Blog Writing Tour – My Version of Why I Blog

Photo by Julie Millard
Photo by Julie Millard

Since I am off the running routine for a bit (one of those freak injuries), I have looked for things to blog about and after reading Mike’s blog today about the Blog Writing Tour, I decided to invite myself into the party :-).

I know, I know it probably is not good form, but…hey this seemed like fun and sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and do it.

I am not great at nominating others, especially if it means that they have to do anything as a result of naming them and since I am a party crasher, I don’t think it would be too cool if I asked even more people to the party, but at the same time the below bloggers are ones that I look forward to their posts and want to share that with you. 😉

Each of these blogs have a special reason to be in my daily reading list, along with Mike’s and so many others. Yeah, I know that if I was doing this correctly I am supposed to give brief write-up on why I read these blogs, but I really believe that you should actually take the time to go to their blog and take a look around yourself to see the great stuff that they write. Besides if I write about why I like these blogs so much, this will be a book, not a blog post :-).

However, if you only have time to read one blog today, I urge you to go to:

Mike’s – Running Around the Bend. Mike writes so much from his heart and is authentic about what he believes in that all of his posts are ones that I want to read. No I don’t always agree 100% with what he says, but I do agree with how he says it and believes in it.

Well here goes my party crashing to the Blog Writing Tour ;-).

  1. Why did I start writing? (slash Why do I write what I do?)
  2. What am I working on?
  3. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?
  4. How does your writing process work?

Here are my answers to the above questions:

1. Why do I write what I do?

I have blogged since October 2007 and when I left teaching in 2011, I wanted to keep blogging, but didn’t feel staying in the EduBlog community was a the direction I wanted to go, so I looked for a new niche and started over in the running/healthy living niche.

I LOVE TO RUN!

I have run pretty consistently since high school cross-country – yeah more than 40 years ago, with time-outs for a multitude of injuries. Sometimes it seems as though I am a magnet for freak accidents and injuries that are not super serious, but enough to interrupt my running.

Also I have had a serious running shoe addiction since the early 80’s, so I have run in a LOT of different running shoes over the years.

Xcountry school photoWhen I left teaching in June 2011, I weighed over 200 pounds — yeah I was very obese, coming off knee surgery that May, had a grey pallor and my wife was afraid that I was headed for a serious medical condition (heart attack, stroke, etc.) and honestly so was I.

Blogging in the running/healthy living community seemed like a natural fit and I decided to write about my journey from being so unhealthy, back to the healthy me that I knew was still in there someplace, by using my running as the primary catalyst to find that guy.

Over the next year, I worked hard to lose the weight, got so I could run consistently, got back to having fun again and stopped worrying so much about my medical issues.

In August of 2012, I was approached to write professionally about my journey and dipped my toes into the professional runblogging/healthy living world. Along the way I met a lot of wonderful people (online and in person) and started a little social media marketing business. During the next year I learned about the “other” side of  blogging/writing and how much work running your own business really is – if you want to do it right.

I also found out that being an entrepreneur, wasn’t really what I wanted to do and left the world of social media marketing in August 2013, shut down my old running blog/business and started this blog (if you want to read more about that click here). Not so much because it was a failure, but more that I was not passionate about what I was doing and it was destroying my love for blogging – my blogging was becoming something I had to do versus something I wanted to do.

Since I started over, I am blogging for me again and not worrying about it being a way to earn money, get free stuff to review or pleasing anyone else.

I don’t have to write to somebody else’s standards, the content is much more authentic to who I am – not some ginned-up online persona, who doesn’t say boo, kiss my ass and avoids any real opinions.

Today if I choose to review a product or talk about something that goes against the tide, I do not worry about the effect on my blog stats or how a prospective client might react to my post.

In other words I have the freedom to write about whatever to hell I want on my blog, without looking over my shoulder or being told that I can’t write that or I will lose – whatever.

The other thing is that I write about more than just running, although that is my primary focus, there is much more to my life than what I do as a runner and when I think it might be interesting or pertinent, I add it to my blog.

2. What am I working on?

Presently, I do not have any particular projects or work on the burner, I am retired and enjoying it. I may go back to the world of work at some point, but for now, I am loving life.

I have become a house-husband, take care of our over-active Jack Russell Terrier – Bennie, become the handyman around the house, do things that I am interested in and yes, I run a lot. At least when I am not injured.

Streaking - Not Good for Older Runners

 

That being injured thing is unfortunately, an ongoing theme/problem with me and seems to be what I wrote way too much about over the past year – how to recover (or sometimes how not to recover) from my latest injury.

I guess based on that, I am working on being a small but positive part of the runblogging/healthy living community, becoming a better me and rehabbing myself to become the best runnah this old fart can be in spite of being an injury magnet and sharing my experiences or adventures here.

I would really love to have 12 month period without injury to just see what it is like to be able to run for that long without one.

3. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

IMG_20140622_082205_663Yes I am getting to be an old fart, who is closer to 60 than I am 50, with a lot of gray hair on top and I am  a guy in what is primarily a woman’s domain. When I went to the inaugural Runner’s World Half Festival as a sponsored blogger, I was the only guy with 30 women bloggers – the joke Bart Y., was it was Harold’s Harem.

So I bring a older guy’s perspective on things.

Yeah I am also one of those famous or infamous Baby Boomers – depending on your point of view.

I write and laugh at myself about the dumb shit that I do or how I am attempting to fix myself an/or get better as an older runner.

I don’t mince words and I write like I talk – you know that language that real people use, not just that artificial shit/drivel that permeates blogs or most other written works. I don’t over do it, but write like I would if I was at a BBQ, where I didn’t want to embarrass TheWife too much.

I have been a runner for way too many years and have made almost every mistake that a recreational runner can make, so I can share a lot of what I have learned or how it was for a recreational runner back in the dark ages.

Unfortunately, I am still over-competitive (which contributes to my injuries), but also suffered/suffers from race anxiety (for 25 years I didn’t race much at all). So my running definitely has not been all successful according to how many measure their running, but it is a part of who I am and have been. Do I wish that I had done some things differently – the answer to that is “don’t we all”.

The other thing is that my blog is also my daily running log – yeah I know you are thinking how frigging boring that will be.

However, I see my daily runs differently than many runners and I write about my daily runs from the perspective that each run is different, has its own story to be told and that we can learn something new about ourselves from every run, even if it is a course we have run hundreds of times.

4. How does your writing process work?

I usually wait until things calm down after supper and sit down in my recliner, open my PC Laptop (nope not a Mac guy – even though one sits collecting dust on my dresser), to prep a blog post.

Depending on how many times I ran (usually Bennie and I do a run and then I do my workout), what kind of run(s) I did and what happened during those runs, it can take me anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to write a RunBlog post.

My problem is that I tend to hit publish too quickly sometimes and when I read it immediately after publishing (part of what I do with every post), I almost always go back in and edit what I have published again. Not the best way, but it is what I actually do.

I do not use stock photos from online sources very often, due to moving target that online copyright usage can be and do not want to deal with those kind of issues, so I prefer to take my own.

The most important thing is that when I publish, is that I have written the post in my style and voice. It might not be perfect grammatically (I really don’t care, so the grammar police can ignore me now, because I ignore them), but it has to be readable and flow the way that I talk in person.

Yeah, if you are interested I do actually have a writing process, but I rarely follow it, life gets in the way and when I use that process, I feel that the posts seem rather artificial and sterile, but they do come out more polished and at a higher quality.

1. WHY ARE YOU WRITING?

A. When is it due? How much time do you have before you have to submit?

B. Define your purpose and focus

(1) Who are you writing about?
(2) What are you actually writing about?

        Be bold – say what you mean, mean what you say!

(3) Why share this, what is the benefit?
(4) How does writing this help the reader or you?

C. Identify your Audience

(1) Who are you writing this for?
(2) What writing style are you using – personal story, narrative, how to, lists, etc.

2. PRE-WRITING

A. Gather Ideas

(1) Research, Reading and taking Notes
(2) Observations
(3) Brainstorming
(4) Interviewing/Asking questions
(5) Personal Experience

B. Organize Ideas

(1) Mind Map
(2) Outline
(3) Lists

3. FIRST DRAFT

A. Go full screen, turn off notifications and TV, video or podcasts
B. Just write – do not judge or think about it – just write
C. No editing, adding photos, formatting, etc.

4. EDIT AND REVISE

A. Does the title grab the reader or is it boring?
B. Strong Introduction? What is your Hook? Does it work?
C. Is the writing focused on one idea or theme and supports what you meant to say.
D. If multiple or unrelated ideas/themes are written about, are there clear transition points?

Decide if you need a separate post for the different ideas.

Look again, if you have multiple themes/ideas, do you need separate posts for each idea?

Just do the separate post – stay focused on one thing!

E. Does what you have written communicate clearly what you intended to your audience?
F. Is what you have written well-organized?

Remember writing a blog post is different from writing a formal paper. Shorter paragraphs (get in – get out).

G. Strong Conclusion? Do you have one? Does it tie the writing together?
H. Add multi-media (think about copyright issues) – use your own stuff when possible.
I. Proofread – use Spellcheck after every revision

(1) Check for errors in grammar
(2) Check for errors in spelling
(3) Check for errors in capitalization and punctuation
(4) Meets my style requirements
(5) Meets Word Count limits

  • Is it concise! You are too wordy, too often.
  • Have links back to other posts or blogs that are related.
  • Check all links to make sure that they work correctly.

5. REPEAT STEP 4 AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED, BUT AT LEAST TWICE

A. Do something else after each revision for at least 30 minutes (if you have time).

6. Final Copy

Read one more time!

A. Is this a response to someone or another post?

1. Were you pissed when you started this post?

(a) How long has it been since you read/talked/first found out about what you wrote about?
(b) Does it require/need an immediate response?
(c) Will you still feel this way a week from now?
(d) Does your shrilling add value to the conversation or is it simply more noise?

B. Does it meet the requirements for your editorial guidelines or the requirements for guest posting?

C. Is it controversial?

1. Are you ready for negative comments that will be made?
2. Did you know what to hell you are talking about or are you talking out of your ass?
3. Did you double-check your facts?

D. Is it in your voice or the style you have been asked to write?

E. Does it make sense?

F. Do you want your name associated with this post?

or is it a piece of shit that still needs more work – then go back and fix it.

If good to go.

HIT PUBLISH

Then go read it again on when it is live on the blog. It is amazing how many errors still get through even after all the above.

That is my official writing process, that I used when I was blogging a lot more seriously, doing a guest post and for when I am doing a series or an informational post.

When writing my daily posts I usually just wing-it: writing, quickly editing, then reading it once and hit publishing.

My daily work may not be as polished, but it is more authentic.

The reality is that

Yeah, I found that healthy guy that was hiding inside of me and now I write about my adventures as an aging runnah who is still and probably will always have a hard time actually accepting that he is getting older.

That being said, I love to share my adventures both running and in other parts of my life on my blog as I attempt to keep that healthy guy around for a lot longer and hope you enjoy some of the journey with me.

Running – PEDs and Getting Older

Is this a Performance Enhancing Drug - It changes my body's chemistry
Is this a Performance Enhancing Drug – It changes my body’s chemistry and supposedly enhances my athletic abilities?

Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) are getting so much attention in the press, media and coffee shop conversations lately, I just have to add in my two cents, which probably is not the mainstream thinking.

Do you think you could you pass a United States Anti-Drug Agency drug test?

In other words are you clean?

Maybe you are, then again maybe not.

When you run in a local road race, how many people in that race could pass a USADA drug test?

I wonder?

Does it really matter or not, especially for recreational athletes?

How about those recreational runners who use protein powders or supplements, are they at risk for failing drug tests?

The big thing that while today I am not a big believer in better living through modern chemistry, I also realize that modern chemistry might become more important to my quality of life as I keep getting older. Continue reading “Running – PEDs and Getting Older”

Has It Been Only A Month

I can’t believe it has only been a month since I created A Runnah’s Story back on August 14th and I just want to take a quick look at how the move away from A Veteran Runnah has gone.

Importing Old Posts

The “experts” let you know that by importing posts, your blog will probably be penalized by search engines for duplicate blog posts and that importing Blogger posts to WordPress.com is a pain in the ass (it is) – that it is easier and probably better to just start completely over with a clean slate and all the other great advice that is out there to “improve” or have a “better” blog.

So what did I do?

I went against conventional wisdom and decided this past week to import my old blog posts from: Continue reading “Has It Been Only A Month”

1st Day New Plan and Interval Training 3/4/13

I started my modified Hanson training plan today and while I am excited with the idea that I actually have a plan that will provide some structure to my training through June, I am also worrying about how I will adapt to having this much structure. Especially since I haven’t had much structure to my training for a long time and have been doing mostly seat of my pants running.

The biggest modification to the Hanson plan is the day of the week that I do my SOS workout. So what did I do, well it is Monday, so for me that means Intervals – today 12 x 0.25 @6:43 pace, the difference for this workout was the slower pace in between the hard effort.

  • 1.0 mile @ 6.6 mph – warm-up
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 1
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 2
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 2.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 3
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 4
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 3.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 5
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 6
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 4.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 7
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 8
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 5.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 9
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 10
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 6.0 miles
  • .25 @ 9.5 mph – 11 (yes a little faster than the Hanson plan calls for)
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 10.0 mph – 12 (again faster than the Hanson plan)
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 7.0 miles

From this point on is extra from the Hanson plan

  • 1.0 mile @ 7.3 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 7.9 mph
  • 0.7 mile Ladder between 8.0 mph and 8.6 mph
  • 0.1 mile @ 9.0 mph
  • 0.1 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.1 mile @ 10.0 mph

Total miles: 10.0 miles/1:19:02 finishing heart rate was 175 bpm

0.5 – mile cool-down walk

The slower pace between the hard quarters, did make a big difference in the quality of my later quarters and the extra work that I did. It is amazing what a difference slowing down from 7.3 mph to 6.6 mph for the rest quarters makes to a workout.

Something that I know that I will have to figure out soon, is not doing this extra work and just do the plan as I get further into the training cycle. Just the way it is, otherwise I am defeating the idea of having this training plan, but I did feel strong today and my quad didn’t bother me, while I was doing the faster paces. Yes I was really focused on whether or not the quad bothered – if it had I would have shut it down. I really wanted to give it a good test and this workout did that.

I wore my Altra Instinct 1.5’s and they did great with this faster paced workout, even though they are not really a racing flat or fast-paced trainer, they are more of a daily trainer or longer run shoe, so I was impressed. However, I am going to have to look a lot more closely at Altra’s new racing shoes, when they come out later this month – a lot closer.

I wore my Swiftwick Pursuits with these shoes for the first time and I didn’t have any issues with my right foot for the entire run. It is weird how different shoe/sock combinations work together.

Yes I did a quick lower body workout, some stretching and balancing work on the Bosu Ball and Fitness ball.

After running, I did something more important, I got to go out to lunch with a good friend I haven’t seen since 2009, we caught up on what we have been doing and all that kind of stuff. It was good to see him again and we both agreed that it would not be 3 years between seeing each other again. Life just got in the way.

RunLog 3-4-13

Running With the Wife Again 3-4-13

TheWife Running Again 3-3-13
TheWife Running Again 3-3-13

 

I ran with the wife for the first time in around 5 years today and you know something – it was great. Over the past 5 years either I have been injured or she wasn’t running due to health concerns.

Well she started running a little while ago and today our schedules finally synced up. I was doing a cool-down lap and she was just getting going.

It felt good to run along side of her, talking about this or that and just enjoying one another’s company. I am so glad that she has started running again. This is something we did a lot of when we first got together and is a part of our relationship that I missed.

How did the less exciting part of my run go. Very well. I warmed up the first mile and tried to increase my pace a little each mile after that. It was an easy progression run and as you can see by the split chart I accomplished what I originally set out to do.

Garmin Splits 3/3/13
Garmin Splits 3/3/13

 

Going from 8:29 to 7:34 without pushing felt really good. The part that felt the best was that I had plenty left in the tank and could have maintained the 7:50 pace for a while. This is the pace that I have to get used to running, I want to give myself a little cushion for my marathon sub 3:30:00 goal time.

Here is what I have done this week.

RunLog 3-3-13
RunLog 3-3-13

 

Although I had a couple of days where I had to cut my planned mileage back a couple of days, due to my self-inflicted right quad tightness, it was still a good week. It also forced me to slow down and look at how fast I have been running and change some things up.

Next week I am going to start a modified Hanson’s Half Marathon Plan. I will have a post on what I am going to be doing sometime this week. I am excited and a little – not scared, but worried if I will be able to do the long run faster pace or if I will even be able to do the complete plan. I usually don’t do that well with the structure, but at the same time I know that I need more structure in my training. So it is a conundrum, but I am going to try to stay as close to the plan as I can.

Below are my top 10 blog posts for the week:

  1. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  2. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles
  3. First Impressions and Run in Altra Superior – 3/1/13
  4. Trying the Hanson Method on a Recovery Run
  5. Initial Review & Run in Adidas Vigor TR
  6. Hanson Marathon Method – Book Review
  7. Newton Gravity–After 50 Miles
  8. What I Learned In February 2013
  9. iSmoothRun Running App Review
  10. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes

I purchased the Altra Superiors to be my trail shoes this year and do know that I am very impressed with my new Altra Superiors and how they are performing for me.

First Impressions and Run in Altra Superior – 3/1/13

I got my Altra Superiors this afternoon after ordering them from Optimal Run on Wednesday – I don’t know why it took so long (yes that is sarcasm, this was faster than I thought it would be).

Optimal Run Thank You.2

Honestly, I am super impressed with the way Patton and the staff do things and recommend them highly to buy running shoes online.

I have really wanted the Superiors since they came out and came really close to getting a pair when I was at #RWHalf back in October. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and money, so I didn’t get them then. The more I have researched and read other reviews of the Superiors, it only confirmed that I wanted them for my trail shoes this year.

Appearance

The Superior is a great looking shoe and I imagine when the next generation comes out that there will be more colors to choose from. Personally, I tend to like the brighter colors, but I do like the way the Superior looks with its Green, gray and black.

Altra Superior Long Laces.2

Looking closely at the shoes, they had a few Irish Pennants (that old military in me), which I took care of with scissors and a lighter. Otherwise the construction was excellent, no noticeable stitching problems and the sole to shoe was secure. The shoe laces were a LOT too long, this really doesn’t matter to me, since I put Lock Laces on all of my shoes now, but it would have bugged me if I had kept them in.

I am not going to get into the removable rock plate – a lot of others have written about it. I think it is a great idea and I will put it back in, if I am going to do any gnarly trails. For around here, I have a feeling that I will be fine without it and without it the shoes are a little lighter and flexible.

Superiors and Rock Plate

The shoe’s tongue is different and initially I was wondering how comfortable it would be. After wearing the shoe for a while, it didn’t bother at all. You just have to ensure that it is smooth before you start.

Let’s get down to brass tacks, while looks and construction are important, what matters to me is how the shoe fits and how it feels to run in.

Fit

I LOVE the Superior’s fit. I am one of those unlucky guys who is an in-between size, my foot is too big for most 7.5 and a little too small for many 8.0’s, so it is hard for me to get a good fit. The Superior’s fit my feet better than all of the shoes I have worn over the past year. I think they run a little small, according to everything I have read, so the 8.0’s I got, fit my hard to fit feet perfectly.

Feel

My right quad has been bugging me a little since Monday, so I didn’t want to go run outside today on snow-covered icy slush, that is just asking for problems, especially in shoes I have never run in before.

Road Conditions 3-1-13

So I did something that I have never done, even though the Superior’s are a trail shoe, I decided that my first run in them would be a treadmill run. I thought it would be a good test of how comfortable they are and I would be able to compare more easily to my present Altra Instinct’s.

Remember this is the first time I have run in these shoes. Here is my workout today:

  • 3.0 miles @ 6.7 mph
  • 4.0 miles @ 7.0 mph
  • 3.0 miles @ 7.3 mph

That’s right I ran 10.0 miles in new trail shoes on a treadmill and didn’t have ANY issues or problems with the Superiors. I don’t recommend that others run this far in new shoes, especially new zero drop running shoes – especially, if you haven’t ever run in them before. This was more Harold being Harold, than someone being smart about running in new shoes, but that is a different story :-).

Treadmill 3-1-13

I have never run 10.0 miles as my first run in any running shoe (maybe my second run, but not my first), so this run totally impressed me! That it was on a treadmill and I could stop, if problems developed probably helped, but still, I have not run that far on the first run in a pair of new running shoes for my first run.

My Superiors were very, very comfortable, no hot spots and the tread didn’t bother the soles of my feet, which really surprised me. I thought that the more aggressive tread would become an issue on the treadmill.

Altra Superior Tread

I figured that I would probably get in 6.0 miles max, before the Superiors would start to bother me or my quad would act up – neither happened. Actually, I could have gone further than 10.0 miles, without any problem with my new shoes!

Now to get them outdoors and see how the Superior’s feel outside!

If the Superior’s live up the expectations they have made on this first run, I have a feeling that I will be putting a LOT of miles on them and it won’t just be trail miles. I have not had too many pairs of running shoes, that I felt this positive about, the first time I have run in them. It will be interesting to see how I feel at 50 and 300 miles.

Overall, my first impressions of the Altra Superior’s are this – WOW!!!

On a side note – I found the perfect fuel for me before double-digit runs — Yellow Bunny PEEPS and you have to bite their heads off before eating the rest ;-).

Bennie and the Peeps

He was a good boy and didn’t touch them!

RunLog 3-1-13

 

No Run Today & Ordered Altra Superiors – 2-27-13

Snowmobile Trail 2-27-13
Snowmobile Trail 2-27-13

 

Yesterday I only ran a mile and today I am going to take off completely from running. Why?

Although it seems as though I have had one of those miraculous recoveries from the pain in my right quad, I want to be conservative for a change. Huh? What is going on?

Monday I did a great workout on the treadmill but my right quad was very sore the rest of the day and yesterday. Last I took at bath (yes I know – wonders will never cease – I thought I would get the sarcastic remark in before you did!) in Epsom Salts and soaked for over 30 minutes. When I got out it seemed as though the knot in my quad had loosened at lot.

When I got up this morning, my quad felt fine and my legs felt a little better than usual. Now I have heard that Epsom Salts are supposed to do good things when you soak in them. My Great-Grandmother Bertha routinely stated that when she took a bath, she used them and that they helped with her aches and pains. If it is good enough for her, definitely good enough for me.

During Bennie’s morning walk there wasn’t any soreness and very little discomfort, if I had felt this way yesterday, I would have run my recovery run and not thought anything of it. However, I am scheduled to run a tempo run today and even though I could just do a recovery run, I have a feeling that a day off would probably be better to give the leg a little more time.

However, Bennie and I did go up on the snowmobile trail up back and it didn’t bother a bit during that, so I could I run today – yep. Am I going to run today – no, because when I stretch it out, I can still feel that little tightness and I want to make sure that it stays away.

This pain in the quad, is very similar to something that I had a long time ago (back in the 80’s) when I was playing basketball a lot. I ignored it then and it became something that I had to go see the Doc’s about, so a day or two off and not racing on it in little over a week, seems to be a prudent strategy for this one.

During the walk, I also decided to not run the Chamberlain Half up in Brewer on March 9th, even though I could do it as a training run, I know me too well and I wouldn’t.

Screenshot of Altra Superior from Optimal Running webpage
Screenshot of Altra Superior from Optimal Running webpage

 

Since I am not going to drop the registration fee on a race, I decided to go ahead and order the Altra Superior trail shoes that I have been researching and lusting over, the past couple of months.

I ordered them through Optimal Run and they have already shipped and will be here before I know it. Patton and his crew are simply unbeeelievable.

Yes I am an Altra Running fanboy and talk about how much I like their running shoes a lot on Twitter and my blog, but I don’t have any connection with them. Other than the pair of Altra Instinct 1.5’s that I got for being part of the FitFluential bloggers who were part of #RWHalf festival.

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I represent them as an Ambassador or any other capacity.  I just like their stuff and the staff that I in PA are all GREAT!

Oh well, I suppose that this afternoon will mean another soaking in the tub with Epsom Salts, it is a tough life, but someone has to do it. hehehehe

It is a relief that the quad is getting better, so quickly, but I just want to make sure on this one and actually listen to my body for a change.

Yes I Listened to My Body Today – 2/26/13

Today I did something unusual for me – I listened to my body and cut my scheduled 6.0 mile run short!

What is going on?

I explain it in the below video:

So you see – I did listen to my body today and didn’t keep running, to risk making things worse.

Who knows maybe I am starting to grow up and show some of that wisdom that supposedly comes with all this gray hair.

Does this mean I will stop having my Harold being Harold moments or renounce my top 20 number in the Idiots Running Club? Not a chance, but it does mean that I will listen to my body a little more and be more aware of what I should be doing more often.

I did run a mile today, but I have a feeling that 2-3 days off are in the forecast and a little bit of time playing with the foam roller and soaking in the tub, might be the order of business on those days.

Things are Getting Through My Thick Skull – 10.0 Mile Treadmill Run 2-26-13

Yep I got a little sweaty!
Yep I got a little sweaty!

 

After reading the Hanson’s Marathon Method book, I have finally had one of those eureka moments where, a concept actually penetrated this thick skull of mine.

I have always read and known that you are supposed to run slower for recovery runs and long runs and then push harder on your quality workouts.

Once I got through reading the book things finally clicked for me. Especially when I went back through my running log and saw that my pace for tough or recovery runs were pretty much within a minute of the other.

To be blunt I wasn’t allowing my body to recover, I was just having one hard day on top of another harder day. Not the way to run a railroad or training schedule.

Today I had scheduled a treadmill interval workout. Initially, I was going to do quarters, but I am going to do a half marathon training run/race up in Brewer in a couple of weeks, so I got to thinking about it and decided to lengthen out the workout to mile repeats.

At least that is what I thought I would be doing!

Here is today’s workout:

  • 2.0 miles @ 7.5 mph – warmup
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.2 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.3 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.4 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.5 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 8.6 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.7 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.8 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.9 mph
  • .25 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 2.0 mile @ 7.3 mph – cool-down

Total of 10.0 miles.

8.0 Mile Treadmill Result
8.0 Mile Treadmill Result

 

You might have noticed that the repeat/interval idea got thrown out the window. Instead of doing mile intervals, I did a 6.0 mile progression run and felt great the entire way. I wasn’t sure how I would feel after being behind a snow blower for so long yesterday.

However, once I got going it seemed as though I had plenty of umph for the run and had something that I have been lacking for a tough run lately – mental toughness.

After the run, I did almost a half hour of stretching and beating myself up with the foam roller.

Overall, I was extremely happy with this workout and was surprised at how good I felt the entire way. Now I just have to remember to make tomorrow’s run a lot slower – in the 9:30 to 10:00 minute pace range.

One of the things that I have to do is warm-up and cool-down and not worry about the total time/pace. I need to focus more on the quality part and ensure the before I am ready to run harder and after, that I cool-down properly instead of just stopping and walking away. So you will see more split workouts in my running log going forward, even though they are all part of the same workout.

RunLog 2-26-13
RunLog 2-26-13

Tentative Race Calendar 2013

Bond Brook 5K Trail Race
Bond Brook 5K Trail Race

 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been attempting to put together my race calendar for 2013. I am focusing on local races to save my money for my big destination race this year – the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th (if I can get in on 3/27) and hopefully the Runner’s World Half Festival the week before.

I have tried to mix trail races in with my road running, because I enjoy trail running a lot, it would be even better if I didn’t have to drive to a trail head – the problems a runner faces.

Below is my tentative schedule:

Date Race Location
3/9 Chamberlain March Half Marathon http://www.chamberlainmarch.com/
Brewer
3/17 5th Annual Lucky Leprechaun 5K

Trackside Restaurant, 4 Union Street, Rockland at 10:10 am on Sunday, March 17th.

4/6 Race the Runways 1 miler & 5K & Half Marathon http://www.racetherunways.com/
4/27 The George Kohl Memorial 5K The George Kohl Memorial 5K
Oakland, ME 9:00AM Messalonskee High School, 131 Messalonskee High Drive
Contact: Kirby Reardon (George Kohl Scholarship Fund). 1-207-446-8272 http://www.running4free.com/RaceDetails.aspx?raceid=206
5/19 Sugarloaf 15K Kingsfield
http://www.sugarloaf.com/eventsactivities/marathon.html
5/26 Pineland Farm Trail Running Festival 5k or 10K http://www.pinelandtrails.com/
New Gloucester, ME 10:00AM Pineland Farms, 25
Contact: Erik Boucher (GiddyUp Productions). 1-207-210-8655 Email
6/23 Rail Trail Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, and Rail Trail 5K
http://kennebecriverrailtrail.org/rail-trail-half-marathon/
Augusta, ME 7:30AM Old Fort Western, 16 Cony Street (5th Annual. Flat and fast course.)
Contact: Sarah Dunckel (Friends of the Kennebec Rail Trail). 1-207-622-9009 Email
7/4 Friends of the 4th 5K Winthrop
8/3 Beach to Beacon 10K Cape Elizabeth
http://www.beach2beacon.org/
VARIOUS Bond Brook Trail Race Series July to Sept Augusta
 8/10  Doc & Mardi Brown 5K  Waterville
9/* UMA Trail 5k  Augusta
9/27* Rise N’ Shine 5K  Augusta
10/6 Maine Half Marathon Portland
http://www.mainemarathon.com/
10/19-20 Runner’s World Half Festival Bethlehem, PA
http://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/
10/27 Marine Corps Marathon Washington, D.C. (Arlington, VA)
http://www.marinemarathon.com/

*Date has not been published yet.

I have left a couple of open slots, in case I want to add a race or two onto the schedule. I plan to try for the Beach to Beacon, but there is no guarantee that I will get in. There might be a 5K or 10K down in the Portland area that I want to run, but the long runs are pretty much the ones that I will be doing.

After the Rail Trail Half, I will be focusing on training for the Marine Corps Marathon, so races after that date will be tempo/speed sessions instead of all-out races. Just because I am training for a marathon does not mean that I plan to miss the social side of running that racing can be. 🙂

I want to attend the Runner’s World Half Festival and run one of the races as a final tune-up tempo run for the MCM, if my finances allow it. It would be great to go back down there and be part of the re-union of last year’s crew, that I had so much fun with last year.

If you live in the Augusta/Waterville, Maine area and you want to car pool together to a race or even better to meet up at any of these events, contact me and we can try to work something out :-).

This looks to be a very busy year of racing, but it looks like a lot of fun.

Have I missed any that I really should be running up heah in Central Maine in this year (other than the Acadia 1/2 in June – just too many races in a short time period to fit it in – that is on my 2014 schedule though)?

Now to find a way to pay for it all 🙂