Archive for Gear

Updated Goofy Challenge Packing List – Carry on only

A few years back, I put up a packing list for the Goofy Challenge and then added another packing list specifically for the Dopey Challenge. But, both of those assumed I would be checking a bag with the airline to fly down, which is what I would normally do. However, this year I am hoping to get away with just carry on bags.

 

Why?

 

For this trip, I am flying from Winnipeg to Toronto and then from Toronto down to Florida with a couple hour layover between flights. This means I will need to do US Customs in Toronto. That’s not a big deal but it means I have to collect my checked bags at a special luggage conveyor in the Toronto airport before I go to the US entry area. I have never had a lost bag here or missed a flight but it is a frustrating thing, standing there wait for your bags as you watch the US entry area get fuller and more backed up and your flight time gets closer and closer. Frankly it is a frustration I would rather avoid this trip and it should be doable if I plan well.

 

To achieve it, I have to be more focused on what I really need to bring and what I can do without. I may also have to commit to doing laundry on the Sunday after the marathon but I will have a better idea on that as I start to pack and see what will actually fit in my bags.

 

On the bag side, I will be using a luggage piece that fits the airline’s size restriction for carry on. The trick is determining what the additional “personal item” will be and how much I can fit in it. Usually I bring a padded camera backpack into the cabin area and I might do that this time but it would be nice if I could get away with a simple messenger bag instead. Again, I won’t be able to fully decide that until I get actually packing.

 

As I split the stuff up between bags I will need to keep in mind that I might get stuck having to gate check a bag, meaning there will be stuff I want to make absolutely sure is in the “personal item” bag, just in case of issues with the gate checked bag. This means electronics and at least one running gear set in the “personal item” bag.

 

I will also try to save some space in the bags by wearing layers of clothes onto the plane. Frankly I would probably have to do this anyway. It will most likely be parka weather in Winnipeg as I head to the airport and I will not want to bring the parka with me to Orlando. So that means I will layer on clothes so I don’t become an icicle getting to the plane but I will be able to get comfortable once I am in warmer air again.

 

Wear:

 

  • Standard jeans, socks, etc (for staying warm – not much I can do here for efficiency)
  • Long sleeve running tech shirt – could be used to run if required (some efficiency here)
  • Sweater / light jacket – layering in action – but can also be used to run if the race mornings are cool
  • Nike Elements running jacket – this thing can keep me warm in damned cold weather but is still light enough to use if it is only cool out – again can be used for running or just wearing if it is cool as I am wandering a park or something
  • Shoes – I will wear my planned running pair on the plane – going to make sure I have that pair of shoes with me
  • Running gloves
  • Running hat
  • Garmin running watch (Garmin Vivoactive)
  • Cell phone in armor case and holster and a set of headphones

 

 

“Personal Item” – backpack or messenger bag

 

  • Passport
  • Race waiver!
  • Travel documents including Disney receipts for tickets to pick up, etc
  • Chargers and charger cables galore – watch, phone, laptop, etc
  • Portable battery bank (fits in my running belt and in my pockets, keep the phone charged)
  • Laptop (Surface 3 tablet actually with keyboard and hard case to keep it protected) and connectors to read camera memory card, etc
  • Headphones – I will probably have a pair in a pocket of the jacket I am wearing but I will bring a spare pair
  • Sunglasses – I would just wear them but my first flight leaves at 5 am – the sun will still be asleep
  • 1 set running clothes – shirt, shorts, underwear and socks
  • Running belt and bib belt
  • DSLR camera + one lens – I would normally take 2 lenses and a point and shoot camera but will cut that back this trip to save space
  • Kindle – I could read on my phone or Surface while flying but I prefer the feel of the Kindle and it is an easy carry so I will bring it.
  • Minor toiletries – won’t bring much since you can bring much liquid through security but I won’t need much while I am down there and things like shampoo, etc will be supplied by the hotel anyway.
  • Disney Pieces of Magic – mementos that I carry on every run to remind me of my family and have them with me on the run.
  • Electrolyte drink tablets
  • Bottle opener – for beer.
  • Magic band – being Canadian, Disney won’t have mailed out my new band for this stay but I will bring an older one to have options (plus it makes getting on Magical Express a bit quicker)
  • Nipple protectors – because otherwise, ouch. 

 

 

Luggage

  • Normal clothes – jeans, shirts, socks, etc – number of full sets will depend on room – if I can avoid having to do laundry that would be good but lounging in the pool while doing laundry after the marathon is done doesn’t seem that bad a thing either…
  • Additional running gear full set – possibly 2 to give options with a warmer weather set and colder weather set. Disney World Marathon weekend weather can be odd – I have had blistering heat warnings…and snow (curse you 2010!).
  • Running shoes – 1 pair – back up pair / walking around pair to use instead of the race pair I will be wearing on the plane
  • Space – going to have souvenirs and race items to bring home and will need that room. I expect I will check the bag on the way home so having the luggage fit the carry on size requirements but still be expandable would be good.
  • Ziplock bags – good to have to carry stuff on the race that want to protect
  • Water bottles for the electrolyte drink tabs
  • Running backpack – I carry way too much stuff on marathons but I also can’t handle PowerAde so I need to bring my own liquid fuel for the race – I find the 2 liters in the backpack gets me through a full marathon.
  • Couple of big garbage bags – easily disposable rain barrier if needed
  • Knee and ankle braces – have had issues in the past and they are easy to pack as a just in case
  • Swimsuit
  • Wipes – easy pack for GI issues on the race and a nice quick clean up after the race
  • Grooming / blister kit – bandages, nail clippers, etc – I will have to double check here exactly what I can bring in carry on bags – this may have to be modified.

 

Let me know if I missed anything!

1 treadmill mile tonight and maybe a half mile on a store treadmill testing out Hokas

My runs this weekend made it fairly clear that while the Vomeros I’m using are great on the treadmill and for shorter runs, I am not going to be able to do the Sprucewoods trail 50k run in them, and marathons would might be touch and go as well. They have good padding but I just can’t seem to get speed out of them for long, I’m not sure why that is but when I switch to my old Hoka Cliftons I end up getting an extra mph of speed out of nowhere.

The problem is my Hoka Cliftons are done and I get ankle pain if I run too far in them, so I need to replace them. But with what? Hoka has made some changes for the 2nd version of the Cliftons that many don’t like. I had tried on a pair before and they seemed extra tight in the toe box for my size – and they don’t seem to sell a half size up from my size so I would have to go up a full size to get something that might fit. But I needed to find something.

With that in mind my wife and I hit up City Park Runners here in Winnipeg to see what they might have. (very knowledgeable and the staff member who helped us was set to do the Sprucewoods 50k as well) and I tried on a set of Clifton 2s in the size of my old pair and surprisingly they seemed to fit properly – maybe my feet were a bit swollen when I tried them on before? They had a treadmill I could do a test run on and the Clifton 2s felt pretty good – one of the tongues rubbed a bit when walking (one of the changes for the shoes was a thicker tongue) but I didn’t notice while running.

Next I tried on another set of Hokas – this time Challenger ATR 2s – a very similar shoe to the Cliftons with a slightly more aggressive / knobby sole for light trail work that would still work on pavement. I gave these a shot on the treadmill as well and they were very good as well.

I looked at some others but gravitated back to these 2 shoes. I had trouble deciding but in the end I went with the Challenger ATR 2s. I figured the extra grip could be useful on the Spucewood 50k run plus the change in the tongue on the Clifton 2s worried me. I wasn’t feeling the tongue bug me on a real short run but would it cause more issues on a longer run? Tough call.

So the mile tonight was in the new Challenger ATR 2s to give another test and it went fairly well – I look forward to giving them a good go this weekend.

1 mile tonight to keep the run streak alive – recap of March so far (including some shoe thoughts)

7 runs and 36.75 miles into March so far.

1st – 3 miles

2nd – 7.3 miles

3rd – 10 miles

4th – 1 mile

5th – 10 miles

6th – 4.45 miles

7th – 1 mile

I’m 67 days into the 2016 run streak attempt and I am feeling good and running appears to be a habit again. Whoohoo

Now about shoes…

Since October 2014, I have been using solely Hoka One One Cliftons to run outside in – long runs (including my 2 12 hour races and the Dopey Challenge in 2015), short runs and everything in between. But my current set is close to being done according to my mileage tally and the way my legs feel after using them – I would just buy a new pair but Hoka has updated the model and depending on the Clifton fanatic you talk to they are either completely ruined or close to the same. I tried a pair on for myself and I found the toe box to be too tight on the size I wear (the original version is snug for me in the toe box but the new version is way too tight) meaning I would probably need to go up a half size…unfortunately I wear a 12 and I can’t find a 12.5 anywhere so I would have to go up to a 13 which might be too large a change.

I have also managed to burn through my stash of Nike Pegasus 30s that I love and that Nike changed too significantly for me to want to continue with them. I did work through a pair of 31s but they only seemed to be good for me on the treadmill and I didn’t enjoy them outside at all.

So I also needed to find a new indoor shoe. I did some digging and settled on the Nike Vomero 10s and after finding them on sale I bought a set and gave them a try. I found them very close to the ride of the old Pegasus 30s that I loved and I have been using them as my indoor shoes ever since – up to about 200 miles on them now and they still feel great.

While on vacation I found major deals at a Nike Outlet store on Vomero 9s and a big deal on a set of Vomero 10s at Scheel’s in Fargo – in the end I bought 4 pairs for what I would pay for 2 sets up here (even after the exchange on the dollar right now). I ran the Vomero 9s the entire time I was on vacation and found them to be very good, just like the 10s.

With that in mind I decided to try the 9s outside this past weekend back here in Winnipeg on a morning after we had had some fresh snow fall over snow that had melted and re-frozen the night before. What a chore! The 9s just could not sustain traction – I struggled to maintain anything close to 5 mph – it was an exhausting 10 miles! My legs felt great after though so the shoes are good for distance but they just couldn’t handle the slippery conditions.

To make sure that it was the shoes, I ran in the Cliftons last night in sloppy / icy conditions that were arguably worse than the day before – combined with it being dark and me running way too soon after eating supper and I expected I had set myself up for another bad run. But I was easily able to maintain over a mph faster pace without issue even with having to carefully watch where every step was going. Definitely had much better traction…but my ankles are not pleased even the next day and that tells me that those shoes are done…

So what do I do now? We are experiencing a bit of an early spring here so there is a chance the slippery conditions could clear up soon and traction won’t be an issue…but knowing our weather we could also end up with snow for another month or more. Top that off with knowing that I have signed up for a trail 50k in early May, if the Vomeros couldn’t handle snow and ice, will they be able to handle trails if they are even a little bit muddy?

Basically, I expect that means I have 1300-1500 miles of brand new shoes that will be designated for pavement and treadmill – not a bad situation to be in but I need to sort out a shoe with more traction that I can do long distance in…and I have to do it fast as it is about 8.5 weeks until the trail 50k and I will need to make sure they work for me in that time.

Crap.

Current plan will be to try on a pair of Clifton 2s that are one full size up from what I wear in the original versions. At this point I have to hope that those will work for me, if they don’t I am going to have to come up with different options…maybe hammer nails into the soles of the Vomero 9s?

Ahh running, you always find a way to make things interesting.

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!

5 miles tonight in 36:23 on the treadmill – puts me just over 115 miles for the month. Improving.

I tweeted it out Sunday night but didn’t get it on the blog – 18 miles yesterday on the treadmill in 2:36:36. I was up early enough to run (darned pups) but was working on less than 4 hours sleep and ended up crashing out again instead. That was at around 5…I ended up waking up around 9:30. I then spent 2.5 hours in the pool with the kids. After lunch I was sitting on the couch yapping with our son while he was building some Lego…I woke up again 2 hours later. Just crashed out solid out of nowhere. Obviously I am lacking in the sleep department will need to fix that up.

After that it was just too bloody hot to try to do a long run outside so I hopped on the treadmill instead. I watched Zombieland (I’ve seen it enough time that I listened to music while I watched it – kept me distracted) – that got me through an hour and a half. After that I put on Disney Marathon videos and watched those until I hit the 18 hour mark.

Short dip in the pool to cool off after that before the mosquitoes chased me back into the house.

That was a very solid run and I never felt anywhere near as destroyed as I did a week before during the Manitoba Marathon. Probably 2 main factors there – less heat on the treadmill and improved confidence after getting through the Manitoba.

The run tonight was 5 miles in 36:23 with 2 minutes of walking and a maximum speed of 9 mph held onto for 3 minutes straight. That is an improvement and I felt good for the whole thing.

I ran the 18 miler in my Nike Pegasus 31s and then tried the 5 miler tonight in them as well. I had to stop after just a minute and swap them out. They are toast at 305 miles – kinda rough as I was averaging about 330-350 for the Pegasus 30s. Compare that to my Hoka One One Cliftons that are sitting at 450 miles and can still be used. I still love my Pegasus 30s (and I have 2 pairs of those stashed that I am rationing out – one unused and one around 100 miles currently) for shorter, faster runs. Basically it looks like my summer shoes are going to be my Cliftons for the longer runs and my Pegasus 30s for the shorter speed work and probably mix and match the 2 for medium length runs.

OK – With those 2 runs finishing up June, I am feeling pretty good going into July. Going to have to crank up the miles!

June mileage total is 115.12 miles over 15 runs.

Overall I am glad June is done and I can focus more on getting the long distance runs in.