Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day 5k Review

Our friend Gary Westlund runs several races over the summer, and we like them.  Always low key, always allowing everyone to finish regardless how much time they need.  One of these was today's Mothers Day 5k in Maple Grove, MN.  This race was well organized, as always.

I haven't run a 5k race in a long time.  My plan was to run 7 minutes, then walk 3, until the finish, according to my usual training method.  However I quickly switched to 70 seconds and 30 seconds.  Same ratio, but much easier for me somehow.  I'll get back to the longer runs in training, but this works pretty well for races.

By my watch my finish time was 33:07.  This was not a chip-timed race, so official results are not up yet.  I imagine, though, that I will be first of one or second of two in my m75-79 age group.  Doesn't matter - I'm happy enough with the time.  If my watch was correct (it might be better than their clock) then my pace was 10:37.  I can do better, and I will.  Faster every week.

Weather was perfect.  The loop around the little lake is very nearly 1 mile, so we ran it three times.  In addition I ran one before the race, as a warmup, and another after my race with my girls, for a total of five miles.

There's another 5k in two weeks, flatter than this one in fact, and I'll try to get that pace below 10.

Watch: 10:47, 10:38, 10:31 (31:56), 1:11, total 33:07

Medtronic TC 1 Mile Race

Thursday, May 11, 2017:

The race went very well.  I ran the whole mile without walking and finished in 9:04, better than any of the mile runs that I've done in training recently.  I'm more than happy with that.  I was third of four in my 75-79 age group, and finished before 791 of 1969 other runners, including 165 of 1009 other men.

After traveling to 100 marathons, this race became an exploration of our own Twin Cities.  We drove from our town to Union Station in downtown St Paul, where Amtrak, light rail, and buses all connect.  We took the METRO Green Line train to the new US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, 37 minutes in a clean, comfortable commuter train which we had never had occasion to ride before.  Thanks to the race committee, we had free passes. Then a short walk to the race itself, where my race number and shirt were waiting.

I enjoyed meeting up with long-time running friends that I had neglected during our drive to finish 100 marathons.  The race itself circled the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis and lovely new parks. 

A 1-mile race is very intense, and I did try to go as fast as I could, but it was over in 9 minutes and I'm uninjured.  All is well.

We three had a very nice evening of it.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Another Mile

I set out to run 1.5 miles (6 laps) without walking today, having run 1.25  miles (5 laps) last week.  But two things happened: (1) I remembered that I have an actual 1-mile race later this week, and (2) I just didn't feel like running the extra two laps.  So I stopped at four laps - what the heck, I have no one to please but myself.  I did manage to shave a few seconds off my recent times for the mile.

Perhaps I'll do a little better still during the actual race.  We'll see - I'll try.  I'd like to do an 8-minute mile again someday, but not this week.  First a 9-minute mile.

Watch readings: 2:32, 2:28, 2:25, 2:13 (400 M laps), total for the run 1:06:00. Time for 1600 meters: 9:38.  Adjusted for a mile: 9:41 (a mile is 1609 meters.)  Total distance 5.5 mi, average pace for the run 12:00.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Valley Runners

This run/walk included another one-mile run with no walking.  Total of about 4 miles, with plenty of walking in the other three.  The one mile took just 9:35, very nice, but with two qualifications: (1) It's a little bit downhill, and (2) the mile markers are on a trail, and those markers are notoriously inaccurate.  I'll try the same mile uphill someday.

I had a little hitch in the right foot at first, had to walk it off, but it cleared and bothered no more.  After the run nothing hurts, all is well.  I feel great.  A very successful run.  A little shorter than usual, but very nice.  We'll compensate with a nice long walk among the flowering crab trees later today.
My friend Doug accompanied me on this trek - he's probably a better runner than I but was hurting a little today.  Hope he gets past that - he has a pretty good doctor.

Watch readings: 10:37, 9:35, 1:07, turnaround, ... total about 45:00.  The 9:35 is the one mile between mile markers 2 & 1.

Thursday, May 4, 2017:

2K Meters w/o Walking.  That's five laps of the 400 M outdoor track.  A beautiful day and a nice run.  I was actually able to pick up the pace a little in the last lap.

Splits: 28:34, 2:28, 2:30, 2:27, 2:26, 2:20. for 5 laps = 12:11, pace 9:50/mile.for the five laps.

Tuesday, May 2:

On Tuesdays we sometimes (often?) walk from our home to the downtown organic grocery & back, about 3 miles each way and at least a 300-foot elevation change.  I don't usually include those walks in this blog, but last Tuesday I got hurt - "ITB syndrome" in the right thigh, thought to be overuse, after a tough enough run the day before.  The ITB problem healed within three or four days.

No problem today, despite yesterday's fairly hard run.  But I think that I should take a day off now, not run tomorrow.

Monday, May 1:

One Mile at the YMCA.  11:00,, 11:01, 9:01, 3:04, 5:33, 9:24, 11:23, 49:27 tot, only the 9:01 makes any sense - supposedly 1 mile, 13 laps.  I think it's probably short of a mile by at least a lap.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Iliotibial Band

I was pretty sure that the injury on the outside of my right thigh was a bursa, because it was recovering so quickly.  However Katie, my therapist, says there are no bursas in the area of my injury.  After a quick internet search, I believe her.

Katie is convinced that the injury is simply an irritation of the Iliotibial band (ITB) as it passes by that area, about a third of the way down the thigh, on its trip from the pelvis to the tibia.  Katie didn't call it "iliotibial band syndrome," but I think that might be a proper technical name.

This is an overuse injury.  I worked pretty hard on Monday, running a full mile without walking, for the first time in years, plus four more miles of run/walk.  Then on Tuesday the girls and I walked six miles with backpacks, including over 300 feet of elevation change, down to the river and back.  The injury first made itself felt during the climb back up.  Katie guessed that before I even told her.

One lesson:  I'm 76 years old and I really do need to allow for an off day between two days of vigorous exercise, even if one of them is only walking.  Lesson two:  Uphill (and maybe downhill) walking may put as much stress on the legs as running on the flat.

Katie also gave me three more exercises to do, therapy which may help prevent this type of injury in the future.

What's next?  Happily, the pain is almost gone already.  Tomorrow I'll go for an easy walk.  Maybe Sunday too.  Katie said I could run a bit on Monday, distance and intensity guided by the pain (lack of).  Sounds good to me - I'm anxious to get back on the trail.  I'll ramp up carefully.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Rats.  Monday I ran a full mile without walking, as part of a five-mile route, mostly running.  Tuesday my sweeties and I walked from our home down to the local co-op grocery and back, six miles and more than 300 feet elevation change, wearing backpacks.

On the way back I felt a little twinge in the upper outside of the right thigh, no problem.  Wednesday morning, however, that twinge was far worse, severe enough that I took it to urgent care to check for a DVT.  Happily the D-Dimer test was negative.   The pain continued though, making walking difficult and stairs even more so, worse after sitting a while, better after walking a little.  I assumed that it was as pulled muscle or tendon and made an appointment to see Katie, my therapist, on Friday.

Today, Thursday, the pain is much much better.  As quickly as it appeared Tuesday night, it almost disappeared Wednesday night.  I can jog up the stairs, and get out of a chair with only a minor ache.  This recovery is too quick for a torn muscle or tendon, which may take three weeks for a full recovery.  So what might it be?

Years ago I brought a severe hip pain to my favorite doctor, who poked around a bit and proclaimed it to be an irritated bursa.  I said "Huh?"  He said it would disappear by itself in two days, and it did.

Is that what this is?  Is there even a bursa on the outside of the thigh about a third of the way down?  Katie will know tomorrow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

One Mile No Walking

Technically 1600 meters, which is 0.9944 miles, but who's counting.  Me I guess.  I didn't run it very fast, because I wanted to finish the mile - I haven't run a whole mile, without walking, for several years.

Katie, my therapist, wants me to set my next goal at three miles, and I could probably have kept going, but maybe not for another two miles.  Rather than three miles, though, I would prefer to run one mile in less time.  So maybe we can do a little of each.  One day push the distance by 400 or 800 meters (1 or 2 laps), and another day go for 2:15 per lap (9:00 pace), or even 2:00 (8:00 pace), for at least one of the laps.  Eventually I'd like to run 1600 M in less than 8 minutes and 800 M in less than 3:30.  We'll see.

On the way to the track and back I had no trouble running up the hills that appeared during the 6 minute run portions of the 10 minute intervals.  Chugged right up.  I'll switch to 7 minute run portions soon.

Total time 1:11:54, including several stoplights.  Distance probably about 5.5 miles.  400 M splits: 2:38, 2:36, 2:42, 2:24, total for 1600 M = 10:20.