Run, Cook, Eat!

Vegan Challenge – One Week
January 8, 2011, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

One of the things I’m most excited about for 2011 is experimenting with vegan eating. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I’d be interested in doing a month of vegan eating with her. At first I was hesitant, but the more I thought about it, the more excited I got.

We decided to do a trial week in January, which is just wrapping up for me. I don’t want to monkey with my diet too much during marathon training, so we’ll be doing the full month roughly May 15 – June 15. Three of us did this trial week, and there will be 5-6 of us doing the full month.

Amongst the three friends taking part in the week, we individually guidelines for what we did or did not eat, since we had different reasons for choosing this diet (Chinese-medicine related cleansing, weight loss, just generally experimenting). I personally decided to not eat eggs, milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, dairy of any kind, and honey. I’m a vegetarian, so clearly no meat either. Although I occasionally eat meat substitutes (veggie meatballs and such), I wanted to stay away from them for vegan week as to not rely on them. In terms of dairy substitutes, I avoided egregious substitutes like soy cheese (that just sounds icky), but since I hadn’t tried them before, I picked up Earth Balance vegan margarine and some soy yogurt.

What’s been best abut this week so far is that in order to successfully navigate vegan eating, I’ve had to spend extra time planning out meals, shopping lists, and what I’ll eat, cook, or prep on any given day. Time consuming? Yes. Lots of dishes to wash? Yes. But I’m getting to fully indulge one of my favorite hobbies – cooking – while eating good, clean, healthy and budget-friendly food for every single one of my meals.

I’ve also gotten to delve in to a few deserving cookbooks on my shelf. Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian has been my go-to book for so long, so this week I’ve stayed away from it and instead focused on cooking from Veganomicon, Vegan Soul Kitchen, and some vegan (or easily veganized) dishes from my RSS feed’s saved items.

Assuming I follow through with it, in the next few days I’ll be posting a roundup of what I cooked and how it turned out. Veganomicon in particular had a lot of errata, so even though I won’t be posting full recipes, I think it will be useful to provide comments on what worked and what didn’t, and what is worth cooking from these various cookbooks.

As my official vegan week wraps up, I’m actually enjoying it so much that I might extend it a bit longer, until I finish off the recipes in my queue. (Or at least until I finish off this tub of Earth Balance.) Ethically and practically, I don’t think being 100% vegan all of the time is a good choice for me, but this week and this food has definitely convinced me to make vegan cooking a much larger part of my diet.


2010 Racing: August through December

So, that blogging thing? Clearly I need to focus on having time for it. But I didn’t want to end the year without wrapping up the rest of the races I did in 2010 after the SF Half and did not write about.

After the San Francisco Half Marathon, I did a 10k and three more half marathons. Quick summaries of each:

The Big Gay 10k (8/14/2010) – This fun 10k was put on as a fundraiser for Greater Than One, which raised money for the SF Aids Foundation. I feel like my 10k efforts pale in comparison to those who raise thousands of dollars and do the Seismic Challenge bike ride, but hey, I do what I can do.

The costumes for this event were STUNNING. Also, the nearly-nude contingent was about a million times more attractive than Bay to Breakers.

The race was up at Crissy Field, and incorporated a bit of the Fort Mason hill. I finished in 55:07 (chip time), AG 8/53. No PR, just a healthy reminder of the fact that running short distances fast is a challenge!

Humboldt Redwoods Half Marathon (10/17/2010) – This was my goal race for the second half of 2010, and I was incredibly happy with how I ran it. In fact, I’d say this was my best-run race of the year. The course was an out-and-back along the Avenue of the Giants up in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and the entire thing was flat, treelined bliss. The weather was gorgeous (low 50s?), and it wasn’t even crowded.

I didn’t go out too fast, I didn’t psych myself out, I pushed as hard as I could up the two hills, and I earned myself a 2:00:46, AG 29/63. This was 2-3 minutes faster than my training plan predicted, and I was really happy with my time and effort. Honestly, I don’t even have much to say about it…it was just so great. My training and planning and fueling just CLICKED and I had a phenomenal race.

US Half Marathon (11/7/2010) – This race was a bad idea. The race was on Groupon, so I figured I’d do it as a supported training run. Bad plan. On the day of the race, it was pouring rain. Not misty San Francisco rain, but torrential downpour that you never see in SF. It was really COLD too! (The only time I’ve ever been cold while running in SF.) The course (Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, Ft. Mason) was incredibly hilly, muddy, and we had to run through 6+ inches of standing water at least a dozen times. Part of the course was on a walking path at the north end of Golden Gate Bridge, which was so slippery (and next to a cliff!) that everyone had to stop and walk it.

The idea of doing it was a supported training run wasn’t good either. The water stations along the way were a mess. Many were out of cups, those with cups didn’t have them filled, and one of the aid stations had folks scooping water out of an open (bagged/clean) trash can, which was just…eeeeew. But despite bad organization, many many many thanks to the poor volunteers who braved the awful weather. (Oh, and bag check was non-existent.)

Cool medal, water bottle, and shirt, though. I guess that was worth the $30.

Big Sur Half Marathon (11/14/2010) – I was really looking forward to this race and was hoping to best the PR I set in October, but it was not to be. I managed to make a few bad choices which impacted me throughout the race.

I had friends fly in from Chicago to do this one with me, one of whom offered to pace me towards a sub-2. It was a nice idea, but I should have never let myself go out so faster than 9:09. I knew by mile 3 that I would have major trouble later on, so we parted ways. At that point I also discovered my iPod was dead. Bad news.

Around mile 5 I had an asthma attack/panic attack, and spent the next two miles walk-running in order to be able to breathe. Even after mile 7, I spent the rest of the race battling more breathing problems. Making it to the end was a real challenge.

I was disappointed that I had such a bad experience on a course I really love, and I really wish I’d gotten out of my head and been able to enjoy the scenery more. I finished in 2:04:34, AG 159/607. Despite the tough race, this was still my second fastest half yet (despite the walking!?!), and a course PR of 6.5 minutes. I had a great time with my friends, and I’m glad we got to do this beautiful race together.

Race Report: San Francisco First Half Marathon – 2010
July 30, 2010, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Despite hearing horror stories of the first half of the San Francisco Marathon, I had a really fun and satisfying race on Sunday! I ran this one with my friends and with no time expectations. My goals were to do a scenic run, challenge myself to get over m aversion to hills, test where I was at post-marathon, and have fun. No time goals, just fun.

I trained for this one with W and (Mr.) S. We registered super late, so we ended up in wave 8, the very last wave. The only plus: I got to sleep in until 5 AM. Minuses: dodging even more people than normal for the first three miles, and nagging fear that we wouldn’t get over the bridge before they started redirecting people to the sidewalk.

S and I grabbed a cab and got to the starting line early, so this has been one of my least stressful race starts yet. We met W, made our way to the corral after checking bags, and we started about 5 minutes later than our scheduled start. Off we went.

I need to just get over it, but I really really hate dodging slower people at the start of the race. I’m really not that fast myself, but I get so sick of needing to weave around people. The first mile was bounded by curbs on either side, with a cobblestone median. I’m super paranoid about curbs, so I tried not to weave too much, but S and W took off and I needed to follow. There was a dude on his iPhone, taking pictures and posting them to Facebook, all while weaving in and out cluelessly and passing people and going up and down the median. I tried so hard to stay away from him, but I didn’t lose him until nearly the top of the Fort Mason hill.

(Disclaimer about the mileage: my Garmin was REALLY off compared to the course’s mile markers. I know we weaved a lot, but it kept fluctuating throughout the race so I don’t know what was actually wrong. )

Mile 1- 10:02 (dodging people)
Mile 2- 9:31

S left us right before Fort Mason hill to use the bathroom. The hill wasn’t bad, since it was so early on.

Mile 3 – 9:55 (Ft Mason hill)

W and I continued through Crissy Field, and S somehow caught up with us right before the first of the really sucky hills (the one behind the climbing gym.) I managed to keep them in sight through all of the bridge approach hills, but once we got to the bridge I lost them both.

Mile 4- 9:46 (Crissy Field)
Mile 5 – 9:52 (some bridge approach/hill)

And, the bridge. Friends had told me horror stories about running Golden Gate Bridge during the race, but it wasn’t too bad. There was fog, but it didn’t feel abnormally slippery. Being crammed into one lane of traffic with so many runners made passing nearly impossible, so you got stuck at whatever unfortunate slow pace for the next 2 miles or so. Lame.

Even worse, though: the people trying to pass while on the bridge. I wanted to go faster than the prevailing 10:30ish pace I got stuck in the midst of, so I hung to the left hoping to pass. But all sorts of douchey guys on the left kept darting into the (equally packed) oncoming lane of runners to try to pass people. Stupid move, guys. I saw 2 collisions due to this. I also saw about 4 people eat it on the bridge due to the grates/ridges. No one seemed to be hurt beyond “shake it off and keep going”.

Mile 6 – 10:53 (more hill/bridge)
Mile 7 – 9:59 (bridge)

After losing my friends at the start of the bridge I assumed I’d be on my own for the rest of the race, but I managed to find W at the Gu station at the observation point. The entire parking lot and start of the return bridge trip was STICKY. Icky sticky Gu glue texture. Gross. W and lost each other again on the way back on the bridge, but I caught her before the big Presidio/Lincoln hill.

That hill was what I was most worried about, but it really wasn’t that bad. During training I kept dragging my friends on runs that started at Crissy Field, went up all of these hills, across the bridge and back, up the Presidio hill on Lincoln, then back down on the opposite side. And then I’d drag them on the return trip back over the hill to Crissy Field again. So by making the run ten times worse during training, the tiny bit during the race paled in comparison.

Mile 8 – 9:44 (bridge)
Mile 9 – 9:50 (presidio hill + downhill)

W’s boyfriend planned to meet us at the top of that Presidio hill, but he didn’t make it due to road closure. And lucky us, the course photographer caught us while we were trying to call him and update him on our progress. I spotted suit-of-armour guy at the top of this hill – I see him at lots of races, wearing the full suit of armor, shield, sword and helmet – and he was on the side of the road looking like he was in bad shape.

I love the gorgeous downhill toward Seacliff, but as soon as you get to the Richmond there are MORE STINKING HILLS. Mentally I knew I could do it and get through the sucky part, but W always starts out too fast and then fades a little bit early so she seemed pretty extra miserable. I put on my metaphorical Encouragement Hat and kept telling W how much ass she kicked, and we got through it. I think I’m just annoying, but ah well, I tried.

Mile 10 – 10:06 (stupid little Richmond hills)
Mile 11 – 9:29 (more stupid little hills)
Mile 12 – 10:06 (Richmond hills)

A few blocks before the mile 12 marker, I told W I was going to pick it up for the end and we split up. I knew I had energy left, but the hills had really exhausted me. I muscled through the last 1.1 miles and passed a lot of folks. Unfortunately, muscling through it meant making a growly face, ruining my pictures, and totally missing my awesome boyfriend who came to cheer us on. Oops.

Mile 13 – 9:27 (picked it up)
Last .1 (garmin said last .24) – 7:42 pace.

I crossed the finish line in 2:10:29. It was just 21 seconds shy of my PR of 2:10:08. But rather than being disappointed with that, I feel pretty damn great. My previous PR was on a very flat course about 6 months ago, and I essentially matched it on this hilly beast of a course. I’m satisfied, and I’ve made progress.

W finished a minute or two behind me, and S managed to beat his previous PR, finishing in 1:56 or 1:57 or something. Yay! Happiness all around. I’ll probably do the second half next year, but I have firm plans to NEVER do the San Francisco Full Marathon.

Up next: the Big Gay 10k in August, followed by a speedy flat half marathon or two this fall. I was debating CIM, but I think I’d be more satisfied by doing a few flat half marathons to really see my post-marathon “speediness” results in a race. We’ll see.

Separate photo post from the SF Marathon coming early next week!

Race Report – Eugene Marathon 2010

I successfully finished my first marathon. I feel like I’ve learned so much by training for and running Eugene. It’s been so useful to learn what works for me and what doesn’t and what to do differently next time. The race itself was incredibly gorgeous, well-staffed, and had great crowd support. I honestly can’t think of a better race to have picked for my first marathon.

Apologies for the long post! I did my best to get this all written down so I can learn from the experience for the next one…

The race start time was 7 AM. We got there in plenty of time. My hosts (BR+AQ) lived just 3 miles from the starting line, and none of the roads between their place and Hayward Field were closed. So no fussing with shuttles and stuff. I got up at 5 AM, made my toast and peanut butter and coffee, drank a ton of water, and we headed out at 6.

We got to the start around 6:15. After a few quick strolls around, J and I joined the bathroom queue, where we remained for the next 35 minutes. By the time I made it through the line and got in my corral, it was impossible to even see the 4:30:00 pacer. There wasn’t even any space to squeeze in to the 10:30/mi corral. Ooof.

My original plan had been to stick with the 4:30:00 pacer for the first half of the race, then reassess how I felt. My training plan claims I could do a 4:25:00 race, so I thought this would be a good plan. But not being able to find the pacer threw this plan out the window right away.

For the first few miles I was right behind a military-looking guy who was hitting *exactly* 10:05 miles (my goal pace). So I followed him for a few miles, then finally joked to him he was going exactly my pace. We stuck together until maybe mile 8.5 or so, where the hill started. Our pace started to slowly speed up over those miles (between maybe 9:30 and 10:05), but it was good to have someone to talk with and I didn’t notice. By the time we hit the hill, I could see he was going a bit too fast for me. I lost sight of him and I dialed it back a bit.

The hill really wasn’t that bad. I’m not sure what the net elevation change was, but this one single hill between 8.5 and 9 miles was the only noticeable hill in the entire course. I’m a big wuss when it comes to hills, and this one didn’t bother me one bit. No leg pain.

Around mile 9 was the first spot I had planned to see boyfriend J, and there he was! He was along the median just past the starting line, so I got a big smile and I waved at him. (Photos will get their own post)

J and I had an argument the previous day about how I would tell him where I was. The race had a Facebook app installed that would automatically post your splits, which he wanted me to use, but I didn’t really want my embarrassing numbers posted for all of my friends to see. So I told him I’d text him every few miles so he could plan accordingly. This turned out to be very useful, since the runner tracking on Eugene Marathon’s website broke entirely. I hated being that annoying person on my phone – I’m sure other runners were rolling their eyes at me – but it helped J find me.

Around mile 11 the full and half marathon courses split. I was pretty excited for this 🙂 But instead of a bit inflatable arch or signage, they just had volunteers yelling “marathon – right!” Half marathon – left!!”. Hah. Oh well. The marathon folks took off up a highway on ramp, and the half marathoners looped back over a bridge. I felt really really good and EXCITED at that point. The crown thinned out notably, and I was looking forward to the river part of the course.

As soon as the half and full split, I began walking the water stops. They were much less chaotic than in the previous miles, and it was good to deal with Gu/water and not spill. Aside from one or two of the water stops near the beginning, I took water or Gatorade at each stop. I had my Amphipod with me and by the end of the race that was gone too. I was a bit worried about too little water -> big Christina headache, but my fueling turned out to be just right.

I fueled roughly every 4 miles. I took Gu or Cliff Shots mostly, with a bag of Chomps in the middle. I got off the pattern around mile 14-16, since I’d taken a banana slice from a station, which filled me up.

The full marathon break part took us through Springfield (city next to Eugene) for a few miles. This was the least scenic part of the course, but I didn’t mind it. It was sort of worn down and industrial looking, but really not that bad. We went past a bus stop that had big signs saying “closed Sunday for marathon” and there was an older gentleman sitting on the bench just grinning and watching the runners. He made me smile!

We turned left and went into a residential part of Springfield, before looping back to a 4-lane road towards the river. Somewhere around here I spotted a moped with a sidecar, and felt it was so notable that I had to text J about it.

Near 13 miles I realized I had big blisters forming, so at my next meeting point with J (around mile 16) I changed socks and re-greased my toes and feet. At this point I actually SAW how bad one of the blisters was (near a regular hotspot on my right foot) and I got kind of grossed out and worried about it for much of the rest of the race.

At mile 16 I was still feeling really strong, and we looped back to the other side of the river where the exceptionally gorgeous views began. Sround mile 19 I started to feel myself get tired. I wasn’t getting into my tunes at all during the race, but here I just couldn’t even stand to have music playing. I tried making conversation with a person or two, but they didn’t seem interested in talking. Around here the temperature increased past my happy-place 60 degrees, so I started feeling that too.

About a mile later I heard two girls chatting, and said “Hi, I really really need some talking. Can I join you for a bit?” And they laughed and said yes. Only one of the girls was racing (Jen) and her friend (I didn’t catch her name) jumped in for 10 miles to keep Jen company and get in her own training run that day. GREAT IDEA. I need to keep this in mind for my next marathon. I’m so used to long runs with other people, and having someone to talk to really distracts me from increasing tiredness. So to throw in someone new and fresh and full of talking and energy around mile 16? Perfect.

I stuck with them for the next 30 minutes, and I think if I hadn’t done that, I think I would have become a big mess much earlier. At some point the comment was made that Jen’s amazingly consistent at 10 min/mi, and I was getting a bit too exhausted, so I dropped off around mile 22ish to use the bathroom, telling them good luck. I knew they were going just a bit too fast for me at that point, so it was smart to slow down.

This is where things started to feel dire. I didn’t hit the wall, per se. I think my good fuel/water intake helped prevent that. But new aches began. Mainly, my lower back began hurting badly, which is not something I’ve experienced during a run before, so I started to worry. I began having hip flexor issues too, which is also not normal for me.

Anyway, the back pain started getting really bad and I just focused on getting through the next 4 miles so I could stop moving. I wasn’t planning to see J again until mile 25.5. But it turned out that my hosts/friends BR+AQ surprised me and came to cheer near a park around mile 23 or 24! I was beyond happy to see them. I asked them to jog with me for a little bit, so they joined me, flip flops and all, for about a quarter mile. (I have such awesome friends. I’m really lucky.) I needed something to keep my mind off my back so I immediately said “START TALKING” and ended up getting to hear a story about getting in trouble with security at Tokyo Disney. It was just what I needed. J had told me beforehand there was no chance he’d run with me, so I’m really lucky that BR+AQ jumped in.

Before she took off, AQ had the stunningly insightful observation that I must be doing well, since “my feet were still pointed in the right direction.”

This pushed me on through to past the soccer fields where I saw J at mile 25.5. I was so thrilled that I was almost done, and I think I gave him a kiss, groaned, dropped off my Amphipod, and kept right on going.

The finish line was on Hayward Field. Having never run in any organized fashion in school, it was surreal to head onto a track when there were people in the stands cheering and stuff. It just felt so strange to run with an audience. I’m used to having an audience for performing, but running is just such a personal or small group thing for me it just was so odd to have people in the stands watching.

There were two timing sensor things right before the finish, and multiple strangely-placed photographers. My poor distance-addled brain was confused by all of this, and I wasn’t quite clear what to do. I think I forgot to raise my arms until a little too late, and my finish line photos are just atrocious! I also forgot to look up and see myself on the jumbotron screen.

I finished in 4:39:11. My only goal was to finish, so I’m satisfied with my time. My training plan & pace calculator had predicted I could do roughly 10-15 minutes faster, but that’s OK. I finished. I am proud and happy.

After crossing the finish line, my prevailing emotion was happy numbness. I grabbed some food and stretched. My group had trouble reconnecting afterward, and an unexpected side benefit of it was that I kept walking (slowly, in circles) while trying to find them. After we reconnected, it turns out they’d thoughtfully brought a big bottle of Goose Island beer for me.

The rest of the day was a blur…I sat on the floor for an hour or two, eating lunch and drinking a beer float. Mentally I felt like someone hit record without putting in the tape, if that makes any sense? I was watching things happen, but not really registering.

Once I got up off the floor, we drove to a hot springs about an hour and a half away from Eugene and soaked for an hour or two. It felt incredible. My muscles didn’t hurt while they were floating! The hot springs were incredible (as was Eugene in general) so there will be a whole post about awesome Eugene things in the near future.

While at the hot springs AQ told me that watching me run Eugene had inspired her to train for a century (a 100-mi bike ride.) That was perhaps the best thing anyone’s ever said to me throughout all of my training. It was just really touching that little old me – someone who’s not ridiculously in shape, simply running my first marathon with an unimpressive time – could inspire her to try to do something similar. She’s not particularly athletically inclined, but the idea of competing against yourself to achieve something big really resonated with her.

Anyway, I’m just overjoyed I did it. I think my biggest takeaway lessons from the race are:

  • Work on controlling my speed. I went out too fast and it ended up slowing me down too much at the end. My goal should be consistency and negative splits.
  • On the same note, it might be time to get a Garmin.
  • During my next training cycle, I want to get in a 22 miler or two. I had planned to do this, but an out-of-town wedding caused it to become a horrible weeknight 20-miler instead. By pushing myself past 20 I think I’ll get a better sense of what I can and can’t do and how to make those last 6.2 miles a bit less awful.
  • Bribe a friend to run with me towards the end of the race.
  • Try out a handheld water bottle and/or a different fuel belt.

Here are my splits. Sorry for breaking it down in a strange way, it’s what helped me reflect on my race:

Mile 1 0:10:05
Mile 2 0:20:10
(At that point my mile info tracking stopped being accurate. The rest of the splits are official-only.)
Mile 6.21 (10k) 1:02:12

Avg Pace for first 10K: 10:00/mi

MIle 13.1 (HM) 2:10:44
This is less than a minute off my half marathon PR. Had I noticed this at the time, maybe I would have slowed down.
Avg pace for second segment (6.89 mi): 9:56 min/mi

Mile 19.26 (31k) 3:18:03
Avg Pace for third segment (6.16 mi): 10:55 min/mi
Makes sense – this is where I stopped briefly to deal with blisters.

Mile 26.2 (last 11k) 4:39:11
Avg Pace for last segment (6.94 mi) 11:41 min/mi
(Clearly that’s where my problem was – the last 6 miles or so.)

Average pace across the whole race: 10:39 min/mi

Anyway, not to get caught up in what I could have done better! I’m completely thrilled with my race and training experience, and I don’t think I can even capture that fully in words.

Up next: a half marathon or two, with vague intentions of another marathon late this year…

Eugene Marathon. DONE.
May 2, 2010, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I just ran my first marathon. I finished somewhere in the mid 4:30s. I am now sitting on the floor drinking beer floats with John and BR+AQ. I will not be moving for a long time. I am SO FREAKING HAPPY.

Race report forthcoming. When I get off the floor.

April 24, 2010, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Work brought me down to Carmel this weekend (YAY) so I took the opportunity to do my nice short taper-time weekend run along the coast. Gorgeous runs by the ocean are the most awe-inspiring reminder of how lucky (and happy!) I am to be living in California.

Since it’s taper, I figured I’d just stop whenever I wanted and take a whole bunch of pictures. So here you are! I started in downtown Carmel, ran down the hill to the beach, and took Scenic Drive south until it dropped me away from the coast somewhere more residential and with heavier vehicle traffic. Then I turned around. The run ended up being just under 6 miles.

I loved how friendly everyone out that morning was to each other! No one talks or does more than wave/smile/nod when I run in San Francisco, but here everyone I passed said hello. One guy with a Shiba Inu puppy even chatted with me about my gait for a few minutes.

It was a bit chilly and foggy when I began at 8:
2010-04-24 08.28.00

More foggy AM coast:
2010-04-24 08.31.38

Requisite self-portrait:
2010-04-24 09.01.16

The houses along the coast are HUGE and incredible:
2010-04-24 09.05.42

And quirky:

Although people in glass houses…umm…
glass houses.

I spotted these people on my way back. You can only see a few of them, but their group had a half dozen golden retrievers:
2010-04-24 09.04.11

The sun started coming out a bit towards the end:
2010-04-24 09.00.12

Good luck to everyone running Big Sur International Marathon on Sunday!

Fleet Feet Fun

Last night I went to Fleet Feet (per my doctor’s advice) to see if inserts would help my foot pain. It’s about time for me to start with a new pair of shoes if I want to use them for the marathon, so I told the (extremely helpful and knowledgeable) guy at Fleet Feet all of this, and he brought out lots of things to try on.

I’d been using Asics Gel Kayano 16s (stability) for the last few months, which were just fine up until last week. But this time what felt best (with my slightly hurting foot) was, of all things, a pair of Adidas!

I left the store with a pair of Adidas adiStar Solutions (neutral) and some Superfeet inserts. My pathetic attempt to describe what the Fleet Feet guy said about these shoes – they’ve got a thicker/less flexible sole along with a decoupled heel, and that combined with the inserts will cause less unnecessary pressure on my big toe and first metatarsal, where the pain had been. He also commented that Adidas running shoes are really hit or miss between years, but that this year’s have been fantastic.

(Irony: Runner’s World recommends these shoes “for Clydesdales and Athenas”!)

So far I’m enjoying the amount of space near the toes, but I haven’t taken them out for a spin, so no review quite yet. They’re getting a test run at the track this evening.