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.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Lot Going On & A Couple of Runs - RunLog 6-30-16

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

Bennie hasn't been "right" lately and this morning he had no interest in running, so we walked a mile and tonight we talked about how he has been this week and will be making a Vet appointment for him as soon as we can get him tomorrow.

I hope the little fella is doing okay.

After sitting with Mary, (we spend as much time together as we can - we enjoy one another's company), while she ate her breakfast before her last PT apt for her wrist. It is doing better, but not 100% and probably will never be. However, she is stubborn and does more than anyone else know would/could do with the way I know it still bothers her.

After she left for her appointment, I went for a run down-back alone. The only thing I was going to do was put forth a consistent effort and not have to stop just about the time that I got going good.

The first 2.0 miles were really good, nice paces, not pushing, but feeling comfortable. Then once I got going back up Steven's Hill, I just ran out of gas. My current conditioning didn't have enough ummpphh to keep it going up the hill and at that point I lost focus and the last mile didn't do as well, even though I thought/felt that the effort was still there while I was running.

Run #2

I wasn't sure that I would run again in the afternoon or not. It depended on how the left leg was feeling - because I know that I need to slowly rebuild my mileage back to where I want it 30-40 miles per week, with one long run and a track workout/race per week.

However, I know that I am not at the point where I can do a long run or even attempt to run fast yet. Gotta rebuild the base first, the last 6 weeks really screwed that up.

The leg didn't feel too bad, a little sore, but not as bad as it has been. So I figured that I would go out slow and see how things felt.

Once I got going, the leg didn't feel any worse, so I just relaxed and ran comfortably down Leighton Road. Instead of turn up into the backside, I decided to head on down a little further and see if I could get over 3.0 total.

I did great until I got back by TWC, where I had to play with a little traffic and I ran out of gas/focus. At that point I just plugged it back to the finish.

Overall, a really good day, but I am worried about the Bean and hope that it isn't anything serious. We will get the first available appointment to find out what is going on. After all he is my best buddy :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quarry Road 3K - Race Recap 6/28/16

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

This is not a pity party post, so don't take it as that. It is more about me writing down my frustrations about being injured and attempting to do more than I should at this point in the recovery process.

Something that I tend to be an expert at.

Last night I ran in the Quarry Road 3K race. I enjoyed seeing and talking with a bunch of people (Brian, Steph, Patrick, Julie and all the rest) I haven't seen in a while, getting out of the house and actually running in my first race since this damned Achilles tendinitis/left leg episode.

No the course is not that tough, though it has a lot of bumps, it is mostly groomed gravel paths. I have run over there many, many times, so I know what to expect, but...well to be honest, I was bit disappointed with the results.

I know I went into the race with very modest goals:

  • finish
  • not aggravate the tendinitis too bad

Yeah, secretly I wanted to finish sub 18:00 and sub 16:00 would have been even better.

  • I did finish - Although last night, I seriously thought about popping out to the road and jogging back at the turn around. I didn't, but I thought about it. Running on the hills/uneven surface was beating the left leg up too much.
  • The left leg barked a little more than I wanted it too, especially over the last mile
  • Yeah, 19:02 finishing time - a race at over 9:00 minute mile pace, ungghhh. I have not run 2.0 miles that slow in a race in years.

Not exactly what I would call a huge confidence builder, but at least this morning I can still walk on the leg, even though it is a bit more sore than I want it to be.

Actually, when I was doing the warm-up, I was running faster than I did during the race in spots, so I did learn that an almost 1.7 mile warm-up is a little too far when it is 77*F and humid.

The top results are pretty soft, so I tend to ignore them, that slowest point is when I almost stopped and walked it in. Then I decided to just finish it up.

While it Quarry Road is mostly groomed gravel, there are enough bumps that it was aggravating my leg a bit too much. I think the steeper downhills bothered almost as much as the uphills did.

The reality is that

I haven't been running faster paces in training and that I have lost a LOT of conditioning over the past 6 weeks (it is easier to loose it as you get older and then a helluva lot harder to get it back). Which means that realistically, I ran the race at the paces I have been running at lately - which is to be expected.

IF You don't train to run faster, you don't race fast.

Just the way it is.

So it seems that this will be the summer of slower running, until the left leg issues resolve themselves (it is more than just the Achilles tendon) and I can get back to training versus simply running (there is a big difference).

I kind of knew this was going to happen just this way and I just didn't want to admit it to myself. The leg isn't healed enough to do trail stuff yet and I am not in good enough shape to do the times I expect of myself.

Which means I am probably about another month out from racing or trail running and being able to do it without beating myself up too much over the results.

Yeah, it is hard on the psyche to finish with times that well off what you usually do, but at the same time it is progress and at least I am running.

Gotta stay positive :-).

It does give me a measuring point of how much work I do have to do now to get back in shape. No more delusions of grandeur, if I am not running well and training, I get fatter and slower, not faster and skinnier.

Reality sucks sometimes.

Gotta do the work!!!

Rain At Last - RunLog 6-29-16

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

This morning when Bennie and I got out for our first walk, had a lot in common with Cows and a flat rock. Yeah, it was raining just about that hard and it started raining harder when we got halfway down the driveway. He turned around, found a convenient tree, stood there 3-legged for a bit and then trotted off for the house.

Smart dawg.

At about 9:00 the storm had passed and I had finished my rehab work on the legs, so it was time for our run. For the first time since I bought the LG7s, I ran in something else. My old PI H3's. They are the highest "drop" of my PI stuff and I had planned to do another run later and didn't want my Nike's all mud and stuff from running down-back.

More on them later.

Yeah, I hate to admit it, but my left leg was sore from last night's race and warm-up at Quarry Road - that old do a little too much kind of thing that I am so good at. Luckily, it wasn't so bad that I couldn't run this morning, more it was there to tell me quite loudly if I was doing too much.

Actually, for as much rain as we got overnight the dirt road down-back was in decent shape. A little squishy in places, but not as bad as I thought it would be. So we were able to put together a couple of pretty good miles, before heading back up Stevens Hill, where I just can't generate enough umph to do much more than plug along up the hill.

Once we got back to the house I had planned to pick it up a little for a lap around Howard Circle, but we met Mary and she turned around to gab and run with us. So we didn't pick up the pace, but we did run about half mile further than we would have otherwise. So it was a good trade-off

The second run didn't happen, my leg was a little too sore to do another run today, so I took the afternoon off and will do some more of my rehab exercises tonight, they seem to be helping...as long as I stay away from trails and running too fast ;-).

The H3's did fine and like all PIs EM series shoes for me, they just ran smooth. However, after I was done, my leg just felt more sore than it does in the LG7's??? I don't know if it is my imagination or if it is something about how they fit or how I run in them, but my leg didn't like it all that much. So I will get back to running in the Nike's and keep the PI's on the shelf, until this leg thing resolves itself and I can run in them without the soreness developing as much.

Overall, a pretty good day of running.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Getting Closer - Week In Review 6-26-16

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

I almost made 20 miles again this week, but only ended up with 19.2, so close and yes I could have gone out and done one more mile this afternoon. However, I wanted to get through a week without doing any doubles and one day off.

Accomplished that.

Still struggling with the Achilles Tendonitis stuff, but it is getting better. Still not where I want to be, but at least I am running a little more consistently and not paying for every step I take after I get done running. So there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is just a long damn tunnel.

We did get to go to the Portland Sea Dogs game on Saturday night. It was the first time in probably 10 years we have gone to a game, so it was fun, but the food is expensive, too many rude people and the Sea Dogs lost. It makes me remember why I don't go to very many public venues anymore.

Will I go back to see the Sea Dogs, maybe, but probably not again this summer. I was on sensory overload for most of the night, just too much going on around me that I am not used to anymore.

Favorite Photo This Week:

Longer than Usual - RunLog 6-26-16

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

We went to the Sea Dogs game last night
A nice day for running earlier in the morning, unfortunately we ran a bit later than we should have. It wasn't awful, but it was just starting to get warmish.

The sweating felt good, Bennie was reasonable, although a couple of times we were just getting going and he would bolt over to what to him was a GREAT sniff.

The bad parts was that it meant that I had to stop and start yet again. Stopping and starting ain't bad, but sometimes it is difficult to get a good "flow" going for your run.

In other words it was a typical Bennie run. Although we did a pretty good surge in when the truck was speed checking us...he said you are doing great -- 10 mph ;-). I wanted ask if he wanted to trade places at that point, but didn't. Probably, I should have been more of an anchor, but it felt good to stretch the legs out a little and for a change I didn't pay for it too badly.

Then when we got back up by the house, Mary was coming back down the road and turned around to go a little ways with us. Well it turned out to be the last mile and we got to gab about things, so it was good. However, I needed one more mile to get to 20 for the week, but Bennie's tongue was starting to drag on the road, so I shut it down.

The hard reset of the Garmin 310XT seems to have worked, no problems today. It seems about once every 4-6 months, it is something that I need to do with it. So when it starts acting wonky again, I will be more apt to do the reset.

This was my longest run in a while and I didn't want to push it any further. Maybe I will go out and do one just to get to that 20 mile mark later this afternoon, then again, it is in the 80's and I am feeling pretty good just sitting here relaxing with Bennie napping on my feet.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

At the ball game

via Instagram http://ift.tt/290dryd

At a Portland Sea Dogs game

via Instagram http://ift.tt/28YONO2

Tech is Great When it Works - RunLog 6-25-16

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

Running with Bennie this morning was tough.

For the first mile it was fine, after that he lost interest and was the anchor today, instead of it being me. Once we got back to the top of Blake Hill and Mary turned around to run with us, he perked up a little. Then by the time we got back tot he house he was ready to keep going.

Strange little beastlet.

As we were getting back on the the tar by the Steven's house, I looked down to see how we were doing and saw that my Garmin had stopped -- again. The auto-pause screwed up when we first started out again and then somewhere right after we met up with Mary it screwed up again.

That little short cut would have taken me through a pretty nasty bog and stuff, so I don't think that is the way we went.

So when I got home, I uploaded the data from today's run and did a reboot of the whole system to see if that solves the problem. I hope it does because I like the watch, but if it keeps messing up like this, I will go back to my old FR10. It might be slow to acquire the satellites, but it was always pretty rock solid when it comes to reasonable accuracy.

My Garmin 310XT is only a year old, but build-wise it probably sat in storage for a long time and was built several years ago before I bought it on clearance.

Technology is great when it works, but a pain in the arse when it ain't. :-)

There were a couple of races that I really wanted to do this weekend in Fairfield today and the Rail Trail tomorrow, that I am not even going to go to, because I would be too tempted to run. Then I would probably run too hard and be 5 steps backwards, instead of the usual 2.

Oh well, a good run, finished up mowing the edges between the lawn and the woods and now to get ready to go down to Portland to see the Sea Dogs and Yoan Moncada. I wonder if he will turn out as good as the reports say he will.

Busy day, but a good one.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Better Today - RunLog 6-24-16

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

I took yesterday off, the left leg was feeling a bit sore and I had run for 11 days in row, so it was time for a rest day. It was a good choice, the leg felt quite a bit better this morning and good enough to run on this after during lunch.

That morning run thing, well the body just ain't ready for it yet. Someday soon, but not yet.

However, even though it was feeling a lot better, I planned to be pretty conservative and cap it at 2.0 miles and avoid any hills.

The day was gorgeous, pretty much a perfect summer day, mid 70’s, a light breeze and plenty of sunshine. One of those top 10 days.

Which meant that my mind wanted to run faster and the leg kept reminding me that I was not supposed to run fast today. Although the Garmin says I was going "faster", I wasn't it might have been around 8:30, but not faster than that, so I have a feeling the stats are pretty inaccurate and it was closer to a 9:00 minute pace than 8:00 minute.

Looking at the rest of the run, I have a feeling that I wasn't working any harder at the start. Although thinking back I was breathing pretty hard at the start....hehehehe no I wasn't running sub 7:00's and not realizing it.

Eventually, the body got its way and I finally settled into a comfortable pace and remembered to shorten up the stride, which helps the left leg become a happy leg, instead of that garrulous thing that spouts lots of obscenities and questions my sanity with every step.

I think that I might have figured out at least partly, why my leg started bother a little more on Thursday. I ran the UMA trails, Wednesday (the easy section) and today while I was running on the ball field, I noticed that the leg/heel was getting ready to start barking at me. So I turned off into the parking lot and just jogged it in to the finish.

It seems that the slight unevenness underfoot that I don't see or plan how to adjust my landing, bothers my Achilles/Heel area when running on the grass or trails, so that means sticking to the roads and flats when I run for a while, because I know hills ain’t the best thing for it either. 

Which means if I want to run, it needs to flatter, on a decent surface for a while. So either laps on Philbrick, laps around UMA, driving to a most flat course in Waterville or heading down to the Rail Trail for my runs for a little bit. 

Damn, I will be so glad when this finally heals enough to not bother as much. Those kind of runs get pretty monotonous and it means no trail running for a while. Err Quarry Road on Tuesday, but then again, it is the 3K loop and only has bumps not real hills and is fairly well groomed. 

Hmmm if I go slow, hook up with someone who will kick me in the butt if I go too fast, maybe I can do it. Hehehehe we will see won’t we Mr. Achilles.

Nike LunarGlide 7 - 50 Mile Review

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

Yeah, I know the Lunar Glide 8's will be coming out in a few weeks and I am just doing a LG7 review...what else is new.

I always seem to be reviewing last year's news.

Nike Lunar Glide 7's
Anyways, I moved back to the Nike Lunar Glides because I wanted a higher drop shoe to run in while recovering from my most recent Achilles issues. There are many that poo-poo how much drop matters and all the other theories or studies they bring to the table...all I know is that in this experiment of one, when my Achilles acts up - I go back to a higher drop and it has worked well for me.

Enough yakking, let's talk about the Nike Lunar Glide 7's.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Nice Morning and a New Dog in the Neighborhood - RunLog 6-22-16

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

Sometimes the weather forecasters get it right!!!

They forecast that we would get rain around 2:00 and shortly thereafter, we got rain. We really needed it and while I usually love running in the rain, today, I decided to relax, take it easy and just eat lunch instead of doing a double today.

Really the main reason is that since I have bumped the mileage up to 3.0 miles or so a day, the left leg tends to get a bit yappy, especially when Bennie decides that he wants to do a little speedwork by chasing a truck and mailman during this morning's run.

Oh yeah, it wasn't raining this morning, low 70's, lots of sun - just a nice morning for an easy run.

Looking at the graph,

I didn't slow down when I got to the dirt road, we had a distraction on the tar (a neighbor yelled to us and wanted to talk for a second), then I purposely sped up a little. That first dip is where we had to wait for a truck to come up the hill. Bennie doesn't do so well with vehicles going the other direction and the road is pretty narrow right there. So it was a choice of running in the ditch or waiting. We waited.

The town is doing some work on the road, pulling the bigger boulders out of the dirt road, so there were new places to be careful of, that were not there before. The ever-changing down-back is the best I can call it.

We got to the Bartlett turn-around and there is a new dog, where someone setup a RV to live in this summer, so Bennie was a pain about leaving without checking things out more closely. The owner was yelling at the dog and it was lunging pretty hard at us, so I had to haul his butt a ways.

This route might have to be changed if they can't keep the new dog safely on it tie-out. It didn't look friendly and was definitely a bigger dog. Sigh same person I have had words with in the past about her dog and got bit once by one that she owned. If it happens this time, just gonna call the cops and not be a good neighbor this time.

Then we had to chase the mailman - at least it was a good distraction to get Bennie moving again. By that time the leg was a little sore, so I slowed down and just trudged it home.

The leg isn't too bad this afternoon, but it ain't 100% ready for faster paces yet either. So it is just as well I am taking the afternoon off, instead of doubling up today. :-

Sore is different than pain, just gotta stop before the pain sets in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trying the UMA Trails for a Bit - RunLog 6-21-16

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

Yep, another warm one, temps over 80, but a nice breeze, so I got to work on getting my sweat on.

I really wanted to go to Quarry Road tonight, but decided that if I haven't run a 5.0 miler comfortably in more than a month, going to an 8K trail race...well it wouldn't be a good idea. You know that once the gun goes off, the temptation to do more than the leg is ready to do, especially with that BFH in the middle of the course.

Which meant that I went ran during my lunch at work and went straight home and relaxed again tonight.

I have a bit of a streak going and the leg is doing pretty good. However, nothing is at faster paces. Oh I might get going, but the leg pretty quickly reminds me that going faster, just is not being smahter.

For the run I decided to see how the leg would do on a groomed trail section. Which meant getting warmed up on the tar section and then heading down the field into UMA Trails, but I decided to avoid the hills section.

I am noticing a pattern -- that as soon as I hit trails or dirt roads, that I seem to automatically slow down, it is not something I am doing consciously, but I seem to be a bit meechy lately, when it comes to changing terrain.

Now that I have become aware of it, I can do a little more about this trend I am starting to see.

Overall, it was a decent run and I learned something that I hadn't thought about before, so hopefully some good will come of this realization. Also, I feel pretty good about not going to Quarry Road and avoiding one of those Harold being Harold things that I am so famous for doing.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things Are Finally Looking Up - Week In Review 6-19-16

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

Well there, I got in 20 miles of running this week, no fast running, but getting mostly right around a 9:00 minute pace is definitely running.

Which means I have stopped feeling sorry for myself, well mostly anyway - I still want to run faster, like Prince's Song "When Doves Cry" - Just like my Father - Never Satisfied."

Speaking of father's -- happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there, especially to Harold Shaw the Senior, who I get a touch of my orneriness from.

Favorite Photo This Week:

One of Dad's favorite photos from back in the 1980's with Old Tuffy

Good Run and a Big Interruption - RunLog 6-19-16

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

After yesterday's test, I figured that I would be hurting today.

As Gomer Pyle used to say

I actually felt pretty decent.

Yeah, there is still a bit of tightness on the outside of the heel area and the Achilles tends to bark a little coming back up Steven's Hill, but for the most part at least I can run without having to simply suck it up.

Let's get back to the run.

We started out and for about 30 yards, I ran pain-free and felt simply amazing. Then the outside of the left heel area tighten up just slightly, nothing serious, but I gave up any thoughts about just running when that happened.

Someday soon I will just be able to run again, but alas today was not that day.

So I re-shortened my stride and went into plug-along mode.

I did still feel better than I have for a while and figured by the time that we got to Blake that I was going to go to Bartlett and do the 3.3 mile course.

Yep, we had a few Bennie stops, went by Mary, slowed down coming up the hill, sped up a little once we got on the tar and then the neighbor's Great Dane decided that Bennie was going to be a great little chew toy. She came gallumping (not running) out into the road as we went by and we had to stop and tell her to go back to her yard.

She is a good girl and obeyed the neighbor, but I think she secretly wanted to keep running with us and get to run beside that well-muscled handsome devil, named Bennie that gets to run by her house all the time.

But she is a damn big dog.

Overall, a nice run and it was fun even with Lucy coming out to visit us.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Test - Passed - RunLog 6-18-16

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

Another one of those post-card perfect days, where Bennie and I got to run and then when we got done, it was too damn nice to just sit inside or start the yard work. So I quickly dropped him off and headed back out to catch up with Mary, to see how the leg would hold up to a little longer run.

The yard work came later and it entailed mowing out by the rock wall (it hasn't been mowed yet this spring) and the roadside so we can see if anything is coming, so that meant the old field big wheel push mower, uneven ground and lots of grunting. Maybe a few swear words were uttered along the way.

In other words today was my test day to see how the leg was going to hold up.

Yeah, I needed to know.

Run #1

I still have to start out pretty slow, because the leg doesn't loosen up for the first half mile or so. Which means that I do not push too hard when we first start out. I also wanted to kick it up to 3.0 miles, for the first time in a while, so I wasn't going to push for speed either.

We ran down to the old Cranberry Bog and turned around. The leg never really loosened up, but it didn't really bother too much as long as I stuck around the 9:00 minute pace. The leg ain't ready for faster stuff, there is still tightness in there that isn't releasing.

Just a real consistently paced run - yeah a little sarcasm there.

Also, on the way back we met Mary heading out for her run and Bennie started to do his tug-o-war to show off or play. He did this about half-way up Steven's Hill and I think I figured out part of the reason that my Achilles has been bothering.

After Bennie starts to pull on the leash, I continue to keep running and with him pulling I change my gait to offset the pull. He typically pulls me to the right and behind, which means when I land with my left foot, I am over-compensating to left and when I land on the uneven dirt road, I did notice more of a pulling on my Achilles this morning. So running with Bennie, when he pulls the leash, might contribute to my Achilles issues when it isn't 100%. It is funny or an inconvenience when it is okay, but right now, not a good thing.

Overall, it was a good run as long as I just plugged along and doing the 3.0+ was a nice confidence builder.

Run #2

Once I dropped off Bennie, I head back out and ran back down-back to meet Mary on her way back. I go down to the Blake Road and she was coming down the little hill. We ran together, gabbed a little and I got to just run easy and free. The slower running does not bother the Achilles, so I can do longer distances as long as I just go slow.

The reality is that

today was the day where I really tested the Achilles, the 3+ with Bennie was good, getting right back out to run with Mary made the total more than 4.5 total and it was a huge confidence builder. Then 4 hours of mowing field, high grass, small trees on uneven ground didn't hurt it. Yeah, it is tired, but right shoulder hurt a lot more than the left Achilles. Which means that it passed today's test.

It doesn't mean that I am going out and racing or doing any faster paced stuff, but it does mean that I am improving.

Oh yeah, how are the Nike LunarGlide 7's doing - just fine.

I did take the laces out last night and put in LockLaces. I am got tired of feeling the laces flopping around, so I replaced them. However, I did use a different lacing pattern than I usually do. I have been reading a little of Lydiard's stuff and saw this pattern, so I figured that I would try it out. It worked fine.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Great Vacation Day - RunLog 6-16-16

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

What a gorgeous day, mid 70's, a nice breeze, lots of sunshine - one of those elusive top-10 days of the summer (oh yeah, it is still Spring), that are so infrequent around heah.

When Bennie and I went out for our morning jaunt, it was still in the high 50's, low 60's and very low humidity - just about perfect for working up a good sweat and still being able to enjoy the run.

Bennie has to get used to running again, he hasn't run much since I hurt my leg and while he is willing, you could tell he is a bit deconditioned too. So this morning wasn't about picking up the pace or anything other than getting some time on the legs and enjoying being outside.

We did the usual Bennie stops and then at the top of the hill on Blake there was something very interesting on the side of the road and we had to take a time out to check it out in very fine detail before we could get going again.

The leg is coming along good, while it ain't ready for faster paces or longer runs, but at least I can run 2-3 miles and still be able to walk normally when I am done, so that is huge progress from where I was last week at this time.

Life in General

Yeah, I took the day off too, which was an added bonus.

I got to take Dad out for lunch, spend some time with him talking politics, family, Red Sox/Yankees and just enjoying spending time together. It was fun and I hope that he had as much fun as I did (his views are refreshingly blunt, without a lot of filter), I might not agree with them all, but I respect the honesty of his opinions.

On the way home, I stopped at the New Balance Factory Outlet Store in Skowhegan, checked that the Gift Certificate I won back in January was still good and bought a new three season jacket, a running belt pouch (I lost my other one) and a new work shirt and got a great deal in the process. Yeah, I looked at running shoes, but the Vazees really didn't do anything for me (they would have bothered my bunionette) and the Zante's were a pink/blue colorway, which wasn't for me, so I passed on them.

As much as I would love to run in NB shoes, it just seems as though they don't fit me quite right, oh well, such is life.

When I got home I was able to get rid of 5 old jackets and some other stuff that I have not worn in years. I am going to go through a bunch of stuff and get rid of the things I don't really want/need or no longer is something I will use/wear. Time to weed through all the stuff I have accumulated and move on.

A Surprise in the Mail

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

Sometimes things just take you by surprise and take you back in time.

Yesterday, when I got home, I had a piece of mail sitting on the counter, it was a large envelope and it had Coast Guard markings on it.

Now I don't get too much Coast Guard related mail anymore. We have moved in different directions. I am proud of my service, still think of myself as a Coastie and always will. However, once you retire from the military, things change and you cannot live in the past, no matter how much you want it to be otherwise. You gotta move on.

Oh I still get a few magazines, a LES once in a while, some Mutual Assistance drive solicitations and that is about it. So I was kind of wondering what this was all about. When I looked closer, I saw it was from the Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer's Association.

Hmmm, no clue.

Okay, I opened it...and this is what was inside.

I have been a member of the CWOA for over 25 years, my DOR was June 1, 1990.

When I looked at the certificate the memories came flooding back to a different time in my life and yes, a different me. Since then I have been reflecting back on the years after I put on the shoulder boards. Yeah, the memories were good and bad, thinking about the people from that time period was better: RIO Bath, Group Sandy Hook, and CGDONE (ap), then moving onward into retirement.

However, with that 20/20 hindsight we all seem to acquire as we age, I have a feeling that if I had to do it all over again, in all honesty, I would not have accepted the CWO appointment and stayed out of the Wardroom. The duties were not the issue, it was me and my personality wasn't cut out for that side of the coin. I just never felt as though I fit and as a result left the Coast Guard sooner than I would have otherwise.

Unfortunately, to a younger me, with delusions of grandeur and sugarplums in my head, the promotion to CWO was offered, before E-8 and I took the bird in the hand so to speak (although if my memory serves me right the guy behind me on the YNCS list that year made it in October). The choices we make, make a profound difference in the lives we live.

When I made the choice to accept CWO, it did change many things - some good, some not so good.

That is all water under the bridge now and I am proud to have been and still am a member of the CWOA, but sometimes when we look back at those choices, we think about what might have been or if only I...

Yes, the good and the bad.

Thank you CWOA for the nice certificate and the many memories that thinking about the 25 years I have been a member brought back. Hopefully, I get another one in 25 years.

Semper Paratus.

Yeah - Two Miles Again - RunLog 6-15-16

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

When I don't get home from work until 8:00 PM or so, doing a runlog post usually ain't at the top of my todo list and last night was no exception. I didn't even try to do one - I was fried and just needed to chill out until time for bed at 10:00.

However, this morning I am feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, so I get to write about yesterday's runs. ;-P

Yeah, runs.

Run #1

I wanted to see how the leg would hold up to a Bennie run and then Mary decided that if I was only going to go a mile or so, that she wanted to come too. "AS LONG AS WE DIDN'T GO TOO FAST"!!! TheWife has been under the weather the past few days and wanted to get back out there too.

I enjoy running with Mary, but we run at different paces and running with Bennie also brings a whole different running style into the picture (Bennie Intervals). It was not a fast run (probably a good thing), lots of Bennie stops, lots of Bennie tugging on the harness and looking back at us with that "well come on!" look.

We got to the mile turn-around, shut-it-down and walked back. No issues with the leg from being hauled along by the Bean and the best part was that Mary and I got to spend time together, talk and just enjoy down-back together. It was one of those top-10 mornings kind of thing.

Run #2

My first real double since I got injured, so I was interested in how the body was going to hold up. It was my usual lunch run and I decided that I was going to see how 2.0 miles felt. I did a little warm-up, lazed around on the foam roller and then ran the course I ran Tuesday backwards. It is a bit more challenging in that direction.

I never really loosened up, but at the same time my left leg never felt too bad either. When I got back to the Civic Center, I decided to add on the field to the run which would get me over the 2.0 mile mark.

The entire run wasn't about speed or anything, it was all about getting a couple of miles in and then seeing how the leg felt last night and this morning.

Something I am doing different since Monday is I am wearing my compression socks throughout the day and whether it is actually helping or not, or whether it is because the leg is simply finally healing. Since I started wearing the socks, my left leg is letting me do a little more each day, with less pain/discomfort. I know - not very scientific, but...if is working for me I ain't gonna stop doing it.

Now to keep the mileage between 1.5 to 2.5 at a time for the rest of the week and not try to be a speed burner, maybe I can get back to semi-normal running for me in a couple of weeks.

All I know is it felt good to run 2.0 miles again and still be able to walk after I got done. The best part was waking up this morning and walking Bennie on that first walk of the day without limping down the road...it has been a while.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Moving Forward A Little at a Time - RunLog 6-14-16

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

Today was a good day, Mr. Achilles wasn't complaining too much and when I got to doing my warm-up, dare I say he wasn't complaining.

So I went out and ran 10 miles at an 8:00 minute pace.

Yeah right Harold.

You couldn't do that before you were injured, so there is no way in hell you are gonna do it almost a month later, especially with that added padding around the middle that is forming.

Actually, the leg felt pretty reasonable, I think that I have found the right balance (for me) of strengthening exercises, rest, walking, heating pad and yes, dare I say running to conservatively move forward.

Again, I worked on landing lightly, lifting the quads and attempting to pull the trailing leg back a lot more. I wasn't able to do it for long, but it did feel good. However, the leg wasn't hurting when I got over towards Randall, so I decided to push the distance by about .5, nothing too serious. I did pick up the pace a little in a couple of places, but nothing drastic.

I just ran comfortably and well within myself.

Could I have gone further, sure, but I am really attempting to be smarter this time and not simple reinjure myself as a result of Harold being Harold.

All I know is for the first time since that fateful day back in May, after a run I was able to walk without limping.

Days like this give me hope that I will be back sooner than later -- well as long as I don't attempt to go out and run 10 miles at an 8:00 minute pace.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Two Days in a Row - 6-13-16

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

Hey, I ran today, so that makes it 2 days in a row!


However, it ain't fun sometimes.

Let's get to the reality of what is going on.

The Left Achilles is barking, not nearly as loudly as last week, but still not as quiet as I want it to be.

Which means as much as I want to run with Bennie first thing in the morning - it ain't happening. The leg needs to get stretched out for a while, before I start subjecting it to that morning run with the Bean. So we walked our usual 3/4 of a mile and things were just okay. Yeah, it was barking a little bit.

However, when I got ready to go to lunch, the Achilles had loosened up quite a bit and wasn't bothering nearly as much, so I went to the UMA Workout Center, rolled around on the torture device, bit my lip so I wouldn't scream like the old neighbor's kid did on the trampoline, did some cals and thought that the leg felt good enough to go for an easy mile.

It is progress, Friday it started to bother at about the .80 mark and was bad enough that after the run, I couldn't run on Saturday. Yesterday's mile plus was less discomforting, but still when I got around to doing that extra .25 the last .10 was pushing the limits of good taste or is that listening to the vile noise and stuff coming from Mr. Achilles.

So I kind of expected him to be a bit whiney this morning.

Surprisingly, I felt pretty good and my pace was a bit quicker than I have been doing in a while, without trying. Basically, I was focusing on a mid foot landing going through the big toe and pulling up with my quads a little more, then kicking back with the leg. Yeah, I got tired pretty quick, because I haven't been running that way for a long time.

It has been more old man slog with rapid leg turnover to get any kind of speed at all. So we will see how I incorporate these kind of changes into my running hurt or help.

Yeah, Mr. Achilles talked to me after the run, but it was more murmuring than yelling and screaming WTF are you doing.

So I am moving forward, even though it is very slow progress and frustrating that I can only do 1 mile at a time.

However, I know I will get it back soon enough.

Patience grasshopper, hmmm I wonder how chocolate covered grasshoppers would taste hehehehe, not much patience here, but I am still gonna have some fun.

Nike Zoom Streak LT3 - 30 Mile Review

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

Most of the time when I do a running shoe review, the first one comes after 50 miles, but with racing flats, I mean true racing flats like the LT-3's, you know those sub - 6.0 oz shoes that you want to "go fast" in, I tend to know what I need to know about them after 25-30 miles and at least one race.

These were a personal purchase from Running Warehouse.

Well the Nike Zoom Streak LT3 has the requisite mileage, but unfortunately, not the one race and since I am on the shelf with Achilles Tendon issues, there are no races where I will be racing in them for a while, I figured that I might just as well go ahead and do the review.

I got the LT3's to fill a void in my running shoe rotation, I had my long run shoes, but the shoes I was wearing for racing, I felt were more light-weight trainers than racing flats at around 8-9 oz. I strongly believed that I would run faster in true flats than what I had been using, especially for me to do a mile race on Memorial Day.

Notice I said race, not run. I wanted to really hammer that race and once I got the LT3's, I started to train for a fast/hard mile.

It was working, I was running faster in training and even had started to get into the hallowed sub 6:00 minute pace range every so often. As the graph blipped into the range I really wanted to get near for that mile race, it was after that second blip that things started to go bad and by the time I did the 4th repeat I knew it wasn't going to be a good thing.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Frustrating Week In Review

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

Yeah, the Achilles left leg issue have really gotten old and it is frustrating. However, it is slooowwwwllllyyy, but surely getting better. I ran a mile on Friday and another mile+ today, so there is progress being made, but it is just so damn slow.

As you can tell I am a little frustrated, but...well it is what it is and I am not going to run on the leg, just to run and make the damn thing worse. ;-)

A little patience now will pay off in a couple of weeks.

Patience my ass, I want to run - NOW!!!!.


Yeah, that is the battle I have been fighting internally this week.

Other than that a pretty quiet week, I can still walk Bennie and do stuff around the house, but the running gods are telling me, in no uncertain terms that getting back to regular training ain't gonna happen right off quick or in a hurry.

Suck it up Harold and yes, when I screwed up my Achilles back in 2013, I went through the same stuff in my head, so if anything at least I am consistent with my whining.

How do I know this?  I went back and read my posts from June to August 2013 and laughed at myself. I said too many of the same things I have been saying this week.

Favorite Photo This Week:

Gorgeous Day For a Run

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Injury Recovery Danger Zone- RunLog 6-8-16

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

The most dangerous day when coming back from injury (no matter what sport or how you did it), in my unprofessional opinion, with no particular expertise other than my own experiences with a multitude of injuries - is that first morning that I can walk without discomfort.

You know, that day you get out of bed, walk to the bathroom and while doing your business, you realize "Hey, my foot, leg or whatever has been bothering you, didn't and isn't.

Then while you are walking the dog for his morning constitutional, your injured body part is not talking nasty to you and calling you all sorts of interesting names, because you are forcing it to move, bear weight or walk up the road, while attached to a spastic Jack Russell Terrier.

This morning was THAT morning for me.

It made me smile and think about how far I could run today.

Foolish boy.

This is specifically the day, when I need to take at least one, probably two more days off - if I was a smart runner, who is going to recover (finally) from this bout of tendonitis (mystery pain in the Achilles/Ankle area), that is exactly what I would do.

No one ever said I was overly smart, but at least I recognize what I should be doing and putting it in words before I chose to do something stoopid. That way, I can look back with 20/20 hindsight and say "You really are a dumbshit Harold", if I go out and run today and set myself back another 2 weeks.

Ideally, I will just walk Bennie on his morning walk, lift some weights/use my inversion table in the back of the garage, go to the gym at lunch and do 5 minute rotations on the stationary bike and ARC trainer, then do some foam rolling - then stop.

That is what I should do.

However, I really, really want to run!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Time for A Blog Theme Update

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

Since I haven't been running and writing about it all that much lately, (yeah, injuries suck), it has given me time to look at, think about and heaven forbid do some research on how I want my blog to look going forward.

I have been using a blogger theme, with a bunch of tweaks, but like most Blogger themes there is only so much you can do with it. It is in my opinion the one true weakness of the Blogger platform. Their stock themes are really boring.

Also it seems that "everyone" has gone to a minimalist look (I know a generalization). You know, lots of white space, with a lot of gray, white and shades in between, with a few color highlights...you know an easy to read blog that meets with the "expert" blogger's recommendations on how we should be doing things with our blogs.

Which if you are going to be a problogger is great, but I ain't worried about that. So to my way of thinking, there are so many "minimalist look" blogs it gets kind of boring going to multiple sites and seeing pretty much the same look with minor variations.

I wanted something with character, a little color and more of a magazine feel than what I had.

Screen shot from BTemplates
So I explored the Internet for "free" Blogger themes, found a bunch that I liked, looked at them closer and ended up choosing the first theme that I downloaded. That usually seems the way things work.

The thing I dislike about the so-called "free" themes are that you really don't have a clue with what is actually embedded into the code. While I looked through it and didn't see anything that jumped out at me that was nasty, it doesn't mean that nothing is in there, but...I have used the site where I downloaded it from before without issues.

That is why I chose something a little different looking from the norm or what the experts might recommend. I wanted something a little colorful but not so bright that it burnt out your eyeballs when you opened the page.

My new theme Dinata, without the slides, still has plenty of white space for good readability, but also has some character and color to it.

I have been working on cleaning up the code (I hate this part), to meet my needs and how I want the theme to look/work. The header needs to be improved, it is kind of boring, but to do it I have to re-work the H1 section because they had some specialty stuff in there that made it only half-way across. Not a high-priority, but something that I want to improve.

So I am about 70% done with the update and will be doing a little bit as I go forward to finish it up.

Let me know if anything doesn't work or if you have an idea to make it better.



Five Minutes Ago This Was Bare Ground

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

Monday, June 6, 2016

Walking UMA Trails

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1TS3QVl

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Putting Things In Perspective - RunLog 6-4-16

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

Yeah, my Left Achilles is still being a pain-in-the-arse. I attempted to come back on Monday/Tuesday and did too much too soon, a classic case of the TMTS condition that I am king of. Yeah, whatever.

So the Achilles was still barking a bit louder than it should and like an idiot on Thursday I was walking again without too much discomfort, so (yeah I never seem to learn), I just had to see if a certain pair of a shoes were part of the solution or part of the problem. I wore them to work and within an hour, I had to take them off, something in my left ankle/Achilles area had tightened back up and was feeling pretty miserable.

At least someone in the house is pretty damn smart, when Mary saw me putting on the shoes I had been whining about earlier, she told me to bring an extra pair just in case they bothered me. I am glad that I am married to a smart woman, I have a feeling she saved me from being really miserable and an even longer on the shelf time.

That choice of mine to see if the shoes were part of the problem (they were), landed me another few days of no running (no way, no how) and finally today the leg is feeling pretty good.

A beautiful spring day that would have been perfect for a nice run - ggggrrrrrrr ;-)