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

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

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


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What Ain't Bad For You and Who Is "They"?


Let's get this out of the way first thing. I am not a doctor, lawyer, nutritionist, health care professional, athletic trainer or any other professional and do not pretend to be, so if you are looking for professional advice - go somewhere else. I am just an old fart sitting in my easy chair taking a look at things from the perspective of someone using a just a bit of common sense.

Yeah, I wonder sometimes - what ain't bad for you and who is this "they" everyone keeps talking about?

It seems that every time you pick up a paper, listen to the news, read an article, or blog post at some point, there seems to be an announcement of how a new study conclusively determines that _____ is now bad for you and "they" said so.

Until the next study, article or some Bozo with a different opinion comes up with something different.

Who do you believe? 

The person with the loudest voice that keeps repeating their message over and over, somebody with a lot of initials after their name, the government, corporations, the old fart down the road, the guys down at the local corner bar or some combination of the above? Who is the "they" you are listening to?

Caveat Emptor

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Couple of Slower Paced Runs - RunLog 9-28-15

Another gorgeous day for running, mid-50's a light breeze and just a damn nice day for running.

Run #1

This morning's run with Bennie was the usual stop and go, go and stop with a couple of quick spots in between. In other words, a pretty typical Bennie run.

We went down to the Town Office and back and just enjoyed the weather.

Run #2

I wanted to do something different today.

So I went up to Waterville and ran a course that I have run for quite a while. It is mostly a flat course, but it does have some quick hills. Also, I was just looking for a nice recovery run and just put some extra miles on the legs.

The first mile was mostly downhill, so it was the fastest one, then along Silver Street it is mostly flat. After Martin's Stream, it is pretty much a gradual uphill, with a couple of bumps.

I had to laugh that I finished in the top 10 for the Lincoln Street Hill segment, I certainly wasn't going for any speed up the hill. It just shows that not too many people run up this hill, a lot more run down it.

It did make me appreciate being able to run down-back and not have to deal with the in-town traffic.

Overall, it wasn't that tough a run, I was after the miles more than a faster pace. For the next week or so, my faster paces are going to be slower than normal, I want to give the hammies a little break and let them heal up a bit, before I go after a faster time in a 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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Goal Achieve and Some Frustration - Week In Review 9-27-15

A very good week, it was busy at work, I said goodbye to a co-worker who is moving and will be missed. We worked a little in the garden, mowed the lawn, napped with Bennie - you know life and a pretty good one.

So what happened around here.

  • I actually did a race.
  • Got a little frustrated
  • I am now the proud owner of a new Motorola Droid Plus, so I am hoping that the photos in the blog will be a better quality.
  • I ran - a bit.

Other than that, not too much.

Yeah, the weather is very fall like, hitting the 30's in the morning and getting into the 60's during the day.

So the running is just about perfect for running and I am enjoying it.

My favorite photo from the week:

Our home - where the heart is.

My running challenges and goals?

I accomplished the breaking back into the sub 22:00 club for the first time in a couple of years at the Rise 'N Shine 5K.

Now to go after a post-55 PR (21:20) in a 5K.

Looking up Stevens' Hill on a gorgeous September morning

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A New Smart Phone

Over the course of the last month, my old Motorola Droid was starting to act wonky and not be reliable. Which wasn't all that big of a deal, since about all I use it for is taking photos, an occasional call or text and checking my email.

One of my first pictures with my new phone

However, last week things got worse, the battery stopped holding a charge (either keep plugged in or 2 hours later no phone, it crashed four times and the final straw, the autofocus on the camera was having major issues locking in.

Which meant, it was time to go out and get a new one. Even TheWife was tired of listening to me whine and told me to go get something that would work reliably, as she pointed out that I had been through about a half dozen phones and she was still happily using her original flip phone. Which I pointedly ignored ;-).

Friday morning, I started looking for a new smartphone.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Checking Out the Hammies - RunLog 9-26-15

After all my whining about my hamstrings after the race yesterday, I was not optimistic about how they would be feeling this morning.

Actually they didn't feel too much different than usual, not great...but not to the point where I wouldn't do a lot on them either. In other words, they were still in one piece and none the worse for wear after the 5K yesterday.


That meant Bennie and I got to go for our morning fartlek run. Take a look at the graph and you will see what I mean. We never went all that fast, but ended up - somehow with a pretty consistent mile pace 4 out of the 5 miles.

Strava Stats 9-26-15

Although if you look in between the mile intervals, there was no consistency.

Bennie was side-to-side, running circles, pulling on the leash and just being generally obnoxious most of the run. It might have something to do with it being a great day for running and that we went a couple of miles longer than usual. Yes, we both were feeling a little frisky this morning.

No, I would not have wanted to run another race this morning, doing the 5.0 was nice and just enough.

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.

I really am lucky to have this so close

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Rise 'N Shine Race Report 9-25-15

Well I showed up, this stuff of getting up a 4:30 AM (when I woke-up, couldn't get back to sleep), getting out of bed at 5:00 and on the road at 5:07 AM, just wasn't/isn't/ain't my cup of tea anymore.

Yeah, I got to the race with plenty of time to get my swag bag and number/chip and all that good stuff. At 6:00 I did a little over a mile to warm-up and it was a good thing, when I went by the bank on Outer Civic Center Drive it read 46* and a little breeze out of north.

NO COFFEE was the hardest part. hehehe

Oh well.

Let's get right to the race.

The executive summary version:

The Good

I ran in the race - you gotta show up
Nothing broke
Met my "A" goal of getting under 22:00 minutes
Age Group Award

The Bad

The Hyperspeeds suck when transitioning from wet grass, to tar.
The Hyperspeeds didn't like sharp corners in wet grass
The Hyperspeeds don't like running any quick uphills in wet grass
My hamstrings don't like to go fast after a mile. At that point running becames a tightrope act - go faster it hurts too much, go slower people pass me - I hate both.

What sucked

My calf compression sleeves ended up down around my ankles, so the compression part of those is pretty useless and more of a distraction when running than any placebo effect. Which means they are in the trash.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Good Run & Race Goals for Tomorrow - RunLog 9-24-15

This morning's run with Bennie was at a decent time, you know one where my body is awake, functional and my brain isn't still foggy from sleep. I much prefer to run between 9:00 and 10:00 than I do at O-dark-thirty.

With the race tomorrow at sunrise (yech), that is another reason I am not thrilled about it, I have to leave the house by 5:15 AM, I decided to just go completely by feel. Well according to how Bennie felt was a little more important.

Strava Stats 9-24-15
He was his usual putsy self the first miles, having to get his message out to the rest of the critter populace that he is still around. The second mile he was a little better, then coming back from the old dump, a vehicle went in front of us - which meant that Bennie went hell-bent for leather to go get it.

I wasn't ready to maintain that pace, but we reached top-end without any problems and he only looked at me with that what are you doing slowing down already you old fart, then we plugged away up Stevens' Hill, without trying to push the pace. When we got up to the neighbors, they were driving out and needless to say Bennie decided that I needed another dose of speed to get ready for tomorrow's race.

Actually, we didn't push that hard during the run and still ended up with a close to 8:00 minute overall pace. Not too shabby.

Okay, my goals for the Rise 'N Shine 5K:

  1. Actually go. I just am not into the race scene right now, I'm enjoying just running too much I think, but going and racing is well not all that important.
  3. Break 22:00 minutes
  4. Stretch goal - Break 21:20 my post - 55 PR
I know that I am not in shape and probably never will be to break 20:00 minutes again, unless it is on the treadmill, so while that will always be my ultimate 5K goal, each year it is becoming more difficult to be realistic.

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.

Looking towards Tiffany Rd From the Blake intersection

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Speed Work Wednesday - RunLog 9-23-15

Yesterday was that long day of the week, but it was also the day that seems to be my the day that I do my faster workouts.

Which meant even though it was an absolutely gorgeous day outside, that I eventually went inside for a specific pace workout on the treadmill.

Run #1

A typical Bennie run that simulated slower intervals or a fartlek (speed play). It was another run where the gloves were not taken off until we were done and the light running jacket was left zipped up and while I got a bit warm towards the end. To be honest, it felt good to be a bit warmer. Just think next spring when we get those temps, I will be thinking about running in a t-shirt, instead of being all bundled up, just the difference acclimating to temps make.

Run #2

Inside intervals on the treadmill. It is funny, but I really wasn't into doing this workout, I just felt blah about running fast. Most of the time I actually look forward to doing a faster workout and when I started, I was seriously thinking about bagging the workout before I even started.

I am glad that I didn't, I had a pretty great interval workout in spite of how I blah was feeling:

Strava Stats 9-23-15

What the treadmill speeds were:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

More apple juice/cider

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Gotta Check the Ingredient Lists Closer

You know something I get tired of the games that brands play.

No not just the brands in the running industry, but brands in general.

The tactics they use to make their products appear different, better, more appealing or healthier than what they really are, just gets old after a while.

Yesterday, after I got done with my run in Augusta and stopped at the grocery store to pickup some stuff and noticed on an end cap (probably my first mistake), a product that looked like it might be something that I might like.

So I stopped, picked the box up and looked at the ingredients list.

Yeah, that is something that I have started to do over the years, take a quick look at the ingredients to get a better idea of what I am eating and not just rely on the bright colors and flashy packaging that their marketing guru's put together to catch our eyes.

It doesn't mean that I don't or won't buy something because of an ingredient that is in their list, but it means that I have become more conscious of what is in that box or wrapper before I buy it.

Sunrise 9/22/15

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Monday, September 21, 2015

The First Chilly Morning of Fall - RunLog 9-21-15

Hey today is the first official day of Fall

So it was fitting it was the first real chilly morning in a while. I really don't care what others think, 42*F is chilly, especially when on Friday it was 86*F, so the old body isn't acclimated to chill yet.

But I do have to say that it felt refreshing to run this morning, but the gloves I wore were not taken off on that first run and while I was a little over-dressed with a light running jacket and a long sleeve tech shirt - I didn't bother to unzip the jacket either. It is a different feeling to sweat when it is chilly than when it is hot and humid and it felt good.

Bennie was in rare form, he wasn't really into the fast running this morning, but he sure did want to stop and refresh ALL the places he tends to mark and it seemed like he found more than a couple new places as well.

After a while, the tank was empty and I decided that instead of stopping every 50 feet, that we would go ahead run, at first Bennie was a little "pissy" about not being able to stop as often, but he got over.

Nothing real fast, but nothing really slow either.

Run #2

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Do I Look Like An ATM

Okay another one of those old fart soapbox posts, so if you don't want to read about my whining and blathering, this is a good place to stop. Especially if you tend to get your knickers in a bunch very quickly about one of running's sacred cows.

What am I jumping up and down on my soapbox about today?

Races, well sort of.

This post has meandered on its focus for the past week and I have written probably five drafts, that seem to change the focus each time, I came back to it. It started out that I was whining about the cost of races, which is definitely a huge issue, then it morphed into whether racing had become too much of an event and less of a competition between runners or more likely themselves and it finally ended here.

No one particular race has caused this rant, it has been more of an accumulation of experiences over the past few years and it finally reached the point where it bugged me enough that I felt that I had to write about it.

One of the best races I have ever been a part of

What sacred cow of running is bothering me?

Believe it or not - not all of my race experiences have been positive and it has not had anything to do with how I ran.

The causes, charities and for-profits that dominate organizing races nowadays do not always give the race experience we anticipated when we willingly gave - well paid our registration fees for "their" race.

Just Another Run - RunLog 9-20-15

This morning was one of those overcast, it just got done raining, kind of runs. It was going to be the first of two, but after we got done with this run, I decided that it was enough for today. Even though, the temps were in the low 60's and there was a light breeze out of the north - a great day for a good run.

Strava Stats 9-20-15
Bennie was more interested in the sniffs until we got down to Blake, when a chocolate lab suddenly came barrel-assing down the hill towards us. Not good, especially when the truck that it belonged with was still at the top of the hill.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hunting Season - Time to Think About It

Hunting season – it means different things to different people. It all depends on your background and experiences.
Personally, I do not care if you agree with hunting or not. That doesn’t really matter, the fact is that hunting season happens every year and it does change how you have to look at or get ready for a run in those areas where there are hunters to remain safe.
Yes, that means that runners do have to change some of the things they normally take for granted, during hunting season.
Pam-Dad with Old Toughy
A picture of Dad and his deer from the mid 1990's
First and Foremost
Do not stereotype hunters or runners.

I had thought about going to Augusta for a 5K this morning, but other commitments were made, so I decided to skip the race, which was not a big deal, but it would have been nice to have had a tune-up before next Friday's Rise 'N Shine 5K. I have had several opportunities to race, before this but just didn't have the ummmpppffff to do them.

Which meant that I got to run a bit with Bennie this morning.

We went down-back and while we started fairly slow, we did pick it up on the flats and going down Blake Hill he was just running.

Strava Stats 9-19-15
However, the way back, he was more the governor and kept putting the brakes on, when I was attempting to speed-up a little coming back up Blake. You know the routine, pulling back on the leash and running behind me so that I was pulling on a slower moving dawg the whole way.

Friday, September 18, 2015

It's a Long Story and Not My Fault - RunLog 9-18-15

This morning’s run is brought to without any GPS data or actual time being recorded.

What are you talking about.

Well it is a long, but not a real long story.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Like I do before the first run of the day, I go in and unplug my Garmin 310XT from the charger, turn it on and go about getting Bennie harnessed up, so that it has time to find satellites and ready to go by the time we get to the end of the driveway.

Everything seemed to be just fine at that point.

Until we saw this.

What the problem was
I was planning on a nice easy recovery 3.0 miles, so we were not going all that fast, when we turned the corner and saw that a Pepsi delivery truck was across the road down where the road turns to dirt. There was a wrecker there and its air brakes were releasing and it was backing up.

Needless to say Bennie wasn’t impressed and started to do his backing off and attempting to ditch the harness routine, so he could get out there. I have seen this behavior enough to quickly scoop him up and ended up carrying him through the mess.

After we got on the other side, this is what we saw

Getting Caught Back Up - RunLog 9/16 and 9/17

It has been a couple of busy days.

On Wednesday my long day at work, you know leave the house at 7:15 AM and get home at 8:20 PM kind of long day, even though I don't start work until 10:00 AM. Three people, two vehicles mean you gotta do some things differently and be flexible.

Then Thursday, the truck had to go in for its 44,000 mile check up.

Wednesday Run #1

One of those interval/fartlek runs with Bennie, he was all fired up and ready to, so we got moving faster than usual (lots of fun). My body was doing some serious bellyaching about what in the hell was going on. Then just as suddenly as we had started we stopped for a good sniff and pee. It went like that for the next mile, that stop/start routine. He wanted to go like hell and then would catch a good sniff and had to leave his message.

Oh well, that is what dogs do, but my body was not into that kind of run that early.

Wednesday Run #2

This is the one where I decided that I wanted to hit certain paces, maintain the pace for a longer period and push the recovery pace to be a bit faster than usual. Which meant that I needed to get on the treadmill to do it. Which was tough to do on a gorgeous day, but I had a plan for this workout and wanted to see if I could do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Making Apple Cider

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1W07Up9

Today is one of those elusive rest days from running for me, so this morning for about 3 hours I cut and cored apples so I could crunch them up in the juicer to make some Apple Cider/Juice or whatever you want to call it.

What is in it - nothing but what came out of the apples.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Little Drizzle and Barking Hammies - RunLog 9-14-15

The weather is pretty much that great running time of year - maybe a touch too humid at above 90%, but with the temps in the high 50's/low 60's it is manageable and when the humidity turns to drizzle it makes it pretty nice for running in my opinion.

Augusta Rail Trail Head

Run #1

Bennie was ready and willing to go first thing this morning. Since the next couple of weeks I have to take Mary to work in the morning, it seems like Bean and I are going to be doing quite a few early morning runs. I'm thrilled can't you tell...but Bennie loves the early running, so it evens out.

The View Just Is Not the Same

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My favorite view has a new addition not that it makes it any better. But the new neighbor will have a spectacular view.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Nice and Quiet Week - Week In Review 9-13-15

The weather finally broke, the heat AND humidity we have been enduring lately disappeared later in the week and made the running much more enjoyable.

Running in the slog mode that high heat/humidity running becomes had me questioning whether I was loosing any speed that I might have left. While I have not been burning up the roads since the weather broke, I feel comfortable that I can still run fast (for me).

No whining or complaining about my daily trainers - something that is pretty new to me -- at least lately.

My favorite photo from the week:

Looking down the Kennebec River, from the old Augusta Armory

The really amazing thing is that it was a nice quiet week, where nothing all that interesting happened. Sometimes boring is pretty damn good.

Did I Actually Change My Running Form

Back in December 2011, I actively started, attempted, undertook, sought and I even tried to change how I ran, based on all the expert advice I was seeing in: blogs, books and running shoe ads. Hell, I even read "Born to Run" more than a couple of times.

Like most runners, over the years I have had several minor and some major injuries related to running, muscle imbalances, developed bad habits, gotten lazy, tried to find the perfect shoe to protect me from myself or tried to change how I run, but never made the real commitment needed to make the change permanent. 

Running form video December 2011

When I first saw my running form in this video back in 2011, I could see that I had a disjointed running style, that was extremely inefficient and made my running too much like torture, instead of something I enjoyed. 

When you add in that I had just had knee surgery in May 2011 and weighed about 50 pounds more than I do now. 

It was not a great combination for running well.

However, I stressed-out more about how bad my form was and thought that if I could change it, to the way or what the "experts" considered good running form, I could injury-proof my running, get faster and be able to run further.

After all aren't those the goals of most runners.

To become a better runner?

From June to December 2011, I was searching for the Holy Grail of running that would allow me to run, enjoy my running and the answer to that riddle or paradox, seemed to revolve around changing how I ran.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is more like it - RunLog 9-12-15

Okay, yesterday was rain and what I hope were the winds of change. It did get a little breezy later on in the day and the humidity seemed to disappear. So hopefully and all those other words we use for wishful thinking, that we have seen the last of the super humid or is that stoopid humid weather.

Either way, this morning was perfect for running. High 50's/low 60's, a light breeze out of the north, brilliant bright blue sky and no noticeable humidity. Yep, that is just about as perfect as it gets around heah.

So how did the run go in these much better running conditions?


It was fun to be out there running, instead of slogging through the murk.

Although about 4:00 minutes into the run, I got this weird beep and when I looked down to see what it was: low battery on my Garmin. WTF???? I know that I charged it last night, but sometimes my Garmin is a little finicky about charging, when it is still on and even though it is plugged in, it will not charge. So I screwed up last night not it.

Even so, it meant that I had between 30-45 minutes to get my run in, before it died. Which meant that I picked up the pace a little and Bennie was just bouncing all over the anyways, so he didn't mind at all.

Lots of vehicles were going through down-back and even up on top during this run and those coming at us it meant a slow down, make sure Bennie is safe, go to short-leash and then deal with him greeting the vehicle and wanting to go the other direction. Which is just the opposite when they are going in the same direction. Go short leash until vehicle is by, letting go and get ready to run faster - a lot faster.

Imagine that, us run faster after a vehicle goes by. A crazy old coot and a spastic pup, we make such a good combo.

Which meant that today's run really resembled an interval training session.

The LG5's continue to impress me and just let me run, instead of worrying about how my shoes are making my feet feel.  haven't run in anything else since I got them, but at some point I am going to have to get into a two shoe rotation - the Lunar Glide 5's and Hyperspeed 6's for speedwork and some races that are coming up.

Good run.

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.

Let It Rain Down On Me - RunLog 9-11-15

I didn't post this yesterday, since it was 9-11 and I didn't want to appear to be callous or disrespectful about remembering what happened that day 14 years ago, because I do remember. However, I also believe that going about living life the best we can is the best way to show the bastards who planned and supported the despicable act that we will continue to live, not cower in fear of what they "could" do again.

After our national moment of silence - yes we waited specifically until after that for me to pay my respects.

Bennie and I waited a little while and then went out for our run. It was raining steadily, but we both like the rain and the temps, well they were in the 60's, so it was a good day for a run, compared to what we have had lately.

Bennie was ready to run, he was pulling and tugging all over the place and just wanted to "go". For me, my legs were tired and needed to get loosened up a lot more before, I was ready to do any of that "go" stuff.

We really never got going all that fast, but it was a comfortably hard run that ended up with a sub 8:00 minute pace overall. Which meant that we really never slowed up all that much either. You can definitely tell where Bennie did his stops, so it would ave been even faster, but these runs are for him too.

We decided to stay on the tar, because down-back would have been a bit muddy and I would have had to take the hose to the Bean after we got back :-). He hates the hose.

Overall, a nice run that reminded me that I still have a little pop left in the legs and that getting through the slogfest does make us better runners, even if it might not feel that way when we are out there pushing ourselves through 80*F and 80% or higher humidity days.

I remember, but I also keep living the American Dream.

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, September 11, 2015

Nike Lunar Glide 5 - 50 Mile Review

Okay, Okay and yes, I know that I said Nike Lunar Glide 5, not 7 in the title. That is because this is a 50 mile review of the LG5's.

 So this is a 50 mile review of yet another pair of running shoes that is already on close-out and has been for a while.

The Nike Lunar Glide 5.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Longest Run in a While - RunLog 9-10-15

Today was going to be another one of those "busy" days, you know you gotta got get the vehicle worked, pay the property taxes and all the other stuff that you do on a daily basis, so getting a run in meant going while they were working on the Cherokee.

Looking up the Rail Trail from the Hill Street Access point, by the Hi Top Restaurant
This is what I usually do, but with the high levels of humidity this week, I wasn't really into doing much of run when I stepped out of ACAR's door. Oh I knew that I was going to run down towards Gardiner on the Rail Trail, but the way I was feeling...well I figured I would end up doing a couple miles and then turn around. \

Really a positive way to start a run -- right.

Another gorgeous morning I Maine

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Some Whine with That Run - RunLog 9-9-15

The temps weren't too bad mid 60's, but the humidity was still over 90% made for a couple of tougher runs. I don't know about anyone else, but even with decent temps that kind of humditity (yes I know how to spell it), it still kicked my butt.

Today was Wednesday, we are a 3 driver, 2 car household right now. So it was run, rush to get wife to work by 8:00, do my run, rush to get to gym for clean-up, then get to work by 10:00  AM, get done work at 8:00 PM and finally get my butt back to the house. Long day, but that is the usual Wednesday routine for a while.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Heretical Thoughts About Running Shoes - Updated

This is an update on my Heretical Thoughts About Running Shoes post from a couple of years ago and something that I plan to keep up as a page on my blog. It is too remind myself of the limitations that running shoes have and that they are not the reason that we run, or run well.

So if some the stuff looks familiar that is why.

Over the past few years, I have bought far too many pairs of running shoes - believing or is that dreaming and hoping that if I can only find the "right" or "perfect" running shoe that I will magically become the runner that I have always wanted to be.

That guy who is breaking 20:00 for the 5K, 40:00 for 10k's and getting into the low 1:30:00's for the half - regularly.

Has it happened - nope, in fact let's give that a big HELL NO!

I haven't done anything close to those times in the last 5 years, despite going through a multitude of running shoes and all their hype and promise of being able to run better, faster, longer in them.


Guess what, I have deceived myself - have you?

Sometimes You Just Need to Know When to Say When - RunLog 9-8-15

Sometimes you just need to know when to say when.

Today is one of those days. This morning Bennie and I got out for our early morning run. It had just stopped raining, the humidity was 110% and we just ran based on effort. Tuesday's are generally the day that I do my speedwork, more on that in a minute.

As you can see by my screenshot of Strava's interpretation of my run that it was just slower than I thought it would be for the level of effort we were putting out.

Not that it is all that big a deal, but it sure did feel tough out there this morning. It was just one of those runs where you come back soaked and feeling like crap.

10 Blogs I Follow

One of the things that I have been asked more than a few times while I have wandered around the web are what blogs do I read or follow?  While I used to keep a blogroll on my sidebar, I haven't recently - for whatever reason.

Now this list is one of those things that evolves as my interests shift and certainly is not the same one that I had five, two or even a year ago.

A couple of bloggers that have stopped blogging recently and I miss/will miss their writing are:

Mike - Running Around the Bend
Amanda - Mizz Zippy

Your voices are/will be missed.

Current Blogs I Follow

There is no particular order to the blogs of preference or anything, it was just the order they showed up in Feedly for me.

Monday, September 7, 2015

It Is Not Always About Speed - RunLog 9-7-15

This morning's first run was warm and muggy and then the second was even warmer, but the mugginess was not nearly as bad. Sort of a decent trade-off between the two, but even though the humidity levels had dropped into from the almost 90% down into the 70% range, 93*F is tough to run in.

Well what was the first run really like?

mmmm not bad, we didn't rush anywhere and just ran by effort. Going out was pretty good, nothing special, but not bad, then coming back, we just took our time. I was sweating pretty good and Bennie's tongue was hanging out pretty far, but he wasn't interested in stopping to do more than mark an area and then he was on the move again.

By the time we got back up to the tar, we saw a neighbor walking and Bennie stopped to say Hi. It wasn't a long stop, but at the same time it was a nice place to take a break. My hat was starting to drip and she just looked at me and shook her head, saying "it's too hot for running today". I agreed, but said we were just about done.

Off we went and ran around Howard Circle, we started to pick up the pace a little and then we just slowed back down, my hat was dripping pretty good, we ran fast enough to simply finish.

Run #2

Yeah, this is where I got a little stoopid. Mary was leaving for her run and it was getting hotter, so I uploaded the first run, waited a couple of minutes for Bennie to stop panting and then I went out the door for my second run.

I had thought about running around Middle Road, but with temps already in the 90's, I knew that 5.0 miles was just a little too far for the conditions and what I was willing to endure. So I decided to do my Pepin Way O/B and decide when I got back to the mail box whether to keep going to finish 4.0 or stop at 3.4.

Going out I felt pretty good, but I didn't push, because I knew that I was going to be struggling on the way back, I expected to hit the turn-around at around 14:30 to 15:00 and actually got there at abut 14:25, so I wasn't too far off the pace I wanted going down the hill. I am finding out that on the roads, I do a pretty good job going down hill, just not as good going down hill on the trails though.

On the way back, I KNEW that I was going to slow down pretty significantly, going back up the bitch is just that - a bitch, especially in that kind of heat. I struggled a lot heading back up the hill, but I kept going and made it. Then I started to pick up the pace, again I got to thinking about it and just slowed back down.

I wasn't trying to prove anything or do anything more than getting out and run. Besides by the time that I was running up the hill, my hat was dripping and coming around Howard Circle it was doing more than just dripping, it was back to that raining sweat thing again.

Again, the Nike Lunar Glide 5's performed flawlessly and even in the extreme heat, my feet were the least of my problems. They just felt comfortable.

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.

Choosing a New Running Shoe

Last week I wrote about the mythological perfect running shoe and how elusive it has been for me to find that beast.

Nike Lunar Glide 5's
I know that soon I will be starting my quest for the that elusive perfect running shoe again. Especially, since I am currently running in shoes that are Version 5, the current model is Version 7 and am putting a lot of miles on them pretty quickly.

So have you been like me, drooling and fantasizing over the 2016 running shoe models that will be coming out in the next few months?

You know all those ones that Sam over at Road, Trail, Run has been showing on his blog from the Outdoor Retailers Expos last month, Pete Larson's - Runblogger and all the other great blogs devoted to making our mouths water over the new shoes that will be coming out soon.

You know the, newest, greatest, most technologically advanced running shoes by (__ you put in the brand and style__) and now you are secretly looking all the ads, tech specs, pre-release blog posts and pictures of people running in cool places with those shoes on, to see which one you are going to spend your hard earned cash on.

Yes. I. am.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Settling In and Relaxing - The Week That Was 9-6-15

The major changes are pretty much done - well at least I hope they are. This week was more about settling in, relaxing and getting used to the new routines that I have started.

The move back to Blogger and this blog was a good choice. It re-energized my writing just a bit and I feel more comfortable here. It is like going back to the old neighborhood and finding out that it really isn't what you remember - it is better. So that is good.

If you have been reading between the lines and when I go back and re-read my blog posts, I could see that I wasn't all that happy with my daily trainers (for a while) and last Thursday was the final straw, read about it here. I ran a run in the morning with Bennie and finally the Clifton's went from annoying, into discomfort and if I had run much further it would have turned into pain - not what I wanted from my running shoes. However, it is what it is.

Which meant that I had to do something about not having any daily trainers that felt comfortable to run in. I did and so far (knocking on wood - or is that my head) I really like the choice that I was lucky enough to find - completely by accident.

My favorite photo from the week:

A gorgeous late summer day
The view after Bennie and I got done running this morning.

A Mile Time Trial - RunLog 9-6-15

It was just starting to warm-up by the time Bennie and I headed out this morning. I figured that we do an easy 3.0 miles and then I would go back out for another 3-6 miles without him.

Well that was the plan.

Going out we were both feeling pretty good and while we were not pushing or anything, we still were moving along right around an 8:30 pace and it felt pretty comfortable. Going down the ledges we were really feeling good

and I got this brain cramp.

Why not go up Bartlett and then come back down it to see how fast we could do that mile. Now this can be a fast mile, but the first 50 yards are a little uphill, then it is downhill until the last 200 yards, then it is back uphill again.

While it is a fast mile, those last 200 yards are TOUGH.

The Quest for the Mythical Perfect Running Shoe

photo from Amazon.com
Like most runners, I have shoes stuffed in the closet, under my bureau, in boxes, out in the garage, squirreled away in my truck, gym locker and have given away shoes to the neighbor, Goodwill and found other creative ways to get rid of perfectly good shoes, simply because they were not what I was looking for. 

Also if I got rid of them, it meant that I had to get more. Plus The Wife doesn't complain as much that way, if she doesn't see a huge pile of running shoes laying around the house.

An expensive way of doing business, but one that many, many runners seem to go through all too often and are very familiar with. 

The Wife thinks knows I am crazy and have a running shoe obsession and you know something she is right.

Although I am finally willing to acknowledge, admit, accept, (sort of) and all those other funky words we use to tell ourselves that "we know" that the reality is different from what we want it to be. 

At the same time I know that I keep looking and am ever-hopeful that I will someday find that perfect running shoe

Running shoes are either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the bane of a runner's existence, especially when they are in the midst of the annual (or monthly in my case) running shoe crisis, where nothing feels right on your feet and the brand/style you love has been updated to something you no longer can run in.

Or worse, you were recently injured and you are blaming the running shoes (even if your recent training was more on the stooopid side) for the injury. Now you have to get a new pair of running shoes that allow you to run through the injury and keep those miles piling up.

Yeah, we've all been there, done that.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

ASICS Hyperspeed 6 - 50 Mile Review

Since it seems as though I am running primarily in "old" model year shoes, the need to go into outlandish details regarding the stats and other stuff is kinda - well unnecessary. Simply because these shoes are or have been replaced with the next model in the series and can be found usually in the clearance racks or part of closeout deals.

Pretty soon it will be tough to find the shoes I am writing about, but if you look around you can usually find someplace that has them in your size.

Even so.

How have the Asics Hyperspeed 6's performed for me?

Absolutely the way that I want them to.

They are a light, fast feeling shoe that looks good and unlike most racing flats I have run in, very comfortable. The 8.5's fit me the way that I want a pair of shoes to fit.

Asics Hyperspeed 6
The Hyperspeed 6's are a very forgiving shoe for something that are designed to run fast in. They feel more cushioned than they should based on the stats that are given.

Unlike many of the other shoes I have worn lately they do not bother my feet and more than a couple of times when I was really frustrated, I would run a slower training run in them, just because I knew that I could run comfortably in them and not have my feet hurt during or after the run.

Although that is not something I want to do regularly from psychological stand-point - I want to put myself on notice when I put these shoes on that it is time for me to run fast.

In other words no drag-ass running in these shoes.

Friday, September 4, 2015

You Just Don't Know Until...You Run In Them

Sometimes you blithely go running along and don't realize how miserable your feet are...until you find something that just changes thing - literally overnight.

Yeah Nike's
That is the problem with running shoes, you gotta actually run in the damn things to know whether or not they will work for you or not. That 5-10 minute wear-test in the store, doesn't give you any idea on how they will work in real life and even those businesses with generous return policies - well I feel guilty returning a pair of shoes after 30 miles or so, especially when I am running on dirt roads, so I don't.

Over the past couple of years, I have been searching for a pair of running shoes that just feel good to run in and are comfortable (yeah, two separate things, but closely related). It has been an underwhelming process, yet overwhelming experience in frustration and fraught with false hopes, starts and lots of money spent, without any real progress.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Decision is Made For Me - RunLog 9-3-14

It went back to being hot and sticky again.

This morning's 4.0 mile run with Bennie, wasn't all that bad, it was nothing special. We ran down to the Old Dump and back, nothing hard, because the humidity was over 90% and Coach Bennie decided that today was a slow day. Even when we were running, he was just plugging along, not even going into chase mode when a truck went by.

Unfortunately, the one thing I was worried about finally occurred while running in the Clifton's, they move from simply annoying my right foot, to them reaching into the discomfort feeling. Not a good thing. Based on what happened this morning I lost all confidence in them and they have been thrown out on the front lawn waiting to be taken to the back of the garage and they will go away.

I have had several pair of shoes that once they get into the 50-100 mile point, suddenly without warning they just stop working for me and begin to significantly bother my right foot during a run. Today, the Clifton #3 reached that point and I am sure that if I had to run any further this morning in them, the discomfort would have turned to pain.

The Clifton V1 #3's are banished and will be gone shortly. Based on previous experiences there is no sense in continuing to abuse my foot with these shoes now, putting them away and then getting them out a couple of months down he road, will not change how they affect my foot.

So much for my forever shoes.

Run #2

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Day of Rest - RunLog 9-2-15

I had a small double-digit run streak starting and I am not much of a streaker (either kind), so I have been looking for a day that is natural to take it off.

Knock off the double meanings Harold

Wednesdays are my long day at work. I have to be there for 10:00 AM and don't get out until 8:00 PM, so it is just a long day, even more so because the rest of the work days are only 5 hour days.

It means that if I want to get a run in with Bennie, then do another for me, in addition to getting my chores done, everything starts out on screech at wake up and speeds up from there.

Today, I got to thinking (I know it is dangerous), why not just walk Bennie, do breakfast and my chores, get out for another short walk with him, relax for a few minutes, then get ready for work.

Which meant no run.

The good

Tuesday Speedwork - Done -- RunLog 9-1-15

Tuesday are typically my speedwork days and yes I ran a little faster in the morning on my run with Bennie, but it didn't seem like enough of a "real" speedwork session to be done.

Also, I am attempting to hit some certain paces in my training, so instead of doing it on a track or down on the Rail Trail, I have decided that to do my interval sessions it is easier, well not easier, but I will force myself to hit and stay on pace better if I use a treadmill to over-speed the legs.

With that idea in mind, I went to the UMA Fitness Center and beat up on their treadmill, well actually it beat me mercilessly, but you get the idea.

Here is what I did:

Continuing To Learn

Every so often I am going to look at things a little differently.

Well from the perspective that I have gained on my way to being or at least becoming a crotchety old fart, who isn't trying to impress the world anymore.

I know my place in the scheme of things and have accepted that it ain't a very big one. However, every once in a while I have one of those brain farts and just want to share the effects it had on me with all of you. hehehehe

Yeah, we gotta keep that One Foot In Reality most of the time.

As I have gotten a bit older, the biggest thing that I have learned over the years wasn't a specific fact, belief or anything else, it is a lot more basic than that. 

Well what is your pithy advice this time?

One of the most important thing in our lives is to:

One last look out over the valley before the new house goes up

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1L45Apz

Our morning walks are usually to the field at the top of the hill and through the 15 years I have lived out here, it has presented me/us with some spectacular views of the Kennebec River Valley.

However, progress is such that the old guy who owned the land died last year and now there is a house going up in the field. I won't have this view for much longer...there is a driveway and foundation for a house already in it, now we are just waiting for the house to go up.

Just the way of the world.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What A Gorgeous Day - RunLog 9-1-15

What a gorgeous day for running.

Bright sunshine, low humidity and a light breeze out of the north, meant that this morning's run was a joy to be outside.

Bennie and I went down-back as usual and I decided to wear the Clifton's and try to figure out "the why" of why they bother my right foot enough to be a distraction. I can't say enough times how much I love the feel and ride of this model, but the fit is just enough off that I am not just running, but thinking too damn much about how my right foot is feeling, when I run in the Clifton's.

So with that in mind, we set off. The town is doing widening of the road past the little bump, before Tiffany, so that was a bit of a slow-down area going out and coming back.

We were cruising right along and actually did pretty well going up Bartlett.

I hadn't decided if we would fly coming back down Bartlett or not, but I did know that we would pick up the pace a little. Yes, we did - as you can see on the graphic.

Strava Stats 9-1-15

August 2015 - Re-organizing So Much -- Month In Review

If July was a month of change, then August was a month of organizing, re-organizing, organizing some more, getting accustomed to having a schedule to follow, attempting to setup a system on how to get things done at work and at home, keep myself sane and finally, still getting my running in. All while having another birthday.

My favorite photo last month:

It shows how tough it is to see with glasses in high humidity

Turning 58

I turned another year older, not old enough to get to the next age group, but 58 is pretty damn close to 60. In my opinion (and opinions are like assholes, we all have them), aging is not a mind-set and no you are not as young as you feel and all that other bullshit, we are what we are and I am now 58 and nothing can change that.