March 31, 2008

Energy, energy, my kingdom for energy!

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway today. It took me 1 hour 6 minutes for the run, compared to 1 hour 27 minutes last week. These times include 30-60 second walking breaks every half mile. I had much more energy today, and it felt good to run a faster pace. For the first two miles, my pace was around 14 minutes. Then it decreased to 12:30 or so, and then it went to 11:45 - 12:15.

The temperature was in the high 30s (F), and the sky was overcast with some sun showing. There were gusts of 5-8 mph wind, but the wind wasn't constant like it was last Saturday. I wore long pants and my heavy long-sleeved T-shirt, and I had to remove my windbreaker after a couple of miles because I was sweating.

We had another inch-deep snow storm last night.

March 29, 2008

Not a great run but made 10 miles

I ran 10 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. It was a slow 10 miles, slower than my other runs this week. The temperature was in the mid 40s (F), but an 8-10 mph wind probably put the wind chill down in the high 30s. I did have my nylon wind breaker, but I also had shorts and a thin T-shirt. I should have worn long pants and a heaver T-shirt :(

I didn't have a lot of energy during the run. I ate an eGel at the half-way point, and I drank a lot of water during the run. After eating the gel, I felt stronger for a few minutes, but then I got tired and my pace slowed down to 15-16 minutes (going out, my pace was in the 14 minutes). This whole week has been one of low body energy. After I recovered from the flu, I should have taken a week or two to slowly work back into my distance. Instead, I jumped right in and increased my weekly mileage to two miles more than it was before I got the flu. I knew that I was taking a risk that my body might not be ready for that much stress, but I felt fine after the first week. This week, however, has shown that my body wasn't ready. So, next week will be a recovery week. Maybe a week of no running. Maybe a week of reduced running.

March 27, 2008

An inch of snow last night

We had an inch of snow last night, and it is snowing heavily as I write. More snow tomorrow. The daytime temperatures, though, will get up in the mid 40s, and the snow will melt. We've had a strange spring with lots of 1-2 inch storms that melt during the day. The good news is that we're getting more snow in the mountains, and that will help fill the reservoirs that supply the water for our cities. The bad news is that if the mountain snow melts too fast, we'll have flooding.

March 26, 2008

Another mile added to my mid-week run

I ran 9 miles on the Jordan River parkway. My body felt pretty good (more energy than on Monday but not as much as a week ago), but my legs, especially my right leg, became tired. I'm still running pretty slow, but I went a bit faster than on Monday (I let my body determine my pace).

I ate some sports beans as a test. I ate half the package at my 4.5 mile turn-around point, and the rest at my 6.5 mile point. It's hard to be objective about the effect of the beans, but they didn't interfere with my running. I drank about four ounces of water after eating the beans. As I commented above, I did have a pretty good energy level during the run. My Fuel Belt has a pouch for carrying things, and it was convenient to keep the beans in there until I needed them.

The temperature was in the mid 50s (F), and the sky was cloudy during the first part of the run but sunny during the last part. A nice day!

March 24, 2008

A nice 5-mile recovery run while my wife walked

My wife decided to go walking while I went running, so we drove to the large pavilion in Riverton that was my stopping point on Friday. My wife walked north along the east side of the river while I ran south along the east side of the river. I went a little bit faster than on Friday, but I was still going pretty slow. The temperature was in the low 70s (F), and it was a beautiful spring day. It was warm enough that I could have used some extra water even though I only went 5 miles.

The State Forest Service was burning brush

After I had gone about a mile, I saw a large quantity of smoke ahead of me. As I approached the burning brush, I saw fire trucks and firemen at the scene of the fire. They were from the Utah Forest Service and were doing a controlled burn of brush along the river bank. A pumper truck was parked next to a pond not far from the fire and was pumping water for use in controlling the burn. The flames were 10-15 feet high in places and were spectacular. The fire was about 200 yards from the Parkway path.

March 21, 2008

A nice but even slower and tired 9 miles

I ran 9 miles today on the Jordan River Parkway. I usually would run on Saturday, but we're having 11 people to Easter dinner tomorrow, and I want to be available tomorrow to help with the preparations.

I could tell when I started my run that my energy level was lower than it was during my two previous runs this week. My low energy is probably normal, considering I didn't run for two weeks due to having the flu plus allowing a few days for extra rest after I recovered from the flu, and considering that I then jumped right into running and increased my distance by a mile from what it was just before I got the flu. Because of having low energy, I ran slower than I did on Wednesday (my last half mile was a 16:38 pace), and I just focused on getting the miles in. Because of running today, I'll have two rest days before I run again on Monday, and it will be interesting to see how well my energy level improves during those two days.

The temperature today was in the mid 50s (F). I carried two 8-ounce bottles of water and could have used a third bottle. In addition to carrying more water next week for my two long runs, I think I'll carry a gel or maybe try the sports beans I bought a couple of months ago.

The river wash-out in Riverton

Last spring I reported that the Jordan River had washed out a section of the Parkway trail in Riverton City, and that Riverton had put in a temporary bypass around the damage. Today, my run was finally long enough that I reached the damaged area and was able to see the improvements made by the city. The damaged area has been repaired, and rocks have been placed along the edge of the river to reduce the erosion. Several truck loads of wood chips have been placed along the bank of the river and will, I assume, be spread to cover the bank.

The temporary path has been graded and covered with road-base, and I assume it will be paved and made the permanent path. Also, Riverton City has put in two playgrounds (including tables) -- one on each side of the bridge that crosses the river next to the large pavilion that has been next to the river for more years than I've been running on the Parkway.

March 19, 2008

A nice but slow 8-miles

I ran 8 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I felt fine during the run, and since I was increasing my distance significantly, I ran a slow pace (my last half mile was at a pace of 15:04 minutes). The sky was full of sun and beautiful clouds. The temperature was in the low 60s (F), and the Wasatch Mountains are snow covered and were beautiful against the blue sky.

Had a 6-7 mph headwind going out and a nice tailwind coming back.

I started to get thirsty during my run, and I think I'll start carrying water on my two longer runs when the temperature is in the mid 50s or higher.

Water in the 106th South tunnel

When I ran through the tunnel under 106th South, I noticed that all of the water was gone. Either the pump was replaced, or workmen bailed out the water. Hopefully, the pump was fixed.

March 17, 2008

A nice 5-mile recovery run & litter pickup

Today was my first run in two weeks, and I ran for 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. The temperature was in the high 40s (F), and a 4-5 mile north-wind was blowing. I enjoyed myself and didn't push for speed of any kind. Except for the last mile, my legs felt fine and seemed to handle the run ok. I didn't measure my wakeup HR, but I did measure it (56) shortly before I left for my run.

I picked quite a few pieces of litter while I ran. I'm slowly getting the Parkway cleaned up.

The tunnel under 106th South is flooded again

For the past 3-4 weeks, there has been water in the Parkway tunnel under 106th South.The water along the west edge of the tunnel was only about half an inch deep, and I was able to walk through it without getting my stockings wet.

On the return trip of my run today, when I entered the tunnel, I saw two workmen checking out the electrical box that controls the pump. They were from the County, and they said the box was ok and that someone would be here in the morning to replace the pump. It will be nice to get the pump working, so we can use the tunnel during the spring runoff of the river. Last spring, the tunnel was unusable for about two months due to high water in the tunnel from the river. The water that is there now is just runoff from the rain and snow we've been having.

March 13, 2008

An update on my flu

I read, a few days ago, that flu is contagious from 1 day before symptoms appear to 5 days after symptoms have appeared. My experience mirrored those numbers. Tuesday was my "day before", and Sunday was my 5th day after symptoms appeared

I came down with symptoms (very tired during my short run) on Wednesday of last week. On Thursday I developed a frequent cough that brought up phlegm, and I developed a 3-degree temperature. During the 5 days, I had the 3-degree temperature increase for one day and 2 degrees for several days. By the time Sunday arrived, I was feeling better but still had a temperature increase of 1 degree and still lacked energy. On Tuesday of this week, my temperature was finally back to normal, and I had a pretty good energy level. I felt fine yesterday and spent some time outside doing a minor repair on my house. I still, though, have a slight, infrequent cough

I'm not running until Monday, because I'm giving my right leg extra rest. The leg has never completely healed from its injury last November, and I decided to give it an extra week of rest.

March 6, 2008

The flu bug bit me (and my wife, too)

I found out late yesterday afternoon why I didn't have any energy during my run yesterday. I've come down with the flu. My wife came down on Monday. I think the flu bug came down from Evanston with my grandchildren who visited with us for three days last weekend. Two of the four had a dry cough, and that was the first symptom that my wife and I had. So, I'm not running while I recover.

March 5, 2008

A walk/jog of 1.8 miles

I started my run with the intent to add a mile to my mid-week run (would be 8 miles), but I quickly realized I had a low energy level and my right leg was a bit tender. I did a jog/walk for 0.9 miles and then turned around and walked back.

The shade temperature was about 39 (F) and there was a lot of sun. I had a 4 mph tail wind going out.

March 3, 2008

A great 5-mile rest run tonight

I left home for my run just as the sun was going behind the Oquirrh mountains. I had a high energy level and felt good during the run. Just after I left the 2.5 mile turn-around for the trip back, I saw two deer about 100 feet away, standing next to some trees. It was almost dark, and I could just barely see them.

The path was completely dry, except for some water in the tunnel under 106th South. I timed my pace during the last half mile at 11:10.

An update on swinging my arms

When I started my run this evening, I didn't think about my arm-movement. After about 1/3 mile I remembered I was supposed to be moving my arms. I checked to see what my arms were doing, and guess what? They were right in sync with my legs. So, the habit has been formed.

I've been having problems keeping my arm movement in sync with my legs during walking breaks. While running, I keep my arms bent at approximately 90 degrees. During my walking breaks, I've been letting my arms hang down to give them a rest. I realized that with my arms hanging down, they were like a longer pendulum and had a slower movement. If I keep my arms bent at the 90 degree angle, I have no problems keeping them in sync with my legs while walking.

Another thing that helps keep my arms in sync is to pump them with a slight circular rotation rather than straight out and in. I imagine that I'm grabbing the path and pulling myself faster on the path.

March 2, 2008

Not much snow last night

The storm last night only left a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The temperature today will be in the 40s - 50s (F), so the snow on the Parkway path should be all melted by my run tomorrow afternoon.

March 1, 2008

Ended recovery week with a 8-mile run in the snow

I ran in the late afternoon, and when I left home it was just starting to rain. The air temperature was 40 (F). The rain slowly changed to snow, and by the time I reached my 4-mile turn-around, the storm was all snow. The good news was that the air and ground temperatures were above freezing, and the snow melted as soon as it hit the ground. I thus had no problems with traction on the path. I noticed during my last mile that the snow was collecting on the grass/dirt next to the path, and I noticed during my last half mile that it was starting to collect on the path. The path was slushy but not slick during that half-mile. When I got home, the air temperature was 32 (F). During the run, there was a 3-5 mph wind, a tailwind on the way out and a headwind on the way back. Thanks to the wide brimmed hat that I was wearing, I didn't have a lot of problems with snow blowing in my face, although I did have to look at the ground in front of me to keep the snow out of my face.

My nylon pants and jacket need to be sprayed with Silicone, and they didn't keep the water out. I was wearing three layers on my main body, including a thick, long sleeved cotton T-shirt, and all of my clothing was wet. However, thanks to my body heat I felt fine during the run and just noticed that my legs were getting slightly cold during the last couple of miles.

As soon as I got home, I took a hot shower, dressed, and put on a down vest. However, I started shivering uncontrollably, the first state of Hypothermia. I ate supper, and as soon as I started eating I stopped shivering and felt fine. During the run I burned close to 1000 calories. The only food I had had during the day was whole wheat pancakes for breakfast and a couple of cheese sandwiches during the afternoon for lunch. I felt fine during the run and had a pretty good energy level. However, the loss of 1000 calories was enough to cause my core temperature to dip below 95 (F), and the shivering began. My normal temperature is 96-97 (F), so it didn't take much loss of heat to put me into the shivering stage.

Assuming that I feel fine during the coming week, I'll add a mile on Wednesday and a mile on Saturday (actually Friday this week), giving me a 5, 8, 9 week.