Reebok FloatRide Run ULTK – First Run 8-22-18

This is the last of the three pair of Reebok’s that I got recently and they were the one pair that I wasn’t sure I liked from the beginning. Oh, they are comfortable enough, but I am not a huge fan of the plastic cage they use to support the knit upper, but more on that later.

I got them from eBay at a very nice price point versus the retail price of $150. I was concerned about some of the reviews that I read about them and how the plastic cage, heel hold and lacing were going to work for me, so that is the reason for the eBay buy.

When I got them in on August 11th, I was still having issues with the amount of skin that had been removed from under my left ankle by the Grasse Roads (since resolved) and the Run ULTK ankle well rubbed that sore spot just enough that I didn’t want to run in them quite yet.

Until today – eleven days later.

Since receiving the Run ULTKs I have used them as my primary walking shoes and they have been comfortable, but fussy. I hated the thick stock laces and replaced them, which caused other issues i.e. feeling the lace pressure a lot more than I usually do with a pair of shoes that has padding under them.

Another issue that I had was while walking in them it felt as though the heel wasn’t locked in and I attempted to resolve that sloppy feeling by using other lacing points on the plastic cage to try to hold the heel in more securely. While the lacing changes helped, they didn’t help enough to make that big of a difference and I went back to the stock lacing pattern for this first run.

I figured that I would do my 5.0 mile Middle Road Loop which has a combination of hills, tar, dirt shoulders, dirt roads to see how they felt on a variety of surfaces.

One thing I quickly learned is that the Run ULTK do have a different feel when running versus walking in them – they are much better. Somehow or another, the heel locks in and I do like the feeling of the FloatRide midsole – it feels very similar to the RunFast model, both good things.

During the run, I found that I could pick up the pace easily and they felt comfortable.

At the 2.0 mile point, I decided I wanted to see how they did when I picked up the pace a for about a mile. No issues and they felt comfortable, even going up a pretty good hill. I do like their multi-purpose tread, which did well down-back when it started raining and I got to try out the Run ULTK on wet dirt – no problems.

When I got to Stevens Hill, I shut it down, since I wanted to see how they felt at a slower paces. That way I would know if I could use them for recovery/easy runs as well as some tempo/fartlek stuff – the Run ULTK did very well at slower speeds, where I tend to heel strike a bit more.

The reality is that

I was initially skeptical that the Reebok FloatRide Run ULTK were going to be a part of my running shoe rotation. My experiences while walking several miles in them over the last week and half, left me less than enthusiastic about them as running shoes.

However, during this first run in the FR Run ULTK they were quite comfortable for running. The knit upper didn’t bother my Tailor’s Bunionette, but without padding under the laces, I could feel them against the top of my feet. It wasn’t bad…but it was enough that it was noticeable, but I have a feeling that if I ran in them regularly I would get used to the feeling.

While I am still a little leery of the plastic cage and lack of a padded area to alleviate lace bite, I will give them some time and more runs to see how they really are. This was a successful first run in them did give me reason to stop and think more about them as running shoes in my rotation, versus shoes that I will use primarily for walking.

However, I am wondering if they are a pair of the dreaded tweener shoes or if I will be able to use them primarily for recovery/easy/long run shoes, since I already have my go faster shoes in the Reebok RunFasts.

After all one of the pearls of wisdom that floats around in running shoe circles is to use the least amount of shoe that let’s you run the distances you want comfortably.

Time will tell.

It Has Been a Long Year & Closure

Yeah, a whirlwind trip to Lancaster, NH and coming back through Errol, which put 290 more miles on Clifford (our Ford Transit). We had been planning on going to New Hampshire at some point this week and with the weather coming in and some other things that needed to get taken care of – we thought it prudent to get it done yesterday.

It was one of those last minute decisions where you have to reschedule things, not go to a race that has been on the calendar for a while and when you leave, realize the things that you wanted to bring with you, you didn’t. In other words a last minute trip, where things could have gone sideways all to easily.

Thankfully, everything worked out just fine.

After last year’s weekly trips to Lancaster, where it was 99% work and very little play, one of the things we wanted to do have some fun going over there.

One of our objectives was to do the Coldwater Falls hike on the other side of Gorham’s BFH. It is a short hike and not at all technical, but the the scenery is gorgeous and we love going to these little falls when we can.

It takes about an hour out of day and for me at least it re-energized me after eating at McDonald’s for lunch. Which I am glad that I don’t have to do very often anymore, yeah it is familiar and all that, but leaves me feeling bloated and looking for the Pepto Bismal now.

Once we got to Lancaster, we stopped and took a photo of where we spent so much time last summer: cleaning, fixing, repairing and doing what needed to be done. It brought back more than a few bittersweet memories.

The photo on the left is last October 2017 and the one on the right is August 2018. Not much has changed, so I feel pretty good about all the work that we did last year. It was good enough that the new residents didn’t feel the need to make many changes.

Also we had told the Transfer Station crew when we left last December that we would buy them a breakfast. They had helped us out so much and were just a great bunch of guys, who without their assistance, things would have been much more difficult with the 50+ truckloads of “stuffage” I brought there last year.

Unfortunately, due to things going on around our house this year, we have not been able to keep that promise until now. So we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and got a gift certificate for the supervisor to get what they would want. It was just one of those right things to do and besides keeping our word is very important to us.

We did a few other things that we needed to do and then headed up the back way to Errol, NH…well actually we were going to go by Mary’s old family camp up on Millsfield Pond and see what the new owners had done and whether the outlet bridge had gotten the plaque that had been promised.

We were a little worried about the old camp road and driving Clifford on it, since it is usually washed-out, rutted and just a tough ride for a regular on-road vehicle. However, someone has really done a LOT of work on the camp roads up there and the roads were the best we had ever seen them.

The new owners have made some pretty drastic changes and Mary was a bit sad that the old camp she had know was no longer the same. However, the new owners have to make the property their’s and the new camp better meets their needs than the one she remembers.

Still it was hard because of all the memories stored up in that old camp and I have a more than a few of my own as well. The one on the left is from July 2017 and the one on the right is from August 2018.

We were a little disappointed that there was no plaque on the bridge and will be thinking about how to make it happen.

The ride back home from Camp was quieter as we both thought about the past year, the changes that it has brought in our lives and how things are now. While the trip was a long drive to be done in a single day, it was one of those necessary things that you gotta do.

No, I didn’t get a run in yesterday, there was just too much going on and we got back after dark, so I didn’t feel like going outside and playing with the skunks and coyotes that wander around the neighborhood. 🙂 Plus, I was pretty well tuckered out any way.

I do think we both got a bit more closure with Phil’s passing last summer, which is something that we both needed in our own ways.

Sometimes life is more important than running.