Moving Away from My iPhone 4S

My work area

It turns out that my Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook doesn’t like the iPhone and the iPhone doesn’t like the Chromebook, they do not work all that well together. 

I found using the iPhone with the Chromebook, was more about finding work-arounds to get them to work together, which was quite frustrating at times.

The idea that my iPhone doesn’t integrate worth a damn with my primary computer – the Chromebook is something that wasn’t acceptable to me. So I started wandering around Craigslist and other places, looking to picking up a cheap last generation Android smart phone, since I had never used one before and wondered if it would work any better with my Chromebook.

Pretty quickly I found a HTC Droid Incredible2 on Craigslist for…well let’s just say it was too good a deal to pass up. I did a bit of a little rice bag magic, cleaning, maintenance, a new micro SD Card and now it works like a charm.

Once I got the HTC so it worked, I played around with it, getting familiar with Android and how it worked with my Chromebook as a WIFI device.

What I found was that the Chromebook and the Incredible2 worked very well together. It was very easy to transfer files, photos or videos between the two and I could do more than just charge my phone with my computer.

Surprisingly, I was liking the HTC for a lot of stuff that I use a smart phone for and was using it to do stuff that I didn’t with my iPhone, like read my emails without pinching out or turning to landscape more, surfing the web and lots of other little things.
However, one thing in my iPhone’s favor was that it is also my primary carry camera and does a great job of taking photos quickly and are good enough quality, that I can use them on my blog.

The Incredible2 photos were okay, but the photos were not as sharp as the iPhone’s or as easy to get to the photo App.

However, since I wasn’t really planning on making any decisions about possible changes any time soon, I didn’t worry about it too much. I had gotten the Incredible2 just to see what Android was really like – I need to actually use a device to know whether it would work for me.

Over the next few weeks, I played with the Incredible2 to see how I would fit it into my work flow and how I use a smart phone. I even read most of the PDF documentation to figure out some of the nuances of Android and HTC/Verizon’s interpretation of it, to learn how it does things differently than I do on my iPhone.

Which really created quite a dilemma for me.

  • I liked my iPhone but it wasn’t working well with my Chromebook.
  • The Incredible2 integrated much better with my Chromebook, but it was a second hand device and I am still unsure of its reliability.

During the past week, I purposely carried both around with me and I found myself starting to pull out the Incredible 2 more and more, even for photos, although it was not activated and only had WIFI access. At that point, I knew it was time to go ahead and make the change.

So I did! I activated my HTC Droid Incredible 2 and deactivated the iPhone 4S this week.

The reality is that this is just one more step, that I seem to be making towards making the commitment to using Google’s technology silo. Switching to an Android phone is a huge move for me in this direction, that when combined with getting a Chromebook definitely puts me pretty far down that road.

It will be interesting to see how my move to an Android based phone works and how it improves my work flow with my Chromebook.

Do you have any tips or tricks that you use with an Android phone and/or how you integrate it with your Chromebook, to improve your work flow?

Do you have any must have Android Apps that I need to look at to use on my Incredible2?

#Brilliantrun Treadmill Tempo Run 12-20-12

Treadmill Run 12-20-12
Treadmill Run 12-20-12

The big news today is that the world is supposed to end tomorrow. The Mayan Calendar runs out and the doomsayers claim we are on the Eve of the Apocalypse,  The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) or simply the end of the world – we will see how that works out that.

Personally I have a feeling that I will be able to get in my run on Saturday morning and am planning my life that way as well. 🙂

However, in honor of the eve of destruction, I wanted to really train hard to prepare for the worst and did one of my toughest workouts of the year!

Today’s workout was a tough one for me! I decided that I was going to have a hard tempo run and boy did I. When I was running the tempo portion of the work out, it got my attention, it wasn’t race pace (well it was my last 5K race pace), but 6:40 pace for 3.0 miles made me work up a pretty damn good sweat on the treadmill.

The first tempo mile felt very good, the second one was a little tougher and yes I wanted to slow down an awful lot between 2.0 and 2.5. That is the area of a race that I have the hardest time with, you are almost to the finish, but it isn’t close enough to start thinking about your kick yet, for me 2.0 to 2.5 is the dead part of a 5K.

This is one reason I do like the treadmill, it doesn’t allow me to lose my focus on running faster in that part of a run, as long as I leave the controls alone (I didn’t touch them today), it forces me through this tough part of a fast workout. Here is what I did:

  • 1.0 mile warm-up @7.3 mph 8:13 pace
  • 3.0 miles @9.0 mph 6:40 pace
  • .6 miles @7.3 mph
  • 1.4 miles @7.5 mph 8:00 pace
  • 10 minute walking cool-down

After this workout, I was absolutely TOAST! I didn’t have a lot left and then I went and did my lower body weights any way – boy did that make the legs feel good (heavy sarcasm there). After that, I really abused myself for about 15 minutes on the gym’s foam roller, boy do I love to hate that torture device!

Time of Day: 10:36

Weather:

Indoor Course:

Tempo Treadmill

Run Summary Screenshot

 

Garmin Stats 12-20-12
Garmin Stats 12-20-12

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Ronin 4

*Top: Cotton Orange Coast Guard Chief Shirt

*Bottom: Puma compression shorts, EMS running shorts. they are just too big – they started to come down to much at the end of the run – now that would have been funny, having my running shorts drop to my knees or ankles while 7.5 mph – not a good thing. I stuffed them back up into the waist belt I wear to carry my smart phone and finished the run. I didn’t realize how many inches I have lost off my waist until that happened, which is a good thing, but still…come’on man don’t embarrass yourself if you don’t have to. These shorts are headed directly to the give-away pile or trash this afternoon.

*Outerwear: None

RunLog Screenshot

 

RunLog 12-20-12
RunLog 12-20-12

Last Night’s Supper: Ravioli, Spaghetti sauce, CRP, Lemonade, store sourdough bread, Desert (are later) homemade Pistachio muffin, Honey flavored Greek yougurt & apple

Breakfast: Black Coffe, 1/3 Cup Oatmeal, 1/3 Cup Blueberries, Flax Seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, handful rains, medium banana

Vitamins: Simply Right Mature Men MultiVitamin, Simply Right Glucosamine HCI 1500 mg, Swanson High potency Dry Vitamin D-3 – 1,000 iu, Swanson Turmeric 720 mg, Swanson CoQ10 200 mg, Swanson Bee Propolis 550 mg

Lunch: Leftover Ravioli & Spaghetti sauce, romaine lettuce salad with 1/4 tomato and cole slaw mix, Ranch Dressing, piece of dark chocolate Snacks: 4 handfuls of peanuts over the course of the day,

 

Had to get Outside to Run 12-19-12

After run 12-19-12
After run 12-19-12

I came very close to bagging this run today and just resting for a while today, plus it was still nasty and slippery outside.

However, as the day went on, I really wanted to get out and do more than just a walk today.

As I ran each mile I picked up the pace slightly, especially after the plow went by and made it so that my footing was better. I felt really good the whole run and just ran a nice recovery run.

It felt good to get outside to run after 2 days of being on a treadmill at the gym. I prefer running in the fresh air, even if I couldn’t  see much through my glasses at the end.

Time of Day: 11:40 A.M.

Weather: Freezing Rain and sleet, 35F, Wind 10-5 mph out of the north.

Course: 4 Laps Philbrick Road

 

glasses 12-19-12
glasses 12-19-12

 

Road conditions 12-19-12
Road conditions 12-19-12

No the road isn’t all that bad, but the combination of sleet, freezing rain and snow, made it fairly slippery.

Summary Screenshot

Screenshot 2012-12-19 at 7.34.38 PM

 

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Elixir 7 – I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did in the couple of inches of snow that was in the road

*Socks: Swiftwick Aspire 12’s. I just got these as free media samples from Swiftwick and I wanted to try these out to see how comfortable these would be for a run and they were great.

*Top: Blue tank tech, Nike orange L/S tech shirt

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

*Outerwear: Red/Black New Balance Running jacket

RunLog Screenshot

RunLog 12-19-12

Too Nasty Out – Another Treadmill Run 12-18-12

Today is one of those days that I was VERY happy that I got a gym membership last month! I don’t really mind running in the snow or cold (to a point), but when it is 35ºF and freezing rain outside.  There are just too many things that can go bad on days like that, plus the fact that I can’t really wear my glasses in this weather, so it was the kind of that I would normally just take off. It was just too nasty out to run outside for me today, but I did get a run in.

No I Didn't Run Outside in this today

This is what Downback looks like - Where I walked with Bennie this morning.

Instead, I packed up the gym bag and ran my easy 5.0 miles on the treadmill. It has been a long time since I considered a sub 40:00 minute time for 5.0 miles (treadmill or not) easy!  But it was and I didn’t feel as though I had pushed hard at all.

The best part is when I finished the 5.0 miles, I now have 1,800 miles for 2012, I believe that it is my second highest total miles for a year ever (one year  I got over 2,000). When I started this year, I believed that I was going to have a difficult time reaching my initial goal of 1,200, so needless to say I am very psyched about this accomplishment.

You know something else, I couldn’t have done it without the support that I have received from my online running community. So I want to give everyone who has inspired me to do more than I ever thought I could a huge thank you!

Intro:

Time of Day: 2:40 PM

Weather: Outside mid 30’s and rain/freezing rain

Course: Treadmill

Summary Screenshot Gear

Garmin Stats 12-18-12

*Shoes: Mizuno Ronin 4

*Socks: Swiftwick Sustain – first time wearing them and they might just become my favorite Swiftwick sock. They are definitely comfortable and for disclosure I am a Swiftwick Blog Ambassador and these were free samples.

*Top: Runner’s World 5K T Shirt

*Bottom: Nike Pro Compression Shorts, Blue Nike Running Shorts

*Outerwear: None

RunLog Screenshot

Runlog 12-18-12

Last Night’s Supper: Hamburger Tacos-soft shell, corn/cheese concoction, salad, ranch dressing and rhubarb non-alcoholic cordial (homemade)

Breakfast: Black Coffee, 1/3 Cup Oatmeal, 1/3 Cup Blueberries, Flax Seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, handful rains, medium banana

Vitamins: Simply Right Mature Men MultiVitamin, Simply Right Glucosamine HCI 1500 mg, Swanson High potency Dry Vitamin D-3 – 1,000 iu, Swanson Turmeric 720 mg, Swanson CoQ10 200 mg, Swanson Bee Propolis 550 mg

Lunch: Leftover taco hamburger scrambled with two eggs, cole slaw (ranch dressing) Green Tea, Apple, 1 small dark chocolate

Weights – None

Back to it – Treadmill Intervals 12-17-12

At the Gym 12-17-12

So where have I been?

Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, CT., affected me deeply. Both as a former teacher (more than 10 years) and a grandparent with children close to that age.

As I said on Saturday my heart goes out to everyone who was affected by the horrible actions of one person. After seeing the news reports, I pretty much shut down my social media presence this weekend. Several times I half-heartedly tried to get back to my online communities, but it really didn’t seem to matter whether I participated or not, so I did other stuff that needed to get done.

Even though the families, friends and others affected by the senseless deaths of so many innocent children, have had their lives changed forever. Mine has changed only slightly and the best thing that most of us can do is go on living our own lives as best we can. So I am.

This morning it was time to get back to it, so I ran and I ran hard. I had a lot of frustration built up and I used that to motivate me to do a tougher workout than I usually do.

  • 1.0 warm-up @7.3 mph – 125-130 bpm
  • .25 @10.0 mph – 156 bpm
  • .25 @10.0 mph – 159 bpm
  • .25 @10.0 mph – 161 bpm
  • .25 @10.0 mph – 161 bp
  • .25 @10.2 mph – 164 bpm
  • .25 @10.2 mph – 166 bpm
  • .25 @10.2 mph – 164 bpm
  • .25 @10.2 mph – 163 bpm
  • .25 @10.2 mph – 166 bpm
  • .25 @10.5 mph – 170 bpm
  • .25 @10.5 mph – 169 bpm
  • .25 @10.5 mph – 170 bpm
  • In between each fast interval .25 rest @7.3 mph 1.2 mile ladder starting at 7.4 mph ending 8.5 mph
  • .25 for filming stride
  • .25 walk for cool down,  both of which I didn’t add to the total for the run.

I felt really good during the entire workout! I tried to keep my stride under control even when I was running sub 6:00 minute pace. During this workout, I definitely worked up a GREAT sweat and felt like I had accomplished a lot this morning. This workout is a reminder of a different day and age, when I was a LOT younger!

No I wouldn’t want to try this workout all the time, but once in a while it feels pretty damn good to blow the cobwebs out :-).

Time of Day: 8:16 AM

Weather: Indoors

Course: Treadmill

Summary Screenshot

Garmin Stats 12-17-12

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Ronin 4

*Socks: Swiftwick Vibe

*Top: Red tank tech shirt

*Bottom: Nike Pro Combat Compression Shorts, New Balance Black/Red Running Shorts

*Outerwear: None

Nike Heartrate Monitor

iSmoothRun iPhone App

RunLog Summary

RunLog 12-17-12

Last Night’s Supper: Homemade Pea Soup, 2 slices of sourdough bread, 1 glass of wine

Breakfast: Black Coffe, 1/3 Cup Oatmeal, 1/3 Cup Blueberries, Flax Seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, handful rains, medium banana

Vitamins: Simply Right Mature Men MultiVitamin, Simply Right Glucosamine HCI 1500 mg, Swanson High potency Dry Vitamin D-3 – 1,000 iu, Swanson Turmeric 720 mg, Swanson CoQ10 200 mg, Swanson Bee Propolis 550 mg

Lunch: Leftover Homemade Pea Soup, Salad (spinach & romaine letttuce, 1/4 tomato, Ranch Dressing, Apple, Green Tea

Weights

  • Abductor 30 x 110
  • Adductor 30 x 110
  • Glute Machine 30 x 70 both legs
  • Hamstring Maching 10 x 50 x 3
  • Chest Flye Machine 20 x 70
  • Chest Press Machine 20 x 90
  • Lat Pulldown Machine 20 x 90
  • Row Machine 20 x 90
  • Assisted Dip 85 x 20
  • Assisted Pullup 85 x 20
  • Foam Roller – Yes

My Chromebook a Month Later

I have had my Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook for almost a month now (boy that is hard to believe) and  it has become my primary computer!

How did this happen, I have been a Mac or Windows guy, who usually wanted the most powerful high end laptop that he could afford.

Doesn’t that sound familiar, I think a lot of us are that way – enticed by the exponentially increasing specs each generation of computers have inside them.

Well I got tired of the hype, hoopla and work that goes into setting up, re-learning and maintaining those platforms.

I have become someone who wants to just use their computer, not screw around with it or sit and watch the spinning wheel or beach ball of death go round and round, while I wait for the damn thing to disappear.

 

In real life use

My Chromebook 550 has been stable and works fantastic within the limitations that I knew that it had, before I purchased it.

No I cannot run native apps (those programs you install on a Mac or PC) and had to find cloud-based alternatives, that would work for me. A couple of years ago, oh hell even 6 months ago, this really wasn’t a great option and would have been the deal-breaker for me to have bought the Chromebook as my primary laptop or even as experiment. However, things are improving and this is becoming less of an issue every day.

I was still fairly skeptical when I bought it, how much I would actually use my Chromebook and how much I would have to use my MacBook or TheWife’s PC to get my “real” work done. It turns out that with exception of one thing, I haven’t HAD to use any other computer to meet my computing needs.

My work-flow has changed quite a bit and if you have any suggestions that would help me to improve or make any of my work-flow easier, I would love to hear them.

So what web based applications am I using in place of my typical desk-top based programs?

Web Browser

No choice here – Chrome. That is okay with me, Chrome has been my primary web browser for a long time and I have used it since it was publicly deployed. I try the others when Chrome is going through a bad spell and always end up going back to it. The others just don’t have the speed, versatility and most of the time – stability that I expect from a browser.

My experience browsing with the Chromebook for web-based activities has been exceptional! Do I still get crashes, yes but not nearly as often as I did while using Chrome on my Mac or PC laptops. Also when using it everything is fast, I don’t get those spinning things, which tell me that the computer is thinking about processing my request – the Chromebook just does it.

Productivity – Mail, Calendar, Contacts

Google products – gMail and contacts, Google Calendar. This is not really a change for me, while I have used  Outlook, Live Mail/Calendar, Thunderbird, Zimbra, Apple Mail/Calendar and other similar programs, I always come back to gMail and gCal. They just work for me and since both are available off-line, my needs are met with those Google WebApps.

Task Manager

I am using the paid version of Todoist, it is the task manager that I have been looking for. The only things it doesn’t do well on my Chromebook are it is not available off-line and better integration with gMail or gCal could, but those are not deal breakers to how.

I did use Evernote as my task manager for a long time, but it just seemed like a work-around instead an actual task manager and was not a streamlined process. I have tried Google Tasks several times and just don’t like it. I attempted to use it and gave up on it when I first switched to the 550.

Todoist is doing what I want from a task manager.

Office Suite:

Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Note Taking

For personal use, my own business efforts and most of my blogging drafts, I am using Google Drive, it works well as my primary Office Suite. While the spreadsheet and presentation tools are not available off-line yet, that functionality is coming. No, it is not as powerful as Office, iWork or even Open Office and its clones, but it does just about everything I do on a day-to-day basis.

However, my work requires that I submit drafts in .docx (Microsoft Word) format and Google Documents to be quite honest sucks, when it comes to playing well with Microsoft Word Documents. I have to use a convoluted conversion process in order to simply edit – not just view Word docs and then return the edited document back to my Editor.

So for my work related writing, I have been using the online version of Microsoft Word in SkyDrive to avoid conversion difficulties and having multiple saved copies that seem to be the norm if I use Google Docs for editing my work stuff and no I can’t simply just share the document from Google Docs, as I would like to. However, SkyDrive Word does not have off-line capabilities, so it will not be of use to me if I need to work offline.

I would prefer to do everything in Google Drive, but with the changes that have been made to how it doesn’t work well with Microsoft Word documents (that silo thing that Google, Apple and Microsoft seem to be doing more and more to keep you tied to their product lines), it leaves me little choice, but to use both WebApps.

Printing or scanning from the Chromebook is next to impossible with the home setup I presently have. There doesn’t seem to be an acceptable work-around (other than using my Mac or my wife’s PC) when I want to print or scan and no I am not sending a print job out to a local FEDEX office.

This lack of ability to print/scan directly with a Chromebook is a big deal to me and a lot of other people. I hear people say use Google Cloud Print – but it is a cumbersome work-around at best and at worst a pain-in-the-ass that really doesn’t work for my situation.

I don’t have a Cloud Printer, but I do have a wireless one and still haven’t figured out how to print to it from my Chromebook and I am not a novice at setting up this stuff. I will keep working at it, but if I am frustrated about this, more than a few other people must be as well.

If I was still teaching and needed to provide print-outs to my students, this would be much more of an issue than it is now. Perhaps we are all heading towards a paperless office/society, but we are not there yet and the ability to be able to simply and easily print a document is still required by many users.

For printing Chromebooks have a long way to go.

Update: I can now print through Google Cloud Print to my Canon Printer! I had a brilliant idea and  went and logged everyone out of the Chrome Browser on my wife’s laptop (which we hook the printer to). Then I signed in, added the printer to my profile, tested that I could print to it, which I could. Then I switched users and signed in my wife and then test printed again – it worked!!!

It was just a question of getting the multiple user profiles setup correctly and getting Cloud Print attached to my account.

So when I do infrequently need to print, I now can and my wife doesn’t need to even sign out of her computer. Now I am happy – I can print.

Note Taking

I have used OneNote or Evernote (my  choice recently) for taking notes, storing information and as a general repository for stuff I want to be able to find quickly and hopefully easily. However, once I switched over to the Chromebook, I learned that am not a big fan of Evernote’s web based application or some the updates they made lately, so I looked around for different options.

What I found really surprised me! I found an Extension for Chrome called Clean Print/Save, which allows me to clip and save items I find online to multiple services or destinations, including Google Drive. It is very similar to Evernote’s Web Clipper which I used extensively.

Because of Clean Print/Save, I decided to use my Google Drive as my primary note taking WebApp. I like the idea of having most of my stuff in one place and to me gDocs is a great note taking tool, that was lacking web clipper capability. With the addition of the Clean Save app, it does what I used Evernote for.

So far this system has worked great and not having yet another tool that I have to use is nice too!

File Management in Google Drive

I had to setup a file management/tree system within gDrive that meets my needs and have developed something that while not exactly what I want, will work. gDrive has the basic file management systems in place and it works to meet my needs. I can foresee that as they integrate photo and video storage, along with other files there as well – it will become more important for Google to develop a more effective and sophisticated way manage and view files for those of us, who want to keep things within a system, where we can find things quickly and easily.

It will be interesting to see how they improve their file management system in Google Drive and how I use it.

Photo Management

This actually has become a very important aspect of using a computer for me. Not so much editing the photos, but being able to access them from my iPhone and then insert them into my blog, without it being a total pain in the butt.

When I first got the Chromebook, this issue almost became a deal-breaker and caused me to think very seriously about whether to keep it or not. The process I had to go through to get photos from my iPhone to my blog posts was way too complicated. However, since I discovered instant upload in Google+ for both my iPhone and Incredible 2 (which I picked up-used after I got my Chromebook), this has become much less of an issue.

If I do need to do more than just basics of photo editing that I can do in Picasa/Google+, I turn to Pic Monkey , Pixlr or Sumo Paint, all of which more than meet my needs. To be honest, I haven’t had the need to use them.

Video Editing

I don’t really do a lot of videos, however, in 2013 I am going to start creating them more often. To be honest until the other night, I really had purposely avoided doing any video stuff on the Chromebook, because I thought it would be a pain in the toucas.

It wasn’t that bad, I used the Pixiorial Video Editing App and while it wasn’t as intuitive or as QUICK as my desktop versions of  Movie Maker or iMovie, I can use it to make my 5-10 minute videos for uploading to YouTube or for my work.

This is the other area, where I would rather use my Mac or a PC for now. As the video editing web apps become more mature, I am sure that the issues I have with them are going to go away, the only issue will be the cost of SAAS video editing products online.

Blogging/Social Media

Since this it is what I primarily use a computer for now, this is a huge deal for me. The Chromebook handles it better than my Mac or PC’s ever did. It is quick and responsive, and just like a Mac or PC, requires an Internet connection to accomplish it.

My primary blog is on WordPress.org – A Veteran Runnah and OFIR is a Blogger blog. After using both, I have found that the Blogger blog is much easier for me to insert multi-media in, than it is on WordPress.

While that is to be expected since it is a Google product and is more tightly integrated in with other Google lines like Picasa/Google+/Google Drive or YouTube. Still it did surprise me at how much easier it was to do, especially since WordPress still does not recognize Google+/Picasa photo URL’s.

I am finding that a combination of Hootsuite and TweetDeck WebApps are working for Twitter. Facebook and Google+ work fine with a lot of different extensions to tweak them the way that you want.

The reality is that

With the exception of printing or scanning directly from the Chromebook, I have found an acceptable work-around to how I work with the Chromebook for all of my needs. Have I sacrificed some useability – not really, because those areas that many people need higher end abilities from their software/WebApp I don’t use it that much (i.e. gaming, Photo, programming or video editing) even when I used a Mac or PC.

However, for my purposes and the way I am using the Chromebook, I wouldn’t want a machine with less than 4GB of RAM, if I were to use it for my primary computer – which I am.

My Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook does 90% of what I want, especially now that I can extend the screen on the Developers Channel. I will probably follow that particular functionality up through to Beta and Stable channels, just so that I have a more stability in the platform. Sometimes the Beta and Developer channels can get a little wonky, as Google tries new stuff out.

It was less the WebApps available to use, than it was a change in my mindset that happened as I have used my Chromebook more and more. The Chromebook is not a Mac or PC, it is a Chromebook and if you try to use it the same as the other two, you will not be happy with it.

I had to get over wanting to put things on my computer and learn to trust being in the cloud even more than I was before I got the Chromebook. I don’t need to store things on my computer, since it is just a terminal to connect me to the real computer – the Web. Isn’t that what Mac’s and PC’s are becoming more and more like as well? At least that is how I used them.

Yes you do have to plan ahead a little more when using a Chromebook about what you are actually trying to accomplish and checking to see if there are different ways to get to your finished product, that you hadn’t used or thought about in the past, especially if you need to do work in an off-line setting, when not all of the web applications are available to you.

While this might be a limiting factor and a difference maker to many people, it doesn’t bother me all that much. It is seldom that I don’t have access to WiFi and if I do not then I look at it as an opportunity to take a break, get away from the computer, social media or if I have to is there is a way that I can integrate my smart phone into what needs to be accomplished.

To me the Chromebook is not a total solution by itself, it is part of an integrated solution system, where you use the tool most appropriate (smart phone, tablet, or other computer) for what you are doing and the resources available to you.

What does my Mac do now? Not much, my Chromebook sits on top of it at my desk and I print a few things or use it for scanning something and some video editing, but that is about all I ever have to open it up for.

When TheWife asks me to do maintenance on her PC, I just cringe, but go and do it – after all I may need to print, scan or edit a video from it someday.

The bottom line is that I have become very comfortable working on my Chromebook and going back full-time to a Mac or PC environment doesn’t even interest me at this time.

Taking a line from another company – “It just works” – for me.

I did run yesterday

Yes I ran yesterday – I had to, it was the only thing I could do to take my mind off the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT.

My time and distance were insignificant, the results are in my log, but those things really didn’t matter. The horrific act perpetrated on children and the adults teaching them, in what is supposed to be a safe place took the wind out of my sails and brought more than a few tears to my eyes.

When I was a teacher that type of incident was my worst nightmare and to watch my nightmare unfold on television affected me deeply.

My heart goes out to the families and the teachers who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There are not any words or motivational images that can take away the pain and suffering they are going through right now. It will take time and even then, what happened yesterday has and will change the lives of all of those who were affected.

However, I agree with what Pete Larson said on Twitter before I signed off yesterday – “… I hope there’s a special kind of hell waiting for that bastard in CT.” .

My thoughts and prayers do go out to those in Newtown, CT.

It is hard to keep smiling when shit like this happens. 😦

Not Really a Recovery Run 12-13-12

Treadmill 5.0 miler

Today was supposed to be an easy running day and for the most part it was, but it wasn’t the recovery run that I had anticipated doing.

I went to the gym and did a treadmill workout, weights and then used the foam roller and stretched a little. The funny thing was that I felt really great once I got started, even though I had run 12 miles yesterday.

The biggest thing that I wanted to do out of this workout was to run comfortably — I used my heart rate monitor and wanted to stay in the 125 to 135 bpm range.

What was the running workout?

3.0 miles at 7.2 mph (a 8:20 pace) 1% elevation – I didn’t go over 135 bpm at all during the 3.0  miles and felt really good, so I decided to finish the next 1.5 miles with a ladder.

I had planned to go ahead and shut it down once I got over 160 bpm and it took quite a while to get there which really surprised me.

1.5 miles ladder starting at 7.3 mph and increasing by 0.1 mph, every 0.1 of a mile, ending at 8.7 mph 1.0 mile at 7.2 mph

This workout actually was very comfortable and I didn’t feel like I was really pushing at anytime during the run. Nice workout, but tomorrow, I will purposely run 3.0 outside in the 9:00 minute pace range.

However, it seems that my comfortable pace is somewhere in the 8:30 pace range lately, which is a pretty big improvement over the start of the year.

Time of Day: 9:48 AM

Weather: Indoor

Course: Treadmill PF

Summary Screenshot

Garmin Website 12/13/12

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Ronin 4

*Socks  Swiftwick Vibe

*Top: Yellow tech tank top

*Bottom: Puma Compression shorts, Coast Guard Blue shorts

*Outerwear: None

RunLog Screenshot

Running Log 12-13-12

Treadmill Running is Different

There is no doubt in my mind that running on a treadmill is very different from running outside!

It is not better or worse – it is more like I said – just different.

To be honest, until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t run on a treadmill since 2010 and had forgotten many of the advantages and disadvantages of using one.

Advantages

I run faster on a treadmill. This surprised me a lot, when I started running on them again, I am running faster than I do outside. Why?

  • I don’t have to focus on running, I just have to keep up with the speed that the belt is going, which is a lot easier than trying to push or maintain a certain pace by myself.
  • No weather to worry about. The artificial environment inside allows me to wear shorts and a t-shirt, so I am not bundled up to battle the cold weather outside. There is no wind to run into (or have at my back) which I really have never liked running into a headwind.
  • The footing is always the same. I don’t have to be aware of where I am putting my feet or what I am stepping on – I can just run.

Softer running surface. Many or most treadmills absorb the shock better and are easier on your body than tar or cement, at least in my opinion.

Can Use Electronic Distractions. When I run on a treadmill, I can watch ESPN or listen to music, podcasts and audible books to zone out, without worrying about what is going on around me too much. Outside I don’t listen to music/books etc and focus on being aware of my surroundings.

It is safer. It isn’t dark (unless you turn-off the lights, no vehicles to dodge, no ice to slip on, no dogs or other animal predators to scare you and generally you are not by yourself when running on a treadmill (if you are at a gym), which can be a huge concern outside.

You are in control. You can control the speed, elevation/incline and how far you are running. Hell you can even stop it, quickly go find a bathroom (instead of the bushes) and just start right up again. Outside there are a lot of factors you have no control over.

Disadvantages

I am not outside. On a treadmill you do not get to see the glory of mother nature and the changes, that happen before our eyes. You don’t get to feel the wind or sun in your face, the magical feeling of running in that first snow or the sights you see when running on trails, beaches, and everywhere else that you run.

Montonous. This is the biggest complaint that many people have. After a while the treadmill or as many call it the dreadmill becomes monotonous. Many people tend to get on, set it for one speed and/or elevation and just keep it there. You are running in place and not getting anywhere. Where outside things are constantly changing, runners need to focus on where they are, what they are stepping on, what vehicles or people are around them.

Bragging rights. The bragging rights you get with other runners when you have braved the elements (remember that run in the Blizzard of 2011 or gee “I ran yesterday and it was -10. Yes I know that non-runners call you an idiot (Yes I am a member of the Idiots Running Club Member #17), but that is part of running outside.

Treadmills are expensive. To get a good treadmill you have to pay a pretty good chunk of change for one, if you don’t buy one for your home you need to go to a gym

Having to go to a gym. Gym memberships a generally not cheap, you need to travel, sometimes sign-up and wait to get to use a treadmill, many gyms have a time-limit on how long you can run-before someone can tell you to get off, the auto shut-off that most gyms have programmed into their cardio equipment (30 or 60 minutes) and having to deal with “lunk heads” while there.

Falling. I have almost fallen a couple of times when my foot lands funny on the side of the belt, when going slower this isn’t a problem, but when the “mill” is going 10 mph you could be a splat mark on the wall behind the treadmill and probably be injured in some way, beyond just your pride. Plus you generally will have an audience to witness your gracefulness. Yes you can fall outside, but it is well – different.

Challenge. This totally depends upon the person, but it is too easy to just simply jump on a treadmill, set it to a certain speed/incline, leave it there do your time and move on. We have all done or seen people do this and then we/they wonder why it is so monotonous.

Frustrating. Have you ever tried to use one of the pre-set programs – enough said.

The reality is

that treadmills have a place in my running life, even though I prefer to run outside.

Running on the “mill” is helping my legs to remember “how” to run faster. Faster than I would push myself outside and you know something – knowing that I can run at a faster pace helps my confidence A LOT for when I want to go faster outside. I have already run that fast on the treadmill, so I “know” that I can do it.

The treadmill is easier for me than running outside, it doesn’t take the same amount of focus or effort. That is why I don’t use my treadmill times as my overall PRs and I keep track of them separately. Example – my PR this year for the 5K is 21:23 and my treadmill PR is 20:33. In my opinion, my personal records, need to be done outside against the elements, without any motorized assistance.

Actually, since Mid-November when I started to run on a treadmill again, I have enjoyed adding it to my repertoire of tools, for training myself to run a lot little faster. I don’t use a treadmill all the time, only 2-3 days a week (Monday and Thursday for intervals/tempo runs and those days it is too cold in my opinion to safely run more than a couple of miles (under 15 degrees with a windchill), so I haven’t hit the dreadmill curse yet.

The bottom-line for me is that I (sssshhhhhh) am enjoying my jaunts on the treadmill, but it will never eclipse my love for running outside.

It is just a part of my running that is – well different.

What are some of the differences you find between running on a treadmill and running outside?

I Ran 12 Miles on 12/12/12

I Ran on 12-12-12 image

Well I did what I set out to accomplish today, when I finally figured out that it was 12/12/12 and thought that I should run 12 miles. Initially I was a little unsure of whether I should try it or not – I haven’t run that far since Runner’s World in October, but I figured that I wouldn’t be around for the next 12-12-2112, so I had better do it today. 😉

How did the run go? It was one of those Mizuno – Mesamashii – #Brilliant Runs.

About a half mile after I started, I realized that I had forgotten my two Gu packs that I usually carry with me, but by that time I wasn’t going to turn around a go back and get them. I was a little concerned about bonking around 10 miles, but surprisingly I felt strong the whole way, with just water from my water bottle.

I think some of the speed work I have been doing on the tread mill is paying off, because I told myself to just run comfortably and I thought that I did.

I ran fairly consistent sub 8:30 pace the whole way with a 3 out of the last 4 in the 8:10 range (except for that damn hill by Cumberland Farms in Augusta – it isn’t that long, just steep and a pain in the butt).

It felt as though I was going faster than that the last mile, but oh well, I will take it :-).

The best part of the run was that I didn’t feel bad or that I had run too hard. However, I know that I spent a lot of time on the side of the Middle Road avoiding traffic, which usually isn’t a problem, but when you combine it with the left over plowed edge that was left from last weekend’s ice storm. Things would get a little dicey. So I was glad to get off the Middle Road and on Civic Center Drive.

I did have to laugh when I left the house, Bennie was shaking and hiding under the table and I had to go over and comfort him to let him know that I would be back in a little while, he wasn’t being left home alone (he goes in the crate when we do that), so he just needed some attention before I left.

Bennie wasn't real happy about me going for my rny run today

Splits Mile 1-5 of 12 mile run

Splits miles 6-12 of 12 mile run

Time of Day: 2:06 P.M.

Weather: 34ºF, Winds out of the North at 4 MPH, Wind Chill 30ºF and 51% humidity

Summary Screenshot

Garmin Stats 12-12-12

Gear

*Shoes: Mizuno Elixir 7’s – I went over 200 miles in these shoes today, so I owe a blog post on how they have done.

*Socks: Swiftwick Aspires – I announced earlier today that I am now a Swiftwick Blogging Ambassador and am very excited about it.

*Top: Blue Nike Pro Combat Tech L/S shirt, Hind Blue L/S Tech shirt w/half zip

*Bottom: Nike Pro Combat Compression shorts, Black Nike Windpants

*Outerwear: Blue New Balance Running Jacket, HiVis Converta Gloves, HiVis Brooks Hat, Blue EMS Winter Head band

RunLog Screenshot

Running Log Summary 12-12-12