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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.