Another Month Bites the Dust – Month & Week in Review
Well there April is done and so is this week and no, I am not going to three blogs posts today to review my what I ran today, my week in review and add-on a monthly review. You get to hear all the boring stuff in one post.
My favorite photo from April.
I ran an easy one with Bennie out to Wildwood and back this morning, the only thing that happened out of the ordinary is that one of the neighbors new girlfriend is learning to ride a new to her horse. They are both a little skittish, we met them out running yesterday, so this morning when I ran past her (both ways), I picked Bennie up and carried him.
That way he doesn’t bark and get the horse and rider even more skittish than they already are. He just kind glares at me, inhales to starts to bark, I squeeze a little and he doesn’t quite get a bark out and then when we are by, he glares at me and barks a couple of times and we keep running on down or up the road.
Bennie can be such a Silly boy!
The boyfriend noticed and said “thank you.”
Week In Review
This week I changed to running based on time and you know something I relaxed a lot in my running. Pace didn’t mean nearly as much, since I wasn’t worried about how far I was going and the best thing was that I wasn’t racing the GPS. You know that feeling you have about having to keep up the pace or you will see where you slowed down on graph when you upload to Strava or Garmin Connect.
Now I don’t worry about it – there is nothing to upload.
Also it was a very good week for running since I went over six hours for the week for the first time this year. The left leg is starting to feel a lot better, not 100% by any stretch of the imagination, but the PF flare-up is subsiding and the Achilles tendon-whateveritis is calming back down. Maybe the easier running is helping.
I am still playing around and experimenting with setting up Ubuntu Mate to do things the way I do them and am learning a lot about Ubuntu and the different programs that are available.
I am setting up my old Windows computer to be less dependent on the Internet than I have had a computer be in a long time. I just get a bad feeling about the direction things seem to be going with the Internet and want at least one computer that doesn’t need to be connected to it, to keep working well offline.
That independent old cuss in me kind of stuff.
We also did a lot of garden prep work. After yesterday’s winds shredded our plastic greenhouse and we needed to think outside of the box to make sure that the seedlings we got this morning have a chance to get planted in a few weeks.
Also we (the boss decided) that the salad gardens needed to be moved, so I did some of that yesterday and finished it up today. So we have the spring garden planted, the salad garden rotation started and the seedling greenhouse setup. Photos to follow later. It won’t look like a lot of work, but deciding, doing, figuring out how to fix what you did and then actually getting things done, along with the clean-up sure does seem to take longer than you think.
Month In Review
A lot stuff happened this month, but no racing. Which is probably a good thing, it seems when I start racing in April, I get all gung ho and start to really train/work harder than I need to for the actual shape that I am in and the condition of my body.
Then when you add in cold, nasty weather that is often prevalent in April that messes with me and the ligaments/muscles strains that go along with it. So missing the Unity 5K or one of the other early races this year really is not that bad a thing. Still I would rather have run one of them, but I am not going to worry about it.
I ran more in April than I have any other month this year despite all the discomfort and being sick time that I had to endure to get the time on the road in April. Twenty-Two and half hours of running probably equals between 155-165 miles. However, you notice that I am using a range of distance versus having it to the nearest hundredth, which is how for a long time I measured my mileage.
That is a huge change for me and to be honest one that in just a week, I am finding is probably a good direction for me to be going as I age. The urge to constantly measure things exactly via GPS always left me racing what the GPS graphs/splits would tell me when I uploaded the data. Which didn’t allow me to really relax like I should on my easy runs.
While I can see me running primarily with just my Timex Ironman watch, I think for long runs, faster workouts or races, using the Garmin 35 with its GPS and heart rate monitor will give me a little more data to look at to see the good and bad parts of that kind of run, to see where I need to improve. It will be more situational usage than wearing it 24/7 like I had been.
I love how size 8.0 New Balance EE-width shoes fit my feet.
Unfortunately, the style of shoes that I chose were not conducive to me running well in them. I had two pair of 860 (v5 and v6) and after running in them, my left Plantar Fascia began to bother – a LOT – especially in the v5’s, the medial posting was just too firm for me. Then I got the Vazee Rush v2 and between running in the 860’s and the VR2’s, my left Achilles began to talk nasty to me.
Once the Achilles begins to act up, I tend to get a little, well a LOT gun shy about those shoes that I am running in when it happens. My left Achilles tendon area has been my big limiting factor (my Achilles heel) in my running over the past 2-3 years and I don’t have a lot of patience when it starts to bother, especially when I can probably identify the cause.
The New Balance shoes that I chose might just have been a bad combination of shoes to me as a runner, however, those shoes did not work for me in their stock form and caused me to run in more discomfort than I want to endure.
The 860’s have gone away and the VR2’s I am not running in for a few more weeks to let the Achilles get back to my normal and then try them again to see if it is the lower 6mm drop that bothers or if I need to add a little lift in the shoes to ease the Achilles stretch. Otherwise since I changed out the insole, I really like the ride/feel of the VR2’s
At that point I was a little frustrated with how New Balance shoes were performing for me, although the fit was spot on and decided to go with the Saucony Guide 9’s in early April.
I LOVE the ride and feel of the G9’s once they got broke in. I found that I don’t really need the medial posting with the wider EE shoes. The one thing I didn’t like about the Saucony Guide 9s is that for an EE width shoe they still feel pretty damn narrow to me when I first put them on, right on the edge of what I could run in or not.
Luckily they did loosen up enough that I can run comfortably in them with thin socks. A very nice shoe, that I wish was just a little wider, but not one that I would get again. For me I think that the Ride or ISO Triumph in EE would be a better choice in the Saucony lines, although it would depend on how the EE width felt.
I did pick up a pair of NB 880 v2’s in mid April and ran in them only once, when I quickly found they were too firm riding for me to run regularly in. While the newer ones supposedly have been softened up, these 880 v2’s were used for work and walking, not running. Unfortunately, these particular shoes had a fatal flaw that was the reason they were in the discount bin and they ended up in the trash can.
Once I did that I had two pair of shoes (the VR2’s and G9’s) that fit my feet for work, running or walking, so I needed to get another pair, but I didn’t feel comfortable getting another pair of New Balance right now, even though the 1080’s did tempt me and as much as I liked the ride of the Saucony, the narrowness of the EE width of the G9’s made me wary of sticking with them.
I have learned that moving to EE width shoes has a few huge draw-backs. You are limited on the brands, styles and colorways.
It came down to getting a pair of Mizuno Rider 20’s or the Nike Vomero 11’s. However, I haven’t had real good luck in the Riders and I never have run in the Vomero’s, but have run in Nike’s a lot over the years.
Also I have learned that as I get older, I do prefer a softer ride to a firm one for most of my runs.
So far, in the two runs I have in them, I have been happy with how they feel and fit. Although the V11’s are narrower than the New Balance shoes, they are still comfortable to run in. Kind of right between the Saucony and the New Balance EE shoes.
April has been a month of changes, experimenting and learning what works for me with both my running and my computer.
While I ran a lot this week and had a good month overall, the first 2-3 weeks it was more if you don’t mind, it don’t matter on some runs. Plus dealing with being sick for a whole week didn’t help, although these two things did keep me running slower, which might be what I need more at this point.
I think that changing to tracking my running by time, is going to be a good long-term change for me. Although it is hard at times to ignore or not think about how far I am running and figure the pace on courses that I am familiar with where the mile splits are.
One major thing that I did learn is that I run differently when I do not have a GPS watch on my wrist. I am not competing against the data that I will upload and turn into graphs and other visual records of my runs. Which in turn allows me to run more relaxed and not worry about things.
So far I am very pleased with Ubuntu Mate and haven’t missed using Windows 10 at all. It has given me an opportunity to explore the world of Linux at a beginner level and still be able to use my computer. I like experimenting and learning new things and I have done a lot of that this month.
Now I have two pair of running shoes Vomero 11’s and Guide 9’s that I will use for running, walking and work (I don’t have any other EE shoes and my D-width shoes really don’t fit now), so they will not last as long as running shoes that I use exclusively for running. I do have the Vazee Rush v2’s and I can wear them to work, but I noticed that my left Achilles bothered a little more, so I will put in a little lift in the heels to see if that fixes the issues, if it doesn’t then I will not wear them anymore.
When it comes to my left Achilles area, I baby the hell out of it and don’t have a lot of patience for anything that irritates things.
Overall, April was a good month.