Running Down Back Was Kind of Nice

After walking Bennie over 2.0 miles down-back, I decided that it was just too damn nice to head into town to run or plod along on the treadmill for a recovery run. Especially when one of the locals pick-up guys had plowed down-back. I found that conditions were just about perfect for running down there after last night’s colder temps.

The temps were around 32*F, bright sunshine and a pretty good breeze on the way out – good for running outside.

I wasn’t planning on running fast and running through here was going to make sure that I didn’t do anything stupid. While the footing was decent, it was not the same as running on bare tar and you use additional stabilizer muscles that don’t get used all that much running on tar or the treadmill.

Once I got going running down-back was actually fun and even when I got over on Tiffany, I didn’t pick up the pace all that much. It was simply one of those runs that you go out do it, smile when you finish and wish you could have simply kept going.

I did use the Tempo 9s to run and they did nicely on the hard packed snow, but not so well on the looser stuff. However, they did everything well enough that I completed the run without any problems. Well beyond using those stabilizer muscles that haven’t been used for a while, I guess the only reason they didn’t really whine is because I do walk in this stuff almost every day, but I still know that running on it is different and the body tonight is letting me know about it.

Life does tend to catch up with you though.

Yeah, it was one of those hurry-up and wait days otherwise. First we had to wait around for the heating oil company to deliver oil, but there was a catch for the first time since we had been with the company (over 10 years), we were asked to be there when the delivery was done and give the drive the difference between our pre-pay and whatever amount was due. Not a big deal, but not the way the company had done business previously with us.

This was strange and when the delivery hadn’t happened by 11:00a, I gave a call to get an ETA and was told they were not sure when the delivery be made other than it would be by 5:00p. Not really what I wanted to hear since I had other stuff I wanted to get done today. So I asked if there had been a change of billing policy and when they said no. I asked them to check our file to see why the change of billing practices had been done. After futzing around for a few minutes, I suddenly received an apology, was told that they would call the driver to change the payment requirement and we would be billed as usual since we are such great customers.

When I pressed for more information, I was told that someone “new” had given us the wrong information when we called to place our order.

Yeah, we pay our bill on time.

Somebody screwed up, but it worked out and I was able to get my run in.

We have been having issues with our cable and internet for a few months, so we called and frigged farted around with their phone system and automated help line for half an hour before getting a real person. They were very helpful, but unable to fix the problem. However, they had an open time to get a technician out to the house that check things out at the house at 5:00p today.

Same day service – wow.

The repair guy got here and did a few things and figured out that they had to replace the line from the utility pole on the road to the house. It seems that the squirrels over the years had gnawed the wires and caused all of our problems. So it took about two and half hours to get that accomplished and they strongly recommended that I take the cable box down to the Augusta office to trade it in for a newer model. This one is over seven years old and according to the tech is starting to show its age and he didn’t have the correct one in his truck tonight.

So now we have faster internet, all the channels we are supposed to have, without all those error codes and blank screens that were appearing before.

In other words today was just one of those days in the life of Harold. 🙂

Exhaustion Equal Lack of Willpower

It has been a busy couple of days to say the least.

However, last night after one of those nearly 40,000 step days, I had a hankering for carbs…lots of carbs…let’s be real sweets. For the most part I have been avoiding processed foods, candy and desserts, while eating primarily real food for the past couple of months. Not last night, even though we had a nice supper, when we finished my body craved and I caved in to go to the “store” and get sweets: Whoopie Pies, Chocolate No Bake Cookie and Sweet Tarts.

When I got home and demolished them all within the space of 20 minutes. It was like I was not in control and could not stop once I started. Not good. This morning I woke up feeling like I had gone 12 rounds and gotten the crap kicked out of me. You know a lot like having a bad hangover, but without the “fun” of drinking too much alcohol, like we might have in our younger days.

So what did I learn from last night.

1. That I do have a sugar addiction and that when I let it run…it doesn’t do me one bit of good.

2. When I have one of those days where I get well over 30,000 steps in that my willpower exponentially decreases its ability to resist the sugar treats.

Okay, so I learned a lot last night and they say that knowledge gained is only as good as how you use it. Which means that I will be more cognizant of the sweet tooth and hopefully not be as likely to repeat last night’s implosion.

What on earth were the factors that lead up to all this?

Wednesday was a scheduled day off from running and while I did a pretty good job of not overdoing things, I still had to roof rake the garage, which always just puts a hurting on the old body – especially my shoulders. However, it is safer than climbing on the roof and shoveling, so I deal with the discomfort as best I can.

The other thing and this was probably a big factor is that SD2’s oldest dog had not been doing well for the past couple of months and it was time. That afternoon she was put to sleep at 18 years old. So the family was dealing with that loss. It is though to loose one of our family, but it was time for her to take the long sleep, still it is hard.

Thursday brought snow and chauffeur duty to Augusta, which meant a trip to the gym on the way home to do my run. The planned workout was a 5.0 mile tempo with a warm-up and cool-down mile.

What I did:

1.0 mile warm-up @ 6.4 mph

4.0 mile Tempo @ 7.8 mph

1.0 mile harder Tempo @ 8.0 mph

0.5 recovery

5 x 0.1 strides @ 9.1 or plus mph with 5 x 0.1 recovery

0.5 cool-down @ 6.3 mph

0.5 walking

For a total of 8.0 miles of running. It was a hard workout to get done, but surprisingly it was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, as evidenced by the being able to handle the faster last mile of the tempo run and the still being able to do the strides after I rested for a bit.

The strides felt good and I might have gotten a bit faster than I thought I would on the last two.

Although I did feel a bit stooopid when I realized about two miles into the run that I hadn’t started my watch. Oh well, stuff happens like that when you have a lot on your mind. The run did clear my head out pretty well though.

Overall, a really great run an one that I probably would not have attempted if I hadn’t done it first thing. I did get a text while running the last mile of the tempo and needed to look at it as soon as I finished it. Just in case my chauffeur hat needed to be donned again to go get SD2 who was still very upset about Wednesday. Luckily it wasn’t anything important and I was able to finish the workout.

Once I got home it was time to move snow so for about 2 1/2 hours I “played” behind the snowblower or shovel and got rid of the 2-4 inches of pain in the arse snow from three driveways. Luckily the neighbor has sold his house and is either closing today or early next week – one less thing to worry about.

By the time I got done with the snowblowing I had over 37,000 steps and was totally wiped out. Which meant lunch and a nap. By the end of the day I had gone over 38,000 steps and didn’t have nearly enough willpower left to combat the – I wanna eat sweets message that the body was sending out.

Yeah, so I had a learning experience over the past couple of days and now know a bit more about how my sweet tooth can effect me when I am tired.

I will get back to avoiding most sweets again, but I do not ever see me completely giving them up, although next time, I want to be the one in control, not the so-called sugar rush.

It is still difficult for us not have Karma around, but she had a good life and was well loved by us all.

Yes, I am an old softie, I just do not show it all that often, but our critters do take a piece of our hearts when they go, but at the same time they give so much more back to us while they are with us that it is worth the pain when they leave.

Tough Workout Tuesday

Treadmill time and you know something, I rather enjoy doing my speedwork on the treadmill rather than on the track or using a marked trail. For me at least I just get to focus on running at the correct pace and learn how it feels to run at that speed. Even though I know there is a transition to running the same speeds outside, it is helping me this year learn more about my running.

I know treadmills are not for everyone, but they are working for me.

Today’s workout called for a 5 x 1K, but since I didn’t feel like dealing with the conversion and then have a 400m recovery to deal with that distance conversion as well on the treadmill, I decided to do a 4 x .75 with .25 recoveries at 10K pace instead. This kept me at the 3.0 mile goal total for my faster repeats.

This increasing the distance of the fast repeats is getting to the distances that I don’t enjoy – at all. In fact I rather believe that they suck, especially the last three. I am an old sprinter and have the mindset that running multiple laps around a track or in this case for several minutes at a hard pace – multiple times just ain’t that much fun for me.

It isn’t that I can’t do it, it is more that I do not like to do them.

Okay enough whining about having to run fast/hard for longer than a quarter or half mile. What did I actually end up doing.

1.0 mile warm-up @ 6.3 mph

4 x .75 @ 8.3 mph – The first one or two were not really all that bad, the third one seemed to be longer than 3/4 of a mile and the last one was just run hard, keep running, focus on keeping good form and not give up on the repeat. I finished this part of the workout and was happy to be done with it.

4 x .25 @ 6.2 mph – recovery

1 x .25 @ 8.6 mph – I really wanted to do 3 of these, but after the 4 x .75 fast repeats the legs just didn’t have a lot of pop left in them and I decided to not even attempt to try any more. I didn’t want to tempt fate too much by running faster beyond the planned workout.

.50 @ 6.3 mph – a comfortable pace to recover from everything.

.75 @ 6.6 mph – just wanting to get it done.

.25 @ 7.8 mph – race pace for the last quarter. I didn’t have any issues running this pace even though the legs were pretty much toast.

A total of 7.0 miles and when I got done, I know that I was glad to be done.

It was not a workout that I enjoy. Once I get beyond half mile repeats it gets into an area where I am not strong. However, I also know without any doubt that this is one the areas that I need to focus on to get stronger for racing at any distance – my stamina.

This is one of the reasons that I specifically chose the Hansons Method, I knew that it would force me to get out of my comfort zone, do the longer repeat that will help me improve my biggest weakness.

A good workout that did take me out of my comfort zone.

adidas Tempo 9 – 300 Mile Review

The adidas Tempo 9s made it to 300 miles.

A 300 mile review on a pair of shoes???

Holy crap…I couldn’t remember the last time that I had a pair of shoes make it to 300 miles. When I looked, it was a pair of Hoka Clifton 1 (Blue), back in 2015 and they were toast at that point.

Which makes the adidas Tempo 9s getting to 300 miles, still being shoes I enjoy running in and me wanting to write about them – even more impressive!

The short version is:

I can run in Tempo 9s comfortably, I don’t don’t get mysterious pains or blisters from the shoes and when I reach for the Tempo 9s I have no doubts about how they are going to perform…

Well. Continue reading

Sometimes The Grass is Not Greener or I should say the Roads Weren’t Any Better

Today was my scheduled long run – 11.0 miles at just over 9:00 minute pace was the plan. Not a long, long, long run, by any stretch of the imagination, but further than I have run in quite a while, so I didn’t need any extra issues from the roads being trashed from last week’s snow/ice/rain storms.

Whine alert – yes I do more than my share of whining in this post, so you can chuckle at me starting now.

That footing thing had me concerned about running locally in Sidney and while I knew outer Civic Center Drive in Augusta was clear, but I really didn’t feel like running there again today and I was pretty sure that the Rail Trail probably was not all that runnable.

Then I remembered how running up in Waterville last year was better than any where else in the area. Hell, I even changed my Planet Fitness membership to up there because the outside routes were a lot better for running. So I headed up there to do my long run.

When I got to Waterville I saw the road conditions and got a bit concerned. The side of the roads were not plowed and had a frozen layer of plow comming (you know the stuff the plow leaves as it goes by) on just about all the main routes.

So I took off to see how the bridge to Winslow was and from the light by Good Will, until you got across the Sebasticook River really wasn’t runnable in my opinion. At least it was not safe to run, with the iced over sidewalks and no room on the side of the road, with the amount of traffic that I would have to encounter.

I even drove around Cool Street and First Rangeway, not great, but runnable. If it hadn’t been so late, I was seriously thinking about heading to Augusta or even back to Sidney, where at least the roads were clear or there would be less traffic.

It was getting late. Continue reading

Running Outside is Better

Yes, I finally got to get my butt outside for a decent run. The temp was almost balmy at 39*F and a pretty stiff wind out of the NW at 15 mph, yeah right in the wheelhouse for a nice run outside.

We got just enough snow and rain yesterday that I waited until this morning to do the clean-up – three driveways snowblowed and then walking with Bennie down-back almost two miles, meant that I seriously thought about shortening my scheduled 6.0 miler this morning.

With the conditions outside this morning, running around the house was not really a consideration, the roads were still crap and down back, while runnable in sections, other parts were not worth taking a chance on. Ice is my enemy.

Augusta where my Planet Fitness is located, is usually pretty clear after a storm and while it is not all that great for scenery, at least the footing is mostly predictable and there is room on the side of the road to run fairly safely.

So I drove into Augusta. Continue reading

Just A Bit Surprised After Yesterday

Okay what happened yesterday?

It was supposed to be a rest day, to lounge around and relax after a hard speed session on Tuesday. You know a scheduled day off and I was actually looking forward to not running yesterday – I needed the day off.

Well the good thing was that I did not run.

However, we did get a storm that left 7-10 inches of snow to move around. Which I did in the morning, about 3 hours of playing behind the snowblower. I thought that it was done, but when we sat down for lunch the rains came for about an hour and then it snowed again, just enough that I had to go out and play behind the snowblower again for another 2.5 hours. Continue reading

Wonders of a Positive Attitude

Yeah, all that glitters is gold – right!!!???

Not always, but last week I did a great 6 x .50, with .25 recoveries and thought that it was one of the best workouts that I have had in a long time. Fast forward a week and I have been planning on doing the same workout again today.

This is what Bennie and I did this afternoon after today’s workout.

Why?

Well I am doing the Hansons Half Plan and I didn’t want to screw around with the math last week when it was scheduled to be 600m repeats, with 400m recoveries. In all my wisdom I figured it would be easier on the old noggin to just focus on running half mile repeats than attempting to figure out the 600 conversion and keeping track of everything.

I will most likely do the same thing next week with the 1K, 1200m repeat workouts and convert them to .75 fast repeats for the sake of convenience. Although I might do the first week a little slower (10K race pace) to focus on completing the workout.

Okay, so I knew that I could do the workout and focused on only being positive all weekend about this workout that in the past I found to be right on the edge of my mental want to do, more than my physical ability. I really was not always that positive about running fast repeats beyond .25. Continue reading

Week 6 – 2019

Not quite the week I wanted/expected, but the one that I got through.

My favorite photo from the week:

I am still using the Hansons Half Marathon Method as the basis for my training and was able to hit all of the SOS workouts during the week, although I did’t quite meet the weekly mileage goals with two days off. The good thing is that I felt good about my running all week and that is the important thing.

After a bit of a sabbatical due to my Zagg Keyboard for my iPad Pro dying, I finally got in my new Brydge keyboard this week. I like the way it matches up to my rose gold version and makes it…well basically into a small laptop. I still have to get used to the way the keys feel compared to other keyboards.

It is not a bad feel, but I am a touch typist and the key travel is different than I am used to compared to other ones that I have used recently. I will get used to it, but there is going to be a bit of a get-used to it curve.

Running

Like I said a pretty good week, but when I didn’t run yesterday – a trip to Oxford (New Balance Factory store and book shopping), along with a nasty wind storm (wind chills in the stoopid range) made my wanting to run when I got home a moot point.

I didn’t.

I am still running more on the treadmill than outside, but the good thing is that I am hitting the paces called for in the plan on the SOS workouts and doing a little extra on my recovery days, which is okay.

Running Shoes

The New Balance Beacons did are over 90 miles and are still my goto shoes. They do everything that I ask of my running shoes. They are comfortable, quiet and best of all do not bother my feet. This week’s quality workouts were all done in the Beacons. The half mile repeats at my “real” 5K pace (not the pace I want to be) while tough the shoes did not get in the way. Then the 4.0 miles of tempo pace (my hopeful half marathon pace) were done without any issues and today’s long run was done comfortably at a 9:00 minute pace on the treadmill. If I Go For A Run, I typically choose the Beacons.

Although I did run in the Tempo 9s Outside for an easy 7.0 on Friday and they did everything that I could ask of them. They are still a part of the rotation and I do need to bring them out of the cubby and start using them again – if for no other reason than to save some of the mileage on the Beacons.

It comes down to me liking the Beacons a bit more than the Tempo 9s they just feel “right” for me.

New Gear

I did pick up a New Balance running jacket, shirt and tank top at the factory outlets this week and have used all but the tank top. I liked the way that the jacket performed as an outer layer on a 33*F, rainy and breezy day and used the short sleeve shirt on the long run today without any issues.

The reality is that

I actually am still following the Hansons Half Plan and doing well with the mileages/paces. My hip does give a few barks now an then, but doesn’t seem to bother too much otherwise.

Although I have back slid on changing my eating habits a bit, I am going to get back to it this week.

Another good week.