Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hebron Hills Snowshe Classic - Race Report

This was my second consecutive weekend of a Saturday long run on snowmobile trails followed by a snowshoe race on Sunday. This combination seemed to work OK for me last weekend (i.e. didn't kill me) so I thought I'd try it again. This week's race was the Hebron Hills Snowshoe Classic put on by our friends at acidotic Racing. I didn't really know what to expect for attendance at this race because this was it's first year, but since it was an acidotic event I knew there would be at least a few strong runners. I managed to assemble a full team of Trail Monsters to attend the race, including Emma who was making her snowshoe race debut. Four rode up to Hebron with us, Chuck and Jeanne made up the rest of the team. 

Before the race I thought I might take the strategy of pacing off Chris Dunn for most of the race and then seeing if I had it in me to kick it up at the end. But as soon as we started running I realized that was a totally lame strategy, so I just went out at as hard a pace as I thought I could sustain for 3.5 miles. Of course, having no idea what the course was going to be like I really didn't know if I'd be able to maintain that pace. 

video of the start by aussiegtl

In the video you can see Chuck, Emma, Four and I lined up at the far left of the start line, kinda looks like we picked the wrong end to start on... It took me about 30 seconds to settle into 4th place, but I wasn't very comfortable here. I knew there were a few people behind me who usually beat me in races and I figured it was just a matter of time before one or more of them caught me. The first mile was pretty much all downhill allowing for a fast split of 8:02, which still felt like hard work given the relatively soft snow. Sounds weird, but an 8 minute mile really feels like flying when I'm on snowshoes.

The course was a mix of groomed XC ski trails, much like Pineland, and sweet single-track snowshoe trails, much like Bradbury east side. The course description used the phrase "short steepies" to describe the hills, and that's definitely what it felt like, except for the last hill which felt like a long steepy. Most of my running these days has been taking in just this kind of hill so I felt very comfortable racing on this terrain. Comfortable in the sense that I was well prepared, uncomfortable in the sense that I was working my ass off because I was being chased by Chris Dunn the whole time. I knew that Ryan had beaten Chris by a mere 3 seconds the day before at Sidehller so I suspected that Chris was out for revenge. I just hoped that yesterdays long run left me feeling less tired than Chris felt after his race (although I was out there like 4 times as long as he was).

For most of the race I don't think I ever got more than a few paces ahead of Chris, and at times it seemed like he was about to step on the tails of my snowshoes. I could see Scott Hornney, in third place ahead of me, off and on throughout the race but there was no way I was going to be able to catch him. The course was frequently switching between single track and wider ski trail and I made sure that each time we came to a section of trail where Chris might have enough room to pass that I ran fast enough to prevent him from doing so.


Most of the last 1.1 miles was a fairly gradual uphill, but there were a few steep sections and one particular hill that Chuck later referred to as being "really special". It delivered a special kind of hurt, but I was determined to run the whole thing. Even when I could tell that the footsteps behind me were walking, and possibly even gaining on me, I was determined to run every step of this race. I crested the hill with Chris right on my heels but it was the following descent where I really put the hammer down and finally began to pull away from him for good. The last 1/4 mile was all uphill and no doubt incredibly slow, but I was giving it all that I had. If anyone had been watching I'm sure they would have wondered why it appeared to take so much effort to move so slowly.


Eventually I could see the trees thinning out ahead and knew that I was approaching the field with the finish at the far end. The last few feet of the final climb was some of the softest snow on the whole course and I was nearly reduced to a walk. Once up on level ground it was a balls to the wall 100 meter sprint to the finish. 28:59

 photo by Gianina Lindsey

It was quite unusual for there to be only 3 people waiting at the line when I came it, but then again, most races that I do have more than 23 participants. I congratulated the other finishers who came in ahead of me and turned around to see Chris coming in to the finish and then Chuck not too far behind him, then ran slowly back along the course to find Emma. I found her about 3/4 of the way up the final climb, working hard and not exactly happy to see me. I offered some encouragement but she made it clear that she wanted to push through this last part alone. I stepped back and watched her finish her first ever snowshoe race in first place.

 photo by Gianina Lindsey

A few minutes later Four came up the hill, seconds behind aR's first female runner. Anyone who has seen Four race knows that he always has one hell of a sprint finish, and I felt just a little bit bad for the woman who became the victim of his heroic sprint. But not that bad since she was running for another team. Jeanne came in a couple minutes later to round out the Trail Monster team, finishing 3rd female and first female masters runner.

This was a fun course, well marked, on a good mix of challenging terrain. Excellent INDOOR facilities provided by Hebron Academy, and overall top quality management by our friends at acidotic Racing.

time: 28:59
distance: 3.15 miles
pace: 9:12
place: 4/23

weather: upper 20's, cloudy, calm

conditions: soft groomed XC ski trails, gently packed snowshoe single-track

gear: Atlas Run snowshoes, Inov-8 F-lite 301 PK, Inov-8 Debris Gaiters, wool socks, tights, long sleeve shirts, singlet, hat, gloves

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Routine - Week 4

Another weekend of a long run on the Beautiful Loop followed by a snowshoe race. I was expecting the trail conditions at Bradbury to be pretty good since there was more than 1 days worth of snowmobile traffic, but the trails proved to be pretty soft, still an improvement over last week though. This week's group included Valerie, Mindy, Sara, Christine, Mary and Erin, with Erik and Jim intending to join me on the 15 mile loop. Thankfully this week was significantly warmer than previous weeks and I even had to shed one layer within the first mile.

I was feeling really good, but Erik and Jim weren't as used to the snowmobile trail running so by about 8 miles Erik dropped back and then at 10 miles Jim opted to take a shorter road route back to the park. I made a theoretical increase in intensity over the last few miles, but the hilly terrain and soft snow meant there was no actual improvement in my pace. 

After crossing Elmwood Road at about 13 miles I decided to take in the big hill on west side of Bradbury Mt instead of the lower snowmobile trail. From this climb I then diverted onto a snowshoe trail that continued to climb and eventually made it's way to the Boundary Trail on the west side of the park, then followed the Boundary trail to the summit. 350 vertical feet in one mile. That'll be the giant spike at the end of the elevation profile above. From the summit I took the Terrace Trail down, few things in this world are as much fun as hauling ass down that trail when it's covered in snow.

time: 2:34:22
distance: 15.0 miles*
pace: 10:17

*I stopped my watch at a road crossing about 8 miles into the run and forgot to start it again until half a mile later which is why the elevation profile only indicates 14.5 miles.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bradbury Squall - Race Report

I've never been able to write race reports for my own races, but the Bradbury Squall is Ryan's race and I was glad just to be a "volunteer" today. Of course, as a Trail Monster event I had a little more at stake than a typical race volunteer, but I had complete confidence in Ryan's ability to put this race together and he didn't disappoint. The 11:00 race start time meant that most of the course marking and all of the set-up could be done the day of the race. Ryan was out marking the single-track Krista's Trail on Saturday while I was out running an incredibly slow 15 mile run on super-soft snowmobile trails. Definitely not the best preparation for a race, but my long term goal is to get back into ultra-running shape for the spring/summer/rest-of-my-life... so doing a long/hard run the day before a race is actually great preparation for my long-term goals.

On race day I arrived at Bradbury at 8:00 along with James to help Ryan mark the course, we set off in opposite directions and met in the middle of the loop course and then finished together. I got in about 3 miles of easy snowshoe running as we marked trail, just what my legs needed to get them loosened up after the previous day's slog. By the time we finished marking the rest of the volunteers had arrived and soon after the racers started showing up. I know very little about the history of snowshoe running in the area, I suspect that's because there isn't much of a history, so it felt like we were breaking new ground with this event and there was a lot of nervous excitement going around. There was a very solid contingent of Trail Monsters, most had never raced in snowshoes before, some had never even run in them. As far as I could tell everything was running smoothly and before I knew it it was time to line up for the start. It was nice to have someone else leading the pre-race meeting for a change, a few quick words from Ryan and we were off!

photo by Don Penta

The start and first half mile of the course are on packed snowmobile trail so the running was easy, and fast. Apparently Ryan was trying to prove that his trail name - Snowman - is justified, and not just because of his pasty white skin, he was running alongside Judson Cake and a kid who looked like he could give Judson a run for his money. It wasn't long before they were out of my sight and I found myself in 7th place right behind David Roberts. I began to worry that I had done my usual go-out-too-fast thing because as we entered the single track at 0.6 miles there were a lot of strong Trail Monsters behind me who were probably running much smarter races. David set a good pace through the tight, twisty Krista's Trail, I thought a few times about trying to pass him but this was definitely not the place to do it. One step off the packed trail and I would surely sink into an abyss of powder. Someone was right on my heels but I didn't dare take my eyes off the trail to see who it was, and there was no way I was going to sacrifice any of my lung capacity by trying to make conversation. Krista's took us to the high point of the course, 200 feet above the start over the course of 1 mile. That may not sound like a lot but it sure felt like it in snowshoes, my lungs were completely tapped out. I eventually recognized the heavy breathing of the person behind me (does that sound wrong?) as Stephen Wells and I knew that my place wasn't safe.

Once the trail turned back onto the Tote Road we were on a gradual downhill and I kicked it up a notch to pass David, then set my sights on James. Although he may remember it differently, I recall James taunting me to come get him and I worked hard to close the gap between us. I wasn't putting much distance between me and David, and Stephen was still right there behind me. I was actually grateful to have a few of my teammates right there to help push the pace and keep this a serious race. I eventually caught up to James and put on a big surge to get passed him, giving him a slap as I went by, a second later he pulled off my hat and threw it down behind me. I guess this meant we weren't taking the race too seriously. I put in another surge to get ahead on a short, steep uphill and then really opened it up on the long downhill ahead. There was more than a half mile of downhill along the Boundary Trail, very steep in some places and I knew the course well enough to be able to pick a good line a go full speed. Stephen was still right on my heels, I wasn't able to pull away from him and we exchanged a few words about what fun it was cruising downhill.

The fun ended about 1 mile from the finish with a climb steep enough to require walking. This is where Stephen passed me. Had it not been for yesterday's long run I may have had the strength to run up this hill, and I'm sure Stephen would have run the whole thing had it not been for the 4 hours of nordic skiing he did the day before. He certainly walked less than me and was able to get away from me pretty quickly. When we crested the hill Stephen transitioned into a run much more quickly than me and the gap between us grew. There were a series of small ups and downs over the next half mile and each up seemed to take more and more out of me, and picking the pace back up again got harder. With about 0.4 miles to go we came back out onto the groomed snowmobile trail of the Northern Loop and this is when David finally caught back up and passed me.

photo by Don Penta

I really didn't like this at all, losing two places in the last mile of the race, so I somehow managed to fight the fatigue in my legs and kick it back up a notch to pass David. I then set my sights on closing the gap on Stephen and managed to close in a little bit, but this was just in time for his final sprint to the finish and the gap remained as it was. I was happy to finish in 6th place with a time of 34:04.

time: 34:04
distance: 3.5 miles
pace: 9:44
place: 6/32

weather: sunny, calm, 16 degrees. absolutely beautiful

conditions: mostly snowshoe packed trails, groomed at beginning and end

gear: Atlas Run snowshoes, Inov-8 F-lite 301 PK, Inov-8 Debris Gaiters, wool socks, tights, 2x long sleeve shirts, t-shirt, hat, gloves, mittens

I didn't have much to do after I finished, other than hang out with the other runners by the fire and enjoy some amazing soup from Frontier. Ryan and the other volunteers did a great job with the timing and getting the results together quickly. Eventually it was time to pack up and then go pick up the race course. Ryan and I headed back out on the course, again each going opposite directions until we met in the middle. This time around I got in about 3 miles of snowshoeing, but there was a lot of walking and by the time we finished picking everything up I was totally spent.

It was great to see a total of 18 Trail Monsters come out for our first ever snowshoe race, as well as all the other participants. Ryan did a great job running the show - and the race. Can't wait for the next one.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Routine - Week 3

This was my third week running the Beautiful Loop this winter and by far the most difficult conditions. We had received about 8 inches of snow throughout the day on Friday which meant there was limited time for snowmobiles to get out and pack things down for us before we set off at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning. I wouldn't say the soft snow made the run much less enjoyable, it was just a lot more work getting through it, resulting in a much slower time than previous weeks.

I arrived at the Brad a little before 8 to hand off course marking materials to Ryan who was going out to find the right way through Krista's Trail and mark it for tomorrow's snowshoe race, the Bradbury Squall. Chuck and Nate showed up to run the big loop with me, and Joe was there for a shorter run in snowshoes. Although not quite as cold as the previous week, the temperature was still below zero. I quickly realized that running fast to keep warm wasn't an option, but trudging through the soft snow was hard enough work it didn't take long to warm up. Unfortunately it also didn't take long for my the hose of my hydration pack to freeze up. I didn't make any progress with the revisions to my heated hose sleeve so today I duct taped a few handwarmers to the hose. This also was ineffective at preventing freezing. I guess there's not much you can do when it's this cold.

About 5 miles into the run I took off one of my long sleeve shirts and put it back on over my Nathan pack in an attempt to trap some of my body heat and thaw the hose, but it was another 6 miles before the ice in the hose finally melted.

I discovered on this run that snowmobilers don't like to ride single file. In the woods or most of the way along the powerlines the snowmobile trail gets pretty well packed, but any opportunity to break off of the established trail and they seem to take it. This was frustrating for us each time we got to a field or somewhat open area and the track we were on would split into three or four different tracks and the snow in these sections was not packed at all.

Despite the extra effort this run took I felt pretty good throughout, and when faced with the option of bailing out at 14 miles I felt strong enough to turn it down and keep going to get in the full 15 miles.I certainly didn't feel energetic at the end of the run but didn't think that this run took so much out of me that I wouldn't still be able to race well at the Squall tomorrow. The only problem was that the little bit of frostbite I got on my toes the week before seemed to be getting worse, and was pretty painful after the run. Hopefully that doesn't effect my snowshoeing.

time: 2:41:30
distance: 15.01 miles
pace: 10:46

weather: very cold -5 to +15, mostly sunny

conditions: soft snow, not well packed

gear: Inov-8 Oroc 280 with screws, sock liners, wool socks, tights, 2x long sleeve shirts, t-shirt, 2x buffs, thin gloves, mittens, Nathan HPL#020 hydration pack

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snowshoeing The Brad

My original plan for Sunday was to run - in snowshoes - all three courses of the Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series races. I guess I forgot how hard work snowshoeing can be.

I got to Bradbury at 9 and met Ryan, James, Jeff, Sara, Christine, Mary, Julia and David, a pretty solid crew considering we don't have much of a snowshoe running history around here. After Ryan handed out a few loaner pairs of Dion snowshoes and helped people get fitted we headed out on the Northern Loop Trail where the Bradbury Squall race starts. This year the park is allowing snowmobiles to take the Northern Loop Trail to the summit of Bradbury Mt so the first 1/2 mile was on well packed snow. On the way out we passed Kevin who was returning from a run he had started earlier.

Once we turned off onto the Tote Road trail there had only been foot traffic, but enough to make the running still pretty easy going. But then we turned onto Krista's which is a single track trail that hadn't received any traffic whatsoever since the snow fell. That's not entirely true, there were some deer and rabbit tracks on the trail, but they weren't going to same way we were. After getting half way through the "trail" we completely lost it under the snow. Befuddled by the snow covered Krista's trail we decided to turn around and backtrack the trail to the Tote Road and approach Krista from the other end. It didn't take long to reconnect to where we were a few minutes prior but no one was sure if we'd actually run the trail correctly, in fact most of us were sure that we hadn't. Either way, we ended up creating a loop in the general area of Krista's that was about the right distance.

Once back on the Tote Road we cruised along a pretty good pace, it was nice not to have to break trail. When we hit the Boundary Trail we had a nice long downhill stretch that got crazy fast at times with a few wipeouts barely averted. The last half mile was back on the "groomed" portion of the Northern Loop trail which makes a nice way to finish the race. The time and distance for the run on the Squall course was messed up since we got lost on Krista's Trail, making the whole run about 3/4 mile too long and factoring in a few minutes of head scratching.

time: 58:52
distance: 4.30 miles
pace: 13:42

That was enough for everyone except me and Ryan (James had got an earlier start than the rest of us), after a short break we headed back out to run the White Out course. The first half mile was again on the Northern Loop trail which was very easy going, but then we turned up the Terrace trail which isn't steep but is the longest sustained climb in the park. It was running up this trail that reminded me to ask Ryan if he had an EMT for the race, I was beginning to think that I might need one.

From the top of the Terrace Trail we took in the Northern Bluff, then looped around to the summit. I like the fact that this race course takes in the places on the mountain where you can actually get a view, not that there was much of one today, but it's still nice to pop out of the woods once in a while. Ryan and I settled into a good pace as we made our way around the Tote Road again, this time in the opposite direction as before, also the downhill direction. By the time we hit the Boundary Trail I was beginning to notice the effects of yesterday's run catching up with me and the uphills got to be more of a struggle. Ryan pulled away a bit but was nice enough to wait for me to catch up until we got to the next downhill.

Running down the South Ridge trail is one of my favorite things to do in this world, and running it in snowshoes is even better. The trail drops about 200 feet over the course of 1/2 mile and has a handful of steep drops that put you right on the edge of losing control. The only bad thing about the South Ridge trail is that it brings you out at a lower elevation than the main parking lot (start/finish) and the slight climb back up, although gradual, always feels worse than any other climb in the park.

time: 49:28
distance: 4.13 miles

This seemed like enough snowshoe running for one day, neither Ryan or I were ambitious enough to take on the Blizzard course which would have taken us up to the summit (or nearly there) four more times. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Routine

After last week's run on the Beautiful Loop I decided I wanted to try to run it every week until the rivers thaw and I can't get across. This was week 2 and I hoped to complete the loop a little faster than last week, but of course that would largely be dependent on the trail conditions and weather. When we arrived at Bradbury the temperature was about -10, but luckily there wasn't any wind. 

This weeks group was a little bigger than last week, Jim, Jamie, Valerie, Rick, Alan and Andy joined Emma and me. I set off in the lead and was moving at a pretty quick pace, partly because I knew I wanted to run the loop faster this week, but also because I figured that moving more quickly would help me keep warm, which it did. The Link Trail was pretty soft but as soon as we hit the Snowmobile Trail conditions improved dramatically and running was pretty easy.

Jamie and Andy kept me company for the first 4 miles when I realized that we'd gotten pretty far ahead of the rest of the group so I took us on a little out and back detour which left us at the back of the pack. At this point Emma was leading the chase group of Jim and Alan who hadn't realized that we cut off from the regular route and were moving pretty quickly themselves to try and catch us. After about a mile of chasing them down we finally caught up and ran together (somewhat) as one group.

Our group paused briefly on Chandler Brook, the only good thing about sub-zero temperatures is that it helps make the ice on rivers a little thicker. It seemed a bit funny for the six of us to be standing on the ice in the middle of a river, until we heard a few cracks and quickly made it to the other side. I guess 900+ pounds was a bit much for that ice. Shortly after the river crossing Emma, Jim, Andy and Alan turned off onto Pownal Range Road to take the quicker way back to the park (10+ miles total), while Jamie and I continued on the snowmobile trails under the powerlines.

By now it had warmed up into positive numbers but was still pretty cold. Last night I went to Cabela's and bought a pair of battery heated socks, stripped the wiring out of the sock along with one of the two battery connections and attempted to make a heated sleeve for my hydration pack hose. It all worked pretty well at home but didn't last long on the run, I'm not sure if the battery connection was bad or what, but it didn't keep my hose from freezing. I'll continue to tinker with this and see if I can get it to work...

The last few miles of this run have the worst (or best?) hills. Nothing terribly long, but enough steep ups that really slow you down and drain your energy. Last week we skipped out on one of the bigger hills on the west side of Bradbury Mountain, but this week there were good tracks going up so we had to do it (it's the sharp spike between 13 and 14 miles on the elevation profile above). 250 feet of vertical in 1/2 mile, then back down again, then climbing another 250 feet over the course of the next mile.

We reached Rt 9 about 1/4 mile from the park and had about 14.25 miles done at that point, I told Jamie I was OK running back on the road and getting in a little less than 15, but he insisted on continuing on the trails so we could reach at least 15 miles. So we crossed Rt 9, ran Knight Woods to the Snomobile Trail and back along the Link Trail and finished with 15.4 miles. Slower than last week but that has something to do with being more than a mile longer and throwing in a few extra hills. Great run.

Following the run we headed to Edna & Lucy's, Trail Monster's new favorite place for post run refueling.

time: 2:33:41
distance: 15.4 miles
pace: 9:57

weather: -10 to +15, sunny and calm

conditions: well packed snowmobile trails, a little soft in some places

gear: Inov-8 Oroc 280, wool socks, sock lines, tights, 2x long sleeve shirts, t-shirt, 2x gloves, 2x buffs, Nathan HPL #020

Post run note: Although I wasn't aware of having particularly cold feet during the run I discovered after the fact that I got frostbite on a few my toes. Ouch.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

10 miler

After a month of pretty unmotivated running during the month of December I finally feel like I'm getting back into a more serious training routine. I still haven't figured out what I'm training for yet, but no doubt it will require me to get into better shape than I'm in right now so I've got some work to do. I ended up bailing on the GAC Fat Ass 50k, but I still wanted to get in two solid runs this weekend. Saturday was 14.2 miles on snowy/icy trails at Bradbury, and on Sunday Emma and I went out for a 10 mile road run from home.

It had been a while since the two of us had been out for a run together from home so it was nice to sleep in, have a good breakfast and head out mid-day. We started out pretty easy, or slow, which made sense since the previous days run was pretty long for us and the first two and a half miles were up a pretty good sized hill.

After the third mile we settled into a somewhat faster, but still quite comfortable pace and enjoyed the good weather.

Oh yeah, I suppose there is that 10 mile race in Cape Elizabeth to train for, I guess I should get a few more road runs in and start working on my speed.

time: 1:22:16
distance: 10.26 miles
pace: 8:01

weather: low 30's, sunny

gear: Saucony Grid Sinister, wool socks, short tights, long sleeve shirt, t-shirt, thin gloves, baseball cap

My Favorite Winter Loop

Although I didn't know what the conditions were going to be like for this Saturdays run I knew exactly the route that I wanted to run. Two winters ago I figured out a 14+ mile loop from Bradbury on the snowmobile trails, a loop that can only be run when the small rivers freeze so I look forward to it each winter. Last winter I referred to this as The Beautiful Loop and gave a pretty good description of it on this blog. While the conditions weren't beautiful today it was still a great run.

Today's group started out with Jeremy, Alan and Mindy, along with myself, Emma and out dog Kip. We each arrived with a different plan in mind but set off together on Bradbury's East Side trails. The pace was pretty slow, which was good considering this was going to be a long run for me. The group stuck together pretty well until 4 miles when Emma, Mindy and Kip turned back. 8 miles is a long run for Kip, he got through it just fine but we're careful not to build up his mileage too fast.

Trail conditions up to this point were pretty rough, much of the snow we've received this winter had melted last weekend, and then froze again. The trail surface, despite having received previous snowmobile traffic, was pretty rough with a mixture of hard packed snow, ice and bare ground. Alan, Jeremy and I continued another mile to the power lines, then headed west. I thought the trail conditions might improve once we were under the power lines but they didn't, just more ice.

At about 8 miles into the loop Alan peeled off onto Lawrence Road and planned to take a shorter, but somewhat unknown route back to the park. He needs to get his own Garmin so we can all see where he goes. Jeremy and I continued on the power lines for another 3 miles before heading back into the woods on some more pleasantly proportioned trails. 

My weekly mileage hasn't been where I'd like it to be over the past month so this was feeling like a pretty long run for me. I think we did a pretty good job of maintaining a consistent pace, but it's so hard to tell on terrain like this when the conditions are constantly variable and there are good hills to contend with. Luckily I never felt like I was burning out and I finished the run feel like I could have kept going if I needed to, but also glad to finish while still feeling good.

I was wearing my Inov-8 Oroc 280's today, which I've been doing most of my winter running in so far this year. At some point I may get around to doing a real review of the shoe, but here are a few key things I've noticed: Same upper construction as the X-talon 212 (my favorite shoe). The combination of the sparsely lugged outsole and relatively thin midsole means you can actually feel some of the lugs when your foot hits the ground. This is not a good thing when the lug also has a steel stud embedded in it and is applying pressure directly to the part of your foot that hits the ground. The 9 embedded studs don't actually provide enough traction on ice so I have had to supplement the shoe with 7 sheet metal screws each. On soft surfaces I don't notice the lugs, but on hard surfaces like rock and ice I feel it. It surely doesn't help that I bruised my foot a few weeks ago.

time: 2:16:05
distance: 14.2 miles
pace: 9:35

weather: cloudy, 32

conditions: sparse crusty snow coverage, lots of ice

gear: Inov-8 Oroc 280, Smartwool socks, tights, 2x long sleeve top, thin gloves, hat, Nathan HPL #020