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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Champions 12th Annual Turkey Trot 2014- My 5K Race Recap


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: November 27, 2014



Ah what a way to start Thanksgiving a 5K race, after getting 12 or so inches of snow, the night before.

I took this photo after I got home from the race

Yes, my Ranger has 10" of clearance and it was moving snow, so we got a good 12" inches. However, I didn't need to shovel or snow blow to get out, just put it in 4WD hi and drove right down the drive and through the plow crest at the end of the drive way.

The amount of snow isn't really a big deal, it was that it was a wet/heavy snow, that had ice and slush under it, which made it pretty miserable to drive and run on.

Driving was slow and the I-95 was a mess still, a lot of ice and crap was still on the road and I kept it in 4WD and didn't drive over 50 mph all the way to Waterville. I would rather go slow than end up 50 yards in the pucker brush waiting for a tow truck or worse.

I got to Champions - no problems, but when I went for my warm-up run, down Armory Road, this is what the race course looked like and I had just met the plows.


Looking towards the 4-way stop - we would be taking the left


Looking back towards Eagle Rental, the bump we would be going back up

Looking down the start - yep the parking lot was as "interesting" as it looked

No the roads were not "that" bad and we all have run in worse, but with the conditions it changed my goals for the race to:

Finish without injuring myself.
Run hard, but not stupid hard.

Registration

It was a combined 10K/5K start and there were quite a few runners for the conditions this morning...once we got to Olympia there was this clown out in the parking lot, doing donuts in his car. He rolled down his window and apologized.

Only in Maine. :-)

Champions Turkey Trot 5K/10K Start - Photo courtesy of Carrie Davis

When we got to the 5K turn off on Armory Road, only one runner from the lead pack turned - which put me in 2nd place - surprise, surprise.

I wore my Brooks Cascadia's and while screw shoes would have been better, they worked well on everything but the icy sections. So I had to move from what looked like clear pavement (it was a lot of black ice) into the snow/slush areas to get good grip. However, the runner ahead of me was flying...he had me by a minute or more at 4 way stop and by the time I was getting close to the 5K turn-around I couldn't see him.

Unfortunately, the 5K turnaround wasn't marked and he missed it and kept running. Even though I knew where it was supposed to be, I went quite a ways beyond it and didn't turn until I looked down at my GPS watch and saw it was already at 1.7, so I slowed down, talked to the volunteer back at the water station and headed back towards the finish. The other runner was way out of sight, so I couldn't holler and tell him to turn around.

Strava Stats - Champions Turkey Trot 5K Race - Yeah the course ended up a little long for me ;-)

I didn't try to push any harder on the way back, I just maintained a steady pace and figured that the guy was going to turn-around and catch me any way. He was a LOT faster runner than I am. He must have run further up the road than I thought he would, because I never saw him again, until after we finished.

Yeah, I came across the finish line before anyone else in the 5K.

I also knew that I was not the fastest runner today in the 5K race. I had finished first because he had missed the turnaround, not because I was faster, which made me feel bad for him. I told Lisa and Carrie what had happened and that he should be the winner and that I should have finished 2nd. However, the guy was very gracious and declined to take 1st, even though he should have won the race easily.



He just finished running cross-country for a college team and was home for the holiday. So I know he is a helluva lot faster than I am.

Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around for the awards ceremony (I had 2 driveways to clean-out), but I did get my t-shirt, that Lisa and Carrie had kidded with me about when I registered late on Monday :-).

Champions Turkey Trot T-Shirt

Although I didn't set the course on fire or set any PR's, I was very happy with my steady pace, in the tough conditions. So I accomplished both of my goals, no new injuries (although the hammie didn't like the icy spots and those sudden slips) and I didn't run stooopid.

I really enjoyed the race and it had that feeling of be an old-style race. Pretty low-key, no fancy chip timing , big prizes packages or anything. Just a lot of smiles on the finishers faces, some fruit and stuff in the lobby and a lot of camaraderie.

It was good to see a lot of familiar faces, that I haven't seen for a while and get to talk with them. I would have liked to have stuck around, but I will get to yak with a lot people at Champions and while I was there, Patrick asked if I was interested in starting up the Nooners group at the Alfond Youth Center again, in a week or two. Of course I said yes and am really looking forward to it.

So thank you to Lisa and Carrie for organizing and putting on the race and all the race volunteers who stood around in some pretty nasty conditions to help a bunch of crazy runners, run in nasty conditions. The only suggestion that I would have is that at the turn-around having an orange cone in the road to let the runners know where to turn :-).

I know that I had fun today, not because I got the t-shirt, but because of everyone that I got to see and that I overcame the conditions to have a decent race.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pearl Izumi N2 Road V1 -- 1/18/14 - Retirement Review

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: November 21, 2014

Update: These are the shoes that refuse to retire and have 450 miles on them no and have become my "screw" shoes for extremely nasty running outside in winter. They have become the running shoes that when all else fails, I put them on and run in them again.

This should be posted as the shoes that refuse to retire.

I have over 340 miles on my Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road 1/18/14 size 8.5 running shoes and my tell-tale right knee started to bother me, which means – it was time to retire them and I get to write about them again.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads (V1)
This is my second pair of N2 Roads and throughout the review, there will be times when I the information I will be giving is my experience with both pair of the N2 Road’s that I have owned.
I usually do an initial thoughts, 50 and 200 mile reviews on my shoes, but since these were the second pair and I was in the process of doing those reviews in the other pair, I never did the initial or 50 mile reviews on these shoes. It is funny, because my experience with these N2's, was a little different from my first ones. However, I did do a 200 mile review and here is the link to that.

Pricing/Availability

Nothing changed here, but I will include it since price is such a big deal for me and many other runners, I decided to put it right up front.
How much did I pay?  They were free, I traded a pair of my running shoes that I didn't like with another runner who did not like the N2 Roads size 8.5.
Prices for this shoe ranged from $63.00 to $120.00 on various sites that I checked. If you look around, you can get some really great deals on the Pearl Izumi N1 Roads, in the older colorways.
I have held and looked closely at the N2 Road V2 or 2015 model. It is a GREAT update, from what I could see many of the issues that I had with V1 have been addressed i.e. stiffnes, outsole design and according to the person I was talking with, they are not as firm as V1…I can’t wait to get a pair on my feet and put them through their paces out on the roads.
How have they worked out for me?
To be honest, I have had a love/hate relationship with the N2 Road model from Pearl Izumi.
When I got these back on January 18th, I still not all that sure of the Pearl Izumi’s and whether I liked them or not. The were stiff, way too firm and in size 8.5 seemed a little snug for me.
I also had another pair of N2 Road’s that I got in size 9.0 for Christmas and were using them as my primary trainers, along with a pair of N1 Trails.
My original N2 Roads
My original N2 Roads
So I didn’t really use this pair all that much during that time and they just sat in the closet collecting dust for the most part - I had put 78 miles on them through August 8th.
Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I am a little vain and I hate the colorway of this shoe…the mostly gray with yellow/red highlights might appeal to some, but is not what my wife would consider a “Harold shoe”.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Did that affect my choice about whether to wear them or not…maybe a little, but I will wear an ugly shoe without any problems, if I run well in it.
After a disappointing run in them at the Boys and Girls club 5.0 miler, these N2 Roads sat in my closet  from April 22 to August 8th, during my great running shoe search during that time. To be quite honest, I didn’t consider them to be the next great running shoe - for me.
What changed?
In June my right foot, the one with the Tailor’s Bunionette got run over by a dual axle half full hay wagon - which did something to my foot and since it healed, I have been able to wear shoes that I have not been able to wear in the past. Yeah, I know - what a crock of bullshit, but…hey it is what it is.
and
None of the many other running shoes that I tried seemed to be working all that well for me, my old reliable GRR2’s were bothering my tell-tale knee after under 200 miles and all the other shoes were - meh.
In August, I had decided to order the N1 Roads, due to how well the N1 Trails had worked for me and started running in these N2 Roads, because I figured that I might as well start getting used to the Pearl Izumi dynamic offset technology and started running in them again.
Strangely - I liked them a LOT and they have worked well since then for me.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
I continued to keep them in my running rotation and they became my go to running shoes. The more I ran in them, the more these N2 Roads became my running shoes, for anything other than speedwork or racing (tried that - they didn’t workout that well).
They are not a fast shoe in my opinion, but they are a comfortable and protective shoe that worked very well for me.
If I had to choose my shoe of the year today, this pair of shoes would be it.
Fit/Sizing
For consistent measurement purposes, I am a size 7 on the Brannock Foot measuring device and when you add-on a thumb’s width, it puts me in an 8.0 to an 8.5. As part of my review process, I am going to start showing a photo of the shoe and my thumb showing where my big toe is in the toe box to show how it actually fits my foot.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
The size 8.5 from Pearl Izumi’s EM line fits me about as well as any line of running shoe ever has.
They do not bother my tailor’s bunionette and my heel doesn’t slide/move around – no issues with blisters. My N1 Roads do feel slightly, ever so slightly wider than my N2 Roads, both fit well, but to be honest I like the fit of the N1′s better.
My size 9.0 N2 Roads were a little too sloppy compared to the fit of 8.5’s and I wonder if that was part of the reason for the gap at the bottom of the tongue that allowed grit and stuff in and might have been part of the problem with the N1 Trails that I loved so much.
Feel (different from fit)
These N2 Roads are a very quiet running shoe for me. While I am mostly a heel striker, the dynamic offset design (whatever that actually is) provides a nice heel-to-toe feel/transition that I really, really like, throughout the EM line of Pearl Izumi shoes.
The N2 Road’s were stiff and felt extremely firm, at first and I think that played into how I initially felt about them. While they became my go-to running shoe, that initial inflexibility and firmness that both pair of my N2’s had, negatively affected my perception of the N2 Road shoes and I think affects how many runners feel about them - and why there was probably so many returns of this model.
Honestly, I do not feel fast in either pair of the N2 Roads, but I can comfortably run any distance in these shoes. They are not a soft marshmallow/cushioned style of running shoe and are a lot firmer than almost all the other shoes I have run in this year. However, they were still comfortable on longer runs.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
The N2 Roads and road feel do not really go together in the same sentence, there is a lot of shoe between you and the road and I can run down-back on the dirt roads/rocks without too many issues.
To me the N2’s are a nicely protective running shoe that I can run well in, just not at race speeds.
Sole
The N2 Roads are road shoes, the flatter (sort of waffle) tread design makes no doubt about their purpose and while I have run on groomed trails/dirt roads in them, I have shoes that are better for that kind of running. If you need to get off the road, onto the shoulder where it can be: sandy, muddy or wet grass the N2 Roads are not that great with their grip.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1) -- One thing that I do like about the PI's are that they do have wear points that really show where the "wear" is on the shoes.
The N2 Roads are not designed to run in snow/slop, so they are a 10 month outside running shoe, at least for running outside up heah in Maine.
They are wearing better than many other shoes I have run in over the years and if it wasn't for my tell-tale knee telling me to move on, these shoes would have another 200-300 miles of wear left on the sole and uppers for many runners.
Upper
Comfortable, great upper - probably the best upper I have ever run in. Pearl Izumi has nailed the uppers on their shoes, what more can I say about it.
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road (V1)
For the N2 Roads, I preferred the stock shoelaces and didn't change over to the LockLaces, until I retired these shoes.
If Bennie Chewed Up These Shoes Today, What Would I Do?
The N2 Roads (V1) would be a solid choice for running that wasn’t specifically for speed work or racing. However, with the improvements I have seen in V2, those would be my first choice to look at before any other as a daily trainer and a shoe I would use to eat up the miles. I like the fit and now that I am used to it - the feel of the N2 Roads and the Dynamic Offset technology.

The Reality is that

After 340 miles and over 200 miles on my first pair of N2 Roads, I have gotten to know the N2 model quite well. Once I got past the initial firmness and stiffness in both pair, they were running shoes that just worked for me on the roads. There may be others out there that are flashier, have more wonderful technology or hype to go along with them, but the N2 Roads are a solid running shoe that simply allows me to run.
I cannot give a better recommendation other than I am planning to buy them again, only I really want to give the 2015 Version a good look, but at $120 on their website, it might be a while before I get to.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these shoes as part of a trade with another runner for shoes that I had. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experiences with this product might be different from mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Road Trip to Boston - Part 1

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: November 14, 2014

Last week, I decided to make a road trip to Boston and planned to do some running, meet some people and maybe a little shopping on the way back.
Why did I choose to go down to Boston, when I hate traveling to the big city, especially this time of year when the weather is so unpredictable?
Puma has solicited for running shoe wear-testers a few times over the past few months and I thought to myself, why not, I wear size 8.5 to 9.0 and threw my name into the hat.
Well for some reason or other they accepted me as a wear-tester.
Which I thought was pretty cool. While I have applied to be a wear-tester in the past for several other brands, except for one pair of New Balance back in 2002, I haven't been selected. So I was pretty psyched.
One of the parts of the selection process was that you had to get your feet measured on a Brannock Device and I came in at a solid size 7 or just over.
Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.24.00 AM
 
mmmmm I haven’t worn size 7.0 shoes, since well...not since I was a teenager and based on that I wasn’t really what Puma is looking for (they want that perfect size 9.0 - like most of the other brands).This running shoe size difference is something that I have whined about so many times and I wanted to find out more about why I had to wear size 8.5 to 9.5 in running shoes when my Brannock size was so much smaller, especially since I really liked the idea of wear-testing for Puma.
So last week I asked if I could set up a meeting and go visit John and Eric at the Puma wear-testing office in Boston (on my dime) and get this foot measurement thing figured out. Also, I like being able to put a face with the name and find that you can do more, talk things out more easily if you have had some face-time with someone.Once I get an idea in my head, I tend to hold on to it until I get an answer and this shoe size thing has bothered me for a couple of years. So I figured that I should be able to get at least some of my questions answered by John and Eric.
Of course, Monday was one of the most miserable days to drive to Boston from Maine that I could have picked. Once I got to Gardiner until I got to Kennebunk, I had to drive through snow, sleet, freezing rain and heavy downpours - you know just wonderful driving conditions for 3-4 hours one way.
 
Driving through Portland in the snow/sleet 11/17/14
Oh well, I made it to Boston, then with the “no cash” signs on the Mystic River Bridge worrying me, I got off Rt 1 and wandered around Everett for a little while, before I found my way over to Charleston and finally where I needed to go in Boston proper. Hey, I found parking ($35 for the few hours I was there - ouch!) and got to the Puma Office. Nice offices, but downtown Boston - no thanks.John and Eric graciously took time out of their busy day to measure me on the Brannock Device again - yep perfect size 7.0 on that thing and talk to me about running shoes, Puma's running shoe division, what a wear tester does for them and all kinds of other stuff.No photos from here on. :-)Then I tried on several styles of shoes and their size 9.0 was definitely a size 9.0 and way too big for me. Which really sucked, I figured out pretty quickly, I was going to be pretty useless to them as a wear-tester and when I said that in typical "Harold blunt speak", we all laughed, but they agreed with me.
We discussed that they didn’t have a lot of opportunities for wear-testing in my foot size and that while they would keep me in the database for opportunities that did arise, but that were not expecting there to be a lot of opportunities for me. Oh well...bummer, not a big deal and we joked around about it for a bit, but I was disappointed, because I think I would do a very good job as a wear-tester.
Oh well - so much for not being a size 9.0.
Then we got to talking about what John was seeing in the differences in shoe sizing among the different brands and why even with my small feet that I am wearing any where from an 8.0 to 9.5, even though the Brannock Device measures my foot as a 7.0. John explained how European fit (snugger) versus U.S. (wider-looser) fitting preferences affects the different brands sizing. Which I found fascinating and didn’t realize how the philosophies in sizing are different for different markets: European, Japanese, U.S. etc.
I learned a lot and understand the differences a little better than I did before, but I still hate the sizing inconsistencies between brands or even between brand styles or from year-to-year. I wish that someone would standardize the shoe sizing and make it a lot easier for everyone.
I enjoyed the discussions about the direction that Puma Running is going and how there will be a lot of very interesting stuff and improvements coming out of Puma Running over the next few years. I even got a sneak peek at some of the new stuff and I was impressed.
After we had talked for a while and they got to know that I am really a running shoe geek. I think that John and Eric felt a little sorry for me having driven down to Boston, in the crappy weather and not being able to really do much in their wear-test program. So after trying on/looking at several shoes, John went into one of the stacks and brought out a pair size 7.0 pair of shoes and asked me to try them on…surprisingly to me, I got my foot in them without any problems and while they were snug, they fit.
John explained that this would be a great example of how European fit was - snug and no slop in the fit. I haven’t worn my running shoes this snug since high school (our cross country coach made us wear running shoes we could just get our foot in and usually a this kind of snugness nowadays usually causes my Tailor’s Bunionette to talk nasty to me.
I ran up and down the corridor a few times and you know something they felt really good, snug but not uncomfortable and didn't bother my Tailor's Bunionette (I ran in them for 6.0 miles in very good treadmill speedwork session yesterday - no problems). I can’t get into which shoe it is, do the photo routine or talk about them until after they are released next spring - that NDA thing.
Although, the wear-testing for this model is done, he asked me to give them feedback on them and how they were working for me and if I get around to it next spring to do a full review of them on my blog, if I wanted to.
So while, I probably will not be doing a lot of wear-testing for Puma, because I do not meet their foot size needs, I did get a glimpse into some of what they are doing, which I was impressed with, plus I got to meet Eric and John - great people and very knowledgeable about running shoes.
Who knows, I am in the Puma wear-tester database as a size 8.0 (I talked John into that instead of a 7.0 or 7.5), which is where he planned to put me and someday they might have a need for someone with small feet to test a pair of shoes.
So while I am a Puma wear-tester, I won't be very active.
Oh well, if I only had bigger feet. hehehehe -- don't go there.
Yes, I brought home those shoes and will be running in them over the next few months. I am still pretty amazed that a pair of size 7.0 shoes fit my feet! However, they are under NDA until spring, so no photos or talking specifically about them. Bummer.
I know that I really enjoyed the visit to the Puma offices, getting to meet Eric and John was great and best of all I learned a lot. So even though I probably won't be getting too many opportunities for wear-testing for Puma, I consider myself a part o the Puma wear-testing program.

After Puma

Originally, I had planned on running along the Charles River and then back along Atlantic Avenue down to where I used to work, but due to the pouring rain and nasty conditions - it was just too miserable to enjoy the run, I decided to wait until another time, when the weather wasn’t so miserable.

All I know is that every time I go down to Boston, that I am so very thankful that I no longer work down there. I am happy living up heah, where life is a LOT slower and traffic not nearly as bad! Could I do it - sure if I had to, but I don't have to and have no wish to get back into life in the fast lane.

It was time to head North again.
If you want to keep reading about the rest of the this wonderful you can go to Road Trip to Boston - Part 2.

Road Trip to Boston - Part 2

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: November 19, 2014

This was one of the highlights of running for me. Meeting another runner who simply is a great person and fun to be around.

If you want to read about my adventures getting to Boston and what I learned about being a Puma wear-tester you can read about it in Part 1.
One of the things about social media is that you get to “meet” a lot of people online and talk to them about running or whatever. Well I have been “talking/following” with Sam W. from New Hampshire on Strava and in the Running Shoe Geeks Facebook Group for a while now and really appreciate his opinions about and knowledge of running/running shoes and his reviews of them.
IMG_0519
I knew he was from New Hampshire and last week when I figured out I was going down to Boston, I talked with him about meeting up. We talked about doing a run together and possibly trading some shoes if we had the chance.Even though the conditions were nasty and I wasn’t sure if he would interested in running in the storm that was going, I figured I could meet him, talk about running shoes and maybe make a trade for some low-mileage shoes he doesn’t want anymore for some of mine. I called and we agreed to meet at his house.
We gabbed and talked about running shoes only like true running shoe geeks can, so much so that his daughter was laughing at us. It was a little like being a kid in a candy store and getting to talk with someone else who is just as excited about being there as you are. ;-)
Yeah, we went on a run, even though the conditions were nasty you can read about it here.
We did trade some shoes and I ended up with a pair of Saucony Zealots and Newton Energy NR’s, both of which I wanted to try, so that was cool.
Saucony Zealot
Saucony Zealot
IMG_0534
Newton Energy NR Men's version. I had the women's version and loved it, but it was too narrow
I had a GREAT time meeting, running and talking with Sam. It was definitely one of the highlights of the day.
If you have a chance to actually meet some of the people you talk to so much on social media, I really suggest you take the opportunity to do so if you can.
As much fun as I was having running and talking with Sam, I still needed to drive another 3-4 hours in nasty weather.

Kittery

So I after we got done running, I quickly got back on the road, but due to me being stupid and not changing after running in the cold rain at Sam’s, I had to stop in Kittery to warm-up.
Wouldn't you know it, right across the street from McDonald's is a Puma Factory Outlet store and since I had just come Puma in Boston, I decided to go in and take a look at what shoes they had. Of all the running shoes, that Puma has out, the Mobiums have intrigued me the most and I have never had an opportunity to even see V1 or V2 in person.
The Mobium Version 1 would not have been a shoe, that I would have worn, just didn't feel comfortable and it had that damn skinny no padding tongue that I am not very keen on. However, V2 is a different story, I liked the changes from V1 to V2, unfortunately, the smallest size they had in stock was a 9.0.
Oh, the story of my day!!!
The 9.0 in the store, fit exactly like the 9.0's at the Puma wear-test office (at least they are consistent), which was a definite no go...it was probably a good thing TheWife would have had my arse, if I had bought another pair of shoes, when I was already coming home with 3 pair that were new to me.
However, at some point, I will get a pair of Mobium V2, they still intrique me and I wonder how I will run in them.

Freeport

My final stop was at LL Bean in Freeport.
Back in 1990, when I was at RIO Bath and stationed in Portland, I got a GoreTex running outfit from Beans and have put a LOT of miles on the jacket (the pants wore out a long time ago and disappeared). However, the jacket liner had holes all through it and was just wearing out. LL Beans has a great 100% warranty program and I figured I would see if they could repair the liner.
I have a lot of memories and miles in that jacket and just wanted a new liner in it. However, the CSR there told me in no uncertain terms that they do not repair jacket liners and when I told him that is what I really wanted. Well…he repeated "we do not repair jacket liners and you can either return the jacket for store credit or keep it after all it IS from 1990."
Mmmmmmm not what I really wanted. I went in thinking that if they couldn’t repair it, I would just take it home keep using it until it completely wore out, but the insinuation that isn’t 24 years enough wear (which I believe it was, I got more than my money's worth out of that jacket and didn't expect a new one) and tone in the CSR’s voice changed my mind, at that point I was tired, probably a lot crankier than I usually am and to be honest it became a matter of principle.
They offer the 100% warranty and I purchased the jacket from them and it wasn't cheap when I got the outfit back then.
Even so, I still hemmed and hawed for few minutes, thinking about all the runs in the jacket, the memories I made in it, but the CSR kept looking at me like "come-on shit or get off the pot", I decided to take the store credit, grinned and looked right back at the CSR, who quickly looked away.
I had to go get another running jacket. I chose a Brooks bright orange which is weather resistant and while it is not as nice as my old GoreTex one, it probably is a better choice for where I run now.
My new running jacket
My new running jacket
The colorway is safer than the silver/gray of the old one and the liner is in one piece.
Although it doesn’t have the memories of my old Gore-tex jacket and probably will not last nearly as long, it is now home with me. You know if I hadn't been as tired, I probably wouldn't have possibly misinterpreted tone/look from the CSR and gotten rid of my old jacket, but hey it is what it is.
I still think that Bean's is a great place to shop and I love their stuff - especially their 100% warranty policy, but I wonder if I should have just taken my jacket back it was over 24 years old. Ahhh well it was probably just the way I was seeing things after a long tiring drive, but...well let's leave it at that. I probably just got my wires crossed for no reason and need to just move on.
I have run a couple of times in the new jacket and it works great. The plus is that I can run in during hunting season, whereas, there is no way, I would run in my old silver Gore-Tex jacket this time of year. So it will work out and I still have the memories, just not the jacket :-) .
Ah, but when I got home around 7:30, TheWife was not a real happy person.
I was supposed to be home between 5-6 and I didn't call to tell her I was running late...remember guys call home if you are going to be late. Especially, when you are driving in nasty weather, they have active imaginations too and worry about us. So I was in that damn doghouse yet again. I know it pretty well and find my way there a little too often sometimes. :-)
So that was my adventures on Monday.

You know something, I wouldn't want to do that all the time, but at the same time I did have fun, learned an awful, met some great people, a few more shoes found their way home with me and I even ended up with a new running jacket. So it was a very successful day. The best part I made it home in one piece.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pearl Izumi N2 Tri’s - 30 Mile Review

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: November 11, 2014


Okay, this is something different, me reviewing a pair of running after only 30 miles. That usually means that something is drastically wrong with the shoes.

Well...yes and no.

After yesterday's 10 miler and having run in them most of this week, there is a single issue with the N2 Tri's that is going force me to make them into closet monsters until next April, when I will pull them back out and start running regularly in them again.

What in the hell are you talking about?



Yes, they are part of the N2 series, but I have found out they are not the same shoe as the N2 Roads. To me, they feel and look slightly different and it goes beyond just being brightly lit up and no tongue.

The first thing that I changed was the stock elastic laces, the slide was difficult to use and when I am tired, I don't want to frig around with a finicky slide. I put in LockLaces and they work fine.


Let’s back up a bit…
I have run in my second pair of Pearl Izumi N2 Roads since August and they have turned into my primary…mmmm let’s change that — my favorite running shoes this year, until this week when my knee started to talk to me and it was time to retire them after 340 miles.



I liked them enough that I chose to buy another pair N2's, but I got the N2 Tri’s and their no tongue design. I figured that they would be pretty much the same shoe with just a slight change to the upper.

Ummm -- wrong.

Differences

When I first put the N2 Tri’s on they seemed a little longer and not as wide as my N2 Roads, but during my first run in them, they felt fine on the treadmill, so I didn’t give it another thought.

However, as I have run in them this week, the “small” differences between the N2 Tri’s and N2 Roads became more apparent, especially since they are both supposed to be 8.5's.

The N2 Tri's are not as wide in the forefoot, are longer and have a more tapered toe box.




There is a strap that goes across the outside of the N2 Tri and while it has not bothered my Tailor's Bunionette, I am concerned about how it will feel on a long run in the summer when my feet swell.

The heel cups do not feel as snug, but that could be due to being slightly higher volume in the arch area, due to the tongue design.

These are a lot of little things, that are slightly different between the N2 Tri's and the N2 Roads. I know that manufacturing tolerances have a certain amount of +/- , but there is a noticeable difference between these two styles of shoes in the N2 series.

To me they are a different running shoe.

The big question is - are these differences enough to affect how the N2 Tri's do for me at longer distances?

I ran a 10 miler and they performed well. No problems with my right foot's Tailor's Bunionette and my knee wasn't talking to me about anything.

So I know that I can comfortably run long in them, so WTF is the problem?

It has started to get colder up heah in Maine and when the winds are whipping around, having a pair of shoes that at least slows the wind/cold down, can make the difference between a comfortable run or frozen feet and a miserable run.

Yesterday's first run and the long run were done in low to mid 30's F and with the wind chills was down in the 20's. By the time I finished my Bennie run my feet were cold and when I finished the long run, they were damn cold.

The N2 Tri's are well ventilated for warm weather running, which means that the air gets in/out easily and yesterday it was windy and cold. I could feel the breeze blowing through without any issues and it didn't feel like they retained any warmth, in spite of having on merino wool socks, they just felt cold the whole time.

Which caused cold feet.

Something that I don't have a lot of patience for is cold feet and when it is preventable, simply by using a different pair of shoes - I will use a different pair of shoes.

Which means that I know what I am going to do with the N2 Tri's

Put them in the closet until it warms up next spring.

The reality is that

Now that I have worn the shoes for a while and did a successful long run in them yesterday, would I have gotten the Pearl Izumi N2 Tri’s?

Ummmm probably not. I have a feeling that the 8.0’s would have been too narrow and even though I like the looks of the shoe a lot (nice bright colors), they just do not have the same “feel” as my N2 Roads (either pair). I more than likely would have put them back up on the shelf and gotten another pair of N2 Roads, based on how they felt.

However, they are not uncomfortable to run in, they just do not have the same feel to me as the N2 Roads and I was disappointed by that change. So my expectations on how the N2 Tri's should feel was different than what they are and is skewing my perception of how I feel about these shoes, which I am sure will work fine, once I get by that.

That is why when you look at the Shoe Fittr, they always show the different colorways and styles within the series. There are differences.

Something to remember, especially when we are buying running shoes online.

In case you haven't noticed I am awfully damned finicky about how my running shoes fit and feel. If they are not exactly what I want, I tend to not wear them. However, how they performed on the long run (except for the cold feet), was better than a lot of the shoes I have run in this year.

I will give them another chance when the weather get warmer and my expectations are different.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Old is More Than a Word

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: November 3, 2014


We all have attempted at some point, to minimize the effects of aging or soften the negative image that aging we and others have by using other words to describe becoming old.



You know:
  • the golden years
  • older
  • aging
  • getting old
  • oldster
  • gray-haired
  • declining years
  • long in the tooth
  • been around
  • lot of mileage
  • over the hill
  • retired
  • no spring chicken
  • venerable
  • getting up in years

and all those other terms we used to avoid saying what is obvious - that we are old. Our society focuses on staying young, disparages being old and ignores that not every thing about getting old is bad.

Believe it or not, I am learning to accept many of the changes that have happened as I have gotten old. No I do not like all of them, but my life is better now at 57, than it was at 27.

I am finally starting to become comfortable with who I have become.
The Choices

It actually comes down to one simple fact that not everyone likes to hear and to be very blunt the choices are simple:

being dead

or

being old

Me - I am choosing to be old.

There is no fountain of youth, no scientific discoveries available to the public, I do not know any vampires or werewolves or anything else that is going to give me immortality or reverse the aging process.

So I will continue to get old.

Be Me

Honestly, I am tired of attempting be younger than I am.

No, I am not as old as a lot of people, but I am still considered old. I know that my best days are in the rear view mirror and that statistically I have less time left, than I have lived - probably another 20 years or so.

I am tired of trying to minimize both how old I am and how much it does affect/effect me physically and mentally, being old does affect me and not in ways that are easy to accept. However, it does not mean that I am now suddenly decrepit, senile, feeble, a doddering old fool, or all those other words used to negatively portray us old people.

If you know me, you know that I am not going to give up and become a damned couch potato, have a belly where I can't see my toes, self-medicate or allow medical professionals to medicate me into oblivion. Hell, I am not going to give an inch until it is forced upon me.

But…and this is a big but, getting old and the changes it brings, will happen no matter how much or how hard I try to fight or delay it.

Acceptance

At some point in our lives we have to face reality or at least acknowledge that we are different from what we used to be.

As much as sometimes that I don’t want to admit it, hell's bells I hate to even think it, but it is the reality of who I am and who I am becoming.

I cannot do the things the same way as a younger person does or the way that I used to do things.
Surprise Others

However, I still want to surprise some of those younger folk every so often - you know that pride thing or is it my ego, to show them that I can still bring it - at least once in a while.

If I want to do that, it does mean that I have to be smarter about how I train, eat/drink differently, use better equipment, replace it sooner or choose my events more carefully.

You know, do the things that play to my strengths versus my weaknesses and not attempting to believe that I can do anything or everything.

I can't and neither can anyone else.

Most of all, I have to listen to my body better and more than I ever have in the past. Those days of abusing myself with too much fun, food, drink or partying until 4:00 AM and then getting up at 6:00 AM to go work - ain’t happening.

Actually, those days haven't happened for a few years.

The reality is that


Getting old is something that is a good thing and I believe is what most of us want to do - eventually. Unfortunately, "eventually" happens all too quickly and we can either continue to deny that we are getting old or we can accept it.

Learning to live within what being old does bring into our lives, instead of continuing wish or act like we are still young and be able to do things the same way we did, is not easy, but something we all have to do at some point.

That doesn’t mean that I will suddenly turn into a boring, old curmudgeon who is just sitting around waiting to die.

I plan to live my life as fully as I can, for as long as I can. I will still have fun, do more than I and many others think I can, push the boundaries when I can, act like an idiot every so often and enjoy life while I can.

In other words acknowledge that yes, I am 57, still alive and that I need to look forward to the many birthdays that I hopefully have ahead of me, instead of continually looking back at who I used to be, what I used to be able to do and wishing that was still who I am.

This guy is just a memory...
Harold Graduation photo - 1975

So being old is a pretty damn good alternative to being dead.

All you young people (anyone younger than me), who take the time to read this old fart’s meandering thoughts, just remember - hopefully one day you will be old too.

Think about it...hopefully one day you will be old too.

What do you think of getting old or old people?

By the way, how many times did I say old in this post?