This is a transition week in my annual training program, which means I can run if I want, but only short easy runs. I have chosen not to run, but bike to work to maintain my fitness. My left Achilles is still sore to the touch, and I want to begin the fall training cycle with healthy legs. On Friday, I will perform a tempo time trial (TTT): a fifteen minute warm up followed by a one mile interval keeping my heart rate between 142 - 144. I have performed the TTT three times this year, and have brought my time from about 8:22 down to 8:11. It is a good measure of how my cardio fitness is responding to training. I hope to break 8 minutes by the end of the year.
Hoka One One Stinson Evo
Restlessness and anxiety crop up for me every time I take a break from training, be it because of injury or a transition. Usually, I partake in some retail therapy and invest in some new gear, and this go around is no different. I stopped in the Sacramento Fleet Feet store to try on the Hoka One One trail shoe last weekend, and I was really surprised at how comfortable they were! I'm looking for a cushioned trail shoe with minimal drop for the Bizz Johnson 50K in October, and nothing has come close to the feel of these super cushioned shoes. The mid-sole is so thick, no rock plate is necessary; the sole absorbs all of the uneven surfaces on the trail. I'd bet a princess couldn't feel a pea in them!
Saucony Peregrine 2
I did not acquire the Hokas, but opted for the Saucony Peregrine 2, which I thought could be a better all around trail shoe. The Peregrine 2 has the same slipper-like feel of the NB M110, but feels a little beefier with more cushion. I also picked up a massage tool called "Trigger Point", which is comprised of a dumbbell-shaped roller about calf width, and a ball for pressure point work. Working with these for ten minutes, twice a day, has my calf and Achilles feeling MUCH better. I think daily sessions with the Trigger Point and monthly sports massage will be part of a successful marathon training program this fall. The Sauconys, however, will not be staying. They do offer more cushion than my New Balance M110's and Mizuno Wave Ascends, but not much. Looking forward to the American River 50 Mile, I am leaning towards the Hokas. So, I plan to exchange them before the Kellerman 10K, which has a steep, paved downhill section which will be a good test of the "time to fly" Hoka motto.