Week In Review 8-31-14

A good training week with a double-digit run, speed work and some faster sessions with Bennie made this week a really good training week. I had thought about doing a race in Augusta on Saturday, but Friday’s long run results let me know in no uncertain terms that racing was not on the agenda the next day.

Bennie and the Snake
Bennie and the Snake – my favorite photo from last week

I am noticing that I am not writing as many posts on my daily training, especially when they are just recovery days, where nothing special happens. They were just getting too routine and didn’t/don’t add any real value to the blog. So I imagine that I will continue that trend.

I did get a couple of 50 mile reviews out one pair that worked really well for me and another pair that didn’t work the way that I wanted.

Also I explained why I still bother to write reviews on close-out and older shoes that I get to run in, which you can read about here. But to sum it up quickly — I think I am like a lot of other runners who do not have big running shoe budgets and know that last year’s models work quite well for me and I am interested in how those shoes worked. So writing about older shoes is something I think other runners will be interested in, as well as the newer models.

Continue reading “Week In Review 8-31-14”

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road – 50 Mile Review

I have over 50 miles (actually over 70) on my new Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road running shoes, which means – I get to write about them again.

N1 Road Mileage 8-29-14
N1 Road Mileage 8-29-14

Here were my initial impressions from my first run and why I chose to buy the N1 Roads.

While the N1 Roads are still one of Pearl Izumi’s flagship running shoes, they are getting long in the tooth, when it comes to the typical life cycle of running shoes.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

In other words they are no longer the newest/greatest thing on the roads anymore. All the marketing hype/multiple blog reviews around them and their “new when first released” Dynamic Offset design has pretty much died away and like most of last year’s models are beginning to fade away or overlooked in the anticipation the newest and greatest versions from all the brands that will be coming out over the next 6 months.

What do I think of the Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads after 50 plus miles, without all the hype? Continue reading “Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road – 50 Mile Review”

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road v1 #1 – 50 Mile Review

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.
Originally posted on: August 30, 2014

I have over 50 miles (actually over 70) on my new Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road running shoes, which means – I get to write about them again.

N1 Road Mileage 8-29-14

Here were my initial impressions from my first run and why I chose to buy the N1 Roads.

While the N1 Roads are still one of Pearl Izumi’s flagship running shoes, they are getting long in the tooth, when it comes to the typical life cycle of running shoes.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

In other words they are no longer the newest/greatest thing on the roads anymore. All the marketing hype/multiple blog reviews around them and their “new when first released” Dynamic Offset design has pretty much died away and like most of last year’s models are beginning to fade away or overlooked in the anticipation the newest and greatest versions from all the brands that will be coming out over the next 6 months.

What do I think of the Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads after 50 plus miles, without all the hype?

Pricing

Since price is such a big deal for me and many other runners, I decided to put it right up front.

How much did I pay?

I got a fantastic deal at Sierra Trading Post, thanks to a close-out sale and a 35% off discount code.

They were available on the Pearl Izumi site for $115.00 as of 8/28/14.

Prices for this shoe ranged from $63.00 to $120.00 on various sites that checked. If you look around, you can get some really great deals on the Pearl Izumi N1 Roads, in the older colorways.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I paid for these shoes. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experiences with this product might be different from mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
How have they worked out for me?

Through the first 70 plus miles, I have been impressed.

I am not ready to anoint them as the greatest shoe I have ever run in, but they are a damn good pair of running shoes and so far I like them. They have surpassed my expectations – for all the runs that I have put them through:

  • a track workout,
  • a hard treadmill interval workout,
  • a long run,
  • faster-paced runs,
  • recovery runs,
  • runs down-back with Bennie on a rock dirt road

Harold be honest.

The N1 Roads are EXTREMELY comfortable and have done everything I can ask of a new pair of running shoes. I haven’t found anything that they do not do well or that I do not like about them yet.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

Something I believe is very important is the N1 Road’s flexibility (the ability to be used for different workouts, not how bendable they are), if I feel the need to change a workout, while wearing the N1 Roads I do not feel limited by the shoes, which has not always been my experience with other shoes. I feel confident that no matter what kind of run I am doing (from a recovery run to track speedwork) that I can do it.

The N1 Roads have become my daily trainers and the shoe I want to run in, for any run that isn’t related to technical trails or 5K/less races, hell I might even race a 5K in them if there were steeper downhill sections, because they give a little more protection than my GoMeb2’s, which says a lot about what I think of them, because I love my GoMeb2’s.
Fit

The size 8.5 from Pearl Izumi’s EM line fits me about as good as any line of running shoe ever has.

I said this about them in my initial impression post and have not changed my mind:

The 8.5 Mens – N1 Roads fit my feet the way that I want a shoe to fit. Snug in the heel, enough room in the arch area so that it doesn’t feel like I have the laces cinched up tight and plenty of room in the toe box.

They do not bother my tailor’s bunionette and my heel doesn’t slide/move around – no issues with blisters.
Feel (different from fit)

The N1 Roads are mostly quiet, they have a slight tap, tap, tap sound when running on tar and when my right foot splays out – that right shoe becomes more noisy, which cues me to correct my stride.

While I am mostly a heel striker, the dynamic offset design (whatever that actually is) does not exacerbate my the heel striking (make it more pronounced), like some shoes do and provides a nice heel-to-toe feel/transition that I really, really like.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

The N1 Road’s were a little stiff at first, but not N2 Road stiff or motion control shoe stiff and they have loosened up considerably from my first run, to become quite comfortable. However, even with the initial stiffness they did not cause any issues for me.

They are not a soft marshmallow/cushioned style of running shoe and are a lot firmer than my GRR2’s. The feel is about the same firmness as my Mizuno Elixir 7’s were. They are designed to be a faster shoe, which means they will/should have a firmer ride.

The N1 Roads do not have great ground feel – mmm wait a minute. I don’t give a damn about ground feel – I want protection from the road in a lightweight package and these shoes give me what I am looking for – a fast, protective feel.
Sole

The N1 Roads are road shoes, the flat tread design makes no doubt about their purpose.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

They have done a great job on the roads and shoulders that I do most of my runs on, including runs in the rain.

During the winter, I don’t enjoy finding the road with my arse, due to flat-bottomed shoes. That means they will probably be a 10 month running shoe, for running outside up heah in Maine and become my primary treadmill and dry day shoes.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised and found them to be VERY comfortable for running down-back on my rocky dirt road runs. The N1 Roads protect my feet better than some trail shoes I have worn down-back, where I primarily run with Bennie, which I definitely didn’t expect.

I wouldn’t hesitate to wear my N1 Roads over on the Quarry Road trails or other semi-groomed tails – on a dry day, but I wouldn’t wear them on the trails at Bond Brook, Messalonskee Stream trail, the trails behind Inland Hospital, or any wet trail that has wet grass or slimy sections, they do not have enough grip.

One of the concerns I had last December when I decided to get the N2 Roads was the perceived durability of the N1’s outsole and again I have been pleasantly surprised with how little wear there is on my N1’s after 50 miles.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads – a little more wear on the forefoot, but about normal for me at this mileage
Upper

I LOVE the looks of the N1 Road’s, the design meets my need for bright colors, while at the same time not being overwhelming – hell even TheWife likes their looks.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

The upper is one of the biggest things that I like about the N1’s, they are a more minimal upper, that have welded overlays and have enough give that they do not bother my Tailor’s Bunionette.

I really believe that Pearl Izumi nailed the uppers.
Availability

The N1 Road’s are still available on the Pearl Izumi website and they came out with updated colorways this summer, so they are continuing to support this model.

They are still available on most of the major online retail sites and even on some of the discount sites for the older colorways.

I have heard rumors that PI is going to release version 2, early next year. It will be interesting to see what changes they make, (rumor has it they will be a little more flexible and have a more cushioned feel). Personally, now that I have run a bit in them keeping the N1 Roads pretty much the same would not be a bad thing.
If Bennie Chewed Up These Shoes Today, What Would I Do?

If I needed to go out today and get another pair of running shoes, the N1’s would be at the top of the list and it would take a very special shoe for me not to be running in this model.

I guess that pretty much sums up how I feel about the N1 Road’s.
The Reality is that

After only 50 miles, I am not ready to say that the N1 Roads are a great shoe, but…I am impressed so far.

All the features that the N1 Trails had (read my 200 mile review) and I loved are present in the N1 Road’s. The problem I experienced with letting in too much grit and stuff, which eventually forced me to stop running in the N1 Trails, are not present in the N1’s road version. 🙂

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

I like the feel of the N1’s over the N2’s by a large degree, they are more flexible, not nearly as firm and have a much faster feel to them. While they are not quite as light as my current racing shoes or the same “pop”, they have handled speedwork sessions without any issues.

In my mind the N1 Road’s are worth taking a second or third look at and with some of the sale prices out there you can get one of Pearl Izumi’s flagship shoes at a very decent price, if you don’t mind the older colorways. which doesn’t bother me at all.

I am looking forward to seeing if I am still running in the Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads what I have to say in my 200 mile review or possibly beyond.Email PostLabels: 50 mile reviewPearl Izumi N1 Road v1

Long Run on a Perfect Day – RunLog 8-29-14

The Winds of Change came in yesterday!

Oh what relief it was. However, it is also a harbinger of things to come, so it was a mixed blessing.

So I will enjoy this kind of weather while it lasts!

What a gorgeous day for a long run, 72F degrees, bright sunshine and a breeze, best of all – low humidity.

I started out slowly, and while I thought about going for a 8:30 pace, I decided to just stay around 9:00’s. I haven’t run double-digits that much lately and am not sure of how well I was going to do, plus I was doing my first long run in the Pearl Izumi N1 Roads and wanted to make sure they were going to work well, before trying to go faster in them for this distance.

Strava Stats 8-29-14
Strava Stats 8-29-14

I did really well with my pacing until between miles 8 & 9, my left Achilles area really began to bother me, which shot down any thoughts of doing more the trail head. Continue reading “Long Run on a Perfect Day – RunLog 8-29-14”

Skechers GoBionic Trails – Didn’t Work For Me Review

Over the next few weeks I am going to go through all of the running shoes left in the house, to figure out whether to keep them or get rid of them.

First up are the Skechers GoBionic Trails, a pair of trail running shoes that I had been looking at for more than a year, but never got until this June. 

I stopped running in them back on July 6th, quite simply because they did not feel comfortable.

Skechers GoBionic Trails
Skechers GoBionic Trails

This morning’s run definitely showed me why I stopped running in them, back then.

Okay, based on that sentence, you can probably guess that this review is not going to be one of those ones that anoints a pair of running shoes as the greatest ever or even bemoans the fact that Skechers decided to not continue to update this model… Continue reading “Skechers GoBionic Trails – Didn’t Work For Me Review”

Why Review Old Running Shoe Models

Why in the hell are you still doing reviews on older than dirt running shoes?

You know what I am talking about those running shoes that I write about, which are last year’s or older models.

Pearl Izumi Peak II
Pearl Izumi Peak II

Although I love the newest and greatest running shoes as much or more than most runners, they are not the shoes that I actually usually get to run in.

Whaddayamean?

You see, I don’t work for any running shoe brand (though I do have my favorites), a sporting goods chains, local running store or even have a popular blog where I get a variety of free promotional shoes to review (although I did get free pair of shoes for working a display booth for a brand I like, back in June).

Oh, I have had my chances to do some of this stuff and last year, when I retired, those kind of opportunities disappeared.

Like the majority of runners, I pay for most of my running shoes or get them as gifts for my birthday/Christmas.

Which means many of those newest and greatest running shoes are also budget breakers.

Being retired and on a fixed budget, means that those new shoes costing $160, hell $100 or more for a pair of running shoes is simply more than I am usually willing to spend on new shoes and more than most people want to shell out for a present. Continue reading “Why Review Old Running Shoe Models”

4 – 6 – 4 Colby Track Workout – RunLog 8-26-14

For my primary run today, I went to Colby College’s track.

More because track/interval workouts are what I do on Tuesdays, than because I wanted to go run in 85F degree weather with bright sunshine on a track with no shade.

However, I also I know that running faster in the heat is one of my weaknesses, it always has been. Even though the summer is almost over, I am sure that we will have a few more days of hot weather running. If I want to run well in the heat, I need to run in the heat.

Also this type of running develops a certain amount of mental toughness. Especially, since I wasn’t really all that into doing track work today. I had planned to do 4 x 400m, 4 x 200m and 1 x 1.0 at sub 6:40 pace,  a fast mile at a sub 7:00 minute pace and between 4-8 100 yard pickup/sprints – depending upon how I was feeling at the end.

During my recent 5K races, I find that once I go past the 1.0 marker, I let my foot off the gas and start to slow down and then when I get to the 2.0 mile mark, I tend to slow a little more until I get to where I turned around during my 1.0 mile warm-up, where I begin to pick up my pace again.

I know that I need to work on faster pacing between miles 1.0 to 2.5

So what did I do?

  • 1.0 mile warm-up
  • 4 x 400m with 400m recovery between
  • 6 x 200m with 200m recovery between
  • 4 x 100 yards on the football field.
  • 1.0 mile cool-down

Continue reading “4 – 6 – 4 Colby Track Workout – RunLog 8-26-14”

Week In Review 8-24-14

Running with Bennie this week has been an adventure and 14.52 miles of running together, but we have had fun and he is making me much more consistent than I would be otherwise about my running. My run streak is up to 21 Days and I am not sure when it will end – probably when I get to feeling more tired.

Bennie pulling on the leash because he wanted to run faster
Bennie pulling on the leash because he wanted to run faster

For now, I am feeling pretty good and upbeat (well now that the race is over).

If you read my Run for the Fallen 5K recap, you will understand a little more about my struggles with race anxiety and how it affects my attempts to run in races outside of the local area. The bottom-line is that I made it to the starting line and finished the race with the best 5K time I have had this year :-).

Continue reading “Week In Review 8-24-14”

Run for the Fallen 5K – Recap 8-24-14

All things considered, I did better than I thought I did.

Although when I finished the race and looked at my watch, I was a little disappointed with the time and my effort, but when I got to thinking about it while writing this post – I did just fine.

Run for the Fallen Finish Line
Run for the Fallen Finish Line

There were a LOT of positives to take-away from the race!

  1. Honoring the Fallen – the ringing of the bell after reading the Fallen’s name part of the memorial service was very powerful for me. (just a couple of tears were shed)
  2. Making it to the starting line today!!! Yes, I had some serious doubts about whether I would, over the past couple of days and even almost left around 9:30 – due to some frustrations I was having – my problems no one else’s.
  3. It was the fastest I have run a 5K this year – 22:33
  4. I had a right on pace first mile – 6:39
    Strava Run for the Fallen 5K 8-24-14
    Strava Run for the Fallen 5K 8-24-14
  5. I was smart and didn’t push through, when my hamstring started to tighten up after the first mile, I pulled back until it stopped barking really loudly.
  6. In other words, I finished the race uninjured.

What did I learn: Continue reading “Run for the Fallen 5K – Recap 8-24-14”