Rest Days Are Hard – RunLog 3-24-18

Taking a day off from working out can be hard.

What in the hell are you talking about this time Harold?

Elliott looking out the door, but it could have been me looking out wanting to get outside to exercise

Elliott looking out the door window.

Well I am attempting to add in rest days to my training, you know that pre-planned day off stuff and Fridays seems to be the keeps popping up as the one that works best with the running routine. Now that the winter storm season is hopefully past and my running schedule becomes more predictable.

Why is taking that planned day off so hard, after all you workout consistently and don’t pull the punches on your workouts? Taking a regular day off should be something you look forward to.

I think the body likes the idea of scheduled day off and the mind understands the theory behind taking rest days. However, the brain also thinks I am being lazy, all my fitness is going to shrivel up and blow away if I take a day off, plus all those other nonsensical things that I imagine will happen if I gasp take that day off.

Especially when there is no real reason to take the day off – you know blizzard conditions, hours of snow blowing, roof raking, ice on the roads, frigid temperatures, roaring winds, super hot or humid, yard work, tree cutting, chopping wood, sideways rain and all the other things Mother Nature puts in a runner’s way to get out the door.

Also I am not injured (knock on wood), feel really good, sleeping well, so I am not tired and the body is doing better than it has in a while.

In other words I really wanted to go for a run.

Plus yesterday the sun was out, the temps in the 30’s*F, winds reasonable and Mary did her run (peer pressure), so I really did want to run, do the elliptical, go ahead to the gym for a weight workout or even a body weight workout at home.

Do something more than just walk.

All I did was a total of 4.0 miles of walking with Bennie, which counts for something, especially when walking down back was an adventure at times.

Instead I had to keep playing games with myself to NOT run or get on the elliptical later.

I know it is a good problem to have and there are going to be time this year when I look back at this post and wish that I had gone for a run.

However, I was good for a change and rested because I could, not because I had to.

A very good thing.

Still I wonder what my time would have been if I had gone down to Pepin or into town and run around in there?

Stop it Harold, you can do those things today, yesterday you did rest and today you will reap the rewards of actually resting.

Besides that book you read wasn’t that bad.

One of Those Days – RunLog 3-22-18

Yeah, it was one of “those” days, but thank goodness that N’oreastah stayed south and all we got was a LOT of wind along with a couple small flurries. A very good thing with the snow blower still at the shop. Some places did get really whacked with 19″ of snow in places. Better them than us this time.

I will talk about the run and then the rest of “that” kind of day.

Due to the winds, I decided on yet another treadmill day. I planned on 4-5 miles at about 8:30 pace, a moderate level run.

I set the treadmill to 7.1 mph and kept it there for a bit. Everything felt pretty good for the first mile, so kept increasing the pace until 2.7 when I had to scurry to the locker room. I was feeling pretty good after that time-out and decided to pick-up the progression and go to 5.0 miles. I picked it up and then had an outstanding last quarter mile.

One thing I am noticing is that when I run in the Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s, I run better, more comfortably and don’t feel as beat up after I get done. I am not sure why, but they just seem to fit how I run better than other shoes I am using. I do know they are a lot quieter than the Newton’s and the Newton’s are pretty damn quiet.

I just feel more efficient in the Skechers.

Oh well – it was a pretty good run and even with the pit stop, I managed a pretty good pace overall.

Getting back to life.

Mary had a routine doctor’s appointment first thing and another patient let the front desk know that whoever had the red van had a flat tire. So I got the call to go trouble shoot and fix the problem.

Problem – flat tire, Solution – put on spare and go get new tire.

Now I haven’t changed the tire on the Transit before and as usual it had its own way of doing some things. I am fairly mechanical when I want to be (better than I let on), but I had to refer to the Owner’s Manual a couple of times to figure out how to hell they did that. 🙂

Got it done, but it did wear me out, more than it should have. It was that plasticity of doing something different, where I had to really focus on what I was doing to get it done.

The next part getting the tire replaced with the same thing was not that easy, no one in Waterville had a replacement in stock, so I went to Ray Haskell Ford (where we bought Clifford). They didn’t have one in stock, but could have it in the afternoon – it was the best I was going to do and since Mary had some other appointments tomorrow, I wanted the new tire on before she had to drive around in it. Made the appointment for 3:30

A pretty big change of plans from what I had expected to do during the morning to say the least.

After getting home and going over Mary’s doctor visit results and what needed to be done on Clifford, I headed for the gym and did that treadmill workout. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my pre or post-run work, because I also had a few errands to run before heading home. Once I got those done, ate lunch and took a nap – it was definitely needed, I had to head back to Waterville to get the tire replaced.

Yes, the dealership was probably a bit more expensive, but in this situation I wanted it done today, it was worth the extra cost. They had it, and put everything back together for me, so it ended up being less for for me in the long run.

Also I am thinking about changing my Planet Fitness location to Waterville. I am in Waterville a lot more than I am in Augusta, plus the running courses where it is located are a LOT better than in Augusta. Definitely more variety and options are available, plus Shaw’s supermarket is right beside it, so I don’t have to drive too far out of my way to pickup stuff. The only thing I am not as crazy about is the locker room, but I don’t spend too much time in there anyway.

This is the part of being retired that is better than working. If something happens, it does not become an oh shit kind of the moment and instead of finagling to get something taken care of, I get to just take care of it. A LOT less stressful for both of us. Something as simple as a flat tire can take on a level of miserability that ruins an entire day, whereas today, it was simply a cold, knuckle-busting inconvenience. 🙂

A long and busy day, but we got through it and move on to tomorrow. 🙂

Which will be another good day.

Back to Treadmilling and a Little Get Together – RunLog 3-21-18

Yesterday was one of those days where it felt a lot colder than the temps were saying or else I am tired of the cold and just don’t feel like dealing with it all that much now. Either way after Bennie’s long walk both Mary and I both decided to do indoor workouts.

I had a few errands to do, which meant that in order for me to get back before 12:15, so I could eat lunch with Mary, that I would have to hustle.

So once the errands were finished, I headed for the gym to do a nice recovery/easy run on the treadmill. Nothing fancy or earth shattering happened during the run. It was one of those get on the ‘mill, run 3.0 miles at 7.0 mph, get off and go home kind of runs.

Which is all that I wanted to really do.

The 10+ Miles on Tuesday had taken a bit out of me, so it was nice to have a relaxing run and yes, later in the afternoon, I did an easy 7.0 mile on the elliptical. I would like to keep most days at a combined 10 miles and see how that does for me for a while.

Then last night I left the house, yeah I know a new and exciting thing, because I hardly ever go anywhere in the evenings. However, the Central Maine Striders (my running club) was having their annual banquet over at Mainely Brews in Waterville.

It good to see many of the familiar faces in the crowd and even more exciting to see some new faces. We did a lot talking, catching up on how things were going, good stories were shared and more great memories were made.

Congratulations to Gene and Geoff for being recognized for all that you have done for the Central Maine Striders over the years. You both are inspirations to what being a club member should be.

However, as usual I was one of the first to leave, while I love catching up on things, being around that many people in a social setting just wears me out and I have to move on sooner than others tend to. It seems to take a lot more mental energy for me to function in those settings, because when I got home I was a lot more tired than I usually am in the evenings.

Even so, I wouldn’t miss those get togethers for the world and the opportunity to listen to the stories that were told.

Spring Has Sprung – RunLog 3-20-18

Spring is heah and today was a bit of a tease, since we are supposed to get another 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow night. However, I will take it.

When I stated running, the temps were at the bottom of my personal long run safety zone, with temps in the low 20’s and wind chills bringing it down into the lower teens *F. However, it was supposed to warm up as the day progressed pretty quickly so I figured that it was gonna be just fine – and it was. Later in the day it was sunny and got up to the mid-40’s – a sign of things to come.

Unfortunately, the bad part of spring has also started – allergies. Even with the cold, as soon as the warm weather popped, something else popped and my eyes are watering, sneezing, runny nose and all those other classic signs of Harold enduring spring allergies has started.

I was planning on running down to the Augusta Rail Trail Head – about 11.0 miles (increasing thing slowly), but during the run a few things happened and while I didn’t get to 11.0, I did get over 10.0 miles in.

The first 3.0 miles were pretty routine and I was focusing on getting the arm swing more compact. It will take time to make it automatic, but I think it will be worth it once I get there. Continue reading

More Treadmill and Compacting the Arm Swing – RunLog 3-19-18

Well it was warmer than yesterday morning, it was all of 3*F during Bennie’s first walk and climbed up to 11*F with a nasty bit of wind chill bringing it back down pretty good. We all agreed it was good to be back at the house and that being outside just wasn’t all that much fun. It was another one of those days it hurt the face to be outside.

In other words – back to the treadmill for today’s run.

Getting damned wimpy old man…here it is March 19th and you are still inside running?

Yep, I ran in shorts/t-shirt and worked up a good sweat, instead of freezing my arse off and did 2.0 more miles on the treadmill than I would have done outside.

Which is really too bad because the roads are clear, the shoulders are not in terrible shape, but and it is a big but, the temps are just too miserable for me and running outside during the mornings.

I got on the treadmill, focused on one thing – shortening up my arm swing and getting away from that old sprinters arm swing. When I kept things compact, I could tell the difference in my balance and stride rate. I got the idea after watching Kipchoge run during the Breaking 2 documentary. I am not saying I will ever run like him or anything like that, but from my untrained eye, being more compact in my gait cycle should be a bit more efficient.

Yesterday, I ran some faster paces doing that and today, I ran a nice and steady 7.0 mph for the entire 6.0 miles. I still find it amusing how much the graphs deviate during the run, even though I don’t change anything.

I have a feeling that I am going to get the footpod back out, just to get a little more accuracy, as it stands now when I complete a mile on the treadmill, my Garmin only reads .90, so by the time I run 5-6 miles it is way off. With that kind of inaccuracy, I wonder if the cadence is off a bit also, the 168 seemed a bit lower than I was feeling? Not that it is that big of a deal in the overall picture of my running, but I just like the data I use to be as accurate as possible and it is frustrating when you get bad data or at least data that is off by that much.

Either way today’s treadmill run was a good run where I got to work on something that I believe will help my running be more efficient, which I know that I need to do going forward.

Solutions Not Rhetoric

I am going to keep this short and sweet.

Tone down the rhetoric and work towards solutions.

Real ones, not just stop gap measures to get through to the next poll, election or crisis. Crisis or Chaos management is not a replacement for thought-out solutions and sound planning.

Are we looking at issues and problems through only one lens or side, have we asked or looked at other alternatives other than our closely held ones?

Is “it” all about winning or doing the right thing?

Standing up for what you believe in is great, but if what you believe in is now hurting others or has repercussions beyond what you are willing to acknowledge – what have you become?

Are you still part of the solution or have you become part of the problem?

Think about it.

I think a lot more of us need to.

Another “Interesting” Week – Week In Review 3-18-19

The weather is still getting more than its share of attention when it comes to my running over the past week. You know that 22 plus inches of snow we received mid-week and then the bone-chilling cold and mild 20-30 mph breezes. All of which making running outside not a lot of fun.

So I didn’t run outside.

I have gotten to the point in my life where I want to enjoy or do my runs, as much as anyone can enjoy their running or should I say challenging myself, without freezing my arse off or worrying about slipping, falling and breaking something that might be useful later in the day. Which curtails my getting out the door for running outside (I still walk a lot outside with Bennie 3-5 miles a day), so I just ran on the treadmill for all my runs.

It was a helluva lot nicer to run in shorts and t-shirt.

Even so, running on a treadmill is not as nice as getting outside, but still getting it done, but it was nice that it was a planned cut-back week. Even with the cut-back week planned I still had over 60 miles of combined running and elliptical mileage. Which seemed to work out fine and the old body didn’t complain overly much about increase in total volume.

I did buy an album for the first time in forever, another runner recommended the music for running and for that I love it. It isn’t my usual easy listening/rock n roll type of music, but I got it for running and the beat more than the lyrics – which is good. Since the band is German and the music is in German (I haven’t bothered to translate lyrics yet), I got it for the drums and how they make me want to run – faster. The band’s name is Heilung and the album is Lifa. I have a feeling that the music and the band ain’t for everyone, but it is great to run to.


Monday – I shoveled the garage roof that morning. It had 3-4 feet of drifted snow accumulated and with the big storm coming mid-week, I knew that I had to get the snow off the garage. I took about 3 hours to get everything done without too many breaks and I was toast when I got done. Just to be annoying to myself, I attempted to go run that afternoon. I gave up after 2.0 /17:01, between being exhausted and having to use the bathroom, well – 2.0 miles was enough. I didn’t even bother attempting to get on the elliptical – the body was done.

Tuesday – The morning was cold and windy outside with that big N’oreastah coming in so I headed to Planet Fitness for a run on the treadmill. Nice steady pace 5.0 / 41:15, by the time I got outside again, the snow flakes were coming down pretty heavy, so I was glad to get home.

Wednesday – DNR – That big, bad N’oreastah came in with over 22″ plus of snow. Running outside just was not a consideration, the conditions were pretty horrible and I don’t need to prove to myself or anyone else how tough/stoopid I am.

18″ plus the 4″ or more that came after this photo.

Thursday – Continued clean-up from the storm and broke the snowblower on the heavy/weight snow. So I had to finish up with the scoop, which worked on the upper body – that improving the old chicken wings things. After getting things cleaned up, I headed for another 6.0 / 49:59 on the treadmill. I was tired, but felt good once I got past the first mile. The Gravity 3’s did good and now have over 200 miles on them. Acupuncture didn’t seem to make much of dent in the overall body soreness this time, maybe the body was simply overwhelmed.

Friday – I went up to take Dad out for his birthday – he has made it to 78, which is a lot better than the 28 that his father predicted for him all those years ago. He is doing okay and still has a few strong views on things – which I wouldn’t expect him to be any other way. We ate at Irvings Truck Stop in Newport. The food is very good and predictable – nothing fancy just decent food and great deserts. I had thought about running in Pittsfield on the way home, but with the winds pretty steady at 20-30 mph and some higher gusts, I decided to take a pass and headed to Augusta. I wasn’t feeling really all that great and that storm had taken its toll on my body, so when I got to Augusta, I drove by Planet Fitness and decided that the body needed the day off more than another 3-4+ miles on the treadmill. I went home and took a nap – always a good choice.

After getting my gumption back I decided to do an elliptical workout, I figured I would do 5-6 miles and call it good. I watched the Breaking 2 documentary from NatGeo and ended up going over 10 miles. It was sure motivating to watch it and I learned something about running form watching Kipchoge run. I will try the change over the next few weeks to see if it makes any difference.

Saturday – Weekends are for faster running, so it was still cold and breezy and I wimped out on going to the 5K Race in Rockland. I just am not into racing, when the temps and winds are in the toilet at this point in my life. So I went to gym, hopped on the treadmill and had a nice “faster” run where I pushed harder than I have in a while 4.0 / 29:56, especially the last 3.0 miles of the workout. Nice tempo run.

Sunday – Now before you jump all over me about running hard 2 days in a row, I really didn’t Saturday was at a comfortably hard effort level – harder yes, but it really did feel all that taxing and the recovery was pretty quick. So today I tried some new running music and found that some of the songs beat matched up really well to me running faster, so I did. All the longer intervals were at 9.0+ mph and the shorter ones were at 10.0+ mph, while the rest intervals were at 7.0 mph. Both felt good and I noticed when I focused on keeping my arms tucked closer to my chest that it was a lot easier to maintain form/pace. 6.0 / 47:44. No elliptical workout.

Running Shoes

The Gravity 3A’s now have over 200 miles on them and I will be doing the 200 mile review pretty soon. They are still working quite nicely for me, although they have become my second favorite shoes. Not because they are working any less effectively for me, it is just that the other shoes are working better for how I run. The G3’s are still a great running shoe and give me a nice change of pace to switch back and forth with.

Those other shoes are the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 and they are doing everything that I have asked of them and then some. Great running shoes so far.

The reality is that

It was a busy week and the snow did a number on the old body. However, by the weekend I had a pretty good couple of workouts that surprised me with how well I ran. While I don’t use music to run outside of the gym on the treadmill most of the time, find Heilung’s Lifa album to run in the background might persuade me to run with headphones on once in a while, if I am attempting to a specific workout on the track or rail trail.

Overall, my total workout volume was up, even though my running mileage was cut-back on purpose and I think that helped the quality of the weekend workouts.

However, I do know that I am ready for nicer weather to get here, but from the forecast next week, it probably won’t be until sometime in April. Oh well, just deal with the hand that Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are dealing.

Although last Monday when I cleared off the garage roof, the old body was not impressed and pretty much told me to kiss-off for the rest of the day. That was hard work and I have a feeling that I will get to do it again tomorrow, especially if that storm hugs the coast a little more than the forecasters think it will.

6.0 More on The Treadmill – RunLog 3-15-18

The mind was willing, the body…well just say it did what it had to and let me know in no uncertain terms that it was still pretty damn tired. All I can say is that I am glad that this is a cut-back week and I am not all that concerned with “how many” miles this week.

Although I have a feeling that I will keep whining bitching about the snow and cold for a while longer.

However, during Bennie’s first walk this morning, it had snowed about an inch over night and with the temps in the mid 20’s, it was a pretty hard freeze

Which resulted in ice under snow and white ice where vehicles had been driving.

No running outside this morning. Even on Bennies long walk at 9:00 AM it was still pretty slick and there was no way either one of were going to run on that stuff. Better safe than sorry.

I trundled off to the gym and treadmill. Although I did stop for a haircut, I was starting to look a bit disheveled with curls going every which way. Nothing serious since I am retired, but I still have standards and 20+ years in the military, I get antsy when my hair reaches a certain length. Plus Mary starts to pick on me too. 🙂

I set the treadmill to 7.2 mph and ran to 3.0 miles, stopped for a locker room dash and then got back on for another 3.0 miles. 6.0 miles in 50:00 minutes was quite enough. The run was more about getting it done than anything else and I accomplished that. Continue reading

PI N’Oreastah 3-14-18

Finally, I have enough of a brain back to talk about the Pi N’Oreastah or should I say moved beyond being just a tad tired exhausted from snowblowing, snow blower breaking down, scooping snow and some shoveling, then driving pretty tough road conditions to deliver said snowblower to the repair shop.

We ended up with over 22 inches of snow, 18″ through the morning and then another 4″ plus of flurry activity.

I think that this photo pretty much sums up everything. I am looking out of the window of my Ford Ranger pickup truck looking towards the bedroom window. Usually I can look in and see Bennie or Elliott on the bed looking out as I drive off – Not Yesterday and not today and not for a while it seems.

This weekend I will have to shovel the garage roof again and then on Tuesday/Wednesday they are projecting/forecasting another 6-12 (at least) inches of the white shite. Hopefully, I get the snow blower back from the repair shop before it gets here, but I am not holding my breath. Just more upper body work to get me ready for the spring running season hehehe. Continue reading