Recovery Run–Needed It 7-10-12

P7100001One thing I have learned since I started doing weekly long runs, is that I do need to run the next day. I feel a lot better after the run, especially my legs, especially if I get over the 3.0 mile mark.

As you can see from the picture, today was a gorgeous day – definitely one of the top 10 of the year.  So we drove down to Oxford (about an hour away) to go to our favorite used book store.

Which also meant 2 hours of sitting in a car and my legs feeling like someone had taken a baseball bat to them.

Runtastic StatsBy the time I got around to running late this afternoon, I almost, but not quite decided to bag the run.

Then I got to thinking about how much better I would feel – after the run. I knew that my legs really, really needed the movement and that if I just sat down or worked around the house that they would really feel like crap again tomorrow.

The biggest part the day after a long run is that I MUST start out slow, listen to my body, along with all the aches and pains it tells me about over the first couple of miles.

After my body and I have this wonderful conversation and my body loosens up, which usually happens between 2 and 3 miles. I can go at a faster pace.

However, recovery days are for well – recovery, so I usually try to keep it between 8:30 & 9:30, which just seems to be a comfortable pace for me and just let the body tell me what it wants to do.

Runtastic Split Table 7-10-12

Today I had planned on an easy 4.0 which turned into 5.0 and then 6.0. the second half of the run was just so enjoyable.

I used the RunTastic Pro iPhone App and while I like the App better than most, the website is not quite what I am looking for as far as the graphics or tables go, but it does have some nice features that I like during the run, so will try it for a week and see how it goes.

Also I ran in the Nike Free Run +3 again today to see how they do the day after a long run and also because I wanted to put them over the 50 mile mark, so I could do an updated review on them. Coming later this week.

RunLog 7-10-12

Good run and did what I wanted got the body moving and felt a lot better after the run Smile

It’s Been How Long Since You Ran?

PB090174Some things to think about if it has been a while since your last run – for whatever reason.

When was your last run?

It’s been how long since you ran regularly? A month, six months, a year, maybe even longer, does it really matter? If you are reading this you are thinking about or starting to run again.

THAT IS GREAT!

Stop and think first

You planning to go out and run a 5K at a sub 7:00 minute pace as your first run back?

Let’s stop and think about that first.

Just because you are ready to start running again doesn’t mean your body is ready to pick up where you were when you stopped – however long ago. In that time you haven’t been running, your body has changed, probably added on a few pounds and isn’t in running shape.

Running Shape

I know you probably cross-trained (didn’t you?) while you were not running, but is it the same as running? Not always and it does take some time (varies by the person) to get back into running shape.

Unfortunately, as I learned the hard way last year, there is a process to go through before you can get back to that kind of running and it doesn’t happen over night. Not to shoot down your dreams – it might not ever happen. In my opinion you have to dream, but also have your feet firmly planted in reality.

5 Things

The 5 most important things that I learned when I came back are:

1. Talk with your medical professional? They will have recommendations about what you should and shouldn’t do – they are the experts. Yes I know is may be a pain in the butt to schedule time with a medical professional when you just want to run. However it is one of those things you should do before starting any exercise program – including running.

2. Start slowly, yes this means both your speed and distance.

3. Have your running form evaluated by someone who knows something about running and has a clue about what they are talking about. There are several different names for correct running form, but after watching all the videos, reading blogs, websites and book proper running form seems to comes down to:

  • Stop before you run to check your posture
  • Mid foot/fore foot/full foot strike
  • Run under your hips
  • Lean from the ankles
  • Running tall
  • No cross-over center-line arm swing,
  • Running relaxed
  • Shortened stride
  • Faster cadence
  • Run quietly

I wish that I had worked on my running form when I started my comeback, instead of 4 months in, when I had re-learned a lot of bad habits and it took me considerably longer to unlearn those habits, when I started to work on proper running form seriously.

4. Be persistent, you will have setbacks, aches, pains and be frustrated because you are not progressing as fast as you think you should. Just keep plugging along and before you know it you will be back to running, closer to the speed/distance that you are looking to do.

5. Have fun. Running is not a job, yes it can be hard work, but it also can be fun and if you forget that, then running becomes monotonous and something that you find yourself “forgetting” to do. Find others to run with that share your passion for running of running – it helps. Get online, join a running club, run in races, but most of all have fun when you run.

The reality is that

this is not the end-all of all lists on what you need to do while coming back from a running lay-off, but they are a few things that I learned during my recovery from a 15 month absence and subsequent return to running.

Welcome Back

Welcome back to running. I hope that you enjoy running and listen to your body better than I did, during my comeback. Also remember that there is a tremendous online running community out there to support you during your return to running. There is always someone out there who is willing to help you over some of the hurdles you will meet and give you a little kick in the pants if you want or need it Smile.

Good luck!

Long Run Lessons Learned 7/9/12

P7090001Ever have a run, where you learned a LOT, about things that you really didn’t think about before. Well today was that kind of run for me. A learning experience. I did my 13.1 mile run from home into Augusta and the time wasn’t bad, but a couple of minutes slower than I wanted.

Then again running into a 10 mph headwind in 75-80 degree weather does tend to slow you down a little bit. So I was happy with the effort and what learned today.

  • That my Brooks hi-visibility running hat is a GREAT 3 season hat, but not so great when the temps are in the 70’s or 80’s on a long run. Need to get a hi-visibility visor, other high-vis running hats (summer weight) or more brightly colored shirts (something other than black, gray or dark blue) Smile to wear while on high traffic area runs – without the hat.

  • That my Nike Free Run+3 are not going to be my long-distance running shoes. They are fine for up to about 6 maybe 7 miles, but after that my the little toes on my both feet started to bother. It might have something to do with the lacing system that the +3 have, it cinches my feet down too much. I also just never felt right with my form, everything seemed to be forced instead of the natural feeling that I have with the 4.0. I will stick with the Nike Free 4.0 v2 for my long runs.
  • That changing when I took my Cliff Energy Shot at about mile 8.0 did make a difference – I didn’t slow down into a 9:00 minute pace during miles 10-11 or 11-12 like I usually do. Looking at the splits, I was able to stay a little faster. Maybe I will try fueling about mile 7.0 next week.
  • That I missed having my miles/times/pace announced to me by a GPS App. Might have to re-think using the Garmin Fit App since it doesn’t do this, even though I like it’s website a lot better than most of them and the App itself works pretty well.
  • That doing a 4.0 plus mile trail run (even if it is slow) the day before my long run is not a great idea – the legs felt pretty dead at the end of the run today.
  • That lifting weights, an upper body workout, the day before my long run isn’t part of the solution.
  • That mowing the lawn for an hour and half the day before my long run doesn’t work well the next day.

Sometimes I forget that I am a lot closer to 55, not 25 and just keep pushing. Might have to re-think that philosophy if I want to run my long runs better Winking smile.

Naw – knowing me, I will just keep pushing after all “it’s only practice”.

Here are the  Garmin Connect site stats for this run:

Garmin Stats 7-9-12

The last part in 9:22 was basically because I was getting out my iPhone with a 1/4 mile left and trying to see how much distance was left before I hit 13.1. Basically I lost my focus. I am used to being able to wait until the announced 13.0 mile and then a little while later I get the iPhone out to stop the App at 13.1.

Oh well something else I learned today and another reason for Apps that announce time/distance/pace.

Actually I was quite happy with the run and everything that I learned. The next long run I plan to run in my Nike Free 4.0 v2 and maybe not mow the lawn or lift weights the day before. Who know I might actually take Sundays off like I keep saying that I am going to do Smile.

RunLog 7-9-12

Overall it was a beautiful day for a run.

Week In Review–7/8/12

P7080021The lawn is growing at an amazing rate in this heat and humidity and so it seems that my running is as well.

The past couple of weeks have been the hottest weeks of the year and I have run more miles in those two weeks, than I have in any two week period this year.

So my running is going great, just a little slower and sweatier Winking smile. I thought it might be appropriate to show a picture of Bond Brook to cool us down.

P6290002I have been practicing my video blogging a lot this week and have had a lot of laughs at my own expense. I really need to learn to relax more in front of the camera and I will.

It is just getting used to a different format and then having to look and hear yourself afterward, without thinking gee I should have said this or why is my voice so high-pitched, etc.

Here is my studio, when I blog outside. Yep my computer sitting on the bed of my truck, I can move it around and have different backgrounds Winking smile.  I have a feeling that I might have to invest in a real video camera one of these days, along with a tripod.

Doors are opening

and I am just in the hurry-up and wait phase, which is the hardest part. However, until I hear one way or the other, I plan to just keep enjoying what I am doing and having a lot of fun running, blogging, playing around on social media and doing stuff around the house.

Running Summary This Week

Weekly Summary 7-8-12

RunLog Week of 7/8/12

Three Things Running

  1. Over 50 Again: Two weeks in a row over 50 miles running for the week. Actually am not feeling too tired and the body seems to be holding up pretty well with this mileage. This is the most mileage I have done in a week this year Smile.
  2. Trail Runs: I did a couple of trail runs this week and they felt good. I just don’t have that “need” to run fast when I do trails and I enjoy my runs more.
  3. Over 15.0: On Monday I ran 15.5 for the first time in a long, long time. I felt good the entire way and my knees were tired, but not trashed at the end. So I was pretty psyched about that.

I typically schedule Sunday’s as my rest day, but I just had to try out my new trail shoes – oh well, will rest a day next week – yes I will this week Smile

This week in two words: Running More

Blog Posts

Below are my posts from last week:

  1. Run Into Hallowell 15.5 Miles–7/2/12
  2. No More NikePlus for my iPhone 3G
  3. 5.0 Mile Recovery Run–7/3/12
  4. Have a Great Independence Day–7/4/12
  5. Running Colby/Quarry Road Trails 7/5/12
  6. Why I Have Not Raced All That Much
  7. Turning 55 and a Race Registration
  8. Hot and Muggy 5.0 Miler–7/6/12
  9. River Road 10 Miler Done–7/7/12
  10. Surprise Run at Bond Brook–7/8/12

With the time that I was using to focus on my job search I am learning to video blog and just blog more often.

Top 10

Here are my top ten posts for the past week based on page views:

  1. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  2. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles
  3. Turning 55 and a Race Registration
  4. First Run in Asics Gel Blur 33 – 2/16/12
  5. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes
  6. Why I Have Not Raced All That Much
  7. Tommie Copper – Is Working
  8. No More NikePlus for my iPhone 3G
  9. Initial Review & Run in Adidas Vigor TR
  10. The New Nike+ Website is Up

Weight

I broke 150 and weighed in at 149 last Monday after my 15 mile run (yep that is cheating, but it is how I used to weigh myself back in the day) Otherwise, I am holding steady between 150 and 155

Injuries

No real injuries, just a couple of nagging aches and pains that are getting better. My left knee is still a little cranky, but it is just letting me know it is still there Winking smile, but it is feeling better since I didn’t go back to the track this week.

Running Shoes

Nike Free Run +3

They are doing fine!!! I might try a 13+ in them tomorrow just to see how they do on a longer run.

Nike Free 4.0 v2

I have over 266 miles on these shoes and still love them – Nike Free 4.0 v2 Over 200 Miles. So far they have been the best shoes for me that I have run in, in a long, long time. There isn’t very much wear on the soles and the uppers look pretty much like new still.

Adidas Vigor TR

I bought these to be my primary trail running shoes (Initial Review & Run in Adidas Vigor TR). I ran in them twice this week and they didn’t bother at all, however, when I took them on a walk without socks, it rubbed little bit, so these are definitely shoes that need socks.

Newton Gravitas

Haven’t run in them since I got the Nike Free’s.

Running Goals

I reviewed my 2012 running goals 2012 Mid-Year Goal Review and Update and updated them.

The reality is that

I am still very excited about some of the opportunities that might be coming my way. Now I just have to be patient and do the waiting game.

Surprise Run at Bond Brook–7/8/12

I wasn’t going to run today, I had my 50 miles in for the week yesterday and had planned to take today off.  While TheWife and I were eating breakfast together and she asked what I was doing for a run today. Initially told her that I was going to take the day off.

However, it was a gorgeous day outside and a couple of minutes later, I changed my mind and told her that I was going to run over at Bond Brook Recreation Area. She is used to this and is so supportive of my running.

I decided to go in through the Bond Brook entrance instead of Mt. Hope and take a look at how much they had done on the new access road.

P7080020

Looking up a really tough hill that should be interesting in the winter time after they get the road done.

P7080019

Looking back down that same hill. Next time gotta move the finger Winking smile. When I went back down this hill, it was easier to bushwhack over to the right and follow a game trail than trying to run down what it is right now – a sprained ankle waiting to happen.

They still have a lot of work left to do, so it should be interesting to see what this road looks like once they get it done.

The main reason that I wanted to run, was to get a few more miles on my new Adidas Vigor TR and see how they felt running here. They did great! No pains, when I stepped on roots or rocks, it wasn’t painful, and the soles of my feet didn’t feel as though someone hit them with a ballpeen hammer, like they did with my other shoes.

I purposely ran slow today and just focused on enjoying being out and running. I wanted to go over the 5K race course again and only had a couple of spots where I had to back track a little to stay on the course. Plus I was busy taking a few more pictures of the 5K race course to share with you.

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P7080010

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P7080013

P7080015

On Thursday, I just going into this race with the idea of having a lot of fun and not worry about the time. Oh I will turn on my GPS App, but it doesn’t announce splits and I have a feeling that I will leave my watch in the truck Smile.

Who knows, I might even be doing a few in-race photos.

Garmin Stats 7-8-12

Overall it was a nice relaxing run and great way to end my running week Smile.

River Road 10 Miler Done–7/7/12

Good morning, well early afternoon, I got my 10 mile run in before it got ridiculous outside. When I started it was around 75 and about 70% humidity, when I finished is was in the mid 80’s and probably 75 to 80% humidity – unnngggghhhhhh.  Did I ever tell you how much I hate the heat and humidity.

But hey it is part of it being summer time, so just get used to it and suck it up Smile.

I said I was going start doing more videos and here is my vlog of this morning’s run.

I even played around with Microsoft’s Movie Maker software a little, just to see if I could remember how to use it Smile. Its been a while, but after a few starts and stops got the basics re-figured out.

Garmin Stats 7-7-12

Those last 4.0 miles always seem to get me. This is a pretty tough course for me, but that is part of the reason I do it. It challenges me to go up hills when I am already pretty tired.

I got very lucky the clouds stuck around for most of my run, however, when the sun came out it was pretty damn miserable and jacked the temps pretty quick. I imagine that in some places it was over 90 degrees just from the waves I was seeing ahead of me off the tar.

No my fastest run around this course, but I did it and when it is hot/humid like this outside, that is all I want to do – finish.

One thing about doing videos is I don’t have to write as much – yeah right Winking smile. I am still more comfortable with the written format than I am vlogging, but I am getting better, not great, but better.

RunLog 7-7-12

Hot and Muggy 5.0 Miler–7/6/12

Bennie and I 7-6-12It was definitely hot and muggy this afternoon!!!

By the time I got to run at around 3:30, I was already tired and when I looked at the window thermometer, it was reading 92 degrees in the sun.

Which made me think for a second about bagging it, but I really wanted to run.

So what did I do?  I put my running clothes on, stepped out the door, did my 100 ups and started running. I did bring my water bottle and I was glad that I did, after the first couple of miles, I really, really needed it.

The picture is after today’s run, I met TheWife and Bennie out for his afternoon walk and did a photo opp. Yes Bennie Bean is pulling me along on his leash, telling me that he wants to go faster! At that point I was wondering who was walking who Smile.

I planned on doing the Middle Road Loop and wanted to see what the Garmin Fit App on my iPhone 3G measured it as. Below is the Garmin Connect summary for the run.

Garmin Stats 7-6-12

This has been measured anywhere from 4.94 to 5.49 with other iPhone GPS Apps and it will be interesting to see how consistent the reading is with the Garmin Fit App  – I hope it is fairly close that would be a nice change of pace.

Considering how hot it was, I am very happy with this run! A sub 9:00 minute pace overall in mid to high 80’s with high humidity are tough running conditions.  I did slow down a lot after mile 2.0 but I was still pretty consistent, but I had to figure out how to unlock the program before I could stop it at the end of the run – just part of the learning curve of a new App.

I ran in the Nike Free Run +3 again and am starting to get used to them, they have a definite different “feel” than the Free 4.0, but they are comfortable and I like how they feel, but I think that I will go back to either a 4MM or 6MM drop shoe next time – there is a small difference in how easy it is to land more full/fore foot.

RunLog 7-6-12

Why I Have Not Raced All That Much

LHS Track Finish pic 4-28=12This post was a tough one to write, but I had to, since I think that I have finally figured out why I haven’t run in many races for several years.

I was going to run in a 5K Independence Day race and decided not to run the day before. Also I was going to run in a 5K trail race on Memorial Day weekend and half-marathon a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out of them as well for various reasons or excuses.

Why?

I didn’t pull out of these races because I was injured, because I have run more consistently this year than I have in many, many years. So that isn’t the reason.

Cost – might be part of the reason, but not totally. Like they say if you really want to do something badly enough you will find a way. If I really wanted to run in races I would find a way to afford the entry fees.

I like challenge of racing  and I enjoy the camaraderie of being around other runners.

Yet I decided to not run in each one of those races and haven’t raced very often, since 1986.

This is one of those things that I have always wondered about – why I didn’t race more or seemed to find reasons not to run, instead of finding reasons to run in races.

Since I have started running more longer runs it has given me time to think and this is one of the things I have thought about a lot. Yesterday, on my 8.0 miler, I think that I have finally figured out the “why” and hopefully that is a step to the solving the problem.

The real reason

Is the ultra-competitive side of me that takes racing far too seriously.

Yeah I am one of those people who gets so worked up before a race, that I feel like puking, have to push myself to stay and not get in my car and drive off. This is much more than pre-race “jitters” and looking back, it is why I quit racing back in the 80’s and mostly just ran for personal pleasure for so many years. I didn’t want to deal with my pre-race “anxiety” that affects me.

In the three races I have run this year, I experienced the “need” to leave as soon as I finished registering. Even though I didn’t leave – I really, really wanted to get out of there and do almost anything but stick around for those races. I persevered and I was able to get to the start of the races and once the gun went off – I had a lot of fun, got to meet a lot of great people, but looking back,  it was still damn hard to get to the starting line of each one of those races.

The reality is that

It is time to face my anxiety about running races, figure out some strategies to help me to register and then go to the race. If I can do this it will allow me to start enjoying a big part of the social side of running (which I believe that racing is a big part of), that I have missed out on for so many years.

Part of the Solution

I am going to run the Bond Brook Trail 5K Race series, which are a low-key, lower-cost series of races, which I plan to run all but one them over the course of the next couple of months.  Then on 8/11, I am going run the Doc and Mardie Brown 5K in Waterville. After that I would like to run one road race per month through November.

Notice I say I am doing, not planning to do these races. There is a huge difference.

Sometimes you need know what the problem is, before you can move forward towards resolving it.

Hopefully, I have figured it out.

Does anyone else out there feel this way about racing? What did you do to overcome it?

Running Colby/Quarry Road Trails 7/5/12

7-5-12 Course RouteI went to Colby this morning and caught up with another runner that I have met through local races and Twitter, to run some of the Colby/Waterville trails. Finally, I now know where the trail is behind the Colby Alfond Building, along the Interstate and stream.

I didn’t have to go down Mayflower Hill!

Then we went in through Quarry Road and ran to the power line, 4 wheeler trails to Rt 42 and then came back along the roads to Colby. Finally, made it up the hill on County Rd, haven’t run there, in probably 4-5 years and that hill always gave me problems, wasn’t a problem today Smile.

This was my second run in my new Adidas Vigor TR’s and they did great! No hot spots, rubbing or any discomfort. They gripped the trail well, handled the transition areas from road to trail without any problems and the last few miles which were all road, I didn’t feel that knobby feel that some trail shoes give you on the roads. VERY pleased so far with how they are working.

The best part was that the soles of my feet didn’t hurt or get bruised, but it wasn’t all that rocky anywhere we ran today. The real test for me will be when I run at Bond Brook on Sunday morning.

Garmin Stats 7-5-12

It wasn’t a fast run, but I wasn’t looking to run fast, when I run trails, I want to just run and enjoy myself, be able to talk and enjoy the scenery.

I had thought about going to the Colby Track after the run was over, but the more that I thought about it, I thought why? I did almost 7.0 miles and I felt really great. All the track workout would do is hurt and possibly make my knee hurt (it hasn’t hurt since I stopped doing track workouts) again.

It was nice to run with someone else and rely on them to know where they were going. The Garmin App on my iPhone worked well, but was still a little short compared to the GPS Garmin Device being carried by the other runner. They had 6.95 and I ended up with 6.71 – just about a 1/4 mile difference????

Oh well, have a feeling that a GPS specific device is in my wish list now.

RunLog 7-5-12

So instead I went ahead and got my hair cut – definitely needed it, gray curls are not my style . Like that short, clean look is the hair style I prefer for myself. Yes I changed my t-shirt, wiped off some of the sweat/mud and used a little deodorant to make myself a almost presentable for being around others. I can be somewhat civilized sometimes.

Have a Great Independence Day–7/4/12

Happy Independence Day everyone and here is one of my favorite “movie” Independence Day Speeches of all-time.

Short and sweet, but it does say a lot, if you stop and think about it.

I have always said I will not go quietly into the night and that can be applied to getting older as well as supporting my Country.

Have a great Independence Day and think for a minute about the Freedoms, Rights and Privileges we enjoy in America, that many others only dream about. That is part of why we celebrate on this day.

Back to running

I was supposed to go run in the Winthrop 5K this morning, but I hadn’t pre-registered and just couldn’t bring myself to pay $25 for the pleasure of running in the race. Driving around 15 miles one way, running for around 23 minutes (almost a dollar a minute), not get even get a t-shirt, then have whatever snacks/drinks they had after the race and then drive home, just didn’t seem economically prudent.

The biggest thing that I missed was getting see other runners and that is something that I did miss. There will be other races this summer and fall, but it sure does seem like racing is not nearly as high a priority as simply running is to me.

Garmin Stats 7-4-12

As you can see I have pretty much decided that I will be using the Garmin Connect iPhone App as my GPS App for the foreseeable future. I will be doing a post on why later this week. Last night I spent a lot of time playing the various Apps and discovered a lot of good things about the Garmin iPhone App, the I didn’t notice my first few uses.

The run itself was slower at the start, my legs felt a little tired and didn’t really loosen up until after the third mile. When I turned around at the Goodhue Road, I decided that I would try to do a tempo run back to the house and got my times down to the low 8:00 minute pace range. Going up the hill was a bit slower, but still better than usual. Then I picked it back up for the last mile.

Overall, I was very happy with the second half of the run.

RunLog 7-4-12