Tag Archive for Hoka Clifton

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.

Time for my recap of the 2015 12 hour Lemming Loop…or at least what I can remember of it.

First up – awesomely run race again. Well organized and you can tell it is all about giving the runners the opportunity to do their best. Great management, nice course and fantastic volunteers! Thanks folks!

Now about my run and personal experience…

I was going in fairly undertrained. This time last year I had over 30% more mileage on my legs than I do this year. I had a few 200 mile months last year and this year I have been struggling to get over 100 most months. I did have a few longer runs in recently but, being honest with myself, I wouldn’t say I was actually ready.

Then the day before the race, I got knocked on my ass by a cold – headache, runny nose and wicked sneezing. I ended up taking the afternoon off of work the day before to hit the cold meds and crash on the couch for a while. Amazingly the meds seemed to work…and didn’t make me drowsy…that meant I could run on the meds. Ok…that means I am go for the race.

I finished packing up my stuff after taking the kids to swimming lessons, pre-loaded my vehicle and set out my breakfast and hit the sack by 10pm (after taking another set of cold meds).

Up with the alarm at 4:30 – showered, dressed, took more cold meds and out the door by 5 am without waking the dogs (first win of the day). I ate my breakfast on the drive and wandered up to the staging area as the orientation was occurring – missed it but I had read about the changes to the course on the trailrunmanitoba.com website and remembered enough of the rules from last year that I felt comfortable anyway.

There was the choice of dropping your gear in the outside tents or inside (where there was limited room) – I saw an open spot near the bathroom and went with that for my gear location. I had brought a few changes of clothes in-case I need to make a gear swap due to weather changes and I figured being close to the bathroom for the changes would be a good thing.

Strangely, I was feeling very confident – I had no real reason to be but I was. Maybe it was the cold meds I took when I got up?

I wandered outside to look at the tally board to see how a friend was doing on the 24 hour run – saw that he was up well over 50 miles (13 hours in for the 24 hour folks at that point) and it looked like he was going strong for the 100 he was shooting for. Cool.

I got in with the small pack getting ready to get started and lined myself up somewhere in the middle – I wasn’t going to make the mistake I made last year where I went out too fast.

I fired up my gps tracking app on my phone as well as a run/walk timer app. I knew I was going to probably ignore the interval app for the first while but I wanted it running so that when I got to the point that I wanted to use it, it would already be going. Plus it speaks off the number of intervals completed giving me an idea of how much time had passed without necessarily having to look at my Garmin watch.

Speaking of my Garmin watch – it died on me at about 10 hours in last year and I wanted to make it last as long as possible for this run so I didn’t turn it on until right before the race started – every minute I could make it last would be needed. It was extra important as when I got to the race I found that the backup watch I had brought had stopped keeping time. I would still have my phone but I didn’t want to have to keep popping it out of the holster to check the time.

Ok – then we are off – headlamp is on and off we go – I held back and didn’t push. I just wanted to get comfortable with the course changes and watch for areas where roots and rocks were going to be a problem – the worst areas I logged in my brain so that I would know when to snap back into focus and pay attention to what my feet were doing.

About 3 laps in I had to take a bio break. At this point I had noticed my headlamp was starting to dim but luckily it was starting to get bright enough I didn’t really need it anymore.  I did my restroom stop and grabbed a bottle of electrolyte drink from my gear and dropped off my headlamp. The drink I was using comes in tablet form that you drop in a bottle of water – it is made by Gu and is 0 calorie, so flavored salt, but tasty. I was quite impressed at how well it worked for me (besides a side issue with it that I talk about below)

The electrolyte drink is a new thing for me – I can’t handle Gatorade (I get major swamp gut after a couple hours on a race if I drink it). So I usually drink flat Coke on long runs and it works very well for me – however on the 12 hour race last year I tanked about half way through and I realized it was because I was low on electrolytes (I could walk but running gave me headaches). My goal for this race was to do a bottle of electrolyte drink followed by a bottle of coke and keep alternating. I would also take in a gulp of water every lap as well as some chips that they had out at the great snack table. Through the day I also had some cookies, some chocolate bars and some grapes. Extremely good selection of things to try – I even saw chocolate covered bacon but didn’t want to risk potential impacts to my system.

I noticed at this point that my friend’s (who was doing the 24 hour) lap counter didn’t seem to be moving up. Oh oh.

I continued on and about half way through the next lap I ended up with some deep dark stomach gurgles and cold sweats. Not good. Surprisingly the feeling past and I was good for hours after that. Not sure what that was but it could have been baaaaad.

Not much drama after that for a while – I just kept fairly steady pace and would do a bit of walking as I finished every lap but I wasn’t doing the true run / walk cycles yet.

On the 8th or 9th lap (about 17 miles in – I had ditched my toque and jacket by this point) I was walking and finishing off a grilled cheese sandwich when a runner trotted past and I heard “that looked like a Ted…was that a Ted?” I replied “it is a Ted, is that a Pete?” Indeed. It was my friend doing the 24 hour – I trotted after him and we chatted a bit. He had crashed pretty hard through the night apparently and had a lap take him over an hour. He ended up getting some sleep and then woke up and ate a whack of carbs and got some caffeine. And now he was moving again. That is perseverance.

I did a lap with him – the only reason I could keep up was because he was taking it easy (he is quite out of my league – a just over 3 hour marathoner) and it was still my fastest lap of the race.

His strategy was to rest a bit after each lap so when we finished that lap he stopped for a bit and I kept going (he still lapped me several times after that).

After about 5 hours I got into the true run/walk intervals to start resting the legs (5 min run and 1 min walk per cycle).

I hit the marathon distance at about 5:10 or so and was right around 28.5-29 miles at the 6 hour point. Going slow but still feeling pretty good.

At about here my wife and daughter showed up to cheer me on (son came too but he had just gotten sick and stayed in the vehicle – I think the poor bugger was fighting the same cold I was) but didn’t stay long so that they could go get out the boy home and cleaned up. My daughter did help herself to some of the food on the runner table before we could stop her – luckily there was plenty

Was able to stay pretty steady (if a bit slower) for a few more hours and it was looking like I had a shot at 52.4 – double marathon. Everything would have to run absolutely perfect for that to happen from there on out but it is good to dream.

Just before the 10 hour mark I stopped for another bio break and figured the double marathon was probably gone but there shouldn’t be an issue hitting 50 miles if I kept steady. After I got running again I figured I could do 3 x 30 minute laps and then do 1 short lap to hit 50 easily and probably have a 10-15 minute buffer. I was feeling good and was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – time to push.

I got through the first of the 3 laps on time and grabbed another bottle of electrolyte drink and pushed. I got about half way though this lap and crashed hard. I started to feel tingly and a bit light headed. Oh crap…

I couldn’t run and I walked as hard as I could but I was feeling pretty awful. It took everything I had to finish that lap and I was concerned that I might be done and could maybe pass out. What was supposed to be a half hour lap took over 40 minutes. At this point the 24 hour folks had just finished so I kind of quietly went over to where my gear was and grabbed a coke and chugged half a bottle and tried to think.

What I realized was that my blood sugar had tanked. The electrolyte drink I had been drinking was 0 calorie and I wasn’t replacing those calories that my body was expecting from the Coke I usually drank. If I was right, it meant it was something I could fix. I needed fast calories, now! After a minute or 2 I was able to stand up and move – I wandered out and grabbed a handful of cookies and started chowing down and slamming more Coke.

I ran into my friend Pete at this point and he had made his 100 miles – Awesome! (edit – looks like he hit second place! Amazing recovery!) He was excited and wanted to chat – but I had to keep moving though because if I sat down to chat I wasn’t going to get moving again. I congratulated him and slowly continued.

So I started walking again – I didn’t want to risk the long lap – if it took me too long I wouldn’t get credit for a partial one if I ran out of time…plus it was going to be deserted and I wasn’t sure anyone would find me if I took a header.

So I walked a short lap and made sure to let the time keepers know that it was a short one and not long like they had originally marked.

I was starting to feel better at this point and the math was that if I could hammer out 3 more short laps I maybe, just maybe would hit the 50 mile point…

I didn’t know for sure how long the short laps were – I vaguely recalled them being like 0.8 or 0.85 miles from last year but wasn’t sure. I figured 3 more would do it but I couldn’t afford anymore stopping – I had to get those 3 done as fast as I could at this point. (which really wasn’t what you would call fast…)

Pushed through the first – ok. And then the 2nd – still doing ok. Started the 3rd and my Garmin started saying low battery. I had 10 minutes to go and I needed to keep looking at the watch to see where I was and how much time I had left – it kept up the urgency and that was what I needed to try and get the 50 miles.

Finished out the 3rd with 2 minutes to go – and started pushing down the stretch again to hit the 100 meter markers (on your last short lap they have markers every 100 meters and you add the last one you hit to your tally). My friend who did the 24 hour run was still there and when he saw me keep going he yelled “You’re still going?” – he didn’t realize how close I was to 50 miles and I needed every step to just make sure.

So I hit the 100 meter mark and it was going to be tight to the 200 meter point but dug as deep as I could and got to there. At that point the Garmin said I had less than 5 seconds to go so I stopped and the air horn went to say we were done.  Good timing. I hit stop on the Garmin and it shut off. Hope it saved the run…

I walked back to the start line and gave them my 200 meter number and asked the organizers what the distance was for the short loop. 1250 meters. Before doing anything else I sat down with my phone with Google and the calculator app.

1250 meters = approx. 0.77 miles times 4 = 3.08 miles

200 meters = approx. 0.124 miles

23 full laps at 2.05 miles per lap = 47.15

So all totaled to 50.35 miles – I fricking did it.

(Update – official numbers posted and confirmed at 50.33 miles. Yeehaw!)

My phone app said just over 51 but it was reading high most of the day and my Garmin said 49.6 but it had been reading low most of the day as well.

I still have to wait for the official word but right now I would say I made my 50 miles – and did a mile more than I pulled off last year. Add in that I am probably 15 pounds heavier this year over last and that I was fighting a cold this year makes for a really unlikely scenario…but I did it. Wild.

I sat down for a minute and chatted with my friend and he headed home and I went to gather my stuff and grab a slice of pizza. The pizza was great (by Pappa Murphy’s here in Winnipeg) but I only got through about a half slice before my stomach rebelled. Apparently my stomach wasn’t up to solid food at that point – but man it was tasty.

At that point I grabbed my gear and wandered out to my van – fired up the heat and put a blanket around my shoulders and started the drive home.

Amazingly when I got home I was able to get out of the van and walk into the house and up the stairs. Even managed to take the dogs out and feed them.

At this point I was starting to shiver so I managed to climb even more stairs, have a shower and get warm and clean. I then sat my ass on the couch and didn’t move for a while…

In the end, I came through relatively undamaged – my left ankle is tight and doesn’t want to give full range of movement without some pain but I can tell it isn’t permanently damaged, only sore. Other than that some scrapes on the feet where things stuck through the shoes but nothing major – yay Hoka Cliftons – legs feel amazing for what I just did.

So that is the long story of the run or at least what I can remember – hope you enjoyed the story.

Again, thanks to all the volunteers and the organizers – another great race this year!


edit – Oct 5 – I should mention that I did not use music at all during the run – I put one ear bud in my right ear to catch pacing information from the gps running app as well as get alerts from the run/walk app. The other ear bud I tucked into my shirt to keep it out of the way. This worked surprisingly well especially since most runners were passing on the left so I was always able to hear when someone was coming up behind me and calling for a pass. I might have to do more of that on outdoor runs where I am not looking for speed.

Some quick thoughts on the 12 hour Lemming Loop tomorrow…

Well – if nothing else it should be an interesting run…

If you have been following the blog you know my mileage / training has not been where it should be (I maybe have 2/3rds the mileage in this year that I had in last year at the same time).

I am also fighting a cold now that started to hit me yesterday but was going pretty strong today. Strong enough that I took the afternoon off work to medicate and rest for a while. Surprisingly I have found meds that seem to work on my actual symptoms and that don’t knock me unconscious as soon as I take them. This should mean I can medicate the cold and still do the run tomorrow without feeling like garbage.

All in all I am really not ready for the run tomorrow…but I am feeling strangely confident? I’m not thinking I am going to win obviously (that wouldn’t happen even if I was fully healthy and was properly trained…not a real fast guy…) but I feel like I can do well.

I learned a lot from doing the race last year and I think I can translate that into running tomorrow. My biggest issue last year was that after about 6-7 hours I started getting headaches when I ran – I could still walk fine but running was not good. That was a nutrition issue – my fuel was all sugar and protein with no real electrolytes (Gatorade doesn’t work for me and I didn’t substitute anything else to provide the salts that I needed). So I have some thoughts on getting those salts and balancing out the remainder of the nutritional requirements that should work. I will have to see how that goes tomorrow but all signs point to my plan working.

I am not as strong cardio wise or as fast this year as I was last but I think the endurance is still there so I will have to make sure I move to use that instead. That means doing run/walk cycles right from the beginning – and the run portions won’t be fast. Basically I don’t want to be out of breath at all tomorrow and I want to move at a pace that feels like I could do forever (which is what it will feel like by the end of the 12 hours).

My goals? With the lack of training and the cold virus running through my system, the realistic goal is to just keep moving for the 12 hours and if I can do better than 39.3 (1.5 marathons) then I would be ok but I have trouble seeing not doing more than that. However I would really like to do more than that. If everything goes my way I would love to hit 52.4 (2 marathons) but if I run into any issues at all it probably won’t happen. I would also be very happy to hit 50 miles – but as with the 52.4 even a small bump in the road could shut that down. Last year I hit 49.2785 miles – could I beat that?

Honestly – I don’t know where I will land but I am kind of excited to find out…

How do I intend to do this? I’m still waffling a bit on that – do I break it into 2 hour chunks and reset my mind after each 2 hour period. That might make it a bit easier to digest mentally. Similar to this might be breaking things down into a half marathon at a time?

The weather will probably play a role in how I break things up. It will start cool – just a few degrees above freezing, but with then warm up through the day to be a nice sunny 17C (62.6 F) with a decently strong breeze (but not too horrible). This means that during the early part of the day I will be wearing a few more layers than later in the day and that will mean stopping to swap some gear. But then it will start to cool down in the last few yours as well. So I suspect light jacket for 2-4 hours, short sleeves or light long sleeves for 4-5 hours and then finish out with a hoody or light jacket.

I will also need my headlamp for the first few hours, so one natural break will be stopping to ditch the lamp with my drop bag.

Beyond that as well I know my garmin will only last about 10 of the 12 hours so I have to keep my phone rolling the whole period for tracking purposes. With the gps app running, music, run/walk interval timer, etc I will need to stop every once in a while to grab a battery bank to clip into the phone to make sure it doesn’t die.

Bio breaks will come into effect through the day as well.

So, to try to shorten this story so I can get to bed, I basically don’t have a plan. I will play the first couple hours by ear – running at whatever feels comfortable in the dark (and hopefully avoiding falling a couple times like I did last year). I will then see how warm I am getting as the sum comes up and time a stop in there to switch out the headlamp, drop the jacket (if warm enough) and switch out the toque for a more normal running hat. I will also start the race without music playing – that should help me assess my breathing better and also should help me settle into an easier pace.

I will then reassess fairly frequently after that. Laps are 2.05 miles this year so every 20-30 minutes or so I have a chance to correct gear mistakes.

My hope is to be well above a marathon at the 5.5 to 6 hour point with energy still in the tank…and then see what happens.

So anyway – I have said a lot in this post and but not really that much either…this was me just trying to get my head straight for tomorrow.

Worst case scenario I am looking at is a nice long walk in the sun. Best case? A couple marathons?

I may find myself to trying to keep my brain busy so there may be some live tweeting (maybe laps completed each lap?) and maybe I will even try Periscope? Don’t know – I have never broadcast before but maybe ti will provide a good mental distraction.

So…good night…and good luck to anyone racing this weekend!

4.45 mile sunny afternoon run. Starting August off right! Post also recaps runs from earlier this week.

When I woke up this morning my left ankle was bugging the crap out of me so I didn’t want to run on it. Instead I got in the pool for 45 minutes and did some laps as well as several sets of resistance exercises.

As the day moved on I also had to help my wife install a pool pump for one of her customers – the mosquitoes feasted well on me…I’m probably down a pint or so. Some more physically labor there bringing in the new pump and taking out the old.

And then after a quick lunch, I realized I needed to get a run in today somehow. It was a bit warmer out than I normally like to run in but not nearly as bad as earlier in the week so I decided to suck it up and run right after lunch. I probably ran a bit too early after lunch but there were no catastrophic repercussions so it’s all good.

I did one lap around the neighborhood (4.45 miles) in 39:34 – a very solid run considering the heat.

On the run I also tested out a cheap Bluetooth behind the head set of headphones, hoping that they would help cure me of my habit of accidentally yanking my headphones off mid-run. They worked not bad for such a cheap set – not great sound but passable for running. However they did drop out several times which seemed odd because I didn’t have the same issue when I wore them to do some yard work and around the house. I did notice after the run though that my gps running app was wonky too and only had captured chunks of the run. I suspect the phone was having issues with having the gps app going, the bluetooth enabled and playing music. Unfortunate really but I will do another test soon to see if that is really what is happening.

So earlier this week I had a few runs that I tweeted about but didn’t put up on the site:

Monday – I did a 15 miler in significant heat and humidity (was hotter in Winnipeg that day than Orlando both in real and feels like temperatures). I did the run attempting to fuel solely with water. It ended up being pretty slow and there was a fair bit of walking in the last mile or so. I usually fuel long, slow runs with flat coke but decided I need to train a little cleaner so went with water instead on this run. A good thought really but in that heat it was too easy to bonk without some extra fuel coming into the system. Still approx 2:40 wasn’t too bad all things considered.

Tuesday – I wanted to do a quick lap around the neighborhood to prove to myself the hot 15 miler the day before didn’t break me. There was a storm coming in but the radar seemed to indicated I had about an hour to do a 40ish minute run. Apparently I didn’t – I got about 3 miles into the 4.45 mile run before the rain started and within minutes it was coming down in buckets! The delay between lightning flashes and thunder was almost nil – the storm was right on top of me! I tried to run faster and cut some corners to get home quick but I was slowed down because my shorts were so water logged that I had to hold them up! Saw a runner much more dedicated than me in the park I took a short cut through – she was doing speed drills in the middle of the storm! Or more accurately she was resting and stretching between speed drills so it looked like she was just standing there in the storm…maybe not the wisest thing to stand in the middle of an open field in a thunderstorm…but I can’t say much since I was out in it too… In the end 4.25 miles in 40:08

Thursday – 6 miles on the treadmill 47:22 – decent run with some speed work

Friday – 3 miles on the treadmill in 22:50 – some more speed work but not too heavy. Takes my July miles to 140.1