Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Review: Nike Free +2

Okay, so I've been wanting these shoes for a LONG time.  I did an easy run in them this evening on the treadmill.  I opted to run sans socks and the shoes were quite comfortable when I put them on.  At the end of mile 1, I thought to myself, "wow, these are comfortable."  Shortly into mile 2, I realized that I had made a huge error in judgment when I decided to wear them without socks.  I finished 3 miles with a sore pinky toe on my left foot and this:
Okay, so it's not that bad but my foot is rubbed raw right there.  That being said, I LOVE the shoes.  They felt really comfortable, really light and airy.  I think these shoes will be perfect for me if I have a light sock on with the shoes.  My knees felt good, which is something I've always struggled with whenever I try new shoes.  My calves felt strong and when I checked them out in the mirror during my run, they looked great!!

All in all, I would DEFINITELY recommend this shoe to others.  I think I will have to work my way up to long runs in them but so far, so good.  Especially once I find thin socks!

PROS:  comfortable, lightweight, stylish, airy
CONS:  hot spots on feet!

Today I started the 100 Pushups program.  I swear I feel stronger already.  Okay, not really, but I enjoyed doing it.  Jess counted for me.  :)

I ordered two new running tops off with a giftcard that my mom got for me.  I can't wait to get them in the mail!  New gear is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, completely NOT running related, I just finished the books, Sarah's Key... anyone else ever read it?  It was a GREAT book!  It is about a young French Jewish girl in 1942 who was sent in a police roundup to Auschwitz and how her life intertwines with an American journalist living in Paris.  I highly recommend it!

Who do you want to win American Idol?  I want Scotty to win but I think James will win.  Who do you want to win Biggest Loser?  I want Olivia to win but I think Jay will win!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nike Free 2

Well, I did it.  I broke down and bought the Nike Free 2's.  Actually, that's not true.  Jess FORCED me to buy them :)  She said she wouldn't talk to me if I didn't buy them so I had to!  Then she made me do a photo shoot in them.  She sure is demanding...

I can't wait to try them out!!!  As most of you know, I was having a sizing dilema.  Well, when I was at the store, I measured my feet and wouldn't you know it but my left foot is a 6.5 and my right foot is a 6.  Funny, over the years I've been wearing 7.5 and 8s in regular shoes.  I ended up getting the Frees in a 7 because they felt better on.  The 7.5's felt too big.  I'm hoping I made the right choice.  I think I did. 

I will let everyone know how they feel after I go for my first run in them!  Oh and they are actually gray and pink but the lighting in my apartment doesn't really show that! 

Hooray for new shoes!!!

Do you love getting new shoes?  What's your favorite piece of gear?  Mine is definitely shoes, followed by shorts!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Week Recap

Last week was a good week!!  I started out with my half marathon PR on 5/1, which I am still PUMPED about.  I did 3 more "easy" runs last week, to finish out the week at 22 miles.  That is a really good week for me and it should just be getting better from here!  I also did 2 weight training sessions, mostly focusing on my arms and core.  I am starting to feel really good and strong. 

This week calls for:
Long - 8
Marathon pace - 5
Hills - 4
Easy - 4

The plan I have this month, if I follow every run like I'm supposed to, will get me to 97 miles for the month.  Being so close to 100 (which I've never hit) I am tempted to tack on an extra mile on each easy run.  Bad idea?

Still debating on whether or not to get the Nike Frees.  If I can get down to my LRS this week (maybe Tuesday?) I will try some on to see which size to get.  Again, I am just confused because when I was originally fitted for running shoes, they put me in a size 7.  I started getting blisters on the ends of one of my left toes so they bumped me to a 7.5.  Well, I still get the blisters so maybe it doesn't have a bit to do with the length of the shoe.  I just don't know.  Any advice?

Everyone keeps talking about Kara's book and now I am really wanting to buy it to read.  I saw her last summer at the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon Expo and she was preggo:
Not my pic, stole from
What do you think of the book?  Worth the purchase price?  There are several other running books I'd like to get in the near future too.  Any recommendations?


Thursday, May 5, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about San Francisco.  I am beyond excited for it, but admittedly, quite nervous.  I have been looking at the elevation map:
Nike Women's Marathon
It looks pretty daunting if you ask me!  I've never really trained for hills before and the only thing I think about when I'm running uphill is "quick, short steps will get you up faster."  I've never done any formal "hill" training, but I know I need it.  I am planning to start hill training next week.  I've tentatively planned out my training plan between now and the race.  Each week includes:
- 1 long run (except cutback weeks) varying from 8 miles to 20 miles
- 1 marathon pace run (except cutback weeks)
- 1 hill/tempo run alternating weeks (except cutback weeks)
- 1 easy run

But that brings me to a question... how the heck do I do "hill" training?  What does it actually mean?  I typically avoid hills because they burn me out so easily.  I live in a fairly hilly area so I can certainly find hills to run on but how do I simulate the hills I will be running?

I did an easy, slow run last night which was the first after my half on Sunday.  It felt pretty good.  My knees were a little sore at first but then it mostly went away, except for my left knee was still a bit sore.  I used a cold compress wrap on my knee afterward and that made it feel a bit better.

I am still looking at what shoes to get.  I would really like to try out the Nike Free but I have some concerns, including what size to get.  I currently wear 7.5 in Nike's now but I feel like the Frees are supposed to be a tighter fit, more like a sock, so I'm not sure if 7.5 will be too big?  My mom send me a gift card after I was accepted to the Marathon so the money is burning a hole!  Thanks Mom!  I've redesigned them a bit and here's how they're looking...

Yes please!

I am looking forward to the weekend!  I'm hoping that it will be relaxing and that we will have nice weather.  I have to work on Saturday morning but after that I plan to run outside (if it's nice) and then enjoy the rest of my day.  On Sunday we are going to Jess' parents' house on the Cape for Mother's Day.  I wish that my mom was going to be there too!  What are your weekend plans?


Monday, May 2, 2011

RESULTS! Eident Sports Half Marathon

Yesterday I completed the Eident Sports Half Marathon (part of the Cox Communications Marathon) in Providence, RI.  It was a beautiful day, with temperatures at about 52* at the start.  The sun was out and there was a breeze of about 10 mph.  Perfection. 

At the start of the race, I was feeling a bit intimidated because I haven't done a double digit run since my last half marathon on October 17, 2010!  Lame.  Needless to say, I was ill-prepared, but still determined to do well. 

Here is the elevation:

Classic Jess & Mal "before" picture:
Me before the race:
I know it's hard to look at me because of the glare off my skin
The race went well for the most part.  I definitely took off too fast and ended up walking for 1 minute increments here and there.  I did well on the hills for the most part but it was a good reminder to get those hills in before San Fran!!

I was going to do a mile by mile breakdown but I don't really remember exactly how things happened. 

Official results:  2:18:41 (PR by 1:02) which is a 10:30 average pace.

I was so tired after:
I felt really good about this race and it has made me realize that with increased effort I can do really well.  I am motivated and feeling good!!

I took an ice bath yesterday afternoon and it felt good.  My thighs and lower back are sore today but I'm doing pretty good.

Ready to attack marathon training!

How was your weekend?