Month: February 2014

Saucony Guide 6 Shoe Review


High noon running in my Saucony Guide 6

It has been a long time since I have done a running shoe review  because honestly I wasn’t running as much as I would have liked to over the last year.  When my IT band pain started in early 2012 I was barely running.  Now that I finally feel like my running strength is coming back, I would like to resume reviewing the shoes I use.  I know there will be a lot of miles coming my way as I train for Ironman Arizona.

About  a year ago I went in for a proper running shoe fitting from my local running store, Future Track.  They originally put me into an Asics 2000 shoe.  When I first started running I ran in Asics so I was happy to go back and try them again (this after trying to run in Newtons; they didn’t work for me).  No real problems with the new Asics.  They fit great and I had no problems.  When I went back for a new pair after 4 months (I wear out shoes really fast) I wanted to try something different. They put me in a Saucony Guide 6.  I had run in the Kinvara 2’s a long time ago and really enjoyed them but I have come to realize that I need a more supportive shoe.  I am not a neutral or minimal shoe wearer.  I need a stability shoe.  I used to heal strike really bad and even thought that is much better, I just run happier in a shoe with some substance to it. Anyway, I was excited to go back to Saucony.  My husband is very successful with them and I was hoping they would work out.


Best trade of the day, always!

And work out they did! I was able to move into them with no problems at all.  They fit true to size (I wear a 9 in running shoes, 8.5 in regular shoes)  I was running decent mileage right out of the blocks (well, out of my door).  To me it felt like a very well balanced shoe.  I like a decent amount of room in the toe box.  I don’t like to feel squished in there.  My toes need some room!  I felt like my foot was striking the ground properly and the shoe was supporting my foot well.  The uppers are very durable and they caused me no discomfort.  As time went on the shoes handled the miles well.  No tearing and not a lot of stretching.  I was so happy I got a second pair and ran in this line for a good 8 months!

photo 1

200 miles of use

photo 2

Wear on soles after 200+ miles

I just got new shoes again.  I went with something a little different this time just for variety sake.  Also the Guide 6 has now been replaced with the Guide 7 so it seemed like a good time to try something different. I got the Saucony Triumph 11.  So far so good!  Full review in 100 miles!  But if you find yourself a pair of Guide 6s you won’t be disappointed!

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Our with the old, in with the new!

Friday Funny

I am totally stealing  this from Amy L. Marxkors from the Fleet Feet Sports website.

It is awesome and I would be lying if I said many of them didn’t apply to me. Enjoy…

“So, what pace are you hoping to run?”
Translation: “Are you competition?” 

“Oh, you’re from around here? What school did you go to? What year did you graduate?”
Translation: “Are you in my age group?”

“Me too!”
Translation: “You’re in my age group and I hate you.”

“So, what’s your PR?”
Translation: “I’m comparing myself to you, and suddenly my confidence in my own ability is somehow related to your best time.”

“Wow! That is really fast.”
Translation: “I didn’t think you were that fast.”

“Wow! That’s awesome.”
Translation: “I thought you were faster.”

“My training hasn’t been great.”
Translation: “Training has been my life for the past eighteen weeks.”

“I’m just hoping to finish.”
Translation: “I will PR or die.”

“Nice to meet you! Good luck!”
Translation: “My new goal in life is to beat you in this race.”

“I’ll try to hang with you as long as I can.”
Translation: “I will drive you into the ground.”

“I hit the wall hard. I don’t think I fueled properly.”
Translation: “I went out too fast.”

“I don’t know what happened.”
Translation: “I went out too fast.”

“I was on pace for the first twenty miles, but then I hit the wall. Training wasn’t great. I’ve been battling an injury. And I just got over being sick. Guess it all caught up to me.”
Translation: “I went out too fast.”

“I’m just running this race for fun.”
Translation: “My eternal happiness hinges on the outcome of this race.”

“Yeah, I did twenty this morning.”
Translation: “Can you believe I just ran twenty freakin’ miles? I’m amazing.”

“I’m starving!”
Translation: “I’m hungry because I just ran twenty freakin’ miles. I’m amazing.”

“My hamstrings got a little tight.”
Translation: “I’ve lost the ability to bend at the waist.”

“My Achilles has been acting up lately.”
Translation: “About ten weeks ago, I blew out my Achilles, but I’m still running on it.”

“I took some time off to let it heal.”
Translation: “I didn’t run last Thursday.”

“Yeah, I’ll get it looked at after the race.”
Translation: “I will wait for it to go away on its own.”

“Yeah, I should probably see a doctor.”
Translation: “I will not see a doctor.”

“I get irritable if I don’t run.”
Translation: “If I don’t run, I may or may not become homicidal.”

“Yeah, I enjoy running.”
Translation: “Let’s hope I never have to choose between running and my firstborn.”

“You run, too? That’s awesome. What distances do you like to race?”
Translation: “I sense a potential threat to my age group/gender placement.”

“That’s right at my pace!”
Translation: “It’s on, buddy. Bring it.”

“I’m not training for anything right now.”
Translation: “I’m always training.”

“Today was a recovery run, so I didn’t even pay attention to pace.”
Translation: “I know exactly how slow I ran, but I refuse to tell you because it is not representative of my ability.”

“Today is a light day, so I’m probably going to run six or eight.”
Translation: “I’m going to run six miles. But I usually run further. Why couldn’t you have asked me how far I ran yesterday after my long run?”

“The race went really well. I felt good.”
Translation: “I had the race of my life. Please ask for details. I want to tell you how awesome I am.”

“The race didn’t go well. But it happens, you know?”
Translation: “No, you don’t know. You will never, ever be able to comprehend how awful it was. I cried. I puked. I walked. I had diarrhea. My body hates me. The sport hates me. The world hates me. I trained for four months for this? WHY ME? WHY?

“I think I just need to take a break from training for a while.”
Translation: “I’ve already signed up for my next race.”

“It was really hot.”
Translation: “You don’t understand how hot it was.”

“It was really windy.”
Translation: “You don’t understand how windy it was.”

“It was really hilly.”
Translation: “You don’t understand how hilly it was.”

“I pushed hard the last two hundred meters. I almost peed my pants!”
Translation: “I totally peed my pants.”

“Yes, we should meet up for coffee tomorrow morning!’
Translation: “After I run.”

“Yes, let’s take the kids to the zoo on Saturday!”
Translation: “After I run.”

“I need to pick up some more GU.”
Translation: “I’m one gel packet away from an episode of Hoarders.”

“….point two. Twenty-six point two.”
Translation: “Seriously. Forget the ‘point two’ one more time, and I’ll be forced to punch you.”

Bibs are for ladies too!

photo 1

So I have always though that cycling bibs were kind of funny looking.  I mean, they are Lycra overalls for goodness sake! My husband wears them all the time but it wasn’t until recently that I got a pair for myself. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG!!!  Pure riding bliss!!! There was no muffin top popping out between my top and bottoms.  Everything stays in place while you are riding. They are amazingly comfortable!  Now the pair I have is from the VIP Store at Vanderkitten Racing.  You can’t all buy the pair I have because you have to be a Vandekitten VIP.  But you can order any of their other totally amazing stuff and you can get the same kind of bibs I did! The quality is amazing, the fit is fantastic, and the team is an awesome one to support.  Go check them out!

photo 2

photo 3

This is the first real fancy/matchey kit I have ever owned.  All my other kit is stored in plastic drawers in my closet.  This one gets hung up 🙂

Workout Where You Work!

(I hope you sang that to yourself to the tune of ‘Whistle While You Work”)

I am settling into a training plan while I begin the almost year long journey to Ironman Arizona in November.  Now that I have a coach I really want to do my best to stick to the plan that is given to me (duh Becca!). This means I need to get creative about training opportunities = work out at lunch!  I work a pretty regular 8-5 kind of job which is about 30 minutes from where I live.  In order to work it all in I HAVE to make use of my lunches.  So, this means I have to pack lunch for myself (or let my wonderful husband pack one for me), eat and my desk,  and the find a place near by to workout.

Recently I asked one of the local Tri club where I could swim.  They turned me onto a local aquatic center with good hours, fair prices, and tons of lanes!  I have had to share a lane a few times but I have never had to wait to swim.  It is great!  Then I noticed that there seems to be a path around the center as well.  Turns out it is 1. 36 miles long!  Perfect!  I also have found a local park near by to get in some trail running and I often end up at the beach for some great running miles as well.


If I can get a bike set up in my office I will be totally set!

Alphabet Soup


Graph borrowed from Graeme Stewart

Now a day’s our lives are full of acronyms. I have acronyms for work, for my kid’s school, for my kid’s games, and of course my exercise.  You will constantly hear or read about FTP and LTHR and HR etc when reading anything on training for endurance sports.  Well I just found a new one, TSS, Training Stress Score.  I have a feeling that this is nothing new to many of you. I had not seen it until I started using Training Peaks to log my training for my coach and TranierRoad for doing my turbo trainer workouts.

Here is the definition from TrainerRoad on TSS:

“TSS is the amount of training stress generated from a workout. The higher this number the more potential fitness you earned from a workout.

To gain the most fitness, you want to earn the most TSS possible.  All of the workouts on TrainerRoad have a TSS score on them.  This means that if you were to ride the workout exactly like it is prescribed you would earn that amount of TSS”

If you were to do an hour at your FTP (the average maximum power you can sustain for 1 hour) you would earn a TSS of 100.  (read here for more)

I think the cool thing about TSS that you don’t get from any of the other measurements (besides time and distance) is that it is a cumulative measurement related to effort.  You get more and more TSS the more you workout each week and the harder you workout, the bigger the TSS. What is cool is even doing easy workouts will still get you TSS.  I think it will give me a more normalized number to compare training week-over-week other than time or distance.

Luckily Training Peaks gives me a TSS for all my activities including swimming.  I may need to analyze TSS from Training Peaks by discipline because the running TSS look really high.  I am excited to add this metric into my analysis of my training.

Link to blog from which I borrowed the graph is here.  He has more data on this topic that involves much more math than I did!

TrainerRoad – Free Ride baby!

I have recently started working with a coach and I am very excited about it; and now that I have adopted TrainerRoad I am eager to see how I can combine both things to get the most out of my training.  This morning was my first ride from my coach.  I used the 60 min free ride in TrainerRoad to capture it.  See image below and the details here.

FreeRideWhat I liked about using the free ride option in TrainerRoad was as I was doing the prescribed workout from my coach, I could see what % of my FTP I was working at.  Once I was done with my workout I got a great graph that shows all aspects of the ride in a perfect summary.  Easy to use and pretty effective!

The 2014 Tour of Sufferlandria


The Tour is over… 😦

For 9 days I joined about 1600 other riders from all over the world as we completed the Tour of Sufferlandria.  It was a virtual tour that was done on our bike trainers in our own homes; but what was surprising was just how much we felt like we were doing it together.  The premise behind The Sufferfests is that you will become a better cyclist through pain and suffering on the bike.  While that may be true, in reality it is a really fun way to kick your own ass so you can beat others!  Usually I dread my trainer time but since my recent adoption of TrainerRoad and this tour, I have found a new passion for my trainer time.  Of course it also helped that except for 2 rides, Stuart and I did all the stages together.  He has done a much better write up of each stage on his blog and the recaps on The Sufferfest website are awesome.

Total miles ridden were just under 200 miles  in almost 13 hours (I had to do Rubber Glove twice)