- Hallelujah! February is here. That means March is next and April isn't too far behind! Think Spring, Think Spring, THINK SPRING!!!!!
-I spared my adductor from the ravages of the trails on Saturday and instead, hit up the roads with VR Training. Luckily, I treated myself to about 4 miles at the end on the very quiet and nearly empty Towpath Trail both north and south of the Boston Store. I stopped by my car and picked up my Canon so I could snap a few pictures of the single digit, frigid morning in the Valley. I swear, it felt like the Valley was "sleeping." To that end, I tried to capture that feeling in the pictures. A few of them are included here on M-Cubed today. (Here are all of my Winter 2010 running pics) In the end, I got in 14 miles which wrapped up a 33 mile week...certainly on the low end of my desired mileage but still a mileage that is maintaining my sanity.
- A shining light from the run on Saturday was my hill prowess and how I haven't lost it. That is certainly my ace in the hole when it comes to trail running. Even on very steep asphalt-covered roads, I can walk up them while everyone else runs and still get to the top first. I'm so glad I haven't lost that. That is such a key factor in the 100-mile trail event. I like how the Hopeinator refers to it: "Pullin' a Billock!" Love ya, Hope!
- Well, the Vasque's have started arriving at Vertical Runner, minus the one I'm waiting for, the new Transistor FS. I have never run in the Vasque nor have many local trail runners. However, they're quite popular in the trail running world around the globe. I stopped by VR, regardless, since I needed to get some more BodyGlide and while there, tried on the Montrail Mt. Masochist and the Brooks Cascadia. Both are neutral shoes and have been on the "try out" list before making a final selection. (FYI: they no longer make my beloved Keen trail shoes so I'm venturing out of my comfort zone, looking for new trail shoes) The Montrails made my feet sore after wearing them around the store for about 10 minutes so understandably, I ruled them out. They felt like they really needed some more substance to them. The Brooks felt pretty good and are still a consideration for less technical trail runs. I say that because they offer very little in the way of toe protection. The bottom is rough and tough for the trail but the upper doesn't offer much more protection than a road shoe would. Lastly, I tried on a shoe I had never heard of before, the Vasque VST. The VST stands for "Vasque Spine Technology." They have this spine-like device in the rear of the shoe that keeps the cushioning from shifting left and right as you run the trail. As we run the trails, our feet go in every direction which tends to push the cushioning to the left and right. This keeps it where it needs to be. It also has a metal plate that runs throughout the shoe for protection on very rocky terrain. Hearing all this, I expecting a bulky, heavy shoe which it is not. In fact, it felt very comfortable and even felt good when I took it for a spin in the parking lot out back. Once the Transistor shows up, it'll be one or the other. If the Transistor wasn't en route, I would have bought the VST. Here's a really cool video showing how the spine technology works. Both shoes retail at $100 which is right on target with their competition.
- So this is the month of MMT to be or not to be. I am happy to report that nearly all soreness from my iliopsoas and adductor muscles are gone but I still ache in my very low central abdominal region. I'm working on that soreness by doing lots of core strengthening exercises. Until all is gone, I'm off the trails. I may, however, seek out some mild, easy, trail this Friday since I have the day off. Gotta be smart, though. Nothing technical to aggravate the healing adductor. It may feel OK right now but that's because I've been off the trails. I have a few exercises that directly isolate it and I'm telling you, it's not done healing. I'm itchin' to hit the trails more than ever.
- While I've been craving the great western 100-milers, I'm nearly 100% that I won't venture out there this year. I've been playing around with going out to the Bear 100 in Utah/Idaho in late September but I'm leaning almost entirely towards making a repeat trip to the Oil Creek 100 in October. A big factor will be the date...I'm praying it will fall on Columbus Day weekend yet again. That makes it so easy with my government work schedule. Come on, Tom, tell the school we need the school that weekend!!! :-) Time to shop for an air mattress for the gymnasium floor, too. I am NOT sleeping in a sleeping bag again! Putting Oil Creek on the calendar also frees me up for yet another return to NEO Trail's YUT-C 50K in Youngstown. I really, really hate to miss YUT-C so this works out perfect. I'll most likely just cheer from the Akron Marathon's sidelines this year, though, a week later and work for Vertical Runner at the Expo.
- Boogety, boogety! It's time to get moving! It's 21F, clear, and Mr. Moon is brighter than ever and trying to crowd out the millions of stars in the sky. NO BETTER WAY to kick off the week!
Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!