What A Difference 2012 Compared to 2011

This post is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time – compare one year to another.
Below are my 2012 compared to 2011 stats

2012 Final Stats

2011 Final Running Stats

The differences are remarkable
2012                        2011              Difference
Total:                      1,861.9                   235.3                        1626.6
Total Runs                 334                         94                                240
Weight                        196                      148                                   48
Average Run                   5.52                     2.5                                 3.02
The differences between 2012 and 2011 are simply amazing, to think that I was able to run this much and this well in just a year still boggles my mind

No this is not me bragging about how great I am , this is just to show how much someone can improve, if you are willing to put the work and effort into your running.

Thank you for a great year 2012, I hope that 2013 is as great as this year was!

 

Found a Pair of Brooks Pure Flows Today

Brooks Pure Flow 12-31-12

Back in February, I put together a list of 5 running shoes that wanted to try in 2012. I have run in those shoes or similar models from those manufacturers over the course of the year, with the exception the Brooks Pure Flow.

Which is strange because I tried the Pure Flows on every time I saw the, when I was shopping for running shoes. The other night, I was looking at a few shoe reviews, just for something to do and read more reviews on the Pure Flows than any other running shoes.

I was out wandering around today and stopped at a local shoe store, just to waste some time more than anything. While I was in there, I looked over their discount rack – low and behold sitting there on the bottom rack were a pair of Brooks Pure Flow in a size 8.5. It was almost like Karma was knocking, then I found them today.

To be honest I have tried the Brooks Pure Flow on several times this year and they have been the runner-up shoe all those times. I don’t know why, but for some reason every time I tried them on I decided on a different running shoe in the end. Although I usually take a size 8, I have tried the Pure Flows on before and knew that the 8.5 would fit just fine.

When I tried them on the Pure Flow’s fit like they were made for me. At that point, I decided why not and bought them.

I have over 200 miles on my Elixir’s and will need to start looking at what my next outside daily training shoes would be sometime in February, the Pure Flows were around 50% off and buying them today will save us a little bit of money.

No I haven’t run in them yet, but have walked a little over ½ mile and they felt great.

Brook Pure Flow Sole View

Now to go running in them a few times to see how they do for me.

It is funny how things work out sometimes, I really didn’t think that I would be getting another pair of running shoes today, much less the last pair of running shoes that I hadn’t brought home from that list back in February.

It has been a good day – let’s see how the Brooks compare to the Mizuno’s and Altra’s.

Comparing 2012 to 2011

This post is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time – compare one year to another.

Below are my 2012 compared to 2011 stats

2012 Final Stats

2011 Final Running Stats

The differences are remarkable

2012                      2011              Difference

,Total:                     1,861.9                  235.3                            1626.6

Total Runs                 334                        94                                240

Weight                        196                      148                                  48

Average Run                 5.52                     2.5                                  3.02

The differences between 2012 and 2011 are simply amazing, to think that I was able to run this much and this well in just a year still boggles my mind

No this is not me bragging about how great I am , this is just to show how much someone can improve, if you are willing to put the work and effort into your running.

Thank you for a great year 2012, I hope that 2013 is as great as this year was!

#Brilliantrun for Last Run in 2012

Ah today was the last run of 2012 and it was definitely a Mizuno #Brilliant Run, I got soaked in sweat the hard interval workout on the treadmill and with about 3 seconds left on my last interval, my hamstring started to tighten up. I guess it is a sign, warning or whatever you ant to call it – that I can’t run as fast or as hard as I did 30 years ago – even though I still seem to keep trying ;-).

My workout was definitely another one of those tough treadmill workouts that I have been doing lately and that I love to do. I don’t know what it is about running at around a 6:00 minute pace (or faster) for quarters, but there is just something about doing it that I love. Yes it is on a treadmill and no I probably can’t do it on a track, but…I still like doing it. The strangest part is that I really don’t feel that bad while I am running those fast quarters, it only really hurts when I slow back down, especially on the last 2 or 3.

For my workout today, I purposely didn’t wear my heart rate monitor, I figured it was going to be a tough one and I didn’t want to see how high I was getting the heart rate up to ;-). Didn’t want to scare myself!

  • 1.0 mile warm-up at 7.3 mph
  • .50 @10.0 mph
  • .25 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @10.1 mph — 2.0
  • .25 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @10.2 mph — Somehow or another after this quarter I accidentally pulled the emergency kill switch on the treadmill and shut everything down??? Oh well, just had to pick it back up again. Yes when I am doing 10+ mph on the treadmill, I try to remember to wear the kill switch on my waist band. I may be an idiot, but I don’t want to be on YouTube as part of a treadmill wall splat video that goes viral ;-).
  • .25 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @10.3 mph — 3.0
  • .25 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @10.4 mph
  • .25 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @10.5 mph — 4.0
  • .25 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @9.7 mph
  • .25 2 @7.3 mph
  • .25 @11.0 mph — 5.0
  • 1.25 Ladder starting at 7.3 increasing every .10 by 1/10th of mph
  • .25 @10.0 mph – Definitely tweaked right hammie a little just before I finished, otherwise felt really great during the entire run! Did a half mile cool down walk.

Was definitely toast afterwards and only foam rolled my legs and back. I will get back to the weights in 2013.

It was a great workout to finish 2012 and carried with it a warning to not think that I am still 25 and can run like the wind any more 😉 – My hamstrings just don’t like that kind of running now.

I am just having a damn hard time giving in to this aging crap, but have to train smarter so I can keep running injury free, maybe capping my fast intervals to 10 mph, until I have no problems with hamstrings would be a good thing!

Summary Screenshot

Garmin Stats 12/31/12

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Ronin 4

*Socks: Swiftwick Aspires

*Top: Idiot’s Running Club tank top – Another runner commented on the shirt and said does that say a lot about your running or mental state? I just laughed and told her that wearing it doesn’t allow me to take myself too seriously and makes me remember to have fun when I run.

*Bottom: Puma Compression sorts, Coast Guard Running Shorts

*Outerwear: None

RunLog Screenshot:

RunLog 12-31-12

Running A Quick 3.0 out in the Cold 12-30-12

An hour and a half of snow blowing is both an endurance and weight training workout. We got 6-7 inches of show showers yesterday, which is just enough to be a pain in the butt. Plus there is something about it that makes my hamstrings tired, I guess it is pulling it backwards that bothers.

This afternoon, I decided to do my 3.0 miles even though it was cold and windy outside. I don’t mind this weather for shorter runs of 3-5 miles, but longer than that, just is not too pleasant in single digit weather.

I focused on keeping my strides short and at a faster cadence than I have been outside (besides I wanted to get back inside – I was dressed right, but it was still cold). I was surprised at how much faster I ran than usual without pushing very hard. I did pick it up pretty good the last 1/2 mile, but still ran with a couple more gears to go.

Summary Screenshot

Garmin Stats 12-30-12

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Elixir 7

*Socks: Swiftwick Aspire

*Top: Black Nautica sleeveless top, White Brooks L/S tech shirt, Black Fleece Vest

*Bottom: Nike Pro compression shorts, Nike Black Windpans

*Outerwear: Frank Shorter Orange Running Jacket

RunLog Screenshot

RunLog 12-30-12

2 Weeks of Using Nothing but my Chromebook

A few weeks ago I decided to go exclusively with my Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook, to see what I would miss and not be able to do on my Chromebook, that could with my MacBookPro or a Windows based PC (I still have access to my wife’s).

So how has the experiment gone?

I haven’t turned on my MacBookPro since then and only get on the wife’s PC to do maintenance type stuff. Otherwise, the Chromebook has done just about everything that I need or want to do.

I was able to maintain my blogs, upload .docx files, .MP4 videos and photos to my work Dropbox account (although there are more steps if I need to edit a document), print to my Canon wireless printer and do everything I am supposed to do without a great deal of difficulty.

Mindset

There is a mindset change that you have to make in order to use a Chromebook effectively.

Instead of looking for things that you CAN’T do with this computer, I had to change my outlook to what I could DO with my Chromebook.

Once I made that change, using the Chromebook suddenly became easier and more enjoyable.

Has everything been easy – no.

Learning any new operating system there are frustrations about having to do things differently than I have done them in the past (I went the same thing when I went from Windows to Mac and I initially hated the Mac with a passion). So going from my Windows and Mac background to the Chrome OS, has had its challenges, but none of them have been insurmountable or even that big a deal, once I figured out the solution – with help from the Chromebook communities or Chromebook Central Group.

It is more getting used to the Chrome OS way of doing things and waiting for the OS to mature a little more.

Also, I committed to the cloud – in other words, I don’t store anything on my Chromebook that if I was to drop and break it or if it got stolen, that I wouldn’t be upset about. My Downloads file has become a temporary storage area and nothing else. Everything goes into Drive or other cloud location. It has actually been a liberating feeling to not have anything on my laptop, that I care about.

File Management

The biggest thing that bothers me about my Chromebook is that Drive’s file management system on the Chromebook, is not the same as it is in the browser,

Which causes me to scratch my head, go huh and hunt for my files instead of the file tree just being in the left sidebar, which I have become accustomed to. I am not big on using “search” to find things and prefer the file tree.

This is more of an inconvenience than an actual issue, but it is one of those things that the Chromebook team needs to resolve for consistency across the platform, to make file management easier for the user and the overall Chromebook experience better – in my opinion.

Videos & Photo Management

I use a Canon Vixia HF M500 Video camera to do most of my scheduled videos and my Incredible2 for those impromtu situations.

Since the Canon uses a SD card, it makes it very easy to simply plug that SD card into my Chromebook and upload the files. The videos do take a little longer than a Mac or PC, but now that I know that, I can work around it.

However, I had to figure out how I want to setup my photo and video file management system in Drive so I can find photos later – I don’t use search very effectively for this, because I don’t always rename the files :-).

My file tree looks a like this when I upload from an SD Card or USB device, the photos go directly into My Photos, then I have to manually place them into the correct file.

If I want to do more advanced photo editing I would use Pixlr or Sumo Paint, which will do anything I want to do and a lot more.

I do have to explore a little about whether I can designate which actual file I want to put the photo files in, I just keep forgetting to check it when I upload files.

Video Editing

I read complaints on pundit’s reviews, and in the forums, blog and communities, that you can’t edit videos with a Chromebook. Now I don’t need to make professional quality movies and typically make 3-10 minute YouTube videos for my blog posts.

I have been playing around with the Pixorial Video editing web application I was able to create the below YouTube video for my running blog.

Yes it is a little cheesy, but for the second time that I have used this video editor, it worked quite nicely. I imagine like any tool, as I start to use it more, it will become easier to use. I do not do advanced video editing and Pixorial, probably will do 90% of the video editing I need to do.

One thing that I really do like about Pixorial is that it integrates easily with Drive and accomplishes the upload of videos fairly quickly, but it is not as fast as iMovie or MovieMaker.

The biggest difference I found in using Pixorial vs iMovie or MovieMaker is that I have to preplan the work that I want to accomplish a little better. Spur of the moment editing just doesn’t happen as quickly – yet.

The bottom line is that I can edit videos enough to meet my needs.

Streaming Movies

The other night we watched The Expendables from my Amazon Prime Account, using my Chromebook attached to my 32″ Panasonic TV. It worked fine and didn’t have any issues with it.

I used the VGA connector on my TV, to a double-male VGA cable and then connected it to my 550 Chromebook with the Diplayport++ to VGA adapter. Like I said everything worked like a charm.

One thing I had to figure out was how to go from Extended screen mode to Mirror screen mode and it took a couple of minutes to find the right menu.

Actually the biggest issue I had with all this was finding 2 AA batteries for my wireless USB mouse, which worked flawlessly, when I finally found the batteries.

Smartphone

Back on December 18th, I activated my HTC Droid Incredible2 phone, so I could integrate my phone better with my Chromebook – my iPhone didn’t like my Chromebook.

I have found this to be a GREAT decision, I easily can upload my photos and videos, to the 550 and while it takes a while to upload videos, it does get done. It works a lot better than trying all the work-arounds I was having to use to get my iPhone 4S and Chromebook to work together.

Another issue resolved, but it took me changing to an Android phone to really resolve the problem to my satisfaction. Which leaves me with an iPhone 4S that I am not using now – hmmm I wonder what trades, I can work for one.

The reality is that

I haven’t even had any need or urge to open up my MacBook Pro over the past few weeks!

The Chromebook does what I want. Yes I might have to plan my work a little differently or figure out a work-around to get something done, but nothing I am doing is unreasonable or actually causes all that much extra work or time. It is more that it is a different way of doing something than I did in the past.

That mind-set change that I discussed earlier and learning the nuances of a different operating system with an open mind, instead of just saying that this sucks, because I can’t do things the way I always have.

The only thing that I can’t do on my Chromebook that I can on my Mac is play NeverWinter Nights 2 and I haven’t really played any games in the past couple of weeks any way, so I haven’t found this to be an inconvenience at all. Oh at some point, I will probably break out the Mac and play NWN2 again, because I do enjoy it, but for right now it is not a priority for me and who knows maybe some day, I will be able to just play it online – then I will be very happy.

Those who game a lot, will be disappointed with the Chromebook, personally it is not a big deal.

To summarize

Something I read in one of the Chromebook forums or communities, that really seems to summarize how I look at using my Chromebook now. To paraphrase what was said.

“The Chromebook has become my primary Computer and my MacBook Pro has become a niche machine that I would use to do extensive video editing (which I VERY seldom do) or something in iWork or Office, that I couldn’t accomplish with either Pixorial or Drive.”

In other words, the past few weeks have shown me what I can do with my Chromebook 550 – which is just about everything that I need to do and almost everything that I want to do.

How are you doing with your Chromebook? Do you have any suggestions to make my Chromebook experience even better?

10 Mile Treadmill Run 12-29-12

Today was clean-up Saturday – the Christmas tree is now out-back of the garage, the house got a thorough cleaning and the Christmas ornaments are back overhead in the garage – so by the time I got ready to run it was starting to snow a bit. I wanted to do a longer run today, so with the footing outside and how tough jumping in the ditch or side of the road would be I decided to run on the treadmill at the gym.

The run on the treadmill was pretty uneventful, I stopped at 7.0 miles (because the machine shuts off at 59:45) and immediately restarted to finish the 3.0 miles. Everything was done at 7.3 mph or faster, but I didn’t push hard, I just wanted to get the miles in. I changed the elevations around to get a little harder work in too. I thought about doing more, but when I hit 10.0 miles I was ready to stop.

IMAG0188* IMAG0189

After the run I went on the foam roller for about 15 minutes and really beat on my hamstrings and calves, they feel a lot better.

It was a good thing that I did my long run inside, when I got outside after my workout, there was 3 inches of new snow and on the way home a car was in the ditch. So it was a little slippery.

Overall a nice 10.0 mile run.

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Ronin4

*Socks: Swiftwick Aspire 12 – this is the first time that I have worn these socks for this distance and they did great.

*Top: Orange sleeveless tech shirt

*Bottom: Puma Compression Shorts, Nike Shorts w/orange/red stripe

*Outerwear: None

RunLog Screenshot:

RunLog 12-29-12

Social Media Overload and What I am Doing About It

It too much

Time – it is all about time and how you use it.

This is not my usual running related post, but it is definitely related to healthy-living in today’s world.

Social media is a time suck – in my mind there is no doubt about it. It isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it does take a LOT of time out of your/my day that could be spent doing other things that might be a LOT more productive.

The amount of time that you and I spend on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (especially now that they have communities) and other social media networks is probably fairly substantial.

Let’s see I have almost 200 feeds in my Google Reader, am beginning to use YouTube more, a member of 8 Facebook Groups, 6 Google+ Communities, numerous Twitter #Hashtags (which I consider a communities) – whose members provide links to their blog posts, links to interesting information or simply the many interesting comments that I want to either read or join in the conversation also.

Unfortunately, for me the amount of information available on my social media channels is becoming more and more overwhelming. The number of people in these groups, communities and #hashtags has been growing – almost exponentially over the past 6 months and I find myself drowning in trying to keep up with all the information and conversations that have been going on in my multiple social media channels.

However, while this is probably a good problem to have, especially doing what I am doing with my blogs and online interests. I am getting overwhelmed and starting to feel as though I don’t interact in my social media channels as much as I should.

I don’t want to be seen as one of those, who just take and take from others in my social media channels (and yes those people do exist), by only seeming promoting my or other’s blog posts/comments/conversations and not participating in the conversations that are taking place. I want to be an active participant in the communities that interest me or that I work with.

I know that this is an artificial pressure that I put on myself and shouldn’t worry about it, but I do. Enough that I have pretty much shut-down and taken most of this week off from participating and commenting on most everything related to social media (not completely, but most of it).

This post is a result of that shut-down.

However, as I said – it all comes down to time.

I have to establish my priorities and what is important to me and focus on those things, instead of trying to be everywhere at once and being an outside participant in too many social media networks.

Over the next few days, I am going to start looking at ways, I can participate more in the Groups and Communities that I need/want to be a part of and prune those that seem to suck me in and lead me down those many rabbit holes that are very cool to travel, but at the same time are not very productive.

Some of the things I need to do are:

  • Look closely at my Google Reader subscriptions and unscubscribe to those I no longer want or need to follow.
  • Go through my Twitter Lists and #hashtags to reduce the number that I am attempting to follow and only use some when I am involved in those Twitter Chats that I love so much.
  • Look at the Facebook Groups/People that I “Like” and possibly change how I use this service a little or a lot.
  • Look at the Google+ Communities and figure out which one are necessary and which ones can I leave and how I use Google+, which I like much more than Facebook.
  • Which social media sites and running websites can I delete my profile from.

I guess what I am saying is that I need to do a complete audit of my social media activities and focus on the areas that I enjoy or need to participate in. I am learning that I can not do it all and don’t want any platform, group or community to feel that I am simply using them as a way to market myself or my blog.

The reality is that

this is not a bad problem to have, but it is something that I need to look very carefully at over the next few days to see how I can focus more on what is important and associate more with the people online that I want to associate with, without making it so that I don’t continue to meet new people as well. Which is one of the reasons that I love social media is meeting people who I would never meet otherwise.

Yes it is all about time and how you spend it. I guess that I just want the quality and focus of my conversations to improve, instead of feeling like I am shotgunning everything and hoping that something will stick.

Do any of you feel this way? What do you think and do you have any words or wisdom or suggestions that we all can use to better use and maintain our social media presence.

Reviewing my 2012 Goals

Well it is that time again – time to review how I did on my goals that I set and wrote about for 2012 in my 2011 and Beyond – My Running in the Future.

Screenshot 2012-12-28 at 8.01.48 AM Screenshot 2012-12-28 at 8.02.32 AM*

The above are photos of me in 2012 – The green jacket photo was on January 14, 2012 and the Orange jacket was on December 26, 2012. There are just a few differences – the biggest one in my opinion is how confident I feel about my running now, compared to that day in January. January was my first race of the year and I really didn’t know where I was going with my running other than, I was going to run. Now I have a year’s experience under my belt and have a better idea of what I can do and hopefully the direction that my running will be going.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to go back, review your 2012 goals post and respond directly to each goal that you expected to meet during the year. Putting it on the screen and doing the copy and paste to this post, really  made me stop and think about what I did and didn’t accomplish this year.

However, I am a big believer in reflecting on what I actually accomplished versus what I had written that I would. That way I can adjust or create new goals for 2013 based on reality instead of wishful thinking.

My 2012 Holistic Goals:

1. Just be able to run when I want to.

I didn’t have many days where I couldn’t have run if I had really wanted to and I ran more this year than I have in several years.

2. Change and improve my running form.

I did work pretty hard on this through September and after that I just focused on running relaxed. So has my running form changed? A little, but not the big overhaul that I was expecting after I read Chi Running last December. Maybe I need to work on this more in 2013, but I am not going to make it a goal – instead I am just going to run relaxed this year. Yes I still heel strike too much, but my form is much more compact and efficient than it was at the start of the year.

3. Re-engage in the social aspect of running.

I think that I have done this fairly well, I would still like to find a local group of people to run with, but overall, I think that I have been fairly successful with this one.

4. I want to continue to grow the  ”A Veteran Runnah” blog/brand.

This one was very successful, although the numbers are not super-great, writing at A Veteran Runnah has provided me opportunities with FitFluential, Real Health, Swiftwick and others.

5. I want to start racing again and not just virtually.

I participated in 10 races this year. I had a lot of fun at them and the best part was that I got to meet a lot of great people at them.

My measurable 2012 Goals

What were my measurable goals for 2012?

  • Run at least a total of 1,200 miles in 2012. I ran 1,842 miles in 2012 – Met this goal.
  • Run at least 330 days in 2102. 302 Days Run. Didn’t meet this goal.
  • Run a 5K sub 20:00 minutes sometime after 8/6/12 (this is my pie-in-the-sky goal) Best race time was 21:26. Didn’t meet this goal.
  • Weigh less than 155 pounds on my 55th birthday (I weighed in at 172 today) on 8/8/12 (two days after my birthday) I weighed 150. Met this goal.
  • Run at least 4 races in 2012. I ran in 10 races. Met this goal.
  • Join a local running club in 2012. I joined the Central Maine Striders. Met this goal.

So why didn’t I meet those 2 goals.

Running a sub 20:00 minute 5K. I knew that would be the most difficult one to achieve this year (it was my pie-in-the-sky goal), but I feel that I made big strides towards meeting it and will be keeping this as a goal for 2013.

I did run 302 days and ran 334 times this year. I believe that I set this goal too high for the amount of rest that I actually need and plan to lower it to running 300 days in 2013. I want to plan on taking at least 1 day off a week and a few days after each training cycle, to ensure that I have enough rest to achieve my other goals this year.

The reality is that

I believe that I have made huge strides in my running this year and am very satisfied with the direction I am going.

Did you meet your goals for 2012, if not what are you going to do differently in 2013?

Running in Nor’Easter 12/27/12

Nor'Easter Photo 12-27-12

Well the storm that was supposed to drop 10-18 inches, might have given us 8 inches of new snow, which is enough, when you have a 300 ft driveway to snowblow, but not quite the “blizzard” or bad Nor’Easter that had been forecast.

I am glad that we didn’t get the full brunt of the storm, in some ways, but it would have been nice to have gotten a little more, so I could get out my snowshoes or cross-country skis.

I did go out for 3.0 mile run during the storm and below is the video that I took during the run.

The run wasn’t that bad, since the town had plowed the roads a couple of times, but the wind was pretty tough when running back into it. I also wanted to try out my Chromebook on some basic video editing using Pixorial and then posting it to YouTube. It was fairly intuitive and once I uploaded my videos to Pixorial it was easy to use. Just like any program there is a learning curve and I am sure that more that I use it, the easier I will find it to use.

Weather: Nor’Easter with white ice under the snow in many places

Course: 4 Laps Philbrick Road

Summary Screenshot

Garmin Stats 12-27-12

The dip at the start was me trying to get the camera to record for the first time, I had to stop and figure out which setting was video, all the symbols have worn off the camera over the 4 years we have had it. I guess I use  it too much.

Gear

*Shoes: Adidas Vigor – they did pretty good in the snow/tar sections, but I have a feeling that tomorrow I will be doing a video on how to create a pair of “screw” shoes, so that I don’t slip and slide all around on white ice/snow.

*Socks: Swiftwick Pursuits, merino wool socks, my feet were warm the entire run, even when some snow got down inside of the running shoes, they quickly warmed back up and I forgot about it.

*Top: Yellow sleeveless tech shirt, Hind Blue L/S tech shirt

*Bottom: Blue New Balance Wind Pants, Nike Pro Combat Compression shorts

*Outerwear: Orange Frank Shorter Running Jacket, HiVis Converta Gloves, Brooks HiVis Ball cap, Red ear muff

RunLog Screenshot

RunLog 12-27-12