Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Run

Very nice thanksgiving morning run with the St Croix Valley Runners, 5 miles in 43:12, pace 8:38. Plenty good enough. Because of last night’s run I intended to take it easy, and I pretty much did. No pains. I’m happy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today's breakfast
Today's recovery breakfast: Organic oatmeal, organic lowfat milk, banana, blackberries, Don's nut/fruit/berry mix, blueberries, hibiscus flowers, ground cocoa beans.

Today's lunch
Today's lunch: Sunshine's souper chicken soup with everything including sweet potato, plus organic blue corn chips.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

That's More Like It

Woodbury Runners 5.8 mi in 48:52, pace 8:26. Far from a blazing pace, but it’s the best I’ve done on this hilly course this fall. That’s good.

Friend Jack was the only other runner who showed up tonight, speedy guy who almost floats along the pavement, but he slowed for me and it was an enjoyable run. 28 degrees and windy, it felt a lot better after we turned and ran with the wind. Breathing three footfalls per full breath most of the way.

This morning's breakfast
Tonight's salad: Organic romaine lettuce, hydroponic cucumber, avocado, pistachos, dragon fruit, sweetened ginger, blue cheese, raspberry vinegar.

Today's lunch
Today's lunch: Organic rice mix, organic chard with organic raisins and pistachios, organic grapes.

Tonight's salad
Tonight's salad: Organic romaine lettuce, hydroponic cucumber, avocado, pistachos, dragon fruit, sweetened ginger, blue cheese, raspberry vinegar.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Eight Miles

This afternoon I ran my favorite trail along the railroad tracks, out four miles and back, eight miles in 1:10:47, pace 8:51. Good enough for today and this nice soft trail. Breathing was four footfalls per full breath the whole way except for the last mile, which I ran a bit faster than the others. 38 degrees with some wind = tights, one LS shirt, wind jacket, ear cover, gloves. Perfect.

I had a coach one time who told me “never let more than 48 hours go by between runs.” I think he believes that the muscles take a set. But I wonder if that applies to old runners. I worked very hard in the yard on Saturday and Sunday, and just never got around to running Monday - just didn’t feel like it, of all things. But today, after more than 80 hours since Saturday morning's run, it felt very good to run, and I feel wonderful now.

Today's breakfast
Today's breakfast: Organic oatmeal, organic nonfat milk, pecans, banana, Don's fruit/berry/nut mix, Dove dark chocolate.

Today's Lunch
Todays' lunch: Organic gluten-free spaghetti, organic squash, organic spaghetti sauce, four-cheese shredded mix, naval orange, no-nitrate turkey bacon.

Today's Supper
Wild catch Alaskan salmon with organic yogurt and dill, organic corn, two kinds of peas, gluten-free rice crackers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Four More Runs

Saturday, Nov 17:

St Croix Valley Runners, 5 miles in 42:30, pace 8:30. Seemed fast enough for today. It put me in the middle of the pack behind three, with two others, and ahead of about five. Nice group today! Good to have friend Paul back running with us. No pains, 31 degrees, light wind, quite a nice fall run. Two shirts, tights, and a wind jacket were fine, maybe one shirt too many but not by much.

Thursday, Nov 15:

Three miles on the dreadmill at the North St Paul Community Center this morning. It took 28:20, for a glacial pace of 9:27. Uff-da. I believe I have heard that treadmills are supposed to be easier than hard pavement, but today it didn’t seem so. My breathing varied between three and four footfalls per full breath - three is a race pace. And it felt like that. Might have been the particular Procor treadmill, or perhaps the hard run the night before. Maybe. Anyway I was counting the seconds for the three miles to go by.

This makes 33 miles for the week (my week starts Saturday, and I won’t run tomorrow). Building back up to 40 mpw, I’ll try to run 36 next week and perhaps 40 the week after. Probably - Thanksgiving will make it a bit more difficult to schedule the runs.

Wednesday, Nov 14:

Woodbury runners 5.8 mi, VERY windy tonight, and only 35 degrees, but still I finished it in 50:15, more than a minute and a half faster that last week. Pace was 8:40, not too hot but I’m happy anyway. Friend Jim was nice enough to slow down and keep me company, the only other runner out tonight. No pains.

Tuesday, Nov 13:

Five miles in the wind, meeting my sweeties twice enroute. I wasn’t in a big hurry, and the time shows it, 42:15 for a pace of 8:27. Actually that’s not so bad for a hilly and windy run. I’m happy. No pains.

Today's breakfast
Today's breakfast: Organic oatmeal, organic nonfat milk, banana, organic strawberries, pistachios, organic grapes, dark Dove chocolate.

Today's lunch
Organic gluten-free pancakes, organic strawberry jam, genuine maple syrup.

Today's supper
Tonight's potroast supper: Bison, organic local parsnip, organic carrots, onions, organic sweet potato.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Love That Gateway

Sunday, Nov 11:

My sweeties and I went out to the Gateway Trail Sunday, along with a lot of other folks! Cool with a crosswind, the running was perfect, as was the people-watching. I wanted to take it a little easy for the 14-mile run, having run hard Saturday, but I got going and felt good and what the heck. I’m surprised by the 7:37 last mile, but did enjoy running it. I think that particular mile is slightly downhill - I always do well there.

Took water at miles 4.3 and 9.7, each time with a gel. Breathing was four footfalls per full breath almost the whole way. Time 2:00:04, average pace 8:35. I did stop my watch three times for a couple of minutes each while taking water (from the car) or greeting my sweeties as we passed each other. Is that cheating? Splits: 8:27, 8:30, 8:32, 9:05, 8:42, 8:51, 9:05, 8:42, 8:26, 8:34, 8:38, 8:00, 8:55, 7:37.

When we run Gateway, we often park our cars in different places and run toward (or past) each other and each others’ cars, leaving water in the trunks for each other. That’s nicer than lugging a water carrier and worked well Sunday.

Saturday, Nov 10:

Another excellent run with the St Croix Valley Runners, 5 miles in 40:05, for a pace of 8:01. Hey I’m happy with that. Speed is coming back. I ran with Tom this time, following Dave & Art, and followed by Roy, Candy, Gauss, George, & Dave. Did I miss anyone?

Today's breakfast
Today's breakfast: Organic oatmeal, organic nonfat milk, banana, blueberries, blackberries, Don's "gronch" with miscellaneous dried fruits, berries, and nuts, Dove dark chocolate.

Sunday lunch
Sunday's lunch: Sunshine's chicken soup with an organic chicken and lots of other good stuff, two kinds of gluten-free crackers. I had two bowls :-)

Recent Supper
Recent supper: Pot roast with free-range bison, organic carrots, onions, plus sweet potatoes and pineapple.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wednesday & Thursday Runs

Thursday, Nov 8:

Nice brisk 3.3-mile run in 25:56, for a pace of 7:52 on a hilly neighborhood course. Now that’s a little more like it. I haven’t had much speed since the plantar-fasciitis foot healed, but maybe the speed is coming back. This was a 30-mile week, and next week should be 40. I’ll get back to normal, and today is a good sign. Recovered from the marathon almost two weeks back now, looking forward to putting down a lot of rubber, fingers crossed.

Wednesday, Nov 7:

Woodbury Runners 5.8 mi in 51:50, for a pace of 8:56. Man it seemed faster! But we did stop for about two minutes at a traffic light - everyone thought someone else had pushed the button.

Anyway it was a delightful run; Jim & Pete ran ahead and went the full 6.2 miles, while Mark and I took two shortcuts. Dark night, no moon, headlights were very helpful, even my weak little LED job. There was enough of a breeze that I needed to unzip and rezip my wind jacket as we changed direction.

Yesterday's breakfast
Yesterday's breakfast: Organic oatmeal, organic skim milk, organic grapes, banana, dried cranberries, dried apricots, pecans.

Yesterday's lunch
Yesterday's Lunch: Organic spinach with almonds & cranberries, organic corn bread with black beans, whole kernel corn, & honey, brazil nuts, minced ginger, organic honeycrisp apple.

Wednesday's salad
Wednesday's salad: Orgainc romaine, organic honeycrisp apple (a Minnesota invention), avocado, blue cheese, pistachios, dragon fruit, raspberry vinegar.

Tonight's supper
Tonight's dinner: Organic romaine, cucumbers, blue cheese, garbanzo beans, avocado, pineapple, organic cottage cheese, organic peas, olives, raspberry vinegar.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Catching Up

Blog Catchup Time, Five Posts in One

Tuesday, Nov 6:

North St Paul Community Center indoor track, 13.5 loops per mile, my usual winter running venue. Somehow this felt a bit like a race today, as I tried to keep the pace faster than 9 min/mi. That pace should be easy for me, but didn’t seem so today, though I did find some legs in the last mile. Time overall was 1:27:44, for a pace of 8:46. Maybe that’s good enough considering I’m still training up from taking most of the summer off, plus a marathon nine days before and an 8k race two days before. Breathing was four footfalls per full breath until the last two miles, when it dropped to three. Splits: 8:54, 8:37, 8:48, 8:40, 8:54, 8:49, 8:58, 8:47, 8:59, 8:18. I took water after 2, 4, 6, & 8.

Issue: Over the past five or six weeks my weight has been dropping, now down to 144 and change, which is the lowest in perhaps 30 years. A very appropriate weight for me I believe. Most people would celebrate this, and I do too, sort of, but I’m logging it just in case it’s a symptom. It does coincide with my return to running, and I have run two marathons during those weeks, but in the past my running has not caused that much weight loss. It also coincides with a new myeloma treatment regimen which includes a new drug, new supplements, and diet. That’s most likely the cause. If so, it puts me in the happy position of needing to eat as much as I can, perhaps more than I want, because I don’t think I should lose any more. I can hear you say "poor baby!"

Sunday, Nov 4:

Rocky’s Run is a Minnesota Grand Prix race every year, either the 5k or the 8k, alternate years. This year it was the 8k. I started fairly cautiously, I thought, but nevertheless ended up walking up quite a few of the rolling hills. It’s a tough, hilly course, with soft ground which sucks energy from the shoes. But it’s outdoors and the weather was perfect; I had a great time, but needed 44:14 to complete the course.

I may have finished last in my age group too - two guys finished well ahead of me, and I don’t know of anyone who finished after me. None of the other Grand Prix runners in my age group were there.

Saturday, Nov 3:

St Croix Valley Runners regular five-mile Saturday morning run. This time I ran most of the way with Roy, finishing in 42:02, for a pace of 8:24. Nice run, lovely sunrise, good friends, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Thursday, Nov 1:

North St Paul Community Club indoor track, three miles, meant to be a marathon recovery run but it turned into something better I think. The first mile took 8:48, not bad, the first one is always slowest. The second took 8:22, which is as fast as I thought I wanted to run today, but the third mile was 7:50, a pleasant surprise. It felt good, too.

More about the Grand Rapids Marathon, Sunday, Oct 28:

This was one of the most delightful of my 27 marathons. First,the people are wonderful. It’s run by runners for runners, but ALL runners of all speeds are accommodated, even encouraged. Second, it starts at the Grand Rapids YMCA, a nice warm building where runners can sit around (and yes - use the restrooms) while waiting until it’s time to line up. Third, a lot of the course is on paved trails in wooded lanes. Fourth, in this case, the weather was perfect.

On the other hand: (1) the marathon doesn’t tour any of the sights of the great city of Grand Rapids; (2) Some of those trails have a great view of a busy highway through a thin veil of trees; (3) Some of the run is through industrial areas; (4) there is that little jog past the sewage treatment plant. Twice.

But on the whole, the plusses far outweigh the minuses and I’m very glad we ran it. That part of Michigan is incredibly beautiful at that time of year, and I’m from Minnesota where we have pretty good fall color too.

I decided in advance to try to run a 4-hour marathon, and then slow up at the end if I ran out of gas. That strategy seemed to work in last year’s TCM, when I made my PR. Four hours was just an estimate - last year I ran all six marathons under 3:50, but this year I’m not well trained because of the plantar fasciitis problem (now cleared up).

I started with the “Will Farrell” celebrity pace team aiming for a 3:56 finish. After a few miles I was feeling good and found myself slightly out ahead of the team, but around mile 17 I was slowing and they passed me. From then on I walked and ran, finishing in about 4:04. Good enough to qualify for Boston with 12 minutes to spare (it helps to be old). Actual splits: 9:16, 8:59, 8:59, 8:17 (wow), 8:42, 8:33, 9:07, 8:52, 9:17, 8:52, 8:41, 9:13, 8:53, 8:53, 8:53, 9:01, 10:23, 9:23, 10:07, 9:51, 10:13, 10:14, 10:03, 9:58, 9:58, 10:22, 1:55. It was a mastepiece!

Today's breakfast
Today's breakfast: Organic oatmeal (under there somewhere), organic nonfat milk, banana, organic grapes, blackberries, dark Dove chocolate.

Yesterday's lunch
Yesterday's lunch: Organic gluten-free veggie pasta, organic sweet potatoes, organic pasta sauce, organic parmesan cheese.

Monday's salad
Monday's salad: Organic romaine lettuce, pineapple, organic seedless grapes, avocado, blue cheese, jicama, raspberry vinegar. Might be a little organic olive oil on the lettuce too.