February 2018 – Mother Nature Could Not Make Up Her Mind

February 2018 was an interesting month, one where the weather was still the big topic of conversation, my running was still going well, where I have started running in shoes that gasp might be what I have been looking for and I am still slowly loosing weight without putting a lot of effort into it.

My favorite photo from February was:

Walking down-back one day when the snow and ice were not horrible.

Yeah, weather-wise Mother Nature was fickle, capricious and left us going WTFO during most of the month. Oh well, the last part of the month the roads were runnable for the most part and with record highs going on I was not one to complain too much after January’s record colds.

In keeping with my start of the year plan here are the things I am focusing on and how they are progressing:1. Run Better

I am running more consistently than I have in a long time.

Injuries and the niggles are at a minimum, I am running without having to run through something bothering, hurting or in pain for the first time in so long, I don’t really know what to think – well other than it feels nice to not have to battle through a run and just be able to run.

I have done better on the cross training with the elliptical, although I reduced the number of miles a lot from January – it was just too much – now it feels a lot more reasonable. However, I still do not do as well with pre/post run stretching, body work or weights as I want to. For it being winter I am staying pretty active, getting over 20,000 steps quite often, which I believe helps with the body staying injury free.

That 30 miles a week mileage that I want to stay at was made easier when I changed my long run day to Tuesday/Wednesday and do Speedwork or races on the weekend. Putting together a running routine seems to work better for me than attempting to strictly follow a training plan.

With the way thing are around the house that just seems to work better and I am more likely to get that long run done at the start of the week. Especially, since I consider long runs more important than doing speed work at this point in my running. As the weather gets better I can see me adding in one more easy run a couple of times a week to get the mileage consistently up to 40 miles a week.

2. Simplify my Running Shoe Choices.

Oh Boy! This one might have been nailed with the Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s, after three runs in them I am oozing with optimism about how good a running shoe this might actually be for me. I know it is early, but all the indicators are that these are a very special running shoes, very much in line with my experience with GoRun Ride 2’s a few years back. All I can say is – finally.

The Newton Gravity 3’s are still working great on the treadmill for me and while the GRR7’s are a more comfortable shoe, I think I run a little faster in the G3’s – I think they will be a nicely compliment one another.

Unfortunately, the Hoka Bondi 5’s still are not the shoes that I was hoping they would be, I can run in them, but I don’t enjoy running in them – if that makes any sense at all. They are in the back of the garage awaiting final judgment and if the GRR7’s keep going the way they have been, I am pretty sure of which direction it will go.

My current rotation is:

  • Skechers GoRun Ride 7 – outside running, long runs
  • Newton Gravity 3 – treadmill, race days
  • Newton Boco Sol – trail, nasty weather days, hiking shoes
  • Newton Gravity 5 – anything else that I need
  • Mizuno Wave Rider 20 – walking shoes, yes I typically chose one pair of older running shoes to be my walking shoes.

3. No running with Bennie.

Unfortunately, I am doing well with this and I know that I can feel the difference. We do about 4-5 miles a day usually walking together, but no running.

4. Get rid of “stuff”.

Mary is helping me work on getting rid of my old shirts that have a certain aroma about them, that is quite noticeable as soon as the shirts warm up to body temperature. In other words they have the permanent runners stink. I also got rid of my old Pear Izumi H3’s that had been sitting under the dresser for a couple of years, as much as I used to like them, when I took them for a walk, they didn’t feel all that comfortabe – time for them to go away.

I also did a bit of cleaning of social media/online presence. Gone is Strava. I liked the community aspect, but do I really need another online running log, when I have to use Garmin and I maintain my own spreadsheet, so it was redundant and went away. Same with Instagram and a bunch of other odd online places that I had accounts that I never used.

5. Race More Often

No racing in February, although I have done a little bit of speed work for when I start in again.

6. Get Back to Running Trails

No trail running there is just too much ice on the trails or snowmobile trails for this old fart to be safely wandering around on them by myself.

7. Weigh Under 150 Pounds

I started out the year at 166 and this morning came in a 161. I am not attempting to lose weight too hard, I still was eating pretty much whatever I want during February. I did get into the 150’s a few days on my morning weigh-ins and after my 10 mile run I hit 158, so the weight is slowly going away. Maybe in March with being able to get outside a little bit more and watching what goes down the pie hole (self-restraint) – some more of the excess flubber will disappear.

8. Eat Less Processed Foods

I am doing pretty good on this one until Peeps came out and that kind of screwed with my plans a bit, but not as badly as in past years.

I still eat too many chips and too much ice cream, but I have cut down on other stuff and you know something I plan to enjoy life too, so if they are a part of the joy in my life the waistline and brain will survive them going down the old pie hole once in a while. I just have to remember portion size and that they shouldn’t be every day.

9. Meet Some of the People I Have Met Through Social Media

None yet.

10. Be more willing to take the road less travelled

I am still retired and enjoying being retired. Some times I do miss the world of work and the social interactions that are a part of it, but I enjoy the idea that my time is my own – at least the parts that Mary doesn’t claim ;-).

In this age of instant everything, gone are all of my news apps, feeds and links. I decided that I don’t need to follow the news 24/7, watching it once a day is enough stress on the mind. I am not burying my head in the sand about what is going on in the world, but at the same time, I really believe that there is still more good in the world than what constantly bombards us from the news channels and the sensationalism that accompanies so many of the stories that are reported on. Many of the issues that are so sensationalized are the same type of stories that were being reported on in the past only the names, places and faces have changed – which is sad. I have purposely decided to eliminate those stresses from my life and feel a helluva lot better for having done so.

As a result I have noticed that I am reading more paper books and using Kindle, Google Books and iBook to read as well. My chosen genre is Heroic Sword and Scorcery, running and some health related books.

You know something that really made me chuckle this month was when I read a book just for kicks on health that was published in 1916. Unfortunately, as I learned in the book and had a pretty good idea about from my other readings that many of the discussions about allopathic, naturopathic, osteopathic and all the other “pathics” medicines didn’t start 10, 20, 30 years ago, they were being discussed, argued about and were controversial way back in the early 1900’s.

The only difference from the 1916 book is that from what I can see allopathic medicine and the profit based medicinal model has won the battle for control of the way medicine is provided in the U.S. and is viewed as the only thing that is “real” medicine according to many. What I did learn while reading that book from 1916 is that I am closer in my personal philosophy to naturopathic medicine than I am to allopathic, which really didn’t surprise me. Maybe that is why all the docs and I don’t see eye-to-eye on so many things medically.

When I have a trauma related injury modern medicine is great, when it comes to treating other types of medical issues, well from looking around me, it doesn’t seem to be working nearly as well.

I tend to believe that our health comes down to choices that we make in your life and treating the symptoms that result from those choices are not going to change the outcomes all that much if we are unwilling to make lifestyle changes that will make a difference.

Yeah, sometimes it really is that simple – something called self-restraint could do a lot of good for many of our medical problems. I know that it has been and is still part of the problem for me.

The reality is that

February was a really good month where I accomplished a lot of what I wanted to with my running, maybe found a pair of running shoes that will let me run well and did a lot of things that will lessen the amount of artificial stress in my life from the 24/7 news cycles.

Now to get a little more serious about getting the rest of the weight off, get my mileage up to averaging 40 miles a week by April and keep enjoying retirement. Although once the snow goes there is a lot of work to be done on the yard, garden and garage. Isn’t that always the case, but we do have to make some time for exploring and enjoying our retirement and not get sucked into the routine of only working around the house.

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