July 31, 2007

My rest run became a NOT

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. My goal was to have a rest run at a pace of 11, but I forgot my GPS. I thus ran a comfortable but slower (so I thought) pace. I timed myself during the last half-mile, as I had yesterday, and discovered I was running a bit faster than yesterday. My pace during that last half-mile was 10:38. I felt fine. My wakeup HR was 47.

I was on the trail about half and hour earlier than yesterday, but the temperatures were about the same as yesterday (76 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned).

HOT: Shade, shade, my kingdom for shade

Because I was on the trail a bit earlier, there were more and longer shady spots. During the longer shady spots, I could feel the difference between being in the sun and being in the shade. While in the shade, my poly T-shirt felt cool to my skin.

A car was in the Jordan River

As I approached the access road to the parking lot for the Jordan River Parkway at 9800 South, the traffic slowed almost to a stop, and I could see flashing police lights down by the river. After I turned into the parking lot, I saw several fire department vehicles and hazard-waste vehicles. I parked and asked a nearby fireman what had happened. He said a man had gone off the road and into the river. The man got out and called 911. By the time I got there, the emergency crew had used a large crane on a semi and had pulled the car from the river, and the emergency workers were packing up to leave. It looked like they had a lot more vehicles there than they would need. I guess the situation provided training for the emergency folks as well as getting the car out of the river. When I returned from my run an hour later, all of the emergency vehicles were gone, and traffic on 9800 South was back to normal.

July 30, 2007

Today I was in runners heaven

I had a great 5-mile run this morning. It took me 2 miles to warm up, but on the way back I ran at a consistent 10:40 pace all the way back and felt great. The shade temperature was 76 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned. My wakeup HR was 48. A great run! Now, to tackle more weeds in my wife's flower garden...

July 28, 2007

I felt fine during my 5-mile run today

My wakeup HR was 49 (I consider 48 as my normal), and I felt fine while I dressed and stretched. I was on the Parkway at 8:20 am, and I enjoyed my run. I felt stronger than I had earlier in the week, and I ran a bit faster, still running at my comfortable pace. I drank 16 ounces of water and 8 ounces of Gatorade during the run. When I returned, my urine was a light yellow, ok but a bit darker than I would like.

The shade temperature was 70 (F) when I left. I forgot to check it when I returned, but right now (2 hours later) it is 94 (F). It was probably in the low 80s (F) when I returned.

July 27, 2007

An extra rest day this week

I felt pretty tired on Tuesday, so I took Wednesday off. I've felt pretty good today and have spent a couple of hours pulling weeks in my wife's flower garden. She has been gone for 2 1/2 months (nanny in Europe for our 3 grand children, my daughter & her husband). She comes home on Tuesday, and I want the garden to look like a Garden of Eden when she arrives.

July 24, 2007

Too hot to run, so I came home

I messed up my schedule this morning and didn't get out until 11 am. By that time, it was hot. I didn't have a lot of energy, so I cut my run short and was glad to have gotten in 3 miles. When I got home, the shade temperature was 86, so it was about the same temperature as yesterday. But, it felt hotter. Just goes to show that my body wasn't in great condition today. At that time of day, there is very little shade along the Parkway path, and I got the full brunt of the direct sun.

I made no attempt to run faster. My pace on the way out was around 12:15-12:30. That was with a 5-7 mph headwind. On the way back, my pace was 11:30-12:00. I felt better on the way back, because I was warmed up (not warmed up as in hot from the sun but warmed up as in past the initial sluggishness of running).

My wakeup HR was 52, a little higher than it has been.

July 23, 2007

A nice 5-mile recovery run

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this morning and enjoyed it. I left my GPS home and just ran at a comfortable pace, probably around 11:30. I was late getting out (10 am). The temperature was 78 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned. Too hot to push very hard.

July 21, 2007

Had a good 5-mile speed workout

During my 5-mile run, I did four Galloway Cadence Drills. For those not familiar with the drills, you run 30 seconds at a comfortable pace and count the number of times your left foot hits the ground. Then for 30 seconds you run a bit faster, trying to get 1 or 2 more in your count. I got 2 and 3 more in my counts. In between the drills, I ran a slow recovery pace for a couple of minutes.

When I wasn't doing the drills, I ran a faster but still comfortable pace, ranging from 10:45 to 11:30 (most of the time my pace was around 11:00. I was late in getting out, and the temperature was in the high 80s when I ran.

The maiden voyage for my new Fuel Belt

I've been using a 25-year old fanny pack to carry my water and Gatorade. It is a small pack and is just big enough for a 20-ounce bottle of water and one full of Gatorade. I noticed a few days ago that the seams in the pack (it is made of canvas) are tearing out, because I also stuff in my cell phone and car key. I decided to splurge and get a Fuel Belt that carries six 8-ounce bottles. That is 8 ounces more that I was carrying on hot days. The belt also has a nice pouch for my cell phone and key. The bottles are distributed uniformly around the belt and thus help to keep me balanced.

The fuel belt worked fine on my run this morning. I used three bottles, two of water and one of Gatorade. I've been drinking half water and half Gatorade, and I decided last week to go to a 2:1 ratio. It took just a few minutes to get used to removing and returning the bottles to the elastic "pockets" on the belt.


July 18, 2007

Ran 5 miles this morning

I felt better this morning. My wakeup HR was down to 50. I ran my 5-mile route along the Jordan River Parkway at a faster pace that I ran yesterday and Monday. On the way out I timed a half-mile segment at 11:18 and on the way back another half-mile segment at 11:46.

The temperature was 78 (F) when i left home and 86 (F) when I returned. The sky was partly cloudy and the humidity was down. There was a 5 mph headwind going out and tailwind coming back. I drank 24 ounces of liquid, a swallow or two at each walking break at each half-mile.

July 17, 2007

Still tired today

My wakeup heart rate was 53 again. I felt a little bit better than I did yesterday, but I was still tired during my run. I thus cut the run short again, doing 4 miles. I've been sleeping well, and that is a very good sign. I just have to give my body some time to recover from my run on Saturday, from the high heat, and from the higher relative humidity. It was in the 70s (F) when I ran yesterday, but in the afternoon the sun came out and it got really hot.

Mugginess in humidity depends on what you're used to

When I lived in Massachusetts, the relative humidity in the summer was around 90-95%, and people thought they were walking around in the middle of a pond. When the humidity got down to 50%, we thought we were in heaven it was so dry. Here in Utah, the humidity is usually below 20%, and we think we are in heaven. During my run today, due to a cloudy sky and slight rain showers, the humidity was 22%, and I thought I was running in the middle of the Jordan River even though the temperature was only in the 70s (F). It's all what you get used to :) A high humidity really saps one's strength.

July 16, 2007

Still tired from my Saturday run

I felt ok when I got up, but my wakeup HR was 53, about 10% high. As soon as I started running I could tell I didn't have the "zip" of energy that means I'll have a great run. When I got to 2 1/4 miles, I started to feel tired, and I turned around and came back, giving me 4.5 miles instead of 5 miles. I ran a slow pace around 12:15 - 12:30.

The sky was cloudy during my run, and the relief from direct sunshine was great! The temperature was 76 (F) when I left home and 78 (F) when I returned.

July 14, 2007

A great 10-mile run this morning.

I was on the Jordan River Parkway path a little after 8 am this morning, and I ran 10 miles. The temperature when I left home was 72 (F), and I felt good on the way out even though my wakeup HR was 53, a bit higher than it has been. I also felt good on the way back, even though the temperature was significantly higher. It has been about a month since I did 10 miles, and it felt great. I purposely am reducing my distance while I increase my pace, but I'm hoping to keep the ability to run 10 miles so I won't have to do a lot of work to get my distance back to 13.1 miles.

After I finish a run, I always go into the tunnel under 9800/10000 South to be in the shade while I stretch. There is usually a breeze in the tunnel, due to the funnel-effect of the tunnel, and that breeze really felt good this morning.

My pace was faster today

I forgot my GPS (again), so I timed two half-mile segments to get an idea of my pace. On the way out, I timed the segment from 1.5 miles to 2.0 miles, and my pace was 9:31 minutes/mile. I chose that segment, because I'm usually warmed up by 1.5 miles, and I know accurately where the segment begins and ends. I could tell I wasn't ready for that fast of a pace because my throat was slightly raw, so I slowed down a bit for the rest of the run.

On the way back, I timed myself over the same segment, and my pace was 10:21. I had run 8 miles when I started this segment, and I was, I'm sure, getting tired. Also, the temperature was significantly higher on the way back. When I left home, the temperature was 72 (F), and when I returned home, the temperature was 91 (F).

Those paces of 9:31 and 10:21 are almost exactly the paces for my new goals. The 10:21 pace was close to the pace I maintained over the 6 miles between the two measurements. I'm not claiming that I've reached my new goals, because, as I mentioned, I wasn't ready for the 9:31 pace. But, it is interesting that I reached the two numbers, even for just a few minutes in the case of the first number. Running my goal recovery pace for most of the run was appropriate since I doubled the mileage from most of my runs the past couple of weeks and thus needed to run slower that I would if I were just going 5 miles. Also, before I claim I've reached my new goals, I want to be able to repeat my new paces for quite a few runs such that I feel comfortable with the higher speeds.

Two "improvements" from wearing neutral shoes

I've explained in previous posts that I wore motion-control shoes for 20 years when I should have been wearing neutral shoes. I'm a supinator, and neutral shoes are recommended for supination. I now have 155 miles on my first pair of Carumba by Loco Running. The shoes have been working fine. In fact, I've noticed two improvements over my motion-control shoes.
  1. Last fall I began noticing a "weakness" in my left foot. There was no pain, just a feeling that my foot couldn't support my weight. The feeling only came after 8 or 9 miles, and, in the beginning, it didn't last long. However, as the winter and spring progressed, the feeling came more often and lasted longer. During the past 155 miles, I haven't had that feeling, and I've done several 10-mile runs.

  2. The second improvement is more complicated. Let me explain. In my home we have a custom of not wearing shoes in the house, and for years I've gone around the house bare footed. About five years ago, I was walking in my bedroom in the dark, and I stubbed my toe. I was walking fast, and I really jammed my toe. About a month later, I did the same thing to the same toe. I may have broken the toe, or something, because ever since that time I've had a numbness in that toe. I haven't worried about the injury, because the numbness hasn't increased and hasn't seemed to handicap my walking and running.

    When walking, I didn't have pain with the numbness. But, when I ran I did have a small pain in the toe; after a mile or so of running, the pain went away. I still have the numbness, but since changing to the Carumba shoes, I don't feel the pain. I don't know if this lack of pain is due to my changing from motion-control to neutral shoes, or if it is due to a slight difference in the width of the two shoes. The Carumba shoes are more comfortable and seem to be slightly wider.

Peace officers were out running

When I arrived at the parking lot for the Jordan River Parkway, the lot was full of cars. This was strange, because there are usually only a few cars there.

Soon after I started my run, I began passing a lot of runners who were finishing their run. They all wore T-shirts and shorts, and the T-shirts were all the same. I figured they were either a team or a fitness class. Then I noticed the runners at the rear of the group were older and slower, so I knew they weren't on a team. I asked one of the runners as I passed him what group they were with, and he yelled, "the college, Post Academy." I had never heard of Post Academy, so I googled it when I got home and found out it is the training academy for Peace (police) Officers.

Last week just as I was ready to drive away from the parking lot, a bunch of cars came in that were filled with men and a few women who were wearing what looked like soccer uniforms -- blue shorts, white T-shirts, and blue number-bibs (with white numbers) over the shirts. I didn't ask them what group they were with, but they weren't dressed like runners even though they came to run. I thought to myself, "I hope they make it, because it is awfully hot to be wearing those number-bibs."

July 11, 2007

Today was a tired 4-mile run

I'm still tired from yesterday, so I cut my run short by a mile. I was out earlier than yesterday. The shade temperature was about 81 (F) when I left home and was 91 (F) when I returned. Not many people on the Parkway, but a motorcycle cop did go by. Maybe he will give the fast runners a ticket for speeding :)

I drank about 20 ounces of liquid. I had a small amount of water left, and I poured it on my head -- sure felt good!

July 10, 2007

Ran a hot 5 miles

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway again, and it was hot! The temperature was 93 (F) when I left home and 96 when I returned. I was late getting out (about noon), but I felt pretty good. I let my body set its own pace, and it set paces from about 11:30 to 12:20. My perceived effort was about the same as yesterday, and I enjoyed the run. I was surprised that I didn't suffer, emotionally or physically, from the heat. I think I may be acclimating to the higher temperatures.

Instead of talking walking breaks every half-mile, I took them every quarter mile, and drank my customary swallow of Gatoraid and swallow of water at each break. All together, I drank about 35 ounces of liquid.

Running in hot weather

I thought I'd summarize how I handle heat while running.

1. Eat properly during the day before your run so you'll have the energy you need to complete the distance AND to handle the heat.

2. Be well hydrated during the day and night before your run by drinking more liquids.

3. Use the urine test before and after a run to test for dehydration. A slight yellow color is ok. Anything very dark indicates dehydration. The darker the color, the more the dehydration.

4. When possible run earlier in the morning or later at night when the temperature is lower.

5. If possible, choose a course that has some shade. Pause in or walk through the shady spots.

6. Run so your perceived effort for the run is about the same as it would be if you were running in a lower temperature. This means you'll run slower to reduce the stress on your body from the heat. Save your speed workouts for lower temperatures. Remember: Spring and Fall are for training. Summer and Winter are for surviving.

7. Take walking breaks if you normally don't take them, or walking breaks more often if you normally do take them, to give your body relief from the heat.

July 9, 2007

Back to my 5-mile runs

I ran my 5-mile route on the Jordan River Parkway. I felt pretty energetic when I got up (wakeup HR was 51) and during my stretches, but the heat got to me and it took me over 2 miles to warm up. During that time, my pace was around 11:30. On the way back, my pace was down to 10:30 - 11:00. The shade temperature when I left home was in the low 70s (F), and it was 88 (F) when I returned.

July 7, 2007

Pulling weeds and running don't mix

Yesterday, I spent 5 hours in the hot sun pulling weeds in my wife's Garden of Weeden. The temperature maxed at 100 (F) in the shade and was hotter than that in the direct sun. I also spent two hours pulling weeds in the evening when the temperature was in the mid 80s (F). When I ran this morning I could tell that I was pretty tired, so I only ran 3 miles instead of my planned 4 miles. I slept well last night, and my wakeup HR was 48 this morning (46 yesterday), but the toll on my body from hours in the sun was much greater than the benefit of the sleep. I drank a lot of water yesterday and took rest breaks, and I felt pretty good during the evening. But, I could tell almost immediately when I started running that I was tired.

July 4, 2007

Another day and another 4 miles of running

I was out earlier today for my four-mile rest run. The temperature when I left home was 74 (F) and was 84(F) when I returned. I felt more energetic than I did yesterday. I didn't have my GPS with me, so I timed the last half-mile at 5:47 or a 11:34 pace.

The swallows lost their nest again and an egg too

When I went through the tunnel under 9800 South yesterday, the swallow nest was intact, but when I went through the tunnel today, the nest was on the ground and an egg was smashed on the ground. It's too bad, but I assume the city has to insure the safety of persons using the path. A lot of people are paranoid about animals, and someone in the city government apparently felt the birds shouldn't be nesting in the tunnel. I walk through the tunnel about 20 times per week, been doing that for a lot of weeks, and I've never been attacked by the birds. The nest was up about 10 feet, and one would need either a long stick or a ladder to knock the nest down. For this reason, I assume it was done by a city employee not just a walker going by.

July 3, 2007

I ran 4 miles again

I ran my four-mile route on the Jordan River Parkway again today. I wasn't as energetic as I was yesterday, and I ran slower, 11:30 to 12:00 paces. I was out an hour earlier, and it wasn't quite as hot as yesterday during my run. I noticed it was 92 (F) in the shade about half an hour after I had finished my run. If I still feel tired tomorrow, I'll take the day off; otherwise I'll run the four miles again.

July 2, 2007

I'm going to start taking rest weeks for my runs

Jeff Galloway suggests that we take a rest week every month. I think other world-class runners suggest that, too. And, my friend Bruce from Vegas suggests that. So, I thought I'd better start doing it.

Having the first week of the month be a rest week fits my schedule best, so this week is a rest week. My initial goals for a rest week are to reduce my distance by about 20% and to run only comfortable, rest runs.

A great 4-mile rest run

I ran for four miles on the Jordan River Parkway and really enjoyed it. I listened to my body and ran a comfortable pace (around 11:00 to 11:30 pace), and I enjoyed being out, even with a temperature in the low 90s (F). I drank about 10 ounces of Gatorade and 10 ounces of water during my walking breaks every half mile. I felt pretty good and had a reasonable energy level for a hot day. My wakeup HR was 51, about what it has been for the past couple of weeks.

A post-script to the 5K race on Saturday

During the 5k, while running down the Jordan River Parkway, we passed a section where the city had sprinklers putting water on some grass that bordered the path. A young boy who was just in front of me, he was about 8 or 9 years old, moved over to the edge of the path so the water would hit him. That reminded me of the times when I ran during the noon hour at work in Massachusetts and the company had sprinklers running on the grass. When I finished a run and was dripping with sweat, I would walk onto the lawn and lie down so the sprinklers would spray me with water. That really felt good!

My Carumba neutral shoes are doing well

I mentioned in previous posts that I've been wearing motion-control shoes for the past 20 years when I should have been wearing neutral shoes (I don't know why I wasn't injured from having the wrong shoes, but I'm glad I wasn't). I switched to LOCO Carumba neutral shoes on May 11, and I've put 119 miles on those shoes. I've had no problems with them, and they fit my feet a little bit better than my LOCO Mojo shoes did. I won't know until I have 500 miles on them if the Carumba are a better shoe for my feet. Even then, I probably won't be able to draw any conclusion from the Carumba shoes feeling fine and not causing injury, because the Mojo shoes felt that way, too.

There are two things I can look for that may help me draw a comparison between the Carumba and the Mojo shoes.

  • Compression of the right heel. I've explained in previous posts that I have a skeletal problem that causes me to walk on the outside of my right shoe, and this causes the heel to compress more on the outside than it does on the inside. The Mojo shoes do have a slight amount of that compression after 500 miles.
  • I've explained in previous posts that, starting in the Fall of 2006, I started having a "weak" feeling in my left foot. By "weak", I mean as in unable to support weight. No pain or soreness, just a feeling that I couldn't put much weight on the foot. This feeling would appear on runs longer than about 8 miles. During the winter and spring, the feeling became more pronounced and started to have a bit of pain with the feeling. Since changing to the Carumba, I've run one 9-miler and one 10-miler, and I haven't felt that feeling. However, I need more miles and more longer runs on the Carumba to see if the feeling occurs or not.
So, I'll report back about this from time to time as I put more miles on the Carumba.