Trying another shoe, the Nike LunarRacer+ 2

April 25, 2010

Yes, I try on many running shoes so enough with the jokes and snickering. Asia had a review of these shoes on her blog. We were talking about them and she convinced me that I should give the Nike LunarRacer+ 2 a try, so I picked up a pair at Rogue yesterday.

Nike LunarRacer +2

I’ll come out with it now. I’ve never liked running in a pair of Nike shoes until today. Blasphemy you say!! It may be but I’ve never liked a pair of Nike running shoes until these. One thing I’ve found very annoying about most Nike running shoes, expect for the Nike Streak which I like to wear around more as a casual shoe, is the cut for the ankle. It just rides way too high. Take a look at the image of the Lunar Trainer below for example and how high the shoe runs in the ankle area. This just made running in these near impossible. The other thing I’ve found annoying is the toe box, it tends to be to tight for my feet. This is a complaint I’ve heard from a few runners.

Nike Lunar Trainer

We’ll the LunarRacer+ 2 takes care of both of these issues and brings some positives of its own. My training shoe of choice recently has been the Brooks Launch and I just raced the Boston Marathon in the Brooks Green Silence. You can find my reviews of those shoes on my blog. Asia wrote a great review on the LunarRacer +2 already so I won’t repeat much of what she’s already pointed out. For me the best things about the shoes are they’re light, have a very natural feel, and are soft and cushioned. They feel very natural to run in and the upper doesn’t really feel like it’s there and doesn’t restrict movement at all. The sole is nice and soft but responsive. It’s also two ounces lighter than the Launch and looks just as “flashy” 🙂

Now the true test is Launch vs. LunarRacer+ 2 … for me it’ll have to be both. I used to alternate my Mizuno Precisions and Brooks Launch a year ago. Now it’ll be the Brooks Launch and the Nike LunarRacer+ 2. The LunarRacer+ 2 is really for neutral runners and I know I have a small amount of pronation in my right foot. I plan to do a little strength work before I run anything over 10 miles run in the LunarRacer+ 2.

To be honest, given my past Nike running shoe experience I didn’t think I’d like this shoe as much as I now do. As for the ultimate winner between the Launch and LunarRacer+ 2, I’ll try out a few more runs over the next two months before I declare a final verdict.

Advertisements

Boston 2010 Race Recap

April 21, 2010

The race didn’t go according to plan but it’s a marathon, and it’s the Boston marathon so not going according to plan should be expected. Coming into this weekend my goal was to run somewhere in the 2:48 to 2:49 range and break 2:50. My training had been at 2:45 paces this season so this seemed reasonable given the physical and mental difficulty of the Boston marathon course. What I ended up running was 2:53:27, my second fastest marathon and a Boston PR by over 7 minutes. This is the best I could do on the day and I’m satisfied with it.

The race did reinforce the to me that to perform at my potential I need to be mentally committed to my goal early on in the season and have that in mind during my training, in the weeks leading up to the race and on race day. That is something I didn’t do this season and that more than anything else is why I think I didn’t manage to race at a level my training would have indicated me capable of. When this season started I said to myself if I’m in 2:45 flat marathon shape I’ll try to break 2:50 at Boston, otherwise I’ll try to run a sub 3 hour marathon and pace some team members.

I was training at 2:45 paces but mentally I just wasn’t hungry enough this season. Other things in life including work had to take priority in my mind over a command performance at Boston. Do I regret that, kind of but not really. Running is what I do for fun, it needs to be what helps me relax and if it becomes the source of stress in my life I don’t think I’d continue doing it. So the 2:53 marathon I ran at Boston two days ago is what I deserved based on what I put in and I’m happy with it.

The race started off well. Muz and I planned to hold our effort in check until we reached the Newton hills. Our goal was to average 6:25 to 6:30 minutes per mile for the first 16 miles. We were a little fast the first 3 miles but got things back in check. We avoided getting carried away like others when there were lots of people screaming, running according to our race plan.

By mile 6 my quads were sore, a similar feeling to the end of our race prep working when I’d already run 24 miles. I figured I’d just keep going at the 6:25 to 6:30 pace range and see if things got better by the Newton hills at mile 17. After the half way point Steve joined us on the course and ran 3 miles with us. The first one I was still on pace but soon was in the 6:35 minutes per mile range and knew I’d struggle from there on. Muz was just ahead of me, looked back and saw I’d dropped a bit and slowed up. He must have thought he was running too fast and I told him to keep going, he’s fine and that I need to adjust. Off he went, I had him in my sight through the hills and he continued to run strong after the hills and finished under 2:50

The original plan was to pick my effort up in the Newton hills to my 2:45 marathon MGP pace effort. I decided I’d try it even with the sore squads. You just never know in a marathon how your body will respond. I did fine on the first hill but my legs just stopped responding after that, I had no push-off. The original plan also called for pushing to Steady pace (6:10) after the Newton hills so once again I tried to surge. My surge effort put me at a 6:30 pace at mile 23 and after that if it wasn’t downhill where I could let my body just roll forward I couldn’t get any significant push-off. The final miles were at a 7:00 minute/mile pace and mentally some of the toughest miles I’ve ever run in a marathon.

In the 7 marathons I’ve run before this I never experienced what I did on Monday where my body just wouldn’t respond. The surges were an attempt by me to snap my mind and body out of the pain but it just wasn’t enough. As I said earlier a lot of this probably has to do more with my mental state leading up to this race and during it. My heart just wasn’t in it, I was going through the motions and didn’t have the right attitude to perform at peak.

The real dilemma for me is my training and racing moving forward. My goal is to break 2:45. I know I should take it easy and break 2:50 first but I’m being honest … my goal is to break 2:45 … end of story. The question I haven’t answered to myself though is do I really want it and am I going to mentally commit to making it happen. There are a lot of unknowns as far as the rest of my life through the end of the year so I can’t answer this yet. But it is something I’ll be spending quite a bit of time thinking about over the next month and a half before the team starts training for CIM. Talking about the team, I can’t say enough about the people in Team Rogue. I find myself motivated to run and perform well by the example many of they set. If I do commit to making a go at a command performance at CIM each of them will be a big part of the reason I would prioritize this over other things in life.


The weather shouldn’t be an excuse today

April 19, 2010


Last pre race workout done

April 13, 2010

Today was a relatively easy 4 miles at tempo pace run. It’s amazing how much easier these paces feel in this taper phase when the body is recovered. Running 55 miles last week instead of the regular 75 mile load makes a world of difference in how the legs feel.

Splits were:

5:52
6:10
5:57
5:54

This was also the final test for the Green Silence as my race shoes, they get an “A”. Now I just need to deliver along with the rest of the team on Monday.


Updated 2010 Boston Marathon Race Plan

April 12, 2010

A slight modification to my race plan that I posted last week. I’m going to go out a little more conservatively, between 6:25 and 6:30 for the first 16 to 17 miles and then pick up the effort through the hills. The hills will be slower but instead of a 6:25 ish effort I want to be closer to what a flat 6:15 would feel like. Then once we get through the hills I’ll pick it up as much as I can. That’s it, nothing left to do but relax between now and the 19th and give it everything on the day.


Changing my race shoes from the Brooks Launch for the Boston Marathon

April 11, 2010

I’ve decided to change my race shoes for the Boston Marathon from the Brooks Launch which I ran Portland in. The new shoes are the Green Silence, also from Brooks. They have the same material for the sole as the Launch, are just over 6 oz in weight and feel great to run in.

Brooks Green Silence

I wrote while training for the Portland marathon why I switched to the Brooks Launch from Mizuno Percisions. The Launch are now my trainers. The Green Silence have a very similar feel to the launch from a softness standpoint but are lighter and have even better responsiveness. I’ve tested the Green Silence out on 3 runs now. The first was on the first 6 miles of a 16 mile run a month and a half ago. Then last weekend on a 16 mile run and then today during the Capital 10k where I was running at marathon goal pace. I think they have just the right amount of cushioning for a road race and marathon. When I tried the Musha from Mizuno they weren’t as soft, they kind of felt like my Percisions do after I have 200 miles on them from a “feeling the road every foot strike” standpoint so I don’t think I’ll be racing in them.

I do have one complaint about the Green Silence. The way the laces are done at the top they can really dig in, the good thing is right at the top on the tongue there are these slots you can use to feed the laces back in. I’ve had to do that so the laces stay on the tongue and don’t go off and directly onto my foot. Brooks, please look at that 🙂


Cap 10k final prep for the Boston Marathon

April 11, 2010

The Cap 10k was a good test for my body. My goal was to run it at marathon goal pace and that worked out. Pace for the 10k was 6:15 minutes per mile and was consistent for the entire race. As usual the mile marks were off (will we ever get it right in Austin). The 3 mile mark was at the 5k point so that mile plus mile 4 messed with my head a little so I didn’t have the right effort. Surprises me since the same thing happened at the Austin Marathon for the 13 mile and half marathon marks. They’re spray painted correctly but who ever puts the markers down does not know what they’re doing. Anyway, enough complaining. Run was good and no side stiches, Boston Marathon in 7 days.


%d bloggers like this: