Cold run in screw shoes and other Janathon fun

Duct tape, screws and new inserts made these ancient running shoes feel pretty good again, at least on the trail or on snow and ice.

Duct tape, screws and new inserts made these ancient running shoes feel pretty good again, at least on the trail or on snow and ice.

Friday I got a text from a friend who was trying to set up a night trail run on a day when the temperature was supposed to dip to minus-8 with a windchill of 25-below.

“Are you nuts – or just a northerner?” I texted back. “What the heck. Let’s do it!”

The run fell through, but instead of  relief I felt disappointed. I hadn’t gotten my butt out the door for anything more adventurous than gym workouts during last week’s cold snap, and I’d been hoping to absorb some of my friend’s northern Wisconsin weather bravado.

By Saturday afternoon, when the temperature got all the way up to 10 degrees with the sun shining and very little wind, I decided it was time to take my reserve pair of duct-taped screw shoes out for a spin.

This was my backup pair of shoes for the HUFF 50k, a refurbished pair of Saucony Kinvara 2s originally bought in 2011. I never needed them during the race, and I hadn’t been trail running in the three weeks since. But the roads were slick and snowy enough that I figured the screws wouldn’t be scraping much pavement, and I was right.

It had been a long time since I’d run in weather this cold, and I overdressed. With a hat, an earband, my hood tied and two scarves wound around my face (the first one seemed too thin on its own), I could hardly turn my head.

After a mile I loosened the outer scarf and finally felt like I was running instead of just clunking along in a space suit. It was a beautiful winter’s day, and my shoes felt great on the ice and snow. Not once in four miles did I slip or skid. And I love the way having the screws just on my forefoot encourages me to land there.

By Sunday the temperatures were in the high 20s, but I didn’t have much time so I did a 20-minute treadmill ladder workout.

That takes care of Janathon Days 10 and 11. Here’s the update for Days 7-9:

Jan. 7 – Stayed home with a sick kid. Did step aerobics while watching youtube videos of Jethro Tull flutist Ian Anderson playing with an orchestra.

Jan. 8 – 30 minute treadmill run at my parents’ house while doing laundry (our washer drain froze up in the cold temperatures).

Jan. 9 – Circuit workout: 4 sets of kettle bell squats, planks and 5 minute step aerobics sessions.

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2 Responses to Cold run in screw shoes and other Janathon fun

  1. omnirunner says:

    I need to try that with a pair of my shoes. The YaxTrax seem to break too easily and are not cheap.

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