Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Quick Strides 14: Ivan’s Metaspeed Edge take, Adios Pro 2 (and Sam) races, Leadville 100 pics & report, Ryan’s rotation for 96 mile week, Sally’s Boston Prep: Oiselle, RC Elite 2, and Endo Speed RunShield, Renee at 350 miles in Rebel v2, Runner's Box

Article by Ivan Luca Corda, Sam Winebaum, Michael Ellenberger, Ryan Eiler, Renee Krusemark, Jeff Valliere, and Sally Reiley

Ivan’s Metaspeed Edge take, Adios Pro 2 (and Sam) races, Leadville 100 pics and report, Ryan’s rotation for 96 mile week, Sally’s Boston Prep: Oiselle, RC Elite 2, and Endo Speed RunShield,  Renee at 350 miles in Rebel v2 and Runner's Box. Michael tests Newton Gravity Plus, Atreyu Base 2 & Kayano Lite 2.


Ivan: (Copenhagen, Denmark)

I finally received the long-awaited ASICS Metaspeed Edge. For quite some time I have been searching for a replacement of my good old original Vaporfly 4% for those short to middle distance road races. Being a high cadence runner (190-195 spm at 10k pace) with a slight heel-midfoot landing at race pace, the specs of this shoe seemed to tick all the right boxes. Unlike the more cushioned and lower drop Asics Metaspeed Sky, this is supposed to be more suited for runners who increase the cadence proportionally to pace. The Metaspeed Edge is lower to the ground than most other co-called ‘super-shoes’ but still got an 8mm drop and that wonderful soft and yet responsive peba-based ‘Flytefoam Turbo’ midsole.

I took it out immediately for a run at various paces and initially I was surprised how well it performed at slower paces. The plate is not as aggressive and intrusive as most other carbon plated shoes and the ride felt nice and fluid. However, at higher paces the transition turned extremely snappy but still with a very natural transition from heel to toe. Looking at my data afterwards, it was clear that not only was my cadence higher than in any other shoe, but my power numbers were also significantly lower, indicating a more efficient running economy. The following day I took it out for a 10K race that went great and just reinforced my first impressions. 

This shoe was never intended to be a marathon shoe for me, as I prefer a bit more cushion for that distance, but as of now this is probably my favorite racer for 5k and 10k road races. For the half marathon it is still a close call between the Adidas Adios Pro 2, Vaporfly Next% and now also the Asics Metaspeed Edge. I have joined Derek in the RTR Review which includes many detailed comparisons.

Sam: (New Hampshire)

So I put on a bib for a live race for the first time in about 22 months at my hometown summer classic the 45th Saunders at Rye Harbor 10K. I have run this race at least once and often more than once in every decade if memory serves. Originally starting at Rye Harbor, and organized as always by Doug Zechel (shown below with me),  after a few years on a different course the “new”  course follows the original (pretty much) with a different start and exactly one mile on the course from my house to the finish. Unfortunately, there was no traditional beer truck with multiple taps on board.

The field was far smaller than usual with about 112 finishers but a quality field at the top (32:05 men’s winner, 37:14 women’s winner) and a deep, deep field of seasoned veteran runners!  

I ended up 2nd in my AG at 49:33, 3d if one looks at a decade AG, and 4th all genders as for the first time legendary local runner Jeri Clifford was just ahead of me the whole race. My excuse... I couldn’t see well enough the last 2 miles through my fogged up glasses to pick up the pace enough to catch her! . 

Running by my house. One mile to go!

The weather was let’s just say “sweaty” with temperature of 74 F and 90% plus humidity, often in warm fog and with few breezes even along the coast as hurricane Henri approached.  I have done no speedwork so far and can’t recall more than a few miles sub 8 min miles in training so 49:33 on a course that measured on both my watches (Garmin Forerunner 55 (RTR Review) and Polar Vantage M2 at 6.34 and 6.29) miles respectively was decent and steady but not great. The humidity was oppressive, my heart rate more elevated (average at 166 Garmin, 168 Polar M2)  than in better conditions but I felt fine if “bogged down” and stuck at pace. 

I raced the adizero Adios Pro 2 (RTR Review). It was serious, steady, stable, well cushioned, and with a not overly aggressive but present impulse from its Energy Rods.  Exactly what you would expect from a German sports sedan is how I would describe it!  Unlike other super shoes which can have a somewhat unstable heel and favor forefoot midfoot strike more, the rear carbon plate of the Adios Pro 2 provides a stable solid rear platform and clearly felt pop off the heel and smooth transition forward to the rods. As such I am thinking it would be an ideal half to marathon shoe for me but it lacks some 10K pop and snap which the Adios Pro 1 and shoes such as the different geometry Adios Pro 1 (RTR Review) and 361 Flame (RTR Review) seem to have more of for me. 

I used my 2021 summer go to top, do anything ON RunningMid Socks which after trying other thinner socks gave a perfect no worries fit in the roomy Pro 2 upper. Never thought about the upper, never slipped around in them when they and the socks got wet. I noted the Adios Pro 2 weighed 255g wet (dumped some water over my head too)  and sweaty after the race and weighs 226g dry.

I raced the adidas Terrex Agravic Trail Pro shorts (RTR Review) with its mesh band storage and stretchy shell and not overdone length. A perfect all around short when you need some storage and even if you don’t it is always there. Singlet was the Nike Aeroswift 2021  but if I dared I would have been better off with no shirt at all as many did!  

But no shirtless or fancy singlets for these two who wore overly small cotton race shirts from 1981 and 1988 belonging to their father. They told me afterwards with smiles that they weren’t “ideal” but tradition and fun dictated at Saunders. 

Michael: (Chicago)

Training has finally taken hold of me here; I knocked out about 65 miles last week, and will (hopefully!) continue to grind out 50-70 mile weeks over the next few months - I’m racing a half in September, and eyeing an October or November marathon. If the marathon looks like a go, I may increase that mileage even further. But with the resurgence of the Delta variant (even if not so bad, presently, in Chicago) I am slightly concerned with the viability of fall racing, so I am trying to take what I can get. My aspirations for the half are very low - given what was functionally 6+ months of basically only maintenance mileage, I’m thinking if I can sneak under 73, that’ll be a fine start - but hopefully I can put things together fast enough to take a stab at a sub-2:30 marathon. It’s a barrier I should have broken long ago, I think, but in 3 tries I just haven’t quite nailed down the whole marathon thing yet. I’m hoping a sub-2:30 can lead me to sub-2:25, etc., etc.

On the shoe front, well - my wish from my previous Quick Strides entry has been granted, and I have some genuinely exciting shoes to churn through - always more fun to test shoes when the training load is relatively high! I’ve been pouring the most miles into the Atreyu v2, in anticipation for its review. We’ll have that finalized relatively soon, but I think Sam (Initial Video Review) and I are both pleased with the updates made to the cult favorite. I’ve had a couple runs between the Kayano Lite 2 (nice - not very different from last year, which is fine by me!) and the Newton Gravity Plus/Gravity+ (interesting ride - need more miles to suss out some things). The weatherized Saucony Endorphin Speed just arrived, and I can’t wait to take them out.

So there’s a look behind the curtain - lots of shoes, and a fair number of miles to boot. Happy running!

Ryan (Boston)


Fall running/racing fervor here in Boston has been only slightly tempered by Delta variant concerns. Most events seem to be going off without a hitch, but now that we have an indoor mask mandate back in place, nothing is for certain with the fall (and its germ-conducive weather) only a month away.

I was waylaid by an ankle issue from Jan-June, and have been cautiously building mileage for an attempt at the Maine Marathon in October. For better or worse, coming back from an injury always seems to summon my inner hypochondriac, which I otherwise usually ignore. I've been exceptionally diligent in using recovery runs to actually recover, to vary and rotate through various shoe options, to work in some band exercises while the morning coffee is brewing, and to run on (well-trodden) gravel/dirt as much as possible. It seems to be helping, as Garmin tells me that I hit the 95 mile mark over the past week, thanks mostly to a 22-mile Sunday.

The shoes of choice lately have been the Saucony Ride 14 (RTR Review), among my all-time favorite trainers, the  New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 (RTR Review) for easy runs, and the high-stacked NB RC Elite v1 (RTR Review) and Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 (RTR Review) to stave off injury on longer runs.

The highlight run of the week was a morning track workout, in which I and about a dozen other runners were mercilessly shot at by a small child with a water gun — Every. Single. Lap. He eventually ran out of ammo and fled to play trucks in the long jump pit, but I’d definitely consider hiring the kid to do it again on race day if it didn’t break all sorts of child labor laws.

Get out and run!

Jeff V:  I had an amazing time spectating the Leadville 100 Run on Saturday.  Given that I have been around trail running/racing for nearly 20 years, live in Colorado and have more friends than I can name that have run Leadville and other Ultra distance events, I have never spectated, crewed or paced at any.  It was really fun seeing all these fabled locations and bumping into friends from the running world I had not seen in some time.  A newcomer and previous unknown name, Adrian Macdonald pulled off a very impressive win with a16:18 finish and 41 minute lead over 2nd place.  The race between places 2-4 was especially fun to watch, cheering on my friend Tony who was in 2nd for a while, then ultimately finished 3rd between Matt Flaherty and Ian Sharman.  

My good friend Dave Mackey also finished in an impressive 23:23 for 35th place as a below the knee amputee. Very inspiring.  I’ll definitely be back next year to crew, pace or maybe even throw my own hat into the ring.

Beyond that, I got in a nice run up Hope Pass to further spectate the race, chatting for a bit with Don Reichelt and talk Speedland.  Sam and I just completed our review this week of the groundbreaking modular and highly adaptable (midsole, plate, outsole, upper) SL:PDX (RTR Review). 

Wearing the Speedlands around the race drew a lot of attention and questions, where I had nothing but good things to say about them.  Many had already read our review just a day prior, so I was impressed over the fanfare and attention these shoes are getting.  I kept hearing that Kevin and Dave from Speedland were in attendance, but could not find them.

I am also very close to writing up my reviews for the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 and the Suunto 9 Peak, stay tuned!

Renee (Nebraska)

My shoe review cue is clear after posting my thoughts about the Mizuno Wave Rebellion (RTR Review), so I’m once again enjoying the massive arsenal of old shoes in my closet. I started to wear the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 (RTR Review) on trails and on the country roads. In my initial review, I noted wear on the outsole at 50 miles. That wear did not change much between 50 miles to 300 miles. I stopped keeping track after 300 miles, but I’m guessing I have about 350 miles on my Rebel 2s. 

The white mid-section of the outsole has no wear. The black rubber is decent, aside from minor wear on the back lateral side (I drag my heels when I run slow). The orange lugs on the forefoot are gone in many places (as is the black rubber), but most of that wear came from a trail run (sliding on tree roots) and during an 18-mile run on clumped dirt and gravel. The moral of the story is…the outsole outlasted my expectations. The midsole is much less cushy (which started to decline at 100 miles), but that makes the shoe better (for me) off pavement. 

I purchased the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v1 (RTR Review) in hopes of using it on country roads (and some trails). I ran an 8-miler, but like most road carbon-plated shoes, I don’t benefit much from the plate off pavement. I’ll test more miles to see. RTR has had other reviewers discuss the Elite v 1 for off-pavement running in past editions of Quick Strides. 

I have a one-year subscription to Runner’s Box and have received two boxes so far, every other mont delivery. For the price, the content is worth the cost, although I can’t see needing a subscription much more than one year. The boxes are great for testing a variety of running items, such as nutrition and recovery products. I don’t like using much nutrition with sugar during hot weather. I’ll sip on a small amount of Tailwind just to stay moving. Two products I would buy again are the Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Hydration mix packages and the Vital Performance Recovery mix (which I take after my long runs).

Sally (Marblehead, MA)

I have been uncharacteristically quiet here lately, painstakingly trying to recover from a nagging hamstring/glute injury (tear at hamstring insertion) while working full-time for Partners In Health on the Covid-19 response here in Massachusetts (not to mention juggling family time with five adult children this summer). 

But I am resurfacing and realizing that it is time to get serious about training for the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11! 50 days out, yikes… This is my eighth straight Boston so I know the drill and I know the challenging course, but this is my first time feeling “scared.” 

I am having to train in a shorter amount of time than ideal with a less gradual mileage buildup, and am not getting any younger (turning 62 next month, almost catching up to Editor Sam). 

There are so many unknowns this year - what time will the start be? Will we bus to Hopkinton and immediately get into a starting corral? Will we need to wear masks? Will there be any spectators? Will there be a runners’ expo for bib pickup? My last in-person marathon was New York City in November 2019, where I ran a PB of 3:28 (and proud to say, 2nd in AG). I know I can finish Boston, but I have this ridiculous desire to finish with a strong time. Might be time to adjust my expectations and give myself a break, hard as that might be.

With the anticipation of Hurricane Henri slamming the Massachusetts coastline on Sunday, the day I had scheduled a long run, I changed gears and drove into Boston on Saturday to run the Marathon course with the Heartbreakers Run Club. They offer regular training runs out of the Heartbreak Hill Running Store (Newton, MA) that follow the course along Commonwealth Ave and Beacon St, encompassing the finest sections of the race - the Heartbreak HILLS (not one hill, but a series of five!). It was unseasonably hot and humid in advance of the tropical storm, and we all suffered. There were alot of runners out on the course, which made the 16 difficult miles doable because it reminded me that we are all in this together. Boston Strong!

My chosen shoes for the long run were my beloved purple New Balance Fuel Cell RC Elite 2 (RTR Review), the shoes I often choose for any training run. They never disappoint, and my feet were happy. 

I thought about wearing my hot weather staple tank, the Tracksmith Bill Rodgers Collection 79 Singlet which I have worn extensively this summer with great comfort, but I decided to rock a tank that sports the Heartbreakers logo. Ladies, I LOVE Oiselle gear! I wore the Oiselle Roga Short  and the Oiselle Flyout Racerback tank, both highly recommended. 

I always get compliments on my “cute” running outfits when I wear Oiselle, and yet I am always comfortable to the point of not thinking about my clothing. Win win. 

Finally, note the above shoes: the Saucony Endorphin Speed V2 Runshield is in for testing, and so far is impressive! I took advantage of Hurricane Henri rain for a wet test run in puddles, and my feet stayed dry. These might be just the answer for the snowy New England winter runs! Our RTR team will carefully test the traction and the performance of this weatherproof model and let you know our thoughts. 

One cool sidenote: Of course I had to chat with the running shoe specialists at Heartbreak Hill Running Store after my Boston run (they are awesome - and they are all all knowledgeable and  skilled runners themselves) and we talked of shoes that impressed them and shoes that sold well to their running customers. 

One of them mentioned his love of the Endorphin Speed 2  (RTR Review), and that he had just seen a picture of a really sweet looking weatherproof model. He showed me the pic - it was my photo on the RTR IG!  Always gratifying to know that we are informing the informed runners.

Some tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes others were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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