adidas Tempo 9 – 300 Mile Review

The adidas Tempo 9s made it to 300 miles.

A 300 mile review on a pair of shoes???

Holy crap…I couldn’t remember the last time that I had a pair of shoes make it to 300 miles. When I looked, it was a pair of Hoka Clifton 1 (Blue), back in 2015 and they were toast at that point.

Which makes the adidas Tempo 9s getting to 300 miles, still being shoes I enjoy running in and me wanting to write about them – even more impressive!

The short version is:

I can run in Tempo 9s comfortably, I don’t don’t get mysterious pains or blisters from the shoes and when I reach for the Tempo 9s I have no doubts about how they are going to perform…

Well. Continue reading “adidas Tempo 9 – 300 Mile Review”

Sometimes The Grass is Not Greener or I should say the Roads Weren’t Any Better

Today was my scheduled long run – 11.0 miles at just over 9:00 minute pace was the plan. Not a long, long, long run, by any stretch of the imagination, but further than I have run in quite a while, so I didn’t need any extra issues from the roads being trashed from last week’s snow/ice/rain storms.

Whine alert – yes I do more than my share of whining in this post, so you can chuckle at me starting now.

That footing thing had me concerned about running locally in Sidney and while I knew outer Civic Center Drive in Augusta was clear, but I really didn’t feel like running there again today and I was pretty sure that the Rail Trail probably was not all that runnable.

Then I remembered how running up in Waterville last year was better than any where else in the area. Hell, I even changed my Planet Fitness membership to up there because the outside routes were a lot better for running. So I headed up there to do my long run.

When I got to Waterville I saw the road conditions and got a bit concerned. The side of the roads were not plowed and had a frozen layer of plow comming (you know the stuff the plow leaves as it goes by) on just about all the main routes.

So I took off to see how the bridge to Winslow was and from the light by Good Will, until you got across the Sebasticook River really wasn’t runnable in my opinion. At least it was not safe to run, with the iced over sidewalks and no room on the side of the road, with the amount of traffic that I would have to encounter.

I even drove around Cool Street and First Rangeway, not great, but runnable. If it hadn’t been so late, I was seriously thinking about heading to Augusta or even back to Sidney, where at least the roads were clear or there would be less traffic.

It was getting late. Continue reading “Sometimes The Grass is Not Greener or I should say the Roads Weren’t Any Better”

Running Outside is Better

Yes, I finally got to get my butt outside for a decent run. The temp was almost balmy at 39*F and a pretty stiff wind out of the NW at 15 mph, yeah right in the wheelhouse for a nice run outside.

We got just enough snow and rain yesterday that I waited until this morning to do the clean-up – three driveways snowblowed and then walking with Bennie down-back almost two miles, meant that I seriously thought about shortening my scheduled 6.0 miler this morning.

With the conditions outside this morning, running around the house was not really a consideration, the roads were still crap and down back, while runnable in sections, other parts were not worth taking a chance on. Ice is my enemy.

Augusta where my Planet Fitness is located, is usually pretty clear after a storm and while it is not all that great for scenery, at least the footing is mostly predictable and there is room on the side of the road to run fairly safely.

So I drove into Augusta. Continue reading “Running Outside is Better”

Just A Bit Surprised After Yesterday

Okay what happened yesterday?

It was supposed to be a rest day, to lounge around and relax after a hard speed session on Tuesday. You know a scheduled day off and I was actually looking forward to not running yesterday – I needed the day off.

Well the good thing was that I did not run.

However, we did get a storm that left 7-10 inches of snow to move around. Which I did in the morning, about 3 hours of playing behind the snowblower. I thought that it was done, but when we sat down for lunch the rains came for about an hour and then it snowed again, just enough that I had to go out and play behind the snowblower again for another 2.5 hours. Continue reading “Just A Bit Surprised After Yesterday”

Wonders of a Positive Attitude

Yeah, all that glitters is gold – right!!!???

Not always, but last week I did a great 6 x .50, with .25 recoveries and thought that it was one of the best workouts that I have had in a long time. Fast forward a week and I have been planning on doing the same workout again today.

This is what Bennie and I did this afternoon after today’s workout.

Why?

Well I am doing the Hansons Half Plan and I didn’t want to screw around with the math last week when it was scheduled to be 600m repeats, with 400m recoveries. In all my wisdom I figured it would be easier on the old noggin to just focus on running half mile repeats than attempting to figure out the 600 conversion and keeping track of everything.

I will most likely do the same thing next week with the 1K, 1200m repeat workouts and convert them to .75 fast repeats for the sake of convenience. Although I might do the first week a little slower (10K race pace) to focus on completing the workout.

Okay, so I knew that I could do the workout and focused on only being positive all weekend about this workout that in the past I found to be right on the edge of my mental want to do, more than my physical ability. I really was not always that positive about running fast repeats beyond .25.

Continue reading “Wonders of a Positive Attitude”

Week 6 – 2019

Not quite the week I wanted/expected, but the one that I got through.

My favorite photo from the week:

I am still using the Hansons Half Marathon Method as the basis for my training and was able to hit all of the SOS workouts during the week, although I did’t quite meet the weekly mileage goals with two days off. The good thing is that I felt good about my running all week and that is the important thing.

After a bit of a sabbatical due to my Zagg Keyboard for my iPad Pro dying, I finally got in my new Brydge keyboard this week. I like the way it matches up to my rose gold version and makes it…well basically into a small laptop. I still have to get used to the way the keys feel compared to other keyboards.

It is not a bad feel, but I am a touch typist and the key travel is different than I am used to compared to other ones that I have used recently. I will get used to it, but there is going to be a bit of a get-used to it curve.

Running

Like I said a pretty good week, but when I didn’t run yesterday – a trip to Oxford (New Balance Factory store and book shopping), along with a nasty wind storm (wind chills in the stoopid range) made my wanting to run when I got home a moot point.

I didn’t.

I am still running more on the treadmill than outside, but the good thing is that I am hitting the paces called for in the plan on the SOS workouts and doing a little extra on my recovery days, which is okay.

Running Shoes

The New Balance Beacons did are over 90 miles and are still my goto shoes. They do everything that I ask of my running shoes. They are comfortable, quiet and best of all do not bother my feet. This week’s quality workouts were all done in the Beacons. The half mile repeats at my “real” 5K pace (not the pace I want to be) while tough the shoes did not get in the way. Then the 4.0 miles of tempo pace (my hopeful half marathon pace) were done without any issues and today’s long run was done comfortably at a 9:00 minute pace on the treadmill. If I Go For A Run, I typically choose the Beacons.

Although I did run in the Tempo 9s Outside for an easy 7.0 on Friday and they did everything that I could ask of them. They are still a part of the rotation and I do need to bring them out of the cubby and start using them again – if for no other reason than to save some of the mileage on the Beacons.

It comes down to me liking the Beacons a bit more than the Tempo 9s they just feel “right” for me.

New Gear

I did pick up a New Balance running jacket, shirt and tank top at the factory outlets this week and have used all but the tank top. I liked the way that the jacket performed as an outer layer on a 33*F, rainy and breezy day and used the short sleeve shirt on the long run today without any issues.

The reality is that

I actually am still following the Hansons Half Plan and doing well with the mileages/paces. My hip does give a few barks now an then, but doesn’t seem to bother too much otherwise.

Although I have back slid on changing my eating habits a bit, I am going to get back to it this week.

Another good week.

One of the Better Workouts in a While

This morning it was one of those you wake up to an inch or so of pain-in-the-arse white shite, which meant just enough snow moving for three driveways and then getting to walk Bennie a ways in wet slushy crap.

After Bennie’s first walk, I decided to throw together this breakfast and it didn’t last too long, although Bennie did do more than his usual begging for a piece of the sausage pattie. 🙂

Can you tell that I love snow about this time of year. Sometimes I think that I would almost rather deal with a 6-12 inch storm than a PIA 1-2 inches. At least what I didn’t have to move melted for the most part later in the day.

Which meant that while I was scheduled for a Something of Substance (SOS) workout according to the Hansons Half Plan, it didn’t mean that I was chomping at the bit to do it after having over 10,000 steps on the old body by 9:30a. Yeah, I was already tired and really thought about moving the planned tempo workout to Friday.

However with freezing rain in the forecast for tonight, I figured that I might as well just do it today and get it over with. I figured that I would do the minimum: 1.0 mile warm-up, 3 miles at 1/2 marathon race pace and a mile cool-down.

Err that was the plan.

1.0 warm-up @ 6.3 mph – no issues and the legs started to feel pretty good

4.0 tempo @ 7.8 mph – I felt really strong the entire time and focused on keeping my form compact.

.50 cool-down @ 6.1 mph – Everything felt good, so I decided that I would do some strides.

7 x .10 strides @ 9.1 mph and .10 recovery @ 6.1 mph – the fast stuff felt really good and when I got to the 6.5 mile point, I decided to keep doing them to 7.0 miles

Dramatic pause and music cued please.

1 x .10 strides @ 10.1 mph – my old quarter repeat speed something that I haven’t felt comfortable enough to try lately and even though it was only for .10, it felt good to run that fast and be able to do it without pain or feeling like the old body was going to go into shock or something.

Walked .40 to cool-down at constantly slower paces.

I am very happy with how well the workout went this morning, while I have been getting closer to being able to hold some of these paces better than I have in the past – that consistent training thing is helping a lot. I didn’t expect to be successfully doing this kind of volume workout at this point in my training, actually, I didn’t expect to hit these kind of paces at all.

While I usually do better on the treadmill, I am also finding that this year most of my treadmill progress is also translating to running better outside. So I am hoping that keeping pretty close to the Hansons Half Marathon training plan will provide me enough structure to keep making good progress, but at the same time letting me continue to see progress, but allow me to stretch out the legs every once in a while, just not all that often.

Believe me, I know that I need to keep to the guard rails that the Hansons plan is providing me, so that I do not go into full “Harold Mode” and screw everything up by doing too much or thinking that I too can run “that” fast again.

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy and this year I want to work hard to avoid that guy for as long as I can.

The other thing was that I had a nice conversation with an old co-worker from my UMA days, who ran on the treadmill beside me and congratulated me on my workout. I was so focused in on my workout that I didn’t notice her getting on the treadmill or watching me change speeds. I laughed a little when we talked about how it wasn’t bad for an old fart.

We did get caught up on some other stuff and it was nice to talk with her again.

A pretty decent workout.

New Brydge Keyboard and Half-Mile Repeats

I got in my new keyboard for the iPad Pro and there seems to a bit a of a learning curve on how to keep the Bluetooth connected. Other than that the Brydge keyboard is working great and once I get used to the key travel I have a feeling that I am going to really like it.

All I know is that it is nice to have a real keyboard to use with my iPad Pro, after not having one for a week. It did show me that if I didn’t have a keyboard to go with my iPad it is not a device that I would like nearly as much.

Hopefully, thing are back to normal – whatever to hell that is.

Today’s Run Continue reading “New Brydge Keyboard and Half-Mile Repeats”

New Balance Beacon – 50 Mile Review

At some point after all the hype and hoopla dies down about a new pair of running shoes, I finally get around to getting a pair to see what all the hootin and hollering was about.

Last summer I heard a lot about how great the New Balance Beacons were from a variety of sources, but unfortunately New Balance running shoes have historically not been a match made in heaven for me and I was skeptical that the Beacons would be any different.

However, all the reviews of the Beacons indicated that these were not your usual New Balance running shoes and so when I figured out that I needed a shoe with a little more forefoot cushioning and Running Warehouse had a closeout sale on exactly the Beacon colorway that I wanted – I bought them. Which definitely means that all the comments made in this post are my own and not influenced by any commercial interests.

Short Version

I love the Beacons.

They have performed well and were comfortable on all the runs that I have done in them.

As can be seen I have primarily used them for the exact reason I got them – the treadmill. I have done quarter mile repeats at sub 7:00 paces, shorter tempo/race pace runs, fast strides – sub 6:30, an outside 10K and a 10.5 mile long run outside.

I cannot ask any more of a pair of shoes and know that I will be using them for more than just treadmill miles going forward, especially after feeling great for that 10+ miler.

Which does mean that I will be buying another pair of Beacons for my rotation when these do wear out – I cannot give a pair of shoe any higher recommendation than that.

Long Version.

Okay, you know that I like the Beacons – a lot.

So what did New Balance do this time that was so impressive to me.

Instead of attempting to add unnecessary bells, whistles, technologies and features – New Balance focused on keeping the Beacons simple and from where I sit focused on being shoes that are no fuss, no muss and are fun to run in.

It does help that the Beacons came in at 6.9 ounces for my men’s size 8.0, have 26/20 stack heights for plenty of cushioning, used a Fresh Foam derivative innovatively and designed a simple “looking”, but comfortable upper that doesn’t get in the way when you are running.

From my first run to my most recent one, the Beacons have been a put them on, tie them up, go run and focus on the run, not how the shoes are doing, except that after the run is over, you think about how great they felt during the run.

The Bad

When I am running at a sub 6:30 (yeah I can still do it for a short ways) pace, they don’t feel quite firm enough and I would prefer the Adios 3s, if I could maintain that pace for a race. Since I don’t run that fast for any kind of distance at this point, I prefer the protection that the Beacons provide for most everything else. Not really a bad thing for me, but for some faster runners it might be a consideration.

When the temps are below 20*F I noticed that the midsole is definitely firmer than when it is warmer. Not quite rock hard, but the cold does affect the midsole’s cushioning properties.

The Good

The Beacons are comfortable. I have had zero issues with blisters, hot spots, them bothering my balky Tailor’s Bunionette or finicky Plantar Fascia (which has historically been a problem with New Balance running shoes and my left foot).

Almost Ninja quiet (they compare to the GoRun Ride 2s in this respect). I can usually tell when a shoe is working with how I run by the amount of slap or heel drag that occurs. No issues with the Beacon here.

Outsole wear has been next to none after more than 50 miles, which surprised me, since there is very little material besides the midsole there. Most of my miles have been on the treadmill, which usually tears up shoes for me, but the Beacons have done well. Although I will be interested in seeing how the wear is on the dirt road down-back after mud season is over and things dry up.

The upper on the Beacons is understated (which I like), with just the New Balance “N”s as overlays. All the extras and other nonsense that New Balance and other brands tend put on too many of their shoes just isn’t there on the Beacons and is in my opinion addition by subtraction.

The cushioning on this edition of Fresh Foam is just right – firm enough to want to run fast in them, but soft enough that running long is not an issue either. I wanted a shoe for the treadmill that had low weight and higher forefoot stack height. In this regard they do as others have said remind me a little of the original Hoka Clifton, but with a more refined feel to them and definitely a more comfortable fit for me, especially in the forefoot.

The reality is that

I may have found my Cinderella shoes.

As usual I am behind the popularity curve and most everyone has moved on to the next great thing in running shoes. The Beacons had their moment in the sun and there was a good reason for it – they are a great running shoe.

What is the Beacon best at? It depends on what kind of runner you are and the kinds of paces you typically run. For a younger and/or faster runner they are a great long tempo, easy run shoe. For the slower and older (like me), they could be a 5K or longer race day shoe, that does well on faster training runs or even just using them for daily easy runs.

I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to do too many trail runs in them or head outside in crappy weather, there just isn’t enough outsole there to provide good grip, although they pleasantly surprised me in wet, slushy conditions at about 20*F with how well they did.

Honestly, I when I got the Beacons I was not expecting them to “Wow” me as much as they have. I was extremely happy with my adidas Tempo 9s and didn’t think any shoe was going to supplant them anytime soon as my favorite rotation shoes. However, I when I look at my running log since I got the Beacons I don’t see too many other shoes being worn and I look forward to running in them.

Like I said, when these wear out I will be buying another pair, I like them that much and I can’t give any pair of running shoes any higher rating.

New Balance, you done good and finally provided me a pair of running shoes that I love.