Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Milk Run 5k

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010:

Tuesday morning was warm and humid - what else is new? But we needed to get in a run so we went to the park and ran on the paved trails. 3.9 miles in 34:48, pace 8:51. I felt pretty good, actually, and this is a good pace for me, about the same as the Milk Run 5k a couple of days ago, and that was a race. No pains or problems.

Sunday, Aug 29, 2010, MILK RUN 5k:

The Milk Run 5k is a Minnesota classic race, held at the State Fair every year, always sold out long before race date. This year 1420 runners and walkers finished, slightly more women than men. I finished in 27:08, pace 8:45, number 197 of 628 men and number 10 of 29 men in the 65-69 age group. I had hoped to place better, but there are some pretty good runners in my age group. I’m impressed that there are 29 men that age who want to run a 5k, though. I did finish a minute faster than my last 5k, but the pace was slower than an 8k in March and the same as a 10k in April, so my hopes for increasing speed are not realized yet.

It is a hilly race, though, with a difference of 100 feet between the highest and lowest points, and I did walk quite a bit. I can do better and I will. The best news is: Nothing hurts, including the iffy right ankle.

The race fee also includes a pass to the fair and a “free” milkshake. We enjoyed the fair.

Saturday, Aug 28, 2010:

St Croix Valley Runners. I took a shortened route this morning, just 3.5 miles, because of the ankle injury and because of the Milk Run 5k race tomorrow. No problem with the ankle today - lets hope it stays that way.

Time 33:23, pace 9:32. Hmmm. I wonder if that route is longer than I thought, because it felt like I was going faster than 9:32. Oh well.

Milk Run Shirt:
Milk Run Race Shirt

Friday, August 27, 2010

Five Miles Didn't Happen

I started out with the Woodbury Runners (6:05 pm Thursdays in Colby Lake Park), but my right ankle hurt and seemed to get worse as I ran. Sometimes it hurts a little at the start of a run and gradually gets better - not this time. So I stopped and limped back to the car. I rarely quit a run, but with a marathon on the horizon I didn’t want to risk a disabling injury. I’m hoping that it will be better by Saturday with the SCV Runners.

28 miles for this week, not the planned 33. New week starts Saturday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Delightful 20 Miles

Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010:

What a difference the weather makes. A breezy 55 degrees this morning as Luke and I started the 20-mile run, 64 when I finished. We took the dewy grass trails in the park, and I walked up many of the hills (it's MOSTLY hills), trying not to get injured or to beat myself up too much. Luke, bless his heart, is very good at matching my pace even though he would normally be a couple of minutes per mile faster.

Luke bailed at 11 miles, because he is doing another 12-miler tomorrow, at his pace. Up to that point the average was 11:14, though I forgot to stop my watch for a porta-potty break so it was probably just under 11. I slowed down somewhat after Luke left, finishing the 19.86 miles in 3:49, for an overall average pace of 11:32. That pace and time are fine for a wet, grassy, hilly trail run, and I feel great!

The right knee gave me a couple of scares - almost locking up twice. But it smoothed out right away - no problem. That has happened before. The right ankle, my only real worry, was silent throughout. Yay! I twisted the left foot on a rock in the first mile, but it didn't complain during the run. I hope it doesn't tomorrow. Calves pretended to threaten to cramp at about mile 16, but they responded to the salt (five or six packets during the run) and settled down. I took four Clif Shot Gels along the way too - they do give me an energy boost. Lots of water - I had stashed bottles of water along the trails and drank about 55 ounces enroute.

The park is beautiful. Much of it is native grassland, and it is a goldenrod garden right now, acres and acres. Not great for hayfever sufferers, but spectacular in the sunshine.

I followed the railroad tracks for a mile going to the park, and another mile returning. On both legs a train went by. I love trains, especially as they thunder by up close, and one of the engineers tooted for me. Another highlight of a beautiful run.

Hints of fall today - makes you want to go out and lube up the snow blower :-)

Monday, Aug 23, 2010:

We needed to run today, and for various reasons couldn't run in the morning, so we went to the park for a shady run in the evening. Shade helped, but not enough - 88 degrees with a dewpoint in the mid 60's - ugh. The grass trails were dry, of course, because it was evening, but I ran on specific paved trails where there is actually more shade. Fifteen minutes out and fifteen back, probably about three miles total. No pains or problems, except the chronic right ankle, which doesn't hurt until after the run is over. It's not bad right now, but I do have a lot of lawn that needs mowing.

I'm looking forward to Wednesday, when the weather is supposed to be a LOT better for running.

Saturday, Aug 21, 2010:

The St Croix Valley Runners meet every Saturday, 7:00 am, at Northland Tennis Courts in Stillwater. Today's fog cut visibility a lot, and I proposed that we run "Wayne's Route" in place of the normal route, so that we could avoid running on busy highways. The runners agreed, though one runner is reported to have said "sacrilege!" I ended up running alone much of the way, between slower and faster groups, and finished the almost-5 miles in 44:44, OK for such a sweaty morning. This route is hillier than the usual one too. It's good.

Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010:

The Tartan Terrible 4-Mile Race is actually a bit over four miles, probably 4.3. This is a fun little 2-loop steeplechase race over hill and dale, on pavement, grass and weeds, and, some years, even through water. This year the water hazard was dry, but everything else was there. I had a good, enjoyable race but not a great one, walking up hills and running the rest. I did have a strong finish, so no doubt I could have kept it up. No pains or strains. The right ankle still bothers a little, but didn’t get any worse.

Loop splits: 21:29, 21:08, total 42:37, pace 9:55.

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010:

We three found ourselves in Woodbury this morning, and just decided to run here and there on that city’s wonderful paved trails. I ran around a couple of lakes, Markgrafs and Powers, then into a new neighborhood where I got lost, and then found again. I don’t really know how far I ran, but it took a total of 60 minutes and I’m saying it was six miles. Nice run, no pains other than the right ankle.

Vegetarian bean & corn dish under the fruit, veggies, & blue corn chips. Mostly organic, of course.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Raise Myeloma Awareness

Myeloma patient Keith May and the IMF have entered a racecar design called "The Survivor" in a contest called Sponsafier. The winning entry will be built as a full sized car, showcased at a NASCAR race, and your votes can help push us across the finish line.

This will raise awareness of myeloma, the International Myeloma Foundation, the great work being done to change the course of myeloma, and the work that still needs to be done. Here's what you can do:

Just take 30 seconds every day until August 28, click nascar.myeloma.org, wait for the screen to develop, and simply click the “vote” button. You don't have to log on or enter ANY information. For extra credit, you can do this with every computer that you have available, every day.

“The Survivor” is one of several hundred entries in the Sponsafier contest. Some are just artistic designs and some like Keith’s support a cause. Now we all have the opportunity to support Keith, myeloma awareness, and the IMF by voting every day for the next 11 days, and by asking your friends, families, and colleagues to vote too.

The messages on the car are simple: “Beat myeloma to the finish line,” and simply “Beat Cancer.” What better way to get there than by racing? Click nascar.myeloma.org.

The Survivor

A Hero Is Gone

Lloyd Young died, age 87. Here is his obituary.

I remember, as a new runner, chasing after Lloyd when I was in my early 60's and Lloyd was in his late 70's. He was a world-class runner, holding many Minnesota and national age-group records. He was also a poet and a real gentleman. We will miss him.

See also Down the Backstretch.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clif Shot Gels Really Work

Sunday, August 15, 2010:

These are the days that just make you feel like running. 65-70 degrees, low humidity, and a brisk crosswind on the Gateway Trail this morning. What a delightful change from recent weather.

I ran "long" today, 16 miles on the sand/gravel/mud horse trails along the Gateway. They are slightly more hilly than the paved trail, you have to watch your step, and the surface probably takes a little extra energy from every step, but I’m training for a gravel-road marathon. It went very well, mostly running with some walking. I wore my Dirty Girl Gaiters and got only a little sand in my shoes, no pebbles.

One running phenomenon came through very clearly today: Clif Shot Gels do what they are supposed to do. I took three of them along the route, roughly at miles 4, 8, & 12, and each time I noticed an obvious increase in energy ten to fifteen minutes later. I use the Mocha flavor, with 100 calories of carbohydrates and 50 mg caffeine, and I have no idea which is more important - the carbs or the caffeine. No doubt other flavors and other brands would do as well - but Clif Shots are mostly organic, and, according to the list of ingredients, appear to be free of gluten.

At the finish of the run, I had energy left. Sometimes I feel beat after a long run, but not today. Better yet, no pains of any kind during the run, though I do have a little pain in the right ankle afterward. That ankle has been bothering just a little for months now - perhaps I should bring it to a sports doctor. It seems to get worse when I mow the lawn or run on trails; I mowed yesterday and ran trails today. Tsk.

Happy news - the bridge over Manning Avenue is showing progress again. Pilings are being driven, eventually to support the historic iron-frame bridge that will go there. A new sign says that the bridge itself is being repaired and refurbished, and construction should be completed by December. That will take one big risk out of the Gateway Trail.

Splits: 10:11, 9:05, 10:45, 9:11, 10:22, 10:22, 10:31, 11:12, 9:44, 10:52, 10:53, 9:48, 11:06, 10:03, 10:16, 10:23, total 2:44:48, pace 10:18. Of course this was only 16 miles, but if I could continue that pace for a full marathon, it would be a Boston-qualifying time. I don’t want to run Boston again, but I’d like to qualify again. It’s a runner thing.

Saturday, August 14, 2010:

St Croix Valley Runners, so it must be Saturday. 7:00 am, Northland Tennis Courts. I ran with Gauss and Candy, at the front of the pack actually, even though we really weren’t in a hurry. Gauss must have been in a little bit of a hurry, though, because he eventually eased out ahead. Five miles in 46:30, pace 9:18. No pains, no problems. Very humid day, the last one for a while I hope.

Thursday Evening, August 12, 2010:

Woodbury Runners, 88 degrees with a dewpoint of 70. Ouch. Rich and I took the short 5.2-mile route, and ran slowly besides, walking now and then. But four or five others ran the regular 6.2-mile route and finished well ahead of us ("what happened to you guys?"). We finished without risking any heat injury, is what happened. Now 28 miles this week. New week starts Saturday.

Signs along the Gateway Trail:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dog Days of Running

Thursday, Aug 12, 2010:

Not a cloud in the sky this morning. Unfortunately. We ran on the park trails again, with the temperature already 81, dewpoint 70 at 8:00 am, bright (read HOT) sun making the shade most welcome wherever we encountered it. I ran on the paved trails again, because of heavy dew on the grass trails, and felt sluggish at the start, but managed to chug along until I felt a little better. We saw several other runners, walkers, skaters, and bikers.

I did notice new pains in the left knee and, briefly, in the left ankle. Both of these disappeared as I ran, and the right side was quiet today. I’ve also had a pain in the left butt, indicating a potential problem in that hip joint. I’ve been slacking off on my glucosamine and chondroitin - I’d better get back to it.

A VERY sweaty 5.8 miles in 56:30, pace 9:44. I should have done a long run today, or last Tuesday, with a marathon coming up soon, but I didn’t have the heart for it in this weather. Maybe next week. Only 23 miles total this week, sigh. Maybe I can get in another five tonight.

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010:

Humidity was high this morning, as was the temperature, 78 degrees with a dewpoint of 72. Needless to say, the grass trails were quite wet, so I used the paved trails and ran 6.1 miles in 59:00, for a pace of 9:40. No problems except I was totally soaked with sweat at the end. I should have run long today, but it wasn’t a good day for it. I did carry water, though, and was glad to have it along.

Sunday, Aug 8, 2010:

Another warm run on the paved trails in the park. I wrote down the time and distance, but don’t actually remember much else about the run. 5.8 miles in 55:50, pace 9:37.

Saturday, Aug 7, 2010:

St Croix Valley Runners, mostly with Charley today, nice & easy, not quite as humid as it has been, though a little more so than Thursday, which was a pretty nice summer morning. Five miles in 49 minutes.

Dinner: Roasted vegetables topped with bison chili. Yum!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Lovely Day

What a change from Tuesday! This may not have been the very best day to run, but it sure was a lot better than Tuesday. The temperature was 10 degrees lower, the dew point a full 15 degrees lower, and the breeze entirely refreshing. A nice day indeed. We ran in the park again, but it had rained ovenight, so I ran on the paved trails rather than the grass.

I wanted to run about five miles, so I would finish in 50 minutes or so, but I ended up running 5.4 miles instead. I did finish in 50:43, for a pace of 9:22. I thought I was running faster than that, actually, but I’ll take it.

30 miles this week.

Love those cherries.

Hot Sticky Run

Even the morning runs are uncomfortably warm and humid these days. Nephew Luke came by Tuesday morning and we ran 8.7 miles on the blacktopped Gateway Trail, from the parking area at Hwy 96 up to Pine Point Park and back. The girls ran the same route but turned around short of Pine Point. The temperature wasn't outlandish, going from 73 to 81, but the dew point in the 70's made it seem much worse.

I felt good at the start and we chugged right along at about a 9:00 pace on the way up to the park. But I fell apart on the way back, walked quite a bit, and the overall pace for the run was 9:56. I think I was dehydrated - next time I'll carry water when it's that uncomfortable. Luke seemed almost unfazed by the weather and, as always, had no trouble matching my pace.

He wore his Garmin again, and I learned something about the Gateway Trail. I had always assumed that Pine Point Park was the high point on this run, or maybe the little plateau at Co Rd 61 just a mile SW of the park. But it is actually just a half mile or so NE of the Hwy 96 parking area, the "Horse Bridge." The little chart shows a rather symmetrical elevation profile, as it should with an out-and-back run, with the small bump in the middle representing Pine Point Park. The highest point is near the start and finish. Not a big deal, of course, because the total excursion in elevation is only about 75 feet, but it's nice to know.

Luke's exact one-mile splits: 9:41, 8:47, 9:08, 8:55, 9:08, 9:46, 11:54, 12:04, 10:06, total 1:26:05 for 8.66 miles, pace 9:56.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Woofed Again!

Sunday, August 1, 2010:

Eleven hilly grass-trail miles at 79 degrees and a dew point of 70. My sweeties and I ran in the park again this morning, with the purpose of running at least two hours. Even longer in my case: 11.2 miles in 2:08:20, for a pace of 11:27. Not very swift, but I just couldn’t run very fast today. Maybe yesterday’s fairly-fast five miles took its toll, because my legs were tired. I walked often, especially up hills.

No other problems though - no pains or cramps. I did take 20 oz of water along the way, and one Clif Shot gel.

Saturday, July 31:

St Croix Valley Runners. We had a great group this morning, at least 15 runners. I started out running with Dennis, then fell back and ran much of the way by myself, with about an equal number of runners ahead of me and behind me.

Temperature 70, dewpoint 66, this was a sweaty run. Nevertheless I did OK, for me, finishing the five miles in 44:00, for a pace of 8:48. No pains, no strain.

Thursday, July 29:

This was another run in the park, hilly grass trails again, but I don’t recall much about it, even the time of day. Evening for sure, though, because we were at Mayo most of the day, then Weight Watchers. So I suppose this run started about 7:00 pm.

Notes say 4.8 miles in 48:53, for a pace of 10:11, unusually fast for the hot, hilly grass trails, but this run was a bit shorter than some. No pains or problems.

Tuesday, July 27:

Friend Jim and I ran in the park, a 6.3-mile route this time. Though it was a morning run, the temperature and humidity were both high and I had to take it fairly easy. 6.3 miles in 1:10:30, pace 11:11. But no pains or cramps.

Monday, July 26:

Hot, hilly, but enjoyable run with nephew Luke, on the grass trails in the park again. This was an evening run, very warm and humid, and neither of us did very well. Nevertheless we ran 7.1 miles in 1:17:42, for a pace of 10:57.

I walked frequently, and Luke was kind enough to match my walks as well as my pace. After the run he sent me a link to his Garmin results for that run. I’m amazed by the amount of information on that page. Distance, speed, highest and lowest speed, altitude at the start and finish, highest point, lowest, total elevation gain, and more, even a map of the route we ran. It’s really cool.

The cherries are a gift from a running friend. Tangy-sweet, perfect for just eating.