So yeah…speedwork. Not so much. Well, that’s not entirely true. Back in 2011 I was a running fiend. Anytime, anywhere, and when I saw a Living Social deal for a 10-workout punchcard for coached track workouts run by Max Multisport and I bought it and went once a week all summer long. It was an all-women group and although I never really felt like I fit in entirely (most of the participants were also part of the Max tri club or used the track workouts in addition to the Max training programs for half or full marathons so they all knew each other already) I did push myself at the workouts in a way I never would have if I was on my own and there’s no argument that I was as fast as I’ve ever been.
Last night’s speedwork session was supposed to be on the cinder surface track at Winnemac Park but due to a soccer game we got bumped and had to run on the asphalt path that bisects the park. The nice thing about track workouts is that the track surface is usually very forgiving – cinder, mulched rubber – and kind to the old joints and injuries. The asphalt was pretty painful. We did 5 ¼-mile repeats (faster/more advanced people did more) and by then end I had two issues: my calf was starting to hurt and I had blisters on each of my heels because I wore stupid socks. The coach was super-nice and encouraging while still managing to push us to run more and run fast. I’m not going to be able to do the workout next week – I have tickets to the Blackhawks game that night – but I wish I could go and give it a try on the track. I’ll have to wait until the 22nd to give it a go.
So….NEW SHOES! I was lucky enough to get a pair of pre-release Saucony Kinvara 4’s and they are sweet! I’ve worn Kinvaras in the past and I have to admit that these aren’t that much different – there’s some change in the placement of the ‘flex-film’ on the mesh upper (the stuff that keeps the shape of the shoe) and there’s a more cushioned heel insert and added reflectivity on the heel – but if you’ve worn them and loved them in the past like I have then you’ll be relieved that they didn’t monkey too much with a great shoe. I wore these for my (only) marathon and they held up great for a neutral/minimal shoe. The blisters I got were absolutely not the Kinvara’s fault – I wore a pair of super thin Lululemon running socks that slipped down into the shoe and allowed rubbing. Those socks will furthermore be relegated to casual gym workouts only. I’m looking forward to wearing these shoes for longer distances and conveniently I have my first double-digit run in a long while planned for this Saturday and I’m going to do it in the new Kinvara 4’s – just with better socks.