Thursday, December 23, 2010


Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010:

18 Miles in the Stillwater Bubble, 3 hours and 5 minutes. I did the walk/run, walking one short edge of the rectangle, which amounts to about 21% of the distance around it. I timed a lap at about mile 8, mile 13, and mile 17, and each time the pace was very nearly 10 minutes/mile. And just to be sure, I ran an extra 5 minutes, adding about a half mile or so.

10 minutes per mile is a Boston-qualifying pace for me. I could have kept going, but maybe not for 8 more miles.

Quads were already a little sore from the indoor running on Sunday, and they complained a bit, but hopefully they’ll just take a lesson and get a little stronger. The injured hamstring was pretty quiet, a little sore the next day, but I think it’s healing. The only pain was in my left foot, at the lisfranc ligaments, which I have previously injured while snowshoe running. 380 corners were too much for them. But the foot will get better - it always does.

When we got home, though, I had to tackle the ice dam on the roof, two places, one of which was causing a minor leak into the house, so I spent much of the rest of the day whacking at ice with a hammer-chipper, pulling down snow with a roof rake, and shoveling all of that out of the way. A very full day.

Thursday's breakfast: Organic pear, walnuts, strawberries (frozen), yogurt. Conventional banana, kiwi, oatmeal (on top this time).

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Indoor Racing

Sunday, Dec 19, 2010:

Charities Challenge held another indoor track event at Bethel University on Sunday, and I warmed up for three miles and then ran most of the races, just for training. First the mile, then the 200 m, then 800 m, and finally 400 m. I skipped the 60 m, afraid I’d hurt myself, and the mile race/walk, which feels very unnatural for me.

I ran just slightly better than two weeks ago, except for the 800 m. the pace for the mile was 7:29, whereas it was 7:31 for the 1500 m two weeks ago - not enough difference to matter. I expect that I could do better at any of the distances, of course, if I weren’t running them all. Time will tell. The 400 improved by six seconds because I was chasing my friend Harvey, who is a little faster than me.

The hamstring didn’t hurt at all during the warmups or the races, but it did a little bit later in the day. Now, a day later, it’s fine and muscles feel as though they did some work yesterday. It’s good.

  Dec 5    Dec 19
200 m 0:410:40
400 m 1:351:29
800 m 3:263:31
1500 m   7:01
Mile 7:29

Today's breakfast. Organic pear, frozen berries, date, yogurt. Gluten-free oatmeal (beneath). Conventional kiwi & banana:
Today's breakfast

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Running In The Snow

Saturday, Dec 18, 2010:

Four stalwart souls showed up to run with the St Croix Valley Runners before dawn in 10 degree weather. I intended to run some races the next day, so I shortened the usual 5-mile route and ran fairly slowly. Two others ran out ahead of me, and one stayed back and walked.

I had planned to run a particular 3.5-mile route, but after a mile and a half I thought "Why am I slip/sliding this 70-year-old chassis all alone over the ice and snow on the shoulder of a major road with cars and trucks roaring by in semi-darkness at 60 mph?" I just turned around and came back to my car.

3.0 miles in about 30 minutes. Back safely, no problem with the hamstring today, good enough.

Friday, Dec 17:

We arrived at the Stillwater Bubble at about 11:00 am, to find ourselves alone there. The crowd shows up early in the morning, and by eleven they’re all gone. Most of the people are walkers, but usually there is at least one other runner. Today I just ran four easy miles, trying to stay loose and not annoy the sore hamstring.

Wednesday, Dec 15:

Stillwater Bubble again. This time I added some strides to the usual run/walk, taking one long side much faster than the other three sides. The hamstring felt a little better again, but I still didn’t push the strides to a full-out sprint. Nevertheless it felt great to change the pace a bit. About 48 minutes, probably about 4.8 miles.

Breakfast. I don't use these photos twice - I do eat a lot of good breakfasts:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sixteen Bubble Miles

Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010:

Jim and I ran for a little over two hours in the Stillwater Bubble again today, Jim running his pace much of the time. I did my walk/run again, because it seems to allow me to log miles at a modest speed without hurting the hamstring much. I timed a few laps, and the pace is just slower than 10-minute miles, even with the walking, so I’m sure I ran 12 miles in the two hours and a few more minutes.

My legs felt tired at first, but recovered and I felt strong at the end f the two hours. Afterward, the sore hamstring muscle didn’t seem to be any worse than it was before the run. It’s a masterpiece!

Monday, Dec 13, 2010:

Forty minutes in the Stillwater Bubble this morning. They were having some problems with the facility, and it was unheated. With an outdoor temperature of minus 10 or so, the indoor temperature was only 20 above. I usually remove several layers of clothes to run there, but today most of them stayed on. Still, much better than running outside with 18 inches of new snow and thirty degrees colder. I took it easy, walking 20% of the distance.

Sunrise after a big snow

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Intervals, Strides, Fartleks, Pyramids, Repeats

After a visit to the doctor, we three headed over to the Stillwater Bubble once more, this time for a modest 40-minute walk/run, walking about 210 feet of every 1000. The left semitendinosus muscle was better today, not hurting much at all, and I was tempted to do some interval training, but one short sprint told me to reign it in. I had a nice, easy, 4-mile walk/run, finishing 24 miles for the week.

What do the different terms “intervals,” “strides,” “fartleks,” “pyramids,” and “repeats,” mean? I did a little internet research and here is my opinion:

  • Intervals: Any type of training which includes intentional, repeated changes in intensity, including all of the terms below.
  • Strides: Short bursts of speed, at race pace or greater, incorporated into a longer training run.
  • Fartleks: Like strides, but much less structured. Sprint to feel good, perhaps including backward and sideways running, uphill sprints, lunges, or even a pushup or three. Have fun.
  • Pyramids: Workouts in which the intensity is gradually increased and then reduced again.
  • Repeats: A training program containing simple or complex elements which are repeated.
Agree? Disagree?

It's SNOWING here! Probably eight inches so far, not letting up, and the wind is getting stronger. Pre-showblowing breakfast:

Two More Bubble Runs

Thursday, December 9, 2010:

Stillwater Bubble again. I went to a meeting of networking professionals, after which we three ran for an hour, covering about 6 miles. I started right out with a walk/run, because the semitendinosus muscle still hurt, walking about 210 feet of each 1000-foot loop around the soccer field. It felt fairly good, actually.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010:

Stillwater Bubble, I couldn’t run today because of the left hamstring semitendinosus muscle, which hurt quite a bit when running, hardly at all when walking. Fortunately, the left knee was no problem. I walked for 45 minutes, covering perhaps three miles.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ten Miles Indoors

My sweeties and I picked up Jim for another run in the Stillwater Dome. Did I mention it’s $2.00 per day for adults and only $0.50 for seniors? WAY less expensive than a club membership, though running and walking are the only exercises available.

Jim and I ran for 40 minutes, and then switched to a run/walk for another hour. Run about 80% of the way around the soccer field, walk the remainder. Pace was somewhat faster than 9-minute miles for the first 40 minutes, and slightly slower than 10-minute miles for the next hour, so probably about 10 miles. My left semitendinosus muscle (one of the hamstrings) was a little sore right from the beginning, and I didn’t want to push it.

Both sets of quads got sore too, toward the end of the run, but it’s the good kind of soreness that means those muscles have been worked pretty hard. I like that, and I’m sure that the indoor-track racing on Sunday was an important part of that work - maybe I need to race more.

I don’t like the new pain in my left knee, though. On the far outside, right about where the ITB might be if I knew anatomy a little better, except that I can’t poke it anywhere and make it hurt. It hurts only when I put weight on it, which sounds a lot more like the knee joint than the ITB. I hope not - so far my knees have been pretty reliable. We’ll test that knee a bit more tomorrow.

Breakfast after the run: Mango, organic honeycrist apple, kiwi, organic strawberries (frozen by Sunshine during the season), organic lowfat yogurt, walnuts, 72% dark chocolate, with oatmeal underneath. I enjoyed this for more than a half hour.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Indoor Racing

Charities Challenge Indoor Races at Bethel College. This was the first of five of these events. We pay one price for the day and run as many of the scheduled races as we like. I decided to run all but two, the 60 m sprint and the 1500 m race walk. Times:

200 m 0:41
400 m 1:35
800 m 3:26
1500 m 7:01
I had intended to jog most of the races, except perhaps the 1500, to take it easy on my sore semitendinosus muscle (one of the hamstrings), but it didn’t bother much and the race was on, so I pushed pretty hard in each of the races. Maybe not so smart - that hamstring does ache a little now, after getting home.

I had a wonderful time, though. There is nothing quite so exhilarating as running full-out for 200 meters, twice the length of a football field. Maybe a 100-meter race would be great too, but it’s only half as long, so only half as much fun. Races longer than 200 m are fine too, but they feel a little more like work. I skipped the 60-m race this time out of respect for that weak semitendinosus muscle. Great day - it’s a masterpiece!

She did not race today:

Friday, December 03, 2010

Double Dome Runs

Thursday, Dec 02, 2010:

We picked up Jim today and again ran in the Stillwater Bubble. Six miles, with the last one or two at a run/walk, like yesterday. That really does make the left semitendinosus muscle hurt less. Time goes faster, too, when I run with Jim. Nice run - I felt good afterward, and the muscle again seemed a bit better than the day before.

Wednesday, Dec 01, 2010:

Six miles today in the Stillwater Bubble. I was able to run most of that distance, switching to a walk for one of the short legs of the rectangle.

In the Bubble I run by time, not mileage, but I did confirm that I was running just a little slower than 9-minute miles for the first four miles, and almost 10-minute miles for the last two, even with the run/walk.

The left semitendinosus muscle started to hurt a little right away, but never became a limiting pain. It’s a little better when I do the run/walk - it seems to recover somewhat during the walk. I think it was a little better than yesterday.

After the run I did discover that one of my stretches, a standing cross-legged stretch of the ITB, pulls on the semitendinosus muscle and hurts quite a bit. It’s the only activity I’ve found, besides running. that makes it hurt.

Roasted vegetables (and one fruit): Parsnips, beets (2 kinds), purple cabbage, mango, radish, & rutabaga, topped with spicy olive muffalata (yum) and a few dabs of hot pepper sauce:
Roasted vegetables