Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, 11/13/11 2 Laps on Sanitas and Red Rocks

Sanitas x 2/Red Rocks
6.74 miles/3,001 vert./1:21:27/159 avg. HR Garmin Data

Was planning the usual lap on Green, but I was eager to test the NB MT110 and I realized that my medium size (stretched out) Microspikes were a bit floppy on the very slim and streamlined 110. I debated trying it anyways, or just going without traction, then decided that running dry trails and perhaps getting a few minutes of late afternoon sun on Sanitas might be good for the soul.

By the time I started my run, a thin layer of clouds were blocking out the sun and the wind was pretty pesky, making it feel much cooler than the ~51 degree temp reading in my car. Despite this though, I was eager to run, as I have only hiked Sanitas a handful of times with the babies this year and I can’t even remember the last time I actually ran it.

I pushed a bit on the first lap, feeling a bit bogged down by the forceful wind and also worked my way around many more dogs and people than I expected. The second lap, I felt like I took it easier (which seems true because I was 1 minute slower), but my HR was actually 2 bpm higher for the second ascent. To change it up a bit, I descended the East Ridge/Dakota Ridge and really enjoyed cruising along the dry trails. I seriously contemplated a 3rd lap, but knew I would run out of daylight and did not feel like wasting the time running back to the car at 4th/Mapleton to get my light, so I ran over to Canyon via Red Rocks and back (where it got pretty dark on me by the end).

The MT110 is indeed an amazing shoe. I was impressed with how light and responsive it felt, yet has enough protection to protect your feet well on something as rocky and technical as Sanitas. It is a very free/neutral feeling shoe, but stability was excellent, as it rides so close to the groung.  Traction was very good as well, as I was doing some deliberate high speed rock smearing on the descents and it pretty much stuck whenever I needed it too. This shoe will be a must have for those looking for a fast and light race shoe (they will be available in Feb. 2012 I think?).

Lap 1, Up/Down S. Ridge:

18:27 up avg HR 167
11:43 down avg HR 150

Lap 2, Up S. Ridge/Down East Ridge/Dakota Ridge

19:30 up avg HR 169
16:54 down avg HR 151

Red Rocks: 14:50 out/back


  1. Nice, I'm psyched that the 110s didn't disappoint. Hopefully they're truly worthy of the Flatirons' approval :-)

    Their only drawback, in my opinion, is that the rubber compound isn't durable enough. This makes them nice and sticky on rock, like you experienced (and something I thought was a huge downfall w/ the 101s), but, unfortunately, the lugs burn pretty quickly. I think I have NB convinced to go with a Vibram compound on the 2013 update, though, so hopefully we can find a middle ground.

  2. Tony, yeah, the 110s rock, I can’t wait to put more miles on them (but at the same time want to keep them in good condition for special occasions). I did notice a bit more wear than expected after 7 or so miles (albeit very rough miles), especially with the softer compound under the midfoot (one of the other testers echoed the same observations as well).

    After testing so many brand/model shoes and being a part of the wear testing process at PI, it seems as though finding a rubber outsole that is durable AND sticky is a very tough balance to strike. I have had shoes where after ~200 miles, the tread barely shows any wear, but the shoe slides off rocks easily if you are not careful and look out if it is damp or wet. Then, I have had other shoes that stick like glue, but after as little as one run, lugs are falling off or looking significantly worn (usually on the toe because of the primarily uphill running I do). I have worn a few shoes that have come very close to achieving this balance, where grip is much better than average and lasts about 300 miles.

    I don’t think I have asked you this before, but just curious as to how many miles you get out of a shoe? At your peak training volume, you must go through a pair every week or two…..

  3. Yeah, when training hard, I'll blow through 2-3 pairs of shoes a month, but it's hard to really keep track because I rotate different pairs, use different models for different types of runs, etc. I'll get 300-400mi out of a pair of 101s or 110s. With the 101s, I would crush out the forefoot too quickly and on the 110s it's because the traction is gone because of the quickly-wearing rubber. If traction isn't a concern, though, the 110s will last way way longer, I think 600-800mi would be no problem. The rockplate in the forefoot helps them retain their responsiveness for a long time and the upper is pretty much bombproof on that shoe.

    The midfoot on the 110 is just EVA foam, so yeah, those "lugs" are going to wear instantly, but we left that area rubber-less because I always just cut that chunk of rubber off my shoes anyhow. Rubber is the heaviest thing on a shoe, so you can cut weight pretty quickly by leaving large areas uncovered. Almost all of my major traction comes from the heel (on super steep downhills) and the forefoot (every other kind of terrain), and I've had basically zero bad experience with that exposed midfoot. The only place it might be nice to have is on extensive talus or larger scree running.

  4. I see the point with the mid foot foam and like having something there at least, as some model shoes I have run in have left a gap there exposing a hard plastic frame which gets MUCH LESS traction than foam or worn foam. All in all, I love the 110.