Sunday, August 04, 2013

Summer running and new shoes.

I haven't posted for a while... since nothing much to say. I've been doing base pace MAF type running at 125bpm and building back up my endurance. Some trips and work crunches have caused ups and downs in my weekly mileage. 

Here's my trailing 90 day stats by week:

Date   Miles   Pace   BPM WHR%    Elev+    Elev-    YPB
2013-05-06 Mon 13.3 10:46 112.8 54.7 131.8 130.4 1.447
2013-05-13 Mon 37.1 10:25 118.1 59.1 313.1 315.4 1.435
2013-06-03 Mon 12.0 10:34 115.9 57.3 183.9 180.4 1.435
2013-06-10 Mon 33.2 11:09 127.6 66.9 1639.3 1635.6 1.257
2013-06-17 Mon 33.3 11:30 124.5 64.3 1286.0 1275.3 1.228
2013-06-24 Mon 6.8 10:03 122.0 62.3 44.4 47.8 1.438
2013-07-01 Mon 8.0 9:29 127.0 66.4 91.6 89.9 0.931
2013-07-08 Mon 30.6 9:31 124.1 64.0 152.4 162.7 1.489
2013-07-15 Mon 25.3 9:44 123.9 63.8 430.6 438.2 1.483
2013-07-22 Mon 30.2 9:33 125.6 65.3 255.5 258.6 1.471
2013-07-29 Mon 43.0 9:34 123.4 63.5 490.6 496.9 1.493
Summary 272.9 10:14 121.5 61.9 5019.2 5031.2 1.398

This chart starts the week after the Tacoma marathon, so some slow recovery running. Then the marathon double(in blue) , first marathon (Sunday) goes in one week, the second (Mon) the next week ..also way slow.

Finally around 7/08 I'm  not traveling and I start doing solid 125 bpm running. I also started swimming a couple of times a week. (This last week was a total fail for swimming: none! I've also been really bad about doing strength training or drills: none! Sigh. ) 

I did hit 43 miles this week....not really planned...

Monday and Tuesday I was feeling swamped at work and so I did no running or swimming.  Wednesday morning I decided I could NOT let my 5 runs-per-week norm go by the boards and so I ran Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun:

Date Miles Pace BPM WHR% Elev+ Elev- YPB
2013-07-31 Wed 5.3 9:25 123.9 63.8 35.5 36.8 1.503
2013-08-01 Thu 9.2 9:16 123.3 63.4 282.6 282.2 1.561
2013-08-02 Fri 4.8 9:30 124.7 64.5 16.9 18.2 1.471
2013-08-03 Sat 7.5 9:28 123.6 63.6 76.4 79.1 1.507
2013-08-04 Sun 16.3 9:51 123.0 63.1 79.1 80.6 1.454
Summary 43.0 9:34 123.4 63.5 490.6 496.9 1.494

...There have only been a few times I've done this. The 16 miler on Sunday was tough...I hadn't done any long runs greater than 10 miles since the double and after running 4 days in a row it was difficult for me after mile 12.  Luckily, Sunday morning was foggy and looked to stay that way long enough so I really felt I should take advantage and do a long(er) run.

Thursday's 9 mile run (in red) was of those days where you click and can tell you are well rested, the weather is not too hot or humid and your body is ready to go with low HRs and fast paces. Even with 280' of hills this run was in the top 10% for running economy (YPB)..comparing against all my 8-12 mile runs. It's a good sign when that happens...getting fitter.


Still no injuries, but I have had a bit of a niggle: my 3rd toe on my left foot has been feeling kinda bruised after some goes away after a day, comes back after some runs but not others, etc.

I knew why: my Kinvaras were way past due for replacement..the soles all worn, and they felt pretty dead when running (but still light though 8). Even with my homemade lift my shorter left leg causes my left foot to take more of a beating than my right.

Another problem is that the K's seem to have gotten narrower over time (I had to go from an 11 to 11.5, and I also delace the bottom set of holes to open it up some). My feet have also been spreading out in the forefoot in the last 4 years.. I think the pressure on my toes from the side in my left shoe may be contributing to the bruising. So I need wider shoes.

My heels are lined up in this you can see my left foot is quite a bit bigger. I have long toes that are pretty mobile (except for the poor mashed pinky toe), e.g. I can snap my big toe against my 2nd toe or wave them back and forth without touching. During my runs I often wiggle and scrunch them  (like grabbing the dirt with your toes) to relax them.

Both big toes are bent outward and the pink toes bent inward from a lifetime in narrow forefoot shoes.

So, time for new shoes! 

What to get? I went to Zombie Runner and wanted to find something with more cush, more width, and more wear resistance than the K's but not as heavy as the Brooks Launches. 

It's easy to get more width if you go for a more zero-drop shoe..those shoes are catering to the barefoot-like runners and mostly all have wide Merrill style forefeet. I don't feel I can go all the way to zero drop at my age and with my stiff muscles (stringy tough collagen) and tight a 'transition' shoe with 6-8mm of drop is the lowest I can go.

I picked the Scotts after comparing Brooks Pureflows on the treadmill in the store. The final face-off (foot-off?) was to run with left foot:Scott, right foot:Pureflow...(try this if your store will let's a great way to make the final comparison between two pairs that seem closely matched)

That test showed me the Scotts are more flexible than the Pureflows, and feel about the same weight. Both are heavier than the Kinvaras and more cush and should wear much much better.

I ended up getting size *12* in the Scotts to get a wide enough forefoot. Can you believe it? 5 years ago when I started running I was getting 10.5 to 11, now it's 11.5 - 12. Up a full size just to get the width. You can see that the 11.5 Brooks (left) is about the same size as the Scotts width problems with them.

The weights, from L to R: 
                       Brooks @ 10oz,  Scotts @ 9oz,  Kinvaras @ 8oz. 

(weights from my trusty postal scale)

I did the 16 miler today in the Scotts and they were fine. I did not like the extra ounce but I liked the extra padding. They will be a good replacement for the Brooks. I will probably buy another pair of Kinvaras for racing and speedwork only, or maybe try to find a 6 oz shoe for racing.


I still have no races signed up. 

I'm thinking of peaking for my favorite Tralblazer 10k race on Sept's the only 10k race I've run, actually. I have run it at 8:00 pace and I think I should be able to shave that down to 7:50 or so.

As for a peaked marathon, in the spring I may do Long Beach or Surf City again. Both are good PR courses (fairly flat, foggy mornings, well run). Toni doesn't want me to repeat races but for a peaked marathon I prefer a familiar course!

That's all for now..thanks for reading. I know I've been very bad about reading all your blogs and I do miss seeing what you are up to but just crunched for time, sigh.

Happy summer!


  1. What is your secret for keeping your heart rate so LOW?? Is it a genetic thing?

    1. Well, yes.

      Everybody is different and comparing HRs between people is
      just not possible. You need to know your max hR and it may be way higher or lower than 220 - age.

      In my case I know it's about 220 - age because I was tested on a treadmill to exhaustion..not fun !

  2. I like the PureFlows, they're my favorite road shoe...but I have to admit, I am LOVING the Hokas after Leadville. Today I picked up the new Kailua (female only right now) because I'm convinced they cushion (and still low heel drop) are what saved me in Leadville, so will give these a try. Weird, I haven't head of the Scott shoes before...and you know I love shoes. Hoping they work out well for you and great job on those MAF runs; they're going to keep you solid for the spring race season! :)

    1. Yah, Scott is the ski gear company...they are breaking into running shoes too.
      The pureflows look like they wear like iron but seem a tad heavy.
      Hokas I have not seen or tried (yet) 8)

  3. 7:50 sounds like an amazing pace! I have a race on Sept. 29 too but it's a half. Why do I keep signing up for those? 10Ks have almost vanished around here.


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