Progress – RunLog 10/17/17

Hey, I ran two pretty much pain-free miles today – that is PROGRESS, which makes me happy.

The run itself was not anything special other than I did run and finished.

My run was all about focusing on keeping all the body parts moving in one direction – forward. Which for me is not all that easy.

Unfortunately, when I look at how I run there are a lot of form issues that undermine my running efficiency. I have a lot more in common with the letter “V”, than I do an “elite” runner’s form.

  • I typically have a heel first landing with an inverted “V” look, with my right foot/leg having a twist in it
  • Both feet splay out at almost a 45* angle – quack, quack, when I look back at my footprints they do pretty much resemble that “V” than a straight line.
  • Arms consistently cross over center and shoulders are not steady, but swing around as well.
  • Plus I recently remembered that I have a right leg that is a bit shorter than the left and I am probably badly out of alignment right now.

Probably some many of the reasons I am not an elite runner, well other than a small thing called the lack of talent and being a total head case.

These photos are screen grabs from 2015, but my form is about the same now as it was back then and my “GREAT” form probably has more than a little to do with some of the injuries and niggles that I seem to have as I get older and don’t have as much margin for error as I used to.

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When you add it all together, it is a very distinctive running style that other local runners seem to recognize pretty quickly as that old fart Harold running. 🙂

So I am not an efficient running machine by any stretch of the imagination and this is after purposely attempting to change my form from 2012 through 2014. Not really what you would expect from all that work is it?

Oh well, after looking at how poor my form really is and having what will probably be my worst month of running since June 2013, is the reason why I really think that working on my form aka working on running efficiently, will help me reduce the number of days lost to injuries or the excessive number of niggles that I seem to accumulate as I get older.

At least that is what I hope it does.

Thus the primary reasons for my choosing to move to Chi Running and its focus on form and gradually improving as you incorporate the ideas/lessons from that program’s format and philosophy.

We will see, but I am seeing some subtle changes as I focus on some of the things that I have I have been reading again in Chi Running.

Time will tell.

Things Don’t Seem to Slow Down – Week In Review 10/15/17

Getting up in the morning this time of year, means waking up when it is still dark, but it does mean that Bennie and I sometimes get to see some amazing sunrises.

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Fog in the valley

The leaves are changing colors and peak leaf peeping is now over. Unfortunately it was a decent, but not spectacular year for it. I thought many of the colors were muted and dull in our area.

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Mary running down-back

Fitness

I didn’t do a LOT of running this week, I decided to shut it down and take a much-needed week of rest, relaxation and recovery – from running. A chance for the old body to heal, not feel pressured to go for a run and yes, to take a good look at where I actually am as a runner. I really need and want to figure out what is most important to me and where I want my running to take me.

So the 1.0 mile total for the week was right where it needed to be.

Even with the no running it was still a busy week and I was very active.

I am starting to use the elliptical more, walking Bennie is simply part of the routine and I even picked up some weights a couple of times.

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Elliptical workout summary

I like my inversion table and try to use it 3-4 times a week. However, the last two times I used the inversion table – later on those days my right hip really bothered me and I couldn’t figure out why.  I put it off to trying to run or something else, then yesterday I hung upside down for 5 minutes and shortly after that, my right leg/hip started to hurt, even though it had felt great during and after finishing my 1.0 mile run and 2+ mile walk with Bennie.

 

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Later on I was reading some old blog posts from 2011 and early 2012 and I had an “aha” moment. In one of the posts I had written about my right leg being slightly shorter than my left one and remembered that my old PT always complained about it during treatment and warned me that it would be an issue at some point. Duh, no wonder why I get injured every so often.

I am out of alignment again. Just like a car it is wearing on the right side a little too much going down the road. Probably making a chiro appointment to get things back in alignment would be a smart move, but it will have to wait a few more weeks.

So no more hanging like a bat upside down – even though it does good things for other parts of the body, it does something to my outer-upper right leg/hip area and causes me to miss running – not a good thing.

Also I am getting ready to start something new with my running. Maybe even a complete re-boot, but I still have some thinking to do about it to figure out how and what I will be doing. However, change is coming because I can’t keep doing the same things, especially when they are not working.

New Vehicle

We did get a new to us vehicle – a 2013 Ford Transit Connect. Yeah can you believe it a commercial type van in BRIGHT red. We just had to get used to the not so American looking type of van – according to some it is pretty damn fugly ;-). However, the Transit had the features we wanted and if we decide to convert a few things we can use it as a small camper/RV next summer for a long vacation to see things that we never would otherwise.

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So far we are liking the Transit a lot, on our trip to NH last week, it performed well in the mountains and got over 30 mpg. One thing that I really like is that is like looking out a huge picture window going down the road – visibility is fantastic.

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Photo taken while driving down the road, it is like looking out a picture window.

There is a lot of room inside and it drives/rides better than the Ranger. However, don’t plan on jumping out into traffic quickly that 2.4 litre engine just doesn’t have a lot of “pop”, you need to plan when you go or wait until it is clear. I have started a couple of posts on the Transit and will publish them this week.

I will say it has nice road manners.

Camp

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Also in a bittersweet moment, as part of disposing of my brother-in-law’s estate, we sold the camp. So there will not be anymore upta camp moments and all we have are the memories that were made there. However, the family that now owns it, will make their own memories there and from what I saw will keep the place alive – as it should be.

Stuff

We are continuing downsize, get rid of, give away “stuff” we no longer need, want or have no future plans for.

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When Phil died, it helped us realize that we did not need as much stuff and that a lot of the stuff we had wouldn’t be missed if it went away. I wrote a lengthy post on this subject titled “What Happens to Your Stuff?”, where I discuss getting rid of stuff before you die, so that those you leave behind do not have to.

Finishing up October

I have a feeling that the rest of October is going to be like the last quarter-mile of a 5K, where we will be going like hell to get things finished and maybe some it might be a little uncomfortable.

Just a LOT is going to happen between now and then I have a feeling.

  • Hopefully close on the house in Lancaster, although until it happens we still have to go over once a week to check on things.
  • I have a bi-annual physical exam that I am going to fail miserably. Too much stress, not enough exercise, eating sucks (I have eaten at McDonalds more in the last 5 months than I have in the last 10 years), and stopping working just to mention a few life events that have occurred since June 1st – which is how your stress level is judged. However, I don’t plan to change anything medically, unless they find something very wrong with me, which I don’t think they will. I just have to get back to being healthy Harold again.
  • SD2 is supposed to close on her house by the end of the month, so we will be assisting her with her move.
  • TheWife has a series of routine medical appointments to go to
  • Buttoning up and preparing our house for winter, even though it is still unseasonably warm this fall, winter will come and punish those who are not ready.

Plus I am sure that other things will pop up over the course of the next couple weeks that were completely unexpected.

It seems that slowing down is not an option around heah lately.

I do believe that I will be glad when things finally do slow down – being on screech all the time really does suck.

However, I am looking forward to changing a few things about my running going forward and will have more on that later this week.

What Happens to Your “Stuff”?

This is a post I have been meaning to write/finish/get off my chest and this morning I responded to a Facebook post with a long comment that pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter. However, I feel as though I have to finish it up with a blog post.

No, I am not being a contrary old bastard in this post, but I have learned a lot about people, life and how death, especially when it is unexpected affects families over the past five months.

I am not being morbid in this post, but I do want you to think for a minute about what I have written, because it is not some fluff piece or something to simply whine, piss or moan about.

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First and foremost, contrary to myth, legend and too much wishful thinking we all die at some point, the big question is when, how and where – not if.

Yes, that means we are all going to be dead — someday.

So take care of the things you can take care of now, before you die.

My Recent Experience

I say this from the experience that we went through this summer. My brother-in-law died unexpectedly on June 1st. Although I loved him dearly and he was also my friend, he left us quite a mess.

No will – which meant that everything has to go through the courts to do much of anything.

Solution have a damn Will updated and in place in case you die unexpectedly, with instructions in there on who gets what, what you want to have happen to your body and how your estate will be disposed of.

Too damn much stuff – We have made more than 30 trips to the transfer station with more to go, many to Goodwill and having friends help us remove “stuff” from his house and camp. This caused many, many hours of extra work and significant expense on our part.

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Solution – As we get older start getting rid of shit you don’t need, no longer use, is just taking up space or whatever to hell other excuse you have to keep too much stuff that the people who have to dispose of all that “stuff” have to deal with.

Home Repairs – His house was not up to code in several respects, which made selling the property difficult and expensive to repair for us, to get it to where we could sell it.

Solution – Get your home up to code and repair what needs to be repaired. Yes, I know that keeping up a home is difficult especially as you get older and the income levels drop to the point where too many choices have to be made. At some point there comes a time when difficult choices do need to be made and perhaps assistance is needed from family or friends to get things done. Let go of the stiff necked pride, because after you are dead all of those things are going to cost the people who have to take care of your estate.

Common Sense

I am not saying that you need to embrace minimalism, but remember 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, someone is going to have to throw most of that shit out or give it way, because most of it ain’t worth shit in today’s world of disposable everything and no time for anything.

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Don’t say well they can sell everything and get money for it. That is mostly bullshit and not reality.

You know the old idea of: have a yard sale, sell it on eBay, Uncle Henry’s or someplace else. The people responsible for settling your estate might have some luck with selling your stuff, but that is not their full time job in life after you are dead. Who in the hell wants to take the time to sell all of mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or worse a child’s possessions, when they are in the midst of grieving about you or their loved one being gone.

No one.

Especially, when most of the stuff ain’t worth nearly as much as you imagined or that anyone near where you live actually wants your old shit. If the people who are responsible for getting rid of your stuff, live away from where you live, do you expect them to drive 2-3 hour (or more) on a weekly basis to keep working on cleaning up your messes, getting rid of your old stuff and fixing all the stuff you should have done when you were alive, in addition to attempting to live their own lives.

The only thing on their mind during that time 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 something that brings back another fantastic or horrible memory of you.

If you are close to or have retired, but it is common sense for many others as well – think about it.

It is Only Stuff

All those clothes that you used to wear to work, the suits, uniforms when you die, your heirs are going to get rid of them, what do you really need to keep living the life style you want? Clean out the closets, you no longer need 50 ties, 20 suits, 30 shirts and 25 pair of shoes. Keep what you need or really love to wear, give what you don’t to others in the family who can use them or some charity that will get them to people who need them.

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That great collection 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), 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.

Go through the cupboards and pantries and throw old food out that is expired, gone bad or simply stuff you will never eat. Those 10 giant cans of tomato paste that expired in 2012 can be thrown out and the 40 cans of veggies that expired in 1998, well I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t eat them.

 

If you think you are going to use it during the Zombie Apocalypse or the End of the World as We Know It – think carefully about what use it will have then or if there is no power in the form we now know, what will happen to your electronics if they are not kept in a Farraday Cage and if one is none (maybe 10 is too many).

What you Can Do

Look at why you are keeping something and if the why has changed, maybe you no longer need it. Our needs change as life goes on and what was important to us once upon a time, might no longer matter.

Sell it if you want – see how much your stuff is actually worth and get rid of it. Put the money you get from the stuff into your kids or grandkid’s education fund, go on a trip, make memories, have fun with the proceeds. Go out and have a party with everyone before you die, so you can make great memories with them.

Give it away – Find out if anyone in your family or your friends wants some of the “stuff” you want/need/should get rid of and give it to them. You will be surprised at how hard it is to give stuff away sometimes. Most of the stuff you want to give away, other people don’t really want it. If they do want it, it might be treasured as something special and they will remember you when they look at or use what you give them.

Get rid of it – Give it to a non-profit or charity and claim a tax deduction if you have/want to. They take a lot of stuff that is junk.

Throw it away – You will be surprised at how much of your stuff is just trash, get rid of it – nobody wants it.

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What does this accomplish?

Doing all that before you die does a few things.

  1. If you die unexpectedly the amount of pain, suffering, work and yes, expense that is left to the people who have to dispose of your property is significantly reduced.
  2. You have control over your stuff and what happens to it.
  3. Who knows maybe you will have more room in your home for the stuff you really want and maybe a little more coin in your own pocket.

So think about what I have said in this post.

Am I being barbaric to ask to you talk and think about your being dead and to make it easier on the people you leave behind when you do die?

I personally, do not think so, I think it is prudent and thoughtful to make your passing easier on the ones you lovedwho are still alive, especially if your death is unexpected,  by not having the additional weight of having to get rid of so much of your stuff or the added expense of paying to get rid of your stuff. It costs big bucks to get rid of stuff in today’s world.

Think about those who have to throw out your underwear and other collections or posessions 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 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. Make it easier on the loved ones you do leave behind, get rid of as much “stuff” as you can and still live a comfortable life, and 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.

Summer is Over

It is now October, which means that summer is over.

Most years I count summer as June 1st to September 30th. I know convenient, but that is about how I see things living up heah in Maine and no longer worrying about the school year thing.

Things don’t start to actually warm up until June and by the time September is over, the warmth is pretty much out of the air and the leaves are turning color.

Which means summer is over.

As a former school teacher, when school started back up I always had the students recap their summers, just to get a feel for what they did, what their interests were/are and to see how much work I had ahead of me that school year. Even though I am out of education now, I am going to continue the tradition and do a what I did for summer post.

Especially, since it was a summer that was. Continue reading

The Magic of Professional Sports is Missing

Yeah, once upon a time I used to be a huge professional and collegiate sports fan (I consider most of the more popular sports in college athletics to be a professional sport)…I loved the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Notre Dame football, hell I even closely followed the Boston Bruins and for many years and didn’t miss too many episodes of ESPN’s Sports Center, Mike & Mike or other more local daily coverage of the world of sports.

Today in all honesty when it comes to professional sports I am more likely to go “yeah okay” or “that’s nice” or even “who cares”. I follow them enough that I can talk with others who are more passionate about them, but that is about all.

No, this is not a rant by some crotchety old guy, who believes that professional and collegiate sports are all that much different from how they were in the past.

Maybe it is just me.

The Past in my view.

Many players and teams will do what they can to get an edge, whether it is ethical or cheating, that hasn’t really changed over the years, just the methods by which they attempt to do those things have changed. So it is not that cheating or that sports are anymore or any less morally challenged than in the past that bothers me.

Speaking of an edge, better athletes through modern chemistry is not a new thing, just more advanced, sometimes tougher to figure out who is doing what and yes, it does give those who do it a distinct advantage over those who do not. Whether or not it causes subsequent damage to the athlete’s lifespan or quality of life beyond athletics, is beyond the scope of this post. However, I am not a supporter of better athletes through modern chemistry, but I also not that naive to believe that it has not, does not and will not happen.

When money or celebrity is involved, it seems having or getting an advantage makes a difference in athletes, management and ownership’s judgement.

Which gets to the celebrity statues that many athletes, coaches and owners of teams enjoy as a result of their or their athlete’s athletic achievements. This has always been the case – good or great athletes and coaches at the local, national or international levels have always enjoyed the “perks” of being “good” at their sport and the financial rewards that accompany that go along with it.

Although I do tend to believe that amount of money in professional sports today is rather obscene, I don’t begrudge owners, coaches or players getting as big a piece of the pie as they can – after all they provide “entertainment” to the rest of us.

If none of those things have really bothered me over the years and don’t bother me now, what changed?

Three things really and I believe that each one really does affect the other.

  1. 24/7 focus on sports. The reporting on sports (and everything else it seems) has proliferated to the point where there is/are very few stones unturned, the media’s need to tear down athletes, management, owners, officials, umpires, referees or anyone else to ensure that a story is controversial i.e. newsworthy enough to get press time – has gotten old for me.

    It is almost like the media has become so jaded regarding sports figures that they have taken the goodness out of covering other human beings doing things that the reporters could never do or no longer can do. So all too often the phenomenal athletes or their achievements have to be torn down and brought back to a level of mediocrity or averageness that is not as threatening to others.

    Has the sports media over-reported the athletes so much that they have stolen away many of our heroes?

    For me maybe they have, some of the greatest athletes are not always great people and have some huge skeletons in their closets, but do I really need to know them? Evidently in today’s 24/7 world where everything is known about everyone, I am supposed to whether I want to or not.

  2. Loyalty. Speaking of the loyalty, where is it other than with the fan?

    Neither the owners, management or players exhibit much in the way of loyalty when it comes to being a member of a team that I follow. The old stay with a team from rookie season to retirement is much the same as staying with a single company for that amount time in real life – it doesn’t happen very often in today’s world.

    The connections and loyalty that I as a fan make with players and teams has dissolved as sports has become big business and make no mistake about it, sports are BIG BUSINESS.

    It is hard to root for teams when they are run as if they are an IBM, Microsoft, Mobil, 3M or some other large faceless corporate entity and the players are a member of a team more for the money than anything else. Not that making money by everyone involved is a bad thing, but at what point does it get to be the only thing that matters.

    I understand the bottom-line is the bottom-line for both owners and players (especially the players, who like Icarus only have a short time in the sun to make their money), but it seems to me that it is the fan who gets the short-end of stick.

    Well of course unless the team is winning…Then the fan is happy…well for a short time at least, until the team can’t or won’t pay those players who got them there (lets them go or trades them away), the player decides to leave or the team leaves the city.

    But I have to ask as a fan, is it really our team that wins, or just a collection of highly paid individuals, who have been brought together conveniently by the corporation with the best management and enough money to make it work for a short period of time.

    After all it is a business – isn’t it?

    To everyone, but the fan. That person who steadfastly roots for his or her team year-after-year regardless of who plays for it or what their record is. You know that loyal fan.

  3. The magic is missing.

    Yeah, athletics are a magical or at least they can be. The magic of the moment is real in sports.  Moments like: “Havlicek stole the ball!” Henry Aaron’s number 715, Meb crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon a year after the bombing and so many other “magical moments” in our sports history that I have cheered over, argued about and cried over.

    The moments that touch us, make memories good and bad for our team’s legacies. Those magical moments where athletics suspend or at least temporarily transcend  the hum drum existence of daily life.

    While these moments are still happening for many fans, those moments for me have been fleeting and mostly “oh that’s nice” or “I am glad my team won” kind of thoughts after they happen. An example would be instead of being excited during things like the Patriots coming back after being down 3-28 in the Super Bowl, something I missed, because I haven’t had the interest to watch the last two.

    The anticipation and excitement about being able to be a part of that moment vicariously as a spectator is a powerful emotion and one that I have not had lately. I don’t follow, watch the games enough live anymore to be a part of those magical moments. After all I can watch it later on the sports show of my choice in a condensed highlight reel from a reel of highlights that never end.

    It is almost as if I have become over stimulated to the point where I am numb to the magic of sport’s great moments today, because there seems to be so much coverage of so many great moments every day, that I cannot sort out the truly great moments from the merely good ones.

    Perhaps the magic is still there, but hidden underneath the deluge of inane big business of sports coverage and their efforts to make every moment seemingly the next big magical moment.

The reality is that

I haven’t felt the magic of being a professional or collegiate sports fan for at least a couple of years. As collegiate and professional sports have moved into the field of big business over the years, I have become more jaded and less interested in following the “games” that I used to love.

Watching one of the major professional sports and the seemingly endless coverage of them today is not a priority for me. The days of me sitting and watching a full Red Sox game, attempting to watch all 82 regular season Celtics games on radio or TV, actually watching all the Patriots games or even putting on the Bruins when nothing else is on are over.

I might even catch one of the sports shows for a particular reason: a big trade, the draft or something that interests me, but I have stopped watching/listening to the daily in-depth coverage of sports as a form of entertainment. Its angry tone, shrill attention seeking commentary and repetitive nature fails to tap my interest like it used to.

There is too much noise.

I don’t know if it is just me or the professional sports themselves or how they are covered, but something has changed. The love that I had for watching, following and supporting my teams has waned to the point where going out and mowing the lawn comes before watching a football game, playing a video game comes before watching baseball or basketball game and reading or watching a good book or movie is better entertainment than something to do with sports.

It is sad to realize that something that was such an important part of your life for so long, now has so little meaning in it.

The magic of professional sports is gone for me.

Yeah, I guess I am getting to be a crotchety old fart.

I guess I will stop here and go for a run and see if I can find some of that old magic out on a road someplace.

Maybe, I just need to find a spark somewhere to rekindle that love of professional sports and see the magic of them again.

In Training vs Just Running

Sometimes we get things confused and in training versus just running is one that usually bites me square in the arse.

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Harold hanging around in his not training training mode

What do you mean Harold? Aren’t they the same thing?

You get out and pound the pavement a lot.

Errrr not really.

In Training

In my mind when I am in training, it is to accomplish something. You know prepare for a particular race or distance at a certain pace, attempt a PR — you know prepare the old body to accomplish something that it wouldn’t otherwise.

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It includes running certain paces/miles, including structured workouts, then doing more prehab, rehab, eating better, weight training, purposely embracing a higher level of discomfort while running, read a lot of Internet Articles/Blog posts on how to improve your racing and a bunch of tactics to improve the mental side of my running. I guess it comes down to pushing my running outside of that comfortable bubble that I have made for myself.

Just Running

When I am just running (which is what this year has primarily been). I just run. I tend to run at comfortable paces, don’t worry about hitting pace goals, if I have a great day and go faster than usual it is an accident. I half-heartedly do a little prehab, minimal rehab, eat what I want (when I want), don’t read much about running and run comfortably (unless Bennie decides to do a vehicle interval). If I miss a day or two of running (or more), it really doesn’t matter, running is more about relieving stress than beating on the body.

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When I just run – there really is not any planning to the running – just go out the door do what I feel like that day and attempt to get somewhere between 30-40 miles a week in – not that I have been all that successful doing that over the past 3-4 months.

Moving Forward

So maybe it is time for me to get my arse in gear and get back into more of a training mode now that things in New Hampshire are starting to wind down. I know that I am no where near being in racing shape for a 5K or Half marathon, but I do want to do both before the end of the year.

I signed up for the Millinocket Half Marathon in December (early in the year) and there are always a bunch of 5K’s that I can do in the area between now and the end of the year.  Other than the Millinocket Half Marathon, I do not have anything planned or races that I really want to get ready for.

It almost seems as though my piss and vinegar, err motivation has been sucked dry after the long-arse summer.

Lots of Questions

  • Maybe my best bet is to race myself back into shape, with a bunch of 5K’s?
  • Do I train for the half and keep running 5Ks?
  • Am I even all that interested in running a half right now?
  • Do I really want to race/train or keep just running through the rest of the year to get a better base in and then go into training mode in 2018?
  • How about some trail races thrown in, although most of the big ones are done there are still more than a few left to get ready for.

As life slows down a little and I actually can get into a routine that is more conducive to training, it seems that I have to think a little more about where I want my running to go. After all, I “might” have a little more time to “just do it” now that my retirement is a part of the equation.

All I know is that I want to get back to participating in the local running community after dropping off the face of the earth over the summer, well actually the past year.

However, I think I have clarified for me the difference between “in training” and “just running”. Something that I needed to do, because I was really sort of in between the two – training for nothing, but doing more than just running.

I think that is something that a lot of runners need to clarify for themselves and once they do it might surprise them what they are actually doing versus what they thought they were doing.

hmmm a lot to think about and time figure out where I want to go with my running for the rest of the year. Next year will take of itself – I think :-).

Running At Home – RunLog 9/7/17

Coming back from up North yesterday, I saw a convoy of eight New Brunswick, Canada electric company vehicles heading south. I have a feeling they are being pre-positioned somewhere down south, to help with the devastation that Hurricane Irma will bring to Florida this weekend.

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A Category 5 hurricane making landfall is a scary thing and the size of this storm makes it even worse.

There is not too much I can do about that, other than worry a little and hope that my Cousin Mike and Uncle Donnie ride this storm out safely, so back to more mundane matters.

Well, to tell you the truth I like running at home. I know the area, what should be there and what shouldn’t, where the mean dogs are and the hills I ain’t too fond of are. It is comfortable to run where you can relax, let the mind wander and not worry about (or wonder), what is around the next bend, corner or on the other side of the hill you are running up.

Sometimes just knowing those things is a good thing.

Yeah, I enjoy getting out and running new in places every so often, but for the most part I am a creature of habits and prefer to know where I am.

So yesterday’s little 3.3 mile jaunt with Bennie and the day before’s 5.0 miler were the home coming that I needed. The rain was a little wet (dry humor there), but not too much had changed since I went over to NH back in August.

School has started, so you have to avoid the big yellow buses that sometimes forget that they can move over a little more and then listen to the kids complain, grumble about their homework as they head into their houses 🙂 Damn teachers giving that homework anyway (Yes, I was one of those at one point – so I can poke fun at them).

The weather was a bit humid both days – that 100% chance of rain stuff, so the ends of the runs suffered a bit, but I didn’t wilt as bad as I thought I would.

I did get to go out for lunch with Dad yesterday and while he is stubborn and fighting the fight as best as possible, there is a decline that is not going to be reversed. He has lived a full and good life, but even he says that his time left is limited, so that is something that is looming at some point – probably not too far in the distant future. Nobody knows for sure how much time we have left, but at least, I have some time to prepare myself for this inevitability.

Sometimes I think that Bennie and Elliott are lucky and just have to be comfortable and don’t have to worry about what might happen going forward.

I don’t mean to be a downer, but I have a lot on my mind right now and can’t do a whole helluva lot about any of it, other than worry a bit.

Nine Day – A Quick Recap

Most of you will not be too interested in this post, it is more for me to look back at what happened after I left Maine for NH on August 27 to go work on the house over in Lancaster and finally got home on September 5th.

No, it wasn’t that long of a time, but damn a lot got done over there.

Lancaster Jul-Sep Comparison
The outside photos do not do justice to the amount of “stuff” that we got rid of 🙂

The other big thing was that for someone who spends as much time online and watching some television in the background there wasn’t any for the nine days, except when I could get signal with my phone (which was spotty at best). Basically, it felt like I was back in the late 90’s and kind of lost touch with everything that was going on in the rest of the world.

When I left the big news was Hurricane Harvey and the devastation that it was bringing to Texas, now we are on to Hurricane Irma and the potential devastation that it might bring to Florida. Russian influence, North Korea and racism are all still in the news and American and world politics are not any better. The Celtics did actually acquire Kyrie Irving and the Red Sox are somehow still in first place – despite playing like they want to lose it.

In other words, the world kept on spinning and doing what it will do, despite me not being involved, not that I really make any difference in the world as we know it.

All which was kind of nice and reminded me of a simpler time, when everything was not 24/7 or quite so nasty most of the time.

If you decide to keep reading this long boring narrative, remember I am not a carpenter and I am an out of shape runner. Also, somethings might be slightly out-of-order, because my memory is not the greatest and there was just a wee bit going on. Continue reading

Lancaster – Downhill Strides – RunLog 8-11-17

Yesterday was a long day!

It started off with Jeremiah (Phil’s cat), not doing well and us having to make an appointment with the Vet to see what was going on – he has been fragile and we wondered how long he would have. Unfortunately, his condition had deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t go on and we had him put to sleep. It was a hard decision, he was just beginning to become a part of our family, but he had a pre-existing condition that none of us knew about, that could not be corrected and would not have made it through the rest of the day.

It was hard, but the correct decision for the circumstances.

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Elliot is the tuxedo cat and Jeremiah was the black cat.

After we buried him, we had to go to New Hampshire, which gave us time to talk through what had happened with Jeremiah that morning. A lot more tears were shed and we grieved for the little guy. However, we gave him a good month plus, where he was definitely loved, gained a friend and pampered.

Once we got to Lancaster, we had to get ready for their hazardous materials free turn-in day.

Life goes on.

Once a year the Lancaster Transfer Station does this and the supervisor told me about it back in June. This was a day that I had been dreading, because I knew that the garage had a lot of stuff that would need to go away and by the time I finished loading, I had a full bed of stuff to go to the transfer station.

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By the time I got done loading all the nasty stuff and with loosing Jeremiah earlier in the day, I had to burn off some tension. So while Mary was doing Bennie’s last walk I did a run. I didn’t feel like heading into town and then having to run back up the hill, so I decided to do laps around Hartco.

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Looking up the Hill from Hartco back towards the house – about where that car is.

The first lap was fairly consistent, I went a little faster up the backside of the hill on Hartco than I usually do. When I hit the downhill on Rt. 2, I did pick up the pace quite a bit, the second lap was more of the same, but I did slow down going up the hill and picked it up going downhill.

Yeah, going downhill helps with the going a bit faster.

On the third lap, I slowed down quite a bit going up the hill on Hartco, when I finished the third lap it was only 2.66 miles, so I kept running down the hill until the 3.0 mile mark (Coos Canoe). I really picked up the pace to my “in shape” pace and held it most of the way down the hill.

Then I walked back up the hill to the house. I just didn’t feel like running back up the damn thing.

Overall, a good run, I got in three stretches of faster running and yes, I felt a bit better after it was done.

I was still sad about loosing Jeremiah, but at the same time I know that we made the last month of his life the best it could have been. Rest in peace my little friend.