My Running Shoe Evolution (review)

Pre warning to all Sneaker Heads… All these shoes are in use, so they aren’t in perfect condition ;).

From Left to Right: Nike Free Flyknit 4.0, Nike Free Hyperfeel, Nike Zoom Terra Kiger, Nike Zoom Wildhorse x2, Nike Flyknit One & Nike Free 5.0

From Left to Right: Nike Free Flyknit 4.0, Nike Free Hyperfeel, Nike Zoom Terra Kiger, Nike Zoom Wildhorse x2, Nike Flyknit One & Nike Free 5.0

I have been running now for little over a year but all these shoes have been my companions through that time. I wanted to do a post of these friends of mine and how I found the ones that work with my feet best. So this is a kind of review too.

NIKE FREE 5.0

The super Β bright orange pinkish shoes! Before I started running these were more of a everyday shoes, but I have to say that I was really happy to have them when I started. They were my best friends for more than half a year of my running journey. I ran my first ever 10K in these!

I really like that they gave me a bit of support but basically let my feet and legs do the work. Back when these started to feel like they have given everything, I started looking for the next to wear. At the time I really didn’t like the feel of Frees, the upper felt somehow loose comparing to these. But I have to admit that I also thought that I need more support, that’s pretty much how you are instructed and I believed it, so I started lusting over the new Flyknit Ones.

NIKE FLYKNIT ONE

So, my parents sponsored these new sneakers for me. I was waiting them like the new moon. I ran my first long runs in them, those runs that you remember forever, also my first half marathon(part of my personal project, not a “official” race but more than important to me).

I always felt that they are little loose, and maybe too soft for me, but I think I just wanted them to be perfect so I used them and didn’t think more about it. Now, they are just way too soft and my feet just get all hurty and feel super tired after only walking in them. But I also feel that they were good transition and without them I wouldn’t learn what would be good for me.

NIKE ZOOM WILDHORSE x2

These are one of my all time favorite shoes! They are trail running shoes but I liked to run pretty much whatever with them. I even did my longest run yet in them (28,8km), which was mixture of everything. I loved them so much that I used them all the time, every where.

End of last year I spend a month and a half in Finland and got to test them on snow, ice, and terrain that we don’t have here in Hannover. I can happily recommend them, on pretty much any terrain. The upper is sturdy and keeps its form really well, even when wet. The sole is grippy on pretty much all surfaces except on ice, tried and fell on my ass awesomely! πŸ™‚I really like that they have pretty loose toebox but they still feel snuggly. They feel nicely supported from the arch area but not too controlling. In the beginning they can feel like you are standing more on your heel, because the heel drop is only 4mm, which means that your heel doesn’t have that much under it, so it’s closer to a natural position of your feet. Some say that their calves got some pain after the first runs, I didn’t really have any of that. I have these in two sizes, they run quite small, so my, now old, size was little small on long runs. After realizing, thanks to these, I started using half a size bigger in all my shoes. I really like these and would recommend them to anyone who likes to have a shoe to run more rugged terrain and go to more minimal direction.

NIKE ZOOM KIGER

These are the more minimal shoe from Nike for trail running. In the beginning I didn’t like these at all, just no. They took quite long for me to actually start really liking them. Now I really like to run in them and use them when walking too.

The upper is looser than on the Wildhorse and I think that bothered me in the beginning, also they don’t have this traditional heelcup which made me feel that my heel moves too much, but now I really like that the shoe doesn’t control the natural moves of my feet while running. They have pretty identical sole to Wildhorse, except that it’s not “so” supported, so the biggest difference is in the upper. They are more minimal than the Wildhorse so, if you want to have that then this might be your shoe.These two models are more what my feet work well in and at the same time, end of last year, I started studying more and more about how our feet and legs work. I also got injured from too much running too soon and when I was injured I wanted to educate myself, to be able to understand what’s going on in me when I’m running. And be able to train without getting injured again.

All that I learned opened my eyes a lot about how we are instructed to wear while running or in general on our feet. Because of my previous injuries, I have been able to get my whole body little lopsided so I needed and still need to get myself “straight” and felt that if my natural way of moving is controlled I’m doing more harm than good to the process of getting better. And since I started getting deeper in to my learning process, I realized that I should give my feet a rest and let them figure out their natural way to do things.

The main problems were really bad shin splints and plantar fasciitis on my right foot. Usually you treat them with rest and more support, I tried, that made it worse. I also learned that only resting is not the best option. It makes sense now, but I didn’t know that if I only rest, all the work my muscles have done, starts slowly going back to zero and then when I do start doing something again, they aren’t as strong and able to take what I’m asking from them. So the injury actually never really gets better and you just get frustrated and feel like what the heck am I suppose to do, I am doing all that I have been taught. So, what I needed and wanted was a new mindset, new ways of operating my body and less of that supportsupportsupport thing.

Our bodies have all the support we need, we just have to let them do the work they are made for. To my huge luck, I got the most amazing friend and I got the chance to try out these next two models, which ended up making my injuries disappear and get me back on my running feet :). Obviously, I didn’t get better only by the shoes, there was other work too ;). And run that Half Marathon in Berlin, that I had waited for so long! Now these two share the number one spot on my feet and in my heart.

NIKE FREE HYPERFEEL

Not your average everyday running shoe or that’s what I thought before. Before I tested this one, I heard so many different things, some said that they can’t run in these, some used them only to run recovery runs and some used them all the time. In the beginning I didn’t run in them, the Half was so close that I didn’t want to take any risks.

For me, the first thing I noticed only when walking, is that your feet and legs really start to work. There’s nothing that keeps them working like they should. That can make your calves feel tender, it did. So, my first tip is to start really slow with these, maybe just by walking and then gradually starting to run short distances. This, if your feet are used to supported shoes. It’s pretty much the number one rule when changing from supported to minimal shoes, slow and easy start.I think that’s the reason why some don’t like these at all, they start too fast and get injured because their legs aren’t used to using those muscles before. There’s not the support naturally and your body needs the supportive muscles to be able to keep the injuries away. One thing that really bother me these days is that after I realized how much all of our shoes these days restrict the natural way of moving, it makes you think what you wear.

In the beginning I also thought that these look ridiculous, but once I started wearing them and realized how great they are, I started liking how they look too :). The upper is a flyknit and it feels like a sock. I don’t use socks with these if I really don’t have to. And the great thing is that because they don’t have traditional sole, so I can just take the “sole” out after my run and wash it and that’s it.

Sole and the light support.

Insole and the light support.

I’ve heard and read a lot about how your gait changes after you start running in minimal shoes, not sure how much mine has changed yet, but I feel that my legs are stronger and I’m less on my heels. I tried running barefeet on grass and noticed that I don’t even put my heel down, so there has to be some truth to it.The actual of these shoes is like a waffle, it has these small nobs and they grip well on slippery terrain and also make it easy to run on any kind of roads. I really like to run in these, because I feel that my legs feel better and stronger. I love that I really feel the terrain under my feet. They give me just enough cover while letting me feet do the work.Only bad thing… and this is with almost all girl size sneakers, way too long laces, so I got shorter ones!! πŸ™‚

NIKE FREE FLYKNIT 4.0

And then to the others on the number one spot :). Just a month before my Half when I was able to run again, I got these at the same time as the Hyperfeels. I wanted to try if I could run the race in these and from the first run, I knew all is going to be good :). My feet had found a new friend.Like I said before, I have these and Hyperfeels on the number one spot, I run in both. They work in a similar way but it’s good to have variety, so your feet won’t get too “comfortable” and will still work.

The upper on these is also a Flyknit, it’s made from one piece so there’s nothing extra which I really like. It’s the same as in Hyperfeels. I have had some problems with my old shoes with seams really bothering and even making cuts. With these there’s no problem about that. These feel like a sock too, they let your feet really move and there’s enough space for your toes, no squishy feeling. The tongue is attached to the shoe in a way that it doesn’t travel anywhere and doesn’t bother, as it sometimes can do.Β Like in Hyperfeels and Kigers, these have the Flywire which really helps the shoe feel like it’s made for your feet.

That yellow doesn’t come with the shoes… It’s some plant that we have here and doesn’t come off in the wash :).

The sole is little different from the old Frees, I feel that it gives more “room” for your feet to move even more natural. Nothing extra which makes them really light and you don’t even think that you have anything on your feet. That’s how I feel, and hope that others find them like that too.

For me, I like to run in these if I know that I will run mostly on asphalt and then with Hyperfeels if I know that there’s little all on my run. I have also used both of them while doing strength training and they work really well. Any kind of balance workout, you really feel the difference with these and old training shoes. With these you can’t cheat because there’s nothing holding you and supporting which I like.All in all I would recommend both of these minimal shoes to anyone who is looking to go to that direction or is already wearing minimal shoes. I have found that they are the ones that keeps me healthy and helps me getting myself stronger.

And, as you can see here, all of my shoes are Nike. I am a Nike head but I wear them because they work so well with my feet, if they would be terrible I wouldn’t wear them.

I’m not a pro in reviewing shoes, but these are my thoughts on how these shoes have been there for me and how they work with my feet. If there’s any questions, I am more than happy to help and answer anything I can.

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Marathon Fever

It has hit me hard… Marathon fever!

As some of you know, I have my first full Marathon this September in Berlin. Last week I finally realized that it’s happening and I probably should start thinking about the training plan… Somehow I thought in my pretty head that I still have loads of time, ended up being not so much. My training starts next month :). Excited and scared at the same time!!

To be honest, I kind of lost my motivation to run or do anything active after Berlin, no idea why. Maybe it was so overwhelming that it was too much and I needed a break. Also some personal stuff took my interest in anything for little while, but I feel that I’m getting back on my groove and happiness.

Yesterday was the day of Boston Marathon. It was the first marathon I have ever watched and it was so amazing and super emotional. I knew that I cry easy but I didn’t know that I would get that emotional just watching people on the start line waiting to go. It made me think about my own full in Berlin and also made me laugh a little because I thought that I probably need some extra hydration because of all the tears :D.

And because I feel that I can do anything, I entered for the London Marathon 2015 ballot this morning! Fingers crossed!

Also, I have dreams of running Copenhagen half and Amsterdam half this year too. This girl has dreams for days!!

I’m also searching a charity for depression that I could raise money for, because I really want to give back something that I have got in my past and still in my everyday life.

Back to my future training… I chose to use training plan from Hal Higdon. I didn’t have any clue which training plan is good, so I got some help from a friend who’s run a marathon and now I am covered. I chose the Novice 2 plan, not too much so there might be space for me to do more if I feel like it, but let’s go slow and smart on this one. I will keep you posted with how it all goes.

Here’s a link to Hal Higdons site

http://www.halhigdon.com/

Btw… The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a great movie, and the soundtrack is perfect for long and steady runs! πŸ™‚

So. I did it. Me. No one else. Me!

That song is to my Old Self! I’m not you anymore, I’m Me! πŸ™‚

This project and more this month has done more to me than I never hoped for! The person that I was 31 days ago is strange to me now. I’m not cured from something, but I’m changed for the better, that’s for sure!

Before this month and during still, I doubt myself in every moment that I could. I never wanted to say to myself anything good, or if someone else said it I didn’t take it anyway, I was like a teflon pan. Nothing good sticked. I didn’t love myself, didn’t see that much good in myself, and was never proud of myself, trust nononono, so much insecurities and oh dear, what else, this list could just go on and on… What running has given to me is something I can’t even put to words in whole. It made me fall in love with myself and believe in myself. I know I can do what I put my mind to, pretty awesome!

This song is to remind me about who I am now. I was listening to it when I was walking with my dog this evening and it hit so hard, that I started crying of happiness :).

“When you’re out there doing what you’re doing
Are you just getting by?
Tell me are you just getting by by by
Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try try try”

I love those words from that song. The way they hit me about that part of just getting by, wow. And this is the first time in my life that I have actually get up so many times and just tried again and again and again. It took me almost 30 years to do that to myself, but thank god I did!

Yesterday I wrote that I have a goal of 16,1km for today, but already yesterday I knew that I want to try to run my first Half Marathon. I knew that I had to try, and I needed to try because I knew that I can do it and I really believed in that. And I wasn’t wrong :D!

Last night I was nervous when I went to bed… I had to do all kind of calming practices to get some sleep, and when I finally got then I was woken up at 4 in the morning by some real sharp guys who were yelling and kicking something and just making insane amounts of noise. And not only for a little while, they really got into it. So then this morning when I was supposed to wake up to meet my friend for a walk, I felt like shit. I had to cancel and she understood that this is so important to me that I want to sleep more and do my thing! But I didn’t sleep more, nothing happened, so I left out the door with my dog and thought that it’s better to walk it out and try maybe later again. After our walk my stomach was feeling so bad and I was worried if I could run at all. After some serious tea drinking and slow eating it started to feel better but I knew that I don’t want to wait until evening to go for my run. But I also knew that I have to take it easy because I was just feeling really bad. So I made myself to wait, some calm warm up moves and hydration. I could feel how fast my hart was beating through all of this. I was so nervous. I was thinking that this is probably how it feels before a race…

Then I changed my clothes and left, before that I went to the toilet probably around 6 times to pee haha. I was so positive about everything when I was running, I was just going and enjoying. Slow and steady. After few km I noticed that I’m stressing about the route and if I get the km that I need for my 21,1km. Step after step I calmed down and just said to myself that keep going you got this! And I did. It’s amazing how good you can feel when you do something you love.

And when you’re just doing what you love, the km just pick up :). I had this trick what I learned from Kara Gouchers book, that count the km down when you go, not up. It works like a charm! Just think how little you have left and you don’t even realize how much you have run. You also see the world totally different, you remember to enjoy. I saw swans with their tiny babys and cows with calves too, how amazing is that!

I was so happy when I was running that I was saying Hi to everyone and especially to other runners, and I love how they support you with a reply. But the best thing is that they have no idea where you’re coming from or how far or how much you are running, the smiles and joy is there anyway. You see so many different people running. I think the best feeling came out of these old old men who were running either together with a friend or alone and they really smiled so happy and you saw how much they enjoyed running :). I want to be like that when I’m old!

When you are running you think about things, random things that just pop into your mind and I love that. I feel so good after running. These days I can feel it in my body if I haven’t run in couple of days or sometimes even after a day. I like that. That my body and mind have something that they need so much that they make me notice it. When I started running today, I was listening one of my favorite songs, Ben Howard: Keep Your Head Up. And he sings in it “keep your head up, keep your heart strong”. I absolutely love that! It’s perfect in so many ways for me! That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do in this life! No more hiding, being scared or some other bullshit!

I think I could go on forever but my legs are telling me that they need some proper stretching and my eyes say that I need sleep :). I will definitely write more about what I have been thinking today and in total after this month later. But I will now listen to my extremely smart body and say good night!!

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12/31

Today was just a good day! Simple as that.

When I woke up I thought that I’ll take it super easy and chill, but after breakfast I felt like running. And that’s what I did :)!
I was checking my Nike Running App and noticed that with 6km I would get my July km to 50km. So with 6km goal in my head I headed out of the door and damn it felt good!

Something HUGE has changed in me, I have started to believe in myself! This is the first time ever I can say that, I’m serious! I was running and I didn’t doubt myself, I knew that I can do it and that’s it. That simple.
In the beginning I noticed that I still had that fear of shorts and being embarrased of my legs moment, because I didn’t have my short undertights. But while I was running, I thought “I’m doing this, I don’t care if someone looks at me and thinks eeww,they are not running, I am!”.
And for me that was a milestone, huge one. It’s a step towards happier and more confident Me :).

This kind of moments are important to say the least, if you’ve been going through what I have in my life. I haven’t have moments like this ever, when I don’t push that change in me, rather it comes naturally.
I’ve always had this weird pressure of being happy, it’s probably part of being depressed. I still have that feeling sometimes, some days more than others. But I think today and after tuesdays LongRun, something klicked into a better direction. I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way! πŸ™‚
Maybe I’m in a place that I’m ready for this to happen. You can change anything if you’re not truly ready and I know that too well.
I’ve been in a therapy couple of times in my adultlife and it doesn’t work if you’re not ready. And both times for me were those moments that I was ready to let change in my life.
And after a super hard time, months of absolute misery and feeling more lost than ever, something awesome is happening!

I would never ever thought that the thing I hated for many years, is the thing that saves me!
When I was 13, I was training track and field. Mostly short distance running and sometimes hurdles. I always thought that I would be super good at it, I had dreams but the level of training broke both of my knees bad. I was still training but I couldn’t walk properly. I remember my coach always saying that “if there’s not blood, it’s not hurting” and “pain is weakness”. So I pushed and pushed!
And after I had my injuries and had to stop and go through long therapy training with my legs, I just hated the idea of running. It was supposed to be something nice and enjoyable as a teenager, something were you can grow and feel good about yourself, and it ended up being just mad!
And I never ran again before this January. So it took me 16 years to try it again. And I certainly didn’t think that I could be any good at distance running. I don’t still know if I’m good at it, but I do enjoy it and that’s what’s most important to me :). That’s why you should do something, because it gives something to you, makes you feel good about yourself!
I don’t have to be best, fastest, or whatever. I just do it because I purely enjoy it and it empowers me!

If something this simple can change you, you need to keep going and go through those shit moments and try to believe in yourself. And it’s not easy, I sure know it! It’s hard as a motherfucker! Most of the time in the beginning it just feels awefull, it’s not enjoyable at all, but after a while something starts to change. It gets easier, you can push yourself more, you don’t feel like a deadweight anymore, you start to carry yourself! You become proud of yourself! You start to like yourself and believe in yourself! Those are the moments why I keep going with this at the moment, those moments are more than all gold and diamonds and whatever together!

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BOOMBOOMBOOM!!! πŸ˜€

I did today something that I have never done before, never thought I could do, something that changed me!

I had emotionally hard day, I’m good at those or making myself go too much in my head and loose the focus. I felt like I’m a burden to my boyfriend and what’s hes been going through with me and my depression and not finding my happy. It’s hard to hear and know that you’re not the happy one that someone saw in you in the beginning. Of course I want to be that person again, and firstly for me. I want to be happy!! I have so many many awesome good things in my life, and I don’t know if I know how to appreciate them enough. I don’t think so.

Today was my run day, and already in the morning I knew that I wanted to do a longer run than I had after I started my project. I didn’t know that I would do what I did… I even got my dog to a over night care so I could do this without feeling guilty.

So later tonight I got myself out the door to a route that I have never run before, I wanted to find something new and feel the run differently. And that’s exactly what happened! πŸ™‚

I just ran, past fields, past ponds, had no idea where I was but wanted to get lost, past places I never heard before and in the end past the city line. I felt that I can just go, without thinking even once that I want to quit! I’ve never had that kind of feeling before, I felt new! I just wanted to go further and see new places and get inspired and feel what I had inside at that moment. Pure happiness!!

I probably would have run further but realized that the sun was setting and here it’s completely different than back in Finland in the evening, it’s pitch black! So I turned around and was running into a beautiful sunset, not many things in this life are better than that :).

Somehow I didn’t push myself like crazy, I just enjoyed running. I felt totally different kind of happiness with running, something that I have been searching for. I guess this is the feeling when people say that they have “runners high”. This has to be that! πŸ™‚

When I got home and saw how much I have done, I didn’t believe it. I didn’t understand that I did something like that, ME! I’ve never done anything like this in my whole life, never! I finally crushed fears and doubts about myself. I finally really feel proud of myself and really believe it! I know now that I can do what ever I decide, I don’t have to stay behind my own shadow anymore!

Now my tiny whisper dream of running a marathon is real. It’s not only a dream, it’s a goal that I will do! I’m just so proud of myself! πŸ™‚

In the end of my run this song came and it gave me so much push and I had my favorite person in my mind!❀

Now some serious stretching and massive sleep! πŸ˜€

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