December 31, 2006

December 30, 2006

Welcome to Jonathan Allen Choate

Yesterday, about noon MST, my daughter gave birth to her third child (my 9th grandchild). In the picture below, he is being held by his older sister, Sophie.

No more running this year

With all of the excitement of a new grandson and our taking care of his two sisters for the next couple of days and our visiting him in the hospital and our getting ready for a family party tomorrow evening and my trying to finish a DVD of a Messiah performance in Evanston, Wyoming that involved my other daughter, I don't expect to do any more running this year. See you on January 1, 2007.

December 27, 2006

One down, one to go

I ran for two hours this morning on the Jordan River Parkway. I was still tired from my run yesterday, so I took walking breaks every half-mile instead of every mile. There was a light sprinkle of rain during the first half of the run due to a storm-front that is passing through the area. According to the weather forecast, we may get a couple of inches of snow tonight. The temperature was in the low 40s during the run. My wakeup HR was 49.

Yesterday I mentioned I had two runs left for this year. This run makes one down, and I have one more run that will close out the year 2006. It has been a good year!

December 26, 2006

Are you working too hard?

I've started reading Running Until You're 100 by Jeff Galloway that Santa brought me for Christmas. Here is a statement from the book that I like.

Mature runners who have time goals can get too focused on running faster almost every run. This often results in injury. One of the first signs is increased stress associated with running, often resulting in motivation problems. At the first sign of these symptoms, reduce mileage and let mind and body get back together again:

Running is not as enjoyable.

You don't look forward to your runs.

When you say something to others about your running, the statements are often negative.

The negativity can permeate other areas of your life.

You look on running as work instead of play.

Two more runs will finish out the year

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway this morning and enjoyed myself. There were a lot of runners and walkers also using the path. I forgot to measure my wakeup HR, but I felt pretty good. It took the first half of the run for my body to warm up, and I ran faster and enjoyed the run more on the way back. The temperature was 40 (F) when I left home and 44 (F) when I returned. There are about 4 inches of snow still on the ground. That plus a sunny sky made for a picturesque run. Almost like running in a fairy-land.

I'm still a youngster

Here is another quote from Running Until You're 100.

A few years ago, I met a 93-year old runner who ran in the popular Crim 10 mile race in Flint, Mich. He was just as excited about the race as the 20 year olds, and more mentally sharp than some of the younger runners as he talked about it. A recent news clipping showed a 101-year-old man running a veteran's track meet. He set a world record.

After reading about those two gentlemen, I decided I am a youngster after all!

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to all!

As the year 2006 comes to a close, I look back on it with appreciation to everyone who has influenced my life during the past 12 months.


Sophie is my 6-year-old granddaughter.

This was the year I retired from full-time work. In my almost 44 years of employment, I've known many great people and am a better person because of their influence in my life. I've always enjoyed my work and have looked forward to each day.

This was the year I took my running to a new level. In the 2 1/2 years since my auto accident and 6 1/2 weeks in the hospital and my first run after the accident of 1/8 mile, I'm running 30+ miles per week. I set a PB in the half marathon of 2:21:16. I'm looking forward to the Salt Lake Half Marathon in April. I'm still running without injury, and I'm still running because I enjoy it and because I want to.

This was the year that I gained a greater appreciation and love for my friends and family.

This was my first year of retirement, and I've discovered that it's great to be an old geezer! They call us "golden-oldies". I'll accept the "golden" part, but I'm still young! Oldies are those over age 100....

This was another year in which I'm glad to be Allen Leigh!

A wonderful run on this beautiful day

I had a great run for an hour this morning. The temperature was 33 (F) when I left and 40 (F) when I returned. The sun was out, ice was melting, and it was a great morning to be outside. I felt more energetic this morning than I have for the past month, and my wakeup HR was down to 49 this morning. I ran at the comfortable pace I've been using all week, and I really enjoyed the run.

A few people out exercising on Christmas

A mile and a half into my run, I passed some picnic areas, and I saw a man and a woman trying out their new snow shoes. Later, I passed a walker, and two runners passed me. I had thought I'd be the only one out on this Christmas morning, and it was nice to see a few others.

Singing tenor again

When I attend church and sing congregational hymns, I usually sing tenor. However, I haven't sung tenor for about a month due to my voice being hoarse due to a cold in my throat. My colds usually begin in my nose and possibly move to my throat, but this cold was just in my throat. No dripping nose, no sore throat, just an occasional cough that brought up thick, yellowish phlegm. For the first month I just ignored it since it didn't get worse and didn't seem to be a problem. However, I did notice that my voice was hoarse and that my voice would crack when I would try and sing tenor.

I finally decided to do something about it and started taking Hepar Sulf, a homeopathic remedy for colds that have thick, yellowish mucus. The cold isn't completely gone away, but yesterday I sang tenor during the congregational hymns.

December 23, 2006

Another nice long run and not quite so cold

My wakeup HR was 51 this morning. I didn't feel super energetic, but I didn't feel tired either. I ran for 2 1/2 hours and enjoyed the run. The temperature was about 33 (F) when I left and 30 (F) when I returned. There was a 10-15 mph head wind going out, and I was glad for my wind breaker. I forgot my gloves, but with the warmer temperature (compared to Wednesday) my hands were ok. The gusty tail wind coming back was nice. I ran my relatively slow comfortable pace that I've been using this week.

A big black dog started to follow me

On my way back, while I was on the residential street that is on the big hill, a large black dog came across the street and started to run with me. After a couple of blocks, I decided I'd better send him home. I stopped and pointed back down the street. In a commanding voice, I said, "Home, go home" and repeated it a few times. He turned and went up a side street. He didn't try to follow me, and he was close enough to home that he shouldn't have gotten lost.

December 21, 2006

The days are getting longer now

Two hours and 14 minutes ago, the northern hemisphere had its winter solstice, the official time when winter begins and the winter days start getting longer. I'm always glad for the solstice, because I like having more daylight even though it will be cold for another couple of months.

Beautiful Utah mountains

This post has nothing to do with running. I ran onto some beautiful photos of the Wasatch mountains east of Salt Lake City, and I thought I'd post the links for those of you who are interested in why Utah has famous ski resorts and famous hiking. My family and I climbed Mt. Timpanogos when we first moved to Utah 13 years ago.

http://www.davidwhittenphoto.com/wasatch.html

http://scenicutah.com/timpanogos/timpanogoscave.php

December 20, 2006

Wow, what a run!

I ran for two hours on the Jordan River Parkway, and had a great run. South Jordan City and Riverton City had the snow cleared from the path, except for a couple of access points. On the way out, I ran at the comfortable pace I used yesterday, and on the way back I ran slightly faster. It was on the way back that I experienced the feeling of cruising down a highway as if I could drive forever. I don't get that feeling often as I run, and it is a cool feeling. My energy level was higher than it has been lately, due in part to my getting 8 hours sleep the past couple of nights. My wakeup HR was a bit high (51) this morning, but I still felt great.

As I was finishing the first half and was nearing my turn-around point, I started feeling cold, indicating my body wasn't generating enough heat to keep me warm and propel me down the path. Twenty-four years ago while running marathons, I learned that I would start getting cold after an hour, and that was my experience today. At my turn-around point, I stopped and swallowed an e-Gel pack. I didn't feel cold any more as I continued my run. I ran 9 miles and probably burned about 1000 calories due to the distance and the cold temperature. The e-Gel gave me 150 calories, so I burned a net of about 850 calories during the run. I've been eating more food, via grazing during the day, so I think (hope) I had enough food before I left for the run.

I ran in the late afternoon, and it was just getting dark when I finished. I was glad to finish before it got really dark, because there were patches of ice on the path from melting snow, and I was able to see the ice and skirt around it. The temperature when I left home was 27 (F) and 18(F) when I returned.

Need some gloves during my long winter runs

I'm going to have to wear gloves on these long, cold runs. I usually just tuck my hands inside the sleeves of my wind breaker, and that is sufficient to keep my hands warm. That was sufficient during the first hour of the run today, but during the second hour, my hands got cold. The cold-hands started with me swallowing an e-Gel and thus having my hands in the cold air for a couple of minutes. After I started running I tucked my hands back inside the wind breaker, but they didn't get very warm. When I reached my car, I had a hard time undoing the zipper on my wind breaker pocket to retrieve my car keys -- I couldn't grasp the handle of the zipper very well. In fact I had a hard time tearing the top off the e-Gel for the same reason, and e-Gels are usually easy to open. I have a pair of light, cotton gloves that I wore in Massachusetts, and I'll try them. Also, in Massachusetts I sometimes just wore a clean pair of cotton socks over my hands, and that worked fine, too.

More kids at the "sledding" hill

When I pulled into the parking lot by the parkway, there were several kids sledding down the hill into the parking lot. Apparently that hill is "the" sledding hill around here. In fact it is the only hill around here that doesn't have automobile traffic. The western part of the Salt Lake Valley has a gentle slope from the Oquirrah Mountains to the Jordan River, but the city streets aren't conducive to sledding. During the last eighth mile before the river, the land drops sharply into the flood plain, and that is the reason for the steep downhill into the parking lot.

December 19, 2006

A nice rest run

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. There is about a foot of snow on the ground from the storm Saturday night and Sunday, but the path was clear of snow thanks to the kind folks working for South Jordan City. The temperature was in the mid 20s (F) during the run, and the sky was partly overcast. It was a great day to be out.

Sledding in the snow

The beginning of the parkway path is about 25 feet below the adjacent street, and there is a steep hill going from the adjacent street to the parkway parking lot. When I returned from my run, there was a family sledding down the steep hill. They were having a lot of fun!

As I watched them, I was reminded of the time we came up from Phoenix to Salt Lake for a Christmas visit. We spent several hours each day sledding down the steep hill at Sugarhouse park. That was 32 or 33 years ago, and I still remember it as if it were yesterday. I also remember the time after we had moved from Phoenix to Massachusetts that we spent an evening sledding down our driveway (a 30 foot elevation change) using our car lights to see the driveway. We were up until midnight. That would have been the winter of 1976-1977. Ahhh... great memories!

Used a Polar Heart Rate Monitor

My wife and I recently attended a lecture by a man who claims that we can improve our brains by following certain natural methods (exercise, nutrition, etc.). He said that if we exercise and get our heart rate up to 80% - 85% of our maximum rate, we will have an increased level of Human Growth Hormones, and the higher level of HGH will improve the functioning of our brains. He said it isn't necessary to sustain that rate; just get the HR up to that level and then walk to let the HR come down, and then repeat the sequence for 10-15 minutes per day. He said to use a HR monitor to monitor the HR. He didn't say this, but I would suggest that non-runners start out at 40-50% of max and then slowly (maybe 5% per week) increase the rate up to 80%. Of course they should get an ok from their doctor before trying to increase the amount of HGH in their system.

My wife thought she would like to try his suggestion, so we bought a Polar HR monitor. She is a good walker and shouldn't have a problem with 50% of max.

I tried the monitor on my run today. It was interesting to see my various heart rates throughout the morning and then during my run.

The speaker we listened to used the traditional formula 220 - age as the maximum. That value isn't quite accurate, but it is close enough for most of us, and it is an easy formula to use. For my age (71) here is a table of HR rate values and percentage of maximum.

60 40%
75 50%
89 60%
104 70%
106 71%
107 72%
109 73%
110 74%
112 75%
119 80%
134 90%
149 100%

During the first mile, my HR slowly climbed up to 70%, and it remained at 70% for the next mile and a quarter when I reached my turn around. On the way back, my HR was at 71% until the last half mile where it was at 73%. I ran a little bit faster on the way back.

I was running at my comfortable speed, and the HR numbers show that I was running at a restful, LSD pace. I've been running via "feel" for 34 years, and it was nice to know that my "feel" agrees with recommendations for a restful run. I won't be using the HR monitor as a normal thing, but starting in January, I will use it to check on my "feel" during my speed work during the spring. I want to continue running via "feel" but would like the assurance that my "feel" is about right.

By way of information, my wakeup HR was 49 this morning, 32% of max. While using my computer, my HR is about 39% of max. While walking around it is about 47% of max.

By way of observation, I was surprised how quickly my HR came down after I stopped running and began walking for a cool-down. Within 100 feet of walking, my HR dropped about 10 points. I walked about 1/4 mile and did stretches for a couple of minutes. When I finished all of that, my HR was down to my "walking" value.

December 17, 2006

More snow today

Yesterday, while in Evanston, Judy and I considered staying the night with our daughter so we wouldn't be driving home in a big snowstorm. However, at the time the Messiah program was over, Evanston had had no new snow, and the snow on I80 going past Park City was only a couple of inches of slush. We thus decided to drive home that night, and we arrived home 2 1/2 hours later, as explained in yesterday's post. When we awoke this morning, there was about 6 inches of new snow on the ground, and 2 or 3 more inches fell during the day. We were glad that we came home last night, and we were glad the storm came in during the night instead of earlier in the evening.

December 16, 2006

Didn't run today

I had a busy schedule today and didn't run. My wife and I drove to Evanston, WY to video tape a performance of the Messiah that my daughter sang in. There was a winter storm watch for the area we would be driving through with estimates of snow from 8 inches to two feet. I spent significant time during the morning studying weather reports. I wasn't sure we should go, but we decided at the last minute to go. The highway (I80) was dry on the way up with just a few icy spots. On the way back, however, we drove over half of the distance through a snow storm. The snow was only a couple of inches deep, but it caused everyone to slow down. A trip that normally takes 1 1/2 hours at 70 mph took 2 1/2 hours at 30-50 mph. I'm glad we made it home safely. For the benefit of those in other countries, 62 mph is 100 kmh.

Now I have to make time to edit the video into a DVD.

December 13, 2006

Another hour rest run

Normally I run a two-hour medium run, but today I felt tired and reduced the run to one hour. My wakeup HR was 49, and I felt pretty good throughout the morning and early afternoon, but as soon as I started running (about 3 pm) I could tell I was tired. There was a headwind (5 mph) going out.

I picked up litter during the run, and enjoyed being out, even though I wasn't full of energy. The temperature was in the mid to high 40s (F). I wore long pants, which was a mistake, and I got quite warm during the run (taking off my windbreaker helped).

December 12, 2006

A slower but nice rest run

I ran an hour along the Jordan River Parkway and enjoyed myself. My wakeup HR was 54 due to not enough sleep Sunday night (a phone call woke me up and I couldn't go back to sleep. The call was a wrong number), and I could tell I was tired. So, I made it a "real" rest run. The temperature was in the mid 30s (F) during the run, and the sky was cloudy with a 5-10 mph headwind going out.

I set a good example during my run

Since today's run was a rest run and there was a lot of litter next to the path (blown in by the wind), I made today's run a litter-run. A walker saw me picking up trash, and he started picking trash up, too.

Congratulations, Bruce!

My friend from Las Vegas, Bruce, just ran the new Las Vegas marathon. Not only did he get a personal best in making his goal to break four hours, he qualified for Boston with a 3:45:27. Had to run against some strong headwinds, too. Whoopee... Click here to read his race report in the running forum at about.com Take a bow, Bruce, you deserve it!

Bruce has posted several comments in this blog. I've known him for about seven years, via about.com, but we met for the first time this past August when he came up to run the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon with me.

Good news from Bruce!

Bruce is going to wait until 2008 to run Boston, and he would like to come up to Salt Lake City for the half marathon in April. He is anxious to set a new PB for the half. It will be nice to run with him again!

December 11, 2006

A nice rest run

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway at my comfortable pace, which was slightly faster than on Saturday. Nothing eventful happened. The temperature during the run was in the mid 30s (F). My wakeup HR was 49. We had about half an inch of wet snow last night, but it is mostly gone.

December 9, 2006

Two and one-half hours of running and then a hot shower

I did my long run on the Jordan River Parkway. For the first 10 miles, I ran slightly faster than I did on Wednesday, and then I started getting tired. I slowed down a bit and finished my time, doing a distance of 12 miles. The temperature was in the low 50s (F), the sky was clear, and it was another beautiful day. My wakeup HR was 49.

On the way back, a man and a big dog passed me, and I thought to myself, "He is going fast". However, I soon realized that he had started alternating running and walking, and his overall average was about the same pace I was doing. I thus followed him for the last three miles until he finished his run and left the trail. I still had a mile to go, and I ran until I reached my time-goal, and I then walked the rest of the way (about half a mile) to my car.

Tried eating soup before my run

As an experiment, I ate a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup about half an hour before I left for my run. It had a slight effect on my breathing for the first mile, and then I felt fine. The soup only had 60 or 70 calories, so it probably didn't do much for my energy level. It also had a lot of sodium, almost half of my MDA. I also ate an energy bar just before I started to run, and I ate an e-Gel pack at my turn around point.

Almost had to "adopt" a dog

While on my long run today, I reached the parking lot that is a couple hundred yards north of 126th South, and I saw a small dog running around the path. I assumed he belonged to two women I saw in the parking lot, so I pointed to them and said, "Go". The dog ignored me and continued running around. So, I turned around and jogged over to the women, and the dog followed me. They said the dog didn't belong to them, and that they and several others had tried to catch the dog to see if he had an ID collar. They said that I was the only person who could get close to the dog.

I continued my run, and the dog followed me. He seemed to be a happy dog and ran around in the bushes and on the trail. After about half a mile, I passed a man and a woman and a large dog. The little dog decided to go with them, and I continued my run, alone.

On my way back, I encountered the two people and the large dog, and the small dog was still with them. I decided I'd better get the little fellow back to the parking lot where I first saw him, so I whistled at the dog. He stopped and looked at me and then at the two people who were moving away from him. I whistled again, and the little dog looked at me and then at the two people who were getting farther and farther away from him.

After a few more whistles and the dog looking back at the two people, who by this time were quite far away, and at me, he decided to go with me, and he came running to me. We continued our journey north towards the parking lot.

As we approached the tunnel under 126th South, the little dog was about a hundred yards in front of me. Instead of following the path into the tunnel, he followed a path to the street and its many cars.

As I turned to go into the tunnel, I whistled at the dog and yelled at him, but he didn't come down to me. He turned and started going west on 126th South. That was the last time I saw the dog. I hope he knew his way home. He had a collar but no ID.

December 7, 2006

Felt pretty good during my two-hour run

I ran for two hours, averaging about a 12:30 pace, on the Jordan River Parkway, and I felt pretty good. My wakeup HR was 51, and I had a good sleep last night, plus a short nap before I went out running about 1:30 pm. I had breakfast about three hours before I left for my run (four or five hours would be better), and I had an e-Gel packet just before I left my car for the run and another one after an hour at my turn-around point.

The temperature was in the mid 40s (F) during my run, although the temp was lower when I finished because the sun was setting when I drove in my driveway. The sky was relatively free of clouds, and it was a great day to be out.

Food management, what's that?

A few days ago I was thinking about my running and wondering why I've been so tired the past few days. I had taken rest days and had slowed down, and I still felt tired. I'm not sure why I did it, but I added up my caloric intake for that day, and I couldn't believe my eyes: 600-700 for the whole day. After I had double checked my arithmetic to be sure I hadn't missed some food, I thought to myself, "No wonder I'm so tired!" I need about 500 calories per day (average) just to make up the energy spent in running, plus approximately 2000 calories for normal body functions. That is, roughly, 2500 calories per day, and I got only 600-700.

One of the things I've noticed as I get older is that I don't feel hungry very often. I get busy with my projects and forget about eating, and I don't feel hunger-pangs to remind me to go eat a meal. All of a sudden it's bed time, and I haven't eaten much. So, I'll just think food all day long.



For the past few days, since I realized how few calories I'm eating, I've been making a positive effort to eat regular meals, and that paid off in today's run.

December 5, 2006

A tired hour run

I ran my hour today, but I was tired and went slower. I was tired during my sit-ups and knew I would be tired during my run. My wakeup HR was 52. The temperature when I left home was about 40 (F).

Feed the ducks, feed the ducks, di -di -dum -di -di

In Mary Poppins, they fed the birds. Today, I took some bread to the Jordan River Parkway and fed the ducks. I must have had a hundred of them scrambling to get the bread. Some of the ducks have good eyesight and coordination. One duck caught the bread in the air. One piece of bread went into some bushes, and a duck went in after it.

A white duck with light-brown trim

A few weeks ago, I posted that I saw a white duck that didn't seem to be a Mallard. When I saw it, it was several hundred feet away, and I couldn't get a good look at it. At the time, I thought it had a smaller head than the other ducks.

While feeding the ducks, several of the ducks that came for bread were white with light brown trim on their bodies and wings. The rest of the ducks were the typical Mallard color (brown for females and black/green/blue for males). I don't know what kind of ducks the white ones are.

December 4, 2006

A nice, comfortable rest run

My wakeup HR was 51 this morning. Our low last night was 15 (F), but when I left home for my hour run in mid afternoon, the shade temperature was 33 (F). When I returned home, the sun had just dipped behind the mountains, and the temperature was 31 (F).

I started my run with three layers, but I removed my wind breaker after a mile and a half, and I felt comfortable during the run. However, as the sun was starting to dip behind the mountains, I could feel that the temperature was dropping.

Ducks everywhere

There were ducks on the path and in nearby grass and bushes looking for food. Most of them flew away as I approached, but a few stayed on the ground. I see people feeding them, but only a small percentage of the ducks get food that way. I wonder if any of the ducks will perish during the winter due to not enough food.

There is still half an inch of snow on the ground.

December 2, 2006

My wakeup HR is returning to normal

My wakeup HR was 51 this morning, and I feel pretty good! I'm glad to see the HR coming down, because that means my body is overcoming the sleep debt from last Monday night. So, next week will hopefully be a regular training week.

Ran an hour at a comfortable pace

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. The temperature was 19 (F) when I left home and 33 (F) when I returned home. It was a nice run and a nice, sunny day to be outdoors. There is about an inch of snow on the ground, and the Wasatch Mountains are all snow covered and beautiful.

Need to set a new schedule for my training

I decided a couple of weeks ago to focus on half-marathons instead of marathons. Marathons put a lot of stress on ones body, and I don't want to subject my body to that amount of stress. I ran four marathons about 24 years ago and enjoyed them and the training for them. Now that I'm significantly older, I want to run distance without the stress of 26.2, and 13.1 seems about right.

I'm capping my distance at 33 miles per week, so the next phase is speed training. I think I will continue to run LSD during December to strengthen my base, and then I'll begin running fartleks in January. My current thoughts are to run fartleks once a week by reducing my long run from 2 1/2 hours to an hour and running fartleks during that run. I would keep my 1-hour rest runs on Monday and Tuesday and my 2-hour medium run on Wednesday (all LSD). That would give me 25 miles/week with speed training once a week.

I would like to do that during January and February, and then run intervals during March. The intervals would be on Saturday for half an hour. My Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday runs would be the same. April would be a week of LSD (hopefully faster than my current LSD) and then a two-week taper to Saturday, April 21, 2006 and the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. My real goal for the year is the Senior Games in October, and the SLC half would be to check my progress and give me a better idea of the training I need to do before the Games.

December 1, 2006

This week changed from a lower-mileage week to a rest week

In my previous post, I explained that I didn't get a lot of sleep Monday night. On Wednesday, my wakeup HR was 52. On Thursday it was 56, and today it was 54. These changes in HR are normal for me when I don't get enough sleep. I'm hoping that the change from 56 to 54 indicates that my wakeup HR has peaked and is now going down. I've been sleeping well this week, and my wakeup HR should start to come down. If goes down some more tomorrow, I may do a slow half-hour run in the morning.

November 29, 2006

A restful half hour in the snow

I ran for half an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. There was about an inch of "lake-effect" powdery snow on the ground, but I had no problems since loose snow isn't slippery. I thought I might be the first one out this morning, but there were a lot of foot prints and dog prints in the snow indicating quite a few people were out before me. The only person I saw was another runner. Lake-effect snow is from moisture from the Great Salt Lake being condensed into snow due to cold air passing by.

The temperature was 15 (F) when I left home, but the sky was almost clear and sunny. A beautiful, winter day. My wakeup HR was 52, slightly higher because I only got 5 1/2 hours sleep night before last due to working on a problem with my leigh.org domain (I have four web sites sharing that domain, including my running site, and I wanted to get the problem fixed).

November 27, 2006

Going back to four days per week of running

Two weeks ago I added a fifth day of running and have it up to two miles. However, I've been reading http://www.jeffgalloway.org about getting sufficient rest. Jeff suggests that runners over 55 only run every other day. I've done well on four days/week, and I think I will abort the fifth day and only run four days per week. That gives me a 33 mile/week schedule, which is sufficient for half-marathon training, especially at my age.

Rest day today

I was pretty tired on Saturday, so I'm taking a rest day today. I'm hoping to run the remaining four days of the week, but the mileage will be reduced.

Overtraining

I try to listen to my body and adjust my training accordingly, but I missed one message from my body that I was tired from my training and needed to take a break.

The message that I missed was a decreased enthusiasm for training. I was lethargic about non-running tasks that I needed to get done. Being retired, I have a lot of time to do yard work, house repairs, etc., and usually I have a lot of energy and interest in doing those things (once I quit procrastinating and get busy with the tasks, that is). Towards the end of last week I just moped around and didn't get much done. I went out running but didn't have the excitement that I usually have for the running. I recognized that I wasn't getting much done around the house and yard, and I told myself that I needed to buckle down and get busy. Of course, doing that would just make things worse.

Fortunately, I realized on Saturday that my real problem was that I needed a rest from the intensive training I was doing. I was overtraining. So, this week I'm running fewer miles. In the future, I will follow the suggestion from Jeff Galloway and have a "rest week" of reduced mileage once a month.

Here is the link to the page in my running site on Overtraining.

http://www.leigh.org/running/overtraining.html

Here is the link to the page on stress.

http://www.leigh.org/running/stress.html

Here is one of Jeff's articles on rest.

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/resources/rw_archives/mar_2002.html

November 25, 2006

A "just made it" long run

I did my weekly 2 1/2 hour long run this morning. The temperature was 40 when I left home. The headwind I had last week was gone, and it was a nice day to be out. I felt fine during the first half, but my feet were tired during the last half, and I walked the last two miles to avoid any possibility of an injury.

My wakeup HR was 49.

It's not the shoes

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my left foot felt weak -- no pain or soreness, just weak, as in not carrying my full weight. I mentioned then that I was going to wear a new pair of shoes to see if the problem was caused by my shoes which are nearing the end of their useful life. My feet felt fine last week, but on the last half of my run this morning, my left foot felt very weak, and my left leg was a little bit stiff.

I don't think the problem is my shoes. I think my feet are tired from all the miles I've been running the past three months since my half-marathon in August. Having weak feet is "normal" for me. Let me explain.

I was born with a stiff skeleton, actually a malfunctioning skeleton. I started running in the early 70s because I was having a lot of pain in my feet. Knowing I had stiff joints, I went to a bone doctor to see if my skeleton could be causing the pain. He said "no". He said my foot was stiff, the opposite of double joints. He also said my muscles were weak, and that I needed to do what ever I wanted to strengthen them. I had done a lot of walking in my childhood and during college--walking 5-10 miles was no problem at all. But, once I finished college, I had a car and drove most places, and my feet started to hurt due to my not walking as much. My feet didn't hurt during normal activities, just when I was on my feet for a long time, such as doing yard work on a Saturday. I've always enjoyed walking, and after visiting the bone doctor, I decided to run to strengthen my feet.

My running has helped my feet. I don't have the pain very often, but I do have the "weak" feeling in my feet. Also, when I sit down, my feet get stiff, and when I get up, I have to walk around a few minutes before they loosen up. I first felt a few weeks ago that my left foot felt weak. I didn't think much about it, because that is a "normal" feeling for my feet. However, when the weak feeling persisted, I began to worry about it and thought that maybe my shoes were causing it. During my run today, I realized that the problem is just that my feet are tired and need a rest.

Going to take a rest week

Jeff Galloway recommends that runners take a rest week once a month to give their bodies extra rest. I've never done that but have thought about it from time to time. I think now is the time for a rest week, so next week, I'll run reduced mileage and let my body and feet rest.

November 23, 2006

Added another mile to my 5th day

I ran a restful two miles this morning on the Jordan River Parkway. I could tell I was still a bit tired from my two hours yesterday. My wakeup HR was 48 again, and I felt ok. Tomorrow is a rest day, and then my long run on Saturday.

Quite a few runners & walkers out on this Thanksgiving morning

I saw quite a few runners and walkers on the streets and the Jordan River Parkway this morning. I was surprised, because I thought they would be home getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. My wife said maybe they were burning calories so they could eat more....

Not all 50 degrees (F) are the same

The temperature when I left for my run was about 52 (F), and it was 44 (F) when I returned. The sky was cloudy, and it looked like it was storming over Long Peak (elevation about 10,000 feet). I wore my nylon wind breaker during the run, because there was a cold wind (5 mph) blowing. If I ran in the summer when the temperature was 50 (F), I would enjoy the coolness and the relief from the hot summer sun. However, this morning the 50 degrees was cold and I was glad for my second layer to break the wind.

November 22, 2006

Had a great 2-hour run

I ran for two hours on the Jordan River Parkway. I still had to run against a headwind, but it wasn't as strong as it was yesterday and Monday. I slowed down on the way out so I would be running at my comfortable pace, and I ran faster on the way back for the same reason. My pace varied from about 11:30 to 12:30. I had two e-Gel, one at the beginning of the run and one at the turn-around point.

My wakeup HR was 48. The temperature was 57 (F) when I left and about 60 (F) when I returned. The sky was cloudy with just a bit of sun breaking through. A great day for this late in the fall.

My left foot felt fine today

I mentioned a few days ago that on my longer runs, my left foot felt weak -- no pain, no soreness, just weak as in not being able to support my weight. This feeling would come and go during my two longer runs. I said that I would be wearing a new pair of LOCO Mojo shoes this week to see if the problem was due to my other shoes reaching the end of their life and no longer giving adequate support.

My foot felt fine during my run today. So, I'll see how it feels during my 2 1/2 hour run on Saturday.

A different bird was mixed in with the ducks

After I finished my run, I sat in my car for a few minutes looking at my splits via my Garmin 101. The parkway path was about 200 feet in front of me. I saw a bunch of ducks walking around the path looking for food. I saw a white bird mixed in with the ducks. The bird was slightly larger than the ducks, and it had a longer neck and a smaller head. There were dark spots on the wings, and the rest of the duck was white. It might have been a goose, but it's head looked smaller than the goose heads that I've seen in the past. What ever kind of bird it was, it felt at home foraging with the ducks.

A few days ago I saw a hawk flying not quite directly over me. It would flap its wings for a couple of seconds and then glide into the wind for a couple of seconds. It was a beautiful sight.

November 21, 2006

Still having the brisk head wind

I felt pretty good during and after my hour run. I had a brisk headwind that felt a little stronger than yesterday. I slowed down going out and made the run another "litter" run. Going back I ran a bit faster but didn't let my body go as fast as it wanted. I didn't want to impact my medium run tomorrow.

The sky was overcast, but the temperature when I left was 60F, and it was a nice day to be out.

My heart is almost 22 years "younger"

My resting heart rate was 45 this morning. I was hoping it would be 44, but it didn't quite make it. This is just the second time in 22 years that my resting HR has been below 46. When I ran marathons in the early '80s, my resting HR was 44, and then one day it dropped to 40 and stayed there until I stopped marathon training.

November 20, 2006

Had a brisk headwind, and I slowed down

My resting HR was 46, and I felt pretty good before the run but not quite as good during and after the run. I think I was still recovering from my long run on Saturday.

I ran an hour rest run. There was a 10-15 mph headwind, and I slowed down and ran at my comfortable pace. My first mile was 12:10. I decided that with the headwind and resulting slower pace, I would make this a "pick up litter" run, and I got quite a bit of litter that had blown in with the wind.

On the way back, the wind was a tailwind, and I ran faster at my comfortable pace. My last two miles were 11:40 and 11:50.

Running against the wind takes extra energy, and that can tire a person out. I prefer to slow down, such that I use about the same amount of energy, and thus conserve my energy for the latter part of the run when I'm getting tired.

Trying out a new pair of LOCO Mojo shoes

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had a feeling of "weakness" in my left foot. No pain, no soreness, just a feeling of weakness as I run. It usually comes in during my two longer runs. I was thinking about it on Saturday during my long run, and the thought came to me that it might be my shoes. The shoes I'm wearing are the ones I used during the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon in August. They're getting close to 500 miles, and I've been planning on changing them at the end of the year. During most of the miles on those shoes, my left foot felt fine. It's just been the last month or so when I felt the "weakness" feeling.
So, I wore a new pair of shoes this morning. I'll wear them during each run this week and see if they have any effect on my left foot. My foot felt fine this morning.

November 18, 2006

Ran eight miles fine and then got tired

I ran my 2 1/2 hour run today along the Jordan River Parkway. I ran at a comfortable pace, about 11:15 miles on the average. During mile 5 and 6 my body wanted to go faster, but I said "no" and kept a constant pace. During mile 9, I started to get tired, and I naturally slowed down. When my 2 1/2 hours ended, I still had 3/4 mile to go. I stopped running and walked the rest of the way. My goal for the rest of the year is to increase my Thursday run to 5 miles, and then to hold my weekly mileage constant at 38 miles until February or March. I'll keep saying "no" when I have an urge to go faster. The stress from increasing mileage is enough, and I don't want to compound that with additional stress from going faster.

I forgot to measure my wakeup HR this morning (it was 47 yesterday), but I felt pretty good during the morning and during the first 8 miles of the run.

Need better management of my meals

I usually run soon after getting up and before I eat breakfast. However, I didn't run today until noontime, and I didn't eat breakfast because I expected to be leaving soon for the run. The bottom line is that I ran at lunchtime without having eaten breakfast. So, it didn't surprise me that I became tired during the latter part of my run. I ate a banana just before my stretches, and I had two e-Gel, one when I left my car and one at the turn-around, and they probably helped.

November 16, 2006

I added a 5th day

I just finished a one-mile run through my neighborhood. This makes 5 days/week that I'll be running. I will add one mile each week to the 5th day, and by Christmas I should be up to 5 miles which is my goal for this day. That will give me three 5-mile runs, one 10-mile run, and one 13-mile run, for a total of 38 miles/week. I'll keep it at that level until Spring. I'll decide then if I want to increase my long run up to 15 miles (adding 1/2 mile increments), or if I want to start some speed training, beginning with fartleks once a week.

Seven or eight months ago I couldn't run two days in a row. Now I'm running four days in a row and a fifth day after a rest day!

My wakeup HR was 46, and I feel great this morning!

November 15, 2006

A comfortable two-hour run

My wakeup HR was 46 this morning, and I felt fine during my stretches. As I left home to do my run on the Jordan River Parkway, I looked forward to a great run. I wasn't disappointed! I ran at a comfortable pace and felt pretty strong during the run.

My first mile was 11:05, a bit fast for the 10-15 mph headwind that was blowing, so I slowed down for the next few miles. I ran a pace of about 12 minutes for those miles. During my return, I had a tailwind, and I went a little bit faster, probably around 11:30 miles.

There weren't many people on the path. Except for a man feeding the ducks, I didn't see any others during my 5-mile leg out, but I saw a few on my leg back. The temperature was 30 (F) when I got up and 38 (F) when I left home. When I returned, the temperature was in the 40s (F).

Running against a headwind

A lot of people have difficulty running against headwinds. They have problems, because they try to maintain their no-wind pace. To be successful as runners, we must be flexible such that we adjust our training to meet the problems we encounter.

We may leave home not expecting a headwind, but as soon as we discover there is a headwind, we should adjust our training accordingly. Headwinds are like hills. They try to push us backwards. It takes energy to overcome the headwind and make progress in the other direction. Thus, unless we have a lot of energy to spare, we can't expect to run at the no-wind pace. The common-sense thing is to slow down and not waste a lot of energy fighting the wind. During the first half of the run, I did slow down, and I felt comfortable while I ran against the wind. I wasn't frustrated because of the wind. I just accepted it and adjusted my pace accordingly. Similarly, on the way back, the wind was now a tailwind, and I felt comfortable even though I was going about 30 seconds faster.

Feed the ducks, feed the ducks

When I parked and prepared to begin my run, I saw a man sitting on a bench overlooking the Jordan River. There were about 30 ducks on the pathway next to the man. The man was about 100 feet from the start of my run, so I walked up to say "hello". Rather than feeding the ducks bread, as most people do, he was feeding them grain. There were kernels of grain all over the path. He said that many of the ducks inhabit the irrigation canals during the summer and then migrate to the river after the canals dry up for the winter. When I ran the canal roads, I had been wondering where the ducks went for the winter; I assumed they would fly south. Now I know that they fly east a few miles to the Jordan River and mooch off the walkers.

When I passed the bench on my return leg of my run, I looked to see if all the grain had been eaten -- it had. The path was free of grain....and ducks.

November 14, 2006

Another comfortable hour

My wakeup HR was 48 this morning. I waited to run in the afternoon after my grandchildren had left. Also, it was warmer, the mid 40s. I had a great rest run, running around a 11:30 to 12:00 pace. There was a 10-15 mph tail wind on the way out and a head wind on the way back. It was a beautiful afternoon! Sunny with quite a few clouds. The tops of the snow covered Wasatch Mountains were covered with clouds.

The ducks were already congregating for the night

In my run this afternoon, about two hours before dark, when I passed by the quarter-mile stretch that gives me a good view of the river (as reported in yesterday's post about the ducks), I saw about a hundred or so ducks gathering in the river. I haven't seen them on days that I've passed this stretch earlier in the day. The ducks were apparently gathering for the night.

After I got back to my car, I sat there for a few minutes watching a large flock of birds prepare for the night. I don't know what kind of bird they were, but I'm guessing Starlings. There were probably 200 or more birds in a large flock. They would fly through the air, zig zagging around, and then they would all land in the same tree. The tree looked like a Christmas tree with each bird an ornament. Then they would take off and fly around for about a minute and then land in another tree. After landing in five or six trees, they picked a tree that was out of sight, and they disappeared.

November 13, 2006

Ran a comfortable hour

Just as it was getting dark, I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. I didn't run in the morning, as I usually do, because my wife and I took three grandchildren to the South Towne Mall to ride the carousel and the escalator and to have lunch at Wendy's. My pace during the run was a comfortable pace around 12:10. It was dark on the way back, but because the sky was overcast, the clouds reflected light from the city, and I could see the trail as if it were dusk instead of dark.

My wakeup HR was 49, and I felt fine during the day and the run.

I saw a "million" ducks in the river

On the return half of my run tonight, there is a quarter-mile stretch that gives a good view of the Jordan River. Because of light being reflected from the water, I could see the river quite well. I saw many dark objects on the water. The objects were ducks. There must have been two or three hundred of them. They seemed to be swimming against the current just enough to remain stationary relative to the shore. I've seen flocks of birds gather in trees as one large community to spend the night, but this is the first time I've seen large quantities of ducks gather as a community to spend the night. I heard a few quacks here and there, but for the most part, the ducks were quiet.

November 10, 2006

Ran 2 1/2 hours after dark

I found out in mid afternoon that two of our grandchildren would be visiting us this weekend and that I would be their host due to my wife having to be with her 89 year old mother who hurt her back last week. I thus decided to do my long run this evening instead of in the morning. Since the Jordan River Parkway has no street lights, I ran the long street that traverses the Salt Lake valley for about 25 miles. I've mentioned this street in previous posts. It has sidewalks and is well lit and makes a nice night route.

I forgot to measure my wakeup HR today, but I felt ok during the run. I ran a slow, restful pace and enjoyed the run. I had been on my feet most of the day building a concrete foundation for a heavy water fountain that is in our front patio, and I needed a rest run. When we first got the fountain two years ago, we just put it on the dirt in a flower garden, and, as the months went by, the fountain slowly sank into the dirt and finally began to tilt. About three months ago, we moved the fountain onto the brick patio so I could build a foundation for it. With cold weather coming, I decided I'd better get the foundation ready before the snows come.

It was dark when I left. The temperature was 36 when I left and also when I returned. It was a pleasant evening to be out.

I'm impressed with e-Gel

I don't think I had breakfast this morning, I don't remember eating anything, and I know I had no lunch. In mid afternoon, after I learned I would be tending my two grand children tomorrow, I decided to do my long run tonight. To give me some energy, since I hadn't eaten much if anything, I had a Nature Valley energy bar. Later, I had two more bars about an hour before I left for my run. I had an e-Gel pack just before I did my stretches, and I had another e-Gel at my turn-around point.

The bottom line to all of this is that I left for my long run without much energy stored in my body. I was on my feet most of the day building a concrete foundation for our water fountain, mixing and using 560 pounds of ready-mix concrete. I felt reasonably energetic during the run. My legs started getting tired on the way back, but my body energy remained pretty good. I didn't feel the energy that I would need to do a speed run, but I didn't feel the fatigue that I've felt in the past. I think the two e-Gels had a good effect on me. I like the four flavors of e-Gel, and the gel is easy to swallow. The top of the plastic container is easy to tear off. e-Gel is a nice product, and I'm happy to recommend it to my visitors!

November 9, 2006

My wakeup HR was 47 this morning

I slept well last night!

e-Gel Electrolyte Energy Gel

I first became interested in gels when comments were made in running.about.com that marathoners who use gels don't hit the "wall" as much as runners not using gels. After reading those comments, I began reading about energy gels, and I've tried two different gels. I decided to go with e-Gel, because it gives me more salts and better carbs than I get with other gels, and e-Gel also gives me some antioxidants and vitamin B6. In addition, e-Gel is isotonic, meaning it is mixed with just the right amount of water to allow it to be quickly absorbed into ones body. Yesterday, for example, within just a few minutes from taking the e-Gel, I could taste the salt in my sweat. Each pack of e-Gel has 150 calories compared to 100 calories from other gels.

November 8, 2006

It's nice to enjoy a run!

I decided to make this a rest week to help me recover from my 2 1/2 hour speed run on Saturday. I didn't run on Tuesday, and today I only ran for one hour. I didn't run in the morning like I usually do, because I wanted to finish some painting so it could dry during our 70 degree (F) temperature during the day. I finished the run just as the sun was going down. It was a very pleasant and very enjoyable run.

I took an e-Gel pack just before I left, and I felt pretty good during the run.

November 6, 2006

How I tell I've recovered from a stressful run

A normal wakeup heart rate is a good indicator that our body is overcoming the stress and is returning to normal, but it does not indicate that ones body has fully recovered from the stress and is ready for another speed or longer distance workout. At least with me, a high energy level is the best indicator I've found that I'm ready for more distance or speed. I first look for a normal wakeup heart rate, and then I look for a high energy level. By using both indicators, I'm able to listen to my body and respond accordingly. Sometimes, though, and Saturday was an example of this, I have a good energy level, and even though my wakeup HR is slightly high, I'll still do a stressful workout.

Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems

My wakeup HR was 48, indicating my sympathetic nervous system has done it's job in helping me respond to Saturday's speed run and is now slowing down. My parasympathetic nervous system has become dominate and is causing my body functions to return to normal. I could tell, though, that I was still tired. I had no desire to go faster. Tomorrow will be another hour rest run.

When we apply stress to our bodies, our sympathetic nervous system responds and elevates our breathing rate to give more oxygen to our bodies. Our heart rate increases to give more blood. If needed, our sweat glands are activated to cool us off. Our adrenal glands are activated to produce certain hormones to help our bodies handle the stress of running. After we stop running, our sympathetic nervous system slows down, and our parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominate and causes our bodies to recover by returning to normal conditions. Thus, in order to properly manage our running, we need to know the symptoms that tell us we are under stress and the symptoms that tell us when we have recovered from stress.

A much needed and enjoyed rest run

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. My first mile was 11:40, and the other miles ranged close to that. I picked up some litter and enjoyed being outside. I enjoyed being able to run a relatively slow, restful pace.

November 4, 2006

A great tempo run for 13 miles

Even though my wakeup HR was 51, I had a great run this morning. I ran 13.1 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. Here are my splits. I took 30-60 second walking breaks at the beginning of each mile, starting with mile 2.

Mile 1 10:56
Mile 2 10:28
Mile 3 11:47 (walked up the big hill. This mile thus had two walking breaks, the one at the beginning and the big hill)
Mile 4 10:23 (this mile had no walking breaks since the big hill in mile 3 replaced the break at the beginning of mile 4)
Mile 5 10:50
Mile 6 11:03
Mile 7 11:38 (stopped to take another Gel pack and drink water)
Mile 8 10:29
Mile 9 10:36
Mile 10 11:13 (walked up the big hill. This walk replaced the one at the beginning)
Mile 11 10:58
Mile 12 10:44
Mile 13 10:27 (total time for the 13 was 2:21:36 for a new training PB)

Finished at 13.1 miles for a total time of 2:22:50

My time at the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon was 2:21:16, so I came within 95 seconds of beating that time!

From the viewpoint of consistency, those are good splits. Even though my Garmin 101 GPS has a training partner that would help me run at a particular pace, I'm not using that feature of the watch. I prefer to run by feel and thus learn to control my pace by how I feel.

It was a great run, and I felt good during the run and now afterwards. The sky was cloudy, and there was a drizzle for the first third of the run. The temperature was in the mid 40s (F).

Ducks, ducks, my kingdom for a duck

I saw a lot of ducks on the path looking for handouts of food. There were about 30 ducks following a woman and her young daughter up the path.

My first experience with gels

This run was my first experience with gels. I've been hearing on running.about.com that gels are helping runners avoid hitting the "wall", and I thought I'd try them. I took one yesterday to see how my stomach reacted -- no problem. So, I took one just before I left for the 10 minute drive to the Jordan River Parkway, and I took another one after 1 hour 6 minutes into the run. I don't know if the two gel packs helped me with my great run today, but I'll continue using them for a while to see how things turn out. Whatever the reason was, I had a wonderful run today!

November 3, 2006

No marathons for me -- something better!

I ran four marathons in 1981 and 1982, and I've had a desire to get back into marathoning. However, the marathon distance puts an awfully lot of stress on ones body, and I've decided I don't need that stress. Instead, I'm going to focus on the half-marathon, a distance I've been running weekly for about six months. My goal is to set a new course record for the half-marathon at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah.

The current course record for Men 70-74 is 2:04:17.8 set in 2005. My PB for the half-marathon is 2:21:16 set in August at the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon. I believe I can break 2 hours in the next year or two. To do that, I'll need an average pace of 9:10 My average pace for the GSL was 10:47, so I have a big challenge ahead of me.

My strategy for training is the following.

1. Reach the half-marathon distance. This is important, because in May 2004 I was in a serious auto accident and was in the ICU for four weeks. I was in an induced coma for most of that time. My first run after the accident was 1/8 mile. I accomplished this step when I ran the GSL in August.

2. Extend my running from 3 days/week to 5 days/week. I'm half way there. About a month before the GSL, I added a fourth day and brought it up to 2 miles. After the GSL I brought that rest run up to 5 miles. Within the next month I'll add my 5th day and should have it close to 5 miles by the end of the year.

3. Extend my long run from 13 miles to 15 miles to give me a slight buffer for the half-marathon distance.

4. Begin speed training, starting with fartleks once a week and then later doing intervals once a week or maybe once every two weeks. Prior to the fartleks, I'll continue to just run faster as I've been doing before and after the GSL.

5. In October 2007 make my first trek to St. George for the Senior Games. It's about a seven hour drive.

One good thing I have going for me is the difference in altitude between the Salt Lake valley and St. George. St. George is at an elevation of 2800 feet, while my home is 4700 feet and the Jordan River Parkway where I run is 4300 feet. That elevation change will make a big difference to an old geezer like me.

For those interested, the web site for the Senior Games is

http://www.hwsg.com/

November 1, 2006

A good two-hour medium run

I ran the Jordan River Parkway for two hours. Here are my splits.

Mile 1 11:48
Mile 2 11:32
Mile 3 12:48 (walked up the big hill into the residential area)
Mile 4 11:18
Mile 5 11:48
Mile 6 12:11
Mile 7 12:38
Mile 8 12:38
Mile 9 13:13
Mile 10 12:50

You can see where I began getting tired. Also, during the last four miles, I took longer walking breaks. I could tell when I did my stretches this morning that I was a bit tired. I tried to start at a slower pace, but considering my condition when I did my stretches, I should have gone even slower. I'm getting to the point where anything slower than a 12:00 pace seems almost like I'm walking. This is a good sign, because it shows my body is getting used to a faster pace than I've done during the past year. Also, I only had about 6 hours sleep last night due to putting two new disks (Raid 1) in my Macintosh that I use for video work, and that may have influenced the run.

A beautiful day for running

It was a beautiful day for running. The temperature was 54 (F) when I left home, and it was nice to be out. Sunny sky with few clouds. Geese flying over and honking. Lots of ducks in the river. I didn't see them today, but on Monday I saw a quail.

October 31, 2006

A restful run this morning

My wakeup HR was 49, but I didn't feel energetic. I ran my first mile at 11:35, about normal for me. I could tell I was tired, so I decided to make this run a "litter run". There was a lot of litter along the Parkway path, mostly blown in by the wind, and I picked up most of it. This was in the picnic areas south of 106th South street, and there were frequent trash bins along the path. I ended up running and walk/jogging about 4 miles instead of my usual 5 miles in my hour run.

The temperature was in the high 40s (F), and it was another beautiful, sunny day.

Hungry ducks

When I returned to the area where my car was parked, I saw a bunch of ducks on the trail looking for food. They didn't fly away when I walked among them, so I guess they've gotten used to people giving them food. One day, quite a few weeks ago, I saw a man walking along the path with a bag of bagels. He was breaking off pieces and throwing them on the trail for the animals to eat. On another occasion, I saw a lady feeding bread to the ducks. She would throw the bread on the ground next to the river. There must have been 30 or 40 ducks there eating the bread.

October 30, 2006

Ran a bit faster today

I ran an hour at what I thought was a restful pace, but my splits were faster than I had expected. My first mile is usually 11:30 - 11:45. Maybe I'm getting stronger and can handle the 5 mile distance better than I have in the past.

1st mile 11:18
2nd mile 11:10
3rd mile 11:15
4th mile 11:41
5th mile 11:31

My wakeup HR was 51, and I felt pretty good during my stretches before I left home. The temperature was in the high 30s (F) when I began the run. I ran in shorts and a T-shirt, and after the first mile, I was starting to sweat and felt fine.

Took grandkids to Salt Lake for McDonalds

After I finished the run, we packed up three grandchildren and took the TRAX light-rail train into Salt Lake City and had lunch at McDonalds at the Macys Food Court and then came home. The kids enjoyed the train and the visit to McDonalds.

October 29, 2006

My right quad was a little sore

I finished my run yesterday at 10:30 am, and I felt fine. During the day I was busy doing some things in my yard that kept me on my feet, and I felt fine. Then, I spent a couple of hours on my computer, and I noticed when I rose from my chair that my right quad was a little sore. My computer chair is too low, and that causes my quads to be stretched while I'm sitting down. I thought that stretching might have caused the soreness. Or, maybe it was a delayed effect from my run, although I ran a comfortable pace and didn't push myself in either distance or speed. When I awoke this morning, after a good 7 hours sleep, my quad was still sore and remained so during the morning and early afternoon. I returned home from church about 2:30 pm and prepared to take a nap. I did my groin, knee, and quad stretches and then slept for two hours. When I awoke, the soreness was gone, and I've felt fine during the evening. I'll probably never know for sure what caused the soreness, but it apparently wasn't serious.

Older people like me need more time to recover from stress, and we can't afford to over-stress our bodies.

October 28, 2006

A great way to start the day: a 2 1/2 hour run

My wakeup HR was 49, and I felt pretty good. I was on the Jordan River Parkway by 8 am, just as the sun peaked over the Wasatch mountains. While I was running, I saw several young runners with numbers standing near several adults. I stopped to ask what race was being held. It was a 5K fund raiser. The kids looked like Jr. High age.

When I left home, the temperature was 34 (F), but it warmed up as soon as the sun came up, and after I'd run a mile I was plenty warm. My pace for the run was between 11:30 and 12:00, with most of the miles about 11:45. It was nice to be out.

October 26, 2006

Enough rest; back to running

As noted in my previous post, my wakeup HR on Monday was 55, due, I think, to my running fast in the previous two weeks. On Tuesday it was down to 53. I didn't measure it on Wednesday. Today, it was 49, so I went out running. I ran a comfortable pace for an hour. My splits were

Mile 1 11:35
Mile 2 11:38
Mile 3 12:05
Mile 4 11:54
Mile 5 11:51

At the beginning of mile 2, and the beginning of each mile, thereafter, I took a short walking break of 30-60 seconds to drink water. A pace from 11:30 to 12:00 is a nice, restful pace for me. My goal for today's run was to run an hour at a comfortable pace and sorta ease back into running. On Saturday I'm hoping I'll be able to run 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours at the same pace as today.

During my run, the temperature was in the high 40s, and it was nice to be out. We had snow flurries last night, and the temperature was 33 (F) when I got up. I didn't go out running until about 1 pm.

October 23, 2006

Rest is the key to recovery

My wakeup HR was 55 today. That is not quite a 20% increase. As a result, I'm taking a rest day today. I've been sleeping well, so sleep isn't the problem. I think the increase is from my running extra fast last week and the week before. Last week when I sensed I was tired, I reduced my speed but kept my medium and long runs at my normal duration for those runs; I should have reduced the duration as well as the speed. Hopefully, I'll sleep well tonight, and I'll see what my HR is like in the morning.

October 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Since I only get to be 71 once, I thought I'd post that today is my birthday. I've had a nice day with family members, cousins, in-laws, etc. Love is truly the thing that makes the world go around!

One year ago I struggled to do 10 miles. I later worked up to 15 miles and realized I wasn't ready for that. So, I cut back to 13 for my long run and 10 miles for my medium run. I've been running 13 for about four months. I have two 5 mile rest runs and will be adding a third rest run before the end of the year. I ran the Great Salt Lake half marathon in August. Yes, this has been a great year!

October 21, 2006

Better than on Wednesday

I ran my 2 1/2 hour long run this afternoon. I felt fine during the first 8 miles (not energetic but fine), keeping a comfortable pace in the high 11 minutes. I could tell I was getting tired, so I slowed down for the rest of the run. When my 2 1/2 hours ran out, I stopped running and walked to my car (about 3/4 mile). My wakeup HR was 48 (same as yesterday). It was a nice, sunny day in the mid 50s (F).

Training Graphs

Wasatch Range has snow

Mt. Timpanogos, Lone Peak, and Twin Peaks have snow. Timpanogos at 11,500 feet is the highest peak in the Wasatch Range bordering Salt Lake and Utah counties on the east. During the last couple of miles before I turned around, I had a good view of the mountains. The top of Timp was in a whiteout (cloud). When Judy and I first moved to Utah 13 years ago, we made a hike to the top of Timp, and I flew my kite off the peak. Lots of wind that day. That kite is the same one I tried to fly from the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in New England and it gets the brunt of the North Eastern winds that bring in lots of snow. The USA record for wind was set on Mt. Washington, something like 200 miles per hour. On the day I tried to fly the kite (a hike with my Scouts), there was a breeze that allowed the kit to get up about 20 feet but not enough to keep it up. I tried several times, and the kite kept crashing to the ground.

October 19, 2006

Enjoying my two days of rest

My resting HR was 49 this morning. That increase shows that I am over stressed a bit. I've only gotten 6 1/2 hours sleep each night the last couple of days. Difficulty in sleeping is a sign of over training, and the resulting sleep deprivation contributes to the problem. Also, I missed my afternoon half-hour nap the past two days (schedule problems), and that adds to the problem of insufficient sleep. I did sleep well last night and hope to get my nap this afternoon.

I'm really glad that today and tomorrow are rest days. I feel fatigued and need the rest. I think I may have to put the brakes on my body and not run quite so fast when I feel good. I'm hoping to start running on Thursdays, and that means I'll have one less day of rest during the week and will need to temper my speed a bit.

October 18, 2006

My body spoke to me, and it said, "I need rest"

My wakeup HR was 47 again, but my body was tired, and I ran my two-hour run as a slow, rest run. My last four or five runs have been very good and faster than my usual pace, and it was time to give my body a rest. I didn't sweat much, and the 16 oz of water that I carried was about right.

October 17, 2006

An unbelievable 1-hour run

Boy, I had a great run today! I felt good and went faster during the first mile than I usually do, and I continued a fast pace for the whole run. Prior to the GSL half-marathon in August, I would run 5 miles in the hour. Yesterday, I ran for an hour and went about 1/3 mile past the 5 miles. Today I went about 1/2 mile past the 5 miles. I keep mentioning that I let my body set the pace, and you're probably getting tired of hearing me say that. But, I'll say it again, because it is such an important aspect of running injury-free: I let my body set the pace today. I have to keep in mind, however, that even though I may have a high energy level that allows me to run a faster pace, I can still have a muscle injury if my muscles aren't strong. Hence, the importance of doing stretching exercises to (a) loosen my muscles, and (b) strengthen my muscles. And, the importance of getting rest after each heavy run.

Here are my splits from today (no water stops or walking breaks, as usual during my hour runs).

Mile 1 11:05
Mile 2 10:49 Included a brief stop to take off my wind breaker
Mile 3 10:28
Mile 4 10:33
Mile 5 10:00

As I ran today, I felt like I was running about the same pace that I did for my 13-mile run on Saturday. If so, I not only set a new PB for my 13-mile training run, but I might have broken my time for the half-marathon that I set in August. My average pace for the half-marathon was 10:48. Unfortunately, my stop watch quit working on Saturday after a couple of miles, so I don't have a time for that run and am not counting it as a PB. But, there are more Saturday runs to come....

Today was a significant improvement over yesterday's results. The fact that I ran an hour yesterday and an hour today is significant, because a few months ago I couldn't run two consecutive days. I'm obviously heading into a peak in my running, and it will be interesting to see how long the peak lasts before I go into a slump.

My wakeup HR was 47 this morning. The sky was cloudy during my run with a slight drizzle coming down. The temperature was in the mid 40s.

October 16, 2006

I'm mixing speed and distance, but...

I'm a firm believer in not mixing speed and distance in my training. Both put stress on ones body, and I think it is wise to subject our bodies to stress from only one source at a time. So, I usually do LSD for my distance running, or do fartleks and intervals for my speed training, but not both in the same runs.

However, as you're aware if you've been following my blog, I've been increasing the distance of my Tuesday rest run and also letting my body go as fast as it wants to go. This means that I'm mixing distance and speed together. I'm doing this because I've been making small increases in my distance: approximately 1 mile per week added to my Tuesday rest run. One mile increase in 30 miles run per week is ~3% increase per week. I figure that is a small increase and that my body can handle the stress from that as well as the stress from running faster. Also, I'm letting my body decide about running faster, so when it wants to run faster, that is ok because it is doing well in handling the stress from the small increase in distance and the stress from running faster. The way a person gets into trouble by mixing speed and distance is when the person's brain, not the person's body, decides to run faster even though the body may not be doing well in handling the stress from the faster runs.

Tomorrow will be my last Tuesday to add distance. I'll add 10 minutes, and that will give me another hour rest run. Then, I'll start a new rest run on Thursday, starting with 10 minutes, and I will add 10 minutes per week. So, by mid December my Thursday rest run will be up to an hour, and I'll cap it at that amount of time. That will give me approximately 38 miles per week. I won't start increasing my long run from 13 to 14 and then to 15 miles until February.

A good start to a new week

My wakeup HR was 45 again. I felt pretty good during my stretches, but when I began my hour rest run, I felt tired. As usual, I let my body set the pace. Again, as usual, after 3 miles, my body picked up speed, and I felt pretty good during the last two miles.

I used my GPS this morning, and here are my mile splits.

Mile 1 11:43 (about normal for my first mile)
Mile 2 11:12 Still tired but my body is warming up
Mile 3 11:36 Still tired, trying not to speed up much
Mile 4 11:08 Feeling better as my body kicks into gear
Mile 5 11:00 Feeling pretty good

My average pace for the 5 miles was 11:19. Six months ago, my average would have been over 12 minutes.

The temperature during the run was about 50 (F), and the sky was cloudy due to a storm front moving through (rained last night). Not much wind, and it was a nice run!

October 15, 2006

45, Wow!

When I checked my wakeup HR this morning, it was 45! When I ran marathons in the early 80s, my wakeup HR was 44. Then, one day it dropped to 40 and stayed there until I quit running marathons. During the past several years, my lowest wakeup HR was 46, so this 45 is a new PB for recent years.

I told a colleague at work one day that my wakeup HR was 44. He said that was so slow that I could go out for a hamburger between beats. I'm curious to see how much lower my wakeup HR will go as my body becomes stronger. Maybe I'll be able to go out for two hamburgers :)

October 14, 2006

It's been a great year!

Next week is my 71st birthday, and I've been reviewing the past year per my blog entries. The past 12 months have been great, and I'm grateful to the Lord for his blessings to me and my family.

One year ago, I did 10 miles for the first time. I felt ok, but my legs were stiff and I felt tired. During the next month, November, 2005, I worked up to 12.8 miles, but I was tired and my legs were quite stiff. I decided to drop back to 10, but before I could do that I had emergency surgery to have my gall bladder removed. December, 2005 was a recovery month from the surgery. After the surgery, I dropped back to 8 miles, and by the end of the month I had worked up to 10 miles.

January, 2006 started well with me doing 10 miles. Then, I caught a bad cold or the flu (not sure which), and that set me back. I ended the month doing 4 miles and working up to 6 miles. February was an eventful month. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend at running.about.com named Randy, I changed my training schedule to have more variety: I now have shorter rest runs, longer medium runs, and even longer long runs. I ended the month with my long run being 10 miles. March was a good growth month, and I ended the month with a long run of 11 miles and a medium run of 9 miles. My speed increased to a pace of 12+ minutes.

April was a continuation of the growth. By months end, my long run was 14 miles, and my medium run was 10 miles. My rest run was 4 miles. May was a continuation of the growth, and my long run reached 15 miles. I also started exploring another canal road. During June, I recognized my body wasn't ready for 15 miles, and I dropped my long run back to 13 miles. I planned to run a half-marathon in August, and I set my long run to be that distance. Earlier in the spring, I had set a goal to run the Boston Marathon in 2010, and during June I changed that goal to be 2011 to take advantage of the lower qualification time due to my being 75 during that year. Also, I switched from the canal road to the Jordan River Parkway for my runs.

July was a training month for the half-marathon. I focused on running faster, I didn't do fartleks or intervals, just a faster pace for my runs. I brought the time for my 13-mile run down from about 3 hours to 2 hours 41 minutes.

August was a taper to the race on August 19. I finished the half marathon in 2:21:16, an unbelievable time for me. That was 20 minutes faster than my best training run. The rest of the month was a recovery from the race and a recovery from a cold. Also, during August (after the race) I switched from mile base runs to time based runs.

September and October have been good months. Before I ran the half marathon, I had added a fourth day on Tuesday and had leveled that day off at 2 miles. During September and October, I brought that day up in miles, and next week it will be 5 miles, and I'll cap it at that distance (same as my Monday run). September and October have been months in which I have increased my speed. I didn't intentionally run faster; I just let my body dictate how fast I went. Next week I'll use my GPS to get a good measurement of my speed.

Yes, the past year has been a good one!

October 13, 2006

Just like cruising a highway in a new car

I usually do my long run on Saturdays, but due to a hectic schedule tomorrow, I did the run today. I started the run about 5:30 pm and ran for 2 1/2 hours. The last three miles were in the dark. I brought a small LED flashlight with me, but I didn't need to use it. I could faintly see the edges of the path, and I knew the path was smooth. I ran blind, so to speak, but had no problem staying on the path.

My wakeup HR was 48, and I felt great. I let my body go, and it took me at a pretty good clip. I think I would have set a new PB for my 13-mile training run, but I discovered at mile 5 that my stop watch had stopped a couple of miles back. I haven't been using my GPS since I switched to time-based runs, but I may go back to it to have a reliable timer. During the run, I felt like I was in a new car cruising down a highway. It felt natural and satisfying to run mile after mile at a faster pace than I ran just a few months ago.

The temperature when I left home was 62 (F), and it was in the high 40s when I returned. As soon as the sun dipped behind the Oquirrh Mountains, I could feel the air hitting my face begin to drop in temperature. I didn't have a problem with the temperature, though, because I was sweating profusely. However, I cooled off during the short drive home, and when I got out of the car, I was cold. I ate two pieces of hot toast and headed for a hot shower.

My knees feel great

My wakeup HR has been 48 for the past two days, and my knees feel great! My concern on Wednesday about my left knee was unfounded.

October 11, 2006

It's a wonderful day when you're running

My wakeup HR was 48 again. I felt good and enjoyed my two-hour run along the Jordan River Parkway, approximately a 10-mile run. I was only 112 seconds slower on the return than I was going out. That is pretty good consistency in pace for 10 miles (about 22 seconds per mile slower on the return half). The temperature was in the high 40s (F) when I left and in the mid 50s (F) when I returned.

During my first mile, I felt a strange feeling in my left knee. It wasn't a pain, just a low-level "feeling" that I can't describe. Not a scraping or a soreness, just a "feeling". It only lasted for a few seconds and then went away, but it came and went a few times during the first mile. I hadn't done my knee stretches before the run, so at the end of the mile, I sat on a grassy hill and did the exercises. I did have the "feeling" a few times during the next three miles, but only when I first started running after a walking break. I didn't feel it anymore after about four miles. I think the knee was reacting to the stress from yesterday's faster run. If it doesn't come back, I'll be in good shape.

I only carried 12 oz of water with me and drank a swallow or two during each walking break. However, when I returned my urine was darker than normal, so I do need more water for today's weather condition.

One of those runs you dream about

I had a great 50 minute rest run this morning. I felt energetic during my stretches and during the run. In fact, I did a negative split. It was a beautiful day in the 60s (F), and I enjoyed being out. I ran the canal road for the first time in several months and explored a new road that borders some new housing. I saw lots of ducks in the canal but no geese flying by. My wakeup HR was 48.

October 9, 2006

A restful litter-run

My wakeup HR was 47, and I felt great during my stretches. I ran for an hour along the parkway and enjoyed the run. The shade temperature was 62 (F) when I left home. I enjoyed the run and ran comfortable 11:30 - 11:45 miles. Since this was a rest run, I stopped to pick up several pieces of litter on the way out and again on the way back.

Grandma & kids fed the ducks

Shortly after I started, I saw a grandmother and her grand daughter feeding bread to ducks. There must have been 30 or more ducks that were climbing out of the Jordan River and walking up the bank to get the bread. I stopped to watch them for a minute.

Helped a Cub Scout Leader

Just before I turned around, a man walking the parkway stopped me to ask directions. He is a Cub Scout leader and is planning to take his 5 10-year old scouts on a 3 mile hike this afternoon. He was walking the parkway to get a "feel" for the path. I suggested a couple of routes that would give him a 3-mile round trip.

October 7, 2006

An OK long run

My wakeup HR was 46, and I felt pretty good when I stretched and started my run. The shade temperature was 50 (F). My first mile was a comfortable 12:30 pace. I expected my body to pick up the pace as it warmed up, but it never did. I ran my 2 1/2 hours at approximately a 12:30 pace, although the return was slightly slower; I still had half a mile when my 2 1/2 hours expired, and I walked that half mile back to my car.

It was sprinkling when I left, but half an hour later the rain had stopped. The sky was overcast, and it was nice to run with no direct sun. I did sweat a lot, though, and my hat was pretty wet. Not many people were on the parkway. I only saw one other runner, 4 or 5 walkers, and one cyclist.

The most significant aspect of training

While I was running, I was thinking about training and about what single factor would be the most important to a person training to run. I came up with sufficient sleep at night being my most important task. If I don't get enough sleep, my energy level plummets. I expect that younger people might not be affected so much by lack of sleep, but I'm really affected that way. Also important to my training is listening to my body and adjusting my training accordingly.

October 5, 2006

The stock market may be up, but my wakeup HR is down

Today is a rest day, but I measured my wakeup HR to see what it is doing. It was down to 46. I had a great sleep last night and felt energetic this morning.

October 4, 2006

My body needed a 3-mile warmup, but then...

I ran my two-hour medium run this morning. During the first 3 miles, I didn't feel very energetic, and I ran about 12:30 miles. By the time I reached mile 4, I was running a faster pace, and I maintained that pace for the rest of the run -- my body actually increased the pace during the last mile. The total run was about 9.5 miles, and my return was about 45 seconds faster than my going out, giving me a slight negative split. As with past runs, I didn't try to run faster; I just let my body find its own pace.

The temperature was in the mid 50s (F), and the sky was overcast with bits of sun here and there. Just as I opened my car door to return home, it started to sprinkle. We had a nice rain last night and should have more for the next two days. There was a 5-10 mph head wind going out and corresponding tail wind coming back. That tail wind really felt good on my back and neck, and I appreciated the slight push it provided.

My wakeup HR was 50.

October 3, 2006

Increased my Tuesday rest run

I added 12 minutes (about a mile) to my Tuesday rest run and ran 42 minutes. I was out early and was just finishing the run when the sun peeked over the Wasatch mountains. The temperature was 42 (F) when I left. I will continue to add to the run during the next two weeks and will level it off at an hour. Then I will add a fifth day on Thursday and will take it up to an hour. After my body has recovered from all of this, I'll move my Saturday run up to 3 hours (about 15 miles). That will give me 40 mile weeks and will be a good way to end the year. My wake up HR was 48

Beautiful geese did a fly-over

My wake up HR was 48, and I felt great! Two flocks of geese flew over while I was running. The first flock was about 100 feet (about 30 meters) in the air, and the second was about 25 feet (7 or 8 meters) above me. They were honking like mad, and it was a nice experience to have during my run.

October 2, 2006

Rest, Si! Trash, No!

I ran my hour rest run this morning on the Jordan River Parkway. I took it pretty easy and picked up a lot of trash along the way. South of 106th in South Jordan, there are a number of picnic areas along the parkway. Most of the trash I pick up is in those areas. I find very little trash on the Parkway away from the picnic areas. It seems that it's not the runners that drop trash but the families that picnic. Either that or the runners get rid of their trash soon after they enter the Parkway.

The sky was overcast because we're expecting rain for the next couple of days. The temperature was in the high 60s (F), and it was a great day to be out. My wakeup HR this morning and yesterday morning was 50.

Flocks of Geese flew over

Several flocks of geese flew over me honking and honking. They are beautiful to watch. If I can remember, I'll bring my digital voice recorder with me and record their honking with the patter of my feet hitting the ground and me breathing, and submit the file to NPR for their SoundClips (All Things Considered).

September 30, 2006

A good long-run

I ran for 2 1/2 hours on the Jordan River Parkway. My first mile was about 11:30, a pace close to my normal pace when I have a high energy level. I didn't know if I would be able to keep that pace for the rest of the run, so I slowed down and maintained a pace of about 12 minutes for the remainder the run. I did, though, speed up during the last half-mile when I realized I might set a new PB for the 13-mile training run. With about a quarter mile left, I realized I would come in at 2:35 not the 2:33 I needed for a new PB, and since I was past my 2 1/2 hour time, I stopped and walked to my car. There was a 5-10 mph headwind going out and a corresponding tail wind coming back.

A 2:35 is a good time, considering that I took 12 walking breaks of 30-60 seconds each and walked both ends of the big hill that contains the detour into the residential section; I also walked up the big hill that contains my turn-around point. I like the Jordan River Parkway, because it contains the two big hills and several small hills. When I ran in Massachusetts, I got so used to hills that I didn't even think about them being hills; they were just my normal routes.

It was a beautiful fall day. My wakeup HR was 51, and I felt fine -- not energetic but still fine. I was on the trail before sunrise and felt slightly cold. Once the sun came up, I felt fine and did my normal sweating. I drank 20 oz of Gatorade and 12 oz of water. The shade temperature was in the 50s (F) when I returned.

I've been sleeping well the past few days, and if I sleep well over the weekend, my wakeup HR should begin dropping on Monday or Tuesday.

September 28, 2006

1 = 2, right?

My wakeup HR was 48, and I felt pretty good. I left for my two-hour run, but after a mile I could tell I was tired and I slowed down. That didn't help, and after 2 miles I was still tired. I turned around after half an hour and aborted the run, giving me an hour run instead of the two hours I had planned. I could have forced myself to finish the two-hours, but that would have made me tired for my long run on Saturday. I think I was tired this morning because of not sleeping well Monday and Tuesday nights. I did sleep well last night.

September 26, 2006

When your body needs a rest, give it one

I ran my scheduled half an hour this morning. I took it easy because my body was tired. Just poked along about a minute a mile slower than my long run on Saturday. Starting with next week, I hope to extend this half an hour run to an hour run, adding about 10 minutes each week.

My wakeup HR was 49 this morning due to getting good sleep the past week. I didn't sleep as well last night, woke up thinking about things to do, and it took me an hour+ to get back to sleep. Because of this, my HR should go up a bit in the next couple of days.

September 25, 2006

Rest runs are great!

My wakeup HR was 49, and I felt pretty good. I ran for an hour and enjoyed the run. Since it was a rest run, I was in no hurry to finish, and I just enjoyed myself, the beautiful 50s (F) day, and a few ducks in the river. I picked up trash along the parkway and just enjoyed myself.

September 23, 2006

A great 2 1/2 hour long run

I ran my 13-mile route on the Jordan River Parkway this morning, and I finished in 2 hours 34 minutes, a new PB for a 13-mile training run. When I crossed the 12-mile mark, I was at the exact time (2:21) that I finished the GSL Half Marathon. I kept a pretty constant and relatively fast pace for 11 miles, and then I slowed down a bit for the last 2 miles. I didn't force that fast pace; I just let my body dictate how fast it wanted to go, and I focused on keeping a constant pace. I slowed down during the last 2 miles, because my left ankle started feeling a bit weak; no pain or soreness, just weak as if it couldn't support my body weight. I didn't want to risk an injury and slowed down by 1-2 minutes/mile. I've had that feeling before in my ankles. It doesn't seem to be a serious problem; just a sign from my body that my ankle has reached its limit.

My wakeup HR was 51, and the temperature was 44 (F) when I left home. A sunny, bright, cheerful day, a great day for running and for being outdoors. Except for missing my half hour Tuesday run, I'm back to my pre-GSL mileage.

The end of an Era -- No more Etonic shoes

Today was the end of an era for me. I've used Etonic running shoes for almost all of my running career, beginning in 1976 when I moved from Phoenix to Massachusetts. Back then Etonic was a strong name in running shoes. About 8 or 9 months ago I decided to try new shoes to take advantage of advancements in shoe design and newer materials. The Stabilizer Pro shoes I was using are an old design, at least 15-years old.

I tried LOCO shoes (http://www.locorunning.com/) and liked them and have been using them for the past few months. However, I did have one pair of Etonic Stabilizer Pro shoes left, and I wore them during the late spring and early summer.

About 100 miles before the GSL, I switched to a new pair of LOCO Perfecto shoes and wore them in the GSL. I used my old Etonic shoes as my everyday shoes. After the GSL, I went back to my old Perfecto shoes. I decided this morning that it was time to switch back to the new Perfecto shoes and to use the old ones for my everyday shoes. So, I took my old Etonic shoes to the trash bin with gratitude in my heart for about 30 years of good service by the Etonic company.

I read recently that Etonic is coming back into the running-shoe business, and I hope they do well. I like my LOCO shoes and will stick with them.

September 22, 2006

Things are looking good for tomorrow's long run

My wakeup HR was 49, and I had 7 1/2 hours of good sleep. The 1-beat difference between yesterday's 48 and today's 49 in my wakeup HR is negligible. I figure the tolerance in measuring my HR is +- 1 beat.

September 21, 2006

My wakeup HR is coming down

Today and tomorrow are rest days, but I checked my wakeup HR this morning to see how my body is recovering from the sleep deprivation. It was down to 49 this morning. I've slept well the last two days, and that is a good sign.

September 20, 2006

A great but slower two-hour medium run

My wakeup HR was 52, and I could tell my body was still tired from the sleep deprivation yesterday. I slept well last night, but my body usually needs several days to recover from a lack of sleep.

I ran my two-hour medium run along the Jordan River Parkway at a slower pace than I used last Saturday. This illustrates the wisdom in running LSD with a time base instead of a distance base. If I had run a particular distance this morning, I would have (a) pushed myself to complete the distance, thus going beyond the capabilities

Not many on the Parkway

I only saw two other people on the Parkway. The first person was a woman walking her dog. The second person was a runner. I guess the many people I usually see are fair-weather runners :) I wore my nylon shell for the first couple of miles while I warmed up, and then I tied it around my waist and just ran in my normal T-shirt and shorts.

September 19, 2006

An unexpected rest day today

About 4 am my telephone rang. By the time I answered it, the person/computer had hung up. My son also awoke, and he said his caller ID didn't show anything except that the caller was out of state. I didn't go back to sleep for quite a while and ended up getting 5 hours sleep plus a half hour nap in the afternoon. As a result, I took the day off from running to give my body time to recover from the sleep deprivation.

September 18, 2006

A negative split great rest run

My wakeup HR was 46 and I felt good. The temperature was in the low 50s (F) when I left, and it was a beautiful day for running. I ran my hour rest run and enjoyed it. The return half was about 2 1/2 minutes faster than the first half, and I ran an additional ~1/5 mile to finish the time. I felt strong during the run. I ate a banana just before I left, and that might have helped a bit.

Walking breaks

My plan for walking breaks is to not take breaks during my rest runs but to take them during my medium and long runs. In a few months after I've stopped adding time to my runs and have gotten used to the longer distances, I'll slowly phase out the walking breaks from my medium and later my long runs. I ran the hour this morning non-stop with no walking breaks and no liquid intake. The beautiful fall weather we're having helps in reducing my need for extra liquid (I always drink water when I get up and again just before I leave).

September 16, 2006

A great two-hour medium run

Based on my run this morning, I would say that I'm out of my slump! My wakeup HR was 50 and I felt great. I breezed through my 30 situps so I knew my body was ready for a good run. At the half-hour point, I felt strong, so I went for another half-hour and then turned around. When I turned, I could tell that I had a touch of tiredness and that I should head back. I slowed my pace a bit on the way back, but I felt fine.

I hope I didn't overdo it by running for two hours. If I did, I may come down with a cold or I may go into another slump. If I get good sleep over the weekend, I'll hopefully be ok. If all goes well, Monday will be an hour rest run, and Tuesday will be a half-hour rest run. Wednesday will be another two-hour medium run, and next Saturday will be a 2 hour 45 minute long run that will be close to 13 miles.

The temperature was 44 (F) when I left for the Jordan River Parkway. The sky was cloudy with patches of sun. The temperature was 48 when I returned. We're in the middle of a cold front (lots of rain yesterday), and it will be back in the 80s (F) by Tuesday.

September 15, 2006

A great vacation, now back to real-life

We had a great time on our vacation. We visited my brother-in-law in Washington and took a ferry to Seattle to see the Space Needle. We also took a ferry to Victoria, BC, Canada and enjoyed that day. On the way back we visited my sister in Oregon, and we stopped in Boise, Idaho to see my mother-in-law's 34th great grand child who had been born just an hour before. We also went to Rexburg, Idaho to see my mother-in-law's 33rd great grand child who had been born a couple of days before.

Just as we entered Portland on I5 South, we saw an auto accident. About 200 yards in front of us, a car went from the center lane across our (left) lane and hit the concrete divider. It bounced off the divider and landed upside down. I was worried that the car would burst into flames, but it didn't. The driver was awake when they pulled him from the car and put him in an ambulance. If my car had been a few seconds further down the road, the other car would have hit us broadside. I couldn't see what caused the car to veer across our lane. Then, today as we entered Salt Lake City, I was in the center lane of I15 South, and a car in the left lane went across all lanes and stopped on the right shoulder. It looked like the driver was tring to take an exit from the inside lane. The car came very close to hitting the car in the right lane, and I think it may have clipped a truck that was in front of me in the center lane, because the truck stopped on the left shoulder. I don't know for sure what happened, but I was glad I wasn't a few seconds down the road! Then, to top it all off, as I left I15 to drive the last 10 minutes to home, there was an accident about a block east of the Interstate. That accident occurred several minutes before I got there, and it was on the opposite side of the Interstate from where I would be driving. Needless to say, I was glad when I got home and turned off the key.

I did a little running during the trip. I ran a couple of miles twice the first week and once this week. I also got a two-hour workout last week pushing my mother-in-law in a wheel chair around the Butchart Gardens in in Victoria. She had done a lot of walking before we got to the gardens, and she was ready for a rest. The path was hilly, and I got a good workout. Tomorrow, I'll be back on the Jordan River Parkway and will do 1/2 hour to an hour, depending how I feel.

Here are two pictures from the Butchart Gardens at Victoria. The beautiful woman in the first picture is my wife, Judy. The second picture is of the Sunken Garden that originally was a limestone quarry.



September 5, 2006

Vacation time

I won't be doing much running during the next week to 10 days. My wife and I are driving into Oregon and Washington to visit her brother and my sister. We're taking her 89-year-old mother with us. I hope to do a few short runs during the trip. This trip should give me a good rest which help pull me out of the slump. Rest is the cure for slumps that is recommended in the running literature. We head north and west tomorrow.

September 4, 2006

The GSL was a peak; now I'm in a slump

I think I peaked for the GSL. When I first started running at the race, I was doing 9:30 to 10 minute miles, and I felt great. Except for looking at my GPS, I couldn't tell that I was going too fast. I kept up that type of pace for 6 miles and a slightly slower pace for another 2 miles. Before the race I pushed myself to run 13 miles at a 12 minute pace, and since the race I'm running 4-5 miles at approximately a 12:30 pace. My fast pace during the race really was an abnormal pace for me, and I think I was at a peak (all racers dream of peaking for their races). It's taking me longer than I expected to get my distance back since the race, and I think that means two things. I'm needing longer to recover from the race due to my exertion during the race, and I'm probably in a slump. It's normal for slumps to follow peaks.

My wakeup HR was 52 this morning, and I ran for an hour. I drank 12 oz of water during the run. I felt tired, compared to last week, and didn't push myself during the run. I had a good 7 hours sleep last night, but the night before I only had 5 hours due to an early morning (4 am) phone call for my daughter-in-law who is a nurse at a local hospital. I couldn't go back to sleep after the phone call woke me up. I'll take a half hour nap this afternoon.