Looking Back – RunLog 8-20-17

A good week of running.

Well mostly…I ran over 30 miles so that part was good, but I had to figure what shoes to do it in when my Brooks Ghost 10’s blistered my right Achilles, so bad that I couldn’t run in anything but my Hoka Infinite’s without making the blister worse.

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More of a pain in the butt, but an uncomfortable pain that I didn’t want to put up with

This gave me a great opportunity to really figure out whether the Infinite’s were really keepers or just another pair of shoes that were close, but not quite what I want. I will be doing a 50 mile review on them, but the toe box is still not quite wide enough in a D-width. Not really keepers, except for temporary use when nothing else is working.

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I also got a chance to play shoe surgeon and operated on the upper heel cup of the Ghost’s, it helped, but not quite enough. Even after removing the offending parts and reshaping the heel to a more notched design, there was still a little too much irritation for my still tender Achilles to play in them again right away.

Which meant that I had to get another pair of running shoes and you can read about my adventures here.

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Yeah I ended up with the Under Armour Bandit 3’s, I liked the Bandit 2’s, that I had last summer, but they had fatal flaw that when I cornered my foot would go over the edge of the sole. Not a good thing, so before I decided on the 3’s I made sure that my foot stayed in the footbed, when I was trying them on. I will see how they do once the upper stretches out a little.

They did a 7.0 mile run, with 5.0 quality miles out of the box, so they started out pretty good.

Thursday and Friday were not good days, I felt like crap both days, but just pushed through to keep on keeping on. I mention it, just to remind me that after going upta camp, I was not 100%.

Running

I was finally able to get back over 30 miles for the week. Which was the idea I had for most of the summer – not that I was able to do it very often with everything going on.

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I ran a couple of times over in Lancaster and while the blister on my right Achilles did affect things a little, it was more of a distraction than anything. However, it was enough that I didn’t want to deal with those issues.

Most of the runs overall were either easy – Level 1 or in the No Zone, so it looks by the summary data that I didn’t have much in the way of quality runs. Mmmm not so fast, even though the average pace of the runs say one thing, I actually had some very fast paces and better efforts than the data shows.

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A good week of running.

Running Shoes

Under Armour Bandit 3

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A surprise choice to replace the Ghosts. 7.0 miles out of the box was a good start for me at this point. Comfortable and for a D-width they feel pretty good in the toe box. It is too early to have any real feeling about them.

Brooks Ghost 10

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I like the way that I run in them, but not the way they chewed up my right Achilles tendon and blistered it. Shoe surgery might work after everything heals completely, but things are still a bit too tender to run in them right now.

Hoka Infinite

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The only shoes that I had in the house that I could wear and not have it bother my blister. They simply are not wide enough in the toe box to run comfortably in. I can run in them, but the discomfort factor does rear its head after a while and I am limited to 5-6 miles before I have to shut down.

Injuries

Not really any injuries, more like little niggles and some discomfort. By the end of the week:

  1. the right achilles and the blister issues
  2. the outside of my right foot didn’t like me a lot when I got over 5 miles (probably something to do with road crown) and the shoes I had on
  3. the left Achilles wasn’t impressed earlier in the week when I attempted to run longer
  4. the left inside ankle was bothering just walking in the WR20’s

I still was able to run through these relatively minor annoyances, although they did limit the distance I was able to run at a time. As you get older you don’t get the option of waiting to run when everything feels great, if you want to run you have to deal with the little things.

The only thing that I hate is when it is a shoe related discomfort and you have control over whether to wear those shoes or not. That is why I have gone through so many running shoes this year, I am looking for a pair that allow me to just run – still.

Summary

Overall, a good week of running and hopefully I found a pair of shoes that I can run in. Time will tell, but I am ever hopeful.

Week in Review – 8-13-17

Last week was another busy week, what else is new – right.

I thought things were supposed to move at a slower pace once you retire. With us it seems like everything is moving at light speed as we attempt to keep moving forward.

We said a sad farewell to Jeremiah (Phil’s cat that we adopted), he had a pre-existing condition that no one knew about until last week. Although his time with us was short, I really believe that he learned to love our home, which also became his.

We drove over to New Hampshire twice to work on the house in Lancaster. We are finally getting to the point where things are more about getting contractors lined up to fix things that we can’t, take the last things to the transfer station and so on. Now it is more about getting through the probate process and moving on.

One thing about the traveling to New Hampshire so much, is spending all that time together in the truck or car has given us the chance to grow even closer than we were back before all this happened.

Plus we discovered the Little Red Hen Bakery in Bethel…a very dangerous place to stop and it has become a regular stop when we go through Bethel. The cinnamon rolls, raspberry/white chocolate chip scones and whoopie pies are too damn good to resist.

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Running

I didn’t quite make my goal of 30 miles for the week, finishing at 29.2, but was “fairly” close, so I can’t complain too much.

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I was still having problems with my left ankle area once I got over 3-4 miles on a run, which limited my ability to get the distances I really wanted. That is, unless I start to consistently do shorter, but more double runs. Something that I am attempting to avoid if I can.

However, I will do what I need to do to keep running.

Bennie has been doing more walking than running this summer. He is 8-9 years old now and is sssshhhhh starting to slow down a little. He does not do as well on the high heat or humidity days, so I have started to let him decide whether we run or walk to start on his longer walk/run. If he takes the leash in his mouth and pulls on it we run, if he just starts down the road we walk. It seems to be working pretty good and he knows what he wants to do that day.

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Bennie Bean

After we get going if we are running I keep a close watch on how he’s doing after the first mile. If he is struggling we take more breaks and if he starts to walk versus taking off to run again – we walk.

Although Coach Bennie is working on faster intervals when he does deign to run with the slow old fart :-).

I am pretty happy with the progress that I am making with running consistently and now that I am in my new age group I suppose that I have start looking around for a 5K or 10K race or two to see where I am with my conditioning. Although I haven’t been able to do a lot of sustained speedwork due to the left ankle/Achilles issues I have been battling for a while.

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Running Shoes

I like my Mizuno Wave Rider 20’s a lot, they fit well and I can use them for any work well for any workout that I do.

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However, since I started running in them I have had more problems with my left ankle area – which I have had in the past and were a result of shoes that were not quite right for me. So I decided to get a different brand to see if the ankle pain persisted or if it was just me getting to be an old fart.

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When I got in the Brooks Ghost 10’s, (from Bennie for my birthday), they felt comfortable, but during the second run, I got a small blister on my right Achilles tendon, which I attribute to the rounded design of the Brook’s heel versus the notched Achilles heel that I prefer. It is a small pain-in-the-arse thing and nothing serious.

When I ran 4.0 today with Bennie, I didn’t notice that left ankle discomfort, so I am hopeful they are part of the solution, but I am going to take it slowly to give that a little more time to get over how it felt before. But I am hopeful.

One thing I did notice is that the Ghost 10’s in size 8.0 are longer than my Mizuno’s or Adidas. Not that it really makes a difference, but it is something that I noticed.

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Overall, it was a decent – not great week of running, but once I get this blister area on my right Achilles healed up, I have a feeling that the Ghost 10’s will be fine and the WR20’s will be for shorter runs and all the walking I do.

I would love to be able to run a few longer runs, but that left ankle discomfort was limiting how far I could comfortably run…now we will see.

Week In Review – 7-23-17

Another week in the books and yes, it finally feels like I am doing something more than being on vacation – a helluva lot of work is getting done versus being on vacation.

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Went over to NH again and worked around the house and camp again, but the trips to the transfer station, should slow down quite a bit. However, now comes the fun part, lining up the contractors to fix things that need to be fixed (now that we can move around in the house) and working through the other stuff that still needs to be done. No where close to being done, but now it is process related versus everything else.

We are getting things done around our own house too and are starting to get rid of old junk that we have just lying around, we learned a lot about the importance of being minimalistic when it comes to possessions. We will have our own yard sale to get rid of what we can, then take the rest to Good Will. They can deal with the rest of it.

Running-wise, I actually ran in a race (read about it here) and while I did about what I expected to do based on what my conditioning actually is, it gives me a baseline and room for improvement as I get ready to move to that next age group in a few weeks. It is a bit sad to know that it was probably my last race as a 50-something, but as they say “time marches on”.

My week looked like this: Continue reading

Retirement Week #1 – Week In Review

There, I survived being retired…well week #1 anyway!

Let’s get one thing straight I am not a carpenter, plumber, mechanic, electrician or any of the other trades.

I am a career paper pusher, teacher or computer geek – who knows enough about all that other stuff to be dangerous, not overly proficient in any trade or able to cut a straight line. However, I am in decent shape, know how to work, talk to people and am not afraid of physical labor or attempting something new/different when it comes to repairing something.

This week was definitely a LOT of doing, not just thinking about it or playing on the computer.

New Family Member

We did add a new critter to the menagerie – Jeremiah. Phil’s cat who was in the shelter since the first of June. We decided that he needed to come home with us, since he wasn’t being adopted over there. I won’t lie – the first couple of days back here were not all that fun and I have several puncture wounds to prove it.

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However, Jeremiah has calmed down a little and is acclimating to his new home. We are sure there will be some more “interesting” moments from him as he continues to adjust – I just hope that my arms don’t have too many more puncture marks from his claws.

Welcome home Jeremiah – this will be your forever home. Continue reading

A Tough Week – Week Ending 6/11/17

Last week I attended the funeral of my brother-in-law Phil on Thursday – it was not something that I expected to do for many more years.

 

Since Mary’s brother Phil died unexpectedly of natural causes on June 1st, there has been a lot of grieving, pain and yes, more than a little hard work. Phil’s sudden loss has also been an eye-opening experience for me.

Since his death I have repeatedly asked myself:

  • What is important?
  • What are my priorities?
  • How do I want to live my life with whatever time I have left?
  • How do I want to leave things for others when I do pass (hopefully many years from now)?

The three plus hour one way drive to Phil’s house, has given me a lot of time think about those questions and a multitude of others that we ask ourselves after someone close to you dies unexpectedly.

Books are written on this subject so a weekly summary blog post is not going to do it justice, but needless to say the wheels have been set in motion for changes for me/us going forward.

Now it will be interesting to see where it leads.

Running

Getting back to more mundane things and even some running. Continue reading

Another Week Done – 5-28-17

This has been one of those good weeks and three days into a five-day weekend (which is much needed at this point) has been, well needed.

My favorite photo from the week was:

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I am not fond of snakes, but this one has been sunning itself by the front steps and has been named Sally.

It has been a very good week for running, I don’t know what my pace has been for the most part, but at the same time I sort of, well almost followed the running plan for the week. Well not really really…take a look. Continue reading

Week in Review – 5-14-17

A little late publishing, but life got in the way again.

Okay, enough with the rain and the clouds, we need to see the sun! Yeah, I am still whining about the weather, just a different season. At least there isn’t any snow to clean-up (although some parts of Western Maine and NH did see a little bit) in the yard and the temps don’t have me wearing my winter parka. So there is hope for better weather, then I will be whining that it is so damn hot.

I guess you can’t please me unless it is 60* to 70*F, bright sun and a light breeze ;-).

Here is my favorite photo of the week

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Bennie getting warm again after running in 40’s and rain. Continue reading

Running and Reflecting This Week – 5-7-17

It was a pretty good week for running in spite of work being hectic and I am continuing to learn more getting back to running without GPS and figuring out my running shoe rotation. Also I had a few thoughts about Nike’s attempt at #breakingtwo.

My favorite photo of the week was:

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Wet and foggy

It is the week before Finals week or what I call Hell Week at work – so work has been a bit hectic getting ready for it and as a result, my total time running this week was down compared to last week.

Realistically, I expect the next week to be even less time running, because my focus will be on proctoring and processing hundreds of tests at our Test Center and also processing exams from our outlying Centers and Sites.

Yeah, hell week. 😉

Even though I don’t usually involve myself or write about the big goings on in running, I wrote a little about Nike’s attempt at #breakingtwo here and here. I think what they attempted was a good thing for running. While I have nothing in common with elite marathoners other than I set one foot in front of the other and they do also, I am still interested in their exploits and have a layman’s opinion about this story.

My Own Experiment

It has been almost two weeks since I put my GPS Watch on the shelf.

How has it gone?

The first week was tough mentally, however, when I put my GPS on the shelf, I also changed how I tracked my runs to only worrying about running time and stopped tracking time or pace. I really don’t think that I could have done as well as I have, if I had continued to track runs by distance/pace. Still it as a huge change of perspective to change from years of tracking my running by miles/time/pace to only tracking by time.

One of the biggest things that I figured out over this week was that I was always racing the GPS and the data it gave me after a run was over. I learned that I was overly worried about where the pace changed and trying to keep the pace consistent or faster than I really needed to on my easy runs.

Now that I am running with just a Ironman watch, all I worry about a consistent effort. At this point I don’t have a good feeling for what my pace is right now – although I can tell when I am running easy, comfortably hard, hard or fast for me. Which is enough for now, as I re-learn how to tell what is my pace, without using the GPS. Which means that I might just have to go to the track a few times to see where I am.

Will I get out the GPS watches again?

Yes, I will probably use it when I do my long run and for speed work. More for the recording what I am doing and giving me the data to look at later, rather than attempting use it to maintain a certain pace during a run.

To be honest, I am enjoying the freedom that running without a GPS watch has given me and could see me ignoring going back to GPS altogether at some point in the near future.

How was my running this week?

Not as good or as I much total time as I wanted, but better than I thought it would be. Lots of rain was contended with, which soaked my Vomero’s so much that I didn’t want to run in them for a couple of days.

The good thing about running mostly in the Vomero 11’s this week my Plantar Faciitis was improving considerably.

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That was until Saturday when I wore my Guide 9’s after running and re-aggravated it. Which was frustrating as all get out, because I like the G9’s, but I have to get this PF healed up, so I can get back to running comfortably. I will put them away for a few weeks, but that meant that I needed one more pair of running shoes to alternate with the Vomero’s.

So I went out back of the garage and tried on several pair of my old running shoes that were in the give-away pile, but luckilyhadn’t left yet. I can’t go and buy another pair of running shoes everytime something goes wrong with shoes I currently have. Especially, when I think they will be fine when the foot finally heals up.

Surprisingly, when I put on my old Puma Speed Ignite 600’s, they felt just about as wide in the toe box as my Vomero 11 or the Guide 9’s, which are both EE-width shoes. The only problem that I really had with those shoes was where and how the Puma and Everfit overlays pressed on my right foot’s Tailor’s bunionette.

Last week I wrote a post about Cinderella running shoes and how back in the day, we performed surgery on running shoes to get them to fit better. So when I got to looking at the 600’s, they looked like a good surgery candidate.

Unfortunately, the Puma 600’s have the Everfit system and Puma’s Form Stripe (Logo) welded to the shoe, so even when I removed the little stitching that was there, they were still completely attached to the upper.

Which meant that I had to do some very careful knife work to get enough of the material off the shoe, so that it wouldn’t press against my foot while running or walking in the 600’s. Putting the hair dryer on high and running it against the overlays for about 5 minutes helped to soften them up enough that I was able to cut away about an inch of the overlays.

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Not the prettiest I have ever done

Yeah, I got litte more of the outer layer of the upper than I wanted, but cutting in the welded overlay ain’t all that easy.

I think I got just enough material off to make them wearable.

I did run for 35:00 minutes in them this morning and the shoes felt good, but now I have to figure out which socks to wear with them – if I remember correctly they were finicky about the socks that worked even when I was running in them this winter and those that wore today didn’t work too well.

Overall a week of progress, thinking about running, remembering how to modify running shoes, getting a bit wet on several runs, but most importantly I was able to run and not feel nearly as much discomfort from my left foot as I have had for more than a few weeks.