Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pure Flow 2: Review of Changes

There has been alot of discussion about the changes in the Pure Flow between series 1 and series 2 (that came out in December). I was able to find a pair of originals on sale about a month ago on the Brooks site and got the last one in my size thankfully for $59. You just never know what is going to happen when they make changes, as minor as they may be.

I am just about through the pair I was wearing and still have the sale pair yet to break into but I have been wanting to try out the series 2 just to see how it feels. Here is what I have to say about them so far, granted I have only done about 3 speedwork sessions in these and not any longer mileage. Here is some of the changes they made and my comparison to the older version.

1. They look a little strange on your feet due to the curved lacing style

2.  It's a bit funky to get into the shoe as the tongue is open only on the inner side of your foot.

Coral - Pure Flow 2      Purple -Pure Flow 1

3. They changed the whole upper sole and fabric to be more seamless and it feels like the toe box is a bit bigger. For me it means less toe blisters as my feet can move but it seems to be a downfall to most people. For once I can say YAY for having wide feet! You can also see on the above pic there is more support around the ankle too.

4. The back of the shoe is higher on the heel, this caused some rubbing so I am going to slap a little body glide on for the next run and swee what happens.

Overall I think they made too many changes to the shoe when really the only complaint I heard from people about the originals is the tongue sliding to the outside during the run. But this really didn't cause any performance issues with the shoe and could have just been a simple fix. I hope they learn something from this and the version 3 will be more like the original shoe.

They still are the shoe for me hopefully as I just can't seem to fit into any other brands shoes well due to the wide feet syndrome comfortably. I tried the Kinvara's and they were just too narrow of a shoe and they felt awful on my feet. Does anyone have any comparable shoe to this that they have found without going to a zero drop shoe? I don't think I'm quite ready for that jump yet as I need to get my hips and core stronger.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Sweatdown

Trying a new thing here by posting my workouts for the week to help me breakdown how my workouts went and keep me motivated to make them all worthwhile. My week started off not so great and began with a number of skipped workouts.

Monday: Off day - oh yeah, I got this!!

Tuesday: Skipped Interval Run & Swim

Wednesday: 3.5 mile run w/ Fleet Feet April Fool's run. I am motivated to go to this thanks to the free stuff and my fav running company. Got some free socks and water bottle from Brooks since it was the second week I attended. I then skipped a bike and makeup swim to have beers with Sarah & Kim. Way more fun!!

Thursday: Skipped Bike & Swim after going out to Texas Roadhouse with the hubby. We have not gone out for dinner together in a long time so it was great to spend time together and snuggle up on the couch afterwards.

Friday: Makeup Interval Run , I finally managed to own the treadmill and get in some great times with my ladder workout (400m, 800m, 1600m, 800m, 400m), exact same time not counting seconds on the way up & down and my mile time was 8:49. I think the speed came from these cute new shorts!!

Saturday: Long bike (15mi) completed and a swim (1200m) doing 400m sets and managed to do flip turns the whole way. Met a fellow triathlete and talked while in the hot tub afterwards and got some ideas for improving my swim a bit and sounds like we will be at a number of the same events this year. Impressed he had completed an Ironman!!

Sunday: Long Run (12mi) with a good portion running with Sarah. I was sooo happy to have company as my legs felt dead when I started and my body was a bit tired. Time went by fast and then I got to enjoy the typical post run ritual upon getting home. I get attacked by my pooch and he proceeds to lick all the salt off of me. Makes me laugh every time!!

Yes, I am still salty even after running in winter and windy conditions! This will only get worse as it gets warmer as he will try to pin me down and lick my entire legs and arms as well.

Has this lack of spring killed your motivation too?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gear learnin'

I went out tonight in search of learning more about road bikes and what is going to be the right fit for me. I am going to be making the investment to get into a decent road bike and have it all setup for me. I knew I would be adding clip in pedals and some aero bars, but other than that I really didn't know what to look for. I went with my husband so we could ensure we covered all points and he is more into the technical things than I am and we found a very knowledgeable gentleman to help us out. These were the biggest questions we had.

What is a carbon fork? Well, I learned that by adding this onto the front tire it helps to reduce the shock and make the ride smoother.

What size bike do I need? Road bikes have a stem measurement in cm and it's based on your inseam, you basically want about an inch clearance between your nether region and the bar, to avoid any damage. That essentially puts me at a 52cm bike. I also learned that my build is a great advantage for biking, a longer torso and arms with short legs. For once that will work for me!!

What is the difference in brands? I learned the aluminum frame bikes are all basically the same but once you get into the carbon fiber bikes each brand has their own model. You just need to look at the stem length and the head tube length as they are each setup for a different riding position type. I need to start with something more neutral and then I can adjust in a few years if I want a more aggressive riding position.

There is a bike swap 15min away from my home on Saturday with a $5 admission charge and I'm hoping to score a good deal on someone's used bike. I could potentially get into a $3,000 bike for under a grand. I really don't want to drop any more than that on a bike and if I have to get a new one the best fit for me is a little over that price. Here is to hoping I actually have a little luck on my side, I am going to try to get there early for the best deal.

After brining up the bike swap to the salesman he went in back and pulled out his wife's bike that they were putting into it. They are asking $800 for a full carbon bike that was a pretty penny when new, but it was 53cm and my lady bits just wouldn't work with it. Darn my luck!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Triumphs

This past week was an exciting week for me, I have broken out of my little turtle shell and began exploring. I joined the Fox Cities Triathlon Club late last year since it's free, so of course I'm in and I recently started to attend their functions. I am helping out with the TRI 101 clinic doing the following:

1. I spoke a few words of wisdom at the TRI 101 class Wed
2. Help out with the Newbie Rides (2)
3. Help out at the Running Form Clinic
4. Help out with the Newbie Runs (2)
* I am being selfish and taking the Swim Clinic and Open Water Swim classes

At our March meeting on Sunday, we had a local runner come speak to us about doing multiple distance races in a short period of time. She is now a pacer for 8 marathons a year and it was such a great learning experience. I am interested in pacing so I was excited to hear her story and chat her up afterwards. I emailed her after the fact and I have the opportunity to "unofficially" pace at the Cellcom GB half marathon for the 2:20 pace group, she is the pace team leader and paired me up with one of the pacers. I was signed up to run already so I am sacrificing this race to hit the Sub 2 half I'm looking for but I will gain so much knowledge & experience. I found I have more fun at races when it's about other people and not me hitting my goals.

I will be volunteering this coming Sunday for the local St. Pat's race, I will be at a water stop on the 17K course (they also have a 5K) and helping with cleanup of the course. Can't wait to help out and encourage the runners on, hope the weather cooperates. I was excited to learn that they have a MVP program where if you volunteer for 5 hours at a race you get a free race entry. This includes their most expensive race which is a half Ironman distance. Why did I just figure this out? This cheap lady is always looking for deals and I think I will volunteer more so I can do more races for free!

My racing schedule may just start filling up even more for this year and will definitely be using this to pay for the Half Ironman race next year :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

TRI 101 Clinic

Last night was the TRI 101 clinic put on by Fox Cities Triathlon Club. I just joined this past fall, of course after I had already done all mine because I finally found them online and realized that cost of joining...NADA! To that I said, count me in! I saw the jersey's during the races I attended last year and figured why not make some more friends in the sport. And via the newsletter and meetings each month we get some discounts about races, deals at the local shops and we even have a 60% off deal to get a wetsuit, which I'm going to totally take advantage of.

I jumped at the chance when they asked for volunteers to help with the TRI 101 clinic as I really felt I had alot to offer. I learned alot last year through trial and error and I of course did not attend anything like this. I went to a brief meeting with some tips put on by Wheel & Sprocket and Fleet Feet Sports so I at least had a forum I could ask some of my questions.

I was asked to speak about my experience to the group and I was nervous because I do not speak in front of groups of people. I freak out and I just don't like it, even if I know everyone in the room. I grew up in a very large family so you think I would be used to it. I procrastinated writing my speech as I didn't really know what to say. I revised it like 8 times and I still was adding little notes to the paper I printed off about 5 minutes before I had to leave.

I would be speaking at the end after we had already discussed the Swim, Bike, Run, Transition and Trianing Plan portions to share what I learned from my first time and encourage them they can do it. As I was sitting there listening I finally figured out what I really would say and scratched what I had toiled over for the last few days! I just totally winged it and went with what I was feeling.

Proof I got up there and did not freak the eff out! It really was a great turnout with around 60 people showing up and I got to impart a few pieces of knowledge on them. Here was what I imparted upon them during my part

1. Sign up for more than one race, you don't want one bad experience to ruin your view on the sport
2. Practice your transitions, alot can go wrong during this part
3. Triathlon is a mentally challenging sport, I find it equal to a marathon or even more. There is just so much more put into it getting to the finish.
4. Focus only on what you are doing, don't think about what is left yet in the race (I find this helpful in running too in thinking how far I've gone instead of what's left)

I was able to talk to a few people afterwards and answer a few of their questions and give a number of them encouragement that they have the ability to do it. I also mentioned I am planning on doing the Olympic distance this summer, so I kinda have to right??

I do feel obligated now to buy a shirt for the club to wear as I'm also signed up to help for the Running Clinic, Newbie Runs and Rides. I plan on going to the Swim Clinic myself as I could use some tips in that area.

Looking forward to meeting new friends and having a great spring/summer. Which we are least going to get rain this weekend and daylight savings time is coming. Ready for this snow to melt away and no more ice!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Race Recap: Point Bock 5 mile

I am trying something different with my recaps, even though I enjoy reliving the day and the memories I want to focus more on what I took away from the day.

If you want to hear about last year's race that I didn't really want to talk about and the walk of shame with Rachel, well here it is.

1. This is the third year that I have signed up for this and the FIRST time I could actually run it. I was so excited I wanted to just jump up and down and scream it to everyone. I am so glad to be rid of the injury bug and it holding me back over the winter. I feel really good going into this Spring and it's a good thing as I have some pretty lofty goals I set for myself this year. Side note: I have never put my goals out there like this as it's alot easier to just push them aside if you don't meet them.

2. I can finally claim I'm faster than my husband in this distance. He ran this race two years ago with his sister while I was on the sidelines. He did no training for it, just straight up used some running shoes he randomly bought and random clothes put together so he wouldn't get cold. It still bothers the crap out of me amazes me that he can just pull it out of nowhere. He had a very respectable 48:18 time that after two 5 mile races I had yet to surpass, but it was close. I had it in my head going in to this that I would finally beat his time and I actually wanted to hit 45:XX. My goal was to hover around a 9:09 pace (sub 2 hour pace) so I could prove to myself I could do it. Well, I managed an overall 8:54 pace and finished in 44:30!!!

3. Enjoying several post race beers that were well earned with the bestest group of running buds!! I can't believe how many people I have met from this sport and where it has taken my life the past few years. I was able to talk to a lady for awhile towards the beginning and chat, until I told her I had to shut up if I expected to keep up the pace we were running! I never realized I missed my competitive side within myself and now I'm constantly looking to improve and push myself to be the best I can be. I really want to find my limit and then go beyond it.

Here are my splits (obviously mile 3 - 4 was the most challenging for me and was a gradual uphill)