Shoes!!!

So I’ve been meaning to write reviews on all of the shoes I have tried since I started running again. I’ve tried so many different brands and different types of running shoes. It is so interesting to see the pros and cons of shoes that are considered similar. 

I am designing this post to be chronogical and something I can add to later. Feel free to comment with your opinions on these shoes if you like them. I’ll post pictures too as I find them. 

Vibrant Five Fingers- Bikila

  

I bought these shoes in March 2011, just a month after giving birth to Olivia . I wanted to get on losing that baby weight fast because I had gained 60 lbs and knew running was  the fastest way to do it. I had been reading up on barefoot running and being a biology major felt very intrigued by the evolutionary studies on it so I had to see for myself. What made barefoot practical for me is that you have to start off with very low mileage so you don’t get an overuse injury. It was perfect since I was totally out of shape and starting over I would only be running one or two miles to begin with. I hadn’t run since high school and I was amazed that by running barefoot I was simultaneously strengthening my whole legs and feet. I never got shin splints, which I had REALLY bad in high school. 

What I like about the Bikila style is that they have the drawstring. For some reason this tightens the shoes a lot better than the Velcro you see on other Vibrams. I would say these run true to size. I normally wear a 7.5 I shoes and that’s what I got in the Vibrams. I like that I can step in a puddle and my feet don’t get wet. Some cons are that you feel everything, so don’t run on gravel or anything rocky unless you’re prepared to feel pebbles. These shoes aren’t just for running either I have taken them hiking and they have been awesome. After I started running longer distances, I opted for a more supportive shoe but keep these for anything 5 miles or under. Definitely a keeper! And they last forever! I’ve had mine almost 5 years and since they have no cushioning and a zero drop, the only thing that wears is the sole. 

Disclaimer: Since these shoes have a zero drop, they require a transition period. Do not run more than a mile or two at a time in the beginning or bad things could happen!

Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7

  


These were the first shoes I purchased when I decided I was ready to amp up my mileage. I’ll admit, it was entirely the look of this shoe that sold me. I mean, they’re brightly colored AND glow in the dark. What could be cooler than a glow in the dark shoe? Lucky for me, they are a neutral shoe with a middle of the road drop. Since they are a Tri shoe they come with elastic triathlon laces which I did not use. I can’t say there is anything that I dislike about this shoe. They run true to size, are light and have good cushioning. The only reason I did not purchase again was the price point as I got them on sale. Originally $130. 

Saucony Kinvara 3

  

Light and quick, the Saucony Kinvara is an excellent transition into a more minimalist shoe. With a 4 mm drop and great cushioning, these shoes feel like you’re running on a cloud! I ran my fastest races in these thanks to the energy return from the light foam sole. My only gripe is that they wear easy. The mesh upper started to wear a hole in the toe area just 3 months after I got them. 

Back in the saddle again

Hello! It’s been awhile. While I have been running in the last year, a lot has changed for me. When I first started this blog, I really wanted to use it to share my running experiences as well as write some product reviews on new and cute running gear. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get much of a chance to do any of that. Back in June of 2013 I took a job and things were promised to me. I was promised that if I worked hard, that I would move up within 6 months. So I went with the flow. When I started, I had a good schedule that didn’t conflict with my training and races. When it came around the time for my promotion in December, they told me I had to wait longer and instead, my schedule got moved around to the point where I was working long and hard hours and was too tired to do anything else, let alone run. I lost my speed that I had worked on for 3 years completely. If I wanted to run a race I had to have someone work my shift and eventually, by September 2014 I was told that I couldn’t race at all and that I  would have to choose between my job or racing. At that point I had enough and realized that I was being taken advantage of. So I started looking for another job. I was blessed with an opportunity to work in my field in December so I put in my two weeks. My last day was January 2, which was also my birthday. That was the best gift ever! 

During that horrible 9 months, I raced when I had the chance but over time, you can definitely see my decline in fitness as well as my speed. In January 2014 I ran my fastest half marathon, sub 2 hours. By April my time decreased significantly. My first and second full marathons, which took place in October and December I barely prepared for. I ran the Cal Neva Marathon and the California International Marathon that year and crashed miserably during both of them. My first marathon I finished in 5 hours and 30 minutes. The second I finished in 5 hours and 15 minutes. Not what I had hoped for. 

So what did I learn from all this besides to never let someone else dictate when I can run and when I can race? I learned that consistency is the most important thing when it comes to training for any distance. You cannot simply stop running for three weeks and then expect to pick up and be able to run 16 miles right off the bat.

After I quit my job, I went into major turbo mode. I trained hard for 8 weeks and ran the Phoenix Half Marathon in just over two hours. I put in 40 mile weeks and earned my fitness back. The speed is coming back gradually but I am proud that I was able to overcome a major setback. 

Question: Have you ever had to bounce back from something unexpected that set back your running? How did you cope?