Typically I’m a solo runner. Sometimes my friend John will run with me, which is nice because we help push each other and get to socialize, but other than that I’m on my own most days. I usually prefer it this way because it’s the perfect me time. Just me and my thoughts. There’s no better way for me to destress and I notice a change in my mood when I don’t get some solo running time in.
This Thursday however I decided to try something new. I went to my local running store, Runners Alley, for their Thursday night group run. This is something they do every Thursday, it’s free for all and sometimes they have a chance to win a prize (this week was a trigger point ball thing), or they’ll have shoe companies demo new products. If you’re local to NH check them out because they’re awesome! Their stores remind me of going to Marathon Sports in Boston, since both will examine your gait before making suggestions, as well as let you test drive the shoes around the block. This week Asics was there demoing their new 33 series. This is what honestly drew me to the group run because I’ve been curious about the new Gel-Lyte33 V3 as a possible 5k race shoe. I’ve realized I can’t run in totally minimal/race flat style shoes for most 5k’s just because my flat brick feet need a little more shoe beneath them.
As I walked into the store I was kindly greeted as I’ve always been, and there were a few runners milling about already there for the run. This location has only been open for about a month or so, but that night there were at least 10 of us running at varying fitness levels. It was nice to see so many runners supporting a local business, which I’m all about. I don’t mind paying a few dollars extra to support an asset to my community vs saving $5 buying through a huge website that has no personal connection to my life (rant over). Anyways The Run was just over 3 miles and I had a blast! We ran at a slightly slower pace than I’m used to but it was nice to talk with some of the employees and other runners. One thing I will say is that it’s hard to not sound braggy when talking about different races you’ve run, or what your summer race schedule is like. Sometimes when I meet new people I tend to word vomit so being a good listener was a good skill to practice. Back at the shop after they gave away the trigger point ball thingy to one of the runners and even did a foam rolling clinic to those interested.
As far as the Asics were concerned I surprisingly loved them. I’ve been running almost exclusively in my Altra Torins lately so the Gel-Lytes were a very different shoe. They were lower to the ground, had less cushioning, and were crazy light! I was worried I would feel too much pounding without the cushion, something I’ve been concerned with post stress fracture, but they provided enough support that I felt safe. I was also worried the toe box would feel constrictive after running in the foot shaped Altras, but there was plenty of room for me, and the nearly seamless upper didn’t leave me with any blisters. The only thing I would maybe wanna change is the drop, it’s a 6mm drop and I’ve become accustomed to my 0mm drop shoes, but I honestly didn’t notice it much on the short 3 miler so it would probably be fine. I’m definitely going to consider these as my next 5k shoe since they’re a more affordable shoe at $90.00 MSRP.
All in all I had a great time running with some new people, enjoyed testing out new shoes on a real run, and will definitely be back for more of the Thursday night group runs!