Thinking and Running — August 22, 2021

Thinking and Running — August 22, 2021

What I am thinking about this morning?

Why do I keep writing on this blog seems to be my big question of the morning? After all, it is a lot of work and time to keep writing posts almost daily. Especially when knowing that by choice, this is and will remain a small, unmonetized blog.

The answer is that I enjoy the writing process and have no desire to go “pro” or to write long-form posts on topics that I could (even though from time-to-time I will). Hell, I don’t have any motivation to even finish the books that I have started. While this blog is not a true journal, there are too many thoughts and ideas of mine that will never be shared in the light of the Internet.

Even so, this blog has become my public mind dump and running log that lets me get the more mundane aspects of life out of my head. While allowing me to go back and look at what I did, along with how I was feeling at the time.

Who am I writing for on this blog…well, besides myself?

I have been a runner for over 50 years and cannot imagine life without running being a part of it. So, I write primarily about why running matters, sharing things I know, learn, try, or use to improve both as a person, as well as a runner.

However, I have embedded many of those ideas and thoughts as part of a daily running log, versus other formats that I could use. At times, I am rather blunt about the point I am attempting to make. While at other times the lesson I have learned is not as obvious and the reader will need to read between the lines to tease out that day’s main idea. Either way, there is usually a larger idea that is shared in each post that others may nod their head in agreement or shake their head and go mmmmm, what is he thinking or doing this time?

I will share what I have experienced (good and bad) with my running, even all those Harold being Harold moments. At the same time, I will not shrink away from the fact that running is hard work but can be enjoyable if done intelligently or at least smahtah. What I have learned from reading newsletters, blogs, articles, books, listening to podcasts or watching videos, and even a few comments about the running shoes that I run in.

Mostly, I write about how life affects running and how running affects life. That thing that some have called – the trial of miles.

Okay, enough of that brain-dump stuff about the blog.

Like most others in New England, I am closely watching Hurricane Henri’s northward trek. It is like a slow-moving freight train, something that you can see coming and can’t do a damn thing about, other than get out of the way or hunker down and hope that it passes by without doing too much damage. As of now, the forecasters are predicting that it will only have a mild impact on our area, but other parts of New England will not be as lucky.

It doesn’t appear that it will affect my running much at all, other than I will probably get a bit wet on a run or two and be dealing with some gusty winds. We will see how correct they are this time, lately their meteorologists track record for predictions hasn’t been all that accurate.

Today, is overcast and has that waiting feel that precedes a bigger storm. The body still feels tired after yesterday’s longer run, 4.0-miles of walking behind a lawn mower and then climbing into trees to de-limb a few areas before the storm. The limbs needed to come down in a controlled manner, not during a storm.

While I am going to run this morning, it will be an easy one that will be 4.5 miles (7.24 km), since that is all I need to get my weekly goal of 30.0 miles (48.28 km) in for the week.

One thing I do have to do, is get back to warming-up before my runs and then in the evening doing more than think about my mobility routine. I can feel the hamstrings starting to get a little too tight, and other parts of the body are starting to get that “don’t forget about me” feeling in them.

Planned Run Description:

An easy 4.5-mile run. I will most likely run down to the Town Office and add a lap in on Philbrick to get the mileage that I want.

Today’s Running Focus

• Go easy

What I Did Today:

-Course: Town Office 5.0 Miler

-Location: Sidney

I started out slowly and was thinking about a book I have just about finished — Running Flow. It is one of those books that I have had to force myself to continue reading to the end. It isn’t that the book isn’t interesting or giving me some ideas on what “Flow” is.

I think it is more because of the idea of flow and how to attain it are counter-intuitive to me and many other runners. The more I think about wanting to induce flow, the further I am from attaining it.

My definition of flow is more like getting lost in a run, where everything happens automatically, and you are simply along for the ride. For me to reach this state, I have to be able to shift my brain into neutral, stop thinking about everything else and just run for the joy of running. I would love to be a little more in control of when those flow moments happen, but it doesn’t work that way. I am either too focused on something beyond running or have too many distractions going on within or around me to get the brain into neutral.

Coming back from the Town Office, I noticed a bunch of tree limbs near the old cranberry bog with the brown-tail moth nests in them. I stopped and looked a little closer, and then pushed the branches into the water. Drowning the little beastlets is a good way to get rid of them. I put a couple of rocks on the branches to make sure the branches stayed underwater. They have been a huge issue in the area, and I want to avoid seeing the cranberry bog area suddenly have a bunch of nests from where someone dumped off their nests.

The humidity was an issue and by the time I got up Stevens Hill, I had wished that I had done more on the run yesterday and didn’t have to keep running to get in at least 4.5 miles. However, when I got back to the tar, my neighbor was out with his oxen and good-naturedly egged me on a little to pick up the pace.

He acted like he wanted to talk, so I stopped bantered back at him with a little sarcasm of my own, and we got caught up on a few things. While I was standing there yakking, I was sweating so badly I had to take off my glasses, they had fogged up, and I couldn’t see a damn thing with them on. Not that I can see a lot without them on.

The neighbor said he has stopped drinking soda, lost a bit of weight and said he was feeling a lot better since he stopped. I told him that I only drank the stuff once in a great while, and that it just has too much crap in it for it to be good for any of us. He asked how old I was and when I told him, he just shook his head and laughed a little. We solved a few other problems, and then I had to get going. It was a nice break at a perfect time to get my breath back and rest for a few minutes to get ready for the final mile.

After I got going again, I felt good and picked up the pace a little more than I had been running before stopping to talk. Coming back down Philbrick, I decided to go ahead and get the 5.0 miles, since nothing hurt and I like the nice round number better anyway.

Did the workout go as planned?

Pretty much until the last mile, when I picked it up to a sub-8:00 pace at the end. I had a couple of stops to get stuff done or talk with a neighbor, so I didn’t get the heart rate up into crazy zones. Overall, I felt excellent during the run and could have gone further, if I had wanted to. Yes, I did look like I had gone swimming again.

Injuries/Niggles: Nothing bothered all that much, and it was a nice change of pace.

Weather: Clear sky, 69 °F, feels like 70 °F, Humidity 90%, Wind 5 mph from N. Another day when I looked like I had gone swimming by the middle of the run.

Shoes: Now that the blisters are healed and the irritation on my heels/Achilles feel better, I came very close to getting the Deviate Nitro’s out to see if the changes I made were enough to stop them from bothering. At the last minute, I decided to wait a little longer, at least until sometime next week. I want to make sure that the feet are ready, before I attempt my next run in the Deviates. I love the shoes, but not what they did to my feet, and I want to see if the shoe surgery made a difference.

Not only that, but I did wear the Reebok Energy 2s, and they did everything that I asked of them – comfortably.

Other Stuff?

Henri came ashore and is causing some big problems to the South of us, but it looks like we will be spared the worst of it. By the time it reaches Central Maine, it will have weakened considerably and shouldn’t be that big of a concern. We will see.

I really dislike’s blog editor. So, I have decided to give Ulysses a try again and see if I can figure out how to properly use mark-down and then have it formatted correctly when I post to my blog. I do like writing using Ulysses, but the learning curve was a bit more than I wanted to deal last time. Now, I see the value in it, and I am willing to go a lot deeper into the program than I did last time. Enough that I signed up for a year this time.

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