December 28, 2013

Time to get back into running

During the holidays, I had a lot of activities that made it difficult to do some running. Now, it's time to get back into running. The air is bad today, so my wife and I went to the local Rec center, and I ran/walked a mile. Next week, I'll run/walk up to 2 miles, although New Years is on Tuesday, and my children and their families will be visiting us. My goal is to get back to 3 miles and then work up to 5 or 6 miles, but I need to do all of this in small increments of time/distance. The running literature says that you can be off running for up to a week and not hurt your performance much. It's been almost two weeks since I last ran, and I can tell my ability to run longer than a mile has decreased. In addition, my age makes it even more important that I get back into running via small increments of time/distance.

December 16, 2013

Bad air so went to rec center

My wife and I decided to go to our local rec center due to really smoggy air outside. She walked for about 1.5 miles, and I ran for about 2 miles.  The indoor track is small is about 0.1 miles long. I much prefer being outside, but winter months in northern Utah are full of bad air. The Salt Lake valley has a lot of temperature inversions, the result being bad air.

I would have liked to have ridden the Expresso bike, but it was being used by another person. We went to the rec center in the morning so we would miss the students who come after school. The center was still busy, though.

December 14, 2013

Hoped to run on Thursday but didn't make it

I had hoped to run on Thursday, December 12, but I didn't make it. I awoke about 5 am on Thursday with a dizzy spell. It went away, and I went back to sleep, but I was dizzy when I awoke about 8 am. This time it didn't go away for a couple of hours. I called my doctor and was told to head for the emergency room at the local hospital. I spent most of the day in the ER on Thursday. My blood, urine, and heart all checked OK. The doctor decided it was just a case of vertigo, likely due to my age. He gave me some medicine to take whenever the dizziness occurs. Also, I'm supposed to go to a dizziness clinic for more tests. I haven't felt dizzy since Thursday morning, and I hope to be back to running next week. The perils of getting old....

December 10, 2013

Ran 60 minutes (3 miles) in snow and ice

I had a nice run today. The temperature last night was about 4 (F) and was in the low 20s during my run. I parked at the South Jordan East Pavilion and went south for 1.5 miles and then returned. The sun was shining and ice on the trail was beginning to melt. The city of South Jordan plowed the snow from the path, leaving patches of ice on the path, but the city of Sandy did not plow their portion of the path. Other runners and walkers had created a "path" through the snow, and I actually felt safer in Sandy than in South Jordan, because snow isn't slick; snow turns to ice only when vehicles have driven on the road or lots of people have walked and run on the path. The path in Sandy was still mostly snow, and I ran without worrying about patches of ice. Of course, I ran flat-footed to maximize the contact of my feet with the path.

A couple of runners passed me. They looked to be in their 30s, and they were going pretty fast. I hope they didn't fall down while on the South Jordan portion of the path. Probably not. It's mostly us older folks who fall down on ice....

When I ran 2 miles last Thursday and today, I ran the 2 miles with no walking. Today, after I had gone about 2 miles, I started getting tired and walked a bit, less than a minute of walking each time I walked. It's been a long time since I ran 2 miles without walking, and I felt good about that accomplishment. Doing that is a sign my body is getting stronger.

December 5, 2013

Ran 2 miles on an icy path

My wife and I went out in the late afternoon, and we each did 2 miles, going south from 100th South. She was walking, and I was running. The city of South Jordan had scraped snow from the path, but there was quite a lot of ice on the path. The shade temperatures have been below freezing for several days. The high today was in the mid 20s (F), and the low last night was 9.

I thought I'd pass on a few suggestions about running on ice. The suggestions are listed in the order I think of the suggestions, not by importance.

1.  Don't do it. Perhaps run in the late afternoon after the sun has had a chance to melt some of the ice. If the weather is really bad, consider going to a gym if one is available.

2. Don't heel strike. The edge of your heel gives little friction on the ice, and using a heel strike is a path to falling down and possibly being injured. Instead, take smaller steps and run flat-footed. Maximize the contact between your shoe and the ice.

3. If the path or road is slick, run along the edges that haven't been packed by vehicles or humans. Loose snow isn't slippery.

4. Wear ice shoes that have been equipped with studs. Commercial studs are available, and you can make your own ice shoes using screws put into the sole such that the heads of the screws make contact with the ice.

5. Slow down. Consider walking or jogging through patches of ice.