Sunday, January 8, 2012

Last Long Run Before 'Zona and More Thoughts on the 110s

This weekend proved to be a good one for my running.  Saturday was to be the day of my last long run before the 50k in a couple of weeks.  My plan was to go for 3.5-4 hours on the trails.  Slightly cooler than expected weather greeted Chris, Eric, Gregg and I at Hartley.  We took off for about an hour or so through the park, hitting most of the single track trails around there.  We stopped back at our cars to grab a GU or two, drop a jacket and take off toward Lester.

Crossing Woodland, we ran through the cemetery, jaunted over to and across Jean Duluth Road and hooked up on the Amity Trail.  There we connected with Schuney who ran with Chris, Eric and I for the next couple of hours. (Gregg left us at Hartley as he was planning on going longer on Sunday)

The four of us kept up a nice, leisurely pace down into Lester, back up and out of the park and again over to Hartley.  That got us back to the Hartley parking lot at about 3:15.  The other guys called it a day but I decided to hit the 4 hour mark, so I took another spin around the Outer Guard Rail Loop at Hartley and brought it back in.  My overall watch time was 3:58 and some change but I also started it a minute or two late.  All in all it was a great run, and nice to get that last long run in.

Today, I rolled out a little over an hour on the lakewalk.  It was good to get some of the junk out of my legs after Saturday's run, and of course the scenery was beautiful.

So back to the New Balance 110s.  I've got about 40 miles in them now, mostly trail and I have to say that they are great so far.  I've gotten a few questions about fit for the 110s and here's what I can say to that now.  The 110s are built on a different last than the 101s.  The 110 last is what New Balance calls an SL1 last, it's more performance based.  Basically, the difference is in the midfoot.  It's more narrow in the midfoot to save weight and to try to mimic the shape of the foot.  It's a bit more like a XC Spike through the midfoot and the heel, but as I say that, don't think it's quite THAT narrow, like a Brooks Mach spike or something, it's not quite like that.  It's just a bit more snug than the 101 but it's still very flexible in the upper.

The grip has so far proven to be excellent.  Going up steep, snow covered hills has not been a problem and even more importantly, in my opinion, the confidence the shoes give you on the steep downhills is solid.

Overall, I've been very pleased with how these shoes perform.  I'm looking forward to trying them in the spring and summer when we start to get the real muck and mud.  Of course with the way this Winter is going, it could be in a month or so.

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