This morning I installed a pull-up bar in the house so that I can grow wings and glide along with ease and joy while running through the trails and open prairies of the upper midwest. Warmer temps are here— lately it’s been getting into the 30s everyday and today it might hit 40. I am incredibly excited about running on the thawed surface of trails again soon. Actually, two days ago when out for a 10-mile run (first double digit mileage since 11/22 when I ran around the lake) some of the mud was beginning to appear on one of the dirt roads I was tearing along on. This was only my second run in my Inov-8 Roclite 295‘s and I have to say, they’re quickly becoming my favourite (they’re made in the UK after all) pair of running shoes ever.

The tread on these bad boys is a bit overkill for pavement, but it works and handles every other surface I’ve been on so far with aplomb. Even on packed snow and ice I’ve had excellent traction— too bad I didn’t buy these a couple months ago. The shoe is quite light for a trail shoe (10.4 oz) and does not contain any unnecessary motion control components. The cushioning is more substantial than in my New Balance MT100’s, yet it’s not excessive and the shoes are still rather low-profile. I am continuing to adapt to a midfoot striking running style, so I am glad to have a shoe with decent cushioning since I still have some tenderness in the balls of my feet.

I’m starting to take Neko along with me on more runs too. Nothing too far yet since she’s not quite 7 months old, but last week she did 4 easy miles with me and didn’t show any signs of fatigue or soreness the next day. I probably won’t take her out for more than 5 miles for a few more months, but it’s encouraging to see how much she likes running. She’s less distracted by smells since she’s moving faster and she seems to like the pace of running more than walking slowly along. There’s so much more for her to learn and experience still, having a dog is great fun an adventure.

NOTE: As I was typing the above, Neko was bouncing around behind me chasing the rainbows (from the rainbow maker) that are dancing around the room. I turned around to find that she pissed on the floor in her overexcited state, hence the edit. Come on, puppy!

Back to running…

My first race of the year is probably going to be the Earth Day Half Marathon here in St. Cloud on 4/17. Being this far along in my running already, I think it’s realistic to consider doing two marathons this year. I’m trying to figure out which ones and where. I’d really like to make it up to Fairbanks for the Equinox, but that might not be a good idea since we have a wedding to attend in Texas shortly after that race. I’m also going to be home in June around the time of the Lake Placid marathon, so that might fit into my plans. Otherwise, there’s several in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including some great trail marathons in northern Minnesota. I certainly have many options to consider.