Thinking too Much – Monday – July 12, 2021

How am I feeling today?

Pretty good, and looking forward to the run this morning. I am sure that I will make the Middle Road Loop slower to see how I am doing. While it is not my test course, I have run this loop more than any other course over the past 20 years, and it gives me lots of insight into how my running is going. It has a few good hills and is an excellent course to figure out what I need to work on.

Planned Workout Description: 

Type: 

  • Easy Run – 40:00 Minutes

Today’s Running Focus

Go Easy

Why am I doing this run?

To get mileage in and see if the shoes make a difference in my comfort levels.

What I Actually Did Today: 

Middle Road 50:00-minutes

Did the workout go as planned?

Pretty much. I purposely kept holding myself back to run easier than I usually do and felt better during that last mile. No, it wasn’t any faster than usual. It just felt better. The hills on this course make it more difficult than most others, but it is also a course I have run for several years, and it gives me a pretty good idea of where I am physically when I run it. Today it showed me that my stamina still is not where I want it to be and that after about 4.0 miles, my left Achilles does start to bother a little more than it should.

Injuries/Niggles: 

The left Achilles started to bother around 4.0 miles, and while I slowed down a bit, it didn’t really get in the way. The discomfort went from 1-2 to a 3-4, which is okay, but I have to listen to it.

Weather: Clear sky, 68°F, Feels like 67°F, Humidity 83%, Wind 9mph from N

Shoes: Reebok Energy 2 – No issues. Just a nice comfortable run in them. 

What do I need to work on?

Stamina – I still am not able to hold a steady pace for the total distance yet. Even going at a leisurely pace, I was all over the place.

I am also figuring out that while I like the Stryd pod’s data, and the training plan is working nicely for me, the Power training aspect of the Stryd ecosystem…well, I am not using it to its full advantage, if I am honest. It might be a case of my ego getting in the way, just like it does with heart rate training. I don’t enjoy running as slowly as either of them wants me to for zone 1, so I don’t

While I am learning a lot, running with power can be counter-intuitive and doesn’t always make sense to me. I guess I would have to be all in and not look at the pace at all for me to use it and use it correctly.

Other Stuff

I finished reading Run Forever by Amby Burfoot the other day, and while I am not going into a full book review, I need to write a few words just to clear my head a little. I have been a fan of Amby for a long time, and the book does give a lot of practical and often needed reality checks for us older runners.

However, after finishing it, I felt unsettled. Like there was a negative undertone to the book that I couldn’t quite shake or put my finger on. It wasn’t an in-your-face, “you’re getting f*&^%ing old, so don’t expect to do too much, and you will only get the worse type of message. That idea that there ain’t a lot you can really do about it – so suck it up buttercup. Yet, when I finished the book, that is the idea/impression that I got.

  • Yes, I know that I am going to slow down
  • Yes, I know that I have to do things differently if I want to keep running
  • Yes, I know that I have to change my expectations for my running as I get older
  • I know those things and more will occur.

All those things are part of my reality as an aging runner.

Something that I accept as reality.

Even so, I am still working hard to delay and, who knows, improve whatever parts I do have control over. I guess that is what bothered me the most was maybe Amby attempted to be too rooted in reality, and while there was positivity in the book, it was outweighed by the portrayal of how he sees running forever. Yes, I know that Amby is much more in touch with the science, was an elite runner, is a running industry insider, and has far more experience as an aging runner than I do or ever will. 

Maybe I got an incorrect impression while and after reading the Running Forever, but for me there was a negative undercurrent to the writing that just wouldn’t let me enjoy what I was reading. Usually a book like this takes me a couple of nights to read, this one I had to keep setting it down and the force myself to go back to reading it.

However, but what was missing for me, at least, was:

Possibilities and hope.

Perhaps I am an old fool and what Amby has written that is what I and most runners need to keep running forever, but without hope or better possibilities, it seems as though the downhill slide that aging brings to our running will only get faster.

This is one of those books that I will read once and put away for a long time before I think about rereading it. Amby has a lot of great advice and suggestions to help readers run well as we all get older, but there is something about it that…well, maybe I need both feet in reality versus the one that I try to keep there to appreciate Running Forever-more.

For now, I will keep my possibilities open to do more than I believe I can and hope that my running continues to make me think way too much.

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