Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work I Go – RunLog 7-30-15

Well…today I rejoined the daily workforce and you know something, it wasn’t all that bad.

Over the last 10 years I have had a few other “first days” and I would have to rate this one right up there with the other good ones that I have had.

I am working as an Administrative Assistant at the University College Learning Service Department – University of Maine System. Which means I get to proctor exams, help out where needed, do what I am told and do a good job for them.

I have been around the block a few times and done a lot of things and held a lot of jobs since 1975, but I don’t remember ever having the feeling of “this is where I belong”.

I know that some first days can be like the first few runs in a pair of running shoes, after a few runs you find out things you are not crazy about, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this one is different.

Mostly because I am so relaxed about what and why I went back to work. That I can focus on just being me…not some fictionalized rendition of me playing along to be what my new employer wants me to be or what I think that I need to do to get ahead. This timeI am not attempting to put on airs, make a name for myself or anything else.

I don’t need to work, I am working because I want to and it does make a difference in my attitude towards where I am going and where I want to be.

Like I said in the interview “What you see is what you get.” It doesn’t mean that I won’t do a good job because I will, but at the same time “Well – what you see is what you get”.

Yeah, I know I forgot to take a photo of going towards the building, I will get that tomorrow.

Run #1 and only

After getting home from work (I am work 8-5 during my orientation this week), it was still 80*F and 74% humidity, when I went out to run, so it was more of a slog and swim than a good run, but I will take it and smile. This hot weather runs really build the mental endurance and I know that I needed to get out there and bounce around for a bit.

Strava Stats 7-30-15

Strava Stats 7-30-15

The run wasn’t anything special and I got slower each mile, even though I felt I was working harder (I thought I was going faster on miles 3 and 4.

I am feeling a lot tired tonight, there was a tremendous amount of input and working the old noggin mentally in ways it hasn’t worked since 2011, so I will sleep good tonight and get ready for Day 2.

It will be interesting to see if I do get 150 miles for July or not, I need 2.3 miles to get there, maybe tomorrow morning with Bennie? This month had two cut-back weeks, so making 150 miles is a pretty good accomplishment as far as I am concerned and am very happy with the totals, considering how close I know that I came to not running again for a while when that raised garden frame hit my right leg.

So let’s finish up the week and keep having fun. :-)

Last Day of This Retirement – RunLog 7-29-15

Well, my Life of Riley ends tomorrow morning, my first foray into being retired is over.

At 8:00 AM tomorrow I will be starting my new job as an Administrative Assistant at the University College – University of Maine System, located over at the University of Maine – Augusta campus.

It is a strange feeling after having left the world of work back in 2011, to say that I am going back to work. I knew that someday I probably would get another job, but it is still a funny feeling.

The position is not some high faluting, big money job, that isn’t what I was looking for or wanted. I knew that I would never re-enter the classroom as a special education teacher, it just took big a piece of me, to do the job the way that I want it done. Nope I wanted something do with doing paperwork, being around people and one where I wasn’t a supervisor. It still being in the education field would be a nice bonus.

This Admin Assistant position description seemed like it was just what I was looking for and the hours are part-time (25-30 hours a week), but what really drew me to apply for the position were the advertised hours.

  • Monday to Thursday — 3:00 to 8:00 PM
  • Friday — 12 to 5:00 PM

Which means that I will be able to keep most of the day for what I like to do and keep up my running routine, be around Bennie, putter around the house as necessary and even continue to have my after lunch nap (very important ;-)  ). Well after my couple of full days of training are done.

Yes, I am excited and can’t wait until tomorrow to see how things really are – I have a feeling that it will be a good place to work.

Run #1

Oh well, now to get back to the running part of this blog. Continue reading

Sometimes It IS the Little Things – RunLog 7-28-15

I was reading Stefan’s blog post this morning and I appreciated his kind words about me and my blog. It is nice to learn that others enjoy the way and what I write about here. Thank you Stefan it does mean a lot.

That being said, what he wrote did make me stop and think, especially about my running shoe rotation and how lately I have whined about the Lime colored Hoka Clifton 1’s feeling so much different from the Blue Clifton 1’s that I loved so much.

Why is there such a big difference between the two?

As far as I can tell structurally there isn’t any difference. Maybe there might be some minor deviation in the manufacturing process between the two and then I got to thinking, I was using the original Hoka thin inserts on the Blue Clifton’s. However, the original Hoka inserts that came with the Lime one’s didn’t feel right. I had tried several different inserts and none fit just right and while the best feeling insert was one from my GR4’s, it still wasn’t “quite” right.

So I thought this morning, why not put the Blue Clifton inserts into the Lime Clifton’s and see what happens. Almost as soon as I put the right shoe on my foot there was an immediate difference. When I ran in the Lime Clifton’s this morning, I forgot about the shoes and will be whining about the humidity pretty soon.

Hoka Clifton - Lime inserts showing folds on the heel cup.

Hoka Clifton – Lime inserts showing folds on the heel cup.

It is funny sometimes, how something as minor as the footbed insert can play or make such a huge difference in the fit and/or feel of a pair of running shoes. I wonder how many times in the past, that was the primary reason a pair of expensive or not so expensive running shoes didn’t work for me – because of a bad insert fit?

I have a feeling – too many times.

Oh well, sometimes you gotta play around and experiment with a pair of running shoes to make it so that they are optimized for your feet.

Run with Bennie

Yes it was sunny and humid – like 100% humidity, I could see the steam rising off the roads and lawns as we ran past. The temps were not bad low 70’s and as long as we stayed in the shade down-back it wasn’t too bad running. However, as soon as we got into the sun, it got hot pretty quickly.

Looking down back towards Stevens' Hill

Looking down back towards Stevens’ Hill

We did a lot of puddle stops, so that Bennie could get a drink and I purposely ran easier because that last mile his tongue was hanging a little, but I judge things a lot by how he responds to vehicles when they go by and where he is while we are running. He was still in chase mode and running in front of me, so I wasn’t too concerned about him and he was drinking enough, but still I kept a close eye on him.

Garmin Stats 7-28-15

Garmin Stats 7-28-15

I was running by effort, not pace and was surprised to see the first couple of miles being that quick, I would have thought that we were in the 9:00 minute pace range, so we are making progress. I purposely slowed down on miles 3 and 4, due to the heat/humidity.

A nice, easy run with a bunch of Bennie pit stops.

Tonight, I plan on heading over to Quarry Road and running in the 8k trail race. However, I am not racing this race, it will be a survival run, I know the course and I know the hills and bumps on this course will take a lot out of me and combine that with the heat/humidity that there is today…well it will be smarter for me to just enjoy the run and other runner’s company.

Hot and Humid – but have to Run Fast to Learn to Run Fast – RunLog 7-27-15

Hot and Humid – but have to Run Fast to Learn to Run Fast – RunLog 7-27-15

It was a bit muggy on this morning’s run…94% humidity, but the temps were in the low 60’s so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

However, I know that I definitely worked up a pretty damn good sweat.

Selfie after running 7-27-15

Selfie after running 7-27-15

I couldn’t even wear my glasses, they were so fogged up so much about a mile into the run I had to carry them, so it was definitely muggy. Continue reading

A Week Of Healing 7-27-15

Yeah, I had to take a couple of days off due to right leg being viciously attacked by a raised garden bed frame, that I accidentally dropped on it.

Which meant that I lost 3 consecutive days to my self-inflicted injury, something I hadn’t done so far this year, take 3 days off in a row from running.

Did it help?

Well, sort of, kind of, maybe.

The pain in the leg was reduced to soreness and minor discomfort levels, but it is healing very slowly and while I am running decently, it still isn’t where I want it to be after a week, but at least I can run on it.

It might not look that bad, but it definitely got my attention and I haven’t attempted to do any runs that are that long and sustained higher paces caused discomfort, which meant that I had to adjust how I worked out to be more like a Bennie Run, run harder until it started bothering and then back off until it felt better again. Then repeat.

Which seemed to work well enough.

What are my new running challenges and goals?

The training I did this week seemed to be more in line with this goal to break 22:00 go after a post-55 PR (21:20) in the 5K at some point this year. Which means some more running at 5K race pace.

My favorite photo from the week

ASICS Hyperspeed 6's after my run 7-24-15

ASICS Hyperspeed 6’s after my run 7-24-15

Job Re-entry

One of the things that I had to do last week was cancel my gym membership at Champions in Waterville. Which is not something that I wanted to do, because I enjoyed being a member there, especially the people (Judy, Kim and Lisa), other members I have gotten to know, programs (the Yoga classes) and the facility. However, I will be working in Augusta and having to drive up to Waterville and then go back to Sidney, before going to work in Augusta.

Which would just be too much driving and a waste of gas/time, before going into work.

I will take a look at the workout facility where I will be working (but the hours are limited) and then depending on what they have decide on what I need to do next.

Now I am just waiting on the results of my Background Investigation and hopefully start on my tentative start date of 7/30.

Hurry-up and wait…all I know is I am ready to get started on the next chapter in my “professional” life.

Training/Running

My training last week consisted of:

Weekly Run Summary 7-26-15

Weekly Run Summary 7-26-15

Nope, no 40 mile week this week, but I did improve on last week’s totals, in spite of the right leg. So it was not a bad week, just not as good as I would have liked.

I am running faster average paces overall and it is based on my effort levels remaining about the same. I have noticed that even on my recovery runs I am faster, than I was at high mileage. So lower mileage is accomplishing something.

One thing that I am noticing is that I run well in the Clifton 1’s and fast in the Hyperspeed 6’s, but when I run in the GRR4’s, I run slower and seem to just not run as easily or comfortably in them. It is just an observation that is becoming more and more clear in this rotation.

Summary:

Weekly Summary 7-26-15

Weekly Summary 7-26-15

All things being considered, it was a good week.

Gear

New gear – No new gear.

New Shoes

No new shoes.

Shoe Rotation

I used a 4 running shoe rotation last week:

  • Hoka One One Clifton’s – Lime
  • Skechers GoRun Ride 4
  • ASICS Hyperspeed 6

Skechers GoRun Ultra – No trail runs

Hoka One One Clifton’s – Lime — 50 Mile review here.  These are now my primary trainers and while they work well, I am not entirely happy with them. The fit on my right foot is not quite right, not enough to bother, but enough to be a distraction. I know picky, picky, but it is what I notice and these Clifton’s do not disappear on my feet. I will keep running in them, but these Clifton’s are not the answer I am searching for and if I had gotten them instead of the Blue Clifton’s, I probably wouldn’t have gotten another pair.

Hoka One One Cliftons

Hoka One One Cliftons

Skechers GoRun Ultra – No runs in them this week.

Skechers GoRun Ride 4 -They are comfortable and I run well in them, but I do not run as well in them as I do the Clifton’s or Hyperspeeds. It is too bad, because since I did the shoe surgery, they fit quite well, but…they just don’t do what I want, how I want.

Skechers GoRun Ride 4

Skechers GoRun Ride 4

Asics Hyperspeed 6 – Only a couple of runs in them so far…but I am impressed, my initial thoughts link here…they feel comfortable and I feel fast in them. Now to get this leg healed up and get back to doing what I need to do in them – run fast.

Asics Hyperspeed 6 with orange laces

Asics Hyperspeed 6 with orange laces

Shoes that went away this week:

I cleaned out my locker at Champions and found a pair of Pearl Izumi N2 Tri’s that were underneath everything else. I put them on and they just didn’t feel right, so I put them in the lost and found box on my way out the locker room door. Someone else will find a use with them.

Injuries

Other than recovering from the vicious garden box attack, I felt good this week. A few of the usual niggles here and there that are just a part of living. Though the hamstrings probably will never be great, they are doing – well okay. I just think they do not like the faster paces.

Races

None.

The reality is that

My week wasn’t what I wanted, but it was better than I thought it would be at the start of the week. I thought that I would be taking at least the whole week off to let the leg heal and by Wednesday I was able to run some on it. So while I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to, I accomplished a lot more than I expected.

The healing of my leg is going slower than I want and I just have to be patient to get by this minor inconvenience.

No Racing Today, But Got Some Hard Strides In – RunLog 7-25-15

Yesterday, I was seriously thinking about going to do a 5K race in Belgrade…I didn’t.

No particularly good reason, other than I didn’t want to.

My leg was feeling good enough that I could have run it without too many issues, no race anxiety issues, I slept like a log and if I had pre-registered I would have gone without thinking about it.

The truth was that I just didn’t want to do a race today.

There isn’t anything wrong with that…especially for a race that I had only recently thought about doing and hadn’t made any kind of commitment before hand to do it.

Sometimes I think us runners get in our heads that we have to race all the time to validate our running and training. Personally, the more I look at racing, it is like a cherry or sprinkles on top of an ice cream, a nice things to have, but not the reason for getting the ice cream.

Racing is not why I run – I have finally learned that and it has made a huge difference in how I look at and prepare for races.

I run, because I love to run and would keep running even if I never raced in another race.

However, I know that I will race again and believe it or not, I am actually beginning to enjoy racing again. Especially now that I look at races differently.

So why didn’t I go up to Belgrade and run in that 5K…I didn’t want to. ;-) Continue reading

Racing the Postman – RunLog 7-24-15

I am purposely trying to keep my mileage a little lower this week, with that attackus raised garden framus event, still in the uncomfortable to touch stage. Which is surprisingly hard for me, because I want to keep getting out there and doing more and more to get back up to those 40 mile weeks again.

Keeping it to one run a day is my plan and I was able to do it today.

ASICS Hyperspeed 6's after my run 7-24-15

ASICS Hyperspeed 6’s after my run 7-24-15

I wanted to wear my new ASICS Hyperspeeds again, since I am thinking about running in a 5K over in Belgrade tomorrow, just a little one to support the local library. The course is not bad, but not really fast either, an out and back with a couple of rises along the way. If I do run it, I am just planning to go with how I feel and not push super hard on the leg.

Anyway getting back to today’s run. Continue reading

Yes I Am Back To Running – RunLog 7-23-15

Life is getting in the way of blogging about my running, but sometimes that happens and you just roll with it.

Yeah, I had to take Monday and Tuesday off from running because of that raised garden frame falling against my right leg last Saturday.

Yeah it is still pretty sore and looked a lot worse yesterday

Yeah it is still pretty sore and looked a lot worse yesterday

It scrapped up the leg and bruised the area pretty good. Enough that it was painful to even walk on it without grimacing just a little. I guess I was lucky that I was attempting to move my leg away and didn’t have it planted, when I dropped the frame against it, otherwise, I have a feeling that I would have been in a cast for a while Continue reading

This Was A Rest Week – 7-19-15

After last week, I knew that I had to take a real rest week. I know I was tired and need a rest.

I know, I know I have said that all to often lately, but this week I meant it.

Yeah it is still pretty sore and looked a lot worse yesterday

Yeah it is still pretty sore and looked a lot worse yesterday

Actually though, I am having a couple of days of enforced rest.

Yesterday afternoon It was still pretty wet out and while I was putting in a garden box for a new lettuce patch and the frame slipped out of my hands and scraped/bruised up the side of my leg pretty nastily.

While I didn’t do any structural damage, it is pretty sore today, so it means a couple of more days off to let things heal a little more, before I get back to it.

However, to get the lower mileage I wanted last week, I had to play some mental gymnastics with myself earlier in the week.

Just because I wanted to rest, doesn’t mean that coach Bennie is ready to rest. He still needs his daily ration of running and walking, but where I get into trouble and over do it, is that after I run with him, I want to get “my” run in too.

That is where the mental gymnastics came in. If I don’t run by 3-4 PM, I usually will not run again that day…the end of day chores, preparing supper and spending time with Mary take precedence. Unless I am doing one of the local trail races which start at 6 PM.

I just had to talk myself into believing that I would run later and then not do it. I know pretty weak, but it worked. Continue reading