And let the long runs begin…

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I just finished the book, The Cool Impossible. Wow, I learned a ton from this book. It is definitely on the top of my list of favorite running books, right up there with Eat and Run, and Born to Run. You should read it.

There is really great stuff in this book. The first half of the book focuses on preparing you to run physically. The last half of the book focuses on preparing you to run mentally. The advice and knowledge I obtained from the last half of the book is also something I can use in other parts of my life. Some things you learn about running and from running, you can take beyond the trail.

The above photo is a great example. Don’t let the day run you… One thing I am going to work on is better preparation for my runs and for my day.

By reading this book, I have learned that before I run a race or long training run, I do things that mentally prepare myself for the distance. These things, mantras, visualizing, and rituals are things I do and didn’t realize I was doing them. Now looking back, I am more aware of these helpful tricks for the mind. Because these have helped me find success, it may be helpful to use them in other parts of my life, including other sports.

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I am a very positive person. However, the above photo reminds me so much of the book, The Cool Impossible. What I like most, is that the author Eric Orton, says negative thoughts are not a bad thing. Negative thoughts are a normal thing. However, become aware of your negative thoughts, identify them, and realize they are just thoughts, NOT truths.

Update on my Running

I ran the day, the day did not run me. This weekend my long runs began. I love running my first long run of the season.

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All winter, I have been lifting weights and running shorter faster runs. It felt good to get out there and run far. I ran a 10 miler, to help my sister prepare for her half marathon coming up in April. As for me, I have two 10 mile races coming up the first two weekends in April.

On this 10 mile training run, I wore my new Newton Gravity. It has 5 lugs instead of 4, which makes it feel like the toe box is wider.

My sister and I ran MVT over the 14th Street bridge and then to Hains Point.

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Have your long runs started yet? What are some mental tricks you use that helps you find success during running?

Choose to be an Athlete… The Choice is Yours!

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“I believe being an athlete is a choice, and that we all can be athletes, regardless of natural ability. It is a mind-set, a lifestyle, a decision.”¬†– Eric Orton from the book, The Cool Impossible

I have been reading, The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton.  If you have read, Born to Run, The Cool Impossible is the next book to read. Eric Orton was the running coach for Christopher Mcdougalll Рthe writer and main character of Born to Run. After years of pain and injury,  Eric Orton helped Christopher Mcdougall meet his goal to run his first Ultra Marathon with the Tarahumara tribe.

Lately, I keep coming across the idea of CHOICE. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are making choices every day. Choices are everywhere… You choose to eat healthy. You choose where you buy your groceries, supporting the brands you choose to buy. You choose to go for a run. You choose to run in minimalist shoes. You choose your career. Love is even a choice, you choose your significant other, and they choose you. Even the things that are out of your control, you can choose how to react to them positively or negatively.

And believe it or not… You choose to be an athlete.

For those of you who are struggling to loose weight, eat healthy, and meet your ¬†fitness goal… You are not thinking of yourself as an athlete. Once you make that choice, to be an athlete- ¬†you will start acting like one, eating like one, sleeping like one, training like one. And remember this, your body is more capable then you think. Yes, you do have to train physically, but you also have to train mentally.

For those of you who are athletes, who want to meet new goals. It is time to determine your personality. Are you a bad thinker or a good thinker? Maybe you never see walls, or maybe you see walls blocking you at every turn. Become aware of negative thoughts. Identify those thoughts as just thoughts not truths.

These are some cool things I have been learned from the book, The Cool Impossible.

You always have a Choice- the Choice is Yours.

What’s your favorite running book?

© 2014 sweatdaily

The Cool Impossible

I am in the Phuket airport waiting to head back to Bangkok. Unfortunately, my access to wifi has been almost nonexistent, so it has been really hard for me to blog, while I have been in Asia. I have so much to say, write, update you on.

But you probably want to hear something about running, since I am a runner and so are you.

And let me tell you…

I have been having some amazing beach runs during my three weeks in Thailand. I even inspired my non runner friend to do some short runs with me. I’m going to write a more detailed post about that later.

In the meantime, I am excited to share with you, The Cool Impossible, the new running book I have been reading while on my travels. I am obsessed! This book is a must read.

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You may have seen this book on a previous blog post I had written back in the summer. I started this book then, but because I was in the beginning of training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I took the author’s advice and stopped reading it until I had adequate time to complete the 5 month program.

The author, Eric Orton, is a running coach and natural barefoot running expert. He has experience with the Tarahumara (from Born to Run.) He also coached Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run.) Helping McDougall run a successful ultra marathon. He helped McDougall transition into a natural barefoot stride. And with proper running form, curing his bad running habits and healing him from pain from numerous running injuries.

I would have to say I am very impressed with Eric Orton. The way he writes makes you feel like I am actually in Jackson and he is coaching me in person. I also feel like I can relate to him. A lot of the stuff he says in this book is stuff I already know. But I am definitely learning some new stuff too.

“We need more than endurance to run well for long distances; we need to be strong and fast. “

The quote above is from the book. it is promoting strength. Strength is what a good portion of this book is about. Being strong will benefit you in every way. I agree with this 100%. It is refreshing to have someone finally promote strength to prevent injury, instead of finding a new type of shoe, or product to sell you, claiming it is magic. When in the end it is cheaper and more efficient to make your body stronger and healthier. Trust me it is that easy.

For years every running plan and running magazine talked about only running, not strength training. Burt honestly, the truth is the more you strength train, the stronger you will become, the less injuries you will get. The stronger you become the further and faster you will be able to run. Trust me it is that simple.

I use to be that girl who only ran. But since switching to a natural barefoot running shoe with a low heel to toe drop, I have been weight lifting for about a year now. My form has significantly improved. And after only 8 weeks of weight lifting and 6 months on perfecting my running form , I began to not only see my body change to a more fit physique, but my race times significantly improved. I set a new PR in my half marathon, shedding off 9 minutes. And I set a new PR in my full marathon time, shedding off 11
minutes.

I am excited to finish this book, and start the 5 month program. I will blog about my experience along the way.

Although, my form has improved over the year since weight lifting, and switching to a natural barefoot shoe – it is not perfect. There is still room for improvement.

If you are in natural barefoot shoes and you land on your forefoot, take the time now to see the wear and tear at the bottom of your running shoes. Noticing where the wear and tear is located on the bottom of your shoe can tell you a lot about which muscles need to be stronger. Or which muscles need to actually start being used.

By the wear and tear at the bottom if my shoe, I know I need to strengthen my feet and my gluteus medius.

So when I get back to the US this will be the running program I will start. I am also excited about learning more about Heart Rate monitoring and Heart Rate Zones. This will be part of the program as well.

Along with this program, and because I have completed another round of the LiveFit trainer, I will be starting the Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad. I have been doing Livefit for a while know and it’s time to switch things up a bit. Can’t wait!!!

I’ve missed my gym weightlifting sessions since I have been away. I have tried my best to run and stay as active as I can, but I still really miss my intense gym workouts.

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Above is a burpee challenge I did in Bangkok…

Future Workout Plan
for when I am back home

1) 5 month running program by coach Eric Orton from The Cool Impossible

2) The Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad 3 week program, followed by the Clutch phase 1 and 2.

Both plans talk about nutrition. I will be following Ashley Conrad’s clean eating nutrition plan.

What running plans are you following? What weight lifting plans are you following? Has anyone read The Cool Impossible?

It’s Crunch time! Christmas Wish List for Runners!

It’s CRUNCH time! You have a little less then one week until your shopping deadline, December 25th is here. If you have a runner on your buying list. I am going to help you, by revealing my Runner’s Christmas Wish list.

There are definitely some awesome universal running gifts but there are some that are particular to certain types of runners. Don’t worry I’ll walk you through it.

Let’s start with great ideas for stocking stuffers. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference, especially during a long run.

Here are my top favorites…

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These little tablets help your runner refuel. They dissolve into your runner’s water with in minutes giving instant energy. Once dissolved it becomes your runner’s source of hydration, giving them everything they need from sodium to electrolytes. The brand also has an ALL DAY option with a¬†lower sodium level,¬†for those runners who want to sip on nuun all day. ¬†Nuun comes in a wide range of flavors to satisfy every runner’s taste buds, for only $6.50 a pack. This product is for all types of runners and endurance athletes.

Sports Beans by Jelly Belly

ea2c1629-afec-4113-a6dc-842499df1040These beans are magical beans, at least to a runner that is. They are different from nuun because they don’t dissolve in water. Instead you chew about four beans every hour, washing them down with a gulp of water. And like magic, instantly, your runner feels energized. They refuel and replace everything your runner looses while sweating during a long run.

These beans have been with me during every training run and every race from 10 miler to marathon. These beans come in a variety of different flavors. They also come with ¬†the option of caffeine or with out. I normally use the ones with out caffeine, because caffeine gives me the jitters while I run and messes up my stomach. ¬†So keep this in mind- it is important to ask your runner if they perform well on caffeine or not. These sports beans are only $1.25 a pack, that’s a pretty good price for magic.

Honey Stingers Waffles

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Imagine this… Cyclists in Belgium training for the Tour de France, eating waffles as fuel on long training rides. This is how Honey Stingers Waffles were born. These waffles come in strawberry, vanilla, honey, lemon, and chocolate and the best part is they are Organic. My favorite is the honey flavor. They come in handy when you are crunched for time and need a quick bite before a run. I also like to keep them in my camelbak for a snack while on a long training run. The brand Honey Stingers also has gels and other refuel items. These waffles are $1.39 per waffle.

Body Glide

DownloadedFile-3This may not seam like a very exciting Christmas present, but to a runner it is. Body glide is a protecting layer that can be put on any part of the skin. This helps prevent chafing and blisters. I am that runner who always misplaces her body glide. So I am always buying new ones. I don’t go on a long run or to a race with out it, and honestly can’t get enough of it.¬†Body glide has saved me from a lot of stinging, bleeding, and painful miles. It comes in a small travel size and a regular size. Depending on sized Body glide is $6.00-$10.00. This is for any runner who experience chafing and blisters, but mainly for the long distance runner.

Bondi band

401849_10101091606728416_1103647335_n-1I first discovered bondi bands at a race expo and I fell in love. They are the ultimate running accessory. It keeps your hair out of your face, stays put, and absorbs sweat. They also are very personable, coming in different colors with different fun phrases written on them. $8.00 a band, for all types of runners, male or female.

iTunes Gift Card

unnamedMaybe your runner is a sprinter who needs some fast pace music to get their feet speedy… Maybe your runner is an ultra marathoner who spends hours chugging long miles on the trail. Which ever it may be, all runners need some new tunes to keep them motivated and help them push through that last part of their training.

Now for your presents under the tree…

Garmin Forerunner

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The Garming Forerunner is the heart rate, GPS, watch which takes your running to the next level. Use this watch as a tool to understand your heart rate and record your pace, distance, and cadence for all training runs and races. There is a wide variety of different Garmin Forerunners, to meet the needs of all the different types of runners out there. There is ¬†even the forerunner 310 that is for the triathlete and can record under water. ¬†Which ever Garmin you choose, know this… Garmin is the leader in the running community for GPS and Heart Rate. These watches range from $129.00 – $399.99.

Newton

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Newton running is a natural barefoot running shoe that helps you mimic your stride as if you were barefoot. They are light weight, have a low heel to toe drop, but because of their unique lugs they are able to absorb shock.

I have been running in these shoes for over 18 months and ran my fall marathon in them. Their motto is Hello Better and it is so true.  My running form has significantly improved, I am running faster and better. These shoes range from $119.00- $175.00.

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There are a lot of different ways to stay hydrated. Some runners prefer a running belt. Others prefer a vest that holds two water bottles one on either front side. I however use a camelbak.

When running on trails, or through the city it is impossible to rely on water fountains. I always bring my camelbak for runs 10 miles or longer. My camelbak holds 2 liters of water and has additional pockets for all my other belongings. This is ideal for marathon runners, or anyone running 10 miles or more. Camelbaks range from $50.00 – $150.00, depending on the size and model of the camelbak you choose.

Injinji 

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A runner will appreciate a high performance sock. It sounds weird, but socks do make a huge difference. I tend to get really bad blisters. But these socks are wicking and sweat absorbing. And although they may look weird, they will save your runner from blisters. These run around $12.00 and they are for all runners, even those wearing the Vibram Five Fingers.

Runner’s World Magazine SubscriptionRunners-World-South-Africa-December-2013

I have been reading this magazine every month for the last 7 years. As a runner, Runner’s World is your source of information. It is for all types of runners, from the rookie to the veteran. It touches bases on all types of running from 5K to ultra marathons, revealing the most current gear from shoes to hydration packs. It has inspiring stories, tips for racing, exercises and nutrition advice. It also has a race calender to keep you updated on popular races.¬†¬†If your runner does not have this magazine, they need it. Subscribe for $19.99.

Other good reads for your Runner…

Eat and Run by Scott Jurekscotts_book_big

This book is by far my favorite book. It is written by ultra marathon Scott Jurek. The book tells the story of his life as an ultra marathoner, who eats a plant based diet. However, it gets a lot deeper then running, when he talks about his friends and family. My favorite part is that this book also has pages of great recipes.

Born to Run by Christopher Mcdougall born2run_coverpb

This book has been out for a couple years now . It is a national best seller, so odds are that your runner may have already gotten their hands on it. However, if not this is a must read.

This book is about the epic adventure Christopher Mcdougall goes on to answer the simple question of why his foot hurts when he runs. He discovers that what we thought we knew about running was all wrong. We are born to run, barefoot. Read this book and your will not only be inspired, but all your questions about running will be answered.

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The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton and Christopher Mcdougall

If your runner has already read, Born to Run, then The Cool Impossible is the next book to read. This book will become your running coach. Teaching you how to strengthen weak areas, so you can have proper running form, and transition safely into a barefoot runner.

 

 

So there is my list of the best running gifts. However before you buy anything…

Make sure you are a Kind Runner! Check out kindrunner.com.

“The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other… But to be with each other.” ~ Christopher Mcdougall

I wish you the best this Holiday Season, and although, there is tons of pressure to give the best presents, in the end it is not that important. Always remember the true meaning of the Holidays is to be with each other.

© 2013 sweatdaily

Good Reads, Good Runs, Good Writes in Martha’s Vineyard

“One Element of what you will learn later is how important and powerful a role visualization plays in performance. The mind follows the body and, in turn, performance follows the mind.”- Eric Orton/

So I have arrived in Martha’s Vineyard!

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I am planning on running and blogging everyday I am here! I also just started a new book.

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And although I will be updating you on this book I still will be quoting Scott Jurek’s, Eat and Run! ‚̧ He’s my favorite.

10 mile Run with Em and Honey Stinger

Last week two exciting things happened.

  1. On Saturday, I ran a 10 mile run with my sister, Emily.
  2. And I also finally typed up my Blog Award post. If you have any desire to get to know me better, you should read the post, because it is super personal.

Anyway, in my Blog Award post I was asked what was the last movie I had watched. I answered with, The Fighter. One thing that I love about the movie, The Fighter, is the bond the two brothers, Mickey and Dicky have. I am very close with my family, so I can totally relate to this.

Dicky is the older brother, who has a star shining boxing moment back in the day. He still wants to be involved in boxing so he coaches his younger brother Mickey. Drug abuse ends up becoming an uncontrollable obstacle that alters Dicky’s ability to coach. Although, Dicky’s quality of life suffers, the brotherly bond never breaks.

Of corse there is no drug history among the relationship I share with my sister. I can relate to this because in life, your sister, is the one person, you can be totally honest with, and who will push you to your fullest potential (especially in sports.)

And that is exactly what happened during my 10 miler.

My sister pushed me to my fullest potential.

Here is what went down…

I met my sister at her apartment. Before we left we looked up this Half Marathon Pace Chart. I am no longer just going out there to run. I learned from Hal Higdon, if you want to run fast, you have to train fast several times a week. So we decided to practice our 10 miler by running at a pace similar to the one we are planning to run race day.

We decided to hit the MVT, but to get there we had to run down hill for two miles, stopping at some street lights. Once we got to the trail, we ran three pretty flat miles and then turned back. The last two miles were off the MVT and up hill. We wanted to add two miles up hill because Annapolis is super hilly, so we are expecting a lot of hills race day.

Honestly, I don’t know what happened during this 10 miler. Normally my sister and I run at a similar pace, and sometimes I am a little bit faster. But during this run my sister was much more speedy.

There is a quote from the book, Born to Run, it goes like this, ‚ÄúBut you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.‚Ä̬†¬†Even though, it may seem like an excuse to you, it is the truth. During this run, I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t find my running rhythm.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 10.00 miles

Time: 1:37:31

Average Pace: 9:45 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:51 min/mi

Calories: 814 C

Run Cadence: 96

HONEY STINGER

One thing that did help me when I felt a little bit low in energy was my Honey Stinger. This is the first time I have ever tried this product. I actually had never heard of this product until the blogger from All Seasons Cyclist suggested I give them a try. ¬†I am really thankful I did. I love the fact that this product is more natural and free of chemicals. They also tasted really good, and didn’t cause any stomach problems. The Honey Waffle was a fantastic post run snack. For a more detailed review check out the blog All Seasons Cyclist or click here.

 
Tomorrow, I am scheduled to do an 11 mile run with L. So stay tuned…
Questions for You
  1. Have you tried Honey Stingers?
  2. How did your long run go this week?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Good Reads

One of my favorite things to do is read, and one of my favorite types of books to read are running books! I just love to learn more, and be inspired. The last running book I read was the best seller, Born to Run.  I fell in love with this book. It opened my mind to explore a more minimalist way of running.

On Sunday, after my run in my Newtons, I stopped at Barnes & Noble, to check out what running books they had to offer. There I found Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. ¬†But then as I continued to scan the shelves I spotted, Natural Running, by Danny Abshire. What? I didn’t know the guy who invented the Newton shoe had ¬†written a book. Beyond thrilled, I scooped up both books and ran to the register.

Today I will finally get a chance to start reading. I can’t wait to dive in to both of these books. I am hoping I can get a better understanding of natural running, and also find some easy running drills to strengthen my feet and get me running more on my midfoot/forefoot.

Daily Workout ~ 5/14/12

Yesterday was my rest day, and although I worked, it felt good to just relax.

Monday, 5/14/12: Today, I woke up to a gray sky and a light rain. It was 62 degrees when I hit the trail, surprisingly because of the humidity it felt much hotter. Again I ran in my Newton shoes. I only ran a short 3.36 miles in 28:50.

When I first began my run I felt good and fast. When I headed back I felt a little slower. The whole time I was focused on running form. I tried to keep centered, slightly leaning forward. I tried to be bouncy and light on my feet, trying to land on my mid-foot.  At the end of my run, I felt more confident in my form. I felt like I was heal striking less and running good. I will admit I still felt some ponding, and some soreness. It was not pain, but even though I have been running in these shoes for a month,  it still is different then what I am use to, and a bit uncomfortable. I am not sure if this is just because of years of running in my cushioned Brooks and Asics, or if this is just how Natural Running shoes feel. I also could really feel my feet move in the wide toe box, stretching and gripping the ground as I run. I am still trying to decide if I like all of this moving and feeling of the ground.

P.S. Army 10 Miler’s Registration opens tomorrow, 5/15/12!

Daily Workout ~ 5/11/12

Because I didn’t have to work and had no other serious plans today, Saturday, 5/11/12,¬†I didn’t start my run until 2:00 pm. Again, I hit up my new favorite spot on the Mount Vernon Trail, the same spot that I have been running on all week. I find it quite fascinating how exciting it can be to discover a new favorite place to run, or to explore a new spot on the same old trail you always depend on. This type of excitement pumps through my body first thing in the morning, I wake up eager to run.

Anyway, today was sunny and toasty. It was close to 80 degrees, so although warmer then I prefer, I could still tolerate it. I also brought a water bottle with me, even though I was running short. I ran 3.59 miles in 30:32, in my Newtons. This is the 5th day in a row running in these shoes. ¬†I will admit that today, I had a love/hate relationship with the idea of feeling the ground. Don’t get me wrong, I love using my sense of touch when running. I love being able to feel the ground and be aware of my run. But because I still overpronate slightly, I still need to focus on form. And today, I was tired of concentrating on running form. I was tired of being concerned about my feet. I just wanted to run, run far, get lost in my run, be worry free. ¬†However, on a more positive note, my legs never felt heavy, and I still felt like I was running fast.

After I got home, my legs and feet were a little bit sore. Not painful but sore. I know this soreness is normal, because I am changing my stride and using different muscles.  Lets just say my feet and legs are excited for a rest day tomorrow.

© 2012

 

Update on my Newton Experience

So as you may know, I have been running in my Newtons for a month now, but today was my fourth time in a row running in them, while it was Lina’s first time running in hers. I am running in the Distance U and Lina is running in the Motion. There is not much difference between the shoes, except the Distance U is a little bit lighter and has less cushioning and support in the heel. I am a neutral runner with a slight¬†overpronation¬†in my right foot. Lina is a heel-striker who overpronates.

I am really trying to focus on proper running form, natural running. So far my stride has not transformed 100 percent, since running in the Newtons, but I have become more aware of my stride and what I need to do to change it. The one thing that I have noticed and love about running in the Newtons is how much I can feel the ground. Feeling the ground also makes me more aware of how my foot moves and how it strikes the ground while running. ¬†Here are pics from today’s Daily Work Out.

LINA: has had stress fractures in both lower legs. The shoes she has run in previously have not helped her stay injury free. Hopefully, she can changer her stride by wearing the Newton shoes.

Lina running in her Newton Motion shoes. Although, she is still heel-striking, she is confident that with time her stride will improve. She also loves the lightweight feel of the shoe.Lina again running in her Newton Motion Shoes. As you can see the shape of her elevated leg, shows she is over-pronating. Again, this is Lina’s first 3 mile run in her Newton shoe. Hopefully, with time her stride will improve.

MEG: I have never had any injuries, only a blister here and there. I have always run in Asics Nimbus  in a size 6.5 and just recently the Brooks Glycerin in a size 7.0. Both are good running shoes. But after reading Born to Run, I have always been interested in the idea of Natural Running. I am hoping the Newton shoes will help improve my stride and make me faster. There I am running in my Newton Distance U shoes. I am not heel-striking but rather running by landing on my forefoot/midfoot, the key to Natural Running. Also notice legs and ankles fall right under hips.

Again running on my forefoot/midfoot. Also notice legs and ankles in line, right under hips. Key to Natural Running.Again forefoot/midfoot striking, and legs landing right under hips. Demonstrating Natural Running.

I have always been a neutral runner, so I am having a little more success in the Newton shoes and in transitioning to a Natural Runner, than Lina is. However, I have also been running in these shoes for a full month longer than Lina. Today was her first day wearing them.  I still am not perfect and still heel-strike a little sometimes and slightly over-pronate with my right foot. Another awesome way to judge is to look at the bottom of the shoes. You can see more wear and tear on my right shoe.