February 27, 2010

Ran 4 miles again on a warm day

The temperature was about 60 (F) during my run. Cloudy, a 5-10 mph breeze, a perfect day for walking or running slow. I wore two layers and was starting to get too warm towards the end.

My wakeup heart rate was 57. That surprised me, because I've only been getting 6-6 1/2 hours of sleep per night this week. I have a Hiatal hernia in my throat that allows stomach acid to come into my throat. It's not a problem when I'm standing or sitting upright, but it is a problem if I lie down within 2-3 hours after I eat. I take a bunch of pills in the morning and at night. Except for Warfarin, taken to reduce my risk of blood clots, the pills are natural stuff for nutrition, cholesterol control, and vein health. I usually take the pills after I eat, so the 2-3 hours that I mentioned above is the period after taking the pills. I often forget to take the pills soon after I eat supper and end up taking them around 9 or 10 pm. That means that I'm up until midnight or 1 or 2 am. So, I was surprised but pleased that my heart rate was below 60. I did expect that I would get tired as I ran, due to the sleep deficit, and that happened. I ran about half the distance and walked the other half.

I'm starting to get used to the 4 miles, in that I don't feel dragged out like I did when I first ran that distance late last Fall.

February 25, 2010

My wakeup heart rate has dropped

Today is a rest day, but I wanted to report that my wakeup heart rate dropped to 55 this morning. That is a big drop and a good sign!

Another good news is that my weight has dropped, indicating I've had less swelling the past couple of days than I've been having. In recent weeks my weight has been 10-15 pounds above my weight 13 months ago before blood clots attacked me. I peaked at 38 pounds of extra weight 12 months ago. Today my weight came in at 8 pounds above my pre-clot weight, and I think much if not most of that weight is probably due to fat gain. I say this because my leg-measurements indicate my legs are currently close to the normal size, indicating most of the swelling has gone. I've thought of two reasons I've gained fat weight. First, I've been eating as though I was running 20-30 miles per week, when in reality I've been running about 6-12 miles per week. Second, I've had a habit of eating later in the evening. So, I'm not eating as much, and I'm trying to eat my supper around 6-7 pm. Hopefully, my weight will continue to drop.

February 24, 2010

Ran 2.5 miles in a cold wind

My wakeup heart rate was higher this morning (62), and as I ran I could tell I was getting tired. I thus aborted the run so I would be in better shape on Saturday. The sky was cloudy. The temperature was in the mid 30s (F), but a 15 mph wind was blowing giving a wind chill somewhere down in the 20s. My body felt OK (three layers), but my face was cold when I was running into the wind.

My mile splits for the first two miles were 16:42 and 18:29, about the same as yesterday. To give a context to those numbers, I checked my running and walking paces, and they were about 15 and 22, respectfully. This means that during the first mile, I did more running than walking, and during the second mile, I did about the same. That is what I had guessed, based on rough estimates of how far I went during each cycle of running and walking.

My walking pace shows I'm not walking very fast. This is, I think, due to my fast cadence pace of about 180 steps per minute. That fast cadence pace means that I'm taking relatively small steps when I run (good idea to avoid overstriding), and I think my walking has also adopted smaller steps. When I run and when I walk I'm using a mid-strike due to the smaller steps. I'm naturally a heel striker and have evolved into midfoot strikes.

I had minor surgery Monday afternoon to obtain tissue for a biopsy for skin cancer. That surgery may have contributed to my higher heart rate. Also, my body just may need more time to recover from my good run Monday morning.

February 22, 2010

4 miles today

I felt good this morning and later during my run. Yesterday my wakeup heart rate was 61, and this morning it was 58 -- a big improvement from the 66 I had during my cold a few days ago. I left for my run about 11:30. The sun temperature was 41 (F), and the shade temperature was probably in the mid 30s. There was a cold wind of about 10 mph, a tail wind going out and a head wind coming back.

During my first mile, I ran about 2/3 of the distance and ran in spurts of 1/4 mile, with short walks between the runs. My average pace, as given my my GPS, during this mile was 16:35. During my second mile, I walked about half the distance, and my pace was 18:30. During my 3rd and 4th miles my pace was 20:43. The slower paces as the run progressed shows that I was walking more and/or that I was running slower. I don't think I was running slower, and I know that I was walking more.

Everything considered, it was a good run, and after last week of mostly resting while I recovered from a cold, it was nice to get out again.

February 20, 2010

This week wasn't much...

I didn't sleep very well Sunday night, due to an upset stomach, and my body was tired and my wakeup pulse rate was high Monday morning. I did run on Monday, but I only ran 2 miles. I also came down with a cold on Monday. My nose was drippy for three days, and my energy level was low, so I didn't run on Wednesday or Thursday. My nose quit dripping on Thursday, but my wakeup heart rate was high on Thursday, Friday, and today. I didn't run today, but my wife and I did walk for 0.6 miles. I've been sleeping well this week, and my wakeup heart rate should start to drop in the next few days. Whether I feel fine or not on Monday will determine whether I run then or not. When I was younger, I could run through colds, but now I usually don't run through colds because my energy level is usually low during a cold.

My cold this week was the first cold I've had in over a year. I think this cold was brought on by my body being tired and my not getting much sleep Sunday night. Colds are a sign that one's immunity is low.

February 13, 2010

Ran/walked 1.5 miles to end the week

My legs were tired when I woke up, and they remained tired throughout the day. My wakeup heart rate was 63; that is an increase from Thursday, confirming that my body is tired. I didn't run until evening (7 pm), and I had a short nap before I left home.

I had a good week. I did a total of 13.5 miles during the week, approximately 5 miles running and 7.5 miles walking. That is the highest weekly mileage that I've had since my blood-clot attack in January 2009.

We had a small amount of rain today, and the daytime temperature was about 45 (F). Even though I ran in the early evening, the temperature was still 40. Spring is coming, and I welcome it!

The Jordan River is still increasing its water-level. At one spot I checked, the water was about a foot below the edge of the bank. It will be interesting to see how long they pump water from Utah lake into the river. They usually don't pump water into the lake until March or April. Starting to pump in February is unusual, and, as I commented last week, the early start in pumping may imply a large spring runoff is expected.

February 11, 2010

A great 4-mile run/walk

My wakeup heart rate finally dropped below 60 (57), and I had a great run. I was out about noon. We'd had a few snow flakes fall, but the snow had stopped by the time I went out. The temperature was in the low 40s (F).

During the last mile, I used a walker to pace myself. He walked faster than I walked, but I ran faster than he walked, and I slowly gained on him. When I began the last mile, he was about 100 yards in front of me. When we finished, he was about 10 yards in front of me. My legs were tired when I finished, but it was fun to push myself a little to see if I could pass him. Now, if I can get a good rest tomorrow and sleep well tonight and tomorrow night, I'll be ready for another good run on Saturday. I'm in no hurry to increase my distance. I want to become comfortable with 4 miles before I increase it to 4.5 miles.

I took a longer look at the place I mentioned where rocks were being placed in the bank of the river. The water is about one foot below the tops of the rocks, and I think the water will soon cover the rocks. The big shovel that I thought would be picked up yesterday was still there, but a semi tractor pulling a flat-bed trailer pulled up to get the shovel. The semi had 22 wheels instead of the "normal" 18 wheels.

The tunnel under 106th South is covered with water that has drained from the dirt above the tunnel and has entered the tunnel via several water pipes along the west wall of the tunnel. An electric pump is removing water from the tunnel, but the pump isn't keeping up with the incoming water, and the water is deeper than it was yesterday.The water in the tunnel is about 3 inches deep, and I waded through it. My socks are synthetic (technical socks??), and they didn't absorb water. When I left the tunnel, the water was drained from my socks and shoes, and I couldn't tell the socks and shoes were wet. When I got home, I took my shoes and socks off so my feet could dry and get warm. The water was cold.

This video of the water was taken yesterday. If you look carefully at the bottom of the wall at the right of the tunnel, you can see the ports that bring water into the tunnel. The pump that is removing water from the tunnel is submerged at the left side of the tunnel, not too far from the beginning of the water as shown in the video. Most runners walk on the concrete wall that separates the tunnel from the river, but I don't have good balance and either wade through the water or take a short detour to a traffic semaphore. If I were to walk on the wall, I would need a long stick to act as a third leg.

I made the top 50 blogs listed by The Nurse Nut

I received an email telling me that this blog has been added to the top 50 blogs listed by The Nurse Nut site. I added a link to that site in my list of links to check out (in the left side-bar).

February 10, 2010

Took a 4-mile walk with a friend

Today, a friend and I walked the 4-mile course that I ran/walked yesterday. My legs were tired when we finished, but my body felt fine.

Two friends from the Washington, DC area are staying with me for a few days. They came to Utah to ski in the Ski for Light event that my wife and I observed on Saturday. They were scheduled to leave on Sunday, but their flights were canceled due to heavy snow back east. Their flights were rescheduled for Tuesday, but those flights were canceled due to the snow. They are currently scheduled to leave on Friday and Saturday. There were actually three friends, but one of them did get away on Tuesday, although he was stranded in Minneapolis and won't leave there until Friday. Fortunately, one of his friends from Ski for Light lives in the Minneapolis area, and he is staying with them until he gets a flight to Dulles Airport in Virginia. My friend who is stranded in Minneapolis is blind and has a dog. His wife, who is staying with me and will, hopefully, leave on Saturday is blind but doesn't have a dog. The friend who walked with me today isn't blind and was the guide (companion) during the Ski for Light for my friend who is in Minneapolis. The friend who lives in Minneapolis isn't blind and was the guide for the wife who is staying with me.

Rocks are being placed in the Jordan River

Last week there was a construction-ribbon blocking the path were I run. Actually, the ribbon was blocking the south-bound path but not the north-bound path, and I ran the north-bound path. I didn't know what construction was going on further south, but since I was going north, I didn't worry about it.

Yesterday, after I completed the 1.5 mile round-trip on the northern path, I went south to the tunnel under 106th South, and I saw where the construction had taken place. Weeds and bushes had been cleared from about 20 feet of the river bank, and I could see equipment-tracks in the dirt. I saw large concrete blocks (about 10 feet long and 2 feet on a side) being lifted into a big truck, and I wondered what the blocks were for and where they came from.

Today, as my friend and I walked past the place where the blocks were at yesterday, I got answers to my questions. I talked with a man who was preparing to move a large shovel onto his flat-bed trailer being pulled by his truck. The blocks were gone. He said they were placing rocks on the river bank to prevent erosion, and the blocks were used to create a diversion so the water wouldn't flow near the bank. They had to stop their work due to the faster water-flow in the river, and they were moving the blocks and their equipment to another location for another job. The placement of the rocks and the higher level of water in the river indicate that a large runoff from the mountains is expected this spring.

February 9, 2010

Completed my 4-mile run/walk

In the early afternoon I completed my 4-mile route. I alternated running and walking, and I think I ran about half the distance. I felt fine at the end of the course. It was a beautiful day, and the temperature was in the 40s (F).

The Jordan River has increased its flow of water

I noticed last week that there was a lot more water in the Jordan River. The higher water is still in the river. I would estimate that the water-level has risen about 2 feet, based on some dead branches that are in the water. These are the branches that the Heron was standing by when I took a picture of the Heron several months ago. The water-flow in the river is controlled by a pumping station at the place in Utah Lake where water flows into the Jordan River. It's too early for the Spring runoff of water from the mountains. My guess is that the decision makers want to lower the water in the lake to make room for more water when the runoff begins in a couple of months.

February 8, 2010

Last week was a good running week, considering my sleep deprivation

I ran twice last week, doing 2 miles each run. I haven't been getting enough sleep the past week or 10 days, and my energy level was low. My wakeup heart rate was about 62. I ran in the early afternoon and enjoyed being out and basking in the sun.

I didn't run on Saturday because we went to the Soldier Hollow Cross Country ski resort and watched visually impaired and mobile impaired persons compete in a cross country event. Two friends of ours, whom we've known for almost 50 years and who are both blind, competed. The event was sponsored by Ski for Light. I took video of the event, and as soon as I get it edited, I'll post it to youtube and then here. I really admire blind people and people who need assistance walking who ski.