The Second Run – Not So Good — RunLog 7-31-17

Mary offered to walk Bennie this morning, so I decided to go ahead and do a little higher quality run. The first half mile was to wake-up the body a little and then I picked it up to my last race day effort level and headed down the road.

I wasn’t sure how long the it would last, but I kept moving right along and felt pretty good. I kept going pretty good for to almost 3.0 miles and then going up the first bump, I lost focus. I gotta attack hills, instead of backing off every time I got up one.

After that I just coasted home, so a very good 2.0 mile tempo run and 2.0 miles of slower work. Although I did manage to end up with an overall 8:30 pace, it didn’t feel like I was working that hard until I hit that bump and then gave up a little too much.

Gotta work on that part – a lot more.

Run #2

When I finished Mary was out running, she let me know that Bennie hadn’t wanted to walk, once he heard shooting at the gun range and she had decided to go for a run. So I went into the house and Bennie came over and waited to get harnessed up.

Now I had walked to cool down and had mentally put running again off until tomorrow. However, Bennie got to the end of the driveway and started pulling on the leash to run. So I reluctantly started running down the road with him. I wasn’t into it – at all, but I knew that he was wanting to, so I gave it a good effort.

Now we did pretty good – considering where my head and body was at. However, once he started his stopping and starting, the starting back up each time was harder and harder. We did walk back up Stevens Hill, my head and body were just tired and then we finished the run.

I think we were both ready to stop.

He is not a hot weather dog and having done a faster than usual workout had taken a bit out of me. 2.0 miles was more than enough for both of us.

The Greatest Speech Ever Made?

Most of the time I attempt to stay apolitical with my online/social media stuff.

Honestly, it just is not worth the headaches, abuse or horseshit you gotta put up with from trolls or even people who are really pretty decent people for the most part, but who only see their side of an issue and don’t have a lot of regard for anyone who thinks differently than they might.

I have gone through some of my old blog post as I attempt to consolidate my blogs to one place and this one (along with a few others piqued my interest) and I decided to repost the video from days gone by.

Think what you will about Charlie Chaplin and take away whatever you want from the speech in the video, but listen carefully to the words that were spoken.

This is not a Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, or any of the other things that seemingly divide us in today’s world. I am not saying which is what I believe or what I don’t believe – all I will say is that the words in this speech every time I hear it, makes me stop and think.

Which I believe is a good thing for us all to do.

It is simply something to think about – if you dare to think without your prejudices (we all have them) kicking in and giving the typical knee-jerk reaction that seems all too common nowadays.

Take the 3 minutes to watch the video and then wait 10 minutes or so before saying or writing anything about what you heard. It is that damned old history teacher in me coming out to play one more time.


Minor Updates to My Blog

There have been a a few changes on the blog as I get ready for that 60th birthday thing (next week). Yeah, reaching that next decade makes you think about how you want to present yourself on your blog.

I have decided to change the name from “My Blog” to one of my old blogs “Aging Runnah”. It is what I am – an aging runner from Maine. It fits what I write most about – running and getting older.

Also the header photo is of a sunrise down on the Maine coast taken my daughter Katherine, while they were up visiting during June. I just like the photo and fits the direction that I am heading in my life.

Nothing major, earth shattering or anything else, but fits where I seem to be going with both my running and my blogging. I will still have a random thought or more about other things, but since I am writing primarily about running, I might as well go back to a blog title that reflects what I am doing.

2 Runs and New Garmin – RunLog 7-29-17

This morning’s run with Bennie was one of those, where interruptions seemed like they were going to be the flavor of the day. As soon as we got to the neighbor’s house, he stopped us and asked if he could come by later to have me look at his laptop (he did and I did a couple of things for him on it – no biggie), but we had just gotten going on the run.

Oh well, part of the deal of being neighborly.


Then when we got to the last neighbor’s they were training a couple of yearling Oxen to pull, so I thought I was going to have stop again. Luckily they finally got the command and stopped before they got out to the road.

We ran on past – phew, but Bennie being Bennie, he wanted to go back and talk to those fine Oxen about their manners – we didn’t. Which caused a little consternation on his part and he needed to be reminded (i.e. pulled along for a ways) that we were out for a run.

Finally, towards the bottom of the hill, one of the neighbors was out on her pony. This has gotten a little worrisome before, but I am tired of picking Bennie up every time she rides her horse by us and getting a dirty glare like it is my fault for being out there and interrupting her ride. So we just ran on by, I put Bennie on the other side and he did great, although when I said “Hi”, I simply got “stink eye”.

Oh well her problem not mine.

On we ran.

Of course going down Blake Hill, a truck came along and we picked up the pace for a little while. Probably a lot too fast, but I think we both were feeling pretty good at that point. So I aired it out a little more than usual, while trying to avoid some of the larger stones to not abuse da feet or twist something going down the hill. Besides face planting with a truck going by at 25 mph an a dog going full-tilt, usually is not a good thing.

Probably shouldn’t have gone quite that fast, that one winded me pretty good and it took a while to recover from it. Then coming back down Blake another truck went by and Bennie went into chase mode. We did cruise right along, not quite as fast as the first one, but still according to the Garmin pretty quick for an old fart.

Again I paid for it, but we kept plugging along and met Mary up past the bog. I wanted to finish our run and then run back to run up the hill with her, if I had anything left.

Unfortunately, we slowed down quite a bit and didn’t pick it up at all until the truck went by again and we went up Stevens Hill pretty good, nothing earth shattering, but at least the legs still were able to pick it up a bit. After that we struggled home and when we turned to go meet up with Mary she was already rounding the corner. So she had a pretty good run herself.

Run #2

Yeah, I ran a second time today!

The only reason was because Bennie was being a butt head and wouldn’t go for his walk. So I left him barking at me from the window and did a quick Bartlett O/B & HC. Another reason that I wanted to go for a run was that I got my refurbished Garmin 230 and wanted to see how it did on run.


Nice and blurry photo

Only thing is that I didn’t charge it up to Garmin Connect and when I started running it hadn’t found the satellites yet. It took almost 2.0 miles to get GPS, so I was running on the accelerometer and since I haven’t run with the watch before that was off by quite a bit. So the splits and times were wonky until it got signal and from there on it seemed to be pretty rock solid.

User error – again.

It was my usual 3.3 mile course that I have run way too many times, so I am pretty confident of what the mileage should be and what kind of pace I was actually running. The watch itself is comfortable and not having a H/R monitor built-in was the strong selling point for me. Plus it seems to connect better with my phone than my previous model. It was easy to set up and the readability while running was just fine.

However, I am not going off the deep end on all the data points it can give me, although I might add a cadence field and total daily steps field to the spreadsheet, just to have that data there if I want it.

Overall, a nice second run and a good day for running.

Character Building Kind of Day – RunLog 7-28-17

A nice morning for a run, a bit humid, but not that bad. Mary offered to take Bennie this morning, so I went a little longer than I had planned. Trying to get the old bod slowly used to running a little further than I have been.

It was nice not having Bennie attached and having to stop, start, stop, start, repeat multiple times, which make the run more interesting at times, but at the same time I do enjoy being able to just run a consistent effort too.

Today the first 5.0 miles were very consistently paced and then my left leg started to bother a little, nothing serious, but just enough to let me know it was there. However, it did cause me to slow down a bit (that and the humidity), which is okay because the effort was still pretty constant.

Strangely enough when I had to move over to the other side of the road, the left leg seemed to ease back a little on the amount of discomfort I was having. It is almost as though the crown of the road has something to do with the discomfort in my left Achilles/Ankle. However, by then I was on the dirt road part of the and I was pretty well shot after mile 6.0.

That last mile sucked.

That is the best way to describe that last mile. The sweat was coming off my hat like rain, I didn’t have any umph to run hard up Stevens Hill and by the time I finished, it was time to be finished.

5.0 miles of quality mileage, then 1.0 mile of okay running and then a mile of suck it up buttercup and finish. Pretty much the story of me and running in the summer, when I start to kick up the mileage.

Better runs are ahead, but late July and early August are often more about survival running, hardening up mentally (character building) and establishing a good base to get ready for fall.

Telephone Pole/Bennie Intervals – RunLog 7-23-17

Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow and while I have purposely not talked, well wrote a lot about my times or used charts/graphs/screenshots of them here for a while. I have mostly used descriptive terms to indicate how my run was that day. Today is a little different and no I am not bragging, thinking I am all that or anything else. I just want to remember today’s run and the graphs/charts tell the story more succinctly than I can.

This morning’s run was supposed to be an easy 4-5 miles and that changed pretty quickly when Coach Bennie decided that we needed to stretch out the legs a little. It also helped that the temps were in the lower 60’s, just a light breeze, overcast and fairly low humidity.

You know a semi-perfect day for a good run and still work up a good sweat.

Actually my overall time for the run was in what many call my “No Zone” that 8:30 to 8:59 pace zone that is not fast enough and not slow enough according to the “Experts”. However, my overall pace for this run is the not the whole story of the run. It doesn’t give an accurate picture of the telephone pole intervals and Bennie being willing to go for it too.

Interval workout

As you can see Coach Bennie started off reasonably, then he saw his favorite neighbor and sped up to catch/greet her. After that there were 11 Bennie stops for him to do his business and I figured that after the first couple because they happened so soon in the run that I might just as well see if the legs had any juice left in them at all.

Down on the flat (lower gate to Blake) I won’t say that we ran faster, but it was a pretty good tempo run pace at or below an 8:00 pace (which was Saturday’s race pace). So I was happy running a little quicker than usual between Bennie stops and figured we would peter out after a couple of miles – that is usually what happens lately.

Then I got this bright idea to really pick up the pace toward the 1.0 mile mark to see how it felt.

Not too bad.

So I thought, why not do telephone pole intervals and get some short, but faster speed work done. Harold you are a crazy old bastid, you just can’t go winging workouts like that, can you?

Yes, I can and did.

Every so often I would throw in a telephone pole or two interval, when I figured the old body had recovered sufficiently from the previous one – to do another one. I wasn’t sure how many I would be doing or where they would take place, but I wanted to get the legs stretched out a bit and Bennie wasn’t complaining a bit at the time.

Although on a few of his Bennie pit stops there wasn’t a whole lot of product being put on the ground when that leg was lifted and the back leg was a little shaky. I wasn’t too worried about it because he would look up at me with that doggie-grin and seemed to say “I’m ready for another one, get your arse moving you old fart!!!” and off we would go down the dirt road for another interval.

Actually, I was feeling pretty good about everything – the left ankle wasn’t hurting, but it did let me know that I wouldn’t be too smart if I did all-out sprints, so I just stayed in a nice controlled fast running pace and it stayed pretty happy.

Then coming down Blake to the flat, I remembered that I have a segment there that I used to run for time quite often back in 2012-2015 and figured it would give me a good idea of where I was compared to then. So we picked up the pace at the corner and was clicking right along. Up past the lower gate, I saw something cross the road and then it came back out and stopped to look at us – a deer (wondering who or what the hell was coming down the road.

At first Bennie didn’t see it and it jumped into the woods, but came back out and looked at us again. This time Bennie did see the deer and went into overdrive. I heard in my mind “get the deer, get the deer, move faster and we can have venison for supper”. No Bennie we are not catching the deer and at that point we got to the lower gate, my 3.0 mile buzzer went off, the deer jumped into woods (it figured out that whatever we were it wasn’t worth sticking around to see) and I needed to breath.

lg segment

Bennie’s tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth, his legs were quivering, while he tried to nonchalantly water some weeds and I was standing there with my hands on my knees, desperately gulping in air like a beached whale.

I haven’t run that fast for that far in a while.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten where the segment ended and didn’t quite finish it. As it was I was only 8 seconds off my best time of 1:16 and 11 seconds off the all time record of 1:13 for the segment. The 1:24 included the 5 seconds to auto-stop time and then the jog to finish it off. So I ain’t complaining.

Mile 3-4 was a cool-down mile and yes, I walked up a part of Stevens Hill to get my heart rate back down to reasonable levels.

Overall, this was a surprise speed workout that I am going wow over. No I ain’t bragging about how fast I am, because I ain’t all that fast, but I wanted to have this post as a reminder for myself that I can do the work and still push the pace every once in a while. It is just for shorter lengths and on the downhills or flats.

Week In Review – 7-23-17

Another week in the books and yes, it finally feels like I am doing something more than being on vacation – a helluva lot of work is getting done versus being on vacation.


Went over to NH again and worked around the house and camp again, but the trips to the transfer station, should slow down quite a bit. However, now comes the fun part, lining up the contractors to fix things that need to be fixed (now that we can move around in the house) and working through the other stuff that still needs to be done. No where close to being done, but now it is process related versus everything else.

We are getting things done around our own house too and are starting to get rid of old junk that we have just lying around, we learned a lot about the importance of being minimalistic when it comes to possessions. We will have our own yard sale to get rid of what we can, then take the rest to Good Will. They can deal with the rest of it.

Running-wise, I actually ran in a race (read about it here) and while I did about what I expected to do based on what my conditioning actually is, it gives me a baseline and room for improvement as I get ready to move to that next age group in a few weeks. It is a bit sad to know that it was probably my last race as a 50-something, but as they say “time marches on”.

My week looked like this: Continue reading “Week In Review – 7-23-17”

A Typical Day – In Retirement

I have a little experience with this retirement thing or not being a part of the regular workforce to any degree, so when I left University College at the end of June, it was more like getting back to a schedule that I have previously worked hard to perfect.

To be honest it didn’t take me long to get back into the routine…you know the one that I had before I went back to work in 2015.

Elliott loves retired life and Bennie tolerates him on the bed with him

Here is a snapshot of a day in retired life:

Even though I put a particular time just to have some structure here, the time I/we actually get around to getting going can vary – dependent upon how I/we are feeling that day.

The clock is a guide (sort of), not the final arbiter of when things will be or get done. Continue reading “A Typical Day – In Retirement”

Run, Walk, Roll 5K Race Reflection – 7-22-17

Can you believe it, I actually made it to a race this morning!!!



I have not been to a race since January and thankfully none of the old race anxiety issues raised their ugly head this morning. I went there for a couple of reasons, but primarily to:

  • Go and have fun – I know running your arse off in a race is not most people’s idea of fun – but I know that I am more than a little weird
  • Relax a little bit and do something besides work around the house or over in NH

With those two things in mind (after a good night’s sleep), I headed to Bangor run in the inaugural Run, Walk or Roll for the Ronald McDonald House. I felt good, although before race time there were 4 trips to the bathroom to sit and ponder the issues of world peace and other b.s.

For an inaugural race I like how they did things, but like anything there were a few hiccups – there always are and I am sure those will get ironed out for next time.

So what were my goals for today’s race:

  1. Get to the starting line with a smile
  2. Finish without breaking anything
  3. Anything under 8:00 minute mile pace would be wonderful

That is what I sail last night before the race. Continue reading “Run, Walk, Roll 5K Race Reflection – 7-22-17”

2.5 With Bennie / 2.5 Without Bennie – RunLog 7-21-17

Well Bennie wanted to run this morning, it has been a few days since his last one. When we got to the end of the driveway he started grabbing the leash and pulling towards down-back. We did go a little quicker than usual for the first mile, I just wanted to see how it felt to move a little faster.


Bennie had his usual stops and then we got going again, so I did loose a bit of time to the stop/starts, but I was more interested in my form at that faster pace – it felt good. Then the heat began to build towards the end of the first mile, so I turned around at 1.0 mile. We went back up the hill and I dropped Bennie off at the house after a lap around HC – he wanted to catch up to one of his favorite neighbors who was out walking.

He didn’t really complain and when I went back out to run, Bennie half-heartedly barked at me and by the time I hit the end of the driveway, he had stopped barking. He usually keeps it up as I head up the road. So he wasn’t all that into running.

To be honest by the time I went back out, I wasn’t all that into the run either. I kind of half-heartedly got going again. I sure wasn’t all that fast and just ran hard enough to get through the finish of a 5.0 mile run.

As much as I might complain about the heat and how much slower I go in it, I still prefer the hot weather over the -10, snow and crap that we have during the winter. Running in the heat has its tough points and you just have to go through it and build some mental toughness.

Just another run that I had to put on my big boy pants to finish – not really worrying about the pace or time – just doing the miles.

Oh yeah, I did sign up for a race tomorrow and really don’t have any idea of how I am going to do. It will probably be my last race in this age group 50-59 and I sure am not in race shape. I am about 15 pounds over where I want to be, my running has been more base work than training and I don’t have the mental toughness for racing. However, I have to start back in the racing again at some point, so it seems like a good place to begin.

My goals are:

  1. Get to the starting line with a smile
  2. Finish without breaking anything
  3. Anything under 8:00 minute mile pace would be wonderful

We will see how things go.