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.


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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunrise Nov 24th

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Problem Solved - RunLog 11-24-15

This morning I was whining about trying to decide which shoes to wear at the Turkey Trop up in Waterville on Thursday. I tried my old Skechers GoRun2's and after my 4.0 mile run in them, they took a quick trip to the back of the garage - there was a reason I stopped running in them and I figured it out around mile 2.

So that left me with the Asics Hyperspeed 6's or my original Blue Hoka Clifton v1's. The Asics trash my hammies every time I run in them???? While I haven't run in the Clifton's since July, I did run well in them, although they were a bit narrow. So I when I dropped off the GR2's, I dug out the Clifton's and tried them on. MMMMMM a bit narrow still, but I took them with me to the gym and was going to do a quick treadmill session in them.

In other words, I wasn't instantly impressed and continued to strategize, scheme, think about and all those other things that runners do when they don't have quite the right pair of running shoes laying around the house.

One of the things that I typically do when I have a pair of laces in shoes I am giving away that I like is to swap them for a pair that I will never use. So I did and put them in my coat pocket (keep that in mind).

While I was driving to the gym, I had a brain cramp or a great idea, I don't know, but either way, I was wearing my old Pearl Izumi N2 Road's, that have been bothering my left foot and in previous posts mentioned that I thought it might have something to do with the LockLaces.

Hey, Harold, you have a pair of laces in your coat pocket that will look great in you N1's, you have them on and it might take 5 minutes to do the change out. Why not try it.

So when I got to the gym I swapped out the LockLaces for a different pair of regular laces.

Yep, the different laces made a difference almost immediately. I like the LockLaces a lot, but not all shoes work well with them and I guess my N2 roads fall in that category...which is too bad, but the way it is.

Well after all that back story, I can finally get to the run.

An Experiment that Didn't Work - RunLog 11-24-15

I am really up in the air about what shoes to wear for Thursday at the Champions Turkey Trot 5K, yeah I am going. If the weather is nasty, I will be wearing my PI N1 Trails...that is a given, but the weather forecast is calling for temps to be around 40*F at the start and nice weather.

Which means the next thing I have to figure out is if I want to race the race (no, I am not in race shape) or just go, run hard and have some fun. If I go to have fun, I would just wear the H3's and not worry about it, but if I want to go a little faster do I wear the Hyperspeeds and just deal with the suffering my hammies will have for the next couple of days or are there any other alternatives?

Skechers GoRun2, with my regular Pearl Izumi rotation off to the left
Well, looking around the house I found a pair of Skechers GoRun 2's (yeah 2's, not 4's or 5's) that I had back in 2013 and used for a few races back then before I figured out they were a little too minimal for my tastes.

Why not, I ran well in them and historically with their rocker design, my hamstrings do pretty well. So I decided to go ahead and try a run in them this morning.

A Busy Week - Week In Review 11-22-15

The week that was.

We had company, I made a couple of quick flip trips down to Portland, got a new to me Chromebook to replace my old MacBook Pro that finally died and while I didn't run as much as I wanted, I did run a bit.

During the week, I figured out the biggest difference between retired Harold and Harold who works part-time.

It is something very valuable and often under-appreciated - time.

Yeah, that simple little thing, that is so important in our lives and this week I really realized how good I had it when I was retired. My time was my own and I could make the priorities of how I spend my time based on what I wanted to do versus "having" to consider how I spend my time will impact my part-time job and that I do have to be somewhere at a certain time.

That ability to be flexible and run when and how much I want versus, what I can squeeze in.

Which really crimped my running this week.

Yeah, like everyone in the real world, life got in the way of running and, to be honest, there were times last week when I was just too tired mentally to run more.

In case you haven't noticed I have been enjoying my Chromebook. When I ordered it, the Chromebook was not supposed to supplant my Window laptop as my primary laptop, I got it to be my knock-around - if I break it so what computer, but the more I have used it, the less I have wanted to open up the Win10 ASUS. We will see how it goes and where it leads after a few weeks.

My favorite photo from the week:

Monday, November 23, 2015

First Snow - RunLog 11-23-15

Last night we got our first "dustin" of snow, we got an inch or so of the wet, heavy stuff, that isn't going to stick around too long - this time. However, it was a great reminder of what is to come and to get out the rest of the winter gear.

Looking out into the back yard this morning via Instagram http://ift.tt/1HhOhG9

After Saturday's long run and even though I only ran a short recovery run yesterday, my legs were still tired. They felt heavy, so I didn't try to pick up the pace, unless Bennie was chasing a vehicle and then it was only a half-hearted effort on my part.

I enjoyed running with snow on the sides of the road, but I didn't enjoy running against the cold wind around 15 mph, straight out of the north, which made the temps feel like they were in the low 20's.

That part wasn't fun and in those kind of temps even though most sections of the dirt road down-back were clear, on wet sections (especially in the shade), well you needed to pay attention. They were either a little slick from a film of ice or the slimey mud had turned to frud (frozen mud).

Putting all that together, I had a nice recovery run.

Although we did have a bit of excitement at the 4.5 mile mark. After we turned around to come home, Bennie suddenly swerved in front of me and the leash handle caught my running belt buckle just right and suddenly Bennie was running free as a bird down the road.

I said "Ohhhhhh sssshhhhiiiittt!!!!" and started to jog after him like nothing happened, I have learned from other times, he will run like hell if I start to chase him. He turned around like well are you coming or not???

I slowed down and told him to sit, he stopped and looked at me with his head cocked sideways. "Like - you gotta be kidding, I am going to run like the wind." Luckily just as he was taking off, I had been walking towards him and my foot landed on the leash. His dreams of becoming that streak of "white lightning" were dashed. Me - I was just relieved, there is too much traffic on the road and it is hunting season - not a good time for a dog to be running free up heah.

Although as a reward and to help me burn off a little adrenaline, after I re-attached the leash, we did pickup the pace pretty well for a short ways and then relaxed to finish off the run.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Chromebook Thoughts After Four Days

Even though One Foot In Reality is primarily a running blog, I am going to thrill and regale you all, with my adventures, exploits and thoughts about my new to me Chromebook every so often, over the next few months.

After all, technology is an integral part of our lives in today’s world and I use it to write about running, keeping track of my running and to stay connected to other runners.

So the laptop that I use is an important part of Harold the runner.

The other part is that I like to chronicle things that I use, to give myself (and others) a good idea if something actually worked for me, not how I remember it, which is not always all that accurate. It will be interesting for me to look back at what I wrote six month months from now and see if my return to a Chromebook was just a novelty that quickly wears off or something that I use because it works for me.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Crazy Old Guy Did An Extra 8.5

Yeah, I am re-purposing the photo links from Instagram, that are automatically turned into a blog post, to my runlog post for the day.

When I was walking up the driveway Mary was headed out for her run and told me she had to go into town to get some stuff at the store and that if I wanted to run into Augusta that today would be a "great" day to do it.

Ummm Houston, I just ran 5.0 miles with Bennie and now I have a great opportunity to do my long run, only a day earlier than I expected and I was already cooling down from my Bennie run.

So what does any self-respecting crazy-ass old bastid do when given the opportunity to run into town and then get a free ride back home. I checked to see if the Garmin was charged enough to get me through 8.0 or so miles (66% charge will easily get me there), drank a glass of water, left a note for Mary to leave the house at about noon to come pick me up, listened Bennie tell me he wanted to come with me in no uncertain terms and went out the door less than 10 minutes later to run at least another 8.0 miles.

My body and mind had figured out that I had already run 5.0 miles and you know most days that is just about enough mileage for one day. I had walked about a quarter mile and those 10 minutes in the house were just enough for my body to think it was time to relax for a little while.

Boy, oh boy did those first 4.0 miles suck and did I say how much those first 4.0 miles sucked. Because they really did suck.

Oh well, I got through them. I used every mental trick in the books to get me past the hill on the Middle road and when I finally got by the 4.0 mile point, it was either stop and wait for Mary, keep running to the Water District or turn-around.

I kept going.

Also, don't bother running on the Middle Road in the afternoon on a Saturday, there is too much frigging traffic and I spent at least a third of my time on the shoulders avoiding getting hit. Even so, at about 4.5 miles I saw a bicycle out of the corner of my eye going by and the next thing I knew a Black truck passed on my side of the road, within 2 feet of me to go around the bicycle on the other side.

It scared the hell out of me and I jumped into ditch, swore and called the driver every nasty name I could think of in the space of a nano-second. It wasn't like he couldn't see me - it was a flat stretch of the road and here I am wearing a fluorescent orange jacket and hat. The bike was on the edge of his side of the road, so there was no need for that driver to come so close to me - other than he was an asshole.

There needs to be a bicycle lane on the Middle Road for both bikes and pedestrians, I have seen too many close calls as a runner and driver on this road, sooner or later there will be a fatality and it will be too late for that person.

Then about a half mile down the road, this guy in another truck pulls over and asks "Can I bother you for a second?", he wanted directions to someplace that I had never heard of and when I told him "sorry, I don't have a clue what you was looking for", as I was backing way in the ditch to let other traffic go by. He looked pissed that I couldn't help him and drove off in a huff.

Compared to that stuff the rest of the run was actually pretty good.

My body got over the idea that we were doing a second run and that the sooner I got to the end, the sooner we could stop and relax.

How did the H3's do...no issues, no problems, just what I want.

Unfortunately, TheWife took a little longer on her shopping than we expected and I had to wait for almost 45 minutes out in 40*F with just my running stuff on, which was pretty soaked from sweating. Needless to say, I got a bit chilled and after eating lunch I sat in my chair with Bennie to take a nap.

Mary had been doing the bedding and suddenly this nice warm comforter settled over us. I pulled up my hoodie and the next thing I knew it was almost 3:00 PM. She said that neither Bennie or I moved very much and when she checked on us, all she could see was my nose.

I wasn't sure about this run and it was one of those runs where it was a TOUGH one mentally to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not call Mary to come pick me up early. The last 4.5 miles of the run were actually pretty good and I am glad that I did it, although I still think that those first 4.0 miles really did suck.

Yeah, I know -- I am just a little crazy when it comes to my running, but you know something else it is okay to push your limits from time-to-time and actually I did pretty well for as bad as those first 4.0 miles were.

Actually, I did a half marathon this morning. :-)

Have you ever done one run, then were given an opportunity to do another unexpectedly and went ahead and did it.

Instagram http://ift.tt/1T6o7Ht

Loving my #pearlizumirun H3's

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

Looking up Blake Road

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1PGbog9

Running old school without the Garmin :-)

Sometimes things work out kind of funny, this morning when I got ready to put my Garmin on, I had screwed up putting on the charger and it was at 4% charge, so I didn't even bother to take it. I put it on correctly and decided to go semi-naked.

Just wear a watch and keep the time.

Bennie and I did a typical Bennie run and ended up doing 5.0 miles. Nothing special and I purposely kept going slow. There were not going to be any laps, stats or graphs to worry about looking at and the only thing I was trying for was keeping the overall pace around 9:00's.

Though we did probably pick it up a little during the last mile, overall it was just a nice recovery run.

I do have to laugh though, like Mike said on Instagram "At least it is on social media so we know it happened!"

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The only thing that this shows is that my watch ran for 44 minutes and 09 seconds. It doesn't tell that I ran 5.0 miles or anything else.

Mike's comment reminded me about one of the reasons that I got a GPS watch. 

Live a Little, Laugh A LOT - RunLog 11-20-15

Finally, a day that is closer to a "normal" day in the life - a very good thing. I was beginning to get into that screech mentality, where you don't have time for anything, you are tired all the time and everything just seems to start to overwhelm me.

I needed a change and yesterday, I did something that I haven't done in a long time.

Although we did have to contend with the rains, but you know something...I LIKE RUNNING IN THE RAIN!

As long as it is not that cold, freezing crap that usually comes around this time of year. Yesterday it was in the 50's and the rain felt good.

We will get to that later.

Like anyone that first step out the door when it is pouring out, is a little daunting, you look out and of go "eeennnhhhh", procrastinate a bit and finally go - "I gotta get this done". Once you are outside and finally gotten a bit wet, I know that I started to relax and was just trotting down the road, no glasses, no phone, just Bennie and I running.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why Back to a Chromebook?

Sometimes, it seems that I am going backwards instead of forward.

What in the world are you talking about Harold?

Well, I went back to work, I have focused my running going back to focusing on enjoyment than always needing to be training for "something", moved back to Pearl Izumi as my primary running shoes, moving back to Google's tech silo and now...

I am moving back to a Chromebook to do most of my daily stuff on a computer at home.


What?  Did your new Windows laptop die already, I knew that you used the damn thing too much and spent too much time on it, but damn that thing is only 6 months old! Did you drop it, break it, what in the hell is going on?

No, nothing like that, it still works fine, well most of the time anyway.

The ASUS Windows 10 laptop works well and does everything that I want from a computer, but at the same time, over the past month, it seems to crash, restart on its own (after updates), at the most inopportune times - like when I want to use the damn thing.

So there is the frustration factor.

Then I just am not all that thrilled with Windows 10, yeah it is nice, works most of the time, but...

I just don't feel completely comfortable with it. I can't put how I am feeling into words, it is more of a feeling that I don't need or want to bother with things that are necessary to keep a PC or even a Mac running smoothly anymore. Windows and the Mac computers both just feel too "busy" to me and I want something that "just works" the way I do - now.

I have moved further and further into the K.I.S.S. principle when it comes to using a computer.

So I have been "sort of" half-heartedly looking around at Chromebooks for the past month or so.

Still on Screech Mode - RunLog 11-19-15

HELL YEAH, another screech day yesterday!!!

Car appointment to get a new key programmed to the car. It took just over an hour and over a $130 later to have a new key made...I am old and probably an anachronism in many respects, but damn, it was a LOT easier going to the hardware store, paying a couple of bucks and walking out with your new keys in about 10 minutes. Whiney aren't I? ;-)

Then a quick trip down to Portland to set up our new health care plan with Martin's Point, everything had to be in by the 20th for a December start...so the drive down and back was necessary. However, where I needed to go was not the Martin's Point facility and I had to go up Washington Ave to their Administrative Offices. Not a big deal, but it added on about a half hour for me to get this all done - time that I really wanted to use for something else. Then we had to go over all the paperwork, of course, pay some more money.

Which meant that after I got done there, I needed to get out and move. More specifically -- RUN!!!

One of my favorite places to run is Back Cove in Portland and I was right there (plus I just happened to have my running gear on - for some reason or other). Actually, I had thought if I had enough time that I would go ahead and do 1 or 2 laps around it. With all the delays, I had time for one lap.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

On Screech and Still Running - RunLog 11-18-15

Yeah, yesterday was one of those days where things were on "screech".

A heavy frost yesterday.

You know the routine.

Get up
Do all the morning stuff
Take Bennie for a run
Get ready for work at by 9:00
Get to work at 10:00
Go to lunch at 3:00...well go to the gym run 3.1. on the treadmill
Work until 8:00 PM
Get home talk, gab with the wife about the day we had
Watch some sports, get caught up what is going online
Go to be around 10:00

A typical Wednesday. The runs were not as long as I wanted but at least I got them in, it seemed that was always looking at the clock to see what was coming next. Yeah, not the same as it was in retirement - on days like that I do miss being retired.

Run #1

Did a typical Bennie Run. Some faster parts, a few stops for marking or sniffing and even a few areas where it was reasonable.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Having Company Disrupts the Routine - RunLog 11-17-15

This is getting to be a habit, another day off, what is going on?

Nothing really, I am just listening to my body a little more and it said I needed a day off.

Not so much because of it being toast from running, but more I was just tired.


My normal routine had been upended.

We had Mary's sister out for a whirlwind 5-day visit and yesterday we had to take her back to the airport. After we got back, I sat in the chair and fell asleep instead of getting out and doing a run like I had planned...there is something about having company that just wears me out.

As much as we loved having company for a few days (it was a lot of fun having her around), it was still a change from our normal routine. No matter who it is, having company in the house, brings their little idiosyncracies into your routines, plus you are trying to keep things interesting and treat them like guests in your home, so you tend to do things that you normally do not do and dare I admit it -- your routine is different.

For me, the changes were small, minor, inconsequential all those other words to describe that her visiting didn't really impact me all that much, but at the same time, the changes and disruptions were just enough and by the end of the visit I was tired.

Plus you do feel a little down when your company leaves, because you really don't know when you will see her again, since she lives out in Arkansas and we don't travel all that much.

Add in the quick flip drive down to Portland to take her to the airport, when we got back...well I crashed.


I slept like a rock...totally unconscious.

Yeah, I took a nap for an hour or so, by the time I woke up it was time to eat and get ready for work, so no run yesterday.

Which is okay, I needed the time to recharge the batteries more than I needed the run.

I will get back to it this morning

What do you think, as much as you love to see and have company for a few days when they leave do you find yourself feeling tired from having company?

Since it is the Holiday season, does having company affect your running?

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.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Pretty Damn Good Week - Week In Review 11-15-15

The week that was.

I ran trails a couple of times, relaxed a little, remembered why I loved my old N1 Trails enjoyed running and even took a day off.

We did get the 2005 Nissan Maxima and it seems like it will be a decent vehicle for what we want it to do. Then I took Thursday off from work and drove it to Portland and back in the rain...it had very good manners and was solid driving. Yes, we expect a few repairs since it is a 10+-year-old vehicle, but hopefully nothing major.

The old MacBoo Pro finally died and I ordered a Samsung Series 5-550 Chromebook, to replace it as my secondary device for a very low price. I still have my ASUS Flip Windows 10 machine as my primary laptop, but since I am online so much I like having a back-up and since I am thoroughly enmeshed in the Google ecosystem at home and work, it made sense to get another Chromebook. Now to see if it stays as my back-up or if I just start using it as my primary, after the initial newness wears off.

My favorite photo from the week:

Bennie looking for the Troll under the bridge

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Computers and Two Runs - RunLog 11-15-15

Yesterday, I decided to take a day off and relax a little, well a lot, but it was needed. Sometimes I tend to not take the days when I should, but this time, it was mental tiredness, not physical that made me decide to not run.

Computer Woes

One thing that happened yesterday was that I was using my old MacBook Pro (my spare laptop) and it finally just died. It has been getting worse and worse every time that I have used it lately and finally...well it cooked. It got really hot, a big snap and then nothing. When I tried to turn it back on - nothing, so I waited a bit and still nothing. So I am pretty sure it is history.

It had a great run, but I have had it since 2009. The MBP was great to use while I was teaching and part of Maine MLTI Laptop initiative, but it was getting long in the tooth, had a few issues and even though I made it it into a Chromebook to see if I could get a little more life out of it, the MBP's demise wasn't really unexpected.

The MacBook Pro at its old job
I hate not having a spare laptop, so I looked around and ended up getting a Samsung 5-550 Chromebook with a final cost to me of just over $50, thanks to some special pricing and a gift card later.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bartlett TOH 5.0 Miler - RunLog 11-13-15

After yesterday/last night's heavy rains, the weather was perfect for running this morning. Mid 40's, a very light breeze, lots of sunshine and although I ended up wearing gloves I didn't need them. So it was a beautiful day.

Actually, I wasn't planning anything spectacular after running a little faster yesterday, the only thing that I really wanted to accomplish was to get in my 5.0 miles for the day and relax during the run.

Well, now back to reality...I was running with Bennie.

I was planning to just run to the Old Dump, but when we got to Bartlett, Bennie decided to head up the hill. Nothing serious, but when we turn around, that sudden spike in speed was him going into chase mode and me just going along for the ride, the second spike was another truck going by and he wanted to become a low-flying turbo Bennie.

So much for the easy run.

Then we slowed the pace back down a little and the rest of the run was a lot more enjoyable, then we ran to meet Mary and ran back with her.

Just a little speed work, nothing serious, for the most part, the run was done at a more comfortable pace.

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, November 12, 2015

The Viles Arboretum Trail Run and The Treadmill - RunLog 11-12-15

Two very different runs this morning one gorgeous (mostly trails) and the other a sort of speed work session on the treadmill. However, I liked them both, but for very different reasons.

The run over at Viles Arboretum was about getting outside and enjoying a place, where Mary and I have walked several times over the last 15 years. While the trails are not very technical and the hills are minor, it is fun to run there.

The toughest area for me was the leaf strewn sections that had some downhill to them. We just went really slow through those areas, so I didn't kiss the hill.

Pearl Izumi EM/H3 v1 - 60 Mile Review

I was really torn whether to do this review after 50 miles or wait until I get 100 miles on the Pearl Izumi EM/H3 v1's that I got from Sierra Trading Post on close-out last month. Things are kind of slow this evening and to be honest, I have run in the H3's and other Pearl Izumi models enough that I have a really good idea of how they work for me.

We all have our vices and mine is that I have a running shoe problem and love to write about my running and running shoes.

However, after several years of bouncing around from brand-to-brand and style-to-style, it seems as though I have finally figured out what works for me and as much as I like the trying out and writing about the newest and greatest running shoes, at some point I have to start using what actually works the best for me.

I have finally reached that point.

Is that a concession to getting older? 

Yeah, in my case I really think it is.

I am finding that my body at 58, does not recover as well or quickly from hard workouts or long runs, especially when I am using running shoes that don't fit right, don't feel comfortable or hurt my feet.

Then like the stubborn old ass that I can be, keep running in questionable running shoes, all because I had to get them to at least 50 miles so I could do a damn shoe review.

Yep, running shoes can be part of the problem and cause aches and pains that I could easily avoid by simply not running in those shoes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A raw day up heah in Maine ;-)

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It Was a Beautiful Fall Day - RunLog 11-10-15

What a gorgeous day for running!

The temps were 45-55*F and just a little breeze (not enough to really move the Town Office's flag).

I knew that I would be doing a double run, but no treadmill work today, so I didn't want to beat myself up too much on the first run and for the second one, I didn't want to push too hard and be that obnoxious runner (stanky), showing up to finish the purchase on a new to us car.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beautiful fall day for a run

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Us versus Them Attitudes In Running - It Can Be a Problem

Wandering around the Internet and at some larger races, I still see some crap that bothers me.

Simply because it diminishes the running community as a whole and creates a subtle attitude of "us" versus "them" attitude versus welcoming all runners.

What in the hell are you talking about Harold?

Yes, I am getting to be an old curmudgeon and I am talking about, this competitive runner versus recreational runner, fast versus slow runner, runner versus jogger, who are the serious runners and the old who is a "real" runner bullshit that continues.

Some runners don't respect or understand the effort or difficulties that some runners overcome to simply run, much less run what "they" consider a fast pace and bring negativity to an otherwise positive situation.

Running is such a positive experience for so many of us, it is a shame that sometimes that someone with a very narrow view of what or who a runner is, gets to purposely or inadvertently hurt or deflate another runner's great day, by a snide comment or gesture.

It does happen.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Inland Hospital Trail Run - RunLog 11-9-15

Bennie looking up the trail - the leaves hide an LOT of rocks, mud, roots and stuff, slow going.
I had a few errands in Waterville this morning and wanted to also go for a trail run, since I now have a pair of trail running shoes, I thought that it would be a great time to use them.

Another reason that I wanted to do a trail run is that I wanted about an hour on the legs, but at the same time didn't want to run fast...on trails with the leaves down, I knew that I wouldn't run very fast. The leaves are slick, hide stuff and when you are attached to a dog, you gotta make sure of your footing.

Which meant that I had a choice of 4-5 trails to run on and due to it being hunting season and I haven't run at Inland yet this year, I thought why not do the Inland Trails.

It was a good choice.

That is what I thought about running the trails this morning - it was tough, but it was fun!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sick, All Pearl Izumi Now and Running Well - Week In Review 11-8-15

The week that was.

I ran, I worked, I got sick, got well, we searched for another used car and found something we liked, then I shopped in Freeport and relaxed by mowing leaves on Sunday. So it was a busy week, but a good one...well for the most part.

My favorite photo from the week:

Yes, Elliott is still alive after having his face/nose in my slippers.

Decent 8 Plus, but not in Shorts - RunLog 11-8-15

Back to BRRRRR again, no shorts today, I was happy with running pants, jacket, winter hat and gloves. 39*F and 13-15 mph winds out of the WNW made things a little chillier than it has been. Yes, I am wimpy. :-P

The plan was to run 5.0 miles with Bennie and then another 4-5 miles when I dropped him off. That way I got in a longer run, without a big break in between.

Going down to Bartlett, we just putzed along, neither one of us was in a big hurry and then when we got to the top of Bartlett, we half-heartedly picked the pace up a little and when a truck went by, well we started to give another gear a go and neither one of us were really all that interested.

When we got back to the house, I got Bennie out of his harness and immediately started back down the driveway to run down to Pepin Way.

I wasn't planning on going fast, I just wanted to get enough miles to put me over 40 miles for the week.

Going out wasn't bad, the wind was at my back and it is almost all downhill, but coming back was a pain, 13-15 mph winds doesn't sound like much, but when you are running it seems like more, especially when you are running up something you call "The Bitch", because it is a pain in the ass to do and the wind is coming straight in your face going up the hill - 8 miles into the run.

That part was not a lot of fun, but I made it through the whining and complaining stage and just ran to the finish.

Not my best run, but even with being a bit tired and the hamstrings a little grumpy, I still somehow managed to stay under a 9:00 minutes pace.

Also, I wore the PI N1 Trails and they performed nicely. No slapppy noises, even when I was extremely tired (when I usually really start to slap my feet) and no hot spots. You know one of those runs where you piss and moan about the wind, chilliness and think about work or other things that are on you mind and you are attempting to think through whatever is going on. The one thing I didn't think about was how my feet were feeling - other than thinking how good it was to not think about them.

Not a great run, but one that I will take.

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.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

First Run N1Trail v1 - RuLog 11-7-15

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I ran my first run in my new Pearl Izumi N1 Trail - V1 this morning.

Yes, they brought back a LOT of great memories of running comfortably and well in a pair of running shoes.

It was a Bennie run, so we ran slow, we ran fast, we ran in between, but we ran primarily on the dirt road about 3.0 miles and probably close to 2.0 miles on tar.

So the N1 Trail's got a nice variety of paces and terrain.

You know something...

they are a well-mannered running shoe.

What in the hell do you mean by that Harold?

Pretty simple...they did everything I asked of them, running smoothly and very quietly (despite the lugs) on the tar section, protected my feet from the rocks and stuff on the dirt sections. They are about an ounce lighter than the H3's and yes, I could tell the difference in weight while running. However, the best thing was for none of 5.0 miles did I have any hot spots, the tongue didn't move around and they felt...

well comfortable.

I could have gone a lot further without any issues in these shoes. There is just something about the N1 Trails that seems to really work well for me.

Oh yeah, that issue I had with my original N1 Trails, well going a half-size small did help quite a bit, but I really do think it is a design issue with them.

Not nearly as bad as my original N1 Trail's 

So if they start letting in too much road or trail crap, I have a very simple solution - duct tape over the offending section. It might not look purty, but it will solve the problem and is a pretty cheap fix, that I should have used on the first pair I had.

Sometimes I am such a dumbshit, especially because I really loved those shoes except for that issue.

First runs are deceiving sometimes, but for me this is not simply a first run, it is returning to a model that worked great in the past for me and is more a continuation of something good, than a new beginning.

Welcome back to my running shoe rotation - Pearl Izumi N1 Trails.

I have a feeling you should never have left. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Sometimes you just gotta stay with what works best for you.

Thank you, Sam. :-)

Friday, November 6, 2015

After the Great Beet Purge - RunLog 11-6-15

Well now...I survived the Great Beet Runs AND PV purge yesterday, without too much damage to the system. It did kind of through me off center a little, but nothing too serious.

Bennie and I went out for our run this morning, it was nice to still be in shorts, but the long sleeve shirt and a tech shirt under it were just about perfect for the weather. A balmy 54*F, foggy and a light breeze. I think the fogginess did make it a bit more raw out than the temps would indicate, but still over 50*F in November - I ain't complaining.

So how did I really feel after yesterday's fun...tired.

More than anything all that elimination of anything in the system just plum tuckered me out. So I really wasn't expecting anything from this run - well other than doing it.

We ran comfortably, I didn't bother paying too close attention to the watch, we sped up when cars went by and then slowed back to a comfortable pace for the most part when they were not around.

As you can see by the graph and splits, it was a lot better run than I expected or thought possible earlier. We just seemed to go with the flow and moved along pretty decently. You can tell where Bennie sniffed and marked his territory, but even then we got moving pretty quickly after he did his thing.

He was in a hurry to get back to the house, not sure why, but he was.

Good run despite yesterday's mess.

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, November 5, 2015

Beet Juice Can Be Scary - RunLog 11-5-15

I had all of these big plans on where and how much I was going to run today, after yesterday's relaxing 3.3 miler.

Got up, walked Bennie, was feeling great.

Drank my Beet, Celery, Lemon Juice combo.....

Sat down to eat breakfast...

and then BAM! POW! Shazaam! and all those other cartoon captions where the hero gets beat on by the villains - suddenly started wailing on me.

I started to sweat profusely, my stomach started to roll and roil and within 10 minutes of drinking the beet juice concoction, I was hugging the porcelain queen being...

Violently sick, with projectile vomiting

Now if you have ever drunk beet juice, you know what color was coming back up.

It made for some scary-ass looking splatter patterns because the overspray was getting everywhere and not everything made it to the toilet...

Nasty looking as hell.

Then it got worse...yeah.

Oh well, I think that is graphic enough, you probably get the idea.

It looked something like a bad crime scene on TV and I felt as though someone had done a number on me. No, no gross photos, I will leave it to your imagination and I have a feeling everyone who reads this blog has a pretty good imagination.

Something about the juice just turned me inside out.

It became "art" in a nasty sense.

Bennie just looked at me like - "Dad you shouldn't have eaten all the grass" and ET was looking down from the counter "You sound funny, are you gonna feed me or what?". Damn critters.

It took about an hour for things to start feeling a little better, enough that I took the wife to work and then slept most of the rest of the day until it was time to get ready for work.

I don't mind doing a cleanse every once in a while, but coming out of both ends suddenly like it was, definitely not good.

I feel fine now, but damn that was a nasty mess to clean up this morning.

Beets coming back out is not a pretty sight :-).

Today became one of those surprise, surprise, surprise you get the day off from running. I don't have a clue why the juice affected me this way because I have been drinking it for the past two days without any issues...but there was definitely an issue this morning.

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, November 4, 2015

A Good Treadmill Workout & easy Bennie Run - RunLog 11-3-15

A bit of a gray day at the start, but not a bad day, although I would have rather had my gloves on too, but didn't. It wasn't super cold, more the rawness that made my hands chilly.

Run #1

A slow, easy run, where Bennie was on his best behavior. We had lots of stops for sniffs and messages, but nothing serious. It was as steady a run that Bennie will do.

As you can see we started slowly then moved along. Although we slowed down a bit going up Stevens' Hill, I still can't remember what that sudden drop was all about at the top??? Who knows.

Nice easy run.

Run #2

I wasn't planning on doing any significant speed work yesterday and had every intention of only doing a steady state 6.0 miler or maybe if I was feeling really great a light progression/tempo for a ways.

Unfortunately, when I get on the treadmill, I can usually throw those thoughts of doing an easy run out the window, especially once my hammies loosened up for a change.

What did I end up doing?

The calibration on the footpad was totally off compared to the tread mill results (almost .6, which is too much), so I have to re-calibrate it again, but the graph gives you an idea of what I did.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday treadmill. Good work out

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