Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Mom Is 100 Years Old Today

Tuesday, May 18, 2010:

MY MOM IS 100 TODAY! We had a heckuva party over the weekend, people coming to Minnesota from as far away as California. She's lovely. Go MOM!

I ran 20 miles on the park’s hilly, dewy, grassy trails today, though the dew was long gone by the time I finished. 52 degrees at the start of the run, 70 at the finish, bright sun throughout. There is some shade on these trails - perhaps one third shady and the rest sunny. The sun felt good at first, but toward the end I was slowing down and looking forward to the shady parts.

Sunshine and Sweet Pea spent about the same amount of time out there, and we crossed paths three times. That’s always nice.

I sucked down three GU gels and one Clif Shot gel. As far as I can tell, they are interchangable - neither gives me a stomach problem. I do prefer the ones with caffeine, though - they give an extra boost. The legal performance-enhancement drug. I also took five packets of "electrolyte," each containing 440 mg sodium chloride, 15 mg potassium chloride, and 18 mg calcium carbonate. No cramps of any kind at all. Very minor complaint from the left hip and right ankle. They'll be OK.

Loop 1   8.03 mi   1:26:07   pace 10:43
Loop 2 7.09 mi 1:20:59 pace 11:25
Loop 3 5.17 mi 1:00:00 pace 11:36
Total 20.29 mi 3:47:06 pace 11:11.

Although I really couldn’t go much faster, I know there was more left in the tank at the finish. I could have kept going at about the same speed. It’s good!

Saturday, May 15:

St Croix Valley Runners, the usual five-mile route. Good group today. I ran with Mike, who had recently finished the Eau Claire Marathon and was really in no hurry. I was looking ahead toward a 20-mile run in a few days and also had no reason to go faster than nominal, so most of the group finished ahead of us. We did the five miles in 45:00, pace 9:00. Plenty good enough!

Thursday, May 13:

Another break in the rain. This time I ran in the neighborhood, a somewhat-hilly 6-mile course all on paved roads. Finished in 57:38, for a pace of 9:36. No pains, no problems. Still a little tired from yesterday’s trail run, I walked up a few hills, but the time is plenty good. It’s a masterpiece.

Wednesday, May 12:

Break in the rain. We three ran in the park again, this time on the paved trails because the grass trails were soggy with an inch of recent rain. My left hip was a little cranky at the start, but it smoothed out in the first half mile and wasn’t a problem. I ran the hilly 7.9 miles with only one brief walk break, to chat with my sweeties as I passed them. Time 1:15:43, for a pace of 9:33. It’s a masterpiece!

Normal breakfast, oatmeal underneath. The blueberries are frozen ones, and that's working out very well, cheaper than fresh (especially now) and apparently higher quality too. Of course we do have to wash the blueberries (or any frozen berries) before putting them on the dish, because they come right from the field.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

14-Mile Day

Happy Mothers Day!

Sunday, May 9, Run In The Park:

The grass trails in the park were in perfect shape this afternoon, despite the 3/4 inch rain 36 hours before. I love those trails. There is one particular route that is ten miles exactly. Temp was 55 degrees, perfect for shorts and a short-sleeved technical shirt.

Minor complaints from the left lisfranc joints, the right ankle, and the left hip (that’s a new one). Time 1:46:30, pace 10:39, I wish it were faster, but I did run most of the time and it was what I could do today. Nice park, nice trails, enjoyable run.

Sunday, May 9, Race For The Cure:

The Race for the Cure 5k is a huge annual event in Minnesota, drawing tens of thousands of runners and walkers. We three almost always go, to support a sister-in-law who is a survivor, and in the hope of a cure, of course! The weather was spectacular today, cool (36 degrees) but bright sun and no wind. One shirt, a wind jacket, and tights were plenty, maybe a little too much.

I didn’t start far enough toward the front, and was held back by the crowd some of the time, but still finished in 28:30, which is plenty good enough. Including the run to the start, and more after the race, total distance was at least 4 miles.

Saturday, May 8, St Croix Valley Runners:

The St Croix Valley Runners, five of us today in the cold, windy mist. Two Daves out in front, with George, Gauss, and me following well behind in no particular hurry. Five miles in 48 minutes, pace 9:36. Nice run - I enjoy chatting with those guys.

Breakfast with oatmeal on the top for a change.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I Love Running In The Park

How come it took me so long to figure it out? For years, my favorite trail has been the quiet little dirt road alongside the railroad track. Straight, flat, mostly wooded, and entirely solitary except for the rare thundering train. I can’t really even invite a friend to run with me, because much of the way there isn’t room for two people to run side by side.

The park is different: Trails are wide, mostly grass, with some sand, a little gravel, and a little dirt/mud. In the morning, the grass is wet with dew. It is definitely not flat, nor is it solitary - I always encounter other runners or dog-walkers - even horse riders. I would have thought I would get tired of the trails after they became familiar, but not so - I look forward to the next bend, the next woods, the next vantage point, the next downhill.

Today I ran with a guy briefly. He crunched past me as I walked up a hill, but I gradually caught up as his energy flagged, and we chatted a while before I went on ahead again.

Eight miles in 1:23:00, pace 10:23. Not great, not bad, but it was a lovely, enjoyable run.

This time the oatmeal is on the top. It includes a few raisins and dried cranberries. Not shown is the organic kefir that goes on top of the whole mess.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Gateway 16 Miles

Tuesday, May 4, 2010:

We three went to the Gateway Trail this morning, to run "long," or what is long for us. Sixteen miles for me, similar amount of time for the sweeties. Friend Jim ran with me much of the way - good conversation makes for easy running. We took the gravel horse trails, which may drain a little more energy from the legs than does the paved trail, but it’s easier on joints. After Jim split off, at mile 11 or so, I switched back to the paved trails and probably ran a bit faster than I might have on the gravel.

Water every two miles, gels at miles 4, 8, & 12. I forgot to bring salt packets, and was reminded afterward by almost-cramps in the calves. I did stop the watch briefly three times, for water and for potty breaks.

Splits: 9:46, 8:42, 10:31, 9:13, 9:21, 10:09, 10:26, 11:02, 10:28, 11:58, 10:35, 9:25, 11:04, 10:38, 10:09, 9:31, total 2:43:00, average pace 10:11. If this had been a marathon, and I wanted to finish in 4:30 (Boston qualifying time), I would have had to run the next 10.2 miles in 1:47:00, a pace of 10:29. Hard to say if that would be possible, but it might be. I had energy left when the run was over. It’s a masterpiece!

Saturday, May 01, 2919:

Since we were unable to race Saturday morning, we went to the park again in the afternoon to get in a few more miles. I ran 5.1 miles, hoping to bump into the girls who were on a different route, but missed them. Hilly, sixty degrees, mostly cloudy, and very windy, it wasn’t an easy run. I finished in 51:08, for a pace of 10:02. It’ll do!

Breakfast, mostly organic. Oatmeal beneath.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Race Called on Account of Murder

No kidding. We three drove to the Batten Disease 5k Run/Walk, to be held in Phalen Park. However, as we approached the park, we and other drivers were waved off by an officer with a rifle. He actually used the rifle to wave! We took another route into the park, and were then informed that the race had been cancelled and would be rescheduled. We didn't ask questions because we were in a line of cars, but we could see a LOT of police vehicles across Lake Phalen at the northeast corner, where we runners would have passed on our route around the lake.

Information on the rescheduling, and ways to contribute to combat Batten Disease, will be here. Click on 5k Run/Walk.

Back at home, we learned that a Maplewood police officer had been shot and killed attempting to apprehend a pair of carjackers in the early morning, and those two were still at large and presumed armed. At this writing it appears that one of the cop-killers has himself been killed, but the other is still loose and may have escaped the police perimeter. I don’t know more than that. It’s a big story and will be amply covered by the local media.

Before driving to Phalen, we three went to Stillwater to join the St Croix Valley Runners in their usual 5-mile run. Plenty of people showed up that I had not seen recently - we had a nice-sized group. I took it easy and finished with the last runners, thinking that I was going to run a 5k in a couple of hours, but was nevertheless back to the start in 45:30. That is a pace of 9:06, not so bad.

No pains, no strain. Time to ramp up the mileage a little perhaps.