Category Archives: Shoes

Inov-8 Roclite 275 GTX

I just bought these shoes last week and absolutely LOVE them! This is the first time I’ve worn gortex shoes. I was a little hesitant, as all bushwalkers and runners say they can be annoying if you get water in the shoe, because the gortex stops the water getting out, and it can be much worse than regular mesh runners that drain well. I haven’t gone through rivers yet, but so far they have been nothing short of brilliant. btw the men’s equivalent is the Inov-8 Roclite 312 GTX.

 

I took them out on Monday for a loop in Kinglake. I hadn’t done any trails here since the Black Saturday fires, and it was good to see plenty of regrowth, but still interesting to see remnants of signage.

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Kinglake is pretty dry, so I made a conscious effort to step in every puddle. It was just amazing to step in water and be COMPLETELY DRY! These shoes look like mesh, so I don’t know how the Gortex folk do it, but they do it well.

I was very slow though. It was kind of steep at times, but I really haven’t run at all this year. So to go from zero to 17km was kind of stupid. I also think these shoes slowed me down a bit due to their weight. They weigh 275 grams. I haven’t worn shoes heavier than 200g in years so I really noticed it.

Inov-8 market their shoes as being lightweight. Maybe these are lightweight for Gortex shoes, I don’t know. But I’d consider them to be normal weight runners. They also are definitely not flat like all my shoes. There’s a noticeable heel lift, and to be honest, I’m perfectly ok with that. My tarsal tunnel syndrome has not disappeared yet, and I do much better with a heel. Although I was limping for 2 days after this run, I would have done a lot worse if I wore my regular shoes that have less heel-toe differential.

So I really feel like I have stepped backwards in my shoes. But I want something I can wear for hours without irritating my TSS, and since I am slower now, I want something waterproof so my tooties don’t get cold 🙂

There were lots of wild flowers out, although my crappy phone camera couldn’t take any good shots. I’m pretty sure I wasted at least an hour standing around trying to get photos that were in focus. I say this every 2 years, but I am so glad my phone contract is up soon! This means I can get a fancy new phone with a fancy camera, bedazzle myself with its ability to take better shots that the last phone, then gradually sink into disappointment as I realise it’s still a crappy phone camera.

Bundy Track, Kinglake

So since the Kinglake trails are pretty dry and gravelly, they were not the ideal surface for testing these shoes. I did find them pretty good though. Their grip is fantastic – not as intense as the Talon 190s, but functionally just as good. The Roclite 275 GTXs work great on dry surfaces and are not uncomfortable on the road like the Talon 190s.

I still needed to see some mud so on Thursday I went for a walk with LC in Mt D, specifically, Sassafras, because the Sassafras Creek track is usually muddy, even if there’s been no rain.

It was pretty muddy, but nothing like what it usually is. I walked through every single muddy bit and every single puddle, including mud baths that were ankle deep. This was great! It just felt weird that my feet stayed 100% dry.

My TSS was completely at bay while walking instead of running, so I’m glad I was A) not dressed for running and B) with a friend who would stop me from running if I got carried away.

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens

The loop we did at Sassafras was pretty nice. I’d recommend it – There’s single trail, mud, proper gardens which are perfect in Spring, and a bit of road that leads you to… lunch 🙂

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Double Whammy

I did my usual VHBOS run today and it worked out to be a touch over 27km and included Ingrams and Reynolds roads. Ingrams didn’t feel so bad, and I was really relishing the hills, probably because I took the short way to get there so my legs were pretty fresh. By the time I got to Reynolds I was ready to get down on my hands and knees and crawl. My quads were burning. It was awful. If any crossfitters are reading this, imagine the worst WOD you’ve ever done and put all that pain into your legs, times it by 2, and that is how it felt. I kept going though, as I refuse to be a soft arse, and my achilles hated me for it.

After I said good morning to the little Asian lady who sings opera along the Diamond Creek trail, I headed home along Allendale Road. That sucked.

My legs just felt like they were on fire. They burned so much I couldn’t even tell which muscles were hurting, if I was cramping, or if it was just tiredness. During the last few kms I narrowed it down to my calves and soles of my feet. At first I thought maybe it was because I wasn’t drinking much but it wasn’t a cramp, and I worked out the real reason.

I wore my Adizero PRs on this run. For the past couple of years, I have worn my Nike Free 3.0s on pretty much all my long runs, and most of my ultras. My feet never feel tired in them. I tell people time and time again that they are not a “barefoot alternative” shoe and that they are really just a light weight trainer/racer. This is so apparent now as I have been using them as a way to make the long runs more comfortable. You don’t have to run correctly in them and it is so easy to become lazy in your form as you fatigue. I think today my calves were so sore because I had not trained them well for so long. It was the soreness you get when you start barefooting/minimalist/Pose running. My laziness had finally come to get me.


Tomorrow there’s a Sri Chinmoy race on that I plan on doing to make this a 2-long-runs-in-2-days-weekend as part of my You Yangs training. I think I’ll do the half marathon. Or if my calves are still complaining I’ll go the 14km option. My feet will be fine as I plan to wear my Five Fingers.

With the demise of my Frees, my last lightweight trainers, I’m deciding what to do next with my choice of footwear. I saw the new Nike Free Hyper TR online, but it’s too new for it to be in the factory outlet and I don’t want to pay full price in the store.

I’ve been reading some more blogs this week and I am really out of touch with what is going in the international world of barefoot and Five Fingers runners! This trend is growing much faster than I realised! Not only is there a Barefoot Running University and Barefoot Runners Society, but it seems thousands of people are getting into it in the states and it no longer seems to be considered abnormal! It’s been great seeing what these people are up to so I’ve updated my blog roll on the right for you to check out some more runners.

So this has all got me thinking. Currently I have 2 pairs of Adidas flats and 2 pairs of Five Fingers, which are also beginning to fall apart after a few years. The soles of my feet do tend to tire while wearing flats for long runs, but I have done an ultra in the FFs before, so maybe I should just toughen up again and do my long runs in the flats and short runs in the FFs. I’m really not bothered to toughen up enough to run trails in the FFs, especially since mine are the Sprints with poor grip. So it will be flats for the trails and FFs for the roads. My right achilles will hate it, but I’m running less than ever this year, relying on leg strength from weight lifting to get me through long distances. So just maybe I can do this.

I’ve got 2 trail ultras and 2 road ultras planned for this year. The road ultras will be tough in flats, but the trails should be fine. Next one is the You Yangs 50km on July 25.

First Rogaine – We Came 2nd!

Yesterday was my first rogaine! It was a 6 hour event a couple hours drive north of Melbourne. I didn’t really know what to expect, but was told we’d be walking and jogging. I can manage that for 6 hours.

My all girl team consisted of 2 other girls who are hardcore adventure racers and know how to navigate. It turns out I also know how to navigate but lack the lingo. “If we go due east to the summit then we should be able to see the saddle near the water junction and from there nav to the checkpoint up on the spur” – not something I’d normally hear in everyday conversation.

We did very little running as we were rarely on tracks. I’m pretty slow at bush bashing, unlike the adventure racers who walk through scrub, over logs, and drop 2m down into creek beds as casually as if they were just walking down the street. I tend to look where I’m going, check the tree I’m about to grab onto for spiders and take the long way down to the creek bed if it’s easier. When we did get to a track and could run, this was much easier for me!

We passed through interesting land including old cottages, mines, aqueducts, bushland and many creek beds (sorry, water courses), which were fortunately all dried up. It was very hilly out there and after a couple of hours my achilles decided to complain, but since it was at an easy pace it wasn’t too bad. The weather was perfect, starting off cool and foggy, but soon enough the sun came out and it was just lovely. I wore my Nike Frees which aren’t that good for rough ground. I like my shoes loose with room to wiggle my toes about but in this situation my feet were sliding around in my shoes and I did get a couple of minor blisters, which I would never normally get. I can really see the value of trail shoes in this situation.

We got back to the Hash House with 9 minutes to spare and feasted on their amazing food! They had on offer toasties on the bbq, vegie burgers, soup, potato, rice, curry, stew and for dessert there was apple crumble and custard! Unfortunately after a million servings of the best vegie soup ever, the apple crumble had all disappeared. Next time I will have a strategy for getting all the food I want.

Not having any expectations for my first event, and going at such a casual pace, I had no idea what was considered an average score or something reasonable to aim for. It turns out we placed second! Only beaten by a team of 70 year olds!

My team mates being much faster at bush bashing than me: