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.