Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Track Reboot, & I Need Socks.

Soooo here I am again....

Sometimes I'm vaguely curious just how many hours of my life I've spent literally running in circles here.

Back in September, I was celebrating finally being able to get out on the track & run actual 1200m's at actual (by which I mean theoretical) 5K pace. Then things kind of stalled & I spent the month of October wringing my hands about my sore hip & tired posterior muscles & didn't do any speed work at all, A/G won a 10K, & went on vacation.

Which brings us to now. My hip feels good, I am officially marathon training, and reboots seem to be all the rage these days, so Track Tuesday felt like a good time to get back out there & see what I could do. (Not that I really wanted to, mind you. Food poisoning aftermath is still making it tough to eat much, and I didn't sleep well Monday night, so when I left work I felt like complete & utter crap & wanted nothing more than to come home & crash. The only way I got through it was by never sitting down.)

Coach Tom does looooove him some 1200m's; Tuesday's assignment was 2 warm up, 4 x (1200m @ 5K pace / 3:00 jog), 1.5 cool down.

(I only warmed up for 1.5 & cooled down for 1. Sue me.)

Usually I can lock into this pace pretty easily & run near-perfect 5:00 splits over & over again, but given my out-of-practice-ness and my recent lack of food & sleep, I'm just happy to have been able to get through them without anything hurting. Wonder of wonders, I actually felt better after the workout, but let me still say for the record, holy HELL was it a bitch & a half. That part where you're doing speed work consistently enough that it doesn't suck major ass every time? Yeah; I'm more excited about that part. Ugh.

For the first time in a long, looooong time, I earned a blaze-of-starry-glory runner for a track day.

Which I think clearly trumps the ghostly-runner-of-ambivalence I've been mostly getting lately.

Nothing says "Meh; you tried" like the
Ghostly Runner of Ambivalence.

Just to round out the set, I feel like I should also show you the Hammock of Shame:


I even got kind of bold & ran my first two intervals in my Universes. In retrospect, this probably explains a lot of why my calves were hamburger meat the next day. BUT, otherwise, I am feeling fantastic.

* * *

I am in the market for new running socks. My absolute favorites ever ever ever from Under Armour are going on 4 years old & getting dingey & threadbare, & UA apparently doesn't make them anymore. I've tried the newer versions & felt very meh about them. Since then I've tried three different brands (Feetures, SmartWool, & SofSole), all of which have been kinda-sorta 60/40 okay but also sporadically given me blisters, something that never happens with my Under Armour favorites.

So tell me about your running socks. What do you love? What holds up for years at a time & keeps you humming along blister-free? What's the best bang for your running sock buck?


  1. I usually wear Injinji socks -- I have 2 versions and prefer the lightweight no-show

    They are very pricey, however. I think I bought them at REI so I could get 10% off 3 pairs. Also, for whatever reason, the blue ones work better for me than the gray ones, which always seem to slip down.

    I also have cheap Champion socks from Target that don't give me blisters and are pretty comfy. I like them a lot better than the SmartWool socks I have. I don't think I've worn them for runs longer than 6-7 miles though... maybe up to 10 miles? Here's the link:

  2. My favorite socks are the thinnest possible Adidas ones. I just went for a refresh the other day, though, and it seems like the bottoms are thicker now, so I'll have to report back. I've gotten most of mine at Adidas outlets over the years, so maybe the regular store ones are different? The white ones have never given me blisters in six years, and the different-colored ones are not 100% perfect but maybe still 95% blister-free.

    My favorite socks for the gym and on my bike are Balega, the ones with the thinner top and the cushier bottom (enduro light, maybe?). But they're actually TOO cushy for me running and I end up feeling like I'm running on the beach all the time.

  3. I've been wearing Wal-mart brand lightly padded, no-show, ankle-cushion cotton socks since forever. They're $6 for a 3-pack. Can't beat it!

  4. I like Adidas socks as well. I buy the 6 pack from Costco (which comes in no show or ankle - I prefer ankle). They are like $12 for 6 at Costco, which is a steal compared to $10-12 for 3 at most major retailers.

    These socks are a little cushy on the foot and have the arch compression which I like. But, I know some do not. Regardless of cush, I've never had an issue with them giving me blisters, and last about a year of use before they start to wear through or stretch out (I work out 5-6 per week, so they definitely get abused).

    I've also used the thinner ones that anotherdumbadventure mentions above. They are quite nice, too... but I prefer a little more cushion.

  5. I'm a Balega fan, and I actually still wear the first ones I ever bought in January or February of 2008. They're dingy and thinner now, and I've added more into the rotation, but they have no holes after almost six years. Along the way, I've sometimes preferred DryMax socks. It seems to depend on the shoes I'm wearing. I usually buy from, and they occasionally have a sale -- I recently got a pair of reddish Balegas for $7.

    Meanwhile, wow, you are definitely back in the running game! Hooray!!

  6. I'll second Injinji and Balega. My local running store gave me two pairs for free and I LOVE them. I also strongly recommend CEP compression socks. They look dopey but keep my legs feeling fresh longer.

  7. Update because I know it is VERY IMPORTANT for everyone to know what I thought of my socks: I wore these adidas socks ( for the first time the other night. They're more cushioned than my old ones, and they have weird threads sticking out on the inside where the color accents are, so I was worried about blisters, but on an easy-paced 7-mile run, they were fine. BUT! My old favorites are still online and cheaper: (also in white) so I will be getting on that.

    1. No, you are right, it is VERY important to have all the relevant information! (At least that is my point of view & it's my blog.)

      Thanks for the updates!!

  8. My favourites are the cheapies from Target. I've never had any blisters. I also own three fancy neon pairs by Asics and I like them more (because of the colours) but they're not worth the extra money!

  9. I have no idea on what running socks to buy, I just buy asics running socks. I don't seem to ever get any blisters. And what a win for Stanford!!! Had to hold on at the end, but the first 55 minutes was the best Stanford game I've ever watched. If that field goal isn't blocked it's a 29-7 game and everyone is talking about how Stanford simply manhandled Oregon. Looks like Rose Bowl is very likely now! National title game is doubtful, but still possible.

    1. OMG I KNOW!! I swear I almost had a stroke. What an amazing game! :)

      Personally, I have no desire for Stanford to go to the National Title game. I'm quite happy for them to just keep going to the Rose Bowl. The SEC could disappear from the face of the earth & I wouldn't notice or care.