Interesting Week – Week In Review 1-14-18

Wow!!! January is just about half over, can you believe it!!!

Yeah it WAS an interesting week:

The weather – it is still the big news around here.

Well at least, since I don’t talk about politics, religion or other in the news crap here. There is plenty about all of those subjects going on to keep us busy until the next millennium. All those third-rail subjects that take up so much of everyone’s time, energy and blood pressure.

I follow along, but…well at some point everything becomes overload and I just focus on the little part of the world that I can have an effect on. Then I go for a run. 🙂

We did have a decent January Thaw after that gawd-awful deep-freeze we had been in since before Christmas and I actually got to run outside a couple of times. I won’t say it was particularly warm, but it was runnable, although the roads were still pretty crappy.

During the thaw I did get a chance to get the snow off the roof, there was just a lot of snow still up there and it needed to come off.

I am not a fan of standing up on a ladder and using a roof rake to pull snow down at me (roofs, ladders and me are not a great combination). It is an eerie sensation to watch four feet of snow, over ten feet wide go by you inches away, knowing that there is nothing you can do but stand there and hope that it doesn’t somehow catch your ladder on the way by.

However, it had to be done, because…

On Friday the rains came and lasted through Saturday morning – I would have hate to have seen all that rain be snow, it would have been measured in feet, not inches. Once the rain stopped and a quick freezing rain/snow line went through we went into a “flash” freeze which made things nasty as hell.

Around us, there was a lot of flooding on the Kennebec and with so many of the street drains being clogged there was some bad flooding on local streets in the local towns as well. Not good, especially when down in Hallowell (where I run quite a bit – in back of Main Street) cars and trucks that park down there were underwater. See the article below from the local newspaper if you are interested.

https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/01/14/flooding-puts-areas-of-augusta-hallowell-under-icy-water/

For us, it just meant a lot of ice in the driveway and the leech bed field flooded out a little and now we are back to single-digit temps and sub-zero as I finish editing this post, which whether I like it or not – it is now more seasonable.

Alright enough about the weather, what about running?

The treadmill and I still remain good friends, although I did get to run outside twice. Neither run was exceptionally fast or anything, but they were outside. I do know that running outside is different than running on the treadmill, but I will use the tools that I have at my disposal to get miles in during the wintah, up heah.

Monday – Treadmill and Elliptical

Tuesday – Treadmill and Elliptical

Wednesday – First run outside in 2018 and Elliptical

Thursday – Pepin Way 4.0 Miler and Elliptical

Friday – Treadmill and Elliptical

Saturday – Rest/DNR – Between the rain and the ice, didn’t really want to run or drive outside too much. Although I did enough to get in 20,000 steps.

Sunday – Treadmill only.

I got up to 30 miles running and felt pretty good – no major ouchies or other things. I had a couple of decent treadmill runs and enjoyed the outside even with the crappy road conditions.

Plus I got almost 50 miles of elliptical work done too. Which meant my activity level was damn near 80 (79.6) miles for the week. Yeah, the legs and old body was a bit tired after that much work. I still say that keeping things in the 60 mile range combined would probably be a better balance of workload, but believe it or not I am enjoying the trips I take on the Elliptical via my iPad and YouTube.

Yea, I know that elliptical miles do not equal running miles. That is a given, but I am getting my legs more used to turning over at a faster rate for longer periods of time than I would be able to just running. That sub-5:00 minute mile on the elliptical, does seem to help my leg turnover on the treadmill. I haven’t run outside in decent conditions yet, so I am not sure just how much it is actually helping my running? We will see if it does make a difference.

Getting outside however, was a change of pace that I needed.

For the first time in a while, I ran in shoes other than the Yellow Gravity 3’s. See my Newton Gravity 3 – 50 mile review here.

First up were the Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent, which I wear as my outside shoes for most everything nowadays. However, as much as I like them for walking in, I am not so sure they are my answer as far as trail runners go.

They did well, but (isn’t there always a but) the grip was not that great in the snow/slush/ice combo that was on the road outside the house and I didn’t find them particularly comfortable to run in.

It might have something to do with the cold and how it affects the midsole when I run in them??? Also the lack of grip at times makes me wonder how they will do on technical, muddy and rocky trails, where I want to remain upright – we will see.

The second pair were the Newton Gravity 5’s and the day I ran outside in them Pepin Way was crap. So I got a really good idea of how they would do – not too bad. Actually felt a little more solid grip on the SLUR than I felt in the U/A’s (the big front lugs help). However, they do feel like a different shoe than the Gravity 3’s, which is odd seeing they are supposedly the same model, just a different year. Just going to have to run more in them to figure it out.

Another very good week, where I work around what Mother Nature decides is best for us in her wisdom or is that…well whatever. Each year I dislike the winters more and get more meechy about running outside in crappy/cold conditions. I know that a lot of it is in my head and that I could if I wanted to just run outside.

I just don’t want to anymore.

In other words, I am consciously making the choice to run in shorts/t-shirt on the treadmill more this year. I guess I just don’t enjoy those cold days and the challenges of staying upright as much as I used to.

Getting old has changed some of my perspectives on how I look at and do certain parts of my running and other things – for better and worse.

See you next week.

Finishing Things Up – Week In Review 12-17-17

Sometimes it just feels great and also a relief to finish things up.

Although Bennie was pretty relaxed this morning before heading out into 5*F temps and it was my favorite photo of the week.

Bennie looked like he was saying “Why are you bothering me?”

The good news was that on Friday we closed on the house in New Hampshire, which is the beginning of the final chapter of a very long summer that started back on June 2nd. We went through a lot of tears, work and out of pocket expense to get to this point and I am proud of how much we accomplished over the last six months. Friday provided some badly needed closure on a very difficult time in our lives.

Now that it is done, I know that I feel a profound sense of relief that this part of the journey is over.

We can now turn the page and start the next chapter in our lives without having to worry about that three hours plus one-way time, it took to travel to New Hampshire during the winter hanging over our heads.

A very good thing.

What will we do with our time going forward?

Relax a little…well a lot.

Get to enjoy the retired life and lack of having to be places, unless we chose to. That idea that our time, is our time again.

Then get back into a more regular routine, catch up on some work around our house that was neglected because we were so busy in New Hampshire and get back to taking better care of ourselves. However, for the next week or so, we will enjoy the holidays and get ready for Christmas.

So how did this week go with my running?

With everything going on and looking at the extended weather forecast last week, I predicted that this would be a cut-back week and I was correct in that prediction. I got in 23 miles and three out of five of those runs were on the treadmill. We are in the midst of a cold snap, the like of which, we don’t usually see until January. Below zero and single-digit temps have occurred all too often, which inhibits my running outside for any longer runs.

Oh, I know that I could probably do them, but I don’t like to run in that kind of cold anymore and where we live it is a bit of a safety issue. Especially, since you can get in trouble pretty quickly in that kind of weather and if I run from the house, the availability of safe places are much more limited in a rural area. I will also admit that I have gotten a good deal wimpier when it comes to cold weather and running outside. I take the easy way out and run on the treadmill.

Plus we got a snow/rain/ice storm on Tuesday that makes running on the road shoulders pretty treacherous when cars go wizzing by. So my paces outside have definitely slowed considerably between the combination of cold and ice. However, I have run pretty well on the treadmill and while I don’t like it as much as running outside, it does allow me to keep running – safely.

That is more important at this stage of my life and training.

This was also the week of the Hoka Bondi 5’s. Since I ran three times on the treadmill and wanted to get the Garmin footpod calibrated before I did. I ran 4/5 runs this week in them. Even now I am still not sure they are part of the answer or not.

They fit fine and have plenty of padding. However, when I run in them whether on the treadmill or roads, the bottoms of my feet bother, not enough to stop at 3-4 miles, but by the time 5 miles come around I am more than ready to stop. Once I stop things are fine, so it is not anything serious, but it is not how I want to feel in my running shoes when running. I am not sure if they just need more break-in time for the insole or if I need to change them out. If that doesn’t work than I will have some thinking about what I want to do with them.

I do think that I got my Garmin FR230 calibrated pretty closely to the treadmill and will know better the next time I run on one. It seems that 86% or 85% is the magic number for this particular way of calibrating my Garmin to the footpod. Not what I expected, but if it works, I am not going to complain.

Overall, a pretty exciting week and one where we were able to turn the page on New Hampshire. As much as I like Lancaster and the people there it is now time to move on and take back our lives. Running will continue to be a big part of what I do going forward.

Week In Review – 12-10-17

Well…winter is heah.

Today we ended up with 6-8″ of the white stuff, another storm is predicted for Tuesday and then another one for next Friday, with sub-zero temps in between – if the forecast holds true. Yep, winter has arrived.

The week just seemed busy – but what else is new.

Even though we are now retired, life just seems to have gone into exponential mode for us over the past six months and this next week should be the tipping point, where things start to slow back down a bit. We will see, but I am holding out hope that is the case.

I did get to visit the Vampires to get ready for my physical exam next Tuesday. I survived. As you may have read, I am not a fan of needles.

Running

This week I finally got back over 30 miles for the week and had a 10+ mile run. Nothing hurt all that much and I am running better than I have in a while. A very good thing.

I am still in the building a foundation phase of my training plan and am keeping things pretty reasonable for most of my runs. I have even been putting the breaks on, during a few runs – a good thing. However on the treadmill run on Wednesday, I did pick up the pace the last mile a little more than I have been, just to see if I could. I did better than I thought I would.

Although I did go a bit off the Chi Running Beginner Half Marathon training plan during week 5. I was having trouble with understanding and implementing the Pelvic Rotation focus. So I decided to skip this week and focus more on cadence and posture instead.

Though I will say, it was nice to relax my running and not be as focused on doing something new with learning the Chi Running way for a week.

I will get back to it more next week, if I get to run outside very much. Performing the Chi Running focuses on the treadmill is simply a lot harder for me, so the more time I spend on the treadmill, means that Chi Running might not be my focus as much, as I will be focusing more on just getting to the end of the run.

Treadmill running is different than running outside.

Running Shoes

My Newton Kismet 2’s are starting to get a little long in the tooth, I know that I only have about 150 miles of running in them, but when you add in another 200 and probably more miles of walking and wearing them for everything else too. Yeah, they are starting to get tired. While they still have more life left in them for running, it is time to add other shoes into the mix. I did like the Newton’s enough that I asked my daughter for a pair for Christmas.

I ended up with the Gravity V’s and did an easy 5.0 miler in them. I have a feeling that they will be a very good running shoe, although I think that they are more of a clear road kind of running shoe.

Also I know that I will be doing a lot more running on the treadmill and was not happy with how the Newton’s felt on one. I have the Hoka Bondi 5’s sitting in the closet and tried them out this week on the treadmill and they did fine on a tougher 5.0 miler. So I have a feeling that the Bondi’s will be my treadmill shoes going forward.

Since neither the Gravity V’s or Kismet 2’s are what I would call nasty weather shoes, I have a feeling they won’t see much time on the roads when it is nasty winter weather.

That dubious chore will be taken on by my Under Armour Speed Time Ascent’s. They are semi-weather resistant and have excellent grip. This morning I even used them instead of my boots while snow blowing the driveway and roof raking the garage. They did well and my feet were mostly dry and they gripped well. Now to run in them a little more.

Overall, a pretty good week and looking at the forecast, it might not be a great running week, especially if I have to make a couple of trips to NH, so I am planning on a down week compared to this week, but I have increased mileage every week for a while. So a step down week probably isn’t a bad thing, even though the training plan for Week 6 doesn’t do that.

Yet Another Week – Week In Review 12-3-17

It seems that the weeks just blend together sometimes and this one was one that I seemed busy as hell all week, but I don’t really remember what I was busy doing.

Yeah, I will just call it “one of those weeks”.

My favorite photo from the week:

The Androscoggin River as seen from the Rumford Boat Launch last Wednesday.

One thing that I am finding out is that I am loving my iPad Pro 10.5 setup. Now I haven’t learned all there is to know about IOS or the iPad, but it is definitely fitting quite well into the way I do things and how I see myself using a computer going forward. I just wish that Never Winter Nights was available for IOS. Baldur’s Gate is okay, but not exactly what I am looking for. Oh well I will find a decent RPG game one of these days that will occupy my time at night. 🙂

Although for most of the week, it seemed like Mary or I were always on the go. Yeah, the weekly trip to NH, worrying about this or that, then doing this or that. Even though my calendar and Reminders list doesn’t have a lot of stuff in them – it still felt like another screech week.

Gotta take time to slow down and smell the coffee a bit more. After all, isn’t that a part of what this retirement thing is all about? Sometimes it seems as if we are busier now than before we retired.

Oh well, enough whining and complaining about where the time went and how freaking busy we are, how did my week in running go?

Running

I had a very good week at just over 25 miles. I am purposely keeping the brakes on and not attempting to run too much, too soon. You know the way that I usually do things. I am running well, staying in the 8:25 to 9:00 minute pace area for most runs with a nice kick at the end of some runs (not all).

That pace area just seems very comfortable for me and while some might say I don’t have enough differentiation between runs – that is not the purpose of my training right now. All I am attempting to accomplish over the 2-3 months is establish a good mileage foundation without breaking anything and continuing to improve my running efficiency (form) by using the Chi Running program. Which means running comfortably for me – not according to some chart or software program.

No, it might not be slow enough to make serious improvements and certainly not fast enough to get my race pace up where I really would like it, but it is a comfortable pace that is helping me feel better about my running.

The other thing is that I am not obsessing about running seven days a week and surprisingly I am finding that five days a week seems to be working good in the colder weather. Having taking Wednesday and Sunday off for a couple of weeks feels about right for my present fitness level. Could I run more miles – probably, but at the same time what purpose would it serve.

None that I can see right now.

Although I would like to find a 5K to run before the end of the year, just to get a good baseline on where I actually am.

The weeks are flying by and this week has a lot on the agenda and hopefully this will be one of the last weekly trips to NH – at least that is what we believe, but like everything else this last six month, I will believe it when it happens.

All I can say is that I hope and pray that 2018 is a lot less busy than the last half of 2017.

However, it will be what it will be.

A Pretty Boring Week – RunLog 11-26-17

How do you describe a week that was, well boring.

Wonderful.

After a summer and fall of so much going on, it was nice to have a week that was pretty uneventful and except for the trip to Lancaster on Tuesday, I was able to just get into a fairly regular schedule – even with it being Thanksgiving week. That is the biggest benefit of being retired – my time is my own (for the most part), so having a holiday doesn’t really make all that much difference to me.

Thanksgiving was a good day and I enjoyed being around family, but all the other consumer driven drivel and marketing that comes after it…well I just ignore for the most part. It just gets obnoxious after a while.

My favorite photo from the week is one from days gone by. I have been going through and cleaning up my Google Photos, when I came across this one. Although it looks a lot like Christmas with my Mom, she had decorations up well before, so looking at how we are dressed, I have a feeling this might have been a Thanksgiving Day – not sure, but it seems to fit.

iPad Pro 10.5

I did get a chance to get to know my iPad Pro 10.5 and while it is doing everything I want (I love it). Apple’s continued reluctance to open up the file system completely has made putting my document files, photo and music libraries on the iPad more difficult than it needs to be. I can see making it more difficult to move data from the Apple silo, but to make it difficult to move data in so that you don’t use other brands seems to be rather counter-intuitive. More on that in a different post, but the iPad Pro 10.5 is an amazing computer that will do everything that I want going forward. All I have to do now is get my photos on the iPad and out of Google Photos.

Yeah, that is the kind of stuff that I consider fun…learning how to use something new to me. I just wish that Apple would let the iPad be the computer that it could be and not make it be or remain an ancillary device, which with the iPad Pro series it no longer is.

It is ready to be a primary computer and I don’t want to have to plug it into any other computer to be able to move files onto it.

Running

I had the most miles in a week since mid-September on 5 days of running. I would have had more, but I have been fighting a cold an today it finally kicked my arse and I took the day off, walked Bennie and did the elliptical. Still not 100%, but definitely needed the rest. Running-wise I did a couple of 6+ runs and actually ran in Waterville an Augusta versus only running around the neighborhood.

Moving to incorporating Chi Running into Harold’s running continues to go well and is paying dividends on how well I am doing physically. No major aches or pains and I think that some parts of the old body are starting to — dare I say it — feel like some healing is going on in there. I am sticking pretty much to the plan – only doing a little more mileage than it calls for, which is pretty good for me. I also have a feeling that not having the pressure to run 7 days a week like I used to all too often is probably helping a lot too.

The Kismet 2’s were my only running shoes again this week and continue to totally impress me. I know that running shoes do not really play that big a part of how a runner runs, but I also know that the wrong shoes can make running pretty damn miserable. The Newton Kismet 2’s are definitely the most right running shoes I have run in for a while.

Now to finish up my Christmas shopping and figure out how to transfer my running spreadsheet from Google over to Apple’s Numbers Mobile. Something that when I first opened it, seemed to be one of those weird programs that you just walk away from and keep using something a lot more familiar.

However, I have been “playing” around with Numbers a lot and if you put your mind in the right place, the logic does seem to make more sense after a while. So while the learning curve is real, I have been learning how to use Numbers, by re-creating my 2018 running log in it. It will be a lot more simple than my 2017 spreadsheet, more because I want it simpler than because I Numbers can’t do what I want – since it very easily can, now that I have an idea of how it works in my mind.

Overall, a nice week, where now I have to get rid of this runny nose/eyes, sneezing, snuffling kind of stuff that is going on. I just hope that things continue to be boring.

A 20 Mile Week – Week In Review

Something happened and I have to go back in and fix a bunch of stuff ;-(

Things seem to be FINALLY turning around the hip is getting runnable again – yah finally! Actually it was a really good week and I even got to take today off and relax. That doing yard work, mowing the lawn (it really needed it) and setting up things for when the snow comes – it will be soon —- this warm weather cannot last much longer.

Twenty miles this week with a rest day – I ain’t complaining.
<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-41212″ src=”https://runnah.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/ad878-screenshot-2017-11-5-harold-runlog-1-1-2017-xlsx.png&#8221; alt=”Screenshot-2017-11-5 Harold RunLog 1-1-2017 xlsx.png” width=”1776″ height=”349″ />
The work through Chi Running and also my stopping to change everything all at once and focus on 1-2 things really made a difference in my progress. I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed with all the changes that I know that I need to make to run more efficiently and hopefully a lot less injury prone, due to my poor mechanics.
Scanned Documents
Next week I am going to start the Beginner 1/2 Marathon training plan from the Chi Marathon plan. I will focus on the stuff that the plan tells me to, but will probably run more than four days in a week.  I need to focus on the basics of Chi Running (improving my mechanics) and for the next eight weeks that is the plan. I am sure that I will have my brain-cramps, but I gotta stick with this one I think – I can’t keep running the same way I have and still be able to run when I am older.
I am in the process of the moving back towards the Apple silo a bit, with the addition of my new iPhone 7. I am happy with my Linux Elementary/Kyocera combo, but the phone unexpectedly found a new home this weekend and I ended up with the iPhone (my fourth one), primarily due to the quality of photos and I needed it that day. So far am loving it, but still have to get used to a few differences between IOS and Android, plus the changes in IOS since the last time I had an iPhone. IMG_0076.jpg

Week In Review 8-31-14

A good training week with a double-digit run, speed work and some faster sessions with Bennie made this week a really good training week. I had thought about doing a race in Augusta on Saturday, but Friday’s long run results let me know in no uncertain terms that racing was not on the agenda the next day.

Bennie and the Snake
Bennie and the Snake – my favorite photo from last week

I am noticing that I am not writing as many posts on my daily training, especially when they are just recovery days, where nothing special happens. They were just getting too routine and didn’t/don’t add any real value to the blog. So I imagine that I will continue that trend.

I did get a couple of 50 mile reviews out one pair that worked really well for me and another pair that didn’t work the way that I wanted.

Also I explained why I still bother to write reviews on close-out and older shoes that I get to run in, which you can read about here. But to sum it up quickly — I think I am like a lot of other runners who do not have big running shoe budgets and know that last year’s models work quite well for me and I am interested in how those shoes worked. So writing about older shoes is something I think other runners will be interested in, as well as the newer models.

Continue reading “Week In Review 8-31-14”

Week In Review 8-24-14

Running with Bennie this week has been an adventure and 14.52 miles of running together, but we have had fun and he is making me much more consistent than I would be otherwise about my running. My run streak is up to 21 Days and I am not sure when it will end – probably when I get to feeling more tired.

Bennie pulling on the leash because he wanted to run faster
Bennie pulling on the leash because he wanted to run faster

For now, I am feeling pretty good and upbeat (well now that the race is over).

If you read my Run for the Fallen 5K recap, you will understand a little more about my struggles with race anxiety and how it affects my attempts to run in races outside of the local area. The bottom-line is that I made it to the starting line and finished the race with the best 5K time I have had this year :-).

Continue reading “Week In Review 8-24-14”

Week In Review 8-17-14

Isabelle
Isabelle

I have been busy this week, running more miles than I have in a while, reading a lot, writing a little more than usual, got a new pair of daily trainers, sent back my TomTom GPS watch and doing a lot of thinking about the book I got for my birthday Run Simple by Duncan Larkin and how I have incorporated (already) some of the suggestions in the book.

When I was first writing this post – I hadn’t decided if I want to do a complete book review or not, but my first, but not my last reading of this book has been a good thing, it is getting me to think about how I can simplify my running some more.

I was going to do a quick two paragraph review here, but it grew and grew, so I will end up writing a full book review on Run Simple, later this week :-). It is a good book and worth taking a look at, no I don’t agree with everything he says, but he did make me think about why I do some of the things I do and gave me some great tidbits that will help me focus my training even more.

On Friday, I was running into Augusta for my long run and suddenly a white Toyota pulls in front of me and TheWife says get in something is wrong with Isabelle (our 11 year cat). We rush her to the vet, she gets some shots, pills and although she is doing better, she is still not quite herself. So we are keeping an eye on how she is doing and spoiling her rotten.

Continue reading “Week In Review 8-17-14”