Week In Review – September 7, 2020

Another week in the books and I am still up and kicking, which I tend to believe is a good thing.

My favorite photo from the week was:

A foggy morning looking out over the river valley

As you can see by the number of daily running post last week that I am experimenting with doing my RunLog posts a bit differently and will probably keep this up for September to see how I like it.

Yeah, I am only posting a weekly summary of my running, not the daily summary I have done so much of over the past several years.

It is a lot easier for me to quickly write a few comments about my day’s run and then move on to other things. Besides there are not that many people who are really interested in the day-to-day running story of an old injury-prone runner.

We will see how it plays out.

Rest Days

You never stop learning new things and I thought that having Mondays as my scheduled day off would be the great way to start the week, but having done it for a week, I found some flaws in that idea for me. Under my current schedule my long runs are on Saturday and I am not in the greatest of shape yet, so the long run takes a bit more out of me than expected. This morning the body was pretty beat and running a recovery run feeling like that would not serve too many good purposes. So I took the day off and felt a lot better for it.

As an older runner, I do not have the margin for error that I used to, so after a tougher workout I do need more time to recover and the long run has always been the run that takes the most out of me. I love speedwork, so that actually energizes me, but long runs, well I drag arse pretty hard for a while after I get done for a day or two.

Which means that I will be taking my regularly scheduled day off, the day after I do my long runs. Which means I should plan on my rest day being mostly Sundays.

Having my rest day on the last day of my running week will also allow me a bit more flexibility in getting to my weekly mileage goals versus panicking on that Sunday having to get what I need all on the last day. I hate that little added pressure in the back of my head saying that I gotta do X number of miles today, so that I get in XX number of miles for the week on the last day I can do it. I prefer to have it all done the day before and if something happens during the week, I have a day that I can use to still get my weekly miles in without having to cram it in.

No, I didn’t get in my 30 miles for this week and yes, I did take today (Sunday) off.

Timex

Another thing that I have done that I really am liking is having reduced the amount of runs that I track with my GPS watch. There is just something about knowing all the data, graphs or sharing to Strava that doesn’t let me relax or not worry about running faster than I should. During the week I used my Garmin for two runs and the mindset during those runs was very different from the Timex runs.

Getting out the door was easier and the routine runs became more relaxed and I tended to look around more versus being so focused on keeping up my cadence, what my heart rate was or I have to push harder to get that pace to around 9:00 minutes for a recovery run.

No, I just ran by feel and felt a LOT better about the easy and recovery runs.

Yes, I did use my Garmin twice and they were for specific workouts that I had planned (one I didn’t do, but still wore the Garmin). I think that is a better use of the Garmin. Using it only for when I have specific workouts where I want to achieve certain paces or need feedback then about what I am doing versus where I want to be.

Run Summary

I am still only running from the house and in Sidney. The pandemic continues to challenge my ability to run elsewhere and I have accepted the idea that I do not want to needlessly expose myself to COVID-19. So I will continue to run on the courses around the house for a while longer. Yeah, it is beginning to suck, but it sucks a lot less than having a ventilator stuck down my throat or cardiac issues from having COVID.

Monday – DNR. In my infinite wisdom I have decided to make Mondays a mandatory rest day. I don’t need to get little streaks going and definitely need a day to recover from the work that I am doing. It felt really good and I did a long session in the back of the garage, which loosened up a some stuff that needed it badly.

Tuesday – A good run down to the end of Pepin. At first I was going to do some 200m repeats, but the right leg is still just a little too grumpy for any real speed work, so I decided to do the Pepin Run. Kind of a slow start, better going down the hill and I might have even snuck in a quick surge along the flats to the stop sign.

After that I just focused on running well to the 2.0 mile mark. Then I did slow down a bit, well a lot, coming out of Pepin and a even more going up Philbrick Hill. The last mile I picked it back up to where I was the first two miles and finished up strong going down Stevens Hill. Yes, I did wear my Garmin and there is a HUGE mindset difference in my running just by having it on my wrist, not so sure that I like how it makes me feel (like I have to go faster all the time and that I am on display) and really am glad that I only use it for specific purposes.

Wednesday – A little longer run, but at an easy effort and yes, using the Timex vs the Garmin does give me a different mindset when I am running. There were many points in today’s run where I would have picked up the pace (1) because I was feeling decent (2) going downhill or on flat area, I didn’t. I just kept the effort level where if someone had been with me we could have had a nice conversation. I did meet another runner she was bouncing up Blake Hill like I can only imagine myself doing and then after I finished the loops, I met her by the Mason’s Hall again. She was still bounding along nicely, with her ponytail bobbing in time to the footfalls, me…well I was just plodding along with the old man shuffle. To be young again. Oh well, still it was the run that I wanted and planned for, even though a pit stop was necessary when I got onto Sunset.

Thursday – I ran Middle Road and added a few surges in during the first 2.0 miles. It honestly felt like I was running for the first time in a long time, but when I got done and looked at the actual splits (1.0-8:22, 2.0-8:42, 3.0-9:16, 4.0-9:36, 5.0-10:38), I was rather disappointed with them. Oh well, I was running comfortably and probably the 80% humidity had something to do with the slower times. At least that is my story. šŸ™‚ Otherwise I felt good during the run and liked the new Danish Endurance socks that I wore for the first time.

Friday – Another easy run on tap, but one where I felt like I was moving faster than I was? I wonder if it has anything to do with confusing the old body with sort of a ChiPose running form compared with my old heel stomping get it done style? Probably that and sweating like a stuck pig again this morning. I ran down to Bartlett and around Howard Circle to get in 3.3 in 31:29, which was better than I ran it back in July, but way off where I have been. Everything seems so forced right now and my cadence has slowed way down compared to where it was in July. The GRR8s did great, but the black Danish Endurance socks seem a bit more snug than the white or blue ones, nothing serious but noticeable.

Saturday – Planned 7.5 and that is what I did! I felt pretty comfortable going out, the weather was great, mid 60s and low humidity. Hell even the breeze felt good, well until the breeze picked up bit on the way back, but even then it wasn’t terrible. I wore my Garmin and yes, it does make me think differently about my pace, but I maintained a nice sub 9:00 minute pace for the first 5.0 miles of the run and had told myself beforehand that after that it was all bonus mileage. So of course I slacked off and slowed down quite a bit the 2.5 miles, which is okay I finished the run feeling like I could have run further.

The GRR8s and Danish Endurance socks worked well together, so it was nice not to have my feet cause any issues. Although after 6.0 miles the hamstrings did start to get grumpy, but that is pretty normal for me and it takes a while for them to get acclimated to running further. It was nice to just run, not have pain or discomfort change my stride, although required side trip into the woods did give a nice break coming back.

Sunday – After yesterday long run (for me) and how I am feeling today, I decided that it would be a better idea to make it a rest day and took the day off.

Running Shoes

Going through the usual six month purge and I have decided to be ruthless this time. I am having a bit of decision fatigue regarding which shoes to wear and when, there are just too many choice and most of them not all that good.

However, I have narrowed the shoes that I know work well for me and am taking this opportunity to streamline my rotation considerably:

  • Skechers GoRun Ride – easy, recovery and slower long runs
  • New Balance Beacon v2 #2 – tempo or treadmill running
  • Nike Zoom Fly SP – speedwork or racing
  • New Balance 1400 v6 – bad weather racing or tempo running
  • Topo Zephyr – whatever feels right from mid-October to mid-April or until they wear out
  • ASICS GlideRide – I will try them out as walking shoes for a while, I just hate getting rid of them, but if my ankles start to act up, I will have a pretty good idea of the cause and they will go away.

Skechers GoRun Ride 8See my 50 Mile Review. Doing really well in them.

New Balance Beacon v2 #2 – Felt good running in them this week, but going down Philbrick the other day, the road was wet from the previous night’s rain and I thought that I was going to eat tar a couple of times. It was like being on a wet piece of plastic and frankly didn’t make me all that comfortable and yes, I slowed my arse down pretty quickly after the second time. Not really a confidence builder in the grip on them going into the seasons when road conditions out here can get pretty nasty. Which means these need to be good weather or treadmill shoes going forward. Since I don’t see me going back to the gym this year, they may get an early retirement until next Spring once the bad weather does get here.

Skechers GoRun Razor 3 – No runs in them this week. Actually, I have put the Razor 3s into the back of the van for emergency use, when I got to really thinking about them after 20 miles, I really am not that enthusiastic about how they feel under foot or even if I run in them or not – they just do not do anything for me. They feel more like a light-weight minimalist trainer disguised as a go fast shoe. Maybe I will change my mind down the road, but for now, they will be my Clifford shoes. For me I feel and am noticeably faster based on previous “no track” session results in either the 1400 v6 or Zoom Fly SPs.

New Balance Summit Unknown – I stopped running in New Balance shoes for many years because some have a tendency to aggravate the plantar fascia on my left foot. The bad thing is that I never know which New Balance shoes are going to have this problem, which is too bad, because New Balance shoes tend to fit my feet quite well.

On Monday, I decided to make the Summit Unknowns my primary walking shoe, which is what I do with my trail shoes in September/October and then wear them throughout the winter. It has worked pretty well over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, by Wednesday, my left PF was bothering a bit, so I did the golf ball massage routine and hoped for the best. Thursday, I wore them on Bennie’s morning walk, longer walk, around and about when I was doing this or that and then by the time we were doing Bennie’s final walk my left foot was screaming at me. I knew the signs and had ignored them. As soon as I got back to the house I put the Summit Unknowns in the back of the garage.

The plantar fascia calmed down quickly after I stopped wearing the S/U and luckily by the next morning it was not at all grumpy. However, this little episode did remind me how quickly my left foot can go to crap if I wear the wrong shoes and the Summit Unknowns seem to be the wrong shoe. Especially, when the wife noticed on Thursday that my gait was way off when I was walking in them. It is really too bad because they have less than 20 miles of running/walking in them and seemed like they would be decent shoes for what I wanted from them.

So the shoes going away the next time we go to Goodwill will be: Hoka Bondi 5, Hoka Clifton 6, New Balance 890 v7, Nike Odyssey React v2, Hoka Rocket, Nike Vomero 14, New Balance Summit Unknown, Mizuno Inspire 15, New Balance Beacon v2 #1, Puma 300 Speed, Nike Zoom Fly v1, Skechers Razor 3 (size 8.0s too small) and maybe even a couple others if they don’t get their act together by the time I get around to getting rid of these. Which will hopefully be sometime this next week.

I just can’t see the sense of saving or keeping all of these shoes hanging around taking up space, if they don’t work for me. If I go ahead and give them away, at least someone else will have a chance to use them. Plus it cuts down a lot on the choices that I do have.

Now I just have to stop buying as many new ones. That is the real problem, I still think like I am doing running shoe reviews and I am not. When I do running shoe reviews now it is just because I want to and not any other reason.

The reality is that

I had a pretty decent week and could have easily gotten my 30 mile weekly goal, but opted to for more rest, which in the long run probably will serve me better than the added miles to pad the 2020 totals. Also my Periformis woes are finally starting to feel more like normal and the hamstrings are doing what they tend to do when start to increase the mileage – grumble.

However, it is a familiar grumble and one that I pay attention to, but do not get overly worried about. Otherwise the body is holding up fairly well. I am still consistently doing the ChiRunning pre-run warm-up, some body weight stuff and then after most days doing the foam roller and Car polisher massage. I do have to get better at doing the Running Rewired routines 2-3 times a week.

The running shoe conundrum reached a tipping point and I will be getting rid of about a dozen or more shoes sometime next week. I need to focus on the shoes that actually work for me, stop experimenting so much and remember that I am not primarily a running shoe blogger anymore.

This blog is just about an old injury-prone runner who does stoopid stuff from time-to-time, while meeting some great people and maybe achieve a few goals or dreams along the way.

So I hope you achieved your running goals this week and leave you with the old saying.

Do what you can, while you can and keep smiling while you are doing it. šŸ™‚

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