Tag Archives: PlanetShoes

A Sole Sister Confesses: I Didn’t Get So #Fit4Fall

Screen shot 2013-10-18 at 2.26.11 PMIn August, I was invited to join Planet Shoes for their fall fitness campaign, Get Fit for Fall, as a blogger (a Sole Sister, in fact — part of a great group of bloggers who did such amazing things through this campaign, such as a first 5k, or a woman who had a baby just as the campaign got started!). The Get Fit for Fall campaign is a six-week online fitness campaign in which you set up a profile, share your goal, and share weekly updates. Meet your challenge by October 20th (that’s this Sunday!) and you get free entry into a sweepstakes for a $500 shopping spree at Planet Shoes.

That’s not why I was into it. I love running and being fit and setting goals and encouraging others with their fitness goals. We kicked off the campaign with a really fun bootcamp on the Greenway in Boston.

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Me and some of the other Sole Sisters after bootcamp. Several of the bootcamp regulars are in the picture, too.

Tomorrow, I’ll run the TARC Fall Classic Half Marathon (TARC stands for “Trail Animal Running Club” — it’s put on by a bunch of fun-loving trail ultra runners, and I’ve really enjoyed my weekend training runs with them). I’m not racing it. I’m just running it.

If you follow along here now and then, you might know I’d planned on running an ultramarathon this fall. This weekend, in fact. Day after tomorrow. A trail 50k (that’s 31 miles, if you don’t speak “race distance-ese”). But then I missed a few long runs in a row, was hit with a minor bout of a funk (who, me? in a funk? shocking!), and aggravated my old calf injury, so I decided to give up the ultra goal…for this year, at least.

Planet Shoes sent me a great pair of running shoes, the New Balance Minimus, the most delicious trail running shoe ever: lightweight, 4mm heel drop, enough sole to protect from sharp rocks but not much more than that…Except, with my calf injury, I need a little more heel support at this time. I cannot wait until my calf is better and I can run in these again.NB_minimus

I’ve stayed just fit enough to be confident I can knock off my trail half marathon, no problem. I haven’t followed my training schedule (or, um, any training schedule), but I’m pretty sure I can do it. I ran 11 miles without incident last weekend. Also, I will be powered by PerfectFuel (review and giveaway coming up soon!), which are these awesome little bars of organic chocolate and ginseng….yum!! Not easy to eat while running, but excellent before (and after, and any other time).

I realize that saying I can run a trail half marathon with an injury and not much training might sound really cocky. While it’s nice to know that I hover in a fitness range that will let me do that, I know I haven’t trained enough or really made the time for running. I didn’t feel as inspirational as I could have been.

In fact, instead of being an inspiration to the others in the Get Fit for Fall campaign, I felt like they were an inspiration to me — people making time to play tennis every day, people trying to get their runs in with new babies and sick cats, the single mom who took up Zumba, people with medical issues who find ways to stick to their goals. The Planet Shoes fitness campaign brought together a great group of people, and I’m so glad I got to be part of it. I admit I thought I’d be one of the more inspiring ones, with my trail ultramarathon and all, but at least I’ll be racing this weekend, and I’m inspired to sign up for more races soon.

Rock on, and stay fit!

How do you stay fit when it seems like you can’t even get your workout clothes on? Who inspires you to get moving?

 

Disclosure: As a Sole Sister with the Planet Shoes Get Fit for Fall campaign, I received a pair of trail running shoes. I was otherwise not compensated, and all opinions are my own.

 

New Balance 1210 Review (and PlanetShoes, too!)

It’s no secret that I love trail running. My favorite races have always been trail races (especially last fall’s trail half marathon), and I’ve recently decided to give up my road marathon plans this year and train for a trail ultra instead. (Oh, yes, really — I just registered this morning!)

So when PlanetShoes offered me the chance to try out a new pair of New Balance shoes, of course I chose some trail running shoes. After some trial and error, I ended up with the Leadville 1210’s. My current trail shoes are the New Balance Minimus 1010, which are fantastic but which I don’t love for long runs. I do love them for shorter runs and rely on them for all my regular trail runs, which are about 4.5 miles long.

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The New Balance Leadville 1210’s are marketed as a shoe inspired by the legendary Leadville 100, which is a crazy-tough 100-mile trail race (steep, at high elevation, etc.) in Leadville, CO. They’re a shoe designed to carry you on for miles and miles on trail, a shoe for ultra-runners. And since trail ultras are in my future, well, these were an obvious choice.

[Of course, I consulted with my local trail ultra-running group to find out if the 1210’s were a good choice for a trail runner with wide feet — the answer was YES!]

The Leadville 1210’s are lightweight. The tongue is connected on the sides to the shoe upper, to keep out debris. The tread is surprisingly…small.

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Such small-looking tread and outsoles that my trail running friends assumed they were road shoes and said, “Oh, so those will be OK for trail, too?” They do look more like a hybrid shoe than the rugged trail shoes I’m used to.

As an East Coast trail runner, I’m used to big lug soles and serious traction, shoe bottoms that are not dissimilar to my mountain bike tires: designed to give me traction no matter how deep the mud, to push me forward to matter how wet the roots or how slick the rock.

Typical Trail

Typical Trail

The first morning I was to run in my new New Balance trail shoes, I awoke to heavy pouring rain at 5 a.m. I dozed off again, hoping for a change in the weather. By 6:30 a.m., when I hit the trail, the rain had mostly stopped, but the water on the trail was ankle deep in places.

That’s when I remembered that Leadville, Colorado is a dry, hot place of sand and gravel, not mud and roots and mud and rocks and mud and everything all slippery. Oh, dear.

My running partner was slipping and skidding all over the place when we got to the really rocky parts of the trail. Me? Surefooted as a mountain goat. Also, when I went through ankle-deep water, they drained very quickly, instead of holding the water so that I’d slosh heavy-footed as I ran. The 1210’s emptied fast.

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Mud, dried.

When I wear or use anything new, I’m hyper-aware of it, constantly checking for flaws, even subconsciously. With these shoes, I forgot I was wearing them. I completely forgot about them, which to me is an excellent sign in a running shoe, especially since I have a wide forefoot and usually find shoes to be a little snug there.

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I ran another regular weekday trail run in them and then a nine-mile weekend run (for the longer run, the trail was dry). The comfort and traction were just as good on dry trails as on the wet ones.

In short: The New Balance Leadville 1210’s are an excellent shoe for wide-forefooted trail runners, even on the wet/muddy/slippery/rooty/rocky trails around here. I am so happy I’ve found my new long-run trail shoe, especially as I’m gearing up to run my first trail ultramarathon this October.

The only con — and this is a weird one — is that my socks tend to slip down a little more easily in these. If I’m extra-careful about lacing through the higher eyelets and tying a little more tightly, I can avoid this problem. Also, wearing socks a little higher than my low-cut ones might help. fro

Another thing I like about these shoes and the chance to review them: New Balance is a local company that produces a consistently quality product. And PlanetShoes has an incredible array of products as well as this:

This company is green, people, in many ways. They have a real commitment to eco-ethics.

Even nicer, PlanetShoes recently partnered with New Balance to donate 300 pairs of shoes to Big Brother/Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay in Boston! How cool is that?

Disclosure: PlanetShoes provided me with a free pair of New Balance shoes for review purposes. All opinions are my own.