July Runfessions

It is time once again to join Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Runfessions. In this space, we connect to share our monthly running transgressions in order to gain absolution.

Meditations in Motion

I am going to double-dip with my very first runfession.

My hubby Bill and I are training to run the Marine Corps Marathon this fall. As a marathon participant, we had the opportunity to sign up for a free customized training plan through Runcoach, which I did.

Last week, our plan was to do an easy five-miler at running club Tuesday night, then a short, fast run before I went to Body Pump class Wednesday morning.

Then my son called and asked if we wanted to have dinner with him and his family on Tuesday evening. Of course, we agreed. I love to attend running club, but dinner with the family trumps that any day of the week. We decided to skip our planned Tuesday night run and had a wonderful visit and delicious dinner.

After dinner, our grandsons asked if they could sleep over at our house. What grandparent is going to say no to that? They rode their bikes, played with remote control cars, then watched a movie in their “man cave” (a large closet).

In the morning we had fruit waffles, then I gave them each $5 to spend at the local thrift store before we took them home. $5 lasts an amazingly long time at a thrift store with two little boys.

Let’s count up all the offenses:

  • skipped the Tuesday night run
  • skipped the Wednesday morning run
  • skipped Body Pump class
  • ate a waffle with maple syrup, which is a definite no-no for my cholesterol-lowering diet (but, all the fruit!)

A quadruple runfession! And yet, sadly, there are more.

Meditations in Motion

Last weekend, Bill and I had the great good fortune to run in Pittsburgh. We love to visit the Steel City. There are several restaurants we enjoy there and Pittsburgh is a fun city to explore. We also went to two baseball games to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Philadelphia Phillies in a cross-state rivalry that has existed for decades.

This time we stayed in a B&B for the first time. It was an eclectic sort of place. I would describe the decor as Victorian-antique-meets-kitschy-Caribbean. Our host was a fun, quirky guy named Ed. Ed gave us some wonderful suggestions for places to visit.

We learned to use Pittsburgh’s public transportation system in order to visit the Carnegie Mellon Museum of Natural History in the Oakmont section of town, then sampled the wine and tapas at an Argentinian wine bar Ed suggested.

Meditations in MotionOur plan was to run on the bike path along the Allegheny River on Pittsburgh’s North Side, but between the oppressive heat, the wine bar visit, and the late nights at the ball games, we ran only three miles each morning. I ran each step fantasizing about ice water.

Upon reflection, however, I can’t help but feel as though our chance to run at a new location was squandered. Maybe next time, Pittsburgh.

Meditations in Motion

Take a look at the picture above. The shoe on top is my trail running shoe; the shoe on the bottom is my road running shoe.

Other than the fact that they are both pink, what similarities do you notice about both shoes?

If you saw past the mud and thought “They are the same shoe,” give yourself extra credit. My trail running shoes are an old pair of my road running shoes, Nike Air Pegasus.

When I first began trail running, I asked a seasoned trail runner in our club what shoes she wore for trails. She responded that she just wore an old pair of road shoes, even for her 100-milers.

I asked the owner of our local running shoe store the same question. He is a definite old-school runner and responded the same way: an old pair of road shoes are good for trail running.

I have, therefore, never owned a pair of trail shoes. I did some very hairy, challenging trail runs in my old Nike Pegs. Then, this year, in January, I did the Phunt 25K in Maryland.

Now, Phunt is not an especially difficult trail race, as trail races go. Sure, there are rocks and roots, but most trail races in our area have them. There are no hand-over-hand climbs, (probably) no creek crossings, no death-defying descents, and no boulders to scramble over.

This year, however, the trails were partially snow-covered. There was not enough snow to justify wearing my Yaktrax, but enough that I spent the entire race sliding around on my old road shoes with very little tread.

I vowed that day to buy a pair of trail shoes.

Why haven’t I done it?

I must runfess, friends, my extreme frugality (I’m cheap) has, so far, prevented me from buying trail shoes. I don’t have another trail race on my calendar until November, so I do have some time, but I have been dragging my feet.

Please give me the push I need, fellow runfessors, to make me go out and buy a decent pair of trail running shoes. I am imploring you.

Thank you for joining me for another month’s Runfessions. Come back next month when I will once again unburden my soul with August’s transgressions.






  1. I don’t trail run but I bought a pair of trail shoes after the last hike with the ladies at the Pinnacle. I was wearing an old pair of Hokas and really scrambling to stay upright at times. I went to Inside Track and told them what I was looking for – trail shoes to occasionally keep me from killing myself – and he showed me last year’s model, which was significantly marked down. You might want to check out their old inventory and see if they have anything close to what you are looking for, save some $$!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peg. I will do that. I love to go to Inside Track for their recommendations. They know the kind of running shoe I wear, so maybe they can recommend a comparable trail shoe.


  2. I’ll start with giving you extra credit for visiting my old home town and running any distance along the river. I walk there whenever we visit Pittsburgh, but I don’t run. However, I do walk a lot, and I treated myself to a pair of low-rise hiking boots. They are the same structure as my hiking boots, just cut lower. My feet are soooooo happy. They are great for walking and, if we find a trail we want to follow, there’s no danger that my shoes are going to fail me. They weren’t cheap, but that’s OK.

    So, my message to you – Buy the right shoes! Buy them before November so you can break them in a little bit.

    PS, my understanding of diets would indicate that the fruit cancelled out every bad thing about that breakfast 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! The overachiever in me loves extra credit. I did not know you were from Pittsburgh, Dan. That city has changed so much since the first time we visited. The trail along the river is just beautiful.

      Buying the right shoe can make all the difference. My plan is to get some recommendations from the owner of my local running store. He knows the type of running shoe I wear and can base his recommendation on that.

      I like your diet philosophy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We visit Pittsburgh just about every year. They are completing a new trail along the Monongahela that will incorporate the old “Hot Metal Bridge” where train cars shuttled molten steel from the blast furnace on one side to the rolling mill on the other side of the river. I’m looking forward to that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Waffles are a staple food, and if you have fruits with them, then the syrup can be exscused. I’m amazed that you say ‘only 3 miles’. And that it’s a crime that you took tuesday night and Wednesday morning without running. I feel like a sloth now. I know I’m going to sound like a clueless person but what’s wrong with your current shoes?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Get those trail shoes! They last longer than road shoes (usually). I personally feel that the grip with trail shoes is a lot better than the grip with road shoes — I’ve never done serious mileage on trails in road shoes, but I’ve done shorter runs, and that’s my personal preference, anyway.

    I don’t think you have anything to runfess with skipping runs for family fun. That time goes all too quickly!

    Oh, and yes I could tell that both those shoes were the same. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. We are in Colorado right now, then Oregon, visiting 2 of our kids, but I have made up my mind to go to my local running store when we get home. I want a chance to break them in before I do any races.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll be really curious to see what you think. I mean, you’re a much more experienced trail runner than I am and I know lots of trail runners that just run them in road shoes.

        I personally do think trail shoes help — at least for me.

        Enjoy your family time — I know you will!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Typically I don’t need special trail running shoes. If the trails are muddy or snowy, though, I really need them. Love your patriotic shoes! 🙂


  5. I wore trail shoes in the snow/ice FOR YEARS before I ever ran on trails. You will appreciate the extra traction. You can get them quite cheap on clearance at runningwarehouse.com. I can totally understand how family takes precedence over runs sometimes and I would’ve done the same. Thanks for linking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I learned that the hard way! 🙂 I need that traction when the trails are not in perfect condition (hardly ever). Thanks for the chance to link!


  6. My favorite trail shoes are the Brooks Cascadia. They are not super heavy, but have great traction, and they are not very expensive depending on where you shop. Keep the hilarious runfessions coming! My husband and I love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Jenny. I will have to check them out. Some of the other runners in my running club have them too. Thank you for your very kind comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Always love muddy shoe comparison pics. My blue running shoes turned brown/gray on my first run and never switched back. Buy those shoes. The Pegs might ‘work’ but with a low profile pair of trail shoes, you’re going to feel more stable on the rocky, rooty parts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t run trails since this spring, but it was (obviously) very wet the last time I ran. I’m currently in Colorado, visiting my son, but I do plan on visiting the Inside Track (a running store in Lancaster) when I get home. The owner there always has good recommendations.


  8. I also use old road running shoes when I run a trail. However for trail I mean country roads and not the difficult paths with rocks and rivers to cross.
    Nike shoes were my “first love”. The first item was the historyc “Nike elite classic”. Now I prefer the Brooks because they adapt better to my foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have done the same with the few (and far between) trail races. Usually it has worked well for me, but one time it threw a major funk into my hip flexer region, and my piriformis caught the slack. UGH. That said, I have high-maintenance feet (high arches and I over-pronate like a badass), so I’m kind of an extreme case study LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m frugal too, but buy those shoes Laurie – I’ll help with your decision and fuel the purchase. Life is short and we can’t always have a man cave (in a closet) to make our day complete. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LOL – I’m with you on the frugality of shoes – they are expensive. I hadn’t heard to use road shoes for trail shoes, that’s interesting. I’ll have to mention it to my daughter, she does RAGNARs and she’s ruined a few too good to do that to them shoes! Life is short – enjoy a waffle every now and then! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I buy good (read: expensive) running shoes, but I save my old ones. They then become my trail shoes. I am in Colorado now but am planning to buy trail shoes when I get home. Awesome that your daughter does Ragnars. I would like to try one, but I don’t want to be the one to organize.

      I have no trouble with the waffle calories, it’s the sugar that promotes high cholesterol. Mine is already high and I am trying to avoid taking medication. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I look forward to hearing about the shoes you choose for the trails. Yeah, Ragnars look fun in a way – she always has fun. The night running in the areas where she’s been running scare the heck outta me the mom whose thinking about it from afar. 😉
        Ah, yes, the trouble with sugar in our diets – great that you’re doing your best to control it without medications!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s