New Balance Beacon – Initial Thoughts

My New Balance Beacons, a pair of reasonably newer shoes, even though a few images of version 2 are out in the wild, they are not available for purchase yet. So the original Beacon is still pretty current.

Let’s get something out there right now.

New Balance running shoes generally fit my feet better than any other brand in a men’s size 8.0, which is my true to size foot. I have not had a pair of New Balance running shoes that did not fit my Hobbit feet well. The problems with the New Balance daily trainers that I have tried is that they tend to be heavy, stiff, have high ankle wells and bother the hell out of my left foot’s Plantar Fascia.

If it were not for those reasons I would have been running in a LOT more of their shoes over the years.

Enter the New Balance Beacon. Continue reading

Being A Neighbor and a Tough But Good Run

Holy raining cats and dawgs!!! Yeah, can you believe it rain in Maine in January and actually it was a pretty good thing, I can’t imagine what kind of snow totals we would have had if it had come down as white shite…errr snow. Clean-up from the rain is definitely a lot easier on the body, but when it freezes up tonight it is going to be a regular skating rink, out in the driveway.

Yesterday was a scheduled day off and it probably have been easier to have run 5.0 miles than roof rake three very large roofs. After 4.5 hours of roof raking, needless to say I was pretty much toast by the time I got done.

Sometimes we just take things for granted. Like our health.

Last week we found out that the next door neighbor had a stroke back in November and while we thought something was going on, out of respect for their privacy we never really tried to find out what was going on.

While we have had our differences over the years, when I know that someone needs the help, you check egos at the door and offer to help. That was two of the roofs I got to rake yesterday that hadn’t been done this winter, in preparation for today’s storm.

What we didn’t know was that the wife also has stage IV cancer and has been traveling to Boston every couple of weeks for treatment. When I found that out, I were floored to say the least.

Sometimes life is strange, but sometimes doing the right things for the right reasons…is the right thing to do.

Even though when I left the house three hours later, I was sore and tired, the handshake, thank you and smile that I got was all I needed and accepted. I smiled back and told them thank you for letting me help and I can do anything else to help to let me know.

No, I am not patting myself on my back or anything else, I mention it because so often we are so busy going about living our daily lives that we don’t really notice the changes in our neighbors that may indicate that they are really struggling. Sometimes all it takes is asking “are you okay” or “what’s been going on”, especially when you notice things out of the ordinary going on around their place. Being a nosy neighbor is not always a bad thing.

Especially, when you can do something that could make their’s a little better.

Getting back to Running

So this morning my SOS workout was one of those ones where you really think about changing it to tomorrow, because my body was pretty much miserable from the heavy duty upper body workout yesterday. Then I got to thinking about my neighbors and their recent struggles – there wasn’t any doubt about doing the workout.

I am lucky and at the same time have worked hard to get my health to where it is today and to duck out on a workout after yesterday’s revelations is not something that I could do.

With the rain storm going on outside, it was another treadmill workout. However, I was going to get to run in my first new shoes since November (a new record) and was wondering how they would do?

New Balance Beacon. I was shocked that they came in under 7.0 ounces.

I was a little concerned about running in new shoes for a 7.0 mile planned tougher workout, but that is the primary reason that I got the Beacons, so I figured why not see what they are going to be like.

My workout was a 1.0 mile warm-up, 5.0 miles at ten seconds below race pace and then a mile cool-down.

The mile warm-up went nicely and the shoes felt fine.

I pushed the speed up to faster than my race pace and settled into a nice stride and just ran comfortably. Although I gotta admit about 3.0 miles into the faster pace stuff, I was definitely feeling the last week’s extra curricula activities of snowblowing and roof raking. When I got to mile 4.0, I decided to kick it up just a little for the last mile. A real sucker for punishment aren’t I?

It was a tough mile, but I got it done.

The cool-down felt good and I got the 7.0 miles done before the 60:00 cut-off on the treadmill – by five seconds. 🙂

One thing I is that I forgot my Garmin at home (I was charging it and when I left the house, it was still attached to the charger). So I had to rely on the treadmill and my Milestone Pod, which I put on the Beacons to see if I they changed any of my normal stride patterns from my adidas.

How did the Beacons do?

No issues, I stopped noticing them once I got to the faster paces and I could tell a difference with the extra cushion in the forefoot. The only difference that I will wonder about is the lower drop and how it will affect my left Achilles, but according to Milestone, there are no differences to my stride patterns, so I don’t see a lot of things that I need to worry about.

A good run and a more than a little reflection during the about life, health and what is a good neighbor.