Week In Review – 12-10-17

Well…winter is heah.

Today we ended up with 6-8″ of the white stuff, another storm is predicted for Tuesday and then another one for next Friday, with sub-zero temps in between – if the forecast holds true. Yep, winter has arrived.

The week just seemed busy – but what else is new.

Even though we are now retired, life just seems to have gone into exponential mode for us over the past six months and this next week should be the tipping point, where things start to slow back down a bit. We will see, but I am holding out hope that is the case.

I did get to visit the Vampires to get ready for my physical exam next Tuesday. I survived. As you may have read, I am not a fan of needles.

Running

This week I finally got back over 30 miles for the week and had a 10+ mile run. Nothing hurt all that much and I am running better than I have in a while. A very good thing.

I am still in the building a foundation phase of my training plan and am keeping things pretty reasonable for most of my runs. I have even been putting the breaks on, during a few runs – a good thing. However on the treadmill run on Wednesday, I did pick up the pace the last mile a little more than I have been, just to see if I could. I did better than I thought I would.

Although I did go a bit off the Chi Running Beginner Half Marathon training plan during week 5. I was having trouble with understanding and implementing the Pelvic Rotation focus. So I decided to skip this week and focus more on cadence and posture instead.

Though I will say, it was nice to relax my running and not be as focused on doing something new with learning the Chi Running way for a week.

I will get back to it more next week, if I get to run outside very much. Performing the Chi Running focuses on the treadmill is simply a lot harder for me, so the more time I spend on the treadmill, means that Chi Running might not be my focus as much, as I will be focusing more on just getting to the end of the run.

Treadmill running is different than running outside.

Running Shoes

My Newton Kismet 2’s are starting to get a little long in the tooth, I know that I only have about 150 miles of running in them, but when you add in another 200 and probably more miles of walking and wearing them for everything else too. Yeah, they are starting to get tired. While they still have more life left in them for running, it is time to add other shoes into the mix. I did like the Newton’s enough that I asked my daughter for a pair for Christmas.

I ended up with the Gravity V’s and did an easy 5.0 miler in them. I have a feeling that they will be a very good running shoe, although I think that they are more of a clear road kind of running shoe.

Also I know that I will be doing a lot more running on the treadmill and was not happy with how the Newton’s felt on one. I have the Hoka Bondi 5’s sitting in the closet and tried them out this week on the treadmill and they did fine on a tougher 5.0 miler. So I have a feeling that the Bondi’s will be my treadmill shoes going forward.

Since neither the Gravity V’s or Kismet 2’s are what I would call nasty weather shoes, I have a feeling they won’t see much time on the roads when it is nasty winter weather.

That dubious chore will be taken on by my Under Armour Speed Time Ascent’s. They are semi-weather resistant and have excellent grip. This morning I even used them instead of my boots while snow blowing the driveway and roof raking the garage. They did well and my feet were mostly dry and they gripped well. Now to run in them a little more.

Overall, a pretty good week and looking at the forecast, it might not be a great running week, especially if I have to make a couple of trips to NH, so I am planning on a down week compared to this week, but I have increased mileage every week for a while. So a step down week probably isn’t a bad thing, even though the training plan for Week 6 doesn’t do that.

Newton Gravity V – Initial Impressions

An early Christmas gift from my daughter and one that came pretty timely. My Kismets are getting a bit long in the tooth and while they have more miles left on them, it is time to start getting ready to add in another pair to the rotation. Yep, another pair of older shoes that have been replaced, but still available.

Enter stage right the Newton Gravity V, my second pair of Newton Gravity line of running shoes. I had the originals and ran well in them and because of how well I have been running in the Kismets I decided to get another pair of Gravity’s.

The green colorway is not a favorite, but at least they are bright and annoying, so they are bright enough. In other words they are an obnoxious enough of a color that people will see them. Which is part of why I wear bright and obnoxious colors when I am running – I actually want to be seen on training runs…especially when I am running on the roads and this is where I will be running the majority of my runs in the Gravity’s.

Fit wise they are very close to the Kismet 2’s, although the toe box is slightly longer and the end a bit more pointed. It doesn’t seem to have affected how the fit feels, since the size 8.0 feels similar to the Kismet. In other words they fit quite well!

Which meant they were begging to be run in.

I try to do a Friday 5.0 miler most weeks and figured it would be a good test of how well the Gravity’s would do.

It was!

I went down-back and the road had frozen ruts that were starting to melt as I was going through. Which gave me a good idea of how they would be on uneven surfaces that has some skim frozen on top of frozen mud. Surprisingly they did better than I thought they would, at least I didn’t fall on my butt and still maintained a decent pace in-spite of what I was running on.

When I got back on the tar, I could definitely tell they were POP1 not 2’s. The lugs were much more noticeable and whenever I focused on the shoes, I could feel the difference. However, when I just ran I forgot about the differences and really didn’t notice the, front lugs. Which was a good thing.

I was also worried that I would have to adjust to the POP1 with my calves and Achilles. Guess what — didn’t have any issues. All the time that I have spent in the Kismets made the first run in the Gravity’s a LOT more comfortable than my previous experience running my first pair of Gravity’s.

I was able to pick up the pace when I wanted to and had to throttle back a couple of times on Tiffany. Today is not a fast run, it was a fun run where I got to just run. I didn’t use the metronome, helpful hints, timer or anything else. I just wanted to focus on how the Gravity’s were working.

First runs are usually an adventure and give you feedback on things you need to adjust or what doesn’t feel quite right. In this case about the only adjustment will be not tying the shoes as tightly, otherwise they felt really good during the run. They provided good feedback when I wasn’t running with my feet going forward, actually better than the Kismets do now. Which is another reason why I thought it might be time to start getting a new pair of Newton’s into the rotation sooner rather than later.

After finishing the run, no new aches or pains and that is what I am looking in a pair of new shoes – no new pains.

Just to be consistent I weighed the Gravity’s and they both came in a 9.0 ounces. Light for a daily trainer, but right in the ballpark that I am looking for in y daily trainers and only .2 less than the Kismets.

A very good first run in the Newton Gravity’s, let’s see how they do going forward.

Bondi 5’s on the Treadmill – RunLog 12-6-17

First thing on the agenda was going to see the Vampires at Togus. Not my favorite thing in the world to do, but something I deal with every couple of years to stay “in the system” and it gives the Doc’s there something to “talk to me about”. So after walking Bennie, I headed over.

Yep, I dread getting stuck with a needle more than most things I do.

Last time I had a blood draw, it took the guy 6 tries to get blood out of me and I came real close to telling him where else to stick that damn needle as I passed out. Yeah, I am one of those that if they don’t get it right the first time – it can really suck for me and them, because it is a lot more work for them and I feel like shit for a while. It is not just at the VA that this happens, so don’t get the idea that I don’t like them there, because I do.

Giving blood and me just ain’t a good combo.

So I wasn’t thrilled about doing this, but it is part of the deal and I kind of weaseled out of it my last physical and figured Doc Linehart wouldn’t be too impressed if I did it again. I went in, took my number, waited about 15 minutes and when the young lady called my number.

I quietly told I have a history of passing out when they draw blood. The eyes got big and it turned into a bit of a deal, where she had her partner in crime (after she finished with her blood draw), stop taking others and standby just in case. They pulled the curtain to avoid others seeing me passed out like a stone in the chair, which was unnecessary – thankfully. She done good and got it on the first try and I only got slightly woozy, not a full blown eyes in the back of the head kind of thing. A little cranberry juice and about 3 minutes and I was back on my feet again.

Then easy part of the test – pee in the cup. I managed that without any assistance or problems. Hehehehee

I can chuckle about it now, but my anxiety level has been up just a wee bit due having to study for this blood draw test or is it perviserate over having to have it done to me.

Well, it is over and now for the stress/anxiety of having to go see a doctor.

Yeah, I am a real head case don’t like going to see doctors anymore than I enjoy having Vampires stick me with needles. Unless I have broke something, screwed something up pretty badly (something that will probably need surgery) or have a cut that needs stitches – even then I tend to wait until I have no choice in the matter, so I will be a mess until after next Tuesday.

Once there I will politely listen to what he says, disagree with most of what he wants me to do and do my usual. 🙂

Nope, I am not a good patient and we have come to an understanding that bugging me doesn’t really work all that good. The issues are not anything really bad, just a difference in how we see pharmaceuticals being used or not – I am in the not taking them thought (been down that road and the side affects out weigh the benefits in my mind), plus I get the final say in the matter.

Which is something that we have discussed in the past – my getting the final say. Now we are cordial and talk more about running shoes, than my usual medical issues. I will keep coming back every couple of years to do it all over again – until something changes or I stop coming back.

See I am already stressing about next Tuesday…gotta hate it. 🙂

Gotta Go Running

Which meant that I needed a run pretty badly after all that to get rid of some the extra adrenaline that was still floating around in the old body. It was also raining pretty good this morning with the temps in the high 30’s, so not a real enjoyable day for running outside, plus it had rained most of the night so going down-back was not really an option – I am sure it was a mess.

So I headed over to Planet Fitness to beat on the treadmill. As winter gets us more and more into its grip I have a feeling I will be visiting there quite a bit. When I walked through the door the person at the desk, asked where I had been, she has been there a couple of years – it was nice to know that she noticed. We talked for a second and I headed on in.

However, I was not too thrilled about how my Kismet 2’s felt on the treadmill at the 4-5 mile mark last week, so I figured that I would try something different. My Hoka Bondi 5’s. I haven’t worn them, well hardly at all, since I started running in the Kismets back in October. They still had under 10 miles on them (not even broke in yet) and I figured that with the extra cushion, I might do okay with them on the treadmill with my right foot.

I don’t have a clue why the graphs look so squiggly, since it was a pretty straight forward run 7.0 mph and keep increasing the pace throughout. Oh well not a big deal and I am finding that the Garmin 230 on run indoor mode is not all that great – it is close enough and that is about all. Next time I will try the footpod, but it means that I have to run outside in the Bondi 5 with it before it will be semi-accurate on the treadmill.

First mile I wanted to just run easy, so I set it 7.0 mph and cruised along

Second mile – I picked it up to 7.1 mph, kept cruising

Third mile – 7.2 mph still cruising along, although the bottom of my left foot felt a little warm it wasn’t bothering – still breaking in the Bondi I think.

Fourth mile – 7.3 mph to start, still doing the easy progression thing and feeling pretty good. At 3.75, I kicked it up to 7.4 still feeling really strong. It was at this point that I had a brain cramp and decided to make the last mile a little more difficult.

Fifth mile – 7.6 mph felt quick, but not too bad, at 4.25 miles I increased to 7.7 mph and at 4.50 I went to 7.8, I still was feeling pretty froggy so at 4.60 the screen suddenly showed 8.0 mph. Nothing earth shattering and I kept it there to 4.75, when I kicked it up t 8.6 mph. Yep that last quarter mile kick, kicked my butt, but in a good way. I felt good, but would not have wanted to go at that pace for any longer.

When the screen hit 5.0 miles – I was ready to stop. Although my Garmin set on indoor mode had the mileage as 4.57, I will take credit for the full 5.0 – I have a feeling that I earned it. The best part was that nothing felt bad, broke or strained, although the right foot did start to feel a bit tender just at the end it made it to the 5.0 miles without barking at me.

Holy sweat fest – my shirt looked like I had gone swimming and at about 3.0 miles I had to take my glasses off because of the sweat rolling down my face. Which meant that I probably had a decent workout.

The Bondi 5’s did exactly what I wanted from them – they provided enough cushioning to get me through a 5.0 mile treadmill workout and the repetitive motion/landing that my right foot does on them to not bother as much as it does with other shoes. Which means that the Bondi’s will be my treadmill shoes going forward and maybe even work them back into my rotation outside next spring when I stop using the treadmill as much.

A pretty damn decent run and I didn’t even have a cup of coffee or breakfast before I ran – which did surprise me. Most of the time when I run before either, I have had some pretty crappy runs. I guess the Vampires did a good enough job getting rid of the extra blood in there which allowed the adrenaline to dissipate as well during the run.

Just glad that blood draw is over though – even though they did good today, still hate those needles. 🙂

Yet Another Week – Week In Review 12-3-17

It seems that the weeks just blend together sometimes and this one was one that I seemed busy as hell all week, but I don’t really remember what I was busy doing.

Yeah, I will just call it “one of those weeks”.

My favorite photo from the week:

The Androscoggin River as seen from the Rumford Boat Launch last Wednesday.

One thing that I am finding out is that I am loving my iPad Pro 10.5 setup. Now I haven’t learned all there is to know about IOS or the iPad, but it is definitely fitting quite well into the way I do things and how I see myself using a computer going forward. I just wish that Never Winter Nights was available for IOS. Baldur’s Gate is okay, but not exactly what I am looking for. Oh well I will find a decent RPG game one of these days that will occupy my time at night. 🙂

Although for most of the week, it seemed like Mary or I were always on the go. Yeah, the weekly trip to NH, worrying about this or that, then doing this or that. Even though my calendar and Reminders list doesn’t have a lot of stuff in them – it still felt like another screech week.

Gotta take time to slow down and smell the coffee a bit more. After all, isn’t that a part of what this retirement thing is all about? Sometimes it seems as if we are busier now than before we retired.

Oh well, enough whining and complaining about where the time went and how freaking busy we are, how did my week in running go?

Running

I had a very good week at just over 25 miles. I am purposely keeping the brakes on and not attempting to run too much, too soon. You know the way that I usually do things. I am running well, staying in the 8:25 to 9:00 minute pace area for most runs with a nice kick at the end of some runs (not all).

That pace area just seems very comfortable for me and while some might say I don’t have enough differentiation between runs – that is not the purpose of my training right now. All I am attempting to accomplish over the 2-3 months is establish a good mileage foundation without breaking anything and continuing to improve my running efficiency (form) by using the Chi Running program. Which means running comfortably for me – not according to some chart or software program.

No, it might not be slow enough to make serious improvements and certainly not fast enough to get my race pace up where I really would like it, but it is a comfortable pace that is helping me feel better about my running.

The other thing is that I am not obsessing about running seven days a week and surprisingly I am finding that five days a week seems to be working good in the colder weather. Having taking Wednesday and Sunday off for a couple of weeks feels about right for my present fitness level. Could I run more miles – probably, but at the same time what purpose would it serve.

None that I can see right now.

Although I would like to find a 5K to run before the end of the year, just to get a good baseline on where I actually am.

The weeks are flying by and this week has a lot on the agenda and hopefully this will be one of the last weekly trips to NH – at least that is what we believe, but like everything else this last six month, I will believe it when it happens.

All I can say is that I hope and pray that 2018 is a lot less busy than the last half of 2017.

However, it will be what it will be.

November 2017 – A Quick Look Back

November was a blur…lately it seems as though every month is a blur and probably will be for a while yet.

My favorite photo this month:

I am back in the Apple silo again. My old ASUS flip laptop finally stopped working and couldn’t be resurrected. Which meant that my Christmas gift suddenly had to be pressed into service – the Apple iPad Pro 10.5 with a Zagg Rugged Messenger Bluetooth keyboard. I will not say it is the best computer I have ever used, but it is a pretty fantastic little device that does just about everything that I want from my computer now. You can read more about it here.

I am getting used to the mobile way of doing things, versus legacy computing. There are differences and they are not better or worse for the most part – just different. However, the one thing that I really thought would bother me, has not been an issue – the lack of a mouse or trackpad. I acclimated quickly to the touch screen, stylus and keyboard shortcuts to move the cursor around.

Lancaster trips are now simply drive over, make sure everything is as it should be, stopping by to talk with people we need to talk with and then driving back – all in the same day. Those trips rather suck, especially now that the weather is starting to get into the wintry mix stuff that really ain’t a lot of fun when driving through the Western Mountains (especially, the Rt. 2 pass just outside of Gotham by Mt. Washington – it get pretty nasty). Hopefully, December brings those long travel days to a close and we can begin the work of really moving on with the rest of our lives and not have the anxiety/worry about what is happening three plus hours away

The biggest pain in the butt during the month was losing power for 5 days and our generator dying (see the photo below with Bennie). Luckily a friend loaned us his generator the last couple of days, which saved the freezer contents and made life a bit more bearable. It did make up our minds about going out and buying a generator, which we had to special order from Home Depot. Our generator is now ready for the next power outage that seems to be occurring more often in our aging electrical infrastructure.

Running Choices

A lot of choices were made in my running during November.

However, the biggest one was to not run with Bennie anymore. More to reduce the number of injuries that I seem to accumulate when I do run with him. Coach Bennie is a big believer in all-out sprinting for interval training and my old body just ain’t up to that task anymore. Which results in parts of me, getting twisted, pulled and torn – which results in too much time away from running.

Bennie doesn’t understand and some days attempts to get me into something more than the walking we now do together. At the same time, a couple of times that I have gotten a little too froggy and attempted to run with him for a short ways – he really wasn’t all that interested either. So I would say it is a combination of both of starting to get a bit long in the tooth. He seems happy enough with walking 2-4 miles a day. Although he does get upset when I leave him at the house to go for my run.

Chi Running Chi Running – Thoughts After a Month is still a large part of my running and I am in the fourth week of the beginners half marathon training plan – half-way through the technique training section. I am not going to say that it is an easy or effortless way to run, but I am running well and don’t have many of the usual aches and pains that I dealt with on a daily basis before I started using it. I am making good progress in some areas and in others, let’s just say I am a work in progress. However, I do think I have made some solid steps forward to running more injury-free.

I am on a big kick to simplify things with my running and as I discussed in my Simplifying My Running After Age 60 post, some things gotta change.

When I put together that mind map (updated above), it showed how convoluted my running had gotten and it also quickly identified a bunch of things that I can do right now to simplify things. So I have streamlined how I log my runs and what tools are being used to do it, which you can read about here.

There will be a few more posts on my progress and attempts get things back under control. It is more that I would add something here or there and never take away something that I replaced, which resulted in duplication of effort or stuff. It was time to step back, look at things and make the choices that needed to be made.

Oh yeah, I did run in November. Actually I ran quite well and mostly pain-free which is such a difference from what I have dealt with over the past couple of years. Where going out the door for a run meant that I just sucked it up and ran on whatever was bothering that day. You will never know how much I dealt with that stuff and am so glad that it seems that I no longer have to.

While I didn’t quite make 100 miles for the month, I was able to get into the 90’s, which meant that I almost tripled my October total.

I still have some cleaning up to do on the spreadsheet’s transition over to Number from Google, but it will get done.

When it came to running shoes, it was basically running in the Newton Kismet 2’s (50 Mile Review) and that’s it. I may have run in something else a few times, but primarily I ran in the Kismet’s because they are comfortable, give me feedback when I am not running with my feet pointing fairly straight forward and my feet do not hurt when I get done. To be blunt – they just work well for me.

Overall, November was a good month for running, making decisions that will simplify life for me a bit going forward. All good things as I keep working on living life the best ways possible :-).

Simplifying My Running Logs

A few days ago, I wrote a post about Simplifying My Running.

Yeah, something that I seem to attempt to do every few years, but this time when I wrote my post it felt a little different from all those times before. I have a feeling that a lot of it is being driven by the after-math of my brother-in-law’s death and subsequent efforts to deal with the estate stuff.

I learned that life needs to be enjoyed, lived and every once in a while we need to look at how we are doing things in our lives. As a part of this I am looking where I will be going with my running over the next month.

While I am still formulating and letting things percolate on what I want from my running going forward beyond continuing to run. I have some ideas, thoughts and an inkling of a few things, but I am not quite ready to write about them yet. I am kind of doing the Chi Running – Running Assessment exercise, with other variables added in, so we will see where that ends up.

However, when I wrote that post about simplifying my running, I identified a BUNCH of stuff that I can do right now.

First up is how I can streamline, simplify and make the process of logging my running a LOT easier on myself.

Running Logs

How many running logs do I really need?

  • 2+1

is the answer I came up with.

I only need one online place to act as a repository for my GPS data, then I have this blog and my spreadsheet. I suppose that I could really get rid of the spreadsheet and blog and move completely to Garmin or Strava. However, even though I might own my own data, there is no guarantees of it being where I want to be, when I want it. I gotta admit it would be easier in the long run and my blog would get just about the same number of hits daily :-).

Pen and Paper

In the direction I am going, I don’t really want or need a Pen and Paper running log, it is just one more thing to keep up with. I enjoyed the writing things down at first and I really believe that it helped me think about what I was doing and accomplishing by moving to Chi Running.

However, for me it is not something that I want to do long-term, I prefer an electronic running log over a written log. It came down to personal preference and/or getting rid of my blog – I’ll keep my blogging going for a while longer.

Blog

Speaking of the blog, it is my running log narrative and really has been for a while now. Over the past few months I have purposely reduced the amount of data that I include in my RunLog blog posts.

So, unless I do something spectacular or have a race that I want to capture how I did – don’t expect to be overwhelmed with stats about my runs.

My blog is where I get to tell the story of my running (among other things that interest me or do affect my running). That is what I am going to focus more on going forward, the story of my running – the story of an Aging Runnah.

Not that it is going to ever hit the big time, but it will keep me out of trouble and keep my writing skills somewhat reasonable, since I don’t have another outlet for my limited creative side.

Spreadsheet

The one thing that I have maintained consistently since 2011 is my RunLog spreadsheet. All the different blogs, online running logs, databases, paper based running logs that I have started, used and eventually discarded. My RunLog spreadsheet has been there, through multiple focus changes, different spreadsheet styles/software or apps, loosing/gaining data fields and repeat the cycle numerous times over those years.

It has been about the only thing in my running that has been a constant.

Data Capture is what spreadsheets are great at, but I was keeping my RunLog spreadsheet up in Google, Gnumeric and Excel. Now that I am going back to the Apple silo, I have to get reacquainted  with Numbers again. Which I have done by putting together my 2018 RunLog spreadsheet.

After I wrote that Simplifying things post, I got to thinking about all the spreadsheets I have wandering around in different places and realized that if I am going to move to Numbers – just do it. So I did.

At the same time I got rid of a bunch of columns that didn’t really add much to what I want to capture and I am still thinking seriously about getting rid of the description column, since that is what I do in my blog.

Data that is what the spreadsheet should be all about, to help me identify trends with graphs, charts, totals and averages. Plus believe it or not I do enjoy using and playing around with the data in the spreadsheet – it makes for some interesting observations about my running at times.

I’ll keep it.

Online Running Logs

I have an account and have at some point or other tried just about all of them. Over the past year I have cut it down to Garmin and Strava, which has helped a lot. However, do I really need them both? I am not crazy about the Garmin interface (it sucks), but I need it to upload my GPS data, to populate Strava, which in my opinion is a better online running log.

However, I don’t really use either one for much of anything – other than going on Strava and checking like or making a pithy comment to someone I know about their run. So I have deleted my bookmarks to Strava and while I will continue to populate data there I probably won’t do much else there, other than grab an occasional screenshot. After finishing up this post, I will probably go in and delete a bunch of runners off my list of runners that I am following. That way it will have only local runners and a few others – after all I do want to see how some people are doing that I know.

Garmin Connect – I have on my phone to upload to the website and even after going in and attempting to customize the website, it just doesn’t do anything for me. I will have data there and if I need something in particular I will use it. Otherwise, it will just be a repository for GPS data, which I do like having available – just in case someone does have a question about my running..

The reality is that

I like my blog and writing about my running here, it gives me a long form writing format to get thoughts out of my head – as long as I stay in one place long enough for people to find me. I also like the idea of keeping my own spreadsheet, which allows me to add or delete data columns as my interests or needs change, without having to stay within the limitations of someone else’s running log.

The need for Garmin is simply because I am tied to their silo, by having three Garmin GPS watches and really do not need all the other online logs that don’t really add a lot to my running experience or what I want to track in my running. Although I might peek at what a few other runners are doing every once in a while on Strava.

There is not anything I am doing here that is really earth-shattering or anything, but it does streamline the logging my runs process. Which had too many moving parts, too many data entry requirements and was becoming too time consuming and cumbersome.

Now I also have a better idea of what part I want for my blog to play in the process and what I data I want/need to keep in my spreadsheet – which is my official running log.

Now to see how it all works out over the next month or so.

An Early 5.0 – RunLog

Tomorrow is supposed to be rather on the nasty side and I do not enjoy running on the Middle Road when it isn’t clear, so I decided to run my Friday Five (the Middle Road Loop) today instead. Since today was clear, mid 20’s and best of all no wind, it was a better day to run a little longer.

Week 4 Day 4 – Still working it.

The Passive Lower Leg

Form Focuses: The “C” Shape and Heels up, knees down

I still did the Form Intervals, alternating focusing on these two primarily, while keeping up the cadence. Which I found more difficult to do going down hills than I did any other place. Which I find a little strange, because before all this form improvement, I was a much better downhill runner than I feel that I am now. I know it will come, but at the same time going down hills doesn’t feel quite right anymore.

Otherwise the fun felt good.

The first and second miles were comfortable, the third mile has that hill before the school – lots of fun. Plus I had to play ditch runner a few times due to traffic, but once I got off the Middle Road and hit that little bump by the Town Office, I had slowed down, but was keeping the cadence up, which is what I am supposed to do.

Mile four I was getting tired and then the combo of Blake and Stevens Hills on mile five kicked butt.

Still I was able to come in with a 8:30 pace without getting out the harder push until I got to Stevens Hill, where I had to bear down, suck it up a little to maintain a good cadence and just keep plugging along.

Enjoying the great outdoors

I was happy with the average cadence at 173 SPM, in that 170-180 range that Chi Running is looking for. So I am not really concerned about cadence, it is more getting that so-called passive lower leg – not engaging the muscles of the lower leg and getting the lean right. The heel lift is okay, low knees okay until I need to force the issue going up a tough hill then I pretty much revert back to my old way to get up and over.

Overall, a pretty nice run where I kept the effort pretty consistent until I hit the lower gate.

Simplifying My Running – At Age 60

Over the years I have been a sucker for the next greatest thing in running. Running shoes, accessories, clothes, training plans and all the other assorted stuff that runners have thrust at them to supposed improve our running experience. Whether it was in one of the many running magazines that I was reading, a book who’s author knew a LOT more about running than I did or an Internet website that was part of the running community that seemed to be what I was looking for – all to help me “run better”

After all I have always wanted to run better, but unfortunately, it has not happened consistently and to be honest not all that often.

Yeah, I have been like the proverbial butterfly who flitted from training plan, training philosophy, ideology or whatever running bandwagon was popular at the moment. Even though I have lied to myself mightily and attempted to convince myself that it is only a matter of time before I figured things out and that all the stuff I have done is done to learn more about running.

At what point does everything become too much?

Information overload is a real thing.

I think that I have reached that point and am looking at many parts of my running from a different perspective than I ever have.

Let me be blunt.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I can see that I screwed up my running pretty badly – making it into something that can never be for me, chasing the elusive magical running shoes, unicorn training plans along with being ignorant and stubborn about what I did know and more importantly what I didn’t know over the years.

Which actually meant that I have spent a small fortune primarily to set myself up for failure, injury, and unnecessary stress. Especially, for something that is supposed to be a fun recreational activity.

Yeah, I am finally starting to figure out that I need to change things if I want to continue to run for the long-term.

First and foremost, what does my running life look like now?

As this mind map shows, there is a bit of a convoluted mess going on with my running and this was something that I did in about an hour, just think of the mess I could make if I took time to really think about things. As it, there are far too many options in each area and sometimes the information that is now available to us all via the Great and Glorious Oz, err I mean Internet means that I want to try them all.

The problem with that is that what one idea, philosophy or brand brings to the table, another one can be found that is 180 degrees in the other direction. Which leads to far too many What to Fuck am I really supposed to do next questions – that I have not found good answers for.

What can I do to simplify my running

First off, I need to take a good look at that mind map to see what is necessary and what is fluff, duplication and make choices based on what is best for my running, not hype, marketing hoopla or stuff that is simply laying around the house.

Then I have to make some tough choices to cut down on duplication, because looking at the mind map, there are many areas where I duplicate things way too much. Some of the choices may result in my having to accept good enough versus this is neat as hell. I need to look at what the actual benefit to my running is versus my perception of something is – there is a difference.

Finally, I have to actually go ahead and do it. Not just give my choices lip service and then go back to what I have always done.

That will be the toughest part of the whole thing – the doing.

Now to get going and see where it takes me.

Hopefully, a more consistent and less stressed out runner who has more fun with his running – yeah make my running fun again.

At this point in my life, I don’t want or need unnecessary stuff going on, especially in something that I do enjoy doing as much as I do my running.

These changes will not happen overnight – well some of them might, but others I have already begun and will be making changes for a while to get where I need/want/should be with my running at this point in my life.

I guess it is true as we age, we do begin to see things differently.

Does this look like anyone else’s running, what have you done differently or done to simplify your running life. I am looking for ideas and suggestions and no I will not like some of them, but hell they might work a lot better than the ones that I have going on right now that are already not working.

Yep I AM Getting Wimpy – RunLog 1128-17

This morning I had planned to do a 6.0 miler on the Rail Trail, but Mother Nature had other plans for me. Yeah, waking up to 9*F and walking Bennie in those temps didn’t really thrill me – at all. When we got done with his walk, my face hurt, I don’t like it when my face hurts because it is cold.

It was at that point that I decided it was time for the season’s first treadmill run.

Even though it had “warmed-up” to 14*F when I got to Augusta, the older I get the less I enjoy, hell let’s be honest the less I want to run outside. There is just something about this getting older stuff that doesn’t like cold weather.

After a quick battery change out at ACAR, I drove over to Planet Fitness. They let me in to abuse one of their treadmills, which I sort of really appreciated – treadmills are part of my running, just not a favorite part. However, being able to run in shorts and t-shirt when it is frigid outside is a nice option to have.

So I got on the treadmill, but today instead of simply going away into the music, I continued to work on my Chi Running form focuses. It was harder to do and with the repetitive nature of running on the treadmill, I kept loosing my focus. When I would realize it I would attempt to get back to what I wanted to do.

I put the speed on 7.0 mph (around an 8:30 pace) and ran for 4.5 miles. I did get a few aches here and there but they would go away, well except one – the right foot doesn’t like the treadmill all that much and at that point was starting to get a little uncomfortable. Nothing serious it always does this when I first start running on the treadmill each year – I just have to get it toughened up a bit. I figured at that point I would stop at 5.0 miles.

So I decided to see how the old body held together at a bit faster pacing

  • 4.5 – 7.1 mph
  • 4.6 – 7.2 mph
  • 4.7 – 7.5 mph
  • 4.8 – 8.0 mph
  • 4.9 – 9.0 mph

Actually, it felt pretty damn good, I even forgot about the right foot when I got to 8.0 mph and just ran. I do love to run fast (for me) and just wish the old body would hold together better so that I could do it a little more often.

Yeah, the indoor mode on my Garmin 230 was about .11 off per mile, so while the Garmin an Strava websites say on thing, the treadmill said 5.0 miles when I finished. I will go with the 5.0 miles as the official mileage.

Overall, for the first treadmill run of the season, it was pretty successful. I am not going to say it is better than running outside, but I will say it is better than running outside when it is 14*F or some other extreme weather event that seems to happen around here.

Treadmills are a tool in my running, not my first choice, but one that I use quite a bit during the winter in Maine. 🙂