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I still foresee a performance traine
I immediately began to think, “yes, Brooks Launch it is!” but he did restrain me a bit by steering me towards a few options that at least offered some cushioning. We started with the new Brooks Ghost 3. I liked them, but they were a bit heavy (weighing in at 1 ozs.) and a bit snug. We then tried the Mizuno Wave Rider 13. Definitely lighter, and I could particularly notice the reduced height of the heel. I had a similar impression with the Asics DS-Trainers. However, things still felt a bit snug, and when I mentioned my concerns about my toenails, Vince asked “was it your pinky?” Upon my “yes” answer, he responded, “well, then you need a wide shoe. “ If the shoes were too short, you’d have issues in your big toe. I had never considered this before. Wow, what a V8 moment (and you’d think my podiatrist would have pointed that out to me)!So he brought out the Mizunos and Asics in 2E’s, and I gave them both another try. Now let me state my minor beef with Asics shoes – they don’t make the shoelaces long enough to double-knot, so I was constantly retying my Gel-1150’s. And yes, I know I could put in new laces, but see paragraph 3. When they both felt similar on a trial run, I went with the Mizunos. And, I’ll be honest, I liked the way they looked.So, here are the impressions after around 30 miles on the Mizunos – what a contrast to my previous shoes. You can absolutely feel the road in these – in fact, I feel like I’m gripping the road as I run. Like many things in life however, this strength may be also be their greatest weakness – I’m concerned how they will feel at the marathon distance. So I’m going to build up the distance slowly, using them for only stepback long runs, speedwork, and easy runs initially (still mixing in with the Nike’s).I also noticed some changes in how my muscles felt during training – there was more soreness on the first run in my inner shins and hamstrings, which I presume is due to getting used to a slight change in my gait (but may have been from the tail end of a tough running week). The shin issues have disappeared, but the hamstrings still fell a little tighter than normal. The lower heel compared to the Nike’s seems to be forcing (allowing?) me to be less of a heel striker (and honestly I was already surprised as to how little wear the Nike’s had on the heel (see below), compared to the two pairs I owned last year) and I’m sure that’s forcing some adjustments in my motion.So time will tell. It is difficult to run “controlled experiments” in running as there are too many variables we can’t control (fatigue and weather, most notably). If the soreness continues, I will go back and try the Brooks Ghost 3’s (which I may do anyway). But now I know (a) I need wide shoes, and (b) I don’t need much stability and it is in fact counter-productive, so I will be making wiser shoe choices from this point forward. And I still foresee a performance trainer in my future, at least for shorter races.I was listening to one of Ted’s “Food Rants” on a recent episode of his podcast (Episode 19 to be exact – here’s the Itunes link), and was impressed by his willingness to express his emotions on the topic of childhood obesity as forcefully as he did. He is a guy that truly cares about the welfare of our nation’s young people, and he gave a passionate explanation in that episode regarding why the obesity epidemic is potentially a problem from a national security standpoint.I felt compelled to send a message to Ted regarding his rant, and he was kind enough to place it as the opening segment to his latest episode (#22), in which he and Megan from the Run Vegan Run podcast discuss their thoughts on nutrition and obesity. Ted’s podcast is well worth your subscription, but at the very least I recommend that you check out episode 19 and episode 22. I’d love to hear what you think!I’ve been dealing with a familiar burning sensation in my calf muscles this week (primarily the lower calf, or soleus muscle). I thought that I had outgrown this due to my regular running in minimalist shoes, but after 15 miles in the heat on Sunday, followed by 3.1 miles in my Vibram Fivefingers Bikilas on Monday, and then another 5+ in the Bikilas on Wednesday, my legs were pretty fried.

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