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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - A Year of Change OR A Run Odyssey

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

2015 was a year of change...much more change than I ever expected:

  • went back to just running by feel
  • went back to running in Pearl Izumi EM Line of running shoes
  • went back to using a Chromebook as my primary computer 
  • went back to my Blogger blog - One Foot In Reality 
  • went back to work in education
  • became a 2016 Pearl Izumi Run Champion Team member 

Yeah, in other words, I went back to things that work for me and as a result things just seemed to fall into place in ways that I didn't expect.


As a result of going backwards, I ran consistently and ended up with 2001 miles for year, the the Run Odyssey for all us Science Fiction fans. ;-)

Since I started running in Pearl Izumi running shoes again in October, I have stopped whining about how my running shoes are negatively affecting my running and something that I am very excited about was recently selected to be a member of Pearl Izumi's Run Champions Team.

I wrote this post on my refurbished 2012 Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook, that I got back in October for just over $50 and found out that it does 90% of what I generally do on a computer. Enough that after the wife and I talked last night I ordered a new Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015) and it will get here sometime mid-January. Which will be a pretty big upgrade from the 5-550.

Yes, I am permanently back to One Foot In Reality, it might not be as visually appealing as a WordPress blog or be as search engine friendly, but it works better for what I want it to do. As one Steffan stated:

you seem more comfortable here, and it subtlety shows. :)

I am more Harold being Harold here. I don't know why, but I am.

Finally, but not least, I went back to work and was able to stay in education, but not as a teacher - a very good choice.

However, since this is primarily a running blog, I am going to primarily focus on what happened in my running during 2015.  You have had the synopsis already, the rest just elaborates on what I have already said. In other words I get to be long-winded from here on out.

The Last Run of 2015 - RunLog 12-31-15

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

It is hard to believe that this was the last run of 2015, a year of many changes and one that I will remember well.

It has stopped snowing, the sun is out and the roads are a bit slushy, but down-back was just snow. You know, the kind that feels like you are running on the dunes section of the beach. Where no matter how much you want to run fast - you ain't gonna.


Instead of fighting what Mother Nature put in front of us, we just went along with her plans for us. Go a little slower, enjoy the moment and savor finishing out the year.

I did have a choice to make either finish with 2001 miles or get 140 miles for December, I chose to go with the 2001 and make it a Run Odyssey (such nerd - I know), so I ended up with 139 miles for the month and broke my streak of 140 miles every month in 2015. hehehehe

Oh well.


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

First Winter Snow Day & Having Fun - RunLog 12-29-15

Today was the first real snow storm of the year, so of course I had to be Harold being Harold and get out and play in it. Ummmm Harold the official weather report showed the temp as 12*F and -1 with the wind chill. Are you getting stooooopid again.

Naw

It was the first real snow and I tend to enjoy being out in the snow storms, there is just something about running on falling powder.

Plus I took a bunch of steps to ensure both Bennie and I were safe.


I didn't look at the thermometer before we started, but I knew the temps were in the teens and the wind/snow was whipping around.

For Bennie it was going to be 1-2 miles and no more. We were going to be running laps so that at no point would we be more than a half mile from the house. Also I was keeping a good eye on him to ensure he was not shaking and shivering too much and that he didn't get snow clumps in his paws.

At the end of 2.0 miles, he was done and more than willing to go inside.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Yep, Winter Decided to Pay A Visit - RunLog 12-28-15

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

It was cold, that kind of cold that just sucks the breath out of you, when you first step out. That 16*F with a wind chill that brings it down to the single digits cold. I got all bundled up and even wore my heavy-duty mittens (my hands get cold to damn easy).

Bennie refuses to wear anything, (he just stands there and doesn't move, until you take it off him), so he goes out in all weather as Nakid Bennie. We got going and while the wind was at our backs going out, when we got to the top of the hill, Bennie stopped to pee - his little legs were shaking pretty badly from the cold.

I turned around at that point and while he looked up a me with that, what are we doing turning around look, he didn't complain too much. He stopped a few more times and was still shivering, but still running and playing tug-o-war, but when we got to the 1.0 mile point, I stopped and said "go home".

He didn't argue or hesitate and we just went up the driveway.

In extreme cold (I consider anything under 20*F cold), with wind chills or freezing rains, I keep a very close eye on my running partner. His health and safety is my responsibility and I take that job seriously, because he will go where ever I go in any conditions. So even though I was prepared to run in the cold weather, the wind chills made it too miserable for Bennie to be outside for too long.

Returning to Blogger

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

As we enter into the last week of 2015, it is time to start my looking back to see what happened during the year that was.

One of the things that I did back in August was move my blog back to One Foot In Reality, which was my old Blogger blog. Which was a big deal for me. You can read more about it in my Karma Kicked Me Square in the Ass post.



It wasn't that I couldn't have kept going over at WordPress.com, because that would have been pretty easy, probably a lot easier than doing the move. However, I never have been happy with the restrictions on what you can put in the sidebar, how much you can play with the code if you choose to and it seemed like...well enough whining, move on Harold.

Let's just say I wasn't completely happy there.

The move back to Blogger was not all that difficult since I had things already setup and just needed to do some clean-up. Actually, going back to One Foot In Reality has been a good thing for my blogging. I just feel more relaxed and know that if I want to do something with the code, widgets, sidebar - that I can, without worrying about paying extra money to do it. Also it integrate easily with my Google Photos and Android Phone, which is nice.

Hell, I even make two-to-three cents a week hehehehe.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weather Made for an Interesting Run - RunLog 12-27-15


This morning as I write this, it is just damned cold - 16*F with a wind chill or feels-like down in the single digits. Which more than likely means Bennie and I won't be running outside, I just don't enjoy that kind of cold and Bennie is a short-haired dog, so he doesn't do as well out in that stuff either.

Which means that I probably will get over 2,000 miles for the year, but not 2,015, which is okay, but not quite what I wanted

Sometime you don't get to do what you expected or want, just because of the weather. To be safe, you gotta stay flexible and not worry about the little things.


Getting back to my run yesterday.

Back to Winter- Well Sort Of


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Friday, December 25, 2015

My Gift From Bennie #pearlizumirun


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New Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road V2 and Christmas Day - RunLog 12-25-15

A very Merry Christmas everyone, I hope that you and yours have had as wonderful a day as we have had - both weather-wise and enjoying one another's company.

We were looking for the red fox that we saw running around in the back yard. Not a good thing, but boy he sure was a beautiful creature.
If you are looking to only read about the N1 Road V2's and my initial impressions, please skip down a bit, otherwise you get the Christmas Day story as well as my first impressions of my new running shoes. :-)

Yep, it was the usual Christmas, we got up a bit too early, did a bunch of food prep, sorry folks the juicer didn't do so good on making Apple Cider (boo hiss), it came out the consistency of very fine apple sauce. After peeling a goodly amount of potatoes it was time for Bennie's exercise (otherwise he becomes totally obnoxious - typical Jack Russell Terrier, spastic and ADHD on speed, but we still love him).

Then Bennie and I did a quick trip down to Pepin Way and back, nothing overly serious, but we hadn't opened presents yet, so I ran in the H3's. I could tell my legs are still a little blah, but we got it done. The thing is I ran in shorts and a shirt this morning, it was warm out, almost 50*F with a nice little breeze, with bright sunshine (just about as perfect a day for running as I have had in quite a long while).

Also my new header
While we were finishing up I got several text messages from my Daughter in Minnesota and I waited until after we finished too look at the photos. They were amazing and the grandkids are growing so fast.

Hiking at Viles Arboretum


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A Book Cat


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality.

On December 22, I got this very exciting and wonderful email from Pearl Izumi - that said.

“Yay! You’ve been selected to be part of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Run Champions team.”

Very cool!!!

When I got the email telling me that I had been selected to the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team, I was stunned.

This kind of stuff doesn’t usually happen to me and did the double-fist pump and got one of those big shit eating grins you get when something you really want happens unexpectedly - yep that was me.

What is so cool about that 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Not A Great Day, But Great Runs - RunLog 12-23-15

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Today was a pretty damn good...err great day for running and those have pretty far and few between for me lately. Even though the weather was rather dismal, foggy and wet, I ran well.

If you look closely you can see some footprints in the mud
Run #1

We started out slow and seemed to go slower. The road down-back was almost mud, but was wet on top, so I figured we would end up doing 4.0 miles and not worry about anything faster. We just ran along without any push, avoiding the worst of the mud and trying not soak down my feet too much.

A Bit Foggy #pearlizumirun


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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Running After Work - Its Dark - RunLog 12-22-15

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality.

The past couple of days have been pretty much full screech mode.

Which meant that running was a back burner item...which is not something that I want to be a regular thing.

When you add in my lack of running motivation lately - those December blahs, that I seem to get every year.

As a result, I wasn't too sure about whether or not I would get a run in or not today.

However, I also know that I have been eating beau-coup, mega, gigantic portions and all those other words for I am eating too damn much and too much of the things I really shouldn't be or don't need, plus work has been tough with finals. That combo means that I NEEDED to run versus simply wanting to run.

If wanted to run today, it was going to have to be after work.

After work is after 8:00 PM most nights, but I worked a deal with my boss and got out 45 minutes early. Even so, I haven't run at night in a long time.

Yes, I made sure that I had on lots of reflective gear and a flashlight. Even though it was a dark and cloudy night with a few rain sprinkles, surprisingly, I really didn't need the headlamp, except to let 6 cars know I was there. I could see no problem and this is an old country road, so it was pretty cool.


The run was nothing exceptional, I ran slow to get warmed up a bit, then I pushed a couple of spots, but it wasn't really a speed work session more like a Bennie run, but without Bennie.

Speaking of Bennie he was pretty pissed when I put my running gear on and that I was going to run without him. He let me and the rest of the house know that he wasn't happy about me heading out into dark without him to protect me.

I got the run in and I am glad that I didn't put yet another DNR in the log today.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Another Busy Day - But We Got a Run In - RunLog 12-21-15

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Today is one of those days, where you know it is going to be...well busy. We have the contractor - ATeam - coming to fix the bathroom, Houle's to do the annual furnace tune-up, the Maxima heading over to ACAR getting some work done, squeezed in between Mary and I going to work and SD1's schedule.

Below is a photo I took after they lifted up the toilet/linoleum and the carpenter put his hand through the floor without too much difficulty. So yeah, it was time to get things fixed.



Yep, busy day.

Which meant that Bennie and I had to run early. I don't mind going early when things are busy, or running in the dark, but if I am running with Bennie, there has to be some light. Running in the dark with him is not good for my long term health and remaining injury free. :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Things I Learned Since Returning to Work

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Back in July I returned to the world of work after being retired for over four years.

Coming back into the work force after 4 years out of it was a bit of a system shock. My time was no longer my own, I had to be someplace at a certain time and what I was doing...well it was a big change for me.

In the past five months I have learned a lot about how I fit in, feel about working again and have purposely chosen to do things differently than I did in the past while at work.

In other words...Everything changed, then again nothing changed.

You can figure that one out.

What have I figured out?

Be willing to do the job you were hired for.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

In Between Snow Squalls - RunLog 12-19-15

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality

I was getting ready to run with Bennie this morning and when I looked out the window it was almost a white-out. Ummm that could be interesting. Then less than 5 minutes later, the sun was shining and the trees were whipping about briskly with the wind from out of the south. The 36*F wasn't too bad, but the "breeze" brought it back under freezing.


Oh well it wouldn't be too muddy down-back - right????

10 minutes after the run - snowing hard


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During the run


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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Not running on that Down-back - RunLog 12-17-15


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I think the photo says a lot!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The mud is gone-Cold is back!


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Monday, December 14, 2015

Outside and Inside Runs - RunLog 12-14-15

The weather is still a lot warmer than normal for this time of year, I mean 36*F and light drizzle ain’t warm. However, the good thing is there is not any snow, the cold-ass winds are being held at bay and those mid-teen temps are not in the forecast.

Even so the drizzle/rain when it is 35*F, just ain't cool to run in. Hypothermia happens all too easily and I have pulled too many muscles running in that stuff, so I tend to either take it slower or get my butt inside.

Yes, I know Old Man Winter will not forget about us - I am sure Mother Nature will make sure of that, but the reprieve is nice. I mean not having to bulk up on the clothes outside and not retreat to multiple treadmill runs per week is pretty damn nice.

Run #1 - Pepin Way O/B 4.0 Miler


We started out pretty comfortably and then coming down the hill we did pick-up the pace a little. Well there really isn’t any choice about it, going down that hill. However, there was a lot more traffic than I expected coming up Shepard Road, I mean three cars in a quarter-mile “come on man - that is ridiculous” hehehee.



Down on Pepin Way the continued new home construction adds to the traffic, but otherwise it was quiet. We did pretty good going down to the end of the tar and it will be interesting to see how much further they go with the road after the next two houses are done.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week In Review Post - RunLog 12-13-15

This week was pretty good, the weather has been unseasonably warm, which has meant down-back has been a mud run and hells bells, on one run Bennie even refused to run down there, because it was so bad. Otherwise, things have been pretty quiet

Life: Christmas is almost here and I only have a couple more presents to get. I have a feeling that next week is going to be “one” of those weeks at work, with finals and mostly full testing sessions every day. So by Friday, I will be pretty well toast.

Technology: I am still liking the Chrome OS and using the old 2012 Samsung 5-550 Chromebook as my primary laptop. I turned on the ASUS Widows 10 machine today and it really sucked in comparison. After 15 minutes I was able to finally start doing something and then I had to run Malwarebytes and Windows Defender, because they were both pinging me to get it done. So I ran both of them and went for a 5.0 mile run this morning. 

I don't want to frig, fart around with a computer nowadays and it seems that every time I turn on my ASUS Widows 10 machine that I am doing everything else but using the damn thing. I have a feeling that I might be selling my ASUS  TP300L pretty soon and getting a more powerful/updated/newer Chromebook.

In other words, the Chromebook does more than enough of what I need that I don’t really enjoy using other OS’s at all right now and today’s experience really brought that home. I came very close to wiping the ASUS and turning it into a Chrome OS machine using Neverwear, but chickened out at the last minute. If I can't sell it, it still might happen and since it has pretty much the same specs as a Pixel Chromebook, it would be interesting.

I also have been trying out an app called Gingko for drafts (I drafted this post using it) and note-taking and have been impressed so far, but we will see whether I spring for the pro version or not. No offline access is a sticking point, otherwise it does more of what I want, the way that I want to do it. 

Time will tell.

Favorite Photo This Week:


It has dried out a bit for our run today, but it was still plenty muddy.

Since this blog is more about running, let's get to it.

Still muddy down back


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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Yep there was mud yesterday


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Friday, December 11, 2015

A LOT Better Second Run - RunLog 12-11-15

After this morning's muddy fiasco and a day getting ready for next week at work - finals week, I wanted, no I needed another run after I got done work.

So I let TheWife I would be going to the gym (she is understanding) and beating up the treadmill or having it abuse me.

I wasn't sure what kind of workout I would end up doing, since we are expecting great weather for December this weekend, so it would be nice to get a long run done, so I didn't want to do a crazy-ass treadmill workout, but I still wanted to run a little quicker than usual.


  • 0.25 @ 7.2
  • 0.25 @ 7.3
  • 0.25 @ 7.4
  • 0.25 @ 7.5 -- 1.0
  • 0.50 @ 7.6
  • 0.50 @ 7.7 -- 2.0
  • 0.50 @ 7.8
  • 0.50 @ 7.9 -- 3.0
  • 0.50 @ 8.0
  • 0.25 @ 8.1
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 -- 4.0
No, it wasn't a super-hard progression run, but I ran comfortably and in control the entire time. Although by the last half, I had to really focus on running and breathing, it was getting harder to keep up the pace, but I made it to the full 4.0 miles.

Dad, we found mud! #pearlizumirun


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YECH!!! Nasty, Sloppy, Goopy Run - RunLog 12-11-15

Yeah, the title says it all.

Bennie and I went out for a 5.0 mile run to the Town Office and back, the temps were pretty good 46*F, foggy and raw. Unusual for December 11th, but hey I will take it.

MMMMMMMaybe.


Houston we have a problem.

Cold-Ass Rain Run - RunLog 12-10-15

Yet, another trip to the auto repair shop, luckily this one was just for the truck and its annual inspection, one of those inconveniences for newer vehicles, but one I agree with. It keeps some of the more unsafe ones off the road...well for the most part, unless they "know" someone. So it is just part of the routine, but still something else that HAS to be done.

Getting back to running, the inspection by the time they get the vehicle in and out takes about an hour, which means I can either sit around twiddling my thumbs and get a helluva headache (I don't do well with the odors there) or go for a run.

Of course I went for a run.


The only problem was that it was 37*F and raining pretty damn steady. Rain usually does not bother my running, frigging cold ass rain that is closer to freezing is just a pain-in-the-ass, but as long as there is no ice, I still go. It is also similar to the weather that I pulled the hamstring originally back in April 2014, so no speed work outside today.

All I did was just run.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday's Runs a Couple of Days Late - RunLog 12-7-15

Wow, sometimes stuff that you want to do, gets overlooked or just pushed to the back burner and then not done. That is what happened with Monday's running log post. It is one that I really planned on doing since I did finally get over the Messalonskee Stream Trail, but in the crush of other stuff going on...well you get the idea.


So here it is

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Quarry Road Trails - RunLog 12-8-15

What a difference a year makes, last year at this time it was 2*F and the roads were nasty, today it was mid 30's*F and everything was clear. Clear enough that after dropping things off at the post office, Bennie and I headed over to Quarry Road in Waterville for what will probably be our last run there until next spring.



Unless the snow stays away for a few more weeks.

They have done a lot of work over there and the back loop is now all groomed dirt.



It looks like the snowshoe trails are going to be very interesting, will have to get out my small ones and do some snowshoe running this year, just as a change of pace. I can feel the leg and lungs burning already - just thinking about it.

Oh well getting to today's run

For some reason or other, I just never run fast over here and today, the first Mile Bennie had to empty everything and sniff/mark/sniff again, so it was a really slow go that first mile.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Where Will This Bridge Take Me? #pearlizumirun


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Week in Review - 12-6-15

The week that was.

Yeah, I can tell I have finally hit December. The motivation to get out and run "extra" just is not there. I have enjoyed a GREAT year of running, but since Thanksgiving, my body and mind are now in maintenance mode, even though from time-to-time I get to thinking that I should do more, but end up just doing enough to say that...yes, I ran today.

No, I will not get 2,015 miles in for the year. I might, but probably will not quite make 2,000 miles and I am okay with it. For the rest of 2015, I just want to relax, enjoy and do whatever the body/mind combination wants of me when it comes to running.

Blogging. I am still tweaking the appearance of One Foot In Reality a bit, some cosmetic changes that made it a little more welcoming, easier on the eyes and yes, I am still looking for the right header, so that will change as I keep looking for the "right" one. The tagline is pretty close to giving readers a quick this is what I am doing here.

Yeah, first and foremost, OFIR is my personal running log and journal -- for me that is enough.

My favorite photo from the week:


It just shows the slimey mud and stuff we have been running in down back.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Just after sunrise


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Friday, December 4, 2015

A Little Speedwork - RunLog 12-4-15

This was going to be one of those days or at least that is what I thought yesterday, but instead things worked out quite nicely and it turned out to be a pretty damn decent day.

I had training today, I volunteered to sit on the Student Conduct Council and had to go in early. Which worked out good, because we dropped the Maxima off last night, to have the brakes fixed.

Yeah, it was a bit disconcerting for TheWife when she stepped on the brake pedal and it went to the floor yesterday morning, going down the Bitch with those S curves towards the bottom. So I got to drive the Maxima to work yesterday afternoon and get it to the repair shop last night (two rather not so fun drives - those where your blood pressure is a bit higher than it should be and a few extra hairs were made gray), but I made it without any issues.

After I dropped her off this morning, I still had a couple of hours, so I decided to jump on the treadmill at UMA. That way if I lost track of time I was really close to where the training session was being held. Also I haven't done any harder speed work for a few weeks, so it was time.


  • 0.75 @ 7.2 mph - warm-up 
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 mph - 1.0
  • 0.25 @ 7.2 mph
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 mph
  • 0.25 @ 7.2 mph
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 mph - 2.0
  • 0.25 @ 7.2 mph
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 mph
  • 0.25 @ 7.2 mph
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 mph - 3.0
  • From 3.0 - 4.75 - I increased the speed from 7.2 by .1 every .25 to 7.8
  • 0.25 @ 8.6 mph - 5.0


Distance: 5.06
Time: 38:55
Pace: 7:41
Shoes: Pearl Izumi N2 Roads


The calibration held true on the run and as you can see I was just looking to be right around a 7:00 minute pace for my intervals and then around 8:20 for my rest intervals. I gotta admit that I felt really strong the entire run and my ego said to go faster.

However, I haven't broken 7:00 minute pace for a 5K for a while, so I am working on sub 7:00's and being able to finish whole speed workout without feeling like shit afterwards.

Yeah, that is giving in a little to being an older fart and realizing that running at 6:00 to 6:30 paces on my fast intervals is a recipe for disaster and that the risks did not outweigh the benefits. Especially, with crappy hamstrings and a history of always managing to do something to my legs, when I keep trying to run like I am still 25.

In other words, I would let my ego have me running faster than my actual physical conditioning was ready for and then I would pretty much crawl after I was done. Doing that once in a while ain't bad, but doing it once a week was too much.

Usually on that last interval, I like to go a little faster, just to get the body used to that final sprint, I really, really thought about popping it up to 9.1 and the the last .1 at 10.1, then I got back to reality and just finished it off at 8.6 mph.

Overall, I did what I set out to do, finished a strong speed work session without killing myself or breaking anything. At some point I will start to lengthen out the intervals, but I still would like to keep them about the 6:50-6:55 range, which I would like to be my race pace for my next 5K.

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Another Rainy, Cold Run - RunLog 12-3-15

Yep, it was still raining and in the upper 30*'s when Bennie and I went out this morning. So down-back was muddier and getting nastier, which meant another day in the N1 Trails. Which definitely a good thing - they do everything that I ask of a shoe in the mud.


If you look closely you can see my footsteps and how deep each step was going into the road and this was the section that was still pretty firm. I have a feeling that the boys are going to go playing with the 4WD trucks and wheelers and pretty much screw up the road down back. Which is too bad, because the town did a great job on getting it in shape this year, but the guys that like to play in the mud are going to just do it.

More Changes to the Blog's Appearance

You might notice a few changes to the look of the blog over the past few days.

What is going on Harold?

I thought you liked the header with all those photos of you, each of which told their own story and held so many memories for you.


  • I did.


I know that you are also a fan of bright colors, so the bright blue, orange and white played right into what you like.


  • They did.


Unfortunately, I just didn't like how the blog presented itself every time I went to re-read a post (which I do more often than you think).

Color scheme


The bright blue, orange and white, with red highlights color scheme didn't flow the way that I wanted it to. Having those brassy colors in my running clothes or shoes is one thing, but as the primary colors for my blog, well it just was not working for me.

Switching to more subtle shades of gray/darker red makes the blog feel a little less "in your face" and when I go there it seems a more welcoming and simpler.

Header


The header was busy, fussy and just didn't seem welcoming either. Yeah, One Foot In Reality is about me and my journey, but having so damn many pictures of me, being the first thing you see when you see my blog, isn't what I or other people want to see all the time when they visit. They belong on my about page if any where.

No I am still not satisfied with the header photo and will be looking for the "right one" over the next few weeks. It will be a local photo of someplace that I typically run (not the driveway), hopefully it will have Bennie and I in it, but until then, I will cycle through a few of the scenery shots that I like a little better.

Tagline


The old tagline was okay, but since I am not planning to put the name of the blog or tagline in the header photo, it gave me a little more flexibility about what I want to say to introduce me to readers. I go back and forth between using some great quotes or to simply state some of my beliefs and the direction I want to take One Foot In Reality.

The tagline is still a work in progress and I will probably change it more than a few more times.

The reality is that


I am attempting to slow down the major overhauls to the appearance of my blog and have done a little better than usual over the past few months. However, I also know me and realize that I will always be tinkering with something about the blog, especially when it comes to the colorways, header and taglines, it is just a part of who I am.

The big thing is that I need to stay with the same blog and that is going to be the test of time.

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Bit Icy Down-back - RunLog 12-2-15

Yep, this morning's run was rather wet, cold and just a bit icy down-back.



All that wet looking stuff wasn't just slimey mud, there was a thin layer of ice coming down this grade enough so that my N1 Trails were not breaking through and I was slippin and slidin around a LOT more than I wanted to. So that this is where I turned around and went back up the little hill.

The combination of a spastic Jack Russell and icy roads...well it ain't a great combination. In that case discretion is the better part of valor.

Turning around was a good choice.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nice Recovery Run 5.0 Miler - RunLog 12-1-15

Even though I didn't do a speed workout yesterday on the treadmill, it was still a total of 8.0 miles with 4.0 at sub 8:00 minute pace, so the legs were a little tired. Which meant that I was listening and did one of those recovery runs.

Yeah, the "official" feels like was 18*F, with a light breeze out of the north, so I dressed accordingly. I have learned to trust the feels like temps more than what just the temp reads, which can be deceptive, very deceptive, especially if you are going to be out there for more than 20-30 minutes.

In my experience, a temperature of 28*F is very different from what 18*F or even lower when the breeze picks up just a few more miles an hour, which happens during this time of year pretty quickly. It is something that I try to stay aware of before I head out the door and where there is a large difference between the two or the fees like temps get down into the single digits, well I hear the treadmill calling.

 "Harold, Harold where are you? It is warm in here, you can wear shorts and t-shirt, work up a good sweat and not freeze your ass off!!!! Hhhhhhaaaaaaroldddddd come in and enjoy the run.
Oh, enough of that stuff, we did run 5.0 miles at a recovery pace and only picked it up a couple of times.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Calibration That Actually Worked - RunLog 11-30-15

After calibrating the Garmin's foot pod this morning, I really had to go run on the treadmill to see how close it got. Usually, I have to do it 2-3 times, before I get it into the reasonable category or otherwise known as close-enough.

Also, running in 18*F weather this morning just didn't thrill me all that much and even though it had "warmed" up to 27*F when I left the house, the treadmill was calling.

No, I am not one of those runners who hate the treadmill, I use it as the tool that it is. If I want to run in short and a t-shirt, work up a good sweat, run faster paces and be sure of what I am always stepping - from late-fall to early spring it mean getting on the treadmill. Running outside during that time frame in Maine - well you ain't wearing shorts and t-shirts too often.

Getting back on the treadmill

I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but it wasn't going to be a speed workout!!! I just wanted to get on and get into the zone. So I started out at 8.6 (just under an 8:00 minute pace), I was feeling pretty good and when the treadmill hit 1.01, my watch beeped I had gone a mile.

Holy shit!!!

I have never had a foot pot or GPS device measure a run on the treadmill that close. Usually I can get it down to .02 to .03, but .01...all I can say is WOW! Okay Harold, I was pretty sure that was just an anomaly and wanted to see where it would be at the end.


I don't have a clue what the dips were, but they happened according to the Garmin. To the best of my knowledge I just kept running the entire 4.0 miles without any stops or changing the speeds. I did get into the zone pretty well felt good during the entire run.

Taking a break on #Cyberrunday - RunLog 11-30-15



First - yeah 18*F is cold and this was 4*F warmer than when we did our first walk at 6:00 AM, so yeah it was cold and there ain't no two ways about it. 

The ice forming in that little stream was there because it was...cold!

Oh well it is the last day of November and this weather has been creeping towards us in spits and spurts, but it doesn't mean that I can't whine about it ;-)

I ran in the PI N2 Roads, so I could get the Garmin footpad calibrated again. Now that I have fixed the issue I was having with the left foot by going back to regular laces, the N2's feel pretty good and I plan to use them for my speed work and treadmill runs (which are going to be a regular part of my winter routine this year).



I have a feeling that when the temps dip under that 20*F mark that I will be doing something inside more often than not, especially as the winter wears on. I just do not get that same pleasure I used to of having to buddle up, freeze my ass off while I am sweating at the same time and then get back inside to shaking and shivering, until the sweat dries off and I warm back up.

Yeah, I am getting wimpy in my dottage.

So I calibrated my Garmin footpad. This is for you Stefan:

Thanksgiving Week - Week In Review 11-29-15

The week that was.

Thanksgiving week was initially busy and then I had four wonderful days off in a row. Nice!!!!

I didn't run quite as much as I originally thought I would or wanted, but I still got over 30 miles in, was able to relax a little and even finished a local 5K on T-Day itself. For the most part I purposely attempted to run slower and even got to run in shorts and shirtsleeves for a run, but that was just a lucky day. Especially, since as I write this, it is evident that winter is definitely coming - it was 14*F outside for Bennie's first walk.

As much as I love my Chromebook Samsung 5-550, its battery ain't gonna last that long. So I did some really serious research online about getting into a new one, not something refurbished or 3-4 years old. What I found out surprised me - except for some of the high-end Chromebook, my old 5-550 holds up well against the newer Chromebook hardware. Oh well, it means that even though Chrome OS continues to improve that to keep the price points about where they are, the hardware really has not changed all that much in the last 3-4 years.

Which made realize that I should just keep the 5-550 until it does die. When it does finally bite the bullet, the choices come down to either the ASUS Flip Chromebook or a Toshiba Chromebook 2. Both would work for me, though for different reasons and have different specs/characteristics.

My favorite photo from the week:


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pearl Izumi N1 Trail V1 - 50 Mile Review

This is the second time I have had the pleasure of doing a 50-mile review on the Pearl Izumi N1 Trails. You can read my first one here.

Yeah, the first time I gushed, ohhed and ahhed all about how great they were, this time while I moderate how much I sing their praises, but I can say without any doubt that I am glad that I listened Sam W and a few others, and went back to a pair of running shoe that work for me.

The N1 Trail V1's are not the sexiest, newest and greatest running shoes available, but they are easy for me to run in, not prissy/fussy and do a lot of things well. In other words they are just working for me.

They are more like my old Ford Ranger pick-up truck:
Reliable, have a bit firmer ride, do what I want when I want, not afraid to get it dirty, go anywhere I want or need to go and it cleans up well to wander around town, take TheWife out for supper or get to work in any kind of weather. 
Yeah, that pretty much sums up how I feel about the N1 Trails V1's too.

If you have a pair of trail shoes, they just don't look right without some mud and crud on them.
I have run 12 times in the N1 Trails and my average run has been over 5.0 miles, which is pretty indicative of how comfortable I find them to run in.

They are the shoes that I reach for first, when I get ready to go for a run.

Another easy day and more on the Chromebook - RunLog 11-28-15

The day after Black Friday.

I stayed home, ran down-back, talked with company and enjoyed not being around the shopping madness yesterday. Oh yeah, I did run too this morning.

Didn't think you would get off that easy did you? However, this it was just a quick and get it done run.


Bennie and I ran, but unfortunately, at 36*F it was not shorts and shirtsleeves again today.

Down-back is starting to get a little beat up and with the frost coming out of the ground, a bit muddy, so I wore the N1 Trails again today. They do make a nice road and trail combo running shoe and are easy to run on either surface. They are just about perfect for dirt roads, slimy spots, transitioning to tar and then back on dirt again shoes.

The run itself, well I am still just getting myself out the door and running. Nothing super fast - oh Bennie will force the pace every so often to make me chase a vehicle that is going in the same direction, but nothing that you would call sustained fast stuff.

That is the plan through the end of the year. Although, I do plan to keep doing a once a week treadmill session just to keep the legs from loosing too much speed over the winter.

In other words.


This was one of those simply boring runs, nothing exciting happened, no strange critters were seen, the weather wasn't really anything to talk about and it was a run where for the most part we just plugged along under gray skies and then finished up.

As we were finishing up, was when that I got the bright idea of running down to meet Mary (she had gone for her run too), so we plugged along until we met up with her. Of course there was a car going the same direction as us after we turned around and Bennie had to go into overdrive mode, while we were in yak-it-up mode.

All that resulted in was him showing off his muscles and his 21 pounds straining pretty hard to pull my 155 pounds faster up Steven's Hill. So he got his weight session in, but didn't have much to show for it as far as making me pick up the pace very much. However, there were plenty of dig marks in the dirt, where he did his damnedest to move me faster.

No, it wasn't all that great of a run, but it added miles onto the monthly total and got me outside to breath some fresh air

Chromebook Stuff


I put this at the end versus up at the top, because most people really don't give a rat's ass about my owning a Chromebook and what I think about it...well they probably think that way about my running too.  ;-)

One of the things that I have figured out is that the battery on my refurbished Samsung Series 5-550 probably ain't gonna last all that long. However, when I did a bunch of research on the different models available, at what prices if I wanted to upgrade fairly soon, I got a nice surprise.

The Chromebooks in the $250 range, didn't necessarily blow it away. My old 5-550 is still a very viable Chromebook both in terms of performance and specs in that price range. The biggest difference being the processor and screen, which in the real world useage from what I could see wasn't all that big of a difference in how well it looked or worked.

While having the 5-550's battery only last a couple of hours before needing to plug it in, is an inconvenience and it would be nice to have something that I didn't have to worry about plugging in as much, it does everything else quite nicely and since it was just over $50 for it - I can't complain too much.

Which means until the battery dies completely this almost 4 year old Chromebook is going to keep on being my primary laptop with a fairly new Win10 ASUS 13" Flip as my backup computer. Just gotta plug it in more often that's all.


Although, while I was shopping at Best Buy tonight, I did look at the ASUS Flip 10.1 Chromebook and it is a sweet laptop, but it just doesn't seem to have enough screen real estate to be a primary work/life laptop - although I have a feeling that I could make it work if I wanted to. However, when I put it in tablet mode, I had the same issue as I have with my 13" Windows Flip, I don't like the feeling of holding onto it by the keys. If there was some sort of cover for the keys in tablet mode - I might really, really consider it, but I couldn't find anything like that online.

The other two Chromebooks they had as display models only reinforced how good the 5-550 still is.

Enough about the Chromebook, it will be here for a while I have a feeling.

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.

Friday, November 27, 2015

5.0 With A Mud-Pie - RunLog 11-27-15

Say what you will, I like running in shorts and a short-sleeve shirt. This morning Bennie aka Mud-Pie had the privilege of running in 52*F weather, yeah it was a bit breezy, but it was warm.



However, since we had a hard freeze last week with those 15*F mornings, the frost was coming out of the ground and things were pretty muddy down-back. I knew this was the case so I wore the N1 Trails - it was a good choice. I wasn't slipping/sliding around and I didn't care if they got muddy. They are after all trail running shoes, not prissy road shoes. hehehehe


The is probably the best shape down-back has ever been and while it was a bit muddy and slimey in places, which meant that my white dog underneath was a little more brown than anything. However, it was nice to run on and what I needed for a run the next day after a race.

Yeah, Chromebooks are Different


After only a week of being back on a Chromebook, I have decided to move back to a Chromebook as my 90% computer, even though I know that a Chromebook doesn't do everything I want a computer to do, but...you know something that is acceptable to me.

The things it doesn't do, I can either make do with other alternatives or I have decided that those things are not as important to me as I thought they once were.

Nope, instead I have focused on the 90% that my Chromebook does do quite well.


However, knowing this did require me to: recognize, acknowledge, accept, deal with, tolerate, suffer with, relish, respect, admit and all those other words that show I know that using a Chromebook and the Chrome OS are not and will not be the same experience as using a Windows or Apple operating system.

Yeah, so I do know that Chromebooks are different.

In my opinion, it is a good thing.

Even if it does mean that it I will be voluntarily moving even more deeply into the Google tech silo.

Which is something that I have been hesitant to do...and purposely avoided -- that putting all the eggs in one tech basket thing. Being so dependent upon one company for most of my technology needs, really is not how I like to do things, but at the same time, I have been heading down this road for a while.

So we will see where this road takes me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Champions Turkey Trot 5K - Recap 11-26-15

Even though I am not currently a member of Champion's Gym, I STILL call it my home gym. Working in Augusta and having a gym 11 miles in the opposite direction, which makes it 20 miles out the way, just ain't practical or too smart, otherwise I would still be a member.

This is a race I try to do every year and thankfully today's Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot was a LOT better conditions than last year's edition when we had a snow storm and I was plowing 11" of snow with my front bumper to get out of the yard. This year temps were in the low 30's and a light breeze, but the best thing was that the roads were clear.

About as good as it gets at the end of November in Maine.

The best part of this race is not the race, usually by this time of year, I have shut things down and am in maintenance mode, so it is not an A or even a B race on the schedule. Nope, it is a race where I get to catch up with all the people that I haven't seen in a while.




Yeah, that is the best part...I even had a few people come up and tell me they were reading this blog, which I thought was pretty cool and I definitely told them thank you!

Going into the race, I didn't really have any plans on racing super hard and was looking for a sub 23:00 or so.

Well enough of the background stuff, how did the race go.

The 5K and 10K races started together, so until the 5K turn-around you don't know who you are competing with. Plus there were a LOT more people running today than either or the race director expected. So I purposely got up in the front row, so I didn't have worry about tripping over or getting boxed in.
Photo by Carrie Davis - At the starting line of the Champion's Turkey Trot 5K - I am the last guy on the right
I may or may not have misjudged and mis-started ever so slightly before the starter said go. I heard Greg G. holler something smart aleckey - at me about it. Anyway, it didn't much matter, there were a few people who quickly went by me by the time we got on Armory Road. As we went down towards the Armory, another guy and I were starting to go back and forth passing one another and did that until we got to the turn-around.

It was actually kind of fun having someone push me to keep up with. I had decided that I was going to battle him and not just let another runner go early in the race like I usually do.

He ran the 10K and probably would have left me on the hill by the Interstate.
Although I did have to chuckle when a couple of college runners went by us, talking and chatting like they were out for a Sunday long run - made me jealous as hell - oh to be young again. ;-)

As the leaders went by the turn-around, all but one runner ahead of me just kept going straight and were doing the 10K. Unfortunately, the guy who turned was already about 30-45 seconds ahead of me and there was no chance of me catching him.

Unfortunately, I also lost the guy that was pushing me to keep up the pace, and when I snuck a peek behind me after a couple minutes, the nearest person behind me was a pretty good distance back there. Damn, I should not have looked, because once I did, you can see where I started to ease up a little and save a little in case someone really started to blow the doors off coming back.

Although it was cool the amount of support that the other runners gave me as I was going back by them.

Coming back up Armory Road is not really a hill, at the same time until you get to the light, it is a steady incline and with no one around me to chase or hold off, I didn't feel the need to super hard. I just ran comfortably hard up Armory and then picked it up at the light to the end.

I did finish 2nd overall, well behind the winner.

Which is the second year in a row that I actually finished 2nd in the 5K, so that was cool. You can only race against the people who show up for the race you are running, so while there were a lot of runners who were/are a LOT faster than I am at any distance, they didn't run the 5K, so lucky me.

My official time was 24:44, which when I finished it seemed to me to be a LOT slower than what I had been running. I have a pretty good idea of my pace and was pretty sure that I had run a sub 23:00 for a 5K. Hey, it is just a small local race that I do more for fun than actually going after a PR. Not a big deal.

Yeah, the course was a bit long, my Garmin measured it as 3.4 and put me through the 5K in 22:41, which was right around the pace that I wanted.

So the run was really just what I wanted finishing second overall in the 5K was pretty cool - that doesn't happen very often and I have a feeling that it will happen less and less as I get keep getting older :-).

After all my whining pissing, moaning and groaning about trying to figure out which running shoes to use today. I ended up using my Pearl Izumi N2 Roads (which are not really race day shoes-they are trainers in my opinion). They did great, I didn't think about my feet or legs at all during the race!!!! I didn't push hard enough to tweak the hammies any and they are comfortable, even if they are getting long in the tooth.

So I met my goals for the race and exceeded where I thought I would finish, so it was a good day of running. But the best part was that I got to see a lot of people who I haven't seen in a while, which is always nice and the biggest reason why I do the races - the other runners.

Thank Carrie and Lisa for all your hard work and I will see you for next year's edition.

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.