Race Preview: Dizzy Goat 2013

This Saturday, June 22, 2013, I will be participating in the Dizzy Goat 3, 6, and 12 hour run. This inaugural event is put on by the Greater Omaha Trail Runnerz (GOATZ). More information on the Dizzy Goat and the GOATZ in general can be found here.

Cade will be volunteering for the day and only I will be running. He waited too long to get signed up and it was sold out by the time he decided to go for it. Sad.

Here’s the concept: The Dizzy Goat is a timed loop run. There is a 3.25 mile loop at the hilly and beautiful Schramm Park State Recreation Area. Each participant runs the loop as many times as he or she can/wants to in the designated time. There are two ways to earn a medal as a Dizzy Goat runner. The first way is to run the equivalent of one loop per hour for the given time period. I am running the 6 hour, so to earn a medal I would have to run 19.5 miles. If I was feeling super speedy and got to 19.5 miles in say, 4 hours, then I could stop and collect my medal. Or, I could keep going and rack up some more mileage. I am not super speedy so I don’t expect this to be the case but you never know. The second way to earn a medal is to stay on course (except for aid station stops, potty breaks, etc.) for the entire time period you’ve signed up for. I can definitely keep moving for 6 hours. I will earn my medal in one way or another.

Another cool thing about this race is that they’ve made the start times such that all runners will be finishing at the same time. The 12 hour runners start at 7:00 a.m. The 6 hour runners (that’s me!) start at 1:00 p.m. The 3 hour runners start at 4:00 p.m. Everyone finishes at 7:00 p.m.  The only thing I don’t like about racing is getting up so blasted early. A 1:00 p.m. start sounds like heaven to me.

Going in to a race like this I really have no goals other than to stay out there the whole time. I have no idea how far I will go and I don’t really care. I’m just in it to have a great time with some awesome people. Trail runners, especially ultra trail runners, are a special breed of folks. They are nice, supportive, fun, encouraging, and have a little screw loose to do these awesome runs. That’s just fine by me.

I’m really looking forward to some time on the trails on Saturday. And the beer at the finish line.

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Attitude is Everything

Mental toughness and attitude are huge in endurance sports. The old saying that attitude is everything certainly rings true. Today, my attitude sucks. I planned to do a 3+ hour bike and run workout today while Cade was racing in Kansas.

I woke up late, fed the horses, ate a little something and farted around the house before finally getting on my bike just after noon. My plan was to do three repeats of bike 10 miles and run 2 miles. My first bike was okay but I just wasn’t feeling it. I put on my running shoes for the first run and my attitude got worse and worse with every step. This is supposed to be enjoyable, what’s wrong with me today? I ended up walking nearly all of the two miles. I called Cade and told him I suck today.

I’m done for now. I’m going to try not to beat myself up too much. Some days I just don’t have it. At this point in the year I think it will be better to reflect and try again rather than push when I’m not feeling it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

When Cade gets home we are going swimming then to a movie so all will not be lost. Tomorrow is a new day.

Just

Just is a word I hear way too often in relation to accomplishments. Typically it is used in conversation regarding an upcoming race or the training planned for the day. I am just doing an Olympic Triathlon, I am just running a 5k, I am just sitting on the couch. All of the work we do and races we compete in are great accomplishments and should not be minimized but should be celebrated. Even the sitting on the couch is an important part of the endurance athlete life. So next time you are telling an Ironman about the sprint tri you recently signed up for be PROUD! Having the courage and determination to toe any line is a win in my book.

Open Water and Solo Training

Last night we had an open water swim courtesy of Race Omaha. I love that Race Omaha hosts open water swims several weeks in a row leading up to their races. It was immensely helpful to me when I was new to racing to get a feel for the water and preview the actual race course. Cade and I have been setting up the swim courses for practice swims and both races since 2011 using our little fishing boat and last night was no exception. I was late, as usual, so Cade had the course set up by the time I arrived. The course was open for an hour for participants to swim as many laps as they cared to.

I had a great swim last night. I decided to just swim one lap and take it super easy. I wanted to enjoy the calm water and nice evening. Cade and I started off together several minutes after everyone else jumped in. There is something so calming to me about swimming in open water. I’m one of those lucky people who has never had a panic attack in the water (knock wood) and I love my wetsuit. I rounded the first buoy and kept stroking along with Cade just in front of me. He stopped at the second buoy so I did too. We chatted for a few moments then started off for the next turn buoy where we stopped to chat again. While we were stopped I touched what I assume was a stick or something under the water. I jerked my leg away and caught a cramp in my hip- dumb! I am not a fan of sea life, fish in particular. They freak me out. I tend to pretend that there are no fish in the bodies of water where I swim. Yuck. I started swimming back to the boat ramp to get away from that killer stick.

I swam 950 yards in 17:00 according to my Garmin 910xt for an average pace of 1:48/100yds. That includes the stops to chat with Cade and touch the stick with my foot. I’d guess that my pace was probably closer to 1:40/100yds of actual swimming time. That’s a great pace for me especially since it felt so easy and relaxed. I guess all of those drills and sprints at my master’s swimming class are paying off- even if I curse my instructor the whole time.

Cade is racing tomorrow at the Topeka Tinman. I’m not going with him. He’s been wanting to do a solo race for a while now and this just worked out. I debated going with him, but in the end decided I would just stay home to avoid having to pay a house sitter to watch our critters. He’s leaving this afternoon and I’m sad about it. I’ve never missed one of his races before. I’ve raced without him before (Xterra Cheyenne Mountain 1/2 Marathon 2011 in Colorado Springs, CO) but somehow this feels different.

I have a solo mini triple planned for myself tomorrow. I’ll ride 10, run 2, ride 10, run 2, ride 10, run 2. If I’m feeling really frisky perhaps I’ll add a fourth repeat in there. We shall see. Hopefully the weather holds out.

Where I Started

I wasn’t always such a bad ass (ha ha). In 2009, I was over 200 pounds. I was unhealthy, unhappy, unmotivated, and had resigned myself to the fact that I would always be a fat slug. After Cade randomly decided to do a triathlon and completed the Topeka Tinman short course in 2008, we both eventually got road bikes and started on this awesome path we’ve been screaming down since 2010. I started a blog in 2010 and it is good for me to look back and see where I started and how far I have come. There is a post where I ran my first mile without stopping. That warms my heart. Check it out here.

Bandurance!

Cade and I were featured on the Bandurance blog earlier this year in an article about couples in triathlon. Check it out here: Bandurance

My Favorite Memories

In honor of our 9th anniversary (6/12/13) I thought I would share with you three couple memories from our endurance life. I am sure there are tons more that are equally important.

Picking up the kittens we have found out riding the country roads. Two of them that each found loving homes. One of them rode about 5 miles on the bike with Molly while i sprinted home to get a car. The other we went back to find. Molly followed in the car as I rode along looking for it. Quickly I realized that it would not know I was there if I was not making noise. So I talked to myself for the 400 yards it took to find her. She had been thrown from a car, had road rash, and a broken hip.

Running down the mountain (approx mile 47) of the 2011 Run Rabbit Run 50 miler and having a yeti (Molly) come bush whacking across a mountain meadow to join me for the last 3 miles of the run. Still cannot believe the amount of luck involved in her timing and sense of direction. We always seem to be pulled together.

Cheering Molly on as she pushed through the pain of an Ironman. Even though it was not my day, getting to be there and experience it with her more than made up for the fact that I had to pull myself from the race.

Wonder what Molly will think of?

Love you dear!

Goals and Plans

*I didn’t intend to write two race reports in this post, but I did!

I have several independent goals for this race season. They are attainable if I put the work in, focus, and dig down when I need to.

Goal #1: Have a good race at Boulder 70.3 on August 4, 2013. I’ve never done a 70.3 before. I just went straight from Olympic distance to Ironman. For those that don’t know, a 70.3 is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. “Have a good race” is a pretty vague goal, I know, but to me it means a few things smushed together. I want to have a good run. I want to feel strong and comfortable on the bike. I want to have a decent swim time. I’m not going to make actual time goals until I get closer to the race, but I want this race to be on my radar as one that I will be well prepared for. It’s in less than 8 weeks. I’d better get crackin’.

Goal #2: Go sub-3 hours at HyVee 5150 US Championships on September 1, 2013. I’ve never had a sub-3 hour Olympic distance race. An Olympic consists of a 1500m swim, 20k bike, and 10k run. I’ve come shockingly close… 3:00:49 at HyVee in 2012. I know I can do it.

Goal #2a: Run a sub-1:00 10k at HyVee. I’m not a speedy runner. I’m getting better and I’ve had several good runs lately. I mentally wuss out on the run and either slow down or walk. Last year at HyVee my run split was 1:03:23. I think that’s the best 10k I’ve run in a race. I’m going to focus a lot on my run this year and hope to finally conquer some mental demons.

Goal #3: Finish Run Rabbit Run 50 on September 14, 2013. Cade and I have gone to Run Rabbit Run in Steamboat Springs, CO each year since 2011. We were going to take a year off from the race this year, but I just couldn’t stay away. My sister, Kerrie Bruxvoort, is a super awesome ultra runner. In 2011, she was just getting started with this whole trail running thing and told us that she had signed up for Run Rabbit Run. Sounded cool. Sounded a little nutty. The race was sold out, but, on a whim, Cade put is name on the wait list. He was contacted a couple of months before the race and told that he had a spot if he wanted it. Run Rabbit Run was our first introduction to the ultra trail running community. It. Is. Amazing. I’ll let Cade recall his experience at Run Rabbit Run 2011 if he chooses, but I’ll just say that it was a hell of a day with some really challenging conditions. It was raining, cold, snowy, windy, nasty, wet, and un-forecasted. People were dropping left and right due to the freezing conditions and potential hypothermia. But Cade pushed through and was able to finish in 11 hours and 11 minutes. So awesome.

In 2012 I decided that I wanted to give it a shot. I knew I would be slow and probably right against the cut off times (16 hours total with an early start plus intermediate cut-offs along the way) but after experiencing the race as a supporter, I just had to participate. 2012 was a rough year for us. Our beloved horse, Lucy, fought a terrible illness that put her in the horsey hospital for nearly a month. We lost her on August 1, 2012 and it was really hard on both of us. It still is almost a year later. The whole time she was sick I think I ran twice. Maybe. I know I raced twice but didn’t do much else. I ran a marathon in May, 2012 but after that my longest runs prior to Run Rabbit Run 2012 were the 10k run legs at the Omaha Triathlon and HyVee Triathlon. That was it.

Going into Run Rabbit Run 2012 I knew that I didn’t have the training to push hard. I still wanted to try to finish, but went into the experience with an open mind knowing that I would have a lot of time alone in the woods to process what had been on my mind since we lost Lucy. I took the early start to give myself a little more time and started off up the dark mountain. I was quickly by myself and remained alone for the majority of the day. I climbed mountain roads, jumped over creeks, hop stepped over rocks and tree limbs, fell over my own two feet, saw some of the most beautiful scenery my eyes have ever seen, met some great people, ate a lot of food, and made the 28 mile cut-off with a few minutes to spare. I decided to drop at mile 28. I was getting tired and knew I would be fighting cut-offs all night long. Cade was ahead of me, but he had to drop too because his knee was bothering him. We hung around and drank a couple beers with the aid station crew and hitched a ride back into town. I didn’t finish last year, but it was one of the coolest experiences that I’ve had. This year I plan to be more prepared and get to the finish line to earn my giant glass mug and fill it with local Steamboat brew.

Goal #4: Finish Ironman Arizona 2013 in under 15 hours on November 17, 2013. I loved Ironman last year. I was terrified beyond belief going into the race and knew that my training had not been what I planned. See my summer filled with no training above? That continued. I was not able to pull out of my Lucy loss funk. With not very much time before the race I began training again out of fear more than anything. Fear of getting myself into a pickle at Ironman and letting a lot of people down. Turns out I had plenty of training in the bank to carry me through the day. My experience at Ironman Arizona 2012 was amazing. Cade was sick with the flu leading up to the race (I’ll let him tell that story too) and I was worried about him. We jumped into the water together just before the swim start. I will always remember floating there with him full of anxiety, fear, excitement, joy… emotion. We gave each other a hug and kiss in the water and shortly thereafter the cannon fired and we were off.

My swim went really well. I was comfortable the whole time and didn’t run into much traffic. I got rubbed and kicked a few times, but that’s to be expected. I just got into a rhythm and chugged along trying to stay smooth and relaxed. After the turnaround point, the trip back seemed to just take a blink of an eye and I was turning toward the exit stairs before I knew it. 1:26:42.

T1 was pretty slow. I must have ordered a pizza in that tent or something. I remember getting my wetsuit stripped off right at the timing mat and running up the long chute to the change tents. My friends Michelle and Polly yelled at me as I ran by and told me that Cade finished the swim and was only a few minutes ahead of me. It was a relief to hear that he was doing ok. I grabbed my bag and went into the tent to get my cycling gear on. I realized that I had a pretty nasty rub on the back of my neck from my wetsuit that stung like crazy when I put sunscreen on. There was nothing that could be done about it so I slathered on some vaseline and grabbed my bike. 10:11.

I loved the bike. The course is three loops that go out into the desert. I got to see the pro field zoom by a few times. It is amazing how fast they are. I planned to stay within myself and enjoy the bike course. I ate honey stinger waffles and chews, I drank super strong gatorade and water, I ate electrolyte pills like they were candy, and, about halfway through the bike I followed the simple advice of those who had come before me: I chewed a piece of mint gum for about 30 seconds. It was the most amazing thing at that point in time. The mint was refreshing and made my mouth feel clean after eating all that sticky sweet stuff all day. That may be the best advice I got for Ironman. The bike course has a long hill going up to the turnaround. The first loop was challenging as there was a headwind going up the hill. I saw Cade going down as I was going up on the first loop. He wasn’t that far ahead of me. Zooming down the hill after the turnaround was fun and it was a great opportunity to flush out my legs and prepare myself mentally for the remainder of the bike. One loop down, two to go.

I saw Cade again just before I reached the turnaround to start the second loop. He was still about 5-10 minutes ahead of me. We yelled to each other briefly and I kept going. Only a few miles after the start of the second loop, I saw a guy stopped with is bike on the side of the road. As I got closer I realized it was Cade and he got on his bike and rode along the course with me. He told me he was done. He hadn’t eaten much in days because he was sick. He didn’t have the energy stores to complete the race and he was afraid if he continued that he would bonk hard and risk real harm to himself. His bike handling skills were diminishing and continuing would be dangerous. We talked it out for a few miles and as we reached the next aid station he made his final decision. It was the right thing to do. I stopped with him, gave him a hug and a kiss, and he told me to “go finish this thing for both of us.” With tears in my eyes and renewed determination in my body, I turned on to the beeline highway to climb the long hill for the second time.

The second climb up the hill felt easy. I was going much faster than I had on the first loop. Little did I know that the wind had shifted and my headwind on the first loop had become a tail wind on the second loop. I figured that out after I turned around. No big deal. I stayed with my nutrition plan and kept chugging along. I got my bike special needs bag around mile 62 on the second loop. I pitched my arm warmers (soccer socks with the feet cut off) and picked up a new bottle of super strong gatorade for the second half of the bike. When I reached the turnaround point to start the third loop Cade was there cheering for me with his mom. It was so good to see him. I found out later that after he got back and told an official he was done for the day he got checked out at the medical tent, lay down on a curb for a while feeling terrible, and spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom. But he was still out there cheering for me.

The third loop was challenging. I still had the wind to contend with and I was starting to get tired. Tired in general and just tired of being on my bike. I made a deal with myself this time going up the hill. I started counting pedal strokes to give my brain something to do. I would count every time my right leg pushed down 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… until I got to 100 and then I would stand and coast for a few seconds to give my butt a break. Then I’d sit back down and start again 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill. Counting pedal strokes kept me from going to that dark place mentally that everyone talks about experiencing in an Ironman. I never went there. At the turnaround (mile 92 or s0) I saw my friend Michelle working the aid station. It was so good to see her! She gave me some fresh water and ran along side me for a bit asking how I was doing. I felt good and her energy helped renew my spirits. I owe a lot to Michelle. She’s an Ironman too. When I was terrified the morning of the race I was overwhelmed and emotional and started crying. I told Michelle I was scared and she gave me a hug and told me I could do it and everything was going to be okay. She was right. 7:05:55.

T2 was slow too. I knew my friend Polly would be working as a volunteer in the T2 tent so I looked for her and ran straight to her. She was finishing up helping another athlete so I slapped her on the ass, got a big hug and squeal, and plopped down on a chair. Polly asked how I was doing and I felt pretty good. I was still with it mentally and could tell her exactly what I needed. I ate some chews, I changed into my Salomon running shorts, grabbed my hat, put some more vaseline on my neck, got some more sunscreen, and was on my way. 11:21.

I started out running and just after I left the transition area I saw Cade, and his mom, and my brother, and my sister-in-law, and their two kids. There may have been other people standing there cheering for me as well, but I don’t remember. It was so awesome to see my family and to hear them cheer for me to keep going. I get emotional during races and that was a special moment for me. I’m getting choked up recalling what I felt like in that moment.

My plan for the run was to run between the aid stations and then walk through the aid station and walk an additional .25miles or so before running again. I knew that I had 8 hours to complete the marathon and was confident that I could do it even with my very limited run training. I didn’t run all that much. I’d say that I ended up speed walking 2/3 of the marathon. I ran when it felt good- mostly the downhill slopes and some of the flats. I walked any time there was a slight incline. I kept a close eye on my pace and my watch so I knew I had plenty of time. I made several porta potty stops along the way. I continued to run when I could and walk when I felt like I needed to- or wanted to. I saw my amazing friends at aid stations where I munched on salty potato chips, flat coke, and chicken broth. I saw more friends each time I crossed the Mill Avenue bridge. Cade and his mom were on the Mill Avenue bridge the first time I came across. He cheered me on and off I went into the darkness.

I talked to some interesting people on the run course. There was one guy that talked about how he did Ironman New Zealand. Another guy was bummed because he knew he wasn’t going to make the time cut-off. He was a lap behind me when I saw him. I got encouragement from more experienced athletes when I told them it was my first Ironman. There was a spectator lady who had a boom box playing music for the runners and she was hitting a cow bell with a drum stick to the beat. She was out there all night just playing the heck out of that cow bell. Who doesn’t need a little more cow bell? There were two people on the other end of the course playing music, dancing, and encouraging athletes that ran by. There were people dressed in those stretchy neon body suits running around encouraging athletes. The community and spectator support was awesome.

Cade kept popping up a few different places on the course. He would walk or run along near me and I would tell him what was going on. I’m sure I told him some interesting things. I felt totally lucid the entire time and Cade said that I looked amazing and was smiling every time he saw me. It was great to have his support even though I knew he was struggling and feeling sick.

Ironman Arizona 2012 Mile 20

Mile 20 on the Mill Avenue Bridge with Cade and Polly

My friends finished at their volunteer posts and I started seeing them on the course too. Michelle and Polly cheered for me and told me that they were so proud of me. I saw them all for the last time at about mile 24. I knew they would be waiting for me at the finish line. Off I went again into the darkness, alone. During those last two miles I was able to let my mind wander and reflect on the day. The day went so fast. It was almost hard to remember getting into the water at 7:00 a.m. It seemed like it was a different day. Even the bike seemed like it was a different day. I made my last potty stop near the cow bell lady and turned west along the South Shore Path of Tempe Town Lake for the last time.

As I got closer and closer to the finish line I could hear Mike Riley calling finisher names. I couldn’t believe that I was actually doing it. I was going to finish and I wasn’t anywhere near the cut off time of 17 hours. I got in with two other ladies about a half mile from the finish. One was a first timer like me. The other had completed other Ironman races. We walked together for a bit and the other first timer decided to run. I saw New Zealand guy just in front of me. Right before the turn up through the parking lot to the finish on Rio Salado Drive, there was a lady handing out glow stick necklaces. She asked me if I wanted one and I said yes. I wanted the purple one way on the bottom of her stack. She dug it out for me, put it around my neck and told me to go get that finish line.

By the time I got to the edge of the finish chute I was running. I burst through the darkness into the bright lights of the chute and saw hundreds of people lining the stands. I ran with a huge smile on my face taking the whole experience in. I didn’t actually hear Mike Riley say my name, but I did hear “Bennington, Nebraska You are an Ironman” and knew that was for me. I heard people calling my name from both sides of the chute. Michelle and Polly were on the left. Cade and his mom were on the right. I raised my hands above my head in triumph as I crossed the finish line and was caught by a volunteer. My legs shook as I stood there with him. He handed me my medal and congratulated me. 6:50:56.

15:45:05.

As he was walking me through the finisher’s chute, I heard my name called from the left. It was my big brother, Brandon. He had been tracking my progress all day and came to see me finish. I wasn’t expecting him to be there. It was so awesome that he came.

I picked up my  finisher’s shirt and hat, got my finisher’s picture taken, and went to the massage tent. My quads were totally trashed and my hip flexors were very tired. I got some compressions from a great sports massage guy then Polly and Anne helped me to an area with some chairs. I had some pizza, a few french fries, some water, maybe some pop and my friends came over to congratulate me. I sat there for a while wrapped in my space blanket to keep warm. Cade went and gathered our things and then we headed back to Brandon’s home. Walking was challenging. My body was definitely done. It was a slow walk to the car.

Perhaps the funniest thing that happened that night was this: When we left the finish area to head to the car, I had just the tiniest hint of needing to go to the bathroom. Brandon’s house was only about 15 minutes away so I figured I’d just go when we got there. After a couple of minutes in the car it went from a hint of needing to go to I Need to Go NOW or I’m going to pee in the car. We were on an on-ramp to the freeway and I had Cade pull over. There was a bush on the side of the on-ramp with my name on it. I hobbled over to the bush, pulled my pants down, tried to squat down and fell backwards into a fence. I was propped up by the fence a bit- good enough for me- so I went. Cade had to get out of the car and help me up or I would’ve still been stuck on that fence with my pants pulled down the next morning.

I didn’t really mean to just write a race report from Ironman Arizona 2012. There are a lot of details missing. Perhaps one of these days I’ll actually write a full report. Perhaps not.

Back to Goal #4: Finish Ironman Arizona 2013 in under 15 hours on November 17, 2013. I can probably cut a couple of minutes off of my swim. I know I can cut at least a couple of minutes off of my transition times. I can bike faster too and probably gain 10-15 minutes there. If I am able to really focus on my run this year, I am definitely capable of cutting some significant time off of my run. I’d like to actually run more of the run this year and that alone will make a huge time difference. There will be a HUGE group of people I know racing this year so I’ll see friends as fellow racers on the course. I know I can cut :45:05 off of my time. I will do it.

*I didn’t mean for this post to be quite so long. I got caught up in reminiscing about my past experiences. I’ll leave talking in detail about my plans to achieve my goals for another day. My basic plan is: Keep swimming and keep doing master’s swim at Pinnacle with my awesome coach and friend, Erin, do lots of brick workouts even if they are shorter, do hill work and speed work on the bike, keep up with some strength training, and really focus on my run.

It’s going to be a good year.

Return to Topeka Tinman

Saturday, I will return to Topeka to race in the Tinman. This was the first USAT race that I ever participated in and at 33 years one of the oldest triathlons in the country. My main memory from the race is sleeping in the car on the way home because I was so tuckered out!  Second memory was marveling at the distance that the long course swimmers went! 1000 meters I could never do that. Third memory was how do I get a tshirt on when wet (ditched the shirt). Fourth, holy cow these people are fast on those fancy bikes, again I could never do that.

Goals for this race are pretty simple, hammer the swim, hammer the bike, hammer the run. If I blow up, recover and start hammering again. Things are a lot different than they were back in 2008. Back then I participated in the sprint distance and was happy to simply be there. Started in the back of the swim, hung out, and just got through it. Rode a rented bike with a wal-mart helmet. Actually walked a little of the 5k run. Today I am still simply happy to be there, but I like to go fast and get shiny awards. Goal pace for the swim is 1:45/100, bike 23 MPH, run 6:20 pace. Going to be fun trip and if all goes well I will be in the hunt for an age group podium.

My Collection of Shoes

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I love running shoes. I especially love the New Balance Minimus line. These are the shoes in my rotation right now.

Back row from the left:
1. Newton Distance S. I wore these shoes during my Ironman. They are not my favorites because they are a bit too stiff for my liking, but they are good shoes. I don’t run in them much because I want them to be something that they are not- flexible. They are good for days that I want a little extra cushion.
2. New Balance Minimus Road 00. I raced all of 2012 in these super light zero drop shoes, with the exception of Ironman. They are very flexible and have a nice liner for running without socks. This pair is a little rough these days and is retired.
3. New Balance Minimus WT1010. These light flexible trail shoes offer good grip on the trail and have a rock plate. I wore this pair at the 2012 Run Rabbit Run 50 (I dropped at mile 29).

Front row left to right:
4. New Balance Minimus 10V2. These are my current favorite road shoes. They are light and flexible with a 4 millimeter drop. I had trouble with blisters at first, but found that they are much better for me without socks. No socks, no blisters. Works for me.
5. This is a new pair of New Balance Minimus Road 00s to replace the yellow ones.
6. This is a second pair of New Balance Minimus WT1010 to rotate in with the purple and gray pair.

One can never have too many running shoes. I want more!