Monday, September 29, 2014

31 Miles Is A Long Way To Run

Once upon a time, there was a woman (not me) who walked sometimes but never ran. Over the years, this woman began to run short distances, but only on the treadmill. She refused to run outside. She had no real goals for her running, just to keep in shape. Her friend (me) started to do marathons and one day this woman wondered if she could too. She started to run outside. Her short distances turned into long training runs. She fell in love with running, not just on roads, but on trails too. She did her first half marathon (2010), then her first marathon the next year. She kept running.

This woman trained wisely. She did not over train. If something hurt she took a day off. She learned how to fuel herself for her long runs. She recovered well. Running became her sanity. Over the years she has come to believe in herself as a runner. Her confidence has soared. She wanted something more so she signed up for a 50K. And, this weekend, she did it.

Tom Bartel's photo.

This ^^^ is my friend Joie who I’ve trained with a lot over the years. I think she’s a fabulous example of someone who simply made her goal happen and has stayed healthy and balanced while doing it.

I haven’t done much coaching lately, but I did do Joie’s 50K plan. It was a plan that alternated hard and easy weeks with back to back long runs on the weekends. Her mileage topped out at 51 miles per week. She did some intervals and some hill work. And, she did lots of trail running.

The day started chilly….

Beth Meale Risdon's photo.

Nervous and headed for the start line:


She did her first loop (10K) and came in looking strong and confident.


After her second loop, and 18 miles into this 31 mile journey, the day was heating up and getting into the 80s. She was feeling the sun and was tired. I paced her for about six miles trying to encourage her to not throw up and to keep moving forward. I knew at points it took everything she had, but she kept going. It made me smile, just knowing how hard it is to feel like dogshit and to have the courage and strength to keep going.

When we hit the start of this “hill” I said goodbye and left her, because that is the kind of friend/coach I am (actually pacing wasn’t really allowed so I had run behind her for the six miles, just as company not to provide assistance).

Joie headed up Mt carbon

I knew she was hurting, but I also knew how strong she was physically and mentally. We waited – her husband, her kids, her mom, Ken and I - and after 6 hours and 20 minutes, I put the medal around her neck.


Tom Bartel's photo.

She was a bit tired and I’m really not sure why.


Joie completely shocked herself by coming in 2nd out of 18 in the 40-49 age group for women. She was 2 minutes behind first place, but that was only because she had to squat behind a bush for an emergency evacuation during the last five miles.

I write this post as a reminder that the sky is the limit. It is cliché, but the truth is that the only true obstacles in our way are the ones we put there ourselves. I’ve got to say, that there is NOTHING like watching someone you love work their ass off and meet their goal.


What’s the next big goal (that scares you shitless) that you are going to commit to? I don’t know. I’m thinking…what should it be??


Friday, September 26, 2014

10 Remarks No Runner Wants to Hear

You know how it goes. Life is moving along swimmingly. Then someone says something that really irks, annoys, upsets or angers you. One of my favorite examples of this is when I have finally showered, blown my hair dry and put on make up for the first time in a week and someone tells me I look tired. Basically that is their way of saying I look like shit.

On that note, let’s review some comments that could really piss off a runner such as yourself.

1. When a race volunteer says, “Yes, you should be at mile 20 of the marathon, but you took a wrong turn. That will add about 3 miles to your overall distance.”

2. When you are in an extremely desperate situation and the maintenance person at the only restroom on your run says, “Sorry, this one is closed for cleaning.”

3. When the marketing director of your favorite shoe brand says, “Sorry, that shoe that you love and have worn for 10 years? Yes, the one that has kept you injury free? It has been discontinued.”

4. When an acquaintance says, “I am so impressed that you are doing a marathon! I never knew you were a jogger!”

5.  When your pedicurist or podiatrist says, “Looks like you are going to lose another toenail.”

6. When your dad, mom, brother, friend, boss says, “Did you win you race? No? Why are you so slow?”

7. When some spectator at mile 15 of the marathon says, “You’re almost there!”

8. When your Aunt Ethel says, “So, you run? I thought runners were supposed to be skinny.”

9. When your best friend who is on the same cycle as you says, “Sorry dude. Your period is going to arrive on race day.


10. When the person running behind you says, “Uh oh. Looks like you trusted a fart.

Any other remarks you’d like to add?


PS: If you are really bored, check out my latest article on RunHaven: “6 Outrageously Embarrassing Running Confessions”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why I’m Going to Live An Extra 7-9 Years

First things first! No one guessed the stray dog’s name or breed (from my last post). She is a Blue Heeler/Border Collie mix named Kaia! I think she looks more an Aussie Shepard myself, but that’s what the owner told me.

As you know, last week I eliminated speed work to make sure my knee was going to behave. When you are slightly on the verge of injury – rest is the best thing. And, if your are not totally idle, for God’s sake cut out/decrease speed, frequency and high mileage.

So, after a successful long run on Sunday, I brought back in my speed today in the form of the tempo run (and no knee pain!). Is it just me or does everyone think tempo runs are more challenging than intervals? Granted, the paces aren’t as fast, but there is no rest like you get with intervals. The point of a tempo is to not take breaks, right? I like breaks. You know, time for a cigarette and stuff.

Typically, a tempo run will start with a mellow warm up and end with a nice cool down. On tap for today was to warm up for 2 miles, run tempo for 4 miles and cool down for 1 mile.  The miles sandwiched in between warm up/cool down were to be my half marathon pace + 10 seconds, with the 6th mile at my 10K pace. Here’s how it shook out:

Mile 1 (warm up): 9:18
Mile 2 (warm up): 9:23
Mile 3: 8:20
Mile 4: 8:10
Mile 5: 8:12
Mile 6: 7:52
Mile 7 (cool down): 9:23

Speaking of injuries, my mom brought me this article from today’s Wall Street Journal about the benefit of having a gait analysis to prevent injuries in runners. I think my mom doesn’t want her little girl hurt (yet, again).


I have had a few gait evaluations done and I think over time it has definitely helped me to increase efficiency and decrease risk of injury. Most helpful for me has been Chi Running and working with a coach who videotaped me running outside so he could pick apart all of my flaws. Basically the things I have worked the most on are increased cadence (180 bpms), shorter strides and posture.

IMAG0218 (2)

Some interesting points from the article:

  • Runners have a 50% chance of getting injured. The number is much higher for marathon runners. Well, crap.
  • It’s not how much or fast you run, but HOW you run that causes injury
  • Gait analyses show that many runners stride too far out in front of their bodies, or land with their legs at awkward angles
  • Studies show that runners' joints and bones are healthier than the average Joe. Runners are actually significantly less likely to experience arthritis or require a major joint replacement than people who don't run. YES!
  • Best news I’ve heard all day >>>A study showed running or another form of vigorous exercise postponed disability by 16 years and death by seven to nine years. That means I won’t be using my walker until 70 or so!
  • Regarding older runners – the “shufflers” can hang in there for a really long time. I foresee me and my sagging self shuffling along well into my 80s.

In my opinion there can be lots of factors that contribute to injuries – nutrition, over training, etc – but running form is a biggie. And, proper shoes.

Ever had a gait analysis done? What did you find out?


Sunday, September 21, 2014

What I Picked This Weekend Besides My Nose

Three favorite scenes from the weekend:

1. My dad with Heidi (I swear my dad is the dog whisperer. Dogs love him. I think it’s the steak tartar cologne he wears. Or, his white socks):


2. Emma and I went apple picking (honey crisp apples. $1/pound):


3. This stray dog we found. We kept her for the night (I was hoping we could keep her much longer), then we were able to locate her owner (if you can guess the dog’s name and/or her breed I will give you a prize):


My KNEE Update:

This knee condition is the weirdest running related thing I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a pain that went from NO PAIN to I-can’t-run-another-step pain, with nothing in between. There is no warning and no telling when it will happen. This kind of freaks out someone like me (like most of us) who is an anal control freak and likes to know exactly what is going to happen.

However, the good news is that I am almost 100% sure (I guess that would be 99%?) that the pain was linked to my shoes. Let me tell you why:

For the past few weeks I had been running almost always in the Hokas. I loved them. They felt great. Then, I had the knee issue start and thought it might be those shoes.

Monday: Rest. Worry about my knee and blog about it because that is what I do. Read your comments. Learn a thing or two about knees.

Tuesday: Run 6 miles. Non-Hoka shoes. Pain starts at 4 miles. Shit.

Wednesday: Bike 27 miles

Thursday: Bike 17 miles

Friday: Run 6 miles. Mile .5 – knee hurts. Come home, defeated, cussing. In an impulsive moment, I look around my dirty and disheveled mudroom and see a brand new pair of shoes staring me in the face. These:


The Altra 3-Sums (get it? threesome? Hahaha!! Very clever because they are a triathlon shoe). Anyway, as part of the Runner’s World Festival, Altra sent me these babies. I decided I had nothing to lose and put them on. I headed out for 5.5 pain free miles.

Saturday: Bike 31 miles

Sunday: Run 10 miles – pain free in the Altras

Week totals: Bike 75 miles, run 22 miles

I have no eff’ing clue what is going on. I’m not even going to try to figure it out. I just know nothing hurts, so I am going with it. Maybe the Altras, being zero drop, change my form enough that my knee doesn’t hurt. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe someone gave me a knee replacement the other night after I drank a bottle of wine and I did not know it.

I am just glad to be back running pain free.  For the moment, anyway.

In other news…You know how much I love this hydration pack, right?


I do every single run over 6 miles with it. No more fuel belts or handhelds for me.

Then something tragic happened. I went to Virginia and left it in the rental car never to be heard from again. I KNOW some rep from Avis is running around the airport with it.on I emailed Josh over at Orange Mud and asked if he would send me another hydration pack. Not only did he do that, but he sent me their new handheld.

I am not a lover of the handhelds, but this one is pretty cool. It has a side pocket where you can actually fit a phone, condom, tampon. Also, an elastic thing to hold your gels. Plus,  it has this form fitting design where you can get a really good grip on the bottle. If you like a handheld, you will love this:


I am not lying when I say that almost every time I go on a run with this pack someone stops to ask me where I got it. It is my favorite piece of running gear. Trust me when I say it is worth the investment.


What’s the dog’s name or breed?

What kind of hydration thing do you run with – handheld, Camelback, fuel belt? I used to run with a Nathan fuel belt (2-10 oz bottles), until I got this pack.

What is your favorite piece of running gear? This pack. And, my Ironman visor. I would only wear these two things on a run if it was legal.


PS: If you have any inkling that you want to do one of the races (5K, 10K, half marathon, or the Hat Trick – all three) at the Runners World Festival on October 18-19, here are some coupon codes for you for 10% off your entry fee:

· 5k: blogshutuprun5K
· 10k: blogshutuprun10K
· Half: blogshutuprunHalf
· 5 & Dime: blogshutuprun5&10
· Hat Trick: blogshutuprunHat

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

8 Pet Peeves You May Have About Runners

Today I was at the grocery store and someone behind me committed the ultimate sin. I was doing my thing in my space by the register. I think it is a given that when you are in your register space, the person behind you gives you a few feet of space until all of your groceries are bagged, you have paid and you are on your way. Well, Aunt Edna behind me did not have a sense of personal space and stood behind me breathing on my French braid. That is very much not allowed.

I try not to let the “little” things bug me, but sometimes I can’t help it. We all have those things. And, believe it or not, there are  humongous pet peeves in the world of running. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to adore other runners. But there are about 8 things that do annoy me.

1. Stoppers. Runners who stop in the middle of a race to take a selfie, tie their shoe, cop a squat, whatever. I know sometimes stopping is essential, but for the love of Pheidippides, move to the side of the road, trail or path.

2. Porta potty go-ers who do not put the seat down as they are leaving the can. I very much despise walking into a porta potty and being welcomed by a pit full of steaming crap. I know the crap is there, but I’d rather not witness it. Closing the seat before you leave is just a common courtesy (just to clarify, I open/close the seat with my foot. Yes, I am that talented. I am not big on having e.coli on my fingers).

3. Non –Wavers. I consider myself to be a friendly type out on the roads. I like to acknowledge my fellow runners and cyclists. If I were a Harley Chick I would learn that special wave that the motorcyclists do with one another. If I were in a gang, I would invent a unique handshake that bonded us for life. So, I just don’t understand the runners who stare at me like I am crazy when I wave to them. I like it when people wave! When they are nice! When they acknowledge me! I am needy, yes it’s true. But, I am a friendly needy type!


4.  Garmin Die-Hards. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Garmin. I rarely run without it. It annoys me, however, when people argue with the race director if their Garmin says something different than the actual race distance. Garmins are not fool proof! They are not always right!

5. Unsolicited Advice Givers (UAGs). I did a whole post about this awhile back. The UAGs are the ones who you meet out on the road while running or who are part of a running group They are the ones who watch you run and give you unsolicited tips on your form. They are the ones who ask you about your training plan and tell you why it sucks. They are the ones who know everything without really knowing anything! I love advice. When I ask for it.

6. Change Lovers. Okay, I realize maybe you are on your way to a gumball or vending machine so you need to carrying $4 worth of change in your pocket. However, to other runners the clinking of quarters and dimes is enough to make all of us want to punch you (and steal your money).

7. Spitters. Spitting in and of itself while running is not a problem. In fact, I do it constantly. The problem is when a runner does not have aim and spits on another runner. I had this happen to me in a race. It was icky.

8. Treadmill Talkers. If you are able to run on the treadmill and talk on the phone you are either going to fall off or you are not working hard enough.


Give me your pet peeves.  If it is running with people who fart, then I am your worst nightmare.


Monday, September 15, 2014

My Knee Hurts

Well, crap. You know how people tell you, “running ruins your knees,” and you scoff at them and tell them to shut the eff up (in your head of course)? I have a personal story for you. It is short and not very sweet.

At the end of the 5K Color Me Rad run on Saturday I felt pain in the front of my left knee. I ignored it because runners know that pains come and go all of the time and unless it recurs, it usually just disappears, kind of like socks in the dryer or stomach pain after a good fart. (One note about the color run no one tells you. You will be blowing black/brown snot out of your nose afterwards).

How is Emma as tall as me?


Fast forward to Sunday morning. Ken and I went out for a 13 mile run. No sooner had I let him know that this was going to be an incredible 43 mile week of running for me when…piercing pain in my knee. Same spot as Saturday.


Me: Ouch. My knee hurts.

Him: Oh, that happens to me sometimes. I just run through it and it goes away. It feels like someone is poking a needle into your knee and twisting it.

Me: Okay, let’s keep running (because running through pain is an excellent idea)

Me (half mile later): Shit. It really hurts. I need to walk. GASP!

Him: You’re a pussy (no, he didn’t say that. I don’t think he even though it).

Me (half mile later because I am stubborn): I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I need to cut the run short.

You KNOW it is bad if I am cutting a workout short. Hell froze over while pigs flew and monkeys came out of my butt.

I am proud of myself for knowing when to say when. Ken went frolicking ahead. I walked and tried to run and it would hurt and I’d walk again. For the record, walking is so boring and now I know why I never just “take walks” (well, I do with Heidi because she makes it more fun. Plus, I love picking up poop).

Ken got the car and picked me up. I did not freak out. I did not cry and punch him in the  crotch. I did not perseverate on this injury, although I DID come home and Google it because that is what any self respecting runner would do.

This condition (I WILL NOT say “injury”) has a very unique name: Runner’s Knee. It is probably the most common running injury.

Through all of my gymnastics days, marathon training, Ironman training, etc I have had pains in every part of my body (yes, from my toes to my ass to my right nipple), but my knees have never hurt before. I knew “Runners’ Knee” existed, but I didn’t care about it that much…until it happened to ME. Now I am an expert.

Here is what I think might have contributed to the problem:

Speed work and running in different shoes.

Today was a rest day. Tomorrow I will replace intervals with an easy run (in different shoes) to see how I feel. If I don’t feel better I will…I’m not sure what I’ll do. 

Please tell me you had knee problems that got better overnight.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

From Bob Harper to Brownie Bowls: 8 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Here is the post where I share with you some things that caught my attention this week. Simple things - running and not - that make me happy. You may or may not care.

1. This free library. Do you all have these in your town, or is Longmont just a superior-ass city? Basically, a home owner can set up this little book house in front of their home. Others can come to take and leave books as they please. You all know I love the library, so I am REALLY loving this new fixture on our street. And, you don’t need a card. And, there are no late fees.


2. This bread. I will admit that the only reason I bought it was for the runner on the front. I figure any food with a runner on it has to make me a better runner, right? I am a marketer’s dream. Anyway, this bread is good if you like a really seedy and hearty bread.  Makes you poop too, which is not something this girl needs help with.


3. This song. Is it too good to be true that there is a song called Shut Up and Dance and that it is actually decent? I have contacted the band about a Shut Up and Run rendition. They said that was stupid.

4. This book: This was compared to “Gone Girl,” which I also really liked. Very suspenseful. And, I got it from the free library. Score!

5. This idea: How fun and easy is this? You can WOW your guests with your homemade brownie bowls (update: I tried to make this and it was a disaster. everything stuck to the pan and I ended up with a crumbly mess. sigh).


6. This dog fight. Heidi vs. my parents’ dog, Kleo. I promise there was no blood, and it was in good fun. I think Heidi just lost an ear, a nipple and her dignity. No biggie.


7. This new addition. In October we will be welcoming an exchange student into our family!! He’s from Spain. He has no idea what he is in for. I hope he likes farts.


8. This season premier. Tonight. You all know I love this show. Please tell me they are doing the marathon this year. Maybe an Ironman? Jillian is gone. There are two new trainers. The contestants are all former athletes. Cannot wait! But, please, could we avoid the first episode puking?



Your turn. What’s a favorite new thing this week? Recipe, book, song?

Ever had an exchange student?

What book are you reading right now?

Will you be tuning in for TBL?



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Giveaway! Color Me Rad Denver Race Entry (x4)

Confession: I’ve never done a color run. I didn’t even really know what one was. Then I spied on my daughter’s summer bucket list and guess what showed up?


(She never did sleep on the trampoline, by the way. And, now we sold it).

I have since learned that a color run is where the runner gets blasted with color bombs while they run. The Color Me Rad people’s catch phrase says it all:


When the Denver Color Me Rad people asked if I wanted to join in the fun on September 14, I was all over it, but only if I could bring Emma and her best friend. Another cool thing about this race is that a portion of the proceeds goes to the YMCA of Denver to help promote health and wellness. I love health and wellness!

Want to come? I have four race registrations to give away ($52 value! You get a shirt! You get sunglasses! You get color bombs to throw! You get color thrown at you! If you poop yourself, no one will ever know!). It is at 9:15 a.m.  on Saturday at the Botanical Gardens in Denver.

To enter,  just leave a comment below about why you want to do it. For an extra entry, share on Twitter  and let me know in a comment. I’ve got four registrations to give away, so your odds are good!!

When you win - when you register, just put in to be on the Shut Up and Run Team (which is now comprised of me and two teen girls. We need more bodies).

This has to go fast since it’s Saturday. You have until Thursday to enter this giveaway! GO! What are you waiting for? Stop reading and GO! Let’s go run together and get blasted with color and scream a lot. Why are you not leaving a comment right now?

Oh and if you want to just go ahead and register now, use code RAD4SUAR15 at check out to get 15% off.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Realizations

Pictures tell a story way better than my writing (well, guess it depends on the story – if I’m writing about poop or bodily fluids, better to use words). So, here are some scenes from our weekend in Richmond where we participated in the very special Speak Up 5K.

We flew Southwest. I took this picture over Atlanta. If I didn’t make so much money blogging, I’d be a professional photographer (with my iPhone of course). The part about making so much money blogging was a really, really major joke. So is the part about being a photographer.


I like Southwest because I like free baggage check and peanuts. I also like it when they forget to charge me for my beer. The flight attendants are generally nice and upbeat instead of rude and bossy. What I am beginning to NOT like is how every safety demonstration has become a dog and pony show. “Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the aircraft. If you want to smoke, we have a special place for you reserved on the wing” etc etc. And, it goes on forever! And it’s not that funny at 6am!  I used to think it was funny, but now it’s just getting kind of old.  Or maybe I am just getting kind of old. Oh…and they lost Erika’s luggage.

Only good friends ask you to flip them off with the toe finger 5 seconds after you get to your hotel.


It is possible to still really like each other after almost 20 years of marriage. This is a picture on the street in Richmond where we met (moments later we got hit by a car). Please do not vomit because of how cute this is:


Beer/wine at 10am is totally acceptable while on vacation:


I nearly die running in humidity. I don’t know how you tough asses do it (although I was proud of my 21:45 5K!):


A 5K can unite people (3,000 people showed up):


A 5K can bring meaning to a cause (in this case, bringing awareness to teenage depression):

Photo: Fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith #speakup5k

A 5K can honor an incredible girl:

A 5K can be so, so much more than running (a quote in Cameron’s own handwriting, found on the course):


A 5K can bring joy despite so much hardship (This is Cameron’s dad at the race laughing and hugging his daughter):


It’s good to lay in bed and laugh until you pee – sorry to Erika’s polka dot blanket (and I’m not kidding about the pee thing. I really must be getting old):


This weekend confirmed for me the power of being around positive people who see life as an opportunity for change, risk, growth and progress. As I age, I know how important it is to be picky about the company you keep. If you want to be interesting, hang around interesting people. If you want to be inspired, hang around inspiring people. Don’t settle.

RIP Cameron.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where I’ll Be This Weekend

Tomorrow Ken and I are heading east to Richmond, Virginia to participate in the Speak Up 5K run. Erika is going too, but a puking stomach bug has delayed her departure for a day. Boo.


You may remember that on March 16, 2014 Cameron Gallagher, age 16, died at the finish line of the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. She had a heart condition that had not been previously identified.

Mile 6 of the race

Cameron was the niece of my dear friend Clair. This has been a tremendous loss for the family as well as the community as a whole.

Prior to her death, Cameron struggled with teenage depression. In fact, she was quietly planning a race called the Speak Up 5K to raise awareness about this issue. Frustrated that depression held such a stigma, Cameron wanted to draw attention to the issue. After her death, Cameron’s parents found the race plans in Cameron’s room. She had already planned out her speeches and gotten sponsors.

The family is holding the Speak Up 5K this weekend to honor Cameron’s legacy, but also to bring awareness to an issue that Cameron struggled with so much. All proceeds will go to the Virginia Treatment Center for Children.

There is a virtual run as well if you won’t be in Richmond that day. Go HERE.

What an amazing and inspirational girl she is.

Cameron and her mom, Grace

The mantra for this race is “Let’s Finish This.” These are the words Cameron spoke to her running buddy at mile 12 of the half marathon, only one mile before she died.

So many thoughts swirl through my brain as I think about the weekend:

First, I sit here wondering how any family survives the loss of a child. It is an unspeakable event, and a worry that tries to push itself into my brain sometimes during the wee hours of the night. I know deep down that children die and families go on, but families never go on the same. There is a defined before and after.

With any tragedy, life is forever changed and what one knew as normal does not exist anymore. The void has to be tremendous and all encompassing. I think, but for the grace of God go I. I have my two children safe and close. At this moment. Life is so unpredictable and ever changing. I could my blessings and gifts constantly.

Secondly, I am moved by runners. What power we have to incite change and to bond people. What strength we give to our endeavors. We run for ourselves (cheaper than therapy, right?) and to overcome our stresses, fears, worries and addictions. But, in the case of this race, we also run to support a family and a cause.  I cannot think of other sports that encompass their communities and give back this way. Running is so all inclusive. Good for us for making running more than just one foot in front of the other.

Lastly, the phrase “Let’s Finish This.” What does that mean to you? In this case, those three words mean more than crossing a finish line of a half marathon. They have come to represent a deeper call to follow through with what you say you will do, to have goals that are meaningful to you. A call to do something big and great and tremendous – something positive, big or small.

Well, that’s all I got. Today is all I’ve got. Today is all you’ve got too. Make it a good one and finish what you start.


Monday, September 1, 2014

HOKA One One Shoe Review and Giveaway

I used to be 5’ 5” tall, but I am now 5’ 7” tall. And, it’s all because of these:


You have probably seen these shoes out and about on the Internets and the road ways. Maybe you even wear a pair. What you may not know is the technology and science behind these crazy ass looking shoes called Hokas. Let me tell you.
Fact: These shoe have 50% more cushioning than your average running shoe.
Why You Should Care: Because this helps with shock absorption and keeps you stable (at least physically stable. I am not sure if they make you mentally stable – that is your problem).
Fact: Lab tests have shown that Hoka's rocking midsole geometry and low heel-toe drop encourages proper form by allowing a runner to easily strike the ground near the midfoot. Supposedly this helps with injury prevention,
What That Means and Why You Should Care: Because this should give you a smoother ride and support decent running form. And you can pretend you are in a cradle, for old time’s sake.
Fact: These shoes stabilize you on trails and hills
Why You Should Care: These shoes are especially suitable for ultra and trail runners. They are ideal for running trails with steep climbs and descents as well as obstacles such as rocks, roots and trail debris (no guarantee you won’t still fall – falling happens to be my specialty on the trails and it probably doesn’t matter what shoe or color underwear I have on).
Basically, Hoka One One shoes are designed to allow your feet to move freely and naturally. Even though they look big and bulky, they are actually quite lightweight (about 15% lighter than the average running shoe) and nimble!

I decided to try the Clifton Hokas (MSRP: $130).
They are the lightest of the Hoka shoes, weighing in at only 7.8 ounces. They have a 6mm drop, so heel to toe-wise, they are somewhere in the middle between the typical running shoe and total minimalist shoe. 


Sizing: I found that they ran BIG. I usually wear a size 9 in running shoes (size 8 in regular shoes), yet I wear a size 8 in the Hokas.


How they felt: Given the dramatic look of the shoes, I expected a dramatic running experience. However, the Hokas did not feel terribly different to me than any other shoe. I liked how lightweight they were and I noticed that my feet naturally followed a rocking motion as I ran.  I have been having some foot pain on the side of my left foot, and this did not occur with the Hokas (maybe due to the cushioning). I found it just as easy to keep a moderate pace in these shoes (long distance run pace) as a tempo or interval pace. Overall, I found these to be a comfortable, well fitted shoe that offers ample cushioning, but not marshmallow-y feeling.

Trying Out the Hokas

  • Long shelf life. You may be able to get more miles out of these than a typical running shoe because they are so sturdy. The sole will not break down easily.
  • There is a 30 day guarantee on these shoes, so if you hate them, return them.
  • Reduces impact, which may help prevent injury. Many Hoka wearers have reported less knee pain or no knee pain at all when wearing these.
  • Great foot protection, especially on trails.
  • You meet many new friends when you wear these because they are  a conversation piece. You might even meet your future husband or mistress.
  • Price. They run $130 to $170 (ouch!). However if they do prove to prevent injuries, the cost is probably less than when a typical injury costs.
  • Many report they take some getting used to, although I did not have that experience.
  • The toe box is rather tight and narrow.
  • The fuchsia color bled onto my white running socks. At $130/pair, this shouldn’t happen.
Want to try a pair? Enter below (U.S. addresses only please)!! Giveaway starts at this moment and ends one week from this moment.

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Hoka One One company provided me with the pair for my review and the giveaway item. All opinions are my own.