For the last week or so I have been meaning to post about this – as I was compiling data from the Magellan Echo and Polar RC3 fitness watches, I realized that I had crossed over the 3000 mile mark for my running this year! This year I set my goal to beat last year’s total, which was 1975 miles. I blew through that, and then crossed my ‘stretch goal’ of 2500 miles as well. I knew that barring injury or other setback I would almost certainly finish the year over 3000 miles, and it looks like my final total will be just over 3150 miles if I do my nominal 6.75 route on every planned run day.
Breaking that down it comes out to about 60 miles per week. There were many 50 mile weeks, and also a lot of 75 mile weeks, loads of double-run days in Kentucky, and an average of 6 days a week out there.
I am thrilled with my year in running for many reasons – I didn’t know if I could sustain my new level of running, since from 1989 through 2007 I averaged ~from 500 – 750 miles per year, and did very little running from 2008 – 2011. I have worked on pace and endurance, and as I end the year I could just go on a half-marathon tomorrow with no special preparation and expect solid results.
I am formulating my goals for next year, and will share them next week!
The Running Shoes of 2013
And while we’re at it I thought it would be a good time to review the shoes I have run in this year, inspired by the post from Harold detailing the 20(!) pairs he has run with this year! Here is the mileage breakdown:
– Nike Free Run 3 v5 (4mm drop) – ‘Blue’ pair – ~100 miles (mostly used in 2012)
– Nike Free 3.0 – ‘Orange’ – ~1500 mi
– New Balance Minimus MT10 – ~400 mi
– Merrell Vapor Glove – ~ 50 miles
– Saucony Kinvara 4 – ~ 1100 miles
– New Balance Minimus v2 – just got these and have only run about 30 miles so far, but really love them at this point.
Nike Free Run 3 v4 ‘Blue’ – when I started running again in 2012 I was using old shoes for a while, but as I ‘got serious’ I bought these based on some reviews and trying them on. I loved them immediately, not realizing that I had just set myself down a path of lightweight and low-drop shoes. I ran with these probably beyond when I should have, but the weather was crappy and I have an odd thing about ‘saving new things’.
Nike Free 3.0 v5 ‘Orange’ – these were the same shoes, next version, and I ran with them throughout the year right up until the sloppy mess that was the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Marathon. I have run a few times with them since, but they are really ‘done’. The thing with the Nike Frees? They are the absolute worst rock collectors, and I had a regular routine of emptying the soles into the trash every morning. I would buy these again in a second … but I always want to try new things.
New Balance Minimus MT10 – These are still 4mm drop, but even more lightweight with less padding and cushion. I had bought pair of these on Black Friday 2012 but the fit was wrong, so I returned them – but left them on my ‘Wish List’. Then I got an anonymous birthday gift … the MT10’s! I ran first with no socks, and they shredded my heels! Even with socks, there was just something about the heel that wasn’t right for me. I gave them a try for a while and eventually gave up and returned to the Nike Free. I reviewed them here.
Merrell Vapor Glove – These are zero drop, ultra-minimal and lightweight, and I reviewed them here. These easily fold and there is only 2mm cushion. What I found pretty quickly was that there was a lower limit for how minimal I could go – and this crossed that limit! I only managed about 50 miles or so before I gave up trying to adapt. That said, for the summer these were my go-to shoes for pretty much everything. Super comfortable for walking – but you feel every little pebble!
Saucony Kinvara 4 – similar in many ways to the Nike Free, these are 4mm drop lightweight shoes … but I felt from the start that they weren’t going to last as long as the Frees. At this point I have pretty much retired them, but they made it over 1100 miles for me – though I feel I am stretching the life a bit at this point.
New Balance Minimus v2 – these were on my wish list for months and were a ‘Secret Santa’ gift. The website talks about the redesign to the upper to help balance the weight distribution, and I felt the difference immediately. These are very light, minimal feeling shoes that are also quite comfortable. The minimal design means that moisture gets right in though … so this morning as it rained my feet got soaked.
I am not sure where I will go with shoes in 2014, but thankfully I have a few month buffer with the New Balance. I am very happy with a 4mm drop and lightweight minimal design, so will likely check out other shoes in that category when I have the chance. But I also know that Saucony is updating the Kinvara, and Nike will probably have a new Free revision, and if I haven’t bought anything else by then I will probably cheek them out!
How about you – what have you run in this year? What sorts of shoes (brand, style, drop, etc) do you prefer?