October was my biggest month of running this year – if the year started in May! The fact is that I was injured for so long I’d forgotten what running 100 miles a month felt like. I ran 126km in October, by 5th biggest month of the calendar year – so I celebrated with King Salomon.
October in numbers
I ran 18 days out of the 31 October offered me (apparently October offers everyone 31 days – something to do with the Gregorian Calendar). I did 19 runs though as I even had a double day thrown in there.
My furthest distance in a single run topped out at 10km – this was very much intentional. I am still recovering from my Achilles tendonitis injury and as such, I am being careful (hence the run-every-other-day plan I am doing).
I even ran a couple of trail races during the month. First was the Hardmoors Turnpike Trot followed a week later by the Fadmoor 10K. It was great to be back amongst other runners in a race environment gain. What I also learn is that as well as enjoying trail runs for training, I really enjoy racing them. So quite why I’ve signed up for the pan-flat and concrete surface Blackpool marathon again for 2020 is beyond me!
So, all in all, October was a great month of running. Most of the runs were off-road and I was thoroughly enjoying that. Luckily, living on the edge of the North York Moors means I have access to some, if not the, best trails and scenery there is to offer a runner.
Trail shoes for trail running
So, I am thoroughly enjoying more and more trail running. Of course, in North Yorkshire, we have far more than trails to offer an off-road runner. We have field, bogs, marshland, and yes the odd gravel trail.
My Adidas Terrex shoes were taking a battering. But, they are standing up well and that’s because I look after my running shoes. I only wear them for running and I keep them clean. My top cleaning tip: take them in the shower with you! However, my Terrex shoes are approaching 550km of distance travelled so despite their clean appearance it was time to think about replacing them.
Plus, I was getting rather sick of wet feet!
I’ve never bought running shoes on-line before as I do like to at least try them on before committing. But I am also thrifty and stick to discount or outlet stores. I tried the Adidas, Nike and Asics stores at Yorks Designer Outlet. I was very disappointed.
A brief flirt with Asics
Out of the three stores at the Designer Outlet, only the Asics store seems to be at all serious about sport and running in particular.
My worry with Asic was the bad experience I had with a pair of their road running shoes once. The rubbed terribly, despite fitting very well. I blistered and I fell out with them. They were relegated to “knocking about” shoes.
However, I tried on some of their GEL-FujiTrabuco 6 G-TX trail shoes and they fell fantastic. But there was a problem – the price.
As you can see from the photo I grabbed they had this model of trail running shoe in two colours – orange and yellow. I could only find my size in the orange, however, I was somewhat baffled as to why the colour meant a £15 price difference. Even at retail, the orange was £5 more and at outlet price £3 more. So why, Asics, when on promo the orange is a whopping £15 more for the SAME SHOE?
This pricing anomaly was the first reason I chose to walk away. The second reason, and the one that stopped me from changing my mind and going back in, was the manager. I heard him (it wasn’t difficult) explaining to a member of staff the store’s sales targets and his reward scheme for staff for meeting these targets. We all know stores exist to make money, but I find it vulgar to openly discuss this around customers.
Hail King Salomon of the Amazon
Back in 2015, I read The Jungle Marathon by Mark Hines. It was a 10p bargain bucket purchase from the Christmas school fair of the previous year. I loved it. More adventure than running but it was a book I really got into. Mark swore by his waterproof Salomon running shoes for this epic adventure through the Amazon rainforest. I’d never heard of them – but I went and learnt about them. Ever since reading that book I have quite fancied trying a pair.
The problem has always been price. I know only too well that with running shoes you get what you pay for. I stick to decent shoes but wait for them to be on offer once the new season models come out. So when it came to Salomon trail shoes – the king od trail shoes – I could never justify the price tag.
But of course, there is Amazon. And this online giant was once again to my rescue. I source a pair of Speedcross 4 GTX for just £69.99. If you say the price fast enough, this right Yorkshireman might just miss it.
But I’ve never bought running shoes online before. However, I had tried these on in Sports Direct on a few occasions – but £140 was way out of my budget.
I plumped for a half size bigger than my regular shoes (based on the plethora of reviews) and waited.
Within half an hour of their arrival the next working day I was out running on one of my favourite local trails. They felt amazing. Why had I waited so long to invest in these shoes?
To avoid any chance of me trying to run every day in November I aren’t running today. I’m nipping that idea in the bud from the off!
Happy running and thanks for reading.