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).