Shut Up + Run: Virtual Run for Sherry Arnold- February 11, 2012

Shut Up + Run: Virtual Run for Sherry Arnold- February 11, 2012.

This is something that sickened and saddened the running community recently. It is time for us to come together and run in Sherry’s memory on February 11th.

Go to the link to Beth’s blog to read more and get your running bib for that day.

Welcome to A Veteran Runnah

Running has been one of my passions for many years. It has helped me through some very tough times, is part of some fantastic memories and allowed me to meet people, who I never would have met otherwise.

Fortunately, I have been around long enough to be considered a veteran runner (age group) – one of the joys of being an old fart.  Also I served 21 years in the Coast Guard and am that kind of veteran too.

Ayuh – I am from Maine and instead of “er” we often say “ah” thus the term Runnah.

Hence the blog’s name “A Veteran Runnah”.

Just because I wear a Coast Guard t-shirt in many of my photos, does not mean any endorsement by the Coast Guard for anything that I do or say. Just wanted to make sure that disclaimer is in here to keep the legal beagles happy.  😉

The politically correct term for someone from Maine is a Mainer, a term I dislike and instead consider myself a “Maineiac”. There is a difference and we can sit down over a good brew of something to talk it ovah.

There have been great days, bad days, injuries and the like, but running has been the one mostly positive constant in an “interesting” life. It is something that I have done pretty much when I wanted until February 2010 when I injured my right knee. I wasn’t able to start running again until after surgery in May 2011.

During that period when I couldn’t run, I found out how much running really means to me – more than most people will ever know. I was told by the doctors before the surgery last May, that I would probably not ever run again .

Guess what!

I am now running 13 mile long runs, 30-40 miles a week and loving it! The best part is that I am mostly pain-free. However, that getting older thing does have a habit of smacking me upside of the head every once in a while, when one of those old injuries or thinking that I am still 20 gets me in trouble. 😉

What can you expect from Veteran Runnah?

I will writing about:

  • running of course
  • irreverent looks at running and things we don’t see the same as other people
  • a bit of humor (hopefully) – aimed mostly at myself when I do something dumb or stupid
  • how I am doing coming back to running
  • what I learn along the way.
  • interesting people who I meet.
  • using social media to take part in the online running community
  • making trail running a regular part of my running routine.
  • reflections on different parts of my running career, both the highlights and the lowlights.
  • involvement in the running club I joined.
  • reviews on different shoes, clothing, techie stuff and other gear that I use when I am running or cross-training.
  • using “A Veteran Runnah” as my daily running log.

The reality is that

I still love to run and plan to run for the rest of my life.

I hope that you enjoy reading “A Veteran Runnah” as much as I enjoy writing “heah”.

AVR Week In Review – 1/29/12

The big news of the week was that I moved “A Veteran Runnah” from Blogger to WordPress.com, after thinking about it last weekend, I decided to just do it. The reasons are here and how it went are here.  I still have to update and edit just under a hundred posts, but I plan to get that done this week :-).

Below is the un-cropped photo that I used in my header.  YES believe it or not it is a picture of me, in shorts, in January. I don’t ever remember doing that in Maine.

Other than that it has been a very quiet week. Oh I did learn that I am going to be a grandpa for the 4th time only this one is a girl – that is pretty damn exciting! Gotta get out to Minnesota this summer somehow :-).

Running This Week

Three things Running

  • Ran in the Second Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5K Race
  • Ran over 25.0 miles this week!
  • Learned about the Perfect Cadence iPhone App

If you read my blog entry about this race you know that I got frustrated when I got 2.7 miles in and found out that the app hadn’t started. It seems that I have a lot of problems with iPhone apps not working correctly, most likely because I have an old iPhone 3G and don’t have phone service to it. I just use it as a iTouch.

Getting back to the race, I was on pace to break 8:00 minutes for the first time this year and when I looked at that, it just deflated me. Oh well, I am pretty sure I can do it in a real 5K, just have to focus on what I need to do instead of frigging around with technology :-).

I got over 25 miles for the second week in a row! I had a good 8.0 mile run and some other nice runs this week It shows a consistency in my running and that is what I am trying for, probably the second week of February I will purposely go back down to around 20 miles, then bounce up to 30, just as a change of pace week.

Twitter how I love thee, someone on Twitter talked about the Perfect Cadence app for the iPhone and after reading book about how having the proper cadence can help your form and run faster, I wanted to try it. Basically it is a metronome and ticks the pace your feet are supposed to touch the ground. You can read here about the rest of my thoughts on increasing your cadence.

Racing Schedule

I still haven’t gotten around to figuring out a racing schedule yet, the blog change-over got in the way, but I plan to work on this as soon as I get the rest of the posts edited. 🙂

Long Term Goal

I know that my long-term goal is still to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I finished the 1983 Marathon and to run Marine Corps again 30 years later would be very cool. So this is one of the major goals that I have in mind for my running and it would be even more fantastic if I could qualify for Boston that same day. Therefore, I am doing a 2 year work-up to the Marathon distance, just to see if my knee will hold up.

This week in a word: Change

Weight

 

I have bounced between 165-168 all week – 165 is the lowest I have been since 2001 – now to keep it under there!!!!  I am very comfortable with the progress and know that I am going in the right direction. As the weather starts to get warmer, the weight will come off easier. The best part is that I am not really changing how I am eating, just eating a little less on the portions, drinking more liquid and trying for my “greens” once a day.

Injuries

 

Everything is feeling pretty good. The knee is not bothering too much and my lower back is better. As I have increased my mileage, my usual Right Hip Flexor discomfort still bothers a little.  I have to start doing more self-massage, exercises and preventative maintenance.

I also got knee and calf sleeves from Tommie Copper, see my initial review and am trying those out to see if they help or not, I really hope that they do!.

Shoes

I am almost up to 250 miles on my Saucony Peregrines and they still really impress me. I am trying to set up a rotation schedule with my old Brooks Ravenna, but they seem to bother my lower calves more when I run in them, so we will see how that goes. I know that I am going to have to start looking at what I will get for shoe in a month or so. That is just part of the deal, runners go through shoes.

Blog Posts

Below are my posts from last week:

  1. Switching to WordPress.com
  2. 8 More Miles Run & Day 23 Janathon
  3. Why Run a Marathon?
  4. Running in Shorts on January 24th = WOW!
  5. Wordless Wednesday
  6. Running Past 50 – Book Review
  7. Hill/Speed Workout = Sucking Wind
  8. Answering 20 Questions About Me
  9. TweetCloud – What have you been saying?
  10. Trying Out Cadence App – 1/26/12
  11. Today’s Snow/Freezing Rain Photos 1-27-12
  12. Does a Faster Cadence Help?
  13. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  14. Are You Courteous to Fellow Runners
  15. Running the Day after An Ice Storm – 1/28/12
  16. How Did the Move to WordPress.com Go?
  17. Freeze Your Thorns Off – 5K Recap

Top 10

 

Here are my top ten posts for the past week based on pageviews:
  1. Why Run a Marathon?
  2. Does a Faster Cadence Help?
  3. Are You Courteous to Fellow Runners
  4. Switching to WordPress.com
  5. Answering 20 Questions About Me
  6. Today’s Snow/Freezing Rain Photos 1-27-12
  7. Running the Day after An Ice Storm – 1/28/12
  8. How Did the Move to WordPress.com Go?
  9. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  10. Hill/Speed Workout = Sucking Wind

My Favorite post from last week

Are You Courteous to Fellow Runners  in which I talk about a post that I read and agreed that runners should be more courteous to one another. I am a bit old-fashioned about this subject. 🙂

The reality is that

It was a busy week and moving “A Veteran Runnah” to WordPress.com really made it an even busier week. I do know that it was the right thing to do and once I get those posts updated and edited, I will feel better. I am very happy with how my running is going and I am even starting to get to review a few products here and there.

Reviewing products is something that I enjoy doing and put a lot of thought and effort into my wear tests. If you do have a product you want reviewed, please contact me using the Contact via Email Widget in the Sidebar or on Twitter @VetRunnah and we can discuss whether I am a fit to review your product or not.

Thank You again for your support and reading posts from “A Veteran Runnah”.

Freeze Your Thorns Off – 5K Recap

Like a more than few others, I decided to run in the Second Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off – 5K. This is a virtual race put on by The Boring Runner. You could run Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  I had GPS issues yesterday, so I didn’t get a 5K time on my run, so I ended up doing it today.

The cadence training is paying some dividends, I am going faster, without feeling like somebody is whooping on me with a big stick!! That is a good thing :-). I planned on doing 3 Laps on Philbrick which is 2.7 miles and then run the flats until I hit 3.1, at least that was the plan.

I was feeling really good through my 3 laps, I started out slower and then continued to pick up the pace a little each lap and felt strong for the last .4 tenths. I had gone through 2.7  in 21:29. When I took my iPhone out of my pocket, it hadn’t started, I deflated right there!

I really wanted to have the proof of my 3.1 finish and time – oh well it shot that plan to hell in a hand basket. So plugged along through what was really a 3.3 mile course and called it good. I ran some extra earlier to finish the 5K on the flats oh well. It was still a strong run and I was happy with it.

I do know that when I am running in a “live” race, the iPhone & its GPS crap and all the problems I have with it, will stay at home and I will just start my watch, run hard, then stop it at the end :-).  A lot fewer worries that way.

On a GREAT note – I do think that I found the answer to my chafing problem and will be writing about it this coming week 🙂 — all I can say is finally!

I do like the virtual races, but no they don’t take the place of a real race, now I just have to figure out what my next “live” race is going to be


Quality of Run: Very Good except for that little let down, when I noticed the GPS program didn’t work
Time of Run: 11:45 AM.
Temp 36F
Weather: Bright sunshine 15mph winds fm NW

Day 29 of #Janathon 🙂

How Did the Move to WordPress.com Go?

Last Monday, I decided to switch over my blog to WordPress.com and I explained my reasons in my post Switching to WordPress.com. This week has flown by and while I have not completely finished the move – I still have about 100 more posts to edit and update, I feel very comfortable and yes – happy with how the move went. There are still some tweaking going on here and there, but most of the major work is done.

Theme

I didn’t stay with the theme that I originally had on Monday it was nice, but not exactly what I was looking for. However, I really believe that my current theme is one of the best themes I have ever used. It is neat, clean and presents my blog in a way that is both personal, yet professional looking and I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Header

Why did I choose this header? I think that it shows me for who I am. An middle-aged older guy, with some (come-on) mostly gray hair. Yes I was in the Coast Guard and am proud of being a Coastie retiree. No I don’t live in my past and I don’t want anyone to think that I still want to be on active duty today – I am happily retired thank you.

In the photo, it was a gorgeous day in January (almost 50 degrees) and I had just gotten through running. My hair was a mess, and I was looking back into a bright sun. Let’s be honest, I am not a male model and I never will be, so if you are looking for a tastefully coiffed hairdo and picture of me in a suit or without my shirt on (yeah right) – ain’t happening, it is not who I am anymore. I still clean up pretty good, but there has to be a really good reason.

To be blunt I am an older guy who loves to run and workout, yes I can be a little cantankerous at times and this picture just looks like me now :-).

Widgets

I do miss not having the Feedjit live widget to see who is visiting “A Veteran Runnah” and seeing where they are coming from, but I will live without it. Maybe I should get one of those map widgets, just to have it at the bottom to give me an idea of where people are coming from – have to think on that one.

I am pretty impressed with myself, because I was able to get the subscription widget to work and even figured out how to add Pinterest to it, without breaking things too badly, too many times. Then I finally learned what a custom menu was and used that to connect my Kontactr email client to my blog. It was the only way that would work for me – not perfect but it works.

Are there any widgets that I am missing or really should have here, if so please let me know.

What I like so far

WordPress is easier for me to use than Blogger was – it just feels more intuitive. I like the ability to choose from a list of links, instead having to manually copy and paste to link back to an old post and other “little” things like that. The themes are easy to change and then change/make your own to a certain extent. Plus they work correctly and when you do something it stays that way. Things just seem to work more smoothly here than Blogger.

A big thing that I noticed is that I seem to get a lot more comments on my WordPress blog than I did on Blogger. I don’t know why, but my comments are a lot higher per post. The like button and follow buttons are easy to for readers to use and people coming from WordPress sites do seem to be more likely to those buttons to either like my post or subscribe to “AVR”.

The biggest this is that I have written more.

What I don’t like so far

I haven’t figured out how to automatically add text when I create a new post. For now I have had to manually add my Copyright notice to the bottom of each post, with this theme.

Yes my stats nose-dived, but I expected that to happen, at the same time starting over is tough. I have had to push my blog a little more than I want to, to try to get the stats back up quickly, because of some other things I am attempting to do here.

Some of my favorite widgets don’t work, but I knew that would happen coming in.

Manually updating and editing the old posts is a pain in the butt and takes time I could be writing or doing something else, but it is something that has to be done, to have a well-done blog.

The biggest thing that I miss is the ease that I was able to put my Picassa/Google+ Pictures into my Blogger blog. It is a bit more round-about system on WordPress.com but it works and of course no Adsense, but I knew that coming in too.

I haven’t had any big surprises about not being able to do something in WordPress.com that I really need or want to do.

The reality is that

moving to WordPress is not without its drawbacks, but the benefits far outweighed the negatives. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight I would have started “A Veteran Runnah” here on WordPress, so I would not have had some of these issues, but I didn’t, so I am just doing what I have to do to make the change.

Finally

If I had to do it over again would I move my blog to WordPress.com? Yes!

I don’t have any doubt that I did the right thing by moving “A Veteran Runnah” to WordPress.com. Will it always stay here, I don’t know – it depends on how successful it becomes, if it does well, I may eventually end up moving to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog. Which has more flexibility, but also other headaches.

Now to get back to editing those old posts, so that I can do what I want to do here – write about running and fitness.