Archive for March 2016

150.43 miles for March – my highest monthly mileage since December 2014. Getting stronger again but still a long way to go.

I haven’t done much on the blog or twitter lately (busy, busy!) so I wanted to get an update out to show where I am and how I am doing in my training.

First off the run streak is now at 92 days.

150.43 miles for the month is pretty good especially since I forced an easy week last week to try to figure out a few things. More on that later.

That total is my highest since December 2014 – closest was March 2015 at 150 even which was right before I had some health issues and things kinda went to hell running wise.

So mileage is getting back up – how about the speed? Not great right now – I am actively working on speed currently but there is definitely a long way to go there. I’ll have to keep working on that!

That being said I also need to ramp up the long, slow runs to make sure I am ready for the Spruce Woods Ultra 50k – and frankly the long, slow runs are going to have to be a higher priority through April. Long distance training always ends up being a balancing act though so I will just have to do what I can to go long while training to get faster.

Otherwise how are things going? I have been pretty exhausted lately and I was worried that the run streak was the cause. With that in mind I decided to do a light mileage week where I kept the streak alive but didn’t push myself to go fast or long. The week totaled just over 15 miles with the longest run at 4.45 miles. My body definitely felt more rested after the week was over but I was still exhausted. So it looks the running streak isn’t causing the exhaustion – that means it is probably work stress and just not getting enough sleep. So I am going to focus on getting to bed earlier and trying to get more rest all around.

What else has happened since my last post?….oh yeah! I broke the treadmill! It was a fun break too – I was pounding along doing some speed work and suddenly the deck took a sharp lean to the left and started to bounce. Luckily I was able to hop off quickly without hurting myself (years of light footing ice probably helped there)!

I popped the treadmill engine housing open and discovered that the bolt on the left side that holds the deck to the frame had sheered. Lovely.

I managed to get a bolt that works temporarily while I put in a warranty call to get a new bolt.

My treadmill destruction tendencies continue!

I think that is it for now – I will attempt to be a bit more frequent in my blog posts from now on.

Last week mileage recap – 44 miles and #runstreak still going strong

44 miles for the week March 7th through March 13th – up from 38.5 from the week before.

7th – 1 mile to keep the run streak alive

8th – 7 miles with a bit of a push to use some speed

9th – 1 mile for a bit of a rest day

10th – 3.5 miles

11th – 8 miles with a strong speed push

12th – 8.85 miles outside plus another 0.75 miles with our daughter and the pups – she fell twice, put her foot through some ice into some really cold water and then I felt like I turned my ankle. Was an eventful 3/4 mile.

13th – 13.15 miles outside plus another 0.75 miles with our daughter and the pups – a lot less eventful. It was not a fast run but at least it showed that my ankle wasn’t damaged. Whoohoo!

Now hopefully this next week will be more mileage – maybe my first 50 mile week in a long time?

1 treadmill mile tonight and maybe a half mile on a store treadmill testing out Hokas

My runs this weekend made it fairly clear that while the Vomeros I’m using are great on the treadmill and for shorter runs, I am not going to be able to do the Sprucewoods trail 50k run in them, and marathons would might be touch and go as well. They have good padding but I just can’t seem to get speed out of them for long, I’m not sure why that is but when I switch to my old Hoka Cliftons I end up getting an extra mph of speed out of nowhere.

The problem is my Hoka Cliftons are done and I get ankle pain if I run too far in them, so I need to replace them. But with what? Hoka has made some changes for the 2nd version of the Cliftons that many don’t like. I had tried on a pair before and they seemed extra tight in the toe box for my size – and they don’t seem to sell a half size up from my size so I would have to go up a full size to get something that might fit. But I needed to find something.

With that in mind my wife and I hit up City Park Runners here in Winnipeg to see what they might have. (very knowledgeable and the staff member who helped us was set to do the Sprucewoods 50k as well) and I tried on a set of Clifton 2s in the size of my old pair and surprisingly they seemed to fit properly – maybe my feet were a bit swollen when I tried them on before? They had a treadmill I could do a test run on and the Clifton 2s felt pretty good – one of the tongues rubbed a bit when walking (one of the changes for the shoes was a thicker tongue) but I didn’t notice while running.

Next I tried on another set of Hokas – this time Challenger ATR 2s – a very similar shoe to the Cliftons with a slightly more aggressive / knobby sole for light trail work that would still work on pavement. I gave these a shot on the treadmill as well and they were very good as well.

I looked at some others but gravitated back to these 2 shoes. I had trouble deciding but in the end I went with the Challenger ATR 2s. I figured the extra grip could be useful on the Spucewood 50k run plus the change in the tongue on the Clifton 2s worried me. I wasn’t feeling the tongue bug me on a real short run but would it cause more issues on a longer run? Tough call.

So the mile tonight was in the new Challenger ATR 2s to give another test and it went fairly well – I look forward to giving them a good go this weekend.

1 mile tonight to keep the run streak alive – recap of March so far (including some shoe thoughts)

7 runs and 36.75 miles into March so far.

1st – 3 miles

2nd – 7.3 miles

3rd – 10 miles

4th – 1 mile

5th – 10 miles

6th – 4.45 miles

7th – 1 mile

I’m 67 days into the 2016 run streak attempt and I am feeling good and running appears to be a habit again. Whoohoo

Now about shoes…

Since October 2014, I have been using solely Hoka One One Cliftons to run outside in – long runs (including my 2 12 hour races and the Dopey Challenge in 2015), short runs and everything in between. But my current set is close to being done according to my mileage tally and the way my legs feel after using them – I would just buy a new pair but Hoka has updated the model and depending on the Clifton fanatic you talk to they are either completely ruined or close to the same. I tried a pair on for myself and I found the toe box to be too tight on the size I wear (the original version is snug for me in the toe box but the new version is way too tight) meaning I would probably need to go up a half size…unfortunately I wear a 12 and I can’t find a 12.5 anywhere so I would have to go up to a 13 which might be too large a change.

I have also managed to burn through my stash of Nike Pegasus 30s that I love and that Nike changed too significantly for me to want to continue with them. I did work through a pair of 31s but they only seemed to be good for me on the treadmill and I didn’t enjoy them outside at all.

So I also needed to find a new indoor shoe. I did some digging and settled on the Nike Vomero 10s and after finding them on sale I bought a set and gave them a try. I found them very close to the ride of the old Pegasus 30s that I loved and I have been using them as my indoor shoes ever since – up to about 200 miles on them now and they still feel great.

While on vacation I found major deals at a Nike Outlet store on Vomero 9s and a big deal on a set of Vomero 10s at Scheel’s in Fargo – in the end I bought 4 pairs for what I would pay for 2 sets up here (even after the exchange on the dollar right now). I ran the Vomero 9s the entire time I was on vacation and found them to be very good, just like the 10s.

With that in mind I decided to try the 9s outside this past weekend back here in Winnipeg on a morning after we had had some fresh snow fall over snow that had melted and re-frozen the night before. What a chore! The 9s just could not sustain traction – I struggled to maintain anything close to 5 mph – it was an exhausting 10 miles! My legs felt great after though so the shoes are good for distance but they just couldn’t handle the slippery conditions.

To make sure that it was the shoes, I ran in the Cliftons last night in sloppy / icy conditions that were arguably worse than the day before – combined with it being dark and me running way too soon after eating supper and I expected I had set myself up for another bad run. But I was easily able to maintain over a mph faster pace without issue even with having to carefully watch where every step was going. Definitely had much better traction…but my ankles are not pleased even the next day and that tells me that those shoes are done…

So what do I do now? We are experiencing a bit of an early spring here so there is a chance the slippery conditions could clear up soon and traction won’t be an issue…but knowing our weather we could also end up with snow for another month or more. Top that off with knowing that I have signed up for a trail 50k in early May, if the Vomeros couldn’t handle snow and ice, will they be able to handle trails if they are even a little bit muddy?

Basically, I expect that means I have 1300-1500 miles of brand new shoes that will be designated for pavement and treadmill – not a bad situation to be in but I need to sort out a shoe with more traction that I can do long distance in…and I have to do it fast as it is about 8.5 weeks until the trail 50k and I will need to make sure they work for me in that time.


Current plan will be to try on a pair of Clifton 2s that are one full size up from what I wear in the original versions. At this point I have to hope that those will work for me, if they don’t I am going to have to come up with different options…maybe hammer nails into the soles of the Vomero 9s?

Ahh running, you always find a way to make things interesting.