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.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 - Month In Review

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

Yeah 2016, was a lot different than January 2015 - we were not in the midst of a polar vortex (the temps were seasonable, but not stoopid and while we had some snow, the big east coast hay maker that clobbered the Mid-Atlantic region missed us completely. So all-in-all weather wise January 2016 wasn't that bad.

Let's start this off with

My favorite photo last month was from the Central Maine Striders January Thaw 4.5 Mile Race over in Belgrade. It just was a good photo of me after the race and being happy that I had run fairly well.

I finally set them.

Drumroll please...

Goal 1 -- My big goal this year is to run a fast for me 5K, which means that I would love to break my post-55 PB of 21:20 that I set a couple of years ago and at the same time keep having fun with my running. No I am not chasing that elusive sub 20:00 5K anymore - if it happens it happens, I am not going to sweat it too much either way. Quite honestly, I don't know if I have the speed/stamina anymore to get it done now. I would need lots of people to train hard with (I usually run alone or with Bennie (My dog) and would have to have some very good coaching, but I am too damn cheap to pay a coach - yeah I know, but...it is the truth.

Goal 2 -- Which means that I am not focusing on big mileage and will probably keep things between 140 and 180 miles per month most of the year. I am not looking to get 2,016 miles this year and will be very happy with goal 2 ending up between 1,500 an 1,700, which seems to be a sweet spot for me. 

I am not so driven to keep pushing miles and have started to focus more on quality miles and heaven forbid, even resting a little more without feeling guilty, if I "only" get 30-40 miles in a week.

Two goals, not earth-shattering ones, but realistic and within my reach, if I work hard.


I finally got in my new Toshiba 2015 Model with the decent Celeron Processor. I love the screen, but as was noted in several reviews, the build quality is only decent, not great or even good. I am sure that it will keep meeting my needs quite nicely for a long time, since it is my stay-at-home laptop, but at the same time, if I had to carry it around as my daily carry - I don't think it would last more than a couple of years tops.

Yeah, I have a feeling that my old Samsung 5-550 will still be plugging along after this one dies. Just a very different build quality. However, the screen and the processor are worlds different and I am getting used to the keyboard, so as much as I still like my old 5-550, the Toshiba is growing on me.


I started work 6 months ago, so I am up for review to see if I will be retained or let go - in other words my initial 6 months probationary period is over. I am not too worried about it and last week when my boss sent me my self-evaluation to do. In the past I would have been all over it and gotten it back to her the next day with multiple pages of stuff that I have accomplished during the last six months. However, I noticed that it said Optional and you know something as some point in your life, you just stop worrying about that kind of stuff. 

This is probably one of the last jobs I will have, I have been retired and know what retirement is like (I love it) and if where I am working doesn't want me around, well I know the deal. 

So I asked her if she minded if I didn't go ahead and do the self-eval. She initially acted surprised and said no one had ever done it that way before. I explained my reasons and that I just didn't feel the need to go through several hours worth of work to brag about myself to her. The bottom line was either I stayed or I go.

There wasn't any hesitation when she said "There is no doubt about you staying if you want to." 

Now, I might not get as high a rating as I would have if I had gone ahead and done the self-eval, but at the same time, is this evaluation going to really matter to me? Other than getting me off probation - what will it do? I am not looking to move to a different position and I am definitely not looking to become a supervisor or chase after any other position with a lot more responsibility. 

I just want to go to work, do my job well and then come home leaving the job at work.

So the job is going pretty good too.

Running in January

Still going pretty damn good. No stoopid injuries or maladies to report.

I rejoined the Central Maine Striders this year after a year's sabbatical and plan to do more with them this year. Although it is not something that I can do during the week in the evenings like most others do, since I work most nights until 8:00 PM.

I was selected as a Pearl Izumi Run Champion in December and in January got a little swag from them for being a team member in January. I am excited to run as a member of a team and represent a brand that running shoes and clothes worked well for me before I decided to apply to be a team member. 

No I wasn't chosen because I am that fast and am going to set the world on fire, I have a feeling I was chosen mostly because I believe in their product lines and fit into the the mold of runner who enjoys their gear and can represent them in a semi-intelligent manner, without making an ass of myself. 

Well most of the time anyway. 

I think they like a bit of irreverence, every once in a while and at the right time/place -  if so I should fit in just fine - if not I won't be one for long - will I! hehehehehe ;-)

I got to 143+ miles this month, not as many as I did in 2015, but I also had 12 fewer runs this year and as I said before I am not going to bust my ass to get to some artificial mileage total this year, I will end up with what I end up with.

However, I ran a LOT more relaxed than I have in a while, my slower runs were slower, but my faster runs were also a bit faster. I am really attempting to not get into that old high zone 2, low zone 3 paces most of the time, which is a trap that I often allow myself to fall. I get to just running comfortably and don't push hard enough on the faster runs and don't go slower on the easy runs. 

I have finally gotten through my thick skull that 2 hard speedwork sessions every week are just not going to work for me, they take too much of a toll on the old body. See I am learning, now to just keep doing - right.

So I plan on doing intervals of some sort (Monday or Tuesday) and then every other week when I don't have a race planned do a 3.1 mile tempo run after a mile warm-up and then a mile cool-down on the off Thursday/Friday). The pace is hopefully going to work downwards toward where I want my race-pace to be. 

One thing I have learned about myself is that if I want to run sustained or certain paces in training, I do it better on a treadmill - unless I am running with others at the track. However, since I am not doing track workouts outside right now and usually don't do them with others, I guess the treadmill is where I will be doing the bulk of my specific speedwork.

Every other week I want to do a longer run, something in double-digits and that will happen more often once the weather breaks. I don't like running long runs outside, by myself in the winter all that much, too much can go wrong too easily and quickly. That and running longer than 8.0 miles on the treadmill is just tough for me, but I can do it if I have to.

My current shoe rotation is:

All Pearl Izumi. 

Yeah, I wouldn't be much of a Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team Member if I ran in anything else - would I? At least I wouldn't feel right about it and besides the Pearl Izumi EM lines of running shoes are doing one thing for me - and that is - working.

So I will keep running in them until they do not.

  • Pearl Izumi Em/N1 Road v2 - personal purchase 12/15.

  • Pearl Izumi Em/N1 Trail v1 - personal purchase 11/15.

  • Pearl Izumi Em/N1 Tri v2 - free for being a member of the PI Run Champion Team 01/16.

  • Pearl Izumi Em/H3 Road v1 - personal purchase 10/15.

  • Pearl Izumi Em/N2 Road v1 - received in a trade with another runner in January 2014. These are now semi-retired and will probably be turned into my summer walking shoes. 

Yes, this is my rotation all but the N2 Roads are used pretty regularly, with the N1 Tri's being the newest addition. Needless to say this is probably the most pleased I have been with my running shoe rotation in a while and while I will probably make a couple of tweaks when these start to wear out, but it will not be anything earth shattering.

The biggest difference will probably be moving from the N1 Trail to the N2 or M2 Trail and from the H3 Road to the M3 Road, I would like a little more cushion on the trail version and from many reports I have read the N2/M2 is a bit wider in the toe box than the N1 Trail. As for the H3 it might be a bit too stable a shoe for me, but it does sure feel good when I am running longer in them. I think that the M3 would be about the right combination of stability, but letting my foot do a little more than the H3's do.

Minor adjustments instead of wholesale changes, which always seemed to be the case in the past. The bottom-line is that I am very happy with how my body is responding to running in PI running shoes.

The reality is that

things are going about as good as they could be going for me. 

I got my new laptop and am liking it, the job is going well and I actually set goals that I feel comfortable setting and going after. 

The older I get the more it seems that I am getting that one foot in reality thing in my head and accepting the person that I am versus what others want me to be or what I would like myself to be. That old what you see is what you get philosophy. It took a long time to get here, but it is a good thing.

Running has been a consistent thing and as long as I don't get too far off the deep end, I think I am going to have fun running this year and being a part of the Pearl Izumi Run Champion Team is just going to add to that idea of having fun, while pushing myself to be a better runner.

Disclosure I was selected on December 22, 2015 to be a member of the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team and am positively predisposed to Pearl Izumi products. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experiences with Pearl Izumi products might be different from mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I still can't believe how many shoes you have. Happy trails!

    1. The good thing is that this is the least amount of running shoes that I have had since 2012 ;-) and I really don't see me getting that many more this year. I probably won't need faster pace shoes and if I get one more pair of trail shoes will get me through the rest of the year and probably 2 pair of road shoes for my primary trainers. A lot better than doing 20+ pair a year hehehehe


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