Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Decisions of the Heart (Subtitle: Choosing a Shoe)

Workout: 9 miles with 3 x 2 miles (9:30 with 800m rest), Pace Gloves

Dear Interblog Friends,

I'd like to tell you a story about an idiot. No names, because she's an idiot and idiots are people, too.

Okay, fine, that idiot's me. But you knew that already.

For the past week, I've been walking Bailey by this gross compression sleeve on the side of the road, basking in my superiority (because not abandoning a lone compression sleeve on the side of the road makes you superior) and tsk-tsking at it every time I walk by. Why haven't I picked it up? Because it's covered in filth! And because I'm a terrible human being.

On Sunday, I did a massive load of laundry and as I was hanging up all my running stuff to dry, I saw a compression sleeve (not to be confused with the compression socks I wear daily). I couldn't find the other. What?! You know exactly where this is going, but it didn't dawn on me until much, much later. I searched all over, couldn't find it, and concluded that it would be found when it wanted to be found.

Cut to this morning. 

Scene: Jeano walks Bailey down the street. She espies that damned compression sleeve in the distance. Suddenly, she's filled with a sense of dread. Bailey is oblivious, as usual.

If she weren't too dumb to notice the compression sleeve, she no doubt would have tried to eat it.

Jeano: 'That's a compression sleeve! I'm missing a compression sleeve! That's the same brand, size, and leg that I'm missing!'

She is a simpleton so this is about as complex as her thought process gets.

End Scene.

I had noticed that this rogue compression sleeve was identical to my own a few days earlier, but because I'm a smug asshole, I knew there was no way it was mine. Except it totally was.

Now the question remains: why is my compression sleeve in a ditch a quarter mile from my house? One of life's great mysteries. I still haven't picked it up. See above re: being a terrible person.

Anyway, I like to practice my nonfiction writing skillz every once in a blue moon, so there you have it. I call it "A Dumb Girl's Life."


Great news: my run didn't kill me today! In fact, it went great! I'm thrilled. I felt like poo after the last strength run, but not only did I kill it today, but my legs feel fresher than they have at any time over the past week (and today was my sixth consecutive day of running!). I'm riding a major running high right now.

I had a Garmin fail the first mile so had to restart the workout. One of my biggest pet peeves: not having an entire workout recorded on my Garmin.


My heart is being pulled in two different directions. In one corner, we've got the fancy Connects full of bullshit "technology" like "pods," "navbands," "split toes," and "run like you're barefoot" when it isn't even remotely similar. However, they're cushiony and light. In the other corner, we've got my old standby, Merrell Pace Gloves. I bought the Connects intending to wear them for my marathon, but now I'm not so sure. Let's look at the pros and cons of each:

Merrell Pace Gloves

  • I love them
  • They are cute
  • I feel like Usain Bolt when I wear them
  • When I run quickly, my shins feel spectacular
  • When my body is achy, I often wear these to "reset" things because everything typically feels all better the following day.
  • My gait feels very smooth and natural (in a "I don't have to think about it" kinda way, not in an "omg this is just like running barefoot!!!!!!" kinda way)
  • So incredibly light
  • I love them
  • I worry for the skin on the bottom of my feet over the course of a marathon. My feet usually feel great up until about 15 miles, and then my skin starts hurting. That sounds totally bizarre, but think of it this way: what would your hand feel like if you slapped it against cement for multiple hours? Exactly.
  • When I run slowly, my shins can feel less spectacular (although it's hard to predict when they'll feel great and when they won't).



  • I can run farther without my skin hurting

  • I STILL feel awkward running in these shoes. It might be because they're taller than my Pace Gloves, but I sometimes feel more like I'm shuffling than running when I wear these.
  • Although I usually can't feel it, the arch support can become annoying on longer runs.

I had been wearing my Pace Gloves for shorter, easier runs and my Connects for longer, faster runs, but more recently I've changed things up a bit and have been very happy with the results. I think I may do a complete switch for a bit to see how it feels. Running fast today in my Pace Gloves felt infinitely better than running fast in my Connects, which really surprised me. I'm hoping to nail down my marathon shoe in the next few weeks so I can make sure to do all my remaining long runs in them. In all likelihood I'll chose the Connects, but the Pace Gloves have really surged these past few weeks.

[DISCLAIMER AND ALL THAT: I've been running in "minimalist shoes" (largely these Pace Gloves and before them, the always classy Vibrams) for over two years now. It took me ages and ages to build up my mileage safely and because of that, I am able to comfortably run longer distances in Pace Gloves. I would not suggest these shoes for most people, largely because I know most people will go out and run a marathon in them straight out of the box. That is dumb. That said, I also love using my Pace Gloves for walking and going about my day so would absolutely recommend them for that. I always have people asking me where my "cute rock climbing shoes" are from.]

  • Do you run in multiple pairs of shoes? How do you choose which to race in?


  1. That "story" about "that girl" is hilarious. I'm REALLY curious as to how it got there. I'd rule out robbery because no one steals compression sleeves and no one definitely steals just one of them (unless they're a pirate with one leg. But a pirate doesn't run, I don't think). This is indeed a mystery. Get CSI on this or something. I'm sure there's a ton of forensics on the sleeve! ;-)

    1. Yeah, I dunno, I feel like Bailey (the dog) has something to do with it. But pirate is definitely my second guess! I think this calls for a new CSI show (CSI: Anchorage. It's got a nice ring to it!).

  2. You need to go get that compression sleeve! Wash it a few times and you are good to go.

    So thank you for the 3 non joggers suggestion. It sounds amazing BUT itunes is telling me it is not accessible in the US?!?!?! What? Come one itunes!

    1. Oh, I'll get it. I'm just licking my (pride) wounds. Plus, I need to be stealth about picking it up-no one can know it's mine!

      I'll write this on your blog so you're sure to see it, but I forgot to mention a very important thing about 3NJ: they very recently decided to change their show to a non-running-related show (lame!) so now it's called "The Hear Now Show." They've only come out with one or two episodes and I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet, so I can't say whether it's good or not. I wonder, though, if they made the 3NJ episodes unavailable now that they've got a new show? You should check out their website to see if you can stream it. It's worth a listen!

  3. Do you know that sometimes your blog goes weirdo and won't show/allow me to comment? Not sure why, and I vaguely recall that we've discussed this before, but...anyway. Just so you know, I was super-dedicated and reloaded this page and new-tabbed it, and re-clicked on the post, etc. etc - it was exhausting (FYI), but I'm here. [No, that's not last night's yoga & spin talking, ALL THAT CLICKING totally tired me out.] AHEM. ANYWAY, the takeaway message is: I (platonically) love you, Jeano, and will tolerate various kinds of shenanigans just to read and comment on your hilarity.

    Glad you *ahem* SHE located that calf sleeve. Those suckers are expensive. But I'm totally curious about how it got there in the first place...

    I'd go with the Pace Gloves. Maybe try them on your 16 miler? Honestly, it just sounds like there are a lot of things about the Connects that aren't floating your boat, and you're trying to love them just because you're nervous about the Gloves. Have you tried (oh, how dare she?!?!) a really, really SUPER THIN sock in the Gloves? (Like an Injinji, maybe?) Perhaps just a tad bit of...something...between your foot and the shoe would decrease the smacking feeling? I know, I know...it's just a thought. And Injinjis are TOE SOCKS, so you could still feel (sort of) barefoot! OK, OK, I know. *ducks*

    1. UGHUGHUGHUGHUGH. Yeah, even I can't access the comments at times, which is a shame because I'm a fan of the template. You've convinced me that I need to change it, and probably in five minutes. Unfortunately, I have no design talent so it will be extremely ugly!!!!! Get ready.

      I'm planning to try the Pace Gloves this weekend! And I'm not against socks, not at all. It's not the "barefoot" feeling I'm after; I just really like how running in the Pace Gloves feel. But unfortunately, the Pace Gloves are pretty tight so my (thin) compression socks are the only thing I can fit in there. I've tried running with another pair of thin socks on over them before, but it squeezes everything too much. I'm going to see how my 16-miler goes in them, and if it goes okay I think I'll just suck it up and wear them for 26. Sure, my feet skin (that sounds so gross) will be really sore at the end of the race, but I'm thinking everything else will hurt so much I won't notice it so much.

  4. A possible scenario: maybe Bailey was trying to play fetch with you for once, so she took your compression sleeve and hid it down the road. I know, I'm Sherlock Holmes. I'm glad your legs are feeling good after all of your crazy Hansons running. Good luck choosing which shoes to wear for your marathon. I totally agree that it's stupid to jump into minimalist running, but some people do it anyway. I do have multiple pairs of shoes that I rotate. I generally buy a new pair before a marathon and try to get 25-50 miles on them, then wear those for the race.