I’ve gotta run

Do I write lines over and over again? I will wake up and run..no matter what?

I’m going to make the attempt, that’s the goal right now, anyway…..wake up, grab something to eat and drink really quickly, drive th Devon (43 kilometres away) a 36 minute drive depending on traffic…..I need to be at that parking lot by 9 to run at 10AM….a whole 8K on single track…with lots and lots of people

it be nice to get a few race bibs before the year’s end, there’s not that many events left, and not much of a year left……….

I have been struggling for so long….let’s say 12 years, it’s like a phobia, I like racing, I like events, I like running, but getting out of bed to attend one seems to be more of the challenge that the actual event.

In the mornings, it just seems a problem of getting up, waking up, and just going……I should be able to hop out, ready to go, I used to be able to do that…and now, not….

Sleeping enough? Over sleeping?…What the hell is it?

Confidence?…..I’m not going to win anything, I know I can complete the distances..I know what needs to be done…….and I know, I know, why not just start, even if I suck?

Do I need to set an example?….What;s expected of me?……

Seriosly, I just want to see old friends, and as part of getting back to where I was, I just need to do this?

Make a start….take a step……..get this done.

This year, 2023, has not been great…an 8K run, and a 10K……..that’s it…working one race, volunteering at another………..will that be it?…….

I guess I will see what happens when the alarm clock wakes me up, if it does…

The plan is to dirty the new Saucony Peregrines, do I wear the Brooks tights or shorts?…..probably tights, a the long sleeve………..my lucky cap?………..socks? not sure yet…packing hydration…..I guess I’ll need something warm for afters, and hopefully there’s a lot of coffee after………I just better just remember to show up…

48 Days to BMO Vancouver.

If it wasn’t fun, why would you do anything?

A great two days…today even better.

yesterday, a SVAC Run Club with a friend…a fun 6K……I should have gone after for another 8K, but I guess I saved that for today…

It was another odd run…..at one point, I was just going to go for a random run from home, or nothing at all…but got dressed, headed for the Edmonton River Valley…a 30 minute drive, got out of the car, and just ran….picked an familiar regular route….it’s like having a favorite bar…..a place that’s familiar and comfortable….well, as comfortable as a run can be…and enjoyable

I was going to go for 12K, but you know, when you finish, you know you’re finished…and it felt so good…even the icy patches…..

It must be getting close to spring though…..my YakTrax have just about done their time..as anyone that’s ever owned a pair know, as soon as you’re on pavement/tarmac/asphalt the springs and pins start to break and fall apart…that’s fine, they have a lifetime, and I’ll worry about new next winter!

I’m hoping that as soon as the ice and snow disappears, that all the hard work over the winter will pay off…….I’m also tired wearing an awful lot of clothes…today wasn’t bad, but I need shorts and short sleeves………

clothes, much like routes, seem to become routine, comfortable. I think I’ve had this top for something like 3 years….swag from a race, a good race too….and it’s always nice when it made by Lulu…..

my fave Brooks tights, they’re starting to get worn, it’s been a bit of a challenge to find anything else…I like tight, I hate baggy….and a small zippered pocket in the back just the right size for a key or better yet, a key fob…..

any my handy dandy Garmin 945..….lots on it, I don’t think I’ll ever use everything it has to offer…but, it does what I need for multi sport………altitude or whatever, all I need is maybe pace, time, distance…..leg turnover and heart rate is nice to look at afterwards……

and time for new shoes…the Adrenalines have done their time over the winter…I do have winter specific Saucony Peregrines, but these fit into the traction aids perfectly, I’ll probably go back to Hoka’s once the ice is all gone……but I have to admit I’m thinking of switching things up…but nah, for the half marathon, yeah, Hoka’s just sound right for a long run….

this is going to be a challenge….my water belt….I don’t always want to lug around a hydration pack, this is enough……to keep me hydrated if I need, zippered pockets for whatever……this is about 10 years old, or older from MEC, but no one seems to make them anymore, so I’m sort of screwed…….am searching the internet….fingers crossed…..

Tomorrow evening, a SVAC Run Club night after a day at the office…hopefully a busy day at the office…it seems lots of people are being money careful…the cost of living is going up…..so think it’ll be a quiet place for a while…but, the weather’s getting warmer, more people will get outside, and we have a huge amount of new stock coming in…..maybe war will be over, peace will break out…..and we’ll just run?

Vancouver’s BMO Half Marathon is getting closer…….I have to work on my race day plan…..

for love of God, just get new shoes!

Okay, I’m going to vent…so be aware…a customer had me banging my head against a wall (virtually ) !

So yeah…customer has a sore big toe, his shoes are 2 years old, he doesn’t want to spend any money, he just wants his doctor to keep giving him cortisone shots, he walks, sometimes fast, on a treadmill, and can’t understand why a) he’s got the wrong shoes, and b) why the shoes are done? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

You know, maybe the shoes he got 2 or 3 years ago are worn out, done, don’t do what they originally did, and they were possibly the wrong shoes…..those Brooks Ghosts had great cushioning, not much for support, and the wear pattern says they’ve been used a lot, and the wear pattern is hard to see, because the shoes are worn down to that midsole!!!!

Watching the customer just standing, the problem is pretty obvious…..he’s in pain, so when he walks, he’s walking on the outside of his feet. especially the right foot, because his big toe is swollen and hurts….standing, that one foot collapses in….when I finally talk him into taking off his shoes, and get him to walk normally, yes, both feet/ankles collapse, then standing and moving, he’s on the outside of his feet, stressing his knees…..but still doesn’t understand why?……..

We check his purchasing history, and yep, every shoe he’s had, has been the same, and he only shops after 2 or 3 years……and he wonders why he hurts!!!

When I finally get him to try on shoes, we try two….Saucony Rides, and a Brooks Adrenaline to correct that over pronation (yes, pronation is normal, but when pushing off the inside of that toe, not)……he didn’t like the traditional medial posting of the Saucony, but practically bounced when he tried on the Brooks, but still didn’t understand the difference….he still felt his 3 year old shoes should still be fine….that’s when the head banging began!……

The shoes worked! They actually worked…the Ghosts, pressure on the inside of his feet, and a sore toe gone….the Adrenaline, that’s gone…walking, pushing off the front of his foot, his toes…..and still!!!…..???

It wasn’t the most expensive shoe in the store, it worked, it did what it was supposed to do, and still, not convinced why a shoe that didn’t work to start with, and why it wouldn’t last more than 2 or 3 years!…..

He bought, he left, and he took my suggestion of seeing a physio seriously – I hope – but, shoes, those protect what we do…….they have a life span (I never go over 400 kilometres) and sure, not everyone needs support, yes, sure, you could run in bare feet (maybe) but that shoe has to work…..run in them, walk in them, if they don’t work, find out why….bring them back, return them……Brooks has been amazing at this, 90 days, run in them insde or outside, threw a river, whatever…..no questions asked, exchange or return……some other brands do that, some occasionally, but most shoe stores will say 30 days indoors only……but for the love of your feet, take the time….and

well, save my head…I’m still fighting a concussion, I can’t afford to bang that head too often…

run, run, run, no matter the weather

ice ice everywhere…..so?

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?)..no 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…..so, 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…..as 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……..works 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…..at 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…..so 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…..so 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……..it took a cracked skull to teach me a hard lesson……it shouldn’t have had to…….