I HAVE MOVED

After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.

Harold

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Joseph's 24th Annual 5K Road Race

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 28, 2012



BRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! That is the word of the day, for the end of April Mid 30's and 20 mph winds made for a cold race this morning. Otherwise I loved the course, it was back at where I used to teach and it felt kind of strange driving into the driveway after almost a year. I got to see a teacher that I worked with (Sue M), a former co-worker from Good-Will Hinckley (Mike G) and some other runners that I have seen and talked with at the races - I've been to.

I had to laugh though, there was a motorcycle training class in the parking lot, which caused a lot of people to look around for the race registration (including me). One thing I found out that my Presto Faze running shoes are not great at is standing on telephone poles that are laying down - I slipped off one while waiting and drove a 1/4 inch sliver into my hand (had to do safety pin surgery before the race).

Neither the wind or the cold really bothered me all that much and I felt that I was starting a little faster than usual, but my times were really slow at the split points, so I don't know how accurate they were? Unfortunately, I didn't push that hard and it was more like a hard tempo run than a race pace.

This is where my lack of speed work really shows - I just don't know how to run fast, with this new form. I seem to be able to go far at a pretty steady pace, but going faster just feels awkward. I will start to work on that over the next few months and get some of that speed back that I have lost.



How did I do?

That being said, my 23:25 was still a new PR and I finished 10/45 and won my age group, so I felt pretty good after the race. I haven't come in first in a race since high school, so catching an age group win was pretty satisfying. For winning my age group, I got to choose my favorite snack - whoopie pies!

Here are some pictures that I took this morning:













Overall, I was very happy with my race and how I did! I am also using this for my Twitter Road Race result :-) so it was a twofer.

Which shoes did I wear - the Nike Presto Faze, they didn't bother my ankle a bit (no blood on the sock) and I didn't think about them during the race, which meant they did everything I expected of them and they were not a distraction. I now remember why I liked running in these shoes so much.

Now to just get it to warm back up again and get rid of this wind ;-).

I really do like the small local races, they are low-key and just fun to run. Plus I enjoy meeting new runners and seeing old friends or runners before and after the race. I want to say thank you and that the organizers and volunteers did a great job with the race!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Newton Gravity v1 – After 50 Miles

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah blog, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 18, 2012

My Newton Gravity’s now have 62 miles on them and my 50 mile review is past due.
When I got my Newton’s, I hadn’t really seen them up close and I was going on the many rave reviews of the shoes by people I trust and respect. I have worked hard on changing my running style to a forefoot landing and everything that I read, made me think that the Newton’s would be a perfect fit for the direction I want to go with my running.
Even my cat Domino wanted to get a closer look at them Nerd smile
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I have used the Gravity's as my short run shoes in my shoe rotation, which has helped to extend the life of my primary running shoes and allowed me to acclimate to them slowly. However, after yesterday’s long run, I decided that it is time for the Gravity’s to be my primary running shoes and my others, to become my short run shoes in a couple of weeks.
I want to run just in the Newton’s for a while and see how it goes.
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Construction/Fit

The Gravity’s are a very well-made shoe with no flaws and are extremely comfortable to wear. Which is exactly what you would expect from a shoe that retails for $175.00 as far as quality and workmanship go.
I have a feeling I would just go with my normal size 8 or go to a store and get fitted correctly next time. Mine fit nicely, but seem just a little too big in the toe box.
However, it wasn’t and isn’t enough of a size issue for me to send them back. It seems this year’s models are true to size according to the Newton website.
“Sizing: For customers who are new to Newton Running, this shoe runs true to size. Current Newton Running customers may wish to go down a half size from your current Newton Running size.”

How are they to run in?

The Gravity has Newton’s patented Action/Reaction Technology™, does help me “feel” the difference when I am running with a proper landing versus when I am are landing on my heel. The running action does not feel as comfortable or as efficient when I don’t land properly.
This is the biggest difference between the Newton’s and other running shoes and it is a big difference.

Break-in Your Body

However, there is a break-in your body to the shoes acclimation period, that can be short or long depending upon how much or little you have run with a more of a forefoot landing and the type of shoes you have run in.
I was fairly lucky and had moved towards more minimal shoes before getting the Newton’s and had worked a lot on my form to land more on my forefoot. Even so, I still had to take a couple of weeks to get used to running in them.
They have helped me to focus on landing more on my forefoot and even when I run in my other shoes, I still think “land, lever, lift”. So the reminder and the technology is working to help me run with a more natural running style no matter what shoe I am running in.

How are they wearing?

Pictures are worth a 1,000 words:
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My wear pattern is wearing the outside of the lug first. Not as much wear on the heels as I usually do, because I am focused more on landing on my forefoot and avoiding heel strike. There is also a little more wear on the toe area, which indicates that I am pushing off with my toes too much instead of lifting.
Based on the wear patterns I am seeing, these shoes should get over 500 miles on them and possibly even more as my form continues to improve. No I do not have perfect form, so there are going to be issues with wear.
I do wish that Newton would offer one of their Natural Running clinics up heah in Maine, so I could get some good feedback on things that I need work on to continue improving my form.

Drawback

The only drawback for me about the Newton Gravity is the retail price of $175.00. They have less pricey editions of their shoes, but they are still in the $140 range.
When I got my Gravities’, I got one hell of an end of year close-out price from the Natural Running Store, so the price for these was very reasonable, otherwise I would not have been able to afford to get them.
The price of one pair of Newton’s is a daunting hurdle to overcome in my budget conscious world. I have heard the arguments for buying the Newton’s regardless of their price. However, to be completely honest, if I needed to go out and pay full retail today, I would be very hard-pressed to pull the trigger.

The reality is that

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Newton’s so far and am ecstatic that I got them and really love running in them. It does mean, that I will be on the watch for great deals on them in the future, so that I can afford them.
Or if Newton need a great wear-tester, I know someone who is available Smile.
The next few months will really help me make up my mind about how great the Newton Gravities’ are. If I go out and start taking big chunks of time off my runs, especially my long runs (where the reaction energy return technology is supposed to shine) and I get up into the 500-700 mile range with life still in these shoes, then I will have to really do some thinking and pleading talking with the wife. Secret telling smile

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fly Like an Eagle 5K Recap - 4/7/12



After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 7, 2012

I ran the Fly Like an Eagle 5K, to support Erskine Academy's Senior Class this morning. 

I was surprised at the number of runners that showed up for a local race with 6 other races going on around the state this morning. I saw race numbers in the hundreds and it looked like about 100 people or so ran the race and a lot of volunteers.

I got to see Troy S. who I worked with at Hinckley at the race, it was very cool to reminisce about the old days, catch up on what each other is up to and find out any gossip that the other has about other old co-workers.

The course itself wasn't easy.

For some reason, I just couldn't find my rhythm until going up the second hill. Once we got on Weeks Mills Road, the wind (20+ mph) was directly in our faces. Which made it a lot colder and slowed us down too.

It was nice once we got back on the Windsor Rd, the wind was at our backs and there was less than a mile left. However, there was that one last hill that needed to be climbed. Not a bad hill, just in the wrong place on the course :-).


While the hills were not actually this steep, but they did get your attention. Actually I had more trouble with the steep downhill at the start than I did the last uphill. Maybe all the running I do around the house on the hills is paying off :-).

I was able to overtake one runner going up the hill and then a student from the school came huffing and puffing up the hill and passed me. I had passed her at mile 2 and coming around the corner had had about 30 yards on her before we got to the hill.

However, I noticed that she started to slow down slightly when she got to the top of the hill, so I decided see if I could pass her back. We passed each other a couple of times and with about 100 yards left I picked it up - not really a kick, more like a long surge and the other runner let me go.

When she passed me, I really hadn't thought about going with her, but when I noticed that slight slow down and how hard she had exerted herself to catch and pass me on the hill, I had a feeling, she didn't have a lot left and was just hanging on. 

Turned out I was right - I guess part of that being a veteran runnah thing.

It was just a little thing, but something you learn to look at when someone goes by you late in a race and I had a lot of experience at being passed, I haven't forgotten everything yet.
During the race itself, I pushed only a little, purposely keeping myself around the 80% effort level. I finished unofficially in 23:48, which is a PR for me at this distance. I had plenty of energy left and felt strong once I got going.

I decided last week to run the race a little faster than usual, but not to go all out:

I wrote that on Tuesday and for a change, I didn't get caught up in the race and try to do more than my current level of running fitness would comfortably allow. Yes I understand when racing you are supposed to "embrace the pain". However, when I embrace the pain during a race, I tend to get injured, especially when I have not been training to run fast.

Here are a couple of the photos that I was able to squeeze out of the camera:




The rest of the photos were not all that great, oh well next time. I will also remember to charge the battery, so I don't have to squeeze photos out of the camera.

I enjoyed hanging around after the race and talking with some of the other runners and even got to talk with a 64-year-old lady who had run in her first race EVER that morning! It was also pretty cool that she was running in Vibram Five Fingers and was asking about trail racing or running groups. I also got to meet Robin, who told me she had read my blog and recognized the "shirt" :-).

So I was very happy with my performance and the time. This race gives me a lot to build on and confidence that if I keep to my plan, that I will be more successful later this year.  It was definitely better to use this race as a good training run and continue to build up my fitness, than it would have been to race the race and get injured.

Damn this getting wiser stuff as you get older ;-).

Thank you Erskine Academy for doing a great job on the race, the course was well-marked, everyone was friendly and helpful and the refreshments were just enough. However, I had to leave before the official results were up and I didn't get to see the awards ceremony - which I enjoy. 

It is motivating to me to watch other runners get their reward for placing in their age group in a race. The sneaky part - it also allows me to see who the runners are that I need to run with at the start of a race (no guarantees I will be with them at the end :-), when I am in race shape.

Overall it was a very good second race of the year and I am looking forward to my next race, probably the Joseph's 5K in Fairfield on 4/28 (my youngest daughter's birthday). Just hope it is a little warmer, not so windy - I already know it will be a lot flatter :-)