Rainy Start – Rainy End – MT WK3 D1

This morning we woke up to some badly needed rain, so Bennie and were lucky enough to get out during the worst part of the rain – of course. We still did the whole mile, but got a bit wet walking out there.

By the time we got out for his long walk the rain had stopped, but the humidity was ramping up and the bugs were definitely out and about attempting to draw blood at the least convenient time possible. We survived the walk and both got ready for our runs.

I planned on doing 5.0 and decided that it was time to do the Middle Road Loop for the first time since I strained my hamstring while doing it. Today was supposed to be a nice easy run and I wanted to keep it over 9:20 pace.

Starting out was slower and coming down Philbrick Hill I sped up a little, but kept it just over 9:00. However, the humidity felt pretty much like it was 100%, when I checked Garmin it said 73%, which I think was a bit low. Luckily since I was going slow the humidity didn’t effect me as much as usual.

I was able to maintain a stride and decent going up the hills versus moving into survival shuffle going up them, which surprised me. Since I have been doing that since last year on any kind of hill, so it is encouraging to be able to run up one and keep the head up. Hopefully, it is a good sign moving forward – we will see.

Keeping my easy runs slower is something I am working hard on. Instead of my “easy” runs being in the 8:30 – 8:40 range, I would like to slow them down to 9:20 – 9:40 range – at least. I have to make the easy runs easy, so that when I do my quality workouts that they are a higher quality than they have been before.

Overall, I think it was a nice run, which is how I should see my “easy” runs – they should only be nice.

I did run in the Nike Pegasus 33’s and they felt fine going at the slower pace. No issues with my left Achilles’ tendon and the right hip is feeling a little better. I think that I gotta rotate my running shoes versus primarily running in a single pair.

I need a shave.

Also I used my new Ultimate Direction race belt and I liked it, although I think I might have gotten the med/large one as the small/medium doesn’t have a lot of adjustments left. I did like how it held my phone and how I was able to cinch down my anti-dog spray. I think that I will like the belt just fine, especially if I loose a couple inches off my waist, which is something that I would love to do and maybe wearing this a lot will be a good reminder that I need to.

Good day for a run.

Oh yeah, for Bennie’s 4:00 PM walk, it was raining again and Bennie was not all that thrilled about walking in it again. So we waited about an hour and it stopped long enough to get nice walk in.

Fathers Day 2018 – MT WK 2 D7

Happy belated Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there, I was just too tired (actually brain dead) to write this post yesterday.

It was a scheduled rest day yesterday!!!

Hip, hip hurrah and all that other balderdash.

I wanted to run, but after a quick hike, BBQing and lawn mowing, along with a few Bennie walks, well about 5:00 PM, I decided that sitting on the couch wasn’t a bad thing and then I got lazier as the evening went along.

In the morning we met up with SD2 for a walk over on the Colby upper trails. We walked and gabbed a little, but mainly enjoyed the gorgeous weather and chuckled at Bennie’s antics.

Continue reading “Fathers Day 2018 – MT WK 2 D7”

Tough 10.0 Miler in the Heat – MT WK 2 D6

This morning was a bit busy and we had to figure out the schedule for the day. Bennie needed his long walk, so we got going on that and while we were walking Bennie figure out how things would take place. After texting, talking on the phone and stuff – things got sorted out.

Mary would do her workout on the elliptical, SD2 would do a run at her house and I would run from the house towards Waterville. She would leave the house after about an hour and a half to let me get my long run in and then we would go to SD2’s to install her air conditioner.

Okay we had all that figured out, all I needed to do after that was run 10 miles. Only one problem, the temps were already in the 80’s and bright sunshine with a slight headwind. Unfortunately, the route I was going to have to take didn’t have a whole lot of shade once I got off Tiffany, so there was a real good chance of me baking pretty badly.

The first 5.0 miles were pretty uneventful, a quick pit stop at 3.0 miles, then a bit quicker as usual going down Goodhue. Lots of traffic on the Middle Road, which meant a lot of time on the dirt shoulders. That always slows me down.

Continue reading “Tough 10.0 Miler in the Heat – MT WK 2 D6”

Gorgeous Weather Up Heah – MT Wk2 D1

Today was planned to be 45:00 minute run at a slower pace and then tonight heading down to Portland to pick-up SD1 & SD2 from the Jetport. I figured that while down there I would do a lap around Back Cove, just because I love running that course whenever I get a chance to.

This morning the weather was fantastic, another one of those top 10 days.

The run this morning went off as planned, a nice and steady 9:00 to 9:20 pace down to Notta Road and back. I did run back up Stevens Hill for the first time in a while. It did not bother the hamstring at all. Which was a great feeling.

Although I am still putting my stretch wrap on for running or other strenuous activities, like weed whacking – yep another hour of beating up on ferns, grass and small trees. Then washing and waxing Clifford – boy he sure is bright red when cleaned up.

This evening’s plans changed due to bad weather down in Atlanta

Instead of heading down to Portland tonight, it looks like a morning run around Back Cove and then picking them up. Although up here it would have been a perfect night for an evening run, but instead I will sit on the couch and relax a little.

Gotta rest up for Quarry Road tomorrow night – after all I am racing a 3K. Well actually I am running a 3K, but not going to overdo things. The hamstring just is not ready for racing or faster stuff quite yet. Soon though. πŸ™‚

A Good Long Run – MT WK1 D6

Today was scheduled to be my first long run of my marathon training cycle. It is also the first longer run that I have done since I strained my right hamstring, so I was a little concerned about how it would go. While my planned 8.0 miles doesn’t sound like all that far, it is far enough, when the temps are around 70*F and windy as hell out of the NW.

Let’s back up a little first. Mary and I did a 2.5 mile walk with Bennie down back, when on the way back Greg G was riding his bike and stopped to talk for a minute. We commiserated injuries we are both rehabbing and talked about going to Quarry Road on Tuesday night for the 3K over there. It was good to see Greg and it will be even more fun to start the Quarry Road trail series and see a lot of the local runners again.

Right after we got back, I changed up to get going on my long run. I wanted to make sure that I wore my compression calf sleeves, toe socks and wrapped my right hamstring with my 4″ elastic bandage. The leg is not ready to go running without some external support.

When I left the house I was planning on something in the 9:20-9:30 pace range, since that is pretty much what I have been running lately, since it didn’t bother the hamstring at that pace. However, I got through the first mile a bit faster than that and while I purposely slowed down a bit, it wasn’t THAT much. Continue reading “A Good Long Run – MT WK1 D6”

A Pretty Good Day – MT WK 1 D4

Things are starting to get better with the hamstring, now to not get over-hyped and try to do more than it is ready for. Patience grasshopper – another couple of weeks and I hopefully will be back to running without discomfort again.

I am still avoiding hills and after two days of running laps in front of the house, I needed to do a different route. So I headed to Planet Fitness in Waterville to run 5-6 miles.

When I parked, I saw someone I hadn’t seen in over 10 years – Jen G. I used to work at Good Will Hinckley and worked with her for probably 10 years before I left. We caught up on what each of us had been up to and boy did it bring back a flood of memories many good and others well let’s just say I would prefer to leave them in the past. It was good to see her again.

Continue reading “A Pretty Good Day – MT WK 1 D4”

Lots of Little Things – MT WK1, D2

Still in the high 40’s, just a bit of mist in the air, but no real wind, so actually it was a pretty nice day for a run in my opinion.

However, I had to do Bennie’s long walk with Mary and on that walk my taping job on the hamstring was bothering my leg more than helping, so I cut it off and got ready to run without any support. Actually for the first 4.75 miles of the 5.0 mile run, it felt good. More on that in a minute.

Tuesday’s are now my speed work days and in my Strava title for was a bit facetious when I said I did speed work this morning. πŸ˜‰ Even though I was not planning on running faster, I did want to wear my fast shoes, just to ensure that I get them broke in for my feet, so they are ready when I am able to do that faster stuff that I love to do.

So I wore my Skechers GOMeb Razor 2’s and surprisingly they did quite well at the slower speed. I think the more I wear the Razor 2’s, the more I am liking them.

Let’s get to the running.

I didn’t feel like driving in to Waterville, so that meant that I had to do laps in front of the house. Not my favorite course, but it is fairly flat and one that I can stop if I need to. Where I wasn’t sure how the hamstring would hold up after Bennie’s morning walk and not having any external support to it was probably the best choice.

I was very surprised at how good my hamstring felt once I got the tape off and started running. I did purposely keep the speed very conservative for most of the run, although a couple of times I did pick it up a little, the last time I did it almost bit me square in the butt.

Almost immediately my hamstring had a burst of shooting pain.

Oh shit!!!

So I slowed right down and it calmed down and within a short distance wasn’t bothering. It was just reminding me that while it is feeling better, it ain’t ready for fast yet.

I listened quite well to my body this time.

Mary was out running at the same time and was trying out her new shoes. They have a lower drop than she was used to and she was running with a more upright form than she had before. Which is a good thing and they didn’t seem to bother her calves at all.

Overall, I was happy with the run and learned that the taping of the hamstring while helpful in some respects didn’t help in others. I have a 4″ elastic wrap that I found in the bathroom cabinet that I had forgotten about and tried that on after I got done running. It felt a lot more comfortable due to the stretch, than the white tape which had no give to it. Slowly remembering all the old tricks to help me get through the wonderful hamstring woes.

D2 ordered me my Father’s Day present and it is a brand of shoes that I have never tried before but have always been intrigued by them. However, I was hesitant to pay full price for a brand that I haven’t really tried on in person and just recently the prices for the OG version just came down after 2 years. It should be interesting to see what they are like when they get here.

Later on in the day we waxed one of the vehicles in the yard and I remember that I had an electrical buffer out in the back of the garage that I haven’t used in several years. It worked great on the Cherokee and while I was using it, I remembered that physical therapist using something similar on my leg a long time ago, only it was supposedly a medical device. So after I got done buffing the vehicle, I buffed out my legs. Actually it felt pretty damn good and I am probably going to use it on the legs quite a bit over the next few days and maybe more.

Mary and I talked tonight and decided to wait until my birthday in August to register for a marathon. Like she said, you haven’t gone a month over the past year without an injury of some sort, so even though it might cost a little more in registration fees, by August we will know if your body will hold together for a full marathon. I couldn’t argue with her logic, even though I know this time it will be different. I will be ready to tell Mary on my Birthday, let’s register for that marathon I have been training for. πŸ™‚

Yeah, lots of little things.

Tough Start to Things – MT W1 D1 6-4-18

I will not say that this morning’s run was all that much fun!

My training plan called for a 45:00 minute run and since I am using a 9:00 minute pace as the base, it meant that I was going to do 5.0 miles. The way my hamstring was feeling this morning before running, I kind of figured that it would be 2-3 miles of running and then whatever was left as a running equivalent on the elliptical.

Unfortunately, by the time I got around to running, it was raining pretty steady and the temps were in the mid 40’s, with a breeze that brought the feels-like temp down into the lower 40’s. It was chilly enough that I brought a pair of light wool gloves and wore them for about the first mile and a half and didn’t feel bad about wearing them at all.

June 4th and wearing gloves, windbreaker, long sleeve tech and short sleeve tech and not sweating too much???? Been a while.

I am taping the hamstring in the morning before I get going and leave it taped until just before supper, because I am more active during the day and it seems to help with not re-injuring it. Taping the hamstring has also allowed me to run on it. It isn’t always comfortable during the run, but the level of soreness is something I can handle as long as I know I am not continually re-injuring it. Then in the evening I get to see how much progress it is really making after taking the tape off.

Getting back to the run, needless to say the cold rain and a sore hamstring made it less than thrilling to get this run in.

However, neither was enough to stop me from doing a slow, but steady 5.0 miles over in Waterville. I decided to run in Waterville, since I don’t want to do hills and unless I do laps in front of the house (I just couldn’t do them today), I have to contend with hills in either direction and I though it probably was not a great idea run them even at an easy pace, especially with the cold rain.

I purposely kept the pace slow and focused on attempting to land quietly and not get hit by some crazy arse drivers – they were definitely out this morning. I did have to make a pit stop in the woods and once I did that the leg seemed relax a little or maybe I relaxed. When I got to the end of Cool Street I had to make a choice 3 or 5 miles. I kind of just let the body decide and I ended up going on the 5.0 mile course.

While it wasn’t a great run (some parts of it really sucked) and the hamstring soreness was always there, but it wasn’t getting any worse, so I told myself this is part of getting mentally tough and sucked it up to the finish.

I got in the 5.0 miles at a sub 10:00 pace and then did a bunch of rehab stuff at Planet Fitness. When I got back in the truck, the hamstring wasn’t bothering nearly as much – a really good sign. So we will see how things feel tomorrow, but things are starting to settle down and while it ain’t perfect it is not as bad as it was last Thursday.

I did run in the Pegasus 33-Shield version and had zero issues with them. The were very comfortable, kept my feet mostly dry – that big hole in the ankle area did let in some wetness when I had to jump in a puddle after I got done, that was deeper than I thought to see how well the “shield” worked. I could see me using these shoes for a variety of runs and wonder why I never liked the Pegasus 33/34 enough to buy them before, even though I had tried on several of them over the past two years.

Oh well, Nike has been doing some amazing stuff with their running shoes lately and if the toe box can work for me on longer/faster runs, I might go back to using them more regularly. Nike running shoes that I have probably run in more models than any other brand over the years I have been a runner.

Overall, tough run that I was glad to get over, but also glad that I did it.

Time to Do the Work

I am a little nervous, I gotta admit since today is June 4th and my training log says it is the first day where I am actively training for a marathon this Fall.

I think the largest part of my nervousness is that I don’t want to fail yet again more than anything else. That don’t make a fool of yourself Harold, ego thing we all go through when starting something we know is going to be difficult to complete, especially after starting the same journey so many times before.

However, I don’t really feel all that excited about starting this journey, there is none of that rah, rah, sish-bamboos, where I get all psyched up and go out and run 10 miles to kick off my training.

First of all I can’t go run 10.0 miles if I wanted to right now, but I am going to get the 5.0 miles in that my training plan calls for, with some combination of running and the elliptical.

Second I have a different feeling about this training cycle than others that I have started that leads me to believe that I will be successful this time.

There is more a sense of purpose and determination to complete this journey. I am ready to do more than fantasize about what I will do, this time the journey is about what I need and will do to finish what I have started. I know things are not going to be easy, certainly not always fun, but are a necessary part of making sure I get to the starting line ready and able to finish the marathon.

A lot like a fantasy character in the many of the sword and sorcery books that I enjoy so much. Where the main character knows the adventure will take its full measure of his abilities, but to achieve the quest, he has to start the journey and brave the perils ahead of him.

I have a feeling that my perils will be very ordinary, certainly not heroic or death defying (unless I use the course in front of Wal Mart in Augusta), but I have a feeling to get to end of this journey, it will take its measure of who I am to stay the course.

Nope there are no big crowds lining the avenue, hollering and cheering for me as I leave the castle gates to start my marathon adventure.

Instead it will just be me kissing Mary, opening the door, having Bennie bark furiously at me (sorry bud, you can’t run with me anymore), slipping out the door, getting the Garmin ready, walking to the end of the driveway, pressing the start button and starting to put one foot in front of the other.

It is time to do the work.

Taped Hamstring = Can Run – PMT 6/3/18

Well there, I had chauffeur duty down to the Portland Maine Jetport early this morning, err leaving the house at 3:30 AM, but that meant that I got to see the sunrise and attempt a run around Back Bay.

So after dropping SD1 & SD2 at the airport, I headed over to Back Bay. The temps were a LOT cooler than they have been this week. The temps at 5:30 A.M. were around 52*F with a pretty steady 10 mph breeze coming off the ocean, so I was glad that I had at the last minute put on my ISO Chill long sleeve top before I left the house.

Last night I taped up my hamstring to support it while the darn thing attempts to heal, even though I haven’t really cut it enough slack to heal properly. So I wasn’t sure how this running thing was going to work.

Which meant that I started slow, really slow and didn’t pickup the pace until I started feeling a little more confident that the tape job was going to hold together my balky hamstring.

No pain, just a little soreness. Soreness I can handle and the soreness didn’t get any worse as I was running, so after the first mile I picked the pace up a little, just to see how things held together.

No problems.

So after I had a brief pit stop and got going again, I picked the pace up to my usual recovery pace. It felt good and I almost had a full stride going, but when I attempted to do more than an old man shuffle with high cadence, the hamstrings started to get a little grumpy, so I backed off and maintained what was working.

I did get a little carried away towards the end and did get a full stride going for a bit, but that didn’t last too long and I decided that discretion was a better choice and shut it down then cruised in to the finish.

It seems as though I can run with the hamstring taped up, which is encouraging news, it may not be fast, but I have to remember I am not worrying about pace, I am focusing on making it through to the finish line and my time is not really all that important. Although I do have a number I would like to get under, it is very conservative and something that if I stay healthy should be able to achieve.

I am feeling a bit more positive about this running thing after this morning. However, I do not plan on becoming an early morning riser and running first thing in the morning anytime soon. I stick to my mid morning running. I like having that cup of coffee, breakfast and morning constitutional done before the run, not during or after. πŸ˜‰