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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow running

With the Winter Tanners 30 mile XC self navigate event cancelled owing to the snow this weekend I donned my trusty Vasque Trail Shoes and with school closed early owing to the snowfall on Friday morning, I headed out tentatively at first for a few snow miles. There is a bit of product review and a lot about the snow here.....

I purchased these from America as they don't sell them here in the UK. That made them a little bit more expensive than the trail shoes I usually run in; Invo8 TrailRoc 255 and they are massively more heavy. Being size 12 adds on some extra grams too and these come in at 425g which is like carrying bricks on your feet after running in 250g shoes for most of the time. At first I wasn't a fan of the mass increase but they really found their way on the rugged South West Coastal Path in Devon over new year. The grip is like no other shoe I have had before and the GoreTex fabric is both strong and waterproof. They are also quite high up the ankle and have a rubberised toe-cap and a stone plate under the foot. There are compromises but I would have really appreciated this on the Gatliff 50km last month.

So heading out in the snow I chose these above the Inov8s as I wanted some waterproof-ness in the snow. My feet were actually warm inside! These are perfectly suited to wet autumn, chilly winter and miserable spring ultras.

So after a hilly traverse round Crystal Palace Park and through the fresh snow, I returned home and popped them in the airing cupboard to warm up. Saturday morning I went out with the amazing Mrs UB for some more snow miles. She donned her train shoes and off we went for a hilly and as off-road as we could get in South London, sticking to parks, paths and woods.

The run was excellent and definitely harder work than normal. Once we had found out that the Tanners was off, we planned a route for Sunday down the Waterlink Way, joining the Capital Ring and Green Chain route  through Greenwich, Blackheath and back home....again, virtually no roads involved here. Something I love about running in south London is that there are so many non-road trails.

When we started out it had started snowing. On the route back it got harder and harder and luckily on the return route, the wind was slightly behind us. We bumped into Ian and Connie at Ladywell running track, paused, chatted for a mo, and then carried on. We stopped on the way for some pics at greenwich and Blackheath. There were plenty of folk out for a good old toboggan down the perilously steep Greenwich Park. We ran up it and then across Blackheath and then rejoined the Waterlink Way. This would be Mrs UBs longest run since the half marathon in June. (South Downs) She is training for the VLM in April and is well on her way mile-wise and is improving in strength and conditioning. I'm really proud of her as she is definitely not a fairweather runner....always out there with the worst that old Blighty throws at her!

I dropped Mrs UB off at home and then got a few more miles in. By the time I was back, 11cm of snow had fallen!

That meant that the call to shut school on Monday was through so I had plenty of paperwork to do and also a sunny winter run to catch up on Monday.

Donning the Vasques Monday and again tonight, I have put 67km in the last few days, all in the snow. For the first time it felt like they were not heavy. I predict that my musculature has become accustomed to their mass and I managed some 7.50s in the snow, slush and ice. I daren't go any quicker owing to being ultra safe in this weather and not breaking my leg again! It's 250km for January so far.......I need to loose some lbs and this is the perfect way to do it.

I love the snow....but I'll love it even more when its gone!

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