Not from sea level though. And Yoga is pretty hard to access from where we are on Kauai. I’m here sharing a car with my family so there’s only so much I can do. The run to the top was a necessity. It’s pretty much the one thing I wanted to make sure I did while I was here.
The trail starts at the top of a super twisty road, up at a look out point. The trail descends and ascends equally so the climbs aren’t anything too insane, nor are the descents but there is a good amount of both. Setting out, the trail is super slippery as it is volcanic rock at one of the rainiest places on earth. I’m not kidding, it really is. The rocks never get a chance to dry out so they are super slick. The rocks at first follow down to show some of what are the most amazing views I have ever seen in my life, next only to flying in a tiny plane through the My McKinley. The trail narrows eventually and gets so muddy that there is a wood plank trail on top of the mud covered in rusty mesh to keep grip. We eventually came to a crossroads and decided to add another few miles on with what looks like a challenging ascending and descending loop. This loop took us down to that beautiful river, there were some serious stream crossings, one being almost waist deep.
The run was wonderful and easily the most beautiful run I have ever experienced but that is not the best part. As I drove up the road I all but gave up on my plans for a good trail run when I saw how slippery the terrain was. It was looking like all I could do is hike so I walked back to my car to at least get my iPhone to take some photos. When I came back to the amazing vistas I saw a couple all geared up running the trails. I started talking to them and tagged along on their run so to you two, Kelly and CJ, thanks you so so so very much for being part of what was one of the most hilarious, fun, and beautiful runs I have ever done. Kelly and CJ are from Colorado, and they, like myself, all but gave up on their plan for a great mountain run. Together we all laughed and enjoyed our way along a 9 mile route that I know I would not have experienced without them. This is why I not only love running, but love trail running. This would not have happened were I to continue to run the road along the coast. We are a tight knit group of dirty mountain miscreants and I love it. Props up to Kelly when she took the award for the best fall of the day as she slid down the soft lava mud right into me. That’s her with the mud butt. So much fun.
I wish you were all there with me.
First off my internet just got fixed at home after a few days of not having it so this feels great. I never realized how much I love writing here sharing my thoughts and experiences until I was without.
So how did I cheat? It’s not a sexual thing so sorry. Got you with that hook though right? HA! How I cheated is I drove. I was planning on and I even wrote a post about not driving until Feb 12th and how good it feels to cleanse myself from my car for a short time in such a driver specific city but I lasted until yesterday. I went to go see my good friend Mac in Newport Beach. I was honestly contemplating riding my bike down there to see him to stick hard to the car cleanse but I would have been a very tired very boring guest.
I have a lot of really cool really positive ideas like not driving for 28 days but some times these ideas happen to negatively effect people including myself, this is when I usually call it. It’s not that Mac and I wouldn’t have had a good time together were I to ride, all we really do is sit and watch rad nerd movies and buy comics (that’s really what we did) but I would have just been in a very exhausted place as the hangout would commence and that wouldn’t do anyone any good.
I’m super happy I drove. Why do you ask? Well let me tell you fine sir / madam. I got back to the trails today on my super awesome new trail shoes. It felt like returning home to find all my friends and family exactly as they were when I left them. Super welcoming. I am so happy that I have found trail running and incorporated it into my life as I have. I am filled with gratitude to say the least.
I rarely do this but I need to write about my shoes.
A long time ago, back when I started Demonfeet I think I wrote about an incredible pair of running shoes, the New Balance MT101. I kept raving all throughout the post about them and wrote a few folowups waiting for them to break down so I can write negative things about them. They just wouldn’t break! They were the best and still up to right now are the best trail shoes I had ever run. I was just beginning to take minimalist running seriously and those shoes were my intro into the possibilities of what one can achieve when they run in a shoe designed by a company that removed all the unnecessary shit to only what you want to run up mountains. They were and stilla are ultra light, super durable, super fast, super quick drying, and could handle everything I threw at them be it uphills or super fast agressive descents. They were and in a way still are unstoppable. I punched holes through them and they kept going as if nothing had happened. The two issues I had with them was that there was a little too much room up front and there was a permanent foam insole that collected a lot of stink as I got them wet from stream crossings. I also run sock-less when I’m on the trails and the foam isole ended up coming half unattached which wasn’t a huge deal but still was an annoyance. The smallest issue really, I completely obliterated those shoes which I still use as uber comfy walking shoes now. What I ran in today were the New Balance MT110. These are the next step in the evolution of the MT101. Apparently there was a MT100 a while back but I unfortunately never got to experience those. The MT110‘s however are FUCKING RAD!!!! The only two problems I had with the MT101 were fixed! The shoe is cut just like a foot is which pulls in the forefoot a little bit making it perfectly snug with just a tad of extra room and there is no foam insole. New Balance is using some sort of insole-less design which for sock-less runners is a dream come true. I have only run in them once and they felt great. A bit stiff out of the box which to me is a very good thing. This means I get the opportunity to break them in specific for me and my foot fall / foot bend. An in-field form of customization. I have been reading about them for months and I know Anton Krupicka, a trail wizard and the man who designed the MT100 and MT101, designed the MT110 and says they are by far the best shoes he has ever run so for me….sold! I’ll write about them much more as I run in them for a real time review. For now I’m like a kid a christmas.
I got the bug.
I have always wanted to be a serious trail runner. I have tried to run trails in the past but have never put any repetition into my attempts. I would get amped, go try to run up a mountain, tell myself that I’ll do it a few times a week and then stop.
I have always wanted to be the type of trail runner why looks at the trails as some sort of a cathedral, like a place of calm and quiet. I hope for a sense of peace in waking up early in the morning to go run trails before work or school. In my head there’s a certain beauty to the idea of the juxtaposition between running trails and essentially dancing through nature one minute then participating as a productive member of society in my city life the next minute.
That is what I want.
This bug has been garmenting in me for years. A few weeks ago a friend of mine who runs trails told me about a pair of shoes he love to take running in the trails and that got me thinking that this might be the time. I went to the New Balance store and got a pair of the New Balace 101′s and decided tomorrow I am going to wake up early and run the arroyo.
Within this lies two huge hurdles for me.
1- If anyone knows me well they know that I am NOT a morning person. I stay up super late and sleep late. I have been this way ever since I was a wee lad.
2- The shoes I got, the 101′s are minimalist running shoes. I have been semi-vocal about not wanting to run in minimalist shoes. I would sat it might be for other people but I have been known to put down some pretty good miles in normal “bulky” cushioned running shoes so I couldn’t find a reason to change. I have heard all the arguments for and against all types of running shoes so I consider myself well versed in both areas. I just have not personally experienced the minimalist running shoes so I really don’t know what to expect.
Honestly I am excited for this. This could be an adventure, this could be a success, this could be change, or this could also be massive failure. We’ll see what happens. The most important thing I have been focusing on in the past few years is the possibility that what I believe may in fact be totally untrue. I’ll never know if I don’t try and see.
Wish me luck in my new endeavor and I’ll report back soon with the results.