- Those things don't work(for me) - Since injuring my knee a few years ago, any raised heel on flat ground, and 4mm on mountain trails, hurts my right knee. Though more options are released each season, functional shoes on a zero-drop platform are very outnumbered by higher-heeled shoes.
- My "trail skills" are deteriorating - A couple years ago, I was much better at running technical downhills. Wearing thinly soled shoes made me more aware of the obstacles on the trail. I assumed that if my trail running chops declined, I would attempt my usual pace and fall on my head or something. Instead, I gradually slowed down and felt less confident.
I've gotten away from a purist/minimalist approach to running and headed toward an open-minded "do what works" approach, mostly after being passed by people in Hokas, Huaraches, and everything in between. As I encountered difficulties garnering speed on technical trails(more specifically rocky downhills), I tried to buy speed by bulking up my shoes. The problem with that logic was that I was faster a couple years ago running in thinner shoes. I was moving away from what previously produced a desirable result. Perhaps it was arrogance on my part, but I thought I had maximized my potential skills(not my fitness), and needed to find the right equipment to enhance it. Not so much.
I learned from my mistake, and plan on adding more barefoot and minimally shod running to my regimen. The most shoe I've worn as of late is the inov-8 f-lite 230. As much as this shoe is marketed as minimal, it still allows my form to get sloppy and hurt my knee within a couple miles. I don't mean to sound snobby and look down on anyone for wearing what they like; I'm talking about my own situation specifically. Minimalism is all the rage, but I wish I could wear racing flats. Most of them have a 6-8mm heel differential, in spite of weighing as little as 3oz. Breakin' mah balls.
Making sure I have a solid body to build on next year means less stressing high mileage, and more concern with strength, speed, and nutrition. The best part about this "new idea" is that my mileage will probably go unchanged. Whether I obsess about total weekly distance or not, it hovers between 60-90 miles during peak season.
...Totally unrelated: Blogging is weird. In order to write anything, you sort of need to operate under the assumption that someone will want to read it. I wouldn't want anyone to assume that I think I'm some sort of "temporarily embarassed" elite runner. I'm well aware of my average-ness, but hope someone gets something out of this thing. I've won a couple races, got a couple top 10 finishes, barely made cut-offs, and had the letters "DNF" scribbled next to my name. I've been a beginner at age 20, and run at a collegiate level(sort of). Experience is valuable, and we should all share ours.