Friday, January 11, 2013

Ambassador Missy? Yup, I like it!

I'm really excited to announce that I've been named an Altra shoe ambassador.  A few months ago, I decided to head down to the Wasatch Running Center to just try on some Altra shoes and see what they were like.  Several of my trail-running-ultra friends are wearing them and like them a lot, so I thought that I would see what the shoes were like.

I have to tell you, the Altra Superior trail shoe is one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, straight out of the box.  This is a pretty "minimal" shoe, meaning that it doesn't have a whole lot of cushiony midsole, and the "drop" or the height of the shoe from heel to toe is "zero", meaning that it is flat across the shoe from tip to tail.  I originally purchased the shoes to train in once or twice a week, for some foot strengthening and to work on my stride efficiency.  They are so comfortable and I am running so well in them now, I'm pretty excited to be in the process of transitioning to them as my standard shoe.

What does zero drop mean?  For some, who have been used to running in a standard running shoe (which can be about 12mm of drop) it can be a tough transition.  I have been running in the Hoka One One Mafate and Stinsons for about three years, so for me the transition took about a month, running only 30 miles per week.  For those not familiar with the Hoka, it has about a 4mm drop and a very thick midsole.  (See comparison photo below.)
Hoka Mafate 2 (left), Altra Superior (right)
I alternated running with the Hokas and the Altras the first 3 weeks, and only did up to 4 miles in the Altras at any one time for the first couple of weeks.  I also did a lot of 2-mile walks either on my lunch break or with the dogs after work.  I talked to a Sports Med doc at work, and he advised running at least a little bit in the shoes daily, as opposed to only once or twice a week, for an easier transition into the shoes.  This way, the foot has a daily exposure to the new shoe, and is not "shocked" into wearing them for a longer distance once or twice a week.  I'm glad I talked to him about it.  I think the plan definitely worked.  The first couple of weeks I had a little bit of anterior lower leg soreness which I attributed to the change in shoes, but I was just very patient with the process of transitioning ~ running slowly, relaxed, and not pushing (things that I am very good at doing anyway!)  I'm happy to report that I did my first 9 mile run in the Altras just yesterday and have no lower leg soreness (or over-all leg soreness at all) today.

As for being an ambassador, I will be wearing an Altra shirt and visor or hat as well as the shoes, and basically saying nice things about them at the races I participate in and volunteer at.  I'm honored to be named an ambassador for such a great product ~ I feel like I have been recognized for my participation and dedication to trail running (over the past 14 years!) which is so much more than winning races and being on a podium ~ to me there is such a strong sense of community and camaraderie with trail running.  Being able to support a great product and talk about it at races with other participants will be very rewarding for me.  One thing you can count on, I never endorse a product that I don't believe in.  I rarely get "free gear", so the gear that I do invest my money in, I hope that it will work for me.  If it doesn't work for me, I spend my money elsewhere.

Altra Superior shoes with Kahtoola microspikes,
out on the Rail Trail in Park City

Rail Trail, Promontory, Park City, Utah

I am a member of the Wasatch Speed Goats Mountain Racing Team again this year, and am looking forward to swapping stories with my team mates about the races we have planned for 2013.  I'm really looking forward to my running season in 2013.  I plan on volunteering at Wasatch 100 and the Antelope Island fall races again this year.

Events I am planning on running in 2013:

Buffalo 100, Antelope Island, Utah ~ March 22
pacer at Bryce 100, Bryce, Utah ~ May 31
Bighorn 100, Sheridan, Wyoming ~ June 14
volunteer Speedgoat 50k, Snowbird, Utah ~ July 27
El Vaquero Loco 50k, Afton, Wyoming ~ August 10

Couldn't resist adding this one ~
the dogs and I walked to Starbucks for a
coffee and a snack.  Don't let them fool you ~
they enjoyed every minute of it!


  1. OK, this is an absolutely AWESOME post. You rule. I'm so glad to have you in the program. It's going to be an amazing year.

  2. Saweet! I believe they are a local company too. I find the best information about products are from other runners. Looks like an exciting year for you and great plan to transition.

  3. Congrats! That's so exciting!