May 2019 – A Better Month

Some months just are. That is about what I thought about May 2019 – it just was.

I ran decently, got my technology under control, dunk tested my iPhone 7, ran regularly with some other runners, figured out my running shoe rotation – at least until the next whim hits me and continued to whine about the weather ad nauseum.

Running

Annotation 2019-05-31 194225.png

Yes, I hit mileage I haven’t hit for quite a while – 170 plus miles for a month.

That was the big win and a fairly big surprise that I didn’t think I was going to get over 170 miles with whatever combination of cold/sinus crap/allergies/cough has beaten me up and sucked the energy out of me the last couple of days of May. I just call it the creeping crud.

I did use the Hansons Half-Marathon Method as the basis for my training but tweaked it a little to make it more amenable to an old fart who needs a bit more rest and is not interested in accumulated fatigue at this point in my training.

Also, I have been running a couple of times a week with Jon and Mike, which has been nice. Having other runners to talk with during runs is a good thing and makes the running easier.

Running Shoes

I have been pretty in a two-show rotation, with a third pair getting a good speed work run in during the last week of May.

Annotation 2019-06-01 213652.png

First up would be the Nike Epic React v1 – I have been using them as my do everything but speedwork shoes. They have been comfortable and protective enough that I enjoy running in them.

I was going to do a 100-mile review of them, but when I got to looking at my initial review post, after writing my draft post, nothing changed all that much, which in turned seemed like a was a waste of time to do a 100-mile review – so I didn’t.

The Epic React v1 has just worked well for me.

0D9249D5-1356-4AD0-AE47-7F5C07619B0D

Second, are the Nike Zoom Fly v1 – I have used them as my speedwork Tuesday shoes, faster-paced workouts, along with a nice longer 11.0-mile run and a few easy runs. These are the shoes that excite me the most.

I run differently in them than I do in other shoes and that is documented in my Milestone App leg swing results. If you look after about 15 runs in the Zoom Fly there is a noticeable difference in the Leg Swing graph compared to running in other shoes.

IMG_2262.PNG

This small difference seems to make me slightly more efficient, which in turn results in less effort to achieve the same paces. Also, they feel very comfortable and do not bother my feet. Even with all this, they still feel more like a light-weight – faster daily trainer than a race day shoe for me.

img_3951

A late entry into the mix is another pair of Zoom Fly only this one is the SP. I got to thinking about the SPs because they seemed lighter than the V1 and they are just about an ounce lighter. The 7.0-ounce weight puts them into more a race day shoe for me and when I was able to do a 12 x .25, with strides workout last week, which totaled 8.0 miles on their initial run…with no issues related to the shoes. I was very impressed. I need to put more miles on them, but the initial experience was very good.

The Nike Wildhorse has been retired to lawn mowing and garden shoes, the uppers are starting to finally come apart. While didn’t run much in them I am pretty sure that they have well over 600 miles of walking in them, since I wore them as my primary shoes every day since mid-October.

My New Balance Beacons were great on the treadmill this winter, but I noticed that my right knee started to complain while I was running in them, which is my cue to move them out of the rotation. They have turned into my daily walking shoes and are doing well in that function.

My experiences with the Zoom Fly models makes me want to see what the Zoom Fly FlyKnit is like and with the changes that Nike made to it, makes it an intriguing option that I Bennie will probably look at getting me for my birthday.

Technology

I am still using the Lenovo Thinkpad x230T as my primary computer and loving it. I did change out the disk drive to a 500 Gb SSD, which sped it up significantly. It did surprise me at how little time it took to change it out…well once I cloned the disk.

Unfortunately, I am not as thrilled about how the iPhone 7 and iPad Pro integrate with Windows and the x230T, but it is a little better than it used to be. You know, how Microsoft and Apple products work together or at least tolerate the other’s products. Definitely not as easy as all one silo or the other.

That will not change as long as Microsoft does not have a flagship smartphone that ties easily to the Windows OS. Maybe they need to develop an Android-based phone OS and put a Windows shell on it like they are doing with their Edge browser. Their efforts to sort of integrating their products into IOS and Android now are about all they can do until they get back into the mobile phone game again.

Oh yeah, speaking of the iPhone 7, I did a 6-hour dunk test, which you can read about here. It is still working fine a few weeks later, but I do not recommend submerging your iPhone 7 for that long – your experiences might not be as good as mine were.

The reality is that

May 2019 was a really good month running, although I spent more time on the treadmill than I usually do, I still got in a good amount of miles and didn’t beat the body up too much until the end of the May. Now to just fight off whatever the creeping crud is, so I can get back to training for whatever it is I am training for.

I guess right now I am simply training to run and running to train. Which is not a bad thing, when I sit down and actually look at it. Racing still isn’t interesting me all that much and I am pretty happy about just running a lot of miles, some faster, some slower, but none with the pressure that I “have” to do them, it all about the idea that I get to run.

So overall, I can’t complain too much about my running in May 2019 and my computing life is getting shall we say sorted out. However, I am happiest about how my running shoe rotation has sorted itself out and how well I am running – now to just keep doing it.

Along with getting rid of whatever creeping crud is attempting to waylay me this time.

 

 

April 2019 – Looking Back

April 2019 wasn’t the month that I expected or necessarily even wanted, but it was the month that was. Thank you for bearing with the meandering thoughts of an old guy who loves to run way too much and plays around with technology just because I can.

Walking around Back cove 4-13-19

We celebrated our wedding anniversary with a nice day out together. That is the important thing in life, focusing on what is important. When it is all said and done, it is our relationships that matter the most.

Running

My running in April was good, but sort of directionless.

April Totals

Which showed up in the final mileage totals that were more than 20 miles less than March’s total. Although I was happy with many of the runs, there were too many days off and not enough long runs.

While I had some pretty good ideas about things…

  1. like I was not going to run a marathon anytime soon, even though I got to enjoy watching the Boston Marathon.
  2. that 5Ks would most likely be the focus of my running this summer.
  3. racing doesn’t really interest me all that much, although I will do a few they are not the reason that I run.

Unfortunately, I did struggle with a low-grade crud of some sort for a couple of weeks, which didn’t help with my thought processing, running motivation and the resulting malaise caused me to miss more days running than I usually do over the course of the month.

I did have one red no run day after a speed session in my Reebok RunFasts. They bothered my right foot so much that I chose not run the next day because of it. It is the first red no run day of 2019 and I was glad that it was nothing serious, but it did make me stop and think about how quickly an injury can happen. Taking time off to let things calm down is a good thing.

Snow-Day-4-8-19.png

The weather while it is what it is did start to get to me a bit. It has been a long winter and the longer it has dragged into April…well let’s just say it was another factor in having the running blahs.

As a result of all that thinking, I have decided in my infinite wisdom (yeah right), to get back to training using the Hansons Half Marathon Method as the basis for my training. While I probably will not follow it exactly, it does give me a basic set of guide rails to bounce off and force me to look at what I am doing versus what I should be doing.

I still do not have any races on the calendar yet.

On a positive note, I did get to go run with Sam W and have started running with a couple of runners at lunchtime at Planet Fitness, so those are very good things.

IMG_3686

Running Shoes

I have had a really decent running shoe rotation all winter, but the New Balance Beacons after getting to over 300 miles were starting to bother my ankles too much. I can run in neutral shoes, but I need a touch more support than they provided. So back to the search.

The adidas Tempo 9s were retired more because I wanted to get pair number 2 out than because they were done. So they have been relegated to being my van shoes and are available if I need a pair of running shoes. I could start running in them again if nothing else works.

IMG_3595.jpg

However, once I got to run in the next pair, there was something about the Tempo 9 #2s that just didn’t thrill me like the originals and seemed to bother my shins more than I was willing to deal with??? They are the same model but felt different than my first pair, but whatever it was, I decided that I didn’t want to deal with the potential issues.

So on our anniversary, I picked up a pair of Nike Epic React v1s and they became my primary running shoes. I have been very impressed with how they have felt underfoot and well they have performed.

kimg0015

I have over 70 miles on them and love them for running outside and while I could use them for any run, they work best at faster tempo type paces, but not quite what I am looking for in a primary race day or easy run shoe. I can run fast in them without any issues, but they don’t feel fast and I tend to run too fast in them on easy days.

When I ran with Sam, we talked a bit about the Karhu Ikoni Ortix, that I had tried on at Fleet Feet in Portland earlier in the month. He had a pair and graciously offered to send them to me.

IMG_3748

I have had a couple of runs in them and they seem to be very comfortable, but I did need to change out the laces to Nathan Lock Laces, I just couldn’t get a consistently comfortable fit on the upper and this is usually my go-to fix for these kinds of issues.

Also on the same day, I got in a pair of Nike Zoom Fly v1s that I have wanted to try since they came out. I have tried them on several times and the price points have just been out of reach. So when they showed up at the same time as the Karhu’s it was like manna from heaven. I have had a couple of runs in them and have been impressed so far.

IMG_3740

The only thing that I am sort of unimpressed with is that the weight is more than my Epic Reacts by almost an ounce. Which is weird, my go-fast shoes weighing more than my daily trainers. However, I feel faster in the Zoom Flys so they will be my go-fast shoes in any case.

Technology

I was probably busier with experimenting with my technology than I was anything else during April. However, I did get to a place where I am comfortable with what I am using for technology, how I will use it and who gets first dibs on it. My primary computer is now a Lenovo Thinkpad x230T and I am using iTunes on it to manage my Apple devices.

One thing I have learned over the years, is that if you use just about any modern operating system or electronic device, someone is able to track or hack into your life. It is just a part of the modern world and if you want to be a part of the modern world, our old ideas on privacy are a thing of the past.

It now becomes a question of more who and what they are using the information for than if they have your information, because “they”, (whoever “they” is) probably already have more of our private data than we realize. So unless I am willing to turn my back on the modern world, privacy is a fluid thing that is controlled by Corporations and Governments, not you or I.

So you pretty much have to live your life as if you have the window blinds up and the windows open all the time, because there is the chance or more likely probability that someone is always listening or watching what you are doing.

Computer

I am pretty much back in the Microsoft silo. WTFO I though you were happy with Apple…I was, but after getting the Brydge keyboard for my iPad Pro, I just wasn’t happy with it and I had been setting Mary’s laptop up. Which reminded me how much I loved typing on a dedicated keyboard versus the small Bluetooth one that I had to use with the iPad Pro.

IMG_3575

When I started looking around, the one model that kept saying “I am what you are looking for”, was the Lenovo Thinkpad x230 Tablet. It has a great keyboard, touchscreen, can be repaired by me, doesn’t live the dongle life, runs Win10 without any issues and while the screen ain’t great, it does what I want.

So I ordered an I5 model off eBay for a very reasonable price and while setting it up the way that I want it to be has taken a bit of experimentation, trial and error, along with rebooting the system to stock twice, I have learned a LOT, had fun (yeah, I think setting up a computer is fun) and also have a computer that I enjoy using.

During the first part of April, I also had to completely re-boot Mary’s desktop and couldn’t reload the version of Office that she had on there. At that point, I decided to go with a subscription to Office 365 and put it on all our computers. As a result of getting that subscription, I decided to cancel my Apple Music subscription and put my music library on my new to me Thinkpad 230T and use iTunes to primarily manage both my iPad and iPhone.

Once I started this, I didn’t realize how much/many of Microsoft’s products/apps are available for use on Apple devices. As a result I have been primarily using Microsoft software, err apps on my iPad Pro and iPhone for the last part of April without any issues. I know heresy but it is working for me.

I am finding that I use my iPad Pro more as a consumption device (which is how/what it was originally designed for) and do most of my game playing (NWN2), blogging and spreadsheet work on the Lenovo x230T.

Smart Phone

I also experimented with going back to my old Kyocera Android phone, since it seemed as though it would pair more easily with my Windows laptop. It did in some respects, but in others, I found that the Android phone to be inferior to my iPhone 7 and IOS. After a week of trying to assimilate the Kyocera into how I use a phone with my lifestyle, I gave up and went back to my iPhone.

Screenshot_20190419-113451

I also got a Lumia Windows phone for less than a lunch out and now wish that Microsoft was going to continue supporting the platform. There were many things that I really, really liked about the phone, the OS and how it worked well with my Windows laptop, so much better than IOS or Android. However, with Microsoft discontinuing support in December, it was nothing more than a tease for me and what could have been, but won’t be for me.

Thinking about things electronics

Sometimes I need to go back to my roots, to keep moving forward and this is what I have done with my technology usage this last month. So many years ago, I started out with Windows v1 and used Windows pretty much for everything until about 2009 when I moved to Apple for work as a teacher and then in 2012 when I played with Chrome OS. Since then I have been using some combination of those three since then – as well as IOS and Android, with a short spurt of different Linux variants since.

When it comes down to it, while I like Apple’s offerings a lot, am proficient with Google’s silo and have played around in Linux, but when it comes down to what works best for me. I have learned that I like Microsoft’s products more than the others, even though I am becoming more of the product than the customer by moving back to the Microsoft world.

So while the Lenovo Thinkpad x230T is a 2012 model – i.e. ancient in terms of the exponential progression in technology since then, it does everything I want to do with a computer, without a lot less fuss or muss. Plus I do not have to use Mary’s desktop for a few things with my Garmin or to play NWN2 again.

The reality is that

My running was not bad, but more than a little scattered on what my goals actually were and what kind of training I needed to do. Finally, I have gotten it through my thick skull that while I am primarily going to train for 5Ks, I also know that I ain’t all that fast and I am very injury prone. So I need the guide rails that the Hansons Plan provide to me.

 

The tech side of life was interesting, challenging and made me think about how I am using tech now that I am retired and am free to do things completely the way that I want.

IMG_3574

I am most comfortable using a Windows-based computer and found that the older Lenovo Thinkpad has the keyboard that I want (yeah, it is that important), that if/when something breaks on the hardware side, it is within my ability to fix/replace/upgrade the laptop and have the touchscreen that I have come to use quite nicely. So I have gotten a place where I am pretty comfortable with my current technological devices and the software.

Overall, while April wasn’t a bad month, I am glad it is time to move on to May. The weather should be better, I have a real good handle on how I will be using my technology going forward and believe that my running is going to be better than it was in April.

IMG_3730

Week, Month, Quarter in Review–March 2019

It kind of sucks when the quarter, month and the week end on the same day. Oh sure I could do separate posts, but that would be re-hashing stuff too much and make it boring for me to write and you to read, so I get to a write one longer post and bore you that way.

Lots of stuff happening in this post – more than enough.

Let’s start with the week in review first.

What has been going on?

Well I did make my 30 miles, but as a result of reading the Passion Paradox this week, I decided to stop attempting to do something that I really do not enjoy – training for long races. It isn’t who I am or what I enjoy, although I do enjoy just getting out and running longer runs (I know that is an oxymoronic statement, but it is what it is).

I have always preferred shorter distances and have decided to go in a different direction. So this is my last week of doing the Hansons Half Marathon Method for a while. You can read more about that decision here.

3-31-19 Week review

Unfortunately, the week didn’t start out so well, Monday’s run was cut short, due to the RunFasts killing my right foot and it bothered enough that I had to take a red-letter day off. Not what I wanted and it was the first day in a long time that I have had to take a day off because something hurt on my body too much to get a run in. This was also about the same time I was finishing up the Passion Paradox, so my fragility also was weighing on my mind when I made some of the choices in the above paragraphs.

Also my right ankle has been bothering a bit over the past couple of weeks, but I have figured out part of the reason. I have been wearing the Beacons a little too much and need to vary the shoe rotation a little more. While I can run in neutral shoes, I have learned over the years that I seem to do best in shoes with a light stability element. I just have to remember that.

Luckily neither ouchie was anything serious and I was able to have some really great runs the rest of the week. Yesterday was supposed to be a 13.0 mile long run, but I decided that it was better served being a day off, since I had my 30 miles for the week and my miles in for the month, along with the idea that I will be changing my training focus going forward.

So while it was a good, week, it wasn’t a great week.

Oh yeah, I did sort of, kind of, well I did move pretty much back to the Microsoft realm, which you can read more about here. It wasn’t what I had planned on doing, but I do prefer typing on the new-to-me Lenovo Thinkpad X230T that I got last week and when we had to reset Mary’s computer, well we no longer had the licenced disk for what she was using (yeah, her computer is that old), so we opted to go the Office 365 subscription route, which pushed me further into the Microsoft silo.

Since I had to subscribe to Office, I will be getting rid of Apple Music and going back to iTunes – not my favorite bit of software, but it will setup playlists and stuff on music that I already own and I don’t have to worry about yet another subscription.

March – looking back

Annotation 2019-04-01 193912

As part of changing over my tech silo, I am also in the process of changing over from Numbers to Excel and have to update my running log. It takes a little bit to readjust my thinking from how Numbers does things to Excel’s way – yeah they are both spreadsheets, but with shall we say different ways of getting to where you want to go.

Each month I learn more about myself and through my readings more about running in general. So March has been about tweaking and changing things to let me enjoy my running more and in the case of technology write more easily without the frustration factor getting too high.

Before this week, I was bumbling along nicely with the Hansons Half Marathon method, but noticed that I was starting to get very, very fatigued, while accumulated fatigue is part of the method, how I was feeling was beyond what I was able to keep up with and I decided to pause the plan and take a cut-back week. It helped, but made me realize that my time goals for the half might have been rather ambitious for a distance that I don’t really enjoy racing. Since I have only raced a half marathon once in my life.

As a result of the tweaking, I decided to stop the Hansons Half Marathon method training and move back in distance to the 5K. Mary is a lot happier with that decision, since it means that I will have more time for other things and not be nearly as tired all the time. She gets a bit worried when I try to do too much, well at least in her eyes too much.

March was still mostly on the treadmill and while it is a great tool that allows me to keep running when the conditions outside suck, I am starting to get antsy about getting outside more.

It has been a long winter and while it is not officially Spring, it is still pretty damn chilly outside and there is still a lot of snow left lying around, so I have yet to run in short/t-shirt attire for running. Soon I hope!!!

Quarterly

I am going to show my quarterly report for the past 5 years to see how things measure up compared to how I have been running in previous years. It is kind of nice to see where you have been and compare it to where I am now.

Updated 5 Year

This is the best I have run in the first quarter (Jan-Mar) in the last 5 years. I really do believe that using the Hansons Method was a good thing and helped me stay more consistent than I have been recently. Now to keep it going, but to stay consistently in the 35-40 mpw range which seems to be my sweet spot right now.

Running Shoes

I have pretty much had a rotation of New Balance Beacon and adidas Tempo 9 #1 for a couple of months now. However, when I look back since I got the Beacons they have been my primary running shoe – more because I have been running mostly on the treadmill and they do better than any shoes I have used in a long time on the ‘mill. I have used both shoes for running outside and while both work great, if the roads are clear and dry I prefer the Beacons, but if the conditions are a bit nasty the Tempo 9s are the best choice.

One thing is that I have to start running more in the Tempo 9s, I have a feeling too much of a good thing i.e. running in the neutral Beacons is giving my right ankle a bit of a twinge. Nothing serious, so I will probably run mostly in the Tempos for a bit to let things calm down.

When I tried to run in my Reebok RunFasts earlier this week – I had been saving them for Spring and Summer 5K’s. They just about killed my right foot and I had to stop a run earlier than I planned and was forced to take the next day off as the foot was still a bit too sore. They will now go away, when my feet feel like that on and after a run, the offending shoes do not stay around very long.

Also my old Adios 3s went the way of the give-away pile, the area where the mice did their dirty work let go and I had worn away the outsole to the midsole in the forefoot, so I didn’t want to run in them too much after I figured out those things.

Which means that I am back to either using my Beacons as my go-fast-for-me shoe or digging way deep under the bureau and getting out my Green Silence. Right now I don’t really want to go out and buy a pair of race day or go faster shoes. There are too many great shoes out there and I am not sure which ones are going to meet my needs going forward, so I will wait a bit to see what I really want.

Update: After doing some more thinking, I remembered that I have a pair of Skechers Razor 2s out in Clifford, that I got from Sam W last May. There were a couple of things that I didn’t like about them and I put them in our van as emergency run shoes and promptly forgot about them. The few runs I did in them, I ran well, but there was a bit of rubbing against the bottom of my ankle bones, but I figured if I put in a bit thicker insole and give them a chance to break in they should be fine. So maybe I have my answer, without having to get another pair of running shoes right away.

I am planning to switch to the adidas Tempo 9 #2 that I have waiting to be used once #1 get over 400 miles. I have a feeling that they could go further than that, but with 2 more pair waiting in the wings, I will go with new and not worry about the niggles that might come with an older shoe. I figure 400 miles is excellent mileage for me to get on a pair, especially since there have only been 2-3 that have made that many miles for me over the last 10 years.

What I am really attempting to do is cut-back on the number of running shoes that I buy this year. This is self-imposed because I know that I bought way too many pair of running shoes last year, when I got carried away with the prices on Ebay and Amazon. This year I just want to find the shoes that work well enough for me and keep them until they are used up versus the constant hopping around that I have done over the years.

The Reality is that

Sometimes I have to go backwards to go forward.

My running is in a really good place, I have a nice base built up due to using the Hansons Method, but at the same time racing longer races, if I am honest have never really appealed to me. I like the 5K and an occasional 10K race, but after that running longer distances is for pleasure, not racing.

Weird I know, but hey I admit it I am rather odd at times.

My running shoe rotation is pretty solid and while I am whittling away at the shoes in the house, the ones I am keeping are the ones that actually are working for me. Something that I need to focus on when I do go out to get new running shoes.

I had been a Windows guy for several years with an occasional foray into the other tech silos, but when I got to reading too many articles on the web about things they were doing in Windows 10, I overreacted. No, I am not all that crazy about some of the directions Microsoft seems to be taking their Company (becoming a bit more like Google in some respects) and that when I use their products is seems I am becoming more of the product than the customer. However, I also am not naive and know that all the major companies use our data for their own ends.

It also just happens that Microsoft is what most everyone else in the house uses and I am the tech guy so, I might as well get my brain wrapped back around using their stuff, versus being all over the place. I plan to keep my iPhone and iPad, but I gotta admit it is kind of nice to be back to using a Windows-based laptop. Especially this old Thinkpad X230T – I do really like it better than my iPad Pro and I liked that a whole lot.

April is here, the winds of change are roaring through the trees and the snow is going away. We now have to work on the small pond in front of SD2’s house and get the yards in shape after a pretty tough winter. So the extra time I will have by changing my training to focus on the 5K, has already been spoken for.

Not that I get to sit all that much.

January 2019 – Good Month

No, I have not dropped off the face of the blogging world, it is just that my Zagg Keyboard to my iPad Pro died and I am waiting for a replacement that is supposed to be here next Monday. I broke down and bought a Brydge Keyboard and while it is another Bluetooth one, from everything I have read, it meets what I want from a keyboard better than anything else on the market.

So while I have been waiting for it to come in, I have taken a bit of a holiday from blogging about my boring running and feeble attempts to keep that half step ahead of the Grim Reaper and just work on making the old bastard chuckle a little more loudly.

My favorite photo in January:

Running

Today is the last day of January and you know something it was a really good month when it came to my running.

Run Total: 167.78

Total Time: 25:19:32

Average Pace: 9:03

Number of Runs: 27 – although 23 of them were on the treadmill.

Walking Miles: 94.30

Total Steps: 654,996

Weight: 157 Start – 154 End, with a low of 152 pounds

Average Waking Heartrate: 52.5 Continue reading “January 2019 – Good Month”

Happy Coast Guard Day & Grasse Roads Doing Fine – RunLog 8-4-18

For all you Coasties out there, Happy Coast Guard Day and Semper Paratus.

Being a Coastie will always be an important part of who I am.

Okay let’s get back to reality and the life I have now.

Congratulations to all of you who ran Beach to Beacon, it was a tough day for it, but a lot of you got it done: Sam, Tom, Ryan and so many others. Again, congratulations on your run there.

After yesterday’s successful shoe surgery on the Reebok OSR Grasse Roads and a good treadmill run, I really wanted to get them out on the road to see how they performed in the real world. I wanted to get 7-8 miles in and thought about running to here:

It seemed kind of fitting to run to Harold Drive on a rainy day, it is a 7.0 mile out and back course, that I can always add a lap onto at the end to get 8.0.

Yeah, it was raining…however, it was a nice warm summer’s rain, which I love, love to run in. This kind of run that will really show me how a pair of shoes is going to work for me.

The first mile was pretty slow, just getting warmed up and loosened up after yesterday’s faster treadmill run. Plus running on the dirt road was a bit squishy, while the Grass Road’s were not having any issues, they really are not made for a gravel slime run, so I kept it slower. Once I hit the tar down on Tiffany I did pick up the pace a little and the grip on the wet pavement was great.

Even though I went through a few downpours and may have jumped into a few puddles on purpose, my feet while wet, didn’t get any hotspots and the shoes seemed to drain the water out pretty quickly.

Tiffany Road has a definite crown to it and that crowning after the heel cup surgery was a non-issue (like it should have been originally). There was none of that rubbing under the ankle or the distraction of there being some pressure against the ankle area and wondering if I was going to loose more skin.

So I can confidently say that the shoe surgery on the heel cups of the Grasse Roads was a huge success, which now means that I can focus on just running in them, without worrying about ankle bite.

The other thing was I was very impressed with, was how quiet and smooth the Grasse Roads were on the wet pavement. There wasn’t any of that slapping stuff or heel drag, it was just a comfortable landing, smooth roll-through to toe-off and then repeat. Even when I was getting tired and it started to rain hard again during the last mile, I had a smooth stride. It was kind of nice.

Also I was able to pick up the pace pretty easily in them, when I wanted to. No, they will never be a “fast” shoe, but I can hold a nice 8:00 or so pace without any problems.

A really nice 8.0 miles in the rain, where I learned that the Reebok Grasse Roads allow me to run comfortably – what more can I ask for.

My Grasse Roads were not a limiting factor in my run and that is a great thing.

Slow But Steady Progress – PMT 6/2/18

Well I didn’t expect to run outside this morning, but I did!

Let’s back up, the leg is doing remarkably well considering how it felt on Thursday night and after walking a couple of miles down-back with Mary and Bennie the hamstring didn’t feel too bad. Definitely not 100%, but back to where I thought I could run slowly on it.

So after we got back to the house, I changed up and got ready to go for a long workout on the elliptical. I planned on doing an hour on the beast, because Saturday’s will be my long run day going forward. However, I just had to get outside and run this morning, I promised myself that I would go slow. Actually I was going to run with Mary, but she got distracted by other things and I wanted to get going, so I headed out by myself.

I did a mile at around 10:30 pace and while the hamstring complained a little, it was not anything serious, so I kept going to the finish. I really, really wanted to do another one, but figured that it was better to be conservative than re-injured and headed in to the house to get on the elliptical for the next hour.

Loads of fun

However, at 3.2 miles into the workout I could hear a commotion out in the yard, SD2 had arrived a little earlier than we had expected, with her cats. We are cat sitting for the next week which is no big deal, but the room where we keep the elliptical is where we have to assimilate them into the household. Which meant that I had to get off the machine earlier than I wanted.

Which made me a little crabby and I didn’t want to be around anyone for a few minutes. So I went back out and did another slow mile. By the time I got back, I was back to being myself and fit to be around other human beings. 🙂

Although I didn’t get my long run in, I did get two 1.0 mile runs in and didn’t make the hamstring complain anymore than it was before the runs. A very positive sign.

Then I got to thinking about other things that I could do to help out the old hamstring. Sometimes I am such a dumbshit – I remembered that the last time I had a hamstring strain that I had taped the leg, which helped support the injury better than nothing at all.

So I taped up the leg and it does seem to help, I just hope that it helps enough to get through the preliminary marathon training, without any more issues.

May 2018 – A Not So Great Month

I guess it is time to talk about May 2018. A lot happened and yes, I got injured again and haven’t been able to run well for the last two weeks of the month. Which sucked.

Photo by Sam Winebaum – Road, Trail, Run

However, I got to run with and talk running Sam over at Road, Trail, Run who is my favorite blogger during the first part of month. While down there I got to see a bunch of shoes (I tried out the Vapor Fly 4% – great shoe) and came home with a few more from his used shoe pile.

Towards the end of the month I made the startling decision to run in a marathon in the Fall. I did that inspite or is it despite I am currently not running and have to rehab a balky hamstring – which is always an adventure and one that usually has more setbacks than progress at first.

That damn rollercoaster effect. Continue reading “May 2018 – A Not So Great Month”

April – A Month of Change

Yeah, April is always a month where things seem to change in my running. The weather eventually gets back to shorts and t-shirts, the snow slowly melts away and I get ready for the rest of the running year.

My favorite photo from the month:

Mary out for a run on a rainy, miserable day.

I made it through the month relatively healthy, even with that nasty tumble I took at the end of last week’s long run. I added a few more scars to the old body and dinged up the right elbow enough that it still bothers more than it should. However, like most things, this feeling will pass and I will heal up eventually or it will be added to the laundry list of things that take longer in the morning to stop hurting and start working.

So let’s review those 10 things I wanted to keep track of in 2018.

1. Run Better

Running-wise I finished up with 145 miles and change for April. It is the best month’s total that I have had since January 2017 when I managed to accumulate 146 miles.

There was a 15 day run streak thrown in there for good measure. Overall not too shabby a month if I say so myself.

Since I am starting to increase my running mileage, I did an experiment last week and didn’t do any time on the elliptical. I wanted to see how much it takes out of me for the next day’s run. It doesn’t take as much out of me as I thought, so I will keep using the elliptical fairly regularly.

I am enjoying my Planet Fitness gym being in Waterville primarily due to the numerous routes I have open to me for running. While I haven’t lifted weights or done my pre or post run routines nearly as much, since I am enjoying running outside that much more (I just want to get my arse out the door) and typically run further than I would on most runs.

So the running is going quite well.

2. Simplify my Running Shoe Choices.

The Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s are a great shoe for me, after putting more than 150 miles on them they are doing everything I ask of them. Unfortunately, I have worn a hole through the left heel cup liner and the right ankle well, which are starting to bother those areas (turning them red and sore – almost a blister, but not quite). Which means they are on the way out of the rotation, probably sooner than later.

To replace the GRR7’s, I did get a pair of Skechers GoRun Forza 3’s and while I ran successfully in them for the most part, due to their firmness and some other things, I have turned them into my primary walking shoes. They just are not comfortable enough to be my primary long/easy run running shoes.

After doing a bunch of research, the was between the ASICS Cumulus 20 or Saucony Zealot 3’s. It ultimately came down to the price point and since I was able to find a sale on the Zealots that was almost half the cost of the Cumulus 20’s and got Zealots. I got them in today and will be running in them tomorrow. Hopefully, they work out for me.

On a whim, I had looked at a pair of Brooks Green Silence racing shoes on eBay and when I got there I had 33 seconds left on the auction to decide whether or not to buy them. I did and used them for the Unity College 5K. I like them.

My current rotation is:

  • Skechers GoRun Ride 7 – outside running, long runs, most anything else kind of running shoes
  • Brooks Green Silence – racing, speed workouts
  • Newton Gravity 3 – treadmill, tempo runs
  • Skechers GOMeb Speed – faster runs, treadmill
  • Newton Boco Sol – trails, nasty weather days, hiking shoes
  • Skechers GoRun Forza 3 – Walking shoes

3. No running with Bennie.

We walk 4-5 miles most days together, I did one run with Bennie for about 1/2 mile. This run really made me realize just how much running with Bennie kept me injured. Just with that one short run my right hip was hurting and my lower back started to bother. It definitely validated my choice to stop running with him.

4. Get rid of “stuff”.

More stuff continues to go away.

My Bondi 5’s and Gravity 5’s have both gone away, neither were working for me. Also I got out all of my old race t-shirts or other commemorative t-shirts and have started wearing them again. There is no sense in keeping them in a plastic bag stored away in the back of the garage any longer. Use them and then once they are worn out, get rid of them.

5. Race More Often

The weather started to cooperate and I decided to go Unity and run in their annual 5K. I finished 14th and 1st in my age group. My 22:22 time was not my fastest time, but it is pretty much in line with other 5K races I have run in April, so I am heartened about how this year can go.

6. Get Back to Running Trails

No trail running – soon though.

7. Weigh Under 150 Pounds

I am still not really attempting to lose weight too hard, I still was eating pretty much whatever I want during April. Although I did manage to avoid ice cream most of the month.

8. Eat Less Processed Foods

I am doing okay, since Mary prepares a lot of homemade meals, breads and stuff. My problem is that I still like chips and boxed breakfast cereal too much.

9a. Technology Use

I tried out the Blogo blogging app and it just didn’t work the way that I wanted, so I deleted it. Other than that, I continued to use my iPad Pro and iPhone 7.

10. Be more willing to take the road less travelled

I am still enjoying life and taking care of myself – in today’s world it seems like that is taking the road less travelled.

The reality is that

April was a busy month where I ran better than I thought I would, especially with the crazy weather at the start of the month, but like they say Spring has sprung and it is the new beginning. I am starting to get my running shoe rotation under control again and am encouraged about the direction I seem to be heading. Now I just have to get my eating a little more under control and maybe get serious about loosing that last 10 pounds I am going to get rid of this year.

April was a good month.

Looking Back At March 2018

March 2018, was another month where the weather was the primary focus of my running – that how to deal with last part of winter, when you are ready for Spring. Yes, the weather forced me inside more than I would have liked, but it is just the way things work out during winters in Maine for me. I am more interested in getting my runs in, versus braving the elements at this point in my life.

I continue to simplify my computing and online life and move ever further into the world of Apple. It might not always be the absolute best way to do things, but when I look at the whole picture, most everything works good enough for me.Well let’s get to how I am doing on what I want to focus on this year.My favorite photo from March was:

I cannot really say that this was my favorite photo from March, but it was probably says the most about how I saw a lot of it – behind the snow blower. The thing is that the snow kept piling up during the month, until there were only two window “panes” showing on the bedroom window and the snow blower wore out and had to be taken to the shop for repairs – In other words, I fought the weather and the weather won most of the time.

1. Run Better

I am continuing to run more consistently than I have for a long time, which means that I am starting to run better. I attribute my progress to limiting my running to around 30 miles a week with only one long run and one speed session per week. Also I am still using the elliptical for cross-training 4-5 days a week and keeping the total mileage from both to around 60 miles a week, which seems to be about the right amount for my body right now.

During the last week, I had a problem starting with my right hip, that same issue that plagued me last fall. I was starting to get concerned, then I finally figured out what caused it then and now. The week before I had started using my U/A Bandit 3’s for my walking shoes and within a week I had right hip issues. When stopped using them and the hip issue went away. Continue reading “Looking Back At March 2018”

February 2018 – Mother Nature Could Not Make Up Her Mind

February 2018 was an interesting month, one where the weather was still the big topic of conversation, my running was still going well, where I have started running in shoes that gasp might be what I have been looking for and I am still slowly loosing weight without putting a lot of effort into it.

My favorite photo from February was:

Walking down-back one day when the snow and ice were not horrible.

Yeah, weather-wise Mother Nature was fickle, capricious and left us going WTFO during most of the month. Oh well, the last part of the month the roads were runnable for the most part and with record highs going on I was not one to complain too much after January’s record colds.

In keeping with my start of the year plan here are the things I am focusing on and how they are progressing: Continue reading “February 2018 – Mother Nature Could Not Make Up Her Mind”