January 23, 2012

A long run and Icespikes review

When I was lying (awake, of course) in bed at 3:30 this morning, I heard thunder and rain outside. I thought, "Yay, Jessica will probably cancel our run this morning!" (even though canceling the run outside would simply mean I'd have to run seven long miles on the dreadmill).

But Jessica is hardcore. She never cancels! ;)  So I sent her a text at 7:00 to see if maybe she didn't realize it was raining and should we cancel. Nope, we were still going to meet at 8:00 at her house.

I'm so glad that we ended up running outside anyway! The rain stopped by 7:45, and the temp was actually in the low 40's. There was a lot of slush, but no more snow. Julia and Johna went with us, too, and we did our seven-mile long run. By the way, Jessica and I decided to switch our long runs to Mondays because it was the most convenient for both of us. I'm going to run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

I love burning that many calories at once!  But I immediately think about what I can eat.  Today, I was thinking of peanut butter, so after lunch I had a couple of spoonfuls. Jessica shares my peanut butter addiction, so she completely understands eating it from the jar ;)

We got a lot of snow over the weekend, and I got a chance to try out a product that is used to keep you from slipping while running (or walking) on snow and ice. Remember how I mentioned that I went to the running store, and tried on a couple of different shoe cleats? They were these rubber contraptions that you slide over your running shoes, and they have little spikes on the bottom of them to help grip the snow. They looked kind of like this:
Well, I found them really difficult to get on my shoe, and once they were on, they didn't feel very comfortable. They also didn't seem very secure on the shoe. So I decided against buying any, and then I went home to research which were the "best ones" to get. On the Runner's World website, a lot of people were talking about a product called "Icespike", so I checked out the website for them and was a little intrigued.

I was about to order them when I decided to ask if they'd let me review a set for the blog--and I told them that I keep the blog very honest, so if I didn't like them, I wasn't going to pretend I did! ;)  I received a set in the mail just in time for the snow that dumped on us out of nowhere.

Here is what the Icespikes look like:

You get 32 spikes and the installation tool

They are little tiny screws that have a couple of sharp prongs on the screw head that grip the snow/ice when you run. You screw these directly onto the bottom of your shoes.

I decided to use an older pair of my running shoes, since I don't need these spikes every time I run--just on the snowy or icy days. The instructions were very simple, and the whole process took less than 20 minutes to get them installed on my shoes.  (Yes, my shoes are dirty and stained... but wouldn't you worry if they looked like they'd never been used?)
First, I marked them with a Sharpie (the instructions tell you where to mark)

Then I just used the screwdriver tool to screw them in

This is how they look while screwed in
They felt very secure (much more-so than the slip-on cleats that I tried out).  You get 32 screws, but you only use 12 on each shoe--so you have 8 leftover. The instructions said that the spikes on the heels tend to wear out faster, so you can replace those as needed with the eight extras. The Icespikes will last the life of your shoes (about 500 miles).

I was excited to give them a try, and thankfully, the snow had come in, so I dressed warmly and headed out. I was very surprised that I didn't FEEL the Icespikes on my shoes. They didn't compromise my stride at all, and while running through the snow, I actually didn't even notice that they were on. They made my footing feel very secure and after a few minutes, I stopped worrying about slipping and I just relaxed.

Overall, I think these things are PERFECT for what I was looking for! I wanted to feel safe running in the snow and even ice without wearing a clunky over-the-shoe contraption. My only complaint about them is that they are pretty loud while running on bare concrete. I made the comment to Renee and Alicia that I sounded like a horse while running on a bare patch of road. While running on the snow, however, they weren't any louder than plain old shoes.

Some positives I noted:
*Light and tiny--you barely even notice them
*They don't compromise my stride
*Easy to install
*They actually work really well!
*They're cheaper than the over-the-shoe cleats I tried on at the running store
*While I didn't try them on a muddy trail run, I imagine these would work just as well in mud as they do in snow
*You don't have to worry about what size to buy, because one size fits all

Some negatives:
*They're not something you'd want to put on and take off each time you run. You can take them off, but it would be a pain to do that every time. Having two pairs of shoes would work best.
*They're loud on bare concrete

So I'm happy that I found something I can use to train for my marathon even on our snowy days! Here is the website, in case you want to check it out.

(Disclosure: I was provided the set of Icespikes for free, but I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I've shared are completely my own).

I had a dentist appointment after my run this morning. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate going to the dentist? My mouth is always so sore afterward--which I know I could remedy by flossing daily like I'm supposed to.  Turns out I have a cavity :(  Being almost-30 sucks as far as my dental health!  I didn't get my first cavity until I was about 27 years old, and since then, I've had two more.

The dentist saw that I was dressed in my running clothes and wearing my Garmin, so he asked about my running. Turns out he's run three full marathons, among other races. He ran the one in St. George that I read about on The Boring Runner's blog--check out the elevation profile on that! After seeing that, I told Jessica that we had our whole strategy wrong, trying to find a FLAT course ;)  (If you've never checked out Adam's blog, you're missing out--despite calling himself "boring", he is very funny!)

Anyway, I have to go back to the dentist to get a filling. Luckily (or not) he had a cancellation tomorrow morning, so I won't have to wait too long.

Jerry is off work tomorrow, and I am SOOO happy about that! We are supposed to go out to lunch for my birthday, but we may not if my mouth is still numb. Either way, I'll be happy to spend some time with him since he's been working so much lately.


  1. I bought my parents Yak Trax because I worry about them in this crappy weather. Of course I got them from QVC. They said they work! I figured they could leave them on their snow boots so they don't have to put them on and off. I can't believe you didn't notice those things on your shoes (other than the sound). I think I would hurt myself either way, running with or without them on the snow!

  2. Ohhh, those are so smart! Even for work boot traction or something.

    Hope you aren't too numb to enjoy your day with your hubby. I know what it's like when you seem to never get couple time.

  3. Hey, I live near St. George! My co-worker attempted that marathon last year and couldn't finish. She had major problems with her legs cramping up really bad. She is going to try it again this year. Beautiful area of the country.

  4. I'm glad you found something that worked for you and that you are happy with. It's cool that they gave you a set and were confident enough in their product that they were comfortable with you giving your honest opinion. I have a question and I'm sorry if you've already covered this somewhere but I haven't seen it anywhere. Can you suggest a good running shoe? Even though I've lost quite a bit I'm still pretty "fluffy" and my feet are always hurting. I am starting the C25K training and I would love your opinion on a good shoe to try. : )

    1. There are TONS of great shoes out there, and the best way to find the right one for your feet is to go to a running store and get fitted. I'm partial to my Brooks Adrenaline's. Brooks is a great brand, and a some of my runner friends like really like Asics. But I would highly recommend getting fitted for shoes!

  5. I cannot read your blog without craving peanut butter! So I make sure to schedule snack time with blog reading time lol :)

  6. I really like the idea of those spikes! Someone here at work wears the thing that straps on to her shoes, but it looks like a pain in the ass. I made your baked ziti today! it was good, sent the links over to your recipe blog! We're making the cabbage casserole tomorrow! Mmmm. Perfect winter recipes!

  7. I am SO buying a pair of those this weekend. I have been trying to figure out a way to go outside and run/walk but there is ice everywhere. This should be great. Thanks!

  8. Mmmm, peanut butter... anyways! Those spikes are interesting! I'm running today on a treadmill because we have ice patches in our park from some snowing yesterday. And don't get me started on the dentist! While visiting home (Seattle) from Japan last March the dentist found 6 cavities on me! I hadn't been to the dentist in YEARS because I didn't have insurance working in retail. He couldn't fill them toil my next visit in September and did it in 3 separate appointments. It was a very numb week, haha! I didn't start getting cavities til after college. I feel your pain! :)

  9. Hey Katie!! Okay, so I emailed you awhile back and mentioned that I was beginning my workout journey. Well things are lining up in my world and this is why...
    1. I work out at weird hours (like 12 or 1am at the gym) because my schedule is all screwed up with my hubby working nights
    2. I subscribed to receive emails when you write a new post
    3. The emails arrive late in the evening for me, soooo....
    4. I always get to read your post for the day when I'm starting my workout on the treadmill and I am ALWAYS inspired to keep on going for the full hour! Plus I enjoy your stories and am entertained for at least 10 minutes during the dreaded treadmill jog :)

    YAY WORLD! Seriously, you are a constant inspiration to me, and all of my friends know about you and your blog now cause I can't shut up about it. And I wanted to share that with you. So happy running and PB eating, and I can't wait til tomorrow night!
    P.S. Pandora has a sweet station named "Workout" that has fun, pumped-up songs. Just a little nugget of information for ya. ;)

    1. Thanks so much Larissa! I'm so glad you enjoy reading the blog :)

  10. This has nothing to do with you post from yesterday...but did you know that today is National Peanut Butter Day???


    I figured, you, of all people would NEED to know this!

  11. What is the cost of the ice spikes? They just look like normal screws you could get at the hardware store. I used to pull tug of war and we used to put screws in our boots for traction. We just used normal screws!

    1. lol - I just read the website and "ICESPIKE IS LIKE SHEET METAL SCREWS ON STEROIDS." We never pulled tug of war on ice...

  12. Could the insomnia be linked to cookie butter withdrawals? :-P

  13. Did you know today is national peanut butter day? http://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-peanut-butter-day

  14. I, too, woke up at 3:30 but it was due to one of my cats hurling up their dinner next to my bed (TMI). Either way, I clicked on The Boring Runner's Blog and I was up for the next hour searching why runners have "accidents" while they're running and their DETERMINATION to finish no matter what state their in. All I can say is..."Whoah!!"

    That brings me to your post on the different between motivation and determination. That has stuck with me ever since I read that and I am DETERMINED to stay on track and put me first for a change. Thanks Katie! (oh, our mayor is a runner and she said she uses YakTrax for running in snow. Something to check out. http://www.yaktrax.com/

  15. .....what state "they're" in. LOL!

  16. I totally came on here to tell you it was national peanut butter day but it looks like someone already beat me to the punch!

  17. PB is my weakness to, and straight from the jar of course!

    I've been meaning to ask you about your Garmin. DO you have a post on it at all. Once spring hits I would like to get one for runs. I like the data that you show that yours gives out. Also does yours still work with out using the heart rate monitor part? Like you said when you see the calories you think about what you can eat and I do the same thing. So much that i've stopped using mine (and it broke). Thanks!

  18. Hi Katie,
    First thank you so much for sharing so many interesting and informative items with us. I have heard you address having sleep issues. I was queen of insomia. I have changed a few things that are really helping. I take my calcium and a vitamin for sleep called L-Tryptphan 500 just one tablet an hour before I go to bed. I also started to use the alphabet to Praise God for the good things He is doing in my life. Ex- A- God you are awesome thank you for my weight loss this week. I go through each letter and it works like a drug. I almost never get to Z. What each person does with the letters can be modified to their personal taste.

    Once again you are amazing and I love your honest, open, great blogs. Thank you,


  19. Hi Katie! I found your blog last week on pinterest and I've never been a blog follower or blogger myself but after reading a few post I became really inspired by your story! I had started my own journey a few weeks ago (for the 100th time) and reading your blog has really kept me motivated! I joined spark people which I love now and started a blog today! I'm very serious about my weight loss this time and you helped me remember that one bad snack or meal can't ruin everything I've done. I ended up reading all of your posts from the beginning because I became so interested in your story! Anyways I just wanted to say thanks and I look forward to future posts! :)


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