Re-Emerging – Tuesday – June 8, 2021

Today’s Focus

Run efficiently

Planned Workout Description: 

Workout: 30:00 Minute Recovery Run

Purpose: To recover from the harder effort in yesterday’s run.

It will be hotter and muggier than yesterday, so I need to run slow this morning, and I also will focus on running tall and landing quietly instead of slouching or slapping my feet.

“Know what specific skills you are aiming to improve and what a high-quality workout looks like. Set clear Next Step goals and stay hyper-focused on achieving them. Build better feedback into your training by asking better questions. Get out of your comfort zone, both physically and mentally.”

Excerpt From: Bryan Green. “Make the Leap – Think Better, Train Better, Run Faster.” Apple Books.

Morning Prehab

  • 2 x 15 Straight Leg Eccentric Calf Drops each leg on the ladder
  • 2 x 15 Bent Leg Eccentric Calf Drops each leg on the ladder
  • 40 – Calf Raises both legs on the ladder
  • 10 – single leg calf raises no support on the floor
  • 20 pulses on the steps hip extensions and 10 count step stretch

Warm-up: 

20 leg swing routine (front, side) 

Run #1

  • Course: Rail Trail-Hallowell O/B
  • Type: Day 9 – Stryd Intro Plan – Recovery Run
  • Distance: 4.25
  • Duration: 39:35
  • Power: 212
  • Running Streak Day #: 6

What I Actually Did Today: 

Did the workout go as planned?

Yes. I planned on an easy recovery run, and while the Power numbers show me close to my CP for a hot/muggy day, I wasn’t working as hard as I could have and purposely slowed down whenever I started to pickup the pace. The course I ran on was primarily flat, and that does make a mass difference in the effort levels and the amount of discomfort that I have in the left Achilles. Which in turn allows me to run better and with less effort.

I had to drive into Augusta this morning, and was torn between doing the Bond Brook Trails or the Rail Trail after I got done with my errand. It was another hot and nasty day, and Bond Brook would be mainly in the shade, while the Rail Trail is pretty much all sun, which would mean pretty miserable conditions for running. I went back and forth between the two, but something inside of me kept saying do the Rail Trail, even though it wouldn’t be as nice a run. As I was leaving where I had to go, it clouded in, telling me I was supposed to go to the Rail Trail even more.

So I did.

It was a good thing too, but more on that in a minute.

The temps were still in the low ’80s, so I knew that it would be a slow run, plus the fact that it was a planned recovery run also meant that I wasn’t supposed to run fast. So, I just chugged along, looking at the changes they have made since 2019. Yeah, I haven’t run on the Rail Trail in a LONG time. I wasn’t working hard and kept the effort easy. When I got to Hallowell, they are re-doing the pier area, so there were a few construction vehicles and workers there, but surprisingly all the way there, I met only 4 other people on the trail walking and one bicyclist. I guess the heat kept them away.

Going back to that little bump that used to kick my butt back when I worked at MCCS in 2008, barely got a second thought, other than to think how it used to kick my butt. It just shows how far I have come since those days when I weighed a lot more, didn’t take my health as seriously and still thought I was this great runner. Which made me think, even with all my recent Achilles woes, how far I have come since then.

It felt hotter going back, but I just kept plugging along, playing games in my head to get to the next quarter-mile marker or another landmark. I didn’t look at the watch to see what my Power numbers were. I didn’t really care. At this point, I wanted to finish the run, get out of my sweaty clothes and get back home.

As I got under the bridge, another runner was coming onto the trail. It was Jon, someone I ran a lot with before COVID at Planet Fitness in Augusta. We talked for a minute and up walks Mike, the other guy I ran with too. Like Mike said, if all three of us are in the same spot at the same time, it must be a sign that COVID is just about over. We talked for a few minutes, then I finished up down at the flagpoles at the new ending of the trail, and they headed off for their workout. We agreed to get together to run, and I am looking forward to it.

While walking on my cool-down, a youngish looking guy sitting on one of the benches by the flags hollered out, “Not too bad for an old guy!” I looked over and smiled, kind of chuckled, and responded, “Yeah, I gotta keep moving to keep ahead of you know who.” We both laughed. I might have bristled a little at the smart-arse crack at other times, but the guy had been sitting there reading a book when I was finishing up and was smiling when he said it. I tend to think he meant it as a compliment, not anything negative, and judging by the way we both laughed at my response, I am pretty sure I was correct.

Then, a dog was laying in the path, watching his owner fish from the dock while she waiting on the trail. I complimented him on how great the dog was when I went running by and how it greeted me appropriately just then. A very well-behaved dog, to say the least. 

Then as I was walking up the little hill, a guy was walking down it with his head buried in his phone. He kept creeping towards my side of the trail, and finally, I had to wave and say, “excuse me,” so he wouldn’t run me over since I had already stepped off the trail to let him by. He grunted, looked up, and then put his head back into the phone, moved over a little, and kept walking. I guess he was really into something on his phone. It wouldn’t have been nearly as bad if he hadn’t had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, stinking the area up as well. I really didn’t miss these kinds of people encounters, that is for sure.

I have to admit it felt weird to be in a public area where other people were as well. While it isn’t quite time to go back to the pre-COVID lifestyle for me, this was an excellent start to my re-entering the world again. Yes, I am slowly beginning to re-emerge from the pandemic isolationism I have done since February 2020. We will see how this summer goes before I relax too much more, and figure it out from there.

Although I don’t see myself getting rid of my mask anytime soon. It is just something that I want available if I get into a situation where I feel safer and more comfortable wearing it in a public space.

Variables that impacted the run:

Injuries/Niggles: I was pleasantly surprised at how little the Achilles bothered me. I have a feeling that all of the hills that I have to run up around the house probably don’t help it all that much. I definitely noticed the difference of not having to run up them when running on the nearly flat Rail Trail.

Weather: Cloudy sky, 84°F, Feels like 86°F, Humidity 57%, Wind 7mph from N. I do feel that I am starting to acclimate to the higher temps, probably just in time to have to readjust to cooler temps next week. Mother Nature is at her most fickle this year, it seems.

Shoes: New Balance 1080v10 (Blue) – These blue 1080v10s are everything that the red ones were not when it comes to fit. The ride is great and the shoes don’t bother my feet. I also noticed that according to the metrics that Stryd provides when I run in the 1080v10s, my stats are a little better. Which might mean that the 1080v10s are a little more efficient for me than other shoes in my rotation. It is something that I want to look at closer as I get more runs in them to see if this observation continues to hold true or not.

Other Stuff

Why did I include all those little observations about people in this post?

This is the first time I have run where I expected to meet other people since COVID-19 shut things down for me back in February 2020, which was the last time I saw Jon and Mike. How is that for coincidence?

I have to admit that I was glad that there were not more people on the trail today. While I am not afraid of being around other people, I have been to stores a few times, but coming out of the COVID hibernation has and will be a slow process for me/us. Even though we are both fully vaccinated, and others that we see regularly are also. We also acknowledge that there are still some risks to fully getting back to the lifestyle that we had pre-COVID. So, this run was a big step for me, running someplace where I knew that I would encounter others as a matter of course, not as an accidental happening.

I am glad that I followed my instincts and did run at the Rail Trail. Otherwise, I would not have gotten to see Jon and Mike, with who I enjoyed running, talking, and gabbing with pre-COVID. I think we are social creatures and need contact with others beyond our households, and since I have retired, my running is my primary social outlet.

It does feel good to have made that first tentative step to integrating back into society once more.

Also, I wore my toe spacers on the right foot, and they seemed to help with how the foot feels when walking or running. So, I plan to keep wearing them for a while to see if they are part of the solution to my feet issues. I know that it does make my foot wider, so that will also be considered when getting shoes if I continue to see a benefit in wearing them.

Overall, a pretty big day in the life of a non-social butterfly.

2 thoughts on “Re-Emerging – Tuesday – June 8, 2021

  1. Very happy to know that you have re-entered the world for your run! This is a big day indeed. It’s good that this pair of NB shoes fits your feet better than the previous red NB shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

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