A Successful Run – RunLog 9-6-18

I know, I was supposed to take four days off from running, but after I lifted weights this morning and didn’t feel anything while doing deadlifts, I figured that it was okay to do an easy run.

Unfortunately, this morning was just too miserable to for me (at least in my opinion) to run outside safely due to the high temps and high humidity. Then a pretty good thunderstorm was supposed to blow through, but we got lucky again and it went North and South of us and all we got was some rain, a little wind along with getting to listen to the storm going around us.

Phew…there were a lot of people who were not so lucky.

I waited until later in the afternoon, when the temps had gotten a lot more reasonable.

Even though the left hamstring was feeling pretty good, but I wasn’t going to push too hard during the my first run back after tweaking it.

The first mile was pretty comfortable, getting the body back to running even after a little lay off like this, that first run back is still not as easy as it used to be. Everything felt a little out of rhythm and took until about a half mile to get things to knowing what was expected again.

I am glad that I worked out on the Elliptical, but it does work different muscles – of that I have no doubt.

The second mile I was feeling really good and towards the end of it, I started to pick it up just a little and then quickly shut it down. While nothing broke, I could feel that left Hammie starting to tighten up. Nothing serious, but it definitely ain’t ready for anything fast yet.

The last 2.0 miles were comfortable and I focused more on the stride that didn’t bother the hamstrings.

Overall it was nice to get out and run. The best part was that the hamstring held up going up Stevens Hill. It was a little sore later on, but not like the other day, so tomorrow will be a nice and easy run that will be in the 9:00’s for a pace.

I am still really liking the Reebok FloatRide RunFasts. They are comfortable allow me to run at any speed that I want. The only issue I have about running in them is that right inner forefoot has some discomfort when I run longer in them. I do notice when I rub my foot in that area there is almost a defect in my foot in that area under the callous. So I am using my golf ball in that area to see if it is something I can work out. So it is a me problem and nothing to do with the RunFasts.

Sometimes Reality Sucks Donkeyballs

This kind of post is the hardest type for me to write. In them I am admitting to failing yet again and it does not matter the reasons or how good they might be, it was not what I wanted, but it is what I need to do.

Earlier in June, with great fanfare I decided that I was going to jump into the marathon training pool and run the Maine Marathon on September 30th. However, I did that with one caveat, that I could weasel out if at the end of June, if my body was not holding up to the training.

Guess what.

Those are storm clouds coming in and they are pretty fitting of how this marathon training cycle has gone.

Yeah, said body ain’t doing so great. Continue reading “Sometimes Reality Sucks Donkeyballs”

A Nice Recovery Run & Critters – MT WK4 D3

After last night’s trail run, I won’t really call it a race although I ran with other runners. πŸ˜‰ Although I gotta admit that I was still a bit more sore than I expected. My left quad/knee were a bit sore, but the right upper calf and below the knee still is more sore than I want, along with my right hip issue which is not getting any better.

When we were coming out of the house for Bennie’s long walk this morning, this critter was lounging at the end of the front step. Thankfully, I saw it before I stepped down, otherwise I might have done one of those four foot leaps in the air.

No, I am not a fan of any kind of snake.

On Bennie’s long walk yesterday down on the ledges we saw four chickens wandering around. We kind of thought that some probably dropped them off down-back either because they were not laying anymore or were just developing combs and were overly aggressive. It turned out that they were just developing combs, but were not all that aggressive, just very skittish. When we walked back down there this morning they were still there, so they were a drop off to survive in the wild. Continue reading “A Nice Recovery Run & Critters – MT WK4 D3”

Quarry Road 8K Trail Race – MT WK4 D2

Today was Quarry Road’s 8K trail race and it is the hardest for me. The big hills on the South and North loops kick my butt and then the two trails along the river finish the butt kicking.

So tonight, I looked at this race as simply a training run and didn’t have any big expectations, other than to finish and have as much fun as I could have running up and down hills on trails in 82*F and bright sunshine. Continue reading “Quarry Road 8K Trail Race – MT WK4 D2”

Tempo Pacing – MT WK4 D1

Since tomorrow night’s Quarry Road trail race will be an 8K, I decided to do my faster pace work this morning. Notice that I said faster pace, that is faster for me, not you or anyone else.

After Mary and I did Bennie’s long walk, I got changed up and looked at the shoe rotation and decided to take the Brooks Green Silence out for a longer run than usual. I had planned on 4-5 miles and was leaning more towards the 5.0. I wanted to see how they would do on a slightly longer run.

I started out quick, but it was more of a comfortably hard than race pace. I was attempting to maintain the effort level for a longer time than simply running fast. Which is one of my weaknesses that I need to work on. That being able to focus on a maintaining a faster pace without slowing down too much.

The first couple of miles I was able to keep the sub 8:00 pace without too many problems and got through the 5K the second fastest time according to Garmin this year in training. However, I did slow down a bit more than I wanted on that little bump coming off Tiffany to the dirt road.

Then going up Stevens Hill I maintained good running form even though I did slow down a LOT more than I wanted to – that is something I am going need to work on – maintaining pace going up hills.

During the last mile I picked the pace back up, but didn’t quite get back under 8:00.

The Green Silence handled the pace easily and did well with the distance. Although the left forefoot started to get a little – not sore but just the start of some discomfort??? Once I got off Stevens Hill and picked the pace back up, it stopped bothering. Right now I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Green Silence for anything up to a 10K and if I loose 10-15 pounds would use them for a Half Marathon. They just feel comfortable for me.

This afternoon, I had my acupuncture appointment and relaxed while I got needled. Couldn’t resist – sorry not sorry.

After I finished I had planned on doing an doing an easy 3.0 on the rail trail, but with a pretty intense thunder storm blowing through at that time, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor. Although I by the time I got over to Leighton Road, the sun was out.

Believe it or not I enjoyed the faster pace this morning, I know that I am bit sick in the head for saying that, but I have always enjoyed running faster. It was also a huge confidence builder as far as how the body felt. The right hip was just a little sore, but not as bad as last week and the left Achilles/ankle felt pretty good.

So I think I am pretty ready for that 8K trail race tomorrow and the hills will kick my butt, but I will run them the best I can. It is going to be a good week.

Three Weeks In – Marathon Training Week In Review 6/24/18

Okay, the good news first is that I have successfully made it through three weeks of my marathon training, gotten my mileage up to 40 miles and completed an 11.0 mile long run. Those are all very good things and best of all, I haven’t had to resort to the elliptical to get in my weekly mileage.

I also figured out that while the Topo Ultra Fly’s are a good running shoe, they are also a hybrid shoe that can do many things well, but does nothing great. In other words I have other shoes in my rotation that are better for what I use them for than the Ultra Fly’s. However, for running…well other than going fast, the Ultra Fly’s are a very good multi-purpose running shoe that will be a part of my rotation, but more as a truck running shoe (ready for most anything), than a primary piece of the puzzle.

Moving Forward Towards The Marathon

Please do not think I am being negative when I write about what is going on in my head below, it is necessary for me discuss things openly and to be objective, and even realistic about my marathon training and how my body is responding to it.

Now for the bad news, each of my long runs has gotten worse, not better. By the end of the runs my left Achilles/ankle area and right hip bother more than I want to admit. Then continue to bother even when I am not running. While the hamstring has healed and is no longer a problem, those other two issues have been problems for years, not just something that are a recent development.

The other training runs have been pretty good, it is when I get past the 6-7 mile point that they bothered and got progressively worse as the distance increases. By 8-11 miles while the discomfort is not really enough to make me stop – I have to go into suck-it-up mode to keep going.

However, the discomfort levels I experienced at the end of my last two long runs are not something that I want to deal with every time I have a long run scheduled over the next 12 weeks. Especially, when I know the runs are going to get progressively longer as I get further into the training plan.

That was the bad news.

Keeping it Positive

However, as a part of attempting to keep moving forward with my marathon training, I have broken out the shoes that I had been saving to run in on Marathon Sunday. My Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s – the gray ones I got last month. I ran several long runs in my blue GRR7’s without too many issues and have had a couple of very promising runs last week in them.

Especially, a 6.0 miler after my long run on Thursday that was one of the better and most discomfort-free runs I have had in a while. So I am very hopeful that they are part of the solution for me to be able to run long runs without significant discomfort or injuring myself.

I need to see if it is an equipment solveable issue or if the body just is not able to withstand the rigors of longer distances at this point in my life. If the GRR7’s allow me to run longer distances relatively discomfort-free from my problem areas that will be a great thing.

If they work, I will go out and buy another pair of GRR7’s specifically for Marathon Sunday. The other runs, I can get by with the shoes that are in my current rotation pretty well.

The reality is that

No, I am not giving up yet, but this coming week will be my decision week. I knew that when I started this training plan that I would have a pretty good idea of how my body would be handling the mileage, especially the long runs, that are a part of training for a marathon after the fourth week and would have a decision to make then.

By this coming Thursday afternoon – after I do a planned half marathon distance (13.1 miles) training run in my GRR7’s, I will know a lot better whether I will keep moving forward with my marathon training plans or make the choice to move on to a different goal.

This is not the seeds of doubt coming to fruition or the demons of my mind telling me I cannot do the marathon training. This is me facing reality and attempting to make some changes that will allow me to continue towards finishing my marathon goal or facing the fact that unfortunately, I might be one of those runners who cannot train/run a marathon, without creating too many problems for myself.

I am not going to injure myself or take chances on my long term running, just to run a marathon this Fall.

Decision week is here.

A Pretty Good Run – MT WK3 D5

This morning Mary and I were walking on Bennie’s long walk – it was absolutely gorgeous outside. Mid 60’s, bright sunshine, low humidity and a light breeze and I decided that I didn’t feel like running on the hills around the house after yesterday’s long run.

Which meant that I had a choice of running in Waterville or running in Waterville, since I ran in Augusta yesterday. I know that I had said that I would like to do a second trail run during the week, but since I changed my long runs to Thursday and Fridays are now a rest day. I didn’t feel like running trails today – also it would have meant running hills and the legs didn’t need that this morning.

So I went to Waterville, what an original idea – right!!! πŸ™‚

One thing I did differently today was wear my Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s Gray – for the second time. I haven’t been totally happy with the Topo Ultra Fly’s on my long runs and wanted to see if the GRR7’s felt any better. Continue reading “A Pretty Good Run – MT WK3 D5”

Long Run Reality Check – MT WK3 D4

Today was vehicle repair day at ACAR in Augusta and I really didn’t feel like sitting in the waiting room for 2-3 hours while they worked on the Jeep GC. Which meant that I would Go For A Run.

It also is the first day of changing my long run to Thursdays.

So everything really worked out quite nicely. This way I got a long run in without having to do Bennie’s long walk and didn’t have to worry getting back in time to have lunch with Mary (something that we attempt to do daily).

I headed down the road towards Gardiner. Downtown Hallowell is still a mess from all the construction, so I went along the driveways by the river. Once I got through there and got down on the Rail Trail, I sort of just put the brain and body into auto mode until I got to 3.0 miles and had to make a mad dash to find a tree to hide behind. Continue reading “Long Run Reality Check – MT WK3 D4”

Recovery Time – MT WK3 D3

After yesterday’s almost 35,000 steps which included a morning speed work session, mowing the margin and then going to Quarry Road for a slightly long 5K trail race, today was a much needed recovery day.

This morning when I got out of bed, I could tell that I had overdone things just a bit by the way my lower back (running too damn fast downhill does that too me), right hip and surprisingly my left hamstring/Achilles. They didn’t hurt, it was just soreness that went away once I used the car polisher on them, but I still felt tired.

Which meant a slowish 5.0 miles

During Bennie’s long walk Mary and I discussed our day’s/workout plans and I was torn between going into Waterville for a flatter i.e. easier 5.0 or doing my run down to Davis Dr. via Tiffany and stopping at the lower gate, so I wouldn’t have to run up Stevens Hill.

After talking with her, I decided that it was too much work to drive in, run and drive back, especially when the electrician would be here around 1:00 and I wouldn’t be leaving the house until 10:30. Continue reading “Recovery Time – MT WK3 D3”

Too Many Steps & Quarry Road 5K – MT WK3 D2

Did I ever tell you how stoopid I am sometimes. Well this is one of THOSE stoopid tales and while nothing bad happened as a result of it, when I woke up this morning there were some not so gentle reminders that I am 60, not 30.

No, no alcohol was involved, those days are long past. It was simply a Harold being Harold kind of day.

The usual first thing Bennie walk, then Bennie’s long walk – nothing particularly out of routine about those. However, the right hamstring is feeling pretty much normal again, so I have wanted to introduce light speed work back into my training. So I did some fartlek training.

My first mile was the fastest I have run in a while and then when I got down on Tiffany, I ran hard (fast for me) for two telephone poles and then “rested” for the next two. I did this down to Wildwood and back to the dirt road. I could really tell that I have not run fast in a while – maintaining the speed on some of those faster repeats was not all that much fun.

However, running faster did force me to stretch out the stride a bit and move away from the old man shuffle. Once I got back to the dirt road, I shut down the faster stuff and went into cool-down mode. I didn’t attempt to run any faster than my slow jog the rest of the way home, well until just before the end, gotta speed up at the end – right.

So I got in 3.0 miles of Fartlek and a mile of cool-down. A nice run, but one that did tax the old system pretty hard. That become important later

I did run in the Brooks Green Silence and had a strange soreness under the middle metatarsals on the left foot, almost like they were being squeezed together too much. Other than that, they felt great, nice snap and go to them and I felt like I could run even faster in them if I was in shape for it.

After resting for lunch and a nap, it was time to do some chores. So I chose the one I have been procrastinating the most. Mowing the side lawn, well the small field between the lawn and the rock wall that I do 2-3 times a summer. It took about two hours and is tough because it all roots, rocks, hillocks and whatever else didn’t get smoothed out when I cut all the trees and crap out of there back in 2002.

Yes, after that I was pretty much toast.

Now if that had been where I stopped, I would have considered it a good day.

Instead I had to get ready to run in a 5K trail race over at Quarry Road and around heah, trail racing pretty much means hills and if the place you are going has the words Quarry in the name of the Road, there are probably hills to contend with.


They may not be huge or big hills, but the flat areas not quite as often or as long as I would like. The going up and down just takes it out of my legs and gets the heart rate into uncomfortable areas going up some of the bumps during the last part.

Here is where I get a little stoopid, going out for my warm-up jog, I don’t know why I needed to warm-up, it was in the 80’s in the sunshine, but I ran slowly down the road. I figured I would turn around at the 1/2 mile to get a mile in. Instead I ran to gate and got in 1.5, not big deal, but coming back I must have sped up a little too much because the graph showed me in the 8:20’s for a good part of it. Stoopid

Then the 5K race started, lots of ups and downs, Julie M and I were switching back and forth, she is better on the uphills and I am a little better on the downhills. Going up the big hill on the North loop, I had to walk a ways, the heart rate was thumping a bit too hard and I knew that I needed to back off, so I did.

The heat, hill, faster paces and the rest of the day’s activities to that point had done a number on my stamina or should I say lack of it.

Once I got the heart rate back under control, I started running again and caught up with Julie M. There was a pack of about 6 of us that were changing places for the first part until we got down into what I call the dog leg along the stream, where I began to slow down and the legs were telling me just how stoopid I was being.

They didn’t have a lot to give and on the hill coming out of the dog leg I had to walk again to get the heart rate back under control. After that I walked a lot of the bumps to keep the heart rate decent.

After the hairpin turn, there was a guy with dreadlocks, who was struggling as much as I was and I sort of challenged him to keep going and he did. Every time I would catch up to him, I told him that he couldn’t let me pass him and he would take off again. We did that most of the last part of the race. He beat me quite easily, but thanked me after we finished.

Julie M beat me by almost a minute – about the same as last race and I finished 39/85 same as last time so I am fairly consistent and didn’t see anyone with a 60 something for an age in front of me again. The course was a bit long – the new dog leg adds a bit onto the totals, but that it is trail racing if you ask me – close enough is close enough.

I can feel that I am getting back in shape and more and more confident in my right hamstring, since I was able to keep up with Julie for longer than I usually do. I think that if I don’t do speed work in the morning, then mow lawns for a couple of hours and do a long warm-up that I would probably do a little better on the hills during the last part of the race.

Now I wore my Topo Ultra Fly’s during the race and while they didn’t give me any issues during the race, by the time I got to the dog leg the legs were feeling how heavy the shoes were. I think that they are great for slower paced stuff, but to run faster, I have better choices for the road, but now need to find a better choice for the trails.

Over the course of the day, I got in just under 35,000 steps, way too many for a day that includes a trail race. I have a feeling that I will take it easier next week before the 8K and not attempt to set a new daily step record on that day!

Yeah, the lower back and legs are sore from pounding down the hills at Quarry Road this morning, but I have feeling that even with 20/20 hindsight, I would probably do things the same as I did yesterday – yeah, I am that stoopid. πŸ™‚