Yesterday, I knew the trails would be in bad shape for running with temperatures so warm and the little bit of snow left out there being so wet. So I was heading out for a road run, like it or not. At the last minute as I was just going out the door, I decided to try to find a pair of road shoes in my closet. I normally train all the time in heavy sturdy Solomens (I have several varieties.) I found a pair of Nike Assails from several years ago. True, they were marketed as trail shoes, but there really isn't much to them that would make them a trail shoe. I need more than that on the type of trails I run. These Nikes are as close to a road shoe as I possess. They are old, but haven't been used much.
I put them on and headed down the road. They were light and flexible and bouncy. Wow, I felt like I used to feel when I would change into my racing flats for a track workout or a road race. My feet were hardly touching the ground! My legs were spring loaded! I was moving! I wasn't really going that fast, but that's how it felt.
After about 3 sort-of-fast road miles on Spec Pond Road, I ran by the Town Farm Snowmobile Trail and screeched to a halt. I hadn't planned to run on trails. They were sure to be wet and messy and slippery. And wasn't I feeling all fast and happy running in my light shoes on this good clear road? But heck, why not give the trail a try for a few yards just to see how it is? You know, for future reference.
Down the trail I went. The packed snowmobile tracks were slippery, but soft enough that with each step my foot sunk into the snow enough to give me some grip. It was hard work and I wasn't moving very fast anymore. But my heart rate was through the roof and my quads and hamstrings were burning. Once in a while I would post hole through the packed snow, usually into melt water beneath the snow. This didn't happen often enough to seem annoying. I had been feeling good on the road, but now I was smiling and ecstatic! I love the trails!
My poor Nike Assails didn't know what was happening to them. They were soaked through in seconds. On one occasion, my left shoe was yanked completely off my foot when I pulled it back out of a post hole. My right achilles was feeling a lot of rubbing and burning as the shoe protested to this sort of running. I ended up with a huge blister by the end of the run.
I only went about 3 miles on the trail. Then I got back onto pavement and picked up the pace again. The Nikes were much happier. I tried to push the pace all the way home for a good solid ten mile effort. I followed with a strength workout and then later in the evening I did my Plyometric workout. The Nikes are on the boot dryer trying to recover.