That is about all I can say about the first half of 2020, while this is primarily a running blog, life has happened too and it does impact my running.
- …so much more.
The three “P’s” are what have been in the news locally and nationally most of the time during the first half of the year. Everything seems to revolve around those three things and while some good may come out of the protests, when it comes to the political theater that abounds and the pandemic…let’s just say both of them are shitshows. All three are on my mind and how they are playing out has affected my running during the first half of the year. I could go off on long tangents on each of them, but since this is a running blog I will stick to that focus – running.
My favorite photo so far is:
My running log totals look like this for the first half of the year.
On January 7th, I did something to my left hamstring, which has plagued me since. In attempting to get past the issue, I set up massage therapy, which got me back to the point where I could at least run on it semi comfortably and would have continued, but the pandemic stopped everything like that. So for a couple of months it was more suck it up than running joyfully.
At this point the hamstring is about 90% and SLOWLY continues to improve. I have had issue with my hamstrings for many years and this is something that I deal with every few years. At least now I can do most runs without it bothering too much, although after a harder workout I do have to rest it more than I have in the past.
However, looking back the pandemic has affected my running the most over the past six months. On March 5th, I stopped going to the gym and March 10th was my last run from anywhere but from our home. I have basically ran the same routes since then, within an 8 mile radius. Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that bad, at least I have been able to run consistently, unlike many others who were restricted even more.
Although I am getting antsy and find myself wanting to add a little more variety to my running, but TheWife and I both agree it is not yet time with the pandemic resurging in so many places.
Between the hamstring injury and the pandemic shutting down any social aspects of running along with where I run, I have been in maintenance mode. That means attempting to stay between 25 and 35 miles most weeks and have been very conservative when it comes to: speedwork, long runs, aches or mystery pains. In other words I have been keeping the mileage and paces reasonable, but enough that it won’t take too much to get in race shape if or when they begin to happen again.
I hope and think some of the smaller races will happen, it is just a question of when or how.
I purposely deleted my eBay account, which I found was way too easy for me to pickup shoes that I have read about and/or wanted to try for cheap prices and those spur of the moment – this is too good a deal to pass up. Which usually meant that I had way too many shoes laying around waiting to be run in. I am attempting to cut down on the number of shoes in my rotation and hopefully have found a rotation that works pretty well for me.
One thing that I might have figured out is that I prefer a little firmer shoe that helps stabilize my heel a little more. I do well in neutral or light stability shoes as long as they are a little firmer in the heel, have decent flexibility and room in the forefoot. One thing I am finding is that the ankle wells/sidewalls feel too high and have resulted in blisters in that area from multiple shoes.
New Balance Beacon v1 – I have been using them as all-around running, training and go faster shoes, but tend to believe that their true place is as tempo day or go a little faster day shoes. While I can run faster in them, I don’t seem them as my race day shoes. They have done everything I have asked of them so far.
ASICS GlideRide – I have over 200 miles on them and mistakenly blamed them for ankle pain, when it was a different pair of shoes that were bothering me. I like/don’t like the front rocker at times (it is weird some days it feels great and other days I simply do not like the feel) and I would not want them any snugger on my right foot. A really great shoe and I run well in the GlideRides, but at this point I am not sold that I would get another pair.
Mizuno Inspire 15 – My newest addition to the rotation and while they are noisy (there is a lot of rubber on the outsole), the Inspire 15s are comfortable. They will never be mistaken for speedier shoes, but as daily trainers I can run in them without my right foot bothering for any of the distances I have run in them so far. I have a feeling these will become my mileage hogs.
New Balance 1400 v6 – Under appreciated by me and many others. It is a running shoe that I just put on and run well in whatever kind of run it is. I can use them as go faster shoes or minimalist trainers, so the range is very good. However, as I get older I am finding that I prefer a bit more cushion than they have, even at shorter distances, because of how I run and how beat up I feel when I am done running in them.
New Balance Summit Unknown – I have a pair of these NIB waiting for when I believe that I can start running from places other than my home. With the way things are looking that might be awhile. They fit a bit more snug than the 1400 v6, but not uncomfortably, so I am wanting to try them out at some point this summer/fall.
New Balance Beacon v2 – Another NIB the box pair of shoes that will replace my Beacon v1s when they wear out. These are the second pair of Beacon v2s that I have had and the 4th pair in the Beacon line. I guess you could say that I like the Beacon line of shoes. These will probably become my treadmill shoes of choice – if I ever get back to the gym this fall/winter.
Nike Zoom Fly SP – I keep coming back to these shoes as my go faster shoes, there is something about them that just works for me and how I run. Although the heel is a bit softer, they are what I seem to run best in at faster paces for 10K and below. Due to the softer heels, I don’t run much further than that in them.
Skechers Razor 3 – This is a shoe that I have two pairs of on size 8.0 and one size 8.5. They were a part of the super special pricing a while back and I thought one pair had been cancelled and ordered a different pair. They are shoes that I want to love, but after running hard or longer workouts in them I feel beat up and my ankles bother for a couple of days afterwards. The size 8.0s are just a tad too small and will be going away at some point and while the 8.5s are a better fit, if I can’t get past the ankle discomfort…well we will see.
I have gone through a bunch of other running shoes over the first six month of 2020, but I have a feeling that the numbers will start to flatten out a bit, although the Saucony Endorphin Pros do intrigue me more than any of the other shoes out there right now.
I have been very healthy during the interesting times that we are living in and have been working hard to stay that way. Staying healthy physically has been easier than mentally. I run, do yard work, clear brush and generally stay active and have added a new field to my spreadsheet that tracks leg miles and gave me great clue as to why I tend to get injured every year sometime between the last two weeks of May and first two weeks of June.
The mental health part is a little more difficult with all the political turmoil, protests, pandemic and just general living of life with everything going on all once has been stressful. I think a lot about all of the issues, how they have become so interwoven, how they are affecting us all and do it a lot while I am running and walking. I have strong opinions on all of them, however, opinion are like arseholes and everyone has one. So I will not bore you with my views and perspectives on any of this on this blog.
Although during June, I noticed that I was doing more stress eating and feeling a bit pudgy around the middle. So I have to work on what goes down pie hole going forward a bit more.
I do know that I have changed how I use social media a lot over the past six months.
I went from a new Blogger blog that I was enjoying writing at and then when I screwed up the URL, I decided to go back to my old One Foot In Reality blog and use it as a daily living type blog. After a lot of reflection and thinking about what I really wanted to do and how the pandemic made me look a lot more closely at my own mortality. I looked closely at a lot of things in my life and decided in May to re-create my first running blog Time to Run Again and have gone back to focusing on blogging about running and using it as my daily running log narrative.
Also I have cut back on how I use Twitter and Facebook quite a bit. Although I do check them too much over the course of a day.
I did start a Facebook page for Time to Run Again, but I am seriously considering deactivating my Facebook account until after the election. I am already tired of the ads, controversy and negativity that Facebook seems to bring into my life. Twitter doesn’t bother me as much, because I am ruthless about unfollowing or blocking people there, whereas on Facebook I have more relatives and people I know in real life.
The Reality is that
The first half of 2020 has been more like a shitshow than the fantasy world of a happy retirement that I was looking forward to. I really had planned on running in the races for a change this year, travelling around Maine/NH and probably a trip to Arkansas and Minnesota.
It is what it is and we have made the best of what has been handed to us. We are responding to the three “P’s” with prudence, reflection and staying abreast of developments so that we are not blind-sided by any of them.
While I am optimistic about life and attempt to put a positive spin on as many things as possible, I have to admit that 2020 has had more than its share of challenges for us all. I think that too many wished for “interesting times” to be in our future and Mother Nature has responded with a vengeance.
I don’t see things getting a lot better for the rest of 2020 and have a feeling that it might even get worse before it gets better. So we are continuing to hunker down until things lighten up, the way it is looking, will probably be next year at this time. Things will get better, they always do, but it will not happen overnight and certainly not as fast as most of us want.
All I can do is keep running, smiling and doing what I can, while I can.
Here is to a better rest of 2020 and wherever it may lead us.