Monday, December 29, 2008

I struggled to do 3.5 miles in my run

I had planned to do a 5-mile rest run, but as soon as I started running I knew I didn't have a lot of energy. The first mile was OK, and I took short walking breaks every half mile. The second mile had more walking breaks, and the last 1.5 miles had still more. Part of the problem was that the Jordan River Parkway was covered with half an inch of snow and/or soft ice, and that is like running in sand -- a lot of slippage of my shoes. However, the main problem was that my body was tired. I went slow and enjoyed being outside, even though it was a struggle to finish the run. I've had a couple weeks of good running, and my body needed more rest than it got over the weekend.

The temperature was about 40 (F) during my run. The snow and ice was melting some, but a 5-10 mph wind kept the melting to a minimum. I ran in the late afternoon and made sure I was finished before the sun went down. Once the sun has set, the temperature quickly drops and the path freezes up and becomes slick.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

7 miles on ice and snow ends the week

I ran 27th West again today and did 7 miles. I expected the sidewalks and streets to be icy and snowy, and I wore my ice cleats on my running shoes. I found out that the sidewalks hadn't been plowed since the blizzard a couple of days ago, and I thus ran in the street. The asphalt was bare where the cars and trucks were driving, but it was icy and snowy along the edges.

While going out, my cleats did well, and I had no problems with the ice and snow, However, at three miles, the cleats came off when I went through some 4-5 inch deep snow. I needed a place to sit down and take off my shoes while I put the cleats back on and didn't see anything that could be used as a chair, so I stuffed the cleats in my jacket pocket and ran without them. The ice along the edge of the road was soft and not slick, and I had no problem running without the cleats.

With just a half-mile to go to reach my turnaround, I decided to abort that half-mile because the snow was deeper along the edge of the road, and it was difficult to run. I thus did 7 miles instead of my planned 8 miles.

On the way back, I could tell I was getting tired due to the inch or so of snow along the edge (running in snow and slush is like running in sand, shoes slip with each step). I started walking through the snow when cars were passing, and I ran on the bare asphalt when there were no cars passing. That method worked fine, and I made it home with no slips on the ice or encounters with autos. I also felt pretty good when I got home. So, I would say it was a good winter run. The temperature was 25 (F) when I left home and 23 when I returned. The forecast for the next three days is temps in the low 40s during the day, and that should clear the streets and Jordan River Parkway for good running. However, more snow is forecast for Tuesday evening.

I did my good deed for the day while running

On the way back, I saw a young girl who had gotten her pickup stuck in some deep snow. She was trying to leave a school parking lot and enter 27th West, and there was a ridge of deep snow that was left by the snow plow earlier in the day. I crossed the street to see if I could help her, and I quickly found out that she had no idea of what to do. I mentioned rocking the truck back and forth, but she didn't comprehend what I was saying. She called her dad, and the dad and a brother came to help. The dad got the truck out by rocking it back and forth. I stuck around to see if I could help push, but I wasn't needed. My sticking around did give the girl some moral support, though.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The storm continues

We had about 6 inches of snow during the night, but the wind was gone, meaning the snow didn't drift. I spent two hours this morning shoveling snow. Snow flurries continued throughout the day, leaving another half-inch. For the past two weeks our day-time temperatures have been a degree or two above freezing down to the mid 20s (F). The high tomorrow is forecast to be 30, but the high on Sunday and Monday is forecast to be in the low 40s. That will be nice, and our foot to a foot and a half of snow will begin to melt.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Right now there is a blizzard outside

I'm glad I ran yesterday, because there is a blizzard going on right now. The wind is 25 mph with heavy snow. The forecast is for 6 inches today and 2 more tonight. So, I'll be getting some exercise shoveling snow late this afternoon after the wind dies down. The bushes and trees are all snow covered, and it looks pretty outside.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope Santa made it home safely and before the storm hit.

Later: I did get some good exercise today. The storm ended in the early afternoon, and I spent 3 or 4 hours shoveling snow. I shoveled my driveway and sidewalks and then went down the street and shoveled the driveway and sidewalks for a friend who is visiting his children in Louisiana. I didn't want him to return home in a few days with a foot of heavy snow in his driveway.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Up goes the distance -- to 10 miles

My wakeup heart rate was 53 this morning; slightly high but not bad. The temperature was 27 (F) when I left home and 29 when I returned. Rather than run the Jordan River Parkway that likely was snow covered, I ran 27th West for 5 miles out and 5 miles back.

The sidewalk was snow covered, and I ran in the street because it was dry asphalt. Except for a half-mile stretch, the street has wide shoulders that were clear of snow, and I had no problems with drivers. While I was on the half-mile stretch without shoulders, I had to run along the white line marking the edge of the driving lane, and the drivers were all courteous and moved over to the center line while passing me. While going out there was a 10-12 mph head wind, but the wind died down on the way back with just occasional gusts.

It was a nice day for running, and I had a great run. Ten miles will be my cap for my medium run. My next goal will be to extend my long run to 15 miles from its present 8 miles. I will, hopefully, reach 13 miles by the end of March, and if I think I have a good chance to PB the Salt Lake City half marathon in mid April, I will level off the long run at 13 miles until after the race and then continue up to 15 miles. To avoid overdoing my training, I am increasing my distance only twice per month. When I was younger I could increase my distance every week, but being older I have to make the changes less often.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A great 5-mile run, even with the snow

I knew a snow storm was c0ming today that would leave 3-4 inches of snow, so I got out running as early as I could. However, it started snowing just as I was leaving the house. I ran along 27th West, the city street that I've mentioned before. The sidewalks were covered with fresh snow, and about half an inch fell while I was running. Fresh snow isn't slick, and I had no problem slipping in the snow. There was a 10-15 mph headwind during the first half, but my nylon windbreaker took care of that. When I reached the turn-around point, I was nice and warm, especially since the wind was now a tailwind.

In terms of how much energy it takes, running in snow is harder than running on bare sidewalks or asphalt paths. Today was supposed to be a rest run, but it became a more stressful run due to the snow. But, I enjoyed it and was glad I went out this morning. I followed my usual technique for winter running: smaller steps, a slower pace, and running flat-footed. I wanted to run this morning and again on Wednesday, so I wouldn't need to run on Thursday, Christmas day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ran for 90 minutes, about 7 miles

Just as I left home to go running, it started to snow. By the time I reached the Jordan River Parkway it was snowing heavily, and I decided not to run on the path and went home. Later in the evening I went to the Recreational Center of my city and used a treadmill for half an hour. In 36 years of running, this was my first use of a treadmill. I found that I was taking short steps, and my pace for the same comfort level was quite a bit slower than on the roads. I expect that as I got used to the treadmill, I would take larger steps. After I left the treadmill, I ran around the 1/10 mile track that loops around the rec center. Because short tracks are hard on ones knees, due to the frequent turns at the four corners of the loop, I reversed direction every 2 or 3 loops.

I found the treadmill and the indoor track were very boring, and I'm not anxious to run them very often. They are, though, a good backup for use on stormy days when it isn't wise to run outside. I enjoy running in the snow, but I don't like to run on slick paths. I do have my ice cleats from last winter, and I'll need to use them when the Parkway path or the city streets are slick.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A very nice 5-mile rest run on a sunny day

Our snow flurries are over for a couple of days. I went running about noontime, and the sky was sunny but still cool. I ran a comfortable pace and enjoyed being outdoors on a beautiful winter day. It felt good to get my body warmed up from running. The Jordan River Parkway path was in good shape. There were a few places with ice, but most of the path was bare asphalt.

I was passed by a group of about 20 runners who were all wearing the same running clothes, and I decided they were from the Police Academy. I had already finished the 1.5 mile round trip on the new north segment of the path when the police recruits began their 5-mile PT run. They passed me as we went south and caught up with me again on the way back, and I finished a few minutes behind them (actually I finished with a few of the stragglers). I chatted for a few minutes with one of the recruits. He is from Boston, and I told him I lived back there for 17 years.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My feet are stiff after last night's run

I've mentioned before that I was born with stiff joints and stiff muscles. My condition is known as the "squeaky door" syndrome. Just as a door with very rusty hinges is hard to get moving but once it moves it moves more freely, my muscles are stiff when I first get up but feel better as I move around. I got up a couple of times during the night to get a drink of water, and my feet were very stiff when I walked into the bathroom. They felt better on my way back to bed. They aren't used to the 9 miles that I ran last night. After a couple of weeks of that distance, my feet will feel better. This is nothing to worry about -- just the way my body is built.

This squeaky door problem is the reason I started running many years ago. I've always been active and done a lot of walking and hiking. But, after finishing college, I bought a car and began driving instead of walking as much. Over a period of a couple of years, the muscles in my feet deteriorated and starting hurting when I was on my feet a lot. After a day of yard work, while I was in Phoenix, my feet would hurt for two days. The doctor told me to do anything I wanted that would strengthen the muscles in my feet. I began running. My feet are still stiff after I'm on my feet a lot, but I no longer have the pain in my feet. I also use a homeopathic remedy called Rhus Tox when my feet are stiff. That remedy really helps a lot. It is made from diluted poison ivy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It was cold, windy with snow flurries, but I had a great 9-mile run!

I didn't run until late afternoon. I knew it would be dark before I finished, and I was concerned about running in the dark on a path covered with half an inch of snow and patches of ice. I thus chose to run along a city street instead of on the Jordan River Parkway. That street runs north-south almost the full length of the Salt Lake Valley, and I use it when it would not be wise to run on the Parkway. The street is well lit and has a lot of traffic. I don't like the smoke from vehicles, but I do like having people passing me every half-minute or so in case I slip on ice or something and need help.

The temperature was 27 (F) when I left home, and there was 10-15 mph wind blowing. There were also snow flurries coming down. The temperature didn't change much during my run, and the wind had stopped by the time I reached the turnaround point. After a mile and a half, my body had warmed up, and I was actually sweating around my hat from then on.

I went slow and took smaller steps so I could land on the midsole of my shoes and avoid a heel strike and a toe-off. Heel strikes on ice are a quick way to slip and fall, since the edge of the heel doesn't have much surface area in contact with the ground. I stopped and walked across all of the intersections, because they were covered with black ice and I didn't want to risk a fall. I ran between intersections. Fresh snow isn't very slick, and I was actually glad that snow flurries were occurring, because they made the path safer for running. Ice and snow packed by automobiles are slicker than fresh snow.

My wakeup heart rate was 51 this morning, and I felt pretty good all day. I slept almost 9 hours last night, and I was grateful for that since I only had 4 hours of sleep Saturday night; I woke up after 4 hours and didn't go back to sleep due to stress about having to get up early Sunday morning and drive into Salt Lake City. Adding to my stress was a very busy schedule on Saturday that caused me to miss my Saturday run.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today was rest-run day

Today was my rest run, and I ran an enjoyable 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. My wakeup heart was 53 this morning, and I felt pretty good during the day. I went running just as the sun was going down. The temperature when I left was in the high 30s (F).

I enjoy my rest runs, because I know my body is recovering from my longer runs, and I always enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I had a marathon DNS in Massachusetts

I've been thinking about marathon DNS (Did Not Start) and thought I'd explain how my 5th marathon became a DNS.

I ran two marathons in 1981 and again in 1982 (Green Mountain, Vermont in August and Foxboro in Massachusetts in October or November). I trained for and registered for Foxboro in 1983 but did not start the race due to a hectic schedule that only gave me four to five hours of sleep a night . I had been going to night school for 5 years to get another Masters degree (Computer Information Systems), and I had been taking one class per semester; the classes had software projects that took quite a few hours outside of class. However, in the Fall of 1983 I took two classes and had to complete two projects. I was working 9 hours per day with 2 hours of commute time. I was teaching a religion class at 6 am to several high school students. My wife and I had a very large garden that needed harvesting and rototilling during the fall. And, if all of that wasn't enough I needed to split and stack 5 cords of wood for use a year later after the wood had dried. And, I don't want to forget to mention that I was a father to four children, two of whom were teenagers, and a husband to my dear wife. Oh yes, I was training for my 5th marathon. My training for my previous marathons peaked at 45 miles per week, but for the 5th one I peaked at 50 miles per week. I held up pretty well to all of this until the morning of the marathon. I woke up that morning and felt like I had been run over by a truck. I didn't even get out of bed; I just turned over and went back to sleep.

I felt bad that I hadn't run the marathon, but I knew I had done the best I could, and I had no regrets. I continued to run around 25 miles per week and enjoyed that, as I had enjoyed all of my running. I didn't train for any more marathons while I was in Massachusetts. I became interested in video and shot a lot of tapes of school board meetings, school plays, parades, vacations in Maine, birds and squirrels, the regional symphony orchestra, etc., and showed them on the local Access cable channel. I had so many things on the Access channel that my kids called it Allen Leigh's channel. One of the events that brought me a lot of pleasure was the annual Memorial Day parade, probably the highlight of the town activities. I shot the parade by running ahead of the parade, shooting some tape, running ahead again, and so on. After the parade and memorial program, I went home and quickly edited the tape and took it to the cable station. They played the tape over and over again all day, and quite a few older people who couldn't get out for the parade called in and thanked the station for showing the parade and program.

I believe that our trials and difficulties happen to us for a reason. In my case, I learned that I can't do everything I would like to do and must set priorities. Races are nice, but they pass, and as I look back on the various races I've run I realize they were nice at the time, but they aren't the most important events in my life. If I had to choose between my races or my video work or my being a Scoutmaster for 12 of the 17 years I was in Massachusetts, I would choose the video work and my scouting work. Those activities influenced many people, from the performers to the spectators to the boys in my troop. Just so you won't think I'm negative about my running, I do enjoy running and think it is one the most important things I do. I run because I enjoy it. In addition, running has given me a strong body, a body that almost died four years ago from an auto accident but was strong enough due to my running to keep on living even though the doctors called in my children on two occasions because they didn't think I would make it during the night (my wife was in a different hospital at the time having her own injuries to overcome).

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm up to 9 miles!

My wakeup heart rate was 50 this morning, and I felt energetic and ready to run. However, we had snow flurries during the morning and the temperature was 34 (F). So, I decided to wait until the afternoon when it would be warmer. The afternoon came, the snow flurries continued, and the temperature went down to 32. I decided I'd better go running before the path started to ice up.

Since I did a short run on Saturday, I thought I'd do my mid-week this morning and a rest run on Wednesday. I also decided, as I ran, to change my schedule. I would like to reach 10 miles by the end of the year, but I didn't want to take both my mid-week medium run and my weekend long run to 10 miles, so I decided to take my medium to 10 miles in one-mile increments, where it will be capped at that distance, and keep my long run at 8 miles. My increases will still be 1 mile, but that mile will be for one run instead of split between two runs. Then in January I'll bring my long run from 8 miles to 10 miles, giving me a weekly distance of 25 miles. I'll run that distance for a month and then take my long run up to 15 miles in one-mile increments. I should reach that distance by mid-March, and with a month to go for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in April, I might be ready to try for a new PB in that race.

So, I added a mile to my run and did 9 miles. It was a nice run, even with the snow flurries that fell during most of the run. I wore three layers and started to sweat a little bit after 2 miles.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This was the day for a short rest run

I had hopes of running 8 miles, but after I'd gone half a mile I knew my run would be a short rest run. I had a busy schedule today that required that I do my run first thing, and I was on the Jordan River Parkway by 8:30 this morning. The temperature was in the mid 20s (F) during my run, but the sky was clear and we expected a nice day with a high in the 40s. I ran 2.5 miles and enjoyed the run, even though I was tired and had low energy.

I went to bed early last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I ended up with about 5 hours of sleep. I frequently have a difficult time sleeping, due to nervous anxiety, when I have to get up early. When I left home this morning, it had only been 36 hours since my super run on Thursday, and I need at least 48 hours for recovery. That, plus my lack of sleep last night, set the conditions for my body to tell me it needed more rest. I'm glad that I've learned during the past 35+ years of running to listen to my body and to follow the messages I receive from my body.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A great 5-mile rest run

It was dark when I left home for my 5-mile run. My wakeup heart rate was 51 this morning, and I felt fine during the day. I only took two walking/standing breaks during the five miles. The first break was for 2 or 3 minutes while I talked with a man installing a chain link fence. That was after 1 1/4 miles. At 2 1/2 miles I took a 20 second walking break due to a slight pain in my right knee (not an injury pain, just a stiff muscle pain). I started walking as soon as the pain appeared, and the pain went away as soon as I stopped running. I walked for 20 seconds or so and then ran the rest of the distance. I felt strong during the run, and enjoyed being out.

I like running at night. People are gone and I have the trail all to myself. The lights in nearby buildings and distant houses glow like beacons in a dark night. The world seems peaceful, and I seem at peace with the world and with myself. I'm a night owl and have always enjoyed the nights. As a teenager I would stay up late contacting ham radio stations all over the world and would then sleep in. I still stay up late but don't sleep in as well as I used to.

A chain-link fence is going up near the new north-bound segment of the Parkway

About a month ago, as I finished my run, I saw a truck from a fence company in the parking lot. While I was stretching in the tunnel under 9800 South, two men walked through the tunnel going South, and one of the men got in the truck and drove away. I knew then that a farmer was going to fence in his field that borders the new segment of the Jordan River Parkway.

The first part of my run tonight was on the north-bound segment, and I saw new metal fence posts that had been installed along the edge of a pasture that borders the Parkway. On my way back, I saw a truck parked next to the fence posts, and a man was getting out of the truck. I commented to him, "You're working late tonight" (it was dark). I stopped and talked with the man for a couple of minutes. He said he had put the posts up earlier today, and that he would let the concrete harden tomorrow and then put the chain links up on Saturday or Monday. The fence will be on three sides of his pasture, and the total length of the fence will be about half a mile. A nice job for the contractor, and a big cost for the farmer. Chain link fences are ugly in a natural setting, but some of the fence will be shielded from the path by trees and bushes.

The new branch of the Jordan River Parkway is finished

The new branch of the Parkway, that I spoke of yesterday, is finished. During my run this evening I followed the path from its beginning at approximately 103rd South to its end next to the model home in a new neighborhood that is being constructed. The path is only about 1/8 mile long, but it goes by a pond and will give a nice view to those using the path. It was dark when I ran the path, and I could see a lot of black dots in the pond -- ducks and geese settled in for the night.

The path isn't as wide as the main Parkway path, but it will be fine. Not many people will use it, and there is room for persons going both ways to pass. The path is about 20 or 30 feet south of the mid-point between the tunnels under 9800 South and 10600 South.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A wonderful 8-mile run

My wakeup heart rate was 49 this morning. It has been a long, long time since it was that low. Probably a year or more. I left home in the late afternoon and did most of the run in the dusk, but the last mile was in the dark.

It took me about 4 miles to get warmed up, and during that time I took walking breaks every half-mile. However, during the last 4 miles, I felt great and only took walking breaks every 2 miles or so. On the way out I used my GPS to check my pace once in a while, and it was 12:00 to 13:00 or so. On the way back, I couldn't see the GPS very well, but it felt like I was going faster. Probably around 11:30. I have to be careful about checking my pace, because I don't want to get motivated to run faster. I'm letting my body dictate the speed.

During the past few weeks, I've been focusing on finishing a family history book that I've been compiling during the past 10 years. It's called Generations of Websters, and it contains stories about my Webster ancestors down to my father's generation. I finished the book this morning, and I hope I can be more consistent in getting to bed earlier than the 1-2 am that I've been doing recently. Getting a good 7 or 7 1/2 hours of sleep really makes a difference in how I feel the next day.

They've started to asphalt a new branch of the trail

A few months ago I mentioned the city was putting in a new trail going from the main trail to a new residential area. The workers finished the grading, road base, and leveling phases of the trail several weeks ago, and I've been waiting for them to put the asphalt on the trail. It's so late in the year that I had decided they would wait until Spring to finish the path. However, when I passed the path today, I saw that it had asphalt, and I could see the workers, truck, roller, etc. working on the trail, about 100 yards from the main trail. I couldn't tell if they were just starting or just finishing. It was dark when I passed the new trail on my way back, and the workers were gone. If I remember to bring my GPS during my next run, I'll check out the new path. I need the GPS because I'll be running a modified route, and I'll use the GPS to tell me when I've run 8 miles.

Shared my running trail with a six-point Buck

I saw a deer while on my run. He was near the trail, and when he heard me coming, he walked down to the Jordan River and waded to the middle of the river. He then stopped and drank some water. He looked like a relatively young deer, and he presented a magnificent view while standing in the middle of the river. The water was around 15 inches in depth.

This picture is from the web, rather than one I took, but it gives you a rough idea of what I saw. Click for a larger image.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Finished the week with a 3.5 mile rest run

I had planned on doing another 8-mile run today, but my body was tired, and I did a 3.5 mile rest run. I never know from day to day what I'll be doing in my runs -- it all depends how my body feels.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wow! A wicked-good 8-mile run!

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 51, and I felt really good. I added a half-mile to the distance I've run for the past two weeks and ran 8 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I felt great during the run, kept a pace between 12:30 and 13:30, and took walking breaks every mile to mile and a half. Now, I'm looking forward to two days of rest and a nice Thanksgiving time tomorrow with two of my four kids and their four children.

The temperature was in the 50s (F), and it was a great day to be outdoors. I wore my long sleeved cotton T-shirt and should have worn a short sleeved shirt, because I felt too warm. However, it wasn't bad.

Running most of the big hill in my route

In past posts I've mentioned a big hill in my running route. I'm almost to the point where I run the full hill. Every two weeks, when I increase my distance, I also increase by 50 yards or so the amount of the hill that I run (I then walk the remaining distance). In another month to six weeks I should be running the whole hill.

On my return trip, I get good practice running down the hill. Going down a steep hill is more stressful on ones body than going up the hill. Especially on the knees.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today was a 5-mile rest run

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 49, and I felt great. Because of my low heart rate and my feeling good, I considered running 8 miles today. I didn't run until late afternoon, and I felt great during the 1.5 mile out-back on the new northbound leg of the path. But, after I had gone another half mile I could tell this wasn't the day to increase my distance, and I settled for a rest run. I ran a slow pace and felt OK during the 5 miles, but by the time I finished the 5 miles, the sun was down and the temperature was dropping. I wore a long-sleeved cotton T-shirt (one layer), and it was damp from my sweat. As the temperature dropped, I started to feel cold, and I was glad to stop at 5 miles. The temperature was in the high 40s (F) when I left home and was probably close to 40 when I returned home.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quick recovery from yesterday's run

After a good solid nights sleep, and after only 14 hours since the end of yesterday's run, my wakeup heart rate was 50 this morning. My body, of course, isn't fully recovered, but having my heart rate be low is a good sign. If I sleep well tonight I should be ready for a good run tomorrow. Normally I do a 5-mile rest run on Mondays, but if I feel strong I may do 8 miles tomorrow and do the rest run on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Finished my rest week with a 6.5 mile run

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 50, and I was glad to see it come down, thanks to the good sleep I've been having this week. I considered doing an 8 mile run but decided to stop after 6.5 miles as my finish to this rest week. If I feel fine next week, I'll go for 8 miles on my mid-week and weekend runs.

The temperature was in the high 40s (F) during my run, and it was a great day to be outside.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another night of good sleep

When my body gets into a habit of sleeping less than seven hours (waking up early and not going back to sleep) there is a certain procedure that I go through to get my body back into a normal sleep routine of 7 - 71/2 hours.
  • I change my behavior and go to bed earlier so my 7 hours will finish about an hour or less after daylight. When I was younger I had no difficulty staying up late (I'm a night owl) and sleeping in until 10 or 11, but now I wake up about an hour after sun rise regardless of how long I've slept. I really enjoy doing projects late at night, and that gets me into trouble with my sleeping.

  • I stay in bed for 7 hours, even if I'm awake. This helps, I assume, my body adjust to being in bed longer.

  • I take after about five hours a homeopathic remedy called Nux Vomica to help my mind settle down and quite thinking of everything. That remedy really helps. I drink two glasses of water during the night, so I'm up several times going to the bathroom, and I time my use of Nux with one of those trips. I usually go right back to sleep after I finish a bathroom trip, but when I've been suffering from a sleep deficit, I stay awake after about 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

    I take a half-hour nap during the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This week is a rest week

I've had two weeks of good running, so I'm taking this week as a rest week to help my body get back to a normal sleep schedule. I ran 3.5 miles this evening along the Jordan River Parkway. I felt pretty good, but I was starting to get tired during the last mile. I've slept better during the past two nights, but it takes time for ones body to recover from sleep deficits. Our bodies needs rest to recover from the stress of running, and older persons, like me, need extra rest. My wakeup heart rate this morning was 53.

A Park Ranger Questioned Me

While I was stretching at the end of my run, a park Ranger drove up and stopped not too far from me. I assumed he was going to question me about being in the park after dark, but he didn't. He had seen a stray dog and was trying to find out who owned it. The dog had come over by me, and the Ranger asked me if I owned the dog, and I said, "no".

When I first saw him, I was surprised that he would want to talk with me, because the park is open until 10 pm and the time when he talked with me was about 7 pm; I was a little concerned about it. The park rangers do good job of patrolling the park. I see them frequently during the week. I appreciate their efforts to provide a safe place for people to walk, run, or whatever while they enjoy the outdoors.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finally, I had a great sleep last night!

I slept for a good 7 hours last night. I was still up later than I should have been, but I went to bed earlier than I've been doing for the past 10 days. So, tonight I'll be in bed by 11:30. And, I'll eat regular meals today, too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I did a tired 5-mile rest run

My sleeping schedule has been really messed up for the past 10 or so days, and I've been going on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. It caught up with me today. I knew I was in trouble when I took my first walking break after only 1/8 mile and a second walking break about 1/3 mile later. After I warmed up, though, I was able to go half a mile between breaks. As I ran, I had to make a decision about finishing the 5 miles or aborting the run. I was running, more of a jog, pretty slow, and I decided to finish the distance by taking walking breaks when I needed them.

I had planned on going out earlier in the day and thus didn't eat breakfast. However, I did eat lunch and tried to take a nap (without success). I then went running in the late afternoon, and the only food I had all day was the lunch. I think the lunch probably gave me about enough calories to compensate for those burned during my run, so I went the whole day without consuming calories for my basic bodily functions. After I returned from the run I ate a banana and drank a glass of orange juice. Not long after I ate that food, some friends came by to visit, and I was shivering while talking with them. I wrapped a wool afghan around me while we talked, and that helped. By the time they left, I felt warm, probably due to the banana and juice. In looking back on all of this, today was a real bummer. I have no one to blame but myself for messing up my sleeping schedule (staying up late and not being able to sleep after the sun comes up) and not eating much.

The six geese are still a honking

Most of my run was after the sun had gone down but it wasn't daylight yet. The Salt Lake Valley is surrounded by high mountings, and the sun sets behind the mountains earlier than it would in flat country. I was on my way back when I say 6 or 7 flocks of geese flying north with lots of honking. They passed me and continued going north for another quarter mile. Then then turned went south and passed me again. I guess they were looking for a place to spend the night. It seemed strange that they went north and then reversed course and went south. Oh well, they know what they are doing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The end of another good running week

I ended my run with another 7.5 mile run along the Parkway. I was out earlier today, and the shade temperature when I left home was 40 (F); it was 45 when I returned. My wakeup heart this morning was 52, not quite as low as last week but still pretty good. I was a little more tired during this run and didn't go quite as fast as I did on Thursday and on last Saturday. All of my walking breaks were at 1-mile markers, except the first walking break which was at the end of an out-back on the new trail (1.5 miles).

This was my second week of running 7.5 miles, and if I feel good next week, I'll do 8 miles for my mid-week and week-end runs. My rest run is always 5 miles.

There were a lot of walkers, bikers, and runners on the Parkway this morning. Also, I saw quite a few police officers from the Academy. Normally when I see them, they are doing 1.5 mile qualification runs, but this morning they were just doing a training run.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's mid-week, time for my medium run

I ran in the afternoon for 7.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. It was another beautiful day with shade temperature in the mid 50s (F). I didn't measure my pace, but I felt like I was running about the same pace that I ran on Saturday.

In my previous posts going back a couple of years, I've mentioned a big hill. My runs longer than 6.5 miles take me up that hill. I'm not running all the way up, but each time I increase my distance, I also increase the amount of the hill that I run. In 3 or 4 more increases (about 100 yards per increase), and I'll be running up the whole hill. I'm getting better at running down the hill, too. A month ago my knees were weak and couldn't handle the stress of running downhill, but now I can jog down the hill at a pace of about 14 minutes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A good start to the week: a 5-mile rest run

I had a nice 5-mile run this afternoon. There was a light rain during the first half hour, and then the rain stopped but the sky remained cloudy. The temperature was in the mid 40s (F). I felt good during the run. I don't think I went as fast as I did on Saturday, but I think I went faster than I usually do on my rest runs. As I usually do, I let my body set the pace.

When I first woke up after 6-6 1/2 hours of sleep my wakeup heart rate was 53. After I had been up for about 3 hours, I took an hour nap, and when I woke from that, my heart rate was 50. This is a good example of how sleep affects heart rate.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Finished the week with another 7.5 mile run

I had a great run today! My wakeup heart rate was 51, and I had a higher energy level. The sky was sunny with a shade temperature of mid 50s (F), and it was another great day for running. I kept a pretty even pace during the run, and didn't feel tired during the last couple of miles. In fact I felt so good that I measured my pace during the last half mile at 11:24. I took walking breaks every mile, with a few brief stops in between to pick up litter.

I'm considering last week as a rest week, so this week is the first of three or four weeks with, hopefully, good improvements in my body strength. I'll do 7.5 miles next week, and then if I feel fine, I'll move it up to 8 miles week after next.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ran 5 miles but was tired

I haven't quite gotten enough sleep during the past two days, and even though my wakeup heart rate was 54 yesterday and today I was tired during my run. On Tuesday night I got 6 1/2 hours sleep and 6 hours last night instead of the 7 hours that I need. Except for my energy level, it was a nice run.

We had a cold front come through Tuesday and Wednesday, and we had about 5 inches of snow Tuesday night. Last night the temperature dipped to 19 (F). The daytime temperatures have been above freezing, so the snow is melting. The Parkway path was clear during my run today. Tomorrow and Saturday morning will be sunny and warm, but we may get some rain Saturday evening.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A great 7.5 mile run

In attempt to give my body more variety in my running, I thought I'd move my 5-mile rest run around. So, today I ran 7.5 miles instead of 5 miles. The 7.5 miles is an increase of 0.5 miles. I had a good run. The temperature was in the low 50s (F), the sky was cloudy, and it was a great day for running.

I was passed by a guy who was really moving. He looked to be in his 30s, and he was probably running 7 minute miles.

Cleaning a dam on the Jordan River

The new section of the Parkway that I've been reporting on ends near a dam in the Jordan River. The water level in that part of the river was very low when I ran to the dam, and I saw that the center section of the dam was hinged and had been swung up in the air to let all the water flow through the dam. I saw a man on the dam poking in the water with a long pole. I'm guessing he was getting debris out from the dam and getting the dam ready for winter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A 3-mile rest run

I felt pretty good for the first two miles of my run, but at 2 1/4 miles I could tell I was starting to get tired, so I turned around and returned. Being tired today was expected, because Monday night I only had 4 hours sleep, and Tuesday night I had no sleep. I did have two naps on Wednesday, totaling 5 hours sleep. I was busy making changes to my site to add DNA testing for genealogy, and I just kept working through the night. On Wednesday night I had a good 7 1/2 hours sleep, but I need more sleep than that to recover from two nights of sleep deficit, and I was thus tired on Thursday during my run.

Our weather is still nice, more like September than the end of October.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A wicked good 7-mile run!

One of the New England phrases that my kids picked up during our 17 years there is "wicked good", meaning the best possible. That's how I think of my run this evening. I left home after the sun had set, and by the time I finished the 1.5 miles of the new path, it was getting dark. For 5 miles I felt strong and thought I could go on forever. I did start feeling tired during the last 2 miles, but I continued my strong running and finished without the "dragged out" feeling that I sometimes have when I get tired. The temperature was in the low 50s (F) and high 40s during the run, and that helped me to continue a strong run. When I say strong run, I'm not saying that I was pushing myself to go faster. I'm saying that I felt strong, and that feeling continued with me to the end. I let my body set the speed it wanted to go. My wakeup heart rate was 53 this morning, a bit higher than earlier in the week.

I wore one layer during the run, and my core felt fine all the time. My arms did get slightly cold toward the end of the run, no doubt due to more blood being diverted to the core as the outside temperature started to fall.

Just a comment on getting a bit tired during the last two miles. I'm not running very fast, and it took me 1 hour 45 minutes to do the 7 miles, including a few stops for picking up litter and some walking breaks. I ran for 1 1/2 hours before I started to get tired, and that's pretty good for my present condition.

Oh Oh, that guy looks dangerous

My wife doesn't like me to run after dark, because she is worried that I might be attacked or something. The Jordan River Parkway is isolated, and there are lots of trees and bushes that border the path. I keep telling her that it is safe there, but tonight I began to wonder about that.

I had finished my run and was stretching in the tunnel under 9800/10000 South. I saw a car pull up, and a big guy dressed in a black robe with a white sash around his waist got out and began looking for something by a picnic table. I thought to myself, "I hope he isn't looking for a victim for a human sacrifice." Then a girl got out who was dressed in a long white robe and looked like a Greek goddess. I got really worried when the guy and girl got back in their car and drove over by me. I thought, "Oh Oh." The car stopped, and the guy said, "Have you seen any clues? We're on a scavenger hunt." With relief I said, "I'm just a runner and have been running south of here." He said, "OK" and went back to the picnic tables and looked some more. Just as I was walking to my car, another car filled with Greek gods and goddesses or whatever drove up, and the people got out and began looking. So, as I keep telling my wife, it is a safe place to run after dark. Right.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A tired 7-mile run

Even though my wakeup heart rate was 51 this morning (and yesterday morning), I was tired during my 7 miles. I held up pretty good, although I took frequent walking breaks during the last couple of miles. I've slept well the past two nights, but my body needs additional time to recover from my couple days of inadequate sleep. Unless I really pep up on my Saturday run, I'll run 7 miles next week, too.

Today was a nice day for running. Lots of sun, and the temperature was in the low 50s (F) when I left, but there was a cool breeze. After a couple of miles, I removed my wind breaker.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ran an enjoyable 5 miles as it was getting dark

When I started the run, the sun was down but there was still plenty of light to see things. However, after I finished the 1 1/2 mile new segment of the path and started south on the older path, it was starting to get dark. I enjoyed the run. I've been sitting at my computer for most of the day, and it felt good to get out and move around.

I didn't take my wakeup heart rate this morning because I only had about 4 hours sleep each of the past two nights, and I knew my heart rate would be high. I took a two-hour nap before my run, and that helped. I felt pretty good during the first 3 1/2 miles and then got a bit tired. However, I finished the five miles OK and felt fine even though I was a little bit tired.

I wore long pants and my wind breaker jacket during the run because I knew the temperature would drop once the sun was down. I was a little warm during the first part of the run but felt fine during the last part when it was dark. I forgot to check the temperature when I left home, but it was probably in the low 50s (F) or high 40s.

The 6 geese were still a honking when I ran tonight

I saw several flights of geese tonight that flew over me at an altitude of about 100 feet. Two of the flights landed in a nearby pond. One flight had about 20 geese in one leg of the V formation, and a single goose in the other leg. That single duck was the only one who was honking. It appeared as if he were in command of the flight. They flew over me and landed in the pond. While the geese landed, the single goose stayed in the air and watched the rest land. Shortly after that, I saw another V formation fly over me and land in the pond. I only heard one goose honking, but I couldn't tell which goose was making the noise.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ran 7 miles again on the Jordan River Parkway

I ran 7 miles on the Parkway this evening. I was busy all day doing yard work, and I left home for my run about an hour before sundown. The temperature was in the low 70s (F) when I started my run and was in the low 60s when I finished. I was on my feet all day and was thus tired during my run, but it was a good run. The first part of the run was on the new northward path, and I finished the run by going south on the older part of the path.

Last update of the new northward path of the Jordan River Parkway

As I had expected, the workmen are finished with the new segment of the Jordan River Parkway that goes northward from 9800 South in the Salt Lake valley. The path looks nice, has nice curves, goes through a lot of Russian Olive trees, and has nice views of the river. The path is exactly 1.5 miles round trip from the large Jordan River Parkway sign next to the parking lot. It looks like the path will get a lot of use, because I passed about a dozen people on the new path this evening.

6 Geese a-honking while I ran

Please excuse me for changing the Christmas carol from laying to honking. I was on the return leg of my run this evening, the sun had gone done, and it was getting dark. At least 11 or 12 swarms of geese flew over me, about 200 feet above me, honking wildly. I don't know if their honking was a form of sonar to keep the geese together in the V formation while they flew in the darkness, or perhaps like the lights on airplanes to keep geese in one swarm from crashing into geese in another swarm. Several swarms of geese flew over me at the same time, and this continued for a couple of miles of my run. Whatever the reason for their honking, they were making a lot of noise, and I knew for a minute before they arrived that they were coming. But about 10-15 minutes after it was dark, the geese stopped flying over me -- apparently they were bedded down for the night.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ... 6 geese a honking ...

The following picture is from the web. Click for a larger image.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Added a half-mile to my mid-week run to give 7 miles

I ran 7 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I ran in the late afternoon, and it was a nice day for running. The temperature when I left home was 62 (F), and I was comfortable in my one-layer of a T-shirt and shorts. The sun was close to setting when I drove home, but it was still above the horizon and was shining in my eyes and making it hard to see while I drove. I enjoyed the run but was getting tired during the last mile. I didn't have much to eat during the day and was probably running out of energy. I had a boiled egg and two peaches for breakfast, a few pieces of candy at my mother-ion-law's house, and another boiled egg just before I left home about 3 pm for the run. Not much fuel for a day's activity and a 7-mile run....

It is close to 1.43 miles round-trip on the new northward path, and I'm enjoying running that and then finishing my run going south like I've been doing for three years.

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 53, but I didn't feel as energetic as I did on Monday. Probably a side-effect of only 5 hours of sleep Sunday night and insufficient food today. I had good sleep on Monday and Tuesday nights, but the effect of insufficient sleep usually hits me a couple of days later. If I get good sleep during the next three nights I should be fine on Saturday for my next run.

Update on northward Jordan River Parkway path

The new path on the Jordan River Parkway that goes north from 9800 South is almost finished. The workmen have finished the two-strand barbed wire fence, and the farmer's horses were grazing peacefully in their pasture when I ran the path this afternoon. The workmen have put dirt/gravel along most of the edges of the path to fill in the 4-inch drop-off from the top of the asphalt to the ground, giving a nice slope from the asphalt to the ground. They are putting wood chips on the dirt added to the edges to give a natural looking finish to the path. The path looks very nice and is fun to run. I was told by two workmen that they aren't finishing the last hundred yards or so of the path, because the city didn't buy that land. I don't know if this was a mistake by South Jordan City or if that part of the path is actually in West Jordan City. At any rate, I expect they will be finished with their contract with South Jordan City when I do my next run on Saturday.

While I was running south of 9800 South, I stopped to talk with one of the Park Rangers. He asked me what I thought of the new path, and I told him it was "great".

Monday, October 13, 2008

I ran my weekly 5-mile rest run

The sky was overcast and a cold breeze was blowing during my run. The temperature was in the mid 40s. I wore two layers (T-shirt and wind breaker) and my running shorts. It was a nice run. I let my body set the pace, and I felt like I was cruising down a highway in my car. I haven't felt that way for quite a while, and it felt good!

I only had 5 hours of sleep last night. I woke up and didn't go back to sleep. I got up thinking I would return to bed after an hour, but I never made it back to bed.

Today's update on the Jordan River Parkway path north from 9800 South

This morning the workmen installed about half a mile of barbed-wire (2 strands) fence. They have another half-mile left and will probably do it tomorrow. When I ran that segment of the path this afternoon, they were shredding tree limbs that had been cut when the new path was created. There were several piles of wood chips next to the path, and I don't know if the workmen will remove the chips or leave them for the city to pick up and use.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finished the week with a 6.5 mile run on the Jordan River Parkway

I've slept well the past two nights, and my wakeup heart rate was down to 54. A storm front is going through the area this weekend. The sky was overcast during my run, and the temperature was in the low 40s (F). I saw snow flurries a few minutes before I left home, but they were gone by the time I started my run, and the only "storm" during my run was a light sprinkle of rain. It was a great running day. I didn't measure my pace, but I felt stronger today, and I think I ran a slightly higher pace. I didn't carry water on the run because of the cool temperature. I picked up litter along the trail, stuff that was blown in. People who use the Parkway are pretty good about putting trash in the bins along the path.

Update on the northward path of the Jordan River Parkway

No work has been done since Thursday on finishing the last 100 yards of the path. Instead, the workers are installing a long (about 1/3 mile) fence to keep horses enclosed in their pasture. The workers are also putting dirt along the edge of the asphalt to give a shoulder to the path (the asphalt was about 3-4 inches higher than the ground around it). This work on the shoulder is about one-third finished.

I saw a crane this morning

As I was running past a fishing pond south of 106th South, a crane skimmed over the water and then as it neared me, it rose to a higher height over the water. It was a gray color, and I'm guessing it was a Sandhill crane. I say this only because I found a picture via Google of a Sandhill crane, and the bird was a gray color. I passed the pond on my way back but didn't see the crane. I don't remember if the bird I saw had the red on its head, as shown in the following picture from Google.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ran a slow 5-miles today

I ran 5 miles on the Parkway today. I went north on the new path and then came back and went south on my "usual" path. I haven't gotten as much sleep this week as I need, so I didn't run the 6.5 miles that I expected to run. I was getting tired when I finished, and I was glad I hadn't gone any further. It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the 60s (F) and the sky was sunny with nice clouds. A storm front will be coming through this weekend and a bit of snow is expected.

Update on another new path on the Jordan River Parkway

About half a mile south of the 9800 South entrance to the Parkway, another path is being constructed. I mentioned this a few day ago. The new path will go west and then turn south for a hundred yards and then go on an angle to a residential area that is north of the Mulligans Golf Course. The new path is to give people in that area an access to the Parkway. I stopped and talked with a workman, and he said they will be finished with the path in a couple of weeks.

Another update on the northward segment of the Jordan River Parkway

As I expected, they've paved the rest of the path. I had thought the path went all the way to the border of West Jordan City, but one of the workmen told me today that they still have about 100 yards to go. The remaining part has been dug and the black "cloth" laid on the ground. Also, some roadbase has been put on the cloth. They still need to add more roadbase, level and compress it, and pave it. When I talked with the workmen, they were installing a fence to keep the horses that I've mentioned in previous posts from getting into the Parkway.

I noticed that next to the dam at the end of the Parkway path, water was being diverted into an irrigation canal. There are quite a few irrigation canals that traverse the Salt Lake valley.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ran a comfortable 4 miles

I haven't had enough sleep this week, so I didn't want to push my body very hard. I ran 4 miles instead of my planned 5 miles. I went out in the late afternoon and finished my run about half an hour before darkness. It was nice being out, and there were quite a few people on the Parkway path.

Update on new path going north from 100th South

The new Parkway path is paved with asphalt up to the 2nd wire fence, exactly 0.5 miles from the beginning of the new path. When I reached the end of the asphalt in my run this afternoon, I saw a big roller compacting the roadbase in the last part of the path. I expect they will complete the paving tomorrow or Thursday. The new path is nice to run and gives some different views of the river, including the dam at the boundary with West Jordan City.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ended the week with a 5-mile rest run

I ran 5 miles this morning, going slow and enjoying the cloudy and raining morning. The rain was heavy during the night, but during my run there were just sprinkles. My wakeup heart rate was 54. I thought I would be the only runner out during the rain, but there were several others, including two high school girls who are visiting from the state of Washington (I stopped and walked with their uncle for a couple of minutes. He is from Utah and drove them to the Parkway).

This week was an unexpecrted rest week from my running

I felt fine on Monday when I went to bed, but an hour later I was up with severe diarrhea. Severe meaning I passed stool and water every half hour or so. I was up the whole night except for an hour sleep around 3 or 4 am, during which I messed up my bed. I still had diarrhea all day Tuesday, although it wasn't quite as bad as during the night. I slept better Tuesday night but still had a touch of diarrhea on Wednesday. I felt fine on Thursday, and my wife and I took her 91-year old mother on our annual trek through the Utah mountains to see the fall colors.

I have no idea what caused the diarrhea, but my son and his wife had it a couple of weeks ago, so some bug is making the rounds....

Update on the new Jordan River Parkway path

I made my weekly run on the new Jordan River Parkway path that is being constructed from 9800 South to the West Jordan City boundary at 9400 South. The path has been dug to the WJC boundary and roadbase has been laid and partially compacted (the roadbase needs more compacting). The first wire fence that I've mentioned in previous posts is down, but the 2nd wire fence is still up. The end of the path is a couple hundred yards past the 2nd wire fence. There is a dam in the river near the end of the path. They might start the asphalt paving this week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finished up the week with another enjoyable 6.5 mile run

I ran 6.5 miles this morning and felt good during the run. This is the second week I've run 6.5 miles, and I don't know yet if I'll go for a 3rd week next week or go for 7 miles. One of the key things to know that it is time for an increase in distance is my energy level when I finish. If I'm pretty tired when I finish, I'm not ready for an increase. Since Monday is always a 5-mile rest run, my decision about an increase will be made next Wednesday.

I was out earlier this morning. The shade temperature when I left was mid 70s (F). I drank 16 oz of water during the run. I also went a little faster than I've been doing, and that is a good sign that my energy level is higher. My pace during the last half-mile was 12:28.

Status report on construction of the Jordan River Parkway north from 100th South

The roadbase has been laid, leveled, and compacted up to the fence at 0.37 miles. The roadbase has been laid for a few hundred feet past the fence, but it hasn't been leveled or compacted. The dirt has been removed for the path up to another fence and beyond it (I couldn't see very far past that second fence) but no roadbase has been laid in that part. I saw horses in the section past the second fence, and I'm guessing that fence might be the boundry between South Jordan City and West Jordan City. I did see some red flags west of the dirt path, implying somebody will put a fence there to keep the horses off the Parkway. Based on how much progress was made last week, it will take them another week to get the roadbase laid, leveled, and compacted up to the second fence.

I saw a lot of bicycle tracks in the dirt path, indicating people are starting to use the new segment of the Parkway even though it isn't paved yet. In fact, as I was jogging on the new segment back to 100th South, two people going north on bikes passed me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ran 6.5 miles again

I ran 6.5 miles on the Parkway again, in keeping with my new training philosophy. I was out about noon and the temperature was in the low 80s (F). I forgot to carry water, and I got pretty thirsty. There is a fountain at one of the picnic areas, and I got a drink there. I felt pretty good during the run, even though I was thirsty.

On the way back I was passed by a younger runner. As he passed, I said, "You have a great pace!" He slowed to my pace and asked if I minded if he asked how old I was. I said, "73" (actually 72 and 11 months). He said he hoped his joints would hold out so he would still be running when he is 73. I hope the same thing for my joints so I'll still be running when I'm 83.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ran my 5-mile rest run today

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway today. It was a rest run, and I ran a comfortable pace and enjoyed myself. I felt fine during and after the run.

Revising my training plan for running

In the past I've been adding 1/2 mile per week to my mid-week and weekend runs. My goal was to get those runs up to 10 and 15 miles, respectively. My first-of-week run is capped at 5 miles as a rest run. I've been careful to listen to my body and to modify my runs accordingly, reducing the distance, skipping a run, etc. This listening to my body has been a short-term effort. Short time being the immediate future, i.e. that day.

I've been discussing my injury last year with a running friend named Boscho who is also a medical doctor. He has helped me realize that in addition to focusing on the short term, I need to focus on the long term effects of my running. Long term means that I understand how my running today may affect my body days or weeks in the future. The reason this is important is that running causes stress on my body, and if I advance in distance or speed too quickly, the stress can build up over time until an injury occurs. Stress today might injury me in 2 or 3 months.

Boscho thinks (and I agree with him) that this is why I was injured last fall. For six months prior to the injury I had focused on running a faster LSD pace, and my LSD pace had gone from about 11:30 to 10:15 to 10:30. After the six months, I stopped increasing my pace and immediately began to increase my distance. Think about this: I increased my pace over a six month period, and that put a lot of stress on my body. With my body under that stress I began to increase my distance while running the faster pace, and after about 2 or 3 weeks of increased distance, I was injured. What I should have done was stop increasing my pace and then run the faster pace over the distance I'd been running for enough days or weeks that my body had gotten used to it, that is, until my body had adapted to the higher stress. Then, I could start to increase my distance and have less risk because my body was used to the higher pace.

So, I'm changing my training such that I will allow more time at each increase in distance before I increase again. Five years ago I trained this way. I would increase my distance and then run the new distance for 2 or 3 weeks until I felt energetic. I started to make weekly changes after my auto accident in May 2004. My body seemed strong, and I made weekly changes in distance and did OK. But, I'm older than I was 20 years ago, and I need more time to adjust to stress. My new change to my training means that instead of adding 1/2 mile each week, I will add 1/2 mile every two weeks at the minimum, and I may go three or four weeks before I increase again.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finished the week with another 6.5 mile run

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 54, only one beat higher than on Tuesday. However, I didn't have as much energy as I had on Tuesday. I finished the run with a few extra walking breaks, and I felt pretty good during the run. I didn't quite get my 7 hours of sleep last night, so I took a 20 minute nap right after my shower after my run. Even with being more tired than on Tuesday, my run today was a fine run. I drank 16 oz of water during the run.

The temperature during the run was in the mid 70s, and the sky was cloudy with a few sprinkles of rain.

A better understanding of why I was injured last November

I've been discussing my injury on running.about .com with Boscho, who is both a runner of many years and a medical doctor (, and he is helping me have a better understanding of why I was injured.

After I completed the Salt Lake City half-marathon in April 2007, I decided I wanted to have a faster LSD pace. My LSD pace at that time was about 11:30. I reduced my distance from 33 mpw to about 20 mpw and began to run a bit faster. No intervals, no fartleks, just running a bit faster. Then in October I decided that was enough of that, and I changed to increasing my distance back to 33 mpw. I was up to 7.5 miles (from 5 miles) when I was injured. Boscho has helped me realize that I should have not increased my distance for a while after leveling off in my pace, because my body probably needed more time to adjust to the higher stress of the faster pace. But, I felt good and unconsciously assumed my body was doing OK. After about 6 weeks of increasing my distance at the faster pace, my body gave up, and I was injured. I'm not sure how long I should have run the faster pace before I started to increase my pace, but I would guess at least two months. One thing to be learned from this is that higher stress may lead to injuries but those injuries may not occur for several months.

Another factor that is involved with this discussion is how often I should make increases in distance. I've been making weekly increases, but I'm wondering if, especially at my age, I should only make increases monthly. I've asked Boscho for his opinion on this. Also, I want to look in Galloway's book on running until you're 100 to see if he says anything about the frequency of increases.

Status report on north extension of Jordan River Parkway (Utah)

On Thursday I saw that the workmen had laid road base and were compressing it with a large roller. Today, I began my run by running north on the new segment of the Parkway. The workers were not on site today, so I had freedom to run the entire path to see how the work was progressing.

The compacted road base lasted for 0.19 miles. After that there was road base laid, but it wasn't leveled or compacted. I followed the path for a total distance of 0.37 miles where I was stopped by a wire gate that was closed across the path. I could look past the gate and see that the dirt had been removed, so I think the dirt has been removed all the way to the border of West Jordan City.

I think that the road base and compaction phase will be completed by midweek week after next. Then a week will be needed for paving, and a week for cleanup. Thus, I'm guessing the work will be finished by mid-October. The contract deadline is the end of October.

As I ran the new segment, I saw bicycle tracks in the dirt, so I wasn't the first "user" on the new path. I might have been, however, the first runner.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Had a great run this morning -- 6.5 miles!

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 53, and I felt pretty good. During my run I had a higher than normal energy level. The only walking breaks I took were my scheduled ones at half-mile markers. I drank 16 oz of water and finished the run with one nice gulp left which I drank during my cool-down walk.

I was glad I felt fine during the run, because I wasn't sure what condition I was in. On Tuesday after my run I started having stomach cramps. Not big cramps and not frequent cramps but cramps that caused discomfort. My energy level was also low. The cramps and low energy continued all day Wednesday, but by bedtime last night I felt better. When I got up this morning I did so with the attitude that I would abort the run if I felt tired. Rather than feeling tired, I felt great during the whole run. I measured the last half-mile as a pace of 12:01, a pace that represented the whole run.

The temperature when I left home was in the low 70s, and it was a wonderful day!

Progress report on the north extension of the Jordan River Parkway

During my warm-up and cool-down walks, I stopped to check on the progress of the extension of the Parkway path. They apparently have dug the path up to 9400 South, and they have put down gravel and sand on the path. When I finished my run and was walking to cool down, I saw a large roller compacting the road base.

The first part of the extension looks nice. There are Russian Olive trees on both sides of the path, which should give shade in the early morning and late evening. The river is just a few yards from the path, which means that there will probably be ducks on the path begging for food.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A nice 5-miler

I skipped my run last Saturday because I was up late Friday night and didn't get as much sleep as I needed. I was tired and decided to rest. I was busy yesterday and did my run today. My wakeup heart rate this morning was 53 and I felt fine. However, I didn't get out until 1 pm, and by then the shade temperature was in the low 80s (F). I didn't take water with me, and I got pretty thirsty. I had a good rest run, however. It was a beautiful day, lots of sun (too much sun for a runner) and some clouds and a slight breeze. The breeze helped in cooling me off. I sweat a lot, and the breeze increased the evaporation of my sweat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My rest-week continues with a 5 mile run

Because this is a rest week, I reduced my mid-week run from 6.5 miles to 5 miles. I've been sleeping better the past few days, and my wakeup heart rate has gone down from 59 to 55. I was late getting out, and the shade temperature was 70, still too warm for good running but much better than the summer heat of low 90s at the same time of day. I had a nice run and picked up a lot of litter. The Parkway path looks pretty clean right now. However, the next windy day will bring in more litter.

The northward extension of the Parkway path

I always walk about 400 feet to begin my warm up. That walk takes me to the spot where the construction is going on to extend the Parkway path northward. Three workmen were there, so I asked them when they would be finished with the new path, and they said in about a month. One of them volunteered the information that the new path would be 3000 feet long. As the crow flies, the distance is 4 city blocks or one-half mile. The extra 400 feet will be due to the curves in the path to make it a more scenic path. One workman said West Jordan City doesn't have their path down to 9400 South, so there still won't be a continuous path in that part of the Parkway.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This week is a rest week. Ran a slow 4 miles

I haven't had enough sleep the past two nights, and my wakeup heart rate for yesterday and today has been 59. So, as is to be expected, I didn't have a lot of energy during my run. I had decided last week to have this week be a rest week, because I've had 3 or 4 weeks of great running, and I wanted to give my body some extra rest. The timing for this rest week was great, because my performance this morning indicates I'm quite tired. This week will be a rest week, because I'll run reduced distances and a relatively slow pace, what ever pace is comfortable for me.

The sky during my run was mostly cloudy, and the temperature was in the mid 70s (F). I ran at a slow pace, stopped several times to pick up litter, and took extra walking breaks to avoid my body becoming stressed out.

South Jordan has started to extend the Parkway Path north from 100th South

After I finish a run, I walk through the tunnel under 100th South to cool down. I walk about 400 or so feet. After my run today as I left the tunnel going north, I could hear heavy construction equipment, and I saw a big shovel and a small tractor moving dirt to extend the path to the West Jordan border at 9400 South. It will be nice to have that work completed so I can run north as well as south.

Saw a young deer on the Parkway path

On my way back, I saw a young white tailed deer on the Parkway path. When I first saw it, it was a few hundred feet away, and it crossed the path. As I got closer to the point where I had seen the deer, it came out from the bushes and stood next to the path and watched me. I ran for several seconds and got to about 50 feet from it before it moved. It crossed the path and ran next to the path toward me. When it passed me it was about 15 feet away. It was quite a large deer, so it wasn't a young fawn, but it didn't look like an adult deer. The deer had the white spots that I think indicate it was a young deer. The following picture was taken from a web site.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finished the week with a 6.5 mile run

I ran my planned 6.5 miles this morning and felt pretty good during the run. I timed myself during the last half-mile and ran a pace of 12:08, which is faster than I've been running. My wakeup heart rate this morning was 52, and the temperature when I left home was 47 (F). I just noticed from my blog entry on Tuesday that I only ran 6 miles on that day. This means that I probably should have run 6 miles today. Oh well, the run turned out fine, so I'm ok.

I was worried about this run, because I would be running two days in a row, and my body isn't used to that level of stress. However, today was a good run, and my body felt stronger than it has for the last couple of weeks. My only walking breaks were the ones planned for the half-mile markers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Today was a 5-mile rest run

My running schedule is kinda mixed up this week. Monday was a 2-mile family walk. Yesterday (Tuesday) was a 6.5 mile medium run. Today was a 5-mile rest run, and tomorrow will be another 6.5 mile medium run. Saturday will be a family outing with no running. My wakeup heart rate was 53 this morning, and I felt fine. I was out early, just after the sun came up, and the temperature during my run was in the mid 50s (F).

The maximum temperature today was in the mid 80s. Summer seems to have left us, and autumn is here. I love the Fall. Comfortable temperatures in the day and crisp nights. We should have 3 months of Fall before the snow comes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A nice 6-mile run

My wakeup heart rate was 57, which is still high but not as bad as the 59 I had yesterday. I felt pretty good so I went for my run and ran 6 miles on the Parkway. I was out early and the temperature when I left was 42 (F). It was still dark when I got up, but by the time I dressed and stretched, it was daylight but the sun wasn't up yet. I started my run, and as I passed the first half-mile marker, the sun peaked over the mountains. Because of my high heart rate I took it easy and just focused on the distance. There were no cars in the parking lot when I arrived at the Parkway, so I think I was the first one on the trail. Because of the cool temperature, I didn't take any water with me, and I was fine without it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A 2-mile family walk

My wakeup heart rate was 59 this morning. It was high due not getting much sleep Friday night. My wife and I drove four hours to Cedar City on Saturday for some family business, and due to anxiety the night before I didn't sleep very well. I slept well Saturday night and Sunday night, but it takes a few days for my heart rate to come down. Because of the high heart rate I didn't run this morning. However, I did walk for 2 miles in the late afternoon. My daughter and her family are here for Labor Day, and we took a walk in the late afternoon along the Jordan River Parkway. After a mile the kids wanted to play in the playground, so my son-in-law stayed with them while my daughter, my wife, and I walked another mile.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

An even greater 5.5 mile run this morning

My wakeup heart rate was 53, and I felt great when I got up. The shade temperature when I left was 72 (F) and 77 when I returned. Even though it took me 2 miles to warm up, I had a great run and felt stronger than I have in the past few weeks. I drank 32 ounces of water during the run. I've been sleeping well, and that is a blessing.

My running was reduced during the 6 weeks I was on chemotherapy cream for a skin cancer, and it will take me several weeks to get back to where I was. Most of the scabs from the cream are gone, and the surgery for the other skin cancer is healing well according to the dermatologist who checked me yesterday.

If all goes well, on Saturday, I'll do 5.5 miles again, and next week will be 6 miles on my mid-week and end-of-week runs. Monday is capped at 5 miles as a rest run.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another great 5-mile run

I ran 5 miles again this morning. My wakeup heart rate was 53, and I felt great. I left later than I did on Saturday, and the shade temperature was 77 (F) when I left and 91 when I returned. A nice 7-8 mph headwind helped keep me cool, although on the way back the wind was less effective. I drank 30 ounces of water during my run this morning. I didn't take any water with me on Saturday due to being distracted by my grand kids who were visiting. I got thirsty on Saturday, but the temperature was 10 degrees lower than today and my need for water was less.

Last week I took 4 miles to warm up, but this morning I was warmed up after 2 1/2 miles (my turnaround point). In fact I was enjoying the run so much this morning that I missed one of my half-mile markers for my walking break, and I ran the full mile with no walking.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My last 5-mile run for the week

I was out early this morning and ran 5 miles on the Parkway. The temperature was in the low 60s (F) when I left home and in the high 60s when I returned. Keep in mind that those are shade temperatures. Most of my run is in the sun and thus significantly warmer. Because I was out earlier than I've been doing, there was more shade on the path due to Russian Olive trees that border areas of the path. I passed two people at an aid table for an 11-mile race that was in progress. The race was by runners who work at a nearby business.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dean Karnazes' new book

I just finished reading Dean Karnazes' new book, 50/50, that tells of his unbelievable experience in running 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states! I've posted a review of the book in my tutorial site. I still can't believe that he did it!

I ran 5 miles again

My wakeup heart rate was 55 this morning, and I felt really good during my sit ups. I ran 5 miles again on the Jordan River Parkway. I was late getting out (11:15) and the temperature was in the mid 80s (F) when I left and in the low 90s when I returned. I ran pretty slow and drank 32 ounces of water during the run. If I'd gotten out four hours earlier the temperature would have been in the 70s, but I felt OK during the run.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Did a 5-mile run

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 56. Still high, but I felt pretty good and ran my normal Monday distance of 5-miles. Ordinarily that distance would be a rest run, but since this is a recovery week from not much running during the past six weeks, this run was actually a heavy run. I felt fine during the run, but my legs were stiff later on in the day. During the evening I attended a family reunion and walked about a mile with my grand kids. That helped to stretch out my legs.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My body is starting to recover

My last day to apply the chemotherapy cream to my skin cancer was Thursday evening. That application affected my body on Friday, so today is the first day in the adjustment of my body to no cream. The area where I applied the cream is full of scabs, and it will probably take a couple of weeks for the scabs to disappear.

My wakeup heart rate this morning was down to 56 from 59-60 during the latter part of the week, and I decided to go for a short run. I ran a slow two-miles to begin my recovery from the chemotherapy cream. I felt pretty good during the run, but I was glad I wasn't going farther.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More rest today

Yesterday my wakeup heart rate was 53. Today it is 57. I applied the chemo cream last night, and will apply it each night through Friday night.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Extending my rest days to cover today

My wakeup heart rate was 53 this morning. I felt ok but not super energetic. I decided to not run today, because I would probably have to reduce the length of the run, and I decided it would be better to give my body extra rest.

I'll use the chemotherapy cream tonight (1st of 5 times for this week), and my wakeup heart rate will probably go up during the week. Thus, I may not do any running this week. We'll see.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The feelings of being a marathoner

Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 days. I'm posting, with permission of his publisher, an essay by Karnazes that captures the emotional feelings of being a marathoner. One caution about his comments on the pain of a marathon. Competitive runners, especially those who run 50 marathons in 50 days, do need to train hard for a marathon and will likely experience the pain that Karnazes describes. Most of us, though, are recreational runners who can reduce the intensity level of their training such that they need not feel pain during the marathon. I ran four marathons when I was in my mid 40s, and I never felt pain of any kind during or after the races. I did, however, have the emotional feelings that Karnazes describes.


Marathon -- The Ultimate Proving Ground
By Dean Karnazes,
Author of 50/50

A Marathon is not about running, it is about salvation. We spend so much of our lives doubting ourselves, thinking we're not good enough, not strong enough, not made of the right stuff. The Marathon is an opportunity for redemption. "Opportunity," because the outcome is uncertain. "Opportunity," because it is up to you, and only you, to make it happen; only you can turn your farfetched dream into a reality.

You see, there is no luck involved in finishing a marathon. The ingredients required to tackle this formidable challenge are straightforward: commitment, sacrifice, grit, and raw determination. Plain and simple.

So you set about your preparation to ready your body for the rigors of running 26.2 miles. You train diligently, dedicating yourself wholeheartedly to the challenge ahead, pouring everything you've got into it. But you know the Marathon will ask for more. In the dark recesses of you mind, a gloomy voice is saying, you can't. You do your best to ignore this self-doubt, but the voice doesn't go away.

The Marathon shakes you to the core. It deconstructs your very essence, stripping away your protective barriers and exposing your inner soul. At a time when you are most vulnerable, the Marathon shows no pity. It tells that it will hurt you, that it will leave you demoralized and defeated in a lifeless heap on the side of the road. The Marathon heckles you, saying it can't be done, not by you. "Ha!" it torments you, "In your dreams."

However, you fight back, and continue your training and preparation with steadfast resolve. Then, one day, you find yourself standing courageously at that starting line, nervously awaiting the gun to go off. When it does, you put your head down and charge off into the abyss with the knowledge that you either paid your dues, or skimped along the way. There is no lying to yourself, the Marathon sees right through excuses, shortcuts, and self-transgressions.

All goes well for the initial miles. But slowly, step by step, the pain mounts as the intensity of the endeavor amplifies beyond your expectations. You remain resolute, knowing that you did not skimp, that you did not take shortcuts along the way, that every footstep was earned through countless days of diligent preparation. Still, with each wearing thrust forward, that little nagging inclination of self-doubt progressively advances toward the surface of your awareness.

Then, at mile twenty, the voice looms louder than ever. It hurts so bad you want to stop. You must stop. But you don't stop. This time, you ignore the voice, you tune out the naysayers who all your life have told you that you’re not good enough, not strong enough, not made of the right stuff. This time, you listen only to the passion in your heart. This burning desire tells you to keep moving forward. To continue putting one foot boldly in front of the other, and don't stop. Courage comes in many forms, today you will have the courage to keep trying, to not give up, no matter how dire things become. And dire they do become. At the 26 mile mark, you can barley see the course ahead, your vision falters as you teeter on the edge of consciousness.

Then, suddenly before you, looms the finish line. Tears stream down your face as you cover those final few steps. Now you are finally able to answer back to that nagging, pervasive voice with a resounding: Oh yes I can!

You burst across that finish line and are forever liberated from the prison of self-doubt and limitations that have formerly held you captive. You have learned more about yourself in the past 26.2 miles than you had known in a previous lifetime. Now you are freed from the chains that bind. Even if you can’t walk for a week, you have never been so free.

As they carry you away from the finish line, wrapped in a flimsy mylar blanket, barely able to raise your head, you are at peace. That daunting adversary that has haunted you for an entire lifetime is now your liberator, your fondest ally. You have done what few will ever do -- you have done what you thought you could never do -- and it is the most glorious, unforgettable awakening ever. You are, a Marathoner, and you will wear this distinction not on the lapel of your clothing, but in your heart, for the rest of your life.

©2008 Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes is the author of 50/50 and the 2005 New York Times bestseller, Ultramarathon Man, and a columnist for Men’s Health magazine. Often called the “Lance Armstrong of the running world,” he is the winner of the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley (considered the world’s toughest foot race). Dean Karnazes lives in San Francisco with his family.

For more information, please visit

Taking a rest day today

My body's reaction to the chemotherapy cream that I'm using for a skin cancer on my left ear is following a definite pattern. I use the cream 5 days per week, Monday night through Friday night. My wakeup heart rate has been low (typically 51 or 52) on Monday morning due to not having used the cream for two days. I've thus had good runs on Monday morning. However, during the week my wakeup heart rate increases, usually to 59 or 60, although during one week of using the cream, my heart rate increased to 75. On Saturdays, my wakeup heart rate has been about 55, and I've had to reduce the distance of my Saturday runs due to being tired.

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 55, as it has been in past Saturdays, and I've decided to take a rest day rather than likely run a reduced distance. By taking a rest day, I'll hopefully be stronger for my Monday run. If my wakeup heart rate is low on Monday and I feel fine, I'll run 6.6 miles instead of my normal 5 miles.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Moved my distance up to 6.6 miles

I ran 6.6 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I didn't have a lot of energy, so I just focused on completing the distance, taking short walking breaks when I started to feel tired. My wakeup heart rate was 55 this morning.

Yesterday, my wakeup heart rate was 59, and I had no energy. I just moped around the house all day and played some games with my grand kids who were visiting but left yesterday in late afternoon.

We're having a cold front pass through the area, and the sky was cloudy during my run, and the temperature was in the mid 80s (F) instead of the mid 90s that we've been having. I drank 32 ounces of water during the run.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Today was a rest-run

I ran my five-mile rest run today and enjoyed being out. My wakeup heart rate was 55, a bit higher than normal, but I felt fine. I was out earlier, and the temperature was 75 (F) when I left home. However, I spent half an hour watching two guys fly a RC dirigible, so the temperature was probably about 80 when I started running. It was about 90 when I returned home.

I think I'm getting used to the heat. During my run I was hot and sweat a lot, but I didn't seem to get tired due to the heat. I measured my pace during the last half-mile at 13 minutes. A slow pace, but fine for a rest run in the heat. I drank about 24 ounces of water during the run.

Saw a RC dirigible flying

When I arrived at the parking lot at the Jordan River Parkway this morning, I saw two guys launching a RC dirigible. The airship was about 20 feet long and probably 3-4 feet in diameter. It was propelled by an electric motor in the tail of the airship. There was no gondola on the bottom of the body. It flew for about 5 minutes and then did a nose dive into the ground behind some trees. I didn't see the impact, but the crash made a lot of noise.

The crash didn't seem to damage the airship, because the two guys retrieved the ship, put more helium into it, and then launched it again. It flew for about 20 minutes. I was curious how they were going to land it. For the landing, the airship did a slow dive towards the ground. Just before the airship hit the ground, the assistant pilot grabbed the nose and stopped the descent of the ship. The other guy took the tail, and they carried the ship to their truck.

A few weeks ago, I saw a guy flying a RC jet F15 or something. The plane had a real jet engine, and it went pretty fast.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Take the Road to Fitness, and Stay the Course

Heather Johnson is a success story of exercising for fitness and enjoyment. She tells her story.


I took the fitness route a little late in life; although I did play basketball and just about every other sport all through school and college, it was more on a casual basis and not in an effort to increase my stamina or get healthy. The last thing on your mind as a teenager is the drive to play a sport as a form of exercise or to get fit. It’s when you reach your late 20s and begin to see the gradual changes around your hips and thighs, when friends teasingly comment on how round and chubby your face looks these days, when you see a stranger looking at you from the mirror, when the button on your jeans refuses to shake hands with the fastener on the other side, and when the bathroom scales groan even as you walk past them, that you realize you must do something drastic to regain the figure you carried all those years ago.

And so I looked around for the best ways to lose weight; I tried dieting, but that didn’t seem to last long – it’s extremely hard to gulp down bread and soup when those around you are gorging on delicious food with nary a care in the world. For a while you tell yourself that it’s ok if you’re a little plump, and forget your resolution to lose weight. But when you huff and puff to climb the stairs to bed every night, the nightmares of looking like an elephant wake you up at 5 am and you hit the roads for a jog. Things were on track for a day or two, after which the toll of waking up before it’s daylight and the aches and pains in your legs lull you to shut off the alarm and turn over to go back into the land of slumber.

I realized I needed a plan, one that would enable me to stick to my resolution to lose weight, come hell or high water. I looked around for a sport I could play and found a squash club on my way to work. Not satisfied with my daily hour of the game, I cajoled a friend into joining me during my morning jog. The power of two was definitely greater than one, as each of us motivated the other and had bets going on who was going to register the first 5 lbs loss. I also invested in an exercise bike and combined my TV times with at least 10 miles of cycling.

The biggest motivator of course was the reading on the scales – when I saw that I had lost a couple of pounds more than my target, I cut down on my calorie intake in an effort to expedite the reduction process. I started eating just fruits and salads for dinner. I did reap the rewards of my labor a year later when I found that I lost around 40 lbs. Changes in my life did not allow me the freedom of devoting more than an hour to exercise every day, but the new me balked at going back to the pudgy person I had been a year ago. I had to decide which of my activities I wanted to keep and which I had to sacrifice. It was a tough choice, but I went with squash and gave up the rest.

When someone asks me how I stayed motivated all year long, I have only this to say:
- Choose something you love – I enjoyed squash the most, which is why I chose to retain it as a part of my life.

- Vary your routine so that it does not get monotonous – I had more than one activity going simultaneously, so if I got bored with one, I would just spend more time at the other.

- Don’t give up until you start to see a change in the way you look and feel – once you reach this stage, you’ll never look back.

- Get someone to exercise with you – it’s harder to stop when you know someone else is dependent on you.
Go ahead then and exercise; it’s never too late to start, and always too soon to quit before you’ve seen results.


This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of EKG Technician. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Good news! I've adjusted to the chemotherapy cream

My wakeup heart rate was 53 this morning, down from 55. I feel fine and am looking forward to tomorrow's run. Today is day 5 of my 5-day use of the cream this week. Last week on day 5, my heart rate was in the 70s. Today's almost-normal heart rate is significant in light of my mowing my lawns yesterday right at the max of the high temperature yesterday of 99 (F) in the shade. I have to use the cream for three more weeks, and then I'll find out if the skin cancer is gone or if I'll need surgery to remove it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I ran 4 miles this morning but was getting tired

I was out 2 1/2 hours earlier this morning, and it was nice to run in cooler temps. The shade temperature was in the mid 70s (F) when I left home and in the mid 80s when I returned. Right now the shade temperature is 97.

My wakeup heart rate was 55. It appears that my body is going through the same reaction to the chemotherapy cream that I had last week. Today is day 3 of the 5 days of treatment for this week. I felt pretty good this morning when I first got up, but as I ran I could tell I was getting tired, and at the 2 mile mark I felt about the same "tiredness" that I felt last Thursday at the 1 1/4 mile mark. I thus turned around and headed back. Before I left home, I filled four 8-ounce bottles with water, but I forgot to take them. I thus ran the four miles with no water. However, thanks to the cooler temperature, I didn't need water as much, and I think the two glasses of water that I drank before I left home was enough. This week I was out earlier and ran in cooler temperatures, while last week I had been on my feet for two hours in the morning at the Pioneer Days parade in Salt Lake City. So, I'm not surprised that I ran farther this week.

I just woke up from an hour nap, and I feel more tired than when I went to bed an hour ago. I'll see how I feel tonight and tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I felt good and ran 6 miles in 90+ (F) temps

My wakeup heart rate was 56, 3 points higher than the 53 I've been getting for the past few days. I felt fine, however, during my stretches (especially the sit ups), and I decided to head for the Parkway. I drank 32 ounces of water during the run. I could tell I was stronger than I've been for a couple of weeks, because I took fewer walking breaks and ran at what felt like a faster pace. Well, I took fewer walking breaks on the way out, but I took quite a few on the way back, because the heat was getting to me and I didn't want to push too hard in this heat. All in all, it was a nice run.

I was late getting out. It was 90 (F) when I left home and in the mid 90s when I returned. It's really dumb to run in this heat. By getting out three hours earlier, I could have run in the mid 70s. Seems like I never learn to leave home earlier.

Status report on opening the trail north of 100th South

Just as I got out of my car to run, I saw two Park Rangers (employees of South Jordan City) walking from their car to the tunnel under 100th South. I asked them about the status of the project to extend the Parkway four blocks north to the boundary of West Jordan City at 94th South. They said the project has gone out to bid, and the city is waiting for the bids to come in. The deadline for bids is September 1. I hope the work can begin in September and be finished by winter. I know the path goes south from 90th South, and I hope WJ has it in to their boundary. If so, then the four blocks in the new project would connect with WJ and make the path continuous to Bluffdale at 146th South.

Monitoring to see if my chemotherapy-cream is making me tired when I run

Last week I was really tired and aborted one run and skipped the following run. My theory is that the chemotherapy cream I'm using for a skin cancer sapped my energy. In this post, I'm giving the pattern I observed last week relative to my use of the cream so I can see if that pattern emerges again this week.

I'm applying the cream 5-days per week. Here is what happened last week.
- Had high energy during the two days without using the cream from the week before and had a nice run to start the week.

- After three days of using the cream, my energy level was low, and I aborted my run. I also spent two-hours in the sun before going on my run. I took a nap before I left for the run.

- After five days of using the cream, my wake up pulse rate was up 50%, and I was so tired I didn't run at all.

- Had high energy during the next two days (not using the cream) and had a nice run at the end of the two days but before I began using the cream for this week.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A great 5-mile rest run

My wakeup heart rate was down to 53 this morning, and I felt fine when I got up. I was late getting out, but I ran my 5-mile rest run and felt fine during the run. I drank 24 ounces of water during the run, but my urine was a dark yellow afterward, indicating I needed more water during the run. The temperature when I left was in the high 70s (F) and was 85 when I returned. There was a nice breeze blowing which helped cool me during the run. We're still having higher than normal humidity but not as high as last week. I ate a couple handfuls of popcorn just before I left, and that didn't go over very well with my stomach. However, after a mile I felt fine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My wakeup heart rate was down this morning

My wakeup heart rate was 56 this morning. That is a big improvement from the high value yesterday. However, 56 is still significantly higher than my normal of 49-50, indicating I'm still tired.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My body fell apart today

When I woke this morning, my pulse rate was in the 70s, and I felt very weak. My stomach felt fine (no nausea), but I had no desire to eat food. I took a couple of naps and felt better, but my heart rate was still in the 70s.

I don't know why my body was in such bad condition today. It might have been an effect of the skin-cancer surgery that I had 10 days ago, or it could have been a reaction to the chemotherapy cream that I'm putting on my ear for another skin cancer. I was tired on Thursday and aborted my run, and my condition today could have been a continuation of the conditions that caused me to be tired on Thursday.

I'm only applying the chemotherapy cream 5 days per week (Monday - Friday). If the cream is having a negative effect on my body, I might see an improvement on the weekends and then a degradation during the week. I'll be monitoring my body during the weeks to come to see if there is a pattern to my being tired that correlates with my use of the cream. I have five more weeks for the cream. If the cream doesn't remove the skin cancer, I'll have to have the cancer surgically removed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ran 2.5 miles tonight

Today has been a busy day! July 24 is the anniversary of the entry into the Salt Lake valley of the Mormon pioneers under Brigham Young in 1847. There was a very large parade in Salt Lake City that lasted for two hours. My wife and I (two cars) took our four grandchildren who have been staying with us into SLC to see the parade. I had the two boys in my car and she had the two girls. Utah requires car seats up to 10 or 11, so we needed two cars to get the three car seats in the back seat. The boys and I had to walk a mile each way from the car to the beginning of the parade. That plus the time watching the parade meant that I was on my feet most of the morning. The temperature in the sun was 94 (F), and it was more humid than normal. After I got home, I was tired and took a half-hour nap.

I went running just after the sun went down and the temperature had dropped into the low 80s, but I could tell I had little energy. I thus aborted my planned 6-mile run and ended with a jog/walk of 2.5 miles.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A great 5-mile rest run

My nose quit running yesterday morning, and I felt pretty good all day Sunday. This morning I had a great 5-miler. I felt energetic and enjoyed myself. We had rain last night, and the sky still was cloudy during my run, resulting in a temperature in the mid 60s (F). I ran at a pace of 11:50 the half-mile that I use to time myself. That pace was typical of my whole run.

I'm glad I took a rest day on Saturday. Today was payoff-day for that extra rest. If I had run on Saturday I wouldn't have done well, would have done a lot of walking, and would have put more stress on my body. Because of the extra rest, my body felt great and performed well today, taking only a few short walking breaks. Because of the lower temperature, I carried no water and did ok from that viewpoint.