Sunday, September 14, 2014

Short Long Run

I ran & walked 10 miles today, my longest run in quite a while and my "long run" for the next marathon, three weeks hence.

We ran on the Gateway Trail, where I have experienced two of my recent three hamstring injuries.  No injury today!  I would like to do a longer long run, but there isn't time.  From now until the marathon I will do shorter runs, hoping to avoid any more injuries.

I hope to finish in less than six hours, so here's my calculation: If I were to walk at a pace of 15 minutes per mile, that's four miles per hour, and in six hours I would get to mile 24.  But if I run one of those six hours at 10 minutes per mile, or 6 miles per hour, then after six hours I would be at mile 26.  That's exactly what I did today, except for only two hours and six minutes.  I walked for 50 triplets (3 paces), and then ran for 10.  The result was an average pace of 12:40, significantly quicker than the 13:44 needed to make six hours, which means that the walking was faster than expected, or the running, or both.  That's good - I'll probably slow down toward the end of the race.

I haven't posted here since August 24, mostly because there are big things happening in our lives right now, good things, but they take precedence over blogging.  We do keep running, though - in that time I have run 43 miles, not including today, and biked a bunch more.

Splits: 12:22, 13:00, 12:27, 12:20, 12:24, 24:37 (2 mi), 13:15, 13:36, 12:43, total 2:06:43, pace 12:40

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Three Miles Running

Walking and running, that is.  Again we went out early, to avoid the muggy heat.  I did my 1 to 3 run / walk, this time 3.17 miles on the paved trails, in 40:11, for a pace of 12:41.  That's slightly slower than two days ago, but still plenty fast enough to finish a marathon in six hours even with nature breaks.

No complaint from the injured right hamstrings today, or from anywhere else for that matter.  No whining!

So the plan now is to run every other day, doing an easy 1 to 3 run/walk like this, but gradually increasing the distance.  On the alternate days, or many of them, a nice bike ride will provide the cardio exercise that I need.  Nearly every day, I will also do a set of hamstring stretches and resistance exercises designed to increase strength and resilience.  That's the plan.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Doctors

Friday, August 22, 2014:

I did a 1 to 3 run/walk today, just 2.07 miles like Wednesday.  This time the right hamstrings ached just a little for the first minute or two, then went silent, cooperating fully.  That's a good thing!

2.07 miles in 25:48, pace 12:28, equivalent to a 5:27 marathon if sustained.  Considering nature breaks and maybe a chat with a spectator or two, this would be a good pace for finishing a marathon in six hours.

I saw the sports doctor today, to discuss the recent frequent hamstring injuries.  He thought that the Levaquin was still a possible contributor to the problem, but in any case he really couldn't diagnose the cause.  Instead, he suggested a path forward, knowing that we do have a marathon scheduled in six weeks.  He gave me a schedule for regular stretches and hamstring strengthening exercises, and I will follow that plan.

Stretches and exercises most every day, with running or biking on alternate days, the running graduating slowly to longer and longer distances.  I hope that plan works - I was going to do the alternating bike / run anyway, but the stretching and strengthening may make the difference.

In other doctor news - yesterday morning the Mayo Clinic pronounced my cancer stable again, and in the afternoon my local primary care provider, after a chest x-ray, reported that my latest pneumonia was entirely gone.  Yay!

Wednesday, August 20:

We got up earlier than usual and I got the day started with a cool bike ride.  That felt great.  7.06 miles in 32:20, for a pace of 4.58 min/mi, or 13.1 mph.  This route is somewhat hilly - I think I could go quite a lot farther on the bike if I rode a little slower, say 12 mph, on a flatter road or trail.

Tuesday, August 19:

First run since the Aug 14 right-hamstring injury.  I did a short 2.07-mile run/walk, with a 1 to 3 ratio, trying not to annoy that hamstring.  It did ache a little, and it ached even a little more later in the day.  I probably should have stopped when the ache was apparent, but anyway I don't think I set it back much.  I'll skip another day (ride bike instead) before trying again.

I didn't time the run, but I suppose it was about 13 minutes/mile.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Not Running Yet

I rode the bike a little easier today, for 7.35 miles in under 40 minutes.  I timed one loop at 4.73 min/mi, or about 12.7 mph.  Two days ago I thought that pace was "fairly hard," but today it didn't seem hard.  I guess my bike muscles are becoming conditioned, or I'm learning how to use the gears to better advantage.

I'd rather be running.  Maybe I'll try it tomorrow.  Short, slow, easy.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Still Riding the Bike

I ran just a few steps this morning, enough to assure myself that the right hamstrings still hurt and I shouldn't try a real run.  Back on the bike.  I do like the bike; it certainly helps with cardiopulmonary training even if it doesn't really do much for running muscles.

I rode exactly the same route as yesterday, two 3.53-mile figure-8's, once in each direction, splits of 16:01 lap 1, 16:09 lap 2, for a total of 7.06 miles in 32:10, pace 4.56 min/mi, or 13.2 mph.  That's slightly faster than yesterday, but I felt a little more tired at the end.  I did a lot of yard work yesterday too, so maybe I should feel a little tired.

Except for the right hamstrings, it's a masterpiece.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bike Again

The pulled right hamstring feels much better today - in fact, oddly, it felt better yesterday after I used the walk-behind mower for an hour and a half, and it's better still today.  It's not good enough to run on yet, though, so I rode a fairly-hard 7 miles on the park's paved trails.  That is really quite enjoyable - I want to keep running, but bike riding certainly is an acceptable alternative when running fails.

Today I rode a 3.53-mile figure-8 route twice, once in each direction, for 7.06 miles in 33:20, pace 4.72 min/mi, or 12.7 mph.  This was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable, and I could have kept going.  Splits: 16:48 lap 1, 16:32 lap 2.  After finishing I did keep riding to fill out the 40 minutes that my sweeties and I had agreed upon.

Except for the hamstring, it's a masterpiece!

Crap Crap Crap

Thursday, August 14

I don't like to cuss in my blog, but I'm thinking some very blue lines.  I went on the flat Gateway Trail this morning, doing an easy 1 to 2 run/walk, and got stopped just beyond mile 3. Another new injury, this time in the right hamstring, feeling like an injury that I fought many years ago, one that kept recurring.  I hope it's not the same one.  Today it hurt when I was running, but not walking, so maybe it will go away in a week or so, as the last two similar injuries have done.  I did turn around right away when the problem occurred, hopefully avoiding further injury.

That's three thigh injuries in less than a month, all in different places.  I have never had an injury severe enough to make me to drop out of a marathon (DNF = did not finish), but any of those injuries would have stopped me if they occurred in a marathon.  Today's happened after barely 3 miles, while running an easy marathon pace.  Am I just pushing too hard?  Maybe so.  I've been trying to keep the mileage to no more than 30 miles in any 7 days, and maybe that's too much.  Also, I've been running nearly every day, mostly because I like it, but running day after day doesn't allow much time for this ancient body to recover from tiny injuries and stresses.

The new plan: No more than 20 miles in any seven days, no hard running for a while, and no more than five days of running per week, preferably four.  Meantime, until I can run on this injury, I'm back on the bike.