January 31, 2004

Windy and cold wind-chill during run

My wake up HR was 50 this morning. When I left on my run the temperature was 31F with a 10 mph wind (17F wind chill). I had a nice run but felt tired at the end of the run. I ran in shorts again, but because of the wind, I kept my breaker on for the full run.

I can think of two reasons why I've felt tired at the end of my last two runs. It could be the increase in distance that I did on the 24th, or it could be that I didn't get quite as much sleep this week as I need. Additional distance (or speed) and lack of sleep put a greater stress on my body, and this reduces my endurance. If the lack of sleep is up to half an hour, it may not affect my waking HR much, but if it is more than that, it does increase my HR.

January 29, 2004

Tired yesterday, great run today

I didn't run yesterday because I woke up with a HR of 55 and I was very tired. I had heartburn during the night and lost about an hour of sleep (I finally got out of bed and drank some aloe vera, and then I went to sleep). I've had mild heartburn for the past three or four years, but once I started drinking aloe vera and extra water, my heartburn has pretty much gone away.

Today was different. My wake up HR was 50, I felt pretty good and had a nice run, although I was starting to feel tired towards the end of the run. Temperature was 36 when I left and 38 when I returned. There was a slight wind. Yesterday's high was 46, and today will probably be similar.

I run in shorts until the temperature goes below freezing, so today I wore shorts, a T-shirt, and my wind breaker. About half way through I removed the breaker because I was starting to sweat.

January 27, 2004

Saw a Golden Eagle

My wake up HR was 49 when I woke up. The temperature is 23, but the sun is out for a while and it may warm up a bit. For the past month, our daytime temperatures have mostly been below freezing.

Since today is a rest day and I won't be running, I thought I would relate a nice experience I had a couple of weeks ago while running. There is a section of my 3-mile route that doesn't have houses around it. I was running down that section and a Golden Eagle flew over me and landed on the telephone pole just in front of me. It had been perched on the pole that I had just passed. As I neared the pole, I walked slowly toward it and got within about 20 feet of the pole before the bird flew to the next pole. When it flew over me, and then when it flew away as I walked toward it; it was about 22 feet in the air. I have a good estimate of the height, because I used to work part time as an outdoor tech for the phone company, and the telephone cable on the poles is 18 feet in the air. The top of the pole is around 26 feet high, and the bird dipped a bit as it flew from pole to pole. A beautiful sight!

There were a few times, when I was running in Shrewsbury, MA, that I saw a Golden Eagle. The bird was perched in a particular tree along a rural stretch of road, and it would fly away as I approached. I only got within about a hundred feet of it, but it was beautiful to see and watch as it flew away.

Massachusetts, because of all the trees, has many wild animals, and I've seen, while running, foxes, skunks, porcupines, opossums, and, of course, lots of gray squirrels, along with a variety of birds. While running here in Utah, I saw a coyote and now the eagle. Oh, yes, I've seen lots of Canadian Geese in both Massachusetts and Utah. In Massachusetts they were usually flying overhead in their V formation, but in Utah they are in the fields foraging for food; I walk slowly past the fields and get within 50 feet or so of them before they fly away. One day they flew right over me and were only about 15 feet in the air -- that was exciting!

January 26, 2004

My winter running apparel is three layers

Another great run. My wake up HR was 50, I had a good eight hours of sleep (I've been getting 6 1/2 to 7), and I felt good. The temperature was 27F but there was a slight wind. I couldn't feel the wind when I ran with it, so I would guess it was about 7 mph. That would give a chill factor of 17F. When I ran against the wind, the effective wind was about 14 mph and a chill factor of 6. I could feel the difference on my face when I ran against or with the wind. I ran past several houses with flags and noticed how much they were waving in the wind, so I could use them in the future to gage wind velocity. I'm still wearing just my normal three layers and my old running hat (nothing on my face or ears). I sweat a lot, and I'd rather be cool at the beginning and comfortable at the end than comfortable at the beginning and too warm at the end. I don't wear gloves; I just pull my hands up in the sleeves of my nylon breaker.

We had 4 - 5 inches of fluffy snow over the weekend with more coming later in the week. It may be a while before I get back to the canal road. The ski resorts are happy! Snowbird has had 328 inches of snow this season with 93 inches on the ground half way up the mountain from the lodge.

Tonight after we got home from work, my wife and I took a short walk of 3/4 mile. The temperature was 23, and the wind was stronger that it was this morning. I would guess maybe 10 mph, giving a chill factor of 7. We were walking at a fast pace (15 minute miles) and that helped keep us warm.

January 24, 2004

Temperature was 27 F

I had a great run today! The temperature was 23F (shade temperature, no direct sun on the thermometer). My wake up HR was 51, and I felt great! No wind, and nice sunshine. It was a beautiful day to be out. About half way through I removed the wind breaker (two T shirts remaining), and by the time I reached home, I was sweating.

I mentioned earlier that because of snow on the ground, I'm running a 3 mile alternate route instead of my normal 4 mile route along a canal road. I've been running the 3 miles for three weeks, so today I added 1/4 mile. I'll do that for a couple of weeks and then add another 1/4 mile. I'd like to work up close to 4 miles before the snow melts so I'll be ready for the 4 mile route when the snow is gone.

I don't check my weight very often, but I did check it before I ran today. 163 #, which has been my normal for the past year. When I was married 40 years ago, I weighed 149. Twenty years later when I was running marathons in Massachusetts I was 157. Twenty years after than, I'm now up to 163. My weight should come down a bit as I get into longer distances, but I'm ok as is. I've never drunk much soda, but I've completely given it up for nutritional reasons. I've never eaten a lot of candy, but baked goods and ice cream have been my weakness. I'm cutting way back on the baked stuff and ice cream, and I'm eating moderately as I always have done. I also take Juice Plus+ and aloe vera to insure that I have proper nutrition. During the past two years, I've noticed I don't need as much food, an aspect of getting old I guess. That is probably the reason for my gain from 157 to 162. One of the reasons I like to run is that it has made me more health conscious.

January 23, 2004

My wakeup HR hasn't risen much as I've gotten older

I normally would have run this morning, but my wife and I are leaving for an early morning church activity, and we'll go directly to our work. I'll run tomorrow. My wakeup HR this morning was 52. When I started running marathons about 22 years ago, my wake up HR was 44. After my first year of marathons (two marathons that year) my HR dropped to 40 and remained there during the next year (two more marathons). So, after 20 years of short distance running, my HR is still pretty low for an old guy my age.

January 22, 2004

Here is my running strategy

My HR this morning was 49. Today is a rest day. I'm running three times per week. When I get up to about six miles, I'll level off at that distance and run it for a couple of months to build a base. Then I'll add a fourth day, starting at half a mile, and I'll slowly build up the fourth day to three miles. After a couple of months I'll add a fifth day and build it from half a mile to three miles. That will give me three six milers and two three milers per week (24 miles). After three months of building a good 24 mile base, I'll start my marathon training by extending one of the six mile days to a long run of 15 miles (33 miles per week).

After a year of 33 miles, I'll sign up for the St. George(Utah) marathon in the fall of the year. During the preceding summer I'll extend the 15 mile long run up to 20 miles and the other distances up a couple of miles, peaking about a month before the marathon. I'll just run the 20 miler one time. During that last month I'll taper back to 15 miles for the long run but will keep the other distances at their extended values. After the marathon I'll go back to the 33 mile base and will keep it during the winter. When spring comes, I'll start to work up to another marathon that fall.

This is the plan I used for my four marathons in New England and it worked well for me. I'm older now (68) and need more time for increases in distance and for recovery periods. Also, I'm running at a 5000 foot elevation instead of the 300 foot elevation of my former home in Massachusetts, and that means I need more time to build up endurance. The good news is that St. George is only 3000 feet. That decrease of 2000 feet means I'll be running the marathon with more oxygen than I'm getting now. Elevation does make a difference. A few years ago my wife and I visited our kids in New England and I ran a few miles in Connecticut. I could tell that I was running better than I did in Utah.

I'll probably be 70 or 71 when I do another marathon. Years ago when I finished my third marathon, I was happy that I'd finished it a few seconds less than four hours. While I was walking around recovering from the run, I saw an old man standing nearby. I asked him what his time was, and he said 3 hours 59 minutes and 50 something seconds. That was my time almost to the second! I asked him his age and he said 83. Ever since then I've had a goal to run a marathon under four hours at age 83. Right now I'm running four miles at age 68. That means I have fifteen years to pick up another 22.2 miles :-) A great goal to keep me going.

I don't plan to do any speed training while I'm preparing for my next marathon. It's risky, especially for an older person, to mix increases in distance with increases in speed. However, after I've done the marathon I'll do some speed work to bring down my time. I'm hoping to do one marathon per year. Maybe I'll get the world record for a marathon at age 100...

January 21, 2004

Ran 3 miles through the town

I work afternoons and evenings, so I do my running in the mornings. My wake up heart rate (HR) today was 50 so I was rested and was ready to run (had a good seven hours of sleep last night, my normal amount).

After doing my routine of stretches, I left home about 10 am and ran 3 miles through the streets of my town. I usually run along a canal to get away from houses and cars, but we have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and I'm running the streets until the snow melts. I don't know how fast I ran or how long the run took because I never look at my watch. I just run and enjoy it. The temperature was a few degrees below freezing during the run. I started with two T-shirts and a wind breaker, but about half way through I removed the breaker. I felt good at the beginning but was starting to get cold by the end of the run.

Dogs bark because they want to play with you

There are some dogs that live by the canal, and they come out and bark. I stop and make friends with them by talking with them, and they were starting to not bark as much. Then the snow came. When I go back to the canal road, I'll probably have to start over making friends with them. In my 30 years of running, I've never had dog problems; rather, I've always enjoyed seeing them. When I lived in Massachusetts, there was a big dog that would come out and run with me for about five miles. This went on for several months. Then one day, he stopped coming; I never learned what happened to him. It was sad to not see him any more!

Horses need to eat too

I run past three pastures with horses, and I've been thinking I should bring some carrots to feed them, but I keep forgetting to bring the carrots. Oh well, maybe next time. Before the snow came, I was running four miles along the canal, and I'll go back to that distance when the snow is gone.

January 19, 2004

Welcome to my running blog!

I'm teaching the basics of running injury-free through my postings in this blog. Feel free to respond to my postings with your experiences!

I have graphs of my wakeup pulse rate and my distances at

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