Review-Mizuno Wave Sky

I have been wearing Mizuno Shoes for at least the last 6-7 years exclusively, and then off and on for the last 17 yrs prior to that. When the Mizuno Wave Rider was in it’s 2nd or 3rd generation, I remember having to order them from a store in Vancouver B.C as they were not available in Ontario. The one thing I have always loved and come back to in the Mizuno is the “ground feel” of the shoes. As I have written in previous posts, I am not one who likes to squish around in a shoe or feel like I’m running on pillows. However, the trade off for me has been that my feet always craved more cushion. I stayed loyal to Mizuno knowing that running felt easier and more enjoyable with that style of shoe.

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Enter Wave Sky!!!! Now all my dreams and wishes have come true. Mizuno made a neutral shoe with both an adequate amount of cushion AND maintained that fab ground feel quality that I and many others love in their shoes. Here are some specs:

  • Re-compounded U4icX  midsole on top provides a responsive cushion
  • U4icX midsole on the bottom has greater shock absorption
  • More segmented and flexible forefoot grooves enhance smooth transitions
  • Softer collar material for added comfort
  • The engineered mesh in the midfoot wraps the arch for adaptive and supportive fit.
  • The men’s version weighs in at 11.5 oz and the women’s at 9.3oz.
  • The ramp (heel to toe drop) is 10 mm which is slightly less than Mizuno’s typical 12 mm drop.

Overall the shoe on the foot feels zippy and light enough to be an every day trainer, and long distance shoe.

My second favorite quality of these shoes is the wider toe box. I have very wide feet, with one much more so than the other and typically need to wear a men’s shoe or D width women’s (most shoes don’t come in D width women’s so I get very little girlie colors!:) ) . I feel no rubbing, squeezing or confinement in this new shoe.

Finally a few words about the actual ride of this shoe: From the first step to the last of my runs, I feel like I’m almost floating on these shoes. I don’t feel like I’m sinking into a marshmallow like so many other neutral cushioned shoes on the market. While some may favor that, I for one prefer something more responsive when I run. I also feel as though I could do longer mileage in these without getting the foot soreness I tend to get because of my poor feet mechanical structure.

In summary, if you’re in the market for a good everyday or long distance shoe with just the right amount of cushion and a peppy toe off, then the new Mizuno Wave Sky is a great one to consider.

For more information on this shoe including all the specs: http://www.mizunocda.com/Running/Products/Wave-Sky

The All New Mizuno Wave Rider 20 – My Review

Last week I was invited as part of the Mizuno Ambassador Team to a media event for the release of the new Wave Rider 20 at Energia Athletics on Pape Avenue. The idea for the event was to bring together media types in the running world, plus bloggers, plus Ambassadors for fitness and food and information first hand on the new shoe. I don’t think I have ever been more excited to try a new shoe from Mizuno as I was for the Wave Rider 20. Plus, I had never been a part of a test group for a product not yet released to the public, so that alone was exciting and fun! Sort of like a little secret.

When I walked into the store, I was given a bag with my shiny new shoes in them. I promptly changed out of my Mizuno Synchro (best gym shoe ever!!! … review to come) and put on my new Wave Riders. I wear a D width shoe and since the women’s D width (yes this model always comes in D width for women…..read: girl colorus), wasn’t released until January, I got the men’s version. A nice flashy orange with black detailing.

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Fresh out of the box ! 

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was the added cushion in the shoe. Even before I ran. I have been wearing Mizuno exclusively for about 5 years now and even before that I had dabbled here and there with them. I even had the Wave Rider 3, which I had to order online from Vancouver before they were available in Ontario. That’s how much I have loved this shoe over the years!!

Mizuno has always been known for their firm cushioning, sort of an oxymoron, but what that means is it allows for ground feel and a responsiveness that many highly cushioned shoes don’t provide. What it lacked for in cushioning it made up for in the ability to run more efficiently by allowing the foot to not get lost in the shoe. The Mizuno brand definitely had it’s group of followers for these reasons. Now enter Mizuno Wave Rider 20 and soon to be all Mizuno shoes by 2018………I’m sure a whole new bunch of followers to come.

CLOUD WAVE TECHNOLOGY 

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Cloud Wave Technology is new for the Mizuno Wave Rider 20. It has both concave and convex waves in the plate (Mizuno is known for it’s wave plate design which provided that firm responsiveness). The concave waves allow for the foot to be cushioned on impact, the convex waves allow for a springy toe off after foot strike. This is GENIUS!!!  And it’s also one of the reasons  the new Wave Rider 20 my new favourite shoe.

For those with fussy feet, like mine, it’s exactly what I needed. I have been wearing Mizuno for so long since for running, I like that ground feel experience. Wearing a heavily cushioned shoe for me as a runner does not work. My feet get lost, I get friction blisters from all the swishing around, and as I get tired, my feet and lower legs stop working and my form gets very hard to manage. With Mizuno, I avoid all these things and allow my body to still work for my stride which allows it to stay efficient in the face of fatigue. However, my crappy feet ask for cushion. I have always chosen to go responsive over foot wishes because ultimately I still need to feel good when out on a run, so I forgave some of that cushioning for ground feel. Now I don’t have to give up either!!!!!

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Wave Rider 19 on left, 20 on the right= more U4ic material

U4ic is the material Mizuno uses for cushion. As you can see the Wave Rider 20 has increased the amount of U4ic from the past models.

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More descriptive specs on the New Rider 20, including the weights for men’s and women’s and the consistent 12 mm ramp .

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Women’s model plus upcoming D width color! Yippee….then me in orange (men’s ) 

Finally, the last quality that makes these shoes so great is the new upper. It was introduced with the Mizuno Synchro gym shoe earlier this year and I fell in love with it. Because my right foot is wider than my left for failed post bunion surgery issues, I have often had to cut little “mitral valve”  holes to allow my foot to expand in my running shoes. Mizuno has typically had a plastic strapping across the forefoot and because of my foot issues even in a D width, I had to make little snips. Do you know how traumatizing it is to snip holes in brand new running shoes??! The new upper on both the Synchro and Wave Rider 20 is strapless and a nice soft mesh material, which so far I have not had to take my scissors to! This is so exciting for me:) Maybe future photos will not require me to hide my little artwork.

Take home message: after 4 good runs in these shoes I have declared them my new favourite shoe . This shoe is for you if you like a bit of added softness without feeling like you are landing on pillows and still like an efficient ground feel on foot strike and springy toe off. They feel fast, I run faster, and my feet are happy. What more could anyone want?

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A happy me after one of my first runs in the new Wave Rider 20. Matching Breath Thermo accessories too! 

These awesome new shoes will be released by end of November 2016. You can find a retailer (such as Energia Athletics) or order online at http://www.mizunocda.com

See you on the roads.

PS…yes I have changed the name of my website from Multisport mom to I’m Fit 4 Life. Since I am no longer doing multisport or racing I’ve changed my tagline. More on this to come!

2016….A New Year and New Beginnings

By the end of 2014, I was so happy to see that year go. I had too many injuries (pelvic/hip stress fracture, bad foot infection, overtraining syndrome etc). I thought 2015 HAS to be better. I cut back on my training distances, I cut back on race distances (only 5km’s), I hired a coach to keep me in check (which he did!), and I took a look at my nutrition and training errors and vowed to “get healthy” (which I did!). 

All was going fleetingly well until September of this year….I won’t rehash the details as it could be read in previous posts, but I got a stress fracture in my 3rd metatarsal. While I was waiting for a proper diagnosis (it went misdiagnosed for a few weeks), I said to my daughter, “If it’s a stress fracture, I’m done racing”. She was sad that I said that, but well……..for 2016 and beyond at this stage, “I AM DONE RACING!”. At least I’m done racing in a competitive manner ….. Racing for time, PB’s (of which I think they were behind me…), training programs, etc. 

This is a huge statement for me to announce. For 20 years, I have raced triathlons, road races, trail races (this year….) and participated in cycling charity events. Every year has involved a training program of some sort that on “x day” I do  “x workout at “x intensity”. I’m a Type A planner. I like a rigid schedule and I like to follow a rigid schedule. It makes me feel accomplished and goal oriented. 

However, as with each bad injury (I’ve had my share of less severe soft tissue injuries, plus one planned orthopaedic surgery on my feet which can’t be grouped as a bad injury, cuz you are ready for it!) I come out with a new perspective on things or taken up new activities. I recall a conversation with my GP after my hip fracture that went something like this:  “I can’t imagine myself not being competitive”. She understood my statement as she is a top competitive National Masters swimmer. 

While rehabbing this latest injury at the gym, yoga studio and on my bike, I realized I enjoyed the non – planning aspects of my routine. I liked not worrying about how far or fast I was going and I enjoyed the randomness of my schedule as time went on and more could be included (I started with 3 weeks of almost exclusive cycling with a bit of weights). A lightbulb went off that showed me “I think I can be that fitness athlete”. The one that just does what they feel when they feel, without a structured training plan or end goal. If I plan the night before to go for a run and the weather is crap, I don’t need to run on the treadmill just to get my run in, I can head to the gym, or hop on my bike, or turn off my alarm and go back to bed (this doesn’t often happen, but maybe now it may once in a while…..:).

With this past injury cycle, I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym. It helps that the weather is not hot and sunny, so I don’t mind being inside when it’s dark out or cold out. I’ve gotten into weight training and realized that I just may get more bang for my fitness buck by improving my strength even more and becoming less of a “cardio junkie”.

I know love how I feel when I lift and I love coming up with new routines and seeing my strength improve. And it can only be a good thing for my bones and slower aging metabolism! I’m also continuing to do yoga regularly. In fact I think I almost missed being off yoga for 4 weeks more than I missed being off running for 8 weeks.

Now that I’m back walk/running in the last month, I don’t look to see what pace I am running at. I don’t care if I am running slowly, and I don’t care if I am walking. In fact I am liking this run / walk thing and just may continue on this path. I know the less impact I have the better chance I have of not having those bad injuries again. Plus with the poor mechanics of my foot that was stress fractured, the less impact on that the better for longevity of this whole running thing.

  
So for 2016, my new mantra is to live each day as it comes. Not be so much of a planner and be more flexible in my day to day when it comes to my workouts as much as I TRY to be in the rest of my life (this too is always a work in progress!). I want to journal daily, use my new meditation app (Calm) daily, and work on my parenting skills with my pre-teen who is not only taller than me, smarter than me (in many things academic and very in tune with the world around her), and figuring out how to work her way in this adult world……as well as be more flexible in my eating (I’ve tested out a ton of new breakfast recipes which I am loving) and social outings. 

I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life and hopefully one filled with less major orthopaedic injuries which force me to stop dead in my tracks once again.

 Balance will be the key as well as rest when needed and knowing it’s okay not to be a slave to any type of schedule. Motivation has NEVER been my issue. So for that I think I call myself lucky. For me it’s always a matter of making myself sit still sometimes and be ok with it.

 

The pre teen in action

 
Happy 2016 to all.

Elise

 

Metatarsal stress fracture recovery week 5

So this Thursday marks 5 weeks since the real stress fracture diagnosis but it’s been 8 weeks today since I’ve REALLY run. I am itching to get outside and be free again to run through the quiet morning streets. I’m being very patient with my rehab (as patient is for me!). I don’t plan on running until I can hop pain free for two weeks. I think the way things are at this point it will be another 4 weeks. Maybe 3, but I don’t want to rush anything. Technically when you are 1 week pain free you can run but I’m going to wait an extra week. 

So what have I been doing with my non running time for fitness? Biking. A lot of biking. Pretty much daily riding with a day off every week or two. Riding my trainer with Trainer Road app and riding the bike at the gym. I also had the odd outdoor ride but with it being dark and colder and not being able to stand up and pedal I preferred the safety of the indoor trainer. It’s funny that you will do something that you normally wouldn’t enjoy (gym bikes) if it’s your only option. Yes, I could swim and water run, but the pool I use has a very small deep end so it makes water running even more mind numbing than it is. My daughter did ask me to go to the pool with her last week so we did and she played around me while I ran a bit and swam 500m for the first time in over a year! It felt good when I was done but it’s not something I love to do anymore. After 18 hrs of tolerating swimming for triathlon, I gave it up last year in favour of weights and yoga. Only so much time in my days. 

   

trainer road

 I wore the Aircast boot for just over 3 weeks. Then I walked like I still had it on for another week, and finally I am walking pretty normally and wearing shoes other than running shoes. I also got back to yoga last week which felt good but I made sure to modify anything that put too much pressure on my foot. The second class I did last night I was actually able to tolerate downward dog, so again progress is being made. The one neat thing about recovery from bone injuries is the progress is pretty linear if you treat it right. Unlike soft tissue injuries which often have more of an up and down progression of healing. On the flip side you have to be far more cautious when dealing with stress fractures. 

 

Lets do a little pool running

 
This week I hope to test out short bits on the rolling staircase and the Arc Trainer which I have never used at my gym but after doing some reading seems like a better alternative for runners than the elliptical.  Then if these go well I will start some early morning sessions at the gym to vary my cardio from the bike trainer! I can’t do weights in the morning as my body just feels too stiff but cardio I love for getting my day going (well that and coffee!). 

As for silver linings…..I’m still trying to find if for this go around. Last time (pelvic stress fracture in May 2014),  I realized I was harming myself by overtraining, focusing more on results, the need to workout even when I felt tired and maintaining a certain body type.  Since 2014, I have put on a good amount of weight, reduced my stress levels with yoga, started to respect myself more, listen better to my body and it’s needs and adjusted my training to lessen the load from running. However by cutting back on distance but continuing with intensity (under a coached guidance). So I guess what I’m learning this time is patience and that even when I tried to change factors it doesn’t protect me from the inevitable that many runners face. 

It is suspected that this stress fracture is from my poor foot mechanics after my surgery for bunions almost 5 years ago. Add the speed work and racing and perhaps not having enough cushion in my shoe. So now what have I decided to do? Cut out speed work. Up the cushion to my shoes. Race for the fun of it vs. needing to be competitive. I guess one comes to realize that as much as the brain wants to go in one direction, the limits of your body say another and ultimately that is the one that wins. My body is telling me my feet can’t handle the weekly speed work. I’ll just be so happy to be able to run a few times a week at whatever pace feels good for me on that day and if I choose to jump into a race it will be for the pure pleasure of participation not race times. 

This morning I read an article in the December Runners World. It  was an interview with a guy who’s been uninjured since 1978. He mentions no speed work, quick cadence and small vertical displacement, running by feel and easing into his pace. All these things are what I will do (I already use that type of stride) in order to hopefully run injury free for many years to come. 

When you are recovering from bigger injuries I find it important to connect yourself with others who understand what you are going through and can work through your rehab alongside them. I’ve done this again on this injury and it really does help you feel like you are not alone. 

Here’s to the next phase of recovery and getting back out there soon with another progressive run walk program . 

Here we go again!!! 

So I regret to write this post but I have another stress fracture. This time it’s in my metatarsal (4th) bone of my right foot. Opposite side to the pelvis one in May of 2014. How did it happen? Well about a week before the 5Km Canadian Championships I felt a significant pain in the front of my ankle. Felt like something pinching or a sprained ankle that I never sprained. A visit to a sports doc and he was 98% convinced I did not have a stress fracture in my ankle and diagnosed some early OA signs in the subtalar joint. I progressed within a couple of weeks to be able to go on the elliptical, step mill and stand in yoga poses plus downward dog without any pain. Within 3 weeks everything was pretty much pain free except hopping. But knowing I didn’t have a stress fracture I ventured out with the goal of 4K as 3mins run and 1 mins walk so I could get a rhythm going. Cuz that’s better than 1/1 for 2km. Knowing I wouldn’t be totally pain free and wanting to see how it felt AFTER I kept going despite pain in my whole foot. The first minute was fine:(. I don’t know what takes over my brain when I set out for a run but something sets in me and this time I was unwilling to give that up. Mistake #2. Mistake #1 was running when I still felt some pain with hopping and light drills. I got home and could not put weight on my foot again fully. On went my boot I had bought for episode #1 a few weeks back and a quick text to my awesome GP and I had an X-ray done and booked for a bone scan a week later at the first available appt. The metatarsal lit up like a Xmas tree on the scan. 

  
How frustrated am I? Very. Why? Because I’m mad at myself for trying to run when it hurt to hop. Frustrated that I didn’t request a bone scan initially as I know my body. But is it worth my time to act this way? No it’s not. What I learned from my last go around is time heals regardless of whether I am angry or happy so may as well be happy. Focus on what I can do (cycle, weights, modified yoga, pool running if I so choose but I don’t cuz I hate it😩). Hopefully in 3-4 weeks I’ll be back on the elliptical and able to walk. As for running I’m not rushing this at all and am happy to wait 8-10 weeks or whatever it takes to be more than 3 days pain free. 

Yes I will live to run again. Will I race again? I’m not sure I want to give it up but clearly the added intensity combined with the poor mechanics of my right foot post bunion surgery may not be able to continue. I’m not making this decision yet but I may just wait a good year of healthy slower running before I start back to intensity. Here I thought just racing 5km’s would protect me from this injury. Clearly I had that wrong even though I had a great coach to guide me. With each major injury I learn more about myself and what I perhaps need to accept as I get older. 

The other thing I’ve learned is my nature does not do anything “easy”. I push and even when I think I’m not pushing I always am. I am a body that likes to stay in motion. I challenge myself often and finish what I’ve started. In many aspects of life this is a good quality. When it comes to running it may not be so good!! 

Here’s to the next 6-8 weeks of becoming a really good cyclist and weight trainer! And continuing on with life cuz that’s all I can do while I wait to get back on the roads. 

Race report- Canadian 5km Championships

Today I raced in the 5km Canadian Championships as part of the B&O Yorkville run. This race is in its 4th year (I believe) and I have raced it every year except for last year when I had my stress fractures. Last year was the first time it hosted the Canadian Championships. I was so bummed not to be able to participate last year. In 2013, I had my fastest 5km time here in 19:34. Thankfully that qualified me to participate today and compete against some pretty speedy Masters runners! Not to mention all the whipper snapper young ones! Knowing my time was no where near the one in which I raced in 2013, I briefly considered switching to the masses race which went at 9:45. Meghan Brown, the organizer of the 5km Championships convinced me to stick in it as there were some good competitors in the 21-23 mins range. I’m really glad I stuck in it as it was really neat to run in an elite group of people. Only about 100 ran in the Championships race and it was great to be able to pace off of others who are faster with lots of breathing room around you. Here’s how the race went down…….

I got there early to get a close parking spot to the finish as I wasn’t sure how the bag check would go and my husband was running down so he needed to easily be able to find the car! I warmed up with 3km on a windy, cloudy and rainy morning. I wore some warm clothes and by the time I was ready to strip and head to the start I was more than warm. Excellent plan this time as usually I stand at the start too soon and shiver. Today I got there with about 8 mins to gun time. I found my husband and gave him my Breath Thermo top and gloves. (I should have kept the gloves!) I was happy with my choice of clothes so I was not overheated. 

 

My race outfit

 
I felt good on my warm up. Always a good vote of confidence. My goal for this race was to go sub 22. I am nowhere near that 20 mins time anymore. Maybe I won’t get there and maybe with another year of training I will. What’s important to me at this moment is I am healthy and uninjured (knock wood)…..! If I never go that fast again I won’t be disappointed. My attitude going into races is so much more relaxed and that feels great. I saw a lot of people I knew running the event and it was nice to catch up and wish everyone good luck. 

I seeded myself towards the back so as not to be taken down by the sub 20 mins crowd! I felt great for the first 2km. I didn’t look at my watch. I went by feel for the whole race, checking only around 4km at my average pace. I was running with some of Meghan Brown’s girls who were being paced and coached and I passed them as I heard the coach say to them at 2.5km “conserve here for the hill….. I thought what hill? Oh then I hit Queen’s Park (said hill!, which gets me every time!) The pacer asked me what I was gunning for and I said, no clue but something in the 21’s. She said stick with us we are running 21. Oh and then they dropped me:). Oops guess that first two km I did in 4:02 and 4:05 was too ambitious. I then slowed to 4:24 for the next km….4:30 towards and up the hill, plus the nice 30km/hr headwinds. With about 500 m to go I thought about my track workouts and pushed it. 4:20 for that km. I finished with not much left in my tank but kept good form. The finish photos will tell me if it was! 21:39. Nearly two minutes slower than 2013 but with the same effort! Man as frustrating as that seems I was totally ok with it.  I was really happy with how it went. I found out that I was 12 seconds off 3rd in my category. 

 

After the race, keeping warm to watch some friends

 
I met up with my husband , collected the great post race food and watched some friends in the main race. The rain stopped and other than the wind it was perfect running weather. I love this event and hope to be invited back next year. Maybe there is a sub 21 in me again and maybe not. Either way I’m happy, healthy and enjoying these short and fast races. 

I have one more on the schedule on October 24th back at the TO Women’s finale. 

July has come and gone …! 

Well it’s certainly been a longtime since I have posted anything. Not that I know many people are reading this :). Summer in Canada just flies by. I swear I could live in a climate like this year round and not miss the other seasons. However my husband would not be interested at this stage in leaving. So as usual I start to look at fall and winter with a slight hint of dread. Don’t get me wrong I love fall but it’s what comes after that makes me sort of dread it! 

Anyway on to a summer recap of sorts: 

Racing- I did the 5 Peaks Albion Hills race at the end of July. My husband came to do it as well and it was a hot and humid one! But as usual so much fun. Trail races are so great because I never look at my watch. I run by effort and watch the obstacles. This time around I only had one little ankle roll and came away unscathed. Not like last time! I only had to pull my cuboid ankle bone out of its wedge:) I could just feel every off step and angled turn but no issues cropped up. The course was major hilly as usual and with the humidity and heat it made it all the more challenging. I did the sport course which is 6.3 km. I came 5th in my category. 

   
 This past weekend I decided to jump into a small 5km on the Whitby waterfront. The weather was warm (it is summer after all) but not humid for the 9:30 start. It was a tiny race with just about 50 total in the 5km. Archaic timing and start finish line but sometimes the small races are just nice for a speed workout and good for ego in placing:). I followed this girl for the first 2 km and knew I did not think I could catch her. I was quite happy when she turned off for the 10km route! I was then the first female and stayed that way for the remainder of the race. It was fun to cross as first woman regardless of the small field. My time was 21:36. Slower than the Pride run but hillier too. I’m happy to stay in this range and I know that the 19:34 of my past is bound to stay there and I’m ok with that too. The next race I have is the TO Women’s 5km on August 29th. Always fun as a Mizuno event and my friend as the race director. We volunteer as a family and have a great time too. 

Books: 

Summer is always my favorite time to read. I always equate outside with reading and since I spend all my in between client time reading, I get a lot done. Here are some of the good ones: 

  • The Other half of my soul 
  • In the Unlikely event 
  • Tell the Wolves I’m home 

Travels: 

We didn’t travel too much this summer mostly because we have a few large expenditures coming up and needed to hold onto our money! My husband and I went to lovely Prince Edward County for a night. It’s 3 cute towns with kitschy shops and cafes and restaurants plus a beautiful beachfront called Sandbanks. Sadly it rained for our first day but we managed to see two out of the three towns and enjoyed a nice Saturday outside. We tried a bike ride as the town roads are pretty quiet. Unfortunately my husband who had not been on his bike really in 10 years took a spill in the first 5km so we headed back. Next time! 

   

  

the best chocolate chip cookie from Miss Lilly’s in Picton!

 
We also did a day trip with our daughter to Niagara on the Lake. Another beautiful Ontario town. I’m planning a weekend visit to Montreal before summer is up for my dad’s 75th birthday and to visit my sister and her family who live there. 

Miscellaneous :

I’ve been riding my hybrid everywhere!! It’s so great to get somewhere in just about the same time as driving would take. But I get to be outside and save money on gas and parking. Unfortunately I had an almost new bike stolen in early July but with gift money was able to replace it. I also got a good lesson on proper use of the Kryptonite lock! I’m still paranoid though. 

My car insides were eaten by some animal in late July. All the systems of the car were compromised and basically the entire engine and interior need to be rebuilt! Yah 11,000$ worth. Thank goodness for car insurance. Nuts. Thankfully when all the warning lights went on I called the dealership and took it in instead of driving it up north which was where I was headed. It could have been deadly! I’m still waiting for my car but have a rental for now. 

  

Finally I’m feeling great! Healthy and happy and after a visit for a physical got great news about improved bone density and balanced blood work. All my hard work at life balance, good nutrition and listening to my body is working. 

Have an amazing rest of the summer cuz school and fall’s craziness is right around the corner 😩.