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.