Skechers Go Run 2 Review

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Go Run 2

About a year a half ago I became aware of the performance line of running shoes from Skechers.  The Go Run from Skechers was a great debut (you can read more of my thoughts on the shoe here).  Skechers updated the Go Run, with the Go Run 2.  I think Skechers did some really smart things with the updates to the Go Run series.  The first (and most noticeable  update is the structure of the sole of the shoe.  The previous model felt like it had no heel, when standing you literally felt like you were rocking forward and back  It was wonderfull to run in, really forced you to land mid-foot, but standing in them was always a little awkward.  The 2’s have solved this problem, it no longer has the rocker feel, but still is only a 4mm drop.  The result is a shoe that still feels comfortable to stand or walk in, but also has the same great feel to run in.  The out-soul itself is slightly different too with some reinforced lugs on the bottom for more durability on the sole.  I was able to get about 250 miles out of the original Go Runs, I am currently at 200 miles in my Go Run 2s and they are still going strong, I would guess I am going get to get about 350 out of them, if not a little more.  A third update that I have noticed is that material for the upper breaths a lot better than the first Go Runs.  My feet tended to get sweatier than normal in the original Go Runs (a detail, I am sure you are excited about hearing), but in the 2’s I have had no such problem.  Those are the 3 most glaring differences from the previous model.  The rest of the key features of the Go Run series are very present.  It is an extremely light and flexible shoe.  You can feel your foot contact the ground, and are able to feel your foot when running with the roomy toe-box.  Despite being a really light and flexible shoe the out-sole material is extremely soft and has a really nice combination of cushion but is also still pretty response for fast running.  Overall I think the Go Run 2 is wonderful shoe.  It would be perfect as a trainer for someone who likes a light, flexible shoe that is low to the ground, as a shoe for someone looking to transition to more mid-foot running, or as a racing flat for someone who likes a little more shoe to race in.

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Running Goals for 2013

I figured I might as well make my goals for 2013 official…blog official…runjeff.com official.  So here goes.

The nice thing about my goals is they tend to break up nicely I have a goal race (distance) for the spring and early summer and then I have a goal race for the late fall that I can work towards.  Thus peaking twice this year (and Salazar says that is the best way to approach things).

As quite a surprise to me I ran a big PR in the 5K at the end of 2012.  And since then my confidence has been through the roof.  I would like to run a fast mile next week (hopefully I can bounce back from a bout with the flu earlier this week), but I know feel confident that I can run at paces I previously thought unattainable (like sub 5 for example).  So my first goal for 2013 is to attempt to hit the IAAF A standard in the 5000 for women.  The time is 15:18 (4:56 pace).  I think my plan will be to take some attempts late spring on the track and then early summer as well.  Attempting to peak at the same track meet I did last year in early June.  The B goal is to run anything under 15:30 (sub 5 pace for 5K).

My second goal is yet to be determined on time, but the distance is going to be a half marathon…for right now I would say anything under 75 minutes.  But it will be to run a fast half marathon.  I think I am going to take a crack at a slightly longer distance again and run the Naperville Half.

Obviously I would like to defend my Run3 title and run some of my favorite local road races.  But those are the two ideas I will be keying in on this year.

What are you looking to do in 2013?

2012 Year in Review

It has been a strange year of running for me.  The wonderful changes in my life have meant adjustments had to be made to my running.  In March our amazing little boy Quinton was born.  It has changed my outlook on all things in life, but with this being a blog about running it has changed that as well.  So what did my year look like from a running perspective?  First to the numbers:

Miles run roughly 2,500 and counting
Races run 15 (8 5Ks, 2 8Ks, 4 10Ks, 1 Marathon)
Races won 7 (4 5Ks, 3 10Ks)
PRs set 4 (5K 15:38, 8K 26:51, 10K 33:40, Marathon 3:03:52)
Pairs of shoes gone through 6

Highlights of the year:

My race of the year.  Elmhurst Turkey Trot.  The details, a 17 second PR in the 5K.  And more importantly this now sets my sights on even faster times (4:30 mile, 15:29 5K).  Read more about it here.

Shoe of the year.  Skechers GoRun.  If you haven’t given them a try, you should.  If you are looking for a lightweight shoe for workouts, it’s a perfect fit.  If you want something more minimal for training, it’s a perfect fit.  If you want something that is soft but also responsive, it’s a perfect fit.  Here is a more in depth review.

Big Running Decision of the year.  My plan as of now is to not run a marathon for a while, 3, 4, 5 years at least.  I am just not very good at them, so I am going to focus on what I am good at, and enjoy doing.   I still want to run sub 3, and Boston…but that is going to have to wait until I am good and ready.  I love not only racing short stuff but training for it as well.  My body just seems to respond better to that type of intensity.

Pro race of the year.  Tough call between Olympic 10,000 and Olympic 800.  But I am going with the 800.  When everyone in the races but one person sets a PR and the race is not rabbited, something must be special…oh and a new WR.  Enjoy.

Non-pro race of the year.  IHSA 3A girls state XC.  My parents neighbor brought the individual title to my alma mater in course record SMASHING fashion.  Breaking the old course record by 18 seconds.  16:02 is pretty impressive time for 3 miles!

Running Tweet of the Year.  Comes from Brooks and Team Minnesota runner Andrew Carlson “@ACarlson701 Decided to practice peeing my pants on my run tonight in case that situation occurs in the marathon. Not the best idea in 3degree weather.”  https://twitter.com/ACarlson701

Question of the Year.  Which will happen first Quinton being taller than his mom, or Quinton beating his dad head to head in a 5K?

Non-running, but still cardio based event of the year.  Getting to be the Golden Snitch at school’s first ever Quidditch intramural championship.  I looked great (and fast) in gold.  This was the time that mile repeats really paid off!

Non-running victory of the year.  Winning the teacher dance competition at the homecoming pep rally.  My worm is still second to none!

Training Partner of the Year.  Although I have loved the new group I am running with on Saturday mornings, and I look forward to that helping my training into the new year.  This category was the easiest choice of the year.  It’s Quinton.  Ever since he has been able to hold up his upper body so he can ride in the jogger while I run we have been having a blast together going for runs.  Beth can attest to the fact that I have been excitedly talking about this since she was preggers.  The day finally came this November when he was ready to roll.  I couldn’t have been more excited.  I am looking forward to some good training runs with Q this summer, it will only be moImagere fun once he can talk and realizes that the cover on the jogger is see-through so he an see a sweaty dad whenever he wants.

Finals thoughts:

Based on this year I am starting to think that I will never get “Old Man Strength.”  I thought it would come with being a dad, but I am still as weak as ever…however I have set PRs in 2 distances since becoming a dad…so maybe my version of OMS is Old Man Speed.  Here is hoping that that continues into the new year when I try to set even more PRs.

I hope you have had a wonderful both running and non-running 2012.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

See you on the roads (trails, and tracks) in 2013.

What’s Next?

So for the past year or so my goal has been to run a sub 16 minute 5K.  I planned my spring and summer training around a race in early June.  I ran 16:10 on a hot night on the track.  I knew after that race I could do it, but just needed a chance to get it done.  I decided this fall to try to peak for an 8K, with running two 5Ks in leading up to the race to get some speed in.  The first of the two 5Ks is a very hilly course that I knew I wouldn’t run sub 16.  The second race I had never done before and planned on trying to see what I could do to test my fitness.  On a day that I overlooked and trained through I closed in under 5:00 minutes for my last mile in route to 15:55 and my first sub 16 minute race.  As is my tradition, when I break through a time barrier, my next race at that distance I crush the previous time, as was the case yesterday when I ran a 17 second PR en route to a 15:38.  I opened in 4:51 and felt comfortable.  Now I find myself wondering what is next?

I intentionally did not register for the Boston Marathon this coming spring, I wanted to focus on shorter stuff.  At the time I was still longing for a sub 16, so I thought I would take a few cracks at it on the track at some local college meets.  Now I have broken the barrier, and still want some more.  After what I was able to accomplish yesterday, I am thinking the next goal is sub 15:30, aka sub 5:00 pace for 5K.  It took me four years of high school running to break the 5:00 barrier for 1600 meters.  Now it looks like 10 years later my goal is to run that pace for 3400 more meters.

Confidence is a funny thing.  Had you told me I could run a 4:51 opening mile and still hold it together for 2 more miles a week ago I would have thought you to be crazy, now I think that I can run that opening time and keep at that pace.  Once you break through a time barrier the confidence just floods over you.

For now, I will take a few days off after the end of a long racing fall, and then start to gear up for this winter/spring of track season.

What about you?  What are your upcoming goals?  What races have given you the confidence you can do things you never thought possible?

Training Partner Wanted

Running Times magazine has a piece it is currently running on “running partners,” it is a compilation of 10 different stories and runners takes on their own or the joys of having a running partner.  You should read it (for my Iowa friends, check out story #8).  It is a very well placed article for me, as I have been thinking a lot lately about having someone to run with.

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=27004&CategoryID=&PageNum=1
My wife and I moved 30 minutes south so I could be closer to work (it’s a very welcome change) about a year ago.  Before we moved I ran with a group off and on, I realize now how much I miss that.  There is really something special about having people with the same mentality who are able to push you and hold you accountable.

I found myself reading the aforementioned article yesterday before cross country practice.  I should mention as an aside I do have the cross country team to run with, but I never put in long runs with them or hard efforts with them (and those to me are the days having a running partner are most crucial).  Back to practice, yesterday we did a two person team relay where you and your partner alternated running a mile at race pace for a total of 8 miles as a team (so basically 4 x mile with roughly 5-8 minutes rest).  While I was technically running my own pace and by myself, I ran much faster during that workout than had I done the same workout on my own, just having people to catch and pass or to be around as I was running made all the difference in the world.  Even though I felt like garbage I still ran fast through out the workout (ok, not the 3rd rep).  After the workout my desire for a running partner was now intensified.  Just having the other people around to push you is such a key factor.

So the question is where do I find said running partner?  My schedule dictates early (5:00 am) running and Sunday long runs…so my top choice of #GranatoRacing is out, at least until cross country is over.  So where do I go to look, do I post a personal ad?  Do I just Facebook stalk people that I have raced against who I know live in the area and are slightly faster than me (and hope they don’t go back and read old blog posts after we become best friends)?  So I guess I will just post my ad here and hope for the best, all applicants welcome.

Male seeking running partner.  Non-smoker, non-drinker, short short wearing, obsessively competitive, 16 minute 5K a must.  Prefers conversation topics of running, sports, literature, and TV on the run.  Looking for someone to run with 3-4 days a week, including 2 hard efforts and one long run (on Sundays usually 90 minutes).  I do have access to a 200 meter indoor track for winter speed sessions.  I prefer early morning.  I like to do my intervals on Tuesdays or Wednesday and Tempos on Friday, but would be willing to be flexible with that.  I like the Wetmore philosophy of hammering the long runs, usually finishing the last 2-3 miles at 10K to HM pace.

Maybe I have created a person who I want to run with who doesn’t exist…but if you do please contact me!

Reflections from the Run

What a difference two years make.  As I ran this morning I was reflecting on where I was at two years ago.  It was this same Sunday in 2010 that I ran the Chicago Half Marathon.  Maybe one I my worst races ever.  I had recently developed some anxiety responses to running.  It took me out of most that spring and late summer I had just started to return to consistent training.  I had plans of running the Chicago Marathon that fall, and the Chicago Half was going to give me a sense of my fitness level.  It was a pretty nice day for racing that Sunday in 2010.  I wanted run under control with 6:15-6:20 range…and I did for 8 miles then to keep that pace became a struggle, and I ran my last two miles in 6:32, 6:34.  As I crossed the line I was completely exhausted.  It was the worst I felt after a race in a long time, and I did not even run fast.  As I sat drinking water at the finish line the icing on the top of a terrible day happened, I had another full blown anxiety attack.  I spent a solid 15 minutes in the medical tent and then was in an ambulance ready to go to the hospital when it finally passed.  Until this morning it had been a long time since I thought about that race.  But as I was running this perfect fall morning I was reminded that it was in fact two years ago today.  In that time I have gotten a much better handle on the anxiety, I have been running more or less consistently injury free for 16 months (knock on wood), and as a results of that consistency my running is at a place that I don’t know if I would have ever imagined.  Today I ran 13 miles (roughly the same distance as the dread half mentioned previously) at a pace of about 5 seconds per mile on average faster than a race two years ago.  My last two miles in the race 6:32, 6:34…today on my easy distance run they were 5:55 and 5:18 (so I pushed it a little, I was feeling good 🙂 ).  In the time since the dreaded half I have gotten faster, stronger and more confident including PRs in 5K, 10K, and marathon.

I was talking to the girls on the cross country team the other day, and was reminded of the words of Bruce Denton, “the secret is, there is no secret.”  To be a good runner, to reach your maximum potential, you do the right things day in and day out for a long period of time.  You work hard and you push yourself.  You train smart, and you train consistently.  The more you do that, the more confident you get and the better results you have.  That’s what I have been doing and plan to keep doing in route to new faster goals.

A quick note on last nights race.

I had last night’s 5000 on the track circled on my calendar for a while now.  I was not exactly sure what I was going to try to run there, but I wanted it to be fast.  As the day came closer and basing stuff off my fitness from races I thought sub 16 minutes would be a legitimate goal.  I have been running workouts with the sub 16 number in my head for the last month or so now.  Repeats at 5:08 pace, getting comfortable at 76-77 laps.  I felt like I had a 50/50 shot at the time goal last night.  However when looking at the weather I knew that might come into the picture as well.  It was forecasted to be 85 at race time.

I got to the track last night and got in my normal warm up, drills, strides, and stretching.  Only a few minutes into warming up the dry hot air had me sucking for air.  I had a nasty case of cotton mouth, I couldn’t shake it as I finished my warm up.  I thought with the warm temps and race conditions it might behoove me to back off from my race plan ever so slightly.

Gun goes off and I go through 200 in 33.9 and then 400 in 72.  A little quick but still comfortable.  (I ran without my garmin because the 400 track is accurate, and because I was racing in a watch I don’t race in much I messed my splits up for the next 2 laps)  I then settled into a pace for the next few laps of 77-78 through the 1600, hitting that in roughly 5:05.  Then I basically ran 78-79s the rest of the race.  Hitting 3200 in 10:18.  I was running by myself for the entire race.  A group of 3 were clear of me 200 meters into the race and one more guy was halfway between me and that lead pack.  I ran most of the race alone, until with about 1K left I quickly passed 4th place, and continued to run by myself.  I believe (again splits were jacked) I ran my last 1600 meters in 5:09, with a last 400 of 72, and last 200 in 34.4.  I crossed the line and looked back at the clock to see 16:12-13.  I wasn’t sure of my time until this morning when official times were posted, 16:10.6 for a 9 second PR.

Looking back I think I was smart to back off with the heat, but I also think I could have pushed a little more during the race, its just a matter of running each lap 1 second faster and that is a sub 16.  I have a lot more confidence going forward to break that mark whether it be on the roads or on the track.

A side note about running in general.  It is neat to see that when I started running seriously again in 2007 I ran a 5K in 18:43 in what I thought at the time was a pretty good time, and I vividly remember my times breaking 18 for the first time, and 17 for the first time.  In 5 years of training that has become progressively more serious I have improved 2:33.  And hopefully can remember my first time breaking 16 as well.