Running – 40 Years Series

It doesn’t seem possible that I started running over 40 years ago. No I am not an élite 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. 🙂

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. – Very 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

 🙂

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 – whether I like it or not and why. Blogging about running related products makes me think differently about what I am using – which 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 – 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 27º 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: