Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another 5k!

Thursday, Aug 30:

Another great 5k run, no plantar-fasciitis pain at all, time 25:32, pace 8:14. That’s not bad! I’m happy - today is a masterpiece.

Ran in my little-used Brooks Glycerines, which I bought in May because they were supposedly more cushioned than my usual Brooks Burns. There’s an annoying clack in the right shoe - I sure hope that goes away. Why just one shoe? Sounded like a big rock in the tread - I’d better check that shoe. Otherwise they were just fine.

After buying the Glycerines I realized that the added cushioning was NOT in the heel where I thought I wanted it, but I’ve since learned that cushioning in the heel may not be the best thing for plantar fasciitis anyway. It may feel good at the moment, but arch support is more important to proper healing, say some podiatrists. My podiatrist didn’t even look at my shoes - he said that he was confident I had found good shoes after so many years of running. I did wear the orthotics in the Glycerines today. I wear ‘em ALL the time.

No pain in the foot, but I did feel a pain in the right hamstrings. I’ve had pain there before, but this felt different. Just logging it now in case it becomes an issue. Today I ran through it, and I hope it will gradually go away as my training increases.

My podiatrist prescribed two months of “hammock therapy.” Meaning no running and not much of anything else either (fat chance). But then he described how I could start a couple of weeks early, if ever so carefully, and I have done that. Tomorrow the TWO MONTHS ARE UP! But the build-carefully plan is working so well that I’m going to continue it. I’d love to run the Victory 10k on Monday, especially because it’s a Minnesota Grand Prix race, but I’ll do a 5k instead and won’t do anything to push the foot because I really don’t want to screw up this recovery. Besides, I’m really out of shape - a 10k would take me a week!

Wednesday, Aug 29:

Nice high-energy bike ride, 12 miles, time unknown, probably 50 minutes or so. Hilly enough to make it interesting. I prefer the downhills :-)

Nice light chicken lunch
No-hormone no-antibiotic chicken breasts, organic canned beans & corn, fresh sweet onion, organic sweet potato, organic pluot. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 4.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Genuine 5k Training Run

Whoopee! A measured 5k training run with no plantar-fasciitis pain at all. None. Last Saturday’s three-mile run had a half-mile walk in the middle, and a relatively easy pace. Today I ran a little faster, breathing mostly at a rate of four footfalls per full breath but sometimes as rapidly as three. Time 26:17, pace 8:29. It’s a masterpiece!

But I sure am out of shape! That run was hard work, not quite a race pace but almost. In May of this year, at Race for the Cure, I ran a 5k in 22:40, more than a minute per mile faster. “They” say that it takes twice as long to regain the speed as it did to lose it. If so, I will not be back to pace until January at the earliest. But getting there will be days and days of masterpieces.

Incidentally, Race for the Cure was the race where I blew the plantar fascia which I have since been trying to rebuild. Perhaps there is a message there (e.g. don’t race?) but I hope not. I love to race.

Fruity oatmeal breakfast
Organic oatmeal, organic skim milk, organic grapes, pineapple, banana, mango, blueberries. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 6.

Chicken & chard lunch
No-hormone no-antibiotic chicken, organic seedless grapes, organic swiss chard, pistachios, dried cranberries or organic raisins. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 5.

Beef potroast
Leftover roast: no-hormone no-antibiotic beef potroast, local organic carrots, onions, mango, organic nectarines. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 5.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Long Run by Bike

About 43 miles, more than three hours, probably 12 or 13 mph average. This was my “long run” before the upcoming marathon, intended to keep my body accustomed to breathing hard and burning fat for a long time. Not an easy day to ride - 82 degrees with a 17 mph south wind. I went north in the morning when the wind was light and didn’t help much, then back south in the afternoon against that stronger wind. Good workout!

Because of the plantar fasciitis and the lack of running-specific training, I’ll walk the Moose Mountain Marathon. That will be fine - it’s the most scenic marathon on earth anyway! Maybe I'll jog across the finish line :-)

Recovery lunch
OK it's been 10 days since I took this picture, and I didn't write everything down right away. Here's what I think it is: Organic whole spelt tortilla (barely visible underneath), leftover no-hormone no-antibiotic lamb, asiago cheese, romaine lettuce, Sunshine sauce (shredded hydroponic cucumber, organic yogurt, dill weed), nectarine. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 8.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Three-Mile Run

Saturday, Aug 25:

Three miles today with the St Croix Valley Runners, running the first 1.5 miles of their course and the last 1.5 miles, with a half-mile walking shortcut in between. NO PAIN from the plantar fasciitis!

The podiatrist told me that it takes two months of “hammock therapy,” but then said I could run a little bit toward the end of the two months, increasing very gradually, and take 10 more days off if there is any pain. Meantime, I’m to use the orthotics all the time, including any running, and wear the night splint every night. The two months are up at the end of August, so only a week remains. Then I will continue to build the running slowly through September, including a walking marathon. Hopefully by October I’ll be ready to race again.

Wednesday, Aug 22:

I almost ran into a deer on my bike! Pedaling downhill as fast as I could go, I never saw the deer until it was right in front of me. Before I could hit the brakes it was gone, clippy-clop across the road. Never heard a deer run on pavement before, like a horse only softer. A car coming from the other way slowed too, the driver grinning at me as he coasted by.

34 miles at a pace of about 15 mph I think, though I only timed a portion of it on the rather flat Gateway Trail. This was almost my "long run" before the upcoming marathon, but I’d like to do a longer ride this week.

Berry good breakfast
Organic oatmeal, organic skim milk, luscious blueberries, organic strawberries, organic plum. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 4.

I could eat salad like this all day
Organic romaine, avocado, organic nectarine, blue cheese, raspberry balsamic vinegar. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 3.

Luscious lamb potroast
Potroast including no-hormone no-antibiotic lamb, Jim's potatoes (one red, one white), organic zucchini, organic carrots, organic sweet potato, vidalia onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, turmeric, cumin, ground fennel seed, organic catsup. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 7.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Blog

I'm thinking about building my own computer, and have created a new blog about it here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Three Days

Monday, Aug 20:

Yippee! Two miles again, this time at a decent pace. The first mile was 8:42, not bad. In the second mile I still felt awkward, which is normal lately, but the time was 8:08! This is a plenty good pace during plantar fasciitis recovery. I’m a happy runner. Next 2.5 miles, maybe Wednesday.

Sunday, Aug 19:

Sunday my sweeties ran a 20-miler on the Gateway trail (yay for them!), while I biked 30 miles in 2:18, some of that on the Gateway. Misty and soggy, the biking was a little slower than usual, about 13 mph average. It must take some extra energy to spin a circle of water continuously off both tires. It certainly isn’t as pleasant as biking in dry weather, but there were plenty of others out there on bikes.

I was a little surprised at how cold I felt in the rain, with an outdoor temperature over 60. I started out and came right back home for knee covers and a wind shirt, then started again. Lots to learn about biking. I eventually came home sooner than planned because the right knee was complaining a little again, but otherwise could have kept going and maybe should have. It seems to settle down if I ride longer, and doesn’t hurt later in the day after the ride.

Saturday, Aug 18:

Two miles running and another mile walking, with the St Croix Valley Runners. I started with them, at the back of the pack, ran a mile, then took a shortcut and walked about a mile, then ran the last mile with them again. It felt wonderful. No pain from the Plantar fasciitis. It’s been about seven weeks since I last ran to miles or more, so this was a victory! A Masterpiece, if you will.

Fruit snack:
Fruit snack
Organic strawberries, organic grapes, organic apple, organic nectarine, papaya, organic yogurt, organic walnut. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 5. Took 20 minutes to eat this.

Mango oatmeal breakfast:
Breakfast oatmeal with mango and more
Organic oatmeal, organic skim milk, blueberries, kiwi, organic strawberies, and a whole mango. I'm really learning to enjoy a nice mango. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 5.

Another snack:

Blueberries, organic nectarine, organic strawberries, pistachios. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 2.

DSL versus Cable

The storm hit at about 3:00 am, Saturday morning nine days ago. It did a lot of damage, taking out eleven big trees along with electric power and cable. Power has been restored for seven days now. In fact the power company was heroic, thank you Xcel Energy! But cable is still out after nine days. Because we can receive broadcast TV signals this is no huge problem, of course, but what if we had cable for internet service?

We don't. We have DSL from the telephone company, whose lines are buried and much less susceptible to storm damage than cable. It did fail for a few hours, because DSL requires repeaters to get all the way from their office out to our home, and those repeaters require power from the power company. But that power was restored in a few hours, so DSL was back.

We have a generator which can support the water pump, heating, refrigeration, TV, and computers. Therefore, we had internet access during nearly all of the nine days, even before power was restored to our home.

But if we had cable for internet service, we would still be without internet after more than nine days. It's one thing to be without cable for TV, quite another to be without internet, especially since my business depends in part on internet access. Now that I think of it, what if we had telephone service from the cable company? Nine days without 911 or anything else.

Comcast says they are working on it. They say that every day when we call. Today they have "escalated" the problem and are "putting together a team." But they also said that it was already escalated, from previous calls that we had made.

Cable adapter laying on the ground:
Cable laying on the soggy ground

Friday, August 17, 2007

One Point Five Miles


A mile and a half in 13:39, pace 9:06. This felt really good, no plantar-fasciitis pain at all, and breathing was easy. My longest run in weeks, and it's how running should be. The podiatrist said two months of “hammock therapy” and it’s now been over six weeks. I’m pushing the envelope a bit, but he said I could do that too and told me just how to do it.

The last several days of hard work, clearing storm-damaged trees, has been good cross-training I guess. At least I’ve been plenty tired at night and slept soundly. But it was not aerobic, for the most part, so I’d better get in a good hard bike ride soon. Maybe tomorrow morning.


Friend Jim and I had a nice mountain-bike ride on the hilly, bumpy grass trails in the regional park. I’m having a little trouble getting my bike to shift correctly into its lowest gear, and Jim was having problems with his shifter too. But we enjoyed the ride and, as always, it was good aerobic exercise.

Two running miles on Saturday?

Fruity breakfast
Organic oatmeal, organic skim milk, organic strawberries, kiwi, mango, blueberies, pistachios. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 6.

Salad at the Mainstay Inn
Salad in my room on the road. Organic mixed greens, home-grown tomato, organic seedless black grapes, organic strawberries, avocado, artichoke hearts in brine, salad vinegar. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 2.

Dinner at the Mainstay Inn
Dinner in my room on the road. Low-carb pita bread, turkey, Swiss cheese, organic nectarine, good beer. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 11.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Power to the People

Especially us. Our power is back!

Yesterday we spent another full day in the yard cleaning up downed trees. Here is Don turning downed trees into firewood and piles of branches. These are basswood trees, flattened by a larger ash tree when it fell.
Don cleaning up fallen trees in the yard

Mid-afternoon, the power company showed up to figure out how they would restore our power. They needed to bring in big trucks to set a pole, and the power pole location was halfway up a hill and in the middle of a woods.

Hence, we needed a road. Happily, friend Jim and our son both showed up at about that time to help. Together with Sunshine and Sweet Pea, and with three chain saws, we chewed through a couple of hundred feet of woods and cleared a road of sorts to the pole location.
Three musketeers clearing a road

We took down trees, cut stumps to the ground, cleared brush, and sawed through the "top" of a giant white oak that had fallen across the power lines.
More road clearing

Three guys, happy because the project was now entirely in the hands of the power company, who were promising to stay until power was restored, regardless how long it took. And they did.
Work done

Linemen at the top of the newly-set pole, attaching the transformer and connecting wires. This was a crew from Minnesota Power Company in Eveleth, MN, brought down here by our power company to help handle the huge amount of work created by the storm.
Men working

Today, looking up the new road toward the new pole and power transformer, top center.
New road to the pole

Today, looking back from the pole to the street.
Roads go both ways

I've spent three full days working on this storm damage. Work is done in the yard now, so today is a day off, but there is a lot more work to do in our little woods. Hopefully someone will want some firewood, and be willing to help cut it and haul it out.

All three days I wore my heaviest steel-toe work boots, with the orthotics in them. No plantar fasciitis pain. Plans for a 1.5-mile run last Saturday were interrupted by the storm, but maybe tomorrow.

For more on life without power, see Sunshine's blog.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Perfect Storm

Well, not really perfect, but we're glad it wasn't. As it was, last night's storm took down several mature trees and rendered several more fit only for the chainsaw.

One big red oak came THIS close to the house, but damaged only the deck railing. The branches were actually bent up against the glass doors of the house.
Close call!

Here's Don sawing and carrying the debris away. It would have been more enjoyable, except the weather was so hot and muggy.
Don sweating

Two well-loved trees fell here. No more morning shade on the driveway. So sad for those trees.
Basswood and Ash

This was a huge red oak that gave shade from the midday sun. It was once quite splendid, but was very mature and this was its time to go. Still, we will miss it. It fell right on top of a woodpile - how convenient!
Big red oak

Our pole transformer is supposed to be up in the air! The pole fell down, transformer and all, skidding part way down the hill. We still don't have power from the power company, but we do have a little putt-putt generator that keeps the water pump, refrigerator, and internet going, though not the air conditioning.
Pole pig

Today was to be the first 1.5-mile run while recovering from the plantar fasciitis, but reality intervened.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

One Mile at a Time

Tuesday, Aug 7:

Another mile, jogging, in 9:50. But it’s a victory! No pain in the plantar-fasciitis foot at all, just a little soreness in the area of the hip flexors. What’s that about? From Sunday’s 1-mile run, or from Sunday’s hard bike ride? Can a runner lose his fitness in seven weeks? Curious minds want to know. Anyway today’s run was on pavement, with the new orthotics. Maybe the next run will be a bit longer, Thursday on blacktop trails. Or maybe I’ll try the middle-school track again.

After that short jog, we three trucked ourselves up to the Gateway Trail, where Sunshine and Sweet Pea ran, and I rode 20 miles in 1:19, as fast as I could. If it were a race I would have lost, because a young woman passed me with apparent ease, sitting down, but I went as fast as my ancient muscles could be re-supplied with glycogen, breathing hard throughout, and made a speed averaging over 15 mph for the 20 miles. The portion of the Gateway Trail that we used is relatively flat, and with only a modest number of dangerous (slowing) road crossings. Further, the wind today was light, so this effort probably does indicate the best that I can do right now on my hybrid bike and a flat surface. It’s OK.

Can’t resist measuring myself. Is that a character flaw, or an advantage over others who can resist, or both, or neither? Who cares.

Thursday, August 9:

Another mile, blacktop and boardwalk, 9:58. No problems. Maybe 1.5 miles on Saturday?

Giro rollup
Organic whole spelt rollup, roast local no-hormone no-antibiotic lamb, organic romaine, tzatziki sauce (organic yogurt, minced cucumber, organic lemon juice, minced garlic, dill, Jim's parsley), cooked sweet onion. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 6.

Sweet potato pie is the main course in this meal.   Yum!
Homemade sweet potato pie (organic sweet potato, organic pumpkin, organic eggs, local honey, molasses, organic skim milk, pecans), organic grapes, kiwi, mango, Dove dark chocolate. The sweet potato pie is the main course (vegetables and nuts), not really the dessert, as the honey and molasses are minimized. A post-workout lunch doesn't get much better than this! Estimated Weight Watcher points = 7.

Dinner salad with the works
Dinner salad on the road. Organic baby spinach, organic strawberries, organic black seedless grapes, organic apple, organic nectarine, avocado, artichoke hearts in brine, salad vinegar. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 5. Would have liked some blue cheese with this. But it took quite a while to eat it!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Baby Steps

One mile! I ran a mile yesterday, on a rubbery high-school track, in my orthotics. No pain at all. I shuffled rather slowly, probably ten or eleven minutes, but it felt wonderful! The podiatrist had said that I could try a short run today, ten days after receiving the new orthotics, but to stop immediately if there was any pain and then, if so, wait another ten days. TEN DAYS! But if no pain I can run every other day, building back up very carefully. Easy, easy does it. Tuesday another run, maybe only a mile again.

I got back from a rather hasty three-day trip to Tennessee just today, so I haven’t written to this log in a while. Previous training that I should mention:

Monday, July 30, we three drove to Afton State Park where Sunshine and Sweet Pea ran the hills and I rode my bike for 90 minutes. My first comprehensive visit to this park, it’s excellent for runners who want to run trails and hills. Some trails are open to bikes, but not a lot.

Tuesday, July 31, I rode a 21-mile route that included some gravelly trails and plenty of hills, clocking a speed of about 14 mph. As always. But I’m satisfied with that for now. One day I’ll borrow a road bike and see what I can do on the flat. Except there really is no flat around here, not for more than a mile or two at a time.

Yesterday, after the run, we three went to the nearest park and biked for ninety minutes. That felt good too, riding a fairly tough route and clocking about 13.6 mph for 18.6 miles. Lots of hilly asphalt bike trails, caution at intersections, and plenty of flat but rough trail along the RR track. I can’t decide whether I like roads or trails better. Completely different, of course, each with its own challenges and rewards. Maybe I’ll never decide.

Breakfast with mangoes
Organic oatmeal, organic fat-free milk, organic strawberries, blueberries, fresh mango, Dove dark chocolate. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 4.

Porkchop lunch
Hormone-free antibiotic-free pork chop (small), broccoli with organic lemon juice, fresh mango, watermelon. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 4.

Dinner (a different day):
Pork and sweet potato pie
No-antibiotic no-hormone pork chop, organic grapes, organic Ranier cherry, sweet potato pie (organic sweet potato, organic pumpkin, organic eggs, local honey, molasses, organic skim milk, pecans). Estimated Weight Watcher points = 8.