A Nice 5.0 Miler – RunLog 12-11-17

Well the roads are clear today and the temps were in the high 20’s/low 30’s, so things were not all that bad for a run this morning.

However, when I took Bennie for his walk down-back, let’s just say that the vehicle traffic has made a double-track of white ice.

Could I have run down there. Yeah, probably. I know that I have in the past without any issues, but as I get older and smarter the idea of bouncing around on and/or kissing snow or ice, just doesn’t sound as sexy as it used to. ๐Ÿ™‚

If I had wanted to dig out the old screw shoes or hug the snow banks, where the vehicles hadn’t driven, but I couldn’t see what was underneath, I could run fairly well. However, at this point and time I am more concerned about being able to run a month or even a year from now than simply getting today’s run in.

So I chose to do my safer, but boring as hell course – laps on Philbrick. Nope it is sure as hell is not the most scintillating course I can run, but it is relatively flat, the roads were mostly clear and that time of day traffic is not really an issue.

Yeah boring, but safe – the story of most of my life.

I also decided to wear the Bondi 5’s outside, so I could setup the Garmin Footpod to help calibrate it, so it might be a little more accurate later in the week. Since tomorrow is supposed to be crappy and then Thursday has subzero temps predicted for the morning and cold temps all day. So I imagine in between trips to New Hampshire, that the treadmill will be getting some good work. Which meant that I wanted the footpod calibrated.

Although if my previous experience with it are much to go on, it probably will not be much more accurate than just the FR230 is by itself. However, I have to try. I could always go back to using the FR410 XT and the footpod for when I am running on the treadmill, I know that I can get that calibrated to be fairly accurate and consistent. It is just such a beast though.

Okay, enough blabbering – how did the run go.

Week 6 – Day 1

Goal – Have your upper body join the fun

Review: using you y’chi

Today – Rest day

Although, it is a scheduled rest day, I cheat and run on Monday’s. I am trying to keep at 5 days a week and staying above 30 miles a week. So I did Tuesday’s workout today.

Form Intervals

Focus #1 – Bend elbows 90 degrees

Focus #2 – Shoulders fall forward – which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, so I just kept my shoulders relaxed and pointing mostly forward.

I was Consistent. All my mile splits were within 10 seconds of each other and my cadence averaged out to 171 spm without using a metronome. I would prefer when possible to not use a metronome, since I tend to end up in the 168-173 range whether I run with or without one, even if I set it to 180 spm. I have a feeling that my present SPM is close enough to the 170-180 range for my purposes and makes the run a helluva lot more enjoyable without all that beeping going on during my run.

Also I practiced y’chi during the last 3 laps and it does help me focus more on getting there than just whining to myself about how I am feeling.

As far as my arm swing, I notice that when I am not actively focusing on it, I tend to cross the center-line of my body and flick my elbows out to the side (my old basketball days coming back to haunt me – I guess). So I do need to work on keeping the elbows in a bit more which will solve both of those things.

How did the Bondi 5’s do?

Okay, now I sort of remember one of the reasons I wasn’t thrilled about them when I first got them. At about 2 miles the balls of my feet started to feel a little discomfort, nothing bad, but it didn’t go away either. I am not sure if it is simply breaking in the shoes or if I am landing more towards the balls of my feet in the Bondi’s??? I don’t think I am, since I haven’t been a forefoot runner in many years. We will find out after this week I have a feeling, since I am pretty sure that I will have far too many days of treadmill running and will quickly tell if it is me or the shoes.

The other thing with the Bondi 5’s is that I am not used to the 10.6 ounce each that they weigh. Now that is not really all that heavy, but it is almost an ounce and half more than I am used to running in and the legs after the 4.0 mile mark were more tired than usual. Probably a good thing that I need to do more often, based on that alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, a pretty nice and easy 5.0 miles. Other than the balls of my feet, nothing bothered and I felt good. What more could I ask for ๐Ÿ™‚

IPad Pro 10.5 – More Thoughts

Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure to learn a lot more about the Apple iPad Pro 10.5 and wanted to share a few of the things that I have found work for me while using it.

It really is a great little computer and just the right size for a tablet – much larger and it would be unwieldy when not attached to a keyboard and any smaller having two apps open at once on the screen would be very hard to use. The 10.5 to 11.0 inch form factor seems about right for a tablet, especially when it has a detachable keyboard which can be used with it. I also know that I would not have been as happy with the 12.9 iPad Pro – it is just too big for what I or how I will use one.

Some of the things that I have learned during my first month with my iPad Pro 10.5:

1. I have to have an external keyboard to do lots of typing.

The other day I screwed up and haven’t ever fully charged my Zagg Bluetooth keyboard and of course while I was at the car dealership, it stopped working. I had planned on doing a blog post while I was there and figured that this would be a great opportunity to use the iPad’s on screen keyboard for more than a line or two.

It didn’t suck nearly as bad as thought it would, but it using the on screen keyboard is not something that I would want to have to use exclusively. One thing I had to change was my right index fingernail was just a touch too long and I kept missing keystrokes with that finger when I touched the screen key using only my fingernail. That got just a tad bit frustrating.

Which meant going and finding a pair of scissors to make it so I could type correctly. Before I cut the fingernail down to size, it caused a lot of misspelled words that I had to go back and correct.

I will definitely keep my Zagg keyboard or something similar over the onboard keyboard – the onboard keyboard doesn’t work all that well for me.

2. Moving exclusively to the Apple software/app silo only, probably will not happen.

I could probably get by with most of Apple’s offerings, but there are apps that seem to work better for me from other brands, which is not what I really expected. However, I want to work with what works best for how I work, so I have chosen a few surprises to keep moving forward.

Email – I will keep my gmail.com email account as my primary account, even though I will use Apple’s mail as the default email app, since it syncs well with iCloud. I just don’t like the .icloud.com identifier as my email provider at this time, it identifies too much what kind of computer equipment/stuff I probably own, while the gmail.com is more generic. Perhaps I am being a bit too paranoid, especially since here I am writing about my experience with Apple’s products on my blog, but sometimes being a little paranoid online is not a bad thing. Maybe down the road I will change my opinion, but for now I will keep using my gmail.com for emails. Although for certain things I can foresee moving more to iCloud.com

Notes – I like Apple’s Notes for the most part, but after all these years of doing things a certain way, I keep finding myself going back to Microsoft OneNote no matter which operating system I am using – when I can. The idea of different Notebooks for different interests is a level of organization that I prefer. I gotta admit that I liked Evernote back in the day, but some of the changes and pricing strategies moved me away from using it.

OneNote does everything that I want from a notes app, although I can’t use it directly in iCloud and I have to use Microsoft’s SkyDrive to sync things. Not really what I want, but if I want to use OneNote, something I will have to deal with.

What will probably happen is that I will initially use Apple Notes to create a note or capture something, think about how much I really need to keep it. Then if I decide that it is something I want to have permanently move the Note to OneNote in the appropriate Notebook. A bit of a convoluted way to do things, but I like both apps for different reasons and I do wish Apple Notes had a Notebook or whatever Apple would call it versus the one big pile of notes without any way to organize them the way I would like.

Photos – This is my biggest complaint right now. Moving my photo library from Google to iCloud and onto my iPad Pro is a mess and damn near impossible to do without a lot of manual input. Which is not how I am going to do things. So unless I find a different solution, I plan to keep what is in Google Photos as my archive for pre iPad Pro (keep adding stuff until I reach my limit), move individual photos to iCloud as I need them and use Apple Photos for my images going forward. Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination and goes against something that I thought Apple was big on – it should just work.

iCloud – I really would like to eventually be able to move all of my online storage to here at some point. However, if I want to use OneNote, I have to use SkyDrive and the issue with moving my archive photos to my iPad/iCloud is a pain in the arse, means I have to keep Google Drive updated as well. It would be nice to have just iCloud, but where I am moving in from other providers, there doesn’t seem to be easy answers to getting my data from them to my iPad/iCloud account. At some point maybe a dongle and SD cards would help?

Productivity – It really doesn’t matter to me which Word Processor, Spreadsheet or Presentation software I use. They all do about the same things, it is just a matter of learning where the commands are hidden more than anything else. Apple’s offerings are more than adequate for what I do now and actually for personal use, I remember how much I preferred Apple’s Numbers spreadsheet to the others, now that I have been back to using it a bit. Plus I don’t see me making any presentations anytime soon.

Calendar/todo – I am not that crazy about Calendar or Reminders, they do enough, but…getting them to do what I want is not always shall we say simple. Subscribing to a different calendar in IOS can be a bit of a chore and getting reminders to be in order by date, well I haven’t figured it out yet, without having to manually move things around. I have been sort of looking at other options, but in the end will probably end up sticking to Apple’s calendar and reminders more because they are the default app than anything else.

Browser – Safari is here by default and for the most part seems to work well enough. Well except on the Garmin Connect and Strava sites, it doesn’t work correctly???? I don’t really think it is Apple’s fault, but…still they are sites I do like to visit every so often (yes, I have attempted to use the Desktop mode). Which means that I have to use Chrome when I want to visit those or some other sites. Plus I do like that I can Chromecast from the iPad too when I use Chrome on certain sites.

Firefox I have it on my iPad Pro because I wanted to see how the “new” Firefox worked. For me it is okay, but nothing about it makes me jump up and use it as my primary browser yet. I will stick with Safari as my primary browser and use Chrome as my back-up until things change. Although I did like the Brave browser when I was on Linux and just realized that it is available for IOS, I will play with it a little going forward.

Music – Let’s be real, I am not a big music guy, I like my collection (mostly older stuff) and have simple wants. A workout playlist and maybe an easy listening one. I am not crazy about the Apple Music app and while it works, it just doesn’t seem all that intuitive to me and iTunes for IOS is more about parting me from my money than anything else.

Getting my music library to my iPad still required me to install iTunes on my wife’s Windows desktop, import my music library and then sync my iPad Pro. Not what I consider ideal either, but it worked, I tried the photo thing, but that didn’t work. For the past few years I have had my music library in Google Music and that is okay, but it is not where I want it to be, but Apple doesn’t really want me to have an pre-existing library outside their silo. At least it seems that way when I want to put something on my iPad Pro, nothing seems very straight-forward, unless it is coming from the Apple silo.

To be honest, despite all of the advertising and free offers from Apple Music, I still tend to listen mostly to Pandora.com in the background when I am working on the iPad and want music. It is simple and I don’t have to screw around with it.

News Aggregator – I can’t quite wrap my head around how to get the app to work for me the way I want to see news stories. Even when I check the dislike box, I still seem to get “Just for you” stories on things I don’t like i.e. Soccer, NFL, Entertainment and so on. I do prefer to get various views on what is going going from liberal to conservative with big city and rural newspapers that have local news too. Maybe my eclectic view on things screws up what they think I want to see.

Yeah, the Apple News app is a strange beast, who’s machine learning or AI doesn’t seem to be working for me all that well. I am tempted to use Google News again, but at the same time, not really wanting to. So I have a bit of a conundrum about which way I want to go for this one.

Split Screen – One thing that I have noticed is that I very seldom use the split screen capability that iPads now enjoy. I tend to work in one app and then switch to another when I need to do something else or use my iPhone as my other screen. About the only time I really use the split screen is putting events from Facebook to calendar (which in my opinion, should be done with a click versus me having to do data entry), but different silos, so I shouldn’t expect them to work easily together or copying my run information data to my running log spreadsheet.

I actually have found that I prefer to only have one app open at a time, it does make me focus and think about what I am doing. However, I do like having the option when I need the split screen for it to be there. The best of both worlds.

The reality is that

My iPad Pro 10.5 takes the place of how I would use a MacBook or other laptop (Windows, Chromebook or Linux) and in just the short time I have had it, I am getting pretty damned comfortable with how it works too.

Even so, there was still a bit of a learning curve, transitioning my muscle memory and wrapping my brain around how the iPad works with IOS. Some things are much more intuitive, while others leave me scratching my head wondering why Apple chose to make things this way. I sort of think that even Apple is learning what users want, with the newer capabilities that the iPad Pro’s bring to the conversation.

Who knows maybe even some of the things that I am whining about now, will not be an issue.

At some point Apple will have to let iPads and IOS stand on their own, as their own computing system and not require them to plug into a “real” computer to do some things that should be easily accomplished on my iPad. I know, not all iPads are iPad Pros, and I know that IOS is designed for the iPhone first and iPads second. As iPhones and iPads become more and more powerful Apple will have to make changes that allow us to use them as our primary and in many cases only computer – not just an auxiliary device.

It was my experience of moving primarily from Google products to only using Apple’s IOS offerings was a bit of challenge and more of a chore than it should have been. Apple doesn’t always make things easy to move your data to their silo from other places and to be honest some of their software/apps are not as good as the other brand’s. I know that is heresy to many Apple fans out there, but from where I sit, it is how I see things.

Luckily, my iPad Pro has enough flexibility in the apps it can use that I can have my cake and eat it too.

Unfortunately, it also means that my computing experience will continue to be a blended approach between Microsoft, Google and Apple, with a few independent choices along the way. Perhaps that is how computing is meant to be, not wedded to any one silo and using what works best for you.

That might be a pretty novel approach. (Did you detect any sarcasm there?)

Either way, I am happy with my iPad Pro 10.5 and my iPhone 7 and yes, I will keep attempting to put more of my “stuff” into the Apple silo.

Week In Review – 12-10-17

Well…winter is heah.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Treadmill running is different than running outside.

Running Shoes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Long Run Before the Storm – RunLog 12-9-17

I wasn’t really sure about how or what I would end up doing today for a run, when I left the house to drive to Waterville around 11:00 AM. I was not feeling all that into a long run and while the temps were not crazy cold and it wasn’t all that windy, it was still below freezing. However, the good thing was that the snow wasn’t supposed to start until after 2:00 PM, so it gave me plenty of time to get a run in.

Everyone takes a photo of the first snow of the year, thankfully it was after my long run was done :-). I know by the end of this month I will have had my fill of snow.

On the way to Waterville, I thought about the different options and decided run past Lawrence (where I used to work) from the Alfond Youth Center and coming back around the Champions 10K route. So I had an idea of where and now it came down to what. I figured that the loop would be about 8.0 miles with a couple places that I could change things up to get more or less if I felt like crap or felt wonderful.

I must felt wonderful today, because I didn’t turn-off at the many different opportunities I had and kept running. Well I won’t say wonderful, but nothing got in the way of me having a pretty darn decent long run.

I started out slowly and then kept a pretty steady pace up until I got to the I-95 Bridge in Fairfield, where that hill is a little deceptive. I knew it would get me (I have run it many times before) and then the hill on Ridge Road was a bit of slog to get up. It is called Ridge Road for a reason.

Once I got up on that, it was pretty much downhill or just a few bumps to the finish. So I picked up the pace again in that area and actually thought about going for double-digits for the second time this year.

I kind of surprised myself when I took the left to add a couple more miles on when I got to Elm Plaza, I had thought about a necessary pit stop at McDonalds, but at that moment, I must have been in a lull – it didn’t last. About the only thing that bothered me on the entire run was that I had to find a rest room and none were readily available (the trees no longer offer enough privacy) and every so often I would cramp up a little, well a lot.

That is the primary reason I slowed down a bit the last two miles, that urge to purge would hit and I would battle back against it. We’ve all been there and done that so it is just one of those things that runners deal with sometimes.

Other than that little thing, I was feeling pretty good, the legs felt fine, although the soles of the feet haven’t toughened up enough for longer running yet – but they are getting better than they were.

Today was also the day I was supposed to have done the Millinocket Half Marathon, but a few weeks ago when they asked for confirmation of coming, I wasn’t ready to commit to run 13.1 miles, when in October, running a mile was a big deal and my long runs were still around 6.0 miles when they asked. So I bowed out of that race, which is too bad, because I did want to do it, but I wasn’t sure that the old body would be up to it yet.

Well today, I really think that I could have done Millinocket, probably in the overall scheme of things, I made the correct choice. However, sometimes making the correct choice is not the choice you wish you had made, especially when I was able to do 10.0 miles at just under a 9:00 minute pace today.

Oh well, next year.

When I got back to the AYC, I got to catch up with Matt K, a teacher from my days at Goodwill Hinckley. He is doing great and looked very happy with his family. Matt always was one of the good guys at GWH, it was nice to see that he is doing well.

Overall, I was very happy with how everything felt for the run except for that gotta go feeling. I have a feeling for my meal before a race, I probably will not do pizza, a beer and chips along with a cookie frosting sandwich (modified whopping pie). I have a feeling that probably ain’t the right things to keep my gut happy during a race.

Newton Gravity V – Initial Impressions

An early Christmas gift from my daughter and one that came pretty timely. My Kismets are getting a bit long in the tooth and while they have more miles left on them, it is time to start getting ready to add in another pair to the rotation. Yep, another pair of older shoes that have been replaced, but still available.

Enter stage right the Newton Gravity V, my second pair of Newton Gravity line of running shoes. I had the originals and ran well in them and because of how well I have been running in the Kismets I decided to get another pair of Gravity’s.

The green colorway is not a favorite, but at least they are bright and annoying, so they are bright enough. In other words they are an obnoxious enough of a color that people will see them. Which is part of why I wear bright and obnoxious colors when I am running – I actually want to be seen on training runs…especially when I am running on the roads and this is where I will be running the majority of my runs in the Gravity’s.

Fit wise they are very close to the Kismet 2’s, although the toe box is slightly longer and the end a bit more pointed. It doesn’t seem to have affected how the fit feels, since the size 8.0 feels similar to the Kismet. In other words they fit quite well!

Which meant they were begging to be run in.

I try to do a Friday 5.0 miler most weeks and figured it would be a good test of how well the Gravity’s would do.

It was!

I went down-back and the road had frozen ruts that were starting to melt as I was going through. Which gave me a good idea of how they would be on uneven surfaces that has some skim frozen on top of frozen mud. Surprisingly they did better than I thought they would, at least I didn’t fall on my butt and still maintained a decent pace in-spite of what I was running on.

When I got back on the tar, I could definitely tell they were POP1 not 2’s. The lugs were much more noticeable and whenever I focused on the shoes, I could feel the difference. However, when I just ran I forgot about the differences and really didn’t notice the, front lugs. Which was a good thing.

I was also worried that I would have to adjust to the POP1 with my calves and Achilles. Guess what — didn’t have any issues. All the time that I have spent in the Kismets made the first run in the Gravity’s a LOT more comfortable than my previous experience running my first pair of Gravity’s.

I was able to pick up the pace when I wanted to and had to throttle back a couple of times on Tiffany. Today is not a fast run, it was a fun run where I got to just run. I didn’t use the metronome, helpful hints, timer or anything else. I just wanted to focus on how the Gravity’s were working.

First runs are usually an adventure and give you feedback on things you need to adjust or what doesn’t feel quite right. In this case about the only adjustment will be not tying the shoes as tightly, otherwise they felt really good during the run. They provided good feedback when I wasn’t running with my feet going forward, actually better than the Kismets do now. Which is another reason why I thought it might be time to start getting a new pair of Newton’s into the rotation sooner rather than later.

After finishing the run, no new aches or pains and that is what I am looking in a pair of new shoes – no new pains.

Just to be consistent I weighed the Gravity’s and they both came in a 9.0 ounces. Light for a daily trainer, but right in the ballpark that I am looking for in y daily trainers and only .2 less than the Kismets.

A very good first run in the Newton Gravity’s, let’s see how they do going forward.

Bondi 5โ€™s on the Treadmill – RunLog 12-6-17

First thing on the agenda was going to see the Vampires at Togus. Not my favorite thing in the world to do, but something I deal with every couple of years to stay “in the system” and it gives the Doc’s there something to “talk to me about”. So after walking Bennie, I headed over.

Yep, I dread getting stuck with a needle more than most things I do.

Last time I had a blood draw, it took the guy 6 tries to get blood out of me and I came real close to telling him where else to stick that damn needle as I passed out. Yeah, I am one of those that if they don’t get it right the first time – it can really suck for me and them, because it is a lot more work for them and I feel like shit for a while. It is not just at the VA that this happens, so don’t get the idea that I don’t like them there, because I do.

Giving blood and me just ain’t a good combo.

So I wasn’t thrilled about doing this, but it is part of the deal and I kind of weaseled out of it my last physical and figured Doc Linehart wouldn’t be too impressed if I did it again. I went in, took my number, waited about 15 minutes and when the young lady called my number.

I quietly told I have a history of passing out when they draw blood. The eyes got big and it turned into a bit of a deal, where she had her partner in crime (after she finished with her blood draw), stop taking others and standby just in case. They pulled the curtain to avoid others seeing me passed out like a stone in the chair, which was unnecessary – thankfully. She done good and got it on the first try and I only got slightly woozy, not a full blown eyes in the back of the head kind of thing. A little cranberry juice and about 3 minutes and I was back on my feet again.

Then easy part of the test – pee in the cup. I managed that without any assistance or problems. Hehehehee

I can chuckle about it now, but my anxiety level has been up just a wee bit due having to study for this blood draw test or is it perviserate over having to have it done to me.

Well, it is over and now for the stress/anxiety of having to go see a doctor.

Yeah, I am a real head case don’t like going to see doctors anymore than I enjoy having Vampires stick me with needles. Unless I have broke something, screwed something up pretty badly (something that will probably need surgery) or have a cut that needs stitches – even then I tend to wait until I have no choice in the matter, so I will be a mess until after next Tuesday.

Once there I will politely listen to what he says, disagree with most of what he wants me to do and do my usual. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nope, I am not a good patient and we have come to an understanding that bugging me doesn’t really work all that good. The issues are not anything really bad, just a difference in how we see pharmaceuticals being used or not – I am in the not taking them thought (been down that road and the side affects out weigh the benefits in my mind), plus I get the final say in the matter.

Which is something that we have discussed in the past – my getting the final say. Now we are cordial and talk more about running shoes, than my usual medical issues. I will keep coming back every couple of years to do it all over again – until something changes or I stop coming back.

See I am already stressing about next Tuesday…gotta hate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gotta Go Running

Which meant that I needed a run pretty badly after all that to get rid of some the extra adrenaline that was still floating around in the old body. It was also raining pretty good this morning with the temps in the high 30’s, so not a real enjoyable day for running outside, plus it had rained most of the night so going down-back was not really an option – I am sure it was a mess.

So I headed over to Planet Fitness to beat on the treadmill. As winter gets us more and more into its grip I have a feeling I will be visiting there quite a bit. When I walked through the door the person at the desk, asked where I had been, she has been there a couple of years – it was nice to know that she noticed. We talked for a second and I headed on in.

However, I was not too thrilled about how my Kismet 2’s felt on the treadmill at the 4-5 mile mark last week, so I figured that I would try something different. My Hoka Bondi 5’s. I haven’t worn them, well hardly at all, since I started running in the Kismets back in October. They still had under 10 miles on them (not even broke in yet) and I figured that with the extra cushion, I might do okay with them on the treadmill with my right foot.

I don’t have a clue why the graphs look so squiggly, since it was a pretty straight forward run 7.0 mph and keep increasing the pace throughout. Oh well not a big deal and I am finding that the Garmin 230 on run indoor mode is not all that great – it is close enough and that is about all. Next time I will try the footpod, but it means that I have to run outside in the Bondi 5 with it before it will be semi-accurate on the treadmill.

First mile I wanted to just run easy, so I set it 7.0 mph and cruised along

Second mile – I picked it up to 7.1 mph, kept cruising

Third mile – 7.2 mph still cruising along, although the bottom of my left foot felt a little warm it wasn’t bothering – still breaking in the Bondi I think.

Fourth mile – 7.3 mph to start, still doing the easy progression thing and feeling pretty good. At 3.75, I kicked it up to 7.4 still feeling really strong. It was at this point that I had a brain cramp and decided to make the last mile a little more difficult.

Fifth mile – 7.6 mph felt quick, but not too bad, at 4.25 miles I increased to 7.7 mph and at 4.50 I went to 7.8, I still was feeling pretty froggy so at 4.60 the screen suddenly showed 8.0 mph. Nothing earth shattering and I kept it there to 4.75, when I kicked it up t 8.6 mph. Yep that last quarter mile kick, kicked my butt, but in a good way. I felt good, but would not have wanted to go at that pace for any longer.

When the screen hit 5.0 miles – I was ready to stop. Although my Garmin set on indoor mode had the mileage as 4.57, I will take credit for the full 5.0 – I have a feeling that I earned it. The best part was that nothing felt bad, broke or strained, although the right foot did start to feel a bit tender just at the end it made it to the 5.0 miles without barking at me.

Holy sweat fest – my shirt looked like I had gone swimming and at about 3.0 miles I had to take my glasses off because of the sweat rolling down my face. Which meant that I probably had a decent workout.

The Bondi 5’s did exactly what I wanted from them – they provided enough cushioning to get me through a 5.0 mile treadmill workout and the repetitive motion/landing that my right foot does on them to not bother as much as it does with other shoes. Which means that the Bondi’s will be my treadmill shoes going forward and maybe even work them back into my rotation outside next spring when I stop using the treadmill as much.

A pretty damn decent run and I didn’t even have a cup of coffee or breakfast before I ran – which did surprise me. Most of the time when I run before either, I have had some pretty crappy runs. I guess the Vampires did a good enough job getting rid of the extra blood in there which allowed the adrenaline to dissipate as well during the run.

Just glad that blood draw is over though – even though they did good today, still hate those needles. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Bit Slimy Down-Back – RunLog 12-5-17

Week 5 – Day 2

Focuses – Cadence and Posture.

I got the run in before the rains are supposed to be here, which is nice. Running in the rain, when it is in the 30’s just ain’t that much fun, so I was glad about that. Although by the time that I did to go running the road down-back was starting to get a little slimy. In some sections it would cake up on the bottom of my shoes and then when I got to another solid section it would clump off.

Not the most wonderful way to run, but I made it through the slime.

I did use the Chi Running app’s metronome set to 180 spm. I thought that I was doing pretty decent with it, but when I looked at my average cadence it still came in at 170 spm. Which is right around where I am most of the time even without the metronome. It wasn’t until I kicked coming back the last part that I seemed to match up perfectly with the metronome. I seem to be settled in right around 170 spm and only kick it up when I speed up the pace.

So this is going to be one of those challenges for me. However, I do sort of like running with the metronome, it does keep me in the moment and doesn’t let me go off into Lala land. Where on a run, I just go away and auto is in at the wheel. I am aware of my surroundings, but not really there, but I just keep on running – if that makes any sense.

My posture is getting much more automatic and I don’t have to think as much about keeping my feet straight, leveling my hips, getting a little lean on and keeping the arm swing short and to the back.

Overall, just a nice run where I got to work on some stuff, focused on finishing and felt pretty good after I got done. These kind of runs are what I really need right now. Mileage makers where nothing really hurts and am getting the body back in reasonable shape.

Now to get under 160, so I can really start working on getting under 150 pounds.

It will happen, just will take a few months.

Donโ€™t Mind The Interruption – RunLog 12-4-17

Today was, yeah, another one of those days.

Having this kind of view, does help even things out though.

Everything started out pretty typical, you know that mile walk with Bennie to start things off, then moving on to the 3.0 miler after breakfast and then getting geared up, all set to go for a nice 5.0 miles before down-back became a slimy mud pit. I got about 100 yards down the road and my phone goes off.

Now, to be honest, I hardly ever get phone calls anymore, except for the bogus marketing pain-in-the-arse things, so when I stopped to check the number (which I do before answering), it had a Waterville number. Now we have been waiting on a part for the Transit so I figured it was the Ford dealership calling to setup an appointment.

It wasn’t.

It was Houle’s – we had an appointment for that afternoon to get the furnace cleaned and serviced. They were calling to see if they could come now. In Maine – in December it is pretty important to ensure that your furnace is ready for winter and when the repair people call, you don’t screw around with them. Of course you can come to work on my furnace a few hours earlier.

Change of plans, not gonna get that run in right now.

Mary had started a bit earlier and I had seen that she had gone the other way for her morning run, so I wandered down the road and saw her up ahead and eventually caught up with her. I told her that Houle’s would be here in probably a half hour, so we needed to get ready. She was on her last lap, so we finished up together.

Now Bennie is over-protective of the house, so when we have people coming to work on it, I usually try to take him for a jaunt someplace else. Otherwise he just barks the entire time they are here and it gets pretty annoying. Plus I had planned on a bunch of errands that needed to get done. Just the routine stuff that takes time out of doing other things that we could get done.

You know

  • Getting a dump sticker for the Transit
  • Getting new windshield wipers for the Ranger
  • Stopping at the Ford dealership to see if the part was in and make an appointment

After getting that stuff done, we still had some time to kill, servicing the furnace takes about 2 hours, so Bennie and I got to do a hike over at Inland Hospital trails.

Lots of leaves on the ground made for some slippery going in places, but for the most part the Newtons did fine, but I would not want to run those trails in them, not enough grip and I don’t feel like kissing the earth. We walked.

Although we did meet a woman who was letting her black German Shepherd run loose and gave me a bit of grief when I told her that Bennie wasn’t friendly to other dogs. She asked if he was on a leash and I replied that he was and I asked (knowing full well that her’s was not) if her’s was also.

She sniffed and said I don’t need to leash my dog he will stay with me and is friendly. I just said hmmm that seems like a bit of double-standard and I asked if she would leash her dog. She grabbed her dog’s collar and yelled at me “I don’t have to leash my dog, he behaves”. I responded very loudly, “Lady, there is a leash law in Waterville, please obey it.” and she walked off in a huff.

I chuckled and Bennie and I walked off up the trail in the other direction. She sure did get her knickers in a knot, I could hear her muttering and talking loudly to her dog about me in no uncertain terms. I just laughed.

I will be the first to admin that I am or can be a bit of prick when comes to people and their unleashed dogs. I have been bitten four times by “friendly” dogs when walking and running and to be blunt I ain’t all that into getting bit again. And I sure as hell ain’t gonna let them go after Bennie.

Just leash those “friendly” dogs when you see other dogs or people as a common courtesy to others. Who knows a having your dog on a leash for 2-3 minutes, might just save you having to pay hospital bills or more, if your dog decides to take a chunk out of me or least attempts to.

People need to have their dogs under control or be leashed if they do not respond to their owner’s voice command immediately.

Oh well, just another morning in Maine.

I did get back in time for a nice lunch and nap.

Week 5 – Day 1

Sorry I don’t have the ability to do this week’s focus (Adding Fluidity to your form), this is one I need instruction on before attempting to do.

Instead I will focus on Cadence and the lower leg again

Form Intervals

I used the Chi Running app to help get my cadence up to the 180 spm recommended. Although going through the first 3/4 of mile down-back was a bit tough with the mud slime on top of the frozen gravel road. However, I made it through and for the most part kept up a decent cadence. Although I think for the rest of the week I will not have the helpful hints turned on and just have the cadence beat blaring in my ears. Every time the app would stop the cadence and give a helpful hint, I know that I lost it and then had to get back the 180spm.

Initially, I was only going to go to Notta Road (my 5.0 mile course turnaround point), but when I got there I was feeling pretty good and decided to make it a 10K run this afternoon (and total of 7.0 miles for the day). I wasn’t pushing the pace, felt strong and only that spot in my lower right back was discussing how grand an idea this running shit was. Otherwise, nothing bothered unless I started to loose my form.

Like the left Achilles started to tighten up and now that has become a signal that I am toeing off too much and that I need to lift more and stop the toe-off.

Otherwise it was one of those runs where you just focus on the work you need to do and keep going until you finish. Which I did.

Cadence was 171 for the run, which I do not believe would have been that high if I hadn’t used the metronome, but at the same time, it is pretty close to what I run with it. So my natural cadence seems to end up somewhere around 170. Which ain’t too bad.

Then after running, my beautiful wife commented that I had a certain aroma about me that she had noticed before. I blamed it on the my old (3 year old winter undershirt) and when I took it off and gave it the old sniff test…well let’s just say I didn’t need to sniff for very long. It is sitting out beside the back steps waiting for a trip to the shed for a trip to the transfer station.


and to be honest, I had thought about getting rid of it the last time I ran in it, but I like it a lot and it is a favorite winter base layer, but its time had come to not go back into the running clothes drawer.

Of course, I thought that I smelled like a rose after taking off the shirt, but again my bride informed me otherwise.

So when I had to chop onions for the next half hour to get them ready for dehydrator, it wasn’t a big deal, though the eyes did water a bit. From the opinions, not my B.O. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yeah, just another day in the life.

Busy is as busy does. It will be nice to slow down again someday, but then again…I have a feeling I would be bored if did too much.

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

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

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

My favorite photo from the week:

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

One thing that I am finding out is that I am loving my iPad Pro 10.5 setup. Now I haven’t learned all there is to know about IOS or the iPad, but it is definitely fitting quite well into the way I do things and how I see myself using a computer going forward. I just wish that Never Winter Nights was available for IOS. Baldur’s Gate is okay, but not exactly what I am looking for. Oh well I will find a decent RPG game one of these days that will occupy my time at night. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

None that I can see right now.

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

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

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

However, it will be what it will be.