Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thu 2006 Nov 30, 2 miles indoors

NSP Community Center 2 mi, 17:50, pace 8:55. Just a nice indoor jog, followed by upper-body resistance training. Fills out 25 miles on the week, and only 71 (!) on the month, including the NYC marathon. Tsk. But ramping back up now. Next week 30 miles including a 10-mile "long" run. Sunday pee in a bottle all day (24-hour urine collection), then regular 3-month myeloma blood draw on Monday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wed 2006 Nov 29, 5.8 mi, 20 deg

Woodbury Runners 5.8 mi, 47:54, pace 8:16. Uff-da. The good news is I have no pain in the hamstrings, and the bad news is that this felt like a 5k race. I really did lose some endurance in those 18 days off (duh!). Went with Jim, who slowed to run with me, bless his heart. Three other runners pretty much smoked us. But then again they're not in their sixties yet :-)

Some pain in the right knee, but I think I may have stepped crooked or something. Temporary problem. Tried to go slow enough to maintain a 4-step per breath pace today, not entirely successful because it's a hilly course. But almost entirely on paved trails, safer than roads after dark. All but one of us wore a headlamp tonight. In a windy 20 degrees, I wore three shirts and a jacket up top, with knee warmers, long sox, and my "teflon" pants below. Perfect. Faces got a little cold going into the wind, but fine on the home stretch. A masterpiece! Tomorrow NSP Community Center indoor track for a short run and upper-body workout, then relax until the Reindeer Run on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tue, 2006 Nov 28, 8 mi indoors

North St Paul Community Center (NSPCC) indoor track, 8 mi in 1:11:22, 8:55 pace. 13 ½ laps per mile, nothing more boring except a treadmill. This is better because the track has windows on all sides, and because I go past A & S every two or three laps. I was shooting for a 9:00 pace, so this is fine. No complaint from the hamstring! I felt an ache there during the stretches later, but I'm hoping that is just part of the healing process.

According to my breathing at that 8:55 pace, I didn't lose too much during the 18-day respite from running. When running at marathon pace, I normally take four footsteps for each full in-and-out breath. Today I was taking five or six, so I was breathing easy. That's good - I should be back to normal soon. Maybe I already am. But still going easy on that hammy. Tomorrow another six miles, easy again, maybe in snow? I love snow, as long as there is no ice underneath.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Myeloma

I've decided to put more information about my own myeloma on this blog. Here are three links. The Test Results Table may not look right in your browser unless you widen your browser window:

These links are also in the righthand panel, and the data will be kept up to date. Next doctor visit is December 11.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sun 2006 Nov 26, 4 mi, 50 deg

Three-Legion Run, 4 mi, pace 8:30. A little faster than I wanted to go, but it felt slow enough. I wonder if I should re-measure that route - is it a little short? Nothing heard from the right hamstring during the run, slight dull ache afterward again. Anyway it appears that I got away with an easy run two days in a row. That's a very good thing. And what an excellent day to run! No wind, hazy sun, beautiful. Next is an 8-miler on Tuesday; my "long" run of the week. Big deal. Keep stretching, massaging, knee lifts (what are those called, when you stand on one foot and bend the other at the knee, lifting the foot back and up as high as it will go?). Anyway, I'll do those and report back on Tuesday. Meantime, today is a masterpiece, in the bank already.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sat 2006 Nov 25, 5 mi, 27 deg

St Croix Valley Runners 5 mi, pace 9:09. What a beautiful morning. Cool and crisp with the sun rising through streaks of clouds. And after two Thanksgiving dinners I needed to run! No pain during the run, I felt strong. Even doubled back once to join a couple of guys behind me. We had A&S, George, Dave, Tom, Al, Gauss, & Paul. Nice group.

But I have a minor concern. Or is it not so minor? After taking 18 days off from running, I still feel the hamstring after the run, going up stairs, or as I sit down. Both Thursday and today. Not during the run, but later. Is this a normal part of the healing process, or am I just starting to re-injure it? Should I take more time off, or start a therapy program, or just run until it pops again and then take time off? Curious minds want to KNOW! Sigh. For now here's the plan, subject to better advice: (1) Keep running slowly and build up both the weekly mileage and long run conservatively; (2) Do stretches more religiously; (3) Start doing standing knee bends; (4) More self-massage on the affected hamstring muscles. Let's see how that goes. At bottom: I'm alive, feeling great, life is good. All else is just noise.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thu 2006 Nov 23 Thanksgiving Morning, 5 mi, 34 deg

St Croix Valley Runners 5 mi, 45:00, pace 9:00. Whoopee - no comment from the hamstrings. I'm back in the saddle again! Some minor soreness in both knees after the run, but that's probably normal after 18 days off; I'm not worried about it. I feel so GOOD! And what a morning: crisp with the rising sun peeking through floaty wisps of ground fog. Lots of runners on this 2nd annual Thanksgiving Day run: Mike, Al, George, Dave, Roy, Mary, Candy, A & S, Paul, Doug, Sam, Patty, & Gauss. Great run, good fellowship.

What's next? Set a target of maybe 20-25 miles for the upcoming week, build carefully after that (20%/week?) up to 40 MPW again, building the longest run at a similar rate. Hold speed down because speed means long strides which may over-stretch the hamstrings again. Just say no. Helps if we have a major race in view, then build toward that. So we're thinking about the Miami Marathon at the end of January. Only issue is whether we can afford to be traveling to so many marathons.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tue 2006 Nov 21, no run, but what a beautiful day

Still not running. I feel the hamstring once in a while, I think. But I'm not certain. Lots of other exercise, more than 16 hours of leaf collection since Saturday. That's heavy work, and it's good for me. It's done now, too, at least for a week or so. Current plan is to run with the SCV runners Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning, see how it goes. That will be 18 days without running; I'm getting antsy. But if there's even a hint of trouble in the right hamstring by the time we reach Manning (about 1.3 mi), I'll cut the run short and walk back. Otherwise I'll jog along at the back of the pack. Scrumptious day today, a sunny 54 degrees and calm. Remember this in January.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thu 2006 Nov 9, no run

Still not running. The only significant pain remaining is the right hamstring, though it's getting better fast. Nevertheless, I think I'd better not run for a while, until it's completely healed. Based on prior experience, that one will just keep getting worse until something pops.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sun 2006 Nov 5, NYC Marathon Chapter Two, 3:48:46, 50 deg

NYC Marathon Chapter Two, 3:48:46, pace 8:43. So the question is: Why could I run the Twin Cities Marathon twelve minutes faster five weeks ago than I could run NYC today? Here are some possibilities: (1) NYC is hillier and therefore tougher; (2) NYC is SO big that it's hard to get past people (true); (3) I ate a BIG egg sandwich at noon the day before the race, and a little too much food altogether that day; (4) Nobody was chasing me, meaning that I had no reason to push myself other than pride; (5) I had several different pains during the race (knee, quads, hammies); (6) It was too COOL for me(!?!); (7) Two marathons in five weeks is too much; (8) It just wasn't my day. Enough excuses? I'm leaning toward (8). None of the rest of them quite pass the smell test, though I suppose (7) is a possibility. Other people did just fine today; A & S made PR's! I did everything that I had planned, including gels, salt, and caffeine. Ran the whole way in shorts and a technical LS shirt.

The pains: (a) Right knee hurt a little early on, and again a few hours after the race. At the bottom of the kneecap, inside the joint, center front. It's been warning just a little, off and on, for a few months. Time to give it a bit of a rest? (b) Right hamstring felt like it was injured - pulled. Feeling was similar to the pain that preceded my hamstring pull in the 2004 TCM. But this time it didn't break. Time to give that a rest too? (c) Right quad muscle cramped up in the later miles, after the turn into Central Park. Slowed me only slightly, and it went away. This is something new, but certainly not serious. Good news is that the calves didn't hurt at all this time.

But after all that complaining and analysis, it was still a beautiful day, I had a good time and a good run, and I'm happy. SO many people from other countries! What a truly international event. One runner invited me to the Berlin Marathon. For a while I ran with a Scot named John. He ran with the 3:40 team for a long way, but I passed him in Central Park. The hills really didn't seem as bad as I thought they would. They were much more dispersed than the TCM hills. Great marathon, great day. A masterpiece.

Sun 2006 Nov 5, NYC Marathon, 50 deg

NYC Marathon, 3:48:46, pace 8:43. Quick note - more later (does anyone read this anyway?). I was hoping for 3:40 or so, but I did the very best I could do today, which will be quite sufficient. Looks like 12th in my age group, not great. Minor problems with right hamstring and cramps in right quads (something new). No problems with calves this time. But the real problem was just a lack of oomph. Was it the 1-mile uphill at the start? Anyway it was a great marathon, wouldn't have missed it. Perfect weather, within two or three degrees of 50 the entire way I think, mostly cloudy. Now it's time for me to go get on the subway and bring A & S in to the finish. They were past mile 16 at 4:30, so maybe 15 minutes behind their hoped-for 7:00 finish at that point, maybe headed for 7:30.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fri 2006 Nov 03, about 4 miles, 44 deg

Ted Esau's 5k+ in NYC, one hour or more, varied pace. Two days before the marathon, several of Ted's ALARC group (not all of us runners) took his traditional run to the Queensboro Bridge, then to Central Park, then to the finish line. Walking some, running some. Fun. When we got there, Virgil K and I ran for another mile or two at a faster pace. NYC is a great place, at least to visit.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wed 2006 Nov 1, 6 mi near home, 32 deg.

Church & Legion route 6 mi, 47:49, pace 7:58. Didn't mean to go this fast, but somehow it seemed even faster! I suppose I'm testing myself to be sure I can run marathon pace; if so, then I passed the test easily. I'm looking for a pace of 8:15 - 8:20 in the NYC marathon. I hope. Today was chilly and windy, making for an invigorating run to be sure. Even saw a flake or two flying on the wind. Wore my Teflon pants and jacket, which was just right going into the wind, though I had to open the jacket going away. But the real good news is NO PAINS NO STRAINS with the marathon only days away. Wahoo! I feel good. Let's go get 'em.