Dreams – What Happens When They Die

Dreams they can be fleeting and yet so motivating.

They are more than a goal, so much more than that.

True dreams are something that can make a huge difference in our lives and become a part of who we are, not just words on a performance evaluation or a blog post. Dreams make us work harder than we ever thought possible and when they are dashed, can be disappointing at the least and be devastating to who you are, if you allow it.

Why?

Continue reading “Dreams – What Happens When They Die”

Team RWB and an Opportunity

Team RWB Logo
Team RWB Logo

 

Last week I got some GREAT news that was very unexpected.

Let me back up a little, so that you understand why it was unexpected, but very cool.

My blog’s name “A Veteran Runnah”, especially the Veteran part is actually a play on words and has three meanings.

1. I am a runner who has been running for quite a while.
2. My age puts me into the Veteran age group when it comes to racing.
3. However, the third Veteran status that I have earned and the one that I am most proud of – a U.S. Coast Guard Veteran.

Coast Guard

I spent almost 21 years in the Coast Guard and retired as a CWO3 – Personnel Administration. During my time in the military, I got to see, do and meet people who I never would have met otherwise.

Coast Guard Boot Camp 1975
Coast Guard Boot Camp 1975

 

Even though, all I was in the military was a state-side paper pusher; my experience with the expectations and the concepts of loyalty and team in the military are – different from what they are in the civilian world.

In the all the years that I have been “retired” (since 1996), I have often felt like I have been on the outside looking in. I don’t always feel like I fit in with the “civilian” world and how that world works at times.

Okay Harold where are you going with this?

Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB)

I have been watching the growth of a newer Veteran’s organization called Team RWB for a while now.

However, when I first looked at it, I wasn’t so sure if Team RWB was for us older Veterans or retirees, most of the photos had a lot of younger Veterans and it seemed to be more focused on the Vets returning from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Team RWB Heder
Team RWB Header

 

The more I read and followed what they were doing, the more impressed I became with the direction that Team RWB is heading. Their organization’s Mission/Vision is:

Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.

Any organization can write a mission or vision statement, but from what I have seen they do seem to believe in this  mission/vision statement, by the many activities and outreach efforts they are making to all Veterans.

If you have read “A Veteran Runnah” for any time, you can tell that I do strongly believe in physical activity and its benefits, but I sometimes tend to struggle with social activities. It is not that I am a social misfit or anything, I just haven’t found my niche or the right group of people to socialize with beyond running or work. I just am not a social butterfly.

I am intrigued by possibility of meeting, working out and socializing with other Veterans. So I signed up to be contacted by Team RWB about getting involved. Recently, Laura from the newly formed Maine Chapter of Team RWB, contacted me and provided information on what they are doing locally and some of their plans for the future.

This conversation got me excited about Team RWB and the direction they seemed to be going and the opportunities that could be available in the local area.

My Exciting News

One of the things that really piqued my interest was that the National Team RWB sometimes sponsors Veterans to attend different events and one of those events was the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon!

Hey guess who plans on running this year’s Marine Corps Marathon.

So I figured why not and I put my name in to be considered for a spot on the Team RWB Marine Corps Marathon roster and guess what!

Last Friday I was notified that I had been selected to represent Team RWB at the Marine Corps Marathon in October!!!!

Wow!!!

is all I can say and in case you can’t tell – yes I am that excited about this opportunity.

I was told by Team RWB representatives that I don’t have to worry about registering on March 27th (that little 3 hour window when 30,000 people are going to be trying to register all at once, was stressing me out – a LOT more than I want to admit) and while I am not sure of what the sponsorship includes yet, just taking the registration stress off my plate has been a HUGE deal for me.

Oh I am sure that I will still be concerned about the MCM registration, until I learn more and have a more official notification of my acceptance for running MCM under the Team RWB banner . Until then I have to trust that everything is being taken care of by Team RWB.

Strangely enough, especially for an old worry wort like me, I’m not really all that worried about it, even though it is something as important to me as the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon.

Why not?

From the communications that I have had so far with representatives from Team RWB, I really feel like they want me to be a part of Team RWB, even with all this gray hair that I have on top. This was very important to me, as an older Vet who wasn’t sure about whether I would fit their demographics or not.

Also there is something called honor and loyalty, traits that are very important to me and I get the feeling that they are more than just words to Team RWB as well.

Besides to me it is less about the the sponsorship opportunity for MCM and more about finding something that I have missed – the opportunity to be a part of a team and community, that goes beyond being a job or something I do as an individual.

Yes – I ordered my Team RWB race singlet and I will proudly wear it, when I run in local races up heah in Maine and at the MCM.

If you are a Veteran, who wants to learn more about Team RWB, here is the link to the website or if you want to find out more about the new Maine chapter, contact Laura at laura.allen@teamrwb.org.

It will be interesting to see where this journey with Team RWB takes me, but it is good to be a part of a team again.

Facing the Demons of Doubt

Coldweather running 1-3-13

Okay I admit it – and will be honest with you I am nervous, no make that scared!

Okay what’s going on Harold?

My goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon in under 3:30:00 is scaring the hell out of me!

What are you talking about?  Here you are – that positive guy, who can conquer the world with a single keystroke or wave of your arm – you are scared?

Yep!

Especially after all of my public caterwauling and positiveness, about how I am going to run the Marine Corps Marathon in under 3:30:00 this year.

Why?

Pretty simple really.

  1. The costs of travelling from Maine and staying in the Washington, D.C. area for 4-5 days will be expensive and strain the budget more than I want to. I admit it I am frugal and going to this event, I know myself, I won’t be frugal while I am there.
  1. The distance – 26.2 miles is still a long distance and I seriously wonder how my 55-year-old body (and all the abuse I have put it through) will hold up to rigors of training for a full marathon – at the speed I want to accomplish it. I don’t have a lot of doubts that I will finish – after all I am a member of the Idiot’s Running Club. I just worry about how soon I will be able to run again after I do finish.
  1. Lack of Confidence. Yes as much as I would love everyone to believe that I am a supremely confident person, who can accomplish anything that I set out to do. The truth is that, I have this little, hell let’s be honest, bullhorn voice of self-doubt that I have to keep beating back, which says that I can’t or won’t be able live up to my big words and goals.
  1. It is public. My goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon in under 3:30:00 is a VERY public goal, it is here on this blog and I write every week about it at the Real Health Blog. What happens if I can’t live up to this goal, have I gone and humiliated myself in a very public manner, to many people who I respect and like.
  1. Do I subconsciously sabotage my efforts to achieve this goal? In the past I have used numerous excuses, exaggerated the seriousness of injuries, not trained properly, used my anxiety issues around racing and being around large numbers of people, to not achieve a goal that I have set for myself. That when I look back now, I know I could have done.I think this one scares me the most, because looking back with 20/20 hindsight and honesty, I have done this before.

The reality is that

I don’t think I am all that different from most runners, we all have to face our doubts and what we have done before. I have my own unique strengths and weaknesses that I have to use or overcome, to achieve my goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon in under 3:30:00.

My solutions to the above doubts are:

  1. Start saving now. Which I have.
  1. I have to believe that I can. Which I do.
  1. I have to train properly. Which I will.
  1. Yes it is public. This will hold me accountable and keep me motivated.
  2. This is the tough one and the one that I am asking you to help me with the most. If you notice that I am starting to find excuses to not train properly or worse – you start reading a lot of negativity creeping into my blog posts or vlogs. Please challenge me on it. Ask me what I am doing and help me out of that self-sabotage crap that I have done before.

Does writing about my fears and insecurities about achieving my goals, mean that I won’t attain them?

No!

To me I needed to write this post, to face my demons of doubt honestly and openly, so that when they begin to creep back into my life, because they will. I can challenge and defeat them or at least hold them at bay enough to accomplish what I have set out to do. Isn’t that a big part of life, facing our fears and doing what we have set out to do in spite of them.

You know something, I do feel better now that my fears are out in the open.

  • What do you think, do you feel this way too or is it just me?
  • How do you fight back your inner demons to achieve goals that scare the hell out of you?

The Power of “I WILL”!

P8290056In my post New Blog Focus–2013 Marine Corps Marathon, I announced publicly my goal of running a sub 3:30 at the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon.

In that post, I didn’t allow myself to use words like: if I can, attempting, maybe, possibly or the dreaded “try”.

What is trying?

My definition: Trying is making an attempt to do something, it doesn’t mean that you will succeed or that you need to overcome obstacles to do what you set out to do. Using “try’ means that you have the excuse that I “tried” when you don’t succeed.

Therefore, shouldn’t I just try to prepare for MCM 2013? That way if I don’t succeed I can say that “I tried”.

All too often in the past I know that I have used the excuse “well I tried”, after a race or something else in my life. When in fact I didn’t do as much as I should have to either prepare or push myself to finish or do what I had originally set as my goal.

Therefore, I am not trying to prepare for that MCM 2013!

Yoda Wisdom

I have always been a Star Wars fan and this scene is one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, at times I forget Yoda’s advice and simply try, instead of do.

The Power of “I Will”

I will prepare properly for MCM 2013 and I will run the race in under 3:30:00

No I am not arrogant or cocky, but I am confident that I will succeed in my MCM 2013 goal and I have purposely stopped using language that subconsciously sabotages my efforts or gives me an excuse to fail.

In other words I am not giving myself any outs or excuses that “I tried” and didn’t succeed.

The reality is that

the words we use, when we talk about something that we want to do are very, very powerful! If we use the words that convey indeciveness, instead of “I will do it”, are we subconsciously conveying the message to ourselves and others that as long as we “tried” that is good enough?

All too often, I believe that is the case. I know that it has been that way in my life, there have been too many things that I have gone into with the idea that I would “try” to do it and wasn’t successful, but it was okay because I tried.

I have reached the point in my life where trying is not enough, instead I am going to do more and if I am not successful the first time around, I will look for the why I didn’t succeed and work on changing what needs changing to be successful.

This is one of those things, that I learned about myself over the last year and I know it will make a big difference in how I look at and do what I set out to do.

Final Thoughts

Which words are you using when you set your goals or think about things you want to get done?

  • The language of ummm, maybe, possibly, or I will try?
  • What would happen if you started to say I can or I will?

Success or failure often is all about the words you use, it sets the tone and attitude for what you actually do.

What do you think?

If in future posts, you see me using the dreaded words of indecision or try, please call me on it.

 

New Blog Focus–2013 Marine Corps Marathon

Over the past month I have done a lot of thinking about my running and my blog. This morning I decided to change the focus of A Veteran Runnah and updated it to reflect my new focus.

It is now public!

My running goal for 2013 and new blog focus is to:

Finish the Marine Corps Marathon in under 03:30:00

What do I mean by that?AVR - New Theme

The focus of A Veteran Runnah has been a bit scattered at times, though I write mostly about running, with a bit of technology, healthy living  and life adventures thrown in.

Over the past year, I have been yapping about wanting to run the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in 2013, which just happens to be 30 years after I struggled to finish MCM back in 1983.

My time that day was 03:45:46 (according to my watch, which I started when I crossed the starting line) – my official time was 03:48: – something.

Finishing MCM back in 1983 was great. However, I was very disappointed in my time, for a specific reason – I didn’t qualify for Boston.

That means the other part of this goal AND the part that I have been a lot quieter about – is to run MCM 2013 in under 03:30:00, so I can qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2014. Yes I know that the qualifying standard is 03:40:00 for my age group, but with so many runners meeting that standard, if I run a 03:30 marathon, my chances of getting into Boston in 2014 are that much better.

Is it doable?

I believe that it is.

Is it going to be easy – no.

Training to run a 26.2 miles is tough enough and adding in the goal of a sub 3:30 time (8:00 minute mile pace) makes it even more difficult.

It will require discipline, perseverance, family support and some sacrifices for me to achieve those two goals.

Leading up to this

Since October 2011, my running has been all about seeing what my body can do, experimenting with different equipment, to see what works for me, and building a mileage base.

This past year has exceeded my wildest expectations and that is why I have decided to publicly make the commitment to train for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2013 now.

The reality is that

I have 13 months to train smarter than I ever have, change my eating habits from using the 80/20 rule to 90/10 rule and even to add in weight lifting or yoga to help me accomplish this dream.

As a result of my decision to go public with this goal I have updated “A Veteran Runnah”

  • Changed my About Me page
  • Cleaned up the header and added in a screenshot from the Marine Corps Marathon website (which will change if they update it for 2013),
  • Wrote a new Quick About AVR
  • Changed the background color.
  • Added a Count Down widget to the sidebar

These to me were more than just simply changing something – yet again in my blog. No these were tangible pieces of changing the focus of A Veteran Runnah and will help me move forward towards this goal.

As the focus of A Veteran Runnah shifts to sharing my journey about preparing for, then running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., on October 27, 2013 and qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon that day – I hope that you will follow my adventures and misadventures while I train for these marathons.

Did you notice that I didn’t use words like try or attempt at all during this post? I am going into this adventure with the mind-set that I am going to accomplish both goals and am going to do what I can to make sure that I accomplish them.

  • Do you have a goal that you want to accomplish over the next year?
  • What are you doing to go after that goal?

AVR – Running Week in Review 3-11-12

Spring is coming as you can see brook opening up, down-back is snow, mud and ice-covered, so if you go down there you will get muddy, but still have to watch your step.  Best of all, I ran a long run in shorts and no jacket and felt comfortable!

This was first week that I have had two runs of over an hour in the same week in forever. I have felt good running all week, even though I have felt tired. The longer runs do take more out of me, I have noticed, but I still feel good about my running.

Due to the pretty significant wear on my Kinvara 2s already, I decided to look for another pair of shoes and came across a fantastic deal on a pair of Newton Gravitas (last year’s model) through the Natural Running Store and ordered them. It will probably be my only chance to try the Newtons out, so it should be pretty interesting – I am excited by this and can’t wait for them to get here.

Running Summary This Week

RunLog Week of 3/11/12

Miles walked this week: 24.5

I am very impressed with the number of miles that I have walked already this year (209.5), in addition to my running.

Three things Running

  1. Long Runs: Notice that was plural, I had two long runs this week, one on Monday a 10.0 miler that was planned and went very well even though the footing was dicey in a few places and the second one on Friday which I had only thought that I would be doing 6.0 and ended up with 8.0 (and could have gotten to 10.0 if I had wanted to). The surprising thing was that Friday’s run was at just over an 8:30 pace for the run. Yes that psyched me up a little!
  2. Recovery Days: I didn’t just hammer away every day, I purposely went slower on “off” days to give the body some recovery time and I am taking today off (Sunday), since it has been 2 weeks. I plan to take Sundays off at least every other week and if I have hit my mileage goals earlier in the week than I expected I might even take off an extra day here or there 🙂
  3. 30 Mile Week: I went over 30 miles for the second straight week with 34.05, so I am starting to build-up my base more, which  is a good thing, but now I have to be really careful about stepping up the mileage too much more for a while, I want my body to get acclimated to the 30-35 range for a while. I will probably go ahead and have a step-back week and lower my mileage back to 25-30 miles just to give my body a little more rest, then go back up after that. See I am trying to train smarter :-).
This week in a word:
Progress

Blog Posts

Below are my posts from last week:

  1. Nice and Easy was What the Boss Ordered 3-10-12
  2. Great 8.0 Mile Run – 3-9-12
  3. I just ran tonight 3-8-12
  4. Dogs, Trail Running and Leashes
  5. 4 x 4 – 2 Hill Workout – 3-7-12
  6. Running Behind on my RunLog – 3-6-12
  7. Confessions of a Middle of the Pack Runner
  8. 10 Miler Done – 3-4-12
  9. Falmouth Fun Run – January 1, 1979 (Memories)
I have definitely hit a flat spot in my blogging the past couple of weeks. As the weather gets better, I notice that I am spending less and less time on the computer and that I have even read a couple of books over the past week. I am sure that I will get back into the swing of things, but I guess I needed a break from constantly working on the blog.  I even went back to my old Theme with a different background – The other one was too busy for me and once I find the right background this one will be fine 🙂

Top 5

Here are my top five posts for the past week based on pageviews:
  1. Confessions of a Middle of the Pack Runner
  2. My iPhone Running App
  3. Dogs, Trail Running and Leashes
  4. A Different Kind of Workout
  5. Snowmobile Trail Running – 2/1/12

My Favorite post from last week

Falmouth Fun Run – January 1, 1979 (Memories) Where I talk about a race that I ran back in 1979 and finished last. Not something I really wanted to tell the world about, but by doing so got rid of a few more demons. We all still have them, sometimes it is just how we face them that makes a difference.

Weight

I have bounced between 162-163 all week – so I did loose a pound. I am not trying super hard to lose the weight, but it is coming off slowly but surely. I just eat too much and too well sometimes 🙂

Injuries

My left hamstring is still snarling at me when I go faster than 8:30 pace, but at least it lets me still run (as long as I am putting the heat to it and rolling it out. It still does bother if sit in a chair wrong or if I move just right, so I have to be a little careful with it. The calf seems pretty much healed and everything else is going pretty great. However, I feel tired this week, I am not my perky self, need to get some sunshine and keep eating more garlic 🙂

Running Shoes

Saucony Kinvara

I really, really like them for running on roads. I had those two long runs this week, but they are starting to show some real signs of wear on the outer forefoot (on both pair) already. I have a feeling that I won’t be running in them much past 200 or 250 miles. Which is too bad because they are a really comfortable shoe that I like a lot. However if a shoe wears out that quickly I can’t afford new shoes every couple of months anymore, so I have to look at something that should wear better than these have.

New Balance MT110

I ran a couple of good runs in the MT110s this week and they didn’t bother my calf at all, which is a good sign, plus I have walked almost every day in them and will for a couple of more weeks, which will help my transition to them. I really like the tread and grip they have. This morning’s long walk on snow, ice and mud was very good and I was impressed with how well they worked in those varied conditions.

Newton Gravitas

Ordered and should be here next week.

Racing Schedule

I started a Google Calendar – Running In Maine 2012 with a lot of the dates of races in Maine during 2012. Yesterday I worked on updating and adding a lot of races to the calendar, so it is a lot better than it was before

I have it sort of narrowed down to the races listed below

Date Name of Race Location Result
3/4/2012 Chamberlain 5k Brewer Didn’t run
4/7/2012 Fly Like An Eagle 5k China
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
7/12/2012 Bond Brook 5K Race Series Augusta  Wednesday Evening
7/15/2012 Bradbury Mountain 6 Miler Pownal
7/19/2012 Bond Brook 5K Race Series Augusta  Wednesday Evening
8/2/2012 Bond Brook 5K Race Series Augusta  Thursday Evening
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

As we go through the season, races will change and I have added the Bond Brook series already and taken out a couple of others :-). This at least gives me an idea of what I would like to run. I have also made a widget for the sidebar of this blog that has the calendar in it.  It you see any errors or other information that needs to be updated or added please let me know.

Running Goals

This section shouldn’t change too much from week to week, but I want to keep them right in front of me so that I don’t forget what my goals are

A slight change to my goals – is to make sure that I am enjoying running and not letting it become too much like work.

This year my big goals are to run 1,200 miles, run a sub 20:00 5K and get through 2012 without any significant down time or injuries (running related or others).  My unadvertised goals from the start of the year are to be able to finish a half-marathon (notice I said finish not race) and run a few trail races when the weather gets better.

My long-term goal will be to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I finished the 1983 Marathon and to run/finish Marine Corps again 30 years later would be very cool. This is one of the major goals that I have in mind for my running and it would be even more fantastic if I could qualify for Boston that same day. Therefore, I am doing a 2 year work-up to the Marathon distance, just to see if my knee will hold up.

The reality is that

This has been a very good week overall. A couple of long runs, over 30 miles two weeks in a row and got a fantastic deal on a pair of Newton Gravitas running shoes (I can’t wait – they were tied with the Altra Instincts as my first choices, when I researched what I wanted for new running shoes last month).

I just ran tonight 3-8-12

After yesterday’s tough hill workout and the miles I put in already this week today was supposed to be an easy day and I started out that way, but after I got warmed up, I just ran the way my body wanted to. The New Balance MT110s actually felt really great and didn’t bother my calves at all on the roads, so I just ran tonight.

This is the first time that the MT110s have impressed me and I am beginning to really like them – they allow me to run quietly.

It felt good.

I am not running a consistent pace, but tonight I just wanted to run and was very pleased with how I did. No aches pains and the hamstring didn’t bark at me when I picked up the pace, so sitting on the heating pad last night helped, another night of the heating pad.

I am starting to get ready for my 5K on 4/7/12 in China — Maine that is ;-). I am sending in the race application tomorrow. So I am doing what I said I would, but with the price of gas going up, other than local races are not really going to be part of my race equation this year :-).

I know that I was pretty amazed at how fast the Marine Corps Marathon 2012 was filled yesterday. That makes me worry whether I will be able to get in for my 30th anniversary of completing it in 2013. Time will tell and a lot can happen between now and next year.

AVR – Week in Review 2-19-12

I took 3 days off last week and Monday off too, while attempting to be smarter about letting an injury heal. I tried to slowly come back to running, but it has also been a week of trying to find the “right” shoe, seeing how the shoes performed at different speeds and how they felt and made me feel while running in them.

I believe that I have finally found one that will work for me, especially after today’s 6.0 miler – no problems at all.  The Saucony Kinvara, they are definitely the most comfortable shoe and easiest for me to run of all the ones that I have tried on or brought home in a long time.

I was able to run through down-back again, now that the ice levels have melted back to dirt or should I say mud, so I can run some longer courses without so many hills or as much traffic – I just have to deal with the mud in places i.e. go slower :-). The past week weather-wise was very good, but I can’t believe that Winter is going to just fade away, I have a feeling that we still have to get through at least 2-3 more bad storms. So we will see on that, but even so, it really is only about a month to better weather.

Running Summary This Week

RunLog Week of 2/19/12
For a with Nothing Planned, I did really well! I wore 4 different shoes this week and finally found a pair that I can run in as my primary running shoes. Thank you Saucony.

Three things Running

  1. Running AgainAfter taking 4 days off to let the calf, get semi-back to normal, I started running again on Tuesday, but only a mile. Then the rest of the week was 3-4 milers as I tried to get used to a few different shoes. The calf didn’t bother very much, unless I ran too fast or tried to put too much lean into my form. It is not 100% and probably won’t be for a while, but at least I can run with it now. I actually did something right, by taking those days off and giving the leg a chance to heal a little more. My long run was today – a 6.0 miler felt good and I could have gone further.
  2. New Running Shoes – againActually 2 different pair, I raided the cookie jar on Thursday and went to Brunswick to buy a new pair of shoes at the Maine Running Company, unfortunately, they didn’t have what I was looking for and I went to Dick’s and bought the Asics Gel Blur 33. I had them two days and decided that I had made a mistake, returned them and got the shoe I should have gotten the first time around the Saucony Kinvara. They were on my Top 5 list and met all of my pre-requisites, but I had ben leery because of the left heel wear pattern in earlier Sauconys that led to blisters. These have a different design for the heel cup and I am a lot more confident that they will be fine.
  3. Valentine’s Day = eating differently than normal.We decided to treat ourselves to a decadent meal of Cheeseburgers, Store french fries, a drink and then homemade (scratch) cake. I couldn’t eat that way very often any more, I just felt heavy for a couple of days. Also, that piece of cake turned in 5 over the course of the next few days, I couldn’t just let it sit there and rot – could I? Nope I didn’t ;-). So here is getting back to regular eating this week and hopefully start moving that weight down the scale again.
  4. This week in a word:
    Reality

Blog Posts

Below are my posts from last week:

  1. Tommie Copper – Is Working
  2. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes
  3. Calf is Not Ready for Prime Time Yet 2-13-12
  4. TheWife and Valentine’s Day
  5. Happy Days Are Here Again – 1.0 Mile Done 2-14-12
  6. Running Injuries – Go Slow Grasshopper
  7. Wordless Wednesday 2/15/12
  8. Things Are Getting Better – 2-15-12
  9. Raiding the “Cookie Jar” – New Running Shoes Again
  10. First Run in Asics Gel Blur 33 – 2/16/12
  11. Warm Weather Running in February – Nice!
  12. My Very Tentative Race Schedule for 2012
  13. Running Shoes – Time to Rewind and Start Over
  14. First Run – in My Saucony Kinvaras 2
  15. WOW – I am Impressed with the Saucony Kinvara – 2/19/12

Top 5

Here are my top five posts for the past week based on pageviews:
  1. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes
  2. My Very Tentative Race Schedule for 2012
  3. Running Shoes – Time to Rewind and Start Over
  4. Running Injuries – Go Slow Grasshopper
  5. Narrowed the Choices Down to 5 Running Shoes

My Favorite post from last week

TheWife and Valentine’s Day, where I introduce you to TheWife and what she means to me.

Bonus pick was Running Injuries – Go Slow Grasshopper where I talk about being patient and going slow when returning or recovering from an injury.

Weight

I have bounced between 164-166 all week – so I am on a plateau for the week, but I also had to eat a lot of a homemade Valentine’s Day cake that was left-over. You know that “force me” to eat it, so it doesn’t go to waste syndrome :-). Besides homemade from scratch is good for you – right?

Injuries

I purposely didn’t run Monday and on Tuesday only ran a mile to see how the calf would respond and it did well. As long as I don’t go to fast or lean forward too much, it is okay. However, my left calf strain wasn’t really getting any better and it seemed like when I attempted to run or walk in my New Balance Minimus Trail 20s that would re-aggravate the injury. So they are being returned and I won’t be tempted to walk or run in them anymore – hopefully that allows the calf to start healing better. The knee continues to get better and my back feels fine, so things are getting back on track again.

Running Shoes

Peregrines

I am almost up to 300 miles on my Saucony Peregrines before I wore a hole in the heel and they started to give me a blister on my left foot. They are now retired and put on the give-away pile, so that I am not tempted to get that last bit of mileage out of them. The did well by me for the entire winter, but the left heel blister at the end meant that it was time for them to go. It is too bad that happened, because they were a great shoe until that happened – oh well – way things work sometimes.

MT20

Of all the shoes that I could try-on in the local area, the MT20s were the most comfortable. Unfortunately, these are being returned to New Balance on Monday, they were just too far down the minimalist ladder for my left calf now. It was getting so that I couldn’t run or walk in them without re-aggravating the calf strain, so instead of putting them in the closet to gather dust or tempt me to justify the money and to keep using them, I am sending them back to get a different pair of New Balance shoes – I need a pair of trail shoes so I will be looking pretty closely at the MT110s. We will see on this one.

That also means my transition to a more minimalist shoe is over for now.

Ascis Blur 33

Let’s just say after 2 days of fighting to maintain proper form in the Blur, I gave up and returned them. Nice shoe, but just didn’t work for me.

Saucony Kinvara

I was hesitant about trying these shoes initially, because of the wear/blister issues with my last several pair of Sauconys, but after looking at the Kinvara and seeing that the heel cup was designed differently I decided to try them on. As soon as I did, I knew they were coming home with me. They just felt right.

I ran in them yesterday and they felt great and then today when I ran a 6.0 miler, they were fantastic. Hopefully, my shoe problems are behind me and my biggest concern will become how many miles do I want to do today 🙂

Racing Schedule

I started a Google Calendar – Running In Maine 2012 with a lot of the dates of races in Maine during 2012, I know that the calendar doesn’t have all the races on it, but I was able to put together my very tentative race schedule.

I have it sort of narrowed down to the races listed below

Date Name of Race Location
3/4/2012 Chamberlain 5k 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

As we go through the season, I have a feeling that some of these races will change, but at least I have an idea of what I would like to run.

Running Goals

This section shouldn’t change too much from week to week, but I want to keep them right in front of me so that I don’t forget what my goals are

This year my big goals are to run 1,200 miles, run a sub 20:00 5K and get through 2012 without any significant down time or injuries (running related or others).  My unadvertised goals from the start of the year are to be able to finish a half-marathon (notice I said finish not race) and run a few trail races when the weather gets better.

My long-term goal will be to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I finished the 1983 Marathon and to run/finish Marine Corps again 30 years later would be very cool. This is one of the major goals that I have in mind for my running and it would be even more fantastic if I could qualify for Boston that same day. Therefore, I am doing a 2 year work-up to the Marathon distance, just to see if my knee will hold up.

The reality is that

I am glad that I tried on the Kinvaras and shouldn’t have to be looking around to figure out which shoe I am going to run in. I was getting tired and frustrated of the search and the limited shoe selection in my area (at least the ones I wanted to try).

I didn’t get to try on 4 out of 5 of the running shoes on my top 5 list, because they are just not available around here and I am hesitant to buy shoes online without having a least tried how they fit. Just think in 6 months or so, I will have to go through this same exercise all over again, but that is just a part of running.

Thank You again for your support and reading posts from “A Veteran Runnah”.

AVR – Week in Review 2-12-12

This was a very busy week and a one that I have learned a lot. It started out great and ended with a thump. However, I still have a positive outlook and while I have hit a couple of speed bumps this, I feel that I have learned some important lessons and will carry them forward in both my blogging and my running.

The light at the end of the Winter tunnel is glowing a little brighter, but as I write this post it is only around 12º F, but the sun is shining brightly beckoning me to go out and do a long run. Unfortunately, this is day 3 of my 4-5 days of self-imposed no running time to let my left calf heal after re-aggravating it last week. So I will do some weights in the garage and go walk for an easy couple instead of a run.

Running This Week

RunLog Week of 2/12/12

Three things Running this week

  • Injury – nothing dreadful
  • New Running Shoes
  • Cadence Work

Injury – Yes I re-aggravated my calf strain that I originally did on my snowmobile trail run over a week ago, by a dumb training mistake. I got new minimalist shoes and instead of taking the time to transition to wearing them slowly, I did two fairly tough 3.+ mile high cadence runs in them the first two days I had them. Dumb, but survivable.

It just means that I will be patient, let the leg heal again before I go back to running. What is frustrating is that this was a very preventable injury and that I didn’t listen to my body, when it said enough is enough – I continued to push through the discomfort and ended up on the beach for a few days. Lessons learned and my streak of over 20 miles a week was broken, unless I sneak out and do an easy 2.5 later today in my Peregrines :-).

New Running Shoes – I purchased the New Balance Minimus Trail 20 running shoes Tuesday night. They were not on my top 5 list of shoes that I wanted to try/buy, but unfortunately, my Peregrines were starting to blister my heal and I knew I was going to need the new shoes.

I wanted to try the new shoes on before purchasing them, instead of taking a chance ordering online and it was going to cost a lot more to make a road trip south. Unfortunately, the shoe selection in my area is limited. So I got a pair of minimalist shoes that I probably should have waited until next time for. However, I will start the transition to wearing them correctly this week and I do like how they feel on my feet and when I run in them, so I think it in the long run will be the right choice. Time will tell on this one.

Cadence Work – This is something that I really want to work on is increasing my cadence to over 90/180 for regular runs, I did two cadence workouts this week (with the MT20s) and I was in the 87-89 range for those workouts, so I know I can do it.  I just have to keep working at being more consistent about it.

Racing Schedule

I started a Google Calendar – Running In Maine 2012 with a lot of the dates of races in Maine during 2012, I am not done yet, but I have made it public and if I have missed one, please let me know, so I can add it. 🙂

Goals

This year my big goals are to run 1,200 miles, run a sub 20:00 5K and get through 2012 without any significant down time or injuries (running related or others).  My unadvertised goals from the start of the year are to be able to finish a half-marathon (notice I said finish not race) and run a few trail races when the weather gets better.

My long-term goal will be to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I finished the 1983 Marathon and to run/finish Marine Corps again 30 years later would be very cool. This is one of the major goals that I have in mind for my running and it would be even more fantastic if I could qualify for Boston that same day. Therefore, I am doing a 2 year work-up to the Marathon distance, just to see if my knee will hold up.

This week in a word: Learning

Weight

I have bounced between 164-166 all week – so I am continuing to make slow, but steady progress on losing weight.

Injuries

I re-aggravated my left calf strain when I attempted to run too much, too fast, too soon in my New Balance Minimus Trail 20s. As stated in my Who is the Minimalism Dummy Now? post that I was rather stupid about how I ran in a much more minimal shoe. I have been on the sidelines since Friday and will probably take today off as well. Could I run – yes, but I am really trying to be smart about this one, 3-5 days off to let things heal, is better than letting the injury linger on and on, because I keep re-aggravating it.

I have been very lucky so far, this is the first time since October that I have had to take off more than 1 day off in a weekly cycle, so maybe it will give the body a chance to rest and recuperate from the little annoying stuff, that doesn’t stop you from running, but you still notice them.

Shoes

Peregrines

I am almost up to 300 miles on my Saucony Peregrines and they started to give me a blister on my left foot. Enough so that I went out and bought a new pair of shoes Tuesday night. Later I decided to operate on the Peregrines and removed foam/cloth from the left heal that had bunched into a hard little knot, that was causing the blister, so that I can walk and run a little in them. However, they don’t feel nearly as comfortable now with a bunch of material gone in the heel area, but they are not causing any blisters and I will see how they feel when I run in them again.

MT20

Of all the shoes that I could try on in the local area, the MT20s were the most comfortable. I was skeptical about moving this far down the minimalism ladder before this and wanted one more pair of shoes in the Peregrine type (4MM drop with some foam) minimal category before I moved further down the ladder. However, none of the other shoes I tried on fit or felt as good as the MT20s – so I got them.

However, I ignored the advice of other runners and didn’t transition to the shoes, I just ran in them. Great learning experience that was.  I will start a much slower transition to these shoes next week :-P.

Blog Posts

Below are my posts from last week:

  1. Narrowed the Choices Down to 5 Running Shoes
  2. Running Through Colby Again 8.25 Miles Total
  3. Running Away from the Winter Blahs
  4. I Saw Mud Down Back – A Sign of Spring?
  5. Unexpected Running Shoe Shopping
  6. First Run in New Balance Minimus Trail 20
  7. The Winter Runner Stink
  8. What a Beautiful Day to Run 2-0-12
  9. 10 Things I Love About Running
  10. Who is the Running Minimalism Dummy Now?
  11. The Ultimate Beginners Running Guide – Book Review

Top 5

Here are my top five posts for the past week based on pageviews:
  1. 10 Things I love About Running
  2. The Winter Runner Stink
  3. Who is the Running Minimalism Dummy Now?
  4. Running Away from the Winter Blahs
  5. The Ultimate Beginners Running Guide – Book Review

My Favorite post from last week

Who is the Running Minimalism Dummy Now? where I discuss how stupid I was to not heed the advice of other runners who have transitioned to more minimal running shoes and do it slowly. Instead I ran two – tough for me workouts and re-aggravated my calf strain from the my snowmobile trail run the week before.  It shows that even an old fart, who is supposed to be older and wiser can become brain-dead, when getting some new shoes and simply wanting to run in them :-).

The reality is that

I made a training mistake and am paying for it by not being able to run for a few days. It was probably time for a few days off, but to have to do it because of doing something stupid, doesn’t make me feel good about it.

I do think that I will love the MT20s, I just have to get my body used to the different running style that they make you use. It is the direction that I want to go, but I do have to go slower on my transition plan ;-). No I am not beating myself up over this mistake, just admitting how dumb and preventable it was and hoping that someone else will listen. That way they won’t make the mistake that I made in my attempt to transition too quickly to a very different style of running shoe.

Thank You again for your support and reading posts from “A Veteran Runnah”.

AVR Week In Review – 1/29/12

This was a very quiet week, without a lot going on. I finally got the post updated/edited after the move to WordPress.com and can focus more on the writing, than back-end management now.

I do know that I am starting to get tired of winter and having to run bundled up, by the end of February, it will definitely be time to start really moving towards spring. Yes we still have to get through this month, but December and January are now behind us and there is a small light at the end of the tunnel :-).

Running This Week Continue reading “AVR Week In Review – 1/29/12”