March 30, 2009

Another week of doing 1.5 miles with some jogging

I did the 1.5 miles again in the late afternoon and did the 8 segments of jogging with the rest being walking. I think I felt a little stronger tonight compared to last week. I've been picking up litter during my walks, and the path is looking pretty clean. The temperature during my walk/jog was in the high 30s (F).

I checked my cadence while jogging, and it was 174. That is a good sign. My normal cadence for my running is 180-185, so I'm close to the same speed of moving my legs. The difference, of course, is that I'm taking very small steps compared to my normal steps while running. As I get stronger I will automatically take longer steps as I run faster (my jogging right now isn't much faster than my walking).

March 27, 2009

Walked/jogged the 1.5 miles again

Just as the sun was going down, I walked and jogged the 1.5 mile route that I've been using this week. I did 8 jogs, the same as I've done in my two earlier activities this week. I felt about the same as I did on Monday and Wednesday -- great at the beginning and tired at the end. I'm going to give my body more time to adjust to the jogging by doing the 8 jogs again next week. I won't increase the amount of jogging until I feel fine at the end of the distance.

While I was walking, I measured my cadence rate at 124 steps per minute. That is not a fast rate or a slow rate. For me it was a comfortable rate. Next week I'll measure my cadence while jogging to see if it is close to the 180 that I had before the clot-attack in January.

March 25, 2009

Another 1.5 mile walk/jog

I walked and jogged the 1.5 mile northward path again this afternoon. On Monday I guessed that I jogged about 800 feet, but that number is just a guess. I decided while out walking today that I would track the number of times I jogged instead of guessing the distance. On both Monday and today I jogged 8 times. During the four times going out and the first two times coming back I felt fine during my jogging, but I was tired during the last two times. However, after I stopped jogging I quickly recovered and felt fine. I've continued to feel fine since I returned home. I did most of my stretches before I left home. I only did 5 situps, because I made a mistake and ate lunch before I did my stretches. I felt nausea during the situps and stopped after 5 of them. I also didn't do the stretches for my back.

We had snow flurries during the night and this morning, but by the time I left home, the snow had stopped. The sky was still overcast and the temperature was in the low 40s (F). No wind was blowing, and I enjoyed being out.

March 23, 2009

A great 1.5 mile walk/run

Even though it was snowing, I had a good walk with small amounts of jogging mixed in. I went on the north path of the parkway again. I think I jogged about 800 feet, not quite 10% of the distance. I walked for a couple of minutes and then jogged about 100 feet, repeating that sequence four times going out and four times coming back. I could tell that 100 feet of jogging was enough, because my legs started getting tired after that short distance. I wanted to experiment with jogging without taxing my body very much. I've felt fine since returning home, so it was a good activity for the day.

The temperature is in the high 30s (F). We had about 3 inches of fluffy snow during the night and a light snowfall during the day. Because the air and ground temperatures are above freezing, the snow is melting on the Parkway path and on the streets, although it is collecting on the ground elsewhere.

I haven't done any stretching since my clot-attack in January, and my leg muscles are weak. I'll start stretching to build up the muscles. This was my first jogging/running since the clot-attack.

March 21, 2009

Today was a stressful day for my legs

In mid afternoon I walked the 1.5 miles on the northward segment of the Jordan River Parkway, beginning at 100th South. I felt stronger during and after the walk than I did on Thursday. Then, in late afternoon I rototilled my two gardens. The 'tilling took about 2 hours. 'Tilling is a lot of work, because I have to turn the tiller by pushing on the handles. Sometimes, depending on the lay of the garden, I can turn the 'tiller while it is moving, and that is easier. Other times I have to stop the 'tiller and turn it while it is stopped, a much harder task. Another reason 'tilling is stressful on my legs is that I'm walking on loose ground, and my feet sink into the dirt and turn and twist in the dirt. I have stiff ankles, and I like to walk/run on a hard surface that doesn't give, because my ankles aren't twisted as much. I was tired when I finished the 'tilling, but not as tired as I was after just my walk on Thursday. So, my body is getting stronger, but it has a long ways to go to regain the strength it had before my "blood clot" attack in January.

If I feel OK on Monday, I'll merge in about 10% jogging with my walking, doing the 1.5 mile route again. That would be about 0.15 miles of jogging, scattered throughout the walking. I'll probably jog in spurts of 100 feet or so.

My running didn't cause my blood clots

One question I have is whether or not my running caused my blood clots. I don't remember if I've already posted the answer to that question, so I'm doing it again to be sure the answer does get posted.

When I left the ER at the hospital and went to my new room, I asked the doctor if my running had caused the clots. He said, "No". He said that running should help avoid clots rather than cause clots. Running improves blood circulation while blood clots are formed when blood coagulates from being stagnant.

March 19, 2009

Another 1.5 mile walk today and 0.5 miles yesterday

Yesterday I walked half a mile with my two grandkids while they took another joy ride in my battery powered jeep. The kids left last night to go to their home, but they will be back tonight. So, I took advantage of being home alone today, and I walked the 1.5 mile northward path again this afternoon. I met a guy named Thomas while I was walking. He likes to walk, too. I enjoyed visiting with him, because he knows a lot about the river and the small creeks that feed the river. Thomas said that we were walking on top of a dike that borders the river in that area. The dike was originally built to protect the farmers who lived near the river. I had noticed that the path was higher than the fields, but I hadn't paid attention to that observation. The path is about two feet higher than the fields, and the other side drops sharply to the river.

The river was very low today because the dam that is near the end of the path is wide open and is letting more water go downstream. Thomas said the dam begins on an island that was built in the river. The dam goes across the river to the other side. Going the other way from the island is a flood gatefor a spill-way. A canal takes water from the river just before the dam. If the canal gets too much water in it, the flood gate is opened to let excess water flow around the island and go back into the river.

The temperature today was in the low 70s (F), and it was pleasant to be outside. I hope to do the 1.5 miles again on Saturday, and then next week I'll start mixing in small amounts of jogging with my walking. However, I'm feeling tired tonight, so I may delay for a week the mixing of jogging and walking. I haven't run for two months and a week, and I need to work back into it slowly so I don't overtax my body.

March 17, 2009

Short half-mile walks

On Monday and today I walked about half a mile each day while my 5-year old grand daughter drove her 2-year old brother in my battery-powered Jeep. The 5-year old is getting pretty good at steering the Jeep down the sidewalk.

March 14, 2009

Walked about a mile exploring a school building

My wife and I drove to Evanston, Wyoming today to listen to a granddaughter play her violin in a music competition. We also listened to her mother (my daughter) play the piano in the adult section. We had two of our grandchildren with us, ages 2 and 5 (from another daughter). We had a couple of hours before my daughter performed, so I took Jonathan, the 2 year old, for a walk around the school building. He is a very active kid, and we needed to keep him busy doing things that wouldn't disturb the students who were practicing or performing. Most of the school building wasn't being used for the music competition, so Jonathan and I walked around the vacant parts of the building for an hour. I figure we probably walked at least a mile. So, that became my exercise for the day.

March 12, 2009

A new PBC WPB -- a 1.5 mile walk

PBC WPB. How's that for an acronym... Post Blood Clot Walking Personal Best. I drove to the Jordan River Parkway and walked the new segment that goes north from 100th South for 0.75 miles or 1.5 miles round trip. I felt fine during my walk. The temperature was in the high 40s (F). Birds were chirping and ducks were swimming. The sun was shining, and it was a nice day to be outside. I only passed one other person during my walk, an older gentleman who was running and was huffing and puffing as he went past. I thought to myself that it is interesting to be on the other side -- a walker seeing runners go by. I had a tinge of jealousy as the runner went past, but I assured myself that I would soon be running past the walkers.

My last day of running was Monday, January 12, exactly two months ago. During that run I ran and walked the north segment. I went home, took a two-hour nap, and found when I woke up that I could only walk 50 feet before I was tired. I ended up in the hospital with blood clots in my legs. During my two months of recovery, I've thought about the Parkway, and I have been anxious to get back to the Parkway to see what changes have occurred since that run. Today I fulfilled that goal.

The chain-link fence that was partly installed in January is finished. An old, rusty cooking grill that was near the path is gone, as is a garbage can full of cans and other junk that was near the grill. I was pleased to see that those items were gone, because they were a real eyesore and detracted from the beauty of the Parkway.

I pick up a lot of litter during my runs, and since I haven't run for two months I expected to see a lot of litter today. I did see some, and picked up most of it, but I saw less litter than I had expected. My experience in the past has been that runners and walkers are good at not dropping litter along the path. Much of the litter is blown in by the wind. The north segment of the Parkway won't get much litter from the wind, because there isn't any new construction along the Parkway, and there is about an eighth of a mile of fields separating nearby houses from the Parkway.

One of the finalists in the Chapeau Blog Awards

I just found out that this blog is one of the 20 finalists in the Chapeau Blog Awards competition. My blog doesn't have anywhere near the artistic quality of the other blog in the Hobbies category (that blog has beautiful photographs), so the judges must have liked my content. For those who are interested, you can register to vote for the blog to be considered the Most Brilliant Blog. If you do register, you'll have some great blogs to choose from.

March 10, 2009

Busy weekend ended with another 0.65 walk today

On Thursday my wife and I drove to Los Angeles (10 hours each way) to attend a conference on "Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision" at the Claremont School of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University. On Friday we toured the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and attended the Keynote address at Claremont that evening. All day Saturday was spent in the Conference, and I gave my paper on "God, the Perfect Engineer" as the first speaker. We came home on Sunday. I didn't do any organized walking during the four days, but I was on my feet a lot and did a lot of walking during the tour at JPL. I walked the 0.65 miles again today. I felt fine during all of this. I didn't get particularly tired during the four days and today, and I had a high energy level. My walk today was at a faster pace than it was last week.

March 4, 2009

Two more 0.65 mile walks

On Monday and Tuesday I walked the 0.65 mile loop. I felt fine after the walk on Monday (by myself), but I was tired during and after the loop on Tuesday (with my wife). Today is the first time I've worn the special compression socks that go up to my groin. It is nice to not have the four pounds of bandages and foam wrapped around my legs. I haven't received the socks for night-time use yet, so I may have to have my legs wrapped while I'm sleeping. However, the therapist said that if my legs don't swell, I can get by with just the Tubagrip compression socks. Once the special night-time socks arrive, I'll wear them while I sleep. I have to wear the special socks for two years to keep any swelling down. It takes that long for my veins to heal from the blood clots.

March 2, 2009

Have a good laugh

Here is a funny video clip, complements of Jamie Atlas, that will keep you laughing all day.