Trusting your shoes (and slippery runs)

So a couple days ago (I think it was Saturday, when the weather got warmish and sunny), I  headed out for my run wearing my trusty old Minimus. I’d intended for my run to be on trails, but the first couple miles were a mix of exceptionally sticky/slide-y mud, icy patches, and – mostly – frigid 2-3 inch layers of half-frozen slush. The slush (while actually being somewhat fun to slosh crazily through for two miles) and mud (which was not so fun, I ended up sliding off the trail a few too many times for me to want to continue) led me to conclude that were I to continue on the trails, I just wouldn’t have a quality run. So I hopped off the trails and ended up doing about 11-12 on the road total. Still a good run.

But here’s my point: as a runner, you absolutely need to be able to trust your shoes, no matter what the terrain or conditions. If you can’t trust your shoes (or your feet), your run is going to be slower and more awkward, no exceptions. In this case, my shoes had absolutely no tread whatsoever and were therefore pretty useless in terms of allowing me to have proper footing and keep running – which is why I ended up sliding off the trail and picking my way along, barely putting any weight on one foot for more than a second. But the same goes for other conditions as well, be they dry, sandy, rocky, steep, or whatever else the trail feels like throwing your way. It’s a matter of tread and, of course, fit – how your foot feels in the shoe is incredibly important. But you need to find the right balance between the two. I’ve found shoes that I love the tread to bits, but if it doesn’t fit quite right (talking Salomon SpeedCross here, the tongue stuck out too far and it was much too big a drop for me), put the brakes on.

If you have the right shoes, you usually won’t find yourself actively thinking about how you trust them while you’re running (unless you’re like me). It’s like with climbing shoes with their super-sticky soles and aggressive shape: you slip them on and they become an extension of your foot. You just assume that they’re there and that they’re going to do their job. They’re not intrusive. Same thing with trail (and road, I suppose) shoes: lace them up and forget about them as they do their thing on the trail so you can do yours.

Anyway, now that I’ve typed up that little spiel on shoes, here’s a side note: my friend, a couple of our work friends, and I are starting a gear review blog, Dirty Boy Gear Reviews. It just went up a couple days ago, so it’s pretty new and doesn’t have too much, but check it out and then keep coming back!

And because there aren’t any running pictures in this post, have some food pictures instead! Yum food.

I made this mega-vegan burger a couple days ago. I mashed almost an entire avocado onto this guy, along with the usual hummus/onions/mushrooms/spinach/tomato/mustards/seasoning.

Vegan burger on whole wheat toast with hummus, spinach, avocado, creole seasoning, mustards, salt and pepper.
Another vegan burger. I just have so much variety in my diet, don’t I?

peace love and running and climbing and eating!


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