Newton Gravity 5 – 50 Mile Review

I got my Gravity 5’s as an early Christmas from my Daughter back in early December and they have become my primary outside running shoes, when the winter roads in Maine are decent. That is why it took so to get them to the 50 mile review mark – the roads have been crap or the temps have been a bit chilly for running outside.

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However, I have finally got them up to that magical 50 miles, so it is time to review them.

Yes, I know the Newton Gravity series is up to #7 and I am a couple of years behind the newest release of a very good running shoe, but there are reasons.

  • First and foremost is the price at $175 the price of a brand spanking new pair of Gravity running shoes makes me grit my teeth pretty hard. Although many of the high-end running shoes are hitting this price and some much higher, my old dusty wallet just can’t justify those prices.
  • Second, the older styles are still fabulous running shoes and retain most (if not all) of the characteristics and technology that I love about the Gravity line.

Quick Thoughts

This is my third 50 mile review of a pair in the Newton Gravity line of running shoes. I had a pair of the original Gravity, (which required some shoe surgery to make them runnable – the side wall was too high and blistered my right ankle). I really am liking my Gravity 3’s which I am currently using very successfully as my treadmill/race day shoes (my 50 mile review of them here) and there are another pair of NIB Gravity 3’s in the closet waiting for the day they are needed. Continue reading

Running – 40 Plus Years Series – My Overview

There 40 plus years of running series is done – again.

Two different people one with all of his life ahead of him and the other looking back on the life that was lived – the one constant through it all was – running. It has been a part of who I am all this time.

In this series you will find my recollections and honest reflections about parts of my life as that “crazy guy” they see out running in all kinds of weather, after dark, during the day, N’oreastahs or even during hunting season.

The links below are basically each a chapter in that life.

The Start of My Running Story

1971 — Cross Country-What in the Hell Was That

The Not-So Glory Days — High School 1971-1975

Running and Boot Camp – 1975

1975 – 1977 — Running While On the SPAR

1977 to May 1979 — Cape Cod and Bat Out of Hell

1979 to 1982 — Running in St. Ignace

1982 to 1984 — Running While Living in Washington, DC Area

Memories of the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon

1984-1988 — New London and Meeting Some Greats

1988-2000 — The Lost Running Years

2000-2007 — A New Beginning

2008 to 2011 — Too Damn Many Injuries

2011 to 2015 — Life After Teaching

2015 to Now — Life is Good

Each time that I update this series I learn a little more about myself, remember things that I had forgotten and have a chance to reflect on my life as a runner and beyond. All the good, bad and even the ugly experiences that have made me who I am.

It still doesn’t seem possible that I started running over 40 years ago and while the reasons for my running have changed several times over all those years, I think that the two statements below have held true through all the years:

I enjoy the challenges that running provides me. There is always something new or different about each and every run that while you can run the same route, no run is ever the same.

The other one and maybe more important in many ways.

I don’t have to run, I get to run. If you are a runner you understand the difference and when it comes right down to it, maybe that is the true definition of who is a runner. I am very fortunate after all these years and the abuse my body has taken from all my misadventures that I still get to run.

Looking back, I can’t imagine how different my life would have been without running being a part of it.

Let’s just hope that the next 40 years of running are even better :-).

Yes that means that I still plan to be running when I am 100 years old – don’t bet against me. 🙂

2015 to Now – Life is Good

As we get closer to the end of this forty-plus years of running highlights – that have included a few life stories as well, it gets easier, yet at the same time more difficult to tell the stories. I know/remember things better, but some of the memories are still too fresh for me to have…well processed everything through this brain of mine or include other people that may or may not want to be part of this story.

The things that I didn’t include surprised me, but then again it is me you are talking about here :-).

The years 2015 to Now

Way back in 2015 (which does seem life a lifetime ago now), I was running fairly well, weighed about the same as I did back in 1986, but still battling far too many little nicks, niggles and injuries. It seemed that every time I would just get going well, another “minor” inconvenient ache or pain would pop up. I know the reason now, but back then I could not figure out why.

Other than small issue running for the most part was pretty good during these years. Continue reading

Happy Valentines Day – RunLog 2-14-18

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Mary and I celebrated by going to lunch at Joseph’s and then got deserts from Governors to have with coffee this evening. We gave one another some candy and enjoyed the day together. Very low-key, but it simply is who we are – comfortable being with each other.

Yeah, it was a nice Valentine’s Day.

No photos today, but great memories of a another day spent together.

We both got in our runs earlier outside since the weather was milder than it has been. Low 30’s and a 5-10 mph breeze out of the SSW made things pretty reasonable. Especially, when you add in that the roads were almost completely clear – although the shoulders got a bit interesting if you had to run on them to avoid traffic.

After yesterday’s 9.0 miles on the treadmill the legs felt a bit tired, so I just ran comfortably for the entire run. I didn’t push the pace until the last little bit. This run was more about getting the legs moving and getting a few more miles on the legs.

I did work on how I hold my arms and not swinging my right arm past my centerline. Something that I do more than I should, but whenever I look at photos it is something that I always seem to have done. I wonder if it might have something to do with that leg-length discrepancy I have where my left leg is longer than the right one? However, it is something that I do without thinking about it.

Yeah, the old guy is looking a bit older, but the arm swing is about the same, despite the work that I have put into attempting to changing my form or should I say not much is different.

Overall, a very good day, spent with the woman I love – a great thing. 🙂

The best thing in my opinion is that most days I do get to spend them with Mary and it is a special time in my life that I am enjoying more than anyone else will ever know. Even though I bug her a bit too much now that I am home most of the time. 😉

Some things do get better as you get older, because you realize what you do have and do not take it for granted.

Simplifying Online Apps Again

This year is the year where I am going through and purging, getting rid of and simplifying things in my life. It is not just a one-time thing where you go through things, get rid of some stuff and then go back to collecting even more shit as time goes on.

Just changing old stuff for new stuff and not have it be all that much better most of the time.

Nope, simplifying my life is one of those ongoing things that I constantly am aware of and that I keep looking for parts and pieces that can be changed, improved, used differently or gotten rid of.

This week I took another look at my online life and unsubscribed, deleted my account or trashed some apps that I decided no longer interested me. Along with a bunch of email subscriptions that I have accumulated over the years that I look at and wonder why I subscribed when I did.

Some will surprise you.

First up:

Running Apps

My Strava account has been deleted.

While I do believe that Strava is the best of the online running logs, let’s be honest – I really do not need or use it for much of anything other than keeping track of some other runners that I know or know of and the occasional screenshot for the blog. When I thought about it the other day, I don’t really need to see how they are training and going through and simply “Liking” their runs is not really all that important to them or me. It is just another web application that gets free use of our running data.

It was time to get rid of it.

It is enough work to keep my Numbers Spreadsheet and this blog updated. Although I might make more effort to use Garmin Connect, now that I do not have Strava. I have a feeling that I also need to go back to Daily Mile and all those other old online running logs that I haven’t used in a few years and delete those accounts too.

News

Then I deleted all my news apps off my iPhone and iPad this afternoon, including Apple’s News App. This ability to read multiple sources/takes on the same issues 24/7 while great, is also a huge source of stress in many of our lives. I am going to go back to a bit slower and old fashioned way of receiving news. Once a day I will watch the evening news and listen to the radio when I am my truck.

If something important happens, I am sure that there will be enough hugh and cry that I will find out about it soon enough. When there are stories that I want to read about more indepth, Duck Duck Go will be able to find good sources (I almost always look for more than one perspective on important issues) for me to read the rest of the story.

I just don’t need to have a dedicated news app on my iPhone or iPad to get the latest notifications of all the sensationalist 24/7 news of the impending end of the world as we know it, which seems to be happening every hour of the day or so it seems.

No I am not burying my head in the sand, but I am getting rid of some of the clutter and unnecessary chatter that adds nothing but noise to the equation.

Social Media

Finally, I got rid of my Instagram account or at least I think I did – if the password worked. If it didn’t I will try again, but Instagram will go away one way or the other. I haven’t added photos to it in months, very seldom go in and do more than like a bunch of photos and then move on. It wasn’t important to me and did not add value to my online or social media experience.

To be honest, I really thought about getting rid of Facebook and then thought better of it. I have culled my friends list again and kept fewer people. The ones that I actually interact with, know in real life or are relatives who without Facebook, I wouldn’t keep in touch with. Although I have a feeling that at some point in the future that Facebook will outlive its usefulness to me and it will go away.

The reality is that

People need to remember that all these computer applications whether they are online or local are supposed to be tools that help us improve our lives, not rule them. Sometimes the developers, big corporations who data mine our online lives and ourselves forget that.

I do not need the web and I survived quite nicely without it for most of my life and while I prefer the advantages it gives me and understand that I need to give up my privacy in order to be a part of the web, my electronic devices do not rule my life.

I get to choose which ones are a part of my online life and get to delete and not use the ones that do not meet my needs. There may be more surprises as I move towards a simpler online profile.

Something to think about – isn’t it.

Treadmill Long Run – RunLog 2-13-18

After staying up too late watching the Olympics last night, I was a bit groggy and really didn’t feel like getting moving first thing this morning. Unfortunately, Mary is very much a morning, get up and get too it type of person, which means that I don’t get to laze around in bed – it has to be made first thing ;-).

That 2*F that the thermometer said was going on outside was a LOT colder than the weather forecast had claimed and when Bennie and I did his first walk. Well, it definitely felt like 2*F, luckily there was not a lot of wind.

It almost seems that at times Mother Nature is out to slow me up and make me run on the treadmill yet again. Now I know that is not reality, the weather is the weather and it is not attempting to thwart some lowly human’s attempts to run outside, but…it sure does seem that way sometimes.

Oh well this morning it was back in the single-digits and even after waiting until Bennie’s walk was done it hadn’t warmed up enough to get into my long run safe zone. Which meant yep – more treadmill time.

Tuesday’s are now my long run days. Which really seems to work a lot better with my schedule and it gives me Monday and Wednesday as days that I can use if for some reason Tuesday will not (that weather stuff or life getting in the way kind of thing).

So I got on the treadmill, set it too 6.8 mph and ran. Yes, I had my music play list going and also was watching the history channel – kind of a history of the world type of show, which I find rather interesting – being a former history teacher.

About 5.0 miles in the old body decided that it was going to need one of those bathroom breaks and although I made it to 6.0 miles, it was a bit of a dash to the men’s locker room. Then I came back out and resumed running.

Although it was a lot harder to begin again at this point and mentally I had to fight the rest of the way to get to 9.0 miles and then just gave up on attempting to get that last one. 9.0 miles on the treadmill is hard enough for me and hopefully the long runs outside will not be nearly as difficult to keep focused and moving forward.

Overall, a pretty good run where I kept up a nice and steady 6.8 mph speed up and even did a pretty good kick to finish up the 9.0 miles.

Still I would rather have done it outside, but soon I will be out there. The day’s are getting longer and the temps are getting a bit better.

Ice Means Treadmill Time – RunLog 2-12-18

Unnnggghhh yeah, a very nice film of ice on the roads this morning – no thank you. Walking first thing this morning was interesting, but not fun, so running would have been disastrous. I like our longer walk with Bennie, it gives me a chance to see how the roads are and decide whether I get to run outside or if I head for another bout on the treadmill.

This morning was definitely a treadmill morning based on the roads around the house.

However, once I got to Augusta, I had some second thoughts about having fun on the treadmill. The roads were all clear, even the sides were in decent, very runnable with temps in the mid thirties. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough outside gear with me, though it was tempting to go with what I had. Mid 30’s are warmer, but still not that far from freezing temps.

However, it was just a bit too chilly and as much as I wanted to run outside, I decided that running on the treadmill with the gear I had with me was probably smarter.

Once I got changed I thought that I would run 5.0 miles or so.

So I got on the treadmill, set it to 7.0 mph and focused on my arm swing and running quietly. No music or TV, just running. I felt pretty good through out the entire run and had a really good last quarter mile. The bottom of my feet bothered a little and I have noticed that it seems to depend on which treadmill I am on, whether my feet bother or not, so I will keep track of the treadmills I am running on, just to see if it is the differences in the belt tightness that making a difference.

Overall a nice 5.0 mile run where I felt good the entire way.

Then I did 8.0 miles on the elliptical this evening and felt pretty good on that as well.

A More “Normal” Week – Week In Review 2-11-18

Last week a bit more of a “normal” week, well mostly.

A photo of our mailbox during the storm last Wednesday.

I found out that doing my long run at the start of the week, means that it is much more likely to get done. The weekends are still focused on other things that interfere with my getting away for a couple of hours or having Mary chase me down into Waterville or Augusta.

The weather on Sunday was crappy (rain, sleet, freezing rain), enough that I didn’t want to drive an hour down to Rockport for the 5K they had going on down there. So I did a short fartlek workout going down to Pepin in the freezing rain. I didn’t bother trying to do it against the wind or coming back up the hill, even so I still set a this year CR for this course in pretty crappy weather – it is still 3:00 minutes or so away from my all-time CR, so there is plenty of room for improvement.

The good part about doing a speed workout on the weekends that I don’t need to go to the gym or track to get one in, I can do them right around the house as a part of a quick run that I fit in sometime during the weekend.

So changing up when I schedule certain runs during the week is the correct thing for me to do and I learning that my schedule is not the same as anyone else’s – I have more freedom to be creative with mine. Continue reading

Tired, Day Off and Good Run – RunLog 2-8 & 2-9

Yesterday, I felt my age and needed to take a day off from running and the elliptical. Yeah, snowblowing the driveway of 8-10 inches of snow on Wednesday night, getting up way to early for chauffeur duty, snow scooping the end of the driveway so I could drive out, then getting home, snowblowing the driveway and finally roof raking the garage roof.

After all that, I was exhausted.

So I didn’t bother to do a lot of anything else the rest of the day, other than going to my acupuncture appointment – something that was badly needed.

Thursday turned into a “rest” day. Although I think I burned more than enough calories over the course of the morning and had earned that easy afternoon.

This morning was cold again, but the roads were clear and I came pretty close to running into Planet Fitness, but when the temps were still in the teens after Bennie’s long walk, I decided that it was still a bit too chilly for running that far. TheWife agreed with my decision and seemed a little relieved that I had decided to not do my longish run outside today.

So the truck and I trundled into Augusta for Planet Fitness treadmill time. Continue reading