Thursday, March 26, 2015

Great Eight Miles

Tuesday, March 24, 2015:

I ran for 25 minutes up to the Quick Trip, then 25 more back to home, and repeated that on a slightly different route.

Passing our home every 4 miles has the advantage of a bathroom when needed.  With a run/walk ratio of 1 to 2 most of the time, I expect that I went about 8 miles in the 1 hour and 40 minutes.  The only trouble was a slight complaint from my old friends the left hip flexors.  That settled down to a dull ache and there were no other issues.

I also started a cross-training regimen at Snap Fitness yesterday.  Adductors, abductors, abdominals, upper body, & more.  Their elliptical machines are more like skiing machines - no elliptical action for the feet, but I can go to Anytime Fitness if I need a real elliptical.  Meanwhile Snap Fitness is about a half mile from home and does have the resistance machines when need those.

Maybe ten miles next week?

Splits: 24:36, 24:25 (total 49:01 to here), 25:09, 25:31, total 1:39:41.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Good Five Miles

Friday I got lost trying to run a new five-mile route near our new home.  Today I ran that route with no problems - I'm starting to learn my way around the neighborhood.  Furthermore I didn't need to stop at the Kwik Trip, although I was plenty glad to get back to our bathroom after the run.

On Friday I complained about three issues, but today the right foot and the right-side back pain were silent.  The left hip flexors (or whatever it is that hurts) complained a little, but not enough to be a problem.

I did the 1 to 2 run/walk again, sometimes 2 to 3, and finished the 5.01-mile route in 59:56, for a pace of 11:58.  That'll do for today.  Maybe seven miles again Tuesday?  Or maybe eight - I did seven last week.  We'll see.

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Route - Three Problems

Still getting accustomed to the new neighborhoods, I drew up a slightly convoluted map for a 5-mile run with the Kwik Trip's restroom in the middle.  Unfortunately, even though I had a printed map, I made a wrong turn and ran off the edge of the map, so I was lost.  I figured it out, but the repaired route cost me about two tenths of a mile, and maybe four minutes standing around perusing that map.

Anyway, I mostly used a run/walk ratio of 1 to 2, sometimes a little less walking and more running.  Distance 5.11 miles, time 1:07:47.  Taking four minutes off the time, the pace was 12:29.

Three problems today (besides getting lost):

  • First, the lisfranc ligaments in the right foot hurt.  This is an old injury which has become arthritic and acts up now and then, although I haven't felt it for months.  The pain mostly went away after a few minutes of hobbling, as it usually does.
  • Second, the left hip flexors hurt again, maybe actually the adductor ligaments or muscles.  Perhaps I pushed just a little too hard up the very first hill and strained a muscle in there somewhere.  I hope that's all it is and it heals quickly.
  • Third, I felt a pain in the right side of my back, low, below the belt, and near enough to the spine that it could be in the spine.  The other two injuries will heal, or I can live and run with them, but a broken vertebra would likely stop the running.  I hope it's just a pulled muscle.  By chance, I do have a PET scan scheduled in about three weeks, so we'll find out.
I'll wait until those little injuries don't hurt before I run again.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sixteen Miles - Back In the Running

Three runs:

Tuesday, March 17, 2014:

Getting accustomed to our new neighborhood, I plotted a 7-mile run that would begin and end at our house, traversing various residential streets and the 1.1-mile trail along the lake.

Unfortunately, though, I developed an overwhelming need to visit the restroom at the nearby Kwik Trip, which took me off the plotted route.  I think the actual completed distance was about 6.7 miles, and the time was 1:24:27 (not counting the pit stop), for a pace of about 12:36.  

Except for the Kwik Trip emergency, this run was fun.  I did a little exploring and also traveled the scenic lakeshore trail twice, once in each direction.

Sunday, March 15:

No problems.  Run/walk ratio mostly 1 to 2.  4.9 miles in 1:00:27, pace 12:20.

Friday, March 13:

No problems.  Run/walk ratio mostly 1 to 2.  4.9 miles in 1:00:21, pace 12:19.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

First Recovery Run

Normally I wait until the third day after a marathon to run again, and even then only a short, easy run.  The third day was yesterday (Tuesday), but I didn't run because I spent the day installing improvements in our "new" townhouse, and still felt a bit sore as well.  Today we three had meetings until late afternoon, and it felt wonderful to hit the trails after that.

I did our "standard" 3.4-mile loop around the lake, using a 15 to 40 run/walk ratio, and felt strong throughout.  A few muscles and ligaments complained just a little, but most of my body was refreshed by the exercise.  Nice run.  Time 45:40, pace 13:29.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Run Hard Columbia Marathon

South Carolina.  I finished, and that's the best thing that I can say about my race.  No fault of the Run Hard Columbia Marathon - I just didn't have a good day.  Looking back, it is actually my PW (personal worst), by nine minutes, for marathons that were run on roads rather than trails.  I have to do something different, but I'll be thinking about that and blogging about it in the days to come.  I have some ideas.

My Marathon:

Waiting for the start

Despite my troubles, I finished my 87th marathon in 6:23:32 by my watch.  All but the first of those 87 finishes have happened since my diagnosis of myeloma in 2003, thanks in large part to a sweet little pill (called Pomalyst) that I take every day to keep the cancer at bay.  My girls finished their half marathons too, by the way.

Also I was the last runner across the finish line in this marathon.  I hate that, but there is an upside: at every corner and every aid station the volunteers cheered me wildly. They also knew, of course, that they could pack up and go home after I passed by, but nevertheless I believe their encouragement was genuine.

This was a two-loop marathon, so the half-marathoners peeled off from the marathoners at the 13.1–mile point.  I looked ahead, then, and back, without seeing the any other marathoners.  I must already have been last at that point, because I soon heard the steady rattle of big diesel engines behind me, two large dump trucks with men who were clearing up the course and picking up the hundreds of orange cones separating the race course from the motor vehicles.  Happily, those trucks kept a respectful distance.  Though I could hear them, I never smelled them.

The mile markers were created by children
as were the age group awards.  Lovely
Further, a police officer in a blue sedan followed me, between me and the trucks.  Since I was the only runner in sight, motor vehicle drivers were uncertain which lane was for them, and he protected me from vehicles approaching from behind.

At about mile 17 I passed a young couple who were running slowly because she was cramping up.  I lost the police car and the rattling diesels then, until they reappeared at about mile 22.  The nice officer in the blue sedan confirmed that they had dropped out.  "You the man now," he said.  So one way to be "the man" is to be the last runner in a race.  I'd rather be first than last, of course, but what the hell, I'm 74 years old with terminal cancer, so I'm happy with whatever I can get!

Run Hard Marathon:

This race is more "challenging" than I expected.  Maybe I didn't read the promotional material well enough, I don't know, but it's quite hilly.  That's no fault of the organizers - they put on a good race anyway.

We really lucked out on the weather.  The temperature at the start was about 30, and at my finish somewhere between 55 and 60, with bright sun and very little wind.  I wore shorts and took off three of four shirts as the temperature rose, leaving two at our car near the end of the first loop, and tying the other around my waist.

The race course is entirely within the city of Columbia, and largely within residential neighborhoods.  It crosses many, many streets, and we runners found a volunteer or a police officer or both at most of those crossings.  There must have been a hundred cops and even more volunteers, even for the last runner on the second loop.  This is a safe and solid course.

We like Columbia SC.  People are polite and respectful of each other - drivers will give you a chance - there is a splendid downtown, renewed, with a Farmers Market every Saturday.  It's hot in the summer, I hear, but Columbia might make a lovely home for people who like the heat.

Friday, March 06, 2015


Tuesday, March 3, 2014

Snow fell Tuesday morning, not a lot but enough that I needed to use the snowblower.  When we get more than an inch or so, I blow the snow off our 250-foot blacktop driveway, full width, and then scrape the same surface with a 30-inch scraper shovel, lifting the snow completely off the side of the driveway.

The snowblower leaves a thin layer of snow on most of the surface, and the scraping removes most of that, leaving a much thinner layer.  Together they give the best chance for sunshine and natural ablation or sublimation to render the surface totally black, free of all snow.  Then the next snow comes ...

I don't count this as running or even walking - I think that the total distance walked is less than a mile - but it certainly is exercise and I call it a cross-training day.

Sunday, March 1, 2014 - Elliptical

The injury to my left hip flexors seems to be healing - at least it doesn't bother me at night now - but I'm still not running.  I'd rather let it heal and find other ways to get my exercise.  Today I went to Anytime Fitness and pounded the elliptical for a little over 30 minutes, up to about 600 calories I think.  Anyway it felt like enough and I went home.