New treads

I’ve been trying to get the fat off my belly for the past month or two.  I haven’t have much success.  I added weight training and have been running about 4 times a week.   Cutting the carbs.   Nothing budging in the belly.

As it turns out, I was just eating more food to compensate for the extra exercise.  So I started using myfitnesspal.com this week.  It’s a nifty little online calorie tracker.   It adds up the calories for you and tracks protein and sugars and stuff like that, based on what you plan out as your target amounts.  Alternatively, you can have the site calculate all those values for you.  I prefer to tweak it a bit.

Also, it tracks your exercise and how many calories you burn from that.  If you do more exercise, you get more “credits” for food that day.  So the calorie deficit you create, is really cut from your daily caloric use outside of any exercise.  Since you determine what level of daily activity you have (sedentary, moderate, active, etc), you can set up your baseline calorie use.

You enter your starting weight, target weight, and how much you want to lose per week.  Interestingly, the maximum it will let you enter is 2 pounds/week.  No extreme diets allowed I guess.  So I targeted 2 pounds per week.

I like the food database they have.   It’s incredibly extensive.  People can add their own foods to the database and then other can check a box to confirm the numbers.  I’ve been using a recipe for turkey meatloaf muffins and someone had already put that exact one in the database.  Last night I had salmon at the 99 Restaurant, and it was in the database.  :)

Entering food into the food journal is easy.  It remembers frequently entered foods, or you can save an entire meal that you eat frequently, or you can copy a meal from any previous day.  Very easy.  At the end of the day, it totals it all up and then gives you a projected weight in 5 weeks based on that day’s caloric intake.

So, how much have I lost this week?  That depends.  On day 1, I lost 5 pounds, which told me that my starting weight was probably not correct.  Especially since most of the week, I hovered at the day 1 weight.  So by this morning I’m down about 6 pounds, if you count the bad starting weight.  It might really be closer to 2 for the eek.  I’m guessing.

I got new running shoes finally.  My Adizero PR’s had worn quite far into the sole’s.  It’s not surprising that the new pair is similarly colored because apparently you can’t buy minimalist shoes that do not look like Ronald McDonald  shoes.

This is the Mizuno Wave Universe 4.  I had the Universe 2 before and it was a pretty good shoe.  This one has an exceptionally wide toe pocket.  I usually like that but I hope my foot doesn’t slide too much in this one.  The weight is 4.8 oz on the size 12 shoe, compared with 5.0 oz on my Adizero’s (minus some of the tread).  My Asics Hyper XC’s were a whopping 9.5 oz!

So we will see how these shoes do.  I was going to run in them this morning but I am feeling very run down after a slight cold all week and having already run 6 days this week.  Maybe I need a rest.

still sore

I ran 6 miles on Thursday night and rested yesterday.  Today my legs are KILLING me.  It feels like I just ran 15 miles last night and my legs are crushed.  Nothing is healing, there’s no recovery at all.  I don’t get it.  Last fall I felt nothing after the long runs.  Felt awesome.  Now it sucks.

I’m narrowing down the possible causes:

1. New shoes – the should I bought last fall are much stiffer than the Adizero’s.  I think they are quite flat and light, but the sole definitely does not like to bend.  Maybe it is affecting my stride?

2. More new shoes – last fall I also bought a new pair of work shoes.  My old shoes were flat.  Not like boat-shoes, but definitely did not have a heel.  These do.  I noticed when I walked in them the first time, it felt funny.  Like I was hitting the heel very hard.  I used to own a pair of cowboy boots, and when I walked in those, the heel would hit first and made my knee kind of lock as I walked.  It gave me a funny gait.

Anyway, the point about the work shoes is that I spend A LOT of time walking at work (when I’m not off-site), and I wonder if having the heel on the shoes is counteracting the effects that the running flats are having on my Achilles tendon.  The flats lengthen it, but the work shoes let them heel while in a shortened position.  That might explain the calf pain and lower leg pain.

3. Fat – oh yes.  My good old friend, fat.  I gain 15 pounds since the marathon (which is what I do often), and I know that affects the force on my legs when I run.  Although, I was this heavy last spring and I don’t recall having these issues.  But still, its a factor.

4. Lack of sleep -I’m stretching here, but less sleep lately because of work stress may contribute to lack of recovery.

So those are the causes I can think of.  I need to come up with some actions here to fix the problem.  I’m trying to work on the fat problem.  I’m off the candy (finally!), but still a little stuck on carbs (crackers!) at night.  I think I will wear my dress shoes at work for a while (their both black) and see if that helps.  The dress shoes have a lower heel.

I can’t do much about the running shoes at the moment.    Its hard to find flat shoes these days.  Lots of people tell me the flat shoes they wear, but when I try to find them in my size, they are discontinued.

they fit

I ran six (dreadful) miles in my new Asics Hyper XC spikeless shoes, and they fit very well.  The sole is a bit stiff, but other than that, I’m happy with the fit.  They are true to size, so I have the same size as my old Adizero PRO’s.  Nice wide toe pocket, lots of room.  I was worried about the mesh on the front being hot in the summer, but I could feel the cold winter air breezing in, so I’m good to go.

Ok, now I can go run.

shoeless Jon

I’m having a running shoe crisis.  I have none.

Well, I do have one pair, but it has about 800 miles on it.  There are toe imprints inside it where my toes go.  I’m thinking they are pretty much done.

I would buy another pair, but Adidas has discontinued the Adizero PR.  Oh, yes, you can find a few pairs here and there, but they are either a size 7 or a size 13.  Nothing in size 12.  If you find the Adizero PR in size 12?  PLEASE CONTACT ME!

I tried the Adizero PRO, but Adidas shrunk the toe pocket and made them narrow as hell.  I tried ordering a larger size from Shoebacca, but they couldn’t seem to get their act together on the exchange, and just ended up refunding my money.  Losers.

I ordered some Mizuno Wave Universe 3’s directly from Mizuno.  Three days later they canceled the ordered, saying that product was discontinued.  Um, and you have it for sale at you website because?  Losers.

I went to the POSE running website to see their list of recommended shoes, and most of them are discontinued.  The others are heavy clunky shoes that don’t look particularly flat.   Losers.

So, I have a few new ones that I spotted online, that I will order and see how they feel.

Asics Hyper XC spikeless, Brooks Mach 12 spikeless, and New Balance 507.   They are nowhere near as light as my Adizero PR’s.  At least 50% heavier.  Annoying.

I’m hoping for the best.  If they don’t work, I will stop running.

Seriously.  I can’t run in high heeled shoes.  I will not go back to running with shin splints.  If I can’t run in flats, its not worth running.   I may take up juggling again.

New treads!

The old shoes are dead.  Long live the new shoes!  (No more Ronald McDonald colors for me)

Mizuno Wave Universe 2

The new shoes are here!

After being abandoned by Adidas and left with no Adizero PR’s (the losers!)

After the failure of the Adidas Men’s RLH Cross Spikeless (uncomfortably narrow!)

After the epic failure of the Puma L.I.F.T.’s (horrendously high heeled)

I have finally arrived at my new running shoes.  Meet the Mizuno Wave Universe 2:

mizunoa4-10-091

Aren’t they wonderful?  They are so much like the Adidas Adizero PR’s that I think Mizuno was doing some competitive analysis when they came up with this one.  Flat as flat can be.  3.9 oz.  No heel.  Mesh sides.  Delightful.  The new Mizuno Wave Universe is the perfect for anyone who likes the Adidas Adizero PR.  And since Adidas can’t seem to get their act together and sell some in my size, I’ll be buying the Mizuno’s from now on.

The sole is a little funkier than I had expected but it doesn’t seem to be a problem.  I can feel a little bit of the heel when I walk, but because its so flat, its not going to affect my running, since I’m landing mid/forefoot.

mizunobottom4-10-09

The sides are the same light mesh as the Adizero’s and the sole is a similar foam. Although, the Mizuno’s don’t have the little air holes in the bottom like the Adizero’s did, so I’m going to get to avoid wet feet once again. Also, no more picking out little stones and sticks after the run. One note is that these have the characteristic “wave” thing in the heel, which I remember seemed to gather ice and snow well in the winter. I may have to coat it with something to stop that when winter returns (Vaseline?)

The only real issue, is that they seem a little large.  I bought them size 12, because the Adidas fit well at 12.  Yet these seem to have a wider forefoot and it leaves more room in it, kinda like my 12 1/2 Adizero’s.  I may end up ordering 11 1/2’s and see if they fit any better, then ship back what I don’t want.  Yeah, my house is filled with new shoe boxes.

Puma L.I.F.T.’s are not flats

My new Puma L.I.F.T.’s arrived and I must say they do feel roomy.  The sides and sole are all one piece and there’s plenty of room in the toe pocket.  The sides have air holes for nice breathability.  Very light feeling  too.  There’s a sole insert inside but its glued in.

But they are not flat running shoes.

The styling makes them look like flats, but they are not.  I measured the height of the inside (aligned with the ankle bone) and it was 1 1/4 inches.  Compare that with the 5/8 of an inch for my Adidas Adizero PR’s.  My old Brooks Adrenalines (standard high-heeled running shoes) were also about 1 1/4 inches.

Nice, pretty shoes, but I’m sending them back.  Sigh.

The search continues, but I have just about given up on flat shoes.  Searching the flat shoe running forums only turns up shoes that are discontinued or the five finger vibram soles.  Shoe manufacturers are phasing out the flats.  They suck.

Shoe frustration

I am very frustrated with my running shoes.  They are wearing out and I need new pair but can’t find any.

I wear Adidas Adizero PR’s, which are a marvelous minimalist shoe.  4.3 ounces, flat, beautiful (except for the stupid red color).  But they aren’t available in my size any more (12), because Adidas is a bunch of mindless turds and aren’t making them.  Morons.  Thank you for being morons.

People recommend Puma H-Streets.  Discontinued.

Someone suggested Adidas RLH Cross Spikeless.  I bought them and the toe pocket is so incredibly tight that I know I will get a blister.  The length is perfect but they unfortunately thought a very narrow shoe was best.  It wasn’t.  I’m sending them back.

I will not wear the high-heeled crap that shoe companies are forcing on people.  They destroy your legs.  They shorten your Achilles tendon.  They are garbage and crap and I want to punch in the face every stupid running shoe salesman that looks at me with that vacant stare and says “Have you tried more cushioning?”.  Yes, I have tried more cushioning.  Have you tried a knuckle sandwich?

Eventually I may be forced to give up and buy the 5 finger vibram socks.  Ofcourse, then those will be discontinued too.

Sucks.

Lycra time!

It was a bit colder tonight (43F and windy), and since I froze my ass off on Sunday running 7 at the park, I decided to put on the lycra for the first time this season.

As I have said in the past, lycra on women looks very good.  Lycra on guys just looks odd.  Quite frankly, it feels odd too.  Like your skin is cool and warm at the same time.

Since it was a night run, I was ok with lycra tonight, even in the neighborhood. (And yes, my run was delightful)

The dilemma will come on Saturday.  I have a 10K and its going to be cold night before and clouds in the morning.  I’m thinking 40F at race time.  Too cold for shorts.  Too warm for running pants.  Just right for lycra.

But.

I know people at the race.  And it will be daylight.

There’s just something so revealing about wearing the stuff.  Like wearing a giant black Speedo.

Where the heck am I?

OK, I’ve been very pathetic about writing.  But I have been running and running well.  The legs feel fan.tast.ik.  I can’t explain it.

Last weekend I had another blisteringly speedy 10K run, only a few seconds off the new PR.  And then repeated that again on Tuesday, followed by intervals on Wednesday, and then an easy 3 last night.

Sunday I missed my run because I had to resurface the driveway, which ended up stretching into the nighttime hours.  Unfortunately, the next morning (in the light of day) I could see a very distinct demarcation where I switched cans of coating.  My driveway looks pathetic.  Still, better than it looked before.  Meh, I’ll take it.

Today I want to get out for a nice long run.  Normally we would be rushing my son off to Aikido but we decided to skip it and go tomorrow in the hopes of getting him caught up on some sleep.  We’ve had a busy few weeks.  I’d like to do 10 today if I can.  I’m not sure if I have the time this morning or not, but 10 would be superb.

I also need to head to the track this weekend and somehow figure out my stride length.  I have a new gadget that I’m trying out and I need to figure out my stride length in order to use it properly.  Its kinda like a pedometer but a little different.  When I get it figured out I will post a review of it.

The days are getting darker in the evening now.  My Tuesday/Wednesday night run at the park is getting colder and colder.  I froze my butt off last night.  I had long sleeves and gloves but the cold air just goes right through running shirts.  Its about 10 degrees colder at the park because its up on top of a small mountain.  I will bring the cold weather gear next time.

Speaking of running in the dark, I received some samples of reflective iron-ons from See-Me-Run.com.  They sell iron-on designs designed for ironing onto running shirts so you are more visible and don’t get flattened by idiot drivers who don’t notice you on the road at night.  Believe, there are alot of them out there.  People reading here know that I spend a lot of time (and money) making sure I am visible at night.  This is one way to inexpensively enhance your running gear so that it is more visible.

Anyway, you can get all kinds of designs.  I had the little runner guys.  I was concerned that ironing my running shirts would just melt them to pieces, but the iron-ons are ironed at the permanent press setting which is where my shirts say to iron them.  Not that I normally iron any of my clothes, its just what the label recommends.

So I put some onto my marathon shirt and onto a dark shirt, just so you could see how they look.  I hung them in the hallway and took pics with and without the flash.  The first one shows my white shirt with the flash on.  The little runner guys stick out pretty clearly, even with normal lighting.  The same shot without the flash still has them standing out.

The one thing I noticed about this was how even though the flashlight is shining right on my white shirt, it really isn’t very bright.  At night I have seen people walking and wearing a white shirt, but in a car’s headlights, that white shirt actually looks very dim.  A white reflective surface is a million times more visible.

I also put an iron-on onto a dark running shirt just so you could see the contrast.  I generally wear light clothes at night, but if I had to wear something dark, I would make sure it had something like this on it.

There was also a small runner guy that I put on the sleeve of the dark shirt (you can just see the edge of it in the full shirt pic).  I liked this design best actually.  I think putting it on the sleeve helps with motion for drivers to see, while your arm is swinging.

So there you are.  Thank you to the folks at See.Me.Run.com for sending the sample!

I have a 10K coming up next weekend.  I decided to skip today’s 5K up the street.  I’m saving the $15 for a better race.  There’s a 5K on Thanksgiving Day that I want to run in.  By that time, I should be at my target weight (will postr graph when I hit my target) and just about as speedy as I’m going to get this year.  I’m still hoping for the 7:00 pace. :)

Ok, now I’ve taken too long to post this and I’m late for my run.  I hope you all have a great day!