Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recovery Runs

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Stillwater Lumberjack Days Races were today, a very popular annual event. I usually run the 10-mile race, but today I didn’t feel like working that hard, one week after a tough marathon. The girls agreed, and we didn’t run the races.

But we did run with the St Croix Valley Runners, 7:00 am at the tennis courts. This time we took “Wayne’s Route,” which crosses County Road 12 twice but otherwise stays away from high-speed highways. I like it much better than the usual route, which has us on 55-mph highways for a couple of miles.

I felt some pain in the right knee, which got better as I ran, and came back later at home. Stairs are the worst, down only, not up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010:

Woodbury Runners, the usual 6:00 pm run at Colby Lake Park. Actually 6:10 pm - I showed up at 6 the first time and didn’t wait long enough for the others. 6:10 will do it.

Rich and I ran 5.1 miles while the others ran 6.2, but this time in 51:42, eight minutes faster than the last time I ran with Rich. He’s getting strong enough to make me work. I enjoyed this run, still just the right speed for a recovery run.


Some assholes have been persistent at leaving spam comments on this blog, which I have to remove, so for a while I will be moderating comments, which is actually easier. If you leave a comment (please do) it will be delayed but WILL show up, probably within minutes, unless it contains a link to an unknown site.

Thanks for your patience.

The bowl is big, so imagine the strawberries! Apple sized. The bananas are regular size, not small.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Make it by Midnight Marathon 2010

Who wants to run a marathon in Georgia on the hottest day of the year? We did! Make it by Midnight is a fun little half or full marathon in a nice gated neighborhood in Macon Ga. You decide for yourself how long it will take, then start at whatever time will get you in by midnight, considering the temperature (hot) and the hills (plenty). I started at 5:30 pm and finished at 11:24:12, for a time of 5:54:12. It’s two or four quarter-marathon loops on blacktop roads, which means that you get back to the start/finish and the goodies table twice for a half marathon and four times for a full marathon. It’s a fun marathon. We loved it.

My Marathon:

  • I really didn’t know how long a hilly marathon would take me at 87 degrees and a heat index over 100. I usually finish in five hours in a “normal” marathon, but since there is no penalty for finishinbg early, except running more in the sun and less after dark (cooler), I decided to give myself 6 ½ hours and started at 5:30.
  • The trick at first was to pace myself, run slower than normal, to avoid overheating. That caught on pretty quick though, and I just walked up the hills and jogged down the other side. Each of the four laps was a little longer than the previous one, but the longest was quicker than 90 minutes, so the total was well under 6 hours.
  • I have taken water with me on just two previous marathons, both of them trail marathons. I took water this time, though, and drank almost 40 ounces on each of the first three loops, and another 20 on the last loop. That is about twice as much water as I normally drink during a marathon.
  • To avoid hyponatremia, I also took eight salt packets, two per loop, and seven Clif Shot gels.
  • I have NEVER been so WET during a marathon, and that was before the thunderstorm. You tend to sweat a lot at a temperature of 87 with a dewpoint ot 74. I had a map of the course in my pocket, but it was paper pulp after one loop.
  • The thunderstorm brought a downpour, soaking everything, though I was already entirely wet except for my shoes.
  • I was worried about running in wet sox, but no problems, no blisters.
  • The right shin bone (tibia?) just below the knee squawked a little on the downhills of the first loop, but it settled down for the rest of the race. No other pains.
  • In loops three and four the left calf threatened to cramp up, but I stretched it out a few times and it never did cramp.
  • In the end, the heat did not cause any unusual problems for me. I guess there was just one guy who needed medical attention, out of about 60 runners, so other people were paying attention to the heat too, slowing down and taking more fluid.
  • Nevertheless, when I was finished I had the same tired, sore muscles that I normally have after a marathon. Despite the slow pace, the heat and the hills made this the real thing.

The Race:
  • Started as early as 3:00 pm, if you like, and the finish line closed at 1:00 am.
  • You win a tiara (!?!) if you finish by midnight, else a pumpkin. I'm man enough to wear a tiara, so I chose a pink one.
  • You can park very near the start/finish, so you can use your car for resupply.
  • There are NO porta-potties. You can use regular rest rooms at the start/finish and at a home at the half-loop aid station.
  • You are required to have a flashlight after 9:00 pm, and you need one. I had one during loops three and four. I saw some heroes running without their lights, and it seems to me that’s a great way to step in a hole and twist an ankle.
  • The roads do have a little traffic, and there are no shoulders. Cars may or may not see runners, and may or may not give them space even if they do see them. Some drivers were quite polite and some were jerks. Few of them expected pedestrians. Wear reflective clothing!
  • The water at the aid stations, even the unmanned ones, was COLD! That helped a lot in the heat.
  • This is not a marathon for making a PR or even a fast time. It’s for having fun, and we did.
Marathon number 45, state nunmber 28.

87 at the start, 78 at the finish, dew point over 70 all the way through. Laps: 1:19:33, 1:21:48, 1:26:09, 1:29:22, total 5:36:52 running time, plus 17:20 bathroom and to/from the car for water and gels, total 5:54:12.

Just before startingJust after finishing

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Four Days Off.

I try not to let more than 48 hours go by without a run, but I skipped Thursday’s run because I did plenty of hard work in the yard and I was pooped. I felt good today though, running with the St Croix Valley Runners, and somewhat to my own surprise I finished the usual 5-mile route in 43:20, which is almost a race pace for me. No pains, no problems, pace 8:40.

Mark was there. Nice to see you again Mark. Nice job in the Afton Trail Run.

Salad as dinner:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hot Run

We three wanted to get in some warm-weather training, so we ran in the park for an hour in the evening. I had run the same 5.2-mile route a week or so before in 54 minutes plus change, and this time it took 59:33. The difference? Last time the temperature was 72 and this time it was 84. I found myself paying more attention to the flush of my face, and the sense of overheating, than to breathing or muscle fatigue. As a result, though, I enjoyed the run (with more walking than usual) and I know a little more about what I might expect of myself if I run a marathon in 80+ or 90+ temperatures this summer.

I didn’t take any water or food during this short run, but of course in a hot marathon I would have taken water at least twice by the five-mile point, salt at least once, and probably a gel too.

No pains, no problems. Sunday's little pain in the right upper shin bone did not reappear. That’s a relief. The right ankle mumbles a little now and then, but it’s no worse when running than when walking and doing normal yard work.

5.23 miles in 59:33 is 11:23 per mile, almost a minute per mile slower than the June 29 run.

Somebody mowed my lawn! The worst part of it, actually, the part that slopes enough that you have to mow across the hill rather than up or down. I don't even know when they did that, sometime over the weekend, but I think I know WHO did it - I owe them a sincere thanks!

Breakfast. This is a huge bowl, MAN-sized, so imagine how big those straberries are! Organic, of course.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Marine on St Croix July 4 Race

Every year the town of Marine on St Croix holds a fun little four-mile race as part of its Fourth of July celebration. It’s a one-way race with every runner having to arrange her/his own transportation to the start. The course is about half on gravel roads, somewhat up and down, it does drop at least 200 feet from start to finish. Usually it’s a warm race, but this year it was wet and warm. 135 souls braved the rain, about the same number of runners as last year.

I decided to run both ways to get in a few extra miles, leaving my car at the finish well before race time and running up to the start line, then racing back with the pack. My race time was 35:22, only four seconds better than last year. On the other hand I was second of seven in my 60-69 age group this year, compared with seventh of 13 last year, and I did run up the hill before the race this year. It’s fine.

There is a new pain, though, in the top of the right shin just below the knee I think. It feels different from the pain I’ve been feeling in that knee. I have felt hints of this before, but I don’t recall if it ever reached the point where I logged it. Now it’s in the log - and I sure hope that’s the end of it! Shin splints I don’t need, if that's what it is, with a marathon coming up (there is always a marathon coming up). I suppose it could have been caused by the pounding that the legs take on the steep downhill parts of the course. I'll try to run mostly on grass and walk down hills for a while.

Don't you love summer, with all of the fresh fruit and berries? Nectarines are a favorite of mine.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Six Runs

Catching up on logging:

Saturday, July 3, 2010:

Only seven of us showed up to run with the St Croix Valley Runners today, with the Fourth of July race in Marine on St Croix scheduled for tomorrow. I ran with Gauss and Dave, all of us rather slow today, chatting easily some of the time and quiet at other times. After the fourth mile I went ahead and finished the last mile at a somewhat faster pace. Total time 49:49, overall pace 9:58.

The right ankle, which has been hurting a bit for several weeks now, did not hurt during the run. I did feel it afterward, just a bit, and I’m wondering if it’s mostly aggravated by lawn mowing across hills, and by leaving my foot in an awkward position while driving. If so, it will get better because: (1) I do have to mow the lawn but the grass will not grow so fast for the rest of the year; and (2) I can watch how I use that foot. Running surely can’t help, but it doesn’t seem to hurt much either. Also, I have some industrial-quality steel-toe boots that may offer some ankle support while mowing. We’ll see.

The right knee still lets me know it’s around once in a while, but mostly it’s quiet these last few days.

Thursday, July 1, 2010:

I ran with Rich again, this time taking a slightly shorter route, about 5.1 miles. Two other guys showed up for the Woodbury Runners tonight, but they left us early, and completed their regular 6.2-mile route before we finished our shorter run. Our pace: 11:28.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010:

We are planning to run a warm marathon, so we have been running in the evening, and did so today. But it was a lovely day, only about 72 degrees or so, and though it was a beautiful 5.2 mile run in the park, it wasn't much help training for heat. I did enjoy running on grass again, and I took it fairly easy, walking up most of the hills. Time 54:46, pace 10:32.

Sunday, June 27, 2010:

We three drove up to the Gateway Trail this evening, to escape the sun. I ran only four miles but in the heat that seemed enough. Splits: 9:18, 10:49, 9:59, 9:44, total 39:50, pace 9:58.

Saturday, June 26, 2010:

St Croix Runners again, Gauss and I finished the five miles in 49:00.

Thursday, June 24, 2010:

Rich and I ran the 5.2-mile Woodbury Runners’ route, the only runners to show up today. Nice recovery run, my first run since Grandma’s. Time about 59:00, pace 11:21.

Summer in the park: