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.

front view

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.

No Running Today – RunLog 9-25-17

Oh, I probably could have gone out and done an easy 3.0 miler, but sometimes the best idea is to simply – I know this is blasphemy, but the best thing sometimes is just not run.

We had to get up early to get the old freezer ready to leave and make room for the new one. We were scheduled to be the first delivery of the day – anywhere from 7:30 to 9:00 AM.

Which meant everything in that side of the house had to be moved out, the door taken off, the pnuematic pull door frame attachment on the storm door removed, just so they could get in and out of her in 30 minutes or they would get to charge us more in a delivery fee. They had the old one out, the new one setup and running properly in under 25 minutes. They sure as hell don’t give you a lot of leeway on delivering appliances in today’s world do they?

Oh well, it works and it is a frost-free model, so Mary is happy. Then we had to move everything back.

Also it was opening day of duck season, so it sounded more like a minor war zone down on the lake until almost 8:00 AM, which meant Bennie was a shaky baby until after the freezer delivery was done shortly after 9:00.

By then is was already too hot to run with him, hell let’s be real it was too damn hot and humid for me to run for myself. So I decided to call it a day and not worry about running at all, which was probably a good idea anyway, since the right hip was barking a little more than I really wanted to deal with.

The rest of the day was spent puttering around the house, doing a few walks and getting over 11,000 + steps in over the course of the day.

We even put the air conditioner back in temporarily, Bennie was having a tough time and I decided that he needed a break from the heat. It did make the rest of the day a lot more bearable.

85% and high humidity at the end of September sucks, but you gotta play the hand mother nature deals, so a “rest” day became the plan for today.


I Thought Summer Was Over – RunLog 9-24-17

By the time Bennie and I got out for our run, the temps had already risen into 80s and I was worried about how Bennie would be on the other end.


Let’s back up for a minute.

Last week I hurt my right hip a bit when running with Bennie, he went left and I planted right, which put some stress on the old hip tendons and stuff. It stayed in the uncomfortable, but runnable levels – enough that I finished a nice 7.0 mile run on it without too many issues.


However, on Friday morning, it was a bit more uncomfortable, but I really wanted to do a run in my new Under Armour Speedtire Low’s to see how they felt on something other than a walk. I was in Waterville and had a few extra minutes so I swung over to Quarry Road and planned on doing 3-4 miles on the groomed trails over there.

I wasn’t sure about how the hip was going to do, since it was pretty sore just sitting in the truck, so I started out and by the time I got to the bottom of the little hill at the start, I turned off the Garmin and walked back to the truck muttering to myself. Sometimes you just have to be smart and shut it down – I am not claiming that I am getting smarter, but the hip didn’t feel right, so I stopped.

I also took off yesterday, just to be careful.

This morning’s run with Bennie turned out to be a nice one as long as we stayed in the shade, but out in the open it was pretty miserable. Bennie did his Bennie intervals, but the anchor on the back didn’t let him go all that fast. Then on the way back once we got back to the flat I could see that Bennie was starting to fade. Once the truck went by, we ran to the lower gate and stopped there – it was too damn hot to go any further with him.

The Speedtire Low’s felt comfortable, did well on the dirt road, but the most surprising thing was that they were quiet on the tar. Yeah that really surprised me, because the tread is fairly aggressive.

The right hip was a little uncomfortable, but it never got beyond uncomfortable, so I kept going.

However, I wasn’t done yet.

After I dropped Bennie off and made sure he had cooled down for the most part, I drove over to UMA. I haven’t run there since I left at the end of June and it seemed like the perfect place to test the Speedtires a little more in their environment. Although it was more groomed trails than anything.

Driving by the bank clock on Out Civic Center Drive, read 88*F, kind of made me think that I was more than a little nuts. The 66% humidity definitely was a consideration too. However, I really wanted to try out the shoes, so I kept on going to UMA.


The hip was hanging in there, so I did easy stuff on the trails, the only places that the hip would bother a little is on the downhills, but otherwise it was just a uncomfortable run, but not a painful one. That I can deal with and there is a difference.


The Speedtires did everything I wanted and I was very comfortable running in them.


A Bit Longer Than Usual – RunLog 8-21-17

Well we are back from Lancaster, NH and the two-day flip-flop kicked my butt again. Which meant that I looked at and rearranged the training plan schedule just a little to accommodate driving over there and back on most Tuesday/Wednesday through the end of October. Moving my day off from Fridays to Wednesday and making Friday an easy/shorter run day.

I think it will work a little better for me that way.


Tuesday – I ran an easy 5.0 miler – nothing special happened, just putting the mileage in.

Wednesday – DNR. Wednesdays are just a tough day to get a run in. Usually mornings are busy finishing up stuff around the house in Lnacaster and then in the afternoon there is a three hour drive home to get done. After which, I am tired, hungry and really not in the mood for a damn run. 😉

Just being honest.

This morning was a planned 6.0 mile run, so I decided to run over to Goodhue which  actually ends up being 6.7 miles, which means – of course I have to finish up the 7th mile. I prefer the round numbers.

This was an easy day, so no speed was involved and I maintained a steady 9:00 minute pace for 6 of the 7 miles – the last one was a lot slower, but I will just call that a cool-down mile 🙂

Nothing special happened during the run, other than a few sarcastic remarks from the owner of Annie’s General Store – we have known each other for a while and she always gives me grief, when she sees me out running. Especially when I didn’t notice her in the driveway yakking away at me as I ran by – I was someplace else I guess. Not too great on situational awareness at the 4.0 mile point. So she made a point of slowing down to give me grief after she got in her car.

I WILL get even!!!  hehehee

The right hip is acting up like it usually does when I start to increase the speed/distance a little. It will take about 2-3 weeks for it to calm down, so I gotta start doing the Epsom salt baths, heating pad and Aspercreme rubs to get it to go away. Just part of the deal and something that is not a new phenomena.

I did make it to Chapter three of Neverwinter Nights (the original game) last night. Just some old school gaming to pass the time and enjoy some solo D&D time. I even got about 80 pages into The Cleric Quintet over the past few days. Not a bad way to waste a little time, escaping into a little heroic fantasy.

Just gotta get through October 20th and things will be fine :-).


Back In Training Mode – RunLog 9-18-17

A busy day to start, going to the lawyer’s office to finish updating our wills. If you don’t have one, please have one made up – it only helps the people you leave behind and the Courts know what you want to happen to you and your stuff. Then we went and got a new frost-free freezer, to replace our old one that you have to manually defrost = a pain in the arse.

Today I started my latest training schedule. After researching and looking at multiple training plans online and in my library last night, the 10K training plan from Cool Running seemed to best meet what I was looking for.

10k training plan

Yep, it is a 10K training schedule and while I plan to have my goal race be the Gasping Gobbler 5K in November over at Cony, I wanted to do more mileage than most 5K plans usually have. Which will give me the flexibility to bump up the long runs to half marathon distances, so if the body holds up and I decide that I want to do a half, I can.

I know it is not a specific plan for either the 5k or Half, but I think it is something that I can have fun with and will get me ready for what I want to do in both races.

What I will do sort of looks like this and though I have changed it up a bit to meet my schedule. It does give me a framework to look at how I want to move forward. However, it is not a set in stone kind of thing that will be what I do every day.

this weeks plan

Like today’s workout. In my plan I had an easy 3.0 planned, but with Hurricane Jose coming up the coast tomorrow and a trip over to NH in the works, I wasn’t sure of getting in a good 5.0 mile fartlek run. So on the first day of the new training schedule I had to switch it up and do tomorrow’s workout today and do what I can tomorrow.

Nice way to start – huh. First day and I already am changing things up.

Oh well, welcome to my world.

Yeah and my fartlek coach decided that he didn’t want to run this morning. He just wasn’t into the idea of heading out and doing it today. Which meant that we did a 2.5 mile walk and I didn’t get to my run until a lot later than I prefer to run.

I started out the run planning to do the full 5.0 miles with a mile warm-up and mile cool-down, but as the time got later and later, I realized that I had some other things that might get in the way of doing the full distance.

So I set out to see how things felt.

Going down Stevens Hill about a half mile in, I did my first speed play and felt very good. When I looked at the Strava graph it was a lot faster than I expected. Even with the slower segments I went through both of the first two miles sub 8:00.

However, when I looked at the time at Wildwood, I figured that I better turn around there and when I figured out that I wasn’t going to finish the full workout – I lost focus. Mile 3.0 was okay, but I forgot the speed play part of running and the final mile was more of a cool down than speed play.

Oh well, not quite the workout I wanted, but it was still a better quality workout than I usually do. I just have to get used to doing it at a certain pace versus going balls to the wall and hanging on at the end. Unfortunately, proper pacing has never been one of my strong suites = something I will get better at.

You can teach an old dawg new tricks.

Now to get to work on eating a bit cleaner (it would help if SD1 hadn’t brought home a whoopie pie), luckily it was only one and I didn’t “have” to eat the whole thing. I do want to cut back a lot on my sweets intake and eat more real food.

UPS stopped by and dropped off a pair of shoes from Running Warehouse for me that I bought. I decided that I wanted a pair of trail shoes that I could use for low-key trail running, some hiking with Mary and Bennie, then have them for nasty weather running this winter.

I decided on the…

Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent Low Men’s Shoes – Fire


Basically, Under Armour shoes seem to fit me really well (even in their normal d-width), the Bandit 3’s are working really well and finally the Ascent Low’s were on sale. That combo made it a little easier for me to convince myself that I needed them more than wanted them. 🙂


They felt good out of the box fit-wise and when I walked in them they were comfortable. I could definitely tell they are trail/nasty weather shoes when I walked on tar in them, but that is what I got them for.


I can’t wait to get them out on the trails.

An interesting day to say the least.

100% Humidity = Yech – RunLog 9/16/17

Ahhhh that 100% humidity – sucks.

Oh well, you still gotta run, it just means that you run a bit slower – doesn’t it.

It doesn’t really show how sweaty I got

Well yeah, kind of sort of probably.

The first run was with Bennie and we did the usual Bennie things, stopping, starting and going like hell for a bit. Running with him is almost always like a Fartlek workout, so I have learned to just go with the flow, errrrr Bennie pace.

Although when we hit the flats, he was hell bent to go, even though I was sucking eggs and swimming more than running. We somehow managed a 1:23, which ties the second fastest time for that segment and a couple of seconds faster than yesterday. It is almost a quarter mile and reminds me that fast quarters suck hard when you run them hard.

Which means at some point I have to get to the track and do a few of them.

We slowed down going up Stevens Hill – a lot. I needed to start breathing again, instead looking like a fish out of water too long. We finished strong, although Bennie got distracted by the neighbor out walking the baby and their dog as we were finishing.

For the last 20 yards, I actually felt everything come together and I was running with that old effortless stride, then reality smacked me around a little and I got to the mailbox (my finish) and fell apart. I kind of chuckled when I looked at the Strava graph and my finishing kick (if you want to call it that) today, at its fastest point, was slower than the pace that used to be my race pace for a 10K.

This getting old does shit to the body or at least it sure does seem that way to me. 🙂

Run #2

Yeah, I am not too smart today that 100% humidity must have addled the old noggin more than I thought. Oh well, I wanted to get a few more miles in, but I wanted them to be slow miles. Which meant that I couldn’t run on the roads, because when I do I seem to get close to a comfortable 9:00 minute pace and stay there. That would have hurt this morning.

So I decided to do a trail run, not UMA or Colby’s groomed ones, but something a little tougher, but not so tough that it would hurt a lot. Which meant either Messalonskee Stream Trail in Oakland or Bond Brook in Augusta. To be honest, I didn’t feel like messing with hills in that kind of humidity.

Besides I love MST and haven’t been over there since last fall – if I remember correctly.

What I like best is that there is only one really bad hill on the trail and as I went along, the memory of what would be coming up was still pretty accurate. Although the first bridge collapsed and they had to put in a different one. Not quite as nice or photogenic, but it gets the job done.

I took a couple of photos of the water and then a section of the trail that I do love. But otherwise I just plugged along, being very focused on where and how I was stepping. Then when I got about half-way up the hill, I just walked. I was out for a good effort, not killing myself.

I escaped without any new injuries, no face plants or knee/hand scraps – the trail gods didn’t demand a blood sacrifice today. A good thing.

However, I did what I wanted a nice and easy (well as easy a running on a root and rock strewn trail is going to be), but most of all slower run. It did feel good to be running in the woods again and even though the Bandit 3’s did just fine on the dry trail, I could see how much a pair of trail runners would have helped out going downhill and in the loose dirt sections that had leaves on top.

Yeah a pretty darn good day of running, even with 100% humidity.

Gotta Get Consistent Again

Over the past few weeks, I have only run 6 of 16 days and feel that I have lost a bit of ground over that time. However, there really wasn’t a whole lot I could have done differently during the days that I didn’t run – life got in the way and exhaution was part and parcel for many of the days.

I still managed over 10,000 steps every day, without the running or long walks, but that was more how much I worked than actual working out :-).


Today’s run was done in just about perfect weather, 72*F, low humidity and a light SW breeze. However, I just wanted to finish the run more than anything and I was uncertain about how I was going to do. Especially, after walking with Bennie a couple of miles just before I ran.

I was still pretty damn tired from all the work we did this weekend and then yesterday’s work day over in Lancaster, then three-hour drive home. So I wasn’t sure how the old bod was going to handle a 5.0 miler.

Actually, I think the body was in better shape than my brain (which is often my limiting factor).

During the run, I felt fine and kept playing games to keep going out to Notta Road and once I got out there, there was no choice but to come back.

The run itself was nothing special, it was one where you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, while maintaining a decent effort. Finishing the 5.0 miles in under 45:00 minutes was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one for the amount of effort that I put into this run.

Well, enough whining about how little I have run lately, now it is time to get back into a decent routine again.


Fall is in the air – the leaves are starting to change and over in Lancaster at night it already is getting into the 30’s.

It is time to run and run well.


A Wonky 7.0 Miler – RunLog 8-25-17

Originally, I had planned to run into Augusta, but at the last second, I had to change it to a run towards Waterville. Not big deal and actually I haven’t run this course since last November, so it was a nice change of pace.

The weather was just about perfect for me low 60’s for temp and humidity, but sunny with a little headwind to help the sweat dry. So I wanted to just run easy and see how far I could get before Mary caught up to me. Yeah it was a Waterville chase Harold down run.

Screenshot at 2017-08-25 21-27-18

The first mile was pretty easy, no rushing and I kept a consistent pace through 3.5 miles.

However, I was feeling really good, so when I got over to Goodhue Road I went to comfortably hard down the hill and maintained a good pace until I got over to the Middle Road. Getting in a sub 8:00 minute pace for mile 3-4.

Then I slowed down after Mile 5.0, which is a bit of a long slow incline, plus the traffic was pretty busy. Which resulted in me spending more time in the road’s shoulder than I wanted, where the grass, dirt, rocks, ruts, etc., ensured that I slowed down to make sure I didn’t screw up on the transition back and forth between the road/shoulder.

At 5.8 miles (I looked at my watch) my left Achilles started to bark and tighten up, so I slowed down in an area that I would typically pick it up, to see if I could get the Achilles to calm back down. No such luck and instead of doing the planned 8.0, I shut it down at 7.0 miles.

Not a bad run and I was happy with how well I ran, at least until the Achilles started barking. After I turned off the watch, I walked and about a half mile later, the Achilles finally stopped barking and felt fine. It is pretty strange the way that it the discomfort happens/begins somewhere between 5 and 6 miles, then after I stop running it pretty quickly gets back to normal?

All I can think of is that there is some scar tissue in the Achilles tendon area and it eventually gets the Achilles tendon or surrounding tissue irritated and once I stop running, it calms back down. Just gotta figure things out so I can get past the 6.0 miles without discomfort. That little 3 inch area is all that is holding me back from running further and who knows maybe even a bit faster.

Still, I am pretty happy with the run and how the Bandit 3’s are performing. No shoe issues, which is all I can ask of my shoes right now.

One Good Interval – RunLog 8-24-17

What a gorgeous day!

Yeah, today was one of those top 10 days of the summer.

When we go over to New Hampshire early on Tuesday, do work on the house in Lancaster, spend the night, finish up the next morning and then drive back to Maine. While trying to get runs in on both days on top of everything else.

Well it makes for Harold being a dull and tired old boy on Thursday.


Well let’s just say that on Thursdays I am not at my best, but this steak on the grill for supper sure did taste good. Nope, I am not a vegetarian, I eat fairly healthy, but I do like a good grilled steak.

This morning was too nice not to run and Bennie doesn’t get to run in New Hampshire, the roads are too busy and we haven’t found a decent place to run with him yet. So he was more than willing to plug right along this morning, plus we had a bunch of errands to run up in Waterville, which meant that I didn’t have the freedom to do much more than our usual 3.0 plus route.

The first couple of miles were an “easy” 8:15 pace – well they felt pretty easy and then I got this bright idea of doing a Blake to LG segment fartlek kind of thing. It is still dirt road and you have to pay attention to where you put your feet, so it isn’t just put body in gear and go. We plugged right along – faster than usual, but it is the pace I would love to be my 5k race pace again someday.

I am not going to lie and say it will be something that I will accomplish tomorrow or that it will be easy, but maybe by next summer, if I am smart, consistent and stay positive, it is an idea that I can follow through on.

After all Coach Bennie still thinks that I can run that fast!

I had thought about running again, but decided that rest was more important. So for resting, I went out and mowed the fringe out back and probably destroyed my field mower. I have a feeling that running 5-6 miles would have been more restful than mowing that fringe. Oh well, never said I was too smart.