A Pretty Good Week – 8-18-19

My first week in review in a while, but it was a pretty decent week:

  • Raced
  • Reassessed
  • Re-read
  • Relaxed
  • Revised
  • And yes, Simplified

Yeah, those words pretty much sum up this past week with my running.

Around the house things have calmed down to normal/routine maintenance stuff and getting ready for the cold months.

Getting back to running

Racing

Can you believe it, I actually raced a 5K in 2019 and plan to do it again fairly soon.

It was time and although I wasn’t a world beater by any stretch, I did finish 3rd overall in a pretty small and low-key race down in Brunswick. It felt good and I didn’t have any of those wonderful anxiety attacks that curse me so often when it comes to racing.

Actually, I had a lot fun and while I was not happy with the time, I was satisfied with the effort and the smile on my face after the race. You can read more about it here

Reassessed

During the race, I felt zero pop from my NB 890 v7 and while they were comfortable when running, something just was not there with them. In other words I was disappointed in how I ran in them – after all it couldn’t be that I am getting to be an old fart and that is the reason I ran the time that I did.

Whatever, I took my Nike Zoom Fly SP out for test run around the Middle Road Loop course that I have run several times over the last 19 years. It was the first time that I have actually used the ZF on the roads and guess what, I am pretty sure that I managed the second fastest time ever on that course in them, without planning on running it hard. Read more here

On the track, the ZF felt very unstable in the heel and just didn’t impress me, which is just the opposite for the 890 v7s. On the track they felt great and on the roads, they were more kind of blah.

However, on the roads the Zoom Fly felt completely different and I hadn’t planned on going faster, they just encouraged me to do just a little more. So for my next race, I anticipate seeing the Nike Zoom Fly SP on my feet.

Although they might have some competition, because out of nowhere the other day, while I was wandering around eBay, I came across a pair of New Balance 1400 v6 for $25.00 from a seller I have used before and they looked like they were hardly used. Zoom Fly for good weather and 1400s for bad weather racing/going faster – sounds like a good plan for me. We will see how they fit, but…well we will see.

Which means that the 890 v7s will probably see more work as trainers or walking shoes in rotation with the Beacons. Not a bad thing.

Re-read

Yes, I re-read The Happy Runner and did a LOT of highlighting, thinking and wishing that I could afford to have them coach me. However, that ain’t happening so I got also do some thinking and answering questions they present while reading the book this time.

What are my long term goals?

Keep running and be healthy until I can’t run anymore and they put me in the furnace several years from now.

BQ – it will always be a long-term goal, I may never run another marathon, but I will always look to the the day that I can stay healthy and train well enough to run a BQ and then do Boston as a qualified runner.

I answered a bunch of other questions, but the biggest takeaway from this book for me was it is okay to skip a run/workout if something feels off or wrong, because in the long run a few days now will probably save a few weeks or months off later.

Like today, I originally planned on 5-7 miles, but my left leg was a little sore after yesterday’s fast for me Middle Road Loop and instead of running to ensure that I got at least 30 miles for the week, I took the day off and rested. Something that I usually would not have done – my priorities have to change as I get older and The Happy Runner helped me focus on what is important – my long-term goals.

Relaxed

Hey, I took two days off in the same week and it was not because I had an injury. It is because I now that I have figured out that listening to the body is important, maybe I will stay healthier. Also, the stress of the kitchen rehab is behind us, so my afternoon naps are more regular.

The other part is that I am running much slower for the majority of my workouts and that is making them a more relaxing time, than going out and hammering the miles everyday. Sam you are definitely correct on the slowing down for the Trial of Miles.

Revised

My training has been more of a routine than a plan since I returned from my latest injury. It has worked quite nicely and after reading The Happy Runner, I tweaked a few things to make my running more enjoyable for me. I am still going to keep it more of a routine than a plan, so that when runs like Middle Road happen, I don’t get all freaked out that I didn’t follow the damn plan.

However, I am going to add strides into the end of runs 2-3 times a week and probably not go to the track for a few weeks, while I just work on my running efficiency. I am planning to keep about the same mileage weekly and only do a long run every other week. I love the speed work, but those long runs just take it out of me.

Simplify

I have a love/hate relationship with my Garmin GPS watches.

I love knowing the distance, pace, splits, heart rate, etc. You know all that data that you can get in real time and to study after I finish on Garmin Connect, Strava and a couple of other websites I populate.

However, I hate having all the data available to me and how it distracts me when I am running and then the countless wasted hours I spend attempting to de-code the mysteries of my running prowess or at least pretend I understand enough about the data to help me improve as a runner.

Also having to charge the darn thing all the time is a pain in the rear. That single flashing bar on my good run yesterday left me wondering if it was going to run out of juice or not before I finished. Just another stressor, I don’t really enjoy.

No, I am not going to get rid of my Garmin, but I don’t plan to wear them as my daily wear watch or even wear them for most runs at this time.

I figure that I don’t really need to know all that stuff for every run, especially on courses that I have run several times. I already know the distances and with the GPS watches, I tend to worry too much about what the final pace is going to be versus simply running easy. After all it posts to Strava and I gotta impress the folks (who really do not give a damn about my pace) there.

Although it is nice to do a post-race analysis or looking at a specifically planned workout, I think that the data is pretty cool and possibly valuable to review then. Also if I am running someplace where I don’t usually run, it is nice to have a semi-accurate idea of the distance, especially for trail running.

Which means that my trusty old Timex Ironman watch is coming out of retirement again. I used a digital watch to track my running for several years, so not using a GPS watch is not anything new.

It just means that I will have to go through a data withdrawal and get used to not populating Strava and getting all those cool graphs all the time. 🙂

I might even have looked into upgrading my Timex, because when it gets wet now, the face gets fogged up. But hey, it is only 11 years old, so I got to expect something like this – right. We will see.

The Reality is That

I am happy with the direction my running is going.

Yes, it still needs a few tweaks here or there and I need to be 20 years younger to accomplish some the stuff that I would love to be able to do. However, my running is going good and I am actually starting to think about what I actually want to do with my running over the long term, not just the next race or something that I dream about doing.

Looking at running from the long-term perspective gives me permission to do things differently than I have in the past, where I simply looked at each race as an end point in my training and would move from one race to the next without a real overarching idea of what I wanted versus what I needed to do. Race it turns out when I viewed them from the perspective of the book “The Happy Runner” are merely checkpoints that give me information on what I need to improve, tweak or change to get closer to my long-term goals.

They are just part of a much larger plan for my running – not the be all and end all that I had them be in the past. It is a definitely a different perspective and a lot more healthy one for me.

This changing perspective includes not running when the body is screaming at me to take some down-time. Running year-round is one thing, running hard year-round is not doable for me at this point in my life – if it ever was.

When I look back at my injury list – I know now that is wasn’t.

A good week, now to do (not try) the work and listen to the what the body is telling me.