Monthly Archives: March 2016

This Week In Running – v5

On the Road

Another week of fairly uneventful base runs.  5 editions of my regular 5.9 mile route.  Its nice to see the time ticking down bit by bit every day.  I’m not really fixated on weight, but I’m pretty sure that’s going down, too; but our scale is a box somewhere that I haven’t been able to locate after the move.

For the long run, I was shooting for something over 10 miles.  I ended up with 10.5 miles, but kinda by chance.  I was running in a new neighborhood and the light up street signs were not lit, so I ended up taking a few wrong turns.  I eventually got kinda back on course, I found that the road I intended to run on was:

  1. Very narrow.  Thankfully no cars at 5:15am.
  2. Very steep, with a peak in the middle.
  3. Very dark.  Trees overhanging the street and zero street lights.

I think I’ll skip that road again, at least outside of daylight hours.

I felt understandably tired after the run.  But the surprise a little later in the day was angry hips.  Was kinda bothersome for a bit, but faded before the evening.  Calves and ankles remained cranky a little longer.

Got to sleep too late last night.  Alarm went off this morning, I turned if off and went back to sleep for another 2 hours.  After messing around with the house and getting the kids rolling, I was able to get out for what I thought was gonna be an easy recovery run, but ended up with a pretty fast run on the Iron Horse Trail.

I’m pretty pleased that folks on the trail are a lot better at sharing the trail than I remember on the Erie Canal Trail back in New York.  People happily scoot over to let me by and there’s minimal silliness like folks trying to run or bike 4 people wide.  Nice!

Mini Review: iPod Shuffle 4th Generation

After 8 years, my 2nd generation iPod shuffle finally hung it up.  Still seems to work, but it no longer charges.  After being stuck in the red status for a week, it finally puttered out. It was the perfect player for running;  simple, small, and light.  My only real complaint with it was that you have to use iTunes to load it, rather than just treating it like a plain ‘ole USB drive.  Oh well, it was a noble run, but all good things must come to an end.

Enter a new 2016 4th generation iPod shuffle. I thought the newer players were the same as the older ones, with new guts (and another button, for Voice Over), but it turns out they’re pretty different.  Almost impossibly, they’re smaller!   Slightly smaller than 1 square inch, noticeably thinner, and lighter than my old one.

Outside of Voice Over (which I don’t really care about), the other major difference in how the player works is support for playlists.  I didn’t really care about playlists because I only listen to podcasts these days, but having a way to keep music separate from podcasts may change that.

The way they handle podcasts is overly clever;  they automatically group them into autocreated playlists (by default.)  I suppose that makes sense if you’re into binge listening.  The rub comes in that you’ve got episodes from 4 different podcasts on the player, you need to switch playlists to hear them (by holding the voice over button, which is hard to do when you’re running and the player is clipped on your back.)  Otherwise, it just repeats the podcast(s) in the current playlist.  I think you can get around this problem by making your own playlist with your podcasts in back in iTunes and then sync it over, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

Accessory-wise, the ear buds (not ear pods) are worthless to me and my big ears.  I think the charging/sync cable is an improvement.  Now its just 2″ long with headphone style connecter on one side and USB on the other, instead of a long cable and dock.  Sync is also noticeably faster (evident since most podcasts filers are 10’s of Mb.)

I think I paid $39 for my old one.  This one was $49 (before 5% off with my Target Red Card, woot.)  Thought that was a bit more than warranted, but then I realized that old one was 1Gb and the new is 2Gb.  For podcasts, 1Gb is plenty, as I swap content out weekly or so.  With 2Gb (and playlists) I can also bring some music along for a change of pace as well.

So far, other than clunky podcast playlist thing, everything is working great.  Hope I can get another 8 years out of this one.

The Wrap Up

Things are going pretty well, so I’m not gonna mess with the program too much.  I’m gonna try to add another half mile to the daily.

I think I should probably start scoping out my next pair of shoes.  These ones have about 250 miles on them. They’re holding up pretty well, but I think they’re about half a size too big;  my feet slide around a bunch after everything gets warmed up and stretch out.  Probably give some Asics a shot.

Pain is only temporary, pride is forever.

This Week In Running – v4

Nope, I haven’t dropped off on running, but I did stop manually updating on  You can now follow me at the Garmin site, instead.

Its been another wet week. Drizzle is no fun when its 50 degrees and breezy out, morning after morning. When there’s good chance for rain, I usually leave my music player at home. Without the distraction, runs seem to take about twice as much effort; but, it with nothing else to do, it helps me focus on my breathing.

On Tuesday morning, the rain was coming down by the bucket at normal departure time, so I did some work, and bumped the run to mid morning.  It was kinda weird to be running in daylight.  I also tried out the Iron Horse Trail to get around traffic that I don’t normally incur.  The trail is pretty good for running;  not too much foot traffic and mostly flat except for places where the trail bridges over major streets.

I chatted with another guy on the trail for a bit on the way back.  He asked about the Rochester Marathon on my hat. I said I was new to the area and getting back into running.  I said I thought my marathon days were probably done.  He said, “me too” but went on to say that he’s moved on to Ultras.  I chuckled. He gave me some pointers on where to run and to some local groups where I might find other running mates.  I admit it was kinda nice to get a welcome back to the running community.

Yesterday, even though the radar was clear, I still ran into a couple patches of annoying drizzle.  Added another half mile or so to the long run for the week.  Unfortunately, the route I took ended up being on a no-pedestrian divided highway.  Worked out OK at 5am, bought probably won’t try it again.

Today, I woke up at normal time, listened to rain for about 5 minutes, checked the radar, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  I really didn’t want to take the day off, but I figure I’m overdue and on the road to hurt if I don’t anyway.  So, I used my surplus energy to work on some other delinquent projects around the house.

Even with the day off, I still pulled in 32 miles; fairly respectable.  There’s some dry weather in the forecast, so hopefully, I’ll be more motivated than I’ve been.

Chomping at the bit to get out in the morning…  Lets rack up some more miles!

This Week In Running – v3


Mercy, another week gone by already?  Time for another update.

In a word, miles, lots.  39 to be precise.


Monday through Thursday were my previous daily driver route.  Friday, I added another 1.3 miles to the daily driver.  Saturday was my old long run.

Sunday was supposed to be a new long run, but I found myself out in the sticks with no street lights and pulled an abort maneuver.  There was also a ton of debris in the road from the storm last night.  Oh, yeah, that was also a monster hill.  I turned around at the peak on this chart:


Things have been going pretty well.  My back is mostly back to normal except for the odd twinge now and again.  My feet are pretty tired and my toes are sore at the end of the run, but I think that’s from my shoes being half a size too big (I should have remembered that Saucony’s run big.)

The big problem this week was chaffing.  There, I said it.  The day it rained it bit during the run, my shirt ground up my nipples.  That’s always fun when you get into the shower.  The other days, its been skin on skin as my thighs duke it out.  Hoping some new running shorts should sort that problem out.

Gear Review

The last few weeks I’ve been running with a Garmin Forerunner 10.  Yeah, its kinda chunky (its actually bigger than the iPod shuffle I use for music when running) and not particularly feature packed.  But for $80, it does everything I need and is super easy to use. 2 button presses to start a run, and 3 when the run is done.

The start up time is pretty quick most of the time, but once or twice its taken a few minutes to find out where it is.  I haven’t had any incidents where it loses its place in the middle of a run though.  I don’t have a gauge on how accurate it is out on the run;  it seems to have trouble around big buildings (output looks like I’m running a little drunk.) Out in the open though, it seems to line up with Google maps pretty well.

The computer side is pretty straightforward.  Install a driver, plug the watch into its charger, and plug the charger into a USB port.   The daily part is just the last 2 steps, everything else is automatic.  Your data ends up on the Garmin Connect website.  I haven’t messed around with it all that much, but it seems to have all the pretty charts that I like. Check out my profile page.

At one time, it would have also been possible to upload directly (where I tracked my stats up to now.)  But it needs a browser plugin that’s no longer supported on the Google Chrome browser.  I tried to get it work with Safari instead.  It doesn’t give any errors, but can’t seem to find runs on my watch either.  I’ve been doing manual entries on dailymile after downloading from the watch.  Eventually, I’ll give up on that and just use the Garmin equivalent for sharing.

Wrap Up

Looking forward to more miles this coming week.  Even though its been really wet the last few days in the Bay Area, I’ve lucked out that it wasn’t raining (outside of a little drizzle) during my runs.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Let’s do this thang.