Hello, friends. Welcome to another edition of Runfessions, the monthly link-up hosted by Marcia’s Healthy Slice where we share our running transgressions and receive absolution from faithful readers. Step into the runfessional and let us begin.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The shoes on the right are Nike Air Pegasus road shoes and the ones on the left are the trail version of the same shoe.
You would think that my trail shoes would be a muddy mess and my road shoes would be relatively clean, but you would be wrong. It’s just the opposite.
Let me explain.
Even though I have been running trails for over five years, being bitten late in life by the trail-running bug, I have never owned a pair of trail shoes until now. I ran all my trail races in an old pair of road shoes.
Slipping and sliding through 16 miles on the mud-and-snow-covered trails of Phunt (my favorite trail race) in January 2019 convinced me to finally buy a pair of trail shoes.
The Phunt trails did not have enough snow cover to warrant using Yak Trax, but just enough to make the footing very treacherous at many locations, especially when wearing low-traction road shoes.
It took almost a year to finally get myself to my favorite running store to actually purchase trail shoes and when I went, they did not have the type I was looking for. Reluctantly, I purchased a pair from a huge sporting goods store nearby.
This year, armed with my new trail shoes, conditions for Phunt were perfect, of course, unless you like to run on snow, ice, and mud-covered trails (most trail runners consider that ideal conditions). My new trail shoes, therefore, still look brand new, even after I ran a 25k in them.
I need to look for some spring trail races, where I hope to find some mud, to really break in the trail shoes. I can’t be seen in pristine shoes while running trails.
My trail running cred would be called into question.
Prepare to get wet.
It has been a soggy, warm month here in southeastern Pennsylvania, more like March or even April than February.
When a friend phoned recently to ask advice about clothing options for an upcoming trail race, another 25k, the forecast called for temperatures topping out in the high 50s and showers interspersed with occasional downpours.
Three-plus hours is a long time to be wet, but wearing a rain jacket, or even a light poncho in those conditions at that temperature would be uncomfortably warm, I thought.
After waffling back and forth for a while, I told my friend “Wear a hat with a brim to keep the raindrops out of your eyes and prepare to be wet. Bring a towel and a complete change of clothes for afterward”
That advice may not have been what she wanted to hear, but it was the best I could come up with.
It reminded me of the time my hubby Bill and I ran a 25k under similar conditions. I was so cold and wet after hours of running in the rain, I fantasized for the last 10 miles of the race about changing into the dry clothes I had brought in a drop bag.
The only dry shelter, however, was an open pavilion stuffed with wet runners who had just finished the race. The porta-potties leaked and were a swampy mess.
I do have some modesty; I was not comfortable stripping down to my undies in front of 400 other wet, muddy trail runners.
My gallant hubby finally held up a beach towel to shield me as I changed out of all my wet clothes in our dry car. That warm, dry sweatshirt never felt as good against my skin as it did that day.
Thank you for joining me for my February Runfessions.
I will not be Runfessing next month. Bill and I will be in Morocco on the last Friday in March. I am not taking my laptop on the trip, so I will not be blogging for about two weeks. I hope to see you back for my next Runfession on the last Friday in April.
Until then, Happy Trails! Or roads, whichever you prefer.