Pictured above are the shoes that took me through five of the Six Months to Coeur d'Alene. You can see they're pretty beat up, both topside and underneath. (Note the wear on the rock-hard tread, much more pronounced on the outside of my heel.)

Can you believe I trained exclusively with this shoe for five months? It's a lightweight trail racing shoe. It offers nothing in the way of cushioning. As Running Times wrote:
This racing flat for the trail is feather light (8 svelte ounces) and performs as you’d want for such a low-to-the-ground speedster. That also means that the New Balance 790 should be used sparingly, for shorter-distance races or fartlek workouts on tamer trails and by efficient trail runners.
Well, as I say, it got me through five months, around 700 miles. Probably three-quarters of those miles were on soft surfaces, the trails at Tabor or Glendoveer or the grass at Normandale. I did the Race for the Roses half marathon in them on the streets of Portland. Ran a PR and came out feeling fine.

I bought another pair of 790s, a very sharp black pair. Still, I'm not sure if these are the shoes I'll wear at CDA. That run is entirely on pavement, and given my little peroneal problem, I thinking more cushioning might be in order. Or maybe not. When I get back to running in a few days, I'm going to bust out the ol' Asics Gel-Cumulus and see what happens. I'll let you know.


  1. There is a trail that runs right next to the paved running trail on the marathon course where the course parallels the lake. It is not real long but might be of help to you. I saw many runners using it last year.

  2. Al, I have a vague memory of that. (Most of my memories of the marathon portion of that race are vague, for reasons I'm sure you understand!) Thanks for the reminder, something to keep in mind.