January is the start of a new year, it is a good point to begin again, make changes in our lives and see where life takes us with the changes that we initiated when the clock hit midnight on the 1st.
Like most people I have things that I want to accomplish in 2018 and I put together a blog post where I wrote those things down. Here is the link to that post.
However, most people write down those things and then never go back and look at them or if they do it is just a cursory glance. I know that is what I have usually done myself in the past. This year I want to have my monthly review focus on my progress on the things I identified as needing improvement or change.
My favorite photo from January or at least the one that best summarizes the month:
My favorite photo is from the January Thaw road race and Ron is taking picture of David while David is taking this photo. Fun on the run. 🙂
I am running better than I have in a long time. Knock on wood and hope that it keeps going this way.
The biggest change is that I am listening much more closely to what my body is telling me it wants to do. Need a day of rest (each week I had a day off), got it, need to run fast okay, need an easy run sounds good or do more/less on the elliptical – no problem. I am attempting to stay around 30 miles a week (plus or minus 5 miles) and do enough on the elliptical most days to add up to 10 miles (running and elliptical). I got a little over enthusiastic the first couple of week, but calmed down and found my sweet spot for now.
While I am not following the tenants of Chi Running exactly as it is written anymore, I am still using many of its ideas on form improvement. So between it, the ideas in “Your Best Stride” and “Run, the Mind, Body Method of Running by Feel”, along with a few articles on running by Steve Magness, I think I might have a pretty good foundation on how to improve my crappy running form, well at least make it more efficient.
Which from this photo – I still have a lot of work to do.
It is not going to happen overnight and is taking a lot of effort on my to keep a positive focus on what I need to do.
Due to the weather the treadmill has been my primary running venue, but it is a tool that I am using to get my miles in and while it is not the same as running outside, it is as close as I am going to get at this time.
I think that I am on the correct path for me to run better.
Simplify my Running Shoe Choices
As of right now, I am solidly in the Newton Running shoe corner. The Gravity 3’s have been my treadmill shoe and I wore them successfully at the January Thaw road race. I have grown to like the Gravity 5’s and wore them for most of my runs outside. Unfortunately, I do not believe they will last as well as the 3’s will. However, I have an extra pair of 3’s waiting in the closet to be used :-).
I am happy enough with the Newton’s that when my U/A’s got a hole in them, I decided that the Newton Boco Sol AT’s best met my needs in a trail shoe going forward.
So I have simplified my running shoe rotation down to 2-3 running shoes. Now I just have to let go of the Bandit 3’s, Bondi 5’s, PI H3’s, Wave Rider 20’s and the rest of the gang that I have squirreled away around the house. Although it would be nice if I could get the Bondi’s to work for me as a change of pace shoe, but unfortunately, so far they have not been a pair of shoes that I am able to run comfortably in. Something about them causes issues with the bottoms of my feet.
No Running With Bennie
As much as I wanted to a few times and I am positive that Bennie was more than willing – I didn’t run with him at all.
Unfortunately very successful, but the body is feeling better than it would be otherwise.
Get rid of “stuff”
I have gotten rid of some old running shirts, because of the stench that was embedded into them. Otherwise, I haven’t really tried to get rid of a lot stuff during January.
Some initial success.
Race more often
I ran in the Central Maine Striders 39th Annual January Thaw and did better than I thought that I would thanks to Ron, who paced me during the race.
Get back to running trails
It has been too damn icy and cold to run any of the trails around here right now. Could I run the trails and stuff – probably, but I quite honestly I don’t bounce as well as I once did and I don’t like to run too far from the house on trails by myself – that safety first thing. Hell, due to the icy conditions I have not even attempted to run the snowmobile trails up back yet and I love running the snowmobile trails.
Weigh under 150 pounds
I weighed in at 166 to start the month and this morning I weighed in at 162. I haven’t tried real hard to loose the weight, but am making progress.
Lost 4 pounds and need to lose 13 more.
Eat less processed foods
Most of the time I do pretty good, we eat mostly homemade meals, although I do eat a lot of processed cereals in the morning (I am attempting to convert over to oatmeal, but at times it is just easier to pour it from the box). Now if I could ever stop eating chips and ice cream things would be great. No McDonalds at all this month.
Limited success, but much better than I was the last six months of 2017.
Meet some of the people I have met through Social Media
Be more willing to take the road less travelled
I have been going to acupuncture once a week. Yeah, me the guy who passes out when getting shots or having blood drawn. It does seem to help, because I do not feel as achy and the body is more relaxed after the sessions than it is before them.
Otherwise, the biggest things are I am actually reading and researching things that should help me become a better runner, without getting bogged down by too many competing theories of how things need to be done as a runnah. I am an experiment of one and what works for me probably will not work for others and vice versa.
However, for me keeping an open mind to other possibilities to improve my running and other things is taking the road less travelled.
Good progress on this one.
The reality is that
I believe that I have made some solid progress on many of the things that I wanted to change or improve upon. Others I have a feeling will take a bit longer than a month to accomplish or that I need to wait for better weather. At this point in my life, I know that it takes time to do some things and can take the longer view of how to get there to get it done.
Does that mean I have developed a lot of patience and stuff – naw. I still want to do most everything right now, but at least I have developed some idea of why I can’t do everything right this moment and can be a bit more smahtah about many things.
I think that my running is headed in the correct direction for me as a 60 year old. I am not that young buck or middle-aged guy who still has to prove that he can still do everything. I can’t do things the way that I used to and still keep running 20 years into the future. As hard as it is to accept that fact – it is still a fact.
So Harold, you just gotta suck it up buttercup, enjoy the life you are living and have fun with the time you have left on this little blue marble.