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.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sub 20:00 for a 5K - But On the Treadmill 3-20-13

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: March 20, 2013

Today's run - well to be honest, I almost bagged it and didn't really want to do it. I was tired and sore from this morning and just wanted to take a nap.

We got that snow storm yesterday and it dumped almost a foot of new snow in the yard, which meant a lot of clean-up, plus I do another driveway up in Waterville, so I had to get up at oh dark 30 - in other words 4:30 AM. because she had to be to work at 7:15 AM.

After I got all my driveway snowblowing and snow shoveling chores done - I was totally beat! That stuff is hard freakin work and the new snowblower feels like it weighs about 100 pounds more than the old one, so that toasted those chicken wings that I claim are my arms.

However, I did decide to go and just listen to my body and do what it felt like.

Here the particulars of this treadmill workout:
  • 0.5 mile @ 6.6 mph - warm-up
  • 0.5 mile @ 7.3 mph - warm-up
  • 1.0 mile @ 7.5 mph - warm-up
  • 0.17 mile @ 9.1 mph - My music player messed-up so I stopped, fixed that and started over

When I started over, it was starting from complete stop, so I had to wait for the treadmill to get up to 9.1 mph, which added about 15-20 seconds on to my final time, but it really doesn't make that big a difference. 

I got to thinking that haven't done a 5K time trial for quite on the treddy and surprisingly I was feeling really good, so I thought let's go for it and if I feel really bad, I could just slow down and do what the body wants, I could use this as my longer tempo run, just a little faster than the 7:30 pace I have been practicing at.

  • 1.25 miles @ 9.1 mph - I felt great, so I decided to do a race pace 5K tempo run
  • 0.75 miles @ 9.3 mph - still feeling GREAT
  • 0.50 miles @ 9.5 mph - form still good, not wheezing yet
  • 0.10 mile @ 9.6 mph - getting daring, but form still good
  • 0.10 mile @ 9.7 mph
  • 0.10 mile @ 9.8 mph
  • 0.10 mile @ 9.9 mph - asking myself what to F%#, I am trying to prove
  • 0.10 mile @ 10.0 mph - starting to suck wind really bad, but form is still there
  • 0.10 mile @ 10.1 mph - this last .10 sucked - BAD, but was still able to maintain my form all the way to the end!!!

5K total time 19:59

This is a new Treadmill PR for a 5K!!!!

I was VERY psyched that I did break 20:00 minutes for a 5K, no it wasn't outside or in a race, so it is very unofficial, but I did it. This has been a goal I have been chasing since coming back from my injury. Now to do it in a race and I will be happy!

I knew that I was close to breaking 20:00 and didn't want to slow down or affect my form that last .10 to take out my phone, just to take a photo at 3.1 miles to show the actual time, but I got it pretty close after I finished.

However, the workout wasn't over.

Mileage total so far - 5.27 miles
  • .10 mile @ 3.3 mph - I needed to breath again ;-)
  • .30 mile @ 6.6 mph
  • .50 mile @ 9.1 mph - Yes I got back up to a fast pace again - 1.0
  • .25 mile @ 6.6 mph
  • .50 mile @ 9.1 mph
  • .25 mile @ 6.6 mph - 2.0
  • .50 mile @ 9.1 mph
  • .25 mile @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 6.6 mph cool-down

Total workout: 9.0 miles

Plus .5 mile walk at the end.

This was a TOUGH workout. I was very surprised, that I was able to do and even more shocked that I broke 20:00 minutes for a 5K on the treadmill today! Then to be able to do the rest of this workout was totally unexpected.

I just hope that I am not leaving my racing on the treadmill, but I don't think so, at least I hope not. Which shoes did I wear - my Mizuno Ronin 4's. They are still my "Go Fast" shoes, but they did start to bother my right foot a little after about 6.5 miles, so they are great 5K or 10K shoes for me.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rockland Lucky Leprechaun 5K Recap - 2013

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: March 17, 2013

After the race

I was very psyched about running the Lucky Leprechaun 5K in Rockland, Maine this morning. It was going to be my first race running under the Team RWB colors and I wanted to represent them well and run a sub 22:00 minute 5K.

Someday I will remember to take off my hat to have photos taken. :-) For the first time that I can remember I slept great the night before a race! I didn't get that race anxiety thing going at all and which felt really great for a change.

This morning when I woke the thermometer said 10 degree F and yes that is cold for this time of year! It is about 20 degrees colder than average, which meant that my race this morning was going to be COLD.

Rockland is over an hour from the house, so I left at 7:30 to get there a little early and give me a chance to find the race site, since I haven't been there in years. It hasn't changed all that much from what I remember though, typical small town in Maine.

Google Maps worked like a charm and got me to right place no problems, when I got the the wind had picked up a lot and the temps were in the 20's so the wind chills or feels like were in the teens.

So it didn't warm up a whole lot. I had 4 different tech layers on and my heavy winter running pants, along with a hat/gloves - so I was dressed warm enough, but not overdressed.

I got to talk with a few people that I had met before, but for the most part I just kept to myself and vegged either inside or in the sun on the lee side of the building. I did my warm-up 1.44 mile run a little before the and then just quietly waited for the start.

The first mile was the average pace that I wanted to keep for the whole race, but I slowed down a lot. It wasn't because I was all that tired or anything. It was just me.

I have been training to run longer distances, which means that I have been working hard at maintaining a 7:30 pace as my faster pace - well when I got into cruising mode guess what pace I was maintaining - closer to a 7:30 pace.

Actually, I thought that I was going a lot faster, because only one runner passed me between miles 1 and 2 and I caught a couple, I thought I was a lot closer to 7:00 flat, so when I got to mile 2.0, I was more than a little disappointed at being so far over 14:00 minutes and it took the wind out of my sails. I did try to pick up my pace, but it really wasn't as much as I thought. Oh well that is just the way it goes sometimes.

But I did learn that I have to do more faster running outdoors, not just on the treadmill, there is a huge difference for me and get my pacing dialed in, it was just way too erratic.

Good start and good kick, but definitely need to even out the pacing.

A couple of funny things happened during the race though.

I was being paced by Peter S who had two toddlers in a baby runner and kept passing me and then one of the kids would drop a blanket and he would have to stop and pick it and I would pass him back. Once we got into the last quarter mile - he just blew my doors off! He was VERY impressive. We about getting together and run the Camden Hills after the weather breaks - really nice guy and he works over at Togus.

The just before the turn to come the last .30 mile before the finish, a guy in hiking boots, shorts and a t-shirt passed me and said "you're doing a great pace-keep it up". Now I might be old and slow, but when a guy in hiking boots passes me in the last part of a race, I get a little - well competitive. I was not going just let him go by without attempting to answer the call. He didn't pass me again. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of him. Still for him to be running just over 22:00 in hiking boots, is pretty damn impressive.

At the end I thought I had finished when I passed between the barrel and cone, so I slowed to a stop.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the finish and had to get going again because the actual finish was 30-40 yards in back of that point, so that messed me up a little bit, but I don't think that I would have broke 22:00 any way, because I was 21:58 where I stopped and turned off my Garmin.

I definitely felt as though I left a lot on the course and have to push the effort level a lot more in future 5K's.

While I was waiting around, I got to talk with a Coastie who is stationed in Rockland and swap some lies err stories, which was a lot of fun. He's from Bangor originally and seems like a great guy. He has great positive attitude and I think he will have a very good career, a bit jealous though, he is going to get transferred to Florida and on a day like today, that sounded like a great thing!

When they posted the results I finished 11 out of 119 or so runners/walkers (they stated they had over 140 people start the race) and I did get a real surprise. I finished 2nd in my age group. Which I didn't think I was going to even be close today, with the number of gray-haired guys that finished ahead of me.

I like that Middle Age Division category description, but I think it would be better if it was called the "Old Fart Division", but that isn't very politically correct ;-). Who knows, maybe we need to worry less about being PC and spend more laughing at ourselves and having fun with others.

The Altra Superiors did okay as racing shoes, but I have a feeling that I will leave them longer runs and trails, they didn't make me feel fast. This means a pair of The One's or 3-Sum are definitely being looked at, for when the budget allows it, but until then, I have a feeling that my Mizuno Ronin's will be used for shorter races - after all they are my magical shoes.

Although I didn't quite make my goal of a sub 22:00 race, I learned a lot about things that I need to work on and that I definitely need to run a more consistent pace if I want to improve that time.

Overall, the race was a great race and the organizers did a very good job of making the runners feel welcome put on a great race.

I was proud to represent Team RWB and believe that I did a good job of it, when people asked what Team RWB was I explained what it was about and that we are getting a chapter together up here in Maine. I do think that just being out there showing and hopefully helping to inspire other veterans and boomers that we can get up off the couch and that it is a good thing when we do.

However, I am not satisfied with my time and want to do better in the future - guess I am like most other runners in that respect, never satisfied.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The RW Complete Guide to Minimalism and Barefoot Running - 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: March 15, 2013

A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to review "The Runner's World Complete Guide to Minimalism and Barefoot Running" by Scott Douglas (who I was lucky enough to meet for 5 minutes at the #RWHalf back in October), so of course I accepted.

Disclosure: I was provided this book at no cost by Runner's World to read and then review on my blog.

This is one of those books on running that I read very quickly and enjoyed quite a bit. It was very readable and easy to follow where the author was going. I found myself nodding my head so many times and saying, "this is what I have been thinking about or gee this is what I needed to know".

When I started to move back in this direction, see my post on Is Barefoot Running Right for Me? from January 2012 and how I attempted to move too quickly to minimalist shoes last year in my Who is the Running is the Running Minimalism Dummy Now? post, the minimalism/barefoot "fads/movements" were peaking and sometimes getting more balanced information like Scott has provided in this book was difficult.

Notice that I said move back in this direction...Like the author, (who I am a little older than), I have been running since the early 70's when most, if not all running shoes would be what we now consider minimalist shoes today, so minimalism is in my mind more about going back to my roots.

It was fun for me to read Scott's thoughts about these issues and look at how his thoughts compared to my own. I know that I did enjoy reading about his research and interviews with others in the running communities about minimalist and barefoot running.

Something that he says on page 6 of the book that really stuck with me:

The basic premise of this book is that minimalism and barefoot running are a means to an end. That end is running with better form and less injury, both of which should make you faster and help you enjoy your running more.

Isn't that what all runners want - ways to be a better runner and help you enjoy running more.

Then he goes on to talk about the difference between secrets to improve your running, versus best practices (and I agree there is a big difference):

"There are no secrets" also means keeping the importance of this or any aspect of running in perspective. There's no one element of running that deserves obsessive focus while you under emphasize other contributors to successful running. What you have on your feet and when you run matters a lot. So do a lot of other things: how much and how far you run, how strong and flexible you are, your diet, your running form, and how you spend your non running time. Zealotry never works out over the long term in running..."

With this basic framework in place, how successful was Scott in writing about the benefits of minimalism and barefoot running?

Personally, I believe that the book does a very good job of what it set out to do. Douglas does a great job of explaining the pros and cons of both minimalism and barefoot running. I really liked that it was not just the this is the only right way, super hype of this movement, that I have read from some of the other more radical advocates of these running styles.

I found what he wrote a very informative book about the subject, but with a slant that minimalism and barefoot running can be a positive part of a runner's training regimen if time is taken to transition to this style - which I do agree with. However, Scott did not attempt to gloss over the the difficulties runners could encounter with minimalist or barefoot running.

What does the book talk about?

Chapter 1 - An Introduction to Minimalism
Chapter 2 - Why Bother?
Chapter 3 - A Brief History of Minimalism
Chapter 4 - Facts on Form, Footstrike and Footwear
Chapter 5 - The Many Modes of Minimalism
Chapter 6 - Steps to Minimalism
Chapter 7 - Reasonable Barefooting
Chapter 8 - Minimalism for Life
Chapter 9 - Minimalism in the Long Run

I enjoyed reading about Scott's research and conversations with others about these topics, many of whom, I have read their blogs and books, so the names were familiar to me. Also the vignettes about real people and their stories about their experience with minimalism and barefoot running were very interesting.

This quote (pg 180) sums up how I feel about running styles, what equipment we use and so on.
we're all an experiment of one.

I am taking it out of context of the way in which Scott used it in the book, but I strongly believe that what works great for one runner, may work differently or not work at all for someone else. It is up to each individual runner to find what works best for themselves, but using resources like this, does help to make it easier to find what might work for you.

The reality is that I have been moving back to lighter, lower drop minimal running shoes (with a few blips here or there) and when it is not winter heah in Maine, doing barefoot strides at the track, both of which I believe have helped to improve my running.

Scott's book validated many of my own thoughts and beliefs about minimalism and barefoot running, plus I learned more than a few tips and tricks that I plan to add to my own running.

That is what I liked most about the book - it gave "real world" advice on how to incorporate these styles of running/training into your life, which is not always easy to do.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Scott Douglas' "The Runner's World Complete Guide to Minimalism and Barefoot Running" and strongly recommend it to runners who are interested in learning more about minimalism and barefoot running.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Altra Superior 1.0 - 50 Mile 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: March 14, 2013

Altra Superior

How do I write a 50 mile review about a pair of running shoes that are listed in the trail shoe category, when I have only run 2 short snowmobile trail runs int them?

Very easy - they are the best fitting pair of running shoes that I have run in, in a long time! Although they might be considered a trail shoe, I have put mostly treadmill miles and road miles on them so far and I love them.

Disclosure: I purchased the Altra Superior with my own money from Optimal Run, so I can say whatever I want to about them and it isn't advertising.

Here are the technical specs from the Altra website:
Ideal Uses: Trail Running, Hiking, Fastpacking
Designed to Reduce: Running Slow on the Trail
Platform: Zero Drop™ Platform
Weight: 7.9oz
Midsole: Two-Layer EVA / A-Bound™
Outsole: CheckerTrail Outsole
Insole: Contoured
Upper: Quick Dry Trail Mesh
Lacing Structure: Asymmetric
Other Features: Removable StoneGuard Rock Protection, Foot-Shaped Design

I did make one modification to the shoe, I got rid of the long stock laces and used LockLaces, I have them in all of my shoes, that I run regularly in and love how they help make my shoes fit my feet better.

Altra Superior

While Altra designed and lists the Superior as a trail shoe, to me it is more than that. In my mind the Superior is an outstanding Hybrid shoe that works well for me on a variety of surfaces. I have run in so far:

  • My first run in them was a 10 mile treadmill run, without any issues
  • I have used them to do fast-paced treadmill workouts interval (a few sub 6:30 paced quarters) and longer tempos (at 7:30 pace or faster), each totaling 10 miles
  • short snowmobile trail runs
  • easy recovery a couple tempo runs on the roads

The Superiors are the shoe that I am choosing to do most of my running in and yes I have plenty of others to choose from.


Simple - they work for me.

I run quietly in them, no slapping the pavement, which means my form is better.

Where I live out in the country, I run a lot on tar, dirt road shoulders, ditches (to avoid traffic), dirt roads, for a little longer - snow, slush, and as spring gets here mud, (sometimes all on the same run), so the road conditions are constantly changing and a true road shoe, doesn't quite do it and a heavy duty trail shoe is too much shoe.

The Superiors are light, fairly nimble (as much as an old plodder like me can be), let me run on a multiple surfaces in the same run without missing a beat, very comfortable and due to the zero drop make me focus on how I am running, which is what I want/need right now.

As a trail shoe I will use them for 80% of the trails that I run on, but if I know there is a lot of rugged single-track, mud or sand, where I will be running, while I could use the Superiors to get through those areas, I would probably want a little more aggressive tread and beefier shoe.

As a road shoe they are the same weight as many light-weight trainers and have worked well on the roads for me. I plan to run my long run (14+ scheduled) tomorrow and a 5K race in them this weekend, simply because I think they will do well. I am very interested in seeing how these trail shoes perform in those two very different types of road running activities.


I ran 15.0 miles on Friday in the Superiors and they did FANTASTIC! No issues related my running shoes at all and my usual problem with my little toes hurting didn't happen at all. I was very happy with how they performed on this long run and it has me really thinking about getting another pair to alternate as my daily training shoes and going with the 3-Sum/The One for racing shoes. Decisions, Decisions.

I like the ability to make the shoe lighter by simply removing the rock plate and then if I am going to run on single-track trails, just put it back in. It is a feature that helps makes the shoe flexible enough to meet the different styles of running that I really do.


I am still not sure if I like the way the tongue is made, I have to take a couple of extra seconds to get them just so, but when I am running there are no issues with it. The other thing is I don't know what the strings are really for on the sides of the shoe, they seem loose all of the time, so I will see how long they last before I decide to see what the shoe is like without them.

The other thing is the rear rudder, while it doesn't bother any, but it does fling up stuff on the backs of my legs when it is wet or muddy, I could do like a few other writers have done and take a Xacto knife to them, but I kind of like the way they make the shoe look. They do help me get the shoe off a little more easily, so I will keep them.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Altra Superior, they have become my go-to running shoe for almost all of my running lately and have performed very well. I have a feeling that this weekend will help me decide if my next pair of Altra running shoes will be the 3-Sum (which has the same last), Torin (a slightly different last, but more cushioning) or who knows, maybe, just maybe another pair of Superior's - I mean why change if what I am using works.

Doing that would make my life a lot easier, staying with a hybrid shoe that does a lot in different conditions, instead of a lot of specialty shoes for each condition.

I do not have any affiliations with Altra Zero Drop at this time, other than a free pair of Altra Instinct 1.5's that I got along with other #RWHalf Fitfluential bloggers.