Runnin In Waterville – RunLog 3-31-18

This morning was bright and lots of sunshine, with a bit of a breeze, so it was just chilly enough that I was glad that I did go out and get that new down jacket at Eddie Bauer’s yesterday afternoon. I still cannot believe that we got it for only $21.00 on clearance, it does pay to shop around a little, as much as I hate to go shopping, it was worth it.

When Mary doesn’t walk with us, we both like to go down back for our walks, it is tougher walking right now with the snow, ice, yes – mud and the melting then re-freezing going on this time of year. However, it is a nice change of pace after months of walking down the hill and back up.

Since I had walked down-back I knew that it was not runnable for me and I didn’t feel like running down the hill or doing laps up on top, so that meant driving into Waterville and doing something from Planet Fitness. I wanted to do about 5.0 miles at an easy effort and not worry about the pace.

Once I get off KMD, running in Waterville ain’t too bad, so today I explored the first left off First Rangeway and then coasted down to Cool Street. Once I got past the Drug Store, going down Silver Street was good. About half-way, I decided it would be a great idea to stop at the Library for a quick rest room break and then headed back up to First Rangeway.

You really do not get a great idea of how much uphill there is to contend with after leaving the Library and how it without you noticing it reduces your pace if you are not paying attention.

I fell into that trap today and when I looked at the pace chart I was surprised at how much slower the last two miles were compared to the first three.

However, I will be glad when the street sweepers come through and get the salt/sand mixture off the sides of the road now that it is not frozen. When I push off in that stuff, there is that little slip, where it feels as though your foot is going to spin-out, but then suddenly catches. That does tire me out a little more than just running on tar.

Overall, I was happy with the run and my overall pace for a recovery run.

Run Information

• Course: Planet Fitness – Library – First Rangeway Loop

• Distance: 5.2

• Time: 45:06

• Pace: 8:40

• Shoes: Skechers GoRun Ride 7

• Weather: Clear, Breezy

A Bit ‘O Rain – RunLog 3-30-18

Yep, it was raining this morning…I am not really complaining all that much about it, since rain at this point in the year is a lot better than the white shite, plus it helps to eat rid of that white stuff.

Photo is from our walk down-back – not a lot of fun, but Bennie was adamant about wanting to walk down there and today I decided to humor him. It was crunchy ice so it was walkable most of the time. We turned around just after the second telephone pole and he was happy with that. He went home and shivered on the couch.

However, after walking Bennie twice in the rain, with temps in the mid 30’s at the time made me decide that running inside on the treadmill was probably a much better choice this morning.

Friday’s are a rest day most of the time, but I was feeling pretty good after doing my pre-run routine, I decided to put the treadmill at 7.6 mph and just go from there. I planned on only doing 4.0, so if I held that speed during the entire run I would be happy.

I was feeling pretty good, so at 2.5 I pushed the pace and started a nice progression run to 3.75, where I had a nice kick.

Overall, a very nice run, where I maintained a nice pace and was able to keep picking up the pace a little even after I started to get a little tired.

Run Information

• Course: Planet Fitness Waterville Treadmill

• Distance: 4.0

• Time: 31:03

• Pace: 7:46

• Shoes: Skechers GoRun Ride 7

• Temperature: Indoor

• Weather: Indoor

Another Long Run Bites the Dust – RunLog 3-28-18

Today was long run day and I wanted to do at least 11.0 before it was all said and done. Weather was not an issue this morning…well other than a 5-10 mph headwind most of the way in. Temps were in the 30’s and supposed to get into the mid 40’s by the time I finished and the clouds were supposed to give way to sun at some point.

This long run was not about running fast and I purposely started out slow and slowed down again after mile 2.0

I really am not crazy about running down in front of the new Maine General Hospital and then through the two rotaries down Route 3, but once in a while it is a nice change of pace and still a net downhill. Once I got to the I-95 bridge and started going downhill, I managed to pick up the pace a bit, but by the time I got down on Bangor Street, I was running out of steam and really started to slow down.

Initially I had planned to go across the big bridge, but I was too tired and decided to do the middle bridge and run a short way down the Rail Trail to get 11.0.

It was not the easiest long run that I have done this year, but I got it done and would like to get back to the point of doing 13.1 each week or at least every other week. I think the old body can handle that this year and I would like to break 1:40:00 for a half this year, but I have to get the body back in that kind of shape and right now it ain’t all that close.

At least I do not think about my feet too much in the Skechers GORun Ride 7’s, I just run in them and focus on getting through the run. A very good thing.

I am very happy with how I felt after the run and was even able to another 5.0 miles on the elliptical and still felt really good. I think that eating a nice high protein lunch and then taking an hour nap really does help with the faster recoveries that I have had after my long runs this year.

Very happy with my long run today.

Learning About My Gravity 3’s – RunLog 3-27-18

I finally managed to get a run in outside that wasn’t a long run! 🙂

The temps were pretty decent when I started and warmed-up as I ran – a very good thing and when you add in all that wonderful sunshine, well it was a great day to run. Though I wasn’t complaining about having gloves and a headband for my ears, with a running jacket over my usual 2 tech underlayers on the way back against that light breeze. It is still a cold breeze blowing off what remains of the snow pack.

Today’s run was not my planned long run, I get to do that tomorrow, instead I did an easy run down to Pepin Way and back (my test course). For an easy run the pace sure looked pretty quick on three of the four splits and even coming back up Philbrick Hill, I was really close to a 9:00 minute pace for mile 2-3 (I usually am over 10:00). The other 3 mile splits were all within one second of each other – so the “easy” effort was a very consistent resulted in pretty decent splits.

I think part of the “speed” factor can be attributed to wearing the Gravity 3’s outside for the second time. I run well in them, but I experience the same thing outside that I do inside on the treadmill, after about 2 miles, my forefoot stops being completely comfortable. There is no pain or even real discomfort – it is more an awareness that something is not quite “right” with my the forefoot on either foot.

Which is very distracting when I am attempting to focus on running. It is almost like I am waiting for whatever “it” is to get worse and more focused on how my feet are behaving or feeling than running. However, it doesn’t get much worse, but is sort of always there once it starts it is “there”.

In other words it is distracting as hell and tires me more mentally than I would be otherwise. All I know is that when I got done running in the Gravity 3’s today, I was more than ready to take them off after my 4.0 mile run – not the way you want to feel about your running shoes.

Since I have only run in the Gravity 3’s one other time and the rest of my 200 miles on them were all treadmill miles, I really hoped that feeling would not raise its ugly head on the outside runs – unfortunately it did.

While I do love the way that I run in the Gravity 3’s, unfortunately, they still have that distraction factor outside and I think it has something to do with the POP1 reaction plate in the forefoot of the Gravity (I have noticed this same thing in other Gravity models I have run in). So I can either ignore the feeling and accept it as a part of running in the Newton POP1 shoes or move back to the POP2 models if I want to keep running in Newtons – which I do like a lot.

The reality is that

It was a really good run, but one where I learned a lot about the Gravity 3’s and how they will perform outside. I can run faster without as much effort in them, but at the same time they are not the most comfortable shoe that I have ever run in due to (at least I believe), the Newton lug system in the forefoot.

I think that I prefer the POP2 line versus the POP1 and will move to them after the Gravity shoes I have in the house wear out.

The things you learn when you actually run in shoes outside more than one or in a race.

Yeah, I learned a lot.


People Watching – RunLog 3-26-18

You know that sometimes you just do not feel like running on the same routes that you have all winter and at the same time I knew from Bennie’s long walk, that there is just enough of a breeze and the temps are still in the low 30’s that you just do not feel like running outside.

Elliott before I headed to the gym, pretty much how I was feeling.

So I went to Waterville with sort of an idea that I was going to do 5 or so outside. I took all the gear that I needed to do it and I even changed into my outside running gear in the locker room. However, I couldn’t find my hat. It was still cold and windy enough that I wanted something over my ears, and damnit I didn’t have anything with me. Now I could have probably found something in the truck to tide me over, but by that time, I just said to myself.

“Just run on the treadmill”

I will have plenty of opportunity to run outside over the next few months, so another run on the ‘mill is not a big deal. It also gave me an opportunity to people watch. You know take a look at who are the members of the new gym.

People watching.

I saw Tom on the treadmill (another member of Central Maine Striders), there were a LOT of older people (men and women) working out, which I think is great, but they all look “old”, but for the most part they are my age or a little older – what does that say about me.

Yeah, I am old too, but just don’t feel like I am as old as all those other guys and gals my age that I was watching working out.

There were some younger gals and guys that kept coming in and out of the gym. Unfortunately, for the most part they didn’t seem to be as interested in working out as many of the older ones I was watching and all too many of them were constantly hunched over their phones as much as doing their exercising.

However, I would say that the bulk of the people I saw there from 10-12 A.M. were my age group. I would imagine that before and after the demographics are a bit different.

Getting back to my workout.

Yes, I did run on the treadmill.

I ran 3.0 miles at 7.0mph and then did a good 2.0 miles with progression up to 8.6 mph. The last .4 were tough, but I hung on and made it to the end. I know that it was supposed to be an easy run, but I was feeling very good and decided to see how the legs felt. No issues, so I kept going to 5.0 miles.

Overall, the not the workout that I had planned on, but it was a good workout none-the-less. Plus I got to see what the demographics were for the time frame that I will be coming to the gym – quite a few people in my age group.

Recapping a Pretty Good Week – Week in Review 3-25-18

It was a busy week, a nice long run, changing gym location, going to the annual Central Maine Striders dinner, starting to weed through old clothes and running shoes, and yes, still complaining about winter weather (what else is new).

My favorite photo from the week:

Geoff, Brendan and Gene at the CMS Annual Banquet. I think a good time was had by all and I know that I enjoyed the evening a lot. Again a big congratulations and thank you to Geoff and Gene for all their hard work over the years for the Striders.

Gym Change

Yes, I finally went ahead and changes my Planet Fitness gym from Augusta to Waterville. I seem to be in Waterville a lot more than I am in Augusta, so it makes good sense to me. There are some things that are better about the setup in Augusta than Waterville and I will miss them a little (some of the people, locker rooms and stretching area), but the treadmill availability seems a lot better (there are more of them) and the overall workout area setup seems a little better in Waterville.

The biggest difference is going to be when I am running outside. I will be able to run just about any distance, find hills, flats, trails and once I get off JFK, the traffic isn’t brutal. Waterville is just a much better place to run than it is where the Augusta Planet Fitness is located.

The red dot marks about where Planet Fitness is and as you can see the different running routes are pretty much endless.

It does take me out of my comfort zone a little bit, but sometimes changing something up like this makes things better in the long term – at least that is what I am hoping. We will see if it is a good change or not, but I have a pretty good idea that it is.


Even though the weather is “starting” to get better – it is still pretty cold and windy on many of the mornings, which means I am still spending an awful lot of time on the treadmill. Either I am getting really wimpy or I am just damned tired of the cold, snow and nastiness that goes along with winter at this point.

When I look at it – it is a probably a combination of the two, but I think I am more tired of winter than anything else.

Although I am still getting a lot of treadmill time, the runs seem to be pretty high quality when they are supposed to be and I am even adding a bit of rest/easier running into the weekly routine, which is something that I do need to stay on top of. I have been known to run myself into the ground when I am feeling good, so a bit of rest and restraint on my part is a very good thing.

Monday – Treadmill easy – no big deal run, just get ready for Tuesday’s long run

Tuesday – At the start it was pretty cold and windy – right at the bottom of my personal safety zone, but with the wind mostly at my back and the forecast for temps to rise rapidly I did the run. No real issues until I had to make a pit stop at Planet Fitness in Augusta, but it put me behind meeting my ride home, so I had to shorten my route a little. A pretty good run in spite of the having to stop issue.

Wednesday – Nice and easy recovery run on the treadmill. An 8:30 pace may not seem like a good pace for a recovery run, but on the treadmill, I can run a little quicker without it kicking my butt too badly

Thursday – I was feeling pretty good, so I did a progression run, nothing overly hard, but by the end I was sweating pretty good. It was a nice workout that raised the heart rate a bit.

Friday – Rest Day. See I can do them. 🙂

Saturday – A very nice speed work session where I did 5 x 1KM repeats at a pretty decent speed, with rest repeats at 7.0 mph. No issues running, more like equipment issues that I got resolved at the 3.0 mile mark – that were distracting me when I was running. I felt like I could do more, but didn’t want to do the 1K repeats, so I did some .1 strides with .1 rest with a nice hard kick the last .3. One of the better speed work outs I have had in a while.

Sunday – First day at the Waterville Planet Fitness and I did a nice easy run at 7.0 mph for 4.75 and then a nice kick for the last quarter-mile.

Running Shoes

This week was pretty much Skechers GoRun Ride 7 and Newton Gravity 3. Both are doing really well for me, but the GRR7 is definitely a more comfortable running shoe and I tend to choose it over the G3’s when I take the time to make a choice. However, I can see more outsole wear on the GRR7’s than I would normally expect and have a suspicion that when they get towards the 300 mile mark there will not be a lot of tread left on the outsole – we will see, but if they make it that far I will be very happy.


None to speak of, but my right hip has been doing a little whispering to me over the past week. Nothing serious and it seems to disappear when I am running. Strange kind of thing to say the least, but it was my big issues last fall, so I am pretty concerned about why it is starting to bother after behaving for so long. Then it occurred to me this morning that my “new” walking shoes were the running shoes I had been using when my hip was bothering me. Yeah a couple of weeks ago, I started wearing my U/A Bandit 3’s as my primary walking/daily wear around town shoes and not too long after that my right hip starts to bother again.

Now, I don’t really believe in coincidences all that much and as a result of my way of thinking, have retired the Bandit 3’s to the back of the garage to go away. There must be something in the geometry or way my body interacts with those shoes that bothers my right hip. However, I don’t want to take any chances with that getting to where it was last fall. I am finally running decently and the last thing I want or need is issues with my hip.

The reality is that

I needed the rest week the week before and getting more of a weekly not so much a schedule, but a weekly running routine where I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do based on how I feel that day is a good thing. Now that the winter storms are slowing down, the disruptions to that routine should become less of an issue, although life will still get in the way – of that I am sure.

I am really liking doing my long run on Tuesday/Wednesday of most weeks, it works out well and my speed work for the week can be done on the weekend either in a race, treadmill or hopefully the track pretty soon. I don’t feel like I have to rearrange my running routine as much to add in a race at the last minute if I want to, since the long run is not on the weekend now.

Last week was a pretty good week and I hope that putting away the Bandit 3’s takes care of the right hip’s little whisper to me about how it is feeling.

Trail Running Shoes – How I Really Use Them

There are a lot of sub classes of running shoes, daily trainers, racing flats, light-weight daily trainers, motion control, minimal, maximal, cross country spikes, etc.

Then there are trail running shoes.

Over the years I have owned many different brands, models and makes of trail running shoes, but there is one big thing about that…

I really don’t run that many trails.

Once in a while I might get over to Bond Brook, some the local hiking trails in Waterville, Oakland or out in Belgrade, but I don’t really get on trails that are technical or run far enough on them to actually warrant going out and buying a pair of trail running shoes. Most of the time at least one pair of my current road shoe rotation are more than enough to tackle the trails I run on.

Why then do I think that I need a pair of trail running shoes? Continue reading “Trail Running Shoes – How I Really Use Them”

5 x 1K Repeats = Interesting Results – RunLog 3-24-18

I went back on the treadmill again today, because I wanted to do a specific workout at a specific pace and was worried that I wouldn’t get it done outside. Even though the temps were in the 30’s, the sun was shining, but there was a bit of breeze that brought feels like temp down into the 20’s.

On a speed workout, I don’t like, enjoy and all those other nasty things we say about running outside when Mother Nature is chuckling under her breath at our feeble attempts to get in some semblance of race shape.

I am focusing on getting ready to run 5K’s over the next few months and while I may never be all that fast, I want to be fast for me and the best way that I learned over the years is that I have to do longer repeats to do what I want to do.

So this morning I decided to do 5 x 1 KM repeats as a part of my training routine and I had a very specific speed that I wanted to do them at. Talking about the speed isn’t all that important, but what is important was how I felt at that speed.


I was shocked at how well I did at that speed.

During the first 3.0 miles I had some equipment problems with my waist belt loosening up and ear buds coming out of my ears, that distracted the hell out of me, but it didn’t stop me from maintaining my stride or focus on getting the repeats done.

At 3.0 miles I did stop long enough to tie knots in the belt (it did not loosen up again) and figured out that I had the ear buds in the wrong ears (dumbshit), after I put them in the correct ear, they didn’t pop out.

After getting my gear secured to where it was not a distraction, I did two more 1 KM repeats at speed and while I was getting a little tired towards the end, I felt as though I could do more. However, I did not really want to do more than 5x1K at this point in my training.

So I decided to finish up with 5 strides at a bit faster than the repeats had been. I did 3 x .1 with rest. I felt good enough to do the last .3 at the faster speed and felt pretty strong right through to the end. The other part was that I kept my cool, even when I had a couple distractions. Things that in the past probably would have thrown me way off my game, didn’t today.

Some of the slower spots during the fast repeats were when I purposely lengthened out my stride to see if I could and how I felt when I did it. Getting more air while on the treadmill, just feels a bit hairy when I extend out the stride a bit, so I didn’t try to maintain the longer stride for too long.

Overall, it was a damn good workout – although I do know that I am a treadmill hero, who sometimes wilts when I get on the track or during a race, so while this gives me a lot of confidence going forward. I also know that I know have to deliver the same kind of performance during a race. If I do, I will be ecstatic.

In other news I switched my Planet Fitness gym to Waterville. We will see how that goes, but I know that for running I prefer the area by Waterville’s location than the one in Augusta and the gym itself has most of the same gear, it will just be different. I think the change will be a positive one for me.

Maybe I will find things out tomorrow.

Rest Days Are Hard – RunLog 3-24-18

Taking a day off from working out can be hard.

What in the hell are you talking about this time Harold?

Elliott looking out the door, but it could have been me looking out wanting to get outside to exercise

Elliott looking out the door window.

Well I am attempting to add in rest days to my training, you know that pre-planned day off stuff and Fridays seems to be the keeps popping up as the one that works best with the running routine. Now that the winter storm season is hopefully past and my running schedule becomes more predictable.

Why is taking that planned day off so hard, after all you workout consistently and don’t pull the punches on your workouts? Taking a regular day off should be something you look forward to.

I think the body likes the idea of scheduled day off and the mind understands the theory behind taking rest days. However, the brain also thinks I am being lazy, all my fitness is going to shrivel up and blow away if I take a day off, plus all those other nonsensical things that I imagine will happen if I gasp take that day off.

Especially when there is no real reason to take the day off – you know blizzard conditions, hours of snow blowing, roof raking, ice on the roads, frigid temperatures, roaring winds, super hot or humid, yard work, tree cutting, chopping wood, sideways rain and all the other things Mother Nature puts in a runner’s way to get out the door.

Also I am not injured (knock on wood), feel really good, sleeping well, so I am not tired and the body is doing better than it has in a while.

In other words I really wanted to go for a run.

Plus yesterday the sun was out, the temps in the 30’s*F, winds reasonable and Mary did her run (peer pressure), so I really did want to run, do the elliptical, go ahead to the gym for a weight workout or even a body weight workout at home.

Do something more than just walk.

All I did was a total of 4.0 miles of walking with Bennie, which counts for something, especially when walking down back was an adventure at times.

Instead I had to keep playing games with myself to NOT run or get on the elliptical later.

I know it is a good problem to have and there are going to be time this year when I look back at this post and wish that I had gone for a run.

However, I was good for a change and rested because I could, not because I had to.

A very good thing.

Still I wonder what my time would have been if I had gone down to Pepin or into town and run around in there?

Stop it Harold, you can do those things today, yesterday you did rest and today you will reap the rewards of actually resting.

Besides that book you read wasn’t that bad.

One of Those Days – RunLog 3-22-18

Yeah, it was one of “those” days, but thank goodness that N’oreastah stayed south and all we got was a LOT of wind along with a couple small flurries. A very good thing with the snow blower still at the shop. Some places did get really whacked with 19″ of snow in places. Better them than us this time.

I will talk about the run and then the rest of “that” kind of day.

Due to the winds, I decided on yet another treadmill day. I planned on 4-5 miles at about 8:30 pace, a moderate level run.

I set the treadmill to 7.1 mph and kept it there for a bit. Everything felt pretty good for the first mile, so kept increasing the pace until 2.7 when I had to scurry to the locker room. I was feeling pretty good after that time-out and decided to pick-up the progression and go to 5.0 miles. I picked it up and then had an outstanding last quarter mile.

One thing I am noticing is that when I run in the Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s, I run better, more comfortably and don’t feel as beat up after I get done. I am not sure why, but they just seem to fit how I run better than other shoes I am using. I do know they are a lot quieter than the Newton’s and the Newton’s are pretty damn quiet.

I just feel more efficient in the Skechers.

Oh well – it was a pretty good run and even with the pit stop, I managed a pretty good pace overall.

Getting back to life.

Mary had a routine doctor’s appointment first thing and another patient let the front desk know that whoever had the red van had a flat tire. So I got the call to go trouble shoot and fix the problem.

Problem – flat tire, Solution – put on spare and go get new tire.

Now I haven’t changed the tire on the Transit before and as usual it had its own way of doing some things. I am fairly mechanical when I want to be (better than I let on), but I had to refer to the Owner’s Manual a couple of times to figure out how to hell they did that. 🙂

Got it done, but it did wear me out, more than it should have. It was that plasticity of doing something different, where I had to really focus on what I was doing to get it done.

The next part getting the tire replaced with the same thing was not that easy, no one in Waterville had a replacement in stock, so I went to Ray Haskell Ford (where we bought Clifford). They didn’t have one in stock, but could have it in the afternoon – it was the best I was going to do and since Mary had some other appointments tomorrow, I wanted the new tire on before she had to drive around in it. Made the appointment for 3:30

A pretty big change of plans from what I had expected to do during the morning to say the least.

After getting home and going over Mary’s doctor visit results and what needed to be done on Clifford, I headed for the gym and did that treadmill workout. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my pre or post-run work, because I also had a few errands to run before heading home. Once I got those done, ate lunch and took a nap – it was definitely needed, I had to head back to Waterville to get the tire replaced.

Yes, the dealership was probably a bit more expensive, but in this situation I wanted it done today, it was worth the extra cost. They had it, and put everything back together for me, so it ended up being less for for me in the long run.

Also I am thinking about changing my Planet Fitness location to Waterville. I am in Waterville a lot more than I am in Augusta, plus the running courses where it is located are a LOT better than in Augusta. Definitely more variety and options are available, plus Shaw’s supermarket is right beside it, so I don’t have to drive too far out of my way to pickup stuff. The only thing I am not as crazy about is the locker room, but I don’t spend too much time in there anyway.

This is the part of being retired that is better than working. If something happens, it does not become an oh shit kind of the moment and instead of finagling to get something taken care of, I get to just take care of it. A LOT less stressful for both of us. Something as simple as a flat tire can take on a level of miserability that ruins an entire day, whereas today, it was simply a cold, knuckle-busting inconvenience. 🙂

A long and busy day, but we got through it and move on to tomorrow. 🙂

Which will be another good day.