Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trail Run

Recovery run in the park today, on the grass trails for the first time this year. Surprise - they were FINE, just as firm as they usually are in the summer. Because I had run 20 miles just a few days ago, I ran fairly easily and finished the 6.9 miles in 1:10:30, not actually a bad time for this hilly route. That’s a pace of 10:13. I walked up some hills, but mostly ran.

I love the park. Everything is still brown, actually getting a little too dry perhaps. The rivers are flooding, but the wilderness will need rain soon.

This little patch was the only snow left on the entire 6.9-mile trail.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Don - Good Long Run

Gateway Trail 20 miles, about 50 degrees & breezy. A lovely run - I feel great! I finished in about 3:18, pace 9:54. It’s easily my best time for this distance in at least a year. Better yet, it didn’t feel like a race - I might have been able to go a little faster, and I’m sure that I could have kept going, though not at that pace. Toward the end I was walking part of the time.

Sunshine and Sweet Pea were out there too, running 14 miles, and we crossed paths 4 times. That's cool.

I did pause the watch twice, stopping for a porta-potty, but even if I included those pauses, the time was satisfactory. I need to finish a marathon in 4:30, pace 10:17, to qualify for Boston. I doubt that will happen at the next marathon, but now that I’m off dexamethasone, it might happen this year. I can hope!

Splits: 10:01, 9:41, 8:37, 10:26, 9:21, 9:29, 10:12, 9:34, 9:26, 9:01, 10:11, 2:56 (stop at car for water), 9:14, 8:38, 11:47, 8:37, 20:33 (2 mi), 10:22, 11:19, 9:27, total 3:17:52, pace 9:54. Some of the Gateway’s mile markers are slightly misplaced - I hope the overall distance is close.

This photo might have been taken on the Gateway Trail - we see turkeys there too. But this was taken at home out of our own window.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fast Run - For Me

Saturday, March 20, 2010:

St Croix Valley Runners . I felt good this morning, so I moved out in front of the group with Dave, who was the only speedy runner today. It felt a bit like a race for me, though I’m sure it was an easy jog for Dave. He went out ahead in the last half mile, and finished at least a minute ahead of me.

I finished the five miles in 42:55, probably my best time on that course in many months, and in winter clothes yet (tights, 3 layers above). Pace 8:35. Gosh I’ll be happy if I can do that again the next time I run an 8k race.

Thursday, March 18, 22010:

Another run in the park today, on the paved trails because the grass trails are still a bit soft and muddy. I ran a 3.9 mile keyhole route, walking about the last mile because I came up behind Sunshine and Sweet Pea, taking photos of a beautiful hawk, and decided to walk the rest with them. But I ran pretty hard for the first three miles, so I was a good enough run. That’s the end of a 30-mile week. Next week will include a genuine 20-mile run.

Organic lunch. Is that beef or bison? I'm not sure. Lettuce (with a little vinegar & oil), avocado, and sweet potato with slivered almonds.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Silent Running

Not always a good thing. The Brooks Launch shoes are very quiet - one of the many things I like about them. Unfortunately though, they were too quiet Tuesday. On a lonely trail in the park I ran up behind a woman with two dogs. I thought she could hear me coming, but just in case, I said “hello” when I got near, maybe 15 feet behind her. But she hadn’t heard me, and apparently I had gotten too close, because she was very startled. Frightened. I don’t like to do that to people. I wish I could whistle while I run, or even sing, but no can do. I’ll announce myself farther away next time I guess.

Good run though. This was a recovery run after Sunday’s 18-miler, and could have been an easy run, but I felt really good and went faster than intended. 3.5 miles in 29:30, for a pace of 8:43. Huh. That's faster than my latest 5k race. It’s a masterpiece!

Breakfast after a nice run. The blueberries are frozen ones, just pour a few into a strainer and wash in cold water (gets the ice off), then right into the bowl.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Good Long Run

Sunday, March 14, 2010:

Gauss and I ran 18.4 miles on hilly local roads, starting in a 35-degree fog and ending in the 55-degree bright sun. Actually, Gauss ran 13.5 and stopped to meet another commitment, and I ran another five. We didn’t go fast - neither of us could, actually, and we slowed several times for water, a few hills, and once for a long woods break. So the overall pace was slow, but represents what we could have done in a race today.

I was able to go a little faster during my solo five miles, because I didn’t have to stop for anything. No pains, no problems. Whereas I ran out of gas trying to go just 12 miles last week, I really had no problem with 18 this week, could have kept going, and didn’t feel unusually tired afterward. I can’t account for the difference, but it’s a masterpiece!

Splits: 2:45:18 (13.5 mi, pace 12:15), 54:12 (5.0 mi, pace 10:50), 3:39:30 total (18.4 mi, overall pace 11:56). At that overall pace a marathon would take 5 hours & 13 minutes, which is about what it has taken me lately. Huh. At the pace of the last five miles, a marathon would take four hours and 44 minutes. I doubt I can do that in the next few months, but it’s a good goal.

In fact, I just realized that my Boston-qualifying time has increased from 4:15 to 4:30, if I aimed for the 2011 Boston Marathon, because I’ll be 70 by then. I don’t intend to run Boston, but BQ is a good goal and it’s been a couple of years since I have done it. If the cancer stays stable, I may eventually be able to build that much speed back. Another 20-miler next week!

Saturday, march 13, 2010:

St Croix Valley Runners, Northland Tennis Courts in Stillwater, 7:00 am, as always. This time I ran with Gauss, while Dave and George jogged along behind and several others went out ahead. WAY ahead, it seemed, out of sight even. We finished the five miles in 47:05, well behind them.

Cool, foggy morning, trails mostly clear of ice, gravel roads soft and muddy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010:

Four miles in the Stillwater Bubble. I felt better than I did Tuesday, but not quite all the way back yet. I ran OK, kept the pace faster than 10:00 per mile. Good enough.

Normal breakfast. Mostly organic, oatmeal underneath.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gosh I'm Beat

Tuesday, March 9, 2010:

I felt tired today, right from the start of the 12-mile run. Why would that be? Not enough sleep lately; not enough food (I’ve been trying to lose a little weight); too much hard exercise, including hours of firewood cutting and splitting Saturday, plus heavy resistance training yesterday. Those are the reasons I can think of offhand. The marathon two weeks ago could be a factor, but I’ve had good runs since then.

We three all went to the Stillwater Bubble to run today. I finished the first ten miles running, not walking, probably averaging about 10 minutes per mile (I timed one loop at 9:35), and finally just couldn’t produce energy fast enough to run all the time. I even felt a littlle lightheaded at times - just a little. So I walked about a fourth of the distance for the last two miles. 121 minutes total, probably not quite 12 miles, but I’ll count it 12 anyway.

I can’t recall another run where I wished it was over during the first mile. I’m sure it’s happened, but this one was very special. :-)

Sunday, March 7, 2010:

Another 4.2-mile run in the neighborhood. Sunshine and I ran the first couple of blocks together, and then I took off. But I didn’t feel very strong today, and even walked a little up a few hills. Time was 39:25, for a pace of 9:23. It’ll have to do.

Lunch: Sliced, baked organic vegetables including beets, onions, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, & parsnips; organic blue-corn chips with flax seeds, filberts, Sunshine's homemade guacamole.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Outdoor Running

Saturday, March 6, 2010:

Nice group at the St Croix Valley Runners today. I ran with Gauss and George, while others went ahead. The weather seemed cold, although it was 14 degrees - I guess I’m getting tired of the cold. Gauss suggested a long run Sunday morning, which I would normally love to do, but I decided instead to run in the afternoon when it will probably be 20 degrees warmer.

We finished the five miles in 47:47, for a pace of 9:33. I enjoy running with those guys.

Thursday, March 4, 2010:

This was a 4.2-mile loop run in the neighborhood, one I’ve done many times. Today I made it a point not to walk at all, even up the hills, and I finished it in 37:44, for a pace of 8:50, the fastest I’ve run this route in months. I like that. Off DEX for three months now, I can already measure an increase in the diameter of my calf muscles, other muscles should follow, and I should start to get a little running speed back.  I like to be competitive.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010:

We tried the paved trails at the park today, all three of us. Normally there is a 2.2-mile loop which is partly along roads and partly in woods, but right now some of that is not plowed and still has quite a deep snow pack. Nevertheless, I was able to do enough out-and-back segments to get in 5.8 miles in 55:04, for a pace of 9:30. I didn’t really hurry, and I did walk a little. Nice run.

Chicken salad.  I probably put a little organic wine vinegar on it too.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Catching Up On Posting

Sunday, February 28, 2010:

Four miles on the indoor track at the club. The weather was mild enough to run outdoors today, but Sweet Pea has a cold so we three decided on a short run at the club instead. No pains, no problems, stairs don't bother the knee any more. It must be time to ramp up the mileage a bit.

Splits: 9:09, 8:50, 8:49, 8:52, total 35:40, pace 8:55.

Saturday, February 27, 2010:

Nice run this morning with the St Croix Valley Runners. We meet every Saturday morning, 7:00 am SHARP, at the Northland tennis courts, for a run of five miles. Today was a chilly one, 10 degrees or so, but no wind and the sun rose as we ran. Must have been almost a dozen of us, bumping along at various speeds. I started with George and Gauss, then caught up to Dave, and finally finished a little ahead of all of those in 46:20, for a pace of 9:16. It’ll do. No pains - apparently I’m about recovered from the A1A marathon.

Friday, February 26, 2010:

Instead of running today, I enjoyed a nice high-energy walk with Sunshine and Sweet Pea. In the Stillwater Bubble, probably about three miles, in 45 minutes. I had a slight pain in the right butt, where Doctor L says a hip joint will hurt if I ever have hip trouble. But it went away. Another remnant of Sunday’s marathon I suppose. I hope.

Very enjoyable walk. It’s a masterpiece!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010:

Recovery Run. I intended to run three miles today, but stopped after two because the left adductors were complaining a little, and because I was starting to feel rather clunky. Little problems after the run:

  • Those adductors;
  • The left lower back hurts - almost feels like a kidney but I’m pretty sure it’s just muscular; and
  • The right knee bothers going downstairs, for the first couple of stairs.
Those are probably normal aches and pains for a 69-year-old guy a couple of days after a marathon. No problem unless they stick around.

The run was in the Stillwater Bubble, just loping along on the artificial turf. A great place to run.

Breakfast, mostly organic.  There's oatmeal under there somewhere: