Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Great RunAmoc Experiment - My Sanity Run Amok

After my first season of races, I made a couple of decisions. First, I would run another marathon, and this time I would be prepared, rather than stupid. Second, I would wear RunAmocs nearly exclusively. I'm not sure why I made the second decision. I just enjoyed wearing my RunAmocs so much, I wanted to see how far I could take them. Or how far they could take me.

So, I signed up for the Medoc Trail Marathon and embarked upon a long summer of slow, marathon, distance running in my RunAmocs.

Beginning in June, I started wearing my RunAmocs, almost exclusively. They were the shoe for all of my runs, but they also became my daily wear. I wore them to work. I wore them at home. I wore them bowling. I wore them to the pool. I wore them hiking. I wore them everywhere. And they never seemed to let me down. 

However, they generated a lot of curiosity wherever I went. I quickly developed a set of canned answers to the questions I heard time and again from complete strangers. 

"What are those?"

They are trail running moccasins, made by a very cool, small company in Oregon, named Soft Star.

"Those look really comfortable.." or "Don't your feet hurt without support?"

They are very comfortable. I love them. My feet feel awesome!

Aside from the many conversations with complete strangers, the experiment was going very well. My runs were progressing and my feet felt great. I ran on pavement and on single track trails in Umstead State Park. The RunAmocs worked equally well for both.

The only downside that I found to wearing RunAmocs as my exclusive running shoe, was that they were... um.. moccasins. And moccasins by nature, are loosely fitting shoes. The same reason I loved them became the reason not to wear them when running fast paces.

When it came to faster speeds, I simply couldn't make them work. They flopped and bounced around on my feet like leather bags at my (not so) screamingly fast, full speed pace of 6:30 min/mile.

With sadness, at the only race during this period, which happened to be a 5K, I reverted to my Mizuno Wave Universe 3 racing flats. No regrets though. The MWU3's are outstanding shoes for a fast pace. And besides, I PR'ed in them by about 4 minutes. Woo hoo!!!

Now, here I sit, a mere week before my targeted trail marathon. I've run nearly 400 miles in RunAmocs since I bought them back in February of this year. I've probably walked 400 miles as well. And I still love them. Best shoes I've ever purchased. Period.

I'm hoping these little moccasins can carry me through to my goal at Medoc. Wish me luck....