Monday, April 4, 2016

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training: Week 8

This week of training could best be known as the "Week of the Shoes."  With my current shoes having almost 400 miles on them, the tread and cushioning approaching extinction, and the race only a month away, I was in need of new kicks.  And let me tell you, the week was definitely a lesson in wearing the right pair!

Monday: 6 Miles - The previous Friday, I had purchased a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16's from a running store that I usually don't patronize, but was on the way to a friend's house.  The shoes felt good when I put them on so I figured they were a decent choice.  I was excited to lace them up and savor the new shoe feel, but wanted the first run in them to be on an easy day like this.  It's amazing how differently shoes can feel when they hit the road!  The first few miles weren't too bad, but things did began to tank toward the end.  I could feel the arch of my foot pulling and stretching with each step that by the end the entire bottom of my foot was fairly painful.  My feet also seemed to slap the ground compared to gliding over it.  I figured it was just my feet adjusting to the new shoes and would wait to see how things went the following day.

Tuesday: 3 Miles - With the weather being absolutely gorgeous, I was super excited to get my workout in.  I put on my new shoes in the hope that my feet had begun to make the necessary adjustments that would allow me to enjoy the 5 miles planned for the day.  Within a few minutes of starting out, my shoes were smacking against the ground again with no smooth transition from heel-to-toe in sight.  The bottom of my feet changed from hot to sore to excruciating pain by the time I had hit the 1 mile mark.  I stopped for a short bit to stretch as well as retie my shoes in the assumption that they were just too tight.  When I started running again, I could only go another half mile before accepting defeat.  Anything beyond a walk, which in itself hurt, caused a feeling of needles stabbing my arch.  This affirmed my decision that these new shoes needed to go back.

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 5 Miles - After a doctor appointment and dinner with the family, I paid a visit to my usual running store to find myself another pair of shoes.  After trying on a variety of different brands and models, I ended up choosing the Brooks Ravenna 7, which is the newest model of the shoe I had worn for the past several months.  The only problem was by the time I warmed up, it was nighttime.  I am so glad my phone has a flashlight!  After putting on my newest purchase, I ran the workout for the day in the dark (maybe not my best idea!).  My arch was still tender from the Adrenaline runs, but nothing else major cropped up from the new shoes.

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 10 Miles - Ah yes, the long run for the week.  I was a little disappointed going into my final run for the week since my Wednesday workout was abbreviated leaving me two miles short of my total for the week.  I accepted this reality and did my best to stay positive about how good this workout was going to be.  And it was - so much so that I tacked on those 2 pesky miles to the 8 that were planned!  The only regret I had in making this adjustment was that I didn't bring any water with me (not so much for hydration, but to get rid of the residual taste of my energy chews - yuck!).

Sunday: Rest Day

It's amazing how much difference a new pair of shoes can make on a run!  I'm looking forward to a few hundred miles in my Ravenna's, especially when it comes to the half marathon in a month.

Happy Running!

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