Looking Back – Week Ending August 30, 2020

A week in review I am going to start doing more of them, because it seems that I am writing daily running log entries less and less, so a quick catch-up at the end of the week is something that I probably need to make happen.

Favorite photo from last week:

Bennie under the covers, because it was a bit chilly out that morning

The weather broke and we are enjoying fall-like weather and yes, I am loving it. 40*-low 50*F in the morning have been wonderful and we even got some badly needed rain from the remnants of Hurricane Laura.

Our gardens are starting to really slow down and just a few things are left in – mainly the vine crops, the apple trees are producing more this year than they ever have in the past, although the squirrels got more of the blueberries than we did.

Running

I am at about 80%, which is not too bad considering that at the start of the week I was doing a lot worse, but I have been working hard at the Running Rewired hips video and doing the Chi Running warm-up and re-doing the lesson 4 drills from the Pose Method, which are helping to strengthen many neglected parts of the old body.

The last couple of weeks I have done more of a ChiPose kind of running hoping that this combination would provide the best results for me and help me develop a more antifragile running style, so that I can continue to run more comfortably as the body becomes even creakier with age. More on that in a minute.

The best part is that I did get to 30 miles for the week didn’t feel as though I was pushing or breaking anything while I was getting there an the Periformis is not attempting strangle the Sciatic Nerve nearly as often. Although I do notice that when I attempt to run using the Pose Method that my hamstrings are aching a lot more than I want when I get through and that does not seem to be improving – if anything the hamstrings are starting to complain more often, which is not what I want to contend with.

All through my running career, I have had issues with my hamstrings, so having issues with them on the comeback trail isn’t anything new, but when something seems to aggravate them, I will probably have to reconsider the benefit versus the cost of using the Pose Method which does rely more on the hamstrings to “pull” up the foot as part of the method.

Due to the pandemic I am still only running from the house, which means the routes are the same old same old since March 10th.

Monday – An easy run down to Troy Trail on Bartlett, nothing too overly ambitious, just a get it done run. I did the .5 Pose Method focus run with arm straps on to remind me to keep my arms in, which does help.

Tuesday – A little quicker run doing laps on Philbrick, but nothing overly stupid and yes, I did the Running Rewired hips video, ChiRunning warm-up and 50 fake skip ropes (I am not coordinated enough to jump rope yet).

Wednesday – My first 5.0 mile run in a while, so I took it easy, well the first half-mile was more of the Pose Method focus and it was downhill so that first mile was a bit faster than I expected. The rest of the run was go slower each mile and by the end I was pretty well tuckered out. I did start using a non-GPS watch to run with and it did help me relax while running a bit more during my run.

Thursday – A run down to Pepin, where I was trying for 4.0 miles a little quicker going out and then attempting to maintain a good effort coming back up Philbrick Hill. It was actually one of my better runs in a while.

Friday – First run around the Middle Road since July and while I was not pushing the pace or anything, I could tell I haven’t run it in a while. The first two miles were pretty good, but traffic was pretty tough on the Middle Road and I spent a lot of time in the knee high grass on the road shoulder. The last mile was pretty miserable and then Raymond came out at me pretty aggressively, which didn’t make me all that thrilled.

Saturday – The remnants of Hurricane Laura blew through and it rained most of the morning until about 2:00 PM, when the wife finally got me going and I decided to do laps on Philbrick. After the second lap, I needed to very hurriedly find the privacy of the upper gate and then ran down to the ledges and back to get the 4.0 miles.

Sunday – A purposely easy run out to Notta Road and back that got changed to Davis Drive to the Lower Gate. Same distance, but I just didn’t feel like contending with a big hill at the end of my run four days in a row. I know wimping out of the challenge, but the hills seem to bother my hamstrings a bit more than running on flatter areas and the hammies were both grumbling a bit when I got down to Wildwood, so I decided to go easy and not enjoy the hillwork again. Walking up it was a bit easier, I have to admit.

So it was a pretty good week, but I have to make a few decisions on the running form improvement work/methods, especially if my hamstrings are really starting to grumble and the Pose Method does seem to use the hamstrings more than how I normally would run or how ChiRunning focuses on relaxing the lower legs. Lots to think about on that front.

I have been doing the Pose Method drills and focuses during the first half mile of my runs even when I don’t separate them out and attempt to keep doing the method at various times during the runs and am not really happy with direction the hamstrings appear to be moving. I will probably decide what to do at some point this week, but have a pretty good idea which direction I am leaning.

Although I do know that simply improving my posture has helped with my running a great deal already, who knows maybe the posture improvements, strength work and increasing my running cadence up into the 170s for most of my running will be enough. Time will tell on this stuff, so I will continue to keep doing the warm-up activities, body-weight strength training, foam rolling and car polisher massage to help the old body along the right path.

Running Accessories

I have semi retired my GPS watches to be used more for specific workouts or when I am running someplace where I am not sure of the mileage for a course and moved to using a Timex Ironman 50 as my daily wear watch. After using it for most of last week I am finding that I am relaxing a bit more on the runs, not running against the GPS generated pace graphs everyday and probably more importantly am not bombarded by notifications because I had my watch connected to my phone.

I am liking the change in my attitude towards running slower and easier already, because I know there will be nothing posted up to Strava or other sites, well other than this blog about my runs. I still check the social media sites to see what others runners are doing, but not posting my own runs actually is a bit of a relief. I don’t have to compete with myself or others on every run.

Hell on Sunday’s run I even ditched the phone and left it home too. It means less photos, but made for a more relaxing run.

Running Shoes

I have narrowed my running shoe rotation primarily down to four shoes, with three that are sitting under the dresser in case something happens:

  • Skechers GoRun Ride 8 – I am really liking these shoes and they are almost to the 50 mile mark, so the review should be happening this week. The only complaint that I have about them so far is that the size 8.0 runs a little long and I could probably wear a size 7.5 without any issues.
  • New Balance Beacon 2 – Just reliable and comfortable. I know when I put them on that my feet will not bother and that I will complete whatever kind of run I have planned without the shoes becoming an issue.
  • Skechers GoRun Razor 3 – No runs this week, the body is not ready for faster running yet, so it might be a couple more weeks before I get to play some more in them.
  • New Balance Summit Unknown – No running in them this week, but I walked down-back in them Sunday morning and thought that my right foot was going to really have issues. When I got to looking at them, they have that elastic booty holding the tongue in place, (which in every shoe that has had it, it bothers my right foot), so I got out the scissors and freed the tongue. Which seems to have helped considerably with the right foot’s comfort level in the shoes. I will find out the next run I do in them how much it does help.

Those are the primary shoes in my rotation for now, waiting in the wings are:

  • Nike Zoom Fly SP – Which if there were a race tomorrow are the shoes I would wear.
  • New Balance 1400 v6 – Bad weather racing or minimalist running shoes, dependent upon what I am attempting to do.
  • New Balance Beacon v1 – I could put them on and know that I could run 8.0 or so miles without any issues in them, but I wanted to have new shoes to go through the change in running form attempt. If I ever go back to the gym, I can see them being used quite a bit more.

Injuries

The Periformis is clearing up and is about 80%, runnable but I know that it still lurking about and I need to keep working on the hips to ensure that it doesn’t come back with a vengeance.

With the Pose Method’s emphasis on pulling with the hamstrings, they are a bit grumpy, nothing super serious compared to where the left one was earlier this year. At the same time I don’t want to aggravate or inflame them going forward either, so I am working on strengthening them as well and their progress will determine the direction I go next with my running form improvement efforts.

Overall, it was a pretty good week and I have even figured out that I need to focus on having at least one day per week as a designated rest day. Which in my week Monday’s seem to be the best day for that.

My problem is that I am so focused on getting a certain weekly mileage that I go for lower mileage days, but attempt to streak to get in the mileage. I have a feeling that using the Run Happy daily mileage breakdown will help me relax a bit more and not feel as though I have to always keep running until I break.

Run Happy Mileage breakdown

Rest is an important part of running and while I am not great at it, I do have to get better at my non running stuff if I want to continue to improve or at least maintain my current running for a while longer.

I just finished Peak Performance by Stulberg/Magness again and it re-emphasizes many of the things that I am attempting to do with my running and is helping me to figure out the directions that I need to keep going.

Experimenting is great to see if new/old ways of doing things are going to help or hurt me, but eventually it comes down to getting the miles in, staying injury free for the most part (that running consistently thing that I am not all that good at) and doing the non-running stuff that is necessary to make me more anti-fragile.

I really have learned a lot this past week. Now to keep making progress. šŸ™‚

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