2011 will be my year on trails. Of my almost 14,000 miles run in the last 8 years I bet I don't have more than 200 total miles on trails. That will change big time this year. Ive got 5, maybe 6, trail events coming up prior to the big trail event, Western States in June. I've scouted out some places to get some good trail training close to home, and I even got some trail shoes! After a lot of research, advice and a frustrating sales person experience, I've settled on the Brooks Cascadia 5.
My new Brooks Cascadia 5
I'm a pretty loyal shoe wearer. My first pair of running shoes were a pair of Saucony that I got from a discount rack. My second pair, was the result of "expert" guidance, Asics 2070. Since then I've worn nothing but the 2000 series Asics, going through a new pair every 6 to 8 weeks. I just took 16 pairs of them to Goodwill a few days ago. So, switching to a new shoe is a pretty big deal. My most important feature in a trail show was traction. The trail running I have done in road shoes has, at times, been more like skating than running. My first run in the Cascadias was on very slippery trails. We had a lot of rain and then temps in the 20's. Muddy, icy and slippery in the Baskett Slough.
Icy but no wind
The Baskett Slough
More Baskett Slough
They felt really good. I ran pretty aggressive, especially on the downhills and my footing was very good considering the conditions. I didn't make a pretty sharp downhill turn and ended up crashing through some brush, so there are limits to their traction. Fortunately there was brush off trail to run into, and not a cliff (insert smiley face here). The sole is thicker than my road shoes and at times I felt a little disconnected from the ground, but I also didn't feel the rocks on the gravel road either. This will be a once a week run for the next month or so, until the days get a little longer. I will also do several night runs here in preparation for Western States, now that I'm less afraid of the things that go bump in the night.