Friday, May 29, 2015

Nice 5-Mile Run

Building back up from the hamstring injury.  Today I ran/walked in a ratio of 1 to 2, five miles in 1:01:41, for a pace of 12:19.  It seems like the pace should work out to be a little quicker, especially since I pushed the run/walk ratio a little on downhills, but the figures don't lie.  

Anyway that run/walk ratio and pace are fine for a marathon and good enough for my current training.  I'd like to reach a level where I can comfortably do a marathon in less than six hours, in decent weather at least.  But first I have to get past the current hamstring injury, and to do that I'm increasing distance slowly and running only every other day.  

Biking is good too.  It may not be good training for running, but it's great exercise and helps preserve an overall level of fitness.

Thursday, May 28:

New Bike Trail   Freshly paved, but open for traffic.  It's so new I didn't see anyone else on it, as I rode it both directions.  For me it's a nice one-mile connection between Kwik Trip and the Zephyr Trail, with a safe crossing at a traffic light.  I may find this pretty useful.

Then I took the Zephyr trail to the Gateway and back home on the same route, for a little more than eleven miles in a little less than an hour, an average speed of 11.5 mph.  Good enough for an 80+ degree afternoon, especially after mowing the lawn for two hours in the morning

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Four Miles No Pain

Dex day today - I took my dexamethasone yesterday with dinner and I feel great!  The down will come  tomorrow night.  I ran 4 miles, to Kwik Trip and back, this time doing a run/walk of 1 to 2.  Time was 48:29, for a pace of 12:08.

That compares with a pace of 12:53 Monday, when I was doing a 1 to 3 run/walk ratio.  Today's run equivalent miles: 0.7.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eighteen Miles on the Bike

I felt a need for a little longer ride today, so I found a route that adds up to 17.8 miles.  I pushed about as hard as I could, finishing (home) in 1:34:01, for a speed of 11.4 mph.  I've done better, but I worked pretty hard yesterday too, so not today.  Also I did stop twice to drink water.  Can't find my one-handed water bottle.  It'll show up.

I got my CBC today and neutrophils were 7.4 k/uL, amounting to 86% of the white count.  That's bizarre - I haven't had a neutrophil count that high in my memory.  Maybe it's caused by the 90 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Run & Bike

Monday, May 25, 2015

My own personal duathlon today.  I did a 4 mile 1 to 3 run/walk, with no pains, and later in the day did an 11+ mile bike ride.  Exercise is good.

The run/walk without pain is a very good sign - I will gradually increase the distance and perhaps the run/walk ratio.  In order to avoid overtraining, I will try to keep track of "run equivalent" miles, meaning the miles that I actually run in my run/walk.  Today's run equivalent miles were 0.5.

The bike ride was interesting - 15 minutes to the park, and then Zephyr trail east to the only cross street, up to 2nd, back to the park mostly on city streets, then home.  11.3 miles in 1:02:07, not fast but I did have to walk the bike for about three blocks.  Too steep.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

First "Run" After the Hamstring Injury

Saturday, May 23, 2015:

I started with a run/walk ratio of 1 to 3, which went well for about two miles. Then I felt the hamstring pain, just a little, so I walked the rest of the 3.4-mile loop at a modest pace.  Total time 50:06, pace 14:44.

That was pretty slow, but in a couple of days I'll try again and hopefully go farther before having to walk without any running.  Easy does it.  I do not want to aggravate the injury

Friday, May 22:

I  rode my old bike to the park, 3.2 mi, then the Zephyr trail to Mile zero, messed around at the river a little looking for my buddy on the Lady Chateau charter boat (didn't see him), then back to the park and home.

Total time 1:03:43, but serious miles 11.84, serious time 58:20, pace 12.2 mph.  That's fine. The trip from the park to Mile zero (2.80 miles) includes an elevation loss of 184 feet, and the return then includes that much gain.  The ride took 11:04 going down and 15:42 going back up.  The overall incline is 1.2% (an old railroad grade) but there are parts that are more, probably 3% or 4%.

I liked it!  I may do it again.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Not badly, but enough to take me out of running for maybe a couple of weeks.  Eight days ago I started out on a fairly energetic (for me) 5-mile run.  I felt strong and ran pretty hard, but when I reached about mile three I felt a pain in the right hamstring.

I stopped and walked a bit and tried running again, but the pain reappeared.  Another try, and it was worse yet.  I walked home, actually fairly slowly, because by then it even hurt to walk.

Six days later, last Tuesday at Mayo Clinic, I tried to run two blocks from the parking lot to the Hilton Building for my morning blood draw.  I made it, but the thigh was hurting a little at the end, so it's not really ready to run yet.  I'm waiting a few more days.

In the meantime, I'm hitting the bike fairly hard.  Today I rode about 13 miles at about 10 mph on my not-so-speedy old hybrid-tire bike.  It might be a little faster if I inflated the tires to their recommended pressure, but the trails are bumpy and I prefer the softer ride and less stress on the tires.  Plus I'm training - who cares how much I have to work to make the bike move?

Why did this injury happen?  I think I pushed too hard.  Fourteen fairly ambitious miles on Sunday, followed by four on Tuesday, then five (became three) on Wednesday.  I have been increasing three things all at once: the weekly miles, the distance of the weekly long run, and the run/walk ratio.  Putting those together, I have probably increased the total running too rapidly.  Ten percent per week is the maximum recommended by marathon trainers, and I will have to do a better job of keeping track.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fourteen Good Miles

Sunday, May 10, 2015:

I am training for a marathon, even though I don't really know when the next one will be.  This is a change.  I have run marathon after marathon, getting slower and slower, so now I'm trying to do it right, actually training for one.

Fourteen miles today, maybe fifteen or sixteen next week, slowly building strength to run a 20-mile training run and then perhaps, after a few weeks, to run another, until a 20-mile run is easy.  Easier, anyway.  Then perhaps I can do a marathon without worrying whether they will close the finish line before I get there!

In the last few weeks I've lost ten or twelve pounds, intentionally, using my modified Weight Watchers method.  I have more to lose, perhaps another ten pounds, and then we'll see if that's a place to stop.  In the meantime, I seem to be getting a little faster week by week.  "They" say that a weight loss of 1% can correspond to a 1% increase in speed or endurance.  It can't hurt.

Today's run was as good as it gets, no pains or problems, still strong at the end - in fact, the final miles were the fastest.  I stopped at our own home twice along the way, to visit the bathroom and pick up water, two five-mile loops and one four-mile.  I love our new place, where we can run safely right from the front door.

Fourteen miles in 2:45:54, overall pace 11:51, doing a run/walk of 3 to 5 or faster the whole way.  I carried water, of course, and gobbled three caffeinated Clif Shot gels along the way.

Running through neighborhoods, the smells are interesting.  Early I smelled a wood fire - someone was taking the edge off the cool weather with their fireplace or stove.  Then I smelled bacon frying and felt just a little hungry - no breakfast before this run!  And, of course, there are always the smells of laundry in the drier, almost anytime, even on a Sunday.

Friday, May 8:

Five miles in 55 minutes.  No problems.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Strong Run

Wednesday, May 6, 2015:

Five miles at a sub-11 pace.  This is my Dex day - I took my weekly 40 mg of dexamethasone last evening - and that may have played a part.  I did feel very good throughout the run.  5.01 miles in 54:48, pace = 10:56.

No pains, no problems.

Tuesday, May 5:

Kwik Trip & back, total 4.06 miles in 47:25, pace = 11:40.  No pains, no problems.

Sunday, May 03, 2015


Sunday, May 3, 2015:

A hilly ten miles about as fast as I could go.  We live in a river town, built on one side of a valley.  Our home is several hundred feet above the river, actually out of the valley on the flat, but today's loop took me from home down to the river - maybe three feet above the water - and back up again.

I pushed pretty hard, doing a run/walk of 1 to 1 most of the way, more running going downhill and sometimes a little less uphill.  I noticed that I was taking one full breath for every three footfalls much of the time, indicating a race pace for me.  Normal would be one full breath for every four footfalls.

The route included a concrete stairway with a 100-foot increase in elevation, followed immediately by a mile of road which climbs another 100 feet, and then, after a short downhill respite, another climb of 100 feet.  That's no big deal for a younger, fitter person (like I once was), but in that last climb I noticed some chest pain, probably from breathing so much of the 55-degree air.  I hope.  Anyway I'm still here to tell about it and feel fine - tired, of course, but better than fine.

Otherwise no pains at all!  I love that!  This was my "long run" (actually a medium-length hard run) for the week.  I'm building toward 20 miles, so perhaps next weekend will see a longer and gentler 14 mile run.  I can't wait.

9.8 miles in 1:55:21, overall pace 11:46.  Good enough!

Friday, May 1:

Once Around the Lake   The "standard" loop around our favorite lake is 3.4 miles.  Today I finished that in 37:42, for a pace of 11:05.  No pains.  Good run.

Wednesday, April 29:

Dex Day Again   I took my dexamethasone last night, so today I feel full of energy, if a little over-caffeinated.  I ran one of the 2-mile routes to Kwik Trip and back, for a nice 4-mile jaunt in 48 minutes.  No problems.