Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sixteen Miles

Stillwater Bubble. The softball guys start at 10:00, and a 16-mile run
takes 2 hours and 40 minutes, so I have to be there no later than 7:20.
And I really need to add another 20 minutes for bathroom breaks and such, plus I like to be done a half hour before the softball guys swing the first bat, so I showed up at 6:30.

Anyway I ran for 2:41:15, no walking. Assuming a pace of 10:00 min/mile, that’s 16+ miles. I did measure the pace once at 9:20, by timing one lap, but that was early in the run and I’m sure that I slowed down in the last third of the run. I felt tired in the beginning; in mile two my legs just felt weary and I wondered if I would have to walk some of the time. But somewhere around mile eight I got my juice back and had no problem from then on.

I took water every 20 minutes and a Clif Shot gel packet (w caffeine) every 40. I stopped the watch for water, gel, and a bathroom break, which is cheating a little because the watch doesn’t stop in a race, but in a race I can keep walking while taking water and gel and here I couldn’t. I think the watch was off for about 16 minutes in total, so the overall elapsed time was nearly three hours.  16 miles is about 90 laps of the Bubble, which means about 360 corners. 

No pains, no strain! Even the hamstring ache that bothered me Sunday was very subdued today. I’m doing my hamstring curls now. It’s a masterpiece!

Sunshine experimented with gluten-free pie.  Best chocolate pie I ever ate.  And it's not just for breakfast, either.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Three Runs

Sunday, Jan 24, 2009:

Norm and I just can’t seem to run together at the N St Paul Community Center. Today I got changed and up on the track just as he was starting his post-run stretches. We chatted for a moment and I started my four miles. Maybe we’ll have to actually agree to meet at a particular time, rather than leaving it to chance.

The laps didn’t come quite as easily as they did yesterday, perhaps because I ran hard yesterday! And because I was running on a fairly full stomach, which always works against speed. Only a slight comment from the sore right hamstrings, and I did my 70 standing hamstring curls afterward - that will help in the long run.

Splits: 9:10, 8:53, 9:01, 8:46, total 36:52, pace 8:58. It’ll do!

Saturday, Jan 23:

This was a very nice six-mile run at the N St Paul Community Center. The first mile is always slowest, and when that one came in below nine minutes I knew it would be a good run. And it was, finishing up at an 8:37 average pace.  Except for the last mile, I wasn’t pushing myself - this pace just felt good. I haven’t looked back, but it may be the fastest six-mile training run I’ve done in a while. I keep looking for signs that some speed is coming back, now that I’m off the DEX, and maybe ... :-)

Friend Norm showed up after my run was done, so unfortnately I didn’t get a chance to run and chat with him. A delightful young man, freshman at Century College, finished his nine miles just as I finished my six, however, and we chatted as we walked a few cool-down laps. He is training for Grandma’s Marathon, his first marathon, and running very well I’d say.

After this run I felt some twinges from an old injury in the right hamstrings. Just a dull ache, but it’s a warning. I’ve been slacking off on my standing hamstring curls, which seem to alleviate this problem if I do them regularly enough.

Splits: 8:58, 8:38, 8:33, 8:40, 8:43, 8:12, total 51:43, pace 8:37. Very good - I’ll take it! It’s a masterpiece.

Thursday, Jan 21

Five miles today in the Stillwter Bubble. Actually 50 minutes at a pace that I assume to be 10 minutes/mile or faster. Only one other runner today, a guy that I don’t know. I should probably meet him. He was going a bit slower, I think, though I never passed him. I change direction from clockwise to counter-clockwise every ten minutes or so, and so did he.

My sweeties were there too, watching the baseball guys, who have the field at 10:00 am, as they laid out a new diamond on the soccer fields., I don’t know why and didn’t ask. Was someone concerned that they were wearing out the turf at the other diamond? Anyway it was a good run, finishing a solid 30 miles for the week.

Leftover turkey with organic dijon mustard, organic pickled beets, corn bread, organic sweet potatoes, baked.  I probably put some salsa or hot sauce on the sweet potatoes after the photo was taken.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We Can't Get To The Race!

Registered for the St Paul Winter Carnival Half Mararthon, all dressed for it (32 degrees, raining, and 20-MPH wind), but we couldn't get out of our own driveway.  Sunshine and Sweet Pea were dressed & ready for the 5k too.

We walked out of the house and quickly discovered that it wasn't safe to walk.  But I finally got to the garage by walking half in the snowdrifts and half on the glare ice of the sidewalk.

I backed the car out of the garage, started to pull forward, and the car went sideways.  I put on the brakes (easy does it) and the car slid straight sideways into a snowdrift.  No damage, but not going anywhere.  Because of the layout of our driveway we couldn't safely get to the road, where I think the residual salt had made driving possible.

We stayed home.  Maybe later in the day we can figure out someplace to run safely.  Sunshine and Sweet Pea would like to get their Carnival Mugs, but they probably won't get them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dreary-Day Run

Tuesday, January 19:

Another “long” run today, 14.4 miles on local roads, two loops of 7.2 miles, each beginning and ending at my house. I did stop for a potty break in between the loops, but no other stops. A little walking up a few hills, and for taking water or gel, but that’s all the walking. Longest run since the OBX Marathon in November, building toward the next marathon.

Temperature was 25 today, afternoon run, but overcaset and dreary with a little breeze that seemed to pass right through my wind jacket. I wore three layers above and tights below, but everything was a little cold - thighs, butt, and midsection, even the top of my head, which never gets cold. I hope I didn’t set myself up for an illness - I did take a hot bath right away when the run was done.

Slight pain on the very outside of the left hip. I felt a little of that Sunday, maybe even Saturday. Today it was there but didn’t get much worse. Everything is sore, though. Quads, hamstrings, calves, hips, everything is sore after the run. But sore in a good way - these muscles will remember the lesson of today and will be better prepared next time.

I wore the Nike Miler shoes, because they have an aggressive tread and little ventilation. Water every 20 minutes, gel every 40.

Splits: First loop 1:11:30, second loop 1:11:24. I’m a little surprised that the second loop was as good as the first, but I did feel OK at the end. Pace overall 9:55, good enough for a winter run. I think muscles will work better when they are a little warmer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yucky Roads and Fog

Roads were wet, slushy, and yucky today, and a minor emergency kept us away from the Stillwater Bubble before it closed, so we ran at the North St Paul Community Center. After three of my six miles friend Norm showed up, and we ran together while I finished my miles. I enjoy talking to Norm. He ran the mile at Meet of the Miles on Monday night, ended up coughing for days. I do that too - one of three reasons why I skipped Meet of the Miles this year, for the first time in several years. The big reason is priorities: my son was in town.

Anyway, six miles today at a pace of 9:03. I think it would have been under nine, but a group of adults with disabilities spent some time on the track, and I had to weave through them rather slowly from time to time. But I think they got at least as much benefit out of that track today as I did.

Splits: 9:13, 9:16, 9:04, 8:57, 17:48 (2 mi), total 54:18, pace 9:03 overall. 28 miles for the week. No pains, no problems. It’s fine.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Four More Miles

Stillwater Bubble again, just four miles this time, but still heading for 28 miles this week with a 12-mile long run (last Tuesday). I mixed in a few 100-meter sprints just for fun. I can’t sprint very fast, but I might get a little faster. Only one other runner in the bubble today, but lots of walkers - Wednesday is free.

I ran for 40 minutes, walking briefly after the sprints, and assume that the average pace was about 10 minutes per mile. No pains, no problems.

Today's breakfast, after the run.  Oatmeal beneath:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Feel-Good Run

Twelve miles in the Stillwater Bubble, at a modest pace, no walking. This is the longest run since the OBX Marathon last November, as far as I recall, and it went perfectly. Time 2:00:05, average pace about 9:45 (I timed a full loop three different times), so the distance was probably about 12.3 miles.

Best of all, no problems and I felt strong throughout. I could easily have gone farther, but the baseball guys were about to take over the bubble. Maybe a slight complaint from the right hamstrings midway (old injury), and another slight complaint from the right knee, on the inside beside the kneecap. Both went away and didn’t show up later in the run or later in the day.

It’s a masterpiece!

Isn't pomegranate pretty?  Adds a lot to the photo and to the breakfast.  Oatmeal under there somewhere.  The white is kefir, a very nice probiotic food.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Building Mileage

Saturday, January 9, 2010:

North St Paul Community Center, six miles at 9 minutes/mile. Not a great run, not especially easy, but I felt tired today and was running on a fairly full stomach. It’ll do. 81 laps, boring as can be, except that it was “open house” day and there were visitors on the track who didn’t know exactly where to be so there was some dodging around people. To occupy my alleged mind I counted down the laps on my hands in American Sign Language.

I started to get serious about Weight Watchers last Tuesday, January 5, with the goal of losing 10 pounds to get back to my best running weight. This morning I was down one pound, but of course the first few are easy.

Splits: 9:16, 8:59, 9:00, 9:05, 9:06, 8:37, total 54:03, pace 9:01. Not bad for today. No pains, no problems.

Friday, January 8, 2010:

Another run in the Stillwater Bubble, not quite so cold this time. I did end up running in just shorts and two technical shirts. 40:14 at a pace of about 9:30 (I didn’t time it today), for a distance of about 4.2 miles.

That finishes the week at 26 miles, ramping up to 30 in another week or two. Can I run even more? I used to run 40 regularly, but in the last year or two I start getting niggling little injuries when the weekly distance exceeds 30 miles. Now that I’m off the DEX, though, it might be possible to get back to 35 or 40. We’ll see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010:

Gosh it was COLD in the Stillwater Bubble today. Normally I run in shorts and two technical shirts, but today I kept on the outer pants and an extra shirt. I’m thinkin’ it was about 35 degrees in there, maybe 10 degrees lower than usual. Brrrr. My hands got cold, even with gloves. I left on my pants and an extra shirt. On the other hand, it was balmy by comparison with the outdoor temperature of minus 5.

55:34 minutes at a pace of about 9:30 (I didn’t measure it today) gives a distance of 5.8 or 5.9 miles. No pains, no problems. That’s 22 miles so far today, more tomorrow or Friday, trying to build mileage slowly and carefully.

Salad as dinner:

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

St Croix Valley Recreation Center

Stillwater Bubble again, nice easy 8.3 miles. I was going for 10 miles, but time ran out and I had to head home. Pace was 9:15 the one time I measured it - I’m assuming that I slowed some and the overall pace was about 9:30 for about 1 hour 19 minutes. No pains or problems.

Several other runners in the dome today, ALL of them running faster than me. One woman was running when I got there and still running when I left - good for her! Most ran for shorter times. With an outdoor actual temperature of minus 8, the dome was the place to be.

I’m the only person I’ve seen running in there without leg cover of some kind. Most runners are in tights. The long-distance woman runner today appeared to be wearing panty hose with shorts over. My only tights are pretty warm for inside the dome, I’m guessing 45 degrees, but I suppose I could try panty hose. Probably won’t, though, because my legs really don’t get cold. I worry about my knees, but they haven’t complained at all.

Breakfast. There is oatmeal under there:

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Welcome 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010:

First run of 2010. Do you ever wonder if, for some magical reason, everything could change at the turn of the new year? Maybe I wouldn’t be able to run at all, but I’d be able to do something else, like lose 15 pounds overnight, or write with humor.

Didn’t happen. Good run today, though, on the upstairs track at the club. Eight miles at a pace just faster than 9 minutes/mile. I ran with friend Norm for the first two miles, and might have mis-counted laps, thus running one too few. If so, the pace is still about 9. One lap is 40 seconds at that pace.

Slight pain in the right knee before, during, and after the run, especially on stairs after the run.  But I think it's temporary - slept wrong on it last night or something.

Grandson J is back in Portland by now, despite Delta Airlines’ several screwups. The house is a lot quieter, but we miss him and his dad & mom.

Splits: 17:32 (2 mi), 8:53, 9:02, 9:04, 9:00, 8:53, 8:54, total 1:11:20, pace 8:55. Good enough!

Thursday, New Years Eve, 2009:

Last run of 2009, in the Stillwater Bubble again. This time I ran for a little over an hour, going about 6.7 miles I think, and then the family showed up, including grandson J, who is four. What a runner HE is! For a full hour he ran and ran, mostly at full tilt, much to the amusement of most of the others in the bubble, not to mention his grandparents and his dad. Too bad J has to go home soon.

2009 is a masterpiece! See you next year.

Organic lunch: