Monday, January 24, 2011

Hill Repeats 10 : Shoes 0

I posted last year about the longevity of a pair of my running shoes, and another giving tips for running hill repeats. This weekend I brought both together, with an intense hill session wearing the said shoes.

The hill session is a 5km warm up run to the base of the hill, and then 10 repeats up a steep trail covered in loose rocks, tree roots, and fallen branches which runs for 1km with 100m vertical gain. The slope is quite consistent, with a levelling off for about 50m in the mid section.  Then I finish off with a 5-6km run home, so a total of about 31kms.
Really happy with how quickly the HR drops on the flatter section

I adopt the ideas I mentioned in the previous blog, although I do vary the mind distracting techniques. I’ve found it quite amusing the way your body and brain are constantly playing tricks on you in a tug of war between continuing and stopping. I’ve done this session a few times recently, but on those occasions had only planned on doing 3 or 5 reps, and have really struggled to even complete the session after 2 reps. This I put down to the stifling humidity we’ve had recently.

So why is it that on a day when you go out with the intention of doing twice as much as you have previously struggled with, and get through it?

I believe it all comes down to what you mentally are prepared for at a sub-conscious level. You actually manage yourself better to complete the task.

The lesson then in an ultra is to learn to handle the unexpected. When running ultra marathon distances it is normal to get a few surprises, and how you deal with these will determine you results.

So what of the shoes? Well they had clocked 1500km in the previous post, now they have completed 2330kms (about 1450miles), but sadly they will do no more. They haven’t fallen apart, but are literally hanging by a thread, and I don’t want to be 20kms from home in the bush, having to finish with only one shoe. It is amazing what they have put up with, and what is more impressive is that I have experienced no injuries as a result of running in them in a well loved state. It just goes to show that if they are comfortable and you are running well in them, then keep running in them. The number of kilometres (or miles) they have done is just a number.

The sole has become delaminated from the shoe giving nice slapping sounds when running!

These scientifically designed holes let sand and grit in, but not out.

You can see the upper is barely attached along it's full length
These shoes aren't made anymore, and although I have 3 other identical pairs, I will soon need to look for a replacement. Perhaps if I contact North Face they’d give me a free pair to help me get over the sad loss of a loyal friend!

Run Happy!

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“Enjoy when you can and endure when you must” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe