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

A Few Changes – Week In Review 2-4-18

Winter is not going any where any time soon, but it is now February, so it is getting closer to better weather — at least there is light at the end of the tunnel.

My favorite photo from the week:

Elliott our cat attempted to remodel the area by the back door.

Another week that the cold weather, icy conditions or just nasty roads meant most of my running was on the treadmill again. Although I did get outside a couple of times, one of which was to try out a new pair of shoes (me get a new pair of running shoes!!!) more on that later.

I have been working on updating, editing and republishing my 40 plus years of running series. It is something that I like to do to remind myself of where I came from and how I got to where I am as a runner. No I am not and will never be an elite runner, hell I am one of those never was kind of runners.

Something that is a good thing to remind myself of when I start to get those thoughts of grandeur or I can do that too (whatever that is).

Re-doing this series brings me back to reality and to be honest at this point in my running life – hell life in general, I do have limitations, but I am all about focusing on what I can do.

Which means that I will focus on that I am willing to look at or try stuff outside of the box when things need to be changed as runner or with my health. The other things are that I doesn’t take myself too seriously and I am persistent. Which means to me that I don’t give up easily and can laugh at myself. All of which contribute to what I can do and tend to minimize the limitations that I do have.

I will get the series done sometime next week.

The start of a new month meant that I got see how the weight loss is going. Not bad — 4 pounds since the start of the year and 6 pounds by the end of the week. That is without changing a whole lot about the diet yet or getting long runs in (which is when I typically get serious about losing weight).

Running

For the first time in quite a while I did an actual Speedwork session on Tuesday one of those a tenth of mile fast and then a tenth recovery repeated 21 times. A bit more than I thought I could do at this stage of the season, but I felt good and just went with it and the next day, I didn’t hurt too badly. It was a nice confidence builder and gave me an idea of where I am physically.

Although with the nasty road conditions/cold weather, I didn’t get to do a long run – again. I don’t like doing more than 6-7 miles on the treadmill, at that point it begins to bother my feet too much. Until I can run safely outside and not freeze my arse off, I guess long runs will have to wait.

I did cut back a bit on the elliptical again this week on purpose. If I do too much on it, I feel a bit too tired the next day and it affects my running which creates a vicious cycle where you get more and more run down from doing too much. Which is something that I want to avoid. Also I want to get to doing Yoga 2-3 times a week and started with one session this week.

Also I am going to move my long runs to Tuesday (when I can start doing them regularly), which seems to work better with my schedule. Since it seems like there is always something going on during the weekends that interferes with getting it in. Doing speedwork or races on the weekend makes more sense to me anyways, since that is when I would run fast, is on the weekends.

We will see how this change does. At this point in my running, I think it is all about being flexible.

Running Shoes

I am still running primarily in the New Gravity3’s and 5’s. They are both doing well by me.

Unfortunately, my U/A trail shoes developed hole and needed to be replaced. After doing a lot of research, I decided to go with the Newton Boco Sol’s, the price was right and Newton’s have been doing very well by me over the past 2-3 months. I was surprised by the outsole, the photos on websites do not do them justice on how aggressive the forefoot actually is, while the heel unit is just okay, as I found out when I ran outside in them the other day on snowy roads out front.

I did find out that they are a bit finicky about what socks you can wear with them and had to do a little repair work on one of my toes when the skin got scrapped off from the seam of a pair of socks that I usually run in that I never noticed before. Other socks work great with them, so once that heals back up everything should be fine again.

Overall, it was another really good week, where I got over 30 miles running and over 50 miles of combined elliptical/running mileage, right about where my sweet spot seems to be right now. As the weather gets better, I would like to get the combined mileage consistently in the 70 mile range this summer. Which I think would get me in pretty decent shape.

All I know is that I will be glad when winter is over this year.

Things Are Slowing Down A Little

I love that the weeks are finally starting to slow down!!!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that we are all caught up with things, it just means that things are starting to feel like they are much more manageable again.

My favorite photo from last week:

A photo from yet another ice storm – it seems like we have had quite of few of those this year, at least when the temps are not in the negative numbers and with all the ice on the roads it does for us all to slow down a lot more. Who knows maybe they will get to appreciate the beauty in nature that surrounds them a little more.

That is if you can keep your vehicle between the snow banks. 😉

However, I have a feeling that even with all the nasty weather, us slowing down some does mean that I/we don’t feel as stressed to get everything done all at once and we are stopping to smell the roses a bit more. Which is a good thing and it also means that we have had a chance to think about LOTS of things and how we want to live our lives going forward.

We did contemplate a huge change in our lives, but after sitting down and really thinking things through, we decided that we need more time to think about making any major changes in our lives. We both want the chance to enjoy the life we have right here and a huge change of that magnitude, well do we really need that added stress right now?

We decided that we didn’t.

Which makes me feel a lot less anxious about the next few months :-).

However, it was pretty damn tempting though.

Back to the more mundane parts of the week.

I got some new glasses, not that big of a change in the script, just a bit of a change on the reading side of things and they have the changeable lenses, which I am not a big fan of, but it seems that my eyes like it better when I outside in the bright sunshine (especially when there is snow involved). They are a bit too dark for my tastes, but hey it is what it is.

A lot of my running tops (long sleeve and short sleeve) now have that permanent runner’s stink – not a good thing according to Mary and probably everyone that I encounter when wear them out in public (besides the gym, where most of the guys and some of the gals are wearing things have that exercise stench that really comes out when the body warms the clothes up).

White vinegar and baking soda doesn’t even touch the stench, so that means it is time to start looking for some clothes that don’t stink like a combination of rotten cabbage and 10-day old spaghetti left out on the counter way too long. Too bad, because most of the tops that I am going to have to get rid of are ones that I really, really like or have some solid running memories built into the fabric (besides the stench).

Also there are a couple of old running shirts that I love, which simply do not fit this old body the same way they used to and have rubbed my underarms raw the last few times I wore them. Either all the weight lifting is working or the shirts have shrunk – it can’t be that gravity is working on the old body and that I need to loose that 15 more pounds. Hehehehe

However, if I race a bit more this year, having long or short sleeve running shirts will not be as big of a deal. After all most races have that attire as part of their race entry fee, you just have to pre-register and actually show up. After all wearing a larger shirt is as simple as checking a different box – isn’t it?

Until then there is always Mardens or TJ Maxx.

Yeah, the mid-winter running clothes stink is a real problem, not just Mary’s sensitive nose – shhh even I can smell them and if I can, they are pretty bad.

Running Last Week

I didn’t quite make it to 30 miles, but I had a rest day and did some higher quality (faster) running on the treadmill than I have in a while.

When I do faster work, I purposely try to lower the mileage and cross-training stuff to give the body a break. Going faster wasn’t part of any training plan, the faster running just seemed to happen organically and I just went with it. On Friday, I even did a pretty good 5K time trial which gave me some more confidence going forward. By Saturday, I was pretty much toast and needed that rest day. The body and mind were both tired and needed some down time.

When I got up this morning, I was ready and raring to go for a nice long run, but the schedule around the house kind of dashed that idea until tomorrow, so I ended up doing a comfortable 4.0 miler down to Pepin, where I battled the remaining ice patches and the bitch coming back. The day off had done the body and mind good.

Running Shoes

I ran primarily in the Gravity 3’s, since most of the runs this week were on the treadmill (damned ice outside made running the roads a bit dicey) or the temps below zero, just didn’t thrill me all that much at the start of the week. The G3’s are still going strong and doing everything I ask of them.

The Gravity 5’s are my outside mostly clear roads running shoes. I have a feeling that their outsole (especially on the lugs) will not last as long as the Gravity 3’s. They are already showing a lot more wear on them with about half the miles. Which is too bad, because I am starting to really like running in them.

Here is where I ran into an issue last week, my U/A Speed Tire Ascents (which I wear most of the time walking, working around the house in place of boots and if I am going to run in nasty weather – they are my first choice), somehow got a hole in the left inside forefoot? Which means that while they are still comfortable, my foot ain’t gonna stay too dry. Which means that I have to look at some other alternatives going forward and will probably pickup a pair of Newton Boco Sols on the cheap. It is too bad, because I do like the U/A’s, but wet feet in winter just is not something that I want to deal with.

I did take the Hoka Bondi 5’s out for a walk, but I don’t know what it is about them, but I just do not like them. They are fairly comfortable, have decent grip and all that, but even just walking in them this afternoon…well I didn’t enjoy it. They may go away this week or if I am smart I will simply put them in the cabinet in the back of the garage and leave them there until winter is over. Give them a week of attention and then…I will decide what to do with them, yeah, that sounds like a better idea.

The reality is that

It was a pretty great week.

Racing, Patriots and Better Weather – Week In Review 1-21-18

The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, I ran in a race and ran outside more than I did on the treadmill, so it was a pretty darn good week.

My favorite photo of the week:

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Photo by David Colby-Young

A group photo after today’s race and yes, Gene get well soon.

All is right with the world, the Patriots are going BACK to the Super Bowl. They did what many didn’t think they could after going down 20-10. However, I didn’t watch it, I just can’t watch them play, I get too wound up. I’ve been this way for a couple of years, but I get to support them otherwise enjoy the post-game shows and interviews. Now to see if the Vikings can get in too – not looking too good right now.

I ran in the Central Maine Striders 39th Annual January Thaw Road Race. I did pretty good with Ron’s help, beating my time from last year by almost 2 1/2 minutes. Not that I am in better shape, but more that I had a good pacer to keep me honest and it was easier running in shorts than being all bundled up like I was last year. You can read more about it here.

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The weather has broken and with the temps out of the negative numbers and the ice being off the roads, it makes things more runnable outside up heah in Maine. Which means that I get to do something other than run on the treadmill, which is a very good thing.

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I got to 30 miles again this week, so I achieving one of those things that I want to over the course of the year – consistently get to at least 30 miles for the week. I had a couple of runs that were sub 8:00 minute pace and even took a day where I actually rested most of the day!

One thing that I did on purpose was cut back on the number of miles that I am doing on the elliptical. I wanted my legs to be more fresh for the race and then didn’t feel the need to get on it after the race today. I kept my total mileage under 70 for the week and the legs are feeling pretty good right now. Although I am getting 20,000 steps in many days during the week.

Running outside more also “allows” me to slow down the pace more than I do on the treadmill. It doesn’t mean that I am not working as hard, it usually means that the footing is not as good (that snow/slop or icy stuff) or that I am playing around on hills. Not that there are many of those around where I live.

I do have to get my eating habits under better control. The weight stayed pretty much the same for an average, but it isn’t where I wanted it to be at the end of this week. Gotta shut the pie hole a bit sooner I think.

Running Shoes

It was a Newton Gravity kind of week.

I ran for the first time outside in the Gravity 3’s in today’s race and they did great. No issues and they felt comfortable the entire race. At this point in my running, maybe being more comfortable in my race day shoes is more important than them being super light like more racing flats are.

Also since I ran outside more this week, I got to spend more time in the Gravity 5’s. While I would not use them as my race day shoes (when I compare them to the 3’s), they are definitely growing on me and I can see me putting a lot of miles on them through the rest of winter into spring. Surprisingly, the grip they provide in slush or snow is better than my current trail shoes – gotta be those big front lugs.

Which really makes me want to look closer at Newton’s Boco Sol trail shoes at some point. Especially, if I have a chance to do more trails this year.

The reality is

It was a pretty good week and I am happy where I am at this point in my training cycle. I don’t have the multitude of little aches and pains that seemed to follow me over the course of the past few years, which is helping me to run a lot more comfortably and consistently.

One thing that I do like is that using the elliptical is helping me get in extra time (miles?) that are helping to strengthen my legs and lungs. Although during the race I did open up some passages in the lungs that haven’t been open for a while (going fast uphill sucks) and they let me know about it the rest of the day and I dredged up some pretty nasty stuff that had been hanging around – which is a good thing.

A good week of running and some other decisions that I can’t share right now, but are very important, good things and will definitely effect my running later this year.

Interesting Week – Week In Review 1-14-18

Wow!!! January is just about half over, can you believe it!!!

Yeah it WAS an interesting week:

The weather – it is still the big news around here.

Well at least, since I don’t talk about politics, religion or other in the news crap here. There is plenty about all of those subjects going on to keep us busy until the next millennium. All those third-rail subjects that take up so much of everyone’s time, energy and blood pressure.

I follow along, but…well at some point everything becomes overload and I just focus on the little part of the world that I can have an effect on. Then I go for a run. 🙂

We did have a decent January Thaw after that gawd-awful deep-freeze we had been in since before Christmas and I actually got to run outside a couple of times. I won’t say it was particularly warm, but it was runnable, although the roads were still pretty crappy.

During the thaw I did get a chance to get the snow off the roof, there was just a lot of snow still up there and it needed to come off.

I am not a fan of standing up on a ladder and using a roof rake to pull snow down at me (roofs, ladders and me are not a great combination). It is an eerie sensation to watch four feet of snow, over ten feet wide go by you inches away, knowing that there is nothing you can do but stand there and hope that it doesn’t somehow catch your ladder on the way by.

However, it had to be done, because…

On Friday the rains came and lasted through Saturday morning – I would have hate to have seen all that rain be snow, it would have been measured in feet, not inches. Once the rain stopped and a quick freezing rain/snow line went through we went into a “flash” freeze which made things nasty as hell.

Around us, there was a lot of flooding on the Kennebec and with so many of the street drains being clogged there was some bad flooding on local streets in the local towns as well. Not good, especially when down in Hallowell (where I run quite a bit – in back of Main Street) cars and trucks that park down there were underwater. See the article below from the local newspaper if you are interested.

https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/01/14/flooding-puts-areas-of-augusta-hallowell-under-icy-water/

For us, it just meant a lot of ice in the driveway and the leech bed field flooded out a little and now we are back to single-digit temps and sub-zero as I finish editing this post, which whether I like it or not – it is now more seasonable.

Alright enough about the weather, what about running?

The treadmill and I still remain good friends, although I did get to run outside twice. Neither run was exceptionally fast or anything, but they were outside. I do know that running outside is different than running on the treadmill, but I will use the tools that I have at my disposal to get miles in during the wintah, up heah.

Monday – Treadmill and Elliptical

Tuesday – Treadmill and Elliptical

Wednesday – First run outside in 2018 and Elliptical

Thursday – Pepin Way 4.0 Miler and Elliptical

Friday – Treadmill and Elliptical

Saturday – Rest/DNR – Between the rain and the ice, didn’t really want to run or drive outside too much. Although I did enough to get in 20,000 steps.

Sunday – Treadmill only.

I got up to 30 miles running and felt pretty good – no major ouchies or other things. I had a couple of decent treadmill runs and enjoyed the outside even with the crappy road conditions.

Plus I got almost 50 miles of elliptical work done too. Which meant my activity level was damn near 80 (79.6) miles for the week. Yeah, the legs and old body was a bit tired after that much work. I still say that keeping things in the 60 mile range combined would probably be a better balance of workload, but believe it or not I am enjoying the trips I take on the Elliptical via my iPad and YouTube.

Yea, I know that elliptical miles do not equal running miles. That is a given, but I am getting my legs more used to turning over at a faster rate for longer periods of time than I would be able to just running. That sub-5:00 minute mile on the elliptical, does seem to help my leg turnover on the treadmill. I haven’t run outside in decent conditions yet, so I am not sure just how much it is actually helping my running? We will see if it does make a difference.

Getting outside however, was a change of pace that I needed.

For the first time in a while, I ran in shoes other than the Yellow Gravity 3’s. See my Newton Gravity 3 – 50 mile review here.

First up were the Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent, which I wear as my outside shoes for most everything nowadays. However, as much as I like them for walking in, I am not so sure they are my answer as far as trail runners go.

They did well, but (isn’t there always a but) the grip was not that great in the snow/slush/ice combo that was on the road outside the house and I didn’t find them particularly comfortable to run in.

It might have something to do with the cold and how it affects the midsole when I run in them??? Also the lack of grip at times makes me wonder how they will do on technical, muddy and rocky trails, where I want to remain upright – we will see.

The second pair were the Newton Gravity 5’s and the day I ran outside in them Pepin Way was crap. So I got a really good idea of how they would do – not too bad. Actually felt a little more solid grip on the SLUR than I felt in the U/A’s (the big front lugs help). However, they do feel like a different shoe than the Gravity 3’s, which is odd seeing they are supposedly the same model, just a different year. Just going to have to run more in them to figure it out.

Another very good week, where I work around what Mother Nature decides is best for us in her wisdom or is that…well whatever. Each year I dislike the winters more and get more meechy about running outside in crappy/cold conditions. I know that a lot of it is in my head and that I could if I wanted to just run outside.

I just don’t want to anymore.

In other words, I am consciously making the choice to run in shorts/t-shirt on the treadmill more this year. I guess I just don’t enjoy those cold days and the challenges of staying upright as much as I used to.

Getting old has changed some of my perspectives on how I look at and do certain parts of my running and other things – for better and worse.

See you next week.

Finishing Things Up – Week In Review 12-17-17

Sometimes it just feels great and also a relief to finish things up.

Although Bennie was pretty relaxed this morning before heading out into 5*F temps and it was my favorite photo of the week.

Bennie looked like he was saying “Why are you bothering me?”

The good news was that on Friday we closed on the house in New Hampshire, which is the beginning of the final chapter of a very long summer that started back on June 2nd. We went through a lot of tears, work and out of pocket expense to get to this point and I am proud of how much we accomplished over the last six months. Friday provided some badly needed closure on a very difficult time in our lives.

Now that it is done, I know that I feel a profound sense of relief that this part of the journey is over.

We can now turn the page and start the next chapter in our lives without having to worry about that three hours plus one-way time, it took to travel to New Hampshire during the winter hanging over our heads.

A very good thing.

What will we do with our time going forward?

Relax a little…well a lot.

Get to enjoy the retired life and lack of having to be places, unless we chose to. That idea that our time, is our time again.

Then get back into a more regular routine, catch up on some work around our house that was neglected because we were so busy in New Hampshire and get back to taking better care of ourselves. However, for the next week or so, we will enjoy the holidays and get ready for Christmas.

So how did this week go with my running?

With everything going on and looking at the extended weather forecast last week, I predicted that this would be a cut-back week and I was correct in that prediction. I got in 23 miles and three out of five of those runs were on the treadmill. We are in the midst of a cold snap, the like of which, we don’t usually see until January. Below zero and single-digit temps have occurred all too often, which inhibits my running outside for any longer runs.

Oh, I know that I could probably do them, but I don’t like to run in that kind of cold anymore and where we live it is a bit of a safety issue. Especially, since you can get in trouble pretty quickly in that kind of weather and if I run from the house, the availability of safe places are much more limited in a rural area. I will also admit that I have gotten a good deal wimpier when it comes to cold weather and running outside. I take the easy way out and run on the treadmill.

Plus we got a snow/rain/ice storm on Tuesday that makes running on the road shoulders pretty treacherous when cars go wizzing by. So my paces outside have definitely slowed considerably between the combination of cold and ice. However, I have run pretty well on the treadmill and while I don’t like it as much as running outside, it does allow me to keep running – safely.

That is more important at this stage of my life and training.

This was also the week of the Hoka Bondi 5’s. Since I ran three times on the treadmill and wanted to get the Garmin footpod calibrated before I did. I ran 4/5 runs this week in them. Even now I am still not sure they are part of the answer or not.

They fit fine and have plenty of padding. However, when I run in them whether on the treadmill or roads, the bottoms of my feet bother, not enough to stop at 3-4 miles, but by the time 5 miles come around I am more than ready to stop. Once I stop things are fine, so it is not anything serious, but it is not how I want to feel in my running shoes when running. I am not sure if they just need more break-in time for the insole or if I need to change them out. If that doesn’t work than I will have some thinking about what I want to do with them.

I do think that I got my Garmin FR230 calibrated pretty closely to the treadmill and will know better the next time I run on one. It seems that 86% or 85% is the magic number for this particular way of calibrating my Garmin to the footpod. Not what I expected, but if it works, I am not going to complain.

Overall, a pretty exciting week and one where we were able to turn the page on New Hampshire. As much as I like Lancaster and the people there it is now time to move on and take back our lives. Running will continue to be a big part of what I do going forward.