Tag Archives: Boston Marathon

Newton Distance IV Review

Obviously, trails are my true love, but out of convenience, a lot of my runs are done on the road. Thanks to Strava, I can keep track of how many miles my shoes have logged. My road shoes have over 600 miles on them, and I thought that warranted my review of them.

Since 2012, when I first started shopping at NRC and discovered there was a whole world of running shoes outside of Brooks, I’ve only worn Newtons on the road. I have had no less than 7 pairs, including the Distance III. I’ve loved each and every one but not like I love my latest pair, the Distance IV. As soon as I put on this shoe, I was obsessed. I’m not saying that it was exactly like Meg Ryan’s infamous scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” but it was close. Two days after I got them, I ran a marathon in them. Two weeks after that, I ran a 41 mile race in them, and my feet felt great (well, for having run 41 miles on the road. In hilly Tennessee. In May).

Rocking the Distance IV at Strolling Jim

Rocking the Distance IV at Strolling Jim

There were just a few changes from the Distance III, and aside from the color, I think they were all for the better. Newton is known for their lug technology; the lugs encourage midfoot running, as well as maximize running efficiency. The Distance IV is a part of the POP 1 (POP = point of power) group so there’s a whole lotta lugs. The lugs on the Distance IV seem to be more prominent than on the other models, and they haven’t worn down much even after 600 miles. Also, I definitely think that the lugs on the IV are more responsive than with lugs past. I feel a little more pep in my step from these. The heel of the IV hasn’t worn down as much either which I can only assume stems from the advanced lug technology (and perhaps, I’m finally getting better with my form). The tongue has less material and is less “cushy,” but it actually stays in place better. Even though the IV is a little heavier (and by heavier, I mean .6-.7 ounces), I haven’t been able to tell a difference.

Probably, the biggest thing for me is the toebox seems a little wider. One of the issues I’ve always had with Newtons is that my pinky toes would start hurting in the middle of long runs. The IV hasn’t given me this problem at all. Like I said, I ran a marathon and 41 miles in them, and my feet were about the only thing that felt good at the end.* My only complaint, and which really isn’t a complaint at all, is based solely (ha get it) on aesthetics. I may be one of the few people who is not a fan of flashy, loud shoes, but color is no reason to buy or not to buy certain running shoes. The Distance III was a beautiful white while the IV is BRIGHT YELLOW (which is still better than pink). The neon yellow was blinding at first, but after 600 miles, they’ve dirtied into a more pleasant, subdued hue. However, even if these shoes bright orange and blue, I’d still wear them. They’re that good.

Looking pretty good for 600 miles

Looking pretty good for 600 miles

So to sum up this succinct review — I really, really flipping love these shoes.

*Full disclosure: I wear currexSole insoles in all of my shoes as recommended by my PT. I have terrible arches and a (finally) healing but weak ankle.

**Super full disclosure: I run on NRC’s Race Team which is sponsored this year by Newton, but as I said earlier, I’ve been wearing Newtons since 2012, long before I was fast(ish) or on the team.

Recovery Week

I found myself in quite the conundrum (at least from a training standpoint) post-Boston. I tend to usually take a few days off after a long race, but the day of the Boston marathon was also the 2 month mark until River of No Return 108k. Even though I know a few missed runs/workouts won’t completely derail my training, I still wanted to keep some of the momentum I gained while in Boston. Plus, I’m starting to freak out about this sucker, and running calms me.

After my first 3 marathons, I was basically incapacitated for 3 days. Amypoehler

This time around, my ankle was a little sore, and my legs were a little tired, but honestly, I’ve felt a lot worse the day after some of my training runs. The state of my legs made my decision not to take a day completely off from running easier. After getting back from Boston on Tuesday, I met up with the RunWILD group for Tuesday Night Trails. I was late so I only got in about 2.5 miles. The first half mile proved more difficult than I thought, but after that, it felt amazing to get the legs going. Tuesday was also Phil’s birthday so after the run we went to celebrate accordingly at Publicity. I was so excited to see that Gretchen had come!

I think you mean birthday beer, Teresa. Get your mind right in prison, girl.

I think you mean birthday beer, Teresa. Get your mind right in prison, girl. 

Wednesday, I decided against running East Nasty. I know myself, and I know that I would’ve gotten roped into more distance and faster pace than I wanted. I ran around the neighborhood, and it was a good call. My heart rate was way higher than it should’ve been for an easy two miles. I called it a day and did some yoga instead of more miles.

Thursday morning, my legs felt back to normal, and I had an amazing run with the RunWEST morning group. Tara and Adrienne are always so fun, and those 4 miles always fly by. (Check out Tara’s awesome blog here) During the day, I helped out at the CMM Expo for Nashville Running Company. I love being around runners in any form or fashion, and the expo was no different. I had a blast even though it made me a little sad that I wasn’t running this year. Because I was running my mouth to the Altra rep, I ended up getting out of the expo too late to make it to the RunWEST pm group. Luckily, Scott had my back and took over. Friday, I did an easy 3 miles and some yoga.

Saturday was Country Music Marathon. I met up with Phil to get in some miles before working the NRC water stop. This run simply proved what badasses we are. We ran part of the marathon course backwards, all the while dodging cops who wanted us to run on the extremely crowded sidewalks.

Always look straight forward when being chased by cops on bikes. Solid, Phil advice.

Lesson of the run — Always look straight forward when being chased by cops on bikes. 

As we were out running, we found Steven who had just CRUSHED the 1/2 marathon and ran back with him. It was a great run back, but spectators thought we were actually running the marathon. A couple of people even told me I was the 3rd girl. AWKWARD. Finally, we made it back to NRC and handed out water for the next couple of hours. I was so happy I got to see Yong and Roy while I was out there.

Sunday was just an easy day on the trails. It felt great to get some mud on the shoes.

So, I didn’t run as much as thought I would this week. And I’ve been eating and sleeping like it’s my job.

sleepingeating

I gave myself the excuse of “it’s recovery week” but now it’s time to really bang out some serious training.

Week Recap:
MONDAY: 26.2

TUESDAY: 2.5 miles

WEDNESDAY: 2 miles; yoga

THURSDAY: 4 miles; yoga

FRIDAY: 3 miles; yoga

SATURDAY: 5 miles

SUNDAY: 6 miles

Boston Marathon: Ok, It Was Cool

Boston seemed so far away for so long, and now, Poof, it’s over. I hadn’t been crazy excited for this race. I’d simply viewed it as an inconvenient stop along my ultra training way. Fortunately, I went up to Boston with my Mom who planned a heck of a trip that led to a heck of a race. I had never been to Boston so we did some fun touristy things, including a Freedom Trail Tour with Bree. The takeaways– I know there’s a bar across from Samuel Adams’s grave and Bostonians have a lot of energy when it comes to history. We also hit up the race expo a couple of times where I was able to see (track down, stalk) the amazing Sage Canaday

sage

Mom and I also practiced how I would get from the hotel to the buses at Boston Common on race day a couple of times. Every where you looked that weekend, people were decked out in either this year or a previous year’s Boston jacket (and shirt and shorts and socks and hats and speedos). How do you know someone has run Boston before? They’ll be wearing the jacket. It was hard not to get swept up in it just a little bit, and it was hard not to start doubting my abilities to run 26.2 on Marathon Monday. After eating and drinking our way through Boston for two and a half days, it was finally time to do it to it.

IMG_0563

Monday morning I woke up around 5:30am. I ate breakfast with Mom before I left– an english muffin and small omelet. I never eat a lot before a race, but I figured with the time gap I’d be ok to stuff my face a little more than usual. Everyone at the hotel was a runner, and the shuttle took us to the subway which took us pretty close to Boston Common. As soon as I was coming out of the station, I saw Stephen and Tricia. It was seriously a race day miracle. I was able to hang out with Stephen on the bus to Hopkinton up until he had to post up in his corral. Seriously, it was the best luck ever to run into him. I had about 45 minutes after Stephen left before it was time for me to take my place in my assigned wave/corral. The walk from Athlete’s Village to the start line was a lot longer than I anticipated, but it felt good to shake out the legs a bit. Finally, we were off.

The first 10k of this race was extremely frustrating. As soon as we started, I felt GOOD. The masses ahead of me and I were not on the same pace though. All I wanted was to settle into a comfortably hard pace for the day, but I was trapped every mile or so. I know they say take it slowly the first 5 or 10k, but not being able to run the pace I wanted really got to me. After a while, the crowd thinned a nominal amount but enough to where I could settle into a groove. I honestly had no time goals or expectations for the day. I found a pace I liked and decided I’d stay there as long as I could or until the finish line . . . whichever came first. If I had to back off later in the race, so be it. I know it’s not ideal racing strategy, but again, having no expectations or goals, you can do what you want. We made our way through Hopkinton, Ashland, and Framingham. I still felt golden, and the crowds were doing nothing but helping that feeling.

Somewhere along the way, (I think between Framingham and Natick?) I hear, “Is that Beth?!” I turn around and see David Dye just cruising. I ran with David and his friend off and on for a while. It was nice to see a familiar face and to chat with someone for a bit.

Pretty soon, I was around the half way/20K mark. My only race day strategy was drink every 5K and eat every 10K. So at the 20K mark, I ate my second handful of Honey Stinger chews and chugged some water. Right around this point in the race is Wellesley College where all of the college gals line the street. Many a runner will snag a kiss from them. I had totally planned on it especially after seeing some of their hilarious signs. However, my chews and water didn’t sit right, and I puked in my mouth just a little bit as we were running through. I thought it would be bad race karma to then go kiss a gal with vomit breath so I kept on trucking through. At the half-marathon point, I checked my watch. 1:32ish — a PR of over 8 minutes.

I have no clue when it started raining, but it registered with me around mile 16 or 17 that I was WET. Some people were running in those space blanket things. I still had on my sock mittens from the start of the race, but they were completely soaked. I tossed them when I ate at 30K as we were coming into Newton. I probably wasted a minute just trying to get my chews out of the package with my numb, frozen hands. Honestly, this was the only real effect that the weather had on me, I think. Fortunately, I didn’t puke up this round of nutrition. We hit the Newton hills, and finally, there it was– “Heartbreak Hill”. UM, seriously? This is what I’ve been waiting for/scared of? Not that it isn’t difficult to run up a hill at mile 20ish, but running in Nashville and on the trails definitely helped here. I was able to keep a steady effort all of the way to the (pretty short) top.

We made our way through Boston College which was great. My legs were starting to feel it a bit between miles 21-23 (ok so maybe that hill was bigger than I thought). I attempted to calculate pace and estimated time from this point but said screw it, just run. At about my lowest point in the race came probably my highest point. The only time this will ever, ever, ever happen to me — I passed Scott Jurek. He was a guide for a visually impaired runner which is such a cool thing, but it was also so fun to see him/pass him. I smiled and cruised on. By this point, I’d given up on eating or drinking anything else– I really felt like I didn’t need it. As we made our way through Brookline, I still felt really good but was ready to be done. I just kept thinking “Make it to the next mile” and Hunter’s suggested mantra “Happy Beers on Boylston”. Mile 25, we see the famed Citgo sign. I thought we were closer to Boylston than we were so I mustered up a little more energy in the ol’ legs. Even though we were further away, I was still able to maintain it until we turned left onto Boylston. I could see the finish line. I glanced at my watch– 3:04:01. For the first time all race, I pulled a Phil and had a last minute time goal. I, all of a sudden, wanted to break 3:05. I had run a pretty consistently paced race. I probably had a little more to give here than I should have so I was able to turn it on enough to cross in 3:04:50. A PR of over 15:00. I was pumped…and cold. Getting out of the finish area and finding my mom was probably harder than running the race. Fortunately, my friend Angie found me and took care of my cold ass until Mom came with warm (new) clothes.

The day was better than I could have ever envisioned. Thank you to everyone who texted, called, FB’ed– that made the day truly special. Thank you SO much to Steven and Dad and the rest of my family who supported from afar. HUGE thanks to Angie for battling the cold, wind, and rain to wait with me and to Joy for taking care of my babies while I was gone. Thanks to Nashville Running Company for, well, everything. Most of all, thank you so much to my Mom for coming with me, planning the trip, waiting for hours in the rain, and being the best “crew”.  Give me the trails any day of the week, but this was still something spectacular to be a part of. (But I still didn’t buy the jacket).

Most Boring Blog Post Ever

Little-Miss-Sunshine-quotesk98lo1_500

This past week was by far the best running week I’ve had since the fall. It helped that the weather became absolutely beautiful later in the week. It’s amazing what good running and sunshine can do for the soul.

I signed my contract and officially joined the Nashville Running Company Race Team this past week. This is obviously incredibly exciting, and I’m super thankful for this opportunity. BUT…the team is chock full of crazy fast folks, and I feel like a bit of a fraud. I still feel completely out of shape and slow. The plan is to just fake it until I make it.

It’s been hard not to push it way too much to try and get back to where I was (and beyond). It’s easy to fall into the trap of “If some is good, more must be better”. That’s how you get injured, burned out, or if nothing else, diminishing workout returns. Training smart > training hard. Longevity is the ultimate goal.

Besides the great running week, I don’t really have any words of inspiration or nuggets of interest. I even failed on the gif front. So I apologize for the complete waste of time . . .

Monday: Easy Run– 1 hr, 6.6 miles

Tuesday: 25 min warmup; RunWILD trail run @ night

Wednesday: 30 min run w/ Pepper; East Nasty

Thursday: RunWEST AM; 30 min run w/ Pepper; RunWEST PM

Friday: 30 min run w/ Pepper; 10 min shakeout later

Saturday: 2 hrs w/ RunWILD

Sunday: RWB w/ Jobie and Jeff

4.5 Weeks until Black Warrior, 80 somethings days until Boston . . .