Category Archives: Run

One Whole Hour


It’s officially on. Actually, it’s always been officially on, I just finally got around to reading this month’s Runners’ World (I know they put the apostrophe in the singular place, but they shouldn’t. It should be inclusive).

Also, do you read SMBC? If not, you should.

I will be happy when Siri can make sure I don’t buy the Haribo StarMix when I check out using my phone. “I’m sorry, cashier, but Bill needs help avoiding stress eating…”

Anyway, today’s run was outstanding. Nike+ said to do 6, so I did 6.

A couple of years ago, I kind of gave up on planning workouts and really stressing about training plans and so on. Part of that was getting Lyme disease, part of that was a change in work, etc. Whatever. Instead, I fire up the Nike Run Club application (formerly Nike+), pick the race I want to train for (or one of the 4 or 8 week training programs), and do what the machine tells me to do.

Today’s program was 6 miles. Since I’m historically slow, I knew that would be a little over an hour, so I popped on one of the guided runs in the app. It’s kinda silly, but having Coach Bennett in my ear helped the miles glide past.

It also helped that the day was about as perfect a running day as they come. Sure, it was right at freezing when I headed out about 930, but the air was still, the sun was shining. Strolled down to River Road (where i should have taken pictures but didn’t). Got to the midpoint of the run, then pushed a little bit past to run to the IH-95 bridge, because I knew that if I did that, I could walk back up the hill the house is on when I got back to the neighborhood.

And everything went according to plan. The sun shone, the breeze blew, and the sneakers slapped down on the ground.

Streak intact.


Pretended I’m a runner and I looped it

So, the pre-streak is still alive after seven whole days. I’m actually kind of excited about that. So, what I’m trying to do is get a jump on the Runners’ World Run Streak for 2019. Easy rules: at least a mile a day, every day between now and the New Year.


Why not.

No, mostly it’s to celebrate no longer having a gimp ankle, to mourn being overweight and slow, and to rage, rage, against the dying of the (day) light (savings time). (Have I mentioned before how New England really should be in the Atlantic time zone? Sunset at 16:30 is BOOOOOGUS).

Anyway, today’s run was, well, pretty good. 4 miles is what Nike+ recommended, 4.2 miles is what I did. I even put in a tough effort for a half mile towards the end. Navy installations play “Taps” every night at local sunset. I’d set off knowing I would be ending about Taps, and when I heard First Call sounded, I put the hammer down for the five minutes between first call and Taps, and ended up with the last full mile at below 10 minute pace. Not historically fast for me, but I’ll take it.

New Roads

One of the amazing things about New England is that things just don’t change around here. Kinda soothing – routes remain the same, roads deteriorate and eventually get repaved, houses get built and fall down at about the same rate. But the roads and trails were largely laid out 200 years ago, and operate at a human scale.

New Gravel Jamestown

Went to run the loop on Jamestown after work again today. A dirt track I’ve run probably 100 times has been widened and graded. Not sure if it’s a full new road, or just an extension of a hike or bike trail. But, a change in a place that doesn’t change.

Legs were super good, at least for where I am now. The evening was crazy beautiful, cool but not cold. No traffic, but Jamestown is generally good for that.

The sun set as I made it to East Shore Road and headed back towards the soccer field where I’d parked. Since the wind was still, strains of taps phased across the water from NAVSTA Norfolk. Jogged into the parking lot as twilight began to set in, and drove home as the colors in the sky played out.

Not Tarzan Brown 2019

Beautiful run this morning. 40 degrees, mostly calm winds, sunny. Still enough leaves on the trees to make shady spots on the road – cold in the shadows until I got a mile into my legs.

I won’t lie – this has been a year of peaks and valleys. Came into the year feeling STRONG, then had my ankle give out on me. Didn’t ride my bike much this summer, but got close to 3 weeks in Colorado hiking with my youngest and another awesome week at a professional conference. Made some good connections. Was skinner after the backpacking trip than I’d been in 3 years, then put it back on (plus a pound or so) stressed out over school and work.

But I’m healthier now. I’m almost on top of school and work. I’ve descoped some of my commitments to others to a manageable load.

This morning felt good. Slow, and short by historical standards, but good, regardless. I felt like a runner.

One week of strong

So, I think that one of the really positive outtakes from “Muscle over 40” for me has been just a little more desire to be active. And this week’s “Fitness and Freshness” shows a pretty strong uptick:

I’m finally back to where I was at the beginning of April, when I stopped running for a while due to a gimp ankle. The ankle’s feeling much better.

Today was a day off. Originally, I thought I was going to study, but there’s some local drama going around, so my sleep game has been off. Plus, the kids went off to work and school, and Mrs J looked at me and said “Wanna go?”

“Yuh.” ;)

“OK”, she said, and tossed my running shoes at me. Let’s go.

Le. Sigh.

The run was strangely, strangely good. Which either means I’m about to break again, or that I may actually be getting better. Short run, just a couple miles.

After the run, it was on the bike again, down River Road, soaking in the light and air, and just kind of being joyous. It was weird being on River Road during the part of the day when most folks are working – most Saturdays and Sundays, it’s tons of “Always Wave at your fellow cyclists who you see out there on the road“. But this time, not so much. Like two other cyclists. On the other hand, the fishermen under the IH-95 bridge seemed pretty friendly, though Narragansett tallboys at 8 AM will do that for you.

Workout at the YMCA was humbling. Lessons learned:

    DOMS* is most definitely a thing
    60 year old ladies can kick my butt
    I have the upper body of a cyclist and the midsection of a football fan
  • RE: DOMS – I think it’s mostly the body saying “OK, I gave you the one day, but you really want to keep doing this?” But it had set in for certain this morning, mostly in the quads and glutes after doing the trap bar deadlifts on Wednesday. The run did a pretty good job of shaking it out, but still.
  • Re: 60 year old ladies – Today’s workout was mostly arms, but it also included a set on the squat machine. In which, when I got there, there was a fit 60 something woman saying “Just one more set”. Fine, I said, as I didn’t necessarily mind the recovery.
  • When she was done, I fiddled around trying to figure out the machine, thinking I would need to add some weight. Turns out, I didn’t have to to add an ounce. Woman was crushing it, and much like Mrs. Jank, could easily take me in a fair fight.
  • Re: My upper body – for the flys and the other arm exercises, I used a pathetic amount of weight as judged by the portion of the stack that I moved. Luckily, the woman from earlier was finished after the squat machine, so she didn’t stick around to kick sand in my face.
  • Oldest kid works at the Y. He’d been up at 4 and out of the house at 4:30 in order to open the pool for the 5 AM swimmers. So, as I was finishing up, he was getting off, so we headed downtown for coffee and bagels. Really proud of the guy he’s growing into; happy to have him home for the summer.
  • On the way out, I realized that I’d carried my new camera like 50 miles at this point without snapping any snaps. So, I parked the bike outside Harp and Hound.
  • Probably should have stayed there for 3 hours.
  • 30 days to go

    There’s two touchstones in my running year: the New Haven 20K on Labor Day, and the Vermont City Marathon on Memorial Day. They’ve kinda become family holy days of obligation – really no thought as to what we’re doing those days except for heading to Burlington or New Haven.

    The last couple years, we’ve done the race as a relay, since Melissa’s pretty much targeted fall marathons, and, well, I’ve kinda gotten fat and slow (working on that). Twice with Missy and I splitting the two person relay, and once with the whole family splitting the 5 legs. This year’s another relay; not sure for sure what leg I’m running, but it’ll be one of the 10K or so legs.

    I’m pretty confident I can crunch out 10K – the lungs are good, the legs are OK, and I think I’ve fixed my ankle. The thing that’s sticking in my head, though is three seconds per mile. Confession: I’m as fat as I’ve been in years. I thought I was fat when I was at 180 pounds; I’ve been hovering around 200 for the last year. So, my 10 to 11 minute miles should be 9 to 10 minute miles if I were where I was two years ago, and should be 8 to 9 minute miles if I could get down to a non-overweight BMI.

    Le sigh.

    One of the things that’s interesting to me is that my weight gain has really corresponded with letting the blog slide. Maybe it’s the accountability; maybe it’s just that I’ve been busy with other things.

    Regardless, today was a good day – did a Nike+ benchmark, and the legs felt good. I’ll declare victory and move on.

    50 days, 100 miles is the goal

    Days: 1/50

    Mileage: 4/100

    The last couple of years, my little brother (in Oklahoma) and me (in New England) have been participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak (#RWRunStreak), in that, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we’ve headed out and ran at least one mile each day. Last year, we stretched it to two miles/day, and that felt kinda right.

    Well, I was doin’ some cypherin’ this morning, and it hit me that New Year’s Day is exactly 50 days from today. And, I’m more than a little behind on my run goal for the year (not having rescoped goals when I tweaked my ankle at the Vermont City Marathon Relay), so the idea that, if I add 100 miles by the end of the calendar year, I’ll still be looking pretty good – end up at about 550 miles for the year – not quite the 600 I’d hoped*, but close enough that 3 months of spotty running means it’s a doable goal for the next year.


    Anyway, today was an AMAZING run day. Started with the scout troop dressing downtown Mystic with flags for Veterans’ Day; boxed up food for town social services at church, and got to take the dog for a stroll in the sunshine with my lovely wife.

    Brunch: Cider Donut Toad-in-a-donut-hole.


    Yes, that is a cider donut, split down the middle, and an egg fried in each donut-hole. I’ve been doing this for a couple years with stale donuts from the cider mill down the way, and I’m still not sure if I like it. But, I do know there’s a there-there, even if it’s retiring to sell food at the county fair once I figure out how to make this delicious.

    Oh, and I knocked off a beautiful four miler after an after-brunch nap:

    I should do a “review”, but one of the things that’s been transformational for me has been going back to a Suunto watch – the heart rate band display has been a GREAT way for me to keep easy runs easy, so I don’t break myself.

    * Consolation is that I should easily clear my bike and swim goals…

    Spring Sprung

    Time for a quarterly update from frosty New England – it’s April, and there were daffodils under the snow we got this week. And it was 50 degrees after the snow stopped.

    I’m excited – I think I’m turning a corner with consistiency again – great months in the Strava Log since the new year. No pains, no nags. Really embraced it. I’m ahead on my annual goals for the bike AND the run, which is nice, and with a push in the pool for a week, I could get caught up.

    Weight is still an issue, but it’s almost a year since it moved up again, so I’ve got that going for me.

    My intentions for the next two months are to keep consistiency of the working out going; get through spring break, and then start tackling nutrition head on with the summer.

    Kelley’s Pace in Old Mystic Village starts their Thursday fun runs again tonight; can’t wait to  be back in the swing.

    Loving the second week of streak

    Yesterday and today were pretty amazing runs. Beautiful running weather – 40’s and mostly windless. Last night was kind of an interesting situation, though. Busy day at work, so I was initially going to do the run after I walked the dog with Mrs. Jank. But, I got home with some time to spare before we sat down for supper. #2 son was cooking, and it was going a little slow, so I popped out the door for one lap of the neighborhood (~1.5 miles); ate a light-ish supper, and then walked the dog and ran another lap for another 2.7 miles on the day. Legs felt good.

    Today was AWESOME. The Nike+ app suggested I do 5x400m repeats, so, sure! That meets the intent (2 miles on my feet each workout, at least 1 “running” – actually exceeds the intent in my set of rules for this year, which was going to give me the “cheat” of only having to sweat for 1 minute out of the two miles). Rather than do them on the track, took advantage of the GPS and did them on the trail alongside Narragansett Bay by the office.

    And, I’m pretty pleased with the result. Nike+ says I did about 7:10 average for the 5×400 intervals; even though I walked the breaks from interval 2 on, Strava says I did 2.5 miles at under 11:00/mile overall. Not gonna qualify for Boston any time soon, but I’m really starting to feel stronger.

    Today was also the second day in the pool this week. I had a pretty rough swim on Saturday; decent swim Monday afternoon, but today was another “meh” day. Regardless, I gutted out 1 KM. Form didn’t feel bad; I think it was mostly light breakfast + intervals + no lunch yet.

    Tomorrow and Friday are big meeting days at work. I’m going to try running before work. I don’t usually have good luck with that, but if I don’t, I’m probably not going to get it done. So – wish me luck!

    Week of Streak

    So, I’m a week into my second run at the Runner’s World Run Streak, and I’m completely loving it.

    Tonight – late leaving the office (Story of my life), but had a transcendent run. Yesterday was an almost cheating long run – it was

      long – 6.7 miles, pretty reasonable
      slow – Walked the first and last miles; Galloway’d the rest
      distance – Having run marathons, it’s tough to remember how amazing it is the first time one runs for a mile; or three; or five, or for an hour…

    Tonight, I thought I would bang out the 2.4 miles I needed to keep pace with 500 miles for the year. But, when I got to the turnaround, I realized that the legs felt good, and extended for another .3 miles for the evening.

    Chunked out 1200m in the pool after the run. More LSD; felt great to be swimming until the close with fewer and fewer folks in the pool.