Sometimes I have dreams where I am running effortlessly on a trail that seems very familiar – but never is. I love these dreams because in them, I am gliding and enjoying the run more than I am feeling the pain of the workout. In these days of naked running and stripped down shoes, HOKA ONE ONE offers an alternative – the ultra cushioned running shoe. Even though they are built up, they have a surprisingly light weight. Many of my SDP Teammates have started wearing this shoe to work out in. Being a “Brooks” guy for so long, I was initially hesitant, but I finally broke down and bought some of these. My teammates prefer the Hoka One One Clifton model. I on the other hand prefer the discount. So I went with these Hoka One One’s Rapa Nui’s instead.
Today, I ran Fruit Hill in my new Hoka One One Rapa Nui 2’s. All I can say is “WOW!”. I was living my dream. Fruit Hill is the name of a road that leads up a hill to Arbor Crest Wine Cellars in the Spokane Valley. At the top, the winery offers panoramic views of the entire Spokane Valley. From the start of this at the Spokane Valley YMCA to the top and then back, the run is 7 miles. The .8 mile long hill is in the middle of this run. Running in my Hokas, I decided to push the pace a bit. I don’t think I can clearly articulate how well these shoes absorbed the impact during this run. Instead of feeling the pain of the jarring steps, I was able to push my limits and feel the pain in my chest and core instead. I have been keeping track of my runs on Strava for the last 2 years. During that time, I have run this route 12 times. Today was my fastest logged time. Wow. Bad knee, bad hip, but still a PR. I am crediting the Hokas. If you haven’t tried them, I strongly encourage you to do so. They are pillows on your feet and they will surely alleviate some of the jarring that your body endures while running.
So now I am looking towards Bloomsday. I had my MRI yesterday. I will know the status of the hip and knee on the 23rd of April, the next available date for my doctor. I am confident that if surgery is in the future, it will not happen before Bloomsday, so I am setting my sights on racing as well as I can. My goal for the year was to run a sub 49 minute for the grueling 12k course. (Last year I ran 46 and change). The knee and hip are still bothering me, but these Hokas have given me a new sense of optimism. I am beginning to look forward to this race.