This morning I went over to my favorite local running shop (PR Running) to pick up a new pair of running shoes. I had been running in the New Balance 850's for a long time, and I'm sure that I've logged many more miles than I should have before getting new shoes. Tread was worn, they were starting to feel less supportive, and with more distance coming up this year, I really needed to get a fresh pair of kicks. I just love the staff over at PR. They are always very friendly and are super knowledgeable. They perform gait analysis in the store and it is just an awesome little local shop.
I tried on 4-5 different pairs of shoes before settling on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9. I still tend to pronate quite a bit, and these shoes feel/appear to correct that, while not feeling as heavy as the NB 850s.
I also decided to try out a fuel belt. I have never run wearing one of these before. On my longer runs, I've been throwing pint bottles in the pockets of my outer shell (North Face jacket). While this works, I found that the bottles were bouncing around during my run and were quite distracting. I figured I'd give the fuel belt a try. The particular model I picked up was a Nathan 2 Speedpack. It has spots for two 10oz bottles, and a pouch for storing GU packs or bars or other items you may need during your long runs.
In other news, I signed up this week to run in the Half at the Hamptons. This is a 1/2 marathon race held in Hampton, NH. The race is set for Feb 21. I understand that the course is mostly flat. The post race celebration will include lots of SmuttyNose ale. That will be a great reward!
I've looked around online to find a 1/2 training program. Even though I have already run the distance, I figured I'd drop into a training schedule, partway through, and start to incorporate some of the missing elements (tempo runs, speed work) to my regimen. I ended up settling on the intermediate plan found here. It is an eight week plan, so I'm jumping into week two.
Even though today is a scheduled rest day, I couldn't resist breaking out the new shoes and taking them for a test run. I did the little loop in my neighborhood a few times, which totals a 5k. The shoes felt great! Excepting one encounter with an annoyed little spitfire of a dog, the run was quite enjoyable. I ran at a comfortable pace, which turned out to be around a 10 minute mile. Tomorrow is a pace day. I'm thinking of making it a stretch goal to run the 1/2 in under 2 hrs. My last few times running that distance, I was around 2:09 and 2:13. So, the sub-two-hour will be a good target to shoot for.
With that in mind, I'll head out tomorrow and try to maintain a 9(ish) pace on the same course.
Until next time: run, run, run.