December 31, 2009

My wakeup heart rate today and yesterday was 59. I jogged/walked 2 miles on the Jordan River Parkway and took videos of the ducks and geese that I saw during my run. The shade temperature was about 33 (F), but the temperature in the sun was about 40. The path had been plowed to remove the lose snow, but a layer of packed snow and ice remained on the path. My ice shoes got a good workout.

Today was classified as a "yellow" day. Previous days this week have been "red" days. "Yellow" days have undesirable air, but they aren't as bad as "red" days. The Salt Lake valley is infamous for temperature inversions during the winter that hold air pollution in the air that builds up. The storm we had yesterday brought warmer air, which is helping to break down the inversion.

This video was created for the HPHC blog and is cross-posted to this blog.

December 26, 2009

Adding years to your life

The following is from a tweet by Jeff Galloway.
Milton Berle once said "My doctor told me jogging could add years to my life. I think he was right. I feel ten years older already."

December 22, 2009

Ran 2 miles in my ice shoes

We had a snow storm overnight, and there was about 3-4 inches of light, fluffy snow on the ground. I drove to the Jordan River Parkway and ran/walked two miles. The shoes worked fine! The temperature was in the high 20s (F) and there was a light wind and light snow falling during the run. I wore three layers. This was Phase 2 of the testing of my ice shoes. This video was created for the HPHC site, and it is cross-posted to this blog.

December 19, 2009

Ran 1.5 miles with a high wakeup heart rate

My wakeup heart rate was 65 this morning. It has been high for the past week, due to lack of sleep last week. I've slept well the past couple of days, but my heart rate hasn't started to drop. I ran the north-bound section of the Jordan River Parkway, just to limber up and get a bit of exercise. The temperature was in the low 40s (F) during my run. This video was created for the HPHC site, and it is cross-posted to this blog.

December 14, 2009

See how I built my ice shoes

On December 9, 2009 I described how I built a pair of ice shoes using hex-head screws. Here is a video showing exactly what I did. This video was created for the HPHC site, and it is cross-posted to this blog.

December 13, 2009

The Wellsphere site

I haven't mentioned this before, but I'm also active on the Wellsphere site. All of my posts to this blog are mirrored on that site, and I answer a lot of questions asked by visitors to Wellsphere.

December 12, 2009

I'll be blogging on the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care site


Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) has invited me to blog on their Well, Then site.That site is a fitness site, and my posts will cover not only running topics but other activities that contribute to fitness. An example of a non-running post is the one about our attendance today at the Nutcracker and at the annual Christmas program of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. A busy day but a satisfying day.

December 10, 2009

Ran 1.5 miles on a plowed Parkway path

A couple of days ago we had about 5 inches of snow, and I was hoping the Parkway path would have some snow and ice on it so I could test my ice shoes. The path, however, was mostly bare, and I didn't use the ice shoes. The temperature during my run was in the low teens (F), but most of the path is in the sun and is warmer due to the sunlight shining on the path. I had a great winter run. I stopped at 1.5 miles, because my wakeup pulse rate is high, and I didn't want to put a lot of stress on my body.

I wore three layers (T-shirt, long sleeved T-shirt, and nylon windbreaker) my light cotton gloves, and a wool cap. I felt fine during the run except for my hands. I need to get some warmer gloves or mittens. When I was younger, the cotton gloves were fine, but I'm older now and probably don't have good circulation in my hands.

Lots of ducks in the cold, cold Jordan River

I saw lots of ducks in the river. The air temperature was in the low teens (F), and the water must have been cold, probably in the high 30s or low 40s. I don't know how the ducks can withstand that cold water. I think their down has a natural oil that keeps the water away from their bodies, but their legs have no insulation and are in the cold water. Brrrrrr...

December 8, 2009

My ice shoes passed the Phase 1 tests!

I didn't run today because I was busy all day doing some audio work on the computer for my 93-year-old mother-in-law.

We had about 5 inches of snow during the night, and because our daytime temperatures have been below freezing for several days, the snow is light, fluffy, and cold (right now the temperature outside is 5 (F), and it's only 8:30 pm). When I went outside to shovel my driveway and sidewalks, I wore my ice shoes, and they worked fine. The screw-heads dug into the snow and ice, and I didn't slip at all. I tried to slide my foot back and forth on a patch of ice, but the screw-heads dug into the ice and didn't move. The same thing happened with the commercial ice crampons that I used the past two winters. The cost of the screws ($1.98) and a few minutes of time are much less than the cost of the crampons. In fact, the screws should work better than the crampons in deeper, heaver snow, because they won't come out of the soles (the crampons came off in the snow). After I finished with my driveway and sidewalks, I jogged about a quarter mile in the street where ice had built up from the pressure of vehicular tires. I'm calling this Phase 1 of my testing of the ice shoes. Phase 2 will be when I run with them on ice and snow on the Jordan River Parkway.

I put 7 screws in each shoe (LOCO Perfecto), three in the heel, three in the mid sole, and one in the toe. I used 6-32 hex head one-inch screws in the heel and mid sole, and a 4-40 hex head 3/4 inch screw in the toe. I used those particular lengths of screws so the point of the screw would be about half-way through the sole. I used a nut-driver for the 6-32 screws and a screw driver for the 4-40 screw, and the installation only took a few minutes. Most of the time was with the two 4-40 screws; I had to drill a small hole to help each screw get started. I used a screw driver because I couldn't find my nut driver for those screws.

I'm keeping the ice shoes in the trunk of my car so I'll have them if I discover ice on the Parkway path when I start running.

December 2, 2009

Ran/walked 4 miles again

My wakeup heart rate was 57, and I felt pretty good during the day. I left for my run just as the sun was going down; the sun had set before I reached the first half-mile marker. During the first and last mile, I ran and walked about equal amounts, but during the second and third miles I did more walking than running.

My hands got pretty cold during the run. I didn't have gloves on, so I tucked my hands in the sleeves of my wind breaker, but my hands still got cold, especially the right hand. In past years I could run in temperatures colder than today and my hands felt fine once my body had warmed up. But, today my hands stayed cold. This may be an indication that my blood circulation isn't as good as it used to be. The temperature was 31 (F) when I left home, and I knew it would be cold during my run. I thus wore long pants and an extra T-shirt (3 layers).

My hands were so cold when I finished the run that I had difficulty unzipping the pocket in my jacket to get my car key, and I had trouble punching the remote to open the car door and trouble putting the key in the ignition and starting the car. My fingers were still cold when I reached home and went into the house. In all my years of running, I've never had my hands be as cold as they were tonight. And, the temperature was only a few degrees below freezing.

December 1, 2009

A possible reason for my slow recovery since my blood clot attack in January

I received an interesting email from a pulmonary critical care physician (who is also a marathoner) who recently discovered this blog and has been reading about my recovery from my auto accident five years ago and from my blood clots in January. He hasn't seen my medical records or the x-ray of the vein filter that was put in my body five years ago and is still there. His only source of information is this blog. Thus, his remarks are speculation and concern the pattern of my recovery. Here are his remarks.
Ponder this hypothetical,

A person sustained multiple trauma in an automobile accident. Injuries included mild brain injury and other. At some point a deep vein thombosis is recognized and rather than immediately begin anticoagulation (i.e. because of recent trauma), an inferior vena cava (IVC) umbrella filter is placed to prevent pulmonary emboli. Later, possibly anticoagulation is given for six months or so and discontinued.

A few years later unknown to the patient, and forgotten by his medical providers the IVC filter slowly clots off. When the filter finally clots off and hence the IVC blood flow halts a sudden lower extremity venous pressure develops, with new leg clots developing. The patient also develops shortness of breath because of reduced venous return to the circulation. Quite significant bilateral lower extremity edema develops due to IVC flow interruption. In fact the edema and entire course are way out of proportion for simple lower extremity DVT but are the hallmark of IVC interruption.

Eventually, collateral veins develop to take on the lower torso blood return. But, the venous return is never what it was and exercise capacity remains reduced. Also, leg edema remains an issue and compression stalkings from time to time are required.

What is missing is imaging of the IVC to determine the presence or absence of occlusion of IVC and hence blood flow.

Story over,

The above hypothetical is not to be construed as medical advice, but is a story not dissimilar from what the blog would lead an imaginative person to consider.
Even though I'm not a medical person, his remarks make a lot of sense to me. The week before the blood clots, I ran about 20 miles, ending with a 7-miler on Saturday. I felt great during that week. On Monday I started my run, and after about 1/4 mile, I got a cramp in what I thought was my hams. I stopped three times to stretch it out, but the cramp came back as soon as I started running. I went home and took a two-hour nap. When I got up, I could only walk about 100 feet before I was so tired I had to sit down. If I climbed the stairs to my bedroom, I was sweating profusely and was out of breath. At first I thought the problem was that I had been pushing too hard in my running, but when the symptoms got worse, I checked myself into the hospital (my wife and son who lives a few miles away were in Florida).  A CAT scan of my body showed clots in both legs but none in my lungs, although the hospital doctor was suspicious that I might have had small clots in my lungs since I was out of breath when doing minor exertion.

During my 5 days in the hospital, I managed to get my walking up to 400 feet. What ever "hit" me certainly came on very quickly. Now, after 10 months, I can only run about 1/3 mile before I have to walk, and each leg of running gets shorter during the 4 miles that I'm currently doing. During the Spring and Summer I could only run about 1/10 mile before I had to walk. The 1/3 mile that I can run now is a big improvement. Mention in the email of brain damage was interesting to me, because I didn't have any injury to my head from the automobile accident. Brain damage must be a side effect of bad blood circulation in my legs.

I'll be discussing this with my doctor and will ask that the specialists in the Intermountain Health Care system review my case to determine if anything can be done to correct what may have been a mistake when they left the filter in my body. I had been in the ICU for three weeks with the filter, and the x-ray of the filter that was taken just before I left the ICU and went to another hospital for therapy showed that the filter was full of clots. On the x-ray, the filter showed up as a solid black rectangle. I was told at that time that they didn't want to remove the filter, because the walls of the vein had started to grow around the filter. I'm glad the filter was installed because it did catch a lot of clots, but in retrospect I wonder if it should have been removed even though it likely would have been "messy" surgery.

November 30, 2009

Aborted my run after a mile

My wakeup heart rate was 56, higher than it has been the past few days. I started my run in the mid-afternoon. The temperature was in the low 40s (F). As soon as I started running, I could tell I was tired, so when I reached the 1/2 mile marker, I turned back. I only had 5 hours sleep Saturday night. I picked up about 45 minutes with short naps during the afternoon, and I picked up another half an hour last night when I got a good 7 1/2 hours of sleep. By aborting the run today, I'm giving my body extra rest, and hopefully I'll do better on Wednesday.

November 28, 2009

I had a great 4 mile run today

My wakeup heart rate was 53. I was busy with my visiting grandkids until about 2 pm, and then I did my 4-mile run. I ran and walked about the same amounts that I did earlier this week, but I felt better after my run, indicating that I'm starting to adjust to the distance. I will keep the distance at 4 miles during the coming week. The temperature was in the low 40s (F) when I began and in the high 30s when I finished. There was a 5-10 mph wind blowing, and the air was cold. I felt fine, though, with my two layers. Utah has very dry air, and that helps keep our body-heat inside our clothes.

On the way back, I saw a man and a woman feeding bread to some ducks, and I stopped and said, "You're the ducks best friends". I chatted with the couple for about 15 minutes. The man is a graduate from Stanford and attended the University of Utah medical school. He has been involved with computers since the late 1970s, and he was interesting to talk with. We talked about the history of computers and how technology has changed in recent years.

November 25, 2009

Ran 4 miles again on a beautiful day

I started my run this morning about 11 am. The temperature was in the high 30s (F), no wind, and lots of sunshine. My wakeup heart rate was 56 this morning, and I felt great. I could tell that with each mile I was getting more tired, but that is to be expected. During the last mile, I was walking and running about the same amounts. This was the same as in past runs.

During my 3rd mile, I measured my stride rate as 89x2 or 178. That is the same as it was before I was attacked by blood clots, and that is a good sign. It indicates that with my body being weak from blood clots, my natural running rhythm hasn't been affected. I just naturally have a fast stride rate. Having a fast stride rate is good, because it forces one to take smaller steps, thus avoiding over striding. A runner's foot should strike the ground under his body instead of in front of the body. Having your feet touch the ground in front of your body means you're over striding, and that a higher stress on your legs and actually slows you down. Your foot sticking out in front of your body acts as a break until your body passes over your foot.

World class runners all run with a stride rate of about 180. This means they are faster because they take larger steps, not because they take steps more often. So, my question is, how do they take larger steps without over striding? I don't know. There are moments in their stride-cycle when both feet are off the ground, that is, they are coasting through the air. Maybe they coast further than we do.

Right now, a wakeup heart rate of 56 is a low value. Before my bout with blood clots, my normal WHR was 50, and 56 would have been high. Hopefully, if a few more months I'll be back to 50 as my normal value.

November 24, 2009

How I keep motivated to run

Since today is a rest day and I'm not running, I thought I'd discuss how I keep my motivation to run. One of the runners in the running.about.com forum asked how I keep myself motivated, and I gave the following answer.

Having goals helps one to be motivated, whether in running or in other activities. I don't do a lot of racing, so my goals are mostly in other aspects of running. Racing goals wouldn't be achieved for several months, and I need goals for each run. So, I focus on short-term goals, things I can accomplish this week or next week. For example, a year ago South Jordan, Utah started construction on a new leg of the Jordan River Parkway where I run. It is a 0.75 mile leg that goes north to the border of West Jordan City. I've mentioned that leg quite a few times in this blog. I enjoyed watching the construction of the path and talking with the guys doing the work. That gave me goals for about four months. I looked forward to watching them carve a new path, compact the dirt, lay down plastic on the dirt, and finally lay about 6 inches of asphalt on the plastic. I was interested to learn from one of the workers that they sprayed weed killer on the dirt before they laid the plastic. He said weeds will come up through the plastic and the asphalt if they don't spray the ground. After they finished with the asphalt, I enjoyed watching them put in a wire fence along portions of the path that had horses.

After the construction workers left, I learned that the wire fence would be replaced, because it wasn't strong enough to keep the horses from getting on the path. So, I enjoyed watching a different guy put in a better fence. I was particularly interested in how he could put the fence posts in cement in the middle of the winter. It was interesting to learn that he had a machine that held a roll of chain link fencing and placed the fencing along the path. Many years ago, I had a part-time job one summer moving rolls of chain link fencing from box cars to storage in a building, and I know how heavy those rolls of fencing can be (200 - 300 pounds). I thought it interesting that the second guy put his fencing in places where the other fencing wasn't put. Then I began to wonder about the taxpayers of South Jordan City. Did they end up paying twice for the fencing, or did the first company lose money because their fencing wasn't good enough. Did their contract with the city specify exactly the type of fence to be installed, or was it left to the judgment of the contractor. Did the city talk with the land owners before the city purchased the land for the path to find out what kind of fence was needed?

For the past couple of years, someone has been moving dirt in one of the fields bordering the new leg of the Jordan River Parkway. I could hear the heavy equipment being used to move the dirt, but I couldn't see that any progress was being made. Finally, this fall I could see that progress was being made. I had the chance to talk with the land owner a couple of weeks ago, and he said he is preparing the land for the construction of a subdivision of new houses. Lately he has been moving big rocks to make a rock wall along the border of the Jordan River Parkway. At first I thought he was building a rock wall for landscaping, but I noticed yesterday that he is filling in dirt up to the top of the wall. Since his land is in the flood plain of the river, I realized he is raising the level of his land about three feet and is using the rock wall to prevent the dirt from being washed away during a flood. People who live in his houses won't see the rock wall, but I see the wall as I run past it, and it looks nice.

This fall I saw a big Heron in the Jordan River. It just stood there and didn't move much. I saw it on quite a few different days. That was interesting because I had never seen a Heron before. I haven't seen it lately, and I wonder if it went south for the winter. I also wonder how it could stand for long periods of time in the cold water. Ducks have soft feathers (down) that helps insulate them when they swim, but the Heron just has bare legs. Most of the birds in the river are ducks, but this fall I've seen quite a few American Coots. The most popular posts in this blog are about black ducks that I've seen. Some of them are Coots, but some are different. Quite a few people have found my posts via Google and have commented that they, too, have seen mysterious black ducks.

A year ago, I saw a black and white rabbit near the river. Someone had apparently turned the rabbit lose. I enjoyed seeing the rabbit a few times, but I haven't seen it this year. So, I wonder what happened to it. Maybe a fox got it; I have seen a red fox on the path a few times. If you click on the wildlife label in this blog, you can read about the birds and animals that I've seen during the six years I've kept the blog. In fact, the blog itself has helped me get out running, since I've gone public with my running and have to "keep up my public image" so to speak.

I have a lot of short-term goals related to my running. I began 2009 running about 20-22 miles per week, including a long run of 10 miles and a medium run of 7 miles and a rest run of 5 miles. Then in mid January I was attacked by blood clots. I went from a 7 mile run on a Saturday to only being able to walk 100 feet on Monday. My progress in getting back to my former distance has taken a lot more time than I expected. It has been almost 10 months, and my weekly distance is only up to about 10 miles, including my longest run, so far, of 4 miles. So, I'm busy with my weekly goals in inching forward in distance. There is a local 5K race in June that I've run twice (a 2nd and then a 1st in my age group). I missed it in 2009 because of the blood clots. I wonder if I'll be able to run it in 2010. I should be able to do the distance OK, but I may not be very fast. But that's OK. When you get to be my age, you're less concerned about speed and are happy to "just do it".

One of the things I'm looking forward to in the next month is putting sheet metal screws in my running shoes to keep me from slipping on ice. My shoes have 300 miles on them and have limited life left, so they are good candidates to become "ice shoes". Last winter and the winter before I used a commercial product with steel spikes, but they kept coming off when I got into snow several inches deep. People who have used sheet metal screws say they work fine, and I thought I'd give them a try.

The final reason that I get out and run is because I enjoy it. This enjoyment has carried me through 38 years of running. There are times when I get busy with other things and don't get out and run, but that's OK. I'm like everyone else and have my ups and downs. I don't beat myself up with guilt for not going out. I just finish my project at home that kept me from running for a day or two and then put my running shoes back on and head down to the Jordan River.

We are all different. What motivates one person to run may not help another person. One of the key things is to recognize that you're not "perfect" and to not feel guilty when you don't get out and run. Don't feel guilty because you're slow or because you don't go very far or because you don't go as fast as you did when you were younger. Just accept who you are and enjoy your life. If you would like to leave a comment explaining how you keep motivated to run, I (and others) would enjoy listening to you.

November 23, 2009

Did a nice 3-miler to finish my rest week

My wakeup heart was 55, and I felt fine and was anxious to get out running. However, we had 3 inches of snow last night, so I delayed my run until noon to give the sun time to melt the snow on the Parkway path. The shade temperature was in the high 30s (F) during my run, but the direct-sun temperature was in the high 50s. Most of the path is in the direct sun. There were a few shady spots that had some snow and ice. The air felt cold, though. I only wore two layers, and I was cold when I began but felt fine after a quarter mile. I'm wearing cotton compression socks that go up to my thigh (I'll be wearing them for another 13 months), and they kept my legs warm.

During the first half of the northbound out-back segment of the path, I only took one relatively short walking break during the 0.75 miles out and three short walking breaks on the way back. That was a good improvement from the summer when I was taking 4 breaks out and 4 or 5 breaks back. During the last 1.5 miles, I took about the same number of breaks that I did earlier this fall when I was running 3 miles. My body is taking a lot longer in recovery from the blood clots than I had expected. I guess blood clots really do a "job" on ones body.

I plan on doing 4 miles per run for the next two or three weeks to give my body more time to adjust to the increased distance. Then, I'll advance my three runs up to 5 miles and do that for a couple of weeks.

November 21, 2009

I had a great 2 mile rest run

My wakeup pulse rate was down to 57, and I felt fine. I ran 2 miles and felt good during and after the run. If I feel fine on Monday, I'll do a 3-mile rest run, followed by (hopefully) a regular 4-mile run on Wednesday. I'm capping my runs at 4 miles for a couple of weeks to give my body more time to adjust  to that distance.

On Friday a week ago, when I went from 3.3 miles to 3.88 miles, I had a 13.5% increase in distance. Then, on Monday, I added a bit more to give a 4 mile run. All of this put a heavy stress on my body, and that stress was reflected in my increase in wakeup heart rate as well as an overall feeling of being tired. My rest this week, that began on Tuesday, has brought my wakeup heart rate down to 57, and I feel fine. Today was a great run, and I'll hopefully end my rest week with a 3 mile rest-run on Monday. A common problem with many runners is that they don't give their bodies enough rest, and then they wonder why they have gotten injured. Running heavy/light and taking rest weeks once a month help our bodies to recover.

The temperature during my run this morning was in the mid 40s (F), the sky was cloudy, and snow showers are forecast for this evening and tomorrow.

November 20, 2009

Wakeup pulse rate down a bit

I had a solid 8 hours of sleep last night, and my wakeup heart rate this morning was 61. I'm taking another rest day today. Hopefully, my pulse rate tomorrow will be 61 or lower, and I hope to run 2 miles tomorrow as a rest run.

November 19, 2009

Took a rest day today

I've made good progress the past few weeks, and I decided it was time for a rest week to give my body some extra rest. I had planned to run 1 mile today, 2 miles on Saturday, and 3 miles on Monday. Then back to 4 miles for a couple of weeks. However, my wakeup pulse rate was 63 this morning and I felt tired. I thus took a rest day. I'll see how I feel tomorrow or Saturday.

November 17, 2009

Added a bit to give 4 miles in another great run

In the late afternoon I ran 4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I usually run the new 1.5 mile out-back northern segment and then go south out-back to finish my run. However, tonight I did the full run going south and back. I made the change because I knew it would be dark and I wouldn't be able to see my GPS. By going south and running 4 miles, my turn-around point would be a small bridge that I could recognize in the dark.

I didn't have quite the energy that I had last Friday, but I still had a good run during most of the run. During the last mile, I was getting tired, and I walked more than I had been walking during the first three miles, although the amount of walking during the last mile was about the same as it was during the summer.

It was nice to run in the dark and see the lights of buildings and cars. There were a lot of ducks bedding down for the night in the river, and they were quacking. Flocks of geese flew overhead just as it was getting dark, and they were honking. My wife, though, doesn't like me to run after dark because of her concerns for my safety. So, I need to finish my run before it gets dark. I did see two cyclists and three or four runners/walkers on the path after dark.

November 13, 2009

Today was my best run since January BC (before clots)

I ran 3.88 miles this afternoon. I had planned on running 3.66 miles, a 10% increase, but it was getting dark when I reached my turnaround point, and I couldn't see my GPS very well. I went further than I had planned and did a 13.5% increase. I also went a bit faster than I have in the past. Not intentionally faster; I just let my body dictate the pace. During the last mile, I took more walking breaks, but not as many as I've done in the past. Today's run was much better than the run on Monday and the runs last week.

It is 0.75 miles north to the turnaround, and I've been stopping and walking 2-4 times during that distance. Today I only stopped once on the way out and once on the way back. On the way back, I stopped to talk with the land owner who has been operating heavy equipment for the past two years on his land next to the Parkway path. I've been curious to know what he is planning, and he said it was new homes. Tonight, he had a big shovel moving big rocks next to the chain-link fence to be a rock wall. The part of the wall that he has finished looks nice. Having lived in Massachusetts for 17 years where rock walls are everywhere, I love rock walls.

The temperature was 38 (F) when I left home and 33 (F) when I returned. I only had two layers on (T-shirt and my nylon wind breaker), but once I started running and got warmed up, I was fine. I think I will, though, switch to a long sleeved T-shirt. The nylon arms of my jacket did feel cold on my bare arms.

I saw a red fox on the path and two deer in the river

On my way back on the 0.75 mile north segment of the path, I caught a glimpse of a red fox trotting down the path. When I got to the place where the land owner was building a rock wall, he stopped me with a wave of his hand and asked if I had seen the fox. The fox had trotted past him. I've seen the fox once or twice before. This picture of a fox is from the web. As with all the pictures in this blog, click for a larger view.



After talking with the land owner for a couple of minutes, I continued my run and saw two big mule deer on the path. A minute later I saw them wading to the other side of the river. They were about 100 feet from me, and I had a good view of them. No antlers. They are big and looked as big as a young horse. This picture of a mule deer is also from the web.



This is the fourth time I've seen deer during my runs. In two of the times, the deer were in the river. In one of the times, the deer was on the path, and one time the deer was a couple of hundred feet west of the path, near a house. My mother-in-law lives on the East bench of Salt Lake City, and she sees deer in her backyard every winter. Sometimes 15 or 20 deer at a time. They come off the mountain during the winter looking for food.

November 9, 2009

Ran/walked the 3.3 miles again

I did the 3.3 miles again. It was an OK run, but my energy level wasn't great. I ran in the mid afternoon and didn't eat breakfast due to thinking I would be going out in the morning. For lunch I had two fried eggs and toast and OJ, a couple of hours before I went out. My wakeup heart rate was 55 this morning, a good sign that I'm getting close to my proper amount of sleep. Another nice day with temps in the mid 50s (F).

November 4, 2009

A great 3.3 mile run

My wakeup heart rate was 55, and I repeated the 3.3 miles that I did on Monday. I did better today. During the first 2 miles I did more running and less walking than on Monday. During the last 1.3 miles, I did about the same as I did on Monday.

I was running when people who run or walk during their noon hour came onto the Parkway. Because of this, there were quite a few runners who passed me (going both directions).

The temperature was in the low 70s (F), and the sky was sunny with some beautiful clouds. A wonderful day! I didn't see many birds in the river. Just a few ducks and Coots.

November 2, 2009

Added 10% and did 3.3 miles

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 56, and I felt pretty good. I was surprised about this, because I only had six hours of sleep Saturday night, and I was expecting to feel tired this morning (I had a good seven hours of sleep last night). My legs felt tired, right from the beginning, but my body felt fine for the first mile and then began to feel tired. However, I felt good enough that I added the 0.3 miles that I had planned to add. My run/walk ratio was about the same as as it has been in the past.

The temperature was in the mid 50s (F), and it was a beautiful day. The whole week should be like today, due to a high front that is over the area, and it will be a good week to finish getting things ready for winter.

October 31, 2009

A much better run of 3 miles

My wakeup heart rate was 62 but I felt pretty good, and I had a nice run. Sometimes my body limits my run and other times my legs are the limit. Sometimes neither are the limit, and those are the times when I have a great run. Last week my body was the limit. This morning my legs were the limit. I took fewer walking breaks, but the breaks were longer to give my legs a bit more rest.

The temperature during my run was in the mid 50s (F), a pleasant change from the high of 39 last week. Last week there was a 15 mph wind from the South. Today it was a pleasant 5 mph.

October 28, 2009

Took a 1.5 mile rest run

My wakeup heart rate was in the high 50s, but I didn't feel super energetic during my run in the late afternoon. I ran the 1.5 mile segment of the new north-bound path of the Parkway. I decided that I would do a shorter run to increase the likelihood of a better run on Saturday.

I had a good view of the Heron. It was on a sandbar in the middle of the river. I watched it walk into the river, and I thought, "Good luck, bird, that water is cold."

October 26, 2009

Added a quarter mile to give me 3 miles for my run

I started my run about 11 am this morning. The temperature was 25 (F) last night, and the air was still cold during my run, even though the temperature in the sun was 50 (F). I was glad I wore my nylon windbreaker. There were a number of runners and walkers on the path, and it was a beautiful day.

My wakeup heart rate was 59 this morning. I felt fine during most of the run, but I started to run out of energy during that last half-mile.

Saw the Heron again today

I saw the Heron again. Standing on the dead branch in the river that has been his perch in the past. I watched him/her for a couple of minutes. It just stood there without moving.

My strategy for adding distance

I'm currently running three days per week, and I usually run the same distance for each day of running during the week. However, that will change in the future. When I get the three days up to 5 miles, I'll cap my Monday run with the 5 miles. That will be my rest run. I'll continue to increase the Wednesday and Saturday runs until they reach 7 miles. I will cap the Wednesday run at that value for my medium run. I'll increase the Saturday run to 10 miles, and that will be my long run.

I should reach the 5 miles by the end of the year, the 7 miles by Spring, and the 10 miles by Summer. However, my body will determine what actually happens :)

October 24, 2009

Had a great 2.75 mile run

My wakeup heart rate was 57, I felt great, and I had a great run. I was out early (10 am), and the temperature was in the mid 50s (F). A wonderful Fall day. I didn't see many people on the Parkway.

I really do better if I run on an empty stomach soon after I get up. I have more energy since I just got out of bed. When I was younger, I could run at any time of day, but I'm finding, as I get older, that I have less energy later in the day.

I saw quite a few American Coots in the river. I took some pictures of the Coots and of a Heron with my cell phone camera, but they didn't turn out very well. I'll have to take my wife's camera next time. I did get a picture of some horses who were grazing next to the path.



If I feel fine on Monday, I'll go for 3 miles.

October 22, 2009

Ran the 2.75 miles again

My wakeup heart rate was 62. I ate some food about 1 1/2 hours before I ran, but I should have had the food earlier, because during my run my stomach wasn't feeling very good. During the last 1/2 mile, me stomach felt fine, and I was able to run longer stretches before I walked. The temperature was in the mid 50s (F), and it was a nice Fall day with lots of sun and some clouds.

Saw more Coots in the river

I saw a total of 7 American coots, spread over a quarter-mile stretch of the river. Their white bills stand out and make it easy to recognize them as Coots and not ducks. In my previous post about the Coots (2 days ago), I described their noise as a "chirp", but it is more of a "pip". A shorter sound.

October 21, 2009

My running interview with Bob Babinski

I was interviewed (via email) yesterday by Bob Babinski about the impact of sports in my life. Bob is an independent producer/director who lives in Montreal and does a lot of work for CBC-TV Sports.

October 20, 2009

Added 10% to make my run 2.75 miles

I had a nice run. My wakeup heart rate was 59 this morning, and I had more energy during my run. I've slept well for the past 5 or 6 days, and that helps. It usually, though, takes a couple of weeks for my body to overcome serious slept debts.

October 17, 2009

A nice 1.5 mile run

My wakeup heart rate was 62 this morning. I probably should have stayed home and rested, but I was anxious to get outside. I ran the 1.5 mile round trip on the northern part of the Jordan River Parkway. I felt fine going out but got tired on the way back. I felt about the same as I did on my Monday run. I love being out in the fall. It is my favorite time of the year. I ate the last apple on "the" tree. I've enjoyed those apples during the past couple of months, and I'm looking forward to the crop next year.

I saw two black ducks with white bills. They were swimming in the river, so I couldn't look to see if their feet were webbed. They were about the size of a large mallard, but they made a different sound. They didn't "quack" like ducks usually do. Instead, they made a funny sounding "chirp" sound. Their bodies were pure black, and their white beaks gave a good contrast to their black bodies and made it easy to see the ducks.

10/20/09 Here is a picture from the web of an American Coot. The birds I saw were too far away for the black mark on the tip of the bill to be seen. Click the picture for a larger image.

October 12, 2009

A better 1.5 miles

My wakeup heart rate was 56 this morning, and I felt pretty good. I left for my run about 11:30 am, and ran more and walked less during the 0.75 miles to the turn around point on the north-bound path. But, on the way back, my energy petered out, and I did more walking than running while going back to my car. Last week was a bad week as far as sleep is concerned, and it will take me a few days to recover from that. I slept well last night, and that is why my pulse rate was down to 56. The shade temperature during the run was in the low 60s (F) with a 10-15 mph breeze. A nice Fall day.

October 8, 2009

Ran a tired 1.5 miles

I felt tired this morning, partly due to a minor surgery I had yesterday for the removal of a big cyst on my arm and partly due to insufficient sleep the past couple of days. I stopped after completing the out-back of the new northbound path that I've spoken of many times. My wakeup heart rate was 55, which is good, but my energy level was low.

October 5, 2009

A wonderful 2.5 mile run!

I ran the 2.5 mile route again, and it was a wonderful run. The first phase is the 0.75 mile from the parking lot to the turn around point in the new north-bound section of the Parkway. I only stopped running twice in that distance. The first time was to look at the heron that I've seen in the past, and the second time was to pick apples from "the tree". On the way back to the parking lot, I only stopped twice, once to tell a walker about the Heron and once to take a walking break. That is a significant improvement in my running. During the 1 mile round trip going south, I walked slightly less than I've been doing in my runs.

My wakeup heart rate was 62, higher than I'd like but better than on Saturday. I slept well over the weekend, and that helped. I also was out early (2 hours after I woke up), and that meant I should have more energy than if I had run in the afternoon without eating anything.

Still having the pain I've reported in the past

When the pain first appeared, it was in my right groin, and I did extra stretches of the groin. The pain then moved to my right buttock, and I did extra buttock stretches. Now, the pain is in my right quad, and I'm doing extra quad stretches. During my run, when I stopped as explained above, I stretched my quads, and during the last mile on the southbound part of the run, I stopped several times to stretch my quads. I've only been stretching on days that I run (three times a week), and I'm going to form a habit of stretching every day, with extra stretches on my groin, buttock, and quads.

I saw the heron again

I saw the heron again. It was standing on the tree branch that pokes out of the river. The bird has always been in the same place each time I've seen it. On my way back to the parking lot, I passed a walker, and I told him about the heron. Later, I passed the walker again, and he said he saw the bird and it was beautiful. The bird has a gray body and black and white stripes on its head.

October 3, 2009

Took a rest day today

My wakeup heart rate was 65 this morning. I was surprised because it was 58 yesterday and I slept well last night. I decided to give myself a rest day and hope the heart rate is down on Monday.

October 1, 2009

I ran 2.5 miles & felt fine

I had a better run today. I added to my distance and felt pretty good during and after the run. I didn't have as much energy as I had a couple of weeks ago, but I had more than I did last week.

One thing that needs improvement is my meals. I got up this morning thinking I would go out running soon thereafter. But I got side tracked and didn't go running until five hours later. In the meantime I had no breakfast or lunch, only a few handfuls of dry cereal after my stretches.

We had our second frost last night, and it took some time for the temperature to rise to a reasonable value. The shade temperature while I ran was in the low 60s (F). The sky was sunny with a few clouds. Tomorrow will be a few degrees warmer.

September 28, 2009

Another tired 2.4 mile run

I walked and ran the 2.4 mile run this morning. I was tired and did a lot of walking. The high point of the run was the three apples that I ate from "the" tree. I've slept well the past few days, but it takes a few days for my body to become rested. My wakeup heart rate this morning was 61. Even though I was out at 11:30, the shade temperature was in the high 60s.

I saw a garter snake during my run

I saw a garter snake during my run. It was about 3 feet long, and about as big around as my thumb. It was on the asphalt path basking in the warmth of the sun. I got close to it and stamped my feet, but it didn't move. I could see its forked tongue moving, so I knew it wasn't dead. I threw a small stick at it but it didn't move. I walked around to its rear and lightly tapped my foot against its tail, and the snake slithered off the path into the bushes. I was worried that if it stayed on the path, it might get run over by a bicycle. Here is a picture of a garter snake that came from the web. Click the picture for a larger view.



I saw another garter snake a couple of weeks ago.

September 26, 2009

A tired run which I aborted

I started on my 2.4 mile run during the morning, but I was tired, and I aborted the run after 1.5 miles. My wakeup pulse rate has been high for several days, and I can tell when I do my pre-run stretches that my energy level is low.

September 23, 2009

A terrible 2.4 mile walk/run

I didn't run today until dusk after the sun had gone down. I had a hard time breathing, and my energy level was low. The main problem, I think, was that I hadn't eaten much during the day, and I was concerned about not having enough energy for the run. I ate two peanut butter sandwiches about half an hour before I left for the run so I would have some energy. I really knew I shouldn't do that, because I've done similar things with bad results. But, I was hungry and yielded to the temptation to eat. I did my planned distance, but I did a lot of walking during the last part of the distance.

I normally eat a few handfuls of dry cereal before I run, and they are fine because they are easily digested. Apparently peanut butter isn't easily digested. In addition, peanut butter has a lot of protein, and it isn't a good idea to eat protein during a run (save the protein for the first half hour after you finish). Live and learn; I'm doing plenty of living, but I'm not sure how much learning I'm doing :)

September 21, 2009

Increased my run to about 2.4 miles

Another great run on a beautiful fall day. My wakeup heart rate was 55. I felt pretty good but had not quite as much energy as I had on Saturday. I actually ran more during the 1.5 mile round trip on the north segment of the Parkway path than I have in past runs. As I ran the 0.9 miles on the south segment of the path, I could tell I was getting tired, and I did more walking on that segment than I did on Saturday.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a highway police car and three highway police motorcycles leaving the parking lot. I don't know why they were there. Sometimes cadets from the police academy will do timed runs on the path, but there are many police cars in the parking lot when that happens. I've also seen on a number of occasions a single highway policeman running on the path, but I've never seen four or five policemen do that.

Saw the Heron in the river again

In the past I've seen a heron standing in the river. I saw it again this morning, only he was closer to the bank this time, and I got a really good look at him. His body is gray. He has a large black stripe and a large white stripe on his head. A beautiful bird! He is a good 4 feet tall.

Not going to do the steeple chase fun run on Saturday

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to do a 5K fun run this coming Saturday. I reread the race pamphlet and discovered it is a 5 mile run not a 5K run. I could handle the 3.1 miles in a 5K, but I'm not ready for 5 miles.

September 19, 2009

Another great 2.2 mile run/walk

We're having a cold front pass through, and the temperature when I hit the trail at 9:20 am was in the 60s (F). A great temperature, lots of shade, and even some ducks quacking in the river. I ran more during this run than I did on Wednesday. My body felt good (wakeup heart rate was 54), my legs felt good, and I just kept running.

I ate three apples from "the" tree. Eating those apples is becoming a ritual with me. The apples are close to being ripe and are a mixture of green and red. I don't know what kind of apples they are, but they are crisp and juicy. Eating them hasn't been a problem with my stomach, and I hope they might give me some energy. Probably not during the run, since it takes about three hours for food to leave ones stomach and enter the small intestines, but hopefully more energy later in the day. When I do these early runs, I run on an empty stomach, except for a few handfuls of dry cereal that I eat just before I leave home, and I eat breakfast when I return home. I do drink a couple of glasses of water before I leave.

September 16, 2009

I had the greatest run this morning

Today was a great day for running, and I had the greatest run that I've had in a long time. I did the 2.2 miles again, and my legs felt great the whole time. I've been running and walking about equal distances, but today I ran significantly more than I have in past runs. Instead of a 1:1 ratio of running to walking, the ratio was probably 1.5:1 or so, meaning I ran about 1.3 miles and walked about .9 miles.

The shade temperature was in the high 60s (F), the sky was blue with no clouds, and there was quite a lot of shade from the Russian Olive trees that border the river. A wonderful day!

Legs vs. body in getting tired while running?

A question that a lot of runners ask when they get tired is if the legs or the body limits the distance one can do. The answer, of course, is both; it depends on the circumstances, and different people will have different answers to the question.

Since my blood clots in January, my legs have been the limiting factor. I've been combining running and walking, and I usually run until my legs start to show the stress, and then I walk for a break. Today, however, my body was the limiting factor. My legs felt great while I ran, and I stopped to walk when my body told me it needed some rest. My legs didn't feel tired at all during the whole distance. This is a really good sign!

September 14, 2009

I added 10% to my run/walk (2.2 miles)

Today was a great running day! My wakeup heart rate was 53, I had lots of sleep over the weekend and I felt great. I was out relatively early while the temperature was still in the low 70s (F). I did 2.2 miles, about half running and half walking. The sky was sunny with fluffy clouds. We are, though, expecting thunder showers this afternoon and tomorrow.

There is a 5K steeplechase run that I'd like to do at the end of the month. No timing, no medals, just a fun run. I'll have to see how my running goes between now and then. Most of the people I know who will be in the run are walkers, so my combination of running and walking won't be too noticeable.

I had my usual "feast" of three apples from the old tree near the path. The three apples are small and probably amount to one "normal" sized apple.

Later: We did have a thunder storm this afternoon. The sky was dark, lots of thunder and lightning, some rain, and some wind. I was glad I ran earlier in the morning. I enjoy being in a summer rain, but I don't run during thunder storms. Lightning is something I stay away from. If I am in a run and I see lightning, I count seconds until I hear the thunder from that lightning. If the time is 5 seconds or less, I head for a shelter. That 5 seconds means the lightning was only a mile away, and lightning can easily move a mile for the next strike.

September 12, 2009

I didn't run today

Four of my grandkids were visiting last night and half of today. In the afternoon, my wife and I spent a couple of hours walking in the hot sun looking at exhibits at a Conservation show. One exhibit I enjoyed was about using a heat pump to heat as well as cool ones house. The horizontal pipes for this only have to be down about 10 feet to be in the zone of the ground that is at a constant temperature of, if I remember the temperature, 51 degrees (F). Or, they can drill a well about 150 feet deep and put pipes in there instead of in horizontal trenches.

September 11, 2009

My wakeup heart rate continues to be lower

On Wednesday I reported that my wakeup heart rate was 54 and on Monday it was 56, while it had been around 60 during previous days. It was 54 yesterday and today, and all of this suggests that getting more sleep at night is helping my body to relax and to better handle stress. I'm anxious to see how I do in my run tomorrow.

I'm still struggling with getting to bed earlier because I love to stay up at night. But, I also love to get up feeling rested and have good runs as well as good activities during the day. I'm hoping my love of getting up feeling rested will overshadow my love of staying up later. When I was younger, I could stay up late and sleep in, but as I get older I'm finding that I wake up around 7 am regardless of when I went to bed.

September 9, 2009

Ran/walked the 1.5 miles at mid-day

My wakeup heart rate was 54 this morning, and I felt pretty good. However, I only had 5 hours of sleep last night, and after I started running, the lack of sleep caught up with me. I did, though, feel stronger than I did on Monday. I ran at mid-day, and the shade temperature was in the mid 70s (F). However, the temperature in the direct sunlight was probably in the low 90s. I picked up 5 or 6 pieces of litter that had blown in with the wind.

I ate two apples during my run. I quite like those apples. I don't know what kind of apple they are, but they taste good. They're not quite ripe, and they will probably be ripe in a couple of weeks. I looked for the heron but didn't see it.

September 7, 2009

I walked/jogged 1.5 miles

I could tell, when I started my run, that my energy level was low, and, in addition, I felt some low-level pain in my right hip. I did complete the new path that goes north from 100th South, doing more walking than usual. I'm not surprised at my low-level energy. Yesterday was "Fast Sunday" in the Mormon church. Each month on the first Sunday, Mormons fast two meals and contribute the equivalent cost (or more) to their local Bishop (Pastor) for use in helping persons in need. The result is that I only had one meal, yesterday evening. I frequently have less energy after fasting. My wakeup heart rate was 56, and that is a good sign.

I ate three more apples from the tree I mentioned on Saturday, and I fed one apple to a horse (he didn't seem to like the apple, and most of it fell on the ground while he was chewing it).

September 5, 2009

I ran my two miles today

My hip pain is pretty much gone. My "bible" for injuries is The Runner's Repair Manual" by Dr. Murray Weisenfeld. The book says the following about hip pain.
Side of hip pain is an overuse injury. It's an inflammation of the fascia, a fibrous, somewhat flexible material that's found in the hips, legs and many other places in the body. The inflammation may start with the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones; then the inflammation spreads to the fascia.
I've been doing stretches to strengthen my hips, knees, and lower back, so I'm assuming the inflammation came from some other cause. For the past few days I've been taking internally 100 mg of Calendula twice a day. About 24 hours after I started the Calendula, my pain subsided. I mowed my lawns yesterday with no pain, and I ran/walked the two miles today with no pain. I did feel some pain last night due to my wife and I dancing at a wedding reception in the evening. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have more pain .... Calendula is a pretty yellow flower that acts as a mild antiseptic.

My run/walk went well. The temperature was in the high 70s in the shade with sun and clouds. A great day to be out.

Ate 3 apples from an old tree as I ran

There is an old apple tree near the Jordan River Parkway path. The tree looks pretty old because it hasn't been pruned in who knows how long. The apples on it are small, and many have worm holes. Some, however, are without worms, and they are near being ripe. I picked and ate 3 of them as I ran the path. They were good!

September 1, 2009

So far today I've felt fine

A few minutes ago, for the first time today, I felt the pain in my hip (about 5:30 pm). I just put Arnica on it, and I feel fine right now. That is the first application of Arnica cream since last night. I'm avoiding long walks, mowing lawns, etc. and am just spending the day working on my web sites. I walk around for a few minutes every hour or so, and I'm continuing my buttock exercise.

August 31, 2009

For a few seconds I felt like the world was coming to an end

Yesterday morning I was walking into my kitchen when, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in my right hip. The pain was so intense that I had to sit down and lean to my left for a few seconds. I felt the pain on and off for the rest of the day. I put Arnica cream on it in the evening to help me begin the healing process. I don't know what caused the pain. I hadn't run for four days, and I felt fine during that time. I don't think running caused the pain -- if it did, there was a four-day delay before the pain set in.

I felt fine during the night and for two or three hours this morning, so I went out running. However, after a quarter mile I felt the pain a bit, and I turned around and walked/jogged back to my car. I felt the pain on and off during the day. I put Arnica on every three or four hours. In the beginning, the pain was in the front of my body, about where my leg connects to my pelvis. By night, however, the pain had moved to the rear of my hip, and I began to wonder if it was a problem in my buttock. I began doing my exercise for the buttock. I felt pretty good as I prepared for bed.

August 26, 2009

Aborted my run after half a mile

I felt fine before I started running. My wakeup heart rate was 58. The temperature was in the low 70s (F) when I left home. As soon as I started running, however, I could tell this was not a running day. My energy level went down, and I had a hard time continuing to run. I knew that I had to mow my lawns when later this morning and needed to conserve energy, so I aborted the run and mostly walked back to my car.

August 24, 2009

I had a wonderful run/walk for 2 miles

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 57, and I felt great! I ran my 2-mile route again. It was about 9:15 when I left home, and the shade temperature during my run was in the low 70s (F). I ran more of the distance than I've been doing. My run was like the great one I had on August 15. My first stop was to take pictures of the Heron. My second stop was to walk up a small hill, and my third stop was the turn around point.

Pictures of the Heron that I've been seeing on my runs

Herons are waders, and I got pictures this morning of him wading in the Jordan River. When I saw him before, he was standing on the dead branch that was sticking out of the water. I hoped he would wade to the branch and stand on it, but he flew away. Click a picture for a larger image.


August 22, 2009

Wow, a great day for my feet!

I began the day measuring my wakeup pulse rate at 62. I then ran and walked my 2-mile route. I felt a little more energetic than I did on Thursday. After my run/walk, my wife and I took our four grandkids up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton Ski Resort and hiked around Silver Lake. About half way around the lake, we took a side hike up to Solitude Lake. After returning from that, we continued around Silver Lake. The total distance on our hike was 3.2 miles, giving me 5.2 miles for the day. Silver Lake is at an altitude about 8400 feet, and Lake Solitude is at an elevation about 9100 feet. Here are some pictures I took towards the end of the hike. The last picture is of a stream that feeds the lake, and there is a Beaver dam in the stream. The next to the last picture is of the trail, and my wife (in the red shirt) is walking down the trail. Click a picture for a larger image.



August 21, 2009

Good news: my wakeup heart rate is down

My wakeup heart rate was down to 55 this morning. It has been 61-62 during the past week, so the drop to 55 is significant. Wakeup heart rate is a guage on how hard your body is working while you sleep. A lower wakeup heart rate means your body is not working as hard while you sleep due to your body being in better condition.

Another good sign is that some slight swelling in my ankles has gone down.

August 20, 2009

Ran/walked 2 miles again

I did the 2-mile course again. I was tired but still had reasonable energy, and I ran when I felt like it and walked when I didn't. I didn't get out until 10:20 this morning, and even with less shade I didn't get overly thirsty. My wakeup heart rate was 62. It has been 60-62 for the past week, even though I'm sleeping well at night.

I was tired today because yesterday was a very busy day. My wife and I took four grandchildren on the commuter train to Salt Lake City to see the new library and the Beehive and Lion houses, two of the houses next to Temple Square that were used by Brigham Young and his wives. On of the grandkids is working on the requirements for his Bear award in cub scouting, and our trip was to visit old pioneer homes and other historical places. Even though I did some sitting yesterday, I was on my feet a lot, and my body needs extra rest today.

The water level in the Jordan River is quite a bit lower than it was during the spring. Most of the ducks are gone, but I still see a few in the river and a few who are hanging around waiting for food from people.

Saw the Heron again

I saw the Heron again on a dead tree in the Jordan River. In fact, it was at the same place as before. I need to carry my cell phone with me when I run so I can get a picture of the bird. It is beautiful!

August 17, 2009

Extended my run to 2.0 miles

I ran 2 miles this morning, giving me a new max distance for my running ABC (after blood clots). I didn't have as much energy as I had on Saturday, but I felt pretty good. I walked more than I did on Saturday but less than I've done in previous weeks. I was out early and enjoyed the cooler temperatures and increased shade.

August 15, 2009

My greatest run since January

When I left to go running this morning about 8:30, it was raining pretty hard. The temperature was 57 (F), and it was almost a perfect day for running. I started running and was surprised that my legs didn't get as tired as they've done in the past. I ran the 0.75 miles to the turn-around point with only one segment of walking. On the way back, I did more walking, but not as much as in the past. I ran and walked a total of 1.8 miles, my longest run since January. The rain was heavy when I started but was just a drizzle when I finished. I saw three other runners on the path and two cyclists. The two cyclists were stopped in the tunnel under 100th South and were waiting for the rain to stop.

August 13, 2009

Ran the 1.6 miles early this morning

I was on the path by 8 am this morning. The temperature was in the mid 70s (F), and there was lots of shade due to the sun not being very high in the sky. I was hoping to make the 1.8 miles that I ran earlier in the week, but I stopped at 1.6 miles. I'm still recovering from the 2 hours sleep I got Sunday night. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to recover from a sleep deficit like that. My wakeup heart rate was 62.

Still getting lots of visitors

For the past four days I've had 800-900 visitors per day to this blog. That is significantly less than the peak of 6,000 visitors I had last week, but it is significantly more than the 30-50 visitors per day that I had before this blog was listed in Blogs of Note. Tomorrow is the last day this blog will be listed on the home page of BoN, and then my blog will drop off the end and will be gone from the home page. I'm interested to see how much my visitor-statistics will decrease when that happens.

Being listed in the Blogs of Note has brought about 20,000 visitors to this blog, and many people have left kind remarks about the blog. I appreciate all of those who visited, and I hope my blog has left a positive influence in their lives. The important thing is not me as a person but the influence my blog has had and is having on those who visit. Many people have influenced my life in positive ways, and I hope I'm doing that to others.

We saw a Heron in the River Jordan

On Tuesday while I was hiking with my wife and four grandkids we saw a large heron perched on a dead tree that was in the river. I tried to take a picture of it with my cell phone, but the photo memory in the phone was full, and I didn't get the picture. It was nice that the kids got to see the bird. That is the second heron that I've seen on the river. It looked like the bird was 4 feet tall.

August 11, 2009

Did a rest 1.3 mile hike with my grandkids

Four of my grandkids are visiting for a couple of weeks, and one is a Cub Scout who is nearing his birthday 10th birthday. We went on a family hike to fulfill one of his requirements. We had talked about what to do if they become lost on a hike or in a department store [stay where you are; don't move unless you need to for safety reasons], and we practiced that during the hike.

A couple of the grandkids walked ahead of us until they were out of sight. They then had to decide if they would stay put until they were discovered or if they would keep walking trying to find their way back. They had a whistle that they blew to make a noise. The rest of us walked down the path looking for them until we found them.

As we neared the end of the hike, I disappeared without telling the rest what I was doing. They reached the end of the hike and waited for me, but I didn't show up. So, a couple of the kids walked back along the trail looking for me, and they found me.

August 10, 2009

No running today

Today was a planned no-running day due to my having a colonscopy this morning. Except for two small polyps, everything looked fine in my colon. The polyps were removed and are being sent out for a biopsy. I have some neat pictures of the inside of my colon which I will post as soon as I scan them. Here are pictures of my colon taken 11 years ago.

August 8, 2009

Did a 1-mile rest run

I woke up this morning and felt fine with lots of energy. As I was getting ready to go out running, early to miss the mid-day heat, my wife commented that it might rain in the afternoon. I decided to mow my lawns before it rained, so I did that instead of running. I only stopped to rest one time while doing the lawns. This was a big improvement from the 5 or 6 times I've been stopping in past mowing sessions.

After I finished the lawns, I went running. However, after about a third of a mile, I knew I was too tired to run much, and I reduced the run to a 1-mile rest run. I was glad I had changed the run, because I was pretty tired during the one-mile and did a lot of walking.

In the past I've tried to mow lawns on a day without running, but once in a while I end up doing both on the same day.

August 7, 2009

My old body is hanging in there...

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 55, much better than the 61-62 that I've had during the past week. My energy level is good, and I feel like I'm 45 again. I'm considering going to four and maybe five times a week for my running. My normal strategy is to do one long run and one medium run per week. Additional runs are rest runs. So, if I follow that strategy, my long run would be the 1.8 miles that I ran two days ago. My medium run would be 1.5 miles, and any additional runs would be 1 mile. I'm using the word "runs" but right now the "runs" are combinations of running and walking.

I've been thinking about this as I type, and I think my fourth day, for a while at least, will be just walking with my wife. The 1-mile goal is a good goal for our walking.

August 5, 2009

Making a change in my running

As I've mentioned a number of times in this blog, I was attacked by blood clots last January. After I left the hospital, I started walking, and I got my walking up to 1 1/2 miles. I then started to mix in small amounts of running. I continued with that distance and over a period of several weeks got the running portion of the distance up to a max of 1 mile and typically about 0.8 miles. I would run for .05 to .1 mile or so and then walk for about the same distance to recover. I then would repeat that sequence. However, recently I haven't been able to get much of an increase in the amount of running. It's as if I have reached a plateau in my running for that distance.

I thus decided to try a different approach to regaining my running. I'm no longer concerned about the amount of running I do in my exercise. I'm just alternating running and walking in a way that feels comfortable for me. I am, however, increasing the total distance. About a week ago I increased the distance, and I made a second increase today. I'm making small increases so my body can better adjust to them. So far, I've enjoyed this new approach. I like being free from any psychological pressure to run for longer stretches before I walk. I just run until I feel like I should walk, and that is enjoyable to me.

Extended my run to 1.7 miles

Today I made another small increase in my distance. I used my GPS to measure the total distance (1.7 miles). I left home about 9:30 am and enjoyed the cooler temperature (high 70s in the shade) and more shade on the path. I purposefully didn't take water with me due to the lower temperatures. Since I had my GPS with me, I checked my pace while I was running. The pace was 14 minutes/mile, which is slow but not bad for an old guy recovering from blood clots :)

My wakeup pulse rate has been 61-62 during the past week. Normally, with a pulse rate that high I wouldn't even go running, since my normal is about 50, but my energy level has been OK and I've gone out. I felt great this morning. This run was one of the best runs I've had for several weeks.

August 3, 2009

Just a touch of dizziness during my run

It was about 1 pm when I started my run (the same 1.6 miles that I've been running), and it was hot. The shade temperature was in the mid 80s (F) and the sun temperature was probably close to 100 (F). Most of my run was in the sun. I forgot to carry water, and I hoped the glass I had just before I left home would carry me through.

That glass of water did carry me through most of the run, but I had a touch of dizziness during the last 500 or so yards. Two of the early signs of heat exhaustion are dizziness and headaches. When those happen, I usually stop running and head for a shady spot to rest for a few minutes before I walk home. Today, the dizziness was slight and didn't last long, so I continued my running and walking until I finished.

Runners need to be careful when they run when it's hot, because heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke, and heat stroke is a precursor to death! Literally! In heat stroke, ones body can no longer control the internal temperature of the body, and the temperature goes up and up and begins to cook ones brain and other internal organs. It is important to know and recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here is my page about running in bad conditions.

I live in Utah, and the Jordan River Parkway, where I run, is at an elevation of 4300 - 4400 feet. That high altitude means runners get less oxygen with each breath and thus experience fatigue more than they would at a lower elevation. I was raised in Southern Utah (elevation about 5500 feet), but I've lived most of my adult life outside of Utah at relatively low elevations. When I moved back to Utah in December 1992, I experienced a lot of dizziness due to the higher altitude here. I would be walking down a sidewalk and would have an attack of dizziness. I would lose contact with the ground, and it would feel like I was walking in the air. It was hard to walk without feeling the ground. After about two years the dizziness went away. My low blood pressure (115/60) probably was a factor, too. Another factor about living in the desert is the low relative humidity of about 10%. That dryness means runners lose more moisture due to evaporation and thus need to drink more. It also means that runners cool more from evaporation of their sweat.

August 2, 2009

Before you start a walking, jogging, or running program

Quite a few folks have indicated in their comments that they are motivated to get out and walk or jog. Before you start, spend some time reading about walking and/or running so you don't make mistakes and get injured, or if not injured get discouraged and give it up. You are invited to browse my tutorial site, runninginjuryfree.org That site has a lot of good suggestions from my 36 years of running, from comments from many runners, and from my reading of the running literature. Set a goal to walk, jog, or run pain free and injury free.

July 31, 2009

Running literally saved my life

If you go back in this blog and read forward from May 19, 2004 you'll find out that my wife and I were in a serious auto accident and that I spent three weeks in the ICU, mostly in an induced coma. Twice the doctors called my family in because they didn't think I'd make it. I did make it, and after I left the ICU I went to another hospital for therapy. Each time a new nurse would come into the room, the nurse would say, "So, you're the runner I've heard about". In the months that followed the accident, I had surgery for a double hernia, six months of surgery for 10 Basal Cell skin cancers on my head, and my gall bladder removed. One of the cancers was as big around as a golf ball and 1/4 inch deep. I've had an interesting comeback with my running. Two years after the auto accident I ran the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon.

In the middle of January 2009 I ran 7 miles on Saturday and finished a 23-mile week. Two days later I could only walk 100 feet before I had to sit down and rest. I was attacked by a million blood clots (well not quite that many). I gained about 38 pounds of water-weight from swelling in my legs and thighs. I'm still recovering from those clots, and my weekly mileage currently is 4 1/2 miles, about half walking and half running.

I'm glad to be alive and I'm glad to still be running!

July 30, 2009

Added 0.1mile to my 1.5 mile run/walk

My wakeup heart rate was 56 this morning. I felt pretty good and was on the path by 9:15. I ran and walked the 1.5 miles like I've been doing, and I added a bit at the end. Being out early was nice -- lower temperature and more shade. Also, I carried two bottles (1 cup each) of water and drank about half of it during my run. After I finished, I drank most of what was left.

July 28, 2009

Ran and walked the 1.5 in mid-day heat

It was about noon when I did the 1.5 mile course, and even though I drank water before I left home, I could tell I needed additional water. I guess it's time to get my FuelBelt out. I'll start with two bottles of water and see how that goes. The shade temperature was in the low 80s (F) and probably in the mid 90s in the sun. Most of the path at this time of day is in the sun.

My wakeup pulse rate was 63 this morning, even though I had good sleep last night.

Visited my doctor yesterday

Yesterday morning I called the Coumadin Clinic and talked with them about my doctor wanting me to take 4 gm of fish oil (28 gm per week) and 125 mg of Niacin per day (875 mg per week). The lady explained that in order to change my amounts of Wafarin (genetic Coumadin) they need a prescription showing the amounts of fish oil and Niacin I should be taking. Then they can adjust the Warfarin to keep my INR number in the range of 2-3. So, I visited my doctor yesterday afternoon, and she faxed a prescription to the Coumadin Clinic. On the way home I checked several stores for 125 mg of Niacin but only found 500 mg amounts. Today I searched the web and ordered two bottles of 125 mg Niacin. I'm curious to find out if getting my good and bad cholesterol levels where they belong will affect my energy level and my recovery from the blood clots.

July 25, 2009

Ran and walked the 1.5 miles again

Last week my wakeup pulse was in the low 60s. This week it has been in the high 50s, not a big improvement but a significant one.

My body and legs still feel tired as I run. I had a blood test last week to check my cholesterol level. The good news is that my total cholesterol was below 200 (182), but the bad news is that my bad cholesterol is high and my good cholesterol is low. The doctor said to take 4 grams of fish oil per day and to eat 1/2 cup of nuts daily. Also, she said to take 125 mg of Niacin daily. And, to get more exercise. Concerning my possibly being anemic, the doctor said to continue my iron supplements for another 4 1/2 weeks and then have my blood tested again to see if my blood is improved. Taking the fish oil and Niacin will interfere with my taking Coumadin to reduce the clotting of my blood, and on Monday I will talk with the Coumadin Clinie people about that.

July 13, 2009

I've had a long rest; now, back to running

I ran and walked the 1.5 miles again. The running part was 0.8 miles. I felt fine and enjoyed being out. Last week my wakeup pulse rate was 62, and I felt pretty tired. Today the wakeup pulse rate was 56, still high from my normal of 50, but low enough that I could run OK.

I talked for a few minutes with a man I've seen on the Parkway several times. He rides an electric motor-scooter-chair, and he has a small dog that rides with him. He is a few months older than me. He gets about 20 miles on a charge of his battery. He has a special rig on the back of his SUV that holds the chair. He just drives on the rig, gets off the chair, presses a button to automatically fasten the chair to the rig and raise the chair a foot or so off the ground. Then he and his dog get in his truck and drive away. He can walk around his house OK, and he can drive OK. He just can't walk long distances. It's nice that he has found a way to travel on the Parkway and enjoy the outdoors.

July 8, 2009

Aborted my run after about 700 feet

I started my run but aborted after a few hundred feet. I feel really tired. My daughter-in-law is a nurse, and she said persons on Coumadin often are anemic (the symptoms of being anemic include being tired). I'm going to start an iron supplement and then have my blood tested in a week when I go in for a cholesterol test.

The good news for today is that my weight is down to 166 pounds (my normal is 162 pounds), and that 4 pounds extra could be due to my diet, swelling, or both. The bad news for today is that my wakeup pulse this morning was 62 (my normal is 50). That pulse reading means my body is very tired for some reason. With the exception of one night last weekend, I've been sleeping well during the past week. Last night I had a good, solid 8 hours.

July 2, 2009

1.5 miles of mostly walking

I completed the 1.5 miles but walked most of it. My body was really tired and I just ran a small amount. I'm going to take a few days off for rest.

June 30, 2009

A tired 1.5 miles

I completed the 1.5 miles, but I was pretty tired when I finished. I ran about 0.7 miles. My wakeup pulse rate has been high (low-mid 60s), likely from not getting enough sleep, and that indicates my body is tired; today's performance confirms that.

June 27, 2009

My oxygen level surprised me during my 1.5 mile run/walk

I measured my oxygen level a number of times during my 1.5 mile exercise. I was surprised to see that my oxygen level increased during my running, especially when going up small hills. The level was 96% when I started, and it went up to 99% during my runs. After I thought about it, I realized that my running was causing me to breath more deeply and more often, and that put more oxygen into my body. I had already determined on the evening the finger-clip arrived that I could increase the oxygen level by taking deep breaths.

So, I decided that my getting tired during my running is either due to my body condition not being very good from the effect of the blood clots and my inactivity for several weeks while I was getting the swelling under control, or my clots haven't been dissolved yet, or both. My oxygen level is pretty good.

June 26, 2009

The finger clip for measuring the oxygen-level came

The finger clip came yesterday. The clip displays both oxygen level and pulse rate, and it is giving a surprising result.

The pulse rate numbers are accurate and are within one beat of my measurement of my pulse at my right ear taken for a minute. My pulse rate last night was 77 plus or minus a couple of beats. The pulse rate this morning was in the mid 60s. In both cases, the numbers are significantly greater than my normal wake-up value of 50 and my daytime value of mid 50s. This increase in pulse rate isn't unusual, considering the sleep-deficit that I've been having the past couple of weeks (I'm still not doing very well in getting to bed earlier, and I still wake up around sunrise).

The oxygen numbers last night and earlier this morning were 93-94%. They are above the 90% threshold that was used when I left the hospital 5 years ago after my auto accident. My oxygen was around 87% when I left, and for a couple of weeks I had to use an oxygen tank until my recovery improved and my oxygen level went above 90%. The last time I used the tank was during a visit to my doctor. She used a finger clip to measure my oxygen level. It was about 95%, and she took the tank away. The last time I had my oxygen level checked was a couple of years ago, and it maxed the clip at 100%. So values of 93-94% are above the threshold but not as good as they should be.

However, I just woke up from an hour nap, and my pulse rate is 51 and my oxygen level is 96-97%. It appears that with proper rest, not only does my wakeup heart rate come down, which I already knew, but my oxygen level goes up. That makes sense. I'll use the clip for the next couple of weeks to see if that trend is correct.

I also will take the clip with me when I run tomorrow to see if the oxygen level varies between my walking and my running. I won't use the clip while I'm moving but will stop for a few seconds and check my oxygen. I also will use the clip when I mow my lawns next week; I'm really curious to check my oxygen level while mowing, because that activity has been making me very tired and huff and puff in my breathing. In fact, it is that huffing and puffing that caused me to worry about my oxygen level.

June 23, 2009

Bought a finger-clip thing to measure the oxygen level in my blood

When I was in the hospital in January, the docs did a CT scan of my legs and lungs. The scan showed multiple blood clots in my legs but none in my lungs. However, the doctor was concerned that I might have small clots in my lungs due to my heavy breathing from climbing stairs and while walking.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my recovery and ability to run again is going very slow, and I'm still breathing heavily while I run and especially while I mow my lawns. I don't breath heavily, though, when I climb one flight of stairs (15 steps) to my bedroom. In January, before I went to the hospital, I had sweat running down my face after climbing to my bedroom. My heavy breathing while I run and mow my lawns concerns me, so last night I bought a finger-clip that will measure my pulse rate and the oxygen level in my blood. The clip should arrive in 5 or 6 days. My blood level should be in the high 90%, and if it is below 90%, I'll revisit my doctor and probably go back to the hospital for more testing for blood clots in my lungs.

As long as I don't die from all of this, this experience is pretty interesting. I've had almost perfect health for 72 years, and I'm enjoying the experience of being in a hospital, being tested, having mummy-looking legs, and wearing compression socks 24/7. If I do die prematurely, meaning before I'm 100, then that will be interesting too.

Pictures of the inside of my colon

Here are the pictures of the inside of my colon that I mentioned in my comment to the post just above this post. Older people like me should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. Click an image for a larger view.

End of colon looking into small intestines.


Point where appendix connects to the colon. The camera is inside the colon and doesn't see the appendix.



Other end of the colon, looking into the anus. The gray area in the center is a hemorrhoid. The black area above the hemorrhoid is the balloon that was pushed through the colon.

June 22, 2009

My 1.5 miles started out good but I aborted just before the end

As I anxiously left for my run, I wondered if the increased blood flow would have a significant effect on my running. I did run a bit farther on my first running segment, and my legs didn't feel as tired at that point as they have in the past. However, at the half way point I had run about the same distance (0.37 miles) as I've been doing. On the way back I felt nauseous, and I aborted my run about 200 feet from the end and made a bee-line for my car and then to home (the nausea was caused by my bowels needing attention, and there wasn't a porta-potty nearby, and due to a chain link fence, I couldn't go into the bushes. I did make it home ok, and the nausea was gone.

I've felt fine during the day, although when I mowed my lawns this evening, I still got pretty tired. Before my blood-clot attack in January, I could mow the lawns without stopping and feel great at the end. Now, I have to stop and rest several times, and my legs and body feel tired. My total distance for the run was 0.85 miles for the 1.5 mile course.

I made a great discovery last night about my legs

I've noticed for quite a while that my toes were a reddish color, as if they weren't getting enough blood. Last night I decided to sleep without my support stockings. Sure enough, when I got up this morning the reddish color was replaced with the normal skin color. In addition, I went to the bathroom several times during the night, and the volume of my urine was greater than the water I drank during the night, and my weight this morning was 4 pounds less than it was on Saturday. I'm not sure I understand this very well, but what I think happened was that by removing my compression socks, I got more blood into my feet, and that resulted in more blood going into my lymph system and down to my kidneys and out as urine. When I received therapy in February and March for the swelling in my feet, I was told to wear the compression socks for 2 years. However, the measurements I take each morning on my legs (I measure the circumference of my legs at 3 places) showed my feet weren't swelling any more. I've left the socks off all day, and I'll sleep without them tonight. Then I'll see if my measurements in the morning show any significant swelling.

June 20, 2009

Another 1.5 mile run/walk

I was out about 9 am and did the 1.5 mile course again. I didn't have my GPS with me to measure the amount of running, but I think I did a bit more than on Wednesday. Probably 1.1 miles or so. There are two places that I use as a judge of how much running I'm doing. The first place is at the beginning of the run, and the second place is at the beginning of the return leg. In both places I ran about 200 feet more than I've been running. I can't use any guideposts in the middle of the run since I don't have an absolute place to start those phases. At the beginning of the out-phase and at the beginning of the return-phase I have a consistent starting place.

After my run I went to a local hospital for a health fair and had my cholesterol checked. It was 162. Six months ago it was 240 (I've been eating less cheese and red meat during the six months). That 162 is the lowest I've ever had. My glucose number was 74 (80 to 120 is considered good), so I'm better than that. My blood pressure was 117/70. My eye test wasn't good, though. My right eye is 20/50 and my left eye is 20/40. Both eyes together are 20/70. I've been aware that I was starting to have problems in my distance-vision, and this confirms that. I'll have to get to an eye doctor before my drivers license comes due in October. Considering everything, I'm in pretty good health for an old guy.

My wakeup pulse rate is high. This is probably due to my not getting enough sleep in past weeks. Even though I'm doing better in getting sleep, it takes time for my body to recover from the lack of sleep. When I was in marathon training 25 years ago, it would take me a couple of weeks to recover from lack of sleep, and due to my it probably takes more time than that now. After my pulse rate comes down, I should do better in my running, although my legs are my weakest point right now.

June 17, 2009

My body wasn't quite so tired during my run

I completed the 1.5 mile course again, and I ran 0.97 miles or 65% during the run. I had a big bowl of Cheerios and a banana about an hour before I ran, and I could tell my breathing wasn't quite as good as it normally is. However, by the end of the run I was breathing normally. I usually stop running and walk the last 0.1 miles, but today (and the day I ran 1.01 miles) I ran to the end of the course. That is a good sign, indicating my body is slowly getting stronger. Many people would ignore small signs of improvement, such as running the last 0.1 mile, but I notice them. They are signs that I am improving, and they help keep positive my attitude and emotions about my running.

Before my run, I drove to my son's house in the west part of the valley, and it was starting to rain as I got there. However, the central part of the valley, where I run, was partly sunny, and I completed my run with no rain. It is now starting to rain at my house. Not a big downpour, just a gentle rain. The temperature is in the low 70s (F), and it is a nice day!

Rock chucks again

I forgot to take my camera on my run, but I did get a good lock at a rock chuck. It did have the reddish fur, and it had the stripe across its nose.

June 15, 2009

My legs (and my body) were tired during my run this morning

I ran the 1.5 mile route again this morning, but as soon as I started running I could tell my legs were tired. I ran 0.8 miles of the 1.5 miles. I felt tired during the rest of the day and didn't do much yard work when I got home. The snails in my flower gardens are getting a holiday since I didn't put out the snail bait today as I had planned.

Other than feeling tired, it was a nice run. There was a walker behind me. She was walking faster than I was walking, and during my walks she would almost catch up to me, and then I would start running and pull ahead of her. At the turn-around point, I stopped for a couple of minutes to look at the river, and the walker came to the turn-around point, and we spoke for a couple of minutes. She said we had talked last summer when it was awfully hot; I recognized her face, but I don't remember our conversation. She thanked me for helping her last summer during the heat. I guess I suggested she drink more water or walk slower or something like that.

A family of rock chucks

There is a family of rocks chucks living in the rocks at the turn-around point of the path. I've seen them on several occasions. Last Saturday I saw four of them poking their heads out of their hole or sitting on rocks. Including their tails, they are about 18 inches long, and their body looks like it has a diameter of about 4 - 6 inches. I mention their size so you will know they aren't gophers. If I remember I'll carry my camera tomorrow on Wednesday and see if I can get a picture of them. In the meantime here is a picture of a rock chuck that I found on the Internet. I don't remember there being red on their bodies, and I think their tails weren't as fluffy as the one shown in the picture.

June 13, 2009

I reached next week's running goal today!

I mentioned in my last post that my goal of reaching 1 mile of running in the 1.5 miles of my workout would likely be reached on Wednesday of next week. I was pleasantly surprised that my body performed better today than I had expected, and I reached 1.02 miles or 68% of the total distance. My legs didn't feel as tired as they have in the past, and my body didn't feel tired either; I was able to breath fine. It will be interesting to see what happens on Monday. I'm avoiding the temptation to push for more distance and am just letting my body tell me when to stop running.

The temperature during my run was in the low 70s (F) and the sky was cloudy. A great day for running.

One positive result of my blood clots

My blood clots really weakened my body. On the Monday that I discovered the clots, I could only walk 50-100 feet, and going up stairs to my bedroom was really hard and my head was covered with sweat. I was in the hospital for 5 days and did a small amount of walking there -- I got up to about 400 feet. I gained almost 30 pounds of water-weight in my hips and legs, and I had therapy for two months to get rid of the water; the therapy consisted of bandaging my legs with 5 or 6 layers of compress stockings, closed-cell foam, and Ace bandages to hold all of it together. This put a lot of compression on my legs to force the water from the swelling to go into my lymph system and then out through my bladder. After the therapy was over, I started to wear thick compression stockings, which I will have to wear for two years.

Upon returning home, I got my walking up to 1.5 miles, and then I started merging in some jogging. At first I could only jog for a short distance. Even though I've been running for 36 years, I'm starting over as a beginner since my body is taking longer to return to running than I had expected. For example, after my auto accident 5 years ago, I started with 1/8 mile or running, but I was able to add 10% each week, and I soon returned to the 7 miles I had been running before the accident. This time, however, I'm progressing at a much slower rate.

I like to be positive about my life, and I realize that having to start over in running is actually a good thing. I'm using myself as an experiment of one to test my philosophy of not following a plan but letting ones body dictate how fast increases in distance or speed should occur. The results of this experiment of one are good -- my body is a much better manager of my training than any training plan could be. Training plans are written for a fictitious person and should be modified and adapted to the person using the plan, while my body knows exactly how much stress it can handle. So far, the results are good. I'm improving each week and I haven't overtrained such that I get injured or depressed. It's true that my progress is taking longer than I had expected, but that just shows the severity of the impact of the blood clots on my body. I'm being reassured that my philosophy of beginning running is good, and I think I will have more compassion and understanding of beginning runners who are having a difficult time getting their body trained.