As usual I am going to start last week’s review by showing my favorite photo:
Me go to Boston, what’s going on.
Well, I invited myself down to the Puma offices after being accepted into their wear-tester program. This was to clear up some questions about my shoe size and I wanted to learn who the other end of the phone/emails were. It was fun meeting John and Eric and I learned a lot.
Unfortunately learned that my foot size is not the size they are really looking for in a wear-tester. Which means that I am in their data base and could be asked to wear-test some shoes, but not to count on being a regular participant in the program.
In other words, I am not the perfect size 9.0 (or even close) that brands look for in their wear-testers. So I am in the data base, but really it comes down to “don’t call us, we’ll call you type of relationship”. Which is cool, but was disappointing. I did get to see some things and talk with John and Eric, and was impressed with the direction Puma Running is headed.
I also got to meet Sam W, another blogger who lives in New Hampshire and we went for a run and I know that I had a lot of fun and I got to see a bunch of different shoes that I have wanted to get a good look at. We even made a shoe swap, so I get try a couple different shoes that I have a lot of interest in.
Otherwise, the week was about getting used to and surviving the cold weather that we had.
Even though I don’t have a real training plan, I am running consistently and having fun.
Suddenly after running primarily in the 8:30 to 9:00 minute pace for a while, I popped up to sub 8:00’s for a couple of runs. Which completely surprised me. I blame the shoes for some of it and some of it is that I have run consistently for almost 4 months.
Overall, I have had a good 4 months of training and now for the next 2-3 weeks it is time to rest, releax, recovery and recuperate. I think that might be harder for me than just keeping on running would.
Coming into the week, I was in a bit of a quandry over what I would be running in for my primary trainers over the next few months. My N2 Roads needed to be retired, the N2 Tri’s were not going to work in cold weather, my N1’s have holes inside the heel cup and it is just a matter of time before they start to bother my heels. I even thought about starting to run in my Brooks Launch again and after one run abandoned that idea (I don’t like the way my heels drag).
I figured that worse case scenario, I could stop in Kittery and pickup something that I could use through the end of the year at one of the outlet stores. I had a couple of ideas, but wanted to put them on, before I said a whole more.
However, I left Puma in Boston with a pair of not released yet shoes to give them my thoughts on them, but not blog about them. Then the shoe swap with Sam added a couple more shoes into the mix, which was a good thing.
One of the stores that I wanted to stop at when I was going through Kittery, was the Puma Outlet Store even before I visited Puma in Boston. I have wanted to look a lot closer at their Mobium Elites for several months and see how they felt on my feet. Let’s just put it this way, if they would have had them in a size 8.0, I would have risked the wife’s rath and had another new pair of shoes in my hands. I liked the way they felt, but they what they had was too big. A pair of the Mobium’s will probably make it on my Christmas present request list.
So over the past week, my running shoe rotation has been re-vamped and I have been lucky enough to add some different shoes into it, without breaking the budget for a change.
Saucony Zealot – I received the Zealot that I received in a trade with another runner in a size 9.0. I like them a lot and have put 30 miles on them already. They are a true size 9.0 and are at least a full size too large for me, which makes wearing them less than perfect, but I am still running well in them. As a result of being too big, the ISO fit bootie tends to fold a little on both feet, which didn’t cause any problems, but felt “off”.
Part of the problem was that I had to cinch the stretchy laces too much to keep a good fit, which caused bunching problems. I changed out the laces with a pair of regular laces and that allowed me to not have to pull them as tight, to keep a good fit. Since I changed the laces, I haven’t had any issues with bunching and the fit/feel of the shoe is much improved for me. I like them a lot so far and if I had a pair of size 8’s I think the fit/feel would be superb…but beggars can’t be choosy” – right! The other thing I like is the firmer heel feel, over the soft feel of the Kinvara or other Saucony models I have tried on or worn lately. While they are not a racing flats, they do feel fast and I have run some quick times in them.
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads – You can read my decision on why to get them here and my first impressions here and my 50 mile review here. I got around to doing the 200 mile review and yes I still like them a lot. I have turned them into my Treadmill/Spare shoes, the heels are really starting to wear on the inside and sooner probably than later they will start to bother my heels, although the rest of the shoe is still fine.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads – My 200 mile review. They are now over 340 miles and my tell-tale right knee has advised me that it is time to retire them. So I have retired them to my yard shoes – you can read my retirement review here.
Pearl Izumi N2 Tri’s – I got these on a helluva deal through Sierra Trading Post and they seem to be very good shoes, here is my Initial Impressions of them. I did more than a few runs in them this week and yes, it is starting to get chilly up heah in Maine. During those runs I found out that the N2 Tri’s are cold feet magnets. While I did a good 10 miler in them my feet were frozen by the end, so I have decided to turn them into closet monsters until next April – they breath all too well for windy or cold days (below 40F). I have a feeling they will be great next spring and summer, but for now…well they ain’t winter shoes.
Newton Energy NR - I like the way the 8.5’s fit and feel on my feet. While I only ran once in them last week, I ran fine in them. However, I have chosen to make the Zealot’s my primary trainers for now and will keep these under the dresser until the Zealot’s wear out.
Skechers GoMeb 2 – Here is my 50 mile review of the GoMeb2′s. No runs in them this week.
Brooks Cascadia 8 – So far so good, here are my first impressions. They did great over on the Bond Brook trails and are smooth runners on the road for the amount of tread that they have. They are going to work well as my trail, cold-weather/winter running shoes. These are going to prove their worth over the next few months in the snow and slop.
Brooks Launch 1.0 – I am retiring these to become my winter walking shoes. I just didn’t like the way I tend to drag my heels as I land in them, so I wasn’t real happy with how they felt on a run, but as my primary walking shoe they are doing great. The multi-purpose tread design, give a lot better traction in bad weather than what I had used and they are comfortable for walking.
A lot of changes going on in the shoe department that has to do more with the weather than the shoes. I still really like the ride, fit, feel and comfort of the Pearl Izumi lines, but I picked the wrong road shoe in the N2 Tri’s for running up heah in Maine during the winter.
It does seem as though things work out the way they do for a reason.
The hamstrings/performis in both legs are tight, but the left side still bothers more than it should be, but is SLOOOOOWWWWWLLLLLY getting better.
None this week
The reality is that
I am a little disappointed that I more than likely won’t get too many opportunities to wear-test for Puma, but it is what it is and I got a chance to see the direction that Puma Running is heading. Like they told me, I am in the data base, so you never know, but I am not holding my breath ;-).
The other thing is that I did get to meet Sam, get a few pair of running shoes and got to look at the next pair of shoes that I want to add to my shoe rotation.
Overall, it was a good week and I even got acclimated to running in chillier temps.
After yesterday’s speedwork on the treadmill, I was due for a nice recovery run and planned to keep things around a 9:00 minute pace, with a little faster running after the Blake Road turn to the lower gate.
MMMMMMM hello Houston we have a problem, it is 58F degrees!!!
Why is that a problem , well I was definitely over-dressed originally and needed to go change into shorts and a long-sleeve merino wool top (which I pulled up the sleeves). Shorts and basically a t-shirt on November 25th, is crazy, especially when we are expecting a relatively major snowstorm tomorrow.
However, I will take it and smile
The only problem with this weather and all the rain we got yesterday, is that the dirt road down-back unfroze and became a muddy mess. Not that, that will stop us from running on it, but it does make things messy. It is funny how what shoes I am wearing makes such a big difference in my mindset and attitude towards mud. Continue reading →
Mission accomplished on both. Now I just hope that the weather is not a blizzard or more than a few inches of snow. Unfortunately, I was too late in registration to be guaranteed a t-shirt and Lisa jokingly said, “Harold, the only way you will get a t-shirt is if you win the race.”
I want a t-shirt, but I have a feeling that winning the race might be a bit difficult when I looked at some of the names on the list. However, they still have to show up and run, by the way did I say that I want a t-shirt – I will run hard, have fun and not get stupid for the next 3 days.
Part 1 of my speed work treadmill session on the treadmill. Continue reading →