A Wonky 7.0 Miler – RunLog 8-25-17

Originally, I had planned to run into Augusta, but at the last second, I had to change it to a run towards Waterville. Not big deal and actually I haven’t run this course since last November, so it was a nice change of pace.

The weather was just about perfect for me low 60’s for temp and humidity, but sunny with a little headwind to help the sweat dry. So I wanted to just run easy and see how far I could get before Mary caught up to me. Yeah it was a Waterville chase Harold down run.

Screenshot at 2017-08-25 21-27-18

The first mile was pretty easy, no rushing and I kept a consistent pace through 3.5 miles.

However, I was feeling really good, so when I got over to Goodhue Road I went to comfortably hard down the hill and maintained a good pace until I got over to the Middle Road. Getting in a sub 8:00 minute pace for mile 3-4.

Then I slowed down after Mile 5.0, which is a bit of a long slow incline, plus the traffic was pretty busy. Which resulted in me spending more time in the road’s shoulder than I wanted, where the grass, dirt, rocks, ruts, etc., ensured that I slowed down to make sure I didn’t screw up on the transition back and forth between the road/shoulder.

At 5.8 miles (I looked at my watch) my left Achilles started to bark and tighten up, so I slowed down in an area that I would typically pick it up, to see if I could get the Achilles to calm back down. No such luck and instead of doing the planned 8.0, I shut it down at 7.0 miles.

Not a bad run and I was happy with how well I ran, at least until the Achilles started barking. After I turned off the watch, I walked and about a half mile later, the Achilles finally stopped barking and felt fine. It is pretty strange the way that it the discomfort happens/begins somewhere between 5 and 6 miles, then after I stop running it pretty quickly gets back to normal?

All I can think of is that there is some scar tissue in the Achilles tendon area and it eventually gets the Achilles tendon or surrounding tissue irritated and once I stop running, it calms back down. Just gotta figure things out so I can get past the 6.0 miles without discomfort. That little 3 inch area is all that is holding me back from running further and who knows maybe even a bit faster.

Still, I am pretty happy with the run and how the Bandit 3’s are performing. No shoe issues, which is all I can ask of my shoes right now.

One Good Interval – RunLog 8-24-17

What a gorgeous day!

Yeah, today was one of those top 10 days of the summer.

When we go over to New Hampshire early on Tuesday, do work on the house in Lancaster, spend the night, finish up the next morning and then drive back to Maine. While trying to get runs in on both days on top of everything else.

Well it makes for Harold being a dull and tired old boy on Thursday.


Well let’s just say that on Thursdays I am not at my best, but this steak on the grill for supper sure did taste good. Nope, I am not a vegetarian, I eat fairly healthy, but I do like a good grilled steak.

This morning was too nice not to run and Bennie doesn’t get to run in New Hampshire, the roads are too busy and we haven’t found a decent place to run with him yet. So he was more than willing to plug right along this morning, plus we had a bunch of errands to run up in Waterville, which meant that I didn’t have the freedom to do much more than our usual 3.0 plus route.

The first couple of miles were an “easy” 8:15 pace – well they felt pretty easy and then I got this bright idea of doing a Blake to LG segment fartlek kind of thing. It is still dirt road and you have to pay attention to where you put your feet, so it isn’t just put body in gear and go. We plugged right along – faster than usual, but it is the pace I would love to be my 5k race pace again someday.

I am not going to lie and say it will be something that I will accomplish tomorrow or that it will be easy, but maybe by next summer, if I am smart, consistent and stay positive, it is an idea that I can follow through on.

After all Coach Bennie still thinks that I can run that fast!

I had thought about running again, but decided that rest was more important. So for resting, I went out and mowed the fringe out back and probably destroyed my field mower. I have a feeling that running 5-6 miles would have been more restful than mowing that fringe. Oh well, never said I was too smart.

Running in Augusta – RunLog 8-21-17

With all the trips to New Hampshire, it has put a lot more miles on the truck than usual, so keeping up with maintenance is a lot more important. As a result, we made an appointment for today to have the oil changed, a general look it over and get any of the little things taken care of before they become an issue.


While they were doing all that stuff, I did my usual get out of the shop and go for a run. Usually, I just go from ACAR, run through Hallowell and go down the Rail Trail towards Gardiner and run 7-10 miles.

Today, I just didn’t feel like doing the same old course.

So I turned left and ran the R/T back towards the Augusta Trail Head. I wasn’t in a hurry and wanted to get in around 7-8 miles. So I took the Y hill and ran around Capitol Park and then continued north. That little hill going up to the YMCA is just enough to be a pain in the butt, but I wasn’t pushing hard up it either.

I decided to either do the old AMHI road or go across the bridge. However, as I was crossing the bridge my left Achilles started to talk to me, so I decided to go across the bridge and then go back down the Rail Trail to Hallowell. That last half mile wasn’t too much fun – the Achilles started talking nasty to me. I would usually do the extra .4 to get an even 8.0, but I just stopped when I got back to ACAR.

The left Achilles was barking enough that I didn’t want to push any further. Once I stopped running it stopped barking and walking wasn’t too bad at all. So I am not really doing any damage to it, I just need to keep working on the pre-hab and strengthening it as I keep “slowly” working up the mileage.

The Under Armour Bandit 3’s did just fine, they didn’t bother my left ankle like the WR20’s did. There is just enough cushioning, so I don’t feel beat up after finishing and they don’t get in the way of how I run.

To be honest I was a little disappointed that the left Achilles flared up like it did, but it was not really unexpected and took a little longer than I thought it would. So it is getting stronger, but I just have to be more patient and give it more time.

Looking Back – RunLog 8-20-17

A good week of running.

Well mostly…I ran over 30 miles so that part was good, but I had to figure what shoes to do it in when my Brooks Ghost 10’s blistered my right Achilles, so bad that I couldn’t run in anything but my Hoka Infinite’s without making the blister worse.

More of a pain in the butt, but an uncomfortable pain that I didn’t want to put up with

This gave me a great opportunity to really figure out whether the Infinite’s were really keepers or just another pair of shoes that were close, but not quite what I want. I will be doing a 50 mile review on them, but the toe box is still not quite wide enough in a D-width. Not really keepers, except for temporary use when nothing else is working.


I also got a chance to play shoe surgeon and operated on the upper heel cup of the Ghost’s, it helped, but not quite enough. Even after removing the offending parts and reshaping the heel to a more notched design, there was still a little too much irritation for my still tender Achilles to play in them again right away.

Which meant that I had to get another pair of running shoes and you can read about my adventures here.


Yeah I ended up with the Under Armour Bandit 3’s, I liked the Bandit 2’s, that I had last summer, but they had fatal flaw that when I cornered my foot would go over the edge of the sole. Not a good thing, so before I decided on the 3’s I made sure that my foot stayed in the footbed, when I was trying them on. I will see how they do once the upper stretches out a little.

They did a 7.0 mile run, with 5.0 quality miles out of the box, so they started out pretty good.

Thursday and Friday were not good days, I felt like crap both days, but just pushed through to keep on keeping on. I mention it, just to remind me that after going upta camp, I was not 100%.


I was finally able to get back over 30 miles for the week. Which was the idea I had for most of the summer – not that I was able to do it very often with everything going on.

Run Summary 2017-08-20 21-13-45.png

I ran a couple of times over in Lancaster and while the blister on my right Achilles did affect things a little, it was more of a distraction than anything. However, it was enough that I didn’t want to deal with those issues.

Most of the runs overall were either easy – Level 1 or in the No Zone, so it looks by the summary data that I didn’t have much in the way of quality runs. Mmmm not so fast, even though the average pace of the runs say one thing, I actually had some very fast paces and better efforts than the data shows.

Weekly Summary 2017-08-20 21-15-13

A good week of running.

Running Shoes

Under Armour Bandit 3


A surprise choice to replace the Ghosts. 7.0 miles out of the box was a good start for me at this point. Comfortable and for a D-width they feel pretty good in the toe box. It is too early to have any real feeling about them.

Brooks Ghost 10


I like the way that I run in them, but not the way they chewed up my right Achilles tendon and blistered it. Shoe surgery might work after everything heals completely, but things are still a bit too tender to run in them right now.

Hoka Infinite


The only shoes that I had in the house that I could wear and not have it bother my blister. They simply are not wide enough in the toe box to run comfortably in. I can run in them, but the discomfort factor does rear its head after a while and I am limited to 5-6 miles before I have to shut down.


Not really any injuries, more like little niggles and some discomfort. By the end of the week:

  1. the right achilles and the blister issues
  2. the outside of my right foot didn’t like me a lot when I got over 5 miles (probably something to do with road crown) and the shoes I had on
  3. the left Achilles wasn’t impressed earlier in the week when I attempted to run longer
  4. the left inside ankle was bothering just walking in the WR20’s

I still was able to run through these relatively minor annoyances, although they did limit the distance I was able to run at a time. As you get older you don’t get the option of waiting to run when everything feels great, if you want to run you have to deal with the little things.

The only thing that I hate is when it is a shoe related discomfort and you have control over whether to wear those shoes or not. That is why I have gone through so many running shoes this year, I am looking for a pair that allow me to just run – still.


Overall, a good week of running and hopefully I found a pair of shoes that I can run in. Time will tell, but I am ever hopeful.

Modifying My Brooks Ghost 10

Well back in the day we used to be amateur cobblers out of necessity, if we wanted the shoes that were available to actually work for us, we had to make them work.

When my new Brooks Ghost 10’s decided they wanted to abuse my right Achilles by blistering it enough that I couldn’t wear them or any other shoes (except my Hoka Infinite’s) without a good deal of discomfort.

Which sucked!

It meant going old school and modifying the right shoe, so it wouldn’t cause anymore blisters – if I could.


Blisters they aren’t that big a deal are they?

Not really.

They are more of a pain in the arse, but it is something that I haven’t had happen all that often over the past several years. So it isn’t something that I have worried about all that much.

Until now.

I don’t blame the Brooks Ghost 10’s for blistering my foot…I blame myself for buying a style of running shoe that has a rounded heel counter. Especially, when I know that I have had issues in the past with that kind of heel counter and almost always avoid them when I can and I could have.


Let’s get a couple of things straight, I like the way I run in the Brooks Ghost 10’s, but when they created a blister on my right Achilles, it hurt to to run in them and once I ran in them outside, according to the return instructions from where I purchased them – I can’t return them, (one of those old catch-22’s you don’t know how well a shoe will perform for you until you actually run it a few times).

However, it gives me the freedom to make the Ghost 10’s my own.


In other words I can go back to my amateur cobbler roots and make the Ghost 10’s into running shoes that will work for me.

So I began by cutting open the heel of the right shoe and started taking the foam out. It took a bit to cut out the foam and form the heel counter to be more comfortable for me and my tender feel.


Below is the first cull.


I wandered around the house with the Ghost’s on and pretty quickly knew that I had to take more material out of the heel.

Round 2


After removing the extra material the second time, it did fit a LOT better. Although I will have to wait a couple more days for the blistered Achilles to finish healing up. I attempted to make more of a heel notch than a rounded heel. If they feel comfortable I will sew up the back, so it won’t come apart.

Unfortunately, whether these Ghost 10’s work great or blow-up on me it won’t matter. I am not going to be buying another pair of these shoes due to the heel design and I am not going to play amateur cobbler every time I get a pair of new shoes – I shouldn’t have to. Once in a while – it ain’t a bad thing, but not on a regular basis.

Oh well, that is the way it works sometimes.

Hopefully, this does work and I can run in them for a couple of months, so I can delay having to buy, yet another pair of running shoes. Mary will be happier with me and sometimes that is a big deal.

If it doesn’t work, I have a feeling that there might be a road trip to Bangor and Triathlon Sports and maybe go through an entire fitting process to get a pair of Hoka’s. I think I need to actually try on the next pair to ensure the fit and forego ordering online for a while.

That One Really Sucked – RunLog 8-17-17

The day after getting back from the weekly the New Hampshire trip is usually a crappy run day. I am tired, crabby, cranky and just kind of not really wanting to do a helluva lot. Well…let me tell you today was even worse than usual. I felt like crap, didn’t want to run and tried to procrastinate doing anything all day long.

So what did I do?

I did my pre-hab stuff, I hadn’t done it in a while, so I figured that I would at least get that stuff done this morning and then see how I felt about running.

Mary offered to take Bennie for his walk after she got done running. She could see that I wasn’t into running with him this morning and unlike me I quickly agreed. It gave me a little more time to not run. I did meditate for about 10 minutes and read some more of the book I was reading, but I really wasn’t into the run. Mary got back and took Bennie for his walk, so I was either going to bag the run or finally get off my arse and get going.

I wanted to do a course where I would have no choice but to keep going, so I decided to the Middle Road Loop – a 5.0 mile course that is a loop. Yeah, I started out pretty slow and cursed myself for quite a ways about how dumb, stoopid and all those other things that we think about when we want to do anything else but run and we are out there running any way.

The first mile was faster because it was down hill, not because I was feeling decent and then I slowed down on each mile after that. Especially once I got on the dirt road part of Blake Road. Down there I just go a little slower.

I made it up Blake Hill slow and steady and then when I got back on the flats I saw Mary and Bennie walking. I didn’t speed up and kept plugging along. Going up Stevens Hill was a real struggle and when I caught up to them, I stopped and picked him up for the last little bit.

All I know is that for that last 2.0 miles of the run I felt like shit. That is the best I can say. I finished and give myself an A for finishing, but it was a crappy run where I struggled to keep going, but didn’t stop except to pickup Bennie, so that was a plus.

I ran in the Hoka Infinite’s and while I can run in them, they squeeze the little toe on the right foot into the 4th toe and it gets uncomfortable after a while. If I put some Vaseline between the toes, it does help, but not enough for it to get better than noticeable. I try to ignore the feeling as much as I can, but it is still one of those distractions.

It is a good thing that I still have the Infinite’s though, because the Ghost 10’s blistered the hell out of my right Achilles and I can’t wear any other shoes but the Infinite’s for right now – for walking and running. It is a good thing that I didn’t get rid of them last weekend when I thought about it.

Though I am disappointed with the blistering from the Ghost’s, it is requiring me to run in the Hoka’s and I remember why I like them so much. If only the toe box a just a bit wider. I have a feeling that the next shoes I go back to after the Brooks Ghosts will be some sort of Hoka EE model.

The run sucked, but I finished and tomorrow will be a better day. At least the humidity and heat levels are getting a little more reasonable.

Week in Review – 8-13-17

Last week was another busy week, what else is new – right.

I thought things were supposed to move at a slower pace once you retire. With us it seems like everything is moving at light speed as we attempt to keep moving forward.

We said a sad farewell to Jeremiah (Phil’s cat that we adopted), he had a pre-existing condition that no one knew about until last week. Although his time with us was short, I really believe that he learned to love our home, which also became his.

We drove over to New Hampshire twice to work on the house in Lancaster. We are finally getting to the point where things are more about getting contractors lined up to fix things that we can’t, take the last things to the transfer station and so on. Now it is more about getting through the probate process and moving on.

One thing about the traveling to New Hampshire so much, is spending all that time together in the truck or car has given us the chance to grow even closer than we were back before all this happened.

Plus we discovered the Little Red Hen Bakery in Bethel…a very dangerous place to stop and it has become a regular stop when we go through Bethel. The cinnamon rolls, raspberry/white chocolate chip scones and whoopie pies are too damn good to resist.



I didn’t quite make my goal of 30 miles for the week, finishing at 29.2, but was “fairly” close, so I can’t complain too much.

Weekly Summary 2017-08-13 20-14-13

I was still having problems with my left ankle area once I got over 3-4 miles on a run, which limited my ability to get the distances I really wanted. That is, unless I start to consistently do shorter, but more double runs. Something that I am attempting to avoid if I can.

However, I will do what I need to do to keep running.

Bennie has been doing more walking than running this summer. He is 8-9 years old now and is sssshhhhh starting to slow down a little. He does not do as well on the high heat or humidity days, so I have started to let him decide whether we run or walk to start on his longer walk/run. If he takes the leash in his mouth and pulls on it we run, if he just starts down the road we walk. It seems to be working pretty good and he knows what he wants to do that day.

Bennie Bean

After we get going if we are running I keep a close watch on how he’s doing after the first mile. If he is struggling we take more breaks and if he starts to walk versus taking off to run again – we walk.

Although Coach Bennie is working on faster intervals when he does deign to run with the slow old fart :-).

I am pretty happy with the progress that I am making with running consistently and now that I am in my new age group I suppose that I have start looking around for a 5K or 10K race or two to see where I am with my conditioning. Although I haven’t been able to do a lot of sustained speedwork due to the left ankle/Achilles issues I have been battling for a while.

Screenshot at 2017-08-14 20-12-36.png

Running Shoes

I like my Mizuno Wave Rider 20’s a lot, they fit well and I can use them for any work well for any workout that I do.



However, since I started running in them I have had more problems with my left ankle area – which I have had in the past and were a result of shoes that were not quite right for me. So I decided to get a different brand to see if the ankle pain persisted or if it was just me getting to be an old fart.


When I got in the Brooks Ghost 10’s, (from Bennie for my birthday), they felt comfortable, but during the second run, I got a small blister on my right Achilles tendon, which I attribute to the rounded design of the Brook’s heel versus the notched Achilles heel that I prefer. It is a small pain-in-the-arse thing and nothing serious.

When I ran 4.0 today with Bennie, I didn’t notice that left ankle discomfort, so I am hopeful they are part of the solution, but I am going to take it slowly to give that a little more time to get over how it felt before. But I am hopeful.

One thing I did notice is that the Ghost 10’s in size 8.0 are longer than my Mizuno’s or Adidas. Not that it really makes a difference, but it is something that I noticed.


Overall, it was a decent – not great week of running, but once I get this blister area on my right Achilles healed up, I have a feeling that the Ghost 10’s will be fine and the WR20’s will be for shorter runs and all the walking I do.

I would love to be able to run a few longer runs, but that left ankle discomfort was limiting how far I could comfortably run…now we will see.

A Little Blister Action – RunBlog 8-13-17

Well there.

A pair of new shoes that gave me a small pain in the butt blister on my right Achilles. That hasn’t happened in quite a while.

It was always one of the things that worried me about the Ghost’s or other Brooks models, before I bought the Ghost’s was the way the heel notch is constructed. I have noticed that many Brooks styles (including the Ghost series) have a more rounded heel design, compared to say my Mizuno’s or AB3’s which have a Achilles notch/flat type of style.


Over the years, I have learned that the notched design seems to work better with my foot.


Typically I tend to stay away from the rounded heel counters and when I don’t, I usually have to go through the initial get a blister routine with them, after I start using that style of heel counter.

This is one of those annoying things that I put up with…Wimpy ass feet – is my problem or a least so it seems. Unfortunately, my weirdly shaped right foot is pretty sensitive to minor things that wouldn’t bother most other runners, which to be honest is a pain in the arse for me.

Oh well, getting a blister from a pair of running shoes isn’t all that uncommon or the end of the world as we know it. This is something that used to happen quite a bit back in the day.

However, I have gotten spoiled and the Ghost 10’s are the first shoes in a while that have developed a blister in this area. I will move on from it and otherwise the Ghost 10’s are doing well.

Now to get by the blistering issues and they should be a pretty decent running shoe.

How did I get the blister?

Running with Bennie of course.

It was 83% humidity when we ran this morning, which means that for about 2.0 miles Bennie does pretty good and then the last mile is tough. Which also means a planned 4.0 miler turns into a tough 3.0 miler.

Bennie did the usual stopping, starting and chase the vehicles intervals which make things a little more interesting on the run and give him some extra time to slow down the panting. When the humidity is high like this, I tend to let him dictate the run and although he was willing to keep going, the way he was panting and the tongue hanging out, meant it was time to stop when we did.

Not really a good run, but nothing too terrible either, just got miles in with a couple of decent surges thrown in for good measure.

Brooks Ghost 10 – First Run – RunLog 8-12-17

Have you ever had a running shoe style, that always seemed to be in the running for purchasing, but always ended up being the second choice, that shoe I almost bought which meant that it didn’t quite meet what you wanted compared to the other shoes that you tried on or researched and purchased online.

They were either too heavy, too narrow in the toe box, too much drop or whatever it was that I was looking for in a shoe at that time…

It just seemed like something was always missing.

For me that running shoe has been the Brooks Ghost line, since about the Ghost 5.


I have always liked the feel underfoot and the multi-purpose tread that they have. I have almost purchased them several times in my quest for the “right” for me running shoes.

Unfortunately, I never did until now.

As of today I have a pair Brooks Ghost 10’s that I can plod along in and see how they do for this old body.

Harold will you get real, you have been running really well in the Mizuno Wave Rider 20’s and here you are attempting to screw up the works?

Well I have been running decently in the WR20’s, however (isn’t there always a however with me), my left foot, especially the posterior tibial tendon area has been bothering me a LOT during runs longer than 3-4 miles.

I have been whining about it all too often lately, so it is not something that is new, but it has really reared its ugly head a lot more since I have gone to running primarily in the WR20’s. This is the same problem I had with the original Saucony Jazz and a couple of other running shoe models, that went away when I changed to a different brand of running shoe.

Since Bennie owed me a pair of birthday running shoes and I had an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocked, I decided to go with a pair that I have come close to buying several times and hoped that the EE-width would be more along the lines of Mizuno/New Balance and not so much Nike or Saucony EE versions.

The Brooks Ghost is no longer a second choice and they were waiting on the front door step when we returned from New Hampshire this morning.

How did they do?

Just fine, they seem wide enough and felt comfortable while walking and running in them, but the biggest difference was the smoothness/quietness of the landing. For me Mizuno’s have always been noisy, with the Ghost 10’s the transition seemed more fluid and the shoes were considerably less noisy (no slapping).

The Ghost 10’s check off all the boxes for what I want from a pair of running shoes before running in them and finding out for sure if they work for me or not.

I will take them out for a longer run in the near future (after I give the left ankle a couple of days to recuperate), to see if it is a me issue with the left ankle or a wrong shoe style issue for the way that I run. Time will tell, but it would be nice if I could get past this left ankle issue – again, simply by changing shoes :).

Oh yeah, when I went to the Lancaster Transfer Station this morning, the supervisor told me that I without a doubt would have the largest load of the day! He chuckled and said I must have cleaned out every corner of the house. I told him I had double and triple checked the house and hoped that I got all the hazmat out of it.

On the Brooks Ghost 10’s I am taking a wait and see attitude about what kind of shoe they will be for me. I know that I can run well in the WR20’s up to a certain mileage, but I would really like to add a few more pain-free miles to that limit, if I can.

Hopefully, the Brooks Ghost 10’s are part of that solution.