Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cool Taper Run

The weather in Seattle is currently predicted to be  sunny and cool with temps in the low 30's at sunrise, and middle 40's in the afternoon.  Wind at 5 mph.  Dry will be most welcome if it actually happens.  Cool is fine.

Today's run was meant to test clothing in very similar weather, 36 at the start and 40 at the end, wind at 12 gusting to 16.  I wore a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved shirt under a wind jacket, with tights below.  Gloves, visor and ear cover completed the gear.  My usual light WrightSox were fine, with the newest pair of Brooks Launch shoes.  I may exchange the tights for running pants in the marathon, because the pants have pockets, but otherwise the gear was perfect.

Because of last Wednesday's bone marrow biopsy I felt more comfortable walking today, and did very little running.  Nevertheless the pace was good at 13:43, even though I had to slow way down for ice on the trail for maybe 100 yards.

Two-mile splits: 26:07, 28:44, total 54:51, pace 13:43.  I'll keep it.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Myeloma lives in the bone marrow, and one of the best ways to learn about a patient's myeloma is to extract some marrow and examine it.  Last Wednesday I had marrow extracted from the top of the right rear side of the pelvic bone, just about where my belt rests.  It's called a bone-marrow biopsy, and I have been wearing suspenders since Wednesday, to avoid discomfort in that area!

Unfortunately, I didn't wear suspenders during my run today.  Because the outdoor temperature was below 20 degrees we went to the YMCA today.  I wore regular running shorts with a laced waistband, which annoyed the sore place throughout the 3-mile run.  Suspenders on running shorts?  In public?  New fashion trend - I should have worn them!

The next marathon is just a week away now, and I do believe I'll bring my suspenders along just in case that spot is still sore.

Otherwise zero whining.  I had a little knee trouble yesterday (Saturday) while walking with friends, so I turned around and went home.  That may have been a good plan, because there was no knee trouble today.  The sore hip probably slowed me a little, but I was still able to maintain a good pace.  All walking, no running today:

One-mile (13-lap) splits: 13:49, 13:37, 13:31, total 40:57, average pace 13:39 minutes per mile.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Four Quick Miles

Tuesday, November 17, 2015:

With a battery of medical tests on tomorrow's schedule, to determine whether I am eligible for another myeloma treatment study, I needed to get in a good run today, and it was a good run indeed.  About 50 degrees and light rain, just like our next marathon is likely to be.  But in a way that's quite nice weather for running.

I ran 3.96 somewhat hilly miles in 52:23, for a pace of 13:14.  Mostly walking, too.  Just a little pain in the back, otherwise I felt fine.

Today a technical long-sleeved undershirt and a short-sleeved technical T-shirt were perfect for the job.  With a little more wind I would have needed a wind jacket in place of the T-shirt.

Two-mile splits: 26:39, 25:44.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Ides of November

Sunday, November 15, 2015:

But not really - the Ides of November is not the 15th but the 13th.  Who knew?  See Wikipedia.

Whatever.  I had a very nice run today, 7.98 miles in 1:46:11 for a pace of 13:18.  Not bad for mostly walking, and this was a very hilly route.  Like the next marathon will be.  Tapering now.

We enjoyed a scrumptious November day today, high 50'sm clear skies, dry as a bone.  I wish the rest of winter could be like this.  Oh well, rain and cold tomorrow.

Whining: My back doesn't know which side should complain. Today both sides complained, but not enough to be a problem.

I tried out my brand new Brooks Launch II shoes today.  I have run 90 marathons in Brooks shoes, and these are my 14th pair of the Launch I and II.  Like all those before, they were just fine.  A neutral ride, soft enough but not too soft.

Two-mile splits: 25:28, 28:09, 52:34 (4 mi), total 1:46:11 for 3.98 miles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Feeling Good

Because it was cold, we three went to the Bubble (nearest inflated soccer dome) to run this morning.  It wasn't much warmer in there, because the furnace isn't on yet, but at least there was no wind.

I just felt so great today.  No hint of any issues (NO whining), so I moved a little faster than I did on Sunday, speed-walking three sides of the soccer field, but running one short side.  Finally, in the last lap of the third mile I ran the last half of the lap, actually speeding up almost to an all-out sprint (for a 74-year-old) toward the end because it felt so good.  Dogs love to run, and when it comes to running I'm most definitely a dog.

Mile splits: 12:30, 12:29, 11:57, total 36:56, distance 3.0, pace 12:19.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Magical Marvelous Run

Perfect weather and a problem-free long run.  We three all went out to run for about four hours today.

I actually ran four different loops, each starting and ending at our home, each about 4 miles in length, with an actual total distance of 16.05 miles and a total time (excluding nature breaks) of 3:48:00.  Pace 14:12.

I would have liked to do just a little better, under 14 minutes per mile, but this course is pretty hilly, I ran a marathon two weeks ago, and 14:12 is close enough!  Almost all walking, very little running, hence very little whining.

I felt just a little pain in the left back, peaking at about 3 miles and decreasing after that.  No problem!  What a great run.

This was the long run leading up to the next marathon - tapering from here.

Two-mile splits: 26:31; 29:29, 29:38, 28:14, 28:43, 29:16, 28:13, 27:56, total 3:48:00.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

New Route

Friday, November 6, 2015:

Most of our runs start on a trail that leads west from our house, but today I had a job to do (set up a dental appointment) and incorporated that into the run, starting out east and north instead.  From there I did a little extra running (mostly walking), investigating two possible new routes and then ending back home in 4.53 miles and 1:06:00 hours, for a pace of 14:34.  Distance is exact, time is approximate.

Whining:  This time my right knee was fine, perhaps because I gave it two days off, but my back hurt instead.  The pain is in the middle top to bottom, and off to the left side.  Because it's not in the spine itself I doubt that the pain comes directly from a plasmacytoma (myeloma hot spot), even though a PET scan does show two small plasmacytomas in the spine.  It could be caused indirectly from a plasmacytoma pressing on nerves which serve that region, but I rather think it's actually a muscle, made sore by poor running (walking) posture perhaps.  It's not new, just worse than before.  It's fixable!

I enjoyed the walk/run anyway.  Exploring is always fun, and now I have mapped out another 4-mile route that I can mix and match with the others.

Long run coming up Sunday, then start tapering for the next marathon.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Knee Now

November has been beautiful so far, with every day better then the one before.  Today we started running at about 11:15 am, with bright sunny skies and a temperature of 62 degrees.  Because it was so nice we went to the park, for one of very few remaining chances to run on the grass trails this year.  I ran 4.03 miles in a forward direction and about a mile up and down.  Just kidding about the mile, but it is hilly there.

Our sweet Jazmine died yesterday.  Here she is at work,
relieving my stress but watchful nevertheless. We miss her.
Nevertheless I enjoy those trails more than any other kind of running, and pushed harder than usual, running up nearly all of the hills, then walking down the other side to protect my knees.

Whining:  My right knee actually did bother a little today, more when running than when walking, and more going downhill than up.  In the past I have been diagnosed with PFS (patellofemoral syndrome) in that knee, and this could be a little of that showing up because I ran harder than usual yesterday and today.  Happily the twitchy, weak ankle did not show up today on either side, but it seems there is always something to fret about.

Despite yesterday's eight-mile run and today's knee trouble I felt very strong today - a wonderful feeling.  Perhaps the trial drug that I was on for six months is losing its grip on me.  Now if I can just build back a little strength ...

Distance: 4.03 miles.  Time: 56:58.  Pace: 14:08, actually not bad for these trails.


Monday, November 2, 2015:

The marathon was just eight days ago, so this was not a day for a long run.  I pushed fairly hard in the first four miles today, mostly walking fast but running a bit now and then, and then eased up a little in the second four to admire some very beautiful dogs (retired greyhounds) and otherwise enjoy the walk/run a bit more.

Whining: I haven't mentioned it much, but for some weeks now my right ankle has had occasional twitches which make it hard to lift my foot.  Or something - I'm not sure - the ankle feels very weak, but it always goes away in a few minutes and I can get back to full speed.  Until today it was always my right foot, but today the same thing happened on my left!  So the bad news is that it can happen on either side now, but the good news is I'M SYMMETRICAL!  Yay  (:

Splits: 25:05 (1.96 mi), 27:25 (2.04 mi), 26:15 (1.90 mi w stairs), 29:02 (2.14 mi), total 1:47:46, 8.04 mi, pace 13:24.

Monday, November 02, 2015

YMCA 4 Miles

Friday, October 30, 2015:

First run since the marathon five days ago and I've taken plenty of time off.  My girls have colds, though, and I'm trying to fight one off, so we delayed running outdoors and finally decided to run indoors, despite the driving distance from our home.

The YMCA track is reported to be 13 laps per mile.  I think 13 may be too few and 14 too many, but I use 13 and acknowledge  that my apparent speed may be slightly higher than my actual speed.

Today I walked 12 laps of each mile and then ran the last lap, finishing in 51:30 on the YMCA's wall clock - I forgot to bring my watch.  No matter - I do obsess on time and pace too much anyway.

If the distance was four miles and the time was 51:30, then the pace was 12:53 minutes/mile.  But who's counting?