Read all posts by Cinnamon HERE
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I know you’re all busy people. As a mother of two toddlers believe me I can relate! I also know that not all of us have the luxury of routine or even time at home. That’s why I’ve enlisted my sister Cinnamon to share her experiences as a competitive runner with an active social life, interest in several hobbies and–here’s the big one–a career freelancing in New York’s film and TV industry.
This girl commutes on the run, runs at midnight, runs after 18 hour days, runs hungover after wrap parties among other nutty things. Not to toot her own horn (and my own since I coached her, of course!) but in a matter of months Cinnamon went from being a relatively nonathletic career-focused young woman to running her debut marathon in 4:11 all while navigating this hectic lifestyle.
Cinnamon will be posting a weekly training log as well as a feature, Ginger Rushes. Like Diary of an Injured Runner, Cinnamon Rushes will be the chronicles of a runner lady’s life. But instead of an injured mom of two, Cinnamon will be writing about her exeperiences as a single 30-something runner navigating New York City, a hectic and stressful career and everything else life has to offer. Follow along as she tries to string along enough quality training to attempt another marathon and p.r. in all distances along the way!
Prior to the founding of my current racing team, I was a part of the Brooks ID racing team for two years. It was a great ride and I really liked all my Brooks shoes. Prior to October of 2011 I wore minimal racing flats (the Green Silence and the Racer ST5) only for track workouts, the occasional tempo and races. Otherwise, I trained in the lightweight Ravenna trainer. I was especially excited when the Brooks Pure Project shoes came out right before my fall marathon. I ordered two pairs: the Pure Cadence and the Pure Flow. Several people asked me if the low heel bothered me, but I couldn’t even feel any difference from my sturdy old Ravennas in that regard.
I suppose I need to explain the shoe trend I’m talking about: low heel drop, also known as low profile running shoes. I wasn’t really even aware of it until after I bought the shoes and people were asking me how I liked them. The classic modern running trainer raises the heel off the ground and has a lot of cushioning material between your foot and the ground. Generally, minimalist running shoes are different from your typical modern trainer only in that they have less material between your foot and the ground. Most notable examples of minimalist shoes are racing flats. Minimalist shoes for every day training became very popular in large part to a book called Born to Run. It’s a great book and makes a strong case that modern cushiony running shoes cause more injuries than they prevent. After reading that book (which is a super read, by the way!) it’s hard to lace up a pair of clunky trainers without feeling like an idiot.
Anyway, low profile shoes are simply a subtype of minimalist running shoes, but in addition to having less material they also tout a very low offset. The offset is the difference between the height of the heel of the shoe and the height of the midfoot (middle) of the shoe. Basically, they’re flat (hence the term racing flats!).
Back to my story. I wore the Pure Cadence in that October marathon and bonked miserably. I had a lot of problems that day that had nothing to do with my shoes, but I do remember wincing in agony hobbling the last several miles with a tender left achilles. “That’s just what happens in a marathon,” I thought never even considering it was the shoes causing that particular pain.
After the marathon I rotated the low profile Pure Project shoes with my trusty old Ravennas. I liked the lightweight feel of the Pure Project shoes and never thought twice about them. I did notice the plantar fasciitis I sometimes get in my left foot was flaring up a little more than normal, but I was running 70 miles a week so that’s to be expected. Right?
Then a few days after Christmas and a few days before I injured myself on New Years Eve, I went in for a deep-tissue massage. Normally, my massage therapist (who is BRILLIANT!) works on every part of my legs equally, but during this appointment she noted that my calves were rocks. She spent almost the entire 75 minutes kneading the knotted lumps into oblivion. They were so sore after the massage that I could barely stand when I got off the table!
Two days later my poor chronically strained butt gave out.
I never strung the tight calves and the injured butt together. In fact I pretty much forgot about my knotted calves as the acute pain in my butt became the complete focus of my attention. That is until I started running again after a few days off.
When I started to test out the injury I only ran in the Ravennas for a few days. And then I threw on the Flows to switch things up and almost immediately my achilles and plantars fascia soreness kicked back up. Ok then!
Jaymee posted about her experience with low profile shoes and it got me thinking about my own experience. Looking back my calves were never much of a problem until I started wearing the low profile shoes regularly and then my butt and other issues were always tolerable before that too. I can’t help but wonder if the low profile shoes caused tight calves which in turn caused a chain reaction that tipped me over the injury edge.
Like Jaymee who had her issues with Doc Martens long before she was interested in low profile running shoes, this phenomenon is not new to me. I remember feeling really sad in the early 90’s that Birkenstock clogs didn’t fit my long toes. Some trends might work great for some people, while some just don’t work for others. Maybe that means I won’t be cool clomping in my high heeled lame-o trainers, but my calves won’t be rocks and hopefully I’ll be running!
Sorry to anyone looking for a Training Basics post today. I am a little time crunched and haven’t had a chance to do all the background work for the post I want to write. Look for a Training Basics article next Tuesday!
If you’ve been in a runner store recently you probably noticed the big trend in running shoe styles is super bright colors. My newest trainers, for instance, are a solid florescent orange. It’s a little weird slogging along at recovery pace in florescent shoes, because nothing says fast like flash. (Or should I say nothing says look how huge my feet are like florescent shoes. Ok, that’s probably just me.)
Because bold colors symbolize confidence and strength, no type of shoe wears flashy better than racing flats.
So, whether foot flash helps you run faster, flatters your feet or is just something you love this season’s bold and bright flat offerings will not disappoint!
With all running shoes I recommend you head to your local running retailer to be properly fitted. No matter how adorable a pair is, they need to fit you right or they won’t be worth much as a running shoe. That being said, here are links to online retailers for more information on each model and to buy if you’re confident you know what size and style is right for you.
1. Saucony Grid Type A5 in Blue/Citron/Light Pink is a women’s shoe and is available here.
2. Brooks T7 Racer in Color 371 is a unisex shoe and is available here.
3. Nike LunaRacer+ in Pink/Blue is a women’s shoe and is available here.
4. Saucony Grid Fastwitch 5 in Purple/Citron is a women’s shoe and is available here.
5. Newton Distancia is a women’s shoe and is available here.
6. Mizuno Wave Musha 4 in Lime Punch/Prism Violet/Chinese Red is a women’s shoe and is available here.
7. New Balance WR 1400 in Neon Yellow/Navy is a women’s shoe and is available here.
8. Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7 in Neon Pink/Coral/Noosa Glow is a women’s running shoes made specifically for triathletes and is available here. The shoe actually glows in the dark!
Happy flashy racing!
With a handle like Salty, you know there’s a part of me that loves anything a little nautical inspired. I have always loved sailor pants and boat necks. Never been an ascot fan, though. Anyway, I was perusing some spring running apparel styles and noticed that stripes are very big this year and I could not be more excited! Check out this gallery of stripey goodness!
The Nike apparel is available here.
The Oiselle top is available here.
The Athleta shorts are available here.
The Moving Comfort bra is available here.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure I need to note that I run for a team sponsored by Nike Running.