After the crazy, forgetfulness that has been this week (and I even had Monday off!), I opted for a slower pace this morning. Instead of getting up early to pound the pavement, I got in a few extra minutes of sleep and took the pup for a walk. I did not wear a watch or an ipod or anything else that required charging. I simply put on my mismatched running attire, threw my hair into a sloppy ponytail (more of a bunny tail really), and grabbed the leash, my house key, and a plastic poo bag. The Chancellor, understanding what was about to take place, began his full body wiggle in excitement.
I also decided I'd better try out my new trail shoes. I recently purchased a pair of Montrail Masochists and I had yet to wear them. It is sort of important that I do, since this Saturday I will be running the Bartlett Park 50k near Memphis, and I am intending to wear them during that race.
All of the more experienced trail runners I know wear trail shoes of various sorts and believe that they are needed when hitting the trails. When I decided to train and run Mountain Mist in 2008 (a race I decided NOT to run after training on the actual route), I bought a pair of Asics trail shoes because I was told I should, but I never really liked them. I sprained an already weak ankle multiple times, causing frustration and unwanted time off, but I kept wearing them anyway.
The obvious solution may have been to choose another pair of trail shoes. And I did try some on eventually. They all felt bulky, heavy and hard, and I did not like any of them. So when I decided I wanted to try a 50 mile trail run, I started training in my regular running shoes to see how that worked. So far, so good.
Reading "Born to Run" did not help the trail shoe defense much either. I understand the concept of one's feet feeling the ground (while somewhat protected, of course) and knowing what to do, how to balance, shift, settle, move. I often wonder if the constant ankle spraining is not a result of too much between my foot and the terrain. That does not mean I want to hit the trails barefoot tomorrow, and it does not mean I think supportive shoes are unimportant. I'm not sure, however, that I need extra shoe simply because the terrain has changed.
But I bought some anyway. I guess I'm not totally convinced that I know what I think I know. And the new Asics Cumulus (my normal running shoe of choice) is pink. Ugh. I was hoping for another blue and green pair like the ones I have now...that are in serious need of replacement.
So the Montrail Masochists felt a little awkward when I wore them this morning, but not overly so. I ran some at the end of the walk, and it felt more natural than I thought it would. They are a little lighter than the other trail shoes I've tried and not as stiff. I may try them out again this afternoon and maybe tomorrow morning. I realize this is probably not the best protocol when trying out new shoes but it is the best I've got for now.
Chance, meanwhile, thought it was all a little over the top and suggested padded paws as the best footwear for running.