5.06.2009

503

That's the Bayshore Marathon number to watch on May 23...yep, that's my bib #...woot!

Today I had a thoroughly marvelous time getting lost on a trail in the park. Not really lost...I mean, the park isn't ginormous and it's hemmed-in on all sides by road. But my sense of direction got off early-on and when I thought I was going North and East I was actually going more North/Northwest (one of these days I should see if my Garmin Forerunner 305 will show current bearing, not just distance and pace). I still managed exactly 5 miles...but it was a LOT more challenging than what I had planned. I had planned to enjoy an easy, relatively flat route...but instead I spent most of my run on the "Hearty Hiker" trail. Really not a wise choice during taper. I'm just thankful that I didn't end up going ass-over-cranium on a sandy downhill--especially running solo with only my cell phone (and likely poor reception out by the lake).
That suprised me, too. There really weren't many people out in the park. I only saw 2 people and their dog during my entire 5 mile trek. It was positively GORGEOUS out...probably around 70 with mostly sunny conditions while I was out. There are a few trails that lead to beach and channel, so my guess is some people had parked (plenty of cars in the lot where I left my car) and walked to the beach or channel for fishing.

My run was also made pleasant by a new pair of trail kicks. I already own a pair of Gore-Tex trail shoes, but they are HOT and HEAVY. I can't imagine wearing them for my upcoming trail relay in mid-june. They are currently slated for conversion to "screw shoes" come Winter.

So I picked up a pair of Mizuno Wave Ascend 4s. They are not a truly "technical" trail shoe, as they are lacking a protective rock plate...but we don't have rocks here. Just sand, pine needles, sand, mud, sand, leaves, sand, moss, sand, grass, sand, tree roots, sand, gravel...and sand. They are more of a lightweight hybrid and are designed to specifically be good on wet stuff. They also were reviewed by Running Times to be very accommodating for wider feet, even though they don't come in widths (I have resigned myself to the fact that I can no longer limit my purchases to wides, since so few shoes come in wides and NB's wides are no longer wide).

Fit is very nice...definitely a roomy forefoot. Function seems great, too. I ran on all of the above surfaces and never lost footing. I was astounded by how well they gripped on sandy dune slopes. Good in marshy muck, too. I ran a bit on the road...yeah, that was not comfortable. But my NB trail shoes are also not comfortable on the road. I don't know that there's such a thing as a shoe that can really do well on both dry roads and trails. I also love that they have those same bumpy laces that NB is starting to put on most of their higher-end shoes. I would not be surprised to see these on more shoes in the future.

It's not a particularly stable shoe...just a hair of pronation control, so I will likely be throwing a pair of Superfeet insoles in them. That should make them a pretty ideal shoe for my needs and for the upcoming trail relay.

I was thankful for a good run today. Yesterday's 8 miler was positively shiteous. After 3 miles I was just not finding a comfortable groove. I wasn't in pain, just wiped-out. Lungs weren't cooperative and legs were stiff. I promised myself that if I could run to the 4 mile point that I'd walk/run the rest of the way. When I hit 4 I saved that workout on my Garmin and started a new one. I ended up walking a mile and calling my best friend to rant about the misery of a bad run when one is 4 miles from home (she is also a runner--helped get me hooked--so I knew she would commiserate).

After a mile I saved that "run" and started a new workout...ran the remaining 3 miles and they felt fine. Just one of those "off" days that creep up from time to time. Most of my runs in the past month or two have been pretty pleasant and my 20 miler this past weekend averaged less than a minute off of my target marathon race pace without killing me and today's surprise challenging trail run was fun, so I'm not the least bit upset.

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