I ran the last of my long runs yesterday, as preparation for the Ice Age 50 Mile Ultra. Ice Age is in two weeks. I'll probably run 10/10 Saturday and Sunday of this week and 5's on the weekdays.
Saturday was a total rain event. We received 1.5 inches of rain. I ran only 8 miles in the deluge and then headed over to TC Running Company looking for trail shoes.
I've worn Inov-8 for as long as I've been running ultras. After my first finish at McNaughton 100 I was offered a sponsorship from Inov-8 and have been the thankful recipient of 36 pair of shoes since then. I had never been fitted for a running shoe, I don't have any glaring problems that would need a corrective shoe so have done very well running in the Inov-8. Lately, however, it seems that I want more cushion, more substance on the bottom of my foot while running trail. I figured it was time to check out the market.
Kurt at TC Running Company brought out a dozen different pair of trail running shoes. I tried Adidas, Brooks, Asics, Montrail, Solomon and more. After running in all of the models I chose the third shoe I tried on: Brooks Cascadia. As soon as I slid my foot into the shoe I said "ahhh, nice and cushy" it had a great feeling. I ran in the shoe and loved the way it allowed my foot to toe off effortlessly. It almost felt as though the toe was curved upward.
Yesterday the rain had stopped but snow was in its place. Ugh. 28F, 45 mph winds and snowflakes with a 25 mile run on tap. It seems crazy, but the brand new shoes took the edge off of running in those elements! I was just amazed at how good they felt. My feet didn't have that running on flatness feeling, my legs didn't feel dead and my ankles felt great. I don't know if new shoes really make that much of a difference but in my mind they did.
Topaz rooted out grouse, turkey and deer from their hiding places. He was having as much fun as I. I brought along gels and heed, stopping at the car at 15 miles to refuel and refill. I never removed my winter running gloves or fleece ear band! Yeah, it was that cold, here. Instead of Happy May Day it was May Day! May Day! Topaz only soaked in the lake 2x, he was comfortable during our run.
After the run Troy and I headed off to the Science Museum to see the Omni film exhibit for King Tut. It was amazing. I enjoy the Science Museum so much, the exhibits never fail to amaze me. There were more than 100 authentic artifacts illuminating the lives of great rulers buried in the Valley of the Kings, including the most famous of them all—King Tut. We learned about Tut's ancestors who defined the 18th Dynasty and the pharaohs' function in Egyptian society and religion.
This training session has allowed no time for speed training, it's been all about endurance. This week I'll run a speed session at the track - first time in two years and try a hill workout at the ski hill. I'm anxious to add the two workouts into my weekly training regularly after Ice Age.