honestly think it could have benefited by adding another set of eyelets on top or at least a double eyelet at top loop. The shoes just didn’t feel locked in. I loosened my shoes and trekked on. No more aching. And oddly enough, at the end of my run the heel and the shoe in general felt more snug on my foot. 

Truthfully for most of this short run (only 3 miles) I was more concerned about how the shoe felt and when this happens, I usually suffer time wise. Between my re-lacing, achy feet, and preoccupation on feel, I definitely thought my time would suffer. I know I said that the shoe felt stiff yet responsive. But, if you could imagine, even while being responsive I still felt as if I was going slow. Surprise, Surprise! I actually finished my 3 mile jog in under 30 minutes (26:45 to be exact). Usually during my first run in a shoe I take it slow and I have generally ran, for my first few runs in a new shoe, 9:30-10:30 minute miles just to break them in.  Surprisingly, I went a lot faster and didn’t feel any worse than usual. Could be the shoe, and it could be my attention to speed work as of late. But nonetheless, something to take note of. 

During my run, I liked the feel but didn’t love it. I am used to more flexible shoes. Though stiff, they were responsive and gave the feeling of a bounce back. Just by the results of my first run, I think I should pay more attention to the lunar line, or at least this pair that I have now. 

In summary. LunarSwift 2. Stiff but responsive. Felt slow but performed fast. Felt loose initially, tightened the shoe, felt too tight, loosened the shoe then felt snug by the end of the run. 

Lunar foam was developed by NASA and this shoe is definitely “alien” to me. The dynamic support definitely kicked in. The shoe seemed to just self correct itself. I hope to really break these in and hit their “magic” phase where I am sure I will fall in love with these shoes.

Onward and Upward

BLISS-ter

Barefoot running has gained steam in the past few years. Brands have slowly began to put some crazy research into minimalist shoes and their advantages over conventional running shoes. I have jumped on the bandwagon to see what it was all about.

My weapon of choice was the Saucony Hattori. A super light shoe, only weighting in at about 4.4 ounces (male size 9) it is one of the lightest runners out on the market today. They do fit like a sock and because of this, on my first run in them I decided to go barefoot in them. Felt great for the first 2 miles, but after I developed a blister at the junction between my heel bone and achilles tendon. This was caused by the lining of the shoe. I had to take the shoes off and readjust and eventually had to stop my run. In short, the fix was to wear thin socks and tighten the heel lock velcro feature on the back. As of late I have been able to wear the shoe without socks without experiencing any blistering simply by tightening the heel lock velcro very snugly.

Since I have had luck with running barefoot in the Hattori, I decided to try the barefoot approach with my more conventional,.heavy cushioning Nimbus 12. Again, it felt okay for the first few miles. I felt kind of off once I tried the shoe on. I don’t know, it felt like my feet were kind of slipping even when I was walking to my run’s start point. I guess I should have taken that as a warning because after the 4.5 mile mark, I started to feel blisters forming on my insteps bilaterally. I completed my 10K run and when I took off my shoe I did indeed have small blisters on both insteps. 

I am confident that this will be fixed with wearing socks. 

I realize that blisters are an injury, but I kind of felt that it was part of my initiation as a runner. Kind of a morbid thought, I know. 

In the next few weeks I hope to increase my long run to about 10 miles. The 6.2 mile distance has been good so far and I feel like I can do more. Wish me luck.

Onward and Upward!

Midnight run

I do not know why but I decided to go for a midnight run-technically I started running at 1 am but still. No, I am not an insomniac. What makes this run crazier was the fact that I did it while on break from work. Let me tell you, the air during this time was amazing. I felt as if very very high quality oxygen was entering my lungs propelling me onward with it’s energizing powers. Like most of my runs, my legs felt dead in the beginning. But after about 2 miles I hit my stride. I ran around Vancouver with no real route planned. I took a few lefts and a few rights. Made a few loops, went up hills, went down some. A pretty helter skelter kind of run. I had no real goal for the run. I just felt good after 2 miles so I just kept going. At about the 3.5 mile mark I decided to go for a goal of 6.2 miles (or 10Km).Previous to this my longest run was 5.25 km.

I posted earlier about wondering if I should enter a 10k in October. I finally got some people from work to give me a tentative “yes”. I think this hyped me up and caused me to run this 10k at 1 in the morning. I took it slow at first…I think the first few miles were at 10:30-10:45/mile pace. Then after about mile 4 I cranked it up a bit and ended up with an average speed 9:45/mile. I finished the 10K at just over 1 hour.

 

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I guess I am going to do that 10K. Hopefully my training goes well.

 

Onward and Upward

The day after with the Hattori

So, yesterday was my first run in the Saucony Hattori. Great feeling shoe. Snug fit; the fit is much like a sock or an aqua sock. I was able to “squeeze” in to my normal size 10 for running shoes. During my run, I decided to go barefoot in them as they are “barefoot” shoes. I do not normally run in my running shoes barefoot but I decided to give it a try anyways. What a revelation! The fit of the shoes, the reaction from toe off was quick. These shoes were super responsive during my run. I ran about 2 miles without any issues, however, just past the 2 mile point I developed some irritation along my achilles on my left side. I had to readjust a few times but finally I had to pull the heel tab down to avoid the rubbing I was feeling. The run was generally really good. I usually do not run for any great distances. In fact, my longest run to date was about 3-4 miles. If it wasn’t for the blister on my achilles that developed I think I could have run for over 5 miles.

I think next time I will run with thin socks when using the Saucony Hattori’s. Things are looking up in my very first venture into minimalist/barefoot running. I was warned that my calves would be sore and trust me they weren’t lying. They are tight but in a good way. I think they’ll get stronger overtime. I have been running with very plush cushioning shoes and because of this I think my legs have been somewhat spoiled!

I plan to use the Hattori’s more of a tool to strengthen my feet. I love the feel of my Nimbus and will not give up on them ever.

Upward and onward!!!