Category Archives: Skechers

Week in Review 4.24.17 to 4.30.17

MEDICAL SCHOOL IS OVER!!!!!!! Finished up my last shift in the SICU on Friday and when it was done, wasn’t sure if I was supposed to spike my badge, fist pump through the halls or run out of the building. Med school was never as bad as I expected it to be but I would never, ever want to do it again. Sorry, not running related but good riddance!

Monday: Tested out the ankle with a 30 minute trail run. All good, although I was being a wimp on the more technical portions. Legs after.

Tuesday: Simple treadmill fartlek with 10 by 1 minute on, 1 minute off. On pace was somewhere between MP and tempo.

Wednesday: Got out of the unit early and snuck in a 13 mile long run. Did a couple of miles alternating between regular pace and MP to shake out lazy legs.

Thursday: Rest Day, prorated at 4. Much needed after three days that were harder than easy in a row.

Friday: 7.6 miles easy. 82 degrees out so I felt terrible! Arms afterward.

Saturday: 3 mile shakeout. Ran to the track and back, then a mile of ins/outs.

Sunday: Sleepy Hollow Mountain Race.  Remember the last time I ran a trail race? My only goal for this morning was to use some of my lessons from last year’s Rivah. My biggest goal was to keep both shoes on, which I did! I’ll recap the rest in a Race Report tomorrow but I had a blast, stayed upright and finished somewhere around 1:01:50, although I don’t know what place I was.

Total Miles: 44 miles, 2 strength workouts

Total April Miles: 153

Going up…

Now that school is done and I have a couple of months off, I’m looking forward to getting in some more consistent training. I’ll slowly be increasing my mileage towards 55 and working on fitting three explicit strength workouts in weekly (plus my daily toothbrush squats/core etc). My next race focus is the Asheville Half Marathon. I haven’t honed in on goals yet but as I get back into workouts, I’ll be setting my A, B and C goals. I also spent a lot of time putting all sorts of possible races on my calendar for the next year. Although I don’t have my call schedule, I’m hoping that I can just keep myself in good enough shape to jump in races as I can!

 

Product Review: Skechers Go Meb Razor

I’m a good secret keeper when I need to be but when Dave showed me this shoe in October, it took all of my self-control not to say something. I had pictures on my phone that were burning a hole in my pocket and I texted him a number of times asking him when the Razor was going to hit the market. When my pair finally came in a couple of weeks ago, I broke it out immediately, even though it was snowy and terrible out and decidedly not the conditions for a sports car like the Razor.

Let’s back up for a moment. As I’ve raved about here before and in the real world, the inspiration for the Razor was the GoMeb Speed, which is my all time favorite racing flat, and the GoRun Ride which has been my regular workhorse shoe for the last year. Suffice to say, there was little chance I didn’t love the Razor. With a 4 mm drop, it’s what I’m used to running in and with an improved sole (no holes for rocks to stick in) and upper (comfortable cloth that actually moves with your feet), this shoe nails it. One of the other bonuses of all Skechers shoes is that they come with two insoles which allows you to further customize the fit. I have two different sized feet and if I wear a shoe that fits my left foot, my right foot gets slammed around in too much toebox. With Skechers, I can order a 7, take the insole out on my left and wear the insole on my right and voila, happy feet on both sides. For other people with narrow, wide or some other bizarre foot issue, the insoles give you a chance to essentially get quarter sizes out of the same base shoe size.

I’ve now done a regular run, tempo run, long run and track workout in these shoes. They were great for all uses but I think their real strength is for long tempo runs, marathon race shoes and long runs with quicker effort. They have excellent return off the pavement for workouts but are not quite as responsive on the track for the super-discriminatory. That said, if you were looking to only purchase one shoe (I realize that most people don’t have a quiver of shoes like I do), the Razor is an excellent all-purpose shoe that you can train, race and recover in.

Sponsors for 2017

‘Tis the season for companies and athletes getting situated for 2017! Although I updated my sponsors page, I wanted to recognize those companies with a post and take a moment to reiterate both my policy on sponsorship and what you can expect from me for transparency.

First, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to run for Skechers Performance again in 2017. The shoes that Skechers puts out are fantastic and they are constantly seeking to improve and innovate. My new favorite offering? The Go Meb Razor.  What do I get from Skechers? A full racing kit, a set amount of money to buy gear and shoes through the year, discount codes for friends and family, access to certain Skechers-sponsored races and the opportunity to try shoes long before other people. What do I do for Skechers? Train and race in their shoes and gear, represent them on social media and work to spread the word about their shoes.

The next sponsor I picked up for 2017 is Honey Stinger, which I announced in late December. I get discounts on Honey Stinger products in exchange for representing their products while I train and race. To balance my obligations with Skechers, I do this by rocking a Honey Stinger sticker on my alpine helmet and wearing a Honey Stinger trucker hat or beanie around town and in the gym. On race day, I’ll rock one of those hats as well but haven’t raced yet in 2017. Of course, I fuel up on the mountains, trails, roads and hospital corridors with all their offerings. Current favorites? Vanilla Waffles and Cherry Almond Protein Bar.

My newest sponsor is Lumo Run and is one that I’m exceedingly excited to pick up. I’ve been watching the buzz about Lumo Run for a while and when the opportunity to apply to be an ambassador presented itself, I jumped on it. Lumo Run is a small sensor that clips to the back of your shorts or tights and monitors your biomechanics throughout your run. I am incredibly interested in gathering more data about my cadence and hip motion and if I like the functionality, will likely gift a set of these to the cross country team as well. From Lumo Run, I get sensors, other swag and a portion of any sale that comes from someone finding Lumo Run off of my page. Want a coupon for $10 off? Use SM10 at checkout!

Finally, the other big change for 2017 is that I chose not to reapply with Nuun. I still LOVE the product and just ordered another big box for the beginning of the year but chose not to reapply because I felt that I wasn’t representing them as actively as I promised to. One of the great things that Nuun does is get all their sponsored athletes together at a variety of events like Hood to Coast or other relays and races. Because of my schedule, I was never able to participate in these events and I felt badly about taking a spot from someone who might both love Nuun AND be able to participate.

And there you have it, my #sponsorsquad for 2017!

Week in Review 11.21.16 to 11.27.16

Monday am: 8 mile workout on the treadmill. 20 minute continuous tempo then 5 by minute hard, minute easy.

Monday pm: 2.25 miles easy with the team.

Tuesday am: Drills and 1 mile warmup with the team.

Tuesday pm: 7 miles easy on the treadmill.

Wednesday: 5 miles with 6 by 100 meter strides on the track.

Thursday: 5 mile workout. 5 by minute hard, minute easy.

Friday am: Lower Back Yoga from Jasyoga.

Friday pm: 3.5 mile easy run around NXR course.

With the Nike logos everywhere, stole a covert shot of my shoes of choice...

With the Nike logos everywhere, stole a covert shot of my shoes of choice…

Saturday: 3.6 mile progression run on hotel treadmill. Unknown amount of running at the course; at least 4 additional miles but not in total.

Last coaching huddle despite the fact that I spent the ride home trying to figure out how to keep going...

Last coaching huddle despite the fact that I spent the ride home trying to figure out how to keep going…

Sunday: 5 mile easy run.

Total Miles: 40.4 miles

Another crazy week down. I am happy to get a couple of reasonable runs in this week although weather and travel had me on the treadmill far more than I would like to have been. I opted not to do another race on Thursday as my right hip has been sore and is clearly not firing well. I couldn’t rationalize racing on a sore hip four days after my last race since the best case scenario was a few seconds of improvement.

The newest addition to my training is more yoga and I decided to try out Jasyoga, a website that shows up a lot on social media under the hashtag #hitreset. I started using it when I traveled to Rochester, where I did the 5 minute reset for my hips and hamstrings after my drive and felt much better. This week, I decided to try the lower back video before my drive to New York and although it wasn’t easy, my back felt MUCH better upon arrival. The other tool I’m just starting to use is the Yoga Wheel by YogDev (which was sent to me by the company). My flexibility is VERY poor but as I’ll talk about in an upcoming post, the next few months are all about building a routine that will keep me comfortable and pain free throughout residency. The Yoga Wheel is helpful because it allows me to do back bends that I would not be able to sustain on my own because my back and hips are so tight. I’ll do a full review of the Yoga Wheel in a couple of weeks as well AND will have a giveaway of an additional wheel for a lucky, interested person.

The week ahead includes a trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan where I’ll be checking out the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail and the campus of Western Michigan University. I’m planning on doing a long run when I arrive on Thursday (I land early and Will doesn’t get in until the afternoon) then a nice campus tour run on Saturday. Friday is my interview, so that is likely to be a treadmill adventure at the hotel instead.

Week in Review 10.24.16 to 10.30.16

Monday: 2 miles continuous tempo with team, 5.25 miles total.

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run around school.

Wednesday: Interval workout. 4 by 400 (82, 85, 86, 86) and 4 by 200. 9 miles total.

Thursday: 6 miles in Asheville! Hot, humid and hilly (and high!). Fun to be back. First installment of #wheremyskechershavebeen.

Sunset from my hotel room!

Sunset from my hotel room!

Friday: Interview Day. 20 minutes of yoga for runners before the day started and a walk from Mission back to downtown.

Saturday am: Halloween Hustle 5K (19:22) and 7 miles total.

Saturday pm: 3 miles easy of course preview at NVACs.

Sunday: Off. Tried to get caught up on to-do’s, to little avail.

Total Miles: 36.3

Not the most impressive week mileage wise but really happy to get two workouts and a race in. Somehow, the weather remains atrocious in the Northeast with another race in the soaking rain and 39 degree temperatures but I ran a much smarter race and am feeling like things are actually starting to click together! I’m also really happy that I got some yoga in again. Traveling made it a necessity and I’m thinking I need to incorporate more of it as interview season goes on.

It’s States Week again, which means that my entire priority is getting a happy, healthy and tapered bunch of teenagers to the start line. I am still planning on getting in two workouts and possibly another race in, but if the girls need me, so be it!

Has anyone tried Jasyoga? Any other yoga apps that you love?

Where My Skechers Have Been (Aka Interview Season)

In keeping with the rest of medical education, interview season for residency is a bit of a savage process. You apply to a ton of programs (for an exorbitant fee), you get interviews at a few and you travel to them for a two day speed dating event where you essentially pick where you’re going to live and train for five years. Super low stress. I’m applying in General Surgery which is considered a “late” interview season and we are just starting to get underway. My first interview is Thursday and Friday in Asheville, where I did an audition rotation this past summer. I am beyond excited to return to Asheville (especially since I get a second fall just as the snow is starting to fly up here) and as I was thinking about how to reframe all my upcoming travel in a positive light, I came up with a silly hashtag to highlight all the travel opportunities ahead: #wheremyskechershavebeen.

Running is a central part of my life and wherever we end up next year, I need to be able to escape for a run when I do leave the hospital so I am bringing running clothes with me to every interview. My plan is to run-explore on the first day so that I can see what’s out there in each city. On the second day, interviews start early, so I’m likely going to be touring many hotel gyms for that component. During my interview season, I’m going to be taking ridiculous pictures of my running shoes as we travel the country and scoping out great places to run across the United States and will be sharing those on here. The impact of reframing an annoyance to a positive? I’m actually pretty excited for my first flight delay when I’m posting photos from an airport bathroom. My bet? The flight from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis in December…

Ready to go? First stop, Asheville. 

Week in Review 9.26.16 to 10.2.16

How is it already October?!

Monday: Woke up almost embarrassingly sore from hiking. Bit of a combo run, with a before practice then a few 1200s at 7:00 pace with some of the team. 8.5 miles.

Tuesday: Also known as, World’s Most Athletic Day. Hiked Eagle Mountain with Will and the dogs in the morning then did an hour run then went to CRWrx class (30 minutes of core). 4 miles with the team in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Sore, explanation above. My legs were fine but all the tiny stabilizer muscles in my core were on fire! 3.5 mile recovery run.

Thursday: 10.5 mile run at a very good clip in perfect fall weather.

Friday: 5.5 mile run in the morning then Body Pump.

Saturday: 7 mile run at Thetford plus coaching sprints.

Sunday: Felt awful all day but Will convinced me to get out for 5.

Total Miles: 51

Total September Miles: 225

Found a much better balance this week of getting out and enjoying the outdoors, being present to coach and training myself. My training isn’t particularly focused right now but I’m working on building general fitness and more importantly, actual strength through Body Pump and core class.

Had a great meeting with Dave from Skechers on Wednesday where we got to talk goals for 2017 and I got to see the new lineup! I have a bazillion pictures of all the snazzy new gear (can’t share them yet) but I was really impressed to see the following improvements:

  1. Refinement of the soles to make them more streamlined and lighter. Bonus for being more durable (~500 miles of durability in wear testing)
  2. Uppers are now all FlyKnit for a better fit and more comfortable ride
  3. The Meb Razor. This shoe is going to be an instant hit and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Only a month late…it’s been a really busy month!!

Midtown

Short Version:

Not the day I wanted but not the worst day either. Very clear areas for improvement but also evidence of a solid fitness base. 1:26:48, 20th for women, 99th overall.

Long Version:

I went into this race with a simple goal of a) running faster than I had at Plattsburgh (1:26:44) and b) getting a good sense of my fitness for the fall. In my head, I anticipated being around 1:24 if the weather cooperated. I was 4 seconds slower than Plattsburgh, so not an enormous failure on point A but certainly way off 1:24.

I woke up early on race morning and headed into the city. Because the course looped through downtown, I parked far away from the start in a garage that I knew I could leave from right after the race. I had to drive to Lexington that day and didn’t want to delay that misery! It was warm at 4 am already, around 70, but not as hot as it had been. Since it’s Chicago, there was also a “breeze.” Although wind is becoming my nemesis in racing, I will admit that it helped to keep air moving on a sticky morning.

Prerace was a BREEZE. I’ve done a number of Rock ‘n’ Roll events and sometimes, the logistics don’t work out well (see, Vegas) and I start the race stressed and grumpy. This one was the opposite. I dropped my bag easily, realized I left my Gu in my bag and was able to get it again with no issue. I walked right up to the start line and found a spot with no issue and the race went off without a hitch. Right before the start, I met a brand new post-collegiate runner who was running her first half and had a goal of about 1:25 so we agreed to run together for the first few miles.

O to 5K

As we got rolling, I didn’t feel terrible but I didn’t feel great either. Way too much celebrating with my Chicago classmates and way too little slept left me more tired and dry than I normally would like to be. Lesson 1: No amount of water or Nuun can compensate for a rowdy night at Journal Club.  We rolled through the first mile in about 6:22 and I was cautiously optimistic that things would continue that way. After the snafu at Plattsburgh with mismarked miles, I was wearing my Garmin for this race but all the tunnels and turns quickly made it irrelevant. Lesson 2: Garmin-free racing works better for me in short races. The first 6 miles of the course wind through downtown and although the scenery was great, it was hard to get into any kind of a groove. To add to this, we kept crossing these weird canals that were extremely painful underfoot in flats. Both McKenna and I remarked “I DON’T LIKE THESE!!” as we went over the first one. We went through the 5K in 20:07 (6:28) and I started to feel a bit better while McKenna started to feel worse. We got separated and I rolled on alone.

5K to 10K

Right around here, I had a momentary panic that this would be my first DNF as my right foot went completely numb. After years of running with a numb left foot and a few episodes of numbness in my right foot lately, there are few things that make me worry more and although I can usually tough out a workout, 10 miles seemed like a long way to push. Once we got onto the straighter section of the course, however, my foot started to feel better and I went through the 10K in 40:42 (6:33). The wind was pretty tough heading south and although I tried to connect with other runners, I had a similar situation developing as I did at Plattsburgh where I just felt…gearless. I was happy cruising along but couldn’t seem to find another comfortable pace. Women were flying by me and I couldn’t do much more than just watch them go.

10K to 15K

As it sometimes goes in a race, my best miles were right before my worst. Towards the south-most part of the course, we turned onto a newly paved out and back and it just felt like heaven. I was floating along, could see the remainder of the women’s field and had a fleeting (silly rabbit…) thought that I might be able to close the last 3 miles quickly. I went through 8.9 miles in 58:13 (6:32). As we turned back onto the main road and made the turn towards home, however, that fleeting thought quickly faded.

South Part of the Race Course

15K to Finish

We connected with the Lakefront Path and started dodging 10K runners and in a final insult to my focus/stride, went through the MOST bizarre race feature I’ve ever experienced: a long tunnel that was blacked out with flashing strobe lights. I’m sure some people thought it was fun, but for me, I couldn’t see my footing and slowed to a jog as I tried not to trip over a) my feet and b) 10K runners. By the time we came out of the tunnel, I was all but done. I tried to gear up and felt like I was crawling. The finish had a great, long straightaway that would have been great for a strong finish but I didn’t have much strong left. I crossed in 1:26:48, which means my last few miles were barely under 7 minute pace. Yikes.

After the finish, I waited for McKenna to finish and we went for a brief cooldown. By the time I got back to my car, the skies opened up with an epic Midwestern thunderstorm and I headed south to Lexington through scary driving conditions.

Thoughts:

The good news is that I am apparently quite comfortable at 6:38 pace as I’ve landed there in almost all my races and workouts lately. This suggests good general fitness and a solid base from which to begin fall training. The bad news is that I am lacking any top gears, which makes sense since most of my training has been unstructured at best. As I said in my training week review yesterday, these last two rotations have been my priority (as they should be), but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to tighten down on my training and incorporate more interval work as I go into the fall. Lesson 3: Speedwork really does make you faster…or at least keeps you from slowing down in the end of a race. 

As always, I am enormously thankful for the support, both official and unofficial, that allows me to continue to run through the various adventures of my life. In this case, the Competitor Group comped my entry for this race (I’m starting to think it’s a curse; anytime they are gracious enough to do this, I race poorly…), Skechers supports me with shoes and gear and Nuun covers my hydration.

Week in Review 7.4.16 to 7.10.16

Hard to believe my time in Chicago is coming to an end already! This week was a bit Dickensian with both the best and worst workout of this training cycle.

Skyline

Monday: Horrible workout. It was hot, my legs were exhausted and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get into my heart rate range for tempo because my legs were so tired. To top it off, my right foot went numb so I spent my cooldown panicking that I’ll need surgery on that side soon. 2 by 2 mile at tempo pace, 9 miles total.

Tuesday: 8 mile recovery run.

Wednesday: Conference plus shift = not a ton of time to run. 5 miles after work with strides on the track. Saw fireflies as I was finishing up!

Thursday: Unplanned off day. With horrible weather (violent thunderstorms) and my legs feeling really punky, I decided that a little rest was better than forcing out a workout. Prorated 7.

Friday: (Inexplicably) fantastic workout! 85 degrees and humid on a black track, yet the best workout of this mini-cycle. 1 mile at tempo pace, jogged lap, 4 by 400 at interval pace (5:35 ish), jogged lap then 4 by 200 at repetition pace (5:00 ish). 9 miles total.

Cooked, but worth it.

Cooked, but worth it.

Saturday: Long run along Lake Michigan on the Lakefront Path. Definitely crazy crowded at times but what an incredible resource! 13.1 miles because my running partner insisted on the extra point 1…

Sunday: Taper begins! Easy 30 minutes around the neighborhood plus 2 laps of strides. Legs tired from the Friday/Saturday combo.

Total Miles: 55.3

Happy to finally reach a down week since my last real one was in May. I’m glad to be going into the half with some decent training on my legs but also incredibly grateful that my body held together without an adaptation week. I don’t like to push it around such things and will take this week very easy with a 50% taper and some finger crossing that my legs respond.

Right now, race day weather is looking grim with a capital G, calling for humid and 85 with a dewpoint in the 70s. Thankfully the race starts early (6:30 am), so we’ll avoid direct light. The trade off, of course, is that it’s often most humid in the morning. My goals are pretty loose given that summer races depend almost entirely on weather but am hoping to a) run faster than Plattsburgh (1:26) and b) would really like to be in the 1:23 range going into fall training. Since I’ll be heading to Asheville and altitude next week, I’ll be back in basetraining mode and a 1:23 would be a nice marker before heading up and slowing down.

Product Review: GoMebSpeed 3 2016

This shoe was given to me for free by Skechers Performance as part of my 2016 racing kit. The opinions below are my own. 

From the moment I put on these shoes, I loved them. No stranger to minimalist shoes, I like shoes that feel fast and have a smooth, efficient ride and the GoMebs are all of the above. My “purple Mebs” are actually my second pair of Mebs; the first pair is a treadmill only pair from 2015 that I like, but don’t love. Between last year and this year, they made enormous improvements to all Skechers uppers and the difference is incredible.

The GoMebSpeed 3 is intended to be a racing flat and I use them for workouts and races. From right out of the box, this shoe is comfortable and nimble. My first real workout in these was a short hill speed run in 40 degree temperatures and pouring rain and between whining about the weather, I remarked to Will over and over “oh my god, I love these shoes. These are the best. They are so COMFORTABLE.” The sole is firm and has good push-off from the roads or the track but the ride isn’t rigid, which is a complaint I’ve had with past racing flats. The upper is knit and moves well with your foot without feeling unstable and at 5.3 ounces for the women’s sizing, feels barely there once you’re in motion.

GOMeb

The best part about this shoe is that the 4 mm drop and M-Strike technology makes efficient, midfoot running almost automatic. M-Strike technology makes the most cushioned part of the shoe fall right under the ball of your foot so after a few strides, you naturally adjust to land here rather than on your heels or toes. The 4 mm drop is close to what is neutral for most people so you get great push-off without over or under taxing your achilles and calf muscles. That being said, if you are coming from a more traditional drop shoe (8 to 12 mm), you should expect to take time to transition to a 4 mm drop. Too fast and you will be uncomfortable and sore at best and injured at worst.

For most people, this should be a good shoe for speed work or road racing. Efficient runners can expect to be able to comfortable racing up to the marathon; for others, it might be best limited to half marathon or less. Because there isn’t a ton of extra support in the post (middle inside area of the foot), it is a shoe that could work against you in later miles of a marathon as form breaks down. I haven’t raced a marathon since getting these shoes but I would be likely to use them for the whole enchilada.

My only complaint is that they seem to wear faster than regular running shoes, which is somewhat expected with racing flats. I have about 100 miles on mine now and the soles look well-worn. I haven’t noticed any issues with loss of support or comfort but I do think I’ll need to replace them before my usual 300 mile mark.

Have I convinced you to give Skechers a try yet? What’s your go to racing flat? Do you race marathons in flats or in regular trainers?