Saturday, October 22, 2016

Good Night Everyone

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

Happy blogoversary!!! Hip, hip hurrah and all that other balderdash and hooplah.

My first blog post ever was on October 21, 2007.

A lot of words, thoughts, smiles, whining and even a few nuggets of wisdom have been passed along over the thousands of blog posts that I have been written over the last 9 years.

Usually, I would go on ad nauseum about this or that and write a long post about how much I have done as a blogger, you know that have diarrhea of the fingers stuff that I usually do, but in all honesty it is time.

Time to say goodnight and farewell to run blogging.

I have thought about this for a while now and as I continue to simplify my life, it seems like the right thing and right time to go ahead and just do it.

Someday, I might come back to blogging again, but probably not here and not as a dedicated runblogger, nope it would just be a small personal blog that doesn't any illusions or is that delusions of grandeur.

As I say good night, I will leave you with one last video

It comes down to time and how I want live it.

Good night everyone.

A Rainy Fall Day

via Instagram

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


via Instagram

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Running Streak Is Definitely Over

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

Well now this has been an unenjoyable two days! To say the least I have not been running.

Sunday night I started to have a headache and felt, well a little off while reading on the couch and having a shitty football game on in the background. I went to bed fully expecting to be just fine.

Err nope

I woke up to the fuzzy head, chills, sweats and while I managed to survive a mile walk with Bennie, after we ate breakfast, it was pretty apparent that going to work was off the table. I wasn't feeling horrible, but the fuzzy head crap means that I wouldn't be worth nothing at work. At that point there was nothing to do but go back to bed. I slept through until 11:30 AM and got up to because there was no choice about losing a lot of weight.

Yeah that sitting on the porcelain queen and everything...well we have all been there, use your own imagination.

With the innards well emptied, the malaise settled in that can't get out of your own way feeling of not wanting to do anything, but sleep, run to the toilet (because you have to) and sleep some more. So that is basically how Monday went.

I went to bed and figured I would be fine today.

So of course things didn't go according to plan, Bennie's walk was shortened by the uncontrollable urge to purge, then the fuzzy head returned and when that pair teams up on me - I know the answer, call in again.

In 2 days this week I doubled my sick days taken in the last 16 months. So much for only having taken 1 day of sick time since I started work over a year ago!

Oh well, I think I am starting to get better, food still doesn't hold a lot of appeal, I eat and drink because I know I have to, not because I want to. Also, I figured out that at this point, it takes my body just about 4 hours to process and eliminate whatever I eat. Not fun, but lots of strange gurgling and other odd noises going on inside the digestive tract and definitely no farting. The gas is not true gas and that wonderful feeling constitutes a hard cheek squeeze and scurrying to sit on the PQ for a while.

A bit more rest today, errr sleeping on the couch with a couch-hogging mutt who thinks that it is territory and tries to push me onto the floor so he can stretch out like he usually does versus this sharing that he has had to put up with for the past couple of days.

Luckily there hasn't been a whole lot of the chills/sweats, nausea or any of that projectile vomiting that seems gang up on me when I go through this stuff.

Tomorrow I plan to be at work, if the porcelain goddess has stopped calling or at least I have a modicum of control over when I have to rush to see her.

Good times, are being had by all. Mary hasn't killed the wimpy husband yet, but I notice that she does find things to do other than wait on me and it is outside or in town. hehehehe

Seriously, though this one hasn't been fun and whatever it is that waylaid me, certainly is not what I would prefer to be doing. OOPS the PQ  calleth, maybe I will get to run later in the week.

After all, I was looking for an excuse to stop that run streak, but I can sure as hell think of a lot better ways.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Bit of Everything, But I am Running - Week In Review

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

At this point and time I am pretty sure that unless something even more unnerving happens, most of us have made up our minds on who we are voting for and the other issues that are on the ballot in November. Now if everyone would just shut-up and vote their choice, then move back to being Americans, not just Republicans or Democrats and never the twain shall meet. I for one will be glad when this election is over and we can move on, in whatever direction the majority of the voters has decided.

I know that I need a break from all the political crap going on around us.

Well the running streak is upta 24 days! I am running more consistently, while purposely keeping the mileage around 3-4 miles most days, with a few doubles during the week, ending between 30 and 35 miles for the week. My easy pace is naturally getting quicker as I get back in a semblance of shape, but still around that 9:00 minute pace. It seems to be working pretty well -- the leg continues to get better, although it ain't quite ready for prime time, err racing, I am getting closer.


Yeah, today was also a tough day. The Thomas College Terrier Trot 5K was this morning and I have a pretty good history there and really, really, really wanted to go and run it. I didn't. That stoopid Harold guy would have attempted to run faster and ignored that certain "pain" in the left heel to get a better time or place.

I KNOW it was the correct choice, but it didn't make it any easier, when at 9:20, I was talking with TheWife about how I should just be finishing up my warm-up and getting ready to run a hard 5K. Then at 9:30 I went out for my run with Bennie and had to work hard to not push the pace. However, during the run, the left leg reminded me in no uncertain terms, why I wasn't racing.

I had also thought about doing a longer run today too, but with how the leg felt this morning, I decided that that 4.0 miler was going to be more than enough.

Who knows maybe I am starting to mature as a runner and be more patient. Sssshhhh I don't want anyone to think that of me, after all I am a bit too young to be considered a mature runner. hehehe :-)

Running Shoes

I don't believe that my running better and the leg getting better is any freak thing (I am working hard at it) and the big turning point was when I moved back to my Mizuno's. No they are not low drop, super cushioned, ultra light, the most recent release or anything else -- the style of shoe that I thought I needed to run well in.

They are pretty much your traditional style of running shoe.

The other day on Facebook I was reading a comment from Sam W. about how it seems that moving to lower drop might help how your knees feel, but at the same time it seems to put more pressure on the Achilles/lower leg and cause issues there and over the past few years I have had my share of lower leg issues. It comes down to pick your poison and at this point and time my knees are feeling good and my lower legs are the weak link.  So going back to a firmer heel and higher drop seems to be what I need now.

Mizuno Inspire 11 - Simply one of the best pair of running shoes that I have run in. No fuss, no muss, I just run in them. The only thing I have not done in them yet is a double-digit run and I have no doubt that they will do just fine. I will probably attempt to find another pair for next spring, because I fully expect these to last right through the winter.

Mizuno Kazan 2 - A nice hybrid road/trail shoe that I am really liking so far. The K2's are not what I would consider a technical trail shoe, but they do everything I want. When it is muddy down back, they have enough grip to keep me upright, on the trails at UMA they have good grip in a variety of groomed trails and if I forget my road shoes, like I did on Friday, I can run 5+ miles on tar without any issues. They are coming up on 50 miles and Bennie already ordered a pair for my Christmas present - the price at $39.99 was just too damn good to pass up.

I decided on no faster running for a few weeks, so the Hitogami 2's didn't get any time on the roads or treadmill this week. I have a feeling that they will get plenty of treadmill time this winter. It just isn't the right time to use them -- yet.

Overall, a really nice week of running and being patient. I just need to keep it up.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Driveway

via Instagram

The Backyard

via Instagram

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bond Brook Road Loop - Surprise! - RunLog 10-14-15

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

I had some extra time built up, so I decided to use a little at lunch and do 5.0, instead of my usual 3.0 or so. The temps were in the lower 50's, low humidity, 15 mph wind out of the North, bright, bright sunshine. So it seemed like it would be a good day for a run.

First issue

Go out in shorts (that was okay, but the t-shirt wasn't quite enough when going against the wind. When the temps say 50's and you take out about a 15 mph wind (not a gentle breeze), that puts the real feel in my world in the lower 40's. Which made it feel pretty damn chilly going up that wind tunnel called Outer Civic Center Drive. I survived.

Also this route means that I have to go in front of the Marketplace aka Wal Mart and all the other shopping stores and go through the I-95 underpass that is not setup for pedestrian traffic. Those are those first little blips, as I race to get through there before the light changes and I have to fight traffic. There is a single track trail through some of the area, but you still are only a few feet from some real inattentive drivers.

In that short stretch from the Northbound off ramp to the Southbound on ramp, I counted 7 vehicles with their owners texting on the steering wheel - scary and yes, I moved over into the weeds a little further.

You can guess I what I think of texting and driving, talking on the phone is bad enough.

Don't frigging do it!

So yeah, I got through the construction site without too many issues, just playing dodge car to get by the Irving gas station, which is part of the reason I don't like this course that much. However, once I got by the KFC (gonna get a new light there), the running became a lot less dangerous. Still a lot of traffic, but a nice wide break down lane. I still don't know how that first mile split was that good, must have been all the adrenaline burgers I was eating from playing dodge car.

Then there was that nice gentle 15-20 mph breeze straight out of the north in my face, that is where I felt the coldest and I guess I wasn't the only one. There was this guy walking up ahead and as I was gaining on him, I noticed that he had on an orange winter hat and a parka, then as I got closer he had on boots and frigging ski pants!!!

Now, it was chilly, I gotta admit and being dressed in shorts, t-shirt and running shoes, probably wasn't quite enough, but damn, what is this guy gonna do when it gets cold, if he is dressing this way now??? I have a feeling that hibernation in a warm environment with a big comfortable couch will be his first choice. :-)

When I passed him him we both kind gave each other that WTF look and smiled.

Going down the Leighton Road it was nice to get out of the wind, but once I turned the corner the sun was right there, kind of that blinding sun that is just at the right level to annoy the hell out you and it was that way until the slight bend in the road - gave me a bit of headache, but hey it was also downhill and the wind was at my back. So I did pick it up a little.

Then I got a huge surprise when I rounded the corner onto Bond Brook Road. This was a road that I really hated to run on because it was very unsafe. No room to run on shoulders and then blind corners = not fun. So I avoided running down there for the past year, after I almost got wacked one day by a car on the blind corner.

When I turned onto the Bond Brook Road there was new tar and white lines with a nice 3-4 shoulder for pedestrians and bikes to be in!!! Instead of worrying about all the traffic and playing dodge car, I just ran - it was nice. The blind corners were still not great, but that white line made them more manageable. Augusta did that road right.

However, I did start to slow down a bit towards Bond Brook, the extra mile is something I am still not used to yet. Then when I turned back on the main road it is uphill all the way to the light and towards the end I just was running on empty.

I did manage to pick it up again on the path back into UMA to the finish, but it was a tough run, that I was surprised to have broken 9:00 minutes for my pace for the whole run.

The other thing that I did was I left my gym bag in the truck overnight and just went into work with it this morning. Ummm I had planned on running the trails at UMA and I bet you can guess which running shoes were in the bag - yep my trail shoes. The Kazan 2's. I figured I would go to the first and if things didn't feel good, turn there and go run the trails. Everything felt decent and the Kazan 2's did just fine on the roads. They are turning into a nice hybrid running shoe that I can grab for just about any run is nice and really be necessary when the weather turns nasty - probably sooner than later.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nice Recovery Run - RunLog 10-13-16

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

Okay a surprise early night at home and I still have half a brain, which means that I get to actually do a RunLog post - about damn time ;-)

Looking up towards the tar
After yesterday's faster run in the morning and then an easy UMA trail run in the afternoon, I decided to do just one run today and make that an easy one. However, I didn't decide that until I walked out the door for lunch and the legs just felt tired, so I decided to bag the double.

The weather was pretty good for running this morning, overcast mid 50's, but high humidity at 94%, so it was tough, but good sweating weather. Although, I did feel pretty good going out, I purposely kept the pace slower.

Bennie did his usual stops and I did my usual go slower up Stevens Hill then picked it up until we caught up with Mary and relaxed the rest of the way in.

The more I run in the Inspire 11's, the more I am liking them. So far they have had the right balance of cushion, weight and feel. Now I just have to get them out for a couple of double-digit runs to see how they do on the longer runs.

Looking back to my choice to not run a second time, it was definitely the right one. However, that I went down to Dairy Queen and had a small Butterfinger Blizzard probably wasn't the right choice, but it sure went down easy.

Run Streak is up to 21 days :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Answering Some Questions - The Week In Review 10-9-16

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

The weather was unseasonably warm most of the week and the fall colors were at their peak for Central Maine, but hopefully the heat wave is over and we can get back to those temps in the 50's.

Sometimes you have to push a little to get answers to the questions you have. That is what some of this week was dedicated to - answering those questions.

Next week is the annual Thomas College Terrier 5K race, one that I have run the last couple of years, done decently in both races and I needed to know if I could/should run it. On Friday, I picked up the pace a bit and found out that the left leg still gets pretty damn grumpy at those speeds if I run longer than a minute or so at faster paces, especially after I got done.

While things are better, I am not going to run the race, I know stoopid Harold to well and what he would do when the gun goes off, especially if things played out a certain way. So I will stay home :(.

The better part is that as long I stay around a 9:00 minute pace, things seem to hold together pretty well and I was even able get a run of over 6.0 miles in and not pay for it. Which means that I can work on my endurance base and get my weekly mileage up to where I would like it. I just have to keep the pace slower.

I will not argue that I want things to be different, but I have to work with the body that I have, not the one I want or used to have.

I did get a bit over 35 miles this week and for most of them they were right around that 9:00 minute pace that seems to be the sweet spot for me right now.

It would be nice to get back up to 40 miles a week and start doing it consistently again and then work on getting whatever speed is still available to an old fart down the road.

I. Will. Get. There.

The Inspire 11's are doing everything I have asked of them and are the shoes I reach for first whenever I get ready to go for just a run.

Although I am getting pretty impressed with the Kazan 2's especially when it rains down-back (slimy mud) they have enough traction to keep me upright and still be able to run longer on the tar. The thing that surprised me the most was that my feet were still reasonably dry despite being out in a steady rain for almost an hour. after today wet run. They are a very nice hybrid road/trail shoe that I wouldn't hesitate to use to run in nasty weather on just about all reasonable surfaces (ice, super rocky or deep mud are beyond what I would use them for) and for most of the distances that I now do.

I did try that go faster thing on Friday and the Hitogami 2's did what asked of them. Let me run faster, without getting in the way. They were comfortable and the only issue was that I was pounding my heels too much for the shoes. I just needed to lean a little further forward to force a more mid foot landing. I still miss the Ronin 4's, but the H2's are what I have and I don't see a pair of the Ronin's coming my way anytime soon.

The week itself was good and I am continuing to make good progress.

Overall, a very good week and one where the questions I needed to ask were answered. Even though I didn't like the answer, it is the way it is.

Looking down the Road

via Instagram

Where Bennie spent the afternoon

via Instagram

A Nice Training 10K in the Rain - RunLog 10/9/16

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

So much for the nice day that was initially predicted, although for running, I actually preferred the weather we have. Light rain 52*F, a breeze out of the NNE, made it pretty nice. Although, the rain does make it tougher to see clearly, since I wear glasses.

Bennie had decided earlier that he wasn't too interested in being out in the rain (sometimes he is pretty smart), so I got to run alone. I figured that I would get in a nice 4-5 at an easy pace. It had been raining for a while, so I knew down-back was a bit muddy, not bad, but that slimy surface stuff that if you wear road shoes that you can quickly find yourself sitting in the middle of the road.

So I decided to wear the Kazan's -- great choice!

They were perfect for the conditions, wet tar, wet dirt and surface mud down-back.

I really was not in a hurry and while I hadn't done 5.0 miles in a while, it was not really a question of whether I could do it or not. No, it was more how much the leg would bark during after that I was concerned with.

The Kazan's were doing what I wanted on the slime and then when I got on the tar over on Bartlett, I was really wondering how they would do during the longer run than I have done in them so far, especially on the tar. When I got to Notta Road (my 5.0 mile turnaround), EVERYTHING was feeling the best it has in a while, so I decided to keep going and do a 10K.

I had a nice 9:00 minute pace going and my splits were consistent.

Then I stopped to take a photo and just couldn't get the pace back and bonked on the hill. I guess I shouldn't have done the extra mile, but I haven't done 6.0+ miles since August 20th and needed to see how things would shake out.

The leg didn't bark at me during the run and the best thing is that as I write this it still hasn't barked too much. Which is huge progress!

The Kazan's surprised me with how well they did in the wet conditions and the slime down-back. However, the biggest surprise was that they didn't bother my feet at all and I forgot about them other than to think about how good they felt. They were even fairly quiet for trail shoes, which was nice.

Overall, a really good 5.0 mile run and the last 1.2 was meh.

Oh yeah the other part was that the two layers were one too many and I think that I did overheat a bit on the way back, which contributed to that meh feeling and loss of focus over the last mile.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Questions Answered - Not The Ones I Wanted - RunLog 10-7-16

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

It has been a rough week at work, not any drastic or anything, we are just super busy as we get through the first round of exams for the semester. Which is always tough as students and staff get back into the swing of how things need to get done, to get things done :-).

That and working the 11-7+ shift has just left me brain-dead when I get home and certainly not upta doing any kind of writing.

Yeah, I have run all week and today and today, I wanted to do a little test to see if the leg could hold a 8:00 minute pace for a 5K and have one or two harder pops to see how I felt.

One problem - it was freaking hot. It is October and 75*F, bright sun and just a breeze, makes it uncomfortable for me to run faster even when I am running well, so my little time trial had that added degree of difficulty.

So how did it go?

I am not sure what happened at the start with the GPS, it is clear right there, so the watch dropped the signal or something??? During the first part I felt pretty comfortable and didn't feel like I was pushing hard to get to a decent pace, but with the heat I wasn't going to go after that sub 8:00 for the run.

However, when I got to the walkway by Jewett Hall, I pushed a little harder and got under 7:00 for most of the path and got a segment CR for it (pretty damn soft), but after I did slow down, but I don't know where some of those drops came from, I didn't feel as though slowed down that much at any point during the run.

I did have to kind of scratch my head, when I was going through one of the parking lots, a couple of people were walking and one of them looked at me and picked up her pace to cut me off to the corner and force me to stop/slow down. I picked it up a little and the other person elbowed and said "hey, lookout he isn't slowing down". The person stopped and let me go by and as I passed them, I looked and said "thank you." and got a grunt from the one that sped up.

After that I just kind of plugged along, without trying to push the pace and still didn't do too badly on my splits.

While I didn't get a single sub 8:00 today, I was still happy with the amount of effort it took to get these splits. The leg didn't get in the way while I was running, but it did let me know it was not real thrilled about running faster today. It grumbled a little for a few hours after, but feels pretty reasonable now, so it let me know it still is not ready for a race.

So next week's Terrier Trot 5K in Waterville is not going to happen at this point, unless I get a wild hair across something, simply because if I can run 8:14's without feeling uncomfortable afterwards, with my stoopid side and  the possibility probability of getting caught up in the moment, I don't want to loose the progress I have made over the past month.

The Hitogami 2's did well, but by the third mile, I could tell I had been heel striking a little too much for these shoes and needed to get up on the front of my foot a little more. Nothing sore, just a "knowing" that for these shoes I need to run a bit differently and will when I get back in better shape and the leg is fully healed.

Overall, considering how warm it was, the time trial answered what needed to be answered and while I am not totally satisfied with them, they are where I actually am.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tired Legs - 10-3-16

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

Yesterday's run, yeah I know, but this getting out of work between 7-8 PM is cutting into my blogging, pretty heavily. I just don't have the brain power or time left after eating supper after getting home and going to bed between 9:30 & 10:00 to write much.

It was one of those fantastic top ten days for running in my opinion, the sun was out, low humidity, temps in the low 50's -- you know one of those days you get outside and just enjoy the run.

Yeah, Bennie did too.

We had the typical Bennie run as you can see by the graph with a couple of vehicle intervals thrown in for good measure.

I was more concerned about maintaining a nice steady pace than I was doing anything faster. The legs did feel a bit heavy after my first 30.0+ mile week in about 5 weeks, so I wasn't into the push it kind of run.

The thing that I liked the most was that my first mile was 8:51 and my last 8:50, with some 9:00-9:30 in between. Which means that I am running more consistently.

I had thought about doing a lunch run at work, but the legs were still grumpy (just tired), so I went and got a badly needed haircut. That photo from Sunday, made up my mind on that - I definitely needed the haircut.