Running in Augusta – RunLog 8-21-17

With all the trips to New Hampshire, it has put a lot more miles on the truck than usual, so keeping up with maintenance is a lot more important. As a result, we made an appointment for today to have the oil changed, a general look it over and get any of the little things taken care of before they become an issue.

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While they were doing all that stuff, I did my usual get out of the shop and go for a run. Usually, I just go from ACAR, run through Hallowell and go down the Rail Trail towards Gardiner and run 7-10 miles.

Today, I just didn’t feel like doing the same old course.

So I turned left and ran the R/T back towards the Augusta Trail Head. I wasn’t in a hurry and wanted to get in around 7-8 miles. So I took the Y hill and ran around Capitol Park and then continued north. That little hill going up to the YMCA is just enough to be a pain in the butt, but I wasn’t pushing hard up it either.

I decided to either do the old AMHI road or go across the bridge. However, as I was crossing the bridge my left Achilles started to talk to me, so I decided to go across the bridge and then go back down the Rail Trail to Hallowell. That last half mile wasn’t too much fun – the Achilles started talking nasty to me. I would usually do the extra .4 to get an even 8.0, but I just stopped when I got back to ACAR.

The left Achilles was barking enough that I didn’t want to push any further. Once I stopped running it stopped barking and walking wasn’t too bad at all. So I am not really doing any damage to it, I just need to keep working on the pre-hab and strengthening it as I keep “slowly” working up the mileage.

The Under Armour Bandit 3’s did just fine, they didn’t bother my left ankle like the WR20’s did. There is just enough cushioning, so I don’t feel beat up after finishing and they don’t get in the way of how I run.

To be honest I was a little disappointed that the left Achilles flared up like it did, but it was not really unexpected and took a little longer than I thought it would. So it is getting stronger, but I just have to be more patient and give it more time.

That One Really Sucked – RunLog 8-17-17

The day after getting back from the weekly the New Hampshire trip is usually a crappy run day. I am tired, crabby, cranky and just kind of not really wanting to do a helluva lot. Well…let me tell you today was even worse than usual. I felt like crap, didn’t want to run and tried to procrastinate doing anything all day long.

So what did I do?

I did my pre-hab stuff, I hadn’t done it in a while, so I figured that I would at least get that stuff done this morning and then see how I felt about running.

Mary offered to take Bennie for his walk after she got done running. She could see that I wasn’t into running with him this morning and unlike me I quickly agreed. It gave me a little more time to not run. I did meditate for about 10 minutes and read some more of the book I was reading, but I really wasn’t into the run. Mary got back and took Bennie for his walk, so I was either going to bag the run or finally get off my arse and get going.

I wanted to do a course where I would have no choice but to keep going, so I decided to the Middle Road Loop – a 5.0 mile course that is a loop. Yeah, I started out pretty slow and cursed myself for quite a ways about how dumb, stoopid and all those other things that we think about when we want to do anything else but run and we are out there running any way.

The first mile was faster because it was down hill, not because I was feeling decent and then I slowed down on each mile after that. Especially once I got on the dirt road part of Blake Road. Down there I just go a little slower.

I made it up Blake Hill slow and steady and then when I got back on the flats I saw Mary and Bennie walking. I didn’t speed up and kept plugging along. Going up Stevens Hill was a real struggle and when I caught up to them, I stopped and picked him up for the last little bit.

All I know is that for that last 2.0 miles of the run I felt like shit. That is the best I can say. I finished and give myself an A for finishing, but it was a crappy run where I struggled to keep going, but didn’t stop except to pickup Bennie, so that was a plus.

I ran in the Hoka Infinite’s and while I can run in them, they squeeze the little toe on the right foot into the 4th toe and it gets uncomfortable after a while. If I put some Vaseline between the toes, it does help, but not enough for it to get better than noticeable. I try to ignore the feeling as much as I can, but it is still one of those distractions.

It is a good thing that I still have the Infinite’s though, because the Ghost 10’s blistered the hell out of my right Achilles and I can’t wear any other shoes but the Infinite’s for right now – for walking and running. It is a good thing that I didn’t get rid of them last weekend when I thought about it.

Though I am disappointed with the blistering from the Ghost’s, it is requiring me to run in the Hoka’s and I remember why I like them so much. If only the toe box a just a bit wider. I have a feeling that the next shoes I go back to after the Brooks Ghosts will be some sort of Hoka EE model.

The run sucked, but I finished and tomorrow will be a better day. At least the humidity and heat levels are getting a little more reasonable.

A Little More Running – RunLog 8-10-17

Yes, I have been running since I turned 60, but life has just been too busy to write in the blog.

Let’s see:

Tuesday – I did the 5.0 mile loop over in Lancaster – 4.0 miles were pretty good and then the last mile was a bit slower. It seems that hills and faster paces after the 4.0 mile point are part of the problem, they bother that left ankle/Achilles area a little too much to maintain the pace.

Wednesday – After driving home from NH, I needed to get out and move after being in the truck for 3 or so hours. Which for me means a run. I ran down to Bartlett and was tempted to keep going to do a little longer, but it was still almost 80*F and I was tired from not sleeping all that well the night before. So I just did an easy 3.3 miles

It seems that I am doing a lot of regression runs, instead of progression runs – I start out faster than finish, which is not really what I want, but that seems to be how I run in the summer.

Thursday 

Today’s run was going to be my long run for the week and I had planned on doing 7-8 miles. I was looking to work on running easy and consistent.

I ran out to Goodhue Road and back and was feeling really good through 5.0 miles then my left leg started to bother a little and by the time I got to 6.0 miles I had decided to cut the run shorter. It wasn’t real bad, but it was getting uncomfortable, so I stopped at 10K and called it good. Which also meant that I walked up Stevens Hill. 🙂

Yes, I could have finished the 8.0, but at this point I am trying to get things feeling better and pushing it a little extra doesn’t really serve any purpose on a training run. It is getting better and the prehab and rehab after running does seem to be helping, so just got to take things slow and steady.

In other words I am in this for the long haul. 🙂

Wildwood O/B Survival Run – RunLog 8-3-17

At 72*F & 83% humidity, it was way too high to run with Bennie this morning, so we did a 2.0 mile walk and even just walking by the time we got home he was panting pretty hard. So it was the correct choice to keep him safe.

However, the owner is not quite as smart. After walking Bennie I decided it was a great time for me to get my run in. However, instead of attempting to do anything fast or hard, today was just about staying within my comfort zone and not being stoopid. To make sure that I stayed mostly smart, I wore my WR20’s and left the AB3’s at home.

Going out I had thought about doing 6.0 easy today, but during the first mile I was still feeling pretty stiff from yesterday’s long ride home from New Hampshire. We went through Franconia Notch, which every time I drive through there is simply awe inspiring. At some point we want to go and wander around over there. We also decided with all the crap that has happened that we want to spend a night at the Mt. Washington Hotel sometime in September, just to unwind and seen how the 1% live 🙂

Get back to the run Harold.

When I got to Wildwood, (my 4.0 course turnaround), I decided that it would be better to turn-around there and if I felt good enough, do another mile up on top. I was starting to get pretty sweaty and the humidity was getting a bit much.

The first 3.0 miles were very consistent at just over a 9:00 minute pace, which did surprise me, because I felt comfortable at that pace. Then going through mile 3-4 I didn’t attempt to push going up the hill, but maintained a pretty steady effort.

When I got back to the house, I felt good enough despite sweating like a stuck pig and the hat raining sweat to do one more mile. The breeze was in my face and I stayed in the shade going up the road. I won’t say I felt great, but I did a lot better than I expected. A sub 9:00 minute pace for the last mile of 5.0 miles in this kind of heat/humidity was good.

A nice survival run.

After I got done running I did get out the NB Vazee Rush out of the back of the garage again, to see if I could walk in them without them bothering me. Didn’t work, by the end of the day my Sciatica was bothering (a lot), so they are headed for the yard sale this weekend. Too bad, because I really do like how they fit my feet, but the rest of the chain seems to revolt a little too much to keep them around.

The Second Run – Not So Good — RunLog 7-31-17

Mary offered to walk Bennie this morning, so I decided to go ahead and do a little higher quality run. The first half mile was to wake-up the body a little and then I picked it up to my last race day effort level and headed down the road.

I wasn’t sure how long the it would last, but I kept moving right along and felt pretty good. I kept going pretty good for to almost 3.0 miles and then going up the first bump, I lost focus. I gotta attack hills, instead of backing off every time I got up one.

After that I just coasted home, so a very good 2.0 mile tempo run and 2.0 miles of slower work. Although I did manage to end up with an overall 8:30 pace, it didn’t feel like I was working that hard until I hit that bump and then gave up a little too much.

Gotta work on that part – a lot more.

Run #2

When I finished Mary was out running, she let me know that Bennie hadn’t wanted to walk, once he heard shooting at the gun range and she had decided to go for a run. So I went into the house and Bennie came over and waited to get harnessed up.

Now I had walked to cool down and had mentally put running again off until tomorrow. However, Bennie got to the end of the driveway and started pulling on the leash to run. So I reluctantly started running down the road with him. I wasn’t into it – at all, but I knew that he was wanting to, so I gave it a good effort.

Now we did pretty good – considering where my head and body was at. However, once he started his stopping and starting, the starting back up each time was harder and harder. We did walk back up Stevens Hill, my head and body were just tired and then we finished the run.

I think we were both ready to stop.

He is not a hot weather dog and having done a faster than usual workout had taken a bit out of me. 2.0 miles was more than enough for both of us.

2 Runs and New Garmin – RunLog 7-29-17

This morning’s run with Bennie was one of those, where interruptions seemed like they were going to be the flavor of the day. As soon as we got to the neighbor’s house, he stopped us and asked if he could come by later to have me look at his laptop (he did and I did a couple of things for him on it – no biggie), but we had just gotten going on the run.

Oh well, part of the deal of being neighborly.

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Then when we got to the last neighbor’s they were training a couple of yearling Oxen to pull, so I thought I was going to have stop again. Luckily they finally got the command and stopped before they got out to the road.

We ran on past – phew, but Bennie being Bennie, he wanted to go back and talk to those fine Oxen about their manners – we didn’t. Which caused a little consternation on his part and he needed to be reminded (i.e. pulled along for a ways) that we were out for a run.

Finally, towards the bottom of the hill, one of the neighbors was out on her pony. This has gotten a little worrisome before, but I am tired of picking Bennie up every time she rides her horse by us and getting a dirty glare like it is my fault for being out there and interrupting her ride. So we just ran on by, I put Bennie on the other side and he did great, although when I said “Hi”, I simply got “stink eye”.

Oh well her problem not mine.

On we ran.

Of course going down Blake Hill, a truck came along and we picked up the pace for a little while. Probably a lot too fast, but I think we both were feeling pretty good at that point. So I aired it out a little more than usual, while trying to avoid some of the larger stones to not abuse da feet or twist something going down the hill. Besides face planting with a truck going by at 25 mph an a dog going full-tilt, usually is not a good thing.

Probably shouldn’t have gone quite that fast, that one winded me pretty good and it took a while to recover from it. Then coming back down Blake another truck went by and Bennie went into chase mode. We did cruise right along, not quite as fast as the first one, but still according to the Garmin pretty quick for an old fart.

Again I paid for it, but we kept plugging along and met Mary up past the bog. I wanted to finish our run and then run back to run up the hill with her, if I had anything left.

Unfortunately, we slowed down quite a bit and didn’t pick it up at all until the truck went by again and we went up Stevens Hill pretty good, nothing earth shattering, but at least the legs still were able to pick it up a bit. After that we struggled home and when we turned to go meet up with Mary she was already rounding the corner. So she had a pretty good run herself.

Run #2

Yeah, I ran a second time today!

The only reason was because Bennie was being a butt head and wouldn’t go for his walk. So I left him barking at me from the window and did a quick Bartlett O/B & HC. Another reason that I wanted to go for a run was that I got my refurbished Garmin 230 and wanted to see how it did on run.

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Nice and blurry photo

Only thing is that I didn’t charge it up to Garmin Connect and when I started running it hadn’t found the satellites yet. It took almost 2.0 miles to get GPS, so I was running on the accelerometer and since I haven’t run with the watch before that was off by quite a bit. So the splits and times were wonky until it got signal and from there on it seemed to be pretty rock solid.

User error – again.

It was my usual 3.3 mile course that I have run way too many times, so I am pretty confident of what the mileage should be and what kind of pace I was actually running. The watch itself is comfortable and not having a H/R monitor built-in was the strong selling point for me. Plus it seems to connect better with my phone than my previous model. It was easy to set up and the readability while running was just fine.

However, I am not going off the deep end on all the data points it can give me, although I might add a cadence field and total daily steps field to the spreadsheet, just to have that data there if I want it.

Overall, a nice second run and a good day for running.

Character Building Kind of Day – RunLog 7-28-17

A nice morning for a run, a bit humid, but not that bad. Mary offered to take Bennie this morning, so I went a little longer than I had planned. Trying to get the old bod slowly used to running a little further than I have been.

It was nice not having Bennie attached and having to stop, start, stop, start, repeat multiple times, which make the run more interesting at times, but at the same time I do enjoy being able to just run a consistent effort too.

Today the first 5.0 miles were very consistently paced and then my left leg started to bother a little, nothing serious, but just enough to let me know it was there. However, it did cause me to slow down a bit (that and the humidity), which is okay because the effort was still pretty constant.

Strangely enough when I had to move over to the other side of the road, the left leg seemed to ease back a little on the amount of discomfort I was having. It is almost as though the crown of the road has something to do with the discomfort in my left Achilles/Ankle. However, by then I was on the dirt road part of the and I was pretty well shot after mile 6.0.

That last mile sucked.

That is the best way to describe that last mile. The sweat was coming off my hat like rain, I didn’t have any umph to run hard up Stevens Hill and by the time I finished, it was time to be finished.

5.0 miles of quality mileage, then 1.0 mile of okay running and then a mile of suck it up buttercup and finish. Pretty much the story of me and running in the summer, when I start to kick up the mileage.

Better runs are ahead, but late July and early August are often more about survival running, hardening up mentally (character building) and establishing a good base to get ready for fall.

Telephone Pole/Bennie Intervals – RunLog 7-23-17

Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow and while I have purposely not talked, well wrote a lot about my times or used charts/graphs/screenshots of them here for a while. I have mostly used descriptive terms to indicate how my run was that day. Today is a little different and no I am not bragging, thinking I am all that or anything else. I just want to remember today’s run and the graphs/charts tell the story more succinctly than I can.

This morning’s run was supposed to be an easy 4-5 miles and that changed pretty quickly when Coach Bennie decided that we needed to stretch out the legs a little. It also helped that the temps were in the lower 60’s, just a light breeze, overcast and fairly low humidity.

You know a semi-perfect day for a good run and still work up a good sweat.

Actually my overall time for the run was in what many call my “No Zone” that 8:30 to 8:59 pace zone that is not fast enough and not slow enough according to the “Experts”. However, my overall pace for this run is the not the whole story of the run. It doesn’t give an accurate picture of the telephone pole intervals and Bennie being willing to go for it too.

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As you can see Coach Bennie started off reasonably, then he saw his favorite neighbor and sped up to catch/greet her. After that there were 11 Bennie stops for him to do his business and I figured that after the first couple because they happened so soon in the run that I might just as well see if the legs had any juice left in them at all.

Down on the flat (lower gate to Blake) I won’t say that we ran faster, but it was a pretty good tempo run pace at or below an 8:00 pace (which was Saturday’s race pace). So I was happy running a little quicker than usual between Bennie stops and figured we would peter out after a couple of miles – that is usually what happens lately.

Then I got this bright idea to really pick up the pace toward the 1.0 mile mark to see how it felt.

Not too bad.

So I thought, why not do telephone pole intervals and get some short, but faster speed work done. Harold you are a crazy old bastid, you just can’t go winging workouts like that, can you?

Yes, I can and did.

Every so often I would throw in a telephone pole or two interval, when I figured the old body had recovered sufficiently from the previous one – to do another one. I wasn’t sure how many I would be doing or where they would take place, but I wanted to get the legs stretched out a bit and Bennie wasn’t complaining a bit at the time.

Although on a few of his Bennie pit stops there wasn’t a whole lot of product being put on the ground when that leg was lifted and the back leg was a little shaky. I wasn’t too worried about it because he would look up at me with that doggie-grin and seemed to say “I’m ready for another one, get your arse moving you old fart!!!” and off we would go down the dirt road for another interval.

Actually, I was feeling pretty good about everything – the left ankle wasn’t hurting, but it did let me know that I wouldn’t be too smart if I did all-out sprints, so I just stayed in a nice controlled fast running pace and it stayed pretty happy.

Then coming down Blake to the flat, I remembered that I have a segment there that I used to run for time quite often back in 2012-2015 and figured it would give me a good idea of where I was compared to then. So we picked up the pace at the corner and was clicking right along. Up past the lower gate, I saw something cross the road and then it came back out and stopped to look at us – a deer (wondering who or what the hell was coming down the road.

At first Bennie didn’t see it and it jumped into the woods, but came back out and looked at us again. This time Bennie did see the deer and went into overdrive. I heard in my mind “get the deer, get the deer, move faster and we can have venison for supper”. No Bennie we are not catching the deer and at that point we got to the lower gate, my 3.0 mile buzzer went off, the deer jumped into woods (it figured out that whatever we were it wasn’t worth sticking around to see) and I needed to breath.

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Bennie’s tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth, his legs were quivering, while he tried to nonchalantly water some weeds and I was standing there with my hands on my knees, desperately gulping in air like a beached whale.

I haven’t run that fast for that far in a while.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten where the segment ended and didn’t quite finish it. As it was I was only 8 seconds off my best time of 1:16 and 11 seconds off the all time record of 1:13 for the segment. The 1:24 included the 5 seconds to auto-stop time and then the jog to finish it off. So I ain’t complaining.

Mile 3-4 was a cool-down mile and yes, I walked up a part of Stevens Hill to get my heart rate back down to reasonable levels.

Overall, this was a surprise speed workout that I am going wow over. No I ain’t bragging about how fast I am, because I ain’t all that fast, but I wanted to have this post as a reminder for myself that I can do the work and still push the pace every once in a while. It is just for shorter lengths and on the downhills or flats.

2.5 With Bennie / 2.5 Without Bennie – RunLog 7-21-17

Well Bennie wanted to run this morning, it has been a few days since his last one. When we got to the end of the driveway he started grabbing the leash and pulling towards down-back. We did go a little quicker than usual for the first mile, I just wanted to see how it felt to move a little faster.

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Bennie had his usual stops and then we got going again, so I did loose a bit of time to the stop/starts, but I was more interested in my form at that faster pace – it felt good. Then the heat began to build towards the end of the first mile, so I turned around at 1.0 mile. We went back up the hill and I dropped Bennie off at the house after a lap around HC – he wanted to catch up to one of his favorite neighbors who was out walking.

He didn’t really complain and when I went back out to run, Bennie half-heartedly barked at me and by the time I hit the end of the driveway, he had stopped barking. He usually keeps it up as I head up the road. So he wasn’t all that into running.

To be honest by the time I went back out, I wasn’t all that into the run either. I kind of half-heartedly got going again. I sure wasn’t all that fast and just ran hard enough to get through the finish of a 5.0 mile run.

As much as I might complain about the heat and how much slower I go in it, I still prefer the hot weather over the -10, snow and crap that we have during the winter. Running in the heat has its tough points and you just have to go through it and build some mental toughness.

Just another run that I had to put on my big boy pants to finish – not really worrying about the pace or time – just doing the miles.

Oh yeah, I did sign up for a race tomorrow and really don’t have any idea of how I am going to do. It will probably be my last race in this age group 50-59 and I sure am not in race shape. I am about 15 pounds over where I want to be, my running has been more base work than training and I don’t have the mental toughness for racing. However, I have to start back in the racing again at some point, so it seems like a good place to begin.

My goals are:

  1. Get to the starting line with a smile
  2. Finish without breaking anything
  3. Anything under 8:00 minute mile pace would be wonderful

We will see how things go.