Category Archives: running shoes

Happy New Year


On way, tomorrow, to take in some little municipal facility they call “Central Park”. Have weathered the holidays quite well, in terms of getting out on the road, but not sure how the travel schedule will go. Here’s the pre-travel week:

Sunday:  More like a hike with just one other runner. A beautiful trail where deer come down to a creek. Not only was there deer and some good muddy trails, but also some rock climbing.Even for one week, I shall miss this park!  2.11 miles   12:56 min/mile    27:15

Monday:  Really pleased with this one — got out for 8 road miles on Christmas Eve. Hadn’t dreamed of it, frankly. It has been raining and was raining some on Monday and the lower sections, Crystal Springs trail, would be swampy. So I donned the Hoka One One Stinson Evo Tarmacs (how’s that for a mouthful, if not completely correct, I forget) and was not sorry. These shoes are truly wonderful marshmallows. Though I’m making room in the repertoire for other shoes, to work on form, these will be my long run shoes, and quite likely the go to for Half Marathons. I deleted the first three miles of the run while running it (an excellent feature), which I ran at about 8:30 pace. The data for the last 5 miles:

5.12 (8 miles total!) miles     8:10 min/mile     41:46

Tuesday:  Near astonished that I got out for a Christmas day run, too. In the morning I took the family for a hike in the same spot where I ran on Sunday, and again we caught a deer. The run was just 5 road miles, again avoiding the swampiness. I took the Brooks PureFlow out for a spin. Switching back and forth from the Hokas to the PureFlows is quite an adjustment. But I am quite liking these shoes. Nice minimal feel. Around the last mile I was really enjoying myself, feeling that something was clicking with form.

4.95 miles     8:07 min/mile     40:10

It is my great hope that I might sneak in something today, a pre-travel jaunt, after the rain clears. And even perhaps document some of my New York miles, should they materialize. We shall see. Happy New Year!




Done Drinking It In, Now Just Kind of Freaking Out


Well, not really. Picked these up from Running Warehouse, with an $8 discount for mentioning Can I recommend Why, yes I can!  His review of the Saucony Grid Type A5, the first ever running flat I’ve ever owned and, as of this morning, run in, begins simply, “I think I’m in love.”  That was enough for me.

In the past, I’ve felt that you really need to try a shoe on in the store to make the decision. I’m no longer sure about this. Granted, I’ll know one of two things when I try on a shoe in the store: Whether I love it or hate it (in the store). What remains to be seen is whether I’ll continue to love it. (I guess we can pretty much rule out the case of buying the shoe you hate just to see if it grows on you.) And though I dearly appreciate my local running store, which is totally the real deal, my last visit there after trying five pairs of shoes on I left flummoxed. They all seemed credible options, but nothing really grabbed me.

Anyway, I got the leprechaun energy again when I put this one on. There is something about a box that comes in the mail. And it is so unlike any shoe I’ve run in. I used to run in stability models. Then switched to neutral. Then to Hoka One One Bondis, which are, of course, gigantic, and also the Hoka Stinson Evo Tarmac, check again the box “gigantic.”

But these, these are 5.6 oz of pleasure. Honestly, I don’t think that even registered when I read the review. I just wanted something with a low heel-toe drop. This one is 4 mm, the same, incidentally, as the Stinsons. And I just checked and they actually weigh less than my Vibram KSOs. Running in them, it’s like running in a sock.

I threw together a run, knowing the window of opportunity was very narrow. Forgot the watch. Ran 2.44 miles (logged that course many times), but not sure about the time — around 20 minutes, pace 7:54 min/mile or something. I like the shoe. Felt a bit like running in the Vibrams, so light. Felt very connected in my stride. And, perhaps, felt like I was running faster than I actually was. Will see, when I get the watch back into play.

For the week, that puts me at a titanic 6 miles! You can bet I’ll be attempting to put together an easy 10 tomorrow morning. If that’s not possible, I may go into convulsions or do untold number of plyometric exercises. I’m guessing this is not the shoe, just yet, for an easy 10. Perhaps I’ll try my other new shoe for that…

Hoka Time!


These arrived late yesterday, at what must be the tail end of the UPS truck’s route (out for delivery at 4 something a.m., delivered at 6:40 p.m.). Hoka One One Eva Stinsons, if I recall correctly the whole string. Today I took them out for an incautious spin. No gradual breaking in for these puppies. As soon as I put them on last night I had the energy of a Leprechaun. I needed to go! And so this morning I have updated my little “benchmarks” text file, as this was the fastest I’ve run 10 miles. Clearly these gigantic shoes are not slowing me down. (Perhaps I’ll write a “review” of them in a couple weeks.)

I was thinking a lot about form today, too. Keeping the arms compact, making them the engine. Especially focussing on that as I got tired. Recalling the comment I got out on the trail over the weekend: “Arms! Arms! No dead bird!”

1:17:58        10.04 miles        7:46 min/mile

When done, I noticed the shoe rubs against the top of my big toe in a way that may take some getting used to. But that’s what you get for running 10 miles on the first outing with a shoe. A bit silly. I also cleaned the shoes with a brush, in the fashion of my running group compadres. It was quite muddy, in places.

7:34   7:30   7:59   8:04   7:37   7:43   7:39   8:14   7:51   7:29

My Hokas Are Dead — Long Live the Hokas!

It only makes sense. I have no idea what the lifespan of a pair Hoka One One Bondi B is — the remarkably balloon-like, moon shoes that I’ve been running with, predominantly, since December 2011. I logged on to Garmin connect, just out of curiosity, and went to Analyze/Reports and plugged in the dates. Looks like well over 300 miles, possibly 350 (I am plagued with forgetting the Garmin, about once a month).

The ludicrously large shoes (I have a pair of Vibrams in the closet) are a real joy to run with, and I can’t figure out why. But the ultimate endorsement? I plan on getting another pair. Perhaps not the same model, exactly…

Here’s what I wrote about them after my first run:

There’s something quite remarkable going on with this shoe. Hard to put a finger on it. It’s not just the squishy footprint, which is not quite as marshmallowy as I might have expected. The experience has more to do with leg feel, for me. My legs are just not very tired.

For instance, the above link is a nutty but very satisfying jaunt around Elysian park (it’s worth looking at the map).

10 miles in winding hills, nothing terribly steep, but net elevation gain of 1700 feet. That’s quite a lot for me. In fact, I just went back to my monitor to make sure I hadn’t misread it. The fit of the shoe, esp the right foot, was quite snug, so that foot hurt. But already the shoes are more comfortable today.

Today, was intending to run a slow hill-less 10. I did manage to forego hills, but it was 39 degrees when I reached Griffith Park (yay!) this morning. (When my Internet connection is working more efficiently, I’ll post a photo of some ice in the water fountain.) So I decided there was no way I was going to let my fingers get numb while running slow. Forgot my watch, took a couple of photos to document start and end time. Quite confident that I ran 10 miles (perhaps a tad more), in 1:20, so about 8:00 min/mile. I did not feel yesterday’s run in the legs. Frankly, I don’t think I felt all that much of today’s run in the legs. There is no heaviness. I just feel like I had a good comfortable workout. Given yesterday’s run (definitely slower, 9:13/mile, but also harder), this relaxed leg feeling is remarkable.

I don’t know what else to say. These shoes apparently remove substantial amount of impact stress from running. I plan to put a lot of miles into them. Remarkable

And I must add that Elysian Park is a real gem of 600 acres of lovely trails and adventure running. I’ll be back!

Here’s a link from the manufacturer, with some of their dogma, err, information.