Category Archives: running gear

New Kicks, Same Game: Mizuno Wave Rider 18s (Review)

This  post is part of a sponsored campaign with Mizuno on behalf of Fitfluential. Opinions are my own.

MIzuno WaveRider18 Run

Over the past few weeks you may have seen a new kid on the blocks, making waves in the Bay. The Mizuno WaveRider 18 has arrived, with a sleek new design, just enough support and the influence of “Hado” at its back.

Hado –
intrinsic vibrational life force energy
that promotes powerful transformations.

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As of last fall I’ve been a Mizuno-runner, through and through. I was converted by the 17’s, which have now run two marathons with me, blaze the trails with my Hayates, and save the Sayonaras for short races and/or Wednesdays…when we wear pink.

Now, my little Mizuno family has grown by two feet:  Mizuno WaveRider18_group1

Mizuno circle_waverider 18

They didn’t arrive in time for marathon adjustments, so I’ve used them in-between long runs to switch it up. We’re still getting to know this little black sheep, but the kicks have made a few first impressions:

- Lightweight – 7.8 oz, to be exact.

- Neutral – which is the only way I take my shoes.

- Balance – of fit and performance. They’re trained and designed to take the energy of your run and give you a smooth, sleek ride.

- Familiarity – the same, trusted Mizuno-patented Wave Technology that responds to your stride and provides support for your run. They’re also very wide-foot-friendly! WF gals know what I’m talkin ‘bout.

One thing to keep in mind: they feel a little tighter in the heel, and definitely take a run or two until they’re warmed up and ready to go. As with any new shoe, give them  an intro phase and take it easy! Throw in a few strides on your second or third run and let the responsive technology kick in.

Mizuno WaveRider18 Black

If you’re looking for a new yin to your foot’s yang, give the Wave line a try. I’ve yet to consider any Mizuno shoe a bad fit.

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Blazing New Trails: Running the Bay Trails with Mizuno

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Mizuno & Fitfluential. #blazenewtrails

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There’s a pedestrian trail down by the water; it takes you right along the Bay in either direction, providing blissfully flat terrain, no stop lights and a lot of people who nod, wave and say hello. It requires no thinking, no planning, and no fear that a hill may pop up outta nowhere!

Then, in our ‘backyard’, there is this:

2014-07-15 13.58.25

Trails, galore!

Trails that will take you up hills and around parks and to the a crest that spoils you with a view. I mean, checks it…

2014-07-15 14.16.54-1

The way my HR currently responds to said hills and trails makes them an enemy to most training runs, but that’s just fine. They give me an excuse to take an afternoon break, lace up my new Mizuno Hayates, and go explore – blaze new trails around our new digs.

2014-07-15 14.20.31  2014-07-17 08.25.01 IMG_0552

I’ve hesitated to invest in ‘real’ trail-running shoes, despite my recent forays into this aspect of the sport (exhibits A, B & C). They’re usually chunky, stiff, heavy, and not appropriate for the everyday-walk. I prefer versatile footwear. And now I know, I prefer Mizuno’s approach.

They took the road-runner into account with their new line of trail-running shoes. Specifically, these shoes boast a light weight (7.2 oz), a “low, light and highly adaptable” design that can take you right from trail, to road, and back.  I need just that! A shoe that goes from your front door to the summit is a friend of mine.

This shoe stays true to the Mizuno Wave, providing a stable shoe and smooth transitions. Check out the grip, the look and the eagerness to GO:

2014-07-17 08.24.34  2014-07-17 08.25.10

2014-07-15 13.58.08

On the bottom you see the “X-lug” grip, which any who have slipped and slid all around dirt (or concrete, we’re not judging here) know to be crucial. Keep me on my feet! Last but not least, these are designed to make the trail-seeking-runner happy – the lightweight approach means you “feel the trail, not you feet!”. No stomp-stomping here; just speedy, soft-landing bliss.

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Their true test is coming up, with our first {10K} adventure in
California off-road racing!

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Wave to the NEW WaveRider17

The following post is sponsored by FitfFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

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Once again, I’m past the point where I’ve exhausted my current pair of running shoes and their usual mileage quota. My feet are desperately looking up at me like, “C’mon, we go through this EVERY.TIME…”! They’ve put up with a lot over the past 4 months, between the miles, the trails and the hat-trick racing adventures!

When Mizuno introduced their soon-to-be-released Wave Rider 17 to FitFluential, I put my name in the hat to review and test them out! I love my Wave Sayonaras, and continuously put in an effort to break away from my tried-and-true Nike Pegasus (because I think it’s good to branch out with shoes, not because they’ve done me wrong).

Low and behold, the WaveRider (a favorite of my run-buddy, Kate) has spread its charm. I have two very happy feet, with this light neutral shoe!

I’d like to introduce you…

 

First time on the run with the WaveRider17, and first time making a video of the action!

If you’re not much of a video-watcher, here are a few snapshots of the purple pavement pounders:

12.4.13 002  12.4.13 003

12.4.13 005

This shoe has comfortably eased its way into my rotation and is about to tackle a few high-mileage months of marathon training (to begin in January)! I’m pumped to have them on-board.

Thanks, Mizuno!

You’ll find the WaveRider17 on shelves as of December 5th, so if the runner in your holiday gift circle is looking for a new neutral run-shoe-buddy, these are a good add to the list!

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RW Festival & Icon Fitness Finds

Backtracking: Our first day of the full-on RUN weekend in Bethlehem, PA.

Related posts: Day 1 (the RW Tour), 5 & Dime and the Half-marathon.

During our first full day of the RW Festival weekend, Miss L. Beachy booked our itinerary with the best kind of run-nerd activities. We were in the company of the Icon Fitness + Altra team, Bart Yasso, Summer Sanders, RW staff & of course each other (i.e. 20 run-loving bloggers!).

Things started bright n’ early with a shuttle to the Steel Stacks and a shake-out run with Bart along a similar route that the 5K would take us the next morning.  RWF_shakeout Steel Stacks
Quiet today, ready for the runners to come!

RWF_Shakeoutrun groupRWF_shakeout SusanRuns

Bart led us up to the Bethlehem library, which provides a most beautiful overlook of the self-proclaimed Christmas town.

Group Run_Friday_SM

Photo credit: StuftMama

Three miles was actually just the warm-up. Next on our activity agenda: RunningSkirt Olympics! And don’t think the boys skipped out. Check this video, for your daily dose of entertainment.

RWF_Runskirt olympics

During our post-run+Olympics breakfast, Golden Harper (Co-Founder / Brains)  & the Altra team got us prepped and ready for the Zero-Drop run clinic:

RWF_Altra Zero Drop shoesRWF_Altra clinic

Golden started his running career at a young age, helping out the ‘rents in their family-owned running shoe store while snatching up marathon PRs at the age of 12 (ahem, 2:45…no big deal). He walked us through some mid-foot strike exercises with and without shoes, reviewed proper posture, efficient ways to use your arms while running (hint: it’s not by swaying them dramatically across your body as you run. Noted.), and a trick for doing a posture-check when you get tired during a run or race (reach for the moon!).

I’d hang out with the Altra team any time, any day. They’re passionate about their shoes for any type of runner, and spread the love of RUN all day…

RWF_RUNNING IS

…which was obviously just fine by all of us.

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Now we’re all shaken out and warmed up, so we got in a good stretch with the Icon Fitness Lotus Yoga goods and resident expert trainer, Melanie.

RWF_Lotus Yoga
RWF_Lotus Yoga Bag goods

Top: 3-in-1 Massage Roll (perfect tool to have for a hat-trick race weekend!)
Left: Grip Block
Right: Xfinity Resistance Band (which has already joined me on a work-trip for in-room hotel workouts)

When we sat down to eat again, it was straight from the new Runner’s World Cookbook. And once again, our tastebuds were spoiled in the best way.

RWF_friday lunch

 On the menu: Caprese Farro Salad, Simple Green Salad (Dressings: Mustard & Cumin Vinaigrette, Nutty Olive Oil), Mushroom Tacos al Pastor (gluten-free), Spicy Fish Tacos with pineapple slaw and Banana Oat Energy Bars (dessert).

All straight from the RW Cookbook pages, and all simply delicious. We all went back for seconds (thirds?) of the banana oat bars. We did need plenty of energy, after all.

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Our next agenda item definitely topped my list of favorites for the whole weekend: Summer Sanders came to chat with us about her Olympic accomplishments, life as an athlete and now a mother and (speedy) runner, and just, you know, life. You can’t be in her presence without smiling, and you can’t listen to one of her stories without thinking you’d love to be her neighbor and/or running buddy. She ran all three races throughout the weekend, starting off with a family-affair 5K and finishing up with a fast half-marathon!

If you ever get a chance to meet her, jump on it. Until then, pick up the latest Runner’s World (November) and let her stories inspire you.

RWF_Summer Sanders RW COVER_Summer Sanders

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By this point it’s 3pm and we headed over to THE EXPO for a ProForm iFit treadmill demo and packet pick-up.

RWF_Expo Entrance

ProForm’s iFit treadmills were set-up and ready for testing, ooh-ing and awe-ing right you walked onto the Expo vendor area.

This is no ordinary treadmill…

RWF_ProForm Treadmill 1RWF_proform remoteRWF_Proform iFit

First of all, it has a remote that fits right on your finger, allowing you to change your speed while you run without doing the awkward reach/lean right into the front of the machine. You simply tap and go/slow. GENIUS.

Secondly, it takes you wherever you want to go! The screen on the front shows you anywhere from the Grand Canyon trail to the course of the Walt Disney World or Boston Marathon. The treadmill adjusts the incline to mimic where you choose to run, as the screen takes you for a virtual outdoor run. A friend of the treadmill I am not, but this thing? Well, this could convince me otherwise.

It syncs with tablets, smartphones and fitness trackers. They’ve also partnered with the Runner’s World training programs so you can pick your race distance, personal preferences and paces…and bam! Personalized program? All yours.

We were impressed.

iFIT group_RW 3

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We were also pretty overloaded with gear, shoes, yoga accessories, Larabars and race goods. It was a day full of all things running, and an amazing way to kick off the weekend!

THANK YOU to Icon Fitness – specifically Altra, Lotus Yoga and ProForm – and your energetic, knowledgeable and welcoming team of experts and run-lovers!

Full Disclosure: RW provided hotel and food accommodations and race registrations for the weekend. Icon Fitness provided Lotus Yoga accessories and Altra Zero-Drop shoes. All opinions are my own.

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Run Gear Recap: Back to {Polar} HR, Altras & Active Accessories

After briefly grieving the loss of my trusted training partner, G (aka Garmin 405), last summer, I unexpectedly fell into the technology-free running zone. After running with a GPS strapped to my wrist religiously for three years, it felt completely unnerving refreshing to run without stressing about stopping a watch right at the red light or hearing a beep every ~8 minutes (on a good day) or looking down every 10 seconds (on a bad day) to see the tenths of a mile tick so slowly by.

Fast-forward 12+ months and I’m so used to running watch/tech-free that it feels more normal than not to be completely clueless. I may check the clock before I head out and again when I get back, map out the distances so I know how far I went (at least according to the accuracy of MapMyRun) and get a time-check from Kate if she’s with me. It works. I haven’t lost speed or endurance – or at least not thanks to running watch-less – and I’ve probably gained a few notches of sanity.

All of that to say, when a Polar HR rep asked me if I’d like to try one of their new products, I paused. Do I want another GPS watch? Do I really want to battle with the HRM? Do I really care about the stats?

Sure, why not. We’ll see how it goes. No, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to have here n’ there.

Polar HRM_running

And just like that, the watch-shot is BACK.

Meet: Polar’s RC3 GPS.

The Heart-Rate monitor and I are feeling it out. I’ve worn it a few times, and used it to stay in a Zone (2?) for a long, slow-and-steady run two weeks ago. I’ve tested out the “Other activity” feature to see how these morning boot-camps are adding up. It’s an interesting data feed to keep up with!

I am a big fan of the recaps (read: data) the watch provides.  If you’re a stat-nerd (embrace it), this watch should be on your wish-list. My mind isn’t quite there yet, but even I can appreciate having the numbers at-hand should I decide to pick them apart. And when I’m ready to go for another marathon, half-marathon or sprinting PR, there’s no doubt in my mind that this training tool will work its wonders.

This particular watch made its race-day debut with none other than Tony Horton and my first 5K of the Fall season.

Polar HR_Tony Horton 5kPolar HR_Tony Horton 5k_watch

More to come!

(RW Festival, MCM 10K, Backyard Burn 10-miler – to name a few!)

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Speaking of that Runner’s World Festival…

As a member of their blogging team, I recently received a pair of Altra ZeroDrop Intuition’s to test out. It’s definitely been a year of new footwear!

Altra DropZero Intuition

These zero-drop shoes are flat, light and totally different than anything my feet have slipped into before. I’m breaking them in with my standing-desk at work, and taking them out for a running adventure soon! Any tips for a first-time minimalist tester? Happy to learn from the experienced – all ears!

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Speaking of running adventures….

Thanks to our new office location and a new car-less lifestyle, my plan-for-the-day skills have had to simplify everyday commuting. I often rely on my love for the DC bike-share, metro and/or bus system (and, of course the wonder that is Uber). But, our office also happens to be a perfect-evening-run 6 miles away from my ‘hood. And this running-commute is made possible thanks to lululemon pockets (all over crops, tights & running shorts alike) and this:

Active7

Active Accessories on-the-go pouch fits my phone, metro card (well, you know, just in case) and keys quite comfortably. It’s easy to hold onto and protects all of the above from sweat. Win, win!

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Full disclosure: the products above were sent to me free of charge. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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What’s on your run/bike/swim/walk must-have gear list this fall?

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