Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trying, Testing, Playing, Having Fun

OK, so I will admit that again I have been extremely pitiful with posting . . . maybe some ADD setting in along with my OCD that keeps me from being able to sit at the computer long enough to do so. Not that I have been up to much since my lasting posting, but I have been doing some product testing to see what works and what doesn't, a little bit of racing but not really - more like just having fun getting in runs with lots of friends. So here's a few things that I have been trying and some good realizations . . .

The Concept II Rower: this machine is an animal! A sprint on this thing will outdo any sort of running speed workout that I have ever tried! I LOVE IT! Gets the heart rate up and gives a total-body workout, especially strengthening the quads and back, compacting a greater workout into a shorter period of time when I don't have time to get out for a quality run. And it just makes you feel strong. And you sweat . . . a lot.

INOV-8 X-Talon 212's: I first bought these sneakers to use for the Beast of Burden race back in February and immediately fell in love with them. The fit is excellent and the grippiness of the soles like nothing else I have ever worn. On March 10 I did a good hilly 22 mile training run with a good portion of it on some rocky terrain. First realization: probably not the best shoe for running on rocky terrain for me. My stature requires more support. Overwhelmed with the choices of shoes that INOV-8 puts out and really not knowing what may be the best shoe for running on rocky terrain, I consulted my friend Yassine who runs for Team INOV-8. His advice was to try the Roclite 295's. Funny . . . they were just the shoe that I had been looking at and thought might be a good try. First run in the Roclites was a mere 5.5 miles but I really like them; flexible yet supportive and grippy and lots of room in the toe box. Looks like I have found a new love.

Vibram Five Fingers: I have been so wanting a pair of these so I finally broke down and bought a pair. I really really like them. I wore them for a full day of walking around and they felt great. One thing though . . . I have to say that it was very weird walking into a public restroom with the VFFs . . . couldn't get over the feeling that I was in a public restroom in my bare feet. But that's another story of OCD. Anyway, I have been running quite a few miles in the New Balance WT100s, which are basically pancake flat, and I have come to enjoy the feeling that I am very in-touch with the ground while running. I figured that since I have been running in such a flat shoe that transitioning to the VFFs would be no problem . . . so I went out for a run in them. So, of course, I followed my usual way of doing things. If a little is good, more must be better. I felt very comfortable in the VFFs so I figured a little 4.5 mile jaunt would be OK. When I got home I felt a bit of tightness in the calves but I massaged them and rubbed arnica gel in them. Well . . . the next day I was absolutely crippled! OK, so maybe 4.5 miles for the first run in the VFFs was too much. Live and learn. I went through lots of arnica gel, arnica tablets, Ibuprofen, muscle rubs, and some agony for 4 days before my calves felt back to normal. Guess the transition needs to be a bit more controlled. Patience . . . I need patience. Not my virtue.

If you have time . . . a really interesting blog is John Fegyveresi . . . a guy I met a couple of years ago when he came up and ran the Finger Lakes Fifties. Really nice guy. He is out hiking the Pacific Crest Trail right now and he is posting whenever he can . . . it's great; makes you feel like you're out there. He is also trying to raise money for the American Heart Association with this hike and is doing it in memory of his father. For more information and to donate . . . the Donald J. Fegyveresi Memorial Fund (AHA).

Heineken Cup rugby is in full swing. Setanta Sports, the sports channel that supports my rugby addiction, is no longer available on satellite. I just about had a stroke when I heard this. Where would I see my rugby? I follow on the computer which provides stories and stats, but it's not the same! You have to see the action. FoxSoccerPlus took over the satellite channel and FORTUNATELY they are continuing the provide excellent rugby coverage. Withdrawal averted. UNFORTUNATELY . . . my Munster team has not been doing well and suffered a loss to Biarritz yesterday. I couldn't believe it. No H-Cup title for my men this year. Guess I will cheer for Tolouse; the French have been playing well this year (they won the Six Nations title with a grand slam this year).

So not much else going on. Cowgirl up . . . the trails are dry and inviting . . . time to get off the computer and get outside!