Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Best Run So Far

Tuesday, April 24, 2012:

Best run since surgery, that is. We ran in the park today, my two sweeties on the paved trails and I on the grass trails. Right after the surgery they were much faster than I was, but now I’m again able to keep up and more. Healing is happening.

Run: I ran roughly 15 to 20 seconds of each two minutes, going 5.23 miles in 1:08:34, for an average pace of 13:07. This was almost exactly the same pace as Saturday’s run, but it was half again as far, and on hilly grass trails, which are a little slower than paved streets. If continued for 26.22 miles, 13:07 calculates out to a marathon finish of 5:44. The speed is good enough, and I have almost nine weeks yet to build up the distance.

I did alter the intervals from time to time, so that I could do the running portions on an uphill part of the trail, and never run on the downhill. This has two advantages: (1) There is less "pounding" when running uphill, because stride is shorter and it’s easy to land softly on the ball of the foot; and (2) Runnng uphill is very, very good for the thighs and calves, which require some rebuilding after several weeks off. For the first time in weeks, those muscles feel tired tonight, as if they have been put to good use.

Whining: Occasionally I felt a dull ache in the area of the surgery, barely noticeable. It doesn’t feel like I’m reinjuring the surgical repair, but I don’t want to feel anything there at all, so I react to that by slowing or dropping to a walk. There is no ache when walking. There were no other pains.

Weight: 161.3 lb this morning, down 1.2 lb from the first measurement of 162.5 last Friday, no doubt mostly water. I’ve recorded my food intake each day since the start, using the Weight Watchers methods, and I know that this will work because it has worked for me before. They call it "journaling." I know that I can stop journaling if I can get back to running 30 to 40 miles per week, but in the meantime it’s a small price to pay to get my weight down and keep it where I want it. The intermediate goal is 150 lb, at which point I’ll re-evaluate. I’m guessing that I’ll want to take off another five or ten. Easy does it though - a pound a week is enough. The system works and there is lots of time.

Sunday, April 22:

We three hadn’t run the Gateway Trail since the new bridge over Manning was opened. Manning is a 55 mph highway, Washington County Road 15. Runners, bikers, skateboarders, horse riders, anyone using the trail had their lives in their hands as they crossed Manning. The new bridge eliminates that issue entirely. It’s wonderful. Here is a very nice blog about the bridge. We started at Pine Point Park and ran the two miles to milepost 16, just past the Manning bridge, then back. I went a little farther, as I was going just slightly faster. The bridge is wide, with a concrete deck, and the approaches are long, so the climb to the top is easy. I’m delighted with it.

My own run was slow and steady. I did feel a little ache in the surgical area a few times, so I ran only 10 seconds of every two minutes, and didn’t walk at full speed. My total distance was about 4.3 miles, and time was 1:03:58, so the average pace was about 14:53, barely faster than a fast walk. I’m happy though.

Spring trails in the park:

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