Trail Monster Running

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A week of runs and what I wore

All the wet weather we've been having lately has made a mess of all my shoes. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, because I don't mind the mud too much, it's just that it would be nice to run on something else for a change. At least there is a lot of diversity in the mud on each of the trails I've been running lately.

Pineland Mud
15.7 miles at Pineland on 11.29 as I mentioned in my previous post. Very muddy by Pineland standards but the shoes came out looking relatively clean. There's a lot of sand in this mud so it doesn't stick too much. These are my "newer" Inov-8 Roclite 315's which I've had for over a year, worn them for two 50 milers and they're still holding up well.

Bradbury Mud

On Saturday 11.30 I met Chuck, Danielle and Ryan for a 10.75 mile run at Bradbury that included a lap of the Breaker course, the first half of the Scuffle course and finishing up by running the first few miles of the Bruiser in reverse. This was a fun run and my first opportunity of the season to bring out the screw shoes. The ground was partially frozen so the mud factor wasn't too bad, but it certainly was present. There wasn't much ice but just enough on some exposed rocky sections to make me glad I had the hardware in my shoes. These are the Inov-8 Roclite 315's I got in May 2007, they've seen many rugged miles and are starting to show it, but they still feel good. I'm amazed how well they have held up over the past year and a half, I'll probably wear them all winter.

Hash Run
Later on Saturday I participated in my first ever Hash Run. It was brilliant. We started out by meeting in a bar and knocking back a pint before heading out on to the streets of Portland to follow chalk marks on the sidewalk in search of the correct route to lead us to more beer. Emma and I lead the way for much of the run which meant taking a few wrong turns and then doubling back to the back of the pack. Things worked out well with our group of about 16 people coming together at the beer stop, then again coming together right at the bar that was the finish of the run. Apart from a few dribbles of beer the Brooks Cascadias that I was wearing stayed pretty clean. I alternated between 3 pairs of these shoes for the VT100 this summer, since then I use these shoes for mostly road running, they're a bit too bulky for trails and not as flexible as I would like.

Twin Brook Mud
Tuesday nights at Twin Brook have proven to be the muddiest of all. That place has miserable drainage with many puddles of standing water that have been there all summer and a general saturation that just won't quit. My shoe of choice for this kind of stuff is the Inov-8 Mudroc 290. I bought a pair of these in 2003 when Inov-8 only made one shoe. I got my second pair in early 2007 and was delighted to find that the shoe remained unchanged in 4 years. The only reason I got a new pair was because I realized that the first ones were too small, apparently they're not supposed to fit like climbing shoes. These are some amazingly durable shoes, especially for something so lightweight. I suspect I'll still be running in these 3 years from now.

Hill Repeats
Wednesday I was in the mood for hill repeats. That means I was in a bad mood and needed to take out some aggression on the road. I decided to wear my racing flats for this workout. I bought these Asics DS Racers in 2005 when I thought they would make me fast. Turns out you have train to be fast and shoes don't make that much difference. I stopped wearing these shoes because trail running made my feet a lot stronger, thus wider and they didn't fit so well. I took the insoles out of these and they fit a little better, but still not something I would do more than 3 or 4 miles in.

Grocery Shopping
Thursday night I wanted to get in a 7 mile run and I needed to pick a few things up from the grocery store so I decided to combine the two. Working on the "less in more" premise for footwear I'm trying to do all my shorter runs in minimalist shoes. I picked up these New Balance 790's about a year ago because I thought they looked kinda cool. They didn't fit so well when I tried to run in them so they haven't seen much use, but after removing the insole recently they feel pretty good. For a shoe that's intended for the trail they have a useless tread, but they work fine on the road, nice and soft, more comfortable than my racing flats and probably a bit lighter. Two pounds of steak and a couple cans of beans made the run a little more of a workout.

More Bradbury Mud
Friday I ran home from work, about 2 miles and I wore my newest Inov-8 Roclite 295, the same shoes I wore for the VT 50 and Stonecat Marathon this fall. These shoes feel fine on the road, but they excel on the trail so I took them out to Bradbury on Saturday for a good 13 mile run. They were much happier there and so was I. We ran out of the park along the Snowmobile trail, hit the power lines and stormed up a nice hill. From there we spotted a nice looking sand pit and decided to run around in the sand for a while, up and down the piles. For any onlookers I'm sure it would have appeared strange to see 4 adult men playing in a sand pit, but it was a lot of fun. From there we cut though a campground, bushwacked a bit and then eventually got back onto the trail we had run out on. Blaine took the lead as we got back to the park and the pace picked up, I think he likes to see whether or not the rest of us can hang on to his speed. We did our best and I had a lot of fun winding around on the single track trails.

Snowy Roads

Sunday (today) I planned to go to my parents house for lunch and decided to run there. There was about an inch of snow on the ground when I left and it continued to fall for the entire 16 miles from Portland to Freeport. Luckily it wasn't too cold or windy so the run was quite pleasant. The snow wasn't too slippery but it did make things less efficient than a road would normally be, the Cascadias felt like a good shoe for these conditions. I will probably end up screwing one of my 3 pairs of them for icy conditions. Despite the weather I managed to maintain a pace just under 8 minute miles, but I was pretty tired when I finished. Ready for a big tukey dinner and some birthday cake.


Blaine Moore said...

Great recap of the week! Amazing how different mud can be from one location to the next.

Anonymous said...

Nice way to spend part of your birthday. I suspect the mud will be a thing of the past soon enough. Bring on the snow and ice.