First Run – Reebok FloatRide Run Fast 8-10-18

Another first run in a pair of running shoes Harold. WTFO???

These are a little different – a pair of running shoes that were released recently and were a birthday present from Mary. They are also the one pair of running shoes this year that I wanted to try more than any other.

The Reebok FloatRide Run Fast. Yes, I have tried the Vapor Fly 4% :-).

I ran my shoe test course for their first run. It is a very good test of how a shoe is going to work for me.

Now I have run this course several times and run over a 1,000 miles this year and when I run this way, without going into race effort levels, it tells me that something has changed.

The only thing that changed today was that I was wearing the Reebok FloatRide RunFast running shoes.

I know that these times are nothing special and are probably pretty soft. At the same time I haven’t run this fast this year. These times are for 2018 only, but to do this on the first run in a pair of shoes, on a day when I couldn’t decide whether to crank it up or hold back to save myself for the 5K Race in the next morning – says something.

Let’s back up a little.

Reebok running has come a long ways over the past few years from what I can see and have gone from department store level of running shoes to shoes that elite runners are looking at closely. Which in my mind is a very good thing, since I enjoyed running in some of their offerings back in the mid 80’s/early 90’s. Glad to see that they have made an effort to get back to their running roots.

After UPS delivered the RunFast last night, I walked around the house and was immediately impressed. The fit was just slightly long, but I had ordered the 8.5 and I am a true to size 8.0, but otherwise I liked the way they felt on my feet. Unfortunately, they were delivered too close to supper to get a run in.

Which meant that I had to wait for that first run.

This morning was a bit crazy around the house and my run didn’t happen until after noon. Which meant it was the hottest part of the day and I had a few walks and doggie day care stuff that left me a bit more tired than I wanted for that first run.

Also tomorrow is the Doc & Marcie 5K in Waterville and I have planned for a while to run the race, so I didn’t want to get too crazy running in them today. At the same time I wanted to see what they would do, so I planned to run fairly hard down to the end of my test course (Pepin Road) and then go easy on the way back to see how they were at a slower pace and running up a big hill.

With that being said, the RunFast once I started to run, wanted to run fast.

I started out and just ran, I did purposely slow down a little at the speed limit sign and then sped back up once I started down the hill. I didn’t give a race level of effort, but I got a bit above comfortably hard through the end of the first mile.

While running down Philbrick Hill I didn’t feel beat up like I have in some shoes this year and was able to quickly transition from the hill to the flat section. No issues with the RunFasts.

Once I got down to Pepin I cruised to the end and then shut down the effort level.

Coming back I purposely just ran easy to see how the RunFast performed at slower paces. I could tell that I had pushed a little harder than usual coming down and paid for it going back up Philbrick, but the legs/shoes were not the issue. It was more that thing called being able to breath well that was the tough part.

No blisters, hotspots or anything other than let’s go faster from the RunFast’s.

The FloatRide RunFast’s are a scary arse shoe to me and I have a feeling will encourage me to run faster than I probably should at some point. They are an easy shoe to just “go” in.

Now to get some miles on them and see what they really can do, I just wish that I could do them justice, but they are shoes that deserve someone much faster than me to be wearing them.

You know a crazy old fart who refuses to admit he is getting too damn old to have toys like this that encourage him to be foolish. :-). Naw.

Happy Coast Guard Day & Grasse Roads Doing Fine – RunLog 8-4-18

For all you Coasties out there, Happy Coast Guard Day and Semper Paratus.

Being a Coastie will always be an important part of who I am.

Okay let’s get back to reality and the life I have now.

Congratulations to all of you who ran Beach to Beacon, it was a tough day for it, but a lot of you got it done: Sam, Tom, Ryan and so many others. Again, congratulations on your run there.

After yesterday’s successful shoe surgery on the Reebok OSR Grasse Roads and a good treadmill run, I really wanted to get them out on the road to see how they performed in the real world. I wanted to get 7-8 miles in and thought about running to here:

It seemed kind of fitting to run to Harold Drive on a rainy day, it is a 7.0 mile out and back course, that I can always add a lap onto at the end to get 8.0.

Yeah, it was raining…however, it was a nice warm summer’s rain, which I love, love to run in. This kind of run that will really show me how a pair of shoes is going to work for me.

The first mile was pretty slow, just getting warmed up and loosened up after yesterday’s faster treadmill run. Plus running on the dirt road was a bit squishy, while the Grass Road’s were not having any issues, they really are not made for a gravel slime run, so I kept it slower. Once I hit the tar down on Tiffany I did pick up the pace a little and the grip on the wet pavement was great.

Even though I went through a few downpours and may have jumped into a few puddles on purpose, my feet while wet, didn’t get any hotspots and the shoes seemed to drain the water out pretty quickly.

Tiffany Road has a definite crown to it and that crowning after the heel cup surgery was a non-issue (like it should have been originally). There was none of that rubbing under the ankle or the distraction of there being some pressure against the ankle area and wondering if I was going to loose more skin.

So I can confidently say that the shoe surgery on the heel cups of the Grasse Roads was a huge success, which now means that I can focus on just running in them, without worrying about ankle bite.

The other thing was I was very impressed with, was how quiet and smooth the Grasse Roads were on the wet pavement. There wasn’t any of that slapping stuff or heel drag, it was just a comfortable landing, smooth roll-through to toe-off and then repeat. Even when I was getting tired and it started to rain hard again during the last mile, I had a smooth stride. It was kind of nice.

Also I was able to pick up the pace pretty easily in them, when I wanted to. No, they will never be a “fast” shoe, but I can hold a nice 8:00 or so pace without any problems.

A really nice 8.0 miles in the rain, where I learned that the Reebok Grasse Roads allow me to run comfortably – what more can I ask for.

My Grasse Roads were not a limiting factor in my run and that is a great thing.

Shoe Heel Counter Surgery and 5.0 Treadmill – RunLog 8-3-18

This morning when I took Bennie for his long walk, it was pukey and when we were done I looked at my t-shirt and decided that running outside wasn’t going to happen today. I had simply walked two miles at a very leisurely pace and my t-shirt was soaked – not the kind of weather that I want to run in.

Also even though the Grasse Roads were better in the heel cup after manipulating the counter with a pair of pliers, I could still feel heel counter pressing/rubbing against my ankle. Not the feeling that I was anticipating or want. No it didn’t cause any blisters or rub the skin off, it was just…well not comfortable.

The white paper-like substance are pieces of the heel counters from both shoes and if you look closely you can see the incision just under overlay. πŸ™‚

So I decided that a little arthroscopic shoe surgery on the heel counters on both shoes was in order. As you can see the tools were rather primitive but I got enough of the outside of the heel counter out that I couldn’t feel it anymore – which is all I wanted. The counter seemed to be made of some kind of hard waterproofed paper product. It probably would have molded to my feet eventually, but I am not crazy about breaking shoes, when I loose skin in the process.

Now for a test run to see how they feel.

Since I wasn’t going to run outside, it meant a trip to Planet Fitness and doing some miles on the treadmill. I didn’t get my mileage in yesterday the planned 30:00 minute run didn’t seem like enough, so I decided to between 5 and 6 at 7.6 mph or so.

The run itself went fine, no issues maintaining that speed and I felt good the entire way. When I got to 4.0 miles, I decided that 5.0 miles was enough for the day. Just 5.0 miles at a sub 8:00 pace on the treadmill on a summer day that was too hot to run outside.

How did the Grasse Roads do after their shoe surgery. Just fine.

No ankle biting on either ankle and the usual outside of the right forefoot didn’t bother at all. Everything just worked well and that is all I could ask for. Now to get some real miles on them to see how they work for me.

A pretty good confidence builder on the run and with the shoes.

Hot, Humid and a Shoe Biter – RunLog 8-2-18

When I walked Bennie on his long walk this morning, I knew it was going to be a tough day when he turned around at the lower gate. It was pretty muggy and he doesn’t do well with high humidity, so we did the mile and he got back to relaxing with our doggie-day-care guests.

Which meant that I got to head into town early for my long run today.

I figured that I would head outside for 4-5 miles and finish up on the treadmill. When I got to Planet Fitness, the sun broke through and it warmed up too freaking quickly. However, I just didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill and doing a lot of miles this morning, so I headed outside and figured that I would decide on the course when I got to the 1.0 mile mark.

By the time I got there, I had already started to sweat, but as long as I stayed in the shady sections, it wasn’t too miserable, just passable miserable. Once I got there, I decided to do the Colby Loop, but do it backwards. Which was a pretty good decision.

I prefer to hit the hills a little earlier in the run and going up Lincoln Street at the end of mile 2 was better than the long uphill to go up Mayflower at about mile 4. Everything was going along nicely until I got to the Colby construction area and came up on a slow moving crane in the road. The only safe place to pass it was on the side of the road by the pond and it is pretty canted in that area.

Back up for a minute, the Reebok Grasse Roads were doing really great, I love the feel and they were comfortable, but I had stayed primarily on the wrong side of the road for running and the cant of the road made the plastic heel cup in them rub against my lower left ankle just a little. Not enough to blister, just enough to know it was there. I had forgotten to get the pliers out to loosen up the plastic heel counter – something I have learned the hard way to do with that kind of heel cup.

So when I hit that severe cant by the pond it drove the heel cup just below my left ankle each time I stepped until I got by the crane. Once I ran on level road again, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I had removed skin from below the left ankle. Luckily, the FieldHouse was just up the road and I needed to do a pit stop anyway, so I figured I would be able to do a little repair work on the ankle at the same time.

I asked the desk attendant for a band-aid, did my business and then went outside to survey the damage. Not quite as bad as I thought, running on that angle had caused the heel cup to move some skin upwards towards the ankle. I put the band-aid over it for some cushion and got back to running.

Unfortunately, during that break it felt like it had warmed up another 5* degrees and with the way my ankle felt, I just wasn’t into the run any longer. The ankle bothered, but not enough to stop and of course the other ankle had to start complaining, even though the heel cup didn’t wear through the skin.

When I got done, I had over 7.0 miles total and a soaked hat/shirt that needed to be wrung out in the sink before I put it in the gym bag. With the ankle biter going on and 7.0+ miles on a hot/humid day, I decided that I had done enough and went into the stretching room and wound down from the run.

Normally, if a pair of running shoes do this to my ankles, I just move on from them.

So when I got home, I checked out the heel counter and I couldn’t bend it with my fingers, so no wonder it bit into the ankle. I got out my trusty leatherman and bent, doubled-over, and did everything I could to loosen up the plastic enough so that it wouldn’t bite anymore.

However, even though I got a little ankle biter from the Grasse Roads, there is something about these shoes that I really, really like and want to see if I can get the heel counter softened up enough so they it is no longer an issue. I just like the way they feel on my feet and how I run in them.

Who knows if they are still bothering after using my leatherman on them, the next time I run in them. I might get out the scalpel, scissors and a little needle/thread action. Then surgically reduce the outside of the plastic heel counter.

Yeah, I like the Grasse Roads that much.

Actually, I was surprised at how well I did run despite the heat/humidity levels and then to deal with the ankle biter stuff and still do the 7.0 miles at a sub 9:00 pace without pushing the pace. Everything else felt pretty good today.

Now to enjoy the sting of liquid skin a few times tonight and build up a little callous under the ankle. πŸ™‚

First Run in Reebok Grasse Road – RunLog 8-1-18

An early birthday package arrived from D2 yesterday and I had a pretty good idea what it was. I just couldn’t wait to try them on and well…once I opened the package that kind of probably meant that I also was going to run in them sooner than later.

Errr this morning.

So the Reebok Grasse Road have been added to the rotation and you know something, it is the first pair of Reebok’s I have run in since the early 90’s. Although I have come close a couple of times with the Flex series a few years ago.

However, these are not the lifestyle or cross-fit shoes that Reebok has been known for over the last few years. Even after one run, I know there is a difference and from looking at some of the other shoes they are bringing out, it will be interesting to see if Reebok continues its return to being a serious running shoe company that can compete with the big brands or if it fizzles.

I would love to see them come all the way back.

What initially got me interested in the Grasse Roads was when I read Sam over Road, Trail, Run’s review back in the Spring and was very intrigued by these shoes. I have been looking for a mileage eater/easy i.e. slow runs running shoe lately and when I was wandering around eBay and I came across the Grasse Roads at a price that couldn’t be resisted. They became D2’s birthday present to her loving running shoe problem, err Dad.

Oh well, enough blathering, how did the first run in them go?

Quite nicely thank you.

The Grasse Roads are under 10.0 ounces at 9.6, but have a lot of stack height for the weight, so I wouldn’t want to play any basketball or tennis type of activists in them. They are running shoes. Also to me they feel like they are a higher drop than the 6mm that is advertised – not a bad thing when it comes to my Achilles, just different than I expected.

I can honestly say that I am not a fan of the colorway – shades of gray with some blue on the midsole and laces. Not the colorway I would pay full-price for, but at this price point and actually needing the shoes, well I will deal with boring. Who knows it might even grow on me…naw I am not stylish or a fashionista and want my bright and bold colorway shoes – the brighter and more obnoxious the better. πŸ™‚

You know Harold shoes.

I found the size 8.5 to be slightly large for my size 8.0 foot according to the thumb width test. I could probably comfortably get away with a pair of size 8.0’s. However, that slightly larger sizing didn’t make a smidge of difference once I got around to running. There was no two-stage take-off feeling during toe-off, something that I get too often when the shoes are too long. The heels felt securely locked in and the tongue padded enough that I didn’t feel the laces pressing down against the top of my foot and my Tailor’s Bunionette didn’t give me grief at all, so the toe box was comfortable for my Hobbit feet.

The left Plantar is still about a week away from not being an issue, but after walking around in them yesterday, this morning I simply put the Grasse Roads on, tied the laces and went for a run. No frig, farting around trying to get the fit correct or deal with the myriad of things that seems to go along with me and getting into a new pair of running shoes.

After yesterday’s speed work, I wanted to do an easy 4.0 mile recovery run, something in the 9:00 minute pace range. The first two miles were right around that mark and I didn’t push going back up Stevens Hill and got up around 9:25. Then I might have pushed a little harder on the last mile and got down in the 8:40 range. The final average pace was right at a 9:00 minute pace.

I purposely went down to Bartlett and then back around Howard. It gave me a really good idea of how they would on the dirt road down-back and then how the Grasse Roads transition from dirt-to-tar and then tar-to-dirt a few times, plus going up and down some hills. No issues and the grip was good on the dry dirt and I didn’t have a multitude of small pebbles stuck in the outsole.

The cushioning was good going downhill and the Grasse Roads were flexible enough up front that running uphill didn’t feel uncomfortable (despite my PF issues) – even with the fairly large stack height they had enough flex/front rocker to feel pretty good.

It is a pretty well established fact that I do heel-strike and roll-through to toe-off and after I found my stride with the Grasse Roads, (each pair of running shoes have their preferred stride – it didn’t take nearly as long with them as most running shoes I have run in lately), I was pleasantly surprised with how quiet and smooth they were.

Usually with shoes in this more maximal style or stack heights, I tend to slap a little even with some shoes that claim to have a rocker or drag my heels. That wasn’t the case in this first run and those are both pretty big deals in my world.

All too many of my initial run superlative thoughts lately have turned to shite, after getting more miles on the shoes. I will stop with the superlatives at this point and will see how they are doing at 50 miles.

I am looking forward to my long run tomorrow in them. Well as long as it doesn’t turn into a treadmill long run, well if that happens I will find out a lot then as well.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is high 80’s to 90’s with high humidity and I don’t do long runs in that weather. Something about getting older and wiser, and also not wanting to be found on the side of the road in the face down position. No, I am not a fan of hot, humid weather and play it safe or at least not act too stoopid.

What I did learn is that Reebok did make the Grasse Roads to be run in and some of their other shoes are really starting to interest me more after looking closely at them and getting them on my feet.

These are real running shoes, not second rate department store knock-offs that we all might want to look at a little closer. No, I am not being paid or getting free stuff from Reebok or anyone else to say this, it is simply what I am observing and my opinion.

Nike Pegasus 33 Shield – 50 Plus Mile Review

Now this review is just for continuity purposes, since the Pegasus 35 and Turbo models have already been released. I have a feeling that not too many people are going to be very interested in reading about a model that was released two models ago. πŸ™‚

If you are – read on.

I got these at our local Mardens (a close out store) earlier this summer when I was wandering around in there and couldn’t resist the price point they were at. I certainly didn’t need them at the time, although the Shield technology intrigued me as well.

After almost 80 miles in the Nike Pegusus 33 Shield model, they have been the pleasant surprise of the summer for me. Continue reading “Nike Pegasus 33 Shield – 50 Plus Mile Review”

First Run Nike Speed Rival 6 – RunLog 7-15-18

Another pair of new to me shoes, this time courtesy of eBay for a price I couldn’t resist. Did I really need a pair of race day shoes? Ummmm actually yeah.

While I love the Green Silence and have been using for that purpose, I can feel that they are a bit long in the tooth and don’t have the “pop” that my newer shoes have. While I don’t have that many miles on them, the midsole does feel pretty lifeless and I need every little edge I can get. So I had been sort of looking at what would be a nice race day shoe for me going forward.

Since I don’t see a pair of Nike Vapor Fly 4% in my rotation anytime soon, I needed to find something else.

I had read some pretty good reviews of about the Speed Rival 6’s and that they had a wider forefoot, which is unusual in a “racing” shoe. While I hadn’t purposely been looking specifically for them, when I was wandering around eBay last week and came on these. I figured why not put in a minimum bid and see what happened. Especially, since the seller said they had only about 5 miles on them.

I won.

When I got them in, they looked like new and only weighed 7.0 ounces.

Walking around in them the heel felt a little loose and I knew that I was going to have to play with the lacing to get the right feel with them. Also I will be honest, for a pair of Nikes (a company that prides itself on the great looks of its shoes), when I look down at them – they just look fugly. They look like some of the vintage shoes from the 70’s or 80’s with how the toe comes to a point from both sides, which is not always a good thing. Continue reading “First Run Nike Speed Rival 6 – RunLog 7-15-18”

Topo Ultra Fly v1 – 50 Mile Review

Another review of the previous version of a running shoe. I figure that a lot of runners buy the older shoes, like I do, once they go on sale.

The Topo Ultra Fly v1 is a shoe that I have wanted to try since it came out. However, I couldn’t justify the full retail price to experiment with sizing and feel, on shoes I had never seen in person.

So I have been waiting for the price point to get down to the $50-70 price range that is a little easier to swallow when experimenting with a shoe I haven’t been able to put my hands on or feet in. Especially, if they do not work as planned for me.

Continue reading “Topo Ultra Fly v1 – 50 Mile Review”

Topo Ultra Fly to the Rotation – MT WK1 D5

This morning I had a first run in yet another pair of running shoes.

ANOTHER pair of shoes you say and you say WTFO???

Yeah D2 gets me shoes pretty much three times a year – gotta keep the old guy running, “doncha know” – that Minnesota accent. Hehehehe. Since Father’s Day is rapidly approaching dear old Dad made a suggestion and she came through with flying colors – again. I promised her no more bad Rose scented perfume jokes.

Also Bennie had thought about getting me a different pair of running shoes, but dang I really have too many and told him not to bother. I NEVER thought I would say that I have too many running shoes, but the truth be told right now I really do not need anymore for at least a couple of months – maybe for my Birthday in August – Bennie. πŸ™‚

However, D2 took that great hint I gave when I messaged her the link and proper shoe size and got me…

The Topo Ultra Fly’s.

The Ultra Fly’s are a Brand/model that I have wondered about for couple of years, but at the original price point, plus never having been able to find a pair to try a pair on I just couldn’t get myself to do it.

I love the idea of their wide toe box and a multipurpose outsole that I want where I live, without only being zero drop. Although they seem to be headed in the boring colorways (lifestyle colors – primarily grays, blacks or dark blues) that so many other brands are choosing as well. I say keep the vibrant colorways coming or at least have one choice that isn’t boring. In many of their models they have done that to a point.

Now that v2 is out, the original Ultra Fly model’s price has been discounted to the point where it is worth experimenting with and I didn’t feel guilty suggesting them as a Father’s Day present. I do attempt to keep things reasonable.

Continue reading “Topo Ultra Fly to the Rotation – MT WK1 D5”

Running Shoes Since September 2011

Over the years I have had a love/hate relationship with running shoes and have always been searching for the mythological perfect for me one. I know that there are a lot of runners out there that have run in more running shoes than I have over the last 7-8 years, but I have run in my share over the years.

I got back to being a lot more serious about my running and in turn my running shoe obsession back in September 2011. I had left teaching after a particularly difficult year that ended in having right knee surgery and me at 5’7″ being over 200 pounds. Since then I have run a lot of miles in a LOT of different running shoes.

To make it easier to find a particular model for writing blog posts down the road I made albums for each brand’s photos. Then for this post I put them in order of the number of brand photos in each album. Which when I think about it, pretty much mirrors how I look at the different running shoe brands and how they have tended to work for me since 2011.

The more photos, the more I liked the brand.

Skechers – 178 Photos

Pearl Izumi – 140 Photos

Nike – 109 Photos

Saucony – 105 Photos

Mizuno – 95 Photos

Newton – 78 Photos

Puma – 73 Photos

Under Armour – 72 Photos

Altra – 68 Photos

New Balance – 52 Photos

Hoka – 46 Photos

Brooks – 38 Photos

Adidas – 37 Photos

Asics – 29 Photos

I put them in the order of the number of miles that I ran in them. There are some shoes that I ran in, but couldn’t find any photos of them??? They must have gotten lost over the years of switching computers and tech silos.

No I am not going into long and drawn out explanations of each shoe or the pros/cons of the different brands. Instead look at the different models and how many of them have you run in over the years.

Which one did you love and wish you could find again or had kept? Which ones did you hate?