Follow me in my adventures to run more, live a little simpler, use technology to complicate my life, and be healthier. I will be writing about my experiences, the people I meet along the way, and gear I use.
Disclaimer: I do things my own way, so don't do things the same way that I do, they might not work the same for you. You are personally responsible for the things you do or try.
I got busy starting the initial process of researching a replacement for my iPad Pro last night (the battery is not holding a charge and it costs as much as a nice used Mac to replace). So if anyone has a lead on a Mac laptop for a decent (cheap) price let me know.
Which means that I forgot to write up my cold-arse run up in Waterville yesterday. So I will keep this short and sweet.
Planned Workout Description vs Actual: Easy run 5-7 miles, did almost 6.5 at a comfortable pace
Variables that impacted the run: Cold, windy, lots of clothes
Weather: Overcast, 26°F, Feels like 16°F, Humidity 61%, Wind 11mph from NE
• Day: Monday
• Course: Waterville Ramble
• Distance: 6.46
• Duration: 59:04
• Pace: 9:09
• Running Streak Day #: 4
• Comments: Typically this kind of day, I head inside and run on the treadmill. However, I had a bunch of errands to do in Waterville, so heading to Augusta’s Planet Fitness was really way out of the way.
So I sucked it up and ran in the chilly weather, but had a course where I could get back to the truck pretty quickly if I needed to. Which makes the run safer and better than what I could do at home.
I started out comfortably, battled the wind whenever I headed North, but fortunately I never really got cold. I dressed just right for a change, my typical overdressing for a run worked out fine today.
Shoes: Mileage (89.9) New Balance Fuel Cell Propel. Still bother that left toe a little more than I want, but it is not anything all that bad either. It is more a distraction than anything. The good thing I learned is that the Fuel Cell doesn’t loose its cushioning when it gets cold – so that is a good thing.
Wow!!! The first day of December and the final month of 2019. I can’t say that I will be sad to see this year in the rear view mirror, but I still need to get a few more miles in before the year ends.
Especially, since over the next few days running might be a bit of an adventure.
It ain’t heah yet, but depending upon the track of the storm we might get a little or a lot. Personally, I prefer the little, but Mother Nature can be capricious in her moods and doesn’t ask me my opinion about how much snow we will get.
The winds finally died back down to runnable levels and the temps were in the 20’s and the roads were clear…well reasonably. So I got to run outside today.
Down-back on dirt road, there was a LOT of dust covered ice, which meant that when running on that, I really, really focused on how I was planting my foot and didn’t toe-off like I usually do.
I managed to stay upright both ways and the Propels did a decent job with the grip on that stuff.
Planned Workout Description vs Actual: I had originally planned on a longer run today and needed 8.0 miles to get 30.0 for the week. Instead I decided to do 5-6 and just go down to Notta Road against the nice breeze.
Variables that impacted the run: Right hip a bit sore, dust-covered ice, put tape on left big toe and wore T/B cushion on right.
Weather: Clear, 28*F, Feels like 23*F, Humidity 44% Wind 4 mph from N
• Day: Sunday
• Course: Notta Road 6.0 Miler
• Distance: 6.01
• Duration: 54:14
• Pace: 9:01
• Running Streak Day #: 3
• Comments: Just a comfortable run where I didn’t look at the splits and just ran. I did stop after tar on Tiffany to let a truck go by in a bad section of dust covered ice – it seemed like a great idea. It was, especially when the truck’s ass-end slipped a little sideways after he passed me.
Other than that it was your run of the mill 6.0 mile below freezing weather, easy run.
Shoes: Mileage (83.4) New Balance Propel (Gray) Did just fine with the cushioning even though it was below freezing temps. The left big toe didn’t bother as much with the tape covering it. When the callouses get a bit to dry and thick it does bother more, so I have to keep shaving them back more often in the Propels.
It is that time of year again when I start looking back at 2019 and how thing went over the course of a very…well “interesting” year. I usually start this process with a look at the running shoes I have had a chance to wear and which one, for me at least worked the best.
I started the year saying I was going to run in less shoes in 2019 and while I did, I still ran in too darn many pair.
What Shoes Did I Run In
In order of when I got them (the mileage is total mileage, not just 2019 and as of 12/1/19):
Kazuhiro Ikoni Ortix – 15 – bothered right forefoot
New Balance Beacon v2 – Still in rotation
Nike Zoom Fly v1 – 144 – in storage
Nike Zoom Fly SP – 78 – Still in rotation
Salomon RA Max v1 – 51 – bothered right forefoot
Salomon Sense Ride v1 – 10 – too narrow in forefoot
New Balance 890 v7 – 22 – very firm
New Balance 1400 v6 – 43 – Still in rotation
Altra Torin 3.5 – Turned into screw shoes
Altra Impulse – 37 – bothered right forefoot
Altra Duo v1 (Black) – 53 – too firm
Hoka Clayton 2 – 13 – bothered right forefoot
Hoka Mach v1 – 27 – too firm, bothered left heel
Altra Duo v1 Blue – 18 – in storage
New Balance Fuel Cell Propel – 77 – Still in Rotation
While I do have a definite shoe of the year, I also have a few categories that have their own best of class to go through first.
Most Intriguing Shoe – that I never got
Yeah, I could easily say the the Nike VaporFly Next %, which I held and tried on a couple of times or a couple of others, but for me the shoe that was the most intriguing was the…
Hoka Carbon X
Sam W over at Road, Trail, Run kindly let me run in a pair back in October, when I went down to South for my biannual trip to NH for a run with him. I ran almost 6.0 miles in a pair of the Carbon X and they did everything I wanted from a pair of shoes.
When I wanted to pick up the pace they did so quickly, the transitions were smooth as butter and most importantly they felt comfortable.
I could have run much further and I thought about stowing them away in the truck and locking it with them in there – I didn’t :-). They were the first pair of Hoka One One running shoes that I have run in that I have not had any issues with my right foot bothering me.
While Hoka lists them as a racing shoe, for how I run and what I want from my shoes, I would put them as a light-weight daily trainer and use them that way.
I have a sneaking suspicion that at some point there will be a pair of Hoka Carbon X running shoes in my rotation.
Runner-up — New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel
Best Treadmill Shoe
New Balance Beacon v1.
I did a LOT of treadmill running in the v1 last winter/spring and they did everything I asked of them. From speed work to long runs of up to 13.1 miles on the treadmill.
Runner-up — New Balance Beacon v2
Best Daily Trainer
The New Balance Beacon v1 was my best Daily Trainer in 2019.
This category is where I have struggled the most this year in my attempts to find a daily trainer that I love, not just like or can run in.
The running shoe that I put the most miles on in 2019 was the New Balance Beacon 1 and when I stop to compare other daily trainers this is the shoe I seem to come back to in my comparisons.
Even so, as much as I like the Beacon 1, it is just a touch too firm, especially when I get into double-digit miles on the roads. I feel beat up the next day and they are only 300 mile shoes, before the outsole gets a bit too smooth for use in any kind of bad weather.
However, when I was at my most frustrated about what daily trainer to use this summer, I pulled it back into the running rotation and started using it again, after using it as a walking and lawn shoe.
Runner-up — New Balance Beacon v2.
Best Go Faster Shoe
I haven’t raced enough to call this category racing shoes, so I will go with “go faster” shoes. Even though I don’t race, I still train like I am going to and do speedwork most weeks.
This was a difficult choice between two shoes – the Nike Zoom Fly SP and New Balance 1400 v6. Both have strengths, weaknesses and I run great in either one. It finally came down to answering which one would I chose to go after a Post 60 PR at the Unity 5K.
The answer was the Nike Zoom Fly SP and therefore they are my choice for Best Go Faster Shoe for me this year. Even though they are a bit long in the tooth and two versions behind the the latest Zoom Fly release.
Runner-up — New Balance 1400 v6
Best Trail Shoe
I could lie and say either the Salomon Sense Ride v1 or Nike Wildhorse v5, but I would not be honest. I am not all that enthusiastic about either one and would not say that I liked either of them enough to say they were the best for me. Plus I didn’t really run that many trail runs this year, I was too focused on running the roads.
I don’t have a best trail shoe this year.
My Best Shoe of 2019
The New Balance Beacon v1.
The Beacon v1’s were my primary trainer inside and outside for most of last winter. On the treadmill I was able to run comfortably for any distance that I wanted. Even though the outsole on the Beacons is not a great one for running outside during the winter, they did surprise me with the amount of traction that they did provide. I just needed to be judicious about the conditions that I used them in outside.
The Beacon v1 just work fantastically with my stride and did not bother my right foot at all.
After 300 miles the shoes felt like they were pretty much done and I retired them to walking and then lawn shoes. In July after recovering from a stress fracture, I just couldn’t find a pair that felt comfortable to run more than 3-4 miles in.
Before a run, I was really frustrated and the shoes I had with me just didn’t feel right. I had the Beacon v1 in the truck and put them on and ran the most comfortable 7.0 miles I had run since before my injury. Based on that run they became my primary trainer again and I put almost another 50 miles on them, until I got in the Beacon v2s.
So based on all that the Beacon v1 deserved to be my running shoe of 2019.
It is a bit of a surprise, but I have grown to love this shoe for its versatility.
It is not really a daily trainer, but I could run daily in it, it is a go faster shoe, but I have another shoe that I would chose first for a single race in good conditions and while I wouldn’t want to run a marathon in it, I am sure that I would be able to run up to a nice half on the roads, groomed trails or treadmill in them.
My runner-up shoe of 2019 is the New Balance 1400 v6.
The 1400 v6 just seems to take whatever run I throw at it and makes me smile when I get done. No I would not run a technical trail in them or in nasty mud, but if I had one shoe to choose of all the shoes I have run in during 2019…the New Balance 1400 v6 would be it.
The Reality is That
Until this year I had never had a lot of good luck with New Balance running shoes and generally preferred Nike or some other brands, but I never am very loyal to any one brand for very long.
However, New Balance has really upped their game in my opinion over the last year and their efforts with the Beacon and Fuel Cell lines of running shoes made me re-evaluate which running shoe brand I look at when I am looking for new running shoes.
Now when I start to look for new shoes, I look at New Balance offerings first because they are working well for me. No, their shoes are not perfect and still need some tweaking, but compared to others they are fairly priced, generally available when I want to get them and they do have factory outlets within reasonable driving distance (Skowhegan or Oxford).
I am liking their products enough that I even filled out an application to be a New Balance wear-tester on 11/29/19. It doesn’t mean that I will be selected for anything, but compared to other brands New Balance shoes are working better for me. We will see where this will lead.
All that being said, if I found shoes that worked better for me, I have a feeling that I would be using them instead. My loyalty is more about what works for me than any particular brand or line of shoes.
While there is another month to go, I really do not see any shoes suddenly popping into my rotation that will unseat these choices.
Although after drafting this post, I might have ordered another pair of New Balance Beacon v1 that I found on sale last Friday…yeah I did.
Since this is primarily a running blog, I am not going to get into all the “do” that I tackled during November, but I did get a lot accomplished and am doing pretty damn good moving forward with my life.
Sometimes we all need to stop, take stock of what we have, what is important and make choices that are positive for ourselves and others in our lives. You might change a few things if you really do look closely.
It might even mean making yourself and others uncomfortable for a while. Remember you become more like the people you surround yourself with.
The good part is that I am healthy, got my VA physical out of the way, getting some new glasses and I am feeling pretty darn good about life in general.
I surprised myself with getting over 140 miles for the month again. We did get some early very cold weather and also a lot of rain, so hitting that mark was not guaranteed.
As the colder weather gets here, I spend more and more time on the treadmill. Which is not a bad thing, but at the same time running on one is not as enjoyable as running outside.
Well, Harold get your arse outside then.
Err no. I have chosen to make some pretty hard standards on when I will run outside this year and while I may flaunt them once in a while. However, for the most part I will adhere to them and run on the treadmill where I get to run more comfortably and safely than I would outside braving the elements.
So you will notice many more PF Treadmill runs on November’s spreadsheet running log.
I did have a 20 day running streak going earlier in the month that I ended when I needed a rest day. I tend to listen to my body a bit more than I used to. Instead of bulling through if the body is telling me it needs a day off I take it. If I am feeling good I keep running.
No racing, but good quality speedwork sessions on the treadmill are leading me to believe that at some point I do need to get out and do a race.
My running shoe rotation has really sorted itself out during November. While the rotation looks huge, I actually have only really been using the New Balance shoes for the most part.
I have been impressed with them enough that last night I went to the New Balance website and signed up to be a wear-tester. I am not sure where that will lead – if anywhere, but New Balance has really upped their game and I find that their running shoes are working better for me than the other offerings I have been wearing.
Nike Zoom Fly v1 (Blue) – 3 Runs. I will probably put these away until next spring. I don’t really like them on the treadmill and running outside with their outsole can be an adventure with all the grit/sand and stuff on the roads now.
Nike Zoom Fly SP (Red) – 1 Run. I run fast and well in the SPs and really want to save them for racing in good weather, so I have been using other shoes for training runs. I will most likely dig them out for my 5K treadmill time trials or a race where weather is not a factor.
New Balance Beacon 2 (Blue) 3 Runs. These are getting very worn on the outsole and seem to be getting firmer when I run outside in them.
I would like to get another month out of them, because they are the best shoes that I have for running on the treadmill. The B2s are light, cushioned – yet firm enough and most of all comfortable when I am running on the treadmill.
New Balance 1400 v6 – 3 Runs. The shoes I primarily wear to train in when I want to run faster. The outsole is a great multipurpose where I feel confident about remaining upright in most weather conditions I run in on the roads.
Plus they are comfortable to run on the treadmill in. Which surprised me because the toe box is pretty snug for me and that usually signals that I will have issues there. Great shoe and the one that I will run races in, if the conditions are less than ideal.
Altra Duo v1 (Blue) – 1 Run. I am in a quandary what to do with these shoes. I like them…but when I run in the Duo I feel ungainly and they just do not feel smooth underfoot for me.
Maybe I just need to take them out on a longer run, see how they do and let that make up my mind. At this point they are too airy for winter use and I have decided to put them in the back of the garage until spring.
New Balance Propel (Gray) – Primary Trainer. I love the feel on the road of these, a cushioned but not marshmallowy feel underfoot.
However, they are not perfect the left toe seems to get a little too much rubbing from the taper and the rand around the toe box, a bit of excess wear for the relatively low mileage in the toe off area of the outsole and the ankle well fabric has split in one place and the other shoe is shoe signs that it will be doing the same fairly soon.
I love how I run in the shoe, but the upper needs some tweaking or I need a wide version…which is sitting in the closet as a Christmas present from Bennie if memory serves me correctly. 😉
The Reality is That
I took time in November to clean some things up and re-prioritize others in my life and feel better for having done so. I still have a few more things to work on, but I will do those that need to be done.
Like they say life is a journey and not everything is going to happen overnight.
Running is a pretty big part of that and right now it is going good. I have to remember to to foam roll that right hip and leg more often, which really seems to help alleviate the discomfort that I tend to get in that area. Having one leg shorter than the other ain’t helping either :-).
Nope November turned out to be a much better month than I thought it was going to be when it first started out and I am making progress towards where I want to be.
Now to move onward to December and a new year 2020. Time flies when you get older, it doesn’t seem possible that I am 62…all I can say is Wow!
No, I did not run on Thanksgiving, I had plenty of opportunity, but just didn’t have the motivation to get out and play in the 30-40 mph gusts that were roaring by the house yesterday afternoon.
Black Friday meant that I stayed well away from stores today and I probably would not have left the house, but I just didn’t feel like playing outside in the wind today.
Wimpy – you betcha!
Thanksgiving week is typically a cut-back week for me and it usually marks the official beginning of my indoor running season.
Not that I will really do all that much differently, but as I get older, I find that running outside when things to be blunt – are miserable for running just doesn’t interest me as much as it used to. So I anticipate more time on the treadmill and less time outside as the weather gets colder.
Onward to the treadmill.
Planned Workout Description vs Actual: Something easy usually 5.0 or so miles. Actual turned into an easy progression with a 1.0 mile of tempo and then faster strides for 6.0 miles
Variables that impacted the run: Got a later start, so I didn’t want to do more than 5-6 miles – that time crunch thing.
• Day: Friday
• Course: Planet Fitness Treadmill
• Distance: 6.0
• Duration: 49:41
• Pace: 8:17
• Running Streak Day #: 1
Shoes: Mileage (229.4) New Balance Beacon v2 – First run in the B2s in a while. They are pretty much the perfect treadmill shoes, light-weight, but cushioned with enough toe box for me to not have them bother my right foot. Again today they showed me why I loved both the B1 and B2.
Enough so that I asked for a pair of B1s, which I like just a little better as a present for Christmas and getting them at under $40.00 shipped was a pretty sweet deal.
My current Beacon 2s are over 200 miles and the outsole is showing some serious wear, so I have a feeling that they will be retired at 300 miles or so. So I do need a pair of treadmill shoes that I can run any distance or speed comfortably. The Beacon v1 fit that bill perfectly.
Today is the day that we stop, think about life for a bit, then give thanks for the things we have in our lives.
Honestly, I do this everyday.
I will admit that I am one of the lucky ones.
Life is good for me now and I am thankful that it is.
However, I also know my life is good because I have the love and support of my family and friends. Without that I would not be living a life as good as I am.
After Dad died in October and I was accidentally added to the deceased list by the Coast Guard, it really brought home how fragile life actually is and how quickly things can change. Going through the grieving process for my father and facing my own mortality by reading a condolence letter to my wife due to my death made me stop and appreciate the life that I do have more than I ever did before.
Luckily I did not die and am very alive and well today, but with a different perspective on things than I had before. I think as we age we all start down this path regarding our own mortality at some point, but instead of walking slowly down it, I was forced to sprint a ways and found myself further along it than I expected or wanted at this point in my life.
Which in the long run will be a good thing, I have a feeling.
My health is better than I believed it would be at age 62, but at the same time I have made being healthy a priority in my life and work hard at it. I truly believe that having a good life includes being healthy enough to enjoy the life you want.
We have chosen a simpler and more frugal life style than many have and as a result our needs or expectations of what we have or want are different. Our home is small, but comfortable, the vehicles are a few years older, we don’t travel much, but we are comfortable with our choices and definitely live a less stressful lifestyle than most.
I even get to indulge my running shoe obsession more than I should at times. 🙂
Last night I decided to not go to one of the Turkey Trots in the area, not because of the weather forecast, but because I wanted to spend the morning with Mary. Have breakfast together, talk a bit and just enjoy each other’s company. Races are good, but spending quality time with my wife is more important to me and where I am in my life.
I am sure that I will get out there and plod along the snow covered roads for a few miles after breakfast, but I am not going to worry about it all that much. If I get a run in today, cool, if I don’t that is good too.
That is part of my life being good, I don’t have to do things, I get to do them and that change in perspective has made all the difference as I go down that road less travelled by.
Thank you for reading this and being a part of this journey. I wish you all a good Thanksgiving and focus on the good in your life, because there is more good than you believe.
The only problem with this time year is that things (dirt driveways, dirt roads, etc.) freeze and unfreeze almost on a daily basis and with that comes the mud.
Not that it is deep or anything, it is more just slippery, wet and gets your shoes/clothes nasty.
That was the big story of today’s easy run, everything about the run was pretty much routine after yesterday’s faster stuff. The legs felt like they weighed a ton, my hammies complained about being used and I had that malaise that I tend to get when I overdo a hard workout a bit too much.
So today was more a kick back and relax kind of day to get some mojo back.
However, I was impressed with how well the Propels did in that slimy mess as long as I didn’t try to push the pace through it. It would have been more of a mess if I had landed on my rear-end, in addition to damaging my fragile ego ;-P.
Well yesterday was a bit of a cluster, but it was actually good stuff, but with everything going on it meant that I didn’t even try to get a run in. Probably just as well…
Well to finish up my physical I needed to visit the Vampires at Togus again and yes, this time they had my bloodwork order in the system. 🙂
That really didn’t take that long and for a change I did not pass out when they drew blood, a very good thing. I guess having that round of acupuncture did really do some good. At least I don’t get nearly as worked up over having to get needled.
After finishing up there, I figured that I would go and setup my eye doctor appointment, since they are just down the hall from the Vampire clinic. Waited in line for a couple of minutes, but nothing bad.
When I got to the appointment part, the nice lady said the second week of January (which is actually about what I expected, so that was not a big deal), then she said, we just had a cancellation for this morning (it was pretty icy outside), would you like to have it. I said what time? 10:30, it was 8:45. I said I would love to have it.
Waiting just under two hours for an eye doc’s appointment was a sweet deal compared to waiting a couple of months. Luckily my schedule is very flexible, so that was not a big deal.
They got me in about 15 minutes early and everything is just fine. The usual getting old crap is going on and my prescription needed some tweaking, but all-in-all a good appointment. I ordered some new glasses and should have them in a couple of weeks.
Now for the bad part – they dilated my eyes. It always sucks! I feel like crap for the rest of the day and my depth perception is shot to shit, so I generally plan on a day off whenever I know that I am going to have my eyes dilated. No exception yesterday, with the bright sunshine and stumbling around like a drunken sailor, I figured that running would be more of dangerous activity than a healthy one.
Voila – unscheduled rest day.
Tuesday – 11/26/19
Eyes are back to normal.
Warmer this morning, so nice in fact that even though I was scheduled for a hard session on the treadmill, I opted to run outside in shorts & l/s tech shirt – no gloves, winter hat or jacket. It felt marvelous.
Planned Workout Description: Treadmill 5K time trial and .10 strides. Not even close to what I actually did.
Variables that impacted the run: Great weather, some slick spots in the shade, right hip not nearly as uncomfortable, did foam roll at home and full warm-up before running – made a difference.
Comments: Felt strong for the entire run. I didn’t want to push hard and managed to stay at a comfortably hard pace for 3.0 miles. Although coming back up Leighton I did slow down a little more than I thought I would.
I did push the pace a bit harder once I turned back on to Outer Civic Center until I came up the hill on Anthony as I came back to PF. I did slow down a bit there.
Actually it was a very good run and only about 30 seconds slower than that hard run with Jon back in October.
But it didn’t end there, I went back in to change my shirt and get on the treadmill for some faster work on it.
However, I did bump into Jon and we got to talking again about the Cape Elizabeth 10 Miler in February. I had forgotten all about it and thank him for reminding me. I didn’t manage to get registered, it was already sold out, but I am on the waiting list and lottery so we will see if I get selected. Even if I don’t I may ride down and cheer them on and get a good workout in that day myself.
Then I got back on the treadmill and set the treadmill to a bit faster than I usually do:
1.25 @ 7.6 mph
.25 @ 8.6 mph
.10 @ 7.6 mph
.10 x 8 @ 9.2 mph
Recoveries done at 6.7 mph
• Day: Tuesday
• Running Streak Day #:1
• Weather: Clear, 42*F, Feels like 41*F, Humidity 78%, Wind 3 mph from SW
Shoes: Mileage (43.5) New Balance 1400 v6 — Felt great on the road and treadmill.
I know, I know I should have run an hour sooner this morning, but life got in the way and by the time I got out the door, it looked like this…
If I had gone earlier or right after I walked Bennie, it would have been more like this…
Nothing serious, a few flakes of snow, but everything clear and very runnable. So what happened, well to be honest I procrastinated going to the transfer station the past two days and since the shed was full to overflowing with two household’s trash, it was not going to wait another week.
Plus with a pretty good storm coming this afternoon, I didn’t want to be doing a run to the transfer station in the snow/sleet/freezing rain.
I filled up 5 large garbage bags, broke down all the boxes, loaded up the recyclables and by the time I got done, the bed of the truck was pretty damn full. By the time I got the the transfer station, it seemed like half of Sidney had the same idea and it was starting to snow in earnest.
Coming off the transfer station road, the truck decided it wanted to see how good my reflexes were and if I remembered how to steer into a skid. I did fine and decided that 4WD was my friend and flipped the switch. I gotta admit that I did slow down a little and paid attention to what I was doing the rest of the way home. No autopilot and jamming to the music on this ride.
The joys of modern life and having to get rid of a truck bed full of trash, after only 3 weeks. I guess it says something about our lifestyles and how we live when we generate that much trash in a such a short amount of time. Plus we are fairly frugal compared to some who have to go weekly.
Once I got home, I changed up ad headed out the door, figuring this would be a great opportunity to see how the New Balance Propels did in snow/sleet. No issues with grip, but the road conditions were such that I decided to only do laps in front of the house.
Today was not a day to attempt any kind of pace, it was one where you work on staying upright and making sure that your foot plant was solid. Just an easy pace.
The snow had turned to icy rain and was getting worse with every lap I did. I had originally planned on 6-7 miles when I first started thinking about how far I was running today. However, by the time I got to 4.0 miles I decide that was quite enough, since the roads were now more of an ice/snow slurry and I could feel the road getting pretty slippery.
So I shut it down at that point and for the rest of the day, have pretty much lazed around the house relaxing to the sound of pounding rain on the roof.
I have a feeling that Bennie is not going to be too overly impressed on his last walk and would much prefer to stay in his favorite recliner than go outside to make yellow snow.
Although I do have to admit that it was kind of nice chugging along out there in the snow the first lap. That magical feeling you get when running on new snow, after the first lap when the freezing rain came in, then it turned into get it done and over with style of running.
The other day I got this in my WordPress notifications:
It got me to thinking about my blogging and how it has evolved to get where it is today. So many posts have been written and more than a few have been lost over the years and because of many moves between different sites.
While this is not my first blog post it is one of the first weekly reviews and though I started on Blogger, I moved between it, self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com several times over the years. To the consternation of many of my “followers” who had to constantly keep updating my web address. To those of you who stuck with me through all the changes, all I can say is thank you.
Although I have to admit when I started, I was not nearly as verbose.
October 28, 2007
REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS – 10/25/10 Week #2 Shaw2.0
Well it has been an interesting week in learning about Web2.0! I have bookmarked many 2.0 web resources and joined several sites that interested me, but didn’t have time to learn the complexities or intricacies of individual websites. One that really intrigued me and seemed to present a lot of information is Classroom2.0 http://classroom20.ning.com/
It is based on Ning Networks and had several forums that I was interested in and the way the site was setup was very appealing to me. So I have made it a part of my homepage start up in iGoogle.
I found some really interesting sites that I will need to learn more about, but seem like they will help me a lot in the future (especially once I get to know them better):
These are only a few of the sites and stuff that I have learned this week. I still feel very overwhelmed by all the “stuff” that is out there, but with the help of Craig (Tech guru at school), I might just slow down enough, to put it into practical use for my students.
I have initiated a blog that my class can use next week.
It gives the weekly vocab words and an idea that we are going to use Mummymaker to encourage reading and then blog entries on how you make a mummy to practice writing skills.
Not all the students have internet access at night, so I will continue with pen and paper homework for now, but I can see that going away by the end of next quarter :).
Well that’s all, as I improve in this technology adventure, I am sure that I will spice up my blogs with things I never heard of or at least didn’t realize what they really were before 2 weeks ago.
Thanks again Craig for all your help and guidance and yes I will be bugging you a lot…you’ve created a fledgling techno monster. I really like this video from Taylor Mali watch it and let me know what you think.
Lots of memories in that post to say the least.
When I first started this blogging journey of mine, I was a Special Education teacher at Good Will Hinckley’s Averill/Alfond Schools. The tech guy at the school and I were interested in looking into this new thing called social media and increasing technology use in the classroom. We just needed to figure out how we could introduce our students to it.
Blogging seemed like a good place to start and I jumped in with both feet. At first the blog was about teaching and education, with a focus on Special Education and technology in education, since that was my job. Unfortunately, I never found blogging to work that well for my students in the classroom, but for me personally, I loved it.
Then when I switched jobs it became a bit about volunteering, AmeriCorps and other stuff that interested me like my running, technology and some general life things.
When I went back to teaching (I figured out that I didn’t enjoy being a bean counter), I jumped into the edublogging world with both feet. My focuses for the next couple of years was Special Education, Technology use in the classroom and whining about Standards Based education reforms.
Somewhere along the line, I injured my right knee, gained 50 pounds, was stressed out all the time from teaching, but blogging was helping to keep me semi-sane. It was an outlet that allowed me some respite and a chance to carefully reflect on what was going on in my life.
Because I couldn’t walk without a cane, I decided to have knee surgery in May 2011 and while recovering from that I went back through and re-read all the blog entries from the previous year.
The posts showed a decline in health both physically and mentally to the point where I had become morbidly obese, with a gray pallor that indicated my time on this blue marble was not going to be all that long. Yeah, I was a massive heart attack waiting to happen.
My blog posts from that time period showed a man in torment and misery. At that point, the wife and I decided that my health was more important than staying as a teacher. I resigned my teaching position and took the next year to regain my health.
I won’t say that blogging saved my life, but it sure as hell showed me how badly and quickly my health was declining. It was the proof that I needed to take care of myself or I would become just another statistic.
After teaching I started to write about simple living and how we were setting up our little 8 acre wood for self-sufficiency. However, life was more about me regaining my health and I started to write more and more about getting healthy again.
Now I did not have any initials after my name and still don’t, so I am not an expert on being healthy or how to get healthy, but I am an expert on one thing – me.
So I my blog became more and more focused on writing about my journey back to being healthy and the goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon 30 years after I had finished in 1983.
It was during this time that I was getting delusions of grandeur in my head about becoming a professional blogger/writer. I had gotten invited to be a blogger at the inaugural Runners World festival in 2012 and that event pushed the envelope for me.
I got picked up by a major corporation to be a featured health blogger. However, I found that some of the expectations didn’t quite match my sense of ethics from over 20 years in the military and when I could not reconcile the two…
After a long reflection on what I believed was important to me, I moved on and walked away from my fledgling Internet marketing empire. Hehehee yeah right, but the truth was it was a pretty big decision because I was making more as blogger per year than I ever did as a teacher.
However, there are still many blog posts that I have written and never published, because I do not want to get into the political, societal, religious rabbit holes and deal with the seamier side of the Internet – The Trolls. They exist and are nasty at times, but I choose not to deal with their delusions of grandeur.
The other part of blogging is that I have “met” some wonderful people through my blogging. A few I have had the pleasure to meet in real life – Sam, Amanda, David and others I will probably never sit down and have a cup of coffee (or tea) with, but feel as though they are old friends – Graham, Mike, Dorathea, AJ, Nick. There are many others that I could mention but the lists are getting long and I have to wrap this up.
The reality is
I have pretty much come full circle I started out with a personal weblog. While I don’t write about education anymore, my blog has reverted back to being more of web log or journal. Yes, I still write a lot about running and a little about technology, but there is more of the daily life’s chatter in there as well.
Blogging has become a part of what I do most days and I enjoy writing about my running, life and other thoughts about what is going on around me. It doesn’t matter that my stats are no where near what they were once upon a time or that just a few people read my blog, I write now more for personal pleasure than anything.
Not that I am a great writer or anything, but blogging does give me a chance to put my thoughts somewhere outside of my head and more importantly that I can go back to and re-read at a later date to see what I was actually thinking/feeling about something. You know those faulty memories that we all seem to have about what actually happened versus what we want to believe happened.
The only change that I would make through this journey would be to stay at one site throughout the 12 years. Instead of all the jumping between different providers (WordPress.com, self hosted, Blogger, Microsoft’s & Apple’s blog host (yeah, they had them) and the different blogs (15 or so that I could remember off the top of my head).
I hope you have enjoyed this quick look back through my 12 years of blogging.