Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Going Back to What I Know Works For Me | Hello Brooks T7's

Running evolves, don't you agree?

What works one day - won't the next day.  And sometimes we have to go back to the things we left behind.

I spent the last month - analyzing my Half's from 2011 until now.  I analyzed everything. The weather.  My fueling.  My hydration.  What was I wearing.

  • I had sub2'd at Hoover Dam in October 2011
  • A week later, I ran Snow Canyon I beat that PR by 8 minutes
  • At Surf City - which is my best Half time this year - I beat my Hoover Dam time

I compared those 3 races to races that were...still sub2's - but not where I felt I had my best performance.

Hoover Dam, Snow Canyon and Surf City had some factors that were not present at my other Half's this year

1.  I did not wear my iPod
2.  I had a running partner for most, if not all of the race
3.  I was wearing my Brooks T7's
4.  Wore a headband, not a visor

I began wearing my T7's in June 2011.  I fell instantly IN LOVE.  As I prepared for the LA Full - I had other more experienced racers insisted I couldn't run a Full in those shoes.  I was too tall (aka too much weight) to support a quality race at LA with my T7's.   So, I bought insoles to wear with my T7's, I was NOT changing shoes. No way.

At LA Full - I started to have hamstring and bottom of the feet discomfort at Mile 22ish.  After the race, I felt I needed to switch to a more "solid" shoe and I went with Saucony Kinvara 2's.  I liked them, but I was not IN LOVE with them.  I felt rather heavy on my feet, but since they were just as light as my T7's - I figured it would take time to get use to.

The last time I wore my T7's in a race, I won.  The Xterra 5K.  From that point onward, I was in my Kinvara's and my finish times have slowly been slipping. In addition, I have felt my training was sluggish for the past few months. 

No complaints, but no praises either. Again, I LIKED Kinvara's, but I did feel my feet were quite clumsy.  I knew it had to do with the wider width of the shoe's.

Then came ET - I was wearing my Kinvara's and I was in more pain in that race, than I was at ANY time at LA.  LA Full I was grossly undertained - ET I was not.  But it was clear to me, I was weak my hammies, it was not the shoes causing my pain, as I believed it did at LA Full.  

I have worn my T7's on trail runs and love it.  I went for a road run last night in my T7's and I felt like I was running on air. I didn't feel clumsy and I wanted to keep running, but since I am in taper for Disneyland Half, I kept it to 5 miles. 

Maybe it is psycological, but I felt like my feet & legs should feel, during a run.

I will still wear my Kinvara's from time to time to give my feet a break and I may wear them for my upcoming Full's - but it feels good to be in the shoes my feet love.

Shoes are very personable. I know some who swear by Kinvara's and think I am out of my mind for wearing T7's for longer distances. But, I need to remind everyone - I ran over 1000 miles without any injury in these type of shoes.  I PR'd consistently in all distances, too.

Not saying good-bye to my Kinvara's - but I am saying HELLO to my T7's, again.

Disneyland Half?  Not wearing music nor a visor.  I am not shooting for a PR, it will be a miracle for me to break my Snow Canyon time, but I am running along side a runner friend to help her PR at a 1:49.  Since my best this year is 1:53 (Surf City) - I need my speedy shoes to help her achieve her goal and see if I can beat my Surf City time. 

Happy Feet, again!

How about you?  Did you make a change and then go back to what you use to have or use? Share!

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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