Ultra Trail Runner Michele Hartwig, 46 shares her struggles, strengths and victories. 2013 Team Inov-8 USA
Friday, January 27, 2012
From Roclites to Flyrocs...my year in shoes
I'm starting 2012 racing season out in a brand new pair of Roclite 268's! I love the new color combination, grey, navy and brilliant blue! I've been drooling after than since I first saw them at the Fleet Feet conference in Chicago last July.
2011 was a good running season. I started the year with new training program. It worked out great for me and I was able to train solid all year long with no injuries. I was pleased to have gotten PR's in every distance that I raced. The two main trail shoes I used for training were the Flyroc 310's and the Roclite 268's.
For years Flyroc 310's have been my favorite. These are a great stable shoe with excellent grip. I do many training runs on the Ice Age trail in Wisconsin, or similar trails. It's single track trail, with some open prairie, rolling hills and many rocky areas. With the Flyroc 310's I am able to cruise over the rocks and not feel them at all. They are a solid shoe that holds your feet very well in place as the trail tries to twist your ankles around. I can attack the downhills and have excellent toe protection with all the roots and rocks I inevitably kick. The Flyrocs weigh 10.9 ounces.
The Flyroc's had been a proven favorite of mine but I had been curious about the very popular Roclite 268's. I know a lot of people are very happy with these shoes. So I decided to order a pair. They are a light weight women specific trail shoe weighing 9.4 ounces. The same shoe for men is called the Roclite 295. When I first got the Roclite's I wore the them once or twice a week. Trying to decide how I felt about them. They have a lot more flexibilty in them than the Flyrocs. I soon discovered, whenever I wore them I felt fast and light.
With my new training program my mileage was increasing and my feet and ankles were getting stronger. I was getting stronger and faster on trails and the Roclite's were now the shoe that was fitting my running style. They give me good "feel" for the trail. My feet adjust to every rock or root making me feel light and fast as I cruise through the trail. They breath great and have plenty of underfoot protection. The Roclite's have the same great toe guards as all the Inov-8 trail shoes. They soon became my perfect "go to" shoe! I nicknamed them my long distance racing flats. As in 50+ miles.
I still like my Flyrocs and will always have a pair for long training runs. On race day, or days I just feel like tearing up the trail my new favorite is the Roclite 295's!
I'll be wearing my new pair at Iron Horse 100 in Florida next month!
When my kids were younger we would walk trails and enjoy the outdoors. During these walks I observed runners looking healthy and enjoying nature. I thought "I want to be that person". I slowly learned to run. In 2007 I was turning 40 and decided to run the Chicago Marathon. 26.2 miles seemed like a huge challenge. I trained hard then I ran the race and I loved it. I ran a few more marathons, then I discovered trail ultras. I did my first trail ultra In August of 2008. I was hooked. I found my passion of running trails. I love the challenge of a technical trail, breathing the fresh air and absorbing my surroundings. In 2009 I ran 9 trail ultras and some marathons. 50 mile races are my favorite distance. I finished my 1st 100 mile race in October at Javelina Jundred. I finished feeling good and I am looking forward to going back. I am thankful for the many new friends I've made. I am always excited about my next race. I am eager to continue to learn. I love seeing the world through races.