A Lot Going On Yesterday and Today – RunLog 8-20-14

I didn’t bother to post yesterday, all that I did was recovery miles.

Which to me are more like pulling teeth without Novocaine, they hurt and it ain’t necessary.

Running that slow is hard, but I also know that it is necessary to do a good recovery workout after a TOUGH speed work session Monday.

By the time we got into that first mile, my legs felt like someone had taken ball peen hammers to them!

So it was the long slog yesterday, which meant that it was a good recovery run.

2014 Spreadsheet 8-20-14
2014 Spreadsheet 8-20-14

Continue reading “A Lot Going On Yesterday and Today – RunLog 8-20-14”

Tough Speed work Day – RunLog 8-18-14

Since I have a race coming up on Sunday, I changed up my normal routine and did my speedwork today, instead of Tuesday. So the body really wasn’t ready for or into this kind of effort on a Monday 😉 .

The first run was with Bennie down-back and then the second one was originally going to be a track workout at Colby, because I had errands to run up there.

Bennie’s Run

We started out really good as you can see below:

Strava - Bennie Run 8-18-14
Strava – Bennie Run 8-18-14

and had a nice steady pace until we got to the first hill and then just before 1.2 miles, Bennie caught a good scent or something and just stopped, I did everything I could to avoid running over him and making out with the road. I clipped him a little on the back leg and then dragged him a little ways, both of which got a couple of yelps out of him and had him looking at me what are doing that for kind of look. Continue reading “Tough Speed work Day – RunLog 8-18-14”

Why Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

My order from Sierra Trading Post came in last tonight, it contained just one item:

  • a pair of running shoes

What are you doing this time Harold?

IMG_20140816_084715_202

While I love my Skechers GoRun Ride 2’s and GoMeb2’s and consider myself a Skechers fanboy, unfortunately the last pair of my GRR2’s daily trainers are beginning to bother my right knee on long runs (after only 180 miles), which is my warning sign that a pair of running shoes are getting tired and it is time to start looking for another pair of shoes for my longer runs.

That was rather disappointing, because I was able to get over 400 miles on my last pair and could have gotten a lot more on my first ones (yes, I have run in 3 pair of GRR2’s). I had hoped the combination of my present GRR2’s, along with the shoes I have in the house, would let me make it until the new Skechers Performance line daily trainers come out in November.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out as I planned and while the other shoes I have in the closet, might have gotten me through to then. They each had a reason for being in the closet, instead of my present rotation, beyond my liking the GRR2’s more.

Since none of the current line of daily trainers in the Skechers Performance running shoes work for me due to my issues with a Tailor’s Bunionette on my right foot, I had to do a lot of research and it came down to:

  • Skechers GoRun Ride 2 – This was my first choice, unfortunately, the GRR2’s are getting hard to find in my size and even if they are new in the box, they are at least 2-3 years old.

Although I have heard different points of view on whether the foam actually breaks down or not over time, it does seem that when I get closed-out running shoes (those older models from the previous two or more years), that they do not last as long as the same as when the models first come out?  I am probably just imaging things, but that has been my experience.

So after looking around at what was available online, I decided to pass on this option, even though I came very close to just getting another pair of GRR2’s.

  • Saucony Kinvara 5 – I really wanted to try these on and looked around locally for a pair , but couldn’t find them??? I had a pair of the Kinvara 2’s which were too narrow and didn’t want to go through that again, even though I have heard the toe box is wider. Oh well, it would have been nice to have reviewed a current release instead of what I have done lately, end of the cycle or close-out running shoe reviews.
  • Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 – Same thing as above and at $120 they were at the top of my price limit. I had the Elixir 7’s and Ronin 4’s and did well in those shoes, but I found out later that the one of the reasons I had problems with them was that I bought them a full size too small.
  • Newton Energy – I had good luck with the woman’s model, the only problem was that it was too narrow, but couldn’t find any locally to check the men’s width and yes, I could have gotten them on some pretty good close-out deals, but I remembered too many problems with Newton’s and my feet in the past, so I am leery about going back to Newtons.
  • Pearl Izumi N1 Roads – I had a good idea on how they would fit and the hype that these had last year was that they were a top of the line shoe (but were firm and not very flexible). They are no longer the newest or greatest thing in the running shoe marketing wars, so they have fallen off the radar for many runners or a least those of us who believe we “need” the newest and greatest shoes.

Why did I decide to go with the N1 Roads?

Honestly, I do not need any real excuse to get another pair of running shoes, since I admittedly have a running shoe problem and enjoy the process of getting new shoes – WAY TOO MUCH.

Could I have gotten by with the shoes in the closet until November – mmmmm probably.

This was more of a – I wanted some new running shoes and when you add in that TheWife had given me her tacit permission to get a pair when she gave me money for my birthday, expressly to buy some new running shoes, that money was “burning a hole in my pocket”.

1. I “needed”, well let’s be honest, I wanted  a pair of multi-purpose daily trainers that I can do a variety of workouts in and feel comfortable doing them. Yes, I have the Meb2’s and Green Silence for planned faster paced workouts, N2 Roads for long or recovery runs (slower runs), GRR2’s for medium length runs (4-6 miles) at a comfortably fast paces and PI Peak II / Go Bionic Trails for – yeah trails and running on the dirt road down-back with Bennie. If all else failed, I have a pair of Brooks Launch that work just fine, but for some reason, I always manage to run in something else.

Even with all the specialty shoes, I still like to have that “all-around” light-weight trainer that I  wear for the majority of my runs, so I can change a workout on the fly and not feel like the shoes I am wearing will hold me back or not give me enough protection.

The N1’s according to everything that I have read and experienced with my N1 Trails fit this description exactly. A pair of light-weight daily trainers that can do a little of everything.

2. I have put more miles in Pearl Izumi running shoes than I have any other brand of running shoes this year, so I was very familiar with the PI Brand and happy with how they worked for me compared to the Brooks, Newton and newer Skechers line-up that I have run in.

The bottom-line was that I ran well in them in spite of some issues I had (mostly the firmness, inflexibility and letting some grit/pebbles inside the shoes). The only shoes that I have liked better than my PI’s were the Skechers GRR2’s and that was because they had a more responsive, flexible and cushioned feel than the N2 Road’s.

Running Shoes through 8-16-14
Running Shoes through 8-16-14

3. I had a really GREAT experiences with the N1 Trails and the one issue (it was a fatal flaw – letting in too much grit/pebbles) I had with them, shouldn’t be an issue with the road model. Hell, at one point I even said that they were one of the best running shoes that I have ever run in.

4. Since my knee started bothering when running longer in the GRR2’s, I have run a lot more in the N2 Roads and it helped me “remember” they are very comfortable and have a smooth ride, even if they are a lot firmer and inflexible when compared to the GRR2’s. However, they are great for putting in miles, as long as I am not looking to pick up the pace too much.

5. When I discussed my issues with the N1 Trails, with the Pearl Izumi Outlet Store in Conway, NH, they listened to me and didn’t poo-poo what I was experiencing as “my problem”. I was very impressed with their commitment to customer service and wanting consumers to be happy with the Pearl Izumi products.

This commitment to customer service was a big deal to me and made it so when it was time for me to get another pair of running shoes, I looked a lot closer at getting Pearl Izumi again. If it hadn’t been for my experience at the outlet store, I probably would not have chosen the N1’s and would have bought either the Kinvara 5 or Sayonara 2.

So do not say that great customer service from a brand representative does not make an impression or influence a consumer’s future shoe purchases, because for me I know it does make a difference. I am very loyal to those brands who treat me well and shoe line(s) that work well for me.

6. I got the N1 Roads at a GREAT, FANTASTIC deal on them from Sierra Trading Post and yes cost can be a big reason for me to choose one pair of running shoes over the others, when all other things are pretty much equal.

While I looked closely at other running shoe options, when it came right down to it, I felt more comfortable getting the Pearl Izumi’s, so I did.

All I have done so far is take them out of the box, try them on and wear them around the house for a couple of minutes. They fit exactly like I expected them to and now I can’t wait to run in them, hopefully today –  if my legs coöperate.

I will write-up my initial impressions after my first run in them.

Long Run – Cut Short – RunLog 8-15-14

Isabelle
Isabelle

Today’s long run was cut short, when TheWife pulled in front of me like something out of “Cops”. She told me I had to get in and we had to get home, because something had happened to our 11 year-old cat Isabelle.

We hurried home, she didn’t look good, couldn’t move her back legs, was drooling all over the place and her eyes were just not right. We hurried her to the vet down in Gardiner (yes, we called ahead).

They were fantastic, still not sure what happened, but after a few shots and some antibiotics – Isabelle seems to be doing a lot better.

Our critters are part of our family and when something is happening to one of them, we worry and try to get them taken care of. So we were relieved when we got home and she is doing a lot better.

Getting back to the run

I planned on running at around 9:00 minute pace for today’s run. I am not racing long distances this year and am focusing on just using my long runs to help improve my running efficiency.  Continue reading “Long Run – Cut Short – RunLog 8-15-14”

Not So Hot Still Humid – RunLog 8-14-14

Wow that was a pretty good storm on Wednesday night/Thursday early morning. Bennie and Joey, both cuddled in against me so much that I couldn’t move 🙂 , which meant that I didn’t get much sleep until the storm passed by.

Run #1

During the first run with Bennie, it was still sprinkling a little, so it was still pretty humid and even though the temps were okay, I worked up a good sweat.

We started out slow but as you can see…

Strava - Bennie Run 8-14-14
Strava – Bennie Run 8-14-14

Bennie really wasn’t into slow running again today, so we picked up the pace and then went into our usual “strides” pacing or car chasing mode, when a couple went by.

I did practice speeding up going into and coming out of a turn-around, instead of slowing down and then just plodding after coming out of it. Looking back at what I have done on my turn-arounds in training – I have been lazy with them and since my next 5K is an out and back, I need to practice going hard into it and then immediately getting back up to race pace, instead of just plodding out of it.

Also something that I picked up when I was reading Running Simply, is to practice finishing hard on a hill. Which makes perfect sense to me, to challenge myself to push harder at the end of a training run and finishing runs at the top of a hill, instead of the before the hill, will help me more in the long run.

Run #2

The rain had stopped, the humidity went up to about 80% and even though it was only 75F degrees, it was pretty miserable for running. It turned into a great 5.0 mile progression run, I started faster and went slower every mile 🙂 .

Strava Stats 8-14-14
Strava Stats 8-14-14

The humidity just wore me out.

I felt good, but at the same time I didn’t want to push too hard in that humidity, especially with a long run planned for Friday. So I just ran according to effort, when the effort got harder going up the hills, I slowed down, instead of pushing myself up the multiple hills on this course.

It wasn’t a great run, but I got the miles in that I wanted for today and I had to chuckle, when I saw the weekly mileage total of 26.2. Kind of funny, especially since I do not plan on running that distance until the fall of 2017, when I get into a new age group 🙂 .

Bennie Had His Own Plans – RunLog 8-13-14

Light rain toda
Light rain toda

Today was my favorite kind of weather to run in.

Low 60’s, light rain.

So it was a perfect morning for a run!

I was sore from yesterday’s two speed work sessions, my legs were toast, no pain, just sore and tired.

So today was going to be a recovery run(s) somewhere between 2-5 miles total.

As you can see Bennie and I went out slow and never really sped up all that much, although the pace was all over the place.

He really wasn’t in to running all that much faster today either. Continue reading “Bennie Had His Own Plans – RunLog 8-13-14”

A Tale of Two Runs – RunLog 8-11-14

The tale of two runs, one was fun and the other a struggle.

Customer Service

I had to deal with TomTom’s customer service this morning, while the person was attempting to be helpful, but when they are reading canned replies to my issues, it just made the call frustrating, especially when it was over and I didn’t get what I wanted. So when they sent their more information email, I responded with more information and due to the nature of the difficulties I am having with my TomTom Runner GPS watch, I requested a replacement, versus their planned sending parts and pieces out to me.

No acknowledgement of my request or even acknowledgement of my response to their email or my request to see if they got my email. Oh well, we will see what happens, but not really all that impressed this morning and I have dwelt on it most of the day – oh well.

Just one of those runner’s problems 🙂 .

I am glad that I didn’t get rid of my Garmin Forerunner 10, I hate having to use a phone app, but if I had to I would make it work. Fortunately, I just had to charge the FR10, update the software and it works like a champ. Getting GPS signal is a lot faster than when I stopped using it in February, which was my biggest issue with it. So far it has been rock solid, but it doesn’t have some of the capabilities that I like about my TomTom watch, so I want to get it back and working as soon as possible.

Run #1

So by the time Bennie and I headed out the door, I was fairly frustrated and needed a good run!

Strava - Bennie Run 8-11-14
Strava – Bennie Run 8-11-14

We ended up doing a few strides, nothing super fast or long, but it got our blood going and then when we got down to Bartlett, the people down there had let their beagle run loose and it decided it was going to come after us. We picked the pace up for a bit, Bandit is an older dog, so he is not into running fast or long anymore. He stopped running after about 20 yards and bayed at us, “saying you better not come back around these parts.”

When Bennie heard Bandit baying, he wanted to go get him, but he also wanted to run fast with me, so it was a bit of a struggle to get him to keep going down the road after we slowed down. Finally, Bandit quit baying, he got going again after the hill.

We did pick the pace up from Blake to the Lower Gate a bit. Even with Bandit interrupting our run a little, we still maintained a nice pace, in the Peak II’s.

Run #2

I had a few errands to do in Waterville and I really didn’t feel like doing another out and back at home and didn’t want to do a bunch of hills in the heat. So after I got done the errands, I went over to the Alfond Youth Center and did the mostly flat course, of course by now it was noon and it was hot. The AYC sign said 87F, which is a bit warm to run too fast, so my plans changed from doing a tempo run, to just running easy.

Strava Stats 8-11-14
Strava Stats 8-11-14

The first couple o f miles were pretty good, then over on First Rangeway, it might not seem it in a car, but when running it is almost all uphill over to KMD. I did okay on Silver St. but I was getting hot  and didn’t feel like pushing the pace in those temps. At this point, it was all about doing the miles and getting back to the truck. That little cross-over street with the little hill at the end – kicked my butt, and then I just ran enough to get 6.0 miles and stopped.

I ran in the PI N2 Roads and again they did just fine.

I was happy with the run and glad that I changed my goals for the run when I saw the temps, there is no sense in trying to hurt myself when it is that close to 90 degrees and  65% humidity.

Overall, a couple of very different runs, but both were necessary parts of my training. Getting in a little distance run and some speed work in earlier made me feel more confident about my running.

A Couple of Nice Runs – RunLog 8-10-14

I wanted to get 40 miles in this week, but after I only ran 2.5 miles yesterday, I needed almost 9.0 miles, not impossible, but still a bit daunting after how I felt on Friday’s long run.

It meant that I was going to split it up into two runs, one with Bennie and then one by myself.

Bennie Run

Just as I was getting ready to go out the door, I noticed that my TomTom GPS watch was missing the one-touch bezel. TheWife and I searched the house and it was just gone???? The watch can’t switch modes without it, you can’t start or stop the GPS functions. Now this sucked, I like my TomTom GPS watch, but without that bezel, it ain’t worth nothing.

Not a good way to start our run. I just threw on my old Timex Ironman and just ran.

IMG_20140810_093707_382

Continue reading “A Couple of Nice Runs – RunLog 8-10-14”

Speedwork Kind of Day – RunLog 8-5-14

Gorgeous summer day again today!

However, by the time I got out there it was in the 80’s which is great for the beach, but a little warmish for doing speedwork.

But it didn’t stop me!

When I put on my Meb’s, Bennie’s eye’s lit up, then when my GPS connected and beeped/buzzed – we were still in the house and he started bouncing all over the place. Hence one of his nicknames Bouncing Bennie 🙂

Run #1

Yeah Bennie didn’t want to worry about warming up and all that other foolishness that I have go through before we start our run, he was ready to fly. At first I kind of held back a little, but once we got around the corner, I just said what to hell, smiled and ran. Then it was the usual speed play with Bennie.

Strava Bennie Run 8-5-14
Strava Bennie Run 8-5-14

As you can see we did run a bit quicker than usual for the first mile and it felt good.  Some things were still tight, but didn’t interfere too much with the paces we were hitting.

It is was harder to keep up the pace, I just am not used to going this fast – for now. Continue reading “Speedwork Kind of Day – RunLog 8-5-14”

Week In Review – A Good Week 8-3-14

Now that was a pretty damn good week.

Meb and Me 8-3-14
Meb and Me 8-3-14

Getting to see so many great people down in Portland yesterday and yeah, getting my picture taken with Meb was cool too.

Doing a couple of sessions with “real” speedwork (at least for me) and getting over 40 miles for the week – felt good. Yes, I am tired, but a good tired.

Getting my Spreadsheet caught back up…I like Strava a lot and plan to keep using it, but at the same time there is just something about having control over your running data and not be reliant on a site, company or brand to make sure your data is always available to you. Continue reading “Week In Review – A Good Week 8-3-14”