New Shoes–Only the Second New Ones in 2019–RunLog 4/6/19

Yeah, can you believe it, this is only the second pair of new running shoes that I have run in during 2019. I really think that is some kind of record!!!

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Unsurprisingly, it is a pair of adidas Tempo 9’s that I got for Christmas 2018 and have had in the closet waiting for my first pair of T9s to finally give up the ghost. While I could probably get more mileage out of my first pair, when I ran in my new ones today there was a definite difference for the better.

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So it was time to change.

Friday

I did take Friday off, I got changed up and ready to run, but I really just didn’t want to, so I didn’t. Sometimes you gotta listen to the old body and it said time for a day off. I am attempting to listen better and more often, even though I am attempting to follow a plan, at times the body is going to need something different.

Saturday

Spring is here with temps in the 40s, but the breeze still feels colder than it will in a few more weeks. We just have to see the sun more.

The run itself was nothing all that special, an easy run down to Pepin, a quite port-a-potty stop and then running up that hill. I did better than usual going up the hill without really pushing all that hard, so that felt good.

I have a feeling that I will be running down to Pepin more often if I run around the house, the local young and old guy mud runners have made down-back unwalkable, much less unrunnable for at least a month. So I will get more town running done, I have a feeling.

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I know that I will go through more shoes than a lot of runners, but this year I have purposely cut back on the number of running shoes that I have bought and worked on using the shoes that are actually working for me.

One of the things that I have been merciless about getting rid of running shoes that only sort of work for me, versus keeping them around and hoping they will work great if I wait a while. It usually doesn’t work that way.

My second pair of Tempo 9s felt great and I am looking forward to running more in them.

A Little Warmer Than I Expected – RunLog 9-13-18

This morning was long run Thursday, but my long runs lately have been more in the 6-8 mile range than anything approaching double-digits due to life getting in the way more than anything. Which in the big picture, really isn’t all that bad, because it means that I am still running and if I can run those distances, things ain’t all THAT bad.

The weather seemed to be pretty good earlier this morning, but by the time we got done walking the dogs, Mary got her run in, things had warmed up considerably and the sun was above the tree line, so the run was going to be without a lot of shade. All those things factored into a decision that I made at the end of the run.

When I started I had planned on doing 8.0 miles at something slower than a 9:00 minute pace. Well that was the plan.

I wore my new adidas Response Boost, since I wanted to see how they performed on a longer run and I was listening to my race playlist – which was probably a mistake. I am finding that there is something about running to music where I just go faster, without thinking about it. When you add in wanting to see how new shoes actually work, well it wasn’t a recipe to go as slow as I had planned.

Enough background.

When I started I wasn’t in a hurry, however once my intro song was over and I got to the race music at the lower gate I picked up the pace. As you can see by my splits while I wasn’t pushing the pace hard, I was still moving along pretty well.

It was just below comfortably hard as far as the effort level and I had a few more gears left if I had wanted to go faster. The first 3.0 or so miles were very consistent and for the most part I was feeling pretty darn good. The only issue I was having was on my left heel, the shoe felt a little loose in the heel and a hot spot was developing.

Unfortunately, at that point, the shade on the roads was pretty much non-existent, so by the time I got to the Goodhue Road turn-around, I was starting to heat up pretty good. Coming back down Tiffany, I did pick up the effort level to comfortably hard and cruised on through to the dirt road.

When I got there my left heel was starting to bother a little more and the sun/heat was enough that I was getting rather uncomfortable and at that point I decided to shut it down at the bottom of Stevens Hill and walk it home.

When I stopped it was time to stop, my feet were getting tired (the insoles haven’t formed to my feet) and they were starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. Which is pretty normal for me with a new pair of shoes, luckily I stopped before a blister formed on the left heel, but it was getting sore.

The adidas Response outperformed my expectations in every area, except for the left heel and that was more my fault than the shoes. I had changed out the laces before I ran and cinched down the right foot just a little more than my left and I didn’t bother to snug up the left enough. So it was my own fault not the shoes. Although I do think that I will set the laces up as lace locks to hold the heel a little better.

The reality is that

I ran a lot faster than I had planned for a long run and it resulted in my not finishing the distance I had planned. Yeah, it was a bit warmer than I thought it was going to be, but after a long summer, I am pretty well acclimated to running when it is hot so I cannot really use that as an excuse.

The left heel hotspot probably had more effect on me wanting to stop sooner than I planned than anything. Sometimes stopping is a good thing and today it was the right decision. Once I stopped the heel quickly started feeling better, I didn’t develop the blister that might have been part of the run, if I had attempted to finish off the mileage.

So I listened to the body and did what needed to be done versus bulling through and then paying for it for the next week.

A very good run and even with the heel hotspot the Response Boost still impressed me. Now to get more miles and get them broke in so they are as comfortable as I think they will be.

New Shoes and First Pub Run in Years – RunLog 9-12-18

Today was one of those weird days where you get a lot done and yet you don’t feel like you got much done at all.

My first run was a very good recovery run, where I didn’t push and just cleared the gunk out of the body from yesterday’s harder effort on the treadmill. The right hip flexor was a bit tight, not sore just tight, which was not surprising, since I did run faster than I have been in a while.

New Shoes

Then I go in a new pair of running shoes. Yeah, what else is new…

I have a specific purpose for these and they are a running shoe model that I came within a minute of buying back when they were a new release a few years ago. The reason I didn’t was the price and Mary would have had my butt, since I had gotten a different pair the week before, that I was not in love with. So I didn’t get them and went in a different direction after that.

However, I have always wondered about them and when the Grasse Roads started to bother a little more than I am willing to put up with for longer runs, I wandered around eBay and came across these. It got me to thinking about how much I really liked the feeling on my feet in the store and the short jaunt that I did in them back when. So I made a couple of hints to someone and they showed up today.

A new without the box pair of…drumroll please…

adidas Response Boost in size 8.5 for under $40

Over the years, I have attempted to run in several adidas brand shoes, loved the Boost midsole, but usually have a problem with the true-to-size 8.0 or when I size up too ong and being tight in the forefoot. However reading some blog reviews it seemed that the sizing ran weird, plus I sort of remembered that I tried on 8.0s, 8.5s and 9.0s and was going to get the 8.5’s. So I figured that I would go with the 8.5s and see what happened.

From everything I have read and heard about the Boost midsole material, it doesn’t break down as much and is not affected like other materials by age or weather, so the age of the shoe was less of a concern than it might be in some other shoes.

They were exactly as pictured and didn’t have any wear on the outsole. Just walking around the house they felt great, so they were definitely keepers.

When I weighed them – one was 9.2 and the other 9.3 ounces, which I have found is pretty normal for running shoes to have a slight variance. The Response Boost are right in my wheelhouse when it comes to a long or recovery run shoe as far as their weight and the size 8.5 seems to be the correct size versus my true to size 8.0.

Now I had to get a run in them. Well it so happens that tonight was also when the Central Maine Striders have their pub run and follow it with our first monthly meeting since the summer break. Which meant that I was going to get to run in them – today.

Central Maine Striders Pub Run

There were quite a few of us for the Pub Run tonight and we ran along gabbing and yakking up the North Street Trail and back. It was a non-competitive run where we just ran along at a comfortable pace. Which was fine, because I wanted to see how the adidas Responses would do on their maiden voyage.

We did just over 3.0 miles at around 9:00 minute pace overall. I picked up the pace in a couple spots and didn’t think about doing it. I was able to just go, especially crossing the road in one spot with a vehicle coming at me.

I don’t like the laces – too short, otherwise very nice. There is a bit of a different feel that I had to get used over the first mile or so, but actually I was busy talking and didn’t notice the shoes.

Hey, isn’t that what I want?

Absolutely!!!

I didn’t think about the Responses until I finished and had a chance to think back on the run. I did like the feel of the Boost midsole while running, that cushioned yet responsive road feel was exactly what I wanted.

Good first impression and best of all – no hotspots or blisters.

There will be a second run.

Week Peek Back – 12/4/16

December, the last month of 2016, can you believe it! This year has just flown by!!!

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No snow yet, but it is coming and so is the cold weather. That is the one thing as I get older that I enjoy less and less every year – being cold sucks.

Yes, I will be doing a few end of year reflections and looking back at the shoes I have run in this year over the course of the next few weeks. But let’s take a look at what happened this past week.

I got a new pair of running shoes (what else is new), but my left knee has been bugging me when I have been wearing my primary daily trainers, so it was time to see if it was the shoes or my very over-active imagination.

 

Other than that things have been pretty quiet on the running front. Continue reading “Week Peek Back – 12/4/16”

Adidas Adios 3 – First Impressions

Okay, enough of the political crap, let me get back to something nearer and dearer to my heart – New to me Running Shoes.

I haven’t been that impressed with how the Hitogami 2’s were performing and I went over 200 miles in my Inspire 11’s, so I needed a pair of “faster for me”, treadmill for the winter and eventually race day shoes.

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Elliott sniff testing the Adidas Adios Boost 3’s

Then I got a price alert on the Adidas Adios Boost 3’s for $98 at Running Warehouse (I have been interested in the Adios since the first one came out a couple of years ago), quite a drop from the listed $140, which was definitely WAY out of what I am willing to pay for running shoes. However, $100 bucks is right in the ball park.

So I did some research and re-read reviews, talked with Sam W. at Road, Trail, Run (whose opinion I respect very much and he does wear the same size as me, so I get a really good idea on the way a shoe fits from his descriptions) and decided to pull the trigger and get the AB3’s. Continue reading “Adidas Adios 3 – First Impressions”

What Are Brands Doing to MY Running Shoes

Whine Alert – Yes I am doing a little bit of whining here.

Yesterday, I was reading my RSS Feeds and Seth Goodin – who often has very thought-provoking posts, had an excellent one You are not the lowest common denominator and it got me to thinking about running shoes and the companies that bring these technological marvels to us runners.

Honestly, I can say that I have no brand loyalty or as Seth put it – have allowed any lock-in by any of the running shoe companies that are out there. I have written about it before here and here.

I have been called, picky, finicky, a pain in the ass and all those other endearing terms that I am sure that the brands use behind closed doors to describe runners who hop from brand-to-brand and do not show the proper loyalty to their great product lines.

Something, I think that the brands tend to forget, is that after I buy a pair of running shoes, especially if I like them.

Their running shoes become “my” running shoes and when that happens there is a huge difference in how I view “my” shoes versus other running shoes, I try.

I know that I get upset when a brand screws up “my” running shoes, especially when I go to buy another pair and they no longer work me, the same as they did in the past.

Yeah it pisses me off.

This is primarily why I am one of the many runners, who show no loyalty to a brand. Continue reading “What Are Brands Doing to MY Running Shoes”

Adidas Marathon Trainer (Reproduction) Initial Review

MTII overhead and sole view

If you have been running for a while you probably have a love/hate relationship with your running shoes.

Some shoes you have run in, back in the long distant past take on an almost mythological belief in how GREAT they were and we look back on them with fond memories, that may not always be as accurate as we want to believe.

I am going to get to find out how accurate those memories are!

Last week I found a pair of shoes on EastBay that are very similar to my “favorite” all-time running shoes, the Blue Adidas Marathon Trainers with the Dillinger Web.

Blue Marathon Trainers

The one’s I got are reproduction shoes and are more like a different model, the Marathon Trainer II’s, that followed. Yes I owned a pair of these as well and while they were not the same as the blue models, they were fairly close.

MTII left facing side view

When I saw Marathon Trainers were in stock and on sale for $39.99, I had to buy them, just to see if they were as great as I remember. It was just one of those things.

MTII sole view

When I got them in last night, and looked them over, some minor things were different from what I remember about the Marathon Trainer II’s the heel dissipation plug-in the middle of the sole was missing and the extended heel piece was different. These are a little heavier than I remember, but that could just be me :-).

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The quality of the construction was fine, except under the board last in both shoes, the white glue had puddled on both outside forefoot areas. When I wore them for a quick walk, the right forefoot where the glue had pooled would be a problem area, if I didn’t do something about it.

MTII Board Last

Also due to the board last, the Marathon Trainers felt very stiff and then I remembered what I had to do for every pair of them that I had ever owned – remove the front half of the board last. It was a trick I learned from another runner who swore by the Blue Marathon Trainers and worked great for me as well.

MTII Glue puddle

So I went ahead and removed as much of the board last in the forefoot area as I could, scraped out the white glue clumps that were there. You can see how much of the board last I removed from both shoes, by the below pile.

MTII Board Last remains

This made the shoes a lot more flexible in the forefoot and a few ounces lighter. Also the sock liner/insert needed to be changed because it was glued in and didn’t come out whole (they didn’t skimp on the glue!). I will be experimenting to see which insert I have works best for me with these shoes.

MTII Overhead heel view

This customization was something that was just a part of getting a new pair of shoes back in the 80’s or so it seemed, we had to “adjust” them a little to meet our needs. When I walked in the Marathon Trainers this morning, they felt a LOT better, much more flexible, comfortable and no problem spots.

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It is funny how many memories, working on these shoes brought back. It brought me back to a different time and place in my life and some of the little things that you just don’t think about all that much anymore. I know that I was a lot younger with different dreams and aspirations than I have now, some came true, some didn’t, but it was fun going back in time for a few moments.

The reality is that

these reproduction Marathon Trainers with the Dillinger web are probably not as great as I remember the Marathon Trainer’s or even as good as the Mizuno shoes I am running in now. However, I have been whining about wanting a pair for several years and when I saw them available, I HAD to get them.

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They were a part of my past, that I remember fondly and sometimes you just have to go back and visit for a minute or two.

Now that I have a half-board last and a different sock liner in the shoe, they feel much different and a lot closer to the dim memory of the comfortable shoe that I ran so many miles in back in the 80’s.

No I don’t know what the “drop is or the stack-height of these shoes are, but they do seem like they fit the low profile shoe model that seems all the rage in today’s market. While they might not ever be my daily running shoes, they seem to have lot of similarities with many of today’s newer designs and some of the trail shoes I have seen lately.

It will be interesting to see what I think of them as running shoes, instead of just a memory.

MTII right facing side view

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that you ran in a long time ago, and loved them, but couldn’t find the shoe again. Then suddenly you found a model that was very close to that shoe – did you buy it? Did it live up to your memories of that old shoe that you loved?

Surprise 9 Miler 8/22/12

P8220003What a gorgeous day! By the time I got to run it is was in the low 80’s, with bright sun, low humidity and a 5-10 mph breeze. Definitely a top 10 day!

So how as the run, a nice and steady run that I didn’t push overly hard hard and just felt good.

My splits were:

  • Notta Road (about 2.5) – 22:28
  • Goodhue Road (about 3.3) – 30:24 (7:56)
  • Pond Road –38:00 (7:36)
  • Tiffany Road – 1:08:03 (30:02)
  • Mile 8.0 – 1:11:54 (3:51)
  • End – 1:22:19 (10:24) Felt slow and was slow

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I kept forgetting to press the watch button on the different splits that I usually do on this course. I was pre-occupied with some GREAT news that I got this week and was trying to answer my “homework” in my head, so I wasn’t really focused on this run and was doing too much “wool gathering” to get a really great run in.

Oh yeah, this was supposed to only be a 5.0 miler and I was feeling that I had a lot of nervous energy and stress to burn off, but had too much on my mind to run fast, so that is why I ran longer Smile.

I will be writing more about this later on (when I can), but it is very good news. It has been a tough couple of weeks waiting to find out the final answer.

RunLog 8-22-12

50 Mile Review of Altra Instincts

P7290006Initially I was going to wait until 100 miles to do this review, but I have been doing the 50 mile running shoe reviews since I started A Veteran Runnah and decided to keep doing it that way.

There have been so many reviews published on the Altra Instinct’s over the past year, that I probably don’t have any earth shattering insights about them, other than my own experiences with them.

So I will not bore you with the technical specs on the Instinct’s, which you can find on the Altra website or by doing a web search for them.

Some very good reviews of the Instinct’s can be found here (Birthday Shoes) or here (RunBlogger).

Many bloggers and others have tried to pigeon-hole the Instinct’s into this category or that category, but the only thing that really matters to me, is whether or not they work for how I run and if they are comfortable to me when I am running in them.

Isn’t that what is actually important? Not all the other noise and hoopla.

How are the Altra Instincts doing after 55.8 miles?

The Instincts still look boxy to me and as I said in my initial review of the Instinct’s, appearances are deceiving! They have a nice quick feel when running in them that promotes landing with more of a forefoot running style. Also they feel much more cushioned than the lower stack height and amount of midsole would indicate, which is very important since I am running higher mileage than I have in a long time.

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I have done 2 double-digit runs (13 & 10), 50 mile week, had a 5.0 mile best time for this year in them. Yesterday, I decided to wear the Instinct’s in a 5K road race and ended up with a time of 22:03, (which was a 1:22 improvement over my best time this year), just to see how they would be at my race pace.

The faster times and longer distances have shown me that the Instinct’s are a very good multi-purpose running shoe and that they are working well for me.

On the gravel road down back, they have protected my feet quite well and I don’t have any aches or pains that I didn’t have before I started running in them.

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The outsole is showing very little wear for having over 50 miles on them and even though they might pick up a small rock once in a while, it really is not the issue it was with my previous shoes.

So far the Instincts have done a great job with everything I have thrown at them and appear to be holding up quite nicely.

Aches and Pains

The dreaded calf pain that many runners seem to have when switching to a zero drop shoe, did not happen for me (running most of the year in 4-6MM drop shoes has helped). Although I completely did the opposite of what Altra recommends, I got lucky and it worked for me, since I ran 50 miles in them the first full week I had them

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Initially I did have some issues with my right little toe, just not feeling comfortable. This is something that I have had a lot of problems with, in most of my shoes and one of the primary reasons that I wanted to try the Altra’s – the wide toe box. Part of the problem was the style of sock that I was wearing, but the shoe didn’t feel quite right. While I was looking around the Altra website, I saw this alternate lacing system and tried it. After changing to this lacing system and the socks I was wearing, that issue went away and the Instinct’s felt a lot more comfortable!

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Yes I had to cut and tie the laces because they became too long after changing the lacing pattern.

The only problem that I have had with the Instincts was when I flew back from Minnesota and had loosened them up for the flight. In my rush to go from terminal A to terminal C in Logan, I forgot to tighten up the laces and got a blister on my right Achilles from the back of the shoe. I have read comments about this being an issue with other runners, so it is something I will keep an eye on.

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This didn’t/doesn’t bother me when I was running, but I do notice it a little when walking in the shoes.

The reality is that

My experience in the Altra Instinct’s has been very positive so far.

Of all the shoes that I have run in this year, the Instinct’s are very competitive with anything that I have worn. I am looking forward to seeing how the Instinct’s will be doing at the 300 and 500 mile marks, IF they make it that far, though I am hopeful they will.

However, I am not going to get all excited and gush about how great a shoe is anymore, until I get up into the 500 mile range with them and want to go get another pair to run in again. I have had too many shoes that felt really great in the first few of weeks of running in them and by the time 200-300 miles come around they are done and I wouldn’t go out and buy another pair of that model, because of the lack of durability or other issues.

Overall – my early impression of the Altra Instinct’s is: so far, so very good!

Initial Review & Run in Adidas Vigor TR

P7010023When I went back to get the Adidas Trail Shoes that I talked about yesterday, this afternoon – my size was gone, so I had to look for a something different.

Price and Protection

Price and protection were the most important things to me about this purchase.

I don’t plan on running all that much on trails, probably between 5 and 10 times a month, and only 3-8 miles at a time. So I really didn’t see the need to spend a lot of money on a high-end trail shoe.

I ended up getting the Adidas Vigor for about $60.00, it was on sale from $75.00, which I thought was a good deal.

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It always takes me about an hour to figure out which running shoes to actually buy.

I tried on 5-6 pair of shoes and finally the Vigor fit the best, didn’t feel like I was wearing high heels and look/feel like they are going to protect the bottoms of my feet while running over at Bond Brook. The fact that they are a good-looking shoe design doesn’t hurt too much either.

Video Review

Not Minimalist Shoes

The construction is certainly not a minimalist shoe and for trail running, I don’t think that I will mind a little more shoe after last week’s experience. The seams were straight and I don’t think that I would want to run in them without socks, the interior has a few areas that might create “wear” spots.

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Time to Run

I went straight from the store over to the University of Maine @ Augusta trail system, got changed up and prepared to run. UMA is a very easy trail system (no single track and the hills aren’t too bad).

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The only thing was that it was raining hard, which meant it was the absolute best day to try out a new pair of trail shoes – there was mud, wet grass, wet rocks, and the back field loop hadn’t been mown yet, so that was more challenge.

How did the Vigor’s perform?

Absolutely great.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did in the wet grass and packed mud that gets slimy and slippery. The best part was when I sought out rocks to step on, it wasn’t a big deal, the Vigor’s just handled them without any problems. I had great traction going up both the grassy hills and the loose dirt/rock hills.

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For a moderately priced pair of running shoes, I was very impressed with the fit and feel that the shoes had. No hotspots or areas that felt uncomfortable, they were just very comfortable to wear.

The Vigor’s are heavier shoes than I have run in lately, but I am not looking to win any trail races or set the course on fire with my speediness. I got these for the protection they offer my feet from the ground. I run trails to have fun and enjoy – when I step on rocks, roots or the small stumps left behind and it hurts, I am not crazy about bruises on the bottoms of my feet.

The reality is that

the Adidas Vigor’s seem to met my need for protecting my feet, I was able to get them at the right price and I think they are great looking shoes. Nothing wrong with going three for three.

Now to get over to Bond Brook or other trails and enjoy bombing around on them.

Murphy’s law of running – I got home and the sun was shining, but that was okay, I got to play in the mud and guck, and got my trail shoes dirty