How am I feeling today?
A little frustrated with my trail running shoe choices. When I figured out that the Skechers Speed TRL are not going to work for me, between the sewn seam on the toe box rubbing just enough to be a distraction and at some point a blister for both feet if I attempt to run hard on trails and the tongue design, in other words I don’t like how they fit my feet. The ASICS Magic Speeds are not the answer either, they are go faster road shoes that will work on dry trails in a pinch, but I know the outsole grip is not what I want or need. The rest of the shoes I have are pretty solidly in the road shoe category and not really options. So yes, I am wondering what direction I need to go next? I need something that is comfortable, but works well for the 4-5 times a month that I plan to run on local trails and for when the dirt road down-back is nasty – (not steep mountains or true backcountry and does decently in snow.
Then there are the New Balance 1080 v10s that I got to be my long run shoes, and I wanted badly to love because they feel great underfoot. Unfortunately, I have two pair in the back of the garage and neither works worth a damn. One is too small and the other blisters my left ankle whenever I attempt to run in them, which is a big no go for running
Yeah, running shoes and I are still having our “fun”
Oh yeah, I am feeling a bit blah this morning as well, but that is not unusual for me after longer trail runs where I have used muscles that I am not used to using and then do yard-work in the afternoon. Although I am a little frustrated with how slow the Achilles is taking to heal, but not super down about it. I just want to get back to running comfortably, without having to worry about it. It will happen eventually, but just not as quickly as I would like.
Planned Workout Description:
- Recovery Run
Today’s Running Focus
Listen to the Body
Why am I doing this run?
To recover from yesterday’s longer trail run (first single-track run this year) and then mowing after, which left both Achilles a bit worse for wear.
What I Actually Did Today:
An easy run out to Wildwood and back. I did pick it up for a fast finish, but otherwise maintained a nice and steady, but slower pace.
Did the workout go as planned?
Yes, I did pretty much everything that I wanted, and I even got to try out my new Walmsley Hoka bucket hat. I have had an issue with the tops of my ears getting sunburned and peeling a lot over the past couple of years and I always forget to put sunscreen on them.
So, when I saw Walmsley wearing that bucket hat after he won Western States, I thought that is exactly what I need to stop the tops of my ears from burning. It worked quite nicely and while I look a bit eccentric wearing it, the had is perfect for running and protects my ears from the sun. Plus, the visor is not as long as a ball cap, so I have more/better visibility when my head tends to drop down when I get fatigued or going up a hill.
The Achilles did a lot better after my eccentric calf stretches on the step ladder and only got up to a 2-3 at the end of the run but didn’t interfere at all when I picked up the pace to finish the run. Which is a good thing, it is getting better.
Weather: Clear sky, 73°F, Feels like 70°F, Humidity 53%, Wind 8mph from WNW – Just about perfect.
Shoes: Reebok Floatride Forever Energy 2 – No issues, no problems and when I went to pick up the pace, they just went along with me.
Yes, I am a bit pre-occupied with looking at running shoes the past few days, even though my current rotation work pretty good:
- Reebok Floatride Forever Energy 2 – They are working great, comfortable, but are the dreaded tweener shoes. Where they are not true racing shoes that I can run fast in, but at the same time when I am attempting to run slower in them for recovery runs, I find myself picking up the pace, and I am not sure that they have enough cushion for me at this point in my running life as my long run shoes once I get up past the half marathon distance.
- Reebok RunFast v1 – I planned to use them as my 5-10K racing go faster shoe, but I have other shoes that I do feel faster in. These are almost daily trainers, even though they were marketed as racers, again that dreaded tweener shoe that leans towards racer.
- ASICS Evoride 2 – No complaints about the ER2, yes, they are a bit firm, but not harsh and again they are a dreaded tweener shoe that some would use as a longer distance racer/daily trainer. I have other shoes that I prefer to run in, but whenever I run in the ER2s, I keep asking myself why don’t I run in them more often?
- ASICS Magic Speeds – I am not sure where they fit, I don’t run or feel particularly fast in them. A positive is that I can run mild trails and they are comfortable for running slower, but they really are not daily trainers and on wet tar the grip is rather dicey. They for me are the dreaded carbon-plated tweener shoe that I don’t know what to do with.
- Hoka Carbon X v1 – I am running comfortably and fast in them, while they are not the lightest fast shoe I have, I seem to be reaching for them for most runs and then forcing myself to run in others. I actually consider them to be great daily trainers, but I feel so good running fast in them that I don’t want to use them for everything and wear them out when I have so many other sort-of daily trainer options already.
- Nike ZoomFly SP – Even though I have officially retired them, of all the shoes I have, if I had to run fast one last time, these are ones that I would choose. They just feel special and fit me like nothing I have ever worn.
Sometimes I think it is the fun of the hunt and attempting to find that mythical running shoe that will solve all my running issues that makes running shoes so interesting to me. Although my mythical shoe probably does not exist, I still persist in pursuing it. However, if more Hoka One One running shoes would fit me like the Carbon X does, there would be more of them in the rotation of that I am certain, because I have run well in them in the past. Unfortunately, the fit of the toe box has always been my problem with Hoka shoes, and they end up in the give-away pile. However, I keep trying because I do run so well in them.
While I don’t really need more shoes, especially “go faster” or “tweener” models, I came across an amazing deal for the Reebok Run Fast Pro and am seriously considering it, which would allow me to make my RunFasts into daily trainers/tempo shoes, which is what they are closer to in my experience, even though I can run faster in them.
However, when I stop to think seriously about what I want and need is a pair of comfortable trail shoes that I can run well on local trails, use as day hikers, and general wear during the Winter. A pair of newer Hoka Speedgoats or Challenger ATRs are probably what I am looking for (if the toe box is wide enough).
Then there is what do I do for a long run shoe, when I start doing half or full marathon training long runs again – those probably can wait a bit longer, since I won’t be doing that until next year. I am not all that sure of using the Energy 2s for those kinds of long runs and while the Carbon X v1 would be a good choice, I also like them the best as my go faster shoes for now. Maybe the best thing would be to look at getting another pair of Carbon Xs and have one for racing and one for going long, who knows?
So, when it comes to my running shoes, I am still a fairly mixed-up mess.