Monthly Archives: September 2012

All about the shoes

These shoes, to be precise. The New Balance 890v2 British Miler.

First things first – to my mind and eye they look superb, both on the foot and off . I’ve not been too concerned about footwear appearance except in the case of a pair of Nike super disgusting ugly things last year which I simply couldn’t bring myself to buy, despite their possibly being a shade better performing than the Adidas I fell in love with over two pairs. But these sway me towards them simply by being clean, stylish and crisp. Before they even cosset the feet, we’re off to a flying start.

I’ve had a pair of New Balance before – their 903 lightweight. They proved to be responsive if a little hard on the feet to achieve performance. The 890’s seem nothing like them.

My first job on unpacking them at home was to weigh them. I love to know a shoe weight. JogBlog hates me doing this but since her Adidas Adizero Adios Haile Gebrselassie limited edition shoes almost floated away while still allowing her a little cushioning, it’s become something of a habit. And they really are light. Not as light as those but the lightest I’ve ever scaled. 25g lighter than my Adizero Tempo 2’s. But with the feel of a fully cushioned plodding pair of winter mileage trainers. Very intriguing.

But not so intriguing that I was going to risk them on my longer weekend run. I waited until my Tuesday hill session before a 4 mile outing got me all dewey eyed and amazed.

Nice? Hmm. Well they feel great and the forefoot cushioning feels perfect. I was springing through the first half mile before trotting off downhill towards the waterworks wondering how they’d fair on the steep downhill bit. And they seem to excel everywhere.

Heel cushioning on the steepest downhill bits where I’m simply trying to hold myself upright is great. They’re a neutral shoe and lately I’ve developed a touch of foot roll which made me nervous but looking down, my feet seem as neutral as they are in my current Mizunos. Long may this continue. And the best was for last. The steepest uphill part of the run, around a fifth of a mile up Waterworks Hill, had me thinking of nothing but how my lungs were about to escape my chest cavity. This is nothing unusual. What is unusual was my pace. Never above a 9 minute mile for any quarter mile split.

As soon as I cleared the hill I was jogging quickly, my feet being carried by someone else. The next flat bit was a treat as I recovered and the spring up the next slope (a proper hill, just over half a mile long, but made tame by the steep bit before it!) given by the shoes made it fly by.

Without going for a speedy outing, I found myself at the car after just over 4 miles in a pace that is usual for a flat run. And a subsequent outing has delivered a smilar result on the flat.

Simply my favourite speedy shoes yet. Can I hold back the pace to try them for a longer, 10 mile outing this coming weekend? Or will I simply hurt myself as I usually do and regret being so rash?

One way to find out, I guess.

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Infrequently slacking.

Not on the exercise front, merely the blogging about it.

I’ve been pretty much full-time flat out for the last few weeks. I’ve had my front trees cut down which has produced logs for around two years which needed moving to storage in the back garden as well as producing so much rubbish that I’ve elected to dispose of via the medium of combustion that each weekend evening is occupied with burning and the pub.

Which, while nice, is tiring!

So it’s all the more pleasing to report that since my cold at the beginning of August I haven’t missed a run. The Tuesday regular outing has been on the hills which I’ve been varying; sometimes the evil Waterworks route, last week was possibly even nastier involving Crete Road East as it did. The view from the top was superb but getting there was simply vile. A long mile downhill followed by an uphill kick before the full slog up the final push that was in fact only halfway. It felt horrendous, so must have been good!

The Thursday regular has taken the form of gradually increasing intensity as the last bits of cold have cleared from my chest. Generally intervals of a sort, last week saw use of AudioFuel’s excellent Thru The Gears on the flat bypass near my house. A long day followed by an evening clearing logs nearly resulted in a runless end but I got out and enjoyed bouncing to the music (twice…it’s only 14 minutes long!) until returning around 9pm to the happiness only a successful jog can bring.

And the weekends have been gradually increasing distance and intensity on my longer runs. Generally around 8-9 miles I’ve settled into a nice routine of Saturday morning jogging which sets me up well for the rest of the weekend. The overall result has been 60 miles over the month which I’d like to maintain to allow pace improvement onto reasonably well-stretched legs.

I’ll see if this is good for race performance if I do indeed get a few in before the end of the year. I have plans but, this year in particular, these seem to have got away from me.