First Run Skechers GOMeb Razor 2 – RunLog 5-20-18

I finally ran in the Skechers GOMeb Razor 2’s that Sam at Road, Trail, Run was nice enough to give me a few weeks ago. I have put off running in them because I was pretty sure they were going to be a bad pair of ankle biters and I really hate blisters.

The stiffer collar around the around the shoe didn’t give me confidence that I wouldn’t end up with a least a couple blisters under the outside portions of my ankles. I have run a couple of short runs with Bennie in them and even started a run and then turned around and got a different pair of running shoes on, because I didn’t like the way the shoes felt around my ankles.

So today after I decided to run in the Razor 2’s, it was with more than a little trepidation that started the run in them. However, I needed to know one way or another – if the Razor 2’s were going to work for me or not. Continue reading

Saucony Zealot ISO 3 – 50 Mile Review

Have you ever had a shoe that you bought, loved the initial step-in fit and feel that you decided that your first run in them was going to be your weekly long run. After about 3-4 miles in you go to yourself “you really are stoopid aren’t you!” Then you suffer more than you want for the rest of the run.

That is pretty much how I introduced myself to the Saucony Zealot 3’s a few weeks ago and since then I have been struggling to find that happy place of being able to run in these shoes without forefoot discomfort. Now to be honest, some of my discomfort with the Zealot’s is a function of how I run and how the Z3’s reward a slightly different running style – probably not really a bad thing.

However, there is just something that is “right” about the Zealot’s that I want to keep tweaking things to help me run more comfortably in the shoes.

Disclosure: These are a personal purchase through Amazon, all opinions and observations are definitely my own. Continue reading

Altra Running How I Would Love Thee At 4-6MM

Last Tuesday, I did something I have not done in a long, long time. I ran in Altra Running Shoes. Actually that day I ran short distances in three Altra Running Models and it reminded me of how much I loved Altra Running shoes and that I probably should try them again.

I have been thinking about Altra Running a lot since Tuesday.

Continue reading

Windy and Figuring Out Saucony Liberty – RunLog 5-11-18

Boy was it windy this morning with pretty steady breezes over 20 mph, but at least the temps were reasonable in the mid 40’s or so and 51*F by the time I got to Fred’s Coffee. Did I ever mention that I really dislike running in the wind – because I really do.

Enough moaning and groaning about the windy conditions, you can whine about the weather some other time Harold, because the weather is what it is.

I didn’t feel like the Middle Road loop, I wanted something a little longer, but didn’t feel like beating myself up on the hills around the house and also wanted to go a little longer.

So I went into Waterville and did the Colby Loop for just over 7.0 miles. The run itself was good and nothing to write home about other than I ran well, managed to accomplish everything that I wanted and didn’t get injured along the way.

One of the things that I wanted to accomplish was to figure out whether I liked the Saucony Liberty ISO or not. My first run in them around Back Cove in Portland didn’t really impress me all that much. Today I had originally planned on running in something else, however, when I got to Planet Fitness to change up, I got to thinking that I wanted to learn more about the Liberty’s and decided to use the them at the last moment.

When putting the Liberty’s back on my feet, (I had worn them over to the gym), I noticed when I retied that they felt a LOT more snug and I had to re-loosen the laces considerably and then be careful to not snug them up too much. I attribute this to the lace hole style and the ease with which the laces slide through the loops – a problem that I have had with other shoes with similar style of lacing.

Something that I had noticed in my first run is that the Liberty’s felt completely different to me on tar than they did on the dirt path section. Today on the roads I really liked the way the shoes felt and they do not pick up grit, pebbles or other road crap, which is nice.

To be honest the Liberty’s felt like they were a completely different shoe today on the roads.

They still felt fairly firm to me despite the Everun midsole and even though they are over 10 ounces, they run lighter than that. At about the 3.0 mile point, the bottom of my forefoot started to bother a little, not nearly as bad as the Zealot 3’s did in my first run at that point, but I was starting to think this wasn’t going to be good.

The Liberty’s do have ISO Fit and a sock liner, which is a bit looser than the Zealot in the forefoot, but still noticeably snug on my forefoot.

So I tried different things to see if I could alleviate or forestall the discomfort in the forefoot that I have experienced so often in the past.

  • Changing my stride length
  • Purposely altering how land
  • Running with my feet as straight as possible versus my usual duck run and toe off

When I started doing that last one, almost immediately the bottom of my feet stopped feeling as if they were going to bother. MMMMMM that’s was interesting.

So I kept running that way and found that my feet felt fine and the Liberty’s felt good as evidenced by the way I was able to pick the pace back up. Also the Liberty’s also let me know when I lost focus and started running more with my normal duck style, by starting to experience discomfort on the bottom of my forefoot.

When I ran with my feet straight, everything felt good as you can see by the mile splits above. Mile 3 and 4 was when I was experiencing some discomfort with my feet the rest of the way things cleared up pretty well.

Now I am not saying that a simple change to my form fixed everything with these shoes, but it was a good run and made a much better impression on me than my first run in them gave me.

Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come in the Liberty’s and they become a running shoe that I can rely on for my recovery and longer runs.

A good day today.

I might even get some practice at running without a duck-walk running form.

Hoka Bondi 5 – 50 errr 75 Mile Review

Hoka Bondi 5’s, probably one of the closest shoes I have in my rotation that is a recently released running shoe. It is also one of the toughest reviews I have done in a long time as you can probably tell just from the amount of time is has taken for me to get around to finishing this review.

Which I originally started back in December 2017.

I bought them up in Bangor at Triathlete Sports back in October 2017, when my right hip was whining and complaining about doing anything. At the time I believed that the great cushioning and inherent stability of the Bondi 5’s might be a part of the answer.

Unfortunately since that day and for a lot of reasons they have gone in and out of my running shoe rotation several times. I thought for a while I had solved some of the issues that I have with them, but after trying a bunch of different things my 50 or well in this case 75 mile review will also be my end of use review as well. Continue reading

Skechers GoRun Ride 7 – End of the Line Review

Probably my favorite running shoe in a long, long time. I was able to run any distance that I run, they were comfortable and believe it or not I ran almost as fast in them as I did my “fast” shoes.

Despite all the great things that I loved about them, unfortunately the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 only lasted just over 160 miles for me. It was not the outsole, midsole breaking down, a flaw in the shoe itself or anything like that.

Instead it was an old enemy that has plagued me with more than a few other running shoes – my left heel wore through the padding on the heel cup to the plastic. Based on my past experiences with this same issue, it will eventually either cause a blister in that area on my heel or the plastic will cause a sore spot that is very distracting.

So they will go away.

Also the right outside ankle well has worn through to the foam, which is just cosmetic, but still it is pretty low mileage for that to happen to my shoes and tells me that the side wall is a bit too high for my foot.

Damn I loved those shoes too, which means I get to whine and swear a bit a lot, especially since I ran so well in the GRR7’s and they were part of the solution for me being able to run several double-digit long runs over the past month or so.

So this really sucks.

Other than the wear in the heel/ankle area the Ride 7’s are in great shape, except for a little bit of Maine mud and dirt and normal outsole wear. I have no doubt that I could get at 300-400 miles out of the shoes if not for the wear areas.

Although I do have a hypothesis about why the heel cup wore through so quickly and if I am correct, it is at least partly my own fault. I put LockLaces in them from day one and I tend to like my shoes looser, so I didn’t lace them all the way to the last lace. Plus with those kind of laces, I just pull them off and on without taking time to loosen the laces at all.

The next time I get a pair of GoRun Ride 7’s, I will leave regular tie laces in the shoes and save the LockLaces for after I retire them, with hopefully at double or triple the mileage that this pair had.

I can see another pair of GoRun Ride 7’s coming in sometime around Father’s Day.

They are unlike some other shoes I have now – no fuss, no muss, just put them on and go running.

I miss that.

A Good 5.0 Miles in Zealot 3’s – RunLog 5/4/18

Finally, the run that I have wanted in my new Saucony Zealot 3’s!!!

No, I didn’t set any world land speed records today, although I did have my best time on the Middle Road Loop for 2018 and the big thing was that the bottom of my forefeet didn’t feel like they were on fire at any point during the run.

Both very good things.

For the first time I ran comfortably in the Zealot 3’s.

I did make a couple of changes to the Zealot’s after yesterday’s run and reading more about metatarsalgia. First I put in a lot thinner insole, which gave me more room in the toe box and second I put in a different pair of laces that were not as long or as stretchy as the stock laces.

When I laced up the Zealot’s I also didn’t crank down the laces to make the shoes super snug, I simply kept the lace loops as far apart as possible and then loosely put the laces in. I also used the last lace hole on the left foot and second to last lace hole on the right to see which works best.

These small changes don’t seem to be all that major, but they were just enough to make the Zealot’s much more comfortable.

Let’s get back to the run.

I wanted to do my regular Friday Middle Road Loop today and to see if the changes I had done to the Zealot’s had made a difference. However, while it was a bit muggy, it wasn’t horrible, but I also knew that I didn’t need to go out and hammer the course today with a race probably on Sunday and testing out the changes I had done.

So I started out pretty easy and going down Philbrick Hill I was glad that I wasn’t going hard when traffic got a little crazy. I made it past that fun section without loosing life or limb and didn’t even have a single horn tooting at me.

After that bit of fun, I did speed up a little.

However, with the mugginess, that did not last too long, but I maintained a pretty steady pace through 3.0 miles. Once I got to the Town Office, those last three hills took their toll.

By the time I got to Stevens Hill, the legs and my focus were pretty much gone. Although my feet still felt really good, even though I was hyper-aware of any little niggle, tightness or even how my socks felt.

I will be changing the lacing to the last hole on my right foot as well. It felt just a bit more secure on the heel cup.

Yes, while the time was the best time on this course in 2018, it was nothing spectacular, but for a run where I was not attempting to run fast, I was happy with the results. The most important thing about my run today was that the Zealot 3’s did not bother either of my feet and the smallish changes that I made yesterday seemed to have made a huge difference in how they felt during the run.

Good run.

Also a bit of throw-back with my wearing a race t-shirt from 2012.

Skechers Forza 3 – 50 Mile Review

A semi new shoe review for a change. Yes, they are the Forza 3, but they are the Houston marathon special edition and I bought them for a very reasonable price from Running Warehouse.

Unfortunately, they are a running shoe that doesn’t work for me, just the way it works sometimes. However, due to too many factors that do not work for me, they are a shoe that I don’t look forward to running in.

I have run treadmill workouts, double-digit long runs, medium distance runs outside in the rain, dirt roads and sand/salt mixtures on the side of the roads (a present from sanding the roads last winter). So I have a pretty good idea of how the Forza 3’s work for me on a variety of conditions and runs.

The Short Version

The Forza 3’s are a pair of running shoes that I can run in, but don’t look forward to using and as a result of my experiences in them have decided that they make better walking shoes than running shoes for me.

The Rest of the Story

There are three primary reasons for this:

Continue reading

Welcome Back the GRR7’s – RunLog 4/26/18

And then the rains came, it was just a bit wet out there this morning. However, it is a sign of Spring and it is not the white evil stuff, that also brings cold and an over abundance of clothes. However, the rains were enough that Bennie was not interested in walking outside any longer than he had to and I decided that the treadmill would be a bit kinder than the driving rain.

Plus I really did want to see if the changes that I made to the GoRun Ride 7’s had made enough of a difference that I would be able to run in them again, without worrying about whether they would blister my left heel and right outer ankle or not.

So I got on the treadmill at Planet Fitness and started out at 7.1 mph, I increased it a bit every couple of miles and had a really strong kick at the end. So the run was my typical treadmill run, get warmed-up, run, think about stopping at 3.0 miles, play tricks on myself to get through 5.0 and with only a mile left, start increasing the pace to under 8.00’s by the time I get to 5.75. Then go for a good kick at the end.

Yeah, a pretty typical treadmill run.

How did the GRR7’s do?

Drumroll please….

Fantastic!!!!

The heels felt locked in the entire run and the right ankle was not rubbing against the ankle well as a distraction. I don’t believe that the wear in the heel cup is going to be a big deal, now that everything is locked down. They didn’t bother at all during the run and had that cushioned ride/feel that I really love, but when I wanted to step up the pace a bit, the shoe firmed up nicely.

Welcome the GRR7’s back as my primary longer run/recovery shoes and yes, I am ecstatic about it.

It is amazing how such a small thing like changing the laces does for the runnability of a pair of shoes — at least in this instance it was very significant.

The true test will be next Tuesday when I go out and do a double-digit run and see how things feel then, but now I am excited about the possibilities again.

Good treadmill run and even better news about the GRR7’s.