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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

December 3, 2007

Big mileage for my run...er...walk 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 :)

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.

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.