More Better Run – Yah

This morning I was going through my Feedly feeds (I know, it sounds weird) and one of the blogs that I follow is Joe Henderson’s Writings. That guy, the one that used to be the Runner’s World editor back in the day.

Screen Shot on 9/19/18 from Joe Henderson’s blog

He republishes a lot of his old articles on this blog and this morning was one that really hit home for me.

More Better Runs

It put into words many of the feelings that I have been having lately about my running and running races. My problem is that I know in reality this is what I am actually doing, but my head still has this idea that I need to train for races, then race a race.

However, when I look back at my training log, it is closer to what Henderson is talking about in the article. My longer days are shorter, my faster days are slower and yes, my slower days seem to be faster than what a training plan would call for. You know a lot of time spent in the “No Zone” training zone, but where I feel fine when I am running.

Maybe I am already doing Joe’s training plan and just didn’t realize it. 🙂

The only difference I would have from the article is that when/if I go to a race, that I do my best that I can that day and not be as disappointed with the results if they do not meet my expectations. Focus more on the experience than the results, which is hard, but getting more necessary since the results are often, well most of the time, less than I want when I do race.

At some point I will finally realize that racing is not the thing I enjoy the most about my running, it is the daily runs that fuel my soul and bring me the most joy.

Some times I really think that I need to get rid of all my running improvement books and just run. I would probably be better off in the long run.

Read the whole article by Joe and see what you think of it. I know that the young guns out there will scoff and offer other advice, but at a certain point in each runner’s life, these words start to make much more sense.

They are starting to for this old fart.

I Remember and Some Treadmill – RunLog 9-11-18

Remember it always, 9-11.

I really believe that the best way to show those that want to change our way of life, is to continue living it the way we want to – enjoying the freedoms that so many have given their lives for. No false patriotic vitriol that seems to dominate social media today, just…

I will always remember.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jAQ-M65Hjag

Alan Jackson’s – Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning – pretty much says it all. I only watch this one day and each time the tears flow freely.

Yeah, I will always remember.

Life Goes On

We got a little bit of rain this morning (tears from heaven?), nothing really terrible or serious. Although it was not enough to actually stop me from running outside, after yesterday’s run, I wanted to be able to control things a little more and push the pace to see how thing would hold together.

I know, I know.

However, I just enjoy running faster (for me) and this constant go slow grasshopper just grates on my psyche. Yeah, you wonder why I get injured so often. 🙂

I can be my own worst enemy some days…or is that most days.

In either case

This was the plan…get on the treadmill and run. See how the left hamstring felt and go from there. Great plan huh.

Here are the results of that great plan.

  • .50 @ 7.2 mph
  • 1.0 @ 7.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.1 mph
  • .25 @ 8.2 mph
  • 1.0 @ 8.6 mph
  • 0.1 @ 8.7 mph

Time: 22:47/8:17 pace

Wow that wasn’t half bad. The hamstring held up fine, but I could tell it was getting fatigued that last half mile and knew it was a good idea to shut down the speedier stuff at the 5K point. I will take a sub 23:00 training run like this any day of the week. Especially since the first 1.5 was pretty slow.

Below is a comparison of my Strava and Milestone app’s graphs for the same part of this run.

I don’t really think either graph is particularly accurate and do not show what the actual run entailed. Since I increased the speed incrementally throughout the run and didn’t slow down until I got past 5K. Neither one of these graphs show that workout. I don’t care so much about what they say the pace was, but it is pretty discouraging to see them be so far away from what the actual workout was as far as it was a progression run.

This is just a great with reminder that even with all this technology at our disposal and the graphs that they create to tantalize us with visions of sugarplums over being able to visualize the data – it may not be reality or as accurate as we would wish to think, especially when it comes to running on a treadmill or even dare I say it – outside.

At that point I needed to catch my breath and walked – yes I walked.

  • .15 @ 3.4 mph

Then I got the wild idea that I needed to do three more miles of running.

  • 2.75 @ 7.3 mph
  • .15 @ 8.6 mph
  • .10 @ 9.1 mph

Total Time 50:02

I almost went under 50:00 minutes for a 10K plus a little, including that .15 walk, not too shabby. During the second 3.0 miles I was starting to feel pretty tired, but maintained a good pace and was able to have a pretty good kick at the end.

A very good confidence builder. The best part, while the hamstring feels a little more tired than the rest of my leg, it isn’t sore and I am walking normally. So progress is being made.

It seems that other plans have been made for me this Sunday, so I won’t be participating in the Rail Trail 5K, good thing I didn’t prepay. 🙂

The other thing is that during the run, I was wearing the RunFasts and about 5.0 miles into the run, my right forefoot (under the callous pad) began to bother again. It seems like 5.0 miles is the magic mark for this issue. However, it didn’t really bother, just noted it was starting.

So when I got done, I sat in the locker room and really examined that foot. When I looked today there was a very small bubble that extended under the callous pad. It seems that probably because I tend to run a little more towards/on my forefoot in the RunFasts that I get a small blister under that callous pad. I figured when I got home that I would pop the small blister, but when I got home about 45:00 minutes later – it was gone.

Weird.

So I poked around under that callous with a need and found a little fluid that had accumulated under the pad, but wasn’t noticeable without twisting my foot up around like a pretzel. Plus I shaved the callous down quite a bit as well. It feels pretty good right now and I didn’t draw blood, so it worked out just fine.

I knew it wasn’t the shoes.

On a different note.

One thing that I have done every year for a while, is on September 11, I begin re-reading Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley. This book has a lot of common sense things in it that I take for granted or don’t think about, until I re-read Left of Bang.

It is an unfortunate reality in today’s world that you need to have that kind of situational awareness, needing to think about what is going on around you. However, there are too many acts of violence to ignore in the world today and if you can anticipate or sense something is not right and act upon your intuition or whatever you would like to call it, it might mean the difference between life and death.

It sucks to have to think that way, but…

It is what it is.

Thoughts on Running by Feel, by Matt Fitzgerald

Over the past month I have been really looking hard at my running again and what my real goals are versus my various delusions of grandeur. Which also means that I have been re-reading some of my old running books (ebook and hard copy), to ponder on what people who are much smarter than I am, write about running. You know books like the one below:

No matter what I want to believe, eventually Father Time wins all his battles. However, I do want to keep making the old bastard chuckle at my feeble attempts to keep running as far and fast as I can, for as long as I can.

Which means that I have to work on my knowing what I am “supposed” to do as I get to be an old fart according to the experts versus what I think I know, in addition to actually doing the work when it comes to MY running. Continue reading “Thoughts on Running by Feel, by Matt Fitzgerald”

Reebok Floatride RunFast – 50 Mile Review

Sometimes all the comments online, blog reviews and site reviews of a pair of running shoes get you all hyped up about wanting to get a pair. No, I am not talking about the Nike VaporFly 4% (can’t justify the ROI for an old slower runner like me), instead I am talking about the Reebok Floatride Run Fast, which has gotten a LOT of good words spoken about them online lately.

Good enough that when Mary told me to order a pair of whatever shoes I wanted (let’s not get stoopid here) as my birthday present, without a lot of thought going into the decision, I decided to go with the RunFasts. Continue reading “Reebok Floatride RunFast – 50 Mile Review”

This is the Post I Was Supposed to Write

Earlier this week, I was going to write about something else that I really love besides running…Sword and Sorcery Fantasy work by Dennis McKiernan and his world of Mithgar, but went off on a tangent.

So today, I figured I might as well get back to what I thought I was going to write that day. It is a bit lighter than other things I have written lately. 🙂

Over the years, I have read some pretty darn great Sword and Sorcery fantasy writers and their works. The likes of Tolkien, Brooks, Moorcock, Kay, Lewis to name a few. However it seems about every 2-3 years, I take the time to re-read my Dennis McKiernan collection. There is just something about the way that he writes that I devour the books and find something new or different when re-reading them.

Yes, the setting is very Tolkienesque, battles of good versus evil, with Elves, Dwarves, Humans and other similar character races. However, from my perspective McKiernan is less focused on the magic and more about the spirit the protagonists bring to the adventure against the obviously evil antagonist. Continue reading “This is the Post I Was Supposed to Write”

What Happens To Your Stuff – When You Die?

In June 2017 we went through the unexpected death of a loved one and five months later I wrote post called “What Happens to Your Stuff” that got a lot of things out of my head and off my chest. I am going to re-post some of what I wrote and update it now that after more than a year, the “stuff” side of things is finally over.

That’s right, it has been over a year and we are just finishing up the paper chase and finally getting closure regarding my brother-in-law’s death. It has been a long and tough year plus, emotionally and physically partially due to things that he didn’t take care of before he died.

I am not being morbid or bitter, just brutally honest and I am doing it purposely, because I do want you to think for a minute about what I have written. It is something that I believe is important to you and yours – it is not some fluff piece or something that I have chosen to simply whine, piss or moan about.

It is about life…and yes, death.

First and foremost, contrary to myth, legend and too much wishful thinking, we all die at some point.

The big questions are: when, how and where – not if.

That means to put it bluntly you and I will be dead at some point and we will leave people behind that will have to take care of our bodies, personal effects or properties.

Prepare a Damn Will

Take care of the things you can take care of now, BEFORE you die.

After you are dead, you cannot do a damn thing about any of those things – if you have not made your intentions known in a legal document.

It is called a WILL.

Prepare one and get it done right, not half-arsed!!!

I don’t care if you are 18, 28, 48 or 108, have the damn Will properly done. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, destitute or somewhere in between. A properly prepared Will tells the government, your survivors and anyone else that matters what you want done with your body and your “stuff” after you are dead.

If you do nothing else this one thing will save the people who have to deal with your death many headaches and heartaches and empower them to take care of stuff you leave behind.

Without a Will, the Courts (government) have the final say about what happens to you and your stuff. It probably won’t be what you wanted or expected to have happen and will cost your survivors money to pay for the lawyers who are required to be involved.

Except in specific instances the people who survive you, often simply can’t just take things or start living in your old home without the Court’s permission or they may have to pay market value for your old stuff that they want to keep from your estate – no matter how big or small.

Remember without a Will, the Courts and lawyers have most of the power over your stuff.

Home Repairs

If you own a home get it up to code and repair what needs to be repaired. However, those things that we adapt to, jury-rig and don’t really notice anymore are things that can cause major headaches for those who have to pick up the pieces after you die.

Check out your heating system, plumbing, etc. and see if they are up to your local building codes – if not get going on repairs or if you know there are other repairs that need to be done and can afford to get the work done – do it. For your own safety and also to make it easier on the people who have to take care of your home after you are dead.

If you can’t afford the repair costs, then talk with the people who you expect to take care of things once you are dead and figure out a plan for your home going forward with them. Otherwise they are going to have to spend their time and money bringing your home and property back up to code, so they can either live in it, rent it out or sell it.

You do it now or they get to do it later.

Get Rid of Shit

I am not saying that you need to embrace minimalism, but all that great stuff you have collected over the course of your life and have coming out of the closets, stored in the basement or attic, in the garage or heaven forbid in a storage facility.

You know those great collections of old computers, porn magazines from the 70’s & 80’s, baseball cards, comic books, the boat, camper, vehicles that don’t run, guns, hunting gear, books, shot glasses, spoons, running shoes, all those projects that you were going to start/finish and have the materials for (but you know that you will never actually get to), the old games, pieces of furniture you no longer like/use and all the other shit that you are hanging on to for no reason other than to hang on to it.

Don’t justify keeping all that shit by saying – “they” can sell everything and get money for it. You know the old idea of: have a yard sale, sell it on eBay, Uncle Henry’s or someplace else.

That is mostly bullshit and not reality.

Get real.

Think about it, who in the hell wants to take the time to sell all of their mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or worse a child’s possessions, when they are in the midst of grieving about you being dead and gone.

No one.

The biggest thing on their mind during that time is thinking about how much you will be missed and all they want to do is get rid of the shit as fast as possible. So they can get back to living their life and not having to grieve over and over, about something that brings back another fantastic memory of you.

The Reality is That

I would like you to think about what I have said in this post.

Am I being barbaric to ask to you to actually think about your being dead and what will happen to your body and possessions when it happens?

No, I personally do not think so, I think it is prudent and thoughtful on your part to make your passing easier on the ones you loved who are still alive, especially if your death is unexpected.

Think about those people and loved ones who have to throw out your dirty underwear or other possessions or stuff that you don’t want the world or even your spouse/children to know about. Get rid of them now, not later when there is no choice in the matter about who is going to see that shit and have to dispose of those items.

Remember, we all die and don’t take anything with us to whatever there is beyond that death.

I strongly believe it is our responsibility while we are still alive to make it easier on the loved ones you do leave behind, to get rid of as much “stuff” as you can and still live a comfortable life before you pass, and probably most importantly have an up to date Last Will and Testament that the Courts will recognize.

The bottom line is – it is your shit and your responsibility to take care of it, so someone else does not have to.

So do it.

It Has Been a Long Year & Closure

Yeah, a whirlwind trip to Lancaster, NH and coming back through Errol, which put 290 more miles on Clifford (our Ford Transit). We had been planning on going to New Hampshire at some point this week and with the weather coming in and some other things that needed to get taken care of – we thought it prudent to get it done yesterday.

It was one of those last minute decisions where you have to reschedule things, not go to a race that has been on the calendar for a while and when you leave, realize the things that you wanted to bring with you, you didn’t. In other words a last minute trip, where things could have gone sideways all to easily.

Thankfully, everything worked out just fine.

After last year’s weekly trips to Lancaster, where it was 99% work and very little play, one of the things we wanted to do have some fun going over there.

One of our objectives was to do the Coldwater Falls hike on the other side of Gorham’s BFH. It is a short hike and not at all technical, but the the scenery is gorgeous and we love going to these little falls when we can.

It takes about an hour out of day and for me at least it re-energized me after eating at McDonald’s for lunch. Which I am glad that I don’t have to do very often anymore, yeah it is familiar and all that, but leaves me feeling bloated and looking for the Pepto Bismal now.

Once we got to Lancaster, we stopped and took a photo of where we spent so much time last summer: cleaning, fixing, repairing and doing what needed to be done. It brought back more than a few bittersweet memories.

The photo on the left is last October 2017 and the one on the right is August 2018. Not much has changed, so I feel pretty good about all the work that we did last year. It was good enough that the new residents didn’t feel the need to make many changes.

Also we had told the Transfer Station crew when we left last December that we would buy them a breakfast. They had helped us out so much and were just a great bunch of guys, who without their assistance, things would have been much more difficult with the 50+ truckloads of “stuffage” I brought there last year.

Unfortunately, due to things going on around our house this year, we have not been able to keep that promise until now. So we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and got a gift certificate for the supervisor to get what they would want. It was just one of those right things to do and besides keeping our word is very important to us.

We did a few other things that we needed to do and then headed up the back way to Errol, NH…well actually we were going to go by Mary’s old family camp up on Millsfield Pond and see what the new owners had done and whether the outlet bridge had gotten the plaque that had been promised.

We were a little worried about the old camp road and driving Clifford on it, since it is usually washed-out, rutted and just a tough ride for a regular on-road vehicle. However, someone has really done a LOT of work on the camp roads up there and the roads were the best we had ever seen them.

The new owners have made some pretty drastic changes and Mary was a bit sad that the old camp she had know was no longer the same. However, the new owners have to make the property their’s and the new camp better meets their needs than the one she remembers.

Still it was hard because of all the memories stored up in that old camp and I have a more than a few of my own as well. The one on the left is from July 2017 and the one on the right is from August 2018.

We were a little disappointed that there was no plaque on the bridge and will be thinking about how to make it happen.

The ride back home from Camp was quieter as we both thought about the past year, the changes that it has brought in our lives and how things are now. While the trip was a long drive to be done in a single day, it was one of those necessary things that you gotta do.

No, I didn’t get a run in yesterday, there was just too much going on and we got back after dark, so I didn’t feel like going outside and playing with the skunks and coyotes that wander around the neighborhood. 🙂 Plus, I was pretty well tuckered out any way.

I do think we both got a bit more closure with Phil’s passing last summer, which is something that we both needed in our own ways.

Sometimes life is more important than running.

Reading and Not What I Intended to Write When I Started.

One of my passions since high school has been reading. Yeah, I am one of those old nerdy guys that enjoys opening up a book and getting lost in the world that the writer has created with their words. Although I do have a pretty good eBook library too.

Initially it was the old Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Justice League of America, (the DC Comics) each issue cost twelve cents and I would go over to Johnny Foster’s little store on Main Street in Newport several times a week to see if a new issue had come out, to thumb through the ones he had in on his twirling rack. I never did get into the Marvel Comics heroes, although Spider-Man and Dr. Strange were the exceptions.

I really think that I learned to read more and better with those comic books than I ever did in school and the boring crap that we had to deal with there. I still can’t remember a single book I read in school before high school, even though every year we read quite a few. Though I remember buying books through their scholastic book sales.

The other place that I learned to love books for their own sake was in my grandfather’s living room, there were always Zane Gray and other westerns around to pick up and read or re-read if there was a rainy day outside or I had finished my homework and was just sitting around waiting until I had to go home for the night.

In high school I was exposed to 1984, the worlds of Heinlein, Huxley and yes, Tolkien. All those Science Fiction and High Fantasy, along with many of the classics (that I hated to read, but am glad that I had them forced down my throat now). In study hall there was a pretty good chance that this nerdy kid was reading about the adventures of John Carter or flying in some distant galaxy, imagining himself as the hero of the story and getting so immersed in the book that the study hall monitor would have to come up and remind me to get my ass to the next class.

What does this have to do with anything Harold?

Well not too much has changed since high school when it comes to what I read. I still love high fantasy and while Tolkien is the basis for much of it, other writers have captured my imagination better. Writers like: Gaiman, de Lint, Brooks, McKiernan, Gemmel, Gavriel Kay and so many others.

The worlds they have created are so real to me while I am reading that I am transported into them and vicariously participate in their adventures there. Although I cannot say that I would want to actually live in those worlds, since death, pain, suffering, fighting, killing and dying are so much a part of the stories they weave. Though the great adventure and the obstacles overcome against the odds are fantastic to imagine being a part of, I have a feeling that the real Harold would not last throughout the opening scene and I would be one of the fodder for the evil antagonist.

That is why reading the adventures and using my imagination is much safer than living them and I think that is the way for many of us in today’s world. We do not take the road less travelled by…we merrily go down the road that is well paved (with or without good intentions) and take a break at what we believe to be a rest stop whenever things get too hard. Then when the obstacles in front of us get too difficult instead of attempting to find a solution (either within ourselves or with the help of others), we go to great lengths to go around the problem or attempt to ignore it until it cannot be anymore.

Sometimes we need like the characters in the books we read, face the problem or issue, no matter the long odds against us and see if we can find a solution that is better than continuing in the same direction that we always have.

Yeah, reading does require us to think about our own lives in comparison to the worlds and lives that the writers have created for us. No book is as simple as protagonist, antagonist, a problem, a journey, a fight or war, the low point, the solution, the heroic journey against all odds, the resolution and happily ever after. There are too many words in between that make us think of other similarities in our reality and the writers do attempt to make us see things from other perspectives than the single one we typically live.

Maybe that is why so many people in today’s world do not want to read, they want to live inside of the cocoon of the world they have created for themselves with no thought to how others might perceive it.

Therefore, they can always be right in their minds, although whether they are or not is open to debate by others, but very seldom themselves. Then again there is no debate in today’s world there is only my way and everyone else is wrong. All too often I see that when our beliefs or understanding of “whatever” are challenged that too many of us lash out and attack any and all that dare question us.

After all “the truth of what we believe” has many different aspects and it can be influenced by many things not the least of which are: power, greed, relationships or simply where one might live.

Kind of sad in many respects.

But then again knowing that you are “right” all the time is in itself is part of the problem isn’t it. Especially since no one is.

Wow – this post went in a completely different direction than I had initially started out to go. I thought I was going to write about the joys of reading Dennis McKiernan and his books on the world of Mithgar and I went down a few other rabbit holes. Well McKiernan would understand I am sure and the muses decided that I needed to write this instead.

The reality is that

Sometimes my fingers take me in a different direction than the brain had planned. Probably a pretty good thing, when you stop and think about it.

A Few Changes Going On

Well it is mid-August 2018 and I got past another Birthday, something that I do enjoy celebrating and is a helluva lot better than the alternative. Each year, after that Birthday thing is over, I like to take a long look at where things are and if some things need to change.

Blogging

Actually I am pretty happy with my blog, but wanted to tweak a couple of things. Yes, it is primarily and will remain a place where I write my running narrative, along with some life or technology stuff and I don’t plan to really change the content all that much.

However, the more I looked at the title and tag line, do they really introduce or convey the message that I want for those who are nice enough to stop by my website and read my meandering thoughts.

Obviously if I am thinking that out loud, it probably is not, so I changed the title to my old blog’s name – One Foot In Reality. It just fits who I am and where I want to go in the future with it.

Which means the tag line needed to change a little too.

The Journey and Journal of an Aging Runnah, Who Still Smiles Too Much

It says everything that I need to say. Life is a journey and originally a blog was a web log or journal of things you wanted to share with others. I am aging and I am still a runnah from Maine. Yeah, I do smile too much because life is pretty damn good right now.

Also I went back to an old theme that I liked, but may change that to something else fairly soon. After all, I changed it before for a reason and when I figure that reason out, it may need to go. 🙂 Continue reading “A Few Changes Going On”