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.

IMG_0173.jpg

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.

img_20140321_121946_557

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.

img_20161225_152807107

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.

kimg0099

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

img_20170105_175259863

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.

img_20161109_200515366

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

kimg0150.jpg

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.

kimg0218

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.

kimg0235

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.

KIMG0507

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.

KIMG0461

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.

KIMG0544

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.

KIMG0661

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.

KIMG0955

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.

KIMG1231

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.

KIMG1260

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.

KIMG1265

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.

KIMG1700.JPG

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.

KIMG1698

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.

KIMG1689

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.

screenshot-www.strava.com 2017-10-07 08-33-20-983

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.

KIMG1513.JPG

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.

KIMG1512

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.

Under Armour Bandit 3 – 50+ Mile Review

This is a shoe that I never expected to get, much less like as much as I do. It was one of those shoes you get because nothing else is really working and the store you wanted to shop at for the shoes you wanted to shop at in Bangor was closed.

KIMG1510

I went to Dick’s and it came down to the Bandit 3 and another pair – the Bandit’s won based on their sole not being a rock collector. Otherwise they were very similar to a pair of Nike Free’s with the knit upper or whatever Nike is calling them nowadays.

I have 75 miles on the Bandits and probably at least another 30 miles of walking in them.

The Bandit 3’s are my fourth pair of Under Armour running shoes over the past couple of years and without a doubt the best pair yet. I had the Bandit 2’s and while liked them, they had problems with my foot going over the side if I attempted make a sharp turn and they were too damn slippery on wet pavement.

So how are the Under Armour Bandit 3’s working for me? Continue reading

Modifying My Brooks Ghost 10

Well back in the day we used to be amateur cobblers out of necessity, if we wanted the shoes that were available to actually work for us, we had to make them work.

When my new Brooks Ghost 10’s decided they wanted to abuse my right Achilles by blistering it enough that I couldn’t wear them or any other shoes (except my Hoka Infinite’s) without a good deal of discomfort.

Which sucked!

It meant going old school and modifying the right shoe, so it wouldn’t cause anymore blisters – if I could.

KIMG1250.JPG

Blisters they aren’t that big a deal are they?

Not really.

They are more of a pain in the arse, but it is something that I haven’t had happen all that often over the past several years. So it isn’t something that I have worried about all that much.

Until now.

I don’t blame the Brooks Ghost 10’s for blistering my foot…I blame myself for buying a style of running shoe that has a rounded heel counter. Especially, when I know that I have had issues in the past with that kind of heel counter and almost always avoid them when I can and I could have.

KIMG1236

Let’s get a couple of things straight, I like the way I run in the Brooks Ghost 10’s, but when they created a blister on my right Achilles, it hurt to to run in them and once I ran in them outside, according to the return instructions from where I purchased them – I can’t return them, (one of those old catch-22’s you don’t know how well a shoe will perform for you until you actually run it a few times).

However, it gives me the freedom to make the Ghost 10’s my own.

KIMG1234

In other words I can go back to my amateur cobbler roots and make the Ghost 10’s into running shoes that will work for me.

So I began by cutting open the heel of the right shoe and started taking the foam out. It took a bit to cut out the foam and form the heel counter to be more comfortable for me and my tender feel.

KIMG1254.JPG

Below is the first cull.

KIMG1255.JPG

I wandered around the house with the Ghost’s on and pretty quickly knew that I had to take more material out of the heel.

Round 2

KIMG1260.JPG

After removing the extra material the second time, it did fit a LOT better. Although I will have to wait a couple more days for the blistered Achilles to finish healing up. I attempted to make more of a heel notch than a rounded heel. If they feel comfortable I will sew up the back, so it won’t come apart.

Unfortunately, whether these Ghost 10’s work great or blow-up on me it won’t matter. I am not going to be buying another pair of these shoes due to the heel design and I am not going to play amateur cobbler every time I get a pair of new shoes – I shouldn’t have to. Once in a while – it ain’t a bad thing, but not on a regular basis.

Oh well, that is the way it works sometimes.

Hopefully, this does work and I can run in them for a couple of months, so I can delay having to buy, yet another pair of running shoes. Mary will be happier with me and sometimes that is a big deal.

If it doesn’t work, I have a feeling that there might be a road trip to Bangor and Triathlon Sports and maybe go through an entire fitting process to get a pair of Hoka’s. I think I need to actually try on the next pair to ensure the fit and forego ordering online for a while.

Brooks Ghost 10 – First Run – RunLog 8-12-17

Have you ever had a running shoe style, that always seemed to be in the running for purchasing, but always ended up being the second choice, that shoe I almost bought which meant that it didn’t quite meet what you wanted compared to the other shoes that you tried on or researched and purchased online.

They were either too heavy, too narrow in the toe box, too much drop or whatever it was that I was looking for in a shoe at that time…

It just seemed like something was always missing.

For me that running shoe has been the Brooks Ghost line, since about the Ghost 5.

KIMG1231.JPG

I have always liked the feel underfoot and the multi-purpose tread that they have. I have almost purchased them several times in my quest for the “right” for me running shoes.

Unfortunately, I never did until now.

As of today I have a pair Brooks Ghost 10’s that I can plod along in and see how they do for this old body.

Harold will you get real, you have been running really well in the Mizuno Wave Rider 20’s and here you are attempting to screw up the works?

Well I have been running decently in the WR20’s, however (isn’t there always a however with me), my left foot, especially the posterior tibial tendon area has been bothering me a LOT during runs longer than 3-4 miles.

I have been whining about it all too often lately, so it is not something that is new, but it has really reared its ugly head a lot more since I have gone to running primarily in the WR20’s. This is the same problem I had with the original Saucony Jazz and a couple of other running shoe models, that went away when I changed to a different brand of running shoe.

Since Bennie owed me a pair of birthday running shoes and I had an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocked, I decided to go with a pair that I have come close to buying several times and hoped that the EE-width would be more along the lines of Mizuno/New Balance and not so much Nike or Saucony EE versions.

The Brooks Ghost is no longer a second choice and they were waiting on the front door step when we returned from New Hampshire this morning.

How did they do?

Just fine, they seem wide enough and felt comfortable while walking and running in them, but the biggest difference was the smoothness/quietness of the landing. For me Mizuno’s have always been noisy, with the Ghost 10’s the transition seemed more fluid and the shoes were considerably less noisy (no slapping).

The Ghost 10’s check off all the boxes for what I want from a pair of running shoes before running in them and finding out for sure if they work for me or not.

I will take them out for a longer run in the near future (after I give the left ankle a couple of days to recuperate), to see if it is a me issue with the left ankle or a wrong shoe style issue for the way that I run. Time will tell, but it would be nice if I could get past this left ankle issue – again, simply by changing shoes :).

Oh yeah, when I went to the Lancaster Transfer Station this morning, the supervisor told me that I without a doubt would have the largest load of the day! He chuckled and said I must have cleaned out every corner of the house. I told him I had double and triple checked the house and hoped that I got all the hazmat out of it.

On the Brooks Ghost 10’s I am taking a wait and see attitude about what kind of shoe they will be for me. I know that I can run well in the WR20’s up to a certain mileage, but I would really like to add a few more pain-free miles to that limit, if I can.

Hopefully, the Brooks Ghost 10’s are part of that solution.