Saucony Liberty ISO OG – 50 Mile Review

The Saucony Liberty ISO OG after 50 miles. Yeah, another shoe that version 2 has been released already. However, this is also a post that back in May I never thought that I would write, but here it is October and they finally made it to that magical 50 mile mark.

This review is too long for most readers, so if you don’t want to read a small book, here is the executive summary:

After about 25 miles of less than impressive runs in the Liberty ISO OGs back in May, I retired them to the closet and figured that I wouldn’t be running again in them anytime soon. After sitting in the closet for about 4 months, I decided that I would try the same operation on the inner bootie that I did on my Zealot 3s and it seemed to help a lot. I also changed the lacing pattern to get a more consistent fit each time I put them on and changed out the stock insole to an Ortholite one. These changes made a huge difference in how comfortable the Liberty ISOs were for me to run in and I have added them back into my regular running rotation.

Back to the long version. Continue reading “Saucony Liberty ISO OG – 50 Mile Review”

Friday’s 5.0 Miler – A Day Late

I started this last night, but I was just too damn drained to keep writing. So this is actually Friday’s RunLog post.

After taking yesterday (Thursday) off, I knew that I was going to get a few miles in today. It was just a question of when and where. We had to put new tires on Clifford (our van), do doggie day care, and grocery shop this morning. I got the doggie day care (referee duty) and everyone else got out of the house.

Lucky dogs, they got to spend time with me. I will have you know all three dogs and four cats survived the morning. 🙂 Oh yeah, I did as well.

Once we got settled again and someone else could referee, I headed out with a small difference. I decided to run in the Saucony Liberty v1 for the first time since May 19th. I liked the Liberty’s, but they didn’t seem to work with my feet, so I had decided to take a break from them for a few days.

Well that few days turned into a few months and since I have been resurrecting my Saucony rotation recently, it was appropriate to add back the Liberty’s.

I stopped running in them back in May for a couple of reasons:

1. They felt too damn firm and bothered my metatarsals when I ran more than 3-4 miles in them. I guess that is two reasons right there, but they were sort of related, so I put them together.

2. I had too many shoes going and not enough miles to go around.

So while I loved many things about the Liberty, there was not enough great stuff to keep me running in them with so many other options to choose from. Lately I have reduced the shoes that actually work for me down to a pretty reasonable number and decided to give some of the Saucony shoes another look.

I did a little relacing and cut about an inch incision into the front of the ISO Fit bootie to see if that alleviated the problems with the metatarsaglia that plagued me before with the Liberty’s. If that works, I will probably find a pair of white LockLaces to put in them.

During the run itself, the shoes were borderline very comfortable. They still feel too firm, but at the same time the Liberty’s didn’t cause that painful tingling sensation in my forefoot that had been the big issue in May. So there is cause for some optimism regarding keeping them in my current rotation.

However, I am pretty sure that after re-reading my RunLog entries from May, that I will have to replace the insole with something a little more forgiving (thicker) again, to combat the firmness in the forefoot. Otherwise I was very happy with the feel of the shoe while running.

It was a pretty perfect Fall day for nice run and the 5.0 miles went by pretty quickly. No serious pushing the pace, but a nice consistent effort throughout. I run fairly well in the Liberty’s, so it is worth the effort I am making to get them to work for me. The quality of the shoes and how long they should last if I can get them to fit properly would be nice.

Yeah, now to get the bill for fixing the Cherokee, it got towed down to the repair shop yesterday afternoon, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

A Surprise 10K After a Busy Day – RunLog 9-10-18

Another one of those busy days, that delays running until later in the day. The temps were in the low 40’s for Bennie’s first walk and during the second walk, it was still in the low 50’s. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am still acclimated to warmer weather and as much as I enjoy the cooler stuff, for now I am dressing a bit warmer than I would otherwise.

The busy day was running errands that needed to get done. We paid for the new kitchen sink and stuff, then started the process for getting the master bathroom updated/fixed – it needs it badly. Then stopped for some banking stuff. While it doesn’t seem like a whole lot, all this took a couple of hours to get things done. Then this afternoon, I was going to cut up an old blow down in the back yard, but I couldn’t get my 10 year-old chainsaw to keep running and ended up delimbing and cutting up the upper half of the up tree with my axe. I seriously thought about going ahead and running out to buy a new chainsaw, but we will see.

All I know is that if I had to use an axe very often, my upper body would look a lot different. No more of the Pillsbury Doughboy paunch that is for sure.

Finally, I got to get my run in. I was planning to do 5.0 down to Notta Road and the weather was really great. Overcast, low 60’s, a light breeze – in other words just what I like to run in, which played into my decision making later in the run.

I am still on a self-imposed speed restriction with the hamstring, so I was going to just run comfortably today. I planned on something in the 9:00 minute range.

I accomplished everything that I wanted. Of course I had a couple of pick-up and slow my arse down pretty quickly. The hamstring doesn’t mind the easy stuff, but when I started to stretch the leg out a little, it let me know without any question it was not ready for that stuff yet. So I got it through my thick head and slowed down, then kept it slow until the last part.

At about the 5.0 mile mark, my right forefoot, started that discomfort thing that happens when I run in my RunFasts. I am pretty sure it isn’t the shoes, because it would bother a long time before that point if it was. There must be something going on with my right foot. I will see when I try some other shoes tomorrow.

Oh yeah, I kept going when I got to Notta Road and did an extra mile or so to do the 10K versus 5.0 miles. Between the weather and how good I was feeling at that point, I just felt like I needed to keep going a little further.

I was very happy with the consistency of the pacing and how well I felt during the run. However, that right foot thing does have me perplexed.

Reebok Floatride RunFast – 50 Mile Review

Sometimes all the comments online, blog reviews and site reviews of a pair of running shoes get you all hyped up about wanting to get a pair. No, I am not talking about the Nike VaporFly 4% (can’t justify the ROI for an old slower runner like me), instead I am talking about the Reebok Floatride Run Fast, which has gotten a LOT of good words spoken about them online lately.

Good enough that when Mary told me to order a pair of whatever shoes I wanted (let’s not get stoopid here) as my birthday present, without a lot of thought going into the decision, I decided to go with the RunFasts. Continue reading “Reebok Floatride RunFast – 50 Mile Review”

Reebok FloatRide Run ULTK – First Run 8-22-18

This is the last of the three pair of Reebok’s that I got recently and they were the one pair that I wasn’t sure I liked from the beginning. Oh, they are comfortable enough, but I am not a huge fan of the plastic cage they use to support the knit upper, but more on that later.

I got them from eBay at a very nice price point versus the retail price of $150. I was concerned about some of the reviews that I read about them and how the plastic cage, heel hold and lacing were going to work for me, so that is the reason for the eBay buy.

When I got them in on August 11th, I was still having issues with the amount of skin that had been removed from under my left ankle by the Grasse Roads (since resolved) and the Run ULTK ankle well rubbed that sore spot just enough that I didn’t want to run in them quite yet.

Until today – eleven days later.

Since receiving the Run ULTKs I have used them as my primary walking shoes and they have been comfortable, but fussy. I hated the thick stock laces and replaced them, which caused other issues i.e. feeling the lace pressure a lot more than I usually do with a pair of shoes that has padding under them.

Another issue that I had was while walking in them it felt as though the heel wasn’t locked in and I attempted to resolve that sloppy feeling by using other lacing points on the plastic cage to try to hold the heel in more securely. While the lacing changes helped, they didn’t help enough to make that big of a difference and I went back to the stock lacing pattern for this first run.

I figured that I would do my 5.0 mile Middle Road Loop which has a combination of hills, tar, dirt shoulders, dirt roads to see how they felt on a variety of surfaces.

One thing I quickly learned is that the Run ULTK do have a different feel when running versus walking in them – they are much better. Somehow or another, the heel locks in and I do like the feeling of the FloatRide midsole – it feels very similar to the RunFast model, both good things.

During the run, I found that I could pick up the pace easily and they felt comfortable.

At the 2.0 mile point, I decided I wanted to see how they did when I picked up the pace a for about a mile. No issues and they felt comfortable, even going up a pretty good hill. I do like their multi-purpose tread, which did well down-back when it started raining and I got to try out the Run ULTK on wet dirt – no problems.

When I got to Stevens Hill, I shut it down, since I wanted to see how they felt at a slower paces. That way I would know if I could use them for recovery/easy runs as well as some tempo/fartlek stuff – the Run ULTK did very well at slower speeds, where I tend to heel strike a bit more.

The reality is that

I was initially skeptical that the Reebok FloatRide Run ULTK were going to be a part of my running shoe rotation. My experiences while walking several miles in them over the last week and half, left me less than enthusiastic about them as running shoes.

However, during this first run in the FR Run ULTK they were quite comfortable for running. The knit upper didn’t bother my Tailor’s Bunionette, but without padding under the laces, I could feel them against the top of my feet. It wasn’t bad…but it was enough that it was noticeable, but I have a feeling that if I ran in them regularly I would get used to the feeling.

While I am still a little leery of the plastic cage and lack of a padded area to alleviate lace bite, I will give them some time and more runs to see how they really are. This was a successful first run in them did give me reason to stop and think more about them as running shoes in my rotation, versus shoes that I will use primarily for walking.

However, I am wondering if they are a pair of the dreaded tweener shoes or if I will be able to use them primarily for recovery/easy/long run shoes, since I already have my go faster shoes in the Reebok RunFasts.

After all one of the pearls of wisdom that floats around in running shoe circles is to use the least amount of shoe that let’s you run the distances you want comfortably.

Time will tell.

Reebok OSR Grasse Road 50 Mile Review – 8-12-18

I can say that I have been on a Reebok running shoe kick for a couple of weeks. I have bought three pair and while things haven’t been perfect, things are starting to settle down to a pretty nice running shoe rotation.

The thing that I like best about the “new” style of Reebok running shoes (OSR and FloatRide) is that they feel great on the road, are wider in the toe box and hit a sweet spot for me when I run in them.

Enough so, that I am willing to overlook some the issues I have had with the heel cup or how my heels are held by the uppers on two of their shoes. Which is something I haven’t done for several years (shoes that do not fit right or cause blisters on my feet typically go away quickly).

First up is the Reebok OSR Grasse Roads, which I got on eBay for an pretty incredible price – under $30.00 delivered. No, I wasn’t crazy about the grayness, but at that price point for a new in the box pair of running shoes, well I couldn’t resist. Plus Sam over at Road, Trail, Run had given the Grasse Roads a pretty good write up back in the Spring. His opinion about running shoes is something that I take a lot of stock in. Continue reading “Reebok OSR Grasse Road 50 Mile Review – 8-12-18”

First Run – Reebok FloatRide Run Fast 8-10-18

Another first run in a pair of running shoes Harold. WTFO???

These are a little different – a pair of running shoes that were released recently and were a birthday present from Mary. They are also the one pair of running shoes this year that I wanted to try more than any other.

The Reebok FloatRide Run Fast. Yes, I have tried the Vapor Fly 4% :-).

I ran my shoe test course for their first run. It is a very good test of how a shoe is going to work for me.

Now I have run this course several times and run over a 1,000 miles this year and when I run this way, without going into race effort levels, it tells me that something has changed.

The only thing that changed today was that I was wearing the Reebok FloatRide RunFast running shoes.

I know that these times are nothing special and are probably pretty soft. At the same time I haven’t run this fast this year. These times are for 2018 only, but to do this on the first run in a pair of shoes, on a day when I couldn’t decide whether to crank it up or hold back to save myself for the 5K Race in the next morning – says something.

Let’s back up a little.

Reebok running has come a long ways over the past few years from what I can see and have gone from department store level of running shoes to shoes that elite runners are looking at closely. Which in my mind is a very good thing, since I enjoyed running in some of their offerings back in the mid 80’s/early 90’s. Glad to see that they have made an effort to get back to their running roots.

After UPS delivered the RunFast last night, I walked around the house and was immediately impressed. The fit was just slightly long, but I had ordered the 8.5 and I am a true to size 8.0, but otherwise I liked the way they felt on my feet. Unfortunately, they were delivered too close to supper to get a run in.

Which meant that I had to wait for that first run.

This morning was a bit crazy around the house and my run didn’t happen until after noon. Which meant it was the hottest part of the day and I had a few walks and doggie day care stuff that left me a bit more tired than I wanted for that first run.

Also tomorrow is the Doc & Marcie 5K in Waterville and I have planned for a while to run the race, so I didn’t want to get too crazy running in them today. At the same time I wanted to see what they would do, so I planned to run fairly hard down to the end of my test course (Pepin Road) and then go easy on the way back to see how they were at a slower pace and running up a big hill.

With that being said, the RunFast once I started to run, wanted to run fast.

I started out and just ran, I did purposely slow down a little at the speed limit sign and then sped back up once I started down the hill. I didn’t give a race level of effort, but I got a bit above comfortably hard through the end of the first mile.

While running down Philbrick Hill I didn’t feel beat up like I have in some shoes this year and was able to quickly transition from the hill to the flat section. No issues with the RunFasts.

Once I got down to Pepin I cruised to the end and then shut down the effort level.

Coming back I purposely just ran easy to see how the RunFast performed at slower paces. I could tell that I had pushed a little harder than usual coming down and paid for it going back up Philbrick, but the legs/shoes were not the issue. It was more that thing called being able to breath well that was the tough part.

No blisters, hotspots or anything other than let’s go faster from the RunFast’s.

The FloatRide RunFast’s are a scary arse shoe to me and I have a feeling will encourage me to run faster than I probably should at some point. They are an easy shoe to just “go” in.

Now to get some miles on them and see what they really can do, I just wish that I could do them justice, but they are shoes that deserve someone much faster than me to be wearing them.

You know a crazy old fart who refuses to admit he is getting too damn old to have toys like this that encourage him to be foolish. :-). Naw.

Happy Coast Guard Day & Grasse Roads Doing Fine – RunLog 8-4-18

For all you Coasties out there, Happy Coast Guard Day and Semper Paratus.

Being a Coastie will always be an important part of who I am.

Okay let’s get back to reality and the life I have now.

Congratulations to all of you who ran Beach to Beacon, it was a tough day for it, but a lot of you got it done: Sam, Tom, Ryan and so many others. Again, congratulations on your run there.

After yesterday’s successful shoe surgery on the Reebok OSR Grasse Roads and a good treadmill run, I really wanted to get them out on the road to see how they performed in the real world. I wanted to get 7-8 miles in and thought about running to here:

It seemed kind of fitting to run to Harold Drive on a rainy day, it is a 7.0 mile out and back course, that I can always add a lap onto at the end to get 8.0.

Yeah, it was raining…however, it was a nice warm summer’s rain, which I love, love to run in. This kind of run that will really show me how a pair of shoes is going to work for me.

The first mile was pretty slow, just getting warmed up and loosened up after yesterday’s faster treadmill run. Plus running on the dirt road was a bit squishy, while the Grass Road’s were not having any issues, they really are not made for a gravel slime run, so I kept it slower. Once I hit the tar down on Tiffany I did pick up the pace a little and the grip on the wet pavement was great.

Even though I went through a few downpours and may have jumped into a few puddles on purpose, my feet while wet, didn’t get any hotspots and the shoes seemed to drain the water out pretty quickly.

Tiffany Road has a definite crown to it and that crowning after the heel cup surgery was a non-issue (like it should have been originally). There was none of that rubbing under the ankle or the distraction of there being some pressure against the ankle area and wondering if I was going to loose more skin.

So I can confidently say that the shoe surgery on the heel cups of the Grasse Roads was a huge success, which now means that I can focus on just running in them, without worrying about ankle bite.

The other thing was I was very impressed with, was how quiet and smooth the Grasse Roads were on the wet pavement. There wasn’t any of that slapping stuff or heel drag, it was just a comfortable landing, smooth roll-through to toe-off and then repeat. Even when I was getting tired and it started to rain hard again during the last mile, I had a smooth stride. It was kind of nice.

Also I was able to pick up the pace pretty easily in them, when I wanted to. No, they will never be a “fast” shoe, but I can hold a nice 8:00 or so pace without any problems.

A really nice 8.0 miles in the rain, where I learned that the Reebok Grasse Roads allow me to run comfortably – what more can I ask for.

My Grasse Roads were not a limiting factor in my run and that is a great thing.

Shoe Heel Counter Surgery and 5.0 Treadmill – RunLog 8-3-18

This morning when I took Bennie for his long walk, it was pukey and when we were done I looked at my t-shirt and decided that running outside wasn’t going to happen today. I had simply walked two miles at a very leisurely pace and my t-shirt was soaked – not the kind of weather that I want to run in.

Also even though the Grasse Roads were better in the heel cup after manipulating the counter with a pair of pliers, I could still feel heel counter pressing/rubbing against my ankle. Not the feeling that I was anticipating or want. No it didn’t cause any blisters or rub the skin off, it was just…well not comfortable.

The white paper-like substance are pieces of the heel counters from both shoes and if you look closely you can see the incision just under overlay. 🙂

So I decided that a little arthroscopic shoe surgery on the heel counters on both shoes was in order. As you can see the tools were rather primitive but I got enough of the outside of the heel counter out that I couldn’t feel it anymore – which is all I wanted. The counter seemed to be made of some kind of hard waterproofed paper product. It probably would have molded to my feet eventually, but I am not crazy about breaking shoes, when I loose skin in the process.

Now for a test run to see how they feel.

Since I wasn’t going to run outside, it meant a trip to Planet Fitness and doing some miles on the treadmill. I didn’t get my mileage in yesterday the planned 30:00 minute run didn’t seem like enough, so I decided to between 5 and 6 at 7.6 mph or so.

The run itself went fine, no issues maintaining that speed and I felt good the entire way. When I got to 4.0 miles, I decided that 5.0 miles was enough for the day. Just 5.0 miles at a sub 8:00 pace on the treadmill on a summer day that was too hot to run outside.

How did the Grasse Roads do after their shoe surgery. Just fine.

No ankle biting on either ankle and the usual outside of the right forefoot didn’t bother at all. Everything just worked well and that is all I could ask for. Now to get some real miles on them to see how they work for me.

A pretty good confidence builder on the run and with the shoes.