Running – 40 Years Series

It doesn’t seem possible that I started running over 40 years ago. No I am not an √©lite runner – far from it, I am just a pretty average one who running has ranged from jogger to road racer.

Over the course of all those years, there have been several interruptions and times when I did not run as much:

  • I got injured a lot (usually from training stupidly) or things not related to running i.e. falling off roofs, playing racquetball, just being active and clumsy :-),
  • Life has gotten in the way far too often (kids, work, priorities change)

but I have always come back to running.

There are many reasons that many people say they run, but I think that mine is one of the most basic reasons – I just enjoy running (especially when I can run fast or at least what I consider fast).

Even though I love to run fast, I haven’t run in all that many races (they just have never been a big part of my running, other than a two-year stretch in the mid ’80s). Official competition just never really interested me – I had too many other things going on to give it the time, money and effort that it would have required of me.

In this series you will find my recollections and honest reflections about a part of my life that others only glimpse, as that “crazy guy” they see out running in all kinds of weather, after dark, during the day or even during hunting season.

How Did I Start Organized Running

My First Cross Country Practice – Made a Difference

Running High School Cross Country 1971-1974

Running 1975-1982 School’s Out and I am in the Coast Guard Now

Running – Washington DC Area & 1983 Marine Corps Marathon Finish

Running 1984-1988 – The Glory Years

1988 to 2000 – The Lost Running Years

2000 thru 2007 – A New Beginning

I didn’t have any pictures of the two of us running together

2011 and Beyond – My Running in the Future

This concludes my 40 Years of Running Series. You know something I am glad that I did it, it brought back a lot of memories, made me think, but most of all provides others with a glimpse into what made me a runner.

I can’t imagine how different my life would have been without running being a part of it for all of those years.

Let’s just hope that the next 40 years of running are even better :-).

Yes that means that I still plan to be running when I am 95 years old – don’t bet against me. ūüôā

AVR – February 2012 in Review

February was my first full month of “A Veteran Runnah” at WordPress.com, I moved from Blogger on January 23rd and haven’t really looked back since. In some ways being limited by what I can do on WordPress.com has been a good thing, it has given me time think about where I really want to take this blog, without the worry of trying to monetize it too. I have passed up on a couple of opportunities that if I had been on Blogger, I might have thought about more seriously, but being here couldn’t do them.

Honestly, being on WordPress.com simplifies things for me a great deal and has allowed me to focus on writing, instead of back-end management issues. Which is what I wanted to do.

I am making great progress on my 2012 running goals and have had a couple of minor injuries that rest has taken care of. I did go through the “Great February Shoe Hunt” and ended up with one of the shoes on my Top 5 Shoe List – The Saucony Kinvara – after almost a 2 week period of searching. Yesterday, I got my credit notification from New Balance for returning my NB MT20s and ordered the MT110s to have as my trail shoes. I should be getting them soon.

I ended February with a real score, I was in town today and picked up a New Balance dry fit running jacket for a great price. I have needed another running jacket for a month now and when I saw it, I knew it was coming home with me. РVery bright blue, so I know I will be seen and not be mistaken for a natural critter on the side of the road or trail  :-).

Running In January

Summary

  • Miles Run: 100.7
  • Days Run: 22
  • Days Off:¬†¬†¬† 07
  • Longest Run: 9.0 miles on 1/21/12
  • Fastest Run: ¬†8:27 pace for 3.11 miles on 2/9/12
  • Best Week: 30:57 ¬†week ending 2/5
  • Miles walked: 78.86 – added in to show that I do more than just run

Shoes Run In

  • Saucony Peregrine – Very good shoe until a hole wore in the padding of heal at 290 miles and started to cause blisters, put in the give away pile, so I wouldn’t wear.
  • Brooks Ravenna – I tried to run in them, but they were too small, my foot seems to have spread out in the Peregrines. In the give away pile
  • New Balance MT20 – Returned to New Balance for credit.
  • ASICS Gel Blur 22 – Returned to Dick’s and exchanged for Kinvara
  • Saucony Kinvara 2 – I now have over 50 miles on these shoes and will be doing an updated review on them in the next couple of days – needless to say that I definitely like them so far.
  • Saucony Pro Grid Propel – my spike/screw shoes that I use when it is really nasty out.
  • New Balance MT110 – Ordered and they are en route, should be here by Friday.
Races Run
None
Virtual Runs
None

Summary: I made the 100 mile goal for the month, barely, but I made it! I played around with different Apps to use on my iPhone as a GPS device and tend to go back and forth between MiCoach and iSmoothRun. I tried a couple of others, but they didn’t work for me for various reasons. I decided to only use the Free Workouts in MiCoach, because I was getting too “serious” using the app to help coach me during my runs and wasn’t enjoying running nearly as much as I had been.

I figured out that I don’t like running just for time, I have used mileage to measure my progress for so many years, that I naturally think in those terms, even when using the time training plans. So instead of fighting myself, I just went back to using mileage as my base to plan and measure my progress. ¬†I could always switch to kilometers and make it sound further than miles – nawwww that would really confuse me ;-).

Also, I have had 3 runs of 8.0 miles or longer during February which is totally awesome! I haven’t run that far for my long runs, since I was marathon training in 2006. The best part is I don’t feel too bad the next day.

This month in a word: Further

Weight

I ended January weighing 165 and February at 163 – only 2 pounds in a month. I am a little disappointed, but I haven’t really been watching what I eat, so I will take the 2 pounds. I did hit 161 after my 9.0 miler, so I know it is just a matter of time, until those last 8 pounds go away and I reach my goal weight of 155.
With better weather on the horizon, I have a feeling that the weight will come off easier than it is during the tough blahs part of winter and even better – TheWife also let me know that she actually sees ribs, not just flubber now :-).
33 pounds lost since June 17, 2012

¬†ūüôā

Injuries

This month I lost 6 days of running to minor muscle strains. I ran the local snowmobile trail and strained my left calf, then I went ran really hard in the MT20s a few days later, without any adjustment time – stupid I know and it cost me 4 days of running. After that I couldn’t run in the MT20s without re-aggravating the strain, that is why they went back to New Balance.
Last Saturday, we had a snow storm and due to a broken belt on the snow blower I had to clear the driveway by snow scoop and strained my left hamstring. I took a couple of days off and have run pretty slowly on it, but as long as I don’t try to run too fast, the hammie does okay.
The right knee is not complaining very often, but I have to be careful to give it rest and a chance to recuperate after a long or hard run. No streaking or back to back hard days. The lower back is still a little sore at times, but as long as I don’t let Bennie (our dog) sit in my lap, while I am working on my laptop computer it does a lot better.
Top Ten Blog Posts for February
  1. Narrowed the Choices Down to 5 Running Shoes
  2. My iPhone Running App
  3. 10 Things I Love About Running
  4. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes
  5. Marathon Poll Results and Questions
  6. What is Good Running Form?
  7. The Winter Runner Stink
  8. The Myth – Running is Cheap
  9. My Very Tentative Race Schedule for 2012
  10. Who is the Running Minimalism Dummy Now?

Reviews

One of the things that I really like to do is to review new gear. Whether I buy something myself or provided a product to review, I enjoy trying it out and seeing if it works as advertised or not. But more importantly Рwhether I like it or not and why. Blogging about running related products makes me think differently about what I am using Рwhich is a good thing.
I have done the following product reviews this month:
  • Saucony Kinvara 2 – Personal Purchase
  • Asics Gel Blur 22 – Personal Purchase
  • Tommie Copper Compression Sleeve for knee and calves
  • New Balance Minimus Trail 20 – Personal Purchase
  • Goat Head Gear – Sole Spikes
  • Ruez Performance Underwear
FTC Disclaimer ‚Äď Unless indicated by {Personal Purchase} I was provided products from these companies free of charge, to review them on my blog. I received no monetary or other forms of compensation to do the review. My opinions about each product are my honest observations, based upon my experience while using the product.

The reality is that

February is a very short month, I had some minor, but nagging injuries and I still made 100 miles this month – even though I didn’t really think that I would!!!!
The move to WordPress.com was beneficial for me, I am focusing on writing more than I did at Blogger.
Now that I seem to have the running shoe and running app search over for a little while, it is time to run and have fun.

Middle Road Loop Plus 2-29-12

When I ran this morning it said 27¬ļ with a little breeze from the west, not too cold and the sun was shining. Which is something that we will be lacking for the next few day (probably Sunday before we really see it again), we have a pretty good storm heading our way and dependent upon where the snow line finally snaps, we could get any where from 3-12. Personally I am rather hoping for the 3 – I am ready for spring and running in shorts and a t-shirt again. ¬†So tomorrow March will come in like a lion – the question will be – does it go out like a lamb?

Today’s run again was actually pretty good once I settled into a nice pace, but once I hit the Blake road, at just under 3.2 or so, the footing got rather slick, which just caused me to slow down a little more. None of the hills bothered my hamstring very much and I picked up the pace pretty well on the last mile – compared to what I had run before that. I have a feeling that I will be running slower than normal for another week or so, but by gum I am running, so I am happy still.¬†

I made 100 miles for February – I actually didn’t think that I would do it on Saturday, when I strained my hamstring, but feeling better, unless the dog sits in my lap in my computer chair – oh well the things we suffer through for our pets :-).

Mile 5.0 was the toughest part of the course, there are two pretty good hills and where the trucks/cars had driven on Quaker Rd, there was a lot of white ice, so I just focused on my form and plugged along, this hill just comes at the wrong point in the run ;-).

You will have to excuse the picture, I was still running and took the photo with my iPhone :-).

Below is my runlog for the day:

Hammie is letting me run-SLOWLY 2-28-12

Today was supposed to be a recovery run after yesterday’s first day back, so of course, when I felt pretty good, I decided to push it a bit further than I originally planned.

TheWife asked me how my run was when I got back and then added, “I thought you said you were only going to run 3 or 5, you were gone an awful long time”. I just told her that I did, but I just added them together. Yes I did 8.0 miles today – might I add a very slow 8.0 miles, but 8.0 it was. 2.0 miles was through down back and the footing was not that good to go fast either, so I just plugged along.

That hamstring strain from the snow removal fiasco Saturday, has a long way to go before it is completely healed and it lets me know if I get going too fast. Right now about as fast as I can go is a 9:30 pace, any faster, the hammie really starts to bark at me. So guess what I listened to it and then it lets me run. The hamstring felt the same at 1/2 mile as it did at 3 or 8, so I can go pretty far, just not fast. Given the choice of no running or running slow, I will run slow.

I screwed up on a setting on RunTastic and it didn’t start when I started to run. I didn’t realize it until almost 1.5 miles in, so I just shut it down until I got to Goodhue Road and did the GPS back to the house and it measured 3.36 miles, then I ran up Philbrick and added on Howard Circle to give me 4.7 for my 8.0 miles.

Also I went over 200 miles for the year today, which I am very happy with. It has been a long time since I had 200 miles in two months and that means I am still on track for my 1,200 miles for the year. Also if I can manage to run 5.3 miles tomorrow, I will have 100 miles for February and that is even though I lost 6 days to injury, so my running is going a lot better than I have done in a long time.

Running Vicariously thru Other Runners

Part of the fun of becoming part of the online running community over the past 5 months is that I gotten to “meet” a lot of other runners (some of those are very good runners) through Twitter or their blogs. Does this mean that they talk with me and we are great buddies – no.

It does mean that they have given me glimpses into their lives and their running through social media platforms – especially their blogs. These glimpses into other runners lives, has motivated me to do more than I might have otherwise and makes me realize how lucky I am to be part of this online running community.

I have subscriptions in my RSS feed for almost every kind of runner: recreational, injured, back of the pack, middle of the pack, front of the pack, ultra-runners, barefoot runners, minimalist runners, trail runners, élite road racers, Olympic hopefuls and most everything in between. I learn something from each blog and enjoy reading the exploits of my fellow runners.

Truthfully a part of me lives vicariously through their running (whatever their level) and I try to imagine putting myself in their place during their race or tough training session or how I would deal with what they did.

Along the way, I have learned that I am not alone in my many of my thoughts about running, the different goals that different runners have and the dreams that many of us share.  I have also learned that there are people in this community, who do care and are compassionate about their fellow runners and this is one reason that I try to stay active in this community.

I do enjoy

One of the things that I have to admit that I enjoy about being part of this online running community is that I get to read some of the better or should I say faster runners writing about their running.

Those local to national class runners, who graciously blog about their running and give us a snapshot into what it is like to be a runner, who is at or near the front of the pack during races – a place that many of us only dream of being. It is interesting to me to find out how many miles they actually do, how fast they are training mileage, the pressures that they put on themselves and some of the thoughts they have while training or racing or how they get beyond that point where many o f us stop.

The other side of running

I believe that it is important for other runners and myself, to see this side of running too, which is different from the typical runner’s experience.

The side where these runners show how hard it is to run at this level, some of the pressures they experience (internal and external) and what kind of workload it takes to be or stay up there at the front of the pack. In some ways I live a small piece of my running life vicariously through these runner’s exploits, when they do things that I can only dream of, due to my real ability level (not my imagined one).

My favorite blog of this kind is:

The Crossroads¬†by Judson Cake – A Maine runner, who is one of the better runners in the area, up “heah” in Maine. “The Crossroads” is¬†his personal blog where Judson shares his training, where he is running, how he is doing and more important to me, his thoughts about running and racing. Judson talks about local races, from his vantage point at/near the front of the pack, which to be honest is a very different perspective than mine, while running closer to the back of the pack.

His posts are not in-depth epiphanies about running and no he does not attempt to be anything other than himself (from what I can see), they are just his views on his running. The daily entries are usually short, to the point, but when put together over time, tell the story of a very good local runner’s training regimen. While the race recaps are longer and really do give some good insight into what he is thinking while racing, that I find very interesting.

I read several others that are similar, but for some reason¬†“The Crossroads”¬†stands-out for me and I really look forward to reading it when it comes across my gReader. Enough that when I see a new post from Judson, I click it out of gReader and take my time to read it directly from his blog – there are only a few blogs that I do this for and this is one.

No I am not in that class

Will I ever be at this level of running – in a word – NO. I am too old, too fat,too slow and lack that level of ability, but it is still interesting learn more about the “other” side of running and live vicariously through some of their running exploits.

The reality is that

I think it is a good thing to read other runner’s running stories to see what they do differently than I do, whatever level of runner they might be. However, I do enjoy reading about the faster runners (whether they are age group or not), because they are doing something that I do not do well – run fast for long distances. I like to read about how they view things differently than I do about their running. How they train – both physically and mentally to compete with themselves and others.

Do You

Do you have a blog from a very good local runner or even national class runner (trail or road) that you enjoy reading, because they give you a different outlook about running than you might ordinarily have?

If you do I would be interested in having a link to that blog, so I can check it out for myself.

  • What do you think – why do you read other runner’s blogs
  • Do you enjoy reading blogs from runner’s who are a different level than you are?
  • What do you want to read about in other runner’s blogs?
  • Do you ever run vicariously through other runner’s?

Running Challenges Us?

English: Running out of Torpoint. A Sunday mor...

Running is always challenging us.

It is a sport where the only person that can do the work is the person looking back at you in the mirror – there usually are no teammates to help make you look good if you are having a bad day.

In other words running is pretty all about what you are doing, when you are running and the challenges you make for yourself.

The Challenges

To simply run

While almost all of us ran at least a little when we kids, fighting the obligations of family, work, the lure of the Internet, other pursuits and the general slothdom that seems to pervade our society make running a challenge.

It is much easier to sit on our ever-expanding ass-ends and push our seats back a little, so that our bellies are not uncomfortably close to the computer desk or rest the laptop on that cushy/mushy lap of ours then it is to open the door and go for a walk – much less a run. ¬†To many in today’s society, just getting up to start moving is a serious challenge. You hear the complaints, it hurts, I have too much to do and not enough time and all those other excuses to not run.

Solution: Just freaking get off your ass and start. Running is not the rocket science that some of us try to make it out to be. Put some sneakers and sweats on, open the door and start, you might just be surprised at the results. Yes all the great running gear makes it better and easier, but you don’t need all of that to start – you just need the will to get off your ass and do it. You will probably walk more than run initially – that is okay. Just keep doing it.

This inertia problem isn’t just about beginning runners either. Many long-time runners, run into the getting out the door problem from time to time. You know what to do, put on your running gear, lace’em up and then open the damn door and start putting one foot in front of the other – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Returning from injuries are different, but if things have healed and you are procrastinating starting in again, read the above paragraph.

To run through discomfort

Let’s be freaking honest running is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially when first starting out or once you add distance and/or speed to your running. Running is not easy, but it is worth it in my opinion to get through the discomfort that you can feel.

It is challenging to get the body to accept the new demands you are placing on it, be patient your body will adapt and at some point you will find that you actually enjoy going for those “uncomfortable” runs and miss it when you can’t.

Sorry discomfort is just part of the challenge of running and I don’t think it matters if you are a beginning runner or a grizzled old veteran, there is a certain level of discomfort based upon how hard you are challenging your body when you are running.

Pain is a different thing and that is what runners need to be able to distinguish – the difference between pain and discomfort.

To run farther

Once someone has overcome the initial challenge of starting to run, the next challenge is to run farther, whether you got 50 feet down the driveway or ran 50 miles, there always seems to be the challenge of training to go further. If someone becomes a runner “how far” is usually a question they ask themselves – sooner more likely than later. The more you run, the more you will ask your self this question.

A reminder here:  Too much of a good thing to soon, can be a bad thing. Go slow grasshopper is all I will say on this one.

To run faster

This usually goes together with “to run farther” challenge. Someone who is bitten by the running bug, will at some point attempt to go faster than they have before whether it be a 12:00 or a 6:000 minute per mile pace. If they get caught up in comparing their speed to others or are starting to enter races, they can get caught up in “I have to go faster mantra”. Most runners want to run faster than they are now, it is just how they go about getting there that usually makes a difference between pain or discomfort.

Again tread carefully about going too fast, too soon.

To schedule a run

Do you add running as a non-negotiable part of your life Рthat it is something you WILL do? If you do, it is a significant challenge Рyou might be running very early in the morning, at lunch time or later when everyone else is winding down. Finding time to run is a challenge, but running is done by even the busiest of people, so you can do it if you are motivated enough. You will miss days running to life, accept it and move on Рit is not a big deal, unless you are streaking and that is a whole different topic.

To come back time after time

Injuries¬†seem to be a part of running and they suck! They interrupt your training at the worst possible moment and it doesn’t matter whether they happen as a result of running or just happen as a part of life. However, they happen, injuries will affect your running. Runners are loath to stop running and will attempt to run through many injuries or if they do take time off, they will attempt to come back quicker than their “medical staff” (usually the person in the mirror for minor injuries) planned for them too. Runners do this time-after-time. ¬†Even old farts want to get back out there and keep running and risk further injury to be able to say that “Yes I ran today”.

If you haven’t been injured count your blessings and be ready.

To train smart

A big challenge that most runners have is to train smart. We find this great plan or coach who will help us train for our next event (5K up to Ultra distance race and all those distances in¬†between). We really do want to train smart, but in our exuberance to do more when things are going great, we do that little¬†extra, so that we can get that extra mile in or take the extra 10-20 seconds off our scheduled pace, we don’t listen to the recommendations that we need to rest or cut-back training to get better. The old saying in the window “While you are standing here, someone is out there running” seems to be our mantra to always do more.

That is what runners are usually better at – doing more until we can’t. Then we look back with 20/20 hindsight and saw that we were not training all that smart.

I don’t have an answer for this one – I can’t be accused of training very smart – after all I am a runner ;-).

To brave the elements

Weather doesn’t really stop runners from running, many will just dress differently and choose different gear to carry or wear. It doesn’t matter whether it is 90¬ļ with 90% humidity, bordering on hurricane force storm or a snow storm (Nor’Easter”), at some point you will see some runners out there running either in it or shortly after the worst is over. In the case of snow storms you will see runners usually not too long after a snow plow goes through. If it is too bad outside there is always the dreadmill – effective and boring as hell.

Besides if you run out in all kinds of weather you get bragging rights about how bad it was, while if you jump on the treadmill it doesn’t give you the bragging rights about having run out in the Blizzard of whenever.

To run where ever we can

Runners run where ever we can, it might be in: cities, urban, rural environments; concrete sidewalks, tarred roads, dirt roads, no roads, trails, hell we even run in place on belts that go no where (treadmills). There have been races in war zones, arctic and antarctic extremes, Death Valley to Mountain tops, running up stairwells of very tall buildings and pretty much every place in between Рif someone can run there, someone has probably run there. It is a challenge to find a place to run, but if we are motivated enough Рcough cough stupid enough, runners will run.

To brave the attitudes of non-runners

That non-runners do not understand runners is an understatement. They see us putting our bodies through things they wouldn’t dream of doing and in conditions that make them ask what kind of idiot would be out there doing that in ________ (you add in the words). The public sees us as slightly crazy, but largely harmless, unless we are running in a race that interrupts their journey somewhere, then they become quickly irritated at our efforts to go beyond slothdom. While most of our co-workers, families and friends either tend to support our slight eccentricity, some will attempt to undermine our running through their negative comments or actions.

It is just something that runners have learned to deal with along with not automatically flipping off every car that hollers insults at us while we are out for our run. I am down to 1 in 3 most of the time – but that depends on how the run is going – difficult run might result in 3 for 3. I guess that is why I like trail running so much, not near as many people around and those that are out there, might understand your running.

To have fun

This is the challenge that many runners forget is a very important part of running. Many runners are so consumed by our quest for data, how far we have gone, how fast we got there, when we can fit the run into our schedule, what our present injuries are, whether we are training smart, what the weather was like or braving the attitudes of others – that we forget to have fun running. With all those other distractions it is no wonder that it is challenging to remember that running is fun.

How many of us have forgotten the pure joy that simply going for a run can be?

Maybe that joy of running is why so many of us brave these and other challenges to keep running and we just didn’t think of it that way.

We run because we enjoy running – I think that many of us fit in this category.

The reality is

How long it takes you to get from point A to point B is entirely up to you, based on the work you have done before that first step. ¬†Sure you can have the greatest coaches, all the latest technology, the best¬†running gear¬†that money can buy, but in the end running is about you putting one foot in front of the other and meeting running’s challenges yourself.

Running is not always easy (even though some days it seems to be), but it is damn rewarding to those who enjoy a good challenge Especially when those challenges change from day-to-day. No run is ever exactly alike, they are like snowflakes – each run is unique.

Enjoy your running challenges and remember to have some fun too!

Surprise Run Today 2-27-12

I was able to run today – although it was slow, it was still running and I feel really great about it!!!!!

My cranky hamstring was feeling pretty good after a day of mostly sitting on the heating pad and another full night of rest.

I have done 100 ups before most of my runs over the last month and decided that if I could do 200 that I would try a short and slow run.  I did the 200 up without any problems Рno pain and just a little discomfort. So I figured that trying an easy run would be worth it.

When I started out, I was still pretty sore and stiff from the other day (for me it is usually the second day after that bothers the most), so it took almost a mile to work the kinks out and establish a good pace.  The hammie only let me know it was around, when I tried to run a little faster, but as long as I stayed around 9:30 to 10:00 minute pace, it felt fine.

Everything was feeling pretty good, so I just kept running slow and when I got to 4.0 miles, ¬†it felt like that was far enough. No pain, just a little discomfort at the start or if I started to increase the pace or cadence, it let me know to back off and as long as I did I was able to keep running :-). Could I have gone further – no problem – but there was no sense in pushing a strain if you don’t have to.

I was  very surprised that I was able to do this much today, I figured that I would be lucky to get a mile in. Now to see how it feels later today :-).

I wanted to get out there and run today – It just felt good and I enjoyed it ūüôā

I also went back to trying out the iPhone App that I have had the most luck with over the course of having my iPhone – Runtastic. It worked well and gives me the data for these posts that I want, but I still will keep my spreadsheet as my primary log – I might have to manually enter the data, but the data that is in there is correct (as far as I know) and it doesn’t matter which app I am using. Plus if I want to change a goal or how I view/enter different data, I just have to manipulate the spreadsheet and not rely on someone else or find out that “I can’t do it”.

It doesn’t look like I will get 100 miles this month, but still on pace to get that 1,200 for the year. ūüôā

AVR – Week in Review 2-26-12

This has been a pretty good week until moving snow yesterday and I tweaked my left hamstring, which is going to put me on the shelf for a few days. Other than that this has been a very quiet week.

Running Summary This Week

RunLog Week of 2/26/12

I have gone to focusing more on time than just distance for my daily run, this is quite a difference for me and I am still not used to it and don’t know i I will switch over to this completely or not. Some things I like and others I do not.

Three things Running

  1. Injured Again
    While clearing the driveway after our most recent snow storm, I had to use the snow scoop because the snow blower blew a belt and strained my left hamstring. So far I have missed 2 days of running and will probably miss a couple more – I am going to be conservative and just take my time coming back – again.
  2. Running – feeling too much like work
    During the past month, I started to get too “serious” about my running and found out that I was not enjoying or looking forward to my runs in the way that I want to. I made some decisions and believe that a change of attitude was needed for me to continue to enjoy running. ¬†This reflection was a good thing.
  3. 9 Miler
    I ran 9.0 miles for the first time in a long time and had plenty left РI could have run further without any problem. The Saucony  Kinvara 2 are working great and have made a difference in my running this week. I was looking forward to trying to 10 next week, but think that I will delay that a week. It does feel good to be running longer distances again.
  4. This week in a word:
    Reflection

Blog Posts

Below are my posts from last week:

  1. Brand Loyalty in Running
  2. Colder and Windier than it Looked ‚Äst2/20/12
  3. Questions about Brands being Loyal to Runners
  4. 9 Miles ‚Äď Tired and Happy ‚Äst2-21-12
  5. Wordless Wednesday 2-22-12
  6. What is Good Running Form?
  7. Starting New Training Plan ‚Äst2-22-12
  8. Running up the Bitch Again
  9. Is Running Becoming too much like Work?
  10. New Attitude and Yes I Enjoyed my Run ‚Äst2-24-12
  11. Pictures From Last Night’s Snow Storm 2-25-12
  12. A Different Kind of Workout

Top 5

Here are my top five posts for the past week based on pageviews:
  1. Narrowed the Choices Down to 5 Running Shoes
  2. What is Good Running Form?
  3. Is Running Becoming too much like Work?
  4. Brand Loyalty in Running
  5. Welcome to A Veteran Runnah – Again

My Favorite post from last week

Is Running Becoming too much like Work? Where I discussed how running had stopped being fun and what I needed to do to get back a positive attitude.

Weight

I have bounced between 163-165 all week – so I did loose a pound. I am not trying super hard to lose the weight, but it is coming off pretty well.

Injuries

My left hamstring got¬†strained while moving snow around Saturday, so I am off a few days while that heals – it is so frustrating. I just seem to get going good and then a minor tweak slows me down a bit. At least they are only minor inconveniences, but they are messing around with my consistency. Otherwise everything is getting better. My calf is still a little tight and I have to be careful about running too fast or putting very much lean into my form, but otherwise it doesn’t bother me.

Running Shoes

Peregrines

Are in the give-away pile after almost 300 miles

MT20

Returned to New Balance for credit

Saucony Kinvara

So far I really, really like them a lot. The right one is a slightly more snug on my pinky than I would like, but it doesn’t bother much when I am running. I have almost 35 miles on them and have been able to run longer distances than I thought that I would be able to with these shoes – so I am very impressed so far.

Racing Schedule

I started a¬†Google Calendar¬†–¬†Running In Maine 2012¬†with a lot of the dates of races in Maine during 2012, I know that the calendar doesn’t have all the races on it, but I was able to put together my very tentative race schedule.

I have it sort of narrowed down to the races listed below

Date Name of Race Location
3/4/2012 Chamberlain 5k Brewer
4/7/2012 Fly Like An Eagle 5k China
4/14/2012 Rocky’s 4 Miler Augusta
5/5/2012 Woodfords Family Services 2nd Annual
5K Fun Run/Walk for Autism
Waterville
5/26/2012 Pineland Fams Trail Running 5k New Gloucester
6/24/2012 Rail Trail 5K & 1/2 Marathon Augusta
7/4/2012 Friends of the Fourth Winthrop
7/15/2012 Bradbury Mountain 6 Miler Pownal
8/5/2012 Bradbury Mountain 9 Miler Pownal
8/11/2012 Topsham Fair 5k Topsham
9/9/2012 Bradbury Mountain 12 Pownal
11/10/2012 Maine-ly Moose 5k Portland

As we go through the season, I have a feeling that some of these races will change, but at least I have an idea of what I would like to run.

Running Goals

This section shouldn’t change too much from week to week, but I want to keep them right in front of me so that I don’t forget what my goals are

A slight change to my goals – is to make sure that I am enjoying running and not letting it become too much like work.

This year my big goals are to run 1,200 miles, run a sub 20:00 5K and get through 2012 without any significant down time or injuries (running related or others).  My unadvertised goals from the start of the year are to be able to finish a half-marathon (notice I said finish not race) and run a few trail races when the weather gets better.

My long-term goal will be to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I finished the 1983 Marathon and to run/finish Marine Corps again 30 years later would be very cool. 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.

The reality is that

This has been a very good week overall. My injury is very minor and is a small glitch, where I will be back to running pretty quickly.

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

 

A Different Kind of Workout

I finally got back to running well last week, however, when a winter snow storm comes and leaves 7-9 inches in the drive way, you just have to clean it up.

you need to use either

Snow Scoop or Snow Blower

Now my preference is definitely the snowblower, all I have to do is walk behind it most of the time and muscle it into place here and there. The great thing is that it does all the heavy work for me and usually only takes just over an hour to clean-up the yard. One problem with this one – that thing hanging off the left handle is the drive belt for the impeller to throw snow – no it doesn’t belong there and yes it is definitely broke :(.

That meant I had to use the other alternative to make the driveway passable Рmy handy-dandy snow scoop. No motor, completely human-powered Рin other words a great piece of workout equipment. You get to do mini sprints, come to sudden stops then lift 25-40 pounds countless times over a 3 hour period. Your heart rate will definitely rise and you will sweat like a stuck pig.

However, there is a risk factor involved, you are probably using muscles that you are not used to using and definitely will be sore the next day.

Also that short speed work that you are doing during this workout is sustained over a longer period than most of us are used to and probably not like anything fitness enthusiasts have done very often.  I found that those little 4-5 yard wind sprints, while pushing heavy wet snow, then emptying the scoop, can cause you to be out of breath with a very elevated heart rate in a very short amount of time.

The best part is even when this happens you have to keep going, until the yard is appropriately cleared – you have to go beyond your normal levels of exertion and break on to the other side.

The worst part of this workout is that it is very easy to strain a muscle, because you are pushing your body so hard, in ways you didn’t think possible. About half-way through this workout – when starting one of those mini sprints I definitely did something to my left hamstring. Last night and today it is sore and tender, but there isn’t any bruising, so it is just a strain.

But it does mean that I am on the shelf as far as running goes for a few days until the soreness is gone. The worst part is that I was just starting to run fairly good again. Ah well, sometimes life gets in the way of running and stuff happens, while you are working around the house.

However, for all of you fitness junkies out there who really want to do a great functional workout, the next snow storm we get, come on over to the Shaw Driveway gym and I will introduce you to my hottest new fitness fad – the snow scoop workout. It is a combination of cardio and weight training and I guarantee that after doing it for 3 hours, you will definitely know that you had a GREAT workout!

Am I sore after this workout?

Damn right I am sore all over today ;-). Was a great workout except for the hammie strain.