August 29, 2011
You Heard it Here First!
If you're any sort of running shoe junkie, you know about the upcoming line of Brooks shoes called Pures. I could attempt to explain the technology behind these, but that would be a waste of time for me. You can read all about it here.
While in Washington this summer, we were fortunate enough to hear a presentation about the Pure line of shoes. We were given enough background to get us really pumped up about these shoes. Brooks ID members were able to pre-order these, but not actually receive them until Oct. 1 (or so we thought). Little did we know, Brooks had a little surprise for us. SIDENOTE: One thing I love about Brooks is that they really, really respect and honor high school coaches. That's kind of rare these days. In a world that takes the entire teaching profession for granted, it is so awesome to know that MY sponsor appreciates what I do (or did). END NOTE. Last Friday, after a tiring week, feet killing me, dreading my planned track workout, I received a package. To my surprise it was a pair of Pure Connects! I hadn't ordered these, and had no idea they were coming. By my squeals of joy, my neighbors probably thought I had received a box of hundreds. Enclosed was a letter from Brooks CEO, encouraging us to wear and love the new shoes. All of a sudden, I couldn't WAIT to get to the track. And here begins my shoe review of all my Brooks shoes:
Oh how I love this stable ride. It is by far my favorite training shoe for everyday miles. Also, through my training logs, I can tell you that shoe lasts more miles than any of my other Brooks shoes. I love its safe feeling, but comfy enough for the long miles. It comes in a variety of colors, too!
I recently got this shoe b/c of the "cuteness" factor. The cushioning of it is good, but it is a bit wider than my other shoes, causing me some slipping. I will still get good use out of them through easy runs, though, but probably not long runs where slippage could lead to blisters.
This is one of my favorites for workouts and marathons. To me, it's the perfect balance of cushioning and lightness. I wear these for all my quality work and some races.
I want to love this shoe. I mean, it looks completely awesome, and is super light. They just aren't a good fit for me. They were also too wide, even wider than the Summons. I like the weight and "free" feel of them, though. At the RnR Seattle expo I met a FB friend and fellow Brooks guy that showed me a new way to lace the Green Silence so that they fit tighter. I did enjoy them a lot more after I learned the new strategy. Problem was that for some reason I developed top-of-the-foot pain, which I believe was from the Silences. So... I wear them for easy runs, too, with the old lacing style. (Better to be loose than to cause foot injury.)
I love these cute little buggers. They don't have quite the stability as the Ravennas, but have GREAT cushioning. I wear these shoes for long runs and easy runs, pretty much any non-speed workout. They will withstand the mileage and feel great the whole way. I am a big fan of the color schemes of the Glycerins, too.
And.... Dom Dom Dom.... The Pure Connects
Please forgive my non-technical terms. Sometimes I think my brain is stuck in teacher mode where I talk to everyone like they are in elementary school. Anyway, these shoes are WHERE IT IS AT! My research had shown me that one purpose of these shoes was to promote natural running form, which meant very little heel lift. The shape of the shoe (and weight) actually reminds me of old waffle shoes I wore for high school XC. BUT... in some weird kind of way, there is support there. I know you're wondering how (and I am too, actually), but it feels like this shoe *hugs* your feet. You are definitely more aware of the terrain you are running on. We ran our warm up down by the bay and I ran on a tad bit of gravel. I could feel it more than regular trainers, but not like painful or bothersome. Once we hit the track, I felt like the shoe actually promoted my foot forward, but that may have been because I was more aware of the lack of heel lift. Does that make sense? I also felt that there was support on the arch, but more of a *wrap around* feel than an underneath feel. There is really no way describe these shoes. They are the most incredible feeling things I have ever put on. Very unique. With that being said, because it is a minimalist shoe, I will reserve it for track workouts for now. I am still trying to learn how to best incorporate it into my heavy training weeks. (So many shoes to choose from!) Speaking of that day at the track...
I finally want to report on a workout. I absolutely blew one out of the park, first time in FOREVER it felt like. Here's what went down, and why (for once) I think it was awesome. I was scheduled for 12 x 400 with 1 minute recoveries. My target was 1:28-1:30. As the rest of the country begins to see signs of fall, we on the coast suffer through another 2-3 months of extreme heat and humidity. The evening of the workout was 93* and so humid. We had a group of 6 out for track work. Daniel and Courtney were aiming for about 1:22-1:24 with the same workout. My plan was to stay a couple of seconds behind him to hit my target paces. I hit the first one at 1:26, which scared me a bit with thinking that I was going to blow it, knowing that 12 repeats are nothing to turn your note up at. But, as the workout ticked on, 1:26 was actually my 2nd slowest repeat. All repeats were 1:26-1:24, but the last one. I was truly spent and hit that one at 1:28. I went back and looked at my results from this workout back in April and was very pleased to see how much I've improved, even with the heat factor! The time I did this workout, I hit 1:28-1:30 with FULL 400 recoveries. So... less recovery, hotter temps, but faster paces. Whooohhoooooo!
My long runs have been improving, too, despite the temps. Today's 19 miler was 7:40 pace with VERY humid conditions. So... things are looking good in the training dept!