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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July A HOT Month - Week In Review 7-31-16

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


What Happened This Week?

I worked, I ran and really that is about all. 

I had planned on a cut-back week after 3 weeks of over 30 miles, it was needed. The 25 miles I got were on single runs all week - no doubles. So my average run is starting to get a little longer and I am getting into Zone 2 a little more often. 

Getting there - slowly...ever so slowly.

Other than that, I even wrote a few posts that were not running log posts for a change:





Photo of the Week:


No, it has absolutely nothing to do with running, it was me grilling in the middle of a bad thunderstorm. When I went down-back the next day you could see where there had been a microburst that knocked over a few trees.


Running Summary

Weekly totals spreadsheet screenshot


Thoughts on this week’s running.

After 3 weeks with over 30 miles, it was time for a 10 mile cut-back week and I was happy with the 25+ miles that I got in this week. You see, I am trying to be smarter about running and training.

Plus the way that my leg felt at work on Monday I wasn't sure if I was going to get any miles in this week and couldn't have run on Tuesday if I had wanted to. Luckily, the leg finally felt better Wednesday and I was able to run on it the rest of the week.

I had really thought about doing the race over in Belgrade on Saturday, but with the way the week started, I decided that I didn't need a bad case of Harold being Harold and stayed home.

One thing that i have noticed is that I automatically set, brace or toe off with my left foot, which adds stress to a weakened leg too often. I think I have re-injured or strained it more times this week just because it is my left foot and I am left footed.


Year-to-Date and Monthly Progress

spreadsheet screenshot


Summary:

In spite of still fighting with my left leg/ankle/achilles tendon area, I had the second highest mileage total of the year in July. I could have popped over 140 miles for the month if I had really wanted to, but what for? It wouldn't have served any purpose other than to massage my ego, so I didn't bother. Other than that July was a decent (if hot) month for running and I am happy with the progress made.

For the year I am only 662 miles away from 1,500 mile goal for 2016 and as long as I do not get injured again or the left leg gets worse, I should be able to hit the goal a little sooner than December, but we will see.


Running Shoes


Running Shoe Rotation: Nike Lunar Glide 7
Thoughts about running shoes: As much as I like the LG7's, I have almost worn through the outsole by the toe on both feet and like I said in my 200 mile review, it is more a question when it wears through more than if it is going to wear through. Which means that I need to add in another daily trainer, not a speedwork specific shoe to my rotation sooner rather than later, which was not what I had planned originally.

I had thought that the Lunar Tempos would become my speedwork, racing and treadmill shoes, while the LG would last until November or so, when I would get another pair of trail shoes (Nike Wildhorse 3's maybe) to get me through the winter.

But last week when I started to look closely at the LG7's outsole, I knew this plan was going to have to change.

So I have been doing some research on the direction I want to go with my next pair of trainers and got it down to 3-4 different ones. Like most runners, I prefer to buy locally when the prices are reasonably close or what is usually the problem do they have what I am looking for in stock. I checked out Dick's and the Pegasus 33 (a little snug in the toe box for me) and then I went Olympia in Waterville and looked at a couple more shoes - one of which was on my list and it fit great. Plus I had a 20% off coupon, so I decided to buy them and when I showed them to Mary when I got home - they quickly became another birthday present.

I get to add 2 pair of running shoes to my rotation next week :-).

Probably the LG7's will last until the 6th, because I still do really like them, but the durability in toe area, with the way I run was disappointing. If they don't last that long, I can run in the H3's until my birthday, it isn't that they don't work for me, but more that I prefer the LG7's


Shoes I Ran In This Week
Nike Lunar Glide 7 - (9.4 oz) - Personal Purchase


Nike Lunar Glide 7 - 200 Mile Review
I will run in them until I go through the outsole, which could happen tomorrow or next month, but it is going to happen at some point fairly soon. Which is too bad, because I really like everything else about the LG7's.


Other Shoes in the closet, but not being used


Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road (8.3 oz) - Personal Purchase

My tweener shoes that I love to run in, but are not enough shoe for long runs and are too much shoe to be my race day choice. The lower drop does make it so that I am not going to run in them for a while. I wore them to work the other day and my leg was a lot more sore than usual.

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/H3 Road (9.9 oz) - Personal Purchase

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



Races


Not for a while.


INJURIES


Left Achilles Tendon area: No real changes, it is taking its damn sweet time to get better.
Hamstrings - No changes


The reality is that


July was a pretty good month, with all things considered. I just hope that August is even better and that by September the leg will be pretty much back to normal - at least that is my hope.

A Surprise Speedwork - RunLog 7-31-16

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

I can't believe it is the last day of July, the is 2/3 over an the last 1/3 will go even faster. It was a nice morning for a run, at least I thought it was going to be. It turned out to be a little more humid than I thought and then I got to go to the UMA trails for a nice walk.

Run #1
Date:
7/31/16
Day:
Sunday
Time of Day:
9:43
Ran with: Bennie

Planned Distance: 3
Type of Run:
Easy to cover the distance and then run another later

Location
Sidney
Course: Wildwood O/B
Terrain: Tar and dirt roads

Temp: 70*F
Humidity: 64%
Weather: Overcast
Winds: 8 mph NNE

Distance:
4.08
Duration:
35:29
Pace:
8:42
Zone:
2
Intensity:
0.86
Cadence:
176

 Splits/Intervals/Repeats
1
8:18
6

11

2
8:11
7

12

3
8:32
8

12

4
9:18
9

14

5
7.23
10

15



 Garmin Graph Screen shot

Notes/Observations about the run: I really hadn't planned on basically doing road intervals today, but every run with Bennie is an adventure. Between the 8 Bennie stops and the number of vehicle chases, it pretty much evened out. A couple of times it even felt as if I was running freely - without the left leg getting in the way.

Unfortunately, as we came up the Stevens Hill a truck went by and Bennie went into hyper drive and after that little spike, he was done. It was still pretty hot/humid feeling as you can see by how sweaty my hat got and even though he was willing, he didn't complain too much about stopping.

Anything going on in life to share? SD2 realtor is showed her house today, so she needed someplace to hang out with her dogs. Unfortunately, Bennie and her beagle do not get along all that well, so I found out she was coming over after I finished our 4.0 mile run. Which meant I volunteered to take Bennie for an adventure in town on the Rail Trail for an hour or so. He was more than willing - he loves to take a ride in the truck, especially if we go to the Rail Trail. We even promised him a McDonald's hamburger, which he thinks is a huge treat.

So off we went on our adventure...well I didn't have any cash for the burger, so I stopped at the Civic Center Drive bank branch to get some. Umm Houston a small problem - NO WALLET (it was sitting exactly where I left it on the bureau when I got home). Which means no McDonalds for Bean. There was some blue air, but nothing serious.

Which meant driving all the way across town to get to the Rail Trail was kind of useless. We were not too far from the UMA trails, which he loves too...so we did the UMA trails - going to where I work on a Sunday to walk with my dog - crazy aren't I.

We were going to run again, but when I got out of the truck the left leg had tightened up too much to run, so I gimped around the trails. If I had gone straight for my second run earlier like I had planned, it would have been fine, it was the sitting in the truck that got it out of sorts for running again that soon.

Shoes Used:
Nike Lunar Glide 7
Mileage:
202.68
Remarks:
No issues

Weight:
Sleep 6.5

Aches and Pains:
Left Leg - no change
Hamstrings - no change

If I Believe, Does It Work?

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

I haven't been writing much other than about my daily runs and whining about being injured - yet again, way too damn much lately.

So it is probably time to do a post about something else.

The role of belief in running.

No, not a runner's belief in God, a Higher Power or no belief at all. That is each individual's choice and far beyond what I want to tackle. Yeah, I know the limits on this blog about what I want to talk about and religion is one of those that I stay very far away from.

What I want to write about is much simpler and at the same time pretty damn complex in and of itself.

If I believe, does it work?

Something many people call the Placebo Effect.

or according to others...

magical thinking.

In other words if I think, believe or "know" that something I use, eat or drink is going to make me a better runner - does it?

The best answer I can find after a bit of research is - well maybe...

Then again, in my personal experience and for me -- I would be a bit more positive and say...

  • If I believe that I will run well in a pair of running shoes, then I WILL run better in them.
  • If I believe that I will run like crap in a pair of running shoes that I have lost confidence in or don't like for some reason - I do not run as well in them.
  • If I believe that there is a difference in how I run in racing flats versus light-weight trainers or daily trainers, than I will. 
  • If I believe that when I wear a certain top, shorts, socks, hat that I will do better on a run, than without them - I do.
  • If I believe that I will run better wearing compression gear, I do. 
  • If I believe that when I eat a Chocolate No-Bake Cookie while driving to a race, that I always seem to have a better race.
  • If I believe that when I drink Gatorade or some other energy drink during a run that I am going to vomit again or feel like it, I usually do. 


I can hear it now from all the nay sayers and scientifically based people out there - prove it. Yeah, I can hear them say it doesn't really work that way and that I am a victim of even more "woo" thinking than usual.

Oh I am sure that if I looked closely enough, that there are probably scientific based reasons that I do better in a particular pair of running shoes, a "lucky" top, compression gear, that chocolate no bake cookie that has lots of carbs in it and that with some runners with a "delicate" stomach the sugars in energy drinks can bother you when are exerting yourself at race levels.

However, for whatever it is worth, I know that:

  • I do run and train better in shoes that I am not worrying about or thinking about why I lost confidence in them or even what is going to happen next in those damn shoes.
  • I do run faster in racing flats (even when the racing flats weigh about the same as my light-weight trainers or minimalist running shoes), my times validate this.
  • I do run faster when I put on my singlet or racing kit, they are more than just another workout outfit.
  • I "know" that my body does not feel as beat up after the runs I do wear my compression gear and my times are a "bit" better, than when I don't use them.
  • I do run better in races where I remember to eat those chocolate no bake cookies, the effort seems easier and the times are faster.
  • I "know" that I cannot drink those sickeningly sweet electrolyte drinks when I am running hard, they bother my stomach and I have puked during races that I have tried to drink them. I have even tried to drink them during training runs, but the same things happen and running is the only sport that these bother me.

Nope, none of those statements have or rely on a very much scientific evidence, value or anything else, they are just statements I am making. In other words, I may not "know" the scientific reason for it, but I do "know" when I have confidence in what I am using, wearing, eating and drinking that I DO run better.

Ain't the human brain a wonderful f*#@ing thing.

The reality is that

Yeah, I know I am pretty weird - what else is new and no I didn't go into a bunch of stuff that I know doesn't work for me just because I believe it will - you know that stuff like: I believe that I can run like I did when I was 25 or that I believe that I can heal most injuries by running through them, etc.

Also ya still gotta still put the miles in and do the work to run well - simply believing that you will run well without doing anything but...well I believe. Actually I "know" that is simply wishful thinking that doesn't work so well from many years of experience. :-)

There is still some reality to my thinking. The blog's name after all is One Foot In Reality, so I am not completely delusional - yet.

So it seems for me at least the answer is:

Absolutely, positively and no doubt about it.

If I believe - it does work for me -- well sometimes :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nike Lunar Glide 7's - 200 Mile Review

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

I bought my Nike Lunar Glide 7's over at the Nike Outlet in North Conway, NH as a personal purchase and it was a pretty fantastic deal, which helped me a lot with the impulse buy part of it.

I had just started on this journey of left leg frustrations and thought that changing to higher drop shoe would help. It has, but just not as much as I would have liked.


Also this is my second pair of Lunar Glides - the first pair were the 5's and worked well enough that I wanted to try the LG's again and while these were sort of an impulse buy, when were up in NH, I had been doing my due diligence (that research thing) on what I was thinking about getting, because I was frustrated with the other shoes I had been wearing.

Without further ado here is my 50 Mile Review of the Nike Lunar Glide 7's.

What are the LG's primary stats?

Weight: 9.1 oz (size 9)
Stack Height: 25mm (Heel), 15mm (Forefoot)
Available Widths: D=Medium
How It Fits (based on width D)
  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium to narrow
  • Midfoot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Medium
  • Toebox Height: Medium
  • Arch Structure: Medium-high
  • Shoe Shape: Semi-Curved
Taken from Running Warehouse 


The stats fit right in the wheelhouse of what I was initially looking for in a pair of daily trainers this time: higher drop, good cushioning, middle range weight around 10 oz. (the LG's are at the lower end of the scale), a wider toe box, with an upper that has some give to it. The one thing that I was concerned about before I bought them was how the outsole would wear.

Where do the LG7's fit in my running rotation?

Since I got them in May they have been my primary trainers and often the only shoe I ran in during a week. The higher drop has helped with getting me back on the roads (I can feel the difference running in a 4mm drop and the 10mm, by how much my left leg announces to me - how stoopid I am).

Which means that I have done most every kind of run in them from tar, dirt roads to groomed trails in all kinds of spring/summer weather.

What do I like?
  • quiet, there is none of that slapping I get with some other shoes and they don't drag the heel when I land on them.
  • great fit and feel - one of the most comfortable pair of running shoes I have ever run in.
  • disappear on my feet - they don't bother my Tailor's Bunionette
  • if I suddenly decide to change a workout (faster or slower) on the fly because of how I am feeling, I do not feel limited because of the shoes I am wearing

What don't I like?
  • Not as versatile - with the outsole design, they are pretty much road shoes or for use on dry groomed trails. Any kind of slime or wet grass, mud and the LG7's do not perform as well. So I also would believe that in the winter they would become my treadmill shoes and only come out to play if the roads were clear and dry.
  • They do collect some pebbles, but they are easily removed...it seems that most of my shoes do this nowadays.
  • As you can see in the photo, there is a pretty significant rock shard puncture that happened while I was running down-back and while it didn't hurt my foot, I have never had that happen before with a running shoe. I know that it was a freak occurrence, but...it reminded me that having a little more outsole, not just foam, might be a good idea for where I primarily run.
  • The outsole wear in the toe area is pretty significant. It is the same issue that I had with the LG5's and it is a question how soon they will wear through, not if they will wear through - at just over 200 miles. So the way that I toe-off is a consideration I have to think about when looking at daily trainers, because this is typically a wear spot for me on all my shoes and the LG7's are definitely wearing faster there than other shoes have run in.

Will I Get Another Pair of Running Shoes in the Nike Lunar Glide series?

I don't think so.

This is two pair of LG's that had the same fast wear issue in the toe area. If I only get around 200 miles out of a pair of running shoes, once I get back to running my normal mileage, it means that I would have to replace them every 4-6 weeks and that would be something I am sure that the wife would talk to me about :-).

A happy wife is a happy life, so I while I might buy a lot of running shoes, getting a new pair at that rate might be a little over the line she has drawn in the sand. Especially, for shoes that I know are going to need replacing that quickly.

Unfortunately, I have tried on the LG 8's and while I think they would be a super road shoe and very comfortable. However, for where I run, the outsole would not work (too smooth) and how I toe off, there would be a the same wear problem with them, maybe worse.


So I pretty much knew that I was not going to move up to the 8's after trying them on and had planned on purchasing another pair or two of the 7's, because I do like how I run in them. Well at least I was until I realized how quickly the front of the 7's were wearing.

Which means that I will be moving to a different running shoe for my daily trainers. I made that decision last week, before I got to 200 miles on the LG7's and have gotten it down to 3-4 trainers that really interested me.

The reality is

That as much as I did really like the Nike Lunar Glide 7's -- because I did and still do. Unfortunately, they have a fatal flaw that has less to do with the shoe themselves and more to do with where and how I run.


The Nike Lunar Glide 7's are not my best choice as the primary daily trainer, especially when I run on multiple surfaces on the same run almost daily. If I lived in town and didn't run on dirt roads quite as much I think they would be an amazing shoe and might have more durability than I get by running a lot on a rock infested dirt road.

Even though I run quite well in them, the durability issue I have in the toe area, overrides how much I like everything else about them. Which is too bad because they are a very good running shoe.

So I will be moving in a different direction for my next pair of daily trainers.

However, if I get a GREAT deal on a pair of 8.5 Lunar Glide 7's I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. Unfortunately, my idea of a great deal is probably different those who are selling them, so I don't see them hitting that price point any time soon, especially in a "Harold" colorway.

What are your experiences with the Lunar Glide series of running shoes?


Why So Many Reviews of the Same Shoes???

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

I just got through writing a draft of my 200 mile review on the most recent running shoe to achieve that level of success and while I was writing that post I got to thinking.

Why do I even bother to write running shoe reviews, since I do not represent any particular brand, do not show a whole lot of brand loyalty, not too many freebies come my way, I mostly buy or trade for the shoes I am running in and spend way too much of my free time writing about stuff that not too many people read?

Mostly because I can.

Also I do enjoy writing about the different shoes I run in. The more I write about my running shoes, the more it makes me think about what I am really looking for in them as I change as a runner and my body changes as I get older.  There are definitely changes happening and I believe that finding/using the correct running shoe for the runner I am now, not the runner I used to be, does make a difference.

When I am looking for yet another new pair of running shoes, I have starting points on what actually worked versus what I thought (with my crappy memory) was great.

Four Stages of Running Shoe Reviews

There four stages, at least in my opinion when it comes reviewing running shoes:

  1. Initial Reviews
  2. 50 Mile Reviews
  3. 200-300 Mile Reviews
  4. Retirement Review

Let's look at the different reviews from how I see them in more detail:

Initial Reviews - I don't get comped too many shoes, which means that I purchase or get as gifts the running shoes that I review. That also means my initial reviews are going to be typically pretty positive and they are done after 1-2 runs in brand spanking new shoes, that I have high hopes for how great the new shoe is going to be. After all I did the research and they are the ones that I wanted.

Yeah, at this point I am excited about them and want those new running shoes to be the next great running shoes for me. So the initial review should be a positive one most of the time.

50 Mile Reviews - Usually take place a couple to three weeks after the initial review. By 20-30 miles the running shoes have broken in fairly well and by the time I get to 50 miles, I should have a pretty good idea of how well those running shoes are working for me. Sometimes it even works that way.

Unfortunately, from my experience many 50 mile reviews can be pretty much fool's gold and not give a true picture of how the shoe will perform over its time in your running shoe rotation. All too often, shortly after that great 50 mile review, those once great shoes get quickly relegated to the back of the closet, until it is time for one of my annual shoe purges.

200-300 Mile Reviews - You do not see these very often and I attempt to review any of my shoes that make it that far. Part of the reason is that most reviewers don't have the time (it can take 1-3 months to get a pair of running shoes up to this mileage) or aren't doing enough mileage to get multiple shoe shoes to this level of use or they run into the injury bug, which does seem to be a little more prevalent among running shoe reviewers. I wonder if that last one has anything to do with running in shoes that are not quite right for them.

From my experience something almost magical happens between 75 and 150 miles to many of the running shoes I have used. All those little things you poo-pooed, overlooked or had not encountered finally have had a chance to crop up and their fatal flaws are exposed.

By the time a shoe reaches 200 miles I have found out if the shoes are still comfortable, are wearing the way I expect that style to wear or not and most importantly - if I still like them or not.

Like I said - not a lot of the shoes I have run in over the past 5 years have made it to 200 miles and even fewer to 300 miles.

If I am still running regularly in a pair of running shoes after the 200-300 mile review, it has been a good shoe for me. Although someday I will get to review that mythical 500 mile shoe and write about how I still want to be running in those shoes. It hasn't happened yet, but someday it will.

I still believe.

Retirement / Get them outa here Reviews - You know that review that reviewers very seldom publish, but should be done more often when we stop using a pair of running shoes in our rotation and banish them to the back of the closet or worse.

We hardly ever hear about those shoes and the why they got relegated to closet, lawn, eBay or local thrift shop. I know that I am terrible at writing these kind of reviews, because I tend to not want to say bad or nasty things about running shoes (that old they might be horrible running shoe for me, but great ones for someone else).

However, if a pair of running shoes makes it to the point where I wore them out because I did like them so much, I am more likely write a retirement review. Hell I have even done a couple.

The reality is that

I am not a high volume running shoe reviewer, which means that I don't have several running shoes in the wings just waiting for me to review them and no pressure from brands or myself to get a review of a certain pair of shoes out by a certain date.

Over the years I have read and written a lot of running shoe reviews and notice that the first two stages are the predominant ones that are done by most reviewers and even myself.

Unfortunately, those style of reviews are often done while the writer still has delusions of grandeur when it comes to how great the new running shoe is and will perform for them. Most of the time a 50 mile review is done within a couple of weeks and some of the issues that would come with more mileage on the shoes, does not show up until later and usually there are no more miles or reviews planned for those shoes.

Also we tend to forget that the reviews are subjective and based on how those running shoes work for the person reviewing them, not necessarily how they will work for someone else, where they primarily run, their height/weight, gender and your running form.

I have found that most reviewers are honest about the running shoes that they write about, but sometimes you have to read between the lines to see some of the issues they have with the shoes they review. Or if you know they are running in a certain pair of running shoes and there is no 50 mile review, you can bet there is an issue and they have chosen to simply move on and give feedback to the brand about why they would prefer not to write about them on their blog.

It is not that they are being disingenuous to their readers, it is more that they want to maintain a good relationship with the brand, so that they will continue to receive comped shoes and not have a huge outlay of cash to be able to keep reviewing the newest and greatest running shoes for us, which is part of their runblogging business.

The big thing is to remember about anyone (including me), when they/I write a review:

What works great for a particular reviewer, might be horrible for you and what doesn't work for a different reviewer, might be the perfect running shoe for you. 

That is why I always recommend that readers need to read more than one running shoe reviews and blogs, find a reviewer who seems to have similar tastes in running shoes (Peter, Tom and Sam are my main go-to reviewers) and talk to local runners you see actually running in those shoes, to see what their experiences are.

But the biggest thing is you gotta actually try on and then run in the shoes to see if they work for you or not. Yes, it gets expensive, but no matter what a reviewer says about a pair of running shoes, you are the person that spends time in the shoes - no one else. So don't let anyone poo-poo how you feel about the shoes you wear, especially if they are working well for you.

For me I plan to keep writing about the shoes that I use and since I don't have any brand relationships and have no plans to go after any again (my history of brand loyalty sucks), I will not be doing a large volume of reviews. Which means that I will continue to do the 200 mile reviews and even some of those not so popular retirement/get rid of this piece of shit reviews. :-)

What do you think, am I way off base as usual?