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.


Getting back to more mundane things and even some running. Continue reading “A Tough Week – Week Ending 6/11/17”

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:

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 “Another Week Done – 5-28-17”

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


Bennie getting warm again after running in 40’s and rain. Continue reading “Week in Review – 5-14-17”

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:

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.


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.

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.



A Few More Changes – Week In Review 4/23/17

Well there, a week of being sick, not feeling too bad, feeling like crap and back to just pushing through feeling like crap. I hate weeks like that, you aren’t feeling bad enough to stay home from work, but you sure as hell are not your normal, zippy self and just try to tough things out. That was pretty much the story of last week and then finally on Saturday – well I gave in.


For me to sit around and not do too much more than work on the computer, sleep and walk Bennie, well that means things ain’t all that good. I felt a bit better Sunday, but I am still not back to 100%, closer to 70%, so it will have to do.

Okay enough whining. Continue reading “A Few More Changes – Week In Review 4/23/17”

Too Much Going On – Week In Review 4-9-17

Yeah, too damn much going on this week, Dad’s hospital visits, battling some Plantar Faciitis crap and still trying to get a few miles in.


First and foremost.

Dad is doing okay, he went inpatient to the hospital twice this week, which got everyone a bit stressed out, got a couple of transfusions, stress tested, was told by one doctor that he was just getting old and could go home for the second time (same one who released him too soon the first time), who in turn got told to not to bother ever come back by my sister and after that change treatment improved a lot.

A little excitement, a few chuckles and more than a little worrying about him made for a very long week. However, while he is still weak, he seems to be stable, home and hopefully making progress. Time will tell on this one.

Running Continue reading “Too Much Going On – Week In Review 4-9-17”

Cut-Back Week – 3-19-17

Every 3-4 weeks or so, I like, want and need to have a cut-back week, where I reduce my mileage, relax, eat worse and don’t worry so much about running — well I still think about it and act as if I am going to do more, but not actually get out the door as much as I want to.

That fake myself out to get some rest and recuperation time.

Yes, it is a concession to being older, but it is also doing something that I have never been that good at – being smarter about my running, instead of  always doing Harold being Harold stuff.

Week in REview 3-19-17It probably helped that we had a blizzard in the middle of the week (the snow removal always wears me out), it has been single digits to start the day way too often and that I am getting tired of running on the treadmill. When you put all of that together – well a cut-back week happens pretty organically.  Continue reading “Cut-Back Week – 3-19-17”