First Run HokaOneOne Clifton’s – Lime Colored – RunLog 4-24-15

Okay in my Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is post, I talked about the why’s and wherefore’s of me getting another pair of HokaOneOne Clifton’s.

Well today was my first run in them.

Lime Hoka Clifton's

Lime Hoka Clifton’s

How did they do?

First and foremost they are pretty much the same shoe as my other Clifton’s – which is exactly what I wanted.

They felt a little bouncier (they are new) and a bit snugger in the toe box, but that snugness is because I decided to try using both inserts, instead of only the molded one. In my original pair of Clifton’s I had to cinch the laces very close together and there was not a lot of room for adjustments in the tongue area.

The adding of a thin insole did the trick and made the tongue area seems more comfortable for me. Continue reading

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Okay, a few weeks ago, when Granite City Running was closing, I was talking to Brian (the owner) and he asked me what I was wearing for running shoes now.

Seth Hasty and Brian Morin of Granite City Running

Seth Hasty and Brian Morin of Granite City Running – back in January when GCR opened – A much happier day.

When I told him Hoka’s and that I was loving them, he made a bunch of comments, but one that has stuck with me and I really had to process before I could make sense in my mind about what he said.

Brian told me “It seems like whatever your most recent shoe is, it is the best shoe ever, until you get something new.” Or pretty close to that.

After thinking about it for a few weeks, what Brian said was true. I have to agree with his observation, with a few caveats. Continue reading

A Busy Day and my Long Run – RunLog 4-23-15

Yeah, they all seem to be busy lately, since I have gotten myself plugged back into the VA health network over at Togus, I have had a lot going on. Today’s appointment was one that I was dreading…no not another visit to the vampires or anything drastic like that.

Nope, it was an appointment that I was dreading because I already knew that the results were not going to be what I really wanted. This appointment is one of those you can’t get around it things that mean you are actually starting to get old.

Well come on Harold quit beating around the bush.

I went to see the audiologist – yeah a hearing test. I passed most of it, but the high frequency part, let’s just say I used to be able to hear those little beeps and bops quite well. Not so much anymore. After all the testing and sitting down and talking to the audiologist, I had to agree with her.

I need hearing aids. Continue reading

Dogs and Running the Rail Trail – RunLog 4-22-15

We needed milk, so I used that as an excuse to drive to Augusta and run with Bennie on the Rail Trail…as if we need any excuse. hehehehe

Oh well, it was one of those just about perfect morning’s for running that you just dream about. Somewhere around 51*F, a light breeze out of the south (in our face while running towards Hallowell and at our back on the way back), with lots of sunshine.

Definitely, shorts, long sleeve tech shirt (pulled up the sleeves on the way back). Loving it.

I was just going to run by feel, after yesterday’s speed work session, my legs were crispy all day yesterday and were more than a little cranky during Bennie’s mile walk earlier in the day. So I went ahead and did some mobilization and stick work on my legs. Which seemed to help a lot and when we got around to running, they were feeling pretty good.

We started out pretty slowly, you know that first quarter-mile on the Rail Trail has so many distractions for Bennie to investigate and pee on, you know all the stuff that dogs have to do to announce – “I am here”.

Strava graph 4-22-15

Strava graph 4-22-15

Continue reading

Tuesday Speed Work – Treadmill Fast – RunLog 4-21-15

Okay, okay, I admit it, I run faster on the treadmill than I do outside. I don’t know about better, but I am faster.

It is not that I enjoy the treadmill more than being outside, it is just that I run faster on one. I don’t have to think about how to keep up my pace, I just have to keep up – which is a major different. Plus there are no environmental factors: hills, weather, etc.

That being said

I rocked the treadmill today. I didn’t feel like I was toast, couldn’t give more or even feel all that bad at anytime during the workout. I definitely had something left at the end. Which is exactly how I want to feel when I finish a tough speedwork session. Tired, but still could have gotten back on and done another quality mile or so.

Okay what did you do.

Well actually I did a bit before starting the speedwork session.

Run #1

I got changed out for Yoga and out on the floor at 9:30 – a little to early to start stretching, so I decided to do a couple of easy miles. “That do a little extra when you can” reasoning. So I did 2.0/16:40 – I never took the speed off 7.2 mph – felt good and was a nice warm-up. I didn’t want to push the pace or anything. I felt good and wanted to stay that way.


The quick 2.0 miles was a good warm-up and gave me just enough time to do some good stretches before Yoga. I was in the moment for most of the session, but the last couple of poses, before relaxation (the best part), my body just didn’t pretzel well enough and I changed things to meet my body’s limitations – which are still many.

Run #2

I was feeling good, the cold rain was still coming down a little too much to go for a nice run outside.

So I decided to see how I felt and do a controlled speedwork session – nothing stupid with a race coming up this Sunday.

strava graph 4-21-15

strava graph 4-21-15

  • .50 @ 7.2 mph — I was only going to do .25 warm-up, but when my shoe came untied, decided to do a .50
  • 1.5 @ 8.7 mph – 2.0/15:24
  • .25 @ 7.2 mph
  • .25 @ 9.2 mph
  • .25 @ 7.2 mph
  • .25 @ 9.2 mph – 3.0/22:33
  • .25 @ 7.2 mph
  • .25 @ 9.2 mph
  • .25 @ 7.2 mph
  • .25 @ 9.2 mph – 4.0/29:28
  • .25 @ 7.2 mph
  • .25 @ 9.2 mph
  • .25 @ 7.2 mph
  • .25 @ 9.2 mph – 5.0/35:14
  • .13 @ 7.2 mph
  • .12 @ 10.2 mph
  • .13 @ 7.2 mph
  • .12 @ 10.2 mph
  • .13 @ 7.2 mph
  • .12 @ 10.2 mph
  • .13 @ 7.2 mph
  • .12 @ 10.2 mph – 6.0/43:18
  • Then I just relaxed for a .25 walk at 3.2 mph to get my heart rate back to reasonable.

Shoes – Yes, I ran in the Clifton’s, although I did try something slightly different. I went with a little looser cinching on the upper…but somehow didn’t get the left foot tied good enough and had stop everything and re-tie the damn. Which meant that I tightened it up a little more than the right foot. I like the snugger feel better and won’t try that experiment again. The Clifton’s did great during the workout, letting me run as fast as I needed to without getting in the way of my running and nothing hurt.

I really felt good about this workout, now to see how it translates to running outside. There is a big difference and as well as I run on the treadmill, I now have to do in a race outside. This weekend will be the test of where I really am with my fitness.

Meandering Thoughts and a Good Run – RunLog 4-20-15

Yesterday, Bennie and I did a run through down-back and while it was wet, we didn’t get too muddy ;-). Which is unusual for this time of year, most years down-back is so trashed from people driving their 4WD’s around and purposely digging it up, so it was nice to get through there pretty clean. Although you could feel the road have that trampoline effect you get when there is a lot of water right underneath – so it won’t take a lot of traffic on it to make down-back into a muddy mess.

Especially with all the rain we got yesterday, overnight and this morning so far.

Oh well…it will be interesting to run down there tomorrow or Thursday.

Get back to the run Harold, instead rambling on.

After Sunday’s 9+ miles, I just wanted to run easy and did a good job of sticking right around a 9:00 minute pace.

Then we after we turned around at the top of Bartlett Hill, we got a little froggy and then a car went by. Bennie wanted to go for it and I said just to the stop sign.

Strava 4-20-15

Strava 4-20-15

While we were moving right along, I didn’t feel as though we were topping out. These are some of my fastest times for a short distance, at least this year since I re-created my Strava account. Not super fast, but doing okay.

After the stop sign, we slowed back down and went back to more of a recovery pace as we went through down-back again. Bennie didn’t even argue or try to pick up the pace again, he was happy just running a long. He had gotten to run a bit faster than usual.

We did pick it up a little again, when we got back on the tar for the last mile, but not anything crazy.

After that I watched the start of the Boston Marathon, did a bunch of errands and when I could watched the marathon’s live feed on my iPhone. First time I have done that, but well worth it. I was going to do a run in town after I finished up my errands, but by the time I finished everything up – it was pouring rain (better than a blizzard), but I just didn’t feel like doing a second run in 39*F, rain and 20+ mph gusts.

After all I wasn’t running Boston yesterday.

The Hoka Clifton’s did great on the dirt road portion of the run and when we picked up the pace, they didn’t get in the way at all. I just felt really comfortable running in them at all the paces I ran in them today.

Enough so, that because of a decision I had made during the day – that I talked with Mary and ordered a new pair from Runner’s Warehouse last night. That’s right…I am putting my money where my mouth is and I purchased another pair of HokaOneOne Clifton’s last night. They should be here Thursday or Friday.

Speaking of Boston

The other reason I decided to order the Hoka’s is that after watching Boston yesterday, I decided to run the Maine Marathon on October 4th, you can read all the gory thought process here. I am not worried about my time/pace or anything else. I am simply focusing on getting to the starting healthy and finishing the marathon. I really believe that the Clifton’s are part of the solution for this old body with so many miles on it, for me to meet this goal.

Then after finishing a marathon or two, I am going after my BQ time.

I have always wanted to qualify and then run Boston, but I have always gone about training for a marathon wrong too many times. I would like to do it correctly this time and take the pressure off me to run fast the next time I run one.

One step forward and yes I said that I wasn’t going to train for a marathon this year.

I changed my mind.

Motivational Boston Monday – A Decision Made

What greater motivation does a native New England runnah, need that is greater than watching the Boston Marathon, watching your Twitter feed blow-up and Facebook/Instagram feeds have these great photos of runners you know at/finishing Boston.

Congrats to:

  • All Boudreau’s – ;-) — Jen, Ward and Wade
  • Ron P.
  • Sam W.
  • Michelle G.

and all the others that worked so hard to get to Boston and have their dream come true of finishing the Boston Marathon.

Yeah, motivation, I promised myself that I wouldn’t try or even be tempted to train for a marathon this year. This was my year to get healthy, work on my leg speed and run uninjured for an entire year.


Damn-it I want to run Boston.

Also, I said many, many years ago that I wouldn’t run Boston, unless I qualified.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to the freaking starting line of a marathon since 1983, despite numerous attempts to get there. Which means in reality, the next marathon I do is my first – again.

Quite honestly, I have gone about training for a marathon bassakward and trying to meet a Boston qualifying time the next time out. Actually, I have attempted to do more than just qualify by attempting to train for a sub 3:30 marathon.

So I really do need to work on getting to the starting line and finish one or two marathons in my Old Fart’s body, before I go worrying about going for that qualifying time for Boston.

In other words, I need to get real marathon experience with my body the way it is today, not 30 odd years ago.

At the same time I am concerned, worried and yeah more than a little scared that if I commit to marathon training one more time, it will end up like all the other times. I have gone through this routine too many times and failed…you know that more pain, injury and frustration of my body not holding up to the distance.

Yeah, I admit it – I am scared as hell.

So what am I going to do?

I want to run Boston, always have and probably always will.

In other words, I will run Boston someday and this is probably as good a time as any to get it done.

Which means that I have to not worry about my time, run a comfortably hard pace for the race, not an all-out race pace and focus on being able to run the distance without breaking anything.

The Maine Marathon is on October 4th, which is also a bit of unfinished business from 2007.

Ahhhh damn I said wouldn’t do this, but damnit I do want Boston and today made me realize how much.

I just have to prepare correctly for it and get the real marathon experience before I worry about qualifying for Boston first time out and thinking that what I did in the ancient past is gonna do me any good now.

New Shoes / More of the Same.

The other thing is to stop experimenting with my running gear and focus on using what works for me.

As part of that I have (with the wife’s okay) ordered a pair of new Hoka Clifton’s and will be doing the majority of my training over the summer in those shoes and will probably get a pair of the Challenger’s for my trail running.

For me, I have found that if I stay with one style of running shoe, instead flitting all over the place that I seem to stay healthier. I know contrary to the prevailing theories of needing to rotate through a variety of running shoes to stimulate different muscles, etc.

However, we are all an experiment of one and what works for me or doesn’t work for me – is all about whether it works me, not somebody else. I think that sometimes in our haste to follow the latest trends or wanting to get the “newest”/”greatest” gear that we tend to go down too many rabbit holes and not stay focused on what we really want to accomplish and what we need to do to be successful for us, not someone else.

The Hoka Clifton’s are a very comfortable and forgiving shoe, ones that I am running well in. Instead of searching around for a variety of shoes between now and October, I am going to stay with them for my marathon preparation and when I actually start my training for the Maine Marathon.

Which will start in July. Until then I plan to keep working on my speed, focusing on 5K training and maybe throw in a Half Marathon in June/July, but keeping my mileage primarily in the 40 miles per week range and then seeing where I am at the end of June and making the final decision on how I am going successfully train to start and finish the Maine Marathon.

Damn and double-dam, I said I wouldn’t do this, this year.

Oh well, sometimes you just gotta do, what you gotta do.

Remember Harold, no time goals, just a get to the starting line and finishing the damn thing.

Next question…Harold — why in the hell did you watch Boston today. Sometimes you are incredibly stupid.

Week in Review 4-19-15

As usual a bunch of stuff happened this week:

Physical Exam

  1. I actually went to get my blood work done by the vampires and had my usual shitty experience. I wasn’t doing too bad, but then my vein rolled or collapsed when it got poked and it just went to hell in a hand basket. Not the tech’s fault, just  that shock and awe thing make me go away to my own little place for a while, while they are worrying if I am gonna be alright. I know it is no fun for the tech being forced to watch an old fart pass-out or turn whiter than a ghost, eyes roll-up into the back of his head and the breathing gets all funky.
    Just a little discolored after getting blood drawn by the vampires

    Just a little discolored after getting blood drawn by the vampires

    I would rather run 30 miles than simply give a little blood to that blasted vampires. I told the tech next time he could try to catch me, he laughed and said it wouldn’t be a problem, my turn to laugh, I looked at him and said if you don’t get me in the first 10 yards, you ain’t gonna catch me. He just said you’re a runner aren’t you?” I told him “yep” and just laughed and said  “you are probably right.” We both laughed.

    Luckily the next part was just a pee test and no one had to scrap me off the bathroom floor during that test hehehehe.

  2. Yep, it is official, I am still officially mostly blind and my vision is getting worse. 20-400 in both eyes now and my reading lenses were strengthened a lot. Plus the doc “strongly” recommended that I get the photo-lenses that change inside and out, because of how sensitive to light I was during the exam. No I didn’t have my eyes dilated, since it was our 13th wedding anniversary and we were going out for supper, so that was not part of the problem. I will be getting new glasses sometime in the next couple of weeks, bye, bye round cool glasses – now I get to look like an old guy, with the glasses that I got to chose from.
  3. Yeah, Mary has put up with over 13 years of being married to a guy with a serious running shoe problem. We went out to supper at Joseph’s Steakhouse in Waterville and enjoyed a great meal.
  4. As a part of the physical, I got the recommendation to try Red Yeast Rice supplement, since I do not do well with statins and said as much to the doc (I did it nicely). Unfortunately, the supplement is too close to being a statin and the side-effects were the same that I had when I was on statins in the past. So I went ahead stopped using it on Friday and now am feeling 100% better than I did later in the week.
  5.  I even got to run this week mostly in shorts which is huge as far as I am concerned. Spring is here and the snow is finally leaving. Some of the side effects from the above, was starting to affect how I was running by the end of the week. I could feel myself beginning to feel like crap and not being able to push through a run like I normally do – which are signs that something was going on. Not all the way back yet, but I know that I am a LOT better than I was Friday and feeling better every day.

My favorite photo from the week:

My first soft serve ice cream of the year - tasted delcious

My first soft serve ice cream of the year – tasted delicious

Continue reading

An Ode to Snot Rockets and Bloody Noses – RunLog 4-17-15

Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men, result in a ride home, instead of doing a long run.

Yeah, I had planned on doing my usual Friday long run into Augusta, but just after the 2.0 mile mark, I did a snot rocket (I know TMI) out of my right nostril. Not thinking anything about it, it still felt like the nostril was leaking, so I reached up and wiped the back of my hand across my face.

MMMMMM problem. The back of my hand was covered in blood, which meant I had just smeared my face (I must have looked great to the cars going by). Not a big deal, I have done this before and it usually stops in a few hundred yards.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop dripping and by the time I got to 3.0 miles, I decided to pull the plug on the run and call SD1 to come and get me.

N0, it was not anything serious and once I stopped and plugged the nose with some TP, the bleeding stopped a few minutes later. However, I was a pretty good mess, blood smeared all over my face (no photos taken – thank god), shirt, shorts and shoes with blood on them. It is amazing how much blood can come out of your nose and where the drops will end up.

I got home, cleaned up a little, sat down, drank some fluids and felt fine.

It is too bad, because I was cruising right along and felt pretty good through 2.0 miles. I know that I slowed down a lot during that last mile, because I was focusing a lot more on how much blood was coming out of my nose and where I was wearing it.

I did a lot of thinking about what could have caused me to keep bleeding and the only change that I have made in things lately is adding Red Yeast Rice a week ago, which is a natural statin. It was a recommendation of the doc at my physical, because I don’t do well with prescribtion statins (their side effects suck) and usually run higher than current recommendation for my cholesterol.

While the excess bleeding is not usually a side effect of statins, many of the other side effects that I have issues with were beginning to negatively affect me. So I will stop taking that stuff and go back to my routine of the last few years, which I have felt really great with.

I feel really great today, so it wasn’t anything too serious. It will be interesting to see how this morning’s run goes, because I can still feel a little scabby in the nostril.

Which means no snot rockets this morning and probably a real easy run.

It is also a good reminder that just because something is not a prescription drug and is a “natural” supplement that it might not have side effects that are not what you want to deal with.