Friday, April 3, 2020

If Today Was Your Last Day

I was listening to one of my playlists last night and the song If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback came on and got me to thinking just a bit.

I think that with the Coronavirus Pandemic that is swirling in the headlines and as cases have gotten or are getting closer to our own little lives that is a question that many more of us of all ages are asking of ourselves more often. I know that as I have gotten older and passed that magical 60th birthday, it was a question that I did ask myself more often even before now and with the pandemic, it is one that is much more pertinent and real than it ever has been to me.

I fully plan to live to a ripe old age, but...well right now nobody really knows what will happen. Even so, I will not go without a fight and I imagine that many of us out here are thinking the same way.

Dying is not something that most people do not like to think about and definitely not talk about all that often. It is just too scary to think about, but with the death totals climbing and people becoming sick around us it is becoming a topic more and more are opening up about at the oddest times. 

So if I knew today was my last day what would I do?

I hope that I would continue to be me, yes I would be scared, but I learned a lot about dying from my Father last October and his role modeling is something that I would like to believe is what I would attempt to copy and go with dignity the knowledge that I leave behind a life well-lived.

Although I am like all of humankind who has wondered over the millennia, what happens after we die? 

If today was your last day - What would you do?

The Good? The Bad? The WTFO were they thinking? This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

First Run Hoka Clifton 6, Rain, Wind - RunLog 4-3-2020

The Good? 

Today was my first run in the Hoka One One Clifton 6 and they did everything that I wanted from them. I was able to run 5.0 miles at just over a 9:00 minute pace in fairly tough conditions without problems from the shoes themselves and I could have gone further without any problems. The grip in wet weather was quite good.

The weight of the size 8.5 2E Clifton 6s is pretty amazing for the size of the shoes if you ask me.

 The Bad? 

The red shoelaces that I put in were too long and they were wacking the other leg on each stride, which was not the shoe's fault. It was my fault for choosing laces based more on style/color than length. I wanted the laces to match the red highlight. It didn't really do anything other than distract me during the run, but it is something that I don't want to deal with on future runs and I replaced them with shorter laces tonight. The ones that fit the best were a pair of yellow, so it wasn't the color I wanted but they were the ones that fit the best.

My Clifton 6s are size 8.5 2E and while I like a looser fit in the forefoot, they are a little too long and I could have gotten by with a size 8.0 2E or maybe a regular size 8.0, but I would want to try them on first. However, these do fit well enough that I believe that it will not be an issue going forward.

Today's run was done in some pretty steady rain with steady 25 mph from the North East (Yeah, it was a N'oreastah), with some gusts up to 40 mph. So it will be interesting to see how they feel on a little more normal day.

Weather played a pretty big part in today's run and the storm stuck around a lot longer than the forecasters originally predicted.

A pretty nice first run in tough conditions, let's see how I feel about them after a few more runs.

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

More Laps Today - RunLog April 1, 2020

The Good? 

It wasn't raining...well not much anyway, but the little snow squalls that came through could be a bit nasty and left the road a little wet in spots. The run itself was more about doing the work and getting the miles in while doing laps in front of the house. Luckily where I live the views are pretty decent, so doing laps is not the end of the world, but at the same time, it does get a bit repetitive. However, it is better than having to run on a treadmill 100% of the time. 

Although at times I sort of wished that I had one to play on today. I don't mind running on treadmills when the weather is cold, windy and rather nasty outside. I just have to keep looking on the positive side of things and be thankful that I can still run at all outside.

I decided to run in my New Balance Propel size 8.0 2E that I got for Christmas and the shoes actually did great, except for one thing. 

Ankle well annoyance.

It is a problem that I have quite often with New Balance, Skechers, and Reebok shoes - the ankle wells are just a bit too high and while I hope that they will not actually cause any blisters, there is not that put them on forget they are there feeling I want from my running shoes. It is more like, I am always waiting for my ankles to go from a slightly uncomfortable feeling to a hotspot to a blister. Which we all agree does suck.

Luckily today, for the 10K I ran today there were no blisters or hotspots and the ankles just were annoyed with the way the shoes felt against them. I guess that is good and bad.

 The Bad? 

The wind was blowing pretty much right down my road and made it a wind tunnel for resistance exercise. Yes, getting those spots of moisture on my glasses made vision questing, Errr running a bit more interesting about finding the potholes that are forming in the tar and then avoiding them.

Traffic was up because it was the 1st and a lot of people who have been staying off the road got checks and were able to go out to attempt to find groceries. One of the neighbors told me (from a safe distance) that the local store was mobbed between people re-supplying and also attempting to get to the store before tomorrow's new restrictions on the numbers of customers that stores may allow in at one time go into effect. Still no TP in stock she said.

What was I thinking? 

After talking with the neighbor, Mary and I decided that neither of us should go into town tomorrow and that what we have can get us through to next week. We had been discussing the pros and cons of having her or I go into Shaw's tomorrow morning during their elder hours. Based on the idea that it seems that men are more likely to have serious complications or die from COVID 19, we finally decided that if anyone should go it would be Mary again. It is hard to argue with your spouse when both of us are attempting to keep the other one safe. :)

Back to the running shoe conundrum. 

While I love the feel when running and everything about the Propels, but the ankle wells, I can see that area becoming a problem if I run too much further or too often in them. 

So I dug into the back of the garage and pulled out a pair of Hoka Clifton 6s that I have been saving for a rainy day, well actually I had hoped that I could save them until sometime in May and will add them to my rotation instead of the Propels. Which really does suck, but I am not going to run a lot in shoes that may cause blisters at some point, when I least expect or want them too.

We will see how the C6s do. At least I still have the ASICS GlideRide that works just fine, but I am attempting to make them last a little longer versus running most days in them.

Not a great day, but another day in a life well-lived.

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

Think Before Sharing

Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen in my social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, and multiple blogs) several posts by different people explaining how the Coronvirus pandemic is not as bad as the Government or experts have made it out to be, based on an authors' interpretation of the data they have available to them. 

In fairly normal times the second-guessing of government data analysis is a good thing and a part of being in a democracy. Hell, I am likely to be fairly skeptical about many statistics or press releases by the government and have been for many years, well beyond the problems with the current Administration. However, in the middle of a pandemic choosing to deliver a rosier picture than the people who study and do this work for a living is at best dangerous and at the worst will let people believe it is okay to ignore the expert's advice and result in the pandemic becoming more deadly. 

Sure we can write and share those things as a part of our right to freedom of speech, but I guess the question now is more - should we?

Sometimes we need to stop and think about the information that we share and also read across the internet. You know: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and oh so many websites. We should be critically thinking about who is doing the data analysis, what is their background, what data do they really have access to, what are their sources, are they cherry-picking the data to meet a certain bias, what is their bias (political, economic, medical, to spread misinformation) and so many other questions that we need to think about before deciding to press that publish or share button responsibly. 

We need to think more about why we are sharing the data or information that we choose to add to our social media timelines or blogs. Stop and reflect on our own motives are, along with who it serves when we share posts/data or other information. Also, we need to think about who our audience is that are going to be reading our social media posts, along with what are the possible effect that what we share will have on those that read it - especially, if it is not accurate.

This can be scary, especially when the data being shared is contrary to what the experts are providing. 

Especially, when what information most experts in and out of government are providing now, publicly conflicts badly with what the politicians want it to say. They have even persuaded a President who only a short time ago was claiming that the pandemic was a hoax created by his political rivals, to begin changing his messaging to the belief that it could get very bad over the course of the next month. 

So sharing misinformation or statistical models that are using bias or incomplete data is really concerning when they talk about the COVID-19 pandemic projections and why we have the Personal Distancing/Stay at home orders in place. That the expert's models and recommendations are not in line with what the politicians want it to be in my mind give more creditability, than if it was just more of the party line.

The big question then becomes what if you are wrong and people die as a result of your data analysis and/or opinions that you shared online. It is important to think about the consequences of what we write because there are consequences and whether we want to believe it or not, even teeny tiny little blogs like this one can have an impact for good or woe to the readers who stumble across it from time-to-time.

Unfortunately, those of us who write various opinions or provide alternate analysis of situations probably will never know the effect of your analysis and attempt to come across as an "online" expert may have on other people who read your social media posts. That is the conundrum that we all must face when publishing our thoughts online, the effect our words will have on others. 

The problem with all statistics, you can make just about anything look the way you want it to, depending upon how the data is manipulated and that is truly the scary part. 

Below is a pretty good read for all of us who attempt to play experts on social media and sort of want to provide our opinions on the data they are seeing versus the data that the government or others are giving out. Especially, when it does not fit our model, view or opinion about what is happening around us.
While it is prudent to have a certain amount of healthy skepticism about what you hear, read and possibly see in videos, I put a LOT more credence on the statistics and information that the epidemiologists are providing regarding the Coronovirus pandemic than I am someone who is not a trained epidemiologist.

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Lot Going On - March 31, 2020

Opening up Blogger tonight was a pretty big surprise!!! Google has updated the blog editor to their Material Design and some of the issues I have had with their Photo app to Blogger problems seem to be solved. Which is very nice. However, it was a bit of a shock to see it when I first opened it to do my blog post tonight. 

That was a nasty little snow that we had overnight and like most Spring snows, it is that heavy stuff that my Grandfather always called heart attack snow shoveling snow. 

Walking Bennie was a bit of an adventure with the icy build-up on the road, but we got it done.

This morning we made a quick trip to Sam's Club during their elder hours and were pleasantly surprised by the lower numbers and how much stock was actually in the store. The other thing was how focused everyone was on getting what needed and getting to hell out of the store as soon as possible. There was very little talk, quite a few people are starting to wear masks and some kind of hand covering. That is what we did, we prepared a list of the things that we really needed prior to going and just got those things, although the TP was still out. Some other stuff they didn't have what we usually get, but they had alternatives, so we just substituted, did the self-checkout and went straight home. 

I ended up snow scooping the entire driveway, using a snowblower this time of year is a bad idea. So manually scooping the drive was the order of the day, which was not a lot of fun, but at the same time, it was kind of cathartic due to the repetitive nature of pushing snow with the snow scoop and then walking back to do it again. It was just something that needed to be done and by the end of the day, the driveway was completely clear of snow. Which was very nice.

However, once I got that done, I was pretty well tuckered out. While I am in pretty good shape for running and general yard work. Manually scooping a 236-foot driveway is still pretty tough work.

I waited until later in the day to run and decided to go down to Pepin and back. It was a nothing special run other than getting it done and getting some dirty look from a family that I have never seen before in all the years I have been running down there. 

Most everyone is pretty friendly, but these people were downright hostile and glared at me from the other side of the road the first time and then the second time he purposely kept looking at his phone while she glared at me. Oh well, strange times make people act strangely, but this was the first time I have encountered this level of strangeness. I purposely ran very wide of them and said hello and smiled both times.  Oh well, just the way things are going to be for a while.

When I got back my legs just felt like they had been beaten up and this is the second run in a row that they have felt this way. I have a feeling that the Bondi 5's at over three years old seem to have lost something and that I need to end the experiment I have had with them before my legs start to complain even more. 

So they will head out to the back of the garage and I will alternate in my Propels with my GlideRides for a while. It is too bad because I was running well in the Bondi 5s, but if my legs bother me that much after a few 4-6 mile runs then it is not worth running in them now.

All-in-all a pretty good day and another day closer to warmer weather and getting to the other side of Covid-19 and all the changes that it is and will bring to our lives. Regardless of what some people say or even think it has and will bring change, it is now more what those changes will be. 

The Good? The Bad? The WTFO were they thinking? This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.