Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Considering Claw Feet

After reading the race reports of some of the other dumb competitive running bloggers who ran the 8 on the 8th, I noticed more than a few of us had too much fun with a snow-blanketed race course.

Vanilla at Half-Fast, for instance, was collecting snow in the tread hollows of his Mizunos to build a post-race snowman. My own race was atop a thick layer of new flaky snow, which forced me cut down my strides to avoid a face-plant.

As you should all know by now, I don't do treadmills. Won't go near 'em. This winter is the first time I've tried to run despite the Northeast Ohio wintry elements. Each run has me wondering two things: 1) When did I get so stupid? 2) How can I get better grip on the runways?

The first question is probably the subject of my memoirs. The half-assed answer to the second shall now be revealed before your very eyes.

Herewith are my findings from the extensive research I have conducted during the past five minutes. From what I can tell, there are three options for the snowy runner.

One, I could buy a pair of trail-running shoes or some other sort of cleated shoe. My first instinct is, Why the hell would I want to clutter up my already cluttered apartment with yet another pair of shoes? My New Balance 767s have been resting by the side of my couch, on hiatus since the marathon. I have been breaking in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7s I got free for running the marathon, so those lie in the middle of my living room where I last took them off. And then there are those craptastic Asics 1120s that have been sitting in a box by the door while I put off finding a place to donate them. However, I saw a sale on New Balance trail shoes for under $40, which is a pretty choice deal. But considering the upcoming holidays I doubt I can afford shoes anytime soon -- whatever the price.

Two, after reading Jenny what's-her-face's blog at the Runners' World site, I learned about specialized overshoes for snow running. And since then, I have seen two recommendations for the Yak Trax brand from a non-running friend and from Marcy at I Signed Up For This? There are other varieties of these contraptions, but I'm too lazy to list them, but it looks like a $20-$40 investment.

Three, you know how I love cheap solutions. Another find via the RW site: make your own screw shoes. Matt Carpenter at has step by step instructions for mutilating your shoes for better traction. Basically, get some short screws and screw them into the soles of your shoes. Long screws are not a good idea. This sounds like a bonehead move. I'll tell you how it turns out.

[Drunkard note: Read all the 8 on the 8th race reports at race director Nancy's blog.]


Marcy said...

Thanks for the shout out homie! I got mine on ebay for $20. Totally cheap and it keeps from making me look like even more of an a$s than I already am :P

I'm beginning to learn the hard way on the treadmill. Bought one a month or so ago and I hate it. I'm beginning to think it's just going to be a coat rack :-X Oh well, live and learn I suppose.

Laura said...

I too hate the treadmill. When I run outside, I don't notice the time/distance too much, but when I run on the treadmill I check the little digital status every 10 seconds. I've seen people at the gym throw a towel over it, but I just can't bring myself to do it (the one time I tried, I just kept pushing it out of the way to check it compulsively).

Problem is, I am never home when it's daylight except on weekends, and I'm too scared to run by myself in the dark (Central Park at night is not the safest place). So during the week, treadmill/elliptical are my only options, and then I save my outdoor running for weekends. Not the best solution, unfortunately.

Ian said...

This has disaster written all over it. I can't wait to hear how it goes.