October

October was a busy month!  We bought a new car.  My husband’s ’04 WRX had over 370,000 miles on it and had to be put out to pasture.  It was on it’s second engine, but everything else was worn out!  Within the next year, he will reach the point of having logged a million miles in Subarus!  LOVE them!

our new Subaru Crosstrek

I also went to Las Vegas for a weekend with my daughter to celebrate her 21st birthday.  She turned 21 back in September.  We have been through a lot together, especially over the last decade.  She is a type 1 diabetic; life is not always easy.  It’s a very challenging disease to live with 24/7.  So, we thought it was a great occasion to get a little over the top and celebrate her birthday!

We have both tired of telling this story, but….so we got tickets to see Billy Idol.  She has always been a fan since she was a kid.  No idea why….she also bought a Meet and Greet ticket!    Let’s just say that didn’t go as planned.  Some nit wit (this is the G rated version) a couple of people ahead of my daughter (who was about 6th in line out of 100) decided to try to KISS BILLY!!  That ended with him freaking out, swearing and storming off, cancelling the M&G and threatening to cancel the show!  Some people just can’t follow the rules!!  After a lot of waiting and chaos over a couple of hours, we arrived at our table.  The offending fan was eventually taken away by security.  The concert was GREAT.  Excellent venue, super staff and a great show.  It wasn’t exactly the experience she had dreamed of, but not many of us get to see a rock star freak out from five feet away!  Now that is a memory!!
October has been rainy…very rainy.  I thought I was being premature complaining about it until I read that this October has been the RAINIEST on record in the Seattle area. (about 10 inches)  We tend to get a bit more rain here in the mountains, so no wonder it’s been getting to me!!!  Every day is wet and dark.  Every day is wet and dark.  Did you hear me?  Every day is WET and DARK!!  Gotta think snow….there is some up high.  Hopefully, November will be white!
Mae and I wish you all a very happy month ahead.  Hope your days are dry and bright!

Mountain Mae

I know you’ve been missing Mae.  Come on, of course you have!  She, as usual, has been having quite the life…running, hiking, swimming.   But last month she was stung by hornets three different times!  NOT fun.  The last time, we had been out hiking on the mountain and about half an hour after we got home I looked at her and her entire face was swelling!  Luckily a benadryl tablet brought it under control.  But she hid in the closet for the next hour!

The bee-sting lip look?

I’ve been a bit more careful about avoiding places bees might be, but it’s not easy out in the woods.

Today she had her first Mountain Bike training ride, and she did great! Actually, this is the second try.  Last summer we took her out but she didn’t get over jumping at the bikes and I wiped out pretty good.  This time I went fast enough that she had to really run to keep up and while she was trying to herd me for the first mile or so, she finally figured out that she could just run ahead or along side and it was a blast!  At last , a way to tire her out that doesn’t wear me out first!
Does she look tired?

Altra Mid

In case you missed it, I finally found a great shoe!  I am just so happy that I tried these because they are exactly what I’ve been hoping to find.  They are the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 mid height, neoprene/polartec trail runner.  My goodness, that’s a mouthful!

What do I like about this shoe?  well, everything!  Pretty much anyway… the fit is just like the Lone Peak 2.5 which I also have.  Most guidelines will say go up half a size in Altras and I have tried both the 9 and 9.5 and did go up to the 9.5.  I LOVE the extra toe box room.  If you aren’t used to that it may seem sloppy at first but believe me, it’s the best thing ever!  The rest of the shoe fits great as well.  I was concerned that the mid height may be annoying but it is fantastic!  Well cushioned so no uncomfortable parts.  The lacing system is great, nice and even and the metal grommets at the ankle make it super easy to snug up.  Yes, I know, I will actually have to tie and untie these shoes!  But the extra couple of minutes for that is well worth it!
Cushioning is fantastic.  it’s my favorite thing about Altras. It’s like a cloud for your feet.
Tread is fantastic.  No slipping on anything, wet, dry, gravel, mud, it was all good.
Zero drop….I’m a fan!  I know some people can’t stand it but I love it.
And here is the big, most fantastic thing about these, as a Pacific Northwest runner…..THEY ARE REALLY WATERPROOF! I intentionally ran through puddles and my feet stayed dry!!  The polartec lining also is a big bonus because I will be able to wear these through the winter and still be cozy.  Plus the Gaiter Trap will be uesful for snow.  The mid height also means less debris getting into my shoe and driving me nuts.  Where they debris free?  No.  But oddly, the only time I got little pebbles in the shoe were running on the paved road that connects to my trails.   But I got nowhere near the amount of dirt and plant bits that you would in a regular height shoe.
What I don’t like?  Well, let’s be honest….the price is staggering.  At $168 retail they are clearly the most expensive running shoe I’ve purchased to date.  That price makes it prohibitive to stock up with a second pair too.  But, considering what I spend on other types of footwear, winter boots, snowboard boots etc., and the fact that I LOVE them, I just have to go with that.
Happy Fall!  Have a great weekend~

Love Match

Oh. my . GAWD!!  I just took the new Altras for a test run….it’s a perfect match!!   They are the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mid height, neoprene/polartec trail shoe.  They look like this:

 

Briefly, I am going to be bold and say that they are the best running shoe I have ever worn, IN MY LIFE!  Ha ha ha, no, really.  I’m being serious.
I will have a full review soon.  For some reason my photos won’t upload to my server from my phone today, but I have a few from our jaunt around the mountain and if they ever show themselves in my mail folder I will share.  These shoes are awesome.  Comfort and performance perfectly melded.  Tell my husband I won’t be home later because I’ll be out romancing my Altras…..
Also, a quick nod to The Running Schlub for the inspiration for my post-run pbj!!  If you haven’t checked out Schlub’s blog you should do so!  He’s one of the most enthusiastic, motivated runners out there and I always enjoy his posts.  He’s taking on the BIG TRAIL RUNS and training for his first 50k trail race !   Need a dose of inspiration and positive vibe? He’s your guy!!

Fall Color

We’ve had some GORGEOUS fall weather up to this last weekend, then we got slammed with lots of rain.  I think we had a couple of inches on Saturday!  But precipitation is good….that rain will soon be snow!

 

And then there’s fall color of another kind….these new Asics trail shoes!
I finally found a shoe I can run in and that fits relatively well!  Is it a perfect match?  No. But it’s close.  It’s the Asics 2000-4 Trail running shoe.  I had the road version last year and liked it well enough.  When I  first put this shoe on the big thing I noticed is the lack of toe room.  I think this runs small, as did the road shoe, so I sized up half a size.  However, I have gotten used to shoes like the Altra with great space in the toe box, and while this is long enough, and wide enough, there isn’t a lot of space up and down in the toe area and the top of my toe actually rubs on the fabric!  SO annoying.  I think it will loosen up, as will the entire shoe, as it feels a bit stiff all over.  Great heel cushioning, if that’s your thing.  I think it could use more forefront cushion.  Though when I started downhill I immediately appreciated the extra cushion in the heels. Awesome tread!  Pretty much bomb proof, no slipping whatsoever.  I ran on everything from grass and forest duff to recently dug up gravel and loose dirt roads.  This however was under dry conditions.  And THAT, is one thing that hurts this pair…when the rain came and the conditions were wet (Hey it’s THE NORTHWEST),  my feet were soaked instantly! The fabric has no water resistance at all and in fact seems to soak up water like a sponge.  Not very enjoyable.  The tongue also is a bit short for me….I am one of those weirdos who hates to tie and untie shoes.  I like to get them just right and then put them on with a shoe horn?  So when you go to put these on, the tongue is rather small and doesn’t open up enough for me to slide my foot in….again, one of my strange peeves but if you get what I’m saying?  Then you have strange peeves too!
Overall, this shoe is adequate.  I gave it an 8 when I first put it on but by run’s end it had crept up to an 8.75.  They cost me $95 on Road Runner Sports.  meh.  not super thrilled as far as cost to worth for me personally but these days it seems anything under $100 is a score.
Next up….that pair of neoprene shell Altra Lone Peaks….They are sitting right here awaiting a run up the mountain.   Should I say that I wish it was a rainy day??