Still Steamy Out There – RunLog 8-9-18

Sometimes you just have to use a little common or is that in my case uncommon sense. This morning’s run was one of those kind of runs, I had planned to run for about and hour and fifty minutes in this kind of weather probably 10 to 12 or so miles. However, the temps were in the high 70’s and the humidity – let’s just say it was quite nasty.

To be honest the humidity is 4-0 this week, it just sucks the life out of my running. It doesn’t stop me, but it does change how I do things during a run.

Which meant that when I started I had tempered the expectations quite a bit on the length of time that I could subject the old body to that kind of abuse. I started out comfortably and picked up the pace to a comfortably hard one after the first mile. Then down on Silver St. I just kept it going.

About when I got to the light at the end of Silver Street, my hat started dripping. In this hot/humid weather that is m warning sign that it is time to think about slowing down and that I only have about 2-3 miles of safe running left.

So I finished up the faster three miles and shut down the speed to more of an easy run, so I would finish without blowing up. Even so, going back up the little hills was tough in this weather, so the slowing down had been smart.

I did think about heading out around Colby, but when I got over towards the Mt. Merici school turn, I decided that 6.0 miles was going to be enough. The sun had come out and the humidity was feeling even more oppressive.

Yeah, by this time my hat was raining sweat, which is my cue to get to where I need to be, by the shortest route.

There just was not any need to do more.

Thankfully coming back along First Rangeway, there is a decent amount of shade and I was able to put my head down and just keep plodding along. I finished without any issues – other than my hat raining down a good deal of sweat.

Overall, not a bad run and I did have a couple of pretty good mile splits thrown in there in some tough conditions.

After I got home, I did a little more surgery on the left heel counter of the Grasse Roads, while it didn’t bother during the run, there was still just a touch too much pressure on that wear spot when I am walking around in them to be completely comfortable.

All I can say is that the Grasse Roads must be a fairly special shoe for me, since I am putting up with doing surgery and the ankle bite – something I never do. It must be because, I do run well in them, but I would like them even more with a different style heel counter or one that uses a softer material – one that doesn’t bite my ankles.

Yeah, today I used some common sense for a change and didn’t attempt to do more than my body is capable of nowadays. The higher humidity does affect me differently and not in a good way, than it used to, so I have to be more aware of how the body is holding up in those conditions versus just doing it until I finish what I had planned anymore.

Today I listened just about perfectly for me.

Summer Running – No Doubt About It – RunLog 8-18

I really sort of dislike days like today, no nothing to do with the weather, which was hot/humid – so it was pretty normal for the dog days of August. No, this morning was errand day, lots of stops, getting things setup, scheduling repairs (house and Clifford), bank stuff, dropping off stuff to Good Will – you know all of those things you never have time to do, but take one day and just get shite done.

Today was that day.

So I didn’t get my run in until after 4:00 and it was still hot, luckily the humidity had calmed down slightly and there was a little breeze out of the North which was nice.

Once I left the driveway, as long as I was in the shade, it really wasn’t all that bad, but it was still pretty warm out there. So I just ran comfortably and didn’t push the pace. I worked on keeping my right foot straight and landing quietly. I know that I still land heel first, but that ain’t changing anytime soon. Continue reading “Summer Running – No Doubt About It – RunLog 8-18”

Just A Bit Hot and Humid – RunLog 8-7-18

Thank you everyone who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday yesterday and especially those who ate supper with me last night. Your company was fantastic and sharing time together is so important. 🙂

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake – one of my favorites, especially when it is homemade. Thank you SD1

Mary and I also went to the Portland Sea Dogs game on Sunday. I love going to minor league games most of the time, but Sunday’s game was just too hot to stay and enjoy it to the end. We were well-done and sunburned by the time we left after the fifth inning. The Sea Dogs went on to win without us though, so it was a good day. Continue reading “Just A Bit Hot and Humid – RunLog 8-7-18”

July 2018 – A Really Good Month

Oops. I didn’t hit the publish key, oh well not really a big deal to too many people in any event. 🙂

July was a damn fine month of running. I got to over 160 miles (the first time since November 2015 that I have run that many miles in a month), had a few long run, some track work, didn’t have too many unusual aches or pains and even got my running shoe rotation pretty much straightened out.

So yeah, July 2018 was a pretty good month.


Hitting 160 miles for the month is a pretty big milestone for me. It means that I have been fairly consistent with the running, getting a few long runs in and not lazing around the house on the couch. Continue reading “July 2018 – A Really Good Month”

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.

Hot, Humid and a Shoe Biter – RunLog 8-2-18

When I walked Bennie on his long walk this morning, I knew it was going to be a tough day when he turned around at the lower gate. It was pretty muggy and he doesn’t do well with high humidity, so we did the mile and he got back to relaxing with our doggie-day-care guests.

Which meant that I got to head into town early for my long run today.

I figured that I would head outside for 4-5 miles and finish up on the treadmill. When I got to Planet Fitness, the sun broke through and it warmed up too freaking quickly. However, I just didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill and doing a lot of miles this morning, so I headed outside and figured that I would decide on the course when I got to the 1.0 mile mark.

By the time I got there, I had already started to sweat, but as long as I stayed in the shady sections, it wasn’t too miserable, just passable miserable. Once I got there, I decided to do the Colby Loop, but do it backwards. Which was a pretty good decision.

I prefer to hit the hills a little earlier in the run and going up Lincoln Street at the end of mile 2 was better than the long uphill to go up Mayflower at about mile 4. Everything was going along nicely until I got to the Colby construction area and came up on a slow moving crane in the road. The only safe place to pass it was on the side of the road by the pond and it is pretty canted in that area.

Back up for a minute, the Reebok Grasse Roads were doing really great, I love the feel and they were comfortable, but I had stayed primarily on the wrong side of the road for running and the cant of the road made the plastic heel cup in them rub against my lower left ankle just a little. Not enough to blister, just enough to know it was there. I had forgotten to get the pliers out to loosen up the plastic heel counter – something I have learned the hard way to do with that kind of heel cup.

So when I hit that severe cant by the pond it drove the heel cup just below my left ankle each time I stepped until I got by the crane. Once I ran on level road again, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I had removed skin from below the left ankle. Luckily, the FieldHouse was just up the road and I needed to do a pit stop anyway, so I figured I would be able to do a little repair work on the ankle at the same time.

I asked the desk attendant for a band-aid, did my business and then went outside to survey the damage. Not quite as bad as I thought, running on that angle had caused the heel cup to move some skin upwards towards the ankle. I put the band-aid over it for some cushion and got back to running.

Unfortunately, during that break it felt like it had warmed up another 5* degrees and with the way my ankle felt, I just wasn’t into the run any longer. The ankle bothered, but not enough to stop and of course the other ankle had to start complaining, even though the heel cup didn’t wear through the skin.

When I got done, I had over 7.0 miles total and a soaked hat/shirt that needed to be wrung out in the sink before I put it in the gym bag. With the ankle biter going on and 7.0+ miles on a hot/humid day, I decided that I had done enough and went into the stretching room and wound down from the run.

Normally, if a pair of running shoes do this to my ankles, I just move on from them.

So when I got home, I checked out the heel counter and I couldn’t bend it with my fingers, so no wonder it bit into the ankle. I got out my trusty leatherman and bent, doubled-over, and did everything I could to loosen up the plastic enough so that it wouldn’t bite anymore.

However, even though I got a little ankle biter from the Grasse Roads, there is something about these shoes that I really, really like and want to see if I can get the heel counter softened up enough so they it is no longer an issue. I just like the way they feel on my feet and how I run in them.

Who knows if they are still bothering after using my leatherman on them, the next time I run in them. I might get out the scalpel, scissors and a little needle/thread action. Then surgically reduce the outside of the plastic heel counter.

Yeah, I like the Grasse Roads that much.

Actually, I was surprised at how well I did run despite the heat/humidity levels and then to deal with the ankle biter stuff and still do the 7.0 miles at a sub 9:00 pace without pushing the pace. Everything else felt pretty good today.

Now to enjoy the sting of liquid skin a few times tonight and build up a little callous under the ankle. 🙂

First Run in Reebok Grasse Road – RunLog 8-1-18

An early birthday package arrived from D2 yesterday and I had a pretty good idea what it was. I just couldn’t wait to try them on and well…once I opened the package that kind of probably meant that I also was going to run in them sooner than later.

Errr this morning.

So the Reebok Grasse Road have been added to the rotation and you know something, it is the first pair of Reebok’s I have run in since the early 90’s. Although I have come close a couple of times with the Flex series a few years ago.

However, these are not the lifestyle or cross-fit shoes that Reebok has been known for over the last few years. Even after one run, I know there is a difference and from looking at some of the other shoes they are bringing out, it will be interesting to see if Reebok continues its return to being a serious running shoe company that can compete with the big brands or if it fizzles.

I would love to see them come all the way back.

What initially got me interested in the Grasse Roads was when I read Sam over Road, Trail, Run’s review back in the Spring and was very intrigued by these shoes. I have been looking for a mileage eater/easy i.e. slow runs running shoe lately and when I was wandering around eBay and I came across the Grasse Roads at a price that couldn’t be resisted. They became D2’s birthday present to her loving running shoe problem, err Dad.

Oh well, enough blathering, how did the first run in them go?

Quite nicely thank you.

The Grasse Roads are under 10.0 ounces at 9.6, but have a lot of stack height for the weight, so I wouldn’t want to play any basketball or tennis type of activists in them. They are running shoes. Also to me they feel like they are a higher drop than the 6mm that is advertised – not a bad thing when it comes to my Achilles, just different than I expected.

I can honestly say that I am not a fan of the colorway – shades of gray with some blue on the midsole and laces. Not the colorway I would pay full-price for, but at this price point and actually needing the shoes, well I will deal with boring. Who knows it might even grow on me…naw I am not stylish or a fashionista and want my bright and bold colorway shoes – the brighter and more obnoxious the better. 🙂

You know Harold shoes.

I found the size 8.5 to be slightly large for my size 8.0 foot according to the thumb width test. I could probably comfortably get away with a pair of size 8.0’s. However, that slightly larger sizing didn’t make a smidge of difference once I got around to running. There was no two-stage take-off feeling during toe-off, something that I get too often when the shoes are too long. The heels felt securely locked in and the tongue padded enough that I didn’t feel the laces pressing down against the top of my foot and my Tailor’s Bunionette didn’t give me grief at all, so the toe box was comfortable for my Hobbit feet.

The left Plantar is still about a week away from not being an issue, but after walking around in them yesterday, this morning I simply put the Grasse Roads on, tied the laces and went for a run. No frig, farting around trying to get the fit correct or deal with the myriad of things that seems to go along with me and getting into a new pair of running shoes.

After yesterday’s speed work, I wanted to do an easy 4.0 mile recovery run, something in the 9:00 minute pace range. The first two miles were right around that mark and I didn’t push going back up Stevens Hill and got up around 9:25. Then I might have pushed a little harder on the last mile and got down in the 8:40 range. The final average pace was right at a 9:00 minute pace.

I purposely went down to Bartlett and then back around Howard. It gave me a really good idea of how they would on the dirt road down-back and then how the Grasse Roads transition from dirt-to-tar and then tar-to-dirt a few times, plus going up and down some hills. No issues and the grip was good on the dry dirt and I didn’t have a multitude of small pebbles stuck in the outsole.

The cushioning was good going downhill and the Grasse Roads were flexible enough up front that running uphill didn’t feel uncomfortable (despite my PF issues) – even with the fairly large stack height they had enough flex/front rocker to feel pretty good.

It is a pretty well established fact that I do heel-strike and roll-through to toe-off and after I found my stride with the Grasse Roads, (each pair of running shoes have their preferred stride – it didn’t take nearly as long with them as most running shoes I have run in lately), I was pleasantly surprised with how quiet and smooth they were.

Usually with shoes in this more maximal style or stack heights, I tend to slap a little even with some shoes that claim to have a rocker or drag my heels. That wasn’t the case in this first run and those are both pretty big deals in my world.

All too many of my initial run superlative thoughts lately have turned to shite, after getting more miles on the shoes. I will stop with the superlatives at this point and will see how they are doing at 50 miles.

I am looking forward to my long run tomorrow in them. Well as long as it doesn’t turn into a treadmill long run, well if that happens I will find out a lot then as well.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is high 80’s to 90’s with high humidity and I don’t do long runs in that weather. Something about getting older and wiser, and also not wanting to be found on the side of the road in the face down position. No, I am not a fan of hot, humid weather and play it safe or at least not act too stoopid.

What I did learn is that Reebok did make the Grasse Roads to be run in and some of their other shoes are really starting to interest me more after looking closely at them and getting them on my feet.

These are real running shoes, not second rate department store knock-offs that we all might want to look at a little closer. No, I am not being paid or getting free stuff from Reebok or anyone else to say this, it is simply what I am observing and my opinion.

Philbrick Speed Work – RunLog 7-31-18

No Quarry Road 5K trail race tonight, I decided early on in the day that I wasn’t going. After yesterday’s aborted run due to my left Plantar Fascia telling me all kinds of nasty things, there was no way I was going to run fast uphill tonight. I spent most of yesterday afternoon and early this morning enjoying the golf ball finding every little shred of crackly, snappy stuff in that foot that I could stand. LOTS OF FUN – not.

It seems that the Salomon Sonic’s were just a bit too stiff for my left foot. I experience this problem in shoes that don’t flex well and those that have a full length outsole sometimes make it talk to me about everything but wanting to run on it. I will play with the Salomon’s more and in a week will try them again for a few more miles to see if I have resolved the issue or if they will go away.

So this morning, I wasn’t even sure if I would be running or not.

On Bennie’s long walk the PF loosened up a bit, so I figured that I would give it a go. Now today is my faster day and since I wasn’t going over to Quarry Road, that I might as well see if the PF would let me do some sort of faster running – probably nothing race pace, but faster than I have done lately. I know, a rest day is what I should have done, but I was antsy this morning and things were feeling better than I expected.

Also I didn’t feel like going to the track, so I decided to do laps out in front of the house and measured a .25 distance from the speed limit sign down past the house on a flat portion of the road and did my repeats on that.

I somehow managed to do 6 x .25 at sub 7:00 pace in pretty warm conditions and then did 4 x 2 power poles at faster paces. When I got done, I felt like shite and had to force myself to do the cool-down mile. However, the left plantar felt great and once I started abusing myself doing speedwork, I forgot all about that and focused on how bad I was feeling during the fast repeats.

The joy of doing speedwork in hot weather. Speed work when done right doesn’t feel good while you are in the middle of a repeat and in hot weather it really sucks for me, but it does condition the body to enduring faster running.

At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Yeah I had on the Nike Rival 6’s and they do encourage me to run faster when I am wearing them.

Overall, it was a very good workout, where I ran a LOT faster than I thought that I was going to when I started. Sometimes you just have to start the workout and see where it takes you – if the PF had bothered after that first mile warm-up I would have shut it down.

However, it didn’t and if I had just gone ahead and accepted that my PF was bothering too much, I would have missed out on a pretty good speed-work session.

It was just as well that I didn’t go to Quarry Road, it ended up that we needed to drop off the Jeep this evening at ACAR to see what is going on with it. So things worked themselves out quite well.

Now to figure out how to get the Salomon’s so they do not bother the PF, I have a couple of ideas, but need to wait a week or two to let the Plantar Faciitis calm back down completely before I go experimenting. I do like the Salomon’s, but if they continue to bother the PF they will go away.

A nice workout to finish the month off.