Dilemma

A week and a half ago, I did 18 ish miles in Yosemite. This past Sunday I did 5 at a new to me trail- Riconada- in my area. Both days my feet let me know that my new trail shoes were not winning any points. Boo. Which puts me in a predicament. I need shoes! And it’s not for lacking of trying.

My first few years running trails, I had perfect shoes. First Mizuno Wave Hayate followed by a move into Under Armor Horizon HTT. Loved both of them with no issues but neither shoe is made anymore. Not only that, neither shoe company makes any trail shoes anymore. WTH? Which has started a 2ish years of trying all the trail shoes. Let’s recap-

First up- Brooks Cascadia. Anytime I say their name, I hiss a little and call them devil shoes. Pretty sure I broke my foot in the them during Spooner’s Cove back in Dec 2019. 2020 and my lack of running gave my foot time to heal and nope- I never went to the doctor. Did get rid of the shoes. Full disclosure- the rep at the store talked me into buying mens and they ended up being too big. I might like the woman’s version but can’t bring myself to order them.

Both my first trail shoes were pretty minimal and the Cascadia was a beast of a shoe so maybe that was my problem???

Next- Altra Lone Peak. Felt good up until 5 miles… and only on flat. My feet slid around like crazy when running downhill and I needed more cushion. I tend to run downhill like a 5 year old without brakes so I need my feel to feel secure. As for the cushion, I mean I am carrying 50ish more pounds than I used to so that may make sense.

3- Merrell SkyFire. Ok, ok, not bad. Nice blend of running shoe meets hiker. Ok, we may have something here. Until I ate trail going down the Grand Canyon. Son of a!

4- Topo Ultraventure. Kind of like a cross between the Skyfire and the Lone Peak. Traction was amazing, cushion felt good. Until my first 8-9 mile trail in them and I think I broke my big toe. Ok, dropping a bottle on it that night was probably what did it fully in but it was already severely bruised from that day. Returned.

5- Nike Terra Kiger– Nope. Never made it out of the house. Went back in the back and back to the Running Warehouse. For a person who wants snug shoes- this was a form fitting brick.

6- Altra Timp– Tried a size 9, felt way too small. There went that idea. Exchanged for a 9.5 (my usual size). Holy fire of arch pain Batman. Returned.

7. Brooks Caldera- good lord, that’s a cushiony shoe! It also made me about 2 inches taller and that it just too much shoe for me. Back to the store without running in them.

At what point does the Running Warehouse fire me as a customer? And before you @ me about buying from a local running store, the Warehouse is my local running store. Shout out to local businesses going big. But the storefront still hasn’t really reopened since COVID.

8- Merrell MQM Flex 2 I liked the SkyFire but wanted more traction so I searched the Merrell site for a possible other option. They started out good. I’ve put more miles on them then any of the other shoes. But I didn’t really test them until Yosemite. The path was basic so I didn’t really need to worry about traction but my feet were so damn sore, I almost tore them off. My bad toe even reared its head again. Then in Riconada, I slipped 4 or 5 times on the rockier parts of the trail. Which is most of our local trails. WTH again!

So now I don’t know what to do. What else is there to try? I know there is Hoka, but that seems like it will be way too much shoe for me. I’ve looked at Saucony but nothing jumps out at me as the answer. I have dreams of running a 50K but I can’t even begin to contemplate that if I can’t last more than a few miles or a couple of hours in a pair of shoes.

So seriously, if anyone has any tips- throw them my way!

Yosemite

Heyo! It’s been a bit longer than planned since my last post- oops.

Let’s see, I ran some, I slacked off, ate food, gave myself heat stroke and cut my hair. Great, now that we are caught up, let’s move on to cool part. I went to Yosemite for the first time!

My brother is a crazy person who builds houses during the week and summits mountains on the weekends, car camping and taking amazing pictures along the way. He said he wanted to take my mother and I to Yosemite before things got crazy for the summer. Umm, ok?

Woah, 4 AM came early. And the drive was longer than I thought it would be… with my brother driving my car like it was a NASCAR race. That first view driving down into the park is just great, you get a look of Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and Half Dome all on the drive down.

We let my brother lead the way as he had planned the day… I thought I was prepared. He even told us, he was taking it easy on us… yeah, sure 18ish miles later! But this was “easy” as it only gained 1100 ft in elevation. Thanks, B.

We stuck mostly to the Valley Loop Trail with a few off shoots and add ons. The trail was crowded even on an overcast, slightly chilly day. There were parts where it felt like people were everywhere followed by parts where you felt so alone in the woods you almost forgot where you were. The trail varied from dirt to rocks to paved path.

Mirror Lake was gorgeous- I may have taken too many photos.

Yosemite Falls was awesome- although a massive crowd gatherer.

Half Dome watched over it all. Yet, I now realize I have no pictures??? How did I do that?

El Capitan was impressive.

Although I also hit my breaking point around El Cap. My blood sugar dropped, I was running low on water, may have worked myself into a panic attack and I turned into a major bitch. Climbers halfway up El Cap may have heard me shout “this is bullsh**” as I tripped on rocks trying to get closer. More than once. My bad.

Actually that put me into a dark mental space for the 4-5 miles it took to get back to the car. But let’s be honest- Yosemite is the sights and sounds… words don’t really work. Which is why this post is mostly pictures.

If you have been there, what was your favorite part?

If you haven’t been there-put it on your list!

Whirlwind

I love vacation but the first day back at work is always a whirlwind of catching up. Last week started exactly like that and then just kept spinning. I felt like my old washing machine; spinning and spinning and spinning, shaking away from the wall. Thankfully I replaced that very washer on my vacation and last week finally led to the weekend.

I had big plans of keeping to my training plan but well…

One day I forgot my shoes. One day, I had a horrible day with my stomach- which after a repeat this week could mean an issue with spaghetti for dinner, boo. Then an inspector showed up and the next 2 days at work were long and chaotic. Then my dad fell hiking and the fun just continued. I was so ready for the weekend.

Oh but I did get my stitches out!

I kept Saturday as low key as possible. I ran some errands and kind of chilled before heading out and attempting a run. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to run one of the missed 4 milers or try for my long run. Big long run this week- 6 miles. Dude, TimeHop makes me sad- 3 years ago I was running 18 milers training for Big Sur and now I can barely manage 6 miles. And these 6 miles were a struggle. I finished my run but barely. The last few miles were mostly walked as my stomach rebelled… as my stomach is wont to do. Grrr.

Sunday was an early morning as I was heading for a local hike with my mother. It’s been a few years since I had done Bishop’s Peak and not only did I park at the wrong trail head and short us some miles, it kicked my ass. The last time I did Bishop’s I was in probably my best shape… now I might be in my worst, ha!

I also forgot how technical it was, and how crowded it was. So many people! And you can tell yourself that where you are in fitness is fine for now until you are lapped going up a mountain by a college kid in flip flops. The trail is still gorgeous though.

So yeah a less than ideal week but it had it’s bright spots!

Consistent

Not a word often used to describe me. Even more surprising when you factor in that vacation for me usually means a vacation from coffee too. What???

That said, last week was a good mix of doing nothing, sticking to my training plan and doing nothing. Wait did I say that already? Seriously though it was a pretty good week. I meant to write a post last week but I was just so busy doing nothing, it was a distraction.

When the week started, I had planned to stick to my training plan like it was written but reality saw me moving things around. With my doctor’s appointments and first service on my car, moving things fit my week better. And I added on the extra 2 miler instead of cross training. Woo hoo!

Actually, the 2 miler was the first work out errr, walk out of the week on Tuesday. I kept it close to home and quick. Well, as quick as walking can be. Only downside was a band aid malfunction. I’ve learned I am allergic to band aids-yay- and the sensitive skin ones have less than ideal sticking power.

Wednesday’s speech therapy appointment put me in the same town as the lake path so, yay! It was warm! Plan called for 3.5 miles and I know 3 laps around the lake is 3.5 miles. Instead of carrying water, I made my car an aid station and stopped when I needed to. My watch has been malfunctioning- I broke the dial- so sometimes it starts or stops and sometimes it doesn’t. Partway through my second lap, I realized it hadn’t started again and shorted me around 1/4 mile. So of course I had to walk an extra 1/4 mile to make up for it.

Thursday saw a rest day as my heel was sore. I need better work shoes so this is nothing new plus I had a few appointments.

Friday was supposed to be a hike but just wasn’t feeling it so I headed out for 3.5 miles at the river path. Where there was a nice breeze. I also had another band aid malfunction a little over a mile in so I turned around and headed back for the car. I hit 3.1 miles for the day instead. Grrr.

Saturday was supposed to be hiking and shopping… and it was! It was supposed to be a harder trail but I wasn’t feeling it so my mom and I headed for the Headlands trail. Very user friendly with views of the ocean- sign me up! All was good until almost 2 miles when I bottomed out. Occasionally I get what feels like low blood sugar attacks where I get real clammy, shaky and both feel starving and nauseous at the same time. Usually I have snacks in my purse but because this was an “easy” hike and the weather was nice, I had nothing on me. Not even water. Stupid. I leveled out enough to stare at the ocean some and get back to the car where I had fruit snacks, water and soda.

Sunday was an intentional do nothing day. Except instead of napping, I did some laundry and some cleaning and generally got ready to go back to work.

All in all, it was a pretty steady week. How was your week?

Stitch Life

I guess it’s fitting that my favorite Disney character is Stitch.

I had my second melanoma procedure on Wednesday and now possess a lovely row of stitches on my back. Basically just below my sports bra line. Yay. They told me to basically do nothing for 3 days and then nothing strenuous until the stitches come out. Is running strenuous? Haha.

I figured out a way to pick heavy things up at work that didn’t pull my back and I took 4 days off running. Which 2020 me would just call a normal week but I am trying to stick to my training plan here.

On Sunday, I started by just trying to put on a sports bra. Success! Then I tried for a run. Ok, things were a little uncomfortable. Combine that with the surprise 82 degree weather and I decided to be smart. I walked it all. At this point, my only real goal for CDA half is to finish it and maybe faster than the sh*t show that was Napa in 2020.

Walking let me enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. I also chose a different path then the same old one I’ve been running lately and found a tiny sliver of green and trails hidden in the houses. And unexpected water crossings! I miss dirt. I miss trails. That said, I still completed my “long run” for the week, all 5 miles of it.

Other things I learned in the last few days- I have the swallowing capacity of someone twice my age and it’s a problem. Well, I have been choking on food for the last 4 years but no doctors would believe me. Grrrr. So now I am seeing a speech therapist twice a week for what essentially equates to PT for my throat. Part of me feels it is needed and the other part wonders if I am getting scammed. Hmmm. Can’t decide which one yet.

Sunday night was the best, I had no alarm to set for Monday morning- I’m on vacation! Woo hoo!

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