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Pre-run Review of the Inov-8 Trailroc 150 Minimalist Trail Shoes

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  • Monday, February 09 2015 @ 02:40 AM UTC
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Ever since New Balance discontinued the Minimus Trail MT00, and even though I stocked up on a couple of extra pairs, I have been on the lookout for a new ultra lightweight trail shoe that is currently in production.

A few weeks ago I bought a pair of inov-8 Trailroc 235 shoes to fill the role of "robust trail shoe" which I might use in my next Ultramarathon. The 235 is such a great shoe that I thought I would take a look at the other shoes in the Trailroc line. I was psyched when I discovered an even lighter-weight shoe, the Trailroc 150. I am a big fan of the inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150 which I use for my 5k road racing shoe, so I had hopes that the Trailroc 150 would be great, too.

The black shoe pictured below is the Trailroc 235. The florescent yellow shoe is the Trailroc 150 (I really like the bright flashy color scheme!). Both shoes are from the "Zero" category of inov-8 shoes which means there is no difference between the height of the forefoot and the height of the heel. Both shoes are made on the inov-8 "standard" last which is supposed to provide more room in the toebox than inov-8's performance last. I only wear zero drop shoes with a wide toebox, so the Trailroc 150 should have been a good option for me.



There are a number of reviews and videos on the web that are mostly positive (and helped me decide to order the Trailroc 150 in the first place). Unfortunately, the Trailroc 150 has a number of issues so I didn't take a chance running in them before returning them.

The outsoles of the 235 and 150 are pretty much identical in lug pattern (they seem to be made from the same mold). The lugs are not huge but fairly aggressive. You can see a slight difference in the outsole as it wraps up around the outer edge. The 235 has a 6mm footbed and the plane of the footbed surface is pretty much even with the top of the outsole edge. The 150 has no footbed and the plane of the footbed surface sits down inside the "valley" created by the outsole wrapping up around the edge. This minor difference is huge for the fit of the shoe. In the 235, my pinky toes have a lot more room since they can push out into the flexible upper material. In the 150, my toes were trapped in the narrow canyon and could not splay properly.



When I compared the 235 and 150 side-by-side (both the same size), the 150 seems to be just a bit narrower as you can see here:

Newnan's Lake 15k Race Report 2015

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  • Friday, February 06 2015 @ 01:50 AM UTC
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This past weekend I ran in the Lloyd Clarke Sports Newnan's Lake 15k. Weather was sunny and cold, great for racing, as seems to be the case almost every year.

Here I am in my final push to the finish:


Photo by Maya Comia

I finished in 58:20, won my age group, and pulled off a lifetime personal best at this distance by 1 minute 30 seconds. Huge PR!

I am really happy with the results because I was able to do this at the tail end of marathon training with legs that were definitely not feeling fresh. I was able to finish the race strong with my last three mile splits 6:12 each.

More photos:

Trail Running the Ohio Buckeye Trail, Hocking Hills

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  • Monday, February 02 2015 @ 11:49 AM UTC
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I have started a personal tradition to go on a long trail run whenever I am in Ohio to visit my parents. Even though I lived within an hour of the Hocking State Forest area trails when I was younger, I never used them for trail running. There are many trail areas that I never even knew existed!

Christmas 2014 was my second long trail run in the Hocking Hills. On my inaugural run a couple of years ago, I ran from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave and back along the Buckeye Trail that travels through the state park and most of those trails were at least familiar from my younger years. This time, I wanted to explore parts of the Buckeye Trail that were new to me.

The Old Man's Cave parking area on State Route 664 makes a good starting point because of the heated visitor's center that includes working water and restroom facilities year-round. Note that some of the trails in the park are undergoing major maintenance and are currently closed or re-routed.

Based on weather reports I decided to do my run a few days before Christmas rather than trying to run on Christmas Day. It was cold but there was no real rain. I first ran north from the Old Man's Cave parking lot. There are some notes on finding the Buckeye Trail from this location below.

I ran the Buckeye Trail to the Hocking Hills Climbing and Repelling area parking lot which is about 3.5 miles one-way. If you just wanted to see the Climbing area, the parking lot on Big Pine Rd / CR 11 is going to be your best bet.

The Climbing area has some amazing rock formations:







I had left some notes of my running plan with my parents, and even though I wanted to continue northward along the Buckeye Trail at this point, I followed my plan and returned to Old Man's Cave. My plan from here was to run to Ash Cave as I had on my previous visit. This time I ran "up top" on the Gorge Overlook Trail instead of down in the gorge along the creek due to the trail maintenance and closures.

Rose Lake was beautiful to look at.



I suggest enjoying Rose Lake from the dam area and not by running around it on the shoreline trail. The trail is steeply cambered and not much fun.

From Rose Lake I made it to the fire tower:



This time I took a picture at the top:

Gainesville Brewery Run 5k - Race Report

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  • Monday, January 12 2015 @ 01:54 AM UTC
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The Inaugural Gainesville Brewery Run was hosted by First Magnitude Brewing Company on December 14, 2014.

The race course was out-and-back on the Gainesville-Hawthorne trail. All of the event facilities were located at the First Magnitude brewery. The start/finish line was just a stone's throw from the brewery so it was a very short walk from the finish line to claim a free delicious beer and grab some food. Besides the indoor taproom, the brewery has very nice outdoor seating area with trees and picnic tables which was perfect given the weather of race day.

The paved bike path made for a fast course. I was able to stick with Dan Clark until the turnaround point, but he went on to win the race in 17:09. I am happy with 2nd overall and a time of 17:38.

Top finishers received a boot full of beer!



Nice 2nd place award medal to go with the longsleeve t-shirt:



Here is a photo of the top 3 male finishers, all named Dan:

Pflugerville Pfeathered Pfun Run (turkey trot) - Race Report

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  • Wednesday, December 24 2014 @ 03:38 PM UTC
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This race report will be short and sweet.

Thanksgiving was 5 short days after my Wild Hare 25k race, so I didn't register for this turkey trot until the day before. The Race Director said that he went from 25 registered runners to over 150 in the week before the event, thus the late registrants didn't get a t-shirt. He said he would mail it to me, which is a nice gesture and uncommon for most races (if they run out of shirts, that's too bad). So far, no t-shirt has arrived for me in the mail, though.

** Update 1/22/2015 ** My longsleeve t-shirt and finisher medal arrived in the mail the other day! Way to go Race Director!



Lake Plufgerville is a really nice venue for a race. The crushed granite trail winds its way around the shore of the lake. The trail surface was nice and flat (unlike some lake trails which have continuous camber / slope down towards the water). Race morning was a bit chilly and breezy, but the sun was shining and overall it was a beautiful morning. It was great that I didn't have to fight Austin traffic in order to run a Turkey Trot.

At the start I went out under control, 3 or 4 of us out near the front. When we crossed the spillway over the dam within the first half mile, one runner made a quick move. I had to decide whether to let him go or go with him. I decided to go with him. It was quite windy that morning so when we turned the corner into the wind I tried to draft behind him. Before making in halfway around the lake I got close enough to hear his breathing which was much harder than mine at the time. When I felt him slow down I pushed on past. Running around the lake there is good visibility to the people ahead and behind. At the sharp turns I looked back to see if anyone else was nearby and it didn't look like it. I was winning the race!

I pressed on, finished the second lap around the lake, and came through the finish line in 36:28, which seemed really fast, and would have been a nice big 10k PR... if the course had been accurate.

My only complaint about the event is that the course was short. Using Google Maps Pedometer, I determined that one lap around the lake was a tiny bit under 3 miles, not the 3.1 needed for a 5k. The actual course was a bit longer than two laps (a little extra at the beginning, a little extra at the end), but it did not make up for the missing distance.

I received an email after the race that next year they plan to make the course measurement accurate. So, that would be a good improvement. I suggested that they don't even need to make the distances longer they just need to call the races what they are... a 3 miler and a 6 miler... which is totally fine for a turkey trot type of event.

Despite the course measurement issue, it feels nice to win a race every once in a while.

The trophies were real wood and quite nice:



Lake Pflugerville made a nice backdrop for eating my post-race double pie (pecan and pumpkin) with whipped cream, hot coffee in my hand:



As I said, this race report was going to be short and sweet... SHORT due to the short course measurement and SWEET due to the double post-race pie. :)

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