It's nice when after not feeling yourself, you're back in form. Such appears to be the case.
After all but wrecking my achilles tendon two weeks ago, simply by wearing new shoes on a routine training run, I'm feeling about 95% healed now. It no longer affects my running, and hardly ever hurts at all. Good news in a big way.
Still trying to figure out what my next pair of trail racers should be. I'm wondering if I should give Salomon another shot and get something similar, the Sense Mantra. Just looking at photos, it looks like it has a less aggressive heel cup. And it has a slightly more "normal" heel-toe drop, 6 mm, compared to 4 in the pair that gave me problems. Might be a good stepping stone to the lower drop stuff.
Since I have another road race coming up next weekend, I did two training runs in my road shoes this week. The weird thing is they have a low drop like the painful shoes, but have never hurt me in the slightest (again, I think the heel cup was a bigger culprit). I do notice a difference running in those, not so much in how my foot hits the ground, but just in how my lower legs are required to do more work. The road training I did this week wasn't my fastest, but has been somewhat effective.
A repeat of the Cinderella Trail Run comes this weekend, only I'm doing the 50k this time instead of the marathon. Considering how not-so-well I did at the end of it last time, I'm a little nervous. Heat was a problem last time, and Sunday is supposed to be fairly warm (by California standards, about 80 degrees F). But I think I'm a better runner now, especially with a stronger core. Bring it on.