Back in my high school days, I had plenty of experience with last-minute exam cramming. With an upcoming European trip in the beginning of October, I’m trying to cram in as much running now as I can, so I can feel no pressure when I’m trouncing around Portugal. I’ll definitely get some runs in while overseas, but I always find it beneficial to have a strong running week before a trip to ease any pressure. This week, we had a massive tropical storm roll in from the coast on the east coast. I was fortunate to get the miles I wanted, and for the most part, I didn’t have to run in too much rain.
Early in the week, I had two nice trail runs, one in my Hoka Mafate Speed 4 and one in my Diadora Sestrere’s. My second trail run of the week was a 14-mile run before work on one of the more challenging routes we do. It’s been a while since I did the famed “Out and Back,” and while it’s not very technical, it just has no chill. It feels like you’re always climbing or bombing downhill.
During my Wednesday morning run, I took the new Brooks Ghost Max for a relaxed jog with my friend around the McDaniel College track. Not only was it perfect weather, but the ROTC program was on the track doing conditioning drills, so they had the lights on. I flipping love running on the track with the stadium lights on, I always feel like I am back in high school or college racing under the lights. The new Ghost Max was an absolute delight. I was dubious about this model because it felt, for lack of a better word, cheapy. I was kind of unimpressed holding the shoe but when I actually got to run in it, it was a very different experience.
This shoe is Brooks’ version of a Hoka Bondi. One thing I noticed immediately was how much less bulky that shoe is. The Bondi flares out so far at the base that it looks massive when you glance down while running. This felt compact yet provided ample cushioning and an exceptionally smooth ride. It wasn’t the type of speed you get from a Hoka, but rather a truly pleasant glide. In my final mile, I upped the pace to test how the shoe handled a faster gear, and it maintained its smooth feel.
For Saturday, I ran ten boring miles around the track because we were too nervous about fallen trees to hit the trail during the storm. Even though it was dull, it was better than not running. I am so thankful to have a nice track close to home I can jump on virtually anytime. I did that run in the new AltraFwd Experience, Altra’s inaugural 4mm drop shoe. I was trying to get some video with my GoPro during the run but sadly, it appeared afterwards I had it in the wrong setting and none of what I filmed was usable. I blame the rain.
My last run was a 10k on the roads on Sunday. It was pouring out and, because people are the worst, I had to jump off the road onto the shoulder within 200 meters of my house. Some idiot decided to speed past, driving as close to me on the side of the road as humanly possible. Why someone would go out of their way to threaten me with their car while I’m wearing bright yellow, running towards traffic, on a country road in the middle of a monsoon is beyond me. Needless to say, the rest of my run was quicker than planned. Partly to get the hell back home and partly because I was pissed.
All in all, it was a good week with some wet runs. I hit just shy of 50 with a nice blend of road, trail, and track. Next week will be stressful while I try to button everything up for the trip, but the running will certainly help; it always does. Thanks for reading!