Double the Planned Run 8/21/12

Dad_8-21-12.1I planned on running only 3.0 miles today, but I went up and visited dad and then went out to eat and I had fried clams and French fries. Definitely not what I consider too healthy, but I don’t see dad all that much and I don’t eat this way very often.

I did blur out my Dad’s political message on his t-shirt. This is a running/fitness related blog – I try to keep politics out of here and yes my dad has some very deep held political beliefs.

When I got home, after driving an hour both ways in addition to the big lunch, I felt a little antsy and decided to run 5.0 down to Notta Road. I just ran pretty steady and wasn’t trying to do anything other than get my miles in. As I was coming back up Steven’s Hill, I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to add on another mile. I ended up running 6.0 miles, instead of my  planned 3.0 and I felt pretty good during the run.

My splits were:

  • 1.0 – 8:31
  • Turnaround 2.5 – 21:44 (13:12)
  • 4.0 – 35:06 (13:22)
  • 5.0 – 44:11 (9:05)
  • Finish – 53:28 (9:16)

This was supposed to be a recovery run and I kept forcing myself to run slower than I wanted to, in order to keep it that way.

I had plenty of energy and felt good that my hamstrings and hip were minor annoyances, instead of a source of discomfort that they have been.

The Adidas Adizero Sonic 3’s now have over 50 miles on them, so I will be putting together my 50 mile report on them sometime over the next couple of days.

RunLog 8-21-12

Long Run Done and it Felt Good 8/20/12

P8200001Today was long run day – I ran my Home to the Augusta Rail Half Marathon Course and I felt the best I have in quite a few weeks, even though my time wasn’t the best.

I both enjoyed the run and felt better physically than I have since I got back from Minnesota a month ago.

With this run I went over my annual goal of 1,200 miles for the year! This was more than 4 months early, so I am not sure how many miles I will end up with – if I stay at around 150 a month for the rest of the year, it could be around 1,800, which would be simply amazing.

I went out at a sub 8:00 pace, but backed off a lot between miles 2 and 5 before picking it back up around mile 6.5 (the new lights on Civic Center Drive) to the end. I thought that my hamstrings were going to tighten up on me so I slowed down (trying to be semi-smart) and waited to see if they loosened up any or not.

They loosened up a bit, but I could still tell they were there the whole run, not enough to stop me, but enough that I didn’t want to push my pace anymore than I was.

My splits:

  • Around 1.0 – Shepard Rd – 7:42
  • Around 2.0 – Farm – 16:35 (8:52)
  • Around 3.0 – Pam’s Playcare – 25:53 (25:53)
  • Around 7.0 – Leighton Rd – 58:55 (5:23)
  • Around 8.0 – Bond Brook Rd – 1:09 (10:21)
  • Around 10.0 – College Carryout – 1:24 (15:32)
  • Around 12.0 – Rail Trail 1.25 Turnaround 1:44:13 (19:25)
  • 13.1 – Finish 1:52:03 (7:48) Pretty damn good final mile – at least I was very happy with it.

No the splits are not mile splits they are landmark splits, the way that we used to keep our splits and as I get further away from the GPS device that I used to use, I find that I am using this method is working fine for me – yes I have gone “old school”, but I do admit that when running trails, I do miss the GPS device.

The Adidas Adizero Sonic 3’s did everything that I want from a pair of running shoes today. They were comfortable for the entire run, I didn’t feel any new aches or pains and my toes didn’t get that cramped feeling that I have had in other shoes this year. Very happy with how well they worked!

Overall, today’s long run felt pretty good, but I will be happy when my hamstrings and hip no longer affect my running.

RunLog 8-20-12

6 Things I have Learned While Running

Over the past year, since I returned to running, I have learned a lot about myself and my running!

1. Getting Older Still Sucks

IMG_4129No big news here! It is something that is happening to each one of us.

I have noticed that my perceived effort while running is a lot more than it used to be. What used to be 6-7 minute mile pace is now 8-9 minute miles.

While I can get back into the faster range once in a while, I can’t train at those levels, which means – yep I am slowing down. Nope you can’t change the physical decline, you can delay and fight it tooth and nail – which is what I am doing.

The mental aspect of aging is one that we have a lot more control over and the old saying “you are as young as you feel”, has a lot of truth in it. This crap of “act your age” that I hear so often when it is said to us older folk is just that crap. That is why I still believe in pushing the limits of what you can do, versus giving up, sitting on the couch and becoming a spectator – I still want to participate and running allows me to do that – just at a different level than in the past.

You can’t change your chronological age, but you can change your attitude, which will impact your quality of life and your running.

No I will not go gently into that sweet goodnight.

2. Long runs are necessary

I have learned that:

  • long runs do help your running immensely
  • that I am learning to enjoy double-digit runs

Once I started running double-digit runs, my running definitely improved and I noticed that the weight that I wanted to get, came off a lot quicker than it had been. Also they just give you so much confidence for shorter races or runs, you know you can finish them, it just becomes a question of how fast.

3. Rest more often

P6290004To be honest, I tend to suck at this one, especially when I am feeling good,

I just want to run. This goes along with number 1 – as I get older, I can still do some things, like I used to, but it takes a lot longer to recover than it used to.

In order to get better, athletes need to incorporate rest into their routines, it is just the way it is.

It seems that I need to take my own advice more often.

4. Trail Running is fun

484550_411160572265312_1317917717_nI have done a lot more trail running this year and have had a blast! I have participated in a few 5K trail races and will do a longer one later this year. Running on trails is so different from running on roads!

When trail running I am present in the moment or I end up going ass over tea kettle (and yes I have done that a few times).

On the trails I focus on the run and not much else, which is a good thing. I just wish that I lived a little closer to different trail heads.

5. Racing isn’t a scary beast

P7280016I have had some problems with race day anxiety over the years and this year, I have run more races, than I have in the previous 25 years.

This year instead of putting a lot of needless pressure on myself, I have focused more on enjoying the experience and camaraderie than trying for a certain time and fixating on attempting to meet that goal.

Racing is a part of the social side of running and you get to meet other runners, who might have some of the same interests that you do. This is the biggest thing that I think that I missed over all the years that I didn’t race – meeting other runners and the friendships that I could have enjoyed.

6. Have Fun

The biggest thing that I have learned this year is to have fun when I am running. I attribute that attitude to how far I have come in a short time. Just because I am working hard at my running, does not mean that I can’t have fun while I am doing it. When I tried to follow a running program, where I had to meet certain distances/times, running stopped being fun.

Guess what – I stopped that running program and went back to listening more to my body and running according to that, instead of an artificial plan that doesn’t take into account 1) tiredness 2) injuries 3) age (yes it does matter – unfortunately) 4) actual physical conditioning 5) the joy of running.

Once I did that, I relaxed and went back to having fun with my running, even though I was putting in more than 50 miles a week for a while.

The reality is

That 2012 has been without a doubt the best year I have had running since 1986 and it isn’t over yet. I have raced more and had more fun running this year than I have in too many years. This year has been all about experimenting, finding what really works for me and having fun with running.

I am looking forward what the next year of running brings, what adventures I will have and the new things that I will learn.

What new things have you learned about yourself and your running this past year?

Week In Review 8-19-12

This was a ramp-up week, to get back up where I want – around 45 miles for the week, after my cut-back last week and I actually did it.

The aches in my hamstrings and right hip seem to be getting better (slowly) and if I stopped running for 4-5 days would be a lot better, but I will keep running and just go a little slower and watch my mileage.

My favorite post from the past week was: Fitting a Square Peg Into a Round Hole

Running Summary This Week


RunLog Week of 8/19/12

This week in two words: Decision Made

Top 10 Posts

Here are my top ten posts for the past week 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. The New Nike+ Website is Up
  5. Newton Gravity–After 50 Miles
  6. First Run in Asics Gel Blur 33 – 2/16/12
  7. Decision Made on my Fall Marathon Plans
  8. 50 Mile Review of Altra Instincts
  9. First Run in Adidas Adizero Sonic 3
  10. Buying Adidas Adizero Sonic 3

Weight

I bounced between 148 and 150, which is great, since my goal weight was 155!  I am holding pretty steady on my weight, which is what I want.

Injuries

No real injuries, but I have experienced a lot of discomfort in my hamstrings and right hip. They are starting to feel a lot better and I am running a lot more comfortably this weekend compared to last weekend. I did use a rolling-pin on my hip and while it was painful as hell, but after I got done, my hip did feel better and today I ran a lot easier than I have in a couple of weeks.

Running Shoes

Adidas Adizero Sonic 3

I decided to go ahead and get a pair of traditional neutral trainers and decided on the Sonic 3’s. So far I am liking them a lot. They are what I call a 90% shoe, they do 90% of what I want from a pair of shoes in a variety of conditions. They are not a strict road racer, not a trail shoe, not a track shoe, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in any of those situations. I have run a couple of double-digit runs in them and they protect my knees quite well, they feel comfortable  and have enough toe room for my toes to splay comfortably. So far I am happy with them.

Altra Instinct

I put them in the closet for a couple of weeks to see if they are part of the reason for my hamstrings and hips being sore. There is nothing wrong with these shoes, it comes down to figuring out if zero drop is compatible with my personal running style. I run differently in the Altra’s than I do in shoes with a higher stack height.

Adidas Vigor TR

No runs in them this week.

Newton Gravity

No runs in them this week.

Running Goals

I reviewed my 2012 running goals 2012 Mid-Year Goal Review and Update and updated them.

The reality is that

my hamstrings and hip are slowly getting better and I am starting to run more comfortably, after my cut-back week a couple of weeks ago. I got yet another pair of new shoes – the Adidas Adizero Sonic 3 and so far I have been happy with them.

Trails and Track Today 8-19-12

P8190003Today was supposed to be an easy day and I decided to run over on the Colby Trails (upper and lower).

I wasn’t sure about how far I would run, but I parked up by the track and then ran from there down to the trails.

At first it was tough to find my pace, my legs just felt stiff and tight and it took until I started going up the hill before I found a good stride.

I did go back to that trail that I discovered the last time I was at Colby and found that it didn’t go all that far and just connected to the upper trails.

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RunLog 8-19-12
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After I got done running the trails, I decided to walk the 50 yards to the track and run a timed mile. Now remember I had been running for over an hour on the trails and had worked up a really good sweat. So a timed mile was going to be a good test for me of my conditioning and also, how my hamstrings and hip would react.

P8190019The first lap was pretty sloppy, it took a little while to smooth out my pace. Also it was the first time on the track with the Adidas Adizero Sonic 3’s. Once I got into my 3rd and 4th lap they started to feel pretty good.

I was very happy with a 7:18 for the mile after running at least 6.0 miles and then when I did the 2 pickups that I put on video, I was running at about 80% and felt really great. I still had another gear or maybe 2 left to go, which I haven’t felt like for a long time.

During the runs I also tried to video myself in different sections of the trail or track, to look at my running form. My left leg has some very weird motions to it that were really noticeable. The one thing I notice is when I am running slower my body looks very awkward, not fluid and when I run faster, I look like I run a LOT different.


Running on the trails and the short track workout were fun today. I just ran comfortably and sped up on the flat sections or double track areas and then didn’t really push that much on the track (I could have gone faster without any problems), but I wanted to stay very conservative. My hamstrings were a little tight going up hills, but as long as I didn’t push real hard, they felt pretty decent and I forgot about my hip during the running.

Yesterday I took a rolling pin to the muscles on my hip and it was really painful, but I also felt a lot of snapping and popping in there and felt a lot better afterwards and this morning. No it didn’t heal my hip, but it seemed to loosen up whatever was going on in there. Rolling pin therapy – guess I might have to break down and get a foam roller one of these days.

RunLog 8-19-12

The 6.3 for mileage is just a guesstimate, I figure that overall I ran at least a 10:00 minute pace for this run, so it is close enough – but this is where I tend to miss the GPS, who knows maybe I will just get a cheapy GPS watch and call it good and use it mainly for getting closer guesstimates for trail running.

Good Run Not Into Blogging 8/18/12

P8180008I have a lot on my mind today and really am not feeling like blogging too awful much about my run from this morning.

So I will give a  quick and dirty recap and watch the movie Independence Day, something I have watched so many time, but still find enjoyable.

I ran Middle Road plus an extra mile, I didn’t really push, but I did go a little faster than usual.

My splits were:

  • Shepard Rd – 8:03
  • 2.0 – 16:52 (I think that it is a little longer than 2.0)
  • 4.0 – 33:56 (17:04)
  • 5.0 – 42:19 (8:22) Good time for this course’s last mile
  • 6.0 – 50:17 (7:58) Good last mile !!!

Actually a pretty damn good run, I was happy with the effort and even though it was fairly humid the temps were in the low 70’s which is a hell of a lot better than the 80s and 90s that we have been having lately.

The Adidas are starting to get broke in and I am starting to really like them and it will be interesting how they do on my long run Monday.

My right hip is still bothering a little, but it seems to be getting better, so as long as I am not real stupid about it, hopefully it will continue to get better.

RunLog 8-18-12

Comfortable 5.0 Miler 8/17/12

This morning was a beautiful morning for a run 60’s, sunny and low humidity. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to run this morning and ended up running later in the afternoon when it was 85, sunny and felt a lot more humid.

No I am not complaining too much, but this morning would have been a much nicer time for a run, but anytime I can run is a good run and I enjoyed this one.

My splits were nothing to write home about, but with the heat and humidity, I was happy with the results.

  • 1.0 – 8:21
  • 2.0 – 16:34 (8:13)
  • Turnaround – 20:32 (3:58)
  • 4.0 – 32:35 (12:02)
  • 5.0 – 41:24 (8:49)

Overall pace for the 5.0 miles was: 8:16

I did try to pick it up between miles 2 and 4, but then slowed down the last mile. Overall, the run was good one and I didn’t feel bad at all during the run.

I am still getting used to the Adidas Adizero Sonic 3’s, this was my third run in them. I haven’t decided if they are a fast shoe or just a very comfortable shoe. I don’t feel all that fast when I am running in them, but when I look down at my watch, the times are not all that slow. I am liking the flexibility they give me with my various gaits, guess I just gotta put some more miles on them to figure it out.

Maybe the Sonics are just going to be one of those shoes that are good at a lot of things, but not exceptional in any one area. They are too heavy to be a real racing shoe, to stiff with too much drop and stack height to be minimal, not quite enough tread for technical trail or mud running, too much tread to be strictly a road shoe. Maybe they are just a good lightweight neutral trainer.

One thing that I have noticed is that my hamstrings are feeling a lot better now than they were earlier in the week and didn’t bother at all during the run.

RunLog 8-17-12

No Run Today 8/1612

Today was a rainy and nasty day outside. While the rain doesn’t usually stop me from running, I have had nagging hip and hamstring issues for the past few weeks, so I figured another day or two of rest would be more valuable than going out in the rain.

It was tough to not go run, because I like running in the rain and I half expected to just go ahead and run anyway at some point during the day.

I didn’t, I actually did good and didn’t do anything that resembled more than walking a mile. This is the first day in a long time that I just rested. I have a feeling my body needed it.

My legs do feel a lot better tonight and I just want to ensure that the hamstrings and hip are not sore, so if I wake up tomorrow and I feel any twinges, I probably will take another day off.

I am really trying to be smart about this and get ready for the fall running season which is just around the corner.

How about you, do you have some aches and pains that you are running through and would probably go away with a few days rest?

Will you give your body some rest or do you plan to bull through until the end of the fall running season or an injury waylays your running for more than a few days?

Not running is sometimes harder than going out the door and putting in the miles, but is being the tough one and running anyways always the smart thing to do?

 

12.6 Miles Done and Very Happy 8/15/12

P8150017I dropped the truck off to get some work done and do the inspection thing that is required here in Maine.

I thought this gave me a great excuse to go for a longish run and take a round-about route to get home. Something double-digit at around a 9:30 pace to see how the Adidas Adizero Sonic 3 handle a longer run – I ended up doing 12.6.

I also decided to run on a couple of sections of road that I haven’t run on before, to see how they are. The Drummond Road is okay, but it is fairly busy as a cross-over point from the River Rd to the Pond Rd., so I don’t see me running it very often.

This run once I got over by Rainbow Valley Farm, tends to go uphill just a little bit. Some parts are steep, but it seems as though there is a lot of uphill sections until you get the Tiffany Rd.

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The weather was overcast (which was good), mid 70’s (not too bad) and about 70% humidity, which meant that I was sweating like a stuck pig. I would have welcomed a little rain to relieve some of the humidity, but it only sprinkled. However, with that high level of humidity and 70 degree temps, I am glad that I was not trying to run fast today.

Actually, I also stopped and took a lot of pictures while running, which definitely slows me down, but I have the memories of today’s run in digital form as well as in my head.

So how did the shoes do?

Just fine.

No hot spots, no blisters, my knees felt good at the end, the hamstrings were not being activated, unless I was going up a steeper hill and my hip didn’t get any worse during the run. Needless to say I was happy with the how they performed during a run that lasted almost 2 hours. That I am not whining and complaining about them is a good thing.

I don’t know what the difference is, but when I run downhill in these shoes, I just seem to run easier and more smoothly.

I also have stopped worrying about whether I am hitting my heel and am focusing on shorter strides and a higher cadence. It seemed to work and I could tell that I was switching my gait back and forth between forefoot, full-foot and heel landings, depending upon the terrain I was running on and what kind of pace I was moving at.

Overall, a decent second run in the Adidas and I continue to be cautiously optimistic about how they are going to work for me.

RunLog 8-15-12