This post sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.
My running lately has been dismal. Since my first run almost 10 years ago, this has been the most unpredictable and abysmal 8 weeks of all those years. I have worked through injuries, long-term illness, and extremely stressful life situations but never lost my overall focus for running and what I love about it.
However, that all changed recently. Regular readers are aware of our personal family tragedy in early August. As soon as surgery was over and I was given the clearance from my doctor, I assumed my deep love for running would still be just as sharp and focused as it always has been. But I’ve dropped into a depressing routine of barely running or not running at all. Running is how I’ve coped with all of life’s ups and downs. But a miscarriage couldn’t be magically swept away with the miles.
When this campaign for Mizuno was offered, I initially declined because I have been a loyal wearer of another brand. My closet is lined with old and new shoes with another design and name. I have turned away many other shoe offers. But for some reason, I came back to this Mizuno opportunity. Maybe I needed new shoes to jump start a return to what I have loved for years. Maybe I needed a new meaning for running. I just knew I needed something to get me on the path to healing.
When the shoes arrived, I put them on and went outside. Like so many days previous, I didn’t feel like running. I felt like laying on the couch and being sad. But I put them on and tried them out. I walked at first. Then I ran around the block. And I ran again. It wasn’t a miracle, but it was a start. It was a nudge in the right direction.
In the couple of weeks since then, my running has been more consistent. I’ve been working on the mental EFFORT that used to be an automatic process. My running has been more meditative, more prayerful, more purposeful. And it all started with a running shoe and Hado.
What is Hado?
Hado is a Japanese concept meaning the life energy force that promotes powerful transformations. It’s about using that intrinsic force inside every one of us to bring about not just change, but a transformation. I did a little more research on Hado and came across this definition:
In the Japanese spiritual community, hado is a similar life-force energy that encompasses healing properties and transformative powers. Literally translated, it means wave motion or vibration. Once we become aware of it in our everyday lives, hado can spark great changes in our physical space and emotional well being. (source)
Getting back to Mizuno, they incorporate this idea of Hado by using the kinetic power of running “harnessing the transformative possibilities of every run”. I really took that to heart. Every run is chance for something positive. On those afternoons when I didn’t want to run, I reminded myself of the possibilities and the opportunities to move a little closer to pulling myself out of that foggy cloud.
How Do They Feel?
For a neutral trainer, these feel fantastic. Here are the best features.
- There is enough support to keep my foot on an even transition. I am a mid-foot striker which means I do not need a ton of stability.
- Not too light.This is not a minimalist shoe. I do need “just enough” midsole structure to prevent a slight pronation that still exists in my strike pattern.
- I also need an adequate toe box since my big foot includes long talons…I mean toes. The biggest deal-breaker for me is a crowded toe box. These Wave Riders deliver the room I need.
Who Needs a Neutral Shoe?
- Runners who have a higher arch that does not pronate, or an arch that collapses in very slightly.
- Runners who like/need plenty of cushion.
- Runners who usually show wear the outside corner of the heel, and in the center of the forefoot or the outside of the forefoot.
- Runners who do NOT like or need a lot of stability features.
More info on Mizuno Wave Rider 18
- A neutral shoe for a wide variety of runners.
- Ideal balance of fit and performance for a lightweight daily running shoe.
- Wave Technology® provides light support with a seamless transition from heel to toe.
- The Dynamotion® Fit™ upper and outsole provides a durable sole and underfoot.
- Weight: MEN: 9.2oz WOMEN: 7.2oz
- Ramp: MEN and WOMEN: 12mm
- Suggested MSRP …. $119.99
This is my new running shoe. This is the shoe I will run in on November 8 for the Rock n’ Roll Savannah half marathon. I signed up for it back in the summer. I have thought about canceling it many times. But I need to race again. I know my time will be deplorable, but right now, I’m focused on digging deep and finding that Hado..that energy that is still somewhere inside me. My Wave Riders will get me there.
A couple of interesting things I noticed.
1. The Mezamashii concept: They are doing some great things at Mizuno.
The feel of the road. The air in your chest. The rhythm of your body. When a run becomes more than this — when you truly lose yourself in it — this is brilliant running, and we’re on a quest to bring it to the world.
2. Mizuno is based in GEORGIA!! The headquarters are a mere 4ish hours away from my house. I wonder if I could just drive up and tour the place?
To read more about Mizuno and the Wave Rider 18, check out these links:
Have you ever struggled with running?