27 January 2014

Weekend runs in (new) Lone Peak 1.5

Finally, the pair has arrived! Thank you to Cirilo "Blue" P. Tradio Jr. for making it possible. His company Sing Phil, carrying the brand Altra Footwear, among others, based in Singapore was a major partner of 2013 CM50. It came last Friday after I absentmindedly ignored the Notice card in the morning from the local post office that a "parcel" is ready for pick up. It was only when Blue sent me a message in FB (named "Blue-b Tradioandsons") close to 5PM asking if the shoes have arrived that I whipped my arse to pick it up. Altra Lone Peak 1.5 is a scarce commodity to find here in Philippines as they sell fast (I think for now). 
                                                                                                   Altra Lone Peak 1.5

My well-used and loved Inov8 can now finally RIP :) Thank you for your company during the highs and lows. You know I have I never blamed you for anything even I slipped and that was only when I was not paying attention on the trail. You have served your Master well :)

                                                                                Worn out Inov8 Trailroc 245

I was absolutely delighted the shoes have arrived just in time for my critical long outing last weekend - back-to-back solid runs (more on this later). For now, I can't help but make a quick review of Lone Peak 1.5 and compare it with Inov8 Trailroc 245.
You can read my previous review of Trailroc 245 here. This is comparing Trailroc with another Altra shoes, Superior. In gist, I liked Trailroc with one major con - it irritates my Achilles when shoelaces are too tight. After back-to-back long runs last weekend, I think I have gathered enough info to rate Lone Peak 1.5.

                                                             From bright red to dirty red after the long runs

I give Lone Peak 1.5 a rating of big 9 out of 10! What can I say this is almost a perfect trail shoe for me ... so far.
FIT - Amazingly comfy right out of the box and the color is "bitchin" red as one blogger said. My toes are not cramped which is very important in ultra. They can splay freely on ground impact. Very snug fit at the mid foot area. The only concern I had was the square foam thingy inside at the bottom part of the the shoe lace area. I thought they would be problematic during the run but it was not so. The only concern I have is the inside brace part of the ankle area hitting my inside ankle bone during downhill running BUT only when it is too steep and the shoelaces  are too tight. After the runs last weekend, my ankle bone was unaffected.
UNDERFOOT - This is where Lone Peak 1.5 really shines. It was hard to find a shoe now that the cushion is just perfect for you. Either it is too thin (minimalist) or too thick (e.g. Hoka) and when you run 100 miles on some rugged terrain, protection under your feet cannot be overlooked. For me, Lone Peak 1.5 has given me enough cushion. It was just enough to protect my feet when bombing downhills without worrying getting bruised. With Trailroc 245, I could not do that without feeling the stones and pebbles underneath. Bottom line is, Lone Peak 1.5 is very COMFORTABLE underneath. So the new pair will be my to-go shoes for 50 miles to 100 miles for now.
LUGS - Lugs are not too aggressive or big but they are okay for me. I have yet to test the shoes in muddy terrain but for now they are perfect where I run. During our long runs, I checked the lugs of Salamon S-Lab and Fellraiser of CJ Paran, they are perfect for muddy terrain. Aggressive.
SHOELACES -  Annoyingly long and unmanageable even when you have used up all the lace holes. I mean why not make it just enough length. That way they save money.
MATERIAL - Inside feel of the inner lining material is soft and comfy. The pair being new, I cannot vouch for it yet as to whether the upper materials are sturdy. What I can say for sure is that they dry up pretty quickly even when my socks were wet (probably because it was too hot during last Sunday's run). Let us see after 2014 ultra racing season and see how the shoes would hold up.
HEEL AREA - I was hesitant to wear Lone Peak 1.5 during our Saturday run for fear of yanking my Achilles. Lo and behold, shoes are amazing. So gentle on the heels. The construction and material are such that as if the heel part or enclosure of the shoes is not even there but not to the point of losing the snugness or fitness especially when going uphills. I hardly felt any degree of strain.  
SUMMARY - What can I say, this is my imperfect "perfect" shoes for now. They will debut at PSA Akyathlon for eventual use at H1. 

                                                                                     CJ Paran at the peak of Arayat.
Before closing, I was happy to have been joined by CJ Paran (training for H1 also) and spouses Noel and Precy (training for TNF100) last weekend. CJ and I run Mt. Arayat 3x last Saturday morning. During our second run, Noel and Precy joined us for a leisurely pace until CJ and I broke away to find our modest pace.
                                                                    Where I always start my/our run
Weather was perfect and we mixed our route taking the steep new route with old trail path to break the monotony. On our third climb, we felt the effect of flying on the downhill portion during our first 2 rounds. Sort of thrashed our quads. This is the first time I have run Arayat 3x in a row. Simon and I did 2 in a row during our training for UTMB. Sometimes on my own. Tiring but we know it will help us during the upcoming races. As for elevation, we definitely gained 3,000 meters of climb at least if one considers this elevation profile. After the run, it was nice to be invited by Noel and Precy to their home for late sumptuous lunch. By the way, there will be a circuit mountain races starting with "Arayat Peak" race on 13 April 2014 for mountain enthusiasts and runners. More details very soon.              

   At their home in Magalang, 10-15 minutes to Arayat only. You two have no excuse not to train properly for TNF100 :)

Then Sunday, CJ and I hit Miyamit for another sufferfest of around 38km run. Too cold up there like in Arayat. Good thing I brought a pair of gloves. CJ and I could feel the soreness in our quads (my calves are okay) and we suspected that it was due to the downhill chasing we did in our Arayat the day before :). Then again, I'd rather suffer now than regret it during the big race. Total mileage is a little over 100k of quality run with much-needed elevation gain and loss for this week. As I won't to say, you need "mountains in your legs" for the big dance. More pictures below.

H1 UPDATE - No pacer for H1. Simon won't arrive until late February. Come to think of it, I had no pacer last year's Bighorn 100 in Wyoming. Perhaps, it is time to heed Karl "Speedgoat" Meltzer (who does not believe in pacer) that 100 miles is not that too long. I am waiting for a volunteer who is willing "to commune" with Nature with me during the last 60k of H1. But then again, I am okay even without a pacer. Won't be racing this time.
Jon (always thinking of ways and means to find the balance between speed and volume) 
Start from Ayala Porac

Mt. Negron "Abu" ahead

The big landslide area

Base of view of deck. Weather was too hot on our way down!

Miyamit is on fire! Blame "Kaingin" or the heat?. Pictures below of fire areas on different parts in Miyamit. Tsk Tsk.



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