Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve

Wanting to get a head start against the heavy eating that would surely come this week, we set out for the Stillwater Bubble in the morning, only to find it closed on Christmas Eve day.  So we went shopping instead!  I was surprised to find that the stores were not mobbed on this last day, not at all.  We had a good time - groceries, gifts, and more.

Later in the day we went to the North St Paul Community Center to run on their indoor track.  Thirteen and a half laps per mile, and I've run a lot of miles in there over the years.  Today, though, I had a hard time keeping track of the laps.  I suspect that I missed counting a lap or two here or there, because I was working fairly hard and still didn't quite get under a ten-minute pace for the four miles.  Good run though, I felt great afterward.

Whining: None.  All is well, recharging for 2013.

Splits: 10:38, 9:52, 10:09, 10:11, total 40:50, pace 10:13.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Day after the End of the World

Sunday, December 23, 2012:

The Mayan Calendar ended yesterday, but of course the end of the world was greatly exaggerated, as always.

I run, therefore I exist.  Today we ran on the 200-meter indoor track at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls.  Five dollars gets you in for the day, with access to the track and lots of exercise equipment.  I ran four miles, walking through one of the two 180-degree end-curves on each of the eight laps of the first three miles, then running all the way in the fourth for an eight-minute mile.  It felt good, really good.

Whining: The right knee with PFS did hurt just a bit.  It does that when I run on the right side of a road with a crown, and I suspect that the end-curves of a counter-clockwise track have a similar effect on the joints.  It wasn't a problem, just a warning.

Splits: 9:12, 1:15, 9:44, 9:32, 8:03, total 37:48, pace 9:27 average.

Friday, December 21:

I went to the Stillwater Bubble again this morning, and found Mary and Candy in the middle of a long run.  We chatted as I ran my measly five miles, and they kept going when I left.  I’m good company for myself, but it’s nice to run with friends some of the time.

I thought our pace was slightly slower than 10 minutes per mile, so I ran for 55 minutes to be sure that I got in the five miles.  All good, no pains.

Wednesday, December 19:

Five miles in the Stillwater Bubble again.  Some walking, but mostly running, trying to hit a ten-minute pace.  Nice run, no problems.

Splits:  10:15, 9:52, 9:47, 9:38, 9:00,  total 48:32

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Week and a Day

Monday, December 17, 2012:

Since the Honolulu Marathon.  That one was harder on us than most because (a) the marathon itself was too warm, (b) we ran from the marathon to the airport for an overnight red-eye flight back, and (c) the three of us were all sick at the time.  For me, today was the first day that I felt almost normal since the marathon, neither sick nor weary.  I ran a nice, easy five miles in the Stillwater Bubble, though the girls were still too sick to go.  It felt good, although I felt more tired after the run than I would if I hadn't run a marathon a week before.  It’s OK, just as expected.

Pretty much all organic.  There's
squash AND sweet potato there.  

Whining:  None.  I felt fine in the run.  I ran all of the time in the first mile, most of the time in the last, and about 70% of the time in the middle three.

Splits: 9:25, 10:23, 9:51, 10:21, 9:57, total 49:58, pace 10:00 minutes/mile.

Friday, December 14, 2012:

Three miles in the Stillwater Bubble, the first recovery run after last Sunday’s marathon.  I bumped into Candy about halfway through the three miles, and we chatted for a few minutes until I was done.  I ran for almost exactly 30 minutes, at a pace that was probably about ten minutes per mile, maybe a bit faster than I intended.

Good run.  Weary, but no other complaints.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Honolulu Marathon

Whooee!  70 marathons in 50 states!  It’s done.  It’s at once a relief and a cause for celebration.  I get a little choked up thinking about it.  I’m writing this the afternoon of the marathon, on a plane to Atlanta, where a major hematology conference is in full swing, and some people there will make a small deal of it because 69 of those marathons came after my cancer diagnosis.  As I write, though, I’m tired and exhilarated.  Hoist a pint for me.

My Girls:

They both finished the full marathon.  This was their first full marathon in two or three years, and I am so impressed.  I went back to get them for their last two miles or so, and was quite surprised at how well they were charging up Diamond Head Road after already running 24 miles.

My Race:

A little over a week ago I caught some kind of respiratory bug, with a slight fever and plenty of coughing.  “Productive.”  I’ve been to the doctor for a Z-Pak, to help reduce the chance of a secondary infection.  The fever is gone, and I feel well enough, but the cough is still there.  As a result I hadn’t trained in any form, no runs, since 8 days prior to the race.  That’s probably not a good way to head into a marathon.

Beyond that, the Honolulu Marathon is very warm.  At this time of year the forecast seems to be a low of 71, high of 82, with a chance of showers, every day.  Today was no exception, although the wind can vary and we did have a nice stiff, cooling, wind that fought us going out but gave us a boost heading back.

According to my watch I finished in about 6:06:42, which is 37 minutes longer than I had hoped to need.  Of course it doesn't matter - this race is open for as long as the slowest runner is out there, and I finished ahead of thousands, 96th of 283 in my age group.  I should be happy with that time, and I am.  My speed today was limited by my body temp, which I estimated by how flushed my cheeks felt.  After Mile 15, I only ran when there was shade or when the blistering sun slipped behind a cloud.

Near the end I saw a little old Japanese man going by and made a comment to him.  He responded in Japanese, so nothing was communicated.  However, he then drew the figure 8 and then the figure 6 in the palm of his hand.  He was 86 years old and was passing me!  Big smiles all around and off he went, uphill besides.  He’s my hero.

I saw quite a few Team in Training (TNT) runners and thanked them all for running to save my life.

Whining: None, really.  Nothing hurt.  I did have a rightward lean as I ran, a failure of some sort in core strength, I suppose, but it actually got better toward the end.  No cramps this time - I wore my water belt and was very well hydrated.  I took five gels and maybe seven or eight salt tablets.

Honolulu Marathon:

It’s BIG, 24,295 runners.  Someone announced that it’s the second biggest marathon in the country, although I think both NYC and Chicago are bigger, and maybe Boston.  In my opinion, this race was at its limit, too, because I did have some difficulty maintaining my pace at times in the first ten or eleven miles.  Marathoning was a contact sport today, with some inadvertent light bumping, by me and others, just to get past groups of people.

I liked the marathon.  If I lived in Honolulu I’d probably run it every year.  However, the weather there is better for sunbathing and surfing than for an intense endurance sport - I heard several sirens and saw the ambulances racing by.  Because of the heat, the race started with fireworks at 5:00 am, well before any glimmer of sun, but visibility was no problem as the city is well lighted at night. All in all they did things right, and what a LOT of volunteers!

Water was ice cold, and in fact you could get water with ice in it.  Cups were large enough for the extra water that everyone needed.  Sponges were plentiful.  The finish area was well organized, with food still available after almost nine hours.

Splits: 12:33, 13:17, 24:22 (2 mi), 25:52 (2 mi), 12:16, 16:15, 13:56,, 25:27 (2 mi), 26:34 (2 mi), 10:47, 13:39, 15:40, 14:04, 32:45 (2 mi), 15:22, 16:18, 30:41 (2 mi), 15:26, 28:49 (2 mi), 2:44, total 6:06:48.

Dedication: I dedicated this race to my friend Margaret, who is currently in recovery from  her autologous stem cell transplant, just a few days after receiving her stem cells back.  These are the down days - please offer a prayer for Margaret at Mayo Clinic.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Dreary Morning, Good Run

I ran with the St Croix Valley Runners again, as we usually do Saturday mornings at 7:00 am.  There are two different five-mile routes to choose from, and I prefer the one that goes around Lake McKusick over the one that takes 55-mph Manning Avenue.  The Lake McKusick route is quite a bit more hilly, but much safer and rather more interesting.  Today we ran in a 37-degree haze, calling for pants and a running shell.


I ran the Lake McKusick route with Wayne, Candy, and Doug, while Tom, Steve, and Dave took the Manning route.  Mostly I ran with Wayne, and we had a great discussion.

No one in our four used his watch, but I think we took about 48 minutes.  If so, the pace was about 9:36.  All running, no walking, no pains.  Great run.  As Wayne pointed out we kept on talking, even running uphill!

Whining: The run went fine.  Today, though, the next day, I have a doozy of a sore throat, self-diagnosed as viral bronchitis, with all the hacking and coughing that goes with it.  I sure hope this is gone seven days from now, when we run the Honolulu Marathon.  Meantime lots of chicken soup, liniment, hot tea, vitamin C, zinc lozenges, sleep (sitting up), and no running in cold air. Easy does it.