Newton Gravity 5 – 50 Mile Review

I got my Gravity 5’s as an early Christmas from my Daughter back in early December and they have become my primary outside running shoes, when the winter roads in Maine are decent. That is why it took so to get them to the 50 mile review mark – the roads have been crap or the temps have been a bit chilly for running outside.

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However, I have finally got them up to that magical 50 miles, so it is time to review them.

Yes, I know the Newton Gravity series is up to #7 and I am a couple of years behind the newest release of a very good running shoe, but there are reasons.

  • First and foremost is the price at $175 the price of a brand spanking new pair of Gravity running shoes makes me grit my teeth pretty hard. Although many of the high-end running shoes are hitting this price and some much higher, my old dusty wallet just can’t justify those prices.
  • Second, the older styles are still fabulous running shoes and retain most (if not all) of the characteristics and technology that I love about the Gravity line.

Quick Thoughts

This is my third 50 mile review of a pair in the Newton Gravity line of running shoes. I had a pair of the original Gravity, (which required some shoe surgery to make them runnable – the side wall was too high and blistered my right ankle). I really am liking my Gravity 3’s which I am currently using very successfully as my treadmill/race day shoes (my 50 mile review of them here) and there are another pair of NIB Gravity 3’s in the closet waiting for the day they are needed. Continue reading

First Run in Newton Boco Sol AT – RunLog 2-2-18

Ummmm kind of a screwed day, but a great day to figure out whether I like the Newton Boco Sols or not.

We woke up to it snowing quite heavily, which made walking outside an adventure since the plow hadn’t gone by yet (it came while we were out there), then the snow stopped around 9:30 and left just enough in its wake that I needed to snow blow the driveway.

Not really a big deal, but still something else added to the gotta do it list. By the time I got done with the driveway, we had to take Bennie on his 2.0 mile walk to the end of the road and back. Which also gave me a good chance to check out the road conditions.

A lot of white ice from where they plowed and snow was covering the ice still left-over from the last ice storm. So walking was fairly tricky – again. During all this I was wearing the Boco Sols and they were impressing me, especially now that I have figured out that I can not wear socks with a top seam with them – it just doesn’t end well for my toes it seems.

I fixed the foot with a bit of athletic tape so that the rub wouldn’t bother while walking and got out my Darn Tough merino wool socks and didn’t hear a peep out of the foot and that owie at all the rest of the day.

Continue reading

Newton Gravity 3 – 50 Mile Review

Another discontinued/closeout running shoe to review. It seems that is about all that I do these days when it comes to reviewing shoes.

The Newton Gravity 3, that is correct the 3’s. Now I know that Newton will be coming out with the Gravity 7’s pretty soon, so why am I even bothering to review the Gravity 3’s?

Pretty much because I can.

Plus it gives me a baseline to compare them to a pair of the Gravity 5’s that I am using for clear days outside and for future models of the Gravity that I might get going forward.

MMMM Harold, it is almost as though you are thinking that you might be sticking with the Newton Gravity line.

Nothing is ever forever for me when it comes to running shoes or so it seems, but…

That being said, the Newton Kismet and Gravity lines are working well for me at this time. Maybe it is time to settle down and stick with a brand/models that are actually comfortable and so far have allowed me to “just run”. Instead of constantly searching and believing that the next “great” running shoe is going to be my “great” running shoe also. Doing this would be a pretty novel experience after going through more than 20 shoes a year for the past five years, without repeating a particular model line very often.

So it is a possibility, but if I do it will almost always be a model year or two behind the current edition of Newton Gravity running shoes. I just cannot justify to myself or TheWife the $175.00 price tag that getting the newest and greatest Newton Gravity’s entails – it is not that I am cheap. It is that kind of price tag for a pair of running shoes is a bitter pill for me to gag on.

Getting back to the Gravity 3’s

Disclosure of where/how I got the Gravity 3’s. Bennie ordered them for me for Christmas back in October from Amazon for an amazing price, but insisted that I couldn’t get them out until the big day. By November my Kismet 2’s were starting to show some serious wear, after I wore them for just about everything and I started to make some hints about opening up the G3’s a little early — some people were not that impressed with my efforts. However, to me it made perfectly good sense. There was just something about the Gravity 3’s that seemed “right” and I wanted to get them on my feet sooner than later, after I tried them on when they came in to ensure that the fit was right (they felt good and comfortable from the start).

Fortunately the crisis was averted when D2 got me a pair of Gravity 5’s as an early Christmas gift. Which meant that I couldn’t sweet talk Bennie or TheWife into letting me have the 3’s a bit earlier. So I dealt with not being able to get my feet in the Gravity 3’s by using the Gravity 5’s for outside (they just didn’t woo me like the 3’s did when I tried them on and ran in them) and Bondi 5’s for the treadmill, which didn’t end all that well.

First Run

The first run in the Gravity 3’s went better than I expected. Yes, it was a treadmill run and that is all I have done in them are treadmill runs. Our weather up heah from Christmas on has been a bit frightful – too damn many subzero days, icy roads or blizzard conditions, with very little decent weather for outside running. Plus, I am saving the Gravity 3’s from the mess outside for a while longer – after all I don’t want to dull the bright yellow glow that comes off them.

The G3’s have done well from 3-7 miles at all the speeds that I normally run 6.8 to 9.3 mph (not too much is done at the faster speeds anymore – Iam getting too damn old for a steady diet of that stuff). They do not get in the way of how I run and even protect me from myself when I go into heel striking mode (which I seem to do more than I thought I did). I have the video to prove it.

There were no issues with fit and the quality of the workmanship was definitely better than other shoes I have run in lately – it had better be for the original price point. I only a bit of discomfort from the front lugs (which I expected, since I had run in Newton’s before and knew pretty much what to expect for the first 50 miles. There is a definite difference between POP1 and POP2 and while I had started to run in the 5’s a little before I got the 3’s, I hadn’t completely transitioned over.

The Gravity 3’s are definitely “Harold” shoes. I love the bright yellow with black/red accents. It is definitely bright and no one can say they didn’t see this dumb runner, when I finally take them outside.

Other than that I can’t really say much more about them at 50 miles than…

The G3’s are working well for me.

Well enough that I took my Amazon gift cards and ordered another pair of Gravity 3’s.

I do like them better than the Gravity 5’s so far and I am not sure that it is just the appearance either. The G3’s have a slightly different feel than the G5’s, plus the 5’s weighed almost a full ounce more. Which put them more into the light-weight trainer category, than the 3’s which I consider to be more of a racer/light-weight trainer. It also meant that Newton did make some “other” changes to the 5’s – I just have not worn them enough yet to figure out what the differences are beyond the weight gain and some changes to the upper.

I can’t wait for the weather to clear up a little more, so I can take them outside and see what they do off the treadmill.

Changing the Comfort Zone in 2017

Yes, this is a bit of a long and convoluted end of year reflection. Knowing all that, I am not going to say that I will be sad to see 2017, finally be over. 2017 was the year of leaving my comfort zone, grieving for the loss of a loved one and changing my perspective on what I want from life going forward.

My blog is primarily a running blog, but so much of what happened during 2017 impacted my running that I decided to just go with the words that came to me during the writing process for this post. So while this might be a 4,000 plus word essay and not always in the order you expect, it captures my year in running and beyond.

Get a glass of something good, take your shoes off, find a nice place to relax and take a bit to read on about my 2017.

So What Happened in 2017?

I did make it to my 60th birthday, which is a good thing, plus Mary hasn’t hurt me too badly over my running shoe obsession and our relationship has grown stronger than ever over the course of the year.

It had to.

Work

2017 started off fairly routine. I was working almost full-time hours a week in a job that was supposed to be a part-time 25-29 hour a week part-time position as an Administrative Assistant. What I was really doing was proctoring exams and being part a team that worked great together. The work itself was fairly repetitive and routine (except for finals week), but I got to interact with students and faculty, which was for the most part was pretty decent.

I was working the 11-7 shift, which I hated, but sometimes it is who you are working with that matters more than what or when. That was the case with me working at UCLS, I liked the people I worked with a lot and I felt that what I was doing mattered, so I stuck around.

So my professional life was pretty good and I still had time to run in the mornings and/or at lunch.

Running was okay, but…

Unfortunately, I was focused on finding that magical pair of running shoes that would solve all my woes and still blaming my injury problems on running shoe fit or style. When in fact it was a combination of things beyond a what a pair of running shoes would do. More on that later.

I attempted to change things up a little in April/May by tracking my running only by time and not worry about mileage by moving away from the GPS world and using my trusty old Timex. I thought that only using the time would let me relax a little about my running. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it and while it had some advantages, I have logged my running by mileage for too many years. I went back to tracking by mileage and re-created the routes and got a close-enough mileage for that month and half.

Being able to use GPS to track my mileage, really has been a game-changer and allows me the freedom to explore, when in the past I would stick to known routes more because I knew the mileage than any other reason. I did move away from my FR35 with a heart rate monitor, I found that it bothered my sleep too much. For some reason, if I shifted my wrist just right it would flash that beam of light into my eyes and wake me up. Not a good thing. Mary’s Fitbit did the same thing to her, so we both got rid of the watches with Heart Rate monitors.

I moved on to a FR230, which does every thing that I want from a Smart Watch and she went back to the Timex and is very happy.

Actually, most of the spring and summer, I was finding that running longer than 3-4 miles (mostly with Bennie), was beginning to be more and more painful. Whenever I ran longer than that and often when I ran less, by the time I finished running, my feet, Achilles, hamstrings and hips bothered so much that I wondered all too often to myself, if it was actually worth running anymore.

Of course I minimized everything and made my running sound a lot better than it actually was. I was attempting to keep running and believed if I stopped and admitted how much the old body was actually hurting that I might — well…

I had a lot to think about with my running – mostly whether it was getting the point of needing to find another activity.

Yeah, it was that bad.

Other than working, running with Bennie, working around the house and doing a few things with Mary, life was going along pleasantly and a mostly mundane way.

Yeah, life had gotten into a pretty nice routine during the week: do Bennie’s 1.0 mile walk first thing, go for a 3-5 mile run with Bennie, eat lunch, go to work for 11:00 AM, run at work for my supper break, get home sometime between 7:30-8:30 PM, eat supper, go to bed – repeat. It was like that most weeks leading up to the summer, when I would be able to go on a day shift until the Fall semester started. I was looking forward to being on days for a while.

June 2, 2017

Life as we knew it changed on June 2nd.

I was at the first part of Facilitator Training in Augusta that Friday and I got a call from Mary just after noon, telling me that her brother Phil had died suddenly the day before. In shock, I rushed home, found out more and by 5:00 PM that afternoon we were in New Hampshire at the funeral home figuring out what happens next.

That next month was/is a blur, between figuring out the funeral arrangements, getting Mary’s sister here from Arkansas, to assessing what needed to be done with Phil’s house and the family camp, plus going through the Probate process was a very stressful time. Especially, since we all were still in shock over Phil’s sudden death.

One of the memories that will always stay with me during that week, was when I was driving back to Lancaster for Phil’s funeral and I stopped to get gas. I couldn’t get the card reader to read my debit card. What was actually happening – I couldn’t figure out that I needed to pull the card out for it to be read. My brain just couldn’t process what I had to do. I have only been using cards and card readers at the pump, since they came out, so it wasn’t something that was new to me. It was the grief, short circuiting the brain. I drove off in frustration without getting any gas.

I drove down the road a few miles and realized what happened. I did pull in get gas in the next town, but even then I had some issues with the card reader – my hand was shaking so bad that I had a hard time putting the card in. After having so many issues with something as routine as getting gas, I pulled over and at that point let out some of my emotions.

It was my breaking point. You can only remain strong for so long and then you have to release the emotions.

Only Bennie was riding with me and I am not one to reveal too many of my emotions in public or around others, but it was necessary and a part of my grieving process that day.

I did it privately, but I did it.

Cleaning and Repairs

I will not say that Phil was a hoarder, but…he sure was a heavy-duty pack rat. Everything had a place, but there was just so much of it and most of “those” places were pretty damn full. There was so much “stuff” that needed to be gone through, thrown out, sold, or given away to charity.

At the house the deck, furnace/heating systems, plumbing and roof needed to be and were professionally repaired (beyond my basic meatball skills). Plus there was lots of general cleaning that had to be done, before we could even think about selling the properties as part of the estate. Camp was more of the same, but there wasn’t a lot that was salvageable.

If I don’t make any other suggestion to anyone, I make this one – get a Will done or have it updated. Not so much for your peace of mind, but for the ones left behind when you die. A Will does make things easier for them and at that point that is what matters. They have enough on their minds without all the legal beagle crap having to be dealt with because you didn’t have a Will prepared/updated.

Getting down to the nitty gritty of how someone else lives their life and attempting to clean or remove “their” stuff is not always pleasant – they simply did not live their life the way you do yours. However, it did make us take a long look around our own house and we have begun the process of eliminating many things that are unnecessary parts of our lives now.

We will NEVER leave anyone with the kind of stuff that we had to deal with over there.

Needless to say it was a LOT of work.

Often we would work two to three days in New Hampshire in the house, while attempting to get the house ready to be sold – yeah, time and more than a little bit of money out of our pocket to get things done. It took us (with a lot of help from others), pretty much from June until October to finish the cleaning, sorting and repairs. There were several weeks during last summer where we were in New Hampshire more than we were home in Maine.

Having to go and physically check on the properties at least once a week, then spend the night in the house was especially tough on us both mentally and physically. We would just start to accept or move beyond certain points in the grieving process (it is a process), then it seemed that to me every time we were in New Hampshire, it just re-opened wounds that were just beginning to heal and we did that for almost six months.

It was tough.

However in October the camp sale went through and then in December the house sold. Selling both the properties did provide us with some closure on something that affected us to our cores.

We no longer had to go over to NH once a week, worry about the house there, when we were three hours away in Maine, especially with a pretty brutal winter predicted to look forward to. That idea was always in the back of our minds that we might have to pickup and leave suddenly for New Hampshire, without warning to “fix” something over there is gone.

Speaking for myself, I am tired in body and spirit, and need some down time to recover and finish the grieving process for Phil, without the continually re-opening something each time we had to return to his home. It was a tough time for me. I may attempt to pass myself off as a tough old coot, but it ain’t who I really am.

Katie and Family Visited

Luckily for me, my Katie and her family had been planning to visit Maine in June and they did. Which gave me a little respite from the grieving process in the middle of June. I got to see the grandchildren and Nathan (my son-in-law). Who I am extremely proud of the father and husband he has become. I got to see some of Acadia for the first time in a long time.

I also got to see Katie and got to know the grown-up woman and mother she has become. All good things. They live in Minnesota, so I don’t get to see a lot of them, but we do use technology to keep in touch. I will say that having the grandkids around for a week was fun, but they sure as hell could wear me out most days – but it was still fun! 🙂

Re-retiring Again

With all the stuff that was going on with Phil’s estate and looking at the amount of work ahead of us to clean, fix, and maintain properties in New Hampshire, helping SD2 with the maintenance of her house which was up for sale, in addition to keeping things reasonable at home. We decided that I needed to resign from my job at UCLS to focus on our personal lives and taking care of one another. His death had left a big void in both of our lives and definitely made us look at things very differently and changed our perspective and priorities.

So on June 30th, I left UCLS and retired again.

Thank you to everyone at UMA, who I was lucky enough to work with over the last two years. Heidi and Brenda you are both amazing people to work for and with – it was a pleasure. Helene, your photo is not here, but you kept me sane and/or at least gave me someone to whine to about things we had no control over. 🙂

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight retiring again was the correct choice and honestly the only choice that made sense.

Other Stuff

During October, SD2 was finally able to sell her house. So in addition to our Lancaster stuff, we had to help prepare for that. It was just another thing that added to the general stress level around the house as we needed to get things done there as well. It was something we had all been waiting for, so it was a good thing. However, the garage looks a LOT fuller, with most of her stuff in there for storage. Going from a house to a 1 bedroom apartment means a lot of stuff doesn’t fit and needed a place to be kept – our garage.

I foresee completely taking everything out of the garage at some point next summer and not a lot of “stuff” will go back in.

Jeremiah

We did take in Phil’s cat Jeremiah, after things settled down a bit in July. At first, we wondered if we had done the correct thing or not and had wounds to prove it. However, after a while things settled down and Jeremiah became a part of our family. Unfortunately, he had too many other medical issues and died in August. Which caused another flood of emotions, but we gave him a good home for the time he was with us.

Back to Running

This was the year that I turned 60 in August, a pretty big milestone in my opinion and at the start of 2017 I had some secret goals in mind for once I had that 60th birthday. Like running in several races to see how a newly minted age grouper could do, compared to that 50-year-old guy I had been.

Unfortunately, I only raced twice in 2017 and haven’t ran in a race yet as a 60-year- old.

My head and heart were just not into it after June and before that my body was betraying me.

I will run in a few more races next year – that I already know.

However, I continued to use running to keep me grounded and my head reasonably clear during the summer. Despite the aches and pains that were accumulating – I needed to run.

Unfortunately, the number of small niggles kept progressing to being more than little bothers. Yeah, I think working on the house and camp took its toll on my old body too, my days as a carpenter and general laborer are well behind me. When you added in so many 3 hour trips driving over or back from Lancaster, everything finally caught up with me.

After working at Phil’s house for over a week at the end of August, into September, my body finally started to really break down. During last part of September into October, I didn’t run much at all and figured that I needed to make some changes with my running if I wanted to keep running going forward.

That and eating more at McDonalds in the last six months than I probably have in the last 17 years. Not a diet change I recommend to anyone, but it was the most convenient way to get a quick meal and the timing was right for those necessary bathroom breaks, while doing a LOT of travelling

Cha Cha Changes

The biggest change is that I no longer run with Bennie.

It sucks, because we both love running together. Unfortunately for me, Bennie loves to run fast (a lot faster than I can run), which I found was one of the causes for me always having a niggle here or there.

Stop and think what doing speed work (Intervals) would do to your body, plus a spastic dog constantly pulling on a padded belt around your waist – wanting to go faster or suddenly stopping for whatever reason. What if you did them almost every day for months on end. My body couldn’t keep doing it. The final straw came in September when he zigged and I didn’t, which result in me hurting my right hip. That was the thing that finally shut me down from running for quite a while.

So no more running with Bean, now we just do lots of walking together. I think he is fine with it, because very seldom does he even try to run. Although, I know with that big heart of his, he would if I asked him to.

Also my running form has sucked for years and I needed to really look at things I could do to improve my running form/efficiency/technique. I remembered back in 2012 getting the Chi Running book for Christmas and reading it. Back then I attempted to use the program half-heartedly for a month or so and then moved on. However, I did remember some things from the book and after looking a few other running improvement programs over, decided to go with it.

I will not say that the Chi Running program “fixed” me or that running suddenly became effortless. It did not.

However, I have a feeling that my feeling better physically about my running has more to do with not running with Bennie than any improvement in my form or mechanics (which have improved, but not as drastically as the end results would lead you to believe), though I do believe it has helped me focus more on what I should be doing. Now to just do it more consistently.

While most of my Chi Running experiences have been positive, I have feeling that some things won’t make the final cut and will not be a part of Harold’s running going forward. It is more a one size fits all program and there are some things that don’t fit the direction I want to go. However, I would recommend that any runner who has a lot of injuries give it a go and see how it works for them.

Running Shoes

No end of year summary would be complete without me talking about running shoes. What else is new, I ran in too damn many, at least 24 pair of running shoes.

My running shoe of the year was a total surprise.

…the Newton Kismet 2.

I got them as a lark from LeftLane Sports (at a price I couldn’t resist) and when I tried them on, they just felt “right”. After that I didn’t want to wear much of anything else and for almost 2 months they were just about the only shoes I wore (for running or anything else that didn’t involve yard work). They were that comfortable.

However, like all good things, they were starting to show wear after being worn like that and I had to include a few more shoes in the rotation to keep them going for a while longer.

As I end the year my running shoe rotation looks a lot like this:

• Newton Kismet 2 – Wear them for most everything and if I am unsure of what to wear on a run, these find their way to my feet.

• Newton Gravity 5 – It took a little to get used to the POP1 versus POP2 and they are getting to be pretty comfortable, I will be using them for most of my outside runs, when I get to run outside.

• Newton Gravity 3 – I have added them to the rotation as my primary treadmill shoes. I have a feeling they will also be my race day running shoes of choice, when I start racing again (if the roads are clear). Shhhhhh after 2 runs in the Gravity 3, I ordered another pair with the Amazon gift cards I got for Christmas – yeah, I liked them that much. I will put them up in the closet and bring them out after the 5’s give up the ghost.

• Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent – Great so far for crappy weather walking and wearing, that double as my hiking shoes. I have a feeling that they will be getting some run time too as the weather turns nastier and down-back gets even worse than it is now.

Vehicles

We got rid of the Maxima, it was starting to show its age and after a long excursion down towards Rockland, I kind of figured out that it was time for it to find a new home. Mary and I had been sort of talking about looking a conversion van or something that we could use as a daily driver and still quickly convert it for use as a camper.

On a lark one evening we stopped at the local Ford dealership and after going into sticker shock and talking about what we really wanted from our next vehicle. We looked at a bunch of SUV’s, that just didn’t seem right, when saw the Ford Transit, we were intrigued. In the end we bought a new to us 2013 Ford Transit Connect, which is a front-wheel drive, pretty versatile, but smaller van.

No, we are not whacked in the head and we both like the looks (it is different), but we talked a lot during those many 3 hours trips to or from Lancaster. Next year we want to travel a bit, see some of the Country that we have not seen before. The Transit has been named Clifford and is one of the easiest vehicles to find in a parking lot that I have ever had.

That was the big reason for getting the Transit, it has a little more room, it is comfortable to drive longer distances in, gets over 30 mpg on the highway and with a little work, we can make it suitable for sleeping in. So we will see how that goes. Traveling will take us out of our comfort zone by quite a bit – we are basically homebodies.

The Ford Ranger, just keeps on going with minor repairs being needed from time-to-time. I really do not know what we would have done without it this summer. It did a Yeoman’s duty in carrying us safely back and forth on so many trips to New Hampshire, especially in December when the weather was getting nastier on the other side of the mountain. It carried a lot “stuff” over the course of the summer/fall and made several trips to Camp on a road that is tough on any vehicle. Ford tough – yeah, I like my Ford Ranger.

Technology

Technology and how I use it has always been a big thing in my life. This year was no different.

I stuck with WordPress.com as my blog host of choice and changed the name to one that is pretty familiar, just not at this web address.

Aging Runnah.

It fits who and what I am as a runner. So I have tried to keep things pretty simple here and it is my running log first and secondarily a life log/diary, so that I keep track of how I was feeling and what happen instead of having to rely on an often faulty memory. I can look back on that day and have my brain jogged about things that I thought were important enough to write about publicly, although a lot more probably did happen that I did not write about. My life is not that much of an open book for others to know everything that I do or think.

I have done good and stayed away from the third rail subjects by focusing more on what really happened in the life of an old fart versus, what he thinks of the topics that seem to be on everyone’s mind. My blog is my small contribution to the online pollution/proliferation of fact, fiction and fake news. 😉 Sometimes people need to read something other than my way or the highway shit.

Windows/Linux

Also in the spring after one more unwanted shut down, while I was in the middle of a small project by Windows 10, I decided to completely move away from the Windows Operating System. It isn’t that bad and I have used it since the original Windows 1.0. However, there were some privacy issues that concerned me about Win10 and the way the machine would take over and do its thing at times that were less than ideal had pissed me off more than a few times.

I had been playing around with dual-booting a few different Linux Distros and that afternoon – after Windows finally finished updating, I cleared my ASUS laptop of everything Windows. It was a rather drastic solution, but one that had been coming for a while. Over the course of the summer and fall, I played around with, learned a lot about Linux, tried multiple distros to see which one fit me the best.

I kept coming back to the Elementary Linux Distribution and it was eerily similar to how Apple’s MacOS from earlier days had functioned. I liked how it did things, but I got tired of having to play around in the Command Line to get things that I wanted to do – done.

One thing that I did learn was that if you are willing to put a little time and effort into many of the Linux distros, they work quite nicely and will do most everything you want right from the start. Also if you want to customize or change stuff around, there are guides and a very helpful community out there to give you all the assistance you need to get you to where you want to be.

However, in October my ASUS was starting to act up and I had a feeling that at some point (sooner than later), it was going to stop working. So I started thinking about a replacement and what I really needed from my primary computer now that I was retired and not wedded to any particular software or hardware requirements at work. When I was working, I preferred to have my primary computer be similar to what I use at work, just for the familiarity factor.

Apple

About the same time for various reasons, I switched back to the iPhone (my third go-round with IOS) from my Android smart phone. I liked many of the changes that had occurred in IOS and decided after a lot of thinking, reflecting and researching, I thought that moving to an iPad Pro 10.5 seemed like the best solution to my technology needs – as long as it had a keyboard that I could attach. I asked for one for Christmas and my wonderful wife obliged.

It just so happened that the ASUS finally went “pop” at the breakfast table one morning and I couldn’t coax it back to life – one more time. So I had to open my Christmas gift a bit early (the empty boxes were wrapped as a reminder that it was supposed to be a Christmas present) and have been using the iPad Pro 10.5 since as my primary and most of the time only computer.

I have been very pleased with the performance, ease of use, interoperability with my iPhone 7. I was very surprised at how quickly I acclimated to no mouse or trackpad, both things that I thought were indispensable parts of my computing experience. They are not.

At this point I don’t see me going back to a “real” laptop computer. The iPad Pro 10.5 does everything that I really want to do and does it well, plus it is a perfect complement to my iPhone 7 – they work well together. I have come to love the flexibility of the detachable keyboard and being able to just use the iPad for reading or watching something on it, without the keyboard getting in the way.

I can see me moving more and more into the Apple silo, if they keep improving IOS to where the devices that use it, are not seen as auxiliary devices, but as independent computers that are powerful in their own right.

Change is just the way it is in the world of technology and I am an inveterate tinkerer who loves to try new things, sometimes just to stay current, but this time it was to see if something works just a little better for me. I have a feeling that I have found something good in Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5.

The reality is that

The first part of 2017 was pretty routine, I was working at UMA, enjoying things for the most part and then when Phil died, life as we knew it changed.

Re-retiring at the end of June was the only real option, because I would not have been able to give UCLS/UMA the attention to detail, focus or personality that working there required. At some point during the summer I would probably have had a bad moment, had words with someone and walked away under less than cordial circumstances. So leaving when I did, was the right thing to do. I left on a high note.

I know that I wasn’t the same person by the end of the summer that I was at the start of June.

Looking at your own mortality changes what you think is important. I do believe that I now have a lot less tolerance or patience for stupid is as stupid does and really don’t much care what others think of me and how I chose to do things. Which at times probably ain’t the best thing in the workplace where patience and some deference is a necessity. As a retiree, it is almost expected, so I seem to fit that stereotype a bit better than I did the last time I retired.

From June to December we spent a lot of time in New Hampshire making at least a trip a week over there to work on the house and/or camp. The people in the area were for the most part pretty fantastic and helped us, do more than we would have been able to do on our own. We seriously considered moving there…it seemed in the short time that we were there that we had begun friendships with more people there, than we had here in Maine.

Phil’s house was a great little house and we both loved many of its features, but in the end, we decided that it would create too many other issues and that it would be better to stay in Maine and sell the properties in New Hampshire.

Running has gotten better than it has been in a long time and I am hopeful that next year is going to be the best year of running in a while. Especially, since it seems that I have solved some of my wandering eyes for new running shoes and am focusing more on running more efficiently than I have in the past.

There is a lot left out, because…well you all don’t need to hear or know everything there is to know about me and my personal life. Plus, I didn’t want to make this any longer than it already is – that small book thing. So 2017 was quite a year and a LOT happened.

Yeah, this was the year of moving outside of my comfort zone and re-looking at what I want from life, in whatever amount of time I have left. Hopefully, Mary and I both have long and fulfilling lives ahead of us, but as we learned this summer with Phil, you never know.

Yes, I plan to live the life l have well, with the love of my life.

Yeah, you too Bennie 😉

Here is to 2018 and may it be a great year in the life.

Newton Gravity V – Initial Impressions

An early Christmas gift from my daughter and one that came pretty timely. My Kismets are getting a bit long in the tooth and while they have more miles left on them, it is time to start getting ready to add in another pair to the rotation. Yep, another pair of older shoes that have been replaced, but still available.

Enter stage right the Newton Gravity V, my second pair of Newton Gravity line of running shoes. I had the originals and ran well in them and because of how well I have been running in the Kismets I decided to get another pair of Gravity’s.

The green colorway is not a favorite, but at least they are bright and annoying, so they are bright enough. In other words they are an obnoxious enough of a color that people will see them. Which is part of why I wear bright and obnoxious colors when I am running – I actually want to be seen on training runs…especially when I am running on the roads and this is where I will be running the majority of my runs in the Gravity’s.

Fit wise they are very close to the Kismet 2’s, although the toe box is slightly longer and the end a bit more pointed. It doesn’t seem to have affected how the fit feels, since the size 8.0 feels similar to the Kismet. In other words they fit quite well!

Which meant they were begging to be run in.

I try to do a Friday 5.0 miler most weeks and figured it would be a good test of how well the Gravity’s would do.

It was!

I went down-back and the road had frozen ruts that were starting to melt as I was going through. Which gave me a good idea of how they would be on uneven surfaces that has some skim frozen on top of frozen mud. Surprisingly they did better than I thought they would, at least I didn’t fall on my butt and still maintained a decent pace in-spite of what I was running on.

When I got back on the tar, I could definitely tell they were POP1 not 2’s. The lugs were much more noticeable and whenever I focused on the shoes, I could feel the difference. However, when I just ran I forgot about the differences and really didn’t notice the, front lugs. Which was a good thing.

I was also worried that I would have to adjust to the POP1 with my calves and Achilles. Guess what — didn’t have any issues. All the time that I have spent in the Kismets made the first run in the Gravity’s a LOT more comfortable than my previous experience running my first pair of Gravity’s.

I was able to pick up the pace when I wanted to and had to throttle back a couple of times on Tiffany. Today is not a fast run, it was a fun run where I got to just run. I didn’t use the metronome, helpful hints, timer or anything else. I just wanted to focus on how the Gravity’s were working.

First runs are usually an adventure and give you feedback on things you need to adjust or what doesn’t feel quite right. In this case about the only adjustment will be not tying the shoes as tightly, otherwise they felt really good during the run. They provided good feedback when I wasn’t running with my feet going forward, actually better than the Kismets do now. Which is another reason why I thought it might be time to start getting a new pair of Newton’s into the rotation sooner rather than later.

After finishing the run, no new aches or pains and that is what I am looking in a pair of new shoes – no new pains.

Just to be consistent I weighed the Gravity’s and they both came in a 9.0 ounces. Light for a daily trainer, but right in the ballpark that I am looking for in y daily trainers and only .2 less than the Kismets.

A very good first run in the Newton Gravity’s, let’s see how they do going forward.

Newton Kismet 2 – 50 Mile Review

Well it has been an interesting month in running shoes. The shoes that I bought at a premium price and thought would be the solution to many of my issues, are not the ones that I will be writing about. Actually they still have under 10 miles on them and are sitting in their box in the closet, with me having no plans of using them for running anytime soon.

No, the shoes that I found have worked the best for me were ones that bought on a whim and wasn’t sure that I would even use them all that much. Instead they have become my go to running shoes and yes, most everything else shoes too.

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They just fit well and are comfortable.

The Newton Kismet 2’s that I bought on closeout from Left Lane Sports for an easy on the wallet price.

They are my 4th pair of Newton’s and without a doubt my favorite pair. I thought when I ordered them that I would use them to tweak my running form, because the front lugs do help me think about how I am running. Continue reading

2017 – A Weird Year in Running Shoes

I can’t quite wrap my head around my running or running shoes this year. It has been one of surprises, too many ups and downs, not really running the way that I expected and trying far too many different running shoes over the course of the year.

Just some of the shoes that I have run in this year.

Oh, I know without a doubt that I have no brand loyalty, am a sucker for a great running shoe sale and am fickle as hell when it comes to running shoes, but this year has been the worst one yet. Even back when I was reviewing shoes as a regular part of my blogging I did not go through this many shoes in a year.

Over 20 at last count and no I really do not want to publish the exact number, TheWife is already unhappy enough with “her” husband’s “problem”.

A Little Background

According to my best guess and what the “experts” keep saying when they fit me, the length of my foot is somewhere between a 7.5 and 8.0 U.S, but in reality I have never been able to wear too many running shoes in that size range without a lot of discomfort.

When I complain about how uncomfortable those shoes are for me, the “experts”, just scratch their heads, wondering why I complain so much about how the shoes feel too damn uncomfortable, when they should be fitting just fine based on their measurements.

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Then again back in 2013, an ortho surgeon diagnosed my right foot as having a Tailor’s Bunionette and offered to surgically repair it, but I declined and since it wasn’t really that big a deal. Well really, it is not, but having this damn Tailor’s Bunionette continues to plague me to this day, when it comes to running comfortably in shoes that “should” fit me.

Even when I tell the shoe experts about that diagnosis, it doesn’t seem to make any difference in how they attempt to fit a running shoe to my feet. After measuring my feet, watching me walk or job a little bit, they still bring out the 7.5 to 8.0’s for me wear.

Silly salespeople.

By the time we usually get done finding a shoe that almost fits comfortably around that Tailor’s Bunionette, I usually have to wear at least an 8.5 and more often than not a 9.0 or 9.5 regular width shoe just to get the shoes to feel decent on my right foot. Then I have that extra inch or more at the end of the toebox, which I believe has an effect on other kinetic chain issues in my feet and legs, since the shoes do not really fit correctly, err they are too long.

Finally, after getting tired of running in shoes that were too long and not really comfortable, despite my best efforts to fool myself into hoping/believing that they would get better after I finally got them broke in. I decided to do a lot more research on what people who had issues with a Tailor’s Bunionette did for shoes. I learned a lot, but the biggest thing was when I read one article stating that many/most people with this condition often have to wear “wide” shoes.

That “eureka” moment, where things suddenly made perfect sense and I had a lot better idea of why no running shoes in “my size” fit the way that they should.

Yeah, I am so smart sometimes, it only took me about four years to figure it out.

Really smaht, ey.

Enough whine arsing about how things. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the post.

Running Shoes – So Far

So what running shoes did I use in 2017:

The dates by the shoes are the date of the first run in those shoes

It started out with me running primarily in Puma’s, yeah Puma’s. The prices were phenomenally cheap ($33.95 to $49.95 on Amazon) and I went overboard in getting too many pair, before I found out that they were not the answer. That damned shoe hoarder in me wanted to ensure that I had enough to get through the year at those prices.

12/25/16 – Puma Ignite Powercool (2 pair) – loved the feel, but hated the fit.

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12/25/16 – Puma Ignite Speed 300 (2 pair) – fast as hell shoes, but the narrowness of the toe box really, really was bothering my right foot and contributed to some serious soreness before I stopped running in them in February.

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1/4/17 – Puma Ignite Speed 600 – probably my favorite Puma running shoes, without any doubt.

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I ran well in them and I brought them out of the back of the garage a couple of times after moving on from my Puma fling to see if I could get them just a tad wider by stretching them out or my last effort was to cut away the side of the upper to let my bunionette have a little more room. It didn’t work and I sadly let them go. I have a feeling that if Puma ever came out with a EE-width version of this shoe, I would snap it up.

To be honest I really, really liked the Puma Speed series of running shoes but they had a huge problem, the toe box was just a little, well a lot too narrow in most of their models for my right foot and in February – I moved on to other shoes. I got tired of being in “suck it up buttercup” mode just to run in them.

11/10/16 – Next up I brought the Adidas Adios 3’s out of retirement, but they are not really a daily trainer. Even so on some runs I absolutely loved them and others I despised them. The bad runs began to out number the good ones and finally in September, when I realized that they were never going to really work for me – I gave up on them. No matter how much I wanted them to work they just were not. Damn nice shoe, but my right foot just couldn’t wear them more than 2-3 miles before it started complaining.

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2/7/17 – I did order a pair of Saucony Triumph ISO 2’s and got one 5k run in on the treadmill and quickly figuring out that they were just too small, even if I loved the way they felt on my feet.

12/25/17 & 9/27/16 – In mid February it was time to go back to the Mizuno Kazan 2’s, I had run decently in a pair of size 9.0’s during the fall of 2016, but when the snows came and they sucked in the snow, I retired them to the back of the garage, since they were worse than my road shoes in it. Plus I had gotten another pair of size 8.5’s for Christmas

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The tread pattern just clumped snow and they didn’t feel right or comfortable to run in, so they both went away after running in them both a few more times.

By mid February nothing was working and then I got the bright idea that I really needed to some research online and figured out that I had Hobbit feet (short and wide) and that instead of going with the “normal” D-width styles, that I needed to try out EE-width shoes.

However, I also found out that the offerings for wide shoes is considerably more limited than d-width and also that different brands have different ideas on what is considered a wide shoe and that there is no real standard, anymore than there is for shoe lengths.

2/18/17 – My first foray into the world of EE-width shoes was the New Balance 860 2E’s. It was a novel feeling to be able to run without discomfort or pain in my right foot for any distance.

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They were the Disney edition and heavier than I was used to, so I would alternate in the Adidas Adios 3’s for speedwork sessions. It was then that I realized how much of a difference being able to run pain-free felt.

2/27/17 – Then  found another pair of NB 860’s v5’s at the factory outlet for a crazy great price and alternated them into my rotation.

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3/15/17 – I was enjoying running pain-free for the first time in a long time. Enough that I ordered the New Balance Vazee Rush for faster runs – the size 8.0 in EE fit perfectly and felt good running in them.

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I had solidly gotten into running into New Balance brand of running shoes. They were not my first experiences with New Balance shoes, especially living in Maine where there is a factory and outlet stores fairly close by.

Unfortunately, as much as my right foot was enjoying the pain-free experience with the EE-width shoes, my old nemesis with New Balance shoes reared its ugly head.

  • Plantar Faciitis

I am not sure why or how it happens, but after running in New Balance running shoes for a while, that nasty little issue starts to raise its ugly head and goes from being a niggle (because I am too damned stoopid to stop running in the shoes that cause it), to being a show stopper.

However, the Plantar Faciitis problem just wouldn’t go away and as much as I was liking everything else about my NB running shoes, when walking started to be painful, it was time to look elsewhere.

4/7/17 – The elsewhere turned out to be the Saucony Guide 9 in size 8.0 EE.

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Initially, I thought the Guide 9’s were a part of the solution and while they didn’t bother my PF, they were an example of one brand’s idea of an EE-width not being the same as what I expected or needed. I liked the shoe, but they were too damn narrow in the toe box, which bothered my right foot too much and went away in May.

4/17/17 – I even took a chance on a pair of 880 v2’s that I found on the final discount rack at the factory store in Oxford – they sucked and I did one or two runs in them before they just went away.

I went back and tried my New Balance shoes a few more times later on, but with each of them, I could feel that familiar pulling on the PF after a run or two and finally just got rid of all but the Disney 860’s. They are still out in back of the garage and I don’t know why I am hanging on to them, but for some reason I can’t get rid of them quite yet.

4/28/17 – Next up was the Nike Vomero 11 in a size 8.0 EE. I love, loved, loved the shoe, it ran well for a heavier shoe, was comfortable as all get out and unfortunately, it had the same issue as the Guide 9’s – the toe box pressed in too much on my right foot. I ran in the V11’s through most of May and finally just gave up on them. They just bothered my right foot too much.

I was getting tired of running in suck it up mode after finding out with the New Balance shoes that I didn’t have to.

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I did my due diligence and researched what my next pair of running shoes should be. However, TheWife was starting to get a little WTFO about the number of running shoes I was going through, so cost was also another consideration during this figuring out what worked process – the cheaper shoes went over easier at home.

6/5/17 – Yeah, the broken record – another new pair of running shoes. I liked Hoka and had 3 pair of the Clifton 1’s, but stopped running in them, because the toe box just beat me up too much (sounds familiar right). However, all the reviews said that the Infinite was the “wide” Hoka and I was getting desperate to find a pair of running shoes that I could run in comfortable for both feet.

I ordered the Hoka Infinite’s they were under $50 and a great deal. However, when I started running in them, almost immediately I “knew” they were just a tad too narrow, but they were not as obnoxious as the Guide 9’s or Vomero 11’s, so I kept running in the Infinite’s, but I knew they were not the answer that I was looking for.

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I also found a pair of Hoka Challenger ATR’s (6/7/17) for real cheap on eBay ($15.00) and ran in them a couple of times – too narrow and they went away too.

7/1/17 – After a LOT research and stuff, I decided to go with the Mizuno Wave Rider 20’s in a 8.0 EE.

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I have a love/hate relationship with Mizuno shoes. The higher drop that most Mizuno shoes have don’t bother my Achilles (which have always been an issue), but the higher drop does something with my knees and usually between 100 to 200 miles, my right knee starts to bother, which is my sign that the shoes are no longer working for me – not sure why it happens that way – but it just does.

The WR 20’s came in a EE-width and all the reviewers seemed to rave about how great they were. Plus everything I read seemed to indicate that the ee-width was similar to New Balance’s ee-width shoes, so I took a chance. They fit perfectly and I ran in them for a couple of weeks and was starting to increase my mileage again, when I went out for a long run. At about 5.0 miles my left ankle began to kill and I made it to 10K and shut it down.

What to hell.

I ran in them for almost a month and a half and every time I would get around the 5.0 mile mark that left ankle (posterior tibalis – probably) would bother to the point where I had to shut it down. Not what I was looking for to say the least. I still have them and wear them for my walking shoes or emergency running shoes for short runs.

8/12/17 – Bennie tried to be helpful for my 60th birthday and got me a pair of Brooks Ghost 10’s. Brooks and I go back to the 70’s, but to be honest, I can’t say that recently I have had a lot of luck in their running shoes.

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However, the Brooks Ghost has always been one of those shoes that was always the “next” choice, but never the first choice. So I convinced Bennie to make it the choice this time.

Unfortunately, they didn’t work worth a damn for me, they have a rounded heel counter and it caused a blister on my right Achilles so bad that I couldn’t even wear the shoes, much less run in them after the second time I ran in then.

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I did like the feel and fit other than the blister issue on my heel and since I couldn’t return them after running down-back in them, I attempted some shoe surgery. Unfortunately, there was a lip  of material in the heel area that just bothered my foot too much and the Ghost 10’s went away after 3 runs – too bad because I did like them, but when a shoe blisters me like that I don’t have a lot of confidence in them not doing it again and they go away.

Luckily I was able to wear the Hoka Infinite without them bothering my blistered up right Achilles, but they definitely were too narrow in the right foot even when I walked in them and would eventually go away.

8/19/17 – I still hadn’t found any shoes that really worked for me this year and I settled for a pair of Under Armour Bandit 3’s on a whim. They fit well, no blisters, were light at 8.6 oz and I could run long in them without my left ankle bothering. Of all the shoes I ran in during this year these were the most surprising ones.

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Unfortunately, they felt so good that I used them for everything…walking, running long, running fast, running slow (which ended up not being slow enough) and running too fast, too much, too soon with Bennie urging me on.

Then on a run Bennie pulled left and I continued to attempt to run straight while flying along down on the flats (I was attempting to break my segment record) and did something to my right hip. At first it wasn’t anything serious, but when I went out and did a nice 7.0 miler on it in, without letting things calm down – well it was stoopid me.

The Bandit 3’s were too comfortable and I had done too much, too soon in a light-weight trainer, with my old body and it had broken down – again.

I haven’t given up on the Bandit 3’s, but I also know that I need to have a running shoe rotation, not just a single pair of running shoes that I go out and do everything in. They really are not enough shoe for recovery running and I am too tempted run faster than I am supposed to, too often, when I am wearing them.

9/24/17 – I liked the Bandit 3’s enough that I got the Under Armour Speedtire Ascent’s as my trail and crappy winter weather running shoes. They also double as my hiking shoes and have worked quite well.

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However, I don’t think that I would want to do any real long running in them, but up to 10K they would be fine and I don’t see me doing much longer trail runs than that anyway.

10/4/17 – Hoka Arahi 8.0 D – I accidentally somehow ordered the wrong size or at least that is the size I got in the mail. I tried them on once packaged the box back up and shipped them back – too damn small.

10/6/17 – Hoka Bondi 5 8.5 D – Not the Hoka I expected and it was kind of nice not needing the EE-width. Yeah the color choice was a lot better – so sue me I am a little vain.

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They are a heavier shoe than the 10.0 advertised, but they felt better than any of the 6 shoes that I actually tried on. The weight is really not all that bad, especially, since I plan to use them as my recovery runners and my primary running shoes until this hip flare-up goes away.

Looking back

I learned a lot about running shoes this year.

  1. I have Hobbit feet and need wider shoes than most runners.
  2. Going up in size is not always the best answer, flex points designed in your shoes need to match where your feet are supposed to flex.
  3. Not all EE-width shoes are going to fit the same, anymore than standard width shoes are going to fit the same from different brands, hell let’s be real between different styles within a brand. My experience was that Saucony and Nike EE-width shoes are still too narrow for me.
  4. That most brands make their EE-width shoes in boring colorways. Not that that should matter, but I like those bright neon colorways and boring shoes are such a turn-off. Yeah I know, but that is just the way I am.
  5. Running shoes get pretty damned expensive after buying 20 plus pair and TheWife called me on it.
  6. Just because there is a helluva deal on a pair of running shoes, doesn’t mean that I need to order them, plus a couple of extra pair only to find out that they do not work the way that I anticipated and then get stuck with too many pair that don’t work.
  7. Yeah, I have had too damn many running shoes this year and there are still 2 1/2 months left.

Scary isn’t it.

This doesn’t include the Adidas Tempo 8’s, Adidas Sonics and other shoes that I ordered, got home and immediately put back in the shipping box, because they were too small or didn’t fit the way that I wanted.

I have learned that unless I can actually try on a pair of running shoes first that I probably should not order them for the first time online. There were too many times that I ordered running shoes, that if I had tried them on before ordering them that I definitely would not have gotten them.

It just means that I am going to have to spend the extra time and money drive to Bangor, Brunswick or Portland to actually try on running shoes instead of wasting, yes wasting, so much money online for shoes that might seem to be cheaper at first, but never seem to fit correctly.

That is as long as the stores carry EE-width versions of shoes that I want to try.

Sort of like going back to the old way of doing things – you know try the running shoes on before you buy them.

Well I still have a couple of months left in the year, I wonder how many more pair of running shoes I will go through?

It would be nice if I could get a nice 3 shoe rotation of:

  • Hoka Bondi 5
  • Under Armour Bandit 3
  • Newton Kismet 2 – yes, I couldn’t resist one last splurge at an irresistible price point.

hehehehe Horrible aren’t I.

  • with Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent for nasty weather winter and trail running and as my hiking shoes

Yeah, I have a running shoe problem, but at least I admit it, but TheWife wants me to do something about it this time.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This has been the story of 2017, every time I seem to start making progress, I have to take a step back.

Yesterday, I got the running shoes that I originally wanted back at the end of August from Triathlon Sports up in Bangor. Something with a little more cush to them for the old bones – Hoka Bondi 5’s. I got to try on more than a few shoes, including the Bondi 5’s in 8.0 EE, but when it came right down to it Bondi 5 in 8.5 D’s felt the best and were bright enough to compete with the sunshine outside, so I got them.

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Yeah about as cush as you can get. The Bandit 3’s will still be in the rotation, but more as a tempo or race day shoe (for now), because they are comfy and I run comfortably in them at faster for me speeds.

That is once I get this hip niggle taken care of.

Looking at my Strava running log for the past couple of weeks this niggle in my hip has really cramped my running style.

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However, I was feeling pretty good yesterday, so once I got the Bondi’s, I headed over to Bangor City Forest and planned on doing the 4.0 mile loop.

The Bondi’s performed exactly the way that I wanted for 2.2 miles, I even picked up the pace a little, just to see how they would do at little quicker speed.

No problems with the shoes.

Unfortunately, the hip wasn’t as good natured. I had run along at a faster pace for about a quarter mile on the trail and the hip started to tell me running faster wasn’t part of the deal today. So I slowed back down, but by that point the hip was unhappy and telling me what a jerk I was.

I coasted along hoping that it would loosen back up, but at 2.8 it told me in no uncertain terms that at 3.0 miles we were going to be done.

It wasn’t THAT bad and I could have kept running to finish off the 4.0, but at this point I am trying really hard to not piss the hip off too much and agreed that walking that last mile, was a better idea than pushing to run it.

This new me is taking some getting used to, I am not in the habit of stopping a run and listening to my body this closely. The old me would just go into suck it up buttercup mode and finish the run. Which would probably hurt more or create new issues for me.

Fortunately, the hip didn’t mind the walk and by the time I finished walking the mile back to the truck, it was feeling fine. A little sore, but no limping or gimping, which would have been the case if I had kept running.

It also gave me a chance to really check out the Bondi 5’s on the groomed trail and they did just fine. Another way that I have to find out if a pair of running shoes are too narrow is how they feel when I drive in them for a while. Well Bangor to home is almost an hour and half, during which the Bondi’s felt fine. None of that tight, numbness that a too narrow running shoe causes while driving.

So we will see how the hip feels today, it is a little sore, so it might mean another day off, but then again we will see how things feel after a walk with Bennie.

All I know is that while I haven’t had any major injuries this year, the niggles just seem to keep piling up and I gotta let them heal completely, before heading out the door to run again. So I guess 2.0 miles is about the limit for a while with the running, then doing 20-30 minutes on the elliptical before supper. When you add those in with all the walking, I suppose it is enough to keep me out of too much trouble.

But damn, I still want to run and start training again.

Patience grasshopper.

Started Great, Ended Up Sucking – RunLog 9-14-17

Some days, you think that you are going to have a great run and it starts out fantastic. Then suddenly “bam”, everything goes to shit.

Yeah, that is basically the run that I had this morning.

However, we did get a lot of work done around the house this afternoon. After our running this morning. We both had tough runs, but Mary is tougher than I am and finished hers.

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One thing I am learning as I get frigging older (just a little frustration), is that it does take me longer to recover from stuff. Last weekend we cleaned up/out camp and physically I went pretty deep into the well. You know that gotta show that we can keep up with the young fellas mentality that old farts have to do.

Just part of the deal.

The problem is that old farts pay for it.

I am an old fart and last weekend really proved it to me.

All week I have been feeling fatigued, exhausted and all those other things to describe that I am just tired – mentally and physically.

This morning I was feeling decent and took Bennie for a walk down to the brook and back. I wore the Adidas Adios Boost 3’s and about 2 miles into the walk remembered how the shoes always started to bother right about that point on most runs that I did in them, but never had a lot of time to think about it carefully during a run, when I am attempting to finish it.

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Everything else felt decent and while I was walking I thought about all the running shoes and other gear that I have laying around that does not fit or work the way I want. When I got home, I went through the shoes and got rid of the Ghost 10’s, Adios Boost 3’s, Challenger 2’s and some shirts that have gotten into the high stink zone.

Enough crap stuff, how about that Middle Road Loop 5.0 mile run.

I surprised myself going down the hill, I actually picked up the pace pretty good and went through the first mile sub 8:00, which I haven’t done in a while. I was feeling pretty good and not really working all that hard, so I kept the pace steady through mile 2.0 and had another sub 8:00 mile.

Unfortunately, once I got by the farm, the sun came out in all its glory, which raised the temps quickly in the open areas and then when I got down to the Middle Road, the wind was at my back. I was starting to bake or was that broil the length of this section.

Going up the hill by the Warren’s, everything fell apart.

It was like somebody stuck a needle in a balloon and all the air came out at once in a big pop. By the time I got to the top of the hill any thoughts I had about turning in a great run went out the window – I was focused on surviving and getting back home. I went from sub 8:00’s the first two miles to over 9:00 for mile 3.0 and walked up the hill by the Town Office – yeah I walked it.

Once I got past the big tree, I forced myself to start in again, it SUCKED bad. There was no way I was going to run up Blake and Stevens Hill, so I decided to bag the run at 4.0 miles. Even knowing that I was stopping at 4.0, I couldn’t pick that pace back up to anything more than 10:00 minute pace.

When I stopped, I needed to stop.

The run wasn’t going to get better and suffering another mile wasn’t going to do anything positive and at this point in my training, it would not have served any purpose other than to injure something.

Some runs are like that…you start out great and then suddenly the bottom drops out. When I got back to the house and uploaded the data to Garmin Connect, I was able to figure out a little bit of what happened when I looked at the weather. When I started it was 70*F and 73% humidity. Not horrendous to start in, but the heat, humidity, lack of breeze and broiling in the bright sun set me up to crash and burn due to the faster than usual pace I attempted.

Also I don’t think that I have fully recovered from the weekend of work quite yet.

Oh well, put this in the basket – a forgettable run that I will learn from, but not stress out about it – bad runs happen – crash and burns happen.

Just remember those first 2.0 miles were actually pretty damn good.

Time to let go and move on.

Tonight Mary and I had a date night and went out to supper at Slates in Hallowell. We had a nice relaxing meal, the food was great and we had the entire upstairs to ourselves for almost 45 minutes (yeah, it was nice). We gabbed, talked, laughed and just had a good time relaxing and enjoying each other’s company, without having to work while we are together.

Something we haven’t done in a long time.

Overall, a pretty good day.