Tuesday, August 23, 2016

83*F is Still 83*F and a Dead Garmin - RunLog 8-23-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

I should've run this morning first thing, it was gorgeous 51*F, just bit of a breeze out of the north. I didn't though - I just can't get motivated for running during that time of the day.

Oh well, just the way I am.

So that meant that I got to run when it was a bit warmer - right around 83*F with very little wind. I had a little extra time and decided to to 5.0. Unfortunately, UMA doesn't really have a good 5.0 mile course without doing laps and Planet Fitness ain't much better.

Running Ahead - Course Map

Even so I decided that I could do pretty much a 5.0 mile loop if I went out Outer Civic Center Dr towards Belgrade, then back by the new Hospital and then cut through the cemetery. Turns out lots traffic and lack of shade made this an unenjoyable route, but I got the 5.0 miles in.

I purposely ran slower in the Apollo's to find out how they did at a recovery pace. They are not really not for running slower, but did well enough that I wouldn't hesitate to use them upta 5-6 miles and maybe a bit further. However, for me I don't think they are what I would want to run longer in. I heel strike a lot in them going slower and coming down the big hill by the hospital I noticed that my feet hurt a little more than they should, not enough to slow me down, but noticeable.

Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my Garmin last night and it ran out of juice at 4.0 miles and while I tried turning it on after the auto shut-off, that last mile was off by a lot. That is why I used the course maker in Running Ahead to see how far it was - a little old school tech = close enough.

I do know that I picked up the pace the last mile - it was mostly downhill :-). I always have been a better downhill runner.

A nice recovery run after a couple of faster for me runs the past two days and while I did feel strong, the heat did get me a little miles 3-4 where the hills were

Time: 46:43 (est)
Distance 5.01
Pace: 9:07
Shoes: Under Armour Apollo 2



Monday, August 22, 2016

A Late Start, But the Treadmill Beckoned - RunLog 8-22-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

This morning we woke up to a torrential downpour outside. We really needed the rain, but Bennie was not impressed, he looked out the window put his head back down and planned to go back to sleep. I got up and coaxed him to move and he looked at me, sort of wagged his tail, put his head back down. We laughed.

We made the bed and he still had not moved, he was watching us, but wasn't going to get up anytime soon. We waited almost an hour for the storm to wind down and then he was more than ready to go out and do his business. Unfortunately, that didn't give me enough time to get a morning run in like I had planned.

After a long morning, computer system issues, meeting and just general Monday business, I was ready for my lunch run - at 2:30 PM.

A bit later than usual, but at least I got it in.


However, I knew that I had to keep it quick, so I decided to hop on the treadmill and start it at 7.6 mph (under a 8:00 minute pace) and see where it led.


  • 2.0 miles @ 7.6 mph
  • .50 @ 7.7 mph
  • .25 @ 8.1 mph
  • .25 @ 8.6 mph


The first 2.5  miles was about doing the time, because the pace didn't feel bad at all on the treadmill. However, as I expected the last two quarters were tougher, but nothing bad, I was going at about 80% and feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, I am not in good enough shape yet, to maintain those faster paces for a full 5K, but it was definitely encouraging.

I am still working on adjusting the LockLaces in the Apollo 2's and will need a few more runs to finish dialing them in.

Time: 23:23
Distance 3.0
Pace: 7:48
Shoes: Under Armour Apollo 2

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week in Review, Thoughts on TV Coverage - 8-21-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
What Happened This Week?

Believe it or not I am finally starting to get the left leg so I can run a little more, well without discomfort. I just hope that it continues to improve, all I have to do is keep up with my exercises and not slack off them when I start feeling a better.

I did watch a lot of the Olympics and was impressed with the character and class displayed by most of the American athletes, with a few notable exceptions.

Although Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah are not American, I did cheer for Bolt to succeed, he is just so dominant in his events and runs with such obvious joy that it is hard to cheer against him. Farrah is so humble and seems to be a gentleman, but such a competitor that I was cheering him on in both races.

Matty C's win in the 1500 was unexpected and showed a lot of guts, along with Rupp finishing 3rd and Ward 6th in the marathon. The women's marathon team with 3 runners in the top 10 was holy wow and all the other moments that both the men's and women's track and field teams gave us was phenomenal.

So many other moments were fantastic as well, even though they were not related to running.

I thought how NBC brought up 4x100 US Team and Chilimo's DQ live on camera, before they were told about it by officials was despicable and that especially Chilimo did well in controlling his emotions in front of millions of viewers. It was almost as if the commentator was enjoying surprising them and asking about the disqualification - that deer in the headlights look that the athletes had when surprised in their moment of glory with that kind of news.

Especially, when they did not have the correct reason for the DQ that they showed the world and Chilimo as the reason for disqualification. I thought that Chilimo handled the situation with class despite NBC's attempts to "show him up" with the story of the moment. It was the right thing for officials to overturn the DQ.

Gotta bring the high flaluting athletes down a notch or two attitude, the announcer seemed to relish asking those questions. I felt sorry for the spot that he put them on.

It seemed like that for any event that that doesn't have built in time outs for TV  or jiggly whatevers, would constantly be interrupted for commercials or switched to other events/interviews that had little or nothing to do with the event going on. I know the reason for commercials and understand that sponsors pay big bucks, however, there has to be a better way to cover the events and have better spots for commercialization.

Let's face it some events are not made for TV and when NBC switched to something else, we would miss important parts of the race or event and many events did not even get to be seen - I guess they were too boring for TV audiences.

Can you tell that I am less than impressed with NBC's coverage and I do not expect it to change all that much, since they have exclusive rights until 2032.

Too bad, because it could and should be done better.

Well now I can now find something else to do in the evenings, besides watch great athletes push themselves to the limit.

Photo of the Week:
I don't know if this should be a favorite or scariest, it just shows how the drought is affecting us locally.

Running Summary

Weekly totals spreadsheet screenshot


Thoughts on this week’s running.
A very good week! Not my highest mileage week or even my best intensity week, but I actually started to feel as though I was running again, not just gimping along putting in time and distance. 7.0 miles ain't much as far as a long run goes, but to do it pretty much pain-free was a huge step in the right direction. Now to get back into shape.

Year-to-Date Progress



Summary

I keep moving forward slowly but surely and stayed within the recommended 10% increase this week. I even have a mini streak of 16 days in a row going, so I am starting to run consistently - at least I hope it continues.


Running Shoes

Running Shoe Rotation:
  • Under Armour Speedform Bandit 2
  • Under Armour Speedform Apollo 2
Thoughts about running shoes: I wanted to get the Bandit's to 50 mile to get their review in and you read my thoughts about them below in the link. However, I really think that the Apollo 2's will be the surprise hit of the summer for me. I run very quietly and feel good when I run in them.

Under Armour Speedform Bandit 2 - (9.3 oz) - Personal Purchase



So far, so good, although there is a bit of snugness that I have to figure out whether it bothers on long runs or it is just the shoe being snug with a great upper, need to get some double-digit runs in to answer that question..

Under Armour Speedform Apollo 2 - (8.1 oz) Personal Purchase



Like I said before, they are surprising me with how comfortable I am finding them, but it is way too soon to be taking about how great they are. So for now I am just going to say after 5 runs...I am liking them.

Other Shoes in the closet, but not being used

Nike Lunar Glide 7 - (9.4 oz) - Personal Purchase



A pretty big difference in the weights, they are listed at 9.4 and these are 8.8 oz. I have put them into semi-retirement and use them as my primary work shoes. They are still comfortable and I wouldn't hesitate to run in them if I had to, but the Bandit's have replaced them as my daily trainers. 

Nike Streak LT3 (5.3 oz-RW) - Personal Purchase


Once I finally get this Achilles issue resolved, I will just be using them for running fast.



Repeat after me Harold - the Nike Streak LT3's are not light-weight trainers, they are racing flats, so only use them for racing and speed work, use your other shoes for daily training or running longer distances other than in races!!!!!
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road (8.3 oz) - Personal Purchase




Pearl Izumi EM/H3 Road (9.9 oz) - Personal Purchase



Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Trail (9.3 oz) - Personal Purchase



Races

Maybe I will attempt to run a 5K on 8/27, we will see how the leg feels on Tuesday.

INJURIES

Left Achilles Tendon area: Getting better, gonna stop whining about it. Until the next time I go backwards anyways.
Hamstrings: Not as bad as they have been.

The reality is that

Not quite where I thought I would be at the end of August earlier this year, but it is what it is and my expectations and goals have changed a bit to focus more getting ready for 2017 and enjoying this fall more than worrying about racing. I still plan to do a few races, but I have a feeling that I will be keeping the LT3's in the closet until next year. No, I have not jumped on the Under Armour running shoe bandwagon, but at the same time of all the shoes that I have tried on locally, they do seem to fit my feet the best and it seems I am running decently in them. I have noticed that since I started running in them, my problem child left leg seemed to stop bothering as much. Coincidence mmmmm maybe, but they are not as soft as the LunarGlides were and maybe I need a firmer heel/shoe for me to run decently. It is something to think about. You notice that I purposely didn't say the "magic" words that would get me in trouble about the last 2 weeks. Overall, a pretty nice week of running and enjoying life.

Three Steps Forward - RunLog 8-21-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

A little later than usual for the run, but I had a pretty good excuse, I stuck around and watched the Men's Marathon this morning. In keeping with their "fine" broadcast coverage, NBC didn't even wait for the first mile split before cutting to a commercial break. What else is new, their coverage of the "longer" events 5K and up just did not cut it for me.

Too many breaks and when they come back something important happened and we missed it. It was the story of the distance running events throughout the coverage. Disappointing, but not unexpected based on the past telecasts.

However, the 3rd and 6th place finishes were impressive and it did motivate me to want to get out and run as soon as it was over. Meb even though he did not have his race, didn't drop out and finished the race, even though he did slip at the end and had to do push-ups :-)  I bet his knee will hurt tonight.

Unfortunately, by then the temps were getting rather warm (not as warm as down south, but warm) and Bennie had his idea about how we should be running. He wasn't into it and I was, so it was me pulling ahead and him holding me back...a bit of role reversal than our usual arrangement.

Based on what I was seeing, I knew that 2.0 was all he was gonna do and I wanted to do a little more.

When we got back to the flat we did pick-up the pace from Blake to the Lower Gate a bit, nothing overly hard, but it felt good to run at a faster pace.


We did slow down on the hill, and then I ran straight into the house with the Bean. He wasn't happy to be left behind, but he just wasn't doing well in the heat.

So I went out and did 2 laps on top and had a couple of sub 8:30 miles. I know nothing to write home about, but I haven't been running those paces outside this comfortably in a while. :-)



I did wear the U/A Apollo 2's and they are quiet and remind me a lot of the PI N1 only a little more cushioned and flexible. I just ran comfortably in them and while I didn't break any speed records, they are a shoe that I can run fast enough in.

However, they are not racing flats, by any stretch of the imagination - they have morphed into light-weight trainers and while I am using them for faster pacing, they are not what I am planning racing in. Well maybe at first, until I get the body back to running harder/faster paces and let the left leg get back to where it needs to be.

A good day for a run and one of the 3 step forward days

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Bit of a Longer Run - RunLog 8-20-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

I really wanted to try a longer run today, the leg has been feeling the best it has in a while and I figured it was time to try, but at the same time I still had to get a run in with Bennie and didn't want to over-do it too much.

The little stream at the start of Tiffany is pretty damn dry, so yeah, I guess we are in a drought condition. Hope the rains come soon.

So I sort of compromised, when I got done running with Bennie - his tongue was dragging on the ground, I immediately took his harness off and headed back out the door. He was pissed, who was going to protect the old fart and let me know all about it as I escaped down the driveway. Damn dawg :-)

How was Bennie's run, actually we didn't stop nearly as often as usual, he seemed like he was in a hurry to get it done today. It wasn't real hot or humid and there was a nice breeze, but it was still warmish and by the time we got back to Steven's Hill, we had worked up a good sweat. This was even though I had purposely held back on pacing, because I "knew" that I had more running to do after Bennie was done.


Once I dropped Bennie off, I didn't really push and just went with a comfortable pace down through Pepin Way and slowed down a bit coming back out of there. By then I was feeling the heat and getting pretty tired.

Coming back up the Bitch was too much for my current level of conditioning and my left leg was starting to bark a little. By this time my running was slower than my walking speed, so I walked about a quarter mile and when I got back on top, I was feeling pretty good and picked the pace up a little (not much).

Overall, it was a good run and I was happy with how well I did, even though there was some walking music coming back up a tough hill. After I got done I iced the leg down, which seemed to help a lot.


  • Time: 1:04:30
  • Distance: 7.01
  • Pace: 9:12
  • Shoes: U/A Bandit 2


I just hope that I am on the other side of the left leg woes. All I know is that it felt good to get a few more miles on the legs.


Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2 - 50 Mile Review

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Well this 50 mile review took a LOT less time to get to than my last one :-). Finally, starting to get so I can run again, which is a good thing.


The Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2's were a birthday present from Mary (that I picked up the week before at Olympia Sports in Waterville, when I decided to go in a different direction from my last daily trainers). It was tough to leave a new pair of running shoes in the closet for a week, when I knew they were they just waiting for me to run in them.

Enough background how are they doing?

You can my initial thoughts here

So far, they are comfortable to run in and haven't bothered my feet in any of the runs that I have used them, although there is a distracting snugness in my right foot at times. It took a couple of runs to get used to the slightly different stride from my other shoes. Yeah, it is my experience that each pair of shoes has its best way to land in that pair of shoes that seems to be slightly different - I might be full of crap, but that has been my experience.

One thing I have noticed is the Bandit 2's run lighter than their listed weights and that is something that I have experienced with my other U/A shoes.

Some Stats

Weight from my new scale:


My Bandit 2's are size 8.5 U.S. men's and so I expect them to be slightly lighter than the standard weights listed by the Brand or Retailers, which typically use either size 9 or 10.

Weight: 9.5 oz (size 9)
Stack Height: 29mm (Heel), 19mm (Forefoot) for a 10mm drop, which is where I wanted to be with my Achilles issues.
*Stats from Running Warehouse website

Weight: 9.8 oz (Under Armour website)
What are these shoe's purpose in my rotation?

The Bandit 2's are my everyday runners and when I get back to the point that I can run long again, my run long shoes.

What kinds of runs have I done in them so far?

Shorter and middle distance stuff on tar, dirt roads, treadmill, groomed trails and runs with Bennie (which brings out flaws in some shoes very quickly, because it is much more like interval work). I am still limited with Achilles/Left heel issues. So longer or faster runs haven't happened, but I have been able to stretch the distances a bit and pick up the pace for some runs. I have managed to get up to speed a couple of times in the shoes and they did well.


Are they comfortable?

The Bandit 2's size 8.5's fit the way 8.5's are supposed to fit. When I tried on the 9's I could have gotten away with wearing them, but the 8.5's felt better, the 8.0's were just too snug. So for me the sizing is just about right on.

The toe box is borderline on the width, but the upper has enough give/stretch around my tailor's bunionette to make it only feel snug, but it has not bothered my foot, other than I notice the snugness for the first part of run and then forget about it as the run goes on. It does mean that I don't want to wear thick socks with these shoes.


For a mild motion control shoe, I think part of the reason for the above is that the Bandit 2's are a little more of a curved last than some other similar style shoes, which would be more of a problem for me if the upper didn't have some give to it. I have done up to 7.0 miles without any issues other than a feeling of snugness, which is okay by me.


I have worn them casually without socks and believe that I could run without socks and not run into any problems. However, I am too used to the sock routine so it is not really something that I look all that closely at for running.

Initially I had in the stock laces, but just didn't like them, so I changed over to LockLaces and it took a few more runs to get the fit where I wanted it. I needed loosen it up little more than compared to the left foot, now they are fitting quite nicely.


I like a more cushioned feel and the Bandit 2's have that feeling when I am going slower, however, when I pick up the pace, the shoes seem to firm up and don't bottom out like some other cushioned shoe I have run in. There is a nice firm feeling that make them feel faster and lighter than their listed 9.5 to 9.8 oz. 

They are comfortable, fit my feet and running style.

Do they run quiet or slap the road?

The B2's have a tapping sound when I am landing towards the back of the foot due to the amount of rubber and how the heel unit is designed. When I am running with more of a forefoot landing, they are much quieter.


I guess I have two running forms, one for running faster and a more heel first when I am running slower. Nothing is ever consistent about me it seems.

Are they rock collectors?

One of the things I like is that except for a couple of times, there have not been any pebbles to constantly pick out of the sole unit. Although if I do land just right on a rock it does stick in the exposed foam.

Are they multipurpose or strictly roads/trails/snow?


Like most shoes primarily designed for the roads, the B2's are not what I would call a real multi-purpose shoes. Running on groomed trails is not a problem when they are dry and they do fine on wet roads. I think they would be okay in dry snow, but in wet slushy stuff, mud, lots of rocks or wet grass, there just is not enough tread and I have better choices.

What don't I like about them?

The flat laces just didn't do it for me and I put in LockLaces and they are working great.


I think that for a light motion control shoe, I would like to see more of a straight or semi-curved last versus what I see as too much of a curved last.

Appearance

The hounds-tooth look might be cool for casual dress and wearing them with jeans, but they are running shoes first and foremost, not lifestyle shoes.

So I would have preferred them with different choices in the colorways besides the houndstooth and I think some runners will be put off by the non-running shoe look they give off. Just my opinion, but if I had to pick a pair of running shoes based on appearances, I would take my U/A Apollo 2's every time over the Bandit 2's.


Appearances might be deceiving, but they are a factor in whether many runners will purchase a particular shoe or not, even if it is a great running shoe.

The breathability on the B2's might be an issue during hot weather since they don't seem to have a lot of ventilation. It hasn't bothered me, but for some people this could be a problem.

The reality is that

So far the Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2's have done everything that I have asked of them and have not bothered my feet. While the snugness doesn't always allow the B2's to completely disappear on my feet, it is more of a distraction than an issue, which I attribute to the curve of the last.


However, the upper compensates just enough for the curve, so that the snug feeling remains at a snug feeling - which I think some runners will like. Me I am still making up my mind about it.

The true test will be when I start running double-digit runs in them, then I will know whether or not it is an issue.

A very nice running shoe that made it to 50 miles.

Would I get the Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2's again?

It is too soon for me to say. I am running well in the B2's, but with the snugness issue that is merely a distraction right now, I want to make sure that it doesn't become more than that, especially as I get ready to start doing double-digit runs again. Time will tell on this one and by the time I get 200 miles on the Bandit 2's I will know for certain whether I will be getting another pair or not.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Gorgeous Day and Some Treadmill Time - RunLog 8-18-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Nothing fancy today.


This morning's run was done in LOW humidity, low 60's, no breeze, just about perfect to work up a sweat and still run decently.

Bennie and I even got to chase a car for a change. Overall, it was just one of those nice Bennie runs where he does his thing, I don't worry about stopping to smell the roses and we both get back to the house smiling.

Miles: 3.33
Time:  30:00
Pace: 9:01
Shoes: U/A Bandit 2

Run #2

It was 86*F and just too hot for a decent run outside, but I had already decided that I was going to do a treadmill workout to force me to run a little quicker and not fight traffic, bumps or heat. I had thought about doing some easier intervals and then decided to just do a 3.0 mile progression run


  • 1.0 @ 7.6 mph
  • 1.0 @ 7.7 mph
  • .50 @  8.1 mph
  • .50 @   8.2 mph
  • .10 @  8.2 mph
Miles: 3.1
Time:  23:59
Pace: 7.42
Shoes: U/A Apollo 2


Nothing spectacular, but since I had already run once, I wasn't looking to break the sound barrier, just run a little faster than the 8:40 to 9:20 pace I have been pretty much locked into lately. More to remind the body it still can and to get the legs to seeing if they yell too much - they didn't.

So it was a nice change of pace and I know that I am going to get my share of the treadmill in few months, but if I want to hit specific (faster) paces, this is where I do it best. On the treadmill.

I did forget to hit the stop the second time to record the run, so it looked like a lot longer than it actually was


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

94% Humidity = Yech -- RunLog 8-17-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Holy Humidity

94%

Yech

I was going to run again, but the leg told me that once today was enough.

Date:
8/17/16
Day:
Thursday
Time of Day:
8:30 AM
Ran with:
W/Bennie
Planned Distance: 3-4
Type of Run:
Easy
Location
Sidney
Course: Town Office 4.0 Miler
Terrain: Dirt & Tar roads
Temp: 72*F
Humidity: 94%
Weather:
Overcast
Winds:
4 mph N
Distance:
4.30
Duration:
39:26
Pace:
9:10
Zone:
1
Intensity:
0.84
Cadence:
--
 Splits/Intervals/Repeats
1
8:47
6

11

Exercise
Reps
2
9:01
7

12

Eccentric Heel Drops
2x3x15
3
9:11
8

12



4
9:43
9

14



5
9:04
10

15




Strava Graph Screen shot


Notes/Observations about the run:

Nothing special to write about this run, other than it being humid as hell.
Shoes Used:
U/A Bandit 2
Mileage:
37.0
Remarks:
Felt good and didn't notice them. I am finding out that I have to use thinner socks with them not so much to narrow, more the upper is snug, but stretchy.
Weight: --
Sleep: 6.5
Aches and Pains:
Left Leg - about the same
Hamstrings - no change