November 2019 – Looking Backwards to Move Forward

Sometimes after a tough month (October was pretty rough), you need to stop, reflect, think a little more about what is important and get off your arse and do.

Bennie Bean…my favorite photo from November 2019

November became more a month to do things that needed to be done.

Yeah, that do thing.

As Master Yoda says…

“Do. Or Do Not. There is no try.

Since this is primarily a running blog, I am not going to get into all the “do” that I tackled during November, but I did get a lot accomplished and am doing pretty damn good moving forward with my life.

Sometimes we all need to stop, take stock of what we have, what is important and make choices that are positive for ourselves and others in our lives. You might change a few things if you really do look closely.

It might even mean making yourself and others uncomfortable for a while. Remember you become more like the people you surround yourself with.

The good part is that I am healthy, got my VA physical out of the way, getting some new glasses and I am feeling pretty darn good about life in general.


I surprised myself with getting over 140 miles for the month again. We did get some early very cold weather and also a lot of rain, so hitting that mark was not guaranteed.

As the colder weather gets here, I spend more and more time on the treadmill. Which is not a bad thing, but at the same time running on one is not as enjoyable as running outside.

Well, Harold get your arse outside then.

Err no. I have chosen to make some pretty hard standards on when I will run outside this year and while I may flaunt them once in a while. However, for the most part I will adhere to them and run on the treadmill where I get to run more comfortably and safely than I would outside braving the elements.

So you will notice many more PF Treadmill runs on November’s spreadsheet running log.

I did have a 20 day running streak going earlier in the month that I ended when I needed a rest day. I tend to listen to my body a bit more than I used to. Instead of bulling through if the body is telling me it needs a day off I take it. If I am feeling good I keep running.

No racing, but good quality speedwork sessions on the treadmill are leading me to believe that at some point I do need to get out and do a race.

Running Shoes

My running shoe rotation has really sorted itself out during November. While the rotation looks huge, I actually have only really been using the New Balance shoes for the most part.

I have been impressed with them enough that last night I went to the New Balance website and signed up to be a wear-tester. I am not sure where that will lead – if anywhere, but New Balance has really upped their game and I find that their running shoes are working better for me than the other offerings I have been wearing.

Nike Zoom Fly v1 (Blue) – 3 Runs. I will probably put these away until next spring. I don’t really like them on the treadmill and running outside with their outsole can be an adventure with all the grit/sand and stuff on the roads now.

Nike Zoom Fly SP (Red) – 1 Run. I run fast and well in the SPs and really want to save them for racing in good weather, so I have been using other shoes for training runs. I will most likely dig them out for my 5K treadmill time trials or a race where weather is not a factor.

New Balance Beacon 2 (Blue) 3 Runs. These are getting very worn on the outsole and seem to be getting firmer when I run outside in them.

I would like to get another month out of them, because they are the best shoes that I have for running on the treadmill. The B2s are light, cushioned – yet firm enough and most of all comfortable when I am running on the treadmill.

New Balance 1400 v6 – 3 Runs. The shoes I primarily wear to train in when I want to run faster. The outsole is a great multipurpose where I feel confident about remaining upright in most weather conditions I run in on the roads.

Plus they are comfortable to run on the treadmill in. Which surprised me because the toe box is pretty snug for me and that usually signals that I will have issues there. Great shoe and the one that I will run races in, if the conditions are less than ideal.

Altra Duo v1 (W) (Blue) – 1 Run. I am in a quandary what to do with these shoes. I like them…but when I run in the Duo I feel ungainly and they just do not feel smooth underfoot for me.

Maybe I just need to take them out on a longer run, see how they do and let that make up my mind. At this point they are too airy for winter use and I have decided to put them in the back of the garage until spring.

New Balance Propel (Gray) – Primary Trainer. I love the feel on the road of these, a cushioned but not marshmallowy feel underfoot.

However, they are not perfect the left toe seems to get a little too much rubbing from the taper and the rand around the toe box, a bit of excess wear for the relatively low mileage in the toe off area of the outsole and the ankle well fabric has split in one place and the other shoe is shoe signs that it will be doing the same fairly soon.

I love how I run in the shoe, but the upper needs some tweaking or I need a wide version…which is sitting in the closet as a Christmas present from Bennie if memory serves me correctly. 😉

The Reality is That

I took time in November to clean some things up and re-prioritize others in my life and feel better for having done so. I still have a few more things to work on, but I will do those that need to be done.

Like they say life is a journey and not everything is going to happen overnight.

Running is a pretty big part of that and right now it is going good. I have to remember to to foam roll that right hip and leg more often, which really seems to help alleviate the discomfort that I tend to get in that area. Having one leg shorter than the other ain’t helping either :-).

Nope November turned out to be a much better month than I thought it was going to be when it first started out and I am making progress towards where I want to be.

Now to move onward to December and a new year 2020. Time flies when you get older, it doesn’t seem possible that I am 62…all I can say is Wow!

And the journey continues.

Black Friday Run – RunLog 11/29/19

No, I did not run on Thanksgiving, I had plenty of opportunity, but just didn’t have the motivation to get out and play in the 30-40 mph gusts that were roaring by the house yesterday afternoon.

Black Friday meant that I stayed well away from stores today and I probably would not have left the house, but I just didn’t feel like playing outside in the wind today.

Wimpy – you betcha!

Thanksgiving week is typically a cut-back week for me and it usually marks the official beginning of my indoor running season.

Not that I will really do all that much differently, but as I get older, I find that running outside when things to be blunt – are miserable for running just doesn’t interest me as much as it used to. So I anticipate more time on the treadmill and less time outside as the weather gets colder.

Onward to the treadmill.

Planned Workout Description vs Actual: Something easy usually 5.0 or so miles. Actual turned into an easy progression with a 1.0 mile of tempo and then faster strides for 6.0 miles

Variables that impacted the run: Got a later start, so I didn’t want to do more than 5-6 miles – that time crunch thing.

Weather: Indoor

• Day: Friday

• Course: Planet Fitness Treadmill

• Distance: 6.0

• Duration: 49:41

• Pace: 8:17

• Running Streak Day #: 1

• Comments:

Shoes: Mileage (229.4) New Balance Beacon v2 – First run in the B2s in a while. They are pretty much the perfect treadmill shoes, light-weight, but cushioned with enough toe box for me to not have them bother my right foot. Again today they showed me why I loved both the B1 and B2.

Enough so that I asked for a pair of B1s, which I like just a little better as a present for Christmas and getting them at under $40.00 shipped was a pretty sweet deal.

My current Beacon 2s are over 200 miles and the outsole is showing some serious wear, so I have a feeling that they will be retired at 300 miles or so. So I do need a pair of treadmill shoes that I can run any distance or speed comfortably. The Beacon v1 fit that bill perfectly.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

Today is the day that we stop, think about life for a bit, then give thanks for the things we have in our lives.

Honestly, I do this everyday.

I will admit that I am one of the lucky ones.

Life is good for me now and I am thankful that it is.

However, I also know my life is good because I have the love and support of my family and friends. Without that I would not be living a life as good as I am.

After Dad died in October and I was accidentally added to the deceased list by the Coast Guard, it really brought home how fragile life actually is and how quickly things can change. Going through the grieving process for my father and facing my own mortality by reading a condolence letter to my wife due to my death made me stop and appreciate the life that I do have more than I ever did before.

Luckily I did not die and am very alive and well today, but with a different perspective on things than I had before. I think as we age we all start down this path regarding our own mortality at some point, but instead of walking slowly down it, I was forced to sprint a ways and found myself further along it than I expected or wanted at this point in my life.

Which in the long run will be a good thing, I have a feeling.

My health is better than I believed it would be at age 62, but at the same time I have made being healthy a priority in my life and work hard at it. I truly believe that having a good life includes being healthy enough to enjoy the life you want.

We have chosen a simpler and more frugal life style than many have and as a result our needs or expectations of what we have or want are different. Our home is small, but comfortable, the vehicles are a few years older, we don’t travel much, but we are comfortable with our choices and definitely live a less stressful lifestyle than most.

I even get to indulge my running shoe obsession more than I should at times. 🙂

Last night I decided to not go to one of the Turkey Trots in the area, not because of the weather forecast, but because I wanted to spend the morning with Mary. Have breakfast together, talk a bit and just enjoy each other’s company. Races are good, but spending quality time with my wife is more important to me and where I am in my life.

I am sure that I will get out there and plod along the snow covered roads for a few miles after breakfast, but I am not going to worry about it all that much. If I get a run in today, cool, if I don’t that is good too.

That is part of my life being good, I don’t have to do things, I get to do them and that change in perspective has made all the difference as I go down that road less travelled by.

Thank you for reading this and being a part of this journey. I wish you all a good Thanksgiving and focus on the good in your life, because there is more good than you believe.

A Bit Muddy Down-Back – RunLog 11/27/19

The only problem with this time year is that things (dirt driveways, dirt roads, etc.) freeze and unfreeze almost on a daily basis and with that comes the mud.

Not that it is deep or anything, it is more just slippery, wet and gets your shoes/clothes nasty.

That was the big story of today’s easy run, everything about the run was pretty much routine after yesterday’s faster stuff. The legs felt like they weighed a ton, my hammies complained about being used and I had that malaise that I tend to get when I overdo a hard workout a bit too much.

So today was more a kick back and relax kind of day to get some mojo back.

However, I was impressed with how well the Propels did in that slimy mess as long as I didn’t try to push the pace through it. It would have been more of a mess if I had landed on my rear-end, in addition to damaging my fragile ego ;-P.

Surprise Appointment, Rest Day and Faster Today – RunLog 11/25/19 & 11/26/19

Well yesterday was a bit of a cluster, but it was actually good stuff, but with everything going on it meant that I didn’t even try to get a run in. Probably just as well…

What happened?

Well to finish up my physical I needed to visit the Vampires at Togus again and yes, this time they had my bloodwork order in the system. 🙂

That really didn’t take that long and for a change I did not pass out when they drew blood, a very good thing. I guess having that round of acupuncture did really do some good. At least I don’t get nearly as worked up over having to get needled.

After finishing up there, I figured that I would go and setup my eye doctor appointment, since they are just down the hall from the Vampire clinic. Waited in line for a couple of minutes, but nothing bad.

When I got to the appointment part, the nice lady said the second week of January (which is actually about what I expected, so that was not a big deal), then she said, we just had a cancellation for this morning (it was pretty icy outside), would you like to have it. I said what time? 10:30, it was 8:45. I said I would love to have it.

Waiting just under two hours for an eye doc’s appointment was a sweet deal compared to waiting a couple of months. Luckily my schedule is very flexible, so that was not a big deal.

They got me in about 15 minutes early and everything is just fine. The usual getting old crap is going on and my prescription needed some tweaking, but all-in-all a good appointment. I ordered some new glasses and should have them in a couple of weeks.

Now for the bad part – they dilated my eyes. It always sucks! I feel like crap for the rest of the day and my depth perception is shot to shit, so I generally plan on a day off whenever I know that I am going to have my eyes dilated. No exception yesterday, with the bright sunshine and stumbling around like a drunken sailor, I figured that running would be more of dangerous activity than a healthy one.

Voila – unscheduled rest day.

Tuesday – 11/26/19

Eyes are back to normal.

Warmer this morning, so nice in fact that even though I was scheduled for a hard session on the treadmill, I opted to run outside in shorts & l/s tech shirt – no gloves, winter hat or jacket. It felt marvelous.

Planned Workout Description: Treadmill 5K time trial and .10 strides. Not even close to what I actually did.

Variables that impacted the run: Great weather, some slick spots in the shade, right hip not nearly as uncomfortable, did foam roll at home and full warm-up before running – made a difference.

Comments: Felt strong for the entire run. I didn’t want to push hard and managed to stay at a comfortably hard pace for 3.0 miles. Although coming back up Leighton I did slow down a little more than I thought I would.

I did push the pace a bit harder once I turned back on to Outer Civic Center until I came up the hill on Anthony as I came back to PF. I did slow down a bit there.

Actually it was a very good run and only about 30 seconds slower than that hard run with Jon back in October.

But it didn’t end there, I went back in to change my shirt and get on the treadmill for some faster work on it.

However, I did bump into Jon and we got to talking again about the Cape Elizabeth 10 Miler in February. I had forgotten all about it and thank him for reminding me. I didn’t manage to get registered, it was already sold out, but I am on the waiting list and lottery so we will see if I get selected. Even if I don’t I may ride down and cheer them on and get a good workout in that day myself.

Then I got back on the treadmill and set the treadmill to a bit faster than I usually do:

1.25 @ 7.6 mph

.25 @ 8.6 mph

.10 @ 7.6 mph

.10 x 8 @ 9.2 mph

Recoveries done at 6.7 mph

• Day: Tuesday

• Running Streak Day #:1

• Weather: Clear, 42*F, Feels like 41*F, Humidity 78%, Wind 3 mph from SW

Shoes: Mileage (43.5) New Balance 1400 v6 — Felt great on the road and treadmill.

Cardio Total: 3.32

I Should Have Run An Hour Sooner – RunLog 11/24/19

I know, I know I should have run an hour sooner this morning, but life got in the way and by the time I got out the door, it looked like this…

If I had gone earlier or right after I walked Bennie, it would have been more like this…

Nothing serious, a few flakes of snow, but everything clear and very runnable. So what happened, well to be honest I procrastinated going to the transfer station the past two days and since the shed was full to overflowing with two household’s trash, it was not going to wait another week.

Plus with a pretty good storm coming this afternoon, I didn’t want to be doing a run to the transfer station in the snow/sleet/freezing rain.

I filled up 5 large garbage bags, broke down all the boxes, loaded up the recyclables and by the time I got done, the bed of the truck was pretty damn full. By the time I got the the transfer station, it seemed like half of Sidney had the same idea and it was starting to snow in earnest.

Coming off the transfer station road, the truck decided it wanted to see how good my reflexes were and if I remembered how to steer into a skid. I did fine and decided that 4WD was my friend and flipped the switch. I gotta admit that I did slow down a little and paid attention to what I was doing the rest of the way home. No autopilot and jamming to the music on this ride.

The joys of modern life and having to get rid of a truck bed full of trash, after only 3 weeks. I guess it says something about our lifestyles and how we live when we generate that much trash in a such a short amount of time. Plus we are fairly frugal compared to some who have to go weekly.

Oh well.

Once I got home, I changed up ad headed out the door, figuring this would be a great opportunity to see how the New Balance Propels did in snow/sleet. No issues with grip, but the road conditions were such that I decided to only do laps in front of the house.

Today was not a day to attempt any kind of pace, it was one where you work on staying upright and making sure that your foot plant was solid. Just an easy pace.

The snow had turned to icy rain and was getting worse with every lap I did. I had originally planned on 6-7 miles when I first started thinking about how far I was running today. However, by the time I got to 4.0 miles I decide that was quite enough, since the roads were now more of an ice/snow slurry and I could feel the road getting pretty slippery.

So I shut it down at that point and for the rest of the day, have pretty much lazed around the house relaxing to the sound of pounding rain on the roof.

I have a feeling that Bennie is not going to be too overly impressed on his last walk and would much prefer to stay in his favorite recliner than go outside to make yellow snow.

Although I do have to admit that it was kind of nice chugging along out there in the snow the first lap. That magical feeling you get when running on new snow, after the first lap when the freezing rain came in, then it turned into get it done and over with style of running.

12 Year Blogging Anniversary at

The other day I got this in my WordPress notifications:

It got me to thinking about my blogging and how it has evolved to get where it is today. So many posts have been written and more than a few have been lost over the years and because of many moves between different sites.

While this is not my first blog post it is one of the first weekly reviews and though I started on Blogger, I moved between it, self-hosted WordPress and several times over the years. To the consternation of many of my “followers” who had to constantly keep updating my web address. To those of you who stuck with me through all the changes, all I can say is thank you.

Although I have to admit when I started, I was not nearly as verbose.

October 28, 2007

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS – 10/25/10 Week #2 Shaw2.0

Well it has been an interesting week in learning about Web2.0! I have bookmarked many 2.0 web resources and joined several sites that interested me, but didn’t have time to learn the complexities or intricacies of individual websites. One that really intrigued me and seemed to present a lot of information is Classroom2.0

It is based on Ning Networks and had several forums that I was interested in and the way the site was setup was very appealing to me. So I have made it a part of my homepage start up in iGoogle.

I found some really interesting sites that I will need to learn more about, but seem like they will help me a lot in the future (especially once I get to know them better):

These are only a few of the sites and stuff that I have learned this week. I still feel very overwhelmed by all the “stuff” that is out there, but with the help of Craig (Tech guru at school), I might just slow down enough, to put it into practical use for my students.

I have initiated a blog that my class can use next week.

It gives the weekly vocab words and an idea that we are going to use Mummymaker to encourage reading and then blog entries on how you make a mummy to practice writing skills.

Not all the students have internet access at night, so I will continue with pen and paper homework for now, but I can see that going away by the end of next quarter :).

Well that’s all, as I improve in this technology adventure, I am sure that I will spice up my blogs with things I never heard of or at least didn’t realize what they really were before 2 weeks ago.

Thanks again Craig for all your help and guidance and yes I will be bugging you a lot…you’ve created a fledgling techno monster. I really like this video from Taylor Mali watch it and let me know what you think.

Lots of memories in that post to say the least.

When I first started this blogging journey of mine, I was a Special Education teacher at Good Will Hinckley’s Averill/Alfond Schools. The tech guy at the school and I were interested in looking into this new thing called social media and increasing technology use in the classroom. We just needed to figure out how we could introduce our students to it.

Blogging seemed like a good place to start and I jumped in with both feet. At first the blog was about teaching and education, with a focus on Special Education and technology in education, since that was my job. Unfortunately, I never found blogging to work that well for my students in the classroom, but for me personally, I loved it.

Then when I switched jobs it became a bit about volunteering, AmeriCorps and other stuff that interested me like my running, technology and some general life things.

When I went back to teaching (I figured out that I didn’t enjoy being a bean counter), I jumped into the edublogging world with both feet. My focuses for the next couple of years was Special Education, Technology use in the classroom and whining about Standards Based education reforms.

Somewhere along the line, I injured my right knee, gained 50 pounds, was stressed out all the time from teaching, but blogging was helping to keep me semi-sane. It was an outlet that allowed me some respite and a chance to carefully reflect on what was going on in my life.

Because I couldn’t walk without a cane, I decided to have knee surgery in May 2011 and while recovering from that I went back through and re-read all the blog entries from the previous year.

The posts showed a decline in health both physically and mentally to the point where I had become morbidly obese, with a gray pallor that indicated my time on this blue marble was not going to be all that long. Yeah, I was a massive heart attack waiting to happen.

My blog posts from that time period showed a man in torment and misery. At that point, the wife and I decided that my health was more important than staying as a teacher. I resigned my teaching position and took the next year to regain my health.

I won’t say that blogging saved my life, but it sure as hell showed me how badly and quickly my health was declining. It was the proof that I needed to take care of myself or I would become just another statistic.

After teaching I started to write about simple living and how we were setting up our little 8 acre wood for self-sufficiency. However, life was more about me regaining my health and I started to write more and more about getting healthy again.

Now I did not have any initials after my name and still don’t, so I am not an expert on being healthy or how to get healthy, but I am an expert on one thing – me.

So I my blog became more and more focused on writing about my journey back to being healthy and the goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon 30 years after I had finished in 1983.

It was during this time that I was getting delusions of grandeur in my head about becoming a professional blogger/writer. I had gotten invited to be a blogger at the inaugural Runners World festival in 2012 and that event pushed the envelope for me.

I got picked up by a major corporation to be a featured health blogger. However, I found that some of the expectations didn’t quite match my sense of ethics from over 20 years in the military and when I could not reconcile the two…

After a long reflection on what I believed was important to me, I moved on and walked away from my fledgling Internet marketing empire. Hehehee yeah right, but the truth was it was a pretty big decision because I was making more as blogger per year than I ever did as a teacher.

However, there are still many blog posts that I have written and never published, because I do not want to get into the political, societal, religious rabbit holes and deal with the seamier side of the Internet – The Trolls. They exist and are nasty at times, but I choose not to deal with their delusions of grandeur.

The other part of blogging is that I have “met” some wonderful people through my blogging. A few I have had the pleasure to meet in real life – Sam, Amanda, David and others I will probably never sit down and have a cup of coffee (or tea) with, but feel as though they are old friends – Graham, Mike, Dorathea, AJ, Nick. There are many others that I could mention but the lists are getting long and I have to wrap this up.

The reality is

I have pretty much come full circle I started out with a personal weblog. While I don’t write about education anymore, my blog has reverted back to being more of web log or journal. Yes, I still write a lot about running and a little about technology, but there is more of the daily life’s chatter in there as well.

Blogging has become a part of what I do most days and I enjoy writing about my running, life and other thoughts about what is going on around me. It doesn’t matter that my stats are no where near what they were once upon a time or that just a few people read my blog, I write now more for personal pleasure than anything.

Not that I am a great writer or anything, but blogging does give me a chance to put my thoughts somewhere outside of my head and more importantly that I can go back to and re-read at a later date to see what I was actually thinking/feeling about something. You know those faulty memories that we all seem to have about what actually happened versus what we want to believe happened.

The only change that I would make through this journey would be to stay at one site throughout the 12 years. Instead of all the jumping between different providers (, self hosted, Blogger, Microsoft’s & Apple’s blog host (yeah, they had them) and the different blogs (15 or so that I could remember off the top of my head).

I hope you have enjoyed this quick look back through my 12 years of blogging.

Good Physical Results and a 10.0 Miler – RunLog 11/22/19

Well I made it through my physical, without the intake nurse or doc, getting wound up or attempting push too hard about shots, statins or other meds. Which was a nice change, but having good stats coming in seemed to help my case and choices.

BP – 120/78

Pulse: 55

Weight with clothes: 162 down 6 pounds from last year

Waist: 32

As the nurse said not bad at all for 62.

I gotta admit though that I did interrupt the doc’s spiel about statins based on my blood work from last year and before he got to far along, by saying I will never go back on statins and didn’t bat an eyelash when he locked eyes with me. Once I said and did that, he tapped on the keyboard and moved on.

I guess I am a bit of an outlier because I go with the idea that less is more when it comes to medications – might be better for me and that doctor’s orders need to be researched and thought about before I implement their recommendations.

I have followed this kind of thinking since 2011 and this philosophy has worked better for me than my previous reliance on pills and strictly following doctor’s orders.

My body, my decisions your choices might be a lot different.

Actually, besides that little bit of sidetracking the doc and I got along famously. I didn’t complain about too much and he has been too busy to bother asking more than the standard questions that he has to.

I do have to go back and get my blood work done next week, now that the order for blood work is in the computer.

Even though the physical appointment went well, I still was stressed over going to the doctor’s office. It is one of those things that I know I have to do once a year for the VA and also for my private insurance. I only do it to stay in the system, in case I need to access medical when I do break, cut or screw something up royally on this aging body of mine.

So I needed a run.

Planned Workout Description: Fridays are typically a rest or easy day.

Since Mary and I are going on a road trip tomorrow, I decided to do my long run today and headed over to the Augusta end of the Rail Trail. Something 7-10 miles at around 9:00 minute pace.

Comments: The run itself was one where I just ran comfortably for most of the run. I did pick up the pace and my last mile was the fastest one. I really thought about doing a few more miles, but decided that 10 were enough.

Geese in formation on my run today

Variables that impacted the run: Right hip was bothering a little, it felt more like it was tight and never released than being painful. The left toe didn’t bother hardly at all, since I trimmed the nail and callouses last night.

• Day: Friday

• Type of Workout: Long run

• Course: Augusta Rail Trail 10 Miler

• Distance: 10.03

• Duration: 1:30:55

• Pace: 9:04

• Clothes: adidas socks, calf sleeves, New Balance wind pants, Reebok compression shorts, Avia tech s/s, Gerry l/s tech, Brooks running jacket, North Face gloves, Saucony beanie, adidas ball cap.

Yes, I was overdressed and took off the gloves coming back and unzipped the jacket. I could have worn shorts and been quite comfortable and probably would have been a few seconds quicker.

• Rating (1-4): 2

• Running Streak Day #: 8

• Weather: Overcast, 42*F, feels like 38*F, Humidity 89%, Wind 6 mph SSW. It started to rain right after I did my cool-down walk, so I finished just in time.

Shoes: Mileage (64.2) New Balance Fuel Cell Propel – They did great the entire run.

How did this run move me towards my goal(s)? I needed to run after the doctor’s appointment and I was able to get my long run in today.

Cardio Total: 3.52

Weight: 158 (home scale)

A Couple of Easier Days – RunLog 11/20 & 11/21

Okay, so I didn’t log my run yesterday…it is okay the world is not going to end anytime soon.

Yesterday’s run was a nice 4.0 mile recovery run done by doing laps in front of the house, on a gray day outside.

My time was 37:52 for a 9:27 pace. See I told you it was an easy recovery run.

Today I had planned to go into Augusta and run 4-5 miles depending upon how I felt…


The weather wasn’t too bad (in the 40’s and bit blustery), but when I got to the gym, I had forgotten both my running pants and jacket. Yeah, I could have probably survived in shorts and scrounged up a windbreaker from my backpack in the truck.

However, by that time, I didn’t feel like frig farting around and just went inside to run on the treadmill.

When I got on to run, I still didn’t have a clue on what I was going to end up doing. So I set the speed to 7.0 mph and figured I would go until I got tired of running.

Can you tell I was really into running today?

I did a couple miles at 7.0 mph and popped it up to 7.6 mph and figured that I would do one or two more miles and call it close enough.

I stopped at 3.1 in 25:43. Could I have done more sure, everything felt fine, but I had no interest in running any further. So I figured it was time to shut it down and get back to the house.

One thing I did differently is that I wore the Altra Duo v1 (W) and they do force me to run differently. The first half mile of running in them just felt awkward and forced. Finally, the body realized that I was not running in my Propels and adjusted to the Duos.

Shoes do make a difference in how you run and the slightly different form makes the muscles work…well differently. 🙂

I probably would/could adjust to this pair of Duo’s if I needed to, but at this point I prefer to use them as a once or twice a week tweak my form shoe than my primary daily trainer. They just feel “clunky” compared to the Propels.

Overall a pretty good day, but I have my physical exam tomorrow and I HATE going to the doctor’s office with a passion. Maybe that is weighing too much on my mind as I have imaginary conversations going on in my head about what the doc is going to bitch about this time and that I will most likely ignore and continue to do my own thing…like I have for the past 8 years.

I guess I am getting to be a crotchety off fart.

New Balance Fuel Cell Propel – 50 Mile Review

This post was written for and first appeared on by Harold Shaw.

How I got them: The New Balance Fuel Cell Propel were a personal purchase through Amazon.

What are these shoe’s purpose in my rotation? The Propels have become my primary daily trainer. I use them for long, recovery and easy runs.

Short Version

The Propels have done everything I have asked of them so far.

The only negative that I have about them is I would like the front of the shoe to be less tapered and little more rounded like the Beacon. Because I do experience a little discomfort while running in them due to the taper and an ingrown toe-nail on my left big toe.

Other than that minor complaint that is more me than the shoes, I love them.

They are comfortable, have the cushioned feeling that I have been looking for, decent traction in a variety of conditions and while I primarily use them more as a daily trainer, the Propels can zip right along if I want to pick up the pace. Though I have other shoes that I would pick to run faster for me in before the Propels.

I was very impressed with the ride, fit and feel of the Propels through my first 50 miles. Now to see how they do over the next 150, which usually is the make or break point for me.

Long Version

Stats (if you think they are important)

Heel Height – 27mm

Forefoot – 21mm

Drop – 6mm

Published weight size 9.0 – 9.2 ounces

What kinds of runs have I done in them so far?

• From my first 7.0 mile run in them to my 4.0 mile recovery run today, they have done what I wanted.


Size: These are size 8.0 D and fit the way that I like my shoes to fit.

I have been measured on the Brannock Scale as having size 7.5 feet and have a Tailor’s Bunionette on my right foot that complicates my fit issues significantly.

Realistically, I have never been able to wear anything comfortably less than an size 8.0 in running shoes and typically find that 8.5D are my best starting point and sometimes a size 8.0 or 8.5 2EE fit even better.

Are they comfortable? I have found the Propels to be extremely comfortable and the only issue is that due to an in-grown toenail on my left big toe (which I have problems in other running shoes as well), the front taper of the shoe causes some discomfort.

However, on my tough to fit right foot with its Tailor’s Bunionette I have had zero issues with it bothering because it is too narrow or an overlay pressing against it.

I like the design of the rear of the shoe, my achilles area do not rub at all and I have not had any issues with heel lift, which can be a problem with my narrow heels.

Yes, they are comfortable.

Feel (different from fit)

The feel is a softer feel, but not at least in my opinion marshmallow soft. It cushions the landing, but it is more like a softer deceleration than a mushy landing. In many ways the Propel reminds me a lot of the Clifton v1, but has a more stable and refined ride.

• The Propel has a very smooth heel-to-toe transition pretty much on par with one my favorites the Pearl Izumi N1 v2. I usually land with a heel first stride and strangely with the Propel, the wear pattern indicates more of a mid foot landing??? Not sure what is going on there, but either way I am not slapping the ground and am very quiet when striding.

While I can run fast for me in the Propels, I prefer to use them for slower paced or recovery runs where the cushioned feel is more what I am looking for.


I like the more multi-purpose outsole that the Propels have. They will never be confused for trail shoes, but I would not hesitate to take them on groomed trails, light snow, rain or slimy dirt roads and feel confident about remaining upright. In deeper snow, more technical trails or mud they will not do well and I have better choices.

• I hate it when a shoe’s outsole collects rocks/pebbles and it is a consideration when I buy new shoes. Since I run a lot on dirt roads and we are in the midst of recovering from a series of ice, rain and re-freezing, so the local town crew has been putting down a LOT of sand on the roads.

Which in many shoes causes lots of little pebbles/rocks to get stuck in the outsole and after today’s run, as you can see in the photo there was very little evidence of rocks/pebbles getting stuck in the insole

• Is there apparent wear, where? Surprisingly, there is more wear in the midfoot area than in other shoes I have worn in a long time. The toe-off area is a normal wear area for me, so I was not surprised by the wear there.

However, it seems as though there is more wear on the outsole than I would expect or like for only 50 miles.


The tongue has just the right amount of cushioning in them so that I do not feel lace bite or soreness on the top of my feet.

• I have worn the Propels on the treadmill and didn’t notice my feet getting unusually warm, but I have a feeling that during a hot/humid summer day they might be a bit warm.

However, for running in the Fall/Winter/Spring, they seem to be just right for me. Not super warm, but warm enough plus there is enough room to wear thinner merino wool socks comfortably.

There is some stretch to the upper and after 20-30 miles I noticed the upper had formed around my foot and were much more comfortable than when I first started wearing them.

• Noticeable wear – there is no noticeable wear on the upper, but I am typically very easy on uppers – other than getting them pretty dirty from running down-back or in crappy weather.

• The laces on the Propel are good, I usually have to change out the laces on most shoes because they are too long or won’t stay tied. I have kept the stock laces in and have no plans to change them out.


What colorways are available? While I got the gray/black colorway – not my favorite colors, but they are pretty classy looking. The dirt just let’s others know that they are actually bing used as running shoes. 🙂

There are some brighter colors and I can see me looking for a brighter pair next time.


The Propel was just released a few months ago and is readily available online and in running shops (that carry them). As new as they are, I am starting to see them for up to 50% off on some sites already.

The Reality is That

The New Balance Fuel Cell Propel is quickly becoming my go-to shoe for any run that I am not going to run faster for me. They have the right amount of cushion, feel comfortable and fit me well.

Would I get them again? Yes, in fact a pair of yellow/green/white New Balance Propels in a size 8EE showed up on my steps this week as a Christmas present from Bennie. He knows a good thing when he sees me wearing them all the time.

In my opinion the New Balance Fuel Cell Propel are doing everything that I have asked of them through their first 50 miles.

I can’t ask any more of a pair of running shoes. Now to see what my opinion will be at 200 miles.

Disclosure of Material Connection: The New Balance Fuel Cell Propel that I wrote about in this review were a personal purchase through Amazon. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experience with the product might be different than 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.”