Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's nice to be able to run again

Whatever my asthma was, it has now passed and I'm off running again. Although I am feeling unfit after having a few weeks away from long runs and tempo-like runs, it's nice to be back out and not struggling too much. This meant a return to the Mullum Mullum early on Tuesday morning for some easy trail running.

The highest point of the run - I call it "Mt Pipeline" as the mains water runs through this patch of land, a reserve that's located between houses and is not an official thoroughfare. We're not the only ones that use it judging by the mountain bike tyre marks.

After the trail run (when Jacqui and Sophie, picture above, needed to leave for work and children) I decided to go on an additional 5km run around the area. I admit it was a test to see if a parkrun could work out, although I'm not convinced it's a good route for the average Joe now that I've completed it. I knew there would be a few steps in one section (which I took on the way down as I think you'd be less likely to trip on the way down those steps than up them), but it was the section after the steps that really made me think the route would be unsuitable. I've taken that path a number of times while trail running at an easy pace, but I can't recommend taking a trail with protruding rocks on a generally downhill section at speed. I'm sure that experienced trail runners would manage, but I'd hate to find lots of twisted ankles and falls as a result of a parkrun!

The first 3km of this route is concrete and runs along (and over Eastlink). Once the "Eastern portal" is reached, there area few steps to go down and this is followed by about 400m each of rocky trail, concrete and gravel trail. The final 800m was concrete, but I needed to double back at the end (i.e. I need to start the route a little bit further west).

Between the trail run and the additional 5km I switched from my Salomon Speedcross to one of my Saucony Triumph pairs. I recall discussing with someone that I like wearing my runners loose (I can easily slip my feet in and out without tying the shoe laces), although that doesn't apply to my trail shoes as I am happy to wear the Salomons quite tightly. I just didn't realise how loose I wore the Triumphs until I switched into them on Tuesday morning after having run in the Speedcross for over an hour, and suddenly found the Triumphs too loose! Ha! I tightened the laces on the right foot and decided it looked ridiculous so I loosened them and headed off on the run without any further problems.

This photo is from a few days later, but you can see that tightening up the forefoot looks ridiculous. Bulgey bits everywhere! Although I know from experience that it doesn't actually feel good during the run, although it'd be nice if I could still have it tight through the arch (which is something I do like with the Speedcross).

While I had my shoes out and my camera, I decided to compare the two pairs of the Saucony Triumph 10s, 400km apart. The pink pair are a women's 11 and a touch small (I'm consistently a women's 11.5, and the 12 was a touch large). I found that slightly too large shoes induced black toenails, but have since found slightly too large induces black toenails too! Men's shoes are far more easy to source in half-sizes at my end of the shoe size scale, and the red pair are a men's 10 (European 44, the same size as my Salomon Speedcross).

125km-old Triumph 10 on the left, 525km-old Triumph 10 on the right.

Despite the pink Triumphs being a lot more "experienced", they only feel a little less bouncy that the younger red pair. But there's obviously a difference in how the soles look with most of the wear on the outside and middle of my forefoot, and some wear on the outer heel. I suppose that confirms how I feel when I run, where I tend to think I'd a mid-foot/fore-foot striker, although I know that I like to land on my heel a bit more when descending. The other difference between the shoes is to do with my toenails - the half-size does make a difference. So I now use the red pair for long runs (and parkrun as it matches my red five30runners shirt and visor), and the pink for shorter runs. 

I'm interested to see how long the Triumphs continue to feel good, as I found the Mizuno Wave Rider 14s I had before this became very squidgy after about 600km, and just made for tiring runs. Not fun. 

Although I'm freely running again, I'm still behind on my monthly target - 173km, which is 16km more than last month (and what I need to keep the Towering Stairs badge going on Smashrun). After 22km and 24km weeks, my legs are definitely feeling the 34km of running I did this week (43km if I include cool-down walks and dog walks). I do include the walks in the Smashrun tally, but it now means I need to accumulate 46km over the next 5 days. I have a feeling Saturday's parkrun is going to be a slow one!


  1. I agree. Some shoes these days have an upper material that just looks naff when laced tight. Puffed out bits in all the wrong places certainly doesn't work for me either. All the best with the comeback.