Another Run in the Log – RunLog 8-31-19

This is the last run in August and I was supposed to do my long run today. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I decided before heading out this morning to do an easy 5.0 miles when I thought about everything that HAD to get done today.

I will get a longer run in tomorrow…well that is the plan anyways.

Today was putting my bookcase back together, mowing the lawn, removing air conditioners and whatever else needed to get done, which meant I time was pretty scarce for a long run.

Which meant that today’s run was going to be an easy one, no big pushes up the hills, just keep the effort levels low and take the time on the Timex and smile.

Actually, I was surprised at the time when I got down to the first mile, so I eased off the pedal even more. I wanted this to be an easy run. Going along the Middle Road was slow and then when I turned on to Blake, the breeze was right in my face. Which meant that I went even slower.

I finished comfortably and thought about doing some strides, but when I looked at the time, well…I just shut things down and went inside to clean-up and eat lunch. It was one of those easier runs where you just smile when you get done, put it into the running log and get going on the rest of the day.

So I did.

Salomon Sonic RA Max v1 – 50 Mile Review

This review is more for me and to remind me about how these particular running shoes worked for me this summer.

After writing this post back in July, I decided to put the RA Max v1 under the dresser, give them a couple of months off and figured that I would get them out at some point down the road. Well it is down the road time and after wearing them twice for a mile walk, there has been no change from what I initially wrote back in July.

So I guess it is time to let them go to someone who can actually run in them.

This is what I wrote initially

Have you ever had a pair of running shoes that you really, really love, but they just don’t work for you no matter the little tweaks you attempt or how much you want them to work. That is how I feel about the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1.

It is not that I cannot run in them, because I have gotten them to 50 miles. However, to run in them I have to accept a certain amount of discomfort in my right foot, that varies from run to run, without any rhyme or reason to how much discomfort I will have to endure during a run.

The primary cause is that my right foot has a Tailor’s Bunionette that drives me crazy and limits the type/style of running shoes that I can run comfortably in. The Salomon RA Max v1 is one of a long line of great running shoes that are not comfortable for me to run in – at least in my right foot. My left foot loves theses shoes.

This Spring it seemed as though I had gotten beyond the fit issues that I had with the right foot, but for some reason the problems have returned with a vengeance since my injury (??? No idea why) and unfortunately the RA Max v1 are the shoes that it has affected the most in my current rotation.

Enough background noise.

Let’s get back to my thoughts on the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1

First and foremost I love the Vibe technology and do believe that it was a big part of my being able to return so quickly from my most recent injury – a stress fracture/reaction in my left tibia. This technology is supposed to dampen the tibial vibration and in my opinion, it works exactly as advertised. I could tell a difference between the RA Max v1 (and Sense Ride v1) and other running shoes that I walked and ran in during my recovery. It has a feel that I prefer, which is between cushy and firm that is hard to describe, but I know it when I feel it – this shoe has it.

The weight is great for an everyday trainer and easy run shoe:

For as much rubber is on the outsole, I am very quiet when running in the RA Max v1. The grip is great on dirt roads and even wet tar. I even believe they would work quite nicely for light snow, although wet heavy stuff or mud would cake up pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, the outsole also has a tendency to pick up small rocks and pebbles, which is more annoying than an issue. However, I have a feeling that the outsole will wear quicker than some other shoes, since in several places I can see where the nubs are peeling rubber off, but at the same time, I don’t see it becoming an issue for 300-400 miles.

The upper, is where I run into some issues, but only with my right foot. If I was to base running and wearing the RA Max v1 on how they felt on my left foot, I would consider them to be extremely comfortable running shoes.

Unfortunately, I have this weird right foot and it does not like the fit of the RA Max v1 at all in the toe box/sidewall. While they have a fairly wide toe-box, it seems that the angle of the shoe going past the toes to the end of the shoe is just enough to push my little toe into the 4th toe while running.

Also the structured fit while it holds the foot quite well, one of the side stripes sits directly on my Tailor’s Bunionette and pushes against it just enough that during a run or walk I notice it. When I run my finger between the midsole and lace hole, I can feel the raised ridge of the internal support on the under side of the upper, while it is is not a big deal for most people, it is just enough to bother that damned Tailor’s Bunionette.

Which after walking or running in them I feel varying levels of discomfort ranging from –

  • okay I notice it…
  • I gotta stop and take the damn shoe off

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of rhyme or reason on which level of discomfort is going to happen while I am wearing them. I have tried several different lacing patterns, different style/weight socks, different insoles and how tight I snug the laces up without a lot of success on getting the fit – just right.

Which sucks!!!

Because I do like the RA Max v1 a lot, if I could get the fit of the right foot to match how they fit the left, they would be a great running shoe for me, but unfortunately so far they have not.

So for me the Salomon RA Max v1 is not the answer to my daily trainer search. It is a great shoe for someone who doesn’t have issues with a tailor’s bunionette, but I will keep searching for a daily trainer that I can wear without worrying about what level of discomfort I will have to endure during a run.

Tomorrow, they go away.

Test Course Time Trial – RunLog 8-29-199

After walking the pups this morning, I was wondering what I should do for my planned 4.0 mile run. Initially, I was going to run with the guys at Planet Fitness at 12:15, but Mary had other plans for me in the afternoon so I had to change things up a little.

Then I got this “brilliant” idea.

Yeah, Harold and his brilliant ideas that usually end up quite a bit less than brilliant when looked at with 20/20 hindsight. 🙂

I have’t run in my Nike Zoom Fly SP since that fast for me Middle Road Loop and I needed to see if that was a fluke or if I did really run faster in them than my other shoes.

Which meant I time trial down my test course. I really, really hate when I have those brilliant ideas, this was going to be a bit painful, but it would show me once and for all how the ZF SP do for me.

I started out decently, nothing totally stoopid and then I hit the hill and got a good pace going.

Even after I hit the bottom of Philbrick Hill, I was able to maintain a pretty good pace. Once I got down on Pepin, I did start to slow a bit though. The humidity was around 94% and even though it was in the mid 60s for temps it is the humidity that kills me on runs.

I got down to where I turn around now in 12:11, the fastest time that I remember before this run was a 12:17 a long time ago. I also remembered that I turned about 50 yards sooner on that run, because the road didn’t go to where I turn around now at that time.

Coming back out of Pepin is pretty much a long uphill and I slowed down quite a bit coming back out, but I kept pushing the pace as much as I could without getting too deep into the well while running a training run. Then when I got back to Philbrick Hill it was a tough slog back up that tough hill.

Once I got over the hill, I did pick up the pace a little, but didn’t attempt push it all that hard until the last 100 yards.

After I walked a bit to catch my breath, I in my infinite wisdom decided that I needed to do 5 x 2 Telephone Pole strides to finish off the abuse for the morning.

The first one I was a bit meechy and didn’t really push that hard and then rest I just kept repeating during the strides “I want this more”. The last one I tied my segment CR, something that I have done several times, but can’t seem to push through to bring it down a little more, right now.

Actually, doing strides is something that I like doing, when I have enough energy left after a run to do them or is it that I force the issue and just do them. 🙂

The Nike Zoom Fly SP are for me at least – great go fast road running shoes. I just run differently in them than I do other shoes. There is a soft landing for my heel, great roll-through to toe-off, where I get a good pop. While they are too soft and unstable to be effective on a track for me, on the roads, they are working quite nicely.

Oh yeah, I did wear my Garmin, since I had that brilliant idea to do a time trial on tired legs, just to see how things went.

I did get Silver Medals on a few of my segments, but I was pretty damn impressed with how well I ran on a tough course that was pretty wet in a some spots going down and up the hill after last night’s rain storm. I am fairly certain that this was a course record by almost half a minute and it was longer than the course that I would have set the record on.

The other thing is that a I had a sub 7:00 mile, but it doesn’t count because it was not on a track. I just needed a steep hill and a tailwind to get there, but I got under 7:00 after a very slow start to the run, so I can still run pretty quick it seems under the right conditions.

The journey continues and I keep smiling. 🙂

Dog, Fantasizing, Running – RunLog 8-28-19

Today, I was really not enthusiastic about getting out and running. No real reason or aches/pains stopping, it was more I just didn’t have a lot of interest in running. So I ran anyway.

I wasn’t planning on going fast, just a mile longer than my Tuesday total. The weather was cooperating, although by the end the humidity was getting a little higher and the winds were out of the SE (in my face most of the way back).

Once I got past Bartlett, I could hear some barking and running towards the road in one of the yards as I passed. When that happens I listen a little closer behind me, because all too often it means that a dog miraculously appears in the road behind me.

Yep, I could hear the tap, tap of nails on tar and quickly turned around – a male part Golden Retriever/Lab mix was behind me. It surprised the dog, but it had a ridgeback, it stopped when I turned, started barking and walking toward me stiff legged.

Shit-not good.

All are signs of a dog that ain’t backing down very quickly. It was about 20 feet away, so I puffed up as big as a 5’7″, 155 pound guy can and in the most commanding voice I can muster yelled at it to “go home” and at the owner to get their fucking dog. I did this several times and the dog stopped advancing at about 10 feet.

No one came out of the house, so I figured that I was going to be dog wrestling, because it seemed to be bracing his back legs to attack, so I crouched down and pointed in the most aggressive voice I could use “go home”. At that point something clicked in his pea brain and he turned and bounded off into the bushes for his house. No, I didn’t hear anyone call him off, but I was glad that he backed down. I really was relieved that the dog decided that I wasn’t worth the trouble.

I really think that I need to start carrying dog spray again, just for cases like this or else a small air horn, which critters ain’t fond of either. I have the pepper spray in the house, so it will be in my belt pouch next time.

This cost me 2-3 minutes and a pretty good adrenaline burger that I needed to slowly burn-off.

Once I got back to running, I thought about how arrogant some people are when it comes to their critters. It is one thing to have your dog under voice command, but quite another to let it out the door and not have a clue what is going on while it is outside. Yeah, I was slightly pissed.

That got me through the next couple of miles – no problem.

However, once I past on the flats, I had to keep playing mental games to get to the Goodhue Road. The body was willing, but the brain was not into it. Once I got to the turn-around, I started fantasy running.

You know where you dream/fantasize about running in a race and what you are going to do.

In this case I am thinking about running the Maine Half Marathon in October and so I fantasized about chasing down the first master’s runner after the turn-around. He was wearing an orange singlet and I focused on the imaginary runner ahead of me on that course.

In my fantasy I had 6.0 miles to catch up, so I could slowly creep up on the age group leader and I did this for the rest of the run, keeping that runner in sight and slowly gaining on him. Once I got in the last 50 yards, I unleashed a powerful kick and flew by him with about 10 yards to go. Not enough time for him to respond and win my age group.

Not that that will happen, but it is a great mental trick to keep your mind focused on the task at hand – finishing a run that I didn’t feel all that much like doing.

The reality is that

Yeah, things that I think about when I think about running or want to keep running when I don’t feel like it. Hehehehe. It is a positive way to get through a tough patch and works for me – even if it isn’t reality.

The dog thing, once it is over doesn’t really bother me all that much. It is something that happens a bit too often out here because I live in a rural area and a lot of dog owners forget that their dogs don’t like other people as much as the owners tend to believe and others (me) don’t like their dogs as much as they do.

However, when a dog doesn’t back down immediately it is a bit more worrisome and takes things to stage 2, where I think about having to defend myself. If I have to, I will. Luckily, today the dog went home and I kept running and it was not out when I came back by the house – yes, I slowed down a little to double-check.

Not the run I expected, but I got in 7.0 miles, although the time was a couple of minutes slower than last Wednesday’s run on the same course, I don’t really think it was all that much slower, due to a certain interruption.

I will take it.

Track Tuesday – RunLog 8/27/19

I really was not sure how the left foot was going to react to running faster, but I really, really wanted to try out the New Balance 1400 v6 on the track. So I headed over to Colby and endured all the vehicular traffic and foot traffic from the students moving in. Luckily the track itself was just about empty.

While I was getting ready to run, I decided to put my Garmin on the same arm as my Timex and that way go hi-tech and old school pretty much at the same time.

Thankfully, the humidity was a lot lower than it has been, but the sun and temps were raising to higher levels than I expected. However, it wasn’t that bad and I wanted to complete a full workout.

My plan was to do a mile warm-up, mile time trial and then 8 quarters, with a mile cool-down. I haven’t completed an outdoor track workout as planned since I moved outside, so that was more important than how fast/hard I did the quarters.

As you can see, if you can read my writing, I went old school while doing my workout. It meant writing down the times from the Timex after the lap and stopping to quickly do it. Which meant a little longer between intervals and I think that the short delays helped me recover better than I have in the past.

My times were very consistent, which surprised me, but it seems that I get to a comfortably hard pace and that is about all I want to do. Running by myself, I don’t get beyond the curtain and push myself to go the speeds that I should be hitting – at least in my opinion.

I did use the Garmin on this portion of the workout and it is running time. It also turns out that I ran a slightly different segment route than the person who created the .26 lap segments for Colby’s track. Their end point is somewhere up on the corner and I stopped at the finish line and went over to the lane divider on the corner, where I had my notebook to write down the time and then walked to the green marker on the corner in lane 2. Somewhere up on that corner is where I should have finished for that segment.

Another reason to focus on the Timex and not worry about Strava segments to review how you did, although the graph is a pretty good depiction of what I did.

No, I didn’t do the cool-down, I was getting tired and the left foot was starting to complain just a little. At this point I didn’t want to press my luck, so I figured it was time to shut it down.

I like the graph and will keep using the Garmin for speed session, but next time I will just use it for running time/graphs for the entire workout versus attempting to document the mile time trial and end up having three separate workout entries. The notebook will have the official interval times.

Next time I do track work, I think that I am going to do it without music, I just want to see if I run differently with or without using my race playlist. Another thing is that I might do shorter repeats to work on busting through the comfortably hard effort ceiling that I seem to have created for myself.

The reality is that

I came just a little bit closer to breaking 7:00 minutes for the mile. I have a feeling that it is more a problem with the upstairs than anything wrong with the old body. Today I only needed 4 more seconds and I know pretty much where I lost the sub 7:00 when I think about it and look at the graph. The Back stretch on laps 2 and 3, I just didn’t focus on going faster – enough. Next month I will get it.

Otherwise I did a pretty good job on finishing the 8 quarters and the consistency was really good. Actually, I liked using the Timex for tracking my repeats and was more relaxed on the rest intervals because they were not being timed. It gave me the time I really needed to get ready for the next interval. At this point in my running it is more important to run quality intervals than it is to push the rest time.

Also when I got looking back through my notebook, it had old track workouts from 2012 and I chuckled when I saw them. The times are just a bit different and makes me chuckle about how much I have slowed down

It seems as though I am heading backwards sometimes and going back to what works for me.

So how did the the NB 1400 v6 do?

No issues, great grip, quiet, stable and comfortable. They did everything I asked of them and helped me run well on the track today. No, they do not have the same snap as the Zoom Fly SP have for me, but at the same time they are still a faster shoe than I will ever run in them.

Another good workout and confidence builder. Just not as fast as an old fart would love to be at this point. 😉 I will get there or I won’t, but I will keep working hard to get there.

Yesterday’s Run Was Pretty Good – RunLog 8-26-19

Just a little late in publishing this.

Holy crap, August is almost over!!! I didn’t realize how close the end of the month was until I entered yesterday’s 5.0 miler into my spreadsheet running log and saw the blue highlighted line in this week’s rows.

Yeah, summer is just about over and the weather is getting better for running.

Yesterday, I decided to head into Planet Fitness, do some upper body work and run after. Of course, I didn’t do the upper body weights and just ran. Some day I will get to working the upper body, but I also do a LOT of work around the yard during the summer that involves upper body work, so I am not that worried about it.

The run itself wasn’t anything special, I got out and ran at about what I thought was a 9:00 minute pace for most of the run. I might have run a little faster coming back down Outer Civic Center Drive, but I didn’t push hard and kept things easy.

However, about when I got up to the lights the top of my left foot began to bother at bit. Which concerned me a little, but I think that I have figured out what happened. On Friday I changed the laces on my NB 890s to elastic ones and I had them too tight and they irritated tendon coming off my big toe towards the ankle. When I wore them after my long run Saturday to help move heavy stuff around and then the next morning a long walk with Bennie just was too much for the tendon.

When I changed out the shoes yesterday, it didn’t bother as much, but when I finished the run yesterday and looked down at the left shoe, I had tied the knot right above where my foot was bothering. The irritation hadn’t had enough time to calm down completely and when I tied the laces where I did it began to re-irritate the tendon.

Once I loosened up the laces on the 890s and changed the position of where I knot the Beacons the foot felt fine the rest of the day. So sometimes it is the small things that make a huge difference and when I make some minor adjustments things can get back to normal.

The reality is

That this run was a nice 5.0 plus miler, where for 4.0 miles I just ran comfortably and didn’t push the pace. Unfortunately, my inflamed tendon on the top of my left grew a bit unhappy by then and told me that it was getting unhappy.

Nothing serious and I figured out the issue (loosen the locklaces in the NB 890 v7) and while it will take a few days for the tendon to be completely happy again, at least I know why it was complaining and am making progress on making it stop.

The small things do make a big difference. At least I was able to problem solve and figure out what was going on. 🙂

Another Week In The Books – 8/25/19

A week where I put some of the thoughts bouncing around in my head into action. Sometimes we think about all these great things that we would do that could improve our lives, but never take the time to make any changes of consequence.

Favorite photo from the week

This week I made a move that might be fairly insignificant to most people, but in the day-to-day living of my life, it is a significant change for me.

I have moved back to using a Timex Ironman watch as my daily wear watch and my primary running watch.

Which means:

  • No GPS = no imprecise mileage tracking
  • No live pace tracking
  • No live tracking where I am during a run
  • No Notifications – do I have to take this call, text, weather alerts or other miscellaneous stuff that I get notifications about at odd times and when I am running
  • No Heart-rate monitoring, which with the wrist reading while I was running was not all that accurate. Though I will miss the ease of checking my heart-rate first thing on waking up, which I do consider to be a fairy important metric.
  • No sleep stats – some of the results captured make you wonder about who was actually being tracked or who was wearing the watch.
  • No tracking of the number of steps I supposedly take during a day
  • No auto populating various websites (Strava, Garmin Connect, etc.) with the activities that I captured
  • No wonderful graphs and stats to drool over or scratch my head and go WTFO

You really do not realize how much you use your Garmin or Smartwatch and how it/they insinuate their way into your life, until you stop using it and go old school.

One thing I am noticing is that I am also reducing the times that I carry my iPhone with me while running. It is not a conscious decision, it is more…well do I really need it with me all the time? So the blog will probably stop having as many while I am running photos, which is okay too. Maybe I need to paint better pictures of the run when I write versus relying so much on visual stimulus.

During this week, I also re-read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This time the book didn’t really “Wow” me like it did the first time. I guess I am in a different place now than I was the first time. It is now more reminiscent of a bunch of my blog post, but better written, with a few more nuggets of wisdom than I can provide.

So how is this experiment going?

Better than this old guy thought it would.

Actually, when I started using the Timex watch there was more than a little feeling of withdrawal from all of the above things than I believed that I would have. The withdrawal was real and while I have gotten over the worst of it, I still feel at times like I am missing out by not using my Garmin – all the time.

However, I am finding that since I stopped using my Garmin that I am relaxing more when running and at other times. All good things. Each run I do without electronics, it gets easier to run without them.

Yes, I did use the Garmin for my long run this week and that will be the plan going forward, using it for long runs and speedwork, but for easy and recovery runs using the Timex. I have a feeling that when I race again that I will be wearing the Timex, just because I don’t want to be distracted during the race and instead of using the “distance” from the watch, use the “official” distance of the day.

It just makes things less stressful.

The other thing is that I have become comfortable in my own skin and really do not care what others think about my running or activity levels. Also, I feel as though I have taken back a bit of my privacy, especially since I have been leaving my phone at home when running from the house.

Honestly, I no longer feel that I need the external “proof” of what I am doing on a day-to-day basis to validate my running. I know what I am doing and that is more than enough.


Speaking about running, that has been great this week.

Getting over 40 miles this week was the first time that I have done this since I got injured back in June. Doing hill repeats, even though they were just 20-25 second repeats, they still hurt and reminded me why I love to hate them so much. I really prefer the track over hills any day of the week!

Saturday even though I didn’t write about it on the blog, I ran a half marathon training run and had zero issues during the run. It was one of those runs where I got going at a steady pace, didn’t slow down terribly and finished with the feeling that I could have gone further without any problem. Which is how I wanted to feel, but I had to prove to myself that I could still run 13.1 and I did. Now it becomes a question of how fast versus whether I can finish or not.

However, on my planned easy run Sunday, my left foot didn’t feel quite right, so I shut it down after a mile. This is part of taking a long-term view of my running that is a huge change for me.

In the past, I would have sucked it up and finished the 3-4 mile run and suffered the consequences. By stopping when it started to bother, I am hoping that whatever is going on, goes away pretty quickly. I am pretty sure that it had nothing to do with yesterday’s long run, but probably more lifting and moving heavy things around yesterday afternoon, when re-doing SD1’s room.

I am learning – well slowly anyway.

Running Shoes

My New Balance Beacon 2 are doing everything that I can ask of them, although I wouldn’t opt for them to be my “go fast for me” shoes, they have been comfortable and allowed me to run well on my easy and recovery days, along with that 13.1 miler on Saturday.

Nike Zoom Fly SP are my go fast shoe of choice on the roads in good conditions. As I have said before I run differently in the Zoom Fly than I do in other running shoes. However, on the track they are too soft and unstable for my tastes. A better shoe than I am a runner for sure.

New Balance 890 v7 are my fugly shoe, I run decently in them, but not great. Yes, they are comfortable, but are missing that “snap” that encourages me to want to go fast in them. They feel better on the track than the ZF, but are missing something on the roads.

New Balance 1400 v6 – I got a helluva deal on the 1400s through eBay this week and couldn’t resist buying them. I haven’t really taken them out for a fast workout yet, but on a 5.0 miler around my hilly Middle Road Loop they were fine at slower speeds. The 1400 are quiet, have good manners and now I need to do a fast workout in them to see how they feel at what they are supposedly made for – speed.

The reality is that

It was actually a very good week and one where I made a fairly major change by moving back to a Timex Ironman for most of my running and feel good about it.

The training is going good with a 40 mile week, some hill work and a nice 13.1 mile long run, so the confidence is coming back, slowly but surely.

My running shoe rotation is has moved to a Nike/New Balance focus. The NB just fit my feet the best of any brand and the ZF feel faster on my feet than anything else. As long as it keeps working and I don’t get a super deal on something that I always wanted to try, I think I will stick with this. Although, I do really want to try the Altra Torin 3.5 and a couple of others. ;-

Another week in the books and one where I wonder how the changes I am making will affect my running and other areas of my life? Very well I hope.

Middle Road Loop – RunLog 8-23-19

Have you ever started talking to someone and found out that they actually are your cousin and that you have a lot more in common than you ever thought possible. After that initial conversation, you decide that this person is someone you would like to have in your life.

Well, today I ran for the first time in my new to me New Balance 1400 v6 that I got off eBay for under $30 and the similarities between the scenario above and the how I felt after I finished are pretty amazing.

I have tried on the 1400 v6 once before and liked the initial step-in fit and feel, but I had a bunch of other shoes on the docket and couldn’t get myself to add, yet another pair to the mix. Which is too bad, because I have a feeling, I might have gone in a different direction than I did for a while, if I had actually run in the 1400 v6.

The NB 1400 v6 felt a lot like something between the 890 v7 and a pair of Vazee Pace that I had for a while. They were very quiet, light-weight, despite the amount of rubber that they had underfoot and had great grip on the dirt road down-back. There was a lot of familiar feel to them while I was running and it made me feel pretty confident about running more in them.

Yeah, a lot like a long lost cousin that I never met before, but sure did seem to know pretty well, once we got to know one another.

No, I purposely didn’t run fast in the 1400s despite the fact that they are racing shoes. Sometimes you find out more about a pair of “flats” by running slow in them, than you do by running fast in them. So that was the plan for today’s run.

Run slow and mostly easy with a few strides at the end.

They fit like New Balance shoes usually do for me and I can actually wear true to size shoes – size 8.0. Which is nice and New Balance is about the only brand that I can reliably wear true to size, so it makes it nice when I have to order a pair of running shoe that most of the time I get the correct fit, without frig farting around too much.

I wore the Timex, so I don’t have a clue about what data points I hit or missed other than how long it took me to get around the course. Yes, I did play with the tap lap feature, but I screwed things up so it was useless data. Which I sort of chuckled about when I saw the results.

The weather was in the 70s, with low humidity and a little breeze – just about a perfect summer day, but definitely the kind that will make you sweat buckets before your run is done.

The first mile the shoes felt good, no hot spots and coming down Philbrick Hill, they didn’t bottom out and actually provided a good amount of protection. Wow, where did all the traffic come from on Shepard Road, there must have been about 10 cars in that short section of road!!!

I know that is not THAT busy, but I am used to 3-4 vehicles, so something had to be going on. 🙂

During mile 2, I cruised along at a nice pace, but nothing like the other day. While I knew that I could pick up the speed at any time, unlike the Zoom Fly SPs, which for me always want to go fast, the 1400 v6 were content to bide their time and run the pace I wanted without nudging me that I needed to go faster.

Nice manners.

Going along the Middle Road, I had several opportunities to jump onto the unpaved road side and check out the grip on dirt, knee high weeds and the like. No issues other than the one time I had to dart into a driveway, to avoid traffic going in both direction instead of challenging the knee-high weeds and the uncertain footing underneath. I did pick up the pace a little in front of the school just to see how they performed at a faster speed. Great manners at faster paces.

Even going up the small hill in front of the Campbell farm, I felt that I had plenty in the tank and the shoes felt really comfortable. Well the left Plantar Fascia was thinking about discussing a little tightness. Which was in the past the biggest pitfall that NB shoes had for me and why I very seldom had success running in their shoes.

However, it was a false alarm and once I got on the dirt road, the niggle went away. Phew!!!

That was good and I got to check out the 1400 on the dirt road. Fabulous grip and I wouldn’t hesitate using them to race any of the Quarry Road Series races and would use them to race most local shorter trail courses in dry conditions. The grip is that good, although the forefoot is pretty thin compared to most of the shoes I now run in and the rocks could be felt without any problems. So I simply avoided running on rocks whenever I could. 😉

I did felt pretty good coming up Blake Hill, but when I got almost to the top, all of a sudden – like boom, I had no choice but to head for the woods and find a big tree – quickly. I don’t know where that came from, well I do, but let’s be nice. That was one of those no choice ones and I am very glad that I was down-back where there are not a lot of people and lots of trees!

Once I got going again – lighter, I got back to a comfortable pace and maintained a good effort up Stevens Hill right through to the finish. Nope, I didn’t set any land speed records on this run and felt as though I could have gone around the loop again without any issues.

Oh yeah, I was going to do some strides, but when I was walking back to the starting area, Bennie could see me and put up such a whiney fit that I didn’t have the heart to go do the strides. I could have probably done them with him and he would have been happy, but I didn’t want to tax him too much either.

How did the 1400 v6 do?

Nice, comfortable shoes that have great manners at all speeds. They don’t make you feel as though you have to go fast in them, but if you want to they will happily oblige your need for speed.

Other than that quick little niggle on the left PF, the 1400 were quiet and comfortable. I coudn’t ask for anything more on a first run.

The reality is that

It was a good run where I didn’t feel like I had to push the pace or worry about what the data points were going to look like on the resulting graph. Although I did screw up the tap lap feature, it really didn’t bother me all that much and being able to run a 45:49 time, without worrying about the time was actually nice.

The New Balance 1400 v6 did everything I asked of them during the run and I am looking forward to checking them out on the track, where I really think that they will shine.

A good day.

Gotta Change My Mindset – RunLog 8-22-19

When you attempt to change how you have been doing something for several years, it does take a bit to shake the old way of thinking/doing and move on to direction you plan to take going forward.

That is how I am seeing this change from using a GPS watch to primarily using my new Timex Ironman. I have used GPS watches since I got my first Garmin FR10 back in the Christmas of 2011. Yeah, I did without one for a month or so a few years ago, but that was an experiment that failed, because I chose the wrong thing to measure.

Ever since I have been a runner (1971), I have always tracked my running by miles and I got a hair-brained idea to change over to tracking only by time. It lasted just over a month and I went back to tracking my running by the mile. I just feel comfortable tracking things that way. Using a GPS device makes this a LOT easier.

This time I am not going to do anything drastic like completely get rid of my Garmin or only track my running by time. No I will still track my running by mileage, use my Garmin for faster workouts, longer runs and new courses, but otherwise I plan to just use my Timex Ironman for easy, moderate and recovery runs.

However, running without a GPS does require a different mind-set and makes you focus more on being in the moment. At least it does for me. Especially, since I know that once the run is done there is no record of it, other than what I remember and what little data is on my watch.

That is the biggest weakness of not having a GPS is that once you are done, there is no data to review other than the time and distance (if you know it), along with maybe some laps if you recorded them. I have to remember what happened and put in a log of some sort (for me this blog and my spreadsheet), so I can refer back to what happened that day.

Today’s Run

Today marked the first day of running with my new Timex and I also decided to not run with my phone. So I went old school and you know something, I felt pretty comfortable doing it.

I started out slow and then picked it up pretty good going down Philbrick Hill, I thought about picking it up after hitting Shepard Road, but the humidity was in the 90% range and I knew that I was going to suffer a lot if I did anything stoopid. So I kept things in a comfortable, but not quite easy pace.

Going down Pepin Drive was pretty quick, but I felt good and when I turned around to come back up I started to slow down. The humidity was winning the battle. Then I hit the bottom of Philbrick Hill and while I felt decent going back up it, I slowed down quite a bit more. Once I got back on my side of the hill, I managed to pick up the pace again and finished well.

Although, at various portions of the run, I gotta admit that I thought about how I was running would look on the graph and then remembered – no graphs after.

I did play around with the lap capabilities and figured out the tap to lap features.

After the getting over wishing I had the pace I was running after the first mile split or seeing how high the old heartrate was coming back up Philbrick Hill. You know all of those wonderful things that you look at while running, when wearing a GPS watch, when I started to reflect on the run…well I smiled.

Because I did remember more about the run than I usually do. Mostly, because I was focused on the run, not external stuff. No, it wasn’t all that fast, but I wasn’t really attempting any speed records in that kind of humidity. No, this was more to check out the old noggin and how it was going to adapt to no GPS watch data and how bad the withdrawal symptoms would be.

You can laugh, make fun of me and all that other stuff, but I do believe that we get hooked on using technology and that they are designed to stimulate us to want to keep using it. So I was wondering how I would feel today.

There was some withdrawal and WTFO moments, but I think that I have prepared myself over the last week to start this and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

It was only one day, but something felt right…we will see how I am seeing things at the end of September. That is about how long I believe it will take for me to figure out how things actually are working for me with this experiment of going “old school”.

Running Easy and Whining Still –

Well there, I did something very surprising this morning – I ran with my Garmin.

Okay, it really is not all that surprising, but due to my old Timex Ironman biting the bullet the other day (it is only 11-12 years old – what’s up with that), I had to use my Garmin for another easy run.

When I got done running yesterday, Bennie was dog tired, today when I got home, he was rip raring to go and wanted to play, while all the old human wanted to do was sit down and lift his legs.

Which is not the end of the world or anything like that, but I really wanted to start weaning myself from the world of GPS, daily graphs and artificial reasons to run faster, when all I really want to do is run easy, comfortable, relaxed and enjoy the run without having to worry about looking at how I did.

So I set out with the idea that I would do my 7.0 mile Goodhue O/B course and not look or think too much about the Strava pacing graph after the run.

Well that was the plan…it didn’t work out quite that way.

I went through the first mile and when the watch buzzed I automatically looked down and saw the 9:16 mile split. Now in my hazy brain, I tend to believe that I should be running easy at 9:00s not 9:16, so of course I might have picked it up just a little.

Of course I had to look when my Garmin buzzed to tell me it was 2.0 miles. The 9:06 second mile was closer to that magical 9:00 minute pace, so I relaxed a little and of course the third mile was slower again.

The next two are mostly downhill with just some little bumps, so hitting the magical 9:00 minute pace was not a problem. Yes, I looked each time the watched buzzed me. It has me drooling like Pavlov’s dog and I have to look and see how the mile splits are behaving. Of course, I could turn off the buzzer, but every time I go to do that I get distracted and get to looking at some other cool feature that the Garmin has that I could try, and end up having even more buzzers and beeps enabled.

When I got to 5.0 miles, I looked at my heart rate and saw it was still under 135 bpm, which surprised me, since the last two miles were sub 9:00. After running the hills it was a lot higher to say the least.

Usually I attempt to make the last mile my fastest mile and today it was definitely the slowest one of the day. The humidity at almost 90% had finally reached out and slapped me upside the head and by the time I got to Stevens Hill, it was raining sweat off the brim of my hat.

At that point, I have taught myself through the school of hard-knocks that to take the foot off the throttle and just coast back to the finish. So I did, but going up the hill, I was wondering what kind of a dip it was going to show on Strava graph today (it was a big dip).

As you can see even though I really didn’t plan to look at the results on Strava, I could not resist reviewing the data and yes, thinking about what this graph would look like during the run, did impact how I ran.

For easy and recovery runs, I really do not need all of this information. What I really need to do is relax and just run the miles, without the distraction of thinking about what a damn graph is going to look like when I get done.

Now this information is great when I am racing, doing a long run or even a speed workout, but on one of my daily training runs it is information overload for me.

It was a good run and it was above the 9:00 minute overall pace, which is a good thing, but I would have preferred to have had a steady effort that resulted in a 9:20 pace overall, which seems to be closer to my actual easy nowadays.

Still a nice 7.0 miler in 1:04:31 and I actually felt decent just about the whole run.

After lunch, I checked the mail and had nice surprise my new Timex Ironman was sitting there waiting for me to open it up and start using it.

There are a few things that are different than my old beast, but it is pretty intuitive. The only thing I have to figure out now is how to enable the tap, but I saw it on YouTube the other night, so it won’t be that hard to get it set up.

It will be interesting to see how things work out with my new addition.

Although the wife did comment on its being sort of bright. 🙃