Sunday, May 11, 2014

Merrell Trail Gloves on Mt Wilson, & How to train for a 100 miler on Mother's Day

After yesterday's 28 mile grinder on the Mt Wilson loop course, today's plan was a longish walk-up/run-down  recovery workout on the Mt Wilson Toll Road.  But I was conflicted since  today is Mother's Day:  How to get a long one in without leaving my wife alienated on her holiday,  watching the kids with me out playing in the mountains?  Yes, training for a 100 miler can be a highly self-absorbed enterprise...

The Plan:  After polling the kids (and their mom!), my son and I went shopping for my wife yesterday;  last night I armed each kid with a gift  with instructions to present said gift with a note to their mother when she woke up today.  As for me:  I got out early this morning and was on the trail by 5:40am.  While ordinarily this workout is 20 miles (to the summit and back),  today  I planned to cut the workout short at 16 miles and get home before my wife had been up long.

It all worked out!  The family slept in 'till 8:30;  I was home by 9:30am.

This afternoon my wife and I will go for a long hike (what she wanted for her Mother's day!).  As it happens ....this works for me!    The hike will round out my weekly mileage   :)

Training for a 100 miler can be a highly self-absorbed enterprise, its true;  its nice when it works out that it doesn't cut into the family life (much).

As for the run today:  This morning I broke out my Merrell Trail Gloves.  If you are not familiar with this shoe, its a fantastic minimalist shoe, zero-drop, with a thin vibram sole and a wide toe box;  basically a highly breathable moccasin with about 4mm of rubber between your foot and the trail.  Lately I have been doing my long runs in more heavily armored shoes with 3-to-6 mm heel-to-toe drop (like the Skechers GoBionic Trail, the Inov-8 TrailRoc 255,  and the Merrell Ascend Glove with an extra heel pad);  all to take the stress off my achilles on the uphills.  Et viola, my knees have been a bit sore...not bad, but unwelcome.  Today, wearing the Trail Gloves, zero knee pain.  The lack of armor on the Trail Glove forces care and attention to foot placement and good form.  It was a fabulous run and reminded me how much I love the Merrell Barefoot line.  I credit these shoes (and the improvement in running form they facilitate) for saving my knees.  Good thing:  I have a stash of 3 pairs of Trail Gloves "in service", plus 3 pairs more in reserve in my closet.  The darned things just don't wear out.  While my first pair of Trail Gloves wore out within 500 miles, since then, as my form has improved, it seems that the Trail Gloves last forever.  One pair I still run in has been my mainstay for in-week short-run mileage since the 2013 Leona Divide race -- I probably have about 1000 miles on that pair.  I have 2 pairs of Ascend Gloves "in service" (both were my high-mileage mainstays during the 2013 AC100 training and race) with 2 more pairs in the closet reserved for the race in August.

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