Although I'm not a Nike fan in general, the buzz on this shoe made me check my moral qualms at the door and try them out. While I don't see myself running a marathon in them (I need more support), they are a dream combination of cushioning at an incomprehensibly low weight, likely to get me through up to a 10K. For comparison, bear in mind that my "light" training/racing shoes weigh in at about 9.5 ounces. The LunaRacers? 5.5 (yes, five and a half) ounces. When you think about the energy required to lift one's foot over the course of a race, that's a major difference. And when I put them on yesterday for the second time ever (and first time in a race), I just felt faster right away.
Here's the overview of the day:
- 2-mile warm-up in my Asics GT-2140, with 2 100-meter strides thrown in
- Change into LunaRacers and shed warm-up layer, running in shorts and singlet
- Run the 3-mile race
- Run the majority of the course a second time
- Run home
- Day's total was a little under 13 miles
The race was a wonderful experience for me. The miles went by like this:
- Started out WAY too fast (getting sucked into a low-5:00/mile pace by the track and XC kids), so slowed myself down by the half-mile point; Mile #1 - 5:48 (which is a new mile PR for me); average HR = 173
- Second mile was into the wind, with two small hills and a 4 tight turns; the eventual female winner passed me, ending up beating me by about 10 seconds; split - 6:19; average HR 180, with a max of 184
- At this point, I was trying to keep my head together; I was running with a fellow running club team member whom I've never beaten in a race, and was ahead of two other teammates whom I'd seen at the start, but who had not passed me; with about 0.25 left, the guy running with me seemed to let up, and I finished about 7 seconds ahead of him (though I would have preferred that it come to a kick to make it more exciting); split - 6:04; average HR 179
Gun time = 18:23; my time, 18:21. Finished 15th overall; 2nd in my age group (lost by 30 seconds, so there's plenty of work left to do).
Yes, I'm ecstatic about running a mile PR in a race and still holding on for a respectable result. A number of my running club mates commented about their "surprise" at seeing my time. No one came out to accuse me of doping or anything, but I wonder if that's far behind. Seriously, after feeling like I was in a bit of a rut, it's been very gratifying to set a PR in every race I've run going back to Chicago 2008 (a disappointing result, but still a marathon PR). That would be new bests in the marathon, half-marathon (twice), the 4-mile and the 3-mile (I suppose I could claim a 40-mile PR, but that seems a bit ridiculous, even for me). It seems like running is finally starting to show me some of the love I've shown it during the past couple of years.
I plan to bump my mileage up to the mid-50's this week, with nothing fast unless and until I feel like I've really recovered from Saturday's effort. I'm NOT going to be stupid and greedy this time around. No, seriously. I mean it! Next week will be a conveniently forced cutback week, as we're going on a family vacation, with 2 almost-full driving days and the need not to disappear for hours at a time. I'll try to work around the travel schedule and put up 45+ miles, then ramp it up to 60 after that.
So far, so good. I just hope I can keep the engine PuRing through May 17th (and beyond).