The Doldrums of Training

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

So, I am nearing the end of training for the Illinois Marathon because, gasp!, it’s almost here! I had my last major distance run last weekend with a 20.1 mile run. I would say it was a good run for the most part. I started off too fast though and that remains to be a problem for me. I don’t follow my plan of attack and it costs me. I really need to start listening to my mind and, then later during the run, my body. As I was saying, I started off too fast but strong and that part felt good. My two previous long runs were not good to say the least so this was a nice change in having a solid start and have it stick. The only real drag of this run was the end. I sort of tailed off in the last 2-3 miles and finished a little bit gassed.

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And that has remained a problem with all long runs for the last month. I don’t know what it is. I have not gotten into a positive flow with this training cycle and that has been frustrating. My legs feel tired a lot and I have questions about that too. I’ve recently reengaged my leg workout program, albeit slowly and not has strenuous as it once was before the hamstring injury I suffered in March 2017 but it’s made me happy to get back at it. But is it costing me? I don’t think so and I’m hoping that my return to lifting will help my endurance come April 28.

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I’m also hopeful that my training runs in multiple weather conditions and temperatures will have prepared me for whatever this race has in store for all of us. I’m not the best follower of all the “rules” that many to almost all other runners follow so my training is a little different. I haven’t always worn the same shoe the entire time and not for all the long runs. My feet need the changeup and I think it will benefit me in the long run, no pun intended. It also has allowed the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18’s that I will be wearing for the race to keep some more support as time has gone on.

The bottom line is my training has been going but just not the way I had hoped. There are now 9 days remaining before the gun goes off. I am in the taper mode now. Short run for the most part are on the schedule now. I will take this upcoming weekend and run a half marathon distance and then squeeze in an 8 mile run in the  middle of next week. Like I said, my training is not the most normal but you also have to take care of your feet and legs when they tell you to.

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I’m curious: how do you train for your races? 5K distance? Full marathon? 15K distance? I would love to know the different methods that others use. Feel free to comment below!

Happy running!

BibRave Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonic

Disclaimer: I received the opportunity to test the UARunning HOVR Sonic to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to try out these new shoes for one huge reason: the amazing technology that these shoes possess. But my excitement was tempered at first because, well, look at how sweet they look in the featured pic! Clean and crisp, just pretty to look at. It’s winter here in Wisconsin and I just couldn’t bear to get them all filthy right off the bat. And we kept having bad weather on the days I was going to wear them. Finally, we had good weather but I suffered a glute injury which shelved me for three weeks. Frustrating to say the least. So, the first few runs with these shoes I performed on the “dread”mill and, just before the testing window closed, I managed to get a run in outdoors. Now…back to those awesome features and their performance.

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As I said, the first few runs were in the gym but I was able to get a good feel for them and how they perform in short bursts; 1-3 mile runs when I had time after lifting workouts. They always felt good. Very lightweight thanks to the microthread upper that dries fast and provides a breathable, compression-like fit for the foot. There is also ventilation point in the midfoot which allows your foot to breathe. Another positive feeling point for the shoe is its heel where you receive additional support.

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Another major point of interest for my foot (and yours, of course) was the special UA HOVR tech where the foam molds to match you and to give back the energy you put into it. With this energy return that helps eliminate impact as your run goes on, you end up with a “zero gravity feel” meaning it is as if you are not even wearing shoes. That’s how light they feel and how much cushion that exists.

And now for the fun technology that the UA HOVR provides!! This is a digitally connected shoe! What does that mean? Using UA Record Sensor tech, these kicks track, analyze and stores almost every running statistic so you can improve upon each of your runs. Using the MapMyRun app on your phone/watch, you can see everything you want in detail.

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Cadence? Check. Stride Length? Check. Pace? Check. Calories burned? Check. Map of where you ran? Check. And there are graphs to show how you compare to what the average is and where you should be aiming your effort for next time.

I finally got the one chance to take these outdoors and I was happy and impressed with their performance. First, even in the chilly weather, my feet were warm enough to not freeze. Wisconsin winter is not a pleasant thing to be around, lol. They did get dirty which saddens me but, with this color, it was inevitable.

And with the outdoor workout, I was introduced to a brand new category of information that the syncing of the shoes provides: elevation results.

The UA HOVR Sonic’s are an incredible shoe and I highly would definitely recommend this shoe to almost everyone. Why almost everyone?  If you noticed, I said earlier that my treadmill runs were 1-3 miles and my single outdoor run within the testing period was just over five miles. That is because I have to wear orthotics and when placing them inside the HOVR, it severely limited my space inside of them and added a bit of discomfort for my toes. Now, I have somewhat large orthotics so that’s why this problem exists. If  you have a smaller or flatter orthotic you will not have any problem placing them inside and experiencing the magic that is these shoes. I guarantee there is no way you could be disappointed with how awesome these shoes are and can be for you!

If  you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me a note or a like!

Happy running!!