Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Fling: Drymax Trail socks: UltraAspire Surge: La Sportiva Raptor GTX

Gladly I am yet again doing the relay.  I enjoy the fun weekend with club mates more than actually running 53 miles.. who'd have guessed?? This year accidents aside I get to do the glory leg and finish at Tyndrum. Looking forward to that.

The Tortoises have 2 relay teams and a few individual entries so it will be a good day supporting.

I'm again getting back into my training after pulling out the 100K race with an injury to my foot. Appears my trusty Hokas were rub rub rubbing, I thought it was worse than it was, like tendon damage, but turns out just swelling and bruising over the bridge of my foot due to the shoes. I went home feeling rather deflated, another DNF even if it was at 70k. Lots of anti inflammatory pills and a few days rest saw me good. Being sensible doesn't always make you feel good!

Over winter I have been testing a few wee bits n bobs for my big race The WHW. I got the Drymax trail socks as a present and bought an pair of hill running LA Sportiva Raptor GTX. I was mainly aiming at getting comfy shoes and socks that I would be confident doing a lot of miles in and keeping my feet as dry as possible whilst at it.

So the socks, felt uncomfortable and wide at the toes. They also have (or had) wee bobbles at the side of the toes almost looking like the seams were seared. Endless rubbing against my toes I duly cut the bobbles off, leaving tiny wee holes. Guess they're not going to keep me dry now! Well that takes me right onto the fact they never actually did keep me dry.

First outing of socks and GTX shoes was down Glen Trool. Jogged across the wee tarmac road onto the trail, bit of mossy grass here, shoes duly let water in as do socks and I'm not 50meters from the car. Ah well. That said my feet felt warm for the rest of my run even though they were wet.

I will certainly not be buying another pair of Drymax, my Nike stay dry are just as good for a fraction of the cost and very comfy.


Now the shoes, well they looked good in the box. Very light and quite a firm feel on the ground. Unlike the cushioned Hokas you really feel the ground but not in a hard bashing way, more in a way of giving you confidence where your feet are. Stuck them on to run round Stinchar Bridge in the snow. I was mega delighted with how well they gripped and my fear of sliding all over quickly left.
2 wee issues.
1) They are GTX but the seams (upper to sole) let water in straight away even if the upper material keeps it at bay better (rain etc).
2) the tongue slides to the side no matter how you tie the laces. Very annoying and uncomfortable, I was stopping constantly to straighten them, Now have given up and just tie the laces looser so they don't hurt when the tongue moves during a run.

                                                                           Like this

I consider both items 'made on Friday' and hope the ones they make Monday to Thursday are of better quality.

My wee Surge pack is a star in comparison. Not let down at all. Lots of wee pockets in the right places, comfy too. There is the issue that the bladder had no tag to hold it in place but I just made my own with a piece of bendy plastic. Problem solved. Also it is purple and I like black, but they are not that easy to come by so sometimes you just got to take what you can get.
I did wonder about the room in the back with the bladder but finding I have more than enough space for food/extra jacket/gloves/headband.

                                                                    In purple

Glad I have got all that out the way. Been meaning to write something for ages but never quite got round to it.

Back to the training. A wee jaunt from Balmaha to just outside Rowerdennen with Stan, Jo and Carol had me running quite a bit faster than I am used to. I did hang on but my pace is definitely not quite good enough yet.

I then did the Kaim hill race again. This is 3.5 miles starting with a pleasant downhill sprint on tarmac, then 1 mile up round the trig point then 1 mile down. Bog up past my knees, burned heather ripping through my socks. The wind was blowing so hard up the top it took my breath away. On the last field I was running so fast I couldn't keep up with myself, what a weird feeling, just belting downhill arms flying around and hoping you are not going to fall. Then the pleasant downhill tarmac start becomes the most massive hill and stopping myself chucking up was all I could think about. A female who I had traded places with on the way up took 4 minutes out me on the downhill.. very impressive.

This week I enjoyed another long run with Stan, Noanie and John down Stinchar Bridge. 20 miles hill/trail and a bit of forest road. I felt comfortable the whole way and took a wee boost from that and my hill race.

I had yet again been nursing a slight strain, this time I'm sure from my weights session. Tweaked the band on the side of my calf, it was dodgy before the Stinchar run but aching afterwards. I had been planning doing the Eglinton Park run on Saturday but again I was sensible and forced myself to have a complete rest day along with Sunday. I am now boring myself with my sensible head but have to admit it seems to be working for me.

Xtrain tomorrow then wind-farm run Thursday before rest day Friday. Can't wait till Saturday. No tapering for me. My 12 miles will be a race pace training run... I'm sure there is such a thing.

Good luck everyone. Most importantly ENJOY

Safe running

Karen & Munro