Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Friday, January 3, 2014

Finding the right running gear: A trip to the local Dick's Sporting Goods

Note: This post is kind of a lengthy review-esque post about some running gear. It is my first attempt at a post like this...

I finally took to the store yesterday to pick up a running item that I've been putting off for quite a while now: a running jacket. I had a $50 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods that I knew would only cover half or less of the total cost of the jacket, but I knew that quality running gear, while costing more, also lasts longer. So, Val and I went to Dick's where she picked up a pair of Brooks PureConnect 2's (Brooks has a PureConnect 3 out, but at a costlier price!) and I was on the hunt for an Asics running jacket I saw on their website. Asics is, by far, my favorite company for running shoes and so it was their Storm Shelter Jacket that I was hoping to purchase. Here is a picture of the Men's Storm Shelter Jacket in three different colors.

Unfortunately, I could not find the jacket or any product by Asics other than running sneakers. There was Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour, and The North Face galore, but Asics were not to be found in the store (like the rhyme?). I was considering just spending the gift card on a new pair of running sneakers that I was also due to purchase.

Picking the right running shoe can be a tricky business. My mom has always run in Asics brand sneakers, so when I started running track in high school, Asics was the sneaker I opted to run in. The only other sneaker company I considered using was Nike, because let's face it, Nike, for a young athlete, is the Granddaddy of all sport companies (of course as a more knowledgeable runner, I know this to not be true). It was not until 2012, due to the hoopla of minimalist and barefoot running, did I decide to try a new shoe company for the Philadelphia Marathon. Val's uncle had some great reviews for the Saucony Kinvara 2's and their customer reviews were positive as well so I decided to try this lighter shoe for the 26.2 race. I opted to get the Kinvara 3's seen herebut after my marathon, I quickly regretted the decision. While these sneakers are a quality shoe and very light, they are too narrow for my foot. According to the doctor I went to visit later in January, for 26.2 miles, my right foot was not running squarely on the sole of the sneaker due to the width of the foot and so each step I took, I was causing greater pain and injury to that foot. I decided that day at the doctor's to stick by Asics, my tried-and-true running shoe compay.

Back to Dick's....

Based on my experience with the Saucony shoe and my wariness to try something too different, I decided to stick with one of my recent running sneakers for my next pair. The Gel-Neo33 2's that I wore previously am currently running in were purchased to save me some money, and while they weren't a bad shoe by any means, there was not enough cushion or adequate room in the toe box for my liking. Asics Gel-Neo33 2

Additionally, I preferred the bounce-back offered by the Asics Gel-Excel33 2's I was running in prior to the Neo's. I was even able to run the Tesla Hertz 50 mile trail race in them despite hundreds of miles of training on the roads!
  Asics Gel-Excel 33 2

While I was about to order these sneakers at the front of the store (they didn't have the orange model in the store), I found myself hesitating too much to know I was making the best decision. I mean, I do need new running sneakers, but my current runner sneakers aren't really causing me any pain or showing great signs of wear. With these thoughts in mind, I decided to walk away from the computer I was using to order the sneakers and walk around some more while Val was buying her sneakers. Good thing I did because I came across a Nike running jacket that I knew I had to have:
Nike Explore running jacket 

It was a great find and fit me perfectly. The Explore has plenty of pockets and areas to enhance breathability. Additionally, there is a hood that can be stashed and zippered away and....okay, so I can go on and on. I haven't had a chance to wear the newly purchased jacket yet, but once I return to running, you can be assured I will provide a review for all of you who are interested.

Happy Running!

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