Disclaimer: Thank you to a partnership with Mizuno and Fitfluential I was sent a pair of Wave Sky’s for my honest feedback. As always opinions here are of my own.
If you read back in my previous blogs, I learned the hard way the importance of good shoes. So when given the opportunity to test the newest in neutral trainers for Mizuno I was curious. Mizuno has stated that these are different then anything on the market so far, and I wanted to see what was so different.
First off, out of the box, these shoes are bright and colorful without being too much. They will go with everything in your running wardrobe.
When it comes to the moment the shoes are on your feet, they are different. Mizuno has introduced Cloudwave technology along with their SmoothRide engineering which is meant to give you the most supportive ride in the neutral shoe.
I first started testing these on the treadmill. If I am not wearing the right shoe on the treadmill, I can feel pain pretty quickly and I have never felt uncomfortable (unless I over did myself) in these shoes. You would expect to think that with the added cushion there would be bulk, but there is not. These did not feel clunky or akward in the slightest.
I also took these out on the road several times including the Race to Remember 10K. What I really like is how these shoes are equally supportive for running and walking. Sometimes I feel like shoes are not doing the job for those of us who run and walk. When I got tired because of carrying the flag and started heel striking they offered great support. I felt energized after the race which is something my feet have been missing.
I was a little anxious about trying these and now these are quickly becoming a staple of my running world. I have also taken these to weight lifting sessions and I feel like I have mobility which makes this shoe versatile for all your needs.
Two things to take note of. I have a wide toe box when I have ran a lot of the weather is hot and even sizing up the toe box was tight. Also, Mizuno’s quality speaks for itself. It is obvious that these shoes are going to last.
I will be picking up another pair of these soon. I am not certain I want to use them for the marathon without my inserts, but they are the perfect shoe for training runs and for gym time.
Three years ago, I jumped into the world of being a race pacer with no clue of what I was doing or for that matter how much it would change me as a runner. But I will go into that more shortly. The race was the Pacific Northwest Marathon for their half marathon event. It is kind of ironic that my 30th half marathon and my pacing birthday.
I returned this year as a third year pacer. Being with them since day 1 has let me see how much this race has grown since the beginning.
If you read any of my previous reviews, you will understand this is not the typical race you will see in Oregon. This is more like a super supportive group running event that gives you a medal. It leads to this being an affordable more all abilities friendly race. Packet pick up was a small affair at Dicks Sporting Goods, allowing you to pick up your shirt where you got a choice of color and style and your packet. One thing that I will always love with this race is it is small enough the race directing team gets to know you and know what motivated you to be at this race.
My Saturday started super early. I was the pace team leader so I needed to be at the race in time for the early starters which gave people who had been slower then 12:00 miles a chance to be on the course. This is a rarity for any Oregon based race. Its a 7:00 hour course limit, which makes it one of the most inclusive races you will see.
I was pacing the 3:00 half but I was going out with the main start group. After Hot Chocolate in March I learned that the 1:1 interval was always going to be my best answer when pacing because it was the easiest intervals to adjust on the fly.
This is one of my favorite courses every year. You take to the streets and back country of Springfield. The only big challenge with this course is the race is small enough the streets are not closed and you need to be careful to watch out for traffic. That being said its a small downside.
I passed a small group I think it was at mile four and at this point I was on my own. One lady decided to tell her friends “I want to see if I can keep up.” I explained to her what I was doing for intervals and she was honest with me, she did not think she could make that pace but was going to stay with me as long as she could.
This is a well supported all volunteer effort for this race. All the water stations had been fully stocked with anything that you could of needed. And this is one of the few races I have ever seen where the elites take the time to cheer for the back of the pack as they pass (its an out and back.)
My favorite part of the course is through Armitage Park getting to run so close to the water is breathtaking. After the park you get back into the urban part of Springfield before making the half way turn.
My new friend, Kari was doing excellent. She was in pain but she wanted to keep pushing so I kept talking her through it. She explained to me she just wanted to prove to herself that she could do it.
The course started getting really wet after we made the turn but for me this was turning into the best effort I had pacing since I started this. I was running just a few seconds early all away through.
Now the one thing is going back some of the water stations had been left unmanned. Most of this was probably due to the weather. But there was enough stuff laid out at each that you had nothing to worry about.
When we got to the last mile I realized I did have a couple mins I could burn off and still be close to I told Kari to walk a little more and save her energy for the last push at the end. She was a little worried about the 5K’ers coming in so fast around us, but I told her just focus on what we are working on and she will be fine. She was almost in tears at this point. She was hurting but wanted her daughter to see her finish strong. I think we made the right call in the long run because just at the last quarter mile she felt like she was ready so I told her to go and I was screaming for dear life. She finished in 2:59.
The finish line was amazing. You get your medal and treated to a spread of community offered up food. And unlike a lot of races people will stay to support you. I stayed to collect signs and cheering for my fellow pacers.
Then the race director asked me to add a few miles on to my race.
We had some marathoners out on the course at mile 18. And this was close to 6 hours in from the early start. They drove me out and I walked with them for about three miles. It was inspiring see some of the dedication out there.
This race teaches me so much every year. This year it reminded me why I love running. It is about the people, the stories and the community that can encourage each other.
Ready for another Appletini drinking session or to engage into some ZRP tickle butt?
(Yes I am engaging my wrestling loving side again.)
First things first. I have been dealing with tight hip issues lately and I found the bottom of the problem. It was shoes! I was kind of thinking it was shoes but was not certain but I took advantage of going to see my friends at Road Runner Sports and I was defiantly in the wrong shoes. The last couple runs since I got refitted have been my strongest in a long time. I really feel like it might be coming back together. I am in a pair of Brooks Adrenaline and they are my game changers. I feel like training for the marathon might be back on the right track.
And now for the more deep stuff.
Someone who for sake of this conversation can and should remain nameless called me an inspiration for working on my 6th marathon. I don’t do well with the word inspiration. Maybe I have never seen myself as one because I feel like the turtle that is calm and tranquil under water but I am just paddling. But after the last conversation said person also helped in their own way help me realize that I am chasing what scares me, what pushes me outside my comfort zone. Yes I have ran marathons before, but it feels like I am starting from scratch because its been so long since I have done it, and I for one know how hard SF is. And I have thoughts about what is next but I am not sure where its all going to go.
Call it chasing my unicorns if you will. If I inspire someone because of it that is amazing. Its never going to be a picture perfect journey. For me this is the continued chapters of me following my heart. I still don’t know if I will ever get used to being called an inspiration but it goes back to something that I do not
If you have followed me the last few months you have heard me talk about the fact that I have stepped back from most of my ambassadorships this year just keeping my hands on a couple where the work load was a lot more manageable. It has been a-ma-zing for me. I am so much happier and I don’t feel like I am chasing my tail so much. I am running less this year but I am more focused on running for me and getting back to my strong side. And I am still volunteering for things but I am taking on stuff that fills my bucket. But I went to my first group running event a few weeks ago and it was amazing. I actually got to be social and hang out.
I have had a lot of people talking to me about the last couple random musings blog. I just want to add this. The journey some of us are on is not about a healthy lifestyle. Some of us do not want to be skinny, some of us just want to be happy in our own bodies.
I have more going in my head that might have to be a second musings later. But there is a cat who needs me.
Disclosure: I am proud to help Race to Remember with their social media outreach efforts. In trade they offer me free race entries for my time. All opinions shared in this piece are my own.
Memorial Day is the kick off to summer. For some it means BBQ’s, vacations and the start of the warm weather season. But for others Memorial Day is a chance to remember the sacrifice of our military heroes.
Race to Remember is seeking to give people a chance to honor these brave men and women with our miles as they present their Memorial Day Run. They will offer a community one mile event, a 5K, a 10k and a half-marathon event that will take to the waterfront of the Columbia River. Personally this is one of my favorite places to run locally. The half course takes you through some of the most scenic parts of Vancouver. The 5K and 10K take you to the Columbia River waterfront.
I have ran races by the team at Race to Remember. They work hard for a family friendly, all ages and abilities friendly race.
These races will benefit Race to Remember which works in the community for projects that remember the sacrifice that our veterans have made. I have had the pleasure of working with them on welcoming the Honor Flights home and I truly love what they do.
The races also benefit PureKraze a military non profit based in Vancouver WA. who’s mission is to build homes for homeless veterans in our community. Veterans face many challenges after serving our country and fighting for OUR FREEDOM a safe place to live should not be one of the things they have to worry about. PureKraze is paving the way for providing homes for our veterans not just in our community but our nation.
Below are some statics on Homeless Veterans.
Homeless U.S. veterans (2012)
Estimated homeless veterans: 131,000
Estimated homeless women veterans: 13,100
Estimated post-9/11 veterans: 7,400
Estimated number of women post-9/11 veterans: 740
12 percent of homeless veterans younger than 34 are women
Jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans: 11.3 percent
Sources: Department of Veterans Affairs, Bureau of Labor Statistics
From their website:
Our “Race to Remember” Memorial Day Run is a timed event, which is open to the public on Memorial Day (Monday 5.29.17). We want to honor all military fallen heroes, which is why the start/finish is at the Memorial Wall on Phil Arnold Way on the corner of Columbia Way in Vancouver, Washington. The Half marathon, 10K and 5K Route is an out and back course on the Columbia River trail. The first Half Mile is our Honor Mile, where we will line the pathway with the American Flags and pictures of military fallen heroes. The Honor Mile is a community walk and meant for us to slow down as a community and remember the sacrifice of our military heroes. After the run enjoy Vendors & Meet Vancouver Veterans.
It’s simple. Ride as many mountainous tours as you can. Each tour has a corresponding number of points designated by its elevation (Mountain Points). The more elevation you climb, the more points you will receive. Riders who reach 50 points will receive a King of the Mountains Badge and unlock the ability to purchase the Official King of the Mountains jersey. Plus each rider who earns their badge will be entered into a lottery to win $100!
You can check the chart out here and see how many points each run is worth and plan your run.
(If you know me as a wrestling fan, the analogy is well known)
SF Marathon training is going well. I had by far my strongest run in almost ten months this weekend. So I feel like everything is heading in the right direction. Adding OCR training and shaking up my training has been a life saver. I just wish this weather would stop making my allergies so cranky. I am going to do a blog soon on all the things I learned from my foam rolling class because its been helping so much.
If you read my blog from a few weeks ago you realize I had come to a point with my blogging, and being an influencer that I just literally have walked away from trying to be a health and fitness blogger because I was so sick of watching people so sick of watching people making obviously unhealthy decisions and inspiring people to go down that path.
Someone I look up to today was taking grief from others because she wanted to treat herself to the new Unicorn Frappuccino. She is an elite athlete who believes in moderation. She does not believe in the idea that exercise is punishment for food. There is no clean eating and not clean eating with her. She loves her body and lives her life.
Why is this not so easy for people to understand?
Actually I get it. Towards late last year I realized that I wanted to be in the same position as other bloggers and I was willing to lose my voice for it. We want to be the image of health and fitness, we want to be that inspiration. I knew better. But I was having the wrong conversation in my head that I was not good enough, not skinny enough or not fast enough.
I just had to remember. I need to be able to be healthy and happy. Chasing a standard. Punishing yourself for bad choices is not.
It is the same thing I was lucky enough to be taught by some amazing people and I get reminded of frequently. The last few weeks have helped me realize that I can re-balance in my eating. I do not need cake every day but having a treat is not bad.
AND THERE IS ZERO REASON TO BEAT YOURSELF OVER TREATING YOURSELF.
There is more.
It is also about listening to your body. Remember the blogger I talked about in the previous blog. While still dealing with stress fractures she ran/walked the Boston Marathon. She was cleared to walk off her crutches last Monday.
You heard me right.
And the thing is so many people are congratulating her. Congratulating her for something that is though impressive, is kind of insane.
Maybe I am not seeing it.
Ill stand by what I said in the earlier blog. The journey is never easy. But the journey is never black and white.
I have had the honor of working with Hedstrom Fitness for the last few months exploring their Kamagon Ball Technology. If you have been following my journey on Instagram you will understand that I have really come to appreciate the Hydro-Inertia® based resistance technology. It has helped me get stronger as a runner.
Hedstrom gave me a chance to attend the IDEA: Personal Trainer West to be able to fully immerse myself in the technology and get first hand experience learning from some of the top names in the industry. I also got my first chance to go deeper into their sister technology the BOSU Ball.
How does Hydro-Inertia® help runners?
One of the biggest goals we have with running is being able to move our body in the most efficient way possible. It provides a challenge that you do not see anywhere on the market that works your stability and muscle strength at the same time. The water makes traditional exercises unstable and forces you to engage all your muscle groups. It works your muscles while training your nervous system at the same time. This helps with speed, strength and overall fitness.
I am going to breakdown each class and what to me as a runner had been the take away.
Renegade Athletic Circuits Revisited
My first class workout session was Renegade Athletic Circuits Revisited which focused on how to use Surge, Kamagon Ball,and BOSU along with cardio circuits to address the needs to athletes.
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For runners specifically I think the two keys that I got out of this is how time under tension adds to muscle endurance. A lot of us are guilty about rushing through our muscle workouts. This is something we talked about in Surge Training later, but how many of us rush through our movements in weight training?
Combining time under tension and shorter more explosive movements which you can do with all of this equipment gives you a set up for an epic workout.
The combination with balance work with the Bosu and the Hydro-Inertia® will work your stability and cardio while your body learns to adapt to carrying the load.
I have not been the biggest fan of BOSU for a long time.
The problem is, I never realized how functional BOSU was.
I sat in on the lecture (some pain in my ankle was telling me to be cautious and not do the workouts) for two classes (101 BOSU Drills for trainers and BOSU for kids) which exposed me to how truly versatile BOSU is.
BOSU is integrated balance training that add instability to every aspect of your fitness. It forces all of your muscles to engage. And for kids, it is a great tool to add exploration and imagination to workouts with kids of all ages and it helps with basic motor skills.
You can take easy experiences and make them exponentially difficult with the BOSU ball. For example, one of my new favorites is a overhead press. Instead of just engaging your upper body, your entire body is involved keeping you stable.
For runners, this instability makes your body work harder and smarter, which is something we want in the long run for all of us.
This is the first time I have gotten my hands on Hedstroms Surge System. The Surge system uses the Hydro-Inertia® system I talked about before to help engage muscles. The Surge looks like a very large log like PVC tube with handles that is filled with water and like the Kamagon ball the weight is adjustable.
A huge takeaway for me is there is a huge difference between strength and power.
Lets take a look at the basics
Power = force x velocity
Strength = load x displacement x time
Breaking it down for runners. Power is the short term game, but its the strength or the time under tension that is something that I really think a lot of runners forget about.
How the Surge plays into this, is the water gives you both the ability to work on power and strength by using the water. You can work through the movements in the slower pace and force your body to adapt to the load. But you can also force the water to move at a faster rate and work from the power game.
I have talked about the Kamagon Ball before, it has helped encourage me to get back into the non-running part of my game. But I did not understand how multi-faceted the ball really is.
The Kamagon Ball works 5 different functional movement patterns.
Bilateral: Bend and Lift, Hip Hinge
Single Leg: Gait, Lunge, Step-up, Single Leg Stance
Rotate: Spiraling Movement, Rotation (in sync or out of sync)
This value here is well beyond running. It makes your body more functional well beyond fitness and will help you move better. It will also allow you to have more mobility and to address stability.
Now, let me address something. I know it looks like a kettlebell but it is far from it. The two handles allow you more surface to work with so many possibilities and angles. And we have talked about the water before as well, it goes back to the idea that the water makes the load unstable and allows you to engage more muscles and your nervous system.
I learned a ton of new exercises that will allow me to further my exploration of the tool box.
I knew when I started to work with Hedstrom that their product line was going to be amazing for me as a runner but being able to fully immerse myself in what is capable opened my eyes and encouraged me to research more ways to be a stronger runner.
Thank You Hedstrom Fitness to giving me the opportunity to attend the IDEA Personal Trainer West. They asked that I would blog about what I learned in their classes. But I am a believer in the product and look forward to learning more.
First off, quick update on training for SF. I feel like I am making progress right now. Due to allergies and a combination of things a majority of my running has been on the treadmill but I am okay with it. I am making small speed and distance progress with every run. I am patient, it will all come together. I will do another update later regarding that.
But the main topic of this blog is for me to voice something I don’t get. I will probably offend someone by saying what I am saying and I may sound like a bully. But I made a promise to get back to the basics this year. And I am doing that.
I won’t call out the blogger in particular. But there is a blogger who posted something the other day about how she is injured and won’t be able to run X event, she does not understand why and she is afraid of letting readers down.
Here is the thing;
She does multiple runs of 18 miles sometimes back to back. She does not take rest days that any of us can tell what so ever. Her eating has made some readers question if she has an eating disorder. By all indications she should of been injured a long time ago. She was living on borrowed time. I feel for her totally. Injuries suck, they derail out goals and plans. (I just dropped out of a race I was supposed to do in April because my doctors was 110 percent against the idea). People freely admit they compare themselves to her in terms of their workouts, their nutrition.
If you are stopping yourself and saying whoa, pull up and have a drink of wine with me. (Or an Appletini, its a wrestling thing)
Reading a lot of blogs like I do, I started noticing a trend. We as healthy living or running bloggers (depending on the ball park) are so hyper-focused on clean eating/bad eating, we beat ourselves up when we are not perfect, we are making sure we get out workouts in, ect. Do we think about the kind of influence we are on people or are we so worried about ambassadorships, ad space ect that we don’t care?
I know when I took myself out of the ambassador game last year it was because I was so busy trying to look good and blow everyone away I was running myself into the ground. Running had all of a sudden become unfun and I was comparing myself to other bloggers. I was not eating the way they did, I was not training the way I should. I kept two (SF and my new adopted Hedstrom Fitness, along with my affiliate stuff)that made sense for my goal where I am at.
If this is what fitness and running blogging is about, I bid you all goodbye now.
Let me be blunt.
I have never considered myself an inspiration or role model. There are some days that I want a hamburger and I walk up to Dairy Queen (live 6 blocks from one, seriously) and get myself one. I don’t do it all the time but I never tell myself I can’t or its dirty. I work with a talented running coach who helps make sure that I am not over training. And I think he was ecstatic when I walked away from a bunch of my commitments.
I was also taught early in my weight loss journey that not only moderation is key, but its okay to give yourself a break. Its okay to indulge, its okay to say “Hey my body is saying heck no today, its time to give it a break”. You just have to make sure you are in balance and it is not an all the time thing.
Could I be thinner, faster, prettier? No doubt, but I am happier in my own skin.
This week basically starts the training cycle for The San Francisco Marathon for me, and the training plan. It is kind of that moment where you realize the next few months are going to be nothing but hard work, doing whatever it takes to get to that goal of the finish line on the Pier in SF.
I think it hit me why I have not done this in awhile. Actually my last marathon was the full two years ago in SF. Not to go into the specifics; I swore off marathons after that point. For me coming back to SF was like literally unfinished business.
I am not certain I have a time goal for this. I just want to be really see the finish line stronger then did the first time.
After talking to a friend today I realized most of this was mental. I have a great training plan from Club Hill Runner (got to give love to my coach) and I am still doing my OCR workouts and I think the combination works well for me and pushes me.
I have been so crazy with my client. But it has been a good thing.
I have been working with the Wolfpack Ninja’s on the promotion of their Ninja event. It has been a challenge for me because I have had to learn how to bring my writing to an event style level but I have also gotten to work with the people who have inspired me and for years as I have watched their American Ninja Warrior journey’s.
I really do love the work that I do. I am spoiled. There are days that I question it. But I am learning how to embrace my skill and talent for it.
I think making the decision to cut back on some of the extra commitments this year as the best feeling ever. I really feel like the focus is back to being me, running this blog for me and just opening the door out to more opportunities. There are some things coming down the pike that I am really happy for.
Sometimes you just have to jump.
OHHH as an aside, because lord knows I said I was going back to things that made me smile. As a wrestling fan I have never smiled harder.