Stilettos? Nah, Sneakers all the way

It’s that time of training again. I’m really excited about running the marathon.

That puts me in an overzealous buying mood and I want all-things-running.

Remember how I said I need new shoes? I went to Fleet Feet Winston-Salem last week after work and had a great fitting by a guy named Thomas. He was so helpful!

I’ve had my eyes on the Brooks Pure Project shoes since they came out last fall. Screen Shot 2012 07 16 at 7 39 08 PM

Once I saw this post from Janae who got to visit Brooks headquarters, I was really intrigued and wanted to go in for a fitting. I realize it was a sponsored post, but I’ve heard great reviews from other runners as well. (P.S. Janae is one of my favorite runner/healthy living bloggers to follow!)

I have my heart set on the Flows or the Cadence. They’re basically the same shoe except different price points because the Cadence has more “bells and whistles,” so says the guy from Fleet Feet.

I was kind of bummed when I was talking to Thomas about the shoes because he told me it’s not a shoe you can just go out and run all of your training runs in right away. Since they’re considered minimalist shoes, you have to start out slow, going only one to a few miles at once. He said it can take up to 4-6 months to fully transition depending on how you currently run. He’s currently transitioning and he’s on month 2. Marathoner and all.

Apparently he’s seen injuries ranging from sprained muscles to stress fractures because people are too quick to up their mileage in them. One mention of the word injury and you’ve got my full, undivided attention.

I didn’t leave with the shoes.

My current running shoe is Brooks’ Ravenna 2. In February they came out with the 3 and like the saying goes, “if it’s not broken don’t fix it.”  I think since they’ve been such a good shoe for me during PT and after, I’m going to stick with these.

(Ravenna 2)

Except I’m probably going to upgrade to the 3’s for a few updates.

(Ravenna 3)

There’s actually another shoe I want for my long runs that Thomas suggested, but I’m not sure I need to buy 3 pairs of shoes at once. (You’re welcome, Brandon!)

In reality, my current Ravenna’s could last me a few more weeks, so that will give me some time to decide for sure what I’m going to do.

In other running news wants, now that I’ve fallen in love with The Grid as my foam roller, I really want The Stick.

I bought the grid as my travel foam roller for the NYC Half Marathon because it would easily fit on my carry on. I liked it, but it was a big step up in density (more firm) from the previous foam roller I used and took some getting used to. Now I love it and can’t get enough, the ridges on it make it hurt so good.


I mainly want the stick because I can use it at work on my quads.


I tend to feel the majority of my soreness there, especially the day after a hard run. Plus, it comes in travel size so I can take it on road trips to “destination” races.

Does anyone have The Stick and like it?
What running needs/wants to you have?

Pretty Perfect Week

As far as I’m concerned, this past week was pretty freakin’ amazing.

Did I ever show you my new Brooks Ravenna 2 running shoes?

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Love them more so than the Ghost 4’s or Adrenaline’s. Highly recommend them.

I ran Monday for 4 miles (furthest since the marathon) without ANY pain the next day. I’ve never really had pain during my runs since I began running again in January, but the day after is always my tell-tale sign of my progress, so it was encouraging to be pain-free the following day.

I have a new routine when I run starting with a dynamic warm-up my PT taught me. (Here is one similar from Runner’s World.) This helps warm up my muscles before they have to do so much work.

After I run, now I do a series of static stretches, shower, foam roll, and ice my hip for 15-20 minutes. Then I normally pull on my compression socks to help speed recovery.

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I also normally sleep in them, I just love the way compression feels!

So far, this routine has really worked for me and I’m loving how it’s enabling me to run again.

Ever since I began PT I’ve been making gains, but 2 weeks ago when I started going twice/week I feel like I’ve really gained traction. When Justin (my PT) pinpointed my pain last week from the treadmill, and during manual manipulation, that was my last run on the thing. Since then I’ve run outside and haven’t had any pain.

Huge milestone for me.

Huge confidence booster.

Wednesday I ran 4.83 miles and it felt amazing. It was a little late after I got out of work so the majority of the run was in the dark, but I have my trusty nightlife running shirts to make me be seen.

That run was the most fun I’d had since the marathon with running. I felt so strong and free to be running so far. I also had no pain the following day.

Thursday I went to PT and we did more strengthening exercises. I’m working on balancing exercises too to recruit and strengthen my accessory muscles that support my powerhouse muscles when I run.

Justin told me it’s time to try running two days in a row now since we’re 4 weeks out from the NYC Half Marathon. Up to this point I’ve been running every other day. My instructions: I was to run 2 days in a row over the weekend, with the first day being the longest of the two runs. Saturday I pulled out a 6-miler on a beautiful 60 degree, sunny day. So perfect.

6mirun 2-18

The dreaded mile two. I always make up for my zealous mile 1 start.

That run felt great and I had a little pain last night, but nothing like I used to have. I iced twice last night and felt fine this morning.

Today, I ran 2 miles in the snow! It was my first run ever in the snow and it was actually really fun. It had been raining all day so when it turned to snow I thought this would be my best chance of the day to get a run in.

Before my run today:

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After my run today:

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My first run in my new running jacket, too! Fleet Feet had a winter blowout sale on Friday and I snatched this beauty up. I love it!

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Very good at keeping me dry.

Speaking of all this running gear, I got a new foam roller!

I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring my first foam roller with me to NYC..

It’s a bit..huge and wouldn’t fit in my carry-on luggage.

So I was on a mission to find a travel-friendly foam roller and have had this one in mind since fall. The Grid.

photo (35)

There are different textures on this foam roller vs. my original foam roller which I was skeptical about. The squares are supposed to feel like fingers, the longer ridges are tubular feeling, and the flat feel more (34)

As you can see, it’s hollow, so I can stuff socks and other running stuff inside and still have room for other necessities in my luggage. It’s also only 18” long.

So far I love it. I can actually tell a difference in the amount of pressure and it gives me a little deeper of a massage when I use the fingertip areas to get into those really tight areas that need worked out.

This upcoming week is my 6th week of physical therapy and is supposed to be my last. I may stretch it out another week or two and I’ll definitely come back after the half marathon in case I have any pain so he can work that out for me.

I cannot recommend a good physical therapist enough! I was definitely skeptical after not seeing any major progress for the first 2-3 weeks but then it’s like it all clicked for me. My PT is also a runner, so he gets it.

In less than a month, I’ll be running the NYC Half. I really believe I will be able to run it. Maybe I’ll have to run/walk it and that’s fine if I do, but I’m getting pretty excited about the possibility of running the entire thing.

Did you know there will be members of the USA Olympic Marathon team running this race? I SO hope to see Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila. Two of my role models. 20-something’s are still allowed to have role models, right?

Here’s to another positive week ahead!