Looking Back At March 2018

March 2018, was another month where the weather was the primary focus of my running – that how to deal with last part of winter, when you are ready for Spring. Yes, the weather forced me inside more than I would have liked, but it is just the way things work out during winters in Maine for me. I am more interested in getting my runs in, versus braving the elements at this point in my life.

I continue to simplify my computing and online life and move ever further into the world of Apple. It might not always be the absolute best way to do things, but when I look at the whole picture, most everything works good enough for me.Well let’s get to how I am doing on what I want to focus on this year.My favorite photo from March was:

I cannot really say that this was my favorite photo from March, but it was probably says the most about how I saw a lot of it – behind the snow blower. The thing is that the snow kept piling up during the month, until there were only two window “panes” showing on the bedroom window and the snow blower wore out and had to be taken to the shop for repairs – In other words, I fought the weather and the weather won most of the time.

1. Run Better

I am continuing to run more consistently than I have for a long time, which means that I am starting to run better. I attribute my progress to limiting my running to around 30 miles a week with only one long run and one speed session per week. Also I am still using the elliptical for cross-training 4-5 days a week and keeping the total mileage from both to around 60 miles a week, which seems to be about the right amount for my body right now.

During the last week, I had a problem starting with my right hip, that same issue that plagued me last fall. I was starting to get concerned, then I finally figured out what caused it then and now. The week before I had started using my U/A Bandit 3’s for my walking shoes and within a week I had right hip issues. When stopped using them and the hip issue went away.Yeah, the Bandits are disappearing shortly.

Other than that injuries and the niggles are at a minimum, which means that I have been able to run consistently for the first time in a long time and hopefully it is starting to show some dividends.

I am going to the gym fairly regularly, although I am not doing my pre or post run exercises as consistently as I would like and that is something I do have to work on. At least I am doing it 3-4 times a week though.

Speaking of gyms, I did change the location of my Planet Fitness gym from Augusta to Waterville. Where I live in Sidney the running routes are rather limited, so I like to vary them and still get in some gym work. Unfortunately, the outside running routes at the PF gym in Augusta are limited, while the Waterville location has a myriad of routes available.

So the running is going quite well.

2. Simplify my Running Shoe Choices.

The Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s are a great shoe for me, after putting more than 120 miles on them they are doing everything I ask of them. I have three ten plus mile runs in them, a bunch of faster treadmill runs and a lot of “just” running in them. Needless to say I do like them – a lot. When I am wearing them I don’t think about how my feet are doing in my shoes, I just focus on my running.

Although I did notice that my right heel is wearing through the fabric in the heel cup a bit more than I expected them to – which might be related to having the LockLaces in them and how they “give” just a little or how I take them off. However, it is not causing any issues, so I am not too worried about it.

While I like my Newton’s quite a bit, I think that the POP1 reaction plates/lugs begin to bother my feet after a while. Since I have started running in the Skechers the Newtons that I have in the house just do not feel as comfortable to run in. It isn’t that I can’t run in them, it is more because I prefer to run in the GRR7’s.

My current rotation is:

  • Skechers GoRun Ride 7 – outside running, long runs, most anything else kind of running shoes
  • Newton Gravity 3 – treadmill, race days
  • Newton Boco Sol – trail, nasty weather days, hiking shoes
  • Newton Gravity 5 – just in case running shoes in the back of the truck
  • Newton Kismet 2 – Walking shoes

Looking back the only shoes I ran in during March were the Gravity 3’s and GoRun Ride 7’s.

Based on how great the Skechers felt, I did order a pair of GoMeb Speed 3 on eBay for $24.00, I just cannot justify a pair of speed trainers at full price, even though Speed 5’s or Razor 2’s are pretty tempting, maybe if I am racing more and still feeling good Bennie will get me a pair for Father’s Day.

3. No running with Bennie.

While we walk 4-5 miles a day together, I have not run with Bennie this year and have no plans to do so. I have not had the myriad of niggles that seemed to be my constant companion when I was running with him. This is part o the solution to my injury jinx and I need to keep doing it.

4. Get rid of “stuff”.

More stuff continues to go away.Old running shoes are leaving, I am starting to do some spring cleaning on things that I never wear and I am even looking in places where I have “old favorites” squirreled away and getting rid of them too.

5. Race More Often

No racing in March – Mother Nature, Old Man Winter and I didn’t coordinate race dates well enough. At this point in my life I am not going to race when conditions are crappy i.e. snow/sleet on the road or sub 20*F temps are just asking for too many bad things happening, especially when the races are over an hour away.

It is better in my mind to wait for better conditions and have a body that is not injured for more local races that will be occurring in April.

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 160. I still am not attempting to lose weight too hard, I still was eating pretty much whatever I want during March.

8. Eat Less Processed Foods

I am doing okay, since Mary prepares a lot of homemade meals, breads and stuff. My problem is that I still like chips and boxed breakfast cereal too much. Although I did really good on cutting way back on how much ice cream I had in March.

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

This one is not going to really happen, so I am going to delete it from the list and replace it with technology use, since that is a large part of what I do with my time.

9a. Technology Use

I just recently reinstalled my Apple News app, I missed having the sports and technology news updates, although I did not miss the headline news and have done as much as I can to eliminate them from my feed. I am not constantly glued to the next “big” news story that is news for 1-2 days and then pretty much forgotten about until there is nothing else to report on and then it becomes the top news story again.

The other part is that I have no false sense of outrage regarding Facebook, Google, Apple or other social media, corporations or whoever to hell has access to my personal data. I don’t like it, but part of having a advertising based free Internet and free access to web sites is that we choose to allow others to know what we are doing and our habits. The way things are presently setup, that is how the businesses operate, so get over it. If you do not understand that as soon as you connect to the Internet, you are being watched, stalked and tracked by a multitude of corporations, governments and other entities that you have very little control of the information they gather about you – then you do not understand the modern connected world.

Perhaps we need to change the current model and replace it with something that more respects the individual and our personal rights, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, not with people/corporations making money off using our data that we so “willingly” provide in exchange for the privilege of being a part of the Internet or Interwebs Age.

I have started playing Mahjong on my iPad, which is helping me to focus and work on my short-term memory. I am doing better than I thought that I would, so that is a good thing. Plus Fantasy Baseball time is here and I am playing in three leagues. Hopefully, I will do better this year than I did last year.

10. Be more willing to take the road less travelled

I am still retired and enjoying being retired. No I am not lazy and yes Mary and I have worked our arses off to enjoy the little that we have and we fully plan to enjoy the years we have left on this little blue marble. Yes, I plan to enjoy myself with the life I have, not the one that could have been or the one that that I thought I would have, but one I am living. Looking around, that seems to not be what I am seeing too many other people doing.

The other Part of this being retired gig is that I am going to take better care of myself physically and mentally, which when I look around – in today’s world seems to be another part of the road less travelled. I am not being hypocritical, because I have been overweight and all that other stuff, it is just that I have made the choice to do something about it. Besides being a healthy 60 year old gives me a better shot at being a healthy 70 year old.

The reality is that

March was another good month of running, where I ended up with the most miles in a month that I have run since April 2017 with just over 135 miles. My GRR7’s are turning into a great pair of running shoes for me, but I will have to keep an eye on how the wear in the heel cup affects my foot going forward.

Yeah, I am hoping as the weather SLOWLY get better, that I start to get outside to run more and when that happens, I should start losing that last 10 pounds that I want to get rid of. I believe that changing my gym to Waterville will prompt/push/encourage/motivate me to run a little further outside than going to Augusta did. The myriad of running routes over there makes it so that I don’t have to be bored doing the same 2-3 courses every time.

Soon we will get to doing our spring cleaning, getting all the work around the house that was neglected last year and keeping up with vehicle repairs – in other words the usual taking care of life business.