May 28, 2011

Ran a medium run of 5 miles

Today was the end of the first week using my new goals. I did 15 miles for the week.

My wakeup heart rate was 57, and I felt pretty good during the run. I ran from the East Pavilion in South Jordan to the tunnel under 12300 South in draper and back. The tunnel is still flooded. The path under the new 11400 South bridge is still flooded with about the same amount of water on that path as there was on Wednesday. I got around the water by going on the dirt under the bridge. I didn't take any rest stops during the run. I forgot my 2-phase timer again, and I just ran until I started getting tired, and then I walked for a minute or so. I had a good drink of water at the East Pavilion before I started and again after I completed the run. I do wish that Draper City would turn on the water at the large playground that is 1/4 mile north of the tunnel under 12300 South. The sky was cloudy with patches of sun during my run. However, it started to sprinkle a bit just as I was finishing, and by the time I drove home the sky was completely overcast. The forecast was for rain Saturday evening, and I wasn't surprised at the change in the weather. I'm just glad that I got home before it rained, because I didn't take my rain gear with me on the run.

I'm still running pretty slow. My running phases are 14-16 minutes per mile, and my walking phases are 20-22 minutes per mile. It took me an hour and a half to complete the 5 miles. That's OK, though. I'll get faster as my body gets used to the distances.

May 27, 2011

Changing my running goals

I'm realizing that at my age, my body is reluctant to go as far as I would like it to go. I've gotten my mid and long runs up to 7 miles three times in the past year, only to find that I couldn't maintain those distances. So I've decided to change my short-time goals to be a rest run of 4 miles, a medium run of 5 miles and a long run of 7 miles. And, I'm going to mix the runs up more during the week instead of always doing a particular distance on the same day of the week.

May 25, 2011

Ran 6.3 miles south of 10600 South

This run will eventually be my mid-run of 7 miles. Today, though, I did another 6.3 miles. The air temperature was in the low 70s, and except for a headwind of about 10 mph when going south, it was a nice day. I tried not to push myself when going south. I didn't want to tire myself by fighting the wind.

I forgot my GPS, but that is OK, because I know the route to get 6.3 miles. I also forgot my 2-cycle timer that I use to tell me when I should switch from running to walking and vice versa. Instead of counting steps, I just let my body tell me when it needed a change in pace. In the beginning, I ran longer and walked shorter than I've been doing, but as the run progressed and I became tired, I reduced my running and increased my walking. I walked the last 1/8 mile and was glad when I climbed into my car.

While I was on the Draper City side of the river and was going south, I saw three Pelicans flying over my head. They were low, and I could see their big beaks and the black on their wing tips. A woman walker who passed me while I was stopped and was watching the Pelicans said a fourth Pelican was following the three, but I never saw it. They are a beautiful bird.

Due to the high water in the river, the bushes, trees, and grass on the edge of the river are surrounded by water, and I was thinking that if I were a female duck, that is where I would want to raise my ducklings. Lots of water that isn't moving very fast. Lots of plants. A great neighborhood for families of new ducklings. In fact, on my run last Saturday, I saw two families of ducklings in that area.

May 23, 2011

Ran my weekly rest run but only did 3.6 miles

I ran my weekly rest run, using the north-bound path, going from the trailhead at 100th South to 9400 South. I started my run late in the afternoon, and because of an evening appointment, I only had time for 3.6 miles. I was glad, though, that I didn't do the full 5 miles, because I was getting tired. It was a nice day for running, though.

At around the 0.5 mile marker, there are some dead limbs in the river, and I'm using one of the limbs as my marker to guage the water-level of the river. During the winter, when the river is at its lowest point, the stick projected about 18 inches out of the water. This spring, when the river was much higher, the stick projected about 4 inches. When I did my run this afternoon, the stick projected about an inch. The river is quite wide at that point, and several inches of height means there is a lot more water in the river than there was during the winter.

May 20, 2011

Ran 6 miles but legs tired

Today was a pretty good run, because my body felt strong. My legs, however, were tired. I took several brief rest stops, but I was able to maintain my alternation of 1 minute running and 1 minute of walking. The air temperature was in the 50s (F), and the sky was cloudy with patches of sunshine here and there. The forecast is for sunshine and no rain for several days.

For the first time this Spring, I encountered water under the new tunnel at 11400 South. This means the river has risen several inches since Monday. The water on the path wasn't very deep, and I walked through the water. I didn't feel water on my toes, so the depth was probably about an inch.

I saw two Pelicans on the lower fishing pond in South Jordan when I passed the pond on my way south. I also saw two Pelicans flying over the upper fishing pond. I've also seen quite a few red-winged black birds along the river, both north of 10000 South and south of 10600 South. On Monday I saw several Quail running along the path, but I didn't see any babies. This is the time of year that the Quail should have younguns following them. Today I saw several families of ducks. One family only had four ducklings, but the other families each had 8 or 9 ducklings. The high river means a lot of the land next to the river is flooded, and that makes nice places for the ducklings. I stopped to watch one family of ducks. The mother and the ducklings started to swim towards the fast current in the middle of the river. I wondered if the ducklings would be able to swim against the fast current. However, the mother and her ducklings swerved away from the center of the river and went to an "island" of grass sticking out of the water. That grass was about 20 feet from the shore, but the water wasn't moving very fast through the grass.

May 16, 2011

Ran my weekly rest run

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. The air temperature was in the 40s (F), lower than it has been. The sky was mostly overcast with a few minutes here and there of sun. I'm glad it was a rest run, because my body needs the rest. I had a good running-week last week, and my old body needs more rest than one day (Sunday). I wore my wind breaker as an additional layer for warmth. I took it off for a few minutes when the sun came out, but I put it back on when the sun disappeared behind clouds. Since I'm walking half the time and am running relatively slow, I need more layers than I have used in the past.

May 14, 2011

A good 6.25 mile run, with rain at the end

I ran 6.25 miles on the same route that I used on Thursday. In fact, my run followed the same pattern that it did on Thursday: good in the beginning, tired in the middle, and good at the end. The difference in the two runs is that I took fewer rest stops today (only one near the turn-around point) and the change from being tired to having a good run at the end happened sooner than on Thursday.

When I first started the run, the sky was mostly clear with fluffy clouds, and the temperature was in the low 70s (F). However, as my run progressed, the sky darkened, and I could tell it was either raining over the mountains or soon would be raining there. A north wind of about 5-10 mph was blowing, and that was good, because the storm clouds were gathering in the south, and a north wind would help keep the storm from advancing so much. However, after I had gone about half a mile on my return trip, the wind changed from a north wind to a south wind, and that meant the storm would advance at an even faster rate. Sure enough, the storm did just that. It soon started to sprinkle and then it settled into a gentle but steady rain. I hadn't expected the rain, and I had left my rain gear at home. That was OK, because the air temperature was warm, and the rain didn't feel cold. I enjoy running in warm summer rain. This rain wasn't quite a warm rain, but it wasn't a cold rain either.

There was a lot of thunder in the mountains. When I see lightning flashes, I count seconds until I hear the corresponding thunder to get an approximation of the distance to the lightning strikes (I assume 5 seconds per mile).  The lightning strikes were about 1 1/2 miles away, and I wasn't worried about them. However, when I was about two miles from my car, I realized the lightning strikes were only a mile away. This worried me since there aren't a lot of trees near that part of the path, and I was one of the higher objects in the area. I did, though, realize the lightning strikes were in the clouds, and I decided I would be OK. The sky was pretty black, and I could hardly see the mountains due to the storm clouds that covered the mountains, down almost to the valley floor.

My car was parked at the South Jordan East Pavilion, which is at about 108th South. When I reached the new bridge at 114th South, I stopped for a few minutes to tweet about the rain. My telephone is an inexpensive model and doesn't have a full keyboard. Tweeting via texting is thus a slow process. The light on my phone turned off, and I couldn't see the keyboard. In addition, I couldn't read the screen very well due to not having my glasses, and I made a couple of spelling errors. After sending the tweet, I continued my run. As I approached my car, I noticed the rain was stopping, and by the time I arrived home, the rain had stopped. Utah storms don't last very long, in contrast to some of the storms I experienced in Massachusetts (heavy rain that didn't stop for two or three days).

The hardest part of the run was taking off my wet t-shirt due to the cloth sticking to my back. After a couple minutes struggling with the t-shirt, I finally got it off, and I dressed in dry clothes. All in all, it was a great run! I'm still doing 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking, although I ran the last half mile without stopping so I would get to my car sooner.

May 12, 2011

April showers bring May flowers and nice running!

My wakeup heart rate was 54, and I had a nice 6.3 mile run. My legs became tired during the middle of the run but felt fine during the last mile or so. On Tuesday I was on my feet for over 8 hours. I wasn't moving around, just standing and watching a new furnace and water heater being installed. My feet were stiff and sore when I went to bed Tuesday night, and they were still stiff when I began my run today. I did some extra walking during the middle of my run but got back to my alternating of running and walking for 1 minute each during the last part of my run.

The Jordan River is still high and is expected to go higher as the snow melts in the high mountains. I run in the southern part of the Salt Lake valley, and the water in the river is mostly from Utah Lake. This means that the level in the river where I run isn't affected by snow-melt as much as it is further north. There are several major creeks that drain into the river, but those creeks are north of me. As the river approaches the Great Salt Lake, there is serious concern that the river will overflow its banks and flood the surrounding area. In fact, consideration is being given to create holes in the dikes bordering the river so the excess water will flood wetlands instead of industrial and residential areas.

The temperature during my run was in the low to mid 60s (F) and the sky was mostly clear with some clouds -- lots of sunshine. A lot of people were on the Parkway, runners, walkers, dog-walkers, cyclists, skaters. The water was turned on at the East Pavilion in South Jordan where I began my run, and I had a big drink before I started running, but I was disappointed to find that the water was still turned off in the Draper recreational area near the turn-around point of my run (I ran north from the East Pavilion to the tunnel under 106th South (still flooded) and then ran south to the tunnel under 123rd South (still flooded) and then north to the East Pavilion. I needed water and had to stay dehydrated until I got back to the South Jordan area. I guess I'll have to get my Fuel Belt out and carry water.

As two cyclists passed me just before I reached the tunnel under 123rd South, one of them said, "I like your shirt" (I was wearing my blue LOCO shirt that said on the back, "I've gone LOCO". I replied that I was loco for getting into running. I wanted to explain that LOCO is a brand of running shoes, but being on bicycles, the cyclists were gone before I could say anything about shoes.

When I was about a mile and a half south of the bridge across 114th South, I passed a pasture with quite a few horses. I stopped to look at them, and one of the horses came to the fence. I picked some grass and fed it to him. On my way back, that same horse saw me and came to the fence. I didn't stop, though, because the fence was about 20 feet from the path. I ran for a couple hundred feet and reached a point where the fence was next to the path. I stopped to feed the horse, but he had given up on me and was grazing with other horses.

May 9, 2011

Rest on Sunday gives a good run on Monday

I ran my 5-mile rest run and had a good run. At the end of the 5 miles, I was beginning to get tired. This is in contrast to my run on Saturday when at the end of 1 mile, I felt worse than I felt today. My wakeup heart rate was 58. I only had 6 hours sleep last night, but later today, after my run, I had a good 1-hour nap. There was a slight rain during my run. After I got home, I changed into dry clothes, and I hope I won't have a cold like I did last week when I didn't change into dry clothes.

On the way home I bought a spray can of Silicone, and tomorrow I will spray my rain jacket, pants, hat, and shoes. The rain is predicted to remain until Wednesday afternoon, so I will have a good opportunity to test the Silicone spray in a rain storm. I've used the spray in the past, and it does a good job of keeping moisture from leaking through my clothes.

The river is a few inches higher than it was a month ago. According to the forecasters, the water in the creeks and river is just from the low-level snow melting and from rain storms. The snow in the high mountains is still to melt, so our danger of floods will continue for another month. When I run the north-bound segment of the Parkway, I measure the height of the water in the Jordan River by how much a particular stick is out of the water. The stick is almost buried, and there is only an inch or two of the stick showing. The river at that point is quite wide, and the extra width of the river helps keep the height of the water down. This morning I was watching a news report of the flooding in Memphis, and I feel really sorry for those folks. Our flooding will be nothing compared to the floods on the Mississippi River.

During my run I saw several red-winged black birds and a couple of quail. The air temperature was in the low 40s (F), and I guess the feathers keep the birds warm. I also saw two whitish birds, with a long wing span, fly over making a strange squawk. I didn't get a good look at them, and I don't know what they are. I've never heard a squawk like that before.

There is more water in the tunnel under 106th South. There have been two pumps trying to keep the water out of the tunnel, but one of the pumps isn't working. I used the South Jordan City website to report the problem. Some of the water has been in the tunnel for about two months, and there is green algae growing in the water.

May 7, 2011

I ran, well a lot of walking, a tired 4 miles

Even though my wakeup heart rate was down (57), I could tell as soon as I had gone a few steps that this was not my day to run. I was very tired. I struggled through two miles and then decided to abort and return to my car. I walked most of the way  back. I felt better this morning, but I had a 10:30 AM appointment, and I waited until after lunch to go running. I probably would have done better if I had gone out shortly after getting up.

I spent the late afternoon getting my lawn mower ready for a new season and mowing my lawns. Needless to say, I'm ready for bed. Unfortunately, I have some activities this evening that can't wait, and it will likely be about midnight when I do get to bed.

May 4, 2011

Ran 5 miles on a beautiful Spring afternoon.

When I left home, I just had enough time to do 5 miles before I had to return home for an appointment. I had a relatively high energy level, and I felt fine during the run. I really like the two-phase counter that I'm using to switch between running and walking. I still catch myself counting steps once in a while, but for the most part, I rely on the counter and enjoy watching the people and wildlife. I can stop and pickup litter and not worry about keeping track of my steps as I continue my run.

There were a lot of people on the Parkway, enjoying the beautiful day. The cyclists were especially numerous. I saw several couples walking hand in hand. And, of course, a few dogs walking their masters.

The Jordan River is several inches lower than it has been. This nice weather that we're having will increase the melting of the snow in the mountains and the likelihood of floods. I heard on the news today that a flood alert has been announced for Emigration Creek (the creek runs through the center of Salt Lake City.  Salt Lake County has hundreds of thousands of bags and tons of sand and rock. The commissioners say they are ready for floods. Hope they're right.