Easy 4.5 Mile Run & Minimal Quad Discomfort 2-28-13

This morning, I went for my usual treadmill run (a good thing freezing rain and nasty road conditions out there).  Due to the quad issues I am having, I was happy that it was an easy 5.0 that I had scheduled and planned stop at that point.

Yes I am trying that running smarter and listen to my body more idea :-). I want to actually be able to train and run the Marine Corps Marathon, not just watch it!

When I started my quad tightness/strain was still there a little and about 4.3 miles into the run, I could feel it starting to tighten up. When it didn’t feel any better, I shut it down at 4.5 miles instead of the 5.0. Could I have made the .5 mile – no problem, but why? It is only a number.

I don’t really want to take any chances with this little issue and will not do my long run tomorrow. If anything I will only do another treadmill run until it starts to tighten up again or stop at 6.0 miles no matter what. There is no sense in trying to push through this minor injury and take the chance that it becomes a major thing.

I did a light leg workout, foam rolled and stretched after that, but the stretching seemed to aggravate the quad a little more, so I will not stretch that muscle group for a few days.

The hardest thing about the workout was the pace – over 9:00 minute miles, it just felt way too slow, but at the same time if I had gone faster, I have a feeling that my leg wouldn’t have held up nearly as long as it did. Running slow is harder for me than I thought it would be, but I think that it might be a part of the solution to some of my running problems with injuries.

Hopefully it will allow my body enough rest between my quality runs to not break down as quickly.

We will see on this one, but I have a feeling that getting down to the 9:30 to 10:00 minute pace recommended – well won’t happen, unless I am running trails or up lots of hills (which defeats the purpose of an easy run).

RunLog 2-28-13

No Run Today & Ordered Altra Superiors – 2-27-13

Snowmobile Trail 2-27-13
Snowmobile Trail 2-27-13


Yesterday I only ran a mile and today I am going to take off completely from running. Why?

Although it seems as though I have had one of those miraculous recoveries from the pain in my right quad, I want to be conservative for a change. Huh? What is going on?

Monday I did a great workout on the treadmill but my right quad was very sore the rest of the day and yesterday. Last I took at bath (yes I know – wonders will never cease – I thought I would get the sarcastic remark in before you did!) in Epsom Salts and soaked for over 30 minutes. When I got out it seemed as though the knot in my quad had loosened at lot.

When I got up this morning, my quad felt fine and my legs felt a little better than usual. Now I have heard that Epsom Salts are supposed to do good things when you soak in them. My Great-Grandmother Bertha routinely stated that when she took a bath, she used them and that they helped with her aches and pains. If it is good enough for her, definitely good enough for me.

During Bennie’s morning walk there wasn’t any soreness and very little discomfort, if I had felt this way yesterday, I would have run my recovery run and not thought anything of it. However, I am scheduled to run a tempo run today and even though I could just do a recovery run, I have a feeling that a day off would probably be better to give the leg a little more time.

However, Bennie and I did go up on the snowmobile trail up back and it didn’t bother a bit during that, so I could I run today – yep. Am I going to run today – no, because when I stretch it out, I can still feel that little tightness and I want to make sure that it stays away.

This pain in the quad, is very similar to something that I had a long time ago (back in the 80’s) when I was playing basketball a lot. I ignored it then and it became something that I had to go see the Doc’s about, so a day or two off and not racing on it in little over a week, seems to be a prudent strategy for this one.

During the walk, I also decided to not run the Chamberlain Half up in Brewer on March 9th, even though I could do it as a training run, I know me too well and I wouldn’t.

Screenshot of Altra Superior from Optimal Running webpage
Screenshot of Altra Superior from Optimal Running webpage


Since I am not going to drop the registration fee on a race, I decided to go ahead and order the Altra Superior trail shoes that I have been researching and lusting over, the past couple of months.

I ordered them through Optimal Run and they have already shipped and will be here before I know it. Patton and his crew are simply unbeeelievable.

Yes I am an Altra Running fanboy and talk about how much I like their running shoes a lot on Twitter and my blog, but I don’t have any connection with them. Other than the pair of Altra Instinct 1.5’s that I got for being part of the FitFluential bloggers who were part of #RWHalf festival.

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I represent them as an Ambassador or any other capacity.  I just like their stuff and the staff that I in PA are all GREAT!

Oh well, I suppose that this afternoon will mean another soaking in the tub with Epsom Salts, it is a tough life, but someone has to do it. hehehehe

It is a relief that the quad is getting better, so quickly, but I just want to make sure on this one and actually listen to my body for a change.

Hanson Marathon Method – Book Review

Hansons Marathon Method
Hanson’s Marathon Method


I bought the Hanson’s Marathon Method book by Luke Humphrey with Keith & Kevin Hanson, from Amazon a few weeks ago and have been reading it and re-reading it.

Have you ever read a book and all of a sudden, something that you didn’t quite “get”, suddenly became crystal clear. This is something I wrote in my daily workout blog post the other day.

“When I read the Hanson’s Marathon Method book, it created one of those “eureka” moments for me, that changed my perspective about my running and how I train.

I have always read and known that you are supposed to run slower for recovery runs and long runs and then push harder on your quality workouts.

Once I got through reading the book things finally clicked for me. Especially when I went back through my running log and saw that my pace for tough or recovery runs were pretty much within a minute of the other.

To be blunt I wasn’t allowing my body to recover, I was just having one hard day on top of another harder day. Not the way to run a railroad or training schedule.”

There was just so much great information that I was finally ready to listen too about how to train, that I wanted to ensure that I really understood the concepts and how the Hanson’s Marathon training plan could make me a better runner, not just a better marathoner.

Below is a video that I have made that explains how I feel about the book.

Sometimes a short video like that explains how I feel than I could in a lot more words than you would want to read.

As I stated in the video, I have always believed in over-distance training. That way I will have the confidence that I can complete the distance without any problem and the only question going into the race is how fast I will run, not if I will finish. While this philosophy worked for me for shorter distances, it hasn’t for the marathon and I am finally figuring out that need to train differently.

The other thing is that I am not 25 anymore and I this book made me realize that my haphazard method of training was getting me injured more than I need to. My recovery runs were not slow enough and my quality runs were not fast enough…I was too close to the middle for all of my runs.

I am still wrapping my head around long-run part of their training philosophy. I don’t know if I totally agree with this part of the Hanson Method, but at the same time, the research they quote seems to back up what they are saying. I have to admit they have a LOT more experience running and training runners than my one marathon finish and several failed attempts. So they know what they are talking about a lot more than I do.

The idea of basing my speed work pace on my current 5K or 10K race pace makes a lot of sense. Running tempo runs and more of my long runs at marathon pace or slightly faster also is something that I didn’t do and should. If I can’t run a 16 mile long run at that pace, how will I run 26.2 that fast?

The more I look at it, the more the Hanson training philosophy just feels right to me…although right now I can still see myself pushing the envelope a little on a long run, just to see how I feel – maybe I will feel differently once I actually start training using the Hanson’s Method.

The Hanson’s Marathon Method is the first book, of all of the books that I have read about running and training, that has made me really stop and look at what I am actually doing. When I looked back through my training logs, I found many flaws and errors in how I was actually training versus what I believed I was accomplishing.

Based on what I have read and re-read, I am going to try their half-marathon training plan, to see the Hanson Method will work for me or not.

The reality is that I am very excited about this change in my perspective as well as the potential that it has for me to attain my goals without risking injury as much as I was, with my “seat of the pants” or training by how I felt, non-training plan.

I think that the Hanson’s Marathon Method book is well worth reading and depending on your own running/training philosophy, it might make you stop and think about what you are doing and how you are doing it.

It did for me.

Now to take it from plan to execution – this should be “interesting”.

Yes I Listened to My Body Today – 2/26/13

Today I did something unusual for me – I listened to my body and cut my scheduled 6.0 mile run short!

What is going on?

I explain it in the below video:

So you see – I did listen to my body today and didn’t keep running, to risk making things worse.

Who knows maybe I am starting to grow up and show some of that wisdom that supposedly comes with all this gray hair.

Does this mean I will stop having my Harold being Harold moments or renounce my top 20 number in the Idiots Running Club? Not a chance, but it does mean that I will listen to my body a little more and be more aware of what I should be doing more often.

I did run a mile today, but I have a feeling that 2-3 days off are in the forecast and a little bit of time playing with the foam roller and soaking in the tub, might be the order of business on those days.

Still Just a Little Competitive

An awful lot of gray on top of this runnah


It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am a crotchety old fart and that I haven’t completely lost my competitiveness.

The truth is I don’t think I am all that different from a lot of other older runners, who are also still very competitive.

Just because we have more salt than pepper on top, doesn’t mean we are no longer competitive or that we have gone into “ease” on down the road mode.

You may have read about some of my competitive adventures. “That” training run in Central Park, the time a 20 something passed me and didn’t acknowledge me on the Tiffany Road or my infamous treadmill gotta keep pace ego run a little while ago, along with a few many others.

Those “training” runs really give a good impression of what I mean when I say that “I am just a little competitive!”

The other person probably didn’t even realize what I was doing or considered me one of those “annoying” old farts trying to be more than he is.

In truth, looking back I was using them to improve my workout – they were just an excuse for me to do better that day.

Peter Golding Memorial 5K 7-28-12Racing

Yes I did actually run some races last year and while I did far better than I would have ever expected to have done. I can hear it now what do you mean that you are still competitive?

“Harold you can’t and don’t compete with the young guns or even other old guns, they kick your butt ALL the time.”

My response to them is that the races were not really about competing with the other runners.

Who do I compete with?

The biggest competition for me, is – me, myself and I.

I don’t go to a race with the idea – hey today I am going to win my age group or beat a certain individual, is not why I race or run.

When I have earned an age group award it has always been accidental. It usually happens as a result of having a super good day (which are few and far between) or more likely the other runners who are better runners than I am (and there are many), were racing somewhere else that day.

I go into a race with the idea of a goal time that I want to achieve and work hard to achieve that time. My competition is pushing me to meet my goals.

Other Runners

There is the challenge of competing against other runners and I do enjoy that part of racing. Without a doubt I want to go out and attempt to finish ahead of Jen, Sarah, Amanda, Erik, Mark and a few others, but I also know that I have bust my butt to do so, because they are busting their butts to make sure that I don’t.

Running and competing with others, especially when I know them, is just added motivation to do well and helps me to continue to improve or at least attempt to maintain (which does get tougher as you get older – just the way it is).

However, I think that I am like most runners, the biggest competition is with ourselves.

Surprise, Surprise

So if you happen to running along and see a gray-haired old fart up ahead and you go by without acknowledging he or she exists, run beside them on the treadmill or attempt to pass him/her at the end of the race (especially if they know you)…

Don’t be surprised if suddenly you see that old person’s form suddenly improve – dramatically, that there is an intensity on their face that wasn’t there a second ago and he or she flashes that little smile, gives you “the look”, and whispers more to themselves “let’s go”, then does their best to kick your ass!

I have a feeling if they can’t keep up with you, they will be the first one to shake your hand and say “GREAT JOB!!!”, but if they catch and pass you, they will give you a shy smile and say “you almost got me this time, next time you might just do it”. Knowing full well in the back of their mind that they will keep working their butt off, to do their best to ensure you don’t.

The reality is that you need to

Be careful around us older guys and gals, we might surprise you. Once upon a time we might have been a little better runner than we are today and for a moment, we might try to re-live some of our glory days and you might be admiring our derriere.

After all we are just a little more competitive than you might think and every once in a while…well lets just say we might surprise you.

What do you think about getting “Grayzed”, is anything like getting “Chicked”?

I know when I was younger, I hated it when some gray-haired old fart passed me or I couldn’t catch them.


Are do you have a little more salt on top than pepper, are you still competitive?

Things are Getting Through My Thick Skull – 10.0 Mile Treadmill Run 2-26-13

Yep I got a little sweaty!
Yep I got a little sweaty!


After reading the Hanson’s Marathon Method book, I have finally had one of those eureka moments where, a concept actually penetrated this thick skull of mine.

I have always read and known that you are supposed to run slower for recovery runs and long runs and then push harder on your quality workouts.

Once I got through reading the book things finally clicked for me. Especially when I went back through my running log and saw that my pace for tough or recovery runs were pretty much within a minute of the other.

To be blunt I wasn’t allowing my body to recover, I was just having one hard day on top of another harder day. Not the way to run a railroad or training schedule.

Today I had scheduled a treadmill interval workout. Initially, I was going to do quarters, but I am going to do a half marathon training run/race up in Brewer in a couple of weeks, so I got to thinking about it and decided to lengthen out the workout to mile repeats.

At least that is what I thought I would be doing!

Here is today’s workout:

  • 2.0 miles @ 7.5 mph – warmup
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.2 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.3 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.4 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.5 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.6 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.7 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.8 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.9 mph
  • .25 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 2.0 mile @ 7.3 mph – cool-down

Total of 10.0 miles.

8.0 Mile Treadmill Result
8.0 Mile Treadmill Result


You might have noticed that the repeat/interval idea got thrown out the window. Instead of doing mile intervals, I did a 6.0 mile progression run and felt great the entire way. I wasn’t sure how I would feel after being behind a snow blower for so long yesterday.

However, once I got going it seemed as though I had plenty of umph for the run and had something that I have been lacking for a tough run lately – mental toughness.

After the run, I did almost a half hour of stretching and beating myself up with the foam roller.

Overall, I was extremely happy with this workout and was surprised at how good I felt the entire way. Now I just have to remember to make tomorrow’s run a lot slower – in the 9:30 to 10:00 minute pace range.

One of the things that I have to do is warm-up and cool-down and not worry about the total time/pace. I need to focus more on the quality part and ensure the before I am ready to run harder and after, that I cool-down properly instead of just stopping and walking away. So you will see more split workouts in my running log going forward, even though they are all part of the same workout.

RunLog 2-26-13
RunLog 2-26-13

Tentative Race Calendar 2013

Bond Brook 5K Trail Race
Bond Brook 5K Trail Race


Over the past couple of weeks, I have been attempting to put together my race calendar for 2013. I am focusing on local races to save my money for my big destination race this year – the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th (if I can get in on 3/27) and hopefully the Runner’s World Half Festival the week before.

I have tried to mix trail races in with my road running, because I enjoy trail running a lot, it would be even better if I didn’t have to drive to a trail head – the problems a runner faces.

Below is my tentative schedule:

Date Race Location
3/9 Chamberlain March Half Marathon http://www.chamberlainmarch.com/
3/17 5th Annual Lucky Leprechaun 5K

Trackside Restaurant, 4 Union Street, Rockland at 10:10 am on Sunday, March 17th.

4/6 Race the Runways 1 miler & 5K & Half Marathon http://www.racetherunways.com/
4/27 The George Kohl Memorial 5K The George Kohl Memorial 5K
Oakland, ME 9:00AM Messalonskee High School, 131 Messalonskee High Drive
Contact: Kirby Reardon (George Kohl Scholarship Fund). 1-207-446-8272 http://www.running4free.com/RaceDetails.aspx?raceid=206
5/19 Sugarloaf 15K Kingsfield
5/26 Pineland Farm Trail Running Festival 5k or 10K http://www.pinelandtrails.com/
New Gloucester, ME 10:00AM Pineland Farms, 25
Contact: Erik Boucher (GiddyUp Productions). 1-207-210-8655 Email
6/23 Rail Trail Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, and Rail Trail 5K
Augusta, ME 7:30AM Old Fort Western, 16 Cony Street (5th Annual. Flat and fast course.)
Contact: Sarah Dunckel (Friends of the Kennebec Rail Trail). 1-207-622-9009 Email
7/4 Friends of the 4th 5K Winthrop
8/3 Beach to Beacon 10K Cape Elizabeth
VARIOUS Bond Brook Trail Race Series July to Sept Augusta
 8/10  Doc & Mardi Brown 5K  Waterville
9/* UMA Trail 5k  Augusta
9/27* Rise N’ Shine 5K  Augusta
10/6 Maine Half Marathon Portland
10/19-20 Runner’s World Half Festival Bethlehem, PA
10/27 Marine Corps Marathon Washington, D.C. (Arlington, VA)

*Date has not been published yet.

I have left a couple of open slots, in case I want to add a race or two onto the schedule. I plan to try for the Beach to Beacon, but there is no guarantee that I will get in. There might be a 5K or 10K down in the Portland area that I want to run, but the long runs are pretty much the ones that I will be doing.

After the Rail Trail Half, I will be focusing on training for the Marine Corps Marathon, so races after that date will be tempo/speed sessions instead of all-out races. Just because I am training for a marathon does not mean that I plan to miss the social side of running that racing can be. 🙂

I want to attend the Runner’s World Half Festival and run one of the races as a final tune-up tempo run for the MCM, if my finances allow it. It would be great to go back down there and be part of the re-union of last year’s crew, that I had so much fun with last year.

If you live in the Augusta/Waterville, Maine area and you want to car pool together to a race or even better to meet up at any of these events, contact me and we can try to work something out :-).

This looks to be a very busy year of racing, but it looks like a lot of fun.

Have I missed any that I really should be running up heah in Central Maine in this year (other than the Acadia 1/2 in June – just too many races in a short time period to fit it in – that is on my 2014 schedule though)?

Now to find a way to pay for it all 🙂

Trying the Hanson Method on a Recovery Run

Hansons Marathon Method
Hansons Marathon Method


Today was an off day after yesterday’s long run, but with the storm coming in tomorrow, I figured that I would just run 3.0 or so to clean the gunk out of the legs and get moving around a little more.

I have been reading and am about 3/4 of the way through the Hanson’s Marathon Method book. The biggest thing I have taken away from the book and the Hanson Method – is that on my recovery runs, I am running too fast.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not all that fast to begin with, my race pace is usually between 6:40 to 7:10 per mile for shorter races and 7:30 to 8:00 for longer (depending on weather and course).

My typical training pace is 8:00 to 8:30.

The thing is that when I run my recovery runs, I go more by feel, run “comfortably” and am in that same ballpark of 8:10 to 8:40 pace range for recovery runs, unless the road conditions are nasty.

My previous idea was to keep the majority of runs (even recovery) within 30 seconds of my goal marathon race pace (sub 3:30) to ensure that I was used to running at that speed even when tired.

After my 13.1 mile training run yesterday at an 8:14 pace (which is way too fast for the pace I want to accomplish – at least according to the Hanson Method), I figured that I would slow down my recovery run, to between a 9:00 to 10:00 minute per mile pace.

You know something, running that slow and maintaining a higher cadence is damn near impossible for me. Some people can do it, but right now I can’t, so I slowed down my cadence, to slow down my pace. However, I did continue to really work light feet and pulling up my feet quickly.

At first it felt uncomfortable going so slow, but after I warmed up a couple of miles, I went to go to the bottom of the hill and eventually decided to go into Pepin Way. Someplace I hadn’t completely explored before, it goes a lot further back than I expected and the best part is there is very little traffic compared to Shepard Road.

This turned out a lot longer than the 3 or so that I had planned on, but going at the slower speed, seemed to work. My legs didn’t feel bad, I had plenty of energy and even going back up Philbrick Hill, it didn’t feel too bad.

Garmin Stats 2/23/13
Garmin Stats 2/23/13


My overall pace of 9:23 is the slowest run I have had this year and I felt really good during it (the pressure was off having to maintain that faster pace). Now I don’t know if I am completely on the Hanson Method, LSD or MAF bandwagons, or what, but this run is going to make me think a lot more about how I do my recovery runs – maybe I should be purposely doing them slower, instead of at a “comfortable” pace, like I have been.

All I know is that I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to slow down to this pace. This experience has given me a lot to think about and I will need to experiment with it a little more to see how I feel after running recovery runs this way. Who knows maybe I will feel a little more rested for the quality runs if I continue do it this way?

Have you had any experience with the Hanson Marathon Training Method, what do you think of it? I will be doing a full review of it next week after I finish it.

RunLog 2/23/13
RunLog 2/23/13

Easy Long Run – 13.1 Miles

Long Run Middle Road 2-22-13
Long Run Middle Road 2-22-13


I could never imagine saying Easy Long Run and 13.1 miles in the same sentence, before this past year. I didn’t feel like I was pushing hard at any time during the run. It is amazing how well our body adapts to the workloads we expect from them.

Another long run done! It was a nice day out there today, mid 30’s, bright sunshine and a tail wind 90% of the run.

As you can see some parts of the Middle Road were pretty icy on the shoulders and it seemed like most of the time it was when cars were coming.

I have been reading the Hanson’s Marathon Method book, so I thought that I would experiment and do a slow-paced long run today in the 9:00 to 10:00 minute range. At least that was the plan.

I got down to the bottom of the hill and it was a lot quicker than I expected, this changing my form to a modified Pose Method seems to be working.

I call it that, because I don’t have a clue if I am doing it according to the book or not, but it feels comfortable for me. Whatever I am doing with my form, has definitely made a difference in how I feel when I am running. I just feel more comfortable than I have in a long time.

So I just kept plugging along.

Garmin Stats 2/22/13
Garmin Stats 2/22/13


As you can see this is my cheater 13.1 mile course – it is mostly a downhill course that does help build my confidence for the distance during training runs. I did purposely not push hard and ran well within myself, the whole run, but the pace was very consistent ranging from 7:52 to 8:28. I had plenty left when I finished and for this time of year, it was very good run.

I finally found the right sock combination for long runs with my Atra Instinct 1.5’s – my Swiftwick Pursuits. It is funny how each running shoe has a slightly different feel and how a different style of sock works better than others do for different length runs. Does anyone else find that to be true?

When I got home, changed up and finally sat down – about 45 minutes later. I started shivering and actually shaking, because I was cold! That has never happened to me before, it was so bad that I covered up with a heavy fleece blanket and turned on the electric heating pad against my kidneys. It took a while, but finally I got warmed up and felt human again.

RunLog 2/22/13
RunLog 2/22/13

Less Fear, Less Stresss #RealHealth


Typically on Tuesday’s, I have a blog post published on Anthem’s Real Health Blog. The Twitter hashtag is #RealHeath.

I believe that readers here might be interested in what the other contributors and I are writing and vlogging about there.

So I will be providing a link here on A Veteran Runnah, to the posts the day after they are published.

Man aiming for less stress

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford

We all have tasks that we are afraid to take on.  However, those fears can be overcome. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done. I know because I have done it recently. In the last month, I started having feeling a lot of  fear and anxiety about the Marine Corps Marathon I am running in October.  In taking on those specific fears, I have been able to reduce my overall stress levels.

I will be honest, it is hard to talk about my fears in public like this, it exposes parts of me that are not always flattering, but at the same time, it will help me face my fears in a positive way, instead of hiding them away and allowing them to have more influence over me than they should.

Click here to read more

If you have a minute, go check out the rest of the post. While you are there take a look around and see what the other fantastic Real Health contributors are writing about.
Other Contributors
Phyllis and Rosemary
 Photo Credit: Stressed man from Thinkstock.