Making the Choice to Be Healthier

At times you have to stop and think about where you are, where you have been and probably most importantly what direction you think is the best direction moving forward.

Since my physical exam at Togus and meeting my new doctor over a week ago, I have had a chance to digest some test results; his comments, thoughts and suggestions regarding my health. Also I have had a chance to do something I am pretty good at, researching the questions that I have and finding solutions that align with how I choose to live my life.

After all, I am an experiment of one and the mistakes I make and yes, the successes that I have are a result of my choices.

Before I go any further – I want to remind readers of the following:

Disclaimer: All opinions and experiences expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues, trainer, nutritionist or other licensed professional before beginning a training program or attempting to do anything that I write about here.

The information provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis, treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The information is provided with the understanding that I am not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and do not enter into any health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers.

The rest of this post are simply my thoughts and experiences on my personal medical care, issues and the direction that seems to be the correct one for me.

I know things on this blog seem to revolve around running, but I tend to think that my running is a great metaphor for my life and if you read between the lines on many of the daily posts there are more things written about myself, than the literal writing might suggest.

Read on McDuff. Continue reading “Making the Choice to Be Healthier”

A Bad Day and a Good Run

Some days are better than others and today was one of those days where the running was great, but some other thing were…well to be honest kinda shitty.

A couple of days ago I was out in the back of the garage and was over in the corner where I keep a lot of my “stuff”, when I saw my old Coast Guard garment bag hanging from the rafter and when I check on the bag last summer everything looked fine. It has hung out there since 2001, without any issues – we have a couple of those sonic devices in that area and they worked great for keeping the critters away.

I got to thinking that day that I would love to try it on just to see how it fit, but got busy and forgot about it.

Well I got around to getting the garment bag down this afternoon and when I brought it in the house, Mary told me it stunk – bad. When I opened it up I found out why. The mice had built a large nest in the garment bag.

All my old Coast Guard uniforms had holes chewed in them, or pissed and shit on. Even my shoulder boards were trashed! Everything will need to be thrown out and is not salvageable – other than the jacket buttons and the Eagle on my Hat, which will have to be disinfected.

Needless to say I was more than a little upset!

It isn’t so much that the mice did that, it is what they do. It is more that those uniform items were one of the last physical links to a part of my life that was very important to me. They contained memories of a life and career that not too many people today realize or know about me.

I even have a feeling that the uniform might have been a little too large for me now. When I left the service I was a 36-38 waist and over 170 pounds (just a little pudgy), now I am a 32″ waist and hovering right around 160 and probably in better shape now than I was in 1996 when I retired, just 22 years older ;-).

What really bothers me is that Mary never got to see me wear this uniform, because I hadn’t put it on, since I retired all those years ago. It is a part of my past that she was not a part of and even though I talk about it more than I should, she never has seen me in uniform, other than photos.

This made me really realize that sometimes we need to just do and not put something off or procrastinate doing, because often when you wait, something happens to make it so that you never do get the chance.

It was something that I always thought about doing, but never got around to doing. Now it is too late, unless I go ahead and start over with a new CWO3 Coast Guard Dress Uniform, getting it piped, all the ribbons, boards, etc. I don’t know if I will get another one or not. I am still in denial about it and will need a bit of time to figure out if it is worth the expense to do it or not.

Although one of the little beasties that trashed my uniform didn’t survive the visit to the garment bag. I found him in the bottom already dead, so no I did not kill him. Although if he had been wandering around in there, I have a feeling he would not have gotten to far the mood I was in when I saw what they had done.

I usually don’t go out of my way to kill critters, but this afternoon was the straw that broke the camel’s back and mice became part of the problem and I went to the store to find permanent solutions to them being a problem. It is their time to either move on or die. No sympathy here – not anymore.

Oh yeah, I did have a pretty decent 5.0 miler on the treadmill at Planet Fitness and actually had a pretty good day going, until I looked in that garment bag.

Well life goes on and in the overall big picture of my life this is a pretty minor thing, but it is just another piece of a part of my life that all I have left are a few photos and some memories, which as I age seem to go away as well.

I will have to figure out something else to wear when I cross the bar in 20-30 years, before they get to spread my ashes. Unless I do decide to get a new uniform.

It will be bittersweet tomorrow when I put that bag of my old uniforms in the transfer station to be disposed of like a lot of old memories – to be forgotten and left behind.

Kind of sad in a way.

The Year in Running Shoes – 2018

This has been a really strange year for me with regard to running shoes. After saying at the start of it that I would reduce the number of shoes that I would run in to around ten, I have run in closer to thirty.

Yeah, quite a lot closer to thirty pair of running shoes, actually twenty-eight and this doesn’t include the VF 4% or a couple of pair of Torin 3.5s that I got to play around with one day for short distances thanks to Sam at Road, Trail, Run. Plus all the ones that I tried on and either didn’t get or didn’t keep.

  • Green – Still in Rotation
  • Yellow – Not sure of their place yet
  • Red – Not in current rotation. Either gone, going to be gone or are legacy shoes that I will put into storage and keep the memories.

As you can see from my running log screen shot that the mileages varied considerably. Some shoes I found out pretty quickly they were not going to work that well for me and others even though they made it to the 50 mile review – they were not really what I was looking for.

Current Rotation

However, as the year went on, I was able to narrow down what works for me and have mostly settled pretty much the following running shoe rotation by December 2018:

  1. Adidas Tempo 9

  1. Reebok RunFast

  1. Adidas Adios 3

  1. Adidas Response Boost 2

  1. Nike WildHorse v1

I spent most of the year searching for a daily trainer that I could run comfortably in and while I have been able to find three to four “go faster” shoes over the course of 2018, finding that daily trainer has been an elusive beast. Well it is has been an elusive beast for several years now, so what else is new.

What kind of running shoe am I looking for as a daily trainer? Continue reading “The Year in Running Shoes – 2018”

Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review

Every once in a while there is a shoe style that you have been looking at for several model versions. You have picked them up and looked at the style and the changes more than a few times over the years, read multiple reviews and even thought about getting a pair when the previous models have been on closeout, but never got around to doing it.

For me that is the Adidas Adizero Tempo line of running shoes. Unfortunately, since the late 80’s adidas running shoes and my feet were not a match made in heaven. The pointy, narrow toe box and often heavier than I like running shoes were not what I wanted on my feet. Plus there is nowhere locally that sells the adidas performance line of shoes, so I usually looked at other brands.

That being said, I have run in a 3-4 of adidas’ Boost based running shoes over the past 5-6 years and while I have been impressed with the Boost part of the shoes, but typically disliked the way the uppers fit my weird feet, with the exception of the Adios 3, but the performance fit was a bit too snug in the past for me.

Although I have to admit that when I read Sam’s review of them over at Road, Trail, Run, Sole Review’s words of wisdom and Dr. Klein’s review last year, I was much more intrigued by them. A stability shoe that didn’t weigh a ton, comfortable (wider toe box, narrow heel), decent outsole and best of all featuring the Boost midsole which I really like how it feels under foot.

However, I had other shoes that I wanted to try when those reviews came out.

Earlier this month I had hit a weird spot in my running shoe rotation where nothing in the house seemed to be really what I was looking for and one night while wandering around the Internet, I read a review on the Tempo 9s again and clicked the link. When I got there I found a sweet deal for a pair of Tempo 9s on Amazon and thought why not get them. Continue reading “Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review”

A Run Down-Back in Tempo 9s

Well there, it warmed up just a bit today and the winds died down to reasonable levels and after a couple of days of record breaking cold temperatures it almost felt somewhat warm. Well really it only got back to a bit more seasonable temps. Mid 30s, 5-10 mph breeze and weak sunshine.

I am also getting close to having 50 miles on my adidas Tempo 9s and one of the tests I have for running shoes this time of year is how they perform down-back on both dirt and now the packed snow…errr white ice.

Yeah, running on these roads in winter can be rather interesting and I have to really pay attention to what I am doing. However, as long as you can stay on the sides or the middle (where the tire prints are), you can get some traction and don’t need spikes or screws on your shoes to run. If you get in the travel lane too long, all bets are off and you will find out how padded your arse is. Continue reading “A Run Down-Back in Tempo 9s”

A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018

Things that I have learned in 2018 about running and about life.

First – Everyone has an opinion about running shoes and the brands behind them. Even when they have not run in or seen the actual running shoe being talked about. Which makes me go mmmmmm and think to myself don’t pull shit out of your arse people.

If you haven’t run in a particular shoe, how in the hell do you know whether it is any good or not – you don’t. Running shoes do change for better and yes, worse from version to version. So shut up, keep your not so knowledgeable opinion about that model and version to yourself until you do run in that model and version. Then be honest about how the shoe works and doesn’t work.

If you are hating on a brand in general because you don’t agree with how they do things that is your choice and make it clear that you are hating the brand itself, but it does not mean that the running shoe sucks just because a certain brand’s name is on it.

Second – I don’t have to race. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, but myself and for the most part most other people don’t really give a rat’s arse if I ran a sub 20:00 minute 5K or a sub 25:00 minute 5K.

It took me a long time to realize this and be happy with that choice. Racing stresses me out and every time I have one on the calendar and I have to “train for it”. I attempt to live up to how I think I woulda, coulda and shoulda been. I am one of those never-was runners who dreams that I could have been better than I was – a LOT better. My running has gone a lot better this year without racing and worrying about what I ain’t.

It doesn’t mean that I won’t run races in the future (I plan to, but they will not be the primary focus of my running). I have learned that they are not necessary for me to enjoy my running and that I still love to train to run faster, even when I don’t race. I still do love to run fast – at least fast for me. Continue reading “A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018”

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”