At last the new Hokas – Rapa Nui Comps – appeared in Run and Become. Adrian has been expecting them for quite some time and texted Wednesday to say they'd arrived. I took an extended lunch break and zoomed along with Mary to try them on before they hit the shelves. Slightly refined from the Evo Stinsons. So a narrower and fractionally thinner sole (the Hoka trade mark) making it perhaps more flexible and lighter: 275g at size 8. This I hardly noticed as I'd run the last ones bald with around a thousand miles. And if it wasn't for the split between upper and outsole I'd still be running in them. Last Sunday's 34 miler was their swan song and a fitting last run. The ingress of grit, sand and water through the split meant the precursor of a blister threatening to spoil the unblemished record of the Stinsons which got me through six and a half months of running, saw off the PF foot and were worn for every distance from Parkrun to, well, last Sunday's 34 miler.
This one was working away on a laptop.
(Should get out more.)
(Should get out more.)
First outing for the Rapa Nuis was club and a tough Willie Jarvie session borrowed and pimped from Edinburgh AC to accommodate the ridiculous winds ruffling our feathers. I got home with a hot spot between the knuckle and nail of my big toe. After such a long wait for new shoes I had imagined them to have magical properties and frankly was a bit disappointed they were merely shoes. Then I remembered my first few runs with the Stinsons and it taking a while before I really appreciated their rather lumbering looks yet leg saving qualities. The Rapa Nuis similarly disregard the minimalist fashion (though do boast a minimal 5mm drop from heel to forefoot) opting for a bumper car design and cushioned ride. Their ability to absord impact and therefore reduce fatigue is legendary and they are becoming commonplace on the European ultra circuit.
Getting a decent night's sleep last night and knocking off this afternoon, tradesman early, gave me the oomph I have been lacking lately and although nearly sidetracked by a phone call at 7pm I rallied and was out the door about 7.35. I have been finding it hard to get out, and up the weekly mileage for no other reason than I can't be bothered. It seems easier to flop in from work and diddle about till dinner than get out the front door into the dregs of the Winter and bust a gut. Especially when I'm 2 blogs behind and there's a video to edit. And 500 pages to read before book club. I need a holiday.
So I left the flat, flat out. At some point I must have decided on the Base-to-Apex run. I only do this challenge once or twice a year (generally while on form) as it hurts and probably isn't to be recommended (no warm up just race pace over the threshold). It goes from my front door to the trig point of Arthur's Seat. It's a mile up Easter Road over Abbeyhill to Holyrood Palace then pretty much another from there to the trig point. First mile is a gradual up hill and several road crossings, taking over 7 minutes; the second mile is considerably steeper. I usually take the Dasses then either straight up the steep diretissimma or left and up the tourist trail. Tonight the latter and I only walked the last dozen yards over the rocky summit plug. Every couple of minutes I would look at my watch thinking there was no way I'd be anywhere near my pb of 17.45. I cleared the single-track path of tourists shouting “thank you” as I ran towards them. There was a bit of headwind at places which I intended to justify any time over 18 minutes. So I was well pleased when I touched the Trig Point at 17.41 – a new record. And another first – I was carrying the camera and took a few blurry snaps on the way.
The A Path
The thing about this run is, that's it over. I jogged round to the crags injecting a tempo dash or 2 but there was not much left in the tank. Even once home there was still a tremor of oooh – I've overdone it again in my limbs. However before I got there I took some photos of the sun going down and silhouettes of folk on the A path, a speed of light reference for the uppermost path round the edge of the Crags.
Hoping for some decent weather this weekend and to run a few trail miles in the new shoes.