Last Weekly Update for a While – 5-27-18

No, I am not going away, stopping blogging or anything like that. Nope, I am just changing things up a little that’s all, but more on that in some other posts that I might have planned.

We got the graves tended to in New Hampshire and Newport. Each year we notice fewer and fewer of the graves are being tended and even us – we talked about we only go to them once a year. As the older generations die, the memories of those who lie beneath the markers are forgotten and the stones are left to themselves or the occasional curious person who happens to wander by, stops to look at the marker, who this person was and then moves on with their life.

Fading memories of past generations is not something new, it is the way life is, but sometimes it is sad to think of the lives we live and how that someday someone will look at our gravestone and wonder who we were. My advice is that we pass the memories and family histories of those you loved to the next generations, because once you are gone those memories you hold will be gone as well. Continue reading

A Cut-Back Week – Week In Review 5-20-18

Spring is definitely in the air, my allergies are kicking in gear pretty good, the hummingbirds are back and the lawn has been mowed more than it should be for this time of year. The weather has been mostly good for running, it is so nice to be outside.

My favorite photo from the week is actually from this morning – the apple trees are in bloom.

Sometimes you just get very lucky.

With my running last week that is pretty much the case, because last Monday I was not sure if I would be getting any miles in at all during the week. My hamstring was barking pretty loudly, but for a change I was smart about resting and foam rolling the crap out of my hamstring.

It worked!

I made it to Wednesday’s Acupuncture appointment and everything came together enough that by Thursday I was running fairly normally.

Phew!!!!

Hamstrings and I go way baaack to my days as a sprinter in high school (I wasn’t too bad), but the Hammies never really liked some of those cold-arse spring days in Maine back in the 70’s and would complain quite loudly about running all out in those conditions. It seems like most springs, I have to contend with them doing more than their share of complaining and I thought that I was in for a rough go of it this year too.

So yeah, maybe I m getting smarter and wiser as I get to be an old fart. Naw, just more likely – lucky this time. 🙂

The rest of the week went pretty well for running and while I did not get in 30 miles, I got in 26 more miles than I expected – so I think it was a VERY good week.

I even had a 2018 course record for my test course by a minute, without pushing the effort too level too much on Sunday. I took a couple of days off in a row, then I got back to running with short easier runs on Tuesday and Wednesday. A longish run on Thursday with a 7.0 miler on Thursday where I learned a lot about the Liberty’s and another 5.0 in them on Friday that really solidified my feelings about them. Then I had a quick 4.0 that I mentioned on my test course.

So I was very pleased with how well my running went this week, when it could have been a complete disaster.

Now to get whatever is going on with that right hip taken care of again, same thing as last fall, so I gotta be thinking about what worked to “cure it”.

Running Shoes

I have been working on a small project to get my running shoe photos into Apple’s silo – it is a slow laborious process = yes it is a pain in the arse, but I am getting there and it brought back more than a few memories of shoes that I liked or shoes that I should have given more of a chance.

Last week it was a pretty short rotation Zealot 3’s, Liberty’s, Road Hawk’s and Razor 2 of which I am going to talk about the Liberty’s and Razor 2’s

If things do not change too much, I am not sure that the Liberty’s will make it to a 50 mile review. The Liberty’s are a very good to great running shoe for the right runner, but unfortunately I might not be the right runner.

I only have 25 miles on them, but I am finding that while I can run decently in them they feel heavy at 10.3 ounces (I know that is fairly light, but…the more I run in them the heavier they seem to feel), are pretty stiff (the full length outsole I believe is most of the culprit) and they bother my forefeet too much to run completely comfortably in them. Which I really think it has something to do with the bootie construction of the ISO Fit. So I have put them under the dresser for a week or two to see how things go without running in them for a while.

I was very meechy about running in the Razor 2’s, because the ankle collar area was very uncomfortable (too high and stiff) when I was walking in them or on some of the little jogs I do at times with Bennie.

Finally, I just needed to know whether they were going to blister my ankle area or not. So Sunday I ran in them and while I had an excellent run – there was never that disappear on my feet feeling that I look for in a pair of running shoes. The ankle collar was noticeable, not a discomfort or thank goodness biting my ankles to form the dreaded blister, but more a distraction.

Which makes me wonder why Skechers’ have running shoe models with the ankle collar/well so high, especially since they are designed so that you can remove the insole, which in turn makes the ankle collar come up even higher on your ankles. I had the same issue with the GoRun Ride 7’s and wore a hole in the right ankle well because it came up too high on my feet – even with the insole inside the shoe.

Even so, I will say that the Razor 2 is an amazing running shoe and other than that ankle distraction, I loved the feel of them on the road and will continue to run in them as long as I don’t get blisters on my ankles. If I do get those darned blisters, it might come down to doing shoe surgery on the ankle wells. I have scissors and know how to use them.

I also had been looking at D2 getting me a pair of running shoes for Father’s Day (I know a very unique present for me) and then got to thinking about the shoes that actually have worked for me this year. Then while I was wandering around eBay, I found a pair of GRR7’s on sale for a fantastic price. I ran well in the GRR7’s until I wore the hole through to the plastic heel cup (which was partially my fault I have a feeling) and decided to see if they are part of the solution at that price. I hate the gray colorway, but at this point I want the shoe, the colorway is secondary. That is what I hate about great sales, they suck you in.

The reality is that

I had 26 more miles than I originally thought that I would when the week started, so it turned out to be a very good week running wise. Also I learned a lot more about some shoes that I have in the house and there are some that might go away and others that surprised me with how they did feel when I finally ran in them.

So yes, it was a pretty darn good week.

Happy Mother’s Day and Week in Review 5-13-18

Well since I will not be running for at least a couple of days, I can start my week in review post a little earlier than usual.

First Off – Happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there. My mom died a few years back and I miss her every day.

Yeah, things are definitely different without Mom around.

Let’s get to the week in review part of the post – a LOT happened this week. Continue reading

Still Learning More – Week in Review 4/29/18

Yeah, I got rid of some more old running shoes, found out the Forza 3’s are not the answer, loving being back in the GRR7’s – although they are going to blister my left heel sooner than later, had my first ice cream in a couple of months and while thing were relatively quiet, it seemed like I never got caught up all week.

Favorite Photo this week:

Down-back is runnable again – yeah, yippee and all that other falderal.

Yeah, the Forza 3’s didn’t work for me as my long/recovery run shoes and have turned into my primary walking shoes, so it is not a complete waste. However, when I tried the Hoka Bondi 5’s and Newton Gravity 5’s from the back of the garage neither one cut the mustard and have gone to running shoe heaven, err GoodWill. Continue reading

The Little Things – Week In Review 4-22-18

Sometimes a busy week is a good week, let’s see actually running in a 5K race, watching Boston, getting in the most miles in a week this year, getting some new to me racing shoes, starting to get stuff started outside and wearing shorts while running most of the time made for the first real week of spring, even though the temps were still below average and the winds above.

My favorite photo from the week:

To those of you who ran Boston on Monday, you have my utmost respect and I still wish that I had been there with you out in the elements running that race. It would have meant that I accomplished something that I started wanting back in 1969.

Now it is time to do more than think or dream about Boston. If the body can get through my usual April or May wipeout, I do see me starting to train to finish one of those damn things called a marathon as a first step towards getting there. Not training for a BQ or anything else this year, just a marathon finish. It is an idea that needs to have resolution and this is the best year to get started on the journey to finish what I started dreaming of so long ago.

My 5K race went better than I expected, no issues with pre-race crap, no injuries during the race and my time was closer to the top of my predicted range than I expected.

Continue reading

Week in Review 4-8-18

Yeah, the weather sucks and there is not a damn thing we can do about it, but wait a minute for it to change ;-). One of the joys of living in Maine, but actually it has always been that way wherever I have lived, it just seems worse as I get older and feel the effects of the weather more.

My favorite or most appropriate photo from last week:

This week was the week of treadmilling. On Monday, I wanted to make sure that the old back was gonna hold up and then the rest of the week, well the weather disagreed with the idea it was Spring.

Finally, on Sunday, I got outside and enjoyed it, until my GRR7’s decided they didn’t like my left heel and wore through to the heel counter.

Not what I expected from my Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s, but they have worn through and are starting to bother my left heel, not quite a blister on today’s run, but I would not have wanted to run very much further – I have a feeling that the results would not have been fun. This is not how I want to build confidence in my long run shoes to say the least, but it is what it is.

I can still walk comfortably in them, but I can feel the the left heel a bit too much when running in the GRR7’s, so it looks like I am back to the drawing board. Although I have a feeling that I am not going to use my LockLaces on the next pair of shoes that run in. If the running shoes do not have a perfect lock down in the heel cup, there is just enough play with the Locklaces to cause this problem. This is what I think happened to the GRR7’s. I will get them again, but set them up differently and maybe use a slightly thicker insole to raise my ankles up just a little more.

Even though I haven’t been outside too much this week, I did get my goal of 30 miles running and combined total of 50 on the elliptical and running.

I was down a little on the elliptical because at the start of the week I was being very conservative with a little lower back stabbing type pain on a walk and wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything serious before I got back to it again.

The other thing is that I am starting to figure out that while I love to run, am fairly competitive and run fast for me, that I just don’t have a lot initiative when it comes to actually racing. It doesn’t have anything to do with my old race anxiety or that kind of stuff, it is more that I just am not all that motivated to go to a race.

I talk a good game about wanting to race more and I train my arse off to run a decent time for my age, but when it comes time to actually do the application or get off my butt to go to a race, I don’t. When you add in that the race entry fees being rather high, it does factor into whether I want to spend the money to get t-shirt (maybe), run in a race and get something to eat after.

I know we all talk about the comraderie that runners get to enjoy by being around other runners while at races. However, going to one by myself, wandering around before the start, pushing myself during the race, hanging around for a bit mostly by myself after and then driving myself home, well just doesn’t appeal to me all that much anymore. It is almost like when I go to a race “I am all alone, amongst all the commotion”.

Maybe if I had some people to go to races with it would be different, but…I don’t know how to explain things sometimes, but at the same time, I think some other runners will understand what I am attempting to convey.

Oh well enough whining, I know that I will go to some races this year, but I am going to de-emphasize racing’s importance, because I really do not think that running in a race means all that much to me at this point.

The important thing is that I am still running, wanting to run more often and looking forward to my next run :-). I guess at this point that is still pretty damn good.

Another “Interesting” Week – Week In Review 3-18-19

The weather is still getting more than its share of attention when it comes to my running over the past week. You know that 22 plus inches of snow we received mid-week and then the bone-chilling cold and mild 20-30 mph breezes. All of which making running outside not a lot of fun.

So I didn’t run outside.

I have gotten to the point in my life where I want to enjoy or do my runs, as much as anyone can enjoy their running or should I say challenging myself, without freezing my arse off or worrying about slipping, falling and breaking something that might be useful later in the day. Which curtails my getting out the door for running outside (I still walk a lot outside with Bennie 3-5 miles a day), so I just ran on the treadmill for all my runs.

It was a helluva lot nicer to run in shorts and t-shirt.

Even so, running on a treadmill is not as nice as getting outside, but still getting it done, but it was nice that it was a planned cut-back week. Even with the cut-back week planned I still had over 60 miles of combined running and elliptical mileage. Which seemed to work out fine and the old body didn’t complain overly much about increase in total volume.

I did buy an album for the first time in forever, another runner recommended the music for running and for that I love it. It isn’t my usual easy listening/rock n roll type of music, but I got it for running and the beat more than the lyrics – which is good. Since the band is German and the music is in German (I haven’t bothered to translate lyrics yet), I got it for the drums and how they make me want to run – faster. The band’s name is Heilung and the album is Lifa. I have a feeling that the music and the band ain’t for everyone, but it is great to run to.

Running

Monday – I shoveled the garage roof that morning. It had 3-4 feet of drifted snow accumulated and with the big storm coming mid-week, I knew that I had to get the snow off the garage. I took about 3 hours to get everything done without too many breaks and I was toast when I got done. Just to be annoying to myself, I attempted to go run that afternoon. I gave up after 2.0 /17:01, between being exhausted and having to use the bathroom, well – 2.0 miles was enough. I didn’t even bother attempting to get on the elliptical – the body was done.

Tuesday – The morning was cold and windy outside with that big N’oreastah coming in so I headed to Planet Fitness for a run on the treadmill. Nice steady pace 5.0 / 41:15, by the time I got outside again, the snow flakes were coming down pretty heavy, so I was glad to get home.

Wednesday – DNR – That big, bad N’oreastah came in with over 22″ plus of snow. Running outside just was not a consideration, the conditions were pretty horrible and I don’t need to prove to myself or anyone else how tough/stoopid I am.

18″ plus the 4″ or more that came after this photo.

Thursday – Continued clean-up from the storm and broke the snowblower on the heavy/weight snow. So I had to finish up with the scoop, which worked on the upper body – that improving the old chicken wings things. After getting things cleaned up, I headed for another 6.0 / 49:59 on the treadmill. I was tired, but felt good once I got past the first mile. The Gravity 3’s did good and now have over 200 miles on them. Acupuncture didn’t seem to make much of dent in the overall body soreness this time, maybe the body was simply overwhelmed.

Friday – I went up to take Dad out for his birthday – he has made it to 78, which is a lot better than the 28 that his father predicted for him all those years ago. He is doing okay and still has a few strong views on things – which I wouldn’t expect him to be any other way. We ate at Irvings Truck Stop in Newport. The food is very good and predictable – nothing fancy just decent food and great deserts. I had thought about running in Pittsfield on the way home, but with the winds pretty steady at 20-30 mph and some higher gusts, I decided to take a pass and headed to Augusta. I wasn’t feeling really all that great and that storm had taken its toll on my body, so when I got to Augusta, I drove by Planet Fitness and decided that the body needed the day off more than another 3-4+ miles on the treadmill. I went home and took a nap – always a good choice.

After getting my gumption back I decided to do an elliptical workout, I figured I would do 5-6 miles and call it good. I watched the Breaking 2 documentary from NatGeo and ended up going over 10 miles. It was sure motivating to watch it and I learned something about running form watching Kipchoge run. I will try the change over the next few weeks to see if it makes any difference.

Saturday – Weekends are for faster running, so it was still cold and breezy and I wimped out on going to the 5K Race in Rockland. I just am not into racing, when the temps and winds are in the toilet at this point in my life. So I went to gym, hopped on the treadmill and had a nice “faster” run where I pushed harder than I have in a while 4.0 / 29:56, especially the last 3.0 miles of the workout. Nice tempo run.

Sunday – Now before you jump all over me about running hard 2 days in a row, I really didn’t Saturday was at a comfortably hard effort level – harder yes, but it really did feel all that taxing and the recovery was pretty quick. So today I tried some new running music and found that some of the songs beat matched up really well to me running faster, so I did. All the longer intervals were at 9.0+ mph and the shorter ones were at 10.0+ mph, while the rest intervals were at 7.0 mph. Both felt good and I noticed when I focused on keeping my arms tucked closer to my chest that it was a lot easier to maintain form/pace. 6.0 / 47:44. No elliptical workout.

Running Shoes

The Gravity 3A’s now have over 200 miles on them and I will be doing the 200 mile review pretty soon. They are still working quite nicely for me, although they have become my second favorite shoes. Not because they are working any less effectively for me, it is just that the other shoes are working better for how I run. The G3’s are still a great running shoe and give me a nice change of pace to switch back and forth with.

Those other shoes are the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 and they are doing everything that I have asked of them and then some. Great running shoes so far.

The reality is that

It was a busy week and the snow did a number on the old body. However, by the weekend I had a pretty good couple of workouts that surprised me with how well I ran. While I don’t use music to run outside of the gym on the treadmill most of the time, find Heilung’s Lifa album to run in the background might persuade me to run with headphones on once in a while, if I am attempting to a specific workout on the track or rail trail.

Overall, my total workout volume was up, even though my running mileage was cut-back on purpose and I think that helped the quality of the weekend workouts.

However, I do know that I am ready for nicer weather to get here, but from the forecast next week, it probably won’t be until sometime in April. Oh well, just deal with the hand that Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are dealing.

Although last Monday when I cleared off the garage roof, the old body was not impressed and pretty much told me to kiss-off for the rest of the day. That was hard work and I have a feeling that I will get to do it again tomorrow, especially if that storm hugs the coast a little more than the forecasters think it will.

Another Good Week – Week In Review 3-4-18

An interesting week to say the least!

I got to spend some time with Dad, enjoyed a long run (yeah enjoyed it as much as I can running that far), spent more time outside than on the treadmill and hopefully found at least part of the solution to my running shoe woes.

February is over and as we round into March, it seems like for many of us it is coming in like a Lion, so hopefully if the old saying holds true it will go out like a lamb. At least the last storm stayed to the south of us, but that N’oreastah coming Wednesday to Friday, doesn’t look like that much fun. We will see.

My favorite photo from last week:

Seeing Mary & Bennie waiting for me at the end of my long run on Wednesday, I was ready to get in Clifford at that point. 🙂 It was a great 10.0 mile run, but by then I was toast and needed to sit down.

The best part of things right now is that we are getting into a pretty nice routine. One where we are getting things done around the house, running more and taking time to work on our health.

So yeah, it was a pretty good week.

Running

I had my first double-digit long run of the year this week and it was one of the best ones that I have had in a long time, it was not easy, but the feet didn’t bother from my shoes and that does make such a huge difference for me. I didn’t get quite as many miles in as last week, but still over 30, which is my goal through the end of March.

After that downback should be clear enough to run on regularly and I have move local options for running other than up and down Philbrick Hill or the Treadmill, both of which have their pros/cons, but getting in more variety will help me get in more mileage – at least that is my thinking.

I also did not worry about getting on the elliptical as much, I just didn’t feel the need this week, so that was a bit of a cut-back on the elliptical and running totals by almost 20 miles. It is almost as though the body does not need the extra work as much when I get to doing long runs too. However, I would like to keep the elliptical going 3-4 days a week year-round, it does help as long as I don’t over do things – not that I am wont to do something like that.

Although I did take a complete rest day on Friday, because I was mentally and physically beat after 13 consecutive days running – I find that after 12 days, I need a rest day. It worked really well and I had a really good tempo 10K run on the treadmill Saturday. Tuesday was when I had to take Dad for his appointments and life got in the way of running/exercise, but overall, my activity level was over 20,000 steps for most days.

That getting into a running routine versus a training plan is working better for me. I don’t do well going strictly by a plan and the routine kind of thinking gives me the flexibility I like, while still providing enough structure that I get things done. Although it seems that Wednesday is becoming more of my long run day – we will see how that goes moving forward.

Weight

I am at that 160 plateau and haven’t moved into the 150’s consistently yet. I am starting to watch what I eat a bit more closely, so hopefully March will be the month where I get back under barrier that 160 seems to be for me. The better weather coming up should help with that as well, I always seem to have an easier time of shedding the extra flubber as it warms up.

Running Shoes

Very simply stated I ran mostly in the Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s and am working on getting them to 50 miles. They are doing well by me. I could get all hyperbolic about how great the GRR7’s are and all that other kind of stuff saying they are this or that.

However, I won’t even have 50 miles on them until sometime this week and there have been too many great 50 mile review shoes and not any great 200 mile shoes, much less 400 mile shoes lately. So I will save the grandiose words to describe the GRR7’s until they get to that 200 or 400 mile review.

The reality is that

It wasn’t the week that I expected, but it was still a very good week with my running. A great long run and a very nice tempo run meant that I had two very high quality workouts, a rest day and some easy runs to balance out the load.

I do need to add in a day or two on the elliptical just to keep the totals around 60-70 miles, which at this point is a nice combine mileage total for me. The combine 50+ that I got this week, just isn’t where I think I need to be.

There is a fine line between doing too much and too little. I know that I should stay on the too little side of the line, but at the same time I do like to keep moving the line whenever I can. As long as I keep things reasonable, I am pretty sure I can still move/push the line a bit each month for a while yet. The body is holding together really well right now, so I don’t want to push too hard though.

I will keep a closer watch on what I am eating to break through that 160 plateau and get down into the 150’s over the month of March. It would be nice to finish the month under 155, very doable, but it will require some self-control and discipline on my part to get there.

Here is to next week 🙂

A More “Normal” Week – Week In Review 2-11-18

Last week a bit more of a “normal” week, well mostly.

A photo of our mailbox during the storm last Wednesday.

I found out that doing my long run at the start of the week, means that it is much more likely to get done. The weekends are still focused on other things that interfere with my getting away for a couple of hours or having Mary chase me down into Waterville or Augusta.

The weather on Sunday was crappy (rain, sleet, freezing rain), enough that I didn’t want to drive an hour down to Rockport for the 5K they had going on down there. So I did a short fartlek workout going down to Pepin in the freezing rain. I didn’t bother trying to do it against the wind or coming back up the hill, even so I still set a this year CR for this course in pretty crappy weather – it is still 3:00 minutes or so away from my all-time CR, so there is plenty of room for improvement.

The good part about doing a speed workout on the weekends that I don’t need to go to the gym or track to get one in, I can do them right around the house as a part of a quick run that I fit in sometime during the weekend.

So changing up when I schedule certain runs during the week is the correct thing for me to do and I learning that my schedule is not the same as anyone else’s – I have more freedom to be creative with mine. Continue reading