Not What I Call a Rest Day

No Running Today, but it sure as hell was not a rest day. Yesterday’s multi-type storm made clean-up, both necessary and a pain-in-the-arse.

Okay, first walk with Bean was okay, the footing a bit treacherous with ice under the slush, but walkable.

After breakfast the real fun began, the snowblower and I had two hours of getting re-acquainted, which is always fun. The shoulders and wrists just love all that wonderful vibration and pulling on a behemoth on wheels. No the snow was not more than 5-6 inches, but underneath was a nice frozen base that was so much fun to walk on. Continue reading

Looking At Trends In My Running Since 2012

Every so often I like to go back and take a look at what I have been doing as a runner to see if I can pick up any trends, that can help me moving forward. So I went back through my running logs and put together a chart with my weekly mileages since 2012.

What jumps out to you when you look at the chart?

Any ideas that would help me move forward?

I know a couple of things jump out at me pretty quickly. Continue reading

4.0 More Routine Miles on the Treddy

Nasty, is the best way to describe the weather today, freezing rain, rain, sleet, snow and then any combination during the day. I have to let the crap freeze up over night before I am going to attempt to snow blow the driveways…otherwise the snow blower tire tread and footprints will be so deep in the ice when it does freeze that it is miserable to walk on them.

But this is what the road looked like right after the plow went by. It wasn’t that nice later or earlier.

Which meant that I got to drive SD2 into Augusta and headed to my workout early. This was supposed to be an easy day, so I did a little extra on the pre-workout and 0.5 mile warm-up on the treadmill.

Doing the pre and post run extra work is a little more time consuming, but I do notice a difference when I do them. So I am attempting to do them whenever I can. Continue reading

Easy 6.0 Miles on the Treddy

Jeez it was just a bit chilly this morning!!! 2*F plus a nasty wind chill had Bennie’s first walk being a very short and quick – he did what he had to do and get his arse back in the house kind of walk. I didn’t argue.

Then I had to go see the Vampires over at Inland Hospital in preparation for my annual civilian physical tomorrow. No, I didn’t pass out and yes, I was able to pee in the bottle. :-). Hopefully, tomorrow goes at least as good as December’s VA physical went.

When I got back to the house I had time for a quick breakfast and then it was time Bennie’s walk again. He went to the end of the driveway, looked up at me, peed on the mailbox post, turned around and trotted back up the driveway. Yeah, it was still damn cold out there.

Which meant that I wasn’t going to run outside today.

Now Mondays are usually my 60:00 minute easy run and even though I am not doing heart-rate training as my primary focus, I still see the value in monitoring my heart-rate while running to ensure that I don’t get squirrelly or stoopid.

I wanted to run at a nice 10:00 minute mile pace and keep the heart-rate under 140 bpm for the entire hour. Continue reading

Got to Get Back to Enjoying MY Running

Sometimes you just have to look yourself in the mirror and admit that something you are doing is just not working for you. Yeah, I know that I have been doing heart-rate training for under a month, but I am finding that I am stressing out more about my heart-rate than I am enjoying my running.

Not. What. I. Want.

I have learned a LOT about my running and also a lot about diet, stress, sleeping and focusing on being healthy versus just running faster over the past month, since I started reading about MAF training. However, when my running becomes a stressful part of my life versus a positive endeavor.

It is time to re-evaluate what I am doing.

This morning’s run was a really great example of what I am talking about.

It was a great day for a winter’s run. Temps near 30*F with the wind chills bringing it down closer to 20*F. However, the roads in Augusta were mostly clear and I needed a run besides the treadmill. So I headed to Planet Fitness with the idea I was going to run outside.

Guess what.

I ran outside. Continue reading

Got the Long Run Done

Today was one of those little snow storms that local weather-types call fender bender specials. No I didn’t get involved with one of those things, but it was enough to make the roads a mess this morning and get the snowblower out again.

As long as I get to snowblow the yards a couple times a week, I am not going to worry about lifting weights. Just because you walk behind it doesn’t mean that you don’t get to wrestle with the beastly thing to get it where you want it.

After dropping off SD2, I headed over to Planet Fitness for my long run. It was not going to be outside due to the nastiness on the roads and I value my life too much to risk it running outside ๐Ÿ™‚ Continue reading

Heart-Rate Training Forcing Me to Look At My Running

There was a bad accident over in Belgrade, where a tanker truck caught on fire and the smoke cloud came pretty much over the house most of the morning.

It shut down traffic heading out that way for a big part of the morning. From the news casts, it was a mess for a while.

Moving on. I know a couple of places had the temps in the 30’s when I drove past them this morning. Unfortunately, in the place where time forgot, AKA where I live the thermometers claimed that it never got above 18*F. Based on the temps I was feeling this morning first thing and then on Bennie’s longer walk – I tended to agree with my thermometer.

Needless to say temps this year are better than all those weeks of sub-zero temps that we experienced this time last year.

Even so, it was still cold enough that I decided pretty quickly that I was Treadmillin it again today. I am being very cognizant of my 20*F degree limitation on running outside this year and not running out there when it is below that temp. Have I, could I — of course, but I notice that my breathing outside when it is outside and cold is not the same and I am running this year, more to enjoy my running than to simply endure it.

I planned on a heart-rate run and attempting to keep the bpm below 135 for the run.

Let’s just say the run itself was nothing special. I started out at 6.5 mph and was able to maintain that pace until 2.9 miles, when I needed to reduce the speed to 6.3 mph to finish up the run at sub 135 bpm.

The big thing about this run was that my Garmin FR35 finally had a run that was close to what my chest strap heart-rate monitor read on the Treadmill’s console, which was nice.

I am learning that slight variations in how I run can make a 4-6 bpm difference very quickly, so I am attempting to incorporate the lower heart-rate running form to be the way I run more often. It does feel a little more efficient, so it might be a little better way for me to run. We will see.

Running slower is forcing me to take stock of “how” I run.

Overall, it was good run and I am learning more about me. Now if the FR35 would only stay this accurate I wouldn’t complain about it at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

It is a New Year and Yes, I Did Run

I get to say this one last time:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Yes, it is late in the day and most everyone has had their hangovers ease, thought again about all those resolutions you were going to make, eaten their fill of celebratory lunches and suppers, maybe even imbibed in too many drinks – again, watched college football and maybe even gotten off your arse and exercised a little to make good that first day promise to yourself.

I hope that 2019 is a great year and that you are able to meet the goals that are really important to you.

Mine are very simple this year.

Run over 1,500 miles

Eat mindfully and reduce the amount of carbs in my diet. Not a Keto diet per se, but more cleaning up and getting back to eating “real” foods. If it comes from a box, bag or wrapper, it probably is going to be something I avoid eating this year.

Buy less running related “stuff”. I don’t need the newest, greatest technology, shoes or other gear. I need “stuff” that is going to work for me, not anyone else. My running shoe rotation is a good one, I have enough running clothes for a while (as long as the stench doesn’t get too bad) and once I get my heart rate monitoring stuff figured out so that it is fairly reliable, I really don’t need a bunch of other stuff. In other words stay away from eBay, unless I actually need something to replace what I have when it is worn out or doesn’t work for my purposes anymore. ;-).

Use the K.I.S.S. Principle whenever possible. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Those are my resolutions this year.

Yes, I did run today and no, I am not going to go for a running streak this year. I will run until the body tells me it needs a day off and then I will take it. Life usually gets in the way of me keeping a long running streak going in any case, so I am not going to even think about starting one.

We had a small snow storm overnight and it meant that the roads were a mess this morning and it was just enough that I had to snowblow the driveways – it was a wet/heavy snow so it just took a while to do it. Then Bennie needed his long walk, but I got to walk with SD2 and her dog, about halfway down the hill. It was amazing the difference between out in front of the house and the other side of the hill – which was clear.

However, the roads around the house and down-back were still a mess, so I headed to Augusta and thought I might get a run outside down there. Unfortunately, when I got into town the breeze had developed into gale force winds. Even though it was sunny and the temps near 40*F, I decided that I didn’t feel like dealing with heavy winds after trudging behind a snow blower for over two hours.

So I got on the treadmill, did my .5 mile warm-up and figured I would get 4-5 miles in while working on keeping my heart-rate between 125-135 bpm. I was going to completely ignore my watch heart-rate and go only by the chest strap monitor that was displayed on the treadmill’s console.

I started the treadmill at 6.5 mph and was able to keep it there for just over 2.0 miles before the bpm touched 137 bpm three times – my cue to reduce the speed. I really think that this was my best heart-rate based run since I started. I went from 6.5 mph to 5.8 while keeping it mostly under 135 bpm.

My final total was 6.3 miles in 1:01:06, not very fast, but done without undue stress on the old body either.

I am seeing some progress using the heart-rate training methods and while I am not doing MAF training heart-rate guidelines, I am taking a lot from his Big Book on Endurance. It does have a LOT of good stuff in there, that I can incorporate into my running life and beyond.

A good start to a new year and one where I already have over 31,000 steps for the day, errr year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yeah, a very good start, now to keep it going.