I am a lover of shoes. Any of you that have stepped foot into my dressing room (closet) know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a shoe girl! Boots, pumps, sandals, stilettos, Uggs, Chuck Taylors, flip-flops, high heel, low heel… I get giddy when new shoes enter the house. But…running shoes..putting two of my loves together, well that’s just magical. I have had the go-around with running shoes this season. Switching brands, loving them, then switching back…OYE!! It’s amazing when putting in long miles how one can put such dedication into their shoes. However, as any runner knows, if you chose wrong….it’s ALL over!! There is a multitude of things that can go wrong OR right! There is something about slipping your feet into new shoes. It’s unbelievably wonderful!
Summer has so far proved to be amazing…as usual. It’s my time of year. My season. It never disappoints. Well…OK, I retract that as sometimes living in the Pacific Northwest our summers are more of a quick blip on the calendar in August. I love the hot (sometimes but rarely humid) days. I love waking early, and getting in a run while the sun is rising. And some days like yesterday, absolutely killing it on a six-mile run in the blistering, heat of the afternoon. I love that feeling of sore, tired, muscles. Sweating so much you feel like you’ve had a complete detox or a good session in the sauna. Finishing off those miles wondering if your legs will give out on you altogether or if when you stop there will be a puke-explosion! Now….six-miles is not a lot to run mileage wise, but when your last mile is entirely uphill, it is 85 degrees, full sun, and you feel like you may collapse….that six-miles can feel like your twenty-sixth.
That hill I speak of, some days it’s my best friend. It’s my “cool down” and I walk that 1-mile hill to my house. Some days it’s my worst enemy, as I run it and do repeats on it…either way, I live at the top, and what runs down, must run up! Yesterday I felt like calling the Hubs for a pick-up at the bottom. Luckily I didn’t have my phone, so it was “tackle this B*tch!” Glad I did. The first thing that came out of my mouth, all exasperated, out of breath, sweating like a dog, used up completely, when I got back to the house, and Hubs was sitting on the front porch, in the shade, was “WHY ON EARTH DO WE LIVE AT THE TOP OF A GIANT HILL!!!??” After I grabbed some water, stretched and cooled out…all I had to do was look around. Enough said.
I have officially started training for my Fall marathon. I am excited! I of course scoured through different training plans *see last weeks blog post* and
felt pretty good with my decision. Annnnd…. have since changed my mind. Go figure! Thank goodness we are only 2 weeks in. So switching gears a bit, I decided to use the Hanson Method. Their book, Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon, just made me laugh. And I thought, how apropos. I like the “renegade” part. Again…Go figure! Those who know me know that this word “renegade” alone would’ve sucked me in.
So I am starting this week (yesterday) 3 weeks into their plan. So far, so good, but it’s only been 2 days. It will be a completely different approach for me, as far as marathon training goes. My longest run will only be a 16-miler (which I will do 3 times during training) VS a 20 or 22-miler. They say they train you for the last 16 miles of the marathon and not the first 16. It’s a 6-day a week plan, that incorporates speed, strength and tempo workouts and trains your body to run on tired legs. From some of my Ultra friends, I hear this is a great approach. I will be putting in anywhere from 46-62 miles per week. The reviews are fantastic! So that’s settled….for good this time!
On another note, I am sad to say, I am going to be breaking up with my running shoes. This crushes and breaks my heart. I do not understand (well I do) why manufacturers need to change-up their shoe’s design. I know as technology and science betters with time, they need to make a change…but OH MY GOSH…do I love my shoes. Unfortunately since they made a small change, my last 2 pairs have been a little lackluster. Including my newest pair. I feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I type, and am now wishing I had been better at hoarding these shoes. As in buying up 25 pairs while they were so great! I would’ve had shoes for a few years. So now I am left in a quandary, trying to figure out what to switch to. LUCKILY, I am in early training and have some time to get this worked out. The break-up will be hard, and I will go through a mourning process, possibly locking myself in my room and listening to old Journey or some Total Eclipse of the Hearts for a few days. But like any other break-up, I know something better will come along.
I’d love to hear from you about training plans and shoes. Which plans have worked and which have not? Which running shoes have you had a love affair with? Have there been bad break-ups? How did you cope? And what was the “something better” that came along?? Was it hard saying Good-Bye?