Tuesday, December 05, 2017

One Last Run Before WInter

Well, technically it's already winter season in Minnesota I guess, but you wouldn't have thought so last Saturday.  45 degrees, no wind, brilliant sun.

Looks greener in the summer :-)

On December 2 in the Twin Cities the average high temperature is 30 degrees, and in some years there is a foot of snow on the ground.  Not last Saturday!  The girls and I went to our beloved county park to run on the hilly grass and dirt trails, through meadows and deep woods.

I had a wonderful run, 6.24 miles in an hour and 22 minutes, for an average pace of about 13:28, running and walking.  This weekend may have been the last chance to run in the park until spring, and plenty of other people were out there enjoying it too.  I did aggravate the hamstring injury, sorry to say, but I had such a great time.

I took the selfie on a ridge that overlooks a huge native-plant meadow in the park, a favorite place to take a breather and enjoy the view for a moment.  Sweet Pea took the second photo as I ran through the woods.

Today, Tuesday, the temperature is 17 degrees and the roads are icy.  The drive from home to Mayo Clinic, usually about 100 minutes, took an extra hour.  Alas, winter did get here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Not Blogging but Still Running

Last June I competed in a USATF track meet.  Apparently I pushed too hard, and pulled the right “proximal hamstring tendon.”  I have seen my sports doctor at least twice and an excellent therapist many times, and mostly have followed their advice, but the injury persists.  In fact the radiologist examining a PET scan in September found no significant myeloma lesions, but did report the hamstring injury as an “incidental finding.” 

For now I’m walking and jogging, several times per week, trying not to cause pain in that injury.  I had hoped that it would go away within a few weeks, as muscle injuries do, but it’s a tendon injury and it’s taking a LOT longer.  I have no choice but to cool it until the injury is fully healed, and then to ramp up more carefully than I did in June.

We have a new place to do that.  The local high school has recently opened a brand-new indoor walking/running track, priced quite reasonably.  Nine laps per mile (very nice track!).  We three have been there several times now, and lately I have been walking one lap and jogging the next, for a total of three miles, 27 laps.  Next I could increase the distance to 4 or 5 miles, or increase the jogging to two laps, then three, until I can jog the whole three miles.  Maybe I’ll do some of both.  No hurry.  We plan to be there several times a week, more as winter sends us indoors. 

According to  my therapist I should not run two days in a row, but I can walk all I want.  In fact, we do walk from home to the co-op grocery and back every week, a hilly trek of six to ten miles, depending on the chosen route.  We really enjoy those hikes, climbing back up the hills with groceries in our backpacks.  We did one last Monday. It may have been our last for this year because we won’t walk those hills when the trails become icy, but I hope that we get a few more.

Today’s indoor track mile splits: 12:34, 11:58, 12:20, total 36:52, pace 12:17.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

If It Hurts, Stop Doing It!

That's pretty much the bottom line from my sports doctor today.  For more than two months I've been dealing with an injury of the right proximal hamstring conjoined tendon, at the point of attachment to the ischial tuberosity (i.e. where the hamstrings connect to the butt bones).

It seemed to be getting better and I had been running a little faster, without pain, taking 200m sprints at up to maybe 70-80% effort.  Then suddenly about two weeks ago some part of the tendon connection failed during a sprint like that. Big ouch. Since then I haven't been able to run without pain at any speed, even though walking is pain-free.  Instead, my girls and I have walked almost every day, about 25-30 miles per week.

I have not been able to find the injury by poking around in the area with my fingers, so my therapist (Katie) and I thought maybe it was the sciatic nerve, rather than the hamstring tendon.  However, the doc said that the sudden mid-stride reinjury was not typical of an irritated nerve.  More important, he did an ultrasound which seemed to show a dark region where the tendon should have been connected to the pelvis.

In the doctor's written report: "Diagnostic ultrasound imaging reveals a partial tear of the right hamstring conjoined tendon at the ischial tuberosity. Don should avoid sprinting for the fall months as I think this would put too much stress on the conjoint tendon.  He is cleared for continued walking and jogging, as long as there is no significant increase in pain."

Since the normal condition is no pain at all, I understood this to mean that if it hurts I should stop, period.  I plan to walk nearly every day, and test every time to see if it hurts if I jog.  When it doesn't, perhaps I'll start doing a walk/run every day.

We three have a race next Monday, Labor day, called the MDRA Victory 10k, named after the neighborhood in which the race is run and after the beautiful Victory Memorial Parkway in Minneapolis. We have done this race many times, and it's a very nice, flat, out-and-back route.  Further, it's one of the 13 Grand Prix events. I don't know how much of it I can run, if any, but I'm pretty sure that I can finish in the 90-minute time limit even if I have to walk the whole way.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Uh Oh Achilles

Thursday, August 10, 2017:

I ran with some of the SCV Runners today at the Middle School track.  That’s fun - we run together or individually or whatever feels good.  I ran an easy warmup mile with other people, then started on my own regimen of sprints, eventually doing 200m in 49 seconds, maybe 80% of full effort and the fastest 200m since Katie gave me the green light to ramp up the speed a little.

Unfortunately, though, I started right out with some tightness and a little pain in my left Achilles tendon.  I stopped between sprints to try to massage it out, and again to stretch it out, to no avail. No problem with the right hamstring tendon today, though I doubt that issue is gone completely.  But at the end I was going to do one more 400m lap, and quit instead because of pain.  The Achilles tendon is nothing to mess with.

Watch: 1:59 (400m), 0:54, 0:53, 0:58, 0:51, 0:49, all 200m except the first.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Long Time No Blog

I do keep the log, just haven't taken the time to put it on the internet.  Still running!

Monday, August 7, 2017:

Wayne and I are fairly well matched right now.  He has been doing less running than I, but he’s younger and he’ll be faster than me if he keeps at it.  At the middle school track today we warmed up for a couple of laps and then ran 200m sprints together, for a couple of miles total.  Run 200m, then walk the next 200m, making it a full lap, and repeat for a total of 7 sprints.  Then I ran one full 400m lap.

I could still feel the pulled hamstring tendon, if that’s what it is, but not too painfully.  I ran about 50 - 60% of maximum effort, as advised by Katie, my therapist.  I’m sure that the injury will be more painful as I try to increase the level of effort toward 100%

The pulled hamstring tendon has been an issue now since June 9.  About two months.  That’s too long, and I’m less and less convinced that we have really figured out what the problem is.  Sometimes it feels like it’s a very small injury, painful enough, but not large enough to be the hamstring tendon.  Further, the pain sometimes radiates down the hamstring when I sit for too long, as in a car ride.  In addition, I’m not able to palpate the injury - can’t find it with my fingers.

Time for another talk with the Doc.

Watch, 200m sprints: 1:03, 1:02, 1:01, 0:55, 0:54, 0:55, 0:55, 1:53 (400m)

Saturday, Aug 5:

Saint Croix Valley Runners.  Wayne and I ran 4 miles, walking only a little.  I think we went about 10 min/mi. A nice time.

Thursday, Aug 3:

Middle School track.  With rain threatening, Rod and I were the only ones to show up.  We got in a warmup run and then I did six 200m runs at about 70% effort.

Watch: 55.98, 57:67, 57:33, 55:02, 51:48, 55:15.

Monday, July 31:

High School Track, running at maybe 50%  effort.

200m sprints:  1:02, 1:01, 1:00, 56, 55, 59, 1:00, 400m 2:01

Saturday, July 29:

SCV runners usual Saturday run.  I finished 3 miles again, mostly by myself.

Thursday, July 27:

Middle School track.  I didn't bring my watch, but I did run sprints for most of an hour.

Monday, July 24:

Today the air conditioning was out, so I had reason to stay close to home in case the repairman called.  I found a 1.6-mile loop starting and ending at our house, with a lovely hill, perfect for some hill training.  I ran three of those loops and got the call during the last of them.  Happily, the A/C repair was a simple one and we're back in business.

My sweeties crossing the finish line

Saturday, July 22:

Challenge Cancer 5k    Another 3 miles!  Katie, my running therapist, said that I shouldn’t sprint until I can run three miles without walking.  I did that last Saturday and again today.

This 5k is one race in an annual series of races hosted by Charities Challenge, an organization dedicated to helping others achieve improved health through exercise.  This particular race was held in a wonderful county park in Andover, MN, less than an hour from our home.

I ran without walking for the first three miles, then walked for a few seconds up a small hill, and finally pushed the last 100 meters at a higher pace.  Looking good at the finish line :-)  I feel great, no pain.  First in my age group.  Also last - I was the only one in M75-79.

Since I got to the finish before they did, I got a photo of my girls finishing their 5k.

Watch: 10:35, 10:23, 10:30, 1:24 (0.1 mile), total 32:50.  I can do better.

Thursday, July 20:

Good attendance this morning at the Middle School track, eight of us, running a 2-mile warmup and then a few 800-meter intervals.  Some of us are faster than others, but on a track we're still sort of together, as we can meet up whenever we want.  I ran with the girls for a while and with the guys for a while, though the guys were faster.

I didn't feel much like running today but I did anyway, going about 4 miles before we headed home.

Tuesday, July 18:

USATF Summer Meet # 4:  Minnesota USATF held the fourth of their five Summer Meets, this one at a high school in Woodbury.  I love the atmosphere at those events!  Runners from age 4 to 76 (me), doing every distance offered and every field event as well.  People are happy and excited just to participate.  I admire the parents who bring their children, introducing them to a wholesome life of healthy exercise. In just one event, the 400-meter dash, there were 13 heats, most of them with a runner in each of the 9 lanes.

The fee is $5.00, payment for as many events as anyone can run - even to run the same distance more than once.  Because of my hamstring-tendon injury I decided to run only one event, the 400-meter dash, the slowest (longest) dash on the menu.  I meant to run at 75% of full speed, but the injury felt OK and I finished in 1:46, a bit faster than I had intended and about as fast as I've run any timed 400-meter so far this year.  This would be a 7:10 mile if I could run four of those in a row.  Not yet, but working on it.  Maybe someday.

Monday, July 17:

For some reason I didn’t feel like running today, especially outdoors where the temp was 90 by the time we got home from a trip to Duluth.

The girls didn’t either, so we trekked off to the YMCA, where I ran two miles without walking and then felt like going home.  They did too, so we headed off to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Miles: 10:00, 9:35

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Three Miles!

Katie, my therapist, has told me that I may not sprint until I can run three miles without walking.  I did it today, three miles at a pace of 10:37 per mile.

During the regular Saturday morning run of the St Croix Valley Runners I ran the first two miles with Dave and Candy, who were running just a little slower than I usually do.  Perhaps that helped - they paced me correctly.  The pace did feel good, although I saw that both Candy and Dave could talk more easily than I, suggesting that I have a bit farther to go before I can comfortably run with them over a longer distance.  I was working harder than they.

The three miles ended just before the only hill on this route - a trail bridge over a major road.  So I didn’t stop at the 3-mile marker, but kept going for another minute and a half to the top of the bridge, then finally walked a bit.  I was very happy to stop and walk, but glad that I still had that much gas left after the three miles.  And hey, the miles were measured according to trail mileposts, which are not necessarily dead nuts accurate, so I wanted to be very sure that I actually did the three miles.  I did it Katie!

Yours truly top center w green visor

That’s two nice runs in a row: the Park Point 5 Miler race in Duluth last Thursday, and the three-mile run today, both with energy to spare at the end.  I feel new strength and endurance in my legs, a quantum improvement this week.

The right hamstring tendon injury is still there, however.  Katie didn’t tell me to wait for that to heal completely before trying to sprint again, but she would say it if I asked.  I know I should wait.  And even then I will have to go slow, take it easy, and not jump out of a crouch until it seems thoroughly healed.

I saw Katie yesterday, and was embarrassed to admit to her that I hadn’t done ANY of the special leg exercises and stretches that she had prescribed at our last appointment three weeks ago.  She soberly informed me that if I don’t do those exercises, I will get injured again for sure.  “For SURE,” she re-emphasized, in case I hadn’t heard her the first time.

I have no problem doing my runs, I like to run, but don’t seem to find the spare half hour for the exercises.  So we agreed that I will not allow myself to run unless I have done my exercises at least once since the last run.  Oof.  OK.  Let’s see how that works.

Watch: 10:36, 10:45, 10:30 (average 10:37 for 3 mi), 13:06 (walk/run last mile).

Thursday, July 14:

Park Point 5 Miler.    I loved this race!  I'm still trying to recover from an injured hamstring tendon, and took it easy on this run, but did better than I expected anyway,  finishing the five miles in 52:58.  Second of two in my age group, but hey, the guy who finished ahead of me is a pretty classy runner and I'm happy for him.  He's 76 as well, but I'll need to train for a while before I can finish a race alongside him.  If ever.

Throughout the race I ran 60 seconds, then walked 20-25 seconds or so, as fast as I could walk.  Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to keep running, no walking, but until then this is working OK.  I actually felt better and better as the race went on, and was able to finish the last mile faster than any of the others.

The race was held on Park Point, a narrow spit of land (sand) that runs between Duluth MN and Superior WI, separating Lake superior from Superior Bay at the very western tip of the big lake.  The course is on Minnesota Avenue, the only road to go the length of the point, entirely paved, and flat as pee on a plate.  I swear there can be no flatter race on the planet.  But today, the best part was the weather.  This is an evening race, starting at 6;30 PM, which is normally near the high temp of the day, and it is usually a hot race.  But today that high temp was in the 50's, perfect for a great race.  I loved it.

My sweetie got an age group award in the two-mile race!

10:46, 10:40, 10:57, 10:38, 9:57, total 52:58, average pace 10:36.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Two Miles

Running without any walking, the longest such run in years.  Katie and the doctor both say that I can run (gently) despite the hamstring tendon injury.

Several friends and I ran on the 8-lane Junior High track today, 400 meters per lap (inside lane), which is within 6 feet of a quarter mile per lap.  First a lap of warmup and another of walking and dynamic stretches, then eight laps of easy running.  Time 19:51, for 3200 meters, pace 9:59 min/mile.

I probably could have run another lap, because I was able to run the last a little faster then the others.  I'll try one or two more next time.  Katie says that I can get back to a little sprinting when I can run 3 miles without walking.  I'm working up to it.

After the 2-mile run, I walked a lap  and then did several laps of 200m walk (fast) and 200m run (not fast).  I timed one of those 200 meter running jaunts at 62 seconds.  Faster than the 2-mile pace, but slower than a sprint.  I sure do enjoy the 200 meter distance.

Watch: 2:32, 2:34, 2:33, 2:30, 2:29, 2:28, 2:25, 2:20 (3200m total 19:51), 1:02 (200m slow)

Tuesday, June 27:

USATF Meet # 2, Woodbury.  "Ran" some in warmup, and ran the 100m slowly.

Monday, June 26:

Ran to the HS, around the track a little, back home past CUB, brought home some groceries.

Saturday, June 24:

I went to run with the SCV Runners, but didn't run because of pain.  Saw the sports doctor
last Thursday, who says that I have an injury of the proximal hamstring tendon.  I saw my therapist Katie yesterday, and she agrees with the diagnosis.  Both said it's OK to run, but today the pain said no.

Not yet.

Tuesday, June 20:

USATF Meet # 1 St Louis Park.  It hurts to run, but I did a little warmup running, no racing.  I have an appointment with the sports doctor.

Thursday, June 15:

Track "training" at St. Paul Academy, a little running, but not without pain.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Odd Day at the Races

Sunday, June 11, 2017:

Just when the USATF Outdoor Masters Championships were scheduled to begin in St Paul this morning, a thunderstorm intervened.  USATF doesn't run in lightning!  They even have rules about when they have to stop and when they can start again.  After several hours of lightning, the morning of races became an afternoon of races.

I loved it though.  I've never competed in an outdoor track & field meet before, and I'm intrigued by the assortment of events.  Every running distance from 100m to 5km, plus long jump, high jump, triple jump, shot put, hammer throw (bring your own hammer), pole vault (bring your own pole!), and more.  It seemed there were at least as many people competing in the field events as in the track events. I'm learning a lot and having fun.

Finishing the 200m Sprint

I competed in three events: the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprint distances.  I finished last in all three of my heats, but I don't feel bad about that because all of the runners were younger, many much younger, and I finished first of one in my 75-79 age group at each distance.  In fact at age 76 I was the oldest competitor at the meet except for my friend Rick, 77, who competed only in the 1500 meter event and finished in a very good time.

My finish times:  100m - 21.07 seconds; 200m - 45.82; and 400m - 1:44.90.  These are OK times for an old marathoner just getting into sprinting, but I'd like to improve the 100m time by at least 5 seconds, 200m by 10, and 400m by 20.  I have time to work on it, so we'll see.

Here are some reasons to think that I might be able to improve:
  • Any runner could do better running just one of the distances instead of three.
  • I stumbled a bit on at least two of the three starts.  How can that happen? I don't know, but I can doubtless gain a second or two just by practicing the start.  Remember, this is all new!
  • Another day I might feel better - I wasn't at my best today, a bit lightheaded.  Hydration, food, something else?  Anyway it will get figured out.
  • I was also running injured today - having pulled something in my right glutes or hamstrings or the connection between those during today's warmup.  It hurts more now than it did during the races, but I might not have hammered quite as hard as I would have without the pain.
That injury has been lurking since I first did some crouching starts a few weeks ago, and I need to do whatever it takes to heal it.  I have nine days now before the next outdoor track meet - those days will help.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Fun On The Track

Monday, June 5, 2017:

School is out, but the track is busy anyway.  When I got there the girls' (women's?) basketball team was doing wind sprints and other exercises on the track, and then as they were leaving, the boys' football team was arriving to do the same.  Two other youngsters were training to compete in the pole vault event at a meet later in the week.

The track I use.  Very nice.
Happily, the students were only using half of the 400m track, so I was able to do a little sprint training on the other half.  I read an article yesterday about training for sprints:
  1. Jog for a lap or two.  I actually ran TO the track, running most of a mile without walking, mostly uphill, for plenty of warmup.
  2. Do dynamic stretches.  I still have to figure out what these are and how to do them.  There are several kinds.  I did some things that I thought might help me loosen up, including very long strides.
  3. Run the first sprint at 70% intensity.  I wonder how to know where 70% is?
  4. Rest 2 - 5 minutes between sprints.  Easy - just walk or jog a lap, taking care not to interfere with the football team.
  5. Keep the first session short.  Technically this was my second session, but I only ran three 200m sprints and one 100m sprint.
I ran the first 200m sprint at 70% (or 60 or 80 who knows) and didn't bother to time it.  I don't recall if I used a crouching start.  For the second 200m I did use a crouching start and ran at maybe 90%, pushing pretty hard.  For the final 200m I used a crouching start and hammered as hard as I could for the whole distance.

The times are pretty good news I think.  Last week I ran the 200m in 52.90 (seconds), and today in 47.02 and then 42.75.  If those numbers are real, it's ten seconds improvement in one week!  Wow: (1) Maybe it pays to train a little for the sprint?  I never did that before; (2) My 10-year-old PR, on an indoor track, was 34.6 seconds - can I eventually take off another 8 seconds to match that old PR?  I'd love that; and (3) I'm not sure how my time in an actual race will compare with these fun little trials.  I'll soon find out though.

I did pull something today, left inner hamstrings, high near the adductors, caused by the crouching starts.  It hurts just a little.  This has happened before, including a couple of weeks ago at the YMCA.  I'm sure that it will heal in a few days if I stay away from crouching starts for that time.

200m times: (1) Unknown; (2) 47:02, (3) 42:75; 100m time: 20:92

Saturday, June 3, 2017:

Too Hot to Trot!   By the time I got going this morning the temperature was 77, and by the time I got home an hour and a quarter later it was 82.  Too hot for me to see how far I could run - I'm not acclimated to summer running yet.

So I had some fun instead, exploring a trail that I hadn't seen in a year or more.  I ran when I felt like it and walked when I felt plenty hot, finally ending up once again at the high school track.

That's a great place to do sprint training. Unfortunately for me, though, the football field within the track was about to be used for a women's lacrosse tournament, so I only got one lap around the outer (9th) lane, but I did put the pedal down on the second straight side and enjoyed just that short sprint, less than 100 meters.

I love that.  What a joy, to just let it fly.  I have to do more of that, training sessions specifically aimed at just sprinting faster but still safely.  I'm starting to read up on it now.  There is a "Masters Championship" coming up soon, where I'm sure that I will find out just how slow I am.  Regardless, it will be fun.

Wednesday, May 31:

Very Good Day at the Track   I ran to the new High School track, getting in 7 minutes of continuous running as well as some walking.  Then, after a little rest (slow walking) I ran 7 laps (1.75 miles) on the 400m outdoor track, the farthest I have run without walking in years.

After more easy walking I ran 200m as fast as I could, crossing the finish in 52.90 seconds.  I'm sure that I can improve on that time.  Fun - I love that distance.

Lap times: (26:31), 2:29, 2:34, 2:33, 2:26, 2:29, 2:28, 2:23, (43:52) (17:21) pace 9:55, 200m 52:90

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Brian Kraft 5k

Monday, May 29, 2017:

I feel so good!  It can happen after a race like this - the endorphins kick in and I feel wonderful, even before I have a beer.

The Brian Kraft 5k is a longstanding, popular 5k that is part of Minnesota's Grand Prix of races and attracts the best of the best.  For me, that cuts two ways.  The negative: I finished 13th of 14 in my 70+ age group, ahead of just one 88-year-old guy.

The positives: (1) I accomplished my training objective;  (2) I've never done very well in this race, because of the stiff competition; (3) I ran this 5k in 31:54, a minute and 20 seconds faster than my next most recent 5k two weeks ago; (4) I did slow down a few times to chat with people, and once to take off my hearing aids (oops) before they got too sweaty; (5) Before and after the race I enjoyed chatting with people that I miss but haven't seen in years; and (6) During a couple of those conversations I learned quite a bit about outdoor track, in which I have a growing interest.

Most of my running has been distance running, which is not the same as track.  Starting at 1 mile, distances go up to the marathon and beyond.  Running mostly happens on roads or trails.  In contrast, outdoor track events start at 50 meters, then 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 3000,  5000, and 10,000 meters, These are Olympic events, all metric.  They happen on oval tracks, usually around a football field at a college or high school, and the meet usually includes field events such as the hurdles, relays, long jump, high jump, discus, hammer throw, and the like. I'm interested in the running events.

I don't know much about track running though, outdoor or indoor.  In 2008 I ran the 200m on an indoor track a few times - that's one lap on the inside lane.  I absolutely loved that run - almost a full sprint, with my best time at 34.6 seconds.  Back then.  I'd like to see how long it takes me now, and check out some other distances too.  I still like marathons, and every other distance, but this would be an interesting change and something of a challenge..

One Mile On a Hot Track

Saturday, May 27, 2017:

I had planned to run 2 miles, but the weather was too warm and I was overheated after the one mile, so I stopped.  After cooling a bit, I ran a 100-meter dash as fast as I could a couple of times, then went home.

2:27, 2:29, 2:29, 2:26, total for 1600m: 9:51, adjusted for a mile: 9:54.

Thursday, May 25:

1.41 miles on the Jr Hi track, about 4.5 more miles getting there and back.  I ran in Lane 8, the outermost lane, to avoid messing up the track team, who were training on the inner lanes.  This is the farthest I've run without walking in several years.  I tried a few crouching starts before going home.

Track times: 5:34 (2 laps), 2:46, 2:35, 2:33, total for 5 laps 13:28, distance 1.40 mi, pace 9:36.

Wednesday, May 17:
1.5 Miles running with no walking.  Wet weather today, thunder and lightning. We three don't run in lightning, so we drove to the YMCA and ran on their indoor track.
Last week (or was it the week before) I ran a mile and a quarter without walking, so today it was time to bump up the distance.  The track is 13 laps per mile, so I decided to warm up for 15 minutes and then run 20 laps without walking, about a mile and a half.  Toward the end I was tired and definitely counting down the remaining laps, but I think I could have done a few more, maybe even another six to make it 2 miles.  Probably not 3 miles yet though.  Maybe in a week or two.
When the "long" run was finished I did a half dozen or so crouching starts, as I might do for a 100-meter or 200-meter race.  There is a USATF outdoor track competition in a few weeks - maybe I'll have some fun.
Next week 2 miles I hope.

Watch readings: 13:21 (first 13 laps?), 3:44 (walking), 10:55 (13 laps), 5:43 (7 laps).  Either the track is less than 13 laps per mile, or I was running slower than I have been running recently.  Could be - I'm on steroids today.  No matter - it's still good training.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day 5k Review

Our friend Gary Westlund runs several races over the summer, and we like them.  Always low key, always allowing everyone to finish regardless how much time they need.  One of these was today's Mothers Day 5k in Maple Grove, MN.  This race was well organized, as always.

I haven't run a 5k race in a long time.  My plan was to run 7 minutes, then walk 3, until the finish, according to my usual training method.  However I quickly switched to 70 seconds and 30 seconds.  Same ratio, but much easier for me somehow.  I'll get back to the longer runs in training, but this works pretty well for races.

By my watch my finish time was 33:07.  This was not a chip-timed race, so official results are not up yet.  I imagine, though, that I will be first of one or second of two in my m75-79 age group.  Doesn't matter - I'm happy enough with the time.  If my watch was correct (it might be better than their clock) then my pace was 10:37.  I can do better, and I will.  Faster every week.

Weather was perfect.  The loop around the little lake is very nearly 1 mile, so we ran it three times.  In addition I ran one before the race, as a warmup, and another after my race with my girls, for a total of five miles.

There's another 5k in two weeks, flatter than this one in fact, and I'll try to get that pace below 10.

Watch: 10:47, 10:38, 10:31 (31:56), 1:11, total 33:07

Medtronic TC 1 Mile Race

Thursday, May 11, 2017:

The race went very well.  I ran the whole mile without walking and finished in 9:04, better than any of the mile runs that I've done in training recently.  I'm more than happy with that.  I was third of four in my 75-79 age group, and finished before 791 of 1969 other runners, including 165 of 1009 other men.

After traveling to 100 marathons, this race became an exploration of our own Twin Cities.  We drove from our town to Union Station in downtown St Paul, where Amtrak, light rail, and buses all connect.  We took the METRO Green Line train to the new US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, 37 minutes in a clean, comfortable commuter train which we had never had occasion to ride before.  Thanks to the race committee, we had free passes. Then a short walk to the race itself, where my race number and shirt were waiting.

I enjoyed meeting up with long-time running friends that I had neglected during our drive to finish 100 marathons.  The race itself circled the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis and lovely new parks. 

A 1-mile race is very intense, and I did try to go as fast as I could, but it was over in 9 minutes and I'm uninjured.  All is well.

We three had a very nice evening of it.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Another Mile

I set out to run 1.5 miles (6 laps) without walking today, having run 1.25  miles (5 laps) last week.  But two things happened: (1) I remembered that I have an actual 1-mile race later this week, and (2) I just didn't feel like running the extra two laps.  So I stopped at four laps - what the heck, I have no one to please but myself.  I did manage to shave a few seconds off my recent times for the mile.

Perhaps I'll do a little better still during the actual race.  We'll see - I'll try.  I'd like to do an 8-minute mile again someday, but not this week.  First a 9-minute mile.

Watch readings: 2:32, 2:28, 2:25, 2:13 (400 M laps), total for the run 1:06:00. Time for 1600 meters: 9:38.  Adjusted for a mile: 9:41 (a mile is 1609 meters.)  Total distance 5.5 mi, average pace for the run 12:00.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Valley Runners

This run/walk included another one-mile run with no walking.  Total of about 4 miles, with plenty of walking in the other three.  The one mile took just 9:35, very nice, but with two qualifications: (1) It's a little bit downhill, and (2) the mile markers are on a trail, and those markers are notoriously inaccurate.  I'll try the same mile uphill someday.

I had a little hitch in the right foot at first, had to walk it off, but it cleared and bothered no more.  After the run nothing hurts, all is well.  I feel great.  A very successful run.  A little shorter than usual, but very nice.  We'll compensate with a nice long walk among the flowering crab trees later today.
My friend Doug accompanied me on this trek - he's probably a better runner than I but was hurting a little today.  Hope he gets past that - he has a pretty good doctor.

Watch readings: 10:37, 9:35, 1:07, turnaround, ... total about 45:00.  The 9:35 is the one mile between mile markers 2 & 1.

Thursday, May 4, 2017:

2K Meters w/o Walking.  That's five laps of the 400 M outdoor track.  A beautiful day and a nice run.  I was actually able to pick up the pace a little in the last lap.

Splits: 28:34, 2:28, 2:30, 2:27, 2:26, 2:20. ...total for 5 laps = 12:11, pace 9:50/mile.for the five laps.

Tuesday, May 2:

On Tuesdays we sometimes (often?) walk from our home to the downtown organic grocery & back, about 3 miles each way and at least a 300-foot elevation change.  I don't usually include those walks in this blog, but last Tuesday I got hurt - "ITB syndrome" in the right thigh, thought to be overuse, after a tough enough run the day before.  The ITB problem healed within three or four days.

No problem today, despite yesterday's fairly hard run.  But I think that I should take a day off now, not run tomorrow.

Monday, May 1:

One Mile at the YMCA.  11:00,, 11:01, 9:01, 3:04, 5:33, 9:24, 11:23, 49:27 tot, only the 9:01 makes any sense - supposedly 1 mile, 13 laps.  I think it's probably short of a mile by at least a lap.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Iliotibial Band

I was pretty sure that the injury on the outside of my right thigh was a bursa, because it was recovering so quickly.  However Katie, my therapist, says there are no bursas in the area of my injury.  After a quick internet search, I believe her.

Katie is convinced that the injury is simply an irritation of the Iliotibial band (ITB) as it passes by that area, about a third of the way down the thigh, on its trip from the pelvis to the tibia.  Katie didn't call it "iliotibial band syndrome," but I think that might be a proper technical name.

This is an overuse injury.  I worked pretty hard on Monday, running a full mile without walking, for the first time in years, plus four more miles of run/walk.  Then on Tuesday the girls and I walked six miles with backpacks, including over 300 feet of elevation change, down to the river and back.  The injury first made itself felt during the climb back up.  Katie guessed that before I even told her.

One lesson:  I'm 76 years old and I really do need to allow for an off day between two days of vigorous exercise, even if one of them is only walking.  Lesson two:  Uphill (and maybe downhill) walking may put as much stress on the legs as running on the flat.

Katie also gave me three more exercises to do, therapy which may help prevent this type of injury in the future.

What's next?  Happily, the pain is almost gone already.  Tomorrow I'll go for an easy walk.  Maybe Sunday too.  Katie said I could run a bit on Monday, distance and intensity guided by the pain (lack of).  Sounds good to me - I'm anxious to get back on the trail.  I'll ramp up carefully.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Rats.  Monday I ran a full mile without walking, as part of a five-mile route, mostly running.  Tuesday my sweeties and I walked from our home down to the local co-op grocery and back, six miles and more than 300 feet elevation change, wearing backpacks.

On the way back I felt a little twinge in the upper outside of the right thigh, no problem.  Wednesday morning, however, that twinge was far worse, severe enough that I took it to urgent care to check for a DVT.  Happily the D-Dimer test was negative.   The pain continued though, making walking difficult and stairs even more so, worse after sitting a while, better after walking a little.  I assumed that it was as pulled muscle or tendon and made an appointment to see Katie, my therapist, on Friday.

Today, Thursday, the pain is much much better.  As quickly as it appeared Tuesday night, it almost disappeared Wednesday night.  I can jog up the stairs, and get out of a chair with only a minor ache.  This recovery is too quick for a torn muscle or tendon, which may take three weeks for a full recovery.  So what might it be?

Years ago I brought a severe hip pain to my favorite doctor, who poked around a bit and proclaimed it to be an irritated bursa.  I said "Huh?"  He said it would disappear by itself in two days, and it did.

Is that what this is?  Is there even a bursa on the outside of the thigh about a third of the way down?  Katie will know tomorrow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

One Mile No Walking

Technically 1600 meters, which is 0.9944 miles, but who's counting.  Me I guess.  I didn't run it very fast, because I wanted to finish the mile - I haven't run a whole mile, without walking, for several years.

Katie, my therapist, wants me to set my next goal at three miles, and I could probably have kept going, but maybe not for another two miles.  Rather than three miles, though, I would prefer to run one mile in less time.  So maybe we can do a little of each.  One day push the distance by 400 or 800 meters (1 or 2 laps), and another day go for 2:15 per lap (9:00 pace), or even 2:00 (8:00 pace), for at least one of the laps.  Eventually I'd like to run 1600 M in less than 8 minutes and 800 M in less than 3:30.  We'll see.

On the way to the track and back I had no trouble running up the hills that appeared during the 6 minute run portions of the 10 minute intervals.  Chugged right up.  I'll switch to 7 minute run portions soon.

Total time 1:11:54, including several stoplights.  Distance probably about 5.5 miles.  400 M splits: 2:38, 2:36, 2:42, 2:24, total for 1600 M = 10:20.

Miles for Myeloma 5k in Philadelphia

Saturday, April 22, 2017:

The weather was gloomy but speeches were short and spirits were bright.  Somewhere near 1100 runners gathered to run and walk through one of the most attractive parks in the city of Philadelphia.  Fruit trees are in bloom, and lawns are just ready for their first mowing.

This time I chose to run with my sweeties, Ardis & Sarah.  We finished together in 53:36, earning Ardis first place in her 60+ age group.  We enjoyed this run/race very much.  The race was hosted by the Philadelphia Myeloma Support Group and the International Myeloma Foundation.

A Bunch of Runs

Wednesday, April 19, 2017:

Still running 6 minutes out of every 10.  Tough run today for some reason, 5.2 miles in 1:02:30.

Monday, April 17:

Pretty good, running 6 minutes of every 10, somewhat hilly..  5.3 miles in 59:58.

Saturday, April 15:

3/4 Mile no walking   On the 400 M track, and a total of 5.2 miles in 1:00:00.  Not bad.

Wednesday, Apr 12

Finally a great run   After several difficult ones.  Same route today as last Sunday, but such a different result.  I'm running 6 minutes of each 10-minute interval these days, for a total of 60 minutes.  Today's route includes a pretty stiff hill in the first 6-minute running segments.  Three days ago that hill was agony, but today I just chugged up there without much trouble.

The rest of the run went just as well.  In fact one of the 6-minute running segments was shortened to 5 by a phone call, so I added a minute on the end, making the last segment 7 minutes instead of 6, and uphill to boot.  It was hard work, but not really a problem.  My very first 7-minute running segment.

One or two more good runs with 6-minute running segments and I'll be ready to run 7 minutes of every 10 for the whole hour. Therapist Katie wants me to get to running 3 miles with no walking.  Heading that way.

5.3 miles in 1:00:18, pace 11:23.

Sunday, April 9:

Difficult again.  5.3 miles in 1:01:00.

Friday, April 7:

Hard work.  Running 6 minutes of every 10 now, it's taking more energy.  Today I ran/walked to the 400-meter track (about 2.1 miles), then a mile on the track, and another 2.1 back home.  I maintained the 6-minute runs throughout, except for one interval which was entirely uphill.  I shortened that interval to 5 minutes.

Splits: 26:01, 2:24 (pace 9:33), 2:26 (pace 9:47), 30:38, total 1:01:29, distance 5.2 miles, overall pace 11:50.  Includes three stops at stoplights.

Wednesday, April 5:

Difficult run

Saturday, April 1:

Six minutes of running   And four of walking, six times in a row.  Getting  closer to running continuously - last week I was doing five and five.  No injuries so far.  This was an out-and-back on a lovely new, paved, rails-to-trails bike and pedestrian trail, with some running friends literally leading the way.

I tried to turn around at exactly the right time to finish at exactly 56 minutes, skipping the last walk portion.  However, the trip out was slightly uphill and the trip back exactly that much downhill, so I arrived at 54:47, about a minute and a quarter early, and the last running interval was that much short.

So what.  I fuss about that picayune sort of stuff, but it won't matter in the long run.  Next week I'll run the same 6/4 run/walk ratio and include some significant hills.  After that 7/3, then 8/2 and 9/1, and finally no walking at all.  Barring injuries, this should happen in April.  Katie wants me to stretch it out to 3 miles, which is about 30 minutes at the pace that I've been running,

From there I suppose I'll increase the distance by 10% per week.  Maybe a bit more per week, since I've been doing an hour of walk/run for months now.  I'll ask Katie.

Thursday, March 30:

Another 5 miles   Five different neighborhoods, so connected to each other that there were no traffic lights.  The worst hill on this route is just five minutes from our home, so after the first 10 minutes I've done the worst of the route and the rest seems easier.

Running 5 minutes of each 10 today.

5.3 miles in 1:01:50, pace 11:40.

Monday, March 27:

400 meter track & back   Lovely run, hilly some of the way, but with a  very nice outdoor track at the far end of the route.  Today I ran to the track, then ran a mile (four laps) on the track, and home again, running 5 minutes of each 10.

As usual, the first 5 minutes of running were the hardest, but after that it was easier.  On the track I timed two running laps, doing a pace of 10.1 min/mi for one, and 9:35 for the second.

25:18, 2:30, 2:23, 29:44, total 59:55, 5.07 miles, pace 11:49.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Delightful Run

The distance from our house to the nearest 400 meter track is about 2 miles.  So if I want to do a 5-mile walk/run I go to the track, run a mile, and run home again.  I did that today, walking 4 or 5 minutes and running 5 minutes until the 5 miles and (almost) 60 minutes were completed.

Windy and cold, about 44, this afternoon.  The NWS forecast predicted winds of 10 mph, but I'm sure it was more, maybe gusting to twice that.  But It was fun!  The route starts out flat, then up a modest hill (huff puff), and flat for the rest of the first mile.  In no time I was at the 400 meter track, doing four laps.  I timed two of those laps, running 800 meters in 4:50, which calculates out to a pace of 9:53 per mile.  I think that’s sort of my “normal” running pace these days, when I’m doing my run/walk intervals.  The four laps add up to 1600 meters, just 9 meters short of a mile, so I headed back home.

I passed the hospital on the way back, stopped my watch and went in, told the nice lady that I was a regular customer (I do get my 5-hour Darzalex infusions there every month), but that today all I needed was the bathroom.  She laughed and said "down the hall to the left."  Nice to know that's available on a Saturday - I wonder about Sunday.  I'll have to check.  Something tells me I'll be doing this route fairly often as my speed increases.  The track is a very nice place to run, and the hospital has a lovely bathroom.

There is one significant hill on this course, uphill on the return.  A few weeks ago I ran up it and was SO glad to get to the top and walk a bit.  Today I ran right up it (huff puff) and kept right on going with little difficulty.  Progress is happening.

I saw my therapist/trainer Katie last Thursday.  She wants me to ramp up the run/walk ratio to 100% run now, with a goal of running 3 miles continuously and an eventual goal of 15 to 20 miles per week.  I'm not sure how we'll get to 15 per week, will have to talk to her again about that, but I think the progression to 3 miles continuous running is well within my reach in a month or two. I could probably ramp up faster, but so far I haven’t gotten injured and I really, really don’t want to.

Total time 58:37, distance 4.94 miles, pace 11:52 overall.

Thursday, March 23:

Slow Start to a Good Run.  I really didn't want to go out and run this morning.  Yesterday I didn't want to run either, and I didn't.  I used two excuses: (1) I ran a 10k race last Sunday, and (2) I had a 5-hour infusion on Tuesday.  Those are not great excuses, but they're OK.  Today I didn't want to run and had no more excuses.  So Sweetpea and I went to the Soccer Dome and did our thing.

This time I ran 5 minutes of every 10, up from 4.5 minutes last week.  I really didn't relish the first 10-minute interval, but they got  better as time passed.  I enjoyed a conversation with running friend Doug for a few laps, and that helped.  Finally, I felt pretty good during the last of the six 10-minute intervals; I even ramped up the pace a little.

I do like to run, but when the run is a bunch of circles around an indoor track it isn't quite as appealing.  I'm really looking forward to real spring in Minnesota.  We have had some lovely warm winter days, and we did run outdoors, but those days are past.  Actual spring is due, and the sooner the better.  Maybe Saturday.

12:07, 12:52, 11:44, 11:48, 11:23, total 59:53, five miles, overall pace 11:59.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ShamROCK 10K Review

Sunday, March 19, 2017:

Hot.  The high for Sunday was 96 degrees, besting the previous record high for Phoenix AZ by 4 degrees.  This on the last day of winter, mind you.  Of course this is no fault of the race committee, and happily we ran in the morning, not in the 96 degree air.

My Race:

The temperature was probsbly in the low 80's during my race.  I had planned to continue my training regimen, running intervals of about 5 minutes out of each mile, but quickly overheated and gave that up after the first two minutes.  Instead I ran until I didn't feel like running any more, and then walked until I felt OK to run again.  I think that my time may have been about the same as if I had done the longer run segments, but the training benefil may not have been as good.  No matter, it was the best I could do.

I finished the 10K in 1:17:37, first (of 1) in my 75+ age group, pace 12:31 per mile.  I wonder how I might have done in comfortable weather.  We have more races coming up - perhaps I'll find out.  In the meantime the training continues.

The ShamROCK 10K, 1/2 Marathon, and 5K:

We started in a lovely park, part of the Rose Mofford Sports Complex on the northwest side of Phoenix, but almost all of the actual race was an out-and-back along a wide asphalt trail between two canals, one wide, deep, and empty, and the other much narrower but filled with muddy-looking water flowing generally northwest.  

The course included some interesting views across each of the canals, but very little shade.  I suspect the advantage is that no police were required - wherever the trail crossed a street, it dove under the street in a tunnel.

Those short tunnels harbored the only real problem - disrespectful bike riders, some of whom clearly felt that the trail belonged to them, not us pedestrians.  Except for the tunnels, the trail was wide enough for bikes and runners, all going both ways, but space was limited in the tunnels.  I was struck on the arm by one man going way too fast in poor light.  No injury, an inch or two my way and the bike rider and I would doubtless have shared an ambulance.  He didn't hit me intentionally - he was just riding stupid.  Too fast - too little light - too many people - unaware of debris on the ground in the tunnel.

I was a bit surprised by the attitude of a race official when I mentioned the problem of the bike riders.  To summarize:  "Too bad, we told you about it in the race literature, we're not responsible, and there is nothing we can do about it in the future."  Oh well, if you run this race keep a watch behind yourself, especially in the tunnels.  Or carry a baseball bat.

Otherwise this was a nice race.  Everyone was more than welcoming and friendly, especially at the water stations.  Those were every mile and a half, very much appreciated in this extreme heat.  None of the races have a time limit, so almost anyone can run any of them.  I recommend it.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lots of Runs

Friday, March 17, 2017:

Preview of Sunday's race in Phoenix.  Very warm.  I had intended to run/walk the full race course, but just walked with my sweeties instead, about 4.5 miles.  This was probably about the right thing to do two days before the hot race.

Wednesday, March 15:

Soccer dome today.  For some reason they had it warmed up nicely - the temperature in the pressurized dome is quite unpredictable, having little to do with the temperature outdoors and perhaps much more to do with the whims of the person in charge of the thermostat.  I heard that it was very cold in the dome yesterday, so maybe today was (over)compensation.  Because of the uncertainty I do wear layers, and down to one shirt I was almost comfortable, though shorts would have been better than the running pants that I had on.

I forgot my watch, so regulated the run/walk ratio by counting laps instead of time.  I'll probably do something similar in the upcoming 10k race, run 5 minutes of each mile instead of X minutes of each 10 minutes.  I've recently been running 4 ½ of each 10, so 5 is no stretch.  Also the weather promises to be hot, in the 70's or 80's by race time, so I may ramp down the speed and probably the run/walk ratio to be safe.  This Minnesota boy isn't used to the summer heat yet!  Still snow on the ground where we live.

8:59, 9:11, 9:24, 9:36, 9:49, 9:57, total 4.7 mi in 58 minutes, pace 12:20.

Monday, March 13:

Wonderful Run at the YMCA   A very nice track, 12 laps per mile, or so I believe.  They say 11, but 12 seems closer.  I am still running 10 minute walk/run intervals, six such intervals per outing.  Recently the run portion was 4 minutes per interval, but today I increased that to 4 ½ minutes.  Running almost half of the time, for 5 miles.  Today it felt great, and in fact I enjoyed increasing my speed a little in the last lap.

We are scheduled to do a 10k race soon, 6.2 miles.  I think I could run these same intervals for that distance with no problem.

Mile splits: 11:58, 11:52, 11:29, 11:30, 11:28, total 58:17, overall pace 11:40.  Approximately.

Friday, Mar 10:

YMCA, five miles running 4 minutes out of each 10.

March 3 through 8: 

Three more 5-mile walk/runs and one very hilly 10k walk to the co-op and back, carrying groceries in backpacks.  Improving weather; the 10k walk was outdoors, of course, as well as one of the walk/runs.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Five Miles at the YMCA

Wednesday, March 1, 2017:

First blog post in over a month, but I am doing the running.

Currently I'm running four minutes of every 10-minute interval, six intervals per run.  The average pace, walking and running, is about 12 minutes per mile, so the whole run takes about an hour.

The running (run/walking) part of my training is going well - I do still feel glad when each four-minute run portion is about up, but that's the road to improvement.  I'm happy to start running again when the next run portion is due.  According to my therapist, I should do the one-hour run three times per week, and I have been doing that regularly.  Soon I will increase the run portion to 4 ½ or 5 minutes.

Another part of the training regimen is a set of resistance exercise and stretches.  I do those occasionally, but not as regularly as I should, or a often as I do the runs.  I am still looking for a way to incorporate the resistance and stretches into daily life.

A third part of the program is weight loss.  I am about 15 pounds overweight, but so far have not been able to take off even one pound.  I have a good system if I do it, but find it hard to resist overeating.  I blame the dexamethasone (DEX) for that, in part, as I get ravenously hungry at times after taking the DEX.  However, it's really just a matter of sufficient will power.  I'll have to figure out a better plan - just doing the same thing over and over is obviously not working.

Mile splits: 12:33, 12:35, 11:50, 11:49, 12:11, total 1:00:57

Monday, February 27:

Very Good Run   Running 4 minutes of each of the six 10-minute intervals now, and it's going OK.  I'll be truthful - I was glad when the run portions ended, most of them anyway, but I persevered to the end of each one, even when they were uphill.  Several were - it's a hilly route.  That's how progress is made, though, "no pain no gain."

The distance was 5.3 miles, time 1:06:14, pace 12:30.  That's a good pace, I'm making progress.

Friday, Feb 24:

Four minutes per of running per interval, at the YMCA.  As usual, most of the intervals were ten minutes.  This is the first time I've run four  minutes without walking in years, and I did it for six separate intervals.  It felt pretty good, actually.  I can't wait to get started on this week's running.

Mile splits: 12:08, 12:13, 11:49, 11:43, 11:51, total 59:44

Wednesday, Feb 22:

My "hospital" run with an extra 1.1 miles.  3 ½ minute runs per interval.  Total time for 5.1 miles was 1:08:14, for a pace of 13:23.  This route is hilly and includes a couple of traffic lights.  I did shorten one uphill run portion to 3 minutes, but added in the extra half minute later.

Monday, Feb 20:

YMCA track.  Mile splits: 12:06, 11:06, 11:39, 11:22, 11:18, total 58:19.  Does it add up?  Doesn't seem to add up - maybe I wrote something down wrong.  3 ½ minutes running per interval.

Friday, Feb 17:

Three In A Row  Another good run, this time a little longer and in unusually nice weather.  April in February.

For about the last 7 runs I walked and ran 6 intervals of 5 to 10 minutes, with the run portion of each interval taking 3 minutes.  Today I extended the run portion to 3 ½ minutes, and no problem.  In fact I felt as though I could go longer.  I didn’t do that, because of the risk of injury, but that’s what has to happen - almost continuous running, as opposed to walking, That’s how I will get my speed back.

This month we have been favored with outdoor-running weather several times, and around our house the roads aren’t flat, so on those days, hill training has been unavoidable.  Running uphill is a lot of work, but it does help build muscle for hills as well as for flat running.  And, it feels so wonderful to get to the top of the hill!

4.5 miles in 59:06, pace 13:08, and I had to wait for several traffic lights.  The training plan is working.

Wednesday, Feb 15:

Soccer dome.  Much Better Again.  Mile splits: 13:10, 12:23, 12:37, 13:14, 6:25 (1/2 mile), total 57:49

Monday, Feb 13:

Much Better.  Climbed 50 feet in about 0.2 mile.  4.7 miles in 1:04:29, pace 13:43, with some stoplights.

Friday, Feb 10:

Weary   This was an outdoor run, unusual in February, temps in the 40's.  My legs were pretty weary toward the end though.

Wednesday, Feb 8:

Weary.  Not such a good run today - I did the running but my legs felt pretty weary.

Monday, Feb 6:

YMCA M.  Mile splits: 13:46, 13:35, 12:19, 13:15, 2:33, total 55:29.

Friday, Feb 3:

YMCA W:  Mile Splits: 12:21, 12:04, 12:18, 11:44, 6:29, total 54:56

Wednesday, Feb 1:

Six Three-minute runs.  In accordance with the training plan, I walked and ran six intervals of 5 to 10 minutes, with the run portion of each interval taking 3 minutes.  It went pretty well I think.  I was glad when each of the three-minute runs was up, but breathing was still OK.  In the past, I have been able to run comfortably while breathing at a rate of one full breath in four footfalls. That ratio held true for each of the runs except the last, when I needed a full breath every three footfalls.

I'll stick with three-minute runs until they really do feel comfortable at four footfalls, then advance to 3 ½ minutes.

Splits: 12:38, 13:05, 11:59, 17:19, total 55:02, but the watch got screwed up in the last "mile" so I might have gone a bit farther than the four miles that I am logging.

Monday, January 30, 2017:

Running at the YMCA.  Run portion of each of the six intervals was 2.5 minutes.  Mile splits: 13:38, 13:44, 12:31, 13:25, 1:44 (0.2 mi), total 55:02, average pace 13:06.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Outdoor Run In January!

Saturday, January 28, 2016:


Trails and sidewalks were almost dry and bare today, and the temperature was almost up to freezing, so I couldn't resist.  We haven't had much snow recently, and the city and (most) citizens have been doing an admirable job of clearing it.  In the few places where citizens have ignored their civic (and legal) duty to keep their sidewalk clear, I slowed to a walk and, where possible, walked around the ice that had formed.  No problem.

Today the run portion of each of the six intervals was 2.5 minutes.  I'll probably do that once more, and then step it up to 3 minutes.  This was a very enjoyable run, so much more interesting than 52 laps around the track at a YMCA or 21 laps in the soccer dome.

Two-mile splits: 28:22, 26:17, total 4 miles in 54:40, pace 13:40.  Gear: Two shirts & a wind jacket, running pants, ear cover, & gloves.  Just right.

Weight Loss:

One element of my training regimen is weight loss, with a preliminary goal of about 20 pounds.  Maybe 25.  I started at 170.8 on Monday morning Jan 16, then down to 167.0 last Wednesday Jan 25.  That was a monthly infusion day though, the infusion including 50 mg of IV prednisone, and I weighed 171 Thursday morning, a 4-pound gain.  Uff-da.  Still, I've been down a little every day since, and today I weighed 167.5.

Well, that's pretty close to 2 pounds per week, which is actually good enough.  History reminds me that I'm likely to get sick if I lose too fast, and I feel great right now.  Two pounds per week would be just fine if I keep it up.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Seven Training Sessions

Each session is about an hour, comprising six walk/run intervals of 5 to 10 minutes, with the run portion increasing by 1/2 minute every three or four sessions.

Thursday, Jan 26, 2017, Soccer Dome

Run portion 2.5 minutes
Mile splits: 13:53, 13:58, 12:33, 13:49, 5:24 (0.4 mi), total 59:36, 4.4 miles, pace 13:33.

Monday, Jan 23, YMCA M

Run portion 2.5 minutes
Mile splits: 12:49, 13:00, 13:36, 12:54, total 52:19, 4 miles, pace 13:05.  Not sure about the miles.

Friday, Jan 20, Soccer Dome

Run portion 2.0 minutes
Mile splits: 13:19, 13:44, 12:22, 13:44, 2:07 (.2 mi), total 55:16, distance 4.2, pace 13:10.

Wednesday, Jan 18, Soccer Dome

Run portion 2.0 minutes
Mile splits: 12:49, 13:04, 13:00, 13:18, 4:29 (0.37 mi), total 56:41, pace 12:58.

Sunday, Jan 15, YMCA W

Run portion 2.0 minutes
Splits: 12:35,12:37, 11:21, 11:32, 8:41, total 4 10/13 mi in 56:47

Friday, Jan 13, YMCA W

Run portion 2.0 minutes
Splits: 12:52, 12:40, 12:41, 12:06, 5:57 (½ mi), total 56:18, avg pace 12:31

Wednesday, Jan 11, Soccer Dome

Run portion 1.5 minutes
Splits: 12:52, 26:05 (2 mi), 13:24, 6:39 (½ mi), total 59:00 for about 4.5 miles, pace about 13:07.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Whole Training Program

As it stands now.  Here Is the outline:

1. Sessions of walk/run, each session comprising 6 walk/run intervals of 5 to 10 minutes, with the run portion increasing by one half minute every three or four sessions.  I'm at 2 minutes of running per interval now.  Sessions are separated by a rest day, and by two rest days after  every three sessions. Start each session with stretches and walking.

2. Regular core exercises and stretches, three or four times per week.  So far, my therapist Katie has prescribed these exercises:
a. Single leg bridge, 30 - 50 reps, each leg.
b. Double leg bridge, 30 - 50 reps.
c. Hip abduction (clam shell) 30 - 50 reps, each side.
d. Stand on one foot for 60 seconds, other foot not touching, 2 reps, each foot.
e. Calf stretch for 60 seconds, 2 reps, each calf.

3. Regular upper-body exercises:
a. Bicep curls.
b. Tricep extension.
c. Low rows.
d. Lateral pulldown.

4. Weight loss.  I'm a 14-year Weight Watchers lifetime member, so that is the system that I will use.  It works if I stick to it.  In addition, I'm temporarily skipping my daily bottle of beer at dinner.  Started at 170.8 pounds on Monday.

The walk/run sessions are easiest for me - I love to walk and run, and have been doing those regularly since December 31.  Core exercises are not so much fun - I've done them a few times, but I'm still looking for a way to fit them comfortably into my life.

I don't think that Katie cares as much about the upper-body exercises - she may have listed those because I raised the subject, and I haven't started them yet.  I have purchased materials for a chinning bar, yet to be installed.

Katie hasn't said one word about weight loss, nor have I, but I was 20 pounds lighter when I did my best running, and that much loss might help my speed considerably and reduce the chance of injury.  Furthermore, running is only one of several excellent reasons to remove my front bumper.

Off and running!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Meet of the Miles

Monday, January 9, 2017:

This is a delightful 1-mile race on the 200-meter indoor track at the University of Minnesota Field House.  It attracts lots of college-age young people and quite a few oldsters as well.  It's also the first of the 13 races of the season-long Minnesota Grand Prix running competition.  I have done this race many times, and enjoy the atmosphere in the Field House, with runners who can do a mile in 4:20 or faster, and others of us who need almost three times as much time.  All are welcome.

Personally, I find the mile distance to be the most intense of any of the races I have ever run.  Nothing makes me (and others) breathe harder than running almost all-out for 8 minutes or so.  For that reason, in fact, and because the air is very dry in the Field House in January, the organizer of this race brings big bags of Halls cough drops.

This time, though, I didn't race.  I incorporated the 1-mile distance into my training program, and ran the first of the 8 laps, walked about three, ran another, walked again, and finished with a third running lap.  It's a poor way to win a race, but it fit the training schedule pretty well.  Time 10:58.  No pains, no problems.

Before the race I did my training regimen for a while, including three of the running portions, so the total was six, just as prescribed by the program.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Third Training Run

On the new training program.

I was at Mayo clinic for a day this week, then felt sick for a couple of days, so this is the first run since Monday.  No connection implied between the Mayo and the illness - doubtless just a coincidence.  In fact, the news at Mayo was good - the myeloma is still stable at a level that doesn't seem to be hurting me.

I still wasn't entirely up to par today, though, so I couldn't walk quite as fast as I had in some recent runs.  Nevertheless it was a good session.  For five intervals I walked 9 minutes, then ran 1, and for the final interval walked 3.5 minutes and ran 1.5, with a couple more walking laps to reach 4.5 miles.  No problems.  The next three or four sessions will employ runs of 1.5 minutes.

The very next session is a 1-mile race, which will be incorporated into the training regimen.  This will be fun.

Mile splits: 12:54, 12:49, 13:02, 12:51, 6:16 (½ mi), total 57:53 for 4.5 mi, overall pace 12:53.

Monday, January 02, 2017

First Two Training Runs

Monday, January 2, 2017:

As if I haven’t already run thousands of mile in training!  But this is a new deal.  I’ve accepted my therapist’s advice on training for more speed, and I’m doing it by the book.  So far so good.

Today I walked fast for 9 minutes and ran 1 minute, repeating that for five intervals, then ran 4 minutes and walked 1 for the sixth interval.  With a couple of extra walking laps at the end, that took me to 4 ½ miles in about 57 minutes.  The pace works out to 12:44, but I think the advertised 13 laps per mile for the YMCA track is at least a half lap short of a real mile, so I wasn't going quite 12:44.

Whatever, this was a more-energetic training run than usual, though I think that my breathing and heart rate stayed below the aerobic threshold (burning mostly fat, not much glucose) for the time.

No pains, no strains.  Now according to the therapist's rules I can't do another training run for two days.  That's OK - maybe tomorrow is my day to figure out the resistance part of the new regimen.

When I do run again, I'll do this same sequence of intervals.  After that third sequence, I'll increase the running portion of the intervals to 1.5 minutes, reducing the walking portion accordingly.

Splits: 12:54, 12:50, 12:50, 12:29, 6:14 (½ mi), total 57:17 for 4.5 mi, pace 12:44.

Saturday, December 31, 2016:

First Real Training Run.   The plan today was to walk at least 4 minutes, then run one minute, repeating that sequence six times.  I chose to walk 9 minutes and run 1, finishing the last interval with 4 minutes and 1 minute.  Total 4 ½ miles in 57:44, for a pace of 12:50.

No pains.

Splits: 12:47, 12:58, 12:59, 12:34, 6:26 (½ mi)