February 2021 – Better Than Expected 😁

When February started, I planned on putting a zero for the month in the running log. I thought that I had a stress fracture in my right foot, and there wouldn’t be any running for at least six weeks. No, I wasn’t in a good space with that staring me in the face.

Luckily it turned out to be a combination of little things that caused my foot to swell then turn black and blue, but the important thing was it was not a stress fracture, and I could get back to running. I think that taking off those seven consecutive days was a good thing at the end of January and the start of this month was a good thing. However, taking off four days at the beginning of this month did put a dent in my February mileage total. 

Also, I have been fighting a low-grade infection for most of the month. That green snot rocket stuff gives me a reason to believe that whatever is going on isn’t all that good for me. However, things seem to be finally clearing up last weekend, and I am starting to feel more like I should. 

I am learning that playing with the snowblower, shovel, and roof rake takes a lot more out of me than it used to. Running after doing snow removal doesn’t work all that well. So when we got snow storms that I needed to bring out the snowblower, I have almost accepted that I wouldn’t be running that day. I still have those delusions of youth that won’t completely go away. Snow removal is a good enough workout all by itself for a day.

Looking at my running log spreadsheet, I see that my mileage in February 2021 is less than last year, and my paces have slowed considerably. 

Has my running declined that much in only a year? 

Not really.

A big part of the change from last year is not having access to a treadmill, which allowed me to avoid running outside when conditions suck. When I am bundled up to battle the cold weather or running on sketchy surfaces, I go slower and not as far. You can read more about my whining about the treadmill here. As the weather improves, getting back to shorts/t-shirts and getting over the Winter blahs, the pace and mileage will improve nicely.

I did make a change to how I track my workouts in my running log. For most of my running career, I have tracked things on a Monday through Sunday schedule. After reading a few books and articles, I wanted to try Sunday to Saturday tracking of my mileage. With Monday to Sunday tracking, I was always stressing out if I needed to take Mondays off. It became a game of how I would make up the miles I missed and still get a good rest day later in the week. 

Yeah, I know it is all in my head, but that’s all I got, so I have to work around my weaknesses. 

When I did re-did my spreadsheet to Sunday to Saturday tracking, my weekly totals suddenly were more in line with how I believed I was running. It became evident that it was a more natural fit to how I accumulated my weekly mileage.

I managed to get TheWife to agree that it was time for me to get the M1 MacBook Air, which I have been drooling over for a few months. Now that I have it, I enjoy using it a lot more than I thought I would. The most significant advantage is the keyboard. It is vastly superior to the external Zagg keyboard I was using on the iPad Pro. Read more here

Also, I was surprised at how quickly I re-adapted to using MAC OS. Despite not having used a Mac since 2015, I didn’t have too many problems transitioning back to a Mac. I guess IOS is closer to Mac OS than I thought and having many of the same apps did help a lot too.

Running

When you only run 21 of 28 days in a month, your monthly mileage will be down. 

February 2021 Spreadsheet Running Log

If I had been more motivated, I could have made the 100-mile goal I set for February, but with everything going on, it wasn’t there. Right now, I am more interested in getting well, staying healthy, and if I run a little less this Winter to achieve those things, that is the way it will be.

February 2021- Totals

Running Shoes

Current Rotation

  • Nike React Miler
  • 361 Meraki v1 (Blue)
  • 361 Chaser v2
  • 361 Santiago
  • New Balance Beacon 2

I retired two pairs of running shoes in February. 

On Cloudflyers – They were just too firm for me to enjoy running in them. I run well in them, but I’m not particularly eager to use them and have to think hard about whether I want to put them on or not. That is not how I like to think about my running shoes, so they will go away the next time I go to my giveaway spot. I need to look forward to running in my shoes, and it shouldn’t be a chore.

361 Degree Meraki v1 (White) – I wore through to the midsole due to my hard toe-off, and I could feel a change in how my form was in them with that worn spot. I also attribute part of my woes at the start of the month to these shoes, but it was also my fault that I wore them in conditions that they couldn’t handle. Although I was a little disappointed in how quickly I wore through the outsole after 166 miles. 

Fear not, though, I have another pair of Meraki v1’s that to use going forward, and I am looking forward to seeing if they last a little longer than the white ones did. I wonder if running in the salt/sand mix on the roads up heah helped degrade the outsole quicker than it would in other conditions? I will find out.

Nike React Miler – These have become my go-to shoe of the moment. I can run comfortably all the distances that I run, and they do keep my feet warmer than most other models I have run in this Winter. So I don’t think they would be a great choice for running during the summer. I like their multi-purpose tread, which means that I haven’t needed to use my trail shoes as much as I usually do in the Winter. I just went over 50 miles in them and will have a review sometime next week. However, they will never be confused for a go faster shoe, to get them to an 8:30 pace requires a lot more effort to get there and then I have to focus hard on staying there. They are like an old rocking chair, you just get in a groove with them and keep coming back to that groove without trying. In my case it seems to be in the 9:00-9:20 range.

361 Degree Santiago – My trail runners, winter walking, and crappy weather shoes. I am still debating whether they are for me or not. My heels and arches hurt when I wear them on tar too much. However, when I run in them on the snowmobile trails or down-back on the packed dirt road, I don’t have that heel pain, but they are stiff through the midfoot with that plastic shank in the midfoot. It seems as though if I wore the Santiago’s much more than I do, I would be having problems with both my heels and the arch of my feet.

361 Chaser 2 – I didn’t run a lot of fast stuff during February – on purpose. If I run too hard outside in the cold weather, I tend to strain/sprain or injure some part of the lower body and have to take time off to heal. However, the run that I did in Chaser 2 made me go Mmmmm in a good way. No, they are not the sexiest or highly rated light-weight trainer/racer, but I run well in them in the small sample that I have so far. I will be getting more miles done in the Chaser 2 during March and will be interested in my opinion at the end of the month.

New Balance Beacon 2: When I was having all the issues with my right foot, I went back to shoes that I know won’t worry about running in them. The Beacons are my treadmill shoes and designed for better weather, so wearing them in the Winter is not ideal, especially with the lack of traction on the outsole. However, they helped me figure out the issues with my foot and were a stop-gap until the Milers came in. I have put them away again until I can get back on a treadmill or better weather comes our way. They work for me, and I have confidence in them, even if they are not the greatest shoe or a current model.

If you had told me that I would get over 80 miles in February despite:

  • missing the first four days due to what I thought was a severe injury, 
  • the nasty weather that we get in Maine this time of year,
  • lack of motivation-a bad case of the Winter blahs, 
  • lingering low-level crud of some sort
  • not being able to run on a treadmill

I wouldn’t have believed you. 

Many things were working against me running well last month, and yet somehow, I managed to keep plugging along and ended up with more miles than I had any reason to think I was going to get at the start of February.

As the weather starts to improve, my mileage will naturally creep up, but I have to be careful not to let it creep out of control-like I do too many years and then end up injured. That is one of the things that I will be mindful of going forward-watching my weekly mileage totals (which includes the amount of walking that I do).

Which I think will be helped by changing to that Sunday to Saturday mileage change. We will see how it goes tracking this way, but I am encouraged by what I have seen so far.

It does seem that my running shoe rotation is firming up nicely, and I have a pretty good idea of what I will be using each of the shoes for, which is unusual for me. Usually, by the end of February, I have gone through multiple rotations, but this year, I have tightened it up and got rid of shoes that don’t work for me. Along with not getting sucked down the eBay or Amazon, find a great deal, I have to try this shoe game. 

Overall, I was happy with how I ran during February, even with everything that kept the mileage totals down from last year. I am learning to go with the flow and not get upset about things I can’t control as much. 

On to March 2021, and hopefully, it will be a month with fewer distractions and better running.

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