Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sixteen Easy

Monday, July 20, 2015


All walking except for three little runs in the last quarter mile.  No pains at all.  Zero whining, and the last 4-mile loop was almost as fast as any of the other three.  This is a good thing.  Maybe my problems with the right hamstring are behind me (*wink), though I'm close enough to the next marathon now that I'll just keep walking, with very little running, to avoid an injury.  

Maybe 18 miles next week?  Maybe shorter than 18 but longer during the week?  Then 20 the week after.  That should do it.

Splits: 29:52, 29:39, 29:02, 29:12, 29:33, 29:15, 30:03, 29:30, total 3:56:05, for 16.04 miles, pace 14:43.  I'd like to get to sub-14, but I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Never Again

Will I do a long run on DEX day!  I took my 40 mg of dexamethasone last night, as part of the new weekly myeloma treatment regimen.  DEX makes a person feel peppy all day the next day, as if seriously over-caffeinated.  That feeling is misleading, though, because DEX actually interferes with the transfer of glucose into muscles, so my legs felt weak and tired after the first mile. 

Result: I can usually walk faster than 15 minutes per mile, but today the pace was 16:01, even though I tried to go as fast as usual and it felt like I was.  True - there were some distractions; I stopped three times to chat briefly or pet a sweet dog, and was on the phone (possibly walking slower) for 15 minutes, but those don't account for the 14-minute difference.  I walked all but the last 60 meters, which I ran just to see if I could.  A little stiff, and yup I could, but I'm glad I didn't run any more than that because the right thigh was feeling it.

Whining:

  • Back:  No problem with the usual place on the right side, but I did feel a little pain on the left side, a little higher up.  It's a familiar pain from long runs and marathons, though, so I'm not concerned about it. 
  • Thigh:  The right thigh that usually gives trouble lately didn't bother much.  At about mile 7.5 I felt a sharp pain toward the inside, perhaps in an adductor muscle or ligament, but that went away.  Yay!
Based on today's walk I believe that I can run the next marathon at a 15- or 16-minute pace and finish it within the time limit.  I'd prefer to do a 14-minute pace, with a little running, but I'll make that judgment on race morning.

Saturday, July 11:

Another 4-Mile Walk   With the St Croix Valley Runners.  Out two miles on the Zephyr Trail, then back.  It's a very pleasant walk on an old railbed, now nicely blacktopped, with a lovely bridge over the only busy road that the trail crosses.  It's the kind of trail that a person could do every morning without getting tired of it.  Four miles in 56:30, pace 14:08, all walking, no running.  

My back didn't hurt during the walk, though it did hurt a little afterward.  The right thigh bothered a little, but not too much and it didn't get worse.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Easy Day

Just joking.  At 7:00 am four miles of walking in 56 minutes, then two hours of lawn mowing and another hour prepping a wall for painting, and in the afternoon 12 miles on the bike in 60 minutes.  

  • Walking: I can't run right now.  The original hamstring injury may be mostly healed now, but another has appeared in the same right thigh over the next few days, more toward the adductors.  This feels familiar - a pain that I have experienced in marathons if not in training.  It's not a stopper, but for now it's best to try to heal it.  I tried running once today and decided not to run any more.  14-minute miles is not bad, though.
  • Mowing and wall prep: Oh I wish we could sell our sweet house on the lake.  We're comfortably ensconced in our new townhouse now - I'd love to be done with the ongoing work and expense of our previous home of 36 years.  The mower is a walk-behind btw.
  • Bike: Riding is continuous work, mostly on paved trails with a steady grade, rarely downhill steeply enough to coast for a bit.  Very good for the leg muscles - entirely apart from running, the dexamethasone that I take tends to disassemble the leg muscles, especially the quads, and biking will help to reduce that damage.
My back hurt a little after all that work.

I slept well Saturday night.

Last Wednesday & Thursday: Two more 4-mile walk/runs, running not more than 20 seconds of each 5 minutes, and on both days I did feel the new pain in the right thigh.  Sigh.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Longest, Fastest Bike Ride

In recent memory, that is.  24 miles at a pace of about 13 mph.  The first ride over 18 miles, and the first over 12 mph.

I don't think I worked any harder on this ride than I have before - it's just a slightly easier route with fewer hills, mostly on trails that were once railroad tracks, hence not steeply graded.  Also the wind was not strong and, as with hills, wind hurts more than it helps.

Walk tomorrow if there is an opening in the rainclouds.

Splits: to BC Park 14:36, to GW 14:20, to GW Mile 12 - 6:36, reverse to PPK 25:11, reverse to Zeph 21:40, to BC Pk 11:52, to home 16:01, total 1:50:16 for about 24 miles, speed 13 mph.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Blogging Again

Since the most-recent hamstring injury on June 3 I have run very  little and blogged even less.  I have been busy, though, mostly biking, one ride of 18 miles and several shorter ones, working hard.

More important, I have been walking.  For some reason the hamstring doesn't hurt when I walk, only when I run, so there is a possibility that I could actually walk a marathon with no running at all.  For now that's my training plan, walking (fast) and only a little running, maybe 15 seconds per mile.  That's all!  It feels so good to run that it's hard to run that little, but for now only that much, and only uphill, because the injury has occurred twice now while running downhill.

Today I walked 6.13 miles in 1:27:48, for a pace of 14:19 minutes per mile.  That's not bad at all - if sustained for a whole marathon that would bring in a finish of 6:16, and would actually allow for two or three bathroom stops in a marathon with a  6:30 time limit.

I walked four miles yesterday, and five the day before that, all at a pace faster than 15 minute miles.  It's a training plan and it will work.  Bike tomorrow though - I don't want to push my luck.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Crap Crap Crap

The hamstring injury is back.  So much for being careful.  The hamstring failed last Wednesday at about mile 3 of a 4-mile run/walk, running just one third of the paces.  I was indeed very careful, by the way, still building up slowly from the initial injury.  I haven't blogged about it until now because I'm so disgusted.

Unfortunately I didn't recognize the injury right away - it seemed to be in the back of the knee or even below the knee at first - so for a short distance I kept trying to run, thereby exacerbating the injury somewhat.  Unlike the first time, though, I had no pain walking the last mile home, so perhaps I haven't set it back completely.

The first time, the injury happened as I was running downhill.  I thought that was probably a fluke, because hamstring injuries are supposed to happen as the hamstrings pull us up hills.  This time it also happened running downhill, though, so I'm not sure what is going on.  Maybe it's just the pounding on ancient muscle, or maybe I have the basic principle wrong. It feels like the injury is in one very small strand of muscle, or in a small ligament, toward the bottom right of the hamstring muscles.  It's a stopper though - when it happens I can't run any more.

What to do?  I've tried to wait it out and build back slowly - that hasn't worked.  If I take it to the sports doctor, s/he will probably prescribe a program of exercises and stretches and tell me to take at least a couple of weeks off from all running.  I've been around the block a few times, though, and I think that I can create that program myself.  I'll do that.

In the meantime, since Wednesday, I have gone out biking three times and walking once.  Today I biked almost 18 miles in 1:27, for a speed of 11.7 mph.  With a hilly route and 78 degrees today, that speed is good enough.  I feel quite physically satisfied after a ride like that.  And nothing hurts.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Six Mile Run

Monday, June 1, 2015:

I'm still gradually increasing the mileage of the runs, keeping the 1 to 2 run/walk ratio the same and mostly not running two days in a row.  In this case two days passed, plenty of time to heal.

6.13 miles in 1:12:02, for a pace of 11:45.  Not bad.  No Pains.