Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
All 3 Cheap Runners took part in the Forest City Road Races this past weekend, with CheapRunnerMichelle running the 10K while CheapRunnerRhoda and I ran the Half Marathon. The FCRR is the largest run in the city of London (around 2400 registered participants by my count) and this was the 31st year of the race. It winds through the streets and parks of downtown London, Old North London and the University of Western Ontario. It starts and finishes on the streets bordering Victoria Park.
|Forest City Road Race Half Marathon Course Map|
The morning of the race I woke up early, before my alarm. I always sleep lightly before a race, I just can't wait to be out there. I had already laid out my race clothes and breakfast, and had the coffee maker ready to go...yes, I know, I'm
such a loser very prepared. CRM and I got ourselves ready to go, then packed up the kids and went to pick up CRR. The Half started at 8:00 and we were out the door by 7:20...plenty of time in London Ontario :)
We really had nice weather for the race, it was sunny for the most part and warmed up nicely from the 10 degrees C at race start. I was very comfortable in shorts and a short sleeve technical shirt, though I was shivering while we waited to get going.
|Brrrr....trying to stay warm|
We got started and I settled into a nice 4:25ish pace for the first 4K...I had just run my first half marathon 2 weeks earlier and felt that I started that one out a bit slower than needed so I was going to go a little quicker this time. By the 5K mark we were entering the university and I picked up my pace a bit. Time to start moving up through the field. This seemed to be the point in the run that the crowd that sped off at the beginning were beginning to lose steam while my legs were just getting loosened up...all my training with negative splits has really paid off on my longer runs.
The 7th and 8th kilometres were through Gibbons Park, which is part of my usual routes I run during the week...the park stretch was immediately followed by a long, steady incline heading back into the Old North neighbourhoods. I swear that climb went on for almost 3K and my legs were starting to feel it, so I took a Gu gel at the 10K mark. It was at this point that I came up behind a runner wearing a Muskoka 70.3 shirt (Half Ironman)...as I came up beside him I said that this must be nothing to him since he's used to running a half after swimming and riding the bike for nearly 60 miles. He told me it would be a tough race for him since he had just run Boston 2 weeks ago...I asked him how it was and he said it was just an awesome experience until everything went down. Definitely interesting to hear someone's firsthand account of being there.
I have to say that the support for this race was really good...there were lots of people out cheering us on along the way, lining he streets or hanging out in their front yards in lawn chairs. Also there were plenty of volunteers making sure everything went smoothly out on the course, along with the Police Officers at all of the intersections and the numerous bike medics riding along the route. Thanks to all of you for helping the race be a success!
We made our way back towards the university and then through Gibbons Park once again and I knew we were in the homestretch. My goal was to break 1:30, and I was right on pace to do it. Unfortunately I was starting to fade...I had a couple runners pass me, which hadn't happened since the starting gun. Then as I came up out of the park trails for the last time and made the turn up Central Ave, I saw the Starbucks up at the corner...my inspiration! No, not the coffee (though I love that too)...my awesome family was there at the corner in front of SB's to cheer me on and give me the boost I needed to make my final push. Michelle and the kids were there along with my sister Emily and her two kids...thanks so much guys! My daughter Kennedy even shot a video of me on her iPhone...
That was just the boost I needed...seeing my family, my amazing wife even counting out runners for me and letting me know I was the 15th male (I had no idea!)...I ended up finishing from that point with my quickest kilometre of the race, a 4:06! I was able to pass the guy in front of me and sprint through the finish line (something I couldn't do at the race two weeks earlier). I nailed the pace I wanted, a 4:17...but I just missed out on breaking 1:30 (turns out you need to run a 4:16 to break 1:30...I guess my math skills are lacking). I ended up finishing with a time of 1:30:18, which was good enough for 16th place overall out of 748 runners. Wowza!!
There was plenty of food at the finish line (yogurt, bananas, Rice Krispie squares, flatbread bagels) and the medals were really nice too...
|FCRR 2013 Finisher's Medal|
All in all it was a really great day...the weather was just about perfect for running (the rain held off until the afternoon), the course was a lot of fun to run on and a rare opportunity to run uninterrupted through the streets of London, and I had another PR in the half marathon. I guess my next half in September I will need to try to crack that elusive 1:30 and see if I can make my way into the top 3 in my age group (I've finished 4th in both my HM's). As much as a little break might be in order, it is getting to be time to switch gears to Triathlon. The bike is ready to go!
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Links we Liked
- Two cheats get what they deserve at the Vancouver Sun Run
- Health benefits to running for women
- What a great reminder to trust and rely on The Lord
- I eat Subway a lot, so wanted to be familiar with the nutrition info
- More random interesting running facts
- Michelle sent me this link and it was very interesting
- Behind the May Boston Magazine Cover - a great initiative and a wonderful story about how the "Shoe Heart" May cover of the Boston Magazine came together
This Week's CheapRunners' PostsIn case you missed a day...
CheapRunnerMike shares the Runner's: Guilty Pleasure: 3cheaprunners.com/2013/04/guilty…
— 3 Cheap Runners (@3CheapRunners) April 22, 2013
Why is CheapRunnerRhoda Lacking Motivation? 3cheaprunners.com/2013/04/lackin…
— 3 Cheap Runners (@3CheapRunners) April 23, 2013
CheapRunnerMichelle delves into the world of sports bras: It's All About Support 3cheaprunners.com/2013/04/its-al…
— 3 Cheap Runners (@3CheapRunners) April 24, 2013
CheapRunnerMike offers his opinion in his shoe review of the Newton Distance: 3cheaprunners.com/2013/04/shoe-r…
— 3 Cheap Runners (@3CheapRunners) April 25, 2013
CheapRunnerRhoda has an appetite for Apps in today's blog post: 3cheaprunners.com/2013/04/apps.h…
— 3 Cheap Runners (@3CheapRunners) April 26, 2013
CheapRunnerMichelle's Excitement and Envy 3cheaprunners.com/2013/04/excite…
— 3 Cheap Runners (@3CheapRunners) April 27, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Running is something that has definitely become a very consuming thing in my life. It is something (in one form or another) that I am always thinking about. When I am not running, I read, plan, daydream and talk about it...if you're in my life and not a runner...sorry...admitting that you have a problem is the first step right?!?
One big thing that I have learned while taking running more seriously over the last year is that it is soooo important to be your own biggest cheerleader. Be proud of what you are accomplishing, and don't worry about that runner that just ran by you - you are on your own journey, and only competing with your mind and body to see how far it will take you...and it's ok to be a little "cocky" too. In the Run for Retina race the other week, I heard some lady behind me in agony asking her friend that she was running with "how do people run any further than this? This sucks - how do people do it?" If I would have been a closer to her, I wanted to tell her that if it were easy everyone would be doing it, but they are not and you are - so celebrate it!
This is where my envy comes in. When I am reading about running, that usually means reading through my favourite blogs, and I would be lying if I didn't admit to being just a teeny weeny bit jealous of all the time they have to run everyday, and travel every weekend to run. Which got me thinking, us runners, we are pretty strange creatures, and if you are not one of us, you will never understand what / and why we will PAY to put our bodies through....upwards of $200 buckaroos to run a race (you read that right - that's what CRM Chicago Marathon entry fee was for this year)...and not only do we pay - we get EXCITED to run these crazy distances...all to feel like death after a race. So what exactly are we paying for? This girl said it best in one of her post's;
"...(others) always ask me why I would pay so much to race. I tell them it is for the one gatorade in total I drink, a shirt I never wear, porta potty lines and the opportunity for blood blisters and to not be able to walk for at least a week. As runners we are a special breed."
Speaking of EXCITED, if you have checked out our up-coming runs, you'll have seen that CRM and I are doing the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October
...and yesterday we booked our hotel for the trip! This will be our 1st trip to Disney without the kiddo's and I know they are totally going to be
angry jealous when we go.
Finally got out on this yesterday
Nice easy ride into work...but I totally pooped out and got CMR to pick me up after work
Us 3CheapRunners went out for a date last night - to talk about what else....running :), and to have a few of these
We are off today to pick up our race bibs and packets for tomorrow's Forest City Road Races - will we be seeing you there?
Friday, April 26, 2013
There are 2 different types of Apps I want to talk about today.
The first one being a new app I downloaded to my iPhone this week, called "Nike Training Club". (I will do a full review on it at a later time as I haven't actually tried it out yet.) I love, love, love running, however, I know that cross training and doing other forms of exercise is important so I have been trying to incorporate other things into my routine. When sister M was over the other night she told me about this app, so I immediately downloaded it. I navigated through it to see what it is all about and I must say, it looks really good and I can't wait to start trying it out.
First, you choose your goal, lots of goal options, I chose "Get Lean"
Next, you choose what type of workout you would like (you can see how long they are beside the type), I chose "The Heartthrob" (30 min, surely 30 min will be easy enough to get through and easy to squeeze that somewhere in my day)
Next, it will show you at the top of the workout, what you need for the workout, followed by the different exercises you will be doing. There were 28 sets in this workout and it shows you beside each one, how long they will take.
Last step, is to get started! You see a video and have a countdown with each exercise.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I am a bit of a shoe geek and I am constantly looking to see how new shoes will perform. With that in mind, I have been scoping out Newton’s lineup for the better part of a year now. I had really wanted to try out their shoes but that $155 price tag was really holding me back (I am supposed to be a ‘Cheap Runner’ after all…). Well, my waiting paid off as the 2012 Newton Distance went on clearance at Running Warehouse for $116.88, and I had a discount code for an additional 15% off, taking the shoes all the way down to $99.35, including free shipping. Now that I can handle. Here’s a CheapRunner tip for you, never be afraid to buy a previous year’s model of a quality shoe…at a discounted price point it can be a great way to try out a shoe you wouldn’t otherwise consider.
First, the stats. Running Warehouse lists the Distance at 7.9oz in a Men’s size 9. I ordered mine in a 10.5 and they came in at 9.2oz according to my kitchen scale. Slightly heavier than my Kinvara 3’s (8.2oz in 10.5) and almost 3oz heavier than my New Balance Minimus Road Zero’s (6.3 in a size 10).
I am a big fan of lo/no-drop shoes and the Distance fit right in with a 3mm heel-to-toe drop. This is right between my Kinvara’s 4mm drop and NB Minimus and Saucony Virrata’s 0mm. Many runners complain about calf pain when switching to lower drop minimal shoes, but I never really went through those growing pains…I had the foresight to walk on my tiptoes as a kid which resulted in much pointing and laughing, but also helped to produce some mother-calves. Pain is something to be aware of when running in low drop shoes though as you will most likely be using muscles you simply aren’t used to while running. Newton has even been kind enough to supply you with an instruction sheet for your new shoes (they call the Newton’s 10 Laws of Better Running…clever).
Once out of the box the first thing to strike you is the bold colour combination…I ordered mine in Lime/Orange/Yellow. I think they look great, but I am colour blind. I guess you can take a look and decide for yourself.
The shoes feel good once you slip them on. There is plenty of wiggle room in the toebox while the heel and midfoot holds snug, exactly what I look for in a running shoe. The shoe does feel pretty ‘flat’, the 3mm drop is not all that noticeable, but this shoe does not feel like you are connected to the ground like some of my other minimalist shoes. There is considerable cushioning throughout the foot and you can certainly feel those lugs up front (I’ll get to those guys later).
When I got to take them out for a test drive I figured that I was best to not go too far…these are advertised as a different type of shoe after all and I was only a couple weeks away from running my first half marathon. I ended up doing a pretty easy 5K in them and they felt real good. The out portion of the run is a pretty tough hill climb that always slows me down and had me up on my toes right away. As I crested the hill the headwind took over but my legs felt spry even after the long climb. I sailed back home and called it a day. About a week later I pulled the Newton’s out again and decided it was time to give them a proper test and went for a 14K run through Springbank Park. I was already dealing with some mild knee pain at this point and wondered if the Newton’s might help maintain my form. This is where the front lugs come into play.
These lugs are supposed to help get you off your heel and promote a midfoot strike. I always thought I was doing this already but I could really feel a difference now. The lugs are made of something Newton calls ‘Action/Reaction’ technology instead of the more common EVA foam found on most shoes. This is meant to transfer your energy more efficiently from foot to road and I found it almost acted like a spring…to put it another way, you can feel some real bounce in your step. It did take a little while to get used to the lugs as they do protrude quite a bit (I measure about an eighth of an inch) and it is most noticeable while taking corners…to give you a better idea of the size, here’s a pen between the lugs.
Whether or not the lugs actually work in transferring your energy or are just a marketing gimmick is something that you will need to decide for yourself, but on my third run in the Newton Distances I had a new PR over 10K (41:35, a 4:09/km pace). That did it for me, I was liking these shoes! I wasn’t quite ready to put them into my everyday rotation due to my race schedule (2 half marathons in a 3 week span, also happens to be my first 2 HM’s ever), but once I finish the second half these will be added to my regular rotation. On top of that they will receive serious consideration for my first full marathon in October. If a shoe itself can help encourage good form and improved times then that is something I would love to take advantage of. I feel my form is pretty good already, but it certainly breaks down over longer distances…I am hoping this is where the Distance will help out the most.
I prefer to run without socks but haven’t had a chance to do so with the Newton’s yet due to the cold weather we’ve been getting here in Southwestern Ontario. I can say that they should be a good sockless runner though as there doesn’t appear to be any issues with seams in the liner and the outer is very breathable (you can see right through).
***Update*** I had a chance to run 11K sockless, my first sockless run since the Fall (5 months or so). A blister started to form on my right arch just after the 10K point, but that could just be due to my wimpy feet and the reliance on socks lately. The only rubbing issue was on my left foot at the bottom seam of the tongue, which probably could have been solved by a simple adjustment or relacing. No hotspots to report and very breathable…air flows through the material very freely.
There is flex to the shoe, and here is the obligatory scrunched up shoe pic, but it is stiffer than most of my other minimalist shoes. Less flex than my New Balance Minimus Zero’s, Saucony Hattori’s and Virrata’s, comparable to my Kinvara 3’s I would say.
I will try to post a follow up after I’ve had a chance to get some more runs in with the Newton’s, especially some good long runs when I start my marathon training, so stay tuned. Bottom line here is that I definitely think a lot of this shoe to considering I am going to give it the first shot as my marathon shoe. I love my Kinvara 3’s and see the Newton Distance as a great complement to them.