Friday, January 03, 2020

Sally Reiley's Year in Running and Gear of the Year

Article by Sally Reiley
Running has truly become a part of my everyday in 2019, even though I intentionally do not run EVERY day. Too old for that, want to avoid injury! I successfully ran two major marathons in 2019 : Boston in April and New York City in November. I was laid low with a quad strain injury (slipping on New England ice) during the training for Boston, and literally did not run for seven weeks leading up to the marathon . Went to the starting line with unknown expectations, but managed to finish in 3:38 despite the injury and lack of training runs. Trust yourself! 

Turned 60 in September, and celebrated being injury free (finally figuring out the necessary strength training). Training cycle for New York went well, and I ran an all-time personal best marathon in 3:28 (proud to say that was good enough for 2nd place in my age group!).  
My kids were quick to question whether it was the Nike Vaporfly Next % shoes I was wearing? Correct footwear was a factor, but I still had to run 26.2 miles! I fondly refer to my beloved racing shoes as “my magic slippers.” This fall I have been easily hitting “below USATF age-group standards” in the 5K, 5 Mile, and 10K races I have done. I was pleased to win my age group at the Boston Reebok 10K For Women (formerly known as the Tufts 10K) with a time of 44:42 (7:12/mi pace). Bottom line, I am feeling great and enjoying my running. Currently in the early stages of training for Boston 2020! Lucky #7?

Gear of the Year
Run Shoe Favorites
I was late to the party to write down my “Best of 2019” summary for Sam at Road Trail Run (the holidays were spent juggling my five kids, aging parents, and new house), so I had the pleasure of reading the other RTR reviewers’ highlights. I kept thinking I wish I had the chance to run in some of those other shoes!
Taking into account all the shoes I did test, I struggled with “Best Of” categories, with the exception of the road race shoe: hands down the Nike Vaporfly Next %, as discussed above. I can’t say enough good stuff about this shoe, but all has been said by the others.

Best daily trainer was a tough choice for me. Granted, I have something going on with one foot, but some softer shoes definitely cause pain underneath/around the big toe joint. I did not test any one trainer that I absolutely LOVED.
Asics Glide Ride (RTR Review) was probably my favorite quicker training shoe as I liked the forward thrust of the ride (though I found it ran short in length). 
For recovery runs, I found I kept turning to the Saucony Triumph 17 (RTR Review) for the cloud like cushioned ride. Awesome all-around comfort, might even rival my beloved Oofos for casual wear! 

Given my love affair with the Nike VF Next % as a race shoe, I bought the Nike Zoom Fly 3 on my own as a trainer. I keep wanting to love it, but I just don’t. The ride is fun, but the upper is not working for me as it causes pan above the toe joint (this is the first Nike in my experience to run long for size, so perhaps it is just too long and creasing in the wrong place? The Vaporweave does not have any give either. 

 I never tested any of the shoes that brought smiles to the other reviewers: NB 1080v10, Hoka Carbon X, Topo Zephyr, Nike Peg Turbo 2, Skechers Max Road 4 and Razor 3. Let’s see what 2020 brings? There is already an Asics shoe that I am testing that brings me smiles, the GEL-Nimbus Lite… perhaps 2020 will be the year of MAGA (Make Asics Great Again!). 

Other Gear Highlights for 2019

Maurten Gel - a gamechanger in the race day nutrition department! Much easier to swallow than traditional gus, more like unflavored jello in a pouch, does not require water to wash it down. Very easy on the stomach! I will test the Maurten Drink before long runs this winter as I prep for Boston 2020. 

Apparel Favorites (all personal purchases that I am more than pleased with):

Cold weather headgear: Your mother always told you that if you were cold, put on a hat… I LOVE the Skida Alpine Hats! ( This latest collection called “Sophie’s World” supports our friend Sophie Caldwell, a member of the US Nordic Ski Team, Olympian, and World Cup competitor (40% of proceeds go to support Sophie’s travel and training). I own many of these hats - moisture-wicking, fully-lined (also available without fleece lining), cute prints!

Cold-weather jacket: I LOVE the Arc’teryx Gaea Jacket for all my winter running here in New England (and Colorado) . 

Cold weather tights and shorts: I have long been a fan of the Lululemon running tights and shorts. (Their tops and jackets, with the exception of my go-to Swiftly Tech Racerback tank top, fit a longer and narrower torso.) I favor the WinterToasty Tech Tight for cold runs, and the Run Times Short for warmer weather. I am always astounded how many women are wearing Lululemon shorts in all the marathons and other races I run!

My SpiBelt was no longer big enough to hold my iphone 8Plus… I first wore this belt in the NYC Marathon. Love it! Large enough to hold the larger iphones, and plenty of pockets to hold the larger Maurten gels. No slippage, no bouncing! 

Happy Running in 2020!

2020 Run Introductions YouTube playlist HERE 
Shoe Reviews YouTube playlist HERE

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
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