Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wakely Thoughts And Motivation Lost

In four days I’ll be running 32.6 miles of the Northville-Placid Trail in one of the remotest areas in the Adirondack Wilderness. Having never been on the NPT previously I have no idea what to expect, other than getting bombarded by squadrons of persistent deer flies.

Wakely is a tough race. The finishing times over the years are evidence to the race’s difficulty. In Wakley’s 10 year history, only two runners have broken five hours in what is essentially a long 50K. The course record is “only” 4:54. I’m not certain what makes this race so hard. It has a fair amount of elevation gain but not a ridiculous amount. It has some very technical trails to slow you down but also some easier sections on old logging roads. I’m sure you lose some time filtering water and refilling water bottles in creeks and steams along the way but could that be much more than you would lose stopping at aid stations in a “civilized” race? I don’t have answers now, but I know they will come to me soon enough.

On another note, I’ve completely lost my motivation to run at the worse possible time. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I looked back at my last five weeks of training. I’ve only run 12 times for a total of 64 miles and my longest run was only 10 miles! Not the best ultra training. My lack of desire came shortly after my 30 mile run on the Bay Circuit Trail in mid-June. I don’t think I was properly trained for that distance at that time and it took the wind out of my sails. Since then, I’m been waiting for a strong ocean wind to fill my mainsail. Perhaps a storm is brewing for Saturday?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Product Review - Injinji Lightweight No Show Toesock

I've been a fan of Injinji socks for a number of years so when I was asked to test their new lightweight, no-show performance series sock I was happy to accept. 

During much of my 40 years as a runner I've been prone to blistering.  Then I discovered Injinji socks and I've been nearly blister free since then.   In fact, I can only remember getting blisters twice in the past five years while wearing Injinji's and both times my feet were wet for several hours before the blistering occurred.  

So what makes Injinji's so special?

The obvious difference is in the design of the sock itself.  Injinji's fit the foot like a glove instead of a mitten like conventional socks.  This has two advantages.  First, it separates the toes so there is no skin-on-skin rubbing. This rubbing is a major cause of blistering between the toes.  Second, the individual toe design helps keep the foot cooler and reduces moisture buildup.  Moisture is also a major contributor in the development of blisters.  Lastly, Injinji socks are seamless and provide a custom-like fit.  The snug fit eliminates wrinkles which reduces your chances of blistering.

What I like most about the new Injinji's are their incredibly light weight.  When I wear them it almost feels like I am running sock-free.  Because the Injinji's are so thin you get a very good feel for the trail when coupled with a responsive trail shoe.   These no-shows are a perfect match for a pair of Vibram Five Fingers.  Road racers will also appreciate their lightness.   An added bonus is the fact that these sock dry much faster than most other socks.  This is key when running trails with water crossings as wet feet can eventually become blistered feet.

The only downside to running trails with the Injinji no-shows is your apt to pick up some trail debris because they ride so low on the ankle.  This can be overcome by wearing gaiters or getting the Injinji Lightweights in the mini-crew or full crew version.   I see no downside for road runners.

Give Injinji's a try and say goodbye to blisters.

injinji toesocks are available here at:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wakely Dam Ultra Course Preview

With three weeks to go until the Damn Wakely Dam Ultra in New York's Adirondack Wilderness it was good to see Co-RD Doug conduct a recon mission to get an update on trail conditions.  Most of the North East experienced heavy rains this past spring and upper state New York had serious flooding in many areas. It was no surprise to me to see much of the trail wet and muddy.  The rivers and creeks were so swollen that some bridges were destroyed.  They wont be repaired for quite some time so the rivers will be crossed Rucky Chucky style on race day.  I cant wait!

Check out the course flyover below.  It makes 33 miles look like a very long way to run.

All photos below courtesy of RD Doug G.

One of the few drier sections.

This was more typical.

Looks more like a brook than a trail.

Wet and overgrown.

As if the mud wasn't bad enough there were several blowdowns to contend with.

This will certainly slow your pace.

Better bring a change of socks!

Fast moving water.

Foundation of bridge.

The rest of the bridge was swept down stream intact.

More photos from Doug's run can be found HERE.

It looks like Wakely 2011 will be a wet and wild run.  All I can say is I hope the trail doesn't dry up too much in the next three weeks.  What fun would that be?

Think rain!
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