Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On Running...Gear

Well, guess what? My race has been cancelled! I kid you not! 

I got a text from Bill mid-morning yesterday telling me so. I checked the Sugar Bottom Facebook page and sure enough, it was cancelled. 

If you're keeping track with me, that makes 0-4 races for me. So instead of writing a post last night, I scoured the internet looking for another race, which I think I found. The William O'Brien 10 Miler near Marine On St. Croix in Minnesota, June 22 (which was the same day as the now cancelled Sugar Bottom). Feel free to join me. 

Okay, on to gear.

Here are the shoes- 
What I'm wearing most these days is the Superior by Altra Zero Drop. I picked it not only for the zero differential between the heel and toe but also for the foot protection I felt I needed. It's a lot more shoe than I'm used to wearing in the last year but I'm getting used to them. I think they are a great shoe and the Superiors are one of the least ugliest shoe Altra makes. No offense, Altra, but by not cutting out the arch in the design, it makes for one ugly shoe and while one should pick a shoe based on the needs of the wearer, we also go for the flash of a good looking shoes. (If you want to try the Altra, stop by Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny. I ended up purchasing mine through Running though.)

I alternate the Superior with New Balance's Minimus 10 Trail shoe. This is a very snug, lightweight shoe that I love, love, love. It's 4mm heel to toe drop is not that much in comparison to regular running shoes and this is the shoe I wore all last summer. I wore them sockless last summer and accumulated blister upon blister, which I've decided not to re-enact this year. They came out with a version 2 of the Minimus trail, which I've already tried and don't like. My shoe color this year is a brighter teal color, which I also love.

Finally every once in a while I will wear my original Vibrum 5 Fingers Bikilas. I still love 'em a lot and wear them for easy runs. I have still my original blue ones but also a pair of green. I've tried the bright pink/orange ones I linked to but felt like I was wearing tropical flowers on my feet.

I like to support local stores if I can. Jax in Ames, Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny, Fitness Sports in Des Moines are my main stores I visit but sometimes I will order online and Running Warehouse is a great main source. Also, visiting the brand's direct site can help a lot. 

I told you I'm not running sockless any more and these Injinji socks are what is protecting my toesies these days. I've heard pretty good things about them and decided to give them a try. They are lightweight and so far I don't have any blisters from the socks themselves. I think that's all I really want in a sock. I know they're goofy with being toe socks and all. I guess the write up says it helps keep your toes aligned by them being separated. I say whatever to that. I tried them and liked them, that's all. I'm also rubbing down my feet with Vaseline before I slip on my socks. I'm like a major league pitcher- anything to help give me an edge. (Actually, it's supposed to help protect against moisture and blisters, says Bill at Kyle's Bikes.)

Also new to my running collection are compression socks. Yup, compression socks. Just like your grandma has to wear, except in totally awesome colors. So, yes, I could have gone to the medical supply store and purchased some for less, but I'm going to be honest here- I don't want to wear ugly compression socks. I don't think I will want to when I'm old and have to wear them for non-running reasons. To my children, if you ever read this, buy me awesome colored compression socks from Pro Compression when I'm old. I wear a size small. Love, Mom.

While I'm on the subject of old people stuff, I occasionally take Epsom salt baths now. It's supposed to help alleviate muscle fatigue and increase recovery. At my last massage, my therapist told me to soak for twenty minutes in lukewarm water. That's after I stretch, foam roll, make and drink a smoothie, fix breakfast, clean up breakfast... Yeah, I don't take a bath very often. (Though I do shower every day.) Get your Epsom salts at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

I keep up on my chiropractor visits. Dr. Kurt VerHelst keeps me aligned and feelin' fine! I've had a few Graston technique sessions this spring as well. I can tell you it helped me. I can tell you I bruised quite a bit and once my therapist saw my legs after my first treatment, he said I was an easy bruiser because that was the most bruising he'd ever seen on a patient. He was careful and methodical. If you're interested in knowing more, let me know and we can talk.

Finally, I'm finally adding a regular massage to my routine. I just can't stretch or foam roll enough and I need to be nice to myself in a healthy way more often so I decided I'd go in once a month for an hour massage. My first visit was the morning of the last day of school. After just a bit, the massage therapist asks me how I'm doing. Let's see. It's 9:00 am. I'm laying down. It's dark in here. It's smells nice. I've got warm blankets covering me. I'm doing great! 

So how was that? Hopefully not too bad. These are a lot of brands, products and ideas I had never heard of until this past winter when I joined Twitter and started following a lot of running people. All these items have helped me and I would say so if they hadn't as no one is paying me to say any of this. I've joined up in the Runchat sessions and gotten a lot of info that way. I've also had discount codes and joined mailing lists for specials.

Are you ready for a running fuel post? It involves gel and fried chicken... 


  1. Thanks for the review on shoes. I'm dealing with arch issues and need a shoe with support. From your review and the online review, I think I should check out those Superiors.

    1. I'd give them a try although if you've not run in zero drop shoes, its a different experience. Let me know what you think!


Thanks for reading. Kind comments are always welcomed!