Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Mud, glorious mud

I love running off road. It's not just that it is hard to be inspired by the endless identikit semis that make up the landscape of the particular part of North London where I live, it's that the challenge of new terrain makes running that bit more absorbing. Leaping over ruts and avoiding pot holes, ducking under branches and dodging grazing cows is a bit more exhilerating than pounding the pavements.

The problem is that my trusty Nike trainers are simply not up to the job. The moment the ground becomes slippery they are sliding away from under me as if I were on Dancing on Ice. Not fun, because as a mum the very thought of an injury that would leave me incapacitated is enough to make my blood run cold. How would my household continue to function if I were to suddenly be unable to run around after the boys? I shudder to think.

To this end I decided it is time to invest in a pair of trail shoes, so I don't have to give up my favourite off road routes when the bad weather sets in. I have a strange aversion to coughing up for specialist kit. That jeer hurled at all newbies to any sport 'All the gear and no idea' is always rattling around in the back of my mind.

I sort of feel that if I can't say I have a marathon or two under my belt, buying specialist shoes has a whiff of showing off. Add to which funds are, as usual, pretty tight so I don't want to waste money on footwear I won't get much use from.

In the end I went along to my trusty running shoe advisors at Sweatshop in North Finchley and after a long and informative chat about everything from the benefits of running in muddy terrain to which gels taste best I left with a hideously garish pair of Adidas Kanadia 4 TR in neon pink and yellow. Why I wonder would you make trail shoes designed for running in mud in pink? Still they were the best (and cheapest) shoe for the job so I will sink my principles and forgive their pinkness.

It was well worth it though as I took them out to test them yesterday on my muddiest route and had a gorgeous 50 minute easy run through the countryside (or what passes for it in my suburban corner of London). While I am not sure they would be up to a run on snow, they were man (or should that be girly given their horrible colour) enough for the job on the muddy trails I frequent.  

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