$%&@!&% TIRED of Winter

I don’t know about everyone else, but I am $%&@!&% TIRED of winter, cold and snow.

IMG_20140320_150044

Yet another I am tired of winter post – how boring!

What’s wrong Harold don’t you have any original thoughts or ideas for posts running around in that noggin of yours.

Nope – I am brain-dead right now.

Oh I know everyone else is pissing and moaning about how long and how cold it has been this year – including me!

This winter has deserved every second that we all have pissed and moaned about it.

Continue reading “$%&@!&% TIRED of Winter”

Tentative Race Calendar 2013

Bond Brook 5K Trail Race
Bond Brook 5K Trail Race

 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been attempting to put together my race calendar for 2013. I am focusing on local races to save my money for my big destination race this year – the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th (if I can get in on 3/27) and hopefully the Runner’s World Half Festival the week before.

I have tried to mix trail races in with my road running, because I enjoy trail running a lot, it would be even better if I didn’t have to drive to a trail head – the problems a runner faces.

Below is my tentative schedule:

Date Race Location
3/9 Chamberlain March Half Marathon http://www.chamberlainmarch.com/
Brewer
3/17 5th Annual Lucky Leprechaun 5K

Trackside Restaurant, 4 Union Street, Rockland at 10:10 am on Sunday, March 17th.

4/6 Race the Runways 1 miler & 5K & Half Marathon http://www.racetherunways.com/
4/27 The George Kohl Memorial 5K The George Kohl Memorial 5K
Oakland, ME 9:00AM Messalonskee High School, 131 Messalonskee High Drive
Contact: Kirby Reardon (George Kohl Scholarship Fund). 1-207-446-8272 http://www.running4free.com/RaceDetails.aspx?raceid=206
5/19 Sugarloaf 15K Kingsfield
http://www.sugarloaf.com/eventsactivities/marathon.html
5/26 Pineland Farm Trail Running Festival 5k or 10K http://www.pinelandtrails.com/
New Gloucester, ME 10:00AM Pineland Farms, 25
Contact: Erik Boucher (GiddyUp Productions). 1-207-210-8655 Email
6/23 Rail Trail Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, and Rail Trail 5K
http://kennebecriverrailtrail.org/rail-trail-half-marathon/
Augusta, ME 7:30AM Old Fort Western, 16 Cony Street (5th Annual. Flat and fast course.)
Contact: Sarah Dunckel (Friends of the Kennebec Rail Trail). 1-207-622-9009 Email
7/4 Friends of the 4th 5K Winthrop
8/3 Beach to Beacon 10K Cape Elizabeth
http://www.beach2beacon.org/
VARIOUS Bond Brook Trail Race Series July to Sept Augusta
 8/10  Doc & Mardi Brown 5K  Waterville
9/* UMA Trail 5k  Augusta
9/27* Rise N’ Shine 5K  Augusta
10/6 Maine Half Marathon Portland
http://www.mainemarathon.com/
10/19-20 Runner’s World Half Festival Bethlehem, PA
http://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/
10/27 Marine Corps Marathon Washington, D.C. (Arlington, VA)
http://www.marinemarathon.com/

*Date has not been published yet.

I have left a couple of open slots, in case I want to add a race or two onto the schedule. I plan to try for the Beach to Beacon, but there is no guarantee that I will get in. There might be a 5K or 10K down in the Portland area that I want to run, but the long runs are pretty much the ones that I will be doing.

After the Rail Trail Half, I will be focusing on training for the Marine Corps Marathon, so races after that date will be tempo/speed sessions instead of all-out races. Just because I am training for a marathon does not mean that I plan to miss the social side of running that racing can be. 🙂

I want to attend the Runner’s World Half Festival and run one of the races as a final tune-up tempo run for the MCM, if my finances allow it. It would be great to go back down there and be part of the re-union of last year’s crew, that I had so much fun with last year.

If you live in the Augusta/Waterville, Maine area and you want to car pool together to a race or even better to meet up at any of these events, contact me and we can try to work something out :-).

This looks to be a very busy year of racing, but it looks like a lot of fun.

Have I missed any that I really should be running up heah in Central Maine in this year (other than the Acadia 1/2 in June – just too many races in a short time period to fit it in – that is on my 2014 schedule though)?

Now to find a way to pay for it all 🙂

34th Annual January Thaw 4.5 Mile Race Recap 1-27-13

Before the 34th Annual January Thaw on 1-27-13

Today was the 34th Annual edition of the Central Maine Strider’s January Thaw 4.5 mile Road Race up heah in Belgrade, Maine.

The first race of the year is always an adventure for me and I know that I wondered how I would do. I haven’t run in a race since I went to Pennsylvania for the Runner’s World Half Festival – the stars just didn’t align correctly :-).

So it has been a while since I toed a starting line at a race and I felt a little more nervous because of it.

The 33rd Central Maine Strider’s January Thaw was my first race last year and really started off a great year. I talked a lot about what it meant to me then in last year’s race recap. So this is one of those races I will make for as long as I can.

For some reason for the first 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile, I just couldn’t find a rhythm or regulate my breathing, I just felt out of sorts. Then it seemed like for the whole race I was moving in slow motion and just couldn’t pick it up at all. My legs had no spring in them at all.

Not using this as an excuse, but looking at my log this week I am pretty sure, It had something to do with running 10 miles on the treadmill on both Thursday and Friday ;-). It was a good lesson learned and one I won’t forget. If I want to run better during a race, I need to rest a little before a race – I am not 25 any more, even though it seems that I keep thinking that I am sometimes.

Here are the stats for the race.

Garmin 1-27-13

Screenshot 2013-01-27 at 16.42.52

Today was still pretty chilly at 14F degrees and the first part of the race was into the wind, so I decided to wear my face mask and then use it as a neck gaiter when the wind was at my back. Now I went by the mile marker at 6:46 according to the timer there, which is a lot different from my watch split results, which had me at 7:17??? I don’t know which was correct? It doesn’t really matter, but it made me wonder.

I finished 5/23 and 2nd in my age group, Ron who finished 1st in our age group finished 3rd and just kicked my butt! Gives me something to really think about and also motivation to keep getting better :-). Overall, I was very pleased with the results for this early in the year and other than how I felt during that first mile. I need to focus more on my leg turnover and just running faster outdoors, without over-striding.

Which if you look at the picture that David Colby-Young took of me in the last mile – I am definitely doing!

January Thaw.1

Need to work on that!

Still smiling even after the race 🙂

January Thaw My Pic After2

Screenshot 2013-01-27 at 19.23.02

Guess who’s shirt says Idiot’s Running Club ;-).

Job Search Progress – 4/27/12

Getting all of your ducks in a row and preparing your job search is not really all that easy and will take more time than you think it will. You will go down a lot of rabbit holes and get distracted by this great website, blog or article and maybe even the ballgame scores. However, to get what you need done, you have to focus on what is important and what needs to be done.

There is a lot of background work that you need to do, to make sure that you are capturing all of your experience, not just the stuff you remember off the top of your head. So I spent a this morning and most of the afternoon putting together my work history – yes all 31 pages of my professional life (civilian and military) since 1975.

Yes having your work history is that important to have done in my opinion that I did it before really getting started on my resumes.

RESUME

Speaking of resumes, after I finished my work history research project I worked on my rough draft of my Professional Trainer resume. Actually because of all the research I had done putting together my work history, all I had to do was copy and paste the bullet points I had created that related to teaching or training and put them into my draft. Then use appropriate terminology or keywords from that profession to meet the job requirements I was looking to meet.

Next week when I go to update my Federal Resumes for Administrator, Training and VSR – I know that I will have a lot more pertinent information to put into these targeted resumes, than I would have if I had tried to do them before putting together my work history.

TODO’s FROM THE WORKSHOP

  • Apply for Digital Resource Card from Maine State Library – done next time in Augusta go to Maine State Library to pick-up –
  • Update LinkedIn profile  –  Started the update process, I can see as I do more research that the profile will change a lot over the next few weeks.
  • Rquest more recommendations on LinkedIn – Received at total of 3 more recommendations
  • Add commendations to LinkedIn – Done
  • Create new blog for job search – done
  • Update Facebook profile and privacy settings – done
  • Update Resume from standardized to more me – Need to do more research before I go to change it very much
  • Create portfolio notebook – in progress
  • Scan Commendations, other information into PDF format.
  • Order business cards
  • Write out what have you done, what do you like to do, hobbies, other interests.
  • Look back and re-read your Looking for my Dream Job series from 2009, instead of reinventing the wheel.
  • Figure out what professions really interest me.
  • Write a post on Why Blog During my job search.
  • Get a new photo for websites where I want to present a more professional image.
  • Follow-up to get my appointment date with the DVOP at the Career Center.
  • Research working for:
    • Togus
    • State of Maine
  • Companies in Augusta/Waterville area that I would be interested in working for.
  • Think about what would be the ideal work environment and how I could contribute to that environment.
  • Update Federal Resume
  • Review Job list.
  • Review networking blog for Monday, print-out in PDF format and comment on possible improvements
  • Setup OGJS with Feedburner and search engines
  • Setup lunch time/day with former colleague
  • Follow-up appointment with VA.

RSS Feeds

I am adding job search blogs to the RSS feed in my Windows Live account, separating my professional feeds from my Google Reader feeds, which are more personal interests.

I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would, but getting the work history done correctly was a very important piece of the puzzle and will significantly cut the amount of time I will need to spend in the future on job applications and resumes, so it was a good investment of my time. Plus getting a rough draft of my professional trainer resume done was pretty good too.

No I am no going to get everything done overnight, but I will keep chipping away at this list and have a feeling that I will be amazed at how much I will have done in 2-3 weeks.

Yes I am continuing to exercise: walked 2.6 miles with Bennie and then ran 5.2 miles this afternoon.  Tomorrow is a day off from the job search and I will be running in the Joseph’s 5K in Fairfield, Maine. Hopefully, I do pretty decently and see some more people who I haven’t seen in a while.

If you are interested in my qualifications and experience, please read my About Me page, go to my LinkedIn account, read my other blog “A Veteran Runnah” or better yet ask me by contacting me directly – by clicking here.

Related articles
  • Blogging During My Job Search (oldguyjobsearch.wordpress.com)
  • A Lot of Job Search Work To Be Done (oldguyjobsearch.wordpress.com)

Have You Done Your Work History Yet?

Have you done your Work History yet?

If not why not?

Unfortunately or fortunately, however you look at it, Federal, State and many other job applications need a lot of detail about you, when you are applying for a job. I know that Maine’s are almost onerous and the Federal Government application is not easy to do quickly, so sooner or later you have to put together your work history.

If you have the work history completed, you are not under as much pressure if you suddenly need to complete an application done quickly (today) and then end up doing the typical half-assed job that doing something too quickly ends up being.

This happened to me when I submitted my Federal Resume for a Veteran’s Service Representative position that opened with a 3 day window. I learned about the announcement on day 2, the first day that I started this process. My application then definitely was not the quality that it would be today. To be honest I was not ready for that application and when I look at it now, it needed a lot more work to be a quality application.

I am still job searching, so you can tell what the reviewers thought of my submission ;-).  Actually they cancelled the vacancy announcement, so I am hopeful that it will open again soon.

When are you going to start working on your job history?

I know we are all busy and there is a lot of background work that you need to do to put together your work history correctly. Especially if you want to make sure that you are capturing ALL of your experience, not just the stuff you remember off the top of your head.

MEMORIES

So I spent this morning and most of the afternoon updating and piecing together my work history again. This meant going through all the below resources:

  • You need to go back through your old evaluations, which are fantastic source documents to remember your many collateral duties and projects that you completed and have forgotten about.
  • Look at your DD214 and training certificates (you kept all of them – right).
  • Letters of recommendation for OCS, The Service Academy (when you were a lot younger), service schools or  promotion board recommendations – they all have a lot of the things you did that you can put into and are things that upper management (senior leadership) thought was important enough to put into your recommendation – even if you might have written the first draft yourself.
  • In your medals or awards – the narratives, which have projects, accomplishments and details that you were commended for. If they were important then, they sure could be important now. Especially if under the FOIA you requested copies of all your service records – they give you copies of the actual Award Recommendation, which has a wealth of information about what others thought that you did and you can put into your work history.
  • Any Job descriptions that you kept a copy of .
  • Vacancy announcements or newspaper ads for jobs you applied for and got.
  • Any other documents you have that will help you remember what you have done professionally and help to document that you actually did the work you are claiming that you did. It is still nice to have supporting documentation available if someone is in awe of all the stuff you have done and tries to say that you couldn’t possibly have done all that you claim.
There were a lot of memories re-lived today – a lot of smiles, a few shakes of my head, a couple of grimaces, but I also came out this exercise more confident in my abilities than I was before. I got to see a lot information about who I am professionally, along with projects and accomplishments that I have done over the years and what others thought of my abilities. Sometimes we forget how much we have done and how well we did those things.
Luckily I am fairly well organized and have all of this information in 3 ring binders and it was easy for me to find – I am not bragging, it is  just my background as an Admin type and who learned the hard way that having paper around is important to cover your a$$ if necessary. Unfortunately, if you have this stuff hidden away in boxes in the attic or threw everything out, you will have a lot more work ahead of you to get this information. You might even get to know your rights under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

31 Pages

My military and civilian professional life since 1975 has now been distilled down into 31 pages of bulleted accomplishments.
Looking back – I have done a crap load of stuff and you know something else – I was pretty darn good at it.

Now What?

Now what will do with this gold mine of information?
  • It will make writing resumes a lot easier to find targeted accomplishments and I can copy/paste from my work history to my résumé and edit the accomplishment to meet that targeted resume’s professional needs. Instead of relying on my memory and re-creating or re-using the same information over and over again.
  • Federal and State job applications are famous for the level of detail that they require (the State of Maine’s requirements can be daunting), but if you already have 90% of the work done – they are a lot easier, especially if there is a time crunch.
  • When sitting down with your VA Counselor, Career Center Counselor, Job Coach, Mentor, Networking or anyone else who wants to help you, if you have put this in your traveling portfolio, they will have a better understanding of what you have done, what you are capable of doing and they can help you more quickly.
Now I don’t give my work history out for general distribution, I treat them as for personal use only, because not everything is applicable to all potential employers.
The reality is that having your work history done when you have the time to do it right can and probably will save you time in the long run. It might also be the difference between a quality resume and a so-so one which is ignored.
So I will close by asking:
Have YOU done your work history yet?
If you are interested in my qualifications and experience, please read my About Me page, go to my LinkedIn account, read my other blog “A Veteran Runnah” or better yet ask me by contacting me directly – by clicking here.

Job Search Progress – 4/25/12

Today was a good day and I got a lot done.

Made a network connection and will meet with the person next Monday, replied to a former colleague to setup a lunch and worked a lot on this blog to get the sidebar setup and my wife took a pretty good picture of me that I am using as my professional picture.

I also ran 3.1 miles and worked on getting wood cut and split for next winter. It is better to be prepared than wait until the last minute. So I will be in very good shape for the job search.

TODO’s FROM THE WORKSHOP

  • Apply for Digital Resource Card from Maine State Library – done next time in Augusta go to Maine State Library to pick-up –
  • Update LinkedIn profile  –  Started the update process, I can see as I do more research that the profile will change a lot over the next few weeks.
  • Rquest more recommendations on LinkedIn – Received 2 more recommendations
  • Add commendations to LinkedIn – Done
  • Create new blog for job search – done
  • Update Facebook profile and privacy settings – done
  • Update Resume from standardized to more me – Need to do more research before I go to change it very much
  • Create portfolio notebook – in progress
  • Scan Commendations, other information into PDF format.
  • Order business cards

Rest of Todo List

  • Write out what have you done, what do you like to do, hobbies, other interests.
  • Look back and re-read your Looking for my Dream Job series from 2009, instead of reinventing the wheel.
  • Figure out what professions really interest me.
  • Write a post on Why Blog During my job search.
  • Get a new photo for websites where I want to present a more professional image.
  • Follow-up to get my appointment date with the DVOP at the Career Center.
  • Research working for:
    • Togus
    • State of Maine
  • Companies in Augusta/Waterville area that I would be interested in working for.
  • Think about what would be the ideal work environment and how I could contribute to that environment.
  • Update Federal Resume
  • Review Job list.
  • Review blog for Monday, print-out in PDF format and comment on possible improvements
  • Setup OGJS with Feedburner and search engines
  • Setup lunch time/day with former colleague
  • Follow-up appointment with VA.

RSS Feeds

I have started to add job search blogs to the RSS feed in my Windows Live account, separating them out from my Google Reader feeds which are more personal interests.

  • Guerilla Job Hunting
  • Personal Branding Blog – Dan Schawbel
  • Resumark.com Blog
  • The Change Blog
  • The LinkedIn Blog

I am sure that I will be adding several more blogs and websites to this feed reader.

Right now my todo list is not in any particular order, but I am adding to it as I think of more things that I should do. I feel very good about the progress that I have made over the past couple of days.

No I am no going to get everything done overnight, but I will keep chipping away at this list and have a feeling that I will be amazed at how much I will have done in 2-3 weeks.

If you are interested in my qualifications and experience, please read my About Me page, go to my LinkedIn account, read my other blog “A Veteran Runnah” or better yet ask me by contacting me directly – by clicking here.

Fly Like an Eagle 5K Recap – 4/7/12

I ran the Fly Like an Eagle 5K, to support Erskine Academy’s Senior Class this morning. I was surprised at the number of runners that showed up for a local race with 6 other races going on around the state this morning. I saw race numbers in the hundreds and it looked like about 100 people or so ran the race and a lot of volunteers.

I got to see Troy S. who I worked with at Hinckley at the race, it was very cool to reminisce about the old days, catch up on what each other is up to and find out any gossip that the other has about other old co-workers.

The course itself wasn’t easy.

For some reason, I just couldn’t find my rhythm until going up the second hill. Once we got on Weeks Mills Road, the wind (20+ mph) was directly in our faces. Which made it a lot colder and slowed us down too.

It was nice once we got back on the Windsor Rd, the wind was at our backs and there was less than a mile left. However, there was that one last hill that needed to be climbed. Not a bad hill, just in the wrong place on the course :-).

While the hills were not actually this steep, but they did get your attention. Actually I had more trouble with the steep downhill at the start than I did the last uphill. Maybe all the running I do around the house on the hills is paying off :-).

I was able to overtake one runner going up the hill and then a student from the school came huffing and puffing up the hill and passed me. I had passed her at mile 2 and coming around the corner had had about 30 yards on her before we got to the hill.

However, I noticed that she started to slow down slightly when she got to the top of the hill, so I decided see if I could pass her back. We passed each other a couple of times and with about 100 yards left I picked it up – not really a kick, more like a long surge and the other runner let me go.

When she passed me, I really hadn’t thought about going with her, but when I noticed that slight slow down and how hard she had exerted herself to catch and pass me on the hill, I had a feeling, she didn’t have a lot left and was just hanging on. Turned out I was right – I guess part of that being a veteran runnah thing.

It was just a little thing, but something you learn to look at when someone goes by you late in a race and I had a lot of experience at being passed, I haven’t forgotten everything yet.

During the race itself, I pushed only a little, purposely keeping myself around the 80% effort level. I finished unofficially in 23:48, which is a PR for me at this distance. I had plenty of energy left and felt strong once I got going.

I decided last week to run the race a little faster than usual, but not to go all out:

I wrote that on Tuesday and for a change, I didn’t get caught up in the race and try to do more than my current level of running fitness would comfortably allow. Yes I understand when racing you are supposed to “embrace the pain”. However, when I embrace the pain during a race, I tend to get injured, especially when I have not been training to run fast.

Here are a couple of the photos that I was able to squeeze out of the camera:

The rest of the photos were not all that great, oh well next time. I will also remember to charge the battery, so I don’t have to squeeze photos out of the camera.

I enjoyed hanging around after the race and talking with some of the other runners and even got to talk with a 64-year-old lady who had run in her first race EVER that morning! It was also pretty cool that she was running in Vibram Five Fingers and was asking about trail racing or running groups. I also got to meet Robin, who told me she had read my blog and recognized the “shirt” :-).

So I was very happy with my performance and the time. This race gives me a lot to build on and confidence that if I keep to my plan, that I will be more successful later this year.  It was definitely better to use this race as a good training run and continue to build up my fitness, than it would have been to race the race and get injured.

Damn this getting wiser stuff as you get older ;-).

Thank you Erskine Academy for doing a great job on the race, the course was well-marked, everyone was friendly and helpful and the refreshments were just enough. However, I had to leave before the official results were up and I didn’t get to see the awards ceremony – which I enjoy. It is motivating to me to watch other runners get their reward for placing in their age group in a race. The sneaky part – it also allows me to see who the runners are that I need to run with at the start of a race (no guarantees I will be with them at the end :-), when I am in race shape.

Overall it was a very good second race of the year and I am looking forward to my next race, probably the Joseph’s 5K in Fairfield on 4/28 (my youngest daughter’s birthday). Just hope it is a little warmer, not so windy – I already know it will be a lot flatter 🙂

My Very Tentative Race Schedule for 2012

Flag-map of Maine

Over the course of the last month, I have tried to put together a race schedule calendar for races in Maine this year. While the calendar is not completely finished and I know that it doesn’t have all the races, it has enough of them that I feel that I can reasonably see what ones I would like to do.

My criteria were:

  • Local – Keep it local races within 20 miles got preference if they fell on the same day.
  • Cost – I can’t afford to race all that often, I stayed more with the 5K distances which are cheaper
  • Distance – nothing more than a 1/2 marathon
  • No big races
I have it narrowed down to the races listed below
Date Name of Race Location
3/4/2012 Chamberlain 5k – Decided not to run – Hamstring Brewer
4/7/2012 Fly Like An Eagle 5k China
4/14/2012 Rocky’s 4 Miler Augusta
5/5/2012 Woodfords Family Services 2nd Annual
5K Fun Run/Walk for Autism
Waterville
5/26/2012 Pineland Fams Trail Running 5k New Gloucester
6/24/2012 Rail Trail 5K & 1/2 Marathon Augusta
7/4/2012 Friends of the Fourth Winthrop
7/15/2012 Bradbury Mountain 6 Miler Pownal
8/5/2012 Bradbury Mountain 9 Miler Pownal
8/11/2012 Topsham Fair 5k Topsham
9/9/2012 Bradbury Mountain 12 Pownal
11/10/2012 Maine-ly Moose 5k Portland

I haven’t decided on the Chamberlain 5k in Brewer yet, it depends on how my calf reacts over the next week or so and if I can get any speed work done or not. To be honest it doesn’t look I will make this one, but you never know – I would like to.  I decided that with my hamstring still not close to 80% that going up to Brewer to run a 5K right now would be risking an injury – because I would try to run faster than I should, better to be safe than sorry 🙂

Trail Racing

I really like the idea of the trail races and the 5K at Pineland Farms in May is one that I really want to do. The 6 miler at Bradbury is doable – I would like to think that by Aug/Sep I should be in good enough shape to do the next 2 portions of the Bradbury series – at least that is the plan. Plus somewhere in this schedule Bond Brook will be having trail races and the UMA trail race is sometime in September (I think),

I haven’t been able to find dates for those races/events yet.  I like trail running better than I do running on roads, but how many trail races I do depends a lot on how much time I can get on tougher trails to do the 9 or 12 miler Bradbury trail races.

Stuff I am thinking about

On June 24th is the Kennebec Rail Trail 5k or 1/2 Marathon, I haven’t decided yet which I want to do, I would like to just run the 1/2 to say I have done the distance and will probably try for that one.

I might also trade one of the 5Ks for a 10K, just to run one this year and get a new baseline race PR, since I have re-set all of my PRs as of January 1st as I explain in my Time to Re-Set My Personal Records post.

The August 11th 5k at the Topsham Fair I think will be a “marker” race for me, I turn 55 on the 6th and I would like to try to break 20:00 minutes for a 5K there. It is the first race after that date, so it makes sense to try it as soon as possible, since I won’t be getting any younger ;-).

The race schedule seems mighty lean in September, October, November and December – maybe I just haven’t come across the right places to fill in those races. However in Sept/Oct there are the Maine Marathon and MDI Marathon, so if I am feeling really froggy in July and there are still openings, well I will leave the door open.

Not set in stone

Nothing here is written in stone and a lot depends upon how my training goes. If the body holds up and TheWife doesn’t send me back to work to pay for all this, then it will be fun. However, I have a sneaking feeling – that a part-time job is in my future so that I can afford to run, race and have new stuff when I need it.

This is the first year that I have put a race schedule together since 1986 and am really looking forward to running more than a couple of races this year.

Anyone need some great part-time help in the Augusta-Waterville area – I am a guy with many skills and I love to run. ;-).

Did I miss any

Have I missed any “must do” races in the local Augusta-Waterville area or do you have any other races that you recommend that I should do?

Thanks

Harold

Snowmobile Trail Running – 2/1/12

I was planning on the same hill workout that I did last week, however, the roads were too nasty to consider doing any kind of speed workout today.


Add a little freezing rain on top of this a little later :(.

What did I do?

I ran 5.0 miles on the snowmobile trails in back of my house. It was the hardest 5.0 miles I have run in a long, long time!

This morning we walked Bennie almost 4.0 miles on the trails just to see what kind of shape they were in. We were surprised about how good shape they were and the walking wasn’t too bad. While out there, TheWife and I talked over if it would be a good day to do the trails, because the roads were in such bad shape this morning.  Personally I prefer to do trails over road running in the first place and my body has done really well, so that is what I decided to run after lunch. Here are some photos of the snowmobile trail and the conditions a few hours I ran on them.

The only problem was when we walked it was 25F degrees and when I ran it was 35F degrees. This 10 degree difference, made a huge difference in the footing on the snowmobile trail. Instead of grippy snow, I was running in slippery snow all the way out and back. Plus in place where we just walked I would sink in. The best I can equate it to is running way above the tide line on a beach, only it was slippery with ice underneath in many places.

I was almost smart, I didn’t try for any speed records, I just plugged along and sped up wherever I could and just enjoyed being on the trail. One part I wish that I had a video of me falling. I started going a lot faster in one section going down a small hill, which meant I was hitting a little harder and the next thing I knew I was eating snow – my left foot had gone through and laid me out.  It was a good wipe-out. I looked around to see what had tackled me laughed when I saw a big hole in the snow behind me. No injuries just part of trail running 🙂

When I got back to the Disc Golf Course hill, it was a pain in the butt, but I survival shuffled to the top, no worrying about cadence on that thing today, but damn it I made it to the top without stopping.

Like I said tough, tough run, first time that my Green Turtle jacket was soaked through! I had worked up a sweat and then some.

Quality of Run: Tough, but very good
Time of Run: 2:30 P.M.
Temp: 35F
Weather: Overcast

Today’s Walking Total: 4.3

The Myth – Running is Cheap

There is a myth that many in the running community seems to like to perpetuate, that all you need is a pair of shorts, t-shirt, socks and a pair of running shoes to go running.

Let me tell you the truth that it is a myth – something that may have been true once upon a time, but is not the reality in today’s world.

What do you need to run?

 

Running Shoes

Yes you need a pair of good running shoes to run – that is just the way it is, unless you want to run barefoot (and many are trying it, but alas winter in Maine make barefoot running a tad uncomfortable). However, the running shoe companies take full advantage of this need to cover our feet and the average running shoe goes for somewhere  around $100.

Sure you can you can find more expensive or cheaper models. Many of us use online sales, close-outs, etc., but no matter what – you will still be spending a lot of money on running shoes over the cost  course of your running career – just the way it is.

Running shoes usually wear out some where within a 200-500 mile window, dependent upon the model, your running style and how big you are. Wearing old worn out running shoes is an invitation to an injury of some kind. The current expert advice is change your shoes early and often.

The “experts” also usually recommend you have 2 pair of running shoes, so that you alternate running in them (so that they will not break down as quickly) especially when you go to running 2 a days.

Then you have your specialty shoes for trail running, winter running, racing or if you happen to run track – track shoes. More reasons to have multiple shoes.

Now who do you think perpetuates these ideas? Hmmmm who makes the money? But it gives us a built-in excuse to keep trying and buying new shoes – after all they are not supposed to last all that long.

Even going with just 2 pair of shoes a year, you are probably somewhere around $200 dollars and there are not too many runners that only buy two pair of running shoes a year.

Clothes

I don’t see too many people out running in their old t-shirts and cut-off shorts anymore – we are not still in the 70’s. Yes I have seen some wearing gym short, tshirts and hi-top socks, but not all that many and I live in an area with quite a few runners.

Most people have running shirts (made of technical fibers to wick away moisture) and shorts made for running. If you chafe then you probably have some compression gear to wear under your shorts. Then you need some socks preferably not cotton, which tend to give you more blisters.

Then multiply these by 5, because you probably won’t wash them every day or two and you can’t wear the clothing once you have run in them – at least in my case they stink too much and you have to hold them at arm’s length just to get them to the washing machine.

  • Shirts – A regular cotton t-shirt costs about $20, the technical versions around $30 and up for the short sleeve models.
  • Running Shorts – A pair of running shorts goes from $25 and up
  • Socks – Running in cotton socks is possible and you can get deals at 6 for $12, while the performance socks can go for $10 and up for a single pair
  • Compression shorts for those of us who chafe: $25 and up

If you live in any place other than Southern California, you have the running in bad or cold weather gear.

  • Running Jacket – Preferably one that breathes while you run, so you don’t get rained on from the inside. $80 and up
  • Base Layer top – to make sure that the sweat moves away from your body. $40 and up
  • Running Pants – can’t be wearing shorts in 30F (a least I am not) $40 and up
  • Hats – $10 and up
  • Gloves/Mittens – $10 and up

Probably if you live in those areas, you have extra cold weather gear, but once you run in them, most of us can’t wear them for other purpose – they have that certain aroma to them, at least mine do.

You probably noticed the “and up” part of the pricing – believe it. You can pay a lot of money for running clothes. While most of the running clothes are well made and will last you several years, the initial investment to get them into your dresser’s drawers or closet can be pretty expensive.

Running Gear

Then there are the GPS watches/apps for your smart phone, watches, foam rollers, calf/arm/knee sleeves, books  and all the other things that runners buy to help them run better, which have some pretty hefty price tags.

Starting Out

Add all this running gear together, it costs a pretty penny. For anyone who is just starting out running, it can be a little intimidating. After all you want to look good and feel good while you are out there running.

No you don’t have to get everything all at once and some/many things you might never get. However, most runners do buy a lot of running clothes, gear and shoes over the course of a year, especially that first year it seems as they go through the trial and error system of finding what works for them and spend a lot more than they realize on running related gear.

Racing

A cost that you don’t usually figure in when you talk about running are the registration fees for running in a race. You know that money you pay to abuse your self on race day. The cost of running in a race can be anywhere from $10 for a small local race to hundreds of dollars for large or long distance races. Running in races is not cheap by any means, especially if you want to do it very often.

The reality is

that running is a cheap sport, is a myth.

Not too many runners, run for long in what they start out with and will spend a lot of money on new clothing, shoes, gear, running in races and gadgets to support their running habit.

No wonder that sometime our significant others get so frustrated with us and our damned running habit and the small fortune we spend on gear ourselves up.

Sure you can shop smart and get discounts on running gear and save some money, but you will still be spending money and more than you think you do.

In spite of all my words of wisdom above, I still love to run and yes I have a lot of this gear that “helps me run better” – at least I think it does or at least I have to try it to see if it does or not ;-).

Now let’s see

My old techy shirts have holes in them and have “that” odor that the washing them doesn’t get out anymore, my compression shorts no longer compress, you can see my feet through the socks and my current shoes have already started the death spiral toward replacement.

I gotta have some new stuff, so I can run better. 🙂

Finally

Isn’t this what runners do – get new gear to run better and forget that running is supposed to be a simple and inexpensive way to stay in shape.

  • When did we change?
  • Why did we change?
  • Is it a bad thing that our running has gone from a relatively simple thing, to a more complex sport today, where the gear is almost as important as the act of running to some.
  • Is it time to make your running more simple again or do you like all the high-tech advantages we have gained over the years?

A lot of these questions and more, I go back and forth on how I answer them, there is no right or wrong answer, just answers.

What about you?

I know what is on my gear/clothing wish list and am researching what my next pair of running shoes might be.

What new running clothing, gear or shoes are on your wish list this year?