Monday, October 29, 2012

Cool Grass Trails

View from the train.
At last I had a chance to run on my favorite grass/dirt/gravel trails in the park.  I avoid these trails when a marathon is looming, because of the risk of twisting something, but the next marathon is six weeks away so I took the chance.  6.1 miles in 1:04:00, for a pace of about 10:30.

The temperature was 45, no sun, not enough wind to bother - mighty good weather for running.  I loved every minute of it and ran almost the whole way, walking only a few of the steepest hills, up and down.  Whining: none.  Joyful run.

Luggage Injury

Saturday, October 27, 2012:

As we boarded the train back home from Albuquerque, I pulled a muscle in my back lifting a suitcase up onto the luggage racks.  At first it hurt a lot, to do almost anything actually, but the injury was Monday and now it’s Saturday, and the pain is much less.  We went to Stillwater to run with the St. Croix Valley Runners, as we usually do on Saturdays, and there wasn't much pain at all.

Friends in Albuquerque

Paul, Dave, and I ran the five-mile Lake McKusick route in 48 minutes, for a pace of 9:36.  No walking.  I felt pretty strong, actually, six days after the marathon.  Life is good - it’s a masterpiece.  Temperatures are in the high 40's and low 50's these days, no snow yet, I’m anxious to get out and run on the grass trails in the park this week.

Thursday, October 25:

I pulled a muscle in my back lifting a suitcase up onto the luggage racks in the Amtrak coach.  That made today’s run/walk a little painful, especially at first.  So I took it easy and the pain gradually got better, allowing me to run at a normal speed toward the end.  It’s just a muscle pull, so it will get well soon enough.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Duke City marathon, Albuquerque, NM

It's done. Marathon number 69, state number 49. The Duke City Marathon is a nice one - I liked the course, the organization, the volunteers, and the spectators. I recommend it.

My Race:

I ran the whole way with friend Jackie, who is faster than me but who ran my awkward run/walk pace anyway, and waited for me at the too-frequent bathroom stops, bless her heart. That was fun, running with her. She took some video, too, for use in the eRace Cancer campaign.

We were also delighted to run into friend Shannon, from Minnesota, not aware that she would be in the race.  Shannon slowed to chat with my sweeties along the way and still finished first in her age group with time to spare!

A beautiful start to the race
The temperature was about 45 at the start, and I think close to 75 at my finish, with a clear sky and unrelenting sun, apparently normal for Albuquerque. I took five gels along the way, and at least that many salt tablets. Time was 5:20:34 - first in my age group. That sounds good, except there was only one other guy in my age group and he was just ten minutes back.

I enjoyed the race, though, especially in the first half when the temperature and the sun were both low. Albuquerque is, after all, a mile high, which makes any endurance sport more difficult for us lowlanders. In the second half I was pouring water on my head at every water stop, struggling to maintain the pace, and finally cramping up (calves) in the final two miles. Oh well, that happens and I finished it!

Duke City Marathon:

Good Stuff:

The start was on time and low-key, just before sunrise I think. Roads were closed to vehicle traffic the whole way. After a couple of miles in Albuquerque's downtown area and close-in neighborhoods, we left the roads for a very nice, wide, new, bike trail, clear out to the 13.1 mile turnaround, then back on the reverse route. Outbound we saw wonderful fall color, the Rio Grande River, and even hot-air balloons rising gracefully from the ground into the slight breeze above us. The route was not hilly - I know hilly, and this was not it. It's not quite flat, but close enough. We enjoyed aid stations every mile - that's lovely.


There were no medals for half-marathoners. That's chintzy - we've only encountered it once before in four dozen half marathons. The wonderful, colorful, but shade-free trail seemed very long indeed on the way back, in warmer temperatures and blazing sun. I do like out-and-back runs, but this one may be an exception.


30:02 (3 mi), 11:01, 11:39, 12:41, 10:51, 38:49 (3 mi & bathroom), 51:45 (3 mi, slow), 10:28, 13:09, 12:04, 12:32, 11:22, 11:02, 14:09, 11:42, 15:05 (bathroom), 13:09, 30:03 (5:04:42),15:53(1.2 mi), total 5:20:35. There were other bathroom breaks, but I'm not sure where. According to the results, time on the return was 2:56:31, thus the outbound must have been 2:24:04, for a difference of 32:27.  A difference was to be expected, as we knew that the temperature and sun would be much more favorable for running on the outbound, but I'm surprised at the size of that difference.

Hawaii is next, in December.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That’s More Like It

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012:

Sunday’s five-mile run felt like all that I could do, but today’s five miler was easy and energizing.  I’m not sure what caused that difference.  I ran all the way on Sunday, and only about 2/3 of the time today, but that’s not the only difference because I felt much better right from the first step today.  That’s a good omen for the upcoming marathon, I hope.

Homemade oatmeal pancake
with organic fruit & yogurt.
4.95 miles in 50:30, for a pace of 10:12, about 30 seconds per mile slower than Sunday, but nevertheless a good pace for me.  I still want to get back some of the speed that the dexamethasone (chemo) took away, but this is fine for now.

Whining: In the last three runs I have felt some pain in the left knee during the run and especially afterward, most especially today.  It’s transient - doesn’t last until the next day, so I haven’t logged it until now.  This is not the knee with the diagnosed patellofemoral syndrome (PFS) problem.  I haven’t figured out yet whether this is also PFS, but I almost hope so, because that would probably mean that I can resolve it with physical therapy.  Better yet, maybe it will just go away.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


What a difference from Friday’s run.  Then I felt strong and could easily have kept going, but today I felt sluggish at the start, and toward the end I could barely keep running.  I did run though, no walking, for 5.02 miles, two trips around the “big loop” of paved trails. In the park  It was a bit windy, but it was windy Friday too.  Time 48:35, pace 9:40, a full minute per mile slower than Friday.

Oh well, there are some bad days, but mostly good days.  It could be poor hydration today, or low blood sugar, or maybe I’m still tired from the hard run Friday, who knows.  It’ll be better on Tuesday, though I probably won’t try to run as far or as fast.  Still tapering.

Splits: 24:08, 24:27, total 48:35.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Short Hard Run

Vegetable curry in front, mostly carrots and
onions.  Turkey in back.  All organic.
The marathon is nine days away, and I like to run fairly hard about a week before it.  Today I wanted to run five miles, but started out on the wrong route and ended up running only 3.93.  I ran the whole way, though, no walking, and finished the distance in something less than 34 minutes (watch didn’t click when I pushed the button at the end - it’s 9 years old - time for new technology).  If so, though, the pace was about 8:40, and in any case it was about as fast as I could run.

No pains, no problems.  Very energizing - it’s a masterpiece.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Three Taper Runs

Wednesday, October 10, 2012:

Today we went to the park, where I ran 5 miles on the paved trails.  I ran somewhat faster than marathon pace, run 60 seconds, then walk about 25.  I went even a little faster than that, toward the end, finishing the five miles in 49:24,m for a pace of 9:50.  I’m happy with that, and there was a lot more left in the tank.  No pains.

Monday, Oct 8:

Medium-length taper run.  How do you train for a marathon two weeks away when you ran one just a week ago?  I consider that the recent marathon was the long run for the upcoming marathon, so everything after that recent marathon is a taper run.  Hoping to avoid injury, I normally run just ten miles two weeks before the upcoming marathon, and that is what we did today.  We went to the Gateway Trail, which shielded us from a cold wind.  I ran marathon pace: run 30 seconds, then walk about 25.  Time was 1:50:42, pace 11:04.  No pains.

Splits: 11:19, 10:48, 11:13, 11:27, 10:38, 11:17, 10:51, 11:00, 10:52, total 1:50:42.

Saturday, Oct 6:

St Croix Valley Runners, 7:00 am, Northland Park tennis courts.  This morning was the day before the Twin Cities Marathon, and in our tradition, those who are running that marathon gather to walk about three miles together.  I wasn't running TCM, though, so I ran the usual five-mile route, with Lisa and Jim.  Both are much faster than I am, but Jim intended to run the TC Ten-Mile the next day and wanted to go slow, and Lisa is thoughtfully and carefully recovering from an injury, so they were kind to me and ran my pace.

I did slow to a walk several times, and was not able to do as well as I have recently on that same route, but I ran a marathon only 6 days before, and it’s just fine.  Time for the five miles was 46:24, pace 9:17. No pains.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Breezy Recovery Run

We were gone for a week and came home to find that most of the leaves have fallen from the trees already.  Wind does that, and we certainly had wind today as well.

We just got home last evening, so we didn't really get a chance to do a recovery run until today.  I went 3.19 miles in 33:15, for a pace of 10:25.  I ran 40 seconds and walked about 25, and could have gone faster, but this wasn't the time to go faster.

No pains.