Anyone who knows me knows I do not shy away from winter running. Sure it takes me a little while to adapt to sub zero temperatures, but not nearly as long as it takes me to adapt to the heat. I only really become used to running in the heat and humidity sometime in late August, just in time for the temperatures to cool.
December, however, never manages to be a good running month. I swore this year would be different. Last December I managed a grand total of 52 km in the entire month. This year I promised myself to double that. I know it is only Dec. 12th but the writing is on the wall; there is no way I will be running 100+ kms this month. I’m not sure I’ll even be matching last year’s somewhat sad 52k. At the moment I have managed about 16, and a few of those kms I would be hesitant to classify as running. Two weeks of a never-ending cold (or two different colds, I really don’t know) have knocked me down and I don’t seem to be getting back up.
I tried, I really did. At the end of last week I was feeling better and headed out for a reasonable 10k trail run. I was quite proud of myself getting out there, letting the fresh air get into my unhappy lungs, making my body do something other than slumping off to my bed after work. Of course cocky things went through my head. “Look at me, aren’t I the athlete getting out there and running when still sick.” The next day I was miserable again, but I still tried. My goal was 5k. I ended up having to take a walk break after every km of running. At one point I just wanted to lay down in the snow and have a nap. The thought of running anything more seemed nothing short of impossible. Rather than feeling amazing at the end of the run, I just ended up going home to bed… again.
The only good thing about these runs is I did get to try out my new winter trail/snow running shoes:
I have only had a couple of runs in my new Salomon Speedcross 3’s CS but so far I am really liking them. And it is a good thing too since I now have two pairs. When I first went shopping I came home with these:
I was told that they had the “Climate Shield”, the equivalent of Gore-tex. When I did my research though I discovered that this version, the exact same shoe, was water resistant but did not have the extra protection of C.S. I have always run in my regular road shoes, sometimes with a bit of duct tape over the mesh, when winter running. But this year I wanted all the warmth, dryness and traction I could get so I could use them on snowy trails for both running and snowshoeing. Two days later I was buying the shoes with C.S. I could have returned the pair without, but I love these shoes so much I figured I might as well keep them for spring and fall running as I am sure the extra protection of C.S. would make them too hot in any temperatures above 0 degrees. It also didn’t hurt that they were cheaper than any of my regular road shoes.
My favourite things about both sets of shoes? They are incredibly light. I was shocked when I picked them up and even more shocked when I put them on. They look heavy duty and therefore, well, heavy. While they are certainly not as light as minimalist shoes, I have no complaints about the weight. The other thing I love about these shoes is the traction on the soles. Take a look:
I couldn’t get over the traction when I was on the trails. Uphill and downhill these shoes dug right into the snow and I had no fear of slipping. In some ways it was almost a strange feeling being so anchored to the ground. The only downside of these soles – you really don’t want to do any distance on pavement with them. I am pretty sure it would not take long to ruin the treads.
I know colour is not at all important in shoes, but the great colours of both pairs also made me want to buy these shoes. The colour adds a little fun to some hard working shoes.
So, if I actually manage to get rid of this cold before the snow melts, I will be looking forward to hitting the snow in my new shoes!