Form Correction and Good 6.0 Miles 9/16/12

I spent a lot of this morning looking at video of my running form using a new program, that I found while reading The Science of Running Blog, called Tracker. Which I used to really focus on figuring out why I was having so many aches and pains on my right side and my left side felt fine.

After watching the video from last weekend, only this time going frame-by-frame, I discovered something that I think is very pertinent to my right hip hurting.

If you look at the below images you can see that my right foot crosses the center line – which forces my hip out stressing it, while my left leg remains mostly under my hip.

Gait Analysis 9-16-12.8 Gait Analysis 9-16-12.3
Gait Analysis 9-16-12.4 Gait Analysis 9-16-12.5

As you can see there is a quite a difference between my right and left sides! This information gives me a great starting point, to really start correcting my form.

On my run this afternoon, I really, really focused on straightening out that leg and stride. It really helped a lot and my hip discomfort was really reduced, compared to what it has been. I think the combination of using my Newton’s (which give me immediate feedback on how my feet are landing) and focusing on changing my right leg’s form to be straighter.

I ran 6.0 miles today and with this new focus and actually knowing what I wanted to change, instead of saying in general – I am working on my form, made a big difference. I didn’t feel like I was working as hard as I had been and didn’t land with my right hip sticking out, which stressed the ligaments and muscles, which was causing a lot of my discomfort.

My splits were:

  • Shepard Road – 7:51
  • Middle Road – 12:47 (4:55)
  • M&A Repair – 20:26 (7:39)
  • Blake Road – 26:32 (6:05)
  • Mile Mark 4 – 33:41 (7:08)
  • My Mail Box – 42:15 (8:33)
  • Philbrick/Howard Lap – 50:04 (7:48)

I was surprised at the difference that this little change made in my efficiency and how I felt when running. I know that my other muscles will need to adjust to this, which will take time and feel unnatural for a while.

I am very happy with how I felt during the run today and the differences it made in my hip felt. This might not be the entire solution, but I strongly believe that it is at least a part of the problem.

RunLog 9-16-12

Still Just a Little Competitive–9/15/12

P9150012Today was the first day that it felt and looked like fall, when I was running this afternoon, which must have fueled my competitiveness this afternoon.

There was a breeze out of the north, leaves were blowing in some sections of the road down-back and there was a crispness to the air, which felt great to be running in.

I had planned for a slower run today and just took it easy going out to Goodhue Road my turn-around. When I got to the cornfield, I heard footsteps behind me and when I gave a quick look and saw another runner in a white shirt and black shorts coming up quickly behind me.

He easily passed me, which was okay and I was going to just let him go, since I was only doing an easier run today. When turned to see who was passing he looked younger, late teens, early twenties and there was an white-haired guy pacing him on a mountain bike. He just grunted when I said hi as he went by.

About 20 yards after he passed me, he slowed down, to a pace faster than I had been going, but no where near as fast as he had been when he passed me.

Still Competitive

This sparked my competitiveness (now I am just a wee bit competitive).

Over the years I have learned when someone passes me and then they slow down right after passing, that they have used a lot of energy to get by me and maybe I can re-pass them. Also, I guess I didn’t like the way, he just “grunted” at me when he went by. So I picked up my pace and quickly gained ground back, on him and the guy who was pacing him on a bike.

It didn’t take me very long before I caught back up to him and for the next few miles, I stayed on his shoulder. Which I don’t think made him too happy, because neither him or the guy on the bike said a word to me or each other. I asked myself “What to hell, I was doing?” and several times I thought about dropping back to my original pace. But the way they acted around me, and with him throwing in surges every so often, just made me want to keep in contact – damn stubborn old guy that I am Winking smile.

When we got back by the house with the dogs, I warned him that there were loose dogs ahead and crossed the road, he kept running on the side, but when he saw the pit-bull laying in the driveway, he crossed over to the other side too. The dogs must be getting used to me running by, they just looked up watched us go by and didn’t even bother to bark this time.

At this point, I had surged ahead by about 5 yards and instead of dropping back, I decided to push the pace a little myself, from Bartlett Road to the dirt road, I opened it up to about 10 yards and as we went up the little hill there I kept opening up space between us and I could hear them back there talking to each other. They turned off at Blake Road and I went straight and decided to slow down, actually I was kind of relieved, I really didn’t want to push up Steven’s Hill today, so the last part of my run – I just relaxed.

I really don’t know what got into me, keeping up with this young guy – who I am sure could have blown my doors off, if he had really wanted to, but it completely changed the complexion of my planned workout, which became about a 3.0 mile tempo run, inside of a 7.1 mile run. Oh well, I might be getting older, but some of that competitive fire still comes out from time-to-time.

Overall, I felt pretty comfortable during the entire run and even when I was on the guy’s shoulder and he was throwing in surges every so often, I kept up with him without working that hard. My hamstrings, periformis and hips felt pretty good, in fact I didn’t notice them very much until I slowed back down.

Good run and a few minutes faster than I expected.

My splits were:

  • Mile 1.0 – 8:22
  • Notta Road – 20:54 (12:31)
  • Mile 3.0 – 25:34 (4:40)
  • Goodhue Road – 28:17 (2.42)
  • Wildwood Road Return 37:53 (9:36)
  • Mile 1.0 Return – 45:40 (7:46)
  • House Mail Box – 54:52 (9:11)
  • Howard Circle – 59:01 (4:09)

RunLog 9-15-12

Easy 5.0 Miles–9/14/12

Today was supposed to be a nice easy 5.0 miler and it turned out to be just that.

I ran in the Newton’s today and started out a little faster down the hill than I expected, but between the heat, it was in the high 70’s (it is amazing how quickly we loose our acclimatization to heat) and how tired my legs were, by the time I got to 3.0 miles, I slowed down a lot. It has been a long week and I did a trail race last night, so my legs are pretty tired. My splits were:

  • Shepard Road – 7:52
  • Middle Road – 12:59 (5:06)
  • Blake Road – 27:24 (14:25)
  • Mile 4 – 35:02 (7:37)
  • Mile 5 – 44:39 (9:37)

Certainly not my fasted run on this course, but that wasn’t my purpose today. I really just wanted to get out and loosen up the legs a little and add a few extra miles to my weekly total. Some call them junk miles – I call this my time and it gives me a chance to clear my head.

RunLog 9-14-12




My Final Bond Brook 5K Trail Race

Tonight was kind of bittersweet. It was my last race of the Bond Brook 5K Race Series for this year. I know that there is one more race next Thursday at 6:00 P.M., but I have a “you will attend event” for my wife’s work, so I will miss it. I have a feeling I would rather run the race, but sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do.

August Trails - Finish

I have really enjoyed this trail race series at lot!!!! The people who ran the events were great and the other runners that I have met were fantastic. I have also learned a lot and realized that racing isn’t that bad. Which is something that I needed and I feel a lot more comfortable lining up at the starting line of a race than I used to and I give a lot of the credit to this trail race series and the people that I have competed with during the race.

But the best part of this races series was that it was:


That was the most important thing that I learned during this series was that running a race didn’t have to be a stressful thing, with all the great expectations that I used to put on myself. So if I take nothing else away from this series, I will have that.

Besides trail running is getting in my blood and I plan to do a lot more of it.

Tonight’s race though, I just didn’t feel right, I tried an experiment in what I ate before the race and really wish that I hadn’t, my stomach was off a bit. I went out pretty slowly and then coming down one of the hills, I went ass over tea kettle and even though I got right back up, I just felt off for the next few minutes. When I got my stride back, it wasn’t the same pace.

I wasn’t the only one that fell, one of the women, who I have been competing with all summer, fell about 1/2 mile later and while she was okay, it did slow her down enough that I caught up and passed her and held her off during the last quarter.

The good news was that I set a new course PR, by 2 seconds. I really thought that I was slower than last time, but I wasn’t. The bad news, I didn’t break 26:00 like I really wanted to. Three things I learned tonight:

  • Don’t eat a certain thing before running, it bothers my stomach
  • Wear trail running shoes, when running trail races – they do make a difference
  • When you fall, push yourself to get back to your pace as fast as possible, if you aren’t hurt. Otherwise you loose too much time.

Overall, a good race, a course PR and learning what to do next time.

RunLog2 9-13-12

Easy Morning Run & Travel Planning for #RWHalf

I went into Augusta to drop off my Rise “N Shine 5K race registration for September 28th and while in town, I stopped by the rent-a-car place to see how much it would cost to rent a vehicle for a week

That way I can do some price comparison’s between flying or driving to the Runner’s World Half and Event in Pennsylvania. In case you haven’t noticed I am very excited about going to run and blog about this event, but there is no way I am driving my old 1999 Dodge Dakota that far, with the cost of gas over $4.00 a gallon and the lack of reliability it has shown lately.

There are just a lot of logistics to consider when doing a race that is almost 500 miles away and one of those things includes figuring out travel costs and which way is the best way, especially when the travel and lodging costs are coming out of the savings account. Smile

Plus when I have time I prefer to go and do things face-to-face instead of over the computer, it is easier to ask questions and get answers a little quicker or special rates that you wouldn’t have known about just doing the online reservation system.

After all that I needed to get out and stretch my legs.

Something told me that I needed to check out the Bond Brook 5K course, because I haven’t run it in a while and I am glad that I did. They changed it slightly from the last time that I ran there and if I had been running it in the race tonight and not known about it, this change would have really discombobulated me!

From what I could see they took out the last single track (take a right instead of straight ahead) and added more ski trail (area to pass) during the last mile. I don’t know if I will like it or not, because I like the single track sections the best, but it is what it is.

I enjoyed the easy run and tried out my Altra Instincts on the trail. They did pretty good, however, they are a great road shoe that can be used on simple trails and are not a real trail shoe. For my purposes I wouldn’t want to run a long run in them on more technical trails – they didn’t do quite so well on the muddy/sandy sections of the course and on the wet grassy areas they made things a little “interesting” – after all they are a road shoe.

If I was going to do trails a lot in the Altra’s, I would get the Lone Peak’s and have at it.

Very busy morning to say the least and now time to do yard work and get ready for the Bond Brook 5K Trail Race tonight.

RunLog1 9-13-12

The Last Lecture and Thank You

At least once a year since 2008, I have watched the below video.

Today I felt the need to watch it again – no I am in perfect health, I just felt it was time to watch it again.

Although the video is a little long, it is worth the time to watch it. If you watch it closely it will make you think and sometime in the course of that thinking you might become uncomfortable, but it will make you think.

If you do watch it, what I am writing below will make sense.

Unfortunately, the link to my original blog post no longer works. After watching the video again today I updated my post to say how I feel after watching “The Last Lecture” today.

Childhood Dreams

Childhood dreams that I can remember:

1.  Be an astronaut:  Never accomplished. I have 20/350 and 20/400 vision, so flying was out of the question, even as a crew member, but I lived  this dream vicariously through Bruce Melnick, a Coast Guard aviator that I was stationed with in the 70’s.  He was selected as an Astronaut and I followed his exploits during the Endeavor and Discovery missions. Mr. Melnick might not remember that YN3 from AIRSTA Cape Cod, but I still lived one of my dreams through him.

2.  Be a knight in shining armor.  Since reading and watching King Arthur, Robin Hood and Ivanhoe, when I was a kid, I always wanted to be a hero. I may never be a  the Knight in Shining Armor, but thanks to books or computer software, I can rescue princess, kill evil dragons, and do good deeds.

In the real world, I simply try to do good when I can.

3.  Be a power forward for the Boston Celtics.  The “impossible dream” at 5’7″, (and very little talent) — but basketball taught me perseverance, toughness, teamwork and the willingness to dive in, when I probably should have stayed outside where it is safer, instead of going in amongst the “trees”.

4.  Date Ms. America.  Beautiful women have captivated men throughout time and I am no different…but I got lucky – even though she doesn’t have the title Ms. America, I married the most beautiful woman in the world and am very lucky to have her in my life.

5.  Become a Sailor.  I was always eavesdropping on my grandfather and his buddies when they were in their “cups” and began to tell their “sea” stories.  Then I would raid my grandfather and uncle’s “sea chests” and taking out their old Navy uniforms to wear, even though, I couldn’t sit down when they caught up with me.  Although I didn’t go in the Navy, I did go in the U.S. Coast Guard and retired from there, so I became a “real” sailor.

6. Win the Boston Marathon: I think that a lot of kids growing up in New England had this dream. I wanted run and win the Boston Marathon after listening to George Hale (you have to be from Maine) talk about this race during the evening news back in the 60’s. I have considered myself a runner for over 40 years, even though at times, I haven’t always been consistent about it or that darn injury bug gets me. Running has been and will be an important part of my life.

I still have not run, much less won the Boston Marathon. But I am training to qualify for Boston at the Marine Corps Marathon 2013 and am going to run there in 2014. No I don’t expect to win, but by going as an official runner I will have done something special in my eyes. (Positive statements only)

Thank You

My Wife. She believes in my dreams, enough to go back to work, while I stay at home to pursue them and supports me through my moments of self-doubt. We work as a partners, teammates and trust one another, which is what I believe a marriage should be. I love you Mary.

My Father. We have both grown up a lot over the years and I am proud to call him my friend – as well as my father. We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but he has always had my back and has defended and supported me, even when he didn’t agree with my choices. He taught me the value of both working hard and hard work (they are different).

One thing that he taught me is that just because you have a piece of paper, doesn’t always mean you are smart, educated or right. It just means that you may have had the money and the timing was right, that others were not so fortunate to have had.

My Mom. She believed in me when even I didn’t. I miss her terribly and wish that we could have some of those conversations again and that I could tell her that I am following my dreams again.

Mr. Kenneth Smith. My high school cross-country coach, who scared the you know what out me when I first met him, but I do not believe that I have met too many finer gentlemen in my life. The mentor to a scared little boy who didn’t have a clue about so many things. You are the one who introduced me to my lifelong addiction/affliction – running.

Captain Timothy McKinna, USCG(Ret). One of my mentors in the Coast Guard and another gentleman that I will never forget the lessons that he taught me and someone who was always willing to listen, when I needed to talk. Yes he was a runner also.

Mike B – From creating fairy seats for my daughters to fixing old Jeeps, you have been my friend and someone I can call if I need anything. I value our friendship more than you will ever know.

There have been so many others that I could make this a forever post, but as Dr. Pausch said we do not go through life alone and I think that we have to learn to appreciate what others do for us, before we can learn to say thank you. Even though it should be the other way around.

The reality is that

“The Last Lecture” affected me profoundly the first time that I saw it, and every time I watch it, I learn something new. It helps to ground me, remind me to do better than I think I can and gives me confidence that I can still chase my dreams.

I think that sometimes we  get so caught up in things being about me, me, me; that we forget to take time out to look around us, appreciate what we do have – spiritually and materially and give credit for a great deal of our successes on those who helped us succeed – we didn’t do it alone.

Remember – just because you have others who help you, does not mean that you do not have to do the work. If you don’t or are unwilling to do the work – a dream just becomes a fantasy that will never become a reality.

Those brick walls only stop those who do not want it bad enough.

  • What do you think?
  • Is there a dream that you have, that a brick wall is in your way?
  • What are you going to do about it?

Live your life well, do the right things for the right reasons, remember those childhood dreams and to say thank you.

Thank you everyone, who took the time to read this post. And to the memory of Dr. Randy Pausch, who I never knew, but who’s words have affected me so much. Thank you.

Runner’s World Half & Festival Oct 20th and 21st

Runners World Half LogoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival -presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador!

You can’t tell that I am very excited about going can you? Well – I am very excited about going to this event. Imagine that, me the guy who doesn’t get too excited about too many things, being excited about this!

This will also be the first big Destination Race and Event that I have ever done. My other racing has always been done within an hour or so of where I lived.

There will be a 5K and 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday – click here for the full schedule.

Continue reading “Runner’s World Half & Festival Oct 20th and 21st”

Runner’s World Half and Festival Oct 20th and 21st

Runners World Half LogoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival -presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador!

You can’t tell that I am very excited about going can you? Well – I am very excited about going to this event. Imagine that, me the guy who doesn’t get too excited about too many things, being excited about this!

This will also be the first big Destination Race and Event that I have ever done. My other racing has always been done within an hour or so of where I lived.

There will be a 5K and 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday – click here for the full schedule.

No – I didn’t go for the Hat Trick – all three races that weekend (5k, 10, and Half Marathon). I opted to run the 5K on Saturday and the Half on Sunday, adding a 10K on Saturday would have made my goal of pushing the Half Marathon as hard as I can, much more difficult. However, there are many people who are doing the Hat Trick – all three races.

If you want to get a 10% discount on your race registration (any or all three of the races) use the discount code Blogger22.

FTC Disclaimer: My registration for these 2 races were complimentary. I will be blogging about my experiences during this event and all opinions are my own.

I am really looking forward to the people who I might be meeting/seeing down there – like: Bart Yasso, Shalane Flanagan, Dean Karnazes, Kristin Armstrong, Mark Parent and I am sure many other runners that I talked with on Twitter in hashtags #FitFluential, #RunChat, #FitBlog or others.

I will also get to finally meet some of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors, that I have talked with online so much over the last year!

One person that I really hope to see again, while I am down there is Amby Burfoot. I had the pleasure of watching him during workouts, when several runners in the New London/Groton area would go to the Coast Guard Academy Indoor track back in 1985/86 – I wonder if he will remember me? I think we both have a bit more gray hair Winking smile.

I know that I am going to take a LOT of photos, blog and tweet about what I have seen, seminars that I am attending, the expo and who I get to talk to, while I am down there.

This will also be a great trial run for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I will see what things I need to actually bring with me when travelling to a race, what I need to do to prepare for a bigger race, how to recover from the tough race and be ready to travel the next day. It will also give me a chance to see how I do running, with a lot more people around than I am used to. I know that I will do just fine.

By the way did I tell you how much I am looking forward to going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival! Smile.

Good Double Workout 9-11-12

IMG_0327Today was a double workout and the first one was tough, but the second one while it was only 4.5 miles was even tougher.

However, I finished at least 11.0 miles total for the day, like I said I would in my I Remember post from this morning.

In the Morning

I went to the Colby Track and did an interval workout with my Stepson-In-Law – Sean.

Well I should say I watched his back during a lot of the workout. He is half my age and a LOT faster than I will ever be again.

That said I had fun and enjoyed working out with someone else, it is a nice change of pace to do a workout and have someone to talk with, in between hard sets.

Plus it is a chance to get to know him a little better and he gets to know me better.
Colby Track Photo

Intervals all had a 1/4 mile cool-down in between sets, the sets that I took off, I jogged the slow lap with Sean.

Warm-up: 1.0 – 8:48

Mile – 7:14: I was definitely feeling the faster 13.1 from yesterday.

  1. 1/4 – 1:27: This one really hurt and I haven’t run this fast in many, many years. I wanted to see if I still had a sub 90:00 second quarter in me – yep everything hurt Smile.
  2. 1/4 – 1:40: I ran a lot more comfortably on this one and didn’t push as hard!
  3. 1/4 – DNR: Took this off, my hamstring and piriformis were squawking a bit at me, they didn’t like this fast a pace, but I knew that they would be.
  4. 1/4 – 1:37: Felt pretty decent on this one
  5. 1/4 – DNR
  6. 1/4 – 1:39: Last fast quarter for me, things were barking pretty good and I decided to shut it down, better safe than sorry.
  7. 1/4 – DNR
  8. 1/4 – DNR

Cool-down: 1.0 – 9:32

Afterwards we were stretching on the infield and I got this strange urge to take off my shoes and do some barefoot strides on the artificial grass. So I did.

8 x 100 yards at a good pace and they felt great – by the way I didn’t notice nearly as much discomfort, so I have a feeling some of my issues definitely have to do with my poor running form and mechanics. This was also the first time I have run barefoot in a while, something that I am going to have to do more of. It really made me focus how I was landing.

Sean stayed in the high 70’s to low 80’s for most of his quarters with the final one being 76. It was the first time he has been to the track in a while and he looked pretty wiped at the end. What I would give to be able to run that fast again.

Oh well – that ain’t happening at age 55. Green with envy

However, I am very happy with my part of the track workout today. I ran in lane 4, because lanes 1-3 are closed to general running. The MacMillan pace guide has me doing 400 meters at my current 5K race pace in 1:24, but running in an outside lane and doing quarters instead of 400’s – I think that I was pretty close to that pace.

Either way I felt good about my speed and know that it was smart to shut down the fast quarters when I did – I would hate to pop or pull something right now. It would be terrible timing.

Besides this workout was more about getting Sean some speed work in and he did a great job.

  • Total miles for me 6.7
  • For Sean: 7.7

So what did we do? We made plans to come back next week!

In the afternoon

I ran 4.5 miles to give me my 11 plus for the day. My legs were toast, everything hurt, but I remembered those people from 11 years ago and kept going – I had to. It was one of those runs that meant a lot to me and one I would finish no matter what – just the way it is. No it wasn’t fast, but I did it.

My day’s total was 11.2 miles.

I sure am glad that I have a day-off scheduled for tomorrow Smile, I definitely need it!

RunLog 9-11-12

I Remember

P8250031This is not my typical healthy-living or running type of post, but today is 9-11 and its aftershocks are a painful memory to many of us, wherever we were.

Every year since then  —

I remember.

Those two powerful Words conjure certain images for those of us who are old enough to remember that day. I was not in New York City, Washington, D.C., or Pennsylvania; I did not know those who perished or survived that terrible day.

But I remember.

I was on a business trip to New York City back in August this year, working in a building that looked down upon what we think of as “Ground Zero” – where the World Trade Center Towers had been.

It felt strange to be this close to that spot.

When I first looked down at the site, it brought back a flood of memories from that day 11 years ago.

The Day the World Changed

I was teaching at Good-Will Hinckley’s Glenn Stratton Learning Center, as a Special Education and U.S. History teacher for students that had behavioral and emotional disorders.

We learned about the first plane striking, the teaching and clinical staffs had a lively debate on the pros and cons of allowing our students to:

  • know what was going on
  • watching history unfold

We decided that the students needed to know and we turned on the television in the classrooms. Watching the horror and destruction that morning is something that I will always remember.

As I watched the smoke coming from the buildings, tears were streaming down my cheeks.

I remember one of our more “hardcore” teenagers looking at me and quietly asking, “Mr. Shaw why are you crying – this is just TV?”

I answered him back – quietly. “No this is not just TV, real people are hurt and dying in those buildings. Today is going to change our world as we know it.” He and the other students looked at me for a minute and there was a difference in how they were watching the events that were unfolding. The tears kept streaming and it wasn’t just me.

The rest of that day is a blur and was one of the most emotionally draining days of my life. Attempting  to maintain my composure, while re-assuring students that they were safe was very difficult, because I really didn’t know if they were. That night after work I went straight home, instead of going to the gym. I waited for my wife to come home and we talked – a lot.

The uncertainty that surrounded the days following the attack, were stressful for everyone in our Country. I am a retired Coast Guard Warrant Officer and one of my concerns was whether I would be recalled to active duty. There was no question about going if I had been recalled (I wasn’t), but it was stressful as we waited to see what happened next.

The events and images of that day are burned in to my soul, but at the same time – as the years go by and the actual feelings of anxiety, rage and powerlessness have faded. The images are becoming less clear, but I will remember the events of that day that I cried in my classroom.

The 11th Year

This year marks the 11th anniversary of 9-11. There will be crowds gathered, public ceremonies of grief, speeches made, rhetoric spoken, but I will not be a part of those activities. I prefer to honor those who died or had their lives changed forever that day – privately.

It is my way.

What will I do on 9-11-12?

To me 9-11 is a day of reflection.

This year I will run. After I finish I will find a quiet spot and think about that day, my life since and how fortunate I am to still be here, when so many are not.

The reality is that

My run today my personal way of honoring those who have had their lives irrevocably changed or lost that day.

I remember and will not forget,

Yes the tears streamed down my face again when I listened to this song, just same way I did the first time that I heard it.

Live your lives well and remember.