Neighborhood walkers explain Tuesday’s results

Good decisions require good judgment  

Today’s run (street): 3.2 miles

Happy Veteran’s Day.  This is a holiday that actually means something and I always take the time to appreciate the men and women who have served our country. I’m disappointed that our country will soon be led by a man who has neither served nor sacrificed, but thinks it’s okay to insult Gold Star families and expresses disrespect for war heroes, “because they got captured.”

As I ran through my neighborhood this morning, I thought about Tuesday’s election result and the fact that close to half of American voters voluntarily chose a woman-hating racist over his far more qualified opponent. That had made no sense to me until I rounded a corner and saw two people walking abreast on the right side of the street.

It clearly didn’t occur to this pair that they had better, smarter and safer choices, such as the sidewalk. If they absolutely had to walk on the street, they had the option of staying on the left side where they could see oncoming cars rather than trust the drivers behind them. I’d never understood why people will make such clearly bad decisions until I saw the election results on Wednesday morning. I finally understand that many people just aren’t smart enough to anticipate the consequence of their actions.

Do I think people who voted in the president-elect are stupid? How about people who walk on the right side of the road and trust that distracted drivers aren’t going to run them down? That’s not for me to say. But I will suggest that both are examples of bad judgment, something usually correlated to low intelligence.

Bad Garmin, bad judgment

How far & how fast? Garmin’s not talking

Today’s run (street): 4.4 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.2 miles

My stopwatch would have been a better choice than my FR 60 on today’s run, but I didn’t realize that until I was about three miles in. That’s when I experienced another Garmin meltdown. I naively thought that the Garmin was back to its old self because the timer seemed to be working again. I wasn’t able to pair it with my foot pod, but I didn’t really care. In fact, even if I could, the data would have been flawed because I hadn’t calibrated the foot pod in six years.

It’s finally fall and that means the weather is much more run friendly in the morning. Yesterday I ran my usual Friday circuit a little faster than usual and I was happy about that. I don’t know if I’ve turned a corner in terms of pacing, but I’m generally running 45 seconds to a minute per mile faster than just a few weeks ago. I suspect cooler conditions contributed, but some of it must be due to improved fitness.

This morning I completely ignored what was happening outside and only noted the 59° temperature posted by the local news station. When I stepped outside, I felt a light but steady rain falling. I went back inside to change my running shoes because I didn’t want the Zantes to get soaked. I went into the guest room to get new shoes from my gear cabinet and my wife was running on the treadmill. I told her it was raining and she said, “I told you that twice this morning.” Actually she had mentioned it, but I’d decided the rain would stop before I went out.

A few minutes later I was out the door with different shoes and my ASICS rain jacket. Despite the extra layer, I stayed comfortable because of a steady breeze coming from the north. I wore the hood for the first mile. Although the conditions were cool, the humidity fogged my glasses. Things got better when I removed the hood when the rain lightened to a mist.

At least Gmaps still works

I enjoyed the cool breeze and the cloud-covered sky and I started to wonder how much time had passed since I’d started. I glanced at the Garmin which showed I’d been running about 30 minutes. I calculated in my head that, based on the rest of my planned route, I’d end up running about four and a quarter miles. About a minute after I’d checked the time, I heard the same sound that I heard at the end of last Sunday’s run on the Bethpage trail. Once again, the Garmin’s display said “Scanning” and I knew that I’d lost both the timer and my elapsed time.

I finished the rest of my run without knowing how long or far I’d gone. I hadn’t taken note of the time when I left, so I couldn’t calculate my pace based on post-run mapping and duration. I can estimate it roughly, but the margin of error is wide. I located my stopwatch when I got home and will take that along tomorrow. I’ll get a GPS watch eventually, but for now I’ll track my metrics like they did in the olden days. By that I mean in 2005 when Google launched Gmaps.

The five dumbest things I’ve done running

This week’s workouts (Hybrid running machines): 60 minutes total

I’m running smarter these days, carefully easing into runs on my local roads and doing a majority of my workouts using non-impact fitness machines. I haven’t always exercised good judgment when running and that has led to some bad outcomes. Here are the five dumbest things I’ve ever done while running.

5. No warm-up full-on sprint at the track. I had only been running a few months and I decided to see how fast I could run 100 meters. I don’t remember my speed, but I do remember waiting over a month to get over a groin pull.

4. Tripping on the edge of my driveway at 4:30 AM. I had finished my morning run and came off the road where my toe caught a slight rise and I hit the ground hard. Lots of cuts and scrapes, a possible hairline fracture of one finger and scars on my knee that didn’t fade for three years. As bad as that was, I was running again the next day.

3. Getting completely lost on a trail run. I was running at Muttontown Preserve when I found myself caught behind a large fence that separated me from the trail leading to the exit. It was freezing and snowy and I had to bushwhack between thorny bushes to get to a barbed wired fence that I was able to climb over and then jump down six feet to the ground.

2. Running a half marathon with a knee injury. I’d hurt my knee the week before the LI Half and decided to run it anyway. My knee was sore at the start and getting sorer every mile. I considered dropping out at the four mile mark but chose to continue. I had a bad race and spent months running on that injured knee. If I’d DNS’d I would have avoided a long, frustrating recovery period.

1. Continually re-aggravating my current disc injury. I’m not sure if I caused my original problem by “racing” a neighbor who was also doing a neighborhood run. I have no other explanation but every time I was close to recovery, I managed to do something to make the injury worse. Usually that involved turning a good run into a bad one by pushing my speed too far. I’m hoping that cycle has finally been broken.

I’ve had two decent workouts this week. Today’s session (on a hybrid machine) came the closest to running that I’ve ever done on a piece of gym equipment (not counting a treadmill). Tomorrow I plan to do another outside run. My hope is that my form will continue to improve and the residual discomfort will lessen.