Thursday, March 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

As I've mentioned for a while now, my first ultra of 2011 is going to be 'Brew to Brew' which is a 44 mile road race from Kansas City to Lawrence, KS. The obvious questions:

Q: Why is it called Brew to Brew?
A: Because it starts at Boulevard Brewery and finishes at Free State Brewery.

Q: Living in the mountains, why would you ever want to do a race in Kansas?!
A: I have CF and run ultramarathons. This race is an ultra that donates a lot of money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. No brainer. (Oh, and it's not like I hate beer, either...)

After my friend and course record-holder (5:11.xx) Andy put the word out that I was interested in doing the race, the RD contacted me and offered me a free entry if I was serious about running it. From there, things escalated to where I'm their featured runner, and will be doing some speaking afterwards!

Anyway, with the race being just a week away, it's time to decide on some shoes. This morning I had a big box sitting on my front doorstep which contained 3 new pairs of Mizunos, courtesy of the shoe fairy (just kidding... thanks Sophia)! The only problem is, each model is freakin' awesome in its own right, and I don't know which to use for 40+ miles of pavement pounding. Here are the options:

Wave Ronin 3 (7.8oz)

Wave Musha 3 (8.6oz)

Wave Precision 11 (10.8oz)
Option 1:
Since I started running, I've run more miles and races in Ronin's than any other shoe. Period.
These are hands-down my favorite all-around shoe, and using these would be a no-brainer IF it wasn't for the fact they are less than 8oz and most of my experience in them is on the trails (I've only done one 30 mile  training run on the roads in them). I'm concerned that once my technique starts to go in the later miles, that the relatively small amount of cushioning will lead to serious pain and suffering.

Option 2:
The Musha 3 seems to be comparable to the Ronin, being super-light, flexible, and breathable, but with a different sole that seems to be more densely cushioned. This could equate to less shock on the system late in the race, and they are still less than 1oz heavier than the Ronin's.

Option 3:
The Precision 11 is by far the most cushioned, stabil, and durable of the 3. The only sacrifices here are more weight (10.8oz), which makes them comparable to the New Balance 905's I used to wear, and less flexibility. After getting very used to running in slipper-like shoes, this would feel somewhat foreign, but could be the difference between a 2-3 day recovery and a 2-3 week recovery.


Besides needing to figure this out in the next 9 days, I'm trying to put together my race strategy and a realistic goal time. The main variable will be how I feel from miles 31-44, as this will be uncharted territory on the roads, but I would consider a reasonable goal time to be between 5:30 and 5:45. As mentioned above, the record is 5:11, set in 2009. I'm not going to discount the fact that I could be close to that IF all things go as planned, but I never expect the best when running this kind of distance. There are too many variables to be dead set on a goal time. The plan is to fuel well, drink well, salt well, and just listen to what my bod is telling me and adjust accordingly.

Hopefully, my body will be telling me to run fast!



Blake said...

A) Sophia never sends me shoes
B) I say you bail on the race and we throw stuff at stuff
C) Youre an inspiration based solely on your beer drinking ability and thus I agree that this race is a no brainer.

Proud to know you Brooks!

Heather Feimster said...

I am no where near your level in running and experience but I say go with what you know and have trained in before. You will feel more confident in miles 31-44. Good Luck!!

dug said...

I'd lean toward the Musha but check w/ Andy first. I think about half of this is dirt or gravel, but I don't know how big the gravel is. Most of these roads I've ridden on a road bike but sometimes when they put down new gravel its 1" limestone which will kill your feet.

Brooks said...

It's official. Option 2 all the way. I'm diggin' them. Logged 21 in them yesterday with no problems.

Blake: Please tell me you'll be there so stuff at stuff competitions can go down before and after the race...

MtUnpaved said...

Hey, Good luck with your run! Just think 5:11.xx - .1