September 27, 2008

Finished up the week with another enjoyable 6.5 mile run

I ran 6.5 miles this morning and felt good during the run. This is the second week I've run 6.5 miles, and I don't know yet if I'll go for a 3rd week next week or go for 7 miles. One of the key things to know that it is time for an increase in distance is my energy level when I finish. If I'm pretty tired when I finish, I'm not ready for an increase. Since Monday is always a 5-mile rest run, my decision about an increase will be made next Wednesday.

I was out earlier this morning. The shade temperature when I left was mid 70s (F). I drank 16 oz of water during the run. I also went a little faster than I've been doing, and that is a good sign that my energy level is higher. My pace during the last half-mile was 12:28.

Status report on construction of the Jordan River Parkway north from 100th South

The roadbase has been laid, leveled, and compacted up to the fence at 0.37 miles. The roadbase has been laid for a few hundred feet past the fence, but it hasn't been leveled or compacted. The dirt has been removed for the path up to another fence and beyond it (I couldn't see very far past that second fence) but no roadbase has been laid in that part. I saw horses in the section past the second fence, and I'm guessing that fence might be the boundry between South Jordan City and West Jordan City. I did see some red flags west of the dirt path, implying somebody will put a fence there to keep the horses off the Parkway. Based on how much progress was made last week, it will take them another week to get the roadbase laid, leveled, and compacted up to the second fence.

I saw a lot of bicycle tracks in the dirt path, indicating people are starting to use the new segment of the Parkway even though it isn't paved yet. In fact, as I was jogging on the new segment back to 100th South, two people going north on bikes passed me.

September 24, 2008

Ran 6.5 miles again

I ran 6.5 miles on the Parkway again, in keeping with my new training philosophy. I was out about noon and the temperature was in the low 80s (F). I forgot to carry water, and I got pretty thirsty. There is a fountain at one of the picnic areas, and I got a drink there. I felt pretty good during the run, even though I was thirsty.

On the way back I was passed by a younger runner. As he passed, I said, "You have a great pace!" He slowed to my pace and asked if I minded if he asked how old I was. I said, "73" (actually 72 and 11 months). He said he hoped his joints would hold out so he would still be running when he is 73. I hope the same thing for my joints so I'll still be running when I'm 83.

September 22, 2008

Ran my 5-mile rest run today

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway today. It was a rest run, and I ran a comfortable pace and enjoyed myself. I felt fine during and after the run.

Revising my training plan for running

In the past I've been adding 1/2 mile per week to my mid-week and weekend runs. My goal was to get those runs up to 10 and 15 miles, respectively. My first-of-week run is capped at 5 miles as a rest run. I've been careful to listen to my body and to modify my runs accordingly, reducing the distance, skipping a run, etc. This listening to my body has been a short-term effort. Short time being the immediate future, i.e. that day.

I've been discussing my injury last year with a running friend named Boscho who is also a medical doctor. He has helped me realize that in addition to focusing on the short term, I need to focus on the long term effects of my running. Long term means that I understand how my running today may affect my body days or weeks in the future. The reason this is important is that running causes stress on my body, and if I advance in distance or speed too quickly, the stress can build up over time until an injury occurs. Stress today might injury me in 2 or 3 months.

Boscho thinks (and I agree with him) that this is why I was injured last fall. For six months prior to the injury I had focused on running a faster LSD pace, and my LSD pace had gone from about 11:30 to 10:15 to 10:30. After the six months, I stopped increasing my pace and immediately began to increase my distance. Think about this: I increased my pace over a six month period, and that put a lot of stress on my body. With my body under that stress I began to increase my distance while running the faster pace, and after about 2 or 3 weeks of increased distance, I was injured. What I should have done was stop increasing my pace and then run the faster pace over the distance I'd been running for enough days or weeks that my body had gotten used to it, that is, until my body had adapted to the higher stress. Then, I could start to increase my distance and have less risk because my body was used to the higher pace.

So, I'm changing my training such that I will allow more time at each increase in distance before I increase again. Five years ago I trained this way. I would increase my distance and then run the new distance for 2 or 3 weeks until I felt energetic. I started to make weekly changes after my auto accident in May 2004. My body seemed strong, and I made weekly changes in distance and did OK. But, I'm older than I was 20 years ago, and I need more time to adjust to stress. My new change to my training means that instead of adding 1/2 mile each week, I will add 1/2 mile every two weeks at the minimum, and I may go three or four weeks before I increase again.

September 20, 2008

Finished the week with another 6.5 mile run

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 54, only one beat higher than on Tuesday. However, I didn't have as much energy as I had on Tuesday. I finished the run with a few extra walking breaks, and I felt pretty good during the run. I didn't quite get my 7 hours of sleep last night, so I took a 20 minute nap right after my shower after my run. Even with being more tired than on Tuesday, my run today was a fine run. I drank 16 oz of water during the run.

The temperature during the run was in the mid 70s, and the sky was cloudy with a few sprinkles of rain.

A better understanding of why I was injured last November

I've been discussing my injury on running.about .com with Boscho, who is both a runner of many years and a medical doctor (http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=ab-running&tid=4400), and he is helping me have a better understanding of why I was injured.

After I completed the Salt Lake City half-marathon in April 2007, I decided I wanted to have a faster LSD pace. My LSD pace at that time was about 11:30. I reduced my distance from 33 mpw to about 20 mpw and began to run a bit faster. No intervals, no fartleks, just running a bit faster. Then in October I decided that was enough of that, and I changed to increasing my distance back to 33 mpw. I was up to 7.5 miles (from 5 miles) when I was injured. Boscho has helped me realize that I should have not increased my distance for a while after leveling off in my pace, because my body probably needed more time to adjust to the higher stress of the faster pace. But, I felt good and unconsciously assumed my body was doing OK. After about 6 weeks of increasing my distance at the faster pace, my body gave up, and I was injured. I'm not sure how long I should have run the faster pace before I started to increase my pace, but I would guess at least two months. One thing to be learned from this is that higher stress may lead to injuries but those injuries may not occur for several months.

Another factor that is involved with this discussion is how often I should make increases in distance. I've been making weekly increases, but I'm wondering if, especially at my age, I should only make increases monthly. I've asked Boscho for his opinion on this. Also, I want to look in Galloway's book on running until you're 100 to see if he says anything about the frequency of increases.

Status report on north extension of Jordan River Parkway (Utah)

On Thursday I saw that the workmen had laid road base and were compressing it with a large roller. Today, I began my run by running north on the new segment of the Parkway. The workers were not on site today, so I had freedom to run the entire path to see how the work was progressing.

The compacted road base lasted for 0.19 miles. After that there was road base laid, but it wasn't leveled or compacted. I followed the path for a total distance of 0.37 miles where I was stopped by a wire gate that was closed across the path. I could look past the gate and see that the dirt had been removed, so I think the dirt has been removed all the way to the border of West Jordan City.

I think that the road base and compaction phase will be completed by midweek week after next. Then a week will be needed for paving, and a week for cleanup. Thus, I'm guessing the work will be finished by mid-October. The contract deadline is the end of October.

As I ran the new segment, I saw bicycle tracks in the dirt, so I wasn't the first "user" on the new path. I might have been, however, the first runner.

September 18, 2008

Had a great run this morning -- 6.5 miles!

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 53, and I felt pretty good. During my run I had a higher than normal energy level. The only walking breaks I took were my scheduled ones at half-mile markers. I drank 16 oz of water and finished the run with one nice gulp left which I drank during my cool-down walk.

I was glad I felt fine during the run, because I wasn't sure what condition I was in. On Tuesday after my run I started having stomach cramps. Not big cramps and not frequent cramps but cramps that caused discomfort. My energy level was also low. The cramps and low energy continued all day Wednesday, but by bedtime last night I felt better. When I got up this morning I did so with the attitude that I would abort the run if I felt tired. Rather than feeling tired, I felt great during the whole run. I measured the last half-mile as a pace of 12:01, a pace that represented the whole run.

The temperature when I left home was in the low 70s, and it was a wonderful day!

Progress report on the north extension of the Jordan River Parkway

During my warm-up and cool-down walks, I stopped to check on the progress of the extension of the Parkway path. They apparently have dug the path up to 9400 South, and they have put down gravel and sand on the path. When I finished my run and was walking to cool down, I saw a large roller compacting the road base.

The first part of the extension looks nice. There are Russian Olive trees on both sides of the path, which should give shade in the early morning and late evening. The river is just a few yards from the path, which means that there will probably be ducks on the path begging for food.

September 16, 2008

A nice 5-miler

I skipped my run last Saturday because I was up late Friday night and didn't get as much sleep as I needed. I was tired and decided to rest. I was busy yesterday and did my run today. My wakeup heart rate this morning was 53 and I felt fine. However, I didn't get out until 1 pm, and by then the shade temperature was in the low 80s (F). I didn't take water with me, and I got pretty thirsty. I had a good rest run, however. It was a beautiful day, lots of sun (too much sun for a runner) and some clouds and a slight breeze. The breeze helped in cooling me off. I sweat a lot, and the breeze increased the evaporation of my sweat.

September 11, 2008

My rest-week continues with a 5 mile run

Because this is a rest week, I reduced my mid-week run from 6.5 miles to 5 miles. I've been sleeping better the past few days, and my wakeup heart rate has gone down from 59 to 55. I was late getting out, and the shade temperature was 70, still too warm for good running but much better than the summer heat of low 90s at the same time of day. I had a nice run and picked up a lot of litter. The Parkway path looks pretty clean right now. However, the next windy day will bring in more litter.

The northward extension of the Parkway path

I always walk about 400 feet to begin my warm up. That walk takes me to the spot where the construction is going on to extend the Parkway path northward. Three workmen were there, so I asked them when they would be finished with the new path, and they said in about a month. One of them volunteered the information that the new path would be 3000 feet long. As the crow flies, the distance is 4 city blocks or one-half mile. The extra 400 feet will be due to the curves in the path to make it a more scenic path. One workman said West Jordan City doesn't have their path down to 9400 South, so there still won't be a continuous path in that part of the Parkway.

September 9, 2008

This week is a rest week. Ran a slow 4 miles

I haven't had enough sleep the past two nights, and my wakeup heart rate for yesterday and today has been 59. So, as is to be expected, I didn't have a lot of energy during my run. I had decided last week to have this week be a rest week, because I've had 3 or 4 weeks of great running, and I wanted to give my body some extra rest. The timing for this rest week was great, because my performance this morning indicates I'm quite tired. This week will be a rest week, because I'll run reduced distances and a relatively slow pace, what ever pace is comfortable for me.

The sky during my run was mostly cloudy, and the temperature was in the mid 70s (F). I ran at a slow pace, stopped several times to pick up litter, and took extra walking breaks to avoid my body becoming stressed out.

South Jordan has started to extend the Parkway Path north from 100th South

After I finish a run, I walk through the tunnel under 100th South to cool down. I walk about 400 or so feet. After my run today as I left the tunnel going north, I could hear heavy construction equipment, and I saw a big shovel and a small tractor moving dirt to extend the path to the West Jordan border at 9400 South. It will be nice to have that work completed so I can run north as well as south.

Saw a young deer on the Parkway path

On my way back, I saw a young white tailed deer on the Parkway path. When I first saw it, it was a few hundred feet away, and it crossed the path. As I got closer to the point where I had seen the deer, it came out from the bushes and stood next to the path and watched me. I ran for several seconds and got to about 50 feet from it before it moved. It crossed the path and ran next to the path toward me. When it passed me it was about 15 feet away. It was quite a large deer, so it wasn't a young fawn, but it didn't look like an adult deer. The deer had the white spots that I think indicate it was a young deer. The following picture was taken from a web site.


September 5, 2008

Finished the week with a 6.5 mile run

I ran my planned 6.5 miles this morning and felt pretty good during the run. I timed myself during the last half-mile and ran a pace of 12:08, which is faster than I've been running. My wakeup heart rate this morning was 52, and the temperature when I left home was 47 (F). I just noticed from my blog entry on Tuesday that I only ran 6 miles on that day. This means that I probably should have run 6 miles today. Oh well, the run turned out fine, so I'm ok.

I was worried about this run, because I would be running two days in a row, and my body isn't used to that level of stress. However, today was a good run, and my body felt stronger than it has for the last couple of weeks. My only walking breaks were the ones planned for the half-mile markers.

September 4, 2008

Today was a 5-mile rest run

My running schedule is kinda mixed up this week. Monday was a 2-mile family walk. Yesterday (Tuesday) was a 6.5 mile medium run. Today was a 5-mile rest run, and tomorrow will be another 6.5 mile medium run. Saturday will be a family outing with no running. My wakeup heart rate was 53 this morning, and I felt fine. I was out early, just after the sun came up, and the temperature during my run was in the mid 50s (F).

The maximum temperature today was in the mid 80s. Summer seems to have left us, and autumn is here. I love the Fall. Comfortable temperatures in the day and crisp nights. We should have 3 months of Fall before the snow comes.

September 2, 2008

A nice 6-mile run

My wakeup heart rate was 57, which is still high but not as bad as the 59 I had yesterday. I felt pretty good so I went for my run and ran 6 miles on the Parkway. I was out early and the temperature when I left was 42 (F). It was still dark when I got up, but by the time I dressed and stretched, it was daylight but the sun wasn't up yet. I started my run, and as I passed the first half-mile marker, the sun peaked over the mountains. Because of my high heart rate I took it easy and just focused on the distance. There were no cars in the parking lot when I arrived at the Parkway, so I think I was the first one on the trail. Because of the cool temperature, I didn't take any water with me, and I was fine without it.

September 1, 2008

A 2-mile family walk

My wakeup heart rate was 59 this morning. It was high due not getting much sleep Friday night. My wife and I drove four hours to Cedar City on Saturday for some family business, and due to anxiety the night before I didn't sleep very well. I slept well Saturday night and Sunday night, but it takes a few days for my heart rate to come down. Because of the high heart rate I didn't run this morning. However, I did walk for 2 miles in the late afternoon. My daughter and her family are here for Labor Day, and we took a walk in the late afternoon along the Jordan River Parkway. After a mile the kids wanted to play in the playground, so my son-in-law stayed with them while my daughter, my wife, and I walked another mile.