Another 5.0 on The Treadmill – RunLog 2-24-18

Waking up this morning to a bit of nastiness left over from last night’s – I wouldn’t call it a storm, but it left the roads not something wanted to walk on all that much, much less run on them.

So I walked Bennie down to the brook down-back, really pretty down there

And procrastinated getting going on my run. The roads were just a bit wet by then, but chilly wind had kicked up and I was hoping that it might calm down a little if I waited.

Also I knew that something was coming via USPS and they deliver a little earlier on Saturday’s. That new pair of running shoes that I couldn’t resist.

Finally, the mailman drove up and there was one of those shoe box sized boxes with my name on it.

My Skechers Go Run Ride 7’s had arrived.

I will go into the why, wherefores in an initial impressions post a little later.

Which meant that I could do today’s run in them. Aren’t you glad you waited, errr procrastinated a little.

Yes, I am.

The roads were still a little wet and just in case, I figured I might as well run on the treadmill in them for the first run. So off I went to Planet Fitness.

After doing my pre-run work, I got on the treadmill, set it to 7.2 mph and ran. No issues, no problems, well except for a small one at 1.25 miles when I had to run to the locker room. When I got back I reset things to 7.2 mph and ran another 2.0 miles.

When incredibly the old body decided that it was time to visit the locker – again. Well let’s just say both visits were VERY productive ;-). However, it wasn’t what I wanted to do during my first run in a pair of running shoes.

One thing that I have to remember in them is on the treadmill to vary my stride and how I land in them. I noticed that if I just ran, that the outside of my right foot would begin to bother a little from the repetitive landings on the outside of my foot in the GRR7’s, otherwise no issues and this is an I tend to have in many shoes on the treadmill.

Once I got back on I did another 1.50 at 7.2 mph and then picked it up a little to 7.6 mph for the last quarter. I did scurry back to the locker room for one more visit. It seems that the old body is cleaning out the pipe back there and that running hurried things along.

Not too shabby 5.0 miles in 41:10 for the first run (with too damn many interruptions). The Go Run Ride 7’s felt good and I felt a couple of pounds lighter. Hehehe

A Little Quicker – RunLog 2-23-18

A pretty normal morning, Bennie’s first walk, then a walk with Mary and Bennie, then taking off for the gym to do something. No I didn’t have a plan on what I was going to do for a run today, Fridays have become my free day, where I get to do what the body wants to do.

Today it also meant eating some of those wonderful highly sugared, nasty, horrible, yummy snacks that I can’t open the package and eat just one. YELLOW PEEPS!!!!!

Getting back to running, some weeks, it means a couch potato day, others it might mean a good run outside up to 5.0 miles. Well this week I really didn’t have a clue when I left the house or even when I walked through the Planet Fitness doors what was going to happen. Yeah, on the way in I thought about a few possibilities, but nothing seemed to be the “right” thing.

I decided that I wasn’t going to run outside even though it was very runnable (high 20’s, a little breeze, clear roads), so I went through my warm-up routine for the treadmill and stood on the last treadmill available (school vacation week means more people) – the same one I ran on yesterday.

While I was finishing up my final stretches while standing on the sides of the treadmill, inspiration hit me. I decided to only do 3.0 miles and then foam roll and stretch things out after. Okay that sounded pretty good, unless I do not run this weekend, I am pretty sure of getting in my 30 mile week.

As I was getting the treadmill upta speed, I had another wonderful idea, why not go a little faster today. The body seemed to want to go faster than I have for a while.

Okay, I set the treadmill to 7.6 mph and did that first mile without any issues other than the little toe on my right foot was not splaying out like it should and was still pressing in too much against the other toe (too many runs in the wrong shoe this week) – if I had to guess.

At 1.0 miles I pushed the speed up to 7.7 mph and then again at 1.5 to 7.8 mph. After that I started increasing the speed every so often and had a really good last quarter mile kick.

It ended up being my best Treadmill 5K time of 2018 by a whole second.

No, I was not attempting to go for that, it just happened. The best part of this run was that I never felt like I was working harder than I should for the speeds I was running until that last quarter mile, even then I was still feeling strong, but also know that I am not in any kind of shape to do those speeds for much further than I did.

However, I felt as if I could have kept going if I had slowed down to the pre-last quarter speed for a while longer. Which to be honest surprised me, usually at those speeds my tongue is dragging on the belt and the old heart is pounding or is that hammering away pretty good.

After getting done, with the run, I cooled down a bit and then did 15% incline for 5:00 minutes @ 4.0 mph. I do like to do that at the end of a workout, I am not quite cooled down and it forces me to pick up my feet for a bit.

Then I hit the mats in the stretching area, silently screaming a few times when that damned foam roller hit or is that bit into some spots on my legs. Damn that thing does find some nasty spots on those old legs of mine. Did a few stretches and called it good.

I felt very pleased with the run and the pre/post workouts that I did, now to have a few Peeps, then later for supper a great homemade Pizza and Beer.

Gonna be a good night.

Make Sure Everything is Measured

The old sayings “if you measure it, you can improve it”, “if it is important, it can be quantified” or this quote:

“Perhaps what you measure is what you get. More likely, what you measure is all you’ll get. What you don’t (or can’t) measure is lost” – H. Thomas Johnson …

Yes, they are true, so very true.

As a runner, I ask:

  • How many miles did you run today?
  • How many minutes did it take you?
  • What was your pace?
  • What was your heart rate?
  • What was your suffer score?
  • How many miles are on your running shoes?
  • How many steps did you take today?
  • How many hours did you sleep, how many were quality sleep hours?
  • How much did you weigh today
  • Did give an alpha or numeric grade to your run?

All these metrics and so many others — dependent upon the sport, your level and interests.

Like most runners, I can be a bit obsessive about my running stats, because the numbers don’t lie, they give a verifiable snapshot of how I did during that particular workout, moment or period of time that I am attempting to measure.

They show when I going good, when I am doing okay and when things are going pretty bad. The good, the bad and the ugly as I like to call my running progress most of the time. The numbers and measurements that I get from those numbers tell me where I stand in comparison to other runners and the runner I used to be, and possibly give me an idea of the runner that I could be going forward.

However, are the numbers a true representation of you or I and the runners we are?

Has running…hell has life in general only become a series of measurements that are plugged into a computer program, graphed, averaged and where the one who has the best numbers – is the best?

What happened to all the things you can’t measure:

  • Being challenged and the satisfaction derived from picking your arse up out of the dirt and working hard to overcome the challenge in front of you.
  • Giving a piece of yourself, if you must call it this, sacrificing something of yourself for the benefit of others. That idea of giving back.
  • Being honest with the numbers that have accumulated. Not cherry-picking or cooking them to meet a particular expected or preferred outcome or to show how great you really are.
  • Being honest and not cheating to finish ahead your current abilities. Just because a friend qualified for X does not mean you have to also.
  • Being comfortable with who you are and the journey you are on. We all have different paths and perspectives on what happiness for us is and might be.
  • Being able to think beyond the numbers and think about what IS important.

And all the other things in life that are not quantified and reduced down to zeroes and ones then programmed into a graph or other display to show to the world what the numbers say you are.

What does matter and does it matter if you can measure it or…not?

I wonder if the numbers tell the whole story of our running or our lives.

Do we measure too many things in our efforts to control too many things.

Sometimes I think too much, me thinks.

The Smallest Things – RunLog 2-22-18

Sometimes the smallest of things can throw you off and change your plans

Today it was simply a missing red combination lock.


Yeah, I went to the gym to do an easy 4.0 miles on the treadmill and then do my Thursday weight session.

However, when I got to the gym, my combination lock was not attached to my gym bag? I had it for Tuesday’s outside session and was reasonably sure that I had put it back on the bag when I left that day, especially since I remember that I put it on a different spot than I usually do and no it could not have simply slid off.

Somehow I must not have cleared the combination and it detached somewhere along the way.

I still don’t have a clue about where it is though. I searched the lost and found boxes there, emptied out my gym bag and even went to the front desk and searched through their lost and found box. I did find my missing NB running hat (so not everything was for naught). I have even searched the truck and around the house – no lock to be found. Continue reading

Long Run Outside – RunLog 2-21-18

Doing 8.0 plus miles outside is completely different than doing long run on the treadmill. I did my first outside long run of the year today and it was definitely harder. Although the weather did cooperate with the temps being in the low 40’s with a 5-10 mph breeze out of the south – of course the direction that I was running towards.

Today was supposed to be a record setting temp day, well I think the snow pack and light breeze kept the temps down and fog around a lot longer than the weather forecasters thought it would around here. Although it did get into the mid 40’s round the house and getting into the 40’s in February is a real treat, it was not shorts and t-shirt weather when I ran.

Still it wasn’t all that cold either.

Today’s run was not about speed, it was completely about running more than 8.0 miles outside.

I was looking to stay right around a 9:00 minute pace and did really good with it:

The course is a mostly down-hill course, with a couple of bumps to keep me honest.

I started out comfortably, although I did spend a bit of time on the road shoulder avoiding traffic a little more than usual – that school vacation traffic. A couple of times I had to come to a complete stop when traffic was coming in both directions where a big puddle and snowbank blocked the road shoulder – no biggie, but just a pain, but stopping was better than loosing a battle with a couple of pick-up trucks. 🙂

Once I got out on Outer Civic Center Drive, I was able to run comfortably and a lot more safely with the breakdown lane on the sides. However, I was starting to get tired by the time I got to the Commerce Dr. lights and was feeling like it was getting close to time to finish. Even though I usually pick up the pace going down Leighton Road, today I just kept plugging along and didn’t attempt to go any faster.

Although I got to my usual stopping spot 8.2 miles 1:11:52, I decided not to stop, since Mary hadn’t caught up to me yet. I turned around and planned to walk back up the hill from the Water Works to the Cemetery and then start running again.

Luckily for me, by the time I got to the road before the cemetery I could see Clifford (our Transit’s name) coming down the road – it is very red and easy to see. So I was a little faster than the 9:00 minute pace, but it gives me something to improve on next time.

That can happen later in the year, right now I just want to get the old body used to running longer outside for a while. 🙂

Oh yeah, what running shoes did I wear?

The Hoka Bondi 5’s. I wanted to learn if I was going to have any issues with them or not. The answer was that I didn’t think a whole lot about my footwear today.

It was a good thing to learn.

Overall, I was very happy with the run and especially how the Bondi 5’s performed this morning. Although I am a bit sore tonight, like I said at the start running long outside is a LOT different than doing it on the treadmill.

Today was a indicator of things to come, weather-wise and hopefully my running.

However, it is still February and there is possibly some snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Wait a minute and the weather will change.

Raining and Small Changes – RunLog 2-20-18

Let’s try this again, I had the entire post written and then discarded it before I saved it, so I did not even have a deleted copy to recover. Just keep smiling. 🙂

Finally, my Hoka Bondi 5’s had a run where they did what they were supposed to – not make my feet hurt and pretty much disappear on my feet. Let’s back up a bit.

Last night I swapped out the insoles in the Bondi 5’s to a thinner pair that I had used successfully in a different pair of running shoe and changed the laces to an elastic lace system. Then this morning Bennie and I did his long walk in the Bondi 5’s to see if those small changes had made a difference. For a change they didn’t bother at all on the walk. Good news.

However, today was supposed to be my long run and I really wanted to get up to double-digits for the first time this year. Unfortunately, it was mid 30’s, raining and foggy – definitely not great long run weather…doable, but with tomorrow predicted to be in the 60’s and sun, I thought that a long run in shorts and t-shirt might be more appealing.

I would not have worn the Hoka’s for the long run, I don’t trust them for that yet. However, a nice 4-5 miles in the rain wouldn’t be out of the question. So I headed out into the rain and fog.

The green elevation graph is a bit exaggerated, but I do dislike that big hill so close to the end of my run.

The Bondi’s felt good and I purposely kept the pace slower, since I will be doing the long run tomorrow, by the time I got down to Pepin, I was feeling pretty good, so instead of taking my normal turn down there, I headed off for the Middle Road.

There was a lot more traffic than usual on the Middle Road and then I remembered it was school vacation week and more than likely there were a lot of people go to and coming back from Augusta’s shopping areas. All I know is that I spent way too much time on the road shoulder, which meant running through soft sand, mud, puddles and avoiding traffic when it got a little too close a few times.

When I got down to the Reynolds Hill Road, I almost called Mary to ask her to pick me up in Augusta. I wasn’t looking forward to running back up Philbrick Hill and going back up what I knew was going to be a wind tunnel going back up the Middle Road. I probably should have, but I didn’t.

Yep, going back up the Midddle Road was fun running into the headwind, rain, road shoulders and it seemed even more traffic than there was going out. Lots of fun.

It was even slower going up Bartlett, but I made it without any big issues. I just took it easy and slow up that hill. Then finished comfortably.

It was a nice 6.0 miles in the rain, but you notice that I am not complaining at all about the Hoka Bondi 5’s today. They actually felt comfortable and I didn’t think anything about them except to think how good they felt. This is the first run in them that I have not fought against discomfort or pain in them. This is the run that I should have had in them the second or third time, not 70 miles later.

However, I finally had that good run in them that I have been looking for. All I can hope for now is that it is repeated the next time out.

Opting Out and Opting In

A little while ago, I deleted all my news apps, got rid of most of the newsfeeds that I could in Facebook, kicked more than a few political/newsy type blogs to the curb and guess what.

I don’t miss the hysteria, wailing, gnashing of teeth, how we are teetering on the brink of the end of the world as we know it.

It may well happen.

I will or will not be there when it happens.

Until it happens or I die, I plan to life a full and good life, that is not burdened by being constantly bombarded with all the ills and evil in the world according to the those who control the airwaves.

Since I did that dirty deed – that stop listening to or constantly reading the 24/7 news/blogging or hitting the next news link, I have noticed a huge change in myself.

I am calmer, more positive, I am not seeing everything as “is the the crisis that kills the camel” to hell with breaking its back. Even when given the opportunity to lash out at others that see things differently than I do, instead I am stopping to look at what purpose or who does it serve.

Usually it serves no purpose.

So I have opted out.

The news cycles are not the reason for my life and they are simply drowning the world in the use of words that emphasize the horrible, terrible parts of the news and make the vast amount of good that is in the world seem to be the tiny part, not the major part which I still believe that it is.

That does not mean that I have  buried my head in the sand about what is going on and the problems or issues that do exist in this Country or the World, but at the same time I have taken back my sanity.

I am returning to who I am.

That is part of the process I believe, that you get to take back who you are, when you stop letting others control the stories that you hear or read.

It was time

I could tell that I was getting pieces of me back when I started to read for pleasure again and become a part of the books that I was reading – a very good thing. Over the last week, I have re-read a couple of books – something that I did not have time or focus for before.

I was always too busy following.

No, I didn’t make a mistake where I ended the sentence, it was very purposefully done.

They were classic Sword and Sorcery Fantasy books – Robert Jordans’ First Book in the Wheel of Time series and Guy Gavriel Kay’s “The Summer Tree” the first book in The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy (one of my all-time favorites).

Over the past couple of years, I have not been able to sit down and just read for enjoyment, I was too busy paying attention, thinking that I might miss something and attempting to keep up with the latest horrible news cycle that would be forgotten, when the next crisis loomed large.

For me, it is time to stop following, take charge of the life I live and not let it be burdened or consumed by the stories others deem to be the crisis du jour.

I like this path that I am stumbling towards, it will present many challenges, but also more than a few more smiles and who knows where it will lead.

All I know is that I have opted in to something that is more me and maybe us.

Finally A Nice Recovery Run – RunLog 2-19-17

After walking 2.5 miles with Bennie this morning down-back, I knew that I would not be running on the treadmill this morning. It was simply too damn gorgeous outside.

Although I was seriously tempted to run the snowmobile trails this morning, but in the end I decided at this point in my life, it was not what I wanted. Yes, the snow is going to be scarce in a month, but running the snowmobile trails alone is not as safe for me at 60, as it once was.

Call it a concession to getting older or simply me acting a bit smarter, but I do not bounce as well as I used to and if something happens in 20*F, out in the woods on a not very busy snowmobile trail, wearing just my running gear. Well let’s just say I want to be able to still be smiling when they find me.

Yeah, I am loosing that old spit in the face of daring do and going out the door to do just do it – I am actually starting to think of consequences of my choices, before I make them.

Damn this getting older and wiser shit, but it is happening. Albeit slower than for most.

So no running the snowmobile trails alone for me today and I didn’t want to run down-back either, since I had just walked there with Bennie.

Augusta beckoned.

I knew the roads would be clear and runnable and they were.

I ran from Planet Fitness and kind of wandered around doing a couple laps around OCCD and Leighton Road ending up doing over 5.0 miles of just running at a very comfortable effort level. The wind came up while I was out there and really slowed me down when I got back on Outer Civic Center Drive, but up to that point the mile splits were all very close, so I accomplished what I wanted.

Although by the end of the run, I could feel that I had already walked 2.5 miles down-back. The Hoka Bondi 5’s are a heavier shoe than I am used to and that might have contributed to the tiredness at the end of the run too.

This is the third day in a row that I ran in the Hoka Bondi 5’s and I am still not loving them.

The thing is I run well in them, but my feet do not feel happy in the Bondi’s and never have. I will swap out the insole agin and see if they feel different. I have replaced the laces with elastic ones – I really dislike the stock Hoka laces and usually replace them rather quickly after the shoes get over 50 miles on them. Sometimes it is a combination of small things that help make a pair of running shoes – my running shoes.

We will see what happens with these small changes.

I suppose that I will have to write my 50 mile review soon since I now have over 60 miles on the Bondi 5’s, but unless they really start feel comfortable, it won’t be pretty, even though they are a shoe that I want badly to work for me. Unfortunately, if the Bondi 5’s keep feeling like they have on my feet when running means they will leave the rotation yet again and if they do this time it will be permanently.

A good day of walking, running and a just a bit of thinking about the Bondi 5’s.

A Beautiful Winter Day – RunLog 2-17-18

After taking yesterday off, I really couln’t wait to get out there to run this morning. Well actually the 6*F slowed me down from heading out the door until it warmed up a smidge. Although Bennie and I did walk down-back for the first time in a while

Looking back towards Blake Rd Hill

Looking Back up Stevens Hill.

While it wasn’t horrible until we got over to Blake Hill, I still wouldn’t want to run too hard down through there. There is a lot of white ice just waiting to reach out and grab ya. Since I do not bounce as well as I used to, discretion is the better part of valor and I chose to run on the clear tar down to Pepin later. Once we got over Blake Hill, the road got really icy and I decided to turn around just after getting to the bottom.

It was just safer.

I did try something different though. I wore my Hoka Bondi 5’s to see if they still bother my feet or not. I am very happy with the Newton running shoes, but I also have these in the house and it is nice to have a change of pace running shoe to alternate into the rotation.

Going out they felt fine. I have always run decently in them and going down the hill today and then down Pepin was no exception. However, somewhere between 2 and 3 miles the bottoms of my feet started to bother again.

I am not sure what it is about the Bondi 5’s that do this to my feet, but it is uncomfortable and not what I want to feel on the bottom of my feet when I am running. Plus they do not work as well with my Merino Wool socks (which are a bit too thick). I will try them again in a few days with my Smart Wool Toe socks and see how they do then.

Otherwise the run was actually faster than I thought it would be and everything felt fine otherwise. Although they are a bit heavier and I could definitely feel that heaviness going back up the hill.

I would love these to become my recovery/alternate week long run shoes, but if that uncomfortable feeling on the bottom of my feet doesn’t go away in the 10-15 miles, I have a feelin that the Bondi 5’s will.

This afternoon Bennie and I went on an adventure. We looked for a place to go for a walk besides around the house. We checked out:

UMA not really a good idea to walk those trails

the lower end of the Hallowell to Farmingdale section of the Rail Trail – not walkable

Hollowell to Augusta – Hey we bothered to get out of the car and made it to the the mini-S curve before the ice became so bad that we turned around.

While we were walking, I got this bright idea of using the Bondi 5’s on the elliptical for a while to see if I can break in the the sole a bit more. I really believe it is because the sole is so frigging stiff that it causes issues for my feet.

So I did 6.0 miles on the elliptical in them and while they started to bother towards the end, it was not super uncomfortable like it was while running. So hopefully between running in them for a while and the ellipitical, I might be able to get them broke in enough to make them a comfortable running shoe for me.

Well at least that is my hope.

It was a beautiful winter day and while the temps were only in the mid 20’s, with the breeze it felt a bit colder. Any way you look at it though it was a great day to be outside and enjoying the sunshine.