Soreness and slowess but a good run nonetheless

It’s been a while since I’ve woken up with sore muscles but today I really felt it in my lower legs. I first thought this was related to all the shoveling I’d done between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. That didn’t make much sense to me since most of that effort involved pushing snow with low resistance and occasionally lifting it up a few feet. Most of that required muscles above the waist. I now believe the soreness came from my running in the snow with the traction devices that slipped around laterally and required constant corrections to my stride. I imagine that a serious attempt to transition from heel striking to mid-foot running would probably generate similar aches at first and barefoot running would be even worse.

Despite the soreness in my legs I did my run on the treadmill this morning. There are days when running your race pace feels effortless and there are days when running a more moderate pace feels like a challenge. That was my experience today. My warm-up pace felt far faster than normal and I had to check my Garmin to verify my moderately slow speed. After a few minutes I increased my speed and, if not for the contrary evidence, I would have assumed I was moving at a record pace. I did eventually increase my speed enough to give me a mid-9:00 overall pace but it wasn’t an easy run. In the end I was more than satisfied by this morning’s workout and I’m hoping for decent weather this weekend so I can get some longer miles in.

My plan for today is to go to Jackrabbit and look for a new pair to replace my Brooks GTS 9’s that have 500+ miles on the odometer. Despite claims that GTS 9’s were a misfire compared with the 8’s I have to say they have been problem free for me. It makes me wonder if my best bet is to move to the new, highly rated, 10’s or try out the less plush but more energetic Ravennas. I’ll try some other brands too just for comparison. You never know, I could find myself choosing something completely different. I’ll know soon enough.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck

Despite a relatively busy schedule on Friday I was bound and determined to make the trek to JackRabbit in Union Square at lunchtime. A friend of mine, who is looking for a new pair of shoes for an upcoming marathon, was planning to join me. He was working on a close deadline so he couldn’t go. I decided to go anyway and hopped on the F train for the quick trip downtown. I was greeted by the sales staff and mentioned that the Brook’s customer service people told me Brooks had sent a shipment of Green Silence shoes to the store. They said that was true but unfortunately the shipment had not yet arrived. They were as curious about the shoe as I was but they set my expectation that it wasn’t likely to be a shoe that I would use as a daily trainer.

The Jackrabbit people are the real deal. They understand running and running shoes and we quickly moved to the subject of mid-foot striking. Mark, one of the managers, told me that he was working to transition to that style and he suggested that I try the Brooks Ravenna. This shoe replaces the Axiom and is lighter than the Adrenalin GTS 10. The Ravenna also lacks some of the stability controls of the GTS 10 so it’s more of a light trainer. I tried on a pair and they felt good but, understandably, they were not as plush as the new Adrenalins. After that Mark had me try on a pair of neutral cushioned shoes (ASICS Cumulus) and put me on the treadmill to see if I pronated. The reason for using a neutral shoe is to negate any gait correction. Mark captured me on video and much to my surprise I saw that I’m still heel striking (though Mark said I move very quickly off to the toe) and that I pronate to the point where my gait is indistinguishable from that of the AFLAC duck. I clearly need stability shoes so I’m debating whether to just get the GTS 10s or buy the Ravennas which will be a better choice for mid-foot running. I’m coming back next Friday and Mark said he’d put me in some Mizunos and Saucony shoes to compare with the Brooks.

This morning my friend KWL stopped by to pick up some computer gear. We’d planned a run but were concerned about the foot-plus of snow that was predicted by morning. When he arrived there was no snow  whatsoever so we headed out and covered three miles in around 27 minutes. It was a faster pace than I’ve been running, helped along by KWL’s energy. He reminded me a little of how it was to run with AG who was always a slight step ahead  – like a greyhound on a tether. It was a great run and great fun to have a buddy to talk to along the way. It certainly made the time go by fast. We’re getting snow now so I’ll see what conditions are like by tomorrow morning. I’m prepared to use my snow treads if I have to. That could be kinda fun.