Run. I was having a run. No that sounds wrong. I was running. Well sort of. I was out there putting one foot in front of the other at varying paces. It looked like it was going to be another of those days where it just doesn’t happen. I have a ton of marking to do – the kind that takes forever because it’s formative so needs even more detailed feedback, we went out for lunch and that took longer than we wanted it to and the weather – urgh.
Anyway, I had ordered some new trainers ridiculously reduced – some Inov8 Roclite 305 gore-tex ones for under 50 quid. I mean it would have been rude not to. So I set myself a target of 5 more essays and then I could/had to go run. I put long pants on – yep time for big girl pants, too cold for 3/4 now I reckon – a long-sleeved top, my rain jacket and then because light was fading fast, a bright neon yellow t-shirt over the top. I looked a right plonker but I wasn’t about to be cold! Then I put the new shoes on and set off.
I can’t really do a proper review because it was only a short plod and I walked the uneven, muddy, trail-y bit because I couldn’t really see where I was putting my feet and my ankles were quite stiff and I am terrified of injuring myself. But – why the hell did nobody tell me about gore-tex trainers before? I had so much fun not avoiding puddles and splish sploshing around that I started searching puddles out to jump into them – and I still have dry socks. I can do puddles and have dry feet. It’s magic! I never had gore-tex trainers before. Getting some somehow always felt like a step too far – they’re for proper runners. I don’t really go anywhere where I need them, or for long enough that wet feet really matter… so the complete crap would go in my head. I tried some once and they felt really tight and inflexible compared to the non gore-tex version so I presumed they were all like that. I was wrong. Love these. Bring on the puddles!
After a totally inactive week I was actually looking forward to a run. I did run on Tuesday and Thursday this week with Thursday being a bit of a crap run with lots of walking. Still, technically I am on plan but having spent most of the week sitting on my arse on the sofa had made me stiff and achey. The plan has us running an hour today and an hour tomorrow. We decided we wanted to run together so I suggested doing the sheep/trail/canal route but backwards. I am keenly aware that I avoid going up hill as much as I can and that I need to keep trying. So the planned route was to run down to the canal, along the canal towards Silsden and then cross the canal at the farm/few houses about 2.5 miles in. Then the route goes across three fields, into the wood, up a steepish trail through the wood, through a field and through the old Riddlesden golf course and back home following the last part of our ‘sheep loop backwards’ route. The route would have me running a fair amount of flat to just practice keeping going, some uneven paths – also good for just keeping going, then a steepish walk uphill and then some downhill running through the field/golf course and then back up. It’s probably about 5 miles ish so would take me a little over an hour but it’s a nice circular route.
It all went to plan for a while. I ran the first two miles quite speedily for me at just a smidge over 12 minute mile pace (12.03 and 12.09) and the 3rd which had the uneven bits and a few brief stops while Kath opened gates at 13 minute mile pace. We saw a heron along the canal and a little further on we saw a kingfisher – such amazing creatures. I was really happy with the first 5km – might not look it, but I was!
The walk up the hill was also fairly positive and Kath took the two woodland pics below as we reached the top. Then we climbed over the stile in the wall into the field and I was quite looking forward to a little jog down and then hitting the golf course and turning for home. But there were cows. Frisky looking cows and they had little ones. We didn’t fancy making our way through a field with cows and calves so we climbed back over the wall and looked for an alternative route. We found a sort of path running parallel with the field wall. It was steep in places and clearly not much used. I am such a downhill wimp! We walked almost all of this and there were a lot of sections where I picked my way down very slowly holding on to trees for support but I also began to realise that my shoes were gripping and I was ok. I got a little more confident as we went on. Towards the bottom we even had a little jog when we spotted a gate into a field that ran down to the canal bank and a bridge across the canal. However when we got to the bridge, the gate blocking the path off the bridge was locked and not climbable because it was reinforced with barbed wire. We found another gate and entered another bit of wood and found another gate which turned out to lead to the field we often see a heron in from the other side of the canal. The field is actually much bigger than I realised and we jogged straight across to investigate getting over the wall at the other side which would take us into a little wood/nature reserve from where we could pick up the path home.
Top of the path in first wood
I was struggling a little here. My hip was beginning to niggle a little as we walked up the hill along the wall and I felt a bit apprehensive about climbing the wall, what would be on the other side, whether cows could come down the open gate into the field we were in and whether we were going to be shouted at by landowners. Kath found a spot where the wall was relatively easily climbable and once on the other side we made our way through the wood. It took a little bit of scrambling through the undergrowth until we eventually found the path. Then we had a little jog out of the wood, walked up the golf course, and jogged to the sheep field and fed Dino before jogging home. Our Garmin’s have a bit of a disagreement. According to mine I did 6.2 miles with a moving time of just over an hour and a half and according to Kath’s we did 6.55 miles with a moving time of 1 hour 49. Doesn’t really matter. We were out for just over 2 hours and my feet and ankles got a work out on the uneven ground and I am pleased with how much grip my Mizuno trainers have. I wasn’t so sure about them as we were making our way along the canal but was so glad I’d worn them as I “bambied” my way down the trails and through the woods.
Anyway, I have bramble scratches down my legs so I must be a proper trail runner now.
Right, let’s try this running lark again. I finally feel better so wanted to see if I’m better enough to start the 10k programme. It seems I am. The first run is a 40 minute slow run so we set the watch to 2minute run/1 minute walk intervals and trotted off. We stopped to feed the sheep and once that was done carried on – so it’s a bit of a cheat because I did get a little rest just before mile 1 – if sliding around in the mud covered in hay counts as a rest that is.
Anyway, it was uneventful. It was slow (just under 14 minute per mile pace I think) but I just plodded along happily until the end. 40 minutes didn’t fit with the intervals so we went for 42 minutes. We covered just about 3 miles I think. That’s it really, that’s all there is. No drama, not battle, just a slow uneventful little trot.
I wore my new trail shoes for the first time- they’re New Balance ones. I bought them in the sale together with another road pair (I am dreading having to retire my current road ones – they came through two marathons with me, how can I possibly retire them?!?). I’ll review the new trail ones properly in a bit but so far so good – much better than my others. After the last run I decided I really didn’t want to persevere with the Salomon trail ones because they really do make my feet ache. They’re great for walking in but whenever I run in them my arches start aching really quickly.
Happy to have made a start on the plan, tomorrow is rest or a core gym session. I definitely won’t have time for the gym but am hoping to do a strength yoga class from the Yoga Studio tomorrow evening. Next run Wednesday!
As you know I don’t really care about what my trainers look like, I’m all about comfort and support. I have had several pairs of Salomon trainers for running as well as for every day use. Quite a while ago now I saw the Salomon XA Pro 3D Mountain Trail running shoes in a sale somewhere online. Or actually I think Kath saw them and they were stupidly reduced (I cant remember to what – maybe 50 quid or so). I got a pair even though I was still perfectly happy with my old ones. Yesterday I wore the new ones for the first time for a run. I’ve worn them round the house once or twice and once to got for a short walk.
They are billed as on and off trail and they seem perfect for running round here where I am mostly on the canal towpath in its varying forms and sometimes on paths and tracks and muddy bits. You can read all the spec on the Salomon website if interested. Doesn’t look like they have this colour any more but the spec is pretty much the same I think. I have so far only taken them out on a short run which turned into a walk anyway (see previous post!) but they fit nicely. Initially the way to tongue cover comes over and you sort of have an internal sleeve that hugs your foot for better fit felt a bit weird but by the time I got to the end of the road I’d forgotten about it and I can really see the benefit of the design as it stops little bits of dirt or branches or little stones from sneaking in at the side of your foot. The laces are sort of fun and easy to do and undo and the release mechanism and ‘spare’ laces can be tucked into the little hud. The grip was great – possibly slightly better than the grip on my previous ones or maybe it just seems that way because the grip on my older ones has worn down a fair bit. No sliding about or feeling like I might slip. Maybe I’ll even be able to run down the golf course in these!
The trainers have what Salomon call a 3D chassis. They say it ‘maximizes security, motion control, energy management and push through protection for a high performance, stable and responsive ride’. Well, it felt pretty stable and secure and comfy but also just a little stiffer than I am used to and my left foot felt a bit achey after a little while. I think they’ll soften though and then they’ll be perfect. I was worried that the tongue cover etc would make them feel tight and I don’t like tight but there is plenty of flexibility in it and it didn’t feel restricting at all.
Sometimes trail running shoes seem clunky and heavy to me and while these are slightly heavier than my road ones, they are not heavy and I don’t think they look or feel to clunky or chunky. I have quite wide feet but these shoes fit well. Kath has some too and she has narrow feet and they fit her well so there is definitely something about the design that really does fit and support different shapes of foot. The laces help with that I think. Kath has hers quite tight whereas I hardly adjust mine from the really loose setting.
So far I like these. We’ll see how we go. Kath really likes her pair and she is a fussy one when it comes to shoes – understandable given how she suffers from blisters and a dodgy ankle.