7.10.2009

I feel the need...the need for speed!

Yeah, Top Gun was lame (I didn't really "get" what many of my girlfriends saw in that film. My guess is they no longer get it, either), but that infamous line is pretty much where my head is right now.

The primary differences in my training for Grand Rapids '09 and Bayshore '09 are that I did next-to-no speed work for Bayshore (I also ran "only" 5 days/week up until recently. I want to try to run 6 days most weeks, now...the trick is doing this while DS is home for the Summer). I was still a little gunshy about my knee issues from last Spring/Summer and it seemed that every time I did try to incorporate speed work I was battling health stuff or icy roads. By the time I got later into training and the roads were no longer an issue I was afraid to suddenly throw faster stuff in.

This time I'm doing better with that. I ran 6 mile marathon tempo runs both of my first 2 weeks of training. Though I have decided that I do need to add a couple of easy warm-up miles at the start if I don't want to end up benched. Those first 2 miles feel awful as I am starting out at marathon pace from the get-go. Unwise.

I'm still loving my new Nike Lunarglide+ shoes. Such a different feel from my other lightweight trainers, even though the weight differences between the Nikes and the NB 903 and Mizuno Wave Elixir are not all that great. The Lunarglide feels like a much beefier shoe in terms of cushion...like running on Nerf foam. I love it! They seem just as flexible as the other shoes in the forefoot, but cushion is not minimized to achieve that quality.

I have had a tough time getting my hands on a pair of the Superfeet "Blue" insoles I need, though. Our nearest store that carries Superfeet had NO blue insoles in stock (almost looks like they are no longer carrying the blue, which is weird...they had the green, berry, orange...). So I ordered a pair from RunningWarehouse.com, but they sent me a pair of orange. Kind of annoying, as I am not male and that is their male-specific insole. Now I wait until Monday, when they are due to arrive.

I already have a pair of blue Superfeet, but have decided that my fit issues with them is due to them not being the best size for my foot. They are Cs, which is marketed to women's shoe sizes 6.5-8...I wear an 8, but my berry insoles are a D (trimmed to fit...my heel base width fit in the berry Ds better than the Cs, which is how I ended up in that size for that insole in the first place) and fit me better. Apparently my arch is weird. My blue Cs always feel like the arch is too far back.

Today I wore my berry insoles with a pair of very thin Balega socks. The shoes fit better through the toebox with less sock (stupid-ass wide, hard-to-fit feet), but the arch on the berry insoles is still a bit aggressive in the Nikes, so the blues will work better AND since they are much thinner (due to no added cushion) I can go back to my preferred Smartwool socks. I found that the Balegas were too silky and my heel wanted to slip in the back, even with lock lacing. I hate my dumb feet.

Tomorrow I have a 16 miler on the schedule. As much as I would like to wear the Nikes for that run, I think I will wait until I have the proper insoles. So tomorrow I'll be in the NB 903s I wore for Bayshore...a shoe that I will be glad to retire. I'm pretty sure I will be selling those 3 remaining pair on eBay, now. I wore my pair currently in rotation yesterday and they just felt so meh. I have never loved the shoe, but now that I have a shoe that I think I may like even better than the 902s that they replaced I REALLY am not eager to wear them. They're not too narrow and never caused me any actual pain (unlike the 904s that are NB's current lightweight stability shoe), but that's about all I can say positive for them. The toebox is too deep and my foot feels like it's flopping around funny in them. Can't go smaller or narrower, though. NB is really good at messing up a good thing.

Speaking of...I have at least 2 pair of NB shoes (both are on that godforsaken new, narrower "performance" last.) that I avoid wearing at all cost. One pair I actually removed from rotation as they were causing blisters on my baby toes and both were bringing back my peroneal tendonitis issues--I think because the outer edges of my feet were spilling over the midsole (mind you, these are shoes that are marked wide). I really should just give these shoes to Goodwill. They are of no use to me, but may be perfect shoes for someone else...for running, walking, working, whatever. It's not as if I will recoup the $$ loss from the dumb things.

At least I know I'm not alone. A couple of running shoe store employees I have talked to have said that NB has gained new fans, only to lose ones like me...lots of wide-footed runners who struggle to find ANYTHING to fit acceptably. We've given up on shoes that fit perfectly. With the right Superfeet insole I think my Nikes are going to come really close, though...phew! Perhaps NB's revamping of their entire running product line will prove a blessing in disguise. Now Nike just has to keep up their end of the deal and not screw up the Lunarglides in the next installment.

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