AVR Week In Review – 1/8/12

This was a really good week to start, but on Friday, my Dad went in the hospital with a heart attack, so everything else took a backseat to ensuring that he was okay.
It has been a stressful couple of days and tomorrow he undergoes a procedure, which will help us find out more about what happens next. Life goes on, but sometimes – well you know

Speaking of life going on, I became a member of the Idiots Running Club recently and you know something I fit in there quite nicely thank you.  Hehehehe. I am having fun with the Facebook group and smiling a lot.

Running This Week

I kept over 20 miles for the week, which is one of my goals for the entire year. I could have added on another mile, but sometimes you just need an easy day.  I plan to run a little more next week and get closer to 25.0.  I have been focusing on my landing, standing tall and keeping my arms at 90 degrees.

I haven’t been running all that fast this week and I really want to add in a few strength/speed building workouts, but very conservatively.  Sorry I just like to run fast, just a part of me.

This week in a word: Worried

Weight

I hit 169 on Friday for the first time since September 2006 and for me this is always a tough barrier to get through. Now that I have cracked it once, I know that I will keep going. It does feel good to be going in the right direction.
Injuries
I started to feel a little tightness in my right foot plantar after running/walking in the Earth Shoe Rockets and went into prevent mode very quickly, I think that I caught it just in time. The Rockets are in the give-away pile. The right knee continues to do better, I just have to balance the work runs, recovery runs and rest very carefully. The rest of me doesn’t have a lot of little aches and pains – actually feeling pretty good.
Shoes
I am closing in on 200 miles on my Saucony Peregrines and they continue to really impress me. I am not on a rotation schedule and run in them for all my running now. They have done everything that I have asked of them and I am very, very impressed.
Blog Posts
Below are the posts from last week:
  1. Running is What We Do
  2. Notta Road O/B – Janathon Day 2 – 1/2/12
  3. Earth Rocket Running Shoes & Janathon Day 3 1/3/12…
  4. Born to Run – My Thoughts After Reading It
  5. Old Running Shoes – New Uses?
  6. Found the Old Mittens & Day 4 Janathon – 1/4/12
  7. Running Log Spreadsheet Template
  8. New Twitter Client – Janetter
  9. PF flareup & Day 5 #Janathon – 1/5/12
  10. Is Barefoot Running Right for Me?
  11. Bad News and Day 6 Janathon 1/6/12
  12. How Quickly Priorities Change
  13. Bangor City Forest Run & Janathon Day 7 – 1/7/11
  14. Make it Easier for Us to Subscribe to Your Blog
  15. Easy 2.0 Miler & Janathon Day 8 – 1/8/12

This was week was a lot about changing how I write a little bit. On the posts that are not running log posts, I am trying to move away from me, me, me and trying to move more to posts that others can use.

I did enjoy reading “Born to Run” and it renewed my interest in minimalist/barefoot running. Inspite of what the running shoe companies say to me if you have something between your foot and the ground you are not running barefoot.  I am old-fashioned that is what barefoot means to me.

The old TweetDeck finally stopped working for me this week and when I tried the new version, I did not like it and that forced me to look around for a new Twitter application. After a lot of searching that night, I found Janetter and have been extremely happy with it. There are a bunch of differences from TweetDeck, but now that I am getting used to them, I think that I actually am starting to like Janetter better than I did TweetDeck. It is well worth giving a try. See the link below for more info.

Danielle L. over at FitFluential piqued my interest in Pinterest again and this time I am starting to undertand it better and just beginning to use it as another place to find my blog and more surprisingly to use it for myself to find things that I want be able to find again. The more I use it the more impressed I am getting.

Top Ten

Here are my top ten posts for the past week based on pageviews:

1. Is Barefoot Running Right for Me?

2. Running is What We Do
3. Old Running Shoes – New Uses?
4. Running Log Spreadsheet Template
5. Born to Run – My Thoughts After Reading It
6. Make it Easier for Us to Subscribe to Your Blog
7. New Twitter Client – Janetter
8. How Quickly Priorities Change
9. Found the Old Mittens & Day 4 Janathon – 1/4/12
10. Book Review – Chi Running

Easy 2.0 Miler & Janathon Day 8 – 1/8/12

Today was a pretty lazy day, working on the blog, walking Bennie and just a short run today. I decided to only do 2.0 miles, after yesterday’s longer “trail” run at City Forest in Bangor. The footing was off just enough to make my legs tired.

I really thought about taking the day off, but I am trying to stay over the 20 mile mark every week, so I ran even though I wasn’t really into it. The run was aslo a lot later than usual, but it was busy this morning and my first 1/2 mile was pretty stiff. After I got moving, it wasn’t too bad.

Today I focused on foot plant and keeping my arms at 90 degrees.  I also figured out that if I really focus on landing on my forefoot – not full foot, that I have a nice straight line, however when I do the full-foot, I still leave a toe out track.  It will be a long time before I get a straight track without forefoot landing.

Quality of Run: Good
Time of Run: 4:10 P.M.
Temp: 29F
Weather: Partly cloudy, wind out of the NW 10 mph

Make it Easier for Us to Subscribe to Your Blog

RSS Feed Icons

This week I did something that I needed to do, I deleted all of my Google Reader Subscriptions (feeds) and decided to start over.

Okay Shaw, “What are you doing this time?”

I had over 500 feeds in gReader and that was simply way too many! I didn’t really feel like going through them all individually and when you add in that there were a lot of subscriptions that were either inactive or that I didn’t really read anymore – it just seemed to me to make more sense to start over.

So the other night I did.

Interesting Pattern

When I did this and as began to add blogs back that I wanted to read, sounded interesting or that I had read before and enjoyed – an interesting pattern began to develop.

For just about half of the blogs that I was interested in subscribing to, it wasn’t easy to figure out how to subscribe to that blog!

There were no RSS feed subscription icons or links in the sidebar or at the top of the blog. I had to either cut and paste the subscription into my gReader or try to use the RSS subscription tool in Chrome which causes my browser to crash.  To say that I got frustrated would be an understatement.

It got to the point where if a blog didn’t make it easy to subscribe I didn’t.

RSS Feed Icon

The above RSS Icons are a bit fancier than the basic one here, but somewhere above the fold on your blog, there should be a RSS subscribe icon or a link for readers to be able to easily subscribe to your blog/feed.

Other Types of Feeds

Many blogs only had the Blogger Friends or the Networked Blogs sidebar widgets, which I choose not to use most of the time.  I cannot back up my feeds using these methods if I want to move my reader to something other than gReader or if something happens I can just re-load my feeds), so unless I have a specific reason for using that widget – I usually don’t.

RSS is not Dead

In spite of what some people say RSS is not dead and is still used by a lot of us out here.  We are another source of readers for your blog and shouldn’t be ignored.

Subscribe to Your Blog’s Feed

My suggestion, recommendation, and/or plea is that you go to your blog and actually subscribe to your own blog now. If it was easy for you, it probably will be easy for your readers.

However, if you have a difficult time subscribing to your own feed, think about how hard it is for your readers and do something about it.

The advice I have always seen is that you should put the subscription button or information above the fold and if you are a little more aggressive, at the bottom of each post.  Where you put your subscription information is up to you, but if you don’t make it easy for me or others, we won’t subscribe to your blog.

Don’t rely on the Reader

You shouldn’t rely on me or other readers to make it easy to subscribe to your blog, it is the blog’s owner’s responsibility to make it easy for the reader to subscribe to their blog or feed.

Email Subscribers

Some people still like to get your blog subscriptions in their email, if that is the case, please make it easy for us to subscribe that way as well.  I still use this method for certain blogs that I really want to keep up with, so while I might be a bit old school, I know that I am not alone.  Is it quick and easy to subscribe by email to your blog?

A Bit of a Rant

Sorry if this sounded a bit like a rant, but many of you have blogs that I want in my Google Reader and unfortunately you didn’t make it easy for me to do so.

The reality is that

perhaps your blog was one of these blogs and I am missing reading the important things that you have to say in your blog now, only because you didn’t make it easy enough for me to subscribe to your blog.

I know that I am going to go back in and re-do my sidebar widgets to make it easier for people to subscribe to my blog after this week.

Go take a look at your blog, you might be surprised.