June 30, 2007

2nd in my age-group at the 5K

The race began at 6:00 am, and by 6:32:28 I was finished. My time of 32:28 gave me a 2nd place in my age group of 70 and older. I was 94th out of about 220 runners. My average for the race was 10:26. I took 30-second walking breaks every half mile, and sometimes I took them more often. Subtracting the break-times gives me approximately a 9:15 average pace for my actual running. I drank no liquids during the race because the sun hadn't come up and the temperature was in the mid to high 60s (F).

I am getting faster as a runner!

I've been looking at my progress during the past 12 months. During that time I ran several 13-mile training runs, two half-marathons, and one 5K. Since the 5K is a shorter race, I've looked at my pace for the first three miles of my fastest training run and each half-marathon and for today's 5K. Here are the pace numbers (times spent in walking breaks have been removed):

June 2006 (training run) 12:00
August 2006 (half marathon) 9:49
April 2007 (half marathon) 9:38
June 2007 (5K) 9:15

I'm pleased with my progress, and I hope I can continue that progress during the coming year.

Going to continue working on a faster pace

I think my training the past two months to increase my pace helped me this morning. During my training runs, I ran 10 minute miles when I felt good and 11 to 11:30 miles when I didn't feel quite so good (those times don't include walking breaks). Today was one of my not quite so good days, and I ran faster than I've been doing in my better training runs.

I'm going to continue working on a faster pace during the summer to allow my body to better adjust to the increased speed, and I'll decide in the Fall if I should continue doing that or if I should cap my pace and slowly lengthen my distance back to the 30 - 33 miles per week I was running before the half-marathon in April. It will be a significant challenge for me to run my faster pace over a half-marathon distance. Meeting that challenge is a great motivation for me! To give me numbers to aim for, I've reduced my goal-paces by 30 seconds.

June 29, 2007

The sun isn't up yet at 6:00

This morning I looked out my kitchen window at 6:10 am, and the sun wasn't up yet. This means that I should finish the race tomorrow before or shortly after sunup. The temperature was in the low 60s (F), still quite warm for running but much better than the 90+ in the middle of the day. Should be a great race tomorrow!

June 27, 2007

The course of the South Jordan Country Fest 5K run

About half of the course for the race on Saturday is on the Jordan River Parkway, and I'm very familiar with that. This afternoon I drove around the residential streets that comprise the first part of the race to become familiar with the turns. The course is pretty level except for a small hill around the end of mile 1.

A hot 2 miles

As a finish to my training for the 5K on Saturday, I ran a comfortable 2 miles at a 11:30 pace. I took walking breaks every half mile but drank no liquids. I had water in my car and drank a lot when I finished. I was late getting out, and it was 91 (F) in the shade. Now, two days of rest and then the race.

June 26, 2007

A 3 mile rest run

I'm doing a slight taper this week, in preparation for the 5K race on Saturday. I ran 3 miles at a comfortable pace, probably around 12 minutes.

June 25, 2007

A 3.5 mile rest run

I ran for 3 1/2 miles at a comfortable resting pace, probably around 12:00. The shade temperature was about 80 (F).

Swallows at it again

The swallows are busy rebuilding their nest. Must be close to egg-laying time.

June 23, 2007

A great 2 1/4 hour (9 mile) run

I ran for 2 1/4 hours and covered 9 miles. That time included a lot of long walking breaks. After I had finished a one-mile warm up, I ran at a faster pace. Starting at the two-mile marker, I timed a half-mile segment at a pace of 11:10. On the way back, at the 7-mile marker, I timed a half-mile segment at a pace of 10:40. I timed the last half-mile segment at a pace of 11:20. Those paces are approximate, because I may not have started and stopped at the exact markers. Considering the heat, those are good paces for a longer distance.

My 5K race is next Saturday, so today was my last heavy run before the race. My running on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week will be light, rest runs. I'm going to focus on getting more sleep this week so I'll be rested and can (hopefully) peak for the race. I'll be happy with anything below 30 minutes, but I would like to get a 27-minute time, and a 25-minute time would be a miracle.

A hot run

The shade temperature was 80 (F) when I left for my run and 97 when I returned. Those are *shade* temperatures. Most of my run is in direct sunlight, and the effect of the sun was much worse than the shade temperature would imply.

A couple of times during the run, I started to feel woozy which I recognized as a first sign of heat exhaustion. I drank extra water and Gatorade and felt fine. All together, I drank 20 ounces of water and 20 ounces of Gatorade.

After the first mile warmup, I only took walking breaks at my planned half-mile intervals (well, there were a couple of exceptions to that), but the breaks were usually longer than my normal 30 seconds. My turn-around point was in the tunnel under 126th South, and I stopped for several minutes and enjoyed the shade and breeze blowing through the tunnel.

Peppermint Essential Oil for tired feet

After I had been home for an hour or so, I noticed my feet were stiff and tired, especially the area around the toes. I took a half-hour nap, but my feet were still tired. I rubbed some Peppermint Essential Oil on my feet, and an hour later, they weren't stiff and felt much better. I mix 4 or 5 drops of the Essential Oil with 10 or 15 drops of the "mixing" oil.

The swallow nest is gone from the tunnel at 98th South

After I park at the 98th South entrance to the Jordan River Parkway, I walk through the tunnel under the street and then about 100 yards to the edge of the river, where the path ends. I noticed this morning that the nest built by the two swallows who dwell there had been removed. All traces of the mud were gone, so it wasn't a case of someone taking a stick and poking at the nest. I assume that employees of South Jordan City removed the nest. Too bad. I enjoyed seeing the nest there. Maybe somebody complained about the swallows flying in the tunnel. Maybe the city was concerned about liability.

June 20, 2007

Ran a nice rest run for 4 miles

Today was "rest day", and I ran four miles along the Jordan River Parkway. I took frequent walking breaks and ran at a slower pace and just enjoyed myself. My pace was around 11:30. The shade temperature during the run was in the mid 70s to low 80s (F). My wakeup HR was 51.

June 19, 2007

A nice heavy run

I ran my 5-mile route on the Jordan River Parkway. It was a heavy run because I was maintaining a faster pace. During the first half-mile, my pace was about 12:15. During the next mile, it was around 11. For the rest of the run, my pace was 10:30-11:00 with a few distances faster than 11:30 and a few around 11:10. I was out at 8 am, and the shade temperature was in the mid 60s. There were quite a few people on the path.

My wakeup HR was 50.

It's kinda fun to be an old man running

Last Saturday while I was running, I passed a man on a bike. On my way back, I passed him again, and he stopped me and asked, "How old are you?" I replied "71". He then asked, "How far are you going?" I said, "Today 3 miles. A week ago I did 10". He asked, "Any problems with your joints?" I said, "No". "Taking anything for your joints?" "No". "How long you been running?" "34 years". We then talked for a few minutes about losing weight via running.

I think he stopped me, because I'm currently wearing a beard that makes me look a bit older. My wife is in Europe for 2 1/2 months as a traveling nanny for my daughter and son-in-law who are abroad doing historical research and who will be presenting papers at two conferences in Switzerland in July. My beard is my "bachelor beard" :)

Yesterday, I was running, and two older men passed me on their bikes. One of them shouted out, "Keep it up, youngster!" This morning I passed a walker, and she said, "You're awesome".

Before I grew my beard, I never received comments like these, so I like that the beard makes me look older and thus more of a "miracle runner" in the eyes of the runners who comment to me.

Here are my before and after pictures.

June 18, 2007

A nice light run

Today was my light run, and I ran 4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I started running about 5:40 pm, and the shade temperature when I started was about 80 (F). When I finished an hour later, the shade temperature was 74 (F). My pace varied from 10:30 to 11:30, most of it being about 11:15.

June 16, 2007

A Short jog/walk

Today has been a really busy day. I've been going full speed since 6:30 am, and I finally made it out to run at 9 pm. I went three miles at a restful pace. The sun was down when I left, and I enjoyed the evening dusk. Today was the hottest day we've had so far this year -- the max temperature was close to 100 (F). By the time I ran, the temperature was down to the low 80s (F), and as I write this, the temperature outside is 74 (F). Even though I wasn't gone long, it was nice to enjoy the peace of the evening along the Jordan River for a while.

I met a nice gentleman who was out walking a big, white, friendly dog. We talked for about 5 minutes. He does some running and walking several times per week. We talked about weight-loss, and he was surprised when I said that one mile of walking or running burns about 100 calories and that you have to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound. We talked about reducing food intake by about 300 calories per day by cutting out sodas, sweets, and as he called it "junk food".

June 15, 2007

My wakeup HR back to 44 this morning

That is a good sign, especially since it came soon after it's previous excursion to 44. I hope it's still there tomorrow for my next run :) I have a busy schedule tomorrow, and I'm not sure what time of day or night I'll do my run.

June 13, 2007

Today was a light run

I ran for 3.5 miles but could tell I was tired, although not as tired as I was on Monday. I was out an hour earlier than yesterday, and the temperature was two or three degrees (F) lower than yesterday, but it was still hot!

Changing my running schedule

I've been thinking that I should change my running schedule, because my heavy runs are now defined by pace rather than distance. I've decided to make the change.

Before I ran the SLC half marathon in April, I ran light 5-mile runs on both Monday and Tuesday, and I ran a heavy intermediate 10-mile run on Wednesday and a heavy 13-mile long run on Saturday. The heavy runs were heavy because of distance not pace. Now that I'm running faster, I want to be sure I follow the heavy/light schedule. My heavy runs are now Tuesday and Saturday. Those runs are shorter than they were before the half marathon, but they are heavy because of my faster pace. My light runs are now Monday and Wednesday and are light because of a slower pace and if need-be a shorter distance than the 5 miles I did before the half marathon. Hopefully after a few months, my body will have adapted to my faster pace, and I'll be able to increase the distance of my heavy runs while keeping my faster pace.

June 12, 2007

A great 5-mile run in hot temperatures

My wakeup HR was 46 this morning and I felt great. I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway in shade temperatures of the low 80s (F), which means the sun temperature was close to 100 (F). I took 12 ounces of water and about 10 ounces of Gatorade and drank my usual swallow at each half-mile walking break.

During the first mile warm up, I ran a 11:30 mile. Then I ran about 11 minute miles for the next mile and a half. Then, on the way back, I ran 10 minute miles. This means that, according to my new goals, I ran a mile to warm up, and then I ran my recovery LSD pace for a mile and a half. Then I ran my comfortable LSD pace for the remaining 2 1/2 miles. Those statistics show that my warm up was actually more than the first mile. Because of the heat, I don't think I could have maintained the 10 minute pace for another 5 miles like I did on Saturday, but I'm happy with my paces today. A shade temperature of 82-83 (F) is a hot temperature for running a path with little shade, meaning I was running in sun temperatures close to 100 (F). Due to our high mountain elevation (4200 feet along the Parkway), the sun here burns a lot more than it did in New England.

As soon as I started running, I could tell I was stronger than yesterday, because yesterday I took walking breaks about every quarter mile and still felt tired, while today I took them at every half mile and felt great. I just needed that extra day to recover from Saturday's run. Drinking liquids while I ran this morning helped too, I'm sure.

June 11, 2007

A tired rest run today

Even though my wakeup HR was down to 46, and I felt pretty good, I could tell I was still tired from my run on Saturday. After a little more than 2 miles, I turned around. My total run was about 4 1/4 miles, and my pace varied from 11:00 to 11:40.

When I left home, the shade temperature was in the mid 70s (F), and when I returned it was in the mid 80s (F). That is shade temperature, and the Jordan River Parkway doesn't have much shade. The sun temperature was probably 100 (F). Unfortunately, I didn't bring water with me, and I was pretty thirsty when I finished.

I've modified my running goals

I've been getting faster during the past few months, and I've modified my running goals accordingly.
  • Reduce my comfortable LSD pace to 10:00
  • Reduce my recovery pace to 11:00
  • Reduce my tired pace to 11:30
Nine months ago, my comfortable LSD pace was 11:30, and my recovery pace was about 12:00. My tired pace 12:30 - 13:00. I'm nearing my new goals, and after I reach them, I'll level off in speed for a few months to allow my body to adjust to the new paces. During that time, I'll focus on distance to build up my endurance again. During the past six weeks since the Salt Lake Half-Marathon, I've reduced my distance while I built up my speed.

June 9, 2007

A wonderful two hour run

I ran for two hours on the Jordan River Parkway and had a great run. I ran for 10 miles. I took walking breaks every half mile, and most of the breaks were 45 seconds to a minute. For about 7 1/2 miles I ran at a 10 minute pace. Then, even though I wasn't tired, I slowed to a 11 minute pace, and during the last mile I ran 11:30 - 12:00 minutes. I slowed down because I decided I'd done enough speed work, and I slowed to a comfortable recovery pace.

For my current condition, a 10 minute pace is a fast pace, but it isn't quite fast enough to be a tempo pace.

My secret for running in the dark

Because of a busy day, I didn't run until late in the evening. When I left home, it was 9 pm, and the sun had already set. Even though the sun was down, it was still light outside when I began my run. However, about a mile before I turned around, it was dark. I thus ran about 6 miles in the dark.

During my 17 years in Massachusetts, I ran in the early morning, before the sun was up, for several years. I had no trouble running the back roads in the dark, even though there were no street lights, because the asphalt road was a lighter gray than the trees and bushes bordering the road. My secret is that I navigated the roads by distinguishing between shades of gray. I also knew there weren't potholes that could trip me. And, the skunks heard me coming and scooted out of the way.

So it is on the Jordan River Parkway. In addition, there aren't many trees and tall bushes bordering the Parkway path, and light from the sky and from nearby buildings and parking lots shines on the path. Also, I know there aren't any obstacles on the path that could trip me.

Running late in the evening is pretty good

Our high temperature today was about 85 (F). I could have run during the afternoon when the temperature was close to max, but I decided to run in the evening when it wouldn't be so hot. When I left home to go to the parkway, it was 70 (F). When I returned from my run, it was 58 (F).

June 8, 2007

My wakeup heart rate is up to 48, my normal value

My wakeup HR this morning was 48. So, my 44 value yesterday was just a one-day excursion, but it was fun to hit 44 after 25 years.

June 7, 2007

And the winning heart rate is...44!

My heart rate this morning was 44. I checked it three times to be sure that number wasn't a fluke. This is the first time in about 25 years that my heart rate has been that low. During my marathon training in the early 80s, my HR was 44. One day it went to 40 and stayed there during the rest of my marathon training. During the past couple of years, my heart rate went to 45 once, and it has been 46 quite a few times. I consider 47-48 as my current "normal" rate. During the past couple of weeks it has been 51 with one excursion to 55. It will be interesting to see what my HR is tomorrow. I've been sleeping well this past week. I often mention my sleep in this blog, because a lack of sleep is my most common cause of a high heart rate.

June 6, 2007

Running in the rain, yes, running in the rain

I had a nice 5-mile run. The temperature was 46 (F) and a drizzle was falling during most of the run. I felt much stronger than I did yesterday but not quite as good as I felt on Monday. My pace during most of the run was 11:00 to 11:15, but my last half mile was at 10:40.

June 5, 2007

What do you do when you're tired? abort the run!

I started to run, but at the half-mile mark I could tell I was much more tired than I was yesterday, and I aborted the run and came home. Apparently my run yesterday put a lot more stress on my body than I realized. My wakeup HR was 51.

The temperature was in the high 80s and a 5-10 mph wind was blowing, a precursor to a storm front that will be arriving tonight and tomorrow. We need the water from the storm.

The 98th South swallows have been busy!

I noticed yesterday that the two swallows have been busy building their nest in the tunnel under 9800 South. I brought my camera today and took this picture to document their progress. Also shown is the tunnel as seen from the parking lot. The nest is at the far end of the tunnel. The tunnel picture was taken last week when the sky was sunny. Today, the sky is cloudy.

June 4, 2007

A nice but hot rest run

When I returned from my run, the *shade* temperature was 92 (F). Because of the heat, I took it easy, running paces between 11 and 11:40 minutes. As I did on Saturday, I took a swallow or two of water and of Gatorade at each walking break at the half-mile markers. I enjoyed the run but was glad I didn't go farther than 5 miles. My wakeup HR is still around 51-51, but I felt fine this morning. I was out running about an hour earlier this morning than I was on Saturday, but it was still hot.

I am running faster than last fall

My comfortable rest LSD pace is about 1 minute lower than it was a year ago. My tired rest pace is about 30 seconds lower than last fall. My tempo pace is almost 2 minutes lower than it was a year ago. This past year has been a good one for me.

June 2, 2007

The Time

A man had been driving all night and by morning was still far from his destination. He decided to stop at the next city he came to and park somewhere quiet so he could get an hour or two of sleep.

As luck would have it, the quiet place he chose happened to be on one of the city's major jogging routes. No sooner had he settled back to snooze when there came a knocking on his window. He looked out and saw a jogger running in place. "Yes?" "Excuse me, sir," the jogger said, "do you have the time?" The man looked at the car clock and answered, "8:15." The jogger said thanks and left. The man settled back again, and was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window and another jogger. "Excuse me, sir, do you have the time?" "8:25!" The jogger said thanks and left.

Now the man could see other joggers passing by and he knew it was only a matter of time before another one disturbed him. To avoid the problem, he got out a pen and paper and put a sign in his window saying "I do not know the time!" Once again he settled back to sleep. He was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window. "Sir, sir? It's 8:45!"

A great 6-mile run today

I ran for 6 miles today (an increase of 1 mile over my other runs this week), and I felt great. My pace was back to where I'd like it to be. This improvement came even though my run was at 11:30 am, almost the hottest part of the day (the shade temperature was 90 (F) when I returned home). I carried 15 oz of water and 15 oz of Gatorade and drank a swallow or two of each at my half-mile walking breaks. I felt strong, and it was a great run!

My slump is on its way out

For the past couple of weeks, I've been in a slump. I've been tired during my runs, my wakeup HR has been high, and my distance and speed have been down. I've had to take walking breaks more often, especially during the first couple of miles. However, today I only took walking breaks at my schedule half-mile points, and my pace was back to the 10:15 - 10:45 range for the whole run. I've been getting more sleep at night, and that helps my body get the rest it needs.