Sunday, October 12, 2008

Red vs Blue

You may or may not have heard of the internet video comedy series Red vs. Blue. My two sons are great fans of it and we watched many of the show's hilarious antics on dvd last Christmas. But this is not about comedy; I have something more important to deal with, that is: what shoes to wear for the upcoming marathon? I happen to have 2 brand new pairs on the auction table...

a red pair, and ...


and a blue pair!

Both are yelling, Pick me! (I'm cuter) Pick me! (I'm faster)

And how did I manage to have such a luxury of choice you ask?

Well the red pair on the right are Mizuno Wave Precision 9's and purchased just a few weeks ago with the intention of being my marathon shoe after the usual break in of one or 2 longer runs and a minimum of miles. I've been running in Mizuno's for about 10 years now and being a latent manic compulsive type have numbered and kept track of the mileage on every pair. This would be pair #28 and with about 600miles/pair that works out to about 16,000 miles on the brand so far. Ouch, no wonder my leg hurts!

So why the 2nd blue pair? Well it turns out that a few weeks ago I get this email from a sales rep at New Balance, Harrisburg with the offer of my choice of shoes if I put up a link on my blog sidebar and to do a little review of them. Well who can turn down an offer for free shoes? After making sure it was a real offer (ie. don't look a gift horse in the mouth) I settled on the top of the line cushioned light weight model New Balance 1062 which have now been road tested with one easy recovery run thus far.

The results? Well they are a beautiful looking shoe with a roomy toe box and nice fit. I have high arches with stiff feet and this neutral, well cushioned shoe gave me a nice smooth ride. My easy 5 mile test run was at about 8:17/mile average pace but it also included a few fast striders with about 20-30sec of fast controlled running to loosen up the legs. This is where I got a pleasant surprise with how well cushioned these shoes really are. The faster I went the more I could feel the cushioning which felt like running on firm pillows and gave it a nice floating feeling. Cool, I like these shoes!

But final verdict, I have to go with Red for the marathon because they are my tried and true model/brand. If I had more time on my feet with the Blues they might have a good shot at bumping Red, but not this time so late in the plan to PEI. For now I'm looking forward to alternating them as one of my stock training shoes and will see how they endure the miles.

This was my view while stretching this morning after a 1 mile warmup during the final 13 mile longer run (wearing Red's). The sun was just peeking out at 730am and it was rather brisk at 4C and will likely be the same next week on the Island. The run went well but not great. I could feel some tighness in the legs (reminder to stretch at night). I ran the 1st 5 miles as an easy warm up and then did an 8 mile progression run getting down to sub-marathon pace by the end. The 'plan' had been to go at MP for the final 2 miles but my Garmin screen went blank and had to go by feel. I guess my body 'felt' like going 7:26 and 7:21 instead of the 7:40's that were intended. No harm done and it's only one more week of taper madness to go.

Have a nice week everyone!


Ewen said...

You're far too sensible Mike. I used to be a big NB fan in the old days due to their wide fitting. I fondly remember a great racing flat (3 pair) but they stopped making it.

Now I go for anything that fits (wide enough) and feels good - lately Asics and Nike.

Enjoy the remaining days of madness.

Andrew said...

Stretching on your lawn again? When do you reclaim your golf course?

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

Mike - Not long now!

I ran in NB for years, mainly because they were produced domestically (there's a factory about 20 miles down the road), but the quality running shoes are now produced off shore. I'll fore go the child labor sweatshop comment to spare Andrew.

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