Skeptical, I laced up these freakish monstrosities, and headed out onto the busy sidewalks of Hood River, Oregon to give them a go. When I say Hoka, you might think I am talking about an elaborately designed water pipe, but you would be wrong. Hoka One One is a new and some say “revolutionary” type of running shoe. When I had mentioned to the Running Store’s shop owner that I never thought I would run again because of bad knees, he insisted that I try these shoes. At $170.00 retail, this shoe is not for the faint of heart. As I bounded out of the store, there is really no other word for the feeling, it felt almost as though I was “bounding” on mini-trampolines, or running on marshmallows. The shoe while appearing gigantic, is surprisingly lightweight, which is a good thing. Bottom line, there is a lot of give and bounce to this shoe. Which as somebody who is struggling to improve their running pace, I’m not entirely sure that “the bounding” is a good thing. Would that bounce steal my energy?
A few days after my 12 mile trail run, I am experiencing a bit of residual knee pain. Here it comes, that oh so disheartening stickiness and sharp pains in the joint. Back home, in front of my computer, I decided to do a bit more research with regard to the Hoka’s. The reviews are very mixed. It seems that people either love them or hate them. I did watch the official video on the Hoka One One website, and while it inspired me to want to run their sponsored 50K, I’m not sure that it sold me on the shoes. During the promotional video, there is an ultra runner of some notoriety, (also sponsored by Hoka) who is holding up a shoe with a big gash in the sole. He claims that had the shoe not absorbed that sharp rock, he certainly would have been feeling pain. I don’t know about you, but if I pay $170.00 for a pair of freaking shoes, I expect that running across a sharp rock would NOT rip the sole of said shoe apart.
I have a few friends who are ultra runners. Desperate for these “marshmallow shoes” to be a solution to my running “with bad knees” dilemma, I put out the question. What do you think of these shoes? Again, the responses are split. My friends either love them or hate them. The actual “wear” of the shoe does seem to be a constant issue. The Hoka sales pitch claims that you will get twice as many miles from these shoes, as they will not break down as does a normal running shoe. Unfortunately, that is just not proving to be true among my friends. One ultra runner friend said that he truly wanted them to be the revolutionary shoe that they claimed to be, but unfortunately, they just proved to be a big waste of money. He tried two different pairs, and both of them lost their cushion after a mere 200 miles. Sigh. Since I am not independently wealthy, and not an athlete of any type of notoriety, (sponsorship of any type is extremely unlikely), it looks as though I will not have an opportunity to try these out for myself. If they truly break down after 200 miles, I just cannot justify the expense.
So, my dear beloved Brooks shoes, I’m sorry that I doubted you. I’m sorry that I thought of straying, but if you will have me back, I’m here to stay.
I’ve been a bit remiss in posting. Even now, fit, trim, and healthy, I find that my “dark passenger” occasionally decides to hitch a ride. When I am under its influence, writing anything worth reading, just does not happen. Sigh. I find myself filled with self doubt and I constantly question the validity of my efforts. A big difference for me today, (over where I was three years ago) is that I am aware of its influence. I am fighting to be free of the negative self talk. Although I still struggle, the fight is much less intense now. Most days, I think I am winning.
The ladies I am training are just a few weeks out from a 5K race. We are continuing with speed work and strength training. A few workouts are listed below. For my ladies, this is a record of what we’ve done to prepare.
Run 3.5 miles with random speedplay
Plus 10 x hill repeat
Superset x 4
Leg Press, 210, 230, 250, 270 x 15
Stiff Leg Deadlift 10 x 60
Quad Burners x 15 each leg
Superset x 4
Seated Calf Raise 10 x 60
Straight Leg Calf Raise 10 x 210
Reverse Crunch with Leg Lift x 30
Yoga Plank x 1:00
Seated Accordian Crunches x 30
Toe Lift and Carry
Splashfit Tuesday 10 minute elliptical Run 4 miles with hill 50 Sumo Squats with Lateral Leg Raise at halfway point Superset x 4 Leg Press 15 x 210, 250, 290, 310 Stiff Leg Deadlift 15 x 60 Single Leg Chair Squats 10 x each Leg Superset x 4 Seated Calf Raise 10 x 70 Straight Leg Calf Raise 10 x 210 Elbow Plank x 2:00 minutes Reverse Crunch with Leg Lift x 30 Accordian Crunches x 30 and done!
Splashfit Thursday Warmup Elliptical Ladder SEVENS Superset x 7 Seven Push-ups Each set a different variation Seven Cossack bench dips Seven Fitband Squat Rows Sprint 100 yards, stairs Jog 100 yards, stairs Stair Repeats 2 x 7 Superset x 3 Barbell Power Clean and Press One Arm Dumbell Row Incline Dumbell Chest Press Alternating Dumbell Bicep Curls Dumbell Front Shoulder Raises Elbow Plank 2:00 Medicine Ball Crunch Press x 30 Medicine Ball Russian Twist x 30 Reverse Crunch with Leg Lift x 30 and done!