Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A great 2 1/4 hour run with no muscle cramps!

During my run on the Parkway, I focused on my legs, and they felt pretty good. As a check, before I left home I felt both hams, and they felt the same. I was thus hopeful that I would have a nice run. It was a good run! I've been sleeping well, and my wakeup HR this week has been 48-50.

The temperature during my run was about 40 (F), and there was a 5-7 mph tailwind going out and headwind coming back. I felt fine going out with one layer, a long-sleeve T-shirt, but coming back, with the headwind, I felt cold and put on my nylon wind breaker that I had tied around my waist. I wore shorts, but with the wind I wish I'd worn my long pants.

I only saw a 3 or 4 people on the Parkway. I guess the rest of the "regulars" were home enjoying their warm houses.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A nice 3-mile rest run

Just before sundown, I ran for 40 minutes (3 miles) on the Jordan River Parkway. During the run, I was focused on the condition of my right ham and my legs in general. I could tell that there was a slight feeling of tightness in the right ham, but after a mile of running, the tightness disappeared, and my legs felt normal for the rest of the run. I took 30-second walking breaks every half mile, and the slight tightness in my right ham disappeared as I walked during the first break and then returned as I went back to my rest pace. I did a lot of stretching of my hams during the day, and before I left home and again before I started the run, I felt both hams, and they both felt about the same. I was thus hopeful that I would have a good run, and I did! My hams have felt fine during the two hours that I've been home.

Still getting snow

We had another 3 inches of snow last night and this morning. The daytime temperature was about 40 (F), and the snow was beginning to melt. The city had plowed the Parkway path, and it was dry and a great place to run with 3 inches of snow everywhere else. The temperature during my run was in the mid 30s (F).

A re-evaluation of my intervals this next Saturday

I'm still planning to run intervals at the high school track on Saturday. However, I will reduce the intensity of the intervals to give my body more time to adjust to the stress of the speed workout. Last fall I ran just as fast as I did on Saturday and didn't have any problems. Apparently, my winter of LSD reduced the ability of my body to handle the stress of faster running.

On Saturday I will do the following.

1. Do my warm-up and warm-down jogs for one mile instead of the half-mile that I used on Saturday.
2. Only do three or four splits. I didn't count them, but I think I did 6 or 7 splits last Saturday.
3. Reduce each split from a half-mile to a quarter-mile.
4. Keep my recovery jog/walk at a half mile.
5. If I feel that my body isn't handling the splits very well, I will increase the recovery.
6. Use my wife's HR monitor to insure that my interval-pace doesn't cause my HR to exceed 80% and my recovery exceed 70%.

Hopefully, I won't have more problems with tight muscles.

Monday, February 26, 2007

One-hour rest run replaced by half-mile walk

Not long before sundown, I left home for an one-hour rest run. I ran two steps and realized that my right ham was still tight from my Saturday workout. I stopped and walked for half a mile to loosen up, and then I drove home. I take tight muscles seriously, because they are a precursor to injury.

I explained in my Saturday post that my right ham tightened up while I was running intervals. I also explained that the tightness seemed to go away during the evening, and I thought the problem was resolved. There was no pain connected with the tight ham, and I could walk, and did walk a lot on Sunday during my normal activities, with no feeling of tightness of the ham. However, today after two steps into my run, I could feel that the ham was still tight.

After I was home from the aborted run, I felt both hams. The left ham was soft and pliable. The right ham, though, was hard. I had done a lot of stretching of my hams on Sunday and today, but I hadn't felt the hams and thus didn't realize that the right ham was still tight. Walking is a lot less stressful on my body than running, and the tight ham was able to handle walking but not running.

I'm not very worried about the ham. There is no pain with it, only a feeling of tightness and hardness. I aborted the longer run to avoid risk of injury, and I substituted a short walk to help loosen up the ham and my body in general.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Intervals: the world goes round and round

Today my running went round and round, around a track that is. I drove to a high school and ran intervals on the track. I ran 5 or 6 quarter-mile intervals followed by a quarter-mile jog/walk recovery. My intervals were around 9:30 minutes/mile and my recovery jogs were around 11:15 minutes/mile.

I had planned on doing one more interval after the one I was doing, when my right ham cramped. I immediately stopped and walked a short distance to a bleacher and stretched the ham. That helped but the ham was still tight, and it felt hard to my touch. I rubbed it for a minute and stretched it some more, but it was still hard. I walked the rest of the way around the track, stretched the ham some more, and then drove home. The ham wasn't sore and had no pain -- just a muscle cramp. I've been home for an hour, and the ham is still slightly hard but not nearly as much as it was when it first cramped.

I wanted to wear my wife's heart-rate monitor during the intervals, but I forgot to take it. I'll use it next week. I don't want my HR to go past 119 (80% of my maximum which is approximately 149). I'd like my recovery HR to be about 89 (60%).

Later: My ham feels fine now. After the hardness went away, my buttock was sore. I did a few buttock stretches and it immediately felt fine.

Not going to record my wakeup HR anymore

I've been recording in this blog my wakeup HR for the past three years. I've decided that is enough data to be useful to anyone interested, and I'm not going to take time to record the value anymore. I will still use it as part of my decision each morning about how intense I should train during the day; I just won't put the value in this blog. So, as a final recording of my wakeup HR, it was 50 this morning.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -- Marianne Williamson

We are runners, and we are all successful within our own capabilities. But, so many of us are negative about our ourselves. We say that we can't succeed, that we can't set a new PB, that we can't run more than a few minutes. We put ourselves down so we can melt into the crowd. Instead, let us be who we are. Let us succeed in our running and in our lives and thus help others rise above the crowd and succeed in their lives.

My wife and I watched a beautiful movie this evening, "Akeelah and the Bee". Some of you have already seen it. If you haven't, get it and watch it. It is a story about accepting ourselves and about helping others be themselves. "And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

A dusting of snow last night

We had about an inch of snow last night with more forecast for today and for Sunday. The daytime temperatures today through Sunday are expected to be in the low 40s (F), so the snow won't be on the ground very long, and it shouldn't impact my running tomorrow in any way.

It's normal to have snow into March and sometimes April, and occasionally into May, and once in a long while into June. However, we're getting a lot less snow than we used to. I remember that, when I was a kid in Southern Utah, having 18-24 inches of snow on the ground was normal, and temperatures as low as 10-20 degrees (F) below zero were normal. In 1948 or maybe 1949, we had a huge blizzard that covered the West. The Air Force had to drop bales of hay to cattle, and the snow drifts from the wind and from plowing highways were so high that cattle had to step over power and telephone wires. That was the last that I remember the large snow storms and the bitter cold temperatures. Now, we're lucky to get more than 6-10 inches of snow and temperatures down to zero.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

About a minute/mile faster

I said in a previous post that the advent of warmer temperatures has put my rest pace back to what it was last fall. That means it is about a minute/mile faster than it was during the winter. This is good news, because it means that I didn't lose much if any conditioning during the winter.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A good OK two-hour run + 6 minutes

Since I drive a few miles to get to the Jordan River Parkway, I have the option of parking at any entrance to the Parkway that I wish to use. Since the 10600 South tunnel is flooded, I parked south of the tunnel in one of the picnic areas that border the Parkway. I enjoyed the run. During the first half, I felt great. During the second half, I could tell I was getting tired. Part of the reason for being tired is that I ran late last night and then about noon today. That means I had less than 24 hours between the two runs, and that translates to lest rest than I normally would have. My wakeup HR, though, was about normal at 48.

When I got to the tunnel under 12600 South, it was flooded too. There is about a foot of water on the Parkway path. There is no problems getting through the tunnel, though, since there is a shoulder to the path that is above water. The 10600 South tunnel doesn't have shoulders, just concrete walls.

Time to change my shoes

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the heel on my left running shoe is badly worn. I was hoping to get another month on those shoes, so I ignored the heel. However, my left foot started feeling weak during the run today, and I'm guessing that the worn heel may be contributing to that. The worn heel causes my foot to tilt backwards a bit. So, on Saturday I'll be wearing a new pair of LOCO Mojo shoes. I've mentioned the weakness in my left foot before, and it wouldn't surprise me if the tenderness was caused by the worn shoes. Ill fitting shoes or worn shoes are two of the common causes of injuries.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A nice hour run in the dark

I was late getting out to run today. When I started the run, the sun had set behind the Oquirrh mountains, and most of my run was in the dark. Because the tunnel under 10400 South is flooded, I parked south of the tunnel so I would have a clear path all the way to the tunnel under 12600 South. Of course, since my run was only an hour, I didn't go that far. In fact, I only ran about a mile south of my parking spot and half a mile north, and I looped that distance. There was plenty of light from nearby buildings and parking lots, and I could see fine.

There was a 10 mph south wind blowing. When it was a tailwind, I felt fine and ran without a lot of effort. When it was a headwind, I had to exert more effort, and I felt a little colder. The temperature was 36 (F), giving a wind chill of about 23 (F). I had my normal three layers that I wear in the winter.

I enjoyed the run. The area was quiet and peaceful, and I only saw three other people. One was a runner and two were a young couple walking home or somewhere. My wakeup HR was 45 this morning. I've been sleeping well for the past couple of weeks, and I had a short nap this afternoon.

To thy own self be true

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
-- William Shakespeare

I've tried to make this my guide in my 71 years of life. Be honest with myself. Be honest with others. Treat others as I would have them treat me. Judge no one, because they are doing the best they can under their circumstances. Be grateful to those who influence me. Be grateful for life. Be grateful for trials and sorrows, because they are our path to growth and strength. And, most of all, love! Love myself and then love others. Follow the path of love and kindness. Be strong when necessary. Be kind and forgiving always.

Value life and the sacredness of the individual. A wise man said,

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained [in life]... only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

This post isn't about running. But, yes it is. It's about running. It's about me. It's about you. It's about life.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A nice half-hour rest run

My wakeup HR was down to 51, so that was a good sign. I felt pretty good during the morning, but when I started to run, I could tell I was tired. I cut my run in half. I timed myself during the last mile. I finished the first half of the mile in 5:30. That was too fast for a rest run, so I slowed down and finished the full mile in 11:20. That was a pretty good pace for a rest run.

A beautiful but cool day

I was in the house all morning, and it was nice to go out to run. It was a sunny but cool day, temperature in the high 30s (F), and the ground was covered with 3 inches of snow from last night. Very beautiful! The Parkway path was clear of snow, but there were wet spots all over. I was finished before the sun set, but anyone who walked the path after dark would have to be aware of black ice.

The tunnel under 106th South is really flooded. It may be weeks before I get to use it again, depending on how much melting snow in the mountains runs into Utah Lake. I'm glad there is a traffic light not far away so I can cross 106th South, a busy, fast street.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

One hour of short fartleks

I could tell before I left home that my body was tired and I didn't have a lot of energy. This was confirmed by my wakeup HR of 53.

I ran the first mile to warm up, and I decided not to push my speed very much. My hour run was mostly a rest run, but I did run a few fartleks for a short distance (100-200 feet) at a pace just a bit faster than my rest pace. I've been sleeping well and haven't done any strenuous work at home, so I think my body wasn't fully recovered from my 11-mile run on Wednesday at a faster pace than I've been using.

It was a beautiful day to be out. The sky was sunny, and the temperature was in the mid 40s (F). Since I was doing mostly rest running, I picked up quite a bit of litter than was blown in by the wind.

Jordan River still flooding the Parkway path

When I reached the tunnel under 106 South, I was surprised to see the path flooded with several inches of water. Last week, this tunnel was dry even though the tunnel under 126 South was flooded. There is a concrete wall bordering the river, and I thought that would keep the river water out of the path. I stopped and looked at the water, and then I saw it: there is a drain in the tunnel to remove rain water, and the river was high enough to flood that drain and come into the tunnel. The wall is about a foot thick, and most of the runners and walkers were walking on the wall to get around the flood. I don't have very good balance, so I jogged about a block to an intersection that has a traffic light. I didn't go as far as 126 South, but I expect that tunnel is really flooded.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My IT Bands are fine

As explained in a previous post, my right IT Band was a little sore on Saturday evening and Sunday. I stretched it on Sunday, and it felt fine on Monday. I've continued to stretch it during the days since Sunday. Yesterday, I ran about 11 miles, and my IT Bands felt fine during the run and during the rest of Wednesday, and they feel fine this morning. The big test will be Saturday when I do more fartleks.

Ahhh... two rest days!

I'm currently running four days/week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday. That gives me two rest days before my long run, speed training, or hills on Saturday. I look forward to and enjoy these rest days, because they help insure that I'm well rested and have a high energy level for Saturday. Sunday is also a rest day because that is my Sabbath, and that day helps insure that I'm well rested for my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday runs. Without sufficient rest, I would not be able to perform at a high level, and I wouldn't enjoy my runs as much as I do. My body needs rest as well as exercise.

Many runners have a problem with rest days. They are either so enthused about their running that they miss running on those days, or they have the misconception that their performance will deteriorate if they miss even one day of running. They don't seem to realize that our bodies react slowly -- slowly to improvements and slowly to degradations, and that one or two days without running will have little effect on their condition. Also, many of them are typical type A persons who are driven to compete with everything in life, and they have a hard time when they aren't in competition with something. Instead of a rest day, many runners get rest by doing a shorter, slower rest run. In fact, that is the basis for my Monday and Tuesday runs. They are about half the distance of my other two runs. So, I do rest runs and also take rest days. If a person listens to their body, they can decide on the best way to get rest.

So, good morning rest days! You're welcome in my life!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A better than great two-hour run

My wakeup HR was 50, I felt great, and I had a great two-hour run. I ran faster than last week and did about 11 miles. I didn't push to go faster; my body just did it on its own. I ran at about the same pace that I was running last Fall before the cold weather set in. The temperature was in the mid 40s (F), the sky was sunny with clouds, and I enjoyed the run! I had a 7-8 mph tailwind going out and a corresponding headwind coming back. The headwind took extra energy, and I was glad to make it back without having to take extra walking breaks.

The Jordan River flooded the path

The Jordan River had a lot more water than it has been having, and the path going through the tunnel under 126 South was flooded. I had to walk on rocks that are between the path and the bridge foundation. Those rocks are on a upward slope, and the river would have a hard time flooding clear to the foundation. The tunnel under 106 South wasn't flooded, because the path in the tunnel has a concrete wall bordering the river.

The water in the river is controlled by a pumping station on the north shore of Utah Lake, and it apparently put extra into the river to keep the lake from flooding. We've had a couple weeks of abnormally warm temperatures, and the heavy snow pack in the mountains is probably melting faster than normal.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A nice rest run and litter pickup

Even though my wakeup HR was 52, I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway and really enjoyed it. I had quite a lot of energy but not as much as I had last week. While running, I did my weekly pick up of litter. There is still some litter left, but most of it is gone, and the path is a pleasure to run. I didn't run any cadence drills today, and I didn't put in a kick at the end of the run (wanted to minimize the stress on my IT Bands).

There were quite a few walkers, some with dogs, and a number of runners. I only saw one biker and no skaters.

What a day!

Today is a really beautiful day! The temperature was in the mid 40s (F), the sky was sunny and beautiful, no wind, the air was clear, and I could see all the way from Mt. Timpanogus on the south, past Lone Peak and Twin Peaks, past Mt. Olympus, and up to the small hills north of the capitol building. That is a distance of about 35 miles as the crow flys. The mountains were covered with a touch of snow from last night, and that white against the blue sky made for a beautiful site as I ran! It was really great to be out!

Here is a view taken today of Twin Peaks in the Wasatch Range southeast of Salt Lake City.

My IT Band was a little sore

After my 3 miles of fartleks on Saturday, I felt fine through out the day. However, during the evening I started to feel a little bit of tenderness in my right leg, between my hip and my knee, and that soreness continued during Sunday. It was very minor, and I didn't notice it most of the time. At first I thought the problem might be with my quad, so I did extra quad stretches on Sunday. But then I recalled that the tenderness was on the outside edge of my leg and thus probably wasn't a quad problem. I remembered that the IT Band goes down the outside of my leg, and I decided it might be an ITB problem. I started doing my ITB exercise, and I could tell that the soreness was in the same place as the muscle being stretched. The soreness was gone this morning. I'm continuing the ITB exercise throughout this day and tomorrow and maybe on into the week.

I first heard of the ITB about six months ago when it came up in discussions on Even though I'd never had a problem with my ITB I decided to do a stretch for it, and for the past six months, I've been doing 20 seconds of ITB stretching before and 20 seconds after my runs (per leg). I think I'll double that. During my fartleks on Saturday, I did a few sprints for about 150 feet, and that burst of speed might have caused the soreness. IT Band pain is an overuse problem. Most of my fartleks were at slower paces.

Later: I read about IT Band injuries on the Internet and learned that running too fast for ones body is one cause of the injuries. I just added a page to my running site about IT Band injuries.

Next day Tuesday February 13, 2007: I haven't had any soreness in the IT Band since Sunday evening. Stretching did the trick, and I caught it before it became an injury!

The black ducks are still in the river

I stopped for a minute to get a closer look at the small black ducks that I've mentioned in previous posts. They are smaller than a Mallard, and the body and head are pure black, and the bill is a bright white color. I'm really curious to know what kind of duck they are. Maybe someone will know and will post a reply with the info.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A nice hour of fartleks

I did my speed training this morning. I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. I warmed up during the first mile and didn't run any fartleks. I then ran fartleks for the next 3 1/4 miles, and I ran the last mile without fartleks to recover and cool down (I did run a fartlek as a nice kick at the end of the run). I ended the run with a negative split by 10 seconds.

I ran a variety of distances and speeds, and I did a slow recovery run between the fartleks. My recovery runs were slower than my rest pace during the first and last miles.

I enjoyed being out. The sky was sunny with some clouds. The temperature was in the mid to high 40s (F). There was a 5 mph headwind going out and a tailwind coming back. I saw quite a few runners and walkers, and one kid on roller blades.

Hey, I'm getting faster

My rest pace during my first mile and last mile was about 11:30. In fact I averaged that pace during the whole run (my recovery runs were slower but my fartleks were faster). That is the pace I was running at last fall before the cold weather set in. During the winter, my rest pace was 12:15 - 12:30. I don't think my speed training had much to do with my increase in pace since I've only been doing fartleks for three Saturdays. My guess is that it is probably the increase in temperature that we've had the past few days. Regardless, it's nice to be going a little faster but still running a comfortable rest pace.

Going to increase my two-hour run

During the winter I ran a weekly 2 1/2 hour long run (12-13 miles) and a 2 hour medium run (9-10 miles). About 3 weeks ago, I converted the long run to a one-hour speed run, initially focusing on fartleks. I've been concerned that I might be losing my ability to run more than 10 miles, and I've decided to slowly add half an hour to the medium run. I'll add 5 minutes per week, and in 6 weeks that run will be up to 2 1/2 hours (12-13 miles). In doing this, I'll be adding stress to my body from two sources (speed and distance). I usually only add stress from one source at a time, but I'm hoping that the stress from the small 5 minute increment won't overload my body. We'll see.

Friday, February 9, 2007

I feel pretty good today after my two-hour run yesterday

I've mentioned in a previous post that I felt tired after my last two Monday runs that incorporated cadence drills. I assumed my being tired was due to the cadence drills that caused me to run 30-second spurts at a slightly faster pace. I didn't do drills in my two-hour run yesterday, and I feel pretty good today. This may be a confirmation that the drills were responsible for my being tired. However, for two Saturdays I ran fartleks during a one-hour run, and the fartleks were faster than my cadence drills. I felt fine after the fartleks. So, I'm not sure why I feel good today, just that I do.

What Kind of Runner Are You?

The March 2007 Runner's World has a Runner's Personality Quiz to help us discover what type of runner we are. The article gives four types of runners, and the quiz consists of 14 questions. Because the article is copyrighted, I won't give the questions, but here are the four categories. I took the quiz, and I am a Purist. I already knew that, but it was interesting to take the quiz and to have my self-analysis confirmed. The description given below for a Purist fits me to a "T".

You are motivated primarily by competition. How far and how fast you run is largely dictated by meeting the needs of your racing, and you think of running in terms of training. You would still run if you had to give up racing, but not nearly as intensely.

Your main motivation is running for running's sake--you like how it feels and how it makes you feel afterward. You might race, you might not. Running is part of your routine; it makes you feel complete. How far and how fast you run is based more on how you feel that day, your perceived needs, how nice of a day it is, and your surroundings. You hope to run a decent amount pretty much every day for the rest of your life.

You do a fair amount of racing, but you're drawn more by the social aspects of the events than your competitive drive. You're probably in a running club, and you're likely to volunteer at races.

You run primarily for the quantifiable physical benefits, such as weight loss and disease protection. You think of running more as exercise than as something that's a natural part of the day and are likely to skip it if life's obstacles make it inconvenient. You likely to cross-train. You're not likely to participate in races, but you might sign up for one if it benefits a charitable cause.

If you have a chance get the magazine, take the quiz and read the details that I left out of the four types of runners.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Happiness is a great two-hour run

I had a great run today! Even though my wakeup HR was 54, I had more energy than Tuesday, and I ran for my planned two hours. The temperature when I began was in the low 60s (F), but it was in the mid 40s (F) when I finished after sundown with just a half hour left before darkness. I was glad to be done, because my only layer was a summer T-shirt, and as soon as the sun sent down, the temperature dropped. My body and legs felt fine, but my arms became cold. I have several thick long-sleeved T-shirts, but I don't have any thin long-sleeved T-shirts.

Twice during the run, once going out and once coming back, I counted the number of times my left-foot hit the ground, and the count was 46 both times. That is the same number I had Tuesday in the rest phase of my cadence drills.

I'm getting better at running with minimum noise, and at gliding

I'm practicing being a stealth runner by having my feet hit the ground with less impact (no slap, slap, slap sound as my toes hit the ground). I did, though, hear a new noise that I hadn't noticed before -- a scraping noise. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I shuffle when I run. The scraping noise was from my shoe sliding on the ground. That means I was really shuffling; I wasn't lifting my feet more than a half inch or so and was sliding my shoe.

I also practiced gliding when I slowed down for my walking breaks. I found myself taking several seconds to transition from running to walking, and I covered about 50 feet during that time. That is 50 feet with little energy spent. I calculated that with two walking breaks per mile, over a 13.1 half-marathon, I would have 26 glides, and at 50 feet each, that would be a quarter mile that was almost free in terms of my body using energy to cover that distance. That, hopefully, would give me more energy to use at the end of the race.

A small black duck

Earlier this week, and again today, I saw several ducks that were significantly smaller than a Mallard and were coal-black in color, including the head, with a white bill. I searched google but didn't find a picture of the ducks I saw. There is a brown duck called the American Black Duck, but that wasn't what I saw. The ducks I saw were, maybe, half the size of a Mallard.

Where did all the ducks go?

There is a quarter-mile stretch of the Parkway that has a good view of the Jordan River. In the past when I've run that stretch after sundown, I would see hundreds of ducks in the river settling down for the night. Tonight, though, as I ran that stretch on my way back, I only saw a few ducks, perhaps 15-20 ducks. Also, I didn't see any ducks near the Parkway path foraging for food. I guess that with the advent of warm, spring-like temperatures, the ducks have gone to other parts of the valley. If we have a cold snap come in, it will be interesting to see if the ducks return.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Going to do fewer cadence drills

I've run cadence drills for the past two Mondays, and in both cases I've been tired afterwards. I think I've run too many of the drills. Galloway says to just run 3-7 of them. I've probably been running 9 or 10 of them. Even though my increase in speed is slight, the number of the drills means I'm running that faster pace for a significant portion of my run. Next Monday I'll cut back to four or five drills and see how that goes. I haven't been running very fast during the winter, and I need some time to increase my speed.

I usually run my two-hour run on Wednesdays, but I have a busy schedule today. I'll do that run tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A less energetic but ok hour run

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. This was a rest run with no speed workouts, and I went at a comfortable pace. I felt less energetic than yesterday, but it was an ok run. The sky was sunny, and the temperature was in the mid 50s (F). I wore a regular T-shirt as my only layer. I practiced my gliding when I slowed to a walking break, and my stealth running. I didn't, though, give a kick at the end of the run. Most of my running is now stealth running, and I'm practicing running with a lighter touch.

My wakeup HR was 48.

Litter is popping up all over

As readers of this blog know, I pick up a lot of litter during my rest runs. However, I haven't picked up any for several weeks, because the ground was covered with snow and I couldn't see the litter. With the advent of our warm temperatures yesterday and today, the snow is melting fast, and I'm seeing litter in quite a few places.

I picked up a lot of litter yesterday and today. There is still more litter out there, but I'll worry about that next Monday.

In case any of you are wondering why I pick up litter while most runners just ignore it, here are the reasons. I enjoy nature, and I like to run in areas away from streets, houses, cars, and people tending their yards. I don't, though, like to run in a city dump. So, I pick up litter so I'll have a nice view as I run. Another reason is that I moved to Utah from Massachusetts, and it is a New England custom to leave a hiking trail cleaner than it was before I hiked it.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Another super hour run

My wakeup temperature was 48 this morning, thanks to lots of sleep yesterday (3-hour nap) and last night. I felt great and really enjoyed my run.

I did a rest run that included quite a few cadence drills. As I did last Monday, I ran the first mile to warm up, and then I did cadence drills separated by a minute or so of recovery running. I used the last mile to cool down from the drills. When I first began the cadence drills, I had 45 steps in the rest phase and 47 steps in the faster phase. After a few of those, my rest phase went up to 46 steps and my faster phase to 48 steps. Then my rest phase went up to 47 steps and my faster phase stayed at 48 steps. I like to do cadence drills. They give my body a taste of speed without much fatigue. I concluded the run with a nice kick for about 50 yards. The kick was faster than I had been doing in the cadence drills.

Spring is here (maybe)

Today is a beautiful day for running! The sky is sunny and clear (the inversion from last week is gone), and there is no wind. The snow-covered Wasatch mountains are beautiful, and geese and ducks are everywhere looking for food. During my run the shade temperature was in the mid 40s (F) and the direct-sun temperature was probably in the high 50s (F). I wore two layers, but after a mile, I took off my nylon wind-breaker. Even my thick, cotton, long sleeved T-shirt was too much.

Black ice almost got me

Even though the shade temperature during my run was in the mid 40s and most of the Parkway path is dry, there is a big patch of water from melting snow that still covers the path. The low temperature last night was about 25 (F), and that patch of water had a layer of ice under the water. From a distance the ice looked like a big puddle of water. My mind was wandering off exploring the world and I wasn't paying attention, and I ran into the ice and almost went down. My foot slipped on the ice, but I was able to keep my balance long enough to hobble over the the edge and hold onto a wooden railing while I regained my balance. I then walked through the ice and resumed my running. The puddle was about ten feet across.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Finally finished the DVD of the Messiah

My daughter came down from Evanston, WY yesterday, and we spent 12 hours on my Macintosh computer finishing the DVD of the Messiah that was performed in Evanston in December (we were up until 3 am). My daughter sang in the choir. This is the DVD that I've mentioned in previous posts. I think the DVD turned out very well. Blended in with the performance are scriptural quotations and pictures depicting Old and New Testament accounts that Handel referenced in writing the score. In doing the DVD I did some things I hadn't done before, such as having all the sound come from a CD of the performance instead of from my camera, and I learned a lot about lip syncing and coordinating pictures with words being sung in the performance, and I had some good experiences. Now, I can get back to my normal activities including getting more sleep.

I only had 5 hours of sleep last night, so I didn't run today. My daughter, my son, and I spent a good part of the morning and afternoon making copies of the DVD. My daughter took them back to Evanston and will print labels on them and give them to the organization that sponsored the performance.

I now have only 2 1/2 months until the Salt Lake City half-marathon, and I need to be more consistent in my training, especially my speed training.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Jeff Galloway recommends becoming a stealth runner

I was reading this morning from Jeff Galloway's book Running Until You're 100. He recommends that we run with a light touch such that we don't hear our foot slapping the ground. He said that a light touch is the way to overcome a tendency to bounce. Running with a light touch is part of his "gliding" procedure.

He recommends running with a shuffle to conserve energy. Raising ones foot high off the ground takes energy. "As long as you pick your foot up enough to avoid stumbling over a rock or uneven pavement, stay low to the ground. Most runners don't need to get more than 1 inch clearance, even when running fast." I'm a natural shuffler and have always run with a shuffle.