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™‚

Crew Love – Family Love – Pure Love

This video will show a part of the awesome Love that I know through my running friends, some of them run with Run Dem Crew, the crew this video is about. Get familiar with something that will bring tears to your eyes and want to start running too, if you don’t yet :).

I DO Not Run by Lina Caicedo

Berlin Half – My First Half

 

Where to begin… Honestly one of the best times of my life, if not the best. So overwhelming and awesome. Body and mind were not ready for all what was coming :).

I had been waiting for this race for more than half a year and obviously the anticipation was growing as I went on closer to the race. Meeting almost all of the people for the first time, even some of my running heroes. After my birthday long run, I wasn’t nervous about the race, I knew that I can do it and I trusted that. But all the people, wow! I was also nervous because I was a solodolo, I didn’t represent any crews or anything. To be honest my deepest fear was that I would be running the race alone… I know it sounds funny but I felt that. To my happiness and relief, we decided with a friend from Manchester to run it together. I knew some people before the event so I felt little calmer.

The weekend was full of pure happiness, laughter, dancing, new amazing people, old friends that I saw for the first time and finally a crew I can say is my family/home/mine.

Rich, Me, Dani and Chippy in the front, waiting for the race to start!

So the race! It was super hot, the weather was so amazing but just crazy hot! Thank god I took shorts with me, because otherwise I would have melted haha. I was running with my friends, Rich, Chippy and Dani. We started together and me and Rich took it all the way to the end together, hand in hand and all :). By the 2k it was so warm that first of us girls was ripping her shirt off, then the second and then I was having this serious inner battle of taking my shirt off, because my insecurity area is my belly… For good maybe 5-10 minutes I was battling and then said to myself that “stop that you look good!” and ripped my shirt off! Though I couldn’t believe it but yeah, I did it! πŸ˜€

We had nice pace, nothing crazy, and all the way to maybe 18 kilometers it was okay, but then my legs just got tired. I didn’t want to quit or walk but they were tired. But I pushed through with this mantra in my head saying “You got this!” all the way to the end!Β 

I am so happy to have ran this race with my friend, brother, crew member, Rich! We decided to run this race together as it was our first. We never left each other, kept pushing and making sure that we are okay. He took care of me when I (probably) looked tired as **** and I did the same. I am truly blessed to have him as friend, he’s the Bombzzzz!! Love you!! You rock big time! πŸ™‚

No crying on the finish line… which was real surprise for me but the moment I heard my boyfriends voice on the phone the tears just shot out of my eyes!! πŸ˜€ That’s how it goes sometimes.

I had a little stumble on my raceday road… I got an heatstroke from that superb weather and had to let the after party to others and sleep my nausea away. Bummed but I knew that there will be new partys, so not too much disappointment there.

Serious proof! Boom!

The most amazing thing for me was to have a crew where I was taken in. I am so proud and honored to rep Still Waters Run Deep Manchester now and also to run my first half in their “colors”. The fact that my closest and dearest friends are the founders and members makes it all the better! I might be living in Germany but I know that my family has my back and this is huge for me, as I have been dreaming of being a part of a running crew since the day I started (almost).

My SWRD brothers!

My SWRD brothers!

I had the most amazing day and a half with my friends before I left Berlin. I have never been happier to call some people my friends. Blessed, that’s how I feel.

The Clique

My Clique

This past long weekend has given me so much, taking all the sweat I had in me, opened my eyes to so many thing but also made little sad. Sad mostly because I will miss a lot of people, until we see again.

But also because it’s eye opening to see how some people act and forget to leave their egos at home. There will always be people who aren’t like you thought they will be, and obviously that is disappointing. I think it’s good for us all to remind ourselves that we do this because we love running, not because we are better/cooler/whatever than others. We are the same, our passion might be different. Let’s remember that we come from so many different situations and places and we need to be open to difference, we are the same and still different and that is a great thing!

Running alone is pretty great, but when you can share it, it’s just awesome. How nice it is to see your friends smile next to you, knowing that if it gets hard they are there for you! Pure LOVE!

Thank you to all you who gave me the best time ever, thank you to all the new people I got the opportunity to meet, thank you to my awesome roommates, my northern brothers, my Big Brother for life, and last but definitely not least, thank you BEYONCE!! πŸ˜€

PEACE & LOVE!!

 

Luckiest Girl In The World!!

Oh yes! I am the luckiest girl in the world!! This birthday of mine today has been the best birthday ever! It has overwhelmed and humbled me to the core and I’ve never felt this loved and blessed.

I have been shying away from having birthdays for many many years and I didn’t have any plans for this big 30 either, but oh boy was I surprised with huge amount of love!

It all started on the moment when the day changed… My dear friend was waiting to clock to hit midnight and the second it did, she pulled a gift from her bag and gave me nicest birthday speech ever. I had to dug my head in her hear because I was about to cry :). And the gift is so me and she made it for me, how awesome is that!! She’s so talented and I love her!!

Then this morning after waking up I skyped with my family in Finland and they even sang to me, winning!! It was so amazing to see my family and just made my heart fill up with warmth and happiness, love you!!

Couple of days ago, I gave myself a promise that on my birthday I will run an long run to celebrate this new chapter, and I did!! I wanted to run 18 km to check how it feels and to make me ready for next sunday for the Berlin Half Marathon.

This run was the best in so many months, felt so amazing! I just ran out of pure happiness. My shin pain was pretty much gone and even got better as in no pain at all, so nice! I felt light, free, blessed, humbled, happy, strong. I even got back to my favorite running place, when you don’t think anything and just in away are in this meditative mindset, it’s the Bombzz! Also there was this moment where I ran past an buss stop and looked at myself and said to myself ” You look Strong!” and I am, so strong and I need to remember that!

When I got back home I was just smiling and feeling amazing and I knew that my wish of having tacos for birthday breakfast was cooking and soon ready. Lucky me :). But as I was told to go away from the kitchen for a little, I didn’t ever could thought of what’s coming! I was greeted with gifts from my dear friend and my boyfriend and some pirate themed party gifts! I got so overwhelmed about all of this that I just stared and couldn’t move and ended up crying :).

Today has been the best day ever! I’m so happy to start this new chapter, new age and all of the new doors that I have in my future! Thank you to all who have remembered me, means so much, I feel extremely lucky and blessed and this day has humbled me to the core!!

LOVE!

This song was playing when I was running and I felt so strongly that it’s my new Me singing to my old Me. I have chosen my battles and I am winning now for sure! πŸ™‚