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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Becoming a Barbarian Again

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 27, 2013


Over the past few months and especially the past few weeks, I have looked at lots and lots of things that I should and will do to simplify my life professionally and personally.
What's going on you are fairly successful doing the social media marketing and blogging thing - right?
Let me back up a bit explain what is going on.
Last year I decided to take a year, to see if I could make a go of creating a small business called A Veteran Runnah, that would focus on social media, online marketing and blogging both on my blog and as a free-lance writer. I did not go into this naïve or thinking that I would be an overnight success. I knew that it would take a LOT of hard-work and effort on my part.

The year is over!

Well that year is now over.
I had some huge successes:
  • becoming a featured Real Health Blog contributor, (which ends August 31st)
  • going to the inaugural Runner's World Half as a FitFluential Ambassador - last October.
During the last year I do know that I learned a helluva lot, made my share of mistakes and most of all - met so many amazing people, face-to-face and online.
When it became clear that my time as a Real Health contributor was coming to an end, it made me stop and think, sit down and really take a long look at what would come next. My wife and I had several frank discussions about the future, what kind of life we want to live and came to several conclusions. We decided on a direction that we would take that would make the both of us happiest.
The changes financially, will mean doing things differently, but not really that differently.

What I Learned

The biggest thing that I learned is that I am not a social media ninja, guru, expert or really all that interested in being an amazing entrepreneur.
I don't have the personality or drive, to be really successful or happy in that world. 
Chasing, closing and promoting - the next big deal or even little deal, are not the things that drive me or trip my trigger. I just don't fit in and it is not who I am, especially since my heart just was not into that lifestyle, because that what social media marketing really is - a lifestyle, not just a job.
It doesn't take a lot of money, being rich or famous, to make my life happy or successful. As long as we have enough to meet our needs and a few splurges from time to time, I am very happy (well as long as I keep in good running shoes). I am very content on our 8 acres, double-wide trailer and don't need a fancy new house, to travel around the world, have a Porche in the garage and a giant SUV in the driveway.
No my life and wants are much simpler than that.
I want to see my grandkids more often, be more a part of the local community, enjoy puttering around the house/yard and sharing my Runnah's story - my way, without worrying about how or what I say or do will affect my how a brand will view me.
I am a lot like my Ford Truck: reliable, can be cleaned-up pretty good, still can go places off the beaten track and can do a lot of stuff people didn't realize that I can.

Loyalty

Another thing that I learned is that I am more loyal than I thought I was.
While I have never been very loyal to any particular brand of running shoe or gear in the past, but then I always purchased my gear and had the consumer's option of  talking about it the way that I wanted and not feel guilty if I decided to use something else. After all I had made the choice to buy it.
When I started to get free stuff to do product reviews or swag, beyond the normal stuff that runners get at races. I had a hard time reconciling how to be loyal to those brands that provided me free products, while still remaining true to myself and providing accurate reviews.
Eventually, I found the right balance for me and became very selective about the products that I would agree to review. This decision ensured that I was providing accurate reviews of the products that I liked and while not publicly trashing a brand's product that I did not like or did not work for me, but providing accurate feedback back to the brands.
However, to remain solvent, I needed to have multiple income streams and be willing to accept assignments from multiple brands in the running/health niche I had chosen. Which meant that I sometimes needed to review products from competing brands and that bothered me - a lot, especially when I preferred a certain one over the others.
At times I felt as though I was walking a tightrope of remaining true to who I am versus becoming a brand whore and there were more than a few things that happened that made me scratch my head and go mmmmm - then say I don't think so and walk away.
That was the beginnings of my disillusionment with what I was doing.

Policies and Procedures

The other part is that all corporations or brands have their policies and procedures that have to be followed, they all have a certain perception of how the world should see their product and how they should be written about and how you represent them.
Their ideas and mine...well the two didn't always fit so well, but if I was being paid for a deliverable, I needed to toe the company line and let things go once, I made delivery. It was difficult to do that at times, because I do take pride in the work that I do and when the final product did not resemble what I had written or my intended outlook, but had my name attached to it - well it bothered me.

Complicated

The other big thing that I learned was that over the past year, was that my life got way too COMPLICATED!
I was always attempting to do this or that, attend this chat, that hangout, this deliverable was due, can you re-do this article, this just happened - can you prepare a post by tonight, your video was good, but can you re-shoot it this way and all the other stuff that happens as a free-lance writer, featured blogger and social media marketer.
It seemed that I was on the computer all the time, when I wasn't, I needed my smart phone to beep and buzz when I was mentioned, someone left a comment or retweeted a tweet I had made on different social media sites. I felt that I needed to know and be involved in all the social media conversations - all the time. In other words my laptop and computers were beeping and buzzing constantly between 6:00 AM and 11:00 PM.
Social media became too much - I was connected to the online world so much it was affecting my real world negatively, plus I was feeling burnt out from having to be "on" and portray that good online persona - all the time. I wasn't allowed to be Harold.
I started putting limits on notifications and how much time I was spending online, but to do the social media marketing thing and be good at it, you need to keep up a presence on the major social media hubs, especially when you are first starting out.
Then add in the fact that as a social media marketer, you are always looking for new clients or work, submitting proposals, for when your current work is over and keeping track of it all (for legal, tax and other purposes), was not what I wanted to be doing long-term.

Being Connected

I know and understand that many people live their lives being connected online 24/7 today whether they are doing social media marketing or not and they consider themselves happy, successful and satisfied with that lifestyle.
However, I am not a digital native and still remember a time when technology was not the focal point of our lives - yes there was life before the Internet and while it might not have been as immediate, it was still a good one.
Although I have been involved with technology for a long time and am very comfortable using it, this level of immersion is not what I want to be a primary focus in my life, especially for the long-term.
I enjoy my time away from the electronic world and the wonders that it provides - too much.

Letting go of the Dream

So instead of continuing to chase after something that is not really who I am.
I am letting go of the fantasy of becoming Harold the social media ninja or guru or even the next great blogger, who will be acclaimed by the national publications and be paid the big bucks to write for them.
I know now I would not be happy living life in the fast lane, after touching the tip of that iceberg.

Downsizing

So I have started the journey to downsize my life.
Yes, I am going back to being who I really am - Harold the barbarian (no not the one popularized by Robert E. Howard, but more this definition.
I am going back to being the uncouth, uncultured and socially unacceptable person that I have been most of my life - no I don't fit into the world of limos, red carpets, high rises, small mansions and masses of humanity hurtling by at a million miles an hour.

What does all this really mean?

I enjoy:
  • loving my family
  • taking the path less travelled,
  • being a  guy from a small town in Maine and the lifestyle that I have here,
  • sharing my journey and story about fighting getting old,
  • attempting to be the best Runnah I can be at this point in my life
  • puttering around the house breaking things and then trying to put them back together - my Harold the Destroy persona,
  • not worrying about what the Jones' have,
  • being a lot blunter and not worrying so much about impressing others with my wittiness and ability to sell a product
  • being a good friend
  • smiling a lot
Who knows maybe I will even have more time to expand my interests back to including other things like reading, more exploring the local area, genealogy, archery, some hunting or fishing, but definitely spending more time outside and a lot less time on the computer, phone or virtual worlds.
The reality is that since I have made this decision, I have relaxed - a lot. I am looking forward to what the next chapters in my life will bring to me and sharing pieces of that journey with those of you who choose to continue reading my blog.

Becoming a Barbarian Again


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 27, 2013


Over the past few months and especially the past few weeks, I have looked at lots and lots of things that I should and will do to simplify my life professionally and personally.

What's going on you are fairly successful doing the social media marketing and blogging thing - right?

Let me back up a bit explain what is going on.

Last year I decided to take a year, to see if I could make a go of creating a small business called A Veteran Runnah, that would focus on social media, online marketing and blogging both on my blog and as a free-lance writer. I did not go into this naïve or thinking that I would be an overnight success. I knew that it would take a LOT of hard-work and effort on my part.

The year is over!

Well that year is now over.

I had some huge successes:

  • becoming a featured Real Health Blog contributor, (which ends August 31st)
  • going to the inaugural Runner's World Half as a FitFluential Ambassador - last October.

During the last year I do know that I learned a helluva lot, made my share of mistakes and most of all - met so many amazing people, face-to-face and online.

When it became clear that my time as a Real Health contributor was coming to an end, it made me stop and think, sit down and really take a long look at what would come next. My wife and I had several frank discussions about the future, what kind of life we want to live and came to several conclusions. We decided on a direction that we would take that would make the both of us happiest.

The changes financially, will mean doing things differently, but not really that differently.

What I Learned

The biggest thing that I learned is that I am not a social media ninja, guru, expert or really all that interested in being an amazing entrepreneur.

I don't have the personality or drive, to be really successful or happy in that world. Chasing, closing and promoting - the next big deal or even little deal, are not the things that drive me or trip my trigger. I just don't fit in that world and it is not who I am, especially since my heart just was not into that lifestyle, because that what social media marketing really is - a lifestyle, not just a job.

It doesn't take a lot of money, being rich or famous, to make my life happy or successful. As long as we have enough to meet our needs and a few splurges from time to time, I am very happy (well as long as I keep in good running shoes). I am very content on our 8 acres, double-wide trailer and don't need a fancy new house, to travel around the world, have a Porche in the garage and a giant SUV in the driveway.

No my life and wants are much simpler than that.

I want to see my grandkids more often, be more a part of the local community, enjoy puttering around the house/yard and sharing my Runnah's story - my way, without worrying about how or what I say or do will affect my how a brand will view me.

I am a lot like my Ford Truck: reliable, can be cleaned-up pretty good, still can go places off the beaten track and can do a lot of stuff people didn't realize that I can.
Loyalty

Another thing that I learned is that I am more loyal than I thought I was.

While I have never been very loyal to any particular brand of running shoe or gear in the past, but then I always purchased my gear and had the consumer's option of talking about it the way that I wanted and not feel guilty if I decided to use something else. After all I had made the choice to buy it.

When I started to get free stuff to do product reviews or swag, beyond the normal stuff that runners get at races. I had a hard time reconciling how to be loyal to those brands that provided me free products, while still remaining true to myself and providing accurate reviews.

Eventually, I found the right balance for me and became very selective about the products that I would agree to review. This decision ensured that I was providing accurate reviews of the products that I liked and while not publicly trashing a brand's product that I did not like or did not work for me, but providing accurate feedback back to the brands.

However, to remain solvent, I needed to have multiple income streams and be willing to accept assignments from multiple brands in the running/health niche I had chosen. Which meant that I sometimes needed to review products from competing brands and that bothered me - a lot, especially when I preferred a certain one over the others - by a lot.

At times I felt as though I was walking a tightrope of remaining true to who I am versus becoming a brand whore and there were more than a few things that happened that made me scratch my head and go mmmmm - then say I don't think so and walk away.

This was really the beginnings of my disillusionment with what I was doing.

Policies and Procedures

The other part is that all corporations or brands have their policies and procedures that have to be followed, they all have a certain perception of how the world should see their product and how they should be written about and how you represent them.

Their ideas and mine...well the two didn't always fit so well, but if I was being paid for a deliverable, I needed to toe the company line and let things go once, I made delivery. It was difficult to do that at times, because I do take pride in the work that I do and when the final product did not resemble what I had written, but had my name attached to it - well it bothered me.
Complicated

The other big thing that I learned was that over the past year, was that my life got way too 

COMPLICATED!

I was always attempting to do this or that, attend this chat, that hangout, this deliverable was due, can you re-do this article, this just happened - can you prepare a post by tonight, your video was good, but can you re-shoot it this way and all the other stuff that happens as a free-lance writer, featured blogger and social media marketer.

It seemed that I was on the computer all the time, when I wasn't, I needed my smart phone to beep and buzz when I was mentioned, someone left a comment or retweeted a tweet I had made on different social media sites. I felt that I needed to know and be involved in all the social media conversations - all the time. In other words my laptop and computers were beeping and buzzing constantly between 6:00 AM and 11:00 PM.

Social media became too much - I was connected to the online world so much it was affecting my real world negatively, plus I was feeling burnt out from having to be "on" and portray that good online persona - all the time.

I started putting limits on notifications and how much time I was spending online, but to do the social media marketing thing and be good at it, you need to keep up a presence on the major social media hubs, especially when you are first starting out.

Then add in the fact that as a social media marketer, you are always looking for new clients or work, submitting proposals, for when your current work is over and keeping track of it all (for legal, tax and other purposes), was not what I wanted to be doing long-term.
Being Connected

I know and understand that many people live their lives being connected online 24/7 today whether they are doing social media marketing or not and they consider themselves happy, successful and satisfied with that lifestyle.

However, I am not a digital native and still remember a time when technology was not the focal point of our lives - yes there was life before the Internet and while it might not have been as immediate, it was still a good one.

Although I have been involved with technology for a long time and am very comfortable using it, this level of immersion is not what I want to be a primary focus in my life, especially for the long-term.

I enjoy my time away from the electronic world and the wonders that it provides - too much.
Letting go of the Dream

So instead of continuing to chase after something that is not really who I am.

I am letting go of the fantasy of becoming Harold the social media ninja or guru or even the next great blogger, who will be acclaimed by the national publications and be paid the big bucks to write for them.

I know now I would not be happy living life in the fast lane, after touching the tip of that iceberg.
Downsizing

So I have started the journey to downsize my life.

Yes, I am going back to being who I really am - Harold the barbarian (no not the one popularized by Robert E. Howard), but more this definition.

I am going back to being the uncouth, uncultured and socially inept (at times) person that I have been most of my life - no I don't fit into the world of limos, red carpets, high rises, small mansions and masses of humanity hurtling by at a million miles an hour.
What does all this really mean?

I enjoy:

  • loving my family
  • taking the path less travelled,
  • being a guy from a small town in Maine and the lifestyle that I have here,
  • sharing my journey and story about fighting getting old,
  • attempting to be the best Runnah I can be at this point in my life
  • puttering around the house breaking things and then trying to put them back together - my Harold the Destroy persona,
  • not worrying about what the Jones' have,
  • being a lot blunter and not worrying so much about impressing others with my wittiness and ability to sell a product
  • being a good friend
  • smiling a lot

Who knows maybe I will even have more time to expand my interests back to including other things like reading, more exploring the local area, genealogy, archery, some hunting or fishing, but definitely spending more time outside and a lot less time on the computer, phone or virtual worlds.

The reality is that since I have made this decision, I have relaxed - a lot. I am looking forward to what the next chapters in my life will bring to me and sharing pieces of that journey with those of you who choose to continue reading my blog.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Gotta Be True - It's On The Internet


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 22, 2013

This is a bit of a rant, so be forewarned.

I love the Internet and how it allows me to connect with others, research new or different ways to improve my running and all the other things that I do there. However, we have to be aware and careful of what we are reading and watching while visiting there.

Is what you are reading or watching based on reality on reality or is it what someone wants to be reality and make it easy for them to make a quick buck or two?

Does it really matter?

I believe it does - a lot

The old saying "if it is too good to be true, it probably is" has its place, for just about everything we do on the internet.

There are lots of people who are providing "questionable" methods and programs to runners to improve their running, especially newer or desperate runners attempting to come back from yet another injury, that make recommendations about running that make me go huh!

Too much of their "proof" is based on conjecture, questionable or cherry-picked research or something they simply pulled out of their ass.

I know the old saying CAVEAT EMPTOR "Buyer Beware" theory that some seem to condone completely online, but is that the direction we want or need our running community to go?

I don't.

Stop and think

Stop and think about how easy it is for someone to claim to be an "expert", create a blog and a website, then publish an eBook about running (ripping off others ideas and methods), sell it on Amazon and other places, start a slick Internet marketing campaign and start shouting from everywhere that "you" should do something like:

  • change your form - after all there is only one "true" way
  • change your diet - this is the "only" right way
  • change your training - this way is the "only" right way
  • change your outlook - this is how you "should" see the world
  • change your...you fill in the blank

and all the other "should, only, right, better ways to instantly become the runner you have always wanted to be, while never having to worry about injuries again. Then comes the kicker - we can do all this and more for a small price, because after all your health and your running are so important to you - well isn't it?

In my opinion if someone starts to preach the above - run a fast as you can in the other direction.

Those people scare me.


In the 40 plus years that I have been a runnah, I have learned the hard way that there is no single right way to run or train for every situation or runner.

There are too many variables involved like different distances, finish times desired, individual biomechanics, injury history, current gait and running form, personalities and all the other factors that need to be factored into our running, that do not and cannot fit into any one size fits all runner's plan or program.

Before buying into a "program" (either with cash or time) look at the author's (writing or video) credentials.
  • Do they have the background and experience to be knowledgeable in what they are talking about?
  • Where did they get it?
  • How did they get it?
  • How long have they been involved in this?
  • Who else do you know that has used this program (online or real life)?
  • What do other experts in the field say about this program or person?
  • How much is it actually going to cost you?
  • Can you do the concepts in the program without instruction or do you have to have ongoing coaching?
  • How long does it take to see improvements or changes?
  • Have you been following this person on Twitter, Facebook page, Google+, what are the responses that person is actually receiving on their program?
  • What does success look like?
  • Is the program a new and different take on something or does it build on the work of another author? Is credit given?
  • Finally and the only thing that really counts - does it feel right to you?

Those and many other question are important to ask yourself before you jump in with both feet to use a particular program.

The reality is that


Just because someone has a great blog or website, does not mean that they have all the answers or that they are the experts they seem to be. There are many out there whose primary aim is to get you to give them some of your hard-earned money and not worry about if their program is right for you.

While I hope that many, actually I want to believe that most authors, blogs, website and programs are truly out there to help us become better runners, it is up to each one of us to make sure of that. We need to find and use those sites and programs that have qualified coaches, instructors or research behind them. Even a site or program with the best of intentions may not be giving information that is appropriate, research based or reasonable.

There is room in running for many different philosophies, plans and programs for runners, but there are no shortcuts to becoming a better runner, you have to put in the time and hard-work to do it.

If a training plan or routine promises you the world and it sounds too good to be true - be careful and do your research even more carefully.

I don't want to see anyone get hurt or say running sucks, because they used information or a program that is based on drivel and some shithead's wish to make a quick buck,

Just because it is on the Internet or in a book, does not make it true.

Think about it and do your own research!

CAVEAT EMPTOR

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What is Important?


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 17, 2013

This post doesn't have a lot to do with running, but it is part of my story and one that I think many share. I am not writing this to bring anyone down, it is more to clear my head and put together the thoughts that I have running around in my head that just won't stop.

I am feeling a bit melancholy today.

I found out last night that one of my neighbors died back on August 4th. I knew he had terminal cancer and had battled it for the past 10 months, but no one let me know until yesterday (I don't read the obituaries).

Unfortunately, I hardly knew him, we didn't share interests, but we had lived on the same street for over 13 years, said Hi, talked about the weather or waved when driving or walking past one another for all those years.

It is weird how that happens, I lived within 400 yards of someone for that long and yet I didn't know him, beyond what kind of vehicle he drove, how he kept his yard and once in a while talk with him about inconsequential things, like the weather or sports.

One thing that I did find out about my neighbor when I read his obituary, that I didn't know was that he was only 56 years old when he died.

I am 56 years old.

When I learned that, it bothered me - a lot.

It is one thing when someone who is a lot older than you or someone you do not know dies, but it is another when a neighbor, someone you see almost daily and is the same age as you dies.

It brings home how mortal I am.

That does scare me and made think about:

What if...well you know - death.

What kind of legacy will I leave for others to remember me?

and all those other awkward questions and things that come into our minds of when we think about something we desperately attempt to avoid in our society - death and dying.

I do not plan on meeting with the Grim Reaper any time soon and plan to live my life as fully as I can until I do, but my neighbor's death bothered me more than I thought it would, back when I first learned that he had terminal cancer.

However, thinking about and writing about my neighbor's death here, helps me to cope with the mixed-up feelings that I have swirling around inside of my head now and some of the guilt that I feel about not getting to know him better. Someone who lived so close to me for so long, before they died, instead of talking about them after they are dead. I know that it is unreasonable to feel this way, but at the same time - I still do.

Do you know your neighbors, if one died tomorrow how would you feel?

I think that the song by Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day is an appropriate song to honor my neighbor and then go out for a long run to help clear my head.

When I get back, I will go back to living my life, but with the promise to live it well and make more of an effort to know my neighbors.


So what is important?

Friday, August 16, 2013

50 Mile - Skechers GoRun Ride2 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: August 16, 2013


This is my first review on A Runnah's Story and I am going to do a few things differently, than I have on my other blogs.

Most importantly - I don't care about what the manufacturer's marketing propaganda says, what other reviewers write or even what the shoe's stats are. Those things might mean something when I first buy a pair of shoes, but by the time I run 50 miles in them, the shoes are:
  • given away,
  • thrown in the back of the closet or
  • a part of my regular running shoe rotation.

Another thing that worked well this time was not doing an initial running shoe review, they really don't mean diddly and you are parroting what the manufacturer's marketing information is, so that is going to be my standard ops from now on - no initial review.


Skechers GoRun Ride2's (GRR2)

I asked for and got these running shoes for my birthday a few weeks ago, because of my positive experiences with the Skechers GoRun2's. Since then I have done a trail run (shhhh still not supposed to), dirt roads, tar, a couple of 8.0 milers and have 52.3 miles on them.

What I like

Fit and feel: 

I think that this is the most important thing about any running shoe.

The GRR2's are VERY comfortable, wide in the right places, doesn't have a heel counter and just feels comfortable to wear, whether I am running or walking in them.

My right foot, yes that one with the Tailor's Bunionette that has given me so many problems last spring hasn't bothered on any of my runs so far, which means that on longer training runs, I won't be compensating for the right foot pain and causing a host of other issues.

The GRR2 feels like it is much more cushioned than it is. It is not a sloppy marshmallow cushion feel, but more of knowing that yes, I feel the cushion and know that it is enough to protect my feet from whatever conditions are under my feet, without being too much.
Enough Shoe: 

As much as I like the GoRun2, they were a little too minimal for me to do longer runs in them. The GoRun Ride2, seems to be the perfect blend of comfort, cushioning and lightweight for how I run.

The GRR2's are quiet: I don't slap or hammer my heels in them, which in my experience means that I am running more efficiently, plus I sneak up on people easier ;-).

Effective: 

The little bit of lift (rocker) in the middle is just enough to guide me to more of an efficient landing style. I don't know if that is always mid-foot or heel landing style, but how I run in the Ride2's feels right to me, even when I am tired and my form is not as good. Now I just need to video tape myself in them.

Break-in time: 

No breaking in my foot to the shoe. I have not had any blisters in the usual areas that new shoes tend to give me, which is huge when it comes to running comfortably. Not having to worry about bloody socks and blister management after a run is nice.

Light-weight: 

They are a very lightweight training shoe, that I could easily run a race or do track workouts in.

Sole: 

The multi-purpose outer sole unit, works well in a variety of conditions from roads to non-technical trails and appears to be wearing just fine.

Skechers GoRun Ride2 Sole
Style: 

While this is not a super important consideration to me, I do want my shoes to look good and be bright - the blue/white GRR2's that I got are at the lower end of the brightness scale that I want. The available colorways for the GoRun Ride2's seem to be much more conservative than the GoRun2's or GoRunSpeeds(Mebs).

Price:

Yes they were a birthday present, but the list price is only $80.00. If you look around the Internet, you can get them on sale quite often for under $70 and when the new models come later this year I have a feeling that they will be available for even less.

For me to really like a running shoe, it must become an extension of my foot, to the point that I don't notice that I am wearing them, unless I think about it. So far the Skechers GoRun Ride2's have met this requirement with flying colors.



Things I do not like


Rocks: 

As you can see above the GRR2's will pick up small rocks when I am running on gravel or trails, but it seems to be more of an issue when I am walking in them than when I am running. This has not really bothered me yet and they clean out easily, but it could become an issue and probably at the wrong time during a run.

Sizing: 

I wonder how the size 8.0 would fit compared to the size 8.5 I am currently wearing - they feel just a tad big, in other words they seem run more true to sizing than other shoes have for me recently - it is something that I will explore, but not really worry about.

Durability: 

Like every review I have read, I wonder about how they will hold up over the miles and at the 52 mile mark you can see that there is no significant wear on the out sole and the uppers, look pretty much new, so this issue might be a bit over-blown, but I will know more at the 300 mile mark.
Availability: 

Famous Footwear is the only local store that I know carries Skechers' Performance line and they only have the GoRun Ride2 in the Gray/Orange or Black colorways, so I have had to order my Skechers Performance shoes online.

Reputation: 

Getting by the Skechers brand name and thinking of them as a serious running shoe. Example. When I was running the other day and talking to another runner, they asked me what my shoes were and told them Skechers, they said "you are kidding, Skechers makes real running shoes!" I have gotten this response from several runners in the area and they can't believe that - me the running shoe snob and local running shoe whore is running in Skechers and loving them. They all ask me what kind of sweetheart deal that I have with Skechers to run in their shoes and are surprised when I tell them that we have bought them.

The reality is that

Skechers GoRun Ride2

I have tried much more expensive running shoes from just about every brand out there, after all more expensive is supposed to mean a better running shoe - right? Luckily TheWife agrees that I need to get the running shoes that works best for me, even if we have to pay more for them. Yes, I am very lucky to have such an understanding wife, however, that doesn't mean that I can go out and buy $150 running shoes every couple of months - there is still a budget that I need to stay within.

Thankfully, Skechers are proving the Cost-More is Better theory wrong for me. They are the cheapest running shoes (list price) that I have bought in the last 2 years and they are the running shoes that I choose to run in almost exclusively now. The other 10 pair of running shoes I have lying around go unused. In fact I have put 6 pair into the give-away pile, made another pair into my lawn shoes and put into storage 2 other pair that are damn near brand new, just because I can't part with them yet after paying over $100 for them.

I try not to get too excited at the 50 mile mark for running shoes anymore, but so far I like so much to like about the GoRun Ride2's, that when it comes down to choosing which shoes to go for a run in, I have chosen the GRR2's almost exclusively since I got them and enjoying running in them.

I guess that statement more than any other sums up how I feel about the Skechers GoRun Ride2's - "I enjoy running in them."

50 Mile - Skechers GoRun Ride2 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: August 16, 2013

This is my first review on A Runnah's Story and I am going to do a few things differently, than I have on my other blogs.

Most importantly - I don't care about what the manufacturer's marketing propaganda says, what other reviewers write or even what the shoe's stats are. Those things might mean something when I first buy a pair of shoes, but by the time I run 50 miles in them, the shoes are:

  • given away,
  • thrown in the back of the closet or
  • a part of my regular running shoe rotation.


Another thing that worked well this time was not doing an initial running shoe review, they really don't mean diddly and you are parroting what the manufacturer's marketing information is, so that is going to be my standard ops from now on - no initial review.

Skechers GoRun Ride2

Skechers GoRun Ride2's (GRR2)

I asked for and got these running shoes for my birthday a few weeks ago, because of my positive experiences with the Skechers GoRun2's. Since then I have done a trail run (shhhh still not supposed to), dirt roads, tar, a couple of 8.0 milers and have 52.3 miles on them.

What I like

Fit and feel:

I think that this is the most important thing about any running shoe. The GRR2's are VERY comfortable, wide in the right places, doesn't have a heel counter and just feels comfortable to wear, whether I am running or walking in them.

My right foot, yes that one with the Tailor's Bunionette that has given me so many problems last spring hasn't bothered on any of my runs so far, which means that on longer training runs, I won't be compensating for the right foot pain and causing a host of other issues.

The GRR2 feels like it is much more cushioned than it is. It is not a sloppy marshmallow cushion feel, but more of knowing that yes, I feel the cushion and know that it is enough to protect my feet from whatever conditions are under my feet, without being too much.

Enough Shoe: As much as I like the GoRun2, they were a little too minimal for me to do longer runs in them. The GoRun Ride2, seems to be the perfect blend of comfort, cushioning and lightweight for how I run.

The GRR2's are quiet: I don't slap or hammer my heels in them, which in my experience means that I am running more efficiently, plus I sneak up on people easier ;-).

Effective: The little bit of lift (rocker) in the middle is just enough to guide me to more of an efficient landing style. I don't know if that is always mid-foot or heel landing style, but how I run in the Ride2's feels right to me, even when I am tired and my form is not as good. Now I just need to video tape myself in them.

Break-in time: No breaking in my foot to the shoe. I have not had any blisters in the usual areas that new shoes tend to give me, which is huge when it comes to running comfortably. Not having to worry about bloody socks and blister management after a run is nice.

Light-weight: They are a very lightweight training shoe, that I could easily run a race or do track workouts in.

Sole: The multi-purpose outer sole unit, works well in a variety of conditions from roads to non-technical trails and appears to be wearing just fine.

Skechers GoRun Ride2 Sole

Style: While this is not a super important consideration to me, I do want my shoes to look good and be bright - the blue/white GRR2's that I got are at the lower end of the brightness scale that I want. The available colorways for the GoRun Ride2's seem to be much more conservative than the GoRun2's or GoRunSpeeds(Mebs).

Price; Yes they were a birthday present, but the list price is only $80.00. If you look around the Internet, you can get them on sale quite often for under $70 and when the new models come later this year I have a feeling that they will be available for even less.

For me to really like a running shoe, it must become an extension of my foot, to the point that I don't notice that I am wearing them, unless I think about it. So far the Skechers GoRun Ride2's have met this requirement with flying colors.



Things I do not like



Rocks: As you can see above the GRR2's will pick up small rocks when I am running on gravel or trails, but it seems to be more of an issue when I am walking in them than when I am running. This has not really bothered me yet and they clean out easily, but it could become an issue and probably at the wrong time during a run.

Sizing: I wonder how the size 8.0 would fit compared to the size 8.5 I am currently wearing - they feel just a tad big, in other words they seem run more true to sizing than other shoes have for me recently - it is something that I will explore, but not really worry about.

Durability: Like every review I have read, I wonder about how they will hold up over the miles and at the 52 mile mark you can see that there is no significant wear on the out sole and the uppers, look pretty much new, so this issue might be a bit over-blown, but I will know more at the 300 mile mark.

Availability: Famous Footwear is the only local store that I know carries Skechers' Performance line and they only have the GoRun Ride2 in the Gray/Orange or Black colorways, so I have had to order my Skechers Performance shoes online.

Reputation: Getting by the Skechers brand name and thinking of them as a serious running shoe.

Example. When I was running the other day and talking to another runner, they asked me what my shoes were and told them Skechers, they said "you are kidding, Skechers makes real running shoes!" I have gotten this response from several runners in the area and they can't believe that - me the running shoe snob and local running shoe whore is running in Skechers and loving them. They all ask me what kind of sweetheart deal that I have with Skechers to run in their shoes and are surprised when I tell them that we have bought them.

The reality is that


Skechers GoRun Ride2

I have tried much more expensive running shoes from just about every brand out there, after all more expensive is supposed to mean a better running shoe - right? Luckily TheWife agrees that I need to get the running shoes that works best for me, even if we have to pay more for them. Yes, I am very lucky to have such an understanding wife, however, that doesn't mean that I can go out and buy $150 running shoes every couple of months - there is still a budget that I need to stay within.

Thankfully, Skechers are proving the Cost-More is Better theory wrong for me. They are the cheapest running shoes (list price) that I have bought in the last 2 years and they are the running shoes that I choose to run in almost exclusively now. The other 10 pair of running shoes I have lying around go unused. In fact I have put 6 pair into the give-away pile, made another pair into my lawn shoes and put into storage 2 other pair that are damn near brand new, just because I can't part with them yet after paying over $100 for them.

I try not to get too excited at the 50 mile mark for running shoes anymore, but so far I like so much to like about the GoRun Ride2's, that when it comes down to choosing which shoes to go for a run in, I have chosen the GRR2's almost exclusively since I got them and enjoying running in them.

I guess that statement more than any other sums up how I feel about the Skechers GoRun Ride2's - "I enjoy running in them."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Starting Over - A Runnah's Story

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 14, 2013



Sometimes starting over what you have to do.

I have thought about making this change for over a month now and got to thinking that if I am going to do it, I might as well start now, instead of waiting any longer.

I can see the handwriting on the wall for a lot of things that will happen over the next month and might as well get ahead of the power curve.

Why am I starting over?

It was time for me to stop, take a look at where I wanted to be 10 years down the road with my blog, my online presence, and as part of the reflection process I decided to start a new blog as my primary social media hub.

My blog "A Veteran Runnah" is too identified with my failed small social media business, to have it go back to being "just" my personal blog. Over the past year, almost every time I wrote a post or responded to a comment, I did it thinking a certain way, from the perspective of how it would look to a brand or other potential business opportunities.

Honestly, "A Veteran Runnah" reminded me of something that could have been, but wasn't.

When I became so focused on becoming Harold the social media marketer and writing a weekly blog post for Anthem's Real Health blog (which ends August 31st), in many ways, I stopped being me and became too much Harold the professional blogger.

Looking back I would not trade the experiences and what I have learned over the past two years.

I am sure that I will continue to use some of what I learned here on "A Runnah's Story". However, it is now time for me to get back to what I believe is important and telling my story the way that I want to share it, versus attempting to write posts so that a certain audience will read them and/or do something as a result of that post.

This is not the easiest choice that I could have made, but looking at everything - starting over is the correct one for me.
  • What will "A Runnah's Story" focus on?
  • Running from my point of view, which is not always the popular view
  • A view from a lot closer to the middle of the pack, than up front
  • My daily training - how I am still attempting to improve as a runner and working hard to do it
  • That just because I am getting older, doesn't mean that I have lost my competitiveness
  • Stuff that I actually use when I run - less about the manufacturer's marketing pitch and more about how it works for me
  • Using my half-a-bubble off-center sense of humor at times to poke fun at myself and some of the sacred cows of running and other things that I am interested in
  • That there are things that I do besides run - well once in a while

I am looking forward to sharing my stories about running with you, but this blog and the stories that I will be sharing are mine and like most storytellers, they will be told in the manner and tone that I am comfortable doing.

Welcome to "A Runnah's Story" - my newest blog.

If you would like to continue reading my posts please update your RSS Feed or subscribe by Email using the widget in the sidebar.

Bear with me as I continue to develop "A Runnah's Story" blog and get the site the way that I want it to look and work, which will take a few weeks.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tired of Sports TV Becoming So Confrontational

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 9, 2013

This doesn’t have a damn thing to do with running, it is simply me voicing my opinion on something that has bothered me for a while now and it is time to speak out.

I admit it – I am an old fart and probably considered pretty old fashioned in many respects. Ummm respect, I guess that is an old-fashioned concept that I am seeing less and less of every day.

No I am not talking about lack of respect being directed, directly at me, well maybe I am.

What in the hell are you talking about Harold?

It is no secret that I am a huge sports fan and if I am not watching a “show” on one of the history channels, I am watching something related to sports, either a game, ESPN highlights, Mike and Mike in the Morning, but mostly the New England regional sports stations.

However, over the last year or so, I have noticed a significant increase in the number of shows, that have embedded antagonistic debate tactics and devolve into shouting matches in their attempts to be “right” or “hook” the viewer.
I AM SICK OF THIS CRAP

I have stopped watching several shows that I used to watch and enjoy regularly, because of the now antagonistic and confrontational nature of the shows.

Some of my favorites were on CSSNE and ESPN’s First Take, that used to have decent conversations and collegial disagreements, now they typically degenerate into hollering and screaming squabbles or the unnecessary confrontational pokes at one another, just to add to another point into their argument.

You may enjoy this type of sports reporting, but to me it is shit Television. It is sensationalist attempts at gaining our attention in order to move ratings up. After all, we are supposed to have an emotional response to their emotions.

My response is to turn the channel when the hollering starts and find something else to watch.

What is your take on this mode of sports reporting?

Do you enjoy this new confrontational style of sports reporting or do you want to go back to a more measured and respectful form of reporting sports, where the personalities show more respect for their viewers and one another.

New England is not the only area that this happens either, when I visit other regions, I see much the same form of reporting, sensationalist and antagonistic seems to be more of the norm versus the George Hale method of sports reporting that I grew up on.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ron Paquette Inaugural 5K - Race Recap 8-4-13

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 4, 2013

Happy birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard! Yes today is also Coast Guard Day and since I served for over 20 years as a Coastie, I am and always will be one and tip my hat to those who still serve.


Today was the day to also honor Ron Paquette, Maine Running Hall of Famer and fellow member of the Central Maine Striders at the Ron Paquette Riverfest 5K.

I have gotten to know Ron and Donnajean a lot better this summer while we have been volunteering during the Quarry Road Trail Series.

They are both fantastic people and a lot of fun to be around.

I wouldn’t have missed this opportunity to run in the inaugural event to honor Ron.

So how did the race go for me?

I did what I wanted, made it through another race, without hurting myself and had my best 5K pace post injury, so it was a successful run.

I am still out of shape and under restrictions when I run, so I try to behave myself for the most part or at least until at least August 26th, when I should be discharged from PT, but it is giving me some time to build up my base mileage again.

The course was very nice and had enough bumps to add in some challenge, that a straight flat course doesn’t do. The race directors Kassie and Kate did a fantastic job and it is a race that I plan to do again next year.

I started out a little faster than I planned because I didn’t want to get bunched up on the footbridge that crosses the Kennebec, and then I slowed to a more realistic for me now pace.

Once I settled into a nice pace, only a couple of runners many passed me and I passed a couple, otherwise from about the 1/2 mile point on I stayed pretty much in place.

My Achilles did act up a little while crossing back across the footbridge, so I forced myself to slow down on the road and even more when I got to the bump in Coburn Park,



until I got back to the last straight-away and did push a little harder than I have in a while.

What I notice the most is how even the pace was. Overall I ran a very controlled race and stayed close to the parameters that the PT has set for me (I am supposed to stay around 8:00 minute pace, so a 7:34 pace overall is close enough in my book)

I am still being very conservative and when the heel started to tighten up, I slowed down just enough to stop it from bothering (if I go too fast it lets me know that I am being stupid in no uncertain terms). 

I don’t want to have to go through another recovery process, because I pushed too hard during a race and didn’t listen to my body. I promised my PT that I would only run the races, not race them, so I am trying hard to follow my promise.

I finished 14th overall and was very happy with the run..

Additional Runs

I did a 1.0 mile warm-up and then after we got done doing the green beans (that is the only problem with having a garden the product doesn’t just pick, chop and can itself).

Yes, I wanted to take out my new running shoes I got for my birthday (a few days early) last night to see how they felt. I was really liking them a lot, but about a quarter mile from the house the heavens opened up (it was pouring rain) and a about 1/2 mile down the road from where I was lightning struck with the corresponding boom that scared the shit out of me.

Needless to say, I turned around and hoofed it home pretty quickly. I have a feeling that the shoes will get their first real run in them tomorrow, but in the short distance I ran in them, I was very impressed!