One week out from the Black Hills 50k, and I’m in my reluctant by necessary taper. Being mindful of the priorities (family, work, health), I know I’ve done as much as I could have in terms of training. Now it’s time to rest up and get ready for a great time on the trails next week. The one thing I know I can do is make sure I’m comfortable with my gear.
Trail running gear is about the perfect balance for me: not as overwhelming as, say, triathlon, but enough to keep things interesting. As a teenager I remember taking an annual pseudo-pilgrimage to REI with my dad to look for backpacking supplies. Trail running gives me a similar feeling – pure fun in trying to find ways to move quickly with the minimum necessary.
So today I went out for a relaxed 11 miler (1,293′ climbing) including the section of the Centennial Trail between Alkali TH and Old Stone Rd. Knowing that trying to add fitness would be at best a waste of time and at worst risking an injury, I tried to focus on the feel of everything. Fortunately, over the last few months through trial-and-error I figured out which shorts are best to stash my sunglasses, which shirt keeps my race vest from chafing, and of course, the best shoes for the task at hand. Sure, it’s consumerist, and this is one area of my life where I choose to indulge a bit.
As summer racing season kicks off in earnest over the next few weeks, here’s hoping all the runners out there are as happy and comfortable with their gear as I was today.