Running is a very cheap sport to get into. You only need some trainers and off you go. Which is why after re-booting my running career two months ago I’ve acquired (via gifts and my own purchases) running gear costing a substantial amount more than “very cheap”!
I treated myself to a new pair of Inov 8 trail shoes two weeks ago, the relatively new Roclite 305s. You can check out some pictures over at my Instagram page, because due to weird WordPress technical issues I can’t get images to work on this site. I hadn’t been able to get out on the trails since I bought the shoes, but finally this weekend the time arrived.
So, early this morning I headed to Carr Mill Dam for what has become my new trail run of choice. It’s an approximately 6 mile run, taking in two loops of the mini-lake, starting and finishing near the ranger station. The start of the run is along tarmac and then hard-packed trails up to Carr Mill. However, today I took a parallel route that is on some muddy terrain. A good test for the new shoes, which they passed with ease, and it was nice to run the same-but-different route.
Once at Carr Mill it’s a lovely run around the water, mostly flat but with the occasional short but steep incline. There are a couple of bridges to cross, and one of them is over the main body of water and often affords great views of the birdlife. For example, this morning I saw a big heron with a fish in its mouth lording it over the seagulls and ducks. In the past I’ve seen a swan’s nest. We all know swans are evil though, so the less said about that the better.
My new Roclites handled everything really well. Grippy in the mud, grippy on the wet wooden beams I had to run across, and very comfortable like a pair of old slippers. They are quite lightweight and I wasn’t sure how they’d hold up to the stonier sections, but they were great. You can feel the contact with the ground, which you need on trails so you can not fall over, but you don’t feel like the stones and rocks are hurting your soles.
I particularly liked the feel of the shoes when I needed to add a little power to get up an incline. Because they are so light and comfortable it seemed effortless to increase the pace at those times. My heart and legs and lungs may disagree with my assessment of effortless, but what do they know, right?
After the last few weeks of running I am starting to feel my old fitness coming back. I’m also starting to feel that 44-year old and 30-year old me are very different beasts. Could I recover the speed of old? Possibly. Could I do it three days in a row with barely a whimper from my body? Almost certainly not! That said, my running re-boot has given me a new lease of life so I don’t care how far or how fast I get to run now, just being out on the trails again is enough.