New Stuff

I know cliches about anything related to the word “new” are a part of every new year, but I truly have experienced some newness so far in 2012. First and foremost for me, I started a new job last week! I’m very excited and am really enjoying it. I have a lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can as quickly as possible. I really appreciate that my coworkers have been great to me and extremely welcoming, and they helped make my first week as smooth as possible. I can’t wait to get up to speed!

The other newness for me over the past week is much less important, but as a runnerd I’m still excited about it. I got a new pair of Brooks Green Silence to replace the pair I got last June that I should have retired many miles ago. I love the Green Silence – I originally got them for racing, but I quickly began using them for many of my training runs, too. I still have a pair of Brooks Launch that aren’t quite ready for retirement, so I use them occasionally for longer runs and runs on tricky terrain, but the Brooks Pure Flow have been my primary shoes since my first pair of Green Silence got worn out. I’ll start mixing in my new Green Silence for most of my short runs and speed work, as well as for medium and long runs on good terrain (or indoors). I’m also tentatively planning to wear Green Silence for the Bayshore Marathon in May, though it would probably be yet another pair because the pair I just got might be worn out by then if I wear them a lot during my training.

My new Brooks Green Silence.

I love the look, feel, and weight of these shoes.

I got in some good runs over the past week, including a couple of treadmill runs and a few outside runs. I enjoy the outside runs much more than I enjoy the treadmill runs, as I just can’t seem to get over my mental block of getting in any decent distance on the treadmill. But I’d rather suffer through a few miles on the treadmill a couple times a week than not log any miles at all! We’ve had great running weather so far this winter. I know it won’t last, so I’m trying to take advantage of it by running outside as often as I can before winter really kicks in. Weather and sidewalk conditions permitting, I’ll try to run outside with my trusty headlamp when I can. I recently drove to an area where I could do a decent-sized loop completely on sidewalks and ran about six miles before work. It was dark throughout the entire run, but it was also very peaceful and my headlamp worked well. I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to try it when the surfaces might not be totally dry, as icy spots can come up very quickly and randomly even when using a headlamp, but I think it might work well to do that as long as the conditions are good and it seems safe. My recent runs have gone well and I haven’t had any knee pain (knock on wood, fingers crossed, etc.).

A beautiful day for running.

It's rare to be able to run the trails in January.

I haven’t bumped my mileage up too much yet, but I’ve been able to steadily improve my pace over the last few miles of my last couple of runs. I hope to start increasing my mileage soon, and I plan to focus on building my endurance back up at slower and steadier paces before I worry about increasing my speed at longer distances. I’ll begin marathon training soon, so I’ll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to work on building my endurance and focusing on specific paces.

Questions:
Have you been able to run outside very much recently?

What’s your threshold for deciding when to run inside or not run at all (temperature, wind chill, rain, snow, ice, etc.)?

Are you running any races in January?

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8 Responses to New Stuff

  1. Ali Mc says:

    Hey Matt!

    first off, congrats on the new job :D that IS exciting. and on the new shoes too, they look awesome!

    I always love your trail pics.

    I have gotten some runs outside but most have been on the treadmill out of sheer convenience. This weather has been super nice though.

    I hate running on ice. I need shoe picks.

    and no races until March!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Ali – I really appreciate it! I’m glad you love the trail pics. I’m so glad there are several nice trails nearby…the hard part is remembering to take pics while I’m on the trails. :) We don’t have a treadmill at home, so I have to drive a little ways to run on one. That makes it even tougher to want to run on a treadmill, haha.

      My biggest concern running outside in the winter is safety with having to run in the dark and being unsure about footing. I don’t mind it as long as it’s dry and I can run on paths or sidewalks if it’s dark out. I’ve never used ice cleats…I’ll have to look into them. I don’t know what the adjustment is like running with things on the bottom of your shoes when you hit patches of clear pavement or ground though.

      I hope you can get in some great training this winter leading up to your race in March. :)

  2. Did you get the same color combo as before? You weren’t enticed by the new color schemes? :-) Blue/yellow, red/purple or green/black (opposite of yours)…or even the old red/yellow Ronald McDonald ones, hah.

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, the black/kelly green combo is the same one I had before. I do like the new color schemes, but I got a really good deal on that specific color combo. I kind of like the look of the royal blue/red ones, but I’d wear any of them. :) I think the original red/yellow ones were designed to coordinate with the colors of the Hansons-Brooks team, which is based close to where I live. Maybe I’ll get that color combo next. That would definitely get some attention at races, haha.

  3. Allison says:

    Yay for new shoes! And congrats on the new job! :) Happy New Year!!

  4. Becki says:

    Good to hear the knee seems to be holding up for you.

    I hate the treadmill, so I’ll run outside in (almost) anything. Really icy roads are a no-go, but that’s it. I’ve run in knee-deep powdery snow, but that was dumb, since I was doing high knees at like 15 minute mile pace. I’ve also run in -20 degrees F, and I’ve dealt with 40mph winds with 60 mph gusts…but I’m pretty sure those two at the same time would chase me inside haha. Been warm here lately though, so at this point, I’m spoiled enough that feel like 20 above would feel cold.

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Becki. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my knee continues to feel OK. I’ve had a few random pains in the area that I injured, but the pains have come at times when I haven’t even been doing anything. Luckily I haven’t had any pains during (or shortly after) running.

      I’m sure the high knees at 15-minute per mile pace in powdery snow was a fun workout, haha. My biggest concern when running outside in the winter is footing. I don’t mind running in cold temps and/or moderate winds (not 40 mph with 60 mph gusts though, wow), but I don’t want to slip and fall or twist anything. I’ve also found that the lack of lights and decent sidewalks in my neighborhood means I’ll have to drive to other locations (a local university, shopping center parking lots, etc.) so I can do an entire run with street lights or on sidewalks when I run in the dark before or after work. But the marathon is calling, and I’ll find ways to put in those miles outside this winter. :)

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