Postpartum running and speed

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend right before the start of a 5k that I am sort of frustrated about the lack of progress I am seeing with my speed. I explained that while I am running a decent number of miles each week, keeping up with cross training (and PT), and doing at least one speed session each week, I am not seeing my pace drop in races!

postpartum running

The topic returns to my head often. I spent a lot of time during the last 4 years working on getting faster and actually saw results. I took about 2 minutes off of my 5k time and about 6 off of my half marathon time (those seem to be the only distances I lean towards when it comes to racing). I was happy with the results but I wanted more. I often thought, “Could I run a < 21 minute 5k?” and “Could I run a < 1:40 half marathon?” Honestly, I thought both were possible.

I ran my fastest races right before I got pregnant and after taking time to return to running and speedwork postpartum, I just haven’t seen the same results as I did from training before I had a baby. When I was worried about this exact problem, I read that SO MANY WOMEN became faster after having a baby! Was it commitment? Was it genes? Was is MAGIC?

I honestly feel like I fully committed myself to half marathon training this winter/spring but I put so much pressure on myself to dominate my “comeback race” that I completely blew up. My speed was nowhere to be found. Same goes for the numerous 5k races I completed over the last 6 months (every single finish time hovered around 23 minutes). I am fully aware that my body has changed and that running will never feel *exactly* the same as it used to. I can’t decide if I am looking for something to place the blame or if I just need to simply work harder if I really want it.

summit nj overlook 5k

For now, I guess there isn’t much else to do but to keep on trucking and maintain my fitness level and hope for a better outcome.

This little munchkin helps me feel better :)

baby jennie fizz

Has anyone else experienced this type of running/racing/training drag?

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 Review

Disclosure: Runner’s World connected me with Mizuno, who provided me with a pair of Mizuno Enigma 5 shoes to test free of charge. I also received additional compensation in exchange for testing, talking about and reviewing the shoes. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

I have been sort of lost in the running shoe world lately. My beloved Mizuno Elixir were discontinued and I ran both pairs that I had into the ground. I asked many different people where I should go from there. I wanted a shoe that was comfortable and supportive for everyday mileage (whether I plan on running 3 miles or 12 miles) and that will hold up when I begin to train for a half marathon toward the end of the summer. I have been rotating old shoes until I find a replacement.

The folks at Runner’s World must have known I was in need of some running shoe guidance and sent me an email offering me an opportunity to review the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5. Impeccable timing, amiright?

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 runing shoe review

First, the stats from the company:

I will start with the Wave Technology (because this is the foundation of  every pair of Mizuno running shoes on the market). Inspired by nature (think tidal waves), the midsole is designed to dissipate impact forces away from the foot for a smoother, more cushioned feel on every step.

The Wave Enigma 5 is the newest member of Mizuno’s neutral collection equipped with Smoothride Engineering (think rocking-chair-like motion in every step and a bouncy feel at the midsole).

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 review and stats

Next, my feelings:

My initial feeling was that it was a lot of shoe. They are about an ounce heavier than what I am used to. There is no doubt that when you put them on you can feel the cushion. They have a “walking on a cloud” type of feel.

I have been wearing them for a handful of weeks for now for every single workout. I wanted to give them a good test and see where they fit into the rotation. I put about 50 miles on them. Those miles included short runs, speed workouts, and long runs. I also wore them to the gym for strength workouts and wore them when I took Jennie for walks with the stroller.

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 running shoe review

Most. awkward. arm. swing. ever.

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 running shoe review

She’s jealous that she doesn’t have a pair.

I really like them. Even though I get the “a lot of shoe” feeling when I put them on, I never feel it when I am running. After about a week of wearing them, I found my stride easily and each step seamlessly rolled into the next. The comfort level is out of this world. I have wide feet and while the fit was “glove-like” the toe box did not feel too restrictive (but it definitely feels more narrow than the Sayonara or Wave Rider or Elixir). The laces are extra stretchy, not the typical material (I know it is a weird thing to notice) and never came undone, which is a problem I face quite frequently. The upper is mesh and breathable. My feet never felt suffocated or too sweaty while running in this darling 1000000% humidity (so. much. frizz). Another important feature for us vain folk is that the Enigma 5 is aesthetically pleasing when you need a break from neon. #winning

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 running shoe review

#Ups

Result: I will definitely continue to wear them for easy running and longer distances. Although they were fine for speedwork, I feel more comfortable in a very light, flat shoe. For reference, I wear the Mizuno Wave Musha for speed and racing (unfortunately these were also discontinued but mine still have some life in them, thankfully).

Have you tried the Enigma 5? 

What is important to you in a running shoe?

Note: The Enigma 5 retails for $149.99. Click the link to learn more! 

A running survey

Happy Friday! I am currently waiting not-so-patiently for the pizza lunch to arrive at my office. Friday is a good day but Pizza Friday is a better day. Anyway, it’s time for some fun. I love any kind of survey. Today’s topic is running and it is brought to you c/o Hollie.

Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

Beach path always!

beach path running

If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

Lemon-lime 100%! I like the light blue (but it reminds me of being hungover) and I like red (but once I spilled it on my top during a race and it looked like my nipples were bleeding).

If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

A good pair of winter running tights. For some perspective, I spent $100 on a pair of Lululemon running tights and they are still going strong almost 5 years later. It stings a bit in the beginning to spend that much but it is worth it in the long run!

Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

I love a training plan with I am training for a race (obviously?) but when I don’t have a goal race on my calendar I love running as far and fast as I feel like that day (or not running at all).

Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

I think all races should end with an amazing downhill (kudos Richmond Marathon).

Unfortunately, my home is located on the top of a giant hill so if I head out for a run (without driving anywhere), I have to end my run on the uphill in order to get home. It is TORTUREand I always feel like I am about to roll back down the hill.

When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

Yoga, spin, and strength classes. I also think yoga doubles as a strength workout!

yoga cross training inversion

What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

I like out and back because it is so fun to see the winners of the race (or friends that are in front of you or behind you). High fives for life.

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

Good running shoes.

Mizuno Wave Musha good running shoes

Recycled this bad boy.

Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

No! So boring.

Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Haha yes. Just recently actually. I almost always run with my phone (when I am alone) but for some reason I decided to leave it in the car because I was just going to head out for about 30 min before a doctor appointment in a neighboring town. I thought I was making a giant circle but I was not and I got lost rather easily. The area was residential but I didn’t see ANYONE to help me! Finally I found a mailman and told me how to get back to my car.

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

Breakfast burrito!

Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

Shorts almost always. I don’t even want to risk wearing pants that get saggy in the crotch.

At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

20-30 minutes (which is usually when I stop these days). #lolz

What do you do with your key when you run?

Leave it on the tire of my car, don’t steal it.

If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

2012 Hartford Half Marathon. My finish time for 3 half marathons in a row was 1:50:xx. I couldn’t freaking break it! This race was so solid for me. I finally broke 1:50 and finished in 1:45!!!!!

Hartford Half MarathonWhat type of run is your least favorite type of run?

I would rather share my favorite type of run! When I am in good enough shape, I love 3×2 mile repeats! I would almost always rather tempo than do short intervals. So I guess short intervals are my least favorite, haha.

What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

Since I am not training for any specific race right now I like to stay consistent and maintain my fitness level for if and when I want to train again.

When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

Ideally I would leave from my door but I usually drive to meet some friends to run. See uphill question above.

When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

98% of the time I wear sunglasses. The other 2% were the races in the pictures above.

running with sunglasses is a must

When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

The fact that I am nowhere near my car or home.

Answer any of your favorite questions in the comments! Do we have any of the same running habits?