Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two Domes

Thursday, January 26, 2012:

The Stillwater soccer dome is open for walkers, runners, and fly casters (!) from 6:00 am to 10:00 am every weekday morning. We three ran for an hour, and I tried something new - run the straights and walk the corners. That’s a LOT of corners, actually about 22 per mile, thus a lot of slowing to a walk and starting up to a run again, but the result was good - I heard nothing from the adductors at all. I did reverse direction every mile, as I would if walking.

Nothing was heard from the knee or the adductors, at all, but the sports hernia hurt all of the way, enough to make me happy to stop after the 60 minutes. In the past, it has usually calmed down after the first quarter mile or so, but no such luck today. Evidently I really did re-injure it Tuesday in the Metrodome. Oh well, it will get better, but I’m disappointed that I can’t run any kind of short race without reinjury. The conventional wisdom is that the only fix is surgery - oh my, I hope not.

Splits: 20:38 (2 mi), 10:04, 10:30, 10:14, 10:08, total 61:38, pace 10:16. That’s fine for a walk/run.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012:

We three picked up Jim and headed to Minneapolis to run in the Metrodome. I like running there, and so do 100 to 300 other runners every Tuesday and Thursday evening. The curves are gentle, the company is good, and the only problem is that the running surface is hard cement. So I won’t do a 20-miler in there, but shorter runs are fine.

Jim and I ran together for the first four of my six miles, which means that he loafed along while I was breathing hard. But that’s OK with me - I needed to find out whether my injuries would raise their ugly heads if I pushed beyond marathon pace. In fact, after the four miles, I alternated walking a lap and then running even harder for a lap, just to push it a little more. The bad news is that I felt pain in both the right knee with PFS (runner’s knee) and the abdominal wall strain (sports hernia), much more pain than in any recent marathon. The good news is that neither was bad enough to limit the running in any way. It’s probably good that we were done at six miles, though.

I didn’t bring my watch, but it took about 60 minutes to run the six miles, and that includes three laps (more than a mile) of walking. I suppose it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s fine. I’m happy.

Oatmeal peeking through. There are blueberries under there too. Berries were frozen. Most everything is organic:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

University of Wisconsin River Falls

Saturday, January 21, 2012:

University of Wisconsin River Falls. It’s almost a half-hour drive, but on the weekend the UWRF indoor 200-meter track is about all there is. It’s pretty nice, though, even if there are 16 turns in a mile.

I had a good time, running the straights at a fairly good pace, and then walking the ends of the oval as fast as I could walk, to avoid re-injury of the adductors. Did you know that the curved ends of a 200-m oval track are longer than the straightaways? Anyway the run went well, and I finished 4+ miles in 48 minutes.

Thursday, January 19:

Dome Running! We hadn’t been to the Metrodome in several years, but I wanted to run where there would be the fewest and most-gentle corners. The dome is the longest indoor track that I can think of, two and a half laps per mile. and the corners are very easy.

I had a wonderful run. I was worried about the adductor injury that I had felt Thursday at the dome, but after a few laps of warmup there was no pain. Just to be extra careful, I walked most of the corners and ran the straightaways. Almost five miles, pace about 11 minutes per mile. Great run, and I’m so happy that the adductors are not going to be a problem.

A regular breakfast, a couple of days ago. There's oatmeal in there somewhere. Mostly organic:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Adductor Strain

Rats. In the winter I go indoors to run on rectangular tracks. I like them much better than treadmills, but the problem is that indoor tracks have many, many more turns than the outdoor trails that I’ve been using for three fourths of a year. Each turn puts only a very small stress on the adductors, which are used to pull the legs together, but the stress of hundreds of turns can add up to a strained adductor. I know this - it’s happened before - but somehow I forget when I’m having fun.

We ran on oval tracks Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of corners, and Tuesday we ran in square loops in the Stillwater Soccer Dome. At first I thought that my shorts were bunched up on the right side - a sharp, small pain. One lap later, it hurt enough that I realized what was going on. Luckily, I was done with the five miles anyway.

If I try to run on this injury it will soon hurt enough to make me stop, so I’ll have to be satisfied with walking, the elliptical machine, stairs, and upper-body resistance training until the pain is gone. In the past this has taken about two weeks.

There is good news - I did have a very nice 5-mile run otherwise. The pain showed up in the very last lap, but until then I ran the whole way, no walking, no other pains.

Splits: 10:19, 9:54, 9:25, 9:40, 9:39, total 48:57, pace 9:47.

This morning's breakfast. Gluten-free oatmeal cooked with organic raisins and cranberries, frozen organic strawberries and blueberries, kiwi, and organic yogurt:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Indoor Tracks

Sunday, January 15, 2012:

After a run, I shower and put on an all-cotton shirt, a running shirt received at a race somewhere, one of hundreds. Cotton pants help too. I love that feeling: clean, worn out, warm, and cotton all over.

Today we ran on the Knowles Center 200-meter indoor track, at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. It’s a very nice facility, open to the public much of the time, $5.00 per visit. I had intended to run 5 miles, but I’m not accustomed to running without walking and had enough at 4 miles. I had a tough time slowing down, actually, or I might have gone farther. Several times I deliberately slowed, by shortening my stride, but the moment my mind went somewhere else I was back up to a pace that I couldn’t sustain for 5 miles today.

Muscles are tired, which is one of the desired results. There are plenty of other reasons for muscles to be tired today too, including a marathon a week ago, snow shoveling this morning before the run, and more. No significant pains. It’s all good.

Splits: 9:35, 9:05, 8:54, 8:46, total 36:20, overall pace 9:05. I’ll do better as we get farther from the marathon.

Saturday, January 14:

North St Paul Community Center track, 13.5 loops per mile. This track makes me want to run fast, and today I did. Two miles at a decent pace, followed by one mile in which I walked one lap and sprinted the next. Splits: 9:01, 8:36, 10:30, total 28:07. This run felt very good, and afterward my legs were appropriately tired, which also feels good.

Thursday, January 12:

25 minutes on the elliptical machine, 360 calories. I think the machine equated that to about 2.5 miles.

Grilled organic chicken, organic spinach with a little goat cheese, organic cherry tomatoes with a little hot sauce:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recovery Run in the Park

Minnesota enjoyed record high temperatures today. Our thermometer said 51, and the car said 54. So we three went to the park for an afternoon run. I thought I could run on the grass trails, but they were way too wet, so I used the paved trails. A nice run, first one since the marathon, 3.6 miles in 38 minutes for a pace of about 10:33.

The sports hernia hurt a little at the start, then went away. No other pains - looks like I really did get away with another marathon! I felt strong throughout the run.

This car was parked along the Mississippi Blues Marathon race course, with the stuffed animals watching the race:

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Mississippi Blues Marathon, Jackson MS

Marathon number 62, state number 43. Seven left: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland, West Virginia, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii. We have a plan for running a marathon in each of those states in 2012. Lots of things can go wrong though - we’ll see if it all works out.

My race:

  • No injuries! HOORAY. More below in the "whining" section.
  • I explained my situation to one guy, that I was running with cancer, seeking to finish the 50 states while I could still run, and he congratulated me on that active lifestyle, complaining that too many people with incurable cancer are too busy dying.
  • I’m not sure that I know any of those people; the ones I know in the support group are pretty busy living, but he may be right.
  • I started a little slowly because the race course was hilly, so it’s possible that I could have gone a little faster, but not much.
  • For the first seven miles I ran with Elvis! He liked to talk, so he ran my pace, but he was breathing pretty hard and I eventually left him behind to talk with some other folks.
  • One man in the race ran 113 marathons last year. By comparison, I ran 13 and thought it was a lot. He ran more than two a week.- I’m not even sure how you do that! It must be a logistical nightmare just getting from one place to another.
The Marathon:
  • Organization was great.
  • Volunteers were wonderful! We drove the race course the day before the race, and Sunshine commented that it would take a million volunteers to keep us on course and guard the side streets. Yup, it did, and there were a million of them!
  • Mile markers were nice, and hard to miss (though I missed a few anyway).
  • Aid stations were plentiful, with both water and energy drink, and there were at least three gel stations.
  • It’s hilly! We spent more time and distance going up or down than we did on the flat. No complaint - they said it would be hilly.
  • There was music here and there, and I enjoyed it.
  • Food after the race was great.
  • Complaints:
    • The course was entirely on city streets, and not more than a mile of those streets were closed to traffic. A lot of the race was in residential neighborhoods, and traffic there was light, but some was on more heavily traveled roads with traffic moving faster. That’s never very comfortable.
    • The running lane was always coned off, but on most streets this put the runners on the edge of the road, where the running surface was usually sloped sideways. I’m very happy and a little surprised that I didn’t have any knee or hip problems, as I have in the past from this kind of course.
    • The streets of Jackson are in very poor condition. Runners definitely had to watch their step to avoid tripping on a bump or stepping into a pothole.
    • I know that it’s hard to lay out a course, but this one didn’t take us past the current state capitol building or the Supreme Court building, and I’m not sure about other landmarks. I don’t remember many city parks, or any other scenic areas (rivers?), mostly residences, including a few burned-out ones. I did see lots of churches, though.
    • Bottom line: I didn’t like the course. I have no other complaints about the race at all.
  • The PFS (runner’s knee) showed up by mile seven but never really bothered. Hooray!
  • Similarly, the abdominal wall strain (sports hernia) also showed up around mile seven but never became a problem.
  • At one point my left leg went a little numb for a while, then slowly returned to normal. It happened while I was walking. I hope this was an anomaly and not a new problem.
Splits: 37:16 (3 mi), 38:04 (3 mi, chatting w Elvis), 12:19, 11:49, 12:11, 25:39 (2 mi), 12:58, 11:50, 1:30 (0.11 mi, half-marathon point 2:43:37), 10:52 (remainder of mile 14), 12:37, 25:21, 12:12, 16:40 (potty stop), 12:54, 12:53, 13:42, 12:34, 13:03, 12:30, 14:37 (1.22 miles to finish). Total 5:33:33, according to my watch. Official results are not up yet and may be slightly different.

This was a city street, and a lot of them were as rough as this half mile:

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Last Runs of 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011:

St Croix Valley Runners. We meet every Saturday morning at the Northland Tennis Courts along County Road 12. This morning there were seven of us, two walking and five running. I started out with Dave, but then left him and shortened the usual 5-mile route down to 3.5 miles, because I was feeling some pains and have a marathon coming up in a week. I finished the 3.5 miles in 33:22, though, for a pace of 9:32. I’ll take it.

Whining: The right knee with PFS did hurt a little, most of the way. I’ll have to do something about that.

Wednesday, December 28:

One more winter run in the park. I can’t remember when we could run on the grass trails after Christmas, but today the ground is almost bare. The ground was frozen, though, and the grass matted down, so the trail was a bit harder than usual. 4.8 miles in 49 minutes, for a pace just over 10 minutes/mile. OK for today. I ran most of the way, except a few of the downhills.

Whining: The sports hernia hurt a little, mostly in the beginning. The right-knee PFS (“runner’s knee”) squawked more than it has for several months. I hope it goes away again.

You can almost see the oatmeal under there: