Weather, Runnin My Test Course and Smiling at the End

Okay, I know that the weather and Mother Nature are very fickle by nature, but this week has been one of those weeks that I will never attempt to understand.

Monday – was okay, almost seasonable about 10* below normal.

Tuesday – cold arse rain

Wednesday – the winds and cold came – freezing up all that rain that was on the ground

Thursday – cold arse temps – like in 10*F/-12*C, but the winds died down

Friday – snow is predicted in the 6-10 inch range

Saturday – 47*F predicted to back to more seasonable temp.

What does all this mean – absolutely nothing probably other than I get to whine a lot about the weather. I just hope that this isn’t a harbinger of the weather that is going to whack us when winter actually gets here. It is supposed to be mid-fall.

So today was spent getting ready for the winter storm and lots of snow predicted, checking out the snowblower to make sure it started, getting extra gas, chopping ice piles out of the driveway – so the snowblower doesn’t bounce around as much and getting the fireplace ready again for the next power outage. I suppose I gotta finally get the generator out of the box and see how that runs.

Oh well – all the winter stuff is heah a month earlier than usual – that all.

I did get a run in, the roads are clear today and while it was still chilly in the high 20’s, the breeze wasn’t bad and with tomorrow’s forecast…well let’s just say getting outside was important today.

After yesterday’s run with Sam and some of our conversations, I had to get out the Tempo 9’s to see if they lived up to our conversation.Which meant that I was going to do my test course for the first time in a while.

I hadn’t planned on doing all that much, because it was still pretty cold and that usually negatively effects my breathing and the shoe’s midsoles. I really think that it doesn’t matter what compound or midsole material is used, that temps below freezing are going to affect the shoe’s cushioning.Well at least that is what I thought.

Starting off, the Tempo 9’s felt comfortable and since I have been running a bit in adidas shoes things were familiar with how the Boost midsole felt. No issues with the forefoot, midfoot or even the heel cup that I could feel in the first half mile.

Going down the steep downhill section was not an issue and when I hit the flats I might have lengthened out my stride just a tad and my mile splits were pretty decent. I ran the old Pepin course and went sub 8:00 for the split 2 – surprised.

I did have to stop at the bottom of Philbrick Hill for a very quick hide behind the tree and then get back to running up that hill. Sub 9:00 for that mile I will take since I wasn’t mentally into running hard uphill today.

Then getting back under 8:00 for that last mile was pretty good.

It didn’t feel like I was working as hard as usual to achieve those paces and I didn’t really think about the shoes all that much, other than the idea that I wasn’t thinking about them – a pretty good sign for me.

One big difference is that my Milestone app claimed that my average stride length was 49″ for this run and when running in other shoes this year it has consistently been 45-46″ – that is a pretty significant change in my mind. It will be interesting to see if that hold true for future runs as well.

The adidas Tempo 9s…hmmmm I ain’t saying nothing, but this was my third fastest time on my test course this year. The other two were in race day type shoes in much warmer weather and the Tempo 9s are going to be daily trainers for me. One run does not make a great shoe, but sometimes first impressions do come true and I am hoping that is the case with the Tempo 9s.

Now to get through tomorrow’s storm and see how the roads are – maybe I will get to Planet Fitness and a bit of time on the treadmill. Otherwise, if things aren’t too bad maybe I will play in the snow and get out a pair of Wildhorses to get outside in. πŸ™‚

A Trip South & Running With Sam

HOLY SMOLLEY BATMAN!!!

It was just a tad windy, not breezy last night, which means I might have gotten maybe four hours sleep over the course of the night. Every time I would just about drop off, another howling gust would roar through and it wasn’t any better this morning on Bennie’s walk.

Luckily the winds dried up most of the wet spots from yesterday’s deluge and there were only a few spots with black ice. Although the driveway did have a nasty glaze, enough that I had to spread sand up by the house.

However, we made it through the night without loosing power…

So I thought it might be pretty safe to make that trip down to New Hampshire, Go For A Run with Sam W, have some nice conversations over lunch, then hit the Kittery outlets on the way home.

Well two our of three ain’t bad. I got a nice, but cold and windy run in with Sam, had a really nice lunch, lots of great conversation, but got a text from Mary saying the power was out, just before we headed off on our run. Which of course kind of put a damper on enjoying the run as much as I would have otherwise.

Yeah, my mind was in two places, here I was enjoying myself – well at least enjoying the company and conversations with Sam, but worrying a little about Mary at the house without power. I knew she could get the fireplace going and all that, but I think it is pretty normal to think about hurrying things up a little to get home and make sure everything is okay.

Unfortunately, I was two and half to three hours away and according to her the expected time to get power back would be before I could get home. So I stuck around enjoyed myself the best I could and talked a lot about running shoes, politics and life with Sam for the New Castle Loop.

Of all the stuff that I could forget, I forgot my outer layer jacket and panicked for a second while waiting for Sam in the parking lot about what I was going to wear for a wind breaker, then I remembered my old Patagonia Anorak that I keep in the bottom of my gym bag for just this kind of situation. Phew, I thought I was going to have to go find a second hand shop really quickly to get a windbreaker type jacket. There was no way I was not wearing a jacket on top of my polar fleece vest, tech gear and tech t-shirt, the wind would have chilled me to the core.

I did get a chance to look at the Reebok Sweet Ride 2s and another pair of shoes that I can’t talk about, but looked pretty sweet. No photos of Sam below the knees today ;-).

The SR2s are a great looking shoe and the heel cup would not bother me like the Grasse Roads did. Unfortunately, there was something about how they upper stretched across my Tailor’s Bunionette that didn’t feel right and even though Sam offered to let me run in them, I declined based on that.

Instead I ran in my old adidas Response 2s and they did just fine.

So yes, it was blowin pretty good down there too. Luckily most of the major blasts were at our back (good planning on Sam’s part) and we were not at all interested in running faster anyway. He was still recovering from a pretty tough 1/2 marathon on Sunday and I had that hard speed workout yesterday. Still the temps were in the 20’s to start and with the wind chills it was cold.

Well look at how I was dressed. Sam is just tougher than I am, he wasn’t nearly as bundled up.

I did stop at a few places in Kittery on the way home. You know the adidas Outlet Store and while I was sorely tempted to buy both pair of their Adios 3s in size 8.5 for $29.95 with 75% off the second pair they had on the clearance rack. I am liking my AB3s but I don’t really need more race day or go faster shoes. Although I am sure that I will rue not going ahead and doing it. Also I looked at a couple of running jackets and while I was tempted I walked out without buying anything.

The Kittery Nike Store had nothing that interested me.

Then I stopped quickly at the New Balance outlet store, since I had to go to McDonalds for a time out. They had a pair of bright orange Fuel Cells in size 9.5 and that if they had been 9.0s might have turned my head a bit harder. I also tried on a pair of 1080 2E in a size 8.0 – I wish other shoes fit that well, but I just could not swallow the price on the (almost full retail) and walked away.

With the power out at home, while I had planned on stopping and doing some Christmas shopping, I just didn’t feel right about taking anymore time and to be honest felt a little guilty about the extra half hour I took in Kittery without buying anything.

After texting with Mary a few more times, I did stop in the Coast Guard Exchange in South Portland. I did get hit with more than a little nostalgia and sort of wished that I was back on active duty again, but I am too damned old now and would be more of a hindrance than an asset – just being honest. Being in the military is a young man’s or woman’s gig, not some old fart’s. I did pick up a bright orang Coast Guard t-shirt and a couple other things.

I got a text from Mary at the Gardiner toll booth that power was back, so that was a good thing! So by the time I got home she had things well in hand. I did get to take Bennie for his last walk – it was pretty short, the wind and the cold made the wind chills in the single digits. I also was able to cover up the vent pieces under our double-wide, so that the wind doesn’t just whistle through now.

Even with the heavy winds and chill temps on the run with Sam this morning it was one of those runs that I really enjoyed. Although my mind was not there as much as it could have been if Mary hadn’t lost power at home – sometimes you just have to make the best of the situation you have at hand.

As I write this the thermometer said 15*F and Weather bug is saying it is still a steady wind out of the NW at 18 mph with higher gusts. So the wind chills are now damn cold and while tomorrow is only going to be cold we are expecting a winter storm on Friday that will leave behind 6-10 inches of snow – according to Charlie Lopresti. We are only half-way through November and getting January/February weather, I wonder how bad those two worst months of Winter are going to be if we are getting this kind of weather already?

Oh well, we will get through it and come out the other side even stronger. πŸ™‚

Why Yes I Am A Wimpy Old Guy

Okay, the wife just called me a wimp…she was checking the weather forecast for tomorrow and let me know it wasn’t going to get out of the low 20*Fs. I am headed South to run with a friend and she asks me if we are going to run outside and continued on… after all you haven’t been running outside all that much when its cold or nasty lately, you’ve been kind of wimpy lately”.

Well now…I gotta admit that it is true.

Yeah as much as it hurts to admit it, I have been running inside on the treadmill more often this year than past years. It seems that older I get the less I enjoy running in the elements, you know those cold arse days or when it is raining and the temps are pretty close to that 32*F errr freezing temps.

Yeah, I am getting wimpy and I must say that I enjoy those treadmill runs in shorts and t-shirt versus being bundled up and either freezing my arse off, slip siding away on the ice of a new day or getting soaked and becoming hypothermic.

So as usual the wife is correct…err right or whatever you say when you just should say, “yes dear”. Heheheheehe Continue reading “Why Yes I Am A Wimpy Old Guy”

Veterans Day & a Nice Run Outside

I hope all the veterans out there had a good day and that the memories were the good ones.

This photo is in remembrance of my Grandfather who served in the Navy during WWII and was in Tokyo Harbor when the surrender was signed. He never would tell which ship he served on and didn’t talk all that much about where he was other than he – almost hit one of the Admirals (notice I used the plural form), with a 2×4 when he was attempting hit a rat, as a story he told when he was in his cups.

The little girl in the photo is my mother – I miss them both.

Getting back to today.

Today was a very nice late fall day, temps were in the low 30’s and a 6mph breeze out of the west, northwest, when I started and by the time I ended were in the high 30’s with as much sunshine as you could expect for November. Also I am starting to get acclimated to the colder temps so if we get any of those warmer days again, I will wilt quickly.

At the last minute I decided to check out how the Adios 3s would do on a longer for me run. I fully expected to run this at around a 9:00 minute or comfortable pace and wasn’t planning on pushing the pace either.

The first 3.0 miles were within 15 seconds of that 9:00 minute pace, but coming back down from Goodhue Road, I can’t held but pick up the pace fairly well. That downhill running thing, with the breeze almost behind me let me go a little quicker than on the way out. Plus there was a woman out running with her dog and I wanted to see if I could catch them somewhere on Tiffany. I never did see them again, but they also had about three quarters of mile head start from when I took off from Goodhue turn-around. πŸ™‚

Once I got to mile 5.0 to 6.0, (especially when I didn’t see the woman and her dog), I started to purposely slow down and then for the last mile I didn’t push Stevens Hill and while I picked it up a little after I got back on the tar, it wasn’t anything all that hard either.

The Adios 3s did better than the other shoes I currently have in my rotation as a comfortable daily trainer – which is scary to me. If I was to use them as my regular daily runners I would loosen up the lower laces just a tad. However, otherwise my feet felt better than they have in a while on this course.

Overall a very nice 7.0 mile run and the second fastest time on the course without trying to run fast on it. πŸ™‚

Adidas Response Boost 2 – 50 Mile Review

Okay, let’s get back to the running shoes I usually write about – those older ones that are on the closeout, clearance racks or found on eBay for really cheap prices. Like how I found the adidas Response Boost 2 TechFit back in September.

The price was more than right, they appeared to be nearly new from the lack of wear on the outsole and the real reason was that I really wanted to try running in adidas Boost running shoes again. Running shoes with the Boost midsole have always intrigued me, but the ones that I have run in the past just didn’t fit correctly, were WAY too heavy or I have been sticker shocked out of wanting or being able to buy them.

Also I was wondering if there are any differences between the Boost midsoles of the “serious” Boost shoes found in run specialty versus the those lower priced offerings found in the big box stores. Just one of those things I have always wondered about. If I figure out anything that might be its own post down the road, but for now let’s just say – it depends and leave it at that. Continue reading “Adidas Response Boost 2 – 50 Mile Review”

Saucony Breakthru 4 – 50 Mile Review

An almost current running shoe in the Saucony Breakthru 4s, what’s going on Harold?

A helluva deal on eBay and having some pretty good success running in some other Saucony models lately, gave me hope that the Breakthru 4s would be more in line with what would work even better for me, especially since they do not have the ISO Fit lacing.

I guess that is question I need to answer – did the Saucony Breakthru 4s work better for me? Continue reading “Saucony Breakthru 4 – 50 Mile Review”

Treadmilling for a Reason

Well we were not supposed to get any snow, guess what 2″ or so, somehow ended up in the yard overnight, with a nice drizzle with the temps hovering around 35*F, happening during Bennie’s first walk. Nope neither one of us were impressed to say the least.

Things were a little better on his long walk, but it was still cold and damp. Although that hunter I have been having issues with hasn’t been around since Tuesday. I have a sneaking suspicion that someone else called him in to the Game Warden service and they “politely” asked him to move on, especially since I have seen a pretty noticeable increase in their vehicles wandering through downback since Tuesday.

About where the tire tracks end – is where the hunter was sitting looking back up the road. Yeah he was almost sitting in the road.

Just because something might possibly be legal in someone’s eyes, does not always mean it is legal or safe. All I know is that I feel better about walking and running downback without him sitting on the side of the road, looking up towards Stevens hill with a loaded weapon in his hands. Might be a nice guy and all that other stuff, but where he was hunting was not a good place to do it.

By the time I got back with Bennie, the wet and cold had turned to wet, cold and raining. Now I will not melt in the rain or anything, but when it is around 35*F, raining hard, the breeze is picking up, the ground still has a bit of snow on it and the dirt road downback was saturated and starting to turn slimy. I am not into that much self abuse when I have a better alternative.

The treadmill at Planet Fitness.

So off I trundled to PF to get in 3-4 miles on the treadmill.

I was also going to get to run in my Reebok RunFasts too. The bright white shoes bouncing around outside during deer hunting season probably ain’t a real good idea and I haven’t been able to wear them outside besides on Sundays since it started.

Everything was pretty routine and running at a comfortable for me treadmill pace, at least until I got about a mile and half into the run. At that point I started to get that wonderful feeling of this ain’t gonna wait until 3-4 miles. I lasted to 2.2 miles and had to wobble off with clenched cheekers to the locker room. Made it.

When I got back out on the treadmill I just continued on at the same pace, but this time when I got to 1.0 mile I decided to do 5 strides to finish up the workout. I was wearing the Reebok RunFasts and they just were begging to go fast and I was feeling really good, so I figured that 5 x .1 wouldn’t bother me too much.

The strides went well and I haven’t run this fast on treadmill in a while, so it was nice to know that I still have a little bit of ummph still left in the old body.

Good choice by the old fart this time. Running in shorts, t-shirt and Reebok RunFasts on a treadmill, sure did beat running outside this morning geared up for cold weather running, getting soaked and having to wear my trail shoes.

First Time On the KRRT in a While

This was the tale of a run that nearly wasn’t.

All morning my right calf has been a bit tight, not really bothersome, but uncomfortable to walk on, but not really enough to make me stop either. So I wasn’t really thinking that this morning was going to be all that great a run, IF I even got around to doing one.

However, it was also gorgeous outside and with the weather forecast for tonight and next week, well this was going to be the last day running outside in shorts for a while I have a feeling.

Screenshot from Weatherbug App on 11/9/18

Also I needed to pickup a couple of things in-town – deodorant and toothpaste kind of things, which can be pretty important if you want to keep others in the household semi-happy with a stenchy runner. Yeah after I ran, I stopped and got both. πŸ™‚

All those thing put together meant that I was going to at least give it a go and see how the calf felt.

Now I haven’t run on the Kennebec River Rail Trail since they finished off the extension down to the lower parking lot and I really didn’t feel like wandering around the usual home routes, so I headed to Augusta to see the changes to Rail Trail head.

Actually, the changes are pretty nice, though coming up from the lower parking lot is a bit of a bump and would make you breath a lot harder during a race, but it will be a good training spot next summer to do some hill strides at the end of a run.

Enough of the other stuff, what about the run?

I actually warmed up, stretched the right leg a bit and figured that if it tightened up or tweaked a little, that I would shut it down and walk back to the truck.

“MMMM Houston what’s going on?”

After about the first 10 yards the right leg felt pretty good and running bothered less than walking on it??? So I kept it slow and the further I went the better the calf felt. So I figured why not just go with the flow and run comfortably.

My comfortable on the Rail Trail is always about 30 seconds faster than comfortable at home or Waterville – it does help that the KRRT is mostly flat and I don’t have to compete with cars, trucks or other vehicles that can totally ruin my day.

The pace was fairly consistent through the turn-around in Hallowell, although I did slow down a little when I went up the hill by the “Y”, to do a lap around Capitol Park. I may or may not have picked up the effort level just a tad coming back down the Park and the “Y” Hill. Then I probably maintained that same level of effort all the way back to the bridge.

Then I might have picked up the pace juuuussstttt a little going down to the lower parking lot, before backing off a lot along the sidewalk along the river and finishing at the flags.

Good Run.

Also a LOT faster than I expected after the first mile. The right calf didn’t talk nasty to me and while it was a little noticeable walking on it during cool down, it wasn’t as bad as it was before I ran, so that is a good thing.

Now to get ready for some sort of mixture of rain, sleet, snow and whatever else Mother Nature thinks is a good thing for tonight. πŸ™‚

Going Slower and then Slowing Down Some More

This one will be pretty short and sweet.

I ran a very comfortably paced 6.0 miles and purposely attempted to keep it slower. Sometimes going at a slower pace is harder than just simply running. When I got down to the first mile split, I was just over 9:00 minutes, still faster than I wanted.

So I slowed down some more and got about to where I wanted – that 9:30 or slower pace.

After that I just plugged along and enjoyed a nice November day.

I ran in the Response 2s and while they are doing okay at almost 50 miles, though I don’t think that I would go out of my way for another pair.

Running slow is hard to do and I prefer to run comfortably, which is not always slow. πŸ˜‰

Not flourescent orange, but at the same time I don’t think that anyone could in good conscience say they couldn’t see me.