October 2019 – A Month of Loss

This post is one that I have procrastinated about writing since October ended. It was one of those long months where too damn much happened.

How I remember Dad

October kind of sucked actually, loss of family makes things difficult to say the least, it also changes the perspectives you have about life, living and dying. No, I am not going to get all morbid about things, but at the same time when people in your life die, it does make you stop and think about how you will live your life going forward.

You know that “What is important?” Kind of stuff.

It started off with my step-daughter’s – step-mother passing away, which has meant some changes in the household. Lots of work on my step-daughter’s part as they help their Dad with his grieving and the other things that go along with the death of a significant other.

Then my father died on October 18th. While I have known for a while that he would probably die this year, that knowledge did not make his actual death any easier. I have written about my thoughts on it here and here.

Okay, enough of the death and dying stuff, there were some things that were pretty good.

Mary had a nice birthday, I got to reconnect a bit with family, see some people over at UMA that I haven’t seen in a while, got to go down to New Hampshire and run with Sam W. Those relationship things that we take for granted, but still need to work on more to keep how we feel and interact with others at the levels we want.

Although after that visit with Sam, I ended up having to replace the front hubs on the truck. Actually, I was very lucky according to my repair shop to have made it back home that day. However, the Ranger has not left me stranded on the side of the road and has been a reliable vehicle for me. The repair bill was not an easy one to swallow though.


While there was a lot of “other” stuff going on, I managed/forced myself to get out as often as possible to run. I got almost 160 miles for the month and while I didn’t have any significant injuries, my feet took a beating.

Only three days off during a month is pretty good for me. Although with the weather getting colder, I have noticed that I am putting a little more time in on the treadmill. Especially, for workouts that I want to hit certain paces.

Running Shoes

Altra Impulse – I actually like the Impulse a lot, but they became part of the problem with my feet.

The water drain hole caused discomfort/pain under my Tailor’s Bunionette, when I would run too much or more than 3-4 miles in them. So they have been retired.

Altra Duo v1 – Another shoe that I liked initially, but the more I ran in them , the less I liked them.

I managed to get them to 50 miles, but at that point I stopped running in them. They were just too firm and on a 9.0 mile long run, they bothered the bottoms of my feet so much that I didn’t want to run in them again. I did one last run in them a couple of days later and they didn’t work at all for me. They are gone.

I really like the way that I run in Altra shoes, but it seems that when I am running a lot in them that I have a bunch of niggles in the bottom of my feet, hamstrings and hips, that I don’t seem to have when I run in shoes that have some drop to them. Which means that the Altra’s that I have left will be more specialty shoes to work on form issues and not be a regular part of the rotation.

It seems that I had this conversation with myself the last time I wore Altra’s as a regular part of my rotation. It is a me issue, not an issue with Altra shoes, they are great shoes, but just not for me.

Hoka Mach v1 – I loved the Carbon X so much that I wanted to go back and try Hoka’s again. I have a love/hate relationship with this brand – I love how I run in them, but the forefoot fit has not worked for me and yes, I have run in 7-8 pair. Well except for the Carbon X, I have not found a pair that I could run comfortably in.

When I ordered the Mach 1’s, it was by mistake, I thought they were a different model and wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was doing. My bad.

As a size 9.0 they were too big and while I loved the feel on the road, they gave me blisters in the lower heel area and bothered my feet. They are a decent walking shoe and I can wear wool socks in them so they might be around for that function. Otherwise they will disappear at some point.

It seems that I do better with a softer feeling shoe, than I do with the firmer ones.

I did run successfully in the Nike Zoom Fly SP and New Balance 1400 v6, both of which are going to be in my rotation for a while.

I am still looking for a longer run shoe that I can run in without the bottom of my feet bothering. I have pulled out some of my older models to get me through until Christmas when I can foresee a pair of Carbon X or similar shoe finds its way into my rotation.


I didn’t race again this month. Not for lack of races, there were several that I seriously thought about doing, but didn’t do for various reasons. Mostly that I wanted to spend more time with Mary on the weekends – that right now is more important to me than going off to a race. It comes down to priorities and what I consider to be important.

The Reality is that

I am glad that October is over. Now to move forward with the changes that come with deaths in the family.

Now to get back on track with my running and figure out the long run shoe that I haven’t really found the correct answer to. However, I do have a feeling that my “go faster” needs are pretty well taken care of.

A final look back at the last time we were together as the Harold and Muriel Shaw family.

A lot has happened to us all since this photo was taken all those years ago.

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