Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gear Review - PR//SOLES Recovery Sandals

I got these shoes in November and I've been meaning to review these guys for a LONG time.  I broke my toe in early December and it has been really, really cold here.  Both of these conditions aren't all that friendly for sandal wearing.  I also keep wanting to wear them after skiing, but I haven't figured out how to do that and not freeze.

We had a BEAUTIFUL weekend last weekend and I finally broke out the sandals for some extended wearing.  It was in the 60's both days.  I had a 10 mi race on Saturday and a 43 mile bike ride on Sunday - both of which were good opportunities to wear the sandals afterwards and see how they did.
post-cycling fashion statement.  Also: SHORTS IN JANUARY!
You can get these sandals from Gone for a Run and they come in pink/navy and orange/navy.  I got the pink because I did not want Broncos colors on my feet....

Blurb from the website:
PR SOLES are specifically designed for runners to provide the most comfortable post-run footwear option and promote recovery of sore and tired feet. Just step into these super comfortable sandals featuring ACUPOINT soles to have your feet massaged as you walk. PR SOLES are lightweight, breathable, waterproof and feature our unique foam cushioned acupoint soles for ultimate massaging comfort that both refresh and energize your feet. 

How do PR SOLES work? The unique raised ‘triggers’ on the acupoint soles activate nerve endings in the feet that send healing relief through the entire body. These triggers are specially designed to massage your feet improving circulation and breaking up painful lactic acid and uric acid that accumulate in the feet after a run or any extended time on your feet. 

Recover Faster and Smarter
 By slipping on PR||SOLES after a run or activity, the triggers will immediately engage your feet to increase circulation and nerve stimulation which benefits the entire body. Here are just a few of the benefits of applying massaging action to the feet: 
1. Improves circulation by stimulating blood flow, which will refresh the feet and legs. 
2. Breaks up accumulated wastes such as lactic and uric acid in the feet. 
3. Alleviates foot, leg and lower back pain 
4. Reduces swelling and tension 
5. Stimulates nerve endings benefiting the entire body 
6. Feet and legs recover faster

My plantar fascia have been pretty crabby with me, mainly because its off season, and in my dumb little head, off season means I can also take a break on restorative practices, such as massaging my feet daily to keep my PF happy.  I knew that after running 10 miles hard on Saturday my feet would be sore and tired and slipping on some nice sandals would feel REALLY good.  Post finish asthma attack, I put the sandals on and walked to the car and kept them on for pretty much the afternoon.  Then on Sunday, I wore them after my bike ride, around the house, and to the grocery store.  

Thoughts on the shoes:

  • You really can feel the "triggers" (they look like those old eggfoam mattress pads) when you walk and they feel GOOD.
  • The sole beds are firm enough for the trigger points some oomph but they're soft enough to be comfy.  In other words, the cushioning was just right, at least for me
  • I like wearing sandals like this after cycling, mainly because I can keep my socks on.
  • They are ugly (sorry).  They are a big and bulky (but also VERY light weight).  I'm not sure how you could improve on the looks though, since it seems these sandals are more function over form.
  • The sizing on the website is a bit wonky.  I wear a size 9 in running shoes and 8.5 in most other shoes. I took the footbed out of my running shoes and compared that to the size chart and found that I should order a large in the sandals.  They arrived and were HUGE.  I sent them back and got mediums.  Still a bit big (they run wide and I have skinny feet) but with socks they fit just fine.
  • I got to test out the Gone for a Run exchange process.  Super smooth and easy!

All in all, I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of these once the weather warms up.  They were really comfy and seemed to make my feet a little less crabby.

Cost: $29.99
Website link:

*disclaimer* Gone for a Run provided these shoes to me to wear and review.  All opinions remain my own.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Frosty's Frozen 10 Mile Race Report

This is the second (or third, if you count both 10 mile races I did last year) time I've done this race, so I don't have a whole lot to write about.  I went into it wanting to improve on last year's races and hoping for a 10:15/mile split.  The goal was based upon my half marathon PR of 10:30 (from November's half ironman) and my 10k race last month. So that meant a race time of 1:41:30.  Hmmm.

Will actually wanted to run the 5 mile race (which is awesome and amazing) so we got to the race site at 8:30.  We found other AMC'ers, hung out, pinned on bibs and got them off to the start line.

I went back inside the lodge and messed around for a while until I saw some friends to briefly hang out with.  At 9:45 I got my stuff ready and headed out with a friend for a warm up - a full 30 min before the race start!  A first for me!  My plan was to run around to the last part of the run (the evil hill) and run to the finish with Will, but my timing was poor and I missed him.  I ended up doing 18 minutes of warming up, which is a new record and the closest I've come to doing my full 20-minute warm-up.

I managed to find Will when I was waiting for the start, say goodbye to him (he would have to wait nearly 2 hrs for me), and stand in the start area with my friends.  The plan was to do an easy build for the first 5 miles and hang on for the last 5 miles.  I had 10 oz of Osmo in my handled and 2 packets of Honey Stinger chews to eat during the race.  I also had my inhaler.  Good times!

I ended up running the first 4 or so miles with a friend, which was fun, except we ran WAY too fast.  My HR was really high but my effort didn't feel fast so I just went with it.  I felt rock star awesome up until mile 6, when things got hard.  I ran the first 5 miles straight then went to my 0.05 mi nutrition walk break every mile.

Mile 7 is when things started to get ugly.  I was having a hard time breathing so I had to use my inhaler.  It got caught in my tiny pocket so I had to walk a bit more than I had hoped.  Then running just became not super.  I sucked it up, mainly because I was also running to order #MegsMiles, a woman who was hit and killed Monday by a drunk driver during her morning run.  Those miles weren't fun, but I kept pushing because I was able to and Meg no longer could.

Around mile 8 I had my usual mile 20 Ironman thought, where nothing seemed better than curling up under a tree and taking a nap right then and there.

Mile 9 was another inhaler break.  I don't know what the deal was, I just could not get a real breath.  It sucked.  Then the final mile I just told myself to suck it up.  I was definitely running slower, but I told myself that slow running was faster than fast walking.

I hit the finish mat at 1:43:05, 1:30 slower than my goal.  According to my garmin, the course was long (10.09) which actually put me at a 10:12 pace.  So really, I should be happy.  But I'm not really.  This course is a slight downhill going out and slight uphill coming back, which makes it hard to negative split.  So I try to even split it.  Not even close.  My last 5 miles was 0:22/mile slower than my first.  Laaaame.

But I learned something. Don't run with friends in races!  And run slower!
I need to learn how to do cute poses while displaying my sponsor logos.  Bad athlete!
Post race I had to suck on my inhaler some more, which sent me into a really awesome multi-hour trembling fit from all the albuterol.  Will was napping in the car which meant I had to haul myself and all my crap (and my cramping legs) to the car solo.  And then we went to 5 Guys for burgers.  I was shaking so much that I had to brace my hands/burger on the table and eat like a little kid.  Not cool!

Not the best race, not the worst one either.  Definitely leaves room for improvement for the next 10 mile race in February.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Treadmill duty

The weather here has not been fabulous.  Its been stupid windy (Evergreen clocked a 100 mph gust last night - craziness!).  We've had really cold temps, or warmer but still cool enough for icy condition temps.

In a nutshell, I've been having to do most of my running on the treadmill because its either too cold, too windy, or too slippery to be outside.


My coach is a smartie (or really in tune with the weather) and has been writing my workouts with notes "this would be good for the tready".  Also: I think she's trying to kill me again. Or make me faster.  Either way, it feels like I might die when I'm running fast on a treadmill.

Last week I was trapped on the hampster wheel twice.  Twice!  Tuesday I had 2 x 6 min 10k pace intervals.  I decided to get it done at the gym in my office.  It's convenient.  But, as I learned, the thermostat is set on "office environment" and is way to warm for a gym.  I normally don't sweat a ton, but I was drenched after my hour run. Not a problem when I'm anonymous in a gym, but this was done in front of coworkers, including a senior executive who actually knows me.  Lovely.  Since I normally don't sweat much, I didn't have a towel for a shower.  I just wiped myself down with baby wipes and went back to my desk.  I think it was at least an hour before I stopped sweating.  I was so sweaty, my little hair-gripper headband was soaked.  Gross!

Friday was a workout which had 2 x 2.5 mi @ 10:00 pace (which is pretty fast for me).  I opted to use my gym membership (well, one of my memberships.  I belong to both Lifetime and 24 hr.  I prefer Lifetime and only have the 24 hr b/c its dirt cheap and good when I travel).  Let me tell you, Lifetime at 6 PM on a Friday night is party city....  I did my warmup and got down to business with my 2.5 mi repeats.  My MP3 player promptly died, leaving me without music and ~50 minutes of hard running.  I could kinda hear the gym music over my pounding (why am I so loud on the treadmill?) and I planted myself in front of the tv with the music videos.  I counted this as mental training.  Also: music videos are really, truly terrible.  Maybe that's my MTV doesn't play videos anymore.  They're awful.

I got home and my feet felt terrible.  My planar fascia was crazy tight.

Is it just me, or does your body react differently to treadmills?  Its like I run differently.  I don't think my body likes it.

Sunday was an easy run, so I did it on the trail by my house with Will.  Yay - outside!  The only tricky part was the ice.  Sure, it was 60 degrees the day before, but that water left puddles which were then ice puddles at 10 AM the next day.  Fortunately, we were running slow.  The weather was interesting... Sunny.  Then cloudy.  Then corn snow (the stuff that looks like little bits of styrofoam).  The snow was welcome because it stuck to the ice puddles, making them easier to see.  Going back to the house, things looked ominous.  Dark, low clouds.  Will made a comment about how the area west of us was getting hammered.  I thought it was just a low cloud.  Then we made a final turn back home and was hit upside the face with a wall of wind and HUGE snowflakes.  Will laughed because he was headed home.  I whimpered because I still had 30 minutes.  I turned around and did my harder intervals.  The cool thing about the trail is that is sits a bit lower than the rest of the area and there's a bunch of trees, so its protected.  The result was huge, puffy flakes (my favorite kind) swirling around me like a snow globe.  Seriously.  It was magical.  And then my last 10 minutes were in sunshine.  I think Colorado was on crack Sunday.

Today is another high wind today, so I'm back over at Lifetime after work for more treadmill fun.  I forgot my MP3 player on the charger at home.....  Hopefully I remember to bring my phone with me and headphones from work.

The funniest part: I'm thinking about doing the Dopey Challenge in 2015, which potentially means 20+ mile runs on the treadmill next winter.  What the hell is wrong with me?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Years Day Run

My friends and I went on a fun little trail run for New Years Day.  It had snowed about 1" at my house and I was hopeful that the park would be coated in fresh snow.  But sadly (and weirdly) they didn't get any fresh snow.  That meant the trail consisted of mud, packed snow, and ice.  That made for an interesting time.

We did both loops, about 5.3 miles and 900 ft climbing.  Footing was a bit tricky - the mud made for heavy shoes (my foot nearly popped out a few times) and the ice was well, icy.  Add single track trail and a pretty good drop off....  I wish I had more photos but I had to focus so I wouldn't fall to my doom.

detour to a scenic outlook.  We're so color coordinated
Ryan on single track snowpacked trail
scenic outlook from the South Rim loop trail, about 6,480 ft looking north
I love trail running :)