Saturday, July 25, 2020

Goodbye Old Friends

Back in August 2019 I posted about my Nike Vaporfly Next 4% shoes, which I had purchased that May. 

Here we are a more than a year later, with ~700-800 miles on these shoes (out of about 1200 miles total ....I have some other shoes I used too) they've been beyond ready for retirement for a while now. 

For a long time I could not find a replacement, which is why I ran these shoes into the ground,  but finally Nike came out with the Zoom Fly 3 (bought off Nike website), which is a slightly cheaper (and I think slightly heavier) more robust replacement for the Vaporfly.

As I mentioned in a previous post, these shoes with the carbon blade innersole are fantastic, not just because you can run fast in them, but because the stress on your legs is lower....I think the higher derivatives of acceleration are reduced.  My recovery times after hard runs / high mileage are noticeably reduced.

After all those miles the foam looks pretty shot,  but even now they still have bounce! Can't say that about an old pair of Kinvara's. 

A couple of months ago I bought a pair of the Saucony entry into the carbon tech: the "Endorphin Pro", they are pretty good too, nice and light, a more traditional upper, but the carbon blade is about half as stiff as the Nike. I've probably put 150 miles on them so far.

I have run the Vaporflys on gravel and dirt  trails for many of their miles (not ideal for them) and they are quite filthy. But they held up! The soles still have plenty of black sticky rubber ...which creates the amazing 'road-tack' they have. We'll see if the Zoom Fly feels the same. 

So many good miles together! Here's the old with the new....notice 'canoe taper' on the heel foam has been reduced from the original Fly.. 

Here's a side shot of the Zoom Fly 3, Endorphin Pro and  Vaporfly Next. Notice the thicker foam on the Nikes and notice how wrinkled the Vaporfly foam is after all those miles. But the carbon is still good!

I'm supposed to do an 18 mile run tomorrow...we'll see if I'm up for it. In any case should be fun to try out the new babies.

Happy Running!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Training for the Covid-26.2

Pandemic Running

Like a lot of people I've found running the perfect activity during these trying times. There's nothing like getting outdoors and doing something physical to take your mind off all the suffering and angst in the world right now.

I'm very lucky to have the Palo Alto Baylands trails so close by. This morning on a 3 hour 16 mile run I stood next to beautiful blue heron for a good 10 minutes. 

I was running solidly 5 days/~28 mpw (miles per week) before the pandemic started. Since then I have ratcheted up to 6 days/40+ mpw for the last ~2 months. Lotsa fast running sprinkled in too.

So far, my creaky old body is holding up! I have to do a lot of stretching and various other exercise to keep things in balance. 

A very hard half marathon time trial I ran a week ago came in at 1:56:55, i.e. solidly under two hours. My fastest half since I started running at age 52 is a 1:48:34 at age 57, which when age-graded to age 64 comes in at 1:56:41...almost the same. 

Time trials are usually not as fast as races (hard to get the juices going when all by yourself) so it seems I'm about as fit as I was back then, (relatively speaking) and I'm not even done peaking.

What to do with this shiny new runner's body? Time for a marathon!

I decided to run the Baylands Covid-26.2 Marathon and today I signed up! 

I spoke to the Race Director personally. He was supportive..a great guy.  The race comes with staffed aid stations every 6 miles and best of all, the race itself is free! (You do have to donate some money to one of several worthy charities but why wouldn't you want to do that?)

The course is perfect for me:

About half the course is on the Baylands trail!

Full Disclosure:

I'm the Race Director and also "the Participant".
Toni will be the aid station staff.
It will be a time trial.

Date: TBD, about 8-10 weeks from now

Good Running and Stay Safe!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Wind Sense and Sensibility

Today (Sunday) was my day for a longer run, about 12 miles...

I ran along the Baylands of course as I usually do for these runs.  It was a beautiful nice day with lots of birds out and about. A bit hot for running but hey...

On the way home, I passed over the highway 101 via the bike / pedestrian overpass, and then dropped down onto Oregon Ave. 

As I was running along, a woman with a buff walking her dog stopped, turned 90 degrees away from me and faced the hedge next to her. I was about 10 feet at closest approach.

About 10 seconds later she turned and shouted after me:  "Your are unmasked and breathing hard!" and some other words I could not hear.

I was already well past her when I heard this. I stopped and turned back and shouted back:

"I'm downwind of you!" and I continued running.

I was upset all the way home. Not because if what she said, but because I was very stupid to let this happen and upset that person. 

Yes, I  was running unmasked. I find it impossible to run with a mask and glasses. It just doesn't work. But I do other things that are not so visible.

In my life I've done lots of things that depend on or are influenced by the wind: 

I have flown kites, hang gliders, sailplanes (have license), model rockets, radio controlled gliders, paper airplanes. I have a bareboat sailing license. When I run marathons I have often drafted off runners to good effect (and let them draft off me too..drafting actually helps both the drafter and the draftee). 

Basically my whole life I have developed what sailors call "Wind Sense": 

At any point in time you can ask me and I can tell you exactly where the wind is coming from (assuming it's not light-and-variable)  Even if I'm not looking like I'm paying any attention to the world around me I always register and know where the wind is from. It's just hardwired in my brain. 

In these times of Covid,  this comes in handy. When runners are near me, if they are upwind when I pass through their imagined "downwind plume", I hold my breath for the few seconds I'm in there.  If I'm upwind, I pull up my t-shirt as a mask and hold breath too.

I can imagine the flow lines around the person or group and calculate the angle of the wind relative to my self and others and know where the plume of exhalations (mine and theirs) are going.

But: It was stupid of me to assume this person would know this. Instead I should have just moved well away the other side of the road, covered up my mouth with my tshirt  and turned my head away and made them feel safe and respected.

I wish I could apologize. I was a dope. 

Happy running!


Friday, June 05, 2020

Running and Covid-19

Well, it's been a while since I've posted. 

Does anybody actually read blogs anymore? It seems like it's all about little bite sized (soon forgotten) packets of text rather than any serious writing. (Not that blogging is that serious....)  I don't do much of that. 

Here we are in a worldwide pandemic. 

Who would have guessed it? (Well actually there were several people but nobody listened to them). 

I'm one of the lucky people that can WFH and still have a good job. My productivity has suffered but it's getting better.

I'm so glad for my running right now. It helps keep me sane and less anxious. Currently about 30-40 mpw, which is higher mileage than I've done in a long time..getting really fit. Gotta be careful not to get injured though as that would be a major bummer.

I have been playing with Strava segments and racing some of them. For some stupid reason Strava lumps 55-64 in one group! Not fair!

When I turn 65 in November I will be cleaning up in my age group (Sadly many segments have NO entries for the 65-69 age group....cue ominous music?)

I have some goals: 

sub-2 hour half marathon
sub 4:30 marathon

I hope to do both of these in the next few months.  Toni has offered to support me via bike on the marathon 8)

Thanks for reading, stay safe!