Changes to the Training Plan–Update One Zillion

I have been using the Hansons Half Marathon training method in case you have not read about it here before (hehehehe).

Gee I might have mentioned using it a few times over the past few months.

Anyways, I started this whole Hansons Method thing, back in January with the idea in the back of my mind that I would be running a surprise Spring marathon or to prepare a good base for running a Fall one.

While I have been able to follow and love the Hansons training methods, I am not able to keep up the cumulative fatigue that is a part of the training. It negatively effects too many other parts of my life and I am not that passionate about needing to race either the marathon or half marathon to let it impact my life that much.

So guess what – I probably ain’t racing either distance this year.

Am I disappointed at all about not running or training for marathon or a half marathon after using the Hansons Half Marathon training plan through week 13?

In a word – nope.

Passion or Not?

Speaking of being passionate, I read the Passion Paradox when it was released and it got me to really look at my marathon dream and whether I really need/want to run one. When I did that – what it comes down to is that in reality I am rather ambivalent about running a full or even a half marathon.

Racing those distances just are not really that important to me.

Which is not how one needs to feel about either of those races which both require: time, effort, desire and yes passion to get to the starting line.

What are my passions about my running?

  1. Simply running first and foremost.
  2. Trying new or different gear – yeah, that includes running shoes, tech gear, etc.
  3. Blogging about my feeble attempts to become a better runner
  4. Reading and learning more about running.

Those are my passions and what I do most of the time, with my time.


Honestly, I love to run, be around runners and run faster (for me at least). However, I have also found over the last few years that racing is not really my thing, I have always had issues with race anxiety, but now it is more I don’t want to deal with everything that goes along with going to a race. While I enjoy challenging and pushing myself, hell I even like the hard stuff when training, I just don’t enjoy the actual race day crap that I have to go through in my own head to get to the starting line.

Also I don’t like the person I become when I start to take racing too seriously. I ain’t that good a runnah, never was and that ain’t gonna change any time soon, so when I start getting delusions of grandeur, it makes me into something that I ain’t.

Running then becomes a chore and the enjoyment I get out of it is lost due to “having” to do this or do that to be “that” runner.

So I doubt you will see too many race recaps from me this year and if you do they will most likely be about a shorter, smaller race, somewhere locally.

New Training Idea

That said, I do like to race once in a while, but the 5K is the distance I prefer. Well actually I think the mile would be cool too, but I would really have to train differently for that distance, although I might find one at some point this year, just to see how I do in one.

IMG_2255 (2)

Since I have pretty much decided that my focus at least through the 4th of July will be the 5K, I have put together a 5K training plan that uses some of the Hansons Method ideas.

Hopefully this will be a good enough plan to get me ready to run around a 21:00 minute time at the Winthrop 4th of July 5K. Anything under 21:21 would be a post age 55 personal best and since my best 5K in the last year was 22:36, I am looking for quite an improvement.

Now I have a goal, a goal race and a date to shoot for, which are all good things.

Looking at the training plan, it should be good training cycle, challenging but within my ability to accomplish at this point in my life. Plus I am still doing longer runs (which I do enjoy as long as I don’t have to run all that fast), so that if I decide to jump into something at the last minute, I can run most distances up to a half and not suffer terribly. However, the training intensities are not in the stupid range and are primarily speeds that I have successfully done this winter on the treadmill.

Speaking of the treadmill…the weather is getting better and I am getting outside more and more, which is a good thing. However, I am planning on continuing to do my speed workouts on it, since I can’t slack off the effort level when the going gets tougher, which I admit does happen when I run them outside.

Also in this area, it seems that a lot of low-key races take place on Tuesday evenings, so I have switched my Tempo days to Tuesdays and will use those low-key races to be my tempo workouts. I recover pretty quickly from the speed workouts, so having them on Thursday works for me.

The Reality is That

Using the Hanson Half Marathon Method was a great experience, where I learned that I could do more than I thought and has provided a fantastic base from which I can jump into my new 5K training plan quite nicely.

So the first quarter of 2019 ends with a very successful training cycle, where I stayed relatively healthy, if a bit overly fatigued. I learned a lot about what I can do and what works for me at this stage of my life, as well as what does not, along with letting go of something that should have let go of many years ago.

Sometimes, facing reality is a bitch, but once you do and start to accept that what you are passionate about has changed considerably and that some dreams need to be let go of. So that you can move on and enjoy life without that monkey constantly sitting on your back.

Now will I follow this plan to the letter?

Of course not, but it does provide me with some good guide rails or is that crash guards to keep me from doing too much stoopid shit, that will result in a dumb injury. One thing that I really need to watch out for is when I get to do those strides, remember Harold you are not attempting to run a sub 18:00 minute time, you are going for a sub 21:00.

Yes, I am changing my training goals yet again, like I said in the title probably for the zillionth time. However, lately the changes to my training, have been less philosophical and more about the distances I want to race and where I want to go with my running.

The bottom-line is that I am happier running shorter distances and as long as I don’t act half my age, the old body should hold together. I do know that I have to a cut-back week every 5-6 weeks now and have added that into my plan.

Tomorrow the work begins.

You know something it seems that I usually do come back to a 5K running goal and this time I am pretty excited by the idea of a fast for me 5K.

An Oldie, But Goodie Laptop Choice

Sometimes I am just a bit odd.


Okay, I won’t argue with you on that one little bit Harold, but what makes you say that this time.


Well I am typing this post on a new-to-me Lenovo Thinkpad x230 that was released back in 2012 – which in the terms of the exponential changes in laptops over that time, is an eternity ago. The scary part is that I am enjoying using it more than most of the laptop computers that I have owned during that period and there have been quite a few.

Yeah, that is the odd part I suppose.

The sad part is that I did look at the X230s when I bought a different laptop that year, but couldn’t justify the cost back then. After using the X230 for a few days, now I really wonder if I really screwed up when I didn’t get one back in 2012? Especially since the one I bought that year was gone in less than 2 years.

Why the Change

Let’s back up a bit and talk about why I got the 2012 Lenovo Thinkpad X230T in 2019. Continue reading “An Oldie, But Goodie Laptop Choice”

Running In Waterville A Bit Further than Expected–RunLog 3-30-19

Well I did get to run outside this morning and while it was not great, I was ready to get off the treadmill after yesterday’s laborious 5.0 miler. Yeah, I got the workout done, but at the 5.0 mile of the planned 6.0, it was time to get off. It has been a long winter and while the treadmill has been a great tool, I am ready to do most of my running outside again.


This morning was overcast, mid 30’s, with a bit of breeze. Not totally horrible for a good run, but a few degrees warmer would have been nice. Smile

However, I was tired of running in Augusta, so I headed up to Waterville for a change of pace. The plan called for 5.0 today, but by the time I got to the turn at the end of First Rangeway, I knew that I would need to find some bushes to stand behind or hope that my black tights hid the accident that was going to happen fairly soon. I headed towards Colby instead of the planned run towards Silver Street, there are woods on the way to Colby.

Once that got taken care of I was able to focus a lot better on running.

Strava 2019-03-30 122018

Actually, once I got going I was feeling pretty good and decided to go back via Lincoln St. I wasn’t pushing all that hard and felt strong, then coming down Lincoln Street Hill, my speed just seemed to pick up naturally, so I just tried to maintain it.

When I passed the 6.0 mile mark, I might have picked it up to close to my half marathon race pace – just to see what it felt like off the treadmill. I was able to maintain it without too much difficulty.

However, even after training most of the winter, I have a feeling that holding a 7:40 to 7:50 pace for the full half marathon ain’t gonna happen for this old fart. I can probably break 8:00, but faster than that, I have a feeling that the body is going to rebel more than a little. Plus, I really don’t have a race I am training for and if I am honest with myself, I don’t have any plans to race a half anytime soon. It is not something that I am all that interested in doing. I think using the Hansons Half Method was a great way to develop a nice base for me going into the Spring and Summer, but I don’t see me racing that far.

I have some thoughts that have been banging around in my head about where I want to take my running when my next training cycle starts on Monday. Stay tuned.

I did run in the Tempo 9s this morning and they did great!!! While I like the Beacons better for the treadmill, the T9s are better outside I think. Also since I have been running primarily in the Beacons I have noticed that my right ankle has a touch of soreness, that didn’t bother when I ran today. So maybe the little extra bit of support that the Tempo 9s give is just enough to stop the right ankle from complaining too much.

Something to think about.

Overall, a very nice run, but I would prefer to get it up into the 40/50 degree range, so I can ditch the tights and jacket. It is coming, but like I said at the start – it has been a loooooonnnnnnggggg arse wintah.

Back to the Training Plan–RunLog 3-28-19

After yesterday’s run on the rail trail, I was not sure how I would be feeling this morning, but I really wanted to get back to running the training plan, so I figured that I would see how I was feeling and decide once I finished up the mile warm-up.


Now the sun was out, temps were listed in the low 40’s on all the thermometers I passed, but that damn 20 mph or so breeze out there, made it feel a lot colder and I also knew that if I attempted to do a quality workout outside that it would have been hit or miss, whether I maintained the paces that I was planning on hitting.

So I opted for the treadmill, which would give me more control of the paces I would be hitting.

Which right now is more important to me than battling the breeze.

While I was warming up, I decided to go with the 5 mile Tempo run that was scheduled for today

Once I increased the speed to half marathon race pace, I felt a little awkward, it has been a couple of weeks since I ran that fast and I could tell that it had been a while. However, once I got past the half mile point, the body remembered how to run faster and I settled into a nice rhythm.

Unfortunately, at the 2.5 mile point of the tempo portion, I had to make a mad dash to the locker room. I guess I gotta start cutting back the high fiber diet a bit. Smile

When I got back on the treddy, I ran the remaining 2.5 miles without any issues or other variables. However, I felt a bit cheated by having to make that made dash, so I decided in my infinite wisdom to add another mile onto the run, but I bumped it up a couple of notches.

The last part was a bit more difficult, but I finished a total of 6.0 miles of race pace or faster and felt tired, but good. However, I was running out of time and only did a 1/2 mile cool-down, with a short walk to get the body back to where it needed to be.

Actually, this was the run that I needed and while I did it on the treadmill, I am finding that for me this year, the treadmill is translating quite nicely to my running outside. So while I prefer to run outside, having this tool available whenever I want to use it has been a huge benefit for me.

Oh yeah, I ran in the Beacons and they just work great for me. According to the Milestone Pod, I have over 300 miles of total use on them and a bit under 300 miles of running. Based on what I am seeing so far, I am fairly certain that I will get at least to the 400 mile mark of running. They are still the first shoes that I reach for, especially when I want to run faster or longer.

Good run.

A Glorious 7.0 Miler–RunLog

Great news, the foot is fine, it just needed yesterday off!!!

Phew, I dodged a bullet on that one and it is one that I could have avoided in the first place if I wasn’t so damn stubborn and would have stopped, when the pain started at 3.5 mile on Monday’s run, versus continuing to run to get that even number of 4.0 miles. Guess my OCD kicked in too much.


What a freaking gorgeous day! I ran for the first time outside without a running jacket, but while I survived just fine without a hat/gloves, there were a couple of times that I wished I had worn them. There was just enough of a breeze to notice it.

Today’s run was down on the Rail Trail and it was clear with just a couple of sections with some left over ice, but when I got to mile marker 3.5 after Hallowell, I could see some pretty big patches of ice still on the trail so I turned around there.


I was surprised at how well the run went, but very happy with how I felt. I even picked up the pace a little the last couple of miles. A very consistent run, that went from an easy one to a moderate progression. Some days you just gotta go with how you feel.

Cut-Back Week – Definitely Needed – 3/24/19

After running since October without any real break, things caught up with me and I have done the Hansons Training Methods since the second week of January. Needless to say the body and mind, were both pretty crispy.

Let’s go outside and play!

While I was only about 5 weeks away from finishing the Half Marathon plan, I don’t have a race that I am really planning to run, so I decided that a cut-back week was going to be more beneficial in the overall scheme of my running.

So guess what that is what I did.

My cut-back week went like this:

Three glorious days off, some easier/shorter runs than usual and then a nice 8.0 miler on Sunday, where I ran a nice progression run. I still made my goal of 20 miles for the week and didn’t feel like I was nearly as beat up as I did at the start of the week.

It was almost like the longer and faster stuff was really beating my body up. I know that I need run race pace for longer distances, but at the same time, for me at least, this was taking a lot out of me once I got into the strength portion of the training plan. So maybe I need to re-think the distances that I should be training for and I have been.

More on that later in the month after I make some choices.

Also the big reason that I hadn’t planned any races for the end of this plan was that we were planning on going out west for 2-3 weeks and hadn’t quite nailed down the dates yet – other than April/May time frame. Well those plans were changed last week and we won’t be going until September if everything works out. So that also means that the races that I like to do in April may be back in play.

So there are a lot of things to think about this coming week. Part of this is being brought on by my reading the Passion Paradox and some of the ideas that are being presented in that book. Yeah, it is pretty good and it is forcing me to re-examine a few things.

All I know is that I feel a LOT better than I did to begin the week and have some things to think about when it comes to my running this spring. While I believe in how good the Hansons Method is to prepare me for a half marathon, I am not all that gung-ho on running one. However, the plan has been a great way to create a training base and shown me that I can do the plan, with a couple of modifications.

Primarily one or two cut-back weeks included, just a part of being an older and historically fragile runner.

I am more of a 5-10K kind of guy and I really am not all that into the racing scene. So we will see what I do next.

Either way, I am excited about my running again. 🙂

4.0 More on Treadmill – Answered One Question

Well there, I got an answer about that question, without any doubts.

Last year I got a pair of Reebok RunFasts and while I loved the shoes and ran fairly well in them, there were a couple of things that bothered me about them. So in the Fall, I decided to put them away until this Spring, since they are a great shoe to run fast in for me and I wanted to save them for racing this year.

Spring has sprung, well at least on the calendar, so I dug the RunFasts out from under the dresser, so I could get a good feel for how they would do now. Saturday’s run was not great and I made a couple of changes to improve the fit (elastic laces and different insole).

Today was a scheduled easy 6.0 miles and I figured it would be a good comfort check.

I started out at 6.4 mph and kept it there for most of the run.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to 6.0 miles and struggled to get to 4.0!

At about 2.5 miles the bottom of both feet started to bother and by 3.5 miles the outside of my right foot (where the tailor’s bunionette is) was becoming very painful. I got 4.0 miles and shut it down.

I should definitely have stopped at 3.5, because my right foot now is bothering the hell out of me and I might take tomorrow off, just to make sure that the foot is fine.

Sometimes you just gotta know when to fold them and today it was definitely time when I finally stopped.

I have a lot of problems with running shoes that have inner booties or something that holds the tongue in place with stretchable material to the bottom of the shoe, due to that damn Tailor’s Bunionette. Today was very similar to how this foot felt in other shoes that I have gotten rid of in the last year.

Which means that I have my answer on whether I will be using the RunFasts for my race day shoes or not.

Not seems to be a pretty definitive answer.

Too bad, because I really like the shoes and how they feel otherwise, but over the last 3-4 months I have been running pain-free and comfortably in my running shoes and I am not going to go back to having my feet hurt to run in a pair of shoes.

Who knows maybe my feet changed just enough since last year to make it so that the RunFasts no longer really work for me now.

Anyone need a pair of size 8.5 RunFasts, maybe we can work a trade or something if you want them.

What Are My Core Values?

Yes, this is primarily a running blog, but at the same time it is also a place where I get to put some of my thoughts in black and white. Over the past few months, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on how I want to live my life going forward…well at least what is left of it.

You often read about a company’s, the military’s or some person’s core values and when 2019 started, I decided to take a close look at my core values. It has taken me almost three months to narrow them down and be able to articulate why they are important to me at this point in my life.

My core values at age 61 are very different than when I wore a younger man’s clothes:

Honor – I will do the right thing for the right reason.

I really do believe that what we do when no one is looking tells a lot about an individual and the man in the mirror does judge me. There are shades of gray, but when those shades start to get darker, it is time to really look and think about what I am doing and get my ass back to being in the light.

Do the Work – There are no shortcuts to doing something correctly.

I need to do all the work required, not just the parts I enjoy or want to do. I need to do the work, when it is hard and challenging, those are often the times when I make the biggest breakthroughs. Just because there might be an easier way, does not mean it is the correct way or the better way. It doesn’t matter whether it is in relationships, sports, career, working around the house or whatever my interests are, doing the work is a necessary part of life and is not always fun, but it still needs to be done correctly.

Own my actions – I will take responsibility for my actions and inactions.

Sometimes the choices available are not always great or what I want, but of the one’s that I do have control over, they are mine to make. I have to remember that it is often the little choices that add up to big actions over time. Remember not making a choice is also a choice and then when choices are made for me, they are ones that usually end up with results that are not what I want or expect.

Be Resilient – I know that shit happens.

Then I have to deal with what has happened, pick myself up, make the best of it and keep moving forward each time.

Be Healthy – Aging is forcing me to look at my health differently and be honest about what works and doesn’t for me.

I have changed how I train, what my goals are and how I eat. I also need to keep learning new ideas, approaches and even trying things that scare the shit out of me from time-to-time. Sitting on the couch rusting away, sucking on the boob tube, until I die is not being healthy.

Do What Works for me – I am an experiment of one.

What works for others or everyone else, might not or does work for me. Do the things that match my temperament, abilities and interests, while keeping an open mind to new possibilities.

Be Skeptical – “If it is too good to be true, it probably is”.

If there are conflicting studies, philosophies or stories, with the basic understanding if there is money to be made or politics involved – there will be bias and information will be presented in the best possible way for someone else to make money. I will make choices about what I think about the subject at hand based on the information I have available to me, but still be skeptical.

Keep things simple – Less is often more.

You do not need nearly as much as the marketing professionals want you to believe.

Say “No” – Quite often “no” is the correct answer.

Everyone seems to want me to do this or that, even when I am not all that interested in their this or that or I have different priorities than others might have. I don’t have to be an arse about saying “no”, but I do have to say it and mean it.

Let others find their own path – I am no one’s keeper.

There are many ways and paths to find solutions to life’s questions or problems. I can offer advice based on my own experiences, but attempting to tell or change how others live their lives is not within my control. Sometimes letting go is difficult, but it is necessary. Most of the time it is none of my damn business how other live their lives..

The reality is that

I have a very good life and believe that figuring out what my personal core values are, is something that I have wanted to figure out for a while now.

This does’t mean that I have always lived up to these core values in the past.

I haven’t.

In fact some of them I have failed miserably at and nothing I can do will ever change that. I can only take the lessons that I needed to learn from those times that I have screwed up royally and do better going forward.

It also does not mean that I will not make mistakes in the future (I am human), but writing down what my core values are, does give me a solid base on which to stand and gives me guidance on what I believe is the right thing to do when I have to make a choice.

The biggest things that I want to accomplish with my life going forward: is to be happy, enjoy the life that I have, meet interesting people, not purposely limit or hurt others without good reason and live a good life.

Now comes the time to do the work.

Have you ever sat down and thought about what your core values are? Do you need to?

Running Around Back Cove – RunLog 3/21/19

I had to make a trip down to Portland yesterday, so I prepared myself for a run around Back Cove. When I say prepared myself, in this case it is not a bad thing, because running Back Cove is one of those legacy runs that I have been doing for years and years. This time of year it is more about figuring out what to wear, which direction to run and how many laps I can squeeze in, in the time I have available.

Okay what to wear. The forecast called for a “gentle breeze” at 10-15 mph out of the SW, with temps in the mid 40s. Not terrible weather, I have run around Back Cove in much, much worse, but still not shorts and t-shirt weather either. Once I got down there and felt what the real conditions were, I opted for running pants, t-shirt, long sleeve tech shirt and gloves, to go with a ball cap. I was quite comfortable in them.

Between the construction in the area and having to stop at Hannafords for a pit stop before the run I lost almost 30 minutes and knew after I finished running that I would have to drive all the way around Back Cove to get back on 295 then back to Trader Joe’s, because due to the road construction the the short way back blocked off.

Which meant that my plan for two laps around the Cove were changed for me to only one, with the time I had and no stopping at Fleet Feet – (probably a good thing too – no new shoes to come home with).

I decided on doing the regular clockwise direction and started out comfortably. Nothing overly fast. At about the mile mark I was feeling pretty decent, the wind was at my back, so I decide to pick up the pace to a comfortably hard effort (usually my half marathon pace) and kept that up until I got to the bridge.

When I turned the corner, I had to batten down the hat and lean forward just a bit to maintain any kind of pace. That nice tailwind or sidewind had turned into the headwind. I always forget that it is longer from the bridge to the park than you think and it would have been smahter to have run in the opposite direction today. Oh well, suck it up buttercup. 🙂

There were a few sections of the “trail” that were pretty squishy and it really brought out the con part of running in the Beacons. The first slime area I hit at my faster pace just about ended up on America’s Funniest Home Videos and while I did not end up sitting on my arse in the mud, it was a close call. After that when I got to the slime, I slowed down a bit.

The lack of traction on slime is something I had read about the Beacons, but had not experienced it – needless to say it is a real concern. On the dry dirt, tar, even wet tar they performed GREAT, on light mud/slime they suck. I probably lost a bit of time just slowing down/speeding back up, but at least I stayed upright.

Actually, this turned into one of my better Back Cove runs in a while and I broke a lot of my personal segment records for my current Strava account (I have cancelled Strava twice and then reluctantly came back to keep tabs on friends there). Which really surprised me, because I didn’t feel that I was working all that hard until I got to the bridge.

My best time that I can remember for the full 3.6 loop is a sub 27:00, so running a 28:31 without hammering things, at this time of year, is very encouraging, on a pretty windy day in Portland.

A good run and yes, I got back to where I was supposed to be on time – barely.

Back to Running – 5.0 In the Books – RunLog 3-20-19

Well there, I took the last couple of days off, just to give the olde body a break, but you know something, I really think that the brain needed the break as much or even more than the body did.

Either way taking off that couple of days allowed me to reset the things, get my mojo back in line with the way I want to feel about my running and by the time I got to my run this morning, I was ready to run.

Actually, I wanted to run.

Which is how I want to feel.

However, running down-back isn’t really an option yet, the melt, re-freeze, melt cycle is making a mess and even at 9-10 in the morning the ice is not my friend.

Also it was the first day of Spring and the weather was about as good as it gets this time of year. Mid to upper 30s, bright sunshine and of course a pretty steady breeze out of the Southwest.

So of course I was going to run outside. I am hoping that this week becomes my transition week, to running most of my runs outside going forward. I would like to only do my strength or speed sessions on Tuesday’s on the treadmill for a while longer. Only because I seem to be more consistent with my training and don’t attempt to be too stoopid about running way faster than I need or should be running those workouts.

Well how was the run?

It was a nice and easy on one, where I focused more on how I was feeling than attempting to maintain a certain pace or effort. Yeah, the last mile I picked it up a little when I turned around at the Commerce Center lights and came back against the breeze down Civic Center Drive.

However, for the most part this was all about just enjoying the run and you know something I did.

This is what I needed for this week.

Tomorrow I have to head down to Portland, so I will most likely run around Back Cove a couple of times and smile a lot. I might even get over to Fleet Feet Sports and Trader Joe’s after the run.

In other news, I have a feeling that I am going to retire the adidas Tempo 9s pretty soon, the left heel cup is getting pretty saggy and while I could push them for another 100 miles or so if I really had to. I don’t have to, I have two more pair of Tempo 9s sitting in the closet, so I will be getting one pair out and retiring my current T9s to either daily walkers.

A pretty good run, where I got a few things straightened out in my head and a couple of choices thought out and figured out that the status quo is not the direction that I want to go.

Also I got the Passion Paradox by Steve Magness on Kindle this morning and have gotten a couple of chapters in, it actually looks like a good read. He is one of the “they” that I do follow on Twitter, read his blogs and listen to some of the podcasts, so Magness is one of those authors that I do listen to about running more than most.