Last Wednesday I ran on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth after work. I asked a friend who works downtown if he wanted to join me. He is training for the No Limits Half Marathon later this month but had to decline because he already had plans but he invited me to join him the following Tuesday for a social run.
Today out of the blue I had to deliver something to an office in downtown Fort Worth for the first time in years. I took it as a sign I should join my friend for the Margarita Moonlight Run at The Woodshed Smokehouse along the Trinity Trails. I had packed my running clothes and already planned on doing it. After a dropped off the package around 5pm I headed to Luke's Locker. I read online you could sign up there from 11am to 2pm but I had time to kill so I decided check it out anyway.
When I got to Luke's they confirmed what I saw online but told me I could also sign up at Woodshed Smokehouse an hour before the run. With about an hour to kill I started looking at the running clothes to see if there were any end of summer deals. As soon as I started browsing a manager looking lady asked me if she could help me. I told her I was looking for a tank top type dry fit shirt. She pointed out the few they had left and said they were getting ready for winter apparel. I got a weird vibe from her.
I decided to check out the shoes and was surprised to see they carried Vibram fivefingers and other minimalist type brands. I bought my last pair of modern over-padded running shoes from another Luke's location back in December and they did not have any minimal shoes (except maybe the New Balance Minimus). After about 30 seconds of looking an employee, Noreen, came over to help me. I told her I am training for my first Marathon and looking into a pair of closed toe minimal shoes. She told me all about the benefits of minimal shoes then looked down at my Vibrams and said, "I guess you already know."
I tried on the New Balance Road Minimus Zero and they felt really comfortable at first so I tested them on the treadmill. I really wanted to like them but they were too narrow for my wide feet and unlike other New Balance shoes they do not come in widths (once I got home I found out online they also come in a 2E width.). Next I tried the Altra Instinct shoes. I had just saw a commercial for them last Thursday. They are a "zero drop" shoe (the heel is the same height and the forefoot) and are designed with a wide toe box to allow your toes to splay. I liked the way they fit my feet but the soles were very thick compared to the NB Minimus. I did not try them on the treadmill but I should have done it. Even though I did not ask Noreen brought me a pair or Nike Free 5.0. I told her my wife has some Nike Free shoes but I was unable to get them on my feet when I last tried them over a year ago. Unlike the older models that had the tongue attached to the upper like slip on shoes the 5.0 had a normal tongue and laces. I was able to put them on my feet but in true Nike style they were too narrow. I told the sales lady I liked how the Nike Air Pegasus 28 and I had bought them too short last time and got black toenails. She said they now carry the Pegasus 29 but they do not have any wides in stock yet. I told her I would be back in 3 weeks for packet pickup for the Honored Hero Run. She said I will get a coupon and would be better off buying shoes that day.
I headed out to my car and got my running gear and went back inside. I asked the manager lady if I could change in the dressing room and she said ok. I felt bad spend all that time in the store so I bought a Powerade. The manager asked if I wanted a bag for my work clothes. I said No and thought it was a weird question. I got the feeling she thought I was shop lifting...
I got to Woodshed Smokehouse at 6:30 and there was already a line to sign up. I waited in line for about 15 minutes to register and get my t-shirt and wrist band for post run taco and margarita. My friend and his wife showed up with two friends just as I finished signing up. We hungout for half an hour before the run. I had not had anything to eat since 2pm and decided to skip out on an energy gel. The run started at 7:30pm right after the sun set. They asked all the 7-8 min pace runners to come to the front due to the narrow sidewalk. We took off around an 8 min pace and quickly settled into about 8:30 pace. It was fast but we were both able to still converse. We hit mile 1 in 8:40ish and halfway in about 13:30. After we crossed mile 2 in 17:20ish I told my friend about how I like to sprint the last 0.1-0.25mi of every run. We picked up the pace to sub 8min pace for mile 3 and on the last downhill with about a quarter pushed up to a 6:30 pace finishing in 26:28 with my friend just a few seconds behind me.
Even though it was 75f I was sweaty and headed straight to the water. We waited for his wife and her friends to finish then got our (tiny) taco and (small weak) margarita. We found a table but after a minute an employee rudely told us the hostess was waiting for that table and to go over to the "gravel." We moved and hung-out for another 10-15 minutes and I noticed the table was never used.