July 31, 2006

A great 5-mile rest run

My wakeup HR was 48 this morning, and I felt pretty good. The weather forecast for the next several days is cooler with a max in the 80s (F). When I left home this morning, the temperature was in the high 60s (F), and when I returned from my run it was in the low 70s (F). The sky was cloudy, and not having the direct sun was great. I ran at a comfortable pace and stopped once in a while for a water break. I drank about 10 oz of water during the run, having drunk about 16 oz after I got up and before I left.

Even though the temperature was cooler and the sky was cloudy, I still sweat a lot; my T-shirt was soaked all the way from the neckline down to the tail. The humidity was higher due to the clouds, and we had a few sprinkles of rain right after I got home.

After I finished my run, two girls stopped to ask me a couple of questions about distances on the Jordan River Parkway. They are planning on running the St. George (Utah) marathon in October. They said their long run is 8 miles and they are running 20 miles a week. I told them that isn't enough -- they will finish but will be "hurting". With nine weeks before their marathon, and three of those for a taper, they only have 6 weeks of good training left. I hope they can get more miles in during those weeks. They are following a novice plan from runnersworld.com

July 30, 2006

Tired today

My wakeup HR was 50 this morning. I feel tired even though I had a good 7 hours sleep. I think I'm tired because I pushed for speed yesterday. If I had done LSD, I probably wouldn't be as tired this morning. My body is stronger, but it still needs a rest day after the long run.

Yesterday after the run, during the night, and this morning my feet feel fine. My wife commented yesterday afternoon that I wasn't hobbling around like I had in previous Saturdays. I've mentioned in past posts that my feet have some pain and stiffness after I'm on my feet a lot and after long runs. This pain was the original reason why I started running. I didn't feel any pain after long runs 24 years ago when I ran marathons, because my feet had developed strength due to the running. I haven't felt the pain since the run yesterday, and this is a good sign!

Training Graphs

July 29, 2006

My fastest 13-miler

I got up earlier than I did last week and began running at 7:19 am MDT. The shade temperature when I left home was 70 (F), and I had a great run. I finished in 2:41, my fastest 13-miler to date. When I arrived back home, the shade temperature was 89 (F). The cooler temperature and the extra liquid (four 20-oz bottles) that I drank made the difference, and I was able to set a new PB for my long run.

There were lots and lots of people on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. Just before I got to my turnaround point, I came upon two kids manning a water table for a 5K race. I asked them how many runners were in the race, but they didn't know. They had about 20 paper cups of ice water on their table. I didn't see any of the runners, because they were coming from the other direction. That was a difficult route for a 5K, because the turnaround point for the race was at the bottom of a big hill, and the racers had to run the hill from both directions.

I mentioned in my Thursday post an article in Runner's World that has a table giving the amount of fluid we should drink during a run to replace the fluid lost through sweat. The data in the table are based on scientific studies of sweat rates as well as tests made by the RW staff. For my run today, the table says I should have drunk 75 oz of liquid. I drank two swallows less than 80 oz. So, my use of four bottles today was just about right. I sweat a lot, and the table data seems to be close to my needs. I could tell that I did feel better because of the extra liquid I drank -- the heat didn't bother me at all. The cooler temperature helped, too.

After I had returned home, I forgot to check the color of my urine as a check on the amount of water I drank during the run. When I was only drinking 40 oz of water & Gatorade, my urine after a run was a dark color, indicating I needed more fluid during the run. I'll probably be drinking 80 oz again next week, and I'll check the color of my urine when I return home.

In past posts I've mentioned a big hill that is on the north side of the detour that goes through a residential neighborhood. I've been walking up the hill, but on Wednesday I ran all the way up the hill, and I did the same today. So, I am getting stronger. I'm glad to have some hills on my long run, because the GSL race will have a couple of small hills near mile 11. The big hill that I've mentioned is probably the largest hill during my run. There is another big hill just before my turnaround point (the hill mentioned above relative to the 5K race). My turnaround is on top of that hill, so I only climb the hill one time. There are a few small hills here and there during the run. Oh yes, the detour through the residential neighborhood has a downhill slope to the south, so I have to run it uphill on my return. It isn't a big change of elevation, but it lasts for about 1/2 mile. All of these hills are giving me some good resistance training.

If any of you are local to the Salt Lake valley and would like a map of the detour, go to mapmyrun.com and search on jordan river parkway. Then select the link for Jordan River Parkway: South Jordan/Riverton Detour.

There are four phases to running hills. First, you can't run the hill and you walk it. Second, you run the hill at a very slow jog. Third, you run the hill at a faster pace but slower than your normal pace. Fourth, you run the hill at your normal pace. I'm in phase 2 for the big hill at the north end of the residential area.

Next Saturday will be my last 13-mile long run. I will taper for two weeks, and then run the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon on Saturday, August 19, 6:30 am in Clearfield, Utah. The race will be across the causeway to Antelope Island. I'm hoping to complete the race in 2:30 or less. To do that, I will have to reduce my pace by 1 minute per mile, compared to my time today.

My wakeup HR was 50 this morning.

Training Graphs

July 28, 2006

Amazing what a rest day will do

My wakeup HR was 46 this morning, and I feel great! The forecast for today is a high of 102 (F) and for tomorrow 101 (F). I hope I sleep well tonight so I can get up early and beat the heat.

My problem last week wasn't getting to bed early. It was waking up and not going back to sleep for three hours, thus causing me to sleep in. I've always had a problem with anxiety affecting my sleep before an important event the next day. That's what happened last week. I've been doing well in my training for the GSL, and I was worried about the heat messing up the long run, and anxiety got to me. In a way, my experience last Saturday was a good experience, because I learned I can run in 100+ temperatures and survive -- I just need to reduce my pace and to drink more liquids. Tomorrow, I'm planning on taking 80 ounces of liquid with me instead of my "normal" 40 ounces. My run will be three hours.

July 27, 2006

My new LOCO shoes came

I ordered a new pair of LOCO Perfecto shoes (http://www.locorunning.com/) to use in the GSL, and they came a couple of days ago. They don't need breaking in, but I'm breaking them in anyway. I wore them on Tuesday for my 2 mile rest run. I'll wear then next Monday for the 5-miler, and then for each run until the race. That will give me about 50 miles on them before the race.

My wakeup HR was 47 this morning, although I'm still tired from my 10-miler last night. I had a good 7 hours sleep. I'm looking forward to the next two days of rest and then the 13-miler on Saturday.

The current issue of Runner's World has a nice article on avoiding heat stroke, and there is a table in the article that gives the amount of liquid one should drink during a run. For my body size and expected temperature on Saturday (103 F), I should be drinking over twice what I have been drinking during my 13-mile run. My fanny pack only holds 40 oz of liquid (two Gatorade bottles), so on Saturday I'm going to carry two additional bottles and throw them away as I empty them (there are quite a few waste containers along the Parkway). That will give me 80 oz of liquid, while the table says I should have 96 oz. If I need more liquid, I'll stop at the water fountain that is in the picnic area about a mile and a half from the end of the run. I learned from my experience that the 40 oz I've been carrying is not nearly enough for my 13 miler in 90+ (F) temperatures, especially since I sweat a lot.

Training Graphs

July 26, 2006

Hey, I got a negative split today

The weather prediction for today in the Salt Lake valley was a high of 99 (F). I didn't run in the morning because of a schedule problem, and I ran in the evening, hoping the temperature would be going down. However, about half an hour before I left for the Jordan River Parkway, a storm-front passed through -- high winds for 15 minutes, dark clouds, a dropping temperature, but no rain. The result was that my run was in significantly lower temperatures than I had expected. It was 71 (F) when I got home. The lower temperatures really felt good!

I made a mistake and ate a bowl of chili about two hours before I left for my 10-mile run. That wasn't enough time between the chili and the run. The effect of the food on me was that my energy level was low and I ran slower than I normally would have. However, I had a good run and enjoyed it. It was just getting dark as I reached my car.

During the run, I saw quite a few ducks in the river, a mother quail and a bunch of small chicks or what ever they are called, and several flocks of geese flying over at a low elevation, maybe 50 feet above the ground. I also had two kids follow me on their scooters for a minute. They asked me what I was doing. Then they asked me if I was running fast. I told them I was practicing for a race. I also saw a girl in a wedding gown having her picture taken by a rustic wooden bridge. I added a fartlek or kick for the last 200 feet or so of the run -- not a big increase in pace but an increase, none the less.

Yesterday I bought an Etonic poly T-shirt, and I tried it out today to see how well it wicked moisture from my skin. I couldn't tell much while I was running, because I was sweating so much that the fabric was saturated with moisture. However, as the temperature dropped during the last half of the run, I felt a bit cold on my back, and when I got home I felt a bit cold on the upper part of my body. Feeling cold was an indication that significant evaporation was taking place. Taking off the poly T-shirt was easy because it didn't cling to my skin like cotton T-shirts do.

Training Graphs

July 25, 2006

Two miles and leveling off for a month

Today is the day for my new rest run that has been building up in mileage at the rate of 1/2 mile per week. I ran a slow, easy 2 miles. I'm going to level off this run at 2 miles until after the GSL on August 19. Then, I'll slowly build it up to 5 miles.

My wakeup HR was 50. I felt somewhat tired due to only getting 5 1/2 hours sleep last night. Hopefully I'll get a nap this afternoon.

Training Graphs

July 24, 2006

Pictures of the Jordan River Parkway

My wife and I took a 3-mile walk this evening along the Jordan River Parkway, and I took pictures to share with you. The pictures are in the left side-bar.

A wonderful rest run

I had a very enjoyable, great 5-mile rest run. I was in no hurry and just jogged at a comfortable pace, stopping to walk through shady spots, to take a drink, or to rest a bit. On the way back, I stopped at the fountain in the picnic area and took a big drink. I poured water on my head and let it run down my body -- I actually felt cold for a few seconds. I filled my bottle half full and jogged back to my car. When I reached the parking lot, I poured the rest of the water on my head and enjoyed the few seconds of cold.

The temperature was 95 (F) when I returned. I was out running an hour earlier than on Saturday. My wakeup HR was 48, and I felt great!

Today is a state holiday in Utah. It's the anniversary of the Mormon pioneers entering the valley in 1847. There was a big parade in Salt Lake City and parades in some of the surrounding towns, and the Deseret News Marathon was held this morning. That race comes down one of the canyons and is a tough race because of the high altitude (~7000 feet) at the beginning and at the end (~4200 feet).

Training Graphs

July 22, 2006

A big guy sprayed me with his hose

I didn't sleep very well last night, and when I finally got back to sleep I slept in until 8 am and got about 6 1/2 hours of sleep. Getting up late meant that I left for my run late and ended up running in the hottest part of the day :( When I got back from my 13 mile long run, the shade temperature under my deck was 103 (F). My wakeup HR was 48, though, and I felt good during the run.

I felt fine and handled the heat well until mile 10, and then I started to lose energy. I had drunk most of my 20 ounces of water and 20 ounces of Gatorade, and I walked much of that mile. I knew I was having problems when I got tired while running downhill and had to walk at the bottom of the hill.

When I got to the bottom of the hill, I saw a big guy spraying down his driveway, and I asked him if he would spray me too. He said, "Sure!" Boy, that water felt good! He had a big hose, and I was soaked to the skin, from head to toe. After that I felt great and ran the next mile faster than I had run any mile that morning. At the end of the mile, I started to heat up again, but by then I was going past a picnic area that had a water fountain. I stopped at the fountain, took several big drinks and poured a lot of water on me. I filled my water bottle half full and continued my fast pace 1.5 miles to the end of the run. I even increased my pace with a little kick during the last 200 feet or so of the run.

I completed the 13-miler in 2:56, which is a good time for me, considering that I walked over half of mile 10 and stopped twice to put water on me. That was a good time considering the high temperature I was in. The 103 (F) was a shade temperature. Most of my running was in direct sun with only spots of shade here and there, and the direct-sun temperature was probably 125 or more (F). By the time I got home, the sun had moved past my kitchen window, and I couldn't measure the temperature of the direct sun. But, a 25-30 (F) difference between the shade and direct-sun temperatures has been common.

On these hot days, I'm going to take a 3rd bottle with me (two of water and one of Gatorade). That will give me 60 ounces of liquid. I will also make use of that water fountain in the picnic area.

Training Graphs

July 20, 2006

My wakeup HR is down!

Even though I had a good 10-mile run yesterday, my wakeup HR is down a point to 50. Yeah! I am getting stronger! I've been sleeping well and taking a half-hour nap each day.

Training Graphs

July 19, 2006

A good 10 miler

My wakeup HR was 51 and I felt fine during my stretches. I drank 1/2 cup water when I first got up and 1 cup after I ate a banana and just before I left for the Jordan River Parkway. I left an hour later that I should have and thus ended the run in 90+ (F) shade temperatures. The direct-sun temperature would have been about 120 degrees. I think I'm adjusting to the heat. I only took one walking break that wasn't at a mile marker, and that break was to eat a granola bar and drink some water. I felt fine during the run and (so far) feel fine afterwards.

Training Graphs

July 18, 2006

My new rest run is growing

I added half a mile to my Tuesday rest run and ran 1.5 miles this morning. I took it easy and enjoyed being out in the morning before it gets hot. One nice thing about living in the desert is that evenings cool off. We can go from a daytime high of 103 F (yesterday} to a nighttime low of 72 (last night). That 30 degree drop in temperature is typical. By running in the morning, I can run without the worst heat. Of course, on my medium and long runs, I'll still get some of the heat before I finish.

I ran along the canal road and enjoyed seeing the ducks again. I've enjoyed the canal road, but I do prefer the asphalt on the Jordan River Parkway instead of the rocky dirt road along the canal. My ankles are too stiff to handle the uneven road very well.

Training Graphs

July 17, 2006

A great 5 miles but getting hot

My wakeup HR was 51 and I felt great during my stretches. I drove to the Jordan River Parkway and ran a 5-mile rest run. I didn't have my GPS with me, and I don't know my pace, but I was going at a pretty good clip, at least as fast as on Saturday. I drank water and ate a banana just before I left home, and I ate a granola bar just before I started the run. The food didn't seem to slow me down. The shade temperature was 93(F) when I returned and was 95 when I finished my shower.

Training Graphs

July 15, 2006

Ran 11 miles today

The weather forecast for today was for 100+ temperatures, so I went to bed earlier last night and got up earlier for my reduced long run. When I left home about 7:30 am, the shade temperature was about 74 (F). When I returned the shade temperature was 86. My wakeup HR was 52.

I ran the Jordan River Parkway and enjoyed the cooler morning air. There was a light breeze blowing, and a lot of runners, walkers, roller bladers, and bikers were out. I ran the 11 miles in 2 hours 21 minutes for an average pace of 12:49, including walking breaks and a brief stop to watch an artist work on her painting of a marsh. That finishing time extrapolated to 13 miles would be 2 hours 47 minutes, a bit faster than my 12 mile run on Wednesday and my 13 mile run a week ago. I didn't make any effort to go faster. I just let my body dictate the pace.

I didn't eat any food before I left home, because I wanted to test my theory from last week that eating food just before I leave puts a burden on my body and causes me to run slower. I felt tired during the run, and I can't draw any conclusions about not eating food. Two nights ago, I didn't get enough sleep, and that may have been a factor, too. I did sleep well last night, but it usually takes several nights of good sleep to overcome the handicap of a night of insufficient sleep.

Since I began running on the Parkway, I've noticed an interesting phenomena about human nature. When I pass a group of walkers/runners going the opposite direction, I always smile and say "Hi". The women usually return the greeting. The men, however, usually don't say anything.

I only have three more Saturday long runs before my taper week and the half marathon on August 19. The time is going fast.

Training Graphs

July 13, 2006

My wakeup HR was down to 49 this morning

Today and tomorrow are rest days, but I measured my wakeup HR this morning to see how well I'm recovering from yesterday's "longer than I expected" run. I seem to be recovering well. I had a good 7 hours sleep last night, and my wakeup HR was down from 52 to 49.

Training Graphs

July 12, 2006

I got lost this morning while running

I went out for my 10-mile medium run along the Jordan River Parkway and came home with a 12-mile long run. There is one place where the Parkway path comes to an end because the State couldn't get the right-of-way through a large pasture. Persons using the Parkway take a detour through an adjacent neighborhood (up the big hill that I've spoken of). I haven't run the Parkway enough to remember all of the turns, and on the way back I missed a turn and went a mile the wrong way. I was still on an asphalt path with a yellow stripe down the middle, but that path was a side-path to the main path and went in a different direction than I wanted to go. I had to back-track to the turn I had missed. I had to make a choice between running 10 and walking the last two miles or running the full 12 miles and doing a reduced distance on Saturday. I felt fine as I ran, and I chose the latter. So, today was a 12-mile run and Saturday will be an 11-mile run.

I felt pretty good during the 12 miles and 90 (F) temperature, and I've felt fine since I got home a couple of hours ago. My time for the 12 miles was 2 hours 41 minutes, which interpolated to 13 miles would be 2 hours 54 minutes, very close to my time last Saturday. I purposely ran a bit slower today to reduce the stress on my body, compared to last week when I ran faster. So, everything considered, it was a good running day! My wakeup HR was 52 this morning.

I have a new theory about eating before a run. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been experimenting with eating just before a run. A banana and a piece of bread seemed to be ok, and a granola bar during the run seemed to be ok, too. Last week, I didn't eat anything before the race, and I had lots of energy. This morning I ate a banana just before I left, and didn't have much energy for the first 3 or so miles. I had more energy during the rest of the run. I've noticed that pattern in the past when I've eaten a banana just before leaving: less energy during the first part of the run and more energy during the middle and end of the run. I'm wondering if eating a banana just before I run is impacting my body for the first part of the run. I'll experiment with this.

I saw a mother duck and a bunch of ducklings on the path. The ducklings were small and were born late in the season; maybe two weeks ago.

Training Graphs

July 11, 2006

Can you find my son?

My son (a teenager at the time) is in two of the marathon pictures shown above. Can you find him?

My 4th running day is inching up

I added a half mile to my 4th day (1 mile total) and had a nice, restful jog. My wakeup HR was 52.

Training Graphs

July 10, 2006

A great 5 mile rest run

My wakeup HR was 51 and I felt great. I ran a comfortable pace and just enjoyed myself. I didn't drink any liquids during the run but think I will in the future due to the heat. I sweat a lot and need to replenish my liquids. My T-shirt was pretty wet when I finished.

At my turnaround, I saw a large stick on the ground and threw it in the canal and watched it float downstream. I reminisced about my childhood and floating sticks in the irrigation ditches on the way to school. It's great to be old because I can do things like float sticks in a canal :)

Training Graphs

July 8, 2006

A great 13 Miles

I haven't been having "great" runs lately, and to get two of them in one week is quite a feat!

I forgot to measure my wakeup HR this morning, but I felt pretty good. I left home about 9:30 am, and the morning sun was heating up the air outside. I ran on the Jordan River Parkway again. My pace for the first mile was 11 minutes 50 seconds. I took it slow to warm up. My pace for the second mile was about 11:30. During the third mile I had to walk up the big hill, and my time when I reached the end of mile 3 was exactly 36 minutes. At the end of mile 5 my time was exactly 60 minutes. At that point I decided it was too hot to push myself so I slowed down and ran a comfortable pace for the rest of the run. My pace for the first five miles was also at a comfortable pace, just a faster but still comfortable pace. I finished the 13 miles in 2 hours 53 minutes for an average of 13.3 minutes per mile. That time included walking breaks at each mile, where I drank water and/or Gatorade (a total of 40 ounces of liquid during the run), walking up the big hill from both directions, and 3 or 4 extra walking breaks at 1/2 mile markers. Considering the heat, I think I did well. I wasn't as tired today as I have been in the past.

For about a hundred feet, I had two running partners. A mother duck and her big duckling were on the path. There were lots of thick bushes between the path and the river, and the ducks didn't know what to do, so they just kept walking in front of me. Finally, the duckling turned into the bushes. The mother duck continued on the path for about 10 feet, and then she took to the air and flew to the river.

When I got back to my car, I found a shady spot to do my stretches -- the steel tunnel for the Parkway path that goes under the residential street that borders the parking lot.

Training Graphs

July 5, 2006

A great, tempo 7 miles

Yesterday my wife and I drove to Evanston, Wyoming to visit our daughter and her family for the 4th of July. Another daughter and her family came up from Provo, Utah, and we had a nice family time. We got back about 8 pm tonight, and I quickly changed into my running clothes and drove to the Jordan River Parkway and ran 7 miles. I averaged 11.8 minute miles, including a walk up a big hill. That time extrapolated to 13.1 miles would give me a 2 hour 35 minute time for a half marathon. My goal for the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon on August 19 is 2 hours 30 minutes, so tonight's time was close to that goal. Now, I just have to develop more endurance so I can run that pace for another 6 miles. I felt good during and after the run, and it was nice to be running faster.

July 4, 2006

Added a 4th Day -- My New Schedule

I've been running three days per week. Now that I'm retired and have more time (in theory, at least) I will slowly add days until I'm running six days per week. The three extra days will be light rest runs. I added a new day this morning and ran 1/2 mile. My plan is to use half-mile increments to slowly bring the three new days up to 5 or 6 miles.

My weekly schedule now looks like the following:
Monday - 5 mile rest run
Tuesday - 1/2 mile which will go up to 5 miles
Wednesday - 10 mile medium run
Thursday - rest day
Friday - rest day
Saturday - 13 mile long run
Sunday - rest day

My wakeup HR was 53.

Training Graphs

July 3, 2006

A slow and easy 5

I ran my 5-mile rest run on the canal trail. I felt pretty good during my stretches, but I could tell as soon as I started running that I was tired, so I took it slow and easy and ran a restful pace. I took several walking breaks on the way out and a couple on the way back. My wakeup HR was 53.

Training Graphs

July 1, 2006

A good 13 miles this morning!

I ran my weekly long run on the Jordan River Parkway. I had to drive a few miles to get to the Parkway, but it was worth it because it is a nice path to use. It is an asphalt path and is easier for my stiff ankles to run than the canal road which has small rocks and uneven surfaces. The hardness of asphalt and concrete doesn't seem to bother my body. Also, many more runners, bikers, walkers, and roller-bladers are on the Parkway than on the canal road, and if I have a heart attack and die my body will be found within a short time rather than the day or two it might take on the seldom-used portions of the canal road :) I have an ID tag on my shoe giving my name and several phone numbers.

I finished the 13 miles in 2 hours 51 minutes and cut off about 25 minutes from my time last Saturday. The improvement was due to only walking during my walking breaks and walking up a big hill into a residential area due to the Parkway not going through some fields that extend down to the Jordan River. I ran at about the same pace as last week. The shade temperature when I got home was 92 (F), about the same as last week.

I have six more Saturdays before the Great Salt Lake half marathon on August 19, and I hope my body will pick up some speed. I would like to break 2 hours 30 minutes if I can.

Yesterday was my last day at work, and now I can better manage my running and the mowing of lawns and other high-stress activities so they are on different days. I can also take a short nap in the afternoons. Retired old geezers need naps :)