This - only wetter. And colder.
This – only wetter. And colder.

Last Saturday, I got up early to run 22 miles on the road. There was rain in the forecast, and I tried to get up early enough that I would finish my run before it started coming down. Not to be outdone, the rain started before I did. It stopped long enough for me to get on the road and get about 11 miles into the run. Then, along with turning south into a bit of a headwind, I started feeling drops of cold rain on my arms. These cold drops slowly turned into a chilly drizzle, which became a moderate downpour. It wasn’t terribly pleasant. A few miles later, I was soaking wet and pretty cold.

After three hours and 46 minutes, I walked up the steps to my front door. I kicked off my shoes, which were soaked through despite my best efforts. It’s funny that even when I’m running in a steady rain, I will still avoid tromping through puddles. There wasn’t a dry spot on my body, my shoes and socks were soaked through – but I was definitely not going to run through a puddle!

I opened the door into my warm house, and Ashley was standing there with one towel on the floor and one in her hands, ready to help me dry off. There was also a towel in the bathroom, which was toasty warm for when I got done with my shower. Fresh coffee would soon be brewing, and I would be dry and warm – and off my feet.

One of the biggest, most important elements of my burgeoning ultrarunning dreams is having Ashley there – when I get home, when I get done with a race, and when I reach an aid station. I don’t have to ask her to do that – she just does, and it’s amazing.

New Foot Buddies!

Showing their age.
Showing their age.

This long run was a milestone for my Altra Instincts. I crossed over the 300-mile mark with this pair, which means I’ll be pulling out a fresh new pair of shoes very soon! I’ll finish out 2015 with my current shoes, and wait to start using the new shoes until 2016.

Altra has definitely made my running an even more enjoyable experience. (No, I’m not paid for this…I just love Altras.)

I’ve talked before about my wide feet and my search for shoes that accommodated my leg paddles. When I first started buying high quality running shoes, I was getting Brooks Dyad in 4E width! I don’t think my feet are that wide, but apparently Brooks does. Regardless of the wide shoes, my toes would still get cramped. Not after all that many miles, my big toe would start to break through the top, and after a little longer, my little toes would burst out through the sides. I went through five pairs of Dyads, and I don’t think I got 300 miles on any of them. Also, despite the 4E width, my toenails would get bruised and fall off.

I was content with losing toenails and running through the tops and sides of my Dyads – I thought this was just the way things were. But, I was considering moving almost exclusively to trail running, and no one makes trail shoes in wide. No one! I looked everywhere, read loads of (riveting) shoe reviews, and found nothing.

Then I read about Altra and its Footshape Toebox and zero drop platforms. This is where, in the infomercial of my life, the black and white changes to brilliant color, and I stop falling all over the furniture.

Why wouldn’t shoes be shaped like feet? Sure the shoes look a little clowny, but they are so incredibly comfortable. I’ve run many miles over all sorts of terrain, and there is nothing better for me and my paddle feet than Altra. I run almost exclusively in Altras now, and have no plans on changing anytime soon. As a matter of fact, they just updated their Olympus (max cushion trail shoe, and my first Altra purchase) with new soles, more aggressive lugs, and some snazzy new colors. I can’t wait to get my feet in some of those!

In the meantime, though, I’m excited to start burning through another pair of Instincts on January 1. Scroll down to see them!

Merry early Christmas to me!
Merry early Christmas to me!


Yep. They're exactly the same. Sweet fresh foam.
Yep. They’re exactly the same. Sweet fresh foam.

3 thoughts on “Rain(running)man

  1. Kevin November 23, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    I almost tried on some altras on my last shoe store visit but this next time I definitely will. There are so many good reviews about them.

    • A Carter November 24, 2015 / 7:48 am

      I (obviously) highly recommend! I wear Lone Peak and Olympus on the trails. If you’re not accustomed to zero drops though, be cautious.

      • Kevin November 24, 2015 / 9:23 am

        I wear zero drops at least once per week on my runs to change it up and strengthen different muscles but not 100%. I tried that for a while but you have to keep it up to make it worth it.

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