Hank,

I wear Nike shoes. Have I made the wrong decision?

Yours,

Billy McRunsalot
Dear Billy McRunsalot,

Nike shoes are like most other shoes in that they offer some sort of protection against the elements, they have a thick sole and it probably does affect your stride. Like other shoes you need to work absurdly hard to make sure you get a shoe with the right arch, rise, etc… so you don’t over or under pronate.

What makes Nike shoes different from other shoes is that they were created with rubber, nylon, leather, and pure evil.

Yes, you’ve chosen poorly. Even Nike’s attempt at a minimal shoe is an outright joke.

Sorry to tell you you’re dining with the devil,

Hank

Those smile-bringing skinny trails through tall grass

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School has started again, which means I can’t be back as late as 8am from a run because I have to help get folks out the door.

That also means my running mornings are now limited. But I did get out to this mountain yesterday, and it was insanely peaceful. Normally I pass at least a few folks, but it was nearly dead up there today. The blue of the skies in Colorado never fails to please.

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Today I owned a mountain that previously owned me

That ridge I ran a few days ago? I went back, and this time parked at the bottom of the valley so I could run up the ridge first and down the other side (which includes a significant amount of up, but most of it is on runnable trail rather than un-runnable ridge slate).

It was hard running on the front side. But I owned it. Mostly I just got in to a great head space (read: massive delusions of grandeur) really early in the run and managed to stay there for the duration of the run. Good times.

Ask Hank: Downhill at the wrong time

Dear Hank,

I parked today at the top of a valley and ran down one mountain and then back up another to return to the parking lot. Normally I have a strict policy that I park at the bottom of the mountain so I run all my uphill first and can enjoy the way down once I’m tired, but I made a mistake.

Do you have any tips on how to run significant stretches of uphill at the end of a run without getting completely exhausted?

Uphill both ways,

Julie Andrews

 

Dear Julie Andrews,

First of all, never run uphill both ways. Just as like, a life rule. If you do, you’ll find it’s exceedingly hard to get back down to your car.

Another thing that helps when running quickly uphill while you’re exhausted is singing embarrassing songs (think children’s campfire songs, or Brittney Spears, or perhaps even some Taylor Swift) at the top of your lungs. This may not seem like it will have much of an impact but if you think about it, your breath will be interrupting your singing, so your “Oops I did it again” will be filled with gaps, halts, and breathing breaks. It will be even more embarrassing than just being a bad singer.

People on the trail will start to take notice of you, start to stare, and they will think, “Who is this person? Are they out of their minds?”

That is, they will think this unless you’re running really fast. So your singing (making yourself look foolish) will cause you to be motivated to move even faster (so as to not look foolish).

Don’t think. Just do.

Hank

Some ridges are hard

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Today I ran a ridge with so many rocks I could hardly keep my footing. I fancy myself something of a rock/mountain runner. But this mountain owned me.

That tree tho.

And there was a good bit of downhill (unfortunately, given where I parked, most of the down was before the up – rookie mistake).

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More Mountain. Less Road.

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Something about dirt. More dirt. Even when the run (like this one) absolutely kills me and I’m running downhill as slowly as my exhausted legs can possibly allow me.

Taking off and running in the absurd heat isn’t the best idea. Then again, absurd heat as defined by a dry 94° Colorado day is a lot different than absurd heat as defined by a 110° Houston humid day….

It’s all a matter of perspective. My perspective is I am still obsessed with these trails.

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