Run-Fessions, Blog-Fessions and Third Quarter Running Summary

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Happy Friday everyone! (OK, so let’s just agree to NOT discuss how many times I have changed the day in that greeting!?!)

Wait – WHO am I again?!?! Yeah, it has been more than three weeks since my last post. And it might be another three weeks unit my next … or three months … or forever! Who really knows. But I decided I wanted to check back in and share some quick thoughts … so let’s jump right into it!

Runfessions

Run-Fessions

I loved Harold’s Runfessions a couple of Fridays back, so naturally I stole the idea! It is only fair since he stole it himself, citing Michelle who in turn grabbed it from Marcia … whew! Anyway, here are some of MY run-fessions!

I love that top picture! – that was posted by the Wineglass Marathon on their Facebook Page in a post celebrating volunteers … but honestly all I saw was ME! We are a decent ways into the race as I can tell by how saturated my shorts are with sweat, but I am still running happy!

I love running – yeah, I know that is a theme I harp on, but Judith was writing recently about someone who pounded out miles and races and so on … and didn’t even LIKE running, I had to ask – WHY?!? Who the heck would do something they don’t like … find a new exercise!

It is REALLY hard figuring out how to dress for the weather – over the last few weeks we’ve had warm & humid and near-freezing and everything in between. I don’t like being cold, nor do I like feeling like I am overheating! I have done OK, with a couple of days where I wished I wore gloves or wish I had worn shorts instead.

I am not invincible – no, I have not been injured, but after running 8 days straight, including ~32 miles of speed & hills last weekend, I ran 9.75 miles on Monday in my Virratas … oh, boy are they DONE! I really felt it in my legs – nothing injury-like, just general fatigue that went away the next day with the Kinvaras.

Runners are gorgeous – this is non-gender-specific, but this year I saw more runners out and about than ever before, and I loved it. There is the son of a woman we chat with regularly when she is walking her dogs, who visits once or twice a year and is incredibly graceful and speedy (18-minute 5K range fast). There is a young woman who runs after dinner along the route that we drive taking the kids to marching band. There is the cyclist I see most mornings, the two women who moved from walking to running this year, and the various others I see on my weekend runs. They are all gorgeous … you are all gorgeous. WE … are all gorgeous.

Blog Confessiom

Blog-Fessions

While I am at it, how about blog-fessions? I would say that Michele made a blog-fession talking about how she wants to earn an income through blogging. Here are some of mine:

I am still reading ALL of your blogs! – Yes, I barely even comment anymore, but every day (or week, depending on the person) I look forward to reading what is going on with Harold and Suz and Ange and Em and Hollie and Amanda and Lisa and Sara and Sarah and Sara and Sarah (hmm, trend?) and Laura and Laura and Annie and Cori and Megan and Ann and Danielle and Rae and Nicole and Carmyy and Michele and Falyn and Sami and welcome back Olena and … several others in my feed! I don’t always even manage a ‘like’. But you are all awesome and I love what you are doing!

I have NO interest in making ANY money blogging – I don’t say this to counter Michele’s post above … in fact, I have been thinking about a post along the lines of ‘Are You Branding, Blogging or just blogging’. I differentiate them as follows: ‘Branding’ is what Danielle (T-Rex Runner) and Megan (Lyons Share Wellness) are doing, and Michele is doing with her three-prong attack of Paleo, runner, and Mom. Pretty strong brand material, really. Then there are Bloggers, people who have a focused approach and voice, and are trying to make enough money to support their blogs, getting ambassadorships, promoting products, doing giveaways, and so on.. Finally there are ‘bloggers’, people who have a blog and write. Like me. All are valid, but very different approaches. I think it is important to know what you WANT from your blog … I thought I might want to be a ‘Blogger’, but not really.

While I haven’t Published in 3 weeks, I have 7 new drafts – and that isn’t counting this one. I have also deleted several. Bottom line is that I haven’t come to any conclusions about what I am doing with this blog other than it is a lower priority than pretty much everything else in my life, from work and family and home and pets and running and music and so on. It isn’t like ideas dry up, or the process goes away … it is a matter of how I choose to spend time.

Some of the ‘blogging BS’ is more apparent – I feel like I can now see more stuff going on, things like humble-bragging, body-shaming, passive aggressive statements, run-snobbing, link-baiting, and YES, sadly this does occur in some of the blogs in my RSS and WordPress feeds on occasion. I suppose all of us do some of this – sometimes I assume it is pride at accomplishments. My tolerance for these sorts of things has definitely gone down considerably, and I have definitely not been reading as much as before. Let me be a bit more clear – over the last 2.5 years I lost 110lbs and took >33% off my pace – but that fat & slow person from 2012 is *ME*. If I spend time in my blog putting down my former self or speaking disparagingly about my speed or weight, I am putting down (a) me and (b) others who have and continue to struggle with these things. Enough said on THAT.

Not Blogging Has Propogated into More Offline Time – I have come to love my non-blogging time, but at the same time I don’t relax any more than before! I have been on a tech frenzy lately – Galaxy Note 3, Garmin vivoSmart, iPhone 6, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Bluetooth keyboards, iPad synthesizer software (love iPhophet!), and so on. I was also away for business for a week. We’ve also had a lot going on between two birthdays, marching band madness, a newly licensed driver, and busy school year! I am looking forward to getting settled in and figuring out how to allocate some time, between music and writing (NaNoWriMo is beckoning!). My satisfaction with other stuff will dictate how/when/if I return to regular blogging.

Third Quarter Running Summary

So what were my goals? After the end of June I said “From now through the end of September, here is what I would like to do”:
– Keep my weekly volume between 50-60 miles (I honestly think 65-75 is too much and don’t want to do something stupid)
– Hit the track for some speed drills at least once or twice
– Sign up for at least one race this year … regardless of distance.

OK, well, here is the result:
– Not so much – my numerical average is 63 miles/week, but if you take out my ‘non-running vacation’ week the average jumps to 68.
– I basically did just that – I did the local high school track twice. Really, not great … but better than zero.
– OK, my last real chance is the Red Baron Half Marathon in November, let’s hope that happens!

Here are my thoughts on the last three months:

Running

Last time I said “I am running a solid volume and at a pace that feels pretty good to me.” I continue feeling that way – although I probably held my mileage too high this summer, I feel great and have had mostly great runs the whole 3rd quarter. I really didn’t attack anything, just worked to keep up my fitness and endurance, which worked great as I continue to be able to toss off ‘longer than half marathon’ runs regularly all summer.

Racing

Um, yeah. Nothing to report here. My feelings on the Wineglass Marathon were interesting – I decided back in January not to run, when it came to race weekend there is just so much activity here and I know so many people who ran and the weather was just absolutely perfect … I couldn’t help but feel a bit sentimental about not running.

Weight

During the summer the weight falls off me and I need to be extra careful about keeping fueled – and I have been really happy with how I have done. My goal since last year has been to follow my doctor’s orders, which were ‘do NOT lose any more weight’. Balanced with my own desire to not gain weight, I was worried about how it would work. It has been great – and easier than I thought.

Food & Eating

In a word – consistent and confident. My good eating is a habit, as is being careful on rest days. My intake remains great, dominated by fresh whole foods, balanced fruits and veggies and lean meats. I still have little desire for processed foods or packaged sweets. This is great, and I hope it keeps up that way!

Tracking/Tech

I am still loving the Garmin FR-15 and Magennal Echo for tracking runs, as well as the Polar Loop for fitness tracking. I switched to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for much of August and September, and found that Android is a total crap platform for fitness. Sync-ing the Loop took ~5x as long on the Note as the iPhone 5, the Echo was wonky and lost connection, and none of the fitness apps were as robust.

I have since moved back to iOS with the iPhone 6, and things went back to perfection immediately. I recently got Garmin’s new vivoSmart, which is a fitness tracker and ‘smartwatch’ that syncs with your phone. It is really cool, but occasionally problematic – which I hope continues improving through updates.

Everything Else

I have been much happier with not blogging than I would have thought. I have felt balanced, and so long as that holds I will not go back to regular blogging. Part of that is everything else is just nuts – work is super-busy and I seem to have doubled my responsibilities and the number of people reporting to me, Lisa’s work schedule has been busy, the kids have a crazy schedule which has made OUR schedules even crazier, and so on.

Lisa and I have made sure to take plenty of ‘us’ time as always, most recently taking a date night to see ‘Gone Girl’. We’d both read the book, but over a year ago so we knew all the basics but some details were sketchy. It was good enough that it made us want to re-read it!

We each also try to get some ‘alone time’ with the boys, which is challenging with their crazy schedules … but we try.

Outlook for 2015

I know it is early yet, but here are my basic thoughts for next year:
– Run more than 2000 miles.
– Maintain my weight and healthy eating habits
– Work on pace improvement.
– Run at least one 5k, a 10k, a half and full marathon.

Will I manage it all? Probably not! I know work will be busy through the whole year, as will Lisa’s work, and we will have Danny going off to college and Chris heading into his senior year. Crazy, eh?

Second Quarter Running Summary

Once again I decided to take my weekly summaries and chart them up. Here they are:

3rd Quarter Miles

Overall I am very pleased with my second quarter. By the numbers:
– Total miles – 821 miles (713 miles Q1, 812 Q2)
– Average weekly miles – 63* (55 Q1, 62 Q2)
– Half-year total – 2346 miles (on track to break 3000 miles)
– Longest run – multiple 23+ mile runs
– Shortest run – 5.25 miles (my ‘oh no, my mojo’ run!)

I have kept up with ‘runs with purpose’ throughout the period, which were mostly brutal hills, but also some speed work. I have hit the track … but I wanted to get in much more speedwork than I did.

Again, considering my goals for the year included staying injury-free, breaking 2000 miles, and running a couple of races … I am doing well on the key item. Which is being injury-free. I have already broken 2000 miles … and well, as the song says two out of three ain’t bad.

Fourth Quarter Goals

From now through the end of the year, here is what I would like to do:
– Break 3000 miles total (as of right now I am already over 2400 … so this is very doable)
– ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’ with the running – last week I ended up with an on-off-on-off-on-off schedule for Monday – Saturday due to birthdays, and it worked great for me. No stress, just running.
– Keep up my ‘runs with purpose’ – especially as it gets cold!
– Sign up for at least one race this year … regardless of distance.

How was your third quarter of running? How is your weather and have you broken out warmer clothes yet? What plans do you have for the rest of the year?

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34 thoughts on “Run-Fessions, Blog-Fessions and Third Quarter Running Summary

  1. Welcome back Mike :-). You are in a good place with your running and your blogging, because it is what you are doing, without artificial expectations or the need to impress others. Both good things.

    Like you I am going back to IOS, my iPhone 5C should be arriving this morning, I just couldn’t justify the 6 and $200 bucks, when the 5C is just the upgrade fee. Just never warmed up to the Android OS and have always liked the iPhone. So there will be a little re-learning curve.

    I even dug the old 2009 MacBook Pro out of storage and updated everything and remembering why I didn’t mind Apple stuff. Been a Windows guy for a long time, but I am not impressed with my Sony laptop.

    Really just continuing to simplify my online experience and this seems to be the direction I am going.

    Glad to hear from you and how things have been going and look forward to your next post, whenever you decide that to be.

    • Yeah, I love my iPhone 6 – and for years I had Android as my phone and it worked fine … but when I got the iPhone 5 so did everyone in my house, and now everyone in our extended family has an iPhone, so it is much more convenient to keep on iOS. But I always like having some of everything … so I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 that I am using as well. Too much stuff 😉

      Thanks for the welcome back!

  2. I was wondering if I’d accidentally unfollowed you somehow when I didn’t see you in my feed – but now I get it. And totally get how you are feeling (and especially with some of the disenchantment. I think it’s easy to miss those things when in the midst of it, and honestly, it’s made me more aware of how I might be doing it too. Which I don’t want. More than once in the past week I’ve found myself saying “they’re just young…” To excuse something. It’s true too, and I think blogging plats a different role in my life now and especially as I plan for the run next summer. In short, it all needs to be positive and have balance!

    • No – I really have been silent (well, not silent ever, just not blogging 🙂 )

      And that is very interesting how when we are not blogging we can see some things we miss while we are chugging along. And as for the ‘they are young’ thing, there was a reason I did the whole ‘things people need to stop saying’ posts 🙂

      And I totally love how you have been blogging lately – and today’s post? Whew .. still need to comment, but that is just awesome-sauce 🙂

  3. Hey friend! I was wondering where you went, but I knew that you needed some time with your family. I actually got to the point, though, that you were mad at me for something, so I hope to not have been included in your “blogging BS” category. Although I have been one of your rants before. haha. On the subject of blogging for money, back in the spring when I was talking about using my blog to help my business, I think some people misconstrued it to mean that I would be blogging for money. But I have no interest at the moment in putting ads on my site, at least not those annoying popups–can’t stand that, and let’s face it, I have enough clutter on my site. I have turned down certain opportunities, I don’t take things on that I wouldn’t do for myself anyway, but I’m still trying to find the balance between being an ambassador and being me. But I always inevitably come back to Suz at the end of the day, before I hit send or publish. I just can’t be anyone but me. And I’m cool with that.
    But seriously, good for you for concentrating on what is important to you. And as I’ve said to Urs and a few others that have taken steps back, blogging is for you, and it is a reflection of you. If we like you, we will come back, we won’t just be fair weather friends. And that way, when you do hit publish, it will continue to have meaning.

    • Yes Suz, I AM mad at you!

      … mad that you don’t have a ‘like’ button so you don’t see that I read and LOL at every one of your posts even when I don’t comment, that is! haha Seriously, my commenting is down probably to 10% of what it used to be.

      And you are THE Suz … and that is the fundamental key to everything I read from you. And while I doubt I would be first in line, if I read any BS on your posts I would definitely say ‘WTF Suz?!?’ …

  4. So nice to hear from you again, Mike! The weather here has been pretty all over the place as well–40s and lower at night, but sometimes in the 70s or higher during the day, pouring rain in the morning then sunny and warm in the afternoon… I’ve broken out the warm weather gear for a couple of runs and ended up TOO warm. Oh well!

    I’m very glad to hear you’re happy with the direction you’ve gone regarding blogging. I’m definitely still trying to figure out where I am on the spectrum. I love blogging and the community of friends I’ve found, but I’m not really willing to take a lot of the steps that I think are necessary (or at least seem to be necessary) in becoming a Blogger or making money from Blogging. For instance, taking pictures of all of my meals? Never gonna happen. I eat that stuff too fast!

    It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful year, and I’m so happy you’re getting to fully enjoy it.

    • Thanks Rae – it is hard to get it right. This morning (34F) I was perfect but could have used warmer gloves.

      As for blogging, so long as what you say reflects you … that is what matters. I love reading your stuff 🙂

  5. Welcome back! I remembered you saying you were taking a leave of absence from blogging, and I can’t say I blame you. I’ve pondered doing the same many, many times, especially recently. I’d love to hear more about why you’d consider me “branding,” mostly because that was the only one you didn’t define, haha! Based on your definitions, I’m definitely not Blogging or blogging, so I want to know what the other option is 🙂 Congratulations on keeping up with your running and fitness, and yes – that picture really is awesome!

    • OK, so ‘branding’. The basis is pretty simple – you are working to establish a thought process in people that connects you to something. Like Planet Fitness and ‘judgmenent free’, y’know? I also cited Megan and Michele. Megan has the catch phrase of ‘living healthy the Lyon’s share of the time’ (punny) – which brings in her health coaching. Michele is a natural sell – mommy-bloggers are a big thing, Paleo is huge, and running is more popular than ever. Combine them and you have branding gold (and a glacial site with ad-overload that makes reading daily a testament to how much I like her stuff!). haha

      For you? Think about the number of times I have sent you emails, etc with pictures of shirts with t-rex on them – like my younger son’s hipster t-rex shirt (long arms are so mainstream). There is a connection – t-rex is you, not as in dinosaur, but as in slow and awkward (sorry). Through your posts you have built a judgement free zone for running – where it is fun and fresh and all about the joy of community. Then there is Ramblen and your T-Rex stuff for Women’s Running mag … Ramblen is an amazing travel resource for runners – you KNOW when I was headed to Cary NC I looked to see if you had been there.

      There are really more categories, to be sure. But I looked at a few that seemed to make sense and definitely saw that you were working to establish an iconic presence beyond yourself. Make sense?

  6. I feel like my third quarter of running was all over the place! I took some down time to recover from spring races, I had a few non-goal races that ended up going really well, and I started training for my next marathon. I have still been wearing shorts and tank tops most day, but a couple times I have worn a long sleeve t shirt. I am SO not ready for running tights yet! Last year I remember making it until December until I had to break those out. It was good to hear from you, but I completely understand the break from posting and commenting as often. It can be so time consuming!

    • Thanks Lisa – my hands were cold this morning even with light gloves and I was thinking ‘too soon!’ haha I have been enjoying following your food and running adventures … and happy birthday again in advance 🙂

  7. I was really glad to see this pop into my feed today. It was great to hear you are doing well and enjoying life. I think we have all seen photos during races and thought: Oh that is exactly me!

    I think it would be awesome to make money from blogging but at the same time, I want to do it on my own personal terms. Not being a “sell out”.

    • Hey – you’re supposed to be hanging with T, not commenting on my blog! haha Seriously, thanks so much for the comment – I was thinking of you as well last weekend during the Wineglass Marathon, and hope you have a great weekend. And really, I don’t see you as a sell-out 🙂

  8. I would rather be cold running than hot, that’s for sure! I usually wear shorts down to about 35 ish. Although I need gloves below 50. I have dressing for winter running down to a personalized science!

    Anyway, it’s funny that although I am trying to “brand” myself, I have trouble not being myself in my posts, and therefore I’m definitely feeling torn about this whole $$ thing. I guess time and experience will give me a clearer picture of direction.

    I think it’s great that you’ve pulled back from blogging, since it is incredibly time consuming and can be crazy-making as well. I hope you’re not seeing too much blogging BS on my blog either! Although that wouldn’t be blogging BS but more like my own natural angst-y BS 🙂

    • I think ‘cold’ is relative … I like cool weather, but one it gets below ~20F or so it stops being so much fun. These in-between days – 40F can be very different depending on whether it is climbing or falling, windy or still, humid or dry, for example … make for a challege. I have multiple levels of gloves (of course), and the ones I chose were more like a tech shirt, and I know my hands are the first thing to get cold, not fun. It is weird I can wear the same running socks whether it is 90F or -20F but my hands REALLY feel it.

      And I agree with you on direction – your blog varies in tone and focus … but it is always you. And that is what I think makes it valuable. As for BS … haha ” my own natural angst-y BS” – that is actually anti-BS … it is you being you! 🙂

  9. It’s great to hear from you and glad to hear everything is well. As always I am super impressed by your mileage! It’s still 90+ here so no warmer clothes yet. Third quarter produced my lowest mileage month and started a step back that will continue into fourth quarter as I figure some health things out. But I still love running. 🙂
    Do you like the Vivosmart? I have been thinking of getting a new fitness tracker since my Nike fuelband died completely a few months back.

    • Thanks Falyn – and I think you are being smart in how you approach things – though as you say sometimes it isn’t fun.

      As for the vivoSmart, I would say it has a mixed review so far – as a fitness tracker it is really good, but the ‘smartwatch’ things are still maturing with each update. And my wife finds it annoying – just another thing to buzz and flash lights for the way too many emails I get 😉

  10. I was delighted to see this post this morning, welcome back……and do it on your own terms. As you said, your blogging is a reflection of you and you do have other very important parts of your life (family, work, running, breathing,etc!!)
    but, I’ve missed you!

  11. I’ve been slacking on the blog front lately and I guess I’m not stressed about it. I blog to express myself, but even though I’ve thought about doing more to be a Blogger or even a brand, my heart isn’t that keen on it. I love interacting with other bloggers and readers, but making it a job of sorts doesn’t appeal.

    I actually have been thinking I should spend less time online and more reading and maybe get back to playing guitar.

    I love that photo of you at Wineglass. You look like you wouldn’t want to be doing anything else at that moment.

    • “You look like you wouldn’t want to be doing anything else at that moment.”

      Thanks – that is exactly what I feel about the picture as well. And since the ‘joy of running’ is so key to me, I love that it shows through!

      And I also agree on the ‘offline time’ … NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) is beckoning, and I also want to spend more time with music this fall and winter.

      • I know – and while I am not sure I can spend *that* kind of time (during what will be a crazy month with college application stuff and a nutso work schedule for myself and Lisa) … I KNOW I can do better than the last couple of years 🙂

  12. I’m was SO SO glad to see this post pop up tonight!! I’ve missed you but totally understand that your blog isn’t a priority right now and you are choosing to spend time on more important things. It sounds like you have been keeping busy and I love seeing your IG posts!

    I am dying to see Gone Girl, I loved the book….we just need to get a sitter. Robyn and I haven’t seen a movie in the theater since before Ashton was born..eek!! 🙂

    I love your quarterly running summaries, I’d kill to get my mileage up that high, but I know my body just can’t handle that volume. I don’t even know if I will make my 1000 mile goal this year, especially now that I’m starting my new job this week, but that is okay. I’m having fun running and cross training and I’m staying healthy, which is all I can really ask for at this point.

    P.S. I love your Wineglass photo, your expression is priceless. You just look so happy and relaxed!

    • Thanks Sara – and I am excited to hear how your new job goes this week!

      We’ve talked about running – and I think that realizing what works for you is SO important … I have talked before about people who feel driven to be a marathoner when in reality they end up injured just about every year as a result!

      As for movies … well, we had many years of no movies, it is just something with kids. 🙂

  13. Wow, I could take so many of your sentences and replicate them for my feelings precisely. “I have been much happier with not blogging than I would have thought,” especially, and also the parts about still reading many blogs, being a little annoyed with the comparison trap of bloggers, and more. I’m thrilled that you’re feeling comfortable and confident in your food intake, and that you’re spending more time with family. I am doing that, too, and really enjoying it.

    I admire your honesty, balance, spirit of continuous self-improvement, and genuine nature so much. Even as a “Brand” blogger, I really cherish a handful of ‘bloggers’ like you! 🙂

    • I really love how you are doing things, have no clue how it works in terms of quantity of readers, but chances are you are getting a more focused readership and having it work well into your business – which I am so thrilled to see blossoming on Instagram 🙂

  14. I am right there with you – reading but not commenting….which makes me feel a little bit like a fraud! But sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day for everything! And thanks for the shoutout!! I’ve been channeling you a lot lately with my long runs – my first half is NEXT weekend!!! Ahh! Glad to hear you’re happy and doing well. You have to find the balance that makes you satisfied and happy – which it seems like you have 🙂 thanks for the update!

  15. So happy to see this post. You write, I’ll read, on whatever schedule it happens to be!

    P.S. My vote for that marathon in 2015? Steamtown! Think about it…

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