A comfortable visit to neighborhood #2

Today’s run (street): 4.91 miles

I wanted to go to Bethpage to try the bike trail this morning and also buy an Empire Passport but my schedule was just too tight. We have someone coming to give an estimate on a home improvement and I wanted to make sure I got in my run before that. Instead, I went out for a neighborhood run and mixed it up by routing through the streets of neighborhood #2 where I hadn’t run in a while. The roads were remarkably clear considering yesterday’s 3″ snowfall. The cold temperatures created patches of rough ice along the roadside and I had to step around the frozen areas that appeared in my path.

My trusty Adidas Response 15’s

I wore my Adidas Response trail shoes that have been out of the rotation for months but seemed to be the right shoe for today’s conditions. They’re great shoes but are built a little too high to facilitate mid-foot landing. This is why I only run in them occasionally. I started slow to loosen up in the cold weather and fell into a nice comfortable rhythm. I was loving the feeling of moving along smoothly but I worried that I wasn’t pushing hard enough to make it a real workout. I threw in a few fartleks (Danish for “speed play”) where I’d cover a few hundred yards at faster pace before resuming my more moderate pace. The miles ticked off fairly quickly and the running probably seemed easy because my last run at Stillwell Woods provided a much harder challenge.

After covering some distance in the other neighborhood I swung back to my own and finished by following my measured mile loop in reverse. My Garmin had me a tick over 5 miles but Gmaps said it was less. My FR60 calibration woes continue, it seems that no matter how I adjust the Garmin it always seems to over-count my distance.

Pleased with the Adidas Response

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles at 9:09

Yesterday was a return to my routine: the daily commute, meetings and the 4:00 AM alarm. With all that happening, I decided to maintain my scheduled Monday rest. That turned out to be a good idea because getting up was fairly a big challenge. This morning it was a different story. I felt energized from the moment my alarm went off and I picked my Kinvaras for today’s run. The only shoes I brought to Colorado were my Adidas Response trail runners that are Swiss army knife-like in terms of utility. This shoe got me through every inch of walking, hiking and running while delivering a perfect balance of cushioning and support. I continue to be amazed at the value I’ve received from this pair. I only paid $33 (after a discount coupon) at the Adidas outlet when I bought them on a whim a year ago. They work equally great on both street and trails and serve often as a casual shoe on weekends. It proves that you don’t always need to spend big dollars to get what you need.

As I mentioned above, I went out with the Kinvaras today and (probably due to my wearing the Adidas and Brooks over the last week) the lighter weight of the Sauconys was noticeable. I mentioned above that I was energized before my run and still felt strong by the time I hit the street. The air was relatively cool (70’s) and the humidity was not yet a factor. I covered my route in about 23 minutes and wished I had time to go another mile. I’m beginning to think about a Central Park run on Friday and I’m hoping we get a break from the heat and humidity by then. It will be good to get some distance this weekend. I think my body is still responding well to the richer air and I’m hoping that’s still the case by week’s end.

Sluggish Barracuda

The first thing I’ll say about my tough time on today’s run at Stillwell is that it’s not the fault of my shoes. Yesterday I bought a pair of Adidas Response 15’s at the Adidas outlet store for a mere $33, thanks both to a discounted price and an additional 20% discount coupon we had. I tried some other Adidas shoes while I was there and was very impressed with the AdiStar Ride which I would have scooped up for $71 with discounts were I looking to replace my Brooks at this time. I was very unimpressed with the Mega Bounce which may have been the worst feeling high end shoe I’ve tried in a long time. The Response 15’s fit me very well. I love my NB 460 trail shoes but they are 1/2 size too small which only becomes a problem on runs longer than 5 miles (Like Sunday’s 10K) when they encroached too far onto the tops of my toes. I was excited to try the Response’s today and they felt good the entire run.

I began my run with an experiment – my goody bag from Sunday’s race contained a sample of Max Muscle Barracuda energy drink whose website describes it as a “uniquely formulated energy supplement designed for an extreme energy rush.”

I’m not sure if that’s true, I guess I felt some heightened energy at the beginning of my run but I’ll attribute that as much to having new trail shoes as anything else. I made my way into the woods and followed the trails northeast, cutting over to a very narrow path with plant growth that barely provided room for a single runner. It was here, about eight minutes into the run, that I noticed that I was already feeling tired and I hadn’t even taken on the toughest parts of the trail. When I did reach the first abrupt incline I looked for an alternate path that was less steep because I didn’t feel I had the energy to take on a 10% grade. Left with no choice I made my way up and determined that the Adidas’s were no match for the Helly Hansen Trail Lizards that would have (and in fact had) dispatched this hill without a problem. The Response 15’s did fine but I could sense a lack of support on the tougher climbs.
Overall I thought the Response 15’s felt great and very comfortable. I think they would have been perfect for the Dirty Sock race course that was primarily flat.

I headed back after completing 3.4 miles at a 9:51 pace. It wasn’t the best run I’ve done at Stillwell but it was a workout. I’ll continue to run with the new Adidas shoes on trails but I’ll probably switch off with the Helly’s at Stillwell from time to time. I’m thinking of keeping the NB’s in my office for occasional runs on the bridle trail in Central Park. I guess I’ve already assembled a fairly large collection of running shoes but for $33 how could I resist buying something that Runner’s World called a “best buy”?