June was a GREAT Month for Running

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Running In May

I am making fantastic progress on my 2012 running goals 🙂

Summary

  • Miles Run: 196.6
  • Days Run: 27
  • Days Off: 3
  • Longest Run: 13.3 6/18/12
  • Fastest Run: 8:15  6/18/12 Home to Waterville Concourse Course
  • Best Week:  50.17 week ending 6/30/12 (one more day left in the week 7/1)

Most notable run 6/1812 finished 13.30 in 01:49:44 an 8:15 pace for the half marathon in a training run.

Month in Review 6-30-12

Shoes Run In

  • Nike Free 4.0 v2 – Absolutely love them, I have over 200 miles on these shoes and my knees do not bother me when I run in them. They just feel really great!!!!
  • Nike Free Run+3 – I ordered them by mistake, but now that I have them, I do like them and use them on my shorter runs, although I have run over 10.0 in them. They are a good shoe as well, just a little firmer ride to me.
  • Saucony Kinvara 2 – Have been retired to walking and mowing the lawn.
  • New Balance MT110 – Have been retired to my walking shoes, the soles of my feet bothered me after running the trails at Bond Brook the other day in them
  • Newton Gravity – Are still in the closet, they required too much work (shoe surgery) to make them fit my feet correctly and so that I didn’t keep rubbing my ankle raw. It is too bad because I really like the Newton’s. I might bring them back out and try a short run or two in them, just as a change of pace.

Races Run

None

Next Scheduled race is:  Rail Trail Half – 6/24/12  I was scheduled to do that race, but TheWife had an event at the same time and I decided to not run the race.

Summary: While I haven’t raced this month, I consider it a great month! I almost broke 200 miles for the month, but I didn’t go back out today and run the 3.5 that I needed to get it – just needed one more day. Maybe next month. Having shoes that don’t hurt my feet/ankles makes a huge difference in how much you want to run.

So far my Nike Free (series) shoes have been great.

This month in a word: Fantastic

Weight

I ended May at 153 and today 6/30 the scales read 150 after my run still loosing about two pounds in a month – it doesn’t sound like a lot, but the reality is that it is that 155 was MY GOAL WEIGHT, so it is a huge deal! I am under my goal weight and staying there. I really believe that the number of long runs and mileage that I am putting in is getting the weight down.

I actually fit into a pair of size 30 pants today and didn’t feel too uncomfortable, but have a little too much muffin top still to wear them yet.

46 pounds lost since June 2012

Injuries

No real injuries this month. The left knee was barking a few times at me (after running on the track), but I don’t think it was anything serious. 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. Just have to keep training smart 🙂

Run Blogging

Top Ten Blog Posts for March – based on page views

  1. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  2. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles
  3. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes
  4. First Run in Asics Gel Blur 33 – 2/16/12
  5. Goals and Failure or is that Success
  6. The New Nike+ Website is Up
  7. First Runs in Nike Free Run +3
  8. Tommie Copper – Is Working
  9. Trying Out Cadence App – 1/26/12
  10. Nike Free 4.0 v2 Over 200 Miles

I have made a couple of decisions and we will see how they turn out over the course of the next month. But I should be doing a lot more blogging and getting back to being who I am really am.

I know that I am very comfortable with the direction that I am heading Smile.

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:

Initial Impressions–Nike Free Run+3 – Personal Purchase

Nike Free 4.0 v2 Over 200 Miles – Personal Purchase

First Runs in Nike Free Run +3 – Personal Purchase

I didn’t have many opportunities to review products this month, but that is okay, I enjoyed just focusing on my running for a change.

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.

Running Goals

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

Good progress, while I worked hard at my running, I didn’t allow it to become work. I still look forward to my runs and don’t get too wound up about them if they are not quite what I am looking for that day 🙂

This year my big goals are:

  1. Run 1,200 miles – I am ahead of schedule having a total of 869.5 miles through 6-months.
  2. Run a sub 20:00 5K  – This will be very tough to do, I haven’t ran as many 5K races (or any races for that matter) as I thought that I would, but I have gone to the track a couple of times (but my left knee doesn’t like the track) – so I have to make some choices pretty soon), whether to keep going after this goal or change it to something slower, but longer? Still have to think about it.
  3. Get through 2012 without any significant down time or injuries (running related or others).  Just some aches and strains so far
  4. My unadvertised goals from the start of the year are to be able to finish a half-marathon. I have run a 01:48:59 for a training run and 4 sub 01:50:00 half marathons in a row, it isn’t a question of whether I can finish a half marathon, but more what my time will be on the right course.
  5. Run a few trail races when the weather gets better – I have been running over at Bond Brook Recreation Area and plan to run their 5K Trail Race series during July, August and September. It does feel good to be back on the trails.

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

June was another great month for running. I finally got my shoe miseries sorted out and that the Nike Free 4.0 are as great at 300-500 miles as they were in their first 200. There is just something about how I run in them, that feels right.

Smile

 

Setting the Record Straight

Adidas ThrasherThe other day I was talking with someone and I said I was looking at getting a different pair of Trail Shoes, because my current ones left the soles of my feet pretty damn sore after my two runs at Bond Brook on Thursday.

They said “Well you are just going to get some from Nike”.

I told him that Nike didn’t have what I was looking for in a trail shoe and I was actually looking at a pair of trail shoes from Adidas. The person just went “huh – I thought with the way you were writing on your blog lately, it seemed that you had something going with Nike, beyond just being a Nike fanboy”.

I told him that I have no relationship with Nike, other than I was one of the many Nike+ Running Website beta testers, which ended in May.

Shocked

I have been writing a lot about the Nike Free’s that I bought myself or using a gift card and I did a post on being able to go head-to-toe with Nike gear, but it was all stuff that I purchased – none of it was free or in exchange for my blogging great things about their stuff.

No what I have blogged about Nike shoes/apparel were my own thoughts, where I talked about something that works for me and purchased with my own funds.

Setting things straight

For the record I have no formal or informal, active relationship with Nike or any other company for blogging on A Veteran Runnah.

I want to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about who I am representing on A Veteran Runnah.

If I am provided a product to wear test or if paid to promote a product (which has not happened yet), I will make it very evident in the blog posts that I write, with the appropriate disclaimers very visible.

The other thing

To be honest, I am not really all that loyal to any brand of running gear.

Right now the Nike Frees are working great for me, however if a different shoe were to work better or the same for a lower price, I would probably take a close look at the other product.

If you looked in my running clothes drawers you would see products from New Balance, EMS, Adidas, Saucony, Reebok, Starter and Asics, as well as Nike.

The main thing thing that I look for when getting new running clothes and shoes is fit, construction and price – all three are important considerations. I admit that times I am biased towards Nike, but that is because I have had great luck with their product lines in the past, not because I have any other relationship with them.

If another company’s products work as good or better than Nike, I will use those products. I try to take advantage of end of year closeout sales, discount stores like Mardens or TJ Maxx and other sales when I buy most of my gear. I can’t remember the last time I paid full-price for running clothes – to be honest I am pretty frugal about what I buy.

Running shoes are usually the exception and it is hard for me to find shoes that I really like and that last more than a couple hundred miles. The Nike Frees that I have been running in have worked better than any shoes I have run in – in a long time and I have been bragging them up – maybe that is why that person thought that I was more than a Nike Fanboy.

The reality is that

this person’s comment took me completely by surprise and concerned me that if I was giving the impression that I had some kind of business relationship with Nike to “spread” the goodness of Nike around – that certainly is not the case.

If I do have a business relationship with a running gear/shoe company, you will know about it, because I will announce it and ensure that it is very evident who I am partnered with.

I hope that this clears up any misunderstandings about my non-relationship with Nike, other than liking their product enough to buy it with my own money.

Oh by the way, unless something changes in the next couple of days, I will probably be getting those Adidas Trail shoes, which are on closeout at a local store. No they are not minimalist shoes or a higher-end trail shoe, but they fit comfortably and will protect my feet a lot better than my current shoes.

Pond Road 10 Miler 6-30-12

P6300015Before I went for my run this morning I looked at the thermometer outside the dining room (on the shady side of the house) and it was already 85 degrees out with bright sunshine.

Usually on Saturdays, I try to do the River Road Loop, but there is no shade along that route and I knew that I would cook if I went that way.

So I did the Pond Road Loop, it is a little flatter, but a bit more traffic, so I wore my bright yellow shirt and flo green/yellow hat today,so the cars would see me. It was a great choice, the heat was at the baking levels in the open, but much more bearable in the shady sections. I chose the right course today.

I am trying to do a little more video blogging, which means that I have to iron out some kinks I have in the equipment that I have on hand to use. It is definitely a different style of communicating than just writing about your run.

However, I am going to keep practicing and know that there will be a big difference in how I present myself in a few months compared to these beginning steps using my laptop’s Webcam and a 6 year old microphone.

Smile

Stats from Nike+ Website

Nike Stats 6-30-12

As I said in the video I was very happy with my pace, even though looking up at my splits I wasn’t very consistent and I felt like I bonked pretty hard the last couple of miles.

Even though felt like crap those last 3-4 miles, I was able to keep the pace up a lot better than I thought I was. Just have to remember my Gel Shot or Gu at 5 miles. It does  make a difference for me.

Very happy with how I ran this morning, considering how hot it was, starting to get acclimated to the heat a little.

RunLog 6-30-12

I will be coming out with my June summary, but I just missed 200 miles for the month, mmmm should I go out and do the 3.5 I need or just let it go?

Runner’s problems Smile

Middle Road HOT 5.0 Miler 6-29-12

Friday’s are a busy day around the Shaw household and that usually means that I get to run later in the afternoon than usual. That is what happened today, I didn’t get to run until almost 3:30 P.M. and it was still in the mid 80’s. One saving grace was a breeze, that felt so good!

A quick video of how I felt after my 5.0 mile run.

Nike Stats 6-29-12

As you can see from the splits I was slowing down by the time I hit the 3.0 mile mark and that last mile up the two hills, I was toast. Surprisingly, I still was able to keep it under 10:00 for that last mile.

Like I said in the video it was a hot run and I just wanted to do it, keep working at getting acclimated to the hotter weather and enjoy the run. Which I did, actually I didn’t even look too beat up in the video, but I know that I sure did sweat a lot during this run.

RunLog 6-29-12

It seems strange to think that if I do my normal 10.0 miler tomorrow morning that I will have 50 miles for the week and I really don’t feel too bad tonight, not super tired or sore any particular place, except the bottom of my feet from yesterday’s trails runs. Even those feel a lot better than they did last night.

Bond Brook 5K Trail Race Course Orientation

P6280004-001This was a two run day, which wasn’t all that bad, but I learned something very important tonight.

After finishing tonight, my feet felt as though someone had beat them with a ballpeen hammer. I haven’t experienced that feeling with these shoes before, but even with a few hours in between the runs, my feet are pretty darn sore.

There are a lot of rocks, roots and little stumps that I just seemed to find, step on wrong and there was just a little too much ground feel for me.

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They are great at UMA or on trails with less rocks and stuff, but if I am going to run a lot of trail races the next few months at Bond Brook, I think I might want something a little more cushioned and with more of a rock plate.

I did run portions of the 5K race trail this morning, so I am starting to feel pretty comfortable with the course now. I learned that the 5K race trail is marked by pink and yellow ribbons, which I had seen before, but wasn’t sure what they mean with all the other markers around too.

The orientation run itself was slow and we stopped several times at the trickier turns or where the trail could be confusing – to ensure that everyone had a great idea of the turns and the different parts of the trail.

Bond Brook Orientation Run 6-28-12

After running the course (which was wheel measured to be 3.1, but only came up as 2.75 on GPS – which is a common problem with GPS) with the orientation group, a few of us went ahead reran the first part of the trail again back to the Mt. Hope Cemetery Trail Head, which I figured was around 1.8 miles or so back there. Not exact, but close enough and besides I didn’t feel like going back up the hill on the road section.

Even though the runs tonight were slower, I still worked up a good sweat and actually found that by running slower that I worked really hard on my form. My knees didn’t bother me at all, now to go soak my feet for a while.

I was glad that I got to meet a lot of other runners tonight, many of whom are new to trail racing (not that I am a grizzled old vet at it – seeing I haven’t done a trail race since high school), It was fun to do be running with other runners and not worry about competing or doing anything other than running and enjoying their company.

Who knows I might even volunteer to help out a little bit, with some of the stuff going on at Bond Brook, after all it is in my backyard and I have a feeling I might be running there more than a few times over the next 10-20 years.

RunLog 6-28-12 2nd

Bond Brook Exploration Again 6-28-12

Bond Brook Run GPS Map 6-28-12

This morning I was in Augusta doing some stuff around the town, so I figured that I would stop and run the Bond Brook Recreation Area 5K loop. I still don’t really know the course yet and was just guessing on which trails it was on.

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Pretty sure that I didn’t even come close – it turned into another Bond Brook exploration run, which was fine too, I like to just bomb around the trails and not really worry about time.

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I found the “hill” on the road and what a pain in the butt that was Smile. I know it is not part of the trail, but I wanted to get back up on top before the Thunderstorm rolled in, just as I was finishing the rain came in pretty good and I just missed getting soaked – in other words I got pretty damn lucky, because this was one of those downpours, not a nice gentle rain to run in.

I also found out that they are having a trail orientation session tonight, so I talked with TheWife and I am going back to run the Bond Brook Trails again tonight, but hopefully with someone that know where they are going Winking smile.

RunLog 6-28-12

Updating the Theme

What’s going on?

Under Construction 6-27-12

I have been trying different themes as I approach my 6 month anniversary of blogging on WordPress.com as my blog host. To attempt to give A Veteran Runnah a slightly different look.

The old theme was boxy and a little boring to me. Each of the others that I have tried so far were, well not quite what I am looking for and this current one while it is close – I am still not sure that it is just what I want.

Over the course of this week I will be experimenting with different themes to see which one I should be using starting 1 July and that I will be keeping for a while or at least until I move from WordPress.com to a self-hosted solution, sometime in the fall.

Yes I have decided that I will be going that route, WordPress.com was great for what I wanted initially, but I am now finding it limiting and have had to pass-up a few opportunities that I might have taken if I had been self-hosted.

So please be patient while I keep trying out some of the different themes that WordPress.com has to offer and if I have one up that you really, really like or dislike please let me know.

Sometimes – at least according to TheWife my tastes in theme design are not always what others would call classic or what others might like to visit.

Smile

Easy 9.0 Today–Form Work 6-27-12

I purposely am trying to keep all but 2 runs a week in the 9:00 to 10:00 minute pace per mile range for a while and really start to focus on my form again.

Over the past couple of weeks I found that I was trying to run too fast, too often and that my form was reverting back to a more heel strike, over striding style of running . Especially since I started to add track workouts back into the mix.

Nike Stats 6-27-12

On todays semi-long run of 9.0 miles, I purposely stayed slower than 9:00 minute pace and worked hard on my landing full foot/forefoot. This focusing on my running form helped a lot, my knee didn’t bark, growl or try to get even with me for running today – at all.

In fact it seemed to enjoy the run. Smile.

It just is very hard to listen to what the body wants or is able to do, versus what your goals are or what you have planned. This is just one of those areas, I am starting to get better at, just haven’t gotten real good at it yet. But then again I am a runner and invincible right – wrong and I have to remember that I am not in my 20’s anymore.

That is the hardest part.

I know that I enjoyed the run, and got it in before the rains came back for round 30 or how ever many times it has rained lately. I was dry the entire time, but it was still pretty darn humid, so I looked like it had been raining anyway. My hat was dripping sweat drops instead of rain drops, even TheWife commented that I looked like I had just gone swimming.

Probably I could have used that rain to keep a little cooler – oh well, we can’t tell Mother Nature what she is going do, she just laughs at us and does what she wants any way.
Winking smile

RunLog 6-27-12

Nice Run in the Rain 6/26/12

IMG_0453Today was a scheduled recovery day after yesterday’s long run, so I planned on doing an easy 3-4 miles at around a 10:00 minute pace. The weather cooperated and the downpour slowed up to a nice steady rain, which I actually love to run in this time of year.

The rain makes the humidity just about right and cools me off, my feet don’t get too wet and there is just something peaceful and magical about running in the rain. Also I ran most of the run “down back” so it was on dirt (partially mud) roads and was very forgiving to land on.

Nike Stats 6-26-12

You can see that my pace was pretty inconsistent, but I purposely kept slowing myself down and focused on landing with more of a full-foot or fore-foot land to see if that took some of the pressure off my left knee. It seemed to have some positive effect, because the knee didn’t bother me at all today. I need to go back and work on my Chi Running skills that I have kind of let lapse over the past few months.

IMG_0452I have a feeling that trying to run faster at short distances and also trying to farther at the same time, is putting a lot of stress on my knees and body. I should probably focus on one or the other instead trying them both at the same time. This might be one of my first real concessions to getting older.

Will I do it mmmmm well ahhh mmmm I’ll think about it.

Unfortunately or fortunately, I am stubborn and a bit hard-headed and not ready to concede anything just yet…but at the same time I want to run comfortably and mostly pain-free for a long time – not just this summer.

I have to be smart about running and figure out which is more important running faster at a shorter distance or being able to run a long distance at a decent pace?

I might just go for a long trail run and skip my track workout Thursday and see how everything feels, because I didn’t have the knee barking at me before I started going back to the track and running a LOT faster than I have been.

RunLog 6-26-12

13.1 Mile Run to Waterville–6/25/12

I got my run in – in between the rain storms that were coming through Central Maine today. I was a bit disappointed in the time that I ended up with, but with the humidity and some other distractions – I will take it.

Nike Stats 6-25-12

I have no idea what that dip in the middle of my run means, but on this stretch I was going downhill and felt pretty strong, so the pace is way out of wack. As you can see on both sides of the dip I was maintaining a consistent pace.

This is a fairly open area,so I shouldn’t have lost the GPS signal or anything, just one of those great things from an iPhone App. Someday I might have to invest in a GPS watch, but that is sometime in the future.

Splits 6-25-12

There also was a problem with a dog just past the corner of the Bartlett Rd mile 1-2 and I probably lost a minute or so trying to ensure that the dog wasn’t going to be a pain in the butt. It was a different dog than usual and looked like a Boxer breed dog with a little bit of Pit Bull in there. So I was very careful around this dog and was using my loudest and most aggressive voice to get the owner’s attention, but was ignored. So I just slowly moved past the dog, who had crossed the road in front of me and moved up a driveway, after I started to yell at it.

This got my adrenaline going just a bit, but the GPS watch doesn’t really have any changes in that area? If the big dip had been here, I would have said yep that is absolutely correct.

It did say that I went from a 7:30 pace up to a 8:50 that mile – oh well. Then I don’t know why but every run the 2-3 mile section of this road it almost always seems to be above 9:00, I mean it is fairly flat and I don’t feel as if I am slowing down, but if you look at my past runs this one section is always slow. Maybe I just need to really focus through here and push a little harder.

Originally I was going to do 15-17 miles this morning, but my left knee seemed a little too cranky and by the time I got to the Middle Road it was telling me – no way guy to a few extra miles today.  Once I decided to not do the extra, my knee stopped barking at me and I was able to just run.

I don’t know what happened mile 11-12, I thought I was really starting to pick up the pace with 5K left, but I was actually slowing down and then the last mile I thought I was doing about the same pace and broke 8:00? Something weird was going on with me today, especially since this section is mostly downhill or flat and I usually have a pretty good sense of my pacing and was pretty sure I wasn’t slowing down – but the GPS said I did, so I must have – after all the electronics don’t lie Winking smile.

The last mile split was encouraging though, I was able to do a 7:59 mile after already running 12.0, which means that there is still a little bit of speed left in the legs and maybe I am starting to get back in shape.

Not too bad for an older fart, if I say so myself. Now that I am done with the self-congratulations and patting myself on the back Disappointed smile.  I need to figure out why my left knee is starting to bother a little and then when I picked up the pace (or at least I thought I was), it stopped bothering? I ran in my 4.0’s and they felt great the whole way, so I don’t think it has anything to do with them – we will see, if there is any difference when I run in the new Nike Free’s.

It might be as simple as how I am holding my leg while I am sitting at the table working on the computer – I tend to put it up on the chair in front of me, which causes it to bend back a little (hyperextend). So I will keep my feet on the floor for a while and see if that helps.

RunLog 6-25-12

Actually considering everything, it was a very good run, but it was a shame to break my streak of 4 consecutive sub 01:50:00 for 13.1 and next Monday I definitely won’t be running any long distances that day – scheduled for a routine Colonoscopy – can’t you tell I am thrilled!!!

So the first week of July will be a cut-back week, where I just run what I feel like and give the body a rest, it feels like it might need it.