Archive for July 2015

Unfortunately it is time to retire some running shoes

Over the past couple days I have had a few different pairs of shoes crap out on me, each with their own symptoms and indications to let me know that they were done. The coincidental timing of the shoe failures made it tough to sort out which pair(s) were the culprit but with some trial and error, I have sorted out the issue. I occassionally get a hit on the blog from a runner trying to figure out how many miles they should expect to get out of a pair of running shoes and with that in mind I figured I should do a quick write up of the symptoms I was having and how I worked through discovering what was causing my issues. Read on below…

So over the past couple weeks I have been noticing some issues with my feet and legs. Specifically – I have been having some aches in around the front half of my right foot and some issues with my right knee while running. I have also been having issues with my left ankle almost seizing up some days. The right leg issues showed while running but the left leg issues would show up at other times of the day after my legs had had a chance to rest, whether I had run or not that day.

The right knee is a known old issue that comes and goes – mostly if my form is good and I am putting in decent miles the knee will strengthen and be solid. I think this issue is just because I haven’t been running enough but may also be due to bad form. But if it is bad form what is causing that? It is possible that the right foot issues are messing up how I am moving and planting that leg and foot. So I will treat that as a side symptom for now.

My right forefoot is a new thing and I have only been seeing it after my outdoor runs. I had originally thought it might just be due to being a bit off my game and running heavily on asphalt and cement. My outside running lately has been exclusively in my Hoka One One Cliftons, which are fantastic and have done well at shielding me from the punishment I should expect from a lot of pavement running. But on Thursday I did an 8.85 mile run in a new set of Cliftons that I received as a present for Fathers’ Day, and I didn’t have the same forefoot pain. This made me think that the original pair of Cliftons might finally be dead. I hadn’t run the day before so there was the chance that the rest day had allowed the foot to recover, so I did a test run on Friday with the original pair and the foot pain returned. That still wasn’t conclusive because the pain could just be an issue with running back to back days. So Saturday I ran in the new set of Cliftons again – no foot pain…original set of Cliftons is toast. I am sorry to see those shoes go – they hold a lot of memories and have helped me through many races – my first ultra back in October, my first Dopey Challenge (3 of 4 races and wandering around the parks after) as well as a few other half marathons and another full. But I certainly got my money out of them and they have treated me right since the very first test run in them.

In the end (after Friday’s run) the shoes are being retired at 466.9785 running/training miles and more than a few walking miles as well. This is pretty damned impressive considering I have been in the 220-230 pound range the entire time I have been using these shoes. I have always been a Nike Pegasus guy and have gone through dozens of pairs of those shoes over the years and they have never gotten me that kind of mileage! The best mileage I got on a pair of Nike Pegasus 29s was about 350, about 330 for Nike Pegasus 30s – which I have always been happy with. Unfortunately the Pegasus 31s released last year were no where near as cushioned a shoe and I was only able to get 305 miles on them before I had to set them aside. That is over an additional 50% mileage with the Hoka One One Cliftons over the Pegasus 31s….wow!!

Ok – so that sorted out the right foot but what about the left ankle? This didn’t seem to be aggravated by running so much but it was aching frequently if I was out walking around and also showed stiffness after work. It got really bad one day after I mowed the lawn – a half hour of mowing shouldn’t cause issues when I can push out 3.5-4 miles of running in the same time period.

Now my walking around shoes are a pair of Nike Pegasus 30s – I wear these when shopping and at work and pretty much any time I am out of the house besides when running or doing specific yard work. My yard work shoes are a pair of Pegasus 29s that I retired from being my normal walking around shoes a while ago because they were feeling a bit dead but were ok for short periods of use. When that happened I took what was my current running 30s and moved them over to walking around shoes instead – so my current walkers had about 100 running miles on them before they were re-purposed and then had several months of being used day in and day out.

So there were 2 different scenarios where my ankle was hurting, neither of which involved running. After just doing everyday stuff and after doing yard work. I had not worn the walking around shoes the day I had issues after mowing the lawn so there seemed to be no correlation between shoes and the ankle issue. Strange.

But I had to try something so I grabbed my last pair of Pegasus 30s I had in reserve (with no mileage on them at all) and did basically a walking around shopping day in them. No ankle issues at all. I avoided both the old 30s and the old 29s completely that day and I felt no issues with my ankle the next day.

I did some walking around in the old 30s the next day and felt some issues. Those are dead.

So my conclusion is that what has basically happened is that my walking around shoes (the 30s) have died at around the same time the demoted yard work 29s gave up the ghost completely. Or because the 30s are now dead and causing issues the previously dead 29s are aggravating the issues.

Either way, I will be tossing out the old 29s and demoting the old 30s to yard work shoes for the rest of the summer and start using the new 30s for my new walking around shoes. I don’t know what I am going to do once that pair is worn out – I have worn Pegasus for so long for everyday life that I don’t a have a clue what could replace them! I will burn that bridge when I come to it I guess.

Anyway – the moral of the story is that there is no hard and fast rule on how many miles or how much work you can get out of a pair of decent running shoes. You have to watch your body and figure out when it isn’t feeling right and experiment to see if it is the shoes or a deeper issue to be solved. I do recommend keeping a log of how many miles you get on a pair of shoes as that can give you some indication when you might start having problems (especially if you have killed another pair of the same type of shoe before) but that really isn’t a substitute for monitoring and paying attention to what your body is telling you!

13.1 outside in 2:06:04 – got started late after spending time in the pool with our daughter before I headed out

I got up a bit late this morning – my wife got up with the dogs and let me sleep in for a little while.

When I got up our daughter and son were just getting up and after waffling a little I asked them if they wanted to go in the pool. It was a bit cool out but the sunshine was fantastic and I figured being on vacation should really be about taking advantage of those quiet moments when I could. The boy declined so I hoped in the pool with the girl for a half hour before we lost the sun to some dark clouds. Very relaxing.

After that I figured I need to get out and get moving a bit, I expected to maybe do 2 laps around the neighborhood (8.85 miles) and then call it there. With that plan in mind I didn’t bother to bring any liquids with me.

I finished those 2 laps and still felt great, so decided to pull in a 3rd lap to finish out 13.1 miles instead. The first lap took me 39:45, the second took 40:55…the third 45:24… the sun came out from behind the clouds and the heat spiked…and I had no water with me. The last 2 miles required some walk breaks.

Overall not bad, but would have been better with water! Still feeling strong and that is what matters.

I had planned on trying to get in 20 miles outside today but sleeping in and swimming cost me that. But it was a conscious decision and I will figure out a good way to make that back up. If I have time later tonight and if my legs are feeling it, I will spend some time on the treadmill to get up to 20 miles total for the day.

I ran in my new pair of Hoka Cliftons today to compare against my older pair that I ran in yesterday. And unfortunately it is looking like my old pair is toast – they are at 462.5 miles right now which is about 130 miles more than I get out of Nike Pegasus 30s and about 155 more than I got out of my Nike Pegasus 31s – pretty impressive but part of me wants to see if I can get them up to 500…maybe I will use them for shorter outdoor runs to slowly build them to the 500, and then I can retire them.

Anyway – time to head and enjoy some quiet time. The wife is on the treadmill and the kids are playing Minecraft – that means I can got sit with the pups and relax! Whoohoo!

8.85 miles outside in 1:25:28 – taking it easy, enjoying the sun and starting off vacation right!

Yay summer vacation! Two weeks off work starting today – going to use the time to put in some long outdoor miles and sleep…glorious, glorious sleep.

I thought about giving myself the first day off as a chance to sleep but I managed to convince myself to get out and get moving. I wanted to make sure I didn’t set myself a bad precedent for the rest of the time off.

Definitely a slower run today – I wanted to take it easy and assess where I am physically again – getting off yet another flu and near sinus infection (judging by the color of the goop coming out of my head the last few days) and still a bit leery of the hole I put in my shin last weekend.

Overall the body feels pretty good – I did have to cough up a bunch of crap out of my lungs but that seems to be all sorted now. I felt pretty strong and definitely finished with energy to continue running if I had wanted to.

I decided to compare what I did today as a “taking it easy” run versus what I did around this time last year. Interestingly I am only about 2-3 % slower on similar runs. The telling thing is though that the “taking it easy” runs last year were surrounded by many more runs than what I have been doing lately. So my legs and body would have been more tired doing those 2-3% faster runs. I certainly have work to do but maybe it isn’t as bad as I keep convincing myself it is…

Tomorrow’s run? I need to get a 3+ hour run in – 18-22 miles would be ideal and it is supposed to be nicely cool tomorrow as well so that should work in my favor.

Plan for vacation – sleep and try to run as much as possible (in a smart way hopefully) – I will do morning runs outside, throw in some sustained higher speed runs on the treadmill and get in a couple 20 milers if I can. It is time to kick my ass and train hard!

7.25 miles in 59:53 on the treadmill – taking it easy to see what kind of damage a leg wound from the weekend has done

Yeah – so somehow on Saturday I managed to put a bit of a hole in my left shin…not bad enough to need stitches or anything but it did get a bit swollen and it was not pleasant to move around too much on. Man…my last few months reads like a bizarre string of dumb issues.

I woke up Sunday and assessed things and realized that putting in the mileage I had planned for the day was not likely to be a good thing. So instead I hit the pool and hung out there and had a glorious, quiet hour before anyone else in the house woke up.

Even with missed run I still hit 32 miles for the week. Not where I wanted to be but still quite respectable (especially considering I had some wicked flu going on and maybe a grand total of 20 hours sleep for the week…)

I had thought about making an attempt at some miles last night as well but in the end I figured I better be smart and take one more rest day for the shin.

That brought me to tonight – my brain was deep fried after a long day at work and my legs felt destroyed but I still managed to force myself to get on the treadmill to test out the holey shin.

I started out at 6.6 mph for 5 minutes to make sure things would move the way they should and then I took a minute walk. I then bumped the speed up to 7 mph for 5 minutes before another 1 minute walk. Did the same cycle with 7.5 mph and then with 8 mph. I then finished out the first half hour with 6 minutes at 8.5 mph…which was pretty rough.

At that point I started walking and figured I was probably done…but decided push again instead and went up to 8 mph and stayed there until I hit the 6 mile mark before walking a minute and then finishing out to the 7.25 mile point in 59:53.

I contemplated continuing to shoot for 10 miles but I really didn’t want to push the leg to far so I called it at that point.

Overall it wasn’t too bad a run but I can’t wait to get healthy and training steady again!

7.5 miles earlier today – didn’t get out early enough to avoid the heat so on the treadmill I went

I have been fighting a bit of a flu the past couple days (had a fever on Wednesday) but have managed to get in my scheduled runs. Until this morning that is. The flu is now down to just a cough and I woke up around 2:30 am coughing like crazy and nothing seemed to make it stop. Pretty brutal. I had taken cough syrup around midnight before I went to bed but it had obviously worn off and it was supposed to be good for 8 hours. So I couldn’t re-medicate with that. Halls cough drops did nothing either. Finally around 4 I gave in and grabbed some flu medication I was avoiding using since it had medicine for a bunch of symptoms I didn’t have any more but I figured it should help for the cough…or at least knock me out so I didn’t care about the cough anymore.

I popped those and they slammed me hard and I was out by 4:20 finally.

At around 6 I heard the dogs and they were to be my cue to get out and get my scheduled 10 miler in before the heat got brutal (here in Winnipeg today we had temperatures within a degree or two Celsius from what it was in Orlando – so freaking hot and humid). But I couldn’t get my ass out of bed – the meds were still working strong and I fell back to sleep before I could even try to convince myself to get up. Luckily my wife (who sleeps like a rock) heard the dogs and got them out and fed them.

Then around 8 I started coughing again so I sat up in bed figuring I would get the cough to pass and then I would get up. Sitting up relieved the cough a bit and I fell asleep sitting up…I am running a heck of a sleep deficit here and I think my body saw an opportunity and took it.

Finally around 9:30 I got up and checked the temperature to see if running was in the cards – a feels like temp of 31 C (88 F)…nope, not running outside at this point.

So I made a decent breakfast and my wife headed off to her pool maintenance business for a few hours. I figured I would let breakfast settle and then get on the treadmill…I fell asleep again…

Now I finally got on the treadmill at around 4:30 and put in 7.5 of the 10 miles I had planned in 63:36 – I couldn’t go any further because my throat was still raw from the coughing. Brutal but still a decent steady run.

This adds on to 2 other runs I tweeted earlier in the week but did not post on the blog – 10 miles on the treadmill on Tuesday in 82:57 and 10 miles on the treadmill on Thursday in 81:33.

So a decent running week so far – hopefully I sleep well tonight so I can run strong for a long run outside tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes because it is supposed to be even hotter….