Dirt in your skirt blog

Day 50… Dorothy I’m Keeping these Slippers

Posted on July 27, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter
Oh the choices, Both Double Black Diamonds


Well sort of it’s day 50, I have been on this track and writing this blog for 50 days. That’s longer than many relationships I’ve been in. Thanks to all who have found interest in my meanderings in the woods so far! A little reflection before getting into today. Just about two months ago I thought a long run was 6-8 miles, now anything over a half marathon is a long run. My 6 mile run today felt short. I can feel my body changing and getting stronger. It is all clicking. Just in time for the Spartan Beast. Today’s post is a two parter, the run and my new shoes. Read what you like it’s long. Thanks again for all the support and motivation!

My Run

Top Of Outer Limits, Pond next to parking lot

Ok, back to today. I managed to squeeze in a run between thunderstorms, well actually caught the beginning of the second of the day in the last mile of my run. A little motivation to move faster. Today’s run had a bit of a recon mission to it. As most of you readers know I am competing in the Spartan Beast in less than two weeks. I have been helping the race director with a few local contacts and in the process have found out a bit about what the course will entail.

I know, there will be 2 areas where lifeguards are needed. I know, we will start at Snowshed and do a lot of the race on Bear Mountain. I know, from the race director…

Today’s Run

I love the pre-race guessing, although Margaret you probably know the most of any racer I’ve spoken with. Bear peak, check. Mountain bike trails, check (when possible). Swimming, check (that’s the easiest part when in/near the water). Sandbag carry up and down a double black diamond, check. See you all in a few.”

I know, which trails on the mountain are double black diamonds and have a hunch as to which one we will be going up, if the Killington higher ups had a say in it all. I know we will have a memorization piece that the local Rotary might man, and as a Firefighter in Killington I know which stations we have been asked to help out at. 

Better Idea of steepness, Top of Bear Mtn.

That being said for everything I think I know, I have learned through past experiences could all change, based on the crew at Spartan Race. My knowledge may or may not help me come race day. I just hope I have put in enough miles on the mountain between summer and winters to carry me through the race.

With that, I headed up the mountain to find the second pond today and to give you all an idea of just how steep one of the double black diamond trails is, pictures don’t do it justice. Running stat’s for today:

Killington, VT
Distance: 6.04 Miles
Time: 1:13:47
Pace: 12’13/Mile
Elevation Gain: 1,442 ft
Elevation Loss: 1,298 ft

New Shoes
After a year as a “barefoot” runner, I have learned the foley of my ways and gone back to shoes. It’s been a progression and I don’t see myself ever going back to the cushy extra padded shoes I started out in, but have found myself in a happy medium with my new Inov8’s.

The new kicks

I started on the barefoot crusade, along with half the neophytes of running who have read, Born to Run. Cliche yes, but true. It just so happened I had been exposed to them before reading the book, but the book coincided with my friends starting to sell Vibram Five Fingers at their shop. Before I go any further, I still think they are a great shoe to lift in and do short runs, but for distance a shoe is needed, at least in my opinion. I jumped into the barefoot world head first, like many I swore never to go back to a traditional shoe again. I taught myself how to run in these shoes, lost a heal strike and I am eternally grateful for that. With that said, as my running has grown up so have my shoe needs.

Here I am today putting them on the shelf, at least for now. I had made a switch about a month ago to the Merrell Pace Glove, which was basically the VFF without the toes seperated, after too many runs in the woods stubbing my toe on an errant branch or rock I made that switch. Well in a month I have worn out those shoes and realized for long runs I needed more.

Welcome, Inov8 X-Talon 190 aka Dorothy. Do you see the resemblance? I decided on these after many rave reviews from friends about this company and some serious time on the internet. Durable, world class trail running shoe. Ok, I thought lets give this shoe thing a try again.

Ruby Red Slippers

Shoe Specs:
Size: US Women’s 7 (Unisex Shoe)
Weight: 6.7 oz (super light)
Heel Lift: 3mm
Traction: awesome
Color: Think of Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers

I went out of the run feeling like I had abandoned the world of barefoot running as I started off on my run. The first thing I noticed were the cleats on the bottom of the shoe thrashed through the muddy trails, I actually found myself running faster than I have been recently. The feeling was weird as I didn’t have the same toe splay, however a couple miles into the run I had forgotten about that. Inov8 has got the trail running shoe down, in my opinion. The X-Talon 190 is light, grippy, and had me moving out in the woods.

My shoe progression

I finished off my run surprised I was happy with being in a shoe again. This is a minimalist shoe still but it’s the most shoe I have run in since last June. Dorothy, you aren’t getting these Ruby Red Slippers back anytime soon. Now we will have to see how they hold up on race day at the Spartan Beast.

If they pass the plan will be to have a couple pairs of their winter shoe at the World’s Toughest Mudder. That’s right a couple pairs of shoes, and lots of socks. I learned that from my friend Sophie at the Death Race, socks was all she wanted after about 20 hours of racing!

Inov8 X-Talon 190 you have my vote.