April 30, 2007

A tired run

I ran for 2.3 miles but was pretty tired. My pace during the run was 11 to 11:30.

I think there are several possible reasons for my being tired. I'm still in the recovery from my half-marathon. I'm running significantly faster than I did in my training runs before the half. I ran late Saturday evening instead of Saturday morning, so my usual two-day rest over the weekend was significantly reduced. I've only had about 6 1/2 hours sleep the past couple of days. My body did well last week with the faster pace, so a minor slump this week isn't unusual. Rather than push myself to do more distance, I aborted and came home so I'll be in better shape for tomorrow.

Ops... I made a mistake 20 years ago

I've been doing a lot of reading over the weekend, and I came to a realization that I made a mistake 20 years ago in selecting my running shoes. Let me explain.

I started running about 1973 in Phoenix. I didn't know that running shoes existed, and I ran in my work shoes, army boots, and old sneakers (known as gym shoes back in that era). I worked up to about 3 miles two or three times a week. Then, in February 1976, I moved to Massachusetts with a new job in Maynard, MA.

The Digital Running Club was just getting started in Maynard, and I went to the first meeting and learned about running shoes. I went to a local sports store and bought a pair of Etonic Trans Am shoes. Etonic was a Massachusetts company, and their shoes were in all the Massachusetts stores. Boy, running was different with those shoes compared to my army boots. Today the Trans Am are considered walking shoes, but back then they were the latest in running shoes.

I soon discovered that I had a problem with the shoes, because the heel on my right foot compressed until the outside thickness was about 1/4 inch less than the inside thickness. This put a terrific torque on my ankle, but I didn't suffer any injuries from it. The cause of the compression was a skeleton defect that I had at birth -- I walk on the outside of my right foot. Even today, I can sit on a chair with my heels on the floor and my toes sticking up, and I can see a tilt in my foot. I was a supinator, although the cause was my skeleton defect rather than a high, stiff arch that is usually associated with supination (I have a medium arch, but my joints are very stiff. They were described by a bone specialist as the opposite of double joints). I didn't realize at the time that my skeleton defect was the cause of the compression.

In 1981, I ran my first marathon in Vermont, called the Green Mountain Marathon. I was concerned about the compression of the right heel, and I used my electric glue gun to rebuild the heel back to normal height. Boy, was that a mistake, because all that glue had no cushioning at all. I developed a pain in my right quad that would appear after about 45 minutes running. The pain didn't get worse or change location, so I ignored it. I even ran a marathon with it. After a few weeks of experimenting, I discovered that the pain was due to my shoe and all that glue. I got new shoes, and the pain was gone. I needed new shoes, anyway, because I had 1000 miles on them.

One day I called Etonic and asked them what shoes I should use for my supination. They said to use the Stability Pro shoe that was designed for pronators. I said I supinate, and the man said they would help with that, too. By then, the Etonic running shoe market was falling apart, so I got mine via mail (the Internet wasn't invented by Al Gore yet). Hey, no more heel compression, great! I used those shoes until about a year ago when I decided to try something with newer technology and switched to LOCO shoes and the MOJO stability shoe.

Now, back to this past weekend. After I put 500 miles on my shoes, I switch to a new pair and use the old ones for my walking shoes. I noticed a few days ago that my old walking shoes did have a small amount of compression in the right heel, and I decided to search for a shoe that wouldn't compress. I learned from my reading that there are three types of shoes, motion control, stability, and neutral. Motion control shoes are for severe pronators and stability shoes are for moderate pronators. Both shoes are built to resist the natural roll of the pronator's foot past the center of the shoe and onto the inside edge of the shoe. That is, they "push" the foot towards the outside of the shoe. After I read that, I realized that the stability shoes I had been wearing for 20 years were pushing my foot toward the outside even though my foot was already on the outside. That is, my shoes were doing the opposite of what they should have been doing! Then I read that supinators should use a neutral shoe that would let the foot move toward the center. I said a quick prayer of thanks that my wrong shoes during the past 20 years hadn't led to injury.

One question that needs to be answered is, "Why did my stability shoes remove almost all of the compression of the heel?" For 20 years, I thought the answer was because they were stability shoes designed to stabilize the foot. I did wonder why shoes built to help pronators would help supinators, but I didn't think about that much and just accepted on faith that they would help. I now realize that the reason is probably because the stability shoes had better material in the heel, material that was less subject to compression, that is, newer technology.

I haven't purchased a neutral shoe yet, but I will try one and will report the results in this blog.

April 28, 2007

My recovery is up to 3 miles

I continued my recovery with a 3 1/4 mile run on the Jordan River Parkway. For most of the run, I ran a 10:30 pace plus or minus a bit. During the last half mile, I was getting tired and slowed to a 11:00 pace. I felt fine during most of the run. I ran just before sundown, and the temperature had dropped from a high of 85 (F) to about the mid 70s (F) when I ran. I had had a pretty busy day before my run, including mowing my lawns and keeping 5 grand children busy with activities. I did sneak in two short naps, though :)

The canal water is in

I noticed while driving to/from my run that the three canals I pass have water. Last year they didn't get water until the middle of May. We've had a warm spring with more runoff of water than is normal for an April, and I guess the canal companies decided the farmers would need the water earlier.

April 25, 2007

My recovery from the SLC Half-Marathon continues

I ran for about 2 1/2 miles this morning. I felt stronger than yesterday, but I'm still in recovery mode. I really pushed myself on Saturday, and this recovery is well needed. My pace today was usually around 11:45-12:15, but one half-mile segment was at 10:40.

April 24, 2007

This is a recovery week

I ran a mile at a 12:30 pace. I could tell I'm still tired from the race on Saturday.

April 23, 2007

How to get used to a faster comfortable pace?

My August 2006 half-marathon and the one I just finished on April 21, 2007 have one trait in common. I ran a pace about a minute and a half faster than my training runs for 8-9 miles, and then I bonked and had to slow down; my body wasn't used to that fast pace. However, during the 8-9 miles, I felt comfortable. I need to extend that comfortable feeling out to 13.1 miles and then (later on) to 14 or 15 miles.

I've been thinking about the best way to become comfortable with the faster pace. It seems I have two options.

1. Continue doing what I've done for the past six months. Run 30-33 miles/week and slowly increase my speed. That would probably give me a small improvement by October similar to the one I had in the race yesterday.

2. Immediately increase my comfortable pace to 10:30 and decrease all of my distances to be less than 8 or 9 miles. Hopefully, I could do this without a lot of time involved, because that is the distance I felt comfortable with in both half-marathons. I would still run four times per week (2 rest runs, a medium run, and a long run), and I would slowly increase my medium and long runs to the distances they are now. That is, I would start with runs of 5, 5, 8, 8 (26 miles per week), and I would slowly increase my medium run to 10 miles and my long run to 13 miles. If I couldn't handle the 26 mpw and the faster pace, I would reduce the runs to what ever level I could handle.

Option 1 is probably the safest option, but it would give the smallest improvement in the six months between now and the World Senior Games in October. Option 2 would likely give a bigger improvement in October, but it would probably put more stress on my body. I'm thinking I'll experiment with option 2 and see how it goes. If I have difficulty with it, I can always switch to option 1. I'll be my normal conservative self during these tests so I don't become injured.

Maybe I should have eaten a snack during the race

I was just reading a web site on nutrition, and it (the author was a RN and a nutritionist) said that for runs longer than an hour, one should eat a snack during the run. I brought an e-Gel pack to take during the run, but I forgot to remove it from my jacket before I put the jacket in a gear-bag for transport to the finish. I thus ran the full distance on energy from my supper. Devine Sports did have snacks available at the start, but I didn't take any. I also just read an article by Nancy Clark that said that runners do better if they eat a 400 calorie breakfast 3-4 hours before a race rather than relying on supper 10-14 hours before the race as the last meal. After I get my comfortable pace up to 10:30, I'll experiment with eating snacks while I run. I've done a little experimenting with this at my slower pace, and my stomach handled the food ok.

I know I should have had more sleep

I always have trouble sleeping before an important event early in the morning, but the night before the race was the worst trouble I've ever had. I got to bed later than I wanted, and after two hours I woke up and couldn't sleep soundly after that. When my alarm went off, I got up and started gathering my things together. My wife came down and asked, "Why are you up so early?" I looked at my watch and saw that I had gotten up an hour early. A few days ago, we had a power glitch, and I had to reset the time on the clock, and I set it an hour early. So, I had about three hours of sleep instead of the four I thought I was getting.

Bruce mentioned earlier in the evening at the Expo that the most important night for sleep is two nights before the race, because it takes a day for our bodies to respond to lack of sleep. I had noticed this with my wakeup heart rate measurements -- lack of sleep frequently didn't affect my resting heart rate for two days.

I felt energetic during the first nine miles of the race, and then I began to feel tired. I have no way of knowing if my lack of sleep increased my tiredness during the race, but it probably did. I think an adrenalin rush was involved, because there have been times when I didn't get enough sleep and felt very tired when I woke up.

April 21, 2007

I set a new Personal Best in the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon

I had a good race. I set a new PB by 55 seconds with a time of 2:20:21. My time in August 2006 was 2:21:16. That 55 seconds may not seem like much of an increase, but when you include the time spent in walking breaks, my performance today was even better than the 55 seconds. In 2006, starting with mile 9, I took one-minute walking breaks every mile, 4 minutes spent walking. Today I took 30-second breaks every half-mile, 12 minutes spent walking. My speed today was fast enough to get the 55 second PB and to overcome the approximately 4 minutes lost due to having more walking breaks today. I credit the walking breaks with my completing the race today with a new PB and with my feeling fine during and after the race.

Here are my mile splits.

Mile 1: 10:48
Mile 2: 10:36
Mile 3: 10:30
Mile 4: 9:31 (down a long hill. I tried to keep a constant pace but did speed up a bit)
Mile 5: 10:07 (down the remainder of the long hill)
Mile 6: 10:47
Mile 7: 10:25
Mile 8: 9:53
Mile 9: 10:48
Mile 10: 11:59
Mile 11: 12:21
Mile 12: 11:51
Mile 13: 10:40

One of my goals was to keep a uniform pace, and I did that. You can see that during the last 4 miles, I became tired. I've been running weekly 13 mile long runs for about a year at a pace of 11:30 - 12:15 or so. I'm not used to running a pace of 10:30 or so, and that pace took its toll. My next half-marathon will be in October at the World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, and I have six months to get used to the faster pace, as well as to keep my ability to run 13.1 miles.

Considering everything, I'm very satisfied with my performance this morning. I went out and maintained a pace a bit too fast, but I probably had a higher average speed than I would have had if I had gone out 15 seconds or so slower.

As soon as I can find the results online, I'll post my ranking in my age group of 70-75. If I had run this half last year, my time last August and today would have put me in second place.

I think I must look pretty old, because a lot of runners, as they passed me, told me to keep it up, that I was an inspiration to all of them. One girl told me that when she is 71 she hopes she can still walk, much less run.

The last half mile of the race was through the Gateway shopping plaza. Spectators were lined up solid on both sides cheering us on. That was nice of them to do that! I've always run smaller races, and I enjoyed the excitement, noise, and adrenalin rushes of this bigger race.

The weather was almost perfect! Temperature in the low to mid 40s (F), cloudy, no wind, low humidity, and no rain.

Here are two pictures from the race. In the lower picture are Ben my friend from Westminster College in Salt Lake, me, and my friend Bruce from Las Vegas.

My feet were fine

Four or five weeks ago I reported that I was having problems with my left foot. No pain and not an injury -- just a "weak" feeling like I used to have before I started running when I would spend hours on a Saturday doing yard work. I took a three-week taper before the half-marathon instead of my normal two-week taper to give my foot extra rest.

In starting the race this morning, I was concerned, because the "weak" feeling came after 8 or 9 miles and the race was 13.1 miles. However, I had no problems with my foot during the half-marathon. My foot felt strong and normal. I'm grateful for the extra rest I gave my foot, and I'm grateful for the Ruta and Rhus Tox homeopathy remedies that I took for the three weeks. And, most of all, I'm grateful for blessings from the Lord that I had the opportunity to run the race and finish it with no mishaps.

2007 Salt Lake City Half-Marathon Results



I was 2nd in my age division.

April 19, 2007

My last run before the race on Saturday

I ran for 15 minutes to warm up. I had a good 8 hours sleep last night and feel great this morning.

April 17, 2007

Ops... I ran too far this morning

I was supposed to run for half an hour, but I got mixed up in my mind and ran for an hour. Shortly after reaching the turn-around point, I realized my mistake and slowed down and did more walking.

I didn't feel as energetic this morning as I did yesterday. Tomorrow I will run for 15 minutes to warm up, and then I'll take two days of rest. At 7:00 on Saturday, the race will begin...

The erosion of the running trail was worse than I realized

Last week I mentioned in this blog that the Jordan River had eaten under the Parkway trail and that the damaged area was blocked off. When I got there this morning, the whole trail was marked off. Riverton City had cut a temporary dirt path around the damage and had a big concrete barrier blocking the trail to the damage. On my way back, I walked up to the damage to see how bad it was -- pretty bad. The damaged area is about 100 yards across, and the river has cut away the bank up to the middle of the trail. I'm expecting the city to make the temporary trail permanent. We'll see....

Jordan River is back to its normal flow

During my run, my turn-around was at the tunnel under 126th South. For the past couple of months, the river has flooded the path and has gone part way up the bank. This morning, the water level was back to normal and the path was clear. The tunnel under 106th South is still flooded, however. That water comes up through a drain, and the ground has to dry out enough that the water in the tunnel can go down through the drain and soak into the river.

April 16, 2007

Another tapered run this morning

This the last week before the Salt Lake City half marathon on Saturday. My plan has been to do another 50% decrease in my runs, so I ran for 15 minutes this morning. Tomorrow, I'm going to do my half-hour run instead of doing it on Wednesday, and Wednesday will be another 15-minute run. Thursday and Friday will be rest days, and Saturday will be 13.1 miles and a speed run :)

Saw another kind of duck during my run

The duck was about the size of a Mallard. It was coal black everywhere, including its feet and beak, except for a big white splotch on its breast.

Here are pictures of the black duck, taken on 7/27/2008

April 14, 2007

One week to go to the SLC half-marathon

By this time next week, it will all be over, and I'll have taken a nap after the race :)

I ran for half an hour and enjoyed it. Another beautiful day in the high 50s and sunny skies. I've had a good stretch of training this year, and I hope I do well next week.

April 12, 2007

The running taper continues

My run today was 30 minutes, reduced from 45 minutes last week. I ran in the late afternoon, and it was nice. There was a 10 mph wind blowing due to a storm front that will pass through this evening (20% chance of rain). Tomorrow is a rest day, and Saturday will be another 30 minutes.

April 11, 2007

A great hour run on a beautiful day

I ran for an hour along the Jordan River Parkway. This is my last "long run" before the half-marathon on April 21. My runs tomorrow and Saturday will each be half an hour. Next week, my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday runs will be 15 minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes, respectively. I'll rest Thursday and Friday and will run the race on Saturday.

The Jordan River ate under the Parkway path

During my run this morning, I came upon a stretch of path that is next to the edge of the river bank. The bank was marked off with yellow tape to keep people from getting close to the edge. When I got to the end of the tape, I looked back and could see that the water had eroded under the path, and the asphalt was sticking out over the water. If a person walked on that portion of the path, they could cause the path to crumble, and they would fall 2 or 3 feet into the water. I don't know how the city of Riverton will fix the path. My guess is that they will curve the path away from the bank.

Dehydration and running

Yesterday I became very dehydrated, and I was up a lot during the night with heartburn trying to figure out what my problem was. When I was standing, I felt ok, but when I lay down the heartburn came back. I ended up sitting in a chair trying to snooze.

When my body needs water, I become thirsty like most people do. If I still don't drink enough water, my body advances from thirst to heartburn. That is, after I've felt thirsty, my dehydration will cause me to have heartburn. I drank very little yesterday and didn't realize that I had become dehydrated. About two hours after I went to bed, I woke up with bad heartburn. My normal treatment for heartburn is to drink aloe vera in a great tasting drink, but that didn't help. I tried it two more times with no success. I finally realized the heartburn was caused by my being dehydrated. I drank two or three glasses of water and went to bed and slept fine. I've made sure that I drank sufficient water today, and I feel fine.

I should have realized sooner that the heartburn was caused by dehydration, but I don't get heartburn very often, and it took me a while to figure it out.

General recommendations for runners are to drink when you feel thirsty. And, drink enough fluid that your urine is either clear or has a slight color. Be careful, though, that you don't drink too much water. Typically, a person needs 6-8 glasses per day, but that varies with the individual. Some doctors say that should be 6-8 glasses of water, while other doctors say it can be any fluid.

April 9, 2007

This week my running taper is a 33% decrease from last week

I had originally planned to decrease my running this week by 50% from last week. However, I decided to do a 33% decrease so I would be at the same point I would have been at if I were doing a two-week taper. Last Monday I ran 45 minutes. This morning I ran 30 minutes.

The sky was cloudy (a storm front passed through Saturday evening) and a 10 mph wind was blowing, but I had a nice run.

Jordan River still going down

The level of the water in the tunnel under 106th South is significantly lower than it was on Saturday. If it continues dropping at its current rate, I'll probably be able to run through the tunnel on next Saturday.

April 7, 2007

Ended the week with another 45-minute run

I ran for 45 minutes along the Parkway and picked up a lot of trash. The area is looking pretty good, but when a storm front moves through, the wind will bring in more litter.

Two weeks from this moment, and I'll be finished with the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon, will have gone through the food line, and will have met with Angie, Bruce, Angie's family, and my wife for pictures. Not much time left!

The Jordan River is going down

The water in the tunnel under 106th South is down quite a bit. The tunnel is still flooded, but if the water decreases as much in the coming week as it did this week, I'll be able to use the tunnel during my run. When I got to the spot where I usually check the level of the river, I could tell that the water is about 1 1/2 feet lower. Apparently the spring flows are decreasing, and they are beginning to close the flood gates at Utah Lake.

April 5, 2007

Running & the world's lighest whole wheat waffles

This morning I made whole wheat waffles from my famous recipe


Not only are they the world's lightest waffles, they are the world's most nutritional waffles.

o whole wheat flour, fresh ground with my grinder, wheat germ, bran, the whole kernel
o Omega 3 eggs
o Enough milk powder to make a quart of milk
o Distilled water. No chlorine or fluoride
o Light olive oil
o Rumford baking powder. No aluminum. This makes the waffles light.
o Eaten with honey or 100% maple syrup. No corn syrup

I normally would have added some molasses, but we're out of it right now.

In case you're wondering why this post is in my running blog, I'll tell you. 25 years ago when I ran marathons and my comfortable LSD pace was 7 minutes/mile, I ate lots of these waffles. I got up this morning and thought, I'd like some of my waffles. So, with the hope it will give me the energy and speed that I had back then, that's what I had for breakfast. Dream on...

April 4, 2007

A nice 90-minute run

I ran for an hour and a half on the Jordan River Parkway. It was a nice day to be out. The temperature when I returned home was 65 (F). Spring is a nice time. There were half a dozen runners and walkers out enjoying the day.

Going back to stretching before I run

A few weeks ago I decided to stretch after I run. I always do some basic stretches immediately after I run, and I thought I'd do my strengthening exercises later in the day. It hasn't worked out very well. I usually forget to do the stretches later in the day, and after my long runs, my body is too stiff to stretch :) So, I'm going back to the pattern I've used for 34 years of doing all of the stretches in my picture page before I run and doing the basic stretches for calves, quads, IT band, and hams immediately after I run.


April 2, 2007

My one-hour run has tapered to 3/4 hour

I was out early this morning for a 45-minute run on the Jordan River Parkway. I needed to be home by 9 am to take three grandchildren to a movie (Charlotte's Web) and then to Wendy's for lunch. A great day for running and a fun time with the grandkids.

Ran in a new pair of LOCO Mojo today

When I run the half-marathon on April 21, I'll use a new pair of LOCO Mojo shoes. I used that pair this morning for the first time, and I'll wear them throughout my taper and then during the race. After the race, I'll put them away for 11-12 weeks while I finish using my other shoes.

Later: I've decided to wear these new shoes as my training shoes and not put them away.