After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Hanson Marathon Method - Book Review

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: February 20, 2012

I bought the Hanson's Marathon Method book by Luke Humphrey with Keith & Kevin Hanson, from Amazon a few weeks ago and have been reading it and re-reading it.

Have you ever read a book and all of a sudden, something that you didn't quite "get", suddenly became crystal clear. This is something I wrote in my daily workout blog post the other day.

"When I read the Hanson's Marathon Method book, it created one of those "eureka" moments for me, that changed my perspective about my running and how I train.

I have always read and known that you are supposed to run slower for recovery runs and long runs and then push harder on your quality workouts.

Once I got through reading the book things finally clicked for me. Especially when I went back through my running log and saw that my pace for tough or recovery runs were pretty much within a minute of the other.

To be blunt I wasn’t allowing my body to recover, I was just having one hard day on top of another harder day. Not the way to run a railroad or training schedule."

There was just so much great information that I was finally ready to listen too about how to train, that I wanted to ensure that I really understood the concepts and how the Hanson's Marathon training plan could make me a better runner, not just a better marathoner.

Below is a video that I have made that explains how I feel about the book.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMTKnzU4ok8]

Sometimes a short video like that explains how I feel than I could in a lot more words than you would want to read.

As I stated in the video, I have always believed in over-distance training. That way I will have the confidence that I can complete the distance without any problem and the only question going into the race is how fast I will run, not if I will finish. While this philosophy worked for me for shorter distances, it hasn't for the marathon and I am finally figuring out that need to train differently.

The other thing is that I am not 25 anymore and I this book made me realize that my haphazard method of training was getting me injured more than I need to. My recovery runs were not slow enough and my quality runs were not fast enough...I was too close to the middle for all of my runs.

I am still wrapping my head around long-run part of their training philosophy. I don't know if I totally agree with this part of the Hanson Method, but at the same time, the research they quote seems to back up what they are saying. I have to admit they have a LOT more experience running and training runners than my one marathon finish and several failed attempts. So they know what they are talking about a lot more than I do.

The idea of basing my speed work pace on my current 5K or 10K race pace makes a lot of sense. Running tempo runs and more of my long runs at marathon pace or slightly faster also is something that I didn't do and should. If I can't run a 16 mile long run at that pace, how will I run 26.2 that fast?

The more I look at it, the more the Hanson training philosophy just feels right to me...although right now I can still see myself pushing the envelope a little on a long run, just to see how I feel - maybe I will feel differently once I actually start training using the Hanson's Method.

The Hanson's Marathon Method is the first book, of all of the books that I have read about running and training, that has made me really stop and look at what I am actually doing. When I looked back through my training logs, I found many flaws and errors in how I was actually training versus what I believed I was accomplishing.

Based on what I have read and re-read, I am going to try their half-marathon training plan, to see the Hanson Method will work for me or not.

The reality is that I am very excited about this change in my perspective as well as the potential that it has for me to attain my goals without risking injury as much as I was, with my "seat of the pants" or training by how I felt, non-training plan.

I think that the Hanson's Marathon Method book is well worth reading and depending on your own running/training philosophy, it might make you stop and think about what you are doing and how you are doing it.

It did for me.

Now to take it from plan to execution - this should be "interesting".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running Injuries - Go Slow Grasshopper

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: February 14, 2012

When is the most difficult time to be a runner?

Answer: When coming back from an injury.

In my opinion it is most difficult when you are.

Injured and Almost Back.

Whether it has been days, weeks or months, when a runner finally (I know it seem like freaking forever no matter how short a time it has actually been) comes back from an injury, we are eager to run as fast or as far as we did before the injury and we want to do it NOW!


We don't want to accept that we have to change our mindset, for at least a little while, to what we can do now, versus what we did before we got injured. This to me is one of the hardest things in running - to accept the fact that an injury changes how we will or should run during our return to regular running.

Unfortunately, most of us don't want to admit that there will be a transition period back to running normally again - whatever your normal running is and we make choices good and bad.

Danger Zone

This is the point where, you have been patient, rehabbed the injury correctly (well mostly) and have started to run somewhat pain-free. About this time you know damn well that your being able to run "normally" is right around the corner, but you also know (if you are in touch with reality at all) that you are not quite there yet. There is still that last little bit of healing that needs to take place, before you can get back to regular running.

  • This is the part of your recovery or return to running that can often make or break all the hard work you have done:
  • You are starting to run very short distances and it feels good great to run again, maybe just a little tightness, but no pain!
  • You know if you can wait just a little while longer, that you will be able to start training and will get back to your regular running fairly soon.
  • About this time you get to thinking, I know that I can run further or faster and have to decide - do I go ahead and just do it (run farther/faster than called for) or do I stay conservative and stick to the recovery plan?

Some things that motivate us to running to soon are:

  • You are not going to get your weekly or monthly mileage in, this is one that really can get you in trouble and make a small aggravation into something much more.
  • not being ready for that race in a couple of weeks
  • The "I just want to run again"
  • I'm gaining weight without my running
  • "Suzy or "Johnny" are doing it
  • I got these new shoes and I really want to run in them
  • and probably about a bazillion other reasons to just run again

However, if you go ahead and just run, you run the risk of re-injuring whatever was the original injury and possibly making it worse than it was originally or then again you might get lucky (not likely, but maybe). Even worse because you are compensating for your original injury, you injure something else.

Runners Make Their Own Choices

How do you know if it is too early? If you have seen a doctor for the injury, either they or the physical therapist will give you some great feedback (not always what you want to hear i.e. no running still) or if it is still painful (runners need to know the difference between pain and hurting when it comes to their body).

However, I believe that most runners return to running when the discomfort is at an acceptable level for them and there is no further risk of making an injury worse.

Each runner has to make their own choices about when they begin to come back from an injury based on their own personality and what the injury was, you just have to be smart about it :-). (Disclaimer - in consultations with their medical professional if applicable).

The reality is that

I have returned from some injuries too soon and gotten away with it (especially when I was younger), but I am not likely to be that lucky any more.

To be honest what happens when I run too fast, too far, too soon is that I usually re-aggravate or re-injure whatever it was that I had worked so hard to rehab. This misplaced exuberance, eagerness, lack of wisdom, stupidity or whatever you want to call it, only causes me to miss more time running, than I would have if I had come back conservatively.

Now I try to be smarter - it doesn't always work, but I try. :-)
The choice is yours

The choice is really up to you about when and how you come back from an injury. Medical professionals and others can only give you their advice and recommendations about your return to running. What it finally comes down to, is what you decide to do with those recommendations or advice. You must know your options and the potential consequences (good and bad) of your choices.

You know a little personal responsibility for our own actions.

As I have gotten older and am just starting to realize that I am no longer bullet-proof or indestructible, I am learning that taking a little more time to come back from an injury is a better. That way you don't re-injure yourself in your eagerness to get back out running again and yes it is pretty damn hard to do, especially when all you really want to do is just run.

In the words that might have been said by David Carradine's character in Kung Fu: "Go Slow Grasshopper".

Questions for you
Have you ever been injured and then re-injured yourself because you came back too soon?
What made you decide to try running instead of waiting?
How much time did you miss?


Did you come back sooner than you were told you could, why were you able to come back sooner?
Was it any more uncomfortable than it would have been if you waited?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stay Connected to Running-Even When Injured

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: February 2, 2012

Mike W over at Just a Little Run wrote a post Just a Little Run...: Making It Count., about what to do when injured and he offered a lot of great advice on things you can do while you are injured to stay active.

I added one more thing and I think it is an important one.
Stay Connected

(online or face-to-face)

Many runners when they are injured (whether it is running related or not) have the tendency to isolate themselves away from other runners and stop participating in a community that they were so active in before they were injured. Especially if the injury will mean a long period of not running.

Unfortunately, when they are injured many runners are thinking only about how their injury affects them (been there done that), not how they will be missed by the people they have become friends with and not how they can still contribute to the community they have been such a part of, even while they are injured.


  • many are jealous of those who can run, when they can't run and don't want to be around people who can
  • no one "understands" how they feel about not being able to run (like nobody else has ever been injured)
  • don't want to be a "burden" on others (you're not)
  • don't want to continually answer the question "When are you going to start running again?"
  • that people will get tired of hearing them whine about our injury (we understand - believe me we understand)
  • they no longer feel that we are part of the "group" if we can't run (b.s.)

That is unfortunate, because when runners have an injury there is a process that we all seem to work through and a good blog post on those stages of injury is over at Shut up Run - Stages of Injury. Runners do need support (whether they want to admit it or not) in getting through those stages and getting back to the sport they loved so much.


When a runner isolates themselves from their online or real life running support network:
  • it deprives the injured runner of one their natural running support networks that help them stay engaged with others who have the same interests
  • they lose contact with those who would stay positive about their return to running, even when the person doesn't believe it will happen
  • they tend to be more pessimistic about whether/when and how they will get back to the sport
  • develop bad habits, i.e. eating, drinking, not doing anything at all to remain active, instead of what they can. Then find themselves completely out of shape in a relatively short time
  • they let go of the great friendships they have developed in that community
  • it takes them longer to return to the sport they loved so much
  • or worse the injured runner just completely leaves running
  • I am sure there are more, but this is a start to that list

These are all things that I have done and so have many other injured runners.
What can you do

You can sit back and become a couch potato, get fat, lazy and pessimistic about the future or you can make the best of a bad situation, pick yourself up, dust yourself and stay involved your running community.

What can an injured runner do to stay involved in running, even though they might be injured:
  • Volunteer to help out at local races, events, fun run or your local running club (help with registration at races or whatever you can do)
  • There are always online chats/hastags: #fitfluential #runchat #fitblog #runners #running and all the other online running forums to participate in.
  • help organize things for other runners, be part of the clean-up detail
  • if you have computer skills, blogging, know how to put together a webpage, use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to publicize the club and to attract new members, can help write a newsletter, etc. your local running club should be very interested in your help and you will be considered a very valuable asset to the club
  • figure out what other skills that you have, that can be a huge asset - carpentry, photography, writing, etc.
  • be part of a support team, I know of many times at local fun runs (back in the day), that injured runners would drive the "I'm done vehicle" for the other runners who couldn't/didn't complete a run. I have used that vehicle as a runner a couple of times during fun runs and it was a welcome sight. Just have some plastic bags to cover your seats - those damn sweaty runners.
  • if your friends are at a race and you haven't volunteered to help, cheer your friends on in different parts of the race course (if possible) and be there at the end to help them out. You would appreciate it if the roles were reversed.
  • take lots of pictures of your friends running, races, fun runs, events, etc., they will tell you how horrible they look, but will still be thankful that you took the pictures of them in action and add them to their albums, blogs or however, they keep track of their photos. Runners usually don't have too many pictures of us running or at running events.
  • most of all stay our friend
An injured runner still has all that experience and knowledge that they gained while they were running and can continue to pass that knowledge on to other runners.

There are so many things that an injured runner can do to remain active in the running community and I am sure that you have more ideas to help injured runners stay active in the running community.
The reality is that


It totally sucks, to be injured and not be able to run whatever the reason (I was gone for almost 18 months this last time and it wasn't even running related), but it doesn't mean that you don't have anything to give to your fellow runners while you are injured.

You can exchange the word "runner" for any other activity you enjoy and continue to participate - this is not just about about running.

What do you think?

What do you think, should injured runners just fade away from the running community or should they continue to be active and vibrant members of that community, even if they can't run?

If you are injured look closely at the things that Mike at Just a Little Run...: Making It Count says in his post - it is all great advice! 

But remember, it is also important to stay connected to others who share your interests, even when you can't actively participate. You still have a lot to offer other runners even while you are injured.