I had to go down to Portland today, so I planned on doing a couple laps around Back Cove, since I got a new pair of New Balance 890 v7 yesterday at the Skowhegan NB Tent Sale for less than $30 and I wanted to try them out. Even though they were fugly – that colorway is not my favorite, but like they say the price was right.
They were a pair of shoes that I had my eye on since reading several reviews on them this Spring and having an opportunity to experiment with them at that cheap of a price was fine by me.
On the way down to Portland, I focused on thinking about running a fast for me time around the Back Cove and felt confident that I could go ahead get a post 60 CR, if the shoes held up their part of the bargain.
I did screw up one thing though!
I did not warm up before I started chasing the CR and went with a cold start in new shoes that are very different from the shoes that I have been running in lately. The 890 v7 is a very firm shoe, while the Beacon, Zoom Fly and others are softer feeling and I learned the hard way that I use a different stride in those shoes than I do in the 890s.
Not the smartest move I have ever made.
For the first half mile or so, I struggled with getting a stride that felt good in the 890s. It was almost as if I was fighting against myself, with how I needed to run in the shoes. I was frustrated with myself for not having run a shorter run in them, before attempting to run a faster pace with a goal in them.
Finally, my body seemed to figure out the most efficient for me stride in these shoes and things evened themselves out. Once I figured out the 890’s stride, wow did the shoe shine.
Unfortunately, the sun was also. With the temp at 78*F and 78% humidity I wasn’t up to how good the shoe was doing after the tough start. Even so, I still came within 18 second of a CR, so while it wasn’t quite good enough, it was a good effort.
Once I figured out the NB 890v7’s stride with my body, they did great for the conditions. They are definitely firmer than anything I have run in for a while, but they are not harsh. The firmness reminded me of the Mizuno Hitogami, but with a toe box that actually worked for me.
After the faster lap around Back Cove, I wanted to do one more lap at an easy pace and see how the 890s did at a slower pace. Since I had figured out the stride for the shoes they felt fine and even though they were firm, they didn’t beat up my legs at the slower pace.
The second lap was even hotter than the first one and I just ran easy until the bridge when a runner that I had been behind since I started. I did pick up the pace enough to pass that runner at the Franklin St. exit area. Nothing all that fast, by any stretch of the imagination, but to be able to pick up the pace at that point at all was important.
One thing that I was concerned about with the 890 v7 was the open weave of the upper letting in small pebbles, so the test run on the Back Cove’s dirt path was a great first run test.
No issues with pebbles getting in and the feet actually felt pretty comfortable on a pretty hot/humid run, compared to other shoes that I currently have in my rotation.
They probably won’t be all that great for running outside in the winter though. The size 8.0D fit great and the overall fit of the shoes is probably the best I have had this year. The heel cup held my heels perfectly and there were no issues with the forefoot bothering.
While I didn’t quite get the CR for Back Cove, I am pretty sure that on a cooler day and if I actually warm-up, without using a new and completely different style of shoes, I will get that CR. Who knows I might even be wearing the New Balance 890 v7s, if they keep working that well, I might even get used to the colorway.