Hamstrings, Disney, and Shoes

This week is my taper week for the upcoming 10K race. It isn't a marathon, but it is still an important race for me. It is my first 10K, it is a trail race, and I am planning on using the results to place me in an earlier corral for the Disney Half in January. I have been nursing a troubled left hamstring so I have not done much this week. Did my cardio on Wednesday (including a 3-mile walk), and then did a 3-mile run Wednesday evening with my CARA group. The hammy complained a bit during the run but nothing major. I think I will just hang loose for the remainder of the week. I know I am good enough to run the race but I am hoping it will be fully back to normal by Sunday. Foam Roller and ice all week, baby! Anyone else have hammy healing powers for me?

I have been thinking a lot about Disney this week. A friend was checking flights yesterday and we found flights from Chicago to Orland for between $185-234! So I went ahead and bought the tickets for me, my wife, and son. So one more task complete. Plus, I made all my dining reservations so that was yet another task done. Now all I have to do is buy the park tickets and since they don't really go on sale, I can get them anytime.

But mostly, I have been thinking about the Half Marathon and how to prepare for it, what fueling ideas to follow, what gear I will need, and what my pacing plan should be. And, I have been reading a lot of race reports from folks who give an idea of what each mile is like. It is interesting reading, and a bit overwhelming to try to absorb it all. Of course, I have plenty of time for figuring all of this stuff out. But I like to mull over things. I am pretty excited still!

To that end, I started thinking about shoes. My current shoes I like very much but Pearl iZumi is not making this shoe any more. And, I have almost put 300 miles on the shoes. So I figure that after my race Sunday, it will be time to break in a new pair of shoes as I start my Half Marathon training. So today, I went to Dick Pond and after trying on a bunch of different shoes, I picked a pair of Saucony Progrid Ride 4s. They feel great, are pretty light, and the colors match most of my run clothing (haha). Excellent neutral shoes with a bit of cushion but not too much. I think these are going to work out just fine. And, they were a bit cheaper than my iZumi shoes were.

The woman at the store was excellent. I had her do another gait analysis on me to confirm what the previous running store had said about me and she concurred with them. I think I have found 'my' running store (and it is not too far from my home too). I am going to go there on the next sale day and pick up a second pair. That way, I can switch between them weekly so I don't have to worry that my shoes will be worn out right before my Half Marathon.

I think I am ready. I have the motivation. I have the equipment. I pick up the race packet on Saturday morning and am going to check out the course that day. Now a little pixie dust for the hammy, and I will be ready to rock it on Sunday! And just for good measure, I am bringing Joe Taricani with me on my iPod so I can listen to The Marathon Show during the race. My goal is to finish the race by the end of his show (or at least no more than 10 minutes after it ends).

I will post a race report sometime Sunday. Until then, RUN HAPPY!

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