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Aug 31, 2011

Why do you run?

5 miles on the schedule today.  I moved my 8 miler to today to get it over with so 8 miles is complete.


For those new followers, welcome to my blog.  I hope that you enjoy reading it and learn sometime from it.


So the question of the day is the topic for today's blog post.

Why do you run?  Here are just a few of the reasons I run:

- To lose weight
- To maintain weight
- To eat what I want(love Snickers and should eat more of them)
- To relieve daily stress
- To get healthy
- To maintain my healthiness
- To have alone time(at least at 5am when I run during the week)
even when it's dark
- To think about life
- To think about nothing
- To get faster
- To run longer
- To keep me sane
- To keep my family insane(from talking about it all the time Haha)
- To see the clear sky at 5am in the morning(like yesterday's run)
- To feel the trail on my feet
A great trail in the U.P.
- To run by the beautiful groomed golf course and calm lake up in Northern Michigan
Otsego Lake

Michaywe Golf Course
- To see the wild animals that I encounter such as the family of deer with their two babies.
- To get the feeling of accomplishment when I complete another race
Bayshore marathon
- To run through the cold and snow when nobody will do it.
Another winter run
- To run in the warm summer rain.
- To experience fall colors the only way a runner can see them.
Fall in Gaylord MI
- To run with family and friends
Detroit Marathon Relay
- To run for adventure
The dash
- To run for the bling
The bling display

- But mostly I run because it's what I enjoy.

So why do you run?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!

Aug 30, 2011

More shoe drama and Tri decision...

5 miles on the schedule today....Done!  That rest day was badly needed.  I was still a little sore today running but I've been through this before and know it will make me stronger.


So I got my Saucony Ride 3's in the mail today.  I decided to keep them.  Yeah!  Oh, the drama!  So I tried them on and ran on the treadmill a little to see how they were and they were actually comfortable.  I hope they stay that way.  I ran 5 miles this morning with them and they seems to feel good so that's a great sign.  The toe box is smaller but when I tried them on at the expo, they did not feel right.  I don't know the difference but they feel good now.  I'm hoping they work out so I can order some more.

Check em' out:

I little flashier on the upper of the shoe and a little lighter too.  I like the look but some of you might not like that shiny look.  Comfort is my number one goal.  Looks is secondary.  Price is also a factor and the reason I have not just gone with the Ride 4's that are out.  My thoughts are that I spend enough on shoes as it is and running in one season old shoes is fine by me if I'm going to save 40%.


I also received this in the mail as well:
Lauren over at Clif Bar & Company sent me some samples of the Clif Shot Bloks to test and review(actually I asked and they send them).  I can't wait to try these as I'm still trying to get my nutritional needs down for the marathon.  I'll be back with a review in about two months or less when I start using them for my long runs this weekend.


It was not without massive amounts of thought put into it, but I decided I'm not going to start doing Triathlons at this time.  I don't want the time commitment to train.  I don't want the expense of races to build up to the full.  I don't want the expense of equipment I know I will "need".  Plus.....I'm a happy runner and it's what I enjoy doing.  I will continue to bike ride for cross training purposes which I do enjoy but no pressure if I don't ride or swim.  I'll continue to focus on the marathon by doing one each season.  For me, two really is one too many.  I'll also focus on the half marathon which is really my favorite race distance.  How fast can I get?  That is the question.

Question of the day?  What's your favorite race distance?

Have a great day and......Keep Running!!!!!!

Aug 29, 2011

Got shoes?

Rest day today!!!  I need it too.  I'm still sore from this weekend's running.


If you missed it, please don't forget to sign up for my latest giveaway for a new Ifitness running belt.  Click HERE to enter!


So as you know, I have been running in Saucony's Ride 2 shoes for quite some time as my regular road running shoe.  I have also been wearing various others that have a great fit but are geared towards the trails and not roads.  Unfortunately, I can't find the the Ride 2's anymore.  So I need to switch to new shoes.  I purchased a pair of Ride 3's and will have them on Monday.  I ended up trying them on at the Crim expo and did not like them - crap!  I'll give them a little more time once I get them.  I did like the Ride 4's(of course, they are more expensive by $40).  My main issue is with the toe box.  I like a running shoe that has a roomy toe box and the Ride 2's had that.  I just feel more comfortable running in a shoe like that.

So.....I need your suggestions.  I wear a neutral shoe.  I'm not looking for a minimal shoe - I like the cushion.  Anyone wearing a neutral shoe with a toe box with room in it?  If so, what do you wear?  I have time to find these and will likely exchange the ride 3's for the ride 4's.  I really wanted the Ride 3's to work so I could stock up at a great price.

Question of the day?  Why do shoes manufacturers change their shoes every year?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

Aug 28, 2011

Treksta Evolution II review

16 miles on the schedule today - done but tired after Crim yesterday.  This was one of the hardest runs I have done this year.


I had an awesome opportunity to review a pair of TrekSta Evolution II trail shoes.  Mike over at TrekSta was kind enough to send me a pair of these to test and review.  I got these in the mail about a week ago, just before I went on my trip up in Northern Michigan.  I asked Mike if he would be able to get them to me in time because I really wanted to test them out on all the trails up there.  He sent them in 2 day mail so that I had them for my trip!  He was super nice about it.  I mean, here I am, asking for a free pair of shoes, and then on top of that, get them to me fast?  I can only imagine the kind of service the company provides to all its client - top notch!

They say first impressions are everything, right?  Well, the Evolution II will not disappoint.  Here's what they look like:

Comes with Orange laces to pop out at you!

Nice grip for wet surfaces
These are made with TrekSta's Nestfit - It's a shoe built around the actual shape of your feet!  Very cool feature.  I laces these babies up and tried them out - 8.5 - perfect fit!  These shoes also come with Icelock - it helps improve traction in icy conditions.  Sorry, I can't say that there was any snow where I ran with these but I am anxious to try them out in the winter too.  Given their comfort, they will likely be one of my "go to" shoes for wintertime running.  I'll post about the snow running(yuck - don't want to think about it) in these but I'm sure they will be great.

I love the way that these feel part of your feet.  They have a really nice size toe box to allow your toes to spread out in comfort.  This is one feature that really makes these shoes feel comfortable.  They also fit well everywhere else and wrap your foot nicely.  Ok, so they are comfortable sitting at home but how about on the trails?

An unbelievable trail shoe?  Absolutely!!!!  Now normally I like to break in my shoes a little and walk with them or run with them very short distances but since they were so comfortable, I only took these shoes with me up north for the trails.  I was really taking a chance since I did not know how they would do and I NEVER use new shoes they way I did with these.

My first trail with these was a six mile hike along Tahquamenon falls.  My family and I hiked between the lower and upper falls which is four miles but all our other walking in the area was another 2 miles.  My feet felt fantastic the entire time.  Nothing was able to get into my shoes because the tongue of the shoes is sewn up the sides to help prevent anything from getting into them.  This trail had it all too - mud, tons of tree roots, hills, downhills, sand, rocks, water - you name it, it was on this trail.  The trail was labeled as moderately difficult but the shoes made it seem easy.

The trail started off pretty easy and really any shoe could handle this wooden bridge:

 I started off nice and clean:

 Then it started.  Roots and big rock.  Yes, this IS the trail.  The Evolution II made this trail feel easy.  The shoes would grip the trail like glue.

 As you can see, I'm having a great time.  Thanks to having the proper shoes to wear for this trail, I made it out feeling really great.  I think that's one sign of a great pair of trail shoes.  Any really, who wants to be thinking about your feet the entire time your on the trail.
As you can see from the following pictures, the trails were littered with tree roots so you really needed to be extra cautious out there.  I sliced through the trail like butter with my Evolution II.

 The shoe's grip also served it's purpose well on slippery rocks as you can see here:
 And they helped keep me steady on wet tree trunks as well!
 The shoes were equally comfortable on the single track trail parts such as the picture below.  I ran parts of these as well to get a good idea of the comfort while running in them.  They are a great trail running shoe.

 As you can see from my dirty socks, the shoes were well tested on this trail and they did awesome!
 The next trail that we visited had more of a easy trail.  Not much in the way of tree roots but soft ground cover that would simulate what it would be like running on a dirt trail.  Well, not really simulate, since it was a dirt trail.  Haha!  Once again, the shoes performed flawlessly.

 Here is part of the trail where there was sand.  I'm not really a person that likes to walk/hike/run in sand but again the Treksta shoes handled the terrain with precision.  Not only that but after walking for several hours there was no sand/dirt in my shoes.

 As you can see, there were logs in the middle of the trail to help with soil erosion from the rains there.
The next trail that I used the Treksta shoes was another technical trail.  This one was only about 1.4 miles but it was very technical.  So much so that my family decided to stay back and not do this trail.  Plus they were tired!  I could not pass up an opportunity to run on this trail so I went at it alone.  There were some parts to the trail that I was not even sure I was on the trail and had to circle back because I got off the trail too much. Here's a picture of some huge rocks that I easily got over with the trail shoes:
More tree roots up everywhere.  This really is the trail believe it or not and the Evolution II handled them flawlessly again.
 I even had the confidence to go out on this edge of the cliff(although I would not recommend it) with my trail shoes since the grip on these things was so good.

Here are the Evolution II on the same trail but with more sand and rock to run through.  Easy peasy!  If I had my regular running shoes on, I would not have been able to get through these trails as easily and would have had to slow down tremendously.

These trails were a great test to the Treksta Evolution II's ability in all running surfaces that would be encountered on the trail systems.  If you are not on the trail but just need a pair of shoes for everyday, I would also recommend them due to their comfort.  You will not be disappointed.  If you love getting on the trails, these are a "must buy"

Like what you read here?  Please check out TrekSta's website(click HERE) for even more choices.

You can also "like" them on Facebook - click HERE

* I was sent a pair of TrekSta's Evolution II trail shoes from TrekSta at no cost in exchange for a review of their product.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not required to give a favorable review.

Have a great day and......Keep Running!!!!!!!