My Thoughts on the Brooks GTS 19’s

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The Brooks GTS remains true to its Acronym being the ‘Go To Shoe’  – As a pronator, I’ve been loyal to this shoe for the last couple of years and find them really comfortable. The GTS shoe is a high mileage, every day stability trainer with maximum support. I’ve currently been wearing mine for Marathon training, so they are getting some good mileage. Even when they were new, I didn’t suffer from any blisters which is sometimes the case with new shoes.

This year, Brooks have released the 19’s with a bold move of a redesigned sole.  Risky? Yes.

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Brooks have decided to totally redesign the sole with Guide Rails support system. The reason for this is to provide a softer and springier ride. The idea behind the guide rails support system is to make a point that there is not a right way to run and therefore the shoe focuses on individuality rather than directing your foot and ankle into landing somewhere it doesn’t want to! Therefore, everyone’s unique way of running will perform best when the footwear works with an individual’s unique gait.

The shoe weighs the same as the previous edition – it also looks similar to be honest – although the sole looks slightly chunkier than the Brook’s 18’s.

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When I put these on, they felt bouncy and secure – the ride felt comfortable with the midsole rails on each side of the shoe, cradling my foot. Brooks version of this shoe is to allow your foot to guide rather than it being corrected.

The heel drop on them is 12mm which is perfect for someone like me who suffers with Achilles problems.

I found the material more breathable although the stripes on the front of the show lead me to think that I had mud or a mark on the front.  I wore mine out in the rain and found that they dried very quickly and without soggy socks!  The toe box is roomy and there was no slippage from the heel.  The rear section of the mid sole has been updated with a new DNA loft foam – foam air and rubber if you are wondering – hence giving your ride some extra bounce.

The laces were generous enough to lace right to the top of the trainer (not like others who scrimp on lace length). The tongue of the trainer is still padded and comfortable. The width of it is just right and helps to improve the fit of the shoe. Overall a winner!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Shoe Specifications

  • Shoe Type/Category: Stability
  • Weight: 10 oz
  • Shoe drop: 12mm
  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium
  • Forefoot: Medium width
  • Previous model: Adrenaline Brooks 18’s

 

Pros

Comfortable and well padded

Sturdy

Great choice of colours

Supportive

A soft ride

 

Cons

The change may not be for everyone

Self Love

‘But what are you doing for YOU Kerry?’ This was the burning question my PT asked me not so long ago..  The answer was probably absolutely nothing.  I was caught in a working 40 hours per week, socialising, marathon training, leading at club, organising a 5K for charity and strength training at the gym.  I work in HR and I’ve got to be brutally honest, I was a bit ‘peopled out’.

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Sometimes you burn out before its too late and I had lost a bit of my spark.  I was just mentally and physically exhausted. I can’t remember the last time I sat on my sofa and just did nothing and relaxed.

It’s essential at times to remember that we all have choices and it’s OK to be selfish sometimes.  I try to lead running groups at club at least once a month.  This month, I’ve just not been able to manage it. Do I feel guilty – absolutely.   It’s so easy to feel the tug of war on expectations, challenges, commitments, technology, family, friends and work. But do you need it all to just STOP for a moment?

Dr Seuss summed it up beautifully: “How did it get so late so soon?” he wrote ” It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

This Friday night, I have a date, with myself. I’m going to watch a good film, have a bubble bath, light some candles and incense, turn off all social media and just RELAX.  When was the last time you did that?

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I’ve thought about how I can slow my pace down whilst juggling all these balls in the air and from next week, I’m going to attempt the following;

  1. Breathe – There are a variety of breathing techniques that can help you slow down and enjoy your life. Just by breathing in your nose, hold and breathing out of your mouth
  2. Marley cuddles – There’s a reason why my dog is my best friend. Marley brings me so much joy to my life as well as unconditional love and companionship.

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3.  Just ‘be there’ – being in the present. Having gratitude, listening, being  appreciative    – this can be achieved by yoga, and meditation.

4. Less is more – Spring clean anyone?

5.  Drive Slower – I constantly race from A to B and need to slow down and become less  frustrated with other drivers. We are all guilty of it.

6.  Saying ‘No’ – sometimes having more time for you means saying no from time to time.

What do you do to relax? How do you know when you just need a ‘time out?’

May your miles be long , your weekend relaxing and your injuries few.

Kezza x

 

Things Runners shouldn’t talk about (but do)

It’s been a great couple of months for me running wise.  I’ve felt fit, strong and above all, confident.  I have been working hard with my PT with strengthening my body and so far, so good.

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I have been struggling with the early morning sessions (yes I am prone to an 11 hour sleep) on a Sunday for training runs so decided to put the training back until 10am and this is working much better for me.

I’m still incorporating Body Balance into my training which is working well for stretching and doing so by using the Les Mills Interactive monthly plan. 

That’s enough small talk, let’s get down to business! There are a few things that most runners don’t like to talk about (I do, because I am gross and brutally honest). I run as a Fareham Crusader, so I get to chat to other runners A LOT!  Running isn’t glamorous (only if you spot the photographer in time).

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‘Quick, look happy, there’s a photographer!’

Things you’re not supposed to talk about as a runner…

Snot Rockets

I’m so sorry Jane (my marathon training partner), I am awful at this.  You don’t know what this is?  Yeah right!!! So you can only do this when you are running outside.  If you try it in a gym on the treadmill, you may get thrown out.  It’s pretty much when you are bunged up and you clear one nostril at a time, you get my drift.  Don’t be that guy (yes you, runner at Fareham Parkrun) who did this whilst running and I was running behind you.  It’s very antisocial. There are actually videos online to perfecting the perfect snot rocket.  Fill your boots.

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Instructions for the perfect ‘snot rocket’

Runners Trots

My running friends all know how delicate my stomach is.  I have been known to have ducked into pubs, public loos and even bushes on particularly awkward runs.  When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.  Funny for me, but not so funny for others who have suffered or perhaps for new runners; this may come as a bit of a shock.  I also know some runners who have really weak bladders and have had to go mid race as they’ve not got to a loo in time… a taboo topic..but it’s more common than you think.

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Even elite runners get caught short..

Bra Rub / Chaffing

I wasn’t blessed with vol-au-vents for boobs and so I get serious bra rub, regardless of what bra/s I wear (Vaseline is my friend).  I’m actually scarred from the number of chaffing wounds I have.  I’m still on the search for the perfect running bra. The longer the run, the more this force begins to stalk its victims. For some, it presents as a slight discomfort, for others, it can be really quite uncomfortable and can really affect your run..

OCD

Oh you’ve only ran 4.89?!  You had better run up and down your road at least 6 times, just enough for the neighbours to think you have finally lost the plot.

Dry Skin

My face has been like sandpaper this winter. I have been using emu oil and vaseline to lather my face from the elements which have been harsh. Runners are prone to skin problems due to the damaging elements like cold, sunlight, and infection. As I am a sufferer of skin cancer, i have to wear a really high factor in the summer.

Asthma in the cold / warm months

I have had my asthma under control for the last year probably because I didn’t end up with pneumonia again for the third time.  You can find out more about running with asthma here

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Black toe nails / No toe nails

Us runners take pride in showing off our manky feet.  Yep, we’re damn proud of how calloused, rough, and mangled our feet are. It just goes to show how much time we put into training. Our feet wouldn’t be this ugly without all the miles we put in. You see, it’s our badge of honour! I draw the line at putting pictures up on social media of a missing toe nail. Too much information people! 🙂

 

Relationships

Goodbye all night raves and barhopping – unfortunately these do not work well with your training plan.  Any runners is aware that they are lucky for any support that they get.  Its really important to thank those supportive, awesome people who are watching your race, waiting for you at the finish line, or for me, looking after Marley Moo (my dog).  My parents are just around the corner and are really supportive and so I am very grateful for that.

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Marley Moo – ‘She’s off running again’

Blisters

Sometimes, they form because of too much sweat. Sometimes, it’s because there’s something in our shoes that’s causing unwanted friction. It may be because of new shoes.  Chances are, if you’re a runner, you have had a blister of some sort.  Us runners like to brag about our blisters, hell, sometimes it turns into a competition – who has the largest and most disgusting blister.  No doubt, there will be that runner who has taken a picture of their blister.  Us runners can be dirty buggers..

Of course, there are lots of positives about running which we DO talk about! A lot! These really do outweigh the above, though I’m yet to find a man who will give me a foot rub..

May your miles be long and your injuries few

Kezza xx

London Marathon 2019

Once again, I am training for the London Marathon.  I was lucky enough to obtain a charity place through Rowan’s Hospice which I am so grateful for.  So far, training is going well, and I have the pleasure of training with my good friend Jane Pollard- this is her first marathon.  This is my second.  This time around, I am not stressing about my training, I am following the plan but realise that I can tweak it at different times.  I have a life and a demanding full-time job. Sometimes not fulfilling a training run, happens.

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Me and my lovely friend Jane on a training run.. 

The great thing about running with Jane, is that she is not precious about PB’s on training runs and it’s all very chilled and chatty. This year, I have decided to use Martin Yelling’s London Marathon 16-week plan, but with a few tweaks.  I felt that the intermediate plan was too advanced for me and yet the beginners was just that little bit too ‘beginner’ for me.  So, I have decided to use the beginners plan but with some tweaks.  It’s all working well.

I did Hellrunner last November and it was SO HILLY – to the point where my back was so painful -I have had an uncomfortable feeling in my thigh ever since.  After waiting for it to disappear for 3 months, it didn’t, so I decided to see a Sports Therapist yesterday.  For those local to Fareham, I saw Lawrence Knott at knott kinetics .  He was absolutely brilliant.  Really thorough and I would highly recommend him.  Turns out I have a pinched nerve in my back which has kind of got stuck in my thigh.  Hopefully a few sessions should sort this out!  So far, my Achilles have been playing ball.

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Reaching the end of Hell… 

For my fundraising efforts for the Rowan’s, I have decided (with the help of Rural Running ), to organise a 5k race.  So far, I have over 100 participants signed up which I am over the moon about. Jeff Clark (Race Director of Rural Running) has been a real help with my fundraising and has kindly allowed me to use the platform of his website and expertise to attract race entries.  The race takes place on the 24th Feb 2019 in Wickham and there is still time to enter here.  If you would kindly like to donate to my Rowan’s fundraising, my Just giving page can be found here.

Other than running, I have been building up my strength and weights in the gym with Holly Selman, my PT.  Check out her page here, she is an absolute machine. More times than often, Holly will demonstrate what she wants me to do with some reps, only for me to have a go, and not be able to lift the actual weight that she has been holding! Holly has really helped me keep a positive mindset and to ensure that I am not doubting myself – which I often do.  Holly also keeps me in check and lets me know if i’m doing too much as in terms of socialising, working out, running and working (she forces me to take a rest day and not feel guilty about it).  She is also my life coach! 🙂

This year at club, we also have two new Captains who have also been amazing and a real asset to the Fareham Crusaders.  Neil and Bex have been good for my soul and have given me and many more, a zest of love for running with their fun approach to working hard but still getting the results.  This works well for me.  There is enough serious pressure and competition at work, and for me, running is a hobby and I want to enjoy it.

 

I hope to provide many more updates on training and will provide the ‘ups’ and of course ‘the downs’.  Let’s buckle up and get ready for the ride..

May your runs be long, and your injuries few..

Kezza x