Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ice is Nice...

as long as you have the correct traction on your feet. Stabilicers were my device of choice for many years. They are heavy but rugged, and they really grip. I had one pair that lasted me for at least ten years. I even used them instead of my crampons for icy hikes on pretty steep terrain without any problems. I finally lost them somewhere this year. They are probably in one of my numerous packs and they'll probably show up some day. I use my screw shoes for certain conditions and I love them. But some times I just need something more.

This season I tried some no name cheapos. I went through two pair of these, they worked but the rubber that held them together broke. In the past I have tried the Katona Microspikes (too micro for my needs and they tended to fall off my feet) and the original Yacktrax (good traction, but fell off at inconvenient moments). When my second pair of cheapo no-names broke a few weeks ago, I was in a desperate situation. The trails were sheer ice and I was in a small town in Vermont without many shopping options. The one sporting goods store around had one option for traction devices, so that's how I ended up with another pair of Yacktrax.

The more expensive Yacktrax models now have a strap that goes over the top of the shoe so that's what I bought. I'm very happy with them! They did fall off once during a run in absolutely atrocious conditions, but the straps prevented them from being lost. They just kind of rolled off my heel and flopped around on the bottom of my foot for a few miles while I mused out loud, "hmmm, these seemed to be giving me good traction a while ago, now I'm slipping all over the place. And the trail feels all bumpy and funny" It hasn't happened since.

Training Update: Tonight I ran on the packed snow and ice of the Ossipee River Trails. Last night I ran hills on pavement. I have also gotten in a 3 mile treadmill hill climb at 10% grade at an embarrassing 12 minute per mile pace. I had a few trail runs on soft slush since my last post. This past weekend I cross country skied on some rugged terrain out in East Burke and then snowshoed the same terrain the next day. I'm getting out there and putting in some good fun hard work. Oh, and I haven't needed my headlamp in about a week! Days are getting longer!

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