Holiday run by any name

All clear on the local roads

Today’s run (street): 3.6 miles

Happy Columbus Day. Or as some people are calling it, “Indigenous People Day.” I know there’s controversy around that. What’s really important is that I had the day off. Between my working from home Friday, the weekend and then today’s run, I was able to string together four consecutive workouts for the first time in weeks.

The good thing about running a lot is that your body gets used to it and it’s easy to get into rhythm. I liked the experience of running on a weekday morning without squadrons of parents swarming the roads to drop off their kids at school. No buses either, and even the garbage trucks were silent. The time went by fairly quickly and I ended up covering more ground than I’d planned.

Later in the day we stopped into Trader Joe’s at the Gallery at Wesbury Plaza. While there, we walked over to SA Elite. This is basically a running discount store and a great place to find bargains if you time your visit right. Today I looked at ASICS running vests that were on sale for about $20. It was a really good price, but I didn’t like the way the collar fit, so I took a pass.

Purple-y purchase

My wife was luckier and found a pair of ASICS Kayano 20’s for a great price. Her GT-2160s have at least 700 miles on them and I’ve been after her to retire them. I have a pair of Kayano 20’s that I use for recovery runs and love them. I think she’ll appreciate this new pair just as much.

ShoeKicker finds finds running shoe bargains

http://shoekicker.com/

Today’s run (street): 3.5 miles

Back to the run today. I’ve been non-stop all week at work and getting home a little later than I’d like. Due to that, I wasn’t able to fit in a workout last night. This morning I kicked off my weekend of running with a few loops around the neighborhood. The humidity was down, my energy was up and I thought I was really hammering my last mile. No such luck, but it was my fastest of the day.

Our plans this weekend may interfere with both my running and blogging so I’m glad I got out today. If I have time, I’ll continue my search for my next pair of running shoes. The guy behind a new site and web app called ShoeKicker contacted me recently. That was timely, since I’m in the market for a new trainers.

ShoeKicker is a clever idea. Put in the shoe that you want to buy, plus your size and gender, and it quickly returns the best price on the web. There’s a button to take you directly to the lowest offer, along with alternative sites that sell the shoe. The feedback I gave him was to add more capabilities to the site to bring people back more frequently. I also think it would be good for the app to provide some contextual information to help educate the user or provide an opportunity to price alternative models.

I miss the (defunct) Runners World shoe app and ShoeKicker could be a good, modern alternative. It has a clean design, easy to use interface and tells you how much you save in fun non-monitory terms. Dave, the guy behind the site, seems very interested in providing the best possible experience to his users. Check it out. Once I decide on my next shoe, I’ll probably use the site to buy them.

High visibility bargain

Orange you glad I bought this

Today’s run (street): 4.25 miles

I spent an awful lot of time talking myself into running this morning. If I’d just headed out early, before all the heat, sun and humidity, I would have been a lot more comfortable. By the time I was ready to go, we were hit with a deluge of rain. I had another cup of coffee while I waited out the storm. Once the skies were clear, I was able to go out. But by then, I just didn’t feel like running.

Somehow I managed to make my way out the door. I planned to keep it simple and follow my one-mile loop as many times as I could stand it. As it happened, I could only stand it once. I changed my route and followed Jericho Turnpike west, going past restaurants and shopping centers before cutting back into the neighborhood. By the way, if you’re looking for a bargain, Rare 650 is offering a steak special for two – only $99.99!

Speaking of bargains, I found a better one at SA Elite this afternoon. It’s my favorite running store, full of great discounted running clothes and shoes. For some reason there’s never many customers and every time we go there I expect to see that it closed. My wife found a hi-viz ASICS packable running jacket for $16. Although I have a decent running raincoat, it’s a size medium and a bit snug. It functions better as a waterproof windbreaker and I always keep it in my work backpack. I ended up buying the ASICS jacket in orange  — size large.

I was glad that I managed to talk myself out the door this morning. Even though it’s been a low mileage week, I felt good about all my efforts This is going to be a busy work week and I’m hoping to fit in another mid week workout. And if it rains, I’m covered.

Kayano say good deal?

My bargain babies

Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

Thanksgiving break seemed like it would go on forever but Sunday is finally here. We had morning plans, so I went out for an early run. Although I didn’t intend to run with a lot of intensity, I kept my max HR between 81%-91%. This produced a nice speed improvement over yesterday. I’m still outside my target zone for performance, but I’ve brought my pace down almost a minute over my last four runs.

There were two factors that held me back today: a miscalculation in terms of dress (too many layers for 50°) and an 11 MPH wind that hit head on during a couple of long stretches. In neither case was I particularly uncomfortable, but I did wish for shorter sleeves and a gentler breeze. The smell of burning leaves enveloped the neighborhood and inspired me to push a little harder. In fact one of my splits was my fastest mile this year, not counting track intervals. I’m sure the Garmin was confused to see me running in the eight minute range.

The real news of the day happened after my run, when we did some end of break shopping at the Gallery at Westbury Plaza. After some awesome Thai coconut curry at Noodles & Co., I stumbled upon one of the biggest running related bargains I’ve ever seen. My daughter was looking for some new running shoes so we stopped into Famous Footwear to see what they had.

I usually view Famous Footwear as an outlet for low end models and slow selling remainders, but they do occasionally surprise me. As I scanned the shelves in the men’s section, I noticed a pair of ASICS Kayano 20’s with a sign that said $64 | regular price $159.99. I knew that ASICS had introduced the 21s, so I would have expected to see these discounted (at best) to the $110-120 range. $64 seemed way too good to be true.

Note the $95 “price conflict”

I found a pair in my size to try on. I figured that if they fit as well as Kayanos usually do, I could ask the actual price and see if it was still competitive. I was slightly ambivalent when I put them on, but after a few quick steps at the back of the store, I wanted them. I asked the assistant manager for the actual price and she said, “$159.99.” I showed her the shelf tag and she said I could have the Kayanos at that price – that it was their error. She was really nice and even let me use their deal of the day (buy one pair and get another at half price) to buy my daughter her shoes.

Needless to say, I’m very excited about this purchase. After five years wearing lighter, more minimal running shoes, I’ve been thinking lately about the industry’s pendulum shift toward more substantial and cushioned models. I’d considered the Hoka Cliftons as well as the Brooks Transcend and the new Adrenalin 15s, among others. The Kayano is THE classic stability trainer and I’m curious to see how I’ll do in a shoe that weighs 25% more than my Saucony Virratas. I suspect I won’t miss the lightness at all.

An early run and another SA Elite bargain

Can’t resist SAE markdowns

Today’s run (street): 5.3 miles

This has been a very full day. So full in fact, that I can barely recall the details of this morning’s run. My wife and son had planned an early venture into the city while my daughter and I had other plans. I headed out for a neighborhood run before 7:00 AM with a target of covering at least 5 miles.

What I can remember about my workout was the ideal weather for a July run – overcast sky, relatively cool temperature and moderate humidity. I try to do at least one run outside of my neighborhood every weekend. Due to time constraints, I had to settle for my local roads. I criss-crossed a number of different streets to keep things interesting and threw in some fartleks every mile because the cool conditions were so energizing.

At one point in the day, I stopped into SA Elite which was near the place where we had lunch. I can’t resist a good bargain and found a lightweight Brooks long sleeve running shirt with an appealing old school graphic. It was $25 with discounts applied. I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

It was a great day and another good weekend of running. I may try to do a treadmill run Tuesday morning to get back into at least a 4 x per week running schedule. That would help me get closer to my weekly targeted volume.