January 2021 – A Year Unto Itself

Okay…January 2021 has been a year in and of itself! 

My favorite photo from January 2021

Between an attempted insurrection, wondering if the inauguration would happen peacefully or otherwise, and another impeachment. Add in it being the height of a pandemic, then on a more personal note-another running related injury to my right foot. 

Nothing important happened in January 2021.

Do you detect just a hint of sarcasm? 

You betcha!

It is no small wonder that my brain has been burnt to a crisp by everything going on around me. However, I seem to be getting bits and pieces of it back slowly but surely, as the Country appears to be calming down a little, and we continue to hide out primarily on our small hill in the woods.

If I could stop watching the news channels, get away from Twitter and Facebook, I would be doing a lot better. That idea of not worrying about things that I cannot control or what seems to become the next scream jockey’s end of the world as we know it, prediction of the hour, did get on my nerves a bit.

However, during the last week of January, I started to take control of the distractions and felt 100% better. I know that I am better off without all the catastrophizing that seems to go hand-in-hand with the 24/7 news cycle and so many stupid arse comments in today’s world of social media.

The one thing that has kept me reasonably sane during January is my running. 

Running

It has not been great, but running was happening consistently when the conditions were conducive outside in Maine during the Winter. Those times the weather have been too nasty to run, I either reschedule a rest day (which I am purposely taking more of) or get on the elliptical. 

At least until my most recent injury. I probably have some stress (fracture, reaction) going on in my right foot. You can read more about my whining here.

Let’s be very honest for a change.

I know that I am not going to be a great runner, too many things are working against me:

  1. I am too damn old
  2. Lack of talent
  3. I don’t have the great runner mindset
  4. I wouldn’t say I enjoy going into the pain cave all that often
  5. Too injury prone

With those realities in mind, I still want to run the best I can as someone chasing his 64th birthday in August. To do that, it means that I have to avoid the injury bug that seems to haunt me so much, be realistic in training and have fun with my running. 

In January, I accomplished two of those things and came close to achieving the third for a change.

Luckily, the injury isn’t severe, and I should be back on the road in a short time. The aches and pains that have accumulated over the years are always hanging around. However, I am used to those and have learned to deal with them as they come and go.

Training, I am attempting to stay within 25-35 miles per week and having my total mileage (running, walking, and elliptical) be in the 50-60 miles per week range until the weather gets warmer.

I have had more fun with my running, and changing my mindset back to the “I get to run” perspective has helped. Yes, even when it is 10*F, and the wind is howling a little too loudly. 

Do I still whine about the weather? 

Sure, but I am out there most days.

January 2021 – RunLog

During January, I temporarily changed how I plan my running to time versus miles and will keep it this way until Spring. That way, it is easier to swap in an elliptical workout for a run when the conditions are too nasty for me to run outside safely. 

January 2021 – Summary

My running mileage for January was just under one hundred miles. I needed four more miles to get to that magic number and no, it wasn’t worth making the injury worse to get those four miles. Who knows maybe I am getting a little wiser.

Running Shoes

I have moved to primarily using the 361 Degrees brand and am enjoying their running shoes so far. I even applied to their run team, so we will see how that works out.

361 Meraki v1

Meraki v1 – Have been my workhorse shoes during January. They work well for me. Although I am a little concerned about how much wear there is on the front of the outsole. It is a typical wear spot for me, but this is a bit more severe than I have in most shoes. Other than that, I zero complaints about the Meraki v1.

361 Santiago

Santiago – They have become my nasty weather, trail running, hiking, and Winter walking shoes. I don’t have any issues with the grip or fit. While they are over 11.0 ounces, I don’t notice the weight as much as I do in some other shoes that weigh the same. Although I wouldn’t want to do a long run in them, they have done everything I have asked of them so far.

361 Chaser 2

Chaser 2 – I did the Virtual January Thaw Race and used the Chaser 2’s. I ran faster than I usually do and felt comfortable, even though I didn’t push as hard as I should’ve. They were my introduction to the 361 Degree world, and while I don’t have 20 miles on them yet, I like them a lot. I would use the Chaser 2 up to 10K without even thinking about it, and if I were to go after a fast for me half, I would probably use these over anything else that I have right now.

On Cloudflyer OG

On Cloudflyer – No runs in them this month, and they are holding steady at under 40 miles. If I hadn’t come across the 361 Degree shoes, I would still be running in them. These are the first generation of the Cloudflyer and do not have their Helion midsole, they are a bit firmer than I prefer, but very runnable. Although I have found in cold weather; the midsole becomes even firmer. So I pick and choose when I decide to run in them during the Winter.

Life

Our political system is in SNAFU mode – Situation Normal All Fucked Up. While things are appearing to look a bit better, but I don’t see any resemblance of normal political shittage until after the impeachment trial is over and done. Even then, who can predict what will happen? The political divides are wide and based on what happened on January 6th, there most likely is still a great deal of turmoil ahead of us.

It has only been just over a week since the inauguration, but there are changes in attitudes and philosophies happening, so we will see how the differences play out in the long-term.

Also, it will be interesting to see what happens in the Courts, with all the cases they will hear over the coming months (names we know and many we never have heard of). I have a feeling their rulings will determine the direction the Country will eventually take—even more than our political divides.

If politics wasn’t enough, we are still in the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We aren’t in a State-mandated lock-down, but self-imposed exile is pretty much our way of life for the foreseeable future. Mask-wearing is just part of living now when we are around others, which isn’t often. Vaccinations will happen eventually and is a big part of the solution.

What did I learn?

That January 2021 was simply a continuation of everything that happened in 2020. Changes are happening, but at the same time, the more things change, the more they seem to stay in SNAFU mode. I and most everyone wants things to get better, but too many are working in opposite directions, so we will see.

I will get back to running sometime in the first part of February. My foot feels better than it did a couple of days ago, so I am optimistic about returning from my most recent setback reasonably quickly. However, I will be conservative about things and take at least a week off from running. 

Hopefully, walking will be something I can do while the healing continues.

Something tells me that at least the first half of 2021 will continue to be a shit show. Our politicians, pundits, and others all need to tone down the rhetoric, get past the many petty and not so petty political intrigues that dominate the push for power, have accountability for illegal acts, but probably most importantly, make the pandemic a non-factor.

In other words. work together for the common good.

I think that is going to take awhile.

At some point in 2021, our lives will get to whatever the new normal will be. 

Yeah, whatever that new normal will be.

Who knows, maybe this is the new normal?

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