the morning after; is there a wrong way to run?

So yeah, the race photos are starting to appear……and yes, you have to stop that watch!….it’s a chipped race, but you never know, it may be wrong.

it was a pretty uneventful 8K for me, start, run, finish…it was interesting…

I guess I’m the polite runner….I don’t know if I noticed this before, but runners, some, just do not pay any attention to what’s going on around them; I don’t know how many I was almost run over by, and then passed the same people later on…..the instant ‘I’ve gotta take a walk break right now in front of you” people…..and the, I’ve gotta race to that finish line now, even though, well, I guess it may be a PB, a PR or I heard someone say they had a PQ – what is that? —-

There was the issue with the delayed start…..there was a suspicious package found on the course before the half marathoners began – for this race, the BMO Vancouver; the half marathoners start before the marathoners, and the 8K starts in a different location, so we didn’t know why there was a delay, I didn’t until I got back to my AirB&B and watched the news….

To kill time waiting for the start, and what an amazing place to start a race, right in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, I started watching what others do before the start, and caught myself kind of questioning some of the routines, and wondered why?

You usually always se some stretching their quads at every race, even though we now know that stretching before is now thought to be a no no – there’s a danger of injury – but, do they stretch because they have to or feel they need to, or is it just a nerve thing?…….I say one person working on the Cs of his ABCs….I’m guess he did his butt kicks and high knees at another time, but it looked like a half hearted attempt, or maybe it was something he was told he should do, or he just thought it’d impress people if he did his warm up in such a confined space………most of us just chatted away, got to know our neighbours,and tried to stay warm….great running weather is not necessarily great standing around weather…..

Once we finally got going…lots and lots of people, there were a few pinch points where we’re all looking for that tangent on a curve or a turn, and bumping into each other…’s a wide enough rode people, none of us are going to win…but well, okay….

I thought I had a great race/run…but looking at some of the run photos maybe not?

why are my ams so high?………gotta try to correct that..and I seriously don’t look as happy as I felt?

A few other things I noticed……a lot of people toe striking?…..I’m not sure why I noticed that, I wondered, are they people trying to force themselves to mid-foot strike and feel like that’s what they’re doing?…usually toe striking is rare, so maybe it was something I was subconsciously looking for…

and really huge kick backs?…..I noticed that more in women runners more than the guys…is that a thing?

I’ve seen that before on training runs, there are certain people you don’t want to run to closely behind because of that…..

I often tell those in my clinics that there really isn’t a wrong way to run, you just run how your run, and you’re body usually figures out the right way to run for you…..problems really only start when you significantly try to change that gait quickly, or not over a long period of time with drills and exercises…..but, you wonder…and then I look at my race photos, I can pick out a lot of things that I would say are wrong…

my stride is a bit funky, my gait for sure…I pronate on one side, supinate on the other…no shoe really corrects that, and I’ve found no exercises either…it just is……I fractured a lower left fibula years ago that never heeled properly so that’s part of the issue, but the pronation on that foot I think is either gotten worse, or I just notice it more…so the search for that right shoe continues….tried the ASICS Nimbus yesterday, a great shoe, but I felt that yesterday…I’m going to test out my new Brooks Adrenalines this morning for a short run to see how they feel….both shoes have a kind of guidance system which is supposed to work with both issues, but yesterday, the ASICS didn’t quite work for the 8K, cannot guess how that would work with the half or full marathons…trails may be fine……so that search continues..

I kind of look better here…the stride looks okay….and I think that’s a smile..maybe it’s because I’m passing people?…

anyway, back to the Run Club in St. Albert tomorrow..and back to for a walk, or maybe a short run to get rid if this built up lattice aci

run, run, run, no matter the weather

ice ice everywhere…

I’m not running right now..obviously….I’m just tired, digging coffee, and my head hurts..later maybe.

or tomorrow?……

me havin fun…can’t you tell…..and New Balance keeping me warm! and in running fashion?

Today I’m thinking about traction for some reason….well, the reason is, ICE!!!!..

Us runners should be like mailmen (postmen, mail persons?) matter the weather right?

Anyway, in a virtual clinic that I’ve been taking – I do that because I like to learn and share, and like to see what others have to say – and some was said that the instructor said made my head explode…….

A question was asked, ‘are winter spicific footwear necessary’ the answer given was ‘not at all!…..could that have been more wrong…….it was asked in a chat room, I responded YES!…the instructor for some reason said NO?…….

it may have been that the instructor lives in Costa Rica – he’s orignally from Edmonton in the great white north – but, YES!!!!….I’ve learned that the hard way…hitting my hard head on the ground, and smashing my skull……SAFETY FIRST!

Sure, you can always hope for the best…maybe it won’t be slippery, maybe you won’t fall, and if you do, well, you’ve fallen before – I fractured an ankle about 20 years ago, all it took was, well slippery leaves, it happens – there’s ways around the ice….and well, you need to run!…..NOT!

I like not having to think….the day I fell and broke my head, I had my traction aids with me, it would have taken a couple of minutes to slip them on.. I only had all day to run, I had all the time in the world, but not just those two minutes….could not be spared….

I was wearing my Hoka Arahi’s…and as you can see, NO TRACTION!

So yep, falling on my head helped wake me up….Now, I don’t even take the chance…I’ve also given myself lots of options….the easiest, was buying a pair of Saucony’s Peregrine Ice+……

there are other brands, and others that are as good – some more for wet weather than ice and snow – winter, traction and GORTEX specific…warm, dry, feet and feel like any of my other everyother day run shoes…doesn’t alter my gait or stride, I just slip a lot less, and I DON’T HAVE TO THINK!….Just put them on and go….

That’s the trick isn’t it?

All I’ve ever heard was that traction aids, winter footwear, didn’t work, because some thought the products changed something…gait, stride, leg turnover, they were heavier…….I was one of them….not any more…once you use the products, and better yet how to use those traction aids properly….NO ISSUES!

Are they perfect…nope…like a good set of winter tires, if it’s really icy and slippery, you’re going to still slip, SOME….you still have to be careful and be safe…shoes, yep, be careful, just like you’d be on a fat tire bike, traction aids though, just make sure they grip…sort of like studs or better yet chains on a car or truck tire!

All this stuff will help you keep upright…but, again, the real advantage, I don’t have to think…just lace them up…………stick those grips on the bottom of your fave shoes for the season…you’re ready to go…

Another advantage to a winter specific shoes is GORTEX.…way to many people ask about winter specific socks…I’ve been running every winter since 1995, have always just worn the socks I had on when I bought the shoes……..they fit normal – a thicker sock? you’ll need a different size shoe – a

Sure there are winter specific socks, some better than other..I have been partial to what Mizuno has done with their breathe thermo socks ….they actually warm up as soon as you sweat, and will warm you up…and they arn’t those thick wool socks you think about when you think socks for winter….always remember, once you begin running, you warm up, the feet take a little while, but it happens….so, yeah, you don’t want a wet wool or cotton sock…….

With traction aids on your everyday shoes, sure, there’s that mesh at the toes, and wind chill may be a problem…, duct tape is a good option, or toe caps….they go inside your shoes, cover up that mesh, made out of neoprene, and they work, are thin enough not to change the fit of the shoe.

As I learned the past two weeks, the Peregrines arn’t the best when dealing with freezing rain…..for that, TRACTION AIDS……I have a variety, cause I like to try almost everything ( I sell the stuff, so, I should know how they work!)….Just feeling the shoes grip that ice just feels so sweet……..and you know what? someone the other day said they’re only good as long as the surface you’re running on is flat and level…..I have not found that… long as there’s something for those pins to stick into, you’re all good…

I’ll go from easiest to extreme,

these are my current favorite Duenorth Everyday….

On my current go-to shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline…… perfectly with my gait, and my natural stride, the traction does not change that, the shoe still guides my feet…once I figured out how to properly put them on..…they have to be hard to put on so that they’re hard to fall off…..but, nah, my stride doesn’t change…if anything it makes it more perfect, and feel more natural… times I will try and make sure those pins contact and grip that ice, but for the most of my runs, not even thinking of them…I don’t slip, I don’t fall, I don’t hesistate at all…I go anywhere… the ice is not a concern, which is the goal.

Yes, YakTrax…….I did use them a few years back for pretty much every winter run, and they were okay…..I find they’re better for off road, deep snow, and off the beaten paths……if on pavement or asphalt I do notice a difference…..not uncomfortable, just odd, but again, they work……

Something I will say, it’s best is to pick a pair of shoes, and whatever option you pick, just leave them on those shoes for the winter……..So then, you don’t need to take the time, the effort to put them back on..if you don’t have to think, then, all good……these are on my Brooks Launches………they’re almost like snow shoes for snow… if I’m heading for an off-road trail with a ton of snow..I’m good…

I picked these up last season, and have yet to test them…They seem more built more for extreme off road……actually when I picked ’em up in the winter of 2020, the day after everything melted, and I just haven’t had a chance to use them YET!…..I’ve heard good thing about the Kahtoolas, so, yeah, anxious to use, but I think the conditions nee to be right….not sure how they’ll work with the Brooks Levitates, but they look sharp…I’m planning a visit to the Edmonton River Valley soon to some trails that I know will have more challenging conditions….so that’ll be the testing grounds….unless again, everything melts!

So bottom line…BE SAFE…….even if you just go to a straight trail shoe, more traction on snow and ice is the best option…….easiest……the trick is too, the right trails shoe, how much snow and ice will you be on….will be more wet than fozen?…….Some shoes, like the Brooks Ghost 14 GTX, seem better suited for a spin on the Vancouver Sea Wall in December….and I like that those shoes are specific for the job…too many times manufatures will just take a street specific shoe, will slap some GORTEX on, add some traction, and say here you go……I’m not going to mention the manufacture, but I bought a shoe like that a number of years back….the shoe was great, had a fantastc reputation, but the GTX version was awful….but consider the conditions…winter in Edmonton, Yellowknife, Seattle, Montana, Toronto is all different….so, you go to your fave shoe, check in with the folks there…and they’ll set you straight….we do that here every day!

Just don’t be like me…making that wrong choice, a fall took a second, it knocked me out for 30 minutes, and has affected my health, and my running for over two years so far…… took a cracked skull to teach me a hard lesson……it shouldn’t have had to…….