Monday, March 31, 2014

Run a 5k in 6 Weeks?!?

Written By: Claire Sheehan

1st day of Training
Two weeks into the new year and I finally came up with a New Year’s Resolution….I want to make 2014 the year I become a runner. I had run some here and there in the past, but mainly because my Aunt made me. Oddly enough I have always had a dream of running a half marathon, yet I never pushed myself to get out there and make it happen.  After recently moving to Bend, where the vast majority of the population has at least one go-to outdoor sport they are addicted to, I realized I needed to choose one for myself.

So, I aimlessly started searching Google for activities to do in Bend and I cameacross the FootZone website. I had visited this site before and dreamed about the day I would join one of their several weekly FREE group runs. I admired anyone who could just head downtown to FootZone and confidently run the 3-5 miles planned while possibly not knowing anyone in the group.

I wanted to be that person. I wanted to not only be confident enough, but able to run 3-5 miles on a regular basis as well. So, three weeks into the New Year I clicked “join” and paid the fee to join the Couch to 5k training group. BAM! It was done; I was going to become a runner!!! Then, as I was printing the receipt I realized what I had just done. I had signed up to join a group where I assumed I would not know ANYONE and I would train to run 3.1 miles with them. All of a sudden I freaked out and was already dreading the next 5 days until Saturday. Thoughts just flew across my brain….What do runners wear? Do I even own a good sports bra? What do I eat before I go? Can I drink coffee? What if I’m the only one that shows up? What if I am the oldest person there? What if I am the youngest person there? What if I’m the slowest person there? Do I even have time to train for this?
LOADS of questions and different scenarios popped into my mind. The next thing I knew it was Saturday morning and my alarm clock was going off! AAHH! The day had come and it was a COLD one, 18 degrees cold! So I made myself believe that the first day we would meet at FootZone and just talk about running and the training program. I figured because it was so cold and we were new to the running world that they would not make us go outside and actually run. So with those thoughts in mind, I was able to get up and get ready quickly! I even arrived 20 minutes early and sat in the store with a few of the mentors.

Crossing the 5k Finsh Line
As people started coming in, I was relieved to see the diversity in the group. There were children joining with their parents, grandmothers, men and women of all different shapes, sizes, and ages! Just as I had assumed this morning, we all sat around with our lead trainer, Michelle, and introduced ourselves. I felt extremely calm and elated that I had joined this group AND showed up that first day : ) Michelle then talked to us about some various things running related. I figured this would continue for a bit before we’d get our training schedules and meet back next week for our first run. Man, was I WRONG! Michelle wrapped up her talk and proceeded to tell us we were going on our first run. Nerves came flooding back but I had no way out so I had to proceed. “Here goes nothing” I said to myself and followed the group outside.

Our workout for the day was to jog 1 minute, walk 1 minute 10x.  While we did our workout we talked to each other and started bonding and achieving the common goal which was to become a runner. I had such a high once the first day was over I knew I had made the right decision. I took my running calendar home and started scheduling my runs for the upcoming week. Each week we increased our jogging time and lessened the walking time. Looking at the schedule it seemed to be small increases but in the training it was scary and exciting to meet each Saturday and watch my goal of becoming a runner come true. The weekly workouts included days of just walking, rest, and some jogging with walking. It was easy to maintain and actually fun to do! I was literally able to see my progress each week I increased my running time.

Everyone deserves to experience this!
Six weeks after that first Saturday of running 1 minute at a time we were running a 5k! A 5k is 3.1 miles ladies and gentlemen, 3.1 miles. To be able to complete that in 6 weeks was a HUGE accomplishment and I am so proud of all of us that persevered and completed the 5k! The feeling I had crossing that finish line was an out of body experience, I felt invincible! I instantly flashbacked to that first day and how far all of us had come and was so proud of not only myself but of everyone that finished! That feeling alone keeps me going even now, weeks later. It is the feeling that gets me up early in the morning or off the couch to go run. I set a goal and I achieved it and that is something I hope everyone has the opportunity to do!

Not only did this class push me outside of my comfort zone and help me achieve a goal of becoming a runner but introduced me to incredible people who I have become friends and continue to run with. All of the mentors were amazing, keeping us positive and passing on their running experiences to us.  Michelle, our leader is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met and has a gift of making everyone feel at ease. She can channel her confidence onto others which is a rare talent. All in all I hope you see that anyone can set a goal and achieve it….even if that goal is to become a runner : ) 

We just ran a 5k in the SNOW, bring on the coffee!
Special thanks to Bluebird Coffee for hosting us!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kraig's Shoe Review

By Kraig Erickson:

I take my job very seriously.  Since I was a little kid, shoes have always been a passion for me.  There is nothing like a new pair of shoes.  Once, at about 7 years old I got a new pair of runners.  I don’t remember the brand but I remember that they were red, white and blue, and when I was wearing them I was really fast.  My parents have a picture taken the night I got those new shoes.  My mom had pulled back the sheets on my bed as I slept and behold the shoes were still on my feet, and so began my love affair with shoes. 

I teach a Functional Strength Training Class for Runners at the FootZone on Wednesdays at 7:15 PM and Thursdays at 7:15 AM.  Frequently after the Thursday morning class there is a group of us that goes for a run after class.  Last week with the weather not so nice and my knee a little wonky, I decided to run on the treadmill in the store.  I know BORING! The upside is it gave me chance to choose some shoes to test out.  So, I decided to run a mile in three different shoes before I opened the store and write a review of the shoes. 

The first shoe I chose was the new Salomon Sense Pro trail shoe.  I had just gotten a pair of these and I have been super excited about this shoes ever since we got it in the store and I tried it on for the first time.  This shoe is a more affordable version of the S-Lab racing shoe that retailed for $200.  At $130 it is very competitively priced against similar shoes. I have been impressed with the last couple new offerings from Salomon.  This shoe is a slightly minimal shoe with a 6mm heel to toe offset and a moderately flexible midsole.  I have never been a fan of the speed laces on Salomon’s but this pair actually grabs well through the mid-foot thanks to some plastic tubing added to the eyelets so the lace tightens evenly.  The shoe wraps the mid-foot well, holds the heel and has an ample toe box.  There is some great protection underfoot with Salomon’s Profeel Film and a great toe bumper all the way around.  The outsole is perfect for Central Oregon, it does not have the big lugs of a Speed Cross or Fellraiser but plenty of traction for the trail and it could be used on the road without issue.   Now to the running, I really like this shoe.  It is close to the ground but still has great cushioning without feeling mushy.  It transitions easily off the toe thanks to a flexible midsole that has become common in the trail shoe market.  It is very balanced with full foot contact.  I have a lot of trail training and racing coming this Spring and Summer and this could become my go to shoe.

For my second shoe I switched gears big time from trail minimal to road premium cushioning.  A new company to the FootZone, the Swiss designed, ON Cloud Surfer.  We carrying three shoes from this company and they all fit great and look awesome!  I have been running in the Cloud Racer which is a light weight trainer/racer but I wanted to give their super cush Surfer a shot and see how it stacks up against standby’s like the Brooks Glycerin and Asics Nimbus.  In a word, it does.  ON gets their cushion from their Cloud, small open spaces in the rubber outsole that compress and flex as you run.  Just like it’s name the shoe feels like a cloud under foot.  It is super cushioned and it transitions great, whether you forefoot strike or heel strike this shoe takes up the shock and keeps you moving.   Check out the video on their website that compares shock to the lower leg between a traditional EVA cushioned shoe.  An added bonus is the great job ON did with colors and design on the uppers. They look as good as they feel.  Come in a try one of these ON and see what you think.

My last shoe was the Adidas Glide Boost.  Since Adidas released their Boost foam last year we have had many customers looking for this mythical foam that practically runs for you according to something I read from someone on Twitter.  We got the Adios Boost a couple months ago and were very impressed, it is as “boingy” as people say.  As boingy as the Adios is, the Glide is boingier.  I was really happy with how much better this Glide fit than the past Glide’s with traditional foam.  Adidas continues to refine their fits and these latest shoes show some of that work.  The Boost foam gives you great cushion but is still really responsive.  You could put a lot of miles in this shoe in couch like comfort.  Adidas has also improved their color combos and the shoes look really nice. We also just got the Energy Boost in which will be the boingiest shoe in the bunch. 

There are a lot of new offerings arriving in the FootZone.  Come on in and try on some new kicks as we head into spring.