A Love Story

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all lovey dovey and sentimental on you guys. This love story isn’t about two people. It’s the simple tale of a girl (me, #duh) and her running shoes (Newton Running).

In the Beginning – High school was all about New Balance and Asics. In college, Nike staged an invasion, first with the LunarGlide, then with the Nike Free. I have no complaints about any of my past shoes, in fact, I still prefer the dynamic movement of the Free for the gym.

The Great Awakening – A friend (we’ll call him Princess) took me to Newton Running in Boulder, CO and I was fit to a shoe based on my gait. I struggled a bit because the shoe was light and airy and felt so natural. But it was… ummmmm…. freakin’ ugly, to put it nicely. But I gave it a try (luckily, Newton has put a little more effort into the aesthetic of their newer shoes).

You Complete Me – Six years, 1,817 miles, and eight shoes later and I am as in love today as I ever have been. My preferred shoe is the Distance Elite, which is minimalist and best for me because I pronate and run very high on the balls of my feet.

QUIZ: Find your Newton Running Shoe

Lug Life: The Science Behind the World’s Most Responsive Running Shoe – The true secret behind Newtons are the four to five lugs under the balls of your feet. These lugs do two things:

  • Action/Reaction™ Technology – Creates a responsive cushioning for quicker bounce-back. With a standard running shoe, your power is absorbed by the foam-core sole, but with Newtons you are boosted with each step.
  • % Grade – Many popular running shoes have a heel-to-toe drop of  12mm, which is an 8% grade (for reference, 8% is the grade at which truckers are given a warning about steep roads ahead). That’s crazy talk! This slope changes your running gait and puts added pressure on unnecessary parts of your leg and foot. Newton lugs help to level you out, creating a more natural gait with anywhere from a 1.3% to 3.3% grade. Much better! See below for reference of popular “flat” or minimalist running shoes that are anything but.

Happily Ever After – Wether you’re a heel-to-toe runner, or naturally stay on the balls of your feet, Newton Running shoes will help improve and power your stride. No more calf tightness, no more achilles pain, just a boost of energy with every step and a whole new view on running. Woo hoo!

READ: Taking my Newtons on the Road

How Do Others Stack Up, Literally – Here is the heel-to-toe drop and grade of some top runners in the market (I specifically looked at women’s, but typically men’s are the same or similar).

  • Newton Distance Elite – 2mm/1.3%
  • Hoka One One Clayton – 4mm/2.6%
  • Topo Athletic Ultrafly – 5mm/3.3%
  • New Balance Vazee Pace v2 – 6mm/4%
  • Asics FuzeX Lyte – 8mm/5.3%
  • Nike Lunarglide 8 – 9.5mm/6.3%
  • Brooks Ghost 9 – 12mm/8%

loveB

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Apple Watch & Nike+

bpwatchFor those of you who have spoken to me recently, you probably know that I have been exercising an incredible amount of control on NOT buying an Apple Watch. I’ve mostly been holding off because I have no REAL need for a $300 tether to my iPhone. But…I caved.

The fitness-focused aspects of the Apple Watch coupled with a seamless connection to my iPhone were enough to sway me. I’ll admit, however, that running with the Apple Watch and my preferred app (Nike+ Running) was not as perfect as I had hoped. But I’ll share the good, the bad and the settings for success that I found while using Nike+ with the Apple Watch.

bpwatch2.JPGThe Bad
You still need to take your iPhone with you. Wearing the watch does not free you from the phone because it is not a GPS device and it relies entirely on the iPhone for pace, distance and route.

The Good
It did allow me to put the phone in my FlipBelt for the duration of my run while giving me a quicker way to glance at my stats. The app interface on the watch allows you to see your distance, pace, route and music.

Settings for Success

  • On the Phone – Make sure you’ve enabled Nike+ to be visible on the watch
  • On the Phone – Set the watch’s Wake Screen as “resume last activity.” This will ensure you do not have to push any buttons on the watch, while running, to check the stats
  • On the Phone – Set your preferred Nike+ settings through the app on your phone, not on the watch
  • On the Phone – Set the Nike+ app to start and stop runs automatically so that you do not need to push buttons on either the watch or phone during your runs
  • On the Watch – Pair bluetooth headphones with your watch in order to listen to music on your runs

While it is not perfect, I am very happy with my watch thus far, and look forward to having two free hands on all of my runs from now on.

Happy training, beautiful people.

loveB

Run with Hart

That is my hand, overly excited and ready for a high 5 with Hart at the finish line.
That is my hand, overly excited and ready for a high 5 with Hart at the finish line.

You know who kicks ass? Kevin Hart. Not only is he absolutely hilarious, but he’s a workout enthusiast who preaches a healthy lifestyle to his fans. My kinda guy! The comedian-currently out on his “What Now” tour-teamed up with Nike’s Run Club to host 5K’s across the US and Canada. And today, Hart made a few hundred people in the DMV VERY VERY happy, and hopefully a little more healthy!

”What I saw today were people who have never ran come out, and have the will to finish, simply to become the best version of themselves,” said Hart. “For me, you guys don’t understand how refreshing that is. I honestly believe that being great is a mindset. People, don’t let today be the last day of your start. Continue this with or without me.”

He’s awesome, right?

Loving this free t-shirt. Thanks Nike & Kevin Hart!
Loving this free t-shirt. Thanks Nike & Kevin Hart!

Events like this are not only fun and full of awesome gifts and prizes, but they represent the strength and excitement of the fitness community. They’re happening everyday, in cities all across America. If you aren’t sure where to look for these events, check out local running shops and Nike stores. Here’s a list of upcoming running events in the DC area. In some cases, like today, registration is free. Some races may cost something, but the money is usually to benefit a non-profit. Go find yourself a race or a fun run, and get moving because today is as good a day as any to make your start.

One of the best parts of these races, free schwag!

  • Nuun – Paige has talked about Nuun before, but I finally got to taste it today. Mmm! The hydration tabs, which are enhanced with electrolytes, dissolve in water and taste amazing.
  • Kind Snacks – A friend in Colorado introduced me to Kind years ago and I’ve been a longtime fan of their products and their movement. It’s not everyday that you find a company who stands for something. But aside from their social responsibility awesomeness, Kind products also boast ingredient lists that you can actually read. They’re made from simply whole and raw ingredients like quinoa, chia seeds, various nuts, various dried fruits, salt, honey. So tasty.
  • Nike – See pic of free shirt above. I love it!

More pictures, because pictures are fun. You’ll start to see that I really love pictures.

The whole gang, minus Tricia. (Photo Credit: Nike)
The whole gang, minus Tricia. (Photo Credit: Nike)
James and Paige (Photo Credit: me, over my head, while running)
James and Paige (Photo Credit: me, over my head, while running)
This is how running makes me feel on good days. On bad days, not so much. (Photo Credit: Nike)
This is how running makes me feel on good days. On bad days, not so much. (Photo Credit: Nike)
Hi Kevin Hart! (Photo Credit: Me)
Hi Kevin Hart! (Photo Credit: Me)
Yes! Finally a picture of Paige, Molly and I. (Photo Credit: Ella Rash)
Yes! Finally a picture of Paige, Molly and I. (Photo Credit: Ella Rash)
Found Mickey in the crowd! Mickey and I ran high school track together. By that, I mean we found clever ways to skip practices. (Photo Credit: James Armold)
Found Mickey in the crowd! Mickey and I ran high school track together. By that, I mean we found clever ways to skip practices. (Photo Credit: James Armold)

loveB