After a Month of Linux – Newbie Thoughts


Wow, it has been a month since I installed Linux Mate as my only operating system on my primary laptop (yes, I got rid of Windows 10) and during that time I have been experimenting, digging around, hell I have even started taking a basic Linux course to actually learn more about this new fangled operating system I am running.

Screenshot from 2017-05-20 20-39-52

Come on Harold, Linux is not really new fangled anything, but it is new to me and there have been a LOT of changes since I played around with it five or more years ago.

The biggest surprise for me over this last month has been that I haven’t missed or been tempted to re-install Windows on my primary laptop at any point. Which is something that I figured when this whole thing started that I would probably want to do after a couple of weeks immersion in Linux.

If anything, I wish that I had done it sooner – but then again I wasn’t ready. Continue reading

Better Weather – RunLog 5-19-17


There the weather was a LOT nicer for running today. When I got out the gym’s door at lunch time it was a light rain and a pretty good breeze out of the NW. I wanted to get at least 40 minutes in during the run and figured that it wouldn’t be too bad at all.

When I got down to the road that leads towards Family Planning, it is a road that I haven’t gone down before and I have always wondered where it leads. About a quarter mile down the road it is closed to pedestrians and there is another NRF warehouse facility. I almost took the 4 wheeler trail I saw, but decided that it wasn’t really a lunch run kind of thing to go exploring and getting lost in the woods, when I had to get back to work.

I just turned around headed back towards the little Citgo station and used that as my turnaround point. It had been light rain and cloudy the whole way, but as soon as I turned around the sun popped out and it started to warm up – quickly.

During the run back to the gym I felt really good and picked up the pace from the stop light to the finish.

Two very different runs in one, but I accomplished what I wanted and felt pretty good

One thing that I have learned over the past couple of days is that if I run without socks in my Nike Vomero 11’s, my right foot doesn’t bother at all when I run, so there is something about the socks I have been wearing that is bothering the hell out of my foot. Time to try some others.

Overall, a good run today.

Safety First – RunLog 5-18-17


I am finally getting around to yesterday’s run report.

It has been a tough two weeks and the writing about running has taken a back-seat to everything else.

Sometimes life gets in the way of running, but today it was safety first. Something that I just used to ignore, but the older I get, the more I have to pay attention to the environment and how safe or unsafe it might be for me to run outside.

Today, it was still over 90*F after 5:00 PM, with high humidity, but the worst part was that at various times during the day, it was almost like a snow-storm outside of pollen and seed fluff. I have a hard time with any of those conditions by themselves and when you put them all together – it means to me that I will not run.

I may be stoopid at times, but I am not stupid and yes, there is a huge difference.

So I waited and waited to see if I would be able to get a run in. Finally, at about 8:00 PM the temps, humidity and pollen levels had gotten out of the ridiculous ranges and back to it will just be miserable to run.

When I left the house it was still in the low 80’s, but there was a nice breeze. I went down-back, even though it was twilight. After I got going I was pleasantly surprised, I felt fairly good and went through the first mile in 8:34, which wasn’t too bad, considering how much I was on my feet during the Faculty Institute (I was the fly guy).

At the last-minute I decided to keep going to the Old Dump and when I did suddenly there were six gunshots out back of the trailer about twenty yards from where I was running. I looked around didn’t see anyone shooting at me directly, hadn’t felt or heard any bullets whiz by and kept running (at that point what else can you do). I figured that someone was target practicing, shooting at some varmit or doing something I really didn’t need to know about.

Yeah, only in rural Maine, you are running along some country road just after dark, get surprised by gunshots, don’t really worry about it and keep running. I didn’t even really get an adrenaline rush from it. I just kept plugging along – in some ways it was kind of surreal when I look back on it.

By the time I turned around, it was getting pretty dusky and I thought that I picked up the pace and was doing pretty good. I have a feeling that I slowed down quite a bit on the dirt section though, because I was focused on not twisting an ankle or hitting a rock/pot hole wrong or getting hit by the disk golf crowd from next door that were flying along down-back to get home after they finished up. I think that I was more scared by those vehicles than I was by the gunshots.

I made it though the dirt section in one piece and really thought that I had run that course a bit faster than usual. However, when I looked at the end time, I was pretty disappointed. Oh well, at least I got a decent run in and it was done safely.

Week in Review – 5-14-17


A little late publishing, but life got in the way again.

Okay, enough with the rain and the clouds, we need to see the sun! Yeah, I am still whining about the weather, just a different season. At least there isn’t any snow to clean-up (although some parts of Western Maine and NH did see a little bit) in the yard and the temps don’t have me wearing my winter parka. So there is hope for better weather, then I will be whining that it is so damn hot.

I guess you can’t please me unless it is 60* to 70*F, bright sun and a light breeze ;-).

Here is my favorite photo of the week


Bennie getting warm again after running in 40’s and rain. Continue reading

A Rainy Spring N’OrEastah – RunLog 5-14-17


It was a great thing that this was rain, because it would have been a shitload of snow and right now we don’t need snow half-way through May. Even so it was still a lot rain and this morning’s run was definitely wet, cold (46*F) and just nasty.


Getting out the door was the hardest part of the whole run, neither one of us was all that enthusiastic about running this morning, but Bennie started to get a little antsy, so I figured it was time. We had waited for the rain to let up a bit, but naw, Mother Nature was going to test our resolve.

After getting out the door it wasn’t really that bad, although I did put my hands inside my long sleeves while we were heading out against the wind – should have worn my gloves, that breeze was downright cold.

Also, I was surprised at the number of trucks and SUV’s that were going through down-back. Usually, we met one or two vehicles and today on one of the worst days we met 6-7 of them. So that meant one thing

Bennie Intervals.

Not really what I wanted to do on a very wet dirt road, without my glasses on. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the Puma Speed Ignite 600’s traction in this stuff.


I didn’t slip and slide at all and after the first couple felt confident that I wasn’t going to land on my arse due to slipping on the road. All I had to do was avoid the mud puddles and not break anything on a slippery rock.

On the way back, I had thought about doing another lap on top, but Bennie was starting to act like he wanted to go in and when we got back to the house, he headed right up the driveway instead of running on up the road.

Sometimes the dog is smarter than the human.

Not the run we really wanted, but…

Bennie and I got it done


Even though we resembled drowned rats when it was all said and done.


A Needed Brain Drain Run – RunLog 5/13-17


There finals week is over, I went in yesterday morning and processed everything that we had received. It was a long and stressful week where we had to prep, proctor our exams and then process ours and all the incoming exams from outlying sites and centers. Yep by Friday afternoon I was brain-dead and when you add in that the person that has sat in the next desk over for almost two years was leaving that day for her new job, it made it even harder.

So by the time I finished cleaning out the inbox and a few other odds and ends on Saturday, I definitely NEEDED as nice long run!

I went down to the Kennebec River Rail Trail and planned on doing 5-8 miles, depending on how things felt.  Continue reading

Running and Reflecting This Week – 5-7-17


It was a pretty good week for running in spite of work being hectic and I am continuing to learn more getting back to running without GPS and figuring out my running shoe rotation. Also I had a few thoughts about Nike’s attempt at #breakingtwo.

My favorite photo of the week was:


Wet and foggy

It is the week before Finals week or what I call Hell Week at work – so work has been a bit hectic getting ready for it and as a result, my total time running this week was down compared to last week.

Realistically, I expect the next week to be even less time running, because my focus will be on proctoring and processing hundreds of tests at our Test Center and also processing exams from our outlying Centers and Sites.

Yeah, hell week. 😉

Even though I don’t usually involve myself or write about the big goings on in running, I wrote a little about Nike’s attempt at #breakingtwo here and here. I think what they attempted was a good thing for running. While I have nothing in common with elite marathoners other than I set one foot in front of the other and they do also, I am still interested in their exploits and have a layman’s opinion about this story.

My Own Experiment

It has been almost two weeks since I put my GPS Watch on the shelf.

How has it gone?

The first week was tough mentally, however, when I put my GPS on the shelf, I also changed how I tracked my runs to only worrying about running time and stopped tracking time or pace. I really don’t think that I could have done as well as I have, if I had continued to track runs by distance/pace. Still it as a huge change of perspective to change from years of tracking my running by miles/time/pace to only tracking by time.

One of the biggest things that I figured out over this week was that I was always racing the GPS and the data it gave me after a run was over. I learned that I was overly worried about where the pace changed and trying to keep the pace consistent or faster than I really needed to on my easy runs.

Now that I am running with just a Ironman watch, all I worry about a consistent effort. At this point I don’t have a good feeling for what my pace is right now – although I can tell when I am running easy, comfortably hard, hard or fast for me. Which is enough for now, as I re-learn how to tell what is my pace, without using the GPS. Which means that I might just have to go to the track a few times to see where I am.

Will I get out the GPS watches again?

Yes, I will probably use it when I do my long run and for speed work. More for the recording what I am doing and giving me the data to look at later, rather than attempting use it to maintain a certain pace during a run.

To be honest, I am enjoying the freedom that running without a GPS watch has given me and could see me ignoring going back to GPS altogether at some point in the near future.

How was my running this week?

Not as good or as I much total time as I wanted, but better than I thought it would be. Lots of rain was contended with, which soaked my Vomero’s so much that I didn’t want to run in them for a couple of days.

The good thing about running mostly in the Vomero 11’s this week my Plantar Faciitis was improving considerably.


That was until Saturday when I wore my Guide 9’s after running and re-aggravated it. Which was frustrating as all get out, because I like the G9’s, but I have to get this PF healed up, so I can get back to running comfortably. I will put them away for a few weeks, but that meant that I needed one more pair of running shoes to alternate with the Vomero’s.

So I went out back of the garage and tried on several pair of my old running shoes that were in the give-away pile, but luckilyhadn’t left yet. I can’t go and buy another pair of running shoes everytime something goes wrong with shoes I currently have. Especially, when I think they will be fine when the foot finally heals up.

Surprisingly, when I put on my old Puma Speed Ignite 600’s, they felt just about as wide in the toe box as my Vomero 11 or the Guide 9’s, which are both EE-width shoes. The only problem that I really had with those shoes was where and how the Puma and Everfit overlays pressed on my right foot’s Tailor’s bunionette.

Last week I wrote a post about Cinderella running shoes and how back in the day, we performed surgery on running shoes to get them to fit better. So when I got to looking at the 600’s, they looked like a good surgery candidate.

Unfortunately, the Puma 600’s have the Everfit system and Puma’s Form Stripe (Logo) welded to the shoe, so even when I removed the little stitching that was there, they were still completely attached to the upper.

Which meant that I had to do some very careful knife work to get enough of the material off the shoe, so that it wouldn’t press against my foot while running or walking in the 600’s. Putting the hair dryer on high and running it against the overlays for about 5 minutes helped to soften them up enough that I was able to cut away about an inch of the overlays.

Not the prettiest I have ever done

Yeah, I got litte more of the outer layer of the upper than I wanted, but cutting in the welded overlay ain’t all that easy.

I think I got just enough material off to make them wearable.

I did run for 35:00 minutes in them this morning and the shoes felt good, but now I have to figure out which socks to wear with them – if I remember correctly they were finicky about the socks that worked even when I was running in them this winter and those that wore today didn’t work too well.

Overall a week of progress, thinking about running, remembering how to modify running shoes, getting a bit wet on several runs, but most importantly I was able to run and not feel nearly as much discomfort from my left foot as I have had for more than a few weeks.



Kipchoge and Nike Did Good


I waited a couple of days to sort out my thoughts on Nike’s #breakingtwo and what Eliud Kipchoge accomplished on Friday/Saturday morning. I also waited for most of the hue and cry to fade away, otherwise my two cents would just be added noise to the already unhealthy decibel levels.

No, I didn’t stay up to watch the event, I had thought about it and decided that while it would nice to watch live a potentially historic moment in running, the call of the pit monster was too strong.

I slept soundly and well through #breakingtwo attempt.

Plus I figured that I would get to read and hear all about whatever happened on Facebook and other blogs the next morning. Yep, the hue and cry was deafening and from what I could see almost everyone was singing their praises to Eliud Kipchoge effort and for running the World’s fastest known Marathon distance at 2:00:25.  Continue reading

A Soggy Run – RunLog 5-6-17


Well, we stepped out the door and by the time Bennie and I got to the end of the driveway, it had started to rain again. It had been raining on and off most of the night. and the forecast was for more rain throughout the day. So it was not really surprise, but I kind of thought it would hold off a little longer with the fog out there.


Obviously it didn’t, but it is spring and the rains will come. Luckily today it wasn’t cold and windy also, just a nice steady rain in 51*F and a light breeze. Actually, if Bennie hadn’t been with me, I would have enjoyed the weather.

Unfortunately, Bennie is not crazy about running in the rain and of course we had to go through down-back. The rain made it a bit slimy, wet and lot of puddles, but not impassable.

Once we got past Blake Road the fog was history and a nice steady rain was coming down. Continue reading