Simplifying My Running Logs

A few days ago, I wrote a post about Simplifying My Running.

Yeah, something that I seem to attempt to do every few years, but this time when I wrote my post it felt a little different from all those times before. I have a feeling that a lot of it is being driven by the after-math of my brother-in-law’s death and subsequent efforts to deal with the estate stuff.

I learned that life needs to be enjoyed, lived and every once in a while we need to look at how we are doing things in our lives. As a part of this I am looking where I will be going with my running over the next month.

While I am still formulating and letting things percolate on what I want from my running going forward beyond continuing to run. I have some ideas, thoughts and an inkling of a few things, but I am not quite ready to write about them yet. I am kind of doing the Chi Running – Running Assessment exercise, with other variables added in, so we will see where that ends up.

However, when I wrote that post about simplifying my running, I identified a BUNCH of stuff that I can do right now.

First up is how I can streamline, simplify and make the process of logging my running a LOT easier on myself.

Running Logs

How many running logs do I really need?

  • 2+1

is the answer I came up with.

I only need one online place to act as a repository for my GPS data, then I have this blog and my spreadsheet. I suppose that I could really get rid of the spreadsheet and blog and move completely to Garmin or Strava. However, even though I might own my own data, there is no guarantees of it being where I want to be, when I want it. I gotta admit it would be easier in the long run and my blog would get just about the same number of hits daily :-).

Pen and Paper

In the direction I am going, I don’t really want or need a Pen and Paper running log, it is just one more thing to keep up with. I enjoyed the writing things down at first and I really believe that it helped me think about what I was doing and accomplishing by moving to Chi Running.

However, for me it is not something that I want to do long-term, I prefer an electronic running log over a written log. It came down to personal preference and/or getting rid of my blog – I’ll keep my blogging going for a while longer.

Blog

Speaking of the blog, it is my running log narrative and really has been for a while now. Over the past few months I have purposely reduced the amount of data that I include in my RunLog blog posts.

So, unless I do something spectacular or have a race that I want to capture how I did – don’t expect to be overwhelmed with stats about my runs.

My blog is where I get to tell the story of my running (among other things that interest me or do affect my running). That is what I am going to focus more on going forward, the story of my running – the story of an Aging Runnah.

Not that it is going to ever hit the big time, but it will keep me out of trouble and keep my writing skills somewhat reasonable, since I don’t have another outlet for my limited creative side.

Spreadsheet

The one thing that I have maintained consistently since 2011 is my RunLog spreadsheet. All the different blogs, online running logs, databases, paper based running logs that I have started, used and eventually discarded. My RunLog spreadsheet has been there, through multiple focus changes, different spreadsheet styles/software or apps, loosing/gaining data fields and repeat the cycle numerous times over those years.

It has been about the only thing in my running that has been a constant.

Data Capture is what spreadsheets are great at, but I was keeping my RunLog spreadsheet up in Google, Gnumeric and Excel. Now that I am going back to the Apple silo, I have to get reacquainted  with Numbers again. Which I have done by putting together my 2018 RunLog spreadsheet.

After I wrote that Simplifying things post, I got to thinking about all the spreadsheets I have wandering around in different places and realized that if I am going to move to Numbers – just do it. So I did.

At the same time I got rid of a bunch of columns that didn’t really add much to what I want to capture and I am still thinking seriously about getting rid of the description column, since that is what I do in my blog.

Data that is what the spreadsheet should be all about, to help me identify trends with graphs, charts, totals and averages. Plus believe it or not I do enjoy using and playing around with the data in the spreadsheet – it makes for some interesting observations about my running at times.

I’ll keep it.

Online Running Logs

I have an account and have at some point or other tried just about all of them. Over the past year I have cut it down to Garmin and Strava, which has helped a lot. However, do I really need them both? I am not crazy about the Garmin interface (it sucks), but I need it to upload my GPS data, to populate Strava, which in my opinion is a better online running log.

However, I don’t really use either one for much of anything – other than going on Strava and checking like or making a pithy comment to someone I know about their run. So I have deleted my bookmarks to Strava and while I will continue to populate data there I probably won’t do much else there, other than grab an occasional screenshot. After finishing up this post, I will probably go in and delete a bunch of runners off my list of runners that I am following. That way it will have only local runners and a few others – after all I do want to see how some people are doing that I know.

Garmin Connect – I have on my phone to upload to the website and even after going in and attempting to customize the website, it just doesn’t do anything for me. I will have data there and if I need something in particular I will use it. Otherwise, it will just be a repository for GPS data, which I do like having available – just in case someone does have a question about my running..

The reality is that

I like my blog and writing about my running here, it gives me a long form writing format to get thoughts out of my head – as long as I stay in one place long enough for people to find me. I also like the idea of keeping my own spreadsheet, which allows me to add or delete data columns as my interests or needs change, without having to stay within the limitations of someone else’s running log.

The need for Garmin is simply because I am tied to their silo, by having three Garmin GPS watches and really do not need all the other online logs that don’t really add a lot to my running experience or what I want to track in my running. Although I might peek at what a few other runners are doing every once in a while on Strava.

There is not anything I am doing here that is really earth-shattering or anything, but it does streamline the logging my runs process. Which had too many moving parts, too many data entry requirements and was becoming too time consuming and cumbersome.

Now I also have a better idea of what part I want for my blog to play in the process and what I data I want/need to keep in my spreadsheet – which is my official running log.

Now to see how it all works out over the next month or so.

An Early 5.0 – RunLog

Tomorrow is supposed to be rather on the nasty side and I do not enjoy running on the Middle Road when it isn’t clear, so I decided to run my Friday Five (the Middle Road Loop) today instead. Since today was clear, mid 20’s and best of all no wind, it was a better day to run a little longer.

Week 4 Day 4 – Still working it.

The Passive Lower Leg

Form Focuses: The “C” Shape and Heels up, knees down

I still did the Form Intervals, alternating focusing on these two primarily, while keeping up the cadence. Which I found more difficult to do going down hills than I did any other place. Which I find a little strange, because before all this form improvement, I was a much better downhill runner than I feel that I am now. I know it will come, but at the same time going down hills doesn’t feel quite right anymore.

Otherwise the fun felt good.

The first and second miles were comfortable, the third mile has that hill before the school – lots of fun. Plus I had to play ditch runner a few times due to traffic, but once I got off the Middle Road and hit that little bump by the Town Office, I had slowed down, but was keeping the cadence up, which is what I am supposed to do.

Mile four I was getting tired and then the combo of Blake and Stevens Hills on mile five kicked butt.

Still I was able to come in with a 8:30 pace without getting out the harder push until I got to Stevens Hill, where I had to bear down, suck it up a little to maintain a good cadence and just keep plugging along.

Enjoying the great outdoors

I was happy with the average cadence at 173 SPM, in that 170-180 range that Chi Running is looking for. So I am not really concerned about cadence, it is more getting that so-called passive lower leg – not engaging the muscles of the lower leg and getting the lean right. The heel lift is okay, low knees okay until I need to force the issue going up a tough hill then I pretty much revert back to my old way to get up and over.

Overall, a pretty nice run where I kept the effort pretty consistent until I hit the lower gate.

Simplifying My Running – At Age 60

Over the years I have been a sucker for the next greatest thing in running. Running shoes, accessories, clothes, training plans and all the other assorted stuff that runners have thrust at them to supposed improve our running experience. Whether it was in one of the many running magazines that I was reading, a book who’s author knew a LOT more about running than I did or an Internet website that was part of the running community that seemed to be what I was looking for – all to help me “run better”

After all I have always wanted to run better, but unfortunately, it has not happened consistently and to be honest not all that often.

Yeah, I have been like the proverbial butterfly who flitted from training plan, training philosophy, ideology or whatever running bandwagon was popular at the moment. Even though I have lied to myself mightily and attempted to convince myself that it is only a matter of time before I figured things out and that all the stuff I have done is done to learn more about running.

At what point does everything become too much?

Information overload is a real thing.

I think that I have reached that point and am looking at many parts of my running from a different perspective than I ever have.

Let me be blunt.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I can see that I screwed up my running pretty badly – making it into something that can never be for me, chasing the elusive magical running shoes, unicorn training plans along with being ignorant and stubborn about what I did know and more importantly what I didn’t know over the years.

Which actually meant that I have spent a small fortune primarily to set myself up for failure, injury, and unnecessary stress. Especially, for something that is supposed to be a fun recreational activity.

Yeah, I am finally starting to figure out that I need to change things if I want to continue to run for the long-term.

First and foremost, what does my running life look like now?

As this mind map shows, there is a bit of a convoluted mess going on with my running and this was something that I did in about an hour, just think of the mess I could make if I took time to really think about things. As it, there are far too many options in each area and sometimes the information that is now available to us all via the Great and Glorious Oz, err I mean Internet means that I want to try them all.

The problem with that is that what one idea, philosophy or brand brings to the table, another one can be found that is 180 degrees in the other direction. Which leads to far too many What to Fuck am I really supposed to do next questions – that I have not found good answers for.

What can I do to simplify my running

First off, I need to take a good look at that mind map to see what is necessary and what is fluff, duplication and make choices based on what is best for my running, not hype, marketing hoopla or stuff that is simply laying around the house.

Then I have to make some tough choices to cut down on duplication, because looking at the mind map, there are many areas where I duplicate things way too much. Some of the choices may result in my having to accept good enough versus this is neat as hell. I need to look at what the actual benefit to my running is versus my perception of something is – there is a difference.

Finally, I have to actually go ahead and do it. Not just give my choices lip service and then go back to what I have always done.

That will be the toughest part of the whole thing – the doing.

Now to get going and see where it takes me.

Hopefully, a more consistent and less stressed out runner who has more fun with his running – yeah make my running fun again.

At this point in my life, I don’t want or need unnecessary stuff going on, especially in something that I do enjoy doing as much as I do my running.

These changes will not happen overnight – well some of them might, but others I have already begun and will be making changes for a while to get where I need/want/should be with my running at this point in my life.

I guess it is true as we age, we do begin to see things differently.

Does this look like anyone else’s running, what have you done differently or done to simplify your running life. I am looking for ideas and suggestions and no I will not like some of them, but hell they might work a lot better than the ones that I have going on right now that are already not working.

Yep I AM Getting Wimpy – RunLog 1128-17

This morning I had planned to do a 6.0 miler on the Rail Trail, but Mother Nature had other plans for me. Yeah, waking up to 9*F and walking Bennie in those temps didn’t really thrill me – at all. When we got done with his walk, my face hurt, I don’t like it when my face hurts because it is cold.

It was at that point that I decided it was time for the season’s first treadmill run.

Even though it had “warmed-up” to 14*F when I got to Augusta, the older I get the less I enjoy, hell let’s be honest the less I want to run outside. There is just something about this getting older stuff that doesn’t like cold weather.

After a quick battery change out at ACAR, I drove over to Planet Fitness. They let me in to abuse one of their treadmills, which I sort of really appreciated – treadmills are part of my running, just not a favorite part. However, being able to run in shorts and t-shirt when it is frigid outside is a nice option to have.

So I got on the treadmill, but today instead of simply going away into the music, I continued to work on my Chi Running form focuses. It was harder to do and with the repetitive nature of running on the treadmill, I kept loosing my focus. When I would realize it I would attempt to get back to what I wanted to do.

I put the speed on 7.0 mph (around an 8:30 pace) and ran for 4.5 miles. I did get a few aches here and there but they would go away, well except one – the right foot doesn’t like the treadmill all that much and at that point was starting to get a little uncomfortable. Nothing serious it always does this when I first start running on the treadmill each year – I just have to get it toughened up a bit. I figured at that point I would stop at 5.0 miles.

So I decided to see how the old body held together at a bit faster pacing

  • 4.5 – 7.1 mph
  • 4.6 – 7.2 mph
  • 4.7 – 7.5 mph
  • 4.8 – 8.0 mph
  • 4.9 – 9.0 mph

Actually, it felt pretty damn good, I even forgot about the right foot when I got to 8.0 mph and just ran. I do love to run fast (for me) and just wish the old body would hold together better so that I could do it a little more often.

Yeah, the indoor mode on my Garmin 230 was about .11 off per mile, so while the Garmin an Strava websites say on thing, the treadmill said 5.0 miles when I finished. I will go with the 5.0 miles as the official mileage.

Overall, for the first treadmill run of the season, it was pretty successful. I am not going to say it is better than running outside, but I will say it is better than running outside when it is 14*F or some other extreme weather event that seems to happen around here.

Treadmills are a tool in my running, not my first choice, but one that I use quite a bit during the winter in Maine. 🙂

Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5 – A Week Later

All the experts seem to have written “a week later” post on their experiences with Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5 and while I am definitely not an expert by anyone’s stretch of imagination – I think I have a pretty good idea of how to use and what I want from my computers. This is the observations from a new to the iPad universe user, but not new to computers, having used them for way too many years

First of all the my iPad Pro 10.5 is a “real” computer.

It has plenty of onboard memory at 256gb and 4gb RAM, there are lots of software (yes, I know they are now called apps) that can do almost everything that you need to do.

While iPads have a reputation as being primarily a digital consumption device, using my iPad Pro over the past week has wiped that stereotype completely from my view of iPads at least at my iPad Pro 10.5 level. It can do pretty much anything that most computer users need to get done and do it well enough for most people who are not power users or required to use particular software where they work.

Differences

The biggest change for me is that I had to shift my mindset and accept that I had to create new work flows or look differently at how I accomplished a task. The iPad Pro is not a Windows machine, not a Chromebook clone, it is not a Mac (although it shares some abilities) and it is not a Linux distro – it has its own operating system.

I just have to embrace the differences.

They are real.

  • No support for a mouse or trackpad
  • Differences in how apps may look versus their legacy counterparts
  • Changes to where software commands are found/implemented
  • No integrated keyboard – I will not and do not classify their onscreen keyboard as a “real” keyboard – I don’t like it all that much
  • The desktop is just for apps, not files, you can get them there, but it is not what I would call intuitive.
  • The iPad is primarily a touch interface
  • The file management system is purposely limited by Apple
  • You still have to sync your old music collection with iTunes on a different computer
  • And others that are more subtle. Those ones that I only notice when they happen, but do not really pay much attention to because they are not that different, but there is a difference

The differences are there.

Some I really like and some well they are just different from what I am used to.

However, let me be totally honest – I would not like my iPad Pro if I did not have a keyboard paired with it. Typing on the screen keyboard sucks and I would not have gotten it. I would have gone with as new a 11.0″ MacBook Air as I could find.

What I Like

The portability is amazing compared to the other laptops I have had. I can move it around the house or take it on trips with me and it sits nicely on a flat surface or my lap with the Zagg keyboard combo that I got. I really like that I can quickly remove it from the keyboard and just use it for reading or viewing a video/movie or TV show without any issues. When I go to have a vehicle worked on, if I don’t go for a run, I don’t hesitate to bring my iPad, whereas I hardly ever brought my laptop – it just wasn’t convenient.

I thought that I would really miss the mouse, trackball, trackpad method of moving the cursor around – after the initial WTFO how do I live without those things, I am getting acclimated to using keyboard shortcuts, my finger on the screen or my cheap $5.00 stylus to move the cursor around or to select icons. Enough so that when I had to use my wife’s Windows machine I found myself using her touchscreen more than the mouse – you can teach old dogs new tricks.

Speaking of the stylus. No I didn’t get the Apple Stylus – I have no doubt that it is a quality piece of equipment, but for the way that I am going to use a stylus, it is overkill. If I need to take a note I will use the keyboard or ask Siri to create one. I do not draw and am not a graphic artist, plus since I retired I don’t think that I going to be correcting/editing other people’s work anytime soon – so my cheap $5.00 stylus works quite nicely and I know that I have a couple more laying around the house. Yeah, I was a little worried that I would need that $100 Apple stylus too – I don’t.

Siri – Yes, I am using her more and more, as I learn how to use that technology, within the limitations that it still has. Although I gotta admit it is weird talking to the computer, it is the way of the future as predicted all those years ago in Star Trek or Hello Hal.

I am finding myself creating my own hybrid method of typing that is a combination of touch typing, using my stylus and fingers on the screen (the word prediction) and keyboard. It is weird, but the more I use it the more natural it is becoming.

Having a camera to create .pdf documents in Notes or simply to quickly an easily take a photo of something that I want to write about is convenient and a feature that I didn’t think that I would use as much as I have. Like taking the photo of the stylus after I got through writing about it. In the past I would have to get my phone, take the picture, wait for it to upload, then add it to a post. With the iPad’s camera I set the stylus on the table opened the photo app, took the picture, added a space in my post and added the photo. No fuss, no mess.

Which brings up another use where I couldn’t conveniently use my laptop. While using the elliptical, I can watch TV on the iPad, it fit well into the into the notch on the machine’s screen, so it is another option to distract me when working out on it or if I go to the gym and run on the treadmill, I can actually read a book or watch something I want, not necessarily what is on the TV.

I got the Zagg Rugged Messenger case/keyboard combo and have been extremely pleased with the protection it gives and also the keyboard itself.

I can type without worrying about whether it will keep up with me and I wonder how many people who actually use the Bluetooth connection keyboard type 90-100 WPM, like some of the reviewers do who complained about the keyboard not keeping up with them? I know that I don’t have that issues and while I touch type without looking at the keyboard pretty well, I certainly don’t have that kind of speed. So can I make a small prediction – I have a feeling for most mere mortal typists the Zagg Bluetooth keyboard and many others will keep up with us. I will probably do a review of that at some point in the next couple of weeks.

One of the reasons that I did get the iPad versus going the Mac route, it is the same operating system as my iPhone 7. Which has meant that things that I learn for one is usually applicable to the other and vice versa. Whereas if I was using a Mac or Windows machine, I am using two separate operating systems that do things differently. I wanted to simplify my computing experience and after only a week on the iPad, I can see how important this will be going forward. Especially, as IOS continues to improve and the other operating systems make changes also that I no longer have to really worry about.

Another thing that I did was buy the 200gb iCloud plan for $2.99 a month. I figure that should be enough to keep my iPad Pro backed up and have all of my files in one place versus in Google, Box, SkyDrive, DropBox or all the other places I have squirreled away data/files. I am tired of things being scattered across the Internet and moving to the iPad Pro has been a good impetus to consolidate things (once I figure out the file system to get the data into iCloud and on my iPad). This will take a while to sort through, but once it is done, I have a feeling that I will be happier.

That doesn’t mean it is perfect, because it is not.

The same software name may be the same, but it doesn’t mean that how the software may look, works or interacts with users is the same. Let’s use Apple’s Numbers spreadsheet – it works slightly differently in IOS than OS-X, how we access commands are different. Not enough to be all that bad, but enough to be a pain in the rear. Websites might not render the same in IOSand while some can be changed manually in IOS back to legacy views, I tend to forget that it does that.

Some apps for the iPhone do not work well (if at all) on the iPad – like Garmin Connect or Strava and I have to use the web versions.

Unfortunately, the biggest impediment for a lot of people and one that made me think long and hard before getting it, is the cost of getting into the iPad Pro 10.5 256gb edition. You do have to have a keyboard, which I know that I factored into the cost of getting it. However, when you buy Apple products that extra cost you pay for this brand is a known factor.

Dongles – enough said – everyone bitches about having to have a dongle to do stuff – I knew it would be an issue when I got it. I can see it becoming one down the road when I know that I will want/need them.

The biggest thing that I do not like is:

The file system limitations and it is not the iPad Pro’s issue that it cannot do something – it is more the choices Apple has made.

I want all of my files on my iPad and synced in iCloud since there is ample space for them there – especially my photos and .pdf files. Unfortunately, after a week I am still working on getting my photo library copied from Google Photos to my Photo library on the iPad Pro, there was no direct way to bulk move those files from Google to my iPad that I have found. I am not going the single download file route – 60gb of photos would make that a bit time consuming.

The best method I could come up with was to put iCloud on my wife’s Window’s computer, then do a Google take-out, unzipping the files, and now I have to figure out how to upload the mess to actually get in iCloud and then sync to my iPad. Sure does seem like a convoluted mess to simply transfer my data from Google’s silo to Apple’s.

Once I get it in there it will be fine, but getting stuff moved in has proved to be more difficult than it should be.

Although I have a feeling might be simpler to just keep everything in Google that is there and move forward from this point on in the Apple ecosystem. Naw that would be way too easy, I will find the solution, not because I have to, but because I am a stubborn old fart who has his mind set on having as much of my data on the iPad as possible.

Yeah, a stubborn old fart.

There – that short rant is over.

The reality is that

After only a week, I really don’t need anything else but the iPad Pro 10.5.

Yes, the file system stuff is a pain in the ass, but will not really be that big of a deal once I get things where I want them and going forward the file system is good enough once you have your data in Apple’s silo. Now I just have to get it there.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly I am adapting to not using a mouse/trackpad to get stuff done.

Do I foresee it not doing anything that I need to do with my computer…not really. However, that is part of the fun of owning something different from what most folk have – is finding out what works for you and what does not.

I am sure there will be a few annoyances, having to re-learn how to accomplish tasks and tweaking the iPad to make it Harold’s iPad. I am still playing with what Apps are actually useful and eliminating the ones are not. Eventually, I would like to be able to retire my legacy accounts at Microsoft and Google or other places. Kind of clean up my stuff online, but I hate having an email that ends in .iCloud.com it just tells too many out there what kind of system you are using – which may or may not be a good thing in today’s world.

What I can say today about using my iPad Pro 10.5 is something that I haven’t said about a computer in a long time is that I am having fun with it and I am getting what what I want to do – done.

It is just that I have to do some thing differently than I used to.

A Change of Plans – RunLog 11-27-17

Week 4 Day 1

Rest Day/Fun Run

Hard to believe that I have been mostly following a training plan going into the 4th week. It is unheard of for me to do that. Me, that guy who jumps from plan-to-plan to idea to the next greatest thing on a whim all to often. It is actually kind of nice to stick with one philosophy of running for a while. I have a feeling that this thought might end up in a blog post sometime this week.

Ah well, back to the run, yes it was a scheduled rest day, but…

but since all I did was a quick elliptical yesterday, I wanted to run today. Especially, since I will be going to get a new battery for the truck tomorrow and will probably run longer than the plan calls for down on the Rail Trail. So I did Tuesday’s workout today and will have a fun run tomorrow.

Today’s form interval focuses were: relaxing the lower leg and lifting my heel

It was one of those tweener days outside – you know one where it is still pretty chilly, but didn’t feel that cold at 30*F even with a pretty good breeze in my face coming back on Blake. I guess I have acclimated to the colder weather when 30*F doesn’t feel THAT cold (I know it is going to get worse – a LOT worse). However, as frozen as down-back was this morning during my morning 3.5 mile walk with Bennie was, the frost was coming out and had a bit of slime (mud) on top in several spots by the time I got to run.

I used my count-down timer to do form intervals and attempted to maintain them whether I was going uphill, downhill or on the flats. Which made it a lot more difficult since the I was processing a new focus on top of the other focuses that I have learned over the past 3 weeks.

Maybe I ought to remember land, lever, lift phrase from a different Natural Running program. Hint I am wearing their shoes.

Adding in the relaxing the lower leg and lifting your heel after peeling your foot off the ground without toeing off…mmmm yeah. For someone who has toed off/pawed back or whatever you call it for almost his entire time as a runner, this is the one that I need to master and if I don’t “get it” this week, will repeat again next week. Yeah, this and one other are the ones that I thought would give me the most difficulty transitioning to the Chi Running style/program/forms.

I am working it and have secretly been attempting to work it into my running even before this week. I have had mixed results and today was no different. However, it is like any new skill, it is going to take time, repetition and retraining the muscle memory. It will take some more time – which isn’t a bad thing.

I did have the perfect reverse progression run – each mile split was slower than the last one

It was a good run and the Kismet 2’s did okay in the slime – that front lug does dig in pretty good.

A Pretty Boring Week – RunLog 11-26-17

How do you describe a week that was, well boring.

Wonderful.

After a summer and fall of so much going on, it was nice to have a week that was pretty uneventful and except for the trip to Lancaster on Tuesday, I was able to just get into a fairly regular schedule – even with it being Thanksgiving week. That is the biggest benefit of being retired – my time is my own (for the most part), so having a holiday doesn’t really make all that much difference to me.

Thanksgiving was a good day and I enjoyed being around family, but all the other consumer driven drivel and marketing that comes after it…well I just ignore for the most part. It just gets obnoxious after a while.

My favorite photo from the week is one from days gone by. I have been going through and cleaning up my Google Photos, when I came across this one. Although it looks a lot like Christmas with my Mom, she had decorations up well before, so looking at how we are dressed, I have a feeling this might have been a Thanksgiving Day – not sure, but it seems to fit.

iPad Pro 10.5

I did get a chance to get to know my iPad Pro 10.5 and while it is doing everything I want (I love it). Apple’s continued reluctance to open up the file system completely has made putting my document files, photo and music libraries on the iPad more difficult than it needs to be. I can see making it more difficult to move data from the Apple silo, but to make it difficult to move data in so that you don’t use other brands seems to be rather counter-intuitive. More on that in a different post, but the iPad Pro 10.5 is an amazing computer that will do everything that I want going forward. All I have to do now is get my photos on the iPad and out of Google Photos.

Yeah, that is the kind of stuff that I consider fun…learning how to use something new to me. I just wish that Apple would let the iPad be the computer that it could be and not make it be or remain an ancillary device, which with the iPad Pro series it no longer is.

It is ready to be a primary computer and I don’t want to have to plug it into any other computer to be able to move files onto it.

Running

I had the most miles in a week since mid-September on 5 days of running. I would have had more, but I have been fighting a cold an today it finally kicked my arse and I took the day off, walked Bennie and did the elliptical. Still not 100%, but definitely needed the rest. Running-wise I did a couple of 6+ runs and actually ran in Waterville an Augusta versus only running around the neighborhood.

Moving to incorporating Chi Running into Harold’s running continues to go well and is paying dividends on how well I am doing physically. No major aches or pains and I think that some parts of the old body are starting to — dare I say it — feel like some healing is going on in there. I am sticking pretty much to the plan – only doing a little more mileage than it calls for, which is pretty good for me. I also have a feeling that not having the pressure to run 7 days a week like I used to all too often is probably helping a lot too.

The Kismet 2’s were my only running shoes again this week and continue to totally impress me. I know that running shoes do not really play that big a part of how a runner runs, but I also know that the wrong shoes can make running pretty damn miserable. The Newton Kismet 2’s are definitely the most right running shoes I have run in for a while.

Now to finish up my Christmas shopping and figure out how to transfer my running spreadsheet from Google over to Apple’s Numbers Mobile. Something that when I first opened it, seemed to be one of those weird programs that you just walk away from and keep using something a lot more familiar.

However, I have been “playing” around with Numbers a lot and if you put your mind in the right place, the logic does seem to make more sense after a while. So while the learning curve is real, I have been learning how to use Numbers, by re-creating my 2018 running log in it. It will be a lot more simple than my 2017 spreadsheet, more because I want it simpler than because I Numbers can’t do what I want – since it very easily can, now that I have an idea of how it works in my mind.

Overall, a nice week, where now I have to get rid of this runny nose/eyes, sneezing, snuffling kind of stuff that is going on. I just hope that things continue to be boring.

Longish Run – RunLog 11-25-17

Well Bennie and I started to walk down-back, only two problems, lots of traffic from people wearing fluorescent orange and mud. The first one doesn’t really bother me, especially since it is the last day of regular firearms season up heah – I anticipated a lot more hunters to be out and about. The second one – well the temps had risen up into the low 40’s and the frost was coming out of the road faster than I have seen it in a long time. Let’s just say that when I watched a couple of trucks coming up and one going down and all three had mud rooster tails and I heard the person heading down clunk in the 4-wheel drive, I figured it was probably greasy too.

In that kind of stuff it just isn’t fun to walk and we both come back looking like mud pies. Plus there were a few gunshots fairly close by down there, so Bennie wasn’t too thrilled about heading that way in the first place.

We turned around and did our 2.0 miles plus down to Shepard Road and back – a much nicer walk that includes coming back up the bitch. We both made it home nice and clean.

It also made up my mind that I didn’t really feel like running up Mt. Philbrick (not really, but it just feels like it is a mountain sometimes) so I just call it the Bitch most of the time. With down-back a muddy, sloppy mess that really didn’t trip my trigger either. Which meant going for a run in Waterville or Augusta. I had done the rail trail a few times over the past few weeks, but I haven’t run in Waterville in what seems like forever. I used to go over there 2-3 times a week, just because the roads are safer to run on than most other places.

So I headed over to Colby College and planned on doing my 6.0 mile Colby loop.

Week 3 – Day 6

Long run – do the form focuses and throw in learning the lean stuff, switching off every 10 minutes (I set the timer to 5 minute repeats) at about an 8:48 pace.

The wind was still blowing pretty good at the start (according to Garmin Connect 10 mph out of the south southwest), it felt a long stronger than that, but that is the official reading. I also had forgotten how much of a long-ass hill there is to start and when you add in the breeze right in your face = a tough start.

The screen shot might exaggerate the climb a little (the thin green line), but that is just about how it felt to me this morning and when you add in having to find a tree sooner rather than later on the hill itself, well it wasn’t the way I wanted to start this adventure today.

After getting things like bodily functions and breathing settled down a bit, plus getting on flatter ground, the breeze didn’t bother near as much. After that it was more just keep working on the Chi Running focuses when my timer beeped every 5 minutes and enjoying the run. I didn’t attempt to run fast and simply went with that wonderful effort thing, going downhill was a bit faster and going uphill slower.

I thought I would end up around a 9:10 overall pace but the sub 9:00 that I ran felt good and I had plenty left in the tank when I finished. Although my left foot’s sole was a little tender for some reason or other – just breaking it in to longer runs again. It is a familiar soreness that I get when I start to increase my mileage a little.

Overall, a very good 6.0 miles and the best part was that I felt pretty good the entire way.

Friday 5.0 and Feeling Great – RunLog 11-24-17

Week 3 – Day 5

Rest Day – okay I didn’t rest, but I did relax during the run – no timer to do drills. Even so, I worked on focuses without having to, they are just becoming a part of what I do when I run.

Today was one of those great late November days where the temps when I started were in the mid-30’s and by the time I finished had climbed into the low 40’s. Which made running down-back a little more interesting since we had a hard freeze again last night. The warmer temps, melts the ice and causes the frost to come out of the ground.

Which means that one minute you might be running on frozen dirt, come into a patch of sunlight and be running in mud that looked very solid until you step on it, then there is always the ice that those dark spots in the dirt road usually hide.

However, it does make you pay attention when you are running – no wool-gathering.

Before I ran, I told myself that I wanted to run at a 9:00 minute pace and just go easy most of the run. Which meant on the Middle Road 5.0 mile loop that my pace would be all over the place – since there are a few hills (up and down). Somehow, I finished the just over 5.0 in 44:57 – I would say that was close enough.

My lower right back was a little moody, nothing serious, but whenever I walk Bennie with the belt, it does this – just something that I deal with, because I ain’t stopping wearing that padded belt, so I can have my hands free and not have him pull out my shoulders. I have looked at other systems and this one is probably better than 99% of the ones out there, it is just a stubborn and spastic Jack Russell Terrier that causes some of the issues.

When I got back on the dirt road, just past the Town Office, I was getting pretty warm and took off my mittens. Without knowing it one fell to the ground. One of the neighbors who was driving by picked up, honked their horn several times and drove up to me. Bob passed me my glove and said “That showed up really good on the ground and I had a pretty good idea of who’s it was when I saw you running”. I am glad he got it back to me, because they are my only running mittens and I do really like them. Thanks again, Bob!

My cadence was a bit slower at 168 than what Chi Running would recommend, but I am not too worried about that right now. However, disconnecting higher cadence and from speed will be my biggest challenge with Chi Running – but it is something to definitely work on.

I did the pre and post exercises that are prescribed in the books and added in a couple more that are pertinent to issues that I have and need to address.

Overall, a nice routine run – the kind of runs that I really enjoy and believe that they do the most for me.