Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Feet!!!

Greetings Readers!

You know you have reached the status of a true runner when you try on over 7 pairs of running shoes at the same time, and take over an hour and a half to pick out just ONE PAIR of shoes! I had the great fortune, and daunting task, of purchasing a new pair of running shoes today!!! My old shoes have taken quite a beating, and have well over the recommended 400 miles put on them. Plus, with two weeks until the Seashore Half Marathon, I figured it was the perfect time to purchase and break in a new pair of shoes. However, anyone that has ever bought running shoes knows that this is no easy task.

old shoes

old shoes

There are several things that factor into choosing a pair of running shoes that you are going to be satisfied with. About a year and a half ago, I took my first trip to Road Runner's Sports shoe store and had a complete (FREE) foot analysis done on my feet and stride to determine what type of shoe I need. ( I have an outward, or over, pronation (meaning is too much roll across from the outside to the inside of your foot), a medium to large frame and run a high amount of miles(25+), so they recommend Stability+ for my better type of shoe. Most trail running shoes fit this description. I have had A LOT of running shoes over the past few years, and the ones that have worked best for me have been Nike's or Ryka's (Kelly Ripa's brand).

Some of the things that I look for in a running shoes are comfort, that they are breathable, and lastly STYLE! I hate to say it, but if I don't feel confident in my running shoes, I am probably not going to want to run in them as often :/. Also, I know most runners do not recommend it, but when you go through shoes as often as I do... COST IS AN ISSUE! Anyone who knows me, knows I like a good sale, clearance or bargain. So I set out today looking for a sturdy, comfortable and CUTE pair of Nike or Ryka Trail Runners that wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg. This shouldn't be a hard task, right?!?!

Wrong! Although I tried on multiple shoes, I am only going to bore you with my TOP 3 CONTENDERS.

   Shoe #1

Shoe number 1 was a Nike Reax Run Performance Shoe. By far, this was my favorite shoe in looks. I love these 3 colors together! They were also suuuper comfortable! I felt like I could have walked around the store in them all day! However There were a few down sides. The arch felt like it was made for someone with a higher arch (mine is neutral) which would have been uncomfortable after a couple miles. Also, they were not very much suited for trail running. The bottoms were pretty flat and would not have been good for traction. Also, they were not very light weight. These shoes would be perfect if I was only doing some light running, or heavy duty walking. This pair cost about $64.95 without tax

                                                                                         Shoe #2
Shoe number 2 was a Nike Air Alvord 10 Trail Running Shoe. These shoes had an amazing amount of stability and comfort. These were definitely designed to be a running shoe with great toe support buffers and traction on the bottom of the shoe. The colors go beyond my normal range of comfort... but hey, so does running 12 races in 12 months! My primary issue with this shoes was the sizing. Normally I wear a size 10, but for some reason, the right shoe in that size felt a little snug. Khol's has "wide" size options, so I thought this would be the perfect solution. Much to my surprise, they were WAAAY too big! I thought my foot was going to slip right out. They happened to have a 9.5 Wide, so I thought this might be a perfect fit. NOPE! The width was fine, but the height length was way too short. I can only imagine how much pain my poor suffocated feet would be in after 13 miles in those bad boys. So, I decided to keep looking.  This pair was on sale for $59.99 in one store and $64.95 in another.

Shoe #3

Shoe Number 3 was a Ryka Trail Exodus 2. Now, I've owned the Trail Exodus 1 series, and I loved them! However, these did not seem to have as much support. They were more comfortable than my last pair though (I had an issue with the heel comfort on my last pair). Their traction was solid and they were the most cost effective of the bunch. They had the option of two different color choices, but this purple/silver set was much more me. These
were the biggest bargain at $49.95.

After much time, deliberation, putting shoes on and taking shoes off I decided on....... (Drum roll, please)

                                            SHOE #2!!!!                   

After retrying them on, and not tying the right shoe lace so tight (duh!)... this shoe was a perfect match. It had great stability, was extrememly comfortable, looked really nice and was he most bang for my buck! Who can say no to that?!?! Regardless of the comfort of your shoe, I always buy extra insoles. I recently bought these Dr. Scholl's the last time I bought shoes, and I really like them!!! they were about $19 at CVS, and worth EVERY penny!
I am looking forward to breaking in my new shoes and insoles tomorrow with a nice 5.28 mile run :) First thing in the morning.

Speaking of Workouts, I had a very excellent workout prior to my shopping adventure! Today was a "Cross Training Day" for me which usually means using the stationary bike for 1 hour. I don't know about you guys... but I often (and by often, I mean ALWAYS) get suuuper bored and frustrated spending more than 10 minutes on a stationary bike. So, I decided to mix it up a little bit with a "circuit training" of sorts.  I am still trying to come up with a name for it... but for now, we shall call it The Circuit Buster!

"What's in 'The Circuit Buster!'?", you ask. Well, first I started off with 15 minutes on the stationary bike at a moderate pace. Then I did  what I refer to as a 10x20x25x30x80 set (I'm sorry whaaaat?!?!)
1 set=                                                        10 push ups
20 lunges
25 squats
30 sit ups
80 Jumping Jacks in that order.

I repeated that 2 times for a total of 3 circuits and finished with a 5 minute cool down on the bike. The total Time for the workout was 1:05 with 50 bike on the bike and 15 spent doing the sets. Needless to say, it was a pretty darn good work out, and one that I will be adding to my routine at least once a week :)

I think that's enough out of me for one night. Maybe you guys can tell me your tips for shoe shopping, or some of your favorite brands! Or help me to create more fun workouts like The Circuit Buster!

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