The Mezamashii Project

Several weeks ago, I received a rather cryptic email from someone named Sally claiming to be emailing on behalf of Mizuno and asking for my physical mailing address, but she said she couldn’t really tell me why yet–only that Mizuno wanted to send me an invitation to something.  I was a little skeptical, but I gave her my PO Box information and pretty well dismissed it.  Quite a bit of time passed, and I had almost forgotten about it when I received this in the mail just a couple of weeks ago.

The Mezamashii Project is Mizuno’s way of putting their money where their mouth is.  They believe that their shoes create a more euphoric running experience, and they are willing to put free shoes on feet to prove it.  As a founding member of the Project, I was invited to select any pair of Mizuno shoes for free. Now I’ll be honest here. I used to wear the Mizuno Wave Riders.  They were the shoe that a running store put me in when I had my first gait analysis done back in 2010.  I went through three pair of them.  And for the majority of that time, I had ITB issues.  To deal with those issues, I made some changes, shoes being one of them.  I switched to the Brooks Ghost line, and I haven’t had any issues since.  Since I changed shoes at the same time I introduced other preventative measures (i.e., foam rolling), I can’t say with any certainty that the shoes had any bearing on it whatsoever, but I was still a little hesitant to return to that specific shoe.  After researching the other neutral shoes and talking with Mizuno’s fit specialist, I decided on the Wave Enigma.  The bonus?  THEY’RE FREAKING PURPLE.

The way I saw it, even if I hated them for running, I still had a kickass pair of purple shoes to wear.

I’ve taken them out on a few short runs, and honestly I believe short runs is all I’ll ever use them for.  When I first switched to Brooks Ghosts, the difference that I most noticed immediately was the wider toe box.  I didn’t realize how constricting the Wave Rider toe box was until I switched to something that wasn’t.  When I walk and run, my toes kind of splay out.  With the Wave Rider, and now with the Wave Enigma, they don’t have room to do that.  Even though the width is perfect through the heel and midfoot, my toes feel scrunched up.  I don’t think these beauties will ever see any long run action.

These little piggies need their space.  And a pedicure.

Even though they’re not exactly for me, thanks so much to Mizuno for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the Mezamashii Project and to try out a new pair of shoes!

Give Up the Ghost?

When I started running, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  (Well, actually, some days I feel like I still don’t, but that’s neither here nor there.)  When I bought my first pair of shoes, I went to Hibbett and bought the first pair I tried on and liked that were a decent price.  They were Nike Air Pegasus.  And I ended up in a podiatrist’s office with tendinitis in my foot.  That actually turned out to be partly because my hips were out of whack and causing a weird stride, but we couldn’t rule out the shoes contributing, too.

So then I went to a running store and was actually fitted for a pair of running shoes.  They did their thing and watched me do my thing and put me in Mizuno Wave Riders.  I thought those were gonna be The One because the foot pain was no more.  And then I started having knee pain and IT band issues.  Was it the shoes?  Maybe.  The training?  That’s a good possibility, too.  But I switched shoes anyway, just to see.  I changed over to the Brooks Ghost 4s.  While I did like the wider toe box better, I just didn’t LOVE the shoe.  I can’t put my finger on what I DIDN’T love about them, but I just didn’t.  After I had run in them for just a little bit I decided I would try another one next time.  But you know what?  They are nearing end-of-life, and I haven’t had any pain, injury, twinge, not even so much as a tickle the entire time.
So what’s a girl to do?  Stick with the Ghosts, which she admittedly doesn’t love but which her legs apparently do?  Or give up the Ghosts in search of The One?  I’ve been drooling over the new Ruby Red Mizuno Wave Rider 15s for a couple of months now.  I mean COME ON.  They’re RED.  But what if the IT band/knee problems from before actually WERE related to the shoe?  Ugggghhhh…
Ultimately fear got the best of me.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  I’ve been making too much progress to piss it away and end up injured all because I wanted a pair of ruby red slippers.  
These will be here Tuesday.  They ain’t red, but I do love me some pink, too…

The Final Countdown

Exactly one week from today, at exactly this time, I will be standing in corral 16 at the start line of my first marathon.

I’m about to lose my gord.

A few thoughts…

  • I seriously think the people at weather.com are intentionally trying to screw with me.  One day it shows an 80% chance of rain, the next day 0%.  Come on, dudes.  Not cool at all.  (Sorry for the false alarm, Amanda!)  They’ve pushed the rain up to Monday now. 
  • I ran my last “long” run yesterday.  It was 9 miles, and it was the worst run I’ve had in a while.  The wind beat the living crap out of me and I just felt really tired.  Not surprising following Thanksgiving, but not a good confidence booster going into the final stretch.
  • Everyone keeps telling me to trust my training.  Well, I missed a lot of my training because of my knee, so that’s really not good advice for me.  If I have to put my trust in that, I’m screwed.  I’m better off putting my trust in my hard-headedness.
  • I’m looking forward to meeting Julie, Amanda, and Mel!
  • My bib number is 16272.  Nothing about that number jumps out at me as being good luck.  627 used to be the first three numbers of my phone number, but that’s all I got.
  • I’m bummed about the post-race concert.  The headliner is Bret Michaels, and I was pretty stoked about seeing him.  But I recently found out that I won’t get to.  He will be on stage from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm, so IF I can finish in 5:15 I MIGHT get to see him walk offstage.
  • This last pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 13s that I bought feel weird.  I can’t place exactly what’s different about them, but something just seems off.  I thought maybe it was just because they weren’t broke in good, but they’ve got about 50 miles on them now.  I’ve run the last couple of weeks of training runs in them (but had to change out of them halfway through my 20-miler last week), but they won’t be coming to Vegas with me.  I’ll be taking my last pair of MWR13s that have about 250 miles on them.  I stick with what I know works.
  • Speaking of sticking with what works, I’ve already scoped out Dominos Pizza locations.  I’ve had my best long runs the morning after chowing down on their Pacific Veggie pizza.  I will be having a private pizza party for one in my hotel room Saturday night while everyone else goes out.  Hey, I might have to turn in early, but I’m not about to ruin everyone else’s fun!  We’ll be in Vegas for Pete’s sake! 
  • I haven’t started packing yet, but I have my list of stuff to pack made out.  I’m terrified I’m gonna forget something important.
  • I’m putting the finishing touches on my playlist this weekend.

So here we go.  Seven days and less than 10 miles are now all that stand between me and the start line.  Ready or not…

Three Things Thursday

1.   I am starvin’ like Marvin these days!
My marathon training is only just beginning and my mileage is already where it was in the final weeks of my half-marathon training when I noticed an increase in appetite.  If it’s like this at 20 miles a week, HOLY CRAP, what’s it gonna be like at 40?!  I’m keeping my calories in check and doing a good job of avoiding the junk and instead going for the more filling raw fruits and veggies and such.  But I would really love to bury my face in a chocolate cake the size of my house.
2.   I was a little concerned about some shin pain that showed up after Saturday’s ten miles.  It hung around all weekend.  I attributed it to my shoes’ mileage and hoped that replacing them would do the trick.  I wore the new ones for a short three miles Tuesday night, and my right shin was pretty angry at me afterwards.  I iced it then took a warm shower and some ibuprofen and it was fine.  Then I ran five miles in the new shoes again last night with no discomfort whatsoever.  Hopefully Tuesday’s pain was a little residual inflammation from the weekend and won’t show back up.
3.  I woke up this morning and my contact lens was gone.  Just like completely not in my eye and I couldn’t find it on my pillow.  I’ve had it slip before, but I could always feel it riding high on my eyeball or feel it stuck to the back of my eyelid or something, but this one is just GONE.  Weird.

10-mile "Group Run"

And I use that term “group run” VERY loosely. I basically drove an hour and a half this morning to run 10 miles by myself.

Only about 30 or so people showed up. Maybe less. I don’t know what kept them from coming out. Maybe the forecasted rain? (Which it never did do, by the way…) Maybe the fact that it was 78 degrees with 80% humidity at 6:30? I don’t know. But they weren’t there.

In the emails the chair person told me not to worry about pace because they had members of all levels. BULL. CRAP. I started out with three chicks but by mile 1.5 I knew I had to let them go on ahead. Their LSD pace was 10:00. And they were the slow ones of the group. :/

There were a few ladies out there training to walk the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville, but that didn’t do me any good either. Slower than the runners but faster than the walkers. That’s me.

All was not lost though. The route was on the same course as the Clarksville HM that I ran last year and that I will be running again this year, so it does give me more experience and familiarity with the course.

It wasn’t a HORRIBLE run. It wasn’t my fastest 10 miles, but it wasn’t my slowest either.  (Overall pace was 11:24, which is actually at the fast end of McMillan’s calculated spectrum for what my LSD should be. So I’m not too broken-hearted.)  My legs just felt heavy and sluggish from the get-go. After I thought about it, though, it really didn’t surprise me. Last week I did my long run on Sunday, then I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and now today too. That’s five out of seven days, which is more than my body is used to.  I’m READY for these two upcoming rest days! I will probably throw in some light cross-training one day, but for the most part I’m taking advantage of the downtime.

Another reason it wasn’t a wasted trip is that I had to go to Clarksville anyway to get these.

And my club membership got me a sweet 10% discount!

Yep, it was that time. Today’s run put my Mizuno Wave Rider 13s at 302 miles, so it’s time to start working a new pair into the mix. They’ve been a good shoe for me, so I stuck with them.

I knew I was going shoe shopping after the run plus still had a 90-minute drive home, so I at least had the presence of mind to take a change of clothes with me. Alas, after the run there was nowhere to change! Let’s just say I relived some very old memories. It’s been a long time since I stripped down in the cab of a Z71!

I’m not writing off the club just yet. I’ve got things going on next week and the next that will keep me from being able to go, but I’ll probably head back the following week and give it another go. If I gave up on everything the first time it sucked, I wouldn’t be running anyway!