April 29, 2006

A new PB in distance in Utah!

I completed my 14-mile long run today. I've been in Utah for 13 years, and this run was a new personal-best for distance in Utah. When I first moved here I did long runs of 11 - 12 miles, but I don't think I went as far as 14. When I lived in Massachusetts I did 15 milers year around. I'm hoping I can maintain long runs of 13-15 miles year around here, too.

I could tell when I got up this morning that I was tired. My wakeup HR was up to 50, and I didn't have that "spark" of energy that indicates I'm in good shape. I was surprised that I was tired, because I've had good sleep the past few days (8 hours last night). However, on Wednesday night I didn't get enough sleep, and that probably was the cause of my being tired this morning. I've noticed in the past that there frequently is a 2 - 3 day delay in my feeling the effects of insufficient sleep. I decided not to abort the run but to do a lot of walking during the run. Instead of walking breaks every mile, I took them every half-mile, and a few times more often than that. Had I not done the extra walking, I would have had to abort the run.

I didn't have a problem with diarrhea during the run. I drank water on the way out and a combination of water and Gatorade (small swallows from each bottle) on the way back. Hopefully, my body is getting used to the Gatorade.

Another thing that made me tired during the run was the rototilling I did before I ran, and the moving of 45 bags of cow manure from my son's truck to the back of my yard. Each bag only weighed about 20 pounds, but it all adds up. Also, the rototilling only took about 15 minutes, but that took some energy, too.

I saw the red fox that I saw last week, in the same place, too. This time she ran about 100 yards out into the field and hunkered down in the grass and watched me. After I passed the grove of trees from which she ran, she returned to the grove. She probably has a litter there. She is a beautiful animal. Long red tail with a white tip. On my way back, I passed the grove of trees, but she didn't run out. Maybe she has figured out that I'm ok.

[later in the day] On my Wednesday run I saw a farmer's wife and kids getting their irrigation ditch ready for canal water. They had a "ditch plow" that was pulled by a horse. The kids were riding on the plow to give it weight. The plow cleaned out stuff from the ditch. Today I saw a different farmer cleaning out the filter that is at the head of his irrigation ditch. He said the canal will have water on Monday.

Training Graphs

April 28, 2006

Wakeup HR dropped a point

I got 7+ hours of sleep last night, and my wakeup HR was 46 this morning. It has been in the high 40s a lot lately, and I think that indicates my body is getting stronger. I know I feel stronger. I'm looking forward to my long run tomorrow.

Training Graphs

April 27, 2006

Wakeup HR was 47 again

Even though I only got 5 1/2 - 6 hours sleep last night due to working late, my wakeup HR was 47. The effect of the sleep deficiency will hit me in a few days unless I can offset it with extra sleep for the next few days.

Training Graphs

April 26, 2006

A good 10 miler

I added a mile to my medium run and went for 10 miles. I felt good before, during, and after. I've been getting good sleep during the past week, and my body is finally reacting to that sleep. It was a beautiful day for running: mid 70s (F), sunshine & clouds, dry air -- a great day. No water in the canal, yet.

If I feel fine on Saturday, I'll add a mile to my long run and do 14. Then, next week I'll add a mile to my rest run for 5 and a mile to my long run for 15. That will give me 30 mile weeks, running M, W, Sa for 5, 10, and 15, respectively. At that point, I won't be adding more distance for a while so my body can get used to the new mileage. My friend, Bruce, from Las Vegas and I are planning on running the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon across the causeway to Antelope Island on August 19. After that, I'll add a fourth day (Tuesday), beginning with 1/2 mile and slowly build it up to 5 miles.

I carried both water and lemon-lime Gatorade on this run. I forgot to eat some food before I left, though.

The only disappointment on my run this morning was the diarrhea attack when I was about 2 miles from home. I tried to hold it in, but it came out anyway, and my shorts were quite a mess when I got home. At least, it didn't leak out and run down my legs :)

[later in the day] I was reading a web site about marathon training, and the site said not to try new things during the race but to try them during training runs before the race. The site gave the example of eating food or using sports drink. It gave several effects of food/sports drink that could occur, including diarrhea. Today was the first time I've drunk Gatorade during the run, and maybe that was the cause of my diarrhea. I'll continue drinking it and see what happens.

April 24, 2006

Rest runs are great

I ran an OK 4-mile rest run today. I could tell that I wasn't fully recovered from my 13-mile long run on Saturday, but I did OK. We had a lot of rain during the night, and I expected the canal road to be muddy, and I ran city streets.

Training Graphs

April 22, 2006

Summer is here and it's not June 21 yet

It was hot when I ran my 13 mile run this morning. Well, actually it was only in the mid 70s (F), but it was hot in the sun and most of the canal road is in the sun. I saw another red fox. It was running through the dry canal, and then it took off through a field. It was about 200 yards from me when it stopped and looked back at me. As it ran through the field, it stopped several times and looked back. It was a beautiful animal to see.

My wakeup HR was 50 but I felt tired and did extra walking and ran slowly. I had a quart of water with me, and I took a swallow every mile. The last two swallows were taken 1/2 mile from home. Before I left, I ate a banana and a slice of dry toast. I carried an apple and ate it at the turn-around point. I've been reading about the importance of replenishing salts during the run, and I'm thinking I'll take sports drink with me as well as some water. I've never used sports drink before, so when I got home I drank 12 oz of Gatorade that my son gave me -- it tasted pretty good.

A few comments on why I felt tired this morning before and during my run. I was tired last week due to not enough sleep. I did better Thursday night and Friday night on getting sleep, but it takes my body a few days to catch up with the sleep. Another factor is that on Thursday, while rototilling my garden, I tripped and fell backwards. With nothing to break the fall, my shoulders and back hit the grass covered ground pretty hard. It took me about 10 seconds to catch my breath before I could get up. Meanwhile, the rototiller continued moving and went through my wife's flowers. Fortunately it went between a rose bush and some tulips and didn't do much damage to the flowers. When I got up from the fall, I felt no pain anywhere, and I continued rototilling for another hour. When I went to bed that night, I could feel some tenderness when I lay on my back, and I had to sleep on my side, which I normally do anyway. That tenderness when I'm in bed is still there, and I expect that "injury" contributed to my tired feeling. The good news is that I don't feel any tenderness when I'm up from bed. My wife rubbed my chest and back this morning before I ran, and I didn't feel any tenderness, so the "injury" is internal somewhere. Hopefully the "injury", likely a bruise, will be healed in a few days.

If all goes well next week, I'll complete week 16 of my marathon plan by adding a mile to my medium run and a mile to my long run. The following week, which will be the last I do from my marathon plan, will have a mile added to my rest run and a mile added to my long run. That will give me 5, 10, and 15 miles on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, respectfully. After that, I'll level off on adding distance and give my body several months to really get used to the 15-mile long run. At some time during the Fall, I'll add a fourth day and slowly bring it up to 5 miles.

Training Graphs

April 21, 2006

Sleep -- the wonder "drug"

I woke up after 6 1/2 hours sleep. I knew I wouldn't go back to sleep, so I got up and measured my wakeup HR -- it was 50. I did some things for an hour and then went back to sleep and got 30 - 45 minutes of additional sleep. When I got back up, my wakeup HR was 47. I've noticed that pattern on several occasions. I get up for a while and then go back to bed for more sleep, and my wakeup HR drops significantly. Sleep deficit really does affect our bodies!

During the past week or so, my wakeup HR has been in the high 40s. This is a good sign that my body is becoming stronger as I do longer distances. I hope this trend continues. When I ran marathons 24 years ago, my HR was 44 for a year or so and then 40 for the rest of my marathon experience.

Training Graphs

April 20, 2006

Boston in 2010

Bruce, my running friend in Las Vegas, and I have set a goal to run the Boston Marathon together in 2010. I will be 74 then, and my qualifying time will be 4 hours 30 minutes. I don't know if this is a realistic goal for me, but I'll have a better idea after I run my next marathon in 2007. Whether I do run Boston or not, it is a fun thing to think about. I lived in Massachusetts, an hour out of Boston, for 17 years and never ran the Boston Marathon because I was too slow. It would be nice, in my old age, to fulfill my dream of running Boston!

Training Graphs

April 19, 2006

An OK 9-miler

I completed my medium 9-miler run but I was tired during the run. I stayed up too late last night and only got about 5 1/2 hours sleep. It seems I never learn...

I finally remembered to take my water with me, and I drank a couple of swallows every walking break. I was glad I had it. The temperature was in the 50s, but it felt hotter do to my being in the sun most of the time.

No water in the canal yet.

Training Graphs

April 18, 2006

Why do I run?

I am often asked why I run, especially when people find out that I'm a long-distance runner. Here is my answer. I run because I love the mastery over my body that allows me to run. I run because I love the feeling of running mile after mile as if there were no end to it. I run because it is part of my heritage -- humans were built to run, first to hunt, then to travel, and now to commune. But, most of all, I run because I love to run. It has become part of my nature!

For Love or Money?

Recovering from lack of sleep

The effect of my lack of sleep Saturday night seems to not have been as bad as I expected. I had a good 7 hours of sleep last night, and my wakeup HR this morning was 50. I feel pretty good. If I get another good night's rest tonight, I, hopefully, will be ready for my 9-mile medium run tomorrow.

Training Graphs

April 17, 2006

Who says you can't run in the snow?

I had a good 4-mile rest run this morning. I felt a little bit tired at the 2-mile turn around and took a 30 second rest stop. And, my right foot felt a bit weak (not as much as it did on Saturday) for a few seconds on the way back. Otherwise, I had a good run.

My wakeup HR was 47, which was lower than I expected since I only had 4 hours sleep on Saturday night due to a strange family schedule. To compensate for that, I took an hour nap Sunday evening, and I had a good 8 hours sleep Sunday night.

Today is week 15 if my marathon plan. It is a recovery week from my fall-back last week. If all goes well this week, I'll do a 9-mile medium run on Wednesday and a repeat of my 13 mile long run on Saturday.

When I left for my run, we had an inch of wet snow on the ground, and it was snowing. However, by the time I returned, the snow had mostly stopped. The temperature was 33 (F) and the snow was melting in the streets but collecting on the lawns and gardens. The rest of this week should be sunny and warm.

Training Graphs

April 15, 2006

Ran an OK 11 miles in this fall-back week

I ran 11 miles this morning. My wakeup HR was 50, and I felt ok while I did my stretches before I ran, and during the first few miles. I could tell, though, that this wouldn't be a great run. I didn't have a lot of energy, and during miles 9 and 10 my run my right ankle felt weak, and I did extra walking to give the ankle a rest. The ankle felt fine during mile 11.

Part of the problem was last night after work. I had my car in for some maintenance, and I had to walk 3 miles from work to the car place to pick up the car. I couldn't leave work until 6 pm, and by then the dealer's shuttle van had stopped and all of my coworkers had gone. I made a mistake of doing a fast walk last night instead of a slow walk to conserve energy for this morning. Also, my right ankle began to feel weak during the last mile of my walk.

I saw a red fox on my way back this morning. It was about 100 feet away, running along the edge of a field. It was a treat to see it. They are smaller than I thought they were.

Training Graphs

April 14, 2006

Amazing what sleep will do

This has been a good week for sleeping -- 7 1/2 to 8 hours each night. My wakeup HR was 50 this morning, 52 yesterday. I feel energetic this morning. If I sleep well tonight, I should be in great shape for my 11 mile run tomorrow.

Training Graphs

April 12, 2006

An OK 8-miler

I could tell before I left for my run that I was feeling a bit tired, even though my wakeup HR was 49. I felt better after the first two miles, and I felt pretty good on the way back. Since this is a rest week, I just jogged along and enjoyed myself. I even picked up some litter.

On the way back I stopped to talk with two guys who were cutting some tree branches that were hanging down over the canal. They said they were cleaning out the canal in preparation for the water. They said they remove a lot of big things, like water heaters, out of the canal.

The temperature was in the mid 50s, sunny, and a pleasant day to be out.

Shortly before I left, I ate a banana, an orange, one slice of dry toast, and I drank a big glass of water. My stomach felt queasy for the first half mile but felt fine after that. I think I'll try saltines instead of bread since crackers are good when one has an upset stomach.

Training Graphs

April 11, 2006

Wake HR was 48 this morning!!

I can tell that I'm getting stronger. I felt really great during most of my 13 mile run on Saturday. At the 7-8 mile markers I felt like I was in heaven. It wasn't until I started to dehydrate during the last 3 or so miles that I felt tired. I seemed to have a higher energy level over the weekend and yesterday. It will be interesting to see how my 8-mile rest-medium run goes tomorrow.

Training Graphs

April 10, 2006

A great rest run

This week is week 14 of my marathon plan and is a fall-back week to give my body some rest. My rest run today was thus reduced from 4 to 3 miles. I had a great run! My wakeup HR was 52 and I felt great. Since it was a rest run, I stopped and picked some litter along the way.

I've been experimenting with eating food before my runs. I've known for years that I could eat bananas before running, because I did that during my marathons back east. I've been doing that recently, too. During the last couple of weeks, I ate one or two oranges and drank some fruit juice in addition to a banana. That worked fine. So, this morning I tried a boiled egg. I didn't have a banana to eat and I forgot to eat an orange or to drink juice. I felt fine and ran fine after the egg. So, eating a little bit of food before running seems to be ok and should give me more energy during the run. I'll keep experimenting with food and report my results.

April 8, 2006

Took 1st in my age group in a half-marathon today

I also took 1st in all the age groups as well as 1st in the race itself. And, as my son reminded me, I also took last in everything since I was the only runner. This week was Week 13 of my marathon plan, and I ran a 13 mile long run this morning. I added 0.1 mile so I could say I ran a half-marathon. I did very well for the first 10 miles and then I started suffering from lack of water. During the last mile, a nice, gentle tail wind came up that gave me a "push" and helped to cool me a bit. The temperature when I got home was 66 (F), not particularly hot, but I hadn't brought water with me, and I suffered for that lack of foresight. Starting with next week I'll carry water on my medium and long runs. I've been thinking of water in terms of extreme temperatures, but it is also a factor of long distance. I only got about 6 hours of sleep last night, so when I got up, I drank water and juice, ate a banana and an orange and then took a nap before I left on my run. My wakeup HR was 52 when I got up.

A new subdivision is being built along the canal, and the builder is putting in a bridge for a street to cross the canal. He has the foundation in but still has to put the road over the foundation. When I got there this morning, I discovered that he had dug a deep, wide trench across the canal road to install a large water pipe, and I had to climb over some dirt and go down in and then out of the trench. It was easy climbing and not a problem. Later I ran into some road construction that also required that I climb over dirt and go through a wide trench that had been dug across the road. Thus, when I got to my 6.5 mile point, I decided to avoid those two construction spots and not go back the same way but to take a loop through the town I was in and return home via the long, straight city street that I've mentioned a few times. It turned out that my return home was only 0.15 mile longer than my route along the canal road. I had already decided to add 0.1 mile to give me a half-marathon, so everything worked out fine, and I didn't have to walk extra distance to get home.

Good news: I read in my local newspaper that the canal water will be turned on a week from tomorrow. That reference was to a nearby canal and not to "my" canal, but I assume all three canals that traverse the Salt Lake valley will get water at about the same time. This is a month earlier than a year ago. Good news, indeed!

Training Graphs

April 7, 2006

Positive Addiction to Running

I recently read a small book called Positive Addiction by William Glasser. Glasser said there are two types of addiction, negative and positive. Negative addiction is harmful to us. It is based on judgment and guilt and the feeling that we are worthless. Positive addiction, on the other hand, strengthens us and increases the quality of our life.

Glasser gives the steps that lead to positive addiction about an activity, including doing the activity alone rather than with groups, and doing it for the pure enjoyment of the activity. If we run with another runner(s), for example, there is a tendency to compete and to judge. If our running partner is faster than we are, we will probably increase our pace to keep up with the other runner, and in so doing convince ourselves that the other runner is better than we are. If we run because we want to lose weight or to be on a school team, we will be in judgment of ourselves. We judge ourselves as being overweight. We judge ourselves as being slower (or faster) than the runners with whom we compete.

Of course, we should run with others and we should run to achieve goals if those are our needs. Competition has its place in our lives, but we need to recognize that by its nature, competition is negative and judgmental.

In addition to running for competition or to achieve other goals, we need to also run for no other reason than the pure enjoyment of running. If we are to be positively addicted to running, we have to accept ourselves for whom we are, without criticism and judgment. We have to learn to love our running and to allow our running to be a positive, strengthening influence in our lives. We can learn to become positively addicted to running, and by so doing achieve a new dimension of satisfaction in our lives!

Training Graphs

April 5, 2006

A good but wet 9 miler

When I left for my 9 mile medium run, it was pouring and the wind was blowing about 20 mph. However, by the time I'd gone half a mile, the rain was down to sprinkles and soon stopped and the sun came out (typical Utah storm). After I'd gone about 4 miles, the rain and wind came again, and they came a third time when I was a mile from home. The temperature was in the mid 50s, but the wind made it feel cold. I didn't have a problem with it, though, because my body gives off a lot of heat during my running, and the rain/wind only lasted for about 10 minutes each storm.

I didn't run for about two hours after I got up, so I had time to eat "breakfast". I had my usual dose of anti-oxidants and calcium, and I had a banana and two oranges, and a glass of juice. I usually run with just the anti-oxidants and calcium and a banana. My stomach seemed to handle the two oranges and juice ok.

I enjoyed my run today. My wakeup HR was 52, and I had more energy than I had on Monday. It was a good but wet run, and I enjoyed it! I also enjoyed the hot shower when I got home :

Note later in the day: I didn't check the temperature when I first got home, but I did check it later in the day, and it was in the low 40s. It was probably in that range while I ran, and that would account for the wind feeling cold.

Training Graphs

April 4, 2006

My wakeup HR back to its "normal" range

Today is a rest day, but I measured my wakeup HR to see if it would stay below 50 (see yesterday's post) or return to its normal range of 50-52. It returned and was 50. I had a good 8 hours sleep and was hopeful that might "induce" my HR to be low again.

Back in the early 80s when I ran marathons, my wakeup HR was 44. It had been 44 for a year or two. One day it was 40, and I thought it was just a fluke. However, it stayed at 40 for the remainder of my marathon training. I'm expecting that my wakeup HR will drop into the 40s as my body gets used to longer distances. In the past two years I've had my wakeup heart rate go into the high 40s on several occasions and them return to the low 50s.

Training Graphs

April 3, 2006

My wakeup HR was 47 this morning

My wakeup HR was 47 this morning, the first time in many months that it has been that low. I felt pretty good before and during the first part of my run. I did start to get tired a bit towards the end of the run, indicating I'm not fully recovered from my 12-mile run on Saturday. I didn't take any walking breaks during the first half of the run but did take a couple during the second half. I slept well last night, and that probably contributed to my lower wakeup heart rate. I forgot again to eat a banana and drink some water before I left. I like to eat a banana before I run, because it helps replenish body salts, and it is easy to digest.

The temperature was 57 (F) when I left, and there was a 7-10 mph head wind. I've been seeing ducks in the canal swimming in runoff puddles from the rain and snow we've been having. It will probably be 6-7 weeks before the canal water comes in.

Training Graphs

April 2, 2006

Hurrah, it's Daylight Savings Time again

I like Day Light Savings time, because it means (for awhile, at least) that it is darker in the morning when I wake up. This helps my body sleep in a bit if I stay up too late and need some extra sleep. I still need the discipline to get to bed at a regular time, though. If I were making the decision, I'd keep the US on DST the whole year :)

My wakeup HR this morning was 50, indicating I've overcome my sleep deficit from last week and that my body is adjusting to my 12 miles yesterday (I had a good 7 1/2 hours sleep last night, 7 the night before, and almost 7 the night before that). It's amazing how energetic I feel when I've had proper sleep.

Training Graphs

April 1, 2006

An OK 12-Miler

I have four ratings for my runs: Great, Good, OK, and Made it. Today I had an OK 12-miler. My wakeup HR was a bit high, 54, due to only getting 6 hours/night earlier in the week. I didn't feel especially tired when I got up, but I didn't feel energetic, either.

When I started running, I could tell I was tired, and I considered aborting. Instead, I increased my breathing rate to get more oxygen. My normal breathing rate is two steps in, two steps out. While running I switched to one step in, one step out for four repeats and then my normal rate with extra big breaths, and then repeats of this sequence. I didn't do this for long distances, just a few repeats of the sequence, whenever I felt tired. The extra oxygen did help, and I felt fine up to mile 9. Then I started getting tired, and I took extra walking breaks along with the increased breathing rate. I made it home, and I didn't feel overly tired.

This was the first time since last November that I had run 12 miles. In November, my legs were very tired and stiff, while my body felt ok. Today, my legs felt fine and my body was a bit tired. Overall, I think I did better today than in November. Next week if I feel fine, I'll do 13 for my long run. Next week will be week 13 of my marathon plan.

The sky was cloudy during most of my run, and for about 10 minutes I was in a light--heavy rain storm. I passed one other runner during the rain (going the other direction). She was running, and her husband was behind her on his bike.