Monday, August 31, 2015

Easy Run

Or so I intended, because I worked pretty hard the last two days.  But going slow is hard - I tend to push because I don't want to be disappointed in the result.  Maybe I should just not even wear my watch.

I did wear it today, though, and went 3.94 miles in 55:29, for  pace of 14:05, a little slower.  S'ok.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Park Rocks

For the first time this year we ran in the huge Lake Elmo Park Reserve, where we have spent so many hours in recent years.  We took the grass trails and I did a walk / run, walking as fast as I could and running a bit whenever I felt like it, which was fairly often.  What a precious and high-energy event.  I love that park - why is this the first time we're run there this year?

I love trail running - (selfie)

Along the way I remembered why I haven't usually run on the grass trails in the few weeks before a marathon - there is a risk of twisting an ankle on the edge of a rut in the grass trails.  And sure enough, I did twist my right ankle a little when I took my eyes off the trail to consult a map.  It didn't bother in the rest of the run, but I feel it now as I write this in front of the TV.  I'll take tomorrow off and it will be fine.

Distance 6.05 mi, time 1:22:00, pace 13:33.  That is real, but the number would be even better on pavement because: (1) These trails are hilly; (2) The ground is soft, especially in the rut that is the best path; and (3) the long grass and weeds grab at a runners shoes a little. It's all good, enjoyable running, but not quite like pavement.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Getting Closer

To a sub-13 walking pace.  Steve and I pushed each other for two miles out and two miles back on the Zephyr Trail this morning, going about as fast as I have ever walked.  It felt good!

More tomorrow on a grass trail.

Two-mile splits: 26:27, 26:03, total 52:30, pace 13:08

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Walking Faster?

This afternoon I got in the second walk/run since the Edmonton Marathon, and tried to go a little faster, but with little success.

Splits 27:35 (2.01mi), 27:02 (2.01 mi), total 54:36, 4.02 miles, pace 13:35.  If I could sustain that pace for a marathon, the finish time would be 5:56.  Not much faster than the marathon I just ran (walked) in 6:03.  Maybe it's too soon after the marathon.

I still want to figure out how to walk faster.  Goal is sub-13, sustained.

Wednesday, August 26:

Photo Shoot.  My sweet girls took photos and videos of me as I ran.  This was the first run since the Edmonton Marathon and I took it fairly easy.

Four miles plus a little back and forth for the photo shoot.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Edmonton Marathon Review

They don't get much better than this.  I loved this race, number 88 since my myeloma diagnosis.  Edmonton does a great job.

My race:

I entered the Marathon Walk, a walk-only division in the marathon which allowed a one-hour earlier start, and finished in 6:03:16, way ahead of my expectation of 6:30 to 7:00.  That's actually a pace of 13:51, and I am quite happy with it.  Truth be told I did run a little bit, but maybe just a dozen times or so for about 15 seconds (45 footfalls) each.  I doubt that my running could have advanced me by more than a minute or so.  I finished 4th of 14 in the Marathon Walk and first (of one) in my age group in the Marathon Walk.

Pre-dawn start
This finish was a solid 20 minutes faster than my last marathon, Columbia SC, in which I tried to run as much as I could, and 11 minutes faster than the Lost Dutchman Marathon in Arizona the month before.  Perhaps there is a message here.

By golly I really did enjoy this marathon.  People were wonderful, the course was very flat, weather was excellent, and I felt great throughout.  Now my muscles are tired, as they should be, but nothing hurts except, just a little, the bottoms of my feet and a bursa on the outside of my right hip.  Something new but temporary I'm sure.  Better in the morning.

What doesn't hurt:
  • My calves.  No cramping this time, always such an issue when I run a marathon; and
  • My hamstrings, which have raised such a fuss in recent months.
My girls did well too, in my opinion, finishing in good time.

The Edmonton Marathon:

John Stanton is the founder and CEO of the Running Room stores (and magazine), and godfather of this marathon.  I met John in Woodbury, MN, when he was opening a store there, and yesterday he introduced me to a crowd of runners in Edmonton's Shaw Conference Center, the epicenter of the marathon.

It all happens at the Shaw.  Expo, start, and finish of not only the marathon but the half, the 10k, and the 5k, maybe more.  That's quite convenient.  On the advice of friends who live in Edmonton (thanks Nelson) we parked at the bottom of the Shaw and only had to walk a hundred meters to get into the Shaw, then the escalators, and up to the start.  People staying at any of several nearby hotels would have it just as good.

The marathon course itself is two out-and-back 10.5k routes, mostly on little-used residential streets, often along the bank of the Saskatchewan River.  With today's clear air the view was very impressive - at several points we could see  Edmonton's downtown skyline in sharp relief over the river.

Police were everywhere, always polite and often smiling.  One laughed out loud when I told him he looked like he should be a Mountie!  (He had that square jaw and strong face I remember in paintings of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.) Wherever there were no police, there were volunteers instead.  I thanked a hundred of them, and there was never any question of which way to turn.  They really did the job.

Despite the river with its impressively high banks, the race is up on the plain and quite flat.  That might account in part for my good time, who knows.  I spoke with people after the race who had just run their personal best.

I would run this race any time.

  • The overall men's winner was Tom McGrath of Edmonton, finishing five minutes ahead of Thomas Omwenga of Kenya.  
  • The women's winner was Emily Potter of Alexandria, VA, fully 18 minutes ahead of the next woman.  Indeed, Ms Potter was sixth overall, besting all but five of the 365 men.  I saw her three times, and she was hauling! 
  • Sign: "Blisters are part of the game."  Indeed.  But none for me today.
  • Sign: "Toenails are unnecessary." 
  • I wish I could remember more of the signs ...
Canada is metric, so my splits are in kM:  25:10 (3k), 8:34, 8:28, 8:32, 8:45, 7:39, 9:20, 10:09, 8:14, 18:09 (2k), 15:53 (2k), 8:13, 8:01, 16:54 (2k), 8:18, 8:59, 9:35, 7:56, 8:23, 8:25, 8:41, 17:37 (2k), 16:60 (2k), 17:16 (2k), 17:23 (2k), 8:26, 9:05, 8:56, 8:39, 8:43, 8:34, 8:59, 10:20 (1.2k), total 6:03:33, pace 13:51.  The finish clock says 6:03:16, I'll take either one!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Too Far to Swim

Saturday, August 15, 2015:

My sweeties & I are on the right
So said my friend Tom this morning.  The air was so warm and humid that he and another runner decided to cut short their usual six-mile run, turning around early and running about four instead.

Steve and I walked four miles and, because we were just walking, we weren't bothered quite as much by the sticky weather.  We finished at a pace just under 14 minutes / mile.

Splits 27:18, 27:24, total 54:42, 4.0 miles, pace 13:41.

Friday, Aug 14:

12-mile bike ride.  In Minnesota, these are the dog days of August.  I had things to do in the morning, so had to delay the bike ride until afternoon, when the temperature was in the low 90's and the dew point in the low 70's.  Barely livable!  Running would have been out of the question, but bike riding is possible because the rate of energy output is elective, and there is a self-created cooling breeze.

I rode from home to Zephyr park, then the Zephyr Trail to Gateway, then back, for 12.2 miles in 1:01:19 and a speed of 11.9 mph, actually faster than I intended to go.  My legs were a little sore the next morning, which tells me that I need to do this more often, at least once a week.

Wednesday, Aug 12:

Hurried 5K.  Lots to do today, so I just did a 5K this morning.  Splits: 21:51 out, 22:28 back, total 44:20, pace 14:18.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Twelve-Mile Taper Run

Actually mostly a walk, but it felt like a run.  In accordance with recent custom I did 4-mile loops, three different ones,

Starting the third 4-mile loop
each beginning and ending at our house, so the problems of nature breaks and water refills are entirely solved.  I love that our new house is just 60 yards from a trail!  (One of the several reasons why we chose it.)

I did very little running, except for a 20-second jaunt at the beginning and end of each 4-mile loop, and a few more short jaunts in the last quarter mile of the last loop.  I feel like I could keep up that pace all day.

As you can see it is a lovely day, about 70 degrees, bright and sunny, breezy toward the end when I needed cooling the most.  I started at 6:05 am, because I have a lot to do today, and finished at about 9:00 am.  I stopped my watch when I took nature breaks and fetched water - the split times and pace are shown below.

Whining:  none!

2-mile splits: 26:40, 28:24, 28:36, 29:01, 27:25, 28:12, total 2:48:18, pace 14:02.