June 25, 2006

Sleep, wonderful sleep...

I had a whopping 10 hours sleep last night, and my wakeup HR was 53, just a point above yesterday. After my 13-mile run yesterday, I took a half-hour nap and then watched a movie (The Greatest Game Ever Played, a true story of a 20-year old amateur golfer who won the US Open). I then mowed my lawns and did a few chores that kept me on my feet. So, yesterday was a stressful day for a 70-year old, and my body needed the sleep. I had good sleep during the past week, and I wasn't sleep deprived, just in need of some extra sleep to help reduce the stress of the day.

I won't get much, if any, running this coming week. Friday is my last day of work, and then I'm into retirement. During this week, I have to be to work by 9 am to train my replacement, and I'll be working two or three hours of overtime to finish a project. But, I'll be able to run on Saturday, hopefully another 13-miler.

Training Graphs

June 24, 2006

Boston 2011

A few weeks ago, when I set my goal to qualify for Boston, I chose 2010 as the year to run Boston. I decided, a couple of weeks ago, to move the goal up to 2011 to take advantage of being 75 and having my qualifying time increased by 15 minutes. A year from now, when I run my next marathon, I'll have a better idea whether my goal is realistic or not. I've dreamed of Boston ever since I moved to Massachusetts in 1976. It will be great if, in my old age, I finally make it!

Training Graphs

A great 13 miles today!

My wakeup HR was 52, and I felt great before, during, and after my 13-mile run along the canal trail. The shade temperature was in the low 90s (F) when I returned, but I enjoyed the run. The direct-sun temperature was probably in the 120s (F). I felt great up to 10.5 miles, and then I started to suffer from the heat with a few brief dizzy spells. The dizziness only lasted for 2 or 3 seconds. On the way back I did extra walking during a few shady spots and drank extra water/sports drink (40 oz. during the run). One shady spot was about 300 yards long, and another was about 100 yards. I really enjoyed them!

I saw lots of ducklings, including one batch that was born about a week ago. Most of the ducklings are 3-4 weeks old and are getting pretty big. I also saw a pheasant and two groups of deer, including a doe and two fawns.

The sore on my foot from having a skin cancer removed is starting to heal, and skin is starting to grow over the sore. It is still tender to the pressure from my shoe, but I only feel it when I first put the shoe on.

During last week while I wasn't running, I decided to cap my long run at 13 miles until after the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon on August 19. Even though I've run 15-mile runs several times, my body isn't used to the last two miles, and I hope by capping at 13 miles, I'll help my body adjust to the half marathon distance and be in great condition on August 19. After the race, I'll work up to 15 miles, in 1/2 mile increments, and then cap the long run at 15 miles for the next six months. I'm hoping to be ready for a late-summer or a fall marathon in 2007.

Today was a great running day, even with the heat!

Training Graphs

June 21, 2006

Ran an easy, enjoyable 4 miles

My wakeup HR was 55 and I felt pretty good when I got up. I ran 4 miles along the canal road and felt fine. If all goes well for the next three days, I'll run 8 miles on Saturday. Hopefully by then, my wakeup HR will have come down some more.

Training Graphs

June 20, 2006

A good sign today...

My wakeup HR was down to 54 this morning. My body is overcoming the stress of my skin cancer surgery two weeks ago. This is the day I've been waiting for :)

Training Graphs

June 19, 2006

Ran an "ease back into it" 2 miles

My wakeup HR is still high (57 yesterday and 58 today) but I have more energy, and I ran a slow, easy 2 miles this morning. I felt ok during and at the end of the run, but I'm glad I didn't go farther. I'm feeling much better in terms of my energy level. If I feel ok on Wednesday I'll try 4 miles. It was nice to get out and see the ducks in the canal. I saw again the mother who has 18 ducklings. The ducklings are getting pretty big. I stopped to say hello to my friend who lives next to the canal, and he said the ducks try to get into his small pond and eat the gold fish.

The sore on my foot from a skin cancer removal hasn't started to grow new skin yet. I'm cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide twice a day and am putting Bactoban on it. The slight redness that I saw around one side of the sore hasn't gotten worse (larger, darker red, tender to the touch)so I'm not going to the doctor this morning.

Because I have more energy than I had last week, I'm going to work this morning.

Training Graphs

June 17, 2006

My wakeup HR is still high

Yesterday my wakeup HR was 49, and it was 47 this morning. I do have more energy today than I've had this week, but my energy level still isn't "up to par".

It looks like the redness around my skin-cancer-removal-sore is spreading a bit, but it isn't tender to the touch around that area. I'll watch it tomorrow, and if it doesn't show signs of decreasing, I see a doctor on Monday to get an antibiotic shot.

Training Graphs

June 15, 2006

Rest week this week

I felt fine on Monday but didn't run due to my schedule. I had to go to work early to be finished in time to go to a surprise birthday party for my sister-in-law.

On Tuesday, however, my wakeup HR was 59, a 20% jump and I had little energy. Those conditions have continued through today. I thus aborted my Wednesday run. I'm not sure, but my high HR and weakness may have been due to a slight infection in my left foot. About two weeks ago, I had a skin cancer removed from that foot. The surgery, actually a scraping, left an open sore about the size of a quarter. I noticed on Wednesday that the sore was starting to show signs of being infected (redness around the wound). I put extra Bactoban on it, cleaned the sore with hydrogen peroxide, and kept a dry bandaid on it. It looked a bit better this morning, and my foot wasn't as sore as it had been. My wakeup HR had dropped to 47 this morning. I'm off work on sick leave from Tuesday through Friday this week.

Training Graphs

June 9, 2006

A 13-mile Long Run Today

I usually do my long run on Saturday, but I did it today for this week. Tomorrow my wife and I are attending the wedding of her 1st cousin once removed, and the only time I would have tomorrow to run would be in the hot afternoon. To avoid that, I decided to do the run today.

My wakeup HR was 52, but I felt pretty good. When I left on the run, the sky was cloudy with a few sprinkles of rain. The shade temperature was in the mid 50s. Because of rain last night, I expected the canal road to be muddy so I used the long city street that I've mentioned in the past. I had a 10-15 mph headwind going out, and then the wind shifted and became a 5 mph headwind on the way back :(

During the first five miles, I felt strong and my body wanted to go faster. I decided to let my body set the pace so I could see how long that strong feeling would last. During the 5 miles, I ran a pace from the high 11 minutes to the low 12 minutes, and a few times I peaked at the high 10 minutes. I even ran up the first of two elevated switch-back sidewalks that cross over busy highways (about a 20 foot elevation change). But, by the time I completed 6 miles, my strength was declining, and at 6.5 miles I turned around. I did a lot of walking on the way back, short walks of 30 seconds or so to give my body a brief rest, and I walked all of the last 1.5 miles. I could have jogged most of that last part, but I decided to walk and spare my body some stress.

Overall, I'm pleased with the run. If I had gone slower on the way out, like I usually do, I would have done better on the way back, but I was curious to see how my body would hold up. In addition, my higher wakeup HR means my body was still tired from a few days ago. I slept well last night, though, and that should help my recovery over the weekend.

On Monday I won't have time for any running, so I'll skip my 5-mile rest run and take a complete rest on that day. My body will appreciate that rest. I've been feeling tired for a couple of weeks, and I think I should make this week a rest week. Maybe 7 miles on Wednesday instead of 10, and 10 miles on Saturday instead of 15.

Training Graphs

June 7, 2006

Yep, I'm getting stronger.

I ran my 10-mile run on the Distribution canal this morning. My wakeup HR was 51 (49 yesterday), and I didn't have a lot of energy. I was wimpy on the five miles out, but during the five miles back, I had more energy and made it without as many walking breaks as I took on the way out. The shade temperature when I got back was 89. I think the heat we're having is part of my feeling tired during the runs.

My pace is about a minute faster than it was a month ago (high 11 minutes to low 12 minutes, with an occasional spurt into 10+ minutes. This is about the pace I ran last fall when I was working up to 10 miles. I run my "comfortable" pace and don't push speed. My comfortable pace getting faster is another sign that my body is getting stronger since I leveled off my long runs at 15 miles a month ago.

I had a good sleep last night, but my wakeup HR went up a couple of points from yesterday. This is the delay that I've noticed in the past. I lose some sleep and there is a delay before my wakeup HR changes. I get better sleep and there is a delay before my wakeup HR goes down. Usually the delay is 2-3 days.

Training Graphs

June 5, 2006

Gonna have to carry water on rest runs, too.

I ran my 5-mile rest run on the Distribution canal road this morning. I left at 8:30 and after two miles realized I should have carried water; I was dehydrated by the time I got home. Even with the heat I had a good run. My wakeup HR was 151, due to only getting 6 hours sleep last night. In the spring I could stay up until 11:30, and I would sleep in until 6:30. Now, with the increased daylight, I'm waking up earlier, and I'd better be in bed by 10:30.

Training Graphs

June 4, 2006

Month by month, I'm getting stronger!

My wakeup HR was 49 this morning. Last week, I got about 6 1/2 hours sleep each night, including Friday night before my long run yesterday. That sleep wasn't quite enough, and my wakeup HR was elevated a bit during the week to 50/51. However, I took an hour nap after yesterday's run and got a good 7 hours last night, and my wakeup HR this morning was back to its "normal" 49.

Last fall, while I was increasing my mileage from 7 miles to 10 miles, my pace would be 11-13 minutes, usually in the 12 minute range but frequently in the 11 minute range. After I reached 10 miles, my body couldn't handle the increased stress, and I had to drop back to 8 miles and slowly work back up to 10 and then on to 15 miles. I also had my gall bladder removed in November, and that increased the stress on my body. During the spring, my pace was usually 12 to 14 minutes. Yesterday, even though it was hot, I felt good during my run and felt a strength in my body that I hadn't felt since last fall before I got to 10 miles. My pace yesterday varied from 11 to 13 minutes, and I felt like I did last fall before I got to 10 miles.

Another way that I can tell that I'm getting stronger is how my feet react to the running. I started running when I was about 38 due to pain in my feet. I had always walked a lot during my earlier life, but when I finished college I got a car and began driving everywhere. Over time, my feet began to hurt when I would be on them for extended periods such as during yard work for several hours. I was told by a specialist that the muscles in my feet were weak and that I should do what ever I wanted to strengthen the muscles. I began running, a natural extension to all of the walking I had done in my younger life. Running really helped my feet. The threshold for the foot-pain was pushed out, although my feet would still hurt if I stayed on them for a really long time. During the two years that I ran marathons (3-4 years of marathon training), my feet felt fine after I did yard work or completed a long hike with my scouts (I was scoutmaster for 12 years in Massachusetts).

However, after I stopped marathon training and my mileage slowly came down to just a few miles per week, my feet started hurting after a few hours of yard work. The pain would come after periods of rest, not during the activity. This is a syndrome known as the "squeaky door" syndrome. My feet felt fine during activity but became stiff and painful during periods of rest, just as a rusted door is hard to open (no movement) and you have to push extra hard to get the door moving. Once the door begins to move, it moves more freely.

I've noticed during recent weeks, especially after I got my mileage past 10 miles, that my feet were stiff and painful the morning after my long run, even though they felt fine during the run. The pain was usually gone 24 hours later, but the stiffness after periods of rest remained during the week. At work, I sit at my desk and do computer programming. After two or three hours of sitting, if I get up to walk somewhere, my feet are stiff, and it takes a couple minutes of walking to loosen them up. I do my long runs on Saturday, and on Sunday morning, when I first get up, my feet are stiff and painful, but after a couple minutes of walking, the stiffness is gone and the pain is reduced to just a "tender" feeling in my feet. After 24 hours the "tender" feeling is gone, but the stiffness remains during the week. I look like a really old man when I get up and walk around :)

This morning was a pleasant surprise. When I first got out of bed, my feet had no pain and almost no stiffness. That is a good sign that my body and feet are getting stronger. It will be interesting to see if this "good sign" continues and improves in subsequent weeks.

Training Graphs

June 3, 2006

Gates, gates, and more gates, aaauuuggggg....

Last Saturday I ran the Salt Lake Canal road until I reached my turn-around mileage. Later that evening, I went to mapmyrun.com and checked the mileage from that point to the pumping station at the head of the canal. The distance was within the mileage for my turn-around point for a 15-miler. Great! I thought; I'll drive to that point and run to the pumping station and up the hill to Thanksgiving Point. At last, I will reach my dream!

So, this morning I drove to my stopping point last week and started running. Two miles later I was stopped by a gate across the path. I respect private property and gates, so I found a short detour around the gate, using city streets, and continued running. A mile later, another gate! By this time I was getting away from the city streets and there was no easy detour around this gate, unless I wanted to climb a fence and bushwhack through sage brush. So, I turned back and said good by to the Salt Lake Canal as a way to Thanksgiving Point.

On the way back to my car, I noticed another canal not far away (I'm out far enough that the canals are merging close together to go through the Point of the Mountain and into the Jordan Narrows) and a maintenance road next to the canal. I drove around until I found that maintenance road. This canal is the one that goes through the valley following the general path of 13th West. Before I started running this new road, I talked with a man and asked if it was ok to leave my car in front of his house. He said, "Sure!" While talking with him, I learned that that road is a private road and goes into a new gated community. So I gave up on that canal as a way to Thanksgiving Point. The man suggested that I run the Jordan River Parkway. I had looked for the parkway last week and drove right by the trail-head without seeing it. He said the trail-head was less than a mile away.

I drove to the Jordan River Parkway and ran about 3 miles north. I couldn't go south, because the trail-head on 146th South is the end of the parkway (for now; eventually the State will have it through into Utah County -- the goal is to have it connect Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo, a distance of 70 or 80 miles). The parkway is paved and goes through some pretty country -- 10-foot trees and tall bushes along portions of it. I went through a wetlands area and saw a Pelican in the water. The parkway has some nice hills, not large hills but big enough (maybe 20-25 feet high) to help me get used to them.

My total distance was about 13 miles. My wakeup HR was 51.