This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
September was a month for running, thinking and moving backwards or is that forward. Time will tell.
It was warmer than usual for most of the month, well at least until Fall officially arrived and on that day, the temps dropped like a rock. Now it has been consistently in the 60's during the day and 40's at night, with a couple of lower temps thrown in for good measure. I . LIKE . IT. This is the time of year that I wait for and most years it is my heaviest racing schedule.
Not this year.
At the start of the month my plan was to run slower, more often and not as far, to make sure I wasn't stressing my leg too much or getting my delusions of grandeur going and getting me all worked up to get back to racing again.
I think I did pretty good, I ran 7 more times than I did in August and my average run was over a half mile less. The biggest difference was the .03 drop in the intensity of my runs. So I would have to say I accomplished all three things that I set out to do.
Making it to 113 miles for the month was a positive, but the biggest surprise was that I only took one day off from running during September. Probably the most consistent month I have had in a while. So slowing down and not attempting to run as far seemed to help with my being able to keep getting out there. Also I didn't try any tough trail running either, I stayed on roads or the EASY trails at UMA.
A good month of running.
I have stopped experimenting, switching up, trying to impress myself and others and gone back to just running in my running shoes. I just don't have the initiative and drive anymore to go after the next newest, greatest running shoes. I will leave that to others who are far more qualified than I am and I will read their reviews and drool over the shoes that the brands are bringing out.
However, for me I am going back to what works best for my body and the way I actually run, not the way I want to think I run. Which means getting my feet, not my arse back in more traditional shoes and just let the body run, without attempting to frig around with too many things.
In other words, I am going back to how I used to choose my running shoes, before I became so "knowledgeable".
Not worrying about getting the newest, greatest, expensive, the shoes with the latest wow factor or biggest marketing campaign.
So I have gone back to running in Mizuno's. Mostly last year's models and those on sale.
Inspire 11 - Just about the entire month was spent running in Inspire 11's - yes the 13's are coming out, but the 11's were on closeout and are working well. Enough that my balky leg has improved a lot over the month of September. Sure I trained a lot smarter, but the 11's did not get in the way or stress the legs.
They are simply comfortable to run in and are the shoes I look for first, when I am going to run or spend a long day on my feet. I know you are not supposed to use your primary trainers for anything but running - get life if they are that comfortable, when I need to be on my feet all day, they are going to be on my feet, just the way it is -- running or not.
Hitogami 2 - Another closeout shoe that I started to try out at the end of the month. They are definitely, bright, loud, obnoxiously yellow and are according to Mary - Harold shoes!!! As far as running in them, a couple of short road runs and a treadmill 5K have not yielded any major issues or problems. I run well in them, but when my left leg tires I tend to slap the ground a bit, which cues me to tighten back up on my form a little.
The H2'S fit my feet better than the Hitogami 3's, which for some reason or other Mizuno narrowed the forefoot according to many blogs that I read and experienced for myself when I attempted to run in them.
So far the H2's have done what I want and are definitely a faster shoe than I am a runner.
Kazan 2 - I will be very honest, when I first tried them on, I almost sent them back. They feel a helluva of a lot longer than other size 9 Mizuno's I have worn - it could be that they have a straighter last than other models I have run in. I could have gone with an 8.5 or even an 8.0 and have them still fit. Also there was something rubbing the side of my right foot so much that it hurt just wearing them around the house??? I still do not have a clue what that was all about???
However, with Mizuno's my experience has been you don't give up on them based on the initial fit (unless it is too tight), they take 30-50 miles of wear to break into your feet and then they feel like old friends you never want to let go of. Just getting them to that point is a pain in the feet sometimes.
The strangest thing happened when I ran in the Kazan's the first time on Thursday though. I frigged and farted around with the tongue, tried stretching the sidewall of the right shoe and something worked because when I ran in them - no issues. It was strange, here I was in the locker room wondering if I wanted to even dare a run in them or not and once I got past the first 100 yards they settled in and felt fine...very strange.
So now that that that issues was resolved how were they to actually run in? Good.
They felt softer than the Inspire 11's, but with more ground feel -- if that makes sense. Good traction on the UMA trails, on the side of the road down-back where they had just done a lot of work on the road and the most surprising thing was that they were quiet on the tar and allowed me to get up to speed without any problem.
As trail shoes go, they do not have a rock plate, so that kind of limits them on rocky trails (I tried running on/over bigger rocks down-back and very quickly found out that wouldn't be a good thing for the long haul. However, they felt very nimble and sometimes avoiding rocks is a good thing, so I would probably use them for up to moderate trails or on something that I knew wasn't too rocky.
However, I didn't really get the Kazan 2's for heavy duty trail running, I got them more for winter running in Maine. That snow, slush, mush (muddy slush), kind of running that I seem to do from late November to March. I have a feeling that the extra room will allow for the winter weight merino wool socks that I prefer in single-digit weather, the traction should be fine and I don't really need a rock-plate for that kind of running.
My initial thoughts on the Kazan 2's are that they are a nice hybrid trail/road running shoe that can do well enough on roads, moderate trails and be my primary outside running shoes during the winter. I can't ask for anymore than that.
The Nike Lunar Glide 7's and Mizuno Elixir 7's are just there for comparison, I don't run in them anymore and just use them to wear to work. Although if I had to I wouldn't hesitate to run a few miles in either one.
If you have made it this far, I have a feeling this is the biggest thing. It was one of those weeks at work that just fries your brain and makes you scratch your head and go mmmmm. No nothing really bad happened at work, but it was a tough week on the old noggin (I wasn't the only one, so I don't feel too bad). However, it is the week that I realized I really do not enjoy working in the evenings.
The getting home between 7:30 & 8:30 just ain't my cup of tea.
The problem is that I do enjoy what I do at work, believe that it is important and the people I work with make it easy to go in everyday. Plus going in at 11:00 does allow me to get a full work-out in with Bennie and then a quick one at lunch, so that is a big advantage of the schedule I have now.
However, I enjoy my evenings with Mary and don't like eating supper between 8 & 9 PM and then attempting to wind down to go to bed at 10:00. I just do not relax from things at work that easily.
An opening was advertised in another department and the hours are 7:30 to 4:00 and I applied for it. I am almost afraid that I might get it - if I am what they are looking for. You know that here I am 59 and not the typical applicant for something like this. Sometimes you gotta go backwards to be happier, most people start where I applied and here I am attempting to end it there.
September was a good month and progress is being made in several areas.
Life is strange sometimes.