December 30, 2011

A good long run of 2 hours 20 minutes

I ran/walked for 2 hours 20 minutes and completed 7.6 miles. Utah is having a January thaw in December. The temperature was 49 (F) when I left for my run and the mid 50s when I returned. Even though it was quite warm when I ran, I still wore my long pants, because 50 degrees in the winter seems colder than 50 degrees feels in the summer. I ran south from 100th South for 1 hour 10 minutes and then returned. There was a brisk 10-15 mph head during my run out, and I looked forward to having the wind as a tail wind during my return. However, as often happens, the wind decreased in amplitude, and by the time I turned around, the wind was almost gone. During my return I had a few gusts pushing me, but not the steady wind that I experienced going out. The wind did pick up after I finished my run, and I was glad I had gotten out earlier than I usually do for my run.

For most of the run I ran for three minutes and walked for 40 seconds. For a couple of miles in the middle of my run, I ran for about 2 minutes 45 seconds and walked for about 55 seconds. My only rest stop was a couple of minutes at the 6 mile marker. I started my run at 10:55 am, and I was glad I was out early, because during my run I could see dark storm clouds gathering over the Wasatch Mountains. Unfortunately, the dark clouds didn't bring any rain or snow. We need snow in the mountains, because northern Utah currently has about 17% of the snow we usually have by the end of December.

December 27, 2011

Nice 60 minute rest run

I ran/walked 3.36 miles in 60 minutes, a new record for that time. I ran for 3 minutes and walked for 40 seconds, and that configuration worked OK for the hour run. The afternoon temperature was about 40 (F), but I was late going out, and the temp was 39 when I left home and 33 when I returned. There was no noticeable wind. I finished my run just as the sun was setting behind the Oquirrh Mountains.

December 21, 2011

A new record for 100+ minutes

I ran 6 miles in 108 minutes this afternoon. I've been running 1 minute 50 seconds and walking 40 seconds, but today I ran 3 minutes and walked 40 seconds. Because of doing more running compared to my walking, I did 6 miles. During the morning before my run there were a few snow flakes falling, but during the afternoon when I ran, the sky was partly cloudy. The temperature was in the low 30s (F) when I started and about 29 when I finished. There was a north wind of about 5-10 mph. This wind was a tailwind  during the first half of my run and a headwind during the last half. The wind felt cold. The 10 mph gusts made the equivalent temperature be about 21. During the run, the sun was behind dark clouds as well as in open sky, and I felt the welcome heat when the sun was in the open. During the last two miles, my legs started getting tired, and I ran for shorter segments and walked for longer segments. It took me 50 minutes to run 3 miles going south and 58 minutes to run the same distance coming back. The time coming back was longer due to my doing more walking.

I wore my usual 3 layers and felt fine after I warmed up, although I didn't have gloves and my fingers were cold during the run. On the way back I put my hands in the pockets of my wind breaker while I ran and walked, and that helped my fingers a bit. I didn't have a hat, though, and that probably contributed to more heat-loss from my head.

All things considered, it was a nice run. I saw a couple of runners in shorts, and I wondered in their legs were cold. I wore my long pants as I usually do in cold weather.

December 17, 2011

Ran 60 minutes in a busy schedule today

Today was a busy, busy day, and I felt lucky to squeeze in a rest run. I ran for an hour and did about 3.25 miles. Nothing unusual happened, and this will be a short post. The temperature when I started my run was about 34 (F), and it was about 28 when I finished. It was nice to get out and run, even though I only ran for an hour.

December 15, 2011

Had a great medium run of 87 minutes

My wakeup heart rate was 57. I had almost 8 hours sleep last night, and I felt fine today. The sky was cloudy, and when I left home the temperature was in the low 30s (F) and was in the mid 20s when I returned just as it was getting dark.

I forgot both my GPS and my two-phase timer, so I used my watch to measure the overall time of the run, and I counted steps to alternate running with walking. My pace was approximately 130 steps per minute, so by counting the number of times my left foot hit the ground, I had a good estimate of the time to complete 110 seconds. When I got to 110, I kept on running. When I got to 180, I kept on running, and when I got to 240 I stopped for about 45-50 left-foot steps of walking. I was surprised I ran for about 4 minutes without walking. That's double what I've been doing. I thought that this amount of running wouldn't last long, but it lasted for the whole run of 87 minutes (about 5.1 miles). I was also running a bit faster than I've been doing, but I kept my speed down so my legs and body would last the four minutes.

I wore 3 layers, and when I first started running, I felt cold, but after half a mile I started to warm up, and by 1 mile I felt fine. Well, I felt fine except for my fingers. I was wearing light cotton gloves, and my fingers were cold for most of the run.  I kept moving my fingers to try to generate some heat in them due to movement. I think that I'll have to wear my camping mittens that consist of about 1/4 inch of tightly woven wool and a nylon shell. I used them when I was camping in below 0 temperatures in Massachusetts with my scouts, and my fingers never got cold even though I was just walking around. When a person runs, their body diverts blood from hands and feet to the body-core, resulting in cold fingers. However, my experience when I was younger was that after about 2 miles, my fingers got warm. However, as I gotten older, I've discovered that my fingers don't get warmer as I run. Apparently, my blood circulation isn't as good now as it was 30 years ago. Another factor is that 30 years ago, I was running about twice as fast as I'm now running, and I didn't do any walking like I'm doing now. By going faster my body generated more heat. It was common for me, back then, to have sweatcicles hanging the back of my hair when I ran even though the temperature was around 0.

Draper City Repairing the Jordan River Path

In past posts, I've mentioned that the Jordan River is washing away dirt, resulting in the Jordan River path being unsafe for about 100 feet. During my run this afternoon, I noticed that Draper City is repairing the eroded path. Quite a few truck loads of dirt have been used to fill in several years of erosion. In addition, the city is lining a few hundred feet of the river bank with large rocks. I hope the large rocks are sufficient to stop erosion; otherwise, the new dirt will wash away next summer when the height of the river rises.

December 10, 2011

Ran another medium run of 100 minutes

I left about 1 pm for my run. I wanted to run earlier in the day to catch the mid-day warmth. The temperature when I left was 40 (F) and 38 when I returned. It was a nice day for running, a reasonable temperature, no wind, and lots of sun.

I felt pretty good when I started running, doing 1 minute 50 seconds running and 40 seconds walking. However, I had only gone half a mile when I detected feelings of tiredness, and I said to myself, "I'll only be able to do one mile if I don't slow down." During that half-mile, I ran faster than I've been running, although I didn't push myself to run faster. I did slow down, and I felt better. I had hoped to run for 140 minutes (my long run), but after I had gone 2.6 miles, I recognized I was tired, and I turned around and headed back. On the way back, I jogged less and walked more to give my body more rest. I also took one brief rest stop on the way back. I turned around, because my body told me to do so, and I didn't want to mess up my Monday run by being overly tired. In my 100 minutes of running, I completed 5.2 miles.

December 8, 2011

Had a Great Medium Run

I left home in the late afternoon to go running, and the temperature was 32 (F). The sun went behind the Oquirrh Mountains after I had gone a mile. And by the time I turned around and headed back, it was getting dark. I ran 5.75 miles in 101 minutes. I didn't check the temperature when I got home, but it was likely about 28.

I enjoy running at dusk, because the river is full of ducks bedding down for the night, and flocks of geese are flying low looking for a pond to spend the night. I don't know why, but the geese don't bed down on the river; they seem to like ponds and/or lakes. The lights of nearby houses and businesses glow in the darkness. Just before it gets dark, the Oquirrh Mountains glow as if there was a bright light behind them. I saw 6 quail running down the path in front of me. They were all about the same size and were probably born in the Spring.

For the past month, I've felt stronger and have run faster than in the past. I'm still running 100 seconds and walking 40 seconds. After I finished the run tonight, I set my timer for 110 seconds running and 40 seconds walking. It has been almost three years since the filter in my vein quit working and I had blood clots in my legs. I've slowly been getting stronger and have run longer before I walk, and the improvement during the past month has been wonderful. I'm feeling like a "real" runner instead of a "plodder". I was so slow it was common for walkers to pass me. Now, maybe I can keep up with the walkers :) Before the blood clot attack, I would run half a mile and take a 30 second walking break. My typical LSD pace was 10:30 - 11:00. Now, the pace during my running segment is about 14-16 minutes. Patience is a great virtue, and I'm slowly getting stronger.

Jordon River in Utah Down to Winter Level

When I ran on Monday, the Jordan River was still at its summer high, and the tunnel under 106th South was still flooded. But when I ran today, the river was down to its winter level, and the tunnel was clear of water and the moss and algae that had collected had been removed. The water level in the river is controlled by a gate in the north end of the Utah Lake and by pumps. The water level has been high for about 9 months, implying the gate keepers were trying to remove a lot of water from the lake. Apparently, the level of the lake is now below flood stage, and the gate was mostly closed, causing the level in the river to go down. It will be interesting to see if the gate will be opened in February as it was last Spring, or in May as it has been historically.

December 5, 2011

My run was a rest run?

My run was a rest run in terms of its length, but the cold helped, no, motivated, me to run a bit faster. I ran 3 miles in 51 minutes. It usually takes me about 55 minutes to do the 3 miles. The temperature was 28 (F) when I left home and 24 when I returned. The sky was sunny, and I enjoyed being outside.

I saw only one other runner and no walkers or other folks. The runner was a woman in her 30s. She wore a short sleeved blouse and long pants. No windbreaker. No jacket. No gloves. No hat. Brrrrr... she must have been cold. She was going north into a 3 mph wind. I felt like I should stop her and ask how she was doing, but I never saw her again. I hoped I would see her going south as I went north on my return. Just thinking of her makes me feel cold :)

I saw my old friend, the heron

For the past several years, I've seen a heron in the Jordan River. Most of the time, it is standing still, but I did see it walking once or twice. I didn't see the heron this past summer, and I wondered if it was still alive. Well, I saw it today. It was standing still in the general area that I've seen it in the past. It's feet were in the water. The air temperature was about 26 (F), and a 3-5 mph wind was blowing. I don't know how it kept warm. It did have its back facing the wind, and I guess that helped a bit.

December 4, 2011

My "Incredible Journey" in Running

My wife and I just finished watching on BYUtv the original Disney movie, "The Incredible Journey". The movie is the story of two dogs and a cat who traveled 200 miles to their new home. They didn't know where their human family was, but they knew by instinct that it was west. As I watched the movie, I related to the old bull terrier, Bodger. He paced himself and knew when to go and when to stop and rest.

At times, I think, "I won't go running today". Then, I think of Bodger who never stopped until he had completed the 200 miles and found his human family. I think, "If old Bodger can make 200 miles, this old runner can make 7 miles".

December 3, 2011

Finished My Rest Week with 10 Miles for the Week

My wakeup heart rate was 55 and I had a good seven hours of sleep. I waited until mid-day to run so the temperature would be above freezing, and I took a half-hour nap before I ran. The temperature was 34 (F) when I left home and 30 when I returned.

I had a great run and completed 5.6 miles in the 100 minutes. I really felt great during the run. I could tell I was running faster (my running pace was between 15 and 16 minutes), and I felt fine. I followed my 1:40 running and 0:40 walking, except for a couple of times when I walked through the running part. I didn't take any rest breaks from running, and the extra walking rejuvenated me as if I had stopped running and rested for a couple of minutes. I felt like a "real" runner today - going for miles without getting awfully tired.

There was a wind blowing (5-10 mph gusts) from the north, and I had it as a tail-wind for the first half of my run. I wore three layers and felt fine. I wore a clean pair of socks on my hands, and they were fine for all of the run except the last 1 1/2 miles, and even then my hands only got slightly cold. On the way back, the wind gusts were head-winds, and I felt the cold on my face; my body-core and legs felt fine. Even though I had a short-sleeved T-shirt under my windbreaker, my arms felt fine, too. There was lots of sun in the sky, and that helped moderate the cold.

There were quite a few walkers and runners and a couple of cyclists on the path. We were sorta like local folks in the Salt Lake County polar bear club :)