I HAVE MOVED

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.

Harold

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Roland Dyer 5K Race Recap and More 7-31-13



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: August 1, 2013



Today was a busy day that ended with a nice race over in Winslow. I do know that I enjoy going to these local races and socializing with everyone, gets me out of my shell.

I am going to start with the Race – The Roland Dyer Memorial 5K. I had a lot of fun and I was good, I didn’t try to race the race, I just ran a very controlled run, which is what I wanted to do.

The course was flat, but when I was on the grass sections, I could feel my Achilles tendon stretching more and while it wasn’t painful it really brought home that I am just not ready to do trail running yet.

So that was good to learn this way, instead of being stupid on a trail.

I settled into a comfortable pace, not pushing too fast and yet pushing hard enough to do what I wanted. One of the other runners stayed on my shoulder and then passed me just before the 2.0 mile mark. However, she seemed to slow down, just a hair about a quarter mile later and I moved back ahead.

It was a 2 lap course, so I was familiar with how much was left and when I got to about the 1/2 mile point, I picked it up a couple of notches. I tried to maintain my form, but from the photos I can tell that when I pick up the pace that I over stride and heel strike a lot more. So that is something that I will need to keep working on.

I ran a very uneven pace and I don’t know where those major dips came from, except that I think around those two dips is where we went into the trees. Unfortunately, the course was about 0.35 short, we went the wrong way on the start, but no one was totally upset and we ribbed the RD a little, like I said it was a small local race and no one was super competitive about things. I was there more for the socializing than competing and had a LOT of fun.
Earlier

Okay, I didn’t really expect to run yesterday morning, but after my strength and stretching session at the gym, I wanted to get out and stretch my legs out a little. I expected to do 2-3 miles, but I was feeling good and decided to go down around Bond Brook.

The thing that I liked best about this run was the steadiness of my pace, no big swings, just a very steady line on the GPS.

No I don’t plan to do doubles all the time, but every so often, it is fun to do.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Skechers GoRun2–50 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: July 28, 2013

The Skechers GoRun2 is not the running shoe that I would expect from a shoe company with Sketchers’ reputation, especially with how I viewed their attempts at making running shoes in the past.


Let’s be up front about my relationship with Skechers.
  • I do not have any.
  • I purchased the GoRun2’s with my own money.
  • My opinions are from a runner who initially was very skeptical about Skechers as a “serious” running shoe company.
  • The comments in this post were a result of actually wearing and running in the Skechers GoRun2’s.
Okay, so I don’t have exactly 50 miles on my GR2’s, however I know that 42.41 miles on them is close enough for the purposes of this review. My opinion will not change all that much in the next 8.0 miles.

You can read my initial review here and no this is not a Skechers’ advertisement, these are my own thoughts about the GoRun2’s.
Fit

The GoRun2’s fit my feet the way that I want, are one of the most comfortable shoes I have worn and this is the best first 50-mile impression of a pair of running shoes that I have had in a long time.

Which I think pretty much sums up how they have worked for me so far.

Now to get into the details.

I have a Tailor’s Bunionette on my right foot which causes a lot of pain in that foot after 5-6 miles of running, especially when my running shoes are too narrow or if overlays are on top of my bunionette. So far the GR2’s have not given my bunionette any issues and I have been able to just run.

The biggest compliment that I can give a pair of running shoes is when I put them on, that I stop thinking about how my shoes are affecting my feet and just run.

So far that is what I have been able to do in my GoRun2’s.
Choice

I have at least 6 different brands and several styles of running shoes around the house and in the 20 times that I have run since I purchased the GoRun2’s, I have chosen to run in them 18 times.

This tells me that the Skechers GoRun2’s are the running shoes that I want to run in and I have actually put many of my other running shoes in the give-away pile, because of how they feel compared to the GR2’s.

Now when I go run, these are the shoes that I Iook for first.

That says it all for me.

Pros

No Blisters – None, nada, zero, as in no blisters on my heels, toes, or ankles. I hate shoes that cause blisters and keep causing them. Blisters happened to me all too often this past spring – having all those bloody socks was not the highlight of my spring and I consider it a fail in the fit department and refuse to keep torturing myself in running shoes that keep causing blisters.

Cushioned Feel – Even though the GR2’s stack height is not as high as many that I run in, the midsole material provides a nice cushioned feel to me and I like the combination of being able to feel the road and yet have a feeling of cushioning underneath you, that these shoes give me.

Lightweight – Coming in around 7 oz., they are at the lighter end of my lightweight trainer scale and lighter than many of my race shoes have been. Yesterday, I used them in a 5K Race and although I am not in racing shape (2 months off will do that, along with certain restrictions still), I was still able to run a 24:16 and felt very smooth in my GR2’s.

I also have a feeling that the narrowness of my Ekidon’s will be their downfall and I will just keep wearing the GR2’s or maybe even look at the Skechers GoSpeed (GoMeb) racing flats. if I really feel the need for flats.

Sole – I like the multi-grip outsole and how it performs while running in a variety of conditions i.e. tar, side of the roads, light trails, rain slicked roads, track, light mud and places where being nimble is important.

They don’t gain weight during a run, like my Nike Free’s did by picking up small rocks and having them lodge in the sole unit all the time. Actually I don’t think that I have had any rocks stick in the soles of the GR2’s yet.

I like these shoes too much and I have been walking in them a lot too. Which means that this pair of GR2’s will be wearing out faster than they would, if I wore them only for running. Actually this is a good problem I guess.

Hmmmm I wonder if this means that I should go ahead and just get another pair?

Quiet – One of the things that I want from my running shoes - is that they be quiet when I am running in them, which means to me that I am running efficiently. I run and walk extremely quiet in the GR2’s. I have only had one other pair of running shoes that I have had this experience in and the GR2’s seem to be even quieter than those were.

Promote Mid-foot landing – My physical therapist did a gait analysis of my running the other day and for the first time I was told independently that I land with a midfoot landing. I attribute that result directly to the GoRun2’s, due to the rocker that is built into the sole unit.



Landing with a mid-foot landing, is something that I have worked on since November 2011 and have not been all that successful until now. The GR2’s reward me for a mid-foot landing, and I can definitely tell when I am landing on my heels, which gives me the opportunity to make the appropriate adjustments very quickly.

Cost – At a list price of $80.00, they are reasonably priced and a lot cheaper than the other running shoes that I have been buying over the past couple of years, which have had price points of $100-$140.

After discounts, I purchased my GR2’s for a little over $36.00. Now I probably will not get them for this price very often, but I have regularly seen them on sale in the $50-$60 price range, with free shipping, which is around half of the price I have been paying for my running shoes.

Color ways – I love the looks and styles of the shoes. Skechers’ designers have done a good job of making a great looking running shoe, which has multiple colors. I tend to like brighter colors and Skechers has plenty of bright colors, so that box is checked off.
Modifications

Rock Plate - Something that I did because they are a bit thin for running on dirt roads with lots of rocks or on rocky trails could be an adventure and not nearly as much fun, if I get my feet bruised up (I have run into this issue with other minimal style running shoes too).

So I modified the removable rock plate from my Altra Superiors and put them in the GR2’s. I don’t even notice that they are in there. Now when I know that I am going to run some place where rocks are or could be an issue, I just slide the rock plate in and voila, it stops most of the problem with rocks.

Laces – Something I do with all of my running shoes is add LockLaces, I like the way they fit and how the LockLaces make taking them on and off so easy.
Cons

Road Feel - On rocky surfaces, they have a little too much road feel and if you step wrong on rocks you can definitely feel them through the sole. For some they will not have enough cushioning.

Wear – I am not sure how many miles I will get out of the GR2’s, but based on the comfort and fit that I have in them so far and if I can get between 200-300 miles – I would be happy.

At this price point and with sales that are continually available, having to buy running shoes more often is not as big a deal. Who knows maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and they will last longer than the 300 mile ceiling that most of my running shoes seem to hit.



The Skechers’ Brand name – It is taking Skechers time to overcome their previous reputation of not being a high quality running shoe company, but they seem to be - slowly but surely overcoming that hurdle.

My concern is whether Skechers will still have the same commitment they are showing to their performance division 5 years down the road as they are now. I am definitely liking what I have seen so far from the Skechers Go line and want to see them continue to make improvements in this performance line of running shoes. Time will tell on this one.
The reality is that

The Skechers GoRun2’s have become my go-to running shoe of choice.

They are a lightweight trainer that I wear on my faster runs and surprisingly, the ones that I choose to use on slower or recovery runs too. I just like the way that they fit and feel when I run in them.

However, I have become more than a little skeptical about running shoes after my 50 mile reviews. All too often I have been disappointed by so many other running shoes that did great at the 50 mile review that just seem to stop working for me between 100 and 200 miles, that I try not to get my hopes up too high that these will be “The Shoes”.



I am hoping that the GoRun2’s do not follow in this pattern and go well beyond that 200 mile point.
The GoRun2’s Feel Different

That being said, the GoRun2’s seem to feel different from many of those other shoes I have worn recently. My right foot does not hurt in these shoes at all; I have not had to go through the blister/heal/callous process – then repeat, and they allow me to run quietly. Something that I consider important also, is that they do promote a mid-foot landing that I have been attempting to move to for so long.

I will be very interested in how the Skechers GoRun2 will be at that 200-mile mark and hopefully beyond. I wonder what my opinion will be then – it should be an interesting next few months.

All I know is that I want to get out and go for my next run in these shoes today and that I haven’t been this excited about many shoes at the 50 mile review point lately.



See you later, I gotta go run!

Skechers GoRun2 – 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: July 28, 2013


The Skechers GoRun2 is not the running shoe that I would expect from a shoe company with Sketchers’ reputation, especially with how I viewed their attempts at making running shoes in the past.
Let’s be up front about my relationship with Skechers.
    IMG_0559
  • I do not have any.
  • I purchased the GoRun2’s with my own money.
  • My opinions are from a runner who initially was very skeptical about Skechers as a “serious” running shoe company.
  • The comments in this post were a result of actually wearing and running in the Skechers GoRun2’s.
Okay, so I don’t have exactly 50 miles on my GR2’s, however I know that 42.41 miles on them is close enough for the purposes of this review. My opinion will not change all that much in the next 8.0 miles.
You can read my initial review here and no this is not a Skechers’ advertisement, these are my own thoughts about the GoRun2’s.

Fit

The GoRun2’s fit my feet the way that I want, are one of the most comfortable shoes I have worn and this is the best first 50-mile impression of a pair of running shoes that I have had in a long time.
Which I think pretty much sums up how they have worked for me so far.
Now to get into the details.
I have a Tailor’s Bunionette on my right foot which causes a lot of pain in that foot after 5-6 miles of running, especially when my running shoes are too narrow or if overlays are on top of my bunionette. So far the GR2’s have not given my bunionette any issues and I have been able to just run.
The biggest compliment that I can give a pair of running shoes is when I put them on, that I stop thinking about how my shoes are affecting my feet and just run.
So far that is what I have been able to do in my GoRun2’s.

Choice

I have at least 6 different brands and several styles of running shoes around the house and in the 20 times that I have run since I purchased the GoRun2’s, I have chosen to run in them 18 times.
This tells me that the Skechers GoRun2’s are the running shoes that I want to run in and I have actually put many of my other running shoes in the give-away pile, because of how they feel compared to the GR2’s.
Now when I go run, these are the shoes that I Iook for first.
That says it all for me.

Pros

No Blisters – None, nada, zero, as in no blisters on my heels, toes, or ankles. I hate shoes that cause blisters and keep causing them. Blisters happened to me all too often this past spring – having all those bloody socks was not the highlight of my spring and I consider it a fail in the fit department and refuse to keep torturing myself in running shoes that keep causing blisters.
Cushioned Feel – Even though the GR2’s stack height is not as high as many that I run in, the midsole material provides a nice cushioned feel to me and I like the combination of being able to feel the road and yet have a feeling of cushioning underneath you, that these shoes give me.
Lightweight – Coming in around 7 oz., they are at the lighter end of my lightweight trainer scale and lighter than many of my race shoes have been. Yesterday, I used them in a 5K Race and although I am not in racing shape (2 months off will do that, along with certain restrictions still), I was still able to run a 24:16 and felt very smooth in my GR2’s.
I also have a feeling that the narrowness of my Ekidon’s will be their downfall and I will just keep wearing the GR2’s or maybe even look at the Skechers GoSpeed (GoMeb) racing flats. if I really feel the need for flats.
Sole – I like the multi-grip outsole and how it performs while running in a variety of conditions i.e. tar, side of the roads, light trails, rain slicked roads, track, light mud and places where being nimble is important.
They don’t gain weight during a run, like my Nike Free’s did by picking up small rocks and having them lodge in the sole unit all the time. Actually I don’t think that I have had any rocks stick in the soles of the GR2’s yet.
I like these shoes too much and I have been walking in them a lot too. Which means that this pair of GR2’s will be wearing out faster than they would, if I wore them only for running. Actually this is a good problem I guess.
Hmmmm I wonder if this means that I should go ahead and just get another pair?
Quiet – One of the things that I want from my running shoes - is that they be quiet when I am running in them, which means to me that I am running efficiently. I run and walk extremely quiet in the GR2’s. I have only had one other pair of running shoes that I have had this experience in and the GR2’s seem to be even quieter than those were.
Promote Mid-foot landing – My physical therapist did a gait analysis of my running the other day and for the first time I was told independently that I land with a midfoot landing. I attribute that result directly to the GoRun2’s, due to the rocker that is built into the sole unit.
IMG_0557
Landing with a mid-foot landing, is something that I have worked on since November 2011 and have not been all that successful until now. The GR2’s reward me for a mid-foot landing, and I can definitely tell when I am landing on my heels, which gives me the opportunity to make the appropriate adjustments very quickly.
Cost – At a list price of $80.00, they are reasonably priced and a lot cheaper than the other running shoes that I have been buying over the past couple of years, which have had price points of $100-$140.
After discounts, I purchased my GR2’s for a little over $36.00. Now I probably will not get them for this price very often, but I have regularly seen them on sale in the $50-$60 price range, with free shipping, which is around half of the price I have been paying for my running shoes.
Color ways – I love the looks and styles of the shoes. Skechers’ designers have done a good job of making a great looking running shoe, which has multiple colors. I tend to like brighter colors and Skechers has plenty of bright colors, so that box is checked off.

Modifications

Rock Plate - Something that I did because they are a bit thin for running on dirt roads with lots of rocks or on rocky trails could be an adventure and not nearly as much fun, if I get my feet bruised up (I have run into this issue with other minimal style running shoes too).
So I modified the removable rock plate from my Altra Superiors and put them in the GR2’s. I don’t even notice that they are in there. Now when I know that I am going to run some place where rocks are or could be an issue, I just slide the rock plate in and voila, it stops most of the problem with rocks.
Laces – Something I do with all of my running shoes is add LockLaces, I like the way they fit and how the LockLaces make taking them on and off so easy.

Cons

Road Feel - On rocky surfaces, they have a little too much road feel and if you step wrong on rocks you can definitely feel them through the sole. For some they will not have enough cushioning.
Wear – I am not sure how many miles I will get out of the GR2’s, but based on the comfort and fit that I have in them so far and if I can get between 200-300 miles – I would be happy.
At this price point and with sales that are continually available, having to buy running shoes more often is not as big a deal. Who knows maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and they will last longer than the 300 mile ceiling that most of my running shoes seem to hit.
IMG_0564
The Skechers’ Brand name – It is taking Skechers time to overcome their previous reputation of not being a high quality running shoe company, but they seem to be - slowly but surely overcoming that hurdle.
My concern is whether Skechers will still have the same commitment they are showing to their performance division 5 years down the road as they are now. I am definitely liking what I have seen so far from the Skechers Go line and want to see them continue to make improvements in this performance line of running shoes. Time will tell on this one.

The reality is that

The Skechers GoRun2’s have become my go-to running shoe of choice.
They are a lightweight trainer that I wear on my faster runs and surprisingly, the ones that I choose to use on slower or recovery runs too. I just like the way that they fit and feel when I run in them.
However, I have become more than a little skeptical about running shoes after my 50 mile reviews. All too often I have been disappointed by so many other running shoes that did great at the 50 mile review that just seem to stop working for me between 100 and 200 miles, that I try not to get my hopes up too high that these will be “The Shoes”.
IMG_0561
I am hoping that the GoRun2’s do not follow in this pattern and go well beyond that 200 mile point.

The GoRun2’s Feel Different

That being said, the GoRun2’s seem to feel different from many of those other shoes I have worn recently. My right foot does not hurt in these shoes at all; I have not had to go through the blister/heal/callous process – then repeat, and they allow me to run quietly. Something that I consider important also, is that they do promote a mid-foot landing that I have been attempting to move to for so long.
I will be very interested in how the Skechers GoRun2 will be at that 200-mile mark and hopefully beyond. I wonder what my opinion will be then – it should be an interesting next few months.
All I know is that I want to get out and go for my next run in these shoes today and that I haven’t been this excited about many shoes at the 50 mile review point lately.
IMG_0570

See you later, I gotta go run! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Some Heretical Thinking About Running Shoes

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: July 21, 2013

IMG_0214Running shoes we love them, hate them, swear at them, swear by them, consider them indispensable or dispensable.
We give them too much credit when we are running well and too much blame when we are injured.
Whatever our views on running shoes are, most runners still slip them on our feet before we go for a run.
Over the years, I have become a running shoe snob and have a running shoe addiction problem. I have “learned” (sarcasm intended) that in order to run well that I have to be wearing the newest and greatest running shoes that the brands are offering. If a pair of running shoes cost much less than $100 originally, I would consider it an inferior shoe and not even consider running in them.
My wife tells me that I have a real problem with running shoes and I have to agree with her. Especially, since I purchased over 20 pair of them during the last couple of years, many of which barely made it to the 100 mile, which is much less than the “experts” 300-mile mark, before I stopped using them.
She thinks I am a little extreme in my Don Quixote search, for the perfect running shoe. Unfortunately, I have to agree with many of her observations and pithy comments.
Which I usually justify by saying “I have to have good shoes with all the miles I am running now”.
What have I run in over the past couple of years?
  • Mizuno – Elixir 7 (free media sample), Ronin 4, Ekidon, Wave Rider 16
  • Altra – Instinct 1.0, Instinct 1.5 (free media sample), Superiors, Torin, 3-Sum (free media sample)
  • Brooks – PureFlow 1, PureFlow 2
  • Nike – Free 4.0 v2, Free 5.0, Free Run+3,
  • Saucony – Peregrine, Kinvara 2, Viratta
  • Adidas – Vigor, Adizero Sonic 3, Marathon Trainer II (replica)
  • Newton – Gravity
  • New Balance – MT20, MT110
  • Asics – Gel Blur
  • Skechers – Go Run2
  • Skora – Base (free media sample)
In addition I have tried on many other shoes at various shoe stores: New Balance, Reebok, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike, Merrill, Asics, Scott, and Newton - that I did not buy because they did not fit right or another shoe met my needs better at the time.

Not Monogamous

Not exactly, what you could call a monogamous relationship with any particular running shoe brand and there are still a couple of brands that I have not tried yet that really intrigue me.
No, if anything I have been what my wife describes as a running shoe whore, always looking for my next “conquest” and all too willing to cast away the old ones.

Heretical Thoughts

Since was injured back in May, I have had time to think about my running shoe snobbery and addiction and come up with a few heretical thoughts that may guide my running shoe selection process in the future.

Heretical Thought #1

I can find a running shoe that I can run in quite nicely from just about any major brand.
Most brands have GREAT marketing departments and give runners all kinds of information on the different and great features that their shoes possess, along with many reasons why we should buy and stay loyal to their particular brand of shoe. They are damned good at their job and have influenced me several times - to lust after, until I try a brand’s latest and greatest running shoe offering.
I have found that it is not so much the brand of shoe, as much as the style of shoes that a brand sells. Personally, I prefer a lighter weight running shoe between 7 and 10 oz, with a drop between 4 and 8mm, a softer ride – more cushioning and a wide toe box or widths to accommodate my Tailor’s Bunionette. Almost all of the brands make a running shoe that meets these requirements.
While there are differences between running shoe brands and the style of shoes they sell, are the differences as great as the marketing departments make them out to be? I do not think so.

Heretical Thought #2

Do I really need to buy the latest – gee whiz running shoe?
Like most runners, I do not know or completely understand all the differences in technologies or designs between $80, $100, $120 or even $200 running shoes. I am not an engineer or a running shoe expert. I just run in them and expect them to work for me.
However, I have to decide whether the newest technology and designs make enough of a difference in how I run, to justify the significantly higher costs, often it does not seem to make all that much of a difference.
Which really makes me wonder if I need to continue to buy premium styles, especially when they first come out? After all, I am not attempting to be cool or stylish – I just want to run.

Heretical Thought #3

Minimalist running shoes are the answer to all of our running woes.
There is so much discussion, hype and marketing surrounding this type of running shoe. Listening to some of it – it would seem that minimalist style running shoes are the answer to all of our running injuries and woes.
However, my experience is different and to be perfectly honest I do not enjoy running in truly minimalist shoes, I find them uncomfortable to run in and have their own running related injury patterns for me.
Minimalist running shoes are not for everyone.

Heretical Thought #4

The runner makes the runner better, not the running shoes that you wear.
Many running shoe brands would have us believe that their running shoes will make you a better runner. While I believe that running shoes can help make a difference in how you run or how comfortably you run, the brand or style of running shoe do not make you a better runner.
You make yourself a better runner, by training correctly (mileage, pace, planning, research, strength work, etc.).
There is no magical running shoe that will suddenly allow you to run farther or faster. It takes time and hard work to accomplish those things. If there is I want it.

Heretical Thought #5

Just because a certain shoe works great for a friend, blogger or great runner does not mean that that same shoe is going to work great for me.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I think a certain amount of healthy skepticism is okay and necessary, when reading brand advertisements and product descriptions or blog and customer product reviews.

The reality is that

The running shoe snob part of me wants to believe the marketing hype and that premium running shoes are worth the high cost that brands charge us. Otherwise, why are we paying so much for our running shoes?
Unfortunately, that has not been my real-life experience with the more expensive, high-end running shoes. I do not run any better, still get injured and they do not seem to last any longer - than the supposedly second tier running shoes that I have run in.

Something has to give

I know that I cannot afford to keep paying $100 to $150 for running shoes on a limited budget, have them last only a month or two, before I have to buy another pair when I get back to my 50-mile weeks.
Something has to give.
Who knows maybe part of the answer is that I will have to turn-in my running shoe snob card and look a little more closely at some of those second tier running shoes or least keep an open mind about what I think of as a running shoe that I want to run in. Time will tell on this one, but I am going to be looking for running shoes that I like to be on sale, closeout or have steep discounts, before buying them.

How about you, do you have some heretical running shoe thoughts to add?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Running and Blogging–Where Do I Belong?

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: July 20, 2013

IMG_0220-001At some point in every blogger has to make choices about what we want from blogging and the direction that we will go in the future.
I consider myself a runblogger and after doing this for a couple of years I am also pretty sure that I am not going to make a living writing about my running.

Being Honest

Let’s be honest, I don’t write about running here on A Veteran Runnah because I am:
  • a famous running personality - I am not.
  • certified in anything related to the health, fitness or running professions (coach, doctor, chiropractor, dietician, physical therapist, psychologist, etc.) and have a wealth of professionally developed knowledge to share with other runners. I don’t have any professional certifications or unique knowledge about running.
  • or was an elite runner and share those experiences and stories of glory.- I am a recreational runner/racer, who finishes somewhere in the pack, who is simply trying to improve, hell I am not even a very good local runner.
  • a great entrepreneur and a running/fitness social media marketing ninja.I don’t have that put myself out there and show me the money mentality – just being honest.
Why you should read  - A Veteran Runnah?
A story – my story.

Writing about What I Love to do

That’s it, the story of an old fart who writes about his love of running.
Aging is kicking me square in the ass and telling me to get up and keep moving, or to shut it down and fade away. I refuse to sit on the couch and fade away, so what I write about is my journey to keep moving.
There will be a lot of posts on my daily running and getting ready for my next race, whichever one it is.
Once in a while a high point like accidentally doing well in an age group or meeting great people.
I will not forget the other side of the coin either. The lows, being on the injury merry-go-round or how I can’t do things like I used to, admitting that I make mistakes, probably more than my share and laughing at myself about them. Who knows maybe my writing about them, will help someone else avoid making the same one too.

Not just a running log.

I am going to write more about something that is overlooked in today’s overly serious and politically correct society – being a little irreverent towards different things that seem to be “holier than thou” to me. Something I didn’t really do as much as I wanted, when I was trying to be something I am not.
There will still be reviews of stuff that I actually use when I run (especially running shoes), book reviews because I love to read about running or a rant about something related to running that I get my knickers in a knot about.
Maybe, once in a while, my thoughts on something I have learned over the 40 plus years, that I have been a runner.
Honestly, my writing may not be all that glitzy, exciting or even “professional” when you compare it to others. But my posts will have my ideas and will convey the meaning, in the manner that I want to convey it.
My posts will have my real emotions, honest peeks into what and how I am doing, along with what I am thinking about.

Social Media Marketing

I attempted to do the fitness social media marketing thing for the past year and half. While I enjoy the social media part of it, I really can’t say that the marketing side of it has gone that well for me or that I am that good at it.
It just is not who I really am.
While I am willing to work my ass off and do a great job for whomever I am working for, I am too much of an introvert to fit into the marketing and artificial hype it up world. I am not that sophisticated and tend to see things from a “country” and a different generation’s idea of how things should and could be done.
The running/fitness social media marketing niche is filled by many great bloggers and writers who are much better entrepreneurs than I ever will be.
It will be nice however, to not worry about actively promoting myself to brands with the idea of my blog representing their brand or thinking about how to get free products to review or become a “blog ambassador”, so much that I change how and what I write about – which when I look back, I did.
So there will be some changes coming down the road in this area that will make me much more comfortable and much more sense in my life and how I see things.
Oh I will probably keep doing some social media marketing if they come around, but those opportunities won’t be something that I go out and look for. If I am what they want, they will find me, if not, I am going to have fun with my blogging.
After all that is why I started blogging in the first place.

The reality is that

  • Honestly, the only niche that I fit comfortably in, is writing about my personal experiences, reviews and perspectives that being an old guy runner give me.
  • My lack of credentials and limited levels of success in running now and in the past, do affect my creditability when I write about running.
  • Because of who I am and how I do things, I am not going to make my living being a blogger or social media marketing ninja any time soon.
I am tired of trying to be something that I am not and am going back to just being me.
Getting injured has had its positive side – it gave me time to stop and look at what I was doing, what is important and where I want to go. it doesn’t make it any less frustrating, but at least it served a purpose.
I think because of having this time to think and not being able to run, that I have finally figured out where I fit in the runblogger world.

What am I?

I am a cantankerous, old fart, who loves to run, hates getting older, is working hard as hell to get better as a runner, is a real person with opinions about what I like and don’t like. I can be rather blunt, makes his fair share of mistakes and has a definite running shoe problem.
My blog’s readership may go down or it may go up after this post, but my stats, the number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other social network, really are not the reason that I blog or participate in social media.
Going forward I am blogging and doing social media because I want to, not because I am trying to impress others or because I feel that I have to.
I like to write and share with others who might be interested in what an old fart is doing. Then maybe I can learn from them with their ideas on how to be a better runner or better yet – to develop new friendships with other runners that bridge the distances that separate us.
To put it another way, either you like what I write here or you don’t – either way it is cool, because I intend to keep writing and smiling, as I become more comfortable with the direction that my blog and I are going.

You damned old coot – Harold – you really are crazy aren’t you 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Death of a Dream and a New Beginning - July 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: July 3, 2013

My 1983 MCM t-shirt

I have had this dream to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year, 30 years after I finished it in 1983.

Today that dream died.

It is something that I have wanted to do and worked towards, since I put together my initial running Bucket List post back on December 4, 2011.



Over the last month I have tried every trick in the book, some outside of the book and nothing has helped to get my Achilles tendon issue to heal any faster. so that I can start my marathon training.
The Questions

During my physical therapy session today, I sat and talked honestly with my PT and even though she knows how much running in this race means to me, she did her job and asked the hard questions, so that she could make her recommendations to the doctor for my appointment on Monday:

She asked me to answer her honestly, when she asked the questions and I did.

Does your left foot area still hurt, when you walk in the door for therapy and give me the honest number?
  • Yes it does, usually around a 3-4, but after the last PT session a 5-6.
Have you run since the last PT session?
  • No, it was too uncomfortable.
Are you taking anything for pain management?
  • No
Do you have difficulty or pain walking up or down steps?
  • Yes
When you run on it, at the end of the run does it hurt more than at the start?
  • No, the pain and stiffness stay about the same, somewhere in the 2-4 range.
The other day when I saw you running on the treadmill, you were limping noticeably and were unable to properly toe-off while running. That is not your normal gait is it.
  • No, normally I run a lot more freely and easily.
Could you go out and finish a 10 mile today if you had to?
  • No
Do you think you are ready to start marathon training next Monday or even the week after? Knowing that you need to be able to run 30 miles a week and probably be able to run at least a 10-mile long run to start your marathon training.

Long pause, many thoughts of how I could answer this question and not lie to her or myself.
  • Then I quietly answered - no.
Big Disappointment

At that point, I just laid my head on the pillow, a tear or two rolled down my cheeks and I knew that my dreams of running the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon had died.

We were both quiet for a couple of minutes; she gave me time to compose myself.

Although I have been preparing myself for this decision, it was still tough as hell to finally admit it. 
I knew that deep down in my mind, that my Achilles tendon was not healing fast enough to allow me to train properly to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

When I finally acknowledged that I cannot train properly or run the Marine Corps Marathon – it felt so – final and hurt so bad. No one knows what running in this race really meant to me and how much I want it!

Yes I was pissed and frustrated with my body for betraying me and thought about saying screw it and just go for it – train for that marathon and damn the consequences.

My mind raced with all of the crazy things that we all do, when we finally realize that we have lost a dream we have had and worked so hard and long to attempt to achieve.

A Different Perspective

Then a sense of calm washed over me and I relaxed. I thought back to when I got this injury at the Miles for Mills 5K and how afterwards I said then that I would do it again and even with everything that has happened – I still would.



I also thought about my wife and the health struggles she is going through and how every single day, that she gets out there and does some exercise, even when she sure as hell does not feel like it.

Looking at my not being able to run in the Marine Corps Marathon from those perspectives, it is not really a very big deal. Yes, it is a disappointment and this Achilles injury is a setback to my running, but it is not the end of the world!

I WILL RUN AGAIN

I talked with my PT for a while about the decision and what her recommendations would be to the Doctor for my appointment on Monday.

We talked that in all likelihood; I will run and train hard again, just not right now – AS LONG AS I STAY SMART ABOUT MY RECOVERY!

We both believe that I will be running within a month or two, which is not that long a time in the overall scheme of things.

Best of all, she agrees that I should run, as much as pain allows, BUT NOT FOR MORE THAN 30:00 MINUTES. That way I can start to re-establish my mileage base, do some fun running, after a while some easy trail runs and work on any form issues that need to be corrected.

It gives me time to get ready to run, without putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on me, to do more than I should right now, which I know I would have if I had started training for the MCM.
Emotional Eating

Tonight I am going to give myself permission to eat emotionally and assuage my grief over the death of an important to me dream. This afternoon I had a big bowl of coffee ice cream and rainbow sprinkles



and tonight I am going to have a Whoopie Pie from the Middle Road Bakery

and probably even one of my Sam Adams lagers that I have stashed away in the back room.

Starting Over

Then tomorrow, I will get back to workinghard on my recovery plan that we put together and no running until Friday when I can do 20 minutes, if my leg is not hurting any more than a 3 on the pain scale.

When I got home, I did need to work off some frustration, so I mowed the lawn for an hour and half. Yes, my damn leg hurt after, but it gave me time to think and yes I know in my heart and my head that not running the Marine Corps Marathon this year is the best decision for me to make.

I will come back stronger and better prepared for my next running challenge, now I just have to figure out what that challenge will be.

It still sucks though!

Have you ever had a dream race that you planned to run and due to an injury could not?

Any ideas for a goal race in the New England area that I can use as a focus to train for in the late October, early November time frame?