Saturday, January 06, 2007

Clif Shot hard candy, and discontinued shoes

A very nice morning in Minnesota; for January, anyhow! About 28 degrees, still unseasonably mild, but very comfortable for running.

I did a long one today (by my standards, anyhow). I went 11 miles, running much of that distance on the bike path, and then breaking off to do a single lap around the lake. It was a nice, relaxing, 1 hour, 45 minute run, and it felt great. This was my longest run since the half marathon last October, so I am pleased to be maintaining my endurance.

I’ve been trying to be better about bringing water and and carbohydrates on my longer runs this winter (sometimes I am neglectful of this). Today I had my water bottle with me, and I also a pack of Clif Shot Bloks in the outer pocket of my running jacket. I spoke about these last summer, but essentially they are a soft jellied cubes of concentrated carbohydrates and electrolytes, kind of like a "Gatorade gummi bear," if you will!

About 45 minutes into the run, I decided to pop one. I opened the package and threw a cube in my mouth. Hard as a brick! Of course, the below-freezing air solidified these little buggers to the point where I had to let it sit in my mouth for a minute or two to soften before I could chew. So, the equation in as follows; Clif Shot Bloks + cold air = Jolly Rancher hard candies. :)

After my run, I decided I needed new road running shoes. The training log confirmed it too, as I had been running on the same pair since September and had about 400 miles on them. I drove back to my old stomping grounds in Minnetonka to visit the folks at Start Line.

About a year ago when I realized I didn’t know what I was doing when it comes to shoes, I went to this specialty running store to get properly fitted for a pair of shoes that were right for me. It was there I learned I was a mild overpronator, and that I would be best in some stability shoes. After about 45 minutes of running on the store’s treadmill, I ended up in a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 6’s, and they have been great. I have now gone through three pairs.

Today I learned the the GTS 6 is being discontinued. They now make an upgraded version of the shoe called the GTS 7. The horror!

My initial fears seem to be unwarranted, though. I tried on the new model, and it felt just like my old shoes. I ran a little bit on the treadmill, and the fit was the same, it rolled off the toe the same, and they were stable, supportive, and downright comfy. Heck, the tread pattern was even the same. Nice! The guy in the store told me that they changed to a different foam in the midsole to offer more comfort and supposedly longer lasting cushioning. But, he added that Brooks wasn’t going to screw around too much with this shoe, since it is one of their best sellers.

So, I have been “upgraded” in the shoe department. Hopefully these will continue to serve me as well as the last pair did. Being a sucker for new running gear, I also bought an Asics long-sleeved running top that seemed pretty reasonable. Hard to resist the snazzy new clothes!

Right now, I am enjoying the fact that I am sitting down! It has been a busy morning and afternoon thus far. I plan to spend the rest of the day kicking back and watching the NFL playoff games, and I will probably whip up a homemade pizza for dinner. Not a bad Saturday in January!

Until next time,

Jean
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