Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Lot Going On & A Couple of Runs - RunLog 6-30-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Bennie hasn't been "right" lately and this morning he had no interest in running, so we walked a mile and tonight we talked about how he has been this week and will be making a Vet appointment for him as soon as we can get him tomorrow.

I hope the little fella is doing okay.

After sitting with Mary, (we spend as much time together as we can - we enjoy one another's company), while she ate her breakfast before her last PT apt for her wrist. It is doing better, but not 100% and probably will never be. However, she is stubborn and does more than anyone else know would/could do with the way I know it still bothers her.

After she left for her appointment, I went for a run down-back alone. The only thing I was going to do was put forth a consistent effort and not have to stop just about the time that I got going good.

The first 2.0 miles were really good, nice paces, not pushing, but feeling comfortable. Then once I got going back up Steven's Hill, I just ran out of gas. My current conditioning didn't have enough ummpphh to keep it going up the hill and at that point I lost focus and the last mile didn't do as well, even though I thought/felt that the effort was still there while I was running.

Run #2

I wasn't sure that I would run again in the afternoon or not. It depended on how the left leg was feeling - because I know that I need to slowly rebuild my mileage back to where I want it 30-40 miles per week, with one long run and a track workout/race per week.

However, I know that I am not at the point where I can do a long run or even attempt to run fast yet. Gotta rebuild the base first, the last 6 weeks really screwed that up.

The leg didn't feel too bad, a little sore, but not as bad as it has been. So I figured that I would go out slow and see how things felt.

Once I got going, the leg didn't feel any worse, so I just relaxed and ran comfortably down Leighton Road. Instead of turn up into the backside, I decided to head on down a little further and see if I could get over 3.0 total.

I did great until I got back by TWC, where I had to play with a little traffic and I ran out of gas/focus. At that point I just plugged it back to the finish.

Overall, a really good day, but I am worried about the Bean and hope that it isn't anything serious. We will get the first available appointment to find out what is going on. After all he is my best buddy :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quarry Road 3K - Race Recap 6/28/16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

This is not a pity party post, so don't take it as that. It is more about me writing down my frustrations about being injured and attempting to do more than I should at this point in the recovery process.

Something that I tend to be an expert at.

Last night I ran in the Quarry Road 3K race. I enjoyed seeing and talking with a bunch of people (Brian, Steph, Patrick, Julie and all the rest) I haven't seen in a while, getting out of the house and actually running in my first race since this damned Achilles tendinitis/left leg episode.

No the course is not that tough, though it has a lot of bumps, it is mostly groomed gravel paths. I have run over there many, many times, so I know what to expect, but...well to be honest, I was bit disappointed with the results.

I know I went into the race with very modest goals:

  • finish
  • not aggravate the tendinitis too bad

Yeah, secretly I wanted to finish sub 18:00 and sub 16:00 would have been even better.

  • I did finish - Although last night, I seriously thought about popping out to the road and jogging back at the turn around. I didn't, but I thought about it. Running on the hills/uneven surface was beating the left leg up too much.
  • The left leg barked a little more than I wanted it too, especially over the last mile
  • Yeah, 19:02 finishing time - a race at over 9:00 minute mile pace, ungghhh. I have not run 2.0 miles that slow in a race in years.

Not exactly what I would call a huge confidence builder, but at least this morning I can still walk on the leg, even though it is a bit more sore than I want it to be.

Actually, when I was doing the warm-up, I was running faster than I did during the race in spots, so I did learn that an almost 1.7 mile warm-up is a little too far when it is 77*F and humid.

The top results are pretty soft, so I tend to ignore them, that slowest point is when I almost stopped and walked it in. Then I decided to just finish it up.

While it Quarry Road is mostly groomed gravel, there are enough bumps that it was aggravating my leg a bit too much. I think the steeper downhills bothered almost as much as the uphills did.

The reality is that

I haven't been running faster paces in training and that I have lost a LOT of conditioning over the past 6 weeks (it is easier to loose it as you get older and then a helluva lot harder to get it back). Which means that realistically, I ran the race at the paces I have been running at lately - which is to be expected.

IF You don't train to run faster, you don't race fast.

Just the way it is.

So it seems that this will be the summer of slower running, until the left leg issues resolve themselves (it is more than just the Achilles tendon) and I can get back to training versus simply running (there is a big difference).

I kind of knew this was going to happen just this way and I just didn't want to admit it to myself. The leg isn't healed enough to do trail stuff yet and I am not in good enough shape to do the times I expect of myself.

Which means I am probably about another month out from racing or trail running and being able to do it without beating myself up too much over the results.

Yeah, it is hard on the psyche to finish with times that well off what you usually do, but at the same time it is progress and at least I am running.

Gotta stay positive :-).

It does give me a measuring point of how much work I do have to do now to get back in shape. No more delusions of grandeur, if I am not running well and training, I get fatter and slower, not faster and skinnier.

Reality sucks sometimes.

Gotta do the work!!!

Rain At Last - RunLog 6-29-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

This morning when Bennie and I got out for our first walk, had a lot in common with Cows and a flat rock. Yeah, it was raining just about that hard and it started raining harder when we got halfway down the driveway. He turned around, found a convenient tree, stood there 3-legged for a bit and then trotted off for the house.

Smart dawg.

At about 9:00 the storm had passed and I had finished my rehab work on the legs, so it was time for our run. For the first time since I bought the LG7s, I ran in something else. My old PI H3's. They are the highest "drop" of my PI stuff and I had planned to do another run later and didn't want my Nike's all mud and stuff from running down-back.

More on them later.

Yeah, I hate to admit it, but my left leg was sore from last night's race and warm-up at Quarry Road - that old do a little too much kind of thing that I am so good at. Luckily, it wasn't so bad that I couldn't run this morning, more it was there to tell me quite loudly if I was doing too much.

Actually, for as much rain as we got overnight the dirt road down-back was in decent shape. A little squishy in places, but not as bad as I thought it would be. So we were able to put together a couple of pretty good miles, before heading back up Stevens Hill, where I just can't generate enough umph to do much more than plug along up the hill.

Once we got back to the house I had planned to pick it up a little for a lap around Howard Circle, but we met Mary and she turned around to gab and run with us. So we didn't pick up the pace, but we did run about half mile further than we would have otherwise. So it was a good trade-off

The second run didn't happen, my leg was a little too sore to do another run today, so I took the afternoon off and will do some more of my rehab exercises tonight, they seem to be long as I stay away from trails and running too fast ;-).

The H3's did fine and like all PIs EM series shoes for me, they just ran smooth. However, after I was done, my leg just felt more sore than it does in the LG7's??? I don't know if it is my imagination or if it is something about how they fit or how I run in them, but my leg didn't like it all that much. So I will get back to running in the Nike's and keep the PI's on the shelf, until this leg thing resolves itself and I can run in them without the soreness developing as much.

Overall, a pretty good day of running.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Getting Closer - Week In Review 6-26-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

I almost made 20 miles again this week, but only ended up with 19.2, so close and yes I could have gone out and done one more mile this afternoon. However, I wanted to get through a week without doing any doubles and one day off.

Accomplished that.

Still struggling with the Achilles Tendonitis stuff, but it is getting better. Still not where I want to be, but at least I am running a little more consistently and not paying for every step I take after I get done running. So there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is just a long damn tunnel.

We did get to go to the Portland Sea Dogs game on Saturday night. It was the first time in probably 10 years we have gone to a game, so it was fun, but the food is expensive, too many rude people and the Sea Dogs lost. It makes me remember why I don't go to very many public venues anymore.

Will I go back to see the Sea Dogs, maybe, but probably not again this summer. I was on sensory overload for most of the night, just too much going on around me that I am not used to anymore.

Favorite Photo This Week:

Longer than Usual - RunLog 6-26-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

We went to the Sea Dogs game last night
A nice day for running earlier in the morning, unfortunately we ran a bit later than we should have. It wasn't awful, but it was just starting to get warmish.

The sweating felt good, Bennie was reasonable, although a couple of times we were just getting going and he would bolt over to what to him was a GREAT sniff.

The bad parts was that it meant that I had to stop and start yet again. Stopping and starting ain't bad, but sometimes it is difficult to get a good "flow" going for your run.

In other words it was a typical Bennie run. Although we did a pretty good surge in when the truck was speed checking us...he said you are doing great -- 10 mph ;-). I wanted ask if he wanted to trade places at that point, but didn't. Probably, I should have been more of an anchor, but it felt good to stretch the legs out a little and for a change I didn't pay for it too badly.

Then when we got back up by the house, Mary was coming back down the road and turned around to go a little ways with us. Well it turned out to be the last mile and we got to gab about things, so it was good. However, I needed one more mile to get to 20 for the week, but Bennie's tongue was starting to drag on the road, so I shut it down.

The hard reset of the Garmin 310XT seems to have worked, no problems today. It seems about once every 4-6 months, it is something that I need to do with it. So when it starts acting wonky again, I will be more apt to do the reset.

This was my longest run in a while and I didn't want to push it any further. Maybe I will go out and do one just to get to that 20 mile mark later this afternoon, then again, it is in the 80's and I am feeling pretty good just sitting here relaxing with Bennie napping on my feet.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

At the ball game

via Instagram

At a Portland Sea Dogs game

via Instagram

Tech is Great When it Works - RunLog 6-25-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Running with Bennie this morning was tough.

For the first mile it was fine, after that he lost interest and was the anchor today, instead of it being me. Once we got back to the top of Blake Hill and Mary turned around to run with us, he perked up a little. Then by the time we got back tot he house he was ready to keep going.

Strange little beastlet.

As we were getting back on the the tar by the Steven's house, I looked down to see how we were doing and saw that my Garmin had stopped -- again. The auto-pause screwed up when we first started out again and then somewhere right after we met up with Mary it screwed up again.

That little short cut would have taken me through a pretty nasty bog and stuff, so I don't think that is the way we went.

So when I got home, I uploaded the data from today's run and did a reboot of the whole system to see if that solves the problem. I hope it does because I like the watch, but if it keeps messing up like this, I will go back to my old FR10. It might be slow to acquire the satellites, but it was always pretty rock solid when it comes to reasonable accuracy.

My Garmin 310XT is only a year old, but build-wise it probably sat in storage for a long time and was built several years ago before I bought it on clearance.

Technology is great when it works, but a pain in the arse when it ain't. :-)

There were a couple of races that I really wanted to do this weekend in Fairfield today and the Rail Trail tomorrow, that I am not even going to go to, because I would be too tempted to run. Then I would probably run too hard and be 5 steps backwards, instead of the usual 2.

Oh well, a good run, finished up mowing the edges between the lawn and the woods and now to get ready to go down to Portland to see the Sea Dogs and Yoan Moncada. I wonder if he will turn out as good as the reports say he will.

Busy day, but a good one.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Better Today - RunLog 6-24-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

I took yesterday off, the left leg was feeling a bit sore and I had run for 11 days in row, so it was time for a rest day. It was a good choice, the leg felt quite a bit better this morning and good enough to run on this after during lunch.

That morning run thing, well the body just ain't ready for it yet. Someday soon, but not yet.

However, even though it was feeling a lot better, I planned to be pretty conservative and cap it at 2.0 miles and avoid any hills.

The day was gorgeous, pretty much a perfect summer day, mid 70’s, a light breeze and plenty of sunshine. One of those top 10 days.

Which meant that my mind wanted to run faster and the leg kept reminding me that I was not supposed to run fast today. Although the Garmin says I was going "faster", I wasn't it might have been around 8:30, but not faster than that, so I have a feeling the stats are pretty inaccurate and it was closer to a 9:00 minute pace than 8:00 minute.

Looking at the rest of the run, I have a feeling that I wasn't working any harder at the start. Although thinking back I was breathing pretty hard at the start....hehehehe no I wasn't running sub 7:00's and not realizing it.

Eventually, the body got its way and I finally settled into a comfortable pace and remembered to shorten up the stride, which helps the left leg become a happy leg, instead of that garrulous thing that spouts lots of obscenities and questions my sanity with every step.

I think that I might have figured out at least partly, why my leg started bother a little more on Thursday. I ran the UMA trails, Wednesday (the easy section) and today while I was running on the ball field, I noticed that the leg/heel was getting ready to start barking at me. So I turned off into the parking lot and just jogged it in to the finish.

It seems that the slight unevenness underfoot that I don't see or plan how to adjust my landing, bothers my Achilles/Heel area when running on the grass or trails, so that means sticking to the roads and flats when I run for a while, because I know hills ain’t the best thing for it either. 

Which means if I want to run, it needs to flatter, on a decent surface for a while. So either laps on Philbrick, laps around UMA, driving to a most flat course in Waterville or heading down to the Rail Trail for my runs for a little bit. 

Damn, I will be so glad when this finally heals enough to not bother as much. Those kind of runs get pretty monotonous and it means no trail running for a while. Err Quarry Road on Tuesday, but then again, it is the 3K loop and only has bumps not real hills and is fairly well groomed. 

Hmmm if I go slow, hook up with someone who will kick me in the butt if I go too fast, maybe I can do it. Hehehehe we will see won’t we Mr. Achilles.

Nike LunarGlide 7 - 50 Mile Review

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Yeah, I know the Lunar Glide 8's will be coming out in a few weeks and I am just doing a LG7 review...what else is new.

I always seem to be reviewing last year's news.

Nike Lunar Glide 7's
Anyways, I moved back to the Nike Lunar Glides because I wanted a higher drop shoe to run in while recovering from my most recent Achilles issues. There are many that poo-poo how much drop matters and all the other theories or studies they bring to the table...all I know is that in this experiment of one, when my Achilles acts up - I go back to a higher drop and it has worked well for me.

Enough yakking, let's talk about the Nike Lunar Glide 7's.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Nice Morning and a New Dog in the Neighborhood - RunLog 6-22-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Sometimes the weather forecasters get it right!!!

They forecast that we would get rain around 2:00 and shortly thereafter, we got rain. We really needed it and while I usually love running in the rain, today, I decided to relax, take it easy and just eat lunch instead of doing a double today.

Really the main reason is that since I have bumped the mileage up to 3.0 miles or so a day, the left leg tends to get a bit yappy, especially when Bennie decides that he wants to do a little speedwork by chasing a truck and mailman during this morning's run.

Oh yeah, it wasn't raining this morning, low 70's, lots of sun - just a nice morning for an easy run.

Looking at the graph,

I didn't slow down when I got to the dirt road, we had a distraction on the tar (a neighbor yelled to us and wanted to talk for a second), then I purposely sped up a little. That first dip is where we had to wait for a truck to come up the hill. Bennie doesn't do so well with vehicles going the other direction and the road is pretty narrow right there. So it was a choice of running in the ditch or waiting. We waited.

The town is doing some work on the road, pulling the bigger boulders out of the dirt road, so there were new places to be careful of, that were not there before. The ever-changing down-back is the best I can call it.

We got to the Bartlett turn-around and there is a new dog, where someone setup a RV to live in this summer, so Bennie was a pain about leaving without checking things out more closely. The owner was yelling at the dog and it was lunging pretty hard at us, so I had to haul his butt a ways.

This route might have to be changed if they can't keep the new dog safely on it tie-out. It didn't look friendly and was definitely a bigger dog. Sigh same person I have had words with in the past about her dog and got bit once by one that she owned. If it happens this time, just gonna call the cops and not be a good neighbor this time.

Then we had to chase the mailman - at least it was a good distraction to get Bennie moving again. By that time the leg was a little sore, so I slowed down and just trudged it home.

The leg isn't too bad this afternoon, but it ain't 100% ready for faster paces yet either. So it is just as well I am taking the afternoon off, instead of doubling up today. :-

Sore is different than pain, just gotta stop before the pain sets in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trying the UMA Trails for a Bit - RunLog 6-21-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Yep, another warm one, temps over 80, but a nice breeze, so I got to work on getting my sweat on.

I really wanted to go to Quarry Road tonight, but decided that if I haven't run a 5.0 miler comfortably in more than a month, going to an 8K trail race...well it wouldn't be a good idea. You know that once the gun goes off, the temptation to do more than the leg is ready to do, especially with that BFH in the middle of the course.

Which meant that I went ran during my lunch at work and went straight home and relaxed again tonight.

I have a bit of a streak going and the leg is doing pretty good. However, nothing is at faster paces. Oh I might get going, but the leg pretty quickly reminds me that going faster, just is not being smahter.

For the run I decided to see how the leg would do on a groomed trail section. Which meant getting warmed up on the tar section and then heading down the field into UMA Trails, but I decided to avoid the hills section.

I am noticing a pattern -- that as soon as I hit trails or dirt roads, that I seem to automatically slow down, it is not something I am doing consciously, but I seem to be a bit meechy lately, when it comes to changing terrain.

Now that I have become aware of it, I can do a little more about this trend I am starting to see.

Overall, it was a decent run and I learned something that I hadn't thought about before, so hopefully some good will come of this realization. Also, I feel pretty good about not going to Quarry Road and avoiding one of those Harold being Harold things that I am so famous for doing.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things Are Finally Looking Up - Week In Review 6-19-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Well there, I got in 20 miles of running this week, no fast running, but getting mostly right around a 9:00 minute pace is definitely running.

Which means I have stopped feeling sorry for myself, well mostly anyway - I still want to run faster, like Prince's Song "When Doves Cry" - Just like my Father - Never Satisfied."

Speaking of father's -- happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there, especially to Harold Shaw the Senior, who I get a touch of my orneriness from.

Favorite Photo This Week:

One of Dad's favorite photos from back in the 1980's with Old Tuffy

Good Run and a Big Interruption - RunLog 6-19-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

After yesterday's test, I figured that I would be hurting today.

As Gomer Pyle used to say

I actually felt pretty decent.

Yeah, there is still a bit of tightness on the outside of the heel area and the Achilles tends to bark a little coming back up Steven's Hill, but for the most part at least I can run without having to simply suck it up.

Let's get back to the run.

We started out and for about 30 yards, I ran pain-free and felt simply amazing. Then the outside of the left heel area tighten up just slightly, nothing serious, but I gave up any thoughts about just running when that happened.

Someday soon I will just be able to run again, but alas today was not that day.

So I re-shortened my stride and went into plug-along mode.

I did still feel better than I have for a while and figured by the time that we got to Blake that I was going to go to Bartlett and do the 3.3 mile course.

Yep, we had a few Bennie stops, went by Mary, slowed down coming up the hill, sped up a little once we got on the tar and then the neighbor's Great Dane decided that Bennie was going to be a great little chew toy. She came gallumping (not running) out into the road as we went by and we had to stop and tell her to go back to her yard.

She is a good girl and obeyed the neighbor, but I think she secretly wanted to keep running with us and get to run beside that well-muscled handsome devil, named Bennie that gets to run by her house all the time.

But she is a damn big dog.

Overall, a nice run and it was fun even with Lucy coming out to visit us.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Test - Passed - RunLog 6-18-16

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Another one of those post-card perfect days, where Bennie and I got to run and then when we got done, it was too damn nice to just sit inside or start the yard work. So I quickly dropped him off and headed back out to catch up with Mary, to see how the leg would hold up to a little longer run.

The yard work came later and it entailed mowing out by the rock wall (it hasn't been mowed yet this spring) and the roadside so we can see if anything is coming, so that meant the old field big wheel push mower, uneven ground and lots of grunting. Maybe a few swear words were uttered along the way.

In other words today was my test day to see how the leg was going to hold up.

Yeah, I needed to know.

Run #1

I still have to start out pretty slow, because the leg doesn't loosen up for the first half mile or so. Which means that I do not push too hard when we first start out. I also wanted to kick it up to 3.0 miles, for the first time in a while, so I wasn't going to push for speed either.

We ran down to the old Cranberry Bog and turned around. The leg never really loosened up, but it didn't really bother too much as long as I stuck around the 9:00 minute pace. The leg ain't ready for faster stuff, there is still tightness in there that isn't releasing.

Just a real consistently paced run - yeah a little sarcasm there.

Also, on the way back we met Mary heading out for her run and Bennie started to do his tug-o-war to show off or play. He did this about half-way up Steven's Hill and I think I figured out part of the reason that my Achilles has been bothering.

After Bennie starts to pull on the leash, I continue to keep running and with him pulling I change my gait to offset the pull. He typically pulls me to the right and behind, which means when I land with my left foot, I am over-compensating to left and when I land on the uneven dirt road, I did notice more of a pulling on my Achilles this morning. So running with Bennie, when he pulls the leash, might contribute to my Achilles issues when it isn't 100%. It is funny or an inconvenience when it is okay, but right now, not a good thing.

Overall, it was a good run as long as I just plugged along and doing the 3.0+ was a nice confidence builder.

Run #2

Once I dropped off Bennie, I head back out and ran back down-back to meet Mary on her way back. I go down to the Blake Road and she was coming down the little hill. We ran together, gabbed a little and I got to just run easy and free. The slower running does not bother the Achilles, so I can do longer distances as long as I just go slow.

The reality is that

today was the day where I really tested the Achilles, the 3+ with Bennie was good, getting right back out to run with Mary made the total more than 4.5 total and it was a huge confidence builder. Then 4 hours of mowing field, high grass, small trees on uneven ground didn't hurt it. Yeah, it is tired, but right shoulder hurt a lot more than the left Achilles. Which means that it passed today's test.

It doesn't mean that I am going out and racing or doing any faster paced stuff, but it does mean that I am improving.

Oh yeah, how are the Nike LunarGlide 7's doing - just fine.

I did take the laces out last night and put in LockLaces. I am got tired of feeling the laces flopping around, so I replaced them. However, I did use a different lacing pattern than I usually do. I have been reading a little of Lydiard's stuff and saw this pattern, so I figured that I would try it out. It worked fine.