June Running Summary
Year To Date: 12.0 Miles
Days run June: 13
Total Days Run 2011: 13
Shoe: Nike Dual Fusion St – 11.0
Shoes Retired: None
This afternoon I noticed that Google had changed how my calendar looked. At first I didn’t like it at all. I guess it was more the shock of the change than anything. However, instead of automatically going back to the “classic” view, I decided to give the new look a try, while I was doing some work on updating my calendar.
The new view:
The Classic view:
As I got more used to it, I actually began to like it better than the old calendar view. The lines are cleaner, it doesn’t seem as busy and is more in keeping with the direction of keeping things more simple that I seem to be headed.
I still don’t like that Google has changes that “suddenly” appear in their web applications, without a quick notice warning you of the update before you hit the site – except in the header of the page you have already opened.
It is rather disconcerting to open “your” application and it looks completely different than it did the last time you were on it. I suppose that we will have this same experience with Mail, Docs and some other Google applications, so get ready for when it does happen.
In my opinion it is a positive change, now if they would allow me to change the primary color scheme to meet my wants/needs I would be even happier – I am just not a gray person.
|1985 CGAS Cape Cod 10K //|
Today is a milestone of sorts, it was my last day of physical therapy with Erin. It means that I am that far enough along in the healing process that I can go it without “adult” supervision.
Actually I couldn’t have asked for a better physical therapist. She is a runner also and understood my want/need to begin running again and was supportive of my goal to do so.
During this last session of PT, I mentioned that my wife watched me running the other day and thought that I was running differently than I had in the past. So we went out in the parking lot and I ran down about 50 yards and back. Erin noted that I was “quick stepping” with my right leg. We talked about what I was doing and why I felt it was necessary to “quick step” when I was running. She stated that she would think about what she had seen for a little while.
It is amazing how a little thing like my trying to improve my “gait” can change so many other parts of your stride and become uncomfortable. I am not saying that this is 100% of the cause of the discomfort, when running – no I think that the arthroscopic surgery a month a half ago still has a lot to do with it.
Image via Wikipedia //
Since I returned to running on June 15th, I have used my iPhone and several running apps (see my Three iPhone Apps for Runners Review post) to track how my running is going and to see which one I liked best.
I love being outside and hearing the sounds of nature when I am running. I prefer to focus on the run and know what is going on around me, than tuning out to the tunes.
To be honest, the more that I run with my iPhone outside, the less that I like it for that purpose. It is too big, bulky and heavy for me while I am running, whether it is in an armband, on my waist, it just doesn’t feel comfortable bouncing around.
When you add in not being able to easily see the screen when it is sunny or because it is not easily visible, it made it difficult to use for running. All the runner apps I used were very “busy” and you had to go through multiple screens with most of them to get to the main tracking screen and then use the data functions.
The main reason that I was running with an iPhone was for the GPS function of these apps, so I would “know” how far I was running each time. None of the runner GPS “apps” (including ones that I haven’t reviewed here but have used) have been all that accurate. They each had their strengths and weaknesses, but there wasn’t one run or app that had the same distance, on the same course, which defeated the purpose of using GPS to track my distance accurately.
I liked some of the functions and how they sync with a website, but none of them are I what I would consider indispensable to my outdoor running program.
In fact I was so disappointed in how the iPhone worked for me while running today, that I went out back of the garage this morning and dug around for my old Nike Triax wrist watch/heart beat monitor. I found the Triax in my old gym bag and discovered it had kept perfect time and was even on the correct date.
This was very surprising since the watch is over 3 years old and still on the original battery. It is just a lot simpler to use than any of the iPhone runner apps I have tried, a lot lighter and has the added advantage of tracking my heart rate if I choose to wear the chest strap.
I have a feeling that I would feel this same way with every “smart” phone and its runner apps. The size of the phones are probably the major reason and not being able to easily see the screens figures in prominently also.
However, I am intrigued by the Garmin Forerunner, but that is even rather large and I wonder how accurate its GPS would be compared to the smart phone apps. For me to be happy it would have to be about the size of the new iPod with a wrist strap and reliable/accurate GPS functions.
Many times we make things more, no a lot more complicated than it needs to be when we try to incorporate too much technology into what we do. The iPhone is great for working out in the gym, “just in case” I need to call home or some other emergency while running.
However, based on my experience over the past few weeks, I think I will go back to just using a watch while running outside and carry the iPhone in my fanny pack if I am going for a longer run or on a trail.
Technology is not always the answer to everything we do, sometimes we just have to do it and keep it simple. In my opinion it is more important that we need to enjoy what we are doing, instead of worrying about how to set this app up, stop that or if it is accurate or not.
I guess not using my iPhone (or other smart phone) for running is another one of those things that I am doing to simplify my life.
Over the course of the past week and a half, I have been running with my iPhone – not for the music, but for the GPS/runner apps that I have been trying out. I wanted to see which one I liked the best.
3 iPhone Apps for Runners
I liked the big start button in the middle of the screen, the voice feedback, but thought that the time should have been the larger numbers instead of the mileage. I did like that single button to stop your workout versus having to do a slider, after running and being out of breath, it is a lot easier to stop the timer. The webpage that goes along with the app is solid and does what you need to track your workouts. Posting to Twitter is easy.
Good app for running, but it isn’t what I am looking for.
I used this as my primary app for walking since last summer. It loads in about 11 seconds, which is much better than it was initially – upwards of 30 seconds, so they have made significant improvements here.
I like the start and the positioning of the time, but the size of the timer is small if you are running along or making a quick glance at it to see how you are doing. I really don’t see a need for MPH unless you are using it for biking too, which I don’t. Maybe redesigning this screen could be an option to make it better for a runner.
I do like that Runtastic goes directly into map mode when you hit start. This is especially good if you are in an area that you don’t know very well. However, I hate having a slider to stop the workout. When you are all sweaty it and out of breath, sometimes it is hard to do get the slider to work without messing with it. Everything else is really good and integration with their website, Twitter and Facebook are all good too.
I tried this because of some good reviews I read online. It had the quickest start-up time of all the ones that I have tried – just over 4 seconds. But had several screens to go through to get to the timer section. Main >Go >Free Workout >Review >Continue >Ready, Set, Go >Start Work. I hate where the start workout button is placed and how it takes you to a different screen for your workout.
I like the timer screen, but to you have to use a slider to stop the workout (which is misnamed “slide to unlock”) then you have go to another screen to hit finish, these add about 5-10 seconds onto your time by the time you get through the screen which is a pain.
It has a nice summary screen. miCoach is a very powerful app that needs to be simplified, it has too many screens to go through to be useful to me, especially when ending a workout. I just want to press one button and have stuff stop at the end. Great premise, just not what I am looking for – too many screens for me.
None of these iPhone apps are really what I am looking for as a runner, the GPS in all of them gives a different distance each time you use the app for the same course, so they are approximations of the distance that I have run at best. I can get a reasonable distance that is as accurate on the roads with my car, so one of the reasons for using these GPS enabled running apps is gone.
If I can get back in shape enough for some trail running, I would probably use Runtastic, even though I don’t like the slider to stop the app. I do plan to keep using the Runtastic app for walking, when I want to keep track of one.
I was out walking Bennie Bean for his morning constitutional and my opportunity to clear my head. It was the first sunny morning since last Wednesday, the birds were singing, the mosquitoes were whining and at the top of the hill were two of the neighbor’s dogs (a Boston Terrier-Ruby and a Border Collie-something else mix-Buddy).
I tried to turn around before they noticed us, but it was too late. They had spotted Bennie and were running over. I tried to keep walking towards the house, but Ruby came running up and of course Bennie had been trying to drag me back to where they were with every bit of his strength (sorry Bennie mass overcomes determination). His pulling and tugging didn’t work, but Ruby and Buddy came running up announcing that they were ready to play.
Ruby and Bennie started to play, which wasn’t a problem, just an inconvenience, because I wanted to get home, have breakfast and finish my morning chores. Everything was just fine, until Bennie slipped his collar and they both started running down the road back towards Ruby’s house on the other side of the hill. Luckily it isn’t a busy road, but still it was just before 7:00 A.M. and many of the people here are driving to work at this time. Ruby and Bennie wouldn’t have noticed the vehicle anymore than he responded to me hollering at him to “Get back here!”
The three of them were running down the road as fast as they could (a darn site faster than I can run) darting around and running free. If I hadn’t been so pissed at Bennie for not coming when I was calling to him it would have been a fun sight to watch them play. Bennie was in the moment enjoying his freedom from the leash that he is almost always when he is outside – he loves to run and will on a moments notice, without regard to what we want him to do. He was playing, nipping, getting nipped, running and just having a glorious time.
While he was having his great time, I was worried about a car coming over the hill and hitting them. Finally, after about 5 minutes of this, I was able to get close enough to grab him and have him sit so I could put his collar back on and pick him up so he couldn’t slip the collar again (he has it down to a science). This didn’t stop Ruby from wanting to continue to play and follow us back to our home.
Because Ruby wouldn’t go home on her own, I had to lead her back to her house, where her owner came out, got her and apologized. I was a little flustered and frustrated, so I wasn’t my normal friendly self and mumbled something incoherent and walked off. I have a feeling that the neighbors (who live about 1/2 mile away), probably think I am a grumpy old guy. But hey, don’t let your dog run around the neighborhood.
What did I learn from this chance encounter this morning?
Looking back Bennie’s complete involvement in the moment and play was actually fun to watch and that much of my stress over the whole situation (beyond the playing in the road issue) was my problem, not his.
Bennie was simply having fun and doing what comes natural to him. As we get older it seems that we are less and less spontaneous and more worried about our routines, schedules and what we think we have to get done next.
Is this a problem that most of us have?
Have our lives become are so rushed and structured that we do not have time for spontaneous fun and that we see it only as an inconvenience, instead of an opportunity to do, feel or see something differently.
Thank you Bennie and Ruby for making me stop and think about what I am actually doing and if that is the way that I want to continue doing things.
|The yard a couple of weeks ago – hshawjr
I enjoy running too much not to run again, but will try to be smart about it (something different for me) and not go overboard and try too run fast or far anytime soon. One mile a day is a good distance for a while with all the other stuff I do. I probably will do a lot more walking and hiking than running in the long term, I just want the option to be able to run and do it relatively pain-free. I just have to remember to have rest days built into the weekly schedule, so I don’t break down as quickly.
Now if I could just get myself to go in the back of the garage more often to life weights. I have always hated lifting weights, even though I know that it is good for me and that I should do it more than once or twice a week. Oh well, maybe that is something as I relax a bit more and figure out that I have more time than I used to, that I make time for.
I am not hitting the geejunk machine at work with all those unhealthy choices. I have cut waaaayyyyy back on my potato chip eating (my addiction), by having a small bowl instead of the whole bag, when I had them this week, and putting them on the grocery list – see my I ADMIT IT – I AM A CHIPAHOLIC post from June 16, 2009 (it is still pretty accurate). I have been eating salads fresh from our garden, eating less meat and trying to avoid pre-processed foods whenever possible.
The other thing is that I am not trying to wolf down my food in less than 18 minutes at lunch time. This is what happened during lunch when school was in session, there was no time to relax, just wolf your food and get back to it. I had just enough time to walk to the teacher’s room, heat up my lunch, walk back to my room, eat my food and have a couple of minutes to screw my head back on, then students started to show back up. Now I am taking my time, eating in a relaxed manner and feeling a lot less stressed about lunch.
This past week we processed about 50 pounds of rhubarb into non-alcoholic cordial, sauce, and freezer chunks, it will taste great during the winter. See Rhubarb Processing is Finished post.
Over the course of the summer we plan to do strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, along with our garden and whatever else we can glean from the local area. So we have a lot of food processing left to do. We started buying our eggs from a neighbor this week, there is a noticeable difference, between the fresh eggs and the one you get at the store, plus we are supporting a local small business this way. The quiche that Mary made from those eggs was very different tasting (for the better in my opinion) and had a lot more color than we were used to.
|My archery range as seen from 20 yards|
I need to put a couple of stands up and get permission from the local land owners to go out back to do some still hunting. Eating stuff I kill in the woods during hunting season has to be healthier alternative, than the mass farm raised meat that we get at the store, with all of the medications and additives to their food that those animals have. I have a feeling that I will need to improve my hunting skills a great deal to provide much meat for the table though, but that is something that I will have time for.
No I do not ever see me ever becoming completely vegan, so hunting will be a part eating healthier and hopefully help lower our food costs for meat.
I finished going through all my books and have another large pile to give away to one of the local book sales. Heck I even got my desk area semi-cleaned up so that it looks presentable when someone come around or if I “heaven forbid” have to work at my desk.
|My desk, still got some work to do here – hshawjr|
Finally, I re-imaged my MacBook Pro and got rid of several programs, files and assorted junk on the machine. Re-imaging my Mac has really helped its performance and forced me to look at what software I really need instead of just keep putting “stuff” on my Mac. See my Re-Imaging My MacBook Pro post.
Although my resignation is not effective until August 17th and it has been an extremely busy week, even so I have noticed that there has been a significant reduction in the stress levels that I was feeling. Who knows, I might finally loose a pound or two as my stress levels go down. After next week, I see my/our life starting to slow down a lot more.
We usually make the rhubarb into a non-alcoholic cordial, sauce, freezer bags and keep some stalks in the fridge, for whatever. Below is a photo collage of the process.
The first batch to chop up
It took us 3 days of very steady work to process nearly 50 pounds of rhubarb. As a result of this we got 39 jars of rhubarb cordial, 4 jars of sauce, 9 quarts of chopped rhubarb in freezer bags and lots and lots of practice washing dishes over and over.
It might not look like much, but these are probably a two year supply for the two of us as long as I am not using a small glass instead of the cordial glass, which I usually do. I really like the tart flavor and it adds something to a meal in the middle of the winter, when you drink something that you made and know exactly what is in the drink for ingredients, besides it tastes great.
Now to get some thank you samples back to the owners of the patch and give dad his due share.
We just wish that our rhubarb patch was as nice, but we are working on it. It sure would be a lot easier than having to travel over an hour to get the rhubarb, but the price was right and the result is delicious.
Next week is strawberry week and we will probably find something to do with those rhubarb stalks still in the fridge. Strawberry-Rhubarb pie, muffins, mmmm, loosing weight is tough, with Mary’s great cooking going on around me. I just don’t have great will-power – guess that I will have to start moving more.
By the way (SWMBO) She Who Must Be Obeyed is from Robert A. Heinlein’s books and is a joke.
Here are the programs I am starting with:
I would probably get rid of Front Row, Dashboard, Chess, Image Capture, and maybe iDVD if I was sure that there were no negative consequences for doing so. In the 18 months I have had my Mac, I haven’t done more than just open these programs to see what they were – I never used them.
I am sure that this list will grow, but when I add another desktop application, I want to do it for a reason, not just because it came with the laptop or because I thought it was a good idea earlier and found that I never used the program after the initial few times. I know that I will be adding NeverWinter Nights II and Sophos sometime this afternoon, but other than that I think I will wait a few days before adding more software.
Below are screenshots of the software that I had on my Mac before I started this re-imaging.
I have noticed a definite improvement performance on my Mac. It feels snappy, instead of sort of sluggish and I haven’t been seeing that Spinning Wheel of “Time to Wait” stick around nearly long or as often as it had been over the past couple of weeks.
When was the last time you re-imaged your Mac? Is it time for you to do it?
Okay it was a bit of a pain to go back and add programs back, remember old passwords (stuff that I never added to LastPass) and some of the other “little” things that you forget about when you re-image your laptop. In the long run I have a feeling that I will be very glad that I decided to re-image my Mac.
Is there any software that I “have to have” that isn’t on my current list? Why do I need it?
What do YOU want to write about on YOUR blog?
Others who may or may not be “expert” bloggers (whatever your definition of an expert blogger is) offer suggestions, strategies, ideas and some even attempt to come up with “rules” (that fit their idea of what blogging should be) about how or what YOU should write on YOUR blog.
When you read those other blogs does it get confusing or even rather intimidating due to the many different messages being sent out there about blogging, by the multitude of bloggers each trying to get market share for their blogs.
Have we gotten so caught up reading all the great posts, with all their fantastic ideas that we could use to improve our blog (and there are some really great ideas out there) or the idea that “you too can make money blogging” or “see how great I am” blogger. Those who continually reminds you that they have so many followers that they must have all of the answers about “how to” blog correctly. In addition to all the other “help” that is out there to make you be a better blogger according to “their” ideas of what blogging is.
Do we pay so much attention to how others blog or want us to blog, that we loose track of the reason(s) many of us began blogging in the first place. How many bloggers have stopped blogging due to this attitude that seems to be too prevalent in the blogosphere? Too many I think.
How often do we loose our own voice or style in order to adapt to someone else’s way of doing something, even though we don’t feel comfortable blogging that way. It just isn’t who we are, but we do it anyway because it was successful for someone else?
Am I bashing the bloggers and their blogs who’s blogging niche is blogging – hell no. I have learned a great deal from some of those “experts” and some who are not considered expert. Yes, I have advertising on my site and if someone wants to give me money to write on my blog or elsewhere I will take it, if their writing needs, meet my standards, ability and interests. I have used their suggestions to help “grow” my blog.
At the same time I have also listened to and tried: suggestions, ideas, focus/niche, monetization and other solutions that didn’t work for me because they were not who I am or the direction that I seem to be going.
I have forgotten that One Foot In Reality is my blog and that I get to choose what I want to write about or what is or is not my blog’s focus or niche. My blog is not dependent upon what the “experts” consider to be the “right” way to blog – who knows maybe my way will work best for me and my expectations of what blogging should be.
How many of you have also allowed yourselves to be manipulated to change how you blog to meet other people’s or the so-called experts’ expectations of what blogging is? Instead of writing what and/or how you want to write on YOUR blog.
So what do you want to write about on YOUR blog?
After all it is YOUR blog and you can make YOUR own choices on the content YOU put there.