Thursday, November 29, 2012

Good Run in the Park

Forty degrees today, so we had a nice short run in the park.  I went 3.53 miles in 34:43, for a pace of 9:50, run/walking in a 2 to 1 (40 to 20) ratio, same as in the Stillwater Bubble yesterday.  I might have pushed a little harder today, though, especially near the end, and the pace was just slightly better despite the hills.

Whining:  None.  Great taper run, plenty of energy left at the end.

Canned Alaskan sockeye salmon with some crushed organic
blue corn chips and organic yogurt. The rest is organic too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Five More in the Bubble

We ran in the Stillwater Dome again, five miles again, but this time I did a run/walk, about 40 to 20.  The resulting pace was 9:58, hardly slower than two days ago when I ran the same distance without walking, although I did run the last two laps (of 25) without walking.

Whining: None, and no sign of the tight calves.  Good run.

Splits: 20:07 (2 mi), 20:19 (2 mi), 9:24, total 49:48, pace 9:58.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Five Miles in the Bubble

With outdoor temperatures in single digits, we three decided to run in the Stillwater Dome, an indoor soccer field.  We run around the outside of the lines defining the soccer field bounds, where five full laps plus one short side are a mile.  I ran five such miles, 25 laps plus five short sides, dodging walkers the whole way.  The going was easy at first, but became harder as I ran, and in the last two miles I was wishing I was done.  Running in circles is boring.

I did well enough, though, running without walking at a pace of about 9:30 minutes/mile, and I had energy left when I finished.

Whining:  Calves were tight toward the end, threatening to cramp up after only five miles, especially the left calf.  Maybe I’ll add in some walking the next time, for a pace more like the pace I’ll use in the Honolulu Marathon, see what happens.

Splits: 19:15 (2 mi), 9:01, 9:39, 9:36, total 47:30, pace 9:30.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Half Chickened Out

We went to the park this afternoon, to run on the paved trails. I had intended to run five miles, same as I would have run with the St Croix Valley Runners this morning if I hadn't chickened out of that too.  Seven degrees indeed.

Bison sausage, squash & wild rice,
salsa, mixed veggies, cranberry
sauce.  Pretty much all organic.

This afternoon the temperature was better, 26 degrees, but the wind was sharp, and I had eaten rather recently, and I just didn't feel much like running.  I finished one loop of 2.51 miles, stopped at a portable toilet near the car, and decided to skip the second loop. Usually running is fun, and I wasn't having fun.  I could have kept going - just didn't want to.

I did OK anyway though, time 22:43, for a pace of 9:03.  That’s good enough, considering that I slowed to a walk over a few patches of snow that might have had ice beneath.  We’ll probably go a little longer and maybe slower on Monday, indoors.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Morning Run

From a precious daughter-in-law:
Gluten-free, organic pumpkin pie.
As good as any pie we've ever eaten.
The St Croix Runners meet every Saturday at 7:00 am, and also on Thanksgiving morning, maybe Christmas too.  This morning we had three walkers and seven runners.  I ran with Doug, Jim, Wayne, and Dave, finishing the five miles in about 47:30, for a pace of 9:30.  It felt good, and I had some energy left over at the end.

Whining: My left foot has felt a little creaky on occasion recently, not while running but after resting it for a while.  The pain is on the top outside, near the lisfranc ligaments.  I limped a little for the first few steps of today’s run, but the pain went away quickly.  No problem.  Jim tells me that if running causes the pain to decline, rather than increase, that’s a good sign.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Identical Runs

Wednesday, November 21, 2012:

Monday’s run (below) felt so good that I just did it again.  Same pace, same finish time.  All the same except I went the other way around the 3-mile loop.  No pain, no problems.  Sixty degrees, dry, and sunny on November 21 - very nice running.

Monday, November 19:

After 20 miles on Saturday, I felt like doing a nice, easy run on the grass trails in the park.  I ran a nice, fairly-hilly 3-mile loop in about 32 minutes for a pace just under 11 minutes per mile.  I walked and ran, in about a 1 to 2 ratio.  No problems, no pains, beautiful day, nice run.  I could do this every day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

23 Miles

Saturday afternoon, Nov 17, 2012:

With a marathon coming up in three weeks, it was time to do a long run today.  We ran five miles with the SCV Runners this morning, so I did another 15 this afternoon on the Gateway Trail, finishing the 15 in 2:35:22, for a pace of 10:22.  This time I ran 40 triplets and walked 20, where a triplet is three footfalls (I count triplets because, while running, one triplet takes me almost exactly one second.)  The pace, if I could have continued, would finish a marathon in 4:32.  I can’t do that yet, but I do feel like I’m very slowly getting back some of the speed that the dexamethasone took away.

I did feel a little pain in the left knee from time to time, the knee with PFS, and in the last two miles I felt a little pain in the upper left hamstrings.  Neither of these was a limiting factor.  Cramps appeared in the last two miles or so, though, and would have been a limiting factor if I had run any farther.  When I finished I was really worn out, with sore and cramping leg muscles everywhere.  But this is why we run a long run, isn't it!

I carried water on this run, and took three gels along the way.  I forgot to bring salt, though, and I did not properly rehydrate after the morning's five-mile run.  Both of those could have contributed to the cramping.

Breakfast between today's runs.
There is oatmeal under there.
Splits: 3:51, 10:35, 9:50, 10:34, 9:26, 20:00 (2 mi), 10:38, 10:48, 3:15, 7:05, 10:49, 11:28, 10:10, 10:36, 10:00, 6:28, total 2:35:32, overall pace 10:22.

Saturday morning, Nov 17:

The St. Croix Valley Runners meet every Saturday at Stillwater’s Northland Tennis Courts, 7:00 am sharp.  This morning we had seven runners and four walkers.  I ended up running with Doug and Wayne, very nice because they ran about my pace.

We finished the five-mile run in about 49 minutes - the time is imprecise because none of the three of us remembered to start our watches!  The pace, then, was just under 10 minutes per mile, all running, no walking.  We ran the McKusick route, which is fairly hilly.  Lovely run.

Wednesday, Nov 14:

Three miles in the Stillwater Dome.  This was our first run since last Saturday’s half marathon.  With sub-freezing weather outside we decided to run indoors.  It actually seemed just as cold in the dome, though, but we did escape the wind.

I ran just three miles, at a pace of about 9:30 I think - I later cleared my stopwatch without writing down the splits.  This was a nice run, though, a little faster than a recovery run would normally be, perhaps, but I enjoyed it, with plenty left at the end.  I do recall that the last mile was faster than 9 minutes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nashville Half Marathon

It’s a winner.  We three all loved this half marathon. It’s a bit hilly, make no mistake, but we’d run it every year if we lived in Nashville.  I recommend it.

My Race:

Hoping to be able to run the whole way and do 10-minute miles, I started with the 2:15 pace group.  I fell behind up the first hill, a big one, but caught up later on the downhill and even passed them.  That first hill apparently took some wind out of my sails, though, because they caught me again at about mile 6 or 7, and I never reeled them back in.

Nevertheless, I finished in 2:17:55 (2:18:00 by my own watch), fifth of eight in my age group of men 65-98.  The four who finished ahead of me were all younger by several years, so I’m happy with the results.  I can do better, I’m sure, but I hadn't run a half marathon in years, and this was a good benchmark on a hilly course.

Race night dinner.  My Sunshine whipped
this up after running a half marathon!  All
organic, of course.  The yellow veggie is
sweet potato.  Not shown: The ice cream.
Whining: NONE!  Nada.  Not even cramps.  I had energy to almost-sprint the last tenth of a mile, and could have kept right on running.  In fact, I think I might have done a little better if I had known how to pace myself.  It’s good.  After the race I walk/ran back to bring in my girls, and that added at least four more miles.

Next stop Honolulu.  I have run 69 marathons in 49 states, with only Hawaii remaining, and the girls have run 54 marathons or half marathons in 47 states, with Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Virginia remaining.  We'll run Hawaii this year, and their other two states next year.  We're already registered for Virginia in 2013.

The Nashville Half:
  • We ran on roads, not trails, and the roads were free of vehicle traffic the whole way.  I love that.  Just us runners.
  • We ran downtown, past the Capitol, up and down Music Square, through a lovely park along the Cumberland River, and more.  The course does justice to Nashville.
  • Police on almost every corner.  Must have cost a fortune!  But the course was safe.
  • You should see the medal - easily worthy of a full marathon.  Take that, Albuquerque (no half-marathon medal at all).
  • There were enough water stops, though I got a little thirsty at Mile 12, halfway up the last hills.  An extra one might have been nice there.
  • Pizza and beer at the finish!  They did check ID.  I was driving, so I did not partake.
  • Instant race results.  I walked up to the results desk, where she looked at my race number and handed me a printed sticker with all my results, including age-group place.  Just like that.  
  • The race actively supports Team in Training, a fundraising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and we saw lots of TNT runners.  I always wear my Team Continuum shirt in marathons, but today I wore a TNT shirt in solidarity.  Like the International Myeloma Society, TNT and LLS are raising money to save my life, which I greatly appreciate.
Splits: 40:39 (4 mi), 10:39, 10:51, 10:30, 10:22, 10:43, 10:31, 10:47, 22:01 (2.1 mi), total 2:18:00 (my watch), pace 10:32.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Stillwater Dome

Tuesday, November 6, 2012:

Gobble Gobble
"Wild" turkeys at Hertz Car Rental.
Don't they know
Thanksgiving is coming up?
We’re back in the dome from time to time now, when weather is bad, running around an indoor soccer field, five loops and one short side to each mile.  We picked up friend Jim, with whom I chatted and ran until I faded.  I felt OK at the start, but was done by the fourth mile.  No sense pushing it today, with a race coming up Saturday.  It’s fine.

Splits: 9:44, 7:31 (evidently missed a loop), 9:16, 9:25, total 35:56, about 3.8 miles, pace about 9:30.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Tempo Run

All organic but the gluten-free bread
and the 100% grass-fed hamburger
I like to run fairly hard with one week to go before a long race, and I have a half marathon coming up next weekend, so today I ran pretty hard, or so I thought. The route was two loops, each 2.51 miles, somewhat hilly, and the temperature was in the low 40's.  I ran with no walking and thought I was running nine-minute miles or better, it felt like that, but the pace was actually 9:40.  I’m a little disappointed.

No pains of any kind, though.  That’s good.  But I’m thinking that a ten-minute pace is the best I can hope for in that half, and maybe not even that fast.

First loop 24:56, second loop 23:34, total 48:30, pace 9:40.

My Trail Is Gone!

Alongside the railroad track is a dirt & rock road, barely two tire tracks, on which the railroad sends its trucks to service the tracks.  I've enjoyed that road many times over the years - it was a favorite run.  It takes the runner or biker behind the neighborhoods and over the railroad bridges, to places no one sees otherwise.  It also requires a sharp eye, to avoid the occasional large stone and twisted ankle.

However, the railroad recently rebuilt the track, replacing the ties and the stone bed in which the ties nestle.  Unfortunately, they were quite generous with the stones for the bed, and in many places those stones spilled down the bed and onto the little dirt road beside it.  The stones are crushed granite, with dimensions up to 3 inches or so, easily capable of twisting an ankle.  I didn't get hurt today, but came close, and I probably won’t be running on that favorite trail again.  Too bad.

I did have a decent four-mile run, though, despite having to walk a few times through the worst of the obstacles.

Splits:  9:57, 9:41, 9:53, 9:23, total 38:56, pace 9:44.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

More Grass Trails

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012:

I love this time, when I can run in the park’s amazingly satisfying grass/dirt/sand trails and not worry too much about twisting something, because there is no marathon looming.  The Honolulu Marathon is still four weeks away, and anyway they have a very long time limit, so I could walk the whole way if necessary.

Albuquerque runners
Today I ran 5.16 rather hilly miles in 53:12, for a pace of 10:19.  Almost all running, walking only up or down the steepest hills.  That’s a little faster than Monday, on a similar route, but maybe not, because I stopped a couple of times Monday to water the grass and didn't stop my watch for those short breaks.  Anyway it’s plenty good for this rough, hilly trail.

Whining: Both knees squawked a little going down hills.  In the right knee with PFS I’m sure it’s just the PFS acting up, but pain in the left knee is new.  I think it’s probably PFS also, but time will tell.  Anyway these little pains were not limiting in any way, and I had a delightful and very energetic run.  Life is good.  Very good.