Looking Back — Week Ending November 28, 2021

What’s been going on?
We made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Local Saturday, the first ice storm of the year, a grandson’s birthday, and general gun hunting for deer ended Saturday. That’s just all the small stuff.
Getting Bennie to wear his sweater again – he hates it and barely tolerates wearing it
Now for the important stuff, I did join Runners Connect and figured out that I will attempt to do the following in 2022 (this is very, very tentative and depends on many factors falling my way, staying healthy, and how much COVID-19 continues to screw things up.

Very Tentative Race Schedule

March 19 — On the Run Half Marathon — Old Orchard Beach — it would have been my Dad’s birthday, so it seems appropriate for me to do one of my “A” races for the year that day. Usually, I don’t do an “A” race in March, so this will be a first. March, in Maine, a half-marathon, what could go wrong with that plan?
July 4 — Friends of the 4th 5K — Winthrop — A local race that I have done a couple of times before and want to see how my times compare to previous years.
October 2 — Maine Marathon — Yep, I am going to train to get to the starting line of a marathon again, and this time I am doing things differently. That is the real reason I joined Runners Connect, and I will see how the training does to get me there. 
If I can get in
August 6 — Beach to Beacon — My birthday and it would be my birthday present to myself, I have never run it, and it seems like it is time to do so.

Runners Connect 

I like the community so far, very welcoming and supportive. Now that I am getting used to the quirks of the website, it is better than I thought initially. The half-marathon training plan surprised me a little, though. RC coaches started me off with a speed block and then gets into the half training later in December. I know that it is a bit generic to start, and as they get to know who you are and what you are like as a runner things will be different.
However, this is very new to me and philosophically not what I am used to doing. I know the rationale for having a speed block before starting a half plan, but…a speed block in December, in Maine, with an old fart injury-prone runner, made me scratch my head a little. However, I am going to trust the plan, do the best I can, and stick with what is assigned. 
After all, this is why I signed up with Runners Connect to trust their process and the plan. I wanted it to be different from how I have done my training in the past. Plus, the speed sessions aren’t horrible, just difficult. 🙂
Yes, I would like some wine with that cheese, hehehehe. Typical athlete bitching about the training plan before he even really starts it. Like the old B’osn Chief used to tell us “A bitchin sailor’s a happy sailor, when you guys stop bitchin, I got a problem somewhere.” So I guess I am a happy runner??? 🙂

What I did last week

Monday – November 22
Rest day – Last Saturday’s faster 8.0 miler was too much like a race and I needed an extra day to recover.
Tuesday – November 23
A good workout where I felt strong but did go a little faster than I had planned because I was meeting somebody to give me a ride back home. It was nice to not have to battle the wind on the return portion. 15-20 mph with temps in the high 20s make for fun running into the wind. 😉
Wednesday – November 24
Trail Running in the snow, ice, hoar frost, waterlogged semi-frozen mud, windy at 15-20 mph. Not used to trails, the first time this year wanted to check out the Salomon Speedcross 5s that have been sitting in the closet. Probably could have picked an easier trail, but nice to check the tolerances once in a while.
Thursday – November 25 — Thanksgiving
Well, I screwed that one up royally! This was my first scheduled Runners Connect workout and for some reason or other, I thought I was supposed to do a 3.0-mile cut-down with times of 8:15, 8:05, 7:55 with warm-up/cool-down. I must have imagined that workout somewhere in dreamland this morning because when I went back looked after finishing it had it as a 5.0-mile cut-down with different time goals. I did the first workout, I am not sure what I did, or my imagination is definitely working overtime. 🙂 Oh well, I will do better in the future. I think the 5.0 miles would have hurt a little more, hehehe The workout that I did was good, but I did struggle at the end of the last cut-down mile. Need more endurance work I think ;-). Looking at the plan, I will get it.
Friday – November 26
Felt good, though the right foot was a bit grumpy after yesterday’s cutdown workout. Tailor’s Bunionette doesn’t like going faster sometimes and talks nasty to me the next morning. Nothing serious, plus I have a feeling that it may not like carbon-plated shoes all that much. Going to do some more experimenting to see how that works out. Today’s run was a good and easy 5.0, where I kept it easy. Traffic was a bit more than usual for country roads, but everyone is home, and it is Black Friday shopping day, so I guess I should expect more traffic than usual. It just means more time on the dirt shoulder of the road, where I have to be more careful of my footing. The Speed 2s did great on the wet roads and I had no problems with lack of grip.
Saturday – November 27
It rained a lot late yesterday then turned to snow with a hard freeze, since I don’t bounce nearly as well as I used to, I switched my long run to tomorrow and did 50:00 minutes on the elliptical. I have a feeling that I will be doing this a lot this winter. We have been getting more ice storms than we used to, and ice is one of those things that automatically make it into a no-run kind of day. Like they say, discretion is the better part of valor. Staying uninjured is more important than any workout ;-). I have to figure out how to handle this kind of day because living in Maine I have a feeling there will be more of them coming 😇
Sunday – November 28
A very easy run with my wife, where we go into town to run together, which we do once a week. I had planned to go back out after getting home but was overruled by life getting in the way. It seems that getting groceries and a new love seat for the living room took priority over me getting more miles in this afternoon. It sometimes happens, and you just smile and move on to the next run tomorrow. Thanksgiving week is historically my rest week, so I am not too upset by this change of plans. With winter coming, I have a feeling that more interruptions will happen, and the Holidays always result in unexpected days off. 😜 I don’t pay attention to the heart rates during activities anymore, my watch sucks at even getting close most of the time. 🙂

Blog posts from the week

Running Shoes

No new running shoes appeared on the doorstep this week, and I chose to run primarily in the Saucony Speed 2s. They just work so well for the way that I run.

Looking forward

I am quite excited about joining Runners Connect and while their training philosophy is a bit different from how I generally do things, I chose them for exactly that reason. They do things differently than how I have trained in the past. It is just jarring to me to have to change things this drastically after all these years.
In the long run, I believe that I will be a better and more confidently trained runner than I have been…and that will make a lot of the difference.
That race schedule is one that I would love to have happen and will do my part to ensure that I am prepared for each of these races as best I can be. I will even get up early on registration day on March 16 have everything ready to go and see if I can get in.
This is the most positive I have felt about my running in quite a few years, and now it is time to do the work.

Come with me now — the best is yet to be.

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