The Year in Running Shoes – 2018

This has been a really strange year for me with regard to running shoes. After saying at the start of it that I would reduce the number of shoes that I would run in to around ten, I have run in closer to thirty.

Yeah, quite a lot closer to thirty pair of running shoes, actually twenty-eight and this doesn’t include the VF 4% or a couple of pair of Torin 3.5s that I got to play around with one day for short distances thanks to Sam at Road, Trail, Run. Plus all the ones that I tried on and either didn’t get or didn’t keep.

  • Green – Still in Rotation
  • Yellow – Not sure of their place yet
  • Red – Not in current rotation. Either gone, going to be gone or are legacy shoes that I will put into storage and keep the memories.

As you can see from my running log screen shot that the mileages varied considerably. Some shoes I found out pretty quickly they were not going to work that well for me and others even though they made it to the 50 mile review – they were not really what I was looking for.

Current Rotation

However, as the year went on, I was able to narrow down what works for me and have mostly settled pretty much the following running shoe rotation by December 2018:

  1. Adidas Tempo 9

  1. Reebok RunFast

  1. Adidas Adios 3

  1. Adidas Response Boost 2

  1. Nike WildHorse v1

I spent most of the year searching for a daily trainer that I could run comfortably in and while I have been able to find three to four “go faster” shoes over the course of 2018, finding that daily trainer has been an elusive beast. Well it is has been an elusive beast for several years now, so what else is new.

What kind of running shoe am I looking for as a daily trainer? Continue reading “The Year in Running Shoes – 2018”

8.0 Miles in Waterville

A new month and the last one of the year, so I wanted to get a decent longer run in. Notice I said longer, not long – a long run in my book is something in double-digits. A longer run is between 7.0 and 9.9 miles.

However, running longer around the house wasn’t that great an idea – downback is tough walking and since my bouncing days are long gone I am trying to be fairly smart and not run down there. Also Mary was busy so I couldn’t run to Augusta or Waterville and beg her to pick me up. Which meant that I could drive to Augusta and take a chance on the Rail Trail or head Waterville and have a variety of places to chug along.

I opted for the Waterville option.

However, on the way there I was trying to decide on which course would be the best one today and I kept going by all the usual turns and finally ended up out past Littlefield’s Gym, which made me thing that I would be running from the Alfond Youth Center, since that is the next right.

Sometimes Karma figures things out for you and sometimes it doesn’t.

Unfortunately, when I got to the AYC, all the parking spots were full – there was some kind of activity taking place, so I thought for a second and decided to head up to Colby and park in the Gym lot and take off from the gym. Good choice.

Karma does figure things out and I didn’t have to run up Mayflower Hill that way. See I am not completely out to lunch. 🙂

I got down the road a ways and saw Julie M (another Central Maine Strider and waved and hollered “Hi”, she waved, but seemed in a hurry to get somewhere, so I didn’t bother her. I later found out she was headed into town for an appointment, so she didn’t have time to stop and gab. Then I had to stop and adjust the tightness on the shoes, I didn’t them quite snug enough.

After that it was just a question of getting it done. Although I had to dash to Hannaford (risking life and limb crossing JFK Drive on a Saturday) to find their rest room. Yeah, I know where all those emergency pit stop places are – part of the business for me. Pun intended.

I did run a bit quicker along Silver Street – no added pressure to distract me, but today wasn’t about running faster, it was more about getting the miles in.

The last couple of miles were definitely slower, but I kept going which was the important thing. I even thought about heading down Mayflower and taking the back way back to Colby, but when I got back by the turn, I decided to just finish up 8.0 miles and call it good.

Once I rearranged the snugness on the Tempo 9s, I forgot about them, which is all I want from my shoes. I had other things to keep my mind occupied during that run and not having to worry about my running shoes is huge.

Overall, a very good run.

A Good HIT Workout

One of those days when you feel like things are not going quite the way you planned all day! So I was feeling about half a bubble off-center by the time I was able to get around to getting my run in.

I did take yesterday off. I had my gym all packed and ready to go, but whenever I decided to get going I found something else to do. Tuesday’s workout behind the snowblower took its toll on the old body and I decided that with everything going on that I would just take the day off – it was the correct choice.

This morning I felt a lot more human and while the day was hectic again, I did get to the gym around 1:30. Today was supposed to be a long run day, but I didn’t feel like battling the breeze outside and really didn’t have it in me to do one of those hour and half runs. So I decided to do the speed workout that I missed on Tuesday.

Well sort of…

I wanted to get 6.0 miles in this afternoon, but instead of my usual quarters, I decided to do as many 2:00 minute by a faster than 5K pace with 2:00 rests at my comfortable treadmill pace, until the body said enough was enough. Now remember my Garmin reads things differently and the treadmill was set to 0% incline and a bit quicker pace. 🙂

The 5:00 minute warm-up was just enough to make me ready to run fast. The first 2:00 minute session was strong and the 2:00 minute “rest” pace was fine. By the time I did two more of those things, the hanging on started during that last minute. No mas, No mas.

No more of the 2:00 minute drill.

I did try one more, but slowed back down after a minute – the body had had enough of that drill. At that point I decided that .1 repeats at a .2 mph increase would be better than attempting to beat myself up too badly by forcing the 2:00 or 1:00 minute repeats.

I went through 5K in 23:16 not too shabby that includes a comfortable 5:00 minute warm-up.

However, I am attempting to go beyond just the 5K distance to make it so that it doesn’t seem as bad during my next 5K race. That over distance thinking thing to give me a little more self-confidence that I can maintain that faster pace for the whole distance, not just the first couple of miles.

When I hit the 4.0 mile mark I punched out of the Garmin. I had to stop and walk for a tenth of a mile to get the heart rate back to reasonable levels – I thought that when it hit 176 bpm at the end of that last fast repeat, I might want to back it down a little bit. High 160s I can handle, but I ain’t in my 40s anymore and my max HR if you use the 220 base is 159…well you get the picture.

After that quick little walk, I increased the pace back to my normal treadmill speed and struggled to get the body back to the idea we were not done running yet. It did not like me at all, until I got to around the 4.8 mile mark when it thought I would stop at 5.0 miles.

I didn’t.

I did 5 more .1 hard repeats with .1 rests that the body just said, let’s get this shite over with. Yeah they were hard and yes, I struggled with the short rest, but I pushed through and did them.

Hey, you old crazy bastard doncha know that is how old farts rip and tear things that make it so you can keep running. Naw, I was actually feeling pretty good and the hard workout was something I wanted to finish. I do better with the shorter, hard stuff than I do with the long slow distances. One thing I will say, running those shorter repeats sure ain’t boring.

I guess that is a bad or good dose of High Intensity Training, whichever way you want to look at it. All I know is that when I finished, it looked as though I had gone swimming and it took me a couple of minutes to get recombobulated back in the locker room.

Good and tough HIT workout.

Snowblowing and Treadmilling

This morning was the usual nasty storm day routine, get up walk Bennie before the sun was up, to see what it was like outside, get ready to do chauffeur duty and then plan on doing whatever workout I had planned over at Planet Fitness’ treadmill.

Well two out three ain’t bad.

Bennie’s walk was fairly nasty – the snow was great for snow ball fights and making a snowman, but heavy wet and nasty for moving it around to get it out of the driveway(s). Chauffeur duty went without a problem, 4WD all the way in and just going as fast as I was comfortable driving – so there was a line of traffic behind me – too bad.

On the way over to the gym I had to stop at Wally World for cat litter and the most important thing wine. We have a glass of wine with our evening meal (gotta be healthy doncha know) and there wasn’t any in the house, so I had to stop and get a nice Paisano.

By the time I got out of there the wind was really picking up, which along with the heavy, wet snow I thought it was a better idea to get home in case the power went out (luckily it didn’t). However, that meant that my workout would have to wait.

No need to worry – I got too much of a workout in this morning.

After I got home, I spent two and half hours behind the snowblower. It might sound like something that is pretty easy, but moving that beast around in heavy wet snow is a serious upper and lower body workout. Although it was still snowing heavily, by the time I got done I was completely soaked through all my layers and starting to shiver a little, so I was glad that I was done.

After getting dry clothes on, all I could manage to do was sit on the couch for about 15-20 minutes to warm-up and get up enough energy to help get lunch going. One thing about being so tired is that it lowers my ability to resist indulging in food that I am attempting to avoid.

While I am looking closer at the idea of Low Carbohydrate eating, I haven’t really decided whether it is for me or not yet. There is a lot more to it that I want to understand and think about before I commit to doing anything drastic. However, I am attempting lower my carbs intake just as a matter of course, especially the amount of processed foods that end up going down the pie hole.

I craved the salt and the fastest way to get salt into me is chips, so I indulged.

Then I sat on the couch and the next thing that I knew it was almost time for me to head back out to get my gym workout in – one of those lights-out, nobodies home, kind of naps.

Yeah I had planned on going to the gym even though I had a fairly intense workout behind the snowblower this morning.

The roads were still nasty in Sidney, but got a lot better once I got to Augusta, so the traveling was a lot better this afternoon. Then while changing, I decided that there was no way that I was going to do a quality speed work session as tired as I was feeling, plus the chips and egg salad sandwich were not sitting too well in the tummy. I figured that I would start at 7 mph and see how I felt after a mile and go from there.

Everything was fine until about a quarter mile and while I got another quarter in, I had to make a mad dash for the locker room. That upset stomach wasn’t going to wait. I came pretty close to not getting back out on the treadmill.

However, I still had about an hour and half that I would need to do something else and I was feeling a bit better after my “locker room visit”, so I got back on the treadmill. I started over and figured that it had to be better than the first try.

No issues, after about a half mile another runner got on the treadmill beside me and setup at the same speed. Now this guy looked like a collegiate kind of runner. Young, tall, whippet lean and yeah, me old fat and gray. 🙂

We may have done the first mile the same speed, but he was doing a progression work out and picked up the speed .2 every half mile. I am pretty sure at 4.0 miles to finish up 5.0 miles he cranked it hard – luckily for my ego, I had finished my workout.

Ahhhh to be young and able to run like that – yes, I was and am jealous. It is just part of the aging process to be jealous of those that are now younger than me.

Since he was doing a progression workout, I did a much more conservative one through 3.0 miles. At that point my legs were pretty much toast and I knew that holding a steady faster pace wasn’t going to happen after this morning’s workout. So I decided to do some strides to take my mind off things. I did 4 x 0.1 and 1 x 0.2 @ 9.2 mph to finish up the 4.0 miles.

At that point, I was tired, but still had a lot of time left before I needed to get going, so I did .25 @ 15% incline at 4.0 mph and then went out back and abused the old body on the foam roller for about 20 minutes.

This was not the workout that I had planned, but it was still a helluva workout, when you add in the snowblowing stuff to the treadmill time, it was more than I usually do in a day.

In other words a really good day.

Moved my Run to Augusta – Safer

After yesterday’s walk with grips on – yeah the ice was pretty bad down-back

I wasn’t sure about how it would be down there this morning, but I am not all that keen on the grips, especially running in them, so I decided to chance just wearing my trail running shoes on Bennie’s long walk.

Walking down there was not great, but doable in the trail shoes, but when I did a couple of quick pickups the shoes couldn’t get a good grip due to the ice underneath the slush and light snow that fell last night.

So I decided that discretion was the better part valor and that I would run in Augusta or hit the treadmill, if the roads were not all that great.

When I went by the bank on Outer Civic Center Drive, it said 31*F and while the roads seemed a little wet looking, they also had plenty of whatever Augusta is using this year to treat the roads. I had the truck in 2WD and was having no issues – a good sign. Usually in 2WD if the road is not good for running, the rear end sliding around usually lets me know pretty quickly.

While going into Planet Fitness the parking lot felt solid, so I decided to do my planned 7.0 miles outside. Especially, since tomorrow it sounds like we are going to get another 4-12 inches of snow – depending upon where the snow/freezing rain line ends up. Which means more treadmill time, so I needed to take advantage of decent weather while it was there.

31*F isn’t real warm and there was just a little breeze (just enough to be a pain), so I geared up for freezing temps and headed out the door. I wasn’t looking to go fast, just get in the 7.0 miles. I started out comfortably and kept it at acomfortable effort level until I had 2.0 miles left and then I did pick it up a little.

The roads in Augusta were fine and even though there is a lot more traffic on Outer Civic Center Drive, the breakdown lane makes it a LOT safer to run on than running out where I live. That jumping/running onto the road shoulders and not being able to see what you are running on can get dicey pretty quickly and then when you are attempting to get back on the tar – if there is still snow on your feet…well that can get interesting too. Especially, doing it multiple times during a run – a some point the law of averages tends to catch up with you and something goes wrong at the worst time.

It wasn’t anything special as far as runs go. It was one of those get it done runs where you put good miles on the legs and smile when you are done.

I know I did.

Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review

Every once in a while there is a shoe style that you have been looking at for several model versions. You have picked them up and looked at the style and the changes more than a few times over the years, read multiple reviews and even thought about getting a pair when the previous models have been on closeout, but never got around to doing it.

For me that is the Adidas Adizero Tempo line of running shoes. Unfortunately, since the late 80’s adidas running shoes and my feet were not a match made in heaven. The pointy, narrow toe box and often heavier than I like running shoes were not what I wanted on my feet. Plus there is nowhere locally that sells the adidas performance line of shoes, so I usually looked at other brands.

That being said, I have run in a 3-4 of adidas’ Boost based running shoes over the past 5-6 years and while I have been impressed with the Boost part of the shoes, but typically disliked the way the uppers fit my weird feet, with the exception of the Adios 3, but the performance fit was a bit too snug in the past for me.

Although I have to admit that when I read Sam’s review of them over at Road, Trail, Run, Sole Review’s words of wisdom and Dr. Klein’s review last year, I was much more intrigued by them. A stability shoe that didn’t weigh a ton, comfortable (wider toe box, narrow heel), decent outsole and best of all featuring the Boost midsole which I really like how it feels under foot.

However, I had other shoes that I wanted to try when those reviews came out.

Earlier this month I had hit a weird spot in my running shoe rotation where nothing in the house seemed to be really what I was looking for and one night while wandering around the Internet, I read a review on the Tempo 9s again and clicked the link. When I got there I found a sweet deal for a pair of Tempo 9s on Amazon and thought why not get them. Continue reading “Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review”

A Run Down-Back in Tempo 9s

Well there, it warmed up just a bit today and the winds died down to reasonable levels and after a couple of days of record breaking cold temperatures it almost felt somewhat warm. Well really it only got back to a bit more seasonable temps. Mid 30s, 5-10 mph breeze and weak sunshine.

I am also getting close to having 50 miles on my adidas Tempo 9s and one of the tests I have for running shoes this time of year is how they perform down-back on both dirt and now the packed snow…errr white ice.

Yeah, running on these roads in winter can be rather interesting and I have to really pay attention to what I am doing. However, as long as you can stay on the sides or the middle (where the tire prints are), you can get some traction and don’t need spikes or screws on your shoes to run. If you get in the travel lane too long, all bets are off and you will find out how padded your arse is. Continue reading “A Run Down-Back in Tempo 9s”

My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles

I am not really all that wimpy, but I put in a set of guidelines for running outside in Winter-like conditions, that I really believe helped me stay healthier than I have been in a long time at the end of a long and tough winter last year.

They worked fairly well last year when I paid attention to what I was doing, so I have a feeling that I will use them again this year.

  • First if there is ice on the road – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Second if it is below 20*F with or without windchills – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Third if it is in the 30’s and raining – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Fourth if is below 30*F and you are planning on a long run – use the treadmill

If I have any question about the conditions, I take Bennie for a walk and figure out if it is okay to run outside or if moving the workout inside is the correct solution. How he reacts to the conditions out there goes a long ways in my decision making process, plus I get to feel first hand how things really are.

Could I run outside in worse conditions than what I have set as my criteria to move inside?

Sure I have done it in the past without too many issues and every so often I ignore my own criteria, but at this stage of my running life I enjoy running in shorts and t-shirts versus bundling up to get outside.

Treadmilling it

After yesterday’s day off, I wanted to get in a little loner run than usual and the temps/wind chills were in the lower teens at the house (we are usually 5*F colder than Augusta-the official weather for the area). This is below my second criteria, so I headed into Planet Fitness for a treadmill run. Continue reading “My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles”

A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018

Things that I have learned in 2018 about running and about life.

First – Everyone has an opinion about running shoes and the brands behind them. Even when they have not run in or seen the actual running shoe being talked about. Which makes me go mmmmmm and think to myself don’t pull shit out of your arse people.

If you haven’t run in a particular shoe, how in the hell do you know whether it is any good or not – you don’t. Running shoes do change for better and yes, worse from version to version. So shut up, keep your not so knowledgeable opinion about that model and version to yourself until you do run in that model and version. Then be honest about how the shoe works and doesn’t work.

If you are hating on a brand in general because you don’t agree with how they do things that is your choice and make it clear that you are hating the brand itself, but it does not mean that the running shoe sucks just because a certain brand’s name is on it.

Second – I don’t have to race. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, but myself and for the most part most other people don’t really give a rat’s arse if I ran a sub 20:00 minute 5K or a sub 25:00 minute 5K.

It took me a long time to realize this and be happy with that choice. Racing stresses me out and every time I have one on the calendar and I have to “train for it”. I attempt to live up to how I think I woulda, coulda and shoulda been. I am one of those never-was runners who dreams that I could have been better than I was – a LOT better. My running has gone a lot better this year without racing and worrying about what I ain’t.

It doesn’t mean that I won’t run races in the future (I plan to, but they will not be the primary focus of my running). I have learned that they are not necessary for me to enjoy my running and that I still love to train to run faster, even when I don’t race. I still do love to run fast – at least fast for me. Continue reading “A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018”