Monday, December 31, 2007

A nice but too long 4.8 mile run

I ran 4.8 miles along city streets. I didn't go on the Jordan River Parkway due to the path likely being covered with snow. We've had light snow for several days, and the day time temperature has been cool enough that the snow hasn't melted. So today I ran along the long north-south street that I used a couple of years ago. The street itself was clear of snow and ice due to salting of the road, and there wasn't a lot of traffic on the road. The temperature during my run was about 33 or5 34 (F), and the sky was partly cloudy with lots of sun.

My path going out was around 16 with downhill excursions to 13-14. Coming back, though, I was getting tired, and my pace was around 18. My leg-movement feels really sluggish, and I think I'll need a number of runs to get my pace back to its normal 10:30.

I think it's time to switch to a time-based measurement of my run instead of a distance-based method. Before my accidents two months ago I ran a lot of 5-mile distances, but during my recovery, my pace has been significantly slower, meaning that 5-miles is taking a lot longer. Today, the 4.8 miles took me 1 hour 28 minutes, including a 1/3 mile walk at the beginning and the end and only one walking break during the run at the turn-around point. My body right now isn't ready for a run longer than 45 minutes to an hour.

Goodby 2007 and Hello 2008

Having finished my run today means I'm finished with my running for 2007. It's been a good year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A recap of 2007

2007 has been a great year for me!

In August 2006, I ran the Great Salt Lake Half-Marathon with a time of 2:21:16, 9 minutes faster than my goal of 2:30. My goal at the end of 2006 was to run the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon in April 2007 with a new PB. I began 2007 with a month of fartleks and cadence drills mixed in with my 33 miles/week of LSD. During February I ran intervals, and during March I did hills. I ran the SLC half on April 21 with a time of 2:20:21, a PB by 55 seconds. That time gave me a second place in my age group of 70 and above.

At the end of April, I decided I needed to increase my LSD pace, so I reduced my weekly mileage from 33 mpw to 20 mpw and focused on running faster. I continued this training until October 20, and I decreased my LSD pace by 2 minutes. During this time I ran two 5Ks, one on June 30 (32:28) and the other on September 22 (30:43). My time for the June 5K gave me a 2nd place in my age group. The man who was 1st beat me by 4 minutes, and he was 10 years older than me! The September 5K had its last age group as 45 and above, and I was 10th in that group.

After the September 5K, I decided it was time to increase my weekly mileage back to 33 mpw with a 13-mile long run so I would be ready to run the SLC half in April 2008. By October 20, I had my long run up to 7 miles, but on that day I made a mistake. I ran a fast 5 miles in a cold rain, running fast to keep warm. I felt fine during and after the run, but by evening my legs felt a bit stiff, and by the next day my right leg and knee were feeling sore. I realized I had had my first-ever injury from running. It didn't seem like a serious injury, more like an injury I've had a few times in my arms from lifting heavy objects -- not serious but slow in healing.

During November, I ran short, slow recovery runs, and by November 28, I had my "long" run up to 5 miles, when on that day I slipped on ice that was covered with an inch of snow such that I didn't see the ice. I really banged up my back and tailbone, and I've been recuperating from that injury during the past month. Right now, my back and tailbone feel fine. I'll do my last run for the year on Monday, December 31, and I hope to do an enjoyable 5 miles. During the past month I've been running distances from 1 to 4 miles at a very slow pace of 17 to 15 minutes. I'm interested to see how fast my body wants to go on Monday.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A nice 3-mile run ends the week

I ran 3 miles on the Jordan River Parkway and enjoyed the run. I only ran 3 miles because I was a little late getting out, and I wanted to return before the water on the path from melting snow became be frozen. I ran faster than I did on Wednesday (a 15 minute pace during the last half mile compared to a 17 minute pace on Wednesday).

My recovery is progressing fine

During the past week, I made significant improvements in my recovery. I've slept all of the past three nights in my bed, and with each passing night, my back isn't as stiff after each night as it has been. During my run today I didn't feel my sore tailbone at all, and I ran faster than I did on Wednesday. The only problem with my body during the run was a slight feeling of weakness in my right leg/bone that is a residue of the injury I had a couple of months ago from running too fast. Also, I'm able to sit on a hard chair for quite a while.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Today's run was 4 miles

My tailbone wasn't very sore this morning when I ran along the Jordan River Parkway. It was a nice day, and I handled the 4 miles fine, although at a slow 17 minute pace. I knew I was going slow when a walker passed me :) My slow pace is good for my body right now, and as I get stronger my pace will increase.

In one week's time, I've advanced from a 1-mile run to a 4-mile run, and I felt better during and after the 4-mile run than I did after the 1-mile run. That is a good indication of my recovery.

The temperature during my run was in the mid 40s, and it was a nice day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A heavy run today of 3 miles

Today's run was 3 miles on the Jordan River Parkway, and I ran at a slightly higher pace than on Saturday. My tailbone is still too sore to go faster or longer. I did have a better energy level than I've had since I slipped on the ice three weeks ago.

The temperature during my run was in the high 40s (F). The sky was sunny with a few clouds. No wind. A great day. I passed about 6 or 7 runners and one walker. I passed them because they were going the opposite direction; they were going much faster than me.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hey, I've graduated up to two miles

I ran for two miles on the Jordan River Parkway. My tailbone is still sore but not as much as it was on Wednesday, and I ran faster than I did on Wednesday. The Parkway path was dry, and I easily navigated round the few patches of ice that were on the path.

The temperature when I left was 21 (F), and there were 3-7 mph wind gusts (head wind on the way out). The wind chill during the higher gusts was about 12 (F). The sky was overcast (we're expecting snow flurries tonight), and I enjoyed being outside for half an hour. I enjoyed it, but it was cold. I wore my usual three layers but realized that I needed a fourth layer since I was running slower than normal. The good news is that on the way back the gusts died down, and I was comfortable during that phase of the run.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A slow 1-mile jog

I ran, actually a slow jog, for a mile today on the Jordan River Parkway. My pace was slower than my fast walk, and I probably looked like an old man shuffling down the path with very small steps :) This was my first run since I slipped on the ice. My back feels fine, but my tailbone is pretty sore when I run due to the impact of running on my body. When I walk I have just a very mile soreness in the tailbone.

The temperature during my jog was about 32-33 (F), and the sky was sunny with nice clouds. The high temperature today was about 36 (F). We're supposed to have some snow flurries tomorrow evening.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another walking day

Judy and I walked two miles this morning. The air was crisp, temperature 32 (F) to 35, and a cloudy day. We had about 8 inches of snow last Friday night, and it is beautiful to see the yards and trees covered with snow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Got another mile of walking this morning

My wife and I walked a mile this morning. The temperature was in the mid 30s (F), and I enjoyed being out and walking with her.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Big mileage for my today

I walked a mile at a leisurely pace in my neighborhood. The temperature was 38 (F) and a 2-3 mph wind. It was nice to be out. My back felt fine, but my buttocks were sore.

Changed my goal to not race the Salt Lake City Half-marathon in April

I've enjoyed running a few races during the past two years, and I'd like to do more. However, I haven't enjoyed the constant pressure to train to run faster and faster. I've always run for the pure enjoyment of it, and I'd like to return to that style of running. So, my current goal is just to regain my ability to run 13 miles. No goals about upcoming races. I will get faster as I develop endurance, and depending on how I feel in the Spring, I may still run that half. I've been thinking about this for a number of weeks and decided last week to refocus myself to run for the pure enjoyment of it. I think I'm starting to relate more to John "the Penguin" Bingham :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

When I fell, I fell on my buttocks and then onto my back

I've been having a sore buttocks since I slipped on ice. The pain started on Friday, two days after I fell. I haven't been having buttocks pain during my runs, and I've been confused why the pain was happening now. The thought occurred to me last night that I probably fell on my buttocks and then onto my back. If so, that was a good thing, because if I had fallen directly on my back, I probably would have had far worse injury. I'm 5 foot 8 inches tall, and my shoulder blades are about 5 feet off the ground. That is a large distance for them to directly fall onto the path.

One of the stretches illustrated on my stretching page is for buttocks. I haven't been doing them because I haven't been having buttocks pain. Now, I'll do them until my buttocks pain from the fall goes away.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Status report on my bruised back

I'm half way through the fourth day since I slipped on ice and banged up my back, and I thought I'd end the week with a status report.

When I arrived home after the accident on Wednesday, I hobbled upstairs to my bed and watched a DVD of Santa Clause 3. When I tried to get up from the bed, I couldn't. My back muscles were having severe spasms, one after the other, as I tried to rise up from the bed. My wife had to help me get up. I was pretty sore for the rest of the day. The only way I could keep the spasms and pain away was to stand or sit with my body perfectly balanced over my feet. I knew I'd never survive the bed, so I tried to sleep in a chaise chair. That didn't work, either. I had four extra cushions on the chair -- two for sitting and two behind my back to keep me from leaning back. I couldn't tilt the chair, because I had to keep my body aligned with the vertical. I ended up with 45 minutes of sleep that night. I didn't have much pain when I walked, stood still, or sat straight. I was just so full of stress that I couldn't go to sleep.

Things improved during Thursday. I had fewer muscle spasms, and I was able to get by with two extra cushions on the chair, one for sitting and one for my back. Thursday night was another bad night for sleep -- 2 hours between the night and naps the next day. But, I was able to see improvement in my condition, and that gave me hope.

Friday was a much better day. I was able to walk normally, climb stairs faster, and sit for longer periods of time. Friday night was a big improvement. No extra cushions on the chair, and two hours sleep during the night and an hour the next day in naps. As an experiment I tried taking a nap in my bed and did get half an hour, but when I tried to get up I had several mild muscle spasms due to trying to lift my body off the bed. Later in the evening I actually got sleepy before I tried to go to sleep that evening. In the two previous nights, I wouldn't be sleepy at all until just before the sun came up.

I felt pretty good today, and helped my wife put up our two Christmas trees, and I vacuumed the needles off the floor after we were finished. Tonight will be another night on the chair. I got two hours sleep last night, and my goal is a new PB tonight with three hours sleep :)

I've been worried that I might have a bone fracture. However, I have no tender spots anywhere on my back. When my wife rubs the ointment on my back, she does so with significant pressure, and I think if I had a stress fracture, I would feel pain from her massaging.

I'm very grateful that I didn't have bone fractures or broken bones. At my age, a fall like that could be serious. I'm grateful for the effect of running on my body, and I'm grateful for the supplements that I take to insure that I have proper nutrition.

Until I get more sleep at night, I don't think I'll do any walking or running. My body is suffering from hight stress, and it doesn't need more from walking or running.

The medications I'm taking

My wife and I prefer not to take prescription or over-the-counter medicines, because we're concerned about side effects from those chemicals. Chemical companies don't do long-range testing on their drugs. So we don't use them. Instead, we use herbal remedies and homeopathy remedies.

I've been taking the following homeopathic remedies: Arnica tablets, and my wife has been rubbing Arnica gel into my back. Arnica is good for shock and bruises. I'm also taking Ruta, which is good for ligaments.

I've been taking the following herbal remedies: My wife rubs Dr. Christopher's Complete Tissue & Bone into my back several times during the day. That stuff really works. A couple of years ago, my wife's 76-year old Aunt fell off a six-foot ledge onto some rocks. She had several broken bones and bruises all over her face and body. My wife gave her the Complete Tissue & Bone ointment, and she quickly recovered with no complications of any kind. If you saw her today, you'd never know she had that accident. Starting yesterday, I've been having a mild pain near my shoulder blades, and almost immediately after my wife rubs the ointment into my back, the pain is gone for several hours. It is a very mild pain like that from a bruise. I'm taking a Cramp Bark (2 drops in a small amount of water several times during the day) to help ward off muscle spasms, and I'm taking Dr. Christopher's Relax-Eze to help me relax and sleep better.

I've been using homeopathy and herbs for almost 30 years. My wife and I like them, and we're glad we're keeping our bodies free from the chemical pollution of drugs. I chuckle every time I hear a TV ad for chemical meds that gives a long list of cautions and exceptions.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fluffy snow on ice is a recipe for running with a ... thud!

I left about 10 am for my run on the Jordan River Parkway, hoping to go 6 miles. There was about an inch of snow on the bround, and I thought, "No problem. I've run in deeper snow than that." I started my run, being careful to land in mid-sole rather than on my heels. I had gone about 1/8 mile when ... thud, I was on my back in great pain. I lay on the ground for a few minutes to let the pain subside, and then I rolled onto my hands and knees and crawled a few feet to a wooden fence that lined the path (you can see the fence in the pictures of the path that is in the left side bar). I used the fence post as a support and pulled myself to my feet. I stood there for about a minute and then hobbled to my car and drove home.

I feel ok, just a small amount of pain, while standing or walking, or sitting on the edge of a chair or bed such that my center of gravity is over my hips. But, if I lean back in the chair or lie down on the bed, my back hurts more and is sensitive to jarring of my back, such as via a burp or a hiccup or a gasp for air.

While I was lying on the ground, I examined the path and discovered the asphalt was covered with ice and an inch of light, fluffy snow. I should have thought of the ice, because the snow didn't come until this morning after I was up, and the temperature last night was in the mid 20s (F) and we were having snow flurries when I went to bed. But, I didn't think about the path being icy, and I was caught by surprise when my feet went out from under me.

I wasn't paralyzed from my moving around, so my back isn't broken. My wife has been rubbing my back with an Arnica gel, and I felt no pain from the pressure of her fingers. So, I think I just have a big bruise on my back muscles. If the pain doesn't subside within the next couple of days, I'll go to the ER at the hospital and have them check for bone fractures. Needless to say, I won't be running for a few days or longer.

I'm glad the accident occurred soon after I started my run. It could have happened when I was 3 miles from my car. In that case I would have called my wife on my cell and had her come and get me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm taking a rest day today

My wakeup HR this morning was 55, and I've decided to take a rest day. I had planned to run a reduced mileage of 3 miles to get extra rest, but after seeing my high HR, I decided to take the whole day as a rest day. I'm hoping to increase my distance in my run tomorrow from 5 miles to 6 miles.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A nice, enjoyable 4-mile rest run

During the late morning I ran a comfortable four miles on the Jordan River Parkway. Today was a rest day, and I just poked along at a slow, restful 13 minute pace. There were a number of people out walking, cycling, and running, and it was nice to pass them with a wave of my hand and a nod of my head and a smile.

Runners really are a nice community of people. There are a few walkers that I see frequently, and I feel like I know them even though I've never spoken with them. We have something in common that we share by just being there day after day.

Today was a two-layer day

The shade temperature during my run was in the low 40s (F), and it was probably in the high 40s in the sun. I wore two layers, my summer poly T-shirt and my nylon jacket. I was cold during the first couple of miles but felt fine after that. During the latter part of the run, I unzipped my jacket to keep from sweating. Sweating is a sign of energy being wasted.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Extended my long run to 7 miles

I just finished my weekly long run, doing 7 miles at a slow, restful pace on the Jordan River Parkway. It had been dark for over an hour when I left home. The temperature when I left was 31 (F) and was 23 (F) when I returned home. There was only a slight wind, and the night air was crisp, cool, and a delight. Because of a full moon and light from nearby buildings, I had no problem seeing the path. I knew there were no pot holes in that part of the path, and I was able to run in the darkness and enjoy it.

A half-mile segment of the run went via a detour though a residential street, and I enjoyed seeing the Christmas lights on some of the houses. Prior to that residential street, I went up the big hill that I've spoken of many times in this blog, and I made it up without stopping. At the bottom of the hill there is an American flag flying from a pole in front of a house. The pole and flag were lit by two spotlights, and it was a beautiful sight on a cold night.

I felt fine at my 3.5 mile turn-around point, and I was tempted to make the run 8 miles, but I resisted and headed back. After I had gone 5 miles, I started to feel a bit tired, and by 6 miles I was definitely tired. I took extra walking breaks during the last mile, and I was glad I had kept the run to 7 miles :) It was a good run considering the only food I had had during the 12 hours since I got up was a banana. Some of my grandkids were visiting for the weekend, and I was busy during the day and didn't think about eating.

I wore three layers tonight

I wore three layers during my run. My long johns, a long-sleeved cotton T-Shirt, and my nylon wind breaker. I was a little cold for the first two miles, and I had my hands tucked inside the sleeves of my jacket during that time. But, by two miles I was sweating, and I was able to remove my hands from the jacket. On the way back, I didn't have to exert much energy when going down the big hill, and I actually got cold and had to put my hands back into the jacket. However, after a mile, I was sweating again.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Let me outa here

Two gas company servicemen, a senior training supervisor and a young trainee, were out checking meters in a suburban neighborhood. They parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked their way to the other end. At the last house a woman looking out her kitchen window watched the two men as they checked her gas meter. Finishing the meter check, the senior supervisor challenged his younger coworker to a foot race down the alley back to the truck to prove that an older guy could outrun a younger one. As they came running up to the truck, they realized the lady from that last house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped and asked her what was wrong. Gasping for breath, she replied "When I see two gas men running as hard as you two were, I figured I'd better run too!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Did a slow and tired 5 miles

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway, but I had a low energy level and ran a slow 13 minute pace. My wakeup HR was 49 this morning, and that is good since it's been in the mid 50s for the past month.

My right leg is still sore when I bend it, but it is significantly improved. I can bend it more than I could when I was first injured; I just can't bend it as much as I normally can. I feel fine standing, walking, and running. I just feel pain when I kneel or sit in a chair, especially a low chair.

I ran in late afternoon as the sun was going down. The shade temperature was 34 (F) when I left and 33 (F) when I returned. As I drove home, the sun was just dipping behind the Oquirrh mountains.

Still picking up trash

I haven't mentioned this in quite a while, but I'm still picking up trash. I don't do it during every run, but I usually do it about once a week. Right now I'm mostly getting litter that is near the path and are thus the most obvious. Most of the litter is blown in by the wind, I think. The people using the Parkway path seem to be putting their litter in the litter-cans.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Did a 2 mile rest run

I only had 4 1/2 hours sleep last night, so I just did a short rest run. I was tired during my Saturday 6-miler, so today was a good day for a rest run. The temperature was in the high 60s during my run, but the temperature will be down in the high 40s tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ran 6 miles this morning

I normally don't run on Friday, but my schedule tomorrow is full, and I ran today rather than risk missing it tomorrow evening. My wakeup HR was 52 this morning, but my energy level was low. I ran 6 miles at a slow pace of 12 minutes. The day, though, was nice. Temperature in the low 50s and a partly cloudy sky.

On Wednesday I spent five hours on my feet, mostly just standing with a little bit of walking, and I was tired when I finished. As a result, my wakeup HR yesterday was 56. So, I think that today was a recovery day, and I probably shouldn't have added a mile to my run.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A tired 3.5 mile run

Since yesterday was a stressful day, today was my light day, and I ran 3.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I felt tired and was glad I hadn't gone farther. The temperature was in the low 50s (F), but the sky was cloudy and a cool 5 mph wind was blowing. I wore just my running shorts and a long-sleeved T-shirt and was fine.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today was a good but tired 5-mile rest run

I forgot to take my wakeup HR this morning, but I felt pretty good as I stretched before leaving for my run. During the run, I could tell I was tired, and my pace during most of the run was 11:45 - 12:15. During the last 3/4 mile, however, I felt stronger and ran a bit faster. My pace during the last half mile was 11:28.

We had rain yesterday, but today is a beautiful, sunny day in the mid 50s (F).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back to 5 miles

We're really having a warm fall. The temperature was in the high 60s (F) when I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. There was a slight wind blowing that felt nice as I ran. I forgot to check my wakeup HR this morning, but yesterday it was 53. I felt fine during my run, and my pace during the last half mile was 11:16.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Upped my distance to 4 miles

I ran 4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. It was a great run and a great day. The temperature was in the mid 50s, and it was really nice to be outside. During the last half-mile, I measured my pace at 11:52, a slow pace but a good pace while I recover from my right leg injury.

Tomorrow and Friday are rest days, and I hope to do 5 miles on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A great run at dusk

When I left home for my run on the Jordan River Parkway, the sun had set behind the Oquirrh mountains. I ran two miles and really enjoyed it. On the way back, lights were turning on in the nearby buildings, ducks were settling in the river for the night, and it was peaceful and quiet. I passed a few walkers out with their dogs, and I talked with one man who had "lost" his wife somewhere. I think she was the walker I passed just before I stopped, and I told him the direction she was going.

My wakeup HR was 56 this morning, down quite a bit from last week. My knees are still swollen but not as much as they have been. I could have gone farther than two miles, but I didn't want to put a lot of stress on my body and hinder my run tomorrow.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I did my 2nd session of resistance tonight

My plan is to do resistance training on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. I'll be doing longer runs on Wednesday and Saturday, and I don't want to do weight workouts on those days. Monday is a light, rest day, so I hope I won't have problems doing both a run and the workout on that day. It doesn't take very long to do the workouts. I'm doing 10-12 reps of each workout.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Starting resistance training for total body strength

I got my bench and weights today and started my program to build total body strength. I'm using the program at
I'm starting light (2#) and will work up from there. I'll probably do the program on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday or Friday. I'm old, stiff, and creaky, and I don't look as professional as the girl in the pictures in the program :)

In addition to the new workouts, I'll continue with my 30 sit ups, 20 furniture lifts, thigh and foot-press stretches, and push ups; these are all forms of resistance training that I've been doing.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My first November run was 3.5 miles

I ran 3.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. The temperature was in the high 40s (F), and it was a really nice day! My right leg and knee felt the same as they have for the past few days, and my running hasn't made the condition worse like it did last week.

I measured my pace during the last half-mile, and it was 13:10. Pretty slow (intentionally) to not abuse my leg and knee. I usually run that half mile with a pace of 11:30 when I'm doing a recovery run and 10 - 10:30 when I feel pretty good.

I've been making a lot of posts about my sore leg and knee. I've decided I don't need to make any more posts about that. As long as I don't mention my leg and knee, you'll know that either the condition hasn't changed, or it has improved. If the condition gets worse, I'll mention it. You'll be able to guess at the condition as you read about my running: longer and faster runs will imply my condition is improving.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A nice 2-mile recovery run

I didn't leave as soon as I had expected, and it was in mid-afternoon when I left for my run. I ran 2 miles on the Jordan River Parkway at a relatively slow pace. I took brief walking breaks about every half mile, and I just poked along and enjoyed myself. During the run, my right leg and knee felt fine. It's been about an hour since I finished, and I still feel fine.

The temperature during my run was in the high 60s (F). The sun was out, and it was a nice way to end October. I forgot to take my HR this morning, but I haven't had a super-high energy level. I expect my wakeup HR is still high.

Status report on my right leg/knee

I'm leaving in a few minutes for another run, and I thought I'd post a status report on my right leg and knee. Both the leg and knee are feeling much better. I can walk around the house and feel fine.

The only times I feel soreness are when I sit on the floor to do my hip and knee exercises and when I kneel down. Because of the cushion that I'm using on my chair, I feel stiff a bit but not much pain when I rise from the chair. I can bend my knee without pain, and that helps when I'm putting my shoes and stockings on. I feel a slight pain when I first sit on the floor and stretch my legs out in front of me. When I do the two toe-press stretches, I feel some soreness, especially when my right toe is under the left toe and is pulling toward me (the left toe is pushing away from me). That has been interesting, because in the past when I've done the toe-press I didn't feel anything. Now, I know for sure that the toe-press is truly working my leg and knee muscles!

There have been a few times in the past 10-15 years that I would stress a muscle in my arm while lifting or pulling, and my arm would feel sore. It usually took several weeks for my arm to return to normal. The soreness I've been feeling feels the same way that the soreness did in my arm. Based on my recovery from my sore arm, I'm beginning to realize that the soreness in my right leg may take a few weeks to completely go away. However, since it has only been 10 days since my fast run that created a problem, and a week since my 5-mile run that reestablished the problem, I've made a lot of improvement and am getting back into my running. I've always thought that patience is a great virtue, and this is an example of the wisdom in that saying.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The one-mile recovery run went well

I ran one mile this morning to test my right leg. I felt fine during the run and so far afterwards (the run was two hours ago). The big test will be how I feel during the night and in the morning.

My wakeup HR was 62 this morning. My body is pretty stressed out. It's been that way for the past week. I have, though, been sleeping well, and it is just time until my HR comes down.

I finally did what I should have done a few years ago

During the past week, I've spent a lot of time on my computer, and after a couple of hours at the computer, I would stand up and my right leg and right knee would be in pain. It was especially bad this morning before my run. After I would walk around for a few minutes, my leg/knee would feel better. The chair I sit on is a wooden chair with padding on the seat. However, the chair isn't high enough for my long legs, and the lower seat caused my knees to bend a lot. So, this morning I put a thick pad on the chair, and I've felt much better after leaving the computer. Besides the increase in height from the floor, the thick pad feels nice on my buttocks. After I put the pad on the chair, I felt fine when I stood up from the computer.

I still have some space between my knees and the bottom of my computer table, and I want to get an even thicker pad to put on the chair.

My sore leg/knee isn't sensitive to pressure

One good thing about my sore leg and knee is that the area around the knee isn't sensitive to pressure from my fingers. My right knee does look swollen, though.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not sure why my right leg and knee are sore

During the past week, I've been thinking about the soreness in my right leg and knee. A week ago when I ran fast and caused the problem, I wasn't going any faster than I did in running my last two 5K races, and I had no problems after those runs. The only thing that I can think of that makes sense is that my leg & thigh muscles are weaker than they were at the time of the two races.

Prior to my fast run last week, I had gone through two weeks of a lot of walking but no running. That might have allowed my muscles to deteriorate. Perhaps more important, I had been getting careless in doing my stretches before my runs. Before each run, I try and do the stretches that are shown on my picture page. Included are strengthening exercises for my knees, quads, and thighs. I've been skipping those exercises on quite a few of my runs, and that might have allowed my muscles to become weaker. I'm going to be more consistent in doing those exercises. Plus, as soon as I get a bench set up in my basement, I will start doing the resistance-training exercises shown on my total-body page. Hopefully, with a stronger body, I won't have problems with my speed runs.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My right leg and knee are almost back to normal

My leg and knee are feeling much better, and I'm able to move around, kneel down, etc. without significant pain. When I tested my knee this morning, I felt just a slight pain when I raised my leg and bent my knee.

If I continue to feel better by tomorrow, I may do a short run to test my leg and knee. However, I felt this way last Tuesday when I ran 5 miles and a comfortable pace and caused the pain to return. If I run tomorrow it will be short, about half a mile.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My right leg is feeling better but still sore

My leg/knees feel much better than yesterday but are still sore if I walk around for an hour or so, which I just did while shopping with my wife.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Update on my right leg

My right leg was stiff this morning, and it was sore when I would bend my knee as I sat in a chair. It feels much better tonight. I'm taking the rest of the week off from running to give my body more time to heal. When I do start running, I'll start with one-mile and work up to five miles during the week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A nice 5-mile recovery run today

I enjoyed my run along the Jordan River Parkway this morning. I didn't have a high energy level, and I ran a relatively slow pace, although my stride rate was about 178. My wakeup HR was 56, indicating my body was tired. I've been sleeping fine the past few nights, so my body is tired for some other reason.

Today was a beautiful day. Temperature in the mid 50s (F), sunny, blue sky, snow-capped mountains, and geese flying over. A number of people were using the Parkway.

My right leg

In my previous post, I mentioned that after my run on Saturday, my right leg/knee was somewhat stiff and sore. It felt better over the weekend, and when I woke up this morning it felt almost normal.

The leg felt fine during my run today, but it has been somewhat stiff and sore this afternoon and evening. Not as much as on Saturday but more than this morning before my run. It actually feels pretty good when I'm standing or walking but is stiff and slightly sore when I'm sitting and my leg is bent.

Because of the quick improvement over the weekend and Monday, I don't think I have an injury -- just overstressed muscles. I just hope today's run didn't make it worse. I'll see how it feels in the morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Taking a rest day today

It was raining and a cold wind was blowing during my run on Saturday, and after I finished I didn't stretch. I just jumped in my car to get warm and drove home, planning on stretching at home. Of course, when I got in the house I was focused on taking a hot shower and eating breakfast, and I forgot to stretch. During the day I felt stiff, a normal feeling when I don't stretch after a run. In the evening, my wife and I took TRAX (train) into Salt Lake City to see our grand daughter and 3000 other music students play in the LDS Conference Center. We had to walk half a mile to/from the train and the Conference Center. By the time I went to bed, my right knee and lower quad were a little sore as well as being stiff.

I ran really fast during the first half of my run. I estimated I ran 10:15, but it was probably more like 9:30. I think I overdid it, and that caused my knees and quads to be slightly sore. The same thing happened last spring when I was running intervals at the local high school. I had run several half-mile intervals with a quarter mile jog in between for recovery. As I was mid-way through one interval, I planned on doing one more, but my right quad cramped. I immediately stopped, stretched the quad, and went home. It took a couple of days for that cramp to go away.

When I awoke on Sunday (yesterday), me right knee and quad felt better but were still slightly sore. When I awoke this morning, my legs felt almost normal. I decided to take today as a rest day to give my body another day to recover from my speed run on Saturday. The only soreness I've had today was when I kneel down. No soreness when I walk.

When I have soreness from a run, I never try to run through it. I consider soreness a sign that I overdid it, and I give my body extra rest so it can overcome the stress. I don't want to risk having the soreness become an injury.

I'm planning on running tomorrow. During the run, I'll be focused on my right leg, and if I start to feel soreness, I'll abort and walk back to my car. Also, I'll run at a comfortable LSD pace, probably around 11:30.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Got my mileage back to 5 miles

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. I forgot to take my wakeup HR, but I felt find during and after the run. On the way out, I ran around 10:15, and on the way back I ran 11:40. I went slower on the way back, because I felt a bit tired, and there was a 5 mph head wind. It was a nice run!

A cold, wet wintery day

It rained during my run today. Not a heavy rain, but a consistent rain. The temperature was in the high to mid 30s (F), and there was a 5 mph tail wind on my way out and a corresponding head wind on the way back. I wore my summer running clothes (T-shirt and shorts) plus a nylon wind breaker. I was cold for the first half-mile, and then I felt fine for the rest of the run. As soon as I stopped, though, I started to feel cold.

My plans for next week

This week was a recovery week from the stress of moving a million boxes for my son. My immediate goal this week was to get my mileage back to my pre-box mileage. I accomplished that goal in my run today.

During the past six months, I've been running reduced mileage while I focused on running a faster LSD pace. Now, I'm ready to get my mileage back to the 30 miles/week that I need to train for the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon next April. Next week I'll run 5 miles on Monday and Tuesday and add a mile for 6 miles on Wednesday. If I feel fine on Saturday, I'll add a mile there for 6 on that day. Then, on subsequent weeks I'll add another mile to the two runs, until I get Wednesday's medium run up to 10 miles and Saturday's long run up to 13 miles. During all of this, I hope to keep my faster LSD pace.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My tentative training strategy for my next half-marathon

I've been thinking about my training between now and April 19, 2008. For the past six months, I've been focusing on increasing the speed of my LSD and recovery runs. I think I've been successful, because I've decreased my pace 1 1/2 minutes for my LSD runs and 1 minute for my recovery runs. However, I've intentionally let slip my ability to run 13 miles.

My immediate goal is to get my longer runs up to 10 miles and 13 miles, respectively, by the end of the year. Then I will have three more months to let my body get adjusted to those longer distances while I do some hills and speed workouts.

Last year I ran LSD until January, and then I ran fartleks for three weeks, hills for three weeks, and intervals for three weeks. This year I want to do it a little bit differently. Between now and the end of the year, as I increase my distance, I want to run Galloway's Cadence Drills 3 or 4 times once a week. Cadence Drills are a low-level form of interval training that don't put much stress on ones body, and I think I can mix them in with my longer runs without hindering my ability to increase my distance. Then, from January to the end of March, I want to do LSD twice a month, fartleks once a month and hills once a month. I think this will be a better balance for my body, rather than the way I did it last year. We'll see. I had problems last spring doing intervals at the local high school, because I went too fast for my condition. I may go to the high school once in March and do intervals, but I don't think I'll focus on them like I did last spring.

Almost got my distance back to the pre-box level

I ran 4.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway today and enjoyed the run. During my half-mile warm up, I ran a pace about 11:30. Then I ran about 10:15 until I reached my turn-around point. On the way back I slowed to a 11:30-11:45 pace.

My wakeup HR was 56, so when I started running I knew I was tired, but I felt fine as I ran and had a reasonable energy level considering my high wakeup HR. This is a recovery week, so I'm not trying to set speed goals. I just want to run a comfortable pace as dictated by my body.

The temperature was in the mid 40s (F) during my run, and there was a light sprinkle coming down. I wore my normal summer clothes: a poly T-shirt and my shorts. I was a bit cool during the warmup but was fine for the rest of the run.

My stride rate today was 186

I checked my stride several times during my run and it was always close to 186, even for my slower paces. The fact that it was about the same for my slower and my faster paces shows that it is my "normal" pace. That is good!

Not going to run the 5K on Saturday

I've decided to not run the 5K on Saturday. I'm still recovering from my two-week layoff due to carrying boxes, and I won't be ready for a fast race.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My first run in two weeks

For my first run in two weeks, I ran 3.5 miles along the Jordan River Parkway. I felt fine when I first started, but when I got to the 1.75 mile point, I started to feel tired, and I turned around and headed back. My pace during the first mile was about 11:30, and it was up to 11 by the time I turned around. On the way back, my pace was 10:15 to 10:30.

It was a beautiful day to be out. There was a slight headwind going out.

Well, back to running...

Today was the first time I've run since October 2, two weeks ago. On October 4, I started to help my son move to a different house. During the next eight days, I worked seven of the days moving boxes that weighed from 10 pounds to 50 pounds, the average weight being about 20 pounds. I worked 8-12 hours/day. I didn't run during that time, because my body was under a lot of stress from the boxes, and I didn't want to increase that stress with running. For the first four days, I handled the stress ok. I would wake up energized and feeling pretty good. But, during the last three days, the stress started getting to me. I would wake up feeling tired, and that feeling got worse with each day. I was a happy camper last Friday when I finished about 1 am and drove home.

I rested over the weekend and felt pretty good. My wake up HR this morning was 51. During the box-moving days, my wakeup HR was up around 56-57.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A good 4.5 mile recovery-run today

I ran 4.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway and enjoyed it. I didn't go the full 5 miles, because I started getting tired and didn't want to ruin my run tomorrow by pushing for that last half mile today. I'm still not fully recovered from the 5K 10 days ago. I've been sleeping well the past few days, and that is good.

Today was a really nice day. Temperature was in the high 60s (F) with no wind. A great day to be out. On the way back I picked up a couple dozen pieces of litter that had blown in from a construction site.

I've been monitoring my stride rate

During my run last Saturday, I measured my stride rate. It was pretty fast at 186 - 188. I felt good that day and had a good run. Yesterday and today I monitored my stride rate, and this is what I found.

Tired run: 160-175
Recovery run: 178-180
Energetic run: 184-188

Those numbers look reasonable. They indicate that I could use my stride rate as an indicator of my body condition. The good news is that I'm not forcing those stride rates. My body automatically wants a relatively high stride rate, and that is good. If want to do a speed workout, my body is already used to fast leg movement, and it just has to focus on a longer stride length as well as an even faster stride rate.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Today was a tired run

I had hoped to go 5 miles, but I reduced my to 3 miles because I was tired. It was a beautiful day for running, except for a 5 mph wind with gusts up to 10 mph, and the temperature was in the low 70s (F). Later in the day we had brief rain showers. Being a desert area, we need the water!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A great 5-miler in a cold, windy rain

A storm front came in last night, and it has lasted throughout the day today. When I left for my 5-mile run, it was raining, and the wind was gusting up to 10 mph. The rain lasted through out the morning and most of the afternoon, turning to snow mixed with rain in the afternoon. The temperature was 42 (F) when I left and 38 when I returned. I only saw two other runners and three walkers with two dogs on the Parkway. I enjoyed the run. I was cold for the first half mile, and then I felt fine. My wakeup HR was 53 this morning.

I need to spray my nylon wind breaker with Silicone to make it water resistant again. The jacket kept the wind out fine, but the rain went right through, and I was soaked when I got back to my car. I was glad I was wearing a poly T-shirt instead of a cotton one.

I ran a fast stride rate of 186-188

Because of the cold rain, I ran faster than I probably would have. I checked my stride rate several times, and it was always in the 186-188 steps/minute range. I didn't force that stride rate. My body just took me there, and it felt comfortable. I think I was running around 11 minute miles, but I didn't have my GPS with me to measure an accurate pace. That stride rate was fast enough to cause me to run a 9:30 pace, but I kept my stride length small to keep my speed down since this was a recovery run.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My 2nd run in this recovery week

Today I ran 4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. In contrast with Monday, I didn't feel particularly tired at the end of my run today. I stopped at 4 miles because I didn't want to push myself too much in this recovery run. I ran a recovery pace around 11 to 11:30.

The temperature was in the high 60s (F), and it was a nice afternoon for running.

Shorter steps more often mean a faster pace

This afternoon in the middle of my run, I noticed I was slowing down and was taking longer steps. I reduced the length of my steps and automatically took more steps/minute, and I cut 30-45 seconds off my recovery pace, with no noticeable increase in my output of energy. I've mentioned in previous posts that I've been practicing during the past 5 months running at a faster LSD pace. Basically, I've been practicing taking shorter steps more often. After 5 months of practice, the shorter, faster steps have become my "normal". Thus, when I reduced my stride today, I automatically went up to my normal rate of about 180 steps/minute.

Some people will say 5 months is a long time to practice taking smaller steps. My response is, that's ok. I'm trading time for less stress and thus less risk of injury. I have a whole lifetime of time, and I don't want a lifetime of injury.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A good 2-mile recovery run

I ran 2 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this afternoon and had a good run. When I left, I didn't have any goal as to how far I would go; I just let my body tell me when it was time to turn around. After 3/4 mile I started to get tired, and I turned around at the one-mile point. My pace going out was a restful 11 - 11:30 pace, and my pace coming back was a slower jog/walk.

Between my rest last night and a short nap this afternoon, I had a good seven hours of sleep, my normal amount.

Thanks to a storm front that passed through yesterday afternoon and evening, we had cooler weather, and the temperature during my run was a sunny but cool mid 50s (F).

May take one more chance at breaking 30 minutes in a 5K

My friend, Bruce, is encouraging me to try once again to break 30 minutes in a 5K. It would be nice to meet that goal before winter comes since I'm so close to it. There is a 5K on Saturday, October 20, 2008 in Murray, Utah at Wheeler Farms. It is described as a flat, fast course on cinders. It starts at 8:30 am, so the temperature will be in the high 30s or low 40s (F). That sounds like a nice race to run. That is two days before my birthday, and breaking 30 minutes would be a nice birthday present to give myself.

Another thing I'm considering is to use my GPS to measure my own 3.1 course on the Jordan River Parkway and to run an unofficial 5K race. The advantage of this latter option is that I could choose my own date/time for the "race", thus insuring that I have a high energy level when I run it. I don't need to make a decision for a couple of weeks, so I'll see how my recovery goes.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I raced a good 5K and enjoyed the event!

I finished the 5K at Daybreak, South Jordan, Utah in 30:43, a decrease of 1:45 and a new PB! I was 54th across the finish line out of 238 runners and walkers. I was 10th (out of 19) in the age group of 46-99. Not bad for an almost 72-year-old geezer. My splits were

Mile 1: 9:53 (includes part of a 30-second walking break)
Mile 2: 10:24 (includes the rest of a 30-second walking break)
Mile 3: 9:32 (followed by a 0.1 mile sprint to the finish)

One runner, who is much younger than me, told me that he watched me come in to the finish and I was going pretty fast. I had a negative split for the race, and that is good. I hadn't planned on taking walking breaks, but as I neared the end of the first mile, I was pretty tired and took a short walking break, my only break. My mile 2 split shows how tired I was in mid race. Most of the first mile was level. Most of the second mile was uphill (not a steep hill, just a continuous uphill grade), and all of the third mile was downhill.

My average pace for the race was 9:53. To meet my goal of breaking 30 minutes, I would have needed an average of 9:40. I came close. I did get a new PB, and I'm happy with the race.

I walked and jogged for about a mile before the race to begin my warm-up. However, I wasn't fully warmed up until the end of mile 2. This same pattern, needing 2-3 miles to warm up, has been noted in my blog lately.

I commented in my blog a few days ago that I suffered a serious sleep deficit last week. I didn't mention in my blog that I had another sleep deficit Thursday night. And, I had a still another sleep deficit last night, as I always do when I have something important going on the next day. My wakeup heart rate was 3 beats higher this morning than it has been during the past few days. So, I wasn't in very good shape for this race, and I think I did very well considering everything.

My focus on speed is finished for now

After I ran the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon in April 2007, I decided to focus on increasing my LSD pace. I've succeeded in increasing it by a minute to a minute and a half.

With the completion of the 5K today, I'm shifting gears in my training. I need to bring my medium and long runs back to their 10 miles and 13 miles respectively. So, beginning with my long run next week, I will start increasing the distance of those two runs by 1 mile per week. I should be finished with this phase of my training by the end of the year. Then, during the Winter and early Spring, I will mix a few speed workouts into my long distance, doing cadence drills and fartleks. If I meet my end-of-the-year goal, I will have about three months for my body to get used to the 13 mile distance that I will run when I do the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon on April 19, 2008.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ended my 5K taper

Today was my last running day until the 5K on Saturday. I ran two miles, with a 10:20 pace during the last half mile. My wakeup HR was 51 again, and I felt fine before and during the run. I slept well last night, but I don't feel like I'm ready for the race -- still recovering from last week's sleep deprivation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My taper continues for the 5K on Saturday

I ran 3 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I had more energy than I did yesterday, and I felt pretty good during the run. My pace during the last half mile of the run was 11:01, significantly faster than it was yesterday.

My wakeup HR was 51 this morning. I could tell from how I felt before and during the run that I'm in better shape than I was yesterday. I'll run 2 or 3 miles tomorrow, and then I'll rest for two days and then do the race.

My one fear for the 5K on Saturday

I've explained in a previous post that I suffered serious sleep deprivation last week due to working on a special project for my mother-in-law's 90th birthday open house. I've slept well for the past three nights, but I'm still not up to my normal energy level. I hope that I recover from last week before the race on Saturday. If not, my performance will suffer.

By the way, the open house went well. About 150 people attended, a good mixture of family and old friends. A copy of the book of photographs and some text about my mother-in-law that I made was on each table, and people enjoyed browsing through the book. My wife interviewed seven people who gave tributes to her mother, and I recorded the interviews and put them into a DVD. The seven people gave some special remembrances of my mother-in-law. I'm glad my wife and I did the project, and I have no regrets about last week, even if I bomb the race on Saturday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A tired (but expected) 2.64 miles

Since my 5K race is next Saturday, this week is my taper. However, last week I was busy doing a video and also a book of photographs and some text for my mother-in-law's 90th birthday party on Saturday, and I didn't get as much sleep last week as I needed. I only had 3 hours sleep Friday night. Thus, my body is very tired, and I'm just hoping that I sleep well this week so my body will have recovered by Saturday. I did sleep well Saturday night and Sunday night.

My run today for 2.64 miles was at a slow, restful 11:40 pace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I was tired but ran 5 miles

I was busy during the morning, and it was late afternoon when I went running. Even though my wakeup HR was 48 this morning and I felt pretty good, I could tell I was tired. I considered reducing my run to 4 miles but decided to go the full 5. My pace was slower (11:45 during the last half mile, typical for the entire run), but I enjoyed the run. The temperature during my run was in the mid to low 70s (F).

As we approach Fall and our first frost of the year in three or four weeks, I'm seeing more ducks bedding down in the river for the night. Last year I would see literally hundreds of ducks in the river at dusk.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A good five-miles today

My wakeup HR was 47, and I felt good this morning. For my run, I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I timed the last half-mile at 10:24, and that pace was typical for the whole run. I took walking breaks every half mile, but I consumed no liquids during the run.

When I first got up, the temperature was 48 (F), and the sun wasn't up yet. I didn't go running for three hours, and when I left the temperature was 72 (F). When I returned the temperature was 77 (F). Fall is coming, and I love it. The Fall is my favorite time of the year: warm days and crisp nights.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Yea Angie, go Angie, go!

My running friend from Idaho came to the Salt Lake Valley to run a marathon relay this morning with her sisters. The race started and ends near the Jordan River Parkway where I run, and about two miles of the five mile loop is on the Parkway. Angie ran the first leg, and as I write this, she should be close to finishing. I went to the race this morning to meet her family and to cheer them off. Angie is a cousin to my wife's sister-in-law.

Tempo run yesterday?

I've been thinking about my run yesterday, and I think it was likely a tempo run. I normally take two steps per breath, two steps in and two steps out. Yesterday, during my 2nd and 3rd laps, I was taking one step per breath for almost the whole mile. I have a very large chest, and I assume that means I have a large lung-capacity. My 40-year-old son and I were comparing our chests one day, and mine is twice as thick as his. My normal running cadence is about 180, but my cadence during the run, hence the number of breaths per minute, was probably close to 190. I was taking deep breaths, and I used lots of oxygen.

I've been hoping that the adrenaline factor of the race plus a 25 degree (F) lower temperature during the race would let me run close to a 9 minute pace during the 5K race in two weeks. However, based on yesterdays results, those factors may just help me continue a 9:30 pace for the full 3.1 miles instead of for 1 mile. We'll see.

Too bad I didn't have my heart rate monitor on yesterday. It would be interesting to see how high my heart rate went. Maybe I need to trade my Garmin 101 for a 301 :)

Well, back to bed. I woke up from my sleep thinking about this...

Friday, September 7, 2007

My 3rd simuation of a 5K

I have a busy schedule tomorrow, so I did today my last run for the week. I ran three one-mile laps with a 1/2 mile walk in between plus a one-mile jog/walk at the beginning for a warm up. My laps were as follows.

Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 9:24
Mile 3: 9:36

If I ran those times during a 5K, I would break 30 minutes by approximately 15 seconds. Those lap times are a significant improvement from last week when I ran my 2nd simulation, and that is a good sign. I'm hoping that with more rest and a lower temperature, I can do better than those times.

The temperature was 82 (F) when I started my run. I had eaten a bowl of oatmeal just 1 1/2 hours before the run, but I didn't notice any problem from the food. I took no walking breaks or water during the run, and I felt pretty good. It was late afternoon, around 4 pm, when I ran. My 5K is two weeks from tomorrow morning, September 22.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another good 5-mile rest run

I felt fine this morning and ran another 5-miles on the parkway. During most of the time I ran about 10:40, but during the last mile I ran 10:25. I was late getting out, and it was hot, but I forgot to check my thermometer for an exact reading.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

As expected, an OK tired run

When I reached the 1.75 mile marker, I could tell I was tired, and I turned around and headed back. This gave me a 3.5 mile run instead of the 5 miles I had planned. I'm not surprised that I was tired today since I only had four hours of sleep the night before last night plus an hour nap yesterday afternoon.

The temperature during my run was in the low 80s (F). My wakeup HR was 52, a 4% increase from yesterday. I timed the last half-mile at 11:48, and that pace was typical of the whole run.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A good 5-mile rest run

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway and had a great run. I was late going out, and the shade temperature was in the mid to high 80s (F). I felt good during the run. While going out, I ran at approximately 12 minutes/mile, and coming back I ran about 11:40 minutes/mile. My wakeup HR was 49, but I only had 4 hours sleep last night. I expect that that lack of sleep will affect my running tomorrow or Wednesday.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My game-plan for the next three weeks

My next 5K is on September 22, three weeks from today.

My runs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week will be recovery/LSD runs, and I'll let my body determine my pace. Then two days of rest, and on Saturday evening my last simulation of a 5K. Then I have two weeks of recovery/LSD/taper, with my body dictating my pace, and then the race. I hope to be better rested for this 5K than I was for the one on June 30.

On September 15, we're having a special birthday brunch for the birthday of my mother-in-law, Berg. About 120 people have been invited. We're hoping to interview several people who grew up with Berg and videotape the interviews and make a special DVD on Memories of Mor Mor or some such title. Mor Mor is Norwegian for mother's mother, and everyone, related or not, calls Berg Mor Mor. Because of these interviews and the subsequent editing, I may not make some of my runs during the next two weeks.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A great simulation of a 5K with 1/2 mile recoveries

I ran 5 miles today and did my second attempt at simulating a 5K race. I followed Bruce's suggestion to do it in one-mile segments with a recovery between miles. I walked for half a mile for recovery. My laps were as follows.

Mile 1 - 10:32
Mile 2 - 9: 59
Mile 3 - 9:43

I timed the last half-mile at 9:24.

I didn't carry any water, and I took no walking breaks during the mile. Except for my hat instead of a sweat band, I was wearing what I will run with on September 22. Another difference between today and the race is that today was hotter (mid 80s (F) ) while the race will probably be in the mid 40s. I would like to break 30 minutes for the race, and that will require a 9:40 pace. I'm hoping that with the cooler temperature and the adrenalin factor I can do 9 minute miles which will just break 28 minutes.

I could tell that today wasn't my best day. I only had a one-day rest since I ran Wednesday evening, and I usually have a two-day rest before my Saturday runs. I ran today instead of tomorrow because I'll be gone all day tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hey, I'm 40 again

This evening, after the sun had set, I ran a planned 3.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. By the time I had completed one mile, it was dark, and beautiful. I enjoy running at night because the world seems different. Quiet, peaceful. There is enough light from nearby buildings and parking lots that I have no problem staying on the path. It's nice to look at the lights of nearby and distant buildings. As I went past a golf course, there were people on the putting range enjoying their sport in the cooler evening. I still heard birds chirping nearby. I could see lights reflecting off the water of the Jordan River, and there were black spots all over the river, ducks and geese settled in for the night. During the first part of my run, I saw quite a few runners and walkers and bikers finishing their workouts. I saw two kids, a boy and a girl, walking on the wooden rail that borders the first part of my run, their arms stretched out to provide balance. As I went past the boy, who was about 10, I said, "You're better at that than I am." He made a comment, but I couldn't hear what he said. During my run, I still had sweat all over my face, but not nearly as much as I have during mid-day when the temp is in the mid 90s (F).

It took me about 2 miles to warm up, and during the remainder of the run I felt like I did when I was cruising the back roads of Massachusetts. It was a great feeling! A feeling like I could go on forever. No pain, no huffing or puffing, just cruising at a 10:40 pace.

When I finished my run, I stretched by the large South Jordan sign that is at the beginning/end of my run. After I finished my "wall pushers" and I was standing by the sign, the thought came to me that I'm 40 again. The temperature was in the low 70s (F) during my run, and that lower temperature might have contributed to the success of this run. However, a few days ago I ran earlier in the morning when the temperature was in the mid 70s, and I didn't have this feeling. What ever caused the feeling tonight, it was nice!

I think this is the way that all LSD runs should be finished. No feelings of being tired. No huffing or puffing. No sore legs. Just a great feeling from having a strong, healthy body. Many runners will run LSD until they're really tired, until they can't run any more. I prefer to stop while I'm still feeling great and want to continue but know I need to stop. I prefer to stop while I feel great, so I can look forward to the next run. Running LSD this way is just intuitive with me, the logical and common sense way to run. I was glad when I first read George Sheehan's essay on jogging (The Basics of Jogging) to find that he also espouses this way of running. That essay was the first thing I ever read in the running literature, and I immediately bonded with the essay because most of the ideas he advocated were things that I was already doing. This is why he has been my mentor for all my years of running.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If at first you don't succeed, abort the run

I started on my 5-mile run but could tell I was tired. I didn't have the "spark" of energy that I had on Saturday and yesterday. So I aborted the run and did 3.5 slow miles. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may skip tomorrow's run. I'll be doing my 5K simulation this week on Friday instead of Saturday, and I want to be well rested for that workout. My wakeup HR was 51. I was out two hours later than yesterday, and the temperature was in the low 80s (F) during my run.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today was a rest run

Saturday was a great speed run, so today was a great rest run of 5 miles. It took me 2 1/2 miles to warm up, and I probably ran 11:00 to 11:30 during that part. I ran faster on the way back and timed the last 1/2 mile as 10:42. In all cases, as I usually do in a rest run, I let my body set the pace.

I was on the trail this morning before the sun was up, and it was a nice mid 60s temperature. I actually felt a little bit cold when I first started, but I was sweating by the time I reached the 1/2 mile mark. My wakeup HR was 50.

Nothing in life is free

One disadvantage of running at sunup or sundown is there are lots of small moths, insects or what ever they are that hit your face and get into your eyes. They hover in clouds near the bank of the river. They are larger than gnats and are a whitish color instead of the dark color of gnats. Most of the Parkway trail is far enough from the river bank that these things aren't a problem, but in a few places the trail gets close to the river and goes through clouds of these things. Ahhh... the price of a great run!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today was a wonderful speed run

I felt great during my 5-mile run this morning. The temperature was about 10 degrees (F) cooler than it has been. My wakeup HR was 50. I felt great and had a lot more endurance than I've had during the past couple of weeks. I was out an hour earlier than I've been getting out, and I enjoyed seeing ducks swimming in the river. When I left home, the shade temperature was in the mid 60s, and it was 78 when I returned.

First attempt to simulate my next 5K run

Today I ran a simulation of my next 5K. I ran about 2 miles with no walking breaks. I went out at a pace of 9:05, which was too fast. I slowed down to a pace of 9:40 - 9:50 and maintained that pace for the rest of the 2 miles. I could have continued that pace for the 3.1 miles, but Mother Nature was calling and I had to make a pit stop at a restroom in a nearby pavilion.

There are three improvements I'll make for my simulation next week.

First, I'll go slower in my one-mile warm up. I ran that mile this morning at a pace of 11:15, which is too fast for a warm up. Next week I'll do more walking during the warm up and will jog at a pace around 12 minutes.

Second, I'll try to go out not quite so fast. Even though I quickly slowed down today, I did waste some energy during that first quarter mile.

Third, I won't carry any water or Gatorade with me, thus having less weight to carry. When I left home for my run, I had forgotten that today was simulation day, and I carried my 24 ounces of liquid, a weight of over 1 1/2 pounds plus the weight of my fuel belt. Next week I'll drink in my car before I begin the run and then again when I return to the car.

To break 30 minutes in the 5K, I need to run 9:40, and I ran close to that today for 2 miles. I shouldn't have a problem completing the 3.1 miles next week, and then I'll just need to bring my pace down to 9:30 - 9:40.

I'll probably do the simulation on Friday next week because I have an activity Saturday morning, and I don't want to run later in the evening.

New LOCO Carumba right out of the box

I ran in my new Carumba today. One reason I like LOCO shoes is that I can use them right out of the box -- no breaking in!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Going to a new pair of LOCO Carumba shoes

Even though they have only 255 miles, I'm retiring my Carumba shoes from running so I can use them for my non-running shoes. When I went to Carumba shoes a few months ago, I retired my Mojo shoes from running and used the Mojo for my daily shoes. The Mojo are motion-control shoes, and I wanted to stop using them and use a neutral shoe for my daily shoes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A nice rest run

Yesterday I was tired and reduced my run from 5 miles to 3.5 miles. Today I was still tired but ran the full 5 miles and enjoyed the run. My pace during the run was 11:00 - 11:30. My wakeup HR was 51. The temperature when I left home was 76 (F), and it was 89 when I returned.

Expected temperature for the 5K on September 22

My next race will be a 5K on September 22. The race starts at 9 am and will be in the Daybreak area of South Jordan.

During the summer, races usually start around 6 am to take advantage of the cool night air. This race, however, is starting three hours later, implying that the September temperatures will be cooler. I checked my blog for last year to see what the morning temperature was, and on September 23, 2006 the temp was 44 (F). Thus, September 22, 2007 should be a great day for a race, assuming it isn't windy or storming.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Today was not a day for a spectacular run

I felt pretty good when I got up and my wakeup HR was 49, but when I started to run I could tell I was tired. I ran a slow pace from 11:30 to 12:00 for 3 1/2 miles. It felt hot to me, even though the temperature was in the low to mid 80s (F).

I can think of two reasons why I was tired. First, I had good runs on Saturday and yesterday, and I needed a rest day. Second, my wife and I attend a family reunion last night, and I was on my feet for over three hours, including a mile walk around a pond. The good news is that I've been sleeping well.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A great rest run

I ran 5 miles again and enjoyed the run. I ran a comfortable rest pace and let my body dictate the speed. The temperature was about 10 degrees (F) cooler than it has been, and it was a nice experience. On the way out I ran from 11 - 11:30, and on the way back I ran from
10:30 - 11, although I ran the last half mile about 10:20. My wakeup HR was 51.

A change in strategy for running faster

Since I ran the half-marathon in April, I've been trying to increase my long slow distance pace. I've been doing this by just running faster, hoping that my body will adopt the higher speed as its normal speed.

However, I'm thinking of running another 5K on September 22, and I would like to break 30 minutes. To do that I would have to run a pace of 9:40 with no walking breaks. I'm thinking I should practice that pace during the next month so it will be something I'm familiar with. Thus, I think that on Saturdays I will run 3.1 miles at a pace of 9:35 and no walking breaks. I will run a restful mile before the 3.1 miles to warm up and a restful mile after the 3.1 miles to cool down. My other three runs will be similar to the runs I've been doing. In addition, I've been taking walking breaks during my five miles because of the heat, but with cooler weather coming up, I shouldn't need to take them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Still tired but a nice run

Today I did another 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I could tell I was still tired, but not as much as I was on Wednesday. Most of my running was between 10:30 and 11:00, but I did have brief periods around 10:00, with an eighth of a mile under 10. I timed the last half-mile at 10:28, but during the last quarter mile I was running 10:15.

The temperature was 67 when I left and 78 when I returned, thanks to a storm front that is passing through. The sky was overcast and it was nice not to be running in the direct sun. My wakeup HR was 50.

May run a 5K on September 22

South Jordan is having another 5K race in Daybreak on September 22. I'm thinking of running it. According to photos on the race web site, there were only about 50 people who ran it last year. It looks like a small-town race that should be fun to run. I won't get a medal, though, because my age group for the race is 45 and above. I would like to break 30 minutes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A nice rest run

I didn't run yesterday, because I was tired, but I felt ok today and ran 5 miles on the Parkway. I didn't have as much energy as last Saturday or Monday, but I had a nice rest run. My pace for the last half-mile was 10:41, so my pace for the whole run was probably between 10:30 and 11:00. It took me about 2 miles to warm up, and I ran faster on the way back. The shade temperature when I left was about 80 (F), and it was about 90 when I returned.

Can't eat anything before I run

I usually run first thing in the morning before I have breakfast. In the past I've been able to eat something light before I left for the run, but I'm finding now that I'm running faster for my LSD and rest paces, I can't eat anything. This morning I had a couple handfuls of Cheerios, and I had an upset stomach for the first mile or so.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A nice 5-miler

I ran 5-miles on the Jordan River Parkway. My wife and two grandkids who are visiting us came with me, and the kids played on a playground that is next to the Parkway while I ran. My pace was about 10:30 - 11:00. Due to getting the grandkids ready, we were late getting out, and the temperature was in the high 80s to low 90s (F) during my run. I enjoyed the run and didn't push for speed.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A great run to end my rest week

Boy, did I have a great run today! I had to hold myself back, and even then I ran faster than I have all week. After my half-mile warm up, I ran between 10 and 10:30 minutes/mile going out. Coming back I was between 9:55 and 10:15 minutes/mile, and I went even faster during the last half mile, a 9:48 pace. I didn't force any speed and just let my body set its pace. My wakeup HR was 51. I was late getting out, and it was 92 (F) when I left home.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The 2nd run of my rest week

I had a great rest run this morning, 4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. Even though I was late getting out, the temperature when I left was 76 (F), and it was 86 (F) when I returned. I ran at a comfortable 11 minute pace and enjoyed myself. My wakeup HR was 51.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Aborted my run & took a rest day

I felt tired when I got up, but I went out running anyway. After a quarter mile, I turned around and walked back. I could have continued and probably felt better after I'd warmed up, but I decided it was better to rest today and increase my chances of having a good run tomorrow rather than risking losing both days. The temperature was about the same as yesterday, so that wasn't a factor in my being tired. Also, I slept well last night. I had a good running week last week and yesterday, and I think my body just needs more rest.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The first run of my rest week

This week is my resting week in which I will do reduced mileage and my rest pace. I ran 4 miles this morning, a reduction of 1 mile (20%). I let my body set its pace, which was 10:30 - 11:00. The temperature was 76 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned, and it was a pleasant day to be outside. There were quite a few people on the Parkway. My wakeup HR was 53.

I'll race you to that green sign

I saw a family on the Parkway. The mother was pushing a stroller, and two sons were riding bikes. The older son was about 10, and he was about 100 yards in front of his family. As I neared him, I said to him, "I'll race you to that green sign" (a distance of about 100 yards). He smiled, turned around, and took off to the sign. Since this was a rest day, I just continued my pace. As I neared the sign, the boy had turned around and was heading back toward me. As I ran past him, I held out my hand and gave him a "high 5".

Don't ignore pain, even minor pain

On Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday of last week, I could feel a minor pain in my right quad. At first I ignored it, because I thought it was probably from my sitting at my computer for several hours on Thursday. The pain was very weak, and I didn't notice it much during the day. However, I had a slight difficulty walking, because my right foot felt weak, and, my knees felt a bit weak when going up stairs.

After my run Saturday morning, I decided I'd better do something about the pain, to prevent it from evolving into an injury. I stretched my quads during the rest of Saturday, several times on Sunday, and this morning before I ran. As soon as I stretched my quads, I could feel a reduction in the pain, and by Saturday afternoon the pain was gone. It was also gone on Sunday and so far today.

The moral of this story is that if you experience an abnormal condition in your body, don't ignore it because it may get worse; give it appropriate treatment. I usually don't have any pain in my body, so that minor pain was abnormal. If I had ignored it, it might have evolved into an injury.

Even though I haven't had the pain since Saturday morning, I'm going to continue stretching my quads for a few days.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The best run I've had for a month!

I ran 5 miles on the Parkway this morning and did really well. Most of the run was between 10:00 and 10:30. A mile was between 9:30 and 9:45. A few minutes was under 9:30 and above 11:30. As I usually do, I didn't force my pace but just let my body do its thing. I felt fine and enjoyed the run.

Even though it was after 10 am when I left home, it was about 10 degrees (F) cooler than it has been, due to a storm front that has been passing through (lots of rain during the past couple of days). The temperature was 78 (F) when I left home and in the low 80s (F) when I returned. I'm sure the lower temperature helped. And, a 6-7 tailwind on the way back may have helped a bit, too, but the same wind was a headwind on the way out :(

Checked my GPS elevation reading with a benchmark

There is a surveyor's benchmark next to the Parkway, and on my way back, I stopped to read the elevation at that point. The BM said 4314 feet. My GPS said 4344 feet. Considering that my GPS is an old three-satellite device, the 30 foot discrepancy is ok.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My first racing flats

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you'll know that I run in LOCO shoes from LOCO has a "Club LOCO" that gives discounts to club members. Anyone can become a club member via email. Each month Club LOCO members receive a discount off of LOCO shoes, and they usually get a free item with the shoes, such as a poly T-shirt, a singlet, stockings, or a cap. This month they gave a free pair of Bandito racing shoes. So, I ordered an extra pair of Carumba shoes (24% discount) and got my Bandito shoes.

I tried the Bandito shoes this morning and ran half a mile with no problems. I want to try them out at distances at least up to 5K, because racing shoes have less cushioning than training shoes (that's why they are called flats), and I want to be sure my feet handle the shoes fine. LOCO claims that the Bandito has more cushioning than most flats, and they felt fine for for the short half-mile run. The Bandito weighs 8.5 oz compared to 9.9 oz for my Carumba.

Later: I've been reading about racing flats and have learned that they may only affect my pace by 10-15 seconds. The web sites I visited emphasized that flats have a greater risk of injury than trainers due to less cushioning. The sites also emphasized that unless one is running 7-minute miles or faster, the benefits of flats don't compensate for the risks of using them. So, I think I'll put the flats away and save them for the time when I'm running 7-minute miles :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Finally had a rest run

It was 10:00 am when I ran my 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. Because of getting out late, it was hotter than it has been but not as hot as last week. I could tell my body was ready for a rest, so I just let it do its thing. My pace varied from 10:30 to 11:30, with most of the running between 11:00 and 11:30. The shade temperature when I left home was 82 (F) and 88 (F) when I returned home.

My wife came with me, and she walked 3 miles. I caught up with her towards the end, and we walked the last 1/8 mile together.

I am significantly faster than a year ago

One year ago, I was a week away from my three-week taper before the Great Salt Lake Half-Marathon. My fastest training run at that time was at a 11:34 pace for 13 miles. Now, a 11:34 pace is a slow, restful pace, and my "high energy" pace for 10 miles is 10:00 minutes. I said 10 miles not 13 miles, because I've reduced my distance since the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon in April so I could focus on getting a faster LSD pace.

If I can cut another minute 30 seconds from my pace by this time next year, I'll be ready to break 2 hours in a half-marathon and hopefully be down in the mid to high 20s (minutes) for a 5K.

Another 5K coming up?

I just found out there is another 5K in South Jordan in September, and I'm considering running it. I don't know any details about it yet. South Jordan is a convenient location for me to do a race.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My rest run became a NOT

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. My goal was to have a rest run at a pace of 11, but I forgot my GPS. I thus ran a comfortable but slower (so I thought) pace. I timed myself during the last half-mile, as I had yesterday, and discovered I was running a bit faster than yesterday. My pace during that last half-mile was 10:38. I felt fine. My wakeup HR was 47.

I was on the trail about half and hour earlier than yesterday, but the temperatures were about the same as yesterday (76 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned).

HOT: Shade, shade, my kingdom for shade

Because I was on the trail a bit earlier, there were more and longer shady spots. During the longer shady spots, I could feel the difference between being in the sun and being in the shade. While in the shade, my poly T-shirt felt cool to my skin.

A car was in the Jordan River

As I approached the access road to the parking lot for the Jordan River Parkway at 9800 South, the traffic slowed almost to a stop, and I could see flashing police lights down by the river. After I turned into the parking lot, I saw several fire department vehicles and hazard-waste vehicles. I parked and asked a nearby fireman what had happened. He said a man had gone off the road and into the river. The man got out and called 911. By the time I got there, the emergency crew had used a large crane on a semi and had pulled the car from the river, and the emergency workers were packing up to leave. It looked like they had a lot more vehicles there than they would need. I guess the situation provided training for the emergency folks as well as getting the car out of the river. When I returned from my run an hour later, all of the emergency vehicles were gone, and traffic on 9800 South was back to normal.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Today I was in runners heaven

I had a great 5-mile run this morning. It took me 2 miles to warm up, but on the way back I ran at a consistent 10:40 pace all the way back and felt great. The shade temperature was 76 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned. My wakeup HR was 48. A great run! Now, to tackle more weeds in my wife's flower garden...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I felt fine during my 5-mile run today

My wakeup HR was 49 (I consider 48 as my normal), and I felt fine while I dressed and stretched. I was on the Parkway at 8:20 am, and I enjoyed my run. I felt stronger than I had earlier in the week, and I ran a bit faster, still running at my comfortable pace. I drank 16 ounces of water and 8 ounces of Gatorade during the run. When I returned, my urine was a light yellow, ok but a bit darker than I would like.

The shade temperature was 70 (F) when I left. I forgot to check it when I returned, but right now (2 hours later) it is 94 (F). It was probably in the low 80s (F) when I returned.

Friday, July 27, 2007

An extra rest day this week

I felt pretty tired on Tuesday, so I took Wednesday off. I've felt pretty good today and have spent a couple of hours pulling weeks in my wife's flower garden. She has been gone for 2 1/2 months (nanny in Europe for our 3 grand children, my daughter & her husband). She comes home on Tuesday, and I want the garden to look like a Garden of Eden when she arrives.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Too hot to run, so I came home

I messed up my schedule this morning and didn't get out until 11 am. By that time, it was hot. I didn't have a lot of energy, so I cut my run short and was glad to have gotten in 3 miles. When I got home, the shade temperature was 86, so it was about the same temperature as yesterday. But, it felt hotter. Just goes to show that my body wasn't in great condition today. At that time of day, there is very little shade along the Parkway path, and I got the full brunt of the direct sun.

I made no attempt to run faster. My pace on the way out was around 12:15-12:30. That was with a 5-7 mph headwind. On the way back, my pace was 11:30-12:00. I felt better on the way back, because I was warmed up (not warmed up as in hot from the sun but warmed up as in past the initial sluggishness of running).

My wakeup HR was 52, a little higher than it has been.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A nice 5-mile recovery run

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this morning and enjoyed it. I left my GPS home and just ran at a comfortable pace, probably around 11:30. I was late getting out (10 am). The temperature was 78 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned. Too hot to push very hard.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Had a good 5-mile speed workout

During my 5-mile run, I did four Galloway Cadence Drills. For those not familiar with the drills, you run 30 seconds at a comfortable pace and count the number of times your left foot hits the ground. Then for 30 seconds you run a bit faster, trying to get 1 or 2 more in your count. I got 2 and 3 more in my counts. In between the drills, I ran a slow recovery pace for a couple of minutes.

When I wasn't doing the drills, I ran a faster but still comfortable pace, ranging from 10:45 to 11:30 (most of the time my pace was around 11:00. I was late in getting out, and the temperature was in the high 80s when I ran.

The maiden voyage for my new Fuel Belt

I've been using a 25-year old fanny pack to carry my water and Gatorade. It is a small pack and is just big enough for a 20-ounce bottle of water and one full of Gatorade. I noticed a few days ago that the seams in the pack (it is made of canvas) are tearing out, because I also stuff in my cell phone and car key. I decided to splurge and get a Fuel Belt that carries six 8-ounce bottles. That is 8 ounces more that I was carrying on hot days. The belt also has a nice pouch for my cell phone and key. The bottles are distributed uniformly around the belt and thus help to keep me balanced.

The fuel belt worked fine on my run this morning. I used three bottles, two of water and one of Gatorade. I've been drinking half water and half Gatorade, and I decided last week to go to a 2:1 ratio. It took just a few minutes to get used to removing and returning the bottles to the elastic "pockets" on the belt.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ran 5 miles this morning

I felt better this morning. My wakeup HR was down to 50. I ran my 5-mile route along the Jordan River Parkway at a faster pace that I ran yesterday and Monday. On the way out I timed a half-mile segment at 11:18 and on the way back another half-mile segment at 11:46.

The temperature was 78 (F) when i left home and 86 (F) when I returned. The sky was partly cloudy and the humidity was down. There was a 5 mph headwind going out and tailwind coming back. I drank 24 ounces of liquid, a swallow or two at each walking break at each half-mile.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Still tired today

My wakeup heart rate was 53 again. I felt a little bit better than I did yesterday, but I was still tired during my run. I thus cut the run short again, doing 4 miles. I've been sleeping well, and that is a very good sign. I just have to give my body some time to recover from my run on Saturday, from the high heat, and from the higher relative humidity. It was in the 70s (F) when I ran yesterday, but in the afternoon the sun came out and it got really hot.

Mugginess in humidity depends on what you're used to

When I lived in Massachusetts, the relative humidity in the summer was around 90-95%, and people thought they were walking around in the middle of a pond. When the humidity got down to 50%, we thought we were in heaven it was so dry. Here in Utah, the humidity is usually below 20%, and we think we are in heaven. During my run today, due to a cloudy sky and slight rain showers, the humidity was 22%, and I thought I was running in the middle of the Jordan River even though the temperature was only in the 70s (F). It's all what you get used to :) A high humidity really saps one's strength.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Still tired from my Saturday run

I felt ok when I got up, but my wakeup HR was 53, about 10% high. As soon as I started running I could tell I didn't have the "zip" of energy that means I'll have a great run. When I got to 2 1/4 miles, I started to feel tired, and I turned around and came back, giving me 4.5 miles instead of 5 miles. I ran a slow pace around 12:15 - 12:30.

The sky was cloudy during my run, and the relief from direct sunshine was great! The temperature was 76 (F) when I left home and 78 (F) when I returned.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A great 10-mile run this morning.

I was on the Jordan River Parkway path a little after 8 am this morning, and I ran 10 miles. The temperature when I left home was 72 (F), and I felt good on the way out even though my wakeup HR was 53, a bit higher than it has been. I also felt good on the way back, even though the temperature was significantly higher. It has been about a month since I did 10 miles, and it felt great. I purposely am reducing my distance while I increase my pace, but I'm hoping to keep the ability to run 10 miles so I won't have to do a lot of work to get my distance back to 13.1 miles.

After I finish a run, I always go into the tunnel under 9800/10000 South to be in the shade while I stretch. There is usually a breeze in the tunnel, due to the funnel-effect of the tunnel, and that breeze really felt good this morning.

My pace was faster today

I forgot my GPS (again), so I timed two half-mile segments to get an idea of my pace. On the way out, I timed the segment from 1.5 miles to 2.0 miles, and my pace was 9:31 minutes/mile. I chose that segment, because I'm usually warmed up by 1.5 miles, and I know accurately where the segment begins and ends. I could tell I wasn't ready for that fast of a pace because my throat was slightly raw, so I slowed down a bit for the rest of the run.

On the way back, I timed myself over the same segment, and my pace was 10:21. I had run 8 miles when I started this segment, and I was, I'm sure, getting tired. Also, the temperature was significantly higher on the way back. When I left home, the temperature was 72 (F), and when I returned home, the temperature was 91 (F).

Those paces of 9:31 and 10:21 are almost exactly the paces for my new goals. The 10:21 pace was close to the pace I maintained over the 6 miles between the two measurements. I'm not claiming that I've reached my new goals, because, as I mentioned, I wasn't ready for the 9:31 pace. But, it is interesting that I reached the two numbers, even for just a few minutes in the case of the first number. Running my goal recovery pace for most of the run was appropriate since I doubled the mileage from most of my runs the past couple of weeks and thus needed to run slower that I would if I were just going 5 miles. Also, before I claim I've reached my new goals, I want to be able to repeat my new paces for quite a few runs such that I feel comfortable with the higher speeds.

Two "improvements" from wearing neutral shoes

I've explained in previous posts that I wore motion-control shoes for 20 years when I should have been wearing neutral shoes. I'm a supinator, and neutral shoes are recommended for supination. I now have 155 miles on my first pair of Carumba by Loco Running. The shoes have been working fine. In fact, I've noticed two improvements over my motion-control shoes.
  1. Last fall I began noticing a "weakness" in my left foot. There was no pain, just a feeling that my foot couldn't support my weight. The feeling only came after 8 or 9 miles, and, in the beginning, it didn't last long. However, as the winter and spring progressed, the feeling came more often and lasted longer. During the past 155 miles, I haven't had that feeling, and I've done several 10-mile runs.

  2. The second improvement is more complicated. Let me explain. In my home we have a custom of not wearing shoes in the house, and for years I've gone around the house bare footed. About five years ago, I was walking in my bedroom in the dark, and I stubbed my toe. I was walking fast, and I really jammed my toe. About a month later, I did the same thing to the same toe. I may have broken the toe, or something, because ever since that time I've had a numbness in that toe. I haven't worried about the injury, because the numbness hasn't increased and hasn't seemed to handicap my walking and running.

    When walking, I didn't have pain with the numbness. But, when I ran I did have a small pain in the toe; after a mile or so of running, the pain went away. I still have the numbness, but since changing to the Carumba shoes, I don't feel the pain. I don't know if this lack of pain is due to my changing from motion-control to neutral shoes, or if it is due to a slight difference in the width of the two shoes. The Carumba shoes are more comfortable and seem to be slightly wider.

Peace officers were out running

When I arrived at the parking lot for the Jordan River Parkway, the lot was full of cars. This was strange, because there are usually only a few cars there.

Soon after I started my run, I began passing a lot of runners who were finishing their run. They all wore T-shirts and shorts, and the T-shirts were all the same. I figured they were either a team or a fitness class. Then I noticed the runners at the rear of the group were older and slower, so I knew they weren't on a team. I asked one of the runners as I passed him what group they were with, and he yelled, "the college, Post Academy." I had never heard of Post Academy, so I googled it when I got home and found out it is the training academy for Peace (police) Officers.

Last week just as I was ready to drive away from the parking lot, a bunch of cars came in that were filled with men and a few women who were wearing what looked like soccer uniforms -- blue shorts, white T-shirts, and blue number-bibs (with white numbers) over the shirts. I didn't ask them what group they were with, but they weren't dressed like runners even though they came to run. I thought to myself, "I hope they make it, because it is awfully hot to be wearing those number-bibs."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Today was a tired 4-mile run

I'm still tired from yesterday, so I cut my run short by a mile. I was out earlier than yesterday. The shade temperature was about 81 (F) when I left home and was 91 (F) when I returned. Not many people on the Parkway, but a motorcycle cop did go by. Maybe he will give the fast runners a ticket for speeding :)

I drank about 20 ounces of liquid. I had a small amount of water left, and I poured it on my head -- sure felt good!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ran a hot 5 miles

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway again, and it was hot! The temperature was 93 (F) when I left home and 96 when I returned. I was late getting out (about noon), but I felt pretty good. I let my body set its own pace, and it set paces from about 11:30 to 12:20. My perceived effort was about the same as yesterday, and I enjoyed the run. I was surprised that I didn't suffer, emotionally or physically, from the heat. I think I may be acclimating to the higher temperatures.

Instead of talking walking breaks every half-mile, I took them every quarter mile, and drank my customary swallow of Gatoraid and swallow of water at each break. All together, I drank about 35 ounces of liquid.

Running in hot weather

I thought I'd summarize how I handle heat while running.

1. Eat properly during the day before your run so you'll have the energy you need to complete the distance AND to handle the heat.

2. Be well hydrated during the day and night before your run by drinking more liquids.

3. Use the urine test before and after a run to test for dehydration. A slight yellow color is ok. Anything very dark indicates dehydration. The darker the color, the more the dehydration.

4. When possible run earlier in the morning or later at night when the temperature is lower.

5. If possible, choose a course that has some shade. Pause in or walk through the shady spots.

6. Run so your perceived effort for the run is about the same as it would be if you were running in a lower temperature. This means you'll run slower to reduce the stress on your body from the heat. Save your speed workouts for lower temperatures. Remember: Spring and Fall are for training. Summer and Winter are for surviving.

7. Take walking breaks if you normally don't take them, or walking breaks more often if you normally do take them, to give your body relief from the heat.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Back to my 5-mile runs

I ran my 5-mile route on the Jordan River Parkway. I felt pretty energetic when I got up (wakeup HR was 51) and during my stretches, but the heat got to me and it took me over 2 miles to warm up. During that time, my pace was around 11:30. On the way back, my pace was down to 10:30 - 11:00. The shade temperature when I left home was in the low 70s (F), and it was 88 (F) when I returned.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Pulling weeds and running don't mix

Yesterday, I spent 5 hours in the hot sun pulling weeds in my wife's Garden of Weeden. The temperature maxed at 100 (F) in the shade and was hotter than that in the direct sun. I also spent two hours pulling weeds in the evening when the temperature was in the mid 80s (F). When I ran this morning I could tell that I was pretty tired, so I only ran 3 miles instead of my planned 4 miles. I slept well last night, and my wakeup HR was 48 this morning (46 yesterday), but the toll on my body from hours in the sun was much greater than the benefit of the sleep. I drank a lot of water yesterday and took rest breaks, and I felt pretty good during the evening. But, I could tell almost immediately when I started running that I was tired.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Another day and another 4 miles of running

I was out earlier today for my four-mile rest run. The temperature when I left home was 74 (F) and was 84(F) when I returned. I felt more energetic than I did yesterday. I didn't have my GPS with me, so I timed the last half-mile at 5:47 or a 11:34 pace.

The swallows lost their nest again and an egg too

When I went through the tunnel under 9800 South yesterday, the swallow nest was intact, but when I went through the tunnel today, the nest was on the ground and an egg was smashed on the ground. It's too bad, but I assume the city has to insure the safety of persons using the path. A lot of people are paranoid about animals, and someone in the city government apparently felt the birds shouldn't be nesting in the tunnel. I walk through the tunnel about 20 times per week, been doing that for a lot of weeks, and I've never been attacked by the birds. The nest was up about 10 feet, and one would need either a long stick or a ladder to knock the nest down. For this reason, I assume it was done by a city employee not just a walker going by.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I ran 4 miles again

I ran my four-mile route on the Jordan River Parkway again today. I wasn't as energetic as I was yesterday, and I ran slower, 11:30 to 12:00 paces. I was out an hour earlier, and it wasn't quite as hot as yesterday during my run. I noticed it was 92 (F) in the shade about half an hour after I had finished my run. If I still feel tired tomorrow, I'll take the day off; otherwise I'll run the four miles again.

Monday, July 2, 2007

I'm going to start taking rest weeks for my runs

Jeff Galloway suggests that we take a rest week every month. I think other world-class runners suggest that, too. And, my friend Bruce from Vegas suggests that. So, I thought I'd better start doing it.

Having the first week of the month be a rest week fits my schedule best, so this week is a rest week. My initial goals for a rest week are to reduce my distance by about 20% and to run only comfortable, rest runs.

A great 4-mile rest run

I ran for four miles on the Jordan River Parkway and really enjoyed it. I listened to my body and ran a comfortable pace (around 11:00 to 11:30 pace), and I enjoyed being out, even with a temperature in the low 90s (F). I drank about 10 ounces of Gatorade and 10 ounces of water during my walking breaks every half mile. I felt pretty good and had a reasonable energy level for a hot day. My wakeup HR was 51, about what it has been for the past couple of weeks.

A post-script to the 5K race on Saturday

During the 5k, while running down the Jordan River Parkway, we passed a section where the city had sprinklers putting water on some grass that bordered the path. A young boy who was just in front of me, he was about 8 or 9 years old, moved over to the edge of the path so the water would hit him. That reminded me of the times when I ran during the noon hour at work in Massachusetts and the company had sprinklers running on the grass. When I finished a run and was dripping with sweat, I would walk onto the lawn and lie down so the sprinklers would spray me with water. That really felt good!

My Carumba neutral shoes are doing well

I mentioned in previous posts that I've been wearing motion-control shoes for the past 20 years when I should have been wearing neutral shoes (I don't know why I wasn't injured from having the wrong shoes, but I'm glad I wasn't). I switched to LOCO Carumba neutral shoes on May 11, and I've put 119 miles on those shoes. I've had no problems with them, and they fit my feet a little bit better than my LOCO Mojo shoes did. I won't know until I have 500 miles on them if the Carumba are a better shoe for my feet. Even then, I probably won't be able to draw any conclusion from the Carumba shoes feeling fine and not causing injury, because the Mojo shoes felt that way, too.

There are two things I can look for that may help me draw a comparison between the Carumba and the Mojo shoes.

  • Compression of the right heel. I've explained in previous posts that I have a skeletal problem that causes me to walk on the outside of my right shoe, and this causes the heel to compress more on the outside than it does on the inside. The Mojo shoes do have a slight amount of that compression after 500 miles.
  • I've explained in previous posts that, starting in the Fall of 2006, I started having a "weak" feeling in my left foot. By "weak", I mean as in unable to support weight. No pain or soreness, just a feeling that I couldn't put much weight on the foot. This feeling would appear on runs longer than about 8 miles. During the winter and spring, the feeling became more pronounced and started to have a bit of pain with the feeling. Since changing to the Carumba, I've run one 9-miler and one 10-miler, and I haven't felt that feeling. However, I need more miles and more longer runs on the Carumba to see if the feeling occurs or not.
So, I'll report back about this from time to time as I put more miles on the Carumba.