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.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

There Was Mud, and So Many Beautiful Shoes

After taking a week off to try to deal with the plantar fasciitis that hit me after the TMR FA 50K I thought it would be a good idea to make a slow and careful return to running. But then we got this excellent spring weather and the slow and careful thing went out the window. I may have done a little too much too soon by running about 32 miles over the course of the weekend, but I felt good. Well rested. And actually I did run slow so I at least stuck to that part of the plan.

We recently learned that once a month the Inov-8 headquarters in Southborough, MA opens it's warehouse doors to the public for a little shoe show and then leads a group run in a nearby park. For a big fan like me this opportunity was too good to pass up so Emma and I met up with Randy and Chuck and drove down to MA together on Saturday morning. We wanted to get in at least 10 miles that morning and Lisa from Inov-8 was nice enough to to meet us with one of her friends at Callahan State Park in Framingham before the open house to lead us on a run.

It was great to get to see some new trails, but what was even better was the fact that there was almost no snow on the ground. For the first time in months we were able to run for miles on dirt! Oh what a beautiful thing. The trails were mostly single-track through fairly dense forest with a nice mix of flatter sections and rolling hills.

There was also a nice mix of terrain which was such a pleasant change from all the snow I've been running in for the past 3+ months. A little bit of snow, quite a few short stretches of ice, mostly hard packed dirt and a few mud puddles. We all got our feet wet a few times but the weather was warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt so cold feet really weren't an issue.

Lisa apologized for the slow pace but it actually felt very comfortable, not too slow at all, but was easy enough that I didn't feel like I was pushing myself more than I should. I was somewhat surprised but very relieved to find that I didn't have any lingering pain from the PF and generally everything felt good.

time: 2:00:56
distance: 11.51 miles
pace: 10:30

weather: upper 30's to low 40's, sunny

conditions: DIRT! MUD! and some ice and snow

gear: Inov-8 Roclite 315 with screws, wool socks, shorts, t-shirt, long sleeve top (removed), gloves, buff, handheld bottle

After the run we followed Lisa's directions to an excellent bagel shop where we had lunch and then headed to the Inov-8 warehouse just a few miles away. This wasn't my first time here so I sort of knew what to expect, but it was still pretty awesome to walk in and see a big table full of shiny new trail running shoes.

Here I am holding the X-Talon 212, softer than a slipper but with big gnarly teeth. (photo by Katy) I was considering these shoes since Chuck has had good luck with them but when I thought about running a race like 7 Sisters in them I decided against it. I like to have just a little more shoe between me and the rocks. Besides, after seeing Chuck win first place in the Grossest Feet competition I didn't want to follow too closely in his footsteps.

I decided to get a pair of the Roclite 315 which have probably been the most reliable shoe I've ever run it. I wore these for my first two 50 milers, for numerous shorter races and for the bulk of my training over the past 2 years. I've been very impressed with how they hold up to all the abuse that I put them through. In my opinion they're the best all around trail shoe for any distance, on any terrain that you'll find in New England.
For some of the shorter races (less than 15 miles) I have planned for this year I wanted to get a lighter shoe. Back in 2003 I got a pair of Mudroc 290's when that was the only shoe that Inov-8 made. I still have a pair of them from 2007 I but wanted to try something else since I had the opportunity. I started with the Roclite 285, this has the same tread pattern as the 315 but is built on a performance last as opposed to the endurance last of the 315. Something wasn't right, hard to explain but it just didn't feel that good when I flexed my foot. I next tried on the Mudroc 280 which is also built on the performance last. This immediately felt good and I knew it was the shoe for me. They feel was the same as the 290's, the main difference being that the shoe upper is made from a lighter, more open mesh.

Now we just need to get rid of some of this ice so I can try these babies out for real.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yea... seeing as I live down in MA, I have been enjoying great, snow-free weather for awhile. Haha.