12 Mile EASY Run and Inadvertent Drymax Socks Test

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday I decided to do something I hadn’t done in a LONG time: go out and run EASY for 9-12 miles with NO SPLITS! God forbid!!

First, I fueled up with some of Pharmie's pancakes!!

It was a sunny, calm, 19 degree day, and I knew I wouldn’t need my YakTrax for the first time in a while. I was just happy to run. I weaved my way to River Road, and started running along the Mississippi. The path was 96% clear and dry. The other 4% was melted snow that had re-froze over the trail and was really slick. But that 4% was easy to avoid and/or to see coming.

Then, it happened.

I was around 3 miles into the run as I approached a big, rough icy patch across from the Shriner’s Hospital. It was really uneven, as if it had been broken up the day before and had re-froze. As soon as my left foot was about to hit that section, I quickly and briefly thought, “Wait, IS that frozen? Or does it just have thin frozen layer on top?”

*splish* *splash*

Both feet went in before I could react. It was a 4 inch deep puddle that IMMEDIATELY soaked both feet. I got through the puddle and stopped. What do I do? Do I turn around and run home? Could I make it another 7-9 miles with soaking feet? Is it even possible to keep running in 19 degrees with wet feet without freezing off a toe?

Here’s where I was:

B.A.P. = “Big Ass Puddle”

Here’s what I decided to do: keep running and test my Drymax socks. I’ve been having issues with the bottom of my feet in recent months (years), and I’ve been contemplating trying other socks. I’ve been a pretty big fan of Drymax socks, but I felt like they’ve maybe been letting me down, and maybe I needed to try something else. Drymax really advertises that they’ll keep your feet dry and comfortable, so I figured I’d use the rest of this run as a test for the socks.

So I started running again.

BTW, in case you didn’t know, I got really turned on to Drymax socks about 2 years ago when I won 44 pairs of their socks. Here’s the video “test” that I did that helped me to win these socks (make sure to check out the third and final test):


In that video, the 2 runs with SOAKING wet socks were shorter runs - this test was on a much longer run.

Around mile 5, my feet weren’t cold, but they were still a little damp.

Around mile 8, my feet still weren't cold, and they seemed completely dry.

Around mile 11, running up the final big hill, my feet STILL felt comfortable.

The socks REALLY passed this test. Running a bit easier than normal (but running over 8 miles after drenching my socks), my feet felt great.

I didn’t really know how far I went until I mapped it afterwards. It turns out I ran 11.88 miles in 1:26:39 (which is 7:17 / mile pace). Here’s the route:

Here’s what I learned:

- My feet get so beat up NOT because of my socks, NOT because of my shoes, but because I run too hard sometimes. On this slightly easier run, my feet were A-OK for all 11.88 miles!

- (This sounds obvious, but...) There’s a huge difference between 6:40 pace and 7:10 pace. Nearing the end of this run, running between 7 and 7:20 pace, I felt like I could go about twice as far at that speed. I like “leaving it all out on the run,” but it was nice to feel comfortable at the end of the run.

- Drymax are still my sock of choice, but I still might experiment with a few other brands a bit. I’ll report back when I do.

After that run, I had to go to school and grade projects for a few hours. Because I knew I’d be cramping up a little (after sitting at a desk for a few hours), I decided to put on my Sugoi compression tights to help with recovery. Here I am sitting in the faculty office with my compression tights under my pants:

Good day.
Good pancakes.
Nice run.
Lessons learned.


(Now I'm off to kill all this joy: 60 x 50 in the pool. Yeah. Fun.)


Matt Ellenberger 6:27 AM, February 23, 2010  

Yeah, the puddles are really nasty. Thanks for the heads up on the one near shriners. There's also a great lake by the intersection of St. Clair and the river road. I made the mistake of going through it last night and I had forgotten my trail socks, so it was really cold, but whatever. Its probably frozen over by now, unfortunately

Carolina John 8:14 AM, February 23, 2010  

great test steve! although you might just be insane for running at all in 19 degree minnesota cold.

Xavi Garcia 8:26 AM, February 23, 2010  

Looks magic...incredible!

I will get a pair of those!

Thanks a lot for the review!

Cheers from Tokyo,

"XTB" Xavi.

Matt Ellenberger 8:27 AM, February 23, 2010  

Psh, 19 is a friggin heat wave here. I ran in a Singlet and Shorts yesterday. Not saying that was the best idea in the world because it wasn't, but man did it feel warm. I'm just thankful it was above zero

Christi 8:31 AM, February 23, 2010  

Thanks for the review of the socks! That sounds like a killer swim. I look forward to hearing about it!

Coffee Run 9:44 AM, February 23, 2010  

Nice review!

On a side note, average temperature here in Atlanta for the past month: 57 degrees. Oh yesss! :)

teacherwoman 9:45 AM, February 23, 2010  

Nice job on finding a big puddle to run through in freezing temps! Geez! Glad to hear the socks held up!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) 10:07 AM, February 23, 2010  

Your test video was awesome...especially the 3rd test w/ the toilet...no wonder you won! :)

I'm glad you had a great run and the socks held up. I'm a huge fan of smartwool socks, but I might have to give the drymax socks a try.

Regina 12:52 PM, February 23, 2010  

they may have passed the toilet test for dryness, but how about stinkiness? I swear, the more I read your blog and 'get to know you' the more you remind me of an old boyfriend from college (you even kind of look like him). He was a good guy with a great sense of humor. Keep entertaining us!

KayVee 1:29 PM, February 23, 2010  

I love good socks! And so do my finicky toes. Drymax are great. So are Feetures. You should give them a try. I lost my shoe to a mud puddle on Saturday and got my sock covered in mud. I just shoved my foot back into the shoe, wet mud and all, and had no problems for the rest of my 5ish mile trail run.

Roisin 2:01 PM, February 23, 2010  

Wow...those are some socks! Mayhaps I'll purchase a pair.

Char 5:48 PM, February 23, 2010  

Good pancakes + good socks = good day.

Matty O 6:43 AM, February 24, 2010  

Steve, I am intrigued with the compression tites. I have never used them and am interested in purchasing a pair. Do they really help for recovery??? What is the main benefit of the tites, is it good to help the muscle fatigue after a run? Is it more for handling the lactic acid build up? Thanks in advance.

Average A 8:41 PM, February 24, 2010  

I run on the Greenway in Minneapolis and have had the exact same issues of finding a frozen mini-pond, only to sink ankle-deep into ice-cold water. I figured it was a way of life this time of year -- Thanks for proving this Drymax test for these situations! :)

prashant 9:18 PM, February 24, 2010  

although you might just be insane for running at all in 19 degree minnesota cold.

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