Mid Week Training Update, Shoe Review, Breakfast, Finisher Glass

Thursday, May 2. It’s been a good few days, training-wise. I’m eating well, completing my miles, doing weights and core.

Saucony Koa ST Trail-Running Shoes

I like the Saucony Koa. I ordered them a few weeks ago because I wanted a trail shoe that wasn’t zero-drop. I love my Lone Peaks but I also need to mix it up a bit. For the first time I read a bunch of reviews before buying online at REI. These had pretty decent reviews for the terrain I’m running on. I will need to run in them a few more times for a full report and grade – but I like them so far. I like how grippy they are. I’m not crazy about the lacing system. About seven years ago I had Salomon trail running shoes with this lacing system and I could never get them tight enough so I’ve never gone back to that brand.

The Pineland finisher glass.

I want this glass. At the end of the day on May 26 I hope it is in my possession. This is race #3 of the five-race series for 2019 to be my dream year.

Breakfast

I’ve never been much of a bacon fan. I bought it for the first time in a decade this week. I’ve added two slices every morning and it really fills be up and I’m not starving by 11 a.m.

So this is my update heading into the weekend, and doing the mileage I was supposed to do last weekend. The only problem mileage-wise is Saturday because I’m going up to New Gloucester to preview/run the Pineland course. I’m also getting a massage from my favorite masseuse who fixes all my muscle and tendon issues.

Today’s Run. Not super fast but on the hilly, rocky, wet trails.

Mid-Week Training update

This week so far, unfortunately has been all about knee pain. I had extreme left knee pain after a four mile run on Wednesday. I purposely took Monday and Tuesday off to give my knee a break but it still hurt to run 4 miles. Then, post-run my knee hurt when walking on even ground and gradual downhills. Climbing stairs and going uphill doesn’t cause any pain. I went to my doctor and she referred me to an ortho doc. Who knows when that appointment will happen. However, today, Thursday after 30 minutes on the elliptical, 750 stairs and weight training the knee seems better; not so much pain. The big test will be Friday, tomorrow.

Jaybird – X4 Wireless Headphones

Jaybird headphone review – I love the headphones and the wireless technology. I particularly liked them while on the stair master and walking around the weight room while listening to music.

Garmin Connect app – yesterday’s stats

Forerunner 35 – I have hooked it up with my phone and all my stats appear in the app. I know steps, heart rate all day long, how long I slept, average resting heart rate and the best thing – the watch vibrates with a message – MOVE – and forces me to get up and walk around when I’m still for an hour. I know it’s trendy to track steps and I’ve never been into it, but now see how addictive getting a lot of steps each day and reaching goals can be. I have a 50,000 step goal each day.

I’m hoping the next few days will be good training days. The weather has been cold and windy but at least no snow. Just hoping ice on the trails melts soon – I need vertical!

New Gear; too much info

Now I can obsess about my low heart rate.

I love my new Forerunner 35 GPS watch. Since this week is a recovery week, I seriously only have to run two miles tomorrow. I can test out the new watch.

Any other runners out there with a low resting heart rate?

New Hiking Gear Winter 2018

Sunrise Concord NH

One of the positive aspects of changing from triathlon to trail  & mountain running/hiking/backpacking is all the new gear I get to buy.

While some of the winter running and biking winter clothing transitions well but there are some accessories I must invest in.

Number 1: Water filtration system

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L
Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L

I chose a collapsible water filter option so I could back it pretty easily in a small running pack. I’ll be trying the Katadyn BeFree on the long hike to Owl’s Head this week so we’ll see how it does. This is new technology for me so I can’t wait to see how it works on the trail.

Number 2: New hiking boots

Salomon X Ultra 3 – Day One, 1.4 miles

I’ve been hiking in trail running shoes for so many years and never considered hiking boots. I always thought that trail running shoes were less impactful on a trail and even when hiking sometimes I like to run.  This year is different and I’m winter hiking so I knew I needed to invest in a good boot. The hiking boots I currently own were given to me when I was a Colorado gear tester back in 2008. I still have them but they are pretty beat up. I’ve been reading so many hiking and backpacking websites and blogs, and one trail review writer recommended Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots so I researched them. I liked the other reviews I read and decided to give them a try. The first break-in hike was this morning [see first photo in this post, a hike with a sunrise]. I’m not bringing them for the hike this weekend; this one’s a biggie and didn’t want to wear boots that need to be broken in. I’ll stick with the tried and true trail runners; probably my Ultra trail runners.

It’s good to get back into mountain sports. There is so much more equipment to research and try. Next up: tent and stove.

Trying New Products: Altra Torin 2.5

This weekend I bought a new pair of road running shoes and testing them out today. I bought the Altra Torin. I wear a size 11 shoe and the men’s shoe fit the best.

When I lived in Tucson, I ran in a pair of Lone Peaks for trail running. I like them, but didn’t love them. But giving the road shoe a chance.

On Saturday I actually bought these from a running store, Runner’s Alley in Concord. The sales person was great and offered his advice on different options. Originally I wanted to buy a pair of Hoka’s but they didn’t fit well. I have some issues with my left foot: neuroma and a bunion so I need a bigger toe box. I’ve run on Asics and Pearl Izumi’s for so long and they have been good to me but it was time to try a different road shoe. And, as you know, Pearl Izumi isn’t making running products anymore ;-(

The Altra brand says that their Zero Drop running shoes can help improve technique and with the Toe Box will maximize shock absorption – all things that will be good for me.

I’m trying them out this morning and will let you know.

Things I do: Every time I buy a new pair of shoes I buy a new pair of socks. This time I bought a pair of Darn Tough socks made in Vermont.

Buy Local, Run Local – that’s my new motto. I don’t buy from Amazon anymore. Even though I could buy a few last pairs of Pearl Izumi road shoes from Amazon I chose not to. I’m buying from my local stores and local products. Speaking of making changes, I saw this online yesterday about The Small Change Initiative – geared to trail runners. “The idea is our small change, be it $5, $10, $20, or more adds up to big impact for organizations making a difference in the places we visit for our races and other adventures.” I think it’s a pretty cool idea. Here’s Adventures in Thumbhole’s blog.

Do you ever make bets with yourself and as a reward you sign up for something fun?

I do it all the time. Sometimes it works for motivation, sometimes not. Last night I found out from Facebook that there is a trail marathon in Bear Brook State Park; 11 miles from my house. I’m so used to driving hours for a race and don’t want to do it anymore – I want to run local. One of the many benefits of living in Concord is I’m central to so many events and activities. Plus, I need to sign up for a race that is long and on a trail, that is half way to my 53K race in September. I told myself if I got up today and ran the 7.5 mile loop I would sign up for it. I’m ready to hit the road with my new gear and to sign up for more races!