Hiking-Trails · Run!

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!

Run! · Slacker

Rambling On -PTO

Happy Thursday!

I think it’s Thursday. I took another week of PTO and my days are a little blurry. Never thought I would be one for taking a week off 2 months in a row but hey 2020. The beginning of the year was so crazy and I just kept canceling all the time I had requested off. For a person who loves organized chaos and being busy at work, I hit burnout back in July. November’s PTO was all about escaping. This one is more of the sleep all you can, watch whatever crappy TV you want, and maybe don’t put on pants for a week-ish. Running crops aren’t real pants, right?

Speaking of TV, anyone watch The Wilds? I am torn on how I feel about it. And no, it was not like Lost.

I have watched a ridiculous amount of cheesy Christmas movies. Probably too many. But the one I watched the other night was the first time I ever wanted to reach through the TV and smack one of the characters. And I haven’t watched one since.

I decided I needed to work on my cross training so I made a trek to the back shed. Hey, look a fancy spin bike! Or what used to be. Then it had to be carried down the hill and into the garage. Yeah, that was fun- that sucker is heavy! I spent like an hour scrubbing it down- you know, spiders- and even went on a short ride. Now it hurts to sit down. Ouch! Luckily the thing is much smaller than I remember so now I just have to figure out how to get it into the house. Also, there is no onboard computer so not knowing how far I’ve ridden is annoying.

Any tips for sore backs? I have a half wheel but right now that is too much for me. I have been trying other things but nothing seems to be working.

Also, any suggestions for good trail shoes? Neither of mine are working for me right now. Nope. Oh, and speaking of trails- forgot to mention- had a little adventure in our own backyard a week ago-

So, tell me something- what’s new?

Hiking-Trails · Run! · Slacker · Training

Week 29- Return

Ok, reentry to work was a little rough.

Monday and Tuesday were the last of my vacation days. They were hot ones. Not gonna lie, I was pretty lazy these days. I did finish a book so maybe not too lazy. Then it was back to work.

My body felt out of whack from sitting in my chair at work. I had a headache by the end of the day on Wednesday, Thursday and FRiday. Oh no, am I getting old?? I really do like my job, I just felt a little achy last week. 🙂

I got a little too flexible with the drag and drop feature of my training app. I had big visions of how the week was going to go. I really should just stick to the plan. I was also supposed to run a race on Saturday but that didn’t happen.

So instead of highlighting what I should have done, how about just what I did?

Monday- 2 miles
I was fried from Sunday’s trail run and anytime in the sun made me feel abnormally hot. I found a baggy race shirt, left the pack behind and made it out for a shuffled 2 mile run. T- shirts are hot! Who wears those?? Did I mention it was 100*?

Tuesday- 2 miles up/down, 6x 400 at 5K pace- 4ish miles
Still in the middle of a heat advisory, I took my sad self to the gym. I had originally hoped to run my long run on this day as it was the last day of my vacation but I knew that wasn’t happening on the treadmill. So I did Thursday’s intervals instead. The treadmill and my watch disagreed so even though the treadmill said I nailed my repeat paces, my watch had me a minute slower. Grrrr.

Wednesday- 2 miles
The temps dropped drastically so this was a breezy, cool 2 miles.

Thursday- Oops
Was planning on either my mile repeats or my long run but The Lion King called instead. And copious amounts of popcorn.

Friday- Nada
I have to start running in the morning. Even though I take my bag of gear inside every Friday, I don’t use it. By the time we close, I am just done. Especially this Friday.

Saturday- 10 miles
It was supposed to be cooler and I woke with a migraine so I pushed my run to the afternoon. It was 80 but there was a good breeze so it should have been fine. However I tried to throw my mile repeats into the workout instead of running a steady pace. Yeah, I flamed out. I finished the run but was off pace for both the 2 repeats I did and then the later “easy” miles. It was actually my second slowest 10 miles ever. ha! Thanks for that tidbit Smashrun.

Sunday- 4ish miles
I knew I was behind miles for the week and part of me planned on running twice this day. The other part won. I did run up and down a steep trail though. Ok, power hiked up and ran down but still. Again, I ran in the afternoon but it wasn’t too bad. The trail had its shady parts. Though I did kind of want to jump in the water at the end.

22.5/25 miles for the week. Still short but I am calling it good.

How was your week?

Slacker · Uncategorized

Vacation ✅

I write this on the last day of my first real vacation of the year. For someone who used to hate vacations, they sure have grown on me in recent years.

This was a staycation but I was so looking forward to it. I was feeling a little ragged. But like any good staycation, I had a to do list.

So how did I do?

I did not get my tires rotated.

I did read 2 books and almost finished my audio book.

I did not wash my car.

I did hit the trails. Twice- for 12 ish miles of awesomeness. From ocean view to mountain view.

I did not run ALL the miles. Some health issues got in the way. That sounds much heavier than it was, oops.

I did run 5 out of the 7 days though. I call that a win.

I maybe didn’t make the healthiest choices in food.

I ate all the good things. I even tried ice cream called Jack & Coke. And it tasted just like it sounds. Yum.

I did not make it to the movies to see Spiderman.

I did watch an array of disaster movies though. Why those seemed like a good idea when I was feeling poorly, not sure.

I did wind up with the gnarliest sunburn.

I did use sunblock.

I had a birthday. Part of me feels older and part of me doesn’t.

I didn’t manage to stop checking my work phone on the daily. Oops.

So, not too bad.

How do you vacation?

BibRave · Product Review · Run!

Kick the Dust Up

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Horizon RTT  from Under Armour to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Surprisingly enough, dirt and trails are a few of a my favorite things.    I say surprisingly because in some ways I am a huge germophobe and if I’m not in running gear, odds are high that I’m in a dress and heels.    Get me on a trail though and I turn into a 5 year old and run free.  Sometimes a little too free but that’s another story.


When I had the chance to try the Horizon RTT’s from Under Armour, I almost jumped for joy.   My current trail shoes were trashed and it had been way too long since I had run recklessly down a mountain.  I needed it.    Then they arrived and they were so pretty.  But hopefully they wouldn’t stay that way for very long, I wanted to get them good and dirty.

Ok, let’s cover the technical details first-

UA Snip
from the website

Ok, first impressions.

This is a serious shoe.  So much sturdier than my previous trail shoes.   How was that going to feel on my feet?  Ok, where’s the dirt? 😀  My first run in them was a couple laps around the lake.    Not bad, nice traction, good grippy feel, I never felt like I was going to skid out in the loose dirt.


Next adventure- 3 Bridges Preserve, a new trail with a little more zig-zag up than I was expecting.  😛     The shoes felt good, kept me sure footed on the path and helped me explore a little more of what run town has to offer.


Other adventure- An unexpected illness turned a planned Bishop’s Peak hike/run into a calmer ocean trail adventure where I took the shoes over paved paths, hard packed sand,  sandy dunes, boardwalk, gravel and roads.    No problems at all.  And something else I noticed that day?  This hike was done with my mother and she had just purchased a new pair of trail shoes that day.  Her shoes and socks were full of dune sand when she took them off but mine weren’t!

Overall, I wore the shoes for about 20+ miles of mixed routes and surfaces since I received them.  Full disclosure, that unplanned sickness kept me from testing them in my favorite way.   My favorite part of trail running is careening wildly down a mountain side in a barely controlled fashion.  Yes, people usually look at me like I am crazy but I love it.  I need a trail shoe that grips tight so I can run free.  Being sidelined kept me from 2 planned mountains.  Boo.   So as soon as I can run crazily down a mountain, I’ll be back with an add on to this review.  And probably a big smile on my face.  😛

That said, I do have some thoughts on the shoe.  While the outsole is great for traction, I feel like it is very stiff on your foot.   Now maybe I have just become used to a more cushioned shoe lately thanks to my everyday running shoes.   I have a tendency for taking the wrong turn on trails and turning a 5 mile run into 9 or 10 and I think more cushion in the sole would be nice.  This can also probably be corrected with a good pair of inserts, I’ve just never had any luck with those. We shall see.   However I plan on putting in many more miles in these in the months to come.  😀

Want to hear more? Check out these thoughts by other Bibrave Pros-

TedrickLindseyJessicaCasey

How do you run on trails?