July 31, 2012

This week is a "rest" week of shorter runs

I ran for 47 minutes and ran/walked 2.25 miles. This was in lieu of 60 minutes and 3+ miles. I had intended to make next week a rest week, but I felt tired today and needed to cut my run short, and I decided to give myself the full week for reduced running. I've been running and walking 1 minute each, but I decided last week to reduce it to 50 seconds running and walking, and that is the sequence I used today.

I forgot to mention that about 10 days ago I saw a small garter snake on the path. It was about 8:30 in the morning, and the snake seemed to be sleeping in the sun. I stepped over the snake and it didn't move. I then tapped the snake lightly on its tail, and it slithered off into the bushes. Being cold blooded, the snake needed exposure to the sun to get warm, and I hated to disturb its sleep. I was worried that a cyclist would run over the snake, and I woke it up so it would "escape" to the safety of the bushes.

July 28, 2012

A great day but not a great run

I ran/walked for 68 minutes and did 3.2 miles. I had hoped to do 100 minutes, but I could tell as soon as I started that I didn't have a lot of energy. My problem is, I think, that I mowed my lawns in the heat of yesterday and didn't have enough rest for recovery from the lawns. I only had 6 hours sleep last night which compounded the problem. I started running about 9 am, but it was hot during the run. There is almost no shade when I go south from the South Jordan East Pavilion, and the temperature in the direct sun was probably over 100 (F). The shade temperature as I write this is 89.

I'm using my Fuel Belt with 5 bottles of water. Each bottle holds 8 oz and lasts about a mile. I'm alternating running and walking, and I take a swallow of water each time I walk.

There were quite a few walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters on the path. There was a 5-7 mph head breeze when I went out, and that helped keep me a little cooler. However, on the way back, the breeze was a tail wind and did nothing to cool me. But, regardless of the heat, it was a nice day to be outside.

July 26, 2012

Ran/walked for 112 minutes and did 5 miles

I ran north from 100th South so I could see where the connection is to get back to the Jordan River Parkway. Google maps showed the connection to be about 8300 South. The person I talked with a few days ago said the connection wasn't far from 90th South and that I should look for a break in the fence. He said there were commercial buildings, and that the connector was immediately after the buildings. When I got to the connector, a mailbox exactly across the street said 8310. There is a locked gate that blocks the connection, but there is an opening next to the gate so people and bikes can get on or off of the connector. There is a big sign about 100 yards from the street welcoming people to the Midvale portion of the Jordan River Parkway. I went toward the river until I reached 50 minutes, and then I turned around and headed back. My goal was a medium run of 100 minutes. This was my first time to run in Midvale. I started in South Jordan City, ran through sections of West Jordan and Sandy and then into Midvale.

I had noticed that after I'd gone about 30 minutes, my head started to hurt, especially around my mouth. As I continued towards the connector near 8300 South, the stiffness in my jaw got worse; it felt like my whole head was swollen and that my jaw and cheeks were in the center of the problem. After I turned around, I got back to 700 West, but I walked most of the mile back to 9000 South, because my head/jaw hurt too much for me to run. I felt weak and hungry, and I began to wonder if I would have to call my wife and have her pick me up and take me to the emergency room at a local hospital. I thought to myself that in 40 years of running, nothing like this had ever happened to me. Today was the first time this summer that I used my Fuel Belt, and I wondered if there were bacteria of some kind in the bottles. As I walked towards 9000 South, I passed a commercial building that had big rocks in front for landscaping, and I stopped for a couple of minutes and sat on one of the rocks to rest.

I continued walking, and a little jogging, to 9000 South and then down 700 West to the Sandy golf course. I sat on a bench for several minutes, realizing I still had a mile to go, and I wondered how I would make it. My jaw was stiff, and I couldn't hold my head up and look ahead of me. I hung my head and looked at my feet. I left the bench and continued walking south. I don't know why, but for some reason I took my sun glasses off, and presto, the pain in my head started decreasing. Within a couple of minutes, the pain was gone, and I felt fine.  I looked at the glasses and noticed they weren't my regular glasses. They were sun glasses I got at a running Expo several years ago when I ran the Salt Lake City Half-marathon. I realized the glasses were too small for me and were putting pressure on my head. The glasses fit me when I got them and wore them during the half marathon, but they either had shrunk or my head had gotten larger, because they didn't fit me this morning. I held the glasses in my hand and ran/walked the last 3/4 mile to my car. It was a big relief to know that I wasn't getting lock jaw or something, and I enjoyed that last 3/4 mile.

Note: I took 12 minutes longer than I had planned to complete the 5 miles because of the walking I did.

July 23, 2012

Ran for 60 minutes and did 3 miles

I started running about 8 pm. I went north from the parking lot at 100th South to see how far I would get in 30 minutes. I followed the yellow dashed line through the Sandy City golf course to Riverside Drive. I turned left, as I did two weeks ago, but I stayed on Riverside instead of taking a side road. When I turned around 30 minutes later, Riverside had become 7th West, and I could see the light at 90th South. On my way back, I talked with a guy and a woman who have ridden their bicycles in this area, and they said the connection back to the Jordan River Parkway isn't far from 90th South. They said to look for a break in the wire fence and a paved path going west. I didn't ask if "not far"  could be 7/8 mile, which is about where Google maps showed a connection. Thus, I'm not sure if the connection described by the two people this evening is the same as the connection shown on Google maps.

I forgot to mention last week that I saw a Crane on a sand bank in the Jordan River. The bird was about 3/4 mile south of the tunnel under 100th South while the one I've seen in the past was about 1/4 mile north of the tunnel. In either case, it was nice to see the bird.

July 18, 2012

Ran for 95 minutes and did 4.2 miles

I started running at 10:51, later than I had wanted and thus hotter. The shade temperature during my run was in the low 90s (F). The direct-sun temperature was probably about 105. I did fine for the first half, but after I turned around and headed north to my car at 100th South, I suffered from the heat and thus took several two-minute sitting breaks on benches that were in shade. The path south of 100th South doesn't have much mid-day shade.

Just before I started running, I talked with a man who wanted to canoe the river, and he was using his bicycle to scout for places to launch his canoe. He was using his phone to look at a map of the area, and I answered several questions about the area. He went south (same direction as me), and I didn't see him again until I was at the South Jordan East Pavilion, still going south, and he passed going north. As he passed, I asked him how it went, and he yelled back that he found some good places.

I passed a man on a bicycle who was pulling a small trailer that carried his water and other things he thought he would need. Most cyclists only carry one bottle of water, but he had several bottles on his trailer. I passed him again as I was going north to my car and he was going south. He must have gone a long way north before he turned around.

There are water fountains at 100th South and at the East Pavilion, and I had good drinks at both places, thus not having to carry water. However, if I continue to run at mid-day I will do better if I carry water in addition to using the fountains.

After I got home, I ate some food (I run on an empty stomach, eating before I leave only a couple of handfuls of dry Cheerios and an energy bar) and took a half-hour nap. I was really tired when I got home, and I felt better after the nap.

July 16, 2012

Ran for 60 minutes and did 3.02 miles

We're having some rain and cloudy skies, and as a result the daytime peak in temperature has been in the mid to high 80s (F). I waited until evening to go running, and the temperature was 65 when I left home about 8 pm. The sun was low in the sky but was still visible. By the time I finished, it was almost dark, and by the time I got home, it was dark. My wife worries when I'm running after dark, and I promised her I would be finished before it got dark.

I made a mistake and ate supper about 1 1/2 hours before I ran. I thought that would be enough time for my stomach to get used to the food, but it wasn't. For the first mile, I felt weak and nauseated, but then I started to feel better, and when I turned around after 30 minutes of running, I felt fine. I had meatloaf and a cheese sandwich, and those things take more time to be digested.  I would have been better off eating a bowl of dry cereal. I think I'll take some digestive enzymes tonight to help my digestion tomorrow.

July 14, 2012

Ran for 90 minutes and did 4.2 miles for my long run

I've been studying the online maps about the Jordan River in West Jordan City. The city has a trails map that shows two trails following close to the river. I decided to follow the river and see how it went under 90th South (a major street going west from I15). The river went under the street but the trail didn't. I waited until there was no traffic coming either way and then ran across 90th. I found a dirt trail following the river, so I followed that trail for not quite a mile. I was hoping the trail would take me to 83rd West or so, where there is a connector between the Jordan River Parkway and 7th West. I think the trail might have gone that far, but I turned back because the trail was getting pretty rough. I followed a sidewalk along 90th South to the golf driving range that I've seen while driving on 90th. I found the canal maintenance road that goes north, but that road stopped at 90th South and didn't follow the canal under 90th. So, my conclusion is as follows: follow the dashed yellow lines, like I did on Monday, to Riverside Drive. Go north on Riverside until it becomes 7th West. Follow 7th West north to the light at 90th. Cross 90th and continue north on 7th West. According to Google Maps, there is a connector from 7th West back to the Jordan River Parkway at about 8300 South. This is the only safe way to cross 90th South and continue North on the Parkway.

Today was cooler than previous days last week. The temperature was 69 (F) when I left home and 77 when I returned. I was out earlier in the morning that I've done in previous days, and that made running a more enjoyable activity. I was back home before 11 am, and the trail had quite a lot of shade.

July 11, 2012

Ran/Walked for 60 minutes again

I ran/walked the same route I used on Monday and got to the north end of the golf course, although I was east of the course. Instead of turning back, as I did on Monday, I continued following the cement path around the golf course. The path went south until I came to an intersection. The right-path goes, I think, to the driving range that is visible from 90th South. I took the left-path to take me back to the path that goes just west of the Sandy City Pro Shop, using a narrow bridge that is just north of the Pro Shop. I then followed the Parkway path back to my car at 100th South. On my Saturday run I will take the narrow bridge and the path that goes to the driving range to see if there is a connection to the Parkway path going north towards Salt Lake City.

This evening I checked Google maps to see if it showed the Parkway path going past 90th South. The Google map is several years old and doesn't show recent changes. Based on the map, I would have to follow the dashed yellow line, as I did last week, to Riverside Drive which becomes 700 West. I would follow 7000 West north to about 8300 South where the maps show a connection with the Parkway. That is a detour of almost a mile, and I'm hoping a more recent connection to the Parkway occurs in the vicinity of 90th South.

I also checked the Trails map provided online by West Jordan City. That map, that is likely more recent than Google maps, shows two paths that are close to the river when they go under 90th South and continue northward. One path is an urban path, and the other path is a equestrian path. Another possibility shown by the trails map is the maintenance road that follows a canal. At about 7800 South, it is just a short distance from the maintenance road to the Jordan River Parkway.

The temperature was 89 (F) when I left home and in the 70s when I returned. I started running about 8:30 PM to avoid the daytime heat. By the time I finished, the sun was down but it was still dusk. A wind came up during my last half-mile, but the wind died down about an hour after I got home. It was a head wind, which made running more difficult, but the wind helped cool me off.

We had a touch of rain this morning, and the clouds kept the temperature in the mid 70s (F). However, after the storm was over and the clouds thinned out, the temperature went up to 95 at my house (probably 100 or more at the Salt Lake Airport).

July 10, 2012

Did another 3 miles this evening

The temperature at the Salt Lake Airport peaked at 101 (F) today. The highest temperature I saw at my house was 98. My wife and I left for her walk and my run/walk about 6:30 pm. The temperature when we left was 89, and it was 81 when we returned home. This was cooler than the peak but still hot. The temperature is projected to peak in triple digits on Wednesday, and I need to get out early in the morning or wait until 7:30 to 8:00 pm to go running. Leaving at 6:30 like we did this evening meant the temperature was still high. When we got home, I noticed my hat and my t-shirt were soaked with sweat.

I followed the Jordan River Parkway north to 90th South, but I couldn't find the parking lot for the trail head. I'm guessing the path goes west to the parking lot for the golf driving range that borders 90th. I'm going to check Google Maps today to see if I can find the parkway at 90th. There is a short (about 100 feet) dirt path to 90th from the point where we stopped, but that isn't the official path. While we were stopped near the dirt path, we saw three cyclists who were going east on 90th take the dirt path to the Parkway and then go south. I need to find the parking lot, so I find the point where the Parkway path crosses under 90th South and continues north.

On our way back, we saw two big brown horses grazing in the pasture that borders the Parkway. Both were all brown with a white spot on their forehead, and I couldn't tell if one of them was the horse that I "rescued" yesterday. It's likely that one was.

I got pretty tired on the way back to our car. I had about 1/4 mile left to go, and we stopped at a bench while I took a brief rest. I didn't eat much yesterday, and that likely contributed to my being tired. Also, even though I had a good drink before we left home and another drink in the parking lot at 100th South, I got pretty thirsty. I need to carry water on these hot days. I did a lot of walking during the last half-mile. Rather than run ahead of my wife, I walked with her during that last part. Usually, she walks as fast as I  run/walk, but she had decided before we left home to go slower and enjoy being outside. I'm a slow walker, and her going slower allowed me to walk with her. Her fast walk is faster than my pace for running and walking. This is true for most of the walkers - faster than me.

The Sandy City golf course goes about half a mile north and south of the Pro Shop. On Saturday, when I ended up in a residential area, I noticed the golf course behind the Townhouses that were near the Pro Shop. Tonight, we were on the other side of the golf course, on the Parkway path, and the path went next to the golf course up to 90th.

July 7, 2012

Ran/walked (I think) for about 70 minutes

The temperature peaked this afternoon at 92 (F), so I waited until late afternoon to run. It was 82 when I left home, and about 72 when I returned. I didn't have my GPS with me, but I would guess that I went about 3.5 miles or so.

I went north and found the new gate open, so I ran/walked the new path hoping to get to the parkway-head at 90th South. The asphalt in the new part of the trail had (ugly) a dashed yellow line down the middle of the path. The dashed line took me into the Sandy City Golf Course, where the line became a solid line. I followed the solid line through the golf course to a city street. The yellow line stopped at the street, and I couldn't see a continuation of the line. So, I followed the city street north until it came to a dead end at about 9100 South. A block wall separated me from the vehicles driving on 90th South. I had made a wrong turn somewhere and was not on the Parkway path. I backtracked to the golf course and decided to take a road that went west of the Pro shop instead of east of the shop, as I had done going out. This road went past the Pro shop to the path I had followed going out. I did see, though, a sign about the Parkway trail, and I realized where I had made the wrong turn. When I came across the bridge over the Jordan River, I should have made an immediate turn and gone west of the Pro Shop instead of following the solid line that went south of the Pro Shop to the city street.

On the way back, I heard a clop clop and saw a big brown horse walking down the Parkway path. The horse went about 100 feet past me, and then it turned around and followed me south. There is a lot of construction going on just west of the path, but due to the late hour all of the workmen were gone. I decided to call the police and report the horse. There were several horses in a field just north of the construction, and somehow this horse had found a way to get out of the pasture and take a stroll on the Parkway path. About a minute after I finished my conversation with the police dispatcher, a white SUV drove up, and a man and a woman got out with halters to put on the horse. I decided they were the owners of the horse, and I left the horse in the care of those people and continued my run/walk back to the parking lot at 100th South. Hopefully, the horse is back in the pasture with its friends and the owners are glad to get the horse back.

July 4, 2012

Walked 2.85 miles for the 4th of July

For our 4th of July celebration, we took a family trip to the town of Brighton, Utah (about a 45 minute drive) and hiked around Silver Lake. When we finished the walk, we had a picnic lunch and then drove back home. Before the walk, we watched the town of Brighton's parade. The parade consisted of two police SUV, three fire trucks, a red square MG, a three-wheeled motorcycle, several pickup trucks full of kids, an original Mini Cooper, quite a few kids and adults on bicycles, and a lot of kids and adults walking. All of the motor vehicles in the parade were full of adults and kids who threw candy to the crowds along the street. It was fun to see an old fashioned parade in a small town. No gigantic floats that took hours and hours of time to build. Just kids with crape paper in their bike wheels, loud police and firetruck sirens, trucks and cars honking, and spectators along the road yelling and cheering the folks in the parade. The people in the parade had fun being there and throwing candy to the kids, and we had fun watching them celebrate the 4th of July.

Brighton is a small town of a couple hundred residents. It originally was a mining town in the late 1800s, but now it is home of the Brighton and Solitude ski resorts. Our elevation at Silver Lake was 8700 feet, and the mountains and trees were refreshingly beautiful. The air was cooler than it was in the Salt Lake valley, and that felt great!

Even though there were probably several hundred visitors to Brighton, we saw and spoke with two families we know in the valley: my wife's cousin who lives in a suburb that is next to Sale Lake City (we live further away from Salt Lake City in the south end of the valley)  and a neighbor who is a member of the same LDS congregation we attend. The cliché, its a small world, was certainly true today.

My feet were sore when I got home. Not only did I walk almost three miles, I was on my feet for a couple of hours waiting for the parade and then watching the parade. I just woke up from a long nap, and my feet feel fine now.

July 2, 2012

Another great 60 minute run/walk

I ran the same route that I ran Saturday evening. I left home about 7:20 am so I would have lower temperatures for my running. The temperature was 74 (F) when I left home and 94 when I returned. The heat wave is expected to continue this week. Many of the folks back east have been without power for a couple of days, and I really feel for them. No power means no air conditioning, and for many folks no cooking. For some, as was the case when I lived in Massachusetts, no power means no water (I had my own well with an electric pump to bring the water into the house.

There was quite a lot of shade this morning on my route, due to the low angle of the morning sun, and that was nice. I ran a comfortable LSD and completed 3.27 miles in the 60 minutes.

I've been thinking that I will run 60 minutes on Wednesday and 60 minutes on Saturday. Then next week I will begin bringing the Wednesday and Saturday runs up to 100 minutes by adding 5 minutes to each run each week. When the Wednesday run reaches 100 minutes, I'll stop it at that time and continue adding 5 minutes to the Saturday run until it reaches 140 minutes. Five minute increases are slightly less than 10%. This will give me a rest run, a medium run, and a long run.

The gate on the path is still locked (I expected it to be locked since it was locked Saturday evening, and workmen haven't had much time this morning to work on the path). When they closed the path, officials of West Jordan City estimated the path would open approximately on June 30. Today is July 2, so the path should be open any day now. While I was at the closed gate, a lady came up the path on her bike. She said her husband had gone to 90th South and followed the path south. I don't know how far south he came, but he told his wife the path went past the Pro shop at the golf course, which isn't far from the locked gate. So, it does look like the path is almost completed. I had guessed that the path would follow the maintenance road up to 90th South, but it looks like I'm wrong and that the path goes through the golf course.