I went to Fleet Fleet the other day to buy some socks and body glide and tried a bunch of shoes without actually buying any for a change. First up was the New Balance 980 which I think Ted blogged about. They bill it as a minimalist maximalist shoe. Which make no real sense but I get what they are driving at. It weighs 8.8 ounces but has a ton of cushion in the sole and the 4 mm drop that I prefer. Not too mushy a feel, good support, but definitely a notch more structure and weight than Saucony Kinvaras which I have used for the past couple of years. I would consider this for a training show but not for racing. Only real objection was that the tow box was a little narrow for me.
Next up was the Saucony Virata zero drop true minimalist show. This is basically the completely flat slightly lighter version of the Kinvara. They had a pair in my size at half price which would have been $45. Nearly bought this one but figured I wasn't going to get around to really this out for another three weeks until after my next half on June 7th so tried it on the tread mill. I know the difference between a 4 mm drop and a flat shoe is trivial but it felt weird even if entirely in my head.
Finally took the Kinvara 5 out for a spin on the store tread mill. The odd number models of the Kinvara have always given me trouble but this one looked good. They kept the basic design the same as the 4 and replaced some of the sides with mesh instead of regular material and plastic saving a little weight and making a little more breathable. Felt the same as the pair of 4s I wore into the store so put it on my birthday list with my in-laws.
Two days later I was on the massage therapist hoping for some relief for my super tight calves with a new massage guy who is also a running coach. We had a nice talk and he beat the carp out of me for a solid hour leaving me actually bruised in a few spots. This is the first time I ever needed an off day following a massage. I am sure he did some good but I got the sense that he wasn't really listening and had kind of one speed for all comers.
2 days later I did a slow 10 miler as I enter a 2 week taper for the spring 13.1. This is my second half of the year after the Polar half in January. Last September did a 2:03 half and then was laid low by kidney stones. The Polar half was just an endurance contest so June 7th is my first real race of the year and the launching pad for my farewell Chicago marathon this October. In the event of disaster will consider running 5-6 halves as an alternative to continuing to beat myself trying to get to the starting line of a full marathon.
Hoping for a not hot early June run on a great course that starts at the South Shore Cultural Center a few blocks from where my grandparents used to live on the south side and heading through Jackson Park, Hyde Park and north on the Outer Drive to 35th street and back.